Assorted Nr. 28: Demonstration Against Repression/Nazis (Arson attack in Berlin!), General Strike France, Force Attack 2011, London Anarchist Bookfair Report

Much to do, little time, hence the silence here lately. Waiting for the jackets to arrive (today? tomorrow?), waiting for the Zartako CD (this week? next week?), sent the Opcio LP to the factory (ready in time for the Siempre Antifascista festival in Berlin?), adding new literature titles to the catalogue (soon…books for German speakers!), and working on the mountain of orders which piled up during our 10 day absence („vacation“ in the North of Germany, plus visit to London for the anarchist bookfair).
A lot of stuff, in no real particular order, and certainly not in the depth or breadth a lot of the subjects deserve…

*First and foremost: Should you be in or near Berlin today, the demonstration below is where you should be. Motivation for the demonstration „against Nazi terror and repression“ is on the one hand the most recent police raid on left-wing and antifascist infoshops (something which is becoming sadly routine), and on the other the Nazi arson attack on M99, one of the oldest infoshops in Berlin (the oldest?). The arson attack left the front of the shop looking like this:

It was only the quick reaction of those who were at the moment inside which prevented the fire from spreading to other areas, including the floors above where people were sleeping.

*The general strike and resistance to Sarkozys retirement reform continues, although sadly beginning to show signs of wear. No time to adequately cover any of it here at the moment, but if you happen to speak German, we again would like to point you to the Je Ne Comprends Pas blog, written by a comrade from Kiel who is currently in Paris and provides interesting first hand accounts.

*It was last weekend, so our promoting it here will clearly not help get anybody there. But we would like to promote it on principle. This concert was born as a reaction to a concert of several „apolitical greyzone“ bands (Stomper 98 and others) scheduled to take place in Stuttgart on the same date. Thanks to the concert and some, ummm, extra-official pressure, the other concert was cancelled. Nice!

*Speaking of concerts and events who have given much food for discussion over the last few years…the lineup for Force Attack 2011 went online this week…

You will notice two interesting developments here…

-First of all, the apolitical mindless oi scene is much less represented than in previous years, and there seems to be a general trend back to more palatable bands, be it musically or politically (although, sadly, still not without scandal associated bands, such as Boxhamsters or Volxsturm). The stated or suspected reasons for this might be plenty, but whatever they are, it is definitely a positive step in the right direction. If you wish to yell, scream, discuss, praise, or complain the issue is already being discussed at Diffidati and Frutti de Mare.

-Brixton Cats is to become the second Fire and Flames band to ever play at Force Attack (first were the Argies, who have played there several times). They will be there, and of course so will we (for the 8th year in a row)! And because we are often asked why we are there, and we have answered this question in conversations with people particularly often over the last couple of years, here finally in written, albeit summarized and extremely brief, form:

We, as antifascists and „radicals“ have nothing to gain by leaving mass events free of our presence. Of course, there is a line which needs to be drawn at which point there is either nobody to be „reached“ with our presence, or when the absence of groups and organizations of the „antifascist“ spectrum is a more powerful and effective message than their presence, or indeed where the event has such a character that it is dangerous to hold a table. This line exists, but it *certainly* has not been crossed at Force Attack. We receive confirmation of this fact every year when we see how many people tell us how glad they are that we are their, how many young people taking their first steps into punk and oi subculture there are who take the flyers and infomaterial we bring with us with lots of eagerness and excitement, and finally because there are indeed often confrontations with the poor and ignorant few who think they can use these events to parade around with right-wing or fascist attire on. It was, I believe, Mao who said „strike one to educate a hundred“. Were there no antifascist presence at these mass events and such displays were left unconfronted and without consequences, the example set would be very much negative.

*London Anarchist bookfair report: Pfffff…no way. Some high/low lights in bullet form:

*Plane late, public transport finished, night at airport! Slowly we are starting to be experts at airport sleeping. As far as airport as hotel experiences go…this one was terrible. More people running around at 3 am than in most city streets during the day.

*“Awoke“ a 4:30, headed to city and bookfair. It was all nice and wonderful and a great opportunity to catch up with old contacts and meet new people. Sadly, as is the case just about every time we attend a bookfair, our exhaustedness left us too broken to interact coherently for longer periods of time.

-One of the highlights of the bookfair: Childcare, even being organized into one for younger children and one for older children. The older kids were even going around interviewing people for a „What is anarchism to you?“ documentary (the only people allowed to have a video camera in the event! :-) ). Besides child care, there was even some signed events for the hearing impaired and attention to wheelchair accessibility to the event. The anarchist „scene“ in England is just about as ghettoized as any other, but at least they clearly recognize that if you claim to want to develop a broad movement, you need to establish the structures which allow people with other life situations to participate.

*Interesting note….quite literally, almost half of our total sales on the day were to comrades from Greece. Food for thought…

*We visited the comrades from AK Press, and had the opportunity to browse further books as well as be handed their 2011 print catalogue. Nice, because Fire and Flames shirts are prominently presented over two pages, and also nice because who doesnt love to shop for books?! We soon placed an order, and in the next 10-14 days you should expect quite a few new AK Press titles to go online.

*Speaking of shopping, I was proud to have survived the bookfair having spent next to nothing (AK Press books were put on the „business account,“ so no cash traded hands), and during the visit to Freedom bookstore the „shopping“ consisted of writing down titles to get from AK Press (sorry to the comrades at Freedom…poverty makes us do it!). Sadly, the visit to the other anarchist bookstore on the second day marked the end of restraint. Here is my personal list of purchases…

Already read through it, and am torn between finding it fairly reasonable and says what needs to be said about anti-semitism, Islamism, and left-wing shortcomings regarding the subject on the one hand, or wanting to dismiss it as anti-deutsch drivel in English on the other. In any case, certainly readable.

Jules Bonnot, premiere anarchist and bank robber, a figure an irresponsible adventurist revolutionary cannot help but feel drawn to. This book is refreshing in that it is written in novel form, somewhere in the grey zone between education and entertainment. In our case, we can even call it „work,“ as is part of the „research“ towards the next t-shirt collection.

-Speaking of which…a book about political tshirts! Clearly a must buy for us, sadly it wasnt to impressive. Cant even remember the name now, and not inclined to look for it.

Part 1 of 3, really not particularly impressive so far, and because of the elevated price, the budget didnt allow for purchasing the further two parts.

Anarchy Comics! A classic of classics, which I once had and had long lost. Found a copy in the cheap box at the bookstore! Published in 1979 (issue 1 in 1978, and the remaining two 1981 and 1987), this is an absolute collectors piece. And again, also counts as „research“ towards new shirt designs!

*I spent my first day off in part at the „Vegan Shop,“ which is definitely not the type of location one can normally expect to find me at (although in my defense, the other nerds went to the museum! :-) ). I was there to attend a reading and discussion of Gabriel Kuhns „Sober Living for the Revolution: Hardcore Punk, Straight Edge And Radical Politics“. A nice event in a friendly atmosphere, followed by an interesting discussion. I was the only non-vegan there, and must admit I never felt so self-conscious about my shoes!
(Speaking of Gabriel Kuhn…you all need to be very damned excited about his upcoming book…“Football against the State!“ Thanks to my lobby work…Guardia Negra, Atlanta, and Racing are all mentioned *and* there are some pictures in there which will change your pathetic little lives!)

*When not at the Vegan shop, I spent most of my free time eating chicken wings. Theyre good, and in London…theyre everywhere!

*Pictures? We took a camera, but not wanting to be touristy…we didnt take one single picture! :-)

*Finally, damned flight back was so early…we had to spend a second night at the airport! This time next to a construction zone. Relaxation is something else!

4 Antworten auf „Assorted Nr. 28: Demonstration Against Repression/Nazis (Arson attack in Berlin!), General Strike France, Force Attack 2011, London Anarchist Bookfair Report“

  1. 1 Bunny Rabbit 03. November 2010 um 0:26 Uhr

    Digga, du sollst nicht so viel Blog schreiben, sondern in die CD reinhören!!! ;)

  2. 2 Administrator 03. November 2010 um 0:56 Uhr

    Dearest Bunny Wabbit,

    Es ist auch in deine interesse dass ich das CD in einen moment der ruhe und glucklichkeit geniesse. Leider ist sowas diese tagen überhaupt nicht möglich da

    a. die FF slave machine is exploiting us more than usual this woche, und

    b.ich habe seit ein paar tagen wahnsinnige schmerzen am sprunggelenk, eine art von schmerz die ich noch nicht kannte (und ich dachte ich wäre schon mit alle möglichen gelenksschmerzen vertraut), und in eine intensität die wirklich ganz neu ist. Kurz: seit zwei tagen kann ich mich kaum bewegen, verfalle in totalen panik, und mit „peace, love, joy, and lets relax and listen to music“ stimmung ist leider in moment nichts. :-(

    Patience is a virtue…

  3. 3 Bunny Rabbit 03. November 2010 um 19:21 Uhr

    Oh shit! Na dann gute Besserung!
    (Aber auch für diese Situation ist auf der Platte was für dich dabei: Track 7, bei 4:05. Du wirst wissen, was ich meine! :) )

  4. 4 Bunny Rabbit 03. November 2010 um 19:25 Uhr

    Blödsinn. 5:28

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