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woensdag 6 juni 2018

Anarchic update news all over the world - Part one - 6.06.2018



Today's Topics:

   

1.  [UK] Campaign for Anna Campbell is a political occupation in
      central London: "Kurdistan Place" By ANA (pt) [machine
      translation] (a-infos-en@ainfos.ca)
   

2.  Cambridge SolFed at Strawberry Fair Saturday 2nd June 2018
      (a-infos-en@ainfos.ca)
   

3.  Czech, afed: Anarchist Book Festival 2018 - The sixth
      anniversary of the anarchist book festival is successfully behind
      us. (a-infos-en@ainfos.ca)
   

4.  France, Alternative Libertaire AL #284 - Cambridge
      Analytica: Facebook and the spider in the web (fr, it, pt)
      [machine translation] (a-infos-en@ainfos.ca)
   

5.  Britain, london acg: No War BUT THE CLASS WAR: PUBLIC
      MEETING and DISCUSSION JUNE 2nd (a-infos-en@ainfos.ca)
   

6.  US, black rose fed: MIKHAIL BAKUNIN, 1814-1876: BIOGRAPHY,
      READINGS AND QUOTES (a-infos-en@ainfos.ca)
   

7.  Britain, afed: CONFRONTING STATE ABUSE IS LUSH
      (a-infos-en@ainfos.ca)


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Message: 1





The campaign to move the body of the anarchist and the internationalist YPJ fighter Anna 
Campbell to England, who died in a Turkish air strike in Afrin during the month of March, 
moved on to a new phase. Anna's friends and friends occupied an empty building in London 
and declared it a "political occupation". ---- As part of the #BringAnnaHome campaign , 
which began in March, an empty building was occupied during yesterday (5/27) in London and 
was christened "Kurdistan Place". The busy building will also serve to organize solidarity 
with the family of Anna Campbell and her friends of YPJ and YPG. ---- "Kurdistan Place" is 
situated in London's famous Marble Arch district. The occupiers condemned the British 
government's collaboration with the Turkish state and the occupation of Afrin, and 
informed the residents of the achievements of the Revolution in Rojava. In the building 
were banners with portraits of Abdullah Öcalan, Sakine Cansiz, Anna Campbell and photos of 
journalist and filmmaker Mehmet Aksoy, who was murdered in an attack by an ISIS terrorist 
militia in Raqqa in September. The walls of "Kurdistan Place" are painted with the YPJ and 
YPG flags. Inside there are meeting rooms.

Anna's friends and friends issued a communique stating that "We carried out this 
occupation to publicize the Kurdish culture and liberation of Kurdistan and to build the 
anti-capitalist and solidarity organization."

The first event in the occupation was held by the Anarchist Action Network and there were 
workshops on Kurdish language and dance and a lecture on antifascism.

Contact: kurdistanplace@riseup.net

Translation> Sol de Abril

------------------------------

Message: 2





Cambridge Solidarity Federation will have a stall in Scarecrow Corner at this year's 
Strawberry Fair, 12noon onwards Saturday 2nd June, Midsummer Common. ---- Strawberry Fair 
is the most popular free, entirely volunteer run, one day music & arts event in Cambridge 
(and probably across Europe!), attracting over 30,000 visitors throughout the day, running 
for over 40 years. ---- In between enjoying the music and the beer tent, call in and see 
us for some lighthearted anarcho-syndicalist banter. ---- We should also have info on 
local grassroots housing campaigns. ---- Also info on upcoming 2nd Cambridge Radical 
Bookfair on 17th June at the Portland Arms
http://www.solfed.org.uk/cambridge/cambridge-solfed-at-strawberry-fair-saturday-2nd-june-2018-0

------------------------------

Message: 3






Even when the first annual Anarchist Book Festival was held, which the interested people 
did not say otherwise than the "bukfér", it was clear that this is an action that needs to 
be continued and which has the potential to attract a large number of visitors and become 
one of the key events in the local calendar anti-authoritarians. And so we could meet for 
six years in the presence of subversive literature at a rich program festival. ---- This 
year's bouquet was held on Saturday, May 19th, at Eternie Square in Smíchov, Prague. In 
addition to the distribution of (not only) anarchist prints, a number of lectures, 
discussions, screenings were on the agenda. There was also a cultural program, snacks were 
provided and parents with children were also forgotten. But let's take it nicer.

Publishing grain

The festival was launched at ten o'clock, when part of the stalls were prepared in a 
specially designated area, and the others were gradually expanding. We start with 
self-presentation, a distribution booth of the Anarchist Federation Publishing House , 
which has unveiled the richest publishing activity within the local anarchist movement. We 
put the emphasis on titles on that day, including the Vadim Damier's Steel Century book , 
the softer title we've ever released. Another new feature presented was (as was 
subsequently the absolute "blockbuster") Tape and Hooligans by Roman Laube. And in the 
same edition, there were also biographical notes about Erric Malatest from Vernon Richard 
and the Parallel World in Colorfrom Mikola Dziadoka pen. The latter also invited us to 
present one of the lectures with his book and his stay in a Belarusian prison. In addition 
to the newer and older issues of the Anarchist Revue Existence and Publications from 
previous years, we offered black-and-white flags, original linocut bags, Cuban anarchist 
cigars, and the benefit bazaar of prints. In the stand we also took over the brand new 
publication of the Triada Publishing House - a set of texts by Jan Tesar from 1968-1980, 
entitled What to Do in the Wolf's Stomach . The history of Jan Tesar, many of us know, 
thanks to his phenomenal publication, Czech Gypsy Rhapsody about a black partisan, Josef 
Serinka, or maybe read an interview, which we made with him for the Revue Existence 
(4/2013). Then Jan Tesar said, "We have closer to you than you think." Yes, and this is 
also the proof of his new book. We are highly recommended (the Triada Publishing House was 
delighted to be delighted that seven of the five copies we took for Bukker had sold them 
seven).

We shared the space together with the feminist Zinzon Zin , who could boast the second 
number and offer bags and bags with thematic prints. On the other side of the house , we 
were together with friends from the Shared Houses , who were in the form of leaflets and 
DVDs with the film This is our house! presented the project around them.

Her new premiere at the festival was the new self-governing and non-commercial publishing 
house Neklid. Here he distributed his new book by Bini Adamczak, Communism (not only) for 
children . In addition, the book offered a publishing official close to our movement, such 
Debt by David Graeber or recently in the sociological SLON publishing house published book 
Ernest Novak dark green world , which we pointed out in the last existence .

Those interested in literary productions of various kinds have come to their stand at the 
Pravek Foundation underground publisher , which helps DIY beginners with their works on 
the world. Those who are interested in the history of the Czech anarchist movement have 
surely found their way to the Zádruha Historical Society .

Its promotional or fundraising materials presented many activist groups and collectives, 
such as Anarchist Black Cross , an initiative limits us , Collectively Against Capital and 
Prague solidarity network SOL! S . There was a booth dedicated to animal rights. And at 
the No Rasism Initiative! was to dismantle the fresh Czech edition of the leftist youth 
magazine Sugar Street .

The official publishers were Rubato or Broken Books , introducing the new book Radicality 
of Love by Srecko Horvata. There was also an independent, critical, 14- month- old A2 , as 
well as representatives from abroad, such as DAFuQ, a Viennese anarchoqueerfeminist 
network. His books (such as the Worship of An Early State Formation ) or a wall calendar 
dedicated to historically renowned women-anarchists were offered by Peter Gelderloos, who 
was also one of the lecturers. As part of his visit to Prague, we agreed with him to 
publish a Czech translation of his work Anarchy works .

The adjoining smaller room was occupied by the distress from the Prague infoshop Salé , 
which very much provided many foreign-language titles from the English team Active 
Distribution . The Zapatista Distro offered products from Chiapas women's cooperatives and 
zapatistic coffee, and the Graphic Workshop Black Hand features posters and graphics from 
Mexican workshops and artists. It has to be said that it was really a good idea to choose 
from, although posters could still be unavailable for some visitors.

And another interesting title was this year's bookfair. At the bottom of the bar, the 
co-author Vítek Formanek lay down the prints of the 44 stamp's stamp on the table by the 
wall . The book, along with Eva Csölle, prepared from interviews with bands of her heart, 
from The Damned through Oi Polloi to the Danish The Zero Point. Good reading at a nice 
price. If you have missed it, the book is available at www.petrklic.info .

Lectures

In addition to the room, the stalls that were present probably attracted most of the 
basement, not only because of the bar, but also because the main lectures of the festival 
day were here. We have asked several visitors to get to know their content.

Jana: "It has been clear since the first lecture that this year's program has been 
extremely successful. People from the SOL solidarity network in Praguepresented their 
activities, talked about various solidarity networks abroad, or about the difference 
between solidarity networks and trade unions. Students could learn that, especially for 
people without a contract or for foreigners, it is better to turn to solidarity networks, 
since, unlike official trade unions, they work on the basis of direct action, solidarity 
for everyone, democratic decision making and unnecessary bureaucracy. The solidarity 
network activity must also come directly from the people who turned to the group. The 
lecture was followed by a stimulating discussion. However, since this lecture started at 
11 am (and the program started), many people did not come to it. However, we can hope that 
listeners are inspired to collaborate with solidarity networks or to create similar 
projects. "

Aleš: "The lecture of the anarchist who arrived at the bookfair from the German-speaking 
countries was concerned with modern anarchist theory - and although it was" academic ", 
the presentation was very comprehensible and accessible to visitors and visitors who are 
not particularly oriented in political theory. Present in his Postanarchism. The 
Restoration of Anarchist Theorybriefly explained what the post-prefix means - and that it 
is not a negation of anarchist theory, old school '(ie, works by Bakunin or Kropotkin), 
but rather about adding, developing and thinking about things in the context of the 21st 
century, the number of previously valid reclassifications. A large part of the lecture was 
devoted to thinking that the anarchist movement is full of various paradoxes and 
individual anarchist tendencies often call for diametrically different approaches (eg 
radical ecoanarchism versus anarchist trends that see technology in emancipation, 
individualist anarchism vs. anarchosyndicism, etc. .), but that it is not about the 
"incompetence" of anarchist theory (as it is often criticized by Marxists, for example), 
but about its integral part - it is precisely these tensions that often inspire the most 
inspirational thoughts and actions. In the subsequent free discussion with the lecturer 
present, they discussed, among other things, the role of the state in society and how the 
approach of the anarchist movement changed in history. The lecture and the discussion took 
place in English, of course, simultaneous translation was available to those interested 
and interested. "

Martin the same lecture on postanarchism"In the morning's third hour of debates, it is 
sometimes shown that anarchist theory has somewhat faded into the premise and conclusion 
in the 19th century, and it is difficult to respond to the questions raised by the 
present. To the great pleasure of all activists who would like to go into the political 
debate over the seventh beer, this problem seeks to solve postanarchism, the thought 
stream that looks on the classical anarchist ideas through the optics of such great 
postmodernists as Jacques Lacan or Jacques Derrida. In the context of class struggle, this 
is a very refined move, as a militant armed with Derrida's postulates becomes really 
invincible in the debate (especially if his opponent has the seven beers behind). A 
lecturer, an anarchist from Germany named Jens, who writes on the subject at the doctoral 
work at the University of Jena, has outlined this issue in its entirety and supplemented 
its interpretation with graphic illustrations; but subsequently suffered from nausea, he 
had to end his speech prematurely without answering the questions he had asked himself. 
The area of postanarchism remains open to further research. "

Cecilia: "The fact that jail is shit and that only the hypocrites can act on this 
institution is clear. And it does not matter if the regime openly threatens such 
repression and sanctions, or it looks like the most just of the possible (what I'm going 
to talk about since the poor man has stolen a bunch of sows and went to sit and the rich 
for the fun of someone has crippled and punished himself, has not changed much anywhere). 
Even worse, when the regime gets rid of opinion opponents - when it comes to political 
prisoners. And all the way out of these categories as if he were a famous Lukashenko world 
called Belarus. There they shut each other slowly, and each anti-government opposition has 
a real chance to end up with a striped mundus. Anarchist Mikola Dziadok, who came from 
Belarus, knew it all on his own. His rebellion against the regime ended at one point by 
shutting him down, and in keeping with their terribly democratic laws, he could hold him 
indefinitely. Even Lukashenko is playing the election, and he puts forward the last 
political amnesty. From what they got, Mikola wrote a book about it and prepared a series 
of lectures with which he traverses the world. The Belarusian penitentiary system is 
bureaucraticly promulgated and informally literally murderous (for example, there is a 
caste system in it, which can lead to suicide or make it a waste - you just find the 
Muslim concentration camp, which is written here in historical literature). From Mikol's 
essay, the frost of his head was on the facts of the description. (To be exact, the 
mundries are not exactly striped - they have done a few reforms in this sphere.) Yeah, 
that presidential amnesty shows that the disclosure of what and how in Belarusian prisons 
is happening does not want to be there. So, great thanks and respect for Mikol that he 
does. Of course, I'll get the book. "

Emil: "The lecture, which was run by the long-standing group Collective against 
Capital(KPK) from two o'clock, I arrived with a little delay and found, surprisingly, that 
I did not even have a place to sit. This was already about the situation on the Czech 
labor market where wage growth is due to labor shortages. There was mention of the role of 
integrated unions and the message was disproved, the worse, the better, since there is no 
rule that would prove that when the capital cycle goes down, then the proletarian goes up. 
 From a more general point of view, however, in the next part of the lecture, the current 
battles in the workplaces, namely in health care, and the lessons learned from them were 
deduced. Gradually, the issues of the self-organization relationship to trade unions, the 
organization of awareness, and ultimately the methods of struggle and its politicization 
were analyzed. Several important points have been highlighted - on the one hand, that 
workers take into account their own needs and do not get involved in the fairy tale, 
co-responsibility ", and then that their demands derive from their current strength, and 
ultimately the fact that their own struggle has changed their perception of many aspects 
of life in capitalism. The lesson, therefore, is that successful struggles can be 
conducted even for small things that open up people's eyes to realize their power. KPK 
once again convinced himself that he was conducting a good piece of work in mapping and 
analyzing class clashes. "

Aleš: "The lecturer - an active participant in the anti-fascist struggles that have 
recently taken place behind the ocean - described some of the conflicts (among other 
things in Berkeley, where anti-fascists and black-bloc anarchists in February last year, 
abolished" a lecture by fascist Milo Yiannopoulos campus) that took place since Donald 
Trump was elected president. He also focused on some peculiarities and specifics of (neo) 
Nazism and (neo) fascism in the US - for example, the fact that the alt-right movement has 
no problem raising hatred for immigrants, although essentially the whole current US 
society is immigrants formed and genuine indigenous peoples there is not much left on the 
continent. In the subsequent discussion present with the lecturers divorced, for example, 
the connection of material conditions and the fascism of the company or group 
activityRedneck Revolt , which is trying to work with the theme, "white submarines" (about 
which they often talk about the election of Trump and the fascism of American society). "

Toncho: "What can we do about it? a friend asked me when she was preparing a school paper 
on the consequences of global warming. And so we went to the Anarchist Book Festival where 
we listened to the lecture of the Limits team we. Again she assured her that those who 
have the greatest share in fatal climate change are influential shopkeepers and their 
political hunters, who will find it hard to ever tell directly what they think. But she 
also learned one important thing: that all these well-placed ignorants try not to be too 
prone to their dirty business, and that we can do something about it. It does not matter 
in terms of age, experience, residence, etc. It depends on solidarity with the environment 
and the people who are essentially dependent on it. We can make this topic visible on a 
daily basis until it can be ignored or marginalized. Except all those uhlobarons and 
others. we are forced to stop destroying lives and the future. It is enough to become 
actively involved in the climate justice movement, here in the Czech Republic, we are 
specifically in the Limits team.the climatic campsite will certainly meet us a lot more 
than last year. Let us just add that the climate is just another good reason to change the 
system. "

Martin: "A lot of people gathered at the lecture of American author Peter Gelderloose , 
which is not surprising, as he is one of the most prolific and most prominent writers in 
today's anarchist movement. He published a number of books, including, for example, 
Anarchy Works , in which he demonstrates on a number of concrete examples that a 
stateless, horizontally organized society is feasible and feasible, or How Nonviolence 
Protects the State , where he argues with a pacifist approach to tackling the social and 
environmental problems of today. His latest book, Worshiping Power, which he personally 
introduced in Prague, is a historical analysis of the circumstances of the existence and 
existence of various forms of state establishment. He deals with the topic the author has 
touched upon in his earlier books, but he goes deeper and is much more radical in his 
conclusions. Above all, as he says, one should stop thinking of the state as a possible 
tool of human emancipation. Although today the state system is ubiquitous in the world, 
and the life of society can hardly be imagined without it, it is in fact nothing but a 
tool for the accumulation of power - which, whatever it takes on a friendly form - always 
inevitably leads to the suppression of the rights of individuals groups and the limitation 
of equality and autonomy. Peter Gelderloos is not only a brilliant radical thinker but 
also a great writer and speaker, which does not overburden its texts with too much 
academic expression and is so comprehensible to the majority audience. Therefore, those 
who came to his lecture, who eventually developed in a pleasant informal discussion, 
certainly left satisfied. The good news for them and for everyone else is that perhaps 
even next year, Czech readers will be able to see the works of Peter Gelderloose in 
translation. "

The program of the festival was really rich, and one also occasionally needs to relax from 
all this intellectual activity, so we did not even participate in all the lectures. And so 
the talk of repression against the anarchists and anti-fascists in Russia was rushed and 
the evening of the evening - Robin Yassin-Kassab's lecture on the war in Syria. Evenings 
in the Eternie Evenings have been passed - introducing the magazine Sugar Street Search 
and the presentation of the book Komunismus (not only) for children .

Another program

Visitors to the festival were able to watch the films This is our house! (on the 
functioning of the German network of solidarity housing Mietshäusersyndikat), Bullfight , 
The Carbon Curtain or Anti-fascism document in the USA. Further discussions took place on 
the lectures.

The musical side of the festival took place at Eternie in the afternoon with the acoustic 
Dimitar and the Hill of Cones. In the evening after the lectures, Johnny Viilnik, Jungiez 
& Edosh, Frau Frankenstein und Spullboy, Sharpen your Fringe, Massola, and DJ's Eldatel & 
Domie were already in the cellars.

The attic space was reserved all the day all the day for children who had their own corner 
and were able to get out of their way to allow their parents to taste some of the buckets. 
The only downside (but more for adults than for children - these energies were missing) 
was that they had to go up to the top floor of the building with their children. The fun 
of the children promised to make the interactive theater with Karlovo and Jaromír's fairy 
tale more pleasant .

In addition to running and toddlers, children were performing various workshops, such as 
screen printing by Punx23.

The Eterny Stair has been decorated with an exhibition of contemporary Mexican graphics 
and posters entitled "Autonomy is Life, Submission is Death," a mix of various Mexican 
traditions, workshops and authors - the Escuela de culture Popular de los Mártires del 68, 
Grafica de Lucha, Revolutionary Artists of Oaxaca or Chilean artist Beatriz Aurora.

self-government

The organization of the festival seemed to be trembling as it should. Anyone who wanted to 
engage actively in any way had an opportunity. There were no serious hindrances during the 
program. Perhaps only more seats could be provided for lectures by the loud listener. And 
so the only "shortcoming" that was left with ease was the excited air in the hall with the 
stands.

Refreshments were provided by two bars or a self-service benefit cabin of various flavors. 
In Eternia's courtyard, Vegan cuisine was set up, offering excellent kebabs, burgers, 
sweet and savory pancakes, various desserts and other delicacies that produced no animals.

On the table adjacent to the kitchen, anyone at their discretion was able to contribute to 
the cost of arranging the buckets. There was also a printed brochure of the festival 
guide, where besides the program annotations of individual lectures, presentations of 
dictionaries or book news of the AF Publishing House. All this is supplemented by texts on 
the Mexican collective Escuela de culture Popular de los Mártires del 68, about Omar Aziz 
and the building of self-governing autonomous communities in Syria, and on the history of 
publishing against the backdrop of technology developments in the region.

It is a pity that even this year we did not realize what we know from some foreign 
bukfers, that is, the presentation of anarchist publications directly on the street, so 
that even passers-by can pick them up. The event was attended by several hundred people. 
Three hundred of them could turn around. In this area and throughout the day, however, the 
number of visitors is very poorly estimated. The festival, which is a great example of 
anarchist self-organization, has confirmed its important role in meeting and 
self-learning. But with the interest in the book itself, it was even worse when we took 
into account that, for example, the Steel Century , which stands out in both content and 
form quality in this year's anarchist publishing, only counted 18. Is it missing from you?

https://www.afed.cz/text/6848/anarchisticky-festival-knihy-2018

------------------------------

Message: 4





The Cambridge Analytica scandal is raging in the United States, after data from most of 
the population, collected by Facebook, have allowed massive manipulation of public 
opinion, in order to facilitate the election of Trump. ---- March 16, Cambridge Analytica 
Company Charged by New York Times and Guardian Investigationsto have illegally acquired in 
2016 the data of nearly 90 million users of Facebook in order to practice advertising 
targeting. Through this targeting, Cambridge Analytica would have actively influenced the 
opinion of the victims in favor of one of its main clients: Donald Trump, then in full 
electoral race. The company would also be largely responsible for Brexit. All without 
Facebook, well aware of the diversion, does not prevent them: the complicity seems to be 
proven. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, this type of advertising targeting is actually 
perfectly normal, since it is its source (huge) income. The poor man must have been 
surprised to find that following the revelations, the co-founder of the instant messaging 
software Whatsapp, a subsidiary of the Zuckerberg group, launched a massive movement of 
Facebook account deletions, under the hashtag #DeleteFacebook (#RemoveFacebook). According 
to a poll by Techpinions Group, 9% of US residents would have deleted their account ! 
Zuckerberg was also surprised to see Facebook's share price fall by nearly 20% from the 
February 5th peak. Or by receiving the convocation of the American Congress, before which 
he had to testify and apologize flatly in mid-April.

Yes, but ... Does not this affair have a rancid taste of déjà-vu  ? During the Prism 
scandal revealed by Edward Snowden, the world had also "   discovered   ", with "   horror 
   ", the capabilities of the NSA, the US spy agency and the country's largest employer in 
mathematics and computer science. Protests, flat excuses, documentaries, manhunts had 
followed. The world was upset, just as today, Facebook's capacity and lack of ethics is 
worrisome. And then  ? Nothing...

Threats denounced for a long time
Has Prism prevented Cambridge Analytica  ? No. Will Cambridge Analytica prevent the next 
scandal ? Certainly not. However, each of these two cases could have been avoided. Because 
the libristes we have been sounding the alarm for a long time already. The surveillance 
and mass control capabilities brought by new technologies and digital technology have been 
denounced since at least the 1980s and the first rants of Richard Stallman, founder of the 
Free Software Foundation. It is by relying on a certain expertise in computer science or 
mathematics that we formulate our concerns or our criticisms. We must not be deceived: 
these technological changes will profoundly change the capitalist, patriarchal and racist 
system in which we live, and it is very likely that, from the point of view of the values 
defended by librarians and libertarians, it is for the worse. So we stop taking others for 
paranos and we listen to what they have to say ?

Libertarian Libertarian's working group

http://www.alternativelibertaire.org/?Cambridge-Analytica-Facebook-et-l-araignee-dans-la-toile

------------------------------

Message: 5





As capitalism's economic crisis deepens our rulers are determined to make the working 
class pay for it by increasing exploitation and reducing wages and living conditions. ---- 
All across the world, the capitalists and their political puppets are also trying to 
prevent any united working class fightback by widening divisions in the working class, 
such as nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, gender and sexual preference. The 
xenophobia whipped up before and after the Brexit campaign, the Trump election campaign 
and the election campaigns of nationalist governments in Hungary and Poland are a few 
recent examples of what is happening and what is to come. ---- At the same time national 
states are trying to push the crisis onto capitalists of other states or blocs of states 
by trade wars. And history tells us that trade wars are the prelude to shooting wars. 
While imperialist proxy wars continue to rage in the Middle East, Africa and Eastern 
Europe, and while a new conflict with Iran is being stoked up, increasingly intense global 
conflicts are being prepared.
Nationalism is the main tool being used to recruit workers to support their rulers in 
these wars. No faction of the capitalist class is worth supporting and none is "a lesser 
evil"! The alternative is not to do nothing. There are already voices being raised under 
the banner of "No war but the class war!" to challenge the fate that the capitalists are 
preparing for us.
Join them in a public meeting to find out more and make your own contribution:

https://londonacg.blogspot.com/2018/06/no-war-but-class-war-public-meeting.html

------------------------------

Message: 6





A short biography of Russian anarchist and the key early figure of modern anarchism, 
Mikhail Bakunin. This short biographical essay is followed by links to Bakunin's core 
writings, recommended writings on Bakunin as well as some of his most popular quotes. ---- 
Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin ---- Born on May 18, 1814 in Pryamukhino, Russia - Died on 
June 13, 1876 in Bern, Switzerland. ---- The anarchist movement throws up many men and 
women, who become famous because of their actions, ideas and writings. Perhaps the best 
known of them all was the Russian anarchist, Mikhail Bakunin. ---- Anarchists do not have 
god-like leaders, nor all-knowing prophets. Nobody gets it right all the time and nobody 
is above criticism. Whoever does not make mistakes is either (a) not human, or (b) someone 
who never does anything at all. It is possible to take inspiration from the actions and 
ideas of others without falling into the trap of uncritical hero-worship.

First Steps to Freedom
Born in 1814 in Tsarist Russia, Bakunin quickly developed a burning hatred of injustice. 
At age 21, after a couple of years in uniform, he resigned from the army and began to mix 
in democratic circles. Nine years later he met up with radicals like Proudhon and Marx in 
Paris. By this stage he had formulated a theory which saw freedom being achieved by a 
general rising, linked to revolutions in the subject nations.

His passionate campaigning for democracy and anti-colonialism made him ‘public enemy 
number one' in the eyes of most European monarchies. In 1848 he was expelled from France 
for making a speech in support of independence for Poland. His passion for liberty and 
equality, and his condemnations of privilege and injustice gave him an enormous appeal in 
the radical movement of the day.

The following year Bakunin rushed to Dresden where he played a leading role in the May 
insurrection. This led to his arrest and he was sentenced to death. The Austrian monarchy 
also wanted him, so he was extradited and again sentenced to death. But before the hangman 
could put the noose around his neck, Russia demanded his extradition and he spent the 
following six years jailed without trial in the Peter and Paul Fortress. Release from jail 
was followed by exile in Siberia.

Escape from Siberia
In 1861 he made a dramatic escape and returned to Europe by way of Japan, the Panama Canal 
and San Francisco! For the next three years he threw himself into the struggle for Polish 
independence. Then he began to rethink his ideas. Would national independence, in itself, 
lead to liberty for working people? This took him away from nationalism and towards anarchism.

In 1868 he joined the International Working Men's Association (also known as the First 
International), a federation of radical and trade union organisations with sections in 
most European countries. Very rapidly his ideas developed and he became a famous exponent 
of anarchism. While agreeing with much of Marx's economic theory, he rejected his 
authoritarian politics and the major division within the International was between the 
anarchists and the Marxists.

While Marx believed that socialism could be built by taking over the state, Bakunin looked 
forward to its destruction and the creation of a new society based on free federations of 
free workers. This soon became the policy of the International in Italy and Spain, and 
grew in popularity in Switzerland, Belgium and France. After failing to defeat the 
anarchist idea, Marx and his followers resorted to a campaign of smears and lies against 
Bakunin.

A Movement is Born
A committee set up to investigate the charges found, by a majority, Bakunin guilty and 
voted to expel him. The Swiss section called a further congress, where the charges were 
found to be false. An international conference also vindicated Bakunin, and went on to 
adopt the anarchist position of rejecting any rule by a minority.

Defeated, Marx and his followers moved the General Council of the International to New 
York where it faded into irrelevance. The ideas developed by Bakunin in the last decade of 
his life went on to form the basis of the modern anarchist movement. Worn out by a 
lifetime of struggle, Bakunin died in Switzerland on July 1st 1876.

His legacy is enormous. Although he wrote manifestos, articles and books he never finished 
a single sizable work. Being primarily an activist he would stop, sometimes literally in 
mid-sentence, to play his part in struggles, strikes and rebellions. What he left to 
posterity is a collection of fragments. Even so, his writings are full of insights that 
are as relevant today as they were in his time. Many anarchists continue to draw from his 
premise of social revolution and methods of materialist analysis but other and much 
smaller aspects of Bakunin's writings such as his anti-Semitism and tendency towards 
conspiratorial thinking are easily left behind.

The Danger of Dictatorship
While understanding that ideas and intellectuals have an important role to play in the 
revolution, a role of education and articulating people's needs and desires, he issued a 
warning. He cautioned them against trying to take power and create a dictatorship of the 
proletariat. The notion that a small group of people, no matter how well meaning, could 
execute a coup d'etat for the benefit of the majority was a heresy against common sense. 
Long before the Russian revolution he warned that a new class of intellectuals and 
semi-intellectuals might seek to step into the shoes of the landlords and bosses, and deny 
working people their freedom.

In 1873 he foretold, with great accuracy, that under the dictatorship of the proletariat 
of the Marxists the party leaders would concentrate the reins of government in a strong 
hand and divide the masses into two great armies - industrial and agricultural - under the 
direct command of state engineers who will constitute a new privileged scientific and 
political class.

Bakunin understood that government is the means by which a minority rules. In so far as 
‘political power' means the concentration of authority in a few hands, he declared, it 
must be abolished. Instead there must be a ‘social revolution' which will change the 
relationship between people and place power in the hands of the masses through their own 
federation of voluntary organisations.

It is necessary to abolish completely and in principle and in practice, everything that 
may be called political power, for as long as political power exists there will always be 
rulers and ruled, masters and slaves, exploiters and exploited.

Who now can say he was not right?

Recommended Readings
Bakunin's Writings
"God and the State" - Classic work discussing religion, the state and conception and 
critique of authority. Bonus: Listen to The Discourse Collective podcast episode 
discussing this essay and summarizing the arguments (Part 1 and Part 2 - TBA)

"Marxism, Freedom and the State" - Collected extracts of Bakunin's writings on his 
disagreements with Marx and disagreements over the state and conceptions of revolution. It 
is in this work that Bakunin famously predicted the authoritarian result of any future 
"worker's state."

"The Paris Commune and the Idea of the State" - Written shortly after the momentous Paris 
Commune that rocked late 19th century Europe, Bakunin gives his assessment and draws 
lessons from the event.

Michael Bakunin, Selected Writings - Old scanned pdf of what likely the best compilation 
of Bakunin's writings.

The Political Philosophy of Mikhail Bakunin: Scientific Anarchism - extensive volume of 
Bakunin's writings, edited by Russian anarcho-syndicalist G. P. Maximov, as organized by 
subject, whether philosophy or anarchist strategy.

Bakunin Archive - Part of the Anarchy Archives at Pitzer College, this site contains 
Bakunin's biography, bibliography, collected works, and some commentary.

Writings on Bakunin
The Revolutionary Ideas of Bakunin - Classic short essay summarizing Bakunin's ideas and 
contributions to anarchist ideas.

The Legacy of Bakunin by Paul Avrich - Essay on Bakunin by the leading historian of the 
19th and early 20th century anarchist movement in Russia and the United States.

Bakunin for 21st Century Activists - Interview with Mark Leier, author of the excellent 
biography, Bakunin: The Creative Passion.

Struggle Archive on Bakunin - Archive of articles and resources related to Bakunin with 
emphasis on various debates within the left.

Libcom.org Bakunin tag - Archive of articles and writings related to Bakunin.

Bakunin: Selected Texts, 1868-1875 - Many newly translated pieces available in this 2016 
edition. See a review on Anarkismo here.

We Do Not Fear Anarchy; We Invoke It! - This 2015 volume written by Robert Graham and 
published by AK Press explores the titanic struggle in the First Workingmen's 
International between Bakunin, anarchists, and federalists on the one hand and Marx and 
his supporters on the other. Very highly recommended!

http://blackrosefed.org/bakunin-bio-readings-quotes/

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Message: 7





An AFed member's thoughts on Lush, their support for the Police Spies out of Lives 
campaign, and what we can learn from the establishment backlash against both. ---- Lush 
has a long history of funding grass roots activism, especially in the field of animal 
rights and environmentalism, and of running explicitly political campaigns across its 
stores to draw attention to certain struggles. Of course, all companies like to give money 
away to charity, and be seen supporting worthy causes, it's all good PR! I'd like to give 
Lush's motives at least a little benefit of the doubt, though we should still be wary of 
any company, and the chance of our struggles being recuperated into the capitalist system. 
Often Lush's funding is done with little publicity or fan fare, which counts in their 
favour, as does the fact their campaigns are usually of the sort a PR firm would tell you 
to stay well away from (such as this one). A PR firm certainly would not advise a company 
to launch something like Lush's Paid to Lie campaign, designed to raise the profile of the 
long running #SpyCops struggle, and the Police Spies Out Of Lives support group. ‘Far too 
controversial', ‘no good for your bottom line', ‘stick to something nice, maybe about 
kittens', all things I'm sure our fictional PR agent would've told them.

Lush founded in '95. Fight Club published in '96. Coincidence?

For those For unaware, the SpyCops campaign formed around a group who had been deceived 
into having close relationships with undercover police sent to spy on them due to their 
involvement in environmentalism, animal rights, anarchism or other ‘subversive' 
campaigning. These officers were deployed for years at a time, deliberately forming close 
emotional bonds with those around them. Often this meant having long-term romantic 
relationships with women involved in the groups, even marrying and having children with 
them. There have also been numerous cases of these spies encouraging others to commit 
criminal acts, one would assume in an attempt to entrap them. Once their ‘deployments' 
were complete the police spies would disappear. Those left behind were confused, concerned 
and often genuinely devastated. It was often this concern, more than suspicion, that led 
to the truth being exposed. After years of activists struggling to piece together what had 
happened, there is now a public inquiry into the use of undercover policing. While the 
political motivations,and instances of abuse are clear, those affected are becoming 
increasingly angry that the inquiry is becoming an exercise in white washing to cover up 
the abuses of power.

Enter Lush. Lush have launched a publicity drive online and in their UK shops. It features 
police tape with ‘the police have crossed a line', posters with ‘Paid to Lie' next to an 
image of a two faced cop, videos about the cases, in-depth articles, and more. They focus 
especially on the new petition from The Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance, which you 
can sign here.

The back lash that came was swift. Police officers, including some very senior ones, along 
with right-wing media pundits, fueled a social media storm around Lush's so-called ‘anti 
police adverts'. Anger was tweeted, furious messages penned, and thousands of police 
supporters down-rated the companies Facebook page to ‘1.1/5'. Though it has since bounced 
back up a bit thanks to some positive ratings from anti-police or pro-soap activists. 
Never mind that this was a campaign specifically about the abuses of the SpyCops, which 
even many supporters of the police would vehemently oppose, the ball was already rolling. 
It didn't matter that Lush literally spelled it out in a statement (disappointing to us 
anarchist types) that ‘this is not an anti-state/anti-police campaign'. Why would they 
risk launching the campaign in the first place, when they must've known it would result in 
so much negativity? Simple, that negatively is exactly the kind of thing that gets your 
story talked about, in person and in the press. By the end of the day hundreds of 
thousands of people who had never heard about the SpyCops inquiry were made aware of it, 
and were learning about the SpyCops campaigns. Lush are probably quietly thanking the 
outraged police supporters and right wingers on social media for playing their parts so well.

There are some important lessons here for those of us who engage in politics, things to 
remember about how the establishment reacts to criticism. First off, they seem to be 
taking it very seriously. Lots of people with important sounding titles like ‘vice-chair 
of the police federation' and ‘home secretary' quickly jumped into the fray. Why is this? 
Part of it might be the source of the criticism. Lush is a world renowned and respected 
company, with an annual turnover of up to £995million. For the police and politicians this 
is a major business ‘breaking ranks' and criticising a core part of the establishment. The 
Home Secretary provided evidence of this with his statement saying ‘Never thought I would 
see a mainstream British retailer running a public advertising campaign against our 
hardworking police.' It isn't something we should forget either, we should not rely on, or 
feel the need to support capitalist enterprises, even ones that help fund our campaigns. 
Lush's financial muscle also meant they had a platform much larger than most political 
groups, too large to ignore. Also at its core I think its because the establishment are 
scared. The SpyCops revelations are accompanied by cast iron proof, they were shocking 
even to those of used to seeing the ugly side of policing, and they strike against the 
very core of what the political and business establishment like us to think about the 
police. They shatter the illusion that the police are impartial upholders of justice, that 
their goal is to protect the innocent or uphold virtue. They expose the rotten core of 
policing in the UK in a way that even those who don't consider themselves ‘anti-police' 
will take notice of. Forget scared, this is the kind of thing that makes the establishment 
terrified.

So that is the why, what about the how of this establishment back lash? Well, it had a 
frankly immense reach. It was on a scale that money (almost) can't buy. Every major media 
outlet in the country has run a story on this, not focusing on the campaign itself, but on 
quotes from police, politicians, and miscellaneous angry people on twitter. Headlines 
included the likes of ‘Lush branded "Offensive, disgusting, and an insult" by Police 
Federation chair', ‘Fury over Lush campaign', ‘Lush Sparks Outrage' and ‘Cosmetics giant 
blasted over bizarre campaign'. Headlines that reveal the thrust of what the corporate 
media wanted to get across. Luckily for the campaign however the articles did have to 
include at least some substance, including writing about the SpyCops abuses and the 
campaign around them. Politicians and police also employed a ‘trickle affect', with 
different spokespeople, often from the same organisations, releasing similar quotes though 
out the day. Not only does this give news websites an excuse to write a second, or third, 
article on the subject it gives the illusion of a ‘public conversation' taking place that 
fits the narrative those in power want to construct. Picking a few random twitter quotes 
helps add to this idea. Don't bother investigating for yourself (they really, really don't 
want you to do that) the public at large have spoken, agree you peasants!

What about the contents of all these official tweets, press statements, articles, and 
reports? This is where it gets really interesting. First off, they do what we all expect 
politicians to do, lie. Lie like their lives depend on it. The first lie was to deflect by 
accusing the other side of being the liars. Believe our rulers and the campaign is 
unfounded, misleading, full of lies! Do they have any specifics to back that up? Of course 
not, and if you ask they'll reply with something vague about how brave the police are and 
hope you'll shut up. Their next big lie is that the campaign is ‘anti-police'. Not anti 
SpyCops, anti ALL police. This seems to be the thing that people have latched on to the 
most. With many police supporters tweeting that its #NotAllPolice. Which is great in 
itself, as it means even ‘the other side' has realised that what the SpyCops did was 
awful, and they can't bring themselves to defend them. It also misses the same point that 
those who tweet #NotAllMen in response to accusations of sexism miss. It doesn't matter if 
every individual is directly involved in the abuse and corruption, they sure as hell 
associate with people that are, they fail to challenge their friends and colleagues who 
are, and they continue to benefit from the system wide oppression that is created. Of 
course not all police are SpyCops, I mean, we would've noticed if every uniformed police 
officer in the country was replaced with a shady looking activist. It doesn't mean that 
all police aren't part of the same corrupt institution however, and it dosen't mean they 
aren't complicit. After all I've seen plenty of serving police officers talking about how 
all police feel ‘offended', how they are outraged at the campaign... but none going on the 
record to say the campaign raises important points about the nature of policing, and the 
awful actions of some of their colleagues.

Along with the lies, came the calls for censorship. Often in the same papers that run 
outraged stories under the guise of ‘defending free speech', talking about anti-fascists 
‘no platforming' racist speakers, or women ‘daring' to raise their voices against sexism 
in the media. Suddenly the right-wing media's free speech at all costs mantra is gone, and 
Lush should end their campaign and silence themselves immediately or else. It's almost 
like the papers, politicians, and right wing personalities don't actually care about free 
speech, except when its a handy weapon to use against their opponents. Likewise its 
amusing to see those who describe the left or anarchists as delicate ‘snowflakes', voicing 
their offense at the drop of the hat, doing precisely what the accuse us of; shouting 
loudly about how offended they are, as if this is the most important thing in the world. 
This move toward censorship isn't restricted to words either. Along with dozens of 
complaints to the advertising standards agency and other authorities, have come calls for 
boycotts, and even harassment of retail staff in the shops. Working retail is a 
soul-crushing experience at the best of times, so if you can spare a few minutes go say 
something nice to the folks in your local Lush, maybe drop 'em round some chocolates. Most 
worryingly of all, the calls for censorship are actually working. Lush have curtailed to 
their critics and removed part of their display from at least some stores. It is this 
pretty decent poster, apparently its ‘offensive' to the right wing snowflakes (or 
broflakes as the predominantly macho and right wing snowflakes are often termed), so 
careful where you share it.

By no means did the establishment limit themselves to just these tactics of course. There 
was plenty of misdirection, attempting to change the conversation to how hardworking they 
think the police are, or to how they've suffered under government cuts (those things that 
the same police were on the front line defending). They also attempted to undermine the 
credibility of Lush's campaign, labeling it ‘bizarre' and pretending they didn't know why 
it was happening, or what could've caused it. Other tricks included the knee-jerk reaction 
of blaming Corbyn, who apparently once met the guy who founded Lush, and appealing to 
emotion, in one instance by quoting the widow of a police officer. All of this was just 
damage control. It was too late, the campaign had succeeded in its aim of getting the word 
out about the SpyCops to loads more people, All the police could do was try and twist the 
narrative, all the while further boosting the profile of the the thing they'd like people 
to ignore. If you plan on launching any campaign, whether its one that involves actively 
courting the media, or just doing an action and running away you can expect to face all 
the same tactics. It's important to remember this when looking at how we frame our own 
demonstrations.

Feels very odd writing something positive about a multi-million pound business on an 
anarchist website. I'd better balance it out with something negative. Damn you Lush, 
you.... make stuff that smells like it should taste really nice, but then if you try to 
eat it mostly tastes of soap. Hmm. Nope, still feel dirty for the coverage of Lush. So 
dirty I should probably go wash myself. Perhaps with some deliciously fragranced hand-made 
soap.

Click for big (and more readable) version 
http://afed.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/lush-twitter2.png

Final Note: I'm supportive of the #SpyCops campaigns, and in relation to being victimised 
and fighting back against the police state, everyone involved. However, I'm not supportive 
of at least one prominent member of the group Helen Steel, in relation to other 
activities. Despite impressive activist credentials built up over several decades, Helen 
Steel has come out with some deeply reactionary views over the past year or more. These 
are largely in relation to trans people, and have included going as far as labeling trans 
activists part of an MI5 conspiracy, accusing trans women of deliberately furthering 
patriarchy or suggesting they only exist as a means to threaten women. I don't think this 
should stop anyone from supporting the #SpyCops campaign itself, and as a core participant 
there is no way anyone would remove Helen Steel from said campaign. I do think we should 
call out bigotry and prejudice where ever we see it, even amongst those we previously 
considered to be comrades. Especially when beyond merely voicing it, they actively 
organise to spread it. It's a shame that others at the core of the campaigns have not done 
this themselves. Whist I'd welcome other speakers from SpyCops at events I was hosting, I 
wouldn't go out of my way to organise a platform for Helen Steel - especially given that 
she has on occasion used such events to mention her TERF views.

Tags: Solidarity, state repression, UK

http://afed.org.uk/confronting-state-abuse-is-lush/

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