Solidarity with Anarchist Prisoners Mônica & Francisco in Brazil

Words of Mónica Caballero from the San Miguel Prison, Santiago. Chile

Compañerxs, friends, and family:

I’m writing to you again from a cell. I am being held in the San Miguel prison, for 14 days I will remain isolated under the protocol for prevention of contagion from COVID-19, later I will be classified and taken to a definitive module.

It’s been almost 10 years since I first set foot in the prison as a defendant. During these years my life has always been linked in one way or another to prisons, although the control systems may change, but their structure essentially does not, punishment and repentance are still sought.

Almost 10 years ago when I entered prison, I was fully convinced that a set of anti-authoritarian ideas and practices were fundamental keys to face domination, in all this time there has not been a single day in which I have thought otherwise. I stand in this prison with my head held high, proud of the road I have traveled.

Solidarity with all anti-capitalist struggles Newen Peñis, Mapuche Political Prisoners Subversive prisoners and prisoners of the revolt To the street!

Mónica Andrea Caballero Sepúlveda Anarchist prisoner.

July 2o2o.


Porto Alegre. Burning barricade and banners at dawn in solidarity with Mônica and Francisco. In front of the enemy: Indomitable!!!

Since last Friday, July 24th, we have felt the imprisonment of two anarchists Mônica Caballero and Francisco Solar, known enemies of the State and of domination. They spent years arrested first in Chile for the Bombs Case, and then in Spain, more than 4 years kidnapped, accused of attacking a basilica, a Catholic church. And today, they are kidnapped again by the Chilean state accused of sending two explosive packages, one against a police station famous for leading repression and the other against former Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter, an old repressor and boss of sending the bullets from his office, what some would call the intellectual author of the crimes of the Chilean state. They are also accused of being responsible for two explosive devices left in the building of a luxury real estate company, Tánica.

Far from the punitive logic, this is not a call for the innocence of these compas, they are neither innocent nor guilty. They are part of those on the other side of the machine of domination and of the society that sustains it, they are part of those who have demonstrated that they do not negotiate with repression when it knocks on their doors, of those who shout death to the state and long live anarchy in the very face of the judges. The power of democracy and its networks of domination over the actions of the compas and over the supposedly “criminal” character of the actions for which they are accused is not recognized. This call is for the propagation of hostility as an action of solidarity with all those who fight and through action, for the solidarity that propagates the action that offends the imposed normality, because these acts of solidarity also expand anarchic sedition against domination.

It is nothing new that the state kills and tortures not only using death policies, but above all the armed wing of the forces of law and order, that is, all its police forces which are always despicable.

The role of the church in this miserable life is fundamental, the church is the spiritual producer of blameless and resigned dominators. The Church, whichever one it may be, is one of the greatest accomplices in the maintenance of the unhealthy order of democracy and the exploitation of labor, causing in people the disease of inferiority and the surrender of life and decisions in the hands of a non-existent fetish. But not many seem to worry about the millions of people who lost their freedom to act and think, dominated by some pastor or priest.

On this side of the ridge, the scenery is not much different. We know even more about the murderous and mutilating police, the life condemned to misery, and the role of the many churches in the multiplication of the resigned and blameless dominated.

Some of us have chosen to keep our anger against all this burning, aware that passivity only strengthens those who dominate, aware that for the dominator to triumph, the complicity of all is fundamental. In times when much is said against fascism and phrases such as “with fascism you don’t argue, you fight” are repeated, we choose to speak with actions, and this is worth more that hundreds of words enclosed in the normality of social networks, the new corral of freedom of expression.

That’s why we chose the day when the tyrant who imposes on us was walking in the region so as to not to collaborate with the image of submissive cattle that they want to present to him.

Expect this domination to end in the exhaustion of tyrants? Expect a new leader to change something? We must take our lives in our hands and for that it is essential to bite our tormentor. In the end every violent action is valid and justified by centuries of domination.

Every small act, as simple as putting some tires together, lighting them up with a little gasoline, changing the normality of any day, provoking others who don’t agree, and collaborating with combative solidarity.

May these flames warm up and bring courage to the anarchists who in Italy, Russia, Spain, France, Belarus, Chile… face the cold repressive winds.

May the fires from the barricades warm the cold of dawn.

On one of the banners could be read: “In front of the enemy: Indomitable! Strength to Mônica and Francisco” and on the other: “Against all authority! Long live anarchy!”

From: Anarchists Worldwide

Independent Sex Workers Fighting COVID-19 And Poverty

Voices in Movement

BRIGADA CALLEJERA has been fighting for sex workers in Mexico for more than 30years.The government of Mexico has repeatedly let down sex workers with unfulfilled promises during the COVID-19 crisis.Brigada Callejera is asking for your solidarity and support in their “BREAKING CHAINS” COLLECTION CAMPAIGN.

BRIGADA CALLEJERA DE APOYO A LA MUJER ELISA MARTÍNEZ AC.(STREET BRIGADE IN SUPPORT OF WOMAN ELISA MARTÍNEZ AC.)

We are continuing our collection campaign for Independent Sex Workers Fighting Covid-19 And Poverty.

It is urgent that all civil society organizations help vulnerable populations in the face of this worsening situation.

We are infinitely grateful to all the people who have joined forces with us. Your support has allowed us to continue collecting and delivering aid to a population that is still stigmatized and excluded due to religious moral codes that label their work.

Brigada Callejera has 30 years of experience in the defense of human rights, in particular sexual, reproductive and labor rights as well as a long history of fighting for access to health care for sex workers with the motto that for every sex worker, one health care worker.

It is important for Mexican society to continue to help independent sex workers.

Brigada Callejera has been fighting against human trafficking since the organization was created.

We are active members of the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW).

We have created more than 35 comics to promote preventive care and to take care of our children and women from human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

It is urgent that we continue to unite and stand up for the vulnerable people of this country.

We Will Continue!

In memory of Jaime Montejo who died on the streets fighting for full respect for a stigmatized population.

Help us to spread the word.

To donate to the “BREAKING CHAINS” COLLECTION CAMPAIGN

Name: Brigada Callejera de Apoyo a la mujer, E.M. AC.
BBVA Mexico
Account No. 0189280332
Inter-bank Clave: 0121 8000 1892 803322

J.K. Rowling and The Chamber of Terfdom.

I’m going to be 27 by the time 2020 comes to a close and as someone who is firmly in the millennial category, the whole universe of Harry Potter has been a fixture in both my childhood and my adult life. As a kid I remember my dad taking time out from his taxi driving job on a Friday night so he could join the queues at my hometown’s sole bookshop to be one of the first to obtain the new Harry Potter book.

The first time I remember going to the cinema was in 2001 to see the first Harry Potter film and I remember my excitement to see the story on the big screen as a seven year old boy shivering outside the tiny, two screen cinema that was in the big town about a half hour’s drive from our house. I remember how magical it was to escape into that world and I remember the messages of overcoming adversity resonating with my young self, being the only boy in the class with cerebral palsy and having to wear brightly coloured leg splints and having daily sessions of physiotherapy.

In my teenage years, I retreated away from this world and dove full throttle into the worlds of Edgar Allan Poe, H.P Lovecraft, B-movies, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and 1980s slasher horror films. I believe these campy, macabre worlds were probably linked to the love my childhood self had for the kitchy, campy, creepy world of Harry Potter. As I approached my twenties and got diagnosed with a bipolar spectrum disorder, the world of my childhood provided much needed comfort at a time where I was experiencing frequent episodes of depression and psychosis whilst trying to complete a degree in English and live on my own for the very first time. Even during the current COVID-19 pandemic, one of my coping mechanisms at the beginning of lockdown was to watch a Harry Potter film on Saturday night by candlelight whilst eating Chinese takeaway.

All of this means that I was deeply disappointed by Rowling’s recent tweets that parroted the TERF talking points about “sex-based rights” and her absolute revulsion against the term “people who menstruate”. The damaging implications of sex essentialism have been documented on this blog and many others and I shall not repeat those same points. However, it says a lot that the world’s first billionaire author decides to use her time during a global pandemic and an uprising against state-sanctioned racism to further marginalise and vilify one of the most oppressed groups of people on this planet.

As a response to the criticism and fury she received on Twitter from trans people, queer people and their allies, she decided to write a 3,600 word essay on her blog. I’m not going to link it here because I do not wish to befoul this blog with transphobic rhetoric but it’s very easy to find if you want to read it; although, I would advise that it is very intense and it will probably be quite an upsetting read. I cried tears of rage reading it and I cried for the trans youth that I work with as a youth worker for a local LGBTQ+ charity.

In the essay, Rowling provides a narrative of her life in the early 1990s before Harry Potter exploded into our cultural consciousness. She frankly and openly talks about being a survivor of severe domestic and sexual abuse. As a sexual abuse survivor, I empathise with her and I do hope that she has been able to access the support needed to be able to process the trauma she has experienced.

The question that remains, however, is why did she choose this moment to speak about it? It plays into the unfounded, deeply bigoted caricature of trans women being men who just want to pose as women so they can sexually assault women in public bathrooms. When we look at the reality, we see that in the 21 countries which have introduced self-ID for trans people to change their birth certificates, none have reported an increase in sex crimes as a result. We can also look at several US States, the most notable being North Carolina, where bathroom bills were introduced and we see an increase in assaults being perpetrated against trans people in bathrooms and an increase in those same assaults against cisgender people who present in a gender nonconforming manner.

It is also important to consider that one of the “leaders” of the TERF movement, the increasingly irrelevant and deplorable former Labour Party hack that is Linda Bellos is actually on film saying that she would beat up a trans woman if she happened to be in the same bathroom as her. Approximately every 72 hours, a trans person is murdered somewhere in the world because of their gender identity and by playing into myths and caricatures, JK Rowling has put those people at increased risk.

Rowling also moves onto the topic of incels. Incels, for the record, are men who believe that they are owed the right to sex just because they happen to be male. They are angry that women choose not to sleep with them and several incels have gone on to commit murders of those women. They also harbour a hatred for the men that they see as stealing their opportunities to pursue the women that they wish to sleep with. Elliot Rodger murdered six people in California back in 2014 as “retribution” for his lack of sexual experience and activity.

In 2018, Alek Minassian murdered 10 people in a vehicle-ramming attack in downtown Toronto to instigate an “incel rebellion” and had written several internet posts praising Elliot Rodger. Many incels look at the Ecole Polytechnique massacre of 1989 as a positive thing and something to be inspired by. In this massacre, Marc Lepine burst into an engineering class, forced the men and women in the room to stand on opposite sides and shoot all six women there. He then rampaged for a further twenty minutes, killing eight more women before killing himself. His motive was to “fight feminism”.

Rowling will be acutely aware of how horrific these events are and how the state does not take violence against women seriously enough. Again, we have to question her motives around bringing up these issues in this particular moment. It is morally abhorrent and repugnant of her and her supporters to link trans people and their allies to incels. I’m a cisgender man but I stand with trans people who are just trying to live their lives as their authentic selves and be recognised as such. We are not murdering women to further this cause and we are not terrorists. We simply believe in human rights and in bodily autonomy. She should be ashamed of herself for insinuating that there is anything linking us to the incels and it proves that her interpretation of feminism is fundamentally and objectively wrong.

The final part of her essay I wish to address is where she talks about “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria” (ROGD). ROGD is a pseudoscientific term used by the TERFs and their allies to try and explain away the large increase of young people seeking help and support with their gender identity. They like to blame a plethora of things for this which include but are not limited to; Japanese anime, tumblr, YouTube and autism. There is a link between being autistic and being transgender but that link is being actively researched by experts in the fields of neuroscience, neuropsychology and cognitive psychology and will probably take a long time to come to any semblance of a conclusion. On the other hand, ROGD has seemingly been invented in a chat room on Mumsnet.

As a youth worker who is directly working with these young people, I can confidently say that ROGD is baseless and unfounded. Young people have access to the internet and they are able to learn about gender outside of a Eurocentric viewpoint. Young people have always explored their gender identity but it is only now that they have the tools and the vocabulary to be able to do so fully. Do I think that every single one of my young people who identify as transgender is going to end up transitioning as an adult? Possibly, possibly not. In spite of that, it is important that young people are able to access the support and guidance that they need whilst exploring their gender identity.

They need compassionate and empathic people around them especially as 80% of trans young people will self harm and about half will attempt suicide. These young people are very vulnerable in a world where transgender people are treated as though they are the lowest class of citizen and by using ROGD as an excuse to explain all this away, Rowling and her allies are creating moral panic reminiscent of the moral panic around gay men in the 1980s and 1990s. It is this kind of language that causes governments to enact legislation like Section 28 that will damage a whole generation of young people.

I do not believe that JK Rowling is an inherently hateful person because a hateful person could not have written the Harry Potter series which is essentially an antifascist parable; despite its use of questionable antisemitic and racial stereotypes. What I believe is, like many women who grew up in second wave feminism, JK Rowling is using her platform to try and stay relevant in a culture that has long since moved on. I also believe that she has possibly been radicalised by the likes of Linda Bellos and Graham Lineham on Twitter. Rowling does not need to indulge in this desperate attempt to remain culturally relevant as Harry Potter has become a permanent and ubiquitous fixture of popular culture. People come from around the world just to have their pictures taken at Kings Cross Station where they’ve set up the entrance to Platform nine and three-quarters.

Rowling has often tried to pander to us LGBTQ+ folks, wildly announcing that certain characters in the series are LGBTQ+ when no hint of that was given in the original stories. It is this that makes her latest outbursts beyond offensive. She has used our community to make money and royalties for herself whilst throwing the most vulnerable people in our community under the Hogwarts Express.

I still love those stories of my childhood and I am taking relative comfort in Barthes’ The Death of the Author to take some sort of ownership of those stories and to separate them from a woman I once admired. Her following is large but the loudest voices in that following are the minority and many of the actors who brought those stories to life have expressed their unequivocal support for transgender people. We will win this fight and we must stand in solidarity with our trans siblings, always.

It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities”

– Albus Dumbeldore

Paul Haw

Bristol Radical History Festival Saturday 16th May, 2020

10.00 am to 4.30 pm

Bristol Radical History Group (BRHG) have organised a full programme of events for our 2020 Radical History Festival, in collaboration with our hosts at M Shed.

Themes

The 2020 Festival has two main Themes, where once again we will reveal hidden histories, debate and agitate for a future of better pasts:

State and private surveillance of labour and social movements (1792 to now)

Hidden histories of post-war mainland Britain (1945-51)

Programme of events

Libertarian Communism 2019 Women Organising at Work

Anarchist Communist Group

The following is a summary of the talks and discussion on women organising in the workplace at the ACG dayschool in October.

Libertarian Communism 2019 Women Organising at Work

The session was led by two women, both very experienced in organising at work.

Meena from the Angry Workers

The Angry Workers is interested in promoting collective organization in west London. The strategy includes getting jobs in the bigger workplaces, building solidarity networks in local areas and producing a newspaper (2000 copies).

Meena works in a ready-meal factory, with up to 4000 workers across four sites in Park Royal, west London. She started three and a half years ago working on the assembly line but then managed to get a skilled job as a forklift driver, one that is normally done by men. She is now ‘permanent’ and a GMB rep. The workforce consists of 60% women with a wage grading system that sees women largely occupying the ‘unskilled’ grade. E.g. all the women work on the assembly line which is actually the hardest job.

Jenny from the ACG

Jenny has been a union activist since the early 1970s. She was in NUPE which then was the union for public sector employees, now Unison. One of their first jobs was as a school auxiliary worker. These jobs were all women. There was a dispute and all the women came out (Jeremy Corbyn was then the full-time official!). Then she worked in the parks department and got involved in the GMB which had no particular structures for women.

The session focused on three main questions. Each speaker addressed the questions.

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Bristol Fundraiser and pamphlet launch 14th December 2019

We are very pleased to announce a BAF fundraiser DJ night and a pamphlet launch of the Bristol Radical History Group’s “Facing the Fascists”, a history of the Anti Nazi League in Bristol.

Pamphlet launch and intro to Bristol Antifascists from 8pm and first DJ from 8.30pm. DJs playing a liberated mix of punk, ska, 80s/90s classics and jungle!

14th December at the Plough, 223 Easton Road, Easton, BS5 0EG.

facebook event

Eyewitnesses to the Rojava revolution: women empowerment

ROAR Magazine

Protest against Turkish invasion in Serekaniye, Rojava. July, 2019 Photo: Olmo Couto / Shutterstock.com

The Rojava revolution is under attack. Debbie Bookchin and Emre Şahin share their thoughts on this unique revolutionary process after recently visiting the region.

Authors: Debbie Bookchin, Emre Şahin, Marina Sitrin

What has been taking place in Rojava is easily one of the most inspiring and exciting experiments in autonomous self-government to ever exist. It is also one of the most massive, and gender inclusive, often compared to the Spanish Revolution of 1936, as well as the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico. And yet, people outside the region know little about the different dimensions of the revolution taking place in Rojava. And now, this revolutionary territory is under military and political attack — its very existence at risk.

What follows is the first of a three part interview series with people who have had ongoing relationship to Rojava, and who have spent time in the revolutionary territory. The first two parts of the series are with Debbie Bookchin and Emre Şahin. Debbie, a journalist, author, public speaker and organizer is Murray Bookchin’s daughter and spent a part of the spring of 2019 in Rojava. Emre, a Kurdish PhD student and translator, spent most of the summer of 2019, traveling to 14 different towns and cities in Rojava, conducting research and in-depth interviews.

The third part is an interview with Carne Ross, Executive Director of Independent Diplomat and author. Carne left his career as a British diplomat, having served in numerous embassies and was Head of the Middle East section and Deputy Head of Political Section at the UK Mission to the United Nations. Carne made the film, Accidental Anarchist, based on his time in Rojava.

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Fuck the LGB Alliance

gal-dem

Photography via kthtrnr / Flickr

Last week saw the launch of a new, concerning organisation called the LGB Alliance – a group claiming to advocate for gay people, lesbians and bisexuals in the fight against “gender extremism”. This is the latest in a series of relentless and increasing attacks facing the trans community in a climate of transphobia which is affecting us both online and IRL. In a way, the start of this new trans-exclusionary group is not surprising – anti-trans sentiment is on the rise in the British media – but when the hatred

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Bristol , 25 October 2019. Shut down BAE and MBDA. Stop arming fascism!

Join us at the gates of BAE and MBDA to demand an end to the supply of arms to the fascist Turkish State.

Golf Course Lane, Filton, BS34 7QS

BE THERE FOR 7AM! Workers arrive early and we want them to hear what we have to say.

At 4pm on October 9th, the Turkish occupation army and its Islamist allies began their long-prepared war of aggression against the liberated areas of northern Syria. Turkish military forces have carried out serious violations and war crimes, including summary killings and unlawful attacks that have killed and injured civilians. BAE and MBDA, with offices in Bristol, supply arms to Turkey.

In 2017, BAE agreed a £100 million deal with the Turkish Air Force to develop a new fighter jet. Theresa May signed a special export license to ease the process of selling these weapons to Turkey. In January 2018, a deal was finalised between the Turkish government and EUROSAM for a new missile programme. EUROSAM is a joint venture between MBDA Missile Systems and Thales.

More information on arms companies supplying Turkey here:

Please share this widely to get maximum involvement! See:
https://alternativebristol.com/events/stop-arming-turkey-solidarity-with-rojava/

https://network23.org/kebele2/2019/10/22/rojava-solidarity-demo-at-bae/

facebook event

Werin Barîkadan – A las Barricadas in Kurdish