Still trying to digest all of the interesting things said at Thursday’s two talks, never mind yesterday’s packed event on Belarus. There should be recordings of the SolFed and Anarchist Black Cross meetings available in the future, so I want here to draw out some of the politics implicit in Mark Fisher’s Slow Cancellation of the Future talk. (These are more disconnected notes than tightly-argued essay.)
Hey, why not choose both? Thursday evening offers two talks at convenient intervals with cheap falafel to be found on the way between the two venues.
“Blogger and Author of Capitalist Realism, Visiting Fellow at Goldsmiths, and contributor to The Guardian, Frieze, The New Statesman and Sight & Sound, Mark Fisher is among the most acute and respected cultural and political commentators writing today. On Feb 28, he will give a lecture entitled ‘The Slow Cancellation of the Future’ as part of the History of Art department at Edinburgh University’s Graduate Research Seminar series. Free and open to the public [at Edinburgh Art College, Lecture Room 1, Minto House, 20 Chambers Street]
We are living in times of unprecedented attacks on our living conditions on all fronts, of rising social tensions and sometimes violent eruptions of class conflict. And yet if anything, the surprise is not that there has been riots and the odd strike, but that there have been so few. How are we to make sense of this. How are we to fight back, to take the initiative? Against capitalism, what do we w…ant to put in its place? The 20th century discredited state socialism, and rightly so. But with it, a whole history of international class struggle, of revolutions and counter-revolutions, victories and defeats, spontaneous uprisings and vast workers’ organisation has been eclipsed too.
The book aims to recover some of the lost history, in order to set out a revolutionary strategy for the present conditions.
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A speaker all the way from Belarus will discuss the revitalisation of anarchism in the country and the extraordinary state repression they have suffered, with anarchists making up nearly a half of all ‘political’ prisoners. Find out how the Belarus Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) is supporting anarchist prisoners and what you can do to help.
4pm-6pm Saturday March 2nd 2013 @ The Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH7 5HA
Edinburgh Anarchist Federation will be hosting a speaker from the Anarchist Black Cross in Belarus who will be talking about the severe state repression and harsh imprisonment faced by anarchists and other comrades. At present the Belarusian ABC are supporting five imprisoned comrades facing years in jail due to their political activities.
These convictions form part of an ideologically driven repression of anarchists in Belarus. They follow the revitalisation of Belarusian anarchism in the past few years. Unlike in some other ex-Soviet Union countries and other modern dictatorships, anarchists do not form a minor part of a dissident prison population consisting of the usual pro-democracy and anti-corruption activists. They in fact make up just under half of the ‘political’ prisoners in Belarus. This is partly because it is possible to have sentences revoked if you admit your guilt and write to the state asking forgiveness, which the five will not do.
The Belarusian ABC has campaigned consistently for them to be released and, in the immediate term, for them to be allowed visits, medication, letters and literature, and raises money for solicitors’ fees and to buy the comrades’ food. Supported by the International of Anarchist Federations (IFA-IAF) they are undertaking a tour of France, Italy, Germany, Spain and UK, to raise awareness and spark further solidarity. The latter have a good chance of success because Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko has expressed a desire for the country to be allowed to join the E.U. There are rumours that this may be considered if human rights in the country are addressed.
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The Edinburgh Anarchist Federation will be hosting a discussion on community organising and solidarity networks with guest speakers from Edinburgh Private Tenants Action Group and Glasgow Solidarity Network.
Edinburgh Private Tenant’s Action Group
The Edinburgh Private Tenant’s Action Group have been campaigning around various issues, such as illegal letting agency fees (forcing the government to enforce a ban that has been in place for over 20 years), the regulation of landlords (claiming victories, such as the recent banning of criminal landlord Mark Fortune) and fuel poverty.
Glasgow Solidarity Network
The Glasgow Solidarity Network has also been campaigning against letting fees in Glasgow, using tactics of community solidarity to win back fees. More recently the group have been assisting in a campaign against a 9.1% hike in rent in social housing schemes in the Glasgow area.
The meeting will take place at The Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh, on Wednesday February 13th at 7pm and will no doubt be followed by an informal social at the nearest pub.
Event on Indymedia: http://www.indymediascotland.org/node/32559
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/138603932966261/
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Edinburgh East Save Our Services have organised a public meeting for this Thursday the 24th at Art’s Complex on London Road. (Event link at Indymedia)They say:
Find out what is happening in your council
Speakers Councillor Andrew Burns, Leader of the Council and Bill Scott, Inclusion Scotland
There will be contributions from the floor which will include members from the various anti-cuts groups as well as disability rights activists
How will the council manage changes to housing benefit?
Will the budget put pressure on our services?
What is happening to home care?
Privitisation of council services was stopped:- what is happening to your bin service?
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Here’s an interesting event organised by Edinburgh Anarchist Black Cross.
Edinburgh Anarchist Black Cross* are holding an info and discussion evening. We’ve invited some people who have spent time in jail to speak about their experiences and hope to discuss the role of prisoner support and solidarity as well as strategies to resist the Prison Industrial Complex.
Hopefully we’ll have tea and cake too…please come along and help spread the word.
Event Details: 29th November 2012 7-9pm @ Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EL (Map link)
If you are planning on coming, please give us a wee email just to give an idea of numbers, though you’re welcome to just turn up on the night.
Edinburgh Anarchist Black Cross meets about once a month to write letters to prisoners, organise events and fund-raising and discuss strategies to resist the prison industrial complex. We believe that supporting prisoners is an intrinsic part of the wider struggle against the state. We’re always open to new people coming along so come and meet us at this event or email us to find out when we’re meeting next. website: http://edinburghabc.noflag.org.uk/
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Last Wednesday evening saw a large demonstration in support of the European General Strike of November 14th. More than 200(? I can’t count like that) people, recent arrivals from Spain or Greece plus longer-term residents and "native" Scots gathered at St Giles Cathedral, surprising themselves and the unaware police.
The demonstration moved down the Royal Mile but instead of heading to Holyrood as expected, the crowd turned left onto North Bridge and headed for Princes St along the carriageway, a bemused-looking bus trundling behind. (Traffic jams at the East End? Unprecedented!) After a walk down to the West End & back, via a brief Starbucks occupation, the march finished at the Mound, where this was read out:
Greece may be in the eye of the storm, but it is not the only country where severe austerity has been imposed. Unemployment in Spain has also reached 25% while British people have seen their income dwindle as a result of the cuts imposed by the coalition. All around the world, people are plunged into despair while large corporations continue to enjoy huge profits. The global nature of the crisis is yet more proof that this is not the result of the corruption and laziness of everyday people in Southern Europe as has often shamelessly been reported, but the result of the political and economic system: the system of neoliberal internationalised market economy and representative democracy, which the affected countries are integrated in via the EU. It also indicates that the answer to it must be global as well. An internationalist network of the exploited and oppressed must stand up against the well-organized international collaboration of the ruling classes and their political institutions. One step in this direction is to be taken on the 14th of November, a day of pan-European action and solidarity. Trade union federations in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Malta, Cyprus and Italy have called general strikes and there will be demonstrations in a number of cities including Edinburgh.
Believing that the world can change is not an illusion. Believing that it can stay the same is!
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Rock ‘n’ roll at a ridiculously low entrance cost with all of the proceeds going to Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty and The Autonomous Centre Of Edinburgh and it’s on A BOAT!
Yes, A BOAT!
You’ll find The Cruz Bar docked at 14 The Shore, Leith.
Once on board, make your way to The Engine Room for a night of supercool rock ‘n’ roll entertainment served up by the following beat combos…
Friday 16th November.
Doors open at 7:30PM.
£3 entrance fee.
Extra donations welcomed.
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This Wednesday a general strike has been called across mostly southern European countries: radical unions (and not-so radical) are taking part in Spain, Portugal, Greece & Italy.
As far as we know there’s no strike action taking place in the UK (love to be proved wrong ) but there are a number of solidarity actions, including this one in Edinburgh:
Meet at 6pm, St Giles Cathedral, Wednesday 14th.
See you on the streets…
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7pm this Sat 3rd November
Note new venue!: Out of the Blue Drill Hall, Dalmeny Street just off Leith Walk, Edinburgh.
This inspiring and extremely democratic and grass-roots controlled movement is at the forefront of resistance to the pro-capitalist policies of the ANC government. This is a rare chance to hear Lindela Figlan, vice president of Abahlali Basemjondolo, the shack dwellers movement.
Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) began in Durban in 2005. Lindela will speak about his experiences, ways of organising and other community based issues. In terms of people mobilised, it’s the largest militant poor organisation in post-apartheid South Africa. Social movements like AbM, the Landless People’s Movement in Johannesburg and the Anti-eviction Campaign in Cape Town pose serious challenges to the ruling party because of their refusal to vote.
AbM’s key demand is ‘Land & Housing in the City’ and has successfully politicised and fought to end forced removals and for access to education and the provision of water, electricity, sanitation, health care and refuse removal as well as bottom up popular democracy.
Lindela Figlan will join us as part of a speaking tour around the UK – details other meetings here http://www.anarchistbookfair.org.uk/
(includes Glasgow friday 2nd)
more info including map to venue location:
(above url case sensitive)
This event is free, there will be a collection to help cover travel expenses.