Tag Archives: Anarchist Federation

Post-election thoughts pt1: The SNP

Some thoughts by one of our members on the SNP in light of the recent election results. You can also read another member’s response here.

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The leadership of the SNP must be the happiest people with the recent election results outside of the Tory front bench. Everything has lined up perfectly for them. But why would I say this when the polls were strongly hinting that the SNP could have been part of a coalition government and forced more devolved powers to Scotland? Surely they have missed out on making things better for the working classes here in Scotland?

The SNP as a political party doesn’t have the goal of making things “fairer” or to look out for us. That is the rhetoric of any opposition party the world over, and it is used to build membership and support. Once in power the SNP would get on with the same job that every government has, running the state to protect the capitalist interests of a specific segment of the ruling class while also keeping capitalism in check so it doesn’t all fall apart. At the moment that means implementing austerity and progressing the privatisation of public services; the working class will always be hard done-by.

The puzzle for the SNP  is that the segment of capitalist interest they fight would benefit most from independence. If they were seen to be helping run Britain then they would have a harder time looking out for their own interests. By missing out on coalition they also miss out on the LibDem problem of being a supporting part of whatever cuts the government were making. However, would the same fate awaited them as hit the LibDems, that of rapidly destroying their base of support? Not quite, but kinda.

The twist here in Scotland is that the SNP can always play the Westminster card, and they do, time-and-time-again. If something goes wrong, no matter what, it is down to London (or Tories or some other boogieman) and the solution is independence. It doesn’t matter that the horrendous attack on working class services by Edinburgh council are SNP led, or that they have clearly shown that they have no intention of scrapping Trident as they intend to remain in NATO, or even that a whole host of their white paper promises are for things already devolved to Holyrood. These are not the failings of the SNP, liberal democracy, or a capitalist system. Nope. It is all Westminster.

The problem for the SNP is that to keep voters on-side for now they need to be seen to be centre-left. This means giving us in the working class just enough concessions to make things look like they are trying their best until they can secure independence and then get on with looking out for their  interests in the way they want to. The less the SNP have obvious control over the better they look. If powers are devolved slowly, bit-by-bit, then they would either have to concede more and harm their interests or it would become clearer that they are just the same as any other party.

So for the SNP having a Conservative majority is perfect: they can fight and lose to them and look great while awaiting another referendum, and at the same time any flack can be avoided by saying the Tory’s are the cause and that the failure to provide opposition was the failure of the Labour Party in England.

My other thought on the SNP landslide is that it stands as another landmark point in the furthering of nationalist views in Scotland. The role of nationalism is to hide the struggle between ruling class and working class, having us in the working class to support actions that prop up a part of the ruling class rather than work on understanding our own interests and fighting to have our lot improved. Now the main narrative is that things will be made better if we get behind independence, something which has no guarantees and diverts us from taking part in grassroots struggles where we can make a marked improvement in our lives.

At the same time we can look at the voting figures in England and get a rough feeling over why people voted a certain way. On the other hand it is far more difficult to judge up here in Scotland, where the SNP present themselves as whatever will be popular in the area (so centre-left in Glasgow and centre-right almost everywhere else). Add to this the feeling of disappointment over the lack of change post-referendum and it becomes impossible to get a measure for the views of the SNP voter base. My feeling is that this time around most of their voters want a better society and some real change, but that they have been set-up for future disappointment as the SNP  fulfils it’s role as a part of the machinery of a neo-liberal social democracy.

So, if it is just a case that the yellow tories are in, what should we be doing? I’ll be putting up a post in the next few days with some more hopeful and proactive thoughts on that topic.

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Brutal attack on anarchists movement in the Czech Republic

Over the past two weeks the Czech state has launched a massive attack on the anarchist movement under the name Operation Phoenix. Dozens of people have been arrested on terrorism and hate crime charges; flats, squats and social centres are being raided/evicted with alarming speed and brutality (with court orders that would normally take years to process being rubber-stamped overnight and water canons getting deployed); while the Anarchist Federation, the Anarchist Black Cross (prisoner support), and several other radical groups have had their servers taken.

These brutal attacks have been authorised due to the efficiency and effectiveness of the anarchist movement in recent years, with the local solidarity network growing in numbers and so being able to take on bigger and bigger targets, while social centres have provided the space for sharing of experience and ideas while building working class solidarity.

The Belarus ABC have been putting up info as they have it (here and here), while the ABC-Czech is collecting money for the legal support and can be contacted at abc-cz@riseup.net.

Solidarity with our friends and comrades, and if you can’t do anything else then considerer spreading news of this.

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Mayday Stalls, Elections Seminar, and the Sunday Swap Shop

Hi all,

Just putting together a really quick post to update folks on the events I was able to get to over this Mayday weekend. First  up where the stall on Mayday itself, where a good number of the cities anarchist and libertarian groups came out and set up a stall, linking the history of working class struggles with the struggles in the here and now. For our part we made some red & black biscuits and put out some publications, stickers and badges to help raise forms for the Baltimore Bail/Legal fund.

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Working folks in Glasgow were keen to show their solidarity with those fighting white supremacy in the streets of Baltimore and the generous donations raised $161.62 (a bit over £100). Thanks to everyone who said hi during the 3 hours we were were in the street!

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Later that night the good folks from Critisticuffs (writers of the libertarian communist journal Kittens) had come up from London to give a seminar to examine the function of elections in  capitalist state society. We’ll try to get a full review of the event up shortly.

Finally, on Sunday evening I was able to drop in to the end of the second Glasgow Social Centre pop-up event, a free shop with food and music. While things were winding down as I arrived just close to 6pm it looked as if the day had been a success, with everyone who attended getting well fed, the swap shop still having lots to rummage through, and the event having made a bit of money to towards getting a permanent social centre up and running.

This is what democracy looks like?

What follows is the very rough notes that where used for the introduction to the the first of our Angry Not Apathetic discussion groups. This evening we looked at what elections are, and the role of parliamentary/representative  democracy. It would be great to carry on what was a really engaged discussion, so if you were at the talk (or even if not) it would be awesome if you could put a summation of any points you either raised or took away in the comments bellow.

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This is what democracy looks like?

The general election is a contest to see who will win the job of running the state, so to understand elections, you need to understand the role of the state:

  • An organisation of all the lawmaking and law enforcing institutions within a specific territory.
  • Controlled and run by a small minority of people.
  • Claims that only violence that takes place with it’s sanction is legitimate.
  • Acts to protect the capitalist interests of a specific segment of the ruling class, while also keeping capitalism in check so it doesn’t all fall apart, as the success or failure of a state rests on the success or failure of capitalism within it.
  • To maintain social order and class society.

There are a whole lot of reasons thrown up for why elections make sense, none of which stand up to even a light level of scrutiny. Here are some of the most common:

Standing in elections gives a platform to talk politics
This was the reasoning behind the German socialist parties in the early 20th century, it has been the call of many small minority parties since, and today it is used by the anarchist group Class War. The thing is it wasn’t taking part in electoral politics that contributed any success these groups had, it was direct action at the points where we had struggles in our lives. If anything for CW formal involvement in elections has weakened their argument and made their position seem contradictory and muddled, while socialist parties just get trapped in a mire of elections and don’t go beyond that. Politics and power isn’t external in the state, it is everywhere and available to us, and pretending that elections are special hides that power from us.

Voting for the lesser of two evils
No matter who you vote for, the government that forms is going to undertake the same tasks. It may present them differently; in fact New Labour were able to be far harsher than he Tories due to the lack of criticism and scrutiny given to them by the unions. Parties outside of power will always be able to look better than those in. When we look at the policies and actions of government they have never been taken in direct reply to an election so much as the militancy and power of working class movements at any given time. Rather than pretend that elections have any real meaning we should look at ways or organising ourselves so that no mater who is in power, they will need to provide concessions to us as a working class.

A radical minority can pull the state leftwards
Nah, the ruling party will spin things to justify the plans it was going to undertake whatever. A radical minority will be ignored as it can’t be used to further the agenda of those in power (unless painted as a scapegoat and villain – red scare). On the other hand a minor far-right party (such as Golden Dawn or UKIP) can be used as the excuse to drive through harsh laws and reactionary positions because that is what the government wanted to do all along. BNP got used this way without even having an MP.

We need to change the way we vote!
The voting system being the used isn’t the barrier or the key to change. No matter how they are chosen, elected officials are largely unaccountable except to their own party and the tasks of government. Regardless of how they are selected, the main way to see real changes is through organising with those around us, while the electoral process itself is still a massive distraction from building this kind of working class power.

We need to counter voter apathy
This one is half-right. Apathy is a problem, but voting or not voting is beside the point. Apathy comes from a feeling that change is not possible, a feeling that the focus on voting creates. We need to work to build a culture where people feel they can resist the state and capitalism, but that won’t happen by posing a new candidate to vote for; that will only breed more apathy.

We can change the system from the inside
The closer a group gets to executive decision making the more it’s interests start to side with the status quo. We can see this recently with the SNP, where they dropped their pledge to leave NATO, thus indicating to others in power that their commitment to scrap trident is nothing more than hollow rhetoric and that once in power they would (with a regretful face on) keep things as they are.

In Conclusion: I’d argue that anarchism should be a tool for understanding how power and hierarchy works, and as such we should use it to be truthful about elections and work to demystify them. Pretending they are somehow important just holds us back.


 

Next month (on the 15th of April) we will be looking at the question of what anarchists actively put their time into, so keep your eyes peeled on this blog  for details of our second talk in this short series: Direct action gets the goods!

Go Beyond the Law

Today we went out to a rally to remember Leelah Alcorn, the young trans woman who recently took her life after her parents attempted to put her through conversion therapy. In her suicide note Leelah had called for laws to be introduced to end this torture of trans youth, and that was the initial focus for the day.

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The event  had been called by the city’s queer students, acting autonomously to hold an event for their community. It was widely reported that both the council and the police had done everything they could to try hinder the event, from lying about legal requirements to demonstrate, making up the need for insurance and a list of named wardens, right through to forcing changes in the date and location. Despite this the folks organising the day powered through and the attendance was strong. The newly formed Glasgow Food Not Bombs came down with scran and donations were taken for local LGBT Youth projects.

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We were also involved in chasing off some SWP scumbags who claimed they were attending in solidarity. They did this in front of one trans women they had attacked on George Square and one of our members who they had attempted to drag off while threatening to knock their teeth out, both times for calling out their members involvement covering up rape by Martin Smith (the specifics of the case are linked from here, here, and here). They bold-face denied their part in rape apologism, and at the same time were trying to say they were there as individuals while handing out fliers for an SWP front group! They really are a shameless cult that have no concept of solidarity except as a word employed to further their party.

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Our group was offered a spot to give a short talk and while it went off script a couple of times (due to nerves, emotions, and the freezing cold weather), here is what was being read from at the time:

“My name is Tanya and I am part of the Anarchist Federation of Britain.

Many of the signs brought here today call for human rights and legal protections to be put in place by the institutions that target us with their violence today. Leelah Alcorn’s own final message asks specifically for laws to prevent the torture that is conversion therapy. These calls are understandable and I am glad when things are made easier for us.

However I want put forward a warning: that setting our sights on changes in the law will only benefit a privileged few. We already have laws against murder and yet trans women are killed at an alarming rate. We have laws against child abuse, but our young siblings are still driven to suicide due to neglect.

Laws should not, and can not, be our goal. Anything that can be granted – rights, laws, or charity – can be eroded or turned against us. We can see this with marriage equality, and again with the push for acceptance in the military. Laws are compromises made by a government trying to break up a strong movement.

We need to go beyond the law.

Our goal has to be for liberation from gendered oppression, and nothing less.

This is a struggle that can only be won by finding others who we share an interest with, and organising collectively, first to understand the causes of our oppression, and then in taking action directly at their roots, to remove them for ourselves.

However, at the same time we must recognise that this is a fight that will involve many different groups facing different problems, and it is vital to our struggle to build solidarity across the working class as a whole.

We can see this in our shared history:

The huge waves of self-organisation and militant direct action used to face down the AIDS epidemic and Section 28. The solidarity between inner city queers and the miners that had a real chance of victory against all the state’s institutions. And going all the way back to when black and latina trans women fought back during police instigated riots (most famously at the Stonewall Inn). Remember that these same women would go on to form organisations like STAR – the Street Transgender Action Revolutionaries – organisations that would lay the groundwork for the gains that trans and queer people have made today.

My final thought then is to take a look into my own experience and those of my friends, and look at the physical manifestations of gendered oppression. Our problems come from social isolation, medical gate-keeping, and crippling poverty. We’re estranged from family, constantly forced into dangerous situations, and denied well-being in our lives that leaves us in a precarious position both physically and mentally.

We need to make the space for one another to breath. We need to make the space to understand the causes of our problems. And we need to make the space to find freedom in our lives.

Thank you.”

Events from the 19th November onwards

Hi all,

This week has a few cracking events to llo at. Wednesday some of us in Glasgow AFed will be giving an informal report back over tea and biccies on the first International Anarcha-Feminist conference that took place in London last month (along with opportunity to discuss some of the outcomes and conclusions further). Thursday daytime has a clean-out of the Unity Blue Shop in the morning and a meeting of the Glasgow Social Centre Collective in the evening. Then on Friday is the Glasgow United fundraiser – totally amazing line-up for cheap, so get in there!

Anyway, on with the update…
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Anarcha-Feminism Today! A report back from the AFem2014 conference
Wednesday, November 19 at 6:45pm – 9:00pm
Fred Paton Centre, 19 Carrington Street, G4 9AJ

Anarchism and feminism have been intertwined for over a century, however mainstream feminism often fails as a movement for liberation for the working classes, while anarchist organising often reproduces the same patterns of sexism and misogyny we see through the world. To address these and many other points, this year seen the first in what hopes to be a series of international anarchist feminist conferences.

Several Glaswegians were able to head down and attend and will report back on the conference set-up, the main points of discussion, the thoughts towards current activities, and their thoughts on the direction of anarcha-feminist organising both here and globally in light of the conference.

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Glasgow AF discussion group is open and free to all, however any donations towards costs will be appreciated. Tea/coffee/juice/biscuits will be provided free of charge. Our venue is accessible to wheelchairs/powerchairs. We will also have a book stall from the RiB project with books and other related material for sale. We ask that all those attending this event read the brief introduction to our safer spaces policy here: https://glasgowanarchists.wordpress.com/safer-spaces/
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Unity – The Blue Charity Shop clean up!
Thursday, November 20 at 10:00am
70 Shaw Street Govan, Glasgow G51 3BL

Hello all you lovely, lovely people.

Now I know how kind hearted and generous you are, and you’re all dying to help out with a local cause? Well here’s one close to heart, in govan. There is a small charity shop being run by volunteers forUnityintheCommunity Glasgow, located on 70 Shaw Street Govan, Glasgow G51 3BL.

As it is, the shop is pretty disorganised: in dire need of new volunteers and a big clean up! If we can get a good group of people who are willing to take just one full day out of their busy schedules to come and help clean up the shop, it can make way for a new, organised running system for the shop. There is so much potential here, and it would be very sad to see it disappear.

UNITY in the community, a small Glasgow based charity which provides food for 200 people a week, clothing and bedding for anyone who needs them, pots and pans, and english classes (all for free). Unity helps destitute families and individuals – primarily asylum seekers and immigrants. In a time of darkness for those escaping persecution and maltreatment, UNITY can be a light, to help those poor people find a safe and nourishing path to freedom. Unity has been self funded since it was founded, and has always took pride in the fact that it was in complete control of its destiny. Here is the website for the Charity: http://unityinthecommunityglasgow.wordpress.com/

The shop is vital to the running of UNITY, the profits from the shop pay for the running of the van which is used primarily for UNITY’s food project, but also to help people move, distribute free clothing and transport resources for pop up shops etc. The profits also pay for the rent of the ‘Unity World Cafe’. The shop is not making as much money as it once was or should be, and that’s why we’re doing this big clean up and looking for more volunteers!

We are meeting next thursday at 10am, at The Blue Charity Shop, and we’ll be there all day cleaning the place. Come along, bring some friends, have some fun helping out the community. Following the clean up, there will be about 5 weekly training sessions in the shop, to show potential volunteers what it’s all about, how to run a charity shop and how to work together.

If enough people come along and help share the job, then the task is simple, but if it is left for few shoulders to carry the load, then they can brake. Lets come together, fix this shop, and allow UNITY to be the charity it can be.

Power to the people, peace and love.
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Glasgow Social Centre Collective
Thursday, November 20 at 6:00pm
Garnethill Multicultural Centre, 21 Rose Street, Garnethill, G3 6RE

The next in our meetings to forming a Glasgow Social Centre will see the different working groups coming together to report their findings and the collective at large to discuss the results and make any changes.

So the agenda so far is to look over the aims and principles of the group and our safer spaces principles and iron out any problems with them. Once that is done we will have a way of determining who is part of the collective. We can also get any update on searching for a site, and perhaps start looking at setting up an account and starting fundraising!

It’ll be at the Garnethill Multicultural Centre at 21 Rose Street aiming to start at 6.30pm, but meeting from 6pm.
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United Glasgow Fundraiser
Thursday, November 21 at 7:00pm
The Art School, 20 Scott Street, G3 6RQ

United Glasgow Football Club are having a fundraising gig on November 21st and we’d love you to come along!

We have three great bands playing for us:

Glasgow’s own folk’n’roll band The Wakes

Anarcho-punk legends Oi Polloi (Official)

Celtic / Iranian, Turbo Folk from AlbaRoma

Its set to be a top night, for an amazing cause and it’s only £5!

Tickets available from the Art School, McChuills Glasgow and United Glasgow FC in advance. Also available on the door on the night.

Who are United Glasgow Football Club?
United Glasgow F.C was formed in 2011 to provide a point of access to regular, structured football for those who might find themselves excluded from the game.

Our two guiding principles when we started our project were anti-discrimination and financial inclusion. By removing the prohibitive costs of football from the players we managed to bring together individuals from communities who would otherwise may never have met through a shared love of football

Where is the money going?
The success of United Glasgow FC has seen more and more people wanting to get involved in our exciting project. Therefore we have started 2 new teams. Firstly, there will be an 11 a-side women’s team joining the SWFL set-up in March. As well as this, a 2nd men’s 11-a-side team has started to allow more players than ever to access football.

As football becomes more expensive, United Glasgow works tirelessly to make football accessible to all but we need your help!

http://www.unitedglasgowfc.eu
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Introduction to Green Woodworking
Sunday Nov 23 at 10:00am to Nov 24 at 4:00pm
Green Aspirations Scotland, G63 0NF

On this one day course you will learn about the relaxing craft of green woodworking.
Working with sustainable timber you will produce everyday items to take home and cherish.
During the day we will transform logs into useful wooden items. Starting by selecting timber, sawing and cleaving logs we will see how to make the most of the trees we use. You will then be shown a range of hand tools and how to use them to make a mallet or spatula.
You will also be shown how to use the basic equipment for green woodwork, the pole lathe and shave horse.

Reviews:
‘An inspirational course from Green Aspirations. I’ve totally caught the green woodworking bug after just a few hours in the woods with Paul and Louise. Paul gives excellent clear instruction from an obviously huge depth of knowledge, with emphasis on safety, practical experience and having fun. Really opened my eyes to possibilities of ‘green wood’ and left me hungry for more…’

‘I’m totally sold on your ethos and what you are doing here and I love the way you present it, in such an open and approachable way with no judgement.’
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Blood in the Mobile – Free Film Screening, Discussion & Live Music
Tuesday, November 25 at 6.30pm
Stereo Cafe Bar, 22-28 Renfield Lane, G2 6PH

It’s hard to imagine a life without mobile phones anymore. But what is behind these devices we so much depend on? The main part of minerals used to produce cell phones are coming from the mines in Congo. The Western World is buying these so-called conflict minerals and thereby finances a civil war that has cost the lives of more than 5 million people, a sheer unbelieveable number.

The Film & Event

Film director Frank Poulsen travels to Congo to see the illegal mine industry with his own eyes. Despite the danger, the film crew gets access to the largest tin-mine where children work for days in narrow mine tunnels to dig out the minerals that end up in our phones. But still the biggest challenge is to convince the mobile industry to face up to their dirty secret in the supply chain.

After the film there will be discussion with Dr. Kurt Mills from Glasgow University and a speaker from Amnesty International. Finally there will be some fine musical entertainment by Tom Spirals, performing a reggae based solo-mix.

FREE ENTRY
Donations are very welcome!
http://www.earthmovies.org
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Night Shelter Open Evening
Wednesday, November 26 at 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Please contact Glasgow Unity for details of the location

Glasgow Night Shelter is looking for volunteers to help cover gaps in our rota over the winter holiday period.

We also need volunteers to help at a drop-in we’re going to run on Christmas and Boxing Days and on Hogmanay when people staying at the night shelter have nowhere to go because most other charities and community centres are shut.

If you are interested in volunteering at the night shelter or at the holiday drop-in then you should come along to the Open Evening to meet other volunteers, talk to some of the men staying at the shelter and to find out more about what volunteering involves.
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Scotland Against Fracking Enviromental March
Sunday, December 7 at 1:00pm – 4:00pm
From The Helix Falkirk to Zetland Park Grangemouth

Come out and show your opposition to fracking!

Events from the 29th October onwards

Hi Everybody!

We are back after a wee holiday with some amazing events for the coming month. Be sure to email us if you have any events you think fit the bill for the update, and feel free to link people to the subscription page (all in the events tab here).

Now, without further ado…
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Gender Based Violence Research Network Seminar: Sexual Abuse as a Moral Panic?
Wednesday, October 29 at 1:00pm – 4:30pm
57-61 Oakfield Ave, Nursing & Health Care, University of Glasgow

Recent media coverage of high profile sexual abuse cases prompted some commentators to question if we are witnessing a ‘moral panic’ in relation to sexual abuse. Join us for presentations and debate about the implications of framing sexual abuse in these terms for survivors, practitioners and researchers.

This half day seminar organised by the Gender Based Violence Research Network is free to attend, but places are limited.

To book, please contact Lisa Campbell, SCCJR Knowledge Exchange Assistant, University of Glasgow, Lisa.Campbell@glasgow.ac.uk t: 0141 330 1834.
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New Spaces: Music, film, and discussion towards new DIY venues in Glasgow
Thursday, October 30 at 7:00pm
The Old Hairdressers, 20 – 28 Renfield Lane, G2 6PH

On Thursday 30th October the Old Hairdressers will be hosting a meeting for punks and other musical miscreants interested in discussing ideas for the creation of new DIY spaces for practice, performance and connected activities in Glasgow. Inspired by recent developments in England such as JT Soar and DIY Space For London, as well as the long-standing European autonomous centre model(s), the evening will be an opportunity to put forward proposals, consider practicalities, make connections with like-minded people, and most importantly to form plans of action to live up to those three letters we hold so dear.

Prior to the discussion, we’re hoping to be able to screen NO FUN CITY (2010, 84 mins). The film documents the Vancouver punk scene’s fight to sustain itself in the context of and in opposition to local bureaucracy and creeping gentrification, themes particularly pertinent to our own fair city.

Closing off the night will be DJs and a performance from BLACK COP on the first date of their European ‘fact-finding mission’. Afficianados of all things angry will be as equally enthused as doyens of daft dancing by this tour-de-force of whirlwind hardcore punk.

Doors 7pm, film screening begins 7.30pm
Suggested donation £3

All money received after costs will be donated to the Unity Centre, which provides practical solidarity and support for asylum seekers in Glasgow (for more information see http://unitycentreglasgow.org/)

**NB previously advertised Gas Rag/Komplott gig is no longer happening**

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The Cabinet of Dr Caligari
Friday, October 31 at 7:00pm
The Britannia Panopticon Music Hall, 113-117 Trongate, G1 5HD

Two men on a park bench discuss the story of Cesare, a sleep-walking circus performer under the control of the murderous Dr. Caligari. But all, of course, is not quite as it seems…

A free (donations welcome) halloween screening of the 1920 German silent horror film “The Cabinet of Dr Caligari” at the Panopticon, the world’s oldest surviving musichall.
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Fighting The Housing Monster: Film and Discussion Event
Saturday, November 1 at 10:45am – 4.00pm
Kinning Park Complex, 43 Cornwall Street, G411BA (opposite Kinning Park Underground)

The housing monster’s voracious appetite for land and rent has pushed the cost of living to breaking point. In Glasgow, public housing has been eradicated since stock transfer in 2003. Rents in the ‘social housing’ sector inexorably move closer to private-market levels. Mortgage rates continue to rise disproportionately to people’s income, and housing is the staple ingredient of the debt-based economy. Yet ‘the housing question’ seems strangely absent from current debates. This event places housing at the front of the agenda, creating a forum for debate, discussion, and resistance.

The day will comprise three films on housing which will be used to prompt discussion about the current state of housing in the UK, and Scotland more specifically. In the morning we will discuss the current (miserable) state of housing across tenures and in the afternoon we will discuss the forms of organisation around housing that might be possible or desirable in the current era.

We want to engage with a range of different groups. Not with the intention of generating a false unity, but with the hope that we can learn from each others’ struggles through discussion and find ways to challenge the housing monster in the present and future. It is our contention that these struggles will have to be undertaken at a range of different levels and that a plurality of struggles, both defensive and offensive, is welcome and necessary. All those with similar interests are warmly invited.

Schedule info: http://gamesmonitor2014.org/fighting-the-housing-monster-film-and-discussion-event-sat-nov-1st-kpc-11am-4pm/

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ROTTEN ROTTENROW
Sunday, November 2 at 9.00pm – 10.00pm
Rottenrow Gardens, Off Rottenrow, G2

“Myths and fiction have finally spilled over into reality and now… it’s time for survival. You’ve seen the reports and how it’s escalating. It’s only a matter of time till it’s at your doorstep so it’s time to stock up on supplies and anything you can use to defend yourself.

If you’re reading this and wondering what it all means then you obviously haven’t noticed the strange behaviour from few people lately. Well… I’d say, even at this point, they’re far too gone to be people.

As I said, we’re all going to need supplies to last us as long as possible. There’s plenty of them in the City Centre of Glasgow. Let’s meet at Rottenrow Gardens and make the effort together, using power in numbers, to collect them. Don’t forget you weapon of choice.”

Many Movements is proud to present it’s first interactive experience in the form of a ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ on Sunday the 2nd of November. This is a free event that we hope to make an annual event if successful.

Location: Rottenrow Gardens.

Player content:

There are safe areas at the top and bottom of Rottenrow Gardens. Also, an established perimeter before hand which players can not go beyond. Players must go from one safe area to another in a specific area in set rounds over 1 hour. Dependant on numbers we may create teams on the day.

Rounds – Time is of the essence! A whistle will signal the start of a 2 minute time limit to arrive at said ‘safe area’. A horn will signal the last 30 seconds in order to prompt players of time left. Finally 3 whistles will signal the end of each 2 minute round. If you fail to arrive at the appropriate safe area on time you will be eliminated.

Weapons – Arm yourself! There will be a limited number of weapons at the start of the game. Over the hour these weapons will continue to be limited. How you ask? The rules of the game dictate that you can only use your weapon once. After that you must drop it to the ground, prey and continue running.

Zombies:

Pay attention! Zombies tend to hunt better later into the night. You may not be scared of the Zombies at the start but as the game progresses your skills will be tested. If a Zombie touches you then you will be eliminated.

Referees:

It’s important that we have someone to help ensure the game runs smoothly. If you feel that you would like to be a referee yourself instead of taking part then please message Many Movements directly.

Disclaimer:

Players must be 16+. This is a free event and all participants who decide to play the game enter at their own risk. Many Movements, it’s organisers and Zombies taking part shall not be held liable during your participation in the event.
Concept by Scott Houston
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Lies, Cover-Ups, Theft, and Death: The Psychology of Corporate Corruption – Dr Adam Moore | Glasgow Skeptics
Monday, November 3 at 7.00pm – 9.30pm
The Admiral Bar, 72a Waterloo Street, G2 7DA

Why does it seem like every other day we hear news about another scandal: banks fixing interest rate; mortgage companies giving loans to those who can’t afford them; investment firms scamming their investors; and corporations covering up evidence of profiting from crime. The above are just some of the more recent stories we’ve all heard.

This presents a challenge to psychologists – how can we understand and explain how so many people commit obviously immoral acts?

Adam will dissect a number of famous cases of corporate violence and corruption, focusing on the elements they share in common, and argue that otherwise normal people can easily become co-conspirators in horrifyingly immoral actions.

Dr Adam Moore received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2011, where his work focused on developing a computational model of the cognitive processes underlying moral judgement. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Advanced Brain Imaging, at the Georgia Institute for Technology, where he conducted neuroimaging investigations into self-control, working memory, and attentional focus. He accepted a faculty position at the University of Edinburgh in 2012, where he continues to research judgement and decision making, moral psychology, and human cognition. Adam spoke to Glasgow Skeptics in December 2013, in a talk titled, “Moral Judgment and Moral Emotion: What Have We Learned About Mass Atrocity?”
Accessibility: As per the policy of the Admiral Bar, access to the venue “can only be provided to patrons who are sufficiently mobile and capable of independently evacuating premises, or with the minimum of assistance.” Unfortunately, this leaves the basement inaccessible to most wheelchair users.
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‘War: Women, Work, Resistance’, SLHS Annual Conference
Sunday, November 8
STUC Building, 333 Woodlands Road, G3 6NG

To commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the First World War, the theme of this year’s SLHS annual conference is the role of women during the conflict. Speakers include Professor Sheila Rowbotham (The University of Manchester), Dr Billy Kenefick (The University of Dundee), Dr Annmarie Hughes and Dr Rose Elliot (The University of Glasgow). This one-day event will include a sandwich lunch and the society’s AGM, and is kindly supported by the Glasgow General APEX branch of the GMB.

Registration is availaible here: http://www.scottishlabourhistory.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/eslh-28-08-1.jpg
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Leaving Hate Behind – Nate Phelps | Glasgow Skeptics 5th Birthday
Monday, November 10 at 7.00pm – 9.30pm
John Anderson Building, 107 Rottenrow East, G4 0NG

Nate Phelps is son of the late Fred Phelps, founder and patriarch of the Westboro Baptist Church – “the most hated family in America”. Nate is Executive Director of the Centre for Inquiry Calgary. A vocal LGBT advocate, he speaks out against the dangers of religion and child abuse, and serves on the board of directors for Recovering from Religion.

Join us for a very special evening – on Glasgow Skeptics’ fifth birthday – in which we hear from Nate Phelps, in an incredibly moving talk on the Westboro Baptist Church, the childhood he spent growing up in it, and how he came to leave his family behind at the stroke of midnight on his 18th birthday.

K325, John Anderson Building
University of Strathclyde
107 Rottenrow East,
Glasgow
G4 0NG

Accessibility: The John Anderson Building features a lift that provides access to K325.
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Jim Dick: Life is Dutiful!
Thursday, November 13 at 7.00pm
The Arches, 253 Argyle Street, G2 8DL

The Arches presents an exhibition of new works by Jim Dick. Join us for the launch event on Thursday 13th November, 7-9pm, for drinks and a DJ set from Afrodeesia.

“Every time people perform an activity they have not themselves defined and do not themselves control, every time they pay for goods they produce with money they received in exchange for their alienated activity, every time they passively admire the products of their own activity as alien objects procured by money, they give new life to Capital and annihilate their own lives…”
Fredy Perlman, The Reproduction of Daily Life

This exhibition presents a series of drawings prompted by the pantomime characters we often find ourselves forced to adopt in the reproduction of the social and economic relations of Capitalism.

In July 2008, The Arches hosted The Glasgow School of Art graduate’s ‘Fornixxation’ exhibition; a series of compelling paintings on the theme of subconscious memories, desires and symbolic associations.

See the work here: http://www.swg3.tv/?p=546

Follow Jim on Instagram: http://instagram.com/jimmdick/
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Anarcha-Feminism Today! A report back from the AFem2014 conference
Wednesday, November 19 at 6:45pm – 9:00pm
Fred Paton Centre, 19 Carrington Street, G4 9AJ

Anarchism and feminism have been intertwined for over a century, however mainstream feminism often fails as a movement for liberation for the working classes, while anarchist organising often reproduces the same patterns of sexism and misogyny we see through the world. To address these and many other points, this year seen the first in what hopes to be a series of international anarchist feminist conferences.

Several Glaswegians were able to head down and attend and will report back on the conference set-up, the main points of discussion, the thoughts towards current activities, and their thoughts on the direction of anarcha-feminist organising both here and globally in light of the conference.

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Glasgow AF discussion group is open and free to all, however any donations towards costs will be appreciated. Tea/coffee/juice/biscuits will be provided free of charge. Our venue is accessible to wheelchairs/powerchairs. We will also have a book stall from the RiB project with books and other related material for sale. We ask that all those attending this event read the brief introduction to our safer spaces policy here: https://glasgowanarchists.wordpress.com/safer-spaces/

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Glasgow Social Centre Collective
Thursday, November 20 at 6:00pm
Garnethill Multicultural Centre, 21 Rose Street, Garnethill, G3 6RE

The Glasgow Social Centre collective is working towards opening a space for grassroots and community-based projects and groups to meet and work from. If you are interested in getting involved in this project then get in touch!
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Angry Women Win!

The latest issue of our Resistance free sheet is on the streets! This special issue looks at the struggles of women, both historically and today. Articles include a look at:

  • Abortion struggles in Ireland and Spain
  • Legal battles for women in the UK
  • Gender and Factory Resistance in China
  • Women & LGBTQIA in Ukraine today
  • Free Women of Spain in the 1930s
  • Dealing with sexual harassment at work
  • Transgender struggles being side-tracked by mainstream acceptance
  • The Angry Women of Liverpool
  • Single mothers fighting social cleansing in East London

You can download the issue here!

A look back at AFem2014

Sunday the 19th of October seen the first International Anarcha-Feminist Conference, aka AFem2014. The seed from which it would eventually grow fell from the tree back in August of 2012. That tree was the St Imier International Congress anarcha-feminist round table. This was series of meetings that took  place on each of the five days of that event. In the closing session it’s participants announced their plans to host an anarcha-feminist congress of their own within several years. This was met by thunderous applause from the congress floor. Busily contacts were exchanged, interested parties came forward, and a group agreed to take lead on the project.

Then nothing.

Months passed.

The Anarchist Federation started to get occasional contacts asking if we knew of any organising on the Anarcha-Feminist Congress. Our international secretaries put out inquiries thought our sibling federations in IFA as well as any other contacts in the global anarchist movement. After some investigation it appeared that no planning had happened, and those who had stepped forward at St. Imier were out of contact. Sometimes things just can’t get done, such is the nature of being in a struggle, and definitely not something to be ashamed of.

That may have been the end of it if it wasn’t for one federation member deciding that this idea was necessary to both counter the failings of feminism outside the anarchist movement, with all other branches of thought happy to throw more and more people under the bus in the name of capitalism; and also within, as we see elements of the anarchist movement where misogyny and sexism are rife and where little more than lip service is given to overcoming the power structures surrounding gender, especially in regard to groups marginalized even by other feminists.

Discussions were had and soon proposals drafted for the fed to kickstart the previously proposed international event. The discussions were thorough and some of the goals laid out at this early stage. This wasn’t to be a project hosted only by the AF (as had previous anarcha-feminist events we had been involved in organising), or just undertaken by our international the IFA, but was to be born from the AF and gain its own autonomy. It had to provide a strong class-struggle perspective to provide a counter to the dominant feminist movement’s lack of liberatory potential. It also had to not only be inclusive to groups normally marginalized within the anarcha-feminist movement but also counter the prejudices they face. After some debate the federation reached a consensus of agreement to go forward and feelers were put out to other organisations.

Early on sibling federations throughout the IFA were keen to help, while here in Britain the SolFed joined and they made contact with their international federation the IWA. A meeting at 2013 London Anarchist Bookfair gathered support from independent anarcha-feminists, as did the creation of a web presence. After several months a consensus emerged on the criteria for organisation where those involved had to:

As planning went on things looked touch-and-go at times whether an event would be possible at all. New people got involved and others took breaks. Fundraising took place but money was short. Speakers and workshops started to came forward but then the programme had to be made to work. The inclusion policy was agreed along the lines of the form of oppression suffered which caused ripples in a field normally only looking purely to identity to give an indication of attendance. The safer spaces agreement was put in place and people needed to help on the day. Eventually everything started to come together.

Key to the whole event was the way in which different strands of the conference timetable would be given to groups usually marginalized within feminism (such as the disabled, sex workers, trans women, etc). This gave longer discussions over the course of the day about certain subjects, and it was hoped that this would highlight struggles from those who found their voices normally sidelined, vilified or lost entirely in feminist organising.

The day came and everything went past in a blur. Personally I spent the day either volunteering, supporting others, or helping to present the community accountability strand so I’m going to leave the nitty gritty of reviewing the strands to those who were there purely as attendees  This was the first time something like this had been attempted and it was all a bit experimental – but if we are ever to succeed in our goal of social revolution we have to be brave and try stuff. I think AFem did that and made a success of it all, though not everything was perfect.

I’ve also not kept up with the internet feedback but I know there has been moaning online. I find forums are a draining, negative space, and hearing that folks were griping (often folks who were not even in attendance), I haven’t gone to look for it yet – that can wait until I’m more rested. On the other hand I spent the days following AFem hopping between different people who had been in attendance. The feedback I’ve been getting in person has been overwhelmingly positive. One person said it was best anarcha feminist event they had attended (and they were not green in this kind of thing). All of them gave feedback of negative points, but it was fell into fairly similar areas, constructively phrased, and the positives were overwhelming to them. A quick rundown these:

+ Big open/close
Folks loved the opening and closing sessions which gathered everybody in attendance together and were kept on track by the organisers. The way people set goals for the day meant there was a collective feeling of active participation expected from folks attending.
+ Developing ideas
Everyone I talked to had learned new ideas and methods to take back home, and many otherwise liberal feminists were not only exposed to anarcha-feminism for the first time, but engaged and took away lessons from an anarchist perspective.
+ Strands
The way in which strands were organised was loved by all. It led for more discussion and time to work on things. People said this was SO MUCH BETTER than how bookfairs and other conferences run their meetings and it rarely felt like you were just being talked to but were part of a discussion.
+ Atmosphere
On the whole people found the atmosphere at the event to be positive and liberating, with people able to build solidarity against shared opression. ot only that but international links were forged and space for meeting other anarcha-feminists took place. They also commented on how easy it was to find organisers and volounteers, and upon how friendly and approachable they all were.
+ Safer Spaces Policy
Every person commented that it was refreshing to see is attempting a safer space policy that goes far beyond what most conferences would do, and think we have struck some new ground in how this could be put in place at similar events, though some areas do need development.
+ Self Care
Food Not Bombs provided lunch for anyone who was skint and was loved by all. At the same time a decent quiet space and the readily available interpretation and safer space volunteers made everything a lot more manageable.
+ Internationalism
The international aspect was seen as being vital to the experience, with at least 19 different countries represented in attendance, and something others would hope to see us expand.
+ Enthusiasm to continue
Overwhelmingly people wanted to see this happen again, if not next year then in 2016.

The constructive criticisms raised to me were:

– Time table clashes
These can almost never be avoided, and people acknowledged this, but at the same time everyone said there was some clash at some time for them. We tried the best we could but always worth keeping this in mind.
– TERF infestation
A group of trans exclusionary radical feminists (known as TERFs for short) tried to undermine the event. Someone who had been on the organiser list from the start lied about their willingness to uphold the inclusion policy to other organisers. They then positioned themselves to help present the Introduction to Anarcha-Feminism where they went off the presentation planned with the co-facilitator in order to spout some transphobic bile. At the same time they were seen conferring with other terfs before they dispersed into each session and parrot the same transphobic talking points, and appeared to be using the quiet space to regroup and plan. Attempts were made to remove the TERFs by some of the organisers but this unity was undermined and they used the confusion caused by sabotage of the consensus we had otherwise forged for the event to hang about. Despite this betrayal and sabotage, everyone I talked with found that any move towards transphobic discussion was quickly shut down and made unwelcome, and that the issue was handled better than most events. However, there was still a lack of consistency on how those breaking with the safer spaces agreement were dealt with.
– Cultural appropriation/racism
Lots of white people turned up using fashion displays from cultures that had been othered by white imperialism with no respect for the cultures they were came from and then got defensive when this was fed back in a negative light by the POC strand. Again, while the safer space policy had words on this subject we didn’t have a consistent process on what we were actually doing about it.
– Lack of resources
We didn’t have enough full programmes  for the attendees (though everyone did get a timetable), and while we had people on hand to read out the timetable we did not have large print versions. This was a major slip up and something that I will not be repeated.

On the TERF gang, it is unfortunate that but not surprising that they would go to such lengths to try and ruin the event. However if after a year of planning the best they could manage was to get one person to lie about their intentions and then protect the five or six die-hards that came along in the center of London then they have played what may be their hardest hitting attempt to disrupt at a time where the conference was vulnerable and gone home with plumbs. The problems that have been highlighted have came with constructive suggestions for improvement and the organising group are already moving forward with these, thought we are going to need to take a wee break before launching into any serious planning.

AFEM banner

AFem has now been fully realized as its own organisational entity,  separate to the groups that nurtured it early on. As a member of the AF this is a key example of the worth of the federation, and illustrates the way in which anarchist organisations differ from their authoritarian counterparts. Where others would use this as a front group and co-opt the struggles of others for self gain, anarchists work to create mutual aid and forge solidarity between truly autonomous groups, with struggles directed by those who are oppressed.  I have every confidence that this has been the start of an ongoing series of truly international events to build a modern anarcha-feminist practice and will start to ensure that anarcha-feminism is central to anything that could be regarded today as anarchist practice. As such, the last thing to say is a big thanks to everyone who contributed to making AFem 2014 a resounding success. Thank you all!

Events from the 12th September onwards

Hi all,

Another week and another set of events. If you pick this up quickly you will notice that there is a fundraiser for the Document Film Festival happening tonight. Over the next week the momentum carries on to form a new social centre collective (again the meeting is on a Tuesday but please note the change of venue and start time – Garnethill from 6). Also, this Wednesday, the next in our monthly discussion series will be taking a look at education from an anarchist perspective.

There is also a lot of other events to look at, so without further ado…

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Document Fundraiser w/ Wolf, Alarm Bells & Harsh Tug (£4 on the Door)
Friday, 12 September at 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Stereo Cafe Bar, 20 – 28 Renfield Lane, G2 6PH

In just over a month Document Film Festival will kick off its 12th year at Glasgow’s CCA. With over 35 films, workshops, live music, visual installations and performances that explore global human rights injustices and video activism. But why wait to celebrate? On September 12 we’ll be at Stereo Cafe Bar putting on a pre-festival fundraiser and we’ve invited some of our favourite local musicians and DJs to come along to get you dancing!

We’ve got WOLF, Alarm Bells and Harsh Tug set to perform. There will be a raffle, festival swag and an all around good time to be had. Just to get you into the festival spirit.

Hope to see you there!

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Parkour Girl’s Jam
Sunday, September 14 at 2:00pm
Rottenrow Gardens, off Rottenrow

After a wee break, Women*’s jam is back!
This month we’re at Rottenrow, at 1400. If you don;t know where that is, we’ll meet at Buchanan St subway station, at 1345, then we’ll head to Rottenrow.

The jam is free and open to women of all abilities and experience. So, even if it’s your first time, come along and have a jump!!

There will be a warm up together, maybe some games, and a wee conditioning session too! And our ADAPT qualified female coach will be there for support and guidance, if you need it!

Send a message to the Glasgow Parkour Girls facebook page if you have any questions about the jam.

See you there!!

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Glasgow Skeptics: The Next Five Years
Monday, September 15 at 7:00pm – 9:30pm
The Admiral Bar, 72a Waterloo Street, G2 7DA

Glasgow Skeptics has been going for five years now (and if you’ve not already RSVPed to our very special anniversary event, please do!https://www.facebook.com/events/1495028154042640/). Looking ahead to the future, we’d like to talk about the next five years.

What should skeptics care about? What should Glasgow Skeptics be doing, and what could we be doing better? Should there be more of a focus on raising public awareness? Should we focus on the evidence base for specific legislation being discussed? Are there areas that are crying out for a skeptical eye, that have so far been missed?

If you’ve never been along before, this might be the perfect time to say hello. Part open-mic night, part group discussion: come along and let us know what you want from the next five years of Glasgow Skeptics.

Accessibility: As per the policy of the Admiral Bar, access to the venue “can only be provided to patrons who are sufficiently mobile and capable of independently evacuating premises, or with the minimum of assistance.” Unfortunately, this leaves the basement inaccessible to most wheelchair users.

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Reforming the GSC Collective, Third Meeting
Tuesday, 16 September at 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Garnethill Multicultural Centre, 21 Rose Street, G3 6RE

The second meeting to set up a new social centre collective brought up the need to solidify the ideals and goals the the new collective will be working towards in order to create a new collective.

We hope to have minutes from the last meeting and a provisional agenda for this meeting available on the night!

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Education as the Practice of Freedom
Wednesday, September 17 at 6:45pm – 9:00pm
Fred Paton Centre, 19 Carrington Street, G4 9AJ

“There is no such thing as a neutral educational process. Education either functions as an instrument that is used to facilitate the integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity to it, or it becomes “the practice of freedom,” the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.” – Paulo Freire

Anarchists have a long and illustrious history of involvement within education, with interventions in libertarian education as notable as Ferrer’s Escuela Moderna, and the Free Skools, right through into the contemporary spaces of Social Centres. As a movement, Anarchism has historically emphasised the importance of the role of education – whether as a domesticating tool of oppression or as a prefiguring and liberating force – with a concern rarely echoed in other political perspectives.

While naturally touching on some of that history, this talk will mainly be concerned with the understanding that radicalism presents us with a fundamentally educational space, and will consider this in light of the work of Paulo Freire, among others. Though identifying outside of the specific Anarchist tradition, Freire’s work within Popular Education can be easily understood as broadly libertarian, and with implications and prospects for Anarchism.

Though the talk will highlight the role of informal education, contributions and reflections on all modes are welcome and expected in the discussion following.

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Glasgow AF discussion group is open and free to all, however any donations towards costs will be appreciated. Tea/coffee/juice/biscuits will be provided free of charge. Our venue is accessible to wheelchairs/powerchairs. We will also have a book stall from the RiB project with books and other related material for sale. We ask that all those attending this event read the brief introduction to our safer spaces policy here: https://glasgowanarchists.wordpress.com/safer-spaces/

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Faslane Picnic
Saturday, September 20 at 12:00pm
Faslane Naval Base

On Saturday, September 20, the Scottish Peace Network will be holding a demonstration at Faslane Naval Base at 12 noon. After the demo we will be having a picnic so bring food. We will be at Faslane whether the referendum results. NO TO TRIDENT, NO TO NATO!

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Smashing Physics – Prof. Jon Butterworth | Glasgow Skeptics Special
Friday, September 26 at 9:00pm – 10:00pm
Glasgow Science Centre, 50 Pacific Quay, G51 1EA

The discovery of the Higgs boson was the culmination of the largest scientific experiment ever performed, the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.

But what really is a Higgs boson and what does it do? How was it found? And how has its discovery changed our understanding of the fundamental laws of nature?

Jon Butterworth is a professor of physics at University College London. He is a member of the High Energy Physics group on the Atlas experiment at Cern’s Large Hadron Collider and also manages to write regularly in The Guardian, as well as taking part in other science communication.

His book, Smashing Physics: The Inside Story of the Hunt for the Higgs,was published in May 2014.

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A NIGHT IN THE WILD!
Friday, September 26 – Monday, September 29
Sallochy Woodlands

Do you have what it takes to spend a night or two sleeping rough in the wild? Take part in our sponsored camping weekend. Participants will be provided with a tent and pitch in Sallochy Woodlands. Minimum sponsorship of £50 to be raised by each participant. Maximum of 4 people to each tent. All money raised will go to charities supporting homeless people in Glasgow.

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ARIKA | Episode 6: Make A Way Out Of No Way
Friday, 26 – Sunday 29 September
Various

A 3-day exploration, through performance, screenings and discussion, of the art and politics of wayward communities who refuse to be bound by the fictions of race and sex.

Episode 6: Make a Way Out of No Way is about working class American dance (Krumping,Voguing), black poetry, queer counter-publics, cultural history and theology, ballroom & house music. It is in conversation with communities who challenge the prison industrial complex and who organise in the face of multiple oppressions. It features a queer operatic requiem, the greatest film in the African-American canon, and counter canonical impulses at the dawn of a singular black cinema. It is about the noise of black and/or queer sociality. And it asks whether it is possible for communities, even while so constrained, to practice being somewhere else – practically, socially and aesthetically making a way out of what is at hand and rehearsing in anticipation of what is to come.

“Waywardness is the refusal to be governed. It is the next phase of the general strike, the flight from the plantation and refusal of slavery and the demeaning conditions of work, this time it happens in the slum. It is a social experiment and an effort to elaborate new forms of existence.” Saidiya Hartman

Friday 26 Sept

Waywardness – Saidiya Hartman
The wayward create upheavals and incite tumult. They come and go as they please; they are riotous; they are itinerant and never settle; they are fugitive; they are excessive rather than efficient, they are in open rebellion against society. Saidiya’s keenly affecting and poetic writing is some of the most influential cultural criticism in America today, deeply concerned with the mental and physical traces bodies accumulate as they manoeuvre between terror and pleasure, power and flight.

Killer of Sheep – Dir: Charles Burnett, USA, 1977, 87 mins
Killer of Sheep is an undisputed masterpiece of African-American filmmaking. Filmed in the aftermath of the Los Angeles Watts Riots, with the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement, it is one of the major films of the L.A. Rebellion. The film makes visible the struggle undertaken by black communities as they improvise themselves in relation to social conditions that seek to habituate depression and desensitization. It explores a space of numbing labour and insidiously enforced brutality – but also one of play, humour and love.

Make a Way Out of No Way: Club – MikeQ, Miss Prissy, Kia Labeija and the Legendary Pony Zion Garçon – Stereo
In which the crown prince of modern ballroom music, a master and rising star or Vogue, the Queen of Krump and hopefully you explore whether the club a world within a world? Can it be a space in which we can organise our bodies, our selves differently? Is it a space in which we might still be able to dance our way out of the time-traps and identity prisons we are locked in? What happens if we think of house music or social dance forms as ways to organize our bodies in relation to this quote from the Krumper Dragon – “most people think: they’re just a bunch of rowdy, ghetto, heathen thugs. No, what we are is oppressed”?

Saturday 27 Sept

Fugitivity and Waywardness – Saidiya Hartman and Fred Moten
What are the politics of the wayward or fugitive, of self-defence, self-organisation and flight? What can we learn from runaway slaves, maroon societies and the underground railway, from queer counter-publics and from waywardness in Glasgow today? Fred is one of the great poets, educators and theorists of blackness and fugitivity. Saidiya’s book Scenes of Subjection is one of the most telling contributions to current black thought.

Touching the Imperceptible – Kara Keeling and Arthur Jafa
A performed constellation of voices and filmic fragments that might variously be about slipping into darkness or the (im)possibilities of being black…about cinematic, queer and black world-making and the similarities and differences therein…about Instagram and the acinematic… Kara Keeling is a leading thinker on what queer and/or black film might be, or become. Arthur Jafa is the most inventive, talkative improviser of the cinematic we’ve ever met.

Speculum Orum: Shackled to the Dead – M Lamar
Drawing on negro spirituals, Marion Williams, opera and Leontyne Price, M Lamar’s performances slide between noise and music, pain and truth. A 75-minute requiem that asks us to stay in the hold of the slave ship and that tries to understand the connection from the slave ship to the prison. Including movements from M Lamar’s “Surveillance Punishment and the Black Psyche” – an imprisoned black man’s reflections on his life sentenced to death for killing his male overseer and lover.

You’ve Never Seen Pain Expressed Like This – Miss Prissy, the Legendary Pony Zion Garçon, Kia Labeija and Danielle Goldman
A freestyle performed conversation for bodies and voices – on how Black, working class and queer dance is a way of moving in tight spaces and giving shape to oneself, of practicing and being ready for freedom. What’s political about American black, working class dance styles like Krump and Vogue? Do they practice moving in two worlds at the same time? With the Queen of Krump, the master of Vogue Femme Dramatics, the rising star of Vogue Women’s Performance and Danielle Goldman, writer on dance as politics.

Sunday 28 Sept

Workshop with Miss Prissy and Glasgow Open Dance School
A movement-based workshop on Krump and the politics of how we teach, learn and listen with our bodies.

From Subjection to Subjection – Reina Gossett, Saidiya Hartman and Charlene Sinclair
How are categories of race, sex, sexuality, gender and class mobilised to criminalise communities and create and maintain such carceral spaces? And how are people organising in realisation that it is not enough to work to reform the system, but that the system itself is the problem? Reina Gossett is Activist-In-Residence at Barnard College’s Center for Research on Women. Saidiya Hartman is a leading cultural critic. Charlene Sinclair is the Director of Centre for Race, Religion and Economic Democracy.

Dreams Are Colder Than Death – Dir: Arthur Jafa, USA, 2014, 52 mins
Using a range of tactics that resist the white cinematic gaze, Arthur Jafa’s most recent film asks what it means to be black in America in the 21st century. Grounded not in sequence but in the interrelation of a constellation of voices, bodies and images, the film maps out black relationships with early and frequent death, with violence, with fantasy, with love and with memory, assembled from interviews with Charles Burnett, Hortense Spillers, Saidiya Hartman, Portia Jordan and Storyboard P.

Realness – Icon Ayana Christian, Legendary Co-Founder Michael Roberson Garçon, Reina Gossett, Fred Moten and Charlene Sinclair
What is at stake in the performance of realness and the practice of passing, and how are they both acts of survival and resistance? Black, queer and trans bodies tell stories. Often they are multilingual – talking to numerous cultures, telling many stories simultaneously. Portraying a sense of ‘realness’, conforming to a set of socially prescribed norms so that you can walk streets safely, is self-defence. Ayana Christian and Michael Garçon are both leaders in the Ballroom community.

Mutual Instruments – Fred Moten and Miss Prissy
What might be the capacity to feel through others, for others to feel through you – what is the feel for feeling others feeling you? How might you un-sensationalize yourself? How does the voice or the body remember having been moved by others, with others? How might it feel at ease with the fugitive, at peace with the pursued, at rest with the ones who consent not to be one? Can our favourite Vegas-born poet of prophetic blackness and a South Central transmuter of social rage into beauty feel through each other?

Ticket Info – £4 Friday Evening Pass, £4 Friday Club Ticket, £6 Saturday or Sunday Day Pass, £14 Festival Pass

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Beat the frack out of Scotland
Saturday, 27 September at 6:00pm – 3:00am
River, 260 Clyde Street, G1 4JH

Top Glasgow musicians turn out to support communities fighting back against fracking. Appearing so far: George Tucker, The Lonesome Hearts, Willie and the Poorboys, the Carlton Jugband with special guest Carola Cosimini, Nicky Murray & Chloe Rodgers, Anti-fracking busker Alexander Mccallum. Compere: the incomparable Gary Little. Entry £10 on the door or buy in advance from http://www.brownpapertickets.com

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The Dark Side of the Universe – Dr Catherine Heymans | Glasgow Skeptics
Monday, September 29 at 7:00pm – 9:30pm
The Admiral Bar, 72a Waterloo Street, G2 7DA

Just over 95% of our universe comes in the shrouded form of dark energy and matter that we can neither explain nor directly detect. Together, these two dark entities play out a cosmic battle of epic proportions. While the gravity of dark matter slowly pulls structures in the universe together, dark energy fuels the universes accelerated expansion, making it ever harder for those structures to grow. Catherine Heymans has used the world’s best telescopes to map out the invisible dark matter in our Universe and confront different theories on the dark universe. She will explore this dark enigma and describe where we will look next in our search for darkness. It is widely believed that in order to truely understand the dark universe we will need to invoke some new physics that will forever change our cosmic view.

Catherine Heymans is a Reader in Astrophysics at the University of Edinburgh, a European Research Council Fellow and a member of the Young Academy of Scotland. She specialises in observing the dark side of our Universe and co-leads the European Southern Observatory KiDS analysis team, using deep sky observations to test whether we need to go beyond Einstein with our current theory of gravity. Since completing her PhD at Oxford University in 2003, Catherine has held fellowships from the Max-Planck Institute and the Canadian Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics. When she is not busy unveiling the mysteries of the Universe or enthusiastically lecturing undergraduates, she can usually be found building sandcastles and paddling in the sea with her three small children.

Accessibility: As per the policy of the Admiral Bar, access to the venue “can only be provided to patrons who are sufficiently mobile and capable of independently evacuating premises, or with the minimum of assistance.” Unfortunately, this leaves the basement inaccessible to most wheelchair uses.

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Night Shelter Volunteer Recruitment Open Day
Wednesday, October 1 at 7:30pm – 9:00pm
Contact glasgownightshelter@gmail.com for full info

On Wednesday 1st October we’re planning a Volunteer Recruitment Open Day at the Night Shelter for people to come and find out a bit more about volunteering at the night shelter.

There’ll be a tour of the shelter as well as people talking about their experiences of volunteering as well as some of the men who stay at the shelter explaining what the shelter means to them.

It will be an ideal opportunity for anyone who has thought about volunteering at the night shelter to find out more about what it is like and what volunteering at the shelter involves.

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RiB at Document Film Festival
Saturday, October 11 at 12:00pm until late
CCA, 350 Sauchiehall St, G2 3JD

The Radical Indipnedant Bookfair will be doing a one day stall this year at our favourite human rights documentary film festival. We will be located up in the balcony. Setting up in the morning for a lunchtime opening we will likely be open till after the last film comes out.

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Would you eat a GM Chicken? – Prof. Helen Sang | Glasgow Skeptics
Monday, October 13 at 7:00pm – 9:30pm
The Admiral Bar, 72a Waterloo Street, G2 7DA

The recent development of a range of technologies for genetic modification of animals means that the possibility of genetically modified farm animals being licensed for human consumption is getting closer. What are these technologies, and what are the applications that are being developed? The current regulations for licensing GM animals for food, including the differences between assessing GM animals and plants, will be discussed. Many of the objections to the use of GM technologies relate to societal issues rather than technological risks, so how does this relate to possible introduction of GM animals for food?

Professor Helen Sang was born in Edinburgh but went to high school in Brighton. She is a geneticist and molecular biologist, with a degree and PhD from Cambridge University. She continued her research career with postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard and Edinburgh universities. Since the 1980s, she has led a research group at the Roslin Institute (famous as the home of Dolly the sheep), with a research goal to develop methods for genetic modification of chickens with applications in basic biomedical research and for improving chicken breeds, particularly for enhancing resistance to major diseases including bird flu.

Doors open at 19:00 for a start at 19:30 sharp.
FREE

Accessibility: As per the policy of the Admiral Bar, access to the venue “can only be provided to patrons who are sufficiently mobile and capable of independently evacuating premises, or with the minimum of assistance.” Unfortunately, this leaves the basement inaccessible to most wheelchair users.