Well, been busy and so have not blogged for a while. Did find time to do a long-ish review article on Victor Serge (suffice to say, I do think he is over-rated). The Black Flag meeting at the bookfair went well and it looks like Black Flag is going to keep doing – at least that is what the well attended meeting concluded. I will be getting the new collective going in the new year.
I am part of this 'Landscapes of Crisis' photography exhibition and discussion in Dublin this coming Thursday with three other activist photographers. As regular readers will know I started to take photography a bit more seriously a couply of years ago, mostly because of my involvement in pro-choice activism and in particular as it says in the notes below coming our of my experience of the pro-Choice meeting in Maynooth when other speakers were quite excited by the fact I'd a handful of photos from the time of the student struggles and the X-Case. It was the anti-choice Youth Defencd march of the summer of 2011 that then pushed me into getting a 'real camera' rather than a good point & click and once i had an SLR (Canon 60D) I discovered a growing interest in photography as a thing in itself.
Austerity Kills - the clear message sent out by the 'Spectacle of Defiance & Hope' display in front of last Saturday's Dublin Council of Trade Unions march against another austerity budget. The march itself was poorly attended, under 1000 people, and there was some really silly 'get our flags/ banners upfront' stuff going on from a few group both during the march and the speeches at the end.
The start of September saw a walking tour organised by the Stoneybatter & Smithfield People's History Project to mark the anniverseries of the 1913 Lockout and the collapses of two tenement houses on 2nd September 1913 which resulted in the death of seven people. The tour started at the statue of Jim Larkin on O'Connel st and proceeded via 6 stops to the site of the collapse where relatives of those killed laid wreaths. There was then the launch of a commermorative pamphlet and a social in the Cobblestone Pub.
On Saturday I travelled to Belfast for the Belast Anarchist Bookfair held in the top floor of the Belfast Unemployed Center. As well as helping out a little with the organisation I spoke about my expereinces in Gezi Park at one of the five meetings that were on as part of the bookfair. I recorded the other four and hope to have edited version of those recordings online over the next while.
About a 1000 people took part in the annual March for Choice in Dublin on Saturday 28 September. Because there was an all island final on huge numbers of people saw the march through town and quite a few stopped to clap the march passing. The march was organised by the Abortion Rights Campaign.
Well, it is that time of the year again – the London Anarchist bookfair is just a month or so away! I am going through the proof-edited version of my Kropotkin Anthology Direct Struggle Against Capital: A Peter Kropotkin Anthology (AK Press America have it on their webpage, with cover). The aim is for publication in the spring of 2014 and that is still on course, glad to say. I’m excited about it – it should be the definitive anthology of Kropotkin and show him for what has was, a practical revolutionary and class warrior, rather than the “gentle prince of co-operation” nonsense. Whether I succeed will depend on the reader!
“The collection offers rare and often difficult to obtain excerpts from the voluminous works of Proudhon… in a single (if hefty) volume. These sources are essential in the study the intellectual history of the revolutions in France between 1830 and 1871… Both the casual reader, as well as the scholar, should find Property is Theft! a comprehensive and invaluable source” (Anarcho-Syndicalist Review, no. 57)
As some of you will know I've been working the last while on bringing an organiser of the 2012 mass student strike to Ireland for a speaking tour. Vanessa, our speaker arrived Saturday morning and after got to the AFA Ireland solidarity with Greek anti-fascists demonstration and the Shell to Sea fundraiser in Seomra Spraoi is speaking in Cork today. She spoke after a welcome meal we had for her in Seomra last night and (although I'm biased) I really think any radical will find what she has to say about the experiences of the strike really useful. The talk was very focused on the concrete organisational challenges of co-ordinating a 6 month long strike that had 400,000 students staying out of college for up to 6 months - some of the challenges will be familiar to you, but not at that scale.
Back from holiday and back into work – both work-work and union-work. Not much fun, time consuming and energy draining – but needed. Currently fighting an brazen attempt by management to make a few people redundant on particularly spurious grounds but luckily we have less hoops to jump through in terms of strike action this time. Things like this just drive home how inefficient and wasteful hierarchical workplaces (wage-labour!) are.