Archive – 2015


Sheffield Anarchist Bookfair, Saturday May 16th 2015, at Showroom Workstation

2015 Programme of Workshops

Crypto Party

Drop-in workshop and informal discussion, hosted by Webarchitects Co-operative. Do you need help or advice on how to secure and encrypt your communications? Can you help others to secure their phones, laptops, websites and networks? Come and see the high security “Tails” Tor Live GNU/Linux operating system; bring a USB stick and get your own copy. For discussion: What can we do to oppose the Tories plans to implement the snoopers’ charter, requiring back-doors into encryption systems?

Background reading:
Encryption Works: How to Protect Your Privacy in the Age of NSA Surveillance
The CryptoParty Handbook
Practical Security Handbook 

What is freedom?

Is it simply not being behind bars, or is there more to it than that? Can individual freedom exist without collective freedom? Or
vice-versa? Where does our need for freedom come from? Writer Paul Cudenec introduces a discussion on this fundamental aspect of anarchist philosophy.

So many varieties of nationalism. Why we oppose them all

Support for nationalist movements is not just the preserve of the xenophobic and racist right like UKIP, the Front National, Jobbik etc. It is even more dangerous in the hands of the mainstream political establishment who daily drip feed nationalist poison because they are the ones setting the agenda of worker against worker. Yet from Ross-shire to Rojava there are many who claim that there still can be a “progressive nationalism”. In this session we put the entire “national question” under the spotlight.

The Logistics of Struggle
WORKSHOP ROOM 1: 4pm-5.30pm

AngryWorkers discussion about organising in warehouses, plus film. The scandal of work regimes at Sports Direct or Amazon is the fact that these are the generalized conditions of the low-paid sector. As well as talking about personal experiences of trying to organize in warehouses like this, a new film will be screened about logistics workers’ struggles in Italy.

Zapatista Resistances: The Struggle against Dispossession
WORKSHOP ROOM 2: 2pm-3pm

The four wheels of capitalism are dispossession, disdain, exploitation, and repression. Hear an update on the resistance of the Zapatista communities in Chiapas, Mexico, against dispossession, and the connections to our calendars and geography.
The Learning and Teaching Collective “Don Durito” is part of the UK Zapatista Network, which works in solidarity with the Autonomous Zapatista Communities and the EZLN in Chiapas, Mexico.

Fighting wage theft
WORKSHOP ROOM 1: 3pm-4pm

This workshop aims to give people practical ideas for fighting wage theft collectively. Wage theft is when employers withhold wages that they owe. Based on experience of organising wage theft campaigns in various different industries, hear about effective methods used and also problems experienced. The workshop aims to help groups be able to take on wage theft cases themselves as a way to promote direct action and solidarity around a practical issue.

Introduction to the IWW

This meeting will consist of an introductory presentation and discussion about the aims, principles and history of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a revolutionary union which seeks to overthrow the employing class and abolish the wage system.

IWW Organiser Training Taster Session
WORKSHOP ROOM 1: 2pm-3pm

During this interactive event, experienced IWW organisers will share some of the IWW’s organising techniques with participants through a series of role-playing exercises and hands-on training excerpts from the union’s in-house Organiser 101 Training Package.

‘All property is theft’, and when it’s empty USE IT!
WORKSHOP ROOM 2: 1pm-2pm

A discussion on some current and past projects making use of empty buildings to meet needs, not make profits, in Sheffield and further afield. If you have been involved in any such projects please come along and discuss successes, challenges and experiences. Or just come along to find out about some interesting stuff that is – or could be – happening in an empty building near you.

The AMM dance with the PB’s : Revolutionary freaks
WORKSHOP ROOM 2: 11am-12

Against the separation of culture and politics the Association of Musical Marxists and the Psychedelic Bolsheviks tie their toes in a octopus-like celebration. David “the magic doctor” Black talks on the Situationists , with oboe improvisations and word slurping, bumbling around to show that being anti-capitalist doesn’t have to be so fucking boring

Prefigurative Politics and Anarchism
WORKSHOP ROOM 1: 1pm-2pm

This presentation invites discussion to unpack the idea of “prefigurative politics”, suggesting a distinction between the “regular” anarchist case for direct action and opposition to vanguardism, and what can be called the “logic of prefiguration” where a post-revolutionary future should somehow reflect back on present movement practices. It is argued that this logic is ultimately a secularised theology with distinctly Christian and Marxist roots and is problematic for a number of reasons; to shed this component, anarchists should give up the term “prefigurative politics” and strengthen their “regular” case for non-hierarchical organisation with updated revolutionary analysis.


2015 Stalls

Active Distribution
AK Press
Anarchist Federation
Anarchist Studies
Anti-Fascist Network
Angry Workers
Association of Musical Marxists
Audacious Art Space
Black Daffodil Press
Corporate Watch
Earth First
Feminist Fightback
Free Communist
Free University of Sheffield
Freedom Press
Footprint Workers’ Co-operative
Haven Distribution
Hunt Saboteurs Association
IWW (Industrial Workers of the World)
Northern Herald Books (Tel. 01484 721845)
Remember ’68: Design for Revolution
Sye Watts: Illustrator
Union Street

2015 Films

Various open commons films were screened during the Bookfair, in the Film Room (on the ‘mezzanine level’ above the entrance area).

2pm-2.30pm Settlers in England

The Land Settlement Association established 1,100 smallholdings within 26 settlements across the country in the 1930s, to re-settle unemployed workers and their families and get them working on the land. The film examines the Oxcroft Land Settlement near Bolsover, Derbyshire, and ideas of food production, environment and community. Seen through the eyes of current residents, some of whom are children of original settlers who have never left.

2.30pm-3pm Rebel Menopause

A portrait of the life of radical feminist Thérèse Clerc, at the age of 86. After menopause, contrary to what they say, it all begins. In France, for an elder there are three possibilities; to remain in the family, a hospice, or living alone. Thérèse didn’t like any of these three options, and as a feminist militant said to herself that she wanted to spend retirement and death with her sisters, women.

3pm-4pm Sell-off: The abolition of your NHS

A radical, independent documentary that tells what’s really happening to the NHS, and why. With interviews from experts and NHS insiders, it traces the history of so-called NHS ‘reforms’, from the 1980s to the disastrous Health and Social Care Act of 2012. A clear account which sets the record straight when so many politicians and media outlets either don’t know what’s actually happening, or are too afraid to admit it. Further, it details accounts of bribery and intimidation within the NHS and its agencies. A wake-up call to those who don’t believe politicians of all colours would sell the NHS to the highest bidders.

Followed by a selection of short films.