Radical newsletter launched in Cardiff

Our friends from the other side of the border have launched a new radical newsheet. The first issue of Faultlines, based in Cardiff, can be viewed here.

“We have decided in absence of regular radical publications in Cardiff and in the light of actions happening in the city, that we should set up a new newsletter. Please download a copy, spread it round and visit our blog:

http://faultlinescardiff.wordpress.com

This month focuses on Housing, with articles on repossessions, squatting, legal aid cuts, our new squatted social center and the new sub-prime mortgage plans. Email us with suggestions or comments.”

Major Changes At Freedom Newspaper

~Taken from http://www.freedompress.org.uk/news/ ~

Freedom newspaper, the UK’s longest running anarchist paper, is changing from a fortnightly to a monthly publication. From October we will be producing a 24 page (8 full colour pages) monthly edition with new sections, features, and an improved format. The price will be £2 a copy.

The aim is to become an essential voice of the anarchist movement, promoting UK anarchism, broadening out the range of topics to connect with a growing readership (additional sections will include sport, art, interviews, lifestyle) and reporting on the important issues of the day from a radical perspective.

Given the unprecedented social and political conflict of the past year (where people are openly defying government and the state)  there hasn’t been a better time to engage with people about anarchist ideas, offering up alternative viewpoints and spreading a more revolutionary political agenda. Today being an anarchist resonates with positive recognition and we see Freedom as part of that tradition.

To go with the new format we are looking for new writers, fresh ideas and people to get involved in the production of the paper and to help increase distribution and sales.

Writing for the paper

Freedom is always looking for people to write for the paper. Not only is it an excellent opportunity to get your ideas, thoughts and opinions into print and out into the real world, it also offers a chance to develop and refine your writing skills, report on the activities you are involved in, or promote the group you are a member of. We accept any original articles as long as they are politically relevant and informative, interesting or entertaining.

  • Deadline for articles the first monthly issue: Sept 15th. Contact the editor at Email:  copy@freedompress.org.uk for more details, or to submit articles.

Making Freedom a movement paper
The more people have access to, read about, or are made aware of, anarchist ideas, the more those ideas begin to seep into people’s consciousnesses and the more ‘normalised’ they become.

The role of Freedom is to be a voice for the anarchist movement – a vehicle for disseminating anarchist ideas/information to a wider audience along with documenting social issues from a radical perspective. There are several excellent anarchist group propaganda papers, but there is no general nationwide anarchist news outlet other than Freedom. This puts us in a unique position and gives us a distinct advantage and selling point. The purpose of the paper is to promote and advertise the activities of UK anarchist groups and to act as an entry point for people new to or curious about anarchism/and anarchists.

Reaching new audiences
With the politicisation of a new generation – the student movement, anti-cuts movement, inner city unrest, there is an upsurge in questioning how society works, the politics that drives it and different ways to explain it. Freedom is ideally placed to be part of the commentary within the current political discourse. And with the extended format and extra pages we can expand the range of topics – cultural, social and political, to engage a wider range of people.

Active involvement
As well asking people to contribute creatively to the paper we also need to be able to promote, sell and distribute Freedom. This could be done in a variety of ways from the very simple things – linking to, and forwarding on, articles from the website, or suggesting places that would stock the paper, to actively selling the paper in your area, on demonstrations, at events or in your workplace.

Financial support
It’s no secret that part of the motivation for the change was for financial reasons. The current economic climate while politically rich for revolutionary fervor is financially draining for Freedom Press. The paper has always lost money on its production but we are determined that Freedom continues as a credible anarchist voice out on the streets. We ask people to consider making donations in support of the paper.

What’s in it for me?
Why should anarchists, radicals and interested parties spend their time and energy contributing either creatively, physically or financially, to the paper? What’s in it for you?

Well, beyond what has already been said there is:

  • knowing you have the potential to reach thousands of people on a regular basis
  • the kudos of writing for a unique anarchist institution – the paper Kropotkin started
  • free expression to comment on, address issues about or report back from activities or events you are involved in or passionate about
  • a format to flex your creative muscle – writing something worth reading, creating debate and adding to the rich history of anarchist discourse
  • free advertising for your group or activity
  • strengthening the propaganda tools of the anarchist movement
  • contributing to the greater visibility of anarchists and the anarchist movement

To get involved, or to submit articles contact the editor at Email:  copy@freedompress.org.uk or write to:

Freedom newspaper
Angel Alley
84b Whitechapel High Street
London E1 7QX

  • We will be having a Freedom double launch special on Saturday 1st October at Housmans bookshop to promote the new edition of the paper as well as a brand new Freedom Press publication Wildcat Keeps Going by Donald Rooum.

Freedom newspaper

Police Attempt To Silence Local Paper

This is an article taken from the radical Bristolian paper, The Autonomist:

On the afternoon of august 17th, police raided a house in central Bristol where an editor of local newspaper The Autonomist lives. Riot police kicked down the door of the property without warning, detained the inhabitants for two hours, and seized articles relating to the production of The Autonomist. Delighted journalists from the Evening Post swarmed around outside, trying to photograph the detainees and remaining in contact with an officer inside by telephone at all times.

The grudgingly-produced warrant for the raid attempts to link the occupants to recent disorder (as did a frankly libellous sign erected outside by the police). It authorises the seizure of “rocks (may by having glass samples upon)” and “white paint”, and refers repeatedly to “domestic extremisim [sic]”. The list rounded out with such incriminating articles as “pedal cycles”, “clothing”, and “literature”. Several other items not listed, such as passports, were also illegally seized.

The Autonomist is a popular but controversial local paper, produced by a small group of mainly homeless local people and distributed for free. They’re dedicated to reporting unheard voices in the community, but this principled stance has caused problems in the past. Refusal to censor reports of the rising tide of sabotage attacks around Bristol, or to stick to police statements when reporting the riots in april, has earned the enmity of the police.

Collective member Lucy Parsons says “The seizure of phones, computers, and paperwork relating to the production of The Autonomist just as we start to compile the september edition is a clear, worrying, and damaging attack on journalistic independence. The demonisation of those who report the news as “domestic extremists”, and the willingness to use violence to silence them, does not fill us with confidence in the police or the future of liberty in this country. Regardless, we will continue to produce The Autonomist, using computers at the library if we have to, and you can expect the september issue at the turn of the month.”

The Autonomist crew have since asked for help with writing for the paper:

As our sharper-eyed readers may have noticed, the promised September issue hasn’t happened. We’d obviously love to blame this on the police – and having none of our equipment or files hasn’t helped – but the fact is that we’ve been a very small, overworked group for quite a while now.

We’d love to keep producing the Autonomist, and we think it fills an important role in our community. Unfortunately we’re also homeless, overworked, dealing with long-term health issues, and feeling very, very sorry for ourselves.

So if you think you can write cutting-edge articles on current events in 250 words or more, distribute newsletters to a street of shops near you, help collate event data from several dozen websites, or restore our faith in humanity, then please contact us at BristolAutonomist@Gmail.com

Lend a helping hand if you can.

Weekend of books, party and protest!

We’re sorry to announce that the SchMovies and Reelnews gig and filmscreening at the weekend has had to be cancelled, but we are hoping to rearrange it for some time in early June!

The weekend is still looking good though – on Saturday, why not head down to Bristol for the annual Bristol Anarchist Bookfair? A day of stalls, networking and discussions.

Report on HSL in Class War paper

Here’s a brief report about Hereford Solidarity League that features in the latest edition of the Class War paper:

Hereford Solidarity League is a community based action group. It was formed by a handful of like-minded individuals in 2007, and now consists of well over a dozen members, with activists from Anarchist Federation, Class War, non-aligned anarchists and a couple of communists.

In early 2008 it first published its paper – the Hereford Heckler. It was decided that this should be a bi-monthly newspaper that addresses local issues from a radical perspective, in a relevant, simple and accessible way. Since this time, the Heckler has been consistently produced every-other month, and its now about to hit its 16th issue. Each issue anywhere between 3,000-5,000 copies are printed and distributed (mainly door-to-door). The Heckler has now become a well-known name in the area and beyond.

As well as producing and distributing the Heckler, HSL have also been engaging ourselves in numerous campaigns. Over the years we have been involved in the ‘Save Our Schools’ campaign against council plans to shut dozens of county schools. We have done a lot of work against the BNP; exposing meeting places, protesting at events and most importantly distributing thousands of our own anti-BNP leaflets. Most recently we have been involved in a campaign against the number of people on the councils housing waiting list, and the number of empty houses in the area. By reporting on the number of empty houses in the county, we have been pressurising the council into do something about it. This seems to have had an almost immediate affect. With many issues on the horizon and the cuts about to kick in, it appears we have our work cut out for the foreseeable future.

We think that our growth in size of organisation, presence and impact show that consistent hard work, a bit of initiative and simplicity can go a long way. If Hereford can have a flourishing anarchist group with a high-quality paper and large base of support – then quite frankly anywhere can! Get out there and get active!