Film festival – 'Women, Anarchism and Revolution.' Plus a talk on Censorship, Anarchism and Underground Publications.
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It's our 40th anniversary!

[Sorry that you're getting this newsletter a few days late – your email address was one of a small number we missed in the first batch. It won't happen again!]

Jura Books has been going for 40 years! The shop first opened in Newtown in 1977, and has been continuously going ever since. This is an incredible achievement if we do say so ourselves – especially for a radical, anti-capitalist project which is 100% powered by volunteers and donations.
For four decades, Jura has been spreading anarchist ideas in Sydney and more broadly. We've sold tens of thousands of books, pamphlets and posters. We've hosted thousands of events – from political talks and reading groups to films, gigs and poetry nights. We've lent support to uncountable campaigns and activist groups as best we could. And in our functioning and structures (notably decision-making), we've demonstrated a real-world example of self-managed, organised anarchism.
For all this time, Jura has only been possible and worthwhile because thousands of community supporters like you have volunteered their time, donated their cash, read our newsletters, and worked together with us to build radical alternatives. Thank you all!

But special thanks must go to the small number of people who've been not only supporters, but also active members of the Jura Collective. And particularly the very few who've stuck with it for years, and even decades. We only number in the dozens, but we're the ones who have kept this project going. Good on us! If you'd like to join our esteemed ranks, new members and friends are always very welcome!
To celebrate our 40th anniversary (and also because this is just what we do!), we're organising a series of special events. And stay tuned for more events coming up later in the year.

Syria, the Rojava Revolution, and the Left

Talk and discussion – 2pm Saturday 22nd July

The Kurdish-led Rojava Revolution in northern Syria is arguably the most progressive political project in the Middle East today. Navigating a progressive course in the difficult context of the Syrian civil war, the Kurds are fighting against terrible odds while steadfastly building a revolutionary experiment in democracy and autonomy

Paul Rubner will give a talk focussing on the aims, ideas, and prospects of the Rojava Revolution, and will discuss issues raised by this exemplary revolutionary phenomenon, and attempt to assess the varying attitudes within the Left towards it.The talk will be followed by discussion. (Artwork by Javier de Riba.) Facebook event

Censorship, Anarchism and Underground Publications 1969-1973: Revisiting Tharunka to Thor

Talk and discussion – 2pm Sunday 23rd July

Jura is pleased to once more host a talk by radical journalist and researcher Wendy Bacon. Wendy will give a presentation, followed by discussion.

From 1970 to 1973, NSW police issued more than forty summonses and made several arrests over the contents of the UNSW student newspaper THARUNKA, and its successor underground papers THOR and THORUNKA. The charges alleged obscenity and indecency. Wendy Bacon and John Cox between them served three weeks in prison during two trials. The publications drew participation and support from students, Sydney libertarians, radical activists, writers, lawyers and others as they waged a relentless campaign against the authorities.

The campaign contested the idea of obscenity and the legitimacy of the legal system itself. The newspapers campaigned on the war in Vietnam, Aboriginal land rights, women’s and gay liberation, and the violence of the criminal justice system. By 1973 the censorship regime in Australia was broken. Nearly all the charges were dropped.

Facebook event

Three Day Anarchist Mini Film Festival:
Women, anarchism and revolution

In association with the Inner West Film Forum. Facebook event

All Our Lives – De Toda la Vida (1986, 55 mins)

Directed by Lisa Berger and Carol Mazer.
4.30pm for a 5pm start. Saturday 29th July, screening at Jura.
This 1986 documentary, directed by two young American filmmakers, using the traditional interview format, with contemporary photographs, tells the story of Mujeres Libres, the first independent women’s organisation in Spain. (Pictured is an iconic image from the Spanish revolution. The anarchist militia woman Rosita Sanchez, photographed on 26 August 1936 on the Extremadura front for the magazine Ahora, with her daughter named 'España')

All of the women in this film were members of the CNT (Confederacion Nacional de Trabejo), the anarcho-syndicalist trade union, the main representative of the working class movement in Spain in 1936.

The Mujeres Libres, a distinctly anarchist women’s organization, was founded in May 1936, with the aim of engaging women in the revolutionary struggle.
Spanish women at this time found themselves bound by the “triple enslavement of women to ignorance, to capital and to men”. Women were effectively subordinated to men, and this extended to the revolutionary movement itself. The work of the Mujeres Libres was not to solely focus on empowering women to participate in the social struggle but to also be a constant challenge to the male dominance of the movement.

The documentary presents the moving and passionate history of anarchist women, through poignant recollections and histories as told by the women themselves. This is documentary film making at its best because we learn not only about the subjects, and their times, but also we understand the reasons why they are anarchists.
This film will be presented by Associate Professor Judith Keene. Judith’s research focuses on twentieth century history with a particular interest in the cultural history of war, including as it is represented in art and cinema, and its effect on the formation of individual and collective memory. Judith has published widely on the Spanish civil war and World War Two and is currently writing a history of memory and the Korean War.

Into the Fire (2002, 58 mins, directed by Julia Newman)

4.30pm for a 5pm start. Sunday 30th July, screening at Jura.
Spain, 1936: right-wing military officers led by General Francisco Franco attempt to overthrow the newly elected, democratic government. Both Hitler and Mussolini quickly lend support to the uprising. In response, nearly 80 American women join over 2,700 of their countrymen in 'The Good Fight' – volunteering, in defiance of the US government, to help fight the Fascists in the Spanish Civil War. The women were part of the International Bridgade's 40,000 volunteers, from fifty countries, who came to fight for democracy. In this enthralling, meticulously researched documentary, 16 of these brave and idealistic nurses, writers and journalists share stories of courage & commitment to a just cause.

Born in Flames (1983, 90 mins)

Directed by Lizzie Borden. 16 MM Film print screening.
7.30pm. Monday 31st July, screening at Petersham Bowling Club, 77 Brighton St.
The documentary-style feminist science fiction film Born in Flames by Lizzie Borden remains as prescient today as it was when it first came out in 1983. The film is set in New York City in an unspecified future, 10 years after a 'Social Democratic War of Liberation.' But the socialist policies prove to be as inflexible and bigoted as those in capitalist times. Anger builds up among women from all backgrounds as they continue to endure harassment and discrimination. They come together to form an army and plot a revolution within the revolution.

Facebook event

Recent radical articles online

Jura Books: Forty Years and Now, Robert P Barbagallo

Robert, a Sydney Uni student, approached Jura and asked to work with us on an oral history project. He wrote this piece based on a number of interviews with Jura Collective members. "One of the great things about Jura over the years is that it has been an opportunity for people to learn about anarchism, to learn about how to organise autonomously and work together in a collaborative way with rules, but with rules that are collectively decided and that are changed when they don’t work. They are not just rules for the sake of rules." Read more on the Jura blog

The State of Radical Dissent, Wendy Bacon

"It is facile to predict the future. But today, as we stand on the cusp of even more global destruction, it is hoped that we are witnessing a new generation of young radicals emerging. A characteristic of radical dissent is that it takes its demands beyond the protest rally, drawing on old civil disobedience tactics such as seizing space via sit-ins, occupations and blockades, and disruptive tactics such as boycotts... Half a century ago, the mood was one of optimism about the future. Even older libertarians, who had been satisfied with ideas of permanent protest and an unconventional lifestyle in the 1950s and early 1960s, were swept along by a mood that the future could embrace more justice, freedom and equality. Today right-wing commentators wrongly tag most leftists of the 1970s as 'totalitarians' who favoured authoritarian socialist states. In fact, most radicals drew on a critique of authoritarian socialist governments and favoured traditions of the left that emphasised collective forms of organisation rather than mere representation. Read more

Radical Democracy: The First Line Against Fascism, Dilar Dirik

For some background reading to the Rojava revolution discussion, check out this great article by an activist of the Kurdish women’s movement.
"The victory of revolutionary Kobane practically illustrated that the fight against ISIS did not consist merely of weapons, but of a radical rupture with fascism and the underlying frameworks that make it possible. This in turn necessitates radical democratic and autonomous social, political and economic institutions, especially women’s structures that position themselves in flat opposition to the state system of class, hierarchy and domination. In order to liberate society from a mentality and system like ISIS’, anti-fascist self-defense must occupy all areas of social life – from the family to education to the wider economy... If the fascist enemy is one that combines patriarchy, capitalism, nationalism, sectarianism and authoritarian statism in its methods and practices, it is clear that a meaningfully anti-fascist struggle must necessarily employ a mentality and ethics that fundamentally opposes the pillars of such systems of violence. The self-defense forces of Rojava attempt to do just that…" Read more

Changing Minds: No One Cares That You’re Right, New Syndicalist

This awesome article compiles a summary evidence-based techniques that we can use when we're having political conversations and organisaing. "Given our stubborn beliefs, how can we have meaningful conversations with people who have different views than our own? It’s a crucial question for those of us on the political left... A critical look at recent psychological studies concerning behavioural change offers some interesting answers... jettison the head-on, logical argumentation approach in favour of an approach that takes emotions fully into account." Read more
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Street address: 440 Parramatta Rd, Petersham, 2049.
Mailing address: PO Box 3032, Petersham North LPO, NSW, 2049, Australia.
Phone: 02 9550 9931

Jura's current opening hours
Thursday: 2pm-7pm
Friday: 2pm-7pm
Saturday: 12pm-5pm
Sunday: 12pm-5pm

If you're making a special trip to visit us, it's a good idea to call beforehand to double-check that we're open. As we're all volunteers, occasionally we can't open as planned.

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