Anarchism in Western Sydney. Discussions on Anarcha-Feminism, the Philippines, Marxist Economics and Poetry. Plus book reviews.
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Anarchism in Western Sydney!

We're excited to be organising anarchist bookstalls at UWS Diversity Fest this week. If you're in the area, come and say hi! And check out the other great events planned - performances by Aamer Rahman (an awesome radical comedian), and a discussion panel on Racism, Responses & Western Sydney.

Anarchist stalls will be held from 11am-3pm, at:
  • Penrith campus on Tuesday 8th: O'Connell Street and Second Ave, Kingswood. (Stall by Black Flag.)
  • Parramatta campus on Wednesday 9th: James Ruse Dr, Building EEA the Janice Reid Pavillion. (Stall by Jura.)
  • Bankstown campus on Thursday 10th: 2 Bullecourt Ave, Milperra, inside building 1, ground floor Student Common area. (Stall by Jura.)
The Sydney Anarchist Picnic is on again from 11:30am on Saturday 26 September at Blacktown Showground. It's organised by Black Flag, Western Sydney Peoples Collective and is an opportunity for Sydney anarchists to be social and hang out and relax. People who are curious about anarchism are also more than welcome. It's bring a plate (if you're able) and there will also be fundraising for Black Flag.

Anarcha-feminist reading group

Over the last few months, a group of people from the Jura community have organised a series of readings and discussions in an attempt to develop our (pro)feminist politics. We have focussed in particular on readings on practical ways of improving our (particularly men's) behaviours and practices of consent, and on community accountability processes. After these meetings, we decided that our discussion of transformative justice would be enriched by developing our feminist politics more broadly. As an attempt to begin that process, we have chosen to read the book Quiet Rumours: An Anarcha-Feminist Reader. We are starting with the prefaces and the first chapter.

If you are a like-minded person and would like to participate in this reading/discussion group, please get in touch via email or personal message. People of all genders and sexualities are welcome and we would like this to be a safe space. (In the interests of honest disclosure, we should mention that the majority of us who have been participating so far identify as hetero cis men, with a smaller number identifying as wom*n). Also, please note that this is not an open public ‘forum’ as such, but rather a smaller group with a commitment to ongoing discussion and development. Participants are all committed to turning up regularly (about monthly) and doing the readings. Quiet Rumours is available at Jura for $22, or online.

Our library gets better all the time!

Above are just a few of the latest additions to the Jura library. We also collected a stack of pamphlets and books for the library when we were in Melbourne for their anarchist bookfair. The library is open whenever Jura is open, and the borrowing system is simple and cheap. Come and check it out! We'd also love you to come and help us sort books and make the library even better! The next library working bee is from 2pm-5pm on Sunday 13th September.

Upcoming Red & Black Forums at Jura

2pm Sunday 27 September: "Perth, Sydney, Manila"

Frantz Fanon predicted that if national liberation movements win independence but go no further than assuming the reins of the nation-state – an apparatus of rule inherited from Europe – then the resulting regimes will be no less despotic than the departed colonial masters. Before Fanon, too, there was the irrepressible Russian anarchist, Mikhail Bakunin, who argued, contra Karl Marx, that a post-revolutionary society that failed to do away with the state would only perpetuate tyrannies that Marx and his followers claimed to oppose. The twentieth century proved both Bakunin and Fanon right, thereby prompting new explorations into what revolution without the state might mean. This talk will offer a glimpse into one such exploration in the Philippines – a unique case, though very much in line with anarchistic resurgences everywhere – while also highlighting the complementarities between anarchist and postcolonialist perspectives. The talk will be given by Marco, an anarchist from Perth who has spent quite a bit of time with anarchists in Manila. Followed by discussion. All welcome. Free. Event on Facebook.

• 2pm Sunday 25 October: "Anarchism, Marxism and economics"

Anarchists have sometimes accepted Marx's economic analysis, though not Marxist politics. In recent years, especially since the GFC, there has been renewed interest in economic matters, and by some anarchists, in 'Marxist economics'. This has polarised opinion among anarchists as to the validity of Marx's critique of political economy, and its relevance to anarchism. This Forum will be a discussion between Paul Rubner and Sid Parissi of these matters, with reference to Ronald Tabor's book, The Tyranny of Theory: a Contribution to the Anarchist Critique of Marxism. Reading Tabor’s book is recommended, however not absolutely necessary. You’ll still get a lot out of the discussion if you haven’t read the book. It is available at Jura for $45. The event is free. Event on Facebook.

• 2pm Sunday 8 November: "Poetry, Activism and Anarchy" – TT.O.

At this Red and Black forum, Melbourne-based anarchist and poet TT.O. will traverse some of his experiences as an activist-poet. He will showcase some of Jas H. Duke’s poetry (the Anarchist poets) 1939-1992, and talk about his life & involvement in England & Germany including his time at Freedom Press. He will also talk on other strains of Anarchist-Artist movements in Melbourne, including the Modernist push by the people out at “Heide”. TT.O. will explore some of the activity surrounding “925” the workers poetry magazine (the biggest in the Country spanning 5 years 3,000 copies towards the end) and collective effort press’s impact on Australian culture. Free. Event on Facebook.

Recommended reading

Short reviews of 3 books, by Sid of the Jura Collective

Anarchism and the City: Revolution and Counter-revolution in Barcelona, 1898-1937, by Chris Ealham. $30.
This is a very exciting and excitable book - the ideas, themes and stories leap from the pages. It's one of the few books in English that looks at Spanish revolutionary development from the street level, from the people in the proletarian quarters, about the lives of ordinary people in their hovels and their daily fights with all levels of authority. It's not what the organisations did or did not do, so much as what the people did, needed, and fought for... Read more.

The Dynamite Club: How a Bombing in Fin-de-siecle Paris Ignited the Age of Modern Terror, by John Merriman.
This is an honest book, and not what I expected to find. Merriman is not an anarchist, but has tried to understand what led to the 1890s series of bombings that occurred in Paris by self-described anarchists. He explores the lives and poverty that drove a series of individualists to protest against the system that was destroying them, and in some cases, their families. It's not an approach that I support... Read more.

The Anarchist Geographer: An Introduction to the Life of Peter Kropotkin, by Brian Morris. $18.
If you haven't read about the extraordinary life of Kropotkin, then this is an excellent place to start. Although it is a bit of a compilation from Morris' other writings, it does a good job at exploring the man's origins, the development of politics from dissident aristocrat (typical of his times) to an revolutionary anarchist. He was born to have had the world at his feet, luxury, servants, and all... Read more.

News: fighting and winning!

Congratulations to the Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy

The Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy has achieved a significant victory (although the broader struggle is far from over!). An agreement has been reached amid a heated court battle, that will require the Aboriginal Housing Company, which legally owns The Block, to build 62 rent-controlled homes for Aboriginal families.

The Federal Government has offered a $5million grant, contingent on the AHC's commitment to build social housing for Aboriginal people prior to, or concurrent with, its planned commercial redevelopment of The Block. AHC boss Mick Mundine has signed off on the deal. The affordable Aboriginal housing will now be built first, not last!

Following the announcement, Aunty Jenny Munro stated: "We've had some serious open heart surgery there at The Block, but I think we can say that the black heart of the city is still beating.”

"I'm old school. My teachers taught me the principles of our resistance – we never ceded our land to anyone. The embassy has demonstrated that for our people, resistance is the only way to go.

"For all the communities around the country facing closure, don't talk sovereignty, assert your sovereignty. Put up an embassy and demand the funding for your basic rights. We will fight with you every step of the way."

It is undeniable that this plan to build Aboriginal housing would not have been achieved without the steadfast presence of the Tent Embassy on The Block since 26 May 2014. It has been clear that the Embassy has the support of the community whereas the housing company only has the support of the government and developers. Direct action gets the goods! Congratulations and thanks to the Embassy and supporters for inspiring us and showing us what is possible.

HESTA divests

Refugee solidarity activists have forced a major super fund to ditch a company in the detention centre business. They have shown that, "through coordinated action, it is possible to block the financial, cultural and philanthropic supply chains of the detention industry." Read more in New Matilda.

SydSol is organising

Sydney Solidarity Network continues to organise in support of exploited workers. Meetings alternate between Jura and other locations. The next meeting is at 3pm on Saturday 19 September, in Camperdown Park, near the Courthouse Hotel (look for the SydSol banner), or in the Courthouse Hotel in the event of bad weather. To be followed by some general leafleting of cafes in Newtown. #SydneySolidarity‬.

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Thanks for reading our email newsletter! We think this is the best way to stay in touch. However, we do also have Twitter and Facebook. While we have many reservations about Facebook, with it's restrictive editorial control and capitalist agenda, we're also committed to spreading anarchist ideas through many different forums. We're up to 1,855 followers on Facebook. Can you help us get to 2,000? We'd really appreciate it if you would invite your (Australia-based) friends to like us. You could also invite your friends to our events, like and share our posts, and better still, get notifications when we post (because Facebook usually only shows our posts to 1 in 10 of the people who have liked our page.) To do this, visit our Facebook page, hover over the 'like' button and click on 'Get notifications'. Then you'll get notified when we post and you can help us spread the message. Whenever you like or share it helps boost our voice. Thanks!
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Street address: 440 Parramatta Rd, Petersham, 2049.
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