So many bands and anarchist ideas! Magrudergrind, Dangle Manatee, Slyng Shot, Two Steps on the Water, Rachel Maria Cox and many more.
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No-one is free in the shadow of a prison!

The recent images of torture at Don Dale have shocked many Australians, but they shouldn't. Such treatment of children and adults is commonplace at prisons across the country and is the tip of the iceberg of the racist systems that subject Aboriginal children to institutionalised child abuse on a daily basis. Across the continent, Black children make up 50 per cent of the prison system. More children are being forcibly removed today than at any point in Australian history – taken from their families and put into foster care or prison cells.

Prisons are the ultimate site of cruelty and social control, but also sometimes places of incredible scenes of rebellion and resistance. While much of the media and popular discourse around the Don Dale kids has been of their victimhood, Don Dale has also seen multiple riots and breakouts over the past few years. In 2014, two youths broke out of the prison, stole a car, drove back to the prison and used the vehicle to ram through the fences, to break more youths out.

Torture and group bashings of prisoners is a typical response by authorities to prison riots and resistance. But torture in prison is not exceptional, prison itself is torture. The act of confining and isolating human beings in cages is inhumane and degrading to the human spirit.

The colonial invasion of this land known as Australia introduced the paradigm of police, prisons, and private property to a territory where land was communal, communities settled disputes and meted out punishment without recourse to incarceration or a specialised armed force. Under capitalism, prisons are an integral part of the system for controlling and disciplining certain groups of people according to the needs of the elites.

But over the weekend we saw numerous powerful actions of resistance by Aboriginal Peoples and their accomplices, including an incredibly inspiring direct action in Melbourne by the Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance.

If we wish to live in a world without the torture of places like Don Dale, we need to follow the example of our sisters and brothers in the Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance. We will need more than protests, petitions and Royal Commissions. We need to abolish prisons entirely, and develop alternative forms of community accountability and justice. Abolishing prisons also means abolishing capitalism and the State. Non-Aboriginal people also need learn to struggle alongside Aboriginal Peoples for their land rights, self-determination, decolonisation and justice; and this means listening to criticisms (made recently of both leninists and anarchists).

Check out these upcoming events:

Dangle Manatee (Scotland) – 6pm Friday 5th Aug

+ Slyng Shot, Jimmy Mongrel, Jimmy Lynch and Luke Holmes. @Jura
Dangle Manatee are are Glasgow's premier anarcho-absurdo-dada-folk-punk band and they're all set to rumble, rasp, gurgle, and gasp through Australia this August sharing tales of friendship, beans, theft, pain, dinghies, fridge magnets, anarchy, peas (both frozen and fresh), geese, displacement, ennui, waste, love, violence, passion, and bicycle powered light bulbs.

Slyng Shot will also be bringing their fem folk scream pretty. Also playing will be Jimmy Mongrel, Jimmy Lynch, Luke Holmes and Gonzovillain. All welcome!

6p, Friday 5th August. By donation. All Ages. Facebook event

Sydney Anarchist Bookfair 2016?

Open discussion – 3pm, Sunday 7th August @Jura
Should there be an Anarchist Bookfair in Sydney this year? Do you want to help make it happen?

Following successful Sydney Anarchist Bookfairs in 2014 and 2015, a group of Sydney anarchists have called an open meeting to discuss organising an anarchist bookfair in Sydney in 2016: 3pm, Sunday 7th August at Jura Books. Everyone interested is welcome to come and share their ideas and thoughts about how to go about it. Facebook event

Magrudergrind (USA) – 5pm Sunday 7th Aug

+ White Male Dumbinance, ShacklΣs, Controlled, Avian Terror, Morte Lenta @Jura
Magrudergrind play a punishing hybrid of grindcore, powerviolence and hardcore punk. Formed in 2002 in DC and currently based in Brooklyn, they combine visceral lyrics with a relentless sonic aesthetic. Owing much to the close-knit global DIY community, the band has toured Europe, Asia, and North and South America.

Magrudergrind are playing with:
White Male Dumbinance (Newcastle)
ShacklΣs (North coast)
Controlled (Sydney)
Avian Terror (Sydney)
Morte Lenta (Sydney)

This one could get a little hectic... Be there from 5pm, Sunday 7th August at Jura! $15. All ages. Facebook event
(Also playing Red Rattler on Saturday)

Jura stall at the Melbourne Anarchist Bookfair

10am – 5pm, Sunday 14th August, Brunswick Town Hall, Sydney Road
Jura will once again head down to the Melbourne Anarchist Bookfair. It's a great day! We'll be taking a huge load of books and other anarchist material. If you're interested in heading down from Sydney, get in touch – we might be able to help hook you up with a ride. And if you're in Melbourne and you'd like us to bring you something in particular, get in touch! Hope to see you on the day!

The Melbourne Anarchist Bookfair is an annual free event created by Melbourne's anarchist community, now in its sixth year. There are around 40 stalls held by independent booksellers and activist groups. Plus workshops and skillshares. Check out their website or Facebook for more info.

Two Steps on the Water (Melbourne)

+ Rachel Maria Cox + poetry readings – 3pm, Sunday 28 Aug @Jura
Two Steps on the Water are a Melbourne-based emotion punk / heavy folk trio whose music is tragic and furious, heavy and soft, whispered and screamed.

To launch their debut LP, God Forbid Anyone Look Me in the Eye, they are embarking on a little album tourm including two shows in Sydney, the first on Friday 26th August at Red Rattler, and the second from 3pm on Sunday 28th August at Jura.

At Jura, Two Steps on the Water will be accompanied by Rachel Maria Cox, and poetry readings!
Facebook event

Anarchist perspectives on elections and voting

As the sun sets on another electoral frenzy, our parliamentary-focused 'comrades' are left disappointed as usual (whether they supported Bernie or the Greens), and the ruling elites are as pleased as ever. Perhaps now is a good time to reconsider what you think about voting and electoral politics? Here are a variety of recent anarchist articles you might be willing to consider...

Don't vote your life away! – Stuart Highway of the Jura Collective.
"The electoral commission's been sending me letters for a while now, demanding I pay a $160 fine for not voting. They've cancelled my driver's licence and sicced their debt collectors Dun & Bradstreet onto me, threatened to steal money from my bank account, or steal my belongings and sell them to pay their debt. Still I haven't given in to this criminal gang, these terrorists known as 'the government.'" Read more

Don't Just Vote – Get Organised – Kieran from Anarchist Affinity
"The most important question is not who you voted for on election day, it’s what you do every other day of the year. Playing by the rules of the established political process is a mug's game; the deck is stacked in favour of the existing bourgeois political parties. If you want to change the world, don’t just vote, get organised and get active." Read more

Elections are not the answer! – Melbourne Anarcho-Communist Group
"Neither the Liberals nor Labor are trusted by most voters and the major parties are horrified at the drift of voters to minor parties of all stripes. Anarchists have something to say about this, something deeper than just advising people about voting. We say if you’re looking to fix the problems in society, Parliament is the wrong place." Read more

Sydney anti-electoral campaign – Disaccords news
"Elections are a charade to confuse us about where power lies, and how things can be changed. With the following petty acts of anti-political sabotage, we draw a line. Thousands of anti-electoral posters were pasted up throughout Sydney. Hundreds of anti-political slogans were painted across the city. A dozen banners were tied to highway overpasses. Political advertising of every party was vandalised, or taken down and later burnt." Read more

Why we still don't even Corbyn – Libcom
"The likelihood that Corbyn would be able to pass reforms that harmed the interests of big business, without massive pressure from a disruptive extra-parliamentary social movement, is very slim... Without such a movement, a Corbyn (or any other social democratic) government would not have a leg to stand on. Yet with such a social movement, the role of such a government becomes different: the role will be to mediate and to limit; to separate ‘responsible’ representatives from ‘unruly’ elements and give carrots to the first while doling out sticks to the latter." Read more

More radical articles online...

Book reviews: Durruti, Utopia, and Workers' Control – Sid of the Jura Collective
Sid offers another four short reviews of "The Man Who Killed Durruti", "The Anthropology of Utopia", "Ours to Master and to Own: Workers' Control from the Commune to the Present" and "The Death Ship". Read more

Life Hacks of the poor and aimless: On negotiating the false idols of neoliberal self-care – Laurie Penny in The Baffler
This is a great, nuanced, feminist article on questions of politics, happiness and self care. "Anxious millennials now seem to have a choice between desperate narcissism and crushing misery. Which is better? The question is not rhetorical. On the one hand, Instagram happiness gurus make me want to drown myself in a kale smoothie. On the other, I’m sick and tired of seeing the most brilliant people I know, the fighters and artists and mad radical thinkers whose lives’ work might actually improve the world, treat themselves and each other in ludicrously awful ways with the excuse, implicit or explicit, that any other approach to life is counterrevolutionary... Some of the left critique of self-care as a neoliberal conspiracy has to do with dismissing the work that women and queer people do to survive... Late Capitalism is as good an excuse of any for not getting out of bed, but huddling under the covers worrying about Donald Trump is a very inefficient way of sticking it to the man." Read more

Trickle Down Racism: Without Tony Abbott, Pauline Hanson Couldn’t Have Returned – Michael Brull in New Matilda
An excellent article articulating the connections between Hanson and the political and media elites. "The lesson of the 1990s was not that being mean to Hanson or her supporters makes her stronger. The lesson was that the real danger came from the mainstream, which was willing to legitimise her views, and lay the groundwork for the Coalition stealing her policies and regaining her voters. We don’t have a Muslim problem in Australia. We have a racism problem, and it's an emergency." Read more

Boycott the Festival of Dangerous Ideas: Stop Culturewashing Detention – Xborder "We are reissuing the call for local and overseas visitors to respect the boycott of the Festival of Dangerous Ideas (FODI) over its role in culturewashing the detention industry." Read more

Brexit confirms: the neoliberal center cannot hold – Roarmag
"The financial fallout and political pandemonium of recent days has less to do with Britain’s place in Europe than it has with the widening gulf between political elites and European citizens more generally. While racism and anti-immigrant sentiment have been central to the leave campaign from the very start, it is difficult to believe that all 52 percent of Britons who voted leave are committed fascists. Many of these people are ordinary working class folks who are simply fed up with the erosion of their living standards, the disintegration of their communities, and the lack of responsiveness of their political representatives and the unaccountable technocracy that has 'taken control' over their lives." Read more

The violence of forgiveness – Mohamad Tabbaa and Claudia Sirdah, Overland
"In calling on the outraged to employ laudable virtues such as empathy, patience, and understanding towards those seeking to harm them, Waleed Aly performs an act typical of mainstream liberalism. That is, to obscure systemic injustices and destructive political realities in preference of a terse symbolism that fails to address those material realities." Read more

Resignations from Socialist Alliance – 21st Century Socialism
This open letter gives a useful insight into the inner workings of authoritarian socialist organisations. We anarchists would add that this sort of authoritarian, undemocratic, bureaucratic, vanguardist behaviour by their leadership is not unusual - it's an inevitable consequence of their Leninist politics. "It is with regret that we announce our resignation from Socialist Alliance." Read more

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