It’s been a bit of a while since I got round to writing anything. At the moment, the most obvious big story of relevance to anarchists is the recent firebombing of Freedom Bookshop. Freedom Press seem to have had a run of bad luck lately, first they were sued by a moneygrubbing wanker with a history of bankrupting charities, and now the bookshop’s been set on fire.
Impressively, they received enough support that they were able to re-open on the Monday after the attack, but they still need a lot of help. Clean-up efforts will continue throughout the week and any donations would be much appreciated – so far benefit events have been organised in Brighton, London and Leeds, along with one mixtape that’s already out and another benefit compilation coming soon. Hopefully more fundraising efforts will be organised soon.
Internationally, one very interesting development has been the rise of the Egyptian black bloc – Ryan Harvey’s article was one of the first to highlight this, and avtonom.org have an article I can’t read accompanied by some great photographs. Since the emergence of the bloc, at least 18 people have been arrested on suspicion of black bloc activity, and a day of solidarity action has been called for Wednesday 6th February, although the only events I’m aware of are in the US and Australia. This article from Al-Jazeera is one of the most in-depth pieces I’ve seen so far.
Back in the UK, the struggle against workfare continues with a week of action from the 18th-24th of March. The trend for increasingly militant resistance to the cuts has been boosted by an occupation of Birmingham Council House, following in the wake of similar actions in Liverpool and Newcastle. In London, the recently formed Anti Raids Network have been disrupting immigration raids carried out by the UK Border Agency. Finally, after a five-month occupation, the Friern Barnet Library in London has officially been saved. While these campaigns are not without their contradictions, this does definitely seem like a victory, and one campaigners elsewhere can take inspiration from.
From streetfighting in Egypt to the defence of libraries and bookshops in London, the struggle continues. I hope my next post will contain more news about occupations and successes, and less about repression and attacks on our communities, but we’ll see.