Bookfair next Saturday: “Anarchism and the Struggle against the Borders”


The London Anarchist Bookfair is upon us again, this time taking place at a school in Tottenham next Saturday 29 October. Amongst all the usual catching up with old friends and comrades, anarcho-consuemerism, sectarian rows and bar fights, there are a few interesting talks and meetings on the programme.

In particular two longer sessions stand out for us. Leila Al Shami and Robin Yassin-Kassab will talk on “Syrians in Revolution and War”, bringing out little-known stories of anti-authoritarian organising and struggle amidst the nightmare of a revolution turned to bloodbath. The meeting on “Anarchism and the Struggle against the Borders” will discuss anarchist ideas and action in the context of the border struggles of the last year, which of course have also involved many Syrian and other rebels of the “Arab Spring”. Below we repost a longer invitation to this meeting sent round by its organisers.

So it’s a shame that these two talks clash with each other, both happening between 2-4 PM. We are also interested to see what will come out of the “South London in Struggle” talk at 5PM. Although, again, this clashes with a talk by the comrades from the Platanos migrant solidarity project  in Lesvos.

Anarchism and the Struggle against the Borders

Dear friends,

we’d like to invite you to a discussion a few of us have organised at the London Anarchist Bookfair which takes place on Saturday 29 October in Tottenham. See for details and directions; our meeting will be 2pm-4pm.

The title of the meeting is “Anarchism and the Struggle against the Borders”.

From the fences and hotspots of Fortress Europe to raids on the streets of London, many anarchists are active in the fight raging at the borders. At previous bookfairs and other events, there have often been meetings where we present our activities. This year we would like to try and go a little bit deeper.

As the “migration crisis” escalates, we see a growing wave of violence and misery, as the fences and concentration camps go up again across Europe. But we have also seen powerful action and solidarity: many thousands of people on the move defying borders, tearing down fences, escaping and destroying detention centres; other thousands of “citizens” cutting wires, opening safe houses, helping people live and cross.

Still, many of us say we feel lost and overwhelmed, lacking a clear vision for action.

In this meeting we would like, first of all, to share ideas for how to fight. How can we go beyond “radical humanitarianism” and act effectively to challenge the border regime?

But also (and as this is the anarchist bookfair after all) we want to relate the question of action to our fundamental ideas and values as anarchists. So we would also like to ask a couple of further questions. Why is the struggle against borders important for us as anarchists? And what as anarchists involved in these struggles can we learn about fighting alongside others with different beliefs, whether migrants or citizens?

We have invited a couple of speakers to open the meeting with short introductions. One Syrian comrade will talk about links between the Syrian revolution and diaspora, and resistance to the European borders. Another comrade will bring in the struggle against “internal” borders here in London. Events and technology permitting, we may also try to set up videolinks with Calais, where the eviction of the jungle is likely to be well underway, or maybe elsewhere.

Then we would like to open up the discussion. If you feel you have something to say on these issues, we invite you to prepare a short contribution, or just come on the day and get involved.

In solidarity,

some anarchists against the borders


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