The Anarchist Federation has experienced another good year of growth and now exceeds 150 members in England, Wales and Scotland. New groups formed in Brighton, West Kent and Edinburgh. We can report a significant and active presence in Scotland, a highlight being members’ involvement in the Glasgow schools occupations. Numbers are smaller in Wales but increasing and a Cardiff group is in the making. In England it’s worth mentioning that since the last London Bookfair, Nottingham AF co-launched The Sparrows’ Nest library and archive which is building its collection and is open to visitors. Groups continue to involve themselves with social centres and helped open the most recent Sheffield one. Members participated in the Anarchist Movement conference and got stuck into most of the actions of national importance such as the Gaza demos, G20, Camp for Climate Action and support for the Lindsey Oil Refinery, Ford Visteon and Vestas Blades occupations. We wrote a well-received leaflet about Gaza and an intervention/perspective paper for Climate Camp.
The AF meets four times a year. We had a very enjoyable summer camp in Derbyshire, which as usual incorporated one of our national delegate meetings and featured daily cook-ins plus optional hiking, drinking and singing of anarchist songs (usually in that order). At our annual conference we discussed our involvement in education workplace networks and groups, as workers and students, and consolidated our two new caucuses. The women’s caucus has met at all of the last national meetings and the Fed as a whole is having ongoing stimulating internal education and discussions on feminism, gender and sexuality. The Lesbian/Gay/Bi/Trans/Queer (LGBTQ) caucus is producing another newssheet building on from What’s Wrong with Angry? and members intervened at Manchester Pride.
New publications since the last bookfair have included pamphlets on workplace strategy and nationalism. London AF have added to their Stormy Petrel series and Manchester AF have launched their own publishing outfit Peterloo Press which has so far concentrated on reproducing council communist classics. We increased Resistance bulletin to 8 pages, and members wrote for Freedom and Black Flag as well as our own twice-yearly Organise! magazine. Many groups also produce their own local anarchist free-sheets such as the Fargate Speaker in Sheffield, or collaborate on others such as the Hereford Heckler. We have supported the ongoing growth of local anarchist bookfairs, running stalls in Bristol, Belfast and in Manchester which the local group co-organised. Not least we have a shiny new website and an enhanced blog to encourage debate and comments.
The International of Anarchist Federations met in Prague earlier in 2009 following the 40th anniversary congress in Italy last summer. Since the IAF-IFA secretariat passed from Britain to Spain last year, we have helped develop deeper links in the Balkans, Eastern Europe and Holland, and our international secretaries continue their correspondence across the world. With the repression of anarchists in Serbia, international solidarity is more important than ever.
Near future activity at home includes opposing the likes of EDL and in 2010 we hope to grow the number of local groups and so continue to spread anarchist communism far and wide. As usual we welcome joint activities with other organisations.
The Anarchist Federation, October 2009
BM ANARFED, London, WC1N 3XX
http://www.afed.org.uk (see website for regional and local group contacts).