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Sheffield Anarchist Book Fair 2016

Sheffield Anarchist Book Fair | 15.04.2016 13:48 | Education | Free Spaces | Social Struggles | Sheffield

Sheffield Anarchist Book Fair looks set to be the biggest yet. Now in its seventh year, stall and workshop bookings and other enquiries are up around 25% on the previous year. It is on Saturday 23rd April 2016, 10am-6pm at Showroom Workstation, 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield S1 2BX. Entrance is free.

2016 book fair poster
2016 book fair poster

Sheffield Anarchist Book Fair brings together radical booksellers, distributors, independent presses, and political groups from around the country, and features books, pamphlets, zines, art, crafts and films. It includes speakers, panels and workshops, and is followed by an evening social.

This year it includes the première of "Full Bins, Empty Bellies, Lonely Lives", a new locally-made documentary. Described as the story of food poverty and social isolation in a land of plenty, the film examines three seemingly self-contradictory issues in the UK today. Food insecurity alongside mass food wastage, and at the same time so many people experience another type of poverty; loneliness. Director Daniel Vallin looks for the causes of this paradox and asks how we can 'join the dots' to solve these problems. Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett is among the interviewees. Ultimately uplifting, the film finds solutions in new experiments with community food sharing known as the Social Eating movement. This film screening starts at 12 noon.

Sheffield Anarchist Book Fair


The 2016 book fair logo

15.04.2016 13:58

This is the poster for the 2016 Sheffield Anarchist Book Fair. Like the full programme, it's available to download from the website, and also copies of both will be available on the day (if you want a poster for your bedroom wall!)

Sheffield Anarchist Book Fair


Hide the following 15 comments

Difficult to believe

16.04.2016 06:43

Difficult to believe that there are people who are still so stupid they think anarchism has any relevance in the 21st Century



17.04.2016 15:43





18.04.2016 09:55

Are yes, the witty response and informed use of language displayed by one of the anarchist brethren displaying only too well the point I was making.

"He has an apposing viewpoint ...... (thinks hard)....... He must be a Fascist !


I like an Anarchist bookfair

18.04.2016 11:36

I like an Anarchist bookfair if only as a reminder of what my life might have been had I not done so much political reading when I was younger. The faults and failures of Anarchism are clear to most people with a reasonable level of intelligence and at least a basic understanding of political and social development however that does not stop the tiny minority still trying to convince the rest of us that they are right. In many ways Anarchists remind me of religious zealots, the ones who still cling to the absurdity of their position despite all the evidence to the contrary.

As a bookfair is just about the extent of most Anarchism in Europe right now I think they can be safely ignored but it's always worth keeping an eye on them because like the SWP or the Scientologists there are always a few gullible types sucked into their idiocy.

Happy person

The international communist current will have a stall outside

18.04.2016 12:07

For those who have moved on from lifestyle anarchism, through anarcho communism, time to check out left council communism. Check out the ICC stall outside the Sheffield Anarchist bookfair.

Want to move on from the immaturity of Anarchism then check out

Anarchism is for fools, Council Communism is for the intelligent.


The arguments against anarchism (clue - it's a part of Capitalism)

18.04.2016 12:25

Since the First World War, capitalism has been a decadent social system. It has twice plunged humanity into a barbaric cycle of crisis, world war, reconstruction and new crisis. In the 1980s, it entered into the final phase of this decadence, the phase of decomposition. There is only one alternative offered by this irreversible historical decline: socialism or barbarism, world communist revolution or the destruction of humanity.

The Paris Commune of 1871 was the first attempt by the proletariat to carry out this revolution, in a period when the conditions for it were not yet ripe. Once these conditions had been provided by the onset of capitalist decadence, the October revolution of 1917 in Russia was the first step towards an authentic world communist revolution in an international revolutionary wave which put an end to the imperialist war and went on for several years after that. The failure of this revolutionary wave, particularly in Germany in 1919-23, condemned the revolution in Russia to isolation and to a rapid degeneration. Stalinism was not the product of the Russian revolution, but its gravedigger.

The statified regimes which arose in the USSR, eastern Europe, China, Cuba etc and were called ‘socialist’ or ‘communist’ were just a particularly brutal form of the universal tendency towards state capitalism, itself a major characteristic of the period of decadence.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, all wars are imperialist wars, part of the deadly struggle between states large and small to conquer or retain a place in the international arena. These wars bring nothing to humanity but death and destruction on an ever-increasing scale. The working class can only respond to them through its international solidarity and by struggling against the bourgeoisie in all countries.

All the nationalist ideologies - ‘national independence’, ‘the right of nations to self-determination’, etc. - whatever their pretext, ethnic, historical or religious, are a real poison for the workers. By calling on them to take the side of one or another faction of the bourgeoisie, they divide workers and lead them to massacre each other in tr in the interests and wars of their exploiters.

In decadent capitalism, parliament and elections are nothing but a mascarade. Any call to participate in the parliamentary circus can only reinforce the lie that presents these elections as a real choice for the exploited. ‘Democracy’, a particularly hypocritical form of the domination of the bourgeoisie, does not differ at root from other forms of capitalist dictatorship, such as Stalinism and fascism.

All factions of the bourgeoisie are equally reactionary. All the so-called ‘workers’, ‘Socialist’ and ‘Communist’ parties (now ex-’Communists’), the leftist organisations (Trotskyists, Maoists and ex-Maoists, official anarchists) constitute the left of capitalism’s political apparatus. All the tactics of ‘popular fronts’, ‘anti-fascist fronts’ and ‘united fronts’, which mix up the interests of the proletariat with those of a faction of the bourgeoisie, serve only to smother and derail the struggle of the proletariat.

With the decadence of capitalism, the unions everywhere have been transformed into organs of capitalist order within the proletariat. The various forms of union organisation, whether ‘official’ or ‘rank and file’, serve only to discipline the working class and sabotage its struggles.

In order to advance its combat, the working class has to unify its struggles, taking charge of their extension and organisation through sovereign general assembliassemblies and committees of delegates elected and revocable at any time by these assemblies.

Terrorism is in no way a method of struggle for the working class. The expression of social strata with no historic future and of the decomposition of the petty bourgeoisie, when it’s not the direct expression of the permanent war between capitalist states, terrorism has always been a fertile soil for manipulation by the bourgeoisie. Advocating secret action by small minorities, it is in complete opposition to class violence, which derives from conscious and organised mass action by the proletariat.

The working class is the only class which can carry out the communist revolution. Its revolutionary struggle will inevitably lead the working class towards a confrontation with the capitalist state. In order to destroy capitalism, the working class will have to overthrow all existing states and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat on a world scale: the international power of the workers’ councils, regrouping the entire proletariat.

The communist transformation of society by the workers’ councils does not mean ‘self-management’ or the nationalisation of the economy. Communism requires the conscious abolition by the working class of capitalist social relations: wage labour, commodity production, national frontiers. It means the creation of a world community in which all activity is oriented towards the full satisfactisfaction of human needs.

The revolutionary political organisation constitutes the vanguard of the working class and is an active factor in the generalisation of class consciousness within the proletariat. Its role is neither to ‘organise the working class’ nor to ‘take power’ in its name, but to participate actively in the movement towards the unification of struggles, towards workers taking control of them for themselves, and at the same time to draw out the revolutionary political goals of the proletariat’s combat.

After the longest and deepest period of counter-revolution that it has ever known, the proletariat is once again discovering the path of class struggle. This struggle - a consequence both of the acute crisis of the system which has been developing since the beginning of the 1960s, and of the emergence of new generations of workers who feel the weight of past defeats much less than their predecessors - is already the most widespread that the class has ever engaged in. Since the 1968 events in France, the workers’ struggles from Italy to Argentina, from Britain to Poland, from Sweden to Egypt, from China to Portugal, from America to India, from Japan to Spain, have become a nightmare for the capitalist class.

The reappearance of the proletariat on the stage of history has definitively refuted all those ideologies produced or made possible by the counter-revolution which attempted to deny the revolutionary nature of the proletariat. The present resurgence of the class struggle has concretely demonstrated that the proletariat is the only revolutionary class of our time.

A revolutionary class is a class whose domination over society is in accordance with the creation and extension of the new relations of production made necessary by the development of the productive forces and the decay of the old relations of production. Like the modes of production which preceded it, capitalism corresponds to a particular stage in the development of society. It was once a progressive form of social development, but having become world-wide, it has created the conditions for its own disappearance. Because of its specific place in the productive process, because of its nature as the collective producer class of capitalism, deprived of the ownership of the means of production which it sets in motion - thus having no interests which bind it to the preservation of capitalist society - the working class is the only class, objectively and subjectively, which can establish the new mode of production which must come after capitalism: communism. The present resurgence of the proletarian struggle indicates that once again the perspective of communism is not only an historic necessity, but a real possibility.

However, the proletariat still has to make an immense effort to provide itself with the means to overthrow capitalism. As products of this effort and as active factors in it, the revolutionary currents and elements which have appeared since the beginning of this reawakening of the class, bear an enormous responsibility for the development and outcome of this struggle. In order to take up this responsibility, they must organise themselves on the basis of the class positions which have been definitively laid down by the historical experience of the proletariat and which must guide all their activity and intervention within the class.

It is through its own practical and theoretical experience that the proletariat becomes aware of the means and ends of its historic struggle for the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of communism. Since the beginning of capitalism, the whole activity of the proletariat has been a constant effort to become conscious of its interests as a class and to free itself from the grip of the ideas of the ruling class - the mystifications of bourgeois ideology. This effort expressed itself in a political continuity which extends throughout the workers’ movement from the first secret societies to the left fractions which detached themselves from the Third International. Despite all the aberrations and expressions of the pressure of bourgeois ideology which can be found in their positions and their activities, the different organisations of the class are irreplaceable links in the chain of historical continuity of the proletarian struggle. The fact that they succumbed to defeat or to internal degeneration in no way detracts from their fundamental contribution to that struggle. Thus the organisation of revolutionaries which is being reconstituted today expresses the general reawakening of class struggle (after a half-century of counter-revolution and dislocation of the past workers’ movement) and absolutely must renew the historical continuity with the workers’ movement of the past, so that the present and future battles of the class will be armed with all the lessons of past experiences, and so that all the partial defeats strewn along the proletariat’s path will not have been in vain but will serve as signposts to its final victory.

The International Communist Current affirms its continuity with the contributions made by the Communist League, the First, Second and Third Internationals, and the left fractions which detached themselves from the latter, in particular the German, Dutch, and Italian Left. It is these essential contributions which allow us to integrate all the class positions into the coherent general vision which has been formulated in this platform.

Better informed


18.04.2016 15:10

Back in the real world the twin irrelevancies of communism and anarchism (along with the various isms of the Right) continue to fail to gain support among the very people they clam to represent.

The main reason the Left in the UK has disappeared up its own arse is precisely because of nonsense like that written above. Anarchism and Communism are great when you are 18 and the answers to the world's problems seem easy to fix but some experience of real life soon shows that there are some nuances to the world that can't be explained by yet one more 1500 word essay on agriculture, industry and the 'ruling class'.

As someone who grew out of Anarchism once I fully understood it I share the surprise of others here that there are still people over the age of 20 who think it still has a place in the world.


I'm glad

18.04.2016 19:07

...that there are ppl that still care. I stopped protesting ages ago and am currently being harassed for believing in labour party causes (anti privatisation that sort of thing). I don't understand why mainstream opinions like my own are a problem for the police(?)/corporates(??) and I wonder about corbyn. I can't vote in someone who would get rid of a necessary detterent without a workable alternative. I'm glad there are still some corporate free spaces online.


Cheap goods

19.04.2016 00:27

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Are Counterfire Welcome?

22.04.2016 22:16

Hi, i'm in a revolutionary socialist movement, can i come to the anarchist bookfair, set up a stall, and invite people to join my group? we're not authoritarians or hierarchic organization.

the best anarchists, such as Victor Serge, joined the Bolsheviks.


looking forward to the bookfair!

24.04.2016 21:45

good to see the quality of indymedia comments is still as strong as it ever was

but seriously, i like many people who will be at the bookfair see the everyday anarchy all around me. i dont really ever describe myself as an anarchist, but the fundamental principles are pretty close to my beliefs. mutual aid, co-operation, solidarity.

fuck this ageist "anarchism is for kids" idea. we need more anarchic thinking not less! as things go to shit i know who my comrades will be.


Lot of comments here

25.04.2016 10:59

I'm was surprised to see how many comments there were on this article until I realised that as usual we have the problem of Vanguard organisations like Counterfire trying to bad mouth Anarchism because we pose such a threat to their "role" as 'master in waiting' to the UK Left.


counterfire is not a vanguard organisation

25.04.2016 11:13

I'm sorry that the thinking behind counterfire is beyond you I would strongly recommend you do some reading and understand who we are and why countefire is so important in british politics right now (and why anarchism is not). Counterfire is not a party and it is not a heirarchal organisation, anarchists should get behind Jeremy Corbyn.

You should read this powerful piece:

and see through Anarchism/Autonomism.


O dear

26.04.2016 13:30

A couple of tiny groups telling each other how only they are the right path for the people while those same people ignore them.


Thanks for the anarchist bookfair

26.04.2016 15:30

I'm glad the anarchist bookfair turned out to be very good. Interesting workshops, films sounded OK; loads of good books and nice people, many with a wide political understanding. Lots of decent and polite conversations between people from a range of left-wing backgrounds as well. Most of the comments above do not seem to relate to it, or to anarchist theory or practice.