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(en) Wales, Cardiff, South Wales Anarchist Federation: Solidarity with Mapuche People, part of IFA action week.
Sat, 10 Feb 2018 09:41:43 +0200
Yesterday, as part of international awareness raising of the situation the Mapuche peoples
face in Argentina and Chile, we organised a distro action outside House of Fraser in
Cardiff. House of Fraser stocks United Colors of Benetton products, who are themselves
involved in a brutal act of land theft. This land grab have seen the police murder people
and we took to the streets in the memory of our fallen comrades Rafael Nahuel and Santiago
Maldonado who were murdered last year. ---- It was part of a week of action was called but
the IFA membership at short notice and we little time to prep, However with comrades
standing up across the world and elsewhere in the Uk, we felt it was important to do
something and raising up the challenge we organised the media and roused the troops.We're
only a fresh group in AF and due to peoples various commitments could only field a couple
of people - who as it happened were forced into being rather late due to a flat battery in
the car! - However the intention with the action was to raise awareness of the situation
and in that we were reasonably successful. No one we spoke to had any idea of what was
going on, and hopefully, even if in a small way we have helped to change that. We handed
out some 150/200 leaflets and have seen a spike on our social media, which would seem to
indicate that people were responding.
This is really all thanks to the folk from Bristol Anarchist Federation held the fort
until we arrived and saved the day. They were joined in part by some comrades from Cardiff
Reds Choir and other folk who came along. When we did eventually rock up it had got a
little quieter so we unfurled the flags, turned on the music, got out the pretty flyers
and made the best of it.
Static actions and distribution of leaflets is one of the harder tasks for your average
Anarchist-Communist... we're expected to have a little more "edge" and often it's for a
reason, however given the context of the cause and delay in half of the folk getting there
this remained an exercise in casual engagement with minimal disruption, now wasn't the
time for living up to the renegade reputation.
The development of the action has seen the Anarchist Federation begin to form ties with
the Emigre Mapuche community here in the UK and discussions on the day suggest that we
will be forming a strong, cohesive boycott Benetton campaign.
There will be similar action next week in Bristol, which members of South Wales AF hope to
attend and we will share the details when they become available.
Learning lessons, we need a grow our capacity to promote actions and encourage people to
engage, we need to check car batteries before it is to late and we need to not organise
demos when it's the Rugby and our fellow Activists are in London fighting for the NHS
(much love to all who attended!), with each action we organise, we are building up our
resources and manner.
We have so many thanks to those who stopped and spoke with us, especially those who were
suitably pissed when they heard what was happening! Much love to the Cardiff Socialist
Choir who spent time with Bristol before we turned up and to all of those people who just
out and about, bumped into us and made the choice to stay for a while and talk about how
we can make the world a better place.
Rest in Power Rafael Nahuel and Santiago Maldonado and solidarity with the Mapuche People!
SOUTH WALES AF
p.s Many thanks to Graham for the photos, hope you don't mind we used a "in action shot"
and took out the faces;p
*Edit* One of the members has let me know they did in fact talk to a few folk who knew
about the situation already which is awesome!
One particular incident worth a note was when a older gentleman who claimed himself a
socialist activist who "tossed cobblestones at cops in Paris in '68" accosted a couple of
members and started barraging them with arguments dismissing the notion of Anarchism (
which he falsely believed meant no rules and a dog eat dog society ), when another member
got his attention to deflect his increasingly hostile patter he said "You need to take
these ladies away and re-educate them!", without knowing he was misgendering a South Wales
AF member and upon being corrected he responding "oh.. these tarts then". He was readily
instructed firmly to "Leave now, you have crossed the line, go." to which he scuttled away
at full pace.
The reason we mention this is because it is something of a horrible reminder of the
lingering misogyny and aggressiveness you find in a certain portion of the activist
community. He approached people he felt he could belittle due to their appearance and
didn't like being talked back to, in a moment of honesty he spoke what he actually felt,
and it was poison. This stuff happens across the board... not just from socialists and it
completely undermines to "left scene", a sad reminder of how far we have to go.
South Wales AF and indeed the Anarchist Federation will hold no truck with casual bigotry
of any form. Whether it comes from the bosses or fellow workers, although the tactics of
response are contextual, we aim to help build a network of activists of diverse character
to reflect the society we live in. We will never tolerate this kind of hate filled
language at any action or event, whether we organised it or not.
Together we have to make political action a better place, open to all.
Britain, surrey anarchist-communist group: Bristol Radical History Group
Check this excellent website by the Bristol Radical History Group www.brh.org.uk. As they
say themselves: "Since 2006 BRHG have organised over 250 events; staging walks, talks,
gigs, recreations, films, exhibitions, trips through the archives and fireside story
telling. We have several active research projects, publish a range of books and pamphlets
and host an archive on this website. ---- BRHG projects and events are organised by local
people from Bristol and are NOT funded by universities, political parties, business or
local government. To break even we rely on members giving their labour for free, donations
from the audiences and the sale of publications. ---- BRHG are associated with several
other history groups in Bristol including Remembering the Real World War One, Eastville
Workhouse Memorial Group and the Counter-Colston Group. BRHG have also recently become a
member of the International History From Below Network."
Bristol Radical History Group
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