At the anarchist bookfair: Freedom’s new site, books, journal and archive!

Many regular Freedom readers will be aware that the last few years have been tumultuous at the Press, with the near-catastrophic fire in 2013, closing the paper as a regular production in 2014, the reorganising of our publishing enterprise in 2015, a survey in 2016 which suggested we would need to raise a whopping £40,000 to properly fix up the building and our subsequent Year One fundraising efforts which have been running for much of this year. But much more has been going on behind the scenes and we are proud to announce a whole heap of new happenings for this year’s London Anarchist Bookfair, where we will be running two talks (see below).

Not one but TWO booklaunches

Having produced a new version of the Peter Kropotkin classic Anarchism & The State on Mayday this year, we have two more books to announce for October 28th, both of which will have talks at the bookfair!

Slow Burning Fuse

John Quail’s superbly researched history of the British anarchists, running from the movement’s emergence in the 1870s through to its decline in the 1930s. Now expanded with biographies by Nick Heath, timeline, full index and even photos of some of the famous figures who appear in the book. To mark the event, John will feature at the following talk:

Spycops: Everything you need to know
4pm in room LF4&5
Learning Centre
First Floor

This two-hour special workshop goes in-depth about police infiltration of anarchist groups, from tracing its lengthy history to the campaign around today’s controversial public inquiry — and how to expose future spycops. Historian John Quail will kick off proceedings with a presentation based on his book The Slow Burning Fuse. This will be followed by Was my friend a Spycop? a report and discussion on what is known about spycops exposed to date — how they operated, how to investigate them and how to form and expand groups without succumbing to paranoia. The workshop will round up with a talk and discussion on how to act in solidarity with comrades fighting for justice in the Undercover Policing Public Inquiry.

deep ecology and anarchism

An eclectic mix of writers and thinkers on radical environmentalism, taking in the philosophies and political arguments from figures such as forest gardening pioneer Robert Hart, Brian Morris and Murray Bookchin. This edition is also expanded, with a retrospective on Bookchin’s works and a history of the green direct action movement, 1991-2001. We’ll also be hosting a talk by Brian:

Brian Morris: Deep ecology and anarchism
12pm in room LF 4&5
One of two book launches for Freedom Press, this talk will look into the green roots of anarchism in the modern era, taking in some of the early thinking which underscored the wildly successful direct action  ovement of the 1990s, from Bookchin to apple picking.

A whole new website

The most obvious thing on here will be that we’ve finally gotten around to fixing up the website.

Since we moved online in 2014 we’ve had an on-off relationship with news production, settling for the last year on a one article per day model where we’ve tried to cover anarchist goings on which other sites don’t. For the most part we’ve been successful in doing that, picking up on everything from German anti-union laws to anti-police struggles in France and homeless direct action at home well ahead of the curve.

We do feel however, particularly in the light of the final closure of Indymedia UK and the example of US anarchist media’s sudden growth, that there’s a crying need and plenty of room for a daily, anarchist-specific space which reliably gets to the heart of UK news affairs.

Sites such as Enough is Enough! and Libcom are doing great work covering a broader international scope (and we hope to contribute there as well), and Novara‘s grand for broadly left comment, but we’re poorly served in having a central space where people can go to find out not just about a specific campaign they’ve followed on Twitter, but about campaigns, groups and events that would otherwise be buried or misrepresented.

So as of today we’re relaunching the Freedom website to be far better at handling multiple daily articles (and significantly prettier) — and we’d like you to write for us. We particularly want stories which other places aren’t publishing. Run a useful Facebook page which barely gets any hits beyond your own mates? Submit the stuff you’d like to get a different audience and promote us as an outlet. If enough of us are doing that together we can build the UK’s IGD.

Email us at editor at freedompress.org.uk for more info — or indeed to get involved as an editor yourself!

A new archive

This has been a long time in the works, but we are also proud to announce the launch of our new PDF archive of Freedom back issues. The collection is patchy at the moment, but 120 papers have now been uploaded spanning a wide chunk of the 130 years we’ve been in print — we’re planning to add many more as we go on.

The latest Freedom journal

As part of its commitment to anarchist agitation Freedom, working with Aldgate Press, is once again putting out a 20-page journal which we will be handing out free on the day to everyone who attends. Articles include:

  • Rethinking anarchism’s view of Labour
  • Base unions and the TUC decline
  • Smash IPP!
  • Lessons from the Cornerhouse
  • Fighting London’s housing crisis
  • Elites and the endless pretence over homelessness
  • Interview: The Sparrow’s Nest
  • The Partisan Collective writes…
  • Interview: Eclipse Phase
  • Analysing neoliberal dogmas in climate change theory
  • Traveling while anarchist
  • Iain McKay’s economics roundup
  • The Freedom 2017 report