Cardiff Anarchist Bookfair 2017

On Saturday 18th February we will once again be returning to Cathays Community Centre to host our annual Anarchist Bookfair. We will be hosting a wholeday of workshops, talks and debates, plus a hall full of stall, plenty of food, live muscial entertainment, and much more.

Facebook Event

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Arms fair faces resistance in Cardiff

VIA Stop the Cardiff Arms Fair

One of the UK’s biggest arms fairs (DPRTE) met resistance on 16th March in Cardiff town centre.

NB Since some people are facing ongoing legal cases, we can’t say everything we would like to in this report; but even with some of the most powerful details left out, we think it’s a story worth telling.

The day started early; two people outwitted security to occupy the venue’s rooftop with a banner before the event had begun.

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As delegates started arriving, a lively crowd ensured they were very aware they weren’t welcome. Around 150 people (including banners and surreal props) were there to challenge the event; not bad for first thing on a weekday morning.

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Meanwhile Cardiff Food not Bombs had set up a structure and were providing food and music, and a place to relax or to chat with intrigued passers-by.

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Unfortunately, during the morning the police arrested 4 people on various spurious grounds. The two people on the roof were also arrested at the end of the day.

Of course, what happened on the day was just the tip of the iceberg – from bus stop subverts to comms blockades, from pickets of the venue (the Motorpoint Arena) to leafletting sessions, a lot of unseen work by all sorts of people went into making this happen.

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With DPRTE possibly returning to Cardiff in March 2017 it’s time to keep up the pressure and organise a campaign capable of shutting down this monstrosity for good.

Our statement on Saturday’s opposition to “White Pride Worldwide”

VIA Swansea Antifa

On Saturday anti-fascists from Anti-Fascist Network groups across Wales and England joined locals to oppose the National Front’s “White Pride Worldwide”.

Political and community organisations took the decision to hold a community celebration in Castle Square – involving children and other vulnerable people – meters away from where violent fascists were expected to gather. In spite of this, the majority of people were intent on actually standing up to racism, rather than standing across the road from it. When the 27 NF emerged from the pubs which chose to serve them they were greeted with a solid wall of noise, as well as some more up-close and personal confrontations.

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The gathering of about seven local bumpkins and twenty seig-heilers from as far away as Wigan was well protected by South Wales Police. Notable in their absence were The “Valleys Frontline Firm”, possibly something to do with a bizarre note, accidently discarded by one of theirs which suggests that their leader – Luke Pippen, currently wanted by Kent Police for incidents in Dover – is hiding out in Adam Lloyd’s house in Bridgend… or maybe he’s with his partner, Rebecca Thornton, in Bristol? Be more careful next time boys.

Swansea Antifa had decided not release a public meeting point for our own action. Intelligence suggested that autonomous groups of fascists would be roaming the streets and thus that people in the community celebration had to be protected. This proved to be the right decision.

Having joined the main crowd heckling the NF, we recognised members of National Action – a neo-nazi youth group, known for their rhetoric and threats of violence – who had sought to infiltrate the anti-fascist crowd, singing antifascist chants at their NF “comrades” and waving anti-fascist flags that they had bravely bought online. After numerous recent humiliations and embarrassing episodes on the streets, it seems the new kids on the block were keen to prove themselves to their fellow fascists. Apparently dressing up as antifascists and hiding in antifascist demos earns nazi brownie points. Except it didn’t work out too well for them this time. Alex Davies, Ben Raymond and Mark James were some of the figures recognised and challenged. They retreated to the police after an ineffective attempted attack on antifascist demonstrators and flinging a smoke bomb at the crowd. Antifascists followed them until they were escorted to the cells in a police van, with only two – including Alex Davies – avoiding arrest, abandoning their friends whilst fleeing from antifascists.

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Ben Raymond was easily recognised as he recently took part in a BBC documentary where he talked openly of his abhorrent views. What exactly possessed him to think that he could get away with disguising himself as one of the anti-fascists is beyond comprehension. Anti-fascists traditionally cover their faces to avoid surveillance by Redwatch fascists, but NA’s attempt at ‘disguise’ failed to mask the stench of rotting Nazism. Had it not been for the defensive actions and effective response of antifascists, the NA nazis could have successfully mounted an attack on people demonstrating solid community opposition to fascism.

Anti-fascists stayed in central Swansea to monitor the remaining fascists after the NF had staggered off. Only one was waiting for the several arrested members of National Action (or POW’s as they like to call them – how cute) – Alex Davies, all alone with a bag full of skips and coke (not very nutritious for aryan warriors). He was heard on the phone exclaiming that “it’s all gone tits up” and “no one came from north of Brum, there were only ten of us and they weren’t even seasoned activists”. Upon realising that he was being monitored, he espoused his deep “respect” for antifascists, for how organised we were, and how solid our sense of solidarity is compared to his authoritarian mates.

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Most interesting was his confession that he had spoken to Zack Davies on Skype before Zack’s attempted racist murder of a Sikh man in Mold (http://www.channel4.com/…/national-actions-zack-davies-guil…). Previously National Action have denied any contact with him or that he was a member of their group despite him having their propaganda in his home. Alex Davies said it was “horrible” when Zack carried out the attack. Evidently not horrible enough for him to leave National Action.

He claimed to have attempted to “connect with us on a human level” something quite difficult giving his views that disabled, non-white and LGBTQI* people should all be put in ovens. He flipped between apologising for his views, acknowledging the ideological incoherence, justifying that he had to keep at it as he had been kicked out of university for his dedication to Nazism and then just saying how he was going through such a hard time personally. There was something quite worrying and tragic about this scared and lonely young fascist, so clearly desperate for attention. NA would be nothing but a sad school project, were it not for the genuine threat their sick ideology poses to our communities.

To top off the day, the dregs of NA were spotted by patrolling anti-fascists in the early hours, fresh from the cells, huddling together for warmth after Alex Davies fled (again) and they missed their coaches home. No Skips, no coke, no solidarity for them, just as sad and pathetic as their 27 NF mates who were booed off the streets of Swansea earlier that day.

Big up all who confronted NF/NA nazi scum on the day. We will never let the fascists have the streets.

Swansea Antifa

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Goodbye “white pride”
❤ Swansea Antifa

Call out for May Day 2016 -We are fighting back!!

May Day greetings to workers everywhere, join in the radical workers bloc in Cardiff in May Day demonstration.

In response to the police’s burality last year to two people at Cardiff May Day 2015, we are fighting back!!!

See footage:

See shorter video of the police’s attack of one of the protesters 1.50 minutes in

Have you had problems with your boss at work? Having problems with your benefits? Has a service you used been cut? Have you had enough?

Meet at 12 noon at Aneurin Bevan Statue : Cardiff Castle side of Queen Street         Sunday 2nd of may

May day bank holiday has its roots in the fight for many of the rights we have today e.g. eight hour day, work safety, holidays… Its is celebrated across the globe as international workers’ day.

While many in Cardiff are struggling, cuts of £32 million are being implemented during 2015 to 2018. This is while government continues to waste billions of pounds. Just locally in Cardiff last May Day, two people were attacked by the police at HSBC on Cardiff. They were arrested, held in prison on remand, then on tag with ridiculous bail conditions and only found not guilty 8 months later. Police and CPS had clear footage of the police violently attacking the protesters which was available to them the whole time but they still forced it to trial at OUR expense. . HSBC bank also lied along with the police in court, directly contradicting the CCTV evidence of police brutality.

Letter from Em Sheppard 26 December 2015

Please note it is important that this is not reposted after 30 December 2015 as this will be in breach of licencing conditions.

In October my probation officer said I could go back to Bristol. Now it transpires I have been a MAPPA (multi-Agency Protection) for my whole sentence, though no one thought to tell me (I always thought it was strange I wasn’t). The police met in November about me and to draw up my licence conditions, but (as is common practice) have only told me now. The licence is so restrictive that ironically I will have had more freedom in jail in some ways. I’m not sure what’s worse – to refuse to leave prison, or to accept their restrictions! It clearly shows what a farce the much quoted claims of “rehabilitation” and “maintaining family ties” are. I had a place to live and several jobs organised, but instead they make me sign-on and live in a bail hostel in Reading.

Licence conditions are one of many possible examples of how the prison society extends beyond these walls. As Ruth Wilson Gilmore said “Prison is not some building ‘over there’ but a set of relationships that undermine rather than stabilise everyday lives, everywhere”.

Apart from the usual “big 6” licence conditions, I also have: a 7-7 curfew for my entire licence (plus signing several times during the day and ‘group work’ and sessions with probation to address my “attitude”), not using any computers or internet capable devices (and specifically not deleting any browser histories), not going within 100 metres of any police buildings (probation said if I want to report a crime I can but I have to ask permission from them first…?!!?!), not to have more than one mobile phone (possibly not even one at all they are checking on this) and to provide the SIM/IME number, to permanently reside at Elizabeth Fry, not to visit or interact with any prisoners, not to contribute to or publish anything, or attend any meeting/gatherings associated with direct action/activism/campaigning, not to contact directly or indirectly any person whom I know or believe to be involved with “extremist” activities ( I have asked for the legal definition of this), or have been charged with or convicted of an offence. I am also not allowed to work with “vulnerable adults” or “groom” (or have discussions with) anyone for the purposes of radicalisation or extremism.

Once I’m out I’m going to challenge these conditions but my solicitor said it’s hard to do from inside prison. Accepting them goes against everything I believe in but I am going to do so for my family. They are obviously setting me up to fail (most girls at Elizabeth Fry do because drugs are rife there) so we’ll see how long I last. Once I sign the conditions, unless I get recalled, I won’t be able to write again until 2017 :(

They can try to stifle and control me with their restrictions, false sympathies and fake smiles, but “no pueden encarcelar neustras ideas”. My silence is only temporary, and my rage is infinite.

“Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops,

Weakened by my soulful cries?

Just like the moons and like the suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I’ll rise”

  • Still I’ll rise, Maya Angelou

Thanks for all the support this year. Hope you have a fun and mischievous 2016.

Solidarity, love and lots of rage

Em x :)

Please note it is important that this is not reposted after 30 December 2015 as this will be in breach of licencing conditions.

Fascists fail to show at their own event

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Solidarity with all facing racist violence! Solidarity with the anti-fascits actually fighting ISIS in Rojava!

After a couple of weeks of typing small and threatening words online* – no doubt buoyed up by media coverage of the supposed “islamic extremist threat” to the UK – a South Wales-based fascist group calling itself ‘War Against ISIS’ completely failed to turn up at its inaugural event: ‘we will not let our country be taken over by isis’. They called it at a location where they possibly perceived there to be a well known ISIS presence, given the apocalyptic nature of their ‘worldview’*: Cardiff Central Train Station. When counter-demonstrators from various anti-fascist groups, totalling around 100 – 150 persons, gathered in advance of the promised fascist fighters, we found there to be merely the usual procession of christmas consumers, bustling through in a hurry, barely glancing up in their mad march to the merch. Sure, there were hell of a lot more police than usual and a couple of their put upon horses…

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Antifa occupy the fascists’ meeting point early whilst others scout the area

…waiting. But street-fascist-fighters? Nothing. One or two possible fascists braved making handgestures from quite some distance, slinking along the periphery wordlessly, before disappearing, not to be seen again. A few others maybe made it to the pub; perhaps the real reason for calling the demonstration at the station: it’s proximity to sympathetic drinking establishments, but hardly known for their islamic (extremist) punters. Whether nursing last night’s hangover or terrified at the prospect of facing UAF chants, Red Choir singers and Welsh Antifa, with their new shiny pink banner, the upshot is they did not show, let alone pass. As they put it in their own event description: “we need as many people to be here otherwise it will be pointless”.

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UAF and other anti-fascists

Despite their laughable ineptitude today, it would, however, be a mistake to completely dismiss them as a threat. They did have just over a hundred ‘committing’ to attend the event and around a thousand in their online group. They made links to the South Wales National Front and other violent Hitler-lickers. And we obviously haven’t forgotten that Muslims and mosques are currently being targeted in the physical world. But for the time being, this local group appear to be a sad collection of keyboard and barstool warriors. Let’s keep it that way.

* How they choose to describe themselves: “the government are helping the c*nts they want civil war they need for the start of the new wold order. Civil war is coming and it’s going to last around 20-30 years. We need to get our shit together now before they catch us unprepared and slaughter them all. Apparently 600-1000 refugees are coming to the Caerphilly county area we should do something about it asap !!!!!!!”

Demonstration for Anarchist and Class Struggle Prisoners at HMP Send

After this year’s London Anarchist Bookfair South Wales Anarchist’s bus went to HMP Send on Saturday night for a Noise Demonstration outside this women’s prison. People chanted calling for prison abolition and shouted cheers of solidarity. Prisoners waved back, it was great to communicate through the prison bars.

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On leaving the demonstration local screws not in uniform (one claiming to be the Governor) assaulted two women that attended the Demo. The three of them were spoiling for a fight. They blocked the road in an attempt to prevent the bus from leaving but it seems that after they discovered that the Police had no intention of coming, after around half an hour they had to let us leave.

During the course of their interaction with us, they said to us “”Haven’t you heard them all kicking off on J wing?”” and scolded us with ““Don’t you know how hard it is to control them in there?””. Needless to say hearing them say that almost made their irritating attempt at a citizen’s arrest worth it.

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In addition as being a demonstration in solidarity with Anarchist Comrades behind bars it was a also for class struggle prisoners. As prison abolitionists this quote by Angela Davis illustrates why we think it is so important for us all to show solidarity in this way;

“”Prisons do not disappear social problems, they disappear human beings. Homelessness, unemployment, drug addiction, mental illness and illiteracy are only a few of the problems that disappear from public view when the human beings contending with them are relegated to cages”.”

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