Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Reflections on the Anarchist Bookfair & the A.Fed.

by Martin Gilbert
THE day before the London anarchist book fair (on Oct. 27th), I went to Freedom book shop. By chance, there I met Brian Bamford. After a short time Nick Heath (Anarchist Federation [A.F.] founding father) entered the shop emitting a string of verbal abuse against Brian. Freedom book shop is visited by comrades from all over the world as well as people who are quite new to our ideas and actions. Nick’s outburst, whatever the cause could only give the worst of impressions. The following day at the book fair I met a comrade who told me that Brian’s stall, booked in the name of Northern Voices had been wrecked, apparently by Anarchist Federation supporters. While looking for Brian in the very crowded venue I came upon the AF stall. I complained to those present with more or less what I had written for the northern voices blog. Just because Brian had been so offensive that was no reason to ban all those who support the Northern Anarchist Network [NAN] (from selling literature that we had all agreed on) at the Manchester book fair. There is more to the NAN than Brian Bamford, I stressed, we have various differences of opinions with each other, I am far from alone in my arguments with him. We cannot 'all be tarred with same brush'. To wreck his stall was the height of stupidity.  Only teasing an Anarchist Federation supporter there, I suggested that we could not expel Brian.  Quite seriously, the AF’er said that the NAN should expel Brian. I replied that we are anarchists and do not expel people, suggesting also that some of the AF need to shed their Marxist luggage. I then turned to face Nick Heath who seemed to deny knowledge about Brian being assaulted, suggesting that it was not officially agreed by the Anarchist Federation
For na independently witnessed account of what transpired at the London Anarchist Bookfair in 2012, go to:

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