On Saturday 24th November, from 3 until 6pm in the Coffee Lounge of Manvers Street Baptist Church in Bath (a minute's walk from Bath Spa train station), the Black And Red Federation (BARF) will be organising a discussion on anarchism, and invite members of the public to come along and take part. The group feels that recent government policy and business lobbyists have made the UK a better place for millionaires and rightwing politicians, but an increasingly uncertain and unhealthy place for everyone else.
Anarchism has received a bad press ever since its birth 219 years ago, with anarchists forced into stereotypes of either violent thugs or sandal-footed hippies - caricatures repeated by both the media and political establishment on one side, but also by self-proclaimed anarchists on the other. But many anarchists see it differently: the philosophy has come a long way since its roots amongst the Taoists of ancient China and the Christian heretic Anabaptists of 16th Century Europe, promoting mutual respect, equality and rationality, and opposing oppression wherever it appears. Indeed, anarchism had become a mass movement of hundreds of thousands of everyday people fighting for and winning freedom in 1920s Ukraine and 1930s Spain, however briefly. Far from embracing destruction and chaos, anarchists say that 'Anarchism is Order'!
In Bath on the Saturday, a handful of local speakers will make short presentations on the ideas and history of this important but controversial political philosophy, before breaking down into longer group sessions where all present are invited to discuss and offer their two cents. The group will ask whether, in this current climate of biting austerity and growing global unrest, anarchists and their ideas have any role to play?
Entry is free, food and hot drinks will be available, as will stalls of literature, and all are welcome to come along and join them on the day!
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