Anarchist Affinity holds semi-regular discussion meetings on various topics. We hope to encourage greater discussion amongst anarchists and others interested in social justice and anti-capitalist approaches to strategy, tactics and ways of thinking.
Check out our Facebook page for more information about upcoming events.
20 August – Gendered labour – ‘Women’s work’ and capitalism
“Why deny that caring for people is the very stuff of life? Basic to relationships. Basic to human survival. Yet treated as worthless. Women give their all, but it’s not mutual and it’s not paid.” – Selma James.
Caring work is essential for everyone to live. Yet, the labour that goes into reproducing us – in the form of child-rearing and caring, housework, the stuff that makes up emotional, affective, labour – is frequently under-appreciated, and almost always unpaid. It is also a form of labour that is, in global terms, predominantly performed by women, especially women of colour.
Join us to discuss how the gendered division of labour shapes our lives and how we can challenge these forms of exploitation.
January 22 – Invasion Day: Australia’s Colonial Past and Present
6:30pm, New International Bookshop (Victorian Trades Hall, 54 Victoria St, Carlton)
Australia has a long history of colonialism, racism, and genocide. It’s a history that is whitewashed and denied in favour of the narrative we’re presented with each year on ‘Australia Day’, or what should be more accurately titled Invasion Day.
Join Anarchist Affinity on Thursday 22nd at the New International Bookshop to hear from two speakers on the real history behind Invasion Day and what it means today.
The two speakers will be followed by a Q and A session.
Vivian Malo – Vivian Malo is a Gooniyandi woman and co-founder of First Nations Liberation, a resistance movement and Black Power revival.
Tony Birch – Indigenous academic, novelist and historian
10 December 2014 – What do we do when the bigots come to town?
From anti-abortion campaigners to “pick-up artists”, fascists, racists and others – how should we respond when the bigots come to town?
The recent protest against Julien Blanc in Melbourne raises questions about what denying a platform to reactionaries involves, and how we should relate to calls for the state to intervene.
What does it mean when Scott Morrison cancels visas on the grounds of sexism or racism, whilst pursuing an unrelenting campaign of state racism against refugees?
How should we respond to claims that “free speech” trumps the right of oppressed communities to dignity, defense of their rights and the safety of their communities.
What tactics are acceptable when we have declared “no platform”, how does this inform the way we engage with other campaigners, and what attitude should we take towards the police?
30 October 2014 – Unemployment, Welfare Cuts and Resistance
The Liberal government has initiated one of the most significant attacks on the rights and conditions of welfare recipients in Australia that has been seen in decades.
Legislation forcing young people who started receiving the Disability Support Pension between 2008 and 2011 to be re-assessed under tightened eligibility requirements has already been pushed through Parliament, which means that some people who previously received this support will have it taken away.
This month tenders opened for the management of the new Work for the Dole measures – where all unemployed people under 30 will be forced to do 25 hours unpaid work per week for 6 months each year, while unemployed people between 30-50 will have to do 15 hours per week. These changes do not need to be passed through Parliament, and are due to come into effect in July 2015. Forcing people to spend most of their week working for free serves the purpose of making unemployment as miserable as possible and provides a free source of labour for selected businesses and charities.
The Abbott government is also currently in talks with banks about the proposal to extend income quarantining (where people on the dole are forced to spend half of their payment on ‘essential’ items) across the country in the form of a ‘welfare card’.*
Join Anarchist Affinity for a discussion about how we can fight these forms of exploitation and how we can build an effective unemployed people’s movement in Australia.
24 October 2014 Film Screening: LUCIO
Lucio Urtubia was a member of the Spanish anarchist resistance to Franco. He participated in swindling Citibank of so much money that it crashed, sending all the money to far-left causes around the world. He also collaborated with Che Guevara (who he ‘didnt like’) and kidnapped high level members of the Spanish regime. All without ever turning up late or missing a single day as a bricklayer in Paris.
30 July 2014 – The Necessity of Organised Anarchism
Anarchism has always been a minority current in Australia. Over the last 50 years there’s been plenty of anarchist involvement in political activism, but not much understanding (in the general public, and even within the scene) as to what we’ve really been doing. Anarchist actions for too long have proved ephemeral, doing worthwhile things without building a movement.
Come along for a discussion of how and why anarchists should organise.
4 September 2014 – Direct Action Gets the Goods
Anarchist tactics rely on direct action, rather than just symbolic action. Sit-ins, strikes and occupations prove that anarchists, the working class, and the oppressed are far from powerless. Come to a talk and discussion hosted by Anarchist Affinity about how and why Direct Action Gets The Goods.
21 August 2014 – Anarchy NOT Manarchy!
Why should feminism be an essential part of anarchism?
How can we promote feminist activism in anarchist circles?
How does anarchist feminism differ from liberal and socialist ideas about feminism?
Come to a talk and discussion hosted by Anarchist Affinity about how and why anti-capitalism without feminism is bullshit.
Two deadly ideas infect the environmental movement:
1. Capitalism can be made green, and sustainable.
2. Political involvement in the state can harness power enough to reverse environmental degradation and create sustainability.
The mainstream environmental movement fails to understand the nature of both capitalism and the state at its peril.
Join us for a discussion of capitalism, the state and the ecological crisis.
Join Anarchist Affinity for a discussion about how we can confront sexual violence in left-wing groups, social movements and our day-to-day lives in a way which empowers sexual violence survivors and attempts to avoid common forms of victim blaming and silencing.
Michael Schmidt is an investigative journalist, an anarchist theorist and a radical historian based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has been an active participant in the international anarchist milieu for 22 years, including the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front and the multilingual anarkismo news & analysis website. His major works include ‘Cartography of Revolutionary Anarchism’ (2013, AK Press) and, with Lucien van der Walt, ‘Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism’ (2009, AK Press). The sequel to Black Flame, ‘Global Fire: 150 Fighting Years of International Anarchism and Syndicalism’, will be released by AK Press in 2015. He will be speaking on behalf of the Institute for Anarchist Theory and History, Brazil.
SeaSol is a volunteer network of working people who believe in standing up for our rights. Our goal is to support our fellow workers’ strikes and struggles, build solidarity, and organize to deal with specific job, housing, and other problems caused by the greed of the rich and powerful.
7 November 2013 – Discussion: Counter-culture and Revolutionary Organising
What role does “counter-culture” have to play in building the counter-power of the mass of people in the struggle against sexism, racism, capitalism and other systems of oppression?
3 October 2013 – Discussion: The Greens and the failure of electoralism
In the aftermath of an election which saw the election of Abbott and the Liberals, and a significant slump in the Greens vote, we’ll be discussing:
Can the Greens’ strategy achieve significant social change?
Is the (further) political degeneration of the Greens inevitable?
Do the Greens offer a real alternative on the environment and refugees?
29 August 2013 – Bookfair Workshop: Mandatory Detention is State Terrorism
At this year’s Melbourne Anarchist Bookfair, we want to ask the question: what can we, as anarchists, contribute to debates about strategy and ideas in the refugee movement in Australia?
9 August 2013 – Discussion: class, feminism and intersectionality
“Feminism doesn’t mean female corporate power or a woman President; it means no corporate power and no Presidents… Challenging sexism means challenging all hierarchy — economic, political, and personal. And that means an anarcha-feminist revolution” – Peggy Kornegger.