Saturday, 22 March 2014

Anarchist Bookfair Wrap-up

The Bookfair has been and gone - and the Freedom Shop gained a lot of new people to add to our list of contacts. We also sold quite a few books and zines plus had some interesting conversations about anarchy and the state - questions and discussions by browsers at the Bookfair were as diverse as prison abolition, how to safely destroy CCTV cameras, what is imperialism and what is colonisation, the pros and cons of electoral politics, and why some people feel they need to get their relationship recognised by the state and marry. It was an interesting and long day!

But especially good news for the Freedom Shop is that we not only gained interesting contacts and sold a lot of books, but we also bought some. We ended up buying books from both PM Press and Jura Books so in the Shop now is new exciting stock, including 'How to Make Trouble and Influence People' - the second edition. The book covers a lot of Australia’s radical past with more than 500 tales of Indigenous resistance, convict revolts and escapes, picket line hijinks, student occupations, creative direct action, street art, media pranks, squatting, blockades, banner drops, guerilla theatre, and billboard liberation.
 "Covering a wide gamut of seditious political acts, from Indigenous guerrilla resistance to anti-uranium blockades and Critical Mass bike rides, [How to Make Trouble and Influence People] is informed by the commonly held belief on the Left that social progress does not emanate from the pronouncements of 'enlightened' politicians, but instead derives from grassroots resistance to inequality and discrimination… In learning about the deeds of rebels past, we are provided with a memory bank of ideas and tactics from which to draw. These tales and images also serve to remind us that political activity need not be a predictable and grim slog. As well-resourced as our opponents may be, they are vulnerable to the use of creativity, solidarity and humour. Indeed, these are often the only tools we have." - From the Introduction to How to Make Trouble and Influence People, by Iain McIntyre.
 And here's a sample of other new books: 

Michael Schmidt, author of 'Black Flame' and 'The Cartography of Revolutionary Anarchism' was also at the Bookfair and on the Sunday outlined the story behind his upcoming book 'Global Fire'. An interesting interview with Michael about the new book can be read at Anarchist Affinity.

We do have a few more copies of 'Black Flame' in the Shop but have sold out of 'The Cartography of Revolutionary Anarchism'.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Film Screening in Wellington - Rebellion (L’ordre et la Morale). France 2011

Rebellion, directed by Mathieu Kassovitz is a dramatisation of the events on the New Caledonian island of Ouvea in 1988 when pro-independence Kanak activists took a group of French gendarmes hostage.

Friday March 21st
The People's Cinema, Manners Street
(over the road from McDonald's), Wellington.

 This was a crucial event in the long Kanak struggle for independence from France. Rebellions in 1871 and 1917 were followed by increasing pro-independence activism from the late 1960s. In 1981 a Kanak trade union, the USTKE was formed, followed in 1984 by the FLNKS, a pro-independence federation. During the late '80s pro and anti-independence activity led to protests and armed clashes. Much grassroots organising took place amongst the indigenous Kanaks including the establishment of the grassroots school network, the Ecole Populaire Kanak.

The lack of reaction by the FLNKS leadership to the Ouvea hostage situation created a perception of the distancing of the leadership - the 'grande tetes' - from the grassroots, a feeling increased by the agreement of the leadership to the Matignon Agreement, which put off any decision on independence for ten years. Support for Kanak independence was a significant area of work for New Zealand activists in the '80s and early '90s. This film covers an important, and now mostly forgotten, piece of Pacific history.

The film is a dramatisation of the autobiographical account of the events by a commander of a French anti-terrorist unit sent to negotiate with the militants, only to discover the French state was intent on a military solution. The film shows how the state acts to turn political problems into military ones, where it is at its strongest. It is directed, produced, co-written, co-edited, and stars Mathieu Kassovitz (for good measure, he also led the crew's exercise routines), best remembered for his 1995 'anti-cop' film, La Haine.

Screening Friday March 21st at 6.30pm at The People's Cinema, Manners Street (over the road from McDonald's), Wellington.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Wellington Anarchist Bookfair This Week

The Freedom Shop will be at the Wellington Anarchist Bookfair on Saturday 15 March at 19 Tory St. We will also be speaking about the Freedom Shop on the evening of Friday 14 March and will possibly have stalls at some of the other events during the week. 

Other bookshops and publishers attending the Bookfair include: 

The Bookfair is not limited to the Saturday. An art exhibition of posters, zines, badges and protest art will be on display at 19 Tory St from 12th to 16th March. There will also be a series of public talks and discussions over the week, including talks by writers and local anarchists and Michael Schmidt, the author of 'Black Flame' and the 'The Cartography of Anarchy'.

For a full schedule of events, speakers and vendors, visit the Wellington Anarchist Bookfair website at

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Anarchist Bookfair Film Screening: Lucio

A film screening of 'Lucio' - at the Wellington People's Cinema.

Lucio is a colorful documentary about the life of Lucio Uturbia, a Spanish bricklayer and anarchist. Uturbia resists fascism, assists in the kidnapping of a Nazi war criminal, aids Black Panthers wanted by the US government, and brings Citibank to its knees by forging $20 million in travelers cheques to finance Latin American guerillas.
Spanish with English subtitles. Directed by Aitor Arregi and Jose Maria Goenaga, 2007

What: Lucio
When: 7pm, March 7
Where: People's Cinema at 57 Manners St, in central Wellington, fully wheelchair accessible.

This screening is a fundraiser for the Wellington Anarchist Bookfair


Saturday, 1 March 2014

New Books

New books are on the shelves - just arrive from AK Press, we have numerous historical, biographical, theoretical and practical titles. The books include some of the latest published plus reprints of old classics.

Edited by self-described 'feminist warriors not perfectionists', Dear Sister contains lessons, memories, and vision of over fifty artists, activists, mothers, writers, and students who share their stories of survival or what it means to be an advocate and ally to survivors.

Those speaking in the book include a professor in the Midwest US, a poet in Belgium, an escapee from a child prostitution ring, an advocate in the Congo, and a sex worker in San Francisco. Dear Sister touches on issues of feminism, love, disability, gender, justice, identity, and spirituality.

It is described as a multi-generational, multi-ethnic collection of letters and essays. Read an excerpt from the book here.


We also have a copy of Sophie Lyon's 'Queen of the Underworld' - first published in 1913, it is now being reprinted and re-read.

Sophie Lyon's spent six decades working as a bank robber, shop-lifter, and prison escaper. She was described by one New York police officer as 'the most expert and dangerous woman crook he had ever met.”

In 1913 Sophie retired and became a prison activist and at the time of her death, was described in main stream media as a 'philanthropist'.

A book also looking at people who work outside the system, includes 'Bandit' by Eric Hobsbawm. Originally published in 1969, it was reprinted and substantially extended by Hobsbawm in 2001.

Bandit is described as "a study of 400 years, and four continents, of robbers and outlaws, avengers and champions of social justice. Robin Hood, Rob Roy, Jesse James, Sabaté, Pancho Villa, the Balkan haiduks, Indian Dacoits, and Brazilian congaceiros." Bandit is a book that reframes 'bandits'. Bandits are identified by Hobsbawm as 'the noble robber, the resistance fighter and the terror-bringing avenger'. They are 'the manifestation of peasant protest and rebellion'.

Come and browse the new range of books - and also check out the new tee-shirts and stickers in stock.