Black Rose Anarchist Library in Enmore Road in Sydney has decided they won’t put a flier for Fierce Dreams in their window, or any in the shop. This is after previously being told it would be fine and that they supported our event. The response by most of our friends has been ‘are you kidding?’ But sadly they seem serious. When I called Jura Books they said that someone also took down the fliers we had sent to them. So, when we asked if Jura and Black Rose were independent, or if they were two wings of the same organisation, I was told that they were not the same but ‘worked together’ and some of the same people are involved with both.
Black Rose has fliers up that are printed by The Greens and Refugee Action Collective, for example. Though the fliers may be interesting to some people, or arguably a worthwhile cause, neither of these organisations are avowedly anarchist. We are a small unaffiliated collective of anarchists with limited resources and access to get the word out, yet we are not allowed to put up a flier. The fellow who I talked to at Black Rose was friendly and helpful, and he had only been a collective member for 3 weeks. However he said he ‘was not really an anarchist’. The giant sign in the window has a big circle A, and says BLACK ROSE ANARCHIST LIBRARY. Why then are they blocking our attempt to publicise our autonomous, free, green anarchist gathering taking place in greater Sydney?
Most annoyingly of all, they have not bothered to let us know what is so offensive that they don’t want to support or advertise our event. We wrote an email asking for an explanation as to why we our fliers were removed, and heard nothing. We have called the mobile phone listed on their website and left messages. The least they could do is respond. There are several reasons why this could be. Maybe their status as a ‘collective’ has made them so inefficient and bureaucratic that it’s impossible to write an email within 3 weeks. Or, they are so arrogant that they are ignoring us. Or, they really don’t know how to respond to our email, because what they are doing is ridiculous. Perhaps they have realised there is no basis for such a strong reaction to our call-out. In fact, all three people I have spoken to individually from Black Rose and Jura have said they supported the gathering, they didn’t see the big deal, and didn’t really know why we were being blacklisted!
From the small amount of information we have been able to gather one member had a problem with Fierce Dreams based on the ‘Beyond Traditional Anarchism’ section in the call-out. If they disagree that’s fine. If a person believes that the way to empower themselves is by celebrating the 8 hour work day and reading classical anarchist texts by old guys with beards then that’s their business. We have a different idea of what anarchy is and believe there should be room for a green anarchy, anti-civilisation critique also. We are certain there are other folks that would agree with us, be interested or want to experience the bush with us, and they should be allowed to hear about our event. We don’t have or want a facebook, and live quite far from Sydney. The obvious place for someone interested in these ideas to look is an anarchist info shop but our efforts to get the word out have been censored by Black Rose, and we suspect the fliers have been put in the bin, wasting our time and resources. We feel as if they are misusing their geographically central position and their unique location as the most prominent and only anarchist space in the area. Anyway, it seems to us they are attempting to wield this power and control by denying us an opportunity to put up a flier.
Anyway, to our Sydney friends we call on you to spread the word to people who may be interested by word of mouth. Feel free to reprint and distribute fliers to relevant places, or directly to people that may want to come. Feel free to re-blog this rant as well and/or link to our website. We feel we are being silenced, marginalised and excluded by the Sydney anarchist ‘scene’. And remember, despite the lovely artwork and façade of anarchy in their shop window, they are the same ol’ boring leftists who fear different radical critiques. Black Rose, thanks for nothin’!
In the positive column, we wish to extend sincere thanks to the Melbourne Anarchist Book Fair who helped us out a lot, including printing our flier on the program as a favour to us. It was a great day with lots of rad conversations and the book fair was diverse and respectful, the way it should be… THANK YOU MELBOURNE (A) BOOK FAIR FOLKS!