Pointless Drama.An Autopsy.
My name is Peter, I am an Anarchist and a member of the Anarchist Federation (AF). I am no one special, just a random pseudo-bohemian working class anarchist. I organise a few events and do Anarchist things in my communities.This is an explanation for why some in Anarchist Communist Group (ACG) froth at the mouth at the very thought of me and feel the need to have some pointless one-sided beef, one in which they personally attack me from their main accounts and spit venom in the ears of others both in person and in online spaces public and private.That this drama exists is an utter embarassment.
Before We Get Started...
First - This is entirely pointless, "beefing" like this, whether in Ukraine, Brazil, The USA, or UK is absolutely the worst possible use of any Anarchists time. This is not only deeply cringe, but disappointing. Anarchists, we are passionate people and we often discuss important matters and disagree on these important matters in a passionate manner. This is healthy! What isn't is the descent into guttersniping, personal assaults, and worst, campaigns of misinformation and doxxing.Second - I'm responding not to our political difference or even the ad homen, malcious misinterpretions, and selective qouting ACG members use, but because they called me a liar. Smarter comrades than I have, for six years, told me to ignore ACG and other than when they've injected their noxious attitude into projects I'm working on, I've tried to do so, however this is the line. This is not because of some bombastic ego, the masculine need to correct people on the internet, or even something as simple as being offended. This is the line because calling some a liar and putting that into the minds of other militant anarchists, is dangerous to myself and to those I organise with.Third - I have censored pretty much everything here, but I acknowledge that it's still quite easy to lift info from this. As a precaution I have not named certain people or spaces (online and otherwise), or cited specific things, as I am reasonably sure they everyone whose actually in the milleu is aware and if you are not, well, stop being nosey ;p.This website is a gift to the sweaty shut-ins from KF and the like. The sooner I can delete it the better.Fourth - I want to be very clear on three specific things:A: I do not think ACG are transphobic. I do however feel that their position on trans identity/politics is considered almost tantamount to this by many, especially by many trans people. Their lack of genuine action on this issue as transphobes and fascists have coalesced is neglectful. I truly hope someday they might improve and become a decent Platformist counter-point to the Anarchist Federation. I have said these things many times to even their most ardent detractors.B: I do not support the Ukrainian state or NATO as some would have you believe. I support the anarchist and anti-authoritarian warfighters who have risked their lives to hold the line against a fascistic and imperial invasion. They have no doubt made many difficult decisions and compromises to the supposed "purity" of their anarchism but I do not feel it is my place or anyone elses to judge them, especially as they are very literally dying out there in the cold. Please support the work of Solidarity Collectives, GNIP, and the array of ABC and No Borders groups across the region. They are the best of us.C - You'll see N mentioned here a few times. N thinks we're in some kind of anarchistic face-off, we are not. I actually quite like N. He is, sure, a grumpy bastard, he walks out of bookshops when I see him and say "Ayup", and he downright blanks me at Bookfairs as I ask about how ACG is coming along and try to make with the polite... but he is a very smart and knowledgable anarchist, I consider him a comrade and I truly hope we can patch this rift between us someday. Go buy his new book, it's very good.Fifth - Inevitably when there is this kind of drama people side with the folk they know, or those that agree with them on some issue or another. I ask you this, regardless of what you think of my political opinions or me personally, consider whether the following behaviour is ok with you.I personally think it's painful watching an anarchist org act like this and try to cause a fellow anarchist personal and political grief in this manner. It's a pointless, useless bunfight and frankly I'm embarassed by the whole thing. You should be too.
Skip to the end.
Someone (ACG state it wasn't a member, however they have chosen to host it and share numerous times) posted an article on Libcom attacking (amongst other things) my solidarity with anarchists in Ukraine. This is fine, it's political discourse, I'll write a reply to that in due course.ACG tagged me in a twitter post to sneer. They specifically picked me out and tagged my person account. I cussed them out, told them to grow up, maybe apologise for doxxing me that time and then blocked them. I've better things to do.However, they decided to not only say this had never happened but decided to label me a "compulsive bullshitter". I gave them 24hrs (then a week out of fairness) to remove and apologise or I will evidence it. I didn't want to do this because it is cringe and only helps detractors.Ultimately a friend in Brazil told me about similar drama, helped me laugh it off and I went back to ignoring them.They not only took this as a win, but decided to call me a liar again. Ah Well.
Don't Dox Fellow Anarchists.
Mid 2021, someone made a sockpuppet and had a moan about AnComs in general, focusing on ACG. They took this personal.They also thought it was me (for reasons that elude me). One of their principle characters, N, decided to dox me on twitter, listing my personal account, who I organise with etc.With this info I was able to dox myself entirely finding my home address, photos of me on RedWatch, Online journals and so on.It was a massive security breach and upon accosting N, he acknowledged the mistake (on both accounts) and we agreed to remove the posts. Which we did.N is well known in anarchist circles. He is I'm sure honourable and truthful. Ask him if this happened. Eitherway, other people in our circles can confirm these events.N had however shared this notion with several people who have subsequently jacketed me with this. This undermines peoples trust in me. He never corrected them. Given what we do as militants, this is pretty fucky.
Unfortunatly, shortly after, (someone definately not a member of ACG), posted all the same information under a sock puppet account.This forced me to consider myself doxxed entirely. I've been through this before at the hands of fascists and take the compromised situation seriously.I moved house shortly after, I had to have my registered work addresses go through proxies (at some expense), had to delete my family and friends from my personal social accounts, remove my picture and those of locations around me, and generally deal with a whole lot of stress. This was particularly enhanced by ongoing life life matters which members of ACG are aware off.They made the choice to do me harm becuase of political disagreements.2021 as they did in 2022 and do in 2023.
How We Got Here.
Making a long story short, following the London Bookfair 2017, a dozen members of the AF wrote in secret a statement.This statement was:
- Laden with dogwhistles.
- Implied trans solidarity was placing ourselves in an ideological "ghetto".
- Advocated an inclusive approach to bigots as "we're all working class".
- Undermined a statement mostly written by Trans members of the AF.
- Expressed solidarity with the Transphobe who became the focal point of events.Many members of the AF (trans and cis alike) had a major issue with this. They rejected all the concerns and shortly after announced they would leave the federation.It's important to note here that leaving the AF to start a new organisation more specific to your politics is all part of a good and healthy movement. I do not judge them for this move. They have a reductive understanding of identity politics and felt that we were all liberals now. Fine. Ciao.The AF, now free of the weight, became overtly intersectional and pro-active in our support for trans comrades. This is called solidarity.
In the immediate wake of the split, N and others took to bad mouthing the AF to everyone would would listen. At the subsequent Liverpool and Manchester Bookfairs there was a constant stream of people asking about our supposed Liberalism and Obsession with "IdPol". Many were happy to name the people who told them these things.The AF decided on a stern policy of no-comment. I personally disagreed with this, but comrades were hoping they could be reached, and pulled away from this recklessness and we could have comradely relations, which is fair enough.During this time the The London Bookfair crew decided they'd had enough and invited others to take it on. So some of us did. We formed a collective of folk from various tendancies and made Bookfair 2020 happen. The worlds largest Digital Anarchist Bookfair. Organised at the last minute as Covid Lockdowns came into place it was by most accounts, a corker. We followed this up with two wildly successful physical Bookfairs.ACG members had said they wouldn't be attending in 2020, it's no longer their crowd. In 2021 and 2022, they asked for a stall at late notice, and were refused. This lead to some online dramatica, a silly back and forth on a forum (Laden with open transphobia, bullying, abuse, and a very stressed me, not replying to things the best because we're trying to not call ACG out in public and sought private discussion).In the first instance N was told directly why, and in the second we formally notified the Federal Secretary.The hilarious thing about this is, during the time ACG members openly stoked hostility towards me, I would argue for a dialogue and that with certain confirmations, they should be given a table. I still believe this.ACG would stall outside both Bookfairs and position themselves as the hard done by renegades who represented "real Anarchism" while the liberals who ran the show excluded them. We told them our position in 2021, They would not apologise for doxxing an organiser, or issue a statement addressing that they had moved beyond the solidarity with a transphobe etc, and some minor issues that should of been easily resolvable. Instead they choose to frame organisers as a "Red Guard" and would continue not to object to open transphobia in anarchist spaces and get increasingly hostile we me for not having a public tiff with them.At one point a self identified Transphobe stated that the bookfair considers saying 'trans women are men' as transphobic, to which the Federal Secretery of ACG said he'd want to know the reasons why she thought "trans women are men" to see whether or not she was transphobic.This level of "trans solidarity" is the kind of thing that concerned the Bookfair collective and we were unwilling to table them without private and positive discussion.After 2022, we made a point to contact them and arranged a meeting with their Federal Secretary who listened to the issues in a comradely spirit, told us that despite their position on "IdPol" they were not transphobic and were now more than the people who split with the AD. He seemed keen to resolve them and we felt positive, with my comrades bursting out to me how delightful it was that we could end the drama and have them at the next event. The next day or so later (after what we assume was a conversation with London ACG and N)* we received a terse message, they would not address any of the concerns and had no interest it doing so.Fine. Well atleast that's that. Everyone can move on, Right?
NOPE. It's Misinformation Time
By May 2022, ACG organisers had pretty much entirely lost the plot. Tamping over the bookfairs and some imagined feud. Sniping would become semi-regular. The AF maintained radio silence and we did our best to ignore them and just crack on with doing actual anarchist things.They decided instead to label myself and the editor of Freedom as enemies.Then the transphobes came to Manchester. Posie Parker (A Fascist adjacant bigot) was on a tour and in Manchester there was a mild hoo-haw between her support and the counter protest.There was an AF flag there so immediately some in the crowd decided we were responsible. A popular writer for Spiked/GBNews (Who is quite the Gender Critical comrade who also believes all the "middle class liberals" are ruining working class anarchism) decided to falsely identify us as the culprits and paint a picture of "Anarchists Attack women". Knowning I'm from Manchester, ACG mouthpiece M, decided to post about this, identifying myself and going on a rant about the evils of the AF. Those who corrected this false narrative were shut down and even removed from the Facebook group this tosh was being posted.They did this to a group 12.5k strong.ACG Members told 12,500 Anarchists that I attack woman and refused to be corrected or apologise.
This is pretty fucked up.In atleast two private groups, they would share this narrative with other anarchist organisers, spewing this bile about me and the AF to anyone who would listen. Yes, I know about them groups, decent Anarchists are everywhere and they don't like you. xAs a victim of a prior campaign of bullying and abuse at the hands of those who share misinformation maliciously, I find this utterly appalling behaviour. I regret staying silent about it at the time.
And The Rest
M (I believe) is the author of the crass slander that was the ACG labeling Freedom as a home to Nationalism and Xenophobia. I consider this "fashjacketing" and entirely out of line. Some of the points made are fair enough political discourse but the use of clickbait and fatalistic language to leave such impressions belongs on the pages of the Daily Heil, not on the blog of an ostensibly nationwide anarchist group. Shameful.This wasn't directed at myself but honestly, much like with fabrications around the solidarity we/I have with the trans community, Members of ACG seem to be utilising The Russian invasion of Ukraine as a framing device to attack other anarchists. The article which kicked this off, which they gleefully endorse, projects my solidarity as Nationalism and practically Leninist. This is nonsense, and I'm happy to talk about my politics with anyone who asks (which the author didn't bother to do) tho like I say, I'll reply to that elsewhere but I think this paints ACG in a curious space if they think this is how Anarchists should talk about each other.It's with sophistry and empty words masked beneath a veneer of erudition that they make these milquetoast objections to the actions of other anarchists, fighting and dying out in Ukraine, defending themselves from Fascists and Jihadists sent to kill them.I find this interesting, given that they share statements expressing solidarity with warfighters in Rojava. "Rojava is standing up against the invasion of the neo-Ottoman Empire. As revolutionists, it is our duty to support them in every way we possibly can." And yet the anarchists who defend their homes in Ukraine (and those who support them), are Nationalists and Xenophobes? I do not believe they are the staunch "revolutionary defeatists" they now claim to be. At the very least they are selective as to when they apply this line of reasoning, I suspect based on when they can use it to undermine
other organisers in the UK.As for qouting Lenin to call us "Anarcho-Trenchists" while sharing works by Kropotkin... I think they have simply lost grasp and spiralled in reactionary ad libbing, grasping at semi-coherant points with which to attack other organisers.I cannot for a moment think that the organisation, especially it's social media, is being steered by anyone with much knowledge of anarchism contemporary or historical. They have little but vacuous slogans and word salad screeds which seem unobjectionable but exist without any real substance.If N is still writing these things (other than the odd slice of facinating anarchist history which are often linked on their Twitter) I will be utterly shocked, he is, I presume, far beyond such thirsty behaviour. Mind you, given how keen he was to undermine the popular uprisings in Hong Kong and Belarus, perhaps not that shocking. tho again, perhaps this was more about having a shot at the AF/Myself more than it was any cogent political opinion.But I digress.Note: Lenin is himself qouting an anarchist, Ge, who later joined the Bolshevik gov. and became a Chekist.Also Note: M/B I think split from the ACG to form the Anarchist Communist Network (ACN) a few months ago, it seems the grievance is that they disagree on the transgender issue, tho it's unclear which group is supposed to have the more problematic perspective and since they cross link and seem to endorse each other it's much of a muchness.
So Where Does That Leave Us.
ACG have a controversial past and rather than acknowledge this and show any genuine development they have spent six years trying to undermine fellow anarchists.They (a "national" organisation) have chosen to not only lie about and personally attack a fellow anarchist, but have planted in the minds of thousands of followers/group members that I attack women and compulsively lie.I have been silent for years and in this most recent palathra have given them multiple offers to simply recind these accusations and apologise for the mistake.They have chosen to show their arse, take up petty name calling, and force me to waste my time making this silly and pointless website.I will delete this space the moment they acknowledge what they have done, remove the comments, and apologise. 'Till then I will return to flatly ignoring their existence and when people ask "who are ACG?" as they often do or when ACG members inevitably try to involve themselves in projects I'm part of I will simply share this website with them.I no longer care whether or not you keep my name out of your mouths. I am tired of wasting my energy on this, we've all got better things to do. I'm sure you'll have something quippy to say about this website, heck maybe I'll get my own attack piece with a edgy title and full of empty but biting rhetoric and positioning. I'll notify you of the response and that will be it. No further comment needed. I doubt you'll give your head a wobble and make amends, I have entirely lost any faith in your capacity to act in a comradely manner or address your mistakes. Enjoy the handful of supportive comments and reassurances, save what little face you have my pulling up some qoutes and using them to evidence what a scumbag I am.The rest of us are out here organising our communities, working with comrades national and international, keeping the flame of anarchism alive and active.This entire affair is pathetic and I am done with it and you.
N has responded to this by stating1. He and others were subject to a witch hunt. A common train of thought amongst those who are held to account for their statements. He forgets that these things are online and anyone who has an interest can see for themselves that there was no such "witch hunt."2. ACG applied for a stall at the London Bookfair (2020) early. They did no such thing, especially given that their hostile attitude and disccusions needed. Again, in the age of the internet, this is clear for everyone.3. While he hasn't mentioned the misinformation by his compatriots to my knowledge, he has been downplaying the doxxing. This is deeply concerning as this Cavalier attitude to other peoples safety is risky for everyone who he might decide to fallout with tomorrow.