Anarchist Book Fair Amsterdam

The fifth annual Anarchist Book Fair will take place on the 27th and 28th of November 2021 at the Dokhuis (Plantage Doklaan 8). That’s right! It will be two full days of stands and workshops of anarchist collectives from all around the Netherlands and nearby countries. It’s going to be great! Knowledge is power after all! Are you looking for comrades? Come to the Anarchist Book Fair Amsterdam! Are you looking for anarchist books and zines? There’ll be all that and much more: clothing, buttons, publishers, distro’s, workshops, talks, and vegan food!
The Barricade will be there on saturday with a stand full of awesome zines, and sunday evening The Barricade will be cooking in ACU, come check it out!

November 27th and 28th 2021
Plantage Doklaan 8

anarchistbookfairamsterdam@riseup.net
anarchistbookfairamsterdam.blackblogs.org
Instagram: @anarchistbookfairamsterdam
Facebook: Anarchist Bookfair Amsterdam

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Abolish Frontex Info Night

You can join the info talk to learn more about Frontex and the international Abolish Frontex campaign, following on the Barricade VoKu sunday 7th of November!

Frontex is the European Union’s border agency and is a key actor in enforcing the EU’s deadly border regime. It is responsible for systemic human rights violations through its operations; deportations; and cooperation with repressive regimes in third countries. In the last fifteen years, Frontex has grown in power and budget enormously and it is now the best paid agency of the EU.

This has to stop. Frontex is an essential part of the EU’s inherently racist, colonial and capitalist border policies and contributes to the horrific way in which migrants are treated. It is not enough to reform or improve Frontex, or to replace it with more of the same. It’s time to abolish Frontex and the system it represents. Come to our info night to learn more about Frontex, the international Abolish Frontex campaign and join the struggle!

Come for dinner and info! A las Barricadas!

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Anarchist Halloween Dinner Party

Join the Vrije Bond Utrecht on October 31st at ACU (Voorstraat 71 Utrecht) for rescued food by The Barricade and an informal, distinctly spooky, anarchist hangout. Costumes encouraged.

18:00 walk-in
19:00 food served (approximate times…)

Ps: we always welcome people who want to join cooking, cleaning, or
dumpster diving. To help out please mail to: barricade@riseup.net

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Peter Storm will present an introduction to the anarchist thought-world, namely his booklet ‘Het Anarchisme: Ideeën, Concepten, Praktijken’. See also: https://peterstormt.nl/

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Back at ACU with take away food + books

We are back in ACU! We will be serving take away dinner made from rescued vegetables every Sunday from 18.30-20.00. Bring a container if you can.

You can also borrow books at our library through reservation: check on https://www.librarycat.org/lib/thebarricade. 

 

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Videozine: Food

Once upon a time we were hosting reading evenings, evenings where we got together and shared some good readings about a certain political topic.
A prose, a poem or excerpts from on essay.

Believing in the importance of experiencing reading as a collective act as a form of resistance and in the empowering feeling that doing so can generate, we decided to still make this video, collecting together different texts about food and food production.

So enjoy this video, and if you want to read the full texts you can find them below.

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Report from the Reflection Table on People’s Kitchens during COVID

Barricade To Go

The Reflection Table on People’s Kitchens during Covid (called with this introduction text) took place online on October 18th. It was a really nice moment to discuss our practices and experience with quite some people, even if we had to do it from distance. Sharing experiences and practical advises on our struggles and confronting with the problems we face in this very specific time, was something quite needed. It was especially empowering to hear that more people are doing similar things and still pushing forth anti-capitalist practices in various cities despite the difficulties, the need to create spaces and conditions that are safe for people, and the government measures. We were joined in the conversation by people from Taste Before You Waste Utrecht, Joe’s Garage (Amsterdam), RATS (Rotterdam) and Redistributie (Den Haag). 

For this report, we tried to summarize what was discussed among various members of the kitchens in various topics. If you want to watch the full recording you can watch it at this link.

What were you doing before the COVID-19 pandemic and what are you doing now?

We as The Barricade had been hosting our Barricade Sunday every week until March. There, we were combining the activities of running a library and hosting regularly political events with a VoKu. We stopped with our regular activities after COVID and started doing a lot of different things during the months. We were involved in the Solidarity Kitchen project and trying to do many other things next to that. Lately, after trying different ways to host events outside, we have been doing Free Veggies Market around town, going with a Bakfiets in various spots and giving away for free soup, zines and veggies. 

Taste Before You Waste Utrecht was hosting a VoKu every Saturday evening. Beside that, they were also doing regular veggies pick-ups at small greengrocers to bring them at shelters for undocumented people and at the Free Shop (Weggeefwinkel Utrecht).
While their pick-ups activities could still go on during COVID, their VoKu inside had to stop. They’ve been also involved in the Solidarity Kitchen project. Lately they’ve started to cook again, they served outside a couple of times, now they mostly bring the meals to the Free Shop Solidarity Fridge, which is a fridge outside of the Free Shop that is accessible to everybody 24/7 to drop or take food from.

RATS’ Anti Waste Dinner

RATS was hosting a Voku every Thursday evening and organizing various political and cultural events after dinner. After a short period of inactivity at the start of the pandemic, they managed to start the Voku again: they were still cooking inside, then putting everything in a shoppingcart to go eat with a group of people at a park nearby. During these evenings outside, they also hosted small concerts from time to time. With the start of the colder season, they are now serving food outside for people to take.

Redistributie started being active recently, around February of this year in Den Haag. Since the beginning of their activity, they have been collecting food at the Haagse markt, cooking it inside and then bringing the prepared meals around in a big park (also a park where a lot of homeless people hang out) with a big bakfiets and giving meals to anybody who wanted it. Given the huge amount of rescued food, they are also organizing smaller distributions around the city. 

Joe’s Garage is a historical squat in Amsterdam East. Before they were hosting regular VoKus on various week days, next to other events and a giveaway shop. In the summer they re-started cooking to serve food outside, in a big square nearby (bringing tables etc..), so that people could still go inside to get a drink. They were one of the few kitchens that re-started in Amsterdam, now with the new measures they’re unsure what to do, they’re finding ways to still cook.

Difficulties with the growing contagions, new measures and the winter season

Something we discussed was how some among us felt about the possibility of serving inside when horeca were allowed to re-open by the government, in general none among us decided to do it for various reasons. The booking system wasn’t something people wanted to use, especially in the idea of trying to reach people that aren’t necessarily looking for a dinner at a restaurant and that don’t normally get access to good food, a booking system would also not make it possible to reach people just passing by.
Furthermore, it would not have been possible to run the dinners inside as self-organized moments, where people collectivize work, but it would have strengthened even more the service dynamic, with the addition of having to police people in respecting measures. And also, hosting events inside was definitely considered a riskier option, people agreed that it was therefore safer to host events outside.

Taste Before You Waste Utrecht’s Mobile Dinner

Giving away food outside though, especially in the current situation, also presents the risk of having to confront with police officers and being more at risk of fines and repercussions. People had different experiences with police so far. Many never confronted with them, to others it happened in September but so far it resolved in nothing more than a chat and the spokesperson having to give their ID.
It was also noted that controls were more likely when going in the city centers rather then in neighbourhoods, and that being mobile was better then being stationary under that regard. Even if having a central point for distribution would definitely be easier, moving around in order not too attract too many people at the same time in the same spot seemed the preferred option for some.
It’s unclear how things will evolve with the new measures, in general there’s a certain confidence that it’s possible to host events while keeping it safe and respecting the measures.

Of course serving food outside also comes with some other issues, like what to do in case of bad weather or how to avoid wasting too many food containers. We shared our experiences on that, in general it seemed that, with some creativity we were finding ways to deal with it.

Being outside of social centers and interacting with people on the street

Despite everything, in general people considered it positive to have been “forced” to operate outside of social centers. This made it possible to intercept people that would maybe not have entered in such a space before, it also helped making us, and what we stand for, visible in the neighbourhood/city. Some really felt that they were strengthening the connection in the neighbourhood, for others it was also important as it gave the possibility of physically confronting certain dynamics, like for example serving rescued food in front of the “green” supermarket chain Ekoplaza for free. Some among us had already done similar things in the past or thought about doing it, but, for a reason or another, never really managed to do it more regularly.
Somebody expressed the importance of such a presence on the outside in order to fight a certain tendency of subculturisation of social centers.
This also confronted some of the groups with the realisation of sometimes operating too much in a certain bubble, and realising, for example, that more material in Dutch is needed, or the differences in how people react to “free food”.

Joe’s Garage at Burendag

The latter problem was something we discussed more in depth. Many among us noticed that, indeed, when being offered free food some people would react saying “There are people that need it more” or “Why don’t you give it to Voedselbank” or even almost offended for being considered a person that would need free food.
Some noticed that of course some of these reactions happened more often in the city centre or in certain neighbourhoods compared to others. Some however, mentioned an episode of a person refusing food the first time but accepting it the one after, and the importance of taking the time so that people can understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
Some also mentioned how they were discussing to re-frame it in maybe a way like “the industrial food production is shit, stop giving them money!” and using the anti-foodwaste narrative as a way to attract people’s attention and then have the space to give it a more general anti-capitalist framing.

Creating a community and relaxing during COVID

We also discussed how people really valued the space they managed to create this summer in parks/squares and how it was important to find a space to relax in the middle of the pandemic, maintaining connections and creating a community.

Charity Framing

We also briefly discussed the whole issue with serving food to people in need and charity framing. It is something on which Redistributie reflected a bit (and it was a topic already discussed before among Barricade people). In general they mentioned the importance of not working as an institution and of being able to build mutual connections with people in the park, and also taking the time to explain why they’re doing it. In the past they even had some people from the park that joined with cooking.

Redistributie’s Flyer

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Joe’s Garage (Amsterdam) – https://joesgarage.nl/
Taste Before You Waste Utrecht –  https://tbywutrecht.wordpress.com/
RATS (Rotterdam) – https://rotterdamserats.blackblogs.org/
Redistributie (Den Haag) – https://www.facebook.com/Redistributie-Den-Haag-114378917080802
The Barricade (Utrecht) – https://thebarricade.noblogs.org

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People’s Kitchens during COVID – an online Reflection Table

After the serie of Reflection Tables on Kitchens and Struggle that we hosted last year, on Sunday 18/10 we are going to host another Reflection Table, even if this time online, to pool our experiences and our knowledge and inspire each other with the ways in which we continue to resist capitalism via the collectivisation of food during this very specific time.
The one that follows is the introudction text for the discussion.

Despite the worrying increase of contagions we think that it’s super important to still build places of solidarity that are safe for everybody. It doesn’t look like this situation will be resolved soon, and we therefore think that stopping our political activities as a people’s kitchen is not an option.

Nonetheless, the unavoidable physical distance forces us to re-shape our practices completely and leaves us with a lot of questions.
First of all, there is the questions of logistics. Our kitchens aim to collectivise our food and our meals, by bringing (mostly large) groups of people together to cook and eat. We also position ourselves critically towards the restaurant service dynamic, pushing and practicing a space that is constructed by all the people crossing it. Now that our society is shaped around distance, measures and strict hygiene, we need to rethink how we, as people kitchens, can still gather safely and construct those spaces. How are we shaping our physical spaces? How do we come up with a social dynamic that will keep us safe, while also staying critical towards the measures that are (or are not) imposed on us? How can we still be active without reproducing service dynamics even more (reservation, table service ..)? How can we create spaces of solidarity, where we all understand our risks as well as the importance to still gather and share food?

Secondly, there is the question of how to send out our idea of solidarity as People’s Kitchen. Apart from emphasizing on distancing and following the measures, our governmental institutions, be it local or national, also highly promote a society where we stand in ‘solidarity’ with each other, be it doing each others groceries or volunteering in the care sector. Yes, we should look after each other, especially now that the effects of the pandemic on people’s income and health are becoming more clear, and as people’s kitchens, we have always stood for solidarity. However, our practise should be conflictual with the mere idea of philanthropy the government is speaking so fondly of. How can we push forward the message of solidarity that stands for self-organisation and mutuality?

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Between solidarity and charity: a dialogue from the kitchen

In the end, the state is not only the institutions and their control, but it is also a relationship between people: how they act in respect to each other.

So, it’s not about organizing free social activities, or handing out free food because one has a big heart and wants to help others. In order to radically transform society, to strive for an exploitation-free world, it is essential to start behaving differently towards one other, putting real solidarity and real self-organization in practice. Solidarity should therefore not be intended as mere assistance, as a tool for making up for state’s welfare, but rather as a process of shifting power relations.

The first half of this year has definitely been an unprecedented period for many people and for us included, from having to stop/alter our practices of collectivisation to confronting ourselves with the strange dynamics solidarity projects can fall into.

For a series of reflections called World Stories from the Margins, we’ve been asked to recount that period of activity and the reflections that we made along the way.
The result is the text “Between solidarity and charity: a dialogue from the kitchen” that you can read on the website of Convivial Thinking at this link: https://www.convivialthinking.org/index.php/2020/09/25/solidarity-and-charity-a-dialogue-from-the-kitchen/

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A difficult start of the 5th year

Hello everybody!

Gradually leaving our summer break behind, a new season of the Barricade has reached us. Hoping to return to our practice of collectivising the labor that nurtures us all, we unfortunately still find ourselves in the midst of regulations and separation. Having to work with the current corona measures and taking health risks in mind, we concluded that going back to our regular Sunday practice is still not possible nor a responsible step to take.

We do want to ‘open’ again, even though what that ‘opening’ might look like, is something we have decide on step by step. For now we concluded the following: we will start again to organise events, and in this way ‘opening’ our new Barricade season. We will stick to the outdoors, and will create spaces where we can meet each other again, where our political ideologies can be shared, while also being mindful about our health and safety. We hope to meet you all soon again – a las barricadas!

To stay up to date check our Telegram channel!

 

UPDATE 28/09

Among all the uncertainty of these times yesterday we created once more a space to distribute freely food, zines, clothes and much more, a space to be safely together and sing songs. Sing and talk together and not pretend that things are fine, but feeling that just because things are not fine we need to do what we can to resist and keep creating such spaces.

Thanks to Your Local Pirates for the music and the alegre rebeldia.
And thanks to the Weggeefwinkel Utrecht for joining us and bringing their free shop to our market!

We hope to be able to organise more stuff in the coming weeks, check the Telegram channel for more info.

A las barricadas!

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