October 10, 2020
From Alternative Bristol (UK)

If you are fairly new to Alternative Bristol – website & social media platforms – you might be scratching your head and wondering…WTF are they trying to do, where are they coming from, and why?

Well here’s a short intro: Obviously we oppose the Government, and this Tory one are seriously bad! We’re also critical of local government, such as Bristol City Council, especially when it’s run by a political party opposed to the Tory Government – we’re not impressed by the current Labour Council’s failure to stand up to Tory austerity, nor it’s cronyism & wastage on things like consultants. We think the Mayor’s post should be abolished, and we think the present Mayor, a man of working class mixed race origins, is a disgrace – his co-operation with the police over the Colston statue toppling is unacceptable, and proves the old slogan that ‘power corrupts‘. We oppose the greed of the ruling class – bosses, bankers, corporate leaders, politicians with their noses in the trough etc. We think organisations such as the Society of Merchant Venturers, with their historic wealth from slavery & exploitation generally, should be abolished/dismantled/smashed, and their wealth re-distributed. We oppose the far-right and racists in general.

We think the key issues right now are the economy & recession & austerity; climate change & crisis; Brexit; corporate & capitalist greed & corruption, and their aim to dominate & control everything in their own self-interest; the growing authoritarian nature of the state; the covid-19 pandemic, the threat to the NHS & care services generally; mental health issues (depression, anxiety, addiction, abuse…)…in no particular order of importance! We think the future needs to be based on class & community unity across skin colours and genders;  on solidarity, co-operation, mutual aid, direct action & self-organisation; on equal shares & wealth redistribution; on food self-sufficiency based on local food production & resilience, and on the implementation of systems like permaculture & finding the right ecological balance. We’re not pacifists, but we certainly don’t like violence for the sake of it – we believe in using all the tools we have in our boxes, that self-defence is no offence, and that sometimes the best form of defence is attack – be it in dealing with bosses, or fascists.

Over the last 6 weeks or so we’ve been pretty quiet. Why? Well it’s simple – lots of other things going on and involvement in multiple other projects, work, families, and even taking holidays. We all need to engage in some self & community care, avoid burnout, take a break & chill out, and have a good time! We have to recharge our batteries every now & then, so we can all come back stronger. This struggle for a better world is a long one, it is part of our lives. Resist to exist.

So what’s it all about? Most of what follows comes from our ‘About‘ page, but if you are perplexed where we’re coming from politically then consider this: politically we span the political positions from Labour to Green to Anarchist, and we get along just fine (most of the time!)…

We are broadly anti-capitalist but different perspectives exist within the collective. We do not support any one specific ideology, nor political party.

Anyway, here’s the deal (written January 2019) about us:
Alternative Bristol is a hub to find out about events, groups and news about all things alternative and progressive happening in Bristol.
– We hope to play a small part in helping generate a permanent culture of resistance & progressive change across the wider Bristol area.
– We aim to do that by via our listings of local groups, and by using modern day applications to pull in from various sources a variety of news articles and a range of events.
– We hope to become your one-stop hub for what’s going on in Bristol, and why, so that you don’t have to waste countless hours trawling through social media!

Alternative Bristol is the bastard love-child of what was once called Bristol Indymedia (2001-2014), but we are different!

We aim to pull in a wider range of progressive news and events, and we are not a discussion forum – so we can’t be trolled. After a very quiet couple of years we have updated & reconfigured our website, and renewed the sources that provide our news & events. That remains an ongoing process, but in 2019 we were ready to go.
Our volunteer collective formed in January 2019, and remains small out of choice.
– We are self-funded
– We don’t take ads, bribes or grants.
– Nobody controls us.

Use the website: If you would like to have your group added to the list of groups, your blog added to our news feed, or your twitter account to our twitter feed, then contact us via the Contact page on the website only, with a brief explanation of what you do. We pull in some Events for our Events Listings from various sources, but you can add your own event here – so please do. The more who use it…the more who’ll use it!

We also maintain a Facebook page, which is fed by our website so it carries the same news & events; and a Twitter account – @Alt_Bristol_ However we do not check them for messages/arguments all the time, so again if you want to contact us please use the Contact page.

We should also stress that all of us at Alternative Bristol are involved in other projects, networks, groups & campaigns – what we do here we do in our spare time, when we have the time.

Source: Alternativebristol.com