This is Autonomy Now.
Autonomy Now is a nonsectarian, zero budget, DIY project. We organise wide-ranging talks and events in London of interest to anarchists, the anarcho-curious and their friends.
We hold a regular ongoing talks series on final Thursdays of the month in Housmans Bookshop next to King’s Cross St. Pancras station, plus occasional events in LARC, MayDay Rooms and elsewhere.
We started this project due to the ending of both the London Anarchist Bookfair and the implicitly anarchist Antiuniversity. Although the Antiuniversity has restarted and a new group intends to organise their own anarchist bookfair in October 2020 we believe there is a need for anarchist events throughout the year.
Why Autonomy Now?
The title came from branding wizard and lifelong anarchist Jonangus Mackay. Colin Ward wanted Anarchy magazine to be called Autonomy, however, the editorial committee thought otherwise. Now comes from George Woodcock’s influential anarchist periodical of the same name.
Is this all about Colin Ward and John Woodcock?
Only insofar as Ward and Woodcock were comfortable incorporating anything of interest into their work. The anarchist tradition draws inspiration from a broad spectrum of sources which suits us down to the ground.
Daniel Poyner’s anthology on the covers of Ward’s years at Anarchy magazine brought his preferred title to the forefront in Autonomy: The Cover Designs of Anarchy 1961‒1970 -one of our favourite books.
For outsiders to anarchism it’s worth mentioning that many women played significant roles in the anarchist milieu and Autonomy Now will make a point of promoting them. The first person to do a talk for us was Ruth Kinna. We celebrated the 150th birthday of Emma Goldman and presented new research on Louise Michel. In the next few months we will have talks on Marie Louise Berneri and Ethel Mannin.
People should also have a look at Kathy Ferguson’s list of unrecognised anarchist women and Judy Greenways website.
I’m not keen on the image at the top of the page.
Anarchism is probably the broadest political tradition in the modern era. Consequently no single image could adequately represent the anarchist experience. The next best option was to have a collection of relevant images that change randomly when the page loads. Currently there are 25 images in the set.
Please feel free to forward us any non-copyright images which would broaden the selection.
We would also like to thank the staff and volunteers at Housmans Bookshop for the support they have given to the project. Without them it may never have happened.