About Us

I’m guessing that as you’re reading this then you have some idea about what anarchism is, but,  for those who are new to the word, and as it is so misrepresented in the media and also in some leftist circles, it’s probably best to start off with our very short interpretation of it and why we think it’s the tits! Obviously as anarchists we are anti-fascist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic & anti-state, so turn back now if you’re a bit up tight!

One well known American anarchist, Emma Goldman (1869-1939) called it ‘The Beautiful Idea’ which pretty much sums it up.  Anarchism is not violence & chaos.   Anarchism is what we believe to be the perfect system in which every person has complete freedom to do whatever they like, as long as their actions do not stop anyone else enjoying that same freedom.  At the moment in a capitalist society we are pitted against each other in order to survive. Anarchism is individuals working together within communities for the benefit of all without ‘leaders’, this is sometimes called mutual aid.

At the moment, in a society where buying and selling is the basis for the economy, and the wealth is owned by so few, the working class are immediately disenfranchised as they have nothing to sell. Rather than starve to death we can sell our time to the employing class and with the money we make for our time we can give it back to the owning class in rent, bills &  (including food & such like) & taxes. But it’s not that easy, the employing class wants to make as much money as possible so therefore they don’t want to employ people if they don’t have to, which is where you get to the bottom of the pile, the unemployed. In a word the majority of people lose out in a capitalist society.

We believe that if the all the means of production (whether it be farms, factories, offices or theme parks) was owned by the community we would have direct control of our lives and how we spend our time. Social ownership rather than private ownership would be a much better system. If everyone helped out to get what was needed done each day there would be no unemployment and we’d all get home quicker!

“Seizing the means of production” you say! “Isn’t that socialism…or worse, Communism?”  We do indeed share many of the same ideals as the socialists and communists but with one pretty major difference. They want the state to administer the co-operation. You can look at any socialist or communist regime in history – it’s a nice idea but you will always end up with some form of state oppression. As anarchists we are against all authority as even with the best of intentions it inevitably leads to corruption and inequality.

I hope that gives you a brief summary of what we’re about and why we bother, It’s only meant as an ice breaker so come and have a drink if you’d like to discuss it further, or e-mail any questions that you may have! Anyway, here’s who we are and why we exist…..

Portsmouth Anarchists are a small group of like-minded individuals who meet twice a month to discuss what shit is going down and what we can do about it. Unlike some anarchist groups we don’t want to go around preaching bloody revolution, sure it’d be a laugh but it tends to put people off!! We agree with the good old direct action approach but if, for example,  we are working with a community who do not agree with direct action, we will change tack to support their struggles in whatever way they feel would be beneficial (as long as we are not selling ourselves out).

We are concerned with the spreading of ideas and keeping anarchist ideas relevant. You may wonder why we don’t just throw in the towel and go and join the SWP as they seem to have a fair few members in the city and obviously a lot more cash. Aside from not wanting to be ruled over by a government, we make all our own decisions communally. They are controlled from the top down and we are bottoms up!

We set up this blog to try and spread our ideas round a bit more and also keep folks informed (from an anarchist perspective) of the goings on in Pompey. It seems to be working as we’ve been getting a fair bit of traffic through here, although some of that’s probably the police keeping tabs, they hate anarchists because they are all, without exception, big dumb meanies who see different ideas as a threat to the status quo they protect.

Please don’t think we are just internet based though! In the past year or so we have: attended Smash EDO, G20 and Mayday protests, helped chase the ENA out of Brighton, supported Palestine Solidarity In Portsmouth, visited the London Anarchist Book fair, ran infostalls at gigs, helped defend the local Muslim community against the EDL nutters, and got involved with Portsmouth Against the Cuts Together (PACT) to support them on various demo’s and events.

So I hope this brief introduction explains a bit about us. We usually meet on the 2nd and 4th thursday at the month in various pub but these change fairly regulary at the moment whilst we’re trying to find a balance between the of quietness of the pub and cheapness of a pint.

If you wish to come along, just give us an e-mail at portsmouth.anarchists@googlemail.com

Feel free to come along to any of our meetings whether you’re a seasoned old anarchist or just merely interested.

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