Category Archives: Events

Antifascism – our January to May 2023 series

For the first half of 2023, we will host a series looking at fascism and antifascism, both historically and in the present. You do not need to attend all the sessions in the series to come to or get something out of this session, though of course we recommend coming along to as many as you can!

Each of the events has it’s own page on the website, where you can find full informaiton, free sample chapters and audiovisual materials, and links to buy discounted copies of the books.

Our events are free to attend, though we will collect donations to cover the costs of venue hire on a donate-what-you-can-afford basis. We try to ensure the discussions are welcoming to new people, including people who have never been to a reading group before – and you don’t have to have been to university (contact us if there is something we can do to help welcome you). You don’t even have to have read any of the book – you can just come along and listen to the discussion (we of course encourage people to read/listen to as much as they can ahead of the session, but what’s important is learning together). And if you can’t get there for 7.30pm, don’t worry – turn up when you can and join in.

Please bear in mind that these books include, as a necessary part of their content, quotations of or descriptions of vile antisemitism and other racism, bigotry and violence.

All the sessions are held on Wednesdays, once a month, from 7.30-9.30pm – full dates below. We will discuss:

* January 25th: “We Fight Fascists: The 43 Group and Their Forgotten Battle for Post-war Britain”, by Daniel Sonabend

* February 22nd: “No Pasaran! Antifascist dispatches from a World in crisis”, edited by Shane Burley

* March 29th: “Fractured: Race, Class, Gender and the Hatred of Identity Politics” by Michael Richmond and Alex Charnley

* April 26th: “Post-Internet Far-Right” and “The Rise of Ecofascism“, both by Sam Moore and Alex Roberts

* May 31st: “White Skin, Black Fuel: On the Danger of Fossil Fascism”, by Andreas Malm and The Zetkin Collective

About the venue, illness, and accessibility

The Exchange has step-free access. We will keep windows open for ventilation, hand sanitiser is provided, and we ask people who are ill to stay away (whether they are ill with covid or something else). Attendees do not generally wear masks but we will be respectful to anyone who chooses to and other members may wear masks at request of other attendees – let us know your preferences in advance. Please contact us if you have any accessibility requirements, or other questions about how the events work.

Publicity

Help us publicise the event by downloading a poster, printing it out and sticking it up somewhere!

May 31st 2023: The Danger of Fossil Fascism


On Wednesday 31st May, from 7.30-9.30pm at The Exchange, Brick Row, Stroud (GL5 1DF), Stroud Radical Reading Group will discuss “White Skin, Black Fuel: On The Danger of Fossil Fascism” by Andreas Malm and the Zetkin Collective.

This discussion will be the fifth and final of a monthly series looking at antifascism. You do not need to attend previous sessions in the series to come to or get something out of this session, though of course we recommend coming along to the other sessions too (if you’ve heard about them in time).

As ever we will choose a short excerpt as a focus text and this will be available as a pdf to download from this page ASAP.

The full book is currently available from publishers Verso at a 30% discount: White Skin, Black Fuel – £14.00 with a free-ebook instead of the RRP of £20.

Freely available resources related to the book are available below. We like to ensure everyone can attendee our sessions and get something out of them even if they can’t afford to buy a copy of the book or the time to read it. We would encourage people to read/listen to as much as possible, but you are welcome to attend and listen along even if you are unable to engage with any of the below.

Information about White Skin, Black Fuel from the publishers Verso:

“What does the rise of the far right mean for the battle against climate change? In the first study of the far right’s role in the climate crisis, White Skin, Black Fuel presents an eye-opening sweep of a novel political constellation, revealing its deep historical roots. Fossil-fuelled technologies were born steeped in racism. No one loved them more passionately than the classical fascists. Now right-wing forces have risen to the surface, some professing to have the solution—closing borders to save the nation as the climate breaks down. Epic and riveting, White Skin, Black Fuel traces a future of political fronts that can only heat up.”

About the Zetkin Collective

The Zetkin Collective is a group of scholars and activists working on the political ecology of the far right. It was formed around the Human Ecology division at Lund University in the summer of 2018. Conducting research in their native languages, the contributing authors to the book White Skin, Black Fuel are: Irma Allen, Anna Bartfai, Bernadette Barth, Lise Benoist, Julia Bittencourt Costa Moreira, Dounia Boukaouit, Clàudia Custodio, Philipa Olivia Dige, Ilaria di Meo, George Edwards, Morten Hesselbjerg, Ståle Holgersen, Claire Lagier, Andreas Malm, Sonja Pietiläinen, Daria Rivin, Line Skovlund Larsen, Luzia Strasser, Laudy van den Heuvel, Meike Vedder and Anoushka Eloise Zoob Carter.

Learn more about Zetkin Collective and its members on their website.”

About Stroud Radical Reading Group events and the venue

Our events are free to attend, though we will collect donations to cover the costs of venue hire on a donate-what-you-can-afford basis. We try to ensure the discussions are welcoming to new people, including people who have never been to a reading group before – and you don’t have to have been to university. You don’t even have to have read any of the book – you can just come along and listen to the discussion. Some free resources including a sample chapter we’ll focus our discussion on are included below though, and we’d encourage people to read/listen to as much as they can ahead of the session.

The Exchange has step-free access. We will keep windows open for ventilation, hand sanitiser is provided, and we ask people who are ill to stay away (whether they are ill with covid or something else). Attendees do not generally wear masks but we will be respectful to anyone who chooses to and other members may wear masks at request of other attendees – let us know your preferences in advance. Please contact us if you have any accessibility requirements, or other questions about how the events work.

April 26th 2023: The Post-Internet Far-Right and Ecofascism


On Wednesday 26th April, from 7.30-9.30pm at The Exchange, Brick Row, Stroud (GL5 1DF), Stroud Radical Reading Group will discuss “Post-Internet Far Right” and “The Rise of Ecofascism” by Sam Moore and Alex Roberts (also known as the “12 Rules for What collective” after their podcast).

This discussion will be the fourth of a monthly series looking at antifascism. You do not need to attend previous sessions in the series to come to or get something out of this session, though of course we recommend coming along to the other sessions too.

This session is slightly different to our others in general, as we will be discussing two books – though they are both by the same authors. We have decided to do this partly because the books are shorter (similar in length combined to many single books). However, as ever we will choose a short excerpt as a focus text and this will be available as a pdf to download from this page ASAP. Excerpts will be taken from each of the two books. Readers may prefer to read one or other book ahead of the session, we believe the conversation about the two books will still be productive.

You can buy copies of either or both books from the Yellow Lighted Bookshop using the link. When viewing your basket, enter the coupon code “StroudRadical23” to get a 12% discount (pre- and post- discount prices listed below:

Freely available resources related to the book are available below. We like to ensure everyone can attendee our sessions and get something out of them even if they can’t afford to buy a copy of the book or the time to read it. We would encourage people to read/listen to as much as possible, but you are welcome to attend and listen along even if you are unable to engage with any of the below.

Information about Post-Internet Far Right from the publishers Dog Section Press:

“The far right has changed. Since the rise of the internet, it has scattered, diversified, and stuck itself back together. The internet has facilitated these tendencies, filtering and contorting familiar forms of activity and ideology, and pushed far-right groups to adapt, causing the decline of some formations and the break-up of others. But the far right has not gone away – far from it – it is more powerful now than it has been for a generation. It has produced new configurations of tactics, priorities, and goals. Those who have survived the arrival of the internet have found a greater capacity to exert power than at any point since the Second World War.

The far right is in a state of productive diversification. It has yet to cohere around a new stable formulation; however, it almost certainly will, and we must be ready for it.

“In this short, timely book the 12 Rules for What collective provide a bestiary of the far-right – explaining its cranks and its obsessives, how they think, and the social processes that drive them. Accessible, well-informed, and full of compelling detail – every anti-fascist should read this.”

Information about Post-Internet Far Right from the publishers Dog Section Press:

“The world faces a climate crisis and an ascendant far right. Are these trends related? How does the far right think about the environment, and what openings does the coming crisis present for them? This incisive new book traces the long history of far-right environmentalism and explores how it is adapting to the contemporary world. It argues that the extreme right, after years of denying the reality of climate change, are now showing serious signs of reversing their strategy. A new generation of far-right activists has realized that impending environmental catastrophe represents their best chance yet for a return to relevance. In reality, however, their noxious blend of conspiracy, hatred and violence is no solution at all: it is the ‘eco-socialism of fools’. Only a real commitment to climate justice can save us and stop the far right in its tracks. No-one interested in the struggle against right-wing extremism and the crusade for climate justice can afford to miss this trenchant critique of burgeoning ecofascism.”

About Stroud Radical Reading Group events and the venue

Our events are free to attend, though we will collect donations to cover the costs of venue hire on a donate-what-you-can-afford basis. We try to ensure the discussions are welcoming to new people, including people who have never been to a reading group before – and you don’t have to have been to university. You don’t even have to have read any of the book – you can just come along and listen to the discussion. Some free resources including a sample chapter we’ll focus our discussion on are included below though, and we’d encourage people to read/listen to as much as they can ahead of the session.

The Exchange has step-free access. We will keep windows open for ventilation, hand sanitiser is provided, and we ask people who are ill to stay away (whether they are ill with covid or something else). Attendees do not generally wear masks but we will be respectful to anyone who chooses to and other members may wear masks at request of other attendees – let us know your preferences in advance. Please contact us if you have any accessibility requirements, or other questions about how the events work.

March 29th 2023: Fractured – Race, Class, Gender and the Hatred of Identity Politics


On Wednesday 29th March, from 7.30-9.30pm at The Exchange, Brick Row, Stroud (GL5 1DF), Stroud Radical Reading Group will discuss “Fractured, Race, Class, Gender and the Hatred of Identity Politics” by Michael Richmond and Alex Charnley”. This discussion will be the third of a series looking at antifascism, both historically and in the present. You don’t have to read the other books in the series or attend all the events to come along to this one (though of course we recommend you do!).

We will choose one chapter of the book as a focus text and this will be available as a pdf to download from this page ASAP. You can buy copies from the Yellow Lighted Bookshop using this link (and we hope to set up a discount on the RRP of £16.99 very soon).

Freely available resources related to the book are available below. We like to ensure everyone can attendee our sessions and get something out of them even if they can’t afford to buy a copy of the book or the time to read it. We would encourage people to read/listen to as much as possible, but you are welcome to attend and listen along even if you are unable to engage with any of the below.

Our events are free to attend, though we will collect donations to cover the costs of venue hire on a donate-what-you-can-afford basis. We try to ensure the discussions are welcoming to new people, including people who have never been to a reading group before – and you don’t have to have been to university. You don’t even have to have read any of the book – you can just come along and listen to the discussion. Some free resources including a sample chapter we’ll focus our discussion on are included below though, and we’d encourage people to read/listen to as much as they can ahead of the session.

The Exchange has step-free access. We will keep windows open for ventilation, hand sanitiser is provided, and we ask people who are ill to stay away (whether they are ill with covid or something else). Attendees do not generally wear masks but we will be respectful to anyone who chooses to and other members may wear masks at request of other attendees – let us know your preferences in advance. Please contact us if you have any accessibility requirements, or other questions about how the events work.

“Identity politics has been a smear for decades. The right use it to lament the loss of free speech, while many on the left bemoan it as the end of class politics. It has been used to dismiss movements such as Black Lives Matter and brought seemingly progressive people into the path of fascism. It has emboldened the march of the transphobes.

In Fractured, the authors move away from the ahistorical temper of the identity politics debate. Instead of crudely categorising race, gender and sexuality as fixed and immutable identities, or forcing them under the banner of ‘diversity’, they argue that these categories are inseparable from the history of class struggle under British and US capitalism.

Through an appraisal of pivotal historical moments in Britain and the US, including Black feminist and anticolonial traditions on both sides of the Atlantic, the authors question the assumptions of the culture war, offering a refreshing and reasoned way to understand how historical class struggles were formed and continue to determine the possibilities for new forms of solidarity in an increasingly dangerous world.”


– information from the publishers Pluto Press

February 22nd 2023: No Pasaran! Antifascist dispatches from a world in crisis


On Wednesday 22nd February, from 7.30-9.30pm at The Exchange, Brick Row, Stroud (GL5 1DF), Stroud Radical Reading Group will discuss “¡No Pasarán! Antifascist Dispatches from a World in Crisis”, a book of essays edited by Shane Burley. This discussion will be the second of a series looking at antifascism, both historically and in the present. You are welcome to attend this session alone, though we of course recommend reading all the books in the series and coming to all the events for the full experience!

We will choose one chapter of the book as a focus text and this will be available as a pdf to download from this page ASAP. We also have a small number of copies of the book available to buy at our event on 25th January, priced at £15 (instead of the retail price of £21).

Freely available resources related to the book are available below. We like to ensure everyone can attendee our sessions and get something out of them even if they can’t afford to buy a copy of the book or the time to read it. We would encourage people to read/listen to as much as possible, but you are welcome to attend and listen along even if you are unable to engage with any of the below.

Our events are free to attend, though we will collect donations to cover the costs of venue hire on a donate-what-you-can-afford basis. We try to ensure the discussions are welcoming to new people, including people who have never been to a reading group before – and you don’t have to have been to university. You don’t even have to have read any of the book – you can just come along and listen to the discussion. Some free resources including a sample chapter we’ll focus our discussion on are included below though, and we’d encourage people to read/listen to as much as they can ahead of the session.

The Exchange has step-free access. We will keep windows open for ventilation, hand sanitiser is provided, and we ask people who are ill to stay away (whether they are ill with covid or something else). Attendees do not generally wear masks but we will be respectful to anyone who chooses to and other members may wear masks at request of other attendees – let us know your preferences in advance. Please contact us if you have any accessibility requirements, or other questions about how the events work.

“¡No Pasarán! is an anthology of antifascist writing that takes up the fight against white supremacy and the far-right from multiple angles. From the history of antifascism to today’s movement to identify, deplatform, and confront the right, and the ways an insurgent fascism is growing within capitalist democracies, a myriad of voices come together to shape the new face of antifascism in a moment of social and political flux.”

Contributors include: Kim Kelly, Geo Maher, Hilary A. Moore, Daryle Lamont Jenkins, Emily Gorcenski, Maia Ramnath, Alexander Reid Ross, Matthew N. Lyons, Abner Häuge, Margaret Killjoy, Michael Novick, Jeanelle K. Hope, Maxililian Alvarez, Emmi Bevensee, Frank Miroslav, Ryan Smith, Leila al-Shami, Shon Meckfessel, Patrick Strickland, Mike Bento, Mirna Wabi-Sabi, Benjamin S. Case, Joan Braune, and Margaret Rex. Editor Shane Burley is an author based in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of Why We Fight: Essays on Fascism, Resistance, and Surviving the Apocalypse (AK Press, 2021) and Fascism Today: What It Is and How to End It (AK Press, 2017). Author of the afterword David Renton is a barrister, historian, and antifascist activist. His previous books include The New Authoritarians  and Fascism: History and Theory. Author of the foreword Tal Lavin, is also author of Culture Warlords.”
– information from the publishers AK Press

Books we will read in 2023

Please see below a full list of the books we will read in 2023. Each monthly session will have its own page on the website providing links to excerpts (‘focus texts’) to enable those who aren’t able to buy/read full books to participate, discounted copies of the books, and audio/visual materials that act as alternatives/additions to the reading. For now, only January-May’s sessions has these details, but full details will be added, together with dates for sessions beyond January, ASAP.

* Wednesday January 25th: “We Fight Fascists: The 43 Group and Their Forgotten Battle for Post-war Britain”, by Daniel Sonabend

* February: “No Pasaran! Antifascist dispatches from a World in crisis”, edited by Shane Burley

* March: “Fractured: Race, Class, Gender and the Hatred of Identity Politics” by Michael Richmond and Alex Charnley

* April: “The Post-Internet Far-Right and Ecofascism“, both by Sam Moore and Alex Roberts

* May: “White Skin, Black Fuel: On the Danger of Fossil Fascism”, by Andreas Malm and The Zetkin Collective

* June – The Solutions are Already Here: Strategies for Ecological Revolution from Below by Peter Gelderloos

* July – After Geoengineering: Climate Tragedy, Repair, and Restoration, by Holly Jean Buck

* August: Noughts and Crosses, by Malorie Blackman

* September: Disaster Anarchy – Mutual Aid and Radical Action by Rhiannon Firth

* October 2023 – Old Gods, New Enigmas by Mike Davis

* Nov 2023 – Care Manifesto: The Politics of Interdependence by The Care Collective

January 25th 2023: We Fight Fascists by Daniel Sonabend


On Wednesday 25th January, from 7.30-9.30pm at The Exchange, Brick Row, Stroud (GL5 1DF), Stroud Radical Reading Group will discuss Daniel Sonabend’s “We Fight Fascists: The 43 Group and Their Forgotten Battle for Post-War Britain“. The book tells the story of the Jewish ex-servicemen who fought against Oswald Mosley after World War II. Our event will precede Holocaust Memorial Day which is held annually on January 27th (and accompany other events on the topic that week). The event will begin with an introduction by regular attendee Jeremy Green, whose father was a member of the 43 Group.

This discussion will be the first of a series looking at antifascism, both historically and in the present, running monthly till May. You are welcome to attend this session alone, though we of course recommend reading all the books in the series and coming to all the events for the full experience!

Freely available resources related to the book are available below. We like to ensure everyone can attendee our sessions and get something out of them even if they can’t afford to buy a copy of the book or the time to read it. We would encourage people to read/listen to as much as possible, but you are welcome to attend and listen along even if you are unable to engage with any of the below.

You can buy a paperback copy from publishers Verso with a 30% discount and free e-book (£9.09 instead of the £12.99 RRP). The ebook alone is available from Verso for £7.79 (40% of the RRP of £12.99) at the same link.

Our events are free to attend, though we will collect donations to cover the costs of venue hire on a donate-what-you-can-afford basis. We try to ensure the discussions are welcoming to new people, including people who have never been to a reading group before – and you don’t have to have been to university. You don’t even have to have read any of the book – you can just come along and listen to the discussion. Some free resources including a sample chapter we’ll focus our discussion on are included below though, and we’d encourage people to read/listen to as much as they can ahead of the session.

“In 1946 many Jewish soldiers returned to their homes in England imagining that they had fought and defeated the forces of fascism in Europe. Yet in London they found a revived fascist movement inspired by Sir Oswald Mosley and stirring up agitation against Jews and communists. Many felt that the government, the police and even the Jewish Board of Deputies were ignoring the threat; so they had to take matters into their own hands, by any means necessary.

Forty-three Jewish servicemen met together and set up a group that tirelessly organised, infiltrated meetings, and broke up street demonstrations to stop the rebirth of the far right. The group included returned war heroes; women who went undercover; and young Jews, such as hairdresser Vidal Sassoon, seeking adventure. From 1947, the 43 Group grew into a powerful troop that could muster hundreds of fighters turning meetings into mass street brawls at short notice.

The history of the 43 Group is not just a gripping story of a forgotten moment in Britain’s postwar history; it is also a timely lesson in how to confront fascism, and how to win.” – information about the book from publishers, Verso.

The Exchange has step-free access. We will keep windows open for ventilation, hand sanitiser is provided, and we ask people who are ill to stay away (whether they are ill with covid or something else). Attendees do not generally wear masks but we will be respectful to anyone who chooses to and other members may wear masks at request of other attendees – let us know your preferences in advance. Please contact us if you have any accessibility requirements, or other questions about how the events work.

Oct 26th 2022: Living My Life by Emma Goldman


On Friday 21st October 2022, from 7.30-9.30pm at The Exchange, Brick Row, Stroud (GL5 1DF), Stroud Radical Reading Group will discuss Emma Goldman’s autobiography Living My Life (discounted copies are available from a local bookshop – click the previous link/see more details below).

If you do not have time to read the fill book (which approaches 600 pages), please focus on the Introduction, Chapter 42/XLII, pages 311-322 of the Penguin Classics edition (in which she discusses the Mother Earth radical newspaper she published, censorship, Feminism and homosexuality), and/or Chapter 52/LII, pages 403-527 of the Penguin Classics edition (which covers Goldman’s experiences in the early Soviet Union).

Buy a copy of the book with a 12% discount from the Yellow Lighted Bookshop. To claim the 12% discount (which reduces the price by £1.92 from £15.99 to £14.07), add the book to your basket, then click to ‘view your basket’, type “StroudRadical”in the ‘Coupon Code’ box, click ‘apply coupon’ and then proceed.

Our events are free to attend, though we will collect donations to cover the costs of venue hire on a donate-what-you-can-afford basis. We try to ensure the discussions are welcoming to new people, including people who have never been to a reading group before – and you don’t have to have been to university. You don’t even have to have read any of the book – you can just come along and listen to the discussion. Some free resources including a sample chapter we’ll focus our discussion on are included below though, and we’d encourage people to read/listen to as much as they can ahead of the session.

““The most dangerous woman in America,” as J. Edgar Hoover described her, took pen in hand in June 1928 to write the events of her tumultuous life. “Red Emma” Goldman, who the popular press claimed owned no God, had no religion, would kill all rulers, and overthrow all laws, chose to begin her autobiography on her fifty-ninth birthday, a task she would later say was the “hardest and most painful” she had ever undertaken. As she wrote about her life, she confronted not only her own loneliness but also the disappointment of her political hopes, the dream that anarchism, which she called her “beautiful ideal,” would take root in her lifetime among the people whose benefit she believed she served…

Eight years earlier, in 1920, America, her adopted country, had deported her as a subversive, leaving her feeling “an alien everywhere,” as she wrote to her friend in exile Alexander Berkman (Nowhere at Home, 170). A permanent, often unwelcome guest in someone else’s country, she would infuse her writing with a sense of loneliness and despair. To Berkman she wrote “hardly anything has come of our years of effort” (ibid., 49). On the eve of fascist victories in Europe, she felt as well the nearness of catastrophe, the likelihood that once again, as it had in 1914, Europe would be convulsed by war.

Underlying this sense of impending disaster, she was aware that political radicals on the left were embracing the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, a revolution she believed had betrayed the expectations of the Russian peasants and workers in whose name Lenin’s government served.” – Miriam Brody in the introduction to the Penguin Classics edition of the book

The Exchange has step-free access. We will keep windows open for ventilation, hand sanitiser is provided, and we ask people who are ill to stay away (whether they are ill with covid or something else). Attendees do not generally wear masks but we will be respectful to anyone who chooses to and other members may wear masks at request of other attendees – let us know your preferences in advance. Please contact us if you have any accessibility requirements – or other questions about how the events work.

Freely available resources related to the book are available below. We like to ensure everyone can attendee our sessions and get something out of them even if they can’t afford to buy a copy of the book or the time to read it.

Sept 27th 2022: The Rickard Sisters’ graphic novel version of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists


On Tuesday September 27th 2022, from 8-10pm at The Exchange, Brick Row, Stroud (GL5 1DF, note the later start time), Stroud Radical Reading Group will discuss Scarlett and Sophie Rickard’s graphic novel interpretation of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (discounted copies are available from a local bookshop – click the previous link/see more details below).

This book has been selected to because of the event our friends at The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop are holding on Saturday 10th September, 5pm (at The Malthouse in Tetbury). The Rickard sisters will introduce their work (click previous link for event details), talk through their approach, and discuss why they felt it was so important to bring the book to a wider audience today. The event is part of Tetbury’s “Big Book Weekend”, which also includes a one-man theatre adaptation of Tressell’s classic novel by Neil Gore of Townsend Productions.

Buy a copy of the book with a 12% discount from the Yellow Lighted Bookshop. To claim the 12% discount (which reduces the price by £1.80 from £14.99 to £13.19), add the book to your basket, then click to ‘view your basket’, type “StroudRadical”in the ‘Coupon Code’ box, click ‘apply coupon’ and then proceed.

Our events are free to attend, though we will collect donations to cover the costs of venue hire on a donate-what-you-can-afford basis. We try to ensure the discussions are welcoming to new people, including people who have never been to a reading group before – and you don’t have to have been to university. You don’t even have to have read any of the book – you can just come along and listen to the discussion. Some free resources including a sample chapter we’ll focus our discussion on are included below though, and we’d encourage people to read/listen to as much as they can ahead of the session.

“Robert Tressell’s groundbreaking socialist novel ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’ tells the story of a group of working men in the fictional town of Mugsborough, and socialist journeyman-prophet Frank Owen who attempts to convince his fellow workers that capitalism is the real source of the poverty all around them. Owen’s spirited attacks on the greed and dishonesty of the capitalist system, and support for a socialist society in which work is performed to satisfy the needs of all, rather than to generate profit for a few, eventually rouses his fellow men from their political passivity…
Sophie and Scarlett set out to make the novel more accessible, using their passion for graphic novels, and their sensitive and faithful adaptation has been widely acclaimed. Scarlett’s warm and rewarding illustrations, and Sophie’s light touch with the text bring this story to life, while retaining the power and anger with which it was written.”

The Yellow Lighted Bookshop’s information about the book, and the Rickard sisters’ adaptation.

The Exchange has step-free access. We will keep windows open for ventilation, hand sanitiser is provided, and we ask people who are ill to stay away (whether they are ill with covid or something else). Attendees do not generally wear masks but we will be respectful to anyone who chooses to and other members may wear masks at request of other attendees – let us know your preferences in advance. Please contact us if you have any accessibility requirements – or other questions about how the events work.

Freely available resources related to the book will be added as soon as possible – we like to ensure everyone can attendee our sessions and get something out of them even if they can’t afford to buy a copy of the book or the time to read it. Below you can watch a video of author and illustrator Sophie and Scarlett Rickard discussing the book with Ross Ashcroft of Renegade Inc.

The Purpose of Power – by Alicia Garza. August 2022

On Monday August 29th 2022, from 7.30-9.30pm at The Exchange, Brick Row, Stroud (GL5 1DF), Stroud Radical Reading Group will discuss Alicia Garza’s book The Purpose of Power: How to build movements for the 21st Century (discounted copies are available from a local bookshop – click the previous link/see below).

Our events are free to attend, though we will collect donations to cover the costs of venue hire on a donate-what-you-can-afford basis. We try to ensure the discussions are welcoming to new people, including people who have never been to a reading group before – and you don’t have to have been to university. You don’t even have to have read any of the book – you can just come along and listen to the discussion. Some free resources including a sample chapter we’ll focus our discussion on are included below though, and we’d encourage people to read/listen to as much as they can ahead of the session.

Black Lives Matter began as a hashtag when Alicia Garza wrote what she calls ‘a love letter to Black people’ on Facebook. But hashtags don’t build movements, she tells us. People do.

Interwoven with Garza’s experience of life as a Black woman, The Purpose of Power is the story of how she responded to the persistent message that Black lives are of less value than white lives by galvanizing people to create change. It’s an insight into grass roots organizing to deliver basic needs – affordable housing, workplace protections, access to good education – to those locked out of the economy by racism.

It is an attempt not only to make sense of where Black Lives Matter came from but also to understand the possibilities that Black Lives Matter and movements like it hold for our collective futures. Ultimately, it’s an appeal to hearts and minds, demanding that we think about our privileges and prejudices and ask how we might contribute to the change we want to see in the world”

– Publisher information about the book

We will focus our discussion on Chapter 1 – which is available free. We encourage people to buy a copy of the book and read as much as possible, but appreciate not everyone can afford this in terms of either money or time – or may prefer audio/visual content. Below we provide links to another excerpt from the book, and two interview with Alicia Garza (one a video, the other text), which are all freely available.

The Exchange has step-free access. We will keep windows open for ventilation, hand sanitiser is provided, and we ask people who are ill to stay away (whether they are ill with covid or something else). Attendees do not generally wear masks but we will be respectful to anyone who chooses to and other members may wear masks at request of other attendees – let us know your preferences in advance. Please contact us if you have any accessibility requirements – or other questions about how the events work.

Resources