About Us

The Alexander Berkman Social Club is a group of anarchists who want to talk about what anarchism is, how anarchists see things and what anarchy could look like. Named after the editor of San Francisco’s mighty The Blast, we hope to have continual monthly meetings that are open to all. If you come you’ll get a membership card, the chance to win thousands of dollars (alright – the odd book or two) and hopefully something to think about and act on. You failed the audition for “So You Think You Can Dance,” and you just don’t seem with it. Don’t worry. The ABSC will have you. See you there!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

January 22, 2009 Meeting

We are very excited to be hosting English author and historian Shelia Rowbotham, who will be speaking at our January meeting about her recently published book, Edward Carpenter: A Life of Liberty and Love.

More information coming soon, but in the meantime, here is a recent article about Shelia in the Guardian: An Unshowy Icon

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Ok -- I'm excerpting a lot here because it should be read... For more go to their site




The events that have taken place so far, both inside and outside of Greece, following the murder of 16-year old Alexandros Grigoropoulos from the special guard Epaminondas Korkoneas, show clearly that we are in the midst of a popular insurrection. Ever growing segments of society (high school and university students, workers, unemployed, immigrants, detainees, poor,…) decide to come out in the streets and transform their rage for whatever oppresses them in every _expression of their lives into action (dynamic mobilizations during which there are mass clashes with the forces of repression and attacks on government and capitalist targets, occupations of public buildings, open assemblies, counterinformation actions,…).

Within the frame of this insurrection, the City Hall of Aghios Dimitrios has been occupied since the morning of Thursday Dec. 11, so that it may become a place of counter-information, meeting, and self-organizing of the residents of the wider region and for the collective formation and implementation of actions. A main component of this occupation is the daily popular assembly with participation of up to 300 people, a process that functions in contrast to the entrusting of the management of our demands as well as of our struggles to whichever "representatives," elected or not. A process that tends to be implanted deeply into the consciousness of its participants on their role as political beings.

Without a doubt, this popular insurrection is clearly turning against the very structure of the current regime. Therefore, it follows that the subjects of this insurrection will face the repressive fury of the defenders of the system (the state, the businesses, the comfortable, …). Already there have been about 200 arrests around the country (often accompanied by violence and trumped up charges). Some of the charges, misdemeanors as well as felonies are: resisting arrest, disobedience, disturbing the peace, attempting to free detainees, use and possession of tools and explosives, attempt to inflict serious bodily harm, etc. In some instances, the state has prosecuted minors under anti-terrorist statutes (Larissa). Nevertheless, for us it is obvious that all these charges are political in nature. And of course the "not at all" predatory state (in conjunction with the "not at all" profiteering business people) has the audacity to prosecute so-called "looters".

By participating in the popular insurrection both inside and outside of the now liberated City Hall of Ag. Dimitrios, we express with our deeds our solidarity with those arrested and procecuted for their actions in this social struggle. The struggle for their release and the cessation of prosecutions is absolutely connected with the very insurrection and must constitute a main demand.

A few lines above there was a reference to the defenders of the system. Unfortunately this category also includes those segments of society, which, while objectively belong on the side of the oppressed, whether by their opposition to the social struggle or whether by their silence (a result as much of the brainwashing from mass media as from the growing tendency to abandon collective claims and pursue individual solutions) end up playing the game of their oppressors. It is necessary that we realize what is the source of our problems and that all of us "below" are already on the crosshairs of the system, therefore it is to our advantage to join this insurrection.





Tuesday December 16, 2008, 7:00pm

at the liberated City Hall of Ag. Dimitrios


On December 6th, 2008, the special guard Epaminondas Korkoneas pulled out his gun and murdered a citizen, a 16-year old kid. The rage that everyone feels is huge, despite all the attempts by the government and the mass media to disorient public opinion.

It is now certain that this insurrection is not only homage to the unjust loss of Alexandros Grigoropoulos. There has been a lot of talk since then about violence, thefts and pillages. For those in the media and power, violence is only what destroys the proper order.

For us however:

Violence is to work 40 years for crumbs and to wonder if you will ever retire.

Violence is the bonds, the stolen pensions, the securities fraud.

Violence is to be forced to take a housing loan that you will pay back through the nose.

Violence is the managerial right of the employer to fire you at will.

Violence is unemployment, temporary employment, 700 euros a month.

Violence is the "industrial accidents" because the bosses cut costs at the expense of worker safety.

Violence is to take psycho-medications and vitamins to withstand the exhaustive work schedule.

Violence is to be an immigrant, to live with the fear that you can be thrown out of the country at any time and to be in a state of constant insecurity.

Violence is to be simultaneously a wage worker, a housewife, and a mother.

Violence is to be worked to death and then to be told "smile, we are not asking that much of you."

The insurrection of high-school and university students, of temporary workers and immigrants broke this violence of normality. This insurrection must not stop! Syndicalists, political parties, priests, journalists and businesspeople do whatever they can to maintain the violence we described above.

It is not just them, but we too are responsible for the perpetuation of this situation. The insurrection opened a space where we can finally express ourselves freely. As a continuation of this opening we went forward with the occupation of the City Hall of Ag. Dimitrios and the formation of a popular assembly open to all.

An open space for communication, to break our silence, to undertake action for our life.

Saturday December 13 2008, 7:00pm, open popular assembly at the Ag. Dimitrios city hall.



Ειδικοί Φρουροί , Special Guards, an elite force within the police department.

Average salary in Greece, approx. US$930.00, not nearly enough to survive on.

Liberated City Hall of Aghios Dimitrios

Friday, December 19, 2008

Solidarity with Greece, this Saturday in San Francisco



For two weeks now, Greek youth, immigrants, and workers have been taking over streets and schools demanding an end to police brutality and capitalist exploitation. Their uprising is an inspiration to all of us who understand that their conditions of oppression are also ours, and that their resistance is our resistance. Greece is everywhere!

From the streets of Athens to the streets of San Francisco, we who are faced with the precarious conditions of economic decline, we who are increasingly denied the basic right to food, affordable housing, education and dignified conditions of labor, can no longer look on in helpless isolation. While the banks get bailouts, we get pink slips and eviction notices, police harassment and the skyrocketing cost of living, schools close and social services are cut. And in the Mission District of San Francisco we get gentrification and ICE raids. In order to survive the great storm that is upon us, we must come together as a community and develop autonomous ways of supporting and sustaining each other. We must create forums and spaces for the practice of mutual aid and social solidarity.

Come join us this Saturday for a march and General Assembly where we can begin to imagine a new society – a free Mission District, a free Greece, and a free world. Come in solidarity with the university occupations and street battles in Greece, France, Italy and Spain and with the occupation of the New School in New York City. Their struggle is our struggle.

From the wreckage of the old world whispers new possibilities. This tinderbox is only just being lit.

In resistance and struggle,

Global Solidarity in Action, San Francisco

March and General Assembly

On Saturday, December 20th a march will begin at 24th and Mission at 4:00 PM as part of an international day of action called for by the assembly of the occupied Athens Polytechnic University. Worldwide actions are planned in resistance to global capital and exploitation, in memory of all assassinated youth, and in solidarity with migrants and other marginalized people and all those struggling for freedom and human dignity.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A message from the group which has been occupying Athens Polytechnic in response to the death of a 15-year-old at the hands of police has been published on Athens Indymedia.

"On Saturday December 6, 2008, Alexandros Grigoropoulos, a 15-year old comrade, was murdered in cold blood, with a bullet in the chest by a cop in the area of Exarchia.

"Contrary to the statements of politicians and journalists who are accomplices to the murder, this was not an “isolated incident”, but an explosion of the state repression which systematically and in an organised manner targets those who resist, those who revolt, the anarchists and anti-authoritarians.

"It is the peak of state terrorism which is expressed with the upgrading of the role of repressive mechanisms, their continuous armament, the increasing levels of violence they use, with the doctrine of “zero tolerance”, with the slandering media propaganda that criminalises those who are fighting against authority.

"It is these conditions that prepare the ground for the intensification of repression, attempting to extract social consent beforehand, and arming the weapons of state murderers in uniform!

"Lethal violence against the people in the social and class struggle is aiming at everybody’s submission, serving as exemplary punishment, meant to spread fear.

"It is part of the wider attack of the state and the bosses against the entire society, in order to impose more rigid conditions of exploitation and oppression, to consolidate control and repression. From school and universities to the dungeons of waged slavery with the hundreds of dead workers in the so-called “working accidents” and the poverty embracing large numbers of the population… From the minefields in the borders, the pogroms and the murders of immigrants and refugees to the numerous “suicides” in prisons and police stations… from the “accindental shootings” in police blockades to violent repression of local resistances, Democracy is showing its teeth!

"From the first moment after the murder of Alexandros, spontaneous demonstrations and riots burst in the center of Athens, the Polytechnic, the Economic and the Law Schools are being occupied and attacks against state and capitalist targets take place in many different neighborhoods and in the city centre. Demonstrations, attacks and clashes erupt in Thessaloniki, Patras, Volos, Chania and Heraklion in Crete, in Giannena, Komotini and many more cities. In Athens, in Patission street –outside the Polytechnic and the Economic School- clashes last all night. Outside the Polytechnic the riot police make use of plastic bullets.

"On Sunday the 7th December, thousands of people demonstrate towards the police headquarters in Athens, attacking the riot police. Clashes of unprecedented tension spread in the streets of the city centre, lasting until late at night. Many demonstrators are injured and a number of them are arrested.

"We continue the occupation of the Polytechnic School which started on Saturday night, creating a space for all people who fighting to gather, and one more permanent focus of resistance in the city.

"In the barricades, the university occupations, the demonstrations and the assemblies we keep alive the memory of Alexandros, but also the memory of Michalis Kaltezas and of all the comrades who were murdered by the state, strengthening the struggle for a world without masters and slaves, without police, armies, prisons and borders.

"The bullets of the murderers in uniform, the arrests and beatings of demonstrators, the chemical gas war launched by the police forces, not only cannot manage to impose fear and silence, but they become for the people the reason to raise against state terrorism the cries of the struggle for freedom, to abandon fear and to meet –more and more every day- in the streets of revolt. To let the rage overflow and drown them!

State terrorism shall not pass!

We demand the immediate release of all those arrested in the events of 7th-8th December.

We are sending our solidarity to everyone occupying universities, demonstrating and clashing with the state murderers all over the country.

- The Occupation of the Polytechnic University in Athens

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Meeting Tonight!

Our Topic will be Anarchism and Class

Featuring Barry Pateman
(curator of the Kate Sharpley Library, editor of the Emma Goldman Papers Project, star of print, audio, and film, and one of the leading anarchist historians of our time)

And new music by the
Hippolyte Havel House Band
(with Danishta Rivero, Ava Mendoza and Devin Hoff)

Plus special guests, food, drink, raffles,
and comradely good cheer!


522 Valencia st.
San Francisco
$5 ($4 if you show your membership card!)