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There is no going back; there is only moving forward!

Dear friends,

We’re sad to have to announce that after nearly eight years on Old Market, Hydra’s lease is coming to an end on June 30. Our landlords want to redevelop the building, including the housing above Hydra Books.

BUT! This isn’t the end of Hydra. We’ve had seven years of books, gigs, community and organising and we’re going to have more. We’re investigating all our options and exploring lots of ideas for our future. 

We’re hugely thankful that many of you have offered your support. So what can you do? It’s still early days and as we begin to plan, we want to know about /any/ contribution you can make to securing Hydra’s future. We’re not ruling anything out at this point; you might have skills or advice we’ve not even thought about! Any offers of help are valuable. 

What if you want to help but don’t know what you can do? 

* Get involved in Hydra! We always need volunteers and there are many many different ways to join in with this work. You can fill in a volunteer form here: We have a new volunteers day on the first Saturday of the month, but you can always drop in to chat any day we’re open. 

* Tell us about other spaces that might suit Hydra, especially if they are low-cost, or you have contact with the owners or other people involved. 

* Tell us about other groups, new or existing, who may also be seeking, or have sought, premises in the past. 

* Talk about us! Tell people we exist, get them to swing by! The message is not one of doom, we want to encourage more people to connect with us – We’re still active and we intend to be around for plenty of time to come. You can email us at and call us on 0117 3297401. 

Thank you for all the ways you support the existence of Hydra – you make it what it is. Let’s make sure it has a future. 

With love, 

The Many-Headed Hydra

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Secrets and Spies.

Pre-launch event for the Radical History Zone of Bristol Anarchist Bookfair

3pm – 6pm

13th of Apr

The Radical History Zone of the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair will get off to a cracking start as author Eveline Lubbers shines a light on corporate and police spying on activists – the topic of her new book, Secret Manoeuvres in the Dark.

In the best tradition of radical Investigative research. Secret Manoeuvres includes revelations from the Economic League’s blacklisting of trade unionists, the McLibel case to the high-profile exposure of police spy Mark Kennedy. Using, we are promised, exclusive access to previously confidential sources, independent investigator Eveline will share some secrets at Hydra.

For more information about the book see here:

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African Struggles Today: Social Movements Since Independence. Book Talk.

Thursday 28th of Feb. 7:30-9:30

The on-going revolutions in North Africa and the Middle East have
captured the world’s attention. But what is the state of social
movements elsewhere in Africa today? Are we witnessing a new wave of
social movement struggles? Based on their 15 year involvement in
Africa as activists and researchers the authors of a new book on this
subject will be discussing the prospects for social movements.

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Old Market March and Police Riot – 80th Anniversary

Date:        Saturday 25th February 2012

Time:          4:00 pm

Place:        Hydra Books

February 23rd 1932 was the scene of a confrontation between the National Unemployed Workers’ Movement and the police. To mark the 80th anniversary, historians Roger Ball and Dave Backwith will consider the impact of the events of that day and the wider context of the struggles of the unemployed during the great depression.

Dave backwith is a researcher of Bristol\’s working class history in the inter war years particularly 1919 and the unemployed workers movement in the 1930’s. He is a family and community studies lecturer at the Anglia Ruskin University.

Roger Ball is a post graduate research student in the history department at the University of the West of England.

This is one of a series of events surrounding the Old Market Riot put on by Bristol Radical History Group.

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Review of the Year – Bristol Feminist Network

Come and hear about the BFN’s activities in 2011 and plans for 2012

Date: Wednesday 18 January 2012 

Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Place: Hydra Books

The Bristol Feminist Network write:

Our fourth year has been the busiest ever for the Bristol Feminist Network. Starting in January with the Where are the Women – Here They Are! cabaret night where we celebrated women’s music, poetry and art, our activity hasn’t stopped.

Since then we have had numerous discussion groups, including Feminism 101, Sisterhood, Feminism and Relationships and Feminism and Eroticism. We hosted a sell-out event about women’s representation in the media with renowned journalist Bidisha. We’ve ran two packed film and panel events on female genital mutilation, and a film and speech night on violence against women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We ran a workshop on women’s rights in Afghanistan and joined women up and down the country when we hosted a candle lit vigil to demand women’s voices are heard as peace negotiations with the country progress. Most recently, we marched through the streets to Bristol to Reclaim the Night.

Our members have attended conferences, written articles, contributed to reports, ran workshops, sat on committees and marched on Slut Walks.

This year has seen a number of feminist-related stories in the headlines, often demonstrating how far we have come – but also how far we have to go. In our own city, we have seen how entrenched victim-blaming myths are, with the initial police safety advice after the murder of Jo Yeates (which BFN successfully challenged and changed). The reactions to the allegations against Julian Assange and Dominique Strauss-Kahn revealed the investment we have in rape myths that excuse the alleged perpetrator and blame the victim. The opening of the Playboy Club in London and the Miss World event showed we have a long way to go before the normalisation of women as sex objects is over. And the cuts from the coalition government continue to entrench inequality as they turn back the clock on women’s rights.


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