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20 yards of linen=1 coat
09-03-2011, 05:40 PM
As the big demo on the 26th nears........

Check this out (http://escalatecollective.net/). IMO the cream of the writing to come out of the recent activity in Britain against the cutting of education maintenance allowance (EMA), and tuition fees.


Escalate is a collective of writers and activists from around the University of London. Brought together through protest, we come from a variety of political backgrounds but write and edit our work collectively. Anonymity frees us from reputation-seeking and ideological dead weight. We have no wish to contain or regulate the diversity of the student movement. We are not its 'voice'. Our writing focuses on the current political situation: insofar as it learns from the past, it refuses nostalgia. We aim to provide analysis and critique that can inform the movement both practically and politically.

If you dont want to read the whole thing (it is good) then the sections ....

C. Flower
09-03-2011, 05:45 PM
As the big demo on the 26th nears........

Check this out (http://escalatecollective.net/). IMO the cream of the writing to come out of the recent activity in Britain against the cutting of education maintenance allowance (EMA), and tuition fees.

Anonymous group of authors, presumably involved in recent university occupations and the big demos.

If you dont want to read the whole thing (it is good) then the sections
1.2 Social media as panacea
2.2 Police
2.3 Solidarity & Anxiety

are especially worth reading and relevant just as much to those in Ireland as the UK or anywhere else, and

3.1 Rights
3.2 Resources

are also good.

Yes - a good discussion.

Hapax
09-03-2011, 05:49 PM
As the big demo on the 26th nears........

Check this out (http://escalatecollective.net/). IMO the cream of the writing to come out of the recent activity in Britain against the cutting of education maintenance allowance (EMA), and tuition fees.

Anonymous group of authors, presumably involved in recent university occupations and the big demos.

If you dont want to read the whole thing (it is good) then the sections
1.2 Social media as panacea
2.1 Boundaries
2.2 Police
2.3 Solidarity & Anxiety

are especially worth reading and relevant just as much to those in Ireland as the UK or anywhere else, and

3.1 Rights
3.2 Resources

are also good.


Not read it all yet, but finding it very interesting, and provocative (in the best sense). This, from 2.2, struck me as highly practical, given the times that are in it:


The police will, as they’ve stated, pursue an increasingly aggressive surveillance approach in its suppression of students in 2011. They will seek to isolate us and dominate us by knowing us personally. As they escalate against us we will escalate our defence. The more the police contain us, the more determinedly we will break their containment zones. The more they target the wearing of masks at demonstrations, the more we will wear masks. They’ve stated their case and their aims, here’s ours: we will continue choosing freedom over obedience. Our only personal relationship is with each other. We become free as a collective; we control our personal data. Anonymity brings us unity and strength.

Cover your face: today, we can do nothing as somebody or something as nobody.

But what I mainly like so far is its combining of a strategic refusal to be categorized other than by in its own terms, and its tactical savvy.

C. Flower
09-03-2011, 05:53 PM
Not read it all yet, but finding it very interesting, and provocative (in the best sense). This, from 2.2, struck me as highly practical, given the times that are in it:



But what I mainly like so far is its combining of a strategic refusal to be categorized other than by in its own terms, and its tactical savvy.

I was impressed by the refusal to become defensive or to be isolated from support, on the "outsiders" issue.

20 yards of linen=1 coat
09-03-2011, 06:04 PM
I was impressed by the refusal to become defensive or to be isolated from support, on the "outsiders" issue.

Do you mean from this bit?

1.3 Illegitimate protesters

Time and again we hear pundits and activists question the motivations and backgrounds of those involved in the movement not to ascertain its direction, but to judge the participants’ legitimacy. Non-students are the most frequent pariahs of the journalistic fervour. While it is true that different social backgrounds and situations alter motivations, this does not preclude participation. Any attempt to divide the movement on this basis is a tactic of our opponents.

Asked how we deal with those who turn up to ’cause trouble’ at the demonstrations, the non-students, our unequivocal answer is: we are those troublemakers. We do not attend protests as students, but as parts of a politicised collective. For all the attention in recent years to identity politics, the identity that is most often overlooked is that of the activist, the protester, the politicised being. When we consider ourselves as such, it is not to create a clique or an underground, but to confess that legitimacy stems from shared forms of dissent, and not from a common economic or cultural ancestry, including that of studentship.

Very good. Echoing the cry "nous sommes tout de casseurs" from the most radical of the student occupations during the 2005 anti-CPE actions, at Rennes University.

Captain Con O'Sullivan
09-03-2011, 07:09 PM
Seems very thoughtful and well thought out. Thankfully the young people are naturally more savvy on technology and modes of communication than coppers (in the same way that regulators are always ten years behind bankers?) and above all recognise that there is an assault ongoing on society by a self-appointed corporate elite and that the police are simply an arm of that.

They appear to have a very clear voice. Good for 'em. I hope the younger generation find a way to upset the apple cart because its a cart that needs upsetting.

morticia
09-03-2011, 07:23 PM
They appear to have a very clear voice. Good for 'em. I hope the younger generation find a way to upset the apple cart because its a cart that needs upsetting.

Indeed. The younger generations are those that are suffering most at the moment.... no jobs, increased student fees, and then, a few years older, the unmanageable mortgages, layoffs and impoverished children.

But we need to find legal and non-violent ways of making the point.

Funnily enough, the GE might have done a lot for us; FF has been brutalized, and stands as a warning to FG/Lab as to what awaits them, should they fail.

Fear is a powerful motivator, as is the ballot box for a politician.

20 yards of linen=1 coat
10-03-2011, 09:58 AM
Indeed. The younger generations are those that are suffering most at the moment.... no jobs, increased student fees, and then, a few years older, the unmanageable mortgages, layoffs and impoverished children.

They very clearly reject this reasoning

The press has insisted that this is a battle of the young, of a generation beating back structures that oppress them. Such an analysis portrays our struggle as individualistic monetary self-interest. Our arguments for free education are reduced to arguments for our so-called success, as if our aim is to live cheaply rather than to transform the means by which we are allowed to live.


But we need to find legal and non-violent ways of making the point.


I think they would strenuously reject the muddy and generally useless violence-non violence distinction (unless being used by police or government justifying measures taken).

I think this passage strives to avoid using that binary opposition, while stating their aims and position unambiguously:


That radical agenda which the system of capital has forced us to learn is masked by the defensive nature of our fight. But let us be clear – this fight is but one grain of sand on the beach. We see clearly the blueprint for the whole array of attacks set in front of us. And how could we miss the signs? In protest virtually every publicly justifiable apparatus of the state is brought out to attack us. We are brutalised by police fists, truncheons, horses. Our ribs are broken to spare panes of glass. Our brains bleed to spare the lifeblood of the system – capital.

Meanwhile, our future is slain: public services abolished, prospects of subsistence decimated, and our friends, relatives and selves sold to the market completely, like packets of meat. On both fronts the media embeds itself with the troops of the market, rallying behind police lines, cheer-leading the violence against us. It is not about bad reporting. It is about a media which, by its very nature, serves to protect privilege.

We are fighting more than just the commodification and privatisation of education. Sure enough, the sound of doors slamming shut behind us reminds us of the doors which are being slammed shut in our faces: trapped while a privileged few pocket the keys and glue the locks. Trapped people get angry. Trapped people smash their way out. Anyone who isn’t smashing yet doesn’t yet realise how trapped they are.

20 yards of linen=1 coat
10-03-2011, 01:10 PM
Echoing the cry "nous sommes tout de casseurs" from the most radical of the student occupations during the 2005 anti-CPE actions, at Rennes University.

Annoyingly I cant find the original statement from Rennes in a language i can read, but this is a good attempt at explaining what a "casseur" is to english speakers

CASSEUR

‘HOOLIGAN’?: Pervasive in French political vocabulary since at least the 2005 sub-urban riots, the term ‘casseur’ is a state weapon in a word. Derived from the verb ‘casser’, ‘to smash’, it has a shifting designation whose central function for journalists, liberals, the police and in fact every part of the state is to mark off ‘bad’ from ‘good’ protesters.In this respect it works in a similar way to the English ‘anarchist’: an un-principled, rageful, barely-human and certainly abnormal creature whose only interest is destruction – applied to anyone they fancy trying to exclude from any
possible public sympathy. So fighting off the designation, or reclaiming it, has been a central concern for the movement in recent years; the article ‘Le Front Commun des Casseurs’ is just the latest example. During the anti-CPE movement, the general assembly of students at Rennes II, repeatedly targeted by such vocabulary for their innovative deployment of tactics of economic blockade and riot, adopted the slogan “NOUS SOMMES TOUS DES CASSEURS” – “ALL OF US ARE HOOLIGANS.”

From this (http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:RnvTWlPjuX8J:liensjournal.files.wordpress. com/2010/11/glossary.pdf+rennes+nous+sommes+tout+de+casseur+fr ench+anti-cpe&hl=en&gl=uk&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESiPSG_0FKW3cEXv9RVbnpvbxjoQw476oawo2DbV Rna8khvfEPi-SDtS97g1cKOdJog9iHscNi3zerahnUW2PiiqRVD_FlZKXyWNRs ieGlyGA5Y4CQJkDLRN7h6ikRwAJcTX1wa1&sig=AHIEtbSNtvqIc1XLOTq-y1M-jmkXm76vEQ&pli=1)

Hapax
10-03-2011, 01:33 PM
How about "wrecker" for "casseur"?

It seems like the slogan goes back at least to 1994:


We Are All Hooligans ("Nous Sommes Tous Des Casseurs")
Youth Revolt In France, March 1994

A collection of leaflets, first-hand accounts, and analyses from those involved in the strikes, riots, and actions against the proposed 20% pay cut in France in 1994. More autonomous history you're not likely to find elsewhere…

http://www.sjakoo.nl/books/10584.htm

C. Flower
10-03-2011, 02:57 PM
Casser = break or smash.

Hapax
10-03-2011, 03:53 PM
Casser = break or smash.


Wreck = Smash or break forcefully.

http://www.wordnik.com/words/wreck
(final definition, from WordNet)

Kev Bar
10-03-2011, 05:13 PM
Is there not some contradiction around the use of the word democracy - which seems to be claimed as right to protest whilst dismissed as The Man's pacifying mirage?

Or does the title "good propaganda" explain my query?

20 yards of linen=1 coat
10-03-2011, 08:14 PM
Is there not some contradiction around the use of the word democracy - which seems to be claimed as right to protest whilst dismissed as The Man's pacifying mirage?

Interesting. My housemate has a picture on his wall of the inside of Millbank during the big demo with a caption saying "this is what democracy looks like". It has always struck me as strange that neither he or the people who made and distributed them saw no contradiction, or at least were confident enough in the caption's truth to print loads of them or stick them on a wall.

Id probably begin a defence of their use of the word democracy in this passage:
It is this act of collective politicisation which transforms the nature of those who go through such experiences. An individual may make a conscious decision, spurred on by the horrific betrayals of liberal democracy, to join a protest – but soon that gesture drives beyond mere reaction. What once seemed a conscious political choice becomes narrativised, and arguments for legitimacy fade into nothing short of the living act of democracy.
by saying that in order for a society to be democratic it needs to be inclusive, it needs to have equal access to communications technology, it needs to have assorted other things like complete freedom to assemble that people often mean when they say that one has a "right" to free speech, and which are currently denied the vast majority of the population of any supposedly democratic Western state.

Then would try to get you to admit (if you are a believer in "democracy", whatever that means) that at some point when your fair and democratic society came under attack by insider undemocratic forces (just think of that badass Muslim Brotherhood) that it would then be legitimate to use "undemocratic" force for the continued propagation of our democratic existence.

Having done that Id argue that that's exactly what they are doing, and not only that, but doing it in a kind of democratic way, as in: its participatory, non-exclusive and so on and so on.

Im not sure I buy that argument. I think there are some words that have been so tainted by the sh!t they swim around in in politicians' and cops' and Rupert Murdoch's mouths that they need a spell of disuse before they are clean enough to use again. Its also been tainted by various (crusty) anarchists who have odd notions that the way they decide things in their exclusivist meetings make them "democratic". I think it was probably a tactical (or strategic according to Hapax earlier) mistake to use corrupted words like "democracy" without consciously and obviously reappropriating them, like they took so much care to do in other areas.

One of the points they make is that when people get out onto the street, together, as in Egypt recently for example, arguments for legitimacy just kind of evaporate in the collective sharing/expression of common ground and a shared goal which you must co-operate to achieve.


Or does the title "good propaganda" explain my query?

I would say no.