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moss
26-03-2011, 01:20 PM
Black Bloc are on the go in London.

Police looking outnumbered and out smarted.
Just watching it on BBC and although a plain clothes/undercover cop can clearly be seen leaving the crowd they still don't have the intelligence to stop the bloc.
I'm starting to like this new age of communication :)

Can watch here

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10318089

Oh, and there's a TUC march on also being adressed by Ed Milliband.

C. Flower
26-03-2011, 01:24 PM
I was watching a bit of the TUC march against the cuts on Sky earlier - estimated numbers 100,000 - 200,000 ?

C. Flower
26-03-2011, 01:26 PM
"Not available in my territory" .........

moss
26-03-2011, 01:35 PM
BBC reporting 100,00 at the march.

Multi layered approach by the protestors. Good to see.

More here
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/

moss
26-03-2011, 01:56 PM
The Bloc have just stormed the ritz hotel, cops heavily outnumbered and retreating.

Looks like they're on the move again.

Large crowd and 'marching' fast.

Dr. FIVE
26-03-2011, 02:03 PM
Slightly related, wasn't sure where to put it yesterday.

A blunder (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12867187) by an undercover policeman has revealed how the Metropolitan Police spied on the private lives of members of an anti-capitalist group.

C. Flower
26-03-2011, 02:11 PM
People are tweeting about much outing of undercover police in hoodies on the main march. Even the uniformed cops are said to be laughing.

It looks to be way more than 10,000.

moss
26-03-2011, 02:17 PM
Nice one Five.

This one couldn't have been more obvious, right at the start of handbags a black bloc 'member' leaves the front of the protest and actually gets a pat on the back by a cop as he moves behind police lines.
He then speaks to other cops as he takes a radio from below his top.

Thank you BBC eye in the sky :)

C. Flower
26-03-2011, 02:35 PM
Slightly related, wasn't sure where to put it yesterday.

A blunder (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12867187) by an undercover policeman has revealed how the Metropolitan Police spied on the private lives of members of an anti-capitalist group.


Hmmm.....


Names to faces Emily Apple of Fitwatch, which monitors the CO11 FITs, says similar scenes will have been going on this week in police control rooms around London as undercover police meet their handlers to identify protesters ahead of Saturday's TUC march against government cuts.
"Ahead of tomorrow's demonstration, they will be going through photographs trying to put names to faces and identify who they want to put on their spotter cards."
Ms Apple estimates that there could be as many as a dozen secret police among the marchers.
Mr Wellings was a Globalise Resistance activist from 2001 to 2005 and participated in protests everywhere from New York to Seville.
Mr Taylor says that, in retrospect, Mr Wellings "didn't have much of a back story - we never met any of his friends or his family from outside Globalise Resistance".



At the time they were not suspicious and he even became the official photographer of the group as they went to demonstrations in different countries.

But then Mr Wellings fell victim to the mistake which many mobile phone owners have made at some time - the accidental phone call.
Mr Taylor said the group then confronted him: "We just said, "You've been rumbled, it's time for you to leave the group.'"
Mr Wellings then vanished without trace.
"He had plenty of photographs of us," said Mr Taylor of their former official photographer, "but we had very few of him".
The Met Police told Newsnight on Friday that "the use of undercover officers is a valuable tactic in the fight against crime and disorder to keep people and communties safe".


Never trust a volunteer :D

Dr. FIVE
26-03-2011, 02:48 PM
Bit mad seeing the demo on one channel and the boat race on the other.

Sums things up really.

C. Flower
26-03-2011, 02:54 PM
A lot of tweeting marchers angry both with anarchists' mode of protest and with BBC Sky coverage which they say ignores the much bigger peaceful march.

Crowd at Hyde Park.

http://post.ly/1nyjS

moss
26-03-2011, 02:58 PM
Multi layered approach taken by the protesters.

BBC are covering both, fair play to them.

One of the signs carried by the anarchists....'Regime Change Here, Now'

C. Flower
26-03-2011, 03:04 PM
Multi layered approach taken by the protesters.

BBC are covering both, fair play to them.

One of the signs carried by the anarchists....'Regime Change Here, Now'

Why not on different days? That would allow people to have their peaceful mass demonstration and the bloc to do their thing, without an angry split over it.

A couple of hundred people chanting "the people want to change the regime" might have been handy in the middle of that march.

:)

moss
26-03-2011, 03:08 PM
Why not on different days? That would allow people to have their peaceful mass demonstration and the bloc to do their thing, without an angry split over it.

A couple of hundred people chanting "the people want to change the regime" might have been handy in the middle of that march.

:)

Different locations so I see no need for different days.

The only split seems to coming from the tea and sandwhich brigade. It's very sunny.
A few militant grannys may add to the effectiveness of the bloc.

Each to their own I say :)

C. Flower
26-03-2011, 03:10 PM
Different locations so I see no need for different days.

The only split seems to coming from the tea and sandwhich brigade. It's very sunny.

Each to their own I say :)


Different locations, so why not different days? some people might want to take part in both.

CNN is reporting half a million are on the march and the Ministry of Disinformation / BBC - 10,000...

Dr. FIVE
26-03-2011, 03:14 PM
Each to their own I say :)

Yeah, everyone knew where to be and where not to be depending on your outlook. They know to expect at these things and they can't ignore the main march with those numbers.

moss
26-03-2011, 03:17 PM
Different locations, so why not different days? some people might want to take part in both.

CNN is reporting half a million are on the march and the Ministry of Disinformation / BBC - 10,000...

Most seem to have take part in both, some just went without their tea and sandwhiches.

Are you really suggesting because they are different locations they should be on different days ??
Would play havoc with premiership football by that reasoning.

Yeah it's a massive march and a large black bloc presence also.

moss
26-03-2011, 03:27 PM
They're still on the move in central London, cops arriving in numbers.
I suspect kettling is on the cards if the cops manage to get the upper hand.

Doesn't look like they will though.

moss
26-03-2011, 03:31 PM
Yeah, everyone knew where to be and where not to be depending on your outlook. They know to expect at these things and they can't ignore the main march with those numbers.


Yep, reminscent of how the student 'leaders' disowned fellow students who where prepared to take direct action in Dublin recently.

Binn Beal
26-03-2011, 03:46 PM
Makes me wonder in whose interest the Black Bloc are acting.

moss
26-03-2011, 03:50 PM
Makes me wonder in whose interest the Black Bloc are acting.

Worry not, they are acting in all the british peoples interests, as are the ones in Hyde Park.

They've occupied Masons, a 'luxury' store in central london.

C. Flower
26-03-2011, 03:57 PM
Yep, reminscent of how the student 'leaders' disowned fellow students who where prepared to take direct action in Dublin recently.
The direct action was a peaceful sit in in the Department of Finance. Random paint throwing is not the same. It's a distraction not a serious action. The best thing they did is at least hold a distinctly different demonstration. I disagree with the tactics though.

The young protestors in Egypt were able to pull millions in behind them because they acted peacefully until they were forced to defend themselves.

moss
26-03-2011, 04:03 PM
The direct action was a peaceful sit in in the Department of Finance. Random paint throwing is not the same. It's a distraction not a serious action. The best thing they did is at least hold a distinctly different demonstration. I disagree with the tactics though.

The young protestors in Egypt were able to pull millions in behind them because they acted peacefully until they were forced to defend themselves.


They are now occupying a 'luxury' store in central London. Quite peacefully as it happens.

Good luck with attempting to go against a violent state with only principles.
I don't like violence, but it exists and not of my making.
I agree with meeting force with force.

('random paint throwing' is worthy of RTE, bravo)

Sam Lord
26-03-2011, 04:20 PM
Why not on different days?


The cops are stretched more as it is, it would appear to me.

moss
26-03-2011, 04:40 PM
Moved again, now trashing a bank, how crude.

moss
26-03-2011, 04:50 PM
The police seem to have kettled a significant proportion of the bloc.

Others still on the move though.

Kev Bar
26-03-2011, 04:54 PM
Moss I cannot watch your link as it appears you're on another planet.

moss
26-03-2011, 04:55 PM
Very funny KB, you wish I were ;)

mutley
26-03-2011, 04:58 PM
the BBC news reporter is wearing a Crash Helmet PMSL

Holly
26-03-2011, 05:04 PM
13 arrests so far.
No one battoned to death yet.

moss
26-03-2011, 05:08 PM
13 arrests so far.
No one battoned to death yet.

Free the 13 :)

I've only seen the cops use excessive force a few times. once dragging a semi unconscious protester way in handcuffs.

Any cops battered to death yet ??

C. Flower
26-03-2011, 07:07 PM
They are now occupying a 'luxury' store in central London. Quite peacefully as it happens.

Good luck with attempting to go against a violent state with only principles.
I don't like violence, but it exists and not of my making.
I agree with meeting force with force.

('random paint throwing' is worthy of RTE, bravo)


They used plenty of force in Egypt when they were obliged to to prevent people from being killed by the police.

Yes, I agree that Fortnum and Masons appeared to be occupied entirely peacefully.

moss
26-03-2011, 07:13 PM
I'm glad you enjoyed Egypt though I'm dissapointed it seems to have given you a belief that police states are a legitimate force.

C. Flower
26-03-2011, 07:33 PM
I'm glad you enjoyed Egypt though I'm dissapointed it seems to have given you a belief that police states are a legitimate force.


I have a feeling that the British police are going to be using plenty of force this evening and of course I don't support police states in any way.


All signs are that Piccadilly is turning very nasty with legal observers being arrested and journalists asked to leave #26march

moss
26-03-2011, 07:47 PM
I have a feeling that the British police are going to be using plenty of force this evening and of course I don't support police states in any way.

Then you seem to be saying that to meet cop force with force is wrong.

The UK is a police state, I'll be in jail in a few weeks time for refusing to give my address to these scum.
They told me they could do and say anything as I had no witnesses.
They did, they lied.

So why not meet force with force ?
I'd happily put that carry on to sleep :)

Captain Con O'Sullivan
26-03-2011, 07:59 PM
Sooner or later it'll dawn on people that the days of large demos having a political effect are gone.

It is now considered a policing problem. A million people marched against the trumped up Iraq war by a crim called Blair and were roundly ignored.

So. I could give a damn if the Ritz was burned to the ground. Hope they get the girls out from the harem up the road (an arab oil prince up till recently funded up to 40 girls there in a couple of apartments knocked together).

Besides I believe the martinis at the Ritz are not what they were.

C. Flower
26-03-2011, 08:12 PM
Then you seem to be saying that to meet cop force with force is wrong.

The UK is a police state, I'll be in jail in a few weeks time for refusing to give my address to these scum.
They told me they could do and say anything as I had no witnesses.
They did, they lied.

So why not meet force with force ?
I'd happily put that carry on to sleep :)

No, I'm saying that in order to defend themselves they had to use a lot of force, and they were absolutely right to defend themselves.



They used plenty of force in Egypt when they were obliged to to prevent people from being killed by the police.

Since then they have occupied police stations and liberated police files. The secret police has, in theory, been dissolved and police have been jailed.

Things are very far from settled though as the army is still in control and demonstrators are still being harrassed, attacked and arrested.

moss
26-03-2011, 08:20 PM
Good in Egypt, bad in London.

C. Flower
26-03-2011, 09:03 PM
Good in Egypt, bad in London.


Well in Egypt it was the police who broke shop windows and trashed the place, but they were well caught in the act.

They have to carry police IDs when they're in plain clothes. :)

C. Flower
26-03-2011, 09:11 PM
People are kettled now and the police running amok.


Just saw a police officer use a baton on a crying unarmed 19 year old girl.

moss
26-03-2011, 09:15 PM
Well in Egypt it was the police who broke shop windows and trashed the place, but they were well caught in the act.

They have to carry police IDs when they're in plain clothes. :)

Yes, the black bloc in london are comparable to the cops in Egypt :confused:
And still with the demonising of the bloc, all they do is throw paint and break windows.

WTF.

DCon
26-03-2011, 10:52 PM
at least the UK riot police have i.d. on their helmets, unlike the masked, unidentifiable cowards who were clubbing people in Dublin

unspecific
26-03-2011, 11:23 PM
While I have no issue with people smashing up The Ritz, HSBC and the likes, doing it as a black bloc is supremely counter-productive.

Imagine every protestor engaged in self-defence against the state in Egypt were dressed in uniform like a black bloc. It would immediately be put down to some terrorist group. In London's case, the concerns of the other 500,000 people marching for economic justice can now be waved away. Clued-in anarchists seem to share the opinion

http://www.wsm.ie/content/bashing-black-bloc

That said though, I don't believe marching 500,000 people up the hill and back down again will achieve anything either.

moss
27-03-2011, 12:41 AM
OK, so it's a bad idea the bloc wear black, would pink be OK ?

What is 'supremely counter productive' taking the fight to the state ?
Marching, according to you is useless and so is taking the fight to the state.
What then do you suggest ?

That wsm article is so full of having their cake and eating it, it's a joke.
Thinking anarchists, in this case, my arse.

kozlov
27-03-2011, 05:11 AM
But where were the Cossacks ? The Romanov dynasty is on its way out!:)I hope that the Czars sons wedding next month is not attacked! ;)

C. Flower
27-03-2011, 08:39 AM
I bope they are all OK this morning.
What remains of the British Welfare State is under under attack. Its not just a few cuts that can be reversed. They are moving from guarantee and entitlement of all workers and their families of health care and pensions through National Insurance contributions to a system of tiny handouts on the basis of poverty. The Welfare State was won by the generation who came back from WW2 radicalised and many with the Communist Manifesto in their reading. It took a very strong Labour Party and Trade Union movement backing it to get this through. Health and dental care was completely free when it came in. You can imagine the amount of fixing up that had to be done inthe first year or so of broken teeth and untreated hernias and prolapses. Peoples' lives were transformed.

The City of London and the wealthy have got wealthier, Britain is still spending a fortune on arms and the military, but people are being told that the country is broke and can't afford things that were affordable in the 1950s.

Somewhere aound a quarter to a half a million people took part in the march - a Sky reporter said it took five hours to pass him.
This is a significant demonstration. People constantly use the Iraq experience as proof that mass demonstrations can't work. Similar numbers marched then. It was a single action and it didn't stop the war but it helped to make the illegitimate character and unpopularity of the war clear. Britain's involvement was limited (and dirty in the extreme).

Mass demonstrations when they are big enough and are repeated and moved into strikes and occupations have brought down governments. They are a very important way of mobilising the strength of the majority which is based on their numbers.

The Trade Union leaders will want to stop this very big opposition asap when what is needed is more demostrations, occupations and strikes. I think UKUncut who were also active yesterday has been doing a good job with shop sit ins in showing how big business in the UK has been avoiding paying tax.
I think breaking shop windows done by a very small nunber was counterproductive.
Young activists have an important role to play in breaking through the conservatism and hesitancy of the anti cuts movement but can only play that role if they win the respect of workers and don't alienate them with destructive actions. Leave the destructiveness to the Tories.
The country should be brought to a standstill to stop what they are doing.

mutley
27-03-2011, 09:14 AM
People need to be more specific as to what they want, it's all right to say no to cuts, but the actual problem is that the rich are getting richer while we are made to pay for their gambling habits.
There needs to be alot more focus on things like banks paying 1% tax, and what that means in real terms. Ie a bank paying the going rate of tax would provide x amount of Doctors, Nurses
People are angry that they are being made to pay for the mess, but not angry enough

Seán Ryan
27-03-2011, 11:22 AM
I'm going to take a controversial stance here. No big surprise there I suppose.

I totally and utterly agree with the damage, or preferably, the destruction of property. I applaud the actions of the Blackbloc groups.

Even Irish law recognises the right to damage or destroy property, once one has lawful excuse. The point to be made here is not so much to argue that the Blackbloc have carte blanche to total property, but to say that there are circumstances where such actions are lawful.

Anyway, lawfulness aside, as truth be told, I couldn't give a toss for it anyway. The destruction of property is a legitimate tactic. Just ask the Yanks and the Brits with regard to bombing campaigns in other countries (they don't give a toss for law either).

The rich extract the fruits of labour and everything else from the poor. The poor have virtually no say in this matter, other than to moan about it (marching around in a herd is cool too, sometimes). If such a thing is proper or allowed regardless, then destruction of the wealth of the rich is not only legitimate it's moral.

There'd be little argument if the State built a concentration camp to gas people in, and the Blackbloc made bits of it. This rounds the argument down to a single question: Do you see a concentration camp or not?

C. Flower
27-03-2011, 11:27 AM
I'm going to take a controversial stance here. No big surprise there I suppose.

I totally and utterly agree with the damage, or preferably, the destruction of property. I applaud the actions of the Blackbloc groups.

Even Irish law recognises the right to damage or destroy property, once one has lawful excuse. The point to be made here is not so much to argue that the Blackbloc have carte blanche to total property, but to say that there are circumstances where such actions are lawful.

Anyway, lawfulness aside, as truth be told, I couldn't give a toss for it anyway. The destruction of property is a legitimate tactic. Just ask the Yanks and the Brits with regard to bombing campaigns in other countries (they don't give a toss for law either).

The rich extract the fruits of labour and everything else from the poor. The poor have virtually no say in this matter, other than to moan about it (marching around in a herd is cool too, sometimes). If such a thing is proper or allowed regardless, then destruction of the wealth of the rich is not only legitimate it's moral.

There'd be little argument if the State built a concentration camp to gas people in, and the Blackbloc made bits of it. This rounds the argument down to a single question: Do you see a concentration camp or not?

As you say, that standpoint is controversial i.e. most people would not agree with it. Using a non essential tactic that alienates many people who are actively involved in fighting cuts splits the movement.

But all in all, I think it was a good day. Some young people showed a lot of energy and fearlessness, UKuncut did a good job and there was a massive demonstration against the cuts.

Seán Ryan
27-03-2011, 11:44 AM
I don't see it as being non essential. And I don't see it as being problematic in it distinguishing the lambs who are content to march around moaning from those who are not. The moaning won't stop the State and it won't stop the Blackbloc or others like them.

There are but three tactics the State must ultimately rely on once propaganda and other such malarky has failed. They are violence, imprisonment and theft or destruction of property. And they're quite willing to resort to them at the drop of a hat, with either minimal or useless bleating from the lambs. The State ignores bleating. Or rather it allows such things to dissipate anger. The recent ICTU march being a good example.

It is only when an oppressor is faced with the loss of everything will he yield anything. This is not to say that strikes, occupations and other forms of NVDA are not useful or legitimate. But I reckon, for the most part, State infiltration and propaganda has minimalised their impact and legitimacy. It's difficult, if not impossible to minimalise the impact upon the destruction of property.

Seán Ryan
27-03-2011, 11:51 AM
As a slight aside, here's a video from yesterday with police [email protected] identifying themselves as legitimate targets. It's a pity they weren't realised as targets.

YouTube - Kettle at Trafalgar Square - March 26th 2011

C. Flower
27-03-2011, 12:05 PM
I don't see it as being non essential. And I don't see it as being problematic in it distinguishing the lambs who are content to march around moaning from those who are not. The moaning won't stop the State and it won't stop the Blackbloc or others like them.

There are but three tactics the State must ultimately rely on once propaganda and other such malarky has failed. They are violence, imprisonment and theft or destruction of property. And they're quite willing to resort to them at the drop of a hat, with either minimal or useless bleating from the lambs. The State ignores bleating. Or rather it allows such things to dissipate anger. The recent ICTU march being a good example.

It is only when an oppressor is faced with the loss of everything will he yield anything. This is not to say that strikes, occupations and other forms of NVDA are not useful or legitimate. But I reckon, for the most part, State infiltration and propaganda has minimalised their impact and legitimacy. It's difficult, if not impossible to minimalise the impact upon the destruction of property.

Where has breaking shop or bank windows ever led to a government falling or a regime being changed ?

Seán Ryan
27-03-2011, 12:10 PM
Unless it's done on a big enough scale, like the allies in Iraq for example, the idea of the destruction of property is not directly about bringing a change of regime.

It's about escalation and bringing things to a tipping point. Where regime change can occur.

Captain Con O'Sullivan
27-03-2011, 12:53 PM
I understand Sean's viewpoint and would agree with it in circumstances where an elite are ignoring the will of the people and utilising the instruments of the state for a deliberate policy and attempts at ratchetting up or reintroducing serfdom.

Sometimes to build a better house you have to demolish the structure which once stood. The signal for the appropriate moment for this decision arrives with the failure of the state to represent all the people.

C. Flower
27-03-2011, 01:12 PM
I still can't think of any case in which window smashing brought about a change of regime. There are plenty of tried and tested methods.

20 yards of linen=1 coat
27-03-2011, 01:59 PM
People are tweeting about much outing of undercover police in hoodies on the main march. Even the uniformed cops are said to be laughing.

Didnt see any of that. Wasnt really much need for provocateurs, the black bloc were ready to do more than walk to Hyde Park already, and in the early hours when most of the stuff got smashed the police had nothing like the numbers or the capacity (too many bystanders/in central london) to kettle or beat people using the actions of provocateurs as justification.


Why not on different days? That would allow people to have their peaceful mass demonstration and the bloc to do their thing, without an angry split over it.

Because if 1000 people wearing black and masked up start smashing windows and lighting fires in central London without the cover of a much larger demo they will be mercilessly beaten and end up in prison.


A couple of hundred people chanting "the people want to change the regime" might have been handy in the middle of that march.

It seems there were a couple hundred thousand people doing that, or things to that effect for 4 or 5 hours yesterday...... An extra 1000 more or less wouldn't really have made a difference i think.


The direct action was a peaceful sit in in the Department of Finance. Random paint throwing is not the same. It's a distraction not a serious action. The best thing they did is at least hold a distinctly different demonstration. I disagree with the tactics though.

The young protestors in Egypt were able to pull millions in behind them because they acted peacefully until they were forced to defend themselves.

Gonna attempt a critique of this post/writeup of yesterday at some point later today. Had a conversation in Trafalgar Square last night where my friend pretty much put his finger on (for me anyway) why a mass peaceful occupation of some really visible big space cant work in Britain as it could in Egypt.


Sooner or later it'll dawn on people that the days of large demos having a political effect are gone.

What do you mean by "large demos"? What about in Tahrir Square? Or do you just mean what the TUC high command wanted to happen yesterday?


It is now considered a policing problem. A million people marched against the trumped up Iraq war by a crim called Blair and were roundly ignored.

Right. That's the argument most on the left give in the UK when questioned about why they don't use the sanctioned tactics of mass "protest". What is your response to that CF?


While I have no issue with people smashing up The Ritz, HSBC and the likes, doing it as a black bloc is supremely counter-productive.

Imagine every protestor engaged in self-defence against the state in Egypt were dressed in uniform like a black bloc. It would immediately be put down to some terrorist group. In London's case, the concerns of the other 500,000 people marching for economic justice can now be waved away. Clued-in anarchists seem to share the opinion

That WSM article you link to repeatedly confuses the use of blocing up as a tactic, and the use of it as a way for anarchists to identify themselves as such.

Reasons why the tactic is effective:
Masks prevent cops from recognising you and snatching you out of the crowd,
Hide you from CCTV,
Makes the bloc recognisable to one another, you get lost and suddenly spot the red and black flags and masks (and hear the gabber) and get back to the others, yesterday there were so many people around if would have been impossible to keep together otherwise.

Why black? Just because anarchists started doing it first, right? Its kinda hard to change now though, because its success rests on it not being possible to identify individuals. If the one pink individual even throws a paint bomb or a piece of wood they are going to get snatched by police later.

C. Flower
27-03-2011, 04:04 PM
People need to be more specific as to what they want, it's all right to say no to cuts, but the actual problem is that the rich are getting richer while we are made to pay for their gambling habits.
There needs to be alot more focus on things like banks paying 1% tax, and what that means in real terms. Ie a bank paying the going rate of tax would provide x amount of Doctors, Nurses
People are angry that they are being made to pay for the mess, but not angry enough

I agree that for effective mobilisation, there has got to be an agreed goal. There's no point in calling for a "fight back" against cuts on its own without demanding that the rich/corporations pay tax. People also need to be clear if they do or do not want to bring down the Government, and if so, is it a short or long term goal.


Didnt see any of that. Wasnt really much need for provocateurs, the black bloc were ready to do more than walk to Hyde Park already, and in the early hours when most of the stuff got smashed the police had nothing like the numbers or the capacity (too many bystanders/in central london) to kettle or beat people using the actions of provocateurs as justification.

The numbers on the march were overwhelming and unpoliceable. But police presence on marches (and as infiltrators of activist groups) is standard practice and it should be routine to out them.


Because if 1000 people wearing black and masked up start smashing windows and lighting fires in central London without the cover of a much larger demo they will be mercilessly beaten and end up in prison.

So it was planned to use the fact that the march mopped up a lot of policing ?
Was the impact on the march / views of marchers also considered ?


It seems there were a couple hundred thousand people doing that, or things to that effect for 4 or 5 hours yesterday...... An extra 1000 more or less wouldn't really have made a difference i think.
It depends what they were doing. The ICTU march in Ireland was a depressing experience as there was no-one much under 40 on it. Self organised "youth divisions" and trade unionists when they come together and co-operate on the streets make a very powerful and energetic force. That happened in Paris in 1968 and also in Egypt. The football supporters club members were said to have been a very useful bunch of people in Cairo :)


Gonna attempt a critique of this post/writeup of yesterday at some point later today. Had a conversation in Trafalgar Square last night where my friend pretty much put his finger on (for me anyway) why a mass peaceful occupation of some really visible big space cant work in Britain as it could in Egypt. Rain ? :) The situation in Egypt was very different from the UK. People were breaking through decades of prohibition of demonstrations, so once taking hold of the space, the event became magnetising as more and more people wanted to join in. There were serious disadvantages and risks at Tahrir. A large number of unprotected people were gathered in a completely exposed position. Had the army rolled in as at Tiananmen Square or against the Red Shirts last year in Thailand there would have been a bloody suppression of the revolution. The fact that is was a conscript army and that at one stage ranks refused to fire when ordered was critical. The secret police also were the scrapings of pond life, very poor operators, although vicious. In Egypt, all of the social classes were at the end of their tether, as the poor coulnd't afford to eat, the children of the middle class had no jobs and even the wealthy who weren't in the golden circle were frustrated by the extent of graft and corruption that prevented normal business to operate. Even well off people couldn't afford medical care.
People were brought together around a very clear demand for Mubarak and his regime to go and to establish democratic rights. There was a build up of 10 years or so to Tahrir, through strikes and bread riots and then through the organisations built much more recently by young people and new independent trade unions.

In the UK, its the end of a long boom and the end of empire. The ruling class want to shore up their position by cutting services and wage cuts. To do this they would need to try to destroy civil rights and the organisations of the working class and left and institute a police state (things have been moving that way for a good while now). The majority of the people in probability still believe that there is some prospect of solving this through electoral politics and protests if they believe it can be solved at all.

This mass demonstration and the readiness of young people to take action was one step along the way and was a very positive sign.


What do you mean by "large demos"? What about in Tahrir Square? Or do you just mean what the TUC high command wanted to happen yesterday?
Right. That's the argument most on the left give in the UK when questioned about why they don't use the sanctioned tactics of mass "protest". What is your response to that CF?

As to whether an outdoor occupation would be useful in the UK, I wouldn't write the possibility off, nor would I depend on it as a standard answer on how to proceed.

I think I wrote about the Iraq protest before (post 46) but I think the comparison is false. Massive pre-war demonstrations are not uncommon - there was a big movement against war in 1939. Workers do not want to kill each other. But once a war is begun and troops are in the field, mood changes and it takes a lot, as in Vietnam, for an effective anti war movement to take off.

The situation in opposing the end of the welfare state is different. This is the beginning of a process, not a one-off event. If it is seen as one-off, then the game is over before its started. Hence the need for clarity about the goals. In London, I think a demonstration of 2 or 3 million. with an agreed set of demands, would have a real impact. But it was the threat of General Strike coupled with demonstrations of that size and bigger that began to shift things in Egypt. And of course, in Egypt they are still living under a military regime and none of their gains are as yet secure. The State ultimately will try to push everything back to zero using force if they need to and would need to be defeated and dismantled to prevent that.

The WSM article made similar arguments against the bloc's tactics on the basis of "been there, done that and it didn't work". I'm sure that the bloc has learned a lot that would be invaluable to the anti-cuts movement, but I don't think the lessons were spelled out in that article.

Edit. I also think it's particularly important in Britain as it was for such a long time the home of imperialism, to find ways of practically connecting action in the UK to opposition movements in Ireland, Portugal, Greece, Spain and of course N. Africa and the Middle East. No ready answers on how to do it, other than having events on the same day and sharing slogans, but it needs thinking about.

moss
27-03-2011, 04:27 PM
Black bloc kettle the police in london yesterday.

Police informed that if they switch sides and lay down their weapons nice and slowly, they will let them go :D (1min 40)

YouTube - police lose control of the streets to black bloc, london march 26

But it's only to give them a taste of their own medicine and the bloc move of again.

Holly
28-03-2011, 01:27 AM
I still can't think of any case in which window smashing brought about a change of regime. There are plenty of tried and tested methods.

Yes, if most people are against the cuts, a general strike is both more civilized and more effective than vandalism.

Seán Ryan
28-03-2011, 06:03 PM
Window breakers thwart a kettling attempt. Pity the bloc didn't relieve them of all that lovely equipment, for fun and infiltration games!
YouTube - March 26th, London - The Kettlers get Kettled

Speaking of infiltration! Peruse the pig provocateur after 5.50 as he rejoins his kin.
YouTube - UK Violent Protests Against Government Spending Cuts 26 March 2011

C. Flower
28-03-2011, 06:19 PM
A blog at LibCom from a good few people who were there at different points.

I've also read a lot on twitter - mainly very positive about the massive crowd of 500,000 people and how energising it was to take part in that -

http://libcom.org/news/uk-takes-streets-against-cuts-26032011

Griska
28-03-2011, 10:02 PM
Footage of Uk Uncut protesters being promised safe passage from Fortnum & Masons, and then promptly arrested (via The Guardian):


http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/mar/28/cuts-protest-uk-uncut-fortnum


A truely shocking, underhanded tactic against what appeared to be peaceful demonstrators.

Binn Beal
29-03-2011, 09:46 AM
The handlers of these agents provocateur will of course see that thier dupes are protected so they can disrupt popular mass protests in the future.

Holly
29-03-2011, 11:16 AM
It is commonplace for members of the public to be refused admission to specific places such as banks without first removing motorcycle helmets, hoods, etc., in order to identify them. The same should be required for people in lawful demonstrations. The government has a responsibility to prevent London becoming the wild west.

Seán Ryan
29-03-2011, 12:25 PM
It is commonplace for members of the public to be refused admission to specific places such as banks without first removing motorcycle helmets, hoods, etc., in order to identify them. The same should be required for people in lawful demonstrations. The government has a responsibility to prevent London becoming the wild west.

Nobody has a right to make demands that imply criminality without a reasonable suspicion to facilitate such a demand, in a public place.

Holly
29-03-2011, 01:07 PM
Nobody has a right to make demands that imply criminality without a reasonable suspicion to facilitate such a demand, in a public place.

And nobody should be afraid to show their face in public.

Hapax
29-03-2011, 02:03 PM
And nobody should be afraid to show their face in public.


Have you tried putting this point to the helmeted riot-police?

Seán Ryan
29-03-2011, 02:16 PM
And nobody should be afraid to show their face in public.

I wholeheartedly agree.

C. Flower
29-03-2011, 02:24 PM
The handlers of these agents provocateur will of course see that thier dupes are protected so they can disrupt popular mass protests in the future.


They are often very easy to spot, look completely fake and wear the wrong footwear.

Unless they in deep cover, in which case they will very likely be over active and not interested in ideological discussion :)

C. Flower
29-03-2011, 03:03 PM
There's a good debate here between anarchists, blac bloc people and ukuncut people who were at the Saturday demonstration.

It appears that the some ukuncut people are angry about the actions of the bloc and not convinced by the counterarguments. The fact that ukuncut people were mass arrested after the police lied to them, really is neither here or there in the argument.

It is a discussion about tactics, between participants, and not an attack on the anti-cuts campaign and should be accepted as such.

http://www.solfed.org.uk/?q=a-letter-to-uk-uncutters-from-the-violent-minority

Seán Ryan
29-03-2011, 03:41 PM
There's a good debate here between anarchists, blac bloc people and ukuncut people who were at the Saturday demonstration.

It appears that the some ukuncut people are angry about the actions of the bloc and not convinced by the counterarguments. The fact that ukuncut people were mass arrested after the police lied to them, really is neither here or there in the argument.

It is a discussion about tactics, between participants, and not an attack on the anti-cuts campaign and should be accepted as such.

http://www.solfed.org.uk/?q=a-letter-to-uk-uncutters-from-the-violent-minority

It's a well written piece and the following discussion is very interesting too. It's a great pity that the point has been missed.

The initial article makes as its founding argument that the cost of a broken window is much less that the revenue lost from the occupation. Let's ignore the fact that the police basically shut this place down because of what was going on outside (they wouldn't even allow the occupiers to leave) and that this would have resulted in the very same loss of revenue, even if the occupiers hadn't bothered. Instead, I'll argue pure tactics.

Remembering too that the occupiers have said that they didn't interfere with anyone browsing or shopping (there'd be some very serious charges if they had), we see that this tactic has a somewhat limited usage. In other words, tactically speaking and in contradiction to the article's premise, such an occupation does not set out directly to hit the oppressors in the pocket. Many shoppers will of course notice the occupiers and will for various reasons, including acting in solidarity, stop shopping.

The article put the damage to a broken window at a grand. It took one person to break the window. It took about 150 people to do the occupation. Even if the cost of the occupation was a hundred times the cost of the broken window, the broken window is more cost effective. And of course the window breaker remains at large to break another 99 windows. With regard to hurting the pockets of the oppressor, which the article claims is the point and the goal, there is no real argument that even begins to suggest that occupation is a better tactic.

Also with regard to tactics. All of the 150 plus, occupiers were arrested and will be prosecuted (here's where they hurt the oppressor's pocket - but there's little or no positive propaganda to be gained from this). This has a tendency to bleed activism of recruits, who'll be turned off by the whole thing for one reason or another. And of course it allows for the police to identify those who'll not be intimidated by the court and arrest experience, for a more personal and painful approach.

In the meantime, the window breaker is off and causing general mayhem and costing the State a small fortune. And the State has no clue as to his identity and no idea as to how to stop him!

For the most part, the only argument available to use against the window breaker is to allege that his actions are undignified. My answer to that is that dignity went out the (broken) window in the first place when people were forced to their knees. If anything, the window breaker is not with the majority, the herd, and is most assuredly not on his knees. If sociology and psychology tell us anything useful, it is that the herd will happily do the dirty work of the oppressor in trying to bring errant members back into the fold, back onto their knees.

C. Flower
29-03-2011, 04:31 PM
It's a well written piece and the following discussion is very interesting too. It's a great pity that the point has been missed.

The initial article makes as its founding argument that the cost of a broken window is much less that the revenue lost from the occupation. Let's ignore the fact that the police basically shut this place down because of what was going on outside (they wouldn't even allow the occupiers to leave) and that this would have resulted in the very same loss of revenue, even if the occupiers hadn't bothered. Instead, I'll argue pure tactics.

Remembering too that the occupiers have said that they didn't interfere with anyone browsing or shopping (there'd be some very serious charges if they had), we see that this tactic has a somewhat limited usage. In other words, tactically speaking and in contradiction to the article's premise, such an occupation does not set out directly to hit the oppressors in the pocket. Many shoppers will of course notice the occupiers and will for various reasons, including acting in solidarity, stop shopping.

The article put the damage to a broken window at a grand. It took one person to break the window. It took about 150 people to do the occupation. Even if the cost of the occupation was a hundred times the cost of the broken window, the broken window is more cost effective. And of course the window breaker remains at large to break another 99 windows. With regard to hurting the pockets of the oppressor, which the article claims is the point and the goal, there is no real argument that even begins to suggest that occupation is a better tactic.

Also with regard to tactics. All of the 150 plus, occupiers were arrested and will be prosecuted (here's where they hurt the oppressor's pocket - but there's little or no positive propaganda to be gained from this). This has a tendency to bleed activism of recruits, who'll be turned off by the whole thing for one reason or another. And of course it allows for the police to identify those who'll not be intimidated by the court and arrest experience, for a more personal and painful approach.

In the meantime, the window breaker is off and causing general mayhem and costing the State a small fortune. And the State has no clue as to his identity and no idea as to how to stop him!

For the most part, the only argument available to use against the window breaker is to allege that his actions are undignified. My answer to that is that dignity went out the (broken) window in the first place when people were forced to their knees. If anything, the window breaker is not with the majority, the herd, and is most assuredly not on his knees. If sociology and psychology tell us anything useful, it is that the herd will happily do the dirty work of the oppressor in trying to bring errant members back into the fold, back onto their knees.

What I take from it is that both the ukuncut people and the main march of over half a million were not at all happy with the handful of people who chose the broken window approach. It was their day too. The decision to break windows was dismissive of the wishes and views of the majority and the grounds of justification tenuous and convoluted.

The broken window cost the state nothing. No one was arrested, and it will be paid for by an insurance company that will pass the cost on to the general punter.

Overall, the day was a very powerful day of demonstration of all kinds, and that should not be lost sight of in discussion of tactics.

The more I look at it, the more I like the way UKuncut is raising awareness of tax avoidance by the corporations.

Kev Bar
29-03-2011, 04:48 PM
What I take from it is that both the ukuncut people and the main march of over half a million were not at all happy with the handful of people who chose the broken window approach. It was their day too. The decision to break windows was dismissive of the wishes and views of the majority and the grounds of justification tenuous and convoluted.

The broken window cost the state nothing. No one was arrested, and it will be paid for by an insurance company that will pass the cost on to the general punter.

Overall, the day was a very powerful day of demonstration of all kinds, and that should not be lost sight of in discussion of tactics.

The more I look at it, the more I like the way UKuncut is raising awareness of tax avoidance by the corporations.

I think it's a pretty clever mod op.

Binn Beal
29-03-2011, 04:48 PM
It will be very difficult for activists in the trade union movement to propose any further demonstrations after the anti-democratic actions of this elitist group.
So, mission accomplished. Back to the regiment, the barracks and the station.

Seán Ryan
29-03-2011, 05:11 PM
What I take from it is that both the ukuncut people and the main march of over half a million were not at all happy with the handful of people who chose the broken window approach. It was their day too. The decision to break windows was dismissive of the wishes and views of the majority and the grounds of justification tenuous and convoluted.

The broken window cost the state nothing. No one was arrested, and it will be paid for by an insurance company that will pass the cost on to the general punter.

Overall, the day was a very powerful day of demonstration of all kinds, and that should not be lost sight of in discussion of tactics.

The more I look at it, the more I like the way UKuncut is raising awareness of tax avoidance by the corporations.

I couldn't disagree more. The assertion that one is not the property of another is neither tenuous nor convoluted. The binding of society is mutuality and consent and in fairness it's a collar I'd happily wear. However, when the State decides to rip up this contract of sorts, dictating its own terms and conditions with no recourse to discussion or consent, then the contract is null and void. And I take the right to nullify the slavery imposed upon me without a need to justify myself and without fear of doing so. It'd be nice to be loved by the majority, but such delusions are pipe dreams. More importantly they're indicative of the illness that facilitated enslavement in the first place.

Most people who were at the demo, in years to come will have only one inspirational memory of the day. The excitement and exhilaration of fighting back. The speeches and other crap from the shepherds to be, will in time be forgotten (unfortunately the mouthpieces will make ground nonetheless and become the new enemy - see I do learn from history :) ), How you feel and how you felt, combined with how you act and acted are what are important. Words, for the most part, are momentary and in the big scheme of things, unimportant. Truth remains truth regardless as to fashion sense.

I applaud the efforts of all concerned with Saturday's doings. I deplore and am saddened by the age old practice of infighting taking precedence over the recognition of the real enemy.

Regardless as to who is right or wrong, the window breakers will not stop. Neither will their numbers be diminished. And despite the recriminations and slurs, Saturday's efforts will inspire many and recruitment will go through the roof.

All profits and losses. And indeed the labour that facilitates them are the burden of the poor. It is purely tactical to threaten profits by inflating costs, by whatever means necessary or convenient, until either the patience or the backs of the poor snap.

Sam Lord
29-03-2011, 06:04 PM
I don't think this issue is really one of the cost of a broken window or many broken windows. I really have no problem with black blocks and their actions because I think their manifest rebellion against the society assists in undermining the system in a psychological manner and also because they can serve to raise consciousness generally about the nature of the capitalist state. At the G20 summit in Toronto, for example, if there had been no black block tens of thousands of people would have demonstrated, achieved nothing, and then gone home again and it would have been all forgotten about in a week. Because of the presence of a block however the state effectively suspended civil liberties in one of the largest cities in the country for a whole weekend, which has ultimately resulted in the political mobilisation of very many people who had previously never even thought about what type of society they lived in. Several months later the G20 and what happened is still a significant issue in Canada.

RedSunRising
29-03-2011, 10:19 PM
Was Moss banned for being pro-Black block?

Griska
29-03-2011, 10:22 PM
Was Moss banned for being pro-Black block?

People aren't banned for stances they take or opinions they hold.

C. Flower
29-03-2011, 10:22 PM
Was Moss banned for being pro-Black block?

If you have questions about Modding, you need to start a separate thread, so as not to stop the discussion on the thread topic.

To save you the trouble on this occasion, the answer is, no.

RedSunRising
29-03-2011, 10:24 PM
I don't think this issue is really one of the cost of a broken window or many broken windows.

Smash one...Frighten many.

Most working class people however conservative they are tend to be very cynical of politics full stop, the black blocks which are made up of people with varying ideas stand for a rupture with the polite and increasingly meaningless dialogue of liberalism. They are a raw assertion of the working class for itself, outside and against the parasites of the TUC, the Labour Party and the official social workering Left. To oppose their actions is to oppose the very idea of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

C. Flower
29-03-2011, 10:35 PM
Smash one...Frighten many.

Most working class people however conservative they are tend to be very cynical of politics full stop, the black blocks which are made up of people with varying ideas stand for a rupture with the polite and increasingly meaningless dialogue of liberalism. They are a raw assertion of the working class for itself, outside and against the parasites of the TUC, the Labour Party and the official social workering Left. To oppose their actions is to oppose the very idea of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

In order for the working class to exert its strength, it has to be self-disciplined and organised. That doesn't mean tea and sandwiches, but neither does it mean rioting. This isn't the first time there have been riots in the West End of London.


The far left’s largely uncritical turn towards the anti-capitalist movement, and its adaptation to anarchist-inspired ideas of "direct action", is of course a product of the present weakness of the organised labour movement – as, indeed, is the fact that a layer of youth is drawn to this type of protest. There is nothing new here. The lack of effective collective organisation among working people often encourages some of those on the lumpen fringes of the class to engage in acts of anti-capitalist nihilism. And self-styled Marxists on the lookout for a short cut to the socialist revolution are sometimes prepared to go along with them.
One famous example was the "West End Riots" of 1886. The background was this. On Monday 8 February that year the Fair Trade League held a meeting in Trafalgar Square to advocate its policy of higher customs tariffs as a cure for unemployment, and a counter-demonstration of the unemployed was called by the Social Democratic Federation (an avowedly Marxist organisation which was, however, repudiated by Engels, who regarded it as a sect).
The SDF leaders – H.M. Hyndman, John Burns, H.H. Champion and others – treated their audience to a series of inflammatory anti-capitalist speeches. Burns, for example, was reported as telling the crowd that the House of Commons "was composed of capitalists who had fattened on the labour of the working man ... to hang these ... would be a waste of good rope ... there must be a revolution to alter the state of things. The next time they met it would be to go and sack the bakers’ shops in the west of London. They had better die fighting than die starving".
Having wound the crowd up with pseudo-revolutionary rhetoric, the SDF then led them on a march through Pall Mall towards another meeting in Hyde Park, with Burns at the head of the demonstration brandishing an improvised red flag. Provoked by jeering from the rich in their clubs, the demonstrators first responded by throwing stones and breaking the club windows, and then set about looting shops in Piccadilly and South Audley Street. It wasn’t until the rioting had reached Oxford Street that the police belatedly intervened. Subsequently the SDF leaders were prosecuted on a charge of seditious conspiracy, but they were acquitted.
The SDF leaders, like some on the left today, deluded themselves that there was something progressive about the smashing and plundering of shops by an indisciplined mob. Hyndman, indeed, went so far as to hail the riot as "the beginning of the great English Revolution of the Nineteenth Century"!
But Engels was having none of it (see "Comments on an Anti-Capitalist Riot" (http://www.whatnextjournal.co.uk/Pages/back/Wnext19/Engels.html) in this issue). He accused the SDF leaders of "appealing to the masses to ‘rise’ somehow, as best they might, against nobody in particular and everything in general", and argued that by encouraging hooliganism on the part of lumpen elements they had "done an irreparable damage to the movement". He condemned Hyndman and Co for trying to "conjure up a movement by force and over night", without carrying out the necessary long-term organisational work among the mass of working people, and for engaging in "childish actions such as we are usually accustomed to seeing only from the anarchists". Although the panic which the riots induced among the bourgeoisie led to a surge in donations to a relief fund for the unemployed, Engels argued that the main effect of the SDF’s efforts had been "the identification of socialism with looting".
Some at least of the socialists learned their lesson from this debacle. During the 1889 London dock strike, Burns and the other strike leaders did everything they could to ensure that the dockers’ daily marches through the West End were conducted in a peaceful and orderly manner. And Engels, in contrast to his condemnation of useless rioting, greeted this resurgence of collective, disciplined working class action as "a revival I am proud to have lived to see". He argued that the lumpenproletariat would now be pushed into the background by the organised working class: "This is of enormous value for the movement. Scenes like those which occurred during Hyndman’s procession through Pall Mall and Piccadilly will then become impossible and the rowdy who will want to provoke a riot will simply be knocked dead."
http://www.whatnextjournal.co.uk/Pages/back/Wnext19/Rioting.html

RedSunRising
29-03-2011, 10:47 PM
In order for the working class to exert its strength, it has to be self-disciplined and organised. That doesn't mean tea and sandwiches, but neither does it mean rioting. This isn't the first time there have been riots in the West End of London.


Uh...The black blocks are pretty organized. Is it that they organize outside of the boundaries of the Official Left that makes you think they are unorganized?

Rioting sends a strong message and also draws clear line between friend and enemy which can otherwise be pretty vague in our current situation.

The KKE's attitude to the December revolt in Greece clearly demonstrated which side of the class line it was on. It also demonstrated which side of the class line that the Socialist Party/CWI was on.

Sam Lord
30-03-2011, 12:07 AM
This isn't the first time there have been riots in the West End of London.


The infallibility of Engels ...:)

RedSunRising
30-03-2011, 12:15 AM
The infallibility of Engels ...:)

Lenin believed in guerilla tactics in certain circumstances...But Trots took stuff he said against ultra-leftists who and out of context in order to be "neutral" when the last northern insurgency was going on. Basically they want to use working people for their careers or as an ego-boost and when things get out control its either a false flag, lumpen elements or whatever.

C. Flower
30-03-2011, 10:00 AM
Lenin believed in guerilla tactics in certain circumstances...But Trots took stuff he said against ultra-leftists who and out of context in order to be "neutral" when the last northern insurgency was going on. Basically they want to use working people for their careers or as an ego-boost and when things get out control its either a false flag, lumpen elements or whatever.


Listen, I'm sure you can do better than this "trots do this and that" stuff.
You could find a "trot" who murdered their mother and drowned their dog, likewise a Stalinite. What northern insurgency are you talking about and what Trotskyist group?

C. Flower
30-03-2011, 10:08 AM
The infallibility of Engels ...:)

Marx thought that there could be a peaceful transition to a socialism in Britain :)

I would be suspicious of anyone who had a need of infallible political leaders.

Rioting, when it's a spontaneous outbreak by workers and young people against food prices, police harrassment or similar, (say for example Broadwater Farm), is not the same as making a political policy out of rioting. Spontaneous rioting is sometimes a precursor to more serious mass action because its an indicator of the pressures people are under. There were bread riots in North Africa, repeatedly over the last few years.

A very small number were involved in London and by their own accounts it was not spontaneous, but a strategy.
Rioting isn't an adequate response and can't resolve the question of power. So young revolutionaries like RedSunRising need to be acting to explain this to people and to raise their awareness of what needs to be done. :)

I agree with RSR, that hostility to anti-state rioters can be a sign of political conservatism or reaction. But so is hostility to organised workers, of whom half a million took part in the march.

Seán Ryan
30-03-2011, 12:46 PM
Marx thought that there could be a peaceful transition to a socialism in Britain :)

I would be suspicious of anyone who had a need of infallible political leaders.

Rioting, when it's a spontaneous outbreak by workers and young people against food prices, police harrassment or similar, (say for example Broadwater Farm), is not the same as making a political policy out of rioting. Spontaneous rioting is sometimes a precursor to more serious mass action because its an indicator of the pressures people are under. There were bread riots in North Africa, repeatedly over the last few years.

A very small number were involved in London and by their own accounts it was not spontaneous, but a strategy.
Rioting isn't an adequate response and can't resolve the question of power. So young revolutionaries like RedSunRising need to be acting to explain this to people and to raise their awareness of what needs to be done. :)

I agree with RSR, that hostility to anti-state rioters can be a sign of political conservatism or reaction. But so is hostility to organised workers, of whom half a million took part in the march.

God but it's been a disagreeable week for me. I don't think there's been a week like it in years, and that's saying something. It's great to be able to sign in here and disagree to my little heart's content and know that it won't result in a pistols at dawn melee. There'll be no rioting or breaking windows here! :)

We have mutuality and consent. It's not perfect of course, but there's a will to try and that's enough. I've already put my argument down and Sam has rounded on what I'd failed to get at, very eloquently too. So there's no need for me to start getting circular. So just one point of disagreement this time.

There is and there was, no hostility directed towards the half a million or so workers. The hostility is purely directed at leadership, or so-called leadership. It is my belief that union leadership, in particular, are the bought and paid for stooges of the State. They call marches when discontent has reached a critical mass, draining this anger, rather than properly reacting to it and organising and instituting general strikes. Just like the crap we had here recently. Now I know that not everyone agrees with this viewpoint and that's fine. But for what it's worth, it's a view that I very honestly hold and express. I've no animosity towards the general marchers. I think they're misguided in thinking that marches will result in change and I'd urge them to push for strikes. I don't fail to recognise the difficulty of their position and I lay the blame for this squarely on the shoulders of leadership. As do the window breakers.

C. Flower
30-03-2011, 01:12 PM
There is and there was, no hostility directed towards the half a million or so workers. The hostility is purely directed at leadership, or so-called leadership. It is my belief that union leadership, in particular, are the bought and paid for stooges of the State. They call marches when discontent has reached a critical mass, draining this anger, rather than properly reacting to it and organising and instituting general strikes. Just like the crap we had here recently. Now I know that not everyone agrees with this viewpoint and that's fine. But for what it's worth, it's a view that I very honestly hold and express. I've no animosity towards the general marchers. I think they're misguided in thinking that marches will result in change and I'd urge them to push for strikes. I don't fail to recognise the difficulty of their position and I lay the blame for this squarely on the shoulders of leadership. As do the window breakers.

Sorry to hear about your bad week. May next week be better.

I disagree that there is no hostility to the people on the organised march. I don't think it is the case with yourself, but I think that the dismissiveness of this enormous march by many on the thread does mean something politically. For the people taking part, it gave them a feeling of as RSR says in another context, the potential of the working class to become a class for itself. Ignoring it or referring to them as the tea and sandwiches brigade to me exhibits hostility.

The hostility is not only to the leaders -as I guess very few if anyone here would disagree with you about them - but about the form of organisation and to the class itself. It is natural to workers to try to develop coherent and disciplined forms of organisation and to avoid destructiveness, apart from in very limited spontaneous outbreaks of rioting. Destructiveness and violence overwhelmingly comes from the State and ruling class. No one form of organisation or demonstration is a be-all or end-all, but mass marches are an important means of the working class and allies mobilising.

This was the biggest political march (if you discount the cross-class pacificist anti Iraq war march) of the generation and warrants being taken seriously as marking a new stage of British class confrontation.

The question of how to replace the sell-out TU and political leadership is the crucial one.

Holly
30-03-2011, 01:34 PM
....
This was the biggest political march (if you discount the cross-class pacificist anti Iraq war march) of the generation and warrants being taken seriously as marking a new stage of British class confrontation.
....

The Tories relish this old-fashioned talk about the need for class confrontation because most English people are not reds and reject militancy.
To caricature the marchers as a throw-back to Arthur Scargill and the miners doomed resistance to Thacherism is only to play into the right. That fight was lost already and a better terminology is needed although the analysis might well be correct.
Readers of the Daily Mail did not see the majority of law-abiding marchers, only the hooligans who harmed the cause of working people and the most vulnerable.

C. Flower
30-03-2011, 01:45 PM
[QUOTE=Holly;134445]The Tories relish this old-fashioned talk about the need for class confrontation because most English people are not reds and reject militancy.

The half million on the march were not in the main "Reds" and the class confrontation is inevitable, when the rich are getting richer while the majority get poorer.


To caricature the marchers as a throw-back to Arthur Scargill and the miners doomed resistance to Thacherism is only to play into the right. That fight was lost already and a better terminology is needed although the analysis might well be correct.

Where's the caricature ? Half a million people came out, many of them for the first time. Scargill would not take on the TUC and call for a general strike to back the miners. It was a failure of the leadership. If we don't call things by their right names there will be nothing but fudge and confusion. Higgins with his "ordinary people" "working people" line drives me nuts. He calls himself a marxist but is afraid of using the terminology essential to class analysis of society. Thatcherism did its best to obscure all this with the "there is no society" line and its time it was reclaimed.


Readers of the Daily Mail did not see the majority of law-abiding marchers, only the hooligans who harmed the cause of working people and the most vulnerable.

The readers of the Daily Mail would not be sympathetic to anyone demonstrating against the Tories and if no window was smashed, the Mail on its record would probably have faked it.

Holly
30-03-2011, 01:52 PM
[quote]

... If we don't call things by their right names there will be nothing but fudge and confusion. Higgins with his "ordinary people" "working people" line drives me nuts. ....

Nevertheless, 20th century lingo alienates the electorate and facilitates the right-wing.

C. Flower
30-03-2011, 01:58 PM
[quote=C. Flower;134447]

Nevertheless, 20th century lingo alienates the electorate and facilitates the right-wing.

Are you suggesting that we need a new language every century?

Which terms do you think should be abandoned ? :)

Holly
30-03-2011, 02:04 PM
[quote=Holly;134448]

Are you suggesting that we need a new language every century?

Which terms do you think should be abandoned ? :)

I would drop "class confrontation" for a start if you want radical policies to have a chance at the ballot box. Not only does it sound old-fashioned but it represents inflexibility, an unwillingness to appeal to most people in the middle ground of politics.

C. Flower
30-03-2011, 02:07 PM
[quote=C. Flower;134449]

I would drop "class confrontation" for a start if you want radical policies to have a chance at the ballot box. Not only does it sound old-fashioned but it represents inflexibility, an unwillingness to appeal to most people in the middle ground of politics.

Wasn't that New Labour? How old fashioned is that ?

Holly
30-03-2011, 02:12 PM
[quote=Holly;134452]

Wasn't that New Labour? How old fashioned is that ?

That's democracy for you, preferable in most people's eyes than rule by a politburo in a police state.

C. Flower
30-03-2011, 02:34 PM
[quote=C. Flower;134454]

That's democracy for you, preferable in most people's eyes than rule by a politburo in a police state.

We were discussing Saturday's demonstration and the terminology that can be best used to describe what happened.

I was informed that some of the terms I used had better not be used.

I'm not quite sure where the politburo and police state came in to this, although there most certainly have been moves away from democracy and towards a police state by both the New Labour government and the current Tory government.

Are you sure that "police state" is not too inflammatory term ?

Holly
30-03-2011, 02:46 PM
[quote=Holly;134456]

We were discussing Saturday's demonstration and the terminology that can be best used to describe what happened.

I was informed that some of the terms I used had better not be used.

I'm not quite sure where the politburo and police state came in to this, although there most certainly have been moves away from democracy and towards a police state by both the New Labour government and the current Tory government.

Are you sure that "police state" is not too inflammatory term ?


It is a matter of appealing to the electorate and the hoodlums in London deflected attention from the mass demonstration of law-abiding marchers, losing considerable sympathy among the general public.
This was not a St. Patrick's Day parade in Dublin where the floats were once heckled by children shouting, "What about the workin' man!" Less adolescent hooliganism and stale undergraduate Marxist slogans from another age would serve the cause better.

C. Flower
30-03-2011, 02:56 PM
...
This was not a St. Patrick's Day parade in Dublin where the floats were once heckled by children shouting, "What about the workin' man!"

Love it. LOL


Less ....stale undergraduate Marxist slogans from another age would serve the cause better.

If you don't like terminology that acknowledges that we live in a class based society then you don't need to use it.

Personally I'm tired of language that fudges the issues in the mistaken belief that its a way of winning easy support.

Sam Lord
30-03-2011, 07:25 PM
In my experience people who complain about "outdated" terms like "class" and "exploitation" really do so because they want to create the impression that such things no longer exist.

Griska
30-03-2011, 07:40 PM
Nevertheless, 20th century lingo alienates the electorate and facilitates the right-wing.

Au contraire.
The new presentation of the same facts is playing nicely into the hands of the right-wing (are we still using right-wing?).

Most of us are now "middle-class", apparently.
This, you see, gives the impression that unless people toe the line, they will drop down the scale, to whatever lower than middle-class is called now.

C. Flower
30-03-2011, 07:43 PM
Au contraire.
The new presentation of the same facts is playing nicely into the hands of the right-wing (are we still using right-wing?).

Most of us are now "middle-class", apparently.
This, you see, gives the impression that unless people toe the line, they will drop down the scale, to whatever lower than middle-class is called now.

A speaker in the Daíl today came up with the term "Low income middle class" :)

Griska
30-03-2011, 07:46 PM
A speaker in the Daíl today came up with the term "Low income middle class" :)

Jebus help us.

C. Flower
30-03-2011, 07:55 PM
Jebus help us.

Have they not noticed the "no income middle class" yet ?

Holly
31-03-2011, 01:45 AM
In my experience people who complain about "outdated" terms like "class" and "exploitation" really do so because they want to create the impression that such things no longer exist.

Classes do exist as does exploitation but instead of "class confrontation" most people in democracies prefer to settle issues through politics.

Sam Lord
31-03-2011, 05:01 AM
Classes do exist as does exploitation but instead of "class confrontation" most people in democracies prefer to settle issues through politics.

Class conflict is an objective feature of class divided societies. It is not a tactical question. What form it expresses itself in at any particular time might be said to be a matter of politics.

Genuine democracy has two component - political and economic. To talk about the existence of democracy in the absence of either is essentially meaningless. Your rulers would like you to believe, however, that once you are permitted to stick a bit of paper in a box every four years you actually live in a democracy. It is entirely farcical.

C. Flower
31-03-2011, 07:38 AM
Classes do exist as does exploitation but instead of "class confrontation" most people in democracies prefer to settle issues through politics.

The political parties all express the the interests of one or other class, don't you think ? And they conflict with each other ?

This is expressed in a slightly more obscure form in Ireland than in most countries, but the last election has to some extent made things clearer.

Captain Con O'Sullivan
31-03-2011, 09:15 AM
I have a certain sympathy with Holly's viewpoint. The language of college students of the 60's and 70's is not helpful when the environment and context of the background to modern politics is all about Corporate V The Nation State.

Nation states have constitutions or legal arrangements which in theory are supposed to prevent autocracy- you'll note my use of the word 'theory'.

The so-called 'elite' are corporate officers invariably or servants of the same. The old upper-middle-lower class economic divisions are self evidently breaking down into 'small privileged corporate elite' V everyone else.

The middle classes in old money are being downgraded to join the poor and that is because the elite need to seize all resources that are becoming scarce.

I'll be brave and point out that the Leninist/Trotskyist 'Hegelian dialectic' discussions of many a late night university student bedroom are in fact redundant. Its 'Brave New World' stuff from here and not Animal Farm.

This will be bad news to anyone with a dog in the proletariat/bourgeoisie/nomenklatura fight but it is the new reality.

It isn't just conservatives (with the greatest respect to all here) who find that the world passes them by politically. The first brick kicked out of the Berlin Wall did not for me crumble to the ground but sounded like the first tolling of a new bell.

Evidence to back up my fagpacket political analysis? Domestically with the securitisation of national funds for corrupt bank boardrooms and their coterie of corporate allies. The judicial process of the nation state has been subverted in the same way that union leaders have been bought off in return for personal gain.

Internationally the democratic process was never established because that was the no-man's land of political conflict. The third actor which now holds and controls that philosophical Somme is the globalisation/homogenisation corporate body which acknowledges no loyalty to any nation state and which again rather obviously can be heard and seen in the tax arrangements, the 'non-doms', 'the Irish sandwich', the offshore free-for-all.

There's going to be a fight because no-man's land is creeping into the trenches in a miasma of poisonous economic mustard-gas and that fight will be between the principles of the inalienable rights of man as expressed in many an aspirational constitutional document around the world and the dead hand of economic servitude which requires slaves manacled to invisible quoins of debt in order to provide control of global resources to a privileged few.

Thats the way I see it.

Captain Con O'Sullivan
31-03-2011, 10:04 AM
A bloated greedy man and a political overseer for the self-appointed elite;

http://i.thisislondon.co.uk/i/pix/2007/10/35a_03_Sutherland_415x275.jpg

The opposition;

http://bemvindarevolucao.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/anonymous1.gif

The battle lines are being drawn up I think and where you stand depends mostly on whether you have access to resources or not and who is denying them to you and your family.

As ever it is up to the individual.

C. Flower
31-03-2011, 10:33 AM
I have a certain sympathy with Holly's viewpoint. The language of college students of the 60's and 70's is not helpful when the environment and context of the background to modern politics is all about Corporate V The Nation State.

Nation states have constitutions or legal arrangements which in theory are supposed to prevent autocracy- you'll note my use of the word 'theory'.

The so-called 'elite' are corporate officers invariably or servants of the same. The old upper-middle-lower class economic divisions are self evidently breaking down into 'small privileged corporate elite' V everyone else.

The middle classes in old money are being downgraded to join the poor and that is because the elite need to seize all resources that are becoming scarce.

I'll be brave and point out that the Leninist/Trotskyist 'Hegelian dialectic' discussions of many a late night university student bedroom are in fact redundant. Its 'Brave New World' stuff from here and not Animal Farm.

This will be bad news to anyone with a dog in the proletariat/bourgeoisie/nomenklatura fight but it is the new reality.

It isn't just conservatives (with the greatest respect to all here) who find that the world passes them by politically. The first brick kicked out of the Berlin Wall did not for me crumble to the ground but sounded like the first tolling of a new bell.

Evidence to back up my fagpacket political analysis? Domestically with the securitisation of national funds for corrupt bank boardrooms and their coterie of corporate allies. The judicial process of the nation state has been subverted in the same way that union leaders have been bought off in return for personal gain.

Internationally the democratic process was never established because that was the no-man's land of political conflict. The third actor which now holds and controls that philosophical Somme is the globalisation/homogenisation corporate body which acknowledges no loyalty to any nation state and which again rather obviously can be heard and seen in the tax arrangements, the 'non-doms', 'the Irish sandwich', the offshore free-for-all.

There's going to be a fight because no-man's land is creeping into the trenches in a miasma of poisonous economic mustard-gas and that fight will be between the principles of the inalienable rights of man as expressed in many an aspirational constitutional document around the world and the dead hand of economic servitude which requires slaves manacled to invisible quoins of debt in order to provide control of global resources to a privileged few.

Thats the way I see it.

All these arguments that class issues are superceded have been made since the 1960s and there is nothing modern or new about them. The long credit fuelled boom and the large impoverished working classes of the "developing world" are no longer going to be there to keep a middle class nation state in place. The boom of the naughties has gone bust ( and the new inflationary world boomlet fuelled by money printing will too). The impoverished workers are either in a BRIC or are aiming to make their country into one.

The middle classes of the old world, are in terms of their former privileged position, pretty well redundant. Structural graduate employment is a norm.
Nation states themselves are becoming more and more a constraint on development rather than a help to it.

So, the face off will be not between Nation and Corporation, whose interests to some extent coincide, but between those who work for their living and those who live off the profits made from their work.

20 yards of linen=1 coat
31-03-2011, 10:44 AM
Been blessedly without any internet at all for the last few days, so this has taken me a while to post. I wasnt going to just give a kind of rough account of what I did, just some thoughts originally. But having read a few like this from other friends I found their day's had been either different or an interesting view of the same one, so decided to post this here to give a sense of what it was like. If Id done it sooner might be more detailed but there y'go.

What I did on Saturday:

Made it to London about 10, after only a few hours sleep so I was wrecked all day. Walked to ULU (university of London something or other) to go on the feeder march which was supposed to have the "education bloc" and where most of my friends were going. Was surprised at how small the numbers were, by the time we left there were only about 1000, id say probably the majority of which were wearing black, many black and red flags but no sound system yet.

On the way into town that group broke up pretty quick amongst the massive crowds and we got stuck completely unable to move down some approach to the Thames for about an hour. Really, really boring. Then made it on to the main walk along the Thames but again the crowd was too big to move quick. We'd also heard in the mean time (I guess this was at about 1) that a friend with the "radical workers bloc" (think that's just Solfed but not sure) had split from the main march with about 2000 Unite or Unison people, and that they were marching fast down some road near Picadilly.

We decided to leave the main demo and make our way over to the other crowd. Made it to a kind of main road and sat down on the curb just beside where everyone was marching, had a drink of water, went to the toilet, had a sit down. Just about to leave, and all of a sudden a black bloc that we'd passed earlier, mired in the slow moving march, start roaring "come this way" and set off a load of flares and bangers. Everyone starts running, the gabba got switched on and we all cheered and joined in.

Remember thinking there were a lot of us at the start. Think a load of union people followed us off the main demo and we kept picking up more.

Quickly (and quite like the last one I was on on the 29th Jan) started to feel like we were doing the same kind of ineffectual, boring and claustrophobic march, though this time with a change of scenery from multi-coloured to black and red, and no point B to march to. Every now and again someone would throw a paint ball, and one guy tried to break a bank machine with a flag but that was it. The first real excitement came when we were going through a main roundabout/junction, think it was either Trafalgar Square or Piccadilly. Out of a possible 5 or 6 roads to go down, the people at the front decided to run towards the one road that had a line of police in front of it. Really ******* stupid. Broke police lines and eventually made it to Soho.

That was where everything kicked off. 3 riot vans got covered in paint, written on, stuff thrown at them and people trying to kick the windows in. There was kind of a natural pause outside Ann Summers and out of nowhere someone sprinted up and kicked the window in. Much cheering followed by loads of other people doing the same. Apparently a biggish group of my friends that Id seen but hadnt really spoken to left then, because they thought that smashing a sex shop in Soho was "really dumb". Will try and say why in the next post.

For about the next 30 minutes to an hour (however long it takes to get to Hyde Park to Soho) was basically just attacking every prominent target we passed. Macdonalds, every bank (at least 8 or 9), Vodafone, some random independent jewelers for some reason, etc. The Ritz was like the culmination, everyone actually stopped outside it for a while, loads of paint bombs, bangers and stuff being thrown, and people kicking and breaking windows with street furniture. The craziest thing was when these 3 cops with no riot gear whatsoever apart from batons ran up and tried to protect it. They really did look like rabbits in the headlight, eyes bulging, terrified, being absolutely pelted with bits of wood, paint, flares, stones and everything. I had been at the front and almost turned and left at that stage. Felt like a lynch mob.

This stopped, cant really remember how, and eventually riot police came and we walked on towards Hyde Park. The bloc completely disintegrated as soon as we got near the Park. Was really disappointed but was tired and hungry as well and no one else seemed that bothered.

Was around Trafalgar Square as well but not sure how much more I can say about it than is in the media coverage. 2 things: one is how spectacularly stupid I thought it was that about 500 fully-kitted out riot police would be brought in to take down a fun and seemingly harmless (tried to get people to leave and go marching again a few times but it really wasnt happening) party where most were sitting around fires or dancing to grime. Apparently someone tried to smash the lights they have for counting down the days till the Olympics :rolleyes:, one of the cops they had inside the Square saw this, tried to stop him/her, kinda grappled a bit, ran away and called for backup.

Missed all the stuff at Fortnum and Mason's, didnt see any of the street theater stuff (except for maybe the bloc itself.....) and missed the barricade-building and rubbish-burning at Piccadilly.



More general thoughts to follow.

Captain Con O'Sullivan
31-03-2011, 10:49 AM
We won't agree on the shape or colour of the boxer's corners CF I'd say but there is a face off on the way.

I am aware of the traditional negative view of the nation state from the left since the 60's and the ideal of the global proletariat and so on but I don't know anyone who thinks like that outside university campuses.

No disrespect but national feeling is real and solidarity with the proletariat in another country is fleeting and evaporates between issues in one state or another I think.

I detect this global proletariat approach in the view that there should be no national borders re immigration which is the closest globalising corporations and theoretical socialists ever come to agreement. But for different reasons of course as business wants homogenisation of regulation and preferably at the minimum level they can arrange.

The global proletariat crew want desperately to see the Izhvebakhais as a sister in the struggle against poverty and a solidarity icon but the vast majority of the national proletariats have little interest in solidarity with someone they see, like bankers, as a fly-by-night who wants to live off their backs.

And it is not because of propaganda by the bosses. The bosses want cheap labour sliding around the world too for obvious reasons in keeping labour costs low and undercutting established practices and pay rules locally.

20 yards of linen=1 coat
31-03-2011, 01:29 PM
Thoughts:



Walked to ULU (university of London something or other) to go on the feeder march which was supposed to have the "education bloc" and where most of my friends were going. Was surprised at how small the numbers were, by the time we left there were only about 1000, id say probably the majority of which were wearing black, many black and red flags but no sound system yet.

The first thing is that the bloc wasnt just "the usual suspects". It was full of newly politicised/radicalised people from the demos before Christmas. The problem is that this time most of them were wearing black, so it gave the impression that it was just the usual suspects, and also from the inside, it helped the usual suspects do what they do and have been doing for 30 years. So the radical feminist crowd take credit for smashing Ann Summers (http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2011/03/476879.html?c=on#comments), banks and MacDonalds are targeted, etc.

Before Christmas there was a sense of it being "everyone" doing it, the media line about the "violent minority" was completely counter-factual because by most accounts, including all the pictures; the majority inside Milbank didnt even have their faces covered, let alone were they affiliated to an anarchist organisation: they were just normal kids/students. In the town I live in, kids wearing school uniforms were looting shops, the black bloc were picking stuff up off the street after lads were knocking over signs advertising restaurants and stuff. The world stood on its head and it felt like rigid social identities were given up for a moment and real communication happened between people regardless of the clothes they were wearing or any other arbitrary distinction forced on us by capital (student, worker, unemployed, wife, communist, etc) to make us manageable.

This time however, from inside the bloc, it really felt as if there was no interaction whatsoever between "us" and the greater mass of people all around, dressed differently, not enjoying the gabba, not sharing the same ground despite standing close by. Sure pretty much everyone on the street cheered when they saw a banks windows being kicked in, its hard not to in that context, but whereas before christmas you had the sense that something new was happening, that latent anger, unable to find any release except in self-harm, finally found expression in public, here it just felt like everyone was fulfilling their allocated social roles. The anarchists broke sh*t on the high street under cover of numbers, the union crowd went and listened to labour wax vague about "the alternative", the police lied and beat people up, the Trots sold people their rag, etc.

Definitely won't be wearing black next time.


I have more than this to say but this has taken ages to write. Especially want to try to talk about why Tahrir Square isnt possible here or in Europe in general, and about arguments ive had with friends about whether Ann Summers getting smashed was bad or not.

What do ye all think? I realise that the stress tests may be more pressing atm than what's happening over the water....

Captain Con O'Sullivan
31-03-2011, 02:20 PM
Quite enjoyed the sound of sirens all over the place on Sat evening. Couldn't help thinking 'its about time'.

I think peaceful demos are a waste of time- thats not to denigrate your efforts at all 20 and fair dues to you but I would just view large scale peaceful demonstrations as just people thinking they will change anything by turning up at such a demo. The only thing that will happen is you'd have your photo taken and a file opened by Met C11 crowd ... there were a million people completely ignored by Blair over the Iraq war stitchup and pols now know that they can ignore all that.

Something a bit more dramatic is required in my opinion and if that causes disruption well screw it. In both the UK and Ireland some of the institutions could do with being pulled down ... the one advantage that exists over the small 'elite' (gotta come up with a better term than that because they are anything but elite- just overfed) are numbers and the threat of losing their grip on resources/property and so on.

I don't see why the majority should commit to peace when the minority are engaged in a vicious war to grab resources and sticking two fingers up while they do it. That goes for England and Ireland and I'm with Anonymous on that.

Sod peace. But respect to you for going with your views.

C. Flower
31-03-2011, 02:20 PM
Thanks very much 20 yards :) Great account and interesting thoughts. I think I'll wait until you've posted your thoughts on the "Tahrir on Thames" question, when you have time to post it.

C. Flower
31-03-2011, 04:34 PM
UKuncut gets support from unions, campaigners


by Sunny Hundal
March 31, 2011 at 4:28 pm

A letter has been issued today, signed by unions heads as well as campaign groups, reiterating support for the group UKuncut.

The letter was published in the Guardian newspaper. It says:

As a relatively new protest movement UK Uncut have played a significant part in changing the terms of debate around economic policy in this country. Indeed they were instrumental in ensuring more people were at the march on Saturday than otherwise would have been. At all times they acted in a way which complemented and supported the TUC march.

However, in taking the type of peaceful action which they routinely undertake, on Saturday UK Uncut were treated in a political and deceptive manner by the police which sends an ominous message about the right to protest (Arrests threaten future protests, lawyer warns, 30 March). It would appear activists were misled by the police about not being arrested when asked to leave the Fortnum & Mason building, after which they were held for a significant length of time, their clothing was confiscated, and they have been denied the right to protest in the near future.

We support the right to protest for a fairer and more equal world. As part of this, we condemn any politically motivated policing which provokes, intimidates or criminalises protesters. We will continue to support UK Uncut until tax justice is secured so the poorest are not forced to pay the price of a financial crisis caused by the richest.

Signed
John Hilary War on Want,
Nick Dearden Jubilee Debt Campaign,
Liz Nelson Tax Justice Network,
Neal Lawson Compass,
Mark Serwotka PCS,
Jeremy Dear NUJ,
Len McCluskey Unite,
Andy Egan People and Planet

A longer version of the letter is on the UKuncut website.

Seán Ryan
01-04-2011, 10:28 AM
Black bloc: 'Only actions count now' (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/31/black-bloc-anti-cuts-protest)

C. Flower
01-04-2011, 01:13 PM
Black bloc: 'Only actions count now' (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/31/black-bloc-anti-cuts-protest)

Funny how the Guardian tries to frame this as a mysterious encounter with spokespeople for the bloc, when the bloc itself is amorphous and without leadership or hierarchy. :)

It is a useful contribution to the discussion though.

I notice they said this -


Do you consider the black bloc to be the most radical part of the new movement?

No. Occupations of universities and town halls are far more important, and this is where the anti-cuts movement has been heading. To develop, it needs to spread into workplaces next. The black bloc tactic was appropriate to give the day a confrontational edge, and to target the real enemies: the rich. The aim was to make people realise this is not an abstract struggle between "the economy" and us, but between a group of super-rich exploiters and those they are exploiting – the workers.What they also say is that each strategy of the police - like kettling - is responded to by different behaviour - spreading out and keeping mobile, for example.

Another article in the Guardian debates the tactical divide of physical force vs
"moral force" going back to the Chartists.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/apr/01/protest-chartists-moral-physical-wing

Tactics now are becoming more diverse and it is right to question whether traditional actions like strikes, if they themselves stop public services, and to look for other means - occupations of threatened services would seem to be far more to the point.

On UK Uncut -


Likewise, UK Uncut's hands-off insistence on acting as a kind of activist franchise, definitively without hierarchy, within which there are as many reasons to protest as there are protesters, can come across as mealy-mouthed, as well as bewildering to an older generation that is more comfortable with top-down accountability. But this structure, learnt from the anti-capitalists of the late 90s (who, incidentally, predicted the financial crisis at a time when the rest of society was still enamoured of its credit rating), offers a certain strength in the face of a political and media establishment desperate for leaders to co-opt or reveal as corrupt. And its ad hoc diversity has appealed to a mainstream that constitutes something different today.
On the march itself, which I think has not been looked at anything like enough -


The TUC was rightly overwhelmed by the vast numbers who turned out last weekend. For all the branch banners, this was not a traditional trade union demonstration, but an example of the labour movement at its very broadest. The turnout was testament to the organising power still held by the unions and, in particular, their capacity to reach out at a local level. The key is how the union movement puts its resources into maintaining this momentum without giving way to the dead hand of upper echelon bureaucracy that has so often stifled progress in the past.

Seán Ryan
01-04-2011, 08:18 PM
Well said Cactus!

I said something about this on the other 'revolutionary' thread.

"You say Revolution! I say Evolution."

The State has long since figured out how to minimalise, and nullify in some circumstances, traditional forms of dissent. To dance to the State's tune is to do a slow dance where the ending's boring and preordained. On the other hand, if dissent becomes unpredictable, chaotic even, one maximises upon what can be achieved.

Bring it on and bring it down!

goatstoe
01-04-2011, 09:08 PM
Are black bloc connected with "Anonymous" that took down the Beeb website for a bit a couple of days back?

Any sign of black bloc type ideas getting a hold in Ireland?

And another question - might sound a bit simplistic - but won't the fact that they all wear black make them easily identifiable and the cops will be geared up to go straight for anyone in black next time there's a protest in London?

C. Flower
01-04-2011, 09:19 PM
There is a bloc sometimes at Dublin demonstrations.

They could always change the colour to pink :)





YouTube - Amazing: Egyptian Uprising


Some different types of street protest in Cairo.

Seán Ryan
02-04-2011, 02:22 AM
To Goatstoe: Ireland is special. I don't mean that in a negative sense. Ireland has been conditioned over centuries to produce a placid and an accepting population. Still, urban guerilla warfare takes its roots from here. Black Bloc - Ireland? Yes and so much more! Still, all humans are equal. Culture is the thing. Activism in Ireland is a small community. But there is a cultural ancestry that threatens to turn a population who will accept any outrage into a population that will rule itself at any given moment.

Confusing isn't it?

We're heading for a point of crisis which is well beyond the likes of which has promoted the likes of the Black Bloc in other areas. I choose to see this in a very favourable light. When the patience of the oppressed snaps here, the result with be swift and decisive.

Cactus: Now that was an inspiring video. For me the most poignant bit is that chap at the London march, who is so overwhelmed that folks have finally had enough that he breaks down an cries tears of pride and joy. Pink or black, that's what's it's about!

We all have an innate pride, that isn't sinful. To realise this and to realise it. Well, that's worth living for and it just might be worth dying for. Tactics, demographics and all that other good stuff aside, there are things that would bring out the best in us. We must, we should strive for them. It's just not worth it if we don't!

Kev Bar
02-04-2011, 03:09 AM
I have a certain sympathy with Holly's viewpoint. The language of college students of the 60's and 70's is not helpful when the environment and context of the background to modern politics is all about Corporate V The Nation State.

Nation states have constitutions or legal arrangements which in theory are supposed to prevent autocracy- you'll note my use of the word 'theory'.

The so-called 'elite' are corporate officers invariably or servants of the same. The old upper-middle-lower class economic divisions are self evidently breaking down into 'small privileged corporate elite' V everyone else.

The middle classes in old money are being downgraded to join the poor and that is because the elite need to seize all resources that are becoming scarce.

I'll be brave and point out that the Leninist/Trotskyist 'Hegelian dialectic' discussions of many a late night university student bedroom are in fact redundant. Its 'Brave New World' stuff from here and not Animal Farm.

This will be bad news to anyone with a dog in the proletariat/bourgeoisie/nomenklatura fight but it is the new reality.

It isn't just conservatives (with the greatest respect to all here) who find that the world passes them by politically. The first brick kicked out of the Berlin Wall did not for me crumble to the ground but sounded like the first tolling of a new bell.

Evidence to back up my fagpacket political analysis? Domestically with the securitisation of national funds for corrupt bank boardrooms and their coterie of corporate allies. The judicial process of the nation state has been subverted in the same way that union leaders have been bought off in return for personal gain.

Internationally the democratic process was never established because that was the no-man's land of political conflict. The third actor which now holds and controls that philosophical Somme is the globalisation/homogenisation corporate body which acknowledges no loyalty to any nation state and which again rather obviously can be heard and seen in the tax arrangements, the 'non-doms', 'the Irish sandwich', the offshore free-for-all.

There's going to be a fight because no-man's land is creeping into the trenches in a miasma of poisonous economic mustard-gas and that fight will be between the principles of the inalienable rights of man as expressed in many an aspirational constitutional document around the world and the dead hand of economic servitude which requires slaves manacled to invisible quoins of debt in order to provide control of global resources to a privileged few.

Thats the way I see it.

Well you are paying attention Capt.

And a megaphone for Mr Ryan.

Captain Con O'Sullivan
02-04-2011, 07:21 AM
Just chatting to a neighbour of mine in the People's Republic of Camden yesterday and he and his wife went to the protest. They are in their 60's now this couple and still trying. He was a union organiser and a member of the Militant left crew from the days of the Miner's strike so he's 'heritage' left in pre-wall days I would say.

Incidentally he remembers Joe Higgins who he met a number of times and has great time and respect for him although he would be more radical than Joe would be I'd say. He and his wife are nice people and I enjoy meeting some of the older generation who tried and are still trying to counter the nastiness of the self-appointed elite.

We agree that there is going to be another fight. And a big one. Might be the last one.

Captain Con O'Sullivan
02-04-2011, 07:26 AM
Where I live I often bump into the pension crew of radical 70's and early 80's days and its funny how different they are here in the People's Republic, this weird little London version of the Left Bank of Paris.

Cautiously mentioning the news to the Grey Brigade when I meet the neighbours they are so different to bloody awful Thatchers suburbia where people twitch curtains at each other to ensure that nobody's getting any more resources than they are- that kind of damaged shytology. One old boy tottering along and I mentioned that maybe the students having a pop was a good thing and he looked up and nodded and went 'Yes. I should bloody hope so and all'.

The fight in them is good for the heart.

C. Flower
02-04-2011, 09:53 AM
Just chatting to a neighbour of mine in the People's Republic of Camden yesterday and he and his wife went to the protest. They are in their 60's now this couple and still trying. He was a union organiser and a member of the Militant left crew from the days of the Miner's strike so he's 'heritage' left in pre-wall days I would say.

Incidentally he remembers Joe Higgins who he met a number of times and has great time and respect for him although he would be more radical than Joe would be I'd say. He and his wife are nice people and I enjoy meeting some of the older generation who tried and are still trying to counter the nastiness of the self-appointed elite.

We agree that there is going to be another fight. And a big one. Might be the last one.

Back in 2008 when the pensioners and students were out on the streets together on the one day was the best sight on the streets of Dublin in the last while.

The students need to link up with the Union members here, not go it alone.

C. Flower
02-04-2011, 03:32 PM
UKuncut in Fortnum and Masons

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12871359

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00zq51c/Jeremy_Vine_Speed_cameras_in_Oxfordshire_UK_Uncut_ children_leaving_home_and_Terry_Walton/

Danni Wright about an inch along :) explaining what happened there and why UKuncut people were arrested - "political policing" - while people causing damage were not arrested.

Seán Ryan
02-04-2011, 11:24 PM
More on bloc reasoning:


The anarchists who agreed to talk also revealed their own deeper
motivations: anger at family poverty as they grew up, the exhilarating
sense of belonging they found in the black bloc, and longstanding
grudges against the police. All of them said the failure of the peaceful
anti-Iraq war march to overturn government policy was formative in their
decision to turn to aggression and violence over the cuts.

"We realised that political change in this country isn't predicated on
being right and winning a debate," said Peter Wright, a twentysomething
teacher who was in the black bloc with the South London Solidarity
Federation, "which seeks to destroy capitalism and the state".

"You have to force your agenda. The slogan on Saturday was to make the
country ungovernable," he said.
Britain, London, 'Black bloc' anarchists talks (http://www.ainfos.ca/ainfos336/ainfos47508.html)

wickedfairy
03-04-2011, 06:00 PM
another way to protest, excellent stuff, what a team!
Everything is OK montage. Have copied imbedded but it wont come in as a full screen, soz.


YouTube - Everything is OK Montage

Hapax
03-04-2011, 06:24 PM
another way to protest, excellent stuff, what a team!
Everything is OK montage. Have copied imbedded but it wont come in as a full screen, soz.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAQrsA3m8Bg&feature=youtu.be


Thanks, Wickedfairy! Best laugh I've had all day. Really imaginative protest.

C. Flower
03-04-2011, 06:35 PM
another way to protest, excellent stuff, what a team!
Everything is OK montage. Have copied imbedded but it wont come in as a full screen, soz.


YouTube - Everything is OK Montage (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAQrsA3m8Bg&feature=youtube)

Wonderful stuff :)

Risen Lion
03-04-2011, 08:46 PM
another way to protest, excellent stuff, what a team!
Everything is OK montage. Have copied imbedded but it wont come in as a full screen, soz.


YouTube - Everything is OK Montage (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAQrsA3m8Bg&feature=youtube)

Just want to add my enthusiastic praise too!!! Laughed aloud. Call it agit-prop or guts, intelligence and barbed satire. Brilliant - we need more. Couldn't see when it was.

20 yards of linen=1 coat
05-04-2011, 04:59 PM
Still planning to finish off the rest of my post from a week ago. Havent had time, thinking space and internet all at the same time recently...

This might be good though http://escalatecollective.net/

Just got it, havent had a chance to read yet.

Dr. FIVE
05-04-2011, 05:48 PM
http://escalatecollective.net/

Just came in to post this, excellent stuff.

C. Flower
05-04-2011, 07:05 PM
Still planning to finish off the rest of my post from a week ago. Havent had time, thinking space and internet all at the same time recently...

This might be good though http://escalatecollective.net/

Just got it, havent had a chance to read yet.


Still looking forward to it. :)

There is a lot of interesting observation there - but I'm not sure how far it takes things forward. When I looked at the video of the day, and read the accounts, in fact the march and the "fringe" activities of uncut and bb blended in to each other more than I'd expected. It still seems to lump the people on the march as if they were passive and supine in relation to the TUC. It was a mixed feast all around, so far as I can see, with some people moving between one and the other.

In terms of future strategy, what does it offer? I think it deals too much with appearances, in spite of the reference to class, and needs to dig in a bit more to the underpinnings. What is this about ? I think that it's a useful observation that an occupation can "make a fetish of space", but an occupation can also be a valuable tactic, and an occupied location can be strategic.



We create our own bounded space when we occupy, but we create boundaries only in order to explode them. Where movement was previously prohibited to students we invite others in, disrupting the popular view of our ‘legitimacy’ as students. Nothing can be locked up at night. We feel like we own a space in occupation, but truly we understand the occupation to be a process we create. We don’t want just another classroom, or another police containment zone: rather we want people to join us and we want to join them. We risk the space becoming a fetish, and all too often it does. But when the occupation ends we continue our process on the streets and in the classrooms. We continue pointing to the boundaries we wish to destroy. All too often those boundaries follow us wherever we go.

Sam Lord
05-04-2011, 08:50 PM
Still planning to finish off the rest of my post from a week ago. Havent had time, thinking space and internet all at the same time recently...

This might be good though http://escalatecollective.net/

Just got it, havent had a chance to read yet.

Well worth reading. Thanks.

Griska
05-04-2011, 09:30 PM
Still planning to finish off the rest of my post from a week ago. Havent had time, thinking space and internet all at the same time recently...

This might be good though http://escalatecollective.net/

Just got it, havent had a chance to read yet.

Very interesting.
The imaginary middle-class is something that particularly galls me, and is nicely dealt with in regard to the TUC attitude toward resisting the cuts.

Hapax
06-04-2011, 12:20 AM
Another discussion here, might be of interest, but it's late, I must be going sleeping:


Black bloc is not an organisation; it is a tactic which arose concurrently with increasingly draconian methods (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/mar/06/police-surveillance-protesters-journalists-climate-kingsnorth) of modern policing. It has its own history, its own shared understanding. It is not homogenous – neither in its politics nor its advocacy of any one form of action over another. In so much as it has an order; it consists of numerous small affinity groups, each with their own perspective of what can and cannot be justified, and each with their own willingness to act in any given way. It functions solely on two key principles: collective anonymity and mutual aid.

http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/jonathan-moses/in-defence-of-black-bloc

Dr. FIVE
11-04-2011, 03:21 AM
http://seagullscreamingkillherkillher.blogspot.com/2011/03/savage-cult-you-love-to-hate.html

C. Flower
15-07-2011, 09:43 PM
Jail sentences coming through for heinous crimes of car jumping and placard tossing...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2011/jul/15/charlie-gilmore-silenced-in-court?CMP=twt_gu

Captain Con O'Sullivan
15-07-2011, 09:52 PM
It is interesting to see how Blac Bloc are taking a lead from the online Anonymous/Lulz hackers collectives and are morphing their tactics to respond to aggressive policing.

I hear Lulz have completed another morphing and have a new name now ... saw it the other day. Great the way they are shape-shifting digitally.

PaddyJoe
15-07-2011, 09:53 PM
Jail sentences coming through for heinous crimes of car jumping and placard tossing...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2011/jul/15/charlie-gilmore-silenced-in-court?CMP=twt_gu

Gilmour was
was photographed swinging from a union flag on the Cenotaph during the fees protests last December. He was later seen leaping on the bonnet of a Jaguar in a royal convoy taking the Prince of Wales to the royal variety performance, and was also found have also hurled a rubbish bin at the vehicle.
Let's see. If this was in the context of drunken celebrations after England won a Wolrld Cup match how would he have got on?
Probation act?

Captain Con O'Sullivan
15-07-2011, 09:55 PM
The system can be particularly harsh on people it reckons should be on their side by dint of being from a wealthy family.

On the other hand Bryan Ferry's son Otis will probably end up getting his convictions quietly quashed when its time to get a job in the city.

Griska
16-07-2011, 12:16 AM
Resistance is not seen as tolerable.
Here we had what the press referred to as "known dissidents" being stopped up to 10 times daily prior to Liz popping over.

C. Flower
26-07-2011, 06:54 PM
Tory demands the rag tag demonstrators should not be allowed near the Ritz or Fortnums.

http://www.westendextra.com/news/2011/jul/keep-activist-protests-away-ritz-says-john-beveridge-qc-common-sense-restrict-marches

Kev Bar
26-07-2011, 08:01 PM
Gilmour was
Let's see. If this was in the context of drunken celebrations after England won a Wolrld Cup match how would he have got on?
Probation act?

"His status and money will see him through. " (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2011/jul/15/charlie-gilmore-silenced-in-court?CMP=twt_gu)

See him through what? 16 months? Bars?

PaddyJoe
26-07-2011, 10:30 PM
Tory demands the rag tag demonstrators should not be allowed near the Ritz or Fortnums.

http://www.westendextra.com/news/2011/jul/keep-activist-protests-away-ritz-says-john-beveridge-qc-common-sense-restrict-marches

I had to do a double take there. I thought for a minute it was a satirical piece:(