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SWP condemn direct action in run up to G8 visit

sleepy | 04.11.2004 19:11 | G8 2005 | European Social Forum

The Socialist Workers Party's (SWP) condemnation of a popular action against Labour politician Ken Livingstone at the recent European Social Forum (ESF) in London marks a significiant move to the right for the SWP. It is a deliberate attempt to help the state demonise and criminalise direct action in the run up to the G8's visit to Scotland next year.

The SWP have sought to portray the action at Alexander Palace as 'violent' and 'racist'. In fact, the action took place in response to the anti-democratic, exclusive and right wing methods Livingstone, the SWP and others used to organise this year's ESF.

The SWP brought the methods of British social democracy into the organising process for the ESF, condemning and sabotaging all attempts at consensus decision. Meetings were packed, speakers made endless choreographed interventions, votes were whipped, people were excluded from meetings and so on. The action at Alexander Palace was a response to this. The SWP’s attempt to convince the European left that it was a racist attack is a deliberate, divisive smear and an attempt to take attention away from the SWP’s anti-democratic practice within the ESF.

The SWP have always objected to direct action in almost all circumstances. For instance, during the invasion of Iraq they consistently condemned direct action as 'elitist' and sought to vilify or patronise anyone involved in such actions.

Now, thanks to their increased interest in electioneering, the SWP have taken a clear step to the right. Direct action is no longer wrong-headed - it is ‘violent’ and ‘has no place in our movement’. Echoing right wing pundits, the SWP now condemn those involved in direct action for not going through the right channels, not observing the (rigged) rules and so on.

This condemnation of ‘violent’, ‘racist’ anti-capitalists is an important signal to the state and the SWP’s own membership. It says that the SWP and their allies will cooperate with the police if, in the future, ‘violent’ anti-capitalists seek to disrupt ‘genuine’ protests.

The SWP's comments, of course, are closely related to build up to the G8’s visit to Scotland next year. Already, the SWP is seeking money from the G8 security budget to organise a concert miles from the G8 meeting to ‘oppose’ the visit. Such a concert would give the SWP an opportunity to recruit members (its main aim) while allowing them to join with the state and the capitalist media in portraying any direct action against the summit as ‘elitist’ or ‘violent’ or ‘racist’.

The SWP are now actively working with the state to undermine the building of an anti-capitalist movement. We should draw the conclusions we need to from this.

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Hide the following 19 comments

Here we go again

04.11.2004 20:29

There is a big difference between tying to smash up an anti-capitalist anti-racist meeting and taking action against the state, or is that too complex for you?

The SWP (of which I am not a member BTW) was involved in the direct action at Genoa, is involved at Faslane every year.

I wonder why you are obsessed by splitting the left, think about whose agenda you are serving?


SWP arn't against direct action!....

04.11.2004 20:51

...they are always the first to start a (horribly doomed) physical type war against the pigs at big demo's. They may as well be paid government agents. The masons and the SWP go together like a pint and castella!...hey that's an ordinary jobsworth ordinary normal and blokey thing to say isn't it? The SWP hold out for a (always unachievable) mass commy revolution. They are against individual freedom in any manifestations. They are boring wankers. Sorry I don't mean that...I mean that's what 'you' (talking to individual) sometimes behave like. It's about individual liberation...thats where it what you people.


King Amdo.



King Amdo

Stop Posting you Dimwits

04.11.2004 21:50

King ( my arse ) whatever your name is.
Sonic whoever the fuck you are.

**************STOP FUCKLING POSTING****************************

Neither of you have ever had anything informative, lucid, constructive, or of any interest to anybody else reading or contributing to Indymedia.

So why not stop posting / fuck off and die / crawl back under your bridge/stone/mound of shite .......


So fuckin forget em!!

04.11.2004 22:12

I agree with the article. Theyre fucking scum, just as much as the state, the coppers, the army, the bussiness elite etc etc...

So its simple, forget em, dont talk to em, engage with em or whatever. Get on with our organising, we should be working 24/7 on building networks with ordinary, ideology hating people in communities up n down the country and round the world. We aint got time to waste on lying bastards like them. Im serious.

As they try desperately to talk people round, take action, lead by example, innovate, create and destroy.

Weve been at the forefront for the last ten years, they are getting ahead now, cos we are wasting time on semantics and fighting em!!!

Most ordinary people in my home town are more fucking radical than most activists now cos we are all so fuckin terrified of coming accross badly. Like the politicians we are becoming more concerned with presentation than substance.


Sorry im frustrated, I really love you all, but we aint got time to waste.

Love, rage and solidarity,



Sleepy or dopey?

04.11.2004 22:24

This yet another but of wilful mischief.This is ripe tripe.This is bombast and balderdash.
Sleepy ?Dopey more like!


Less than 750, and falling, angry comrades, behaving badly.

04.11.2004 23:04

The SWiPpers are bound to help organise a more mainstream conference, and a A to B March and rally for the g8, probably along with the Scottish Socialist Party. They were always going to do this - nothing and nobody on this earth could get them to do otherwise.

No point wasting energy or bellyaching to oppose it, because you get dragged into their pooh. They often reveal their own sectarianism through there own actions, and sometimes spectacularly shoot themselves in the foot - let them get on with it (up to a point).

It's obvious they are working flat out to marginalize and alienate the anti-authoritarians from the more mainstream left. The last thing the SWP want is the anti-capitalist movement to develop further, and dominate the left or, in the next instance, the anti-g8. Look how they tried as best they could to marginalize anti-capitalists/anti-authoritarians at the ESF.

I tell you the SWiPers must have shat their comradely pants at the success of the autonimous ESF spaces - their worse nightmare come true. By excluding the the anti-authoritarians from the ESF organising process they thought they'd got rid of them. Now, they feel even more threatenned, no wonder their scheming and propaganda has reached hysterical proportions.

It is apparent thatt the wishes of SWiPpers and other liberals coincide with the wishes of the State. Put another way, the interests of those who want to be the future controllers of the state often combine with those of the current rulers. And their propaganda can be remarkably similar. The 'violent thugs' accusations against anti-authoritarians at the ESF could have just as easily come from the Daily Mail or Blair. The Trotters and the neoliberals both with Stalinist tendencies fear the anti-autoritarians equally as much, and we can see them at the point of collusion.

Cant Dissent and the rest have their own gig (easy for me to call, i know) although money might be a problem. How about getting the likes of Chumba W. and Mano C. they might do for costs. Trouble is if you let the SWiPpy-do do it, they'd be making shit boring speeches between every band, and, I dont know about you, but it would ruin my evenning.

Is it possible to forget about the boring SWiPers for a while? It's difficult because they keep coming to this site to pooh. You know its the folks that cant stand them are the only ones to acknowledge their existence, giving them publicity and the opportunity for importance to be pumped up.



05.11.2004 01:39

Why is anyone who supports the SWP even on Indymedia if it isn't to try and stir things up?
Why are none SWP wasting their time pointing out the problems within the SWP?
Who are you telling? The SWP (thereby engaging them) or none SWP (thereby engaging them in SWP related bollox)?

# Hierarchy : The newswire is designed to generate a news resource, not a notice-board for political parties or any other hierarchically structured organizations.

Ignore them, they will go away if they don't think they are wasting enough of our time!


Childs play

05.11.2004 10:46

My politics are better than your politics so ner ner ner ner ner!
My utopia is more intllectulaand well thoguh out tha your too and another thing@I am never ever wrong about anything!




05.11.2004 12:22

Tish, you sound just like me....

Alex Callinicos

it's never been okay to smash up meetings

05.11.2004 13:10

Not sure about this analysis from the folk at Dissent. It's never been okay to smash up meetings of other anti-war anti-cap types, even if their ideological flavour isn't to your taste. It's not the same as direct action against the state or the war machine.

How would we feel if Trots tried to break up our meetings? Wouldn't we be really angry at them attacking our free speech? (In fact might we not be so angry we'd accuse them of being authoritarian, fascist etc rather like some of their hotter-headed comrades are accusing us?)

There's a danger here we end up looking like the intolerant ones. Also of losing perspective: as I've said before, US forces are about to launch an all-out assault on Fallujah, I really hope and pray we won't be too busy talking about the ESF and SWP to protest when it kicks off!


SWP gainst direct action ? Yes and No

05.11.2004 13:19

It is not as easy as that. At times the SWP supported direct action, as during the miner strike or during the poll tax revolt, sometimes SWPers as individuals only are involved in direct action. As the SWP inside respect is aiming to win the votes of Labour supporters who are working class, or supporters unhappy with Labour politics in general or with the Labour´s suport for the war its is possible that they want respect to look respectable, and thus want to avoid situations that would benefit bourgeois propaganda. However there has always been an inherently opportunistic strand within the Trot movement, especialy the SWP to adjust to socialdemocracy. This often leads to tactics of watering down the aims and means of social movements. These tactics of an inertious "movements´ bureaucracy" are not confined to Trots or stalinists - even "leaders" claiming to be anarchists are sometimes trying to hold down and divert the movements into the arms of the socialdemocracy.

The question is what to do about it. Sometimes direct action is elitist, since it is also an expression of the absence of working class struggles. Direct action which is not supported by large sections of the movements are futile. They´ll only end people in the dock or in prison.

Nevertheless sometimes there is no other option as for small vanguardist groups to carry out direct action as to give the masses an example that it is neccesary to break the laws of the system we live in to make any gains, the poll tax struggle being one example.

While - if there is no other way - each faction of the anticapitalist movement has the right to pursue it´s own form of action we should avoid situations of mudslinging and backstabbing, - which applies to the SWP as well. Rather more we should try and find ways as to exclude factionalist clashes within the movement. The SWP should stop trying to direct and divert movments. On the other hand anticapitalist should consider voting for respect.

Mister Knister

to Herr Calinicos / SWP a fortress of civil society

05.11.2004 14:05

Don´t slagg of direct action i.e the "horrible black bloc".

The problem of the SWP is that, because of the British electoral system, setting up a national election alternative won´t get us very far and it consumes to much energy. Even in other European countries were the electoral system makes things a bit easier, electoralism as a tactic, against the broadest capitalist offensive we have seen for decades, has only generated limited success. At the same times - though there are signs that lost ground can be regained - we still wait for major unpheaval of working class struggles.

But also the actions of the "autonomists´s" seem futile. There is no master plan. Even mass militancy, as in Japan against the air port in the 70ies was unsucesfull, and will be if it is not supported by other forms of civil action. But the actions of the "black bloc" should not be used to smear civil disobendience in general.

Not paying the poll tax and storming Hackney Council was such an example. The anticapitalist movemENt needs to supplement A-B marches by well planned civil disobedience.

This will - to some degree - always initially be the action of a small elite or vanguard. But these actions can be powerfull symbols - nothing more and nothing less - if we recall the civil disobedience of the US civil rights movement. For instance, against the social cuts in Germany, even though they will prove as futile as the A/B marches, civil action groups staged small scale protest such as the blocking of public transport, and will now attempt to occupy as many dole offices as possible on a national day of action. This is to highlight other forms of protestv to the public and to make a statement that we are still resisting. Demonstrate, strike, occupy, blockade! There are many forms of civil disobedience to develop.

The SWP should be carefull not to become, in the sense of Gramsci, a ^fortress of civil society^ reproducing capilalisms ^spontanious consensus^ among the labourers and activists.


unity desperately needed

05.11.2004 16:48

i urge all people to look forward together to the G8 summit and put their differences aside.

we all want to undermine the G8 summit, but it comes down to numbers. there is no point talking about direct action if the mobilisation is small.if it is small we all become demolised. i personally want to pull the fences down and grap the G8 leaders out of their conference by their neck.

we have big responsibilities in britain ,if we do managed to cause mayhem, it will encourage the whole world who are activity fighting against capitalism.whether it is the resistance fighters in iraq or the sweat shop worker in china.

the fact is that in the early days of the anti-capitalist movement ,the autonomist played an excellent role ,mobilised the 1999 "carnival against capitalism" which pre-dates the famous "battle of seattle", u can argue that it actually inspired the activists in seattle. but since then , not much has happended and the movement is stagnant.

the other fact is that, the stop war coalition (STWC) is also excellent in terms of how broad the movement is. whether we like it or not the swp were central in building that movement. as i speak, the STWC is getting broader, bereaved families of british soldiers are slowly but surely coming on board and are speaking out against the war and tony blair at STWC meetings. this is exactually what we need, think of vietnam, it took years before soldiers came out against the war, but when they did the war was unable to continue. STWC has been in existance for 2 years and there has not been much squabbling, no secterianism has developed and it continues to stand united.

the strenght of the swp is that they are very good at organising meetings at national and at local level.they can mobilise people onto the streets. they are very disciplined ,which has advantages and disadvantages but when it comes to practical things they can do the business.

why can't we have joint "Anti G8 mobilising groups" up and down the country, the SWP have a role just as do the autonomists. at the end of the day we need the anti G8 movement to be as broad as possible.

the swp will organise such "anti-mobilising groups" with or without the autonomists. the swp will probably relate to more people than the autonomist ever will. but unity is the key.

i am not asking you to jump into bed with each other or become best mates (who knows it might happen , HH & Huw might get it together)but for the sake of the movement lets give it a chance.

red letter

Some thoughts

06.11.2004 01:57

Yes, the SWP likes to look like its at the forefront of everything, so when there's going to be action, they either get to the front and start it early or they stand around leading the opposition. I guess its the whole "Party of Leaders" thing. Why can't people just get on and lead themselves?

I'd be careful of saying that people are "ideology haters", because Anarchism is an Ideology, even if its essentially a none-ideology.

I agree with those who say that this is getting a bit tiring, but two things in particular I would contribute to the debate on SWP using this set up. I was in the SWP when I first started posting, and through reading IndyMedia, I managed to drag myself to my senses and get out of *THE* Party, as they like to think of themselves. SWP members may well post in their own capacity as though they weren't members simply because they happen to care about change.

The problem isn't members of the SWP who happen to use this site, its SWP sheep coming here to "win the argument" having previously been told that Anarchism is the domain of a very select few nutcases (which obviously isn't true if you realise there are more countries covered by indymedia than the SWP's international command structure).

Anyhow, we must just accept that the SWP exist and that they will try and wreck things and that they are moving ever more to the right. Its important that we make sure that our organisation and mobilisation beats there's and that Dissent gets a bigger international take up to top up our UK resources. And don't say we should organise a separate concert, thats the last thing we need. We need to organise some NVDA and some community actions. I'm a bit loathed to recommend violence as a tactic because it does play into their hands and shows little or no understanding of Ghandian wisdom. We can't win a violent fight, but we will always be able to win a none violent fight.

Rebel W

You're Right Rebel W.

06.11.2004 21:13

Cant for the life of me think why the suggestion that descent & co should organise a gig came in to my head - it was way off plot. It would be a waste of resource and a distraction from the job at hand - let others put on the entertainment.

However, NVDA and a more actively defensive or confrontational approach? I think I lean towards the other side to you. There's got to be a place for both within the whole organisation framework, and mutual respect. There can be problems when you have an intransigent mix at one action, but it should be remembered that the police often make the call about violence, and not the activiists. It's a big debate to be continued sometime after June 2005.

The only decent bit of advice I can give is:
I feel the most important thing to do is to stick together if the police are threatening; talk about possibilities rationally, and help and support one another. Try and agree a course of action, or several different courses of action, and carry it (them) out, even if it is to do nothing. If conditions change, then reassess. An incredible amount of power and confidence comes from this form of solidarity.



08.11.2004 19:43

...I think it's closer to the truth to say that indemedia is leftist rather than anarchist...or leftist anarchist. There's a lot of redstarism (if only as a fashion thang) in the 'features' sections...Zapatistas...the Argentina trip and so on. This is not anarchy. Anarchy (peace convoy style) would be to give the features editor a smak on the chops he'd never fucking well forget whilst driving home the message...HAVE (smak) SOME (smak) RESPECT (smak) FOR (smak) HIS (smak) HOLINESS (smak) THE (smak) DALAI (smak) LAMA (smak).

But never mind, continue to hide behind cyber annonimity where I can't find you.


King Amdo.

King Amdo

SWP is useless and waste of t'me

12.11.2004 22:42

I think only reason why the left cannot grow and get stronger is SWP. They are useless oportunists, they shouldn't be seen as revolutionaries or socialist. These people are the muppets of the state. They are the force to silence the oppressed people. They are used by the MI5 and Scotland Yard to stop the mass movements and proper struggle against imperialism. When Yugoslavia war was on agenda I attended one of their meetings to set up the coalition against the war, we were trying to find the right name for the coalition and most of the people wanted to be called Coalition Against Imperialist War. But they not agreed, they claimed that it wasn't imperialist war and this shouldn't be used. Back then I understood what kind of people they are.
We need to form our proper movement without SWP. They are not big and they do not have infulence on the people although you see their placards and flags at every rally. These people are oportunists, when they see the masses they want to get their placards in their. Stop these people exploting the struggle in UK.
Friend from Turkey


Anarchist website?

15.11.2004 16:01

I wouldn't say this is an anarchist website. It's anti-corporate-globalisation with an anarchist slant.

If the reader- and poster-ship of this website was just restricted to the anarchists then its numbers would be far lower. The "movement" is massive on a global scale. Anarchism is just a small niche (albeit an influential and rather good one) within this movement of movements.


Just to assert again....

15.11.2004 16:48

...that you don't need to be part of a 'world movement', group (or clique) to do direct action of any sorts ranging from letter writing to sabatarge.

You can just realise, get up and do it. I do it for the wildlife and birds because you are FULL OF SHIT.


Blessed be,

The Great Mother Witch.

(arr, but that implies religion, and as a solialist I can't accept that...blar blar blar, time waste, time watse, time waste, disrupt tribal goddess consciousness foculisation (repeat three times)........etc etc etc etc ).

The red star commy trip (the SWP are commy's) is what the native american's call 'plastic shamism'. So the Zapatistas, suppossedly a sound tribal campiagn, use this dodge magic in their work. This is never going to achieve anything worthwhile, and is counterproductive in terms of achieving positive results for real...i.e. a real and genuine change in society (individual and collective consciousness and thus reality) towards freedom sharing and so on...and this leftist politico energy totally permiates the protest scene I think. The red star trip is theft and misue of pagan magic, and not only is disrespectful, but also dangerous and counterproductive.

Oh, by the way, mu vision is purer than you're because my karma is such as a reincarnated Tibetan Bodisatva...and here in the west you just can't take that can you?, so you egoise, you debate, you argue yourselves out of magic and into ego you work like a tosser all your life, you do endless actions, you take two steps forward and three steps back....usual story.

Definitely ego is a problem in the west. This is DEFINITELY something that I've noticed in the activist scene here in the the UK since I returned from a lond India trip. I know it would seem amazing to all you independent load mouthed westeners to actually have respect and follow the vision of a reincarnated Bodisatva. Much better to trash this sacred space, in fact, and try and impose some sort of dumbed down depressing unionist compliant waste of time.

The keypoint I think really is that you need to SHUT THE FUCK UP. (and listen..remember that film in slow motion of Ghandi putting his finger to his lips?)

The last thing is that we the spectical of these communist wankers (the SWP), and thier mainstream politico figurheads bullshitting their way into the confidence of Muslims at this time of fear.

Advice to British Muslims:

Communists are poison. Don't be blagged by the SWP or Galloway and 'respect'...don't feel isolated, know that many many people here love Islamic society, and are against anti islamic christian 'Jihad'. Don't feel as though you have to support britain at all...'britain' (the britisher) is inherently a negative construct. You have every right to live this territory.

The last thing I want to say is that I've had quite a few reproaches to my 'full on' approah from people qwho say things like 'oh thats not a buddist way of speaking' or whatever. This is because I'm addrtessing a western audience. There's no way I'd speak to people in the east like I do to westeners.

FUCK YOU AND YOUR COUNTRY EGOISING BRITISH SCUM. (activists, Muslims or otherwise)


Blessed be.

King Amdo

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