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May Day Party Arrests Total Lack Of Solidarity

Anon. | 02.05.2007 10:42 | Mayday 2007 | Mayday 2006 | Analysis | Other Press | Repression | London

1 person arrested, and 2 people where fined £80 for calling the police 'Bastards'. the lack of solidarity with those arrested, or detained by the police was sickening, with only one attempt at a 'de-arrest' and only by two people. most of the organizers took the side of the police, trying to force the crowed to give up our mates to the cops.
Those who act with the police, are the police!

Those who attempted to get close to the first arrestee whom the police where holding by the neck and hands where shoved about on a staircase. the police threatened us with batons while taking the other two in to custody. A large man in a suit started shoving one activist, and said he was 'head of security'. a few undercover police (one a short blonde woman in a blue top) held back another activist, urging him to be peaceful. Only those who are police, or working with them would have acted so forcefully in helping the police make arrests.

One of the people fined had a cut on his head and some bruises, a women had bruises on her arm caused by a police baton and her ankle got twisted during the shoving, I sustained a few minor wounds, and I'm sure there are more minor wounds, as there was one arestee that I have not seen, and one other person got detained and fined.

We must stay united in our struggle against the state, we cannot allow our mates to be captured with out a fight. We need to remember that any one who helps the police, is them selves acting as a copper, just with out the uniform.

All cops are bastards, all who work with them are informants and traitors.



Hide the following 35 comments

Space hijackers

02.05.2007 11:36

this was my worry that the crowd and organisers of the Space hijackers happening would be rather less politically minded and have little or no concept of solidarity against the police. At the Migrants Benefit at Ramparts I spoke with a few people who had been battoned charged and they re-inforced what has been said above in regards to the organisers.

This must surely be a warning and/or a wake up call to space hijackers who have played this neutral line on these "happenings" on which side they are on - it seems they are more for chumming up with capitalist city boys and cops than ordinary people struggle against capitalism including police violence.

I doubt that the same would have happened on the Autonomous Workers Bloc where over 200+ anarchist militants had gathered to celebrate mayday - indeed it was some of the younger members of that march that had attended the Space Hijackers event and were also the ones who were doing some of the de-arresting



Pics of undercover cops

02.05.2007 11:43

Can anyone give a more detailed description of the undercover cops, or provide some pictures? The more people that know their faces, the less people will get caught out by them. Solidarity to all arrested and those that tried to de-arrest them!

(A) Sab x


02.05.2007 12:23

The video is coming of the first incident, got some shots of plain clothes men in suits with ear pieces going under jackets.

I only filmed them after following the police following the young lot from the autonomous block as they left the beach area. Returning, I passed these three, heard one say "maintain a low visible presence", so got a safe distance and caught one on film.

Not sure if they were uncover police or security from the private owners of Canary Wharf having a go at playing James Bond.

Oscar Beard

totally agreed

02.05.2007 12:53

during the second incident (the detention of two guys for the "crime" of mouthing off at the cops) I was physically held back, lectured, shouted at and generally berated for confronting police and supposedly trying to escalate the situation. escalation? for fuck's sake - the pigs grab two of our comrades for no fucking reason, attack those who try to get close, threaten us with batons, damn near break someone's ankle, yet somehow WE are the ones trying to escalate things?

violence for violence's sake is both useless and fucking idiotic. but in this situation you've got two options - solidarity or abandonment. to see the Space Hijackers standing side by side with the cops, ordering people not to fight back, to contain their anger, and for everybody to simply move on - to go to the beach and have some fucking party while the state does what it likes with our brothers and sisters - was nothing short of disgraceful.


If this is true

02.05.2007 15:26

then fuck the space hijackers.

Really, who needs crap like this? The Autonomous Workers block were really even handed, plugging the spacehijackers event as something to do after their march and never saying a dicky bird about its probable outcome a dross politics. In return they tell the BBC that they are the 'creative face' of 'protest' and clearly call the regular marchers boring in their propaganda.

And now they are getting anarchists fucking nicked by their ill thought out stunts, and telling them they can't fight back.


Apart from that, the hijackers event looked like toss anyway. It wasn't even a proper party it was just the usual weirdoes being weird. Also, i know the area where they did the party and its already social space - its a large canal side restauarant and bar area, on a nice day people spill out all over the plot. There was nothing to subvert by having a party.

They seem to have some fun ideas, like the circle line party, but other the odd piece of fun, they ar apolitical and damaging to people who actually want to engage with politics and try and engage other people in a normal, rational way.

every time you criticise them, they accuse you having no sense of fun. You know what i find fun? Actual parties - with music and dancing. Going to the pub. Playing football. Cooking and eating.
What the fuck does that have to do with the thousands dead in Iraq and poverty created by capitalism everywhere?

"Mr Bush! Mr Bush! They're dancing in suits now sir!"

"Really? Oh FUCK, we better get out of here fast! Dancing in suits - how did they guess my fatal weakness?"

Adam Swift

the workers bloc

02.05.2007 15:52

how the fuck are you autonomous?? You are joining the unions bloc. Power to workers and not to these sham institutions.

beat the rich

different view?

02.05.2007 16:22

I didn't see the first arrest, and by all accounts it was completely unprovoked, the impression I got of the second one was a bit different though.

There are some fair points above, however at the same time you have to remember everyone was trying to get to the beach area (public land) so that the sound system could be put on and not confiscated.

Walking down the road surrounded by police chanting "all cops are bastards" however true, isn't going to help matters when the police are looking for any excuse to kick off. The police with the crowd had recently switched from the greenwich police to the city police (red and white hats) who were much less amiable to the event. When the police did jump in, completely overhandedly, and over violently, the rest of them tried to surround and kettle the crowd. getting everyone moving again wasn't such a bad idea unless we wanted to be stuck next to a roundabout for the rest of the day.

Gary GIlmore


02.05.2007 16:22

The reason for the Autonomous Bloc is to re-present a tendency within workers struggle and to use the "safe" space of the march to build a collective street presence.yes we all know that it is not the best situation to be in especially when a few years ago we WERE Mayday- 6,000+ autonomous ppl with the left having there crappy TU demo of which there were no more than 600 people.

So if we want to do something more in keeping with the politics we espouse we need to build up our collective organisational capabilities before we do something else. Any suggestions? Otherwise we end up in a situation where we get trounce by the pigs yet again.

Last year we started this strategy and we managed to mobilise 600 - 800 people within 4 weeks. this year we had about 200+ without any leaflets - just word of mouth and through IMC UK.

There will be a post-mayday feedback meeting, which at this stage may or may not be public - nonetheless when we start to strategise a longer term plan to reinvigorate anarchist and radical politics not only in London but across the UK we can really start rebuilding elements of collective power.

Happy Mayday!

there are reasons for doing things a certain way.

02.05.2007 16:34

the way i see it is that the space hijackers know what they are doing, just becuase they dont intend on confrontation and riots everytime they organise an event doesnt mean that they arnt sinceare. there was a reason why they did what they did. i heard that everyone was dearested so i dont know what your titles about. it just seems like jealousy from other anarchists who see them as getting all the limelite becuase they are clever enough to see that from the 1990s onwards it has been a downwards spiral for mass demos in london. every event so far has set the president, if we had all have tried to de arrest the people at that time they would have been taken away in bully wagons, i dont know for sure but i heard they were all released pretty soon after we left. just because they dont put up an agressive front to the police doesnt mean they are working for them. thats just my opinion, i do agree that there was a general lack of solidarity at that time but one of guys who was arested was a mate of the people trying to get people to move along.

one last thought. if the police want to shut something down they can, it can be illegal to do so but since when have the police cared about the law? by not fighting there we continued the rest of the night instead of having all of us surrounded and arrested.

(a) in the uk

As an arrestee...

02.05.2007 17:34

I was one of the second two arrested, and given an £80 fixed penalty for swearing, threatening officers, and grabbing hold of people's body armour. I intend to fight this in the courts, on the basis that it didn't actually happen, and me and several friends are also seeking legal advice with a view to suing the police for injuries sustained whilst being brutalised.

I'll post a full report later on, but the police were wound up from eralier in the day when the autonomous block had made them all look like pansies, and many of them clearly came to canary wharf looking for a fight. The police were aggressive and physically assaulted several people, shoving them out the way without regard for their safety. Once the group moved away from the public at large and we lacked media or legal support, they figured it would be easy to strike.

The arrests of myself and my friend happened not because we did anything, but because the group passed a convenient cage-like structure in which to isloate some of us. My friend was attacked and arrested simply for being the nearest person to the entrance, and I was then attacked and arrested for attempting to photograph them attacking my friend.. The officers were offensive, threatening and abusive throughout.

Whilst the level of support was a little disapointing overall, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to everybody who did stick around and do what they could - especially the guy who attempted the unarrest, the guy who stuck around and took messages to the rest of the group, and the people passing vodka through the bars. And especially I'd like to thank my fellow arrestee for his kind words and support, and of course our friends who stayed around aslong as they could and were themselves assaulted for their solidarity.

If anyone happens to have video or photos of the arrests or the attacks, and would be willing to provide those for use in our trials, they would of course be gratefully received :)

Dave C
mail e-mail:

fight your own battles

02.05.2007 20:03

The Space Hijackers called on people to come and have a party at Canary Wharf not hurl insults at the police or anybody else. The Space Hijackers are about play, and engaging people not about fighting the police. If someone wants to say that the police are bastards fine but that is not our responsibility we are only trying to change the world not fight the police.


why are people attacking the space hijackers?????????

02.05.2007 20:18

ummm, i'm sure there's meant to be a canal side restauarant somewhere?
ummm, i'm sure there's meant to be a canal side restauarant somewhere?

look dear, i think the bar is over there!
look dear, i think the bar is over there!

I went along to this, so i'm reporting what i saw. And i'm not making assumptions of what happened, as a few of the other commentators who weren't there, have.

The first arrest suprised everyone. The mass of people by this time had spread over the square, and people where kind of regrouping when it happened. I didn't see any of the 'space hijackers' instructing anyone how to behave.

I think most people are refering to the second arrests on the way to the beach. And yes it was a beach on the thames, and not "a large canal side restauarant and bar area" - get your facts right Adam Swift. I was not too far back, when the arrest happened, but i didn't see what promted the police action. At this point, the line of people going to the beach was quite stretched out and thin, leaving no chance of any organised mass protection of anyone snatched. Anyway, the guy in question was quickly dragged into a weird shelter ("cage-like structure"), which i guess was some sort of underground entrance, along with the other guy who bravely went in to help. The police were easily able to guard this, and after a lot of jostling, shouting etc. it was quite clear that there was no further way that we could've helped. THe bastards had their telescopic
metal bations drawn. The cops were solid. The arrest was photographed, videoed and fortunately he had friends there who new him, and could help and support him in his release, back at the police station.

I totally agree with the space hijackers decision at this point to try to diffuse the situation, and get people moving on to the beach party. What was to be gained by a futile attack on a well armed police force. I have every sympathy for the guys who got violently arrested, but i'm sorry, i'm not prepared to get a police baton in my face to save someone from an unjust £80 fine. Get real. The clever tactics are to assess what can be done, and if there are no reasonable options, then move onto the next area of dissent - in this case the beach party. And if you can't see the politics in asserting our right to freely assemble and have a party, well...

And actually, it was a pretty good party, followed by dancing and music in the rampart centre.

So in my opinion, stop mindlessly attacking the wrong people i.e. the space hijackers, and get on with something constructive yourselves.

Best may day i've had for donkeys years - thanks space hijackers, and all the other people who turned up!

Hope you win your battle Dave C, shame the brutal cop bastards ruined your day!


Best may day i've had for donkeys years...

02.05.2007 21:12

ummm, not that's saying that much...


Short memories

02.05.2007 21:22

So spacehicjakers - and what an appropriate name for people who are indeed a waste of space - seem to have forgotten that between 1999 and 2004 (Dublin, ireland) Mayday in britain has meant violent confrontation. I'm not sure what is more naive - calling an action on MAYDAY seeped in secrecy and clandestine overtones and not expecting the police to attack it, or not expecting the punters who've turned up not to give the cops some stick.

Why don't do some more guerilla benching, that seemed to go down well with the Evening Standard.

I can't remember
- Homepage:


02.05.2007 21:38

"I have every sympathy for the guys who got violently arrested, but i'm sorry, i'm not prepared to get a police baton in my face to save someone from an unjust £80 fine."

its called solidarity!! How fucking hard is this?? And did you know he would get £80 fine? Maybe he could have got done for GBH? He might have lost his job? His home?

If you don't understand this then you have no business coming down to Mayday - a day built on people who stick up for each other.



02.05.2007 21:50

To the OP.
So, if people aren't with you, they're against you?

Didn't Dubya say something to that effect?

Cpt. Pants

asfd if you'd had been there...

02.05.2007 22:44 would have seen a situation, where there was no hope in rescuing the guy. Get real! HOw does more people getting hurt and arrested help matters?????????

i obviously didn't know the outcome of the arrest at the time. I just mentioned it, to emphasise that a fine and a couple of hours down the police station, isn't worth pointless extra bloodshed and violence, for your idea of solidarity! We all know the usual tactic is generally to hold people, and the release them a few hours later - quite often not even charged at all! Not a pleasent experience, of course. I've been taken down the cells myself, a few times.

By the way, don't know if you realise this, but you're being a bit authoritarian yourself, never mind the police, by telling me "If you don't understand this then you have no business coming down to Mayday"? Not my idea of solidarity, considering were supposed to be, generally, on the same side?


Nothing we could usefully do.

03.05.2007 09:36

The blonde woman in a blue top holding back one of the activists wasn't a cop, she was his girlfriend. Don't make assumptions. She was also one of the only people to actually take any legal observer notes at the second set of 'arrests'.

Secondly, there was nothing useful that we could have done once the two guys had been taken into the cage thing. Once it became obvious that it was well secured by the cops most people realised that they couldn't do anything useful other than take notes, photos and similar in order to help with a legal challenge later. Violent 'solidarity' in that situation would only have ended up in more people being arrested and hurt. A much more useful type of solidarity would have been to help the action medic trying to treat the girl who got hurt. She refused to leave until her friends were released, not by being violent but just insistent.

office worker

Re: Short memories

03.05.2007 09:46

> So spacehicjakers - and what an appropriate name for people who are
> indeed a waste of space - seem to have forgotten that between 1999
> and 2004 (Dublin, ireland) Mayday in britain has meant violent
> confrontation.

That's funny, considering Mayday 1999 copied a Spacehijacker action - the first Circle Line Party in March 1999.

Mayday 1999 - On the tube

An article and critical account about May Day - International Workers Day 1999 in London, which took the form of a demonstration on the Underground and concentrated on public transport issues.

Several hundred people gather at the Tower of London. In smaller groups they descend underground, on to the Tube. At Liverpool Street station they meet up, on the clockwise bound circle line platform, waiting for a particular train. On board decorations go up, lengths of brightly coloured material decorate the carriages, balloons are released, slogans displayed, games set out, music played, food given away and signs erected declaring the line under joint worker/passenger control. The Tube is transformed from a dull empty alienated space. The Party Line has begun.

A leaflet is distributed, mimicking in style that of London Underground (LU), ripping off their distinctive font and logos. In content however, it is something else, setting out the case against privatisation, showing how strikes are good for workers and commuters alike, and linking this to the demand for a free transport system and to the need for a new world.

The tube moves off and, at Tower Hill, more people join in. The cops stop the train here, announcing it will go no further. As a stand off ensues sadly many, but not all, of the other passengers leave the train. After 15 minutes, the train moves off, not stopping again until Embankment. From there we are put on another tube, non-stop to Clapham Common, the publicised end of the Party Line. There the party heads out into the open, to join the dope smokers on the common. Two hours after it began, the action is over.

May day our day
The action originated with the call to do something more creative, more fun, more revolutionary and more proletarian on May Day, instead of simply tail ending the official parade. Tube workers had already taken strike action against privatisation and in defence of their terms and conditions. The strikes were planned for the beginning of the year, but LU obtained an injunction using the anti-strike laws. A new ballot was held, leading to a strike from 6pm on Valentines Day. The popularity of this was demonstrated by the lack of traffic on the Monday, as commuters took the chance for a day of leisure. Popular support could also be seen at Hammersmith, for example, where home made placards declared "we love the Tube Strikers" against the background of a red heart.

Last year sparks working on the Jubilee Line extension won a series of reforms from the hard line private management, when they took wildcat action outside of the unions control, in an example to us all. The privatisation of the Tube will have a major impact on Londoners, leading to worse service, fare increases and corners cut with health and safety. It was decided to hold a tube party as a way of showing solidarity with the tube workers with the potential to unite all proletarian Londoners.
The Good, the Bad and the…

In the main the action was a success. A large number of people attended. The decorations were brilliant, the food good (although not enough people brought any), the atmosphere was light hearted and the leaflet was great. So far there has only been limited feedback from tube workers, but there have been requests for further information and a number of positive comments. The leaflet has also become sought after. After such an action, however, we have the opportunity to reflect upon it with the benefit of hindsight, and to draw what lessons we can for the future.

The tactics of the cops
Large numbers of cops were anticipated. At the start they were clueless. Motorcycles and vans were standing by, useless on the tube! Rumour has it they thought the Dome was the target! However, as the action progressed, so did the cops response.

One of the main aims of the action was to transform the tube for its users. In doing so we hoped to break down barriers and talk to other passengers, encouraging them to join in. The cops were largely successful in preventing this, not by curtailing the party early (that possibility had been foreseen),but by running our tube non-stop. Such tactics had not been predicted and this was a weakness, which will have to be overcome in any future tube parties. Publicising the destination of the party was a mistake, as it allowed the cops to direct us there. Without this it would have been harder for them.

Our self-isolation
However, it was not only the cops who succeeded in isolating us. To a large extent we did so ourselves. From the outset there were a number of protesters who declined to follow the facilitators, seemingly because they did not look the part (it seems to have escaped them that the facilitators may have had good reason to be anonymous how will we fare on June 18?). The plan was to spread people in small groups along the circle line, as far back as Kings Cross, thus making it less easy to close stations. Whilst most of the facilitators did a fantastic job in getting people on the tube under the noses of the cops, even the earliest groups only went as far as Liverpool Street. Everyone gathered there and it was luck (or stupidity on their part) that the cops allowed the train to stop. It seems there is great comfort in numbers.

Once on the tube only a small minority of people made any effort to talk to their fellow passengers. To most of them I suspect that we represented a heterogeneous and inward looking group. Even the leaflet, which was aimed at everyone, was not used effectively. For example, at Clapham Common there was a northbound tube when we arrived. Only a couple of people passed leaflets through the window to be distributed to the obviously interested passengers.

Consumer party culture
Whilst there were inspiring home made signs and decorations only a few people, outside of the organising groups, contributed anything to the party. Most turned up expecting to be entertained. This was especially ironic, given that the leaflet proclaimed:

"Packed together at rush hour, miserable faces, nobody talking with anyone else, hiding behind personal stereos, or looking at the adverts for products that never satisfy the tube is as alienated an environment as the traffic jam."

Perhaps this is a wider problem of the party protest scene. Certainly the lack of politics was evident. The first leaflet calling for the action had linked it to the judicial murder of the Haymarket martyrs, who died for their part in a reformist struggle linked to revolutionary ends. The second leaflet, however, concentrated on the case of privatisation, making only a single reference to May Day. The problem with this is that, as our history is forgotten, everything has to be rediscovered and experienced as though for the first time, neglecting valuable lessons from the past.

Moving on
As I said at the beginning the action itself was largely successful. If this article seems over critical, it stems from the desire to make any action better next time (and can in large parts be read as self-criticism). On the 4 May Railtrack announced their willingness to run the whole Tube network as a privatised entity. In doing so they came to the rescue of the Government, who have been unable to find anyone willing to take on the deep lines. The struggle against privatisation will therefore continue. RMT are launching a campaign and discussing further strike action. In supporting this and doing further actions, we need to continue to link our opposition to privatisation with the need of our class for communism.

The most positive aspect of the Party Line was the fact that we broke with attending the boring lefty May Day parade. Next year International Workers Day falls on the Bank Holiday Monday. We need to think of bigger and better ways to celebrate it. After all we have a tradition to uphold.

- Homepage:


03.05.2007 11:39

My sonic screwdriver is tingling!

Are you claiming that the Reclaim the Streets, went FORWARD IN TIME to copy the spacehijackers circle line party that was in 2005/2006 and the travelled BACK IN TIME to use it for mayday 1999?

Good news comrades! We have a timelord among us - victory is in sight!

Dr Who
- Homepage:

to 'participant':

03.05.2007 11:49

" would have seen a situation, where there was no hope in rescuing the guy. Get real! HOw does more people getting hurt and arrested help matters?????????"

1) I've seen people being dearrested on countless maydays. Outside of the UK i've even seen dearrests happen when the cops have guns drawn. I have personally been dearrested only slightly fewer times than i have helped dearrest others.

2) putting multiple question marks at the end of your statement reveals more about your intelelect than a thousand naive claims ever could.

Dr Who
- Homepage:

undercover cops

03.05.2007 13:55

a few undercover police (one a short blonde woman in a blue top) held back another activist, urging him to be peaceful.

I was the person being held back at this point. the woman in question is NOT an undercover cop, she is my girlfriend and one of the most wonderful people in the world. while we differ on tactics, that doesn't make her an agent of the state.

further, this kind of speculation is extremely divisive. I've been accused several times, as I'd imagine others have been, of being a provocateur deliberately trying to escalate things to deliberately get people nicked; similarly people who try to calm situations get accused of working for "them". this is not useful, and "outing" someone in a public forum on such flimsy evidence (you did something I dislike, therefore you're one of the cops and need to be revealed) is extremely fucking dangerous and only leads to increased paranoia.


the first space hijacker CLP was 1999...

03.05.2007 14:11

March 1999... two months BEFORE the mayday CLP.

Yes, I can see how time travel was really needed(?).

People really need to calm down about this, ever heard of the phrase "No use crying over spilt milk"?

I've spoken to one of the people arrested and it's almost certain that if he doesn't pay the fine it will not go to court due to lack of evidence, he even stated that if anybody would have tried to dearrest him he would have appreciated the sentiment but would have counted it as suicide.


my opinion

03.05.2007 15:11

Firstly, shouts and thanks to dave, nisha, matt and anyone else who displayed support and solidarity that day! (you know who you are!)
Yes, i am the second of those detained in that bizarre cage-like structure on the way down to the beach party.
Im gonna keep this short and simple, due to the fact that i'm on a public computer and ive nearly run out of time.
Firstly, the anti-police chants were started when i witnessed a policeman being extremely heavy handed with someone i had previously been speaking to.
Secondly, the initial burst of solidarity - not just in physical struggle, verbal challenges and general protest - but by all those who gave us drinks, took down police numbers, our names and addresses etc., was truly inspiring and supportive. The police reaction to this was predictable and we have already covered much of this.
However, the real issue here was the space hijackers immediate rush to quell solidarity and confrontation with our aggressors and successfully "stage-manage" an event. Whilst these tactics have been successful for the mainstream political parties and the BNP, i think we can aim a little higher as anarchists.
This is where the real conflict of interests begins to become apparent: the space-hijackers who have, to their credit, drawn alot of mainstream media attention to issues we can all relate to...have fallen victim to the urge to prioritise positive media attention OVER the issues that we relate to. Their scab behaviour was simply a natural biproduct of the dynamics of PR.
As someone who was on the autonomous bloc march, i feel had i been in the same situation there, they would have been loads more supportive and wouldve united in support rather than encouraging divisive - and to be honest down-right slimy - behaviour. They may not be able to court the press to the same extent as the space hijackers, but i bet they could put their money where their mouth is.
Whilst i am recently unemployed, dont have a student loan and ridiculous bills to pay, the £80 fine is alot of money to me.
The space hijackers, on the other hand, got a great write up in yesterdays evening standard and pats on the back from corporate london. I hope it was worth it.

mail e-mail:

Undercover Police

03.05.2007 16:38

There were undercover police there, they were the ones in suits!

Cpt. Pants!

Solidarity is not compromising the safety of the majority...

03.05.2007 17:19

I remember seeing the Syndicalist flags come out... it was the young folks holding these flags who were trying to start shit with the pigs. I asked one of these so-called anarchist kids if he was a syndicalist, and he didn't quite understand my question, not knowing enough about anarcho-syndicalism and being put on the spot. He probably just thought it was an anarchist flag.
I have been involved in activism in Australia for almost 10 years now, and i have seen what happened at the space-hijackers action too many times to get involved- basically a bunch of ill-defined punk kids- who for lack of actually reading any anarchist or class orientated writings, call themselves anarchists- wanting to fight cops. So to begin with, their solidarity was not with the other protestors- by starting shit with the cops, especially when the cops so utterly outnumbered the activists, they were starting trouble un-democratically for everyone else. The cops could have done whatever they wanted with the protestors, and were prepared to do so. It was exactly what the cops wanted- the opportunity to beat the fuck out of a small group of activists, make shitloads of arrests- its good for funding and good for the reports. Any rational, experienced activist would look at the number of cops compared to protesters, and think it a wise idea to not start shit, especially given that it serves no political purpose when both outnumbered and at a protest with no objective other than to have a fun time where we are not supposed to be.
i know when you first start protesting one of the funnest parts is scruffing with the cops, which helps radicalise so many people. But when your desire to fight cops compromises the safety of 80 other people, adn there are only 6 of you cop fighters and 200 cops, it is egotistic and stupid. Where is the strategy in that, and what does it achieve?


how the 2nd happened...

03.05.2007 17:40

Just before the 2nd arrests, a few protesters (myself included) tried to extend the march onto the road. The cops told us to get off the road, then pushed us back, and one cop began pushing violently when we didn't listen. this gave birth to the ACAB chant, and more pushing and abuse between the pigs and protesters... then to the arrests a minute later. It wasn't planned by the cops, no strategy or plan, but a spiteful opportunity... they grabbed the folks who were being most vigorous in their abuse of the filth, then those who tried to rescue them.
I liked the may pole dancing, and samba line.


space hijackers didn't invent tube parties

03.05.2007 20:56

RTS didn't copy space hijackers any more than you copied others. There were circle line tube parties all throughout the 1980's, there used to be a bar on the platform at Liverpool Street tube station, and people used to get off the tube get some drinks & get back on again to carry on the party.

Likewise your santa pub crawls are a pale & crappy imitation of the dutch Provos, which actually had politics, unlike your art-school 'happenings'.

You claim to be creative but you've been doing more or less the same in-joke small time stunts since 1999 without moving on, changing, developing any politics or realising that times change and something new is needed.

Your hobbyism has no passion, no innovation & no ability to be truly subversive. I don't know if you really want to change the world as you grandly claim, but I doubt it - I think you'd be too scared of jeapordising whatever arts funding you get.


to heliogabalus

03.05.2007 21:03

red and black flags have origins in spain with the CNT but many anarchists who are not syndicalist also march with them. To question someone over there politics like this is a bit petit considering the fact that I prefer someone with no "politics" beside me if they were willing to stick up for me when situations like this occur.

Those pesky kids

04.05.2007 01:57

You know the funniest bit? The younger lot were the up for it, politicised group. The older lot were the fluffy, 'satirical', 'fun' group.

But wait! I thought honest politics were boring and we had to dress up like bellends to have fun?
I wonder where these kids are going wrong. Surely the see the hilarity of issuing vague statements and having a flash mob in fancy dress?

They should get back to school, stidy hard and do a sociology degree. Only people with sociology degrees know what 'fun' is.

younger element

A big shame

04.05.2007 08:21

"Whilst i am recently unemployed, dont have a student loan and ridiculous bills to pay, the £80 fine is alot of money to me.
The space hijackers, on the other hand, got a great write up in yesterdays evening standard and pats on the back from corporate london. I hope it was worth it"

I reckon the spacehijackers should club together and pay your fine Alex and anyothers that were issued at there "event".

Whilst i didnt go to the spacehijackers event after the march, i was going to attend but other things came up, but from what i've heard from people (not just what i've read here) and looking at the photos i'm glad i didnt.

I was on the Autonomous Workers bloc and this kind of thing just would never have happend. The bloc plugged the spacehijackers as something to go to after the march, but this total lack of solidarity is disgusting.

In the future Spacehijackers, stick to what you do best. Your Circle Line partys, guerrilla benching and being in Time out magazine and The Evening Standard



04.05.2007 09:48

All these sectarian claims ie. 'Those who act with the police, are the police!'... are as bad as comments from Leninists or Nationalist fucks. Shame on you. Both organised protests and events like the space-hijackers thing are these days politically useful only as a kind of anti-capitalist propaganda: if the cappo media are forced to give some publicity, then others who think similarly to the anti-capitalists will feel less alone, and some attention is shone upon a cause- the injustice of the corporate world- that the media usually represses. Because the Space Hijackers received publicity in the media means that they were successful, not that they are 'part of the system man', and if their action- however ineffective as a 'direct' action on private property and authority- inspires anyone else at all, then it is a good thing. Someone who claims to have 'no politics' (an imbecilic claim in a world where it is all the capitalist academics and economists who claim, alongside such dickheads, that we are 'post-politics') is just falling into the hands of those who say things like 'class no longer exists', or that capitalism no longer has any 'center of power'... and shouldn't 'having no politics' mean that you are open to a variety of political approaches?
Things like the CNT flag and Syndicalism have a history that we need to keep alive, and if we don't remember our history of struggle, and those who have fought and given their blood under such movements, then we just become another 'image of dissent', another Che Guevara type t-shirt.
I have never paid a police fine in my life, other than court fines that have threatened me with retrial. Are you really going to bother to pay? I know it is beside the point to say this, but fuck giving the filth your money. The only folks i know who have been chased up are folks i have met when doing Community Service, and they generally have owed many thousands.


shades of grey.

04.05.2007 20:09

"All cops are bastards, all who work with them are informants and traitors."

If the Hijackers hadn't calmly spoken to the police when they were all searched at the beginning of the event, there wouldn't have been an event at all. As it was we persuaded them to let the event go on, even though they had originally set out to shut it down and grab some of the organisers before it started (unfortunately the cunning disguises don't work if the police know your face).

As someone said above, you sound a lot like Mr Bush.

I really don't think getting into a scrap with the police (when at the time they outnumbered us about 3 to 1) was going to work, or even be useful. As I could see, the City Police (or shitty police as one of the greenwich police joked when they turned up!) were up for a fight and eager to make trouble. This was made very easy for them by the two people who were grabbed giving them a good target chanting ACAB when surrounded by angry police (possibly not the wisest move?)

We had the choice of kicking off and getting a lot more people hurt, then spending the rest of the evening coralled in a police pen with everyone getting stopped & searched and harassed, or trying to calm the situation down so that no one else got arrested. As the bravely attempted de-arrest took place, the police were beginning to circle the crowd, ready to hold everyone there (you can see this clearly on some of the video's posted). I think people made the right choice.

There isn't some kind of Space Hijacker management crew who run the events, people acted and responded as individuals, and made their own choices. Unfortunately a legal team who had promised to come along and observe for the event, didn't turn up.

p.s. Speaking of the Circle Line, I don't think the hijackers ever claimed to have invented them, or to have influenced the Mayday one. They did pip the mayday one to the post by a couple of months though, so there ;-)


on the whole

05.05.2007 18:22

i don't think its worth quibbling over the particulars, the message is clear. People are pissed off with the the Space Hijackers, didn't like the event and obviously don't like the group or its ideas.

The same criticisms are being made again and again now.

Barry le Balance

Moving On...

05.05.2007 22:11

I think what is important now is to look at how events like this can be avoided in the future. We need to realise and accept that any action on Mayday, and any action in the City, is going to be overpoliced by aggressive and violent policemen, and be prepared for them.

Firstly, the police attacked when they did partly because of a lack of media and legal support. If an action involves risk of arrest then we need people with cameras and notepads ready at all times.

Secondly, the arrests happened as the group was beginning to get strung out and scattered. If the police are aggressive then perhaps people should form together as a tighter group and possibly use banners, arm links or other methods to prevent the police from easilly snatching vunerable members of the group?

Thirdly, I agree that an escalation of the situation would have been bad, and I did yell to my friends outside that i was ok, being worried that they were going to get themselves arrested as well. But the people who stayed on in a peaceful observational and support capacity were a source of great comfort and help. At one point I am pretty much convinced that one of the officers would have attacked me again if it had not been for the presence of the guy who later took our message to the beach party.

I still think the party was a cool idea and that borrowing Canary Wharf was wonderfully cheeky. As an outreach event though I feel it was fundamentally flawed because the only people around were cops and yuppies. I'm not saying we shouldn't accept yuppies into the revolution or set them free as well, but frankly they're not my priority and I'd put the interests of working folk over them anyday.

In conclusion, I've learnt that the Space Hijackers have their struggle, and we* have ours. These struggles interesect in many ways and have the same aims, and we should work to build bridges between them. But the fundamental difference is that our struggles take place in different social environments, and then when we interact they need to come prepared for our world, and we for theirs.

Also, they used one of my photos on their site. How's about an attribution, eh? ;-)

*Please, nobody ask me to define 'we'. That'd just be mean.

Dave C
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