Found on anarchistnews.org today.
Maybe now is the time to take stock of what is happening around us. With friends jailed and a community that rages against us being out on the street is dangerous even without the heavy police presence. As anarchists what thoughts should we have on the insurrection and what does it mean for ourselves?
Firstly we should be expressing outrage at the State and its armed wing of the Police. Here in Britain the Metropolitan Police are at the heart of defending the State. As the great heart beats it manages to push out opponents with great velocity than ever before. The past few years have been evident in displaying that: following the terrorist attacks in 2005 Charles De Menenez was shot dead, a the G20 a case of a few bad apples resulted in Ian Tomlinson dying and now, recently, it appears the 'Met' covered up their murder of Marc Duggan. Of course, this infuriates us in the anarchist community as it displays perfectly well the violent nature of the ruling class' police force. This stands on top of repression of recent political movements, the increase in surveillance policing and the ongoing attempt to criminalise and victimise minority communities.
Last week hundreds in the Tottenham community heeded words like these and took to the streets to demonstrate the death of Marc. Following an assault by the Met's feared Territorial Support Group (riot police) upon a teenager a peaceful protest became a violent protest.
The Met responded in kind; they immediately enacted public order tactics which according to local reports resulted in enraging locals. As more participated in the violence on both sides London, and many other cities, began to bear witness to an insurrection.
Unfortunately, the greats walls of power have not collapsed either by force against them or by the weakness of their foundations. They stand ever stronger today which links to what should be our second thought and concern; that British police and the related prison system are following the insurrection with an unprecedented level of power.
For international anarchists and revolutionaries the sight of British riots must be as baffling as it is exciting. The sight of hundreds of rioters facing dozens of riot police in close, hand-to-hand combat must be surely alien. Our comrades in America face rubber bullets, our friends in Germany face the water canon and our lovers in Greece face tear gas. Such keeps them often at great distance from the police and, as such, a great distance from victory.
International anarchists may miss British riot porn as much as we will. It feels shocking to say but I for one will sorely miss the days of baton charges and kettling. It is now clear that for at least forty-eight hours rubber bullets were authorised in Britain for the first time in our history. The dangers of these, and methods to counteract them, must become common knowledge. Additionally, the government authorised the use of water cannon and made it available with twenty-four hours notice. Again, the dangers, and methods to counteract it, must be known for our movement to literally survive on the streets of the new Britain. We must also expect that now these powers have been won for the first time that the police will retain them. We can expect this too as after the student rising the same powers were demanded and refused; the bastards have been knocking at the door for a while for these.
The prison system is almost fit to burst with a huge influx of inmates. Be it posturing or not, the government has promised to hunt down participants in the riots and to treat them as common criminals. To be sure, we should be supporting those involved outside the prison system (through advice on policing and their investigating tactics) as equally as we do with those inside. The anarchist community has great practise at this and I don't doubt that we can make our presence felt. We must realise though that the courts are, once again, passing political sentences with great impunity. Young rioters are receiving prison sentences for stealing water, mothers are in prison after admitting guilt and the police murderers still walk the street. In the last twenty-four hours local magistrate courts have been working throughout the night in an unprecedented level of activity for a bureaucracy. As per the government's advice the toughest sentences are being delivered.
It is a worrying combination, is it not? A growth in police powers and a busy, politicised court system. As Crass argued we can stand against their power but their violence will now grow and we must deal with the consequences of this.
Thirdly, the anarchist community is in a fantastic position to 'reach out' to the broader community. Unless anyone believes we can win alone we must be seeking support, proliferating propaganda and agitating in the general populace. Anarchist agitating and violence at demonstrations has been connected to the anarchist community in Britain. This has been especially too since importing the tactics of the European autonomen and the 'black-bloc' tactic. In the past year this has been especially evident and the growth of such tactics has been stunning: from a handful of black-clad student rioters last winter to up to a thousand roaming the streets of London this March.
Street fighters are catching on and masking up is now in vogue.
If one presumes that the folks in Birmingham who fire-bombed their local cop shop were not anarchists imagine what they would be like in our community.
Would we welcome them? Why have we not yet?
In this era of austerity following the repulsiveness of New Labour, cuts to government programs for the poorest in society are continuing with reckless abandon. When students rebelled with appeared to spur on a broader working class movement. As the working class rebelled this spring it appears to now spread to parts of Britain so commonly ignored. A broader front can combat not only the cuts but also government and governance itself.
Such is only possible through solidarity.
Capitalism inspires humans to lust after profit and not themselves or their community. All desires are trumped in the quest for capital and it's related concepts of property and products. In our present society all are compelled to join this disgusting capitalist game and what we have witnessed in the recent insurrection is an indulgence of this. The majority of the insurrection was spent on acquiring wealth through repossession of goods and capital.
As anarchists, our vision of an insurrection surely consists of not only the repossession of capital and the equal distribution thereof but also of the repossession - or destruction - of power.
I simply wonder how easy such a task will be in the new battlefield before us.
My thoughts and my solidarity,