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Aufhebengate -Fuck off Libcom

Nihilist communist | 19.01.2013 14:43 | Repression | Workers' Movements

I want to draw everyone's attention to this article by Sam FantoSamotnaf.

"From Millbank to Quebec, via Athens, Tunis, Suez, Oakland, Barcelona and countless other places, the crowd has confronted the forces of the state with varying degrees of success and failure, of non-violent and violent tactics, over the last couple of years. Ostensibly these outbreaks of class war have been supported and encouraged by the “libertarian communist” section of the supposed movement against capitalism, including those publishing extreme anti-state and anti-commodity theory. So when, in January 2011, the TPTG, a small Greek group, discovered that John Drury, a significant “theoretician” and long-standing member of the self-styled anti-state communist group Aufheben, had been helping the cops with a divide and rule strategy for the very same crowds that this group ostensibly wanted to contribute to radicalising, they were shocked and sent out, to their English speaking friends in London and elsewhere, requests for some strategy of how to deal with this information. After several months of a combination of mainly indifference and ideological obstacles from some and out and out resistance on the part of people closest to Aufheben as well as the rest of the members of Aufheben, the TPTG and myself publicised (on Libcom Blog and elsewhere) this information on the internet in October 2011 (see The strange case of Dr.Johnny and Mr.Drury on this site). As a result we encountered a deluge of denial, contorted evasions and the most stupid defences of a clear-cut case of collaboration. The resulting scandal became known as Aufhebengate."

I am blocked from libcom, they ban all critics. I want to say it is very simple:

1. Cops cannot be trusted.
2. Clifford Stott co-operates with the cops. Therefore cannot be trusted.
3. John Drury works with Clifford Stott, therefore cannot be trusted.
4. Aufheben includes John Drury, therefore cannot be trusted.
5. libcom claim Aufheben have 'evidence' of their story, therefore cannot be trusted.
6. SolFed support with libcom, and full of journalists and academics, therefore cannot be trusted.
7. Therefore it is only the comrades in Greece, France, New Zealand etc who are clean and we can trust to expose UK 'libertarian communism' as pro-cop, pro-prison, pro-Paul Mason, middle class, academic fraud.

Every revolution is made by the working class and betrayed by 'revolutionaries' (Bolsheviks, CNT, Daniel Cohn-Bendit). Revolutionary ideology (middle class) is the enemy of revolutionary practice (working class). Therefore to be pro-revolutionary, we must expose and attack all middle class 'revolutionaries'. This is most important task during capitalist crisis, or these scum will again side with the state against proletariat insurrection (like in August riots).

Posted on by Herngaard

+ Previously on IMC UK

Sussex Police have hired top riot specialist and crowd psychologist Dr. Clifford Stott to train local coppers on new mind control tactics to undermine social movements.

Nihilist communist


Hide the following 60 comments

At some point you'll realise

19.01.2013 15:11

You need to starting trusting people more.

What's all this hatred of the "middle class" anyway?
I think thats wrong. I consider myself middle class but I'm not a bad person.
There are plenty of 'working class' people who are bad/untrustworthy too.

To have a hatred just based on a label is prejudice.

And how do you tell which someone is, if they fall right in the middle of working/middle classes?

middle class

Thanks for the info

19.01.2013 15:33

Just read similar on 325.nostate, very interesting.


Libcom deffo state

19.01.2013 16:13

let's not forget the leading libcom admin and founder member has close links with the last labour government. He worked for his dad's pr company on state defined projects. His dad btw was a close aide of tony blair's while he was running the country and was one of his inner circle of spin doctors.

Libcom admin family business - pr company to the political elite:

John Bowden's revenge

"Nihilist anarchist" - posturing liar more like

19.01.2013 22:15

"6. SolFed support with libcom, and full of journalists and academics, therefore cannot be trusted."

Bit rich for you to talk about trust after spouting all that bollocks you fucking lunatic. Hardly any SF members even post on libcom let alone have an opinion on this stuff, and as for your bullshit about "full of" you want to try a bit harder son? Our biggest group is claimants!

Maybe YOU'RE state - wouldn't be the first time some copper starting slinging this sort of shit around hoping to cause trouble.

Just anarchist

The problem of libcom IS a problem for solfed

20.01.2013 09:00

whether you like it or not libcom is seen as the unofiicial voice of solfed, certainly represents a formal solfed initiative on the internet.

Solfed have their own forum on the site which acts as a very public talking shop for solfed members.There are three admins who admit to being solfed members - all having positions of power and responsibility within solfed, and 4 prominent bloggers who are active solfed members.

Choccy - school teacher
phil - tax inspector
rob ray - professional journalist
gonzokid - fuck knows
(and these are just the ones who admit they are in solfed).

Again it's the educated garduates who represent the "voice" of solfed.

Of course those who remember DAM remember a genuinely militant workplace initiative made up of working class people. The problem of libcom, whether solfed want to admit it or not, is a problem of solfed.

Dense Type

Couple minor clarifications

20.01.2013 15:03

"whether you like it or not libcom is seen as the unofiicial voice of solfed, certainly represents a formal solfed initiative on the internet."

There's three SF members who are libcom admins out of nine overall and none of them were in SF when they set it up, so calling it "a formal solfed initiative" is inaccurate.

And if people see it as the unofficial voice of SF they clearly don't know much about the organisation, which probably means we should encourage more colective output from Locals and the national, but we're definitely not going to start policing people's personal blogs. I don't know why you think an anarchist organisation would do that.

One thing I think should be borne in mind is that SF is a very specific organisation. We operate as a radical, federated anarchist union intiative (we're not big enough to be called a full-on union) with a consitution that people sign up to. It's not a cult, and it's not a lifestyle thing, so as long as they're not breaking the rules by claiming they're speaking on behalf of SF or whatever what people do with their lives and what their personal views might be on things like JD is none of SF's business.

Incidentally, of your list phil is not an SF member, so you've managed to identify a grand total of six people there so by your own caculations less than 5% of our (very small) membership actually write for libcom, which is hardly a representative number.

Finally, given that you don't appear to be a member (in indeed know anything at all about how SF works, it's membership makeup or how it relates to other groups), your suggestion that DAM was "more working class" is questionable, to say the least.

Rob Ray


20.01.2013 16:50

SolFed has over 150 members, only a tiny proportion bother posting on libcom.

Tony Blair's dad's friend's postman's goldfish

Not really helping yourself there rob

20.01.2013 19:02

ha ha ha the little lord Fauntleroy of anarcho-syndicalist politics, libcom's attack poodle, or 'too posh for eton' as he is known in some quarters - rob ray. Not really the person you want on your side defending solfed's current class make-up.

I would personally love to hear what those other 150 members of solfed have to say for themselves especially over working class prisoner solidarity, especially over a solfed member and his racist misogynist "black vagina" rant, especially over the close links between libcom, solfed members and a cop consultant.

I would love to hear those other voices, because as i say the perception is libcom is the unofficial voice of solfed and represents its current constituency and political outlook.

Denzil Typeface

I am confused

20.01.2013 19:27

Hi, I am a member of Solfed

"I would personally love to hear what those other 150 members of solfed have to say for themselves especially over working class prisoner solidarity,"
...........Do you not have a more specific question?

"Especially over a solfed member and his racist misogynist "black vagina" rant"...
............I haven't got a clue what you are talking about, could you elaborate?

"I would love to hear those other voices, because as i say the perception is libcom is the unofficial voice of solfed and represents its current constituency and political outlook"....
..............Perception of who??



Lol aw bless

20.01.2013 19:56

"Too posh for Eton"

I'm sure your brand of throwing totally random mud until something sticks works wonders with whatever (apparently VERY bitter) quarters you hang around in, have fun with that ;).

In the interests of science though I'm going to ask a question. Are you genuinely angry at a few people on the internet who, if you actually had a plan worth listening to, could be bypassed with little to no difficulty? I mean if you really feel libcom is a waste of time, full of wastes of space, why are you spending time on "debunking" it? Why not just form your own, better group?

I'm going to take a stab in the dark here. Is the real cause of your indignation your own failures? Failure to build the movement you want, failure to persuade anyone of the importance of your ideas, failure to make any real impact. Is that not the actual cause of your righteous fury?

If I'm right, may I make a suggestion? Stop whining about other people and get on with actually building a working class anarchist movement. I'm not going to stop you, and if history teaches us anything, it's that left-wing parasites will always exist, so if I am one it's no good just blathering about how I shouldn't be here. Go out and build the alternative.

If it turns out you can't, then the problem is not me, it's not libcom and it's not SolFed. It's you.

Rob Ray

What he's talking about

20.01.2013 20:10

MB - one of the libcom admins who's also in solfed posted a pretty awful moan a couple of years back when he lost out on a job which blamed affirmative action in a fairly nasty way. They were (rightly) monstered by everyone else on the site and retracted it within a couple of days. It got deleted a while back because the admin was so embarrassed about it.

Rob Ray


20.01.2013 22:00

1. Black vagina thread
Joseph K - libcom admin and member of solfed started a thread called fucking PC gone mad (a rant thread) with the opening words:
"Right, so a job i've been after for several years opened its recruitment window this week (a fortnight every year at best), and the blurb contains this gem: My prospective employers wrote:
We would particularly welcome applications from communities that are currently under-represented, such as people from a minority ethnic background and women.

I am neither of the above, and this has precisely zero impact on my ability to do the job. You can see how the BNP spin this as anti-white male prejudice. Cos it is, regardless of the intentions. Fucksake.
This thread particularly welcomes contributions from platformist fuckwits and male feminists defending this PC shite".

The post was defended by other site admins (and solfed members as well as the ubiquitous rob ray) for eight pages.

The thread was eventually erased from the libcom archives so you can't read it, but another thread was started questioning the revisionist process. It throws up some interesting comments about the original black vagina thread:

2. Libcom admin and solfed member along with other admins and solfed members made disgusting comments about prison resister John Bowden in a long drawn out thread. Given solfed's commitment to prisoner solidarity it seemed odd indeed especially not one solfed contributor on libcom pulled them up about it. Of course if you are a young anarchist reading libcom you would get the impression solfed members spend their time taking the piss out of prisoners (especially politicised working class prisoners).

a question for you MB as a solfed member: do you think it is acceptable for solfed members to actively defend and in some cases support people whose job it is to provide the police with information and strategies about crowd control of political demonstrations? Is it acceptable for those solfed to lie about their relationship to john drury and to dismiss criticisms of his role in aiding the police 'manage' demonstrations more effectively?

Denzil Typeface

Ooh what a whopper

20.01.2013 23:20

The post was defended by other site admins (and solfed members as well as the ubiquitous rob ray) for eight pages

That's a straight up lie. I certainly didn't defend it, neither did the other libcom admins (and again, "SolFed" had no opinion on the matter at all). Tbh it's kind of frustrating it was deleted, because of course now you can make up whatever you like and there's no way to check. Mind you, the link you posted consists almost entirely of people saying "yeah that thread was full of bullshit," so kudos for proving yourself wrong, I guess.

Ah yes, John Bowden. The thread you're looking for is here, complete with the reason he was actually banged up in the first place:

Now sure, you can have a debate over support for the guy, but don't make out like it's a simple case. He wasn't put in for political reasons originally and he wasn't put back in in 2008 for political reasons either:

Afaik Bowden's also been a good prison militant and has had a lot of grief for that, so I can see why people look on him as a political prisoner, but it's also a damn sight more complicated that you're making out and I'm not surprised people have a visceral reaction either - it says nothing about the site's attitude towards prisoners in general.

Rob Ray

What public school did rob ray go to?

20.01.2013 23:41

you fucking clueless posh twat it's not me saying it was defended by libcom admins for 8 pages - its the libcom people on the thread i linked to. Are you calling them liars?

The john bowden thread, if it is inded the same one one, has been heavily edited with all jack upton's (libcom admin and solfed member) contributions missing. Again revisionism at its best - something libcom is well versed in.

So the question remains: it is clear libcom/solfed members have told obvious lies and attempted to cover up their their relationship to john drury, and tried to further disguise the fact by attempting to discredit both TPTG and others, what are the options left open for the other 146 members of solfed?

Hate to think they get accused of being friends with cop consultants.

Denzil Typeface

Need to look into things more

21.01.2013 00:01

Re the Black Vagina thread...Ok, its something I have been unfamiliar with, I will have a look into it.

Re John Bowden.... I have kept up to date with, and I am generally supportive of his case, and have recently read the pamphlet he wrote with Leeds ABC, 'Tear down the walls'... but... rightly or wrongly, the reasons for his initial incarceration do not always sit comfortably with me.

Re the question you ask me as a SolFed member... Well, my answer to that would be probably no... However, I must have existed in a bubble for the last couple of years as I not too familiar with what you have said or the info in the initial article. Therefore before forming an opinion I need to read into things a lot more than I have before giving that opinion.



21.01.2013 00:04

Any links to the John Bowden thread?


Alas, Eton calls (no not really you fantasist)

21.01.2013 00:26

My my Denzil, you are an angry fellow! Count to ten and I'm sure it'll all be fine. Anyhoo It's been suggested I stop getting you so het up, so I'll bounce, I've explained SolFed's approach to you anyways so anything else would be repetition. Laters!

Rob Ray

More revelations

21.01.2013 08:13

It was has also been revealed that libcom admins grassed up the WOMBLES to the cops, wrote an academic paper about the Gleneagles G8 with John Drury, and have used the movement to further their academic careers.

They also went to private school, work for the Labour Party, and wouldn't know the working class if they punched them in the face outside a Wetherspoons. Which they did. Free John Bowden! Smash libcom!


Don't forget the Anarchist Federation

21.01.2013 08:21

Bunch of private school tarquins, gays and trannies pretending to be working class. They also have a presence on the libcom admin clique.



21.01.2013 08:35

Thanks for repost. I think maybe we must have an informal nihilist federation. Learn from insurrectionist of cells, but with cells of one. Autonomous nihilism against middle class communism. Those with no ideas - the working class - make revolution. Those with ideas - middle class "revolutionaries" - can only be against revolution / make counterrevolution. Therefore pro-revolutionaries must destroy so-called revolutionaries. I am not in UK, but why not enter their groups and make accusations of informers / rapist, leak information meeting to fascists, start feuds within and between groups... Make nihilist destruction for the revolution creation. For proletariat to revolt, all bourgeois "revolutionary" must be destroyed, otherwise proletariat be recuperated by Labour Party or SolFed.



21.01.2013 08:52

This shit-slinging and rumour-mongering from behind anonymous online accounts stinks of pigs. Sowing distrust and division, mixing facts with wild accusations and innuendo, literally using '6 degrees of separation' as a basis to denounce the whole British libertarian communist movement ffs!

It doesn't even make sense. You're quoting the fucking Telegraph pinning the M26 riot on some guy, and using this as proof that he's in league with the cops to undermine riots using "mind control". What the fuck? Such a load of shit, stinks of state assets shit-stirring at a time when anarchists have finally been getting their act together and connecting with the wider working class (workfare actions, IWW cleaners etc).

I've got one for you: six degrees of separation, six degrees of Kevin Bacon, bacon comes from pigs, therefore Nihilist Communist cannot be trusted. We all know cops and fash trolls post on this board. Time to read up on COINTELPRO and not trust any fucker making wild accusations.

- Homepage:

"political prisoner"

21.01.2013 12:50

@ Rob Ray: "I can see why people look on him as a political prisoner" - I don't know anyone who supports John or who is cognisant with his case that claims that he is a "political prisoner". He is a politicised prisoner who continues to be incarcerated because of his political views and his refusal to tug his forelock when it comes to the prison authorities, constantly challenging them via his writings and his 'jailhouselawyering'.

Yes, "[h]e wasn't put in for political reasons originally" but to claim that "he wasn't put back in 2008 for political reasons either" is a rather superficial rending of the circumstances surrounding the stitch-up carried out at the time of his last parole (2007), and his subsequent absconding from open prison following a conveniently 'failed' drug test.

And all these political machinations continue to dog John's latest parole application cf. the unprecedented secret security report which John will not be able to challenge at his next parole hearing because they can find no other 'legal' reason to keep him banged up.

- Homepage:


21.01.2013 13:00

Dear paranoids - It's not wild accusations but real life. It doesn't matter how many times you accuse your detractors of being "state", the issues still stand - Libcom and Aufheben have sided with those who work for the police. That is being "state" as most people see it. No wonder people in UK and abroad who get to know your forum and the mindset of admins like Jack Upton of Brighton SolFed (FALL BACK) fucking hate you. Hang around long enough and they see what you are.

You're a bunch of self-important cultish leftists, and now there is evidence of your bullshit for all to see.

Libcom - Fuck off!


What is it with the anarchist scene sometimes?

21.01.2013 14:47

Right... I agree (assuming what has been said is true, and by my limited reading it seems to be), I think John Dury (and some others) have been at the very best highly suspect and lazy in checking out his work and who it's useful to, and at worst completely out of order and an soft accomplice to the cops and public order policing.

I also think there has been much dodgy goings-on around his circle of friends and comrades recently, and also over the many years when mutterings of this stuff was coming out.

The thing is I think that the people shouting the loudest about this come across as completely mental TBH, and muddy the waters with internet accusations, rabid political point scoring, old grudges, and completely juvenile attutides that do nothing but provoke people who are undecided or uninformed into defensive postions or a kind of 'fuck you all' position.

Calling Libcom Libcops might sounds very insurrectionary and uber-militant, but it's not true is it? They're not cops in any way imaginable. All it seems to do is reinforce the belief you have in yourselves that YOU'RE the only TRUE militants and everybody is some kind of leftist sell-out in league with the middle class/cops/leftists. Againb, something that is not true.

You paint everything as simple in or out of our scene actions, or some kind of worst case conspiracy, rather than a fuck up or bad misjudgement on the behalf of flawed, muddling through politicals.

I'm not disputing that JD and others have behaved really badly and need to be either called to account, asked to either publically explain, apologise, or fuck off from the scene/movement, but to then extrapolate that to casting the whole anarchist scene as some sort of refuge for cop apologists and careerists for the Labour Party or whatever other complete shit you seem to be coming out with weakens the case for dealing with this and similar things.

It's no wonder that most people have nothing to do with the anarchist/anti-state communist milieu here, we come across as a bunch of fucked up, bitter, juvenile idiots, and the way this issue has been dealt with BY ALMOST EVERYBODY just proves the case.

I really despair if we ever actually have to deal with things that are more important and difficult without the State...

Please, can you just all fucking grow up and be a bit more sensible and less ideological and mad?

Despairing Anarchist


21.01.2013 14:49

The fact that the Aufheben 1/3-hand zine about use of the problem itself, it's what they decided to take the content that is filtered through various sources and then crudely politicized situation as truth. They used it to confirm its policy. Repeated error politicized every individual is denied of its small size and a crippling inability to distinguish what is the story, the history of appearances die - leaving their aesthetic and political analysis of the situation should be distinguished from the living (which is not quite the same stamped his own principles). Aufheben, politicized police in its report, Britain, to put their emphasis on the media in the classroom and his policy report - but they will come to the same conclusion twice, the Communist policy protagonistic natural character, and a ray of hope to live in a militant formations.

Politically important in a rush to destroy our critical praxis Prevention hint that we have. Politically important tool to divert our attention away from the development of our lives, as anarchists and political purposes


Grow Up!

21.01.2013 16:42

@ "Reap what you sow libcops!"
Time to take a long hard look in the mirror. Do you realise how childish, pathetic and quite frankly a touch deranged you sound?

The original issue, which I believe does deserve some attention, has been obscured by all the petty bitchiness and snide comments.


ridiculous lies

21.01.2013 23:23

Ha ha. Well, you start off with a lie, then carry on with loads more:
"I am blocked from libcom, they ban all critics."

If libcom banned all critics, then why is the person who wrote the article you linked to (Samotnaf) currently begging libcom to ban him? (Which they haven't done)



22.01.2013 09:21

if libcom "ban all critics", how come there's hundreds and hundreds of posts on this very topic, making a whole series of accusations, including personal allegations against the admins.



22.01.2013 09:25

Sorry mate, that's wet liberal shit. libcom admins are the class enemy, they deserve everything they get. its an embarasment they can speak at the bookfair without getting filled in. it's good when big mouth captain anarchy gets a smack in the face. its good when they're chronically ill, cos it means less time for spreading their middle class shit. the sooner they fuck off and die, the sooner real working class anarchism will rise again.


How does that work?

22.01.2013 16:40

"the sooner they fuck off and die, the sooner real working class anarchism will rise again."

So the main barrier to 'real working class anarchism' rising is a handful of administrators on a website??

How does that work?



22.01.2013 21:10

the john bowden thread was called 'hands off john bowden' and like the black vagina thread has been wiped from the libcom archives and erased from history. If you speak to libcom admins joseph k or jack (brighton solfed) or jimmer (south london solfed) i am sure they would let you view it (although it does show leading solfed members in very poor light indeed, so perhaps not).

Denzil Typeface

Lies about libcom

22.01.2013 23:14

There are a lot of lies about libcom here. Particularly claiming that other admins defended Joseph Kay during his rant about positive discrimination. The other admins slagged him off for it and argued against him. Then he apologised and removed the post. And it was years ago.

Some people need to get lives I think…


With friends like these

22.01.2013 23:26

Dense Text/Denzil Typeface has been kicked out of anarchist groups for supporting sex offenders. So if people like this don't like LibCom, maybe that's a good thing?

Suspicious Minds


23.01.2013 00:18

OMG, this Aufheben and Libcom business will have serious consequences for all working class people

Prole With Too Much Time To Waste Seemingly

@ACAB - truth about libcom

23.01.2013 00:20

unfortunatley for you acab (and your lies) there is evidence from libcom site itself. It's libcom's own regular users who are saying jospeh K never apologised for his remarks and that other admins jumped to his defence for over 8 pages

[the black vagina thread].. "was a from a site admin, and was defended for 8 pages, and got much worse as it was defended..."
- "but when it's a site admin defending the position for 8 pages, backed up by another admin in places, it reflects so much worse on the site".

- "I'm not actually aware of him [Joespeh k] taking on board ANY of the criticism or making an apology"

- "the sustained defence of them by two admins for 8 pages that got much worse and most worryingly have been buried".

And so it goes on. We know libcom is famous for it revisionism but really the evidence it still available (for now) for everyone to examine:

Denzil Typeface

Samotnaf's a sex offender?

23.01.2013 08:45

"People have accused us of “guilt by association”, but it’s inevitable that if you choose to associate with and help out obvious collaborators, it’s perfectly justifiable to be tarred with the same brush: “by your friends shall ye be known”." - Samotnaf

So Samotnaf's a sex offender?

The Mob


23.01.2013 09:05

So, Denzel, if a libcom admin says something stupid about a hypothetical woman which the other admins condemn and they then retract and apologise for, that is actually worse than sexually harassing actual women like your friends do? Good to know


rob ray - a star is born

23.01.2013 10:10

rob ray truly does show off the arrogance of his class. Thing is rob we know what public school you went to, we know what university you graduated from, we know you families' background personal wealth and social status - you're not just ordinary middle class are you? Fact is you would be hard pressed to find any libcom power broker who didn't go to public/private school.

Is it fair to accuse him of being the kim philby of his generation? Who knows, only time will tell. Does this make libcom a honeytrap? Who knows, gain only time will tell.

- Homepage:

bash libcom, bash the rich

23.01.2013 10:18

The libcom admins are almost all public/private school educated. It's no surprise they support the cops - they've got more university degrees between them than they know working class people. And not just any degrees - these posh cunts hobnobbed their way through Oxford ("Steven"), LSE ("Joseph Kay"), Cambridge ("Mike Harmann") and Royal Edinburgh ("Ramona"). They're just the kids of the elite slumming it for a few years before their careers in the Labour Party, and they should FUCK OFF.


Hey exposer

23.01.2013 10:26

If you kept it in your pants, maybe you wouldn't be barred from so many anarchist groups and spaces. Hth.

Sex Offenders Register


23.01.2013 11:46

this thread is getting crazy but raises some serious issues.
I read Libcom, and occaisionly post on there. I'm not really too sure about all this "Aufhebengate" stuff, but it definitly does seem to evoke strong emotions.
Although I am not totally anti-academic, I do have an issues with the prevalence of academic types in social justice movements and activism. To be honest I am a little fed up with people making their academic name from what for many of us, is actual real-life struggle. It must be nice to be able to view it with a certain intellectual detachment while the rest of us are fighting for our lives/ livilihoods/ future. However the flip side for me is the fact, that we do need these people to help us ensure that we learn from past mistakes, and that our struggles are documented for future generations and of course academics have their own struggles too, particularly with the current situation in higher education.
There is of course class issues here. Academics are more likely to come from a privileged background and the prevalence of academics in our movements, also reflects the prevalence of middle-class people in our movement. On a day-to-day practical level, this can result in working-class people feeling intimidated and alienated, by and in certain spaces, groups, campaigns etc. This needs addressing.
In terms of aufheben and the academic using his experiences to help police come up with better ways of crowd control in protest situations, instinctivally I think that we cannot tolerate or trust these people.
In terms of Solfed and its class composition, there are of course academics and people of a middle-class background (and they would freely admit it) but the majority of people in Solfed are working class people, all committed to working towards and for an anarchosyndicalist future for us all. Some are students, some are teachers, some are unemployed, some work in bars, some work in the public sector, the nhs, etc etc and the majority of them do not post on Libcom, nor really care what the hell goes on there. I don't think its fair to link the position of certain Libcom posters or admin members, or the position of some solfed members, to the whole group. Just because some libcom posters or solfed members support the aufheben position or are middle class or academics, doesn't mean we all do/are and that inference actually does a lot more damage to the movement than this Drury guy ever could.
In terms of sexual assualt and harrassment in the "movement", again its a very big issue, that needs to be addressed now, and all the macho posturing and threatening behaviour and taking delight in women suffering painful health conditions, doesnt help either. Sort yourselves out before all the women leave.

working class solfed member


23.01.2013 12:00

Presumably there's to be some massive exercise in group-think where all the committed anti-authoritarians purge the "collaborators" through organized coercion. Reminds me of the "safer spaces" stuff, not because I disagree with purging pig collaborators (or misogynists for that matter) but because leftist milieus always seem completely powerless to actually DO any purging. We generally don't encourage the types of behaviours that were be required to forcibly remove someone from a space.

It's just tragic. The person who stands up, makes a well-reasoned argument denouncing someone, then looks around the room expecting ... what? A lynching? We really need to develop the capacity to repress those who collaborate with repression. Anarchists in Spain had armed patrols. In Greece they have motorbike patrols. We have no qualms using force against our external enemies (e.g. fighting the cops). Maybe we need some kind of armed force to repress internal enemies, like an anti-fa for middle-class cop collaborators.

Step Up


23.01.2013 14:30

In the future they will be having sex with boss's faces cos everyone will be a brown nose


who is Sam Fanto?

23.01.2013 15:05

anyone know?


Step off.

23.01.2013 17:17

"We really need to develop the capacity to repress those who collaborate with repression. Anarchists in Spain had armed patrols. In Greece they have motorbike patrols. We have no qualms using force against our external enemies (e.g. fighting the cops). Maybe we need some kind of armed force to repress internal enemies."
Except that in Spain, when they *had* (note the past tense) armed patrols, they were in a civil war. Similarly, in Greece, they're in a state of more-or-less open conflict with Golden Dawn, and that's what makes the motorbike patrols appropriate. In case you haven't noticed, that's not the situation here. In terms of the militancy of the anarchist movement, it's pretty much a big deal if someone breaks a window on a demo. In this context, to ignore the reality of the situation you're in and daydream about Greece and Spain '36 is completely useless. The idea of British anarchists forming some kind of militia to deal with anyone who they've heard a dodgy rumour about is a long way off, thankfully.


To working-class Solfed member

23.01.2013 18:59

It's good that you have actually made a serious post. However unfortunately in addition to the many good points you make you parrot the lie of these lunatics, friends of sexual harassers and people who revel in women becoming ill that Drury or Aufheben has anything to do with police repressing protest movements.

Drury's work is to do with crowd safety in mass emergencies like Hillsborough, trying to make sure things like that don't happen. It's nothing to do with protests - that is work done by Clifford Stott, whose work Drury rejects (although he acknowledged allowing his name to be put on an article Clifford Stott wrote as a "favour", and he acknowledges this was a big mistake).

Seriously folks

to seriously folks

23.01.2013 21:14

I take it you're one of his buddies 'seriously folks' if you're swallowing that story? I also am by the way but it doesn't blind me to what he's doing / done.

Just quickly in response to what you've written:

It was not one article. There are more than half a dozen collaborations listed on Johnny's sussex uni webpage alone.

He does not just study crowd safety in mass emergencies. Again on his sussex uni page, there are articles about crowds in the poll tax riot, anti-capitalist movement, anti-road campaigns, G8 direct actions.

This is just the few bits of work he's advertising - it is the tip of the iceberg.


@ Seriously folks

23.01.2013 21:59

I said right at the start of my post that that I wasnt sure about all this "Aufhebengate" stuff.
I don't think I'm parroting anything, but I do think youre being a little rude and patronising.
But hey, thats anarchists for you, I don't know why I bother.

working class solfed member

Is the crime now writing about protests?

23.01.2013 21:59

Cos Indymedia is full of blow-by-blow accounts of protests and riots. Drury's written about various things (roads protests, poll tax riots, G8 - though that looks like a student's paper). These things have all been written about at length by lots of people, including participants (there's books on the poll tax rebellion, 'we are everywhere' etc). Nobody's denouncing all these writers, so the problem can't be writing about protests or riots per se.

The charge is that he's a "crowd controlling cop collaborator". The only contact he's had with the cops, according to Aufheben, has to do with mass emergencies work, which is apparently a critique of the public order/crowd control approach that caused the Hillsborough disaster. As far as I can tell, he more or less advocates the Occupy Sandy approach - self-organised mutual aid - as opposed to the standard repressive state approach seen after Katrina. Is Occupy Sandy a sinister new strategy of state repression?

That does mean he has some contact with cops (as well as the other 'blue light services' - fire & rescue, paramedics etc, and also events managment types, like festival organisers). I can see why that makes people uncomfortable, cos our only contact with cops is on the wrong end of a baton. But this contact has nothing to do with helping the cops suppress struggles, it has nothing to do with struggles at all, and in fact critiques the default police approach of 'crowd control'.

It seems a bit dishonest, to say the least, to take work which is a critique of the very concept of crowd control, and to then claim he's helping the cops do crowd control.


@ working class solfed member

24.01.2013 14:28

'Paroting' sounds patronising, but I think what 'seriously folks' is getting at is the way the ever-growing frenzy of allegations against anyone vaguely connected to Johnny makes people believe there must be some truth to it. The people stirring this up seem to be deliberately slinging as much shit as possible, spreading disinformation etc, which confuses everyone. Given as most people, quite reasonably, have got better things to do than go sifting through all the crap, let alone reading a load of academic papers, making sense of them, contacting Aufheben with any questions etc, people assume there must be no smoke without fire.

Samotnaf and friends have built this whole house of cards on the 'fact' that Johnny works with/for the police to further 'crowd control'. This doesn't appear to be true. But they don't seem to care - they just add on guilt by association, general denunciation of academics, and a whole series of other allegations. Anyone who publicly speaks out against this crusade gets added to the list of 'collaborators', culminating in the ridiculous original post here that links hundreds of people, from bookfair attendees to SolFed. This is why I'm being quite cowardly and posting anonymously, because I can't deal with the stress of crossing Samotnaf at this time in my life (as someone who remembers when he used to conduct his witch-hunts by snail mail).

I've spoken to others who have a similar view. Not all agree with Johnny's work, but neither do many agree with this scandalising, attention-seeking public polemic and denunciation, or the 'cop collaborator' charges at the heart of it. I feel a bit guilty for letting libcom take all the heat on this, but then, I don't want these obsessional cranks, who know my name and personal info, coming after me too. Funny really, how someone ostensibly so concerned with policing in the movement has created such a climate of fear and harassment that people won't speak up. Which seems more authoritarian than anything Johnny's done.

Old Timer

From Contra-Info

25.01.2013 12:11

... "In essence, the situations in the States of Greece and the UK are similar except that in the Mediterranean there has been more stick and less carrot than on this frozen island. Recent revelations concerning Aufheben and Libcom’s partnership with police consultants show that the movement is riddled with the same liberal worms that in the same way pollute political life in the streets of Athens. Authoritarian communists and compliant power-hungry Trots destroy the life blood of any real protest in the streets, forcing the hooded to resort to defending Exarchia, while all the forces of ‘dis’order take apart its bases one by one. Mass arrests are becoming all too frequent and many people are deciding to remember they have to breathe a bit freer some of the time." ...

Dear liberal worms who riddle the UK movement, still nothing has been changed by what you have written. The text by Sam still stands firm, whilst Libcom, Aufheben, et al, are in the toilet, no, the sewer, with the rats. Enjoy the company of your cosy friends, mentalist enemies and other past-it one hit wonders.

Fuck off!

- Homepage:


25.01.2013 12:34

The weakness of the movement is the presence of liberal worms. Destruction is creative. We must destroy libcom in order to create class struggle. It is the enemies within - the Drurys the libcoms the Aufhebens - which hold back our movement. In order to build we must burn. Drive out the unclean! Purge the impure! Purify through revolutionary violence! One small hammer to John Drury's knees, one giant leap for British anarchism!



25.01.2013 12:49

Sam Fanto's exposé is a step forward in terms of the general absence of a sustained culture of historical reflection within the British anarchist milieu. While the authors do make some errors in their representations and we are forced to question their methodological choices, the fact that they have presented their polemic in this way – an exercise so often dismissed as “academic” or “navel-gazing” within the milieu – is certainly to their credit. The exposé is also a marked improvement on the incredibly dated introductions that will still often form the basis of the inquisitive reader’s first impressions of our movement.

Ultimately, however, the limitations of the exposé are reflected in the limitations of scope within many aspects of anarchist practice in the UK. It’s time to move beyond this type of exposé. We are in dire need of an honest appraisal of our tradition that draws in not just the historical but theoretical lineage of our tradition. Anarchists forsake their theory at their peril. We believe it is time to start forming that methodology and applying it in practice. This is above all what anarchists need – a methodology for the 21st century that allows us to locate a meaningful political programme within our constructive work within the class. Only then will social anarchism appear once more as a natural complement to the struggles of the exploited and a beacon of hope in the face of the neoliberal onslaught.

Collective Action
- Homepage:

Jokers shut up

25.01.2013 16:49

'Seriously folks', 'working class solfed member', 'right', 'Old Timer' etc, basically shut up. The details do not really matter. So John Drury says he did not write a paper. Maybe this is true. He says he only talks to cops about 'emergencies'. Maybe this is true. Details do not change the picture. He works for the police, and anyone who does not clearly and publicly say this and exclude him from the movement, is in effect, the same as him, in partnership with the police. You try and blind us with 'details' and 'facts' so that we miss the big picture: the pro-cop, middle-class, academic 'libertarian communist' movement is the enemy of proletarian insurrection. It must be destroyed. Nothing anybody say or do can change that.


Response from Samotnaf

26.01.2013 03:16

I only just saw this yesterday, as I've been off the internet for almost a week.
There are several comments to my text here, both pro and con, with which I do not agree, including the simplistic nature of the original post by Nihilist Communist, though I thank him for posting up the link to my article. Unfortunately I have neither the time time nor the inclination to go into these differences here and now. This is not being snotty. I have lots of other problems and stuff to deal with. I shall eventually put up my thoughts about this thread, and on the threads on Libcom and on Anarchist news - probably within a month. But I shall do so on my site: In fact, it seems more useful to critique (intelligently, not like RobRay etc.) and elaborate on the innumerable different points on my site rather than here.

Thanks to those who have responded to this text positively, even if I sometimes disagree with some of what you say. For those who haven't read it, I should emphasise that the text is not simply about Aufheben or JD at all, but covers such things as a history of the police, soft cop tactics, a critique of the use of academic research by our enemies, a brief analysis of the middle class, the contradictions of revolutionary organisations and cliques and the contradictions of friendship, plus other stuff of more general use.

all the best -


mail e-mail:
- Homepage:

@ πυρ

26.01.2013 11:00

This is all a bit sad.

I was thinking of writing a few lines to support a few of the people you said shut up to; now that makes me guilty of everything that's been written on here about everyone I think ;-)

By your logic that John Dury works for the police, you work for the state. You either: pay taxes, claim benefits, use state services, or similar; this will involve some talking to them, therefore blah blah blah.


so when is collaboration not collaboration?

04.02.2013 13:34

"John Drury is a social psychologist whose research focuses on crowd behaviour. He is particularly interested in (i) the psychological changes such as empowerment that may take place through participation in conflictual collective action (riots and non-violent direct actions) (ii) solidarity and resilience in mass emergencies, and (iii) responses to situations of crowding. Some of the crowd events he has researched and published on include the poll tax riot, the No M11 anti roads campaign, the evacuation of the World Trade Center, the July 7th London bombings, the Hillsborough disaster, and the Fatboy Slim beach parties in Brighton in 2002 and 2007. With his PhD students he is currently looking at crowd behaviour on the Muslim Hajj, crowd reactions to mass decontamination, and the Greek anti-austerity movement. He teaches a module on crowd safety management to professionals involved in the events industry and is the editor (with Clifford Stott) of a forthcoming book bringing together crowd researchers from different disciplines, Crowds in the 21st century: Perspectives from contemporary social science (Routledge)."

His great deeds include:
- co-presenting a workshop, as an expert in road protests, at an international cop conference "Investigative Psychology"

- co-authoring an article arguing for the use of his crowd psychology model in controlling protest Jane's Police Review (the principle cop magazine)

- 'expert' contributor to the Greater Manchester Police review: "Policing Major Events"

- acknowledged editor of "Crowd psychology, public order police training and the policing of football crowds" in "Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management"

- wrote and delivered a training block on a police public order training course "Science, Strategy and Tactics"

- offers consultancy to police forces on, among other things - Psychology of crowd behaviour and public disorder - the blurb includes:
"Crowd behaviour is meaningful, limited
• Different crowds have different identities (i.e. norms, values and aims)
• Knowledge based policing means understanding the identity of each
• Certain police practices can contribute to disorder through:
• Empowering a crowd (turning an aggregate into a unity)
• Legitimizing anti-police elements
• Successful policing of potentially disorderly crowds involves
• Communication of police aims
• Facilitating the crowd’s legitimate aims in order to empower self-
policing in the majority
• A graded response to potential disorder"
(Its worth explaining that outline essentially covers his model - intelligent policing avoids turning the crowd against the police and the increasing use of force and repression (graded responses) is then targeted at specific individuals or groups.

- co-authored "Knowledge-Based Public Order Policing: Principles and Practice"

This is just a selection. Collaborator?

nuff said

Link to knowledge-based policing

08.02.2013 07:28

The above link to the text ("Knowledge-based policing...") co-authored by JD does not work.
Try this one:

- Homepage:

What is collaborating

12.02.2013 12:04

nuff said, in terms of Drury's work, the stuff to do with policing social movements he didn't write. On a couple of articles he was credited by Stott. He didn't agree with these articles and he admits it was a stupid mistake to allow himself to be credited on these.

His other work is to do with police involvement in disasters, to try to stop things like Hillsborough happening again.

Now maybe you think that doing any work of any sort with the police is totally unacceptable, in which case fair enough, that's your view. But plenty of people work with police in ways which I think is justifiable for radicals, for example emergency workers like paramedics, nurses and doctors, victims of sexual violence, etc.

Either way, LibCom are not implicated in any of this in any way. Yes they host Aufheben articles, but they also host articles by Samotnaf, who wrote this one. So by this logic Samotnaf also works with the police.

Yes but

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