UK Newswire Archive
28-03-2011 22:41calling all freedom networkers, squatters,party people protestors and students, the govt may soon attempt to criminalise squatting.
28-03-2011 22:06That what happened last saturday is probably only the seed of what's to come.
28-03-2011 21:49The next Student Protest Solidarity Campaign meeting is on Sunday 10th of
April from 2-5pm in the Club Room at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London,
28-03-2011 21:36Saturday, April 2 at 6:30pm - April 3 at 6:30pm
We're writing this to you to try and prevent the anti-cuts struggle being split up and weakened by the media.
We are anarchists (well, anarcho-syndicalists, technically) - a word that is much misunderstood and misrepresented. We are also students, workers and shop stewards. We co-organised a 'Radical Workers Bloc' on the South London feeder march. The aim was to provide a highly visible radical presence within the workers movement of which we are a part, advocating strikes, occupations and civil disobedience.
Saturday's demonstration was far bigger than anyone expected, and saw thousands go beyond a simple A-B stroll to take direct action. The UK Uncut actions on Oxford Street and in occupying Fortnum and Masons provoked harsh treatment from police, including mass arrests.
When we reached Trafalgar Square, we headed for Oxford Street for the 2pm actions to put some of these words into action (anarchist and UK Uncutter were not mutually exclusive on the day!). When we arrived, we met up with other anarchists who had had the same idea. Wary of being kettled, we chose to stay mobile, causing disruption on Oxford St and the surrounding area, including to UK Uncut targets which were closed and guarded by riot police. Subsequently, several banks, the Ritz and other buildings were damaged or hit by paint bombs. There were some minor scuffles with police. There is a valid debate to be had over tactics - which ones further the anti-cuts movement or are counter-productive - and many of us would favour mass direct action over property destruction. Let's have that debate within the anti-cuts struggle, and not let the media divide us.
But think about it from the store owners' point of view: a broken window may cost £1,000. A lost Saturday's trade through a peaceful occupation would cost many times more. Perhaps this helps explain the harsh police response to the UK Uncut occupation: it hits them where it hurts, in the pocket. Traditionally, workers have used the weapon of the strike to achieve this. But what about workers with no unions, or unions unwilling to strike? What about students, the unemployed? UK Uncut actions have been very successful at involving such people in economically disruptive action - and this seems to be on the right track in terms of forcing the government to back down on its cuts agenda. More and bigger actions in this vein will be needed to stop the cuts (in France, they call these 'economic blockades'). Like those in UK Uncut, we recognise that just marching from A to B or waiting for the government to be fair is not enough. The government, rich and tax avoiders will continue to seek to make the poorest in society pay for the defecit unless we make doing so the more expensive option. As UK Uncut announced on the demonstration 29th January "If the economy disrupts our lives, then we must disrupt the economy".
The press coverage since Saturday has gone into a well-rehearsed frenzy of 'good protestor/bad protestor'. Some UK Uncutters have expressed outrage at being lumped in with the 'bad protestors', (correctly) stressing the peaceful nature of the F&M occupation. We think the whole idea of dividing 'good' and 'bad' protest serves only to legitimise police violence and repression. As we saw on Saturday, repression is not provoked by violent actions, but by effective actions - there is a long history of peaceful pickets and occupations being violently broken up by police, from the Chartists to the Miners Strike. Indeed, UK Uncut have frequently been at the blunt end of this in recent memory yourselves, with police responding to non-violent occupations with pepper spray and violent arrests.
In this light, we would say keep up the good work. Let the mass arrests strengthen your resolve not deter you. And let's not fall into the divide-and-rule tactics that are the oldest trick in the rich's book. If we can help or offer any practical solidarity to the arrestees, please get in touch. We've previously hosted legal advice and training sessions with Fitwatch and the Legal Defence and Monitoring Group - we'd be happy to do this again. Or if the arrests are causing problems with employers, we'll help arrestees organise against victimisation. On Saturday most of the arrestees were UK Uncut activists. Next time it could be us. We - those of us fighting the cuts - are all in this together.
Signed, Brighton Solidarity Federation
Plus individuals from: Northampton, North London, Manchester, Thames Valley and South London Locals (our federal democratic structure means statements can only be issued in the name of a group if the group has had the opportunity to discuss it, and time is against us!)
Saturday saw a small but violent minority of bankers, politicians and tax avoiders bring chaos to London. Police have identified several troublemakers by studying the FTSE 100 share index and are hopeful that prosecutions will follow. In the meantime they have warned the public to be on the lookout for the groups mysterious leader known as 'Osbourne'.
Meanwhile Police spokeman paid tribute to the Black Bloc and UK Uncut for doing their bit to protect the public from the menace of unbridled capitalism. He said "Our officers felt truly honored to be pelted with paint filled eggs by those pricipled young people. It gives all of us hope for the future. We just hope that they succeed in their objectives before our jobs get cut as well."
More heartwarming TUC pictures here:
More gratuitous riot porn here:
28-03-2011 19:43Video shot by Green and Black Cross and released by UK Uncut via The Guardian shows how a Met Chief Inspector lied to occupiers promising they would be let free if they left the building. They were then arrested en masse, many held for 24 hours, and 138 charged with aggravated trespass. The Met's case now appears in tatters.
28-03-2011 19:25The EDL have announced that they will be mobilising thousands of their supporters to attack any anarchist anti-royal wedding protest see this:
david cameron's threat to remove protestors from parliament square well before the royal wedding has been thwarted by the high court, who will not hear an obstruction case until may 9th..
the GLA recently fought brian haw et al in the high court appealing against a ruling that exempted the peace camp during the eviction of the democracy village last year. brian's legal team, and barbara tucker acting on her own, were told they would now have to move off the grass of parliament square. however, the court also gave them a stay of execution and a right to appeal before the end of this month.
if the protestor's appeal is unsuccessful, they will be told they have to move their tents on to the pavement, enforceable by a high court injunction.
however, westminster council have also lodged an 'obstruction of the highway' case against the protests, hoping to use this to prevent them from using the pavement area too.
the two cases, while not officially connected, are thought to be part of MP's plans to remove the 'embarassment' of the decade-long protests against illegal and deceitful war-mongering, and are backed by david cameron's 'promises' to the house that the square would be cleared before the royal wedding.
but today, the high court set a date for the 'obstruction of the highway' hearing, and the date is the 9th of may, long after the royal wedding.
it's not inconceivable, on past record, that there may be a sudden 'security scare' or suchlike on the morning of the wedding, giving the police an excuse to remove protestors, but removing their banners or tents too would probably be highly unlawful and impossible to defend, so it looks like, unless the route of the wedding cavalcade is changed, the happy couple and their bloated entourage will have to pass by the protests.
of course, since it is officially the queen who has the final say on whether the country goes to war, she and her heirs, especially the future king william, all have their hands covered thick with the blood of innocent iraqi and afghan citizens, including tens if not hundreds of thousands of women and children.
of course, this dysfunctional family includes some of the uk's biggest tax-scroungers, literally living like kings on unfathomably large state hand-outs, as well as unfeasibly huge allowances like the common agricultural policy which pays out austerity-busting sums to the rich for simply 'owning' land.
on the day of the royal wedding, the parliament square protestors will hopefully be the least of their worries, as unions threaten transport strikes, and activists threaten large demonstrations to disrupt this overblown and irrelevant spectacle, and contrast this excessive extravagance against violent cuts in jobs and services.
A video posted on the guardian website by a journalist embedded with a TSG team during the m26 demos. Reveals police tactics and the "lines in the sand" that they were authorised to go over the top for. Also reveals the levels of personal choice that the TSG units have when faced with public order situations. Interesting from a tactical point of view for future actions.
28-03-2011 17:59We're writing this to you to try and prevent the anti-cuts struggle being split up and weakened by the media.
28-03-2011 16:57Interesting video behind police lines, they do bullshit a fair bit, 'just keeping the fornum and mason area 'sterile' ', doesn't mention that they ended up arresting over 100 peaceful people.
28-03-2011 16:43A march from wandsworth rd to New Scotland Yard is planned for 16th april.
28-03-2011 16:25My sympathies go out to everyone in UKUncut who ended up being arrested piling out of Fortnum & Mason on Saturday, but I hope the question "what was the point of that?" is being asked amongst the organisers and the wider activist community.
A roundup of the events of March 26th in London, as people gathered in their thousands to march through central London to demand an alternative to the destruction of peoples livelihoods by the privilged elite. Many marched for an alternative to capitalism itself. Breakaway groups took a more direct approach, occupying buildings and trashing the symbols of capitalist excess that got the nation into this mess in the first place.
The banks and global corporations were heavily targeted and the police found themselves completely outnumbered and powerless to resist the will of the people as their anger spilled out onto the streets.
Music in this video is by Alt Track (who were with the people on the barricades to the bitter end): http://www.myspace.com/alttrack (warning: link to corporate site)
Last night just after middnight police station on Wollaton Road, Nottingham was attacked with glass jars filled with black paint. We send this loving kiss to Jock Palfreeman and all those who represented for the eternal struggle against domination on the streets of London this weekend.
We chose our target to emphasise the fragility and weakness of the state. If their first line of defence can be hurt with such ease then crackes in the status quo will grow and begin to bleed. We view the cops as the security guards of capitalists, protecting property, reinforcing white supremacy and state control. With this action we show their inability to protect themselves.
As things get worse, as the divisions between the capitalists and the rest become deeper and more entrenched the facism inherent in any police force will become ever more clear. As this become the case it will be important for us to know in our angry little hoodlum hearts that we can strike back whenever we choose to.
In doing this we did not forever alter the state of things, but we did forever alter the strength and resolve within ourselves as we prepare for all out social war.
The love in our hearts is offered up with this action to Jock Palfreeman imprisoned by the Bulgarian arm of state power for refusing to cower in the face of racism and facism. Also to the 14 Chilean anarchists currently on hunger strike, physically captured by the industrial prison complex, but still free in their hearts and strong in their resistance. We won't let them be forgotten.
Finally to those who rebelled against state control on the streets of London, those black clad lovers and fighters who strove to liberate themselves . Solidarity to those who were arrested on Saturday.
Not because they're innocent.
Not because they're peaceful.
But because they're comrades.