Reflections on the 26 March demo

Carrying the NUJ banner on 26 MarchI spent quite a few hours on Saturday, 26 March, walking the streets of London fairly slowly with approximately half a million other people. Some of the time I carried a flag, for a short while I help carry the national banner of my union, the National Union of Journalists. When I finally got to Hyde Park, some friends and I walked down towards Victoria Station to find a pub for a much needed drink, then my partner and I went and got some food and finally home, exhausted.

That was probably like the experience of most of the rest of the 500,000 marchers at the TUC’s long-awaited March for the Alternative. Amongst those who walked themselves to exhaustion and then went hope were probably quite a number of other anarchists like me.

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Student demos: This is just the beginning – what comes next?

The super-fast radicalisation of the student demonstrations caught everyone by surprise. Direct action is on the agenda again and it’s coming from a group people discounted as being “the children of Thatcher” and dismissed as being fundamentally consumerist and non-radical.

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On “anarchist” bombs

Just before Christmas, bombs went off in two embassies in Rome, injuring staff in both. I immediately tweeted “#Anarchism has nothing to do with injuring innocent mailroom staff #Rome”  and I absolutely stand by that point.

Right now, across Europe and perhaps across the world, thousands of people are being introduced to anarchist ideas. Governments and politicians of all kinds have failed their people and are stealing from their populations to keep bankers and financial traders happy. Police have shown their true role as defenders of privilege with increasing levels of violence against protesters.

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The Baltic roots of gay rights activism

It looks like I’m off to Riga again this year to support the Pride march. This year it’s Baltic Pride, all three Baltic countries coming together. Last year, and previous years, it was just Riga Pride. I was there last year and saw hatred in the face of many behind the protective police lines.

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Did the cops try to cause a riot at G20?

In the week or so since the G20 demos, report after report of police brutality have emerged, both at the big demo on the Wednesday and at the squats and smaller Bank of England demo on Thursday. The mainstream media is gradually catching up with what’s been up on Indymedia, Libcom and other radical websites for days. The police violently attack the Climate Camp, the police pointed Tasers at non-threatening people on the floor of the squatted convergence centre, the police did lots of bad things and the IPCC is investigating.

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Poverty and the need for new radicalism

Ten years ago saw the first major global Reclaim the Streets action and, in many ways, the birth of what was to become known as the anti-globalization movement. The street battles of the years that followed, as activists around the world targeted all the symbols of the world’s financial inequality – the WTO, IMF, WEF, G8 – put poverty back on the global agenda.

Ten years ago saw the first major global Reclaim the Streets action and, in many ways, the birth of what was to become known as the anti-globalization movement. The street battles of the years that followed, as activists around the world targeted all the symbols of the world’s financial inequality – the WTO, IMF, WEF, G8 – put poverty back on the global agenda.

Continue reading “Poverty and the need for new radicalism”

Anarchy in the NUJ

This year’s ADM had lots of highlights, but one of the main ones for me was the success of the fringe event I organised with the Irish anarchist organisations Organise! and my old Dublin comrades the Workers Solidarity Movement (WSM). Proving that anarchists are capable of organising, there was a pretty good turn-out at the event planned to mark the 50th anniversary of Rudolf Rocker‘s death.

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