Thursday, April 28, 2011

a blank cheque

I won't be at Mayday this year, not because I am under bail conditions or about to have my door kicked in ( i hope), but because I am completely skint. Reports are sketchy but it appears that the numbers arrested today runs into the hundreds; amongst those rounded up in the pre-nuptual clampdown are Patrick Macroidan, Chris Knight, Camilla and Charlie Veitch. Alfie Meadows, the lad whose skull was smashed by a police truncheon at the pre christmas anti fees demos has been charged with "violent Disorder", although it is not clear whether this offence was commited before or after the pig put him into a coma!
Across the country social centres, squats and private homes have been raided. Anybody with a history of activism is in danger of being picked up.
Last week the BBC (who seem to be ignoring the clampdown completely, so enamoured are they in the happy perfect couple) reported that a spokeswoman for the police announced that Cameron had given them a blank cheque. Now we know what she meant.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Every little hurts...

Last week the son of friend was sacked by Tescos after twice collapsing at work and needing paramedical assistance. On the day that the Company boasted of record profits he was handed his cards for 'repeated sickness'.
There are seven Tescos In Reading,Two on the Oxford Road, and the company has just been refused permission to build another (though it will appeal and with the condem new rules on planning will almost certainly get permision). Elsewhere local opposition to Tescos total disregard to local communities and wishes has taken off in big style.
Last night the long running campaign to the attempts to build a Tescos in Stokes Row Bristol exploded when the Police attempted to shut down the squat that had been acting as a centre for campaigners. locals flocked to the sound of sirens and low flying helicopters.
Tesco has been trying to move in to stokes croft for over 2 years and has been unable to because of huge protests. They have had to move builders in under police escort and have 24 hour roof top private security. Last weekend Tesco opened and there have been non stop protests all week.

When I arrived the police would only tell me that I could not enter stokes croft for my “health and safety” and that it was to do with Tesco. Asking around there were various different explanations. Most people said that the police were raiding protesters houses throughout stokes croft. We could see across the police line approximately 10 riot vans and a riot squad entering the famous “Telepathic heights”. A house, like a lot in the area painted from head to toe in murals. One mural on the side of the block reads “No Tesco in Stokes Croft” in huge letters. Stokes croft is known in Bristol as the cultural quarters and spansonly a few thousand square feet of concentrated cultural activity not dissimilar to Camden in central London.

At something like 10PM a huge crowd landed on the front of stokes croft drawn by the lowflying helicopter with spotlight and the army of police emerging from 12+ riot vans dressed for combat. Pretty soon tension peaked as no explanation would be given for the roadblocks and there was intimidation on both sides.

I was on the junction of stokes croft high street when the police charged what was only at that point a croud (of about 100 but which quickly grew) down Ashley road pretty much all the way to the end of it over the course of a couple of hours. Due to the absolute confusion a number of people had emerged from their houses only to shortly find they were the wrong side of a road block and got roped in to what became a three hour running battle through pretty much all of the back streets coming off Ashley road croft and in to St Pauls, numerous burning barracades were errected and a huge amount of people were battered and bloodied by police for attempting to approach police lines to get home of find friends. By this point there was devastation everywhere. All junctions were blocked by overturned glass bottle dumpsters and makeshift neighbourhood roadblocks blocks.

Eventually what seemed like the entire residence of stokes croft emerged and pushed the police back on to stokes croft high street. For a long time there was a deadlock, people stood around and shared rumours about the reason behind the army of police that had arrived unnanounced and were terrorising the neighbourhood.

There was total confusion and stokes croft (street) was mostly cordoned off, the police started making arrests and then all hell broke loose. Missiles began coming down from telepathic heights, the starting point of the problem and police braugh out dogs to clear people from the street, quite a few got bitten. Meanwhile a lot of police vans had their tyres let out. At that point the dogs retreated and the convoy of about 10 vans that were surrounded drove at speed through the crowd clipping a large number of people on their way out. Both Tesco and telepathic heights were abandoned by the police.

At this point I decided to go home since now the police had retreated all hell was being unleashed on Tescos and hundreds of pieces of police riot gear were being handed out from the abandoned vehicles, since then the police returned and there’s been more running battles and people flooding down my street.

from bristol Indymedia

Friday, April 08, 2011

no further comment necessary...

at work today i saw this for sale:

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Marxism and Anarchism

Paul has directed our attention toward the 'theoretical journal' of the SWP; International Socialism, which has, amazingly published a article in defence of Anarchism by Lucien Van Der Walt, co-author of the newly published Black Flame: the Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism
This is a very useful piece and considerably better than the woeful article in this weeks Socialist worker advertised as 'the first part of an examination of the politics of Anarchism and autonomism'.
I have heard a number of reports from those who were in positions to know that numerous SWP activists joined with Black Bloccers in direct action in both Oxford street and at fortnums, and that at trafalgar square were, horror of horrors!, persuaded to burn their papers in order to keep protesters warm. Such acts of independance may well have caused some consternation amongst the party leadership still attempting to find a course after the failure of Respect and the split with the counterfire group.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

a minor redesign

When one has nothing interesting to say, its always a good idea to have a fiddle with the controls on blogger without having any idea what each one does...
Actually I am quite pleased with the outcome.