LARC and the West Essex Zapatistas

Comments

PaulMarsh
Jul 27 2005 13:03

As Alibaba well knows, the Gandalf defendants (not all of whom were Green Anarchist members by the way) were jailed, after a huge political police operation, for inciting arson. Their crime was merely to report direct action.

I was very active in the London Gandalf support group, not because I particularly liked GAs politics, or even the ALFs, but because I opposed what the state was doing to them. Similar support, or articles in support of the defendants, appeared in a range of publications, including Fighting Talk, the journal of Anti-Fascist Action. So much for GA supporting fascist bombings.

Groups as diverse as the McLibel campaign, Greens through to Class War were able to recognise the dangers in what the state was up to. All were able to put aside their political differences with the defendants, and worked to publicise the case and support those eventually convicted.

It was to this background that I developed my contempt for Spacebunny and Fabian - they instead sought to harrass and sabotage the Gandalf campaign, by calling on people to let them rot.

Had Spacebunny and Fabian found GA/ALF politics so unpleasant they could not actively support the prisoners, they could have kept their mouths shut and ignored the campaign.

Instead they sought to sabotage it. That to me is overstepping the mark totally.

Lazlo_Woodbine
Jul 27 2005 13:08
alibaba wrote:
the piece details part of how GA were criticised for supporting fascist bombings.

No it doesn't it says that Booth's article described fascists as his 'worst enemies' and criticises him (rightly) for suggesting that we can learn from our enemies' tactics.

Seems like a very thin piece of evidence to use to say that anyone in GA was at all sympathetic to fascists. Was this the evidence that justified a distruption of the gandalf campaign? I notice no one's actually denied that disruption took place.

alibaba
Jul 27 2005 13:43

i do not know of any disruption of the defendents campeign

wot i do know is that GA were criticised for supporting fascist methods - specifically mass murder. that's wot i am pointing out

alibaba
Jul 27 2005 14:26

documents relating to this are online:

http://www.stewarthomesociety.org/ga/

bunny
Jul 27 2005 15:25

In the run up to and during the trial that included some of those involved with Green Anarchist as well as those not so involved, I was critical of the content of Green Anarchist. It is a logical progression of this to be critical of the part of the GANDALF campaign that asked people to pledge amongst other things to distribute Green Anarchist. I don't think prompting Green Anarchist helped any of the defendants.

It is clear not all the defendants found what those involved with 'supporting' them did to be helpful. But some of them raised objections more to activities such a burning an effigy of the judge outside court room on day before sentencing.

Saxon Wood's parents were probably handed a leaflet criticising the political positions promoted within pages of Green Anarchist at a meeting but I see no reason why this would offend them as these positions were not those of Saxon himself. Part of Saxon's defence being if he had ability to read Green Anarchist more then he would not have helped distributed, and hence his distancing himself from Green Anarchist after release.

Saxon did introduce me and Fabian to his dad a couple of weeks before he was jailed, where we both wished Saxon well, as he told us he expected to be.

AK distribution which although has taken a political position not to stock Green Anarchist and for this faced all sorts of accusations by Green Anarchist were happy to send him books in solidarity when he asked for them, because they were able to distinguish he position from that expressed by others in Green Anarchist.

bunny
Jul 27 2005 15:30

On Sunday 3rd July I arrived at 'an open discussion to co-ordinate direct action during opening days of the G8 summit, 2005'. The hall was packed and when I arrived no more could get in so I spoke to others outside about some plans for Tuesday/Wednesday. A bit of re-arranging of position of people happened inside room, after introductions over, and those waiting outside were able to enter. A call for consensus on the general blockage framework was called and comments on this made, many gave comments on preferences for type of blockade counterpoising one form against another, with an emphasis from most people toward city based blockades with some making sweeping statements about effective action not being possible near Gleneagles. I contributed by letting people know whatever was decided at this meeting the general framework for blockading was out there, and many groups would be doing blockades nearer Gleneagles, as it did turn out.

It was only later on that I recognised Andrew Gilligan sat in back corner on other side. I felt obliged to ask him to leave. So approached him and asked him if he remembered me as it has been getting on 10 years since I had last seen him. I asked who he was working for and he said the London Evening Standard. He asked me what I was doing as he was surprised that I was involved with such meeting. I said it would be good to catch up with him and suggest he come with me out to bar. I find being talking to people in friendly fashion is best way when first persuading people to do something. I said also I felt obliged to ask him to leave. But was reluctant and seem content to spin conversation out till end of meeting. So I told him I was serious and gave him an ultimatum that if he did no leave then I would announce his presence to the meeting. He called my bluff and not on to back down, and let him string things out longer.

Now with hindsight from a personal point of view it may have been better to for the ultimatum to be that I would call over one or two of the organisers of the meeting not because I think they would have any better luck persuading him to leave without bringing it to attention of whole meeting, but I then I would not have people think they could have handled spotting him better than I did. But I am still glad I was not amongst those who spotted him and said nothing, though I think those that said they did were just not sure enough to feel obliged to act.

Anyway once it was brought to attention of whole meeting events took their course, which given the effort put into securing use of Teviot in months before, I was very concerned would endanger further use of space, which lead to me not being a quite upset bunny. I wanted to do whatever possible to mitigate any problems that could be caused for continued use of the space.

With this in mind, on coming out of Teviot I saw Gilligan was outside I was concerned that when the meeting still going on finished those coming out lead to further exchanges with Gilligan that would not be helpful.

Gilligan was concerned about a blue notebook he had lost inside the building, that had notes from interviews taken in previous days. I gave him my contact details and said I would ask around to see if anyone had found it and if it came to me I would return notes from interviews of previous days. As we continued to talk in a civil and courteous manner while another comrade chanted scum, scum, scum at him due to him working for racist London Evening Standard. While it would have been interesting to see how this headfuck experiment would have panned out there. I felt best to encourage Gilligan to not hang around till end people came out after end of meeting and so again made my offer to go for a drink and talk thing over there and allow me to mitigate some potential repercussions. As I walked away some one shouted to me how I would regret giving an interview to him, given I tend to avoid talking to mainstream journalists, and certainly had not given any interviews concerning G8 organising. I did reply that it was more just going for a drink with someone I have know before, although I am under no illusion that Gilligan wouldn't treat anything I said as more grit to the mill of his job. But the embarrassing shouted insult of 'bald fucker' just made be me more keen to wrap up things with Gilligan elsewhere, which was right thing to do not for Andrew's sake but that of maintaining use of the space.

Anyway I did ask around about his note book but alas it did not show up. Maybe the Daily Record journalist who was at the meeting found it.

raw
Jul 27 2005 16:48

My opinion on the matter,

What spacebunny has described concerning the Anarchist Assembly and Gilligan, which I facilitated, seems plausible. I do not think in a million years that SpaceBunny is a "state asset" or "spook". I do however find the actions of his friends asim and fabian as acts of political sabotage. They aren't sabotaging efforts for the same reason as the state but is down to politics. they detest the anarchist movement and they see it as a barrier to working class struggles. That is there modus operandi, hence I think the easy confusion and overlapping with spook activity (something which should worry themselves if they are genuiely support prolateriat revolution!).

From my experiences with A and F and from reading there materials about Larc, PGA, me and other friends involved in the No borders march they to seem to be your standard loony leftists with there shouts of "insitutional racism" each time a black man is told to shut the fuck up. this has led them to write pieces about the April 2nd EUROPEAN day of action against borders. They were never involved in this process but sort to complain and accuse me of "racism" for not having the original leaflet in Kurdish & Arabic. there over excitement when they were told this by H (a women from vanessa redgraves Peace & Progress Party) who attended two meetings, led them to issue this call. No doubt they felt themselves arses when I delivered them 5,000 leaflets in Kurdish & Arabic.

A and F are now involved in the VOICE refugee forum, were they have recruited a few other people in there work of political sabotage. the VOICE refugee forum in London has been used by A and F against LARC and using the same loony left racist mentality to accuse LARC of racism when moves were made by LARC to get £400 for the use of the phone from VOICES refugee forum.

Anyhow, I think A and F are now moving in on the worked done on the April 2nd Day and it seems are trying to undermine the workings of that.

alibaba
Jul 27 2005 18:54

It is quite hard to have a discussion with people who seem only able to look at things as the struggles of individuals against each other!

From www.yalelawjournal.org/109/109-8ab.html

"Since the 1960s, "institutional racism" has often been identified as the culprit. But this term has lacked a clear meaning, encompassing sometimes the simple march of social structures and at other times purposeful racism by individuals situated in institutions. The Article advances a conception of institutional racism that draws from recent writings in organizational sociology known as "New Institutionalism." Organized settings dictate standard, nonconscious understandings of appropriate conduct-institutions-that effectively delimit the actions of individuals. These institutions operate either as scripts, spontaneously triggered routines, or paths-unexamined background understandings that specify the range of legitimate action. Institutions often produce conduct that entrenches racial hierarchy by persons who genuinely do not intend to discriminate."

alibaba
Jul 27 2005 20:27

I am not sure what Raw means by "Loony left" and wonder what meaning this has except to mobilise prejudice.

Whilst it is true that our involvement was marginal in the April 2nd Euro-mobilisation this was precisely because of its political profile as a Europe-wide mobilisation.

Nearly two years ago we raised issues about problems with the Social Centres Network as we found that it mainly consisted of alternative drinking clubs for anarchists. In fact we were even told that there was a plan to sell the building we had been working on to raise money for just such a punk venue. We were also concerned that the social centres network should embrace a broader range of people particularly non-white people. When a group of people come together to get involved in radical politics it is often the case that they come from quite a specific social background. We do not regard this as a problem. However when groups come together to set up structures which pretend to be broad based and inclusive, but they are not, then we do see this as a problem, and it is only sensible to use concepts like institutional racism to analise this.

We also had probelmatic experiences in the London Social Centres when it became clear that most of the people just wanted to use it as a front for anarchist groups.

As for recruiting people from the VOICE forum, this is an understandable - but incorrect view - coming from some one who sees things in such a vanguardist way. In fact our interactions with the VOICE back from September firstly made it clear to us that our problems with the PGA were not unique. Together we set out to engage with the PGA process particularly concerning links in Africa. This lead to a deeper shared critique of the PGA.

No doubt those who simply seek to promote an anarchist vanguard, our activities may appear to be sabotage. However those who are more interested in a more responsible approach to political activity will no doubt see the value of the issues we raise. I don't know how many of the latter use this forum?

F

WEZ

kalabine
Jul 27 2005 21:42

what about paki tv? is that supposed to be funny? roll eyes

PaulMarsh
Jul 28 2005 06:48
kalabine wrote:
what about paki tv? is that supposed to be funny? roll eyes

Can you imagine the noise Fabian would make if Anarchists (of any colour) were involved in such a stunt?

Lazlo_Woodbine
Jul 28 2005 11:27
alibaba wrote:
We also had probelmatic experiences in the London Social Centres when it became clear that most of the people just wanted to use it as a front for anarchist groups.

Do you think that anarchist groups are basically equivalent to fascist groups? Is there a place for anarchist groups as part of any social centres?

kalabine
Jul 28 2005 11:57

refugee voices forum - if it is so good, why is it that refugess who made the mistake of aproaching them have actually ended up going into hiding because of fears that the advice - they gave (and put tremendous pressure on people who were in a desperate situation) would lead to them being deported to possible death in their own country - why is it that other committed supporters of refugees, are terrified of the incompetence of a group who's actions could directly lead to the deaths of refugees who make the mistake of going to them - why is it that white activists are so scared of criticising them for fear of being accused of racism by the octoroon fabian, that tremendous pressure was put on an asian activist to act as a go between?????

the refugee voices forum seems to me to be a potentially deadly ego trip of a group that has no right to be accepted by anyone

Lazlo_Woodbine
Jul 31 2005 18:01

This seems like a very serious allegation -- that the Voice forum is not actually trusted by certain refugees.

Anyone want to respond to this?

kalabine
Jul 31 2005 23:22

mysterious - they were getting all interested in posting, and have now vanished

eek

any reply to my allegations (backed up by other activists, refugees, and advice workers btw)

alibaba
Aug 2 2005 16:45

a) Paki.tv: If you want to know more about paki tv why not check out www.paki.tv.

b) Allegation about the VOICE Refugee Forum: The allegation is bad but not really serious. It is not based in reality. In fact two people who did have questions to raise attended a Refugee Forum, where their criticisms were discussed at length. They were both white. ClearlyThe rest seems to be just rumour. If anyone has a serious accusation to make then it should be sent to: asylumaction@lists.aktivix.org and the mattter will be dealt with.

c) Anarchist groups and fascist groups: No I have never suggested that anarchist groups are the equivalent of fascist groups. However, there is a long history of racism and anti semitism in the anarchist movement, including such figures as Bakunin and Proudhon. In France the Cercle Proudhon was a right wing group which helped develop French fascism.

I see one of the principle problems with "anarchism" is that it rests on a rhetorical form which can be taken up by different people who want to exercise their "freedom" in different ways. With the retreat of the class struggle in Britain and elsewhere in recent years, this has meant that rreactionary forms have appeared within "anarchism" (as elsewhere). This can be seen in the emergence of "Anarchism after Leftism" spearheaded by Bob Black - a self-confessed police informer and racist - though no fascist. With the advent of "Euromayday" the implicit Eurocentrism that we discovered in the PGA Europe process has now become explicit. This is a form of New Right thinking which is now becoming manifest within the western European anarchist movement. One of things which became clear from our trip to Belgrade was that many of the anarchist in East Europe do not share the preoccupations of the Western European anarchists. Indeed they seem to have a much more of an orienation to the working class thouigh there are some people who are ambibvalent about western european consumerism.

Looking at the anarchist fringe at Beyond the ESF, it reminded me of Pannekoek's observation that the anarchists and the revisionists are pretty much the same and that both have a middle class way of dealing with things. The Beyond the ESF statement carefully avoided references to class, for instance.

d) Anarchists and social centres: Firstly this new vogue for social centres should be criticised as bad translation from Italian.The term "community centre" would be more appropriate. Looking through my diary in the seventies, when - yes its true - I was an anarchist, I joted some notes about anarchists getting involved in community centres. And since then I have been involved with many, working in a Community Resource Centre in Brixton for ten years, although I abandonned anarchism in 1979.

I would focus the problem more on vanguardism, and it does not make much difference whether the [political vanguardist is anarchist, trotskyist, maoist or whatever, whenthey try and take over a community centre and exercise political hegemony - then that is the problem. Let us be clear, what happened at LARC was that it was an anarchist coup, and rather than deal with the political issues of Institutional Racism which we had raised - they preferred to stage a show trial.

e)Institutional Racism: "Institutions often produce conduct that entrenches racial hierarchy by persons who genuinely do not intend to discriminate." This is a quote from an earlier posting I made here. It is not a matter of making an issue about the one or two casesof personal racism which have occurrred, but of analysing the patterns of power. When people talk about being terrified of being accused of racism - this is simply a reactionary measure because people do not want to examine their processes which could disrupt their "comfortable" ways of organising. (This can also occur with other problems as well: an avoidance of critique and the personalisation of everything.) One of the probelms with anarchism is that it can create the illusion that the institutions which anarchists create don't exist because they are all individuals - a lack of self consciousness which can have dangerous consequences.

Sorry if we do not reply on a day to day basis, but it's summer and there are better things to do than sit in front of a computer.

F.

WEZ

Steven.
Aug 2 2005 16:51
alibaba wrote:
b) Allegation about the VOICE Refugee Forum: The allegation is bad but not really serious. It is not based in reality. In fact two people who did have questions to raise attended a Refugee Forum, where their criticisms were discussed at length. They were both white.

Why is this relevent? Were they refugees?

If so are white refugees not as good as non-white ones? What about black or middle eastern ones? Which races are the most important?

I'm not saying I believe the allegations, I know nothing about them and knowing the amount of shit thrown around the anarchist movement generally don't believe much, but the allegations are either true or not - the race of the accusers is irrelevant.

Lazlo_Woodbine
Aug 2 2005 17:16
alibaba wrote:
Allegation about the VOICE Refugee Forum: The allegation is bad but not really serious. It is not based in reality. In fact two people who did have questions to raise attended a Refugee Forum, where their criticisms were discussed at length. They were both white. ClearlyThe rest seems to be just rumour. If anyone has a serious accusation to make then it should be sent to: asylumaction@lists.aktivix.org and the mattter will be dealt with.

Woudn't it be simpler for you to deal with the issues publically now, rather than on an individual basis?

Are you saying that all of what kalabine said is fiction -- that you are sure that no refugees see the Voice forum as undependeble, that no refugee support workers share these views, that no refugees had to 'go into hiding', etc.

Maybe write up the dicussion you had with theother people who questioned you and put it up on a public website?

PaulMarsh
Aug 2 2005 20:49
alibaba wrote:

c) Anarchist groups and fascist groups: No I have never suggested that anarchist groups are the equivalent of fascist groups. However, there is a long history of racism and anti semitism in the anarchist movement, including such figures as Bakunin and Proudhon. In France the Cercle Proudhon was a right wing group which helped develop French fascism.

This is typical of the language used by people in this circle.

There is NOT a long history of racism and anti-semitism in the anarchist movement. What there is are examples of anti-semitism from anarchists a long time ago (Some comments from Bakunin and Proudhon being cases in point)

You comment suggests that this anti-semitism is sustained and on-going. It is not.

But then again I rather suspect you know that anyway.

kalabine
Aug 3 2005 01:01

alibaba - is it true that the only legal expert the refugee voices forum has is a sharia lawyer educated in north africa, who has no training in british law - yet pushes herself as a font of legal wisdom?

kalabine
Aug 3 2005 01:05
alibaba wrote:

b) Allegation about the VOICE Refugee Forum: The allegation is bad but not really serious. It is not based in reality. In fact two people who did have questions to raise attended a Refugee Forum, where their criticisms were discussed at length. They were both white. ClearlyThe rest seems to be just rumour. If anyone has a serious accusation to make then it should be sent to: asylumaction@lists.aktivix.org and the mattter will be dealt with.

in what way does it seem to be just rumour

you havent actually answered a single point i have raised

888
Aug 3 2005 10:32

Let me guess (from reading the last couple of posts) - alibaba is Fabian T. If so, there's no point arguing with him.

kalabine
Aug 3 2005 16:42
888 wrote:
Let me guess (from reading the last couple of posts) - alibaba is Fabian T. If so, there's no point arguing with him.

tbh - i'm more interested in getting the facts out there

alibaba
Aug 3 2005 16:45

a) If people have an issue with therefugee forum,then that issues will be dealt with by the refugee forum. If people which to discuss these matters with the refugee forum, then we can propose a meetuing. This is how to deal with serious allegations. Serious allegations cannot be dealt with on a bulletin board.

b) I note that no-one wishes to contribute on what institutional racismmight be, and how it could be used as a tool of analysis to better understand how contemproary libretarian politics work. Having looked at that, maybe those who criticise our arguments might be able to furnish a ereasoned response, rather than initiating another discussion on the pros and cons of the VOICE Refugee Forum.

c) As regards teh race of the peoplewho attended the meeting,trhis was pointed in response to comment made about white activists being scared to approach the VOICE Refugee forum.

d) Perhaps thise defenders of anarchism would like to clarify their view on Anarchy after Leftism?

kalabine
Aug 3 2005 16:49

ok, so you refuse to answer the questions then... roll eyes

[edited to take out abuse -- Woodbine]

Lazlo_Woodbine
Aug 3 2005 17:26
alibaba wrote:
If people which to discuss these matters with the refugee forum, then we can propose a meetuing. This is how to deal with serious allegations. Serious allegations cannot be dealt with on a bulletin board.

If some of the stuff that kalabine is saying is just plain wrong why can't you say so?

IMO a bulleting board can be a good place to air stuff -- better than an email list, which is why this thread is here. The racist accusations against LARC are also serious, and I think it would be good to sort this all out rather than having a bunch of meetings. For one thing, meetings are not accessbile for people outside London.

Lazlo_Woodbine
Aug 3 2005 17:33
alibaba wrote:
I note that no-one wishes to contribute on what institutional racismmight be, and how it could be used as a tool of analysis to better understand how contemproary libretarian politics work.

This is an important issue. As we have very few 'institutions' in our movment I think the language of discussion is more about the dynamics of the scene, how people are kept in or kept out. In relation to other factors this has been usefully discussed on other threads on libcom.

However, in relation to racism, the examples so far offered have been a bit spurious -- the thing about Euromayday, for example, is clearly not an example of Eurocentricism, because it involves as it's core element protests against borders and against EU-imposed agreements. Maybe the shaky examples are one reason why people have not engaged with the racism issue?

alibaba
Aug 5 2005 14:53

a) The issues as regards the VOICE refugee forum are issues which shall be addressed by the Refugee Forum. If you wish to ask the VOICE Refugee forum to respond on a bulletin board, then please address that to the VOICE Refugee Forum. This is how serious issues are addressed. The VOICE Refugee Forum can then discuss them and decide how best to respond. This is not a refusal to address the issue but a refusal to play the role of go-between. Any issues will be addressed by the VOICE Refugee Forum as they are the people affected by this.

b) I do not understand why you fail to understand th Eurocentric nature of Euromayday. Of course it may have a liberal agenda, but this does not negate that fact that it remains clearly Eurocentric. The same is true for the A2 mobilisation. The liberalism does not negate the Eurocentrism you may feel that it may mitigate it. This is not hard to understand. In the past there was this notion of "Workers of the World Unit, You have nothing to lose but your chains". Now it is Euromayday.

As a critique is being made precisely of liberalism, I do not see why those who have a liberal practice should thereby conclude that there is no argument to be had.

What is to be gained from organising on a Europe-wide basis?

kalabine
Aug 6 2005 00:01
alibaba wrote:
a) The issues as regards the VOICE refugee forum are issues which shall be addressed by the Refugee Forum. If you wish to ask the VOICE Refugee forum to respond on a bulletin board, then please address that to the VOICE Refugee Forum. This is how serious issues are addressed. The VOICE Refugee Forum can then discuss them and decide how best to respond. This is not a refusal to address the issue but a refusal to play the role of go-between. Any issues will be addressed by the VOICE Refugee Forum as they are the people affected by this.

are you not members then?

i'm white, if i try and raise the issues with the voice refugee forum, i will be denounced as a racist like everyone else...