Hamburg Riots - Prelude to G8 Trouble (Plus Pics)

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Joseph Kay
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Jun 7 2007 21:35
fkschulze wrote:
or perhaps its the 'public support' part that is the crux of your critique. itd be right to say that a situation where the state rounds up leftists and persecutes em' would be and produce an entirely different significance w/ public support than w/o it. so how about this, instead of wagging the finger at anarchists with paving stones, we oughtta focus on gettin folks to hate and fear state and capital MORE than they fear us. "Those kids in black sure are scary, but they're no Dick (mothafuckin) Cheney!" let the kids throw the bricks but don't let Regular Joe shrug his shoulders at it.

of course if we're successful we'll get repressed. if our 'success' is in the form of vanguard violence we're going down the road of urban guerilla tactics, provoke the state into a clampdown and the workers will see the truth and join us. duplicitous and a historical failure. if there's a half decent class movement rooted in everyday struggles it's going to be a lot harder to repress without escalating the class war, even when that movement erupts into riots and the like.

i mean John.'s right it can recruit people, and it can be a bit of fun rucking with the cops, it's just all these inflated claims about being "able to operate under intense police-state conditions" (why did no-one go to the russian g8 then?) and being a real threat to the state that leave me not knowing whether to laugh or cry.

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Tacks
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Jun 7 2007 22:13

Good post.

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fkschulze
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Jun 8 2007 07:30

seconded

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Tacks
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Jun 8 2007 11:18

just watched a load of cops shoot themsleves in the eyes with pepper spray grin

breakout
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Jun 9 2007 11:29

Well to be fair, quite a few people (mostly from eastern europe) did go to the Russian G8 and tried to make something happen, at great personal risk to themselves - didnt even some anarchists from Wales go over there? That is a great thing! Even more important is that the Russian anarchist movement continues to grow and get more organised despite the widespread fascist terror and general oppression going on in the country. International links were made, and yes, there was not a big fight on the streets but it was an interesting moment of activity and networking. The Russian anarchist / autonomous movement continues to organise at home and abroad, and they have make some good links with the ABC network and around also the magazine "Abolishing Borders from Below" produced in Berlin. The Russian groups have become more public and accessible to the western militants through this, and opposing the G8 was part of that.. they continue to pass information about the terrible situation they have to put up with.... Does anyone here have any links with them, have you tried?

To return to another point I read- I doubt people in many places talk about the G8, because what the fuck does it mean to them in their lives? Nothing! This is why we must oppose it and all other convergences of capitalist interests. It is just not enough to say these events are pointless, that we cannot do anything with them.

As for comparing a "class movement against capital" to -spectacular protests- of course this is our aim, to build a working class revolutionary movement, but these international events -despite their problems- are a very useful area to organise around and should not be abandoned to the reformist left. Yes, maybe even some people will "get some good politics" after (to use a patronising term), but I doubt I will be one of them. wink

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Jun 11 2007 11:12

Just got this through one of many e-lists I'm on, thought it was worth putting up here.

Quote:
PRESS RELEASE

British Demonstrator Nearly Blinded by G8 Police

A British demonstrator at the G8 summit was badly injured by German police
water cannon on Thursday 7th June.

Matt from Liverpool said he joined the mass protests against the G8 meeting
in North Germany last week
'to show my abhorrence to the G8 meetings which perpetuate exploitation,
trade injustice and wars. I was one of over a thousand people at a blockade
of the West gate of the police imposed exclusion zone surrounding the summit
venue. The blockade was a peaceful attempt to hinder access by support staff
and delegates to the meetings, using strictly non-violent means.'

However the festival atmosphere in the sun-drenched fields was shattered by
unprovoked violent assaults by the police against the protesters. Police
used pepper spray, baton charges and water cannons against peaceful
demonstrators; eighteen water cannons were used to fire high pressure
concentrated blasts of water from close range at targeted individuals faces.

'I was taken by surprise by a sudden massive blow to my left eye' said Matt
'it felt like my eye had been knocked out of the socket, the pain was
intense. I was blinded for the rest of the day and my vision will probably
be permanently impaired.'

Volunteer medical staff spotted internal bleeding in the eyeball so Matt was
rushed to the specialist eye unit at Rostock's University hospital. Their
clinical examination revealed a tear and other damage to the iris, suspected
detached retina, early signs of cataract and probable glaucoma. The full
extent of the damage cannot yet be determined due to the internal bleeding.

This was no accident, six others suffered similar eye injuries from the
water cannon blasts, including a German journalist covering the events.
Another protester sustained a perforated ear drum. Matt and other protesters
are challenging the legality of the police's actions.

Contact details for more information

0151 222 2704
beaucoup_movement@ yahoo.co. uk

Fucking cops angry

wangwei
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Jun 11 2007 19:55
Quote:
breakout: Well to be fair, quite a few people (mostly from eastern europe) did go to the Russian G8 and tried to make something happen, at great personal risk to themselves - didnt even some anarchists from Wales go over there? That is a great thing! Even more important is that the Russian anarchist movement continues to grow and get more organised despite the widespread fascist terror and general oppression going on in the country. International links were made, and yes, there was not a big fight on the streets but it was an interesting moment of activity and networking. The Russian anarchist / autonomous movement continues to organise at home and abroad, and they have make some good links with the ABC network and around also the magazine "Abolishing Borders from Below" produced in Berlin. The Russian groups have become more public and accessible to the western militants through this, and opposing the G8 was part of that.. they continue to pass information about the terrible situation they have to put up with.... Does anyone here have any links with them, have you tried?

This is a good response that does provoke much thought. I see the contradiction about the G8. I feel that it should be opposed by the working class, and that it is disgusting that these imperialists are dividing the world between them. I like the idea that the struggle does create networks, especially in Russia where, arguably, the most significant revolution of the 20th century took place, and where a movement is definately needed. But then I see posts like this:

Quote:
guydebordisdead Posts: 1394 Joined: 25-09-05 Location: Dublin | Send pm
"Pope of nothing"
Posted: Sat, 09/06/2007 - 14:41 new
Just got word from a comrade who is/was in jail. Not sure how much I can say as of yet, pretty worried. News said there are 4 irish people in prison.

And I wonder if it's worth the cost of losing comrades. Is it vanguardism? Is the risk that many are putting themselves in creating a sustainable change? I'm not sure. I see it as great that groups are making links with one another, but what is being done to link the struggle to the workers that are living there? Is this action isolated from the working class', and if it is, then that's vanguardism. I'm trying to analyze this as openly as possible. I do agree resistance is needed, but what form should it take? Would any happen if there weren't a mass of foreign anarchists converging on the state forces?

I really like this discussion, apart from some flaming, and would like to see it remain fruitful. This post is my humble attempt to add to it.

winjer
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Jun 12 2007 15:45
IrrationallyAngry wrote:
According to German leftists on another email list there is an interesting video on the mainstream Spiegel news service which, it is claimed, shows just such a black clad undercover cop being captured and dragged back to police lines. I, unfortunately can't speak German, but if anyone here can I'd be interested in hearing if this is actually what the report says:

http://www.spiegel.de/videoplayer/0,6298,18864,00.html

Yes, that is pretty much what it says, and this is the same story people were talking about locally (Rostock area) and which was front page news in the Hamburg Morning Post ('The scandal of the G8') on Friday & Saturday. The black clad guy was trying to get hippy peaceniks at a sitdown 'blockade' to throw rocks and fight cops but was unluckily enough to choose to do it near other people from Bremen who recognised him as a Bremen cop often seen at demos (in uniform). The Hamburg MOPO also said that the G8 could mean the end of large symbolic demonstrations in Germany and that people would increasingly take direct action instead.

winjer
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Jun 12 2007 15:58
Joseph K. wrote:
the other thing is to get over the inflated self-importance 'kicking the media spectacle in the face' implies - nobody at work has even mentioned the G8, let alone the protests or the arguments of the protesters, it's all but invisible.

The singular of data is not anecdote.

I spent 10 days in Germany, and when I came back to work and told people where I'd been they were all aware that there had been a summit and protests, some were aware of the rioting, some of the sitdowns, some of boths, all were interested to hear what I had done there and why, and I've had many conversations about anarchist politics, the link between local organisation and summit mobilisation, the similarities of struggles here and there, the logistics and the local reactions, and I've only been back two days. I work in an inner London school.

wangwei
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Jun 12 2007 16:45
Quote:
all were interested to hear what I had done there and why, and I've many consersations about anarchist politics, the link between local organisation and summit mobilisation, the similarities of struggles here and there, the logistics and the local reactions, and I've only been back two days. I work in an inner London school.

See, this is the kind of development that I'd like to see continue to develop from the G8. I think that this is the proper way to link the two struggles.

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Jun 12 2007 17:27
winjer wrote:
The singular of data is not anecdote.

indeed, though as it was doubly seconded, it's techically a plural anecdote wink

winjer wrote:
I spent 10 days in Germany, and when I came back to work and told people where I'd been they were all aware that there had been a summit and protests, some were aware of the rioting, some of the sitdowns, some of boths, all were interested to hear what I had done there and why, and I've many consersations about anarchist politics, the link between local organisation and summit mobilisation, the similarities of struggles here and there, the logistics and the local reactions, and I've only been back two days. I work in an inner London school.

is that discussion dependent on you having been there though? because if so my point kinda stands, that trying to create a 'counter-spectacle' ends up merely embellishing the spectacle. of course i may be wrong, i don't have any empirical data like.

i was talking to a guy on the weekend who would have been there if he could have got off work, and he argued a major plus of summits was not so much the external effects but the effects on the participants subjectivities - realising you're part of a continental movement and you're not alone, shedding residual liberalism in the face of police repression, being inspired to go home and do stuff. i mean none of this is untrue, though i'd question the nature of the 'movement' and the stuff that gets done on said activist's return, but i know at least one libcom admin was in genoa so i guess not everyone comes back and signs up for a lifetime of substitutionist politics wink

IrrationallyAngry
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Jun 13 2007 17:12
winjer wrote:
Yes, that is pretty much what it says, and this is the same story people were talking about locally (Rostock area) and which was front page news in the Hamburg Morning Post ('The scandal of the G8') on Friday & Saturday. The black clad guy was trying to get hippy peaceniks at a sitdown 'blockade' to throw rocks and fight cops but was unluckily enough to choose to do it near other people from Bremen who recognised him as a Bremen cop often seen at demos (in uniform). The Hamburg MOPO also said that the G8 could mean the end of large symbolic demonstrations in Germany and that people would increasingly take direct action instead.

This is interesting if accurate, if only because it would be the first case (or at least the first I'm aware of) where the existence of a police agent provacateur, dressed as a black bloc member, trying to incite protesters to attack the police has been confirmed. There have been rumours of such events at a whole series of set piece summit protests, although there has previously been little in the way of hard evidence presented. That's as you would expect,, of course, as if such infiltrators exist ed they would hardly be likely to announce it or admit to it afterwards.

If I recall correctly, protesters making such claims have often been heavily criticised by protesters more sympathetic to the Black Block and challenged to present evidence for their claims. This would potentially cast those arguments in a rather different light.

Terry
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Jun 13 2007 18:22

I don't think people were ever questioning the existance of agent provacateurs. They were questioning the line that went black bloc = agent provacateurs......which is just a tad different. For instance I remember hearing all kinds of things about the black bloc being comprised of cops and fascists..who operated with impunity from police action...really stupid shit actually. Agent provacateurs other other hand were pretty well documented in Genoa - there is footage of a couple on a moped apparently taking orders from plain clothes cop.

The equation of anarchists with agent provacateurs is to be found here from CWI stuff on Genoa (and indeed equation of the black bloc with anarchists, more anarchists were at the metal workers section of the march, and the black bloc is by no means anarchists, eg autonomen, maoists, basque nationalists)
http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/Genoa.htm
http://www.geocities.com/socialistparty/genoa.html

While the Socialist Worker read:
"There is now overwhelming evidence that the Black Block was given free rein to do anything it wanted in Genoa." - which is a personally favourite of mine...considering the people arrested, battered, and one individual shot dead.

Indeed you could argue that the purpose of sending a few cops around the place in dark clothing is precisely to promote this kind of nonsense, see: cointelpro.

IrrationallyAngry
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Jun 13 2007 21:48
Terry wrote:
I don't think people were ever questioning the existance of agent provacateurs. They were questioning the line that went black bloc = agent provacateurs

And also the idea that agent provacateurs, dressed as black block members, were being used to a significant extent. I quite agree that black block does not equal agent provacateur (and nor does either equal anarchist), by the way. There are plenty of idiots out there who look forward to a ritual battle with the police and they don't need the police to trick them into it. It is interesting though that the police apparently do see mock black block agent provacateurs as a useful tactic. Both the cops and the real black block want and need the ritual combat.

Terry wrote:
The equation of anarchists with agent provacateurs is to be found here from CWI stuff on Genoa (and indeed equation of the black bloc with anarchists

The only part of the material at those two links I would disagree with is the quote attributed to Gary in a mainstreamish paper - which does indeed equate the black block with anarchists in general. I'll ask him if he was accurately quoted next time I see him. That section aside, I don't see that any of it claims that either all anarchists protesters were in the black block or that the entirity of the black block consisted of agent provovateurs. It does claim that there were substantial numbers of undercover police dressed in black however.

I actually hadn't seen the report by the photographer who had the shit kicked out of him before. He describes his assailants as black clad and as "anarchists/police, whatever they were", which seems fair enough in the circumstances - both the cops and quite genuine black blockers have form for assualting journalists.

Terry
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Jun 13 2007 22:15
Quote:
Angry wrote:
"It is interesting though that the police apparently do see mock black block agent provacateurs as a useful tactic. Both the cops and the real black block want and need the ritual combat."

One doesn't follow from the other. Unless you have access to internal police/government decision making in several states it is only a supposition. There are many guesses we could make about the role of such agents - I have made one above, and you have made another. One reasonable one would be to say they want to start a bit of trouble in a specific place to allow them to lay into a specific group of protesters....and maybe in a way that makes for division.
Another would be that it is a way of attacking the black bloc by putting out this line about provocation and so on.

Some black blocs have had a no first strike policy, others have only engaged in property destruction, so you cannot make a general rule of 'ritual combat'.

In anycase whatever we think of summit protests, "the anti-capitalist movement", and the like it is totally the case that without militancy it would have been, and would still be, even less useful. That is an A to B march at a summit would have gone nowhere in regard to stirring up the little blosoming of movement building that came out of J18, Seattle and Prague.

It beggars belief that the same parties who pimp an image of that militancy in their efforts to recruit teenages attack it year in year out.

And no I'm not contradicting myself, critiques of the black bloc that want to replace that with big marches yeah! are well worse than the black bloc. Plenty of good actions go on at these things, in terms of tactics, if the overall strategy is wrong headed, and despite that strategic shortfall, it still had and has a movement building function.

Oh and finally I said it before and I will say it again...as they are gonna get a riot anyways they don't need to put agents in the crowd to stir one up....a really obvious point!

IrrationallyAngry
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Jun 14 2007 00:09
Terry wrote:
In anycase whatever we think of summit protests, "the anti-capitalist movement", and the like it is totally the case that without militancy it would have been, and would still be, even less useful. That is an A to B march at a summit would have gone nowhere in regard to stirring up the little blosoming of movement building that came out of J18, Seattle and Prague.

I'm a little taken aback by your apparent willingness to set up a binary choice between only "A to B marches" on the one hand or ninja dress up ritual battles on the other. You do, I'm sure, know better than that. Aren't anarchists often prone to expounding the virtues of other forms of direct action - you know, like in these kind of instances blockades or similar actions?

Terry wrote:
It beggars belief that the same parties who pimp an image of that militancy in their efforts to recruit teenages attack it year in year out.

Only if you confuse "militancy" with dressing up in black, masking up and throwing some bricks. I have a rather different view of what effective or useful militancy entails.

Terry wrote:
as they are gonna get a riot anyways they don't need to put agents in the crowd to stir one up....a really obvious point!

I tend to agree with you on that. And yet the evidence is overwhelming that the police do use agent provacateurs, dressed as black block members. The question is why?

I suspect that the purpose of agent provacateurs is to encourage their preferred types of confrontation, at their preferred times and in their preferred places. It is not, as I have said already, necessary to trick the kind of idiots who go on these demonstrations looking for a ruck into having a ruck. It may however be necessary or useful to shape the ruck, start it or restart when preferred, involve more disciplined (or less "militant") groups of demonstrators or simply to make sure that "demonstrators" appear to be involved in particularly obnoxious behaviour.

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Jun 14 2007 03:03

calling them idiots is pretty fucking bourgeois, almost as bourgeois as calling them heroes. smacks of a vanguardist platformism. dying to be a leader, huh?

IrrationallyAngry
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Jun 14 2007 04:41

Congratulations on using the word "bourgeois" in perhaps the most meaningless way I've seen it used in quite some time.

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Jun 14 2007 07:07

thanks, but not knowing its meaning doesnt make it meaningless. it is the comfortable distance created by cushioned class threatened by ugly praxis and perfectly satisfied to dismiss uncouth emotional brick throwing as the tinkering of idiots when in fact it is the uncontrollable nature of such acts that you, a closet manager, find so distasteful. this is what i meant by bourgeois: reformist aesthetic + management ambitions = holier(or rather smarter)-than-thou denunciation of people exploring outlets for their powerful moral indignation and desire for a better world, or as you call them, idiots.

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Jun 14 2007 09:56
'fkschulze' wrote:

thanks, but not knowing its meaning doesnt make it meaningless. it is the comfortable distance created by cushioned class threatened by ugly praxis and perfectly satisfied to dismiss uncouth emotional brick throwing as the tinkering of idiots when in fact it is the uncontrollable nature of such acts that you, a closet manager, find so distasteful. this is what i meant by bourgeois: reformist aesthetic + management ambitions = holier(or rather smarter)-than-thou denunciation of people exploring outlets for their powerful moral indignation and desire for a better world, or as you call them, idiots.

perhaps you could just make an effort to stop using that word completely then mate.

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Jun 14 2007 10:07

hmmm i need to make a provocateur card ...

vs.

winjer
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Jun 14 2007 11:19
IrrationallyAngry wrote:
This is interesting if accurate, if only because it would be the first case (or at least the first I'm aware of) where the existence of a police agent provacateur, dressed as a black bloc member, trying to incite protesters to attack the police has been confirmed.

It's officially confirmed he was police, but not what he was doing.

WSWS wrote:
Following the incident, the head of police responsible for enforcing security in Heiligendamm conceded that officers were active in an undercover role amongst protesters. This was normal procedure, he claimed. While it may well be ‘normal procedure,’ such infiltration contravenes the right to assembly. What remains entirely unclarified by the police officer’s admission is the precise role played by his officers in the violent clashes in Rostock, which resulted in the injury of several hundred opponents of the G8 summit.

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2007/jun2007/raid-j14.shtml

(There are plenty of other sources for that statement, but in German, so I'm quoting WSWS out of convenience)

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Jun 14 2007 11:28

hmm, could just be intelligence gathering, although that could easily become provocateuring. not sure how it contravenes the right to assembly though confused

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Jun 14 2007 13:27
fkschulze wrote:
thanks, but not knowing its meaning doesnt make it meaningless. it is the comfortable distance created by cushioned class threatened by ugly praxis and perfectly satisfied to dismiss uncouth emotional brick throwing as the tinkering of idiots when in fact it is the uncontrollable nature of such acts that you, a closet manager, find so distasteful. this is what i meant by bourgeois: reformist aesthetic + management ambitions = holier(or rather smarter)-than-thou denunciation of people exploring outlets for their powerful moral indignation and desire for a better world, or as you call them, idiots.

Sorry, what was that? It's hard to make out what you're saying while you've got your tongue jammed so far up John Holloway's arsehole.

IrrationallyAngry
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Jun 14 2007 13:43
fkschulze wrote:
thanks, but not knowing its meaning doesnt make it meaningless. it is the comfortable distance created by cushioned class threatened by ugly praxis and perfectly satisfied to dismiss uncouth emotional brick throwing as the tinkering of idiots when in fact it is the uncontrollable nature of such acts that you, a closet manager, find so distasteful. this is what i meant by bourgeois: reformist aesthetic + management ambitions = holier(or rather smarter)-than-thou denunciation of people exploring outlets for their powerful moral indignation and desire for a better world, or as you call them, idiots.

So, after feeding this through my pseudo-academic-activist-gibberish to English translation program, it appears that what you meant by "bourgeois" is something quite different to the actual meaning of the word bourgeois. In fact, wordy pretension aside, it appears that your use of the term is functionally identical to the usage favoured by Rick from the Young Ones.

While I can't deny that you have managed to entertain me on a rather grey and wet Thursday afternoon, really I think your talents are wasted here. Have you ever considered getting freelance work writing Wombles communiques?

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Jun 14 2007 13:56
IrrationallyAngry wrote:
This is interesting if accurate, if only because it would be the first case (or at least the first I'm aware of) where the existence of a police agent provacateur, dressed as a black bloc member, trying to incite protesters to attack the police has been confirmed.

No, I think it was revealed in the mainstream press that undercover cops in Barcelona in... 2001 was it? Some IMF thing, started smashing windows to provoke a riot police attack. IIRC anyway...

winjer
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Jun 14 2007 16:04
Joseph K. wrote:
is that discussion dependent on you having been there though?

No, but obviously it's enhanced by it, I'd be discussing the summit and the protests with people at work if I hadn't gone, just as I've previously discussed things like the French CPE and Oaxaca struggles. If no-one's talking about this stuff where you work, why aren't you bringing it up?

Joseph K. wrote:
i was talking to a guy on the weekend who would have been there if he could have got off work, and he argued a major plus of summits was not so much the external effects but the effects on the participants subjectivities

I think one of the things people rarely likely to admit is that the blockades/riots/demos etc are actually less important than the networking.

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Jun 14 2007 19:22
Quote:
perhaps you could just make an effort to stop using that word completely then mate.

no doubt. i don't really know why i said it, thats probably the first time i've actually used that word as a personal criticism. i think my definition is pretty good though "reformist aesthetic + management ambitions = holier(or rather smarter)-than-thou denunciation of people exploring outlets for their powerful moral indignation and desire for a better world". i know this b/c, being born bourgeois, this is how bourgeois politicizing sounds. you don't agree? isnt that the essence of bourgeois politics?

Quote:
So, after feeding this through my pseudo-academic-activist-gibberish to English translation program, it appears that what you meant by "bourgeois" is something quite different to the actual meaning of the word bourgeois. In fact, wordy pretension aside, it appears that your use of the term is functionally identical to the usage favoured by Rick from the Young Ones.

While I can't deny that you have managed to entertain me on a rather grey and wet Thursday afternoon, really I think your talents are wasted here. Have you ever considered getting freelance work writing Wombles communiques?

Glad you were entertained. i stand by the critique and it aint 'pseudo' academic gibberish, just regular academic gibberish. i know i sound pretty arrogant but each word (which i never should have uttered in the first place but i'm feverishly sick and just finished reading a badass scolding by an italian anarchist against all the pussies who distanced themselves from Czolgosz after the assassination... this combination equals mouthing off on impersonal political forums, i'm afraid) is informed and defendable. i don't understand your british pop culture references though. i don't know what Rick signifies and my limited understanding of the Wombles is that they were essentially a street theater group acting like revolutionaries, which i do dig. spectacle in the form of ideal-type caricatures, if this is what they did, always has a place i think.

Quote:
Sorry, what was that? It's hard to make out what you're saying while you've got your tongue jammed so far up John Holloway's arsehole.

I still havent read his book but when i do i'll know better how far up his asshole i want my tongue. From what i've heard its a restatement of Kroptkin's 'Spirit of Revolt' and the early prop of deed theorists. If this is so then i probably do have a bit of my shiniest organ in his brown eye. whats the weight of holloway's work on the G8 spectacle?

i vow never again to post on libcom when i'm running 100+ F... too much work to undo sad

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Jun 14 2007 23:09
fkschulze wrote:
I still havent read his book but when i do i'll know better how far up his asshole i want my tongue. From what i've heard its a restatement of Kroptkin's 'Spirit of Revolt' and the early prop of deed theorists. If this is so then i probably do have a bit of my shiniest organ in his brown eye. whats the weight of holloway's work on the G8 spectacle?

Really, I was referring to your over-emphasising negativity, moral indignation and all that. It's all very well being indignant, but politically, it means very little. Most members of the BNP are involved because of their moral indignation over the injustices we all face under capitalism, it doesn't make them right and it certainly doesn't make it wrong to criticse them. If anything, anarchists, autonomen and other assorted lefties should be held to a far higher standard of criticism.

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Jun 14 2007 23:25

On a sidenote, I'm surprised to here anybody referring to the "propaganda by the deed" era in a positive light. I thought the general consensus was that it was an incredibly stupid tactic and a symptom of the weakness of the anarchist movement of the time (such as it was).

I mean, call me crazy, but the last thing anarchists need right now is another Cafe Terminus.