Drat and double drat, us anarchists’ dastardly plan has been fooled by the Sun’s hardcore investigative unit!
I do love the Sun sometimes, I mean where else would an editor faced with a clearly ludicrous plotline cobbled together by a reporter desperate for a splash and featuring quotes from one of the anarchist movement’s biggest running jokes decide to put it front page?
If you only vaguely remember Chris Knight, he was the one “outed” as the leader of the anarchists by a Daily Mail feature writer ahead of the G20 demonstrations in 2009.
To those of us actually involved in anarchist politics, he’s a likeable crank on the edge of the movement who specialises in coming up with ideas for entertaining, harmless (often unworkable) spectaculars.
The reason for his prominence in the reporting on that event (other than his hilarious eccentricity which makes for superbly notable quotables) can be traced to a pre-G20 meeting of the Whitechapel Anarchist Group, where Mail hack Arthur Martin “infiltrated” an open forum to organise actions against the neoliberal get-together.
Mr Martin was, shall we say, a little gullible, as having sussed him out, the WAG lot played him like a fish on a line announcing “we have a communique from the great leader Chris Knight” before feeding him a wonderful array of nonsense which got relentlessly worked up by every paper going.
The article Mr Martin wrote, Undercover with the anarchist mob, was an amazing practical joke on the part of WAG, which they’ve just spectacularly topped.
This time around not only has Chris made it to the mainstream press, he’s hit the front page of today’s Sun as the leader of Network X (which must come as something of a shock to the group’s organisers), which apparently consists of WAG, Class War (it’s news to me that they’re still going), Democracy Village (you know, the hippies?), Direct Action Group (who?) and the Green and Black Cross, a medic group who are “secretly” teaching people to patch up injured protesters, the bastards.
Again, that’s news to me, I thought Network X was a reasonably broad-church group which was still in the process of trying to form a nationwide federation of anarchos to fight the cuts. Lives and learns.
What makes this particularly sweet is that they’ve actively played the joke on themselves, by picking up on a general callout by Chris to do things like a “people’s fertility rite” on Parliament Square and, rather than bin it, write it up as a front page headline.
Front page! To borrow a phrase from Ian Bone, oh my aching sides!
I tip my hat to the WAG on this one, it could run and run.