Class War newspaper

An online archive of issues of Class War, a UK-based anarchist tabloid newspaper founded in 1983.

Submitted by Fozzie on November 10, 2018

Libcom also hosts:

As well as a number of critiques of Class War's politics:

Missing issues:
#3 New Homes For The Rich, October 1983.
#8? Bricks Bottles Burning Barricades – Summer of 1984.
#54, #59, #60.

Comments

R Totale

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by R Totale on September 6, 2020

The Iain Sinclair review mentioned is here. May be soft-paywalled if you've looked at other LRB articles this month but you can get around that by opening up a private mode/incognite window. Interesting to see the old Chumbawamba shit condom hoax get another mention.

westartfromhere

4 months 3 weeks ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on January 31, 2024

Just reread parts of the first issue. Ian Bone's rabble rousing brought this to mind from our Herakles:

In England, for instance, the way to show political power lies open to the working class. Insurrection would be madness where peaceful agitation would more swiftly and surely do the work.

The show of political power is not the same as the seizure of political power.

ca'canny

4 months 2 weeks ago

Submitted by ca'canny on February 1, 2024

Love seeing these up here. Thanks Sparrows Nest!

westartfromhere

4 months 2 weeks ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on February 2, 2024

Not a surprise to see criticism of Class War from the cop collaborators of Sussex University above.

Samotnaf, 12 years 9 months ago, wrote:

Should point out that this article, though it appeared in Aufheben as an "intake" , was not written by anyone involved in Aufheben.

I remember being invited for a pint at The White Tart by Ian Bone and his cronnies when I worked in a post room off Finsbury Square. The overall impression that I left with was, gobbledegook.

lurdan

3 months 4 weeks ago

Submitted by lurdan on February 21, 2024

Here's a temporary link to a scan of one of the missing issues #4

Imagenetz link

(This issue was put together by Lia and Aleks and I have a dim recollection that there was some unhappiness about the content).

westartfromhere

3 months 4 weeks ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on February 22, 2024

The class has to be injected with higher consciousness. This higher consciousness cannot be founded on real experience, by its very definition, and so must find another basis. This is found in how other people suffer—in victims. Anger is twisted out of class solidarity which then aquires the pious stench of Christian brotherhood and can do nothing more aggressive than condemn capitalism for being immoral.

Class War, [#4], on the politics of social-democracy (of the Left and right).

Submitted by Fozzie on February 22, 2024

lurdan wrote: Here's a temporary link to a scan of one of the missing issues #4

Imagenetz link

(This issue was put together by Lia and Aleks and I have a dim recollection that there was some unhappiness about the content).

That's amazing Lurdan, thank you - it's now here.

Bone says in his book that a large number of this issue were burned...

Submitted by westartfromhere on February 22, 2024

Fozzie wrote: Bone says in his book that a large number of this issue were burned...

Don't tease us. Burnt by whom?

P.S. Read your note on the link.

Class War #1 1983

"We must devastate the avenues where the wealthy live!" Lucy Parsons

The debut issue of Class War, published 29th April 1983. Including: class, nuclear war vs class war, trade unions and Labour - beyond the bullshit, Yosser (Hughes) is a tosser, lots of sweary speech bubbles, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on January 31, 2024

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest archive.

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Class War #2 1983

Now is the time for every dirty lousy tramp to arm himself with a revolver or a knife and lie in wait outside the palaces of the rich and shoot or stab them to death as they come out

Published 24 June 1983 and including: Thatcher re-elected: five more years of this shit?, Red Action, Crass and pacifist punk, Northern Ireland, rioting tips, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on January 31, 2024

Unnumbered, but named as issue 2 on page 127 of Ian Bone's "Bash The Rich".

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive.

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westartfromhere

4 months 2 weeks ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on February 2, 2024

Crass commercialism is still commercialism.

westartfromhere

4 months 2 weeks ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on February 2, 2024

I am no Feeble Christ, not me! "He" hangs in glib delight upon "his" cross, above my body! "Christ, forgive!" Forgive?! Shit, fuck, I vomit for you, Jesu; shit forgive. Down now from your cross! Down now from your papal heights, from that churlish suicide, petulant child! Down from those pious heights, royal flag bearer, goat, billy! I vomit for you! Forgive?! Shit, "he" forgives! "He" hangs in crucified delight nailed to the extent of "his" vision! "His" cross, "his" manhood, violence, guilt, sin! "He" would nail my body upon "his" cross, suicide visionary, death reveller, rake, rapist, lifefucker; Jesu, earthmover, Christus, gravedigger! You dug the pits of Auschwitz! The soil of Treblinka is your guilt, your sin! Master?! Master of gore, enigma! You carry the standard of our oppression! Enola is your gaiety! The bodies of Hiroshima are your delight!

Still makes me chuckle. If only they could have come up with one good melody!

Fozzie

4 months 2 weeks ago

Submitted by Fozzie on February 2, 2024

I always remember a mate saying that a lot of Crass' tracks were like being told off by a posh teacher for not doing enough to prevent a nuclear holocaust happening.

To be fair, a lot of working class kids got into weirdo atonal music because of Crass, so the lack of tunes did something good.

westartfromhere

4 months 2 weeks ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on February 3, 2024

That's funny.

I'm a working class kid that started producing atonal music on the back of Crass, or in conjunction with it. It might have been better I stayed in the choir?

Fozzie

4 months 2 weeks ago

Submitted by Fozzie on February 3, 2024

Better to be more dialectical about it and crack on with the atonal choral music in my view!

westartfromhere

4 months 2 weeks ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on February 3, 2024

Sound advice

Fozzie, just had a recollection of a Class War vendor at the entrance to Victoria Park who had placed crowd barriers round his stall.

R Totale

4 months 2 weeks ago

Submitted by R Totale on February 5, 2024

Thought I had a pretty good knowledge of this stuff but this is my first time hearing of the Anti-Social Workers, any idea if they ever recorded anything? Anyone got any memories of them?
Oh, looks like there was some recorded output:
https://antisocialworkersariwa.bandcamp.com/album/punky-reggae-party

westartfromhere

4 months 2 weeks ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on February 5, 2024

Mad Professor (born Guyana, resident of South London) also notable for his critique of the medical nemesis: Schizophrenic Dub, Science and the Witchdoctor, Covid Illusion Dub, Herd Immunity.

westartfromhere

4 months 2 weeks ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on February 6, 2024

That Anti-Social Workers brought me to this, Anti Social Services | SESSIONS 001. A bit of fun!

Class War #4 1983

We have our own idea of time and motion

The notorious "autonomist" issue, including: class and class antagonism, socialism and its leftovers, press cuttings on shoplifting etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on February 22, 2024

According to Ian Bone this issue went down badly with a number of people involved with Class War at the time and a large number were burned. (Bash The Rich: True Life Confessions of an Anarchist in the UK p150-153).

A "time and motion" study is a business efficiency technique aimed at extracting as much labour out of workers as possible.

The cover of this issue is an image from the aftermath of “Opera House Riots” in Zurich in 1980. It was also the cover image of the book "Zürcher Bewegung, Band 32" (Zurich Movement, Vol. 32) by Fredy Meier, published 1981:

Files

ClassWar04.pdf (10.11 MB)

Comments

westartfromhere

3 months 4 weeks ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on February 22, 2024

With the burning of this issue by members of Class War in mind:

You cannot separate class from struggle. Class warfare creates the class.
...
Those with most anger in them are the least oppressed.
...
The working class is antagonistic or it is nothing.

lurdan

3 months 4 weeks ago

Submitted by lurdan on February 23, 2024

Worth making clear what Bone wrote about the issue. ('Leah' was actually Lia).

"AUTONOMANIA

By the end of 1983, some political differences were already emerging in the Class War group which couldn't be wished away in favour of 'action'. Aleks was our last remaining situationist, adherent with his Italian autonomist girlfriend Leah. Unlike his ex-mate Nick Brandt, who could only grimace with horror at the very mention of the vulgar Class War, Aleks saw some positive things in Class War. He was however a wary critiquer of Sean Mason's 'working-classism' - that is Sean's belief that anything working class was intrinsically good. This wasn't just used to dismiss any objections to out-of-order behaviour as 'middle class' but glorified what was in fact some of the worst aspects of working-class culture.

Aleks and Leah volunteered to produce Class War No. 4. At this time, anyone who was associated with the group could just go off and write the next issue. There was no discussion of articles at meetings or desire for editorial control by the group as a whole. Me, Sean and Stella had effectively produced No. 3 and were quite happy to have a rest and let Aleks and Leah produce the next one.

Class War No. 4 is totally unlike any other issue of the paper. Aleks and Leah produced a paper which contained a sustained and cogent intellectual attack on the Mason position but which had none of the populism or propaganda values of the earlier issues. It was more of an internal discussion document than a newspaper and proved extremely hard to sell with its perplexing 'We have our own idea of time and motion' cover. You pays your money and you makes your choice - it was either one of the best Class Wars ever, or one of the worst.

I didn't really understand its content at the time and just thought Aleks had no fucking idea of how to produce a populist paper. Looking back now, the article had a lot going for it and should have led to a wider and more careful discussion leading to a more rigorous analysis of our future actions. Anyway, here's what Aleks and Leah wrote:

You cannot separate class from struggle. Class warfare creates the class. Single-issue campaigns only produce single-issue groups. Without struggle, 'class' just means your background. And the world's full of people of working-class origin who survive by arse-licking conformity, working for the nation. Some admire the rich, some vote Tory. Until they do something to combat the system, they'll continue to promote individual interests over class interests. Coming from a working-class background isn't enough: many cops come from there as well.

Britain has got the oldest working class in the world. The pride of this class in its distinctive character, its culture, language and traditions has a useless as well as a positive side.

Positive: self assertion and confidence, and a healthy suspicion of middle-class trendies and political parties who claim to speak on our behalf.

Useless: inverted snobbery which boasts such miserable compensations for impotent poverty like machismo, tepid beer, football, ignorance, dignity of labour... in political terms, this snobbery was exploited by Labourism. Labour politicos and Trade Union bureaucrats are class traitors.

It's not enough just to defend the class as it is today, class liberation has got to be the goal of struggle. So let's hear less about how the class is sexist, racist, submissive, and so ignorant it can only understand The Sun, and more about how the class transforms itself, how individual and social change actually happens. It's not simply the system that brainwashes the passive masses, rather it's the active antagonists (which include most of the people some of the time and some of the people most of the time) who by their actions force the system to change. Capitalism would never have altered since the 19th century if everyone had merely co-operated. But the class doesn't co-operate - it refuses to work on the bosses' terms, it refuses to obey the laws of property.

Self organisation and class transformation also means getting away from habitual and pathetic aspirations, like being satisfied with an extra pound in your pocket or trading your birthright for a bag of chips. The wealth we produce is immense, the desires we could make real are legion. At least we can aspire to take ALL the good things in life from the rich. The working class is antagonistic or it is nothing.

The whole paper was a brave exposition of Marx's dictum that a class is only a class when 'it's a class for itself', that is class conscious. For a paper called Class War, it was important to be clear on this but the composition of London Class War at the time was not given to careful discussion. Sean Mason was fuming. He saw it as a personal attack. Leah was told to: 'Fuck off back to Italy' and the Masonists burned a large number of issue No. 4 in the back garden in Kingsbury while they danced cider-bottle naked around the burning pyre with black flags. Sales in our usual London outlets were poor and our previous buyers perplexed to say the least. The unrelenting negative feedback and abuse from Sean Mason led to Aleks and Leah quitting the Class War group and 'working classism' was left unchallenged. 'We're all racist and sexist but so what?' Sean had written once. 'But what the fuck - we're working class'."

westartfromhere

3 months 4 weeks ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on February 23, 2024

Brilliant. Thanks for posting this on 'working-classism', which goes hand in hand with the 'workerism' of the British 'International Socialists'.

Nick Brandt, who could only grimace with horror at the very mention of the vulgar Class War

Sam I am, hee-hee

'Race' and class are indivisible so we should quote this in full to balance the truth contained within this issue and the off-kilter:

The Left are an enemy. And they always get it wrong. Black youth are not more oppressed than whites. Those with most anger in them are the least oppressed.

Not quite sure what was perplexing about the cover. Doesn't every worker know what the purpose of Time and Motion studies are? Has the bonehead ever had a job?

Ian—and anarchists and Marxists in general—overplay, or misunderstand, class consciousness. The class for itself acts in its own interests, not in the interests of capital. It is about actions, not thoughts.

Class War #5 1984

Huntsman: You fucking scumbag we're gonna get you

Published February 1984. Including: Class War spring offensive, Stop The City, Class War Macho?, animal liberation, Class War vs Freedom, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on February 1, 2024

Unnumbered, but named as issue 5 on pages 156 and 160 of Ian Bone's "Bash The Rich".

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

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Class War #6 1984

MacGregor is KO'ed

Published May 1984. Including: Stop The City, miners strike, women in mining communities, forthcoming actions.

Submitted by Fozzie on February 1, 2024

Unnumbered, but the Stop The City write up is referred to as being in issue 6 on page 158 of Ian Bone's "Bash The Rich".

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

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Class War #7 1984

The Rich Get Richer... The Poor Get Poorer;

Including: Sunday People vs Class War, squatting, police vs miners strike, Class War collective, animal liberation, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on February 2, 2024

Unnumbered and undated. Probably published June 1984, so number 7. (Sunday People smear story was May 27th 1984 and is referred to as "last week". First use of Albany Street contact address - and plug for bookshop. Albany Street "newly opened" - Freedom July 1984.)

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive.

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Class War #9 1984

One from the girls: we won't rest till the guts of the last social worker has been used to strangle the last probation officer

An issue by Class War women, including: royal family, sex work, sexism and racism, working class women in feminist groups, social services, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on February 2, 2024

Cover star is "Crazy Chrissy" from the comic strip "D.R & Quinch", illustrated by Alan Davis and written by Alan Moore.

Unnumbered and undated, but probably issue 9 from July or August 1984. (Uses Albany Street contact address which was only active in 1984. Notice of anarchist conference 18-19th August, which was a weekend that year.)

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

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Class War #10 1984

Class War "Victory To The Hit Squads" cover

Including: miners strike and violence, "Open up the second front", work, Fuck the GLC, etc.

Submitted by R Totale on April 16, 2020

Possibly issue 10? (Before the Royal Parasite issue as the Albany Street contact address is used).

Published circa September 1984: B registration number plates just being issued referred to (August 1984). Hemsworth riot press clipping (July 1984). Albany Street address was evicted mid September 1984 (see Black Flag story).

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive.

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Class War #11 1984

Class War issue 11? 1984
Class War issue 11? 1984

An ununumbered issue of the Class War paper featuring: royal birth, miners strike - open up the second front (strategy article), press clippings, 1 in 12 Club Bradford, Camden sex shops, first "Hospitalised Copper" feature.

Submitted by Fozzie on December 24, 2022

Possibly the 11th issue? Published late 1984 (mentions 4th September in one article, so after that).

Scans via https://stillunusual.tumblr.com/post/56174121850/class-war

Comments

Class War #12 1984

Photos of Kinnock and Thatcher surrounded by a noose. Headline "the miners have the right idea"

An issue of Class War from late 1984 including: monetarism, women at work, racism, 4th Stop The City, pornography, hospitalised copper #2, Neil Kinnock and the miners.

Submitted by Fozzie on March 25, 2023

Kinnock "noose incident" was November 1984. New contact address c/o Freedom Press.

PDF with thanks to Splits and Fusions archive.

Files

Class-War-12.pdf (7.75 MB)

Comments

Kinnochio speaks and his nose starts to grow

13 November 1984 a symbolic noose was dangled in front of TUC general secretary Norman Willis

Class War on Labour leader Neil Kinnock and his hostile reception from striking miners in 1984.

Submitted by Fozzie on March 28, 2023

Every time Neil Kinnock's name was mentioned at the miners rally at Aberaven it was greeted with a chorus of boos and hisses. "Ramsey McKinnock"1 posters were prominent as were cries of "scab" and "Judas" whenever the Labour leader was referred to. When Norman Willis chimed in with his pathetic TUC compromises, he was greeted with shouts of "off, off, off" and the famous noose2 was dangled in front of him (though not close enough in our opinion). At long last there are signs that a large number of miners are thoroughly sickened with the behaviour of the TUC and Labour Party scabs -- and may be able to make the first real break of a significant section of the British working class from its 'own' supposed party.

It has been sickening in the past to watch striking miners at rallys applaud Labour Party speakers who only the day before have appeared on T.V. condemning the same men for 'violence'. Now that they are beginning to get their come-uppance, it is of vital importance to keep this process going. Judas Kinnock and the rest of his scumbag Labour cronies (Kauffman-uugh: -don't he make you want to throw-up) must be hounded and shouted down wherever they try to speak. Kinnock says that violence is alien to the British working class movement- the fucking ignorant tosser, what about the Luddites, the Chartists the Captain swing riots, Tonypandy, etc. It's alien to him because it might fuck up his chances of becoming the next Prime Minister, who would act like all the other Labour P.M.'s and attack the working class in the interests of the bosses.

The only difference with Kinnock is that he's moved so far to the right before even getting into power! The rest, Wilson, Foot, etc., usually have the decency to wait till the doors of No. 10 close behind them. At Stoke-on-Trent Kinnock tried to prove what a fearless, gusty, valleys boy fighter he was- by addressing an audience of hand-picked middle-class Labour Party members who were guaranteed to cheer his defence of middle class horror against working class nastiness and violence. Of 1700 tickets distributed at the rally 1500 went to L.P. members and only 200 to NUM members- yet this was passed off as though Kinnock was bravely addressing an audience of hostile miners. Many miners walked out in disgust rather than listen to more of his scab apologetics, others loudly snored through it, and others screamed scab and Judas at him backed up by a hard core of 30 anarchists from Stoke, Sheffield, Bradford, and London who managed to 'obtain' some tickets outside (i.e. grabbed them out of some L.P. jerk’s hand) Biggest applause of the night came when the chairman asked If people wanted to leave owing to a bomb scare - "Not if it's under Kinnocks seat" shouted someone!

So, now is our chance to keep sticking the boot in the Labour Party. But what alternative do we offer people like us? Unlike the leftie groups with their party programmes and “correct" analysis we don't see ourselves as separate from the rest of the working class, as its leadership as the leftie groups see themselves. The working class is quite capable of getting rid of the bosses, and the miners of running their strike without the benefit of advice from the would be little-Lenin's. The mass picketing, the communal kitchens, the women’s support groups, the Hit-Squads is our alternative to the Labour Party and the lefties- a working class struggle in the hands of the working class.

We have argued in the last two issues of Class War that the best support we can give to the miners is to open up a second front by rioting in the inner cities. This is still the case. There is no prospect of any other organised section of the working class taking industrial action in solidarity with the miners- so the sooner we get out on to the streets with our bricks and bottles the sooner they'll have to withdraw police from the mining areas.

In the pit villages in Yorkshire it’s not just miners who are attacking scabs, erecting barricades, attacking police stations. Large numbers of unemployed youths and kids as young as 10 are joining in. This is the unity that needed to win. On many nights the rioting spreads to the right around South Yorkshire with people rampaging from one spot to the next. It is getting to nearer to the outskirts of large towns like Sheffield and Pontefract- once it reaches to centres the police will be fucked. The sooner we can help this to happen and then to spread riot style to the other major cities the sooner both us, and the miners, will win. In his report as commissioner of the Met. police, Kenneth Newman stated that keeping public order was the No. 1 priority of the Met. Police. He listed 52 potential riot situations which have been nipped in in the bud in London alone this year. Every area of London had its own I.R.U. permanently patrolling in vans to deal quickly with such situations. The authorities know that they'd be well fucked if inner-city rioting breaks out at the same time as the miners strike. We know that too- so let’s see the old year go out with a bang.

  • 1A reference to former Labour leader Ramsay MacDonald, who refused to support the 1926 General Strike.
  • 2On 13 November 1984, a hangman's noose was slowly lowered from the rafters of a meeting hall until it rested close to the head of TUC general secretary Norman Willis. Willis was in the process of denouncing miners for picket line violence.

Comments

Class War #13 1985

A meat cleaver descends on Margaret Thatcher's blood head.

Including: CND = Wankers, miners in court, sex and anarchism, porn, crime, Edinburgh stop the city report, Bash The Rich march in Kensington announched, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on February 5, 2024

Unnumbered and undated but almost certainly issue 13 from circa March 1985. (Hospitalised coppers 3. Press cutting 22nd Feb 1985. “Exactly 100 years ago on April 28th 1885”. Notice of Anarchist Conference March 23rd-24th. Advert for Ladbroke Grove Bash The Rich May 11th.)

With thanks to Sparrows Nest Archive Nottingham for the PDF.

Comments

Class War #14 1985

Bash The Rich - a huge boot stamps on a Rolls Royce

Including: classroom warfare, Sheiffield Asian Youth Movement on racist violence, against alternative lifestyles, ecology, Bash The Rich Kensington march report, DHSS snoopers, against celebrity pop stars, end of the miners strike, (fake) attack on yuppies in Leeds photos, anarchism and terrorism, policing football, Bradford stadium fire, Henley Bash The Rich announced, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on February 5, 2024

Undated and unnumbered, but almost certainly #14 published circa June 1985. (Review of Ladbroke Grove Bash The Rich March in May. Bradford fire was May 1985. Notice for Henley July 6th 1985. Notice for Class War rally in July.)

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive.

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Class War #15 1985

Black and white illustration of a military general, judge and businessmen being hung from a tree branch by ropes

Issue of Class War on: gentrification in the East End of London, Live Aid, social security reforms, two pages on Bash The Rich at Henley Regatta, women and capitalism, rate capping, setting up a local Class War group, back page advert for Bash The Rich march to Hampstead on September 21st 1985.

Submitted by Fozzie on June 10, 2023

Probably would be issue #15, dated approximately August/September 1985.

Files

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Steven.

1 year ago

Submitted by Steven. on June 10, 2023

Is the question mark here because you think this is probably issue 15?

Fozzie

1 year ago

Submitted by Fozzie on June 10, 2023

Yes exactly - the early issues are unnumbered so a bit of guess work is involved. But there are clues in dates of articles and other things like the various logos/mastheads.

There are a few like that in the CW archive and my best guess at the order is in the gallery.

Steven.

1 year ago

Submitted by Steven. on June 11, 2023

Okay great, cheers. I have slightly edited the description info to make this clear !

Class War #16 Oct 1985

Class War on: working class fight back against Liverpool heroin dealers, Handsworth riot, Why I Hate The Rich, Guardian smears Class War, report on disastrous Bash The Rich march on Hampstead, Labour Party, hunting, Class War circulation up to 15,000, Some Wimmin Use The Sisterhood Like The Masons Use Brotherhood, Fuck SPUC (anti-abortionists), etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on March 13, 2021

Scan courtesy of Splits and Fusions archive.

Comments

westartfromhere

4 months 1 week ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on February 9, 2024

posh twats we ain’t to be messed with. Innit.

~ Jane
London CW

Is this irony or farce?

Fozzie

4 months 1 week ago

Submitted by Fozzie on February 9, 2024

Perhaps CW repeats itself - first time as irony. Second time as farce?

Submitted by westartfromhere on February 9, 2024

Fozzie wrote: Perhaps CW repeats itself - first time as irony. Second time as farce?

That's good. I was going to ask you how to do a hyperlink, as I have learnt it is called, but I asked the Mrs and she showed me.

That story is good though.

I've read it now. On first glance I thought it was satire. I'm now told by the Mrs that Ian suffers from Parkinsons. Wish I was Jesus and could wave a magic wand to help.

It is a good story in the face of so much bad "news".

westartfromhere

4 months 1 week ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on February 10, 2024

Class War (GB) caricature the working class more than authentically express our true culture. S'pose we can't all have the literary means to truly describe what we see and are. Who says "innit" anymore?

Fighting Back in "Smack City"

A 1986 article from Class War describing mass resistance to heroin dealers and the police in Liverpool.

Submitted by R Totale on March 18, 2021

Fighting Back in "Smack City"

Liverpool has recently been dubbed by the media as "smack city" due to the fact that Merseyside has become the most heroin-saturated area in Britain and where anyone can buy smack anywhere (in pubs, in the street, etc...) for about a fiver. News of armed police raids on the homes of suspected pushers is becoming more and more common in the local papers, as is the news of heroin-related deaths, Tory Bastards shouting for the reintroduction of everything from national service to capital punishment and Labour Party Jerks calling for the return of full employment, etc., in vain attempts to stop the growing tide of heroin abuse.

Heroin availability in Liverpool is, and is becoming more so, a life-and-death situation for many predominantly young and unemployed people who, instead of fighting back against those who have swept them aside as "surplus", are opting for oblivion as an easy way out from the all too obvious problems of being working class in Britain today. In one area in particular, Croxteth, the use of heroin is becoming common, everyone knows somebody who's doing smack or doing time for smack.

The police have not made any significant attempt on, or had any effect on, the smack dealing - we wonder why!! Ignorance, due to community distrust, and as speculation goes, links between top pigs and top dealers? Sadly, most of the community, despite the police's inaction and attitude, are still prepared to leave the ever-worsening problem in their hands.

So much for the bad news!

Vigilantes force smack dealers out

Out of the most saddening items of news from early August was the death of 14 year old Jason Fitzsimmons from a heroin overdose. He lived in Croxteth, an area of Liverpool with a well-known heroin problem. Croxteth is now often in the news as the smack trade increases, however due to police activity many dealers are getting scared and are moving out. But in one area, they are no longer tolerated and may well have a lot more to fear.

On the night of Friday 10th August, a gang of 150 youths besieged two houses in Smithdown Road, Toxteth. The occupants were trapped, missiles were thrown, the gangs broke in and the houses were trashed. Both were the homes of known heroin dealers. Later that weekend, the gang, now 250 strong and calling itself "the Anti-Smack Squad" trashed two more houses; the pushers were attacked and one hospitalised. In each case, local residents refused to give evidence against the attackers.

The vigilantes received much support from local residents and Liverpool's black community as a whole. A spokesman for the squad, speaking through the Liverpool Black Organization, asked for all information on smack dealers to be passed on to the L.B.O. who will ask pushers to stop. "If they ignore the warning then we will move in and drive them out. They will know they are at risk. We don't want to wait till one of our kids is dead before doing something. The heroin problem is not rife in Toxteth but these people are moving from Croxteth. We want them out."

Merseyside's Assistant Chief Constable, John Burrows, said "Taking the law into their own hands can only lead to public disorder and thereby deflect the police from the task of arresting those responsible." Fuck off John! We know what you really mean by your "public order" and your "police... tasks"  - and we want nothing to do with it!

Local press coverage was poor, the Daily Post chose instead to concentrate on how the Drugs Squad is to be enlarged, how successful the customs officers have been, and the latest idea to combat heroin, a string of parent committees to work with the police and collect information.The community isn't likely to cooperate with a force which spends half its time intimidating them. The information has always been there - the police's will to act never will be. At one level or another, they're part of the system in which smack dealing thrives.

The gutter press landed themselves in the shit recently when digging for dirt about heroin in Toxteth. They asked a number of local youths where heroin was sold and the youths told them that the main local dealer was a shady geezer called Panama. The Fleet Street sheep went ahead and printed the full "EXCLUSIVE SHOCK HORROR STORY" only to discover that Panama is actually one of the most well-respected elderly members of the community who neither drinks or smokes.

The heroin problem increases, the number of teen addicts increases, and the number of deaths will increase. But here in Toxteth, smack dealers have been physically forced out, and hopefully these actions will scare more away. The Anti-Smack Squad demonstrates how a community can very easily help itself, without interference by the pigs or authorities. Smack dealers will no longer be tolerated in Toxteth.

VICTORY TO THE ANTI-SMACK SQUADS!!!!
"THIS IS TOXTETH, NOT CROXTETH. STRICTLY GANJA... NO H." (local graffiti.)

Liverpool has recently been the scene of an ever-increasing number of incidents where local people have "taken the law into their own hands", gone on the offensive and increased the fight-back against both the pigs and the so-called "socialist" Militant-controlled council bureaucrats. By far the largest, most volatile and potentially riotous situations was the siege of of Admiral Street pig station in Toxteth, (the scene of the largest Liverpool riots in '81) on the night of Friday, August 30th, when hundreds of local kids, some armed with iron bars, bricks and bottles, laid siege to the local pig station for over four hours, building barricades, smashing pig station windows, pig cars and pigs' private cars (who, apparently, will receive no compensation 'cos they were parked "at owner's risk"), at the back of the station.

When the mob entered the station, forcing the pigs to lock themselves in their cells and offices for protection, (unfortunately, only one pig was injured), a large amount of wine, beer and spirits which were destined for the bar at the top floor of the station, was stolen, as was the book which contained all the names, addresses and 'phone numbers of the pigs who were based at the station (no doubt to be used at a later date!) While a number of kids roamed around the station, playing reggae music and breakdancing, with even more waiting around or doing the same outside, a group of "community leaders" with the mother and the solicitor of Stephen Nicholls, the arrested man, negotiated with the pigs to release the man on bail, which, having got the go-ahead from the Merseyside Chief Constable, Ken Oxford, they did, thus avoiding, in the words of Stephen Nicholls' solicitor, "a potential riot situation."

However, in a press statement, police chiefs said that "The release of Stephen Nicholls was not giving in to mob violence." According to some reports which have been verified by a source close to the police, Instant Response Unit reinforcements with riot gear were prevented from getting to the scene by a caravan which was dragged to the entrance of the station, overturned and then set on fire.

Other encouraging news is that, while all this was going on and many pigs were otherwise engaged, a supermarket in Park Road, nearby, had its windows smashed and was extensively looted.Some not so encouraging news, however, was the fact that the police and establishment arse-lickers, the so-called "community leaders" and a non-community and unsympathetic solicitor were allowed to muscle in on the situation and negotiate for the local kids and community (both community leaders and the solicitor praised the pigs, and were praised themselves by the pigs for "cooling down and defusing a potentially riotous situation".) Most of this information was obtained by talking to local people themselves and from a reliable source who is close to the pigs who were involved and who told us a great deal, (not knowing that we were anarchists and that we were going to publish his statements). Most local and national radio and newspaper reports, as usual, either played down the situation or just ignored (or were not told about) certain facts and events, e.g. the looting of the supermarket, the theft of the station book and drinks, the burning of the caravan, etc...

Let's hope that people can learn from both of these actions and gain confidence from them so that, eventually, working class communities can defend themselves against any attack, be it smack dealers, pigs, fascists, or anyone.

Comments

Class War #17 1986

(Rupert) Murdoch - you are scum

Including: Silent Night strike, South Africa, Militant and Liverpool, what's wrong with Anti-Fascist Action?, What do we do when the cops fuck off?, Wapping, reply to "Smack City" article in previous issue, Tottenham riots, riots roundup, new years honours list, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on February 6, 2024

Numbered 17 on back page. Published circa February/March 1986.

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Files

Comments

Class War #18 1986

Including; Class War Federation launched, Wapping, May Day, class, riots in Northern Ireland, wreck a roller day, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on August 31, 2019

An issue of Class War from circa March/April 1986.

Files

CW20-1986.pdf (13.8 MB)

Comments

Class War #19 1986

South Africa - re-tyre the ruling class

Including: South Africa, Toxteth riot, Sunday Mirror vs Class War, Wapping, Fuck of Reagan, Gadaffi, Labour party, Chernobyl, riot round up, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on February 6, 2024

Numbered #19 on the back page.

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

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Comments

Class War #20 1986

An unnumbered issue of Class War from circa August 1986, with articles on gentrification and corrupt councils in the inner cities, South Africa, slag off of recent Class War Federation national conference (!), sugar, shoplifting, the war in Ireland, Nicky Crane, tactics, Wapping printworkers dispute, hosptialised copper, sports.

Submitted by Fozzie on March 27, 2020

Files

cw-spot.pdf (24.55 MB)

Comments

R Totale

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by R Totale on March 27, 2020

The "Who Owns Leeds?" pamphlet sounds interesting, in a David Peace sort of way.

Fozzie

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Fozzie on March 27, 2020

Yeah I think there were a few investigative journalistic things around then - I think you even had anarcho types / squatters exposing Freemasons and stuff - can't remember if that was Leeds or not.

Fozzie

4 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Fozzie on March 27, 2020

Ah yes, probably that!

Class War #21 1986

Class War issue 21 cover shows four men confronting a policeman with the slogan "there ain't nothing like a good game of piggy in the middle!"

An issue of Class War from late 1986 including: 3 page article on riots in St Pauls (Bristol), Broadwater Farm aftermath, riots in Plymouth, Notting Hill police station attacked, housing, anti- DHSS staff, Cardiff, Wapping, anti-gentrification antics in Wales and Hackney.

Submitted by Fozzie on April 25, 2022

Files

Class-War-21.pdf (6.11 MB)

Comments

Class War #22 1987

Class War issue 22 cover showing a graveyard with the slogan "We have found new homes for the rich"

An issue of Class War from early 1987 including: new years' riot round up, A bad case of the Trots (SWP etc), Labour Party, a quite shit anti-teacher article, work/dole, UK prison uprisings.

Submitted by Fozzie on April 23, 2022

Files

Comments

Class War #23 1987

An unnumbered issue of Class War from circa June/July 1987 with articles on Conservative Party MP Norman Tebbit, King Edward's tiny penis, Eastenders actor Anita Dobson, yuppies, riots, betting, class prejudice in the judiciary, 1987 General Election and the moral panic about rap group the Beastie Boys.

Submitted by Fozzie on March 27, 2020

Files

cw-balls.pdf (19.94 MB)

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Class War #24 1987

Is this the real Queen?

Including: Queen's cousin Katherine Bowes-Lyon, Tory corruption, brothel madam Cynthia Payne, homophobia in The Sun, AIDs hysteria, strikes and action round up, the rich are ruining football, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on February 7, 2024

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Files

ClassWar-24.pdf (7.84 MB)

Comments

Class War #25 1987

Cut out "Thatcher" horror mask

Including: working class community, royal & celebrity scandal, sexism and sexual assault, racism, Orange Order, Frickley miners fight back, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on February 7, 2024

The last issue to use the original "dripping letters" masthead with the circled "A" until its revival with the May 2017 edition.

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Files

ClassWar-25.pdf (9.72 MB)

Comments

Class War #26 1988

An issue of Class War from early 1988. Contents include: mugging, Kings Cross fire, stock market crash, round up of attacks on cops in the UK, protests against Labour Council cuts, schooling, criminalisation of black kids in London, Data Protection Act and surveillance, football.

PDF courtesy of Splits and Fusions archive.

Submitted by Fozzie on December 9, 2021

Files

Comments

Class War #27 1988

"Just what the doctor ordered" a cartoon nurse hits a cartoon Thatcher in the mouth.

Including: UK news, unemployment benefit cuts, yuppies/gentrification, health and NHS strikes, UK strikes round up, football, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on February 8, 2024

Undated and unnumbered but published circa March 1988.

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Files

ClassWar27.pdf (9.11 MB)

Comments

Class War #28 1988

Class War 28 cover
Class War 28 cover

An issue of Class War from the late 1980s.

Submitted by Fozzie on November 10, 2018

Files

CW28.pdf (8.43 MB)

Comments

Class War #29 1988

Class War 29 cover
Class War 29 cover

An issue of Class War from 1988.

Submitted by Fozzie on November 10, 2018

Files

cw29.pdf (9.19 MB)

Comments

Class War #30 1988

CW 38 cover
CW 38 cover

An issue of Class War from 1988.

Submitted by Fozzie on November 10, 2018

Files

cw30.pdf (8.48 MB)

Comments

Class War #31 1988

An issue of Class War from late 1988 including: Acid House panic, government anti-crime campaign, Guardian Angels (uniformed anti-crime group), Grimethorpe community crime patrols, rap group Public Enemy, riot at Michael Jackson gig (!), cop fashion, letters, sport.

Submitted by Fozzie on April 10, 2021

Comments

Class War #32 1989

Wor a load of balls!

Including: ten years of Thatcher - ten years of class war, poll tax, new years honours list, yuppies/gentrification, resistance to plans for football fan ID cards, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on February 9, 2024

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Files

ClassWar32.pdf (8.67 MB)

Comments

Class War #33 1989

CW 33 cover
CW 33 cover

An issue of Class War from the late 1980s

Submitted by Fozzie on November 10, 2018

Files

cw33.pdf (6.01 MB)

Comments

Class War #34 1989

This is the real community charge!

Including: May Day in Berlin, poll tax, anti yuppie actions, prison news, riot news, strikes round up, community shoplifting, Hillsborough and The Sun, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on February 12, 2024

PDF courtesty of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Files

ClassWar34.pdf (12.85 MB)

Comments

westartfromhere

4 months 1 week ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on February 12, 2024

Extra classic copy. Important and memorable issue. 1989 crucial.

westartfromhere

4 months 1 week ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on February 12, 2024

2. YOUR BOSS SAYS IF YOU
STRIKE THE WORK WILL GO TO HIS
FRENCH FACTORY. DO YOU.... a. Go
back to work for the good of the national
economy, b. Tell him he's lying, c. Get
out your French-English dictionary, look
up the word strike, and get on the
phone.

Reminds me of the Union meetings, being consistently reminded of the higher rate of productivity in sister factories elsewhere. It was not lower productivity that caused production to move to Poland. It was when one of our number got chewed up by a press and spat out the other side, dead.

Class War #35 1989

That's deal with that joker (Batman attacking Thatcher)

Including: poll tax, environment, yuppies, Glasgow City of Culture vs poll tax, local government strike, Batman and Do The Right Thing films, football, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on February 13, 2024

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Files

ClassWar35.pdf (12.16 MB)

Comments

Class War #36 1989

(Rioter) I bet he drinks Carling Black Label

Including: Privatisation of water, riot round up, World War 2, resistance to yuppies, racism, all seater football stadiums, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on February 14, 2024

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

The cover is a reference to a long-running series of TV adverts for a popular lager. The "I bet he drinks" ads showed someone doing something cool, clever or difficult, and having a bystander say "I bet he drinks Carling Black Label".

Files

ClassWar36.pdf (23.83 MB)

Comments

Class War #37 1990

Back to the future - dole queue

Including: huge poll tax non-payment, ambulance workers strike, yuppies, anti-social behaviour and cops in Salford, fall of the Berlin wall, West Midlands corrupt cops, letters, sport, Joe Strummer, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on February 15, 2024

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Files

ClassWar37.pdf (15.23 MB)

Comments

Class War #38 1990

Run Down Kenneth Clarke - not the health service

Including: poll tax launched in England, ambulance strike, Salford vs the cops, Judge Pickles, Tory Eric Pickles, upheaval in Eastern Europe, postal workers dispute, letters, sport, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on February 16, 2024

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Files

ClassWar38.pdf (16.38 MB)

Comments

Class War special Poll Tax issue 1990

CW poll tax special issue

Including: opposing poll tax bailiffs, round up of riots outside town halls meetings to set poll tax rate, Labour Party opposes non-payment, huge non-payment in Scotland, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on February 19, 2024

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Comments

Class War #39 1990

you can count on 2 fingers how poll tax to pay!

Including: poll tax riots special, Scotland resists the poll tax, Nelson Mandela freed, Derek Hatton & Militant in Liverpool, bash the bailiffs, Labour fails to support non-payment of the poll tax, sport, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on February 20, 2024

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Files

ClassWar39.pdf (15.81 MB)

Comments

westartfromhere

4 months ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on February 20, 2024

Two? Never paid any! Don't tell the taxman!

Class War #40 1990

[Thatcher] Beware! Mad Cow

Including: poll tax non-payment after the riot, UK news, 10 things you should know about the Labour Party, prisons, Strangeways riot, football, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on February 21, 2024

PDF courtesy of Sparrows Nest Archive, Nottingham.

Files

ClassWar40.pdf (14.4 MB)

Comments

Class War #41 1990

Class War #41 from 1990.

Including: death of Tory MP Ian Gow, direct action against bailiffs, Class War member Andy Murphy vs Hackney Council, Leeds rave arrests, sexist comedians, The Big Green Con, Dave Douglass on Arthur Scargill, Salford residents tackle anti-social elements, letters, world cup rip-off.

Submitted by Fozzie on October 24, 2021

Files

ClassWar41.pdf (10.26 MB)

Comments

Class War #42 1990

(Jack Nicholson coming through a wall in The Shining) "Now wher's that bailiff gone..."

Including: Guinness Trial, poll tax bailiff busters, Gulf War, Sellafield disaster, TUC, regional groups round up, football, etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on February 23, 2024