Organise 68 and what we did in 2006

62 posts / 0 new
Last post
little_brother's picture
little_brother
Offline
Joined: 30-01-06
May 30 2007 14:57
Organise 68 and what we did in 2006

Organise! magazine no.68 - Spring 2007
is going to be out in print in early June, a bit later than usual, but you'll find a few of the articles online already, including WHAT WE DID WITH 2006 - a round-up of the AF's many activities last year.

An archive of Organise! back issues can be found online too.

Tacks's picture
Tacks
Offline
Joined: 8-11-05
May 31 2007 15:24
Quote:
What we did with 2006

We attempt to recall the numerous activities of AF members over the previous year ...

For the libertarian movement 2006 started in late 2005, in Hackney, East London. When the notoriously corrupt council decided to sell its shops on Broadway market to millionaire property shark Roger Wratten, they didn’t bother to check with the current tenants first. Despite having the right to buy his own café off the council, Tony Platia’s application was (illegally) rejected in favour of the big money, despite the fact he was even offering more money. In July he was evicted from the café he had run for 30 years. At this point the local community took matters into their own hands, and occupied the space – were evicted on the 21st of December – then reoccupied it for a further 2 months! AFers are proud to have helped slept over on eviction watch, help clean and rebuild and generally support the campaign: http://34broadwaymarket.omweb.org

At this point France exploded. Mass demonstrations against a proposed youth employment contract (the CPE) turned into school and university strikes, until almost all universities in France were out. Direct action was taken daily – motorways and railways were blocked – and riots became the norm. After a general strike on the 28th March – the same day a million workers in the UK struck to defend their pensions - the French government caved in a retracted the law. AFers went over for the 28th to soak up some gallic flavour and generally drool over French militancy: http://libcom.org/blog/cpe-france

Throughout the year, AF members were involved in many other international activities, especially as the current Secretariat of the International of Anarchist Federations which brings together like-minded organisations across national borders. Around the IAF Day of Action on March 18th, 600 AF/IAF posters against the War abroad and at home mysteriously appeared all over London and Manchester, and London AF organised public meetings around the day. AF general conference immediately followed, held in central London, with our industrial policy being a major topic of discussion. After supporting Gate Gourmet airline catering workers at the end of 2005, AFers took action over pensions in March as mentioned earlier, held solidarity pickets outside coffee houses for the sacked Starbucks IWW members in USA, and participated in a picket of JJB Sports. We have supported the development of the IWW union (there’s a lot of dual-membership in both England and Scotland) and the launch of a libertarian education workers network.

For Mayday, some AFers helped organise the Anarchism06 conference at The Square social centre which was a moderate success, and the anarchist block on the TUC march in London drew 300-500 people – a reaffirmation of the anarchist movement’s place in workers struggles.

In mid-June we helped with the Projectile Anarchist Film Festival in Newcastle and also held a talk about Nestor Makhno. Projectile was a really positive event which will hopefully continue for many years. The 2007 one will be held on Friday 18th until Sun 20th May: http://www.projectile.org.uk. On June 25th some of us helped resist the eviction of the previously mentioned Square Centre in London. The ‘Festival of Resistance’ was to be the centre’s final event, the occupants deciding to leave on a high note.

In July London AF group held a joint action with Reading Grassroots Action in support of Russian comrades arrested at the G8 in St Petersburg. The Russo-British Chamber of Commerce was occupied for 3 hours. Everyone was arrested then released without charge – apart from one attempted fit-up for assault.

Rossport Solidarity Camp in the West of Ireland remained a focus of activity, with some UK members joining Irish comrades at the camp itself during the summer, organising UK speaking dates for the campaign throughout the year, and taking part in several anti-Shell solidarity actions: http://struggle.ws/rsc & http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/actions/2006/mayo/

Some AFers went to the Earth First! summer gathering on the Welsh coast. August also saw the first ‘Climate Camp’ action in front of Drax power station as part of a week of environmental activity in Yorkshire. The event drew a huge amount of media attention despite moderate turnout (600 on final day) and seems to have awakened a new appetite for eco-action in the UK. AFers who took part say it was good, and will support next camp this summer as well as regional action groups that have now been set up. On the 25th we produced a special edition and print-run of Resistance handed out at Leeds Festival, where some members were on Workers Beer Company duties.

In September we hosted the Anarchists Against The Wall speaking tour in London and Sheffield. As an anarchist direct action group in Palestine and Israel, AATW are a seriously interesting outfit. The talks went down very well with Sheffield raising £300 in donations. For more info on the group see: http://www.awalls.org. September also saw a joint anarchist block with the Solidarity Federation and other anarchists on the Stop The War march coinciding with the Labour Party conference in Manchester. A joint leaflet was also produced. This hopefully paves the way for more joint work in future – and why not? Other demos we attended in 2006 included an anti-Academy School demo, and outside the Mexican embassy against repression in Oaxaca.

Against their better judgment some AFers went to see if the cops really meant their ban on protests in Parliament Square at the ‘sackparliament’ event on October 9th. They really meant it. 30 people got nicked by 800 cops and one journalist was put in a coma by a police baton charge.

As usual we hosted several meetings at the Anarchist Bookfair in London that took place on October 21th, and participated in those organised by others. Then on November 25th Nottingham Defy-ID hosted the second national Defy-ID gathering on how to fight ID cards and databases, which was well attended. AF members are involved in several of the local groups in this small but active network.

Rounding the year off nicely, London AF held its first club night ‘Just Defy’ on December 15th. Originally intended to be a benefit for the comrade arrested on our G8 action, the police scuppered this plan by not submitting any evidence and getting the assault charge thrown out of court. £100 was donated to Anarchists Against The Wall and the rest was made available to those arrested at Sackparliament.

Our Resistance newssheet has come out like clockwork every month, and 2 editions of Organise! were published – one celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Spanish Revolution and the other celebrating the AF’s own 20 year anniversary, the Hungarian Revolution's 50th and the General Strike's 80th. In spring the second edition of ‘Defending Anonymity’ was published, our free guide to the hows and whys of fighting ID cards and databases, plus the historical pamphlet ‘Resistance to Nazism’ which recounts the activities of libertarian groups in Europe during the 1930s. West Midlands AF and the Anarchist Black Cross jointly produced a new prisoner support guidebook, also listing current anarchist prisoners. Various local newssheets were produced and distributed. The AF website was maintained, which provides all of our publications online for free, and a ‘MySpace’ networking space was set up that now links up over 1000 ‘friends’ across the world, together with an excitingly irregular blog. We contribute to various internet forums, newswires and online libraries especially through libcom.org but also on Anarkismo, A-infos, and Indymedia. Huge numbers of posters and stickers were produced in 2006, especially in Manchester and London. And we did an interview for Freedom newspaper... whilst dodging various requests from the mainstream media (they couldn’t meet our appearance fee).

Like most grassroots activity, everything the AF does is done voluntarily - we have no paid workers, or paper-selling targets, unlike political parties. Funds come from members as annual 'subs' and by members committing effort and time, dipping into their own pockets, and sharing all this with others! Activism isn't everything. But being involved in activity and at the same time working in an anarchist organisation like the AF means we can form the 'politics' of what we do, say, and write from real world practice. Getting stuck into a campaign and being involved in struggles that concern us in our own workplaces and communities informs our understanding of the different issues and the ideas of the other people involved. We get to share our skills and tactics with others and learn new ones, hopefully win those struggles, and maybe even meet some future AF members.

Tacks's picture
Tacks
Offline
Joined: 8-11-05
May 31 2007 15:27

all in all an inactive network of do nothing wankers grin

little_brother's picture
little_brother
Offline
Joined: 30-01-06
Jul 3 2007 21:32

New issue is now out in print - can order one by paypal - and free online (donations welcome!):
http://www.afed.org.uk/org/

Devrim's picture
Devrim
Offline
Joined: 15-07-06
Jul 3 2007 21:39
AF wrote:
For the libertarian movement 2006 started in late 2005

Good to see you are ahead of the times. wink
Devrim

little_brother's picture
little_brother
Offline
Joined: 30-01-06
Jul 4 2007 14:48

Also true to say for issue 68(correct issue cover now shown above) that Summer 2007 started in Spring, as it was supposed to be out for Mayday, but we'll be back on track for the bookfair issue. Enjoy.

Tacks's picture
Tacks
Offline
Joined: 8-11-05
Jul 9 2007 12:22
Devrim wrote:
AF wrote:
For the libertarian movement 2006 started in late 2005

Good to see you are ahead of the times. wink
Devrim

we were the only anarchist organisation to actually have people at the broadway market campaign (though it was less than nothign compared to groups like Hackney Independent and the local support) so it was well worth including.

If you haven't up on the campaign that's worth doing too dev smile

Tacks's picture
Tacks
Offline
Joined: 8-11-05
Jul 9 2007 15:13

um yeah.

Dundee_United
Offline
Joined: 10-04-06
Jul 9 2007 18:00
Quote:
COMMUNITY OF COMPLIANCE: Max Stirner, a German individualist anarchist of the nineteenth century, had as one of his themes, that people in society, or their egos, were prisoners not just of the state but of the custom of society, and were therefore prisoners of themselves as well, and of the restrictions they placed on themselves: “Exertions to ‘form’ all men into moral, rational, pious, human ‘beings’….are wrecked against the indomitable quality of I, against own nature, against egoism.” Max Stirner would have liked the people of Avenham and the minority of Ingol.Those in Avenham were even sometimes faithful to Stirnerite economic principals, that is, theft: ‘What then is my property? Nothing but what is in my power! To what property am I entitled? To every property which I entitle myself.” In fact when you add to this an almost principled contempt for letting the police into their lives you could well describe it as a Stirnerite utopia, making its realisation neither necessary nor desirable.

Starting with Gateway. The association owns most of the housing in Preston that used to belong to the council. Housing associations are capitalist enterprises and it is therefore in their double interest to both keep unruly elements down for the protection of capitalism, and property for that matter, and keep an area desirable, therefore profitable. Avonquest, who took over Avenham estate, tried really hard to make it respectable, with mass evictions, short term tenancies and CCTV. They failed abysmally, the estate recently being the scene of a small, gangster manipulated riot. But Gateway have succeeded, probably due to the co-operation of the residents.

[...]

By far the worst offenders in all this is the Ingol Community Association.Their nuisance value can be summed up in the following ways. They generate fear through their propaganda which causes people to have less sense of community and rely on them for protection. They have powers way beyond the police since they use their relationship to evict anyone who dos not fit their plans for the area, including a local bunch of squatters, who they threatened to move in on and intimidate if Gateway did not evict them. They divide the community, causing mistrust and anger. For instance a feud developed between two of my neighbours when ICA and a local bobby told her that my other neighbour, a man in his fifties or sixties, was responsible for vandalising her car, and forced us all to take sides.

Maybe I've got this wrong, but it sounds to me like the author is complaining about people fighting back to reclaim their area from local scumbags, something which anarchists should rightly support. The idea that an article which bigs up carthieves and gangsters and other anti-social elements is being given a platform by an organised anarchist group is a bit worrying.

The wee group of us here in the North West of Glasgow wrote what we think last year in the community newspaper the Burgh Angel (an early draft of issue 3 carries this below - sorry can't find the final copy), on this issue:-

http://burghangel.files.wordpress.com/2006/11/theburghangel-issue3editingmode.pdf

If I was your AF member I'd be working to evict anti-socials from my neighbourhood and crack down on drug dealing, and drunks hanging around causing problems, and carthieves and so on, like the community association they slag off.

madashell's picture
madashell
Offline
Joined: 19-06-06
Jul 9 2007 20:07

I haven't had a chance to give the article a proper read, but you should bear in mind that articles in O represent the views of individual members only.

jonathan cottam
Offline
Joined: 12-07-07
Jul 12 2007 04:02

What a wanker you are.I wrote the article and your take on it is out of context and libelouse.As far as I can tell so you can plug your own article.

I found out after writing the article about a right wing social scientist theory called "brocken windows theory"This states that state intervention in an area for social control,unruly rather than criminal behaviour,prevents social unrest and widescale rioting.Police and community together(PACT),are probably well aware of this.

So going back to my article,you are against cannabis use,the only drug proven to exist in the area by PACTs own statements and the ICAs publications.You dont like tramps or people with drink problems,and think that working with the police to evict poorer tenants is independant comunity action.And im a dodgy anarchist!

This is aquote about brocken windows theory,by its chief theoretician James Q Wilson.
"In the 60s when urban riots were a major problem,scientists began to explore carefuly the order maintanence function of the police...not to make the streets safer..[community policeing did not reduce crime but increased order and peoples perception of the amount of crime] but to reduce the incidence of mass violence[read rioting].Order maintanence became to a degree coterminus with community relations .But the link between order maintanence and crime prevention...was forgotten...similar to the proccess where by one brocken window leads to another."
My article showed how the ICA,the housing associations and the police,were linked in a web of opressive social control and nannying,this was not comunity resistance against crime by the ICA,but the creation of a voluntary police force with the power to evict,with predjudice against the poorest and therfor most opressed.

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Jul 12 2007 09:39
jonathan cottam wrote:
What a wanker you are.I wrote the article and your take on it is out of context and libelouse.As far as I can tell so you can plug your own article.

Let's all be polite, hey?

jonathan cottam
Offline
Joined: 12-07-07
Jul 13 2007 01:38

Yes sorry,I have no idea if the guy w.....ks or not,or indeed the frequency of his w....king and also dont give a t...ss.As I probably wont use this forum again,I find them too time consuming.But anglo saxon words dont hurt,where as ill concieved and misrepresented criticism can hurt both me and my organisation.I apologise how ever for being uncomradely and lowering the tone,I hope it dosnt detract from the points Im making.

Dundee_United
Offline
Joined: 10-04-06
Jul 13 2007 15:27
Quote:
you should bear in mind that articles in O represent the views of individual members only.

Fair enough. My comments then are directed at Mr Cottam.

Quote:
My article showed how the ICA,the housing associations and the police,were linked in a web of opressive social control and nannying,this was not comunity resistance against crime by the ICA,but the creation of a voluntary police force with the power to evict,with predjudice against the poorest and therfor most opressed.

It didn't show anything of the sort - it asserted this. You presented no evidence to back up your claims. You also brought in a lot of other twaddle, like claiming that there was some political content to narcissistic theft.

Quote:
You dont like tramps or people with drink problems,and think that working with the police to evict poorer tenants is independant comunity action.And im a dodgy anarchist!

In the same article you imply a liberatory nature to working class on working class violence and property theft in working class communities and you make no attempt to empathise with why people might not like their community filled with drunks, drug dealers, carthieves and squatters. You discuss dealing of cannabis which is really quite a different matter to just people smoking cannabis (which in fact is something I enjoy doing). In my community those who deal cannabis are also the exact same scumfucks killing local kids. Glasgow has 15,000 registered heroin addicts. Heroin is systematically dealt out to children by the cunts who deal cannabis, for smoking when "there's no hash." In other words there is a systematic attempt by local dealers in my neighbourhood to get kids hooked on "a bit of brown." That is hardly unique to Glasgow and it goes with the territory of being a dealer - purely in terms of business strategy you get returning customers.

I'd see it as a major step forward if residents in my local neighbourhood were able to force a number of evictions (in fact it's something I'd be right into and pushing for with the number of smack dealing evil bastards, thugs and bigots living where I am). Actually fuck you on this. You've made me really angry. In my building one local family went on a series of arson attacks against their neighbours, causing many to flee, some of it as a result of a feud over drug dealing (I think) and some just because X and Y family had insulted them. They've had other wee ploys too. I spoke to one of the casualties of one of these wee jollies - a woman who had been beaten senseless when said family burst into her house and beat the shit out of her with hammers until they'd damaged her eye and semi-permanently fucked up her hearing knocking her unconscious. That wee family outing (yes one of the kids filmed the event as 'happyslap'), caused this person to flee the neighbourhood but the real fear that the family would target her and her kids meant she did not press charges. What the fuck would you do about situations like that? Or is that kind of nihilistic violence the expression of the urge for freedom?

On the point of incorporation of citizen bodies like residents associations into the state - I agree there is a tension here, you do have a point, but I don't think you can blame people for taking up the opportunity offered to them for their betterment of their neighbourhoods. In the end it will not develop the capacity of the class to act independently, though. However the main reason groups like your example here are prepared to take up this kind of partnership approach is a paradigm problem - it's our job to create the paradigm whereby people do not feel it is necessary to act in such a way to win gains for their communities (like getting rid of anti-social neighbours like drug dealers).

There is always going to be a contradictory nature to getting evictions carried out - it's quite an authoritarian act, and perhaps there are alternatives - eg going round and physically intimidating dealers etc or publicly naming and shaming them so they cannot carry out their activities (as folks did on a part of my estate in fact, which caused a heroin dealer to stop openly dealing in the street) - but that is not always an option.

We live in a capitalist society and have to improve people's lives in the here and now. In an ideal world there wouldn't be a need for any kind of police force, but right now our communities are terrorised by violence, drugs, organised criminal gangs and the problems and casualties of poverty (as an example, other than the one I gave above I know there are hundreds of elderly people who live in my scheme who fear leaving their homes after dark and feel very isolated and scared; I know this because I've been involved with a number of institutions where these people turn up to give the police, who generally do not take policing working class areas seriously, a load of shit and they really are genuinely really scared).

In communities where there is not the social capital to organise to defend ourselves against this kind of thing often the only thing that can be done is to pressurise the cops to take action - without pressure the masters of our society are perfectly happy to let the most fucked up things go on in the total chaos of post-Thatcher communities, without any intervention.

Where there is some social capital, where this is not necessary because people have the capacity to take independent action then we should encourage people to take that indepedent action to deal with the problems of drug dealers, burglars and violent criminals. All of these struggles of course though help to build organisation, and power for community groups - for the organised working class in other words, so it is all to the good (although as I said it can have a reactionary nature, as you are building power for people to use as they see fit, and so that power can be exercised for illegitimate acts, but that is the nature of empowering the class in the here and now. We wouldn't argue against trade unions because they have the latent capacity to enforce racial segregation.)

You make no attempt to critique that article I sent. I'd urge people to take a look at it. It covers much of this stuff. But perhaps you should read your own manifesto? What part of this would rule out communities self-managing their affairs to kick out people that fuck others lives up?

Quote:
In all areas of the community we support the creation of grass roots or-
ganisations, such as autonomous and working class groups to fight sex-
ual oppression. Likewise we support autonomous working class black
groups and involve ourselves in the fight against racism and fascism. In
the workplace we promote the building of a strong autonomous move-
ment outside the control of the unions and management. At the same
time we seek to create revolutionary anarchist groupings in industries in
order to spread the anarchist message. In all cases the fight for freedom
is a fight against capitalism.
The AF tries not to make any issue or struggle a priority over others. For
too long the working class has been divided and ruled. It is of utmost
importance to link up all working class struggles in order to create a
mass social movement against the present system. And this is our me-
dium term goal, the creation of a vast solidarity movement of fighters
against ruling class oppression.
9. A WORKING CLASS CULTURE OF
RESISTANCE
It is important to create the means for our class to respond to attacks.
Nowadays, because struggles are often seen as separate, they are easily
picked off one by one. The creation of a true working class unity means
that an attack on any section of our class will be seen as an attack on us
all. We are not saying that such a movement should only be defensive.
By building confidence in ourselves as a class we are creating the means
Page 17
As We See It 17
to actually go on the attack against the system. And by going on the
attack we mean the creation of a mass self-organised movement and
the creation of workers' councils as a method of working class power
and self-organisation. Added to this will be mass tenants and community
organisations all controlled by those involved and advocating mass rent
strikes, demonstrations, riots and social unrest. Such a movement will
have the power to bring capitalism grinding to a halt.
breakout
Offline
Joined: 25-10-06
Jul 13 2007 18:50

interesting post Dundee_United, best of luck with your efforts. My areas have similar problems.

Mike Harman
Offline
Joined: 7-02-06
Jul 13 2007 19:20
madashell wrote:
I haven't had a chance to give the article a proper read, but you should bear in mind that articles in O represent the views of individual members only.

Then why stop having authors names or pseudonyms on them?

little_brother's picture
little_brother
Offline
Joined: 30-01-06
Jul 13 2007 20:45

Fair question, but in reality the editorial process makes it more than individual, since Organise! editors have a role in decided which articles they'd like to put in any issue, article lists are usually discussed at meetings, plus some articles are discussed more widely in the org. This is much less so for external articles whose authors are named (or use a pen name).

In this article the point is very clearly made about the potential for, and the reality of, some community assocations becoming part of a new kind of police state, whilst at the same time it took the piss out of individualism on these estates by referring to them as examples of "a Stirnerite utopia, making its realisation neither necessary nor desirable". So it wasn't about taking sides. Possibly because humour is fairly rare in Organise! it was misunderstood...

Red Marriott's picture
Red Marriott
Offline
Joined: 7-05-06
Jul 13 2007 21:05
Quote:
In the same article you imply a liberatory nature to working class on working class violence and property theft in working class communities and you make no attempt to empathise with why people might not like their community filled with drunks, drug dealers, carthieves and squatters.

The author doesn't imply that at all - he compares the individualistic hedonism of (what I'll call for convenience) the 'lumpens' with Stirnerite ideology and says;

Quote:
It would be a mistake to to assume that because someone is disorderly and disrespectful they are going to be revolutionary. In fact the selfish hedonism that makes them appear so, really seems to contradict the broad consciousness neccesary to be revolutionary.

Quite different from Dundee's interpretation.
The author continues;

Quote:
But even as such it has better prospects and leaves a better taste than those catholicised by work, trying to force blanket conformity on the estate.

Dundee Utd misses the point that not all that is done by working class people or groups is always in the best interests of class or community. My understanding of that article is that the author recognises that some of the the more 'lumpen elements', in their hedonism - while not without criticism for their sometimes selfish behaviour - may at least have more radical potential than the community association busybodies who want to lockdown the streets into a tight conformity according to their narrow notions of what is socially acceptable.

I've had experience of such busybodies and nosy parkers - who assume they know what's best for all and often suck up to the local state officialdom for the most conservative of reasons. So the picture given in the article is quite familiar. And why, Dundee, are squatters lumped in with "drunks, drug dealers, car thieves"? Sounds as if you're internalising the familiar insular conservatism of much localist community politics - it smacks of trying to go native in deepest prole-land. Nor are all small-time weed sellers trying to get your kids hooked on smack, as Dundee suggests. (I presume then that Dundee gets his supply from an ethically sound source.)

Populism tends to have a narrow definition of who's included and who excluded - (ditto for community identity, often) that's the nature of its appeal. To pander to that for opportunist political gain by demonising those who are not the most conformist is something that should be opposed, not seen as a bandwagon to uncritically jump on just cos it's the views of the most vocal - and often most conservative - people in w/c areas.

Some tenants/residents orgs are much better than others - but just cos it's some politcos' chosen strategy for 'social insertion' or whatever you wanna call it (obviously you'll be careful not be so indiscrete as to talk about it socially in those terms as you attempt to 'insert' yourselves) - surely that doesn't mean you hold your tongue on the conservative repressive tendencies existing in that arena? Housing Associations are playing an increasing social services/social engineering type role - funded to provide care back-up for the 'vulnerable' (often just dumping people in isolation and pocketing the cash), employment/workfare schemes, liaising/sharing info with cops, becoming agents of property speculation/regeneration/gentrification. They get bigger grants and brownie points from their govt. funder the Housing Corp. if they show lip service to 'tenant participation' and dealing with anti-social behaviour. This 'ASB' (to use the landlord lingo) is of course a real problem that blights lives - caused partly by the housing policies of which HA's are a flagship. But HA's (and those locals who uncritically accept their logic) are not really a channel for solving the problems of blighted areas or an ally - they are more a divisive obstacle, as this article illustrates.

Terry
Offline
Joined: 1-02-06
Jul 13 2007 21:08

Dundee_United it is an article about Preston, not Glasgow, and about some associations co-operating with the police in combating activity we all surely wouldn't consider 'anti-social', eg a few kids having a toke, ditch drinking, and the like, it specifically refers to a situation where out of one hundred incidents indentified by the group only ONE allegedly involved hard drug use. I couldn't find Preston on a map so I don't know about this situation, I do know that people have fell victim to 'community vigilantism' in this country for fairly innocuous things (eg punishment beatings for loitering) , and I know that the comrade who authored the piece is, unsuprisingly, familiar with the estates he lives in.

Perhaps you should write a letter to Organise! in regard to the article in question, it doesn't get many these days.

Catch as far as I understand it articles are not signed not because they represent a collective position (Organise! articles don't - it specifically says so, pamphlets do at the time they are published, as far as I understand it?), but to avoid the 'cult of personality' one finds sometimes on the libertarian left, eg I have seen people into social ecology referred to as Bookchinites, Freedom Books has a mural on its premises including at least one living famous person, and from those lofty heights I remember a thread here about seeking out interviews with 'anarcho-celebrities' for Freedom.

Cardinal Tourettes
Offline
Joined: 1-04-06
Jul 13 2007 21:40
Devrim wrote:
AF wrote:
For the libertarian movement 2006 started in late 2005

Good to see you are ahead of the times. wink
Devrim

Shouldnt that be - "for the libertarian movement 2006 started in late 1935"?

madashell wrote:
I haven't had a chance to give the article a proper read, but you should bear in mind that articles in O represent the views of individual members only.

Classic. The rest of us are exhorted to "Organise!" - for the purpose of taking control of the world lets not forget - by a group that cant manage collective responsibility for the content of its annual magazine.
Ah, the enormity of the task.

Dundee_United
Offline
Joined: 10-04-06
Jul 13 2007 21:55

Ok, now we have a serious discussion.

Quote:
Dundee Utd misses the point that not all that is done by working class people or groups is always in the best interests of class or community.

So when I said "working class on working class violence and property theft in working class communities ", and "as I said it can have a reactionary nature, as you are building power for people to use as they see fit," I was denying that? In fact I'm quite sure the group discussed here are a bunch of wee Eichmans - what difference does it make to the discussion or the conclusions drawn though?

Those conclusions are chiefly the ones you highlight - the author thinks that nihilistic individualists hold more revolutionary potential than organised residents groups (which as you point out can be, and often are reactionary bodies - a point which I also made before your post), and that somehow local residents groups are an arm of the state. I can exactly see how this reading chimes in with an analysis of the unions as well (viz. unions are always and everywhere reactionary, an arm of capital and the state). It was this whole direction of travel here is what I was questioning - not that said group of residents are jumped up. I actually find it vaguely offensive that class on class violence, and theft get bigged up as being somehow a reflection on 'how radical a person is' - as opposed to the rather more common, and more accurate, descriptive frame 'how much of a nihilistic nasty bastard they are.' Surely if the phrase radical is to mean anything at all it would be a reflection on those individuals core values or behaviour. To me radical would imply a sense of collectivity, solidarity, mutual self-interst relations etc. that went beyond the increasing nihilism of these times and stood up to right-wing individualist behaviour that is destroying our communities.

As for the stuff about Housing Associations, housing policy, incorporation of residents groups into these systems, what that means in terms of residents associations praxis - I am almost 100% in agreement actually. I don't doubt that what the offal of these relationships will be - it's pretty plain all over.

Quote:
Sounds as if you're internalising the familiar insular conservatism of much localist community politics - it smacks of trying to go native in deepest prole-land.

Cheap shot.

Quote:
I presume then that Dundee gets his supply from an ethically sound source.

Cheap shot. [ By and large I just don't in fact sad ]

Quote:
just cos it's some politcos' chosen strategy for 'social insertion' or whatever you wanna call it (obviously you'll be careful not be so indiscrete as to talk about it socially in those terms as you attempt to 'insert' yourselves)

Nothing to do with the discussion, which was about residents associations and "anti-social behaviour."

madashell's picture
madashell
Offline
Joined: 19-06-06
Jul 13 2007 21:59
Cardinal Tourettes wrote:
Classic. The rest of us are exhorted to "Organise!" - for the purpose of taking control of the world lets not forget - by a group that cant manage collective responsibility for the content of its annual magazine.
Ah, the enormity of the task.

It's not that we can't "manage" to do it, it is, as you say, not exactly difficult, it's that we chose not to.

Feel free to carry being a total fucking dimwit, though.

madashell's picture
madashell
Offline
Joined: 19-06-06
Jul 13 2007 22:01
Dundee_United wrote:
I actually find it vaguely offensive that class on class violence, and theft get bigged up as being somehow a reflection on 'how radical a person is'
Quote:
It would be a mistake to to assume that because someone is disorderly and disrespectful they are going to be revolutionary. In fact the selfish hedonism that makes them appear so, really seems to contradict the broad consciousness neccesary to be revolutionary.

You did read the article before you wrote that, right? confused

I read it as Jon saying that the "disorderly and disrespectful" are less reactionary than the people involved in that specific residents association, not residents associations in general.

Cardinal Tourettes
Offline
Joined: 1-04-06
Jul 13 2007 22:31

Stupid old me. Should've said -

The rest of us are exhorted to "Organise!" - for the purpose of taking control of the world lets not forget - by a group that choses not to take collective responsibility for the content of its annual magazine.

Is that a bit funnier?

Dundee_United
Offline
Joined: 10-04-06
Jul 13 2007 22:46
Quote:
Dundee_United it is an article about Preston

Preston is a working class city in the North of England.

Quote:
a few kids having a toke, ditch drinking, and the like

Actually *for a lot of people* that is a problem. I don't think that saying "Oh no it isn't" is a particularly effective way of dealing with the situation. Our role as communists should be to encourage people to form links and see things in a wider context. Kids are drinking on the streets cos they are bored. Kids want to experiment with drugs and alcohol... OK right let's fight for youth centres - which have been closed down all over the country as a result of neoliberal attacks on the postwar settlement and the social wage - that allow them to do that. Usually even die-hard reactionary dafties can see the logic of that. If you dismiss their reactionary opinions ("needs") without first relating to where they are coming from though you contribute to the problem, which is social fragmentation. That leads us onto the point about squatters. I think we must distinguish between squatting as a lifestyle choice, practised by some mostly in London, and squatting through necessity. I'm not going to dally on this one with short answers which don't live up to the discussion. I'll write more about this later and I think it's an issue generally in terms of housing and organisations should have a position on how we relate to this.

On Terry's question... I think the problem of vigilantism can be a very real and very dangerous one. The reactionary consequeces in your part of the world will take decades of work to repair, but this problem has caused reactionary consequences throughout the world, from South Africa to Palestine, to Ireland. It's very important to get this question right.

Red Marriott's picture
Red Marriott
Offline
Joined: 7-05-06
Jul 13 2007 22:59

Dundee - I take your point that I overlooked that you said;

Quote:
"working class on working class violence and property theft in working class communities ", and "as I said it can have a reactionary nature, as you are building power for people to use as they see fit,"

But in your many previous mentions of community/residents orgs I don't remember you dealing with this conservative aspect of them.

Quote:
In fact I'm quite sure the group discussed here are a bunch of wee Eichmans - what difference does it make to the discussion or the conclusions drawn though?

Well that's the main point the article is making, its implications. And we are discussing the article.

Quote:
Those conclusions are chiefly the ones you highlight - the author thinks that nihilistic individualists hold more revolutionary potential than organised residents groups

Wrong - you misrepresent his view again, as madashell shows. He's discussing a particular residents group in a particular situation. A group you say yourself are surely "a bunch of wee Eichmans". The article doesn't claim to generalise about residents groups. But you keep generalising from your particular local experience as if it's universally applicable. The author of the article isn't doing that. My shots may have been 'cheap' but they aimed at this over-generalising and the possible root of it. A social insertion strategy certainly encourages in some a desire to want to be accepted, integrated, accommodated so as to gain influence - particularly in those orgs seen as local centres of power. It does often have a missionary zeal to it, and jumped up working class leaders are often the worst in that respect. This can easily lead to a lowest common denominator approach - ie base one's approach on what is the dominant viewpoint. Tactical/opportunist compromise often dilutes radicality in favour of easier superficial acceptance. Those who seek to represent others, relate to 'the community', 'the class' as an 'other' - a constituency to represent and 'organise' - tend to do this as a matter of course. They also sometimes think they have discovered a universally applicable tactic and analysis.

RM wrote:
just cos it's some politcos' chosen strategy for 'social insertion' or whatever you wanna call it (obviously you'll be careful not be so indiscrete as to talk about it socially in those terms as you attempt to 'insert' yourselves)
DU wrote:
Nothing to do with the discussion, which was about residents associations and "anti-social behaviour."

But I think it has something to do with how you responded.

PS - grow your own.

little_brother's picture
little_brother
Offline
Joined: 30-01-06
Jul 14 2007 20:31

On collective responsibility, we are not platformists, so no on that one, but articles are discussed amongst the editors at least and the editors are accountable to the organisation. As you will see below, we may decide to print articles that are the view of the AF as a whole or of an AF group (we are a federation so different groups can have different positions on things). Organise! is intended to spark debate which I think we've got in this case, so job done, and if a letter was sent on this it would most likely get printed with a reply.

From the inside front page of Organise!....
"Organise is the magazine of the Anarchist Federation (AF). It is published in order to develop anarchist communist ideas. It aims is provide a clear anarchist viewpoint on contemporary issues and to initiate debate on ideas not normally covered in agitational papers. We aim to produce Organise! twice a year. To meet this target, we positively solicit contributions from our readers. We aim to print any article that furthers the objectives of anarchist communism. If you'd like to write something for us, but are unsure whether to do so, why not get in touch first? Even articles that are 100% inagreement with our aims and principles can leave much open to debate. As always, the articles in this issue do not necessarily represent the collective viewpoint of the AF. We hope that their publication will produce responses from readers and spur the debate on."

"Organise! hopes to open up debate in many areas of life. As we have stated before, unless signed by the Anarchist Federation as a whole or by a local AF group, articles in Organise! reflect the views of the person who has written the articles and nobody else.
If the contents of one of the articles in this issue provokes thought, makes you angry, compels a response then let us know. Revolutionary ideas develop from debate, they do not merely drop out of the air!"

Mike Harman
Offline
Joined: 7-02-06
Jul 15 2007 01:21
Terry wrote:
Catch as far as I understand it articles are not signed not because they represent a collective position (Organise! articles don't - it specifically says so, pamphlets do at the time they are published, as far as I understand it?)

Well not signing them makes it look like they're approved (and possibly written) by the federation. We were asked to change a load of articles tagged with NH to Anarchist Federation after this decision was made for example.

Quote:
but to avoid the 'cult of personality' one finds sometimes on the libertarian left,

To be honest, I think this is silly. I like to know who's written something where possible - it allows me to keep track of what particular people are interested in, and gives some personality and context to articles, even if it's just a recurring pseudonym. Same as I don't think this forum would work too well if everyone in groups just posted under group accounts - it'd be impossible to keep track of conversations. A collectively authored pamphlet is a different thing of course.

little_brother's picture
little_brother
Offline
Joined: 30-01-06
Jul 15 2007 17:49
Mike Harman wrote:
Well not signing them makes it look like they're approved (and possibly written) by the federation. We were asked to change a load of articles tagged with NH to Anarchist Federation after this decision was made for example.

This 'decision' is a long standing AF policy and was therefore made before, not after those articles appeared in the libcom library. Those articles were ones originally written for Organise! magazine and so they all went through the normal editorial process (so were approved by the editors who are accountable to the AF). As such, the main point of the request was to have them properly attributed to AF.

Mike Harman
Offline
Joined: 7-02-06
Jul 15 2007 18:14
little_brother wrote:
Mike Harman wrote:
Well not signing them makes it look like they're approved (and possibly written) by the federation. We were asked to change a load of articles tagged with NH to Anarchist Federation after this decision was made for example.

This 'decision' is a long standing AF policy and was therefore made before, not after those articles appeared in the libcom library. Those articles were ones originally written for Organise! magazine and so they all went through the normal editorial process (so were approved by the editors who are accountable to the AF). As such, the main point of the request was to have them properly attributed to AF.

Yeah it was no problem changing the attribution, sorry if it came across like that. However, I still don't understand the reasoning for the policy, or if I do, I don't agree with either its premises or its reasoning.

nastyned
Offline
Joined: 30-09-03
Jul 15 2007 20:19

I like it myself. If an unsigned article appears in Organise, the magazine of the Anarchist Federation, it's written by an AF member and agrees with the aims and principles. So it shows AF members working as part of an organisation.

I don't see what benefits having names/pseudonyms would bring - there's enough egos in the anarcist movement without helping create more!