Prison officers unofficial action spreads

Submitted by posi on November 18, 2009

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5i082uFaYVJOM-vT-NWvY9szJjsrA

Django

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Its an interesting issue. My instinct is that wildcat action by workers such as this shouldn't just be ignored, as it often is by anarchists - at the very least it makes the point that capitalist society can't help fucking the people who are supposed to be doing the day to day repressive work on its behalf.

waslax

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I agree with Django. Also the article by the BBC (see links below "Related Articles" under the article) is much more informative than the Google News one.

posi

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I would go further than Django, and say that not only should it not be ignored, it should be supported. Of course, it needs to be supported with the perspective of a critical view of the role of prison officer as such, but that goes for loads of jobs...

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think it should be supported only if they go out on strike for the next 100 years.

Jason Cortez

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I await Brian Canton leadership with bated breath (and obviously no teeth) :wall:

Red Marriott

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeh definitely - all anarchists should get right behind this strike and encourage prisoners to show solidarity with their guards - then eventually they can take over the prisons and self-manage them together as anarchist collectives. (Just like Durutti advocated.) Libcom should give prison officers their own forum here and we should forge close links with them and set up support groups. All anarchist organisations should offer them membership and help them set up industrial networks. Some of you should also strategically insert yourselves in the industry by taking prison jobs to build up these industrial networks. And the same goes if any cops, intelligence service agents, bailiffs or similar 'class comrades' go on strike. Which side are you on? It's us and them.

Django

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'll let Posi defend his/her own arguments about supporting this strike, which wasn't something I was advocating. But I don't think things are ever so clear as 'us and them', even though I don't think police, border agents, prison guards and so on should get active support from anarchists during these kinds of strikes.

I mean, the reason for it being an interesting issue is that there are plenty of workers who carry out and enforce the repressive and disciplinary roles of the state who would get support on these forums, and have in the past - job centre workers, teachers, parking attendants etc. Even more broadly, most jobs I've had have had compulsory aspects which you could describe as being repressive - kicking out shoplifters, watching CCTV, barring people from shops, and now (working for a credit union no less!) having to refer people to debt collectors. So even though I think its common sense not to line up behind prison guards who are at the end of the day demanding to be able to incarcerate people without being 'bullied', I don't think things are ever so clear cut as 'us and them'. And its not like police haven't joined mass struggles and insurrections in the past, so there are some situations when it is appropriate to treat them as 'class comrades'. I don't think this is inconsistent with wanting a world without police.

I notice that soldiers aren't on Ret's list of class enemies, and wonder what the anarchist reaction would be if we had mutinies spreading around barracks in the UK.

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Django wrote:

its not like police haven't joined mass struggles and insurrections in the past, so there are some situations when it is appropriate to treat them as 'class comrades'.

In the UK at least, the police haven't "joined mass struggles and insurrections" for 90 years - and then many of them were sacked afterwards and the remainder were subjected to a no-strike agreement: cops aren't allowed to strike - and I don't think there have been any wildcat strikes by the filth since. Your post reminds me of a member of IS - fore-runner of the SWP (he'd been a Catholic 3 months previously, but converted quickly to another religion - Trotskyism) . During the anti-Bloody Sunday demo that took place 6 days after Derry's Bloody Sunday when the cops were coming out between the police horses and viciously truncheoning people linking arms in the front row of the demo in Whitehall, this Trot shouted out, "Remember the 1919 police strike!". This did not have the effect of suddenly converting these defenders of the State and bourgeois property relations, who then truncheoned the guy.

The idea of supporting screws or cops, the frontline defenders of this sick world, is ridiculous leftism, about as radical as the former lefty MP Eric Heffer's "Class Struggle in Parliament".

Django

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Samotnaf

In the UK at least, the police haven't "joined mass struggles and insurrections" for 90 years - and then many of them were sacked afterwards and the remainder were subjected to a no-strike agreement: cops aren't allowed to strike - and I don't think there have been any wildcat strikes by the filth since.

You could say the same thing about military mutinies, which are essentially a thing of the past in the UK, despite their important role in past insurrections, revolutions etc around the world.

Samotnaf

Your post reminds me of a member of IS - fore-runner of the SWP (he'd been a Catholic 3 months previously, but converted quickly to another religion - Trotskyism) . During the anti-Bloody Sunday demo that took place 6 days after Derry's Bloody Sunday when the cops were coming out between the police horses and viciously truncheoning people linking arms in the front row of the demo in Whitehall, this Trot shouted out, "Remember the 1919 police strike!". This did not have the effect of suddenly converting these defenders of the State and bourgeois property relations, who then truncheoned the guy.

:confused:

I said that I don't agree with supporting strikes of these kinds by prison guards, police or border agents - what that has to do with some Trot thinking he could "convert these defenders of the state and property relations" by shouting some magic words at them is beyond me.

What I had in mind more were historical situations like certain police units supplying workers with arms in Spain in 1936, police involvement in the Seattle General strike , etc. In those kinds of situations it would be pretty stupid not to attempt to address them as workers, and its difficult to maintain an 'us and them' analysis of the situation. I find it odd that this analysis is almost never applied to soldiers despite them having a role in breaking strikes and suppressing struggles which is just as obvious throughout history, and who are most definitely "frontline defenders of this sick world".

Samotnaf

The idea of supporting screws or cops, the frontline defenders of this sick world, is ridiculous leftism, about as radical as the former lefty MP Eric Heffer's "Class Struggle in Parliament".

Good thing I'm not doing that then...

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Sorry if I mixed up your more considered comments,Django, with posi's ridiculous suggestion: tiredness on my part.

What I had in mind more were historical situations like certain police units supplying workers with arms in Spain in 1936,

But then they had ceased serving the State, ceased being cops (and - since I don't remember reading about this incident - if they had continued their role as cops, obviously they would have had to be opposed).

police involvement in the Seattle General strike

Please tell us about it - I, for one, don't know about this.

You could say the same thing about military mutinies, which are essentially a thing of the past in the UK, despite their important role in past insurrections, revolutions etc around the world.

If I'm not mistaken, these mutinies have invariably taken place amongst conscripts and the press-ganged (e.g. in Iraq/Kuwait during the '91 Gulf War), at least initially. Professional armies are a bit different. In Iraq there have been individuals who mutinied and went AWOL or even shot their officers - but no movement (and I would give these people - depending on their actions - my 'support' - verbal at least).
But even amongst professional soldiers there's a difference with the cops or prison guards: for one thing, we're far more likely to socialise with them in pubs or wherever (and who would feel comfortable having a conversation with a screw or a cop?). For another, if they mutiny it's not the same as a screw going on strike: they face years in prison, a screw probably faces nothing much. There are other differences, but I've got to rush...

Samotnaf

But even amongst professional soldiers there's a difference with the cops or prison guards: for one thing, we're far more likely to socialise with them in pubs or wherever

I've known plenty of people in the army, who joined the police and a few who work in prisons. I don;t really see this arbitrary line you've created about who we're more likely to socialise with, or who we'd want to have a drink with.
Sure coppers might tell you things that make you feel uncomfortable, but none of their ''law and order'' stuff is really going to compare to the time you get a phone call telling you how great it is that your mates got his first kill, that shit just makes your skin crawl tbh.
Plus the police serve some useful fucntions in our society, policing traffic, arresting and locking up rapists/paedos etc, even if their useful fucntions are dwarfed by their repressive role under capitalism. The army serves absolutely no useful function whatsoever.

Not that I'm convinced it matters who i socialise with tbh. I may be unlikely to socialise with long term coppers but then realistically i'm not that likely to socialise with some random chinese immigrants wth a poor grasp of english working in the black economy either..

Django

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Samotnaf

Sorry if I mixed up your more considered comments,Django, with posi's ridiculous suggestion: tiredness on my part.

No worries - I don't agree with Posi on this but I wouldn't call the post above 'ridiculous' . Anyway its down to Posi to argue his/her views on this.

Samotnaf

But then they had ceased serving the State, ceased being cops (and - since I don't remember reading about this incident - if they had continued their role as cops, obviously they would have had to be opposed).

Though I don't think they stopped being cops (the republican state continued to exist along with its policing function), you could say that we want job centre workers to stop being job centre workers, parking inspectors to stop being parking inspectors, civil servants to stop being civil servants... So even though I agree with you that the possibility of them stopping to be the repressive arm of the state be a condition for addressing them as 'fellow workers', I still think the point that there are all sorts of shades of grey in terms of workers who 'serve the state' stands - its this that makes it an interesting issue.

Samotnaf

Please tell us about it - I, for one, don't know about this.

I read about this a bit ago, but from what I remember the police (or parts of the police force) joined the strike, forcing the state to bring in the military as well as police from outside the area.

Samotnaf

If I'm not mistaken, these mutinies have invariably taken place amongst conscripts and the press-ganged (e.g. in Iraq/Kuwait during the '91 Gulf War), at least initially. Professional armies are a bit different. In Iraq there have been individuals who mutinied and went AWOL or even shot their officers - but no movement (and I would give these people - depending on their actions - my 'support' - verbal at least).

But even amongst professional soldiers there's a difference with the cops or prison guards: for one thing, we're far more likely to socialise with them in pubs or wherever (and who would feel comfortable having a conversation with a screw or a cop?). For another, if they mutiny it's not the same as a screw going on strike: they face years in prison, a screw probably faces nothing much. There are other differences, but I've got to rush...

I don't dispute that there's certainly more 'potential' in conscript armies, and that they've tended to behave differently to professional armies. But I don't see what the qualitative difference between a professional soldier and a professional cop is, and why it would be OK to lend support to mutinous soldiers and not to support mutinous prison guards (in war zones soldiers serve as prison guards after all).

I'm not sure whether I'd be less likely to drink with a cop or a prison guard, I've never been in a situation where its been a possibility (I have been out drinking with people in the armed forces though). I've got on alright with mates' relatives who have been cops though, as I don't see the problem with the police being individual police officers but the social role of the police force.

On the issue of the stakes of mutinying though, does that mean that if the stakes were higher for prison guards, and they risked imprisonment for striking, it would be OK to support them?

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yes of course the cops serve useful functions like helping little old ladies across the road. "Policing traffic"? - well, every year several people are killed by cop traffic - cops speeding at ridiculous rates, and usually at most these killers get a suspended sentence. Any useful things they might do "policing traffic" is cancelled out by this fact. As for getting rapists - it's well-known that conviction rates for rapists are extremely low (not that I support prisons, but that's another question). Anyway, it's not for defenders of the State to deal with rapists, since the State and the social relations it's part of do far worse things than rapists do. It's for the class struggle to deal with rapists and generally nasty behaviour. In Canada in the 70s some women's groups would go round to the house of known rapists, spray-paint their houses to 'out' them and then often confront them in their homes, confront their family with what they'd done. In Alexandria during the revolutionary movement in South Africa in the 80s, the local community would confront rapists or those who beat up their girlfriends, and would deal with them through local meetings. As for paedophiles - well, in the past, in many close-knit working class communities (e.g. mining villages), if someone was discovered to be a paedophile he'd get outed and thumped and sent to Coventry. With the destruction of community, the State takes on that function but in such a form, that often paedophiles kill to get rid of the evidence, which was certainly less so when there was some semblance of a community of struggle.

To say the cops perform some useful function can equally be applied to the army: after all, they got rid of Saddam didn't they? And Hitler and Mussolini over 60 years ago. Such simplistic arguments would rightly be laughed at on libcom; but somehow cantdocartwheels finds a forum here for equally ludicrous ideas.

I prefer the "Harry Roberts is our friend" chant.

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The last post I sent was a reply to candocartwheels, not Django: will maybe reply to Django's (which seems to have crossed with mine) later if I have the time, though there's not all that much, on first glance, that I really disagree with, though some of the nuances imply still that cops are somehow not that bad.

Yorkie Bar

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The army serves absolutely no useful function whatsoever.

This just isn't true. Like the police, the army often does useful things, but as with the cops these are a side-issue to their central role in capitalist society.

~J.

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Having looked properly at Django's post I realise I have some fundamental disagreements.

Django wrote:

I've got on alright with mates' relatives who have been cops though, as I don't see the problem with the police being individual police officers but the social role of the police force.

I find this utterly symptomatic of the counter-revolution - in the UK especially. In France (where I try to live) such an attitude would be impossible amongst those who considered themselves 'radical' in some way. You wouldn't have been able to get away with saying this in the UK 20 years ago. Such a basic use of 'radical' ideas wishes away any active decision to combat people's choices into (implicitly) - "well, the guy's a worker trapped in his social role".

If you knew someone who, seeing someone nick a bottle of wine, grabbed him by the arm and twisted it round his back, forcibly took him, along with other people, to his place, made him sit down and fill in some papers, then locked him in a room in his house for a few hours and then set him free, but threatened to do worse if he didn't come along to his house later, where some weeks after he would sit him down with a load of other people and have different people accuse him of stealing the bottle of wine, at the end of which an older relative of the guy forced the 'thief' to hand over say £400 and threaten to lock him up for 4 months in that room if he ever did it again - would you really feel the same about sitting down with such a psychotic? But because the guy has a social role for which he's paid it's somehow just part of the normal alienation we all have to lead.

The only good cop I've ever heard of was a UK village cop who, in the early 70s, got the sack because he refused to arrest people: he'd never arrested anyone in his life.

People can choose not to become cops - and thankfully the vast majority of people choose not to. Would you feel the same about a politician because after all, it's the 'social role of the politicians'?

Most rebellious proletarians, regardless of how they 'theorise' , have a gut dislike for cops (hence the old proletarian slogan "all coppers are bastards"). This puts you behind the vast majority of the rebellious working class. 'Radical' ideas become a justification for present contradictions, rather than an attack on them, once they are seen not as a means to subvert reactionary choices, as an impulse to decision, but as a justification for them ("it's capitalism - we've got no choice"). Resignation in revolutionary clothing.

In 1986 there was a national prison guard's overtime ban in the UK, leading to an uprising by the prisoners in at least 18 prisons. One prison (Northeye in the South East) was almost completely destroyed. It didn't last long: the screws, having partly won their demands, quickly ended the overtime ban and went back to their work of beating up many of those who had participated in the uprising. Fuck 'em - no solidarity with screws.

I like the slogan from the early 70s when the Police Federation were lobbying for the restoration of capital punishment for the murder of prison guards and police. Somebody produced a sticker saying: "Bring back hanging - for prison guards and the police!"

A free society (if it ever comes about) will have no cops and no prisons (though it might probably - and almost certainly in its early stages - involve elements of forcibly putting people in places they had not 'freely' decided to go). The task of opposing sick anti-social acts will not be down to specialists-in-order: it'll be the task of everyone or not at all.

Yorkie Bar

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

If you knew someone who, seeing someone nick a bottle of wine, grabbed him by the arm and twisted it round his back, forcibly took him, along with other people, to his place, made him sit down and fill in some papers, then locked him in a room in his house for a few hours and then set him free, but threatened to do worse if he didn't come along to his house later, where some weeks after he would sit him down with a load of other people and have different people accuse him of stealing the bottle of wine, at the end of which an older relative of the guy forced the 'thief' to hand over say £400 and threaten to lock him up for 4 months in that room if he ever did it again - would you really feel the same about sitting down with such a psychotic? But because the guy has a social role for which he's paid it's somehow just part of the normal alienation we all have to lead.

In other words, if you abstract from all existing social and material conditions, then the police are all lunatics. Except that we all act anti-socially and irrationally if you abstract form all reality. If you do that, soldiers are much worse than cops. Should we therefore shun soldiers too? What about security guards? Or ticket collectors? What about workers in armament factories? And so on.

~J.

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

But you, BigLittleJ, have 'abstracted' from the whole of my post just a part - and ignored the basic, and fairly obvious in my opinion, arguments.

Tarwater

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There were no arguments in your post. You replaced any analysis of capitalism or social relations with some mythical revolutionary "impulse" that "real workers" have, as opposed to reformist "ideas".

Also,

A free society (if it ever comes about) will have no cops and no prisons

That is so utterly wrong-headed, what kind of road warrior fantasy world are you envisioning?

Red Marriott

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

django

I notice that soldiers aren't on Ret's list of class enemies, and wonder what the anarchist reaction would be if we had mutinies spreading around barracks in the UK.

It would depend on why they were mutinying, obviously. We rarely, if ever, meet soldiers here in the UK as a repressive force used against class struggle. If we ever have to face soldiers on the streets you can try to subvert them and/or demoralise them (very difficult with a professional army) but if you want to continue to struggle you have to accept that while they act as soldiers they are on the opposite side - otherwise just put some flowers in their barrels and hug them or join the Clown Army.

As for "us and them" - there are circumstances when it clearly is us and them. What do you want, class struggle without antagonism? You think there isn't a reason why capital has strata of mediators and those whose primary role is disciplinary? You don't think the compromises, contradictions and repressive aspects of some of those roles won't necessarily get more stark and oppressive as a radical movement develops? And that therefore they'd have to be confronted as an obstacle and so a class enemy? You don't think some members of the middle class (if you even accept they exist as a class) won't side to the death with the ruling class to protect their margin of privilege? (Some of the working class may too, but that's a different social question.) Apart from more mundane individual encounters in daily life with repressive state forces that have to be challenged; what are you gonna do in a situation like the Miners Strike - appeal to the good nature of cops to draw out their 'class solidarity'? Go ahead and make yourself a laughing stock to both sides in such a situation.

My previous posted comment was to draw out the logic of advocating giving support - if you really think screws are worth supporting as strikers all my suggestions should be taken up. I hope the Commune and/or posi will do so, and so stand by the courage of their convictions/show their true colours (OK, maybe it's posi's personal view only.) Again, a sizeable proportion of the working class - rightly IMO - would think it absurdly confused and naive (or worse) to act so. (In the unlikely event they were ever to think about such obscure antics at all.) As Samotnaf says, it has been a basic principle of working class solidarity that people like scabs, cops, screws were given no quarter. But some of today's 'class struggle' anarchists, if libcom is any measure, are descending into liberal humanism.

As for appealing to history to support such notions - maybe a tiny number of cops somewhere have supported proletarian insurrections - but 99.9% of the time cops, screws and security forces have locked up, tortured and killed workers and other radicals in such situations - and have to be assumed they will act like that. I don't know what the cops did to support workers in Seattle 1919 - but they seem to have been a tiny minority as cops and vigilantes in the aftermath rounded up 'Reds', raided the IWW etc. Where were the radical cops you wish to believe in in May 68, Italy in the 60s-70s etc? Cracking heads and throwing people with beliefs like yours in cells. They at least had sense enough to know you have to take sides in class conflict and not disarm yourself with liberal notions of 'oh well, lots of jobs have a potentially repressive aspect so all jobs are equivalent and we must never demarcate in any practical way between fundamentally repressive roles and others'.

Cops (and soldiers, when they are directly used against class revolts) are, unlike ticket collectors etc, in a primarily disciplinary role with wide-ranging application of their powers which seek to maintain the fundamental relations of private property etc - they function as an organised force defending the general interests of class society in a way that, eg, ticket collectors do not. If the policing system collapsed capitalism would be in trouble - if ticket collecting did, it wouldn't. So the comparison is slight and does not justify treating them as all equally compromised roles.

None of us can predict how exactly the messed up personalities produced by this society and its revolutionary process would be dealt with or how much of a problem they would be. But the regularly claimed 'of course we'll have cops and prisons in an anarchist/communist society' regularly spouted on here seems more like a way of simplistically repressing a complex question or bending over backwards to avoid some anarchist stereotype of hippie individualism - as if overcompensating on the 'law'n'order issue' so as to not alienate the punters. And if that was how complex questions of social relationships were dealt with generally in such situations it wouldn't be very 'revolutionary'.

There are vast variations historically and even now - linked to varying social conditions and environments - in the existence of different criminal and/or anti-social behaviours. This is surely relevant when speculating on a future society where people would have revolutionised their social relationships and so be living in very different communities. No need to assume so strongly we'll all supposedly be still more or less as anti-social to each other as ever and absolutely certainly need to be policed by an external force. Can't see why it's worth wanting a revolution, never mind fighting one, if you believe that - unless you wanna be an 'anti-statist anarcho-'cop'.

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Tarwater quoted me:

A free society (if it ever comes about) will have no cops and no prisons
That is so utterly wrong-headed, what kind of road warrior fantasy world are you envisioning?

It is typical of the political point-scoring mentality to quote out of context and to abstract from what is being said. I said:

A free society (if it ever comes about) will have no cops and no prisons (though it might probably - and almost certainly in its early stages - involve elements of forcibly putting people in places they had not 'freely' decided to go).

It's about as deceitful as saying someone who said "Down with law and order!" had said "Down with order!" (in fact, something that bourgeois thought constantly and deliberately misattributes to anarchist and other revolutionary perspectives).

This, apparently,

is so utterly wrong-headed

.

Sorry sir.

Some more utterly wrong-headed ideas:
1.Incarcerating anti-social leftovers of the mad alienation of class society (the ex-cops, ex-screws, politicians, rapists, paedophiles, etc.) all in the same horrible anti-social alienated hellhole is obviously idiotic.
2.If elements of incarceration are necessary they will have nothing to do with the brutal repressive reality of prisons throughout history.
3.To think that we'd call such incarceration a 'prison' is as like calling 'workers' councils' (or whatever term you'd like to imagine the future fantasy society to be) 'the State' or 'the government'. This is not just a question of semantic terms but of a break with hierarchical notions and practices of social control. Killing scum is not the same as capital punishment. Forcible restraint is not the same as prison. A margin of rationing ( where scarcity is not forced by capitalist property relations but comes about because of production differences between different geographical areas) is not money.
Given the wrong-headedness of all this, I'm sure you can recommend a good lobotomist (you, maybe).

There were no arguments in your post. You replaced any analysis of capitalism or social relations with some mythical revolutionary "impulse" that "real workers" have, as opposed to reformist "ideas".

Please explain where I did this? (there are as many arguments in your post as you attribute to mine)

Ret, having more experience of libcom than me, has put some of your attitudes in a more precise context than me - his post is spot on (as usual, Ret...but what will flattery get me?).

Yorkie Bar

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

'anti-statist anarcho-'cop'.

Since Organise! is apparently doing a remake of Navy SEAL, we could probably manage an Anarchist version of Dirty Harry.

~J.

Samotnaf

Killing scum is not the same as capital punishment.

:| The exact difference being that?

Red Marriott

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jack

Sorry Ret, but this is an unfair characterisation of "pro-prison under communism" posters here.

Well I doubt anyone's bored enough to have done a survey of all the libcom posts about prisons, and maybe some now feel more obliged to add the qualification, but that's been my impression. But maybe that's partly having argued most with cantdocartwheels about such topics, who has been more gung ho about it (though at least he has engaged frankly.) Regardless, iirc, there seems to be little analysis of why it's thought certain particular anti-social acts will survive. An ahistorical 'It's just human nature' is what often seems to be implied.

And a far more important question is how would such anti-social acts be dealt with within a radical social movement (and how have they been? Samotnaf mentioned the example of SA). The lived experience of doing so is likely to provide more answers for the post-revolutionary era than dogmatic ideological positioning from any angle.

Khawaga

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Regardless, iirc, there seems to be little analysis of why it's thought certain particular anti-social acts will survive. An ahistorical 'It's just human nature' is what often seems to be implied.

Which is just as ahistorical as saying that they simply will disappear because human nature is otherwise.

Yorkie Bar

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ret, no matter how much better at living together we get when and if communism finally rolls around, to suggest that there won't be any 'anti-social acts' is just retarded. There will still be psychopaths, rapists, et al. To assume otherwise is wildly optimistic.

~J.

Red Marriott

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

BLJ

Ret, no matter how much better at living together we get when and if communism finally rolls around, to suggest that there won't be any 'anti-social acts' is just retarded. There will still be psychopaths, rapists, et al. To assume otherwise is wildly optimistic.

Khawaga

Ret Marut

Regardless, iirc, there seems to be little analysis of why it's thought certain particular anti-social acts will survive. An ahistorical 'It's just human nature' is what often seems to be implied.

Which is just as ahistorical as saying that they simply will disappear because human nature is otherwise.

No it isn't - as I'm not saying, and haven't said anywhere, there will be no anti-social acts. I said "there seems to be little analysis of why it's thought certain particular anti-social acts will survive". People tend to mention murder, rape, paedophilia. Why? (OK, there's a long-running weird obsession with paedos on here - but apart from that.) Because they are non-property crimes?

Edit; but perhaps that question is not for this thread.

Django

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

As for "us and them" - there are circumstances when it clearly is us and them. What do you want, class struggle without antagonism? You think there isn't a reason why capital has strata of mediators and those whose primary role is disciplinary? You don't think the compromises, contradictions and repressive aspects of some of those roles won't necessarily get more stark and oppressive as a radical movement develops? And that therefore they'd have to be confronted as an obstacle and so a class enemy?

I agree with all this, nothing in my posts has said otherwise. I was only interested in why it is acceptable to attempt to subvert the military (even if its a professional force, as you say), and not to subvert the police force (which I don't even agree with doing - the point I was making is that there have been cases where police have joined in struggles, and in those cases I think it would be as stupid to turn your guns on them or whatever because they're 'the class enemy'. )

Ret Marut

Apart from more mundane individual encounters in daily life with repressive state forces that have to be challenged; what are you gonna do in a situation like the Miners Strike - appeal to the good nature of cops to draw out their 'class solidarity'? Go ahead and make yourself a laughing stock to both sides in such a situation.

Right, cause thats exactly what I was suggesting when I was saying that I don't agree with giving support to strikes by Prison guards, Police or border agents, and that the problem with cops is that they function as the repressive wing of the state. But just go ahead and ascribe some extra views to me anyway.

My previous posted comment was to draw out the logic of advocating giving support - if you really think screws are worth supporting as strikers all my suggestions should be taken up.

Except I don't think that they should be supported as strikers, and have said so. All I said was that there's a political point to be made - "capitalist society can't help fucking the people who are supposed to be doing the day to day repressive work on its behalf", and that the issue is interesting because anarchists tend to give the military an easy time. But again, just ascribe some other view to me if you want.

Ret Marut

Where were the radical cops you wish to believe in in May 68, Italy in the 60s-70s etc? Cracking heads and throwing people with beliefs like yours in cells. They at least had sense enough to know you have to take sides in class conflict and not disarm yourself with liberal notions of 'oh well, lots of jobs have a potentially repressive aspect so all jobs are equivalent and we must never demarcate in any practical way between fundamentally repressive roles and others'.

yeah, thats exactly what I said:

Django

But I don't think things are ever so clear as 'us and them', even though I don't think police, border agents, prison guards and so on should get active support from anarchists during these kinds of strikes.

So even though I think its common sense not to line up behind prison guards who are at the end of the day demanding to be able to incarcerate people without being 'bullied', I don't think things are ever so clear cut as 'us and them'.

So no demarcation there, even though I say that prison guards, police etc shouldn't get support while other workers in grey areas should. Its clear that job centre workers, teachers etc all have repressive aspects to their work, and that they help reproduce capitalist social relations, and thats the point I was making - in those situations I don't think an 'us and them' analysis is of any use. But again, you're ascribing view to me I haven't expressed if you're claiming I'm saying 'so all jobs are equivalent and we must never demarcate in any practical way between fundamentally repressive roles and others' - against what the actual posts say.

Oh yeah, and then claim I'm an 'anarcho-cop' too for added measure...

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Farce said:

Samotnaf wrote:

Killing scum is not the same as capital punishment.

The exact difference being that?

Capital punishment is a cold-blooded ritual conducted by the State, which as everyone on these forums well know, is directly and indirectly complicitous in far far greater crimes than even those of Fred and Rosemary West. During the revolution in South Africa collaborators with State murder were often given the 'necklace' - i.e. a tyre was put round their necks and set light to. Unpleasant, but a fairly good incentive to other collaborators to not continue with their collaboration. It's not a model for post-revolutionary society but it was not capital punishment. It was rage. During the French revolution the mob would often kill aristocrats or defenders of the nobility spontaneously until Robespierre etc. took control of the situation and introduced the public spectacle of the guillotine (which clearly was capital punishment). Cold blooded mathematically calculated killing is not the same as hot blooded revenge. I far prefer the summary justice meted out to Mussolini than the spectacle of State 'justice' performed at Nuremburg.

Jack:

I really don't think the people of SA could have built prisons (especially the far more complex, modern, well resourced kinds of 'prisons' with more progressive aims than currently exist) even if they'd wanted to.

In these progressive prisons do all the guards have wooden legs, and all the guard dogs have rubber teeth, whilst the jails are made of tin and you can walk right out again as soon as you are in...? What is your notion of a progressive prison?

Generally, it doesn't seem as if there's much real practical importance to whether your fantasy post-revolutionary society has prisons, money, cops, the State, etc: there are and have been a lot of people who have contributed/contribute to an attack on this society without having a clear notion of what they are fighting for. However, these are people who, generally, also don't contribute much on the level of ideas, who have nothing to do with any explicit revolutionary perspective. And that lack of clarity has been a factor in the recuperation of revolutionary movements into another form of class power. At the same time I don't judge people primarily on these fantasies - only when there's a connection between the fantasy and what they tolerate in the present does it become a more significant issue: Django getting on alright with cops when they're his mate's relatives (I'm certainly not saying you should be a militant and have a go at the relatives - a more polite distance might be tactical, but I would have thought it would become an issue with your mates; but you justify the relatives with 'theory'), posi claiming that 'we' should support the strikes of prison guards, others making an equivalent of all forms of compromise with this society.

Django - though Ret can certainly defend himself, personally I didn't read his post as having a go at you, but rather other posters, particularly posi who started this thread.. However, you don't at all reply to anything I posted, some of which was explicitly concerned with what you'd said. I find that many posters, and certainly not just on this thread, either quote out of context and 'respond' to distortions of what is said or completely ignore any difficult point of view because it messes up their fixed ideas. In other words, these posters take their mode of argument from the dominant society.

Red Marriott

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Django; I was replying partly to what you said and partly to the general ethos of - as I clearly stated - "some anarchists" on here that is against such demarcation in any meaningful practical sense. I thought it should have been clear that my comments were not all directly responding to you as, eg, one para was a direct response to posi and another to BLJ's "ticket collector" comment. Then further down, directly above the "anarcho-cop" pic it says; "Maybe this is how some anarchists see the post-revolutionary society".

But what I said about "us and them" is relevant to this;
Django

Its clear that job centre workers, teachers etc all have repressive aspects to their work, and that they help reproduce capitalist social relations, and thats the point I was making - in those situations I don't think an 'us and them' analysis is of any use.

Being on the receiving end of such "repressive aspects" does sometimes make it a class relation - so does make it us and them. That's not an "analysis", it's an experience, so the situation and its consequences has to be dealt with as a real conflict of "us and them" - so, even if the worker is only the 'delivery agent' of class repression, an "us and them" response is sometimes necessary to defend your own personal and class interests.

OK, clearly I should have checked back on this thread sooner. I said that the strikes should be supported. In its most basic sense, this just means that we would regard it positively if the strikers won. It does not necessarily imply even one of these things:

Ret Marut

Yeh definitely - all anarchists should get right behind this strike and encourage prisoners to show solidarity with their guards - then eventually they can take over the prisons and self-manage them together as anarchist collectives. (Just like Durutti advocated.) Libcom should give prison officers their own forum here and we should forge close links with them and set up support groups. All anarchist organisations should offer them membership and help them set up industrial networks. Some of you should also strategically insert yourselves in the industry by taking prison jobs to build up these industrial networks. And the same goes if any cops, intelligence service agents, bailiffs or similar 'class comrades' go on strike. Which side are you on? It's us and them.

Do we have to advocate a perspective of self-management for every sort of capitalist workplace, in order to back strikes by workers there? Obviously not.

Do we need to give space on a communist website to every group of workers whose strikes we support? Nope.

Do we have to get involved in "colonisation" in any industry in which we support strikes? Not that either, no.

I haven't had time to read the rest of this thread, so perhaps there's a better case been made against supporting the strikes than that. But I don't think that's very strong. What if someone you knew was considering scabbing on the strike? Personally, I'd try to persuade them not too. Perhaps Ret would be indifferent, I don't know.

There is, furthermore, no sense in which support for industrial action in a given area involves support for the industry itself. Consider workers in factories that manufacture armaments. We could go further than Ret's list, which also includes intelligence service agents and bailiffs, and include, as well as workers in armaments factories, people working in the dole office (for harassing claimants), the housing office (leaving people homeless), who assess immigration applications (having them deported from the country), and on and on and on.

It is not necessary to discard a critique of any of these roles in order to support a strike of workers in them. And relating to any such strike without being honest and upfront about a critique of - e.g. prisons - would be dishonest. In fact, you'd probably find that many prison officers would be able to supply much of that critique themselves: but that, like most people, they assume prisons such as they are to be an eternal and natural product of human society, never to be superceded.

For me, and I think for most of us, there is a basic relation between taking militant collective action, and establishing the confidence, not only to make a critique of the system, but to move toward making that critique "concrete", acting against the system. That relation is not as simple as some people make out: there is no automatic connection from one to the other. However, a critique of work, of capitalism is something that some people discover in the process of being on strike. I am in favour of prison warders, police officers, soldiers, and so on having the chance to discover such a critique.

One argument often rolled out is that the sort of anti-working class activity engaged in by the prison officers is "direct", whilst other sorts (manufacturing armanents) are "indirect". For me, this is a pair of words chosen to justify a division which is neither relevant nor clear. Is it really better, from a class point of view, to help make a cluster bomb than help deliver it? Does the "directness" of one make it worse than the other, from a class point of view? Are the makers of riot shields strightforwardly proletarian, while the holders of them are straightforwardly not? I don't see why.

Bolsheviks ("humanistic liberals", in Ret's view) joined the Tsar's army, and sparked a revolt that became a revolution. The Spartacus rising was prompted by the sacking of the USPD chief of the Berlin police. The lessons from periods of high class struggle is that moralistic attitudes toward certain jobs of work fade away in favour of the concrete value of having people making communist propaganda in all areas of public life. Encouraging a revolt amongst the "praetorians" would be a necessary part of any social revolution.

I don't speak for my group, and I have no idea what others think about it. The Commune has no position, and would be open to people independent of their view on the question.

I'm open to persuasion. This has been discussed on libcom before. The above is what I came away thinking.

Samotnaf

Farce said:

Samotnaf wrote:

Killing scum is not the same as capital punishment.

The exact difference being that?

Capital punishment is a cold-blooded ritual conducted by the State, which as everyone on these forums well know, is directly and indirectly complicitous in far far greater crimes than even those of Fred and Rosemary West. During the revolution in South Africa collaborators with State murder were often given the 'necklace' - i.e. a tyre was put round their necks and set light to. Unpleasant, but a fairly good incentive to other collaborators to not continue with their collaboration. It's not a model for post-revolutionary society but it was not capital punishment. It was rage. During the French revolution the mob would often kill aristocrats or defenders of the nobility spontaneously until Robespierre etc. took control of the situation and introduced the public spectacle of the guillotine (which clearly was capital punishment). Cold blooded mathematically calculated killing is not the same as hot blooded revenge. I far prefer the summary justice meted out to Mussolini than the spectacle of State 'justice' performed at Nuremburg.

I also prefer the summary justice meted out to Mussolini than the spectacle of State 'justice' performed at Nuremburg. But then, I also very much prefer the spectacle of State 'justice' performed at Nuremburg than the mob lynchings of black Americans suspected of some kind offence in the Deep South, even though the former was cold-blooded state killing and the later was a crowd of working-class people spontaneously acting out their rage. So I think the situation's a little more complex than "trials and courts bad, mobs going apeshit and killing people good".

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I agree that

the situation's a little more complex than "trials and courts bad, mobs going apeshit and killing people good".

Sorry for being simplistic: I was talking about 'killing scum' not racist scum killing blacks. I was trying to distinguish between social justice during movements we can identify with, justice involving something that challenges the status quo, and the spectacle of justice by the State (though mobs permeated with insane ideologies can also function as an arm of theState). Whilst I have no problem with Himmler etc. being killed I find it sick and hypocritical that the killing should have been done under the auspices of a ruling class that also committed (and continues to commit) atrocities ( and one of the intentions of Nuremburg was to make a distinction between Nazi savagery and the mixture of democratic and Stalinist 'civilisation'; although I don't think democracy or Stalinism is/was qualitatively the same as German fascism, that's a question that really is off-topic).

IrrationallyAngry

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What a lot of silly posturing there is on this thread.

If you aren't interested in splitting the ranks of the repressive apparatus of the capitalist state then you aren't interested in having a succesful revolution. No matter how much you blather about class struggle, you are in essence a lifestylist or at best a militant reformist.

It isn't even necessary to get to the theoretical idiocy which separates out cops and prison officers out as moral untouchables while not doing the same with soldiers. Or traffic wardens. Or TV licence inspectors.

posi

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I have been reading more about this. Apparently the POA was alot stronger - and as, if not more reactionary - up until the late '80s, when their strength began to be diluted by a combination of work process changes and privatisation.

So clearly it isn't simply the case that a stronger union automatically leads to any greater attitude of solidarity with prisoners. Reading stuff from prisoners, it's clear there's alot of legitimate emnity toward screws and the POA as an organised force. However, I still think you can be in favour of the strikes as such winning, without "supporting the POA", or any slogan like that. I still doesn't make sense to me to think that it would be in any way positive for the government to defeat the strikers.

Interview with Caton and commentary by FRFI.

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=169319480999

One can't be a member of capitalism's repressive apparatus and part of the workers movement at the same time. It's ridiculous to talk about better pay and better benefits while carrying out the barbarous agenda of the capitalist prison system.

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Irrationally Angry:

If you aren't interested in splitting the ranks of the repressive apparatus of the capitalist state then you aren't interested in having a succesful revolution.

The only time I can think of when there developed some splits in the ranks of the repressive apparatus of the UK capitalist state is after the 1981 riots, when possibly thousands of cops resigned the force because their situation had become impossible (there was even a joke in the forces about a PC running back from the frontline confrontation with the rioters and saying to his superior, "Sarge - I can't take it any more"; the superior says "Superintendant to you, sonnie"; the PC replies "Bloody hell - I didn't think I'd run that far back)." Which says it all: encouragement to develop splits comes from class fury, not some wimpy "You should realise you class position entails solidarity with those you're oppressing" crap - or whatever proposed leaflet or whatever IrrationallyAngry and posi fantasise handing out to cops. The "workers in uniform" crap used to be laughed at when the SPGB spouted it in the late 60s - but the counter-revolution in the UK and elsewhere has now given this political posture some pretension to "class consciousness". Posi, like the Leninist he obviously is, claims:

Bolsheviks ....joined the Tsar's army, and sparked a revolt that became a revolution.

What a liar! Most workers and peasants joined (not Lenin, though) - had to join - and the revolution was not sparked off by some infiltration into the army but by, amongst other things, a mass mutiny by a conscript army (it obviously included Bolsheviks but also anarchists, Social Revolutionaries etc. and hundreds of thousands of others who weren't alligned). Typical Leninist distortion - you have to believe that a specialist avant-garde can launch a revolution (even the mass murderer Trotsky said "the masses were a thousand times to the left of the party"). That's why you believe that you can win specialists-in-order (cops and screws) over to the class war - they're the mirror-image of your specialism. And all this is in your head - what leaflets have you ever handed out to cops or screws and it's made the slightest blind bit of difference? You probably haven't even tested your theory of how to split "the ranks of the repressive apparatus of the capitalist state". I'm not saying a day might not come where cops and screws aren't faced with a choice "for or against' like this again, but this will be down to individuals - not their collective identity.
Andros is plainly right

It's ridiculous [my emphasis] to talk about better pay and better benefits while carrying out the barbarous agenda of the capitalist prison system.

Really - any repeat of these utterly ridiculous "arguments" are not worth replying to.

flaneur

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

And that organisation is?

Jack

Socialist Party, as I'm sure you are aware. Your point? Whatever you think about the SP, the fact they've recruited the POA General Secretary rubbishes the claim that "agents of state repression" can't be won over.

I don't think recruiting screws is a winning tactic, but on that point Sam was clearly and unambiguously wrong.

They can be one over as you say, to political parties that base their strategy on gaining power over people. Its obvious the SP won't have a problem with recruiting cops and screws because they have no problem with cops and screws full stop. The only problem they have with them is that they aren't all in the SP.

Red Marriott

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

That's what happens when you give the benefit of doubt to Leninists - they turn out to be even worse than you thought.

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yes - I'm

clearly and unambiguously wrong.

But I was not aware of IrrationallyAngry being a member of the SP at all, nor that they'd recruited the head of the POA (what next _ the head of the Police Federation?). Must remember not to get involved in pseudo-dialogue with irrationally angry people again - they're only angry in defence of their ideology, of their sad political roles. Rational anger comes, amongst other things, from attacking all that irrational Leftist crap.

posi

OK, clearly I should have checked back on this thread sooner. I said that the strikes should be supported. In its most basic sense, this just means that we would regard it positively if the strikers won. It does not necessarily imply even one of these things:

So if this "support" is entirely in the realm of what we'd like to happen, what relevance does it have to working class politics? Either you make some kind of effort to provide workers in struggle with material support or you're not really supporting them at all, just standing on the sidelines and speculating.

posi

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

madashell, I don't agree. I'm sure we've all said to people that we support such and such a struggle, meaning that we oppose (for example) the line taken in the bourgeois press on strikes, always arguing that they are illegitimate, that they hurt everyone, that they are irresponsible etc. In contrast, we argue with people that they should see the strikes not as a threat to themselves, but a part of the workers' movement, with which they should have a basic solidarity. And, "practically", if you liked, I would argue with someone against crossing a picket line. I think, if you were prepared to intervene in an honest way, that showed real solidarity with prisoners, you could provide other forms of support.

Red Marriott

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

posi

Do we need to give space on a communist website to every group of workers whose strikes we support? Nope.

Do we have to get involved in "colonisation" in any industry in which we support strikes? Not that either, no.

Perhaps you are taking my sarcasm a bit too literally, but - no we don't have to or need to do those things, but there is no special reason not to if you think a strike worth supporting. If you think it worth supporting, why treat it differently from other strikes? Maybe I've misjudged, but I think there would some unease giving those kinds of public support, even from those who theoretically support the strike. (Having now read Jack's post about Irrationally Angry's organisation, maybe I'm wrong.)

The point of view of those on the receiving end, such as prisoners, (never mind people shat on by some job centre workers) is rarely if ever taken account of in these arguments or any support expressed for them. I suppose if there was a prison riot some would criticise the rioters for fighting screws, 'scabbing on their class comrades' - ie, for making a very practical criticism of the guard role.

posi

One argument often rolled out is that the sort of anti-working class activity engaged in by the prison officers is "direct", whilst other sorts (manufacturing armanents) are "indirect". For me, this is a pair of words chosen to justify a division which is neither relevant nor clear. Is it really better, from a class point of view, to help make a cluster bomb than help deliver it? Does the "directness" of one make it worse than the other, from a class point of view? Are the makers of riot shields strightforwardly proletarian, while the holders of them are straightforwardly not? I don't see why.

You seem to be trying to counter what you assume is a moral argument with what is a moral argument itself. In a moral sense, maybe there's some 'equivalence' between a cop and a munitions worker. But class struggle and class relations are not primarily moral encounters - we have to deal with opposing forces as they affect us in our lives where we struggle. The only way we can treat the diverse roles you mention as equivalent is from an abstract moral evaluation. But if we deal with them as they impact on us and our struggles we immediately have to evaluate and respond in diverse ways. So the "directness" of cops is what we deal with as a conflict in our lives - while the munitions worker we could generally only 'oppose' morally (as do NGOs, middle class activism). (Of course if you never expect to expect to deal with the cops and screws except as fellow citizens/comrades then the distinction is irrelevant...)

If you treat the relationship of cops and screws to the working class as an abstract theoretical (or moral) question then your position may seem more credible. But looked at in the light of the historical experience of the working class and its struggles it makes no sense at all to me. It doesn't even make any sense in light of my personal experience. This historical experience has, and - still does to some degree - express itself partly as collectively held values, traditions and principles; much the same as 'no forgiveness for scabs', the institutionalised class scabbing of cops and screws has been ostracised. Most of them have come from working class backgrounds and that is another reason for such feelings. This is not a "moralistic" or "theoretical" position but one based on the assessment of a long lived historical experience - yet, IMO in itself more considered, historical and analytical than the opposing positions here.

irrationally angry

If you aren't interested in splitting the ranks of the repressive apparatus of the capitalist state then you aren't interested in having a succesful revolution. No matter how much you blather about class struggle, you are in essence a lifestylist or at best a militant reformist.

If you think giving support to this strike and developing closer links will now contribute anything to "splitting the ranks of the repressive apparatus of the capitalist state then" I will have to disagree and ask you to get a little sense of scale. So you've recruited a union boss, a screw one at that. As has been said, why stop there, why not cops too? I consider that little or no better than scabbing (call that 'moralistic' if you like - I call it principled). I think I've stated a clear case as to why I think some demarcation between some primarily repressive social roles/jobs and others is necessary (but I'm not going to keep repeating the same points in every post) - if you disagree, OK, but lame dismissals don't convince otherwise. If I don't agree with supporting screw strikes then "you are in essence a lifestylist or at best a militant reformist"? That is one of the more stupid and arrogant comments I've read on here. I also think it's dishonest to post on this thread without revealing that your organisation actually has screw members.

irrationally angry

It isn't even necessary to get to the theoretical idiocy which separates out cops and prison officers out as moral untouchables while not doing the same with soldiers.

Especially if you condemn and dismiss without responding to previously stated explanations - which are not very recognisable when compared to your distorted description. You couldn't even describe the views of this "theoetical idiocy" accurately - so who's the idiot?

So the SP have "won over" a screw union boss to join up. That hardly qualifies as splitting "the ranks of the repressive apparatus of the capitalist state". Perhaps it should be no surprise that those locked up in the prison of leninist/social democratic ideology should seek the company of screws to do their sentence.

Joseph Kay

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ret Marut

So you've recruited a union boss, a screw one at that. As has been said, why stop there, why not cops too?

iirc the SP line is that cops are "workers in uniform" so i doubt they'd have a problem with that. they're wrong*, but to be fair they're consistent.

* well it may be literally true, since cops are dispossessed of capital (if not power), but clearly the role is an anti-working class one.

posi

madashell, I don't agree. I'm sure we've all said to people that we support such and such a struggle, meaning that we oppose (for example) the line taken in the bourgeois press on strikes, always arguing that they are illegitimate, that they hurt everyone, that they are irresponsible etc.

Support of that sort is entirely a passive paper exercise though. It's not going to influence the outcome of the strike one way or the other.

In contrast, we argue with people that they should see the strikes not as a threat to themselves, but a part of the workers' movement, with which they should have a basic solidarity. And, "practically", if you liked, I would argue with someone against crossing a picket line.

Frankly, I don't see anything the POA does as "part of the workers' movement", precisely because of their failure to show solidarity of any kind with an entire section of the working class.

Solidarity is a two way street. If I or anybody else on here were to find ourselves in prison, we couldn't exactly count on screws to show any solidarity with us, why should we show any solidarity with them? It just doesn't work that way.

posi

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ret

This historical experience has, and - still does to some degree - express itself partly as collectively held values, traditions and principles; much the same as 'no forgiveness for scabs', the institutionalised class scabbing of cops and screws has been ostracised.

Do people really think it's generally true that the police are socially ostracised? Of course it happens in some places, to an extent. But in general? I'm not sure, I'm really asking.

Anyway, the collectively held traditions we have are not the product of "historical experience" in a general, they are the product of specific and limited historical experiences, by the fact that people's experience is nationally grounded, and only reaches back so far. The 1919 police strikes in Britain, or the communist committees working for revolt in the German army at the end of WW1 do not influence working class culture in general, but are nonetheless worth taking into account when taking a political stance.

madashell

Support of that sort is entirely a passive paper exercise though. It's not going to influence the outcome of the strike one way or the other.

no, it's political.

Frankly, I don't see anything the POA does as "part of the workers' movement", precisely because of their failure to show solidarity of any kind with an entire section of the working class.

just as long as we're being consistent with immigration, housing and dole officers, and security guards... fine.

Red Marriott

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

posi

Do people really think it's generally true that the police are socially ostracised? Of course it happens in some places, to an extent. But in general? I'm not sure, I'm really asking.

No - not generally - and less so after a period of 25 yrs of low class struggle. But amongst some sections of the working class, then and now, certainly. In my childhood it was quite a common occasional prank to 'throw stones at the police houses' where coppers lived, indicative of a certain cultural attitude towards cops. (I don't think police are provided with tied accommodation anymore.) Maybe the fact they don't share accomodation now has lessened this, but I think the 'canteen culture' spills over from the workplace and coppers have often tended to socialise predominantly with each other, with various police leisure/sports institutions for doing so.

A year after the end of the Miners Strike I remember a bunch of hefty guys asked me on a tube train how to get to Wapping - which was where I was going, to the printers picket. It turned out they were miners from a Yorkshire pit village the London Met police had occupied and trashed during the strike (complete with "You have just met the Met" stickers left on wrecked cars and buildings). They explained that, apart from repaying solidarity with the printers, they'd travelled down as ever since the strike they took any available opportunity to have a go back at the Met.

posi

no, it's political.

It's also ultimately irrelevant.

just as long as we're being consistent with immigration, housing and dole officers, and security guards... fine.

With the exception of immigration officers (who, at the risk of being accused of moralism, are actually scum), that's a completely different thing. The primary function of prison officers is the discipline of working class people who've broken laws set up to protect capitalism, this includes class struggle prisoners who we should be supporting as a matter of priority.

Ret Marut

If you think giving support to this strike and developing closer links will now contribute anything to "splitting the ranks of the repressive apparatus of the capitalist state then" I will have to disagree and ask you to get a little sense of scale.

I see that you don't dispute my comment that anyone who is uninterested in splitting the ranks of the repressive apparatus of the capitalist state is uninterested in a social revolution. Is that you think that we should only start attempting to do so during an actual revolution?

Ret Marut

That is one of the more stupid and arrogant comments I've read on here.

You clearly haven't been reading this site very closely.

IrrationallyAngry

Ret Marut

If you think giving support to this strike and developing closer links will now contribute anything to "splitting the ranks of the repressive apparatus of the capitalist state then" I will have to disagree and ask you to get a little sense of scale.

I see that you don't dispute my comment that anyone who is uninterested in splitting the ranks of the repressive apparatus of the capitalist state is uninterested in a social revolution. Is that you think that we should only start attempting to do so during an actual revolution?

Samotnaf

The only time I can think of when there developed some splits in the ranks of the repressive apparatus of the UK capitalist state is after the 1981 riots, when possibly thousands of cops resigned the force because their situation had become impossible (there was even a joke in the forces about a PC running back from the frontline confrontation with the rioters and saying to his superior, "Sarge - I can't take it any more"; the superior says "Superintendant to you, sonnie"; the PC replies "Bloody hell - I didn't think I'd run that far back)." Which says it all: encouragement to develop splits comes from class fury, not some wimpy "You should realise you class position entails solidarity with those you're oppressing" crap - or whatever proposed leaflet or whatever IrrationallyAngry fantasises handing out to cops.

I think Samotnaf gets a lot of things wrong, but he does seem to have a point here.

Yorkie Bar

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, that's the crucial point. When soldiers become militant, they don't stop shooting and demand more pay to start shooting again, they mutiny, and they desert. Applying the same criteria to cops, (obviously a different situation, but there are clear parallels), the radical thing to do is not to take industrial action as cops but to stop being cops.

~J.

baboon

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Within a massive wave of strikes in Britain, 1919, J. T. Murphy a militant of the shop stewards movement wrote: "... the Police Strike against the Government Bill prohibiting trade unionism in the police force took place. This strike was provoked by the Government for the purpose of ridding the police force of radical elements. The strike was only partial and centred in London and Liverpool. The Government was therefore easily able to 'cleanse' the force of the strikers and proceed with measures for its re-organisation as a more 'loyal' body.
This was the beginning of a process which has culminated in the Trenchard measures of 1933 for the transformation of the police into a 'class' proof militarized arm of the state."

And that is what it is today even more so. Individual police can resign, or there could be mutinies, but outside of these the police force is a repressive arm of the state against the working class and not even potentially part of it.

Django

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

BiglittleJ

Yeah, that's the crucial point. When soldiers become militant, they don't stop shooting and demand more pay to start shooting again, they mutiny, and they desert.

I don't think its quite that straightforward, e.g.:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invergordon_mutiny

BigLittleJ

Yeah, that's the crucial point. When soldiers become militant, they don't stop shooting and demand more pay to start shooting again, they mutiny, and they desert.

Not necessarily Sometimes that's how it is, but not always.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/8230793.stm

Edit: didn't see Django's post, but yeah...

vanilla.ice.baby

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Irrespective of whether we "like" or support prison officers or coppers (or soldiers) we should recognise that every time they take industrial action or threaten it - it causes problems for the state, and opens up opportunities for radical politics.

Beyond that, I certainly think we should offer support to individuals in reactionary jobs, who are becoming disillusioned and are prepared to quit over principles, and maybe even join the class struggle, there was a former copper in the SWP, and he was sound, he had quit for sound reasons and had a good analysis, probably better than many of his comrades.

I do think that for security reasons we cannot give the benefit of the doubt to former members of the security services, but apart from that, we don't turn away former fascists, or people who put heads in fridges, so I wouldn't automatically turn away a former screw, or one who wanted to quit for the right reasons. We may demand more evidence of their change of heart than we would others, but other than that.

Jason Cortez

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yes Posi, but the South African Defence Force soldiers are in open conflict with the state in a manner, far removed from the 'wildcat' strike by the screws. In the cases of mutiny, the risks are far greater than for even striking pigs, so by their very nature tend toward a rupture with the status quo. Life is indeed messy and where to draw the line around issues repressive agents of the state can be complicated and to a degree arbitrary but abandoning this process for what is little different to the 'workers in uniform' position is pragmaticism as ideology.

Vanilla

Irrespective of whether we "like" or support prison officers or coppers (or soldiers) we should recognise that every time they take industrial action or threaten it - it causes problems for the state, and opens up opportunities for radical politics.

Whilst it may cause some problems for the state, they are rarely significant and so almost never open any opportunities for radical politics, this is just wishful thinking

posi

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yes Posi, but the South African Defence Force soldiers are in open conflict with the state in a manner, far removed from the 'wildcat' strike by the screws.

Obviously there's a differencein the intensity/violence of the conflict, but both qualitatively set the state and its legal apparatus at odds with the striking workers concerned.

Althoug, anyway, I don't see what that does to undermine that example, or Django's as a falsification of LBJ's point.

Life is indeed messy and where to draw the line around issues repressive agents of the state can be complicated and to a degree arbitrary but abandoning this process for what is little different to the 'workers in uniform' position is pragmaticism as ideology.

Well, in a trivial sense obviously the prison officers are obviously "workers in uniform": they work, they bear the same "economic category" as other workers, they wear the uniform of the state. The problem with the SP position as I see it is that they see them as only workers in uniform; i.e. they abrogate a critique of the role of prison officers as such, they ignore the struggle of prisoners as an element of the struggle of the proletariat, the general acknowledgement of the repressive role of the police (etc.) is abstracted from the problems of the concrete confrontation that emerges in the struggle, that pits said uniformed workers against the rest of the proletariat.

Anyway, why don't you gve us a bit of help in saying where you draw the line, and what criteia you use to do so?

Red Marriott

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Irrationally Angry

I see that you don't dispute my comment that anyone who is uninterested in splitting the ranks of the repressive apparatus of the capitalist state is uninterested in a social revolution. Is that you think that we should only start attempting to do so during an actual revolution?

No - but that splitting is not an ahistorical eternal possibility, it's dependent on particular social conditions and developments - which I don't see present today. And sometimes what is claimed to be an attempt to do so is only an excuse for opportunist recruitment strategies that have nothing to do with creating disaffection. I don't anyway see recruitment to leftist parties as capable of achieving such a split, as they are themselves only wannabe repressive state-apparatuses-in-waiting.

You clearly haven't been reading this site very closely.

Oh, I have - and stand by my judgement.

Samotnaf

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Vanilla said:

there was a former copper in the SWP, and he was sound, he had quit for sound reasons and had a good analysis, probably better than many of his comrades.

.

raw rightly said:

Its obvious the SP won't have a problem with recruiting cops and screws because they have no problem with cops and screws full stop. The only problem they have with them is that they aren't all in the SP.

The same could be said of the SWP. Of course, vanilla said it was an ex-cop, not an actual one, so it's kind of different from the SP case, though he seems to think joining the SWP was a good thing. What he said might be true of those who pass through the SWP, maybe stay there for a year, but if the ex-cop had really had a "good analysis" and broken with the need for hierarchy, the belief in a Good State and the defence of reified commodity relations, he obviously wouldn't have joined the SWP.

As for the SocialistP - it's logical but it's also a surprise, for me at least, to have the top of the screw Union hierachy in what is officially a far-left party. It would have been unthinkable under Thatcher to have the top of the screw Union hierachy in Militant - for the POA, the government, the official 'opposition' as well as for Militant; posi said that at that time the screws were even more reactionary than now. But this is too easy to say. Sure, screws are more bullied by management than in the 80s (my heart bleeds). Sure, they're under greater pressure (who isn't?). But I think it's more a case of the epoch today being so utterly counter-revolutionary, that there's nothing very much concrete in the way of social contestation in the UK to show how reactionary both screws and the Socialist Party are. On the one hand, a Trot organisation with revolutionary pretensions has no need to put on an appearance of squaring their apparent 'socialism' with having a top screw in their organisation because there are so few prison riots that would show up the contradiction. Though maybe someone could tell me what their stance is when there are riots? I know that one of the leaders of Militant - can't remember - was it Sheridan? - condemned the Trafalgar Square poll tax riot of 1990 and wanted rioters to be grassed up and handed over to the cops, but at least he got a lot of criticism from Militant's rank and file. But would those kinds of grumblings from the base happen today? The screws have no need to show how reactionary they are in practice - they rarely get the opportunity to put down a riot. Under Thatcher, with the riots of '86 and the Strangeway's riot of 1990, plus innumerable other riots, screws' reactionary role was very clear.

As for the various posts insisting that a free society would involve prisons and cops, not one of you have answered an earlier post of mine:

1.Incarcerating anti-social leftovers of the mad alienation of class society (the ex-cops, ex-screws, politicians, rapists, paedophiles, etc.) all in the same horrible anti-social alienated hellhole is obviously idiotic.
2.If elements of incarceration are necessary they will have nothing to do with the brutal repressive reality of prisons throughout history.
3.To think that we'd call such incarceration a 'prison' is as like calling 'workers' councils' (or whatever term you'd like to imagine the future fantasy society to be) 'the State' or 'the government'. This is not just a question of semantic terms but of a break with hierarchical notions and practices of social control. Killing scum is not the same as capital punishment. Forcible restraint is not the same as prison. A margin of rationing ( where scarcity is not forced by capitalist property relations but comes about because of production differences between different geographical areas) is not money.

Jack thinks he answered it by saying:

"communist prisons" (I don't really care about the semantics, I doubt whether anyone cares if they're called prisons, rehabilitation centres or any other name) would - beyond the fact that they would be a place where people had broken laws would be forcibly detained - be entirely different to capitalist prisons.

How? How does it help putting everyone we could all agree are obnoxiously anti-social in a revolutionary sense (recalcitrant ex-politicians, rapists, paedophiles, etc) in one institution/building together? And surely if you talk about communist prisons being entirely different from capitalist prisons that's rather like saying the communist State will be entirely different from the capitalist State (haven't we all heard that ideology somewhere?). Obviously in this future (admittedly slim) possibility there will be some way of punishing people who act in ways the community they're part of find insupportable. But it's not just semantics that separates, say, "grounding" a teenage kid from the idea of putting him/her in prison, but a general attitude that you want social relations to constantly experiment with changes that have some healthy result. If we talk about the abolition of the State that also means abolishing specialists in social control, abolishing cops and screws; the task of determining the methods of making it clear to people that certain behaviour is unacceptable will be the task of the whole of the anti-hierarchical community. As Ret Marut said:

a far more important question is how would such anti-social acts be dealt with within a radical social movement (and how have they been? ...). The lived experience of doing so is likely to provide more answers for the post-revolutionary era than dogmatic ideological positioning from any angle.

If these discussions have any purpose then it's partly to make sense of history and our history with others and of our own history inter-relating with mass history, so as to act in a clearer manner in the future . What punishments have we received or given that we considered changed a situation for the good? What punishments during intense moments of class struggle have changed situations for the good? What punishments are we prepared to mete out to those we consider beyond the pale? For me, prison isn't an answer to any of these.

As for the difference between the army and cops and screws, I think Ret has answered that:

We rarely, if ever, meet soldiers here in the UK as a repressive force used against class struggle. If we ever have to face soldiers on the streets you can try to subvert them and/or demoralise them (very difficult with a professional army) but if you want to continue to struggle you have to accept that while they act as soldiers they are on the opposite side - otherwise just put some flowers in their barrels and hug them or join the Clown Army.

But no-one who has raised this "but what about your attitude to soldiers?"- type question has bothered to deal with what Ret said, partly because they prefer to deal with abstractions about who is a worker and who isn't without looking at the concrete us and them situations that people find themselves in (as Ret has also pointed out).

An aside:
I must admit to having talked with a screw once (other than the very brief moment I was inside 40 years ago). He turned up at a few 'No War But the Class War" meetings in London 2002. I'd known him fairly well about 30 years previously (we'd distributed a situ-influenced leaflet he'd mostly written), and I'd occasionally bump into him on and off since. After the first meeting he turned up to, he told me he was a screw in a courtroom, been doing it about 6 months if I remember. I was a little astounded as in the NWBTCW meetings he was still clearly influenced by the situationists. Even more surprised when he said he was getting 12 grand a year for the job in London, which seemed to be the minimum wage, possibly less. My feeling was - yes, we're all doing things (or not doing things) now when 30 years previously we would have been, but that's a compromise too far. I found his choice bizarre, though financial desperation can make you do crazy things (I remember reading about someone in Germany in the 30s meeting an old friend and being astounded that he was in the SS; the guy replied, "Well - after 5 years of unemployment they can use me how they like"). The second time I was a bit distant until he told me he'd chucked it in ( after about 6 months ) because he'd tried to organise a strike (over pay) but the other screws were totally wimpy and backed out of it. I suppose a screw in a courtroom is a bit different from a screw in a prison - no barrack mentality. Though I'm not justifying him at least he didn't stay long. The point being...? Well, I suppose there are occasionally exceptions to my rule, "don't talk to screws or cops if you don't want to feel like filth yourself".

Schmoopie

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thread continued from, http://libcom.org/forums/news/wildcat-strikes-belgium-28052016. To put it in context, Richard 1917 reported that amongst other actions of our class, prison officers in Belgium had staged Wildcat strikes in recent days. The opinion was expressed by rat that, 'We really could not give a flying fuck about any prison guards though.'

I retorted: 'And psychiatric nurses, school teachers, parking attendants, park wardens...? All agents of social control, but simultaneously wage workers.' To which I received the reply from radicalgraffiti that I was 'talking shit'.

radicalgraffiti wrote:

Schmoopie wrote:

So say so! It is more social.
When I was inside, the cons and remands were definitely my friends but the screws were not my enemies.

really? so they didn't do anything to stop people leaving anytime they felt like it? you and everyone one else was just their for a holiday?

Don't get me wrong! I was fully aware that prison officers are a force of violence used against inmates and that it was necessary for inmates to counter that force of violence with our own; I am not naive. However, to treat each prison officer as your class enemy would be unwise in prison.

radicalgraffiti

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

this thread is 7 years old, you might as well have started a new one

Schmoopie

Thread continued from, http://libcom.org/forums/news/wildcat-strikes-belgium-28052016. To put it in context, Richard 1917 reported that amongst other actions of our class, prison officers in Belgium had staged Wildcat strikes in recent days. The opinion was expressed by rat that, 'We really could not give a flying fuck about any prison guards though.'

I retorted: 'And psychiatric nurses, school teachers, parking attendants, park wardens...? All agents of social control, but simultaneously wage workers.' To which I received the reply from radicalgraffiti that I was 'talking shit'.

radicalgraffiti wrote:

Schmoopie wrote:

So say so! It is more social.
When I was inside, the cons and remands were definitely my friends but the screws were not my enemies.

really? so they didn't do anything to stop people leaving anytime they felt like it? you and everyone one else was just their for a holiday?

Don't get me wrong! I was fully aware that prison officers are a force of violence used against inmates and that it was necessary for inmates to counter that force of violence with our own; I am not naive. However, to treat each prison officer as your class enemy would be unwise in prison.

i don't know what you mean by "treat each prison officer as your class enemy" here, they are clearly a part of the mechanism by which the ruling class controls the working class. not only that they are one of the most simply oppressive parts. lots of jobs have aspects that are oppressive, but with prison guards thats pretty much there entire function, in what sense are they not the enemies of the working class?

Schmoopie

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

radicalgraffiti:

...in what sense are they not the enemies of the working class?

In the sense, and to the extent, that they are a part of the working class. Remember, the context that we are referring to prison officers is not in their compliant role as custodians but as strikers.

Fleur

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In the sense, and to the extent, that they are a part of the working class. Remember, the context that we are referring to prison officers is not in their compliant role as custodians but as strikers.

The cops where I live have been in dispute and have been taking action for months. Are they also part of the working class and in need of our support?

*answer, no they are not.

radicalgraffiti

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Schmoopie

radicalgraffiti:

...in what sense are they not the enemies of the working class?

In the sense, and to the extent, that they are a part of the working class. Remember, the context that we are referring to prison officers is not in their compliant role as custodians but as strikers.

they are a part of the working class, a part thats function is to oppress other parts of the working class. People need to understand there are conflicting interests within the working class, some of this can be overcome though solidarity, but at a basic level prison guards are at odds with the majority of the working class, that doesn't go away because they are on strike

Fleur

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Also, let's play one of these things is not like the others:

psychiatric nurses,
school teachers,
park wardens,
prison guards.

Can you pick the odd one out?

Noah Fence

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Schmoopie

radicalgraffiti:

...in what sense are they not the enemies of the working class?

In the sense, and to the extent, that they are a part of the working class. Remember, the context that we are referring to prison officers is not in their compliant role as custodians but as strikers.

That is a pretty extraordinary post. And not in a good way.

factvalue

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fleur

Also, let's play one of these things is not like the others:

psychiatric nurses,
school teachers,
park wardens,
prison guards.

Can you pick the odd one out?

Park wardens.

no1

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fleur

Also, let's play one of these things is not like the others:

psychiatric nurses,
school teachers,
park wardens,
prison guards.

Can you pick the odd one out?

It must be school teachers - psychiatric nurses, park wardens, and prison guards all wear uniforms, right? That's what libertarian communists are opposed to?

factvalue

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Nah, park wardens. They get paid to lock people out.

factvalue

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fleur

In the sense, and to the extent, that they are a part of the working class. Remember, the context that we are referring to prison officers is not in their compliant role as custodians but as strikers.

The cops where I live have been in dispute and have been taking action for months. Are they also part of the working class and in need of our support?

*answer, no they are not.

Incorrect. If cops go on strike then presumably there won't be any cops, therefore they deserve our full support.

Schmoopie

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Glad to see no one's lost their sense of humour.

Spikymike

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

factvalue,
Your brief comment re-opens the question of what is meant by 'support' far more adequately argued out in the earlier sections of this thread which hopefully recent posters have actually troubled to read.

Noah Fence

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Schmoopie

Glad to see no one's lost their sense of humour.

Hey, were you trollin'? If so, you're the nuts. If not you're just nuts, period.

Schmoopie

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noah, you're one crazy beatnik! What does your last remark have to do with prison officers' strike action? I'm bemused.

The working class is revolutionary or it is nothing

(Marx's letter to J.B. Schweitzer, 1865)

Quoted here: https://libcom.org/library/marx-theoretician-anarchism

Trolling or not, I see from the posts immediately above that we have a difference of opinion. On the one hand we have those that believe prison officers are a part of the working class, on the other hand are those that believe they are not.

Noah Fence

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Crazy beatnik! Love it. So you're not trolling then? Wowzers. I just can't see how prison officers can be seen as anything but collaborators and class enemies. But then I am crazy. And a beatnik too! xxx

factvalue

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Having not read the thread at all before this page, would it not be necessary to encourage any form of dissent in the ranks of screws, pigs, grunts or any other part of the working class which had been paid to kill the other half? In any revolutionary period would it not be necessary to bring such benighted individuals into the light to secure victory? Sorry if this has already come up 'far more adequately' earlier.

Schmoopie

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noah, I hate screws but that is personal not political.

...would it not be necessary to encourage any form of dissent in the ranks of screws, pigs, grunts or any other part of the working class which had been paid to kill the other half? In any revolutionary period would it not be necessary to bring such benighted individuals into the light to secure victory? Sorry if this has already come up 'far more adequately' earlier.

This is close to what I've been thinking this afternoon. And to sow dissent means to break the esprit de corps of the prison service, to show rank and file officers where their interests lie.

Noah Fence

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Schmoopie

Noah, I hate screws but that is personal not political.

Well, as I say, extraordinary.

Schmoopie

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I just can't see how prison officers can be seen as anything but collaborators and class enemies

Fence, perhaps this will help.
[youtube]L2YtYjMRbkY[/youtube]

Noah Fence

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Schmoopie

Noah, I was bemused, I will cease before I become exasperated by your bizarre conversational technique. Good night and write soon.

Blimey, it's hardly a technique, just the inadequate mumblings of an inept dickhead.
I'm doing my best comrade but it appears to be woefully lacking and now you don't want to be my friend. Sob.

Schmoopie

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

If that's your best comrade I hate to see you at your worst. I'm happy to be your friend but my primary motivation to post here is not to make friends.

Noah Fence

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So what is your prime motivation? Mine is to amuse myself.

Noah Fence

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Schmoopie

I just can't see how prison officers can be seen as anything but collaborators and class enemies

Fence, perhaps this will help.
[youtube]L2YtYjMRbkY[/youtube]

Btw, this won't link.

Schmoopie

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

To learn of revolution. By the by I am amused and sometimes bemused and sometimes exasperated and insulted but hopefully that makes us stronger.

I can watch the link on my tablet. It is an account of the repercussions of the ongoing strike by prison staff. The commentator describes the situation as approaching insurrectional.

Noah Fence

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ok, I could engage properly on this but I'm in far too silly a mood right now so I'll leave it.