Are you gunna 'do' the G8?

Aye - cabre, kilts and riot cops
50% (21 votes)
Nay - err.. Marxism 2005?
50% (21 votes)
Total votes: 42

Posted By

Jacques Roux
May 25 2005 16:41

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AndrewF
May 26 2005 15:44

I'm not suggesting people go and get nicked for the sake of it. If you don't want to get arrested stay out of the front lines and stay with the crowds and you should be safe.

pingtiao wrote:
On this: I haven't decided whether to go or not. I can't see it being very succesful

If you mean you reckon it won't shut down the G8 you are almost certainly right. However the cops might cock it up (as they did in Prague) so you never know. Also the blockades could well disrupt stuff enough to make it a draw.

But really that is never what these things were about. A clear victory as in Seattle or Prague is a nice moral boost but it doesn't bring capitalism crashing down. Go expecting to to meet people and exchange ideas (and to learn) and you'll get something out of it. Go expecting some sort of final conflict and you'll probably just get nicked.

gurrier
May 26 2005 15:47
Jack wrote:
I assume based on your arguments you attended the ESF and tried to raise your arguments and made networks there?

And no, Beyond ESF clearly doesn't count.

Yep, I went to both. I was amazed and appalled at the absolute lack of any class struggle anarchist propaganda at one of the biggest gatherings of people who are likely to be interested in their ideas in the country for a long time. It did little to alter my impression of the class struggle anarchist movement in the UK as being a clique who see themselves as having perfect politics and who will spend much more time and energy sneering at other people than trying to change their minds. What's worse is when they spend that time and energy sneering at people who do at least try to connect with the less-than-perfectly politically educated members of the population.

pingtiao
May 26 2005 15:51
Jack wrote:

I agree with you, actually, in regards to the ESF. I apologise, for the reasons you jsut stated, I'd assumed you wouldn't have been there and I could have used that to score cheap points. embarrassed

Quoted for posterity.

Now stop being an offensive eejit and engage constructively.

These people are not your enemies, Jack, they are other class struggle anarchists.

AndrewF
May 26 2005 15:52
Jack wrote:
Why would I want to network with anarchists?

Well your running this board so you tell me?

AndrewF
May 26 2005 15:58
Jack wrote:
I didn't say they were my enemies, they attacked me and my comrades as "jokers" because we're not going to G8.

Nope I (singular) attacked you as jokers because of the way you were taking the piss out of those who were going.

[Edited to add - although looking back I see it was Gav and John who had wound me up and you just made the mistake of using the patronising roll eyes as I came to the boil.]

sovietpop
May 26 2005 15:58
Jack wrote:
Why would I want to network with anarchists?

Seriously. What does it gain for me, CAG or the class? How does me meeting up with a group of people, with nothing in common other than "we don't like the G8" help anything at all? .

Jack I find your entire post very strange because it shows a complete lack of knowledge about what type of people go to these summit protests. I can guarantee that there will be anarchists at the summit and many of them will have a lot more experience than you have, and will be involved in organising in their local areas, and a lot of their experiences of struggles and the problems they face you will find will be similar to your experiences and problems and you can learn from them. In fact your post suggests to me that you could really gain from actually meeting and talking to a few people beyond your own immediate circle.

sovietpop
May 26 2005 16:18

The trouble is, your perception of the type of people who are going to be there seems to be based on prejudice rather than actual experience (I'm assuming you haven't been to one of these summits before).

I met some of the Dissent people a couple of weeks ago in Dublin, who I think did indeed come from an Earth First background, but I was very impressed with the approach he was taking in terms of going into communities and using the G8 as an opportunity to talk about politics. This doesn't seem a million miles away from what you are trying to do.

Mike Harman
May 26 2005 16:39
sovietpop wrote:

I met some of the Dissent people a couple of weeks ago in Dublin, who I think did indeed come from an Earth First background, but I was very impressed with the approach he was taking in terms of going into communities and using the G8 as an opportunity to talk about politics. This doesn't seem a million miles away from what you are trying to do.

Which communities? Without wanting to read too much into your post, it sounds a bit like a speaking tour of areas around Gleneagles (a bit like the 'community work' that people were planning for the run up to the event). Dropping into communities from outside for propaganda purposes or even to paint a couple of fences for a couple of weeks isn't the same as engaging with the people who live and work around you.

I had a meeting outside work on Tuesday with three others to discuss collective strategies we could use to deal with our boss. Very early days, but that's the closest I've got so far to taking self-organised collective action in my workplace (every other shit job I've had I've just applied for another job, although we're all doing that as well). I'll be looking to push that further as it develops, and hopefully it will increase all of our self-confidence.

Jack's point about "anti-capitalism" not necessarily meaning "against capitalism" but rather globalisation/unfair trade/corporations is a prescient one. A rejection of capitalism doesn't mean rejecting the bad stuff about capitalism, it means rejecting commodity production and wage labour, and that affects people on a daily basis and is best dealt with politically on that basis, not once a year 600 miles away.

Mike Harman
May 26 2005 16:49

Smart, polite and well worded:

Quote:

And no, most of the people protesting at the G8 don't think capitalism is the problem, they think "multi-nationals", "globalisation" or "unfair world trade rules" are the problem. It presents capitalism as something out there, that you travel to Gleneagles to protest. And if they say it's capitalism, it's not capitalism as a real existant part of their lives, it's something abstract and out there, and not based in class struggle.

followed by this:

Quote:

I'd rather slam my cock in my oven than 'network' with anti-socials who screach about capitalism, without refering or relating to any real class struggle.

roll eyes

Ghost_of_the_re...
May 26 2005 16:58

Remember folks, the phrase 'class struggle' must appear 3 or more times in every sentence you write or say or you aren't a revolutionary.

Refused
May 26 2005 17:07

Damn straight.

seanito
May 26 2005 19:56

will be going although i totally agree with the the criticisms made of 'summit hopping' and 'spectacular events.' its is no substitute for organising in our communities and workplaces. The evets provides us with a space to to share experinces, skills etc, but the community gathering in London is far more useful for class struggle anarchism.

Mike Harman
May 26 2005 22:05

Welcome to the boards seanito.

Volin
May 26 2005 22:55

fair enough if you're all going to be sad, house-bound old men and not go to the biggest demo. in Britain for like ever, but to go to Marxism 2005 instead?? Puh-lease.

Bokonon
May 27 2005 00:32

Well i'm fucking going.

It seems to me like loads of posters here have lost all their optimism, which is a fucking sad thing. Sorry to sound like a hippy, but it is. The g8 being as big as Dsei? If it is I'll cry. No i wont, i'll blame myself for not organising enough, i'll do something about it. It should be far bigger. And i'm sure we wont stop the bastards having their talks, and even if we did the world wouldnt really change. But like countering anything to do with capitalism, you only ever come accross its symbols and branches, not the whole thing, and if fighting that symbol can mean something like merely pulling down a fence ala cancun then so be it. I dont expect to bring capitalism or nations down, but the fights still neccessary.

LiveFastDiarrea
May 27 2005 07:54

One good reason not to go, Bob geldof and his concert, Spice girls might be reforming to play.

Or have I got the wrong end of the stick and this wont actually be at g8 but somewhere else about the same time?

Rob Ray
May 27 2005 08:02

Not sure about when, but Geldof has said he wants nothing to do with it, and will probably ban them from attatching the Live Aid name, as he owns the copyright.

sovietpop
May 27 2005 08:39
Catch wrote:

Which communities? Without wanting to read too much into your post, it sounds a bit like a speaking tour of areas around Gleneagles (a bit like the 'community work' that people were planning for the run up to the event). Dropping into communities from outside for propaganda purposes or even to paint a couple of fences for a couple of weeks isn't the same as engaging with the people who live and work around you.

The Trapese website says, that since September they have given over 50 workshops around England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. You seem to have a very black and white view of organising, you keep talking in false opposite. There is no reason why you can't both tour with propaganda meetings AND use these an opportunity to engage with the people you work with. Granted there is the time and resourse issue, perhaps you personally can't travel around the country, but you could link up with those who are and find ways for their work to help your work and visa versa.

Catch wrote:

I had a meeting outside work on Tuesday with three others to discuss collective strategies we could use to deal with our boss.

Good luck.

Catch wrote:

Jack's point about "anti-capitalism" not necessarily meaning "against capitalism" but rather globalisation/unfair trade/corporations is a prescient one. A rejection of capitalism doesn't mean rejecting the bad stuff about capitalism, it means rejecting commodity production and wage labour, and that affects people on a daily basis and is best dealt with politically on that basis, not once a year 600 miles away.

Again your false opposites. Yes there is a difference between between anti-unfair trade and anti-capitalist, and part of our jobs as revolutionaries is to convince people who have taken the first step to take the next one. Which means we have to meet them, talk to them, convince them. And you are correct, this is something that can be done on a daily basis, but it also can be done at these one of events.

For me being a revolutionary means working at very different levels, it's not a case of workplace activity OR community activity 0R going to summits OR fighting for womens rights OR to protect the environment OR producting a paper OR getting a website toghether OR networking with other anarchists OR organising big events; but its a case of being involved in as many of these levels of activity as possible, because each level teaches me a little bit more about how to be a revolutionary and each level addresss a different problem in society. Obviously one person can't do all that, which is why I think its important to be in an anarchist organisation. And obviously if an organisation is small, it'll have to priortise what it can spend time and resourses on, but in doing this, it shouldn't start degnegrating those spheres of activity that it isn't able to get involved in, and elevating what is in reality an organisational weakness into some type of political principal.

oisleep
May 27 2005 08:47
Ghost_of_the_revolution wrote:
Remember folks, the phrase 'class struggle' must appear 3 or more times in every sentence you write or say or you aren't a revolutionary.

who can struggle the most eh!

Diocletianus
May 27 2005 08:50

part of our jobs as revolutionaries

Are you,do you have to fill in a cv,were a grey shiny suit for the interveiw,have a sensible haircut,whats the dosh ,can i apply.

Rob Ray
May 27 2005 09:55

Oh if only the left could sort out sensible haircuts...

Diocletianus
May 27 2005 10:02
Saii wrote:
Oh if only the left could sort out sensible haircuts...

Sensible haircuts install a sense of discipline and order.If you wear scrunnced up delibratly scruffy hair ala hip londerners ,or dreadful whiteboy dreads it makes you stray from the rightous path.

The right barnet cutosty of mr aled jones pre-voice broken days

LiveFastDiarrea
May 27 2005 10:06

He said at some award thingy the other night that he was gonna put one on, but it would not be called live aid. Sting has been *told* he is playing apparently.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/4583799.stm

Lazlo_Woodbine
May 27 2005 12:06
sovietpop wrote:
For me being a revolutionary means working at very different levels, it's not a case of workplace activity OR community activity 0R going to summits OR fighting for womens rights OR to protect the environment OR producting a paper OR getting a website toghether OR networking with other anarchists OR organising big events; but its a case of being involved in as many of these levels of activity as possible, because each level teaches me a little bit more about how to be a revolutionary and each level addresss a different problem in society. Obviously one person can't do all that, which is why I think its important to be in an anarchist organisation. And obviously if an organisation is small, it'll have to priortise what it can spend time and resourses on, but in doing this, it shouldn't start degnegrating those spheres of activity that it isn't able to get involved in, and elevating what is in reality an organisational weakness into some type of political principal.

more like this and I'll have to skip the AF and go straight to hard core platformism via the WSm...

pingtiao
May 27 2005 13:07

Good post sovietpop.

Lazlo_Woodbine
May 27 2005 14:21

The rural convergance centre will be one of the biggest attempts at a self-managed space in the UK in recent years. It'll be good to go along and learn from it, plus get proof that non-hierarchy can work and feed lots of people, etc in the here and now.

AndrewF
May 27 2005 14:50

Whew I'd a bad case of Friday afternoon boredom

revol68 wrote:
our "job" as "revolutionaries" is to engage in activity that helps the development of proletarian self activity, to put forward the best analysis we have and to realise that we actually aren't revolutionaries but rather proletarians looking to articulate and help develop revolutionary tendencies within the working class (tendencies that are actually concretely routed in our experiance of capital).

I think the nature of your problem is that you've got so wrapped up in academic marxist twaddle that your no longer capable of analysing anything for yourself.

It's not rocket science to realise that many of those taking part in the protests will be 'proletarians' and that the nature of the protest helps to develop 'revolutionary tendencies within the working class' by putting the existance of capitalism up for debate. Yes this also happens in the workplace but in case you haven't noticed the level of workplace struggle is at an all time low. This has a lot to do with lack of confidence and lack of solidarity so any exercise that builds confidence and solidaity among a section of proletarians is a good thing.

This is the argument you don't appear to have even noticed much less replied to but it has been made several times already.

revol68 wrote:
Protesting outside gleneagles does nothing to increase the self confidence of the working class

Says who?

You see my experience is different. Last night for instance I was out leafletting retail workers as part of the 'Stand up for your Rights' campaign. Those doing this with me included a significant number of individuals who at least in part got (or regained) their self confidence as a result of Genoa, Mayday and similar events. People who took part in the Shannon direct actions went on to attempt to unionise their workplaces - and it was the experience of confrontation with the state (in the form of riot police) that was part of the reason they had the confidence to do so.

The working class is composed of individuals and for many individuals the experience of standing up to capitalism in the form of the riot police surrounding the G8 is exactly the sort of thing that gives them the confidence to stand up to their boss. The experience of trying to break through a line of riot police illustrates very well how solidarity and collective action can create a powerful force out of a mass of individuals. Even organising the catering for 500 people leaves you with all sorts of organisational skills (decision making, budgeting, advance planning) that are key to organising a successful local campaign.

Now in all this there is a role for revolutionary organisation (and we are an organistion of revolutionaries - not simply of proletarians.) That is to encourage the movement of people from spectacular protest to local protest. I say encourage because this also happens to a certain extent spontaneously.

You don't do this by pissing on what people are already doing - you do it by providing both the arguments for and the physical linkage between these different struggles. You do it by being with them not by hollering from the outside about the superiority of your program (and you don't even do this).

revol68 wrote:
, but to here WSM members try to present it as a useful event is frightening, the one thing i always respected the WSM for was there distance from the acitivist ghetto, unlike the british anarchist movement.

We never defined ourselves around distance from the activist ghetto and indeed considered groups that did this to be stupid. We define ourselves as an organisation that doesn't just talk the talk but also walks the walk. That is we put activity (and therefore activism) at the centre of our work as an organisation.

That is what actually makes us different. If you actually stripped out our excellent propaganda work we'd look a lot like a very active local group involved in a surprising range of issues.

pingtiao
May 27 2005 14:58

that was a particularly lame comeback

Rob Ray
May 27 2005 15:12

I think both sides are right (just to be contrary you understand). I think it's right to say that simply concentrating effort on people you can already get at is a horribly inefficient way to use resources, and a tactical mistake, but that's something we have to live with.

On the other hand, I don't think that overall, the G8 gathering will be an utter waste of time. It is almost certain to train a great number of people in worthwhile skills - as does any large-scale training centre, be it for business or activism.

And although I'd prefer that skills training to be spread more widely amongst people who actively need it, as opposed to the anarchist ghetto, a better trained ghetto is, I suspect, going to be a mild improvement overall.

Doesn't mean I support the G8 protests as a Good Thing, because as has been pointed out elsewhere, the sheer amount of funding and effort that has gone on to produce what will be a very unreliable and probably quite minor positive impact on UK activism is horrifying. To think what we could use that money for elsewhere...

But it's done now, no use in crying about it, and good luck to those who want to try and use it to steer some dumb young fucks into a life of more useful pursuits wink.

AndrewF
May 27 2005 15:43
revol68 wrote:
joe the problem is that people have moved on since genoa, it's true that many people have moved onto more pertinent stuff, and i liked the article about HMV you had in your paper (it's exactly the kind of thing I love to see develop, problem being im not to good an organiser myself and have no intention of pretending otherwise,).

Good example

http://struggle.ws/wsm/ws/2005/84/music.html

The guy that was about had been previously involved in the Shannon protests and "active in the Dublin Grassroots Network" precisly the body you have previously written off. Someone else from DGN had a go at organising the bar they worked in (but it went nowhere because the unions was useless), another DGNer (and now WSMer) has organised the bar she works in (went for a different union - IWU) and as a result got a lot of back pay (I think they hadn't been giving them holiday pay). They are all post Genoa as far as I know.

As to not being a good organiser - well as argued above one of the reasons for doing the summit thing (and I don't just mean going, I mean organising) is that you get all sorts of skills that you would otherwise have very little chance to develop. Including talking to people who have different politics but convincing them that it is worth doing some project together.

revol68 wrote:
But you seem to think that because people came out of the summit hopping shit that this can be repeated ad nauseum, it can't, there is a point where the net affect of summit hopping becomes a defeciet, serving only to misdirect and engender shitter and shitter politics.

This is a theoretical opinion - my own experience provides no evidence for it so can I ask what evidence you have for it?

I would suggest that - here at least - both summit protests and the related RTS have formed a sort of 'school' for new activists. That is a load of teens / early twenties heads organise one or two and then mostly move on with another batch taking over.

In theory this might change at some point in the future and at that point I'll be the first to say its time to kill it off. But I see no evidence for that point having been reached.

revol68 wrote:
You mention the low level of workplace struggle and I completely agree but what I would say is that in it's absence im not going to artificialy inflate militant opposition to capitalism (which is exactly what events like Gleneagles do!) in order to tie myself over.

This is an answer to a point no one has made which gets around having to deal with the points that have been made.

revol68 wrote:
As for me being some sort of academic marxist well thats bollox,

It's what you increasingly sound like and you wouldn't be the first person I've known to take that path. What is it that you 'do' rather than 'say'? In my experience people who theorise about activism being useless are often choosing theories that avoid them having to recognise they are simply demoralised and dropping out.

revol68 wrote:
im just not some sad fuck who has to fill their lives with futile symbolic acts of resistance.

Actually they can be quite good crack - a problem is that they are often fun while actual 'acts of resistance' at the current level of struggle involved a lot of very pooring preparation work. So arguing that some activism is worthwhile but will never be fun is whats needed - not convincing people to judge what they do by how much fun it is!

revol68 wrote:
You can't equate opposition to something as concrete as the Gulf War and military refueling to an international talking shop with buffet!

In terms of the Shannon protests http://struggle.ws/wsm/shannon.html

I can because

1. They involved the same organisation (grassroots)

2. They involved the same tactic (a mostly symbol entry into a place we were not meant to be)

3. They involved the same opposition (lines of riot police)

4. They also involved the odd buffet and spot of camping

5. Most importantly the logistics situation was similar (need to organise coaches)