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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Caiman del Barrio
May 27 2005 15:43
JoeBlack2 wrote:
the ESF appeared to be a trot fest.

Are Trots not opposed to capitalism?? Surely a comment like that is no better than those whom you're attacking for isolating themselves from other anarchists??

AndrewF
May 27 2005 16:01
Alan_is_Fucking_Dead wrote:
Are Trots not opposed to capitalism?? Surely a comment like that is no better than those whom you're attacking for isolating themselves from other anarchists??

I used to go to (Irish) marxism regularly and I spent a lot of my time arguing with trots. In that period I don't think I convinced a single trot to become an anarchist (although one or two dropped out).

A couple of years concentrating on working with anarchists on concrete projects resulted in the SWP supply of recruits drying up (they are in real trouble here) and quite a number of trots becoming libertarians.

If I was in Britain I'd have argued for us to go to ESF, to have leafleats and to make arguments there (I've spoken at the Irish Social Forum although the healthier state of the movement here means the SWP are only marginally involved). But I'd have expected to have got more out of the alternative ESF so if resources were limited and it was one or the other I'd have gone for that.

As far as I can make out the organised end of the British anarchist movement went to neither (or at least made no intervention at either). That is the real problem - choosing one over the other would have been a big advance on that.

Calling it a 'trot fest' was a bit glib but from talking to the Irish people who went over it was a bit of a nightmare in how things shouldn't be done.

Mike Harman
May 27 2005 16:12
sovietpop wrote:

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.

Your original words were:

sovietpops original post 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.

I made no value judgement on the speaking tour, I simply pointed out that it isn't community organising. It might be productive political activity, but that's not the argument I'm making. You claimed that this Dissent speaking tour "isn't a million miles away" from what I'm trying to do, and I claimed that it was in fact quite different. Do you disagree?

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.

sovietpop wrote:

Good luck.

thanks, if anything comes of it I'll report back.

Quote:

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.

Again, you've misread my point. JoeBlack said (paraphrasing)

Quote:
Lots of people who are anti-capitalist will be there and you should argue libertarian communist ideas with them

Jack and I simply pointed out that a lot of (self-styled?) "anti-capitalists" aren't against capitalism itself, they may have the best intentions, and be moving in that direction, but lots of people who identify with that term simply want "nice" capitalism. As such, Joe's criteria for deciding whether someone's against capitalism may well differ from ours. That doesn't mean we don't think anti-"unfair"-trade people will move towards an anticapitalist position, or that anti-capitalists might move to a specifically libertarian communist position - they do, but it's important to distinguish what we're talking about if people are going to make claims about the political composition of the protests in either direction. Such a distinction should also determine the approach to propagandising and argument in that context - are you arguing against one thing or for something else, for example?

sovietpop wrote:

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.

The process of discussion and self criticism (as individuals and as part of a "movement" if such a thing actually exists right now) is essential if we're to engage effectively with society. We should be prepared to learn from past mistakes and victories, and also to assess current events, trends and activities as best we can. This may descend into piss-taking sometimes, but fundamentally it's important to be as critical as possible about what we're doing in the hope that we can improve it. This isn't pessimism, it's the highest form of optimism - the recognition that by assessing why some things don't work, we might actually be able to get somewhere - instead of ritualistically banging our heads against brick walls for ever instead. Also, I'm very wary of 'professional activism', or full-timing, I don't think that makes people any more effective as revolutionaries.

Thora
May 29 2005 11:17

Well I'm going to go. I've found the organising process itself really worthwhile, met a lot of people and been to a lot of places around the country that I wouldn't have otherwise. And I'm looking forward to some interesting actions during the summit.

Anyone travelling from London and interested in the South East Assembly trains see www.resistg8.org.uk

redmist
May 29 2005 16:56

it seems every time there is a summit the same false dichotomy is brought up;either Summit OR community organising. I acknowledge critiques of 'activism' but to follow this through to the extent of saying that going to a summit demo is somehow patronising to those proletarians who don't turn up, is IMO a political cul-de-sac.

I wonder how many people on these boards -who have only recently got interested in anarchist/marxist politics -were drawn to it because of the summit/mayday protests or was it through 'community' struggles? In the present circumstnces it seems highly likely to be the former.

Community struggles can take place on a number of different levels;

locally,regionally,internationally.All have their place,with the struggle against the G8 being the latter.

Lazlo_Woodbine
May 29 2005 17:09

Most of the people who are involved in and post on this forum were brought together by protest politics, not community organising. This forum wouldn't exist if it wasn't for 'shit politics'.

<archives post for regular use in next 10 years>

ffaker
May 29 2005 18:40
Lazlo_Woodbine wrote:
Most of the people who are involved in and post on this forum were brought together by protest politics, not community organising. This forum wouldn't exist if it wasn't for 'shit politics'.

For better or worse I came in though a) the anti-war movement; b) seeing anarchists in Mayday riots on TV; c) spotting the Anarchist FAQ in the Debian GNU/Linux archive and realising that anarchism was an actual political system, not just "anarchy" in the popular "chaos" sense of the word; and d) anarchist elements in my own pre-existing spiritual beliefs. I will say that reading various stuff, including the Libcom (and enrager as was) forums has brought me to a much greater understanding of the importance of class-based politics (though I do wish people wouldn't be so arsey about it sometimes).

Not sure that the Mayday riots ever achived anything concrete, but they did create a lot of interest in direct action tactics, anarchism and anti-capitalism (anway, this is probably a whole seperate thread which I guess may well have been covered already...).

Mike Harman
May 29 2005 18:41

'tis true Lazlo, although I actually met people through this forum, and first became an anarchist due to propaganda. Simply because summitty politics is the most visible, and hence first entry point for many people, doesn't necessarily mean that it'll stay like that. I'm very wary of the "summit protest as recruiting strategy" line - not that it's being necessarily argued here.

Steven.
Jun 3 2005 16:01
JoeBlack2 wrote:
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.]

Joe - just seen this. How did I wind you up?

Refused
Jun 3 2005 18:11

Someone decide for me whether I should go. I'll be in Glasgow the weeking heading up to it. If I go my transport back to Manchester won't be free.

Ghost_of_the_re...
Jun 3 2005 23:13

I think I'll be in Edingburgh doing indymedia type shit. And I have to practice getting CS gas out of people's eyes.

Steven.
Jun 4 2005 11:50
Ghost_of_the_revolution wrote:
And I have to practice getting CS gas out of people's eyes.

Why? This is the UK confused

Volin
Jun 4 2005 12:19

...and they wont be using tazers or, probably, water cannons -they've denied that. They will have horses to run us down though grin

Refused
Jun 4 2005 12:26

...and presumably leave big piles of shit for everyone to walk into.

Lazlo_Woodbine
Jun 4 2005 13:10
John. wrote:
Ghost_of_the_revolution wrote:
And I have to practice getting CS gas out of people's eyes.

Why? This is the UK confused

CVS gas is used regularly by the UK police. Usually in a hand-held canister.

John may be confusing this with the lack of use of *tear gas*, or any other type of grenade-delivered gas on the UK mainland.

Rob Ray
Jun 4 2005 13:19

It's used to break up raves by coppers in Norfolk, I know that much.

Steven.
Jun 4 2005 13:20
Lazlo_Woodbine wrote:
CVS gas is used regularly by the UK police. Usually in a hand-held canister.

John may be confusing this with the lack of use of *tear gas*, or any other type of grenade-delivered gas on the UK mainland.

Is it regularly used in political demonstrations? I can't really think of any instances where it has been... CS gas is tear gas also, by the way. Hmmm I know in the US they use spray a lot because they've got massive wide-angle sprays but British cops don't do they?

Lazlo_Woodbine
Jun 4 2005 13:47
John. wrote:
Is it regularly used in political demonstrations? I can't really think of any instances where it has been... CS gas is tear gas also

It was regularly used in the latter years of reclaim the streets. Since 1999 there's been no demonstrations worth breaking up sad

Maybe I'm getting confused, but I'm pretty sure there's a difference between CS spray and tear gas....so not sure where that leaves CS gas.

Steven.
Jun 4 2005 14:05
Lazlo_Woodbine wrote:
Maybe I'm getting confused, but I'm pretty sure there's a difference between CS spray and tear gas....so not sure where that leaves CS gas.

It's pretty simple: CS is the name of the nasty stuff, it is used in two ways: CS gas (commonly known as "tear" gas), and CS spray.

Quote:
It was regularly used in the latter years of reclaim the streets. Since 1999 there's been no demonstrations worth breaking up

Exactly - but every time there's a demo people always get excited saying "bring gas masks" and "the cops are gonna use rubber bullets", but they never do, cos there's never any need to!

Spartacus
Jun 4 2005 14:43

which in a way is a shame. i was told by some greeks that they reason demos frequently get out of hand (other than the presence of really mad insurrectionists obviously) and have a relatively high community participation/popular support, is that the tactics of the greek police in demonstrations, regardless of where they are, is to immediately start throwing tear gas, thereby gassing everyone in there homes.

not that that would do much to further the cause of communism of course, but it makes things more exciting, and makes better tv.

Lazlo_Woodbine
Jun 4 2005 15:46
John. wrote:
Exactly - but every time there's a demo people always get excited saying "bring gas masks" and "the cops are gonna use rubber bullets", but they never do, cos there's never any need to!

'Every time'? Like when? Is this one of those London-activist hyper-paranoia things Mr. T Were people really windbagging about CS gas on anti-war marches?

Personally I doubt any of the protests at G8 will be major enough to make the police reach for the gas/baton rounds, but it'd be a crazy chief copper who didn't have them ready to use, and it's be a crazy Woodbine who said he knew how militant the protests will be.

Plus there might well be cases of isolated groups of militant activists getting sprayed/gassed to encourage the others...

Volin
Jun 5 2005 11:36
Quote:
I doubt any of the protests at G8 will be major enough to make the police reach for the gas/baton rounds

Can I quote you on that? smile (ignore that I just have!)

Why is it demos have got less militant since 1999? Could it have anything to do with the overall pessimism of anti-capitalists?

oisleep
Jun 5 2005 16:54
John. wrote:
but every time there's a demo people always get excited saying "bring gas masks" and "the cops are gonna use rubber bullets"

what good's a gas mask against a rubber bullet confused

gav
Jun 5 2005 16:55
Jack wrote:
Because most 'anti-capitalists' lack of meat is making them increasingly weak and unable to fight.

it may be an unpopular view, but surely no one can doubt the truth of that statement.

Spartacus
Jun 5 2005 17:37

or maybe it's cos too many have heart problems due to years of eating too much red meat and so are unable to take part in any fighting.

Volin
Jun 5 2005 21:00

and are too fat and stupid (and probably impotent) to be bothered to do anything of actual worth.

OOOOoooh tongue

Lazlo_Woodbine
Jun 6 2005 15:27
Volin wrote:
Quote:
I doubt any of the protests at G8 will be major enough to make the police reach for the gas/baton rounds

Can I quote you on that? smile (ignore that I just have!)

Why is it demos have got less militant since 1999? Could it have anything to do with the overall pessimism of anti-capitalists?

you've got that backwards. If a significant number of 'anti-capitalists' are pessimistic, it's probably because in the last half decade or so we've seen our communities destroyed and our activist street tactics out-maneouvred by the police on a regular basis.

With no militant class action or strong sub-culture behind it, I reckon there's a good chance the Uk G8 actions will be a wash-out. That's not to exclude the possibility of a small number of people taking direct action, and, like I said, they'll probably get the brunt of the police's heavy hand, to encourage the others.

mave
Jun 27 2005 20:15

I’m new to this forum but you folk should read yourselves. Other than a few doers you’re all just getting tied up in what’s the point, naval gazing discussions – you know stuff about stuff, well done. The G8 will be here in just over a week, we all know what they stand for. Now I accept that demos, even mass ones rarely achieve instant changes from those we demonstrate against but don’t you accept that if we have at least a million people angry at issues as varied but intertwined as third world poverty, neoliberalism & war then we have a lot of people with whom we should be there talking to? Isn’t this a big chance to get your views across? What I found really startling was that on this forum there was talk of going to Mexico to help the EZLN in there armed struggle – they’ve now stated that it is not their intention to mount an armed uprising – but at the same time you’re saying how Gleneagles is out as an activity you’ll take part in as you’ll end up getting arrested. Stop justifying lack of vision & action. The G8 is on your doorstep and if you choose to sit and do nothing then that makes your knowledge useless in my opinion. I’m not meaning to have a pop but when this site was recommended I thought it might contain some thinking activist’s not just thinkers. Peace & Love but there’s a fight to be had ‘til we get there.

mave
Jun 27 2005 20:31

The G8 taking place at Gleneagles Hotel was public knowledge over a year ago; most folk arranged where possible, time off and saved for the subsidized fare.

I'm not saying anyone is less of an anarchist, I'm asking why there is such a "what's the point" attitude on here? As soon as me and mates heard that Blair had made the misguided choice of picking Glenealges - so easily accessible to the UK, we were animated, a chance to interact with groups from far and wide.

If you can't make it, fair play mate, I'm not putting you down for that, a workers life is shit here, I know.

redyred
Jun 27 2005 20:50
mave wrote:
don’t you accept that if we have at least a million people angry at issues as varied but intertwined as third world poverty, neoliberalism & war then we have a lot of people with whom we should be there talking to?

No.

Quote:
Isn’t this a big chance to get your views across?

No.