What is your opinion on this article?

29% (4 votes)
0% (0 votes)
7% (1 vote)
29% (4 votes)
don't agree
0% (0 votes)
partly agree
14% (2 votes)
yes, capitalism is purely my fault.
0% (0 votes)
go in the woods and play neanderthaler but without me
21% (3 votes)
Total votes: 14

Posted By

Jul 17 2004 11:54


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Jul 17 2004 11:54

You can't rent your way out of a social relationship?

a work in progress

by rogue element (Leeds EF!)

"Legalisation is one of the most effective remedies against the inconveniences of subversion. It was used by the Social Democratic regimes in particular in order to suppress the most radical and openly subversive elements." Against the Legalisation of Occupied Spaces by El Paso Occupato and Barocchio Occupato


This article has been written by a group of people who have been involved with squatted social centres and other forms of direct action over a number of years. We write in response to the recent plans to create a host of new social centres that are neither squatted nor co-operatively owned, but rented. It is our opinion that social centres should come from ?need?, initiated by a critical mass of individuals and groups that have a common desire and/or need for autonomous space. This network of social centres has, on the other hand, been initiated by a wealthy, albeit well-intentioned, individual within the activist milieu who wanted to collectivise their wealth. The collective that was put in place to manage this money decided to share £70,000 among local activist groups through the Dissent! Network to help set up a network of ?anti-capitalist? social centres in the run up to the G8 summit, being held in Gleneagles in 2005.

This discussion document has not been written to ?slag? people off, but rather to start a dialogue on the issues raised so we can move closer towards realising our desires and challenging our political and personal comfort zones. We did not feel as though we could just ?put up and shut up? as we are very passionate about the issues we are discussing here. We hope that these rented spaces are indeed a springboard to more confrontational action, a place in which to ask why and what and how, and that the people involved in them will support other initiatives that occur in their localities ? even if that means closing the rented spaces for a few days.

"We think it is important to have a confrontation of these topics, even at the risk of disturbing the sleep of the civilised." Barbarians: the disordered insurgence by Crisso and Odotheus

The Dissent! Network, the PGA and Conflict

"How can we engender radicalism in our society if people's first point of contact with non-mainstream politics is a space built on compromise, which exists only because the state says it can??" Social Dis-Centres, p185 Do or Die Issue 10

The new Dissent! Network, mobilising against the G8 in Britain, has adopted the hallmarks of People?s Global Action (PGA). The Dissent! Network website reads as follows: ?As a group we decided that we wished to work non hierarchically with a view to enabling direct action protests against the G8. To enable the non-hierarchical working we agreed to adopt the PGA Hallmarks. The hallmarks promote a confrontational direct action approach, since we believe that it is impossible to negotiate with the encumbent governmental institutions.?

The PGA says it is absolutely committed to confrontational approaches to the dissolution of the global capitalist system and social relations built on patriarchy, sexism, inequalities of wealth and status etc. Grassroots groups from all over the world are part of the PGA network.

Groups or networks cannot really describe themselves as confrontational and anti-capitalist when they submit themselves unnecessarily to legal infrastructure. Squatting in the UK is possible (as well as preferable). Renting a social centre in the run up to the G8 is not only in direct conflict with the idea of promoting radical self-organisation, do-it-yourself alternatives (ie that which can be replicated by any group of people - £10,000 anyone?) and resistance to the state, it is also in direct conflict with those struggles abroad, such as the Piqueter@ movement in Argentina, with whom many involved in networks like the Dissent! Network would claim to be in solidarity with. When a woman from the MTD Solano (part of the militant Piqueter@ movement) in Argentina toured Britain to talk about their experiences, she talked as well of her own life choices: a trained clinical psychologist, she gave up her well-paid job and the house that she owned, long before the ?revolution? in December 2001, in order to set up a grassroots community health initiative in a poor barrio of Buenos Aires and to live in occupied spaces with a collective of unemployed workers and others like herself. Here in Britain, our experience is that there are an increasing number of people taking the easy route, trying to maintain one foot in the system (reaping the benefits of personal security, status and financial reward) whilst posing as radicals plotting it's destruction.

As we understand it, the key reason for renting rather than squatting a space that can be used as a social centre (or a series of social centres) seems to be people?s desire for a space defined by its continuity. If something is not continuous because it is constantly repressed ? such as a squatted space ? then surely the alternative is not co-option or the creation of continuity by buying into the system, but resistance. Throughout history, many politically confrontational and challenging times have been accompanied by a strong, and confrontational, squatting movement. It was true with the ecological direct action movement in 1990s Britain. Not only were there many urban squats, but squatted land in the form of protest camps. If you are doing something the state doesn?t want you to do, if you are challenging the way things are, then you will be repressed. Renting a social centre is, in our opinion, an admission of failure and cannot promote anything other than the idea that the anti-capitalist movement has been absorbed into the system. It demonstrates a lack of commitment to realising the ideas that you expound, and by calling such a space ?radical? is to rewrite the dictionary.

Worse still, state-approved social centres can have a damaging impact on other projects. For example, in Italy, social centres that have negotiated with the state ? often run by people associated with the White Overalls Movement/Tute Blanche, now ?Disobbedienti, - have not only become recuperated but, through their negotiations with the state, have further marginalized the squatters movement. In the preface to ?Barbarians: the disordered insurgence? (a critique of the ideas of Negri and Hardt) the authors talk of the activities of leaders of the ?Disobedient? causing the state to issue an ultimatum, either you dialogue with the system or you are labelled ?terrorist? and repressed.

The Social Centre as Direct Action

??the act of occupying a building is a form of direct action: illegal ? collective ? carried out openly that leads a group of individuals to reconquer a living space previously taken away from the collectivity by those in power.? Against the Legalisation of Occupied Spaces by El Paso Occupato and Barocchio Occupato

?Increasingly, in the face of the juggernaut that is civilization, our present social reality, I hear many radicals say, "It's necessary to be realistic; I'll just do what I can in my own life." This is not the declaration of a strong individuality making itself the center of a revolt against the world of domination and alienation, but rather an admission of resignation, a retreat into merely tending one's own garden as the monster lumbers on. The "positive" projects developed in the name of this sort of realism are nothing more than alternative ways of surviving within the present society. They not only fail to threaten the world of capital and the state; they actually ease the pressure on those in power by providing voluntary social services under the guise of creating "counter-institutions".? - ?Realism? in Against the Logic of Submission, by Wolfi Landstreicher

In our opinion, an anti-capitalist social centre, paying rent to a landlord, paying rates, and bills, obeying licensing laws, legal structures, and insurance, cannot in essence be in any way in conflict with the capitalist system. It is not direct action and it is not confrontational. At its heart is defeat, sometimes called realism.

To occupy, to squat a building is an act of direct action. It is taking what you want when you want it. Although squatting is not illegal in Britain, much of what goes on in a squat is illegal ? providing food, beer, and entertainment for people without a license and without insurance. By squatting, we introduce ourselves to the new social relationships that develop when we take what we want from the state and property-owning class rather than asking and paying for it ? and to the very idea that it is possible for us to exist outside those parameters. The experience of opening a squatted social centre is fundamentally more liberating than setting up a legal structure, a bureaucracy, in order to rent a building from a capitalist landlord. The experience of entering an occupied space is also fundamentally different to that of entering a legitimised one. There is often an atmosphere of anything can happen. In some senses this is the very essence of wildness, of revolt, and therefore in direct opposition to domesticity and obedience. The feeling that one is outside the petty rules and regulations of the system, even in some small way, is a magnificent one. Entering a centre that follows rules, pays it?s rates and licences, and has financial and cultural ownership of the space is radical suicide.

Private property is a product of theft, repression and exploitation. It is an agent of oppression and exploitation. The land used to be ours, now it is theirs. It is a principle of radical political activity to refute this ownership by simply taking back what we used to hold in common. Squatting is taking ?private? space and opening it back up to the collectivity. To rent space and call it a ?radical? or ?anti-capitalist? social centre is an oxymoron. As it was said during the May ?68 insurrection in Paris ? Don?t demand. Occupy!?

The history of revolt is one that occurs largely outside the workplace, the rented house, the ballot box. The rented social centre is no more radical than an alternative café. It is not what you say (or how many leaflets you put out), it is what you do, that matters. Revolt is about bringing the war home in a society where it is often too easily hidden beneath the veneer of isolation and alienation, where we are told (and believe) the war is always somewhere else, where we continue to labour under the illusion that we are privileged and where in fact some of us do actually have a ?nice life?, where abundant opportunities arise for recuperation and the insidious selling out of ideals. To bring the war home is to make war on this society, on the way we live our lives, on the power structures that exist both outside ourselves and within us. Our project is one to destroy a system that impoverishes us and leads us to live increasingly mediated existences devoid of any meaning.

We wonder if the rented social centre offers a perfect displacement activity for those who are essentially part of the system, but wish to appear to be involved in radical politics. A rented social centre is never going to be a substitute for the spontaneous, transformative human interaction that comes about when people live together, struggle together, and spend time together on their own terms on a daily basis. When people have to come together against a system that doesn?t want them there.

?Politics is the art of recuperation. The most effective way to discourage all rebellion, all desire for real change [is] to transform a subversive into a man or woman of state. Not all people of state are paid by the government. There are functionaries who are not found in parliament or even in the neighbouring rooms. Rather, they frequent the social centre and sufficiently know the principle revolutionary theories, they debate over the libratory potential of technology; they theorise about non-state public sphere and the surpassing of the subject. Reality-they know it well is always more complex than any action. So if they hope for a total theory, it is only in order to totally neglect it in daily life. Power needs them because-as they themselves explain to us-when no one criticises it power is criticised by itself?? From Ten blows against Politics, by Il Pugnale May 1996

Samba, Summits and Counter Summits

?We who cultivate the taste for adventure and the free flow of passions see that only through the ongoing practice of direct action, springing beyond the four walls, going beyond the limits of lawfulness imposed by the state, can we succeed in opening new spaces for the self-organisation of our lives outside the squat and instilling new dignity into the existing occupations. In short, in spreading the practice of generalised self-organisation.? Against the Legalisation of Occupied Spaces by El Paso Occupato and Barocchio Occupato

The rented social centres that will be springing up in cities in England, Scotland and Wales in the next year have been initiated through the anti-G8 process that began in Britain a year ago. They are to be part of the build-up to a mobilisation against the G8 when it comes to Gleneagles in June 2005.

It is outside of the scope of this article to go into much detail on the role of summits, the mobilisations for them and ?summit hopping? as a phenomenon, but we would like to say just a few words about them. Since the kick start of what has variously been called the ?anti-globalisation? and ?anti-capitalist? movement, arguably June 18th 1999 or the anti WTO protests in Seattle in the same year, the level of autonomous direct action has gone down. Much of what passes for action now is a crowd of people kettled by cops, occasionally breaking free, only to follow a samba band around whilst dressed in pink and silver. For example, at the BP AGM action in London in April 2003, most of the crowd were content to protest the meeting by partying with a samba band outside ? despite the fact that 100 shareholder tickets were available to enable people to get past security and disrupt the meeting. The majority of protestors, however, were happy to engage in spectacular pseudo-resistance rather than confrontation with those they claim as their enemies.

There is no doubt that in Seattle, and in Genoa, a critique free of mediation by ?organisers? and against domination was demonstrated, despite the dates being set by the leaders, and the presence of reformists in the street. Seattle took cops of all types by surprise, and at Genoa we hear of people physically challenging the authority of ?White Overall? stewards who were attempting to orchestrate resistance according to their ?acceptable? confines. But if domination and oppression are in every part of society and in daily life, attack has no need for dates set by the enemy. We can develop forms of action that can act as concrete examples of why people are resisting the G8, rather than a one-off carnival, a temporary rented social centre and a symbolic street fight against a meeting where the decisions have already been made.

You?ve got to be Kraakers!*

?In Berlin and Hamburg, during the occupation movement of the early eighties, the number of illegal squats was gradually reduced until they nearly vanished. At the same time, the most radical struggles also diminished.? Against the Legalisation of Occupied Spaces by El Paso Occupato and Barocchio Occupato

So the rented social centres are going to act as some sort of focal point for those that want to resist the G8. But with all this energy going into officialdom and cake selling, what will come of direct action and resistance? Will all the form filling, maintenance and café shifts not sap the energy from those who might otherwise be taking part in acts of resistance against what the G8 represents, and direct action?

?If we think we need ?access points? to be inspired by our political perspective[s], then surely this is best achieved through practising direct action ? not through acquiring crippling mortgages [or rents], obeying a myriad of regulations set by the state and spending years doing DIY of the conventional sort. The energy that has gone into social centres during what has been an action-quiet couple of years may well have found other avenues for action had a lot of very energetic people not been engaged in property development.? Social Dis-Centres, Do or Die Issue 10

In terms of action, there is also the potential for conflict to emerge between ?users? of the space, those whose priority is the centre, and those who take action, which may place the centre at risk. This is often a fraught relationship. This was even the case with a squatted social centre in Manchester when those running the social centre tore down another collectives flyposters because they were publicising an action in the city which they thought might bring down repression on the squat.

The squatted social centre A-Spire in Leeds has been about for a number of years now. It has opened and run buildings for parties, film nights, queer events, political workshops and action planning, a free café, an illegal bar, healing spaces, art projects, hanging out space and much more. The last A-Spire happened in December 2003. It had clearly run its course. Attendance was low, the crew was small, the space was formulaic (though probably no less formulaic than the proposed rented spaces). But a network of squatted social centres, in bolder and more daring locations, carried out in increasingly creative ways, is a far less compromised and more combative way of doing things than the sordid compromise of the tenant. As someone once said ?How can you think freely in the shadow of a church??. Surely the rented, fully licensed social centre is that church?

?The expansion of the possibilities opened up by the insurrectionary break, the full exploration of the panorama of self-determination and of the "collective movement of individual realization", requires, above all, indomitable individuals who associate on the basis of affinity and the pleasure they find in each others' singularity, refusing every compromise.?- Against Compromise, Willful Disobedience Vol. 3, No. 2

*Dutch for squatters

rogue element


this was posted to the resistg8 email list and people seemed to wish to discuss it, so that's why it got now forwarded to this forum.

Jul 17 2004 11:57

wasn't written by me, just posted so to give people chance to discuss it not on the email list but on forum. eek

Jul 19 2004 14:37

Although its great that our article has been posted here for discussion, we'd like to point out that we are not 'Leeds EF!' and in fact Leeds EF! no longer really exists. Some of us have been involved in the past, but this critique is not representative of 'Leeds EF!'. So there you go!

Mr. T

Jul 19 2004 16:20

What does the random neandorthal(sp? sad ) voting option have to do with anything? Just random primitivist bashing? Im new to these boards, but am interested in the social centres discussions etc.

I think this essay brings up some good points.

I don't really understand why renting s social centre is such a hot idea. I mean i can see the point of co-operatively owned ones if thats what people are into but...

Jul 19 2004 22:13

What you say in this document might be true for Mediterranean countries or Latin American ones where the movements are popular and radical...

The antiauthoritarian and anarchist movement in Britain is not only small and weak but a lot of people in it have conservative attitudes! You will ask: "how an anarchist might be conservative?" It is possible! If he/she is saying the same things like 20 years ago (when the whole social attitudes and state repression have changed), then even if he/she is an anarchist, his/her mentality is a conservative one...

Furthermore, you cannot apply in the British reality the norms and codes that exist in Italy or in any other place! Its place is different, and its movement quite unique in its tactics.

Anyway some things that you say about the social centres in Britain are LIES... I don't believe that you are lying in purpose, but rather because you are just listening to rumours and watch the DISSENT network mailing list.

One thing I never understood in Britain... why the fuck people use so much the internet? You know that the especially the police in Britain is monitoring everything on the web and you continue let them have information for free! Make a search on the net and see how many internet sites and infoshops exist about the movement in Britain... then take a look how many exist about the movement in Spain, Italy and Greece... Now who's active the one who writes a lot nice thingies or the one who put them in practice???

The movement is now trying to stand up on its feet and people who just speak much philosophical bollox without making any actions are only doing harm to the rest!

So I'm waiting for you camarades in the next DISSENT meeting to come and say in person your views and have a constructive discussion.

If you have such big objections and you wanna continue stating them through the net as a mere observer, then know that our struggle for freedom and anarchy and your kind of internet-philosophical struggle are not going to meet! never-ever! The autonomous and antiauthoritarian society, which moves on the shadow of this rotten system called capitalism, has no need of observers. Only the authoritarian institutions have a good use for observers...

let's arm our dialogue! but not through the net...

health & anarchy

from an international friend

Jul 20 2004 10:26

Dont have time to respond to al your comments meltegez, but we agree with you on most of what you say. We never intended this to be an internet discussion. We didnt post it to the Dissent list, nor on this board. We don't read the Dissent email list either.

Jul 20 2004 20:57

While I do understand and appreciate many of the points raised in the posted piece, I do not agree. Sure, in renting a space - be that from a local city authority or private landlord, this will indeed involve some compromise - working with bureaucracy etc. However, squatting is not always a realistic option, and so many wishing to open a space must rent. I agree, the DIY ethos is an important component in our struggle - in empowering others to make change. However our movement is small. Isolated. So, compromises, though unfortunate, must be made in securing active spaces.

Rented social centres a failure? You deny their positive contribution - one not curbed by legal infrastructure, but pushing for change - whose efforts have had an enormous impact.

Urban and land squats have proven their extreme importance - creating something for ourselves - not seeking permission, but a space that is truly ours. However, please please do not disregard the efforts of those who work within rented spaces.

Social centres a perfect displacement activity for those who are essentially part of the system, but wish to appear to be involved in radical politics? Really, I find such a view extremely offensive. And to compare those active in rented spaces with government functionaries - with those who collude with the state, is simply ridiculous. *shakes head in disbelief*

In which world are you living?

And cake selling?

Jul 21 2004 08:58

Yeah its an interesting article, repeats its key assertion that only by being consistent and confrontational with capitalist society can we bring about the kind of society we want.

But how many of us here consider ourselves committed anti-capitalists, yet go to supermarkets, use money, buy consumer items (DVDs, Books, walkmen), etc? How many people here actually rent or own a house rather than squat a social space? We live in a capitalist reality, and the pretend otherwise is to be blind to the society we live in. Many of us try to alter our lifestyle to accommodate this, by buying fair trade, not buying sweatshop produced clothes, buying organic, swapping items or favours with friends rather than exchanging money, etc - but all of these are still products or accommodated easily by capitalist society, and probably profit some corporation or shareholder nicely whilst at the same time satisfying our desire to live the way we would like society to be organised. Personally I think its useful to recognise the everyday compromises we make and try not be 'holier than thou' about what we do.

And in the same way, if the (rented - or 'compromised') social centres end up provide an open space to create confrontation or help resistance against capitalist society then these social centres can IMO be accommodated within the PGA hallmarks. Those who advocate squatting instead (which has its pros and cons), why not squat a whole load of buildings in the run-up to the G8 mobilisation(s) and double the number of spaces that activists and outsiders can use? That way we can learn which ways of doing things bring the most effective results.

Jul 21 2004 16:22


The way the article found its way on the forum was that it was first posted as a comment on indymedia UK at the article

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/leedsbradford/2004/07/294891.html .

Now posting this article as a comment is a bit unfair, as it does only vaguely respond to the original posting, but is a statement in itself, and based on statements, which will be perceived as controversial, therefore would wake the urge to discuss them.


" Squatting in the UK is possible (as well as preferable)" please note (legal) situation in Scotland is different compared to situation in England/Wales. In Scotland it is a criminal offense whilst in England it is not. So if people start critising renting instead of squatting, they are wellcome to come up to Scotland to prove it.

"...it is also in direct conflict with those struggles abroad, such as the Piqueter@ movement in Argentina, with whom many involved in networks like the Dissent! Network would claim to be in solidarity with. ...." well, the situation in Argentina and Britain can hardly be compared, neither historically, nor economically nor political nor socially. Therefore what this sentence is effectively saying, is that everybody not holding the authors opinion is betraying the Latin American movements, which is absurd.

The Argentinian argument goes on, in which the 2 women travelling through Britain basically get abused as a argument in the search for justifying the self-righteousness of the author.

Imho both women probably would not be happy about that, if they would know.

" Here in Britain, our experience is that there are an increasing number of people taking the easy route, trying to maintain one foot in the system (reaping the benefits of personal security, status and financial reward) whilst posing as radicals plotting it's destruction. "

now this is absolutely nonsense. Everybody who does not behave like the author is therefore a counterrevolutionary and the capitalist system is its fault.

It is not possible to lead an ethical life in the wrong system.

Is it not more important to empower people to fight the capitalist system rather than rooting everybody in a guilt-politic trip?

well, that are the main points, but just to say that the rest of the document simplifies history - also the political activist history in Europe, very much. e.g. it is quite odd talking about the squatting history in Berlin without the fall of the wall.

Jul 22 2004 13:51

The article is heavy on rhetoric and bereft of any practical content. Sadly, rhetoric won't keep the rain off.

As I understand it, the question is whether to rent or squat a meeting space for the G8 mobilisation. The article does little more than say, at great rhetorical length, that squatting is ideologically better than renting - well duh.

I don't know much about what the Scottish police are likely to do, but if the network feels that a squatted space would be insecure, then I'd trust them. What is the point in planning the mobilisation around a space that we know is likely to be shut down. We can't always be ideologically pure and we have to pick our battles. The G8 mobilisations are intended to oppose the G8, NOT to prove a point about our willingness to take on the state in doomed battles. If we were to follow that line of argument to its logical conclusion we could insist that all people travelling to it should form airline collectives rather than use the capitalist airlines.

Sure, we could choose to take them on on all fronts at once and get hammered or we could decide to prioritise the actual G8 and avoid the high risk of our mobilisation getting completely disrupted before it even starts.

Jul 22 2004 15:08

A few quick responses.

Firstly id like to point out I am just one of the people involved in writing the article, which was collectively written, and the issues discussed beforehand with a much larger group of people, including at least one person involved in organising one of the rented social centres who agreed with many of our concerns.

As always there are things that could have been better about this article. The error about the different laws on squatting in Scotland was particularly sloppy. sad

As for being 'Unfair' for posting it on Indymedia as a reply. Well we thought that less unfair than posting it as a new post on the newswire, which usually causes complaints from users on the national Indymedia site about non-news content etc. If there were a way to post solely to regional Indymedia sites that would be helpful. Nor did we try to make out it was an 'official' Leeds Indymedia article like we have been accused of elsewhere, sparking a statement of non-endorsement from the Leeds Indymedia collective. roll eyes If you were that bothered you could have ‘hidden’ it.

Of course the article simplifies history, it's very short. It was intended to spark discussion amongst people not give them a complete run down of the history of squatting in Europe. Hopefully this will spark interest in people finding out for themselves?

The intention was not to engulf people in crappy activist morality, guilt etc. Of course we realise that just because we live in squats and co-ops doesn't mean everyone can or that they are ethically 'wrong' if they do. But most people who rent houses off landlords do not say they are engaging in radical anti-capitalist activity.

You can't make assumptions about what the two Argentinean women would and wouldn't be happy with. One of the authors spent some time with them, so they will have to answer that. Also they were both very different individuals.

We realise that a political situation/movement overseas cannot just be imported over here. But I don’t think we really say that, except with regard to marginalisation, which even if it’s not applicable to a squatters movement here, it is to people taking action because some people are placing ‘acceptable’ limits on activity. Eg the resurgence of explicitly NVDA through groups like CIRCA.

One of the respondents on this board has mentioned that the anarchist movement in this country is ‘conservative, I couldn’t agree more, surely all the more reason to challenge it?

As for us philosophising endlessly rather than taking action, again an assumption with no basis. We think it important to critique, strategise and take action.

Regarding our compromises with capitalism. Of course we all live and interact with the system etc. But there are levels of compromise. As someone else here has pointed out many engage in ‘ethical consumerism’ etc. Others shoplift and get food from bins. But where do these compromises end? With renting out a house to others and becoming a landlord? Engaging in consumerist lifestyles?

Since writing the critique we have had a meeting with one of the organisers of our local rented social centre to be. I think we came to the conclusion that our politics were basically very different, our visions of a liberated existence and how we see the world are almost certainly at odds and therefore our ways of realising our desires will be very different.

As for engaging with the Anti G8 process constructively, personally I have little interest in it. Maybe others will. The article expressed some out our criticisms of summits and summit hopping. That does not mean we will not be active in other ways.

Gurrier you seem to think this rented space is for the mobilisation, it’s not. It’s a series of social centres around the country in the run up to/during the G8. Presumably to help mobilise for the G8. The article makes that clear in the opening paragraphs, maybe you should read more carefully?

“The G8 mobilisations are intended to oppose the G8, NOT to prove a point about our willingness to take on the state in doomed battles.”

Ha! That’s an amusing statement. From the minutes of the Bradford Dissent gathering it looks more like it’s an exercise in movement building (recruitment?). As for ‘practical content’, why not attack physical manifestations of capitalism, especially those that are expanding technologies of control?

“What is certain is that this type of confrontation, whatever problems it may cause, is utterly inadequate if separated from a widespread, daily struggle, not only because of the ease with which it is recuperated and used by power and its false opposition, but prevailingly because it is not at the summit conferences of the WTO or the OCSE that our fate or that of the planet is decided. These summit conferences are only a formal and spectacular moment, a moment that the powerful themselves are considering eliminating because of the problems it creates.

The real decisions occur in other offices, in meetings without spotlights and in embassies scattered across the globe. To sum up, the future is not put at risk so much by a few dozen dandies who meet on occasion, as by hundreds of thousands of scientists and technicians and speculators who put new means and methods of exploitation into effect daily in every part of the world.

So then what do we do? Continue waiting for the dates the WTO sets for our confrontations, being led astray toward minimum results? Or decide for ourselves when where and especially how to set out?”

From Terra Selvaggio, July, 2000

Jul 26 2004 16:07

Any squat in Scotland would be completely insecure, due to the differences in the law- it's a criminal offence, so the cops can happily come round and throw you all in the jail.

Squatting is a very positive thing, but whether to squat, rent or buy should be a tactical, not an ideological, choice. Here in Glasgow we're trying to raise enough money to buy, on the grounds that rent is money that's gone forever.

Jul 27 2004 09:53

The idea of renting being sponsored by one rich individual is understandably distasteful, but it's a viable alternative which doesn't in any way prevent other groups from finding spaces by other means.

I always thought a diversity of methods and ideas was a core principle of the modern anarchist movement.

Jul 27 2004 10:12
RogueElement wrote:
“The G8 mobilisations are intended to oppose the G8, NOT to prove a point about our willingness to take on the state in doomed battles.”

Ha! That’s an amusing statement. From the minutes of the Bradford Dissent gathering it looks more like it’s an exercise in movement building (recruitment?).

It was my understanding that the Dissent! network did - quite openly - aim to help build and sustain a movement, up to and beyond the G8 meeting. Sounds like a bloody good idea to me. A couple of principled people - refusing to work with anyone that hasn't made the correct lifestyle choices - doing direct actions, aren't going to stop the summit in this situation; almost every cop in Scotland is going to be there!

Jul 27 2004 14:30
From the minutes of the Bradford Dissent gathering it looks more like it’s an exercise in movement building

By Bakunin, the dreaded movement building!!! Imagine actually wanting our movement to grow. Are some people really such idiots that they want to come out of these mobilisations stronger than they went in eek

C'mon on now folks, we should realise that it's all about making us feel good and letting us vent a bit of steam. There's no point in doing it if it's popular is there? Sure, if more people came along from outside our scene, we wouldn't be so cool would we roll eyes

Jul 27 2004 15:28

I have to agree with the crypto Leninite Platformists on this one tongue In my experience we have been very good a mobilising for actions and campaigns, we have been less good at creating clear communications and points of contact.

The Dissent! network will hopefully be an exercise in 'capacity building' -- increase the amount of direct action groups and increase their ability to meet and function. A common project is the best thing for holding people together when time of struggle isn't high, and social centres can be that project.

I really hope that the various 'Dissent!' social spaces will stay open after 2005 -- at least they will have given people experience of forming groups and maybe these will go on to other projects.

the button
Jan 18 2006 13:51

Well, guest, that's a lot more interesting than the rest of the thread. grin

Jan 18 2006 16:33

Can anyone think of other spammed versions of great pamphlets?

'Super-large penis increments did not fall from the moon'

the button
Jan 18 2006 16:35

So how does it feel to be confronted with your politics from a mere 2 years ago, Laz?

Jan 18 2006 16:46

The post of mine in this thread? It's not that bad, really.

Lazy Riser
Jan 18 2006 16:58


Oh, it's appalling Laz. "Ebony and Bare" on the other hand, rocks. Male Entertainers, indeed!

Fetch me a pillow. Seriously are you "THE Class War Ideas Man" or not?


Jan 18 2006 17:20
Lazy Riser wrote:
Oh, it's appalling Laz. "Ebony and Bare" on the other hand, rocks. Male Entertainers, indeed!

Link! If I ever rocked I want to hear about it

Lazy Riser
Jan 18 2006 19:28


Sorry Laz. "Ebony and Bare" is the “Male Entertainers” link in guesth’s sig.



Jan 18 2006 23:28

sad :( sad :(

Lazy Riser
Jan 18 2006 23:39


I see once more you have managed to wriggle out of answering this question...

Seriously are you the "Class War ideas man" or not?

Share your creative process, do. Where do you stand on a stuntist resurgence?



Jan 18 2006 23:46
Lazy Riser wrote:
Where do you stand on a stuntist resurgence?

Standing on a bridge over the M1, wearing a cape.

Lazy Riser
Jan 18 2006 23:53


Now there's an idea. Is that like that old Community Defence Force notion? I can't remember if they wore capes or not now.