Added: 01 November 2008
EPISODE 6 PART A: Ian “Class War” Bone interviews filmmaker Si Mitchell about anarchism, activism, Genoa and Seattle riots, plus his films Crowd Bites Wolf and Big Rattle In Seattle as part of his ongoing show on Resonance FM.
In the course of the interview, Ian and Si make reference to an article by George Monbiot, written partly in response to Crowd Bites Wolf. It was published in The Guardian on May 1, 2001, and titled ‘Violence is Our Enimy’. An extract:
…Four or five years ago, video newsreels such as Undercurrents and Conscious Cinema broadcast heroic images of peaceful campaigners being dragged away and beaten up by police. Today the means of instruction have changed. Crowd Bites Wolf, a commemoration of last September’s protests in Prague, produced by a collective called Guerillavision, celebrates anarchist attacks on police lines, including a firebombing in which a policeman – who had not been issued with fireproof clothing – was severely burnt. Another sequence frames a police helmet as if it were a target in a video game before the helmet is struck by a rock and its occupant collapses.
This is a fetishisation of violence, a sadistic pornography of pain. A few years ago, it would have been furiously dismissed. Today I am sure that the great majority of activists are privately horrified by these images. But they appear to have lost the will to speak out.
It’s not hard to see why. While funny, inclusive, colourful events, organised by women as well as men, still take place all over the country, some of the key planning meetings for the big demonstrations have become dominated by a handful of aggressive and overbearing men. People questioning their plans are dismissed as “reformists” or “middle class wankers”. Inverted snobbery (articulated in some cases by men whose estuary accents come and go as the occasion demands) has become a powerful weapon against competing ideologies…