G20 : Inner City Pressure + Global Economic Crisis = Anarchy in London

The G20 Summit in London in 2009 naturally brings to mind the G20 Summit in Melbourne in 2006.

As is well known by now, in Melbourne in November 2006 a group of masked New Zealanders — most of whom remain at-large — lead a mob of several hundred people in a rampage through city streets. The rioters (who chose, for reasons which remain unclear, to dress as ghosts), were armed with hundreds of balloons and condoms full of urine, which they indiscriminately threw on both police and terrified shoppers. Many of those participating were later revealed to be from overseas — England, Germany, Sweden — and interstate… and there is even some speculation that the group was actually being controlled by police from Auckland using a complex system of pipes, tubes, and string.

Both revolutionary Marxists and hardened reporters were appalled by what they saw. Cam Smith: “Halfway through the riot I began to worry that I’d never be able to write about it… I thought I was going to die out there on Russell Street”. Petite-bourgeois Working Families Party member Revolutionary proletarian socialist Bob Gould was angry. “The very act of people from outside a city invading a demonstration in another city with the clear intention of launching a semi-military attack on the cops, with their faces covered, irrespective of the consequences for the rest of the demonstrators, is a calculated political act directed against the bulk of the demonstrators.” Mick Armstrong was even more angry: “The anarchist crazies involved in the ultra-violence were in no serious sense part of the demo. Just like their black bloc mates in Europe they simply exploited the demo for their own purposes.”

Inner City Pressure

“Police have not yet finalised how many officers will be on duty during the summit, nor do they know exactly how many protesters will take part, although they say there is no indication that overseas anarchists are planning to travel.” (Anarchists warn of London G20 summit action, Reuters, March 19, 2009). Emma Alberici in London for AM: London prepares for violent G20 protests, ABC, March 24, 2009.

G20 anarchists plan wave of strikes against Canary Wharf and BT Tower
Kurt Jones
The Daily Telegraph
March 23, 2009

An anarchist group is planning to “switch off the lights” at some of London’s most iconic buildings, including Canary Wharf and the BT Tower, in the run up to the G20 summit in the capital next week, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

It is one of a series of “guerrilla-style” raids being planned by hard-core anti-capitalist protesters to cause disruption across London in the days before the key meeting of world leaders to discuss the economic crisis. The radicals hope the early raids will surprise police, who are focusing their efforts on controlling protests in the City on April 1 and 2, when the summit opens…

Global Economic Crisis, Or:

Jump! You Fuckers!

“…They will not jump, these people. They cannot easily accept that they are presiding over a system that must be replaced. They will not give way willingly to new ideas and a new reckoning with the problems facing the planet. The world will always be run by confident and impressionable men (mostly men), because they want power so badly…

I am not saying that we should push those responsible out of tall buildings to their deaths. I am not saying that. They will, if properly handled, do what is required.

But we do have to push them.”

Dan Hind, January 19, 2009 [PDF]

Nice title. Somewhat tepid conclusion. Thus while “The choice is not simply between state control and private capitalism” Hind maintains “The state needs to be more thoroughly democratised”. Then again: “Readers are welcome to revise the text and forward it with changes if you feel so moved.”

How about a little anarchy?

Anarchy in London, Or:

G20 : London’s Burning!

40 New Zealand anarchists still at large; London and Berlin tremble (March 1, 2009) Davos 2009 : Capitalism in Crisis (February 1, 2009)

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2020 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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6 Responses to G20 : Inner City Pressure + Global Economic Crisis = Anarchy in London

  1. Tristan says:

    Nope, I see no anarchists, just violent thugs.

    Violence is the methodology of the state, those who use violence as a means (rather than in defense) will bring greater state repression and greater hostility from society.

    Build alternative institutions, win hearts and minds, don’t be the media stereotype of an anarchist – that will only serve to alienate the movement and push it further to the fringes.

    Freedom cannot be imposed through the barrel of the gun, not in Iraq or Afghanistan nor at home.

  2. @ndy says:

    If you define ‘violence’ as being ‘the methodology of the state’ then by definition anybody who employs ‘violence’ is employing a ‘statist methodology’.

    Of course, it’s possible to define ‘violence’ as being something other than the exclusive domain of the state. A ‘standard’ definition of ‘violence’:

      behaviour involving physical force intended to hurt, damage or kill
      (strength of emotion or an unpleasant or destructive natural force)

    It’s also possible to examine the definition of ‘the state’; Weber’s definition is a worthwhile beginning.

    According to Weber, the state is “a human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory” (Max Weber, ‘Politics as a Vocation’, in From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, ed. and trans. H. H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills (New York: Oxford University Press, 1946), 78).

    According to Weber, the state, like all political associations, is a relation of “men dominating men.” As this relation is supported by means of violence, one might expect men to resist. They do not, Weber argues, because they think this violence is legitimate. The state gets into trouble only when the violence it exercises cannot be distinguished from criminal violence. In Discipline and Punish, Michel Foucault suggests that the sovereign, who once played a central role in public executions, retires from the scene beginning in the eighteenth century when in the public’s eyes executions came to resemble the acts of violence for which death sentences were being imposed. Focus shifts away from the execution to the trial and to the sentence as the sovereign distances itself from the violence that is bound up with the practice of justice. In this way, the sovereign comes to appear as a disinterested party whose primary concern is the integrity of the process of judgment rather than its outcome.

    ~ Jennifer L. Culbert and Austin Sarat, Introduction, South Atlantic Quarterly, 107:3, Summer 2008 [PDF]

    The human capacity for violence is obvious. What is not obvious is why those seeking to challenge the state’s claimed monopoly on its use should be automatically condemned, and without any reference to their own aims, methods, or an examination of the political rationale provided for this challenge by those who pursue it. In other words, unless one adopts the position ‘all violence is bad’, it is necessary to distinguish between the legitimate and illegitimate of violence. In this instance, violence as ‘defence’ (legitimate) and violence as ‘attack’ (illegitimate).

    (Secondary issues include 1) the supposed inability of someone to be both an anarchist/’violent thug’ — on Monday? — and to ‘build alternative institutions’ — on Tuesday? — and ‘win hearts and minds’ — on a Wednesday? — etc. and; 2) the political economy of the mass media and what this implies for the ‘successful’ use of such media to communicate anarchist ideas.)

  3. @ndy says:

    A simply ghastly story!

    Sir Fred Goodwin’s house vandalised!
    Ex-RBS Boss Sir Fred Goodwin’s Home Attacked!
    Vandals attack Goodwin home – papers!
    Home of RBS Fred the Shred vandalised!
    Former RBS chief’s home attacked by vandals!
    Vandals target Edinburgh home of Sir Fred Goodwin!
    Thugs vandalise Sir Fred Goodwin’s home and car!
    Anarchists warn ‘This is just the start’ as we track down Fred the Shred!

    I see no anarchists, just violent thugs.

    Smashing rich people’s windows and damaging their cars is the methodology of the state. Those who smash rich people’s windows and damage their cars as a means (rather than in defense) [sic] will bring greater state repression and greater hostility from society.

    Wash rich people’s windows. Detail rich people’s cars. Don’t be the media stereotype of an anarchist — that will only serve to alienate the movement and push it further to the fringes.

    Freedom cannot be imposed through the throwing of a brick at a window or kicking car doors — not in Iraq or Afghanistan, nor in safe European homes.

    Here endeth the lesson.

  4. Ana says:

    the clash song made me do it

  5. Pingback: G20 protest in PITTSBURGH? - PennJersey.info Forums

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