Kiwi Anarchists in London // Death // The Economy

Police have confirmed a man has died during anti-capitalist demonstrations in London.

Yesterday evening, a protester died during demonstrations against the G20 outside the Bank of England in London. The circumstances are currently unclear, but he died inside a police cordon (or kettle) where police had crushed and baton charged protesters. The case has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission. A solidarity demonstration will be held today, assembling at 1pm at the Bank.

Anyone with information they believe may help clarify the circumstances surrounding his death should, as soon as possible, write a full statement and contact the legal team at Bindmans Solicitors on 020 7833 4433 and the Legal Monitoring groups present at the demonstrations. Information can also be sent to Indymedia London: imc-london[at]indymedia[dot]org (this is a private email address).

The left should offer no comfort to these crazies. We should do whatever we can to isolate them. They are wreckers.

Bristle’s Blog from the BunKRS on G20 | Media lies, anarchists, and the G20, Last Hours, March 29, 2009 | Indymedia London has good coverage.

A man is dead after collapsing while imprisoned within a police cordon. His death will be greeted with sadness by his family and friends, but what will be the effects upon The Economy? On this front, there is good news and bad news.

The good news is that dead bodies must be buried, and so a demand for funeral services has successfully been generated. Further, mourners can be expected to obtain death and funeral notices in the press, purchase flowers, and have to travel to and from the service. Assuming the man was employed, replacement labour will have to be obtained, and so further advertising must take place. Indirect demands upon The Economy may also be occasioned. For example, upon hearing of the news of the man’s death, Summit leaders may experience some indigestion (although this may also be a result of the rather rich menus), and therefore require the use of antacids.*

The bad news is that his death may effect productivity. That is, for some period after news of the man’s death has reached them, family and friends may be less productive at their labour. This is unfortunate, but every cloud has a silver lining, and emotional distress may place additional demands upon the health services. To the extent these are provided by private facilities, so much the better.

*JAMIE OLIVER AND YOUNG CHEFS FROM FIFTEEN LONDON TO SERVE THE “BEST OF BRITISH” FOR G-20 LEADERS

Jamie Oliver has created a special menu for today’s (Wednesday 1st April 2009) Downing Street dinner, attended by the leaders of the G-20 group of nations, which shows [off] the best of British seasonal produce as well as the skills of the young chefs – graduates or apprentices of Fifteen London – who will be helping prepare the meal.

Oliver and his team have gone to great lengths to find the best ingredients available. “I’m very, very proud of my country and its food traditions,” says Oliver, “and I know that the guests at Downing Street will be in for a real treat.”

The starter includes fresh organic farmed salmon from Shetland served with foraged samphire and sea kale and a selection of early vegetables from Secrett’s Farm in Sussex, wild garlic from Elwy Valley in Wales and home-made Irish soda bread freshly baked on the day using Gloucestershire-based Shipton Mill organic flour.

For the main course, Oliver has chosen shoulder of lamb from the Elwy Valley in North Wales, the earliest delicious Jersey Royal potatoes, fresh asparagus from the Wye valley and foraged wild St. George mushrooms. Mint sauce and gravy will be freshly made on the day using British herbs and vegetables.

Dessert is a traditional British favourite, Bakewell Tart which Jamie’s team will make on the day using a mixture of home-made jams and Grasmere ginger shortbread. Fresh custard is being made with free-range eggs from the Duchy of Cornwall farms.

There will also be a selection of fresh breads baked by The Flour Station and home-made butter “made with our own fair hands”, freshly churned at Fifteen London using organic cream from Ivy Farm in Somerset and smoked sea salt from Halen Mon in Wales.

G20: Hardcore of anarchists clad in black behind the violence
Nick Allen, Mick Armstrong and Caroline Gammell
The Daily Telegraph
April 2, 2009

Amid the thousands of protesters who descended on the Bank of England yesterday a hard core of European anarchists, clad head to toe in black and their faces obscured by scarves, were behind the intermittent outbursts of violence.

They were co-ordinated and could be clearly seen communicating by mobile phone, identifying weak points in police lines and surging towards them.

As one avenue was closed off by police they quickly retreated, vanishing into the crowd before regrouping and trying another angle.

Some spoke English but Italian, French, German and Polish voices could also be heard in the melee as they shouted abuse at police.

Others spoke with thick New Zealand accents.

It was clearly not the first time they had taken part in a riot and it was they who broke windows at the Royal Bank of Scotland before crawling inside.

One of their number, wearing a black mask, smashed the glass with a metal bar and another sprayed “Scum” and “Burn” on the side of the bank.

An anarchist behind a black balaclava said he was Polish, while another used broken English as he forced his way through peaceful protesters urging his followers to attack the police. Others carried Italian and French flags.

Some of the European anarchists who flooded into London for the protests are believed to have planned their tactics in a meeting at a squat in Whitechapel, east London.

They are believed to have scouted out the area ahead of the protests before deciding to operate in small groups rather than as one large block that could be surrounded by police.

Security sources believe they included members of notorious groups from across Europe, some of whom had already taken part in a week of anarchist strikes in Italy.

The groups with members in London for the G20 are thought to have included Italy’s Guerrigilieri Anomali (Anomalous Warriors), the French Anarch-Autonomist group and the New Zealand All Black & Reds.

There are also thought to have been protesters associated with Germany’s ANTIFA, an anti-fascist umbrella group whose members clashed with police at the G8 riots, and Attac, a left-wing group with ties to anti-globalisation protesters across Europe.

Groups who attended the meeting at the east London squat also included the home-based Whitechapel Anarchist Group, Class War and the Wombles.

Police believe members of another anarchist group calling itself the Convergence Crew, were also at the protests after they took over a disused east London pub as a headquarters.

Detectives think groups associated with the Poll Tax riots of 1990 may also have reunited for the G20.

However, when some of those involved removed their black masks for a breath of fresh air, it was clear that they were still in their teens. As police in riot gear, backed up by horses, charged once again one young anarchist shouted to another: “Has there ever been anything like this in London before?” The older hand replied: “Not for years.”

See also : April Fools (April 1, 2009) | News From Nowhere // News From Neverland (March 31, 2009) | March 25: The day the world changed (March 27, 2009) | G20 : Inner City Pressure + Global Economic Crisis = Anarchy in London (March 25, 2009) | G20 : London’s Burning! (March 18, 2009) | 40 New Zealand anarchists still at large; London and Berlin tremble (March 1, 2009) | Davos 2009 : Capitalism in Crisis (February 1, 2009) | Meanwhile, in Europe, ¡anarcholocos! (December 12, 2008)

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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15 Responses to Kiwi Anarchists in London // Death // The Economy

  1. Tristan says:

    The left should offer no comfort to these crazies. We should do whatever we can to isolate them. They are wreckers.

    Absolutely. I’m fed up of seeing anarchists portrayed as violent morons.

    I was even told yesterday that ‘anarchists don’t believe in society’ (I thought that was the Tories…)

    I hope your section on the ‘good news’ is satirical…

    It’s also economically incorrect – since the resources used for the various things you list are being diverted from other uses which people would prefer to use them for.

  2. @ndy says:

    Tristan,

    Anarchists have been portrayed as ‘violent morons’ since the late 1800s. For further reading, see:

    Nightmares of Anarchy: Language and Cultural Changes, 1870-1914
    William M. Phillips
    Bucknell University Press
    2004

    Nightmares of Anarchy: Language and Cultural Change, 1870-1914 explores the function of the anarchist and anarchist rhetoric in the culture of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Britain and the United States. The figure of the anarchist becomes an important symbol in discussions of social change, and anarchism becomes the germ of several aesthetic discourses of the early twentieth century. The concept of anarchism is associated with a number of subjects that together constitute a debate over the direction of society in the late nineteenth century: fears of degeneracy, revolution, and the mob; debates and utopian writing on social and economic organization; and fears arising from a loss of autonomy and control in modern society. By examining many narratives of the time–fiction and nonfiction, journalism and academic writing, canonical and obscure writers–this study traces the discourse surrounding anarchism in order to understand the cultural practices that supported the rise of modern capitalist culture.

    I obviously don’t know who told you yesterday that ‘anarchists don’t believe in society’, or why. A quick glance at anarchist texts, either contemporary or historical, will quickly disabuse anybody of that notion.

    I am obviously being satirical when I consider the impact the unfortunate man’s death will have on The Economy. My point — in the seemingly likely possibility I am misinterpreted — is that such discourse serves to obscure life and human activity, and to represent it in ways that are in fact highly ‘political’. For example, there is recurrent reference to The GDP in economic commentary. GDP, or Gross Domestic Product, measures (in Australia) the dollar value of all economic activity over a particular period of time. This figure makes no distinction between ‘good’ (socially useful) and ‘bad’ (socially harmful) activity. Nevertheless, economic growth — the increase in overall economic activity measurable by such instruments — is usually assumed to be Good. Thus anything which contributes to GDP is also Good.

    Can you dig it?

    PS. You have yet to respond to my remarks on an earlier thread on ‘violence’.

    PPS.

    On ‘externalities’:

    On the economic impact of ‘9/11’:

  3. VC says:

    @ndy,

    I am posting this from our Anarchy Jet via our satellite uplink. The Kiwi Bloc is celebrating with looted beer. All 40 of us are accounted for and in excellent spirits.

    Regards,
    VC

  4. grumpy cat says:

    Hi @ndy,
    The Mick Armstrong joke is getting old, perhaps it is time to put it to bed/down.
    Cheers,
    Dave.

  5. @ndy says:

    VC,

    Message received and understood.

    The horses are on the track.

    The Chinese watches will be available for collection in the morning.

    grumpy cat,

    Perhaps when the last of the crazies have had their day in court the joke will be over.

    PS. I must now bid you Badiou.

  6. grumpy cat says:

    Hi @ndy,
    Hm, okay. That sounds fair.
    Rebel love,
    Dave.

  7. Lumpen says:

    The thing that nobody ever mentions is that flogging a dead horse can be heaps of fun.
    Solidarity out to the London crew, if any happen to read this, and I hope they give them hell tomorrow.

  8. THR says:

    From what I can tell, the crowd consisted of a wide range of people, and not just anarchists. To the extent that anarchists were involved in the demonstration, it is clear to anybody who looks that they were not involved in anything particularly reprehensible.

    The media really outdoes itself on these sorts of occasions. @ndy, I’d be curious as to whether you had any film clips in your archive about past demos by ‘ferals’ that proved said ferals to be getting assaulted by police. I’ve seen the Youtubes for the Melb demo, but I’d be very interested in seeing more footage, if any is available.

    I expressed my concerns on this topic here:

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2009/04/02/open-thread-2-april-09/comment-page-2/#comment-2757

    The latest I’ve read on the matter is that police reports on death that occurred are to be utterly distrusted. Whatever the man died of, it wasn’t radicalism.

  9. @ndy says:

    Afaik…

    Somewhere between 4 and 10,000 people took part in the rallies on Financial Fools’ Day. Of these, most descended on The City; today a major focus is the venue itself (Canary Wharf).

    These numbers are relatively small, both inre previous ‘left-wing’ demos in London but also Europe.

    On March 28, tens of thousands took part in a protest widely labelled ‘Put People First’. Simultaneous protests took place elsewhere in Europe: in Germany (Berlin and Frankfurt) and Spain (Barcelona, Alacant, Valencia, Madrid, Sevilla and Salamanca), while much smaller protests took place in Switzerland and Austria. In London, many anarchists and other radicals took part in a ‘Militant Workers Bloc’; perhaps as many as 1,000 participated.

    So: no, it would appear that, of the thousands who participated in the rally on April 1, only a minority, and probably a small one, were ‘anarchist’.

    Whether or not the ‘anarchists’ collectively took part in anything especially reprehensible depends on your perspective. The main complaint appears to be that a number of protesters smashed some windows at a branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland; there was some further damage to office equipment inside.

    As for the (state/corporate) media, it simply does what it is designed to do.

    Re ‘ferals’ — a catch-all term, obviously, usually employed to signify hatred and contempt for those who engage in civil disobedience/’direct action’/’militant protest’ — there does exist footage of police assault on protesters, although what I have on my blog is very limited. One example relates to the G20 protest in Melbourne in November 2006.

    G20 in Melbourne generated a vast amount of video footage and press photography. I’ve looked at a very small proportion, but not with any particular eye for police assault, and afaik no charges against police were ever laid. Victoria Stead provides an account of the legal aftermath here; David Marr’s account (A crowded hour, an endless pursuit, SMH, March 22, 2008) is also useful. A number of legal and para-legal volunteers attended the protest, and further info is available via this post: G20: Legal Centre response to government/corporate smears.

    Note that some cases are still before the courts.

    Also of relevance is the report by Dr. Bernard Barrett on the ‘S11’ protests (Melbourne, 2000): ‘Beating Up: A Report on Police Batons and the News Media at the World Economic Forum’, Melbourne, September 2000.

    The cases that were brought against police (following S11) were eventually settled out-of-court. Slater & Gordon handled most of these, and upon settlement declared it would no longer handle such cases. As another commentator put it, it would be wrong to simply assume that this decision was motivated by either a) the public float of the company or b) its decision to begin representing the Police Association (police union).

    Regarding the London man’s death, it is of course too early to say much. However, it appears that he died while behind a police cordon. The creation of these cordons — generally referred to as ‘kettling’ — has been standard police practice in the UK for some years. The basic premise is to divide and isolate crowds and sections of crowds the police determine to be ‘potentially volatile’. Generally, those detained are detained for a considerable period of time. They are then gradually released, usually one at a time, while police take photographs and video footage of those held, and otherwise seek to ID the individuals concerned. This surveillance is in addition to the use of CCTV and police organised as ‘Forward Intelligence Teams’ (FIT).

    FIT attend every public rally or demonstration of almost any size that police intelligence determines may provide opportunities for political surveillance. In response, some activists have begun watching the watchers. Partly in response to this ‘counter-surveillance’ — which is what independent media has accomplished on an ad hoc basis for some years (that is, more or less since the relevant technology became widely, and cheaply, available) — new legislation has been introduced intended to outlaw the practice. Thus:

    From 16th February it will be punishable by up to ten years in the nick to “elicit or attempt to elicit information about members of the armed forces, intelligence services or policemen, where this information could be of use to a terrorist.” This rather vaguely worded term (in the Counter Terrorism Act) is another of the government’s and police’s rather sweeping authoritarian laws that is just one more attack on traditional civil liberties. “Information that could be of use to a terrorist” is a rather vague and catch-all term.

    On being caught with any information involving police you need to show a reasonable excuse for holding the information, whatever reasonable is deemed to mean. For people who have been involved in social struggles and come up against the state it is perfectly reasonable to make notes of police misbehaviour and taking their photos and collar numbers – despite being a perfectly legal (and sensible) thing to do – could warrant arrest.

    The Government and police make no apologies for hassling photo journalists. In a letter to the National Union of Journalists, the Minister for security and counter-terrorism Vernon Coaker, justified police harassment of anyone using a camera in public, saying that, “This may be on the grounds of national security or there may be situations in which the taking of photographs may cause or lead to public order situations or inflame an already tense situation or raise security considerations.” Yeah right – public order situation – police stopping and searching someone on a demo, you get your camera and observe the situation, police tell you to move you on, you say no, they get heavy handed and push you around… Hey Presto! Public Order Situation! A graphic example of the way police hassle photographers was seen at the anti-BBC Gaza demo on 24th January when a member of the police Forward Intelligence Team (U3037) grabbed journalist Justin Tallis who had taken a photo of him, tried to get the camera off him and said “You’re not allowed to take photos of police officers”. The only way to oppose this legislation is to resist any police repression of the right to publish information about police misbehaviour and the activities of the political police units: the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit and the Forward Intelligence Teams.

    In general, STATEWATCH is a good source of info on issues of state control and civil liberties.

    Inre the discussion at Crikey — I’ve glanced over it. Very standard fare. High levels of ignorance regarding such matters no longer surprises me, and tackling the barrage of assumptions which govern such discussions is generally exhausting and ultimately fruitless.

  10. @ndy says:

    Ha!

    Can’t help myself.

    Old but still v v good!

    Rise into the light
    And set a flame to the night
    We must destroy the institution of fear
    Every shadow of doubt
    Grind it out
    There is a vision now becoming so clear

    Use your head
    Take control
    Use your head
    No gods, no masters

    Feel the strength from within
    Do you believe it’s a sin
    To find the power lying inside your mind
    Not from the cross or the gun
    Not from the moon nor the sun
    But rising from the very soul of mankind

    Use your head
    Take control
    Use your head
    No gods, no masters

    We are straining at the leash

    We swear allegiance to none
    Be not become
    There is no one upon whom praise we will shower
    I believe that the sin
    Is the first to give in
    On the path towards the ultimate power…

  11. Run to Paradise says:

    Tristan how about you join your buddy Mick and go be a coward and a traitor somewhere else, preferably in a corner.

  12. @ndy says:

    The hits just keep on coming!

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