mad props!

ROOFTOP OCCUPIERS STATEMENT: “We oppose all cuts and we stand in solidarity with public sector workers, and all poor, disabled, elderly and working people. We are occupying the roof in opposition to the marketisation of education pushed through by the coalition government, and the system they are pushing through of helping the rich and attacking the poor. We call for direct action to oppose these cuts. This is only the beginning of the resistance to the destruction of our education system and public services.”

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 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
This entry was posted in !nataS, Anarchism, Broken Windows, State / Politics, Student movement. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to mad props!

  1. Jack Crow says:

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. dj says:

    I loled at the interview that the student’s union president gave. If he actually believes what he said then it’s no wonder that the Tories felt they could prosecute their legislative agenda, thinking there would be little or no resistance to it.

  3. @ndy says:

    I felt déjà vu. It’s what guys and gals in his position always say. (I mean, they can’t say otherwise: it’s their job.) It’s the acting out of a script, in other words, and everyone’s got a role to play. What would be remarkable is if a movement existed which broke out of these constraints and in which students participated in an ongoing series of challenges to state and civil authorities. That seems to me to be unlikely, but it would also seem to be the only means by which the fee increases might be stopped. Then again, many — er, some — of the students had the nous to try and cover their faces, which is a hopeful sign.

  4. @ndy says:

    …this is pretty funny…

    Clare is ex-SWP, now Counterfire. Aaron is Labour.

  5. dj says:

    I take your point @ndy but I thought his comments were incredibly supine in the interview I saw. As for anyone from the LDs or Labor – invading Iraq vs. a few windows, Vince Cable’s complicity in Shell’s activities in Ogoni land vs. a few windows – just another example of our historical amnesia and lack of perspective.

    That Counterfire segment was almost as inspiring as QandA if you get my drift.

  6. @ndy says:

    Yeah I dunno. I mean… the guy has a career in the Labour Party ahead of him. To act otherwise is to jeopardise that career. So he denounces the ‘hijackers’.


  7. @ndy says:

    Students smash Tory headquarters

    the NUS/UCU backed demo on 10.11.10 was expected by many, including libertarian communists to be a pretty tame, reformist affair. How wrong we were…

    This report appeared on indymedia last night. The authors are not known to me and describe themselves simply as an anonymous affinity group, but it seemed they wanted it posted up here:

    Arriving at the starting point of the demo the energy (and noise) levels were already extremely high. There were thousands of young people from all over the country, but it seemed that the whole event was being carefully controlled by stewards. All the placards had lame reformist slogans (admittedly with a few vaguely funny ones) and we were expecting a pretty tame march from A to B. When we finally found the Anarchist (or “Radical Workers and Students”) block, after fighting our way through Trotskyists and NUS stewards, I was disappointed to see that it was pretty small and not in a very good position in terms of visibility. On the march itself, the only act of civil disobedience we saw was a short lived attempt by about 20 people to sit down and block the road. However, when we passed the Milbank building the anarchists had been split up a little and when we looked back to try and spot some red and [black] flags we were surprised to see that they were in amongst a group of probably hundreds of others. People were running into the building trying to smash windows and graffiti-ing the walls, because we didn’t see exactly how it started we don’t know how true the mainstream media’s claim that a small group of anarchists “hijacked” the peaceful protest by instigating property damage is. One thing though is for absolute certain, that self-identified anarchists were themselves only a small minority of all the people engaged in all the acts of civil disobedience and property damage. Even at this point there were literally hundreds of people either directly pushing against police, throwing stuff at them or smashing things. The NUS claim that there were over 50 000 people in total at the demonstration and only a minority took part in the “violence”. A “minority” of this number would mean far more people than usually attend demos in recent years.

    That first incident seemed to die down quite soon and we assumed it would be easily put down by the Met, based on previous painful experience of their capabilities. Besides, we had already seen more property damage than had happened at the London G20 protests, and of a more suitably symbolic building so it had already been more of a successful demo than we’d been expecting. We walked on and soon came to the end point of the march. Predictably enough for a demo organised by bureaucrats, we were expected to stand around listening to speeches and chanting in a space controlled by security guards and stewards. We decided “fuck this” and were on our way back down towards where we came from, when we noticed smoke coming from the courtyard in the Milbank building. The energy there then was pretty excited and there were virtually no police in sight, there was a small line of cops at the entrance and people were already throwing stuff at them – to a degree rarely seen at demos in Britain. However, we had received a call out to go to the business and innovation centre where apparently something was going down. We never made it there because as we were walking down we saw a crowd of people with a sound system break away from the crowds to the end point. They went down a side street and had a mini reclaim the streets style party with a line of riot police watching, whilst blocking the way to the lib dem headquarters. Amusingly that street was called “cowley street” the same name of a famous leader of the brighton squatting movement during the great depression. People danced to dub step for a while and threw stuff at cops before going back toward the Tory HQ where the fires were still burning. When we [got] back there we saw a push and shove situation with the cops in front of one of the big glass walls, that was already nearly completely smashed apart.

    The stand off continued for a while, with heightening tensions, amplified by shouts of support from thousands of people behind. Some demonstrators were already inside waving placards and further trying to help break the glass. When the crowds saw that people had got on to the roof and were waving banners, [red] and [black] flags, with their fists in the air, they screamed encouragement and further energised those at the front lines. Eventually some people started smashing apart a different glass wall and the police didn’t even try to stop them. It came down with a resounding crash and we all piled in to the foyer of the building, there was probably over 100 people in this area, some smashing windows, some pushing against cops to gain … access to the stairs, all shouting “Tory scum, Tory scum”. There was a tense stand off at the door for a while and the very few cops guarding it seemed shit scared and confused, finally this was resolved: we got the doors open. This enabled many to make their way through the building, smashing what they could and making their way to the roof. Many managed to escape through the fire exit after staying as long as they individually felt necessary, but according to news reports some were still inside hours later, and probably many got arrested.

    The storming of the Tory party HQ occurred about an hour after the organised march had already started gathering at its final destination point to watch important people deliver pre-recorded (largely inaudible) messages on a giant TV screen. A high-spirited spontaneous demo had been occupying the square outside of the building with a bonfire of placards since the march had passed it by en route. This was despite the stewards’ attempts to file everybody by the building unnoticed, and the crowd seemed a broad representation of demo participants (mostly unmasked with a variety of placards and signs); far from the ‘organised contingent of troublemaker anarchists’ that Aaron Porter, the MET and the mainstream media have predictably reported as at the heart of all transgressive action. In fact, the radical student and workers’ bloc called for by sol fed and afed was disappointingly small and disorganised; comprising just a handful of red and black flags amongst other demonstrators, and seemed to get broken apart 2/3 of the way through the march when cops held the crowd back at a roundabout.

    When the plate glass windows of the building started getting smashed, the atmosphere within the square was energetic. The entire crowd seemed behind the actions, cheering support for those at the front, calling for people to move in en masse, and continuously pushing forward in an attempt to do so. This action did not seem in any way pre-planned, but happened spontaneously in the midst of a lively and diverse mass demo of students wanting to direct their anger directly at some of those responsible for selling out their futures (continual chants of ‘Tory scum’ and the like).

    There were relatively few cops defending the building at this point and the crowd was able to push through at various points using bodymass with minimal physical interaction once the windows had been broken. Many, once in, set about helping others to join them by smashing other windows (lots of them without masks) to open the atrium up to the surging crowd. Greater numbers were only prevented from getting into the atrium (which filled up quickly) by the lifts having been disabled and the stairwell being blocked off by cops with drawn batons. However the police were lacking in numbers and were prevented from forming a solid line by protestors linking arms and using effective bodymass (we witnessed one individual dearrested by the crowd after having been pulled by cops from this group). Eventually the few police defending the door withdrew, enabling many of the crowd to join comrades on the roof.

    Physical violence inside was minimal at this stage, consisting mainly just of pushing, with cops outnumbered and therefore unwilling to antagonise, and protestors intent only on getting further into the building. In fact most of the violence named by the news reports seems mainly to refer just to property damage. This consisted mostly of smashed windows and fire hoses/extinguishers set off, although we have also heard reports of a fire extinguisher dropped from the roof, and we left relatively early. The crowd packed into the square remained supportive of those within the building, cheering and waving at people on the roof. After less than half an hour of our having joined the initial group of occupiers on the roof, a decision was taken collectively by a spontaneous meeting of lots of those present to leave the building together as a group, which we did successfully, a small number of people remaining behind. Having locked their doors, the Tory offices which occupied the lower floors of the building (and those inside them) remained untouched.

  8. aussie says:

    whos wrong?. they are all wrong… people cause a problem, people act in anger, people make people angry, people get angry, the anger, this argument goes alot deeper than the issue itself. it cant and never will be solved.

  9. aussie says:

    its the reason the world is the way it is, in every aspect. people killed over 100 million people in the twentieth century alone, western people are the worst, our minds are corrupted by want. the word WANT opposes the word CARE and dominates us.

  10. Mikey says:

    thanks for the insight aussie

  11. lest we forget says:

    better get down into the bomb shelter, the revolution is sure to start now some windows are broken. oh no, they’re using an effective bodymass…we’re dooooomed. hyuk hyuk snort chortle

  12. @ndy says:

    Great protest, shame about the ‘despicable minority’ – NUS leaders
    Sandra Morgan
    November 13, 2010

    The student storming of the Tory headquarters in London was a spontaneous, mass action, proving the complete irrelevance of ‘student leaders’.

    From the start of Wednesday’s march, it was clear that this wasn’t your average NUS demo. People refused to be corralled in barriers, breaking them open to take both sides of the street. Large groups of students marched away from the prescribed route, and there were clashes with police at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.

    But it was at the Tory headquarters that the anger really found itself. Thousands of people entered the courtyard, fires were lit, flares were let off, and everyone pushed towards the building. It was only the force of these thousands pushing forward that made it possible to break police lines and get in through the door.

    After about forty people had managed to get in, those outside started to break the windows. Every smash was met by a loud cheer from the crowd, making it clear that these were not isolated actions but an expression of the rage of the thousands who were there.

    When the windows finally broke open, the crowd surged forward, filling the foyer with people. From there, some took to the stairs, rushing to the roof, led by no-one and moving together.

    Those involved were not reducible to some ‘type’, but were thousands of students from Further Education colleges and universities across the country, fighting together for the first time. This show of spontaneous strength from a mass of different people can only be repeated again and again in other struggles across the country in the months to come.

    Meanwhile, NUS President Aaron Porter was denouncing what happened as ‘despicable’, saying that a perfectly nice demonstration had been ‘hijacked’ by a ‘small minority’.

    If students didn’t know what side the NUS was on before, then they did now. We must thank Mr Porter for doing a very good job of making it clear just how irrelevant his union is.

    And even those ‘student leaders’ who got on the telly purporting to represent those in the building have proved themselves to be completely disconnected from what happened. Rather than defending the forced entry into the building, one student union president argued that people went in because ‘the doors were open.’ Instead of saying why what happened was important in itself, they preferred to discuss the completely irrelevant issue of whether or not Nick Clegg keeps his promises.

    While the mass of students are breaking through barriers, the ‘student leaders’ are stuck in some television studio with Jeremy Paxman. We should be more than happy to leave them there.

    These ‘leaders’ will no doubt dream of the recent golden age of student demos, when people repeated tired slogans back to NUS megaphones, and union executives got a comfortable ride to the Labour party. But those days are gone. We now know our strength. And the NUS is not part of it.

  13. @ndy says:

    WAG on TalkSport Radio about Student Demo:

    WAG on BBC News about Student Demo:

    Unedited BBC Interview:

  14. Pingback: From Melbourne to London… | slackbastard

  15. brilliant stuff on the student demonstration in London: …also about the politeness of the SWP

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