“…mainly dubstep.”

Anarchist gangs fuelling London student riots, say police
Paola Totaro
The Age
December 11, 2010

i) Errant nonsense. Everybody knows it’s the International Cricket Council International Communist Current wot done it.
ii) Mad props to the kids from the slums of London (from the land down under).

“…it is unprecedented to see a government teeter before a movement in whom the iconic voices are sixteen and seventeen year old women, and whose anthems are mainly dubstep.”

~ Paul Mason (BBC), Live Working or Die Fighting: How the Working Class Went Global, Haymarket Books, 2010 [Excerpt / Interview]

“The cops would find it far more difficult to recklessly block and beat protesters like they did yesterday if they were facing the assembled membership of the UK’s radical trade unions. Would they kettle firefighters and prison officers the same way they do students and school-kids?”

~ Off your knees, comrades, Donnacha DeLong, The revolution will be streamed, December 10, 2010.


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.
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7 Responses to “…mainly dubstep.”

  1. Paul Justo says:

    Poor squidgy, it’s bloody terrible mate to see our future Queen and King in such dire straits. As you know I blame the Republicans.

    “We must alert and organise the world’s people to pressure world leaders to take specific steps to solve the two root causes of our environmental crises – exploding population growth and wasteful consumption of irreplaceable resources. Overconsumption and overpopulation underlie every environmental problem we face today.” – Jacques-Yves Cousteau

    That quote comes from the website of our very own Republican Party of Australia & next March they are hosting an event at $95 a ticket “all beverages included” to listen to The Thoughts of National Secretary Jennie Goldie of Sustainable Population Australia.

    No doubt the republican rabble will engage in a bit of OVERCONSUMPTION themselves and spend the night singing IRA songs.

    Long live the English monarchy I say. If it isn’t broke don’t fix it.

  2. @ndy says:

    Interesting, if basic. I mean, the (corporate/state) media periodically (re-)discovers ‘anarchism’, whether it’s there, or not. (The anarchist, or in other social and historical contexts the Bolshevik or communist bogeyman, has been used for well over a century now–William M. Phillips, Nightmares of Anarchy: Language and Cultural Changes 1870–1914, Bucknell University Press, 2004 is neat.)

    I think what’s also, or moar interesting is the fact that, on some level, the reporting on militant protest has more varied, often contrary, and tastier sauces. Thus while the corporate/state media is committed to a certain narrative (bad people hijack good protest yadda yadda yadda), there’s now a multitude of online sauces what provide contra-flows of information which highlight the many, often gross inaccuracies of these accounts. In this context, the idea that it’s the anarchists wot done it has increasingly tenuous purchase on a larger portion of the interested public(s).

    Secondly, I think that militant protest (and other collective social actions), whatever their strategic merits, have increasingly become one of the default positions of movements for social change, especially yoof. Thus, while on the one hand there remains a small but influential cadre of largely middle-class yoof able and willing to occupy positions within formally representative institutions, on the whole there’s been a collapse of institutions which in the past have broadly worked to channel dissent into mostly harmless forms. This, I think, is one of the risks associated with the neoliberal project. In (moar fully) marketising social relations, it has become increasingly difficult to mediate challenges to these relations and their (worst) effects. The evidence for this is I think both large-scale and institutional (the collapse or relative decline of ‘social democracy’, especially within the labour movement) but also micrological (‘fuck you I won’t do what you tell me’).

    Coatesy’s refs to the casseurs also reminds me of the Situ accounts of the role of the blousons noirs, tho’ maybe the distinction is a pretty fine one in some cases given the enlargement of the higher education factories…

    Finally, regarding the anarchist/autonome distinction: yeah, maybe. But I also think that there’s a moar general milieu in which such distinctions can be kinda blurry and stuff.

    PS. Thanks for the tip.

  3. @ndy says:

    December 10, 2010

    “Any right minded individual witnessing today’s violence would want to condemn it” – Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Paul Stevenson on Sky News last night.

    Fuck Off! You’d be mad not to love it.

  4. @ndy says:


    On violence against the police
    The Commune

    A participant in the 9 December demonstrations against education cuts and fees in Parliament Square writes on the use of political violence, and condemnation of it in the media.

    The condemnations are as predictable as they are boring. The public-school educated Sun hacks, who write like some coked up parodies of proletarian semi-literacy, refer to “louts” and “hooligans”. The Daily Mail complains about someone urinating against Churchill’s statue, and the Telegraph is dismayed that Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were “attacked”. Probably by a “baying mob”. Meanwhile, someone in a moustache on The Guardian talks about how, no doubt, this will provide a “distraction” from the “real issues”, whose repetition ad nauseam presumably has some intrinsic value for the solemn liberal contingent.

    I can’t even be bothered to look up the precise terms of the condemnation this time. It’s always the same. A dash of the royal family, veneration for some long dead racist, shakes of the head from the banal but well intentioned. Is anyone still listening? Haven’t we read all this before?

    The NUS and UCU are of course, for “peaceful protest”. What is the effective record of “peaceful protest”? How does social change happen? Is it always peaceful? Are kettles acceptable, and is it reasonable to try and break them? Such questions are politely neither asked nor answered: that would be politics – we’re just about protecting our reputations. Thanks.

    One of the oddest, least remarked upon, features of contemporary capitalism is the way it systematically enlists all its main functionaries in talking nonsense on a day to day basis. The police don’t really believe that the “kettle” is a necessary response to violence.

    It seemed more to be motivated by traditional aims of kettling that are rarely stated: to demoralise protesters so much that they are dissuaded from taking part again, and to exhaust them physically so that they go home quietly (not that there was any need for the latter by this stage of the night). While queueing to leave Parliament Square, a woman next to me jokingly told a police officer that if they let us go, she would promise that this would be her last demonstration. The officer replied, “That’s the point.” [Guardian]

    OK. Now we know that. They know that. We know they know we know that. But, of course, they can’t say it, officially, in public. That’s against the rules. It’s like the “have you ever taken any illegal drugs” question on a job application form. No one expects you to answer truthfully: it’s a test, the real content of which is: “are you a fucking idiot?” No? Well go right ahead then. As long as you can play the game, it’s all ok.

    Another recent example: Wikileaks cables shows that the US finds the obsequious grovelling of Conservative politicians “humorous”. But of course, Atlanticist politicians on both sides leap to say how important “the special relationship” really is to America. Of course they do. It’s the same rules we learned at school: deny everything, keep looking straight ahead and there’s nothing anyone can do.

    We all have our own stories from last night, no doubt. A girl had a clump of her hair pulled out. A 20 year old is in hospital, having had to have life-saving brain surgery, amongst 43 hospitalised protestors. I’m sure it says somewhere that “there will be an investigation”. (Tomlinson, cough, Menezes, cough, etc. cough.) “My 19-year-old sister was forced to the floor by police when caught in a crowd and when attempting to get up was punched in the face by a male officer. She is sporting a black eye this morning” says one. Another: “a guy running away from police along Whitehall […] being unable to run further because of a stray barrier. Before he could jump over, two police charged into him with their shields and repeatedly hit him with their shields, against the barrier.”

    Fair-minded people are against “disproportionate”, “provocative”, or “brutal” policing; and presumably in favour of a polite push and shove. This is an appealing message (and it may make sense to accentuate it to the cameras), but is more or less a fiction. Of course, there are incidents here and there where we can say that particular police could have been less brutal. But if the direct action we defend has any content at all, it must mean we supported, and support, concrete attempts to stop the law being passed, up to, including, and beyond the invasion of parliament – and we are in support of people trying as hard as possible to do that. And it is a fiction that the police could have tolerated that, or that preventing it could ever have been done gently. If it could have been, we wouldn’t have really been trying. If the police hadn’t been at parliament square last night, and if they hadn’t been prepared to act brutally, parliament would have been stormed, and legislation to triple top-up fees and abolish EMA would not have been passed. The brutality of the police is not incidental to the nature of the state, it is essential to it.

    So you have to pick: the state, and horse charges against children who object to having their pockets robbed; or against the state (which means: against capitalism, for social revolution); and against the police too; brutal or otherwise. Polite fudges are polite – but more or less part of the continuous stream of liquid nonsense which constitutes the news media.

    Next time, we should bring masks to give out. Just like on the Gaza demos in 2009, too many young people are going to get arrested because their faces appear on police footage – and in the photographs of the numerous “independent” photojournalists who sell images to the right-wing press, many of whom should arguably be looked on as police evidence gatherers.

    Someone has to say it: mass violence against the police is necessary as part of any social struggle. We wish it wasn’t but it is. The reason is simple: the police defend the state unconditionally, the state defends capital unconditionally, and capital attacks us without remorse – or even a second thought. Reasonable liberals yearn for a compromise: but the state isn’t listening. Neither should protestors.

    When Charles and Camilla were ambushed, or a fence was thrown at police, or a crowd broke the thin blue line: those were good things, and we support the people doing it. They are by no means sufficient, nor are they particularly helpful as isolated acts. What is important is that they establish the movement on new terrain. They represent the conscious willingness to defy and confront state authority, and state power. And that is the beginning of everything hopeful.

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