Simply put Anarchism is …
“the negation of force; the elimination of all authority in social affairs; it is the denial of the right of domination of one man over another. It is the diffusion of rights, of power, of duties, equally and freely among all the people.”
Albert R. Parsons
We was not at the Brighton ‘Smash EDO‘ protest, and only have press reports for information, (mainstream, local and Indymedia), and on that basis we’ve formed our views of it. We fully supported the protests and actions around the G20, the timing, targets and locations were spot on, likewise Smash EDO.
Anarchism is not a sub-culture of the young and disaffected, or cranks and oddballs. Nor is it an excuse for random aggression and untargetted acts of violence. To quote August Spies, Haymarket anarchist, “Anarchism does not mean bloodshed; it does not mean robbery, arson, etc. These monstrosities are, on the contrary, the characteristic features of capitalism. Anarchism means peace and tranquility to all.”
This was a protest/demo, not even a full blown riot, never mind a revolution, where violence, including, what the Americans like to call, ‘collateral damage’ is inevitable. On this occasion as allways, the timing and some of the targets were well off.
Reported in the Mirror, “families cowered in McDonald’s as a gas canister was let off outside.” And a photo in the Brighton Argus depicts about a dozen or so young people on the top of a small cafe/ice cream kiosk. OK, MacDonalds maybe a valid target for anti capitalists, but not when poorly paid staff and customers are inside, and that kiosk is hardly an edifice of capitalism.
We need to ask is this really the only idea that they can come up with to Smash EDO and get the message of Anarchism across? Did anyone actually get anywhere near EDO, never mind smash it?
Having a go at the police, government (local or central) or fascist bastards at every given opportunity is perfectly acceptable, they are the enemies of the working class. But rampaging through the streets of a holiday town on a Bank Holiday Monday, when working class folk are trying to have a nice day out, is more reminiscent of the Mods and Rockers fights in my youth than a demo in the name of ‘peace.’ There’s obviously a lot of determination and commitment shown by those who were at Brighton, but… No revolution will ever take place unless it is initiated by, and has the wholesale support of the working class.
Will the actions in Brighton encourage us all to rise up and claim what is rightfully ours?
Will it have the opposite effect? Or will it just seem meaningless to folk who are struggling to get a fair crack of the whip – decent jobs, decent pay, decent homes, decent healthcare, decent education for their kids, and a say in the world in which they live?
All the videos from the May Day Rally in Clerkenwell Green can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=FD8BEDF4C63818A3 We warmly reccomend part 3 – PETE GOLD – and part 4 – MICHAEL DOOLEY