The actual banning of Islam4UK and the effectual banning of the EDL will only create more and more tension until something finally gives – which, in turn, will give the state an excuse to come down on ALL supposed dissident groups, including anarchists.
We’re rightfully proud to be anti-fascist, but in the meantime our everyday life is becoming ever more fascistic as basic liberties – such as Habeas corpus, the right to silence, trial by jury, the right not to be tortured, etc., etc., etc. – are being whittled away in the name of ’security’ and ‘for our own protection’.
Some people believe that these liberties are merely concessions granted by the powerful, but they can also be seen as a work in progress. Each represents a hard-won victory on the slow march towards a free society founded on equality, mutual aid and cooperation – i.e. every liberty brings us closer to anarchy.
All too often significant sections of the Great British Public find themselves in fundamental disagreement with government policy, or find themselves deeply concerned about a serious social or environmental issue that has failed to engage the population as a whole.
The “accepted” means of registering such disagreement, with the obvious and clear intention of seeking to effect some sort of change, has traditionally been through letters to the Press, or to one’s Member of Parliament, or even to a Government Minister.
All too often however such efforts result in, at best, a dismissive response or, not unusually, a patronising nothing at all.
Ramp up the action a bit then, and we have signatures collected on a petition and delivered to the relevant authority. Effectiveness? Well, if one’s lucky there’ll be a mention in the media, followed by… frequently a patronising nothing at all.
Which is where we move into the grand British tradition of a protest or demonstration; customarily a march, sometimes a picket or other static “demo”… a form of expression much favoured by those who feel themselves ignored, overlooked, or sidelined in the prevailing political climate.
In exceptional cases, or where the cause rouses sufficiently deep passions and where no noticeable effect has been achieved by lesser means, we enter the rather more contentious realm of “direct action”. Which can take many forms, but generally entails some form of civil disobedience or even acts that may fall foul of the law…though not necessarily of the ideal of Justice!
That said though, even direct action has a worthy tradition and a certain sense of legitimacy; I’m reminded, for example, of the Suffragettes. Indeed, the very institution of Parliament that we so affectionately regard as our own has its roots in, albeit rather extreme, direct action! Such is the nature of protest in this country.
Were such freedom to protest curtailed, what other recourse would the public have when they perceive themselves as largely disenfranchised by what is often seen as a mockery of a genuinely representative political system, that our “leaders” still glibly refer to as “democracy”?
Yet that freedom to protest, so lovingly and unthinkingly embraced by all manner of political activists and advocates of social causes has, over the past few years, come under increasing threat.
The most obvious and public example of this was the rendering illegal of protests and demonstrations within a specified distance of the Houses of Parliament absent police approval!
And since when, one might ask, is it necessary to secure police approval of a demonstration in a supposedly “free” society? Does that not already constitute, in essence, one of the elements of a repressive regime in which the police can arbitrarily dictate, without consultation and without accountability, which protests are considered “acceptable” (and would that be “politically acceptable” perchance?) to the State?
However, there are other far more insidious trends at work that threaten our freedom to protest in a much more fundamental way than having to seek police permission before demonstrating outside Parliament. And though insidious, the effects of those trends are becoming increasingly apparent.
The raid over the weekend of the far right scum should indeed raise concern and Increasingly of late the police have been seizing mobile phones and computers and enforcing strict and restrictive bail conditions which makes continued political operation of those arrested impossible. Bail is extended to often over a year before any charges are brought. Just because it’s currently the EDL who are copping it tonight doesn’t mean we won’t be next.Protestors arrested at the Radcliff power station school raid were similarly banned from contacting each other.It’s an insidious development brought in by the poice with connivance of the Home Secretary and proving extremely effective at disabling political movements from effective action on the streets.
Conversely every affront to liberty takes us further from our goal.
The EDL are wankers and should we be thankful that the highly provocative Bradford march has been stopped?, but armed police raids against political organisations – regardless of whether they’re fascist scum like the EDL or Islam4UK – should never be seen as a good thing.
The events over the weekend are bad news, the kick in that The EDL would have got if they had gone to Bradford is now not going to happen, so the state like to think? and just why are those nicked bailed to Sheffield? Could it be collusion? in the fact Mark Collett A former Youth Leader of the BNP, Mark Collett is currently the party’s Director of Publicity. He featured in the 2002 documentary Youth, Nazi and Proud and appeared in court alongside Nick Griffin in 2006, charged with race hate offences. Young, Nazi and proud – Channel 4 News s Mark Collett is standing in Brightside Sheffield for The BNP, are the events last few days related needs to be asked?
Now we have the real prospect of seeing the fascism of The EDL on the streets of Sheffield, along with the other anti working class lefty scum shooting there pointless slogans while telling us to Vote Labour and no doubt The AWL (the lefts anti Semitic brigade) will be alongside with the circus that is Socialist Campaign to Stop the Tories and Fascists meanwhile New Labour are asking for A Future Fair For All! We agree A Future Fair For All! Is one of anarchy.