some of the dynamics of how these features operate is revealed in the fallout from lst saturdays demonstration in london.
im araid i cant resist criticising ed milibands speech at the rally which seemed to combine what i can only call "wet"(miserable,weak and feeble)with overwrought(his references and examples were international but completely disconnected).without these elements he might as well have said nothing.
but i sidetrack myself:later in the day the secretary of the tuc and others bent over backwards to distance themselves from the events on the "violent","sidelines".the press and the "respectable"opinion formers on the march colluded in an effort to construct an image of the essentially celebratory but pqassive demonstration from the activists and which cast the latter as a single entity out to do damage.it is as if the figureheads of gthe movement are now so afraid of how they are cast,that they accept the division of the demonstrators into the respectable and authentic versus the enemy,alien and dangerous.this is a version of the deserving and undeserving poor.i do not accept such charachterisations at any level.
i have been trying to make this and the following poingts variously on a number of websites all week since the demonstration and am aware of the similar efforts of other friends and comrades elsewhere.if i were of a conspiratorial turn of mind,i would say that the failure of my psost to turn up on some of those sites is the rseult of their moderators imposing the same lack of principles,for i have not abused the rules of those sites but merely expressed an opinion.
in turn though,i suspect that this governement like the last want to micro manage public opinion so that we can have a say about the colour of our fronyt door,but can no longer legitimately dissent.im afraid i do dissent.
such charachterisation is not new though.through all my adult life as an activist,anarchists have been presented as thugs seeking disorder,rather than those who simply doi not want government.the 2 are entirely different and my personal knowledge of anarchism and anarchists is entirely at odds with such a sterotype.i await the reference to "foreign elements" next which will either be the respectable challenging the right of certain other forces and groups to take part or it will be literally another racist reference to outsiders.then the british state will demonstarte again that it is no different to the libyan quaddaffi regime in blaming outside elements.i drawer the same conclusion as some of the anarchist/black block,for "regime change-here".
if any forces in politics are open to challenge for their illegitimacy or dangerousness,i name the con-dem gang who have indicated numerous times that thye have no legitimacy.it is not us that should be open to question,it is them.
anyone lining upon the "respectable" side of this distancing excercise should think a little more deeply.its a pity we dont have beetr historical memeories-because any woman,anyone in a trade union,or with access to the "advantages of our parliamentary democracy" or from a variety of other backgrounds and traditons should realise that force and violence has virtually always been a part of their history that has gained the vote,trade union rights,civil rights.i do not advocate violence i simply acknowledge that it has been part of the history of each of these movements.if these respectable elements dont like the down and dirty reality,i suggesyt they give up the vote,or their last wage rise,last benefit or protection that women and workers and others have sometimes had to literally fight for.
it seems that ukuncut chose fortnum & masons intentionally to make the theatrical and symbolic point that we are not all in this together and that whilst some of us are defending the basic standards of the poorest and most vulnerable in our community ootherws are still thoughtlessly able to buy luxury goods without a blink or a second thought.the anarchsist also chsoe symbolic targets,such as banks and stores in trading groups where there is evidence of huge tax avoidance.it is unlikely that any of the believe that targetting such venues will bring the system down but it does make the point,the illustration.
reportage shows a senior police officer promising ukuncut demonstrators that they wouldnot be arrested if thehy followed her instructions.they followed imnstructiosn and were promptly arrested.indeed they make up the bulk of the arrests(i believe 130 of 200plus arrests)
with promises like that and from some of the other patronising high handed comments from others such as the tax alliance about the mere existence of the demonstration,i am surprised there was not even more rage.
those who tell us that there is no alternative to cuts need to understand that as the economic system is made by human beings,acting as classes then hiuman beings can change that system.is capitalism wont reform itself(it wont)then another class will smash it and replace the capitalist train running at speed and out of control with aset of social relations that address human needs.or do these apologists for capital still belive that the syetem is operated by god or the hidden hand?
i admit and i suspect that others might share that one of the things about films is that they allow us to vent our fantasies without actual consequence.i was told that innthe sequence in "the blues brothers"movie many years ago in which vast numbers of chicago police cars are destroyed,man chicago cinema audiences stood and cheered for weeks,as is suspect and expression of resentment associated with certain aspects of previouschicago policing and government.
i suspect that for some ofus who lack the courage or energy it is not difficult to overlook the xpression of rage that might be represnted by the symbolic destruction by the anarchists and the theatre of ukuncut.
i admit that i am as capable of hypocrisy as anyone else but is supect that this rush to condemn the anarchist and ukuncut isd just that.
campaigners and workers also need togrowe up tothe fact that like it or not,the success of our campaigns do not make life and the wo4rld perfect.this is not in gthe nature of life,reality,the world.we can imrpove things immensely but perfection is different.
there will still be problems to solve,which includes people who think and be3have differently.condemnatiion changes nothing.we will need to resolve the issues,inclduding differences in outlook amongst our class.
we cannot assume they are the wrong side of any dividing line.i/we do not have to agree in detailon anything/or everything toacknowldege that other viewpoints have their foundations.i am now concerened that such differente positions do need defending where they have alogic oftheir own and they have a right(should the fdefendants so wish)to have the best defence in court and the legal process.
many of those activists arrested willbe predominantly young people.may experience of young people-and i was one once-is that many take seriously the values they grow up with.(older)adults may grow more cynical and with a greater gap between words and actions.lots of banners and psoters talk of fighting the cuts.some young people may have been seeking an excuse but i belive it more likely that they think we are serious,and they fought the cuts.
so rather tha disctracting from media coverage perhaps one days coverage of the demonstration has been overtake3n by a weeks furious debats and shouting and denunciation in the papre sbut which still paces the cuts centre stage.
the reality is that at least one factor in rolling back polltax,in having some defence of civil/ethnic/gender ansd othjer rights is the willingness os some to very physically stand up for what is iumportant.if we dont like it,then rather than winge and complain,we should build something better.and i believe that as our current rulers and their system cant prodce the goods,we ourselves,the working class and its allies need to do it,through our direct labour,democracy and power-all of which will look and be very different to the dying feeble excuses we are living with now.