A failure to understand consent and rape culture is nothing new when it comes to police forces around the world. Even by these less than stellar standards handing out a pamphlet entitled ‘R U asking 4 it’ marks a low point. Especially when you consider the recipients were a group of Bristol teenagers attending an educational session on consent.
This was apparently the result of a ‘blunder’ on the part of the police, but it is telling none of the professionals handing the leaflets out realised anything was wrong. It was up to the teenagers present to point out how fucked up it was. Continue reading
Cameron remains in Downing Street, now with a majority (having successfully cannibalized his former LibDem partners). A lot of people are understandably depressed by this, and now to top it all off Farage hasn’t even resigned. FFS politics, give us a break. We don’t have much say in what policies they try and force upon us – after all we had ‘Vote Tory for capitalism and austerity’ and ‘Vote Labour for the same, only a bit less and our heart isn’t really in it’. What we DO have a say in, is how we react to them.
Reaction One: Voter Apathy
Non voters are often accused of apathy, but if after going to the ballot on the 7th you are planning to sit back and do nothing for five years than you are being truly apathetic. Of course the same is true if ‘not voting’ is the sum total of your protest against the system. Maybe to kill time before the next general election you can try to change Labour from the inside, or help the Greens get half a dozen MPs early next decade. If you’re really inspired maybe you could put your energy into reforming how we vote for our ‘representatives’. Although many countries use other systems and they still aren’t socialist utopias yet either. Lets get one thing clear though, would Ed Milliband be screwing us over aswell? Hell yes.
Reaction Two: Fight for What We Have, Fight for What We Need
We are often presented a doctored version of history. One where the oppressed asked the government nicely for reforms, where they appealed to their ruler’s reason and conscience, or simply voted in nicer leaders.
A closer inspection reveals a very different narrative, where everything we have was fought for tooth and nail. Where workers faced down the army for the right to have the evening off rather than work 14 hour days, where women bombed pavilions and learnt martial arts before they were recognised as capable of decisions, where people faced down battalions of police who were trying to force a fascist march through the east end of London. It is the latter telling of history that should inform how we react today.
Everything we have we fought for, and everything we fought for they want back. As soon as we stop fighting – in our work places, in our communities, in the streets and in the fields – we will lose everything. The good news? If you want to take action there are plenty ways to do it. Here are just a few based on some Tory policies.
Serious blog posts will resume tomorrow, but for now we think we could all do with a laugh so we made these…
Issue 157 of Resistance, the paper of the UK Anarchist Federation is now available to download as a PDF. This issue focuses on struggles against gender oppression; including sexual harassment at work, the fight for abortion in Ireland, a look back at the free women of Spain (mujeres libres), women in factory resistance in China, the voices of women & LGBTQIA in Ukraine, and the Angry Women of Liverpool!
We handed out about a hundred copies on the recent welcome return of the Reclaim The Night march in Bristol, which whilst we’re on the subject was fantastic. Great for us to march alongside so many enthusiastic people in the streets about such important issues as fighting against intimate partner violence and street harassment. Yet as several placards pointed out its sad to still have to protest this shit in 2014. All of the speakers from Bristol University and beyond were excellent, we look forward to fighting patriarchy with many of the people we met on the night. If you missed out on a physical copy then and would like to get your hands on one they are available from Kebele and Hydra Books.
The latest issue of our paper Resistance is a special edition focusing on war, its impacts, and the movements against it. Including Mutineers in the West Indian Regiment, the suffragettes who fought for and against war, remembrance as recruitment, and a look back at the Falklands.
Includes updates on the struggle against the exploitation of Bangladeshi workers, Wildcat strikes in Brighton, Anti-Blacklist campaigners in Manchester and more.
If thats not enough news about working class resistance for ya, then take a look at the Bristolian.
The BBC have recently released a ‘huge survey’ explaining there are now seven different classes, and have published a quiz so you can find out which class you belong to.
We would never suggest that the BBC doesn’t have clue about class analysis, that they focus far too much on social stereotypes instead of economic realities, or that this is part of a mainstream narrative going back decades that is damaging true class consciousness. We also wouldn’t want to suggest that these ideas mostly serve (deliberately or not) the interests of those like the Tories, who rely on us being divided and would prefer we see the working class as a demonized Shameless stereotype rather than something we proudly belong to.
However, despite not wanting to suggest any of that we do think we can come up with a better class calculator than they can. So here we present to you… Continue reading