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.
Rather briefly! It’s the first TV news interview Bristol AFed has agreed to, perhaps we felt more optimistic about the chances of some good coverage after a relatively successful summer interview with BBC Radio Bristol. You can watch the segment that was broadcast today here, and a longer version of the interview on Channel 4’s website. Sadly we didn’t get as much on air time as DCI Andy Bevan, who they emotively interviewed at the site of a recent incident of arson.
The footage was taken from a much longer interview (about three quarters of an hour – not that we expected it would get shown in full!). We’re glad they kept in part of our definition of anarchism but perhaps the world would have been a better place if channel 4’s viewers weren’t subjected to our awful singing at a recent anti-workfare protest.
Predictably the rest of the segment, focuses on a series of acts of criminal damage carried out in the West Country over the past few years, including the destruction of a multi-million pound police fire arms training centre. Sadly there wasn’t much focus on the political policing and harassment of activists that followed, or local anarchists resistance to it. The cops still seem obsessed with tracking down Continue reading
Around 20 local anarchists, friends & badgers visited the HQ of the Bristol CID & Special Investigations at Sir Kenneth Steele House on Feeder Road in Bristol last Saturday 15th November. Officers operating from there have recently been visiting people’s homes and workplaces, harassing and putting pressure on local activists, musicians and their friends to become informants for the police. As a response, it was decided to turn the tables and start asking some questions of our own.
Armed with police style spotter cards displaying some of the ugly faces of Big Brother, our investigations began in the car park as decidedly nervous looking CID operatives arrived for their dirty work. Our unannounced presence seemed to produce a sort of mild panic for the first officer on the scene. Continue reading
As of midday on Monday the 20th of October the second year of trial badger culls is over. With the lack of an independent panel overseeing this years cull its hard to find out how much of a failure it really was. However the results so far are pretty damning, in Gloucester the number of badgers killed was less than half the minimum target of 615 and nowhere near the maximum of 1,091. In Somerset the number killed was just inside the 315-785 range, a range that was set deliberately low.
Thirteen hundred badgers in Gloucester and Somerset that would have been dead in a ‘successful’ cull are currently alive and well. The reason for this is not hard to work out. Every single night people from across the west country (often accompanied by friends from further afield) were out in the cull zones. Bristol AFed members were out each week, spending our nights in the dark fields and forests of the zones in all weathers, mag lights and radios in hand. We accompanied seasoned animal rights activists, Continue reading