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.
In December the claws of the Spanish state came out, dropping all pretence of presiding over a fair & free society they launched an attack on everyone resisting capitalism & fighting for the working class, specifically targeting organised anarchists as the biggest threat to the power of the elites.
Following on from our statement last year on police harassment of activists, and the subsequent march on a police sation brandishing flaming torches, and our more recent demo in solidarity with Furguson, Mo, we are pleased to put our name to the recent Bristol Defendant Solidarity statement. The latest wave of police harassment and the history behind it is detailed by the anarchist bookfair collective, and the statement itself is signed and supported by numerous anarchist groups in and around Bristol. Here is the statement in full:
Police in Bristol appear to be stepping up their so far fruitless efforts to find individual anarchists and those that they think are responsible for property destruction actions over the last few years in Bristol. One year after their firearms training centre at Portishead was burnt down, they have turned to desperate measures to try and get any scrap of useful information. Continue reading
Yesterday members of the spanish trade union, Sindicato Andaluz de Trabajadores, raided two supermarkets (english article).
200 people entered supermarkets in two towns filling up trollys with basic food stuffs and after a tussle with some supermarket security left without paying. The food was distributed to those who needed it via a food banks run by unnamed charitable organisations. There are even rumours that Ecija’s left-wing mayor had ordered the local police to not intervene in the action or that other trade unionists distracted and confronted the authorities outside. Either way the raiders made off with nearly all of the food.
This action follows in the foot steps of actions by Greek anarchists which have become increasingly frequent over the past five years. Currently the situation in Greece and Spain is worse than here in the UK ( in the latter country for example all benefits are stopped after two years of unemployment). However as the government here has only implemented around 7% of its planned decade of cuts and we enter another quarter of recession we can assume things are going to get worse.
Could this action be part of a genuinely radical and, more importantly, possibly successful strategy of fighting against government cuts/austerity? Forget telling the government not to cut a service or to please give us more jobs, lets just make sure our material needs are met. If their capitalist system can’t cope with that, well then, that’s their problem not ours. All we should care about is the fact that we need food, housing, health care and hell some entertainment once in a while, and we still live in a country of plenty. Despite (or because of) the recession, whilst we’ve all been tightening our belts the richest in our country have been hoarding even more wealth, soon the time will come when we have to start taking some of it back for ourselves.