Activists are refusing to leave two-miles of London roads with at least 5,000 people willing to be arrested by the Met – who are using up to eight officers to pick up and carry each person to a police van. Thousands of activists openly mocked the police’s threats that they will be arrested unless they all move to Trafalgar Square and stay off the streets (inset). But Scotland Yard’s attempts to reopen two miles of streets around Parliament failed within hours. Instead Extinction Rebellion were able to set up a ‘village’ on the roads under Nelson’s Column with its own improvised cycle lane, food stalls, community kitchen and a ‘well-being sanctuary’ for tired or stressed environmentalists as well as an extraordinary outdoor rave where people spent hours ‘dancing their feelings’ (left). A group have also placed 800 potted trees outside Parliament (right). Admitting defeat Inspector Simon Rooke, who is based in the square, said: ‘They are very well organised and very well-funded. That’s all I can say’. Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, whose building was blockaded this morning, said police were not being ‘proactive’ enough and were instead ‘standing around the edges’ as the activists grabbed control.
As an anarchist and enthusiast for space exploration I get the usual silly stuff – ‘so you’re in favour of the military industrial complex’. NO I said SPACE exploration cloth ears.
I’m asked – ‘when did poor people go into space?’ Well YURI GAGARIN’S parents were firstly labourers on a collective farm then his father a carpenter and Gagarin himself was a metal worker in a foundry. Even NEIL ARMSTRONG’ s parents were humble office clerks who had to move repeatedly to stay in work. COLIN PILLINGER – the mutton chopped cheery organiser of BEAGLE TWO- had a dad who was a gas fitter in Kingswood near Bristol.
On exploration – TENZING NORGAY was a Sherpa, Edmund Hilary a bee keeper who detested the rich, and arguably the first man to reach the North pole was MATTHEW HENSON – a black man, cabin boy, hat shop assistant and humble fucking clerk for the rest of his life.
There’s the capitalist interpretation of the world and the anarchist view. Right now most people think the capitalist view is the right one, the common sense one and the anarchist view nonsense or even ‘loony’. We have lost the battle for ‘common sense’. We can blame everyone but ourselves for this but in truth we have marginalised ourselves by our concerns and actions and willingly put our necks in the ‘loony’ noose being dangled before us.I don’t have the answers to this problem but to begin somewhere with your help………
Once you put on the ‘anarchist goggles’ you interpret everything through these eyes, through the anarchist prism, you get a way of viewing the world that explains every action of the state………………at its most extreme this leads to the 9/11 and other conspiracy theorists but will tell you the Iraq war was ‘all about oil’ and explain why you need to demonstrate against cheap flights at your local airport and oppose the building of a cancer research facility. Critical thinking gets abandoned along the way, crap ideas are widely accepted as self-evident truths and we campaign against things as anarchists which will bring benefits to our fellow working class humans……..holidays in the sun being one of them but many members of the working class also find a cure for cancer a surprisingly attractive proposition.
I’ve just looked at the trailer for Ridley Scott’s ‘ROBIN HOOD’ on you tube and it looks like Gladiator re-run with wisps of John Boorman’s Excalibur thrown in for a bit of mysticism. I suspect we aint gonna get much class analysis of Robin from his Merrie Men in this load of old hokum.I am a great admirer of the old HTV ‘Robin of Sherwood’ ( Michael Praed version) with good ol’ Herne the Hunter and a refreshing dollop of paganism. There’s a fine episode where MUTCH THE MILER’S SON tackles Robin of Loxley’s class credentials….’ you aint the same as us Robin, you can go back to being a rich man whenever you want’. This simmering class antagonism between Mutch and Robin permeates the series. Top drawer. Of course there is the question of whether a miller’s son is in fact petit bourgeois but I suspect producer Patrick Dromgoole was going to resolve that in a future series. Dromgoole’s othe great contibution was Arthur of the Britons starring the achingly sexy Oliver Tobias……who can forget the opening scene with Arthur and Kai riding foaming steeds with hair flowing in the wind……..well most of you I suspect…….and that’s quite enough homo-erotica for a winter’s morn!
It was a blowzy dead-time rat ambling across road afternoon. We were perambulating the back
of ‘the biggest indoor shipyard in Europe’ at Appledore. It might be big but it wasn’t busy.
Nettles, dock leaves, rosebay willow herb sprouted from rust coloured crumbling brickwork next to the still spruce main shed. Who would place their orders in this obscure yard – Arab Sheiks? The Swiss Navy? Decomposing Bokassas of Burundi?
Katangese mercenaries? Mark Thatcher?
This unlikely industrial colossus on the banks of the Bideford estuary was not on the ‘must see’ tourist guide to North Devon . I convinced myself it would be as near as damn it to visiting the coagulated rust meldings of the derelict Fray Bentos meat processing factory on the banks of the River Plate. Winding round the back of the shipyard was a bucolic country lane with grass pushing through its middle where at any moment a meander of idling cows might make its sturdy trusting plod to the milksheds . Not a sound was heard – not a funeral note!
At the sound of the shipyard hooter the rural idyll would be shattered by the pell-mell rush of black and white blokes on bicycles racing from the gates. But not today.
I almost saw George Orwell, home from Catalonia, gazing from a London bound clacking steam train at this phoney peaceful bliss…….. ‘when will we awaken from our long dark sleep, mouthed George to me’.
We rounded a bend and there was a pub. Shipyard deserted, no houses, no village, no people – a Brigadoon of a pub. There’s some pubs no matter how many times you go there you can never find your way to next time. Puzzle your way to the ‘Commercial Volunteer’ in Bristol more than once. I don’t remember the name of the Appledore pub…
We went in. A bluebottle on top of a crusty ketchup top winked at us. It was in a Heinz sauce bottle but somewhere out the back at some time someone had poured a catering pack of Hazeldean runny orange coloured tomato sauce into the Heinz bottle. Four blokes were slowly drinking pints of light and bitter. You always got more than half a bitter when you ordered a light and bitter’ cos they had to pour the half into a pint glass with no half marked on it. Two blokes playing pool as the others eked out their beverages at that lost world between 3pm – 5pm known only to the seasoned drinker.
I wanted to sit at the bar and eat the whole dusty jar of pickled eggs – last fingered on VJ night – one after the other Cool Hand Luke style… Then vanish. After I’d gone someone would marvel, “Who were those guys?” but in reality there’d just be the slightly raised suffering eyebrow and silence.
The four drinkers continued the practiced art of desultory gazing at the pool players as if the outcome had any import. The barmaid couldn’t be arsed… Not couldn’t be arsed to do anything you understand… She just couldn’t be arsed.
My companion asked for a tomato juice with Worcestershire sauce.
“We don’t have any.”
“Oh well I’ll just have the tomato juice then.”
“No… We aint got any tomato juice – no call for it’
I imagined The Beacon on The Buttershaw was like this. I knew The Rhymbuck in Cwmbrwla was. There was a nobility to it known only to the cognoscenti unconcerned about their longevity or actuarial lifespan or government health targets.
These were the punters our organs must reach. One day comrades….one day
SELECTION F ARTICLES I HAVE WRITEN ON ANARCHY ON TRISTAN DA CUNHA
ANDREW FISHER RESIGNED OVER MILNE ‘PEOPLE NOT PRIVILEGE’ STRAPLINE FOR LABOUR CONFERENCE.
. the irony of two toffs – Mine and his sidekick James Schneider Winchester and oxford dontcha know – was not appreciated by Andrew Fisher who had supported Class War in the past.
The very man who wrote the vote wining 2017 Labour Manifesto was now a victim of class war waged by the labour toffocracy against the people doing all the actual work.
Andrew drinks in the same pub as me to watch the football so watch out for some hot gossip laters.