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middle class white kids playing at politics AKA the anarchists

red tom | 17.10.2004 12:12 | European Social Forum

the ESF protest

The sheer stupidity of the anarchist movement is legendary but this will really take some beating.

The morons in hoods decided to disrupt a meeting called to discuss the grave threat posed by fascism. They hit a black speaker and stole his phone. They pushed a Jewish woman. Why? Because they claim Ken isn’t perfect. Well I agree but at least he’s actively campaigning against the BNP.

It is beyond belief that they choose to disrupt this meeting. There are so many causes worth taking up… peace, democracy, freedom for the oppressed… but why a pathetic complaint about the ESF organisation?

I wish they would go back to mummy and daddy in Cambridge and let the grown-up's get on with creating another world.

red tom


Hide the following 26 comments

sounds like sour grapes

17.10.2004 13:55

Face it, dude, the commies lost. Nobody wants commie vanguards any more. The Trotskyists get laughed at in the worker assemblies in Argentina. Horizontal power is the way. Direct democracy. Anarchy's the future. All over the globe. Better get used to it.

William Blake's ghost


17.10.2004 14:08

Ghandi was a middle class white kid?


go back to Lenins tomb red tom

17.10.2004 14:26

I wish they would go back to mummy and daddy in Cambridge and let the grown-up's get on with creating another world.
That just sums up the attitude of the Old Left in the UK

You think you know best.

I say the demo was a success because it has highlighted some of the major problems within the ESF movement

It is vital that we the enlightened stop the SWP, the CPGB the Labour party and other contrl freaks from getting control not just of the ESF but also the antiwar movement.

We have to build from the grassroots up.

I was not there but read about it on Indymediaand the Guardian


united against hypocrisy

17.10.2004 14:26

For the record, I was there and the only people I saw pushing anyone were some burly security guys. They were being told by some very polite punks, "calm down, calm down, no violence!"

There is a grave threat posed by fascism in the world today. For Ken Livingston to campaign against the fringe racists (the BNP) and simultaneously join an incomparably more powerful and racist political party (Labor) while it is prosecuting an illegal war is beyond belief. If anarchists are stupid, it must be because they are incapable of the mental gymnastics required to believe that it is good to defend people against racist attacks in the UK while killing tens of thousands of Arabs abroad.

The statements made from the stage were intelligent and generally well-received by most people in the auditorium. If anyone wants to read the statement of the Babels translator network and judge its intelligence for themselves, it is at



17.10.2004 14:27

'black' guy 'jewish' woman. You sound like a racist my friend. Did she have 'jewish' tatooed on her forehead? I know where exactly you are coming from you parasite.

solidarity not charity

Liar Liar

17.10.2004 14:38

Liar liar your pants are on fire. Are you a copper mr 'Red Tom'?

I don't want to grow up to be like you


17.10.2004 15:12

Gandhi was a middle class white kid?

PS: wasn't Indymedia itself founded by anarchists?

Just checking...

Red & Black Tom


17.10.2004 15:17

From my vantage point, seemed most people welcomed the intervention. Most people in the exhibition space supported it. Only a few die hard Ken supporters were upset. The rest were cheering. Why should Ken be more qualified to speak about anti-fascism than anyone else? It was just a political stunt getting him to speak there.



17.10.2004 15:26

I'll tell you somothing, Stalinist Tom: the problem is that you, the socialists and other labourists think that fighting fascism means fighting "this" party: but fascism is growing in the society thanks to social control, security policies, bureaucracy, verticalism and other things you will never fight...
For a revolutionnary social change from below, fuck authority

a german brother that came to Beyond ESF



17.10.2004 18:02

Red Tom-
Your ESF meeting was not anti-fascist.

You do not include freeing the Labour Party from Fascist control in your worth while causes, and hence have become one of the agents for building Global Fascism. That is quite usual, you are probably SWP, and were going around telling people who did not have one of your 'front' candidates to vote for to support Blair's New Labour.

The SWP uses the BNP fascist scare as a smokescreen to hide the very real fascism being built by New Labour. Labour Politicians do the same. Neither attack the Blairites for building Fascism. Suckers.

Ken has been outmanouvered and is in no position to take out Blair. And the SWP does not have the balls for serious action. Anarchists are pretty wet too, they haven't taken out the Traitors. They swallowed the VAT increases when their action against Poll Tax succeeded. Was that then a win?


"we the enlightened"

17.10.2004 20:15

"It is vital that we the enlightened stop the SWP"

Well that just about sums up the elitism of some of the "autonomists" so I suppose the rest of us are all stupid just becuase we disagree with you.

No wonder you hate the ESF, imnagine all those unenlightened people getting together and discussing things for themselves, how horrid that must be for you elite.


Comrades - I was There

17.10.2004 21:17

I was there and saw it all and my opinion is that it was a storm in a teacup. Why are we getting upset about this ? It will surely make its way into the Daily Mail tomorrow - do we want this?

Stop moaning and shut up.


to Sonic

18.10.2004 02:02

It is vital that we the enlightened stop the SWP, the CPGB the Labour party and other contrl freaks from getting control not just of the ESF but also the antiwar movement.

If you are going to quote me do not chop half the sentence off as it alters what I meant.

I would love to have been at the ESF but could not afford it as I dont live near london

Therefore I do NOT hate the ESF

What I dont like is control freaks and I have witnessed plenty of that from some of the left.By 'enlightened I only mean those who can see how control freaks operate.

I consider myself to be a socialist but I do not like the way that many in SWP,CPGB and other left groups operate...secret meetings,entryism,.I would not actually consider everyone who belongs to those groups to be controling types.

I would actually have liked to see some reports on here about what else happened at the ESF.


A response

18.10.2004 03:48

I dont think I did distort what you said, we all have our own views and the point of an ESF is to express them. Thats why the actions of a tiny minority who have moaned and winged about the ESF being in London since it was announced at the Paris ESF (It took exactly 5 mins from the announcement in Paris for the first person to come up to me and denounce it as an evil SWP plot) and who attempted to disrupt the event.

To talk about the problem being the rest of the left, not our actual enemies you play right into the hands of our rulers.

Some of the comments on here about "beating up paper sellers" etc have annoyed me almost beyond reason, a lot of you have to take a long hard look at whose interests you are really serving.

As for not being able to afford going to the ESF if you had really wanted to you could have. Lots of unemployed people in Glasgow got involved and collected money from family and workmates. There was also TU sponsorship involved.

We have to work together to build our alternative world, the anti-G8 protest in Genoa taught me the lesson that if we are divided and march seperately we get our heads kicked in. Perhaps a few posters on here should reflect on that.


the 'jewish woman' joined the march!

18.10.2004 05:17

The 'jewish woman' in question was about to speak on her family's experiences during the Holocaust. But as to the issue of the ESf process, her sympathies are clear when you consider that she joined the anarchists march from Ally Pally to Middlesex Uni! I was marching alongside her. She agreed with the anarcho intervention; her attitude to not being able to make her planned sppech owing to events was oh well - and this is a direct quote - 'shit happens'.

Also, I don't believe this mobile phone story, it sounds like a deliberate attempt to spin against the intervention. At the event the crowd were certainly supportive of the intervention and many esf delegates joined the march as far as i could tell.


Calm down everyone! It's not a commercial!

18.10.2004 11:52

There seems to be a rather negative political culture at work, both in the wider society and on the Left. The British experience of socialist agitation has not been entirely happy, and the kinds of conflict described here are by no means new. Some of the tensions arise from the lack, in this country, of politicised trade unionism - the trade unions helped create the Labour Party and then from that moment on it went its own sour way. There was no CNT/UGT tradition, whatever their faults as organisations. This left (pun) the door open to a kind of masochistic practice, 'party building' by Leninists and other authoritarians, with the actual effect of providing no more than an externalised 'left' to the Labour Party. In response, the anarchists felt they had to demonstrate their unwillingness to compromise by ever more radical calls to action. I actually think there are solutions to all this, but we need to drop all the 'class' abuse and other rhetoric first. 'Party building' in the UK is a gruesome activity, while 'movement building' is at least healthier, provided it proceeds on a set of principles. We are supposed to be carrying another world in our hearts. So, enough rhetoric. Fight for humanity, not the state. Fight for justice, democracy, liberty and communism. Contradictory? I'm afraid to say that revolutionary POLITICS is the only counterpoint to neo-liberalism, because it is, if not pure, then at least PRINCIPLED. I marched with the Spaniards and they had the right attitude - no pasaran!

Stuart Price

BNP 1 Anti-facsist 0

18.10.2004 11:58

Well done. in 15 minutes you managed to punch a black person in the face (Weyman Bennet), disrupted an anti-fascist meeting . Combat 18 and the BNP could not have done a better job.

why did'nt you join forces with the nazis ,have a united front against anybody you happen to disagree with.

I pose a question. If the BNP had done the same would you have supported it .

you can tell the anarcists are making no impact in the movement, acts like the above just demonstate their frustration with not being able to relate to anybody.

red letter

racists and capitalists

18.10.2004 13:45

to red tom and all the other swp and esf affiliates who keep ranting about the black guy and the jewish woman. if you continue to single these people out as different and use them as token pieces in your arguments you are just perpetuating the discrimination that unite against facism is designed to fight. and to sonic, fuck you, i couldnt afford to go to the esf because i didnt have the money and cannot call on my parents for a spare tenner here and there and believe me there are plenty more like me. why should we be excluded because we dont oil the wheels of global capitalism as much as others do?

el gormo squirrello

Why does the SWP do NOT call for strike action at Vauxhall

18.10.2004 14:28

Tuesday 19th is European Day of Action against axing of 12.000 jobs in General Motors car factories Europe wide. Workers in Germany are staging a wild cat strike. It´s clear why the TUC doesn´t call Vauxhall ´s (subcomp of GM) workers out for support action. And it´s probably futile to ask why the SWP does not call for a strike. Get your nose out of Ken´s bum!


a few points...

18.10.2004 14:31

firstly sil, the swp doesn't have secret meetings. they advertise them all in their paper. perhaps you're not quite as enlightened as you would like to think (or as you would like us to think even).

second, i really do hope all you people involved in the stuff that happened at middlesex uni are aware that you would not have a space to have met, had it not been for members of the swp. you do know that the campus was saved from closing down about a decade ago by a student occupation led by swp members, right?


class analysis????

18.10.2004 14:55

I more or less class myself as an anarchist and I'm a gyppo so stick that in your class analysis.


No Tea cup Storm

18.10.2004 18:22

The action was a success, a success because it showed that there is resistance not just to the capatilist state, but also to the trot vanguards who would replace it with a socialist state. you will not hijack this movement, no gods no masters, no nations no borders. The Swp are not the answer, if the action at least prevented 1 person signing up to the swp it had to be worth it. We will not compromise with trots, they are trying to derail dissent, They are a buffer for the state, they abosorb dissent and channel it down the path of a to b marches and speakers. There is no authority but ourselves resist the swp and build a horizontal movement.


Sums it up really

18.10.2004 23:11

"There is no authority but ourselves"

Well that tells us lots about what you really think, no-one elses views matter except your own, and you call us authoritarian!


"Living in a grown-up world"

19.10.2004 07:01

"peace, democracy, freedom for the oppressed…"

If you were there, then you'll know that it was clearly said that the action was against Ken Livingstone, "Ken's Party - War Party" said the banner, and it was made clear that the autonomous spaces were pigged to fuck, and grass roots activists were being hassled all over the place, no doubt with the connivance of the very same Ken Livingstone.

But you (and I bet my bottom dollar that you're a middle class flunky) can't see repression unless it's served up to you in a nice glossy brochure at a corporate event. Do "grown-ups" really have this disconnect where they can't see that the same party that bombed tens of thousands of Iraqis to death in a highly dodgy war, is running the ESFprocess hand in hand with their "left-wing brand" the SWP?
Democracy, if it helps, is giving ALL the people a voice ..........

"I wish they would go back to mummy and daddy in Cambridge and let the grown-up's get on with creating another world."

The "another world" that was "created" at Alexander Palace is exactly the same tired, shit world that we live in all the time :rolleyes:

d="second, i really do hope all you people involved in the stuff that happened at middlesex uni are aware that you would not have a space to have met, had it not been for members of the swp. you do know that the campus was saved from closing down about a decade ago by a student occupation led by swp members, right?"

Well I'm glad that we've established that even the SWP see occupations as a valid form of resistance.

As its scheduled to be shut again next year, can we assume that they'll be LEADING another occupation of the campus soon?


How ridiculous.

19.10.2004 07:57

How can anyoe say that us anarchists are pathetic? The left sat around for a weekend creating new commitees, discussing many things which at the end we all know is going to turn out to be another stall campaign and stupid pointless rallies.

Whilst the likes of SWP talk about social change, us in the anarchist movement get on with it, and we dont need big financial backing to do it either.


For God's sake stop it

20.10.2004 10:08

Christ, is this the best we can do? Can we ALL stop this pathetic squabbling?

We all have our own ways of organising. The nroblem comes when some try to prevent others from doing what they do. There is no doubt at all that the SWP, GLA and Socialist Action tried very hard to do that during the organisation of this event. The evidence is widely known.

The stage invasion might have been controversial but the event went on afterwards and a valid point was made about democracy. Let's all please stop lunging at each other's throats. Political movements have been born and died before because of this sort of thing.

And for Christ's sake stop all this racist crap. No-one was punched, and if they had been it wouldn't have mattered whether they were black or not. Is it OK to punch white people but not black people? Does someone get special treatment for being Jewish? Come to that, does being 'middle class and white' invalidate someone's opinion or action?

Give this crap a miss: judge people on actions and principles, not skin colour or class, or you're no different from those you profess to dislike.