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wombles anyone?

wondering man | 09.09.2005 16:58 | Social Struggles | London

wombles, where art thou?

Just wondering if anyone knows what the wombles are up to? Last i heard meetings were cancelled for august and their website is currently down. I trust they haven't disbanded but are just a bit lacksidaisical becuase its the summer.

Can someone fill us in?


wondering man


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website info

09.09.2005 17:13

As a few people have noticed, the WOMBLES web site ( has been off-line for a short time. This is due to technical problems which we are working with our hosts to resolve.

We hope to start putting the whole site back online within the next few days. However, some sections will take longer to restore.

We will send information on the situation to the W-Updates announcement email list. To subscribe to this list, send a blank email to:

You should quickly receive an email asking you to follow some instructions to confirm that you want to subscribe. W-Updates is a low-traffic announcements-only list.

You can also email us direct:

For information about direct action against the arms trade in September 2005, see


On Womblism.

09.09.2005 21:24

The Wombles really just turned out to be an idea and philosophy emananting exclusively from London, rather than a collective solely dedicated to being Wombles like the group from Italy that they copied.

Of course they were initially inspired by Italian'ss tactic of wearing body-padding on demonstrations by the much larger and more influential Italian group. But who saw Wombles , en mass, padded up leading the defence of demonstrations against police aggression? Well, they never did that. They never had more than a very small number of London-based "members". A few of them ocassionally turned up at an "secret locations" (like Marble Arch, London, dressed up as poor relatives of "Michellen Man." - bless them.

Not many ever saw a Womble because they were mainly a virtual presence backed by an internat site; not a bad one actually, check it out when its back up. The boody-padding borrowed gimmick. They turned out to be much more the agit-prop and propaganda of a few individuals who attracted a disproportionately large interest from the police and media because of their potent confrontatioanl ideas, publicity and propaganda, which were, it must be said, very good. But they were more artists than activists in this context.

They mainly focussed around producing propaganda for a may day event in london, that threatened property and public order laws. And they did inspire a protest in Edinburg at the G8, although many non-wombles helped them do this.

I must say that some of their material and ideas was excellent, if not a little too radical for most and the current political reality. The material result of their ideas was to produce confrontation with police, the usual sort of stand-offs and chases around the streets.

Of course they were making important political points, but that was mainly wasted on other activists, and used by the media and state to justify oppression of other protests, most of which had no connection with the wombles ideas.

Simply put, they threatened poperty and public order laws, and aroused manly vilification which gave them an exaggerated importance. Maybe they did politicise some people, I dont know. But I found there material,and expaliantions of the state interesting. But they seemed to generate awe from the usual middle-class rebellion types who believed them to be the height of chic confrontational anarchism - that's confront the state with heavy propaganda.

I dont know if this sort of shit is needed to push forward the radical anarcho-socialist left; only time will tell how much they have had on them, if any at all. Certainly their skills at making body amour out of a few plasitic bottles and sticky-back-plastic may be useful for defending yourself agains the brutal Brtish Police baton. But those situations are best avoided. The police always get the upper hand because of their vast resources and up-to-date technology, including their lastest Robocop outfits.

They will be missed if for nothing else but their splash of creativity and intelligence on a rather boring and lack-lustre English anarcho - left. They certainly got the media interest on May Day and when they contributed to promoting the "carnival Day" at the G8 in Edinburgh. But the carnival day achieved little other than very negative publicity, confusing a lot of tourists in Edinburgh that day who got caught up in the violence. It resulted too in the a lot of arrests of a lot of activists and an excuse for the riot police to be very brutal; this was not good overall, but there's nothing like an unjustified crack on the head from a police baton to politicise and radicalise you.

The cops got the violence they wanted at the Edinburgh G8 from the carnival day the Wobles promoted, and also they got those arrests which have contributed to criminalizing a new layer of activists. We don't want or need this; this is what the cops and the state want: something that justifies oppression, making arrests and brutally laying into to activists.

The one good thing about this is that a good scrum with the cops is exciting - even the old bearKarl Marx liked a good rocky with the cops after a few beers - but it can get a lot of people into trouble who become known by the cops.

Best to be clandestine - that's far more subversive and effective. You cant do much for the causes of anarchism or socialism if you are off the streets locked up in prison or under that threat if you get caught being a little naughty again.

So the Wombles inspired and created a little excitement, but the police and state loved them more - that the main reason why they got so much attention and were hyped up so much. Everyone loves or needs the bogymen.

So I hope its not farewell but maybe that small group who called themselves Wombles will seek to unite rather than divide strands of the radical anarcho-socialist left. A new approach is needed from the more creative elements for the second part of the 21st centuries first decade. Its a new period now!

The Global Mentalist Movement

Mental, me?

10.09.2005 04:53

Dear Mentalist,
I don't know what sources you rely on for 'facts', but it seems you're not very well informed.
The scottish papers had the Carnival for Full Enjoyment painted out as a crazy anarchist (in the tabloid sense) free-for-all, weeks in advance of the G8. They described the wombles much like you do, minus the approving nods of course. They were as disinterested in whether they were actually involved, or what the real purpose and focus of the event was (look it up, please).
Basic principles of freedom and solidarity may indeed be too radical for our times, especially when words are backed up with action. Hence what is important about the wombles is not so much what they say or how, but what they do. I hope your clandestine activism is as practical, real and consequential.
All the best!

The Global Realist Movement

Web site will be back online by sunday

10.09.2005 10:21

The WOMBLES web site has been down for 3 weeks as a result of hosting problems. These have been sucessfully resolved and the site will be back online (minus a few bits that need some more work) by the end of Sunday 11 September.

Meetings were cancelled during the month of August because many people were away taking a break after a long period of intense activity, mayday, preparation for the G8, doing the g8.

It what we call a "holiday".

So, announcements on future events will be forthcoming.

See you in the streets

wimbledon common,
planet earth

mail e-mail: wombles@hushmail.col
- Homepage:

Metalism is good global realist, without it realism would not exist.

10.09.2005 20:23

The carnival for full enjoyment was mad anarchist. I was there and acted like a mentalist anarchist in the sense of challenging the authority of the police.

The police need, and are given, more and more oppressive laws to exert their authority, but still they step outside the law, as those that were there witnessed. There will be a law for the police to allow them to hit someone on the head with a baton when they fell like it. But not mad in the tabloid meaning of mad.

The more you challenge their authority the more violent they will become, and the more oppressive laws will become, even if they are challenged in non-violent ways.

The cops were really mad that day, indiscriminately very violent, because they lost control for a short period. They really hate that - when they cant control protesters. That's one thing Womblism challenges. My point was it could be back firing. I don't know for sure, but it is important to consider the consequences. But different situations require different tactics; horses for courses and all that.

The tabloids - or even the liberal broadsheets - do not generally acknowledge or even consider this madness, unless the cops go completely mad and practically kill people for no apparent reason, or even actually kill them. Examples are: Carlo Guilliani; the Diaz attack at the Genoa G8; the Brazilian shot by anti-terrorist police; to a lesser degree the anti-poll tax riot in Trafalgar square; going further back to the 1970's a man was murdered by the police at an anti-fascist demo.

But around the world in many countries peaceful protesters and activists are frequently killed, sometimes in large numbers, and often assassinated. The state would love to allow the police in this country to do the same. One positive thing about the liberals is that they insist on the rule of law, and we still have a legal system in the west that can defend the individual against the state, and can prosecute the elite of the state and its agents.

But how long will this last with more and more oppressive and restrictive laws. The liberals will huff and puff a little when there is obvious and blatantly overt injustice, but they cow and remain silent when the state propaganda is being effective.

I hope you can see the point I am trying to make. It needs thought and discussion. I can not deal with it in a hastily written comment, about which i have given no forethought. I am developing my argument in real time - this is mentalism (ok, you might call it rambling on like someone on a mad one, but that‘s what they said about Galileo too). And it is a positive thing, not a mad-dog-Bush-Blair kind of thing. I have invented this word as a positive, not a pejorative.

True mentalism approaches realism thought the back door, if you like. Mentalism + Facts = Realism. Here the = is not of an algebraic equation but of a dialectical one.

Let me try and think of a simple example of the mentalist approach. OK. If the earth began to spin faster and faster there would come a point when we would fall off and fly out into space like crazy. This is a fact.

Now add some mentalism: the reason that we don't all fly off into space now is not because of gravity - which is a theory that has never been proved in the sense no one knows what gravity is or has ever detected it.

The reason we don't fly off into space is because the earth does not spin fast enough. This is realism. Gravity is not realism, it is theoretical. Scientists have made it up to explain things. It almost metaphysical, except it can be defined mathematically. So it could be called math-metaphysical. But someone might one day come up with a better way of explaining things that does not rely on assumptions, propaganda, and brainwashing. For this mentalism is needed and it will result in realism, stemming from factualism and materialism.

So we have mentalism, materialism, factualism and realism. There could be some more, but i cant think of them just now.

|Enjoy yourself, and beam me up.

Global Mentalist Movement

On Gravity, Dark Matter, and the Cosmological Constant

11.09.2005 10:29

Gravity on earth is likely to be the result of the shadowing effect of the earth itself on the background microwave radiation that emanated from the Big-Bang, and perhaps other cosmic radiation.

Gravity would then just be the result of an imbalance of forces, a simple acceleration, and calculated by Newton's second law if the forces from the background radiation were known.

Gravity has not been detected . one of the beigest projects in experimental physics is now taking place to detect it, the outcome of which can not be predicted.

Newton did not discover gravity, he revealed that there was a force in operation that was proportional to the mass of an object. He assumed that it was also proportional to the inverse square of the distance from that object. This assumption works mathematically. But he did not discover the cause of the force. The cause of the force of gravity has not yet been discovered. Also the work of Einstein showed Newton's gravity law breaks down, particularly in relation to light and large distances.

Simply put, we are being pushed towards the earth with more force by this radiation than in the opposite direction, that's upwards if you are standing on the earth. The intensity of the radiation pushing us in the upwards direction is reduced by absorption as it passes through the earth.

The mathematics to prove this is not trivial. It is necessary to read and understand the classic text on the electromagnetic theory of the propagation, interference and diffraction of light, called "Principles Of Optics" by Max Born and Emil Wolf, and, of course, also be familiar with Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematics (Principles of Mathematics) and "Optiks".

A competent and imaginative postgraduate mathematics student should be able to handle the mathematics.

If I weren't so lazy and had the time and money I'd read these texts and do a course in advanced maths at the Open University , and prove or disprove this hypothesis.

One thing. If the earth accelerated sufficiently i.e. spin faster and faster, we would not "fly off into space like crazy", we'd just fall over.


Einstein’s general Theory of Relativity took account of Newton’s short comings. But Einstein new his theory was far from complete, and in it he proposes the idea of Gravity Waves, which alledgedly propagate the force of gravity; these have never been detected, although physicists have been searching for them for over 50 years.
There are other assumptions and unanswered questions in the physics of the universe which are very fundamental too, see “Dark Matter,” and “The Cosmological Constant”.

Ed Campbell

Inncaurate postings on indymedia

11.09.2005 11:18

God there's some strange people on Indymedia these days.

1./ Lots of inaccurate postings - ie people who take rumour over research though a lot of theses are trolls. An example of crap " copied some group from Italy" - some ideas were "inspired" ( namely the white overalls ) - the politics were arguably quite different from Ya Basta or Tute Bianci. While I am not going to go into the concept of 'Wombling' and who/what is and is not a womble here it being a tactic and the name of groups ( perhaps 2 at one time ) - not to be confused with the now-defuct ( pehaps ) Australian Wombats. Anyway I digress - though that is not unusual on Indymedia given that the quality of a lot of the writing on Uk Indy at the moment is quite frankly appalling.

2./ People who cannot construct an argument eg. "a therefore b" ; that most common negation of guilt being "if I didn't do it someone else etc". This is illogical captain.

3./ As discussed before - people who should actually research their framework of ideas when they are arguing for instance concepts such as liberalism, neo-liberalism etc. You could always read a book ( actually some of you probably don't have ther attention span ).

4./ Negative postings e.g. The few negative comments posted and will posted re DSEI etc etc. We will protest and continue to do actions against arms companies 365 days a year and do not need your say so you silly posters - if I protest against DSEI it does not have to be during DSEI as if you do your homework the EXcel is booked up for the arms fair till 2011, I believe. And for those of you pretending a 'we' running down protests such as the street party you were obviously not involved in - if you do not like it - do your own thing but I guesss you are a troll fuckwit or just lazy - actions can be as diverse as your imagination and spirit allow. Do not slag off other peoples tactics - if you do not like them do your own.

4./ Other 'psychedelic' postings that seem to have more to do with the posters drug intake or crap conspirac y theories - most of these terrible events are in fornt of you as party of day to day power relations that don't need freemason astrologers from Planet Zog to exist.

sidney vicious and the spiders from mars


11.09.2005 13:06

taking this thread as an occasion to relate one of the legends around the genesis of the tute biance: The maire of - Milan, i think, decided to close one of the big, well-known social centers, and he announced that its inhabitants would linger in the cities like ghosts. Like GHOSTS! Said inhabitants found that inspiring. Being white ghosts rather than black-clad street-fighters would be a change. Let's dress in white and be ghosts in the cities! Let's show our faces instead of masking them! Let's get out of clandestinity, let's become visible! Very zapatista ideas, mixed up with a change of strategy, with the invention of a defensive yet confrontational attitude involving padding and michelin fashion, with a tongue-in-cheek nod to ancient Roman battle strategies.

i think this story, whatever has become of it, is inspiring. And it is instructive to see what happened when the new tactics travelled to London. The question wether the wombles exist or not is futile, i don't care how many they are and who is using the name. What the experience of the last few years shows is: You don't need to be many to become a police celebrity. You don't need to do much to tickle the corp. media - and the movement itself! You do need to be able to tell a story well, which is what the wombles agitprop and website does.

The wombles created "a stage" in the arena of public attention. Whatever they do, they can, voluntarily or involuntarily, draw the corp. media into it.

what are we going to do with that stage? Do we have any use for it?

a lonely womble from clapton common