UK Newswire Archive
A self written, consensus piece by anarchists at Dale farm, attempting to correct the lies propagated by elements of bourgeoisie media and in response to the state repression being faced.
Q. So you describe yourself as an anarchist, what do you mean by that?
We believe in a society based on mutual aid, social responsibility and basic human solidarity. We feel that people should be free to live as they wish (where that doesn’t infringe on other people’s freedoms) and there should not be systems of control that restrict or dictate how we live our lives. The democracy we have is a farce, we would like to build a free and equal society where people give to their abilities and receive to their needs. Anarchists see a distinction between the rich ruling class and the ordinary working class, and seek to build a society based on working class solidarity without the inequality between race, sex or creed that this distinction creates.
Q. Are all supporters at Dale Farm anarchists?
A lot of people here would not call themselves an anarchist, however what brings us together is a shared belief that travellers are at the receiving end of oppression, discrimination, violence, and racism and that this is manifested in the ethnic cleansing at Dale Farm.
We recognise the principle of autonomy, and this means we are willing to work with people who come from different ideological perspectives as long as we are centred around a common aim. There is a shared strength between us.
Q. How does being in Dale Farm fit in with anarchist ideas?
Anarchism is about fighting the struggles of the oppressed against the oppressors (in this case the struggle of travellers against the state); Dale Farm is a flash point in the class struggle and the battle against state racism. Whilst the religious and political beliefs of the community here are not necessarily in keeping with all anarchist thought, residents have been incredibly receptive to our politics and interested in our ideas.
Q. How is the eviction ethnic cleansing?
Ethnic cleansing is the act of eradicating a particular ethnic group from a nation or area. The case of Dale Farm, which will make it impossible for a certain ethnic community to live in a specific area is a localised example; whilst the broader discrimination and criminalisation of travellers (via the eradication of the right to park up on the roadside) is indicative of the national picture. There is a discrimination against travellers in government policy, travellers have settled because the right to travel freely was taken away; now they attack settled travellers in their homes. 90% of traveller planning applications are refused compared to only 20% of the settled community. This criminalises travellers and destroys their cultural norms and we see this situation as a continuation of a broader attack against travelling communities. The process that has been going on for the last 10 years at Dale Farm is a key part of this cleansing - the diggers will demolish homes, but the government is demolishing culture through a process of forced assimilation to societal norms.
Q. There has been a lot in the media about anarchists ‘hijacking’ or ‘taking over’ the Dale Farm protest, what is your response to these claims?
To begin with, we don’t see this as a protest because protest is merely stating our disagreement with something; we see it as a resistance because we intend to put a stop to the eviction of Dale Farm and stand up to state violence against travellers everywhere. We are here in solidarity. Everything we’ve done here we’ve been asked to do, we’ve been invited by residents to support them in their resistance of the eviction and they continue to direct our actions and decisions, and call on more support. We came here to show solidarity through a shared struggle. Many of us now also consider the residents here as personal friends, we feel welcome among the travellers and are happy that they are letting us be a part of this autonomous community.
Q. The media has painted a picture that some activists have taken leadership roles? Is this true, and if not, how do you make decisions?
Decisions are made collectively on an equal basis. We take responsibility for ourselves and are decentralised and autonomous, however all our actions are accountable to the collective community through the process of consensus decision making. People are given an equal opportunity to raise their thoughts and we have open meetings to involve everyone in decision making.
However this space is not isolated from the problems of wider society and issues such as patriarchy, class privilege, and dominance do come up . We struggle against these inequalities and hierarchies in our actions, but aim to recognise and deconstruct them where they occur. There is a dialectal process constantly going on, and we try to resolve issues by allowing conflicts of interest to play out. We deliberately don’t create positions which could result in hierarchy, but organise jobs openly and encourage participation in an attempt to combat invisible hierarchies.
Q. Why are you here, what makes an anarchist want to support Dale Farm residents?
The struggle at Dale Farm is about anti-racism, homelessness, class struggle and the freedom to live your life as you choose. As anarchists we see these struggles as fundamental to personal and societal liberation and as a step in the direction of social revolution. With the growing political agenda in England of forced evictions motivated by class and race, we are fighting that whole agenda when we are fighting the eviction of Dale Farm; we do this to show solidarity with other members of the working class and in order to fight the actions of the state, which we see as unjust.
Q. If you don’t believe in planning law, what do you believe in? How do you choose what social rules you follow?
It is not about what is legal or illegal…it is about what is just and unjust. The law is made by the ruling class and serves the purpose of preserving the unjust status quo. We haven’t had a say in the creation or upholding of planning laws, and consequently don’t feel obliged to abide by them; if people are expected to obey the law, they must have the right to directly create it. The political institutions and laws (such as the Enclosures Act) in this country are based on injustices and inequalities that existed prior to the movement to democracy; as such we feel it is our duty to fight them. We follow social rules that are created by the communities they directly affect.
Q. What about the concerns of other local residents?
The representation of local residents has been warped and manipulated by mainstream media. Many local residents do not have a problem with the residents of Dale Farm and live in peace with them. There are some local capitalists that feel they can make money from Travellers and support them, and there are some who discriminate against them, for example pubs refusing to serve the Travellers. We see this as a part of the institutionalised racism that exists against Travellers, and feel that they (Travellers) are exploited in a variety of ways by the capitalist system. Proportionally the views of more well-off residents have emerged in media and this has often involved property interests, for example local resident Len Gridley has voiced his concern over property value and this has received a huge amount of coverage. We don’t want anyone to lose their homes but we don’t see property value as important as a home to live in. The Crays Hill residents should also be allowed to have their homes, but it is wrong to suggest that the two communities cannot live side by side. There are Crays Hill residents who support Dale Farm but feel they cannot say it to their neighbours for fear of being ostracised.
Q. Why do you think there is prejudice and hostility against Travellers?
One of the main reasons Travellers are oppressed is that they do not fit into the current capitalist wheel and face demonisation by the media and the state as a result, this is disturbingly similar to stigmatism faced by Jews in the past and Muslims and asylum seekers today. There are deeper questions to be asked here about the function of racism within capitalism and the rise of fascist ideology at times of economic crisis. Jews and Travellers traditionally move around, therefore modern nation state capitalism doesn’t have a place for them. Institutionalised racism happens because travellers aren’t as ‘useful’ to capitalism in the same way as the settled working class. Travellers had a place in capitalist Europe but don’t have that anymore and for this reason they are at the receiving end of policies of ethnic cleansing. British capitalism has exploited travellers where it has wanted to (Gypsy wedding/circuses/festivals) and this is the same with other migrant populations – used when needed, then discriminated and ultimately eradicated.
Q. What difficulties have you faced being at Dale Farm?
It is impossible to escape the hierarchies that are endemic in society; the Dale Farm resistance is not isolated from the problems of patriarchy and white privilege. There are people from many countries here and English language speaking privilege has been a problem but we do our best to recognise and confront these. The challenge of communicating specific jargons of the legal process, media trends and local activism has also been apparent, but we are working well on this. As well as travellers we have been treated badly by media and police through smear stories, increased police presence (such as helicopters), and more greatly the fear of constantly living under the threat of personal physical harm in an eviction situation. We are currently at the forefront of state violence, intimidation and repression, but being at the brunt of this state and corporate repression just makes us want to fight it more. Institutionalised racism has been difficult to witness– taxis not wanting to drive here, shops and pubs not allowing Travellers in. There have been many emotional difficulties, such as a 12 year old boy asking for us to build a lock on in their home because their mother and sister are so scared, as well as witnessing the residents’ reactions to court verdicts and eviction hoax.
Q. What about the bailiffs, are they not just doing their job?
It feels bad to have to fight other working class people; we recognise that they are being badly abused by the state and their profiteering bosses at Constant & Co who are putting them in this position. As such we put out an open offer to the bailiffs to join us in the struggle against the bosses; we would show solidarity to them in their struggle against their bosses as we show solidarity to Dale Farm, but if they choose to be the oppressors then we will fight them as class traitors. We acknowledge that the severe unemployment probably results in people who would not normally want to be bailiffs becoming bailiffs, but we also acknowledge that their role is directed at punishing working class people and minorities and this is not acceptable. Further, there is understanding amongst us all that some of Constant & Co’s bailiffs are migrant workers and we see this as another example of capitalist subjugation pitching one ethnic minority against another in order to break class unity; the British government has the privilege to exploit minorities as it always has through a process of colonialism, divide and conquer.
Q. With the government’s current policies towards Travellers, evictions will become more regular, how will anarchists respond to this?
Governments over the past few years have been drawing up increasingly fascist anti-Traveller laws, whipping up and taking advantage of ethnic and class-based prejudice. Anarchists must respond by standing strong in solidarity with travellers as they have done here at Dale Farm. Networks of people committed to anti racism, class unity, and eviction resistance will be required to help prevent the continuation of the ethnic cleansing process. It is hard to say exactly what the response will be on a broad basis, but it is likely that the Dale Farm resistance will set the tone for Traveller solidarity in the UK. We hope to make a statement here that resistance and solidarity are our greatest weapons against state violence, and to show the world the power of struggle.
The Baby Show is run by Clarion Events, which also happens to run a number of international arms fairs: these include the world's biggest, DSEi, which has been held every two years at the Excel Centre in London's Docklands since 2001. The most recent one took place just last month, to which human rights-abusing regimes such as Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Algeria were invited. Nine supporters of London Campaign Against Arms Trade protested and leafleted outside The Baby Show at Earl's Court in west London to highlight the arms trade link to unsuspecting mums and dads.
All images are Copyright (c) 2011 D. Viesnik / London Campaign Against Arms Trade, but may be reproduced free of charge for non-commercial use if credited. For larger, high resolution versions, please e-mail.
30-10-2011 20:43Urgent save squatting actions
Although the links to the Brent Council website have long broken, links to these images is at the bottom of this document, so can still be accessed.
Christian groups plan to come out in support of the Occupy protesters at St Paul’s with a ring of prayer around the protesters in the event they are forcibly removed.
The protest has become increasingly fraught, mostly on the church’s side, as the Cathedral was closed then reopened and legal steps to remove the protesters started last week. The church’s astonishingly poor handling of the affair was underlined by the resignation of canon Giles Fraser. Cathedral chaplain the Reverend Fraser Dyerhas also stepped down in protest at the decisions made by the Dean.
30-10-2011 10:34Judith Sambrook refused to complete her census form in protest at the involvement of weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin in processing census data. She has been charged and will appear at Wrexham Magistrates Court on 11th November at 10.30am, which happens to be Remembrance Day. Judith, a single parent from Shrewsbury who is on dialysis three days a week, plans to continue her resistance by refusing to pay any fine imposed and is prepared to go to prison if necessary. Read on for details of demo and vigil:
30-10-2011 09:40Australia has one of the worlds' worst deaths in custody records - prison and police custodial - however this country's social wealth is envied by most of the rest of the world. Therefore, how is it possible that Australia, with its social wealth, perpetrate the most horrific statistics in terms of custodial deaths, in terms of the rate of deaths and in terms of crude totals? How is it that the Aboriginal peoples of this nation are disproportionately borne with the brunt of deaths in custody and borne with disproportionately wild incarceration rates? Aboriginal incarceration rates are five times the rate when compared with apartheid South Africa, and West Australia's Aboriginal incarceration rates are eight times the rate when compared with apartheid South Africa. In any other country these types of targeted incarceration and deaths in custody rates would have led to a civil war or en masse confrontations.
30-10-2011 00:29Volunteers are needed at the St Paul occupation, this afternoon there was an urgent need for people to help with Tranquility, who are doing essentially site "Security". Help is especially needed after dark.
Ryanair had to cancel a marketing event at the University of Manchester Students Union earlier this week after students dismantled their promotional stall in protest against the company's record on the environment and workers' rights.
Ryanair had advertised to hold a stall from 12pm to 3pm last Thursday (29th October 2011) . However, at 12.30pm, a group of around nine students began dismantling the company's banners and display boards and popping their promotional balloons. The Ryanair sales team soon left the building.
Students said the action was in anger at Ryanair's disregard for the dangers of climate change by aggressively marketing cheap flights. They said the action was also taken in solidarity with disgruntled Ryan Air workers. Last August, Ryanair worker John Foley staged a rooftop protest at Liverpool John Lennon Airport against the company's anti-union activities and poor record on workers rights.
Physics student Catherine Redcliffe said, "Ryain Air's relentless pursuit of profit over all other concerns is trampling on workers rights and endangering our future at the same time. The aviation industry takes more money out of Northwest region than it puts in."
Nonetheless, Ryanair seemed adamant that the day had been a success claiming that their staff were "about to pack up and head home" when the stall was disrupted at 12.30pm, even though they intended to stay until 3pm. Spokesperson Stephen McNamara said, "Ryanair thanks the Plane Stupid clowns for once again turning a good promo into a great promo."
Student Union democracy
The students, who did not claim to be from any particular group, were further angered at Student Union management for renting the space to Ryan Air in the first place. Previously, students had voted that their Union should campaign on climate issues and not have business relations with environmentally-damaging companies.
Geography student Marc Hempton, 20, said, "I wanted to show how Ryanair's presence was a breach of our democratic process. This is my Union and our collective decision had been sidelined by unelected management. We shouldn't allow environmentally damaging companies in our Union where we have fought for positive policies on climate change and against relationships with unethical companies. I'm glad we sent them packing for the day."
On Wednesday, activists had petitioned the Union management with letters signed by students to cancel the promotional event. Management refused, saying that Ryanair stall was bringing in extra cash.
Hempton added, "In some ways, this is a microcosm of problems regarding climate change and workers rights. Where making a quick profit is prioritised at the expense of people and our environment, it makes it harder to address these issues and creates bigger costs further down the line."
At five: discussing the big stories in Bristol, Britain and around the world
After six: straight talking and investigative reports with Martin Summers
29-10-2011 22:22original article in german:
bad google translate:
29-10-2011 21:44The latest Daily Mail bullshit about Occupy London Stock Exchange alleges that, as temperatures plummet to near zero at the occupation in New York's Zuccotti Park, thermal imaging cameras can show when tents are full after all. This might, in context of New York only, be true, but it is not true in what even The Daily Mail admits is "a much warmer London" - where, in contrast to New York, temperatures remain around 17 degrees... contrast settings on the FLIR thermal cameras are adjustable! ...
29-10-2011 21:39On November 24, a transport of high level radioactive waste, so called 'Castor' containers, will be shipped from La Hague in France to Gorleben in Germany. Massive resistance is expected to stop this dangerous shipment, and to push the authorities and industry to immediately phase-out nuclear power. We want to invite you to join us in the 'Wendland' region, the destination of the Castor transport.
March organised by the "United Families and Friends Campaign (UFFC)", a a coalition of families and friends of those that have died in the custody of the policeor during deportations.
About 250-300ppl attended the silent march from Trafalgar Square to Downing Street today ( 29 Oct ) to remember those who have died in police custody.