thatcher_on_acid

With the current beatification and media frenzy over the iron lady reaching Thatchuration point (I’ve been waiting for years to use that one) I thought it would be a good time to publish my own tale of direct disrespect of the Milk Snatcher. I’m being purposefully vague about the details to avoid self-incrimination but apart from that this is a factual account.

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How  the UK’s new Police Chief is promoting the civil use of drones amid pan-European calls for UAV liberalisation.

This month sees the launch of the National Police Air Service (NPAS) a new cross-boundary cost-saving venture that joins all of the UK’s regional police air capabilities into one umbrella organisation – in effect a new national police air force. The objective of the NPAS is to allow faster, cheaper and more efficient coordinated helicopter response across the country

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Memories of Lol

August 3, 2012

Lol Coxhill (19 September 1932 – 10 July 2012)

The Recedents Live at the Red Rose, London Feb 6th 2007

In 1984 I attempted to release the first album by Lol Coxhill’s trio ‘The Recedents’* on our Recloose Organisation label. Unfortunately all of the global distributors absolutely point-blank refused to take the LP claiming that even by Recloose standards this was strong meat i.e. no one but the terminally obscure or criminally insane would think of buying such a product. So, to my eternal regret I shelved the project.
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With empire came sugar and with sugar came slaves. Slaves that made the sugar (African) and slaves that brought it to England and processed it (English, Irish, Welsh and Scots). Those that exploited the labour made fortunes and built the city of Liverpool (the irony of Tate Liverpool).

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So after a lengthy campaign of pestering, John Peel finally allowed us to record a session for his show in late 1986 (for the unaware; John Peel’s nightly BBC Radio programme was hugely influential to new music in the UK throughout the seventies and eighties) with the caveat that we weren’t to set foot in the BBC studios. John Walters, Peel’s producer somewhat haughtily claimed that we had such a bad reputation for anarchic trouble making, nicking stuff and smashing things up that we had to use our own equipment…which was a bit rich considering the long list of ruffians who HAD been allowed in.

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Auf einen Augen-Blick

February 11, 2012

‘Auf einen Augen-Blick’ is an animated video piece using sequences of hand corrupted jpg files. If I was a bit smarter i could probably have written a script that batch processed multiple files but I found that there is something important in the laborious process of doing each frame by hand – it introduces some organic element into what should be an efficient process…I like the contradiction of using digital media in such a manual way…especially when the content is all about degradation and corruption of the media itself.

Random Rough Mix

February 7, 2012

Been a while comrades: heres some audio and video of stuff from the studio floor that wouldn’t otherwise see the light of day – edited together in a random fashion. Quite a large dose of Geoff Leigh in there from the work we did together and never quite finished…

 

At 3pm on Sunday 15th May the All London Anarchist Revolutionary Movement (ALARM) was born amidst beery cheers in a crowded function room above the Calthorpe Arms pub. The diverse group of eighty or so Anarchist and Libertarian Socialists (including myself and the sound asleep 1.5 yr old Finn) spent the next two hours debating organisational and constitutional issues in an atmosphere more redolent of the W.I. than a revolutionary group. Representatives of London boroughs were nominated and selected, informal communication networks built and, due to the exertions of such a prolonged labour, the debate on the thorny issue of a political manifesto was postponed until next Sunday (at the Cock Tavern, Euston).

ALARM is an opportunity to focus the resurgence of interest in Anarchism that has surfaced here over the last six months. It should provide a cohesive and active confrontational force in opposition to the ongoing Tory austerity programme and the corporatist state. It should become a platform for collective action that goes beyond just ‘fucking things up’ but provide real-word examples of practical anarchism in housing, education, work, healthcare etc.

Coming soon: ALARM website, blog and contact information

UK Police protest at pay cuts, London 2008

Police Comment: Dec 13th 2010

“…These idiots (the protesters) have all the answers, all too ready to mouth off to any passing journo or camera crew, filling our screens with pity-me martyrdom. Actually, life is totally unfair from cradle to grave… the revolting yoof do not have a constant worry about starvation, civil war, sky high infant mortality or rampant disease. Most people alive today do. So, students, if you want to go to college, get a job so you can pay your bills – just like the rest of us. If not, take out a loan and live with debt – just like the rest of us.”

Police comment on  http://inspectorgadget.wordpress.com Police blog

Police Comment. March 3rd 2011 – after  Home Secretary Theresa May announces cuts in Police spending

“We are in for a fight, this is a fight that we can win. Honesty, Integrity and Fairness is key. Miss May and Nick Herbert watch out for the shit storm that is coming your way”

Police comment on http://www.policeoracle.com Police blog

The coalition government’s agenda is  to implement their neo-con ideology as rapidly as possible; to make desperate but irreversible changes to our social infrastructure while they are still in power. Theresa May’s (UK Home secretary) latest round of public sector cuts is aimed at, your-friends-and-mine, the police. Already stretched and suffering low morale these cuts will inevitably further impact on the effectiveness of the force – an interesting scenario for the anti-cuts/anti-government movement and one that seems to deliberately catalyse opinion – reminiscent of Thatchers class-centric tactics during the 1980s. Discussions from current police forums (that wouldn’t look out of place on ‘Class War‘) debate internal tactics at combating the cuts including work-to-rule, mass-sick days, strikes and demonstrations – even suggesting jumping sides and joining the anti-cuts march on the 26th:

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“The people whose jobs were destroyed were in no way responsible for the excesses of the financial sector and the crisis that followed…I’m surprised the real anger hasn’t been greater than it has.”

The Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King March 1st 2011

“Students, activists, agitators, stoners, scratters, scrotes. You will be hit with sticks and sent home to mummy. The rule of law will prevail, order will be restored, Winston will not be shamed, my ancestors will not have died to have allowed you to bring shame on England. You will get up early, get out of your bed, seek work and contribute to the greater good.”

Post on Inspector Gadget Police blog December 2010

“Following the student protests in London on 10 November 2010, where greater numbers gathered than had been anticipated by police, and the incursion of the Conservative Party headquarters in Millbank, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson stated that ‘the game has changed’3. The character of protest is evolving in terms of: the numbers involved; spread across the country; associated sporadic violence; disruption caused; short notice or no-notice events, and swift changes in protest tactics. After a few, relatively quiet years, this is a new period of public order policing – one which is faster moving and more unpredictable. Foreseeing the character of events will prove more difficult and, in some cases, their nature and mood will only become apparent on the day.”

HMIC feb 2011 Adapting to Protest and Nurturing the British Model of Policing

Public Order tactics used by the British Police have their origin in colonial rule. From that starting point they were refined through the experience of Northern Ireland and the riots of the 1980’s to form today’s set of Quasi-military tactics where lines of police attempt to control, contain or disperse crowds of protesters. The rise of a spontaneous, decentralised protest movement and increased anger directed at the police set against a deepening economic crisis has led to calls for a tougher approach to public ‘disorder’. The demonstration against the coalition governments economic policy on March 26th will be the biggest showdown London has seen since the poll tax riot of 1989 and will be a defining moment in how the state polices mass dissent. The following is a user’s guide to understanding police tactics and capabilities culled mostly from police sources, specifically “ACPO Manual of Guidance on KEEPING THE PEACE” 2010 as well as various police blogs and forums:

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Thoughts on a riot

December 7, 2010

This Thursday’s anti cuts/student fees/con-dem government demonstration (9th Dec 2010) should be an interesting triangulation of over-excited newly politicised youth, a scattering of the pissed off middle classes and us, aging anarcho-troublemakers – the aim; to close down Parliament and force a crisis for the stumbling Tory lead coalition. As usual the demonstrators will offer themselves up as cannon fodder to the well armed riot cops itching for the fight they have been waiting for:

“I wish we could beat the crap out of you with batons and snatch squads you idiots. If it was not for that human rights act crap. We should be able to quell your anachistic (sic) antics you foolish individuals!”

A serving police officer

Afterwards the rightwing press will be  full of images of youth trashing police vans and the internet full of outraged lefties complaining about police brutality. Is it really a surprise to anyone anymore that the police are brutal? They are there to protect the status quo at any cost – we are there to change it…if you think the cops are brutal, wait until they bring the military in*.

Tactics of the day should be: keep mobile and avoid kettling. Act in autonomous small informal units – select targets and move on.

Good luck.

* Referring to the Poll Tax riot of  1989 “the police had armed officers as part of the diplomatic protection force in South Africa house, but were anxious to keep them away from the trouble”

Ghosts

November 25, 2010

Towards the end of this video I am being beaten with fish by a very tall Australian woman then lifted upside down by my feet and shaken so that all the coins in my pockets fall on the floor. The location is Clapham Junction railway station in London which at the time (1986?) was partly derelict – the occasion,  a shoot for the Factory Records stars Durutti Column directed by DV8 Physical Theatre Company. Miles makes a ghostly appearance with trademark slouch at  2.46 sadly a surreal dance sequence he did was cut from the final edit.

More Sunseastar video tracks from the album ‘Fjaerland’

Sunseastar ‘Saccades’

September 28, 2010

Video from the Sunseastar album ‘Fjaerland’

From the Peasant’s Revolt to the Boston Tea Party, Taxation has historically been a defining issue in the struggle of people against imposed government. The poll tax riot of March 31 1990 was ‘the most serious public order disturbance for over a century’ and the culmination of months of anti-poll tax protests and riots in the north of England and Scotland (where the tax had been ‘tested’ on the strongly anti-Conservative Scots) .

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How to down a drone…

February 11, 2010

“If you’ve done nothing wrong… you have nothing to fear.”

This year a UK Home Office backed coalition of regional Police Authorities will embark on a project to extend their national surveillance network by deploying unmanned airborne surveillance drones across the country. It’s planned that in the build up to 2012 the drones will be used to foil potential terrorist attacks, detect illegal immigration planning to cross the channel (by flying over France?), monitor anti-social behaviour and public order situations (demonstrations) and of course to gather intelligence on subversive activities.

The introduction of these drones represents a significant expansion of the surveillance state, planned and delivered by un-democratic consortium of police authorities and loosely regulated by vague and rarely tested laws. With this expansion of the surveillance state should come an equal counter-response probing the legal and practical boundaries of surveillance:

What methods can be used to disrupt or destroy drone technology?

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Orgonite melt

November 9, 2009

Geoff Leigh has uploaded some of his video experiments with ice formed under the influence of orgonite (with a soundtrack of some music work we did earlier this year). Orgonite, a dubious by-product of the Willhelm Reich school of pseudo-science, is an agglomerate of left handed metal swarf and acrylic resin said to have mysterious and mystical properties…

Links:

http://www.orgonite.info/

Geoff Leigh on myspace

51ueyclYiRL._SS500_

The Chronicles of Farquhar McHarg – Pistoleros!: 1: 1:1918 (Paperback)

by Farquhar McHarg (Author), Christie Stuart (Editor), Helios Gomez (Illustrator), Paul Sharkey (Translator)

Pistoleros! Is the story of twentieth century anarchism as witnessed by McHarg, a Glaswegian anarchist sailor who became embroiled in Spanish revolutionary politics at the end of the First World War. Curiously echoing the editor Christie’s (author of ‘Granny Made Me an Anarchist’ and ‘Floodgates of Anarchy’) own life fifty years later, the youthful and naïve McHarg jumps ship in Barcelona and enlists with the CNT (the anarchist national workers union) in their struggle against the bosses proto-fascist murder squads and para-military catholic groups (which provided training for the likes of Franco in murder and suppression techniques).

Pistoleros! is written in the style of a genre thriller with all of the accompanying intrigues; double dealing spy networks, evil foreign agents, love and betrayal all framed within the romantic backdrop of post WW1 Barcelona  – and in this way it’s is a gripping read, yet these characters and events are real, the colourful backdrop the grim reality of poverty versus the opulence and wealth of the Barcelona bourgeoisie.

Anarchists are often caricatured as firebrands and disorganised individualists and universally accused of being better at ‘analysing the problem’ rather than providing practical solutions. Pistoleros! shows that the history of Anarchism has been that of pragmatism; Anarchists were always on the frontline of providing real-world solutions through organised labour in effective opposition to the exploitation and corruption of the ruling classes – when the traditional left were constantly mired in internal power politics and global machinations.

Links:

http://www.christiebooks.com/

wage_slave

Wage Slavery

“All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.” – Aristotle

From birth to death, work dominates every second of our lives ;  ‘The working week’,  ‘nine-to-five’, weekends,  lunch hours, commutes and careers have completely supplanted the natural rhythms of the sun and the stars.

Since labour became industrialised workers themselves have become machine-like; we are now cogs, specialising in one task repeated until the worker is exhausted or broken(the final promotion; a cog heaven overseen by a benign bearded boss). As a cog we are led to believe we are promoting our own interest when in fact we are only keep the machine running for the benefit of the machines owners; the shareholders, banks et al.

Work defines our personalities and validates our existence yet most of the work we do is at best useless and meaningless (let’s face it, if you stopped right now, would it make any real difference?) or at worst harmful to ourselves and others. Our labour is wasted; endlessly focused at creating surplus for the profit of others rather than efficiently solving problems of global and urgent importance. Even when we have achieved ‘enough’ we are misled and oblivious to the fact.

Work distorts our behavior and forces us into aggressive competitions with our fellow humans, promoting an individualistic culture of backstabbing, greed and egotism rather than of cooperation and mutualism. Work deforms our relationships  and separates us from our children – placing their upbringing into the hands of others (which in reality is nothing but a preparation for their ‘working lives’) .

The unanimity that work is beneficial, mandatory even,  is reinforced by cultural, political (all  political parties are primarily concerned with the promotion and control of labour; it’s ownership, organisation and value.) and religious proclamation: the inverse of work is defined only as sloth – a mortal sin in the christian canon.

Worst of all, work betrays the possibility of human potential by presenting us with a cul-de-sac of limited ambition; we’re continually kept on the treadmill by the promise of  pay rises, twenty day holidays and retirement. A constant reiteration, if it was ever necessary, of our lack of control over our own destinies.

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leaflet

“As capitalism collapses around us in the market of ideas the anarchist pound is bouyant  and the 28th London Anarchist Bookfair is back at Queen Mary College in London’s East End…”

for more details: http://www.anarchistbookfair.org/

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