Northern RASH Network anyone?


I recently went to the 0161 Festival in Moston, Manchester which was a 3 day anti-fascist music event. Really well organised and an all-round great 3 days and 1 night but something struck me. There were a surprising number of RASH (Red and Anarchist Skinheads) at the event and I knew they were around but I was surprised by the number. Nevertheless they seemed to be unconnected and it dawned on me that there could be something very good in this. The fact that there are RASH around is good enough in itself but it could be much better with the formation of a Northern RASH Network made up of individuals and groups across the North. It seemed that at 0161 Festival alone there were sufficient numbers of RASH to justify setting up a network and I know there are more in the North than were at 0161.

The core founding RASH aims and principles are:

  • To dispel the myth, in both the media and in mind of the general public, that all skinheads are racist.
  • To keep alive and expand the true skinhead subculture through means such as music (Oi!, Ska, Reggae, Soul, Hardcore, Street Punk, etc.), fashion, fanzines, fliers, concerts, dancehalls, and gatherings.
  • To create a space for left-wing ideas to exist in the skinhead scene.
  • To combat, physically and politically, the existence of far-Right ideas in the skinhead scene.
  • To win back the good name of our subculture from the boneheads and racists.
  • To articulate the connection between the young, working-class, multi-racial skinhead subculture and left-wing ideas.
  • To organize for the physical self-defense of left-wing skinheads from attack by all those who declare themselves our enemies.
  • To participate as an active, organized force of anti-racist skinheads in the radical Left and anti-fascist movements.
  • To make sure our vision of the anti-fascist radical Left (working-class, multi-racial, street based and militant) continues to exist

How can I justify setting up a Northern RASH Network beyond the numbers? Simply because skinhead culture needs to be reclaimed from the boneheads (Nazi (fake) ‘skinheads’) and to have it’s working-class composition, traditions, history and characteristics preserved. Skinheads need to link up with eachother to be increasingly present on anti-fascist, anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobe, anti-capitalist etc. events. This will counter prejudice from both the general public and from the left itself (Many of whom still have the ridiculous idea that skinhead means racist). Skinheads (In a Northern RASH Network) can share resources and numbers. Perhaps a Northern RASH Network could even affiliate to the Anti-Fascist Network in order to play a part in the wider antifa scene and also work towards fighting against the grey zone.

If you or your group are interested in being part of the formation of a Northern RASH Network then get in touch at:

Anarchism’s relationship between the individual and the collective: My view

‘Anarchism’ or ‘anarchy’ is a term which has always been difficult to define and pin-down to specific positions and acts. Some people equate it to ‘chaos’ and the like but this is not what I want to discuss, what I want to discuss is the relationship between the individual and the collective. It goes without saying that any collective is made up of individual people (We are not born of all one single human body) who come together to work and act collectively but there’s more to the ‘individual-vs-collective’ dynamic within anarchism. Some people have defined ‘anarchism’ as an exclusively individual position whereas others have chosen to define it as an exclusively collective position and both such definitions are both wrong and right. Anarchism, in my opinion, is neither an exclusively individual or an exclusively collective position but in my humble opinion based on my own personal position is that it is BOTH, it contains both the individual and the collective. What I mean is, take myself for example, I choose to express my anarchism individually by my vegetarianism (Of course vegetarianism and veganism are not prerequisites to being an anarchist), by being straight edge (Nor is straight adge a prerequisite), my art and my attitudes towards sexual liberation etc. but collectively I choose to take action in the form of a ‘group’ or ‘organisation’ and further and most importantly, within my class. This is how I express my anarchism collectively i.e. through my actions, organisational methods and my class solidarity. Some of my friends express their anarchism individually by their sexual relationships, nudism, veganism, vegetarianism, art etc. as well as taking collective positions, carrying out collective acts and being part of the working-class.

But what do things such as nudism, sexual relationships etc. have to do with anarchism? To answer this would require me to deviate from the current topic and go off on a tangent as they are issues in themselves and require individual explanation. But overall, in the cases of some of my friends and myself, things such as for example nudism and sexual relationships are carried out as expressions of fun, freedom, free thinking, love, trust, breaking down hierarchy and social; individual and collective barriers and believe it or not; it builds bonds, closeness and trust. In short, it helps in breaking down the control which social control binds us in whether it is our own self-imposed control or control by the state, society, the ‘family’ or something else such as ‘social convention’ and ‘the norm’. It is not just a way to stick a finger up to social control, it is also simply a nice way to live.

This is my definition of anarchism’s relationship between the individual and the collective, just one of many, many definitions and positions, some I think make sense and I agree with and others I think are total nonsense pieces of shit. Expression of anarchism individually to me merely means taking on and carrying out positions beyond a group or collective (To do so is not detrimental to a group or collective), which interest me myself and having my own personal take on a given issue, position etc. Such as what I am writing now being an individual act and position which some people may or may not agree with. Collective acts and positions are when any individuals/groups/collectives come together and agree to carry out a collective act and form a collective position. The two do not cancel each other out!

Anarchism itself I believe is an individual, a collective, an economic, a political and  a social position. It is both political and apolitical. Political in the political, economic and sometimes the individual sense but it is also apolitical in the sense of it being a social relationship. What do I mean by anarchism as a social relationship? Well, in this sense I think it is fundamentally apoliticial so I choose to define it as such because it covers general social relationships in our daily lives and so with both political and apolitical people. This is relationships with(in) our ‘families’, friends, lovers, sex partners, acquaintances, pets, the wider public etc. But whilst being fundamentally apolitical in this aspect of anarchism it also intersects with what we see as the political aspects of anarchism. Anarchism as a social relationship means the way in which we relate to one another such as non-hierarchically, non-domineering, understanding (As much as possible), not being a racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, speciesist, ecocidal fuckbag etc. For example, not being the domineering one in a sexual relationship, not thinking you are better than your mates and everyone else, not battering and neglecting your kids, abusing your pet or abusing kids.

A Venemous Butterfly publication described the relationship between the individual and the collective. Said person described it as communism providing access to the means in which an individual can use to flourish.

The individual expression of anarchism can, and does, run in tandem with anarchism’s collective position, they do not and should not cancel eachother out. They both go hand-in-hand. We can take individual and collective positions and carry out individual and collective acts. What’s the problem with adopting both? Most people seem to think that you can only be one or the other if not simply just one. For someone to dogmatically dictate to someone else about what they think anarchism ‘IS’ (Emphasis on the ‘is’ for dogmatism) is anti-free thinking, hierarchicial, dogmatic, vanguardist and domineering. It is preaching to someone about the ‘correct way of thinking’ rather than informing people of your position by saying “hey, this is what I think…” and trying to spread your ideas in a less wanky way. Having said that, one thing anarchism definitely is not is right-wing! Let’s move on!

When the shit goes marching in…

OK so the EDL once again raised it’s rotten head above the sewer in Newcastle yesterday. All-in-all a totally uneventful day with the numbers on both sides (EDL and the counter-demo) roughly about even which in one respect is good and bad in another. Good in the respect that they only got at the most around 300 people which is a sign that once again they are on the decline (But be under no illusions, they are very much still there) considering one year ago they brought around two-thousand to Newcastle in the same week of Lee Rigby’s death. But on the flip side it is bad because it shows that we have not grown, we have stagnated.

One thing which totally stands out for me that day was a Northumbria Police copper basically confirming, vocally, whose side they are really on. I was watching the EDL slither into the park where their rally point was held and a young Italian lady enquired with a copper standing nearby her as to what it was all about. Although sounding initially pretty reasonable with “they’re a bit like the National Front” (Although not entirely accurate) and then it got a little urrrgh when he said “they are against extremists but with racist connotations”. What the copper said next sealed it when he said “they are against extremists, we (Meaning the police) are against extremists so we facilitate them to do this”. So blatant and open! I already knew this but for the copper to be so open about it is off the chart! It was not just a confirmation on police attitudes towards the EDL on the ground but also what sounded like an attempt to legitimise them with the ‘anti-extremist’ tag (The copper just said “against extremism” and nothing else).

I’m not racist but…

Earlier in the day though I walked past a couple talking to an EDL couple and heard the bloke from the non-EDL couple say to the EDL couple “I’m fully behind them but I’m not racist”. Right, so, he is fully behind a racist, bigoted organisation but he is not a racist? If he is not a racist or believes the EDL are not racist and generally bigoted then why does he feel the need to add the increasingly present “but I’m not a racist” line at the end? Go figure!

What direction I think we need to take

Anarchism, especially in ‘Britain’ is fucking dire! We are largely confined to a ghetto and are by-and-large seemingly inable (At least since Class War officially folded in 2010) to break out of it. We are dogged by an inability to relate to the every day lives of working-class people and practicial solutions and combative immediate battles have been replaced largely by ineffective, pseudo-intellectual and long-term projects which never seem to materialise. There also seems to be a MASSIVE over emphasis on petty squabbles and trivial bullshit like whether or not the ‘Zapatistas would call for an international revolt with the view to setting-up workers’ councils in the coming year’ (OK, so this never actually happened and such a call never existed but you get the point I hope). When something big happens such as the student revolt of 2010/2011, the big demo. of 26th March 2011, boycott workfare and anti-bedroom tax campaigns, uprising of August 2011, G8 protests in 2013 etc. we are scarcely seen (If at all) and if we do make an intervention then we never build on it. There is also a lack of anarchist established and led initiatives. “But what do you fucking suggest?” I hear you say. Well I will outline what I suggest but this is not a series of magical suggestions, a manifesto or some grand programme to build workers’ councils and create a revolution overnight but are a series of suggestions about starting to get our house in order. I suggest ‘The Immediate’ and  ‘The Long-Term’.

The Immediate

– Stop looking inwards with our publicity and propaganda.
This is preaching to the converted and only seeks to reinforce the ghetto mentality. We need to snap out of this mentality and go to our natural constituency in the working-class communities in and around where we live. We are not going to get anywhere, spread our ideas or build anything unless we nurture the apathetic and actually listen to the wider working-class community about what we want and what as a community we can bring to the table (In this case “we” is the wider working-class community).

– Fight where we stand
This is building bases and a culture of resistance in our local communities and workplaces. We need to interact with the community, listen to our family and mates, talk to people outside of our political circles. Listen to the hard truths and take them on board!

– Think Global, Fight Local
We are ultimately internationalists, that’s a given, and the struggles within our local communities whilst having their own unique characteristics are part of a wider, international struggle. Having said this, like I said above, we need to fight where we stand and so we should ‘think global’ in recognising that the ultimate struggle is international but ‘fight local’ because local is where we live. Too many of us seem to be disconnected by exclusively advocating and cheerleading uprisings abroad and fine, fair enough, all power to people rising up around the world but we live here and so we should build here and not many of the cheerleaders seem to at least be thinking of localised activity. International uprisings can and do run in tandem with local struggles but to neglect local struggles by exclusively distracting yourself with goings on in far-away lands is folly and exoticism. Having said this, building international links is vital but not as a substitute to building local links. We can learn from people abroad, we can discuss things abroad and take inspiration and empowerment from it but when doing so just take a look around you and remind yourself where you are and where your immediate struggle is. Let’s get fighting here and now!

– Anarchism is not enough
Anarchism alone is not enough. We need to seek out other libertarian socialists such as social ecologists, autonomous Marxists, situationists, council communists and other left communists etc. There are enough of us libertarian socialists around to build a genuinely broad libertarian front.

– Break with Occupy and Anonymous
Occupy (With a few exceptions): Liberals, closet anti-Semites, conspiracy theorists, middle-class, rapey, pacifists, cuts across class (I will go into this at a later date!), extremely ghettoised, cliquey and face it, we are not the 99%!
Anonymous: Minus a few good actions from the hacking side (Hacking and fucking with nonce websites) and the odd token working-class activist, all of the above! Viva la Lovealution? Fuck off!

– Build bases
As I have already said, build in our communities and workplaces. This can be where we drink, where we hang-out, youth clubs, where we work, gig venues, fuck, wherever we interact with other people basically.

– Stop being so fucking lazy
This means turning up to things on time, doing what we agreed to do, not being so hard to get ahold of it is like trying to contact fucking aliens, being arsed to do things for ourselves and helping others, doing the dirty work, doing the non-glamorous work (Leafletting, stickering etc.) and generally just getting out of fucking bed.

– There is no dignity in work
Whilst it is important that we fight for our rights and defend our gains in the workplace, there is no dignity in work. It’s called wage slavery for a reason and there is no dignity in slavery!

– Connect the dots
The struggles are NOT isolated. Working-class students fighting privatisation, fees and cuts, police brutality and death in custody, stop and search, rise in heroin and crack abuse; rise in the far-right, racism and conservatism, rape culture, sexism and wider issue of patriarchy, imperialism, bedroom tax, cuts; strikes, workfare, wage slavery, ecocide and so on are all connected. We need to join the dots between these struggles and this should be a central theme of our activity. If the struggles exist in isolation then we will forever be going for petty reforms and we will be giving in to the state’s divide-and-rule tactics.

– Bring class back into politics
We are engaged in a class war, a class struggle. Whilst I have no problem with SINCERE activists born into middle-class backgrounds (People who are sincerely recognising and working against their class privillege with vigour), we are a working-class movement and this should be a revolution by and for the working-class. We seem to be forgetting this so come on, put the class back into the politics! There are an insincere, tiny patronising few middle-class amongst us who bring with them their shitty middle-class attitudes of privillege, patronisation and domination. Given such attitudes then how can we relate to our wider working-class community when they infect even working-class people in anarchism? We need to stop blurring class lines and deluding ourselves to the fact that their is a three-tier class system in place (Working, middle and upper). We should not be afraid to call out middle and upper class privillege even when accused of ‘classism’, ‘workerism’, ‘working-classism’ and ‘working-class chauvanism’ (When accused it’s a badge I wear with glee). We ultimately want a society in which class does not exist, a classless society, but we can not get to that point when we delude ourselves into believing that ‘class is just not an issue’ (After all, it is THE issue!) and that ‘we are all middle-class now’ (I shit you not, some people really believe this crap!). We can not get to that point without attacking the class system, middle and upper class privillege (And calling it out!) and controlling our own struggles OURSELVES! We can not get to a classless society when we constantly bleat on about ‘cutting across class’ and when we blur class lines. When we blur class lines we can not see them, so we can not challenge them so we become blind to them. How can we fight the class system when we can not see the enemy clearly? It would be like a sniper trying to shoot through a cloud of smoke! If we forget that they exist (When they clearly do!) then they will only be perpetuated and so we could not then get to a classless society.

– Address much neglected struggles
There are important, vital struggles which largely no fucker seems to be addressing. These are (But not limited to) sexual liberation, the struggle against patriarchy and sexism, the struggle against transphobia (Which I regard as a form of sexism), the struggle against militarism, anti-bolshevism, queer liberation, black liberation, earth and animal liberation. We MUST start to actively work within these struggles which should ALWAYS be led by the group being oppressed; for example naturally women should take the lead in feminist struggles or else the feminist cause will be nullified and void.

– Call out and address bad shit within our own scene
This can be internal sexism, domination, racism and chauvanism.

The Long-Term

– Build cultural groups and events
This could be Love Hardcore, Hate Homophobia, Love Music, Hate Fascism, Love Football, Hate Racism, Football Not Business or Reclaim Your Scene (And maybe another round of Rock Against the Rich gigs?).

– Build anarchist infrastructure
This means autonomous spaces such as squats, social centres, woman and queer only spaces, housing co-operatives, work co-operatives, food co-operatives, art collectives and the like. This also means a legal and support infrastructure for when we are nicked and sent to prison.

– Build umbrella groups
We need to build umbrella groups and coalitions where autonomous groups can come together to share skills, resources and take action on issues. I would suggest:
Anti-Imperialist Action (To fight against war, imperialism and militarism. Would be a good, class-based alternative to the ineffective middle-class drabness of the Stop the War Coalition)
Militant Atheist Front (For the militant atheists among us to fight against religion)
Sexual Liberation Front (Fight for sexual liberation)
Anti-Sexist Action (To fight against sexism and patriarchy)
Anti-Homophobe Action (For fighting against homophobia)
Anti-Speciesist Action (To fight for animal liberation and against speciesism)
Ida B. Wells Coalition (To get behind black people in the fight for black liberation) (Already existing)
Red and Anarchist Skinheads (RASH) (To fight against nazi bastards and boneheads in the skinhead subculture which seems to be making somewhat of a small comeback) (Already existing)
Anti-Capitalist Action (For the fightback against gentrification, globalisation etc.)
Social Ecologist Action (For campaigning on eco issues such as fracking, fossil fuel empire etc.)

– Form solidarity groups
This is the Solidarity Federation, Hackney Solidarity Group, Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty and Seattle Solidarity Group style actions and groups. There are groups already doing things like this such as the one(s) in London, Edinburgh, Newcastle etc. but there needs to be these type of groups in as many places as possible if not everywhere.

– Build community groups
In line with putting our community at the heart of our politics we need to set-up community groups. For this I would suggest:
Workers’ support groups (To support hard-up workers and workers in dispute)
Strike support groups (To get behind striking workers NOT in front of them, to fight alongside them and not substitute ourselves for themselves and to help guard against opportunists. We are not Trots!)
Anti-bailiff groups (Build combative community resistance against evictions and reposessions)
Help for the homeless (Food Not Bombs, Guerilla Humanity etc.) (Help those at the very bottom of capitalism’s pile)
Tenants’ and residents’ associations (Fight for tenants’ and residents’ rights and fight against shit such as gentrification etc.)
Food and clothing banks (Assist hard-up families and individuals)
Welfare support groups (Assist those on welfare or wanting to claim welfare with appeals, sanctions, general advice etc.)

– Do not forget our goal
We seem to be very content with existing to call for petty reforms in the system. Whilst it is important to fight for rights and defend them in the here-and-now, this should not move itself into being content with petty reformism which is increasingly looking like it has. This has led to people actually forgetting that we are anarchists and just feel like saying to them “hello, we are anarchists, remember?”. We should never forget who and what we are, anarchists, and we should not forget our end goal, anarchy. This means no government, no state, crushing every last bit of capitalism and working towards wiping reaction from the face of the earth. Remember who we are, demand the impossible and let the flames of anarchy burn!

– Do not give up or lose the moment but also do not burn out
In the anarchist scene in Britain when we are on a roll with things we tend to kick back and relax and seem to think that things will be the same when we get our lazy arses back around to doing said things again. We need to push and push when we are on a roll, we need to build on what we have got and then push for more. Be bold! But, having said all of this, we need to work out sharing work loads, rotate things and work out that fine line between taking on a lot of work and burn out. It can be done, it has been done and in other parts of the world, it is being done! There is nothing wrong with relaxing and having a break, it is needed to avoid things such as burnout but we should also not allow things to fizzle out.

– Socialise
We need to socialise more, get to know one another more intimately (No, I do not mean fucking each other, but if you do that then fine), build on friendships in a political but also more importantly; a non-political environment. This works to build greater bonds, connections and trust. If you can not get on with and trust your mates then who can you get on with and trust? Besides, it’s simply fun to socialise, too much politics will blow your fucking mind!

So there you have it, my humble suggestions. I suggest these things in order to merely create debate, stimulate already existing debate, as my contribution or just simply to suggest something because hardly anyone (If anyone at all!) seems to be suggesting anything. Take what I have said however you want to but if you have better suggestions them put them forward, bring them to your mates (Both political and apolitical), groups you may be involved with and groups you may not be involved with.


OK, so I finally got around to doing it and here it is (In no particular order):

Niamh (Autonomous Irish Republican Socialist)
“Agro” (Anarchist)
Princess Diana (Anarchist)
Suzie Gold (Anarchist)
Spray the Earth (Autonomous Marxist)
I (Anarchist)
Kwun Tong (Anarchist)
Smash Your Face In (Anarchist)
Emma Goldman (Anarchist)
M1 (Anarchist)
Beach 1 (Anarchist)
Tree (Autonomous Marxist)
Ice – Bing (Anarchist)
Zapata (Anarchist) (Probably the only working-class person to have ever gone and stayed with the Zapatistas in Chiapas)
Beach 2 (Situationist) (Stand still long enough and she will paint on you)
Missing person (Council Communist)
22 Shoes (New Left)
Manc Priest (Anarchist)
Keep it on the down-low (Anarchist)

Antifa Straight Edge: So just what is the point?


A friend in Germany recently asked me to clarify why I am straight edge and to explain what I think is the link between antifa and straight edge. For one thing, both inside and outside of the antifa scene straight edge often has a negative reputation. This is generally the idea that straight edge people are self-righteous, exclusive, dogmatic, judgemental, inconsiderate, selfish and occupying the moral high ground. In a lot of cases this is unfortunately very true but I would at least like to think in my case and in the case of other antifa straight edge people I know that it is not the case. I personally like to promote inclusive and ‘positive’ straight edge principles which will attract people rather than repel them.

Straight edge is a broad spectrum of ideas, practices and principles but it generally has three core principles such as no tobacco, no alcohol and no other drugs. Some straight edge people interpret this as total abstinence (As in my case) or in the case of a straight edge friend of mine, not total abstinence but not getting shit-faced. Some straight edge people are vegan, some are vegetarian and some eat meat. Some abstain from ‘promiscuous sex’ or sex altogether and some abstain from prescription drugs and caffeine. Personally, I’m a vegetarian, I love sex, only abstain from prescription drugs which contain codein and limit my caffeine intake to a healthy dose but I stick to the core three principles vigorously. Straight edge has also been heavily linked to the hardcore music scene and that is where it certainly began but it has also spread to other scenes such as skinhead (Usually RASH, SHARP, trojan etc.), casual, crust, punk, people who would not even consider themselves part of any scene or movement etc.

Before the politics come into straight edge there are the obvious reasons why straight edge is beneficial such as your health and fitness and the health and fitness of those around you.

So where do the politics come into it and why specifically antifa/anarchism? I believe that it is perfectly compatible on a practical, principled and political level. On a practical level if you are involved in physically confronting fascists (Not every antifa straight edge person is involved in physical confrontation) then it aids in fitness, alertness, responsibility and independence. The majority of drugs decrease alertness and responsibility and one famous scientific example are the British military’s LSD tests on military personnel. The result was an inability to fight and decreased to non-existent alertness and responsibility. So OK, LSD is a extreme example and it is hardly surprising that this would happen when consumed. Although in terms of affects on alertness and responsibility, is it really any different to say cannibis, alcohol, E’s, coke etc.? Well of course between such drugs the level of intoxication is varying and is ultimately subjective but nevertheless when used, a user’s ability to be totally on-the-ball is decreased. Where responsibility is concerned, a user’s level of responsibility decreases with awareness. The physical fitness aspect is common sense and knowledge especially where the more ‘heavier’ drugs are concerned such as smack, crack, meth, krokodil, baltushka etc.

So why not just abstain before and during actions? Well because in the long term, continued use can lead to a longer term and sometimes permanent decrease in awareness, alertness, fitness and responsibility.

Then there is the principled level which is where I myself may seem a little preachy. Putting it simply, drugs are fucking awful and pointless. Of course people use drugs for varying reasons and for many it is symptomatic of deeper problems but nevertheless, taking drugs is not ideal and ultimately fucks people’s lives up in one way or another. Drugs can ruin lives and communities and can create a dependence which some people rely on to ‘have a good time’, deal with their problems etc. Of course I recognise some people do have deeper problems which lead people to drug use which I can not even begin to understand but that does not deviate from the fact that drug use is not exactly ideal and provides a false escape for some. One person I have known literally all of my life and considered each other as friends became a heroin and crack user roughly 10 years ago and now I can walk straight past him, even making eye and one-way verbal contact with him (I usually say “hello”, “Alright?” or whatever) and he does not even recognise me and sometimes is even totally oblivious to my or even his own existence. I know he had (And has) a terrible life, a much worse life than my own, but neverthless it pains me to see him (And of course anyone else in such a state) in such a shit state and knowing that minus the deeper problem, the smack and crack are responsible for his life going way, way downhill. I predict he will be dead in the next 2-5 years.

For those who take drugs recreationally to ‘have a laugh’ or to have a ‘good time’ I will open the floor and ask, just why? Why is it so hard to enjoy yourself in the atmosphere and company you are in? Surely it would be good to enjoy the moment being fully aware of what you are doing and to fully experience the moment as it really is? Surely you would want to fully recall and memorise the good times you had? Taking drugs recreationally to ‘have a good time’ creates a ‘false reality’ (The oxymoron is intentional) and a separation from what is real and what is not and so not really experiencing the moments as they really are.

OK so, enough of the soap-box preaching and onto the political/straight edge cross-over. One point worthy of note to begin with is that there is a current attempt by fascists to infiltrate existing straight edge scenes and for fascists to even create their own (One pathetic example is the so-called ‘NS Straight Edge UK’ twats). Fascists have a tendency to infiltrate and fuck with scenes such as hardcore, skinhead, punk and even ska and hip-hop (I kid you not). This is where straight edge anti-fascists can come in and provide a counter-force to prevent fascists infiltrating the straight edge scene and controlling and fucking it up like they have done with other scenes or to drive out fascists which have already successfully infiltrated the straight edge scene. There also exists a greyzone which needs to be countered. The greyzone and fascist attempts at infiltrating the straight edge scene has a negative impact on both political and apolitical straight edgers. This is the reclaimation and self-defence of the scene.

Secondly, the state and the wider capitalist apparatus somewhat wants us to take drugs, want working-class people to kill ourselves. They want us to take drugs as a means of very subtle social control. I do not believe that the whole drug problem is a result of some state programme (With the exception of the introduction of crack, smack and cheap booze to black communities in the U.$.) but I do believe that the state and its wider apparatus can see how beneficial it is to them. The state and wider capitalist institutions may of course tell us how bad drugs are but this is only lip-service. Whilst they may pay lip-service in condeming ‘illegal drugs’ etc. they encourage the legal and much larger drug dealers such as Proctor and Gamble, Bayer etc. in the name of ‘commerce’ (Anti-depressants and codeine have fucked-up as many people as smack or any other drug has).

Thirdly, the legal drugs of alcohol and tobacco are amongst the biggest capitalist industries. Going straight edge is a boycott of some of capitalism’s largest and most profitable industries.

I divide capitalism into three markets, the white or ‘legal’ market, the grey market or the black market. The legal capitalist market is what we usually see capitalism as right down from the huge multi-nationals and banks such as McDonald’s, Bayer (The original creators of heroin), JP Morgan, BAE Systems etc. to the petit bourgeois such as the local shop and small business. Then we have the ‘grey capitalism’ such as the industries which are illegal but given backing by states and other capitalist institutions or industries which are legal but traded illegally) and then there is the ‘black market’. The black capitalist market is of course the ‘illegal’ industries such as illegal arms deals by non-state or non-state sponsored bodies, human trafficking, ‘illegal drugs’ etc. Drug dealing whether ‘legal’ or ‘illegal’ is capitalism, it is just that in the ‘illegal’ sense the government rarely takes revenue (Unless they confiscate or take duty) so they make it illegal. Nevertheless, someone is exploited at some point along the way. To this end I would not blame drug users, I would blame the dealers. It is not the drug users which are the vultures, it is the dealers. They are capitalists plain and simple! Users are a symptom and result of capitalist society, they do not cause the alienation and other ills in capitalist society, the state and its wider institutions do. The dealers are the vultures which push this poison to some working-class people, they play a big part in the destruction of our communities and the lives in them.  The dealers prey on people and I would no more blame drug users for that than I would blame people who take out loans from the loan sharks of the payday loan companies (And of course also the illegal variety of loan shark). Loan sharks and drug dealers are vultures all the same and those who feel compelled to use either are not responsible for the conditions which cause both to exist.

Of course some drug users do horrible shit and how to deal with that is subject of a much wider debate.

So in order for straight edge to be relevant outside of the scene and into the wider community we should help users and act against dealers and the idea of taking drugs itself! It is not enough to simply abstain from intoxicants or to not get shit-faced but we need to take a principled stand against them.

Recommended reading:
Antifa Straight Edge Manifesto

This is a good little piece which explains a lot of things better than I have. It is also good to get different opinions and view points on subjects as polarising straight edge because there is no single truth or shining light.




Hello all, I have decided to set up a blog where I can rant, moan, talk shit and put the world to rights. I have finally done the one thing that I vowed never to do and set up a personal blog because before I did not want to become part of what I called the ‘online anarchist ghetto’. But I decided to go against my own position and join the online anarchist blogosphere (Hey, at least I’m not a Tumblr wanker!). I want this to be a place where I can contribute to debates, add my own perspectives on issues and give my own opinions on things in general. I do not write like some fucking academic ‘theorist’ (A word which implies I am somehow unable to think for myself) from the lofty heights of the all-knowing ivory towers of the anarchist pseudo-intellectual ghetto. I write how I feel and how I think, sometimes a coherent argument and sometimes just a rant but it all depends on the subject and how I feel at the time.

I am working-class and fiercely proud of it and want to see the class put back into the politics but I do not go in for the “if it is working-class then it is intrinsically good” argument and my views vary. I aim to be relevant and interesting and also controversial because like a friend and former lover of mine once said “if you’ve pissed someone off then you know that you’re doing something right” so if you are pissed off by what I say on this blog, I could not give a fuck because said friend also said “for every person who disagrees there’s always someone who agrees”. Having said that, I want to win people over to my arguments and most importantly, encourage them to form their own ideas in the spirit of free thinking. The spreading of diverse ideas is important and fundamental to our growth from ‘scene’ to ‘movement’. We still need to break out of the ghetto that we seem to be stuck in but aside from general issues around social justice and other things of interest to our class, I would also like to write about things of specific concern to the anarchist scene. I would like to write about specifically anarchist things without dogmatism and in an accesible and easy to read way. One thing we need to do is stop looking inward and start looking outward, start to nurture the apathetic instead of fucking them off, these are the people we need to win over because if we don’t then we’re fucked!

I will try to be short and straight to the point when possible but some things require a lot to be said. I welcome comments (“well said” or “you talk total shit”) but I don’t want to get into lengthy online debates which can go on and on and end up nowhere. This is a major problem with politics online. To this end, if you are looking to debate me on here then do not bother, I just want to say my piece then go. I want to say my piece online and my online politics ends here, I love and encourage debate and disagreement, critique and constructive criticism but; part of the problem is that anarchism spends too much time online and not enough time in the real world. If you want to debate me then debate me offline, debate me on the barricades but not on here. I love debate in the real life, I never shy away from it but online arguments and debates are by-and-large annoying as fuck and I can not be arsed with them and they lead to nowhere. Also, they only reinforce the ghetto and not engaging in the online ghetto is one way of avoiding becoming part of both the online and wider scene ghetto.

Having said all of that, just to begin with, I want to make my first few posts about issues which are going on in the scene. After that, fuck the ghetto (Fuck it now infact)! At the moment the blog looks like total shit but it is still being built so please bear that in mind.

Also, I will NEVER EVER apologise for offending trendy lefties…NEVER!

Class Unity, Class Pride,
The Obscene Turtle