Class War back on the streets!

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So at the People’s Assembly demo. on Saturday I had my first taste of actual demo. action as Class War and I can say it was fucking fantastic and it put a liveliness into what most likely would have otherwise been a drab demo.

When we arrived and got the banner out, seeing a few familiar and many new faces, including Al with a chainsaw (It is OK Special Branch, it was not a real one, you can relax now!) Ian Bone announces that the “Legions of the North have arrived”. Chatting away to people waiting for the demo. to begin along with cries of “Class War” etc. and then we set off giving the SWP shit along the way and with Protest Liaison Officers in tow (Two at least from the police in Wales receiving training for the upcoming NATO summit), Forward Intelligence and Evidence Gathering Teams (FIT/EGT) and the average beat copper all hovering around us.

From the off it was obvious that we were going to be the most bold and vocal of the various ‘blocs’ on the demo. with cries of “no justice, no peace, fuck the police” and a few others. Then of course there was the direct shouting at the police, “murdering scum”, “racist filth” and something along the lines of  “hey, how’s Keith Blakelock these days? I bet he’s in pieces, he won’t be walking up those stairs ever again will he?” (Or something like that anyway). All the while I was having a good natter with some of the Class War bods from back in the day…brilliant!

Alex Stillinicos even tried to get onto our bloc but was promptly fucked off and then we arrived at the BBC HQ with accompanying anti-BBC chants and tourists aplenty taking holiday snaps of us. Then we got onto Regent Street and this was where it was entertaining. Middle/upper-class scum on their way to Ascot looking on with jaws dropped to the floor as we marched through ‘their area’ to old school classics such as “the rich, the rich, we’ve gotta get rid of the rich!” and “feed the poor, eat the rich!”. I remember one group of toff arseholes in particular looking really pissed off and uncomfortable and as a result remember feeling that I have never been as satisfied on a political action for a long time. This is what we should be doing, going to ‘their areas’ and being bold and in-your-face, making them feel uncomfortable for a change. Take the fight to the enemy and show them on their own turf that we will not take their shit lying down! The shoppers were looking on curiously and the tourists were loving it. If we look and sound like bullies and anti-social fuckwits then  so be it, who gives a flying fuck? We owe the middle and upper-class NOTHING! Part of the problem is that we worry too much about offending people, even our enemies.

I finally had a feeling of what it was like to be on Class War actions and especially some feeling of what it was like back in the days of yore. It was great, it was serious but fun, not boring and we had a laugh.

Then we got onto Whitehall where the pace of the demo. picked up and was now occupying two roads so we took the right side of the road and by now had more people in tow than we started with (Those people probably realising that apart from us and a few others, the demo. was shite!). Also our mates from the Met’s very own Tactical Support Group (TSG) sprang-up from nowhere once we neared the shit-heap that was Downing Street (The Met. now knows that Class War is back!). They formed a line in front of the gates and MP5 armed coppers so we formed a line in front of them and by this time a larger crowd had gathered in front of us with chants of “David Cameron is a wanker”.

After 15 or so minutes at the gates of Downing Street we fucked off to the end of the demo. where the next chapter of the day comes into play (Which I will bore you in another post!).

All-in-all it was fucking brilliant, very fresh, entertaining and a relief from the soul crushing usual A to B. Class War is not dead, it never had died and never will die. From the old school Class War/anarchist activists to the new generation of Class War shit stirrers and trouble makers coming up,  we’re keeping the flame of meaningful, tangible, interesting and relevant working-class action alive. It has come at a time when the anarchist and wider social justice scene needs a kick up the arse and needs some bloody life breathed into it!

Also it was good to see Dywizjon 161, the Polish anti-fascist group, on our bloc. These are a fantastic bunch and deserve our full support. It was good to see you there!

Also some, including myself, may say predictably that the left and the irrelevant do-nothing anarchists are shitting themselves, pissed off and from what I have read so far, some are even livid! With remarks such as “a bunch of pensioners” (Ageist eh?) and “middle-class posers”. But let them believe that bullshit whilst they sit in their pseudo-intellectual ghetto and fade away into further irrelevance. Whilst we are getting on with things and getting them done, they will be talking about and theorising it. This is the way it has always been since 1983 so nothing should really surprise us because at Class War we have always shown the real posers up for being exactly what they are and they have always hated us for it. Personally speaking, it is a hate I cherish because when we are hated by people like this it is because we are doing something right!

We can build on this and like I said before, after the general election next year I would personally like to see and suggest that Class War either reforms as a federation or a formal network of like minded groups. Also with either, the paper must also be once again. Let’s get on it!

Class War are at the front again and here to stay! Watch out rich scum, watch out fascist and watch out trendy lefty, your days are over!

I have bored you all enough now, rant over!

See you in October! All the best peeps!

Copy of st-james

Above: Some of the miscreants, pensioners and middle-class posers from Class War taking over the MP’s favourite watering hole! ;-)

People’s Assembly demo: A view from below

OK so, the People’s Assembly had a demo. last Saturday with apparently 50, 000 people on the streets of Central London.
There were various blocs from an international solidarity bloc to anti-austerity, anti-war and anti-fascism and then of course our bloc, the Class War bloc.

So after an early start we arrived in London, bolted off the coach and onto the Class War bloc passing
the usual lefty and tinfoil hat sects. We, Class War, were definitely the most dynamic and vocal of the blocs right from the off. I will discuss the
Class War bloc and Class War in general in my next post.

After taking ages to set off and initially a slow stop-start beginning the demo. picked up pace past the BBC HQ and down Regent Street, past Trafalgar Square, through the colon that is Whitehall and into Parliament Square where it came to an end.

At the end in Parliament Square there was the usual plethora of celebrity speakers from Owen “It’ll be different this time” Jones to Russel Brand. The only decent speakers were the 999 NHS speaker and the Artist Taxi Driver.

What was good about the demo.? The broad spectrum of people on the demo, the Class War bloc. and a decent size.

What was shit about the demo.? It showed the impotence of the left and the anti-austerity “movement”, was a display of middle-class celebrity worship (In all but two speakers on the platform) and it was the typical inaffective A to B. But what was the most incredibly negative aspect of the whole day was the People’s Assembly (With money and middle/upper-class backers aplenty) refused to provide a ramp onto the stage in order to facilitate a speaker from Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC). Apparently the People’s Assembly told DPAC that it was ‘their problem to sort out’ at their ‘own expense’ (Despite the People’s Assembly being plush). Totally disgusting and shows that the People’s Assembly are only really interested in facilitating the every whim of arseholes like Owen ‘I’m the only voice out there’ Jones rather than decent grassroots activists like those from DPAC. The People’s Assembly should be held accountable for this.

I haven’t written much about the demo. itself because like most demos. fuck all happened apart from a few decent moments coming from the Class War bloc (Which as I have said I will deal with in another post) and a few others.

So all-in-all not a bad demo (I have been on and seen worse) but it could have been better.

Let’s hope that 17th October is both more affective and more relevant. Let’s build it and have a proper go at it.

All the best to the striking fire fighters!
Cheerio chaps!

Class War: To be or not to be? TO BE!

Class War as a federation officially ‘folded’ in 2010, a few years before a massive upturn in political activity. Class War began in the early 1980’s as a newspaper collective thingy but in 1985 became a federation and as I said folded as an organisation in 2010. This could not have came at a worse time because just after it folded, the Millbank (Conservative Party HQ) was stormed and trashed, rioting in Whitehall which resulted in young ‘uns giving the police the run around and ending with the trashing of a police van, rioting in Parliament Square and Trafalgar Square which resulted in places such as the Treasury etc. being given a right old battering…and this was just the tail end of 2010!

In 2011 we had another student demo in January (Largely uneventful), a very successful black bloc which rampaged across the West End on 26th March trashing banks, posh shops, even the Ritz Hotel got their own version of 60 Minute Makeover (Also there was an occupation of Fortnum and Mason by people unrelated to the black bloc) with rioting lasting into the night accompanied by scuffles in Trafalgar Square. Then there was of course the total hammering that the police took in Stoke’s Croft, Bristol which resulted in heavy rioting a month or two on from 26th March, June saw a national and inaffective 1 day strike by teachers and some public sector workers (Including the scab union the ATL) and best and most importantly of all, the uprising of August 2011. This was much, MUCH better as it involved the working-class on an even bigger and mass scale than what had gone on in the rest of 2011 and the previous year. Of course some things happened which were not good but overall the uprising was such a massive explosion of class anger and hatred it wipes out any fucking lefty (Or other) shit analysis which came after it.

The uprising began in Tottenham, London but over the next week had spread throughout the city and to other cities too. Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, minor incident in the North-East where a police station had their windows done, a copper was injured and police vehicles burned etc. It spread like wildfire! Of course in the aftermath there was massive amounts of condemnation from the left towards the rioters (Even some ‘anarchists’ included) and for me it was more obvious than ever that there were just too many who masturbated to the idea of uprising but when one happened right here on our doorsteps they shit themselves big time. Unfortunately only a few of us spoke up in support and/or actually took part. Violent confrontations with fascists are increasingly coming back onto the agenda too.

Apart from the spikey stuff we have the bedroom tax, continuing austerity measures, rise of right-wing populism and a general inpotency of the left. We also had the death of that horrible fucker Margaret Thatcher and the highly successful party in Trafalgar Square that Saturday after she died (One of the best days of my life). We also have the scumbags from the UK Border Agency worming their way around our streets and increasing social control and police presence in our communities (Which is not a good thing).

So what does all of this have to do with Class War?

Well, one of the things Class War initially set out to do was make the connection between general working-class people and the politics but not in a dry and boring way. Also worthy of note was that it had great success in marginalising the middle-class left. For this they were hated by the left but so fuck? What does that matter? What matters is how Class War related to the class not how it fared with the left.

So what is Class War?

Class War was the most successful (Dare I say) left newspaper ever in the U.K. (At least circulation wise) and was also an organisation. It done a better job of relating to and agitating in and amongst the working-class than any pseudo-intellectual middle-class lefty outfit ever did or could ever dream of. In reality Class War folded but never died. It organised beyond itself especially in and around the miners’ strike of 1984-1985, the riots of the 1980’s, police brutality and indiscriminate raids, the Poll Tax revolt, the Criminal Justice Bill, participation in Anti-Fascist Action, against ID cards at football, gentrification, Stop the City, Bash the Rich, prison work, Reclaim the Streets and spawning groups such as Movement Against the Monarchy and Men Against Sexist Shit. This is all to name a few. Class War is alive and well in it’s veteran activists, in our schools, sincere anarchist groups, in colleges, in estates, in our youth clubs, in the streets etc. because class war is more than just a group or newspaper, it’s an attitude, it’s sheer class pride, unity and anger. It’s the boiling hatred when we see yuppies prance about like the arse holes they are, when we see the police, when we see some scum bag smack and crack dealer dealing to other working-class people, when we see racists and fascists rampaging in our communities, when we see reactionary ideas infecting the minds of other working-class people amd when we see and hear lefties telling us our position in society as if we don’t already fucking know.

It was said that Class War “became a stereotype of itself” and that it “dealt in sterotypes” but this is bullshit! Class War dealt (And deals) in the politics of reality, something which fascists and lefties alike are so far removed from. Class War took on issues and politics which were relevant to our class and in a way which was direct, humorous and fun. The politics to us (Working-class people) are not so much politics but the realities of every day life, no other group or tradition to my knowledge took this on as well as Class War did/has if at all. The left and do-nothing anarchists hated Class War for all of the right reasons, because Class War showed them up for exactly what they were and still are.

I was never in the Class War Federation but I know many people who were. Although I was never in Class War as a federation, I firmly put myself in that tradition. I say that I am Class War and proud of it because Class War has continued despite the fold in 2010. It’s veteran activists are still active, new people are coming through including many of whom were radicalised by working-class street level anti-fascism and the riots of August 2011. For me no other tradition relates to me and other working-class people I know in the way that Class War does. I read their texts from back in the day and instead of reading some boring, triumphalist, victimhood bullshit which oozes from the left, I find exactly what myself, my family, my friends, my workmates, my girlfriend and some of my other comrades are thinking and feeling which is unrelentless and unapologetic class pride, unity, hatred and anger.

Personally speaking, Class War has entered into electoral politics (As the Class War Party) and anyone who knows me will know my great distrust and dislike of electoral politics. Having said that though, whether it is, for lack of a better term, a “stunt” or whether it is something more than that, I see something good coming out of it. Beyond the elections I would like to see Class War reestablish itself as both a newspaper and also as either a federation as it was OR as a formal network of already existing groups and structures for example ALARM, Manchester Anti-Capitalist Action, Leeds Anti-Fascist Network, North-East Anarchists, Wessex Solidarity etc. We are hear, there and everywhere so let’s get it moving and make this year and every year after it ours because the time has never been as relevant for Class War as it is now!

By the way, go to the new round of Rock Against the Rich gigs that are coming up because if you don’t, the next trendy lefty I see gets it!

Class War ’til I die (Even then I’ll be haunting the middle and upper class)!