For Riotous Assemblies Not Reasonable Dissent
The atmosphere of UK State repression and ‘queen’s peace’ was definitively broken on the 10th November 2010, when the Millbank Tower, Conservative Party HQ, was stormed by a mob of malcontents, during a demonstration against student fees.
The roof-top scenes of occupation and property destruction dispelled the long-held belief that the cops have the upper hand on the streets of the United Kingdom, and especially in the open-CCTV-prison of London. Something much more occurred that day than the complete trashing of the ruling political party’s headquarters in the capital city – an aching festive class violence was openly expressed and transmitted everywhere via global media, to all others in resistance around the world.
Again this incredible force was experienced on 9 December, and it still only felt like the beginning.
The opportunity of this moment is the opportunity for mass social rebellion. And within this is the necessity for those that consider themselves already a ‘politically conscious’ and ‘active’ class to know when to keep silent, when to step aside and to recognise that the opportunity being presented to them is to divest themselves of their own redundant, prescriptive and obstructive attachment to their own models of theory and action.
Numerous ‘interactions’ (‘direct action skillshares/trainings’, ‘meetings’, calls for a centralising ‘Network’/Platform) have popped up over the past couple of weeks during the student uprisings. There is certainly value in telling people to mask up in demos, for example, or what to do when arrested, but is there really a value in ‘teaching’ rebellion, aside from the need of those teaching it to assert their own ego and present themselves as experts in struggle? In the recent riots, the crowd didn’t need to be trained or incited to attack police vehicles and occupy or destroy buildings, it occurs anywhere the people feel confident enough to resist openly en masse.
The anti-capitalist ‘struggle’ in the UK has, in the last ten years, largely produced nothing worthwhile aside from myriad activist quangoes and some nice careers. If we need to fill any holes in our political identities, let’s fill them with curiosity. No sooner does authentic fury explode in the streets, then activist initiatives spring up seeking to manage it, to democratise it, to control it: the beauty of the unknown is at once crushed into the machinery of the leftist bureaucrats. Rolling out the decades failing interminable script, – action medics, people’s kitchens, workshops, email lists, ad nauseam – and calling upon the controllables – climate camp, social activist groups, federations, reformist single-issue campaigns; all the tranquilising themes – so that the social managers can attempt to make it palatable and compliant to their careerist manipulations, as frightened of the uncontrollable as the state.
In the last five years, very few of the ‘conscious political’ class – the activists – have succeeded in getting out of a kettle nor finding their projects developing into one of attack. Because – as the young people and the angry know – to get out of a kettle requires a project of chaos and attack. And that is precisely what the activist cannot and will not engage in, beyond the symbolic.
Why? Because the activist project is not about rebellion nor about chaos. It is primarily a project of reigning in, of taming the unruly desire to break out of all constraints, to specialise it, professionalise it and rationalise it.
The activist project is the maintenance of a self-aggrandising, elitist and fictitious movement. It is a policed theatre of diversion and deference organised by social managers and leftist incompetents. It is an easily infiltrated and repressed illusion full of substitute activities for the well-meaning to waste their time with. How useful for the State to have open umbrella organisations of activism which can pressure people into certain types of conforming and exploitable democratic behaviour, all under the double-speak banner of ‘inclusivity’, ‘consensus’ and ‘diversity of tactics’. Activism is ‘political’ thought and ‘political’ engagement as an impediment to real struggle.
It is the very experience of embedding oneself in a ‘politically-conscious’ scene and the rules that are built up within it that can lead to paralysis and counter-revolution. In the moment when you need to defend yourself, pick up and throw stones or set fire to a target or barricade, those already entrenched in a morass of theories, debates and dubious ideas of alliance and affinity, many of those who imagine themselves holding some kind of blueprint for social change or revolution and feeling the need for ‘intervention’, pause, and back off from the clash.
We will not attend any “anti-cuts” activist gatherings nor will we send ‘delegates’ as if we were some organisational department or cheap NGO. We are not for continuing any of the structures or concepts given to us by democracy.
Those who would ‘intervene’ must take some time to ask themselves whether they simply wish to constrain within their own limits of thought, understanding and action, an emerging rebellion. Let the young people create new, unpredicted pathways. Let us break our own patterns, and then destroy that most insidious police force – that within us which wields batons of ideology, and which hides it’s own impotence, historical inefficacy and fear behind crash barriers of ‘necessary infrastructure’ and ‘organisation’. We want the time to see what comes out of real chaos. Out of rebellion into freedom.
Formalising a struggle too early leads to the death of that conflictual tension; without formalisation there is only social force, which cannot be repressed through its representations, it spreads and detonates social conditions through existing class conflicts and rage. It eventually finds fluid form in informal groupings of affinity through which we can communicate as equals, rather than as stereo-types. Self-management of our struggle, not our everyday drudgery, begins through organising attacks; it is in the highly charged space of the attack – the experience of freedom – that the individual and collective mind, realising in an instant its volition, power, self-determination and willful vitality, can escape dated concepts and forms.
We are not suggesting that we’ll not engage in the student uprisings – or any other uprising – but we’ll do so with the aim of meeting others with whom we might share a theoretical and tactical affinity for the purpose of social revolution.
We know who we are, what we think and what we desire. We’ll continue acting as we always have, alongside and within the coming storm. Understanding these parameters of our own consciousness and practice of engagement, what we plan for is to ride this new social energy, to enable it to give more power to the attacks that we anyway make, and hope that by contributing alongside the new rebel class – not by intervening in its development, we can broaden the struggle without imprisoning its potentiality within the usual cage of reasonable dissent, activism and identity politics. We wish to leave space for others to do the same. It will not be the case that if we attended a meeting of students, we would succeed in persuading them all to our vision of rebellion or of an alternative future world. Nor is there any possibility that at such a meeting, we would be persuaded suddenly to a position of reform or non-violence. As far as we are concerned, the system can only be fought through widespread violent means at street-level, blockading and sabotaging the flow of the economy, spreading the distribution of resources to the social majority and halting wage slavery through mass force.
As we are seeing, the anger is encompassing those people who are not part of the student movement, but have every reason to hate the police and the system.
No more will we remain concealed, once again we can draw a clear line between ourselves and the enemy, the exploiter class.
We call on all those who have made a decision to attack to develop our efforts and interlinked struggles at the base. Let’s forge an aggressive push against the global system and it’s representations.
For the spread of the riots.