Violence on Trial

This article will appear in Red Pepper magazine soon, or so I am told… The Mutiny, it seems, pride themselves on being at odds with the pedantic solemnity that is typically a feature of discussion groups on the Left. Instead of grandstanding speeches calling for workers to seize the means of production, Mutiny offer ‘speed-debating’, … Continue reading

Leveling the playing field: horizontal politics, technology and activism in 2011 (part 5)

Social media and internet technology are to some degree changing the way people think and act. At the very least they have provided us with the means through which to counter the discourse of the police, government and mainstream media. More people are coming to realise, certainly, that this trinity of power and legitimacy do … Continue reading

Leveling the playing field: horizontal politics, technology and activism in 2011 (part 3)

The last week of January saw a number of protests and direct actions back-to-back. On Saturday 29th was two student demos, one in central London, one in Manchester. The London action was also my first as a legal observer –for the uninitiated, a legal observer’s job is to document and hopefully deter unlawful police action. … Continue reading

Leveling the playing field: horizontal politics, technology and activism in 2011 (part 2)

Renowned anarchist and social theorist Colin Ward once observed how the philosophy of anarchism had, prior to the phenomenon of 1968, been consigned to the dustbin of nineteenth century also-rans. In the ‘60s, at the height of the Cold War, authoritarian communism loomed large in the form of a still-potent USSR; academic Marxism had proliferated … Continue reading

Being the Difference Needs Resistance

One question I always get asked at election time is ‘what’s the position of the radical left?’ Do we vote? If so, for whom? We also tend to get asked if it’s us who are defacing the Tory posters around Leamington. It actually isn’t, to put the record straight; ‘normal’ people hate the Tories too. I … Continue reading

But Words Will Never Hurt Me

When dictatorial thugs oppress their people in far-flung parts of the world, our government’s response is pretty dependable. Nine times out of ten we will ignore it. For the sake of a beleaguered minority who still read the papers and/or give a shit about torture, corruption, and human rights, a harshly worded statement of condemnation … Continue reading