Too Little Too Latte (or, The Triumphant Return of UK Uncut)

Saturday saw a raft of actions take place inside, outside and against Starbucks in the UK. The day of action, called by UK Uncut, focused on ‘women’s services’ – a broad collective category united by its necessity and damningly predictable vulnerability. Starbucks were picked as a target due to their legal – though morally reprehensible – … Continue reading

Dissecting a movement: analysing UK Uncut

The zeitgeist in activism in the first half of 2011 has definitely been UK Uncut. The network’s ethos of enjoyable direct action has appealed to activists, and, more crucially, the middle classes in a way that no other campaign has managed to in the last few years. With hindsight offering predictably 20:20 vision, one could … 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 4)

A normative view of marches might see them as the proverbial gateway drug for a lot of disaffected people. Smaller direct actions, such as those perpetrated by UK Uncut, are usually a lot more fun, and a lot more empowering. It is also in these types of action where the real benefits of horizontal organisation … 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

UK Uncut and other occasions for the word ‘No’

Tomorrow is another day of action, nationwide, this time against Barclays Bank. UK Uncut groups around the country will be occupying, and transforming space to serve those public needs now increasingly under threat. What better place to transform than the furthest point from the firing line: the banks? A lot of temporary libraries will be … Continue reading

Waltzing in the Streets of London

Legal Observer with Police Officers

  The last week of January saw a number of protests and direct actions back-to-back. On the Saturday were 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 … Continue reading