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(en) Freedom 6322 Nov 16th 2002 - Dear Freedom,

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sun, 1 Dec 2002 03:29:02 -0500 (EST)


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Martin H.'s article struck me as extraordinarily complacent
('Spooks, spies and trickery', 2nd November). Martin says,
"unlike sections of the left, [anarchists] have never had any
illusions about the state". I wish that were true. I've
encountered 'anarchist' probation officers, housing officers,
homeless persons' officers, dole clerks etc., etc. Doubtless
there are 'anarchist' screws somewhere as well. None of this
suggests a lack of illusions about the state.
Nor is this just a question of middle class anarchos getting
white collar jobs. Capitalism functions through the policing
and administration of the working class. All the jobs listed
above are part of that function, determining the limits of
working class access to housing, subsistence and so on, as
well as the terms and conditions of that access. Acting as
white collar cops hardly qualifies as acting without illusions
about the state.
Moreover, the operations by COINTELPRO against the
Black Panther Party in the United States and the state's
infiltration of the republican left here have a fair bit to teach
us. In each case, the state seized on the sectarian tendencies
of the movements concerned to foment splits and factions
through lies and innuendo. The anarchist movement here is
just as prone to sectarian gossip and rumour-mongering, and
can just as easily fall prey to disinformation. Sometimes those
who shout loudest have the most to hide.
Finally, I think our lack of organisation gives a hand-up to the
state. Take London's Mayday as an example. Those who
organise Mayday make little effort to make those who come
along aware of their rights on arrest, the need to say 'no
comment', the risk of being verballed between van and cop
shop if you engage in 'time of day' banter with the cops (as a
good many anarchos, particularly the fluffier kind, seem so
prone to doing).
Events which have neither coherent politics or organisation,
and rely on the spontaneity of the event itself, give the state a
chance to gather information, both by constant filming and
through detention en masse. They give the state a chance to
pull in young kids with barely half a clue who've never had a
nicking before. If you want a scenario where someone can be,
in Martin's terms, 'pressured for information', that looks like
a classic to me.
Paul Maguire


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