A - I n f o s
a multi-lingual news service by, for, and about anarchists **

News in all languages
Last 40 posts (Homepage) Last two weeks' posts

The last 100 posts, according to language
Castellano_ Deutsch_ Nederlands_ English_ Français_ Italiano_ Polski_ Português_ Russkyi_ Suomi_ Svenska_ Türkçe_ The.Supplement
First few lines of all posts of last 24 hours || of past 30 days | of 2002 | of 2003 | of 2004 | of 2005

Syndication Of A-Infos - including RDF | How to Syndicate A-Infos
Subscribe to the a-infos newsgroups
{Info on A-Infos}

(en) Britain, Direct Action #35 - REVIEWS:

Date Tue, 30 Aug 2005 13:55:33 +0300

Lancashire Reclaim Mayday 2005
For the second year running anarchists in Lancashire, including
Preston Solidarity Federation, organised ‘Reclaim Mayday’
events to try and get back to the origins of the holiday in working
class struggle and to celebrate International Workers Day with style.
The theme this year was ‘clampdown’ with attention
focussing on the proposed ID cards and the election.

It started on Saturday with asocial at the Yorkshire House in
Lancaster with a D.J. and several bands. These included Eastfield,
Forenzic, Three Ages of Elvis, Confrontation as well as a solo spot.
Once again a video show was running all through the event and the
room was decorated with anti-election and anti-ID posters.

Next day there was a picnic with over a hundred people including
children with games and music. G8 and Defy-ID leaflets were
distributed. In the evening a cabaret and quiz night was held with
excellent free food. Best quiz question of the night was “what
dodgy organisation did the new pope belong to” to which
someone shouted out “the Catholic Church” and so gained a
bonus point to the other answer which was of course the Hitler

Monday night saw the Preston event with Eastfield and
Confrontation once again playing along with Instant Agony (pic
below) and St Elmo. Local singer-songwriter Claire Begley (pictured
above) also did a well-received solo spot. Preston Defy-ID and
Preston SolFed were the co-organisers. Someone commented on the
anti-voting leaflets raising the old cry of ‘if you don’t vote
then you can’t complain.’ This was answered by us saying
that it is those who vote who can’t complain because by voting
you are accepting the system the state has set up. No use moaning if
you don’t like the result.

The aim of these events is to give an alternative to the staid Labour
Party/TUC dominated ones that have simply become part of the
status quo. Mayday should be about having fun and sticking two
fingers up at authority and it was in this spirit that everyone came
together. Unfortunately the third leg in Burnley did not happen this
year but we are still hoping that from these modest beginnings we
have begun something that can grow in the years to come. Roll on
Mayday 2006!

Eastfield – Urban Rail Punk

Eastfield were formed in 1996 playing their first gig in April that year
in Sheffield. Since then they have gone through various line-up
changes with one constant, that is Jessi Adams, singer, guitarist and
songwriter who has remained the inspiration and guiding light to
their brand of do it yourself ‘Urban rail punk’.

For the last two years he has been instrumental in the organising of
the Lancashire Reclaim Mayday events and this year Eastfield played
both Lancaster and Preston. We thought it was time to catch up with
him and ask a few questions.

DA. Tell us something of how and why you began Eastfield

Eastfield began because I hate ‘rock n roll’! The preferential
treatment and disproportionate interest given to people and the ins
and outs of their lives just because they play in a pop group has
always been a source of bewilderment. Does it really matter what
someone’s favourite colour is? The anti-hero stance of punk was
great but sadly a lot of punk rock literature comes across as Smash
Hits for people with spiky hair. Eastfield formed to counteract pop
star attitudes, aiming to prove that even if you play the guitar it is
possible to climb down from the pedestal to lend a hand and have a
bit of fun whilst trying to say something worthwhile...you don’t
need to know our favourite brand of ‘Tippex’ to listen to our
music either!
To enable this to happen I put a rucksack on my back, picked up my
guitar in one hand, an amplifier in the other and caught the train to

DA. Eastfield haven’t signed to a label and are self promoted.
How do you keep going?

The answer lies in the question to some extent. Keeping integrity is
quintessential for survival. Call it sheer bloody-mindedness but the
fact that we can do it our way and it works is a reason to carry on in
itself. If we were aspiring to be ‘rock stars’ or chasing that
elusive ‘record deal’ then we would have got disheartened
and split up years ago, but signing to a record label has always been
irrelevant to what Eastfield do.

Eastfield has always been more about lifestyle choice than just a
band and the ethics of DIY are firmly ingrained in this. I don’t
need a record company to tell me what to do or how the band should
be run. We make our own decisions and choices – if they work -
great, if not - then we can learn from our mistakes. Eastfield produce
good quality stuff at sensible and affordable prices and it sells
without ripping people off.

Our CDs are properly pressed but we liaise directly with the
production companies. We print our own t-shirts which means extra
work but it keeps the costs down. We make a small profit on
everything but this goes back into the collective pot to help fund the
day-to-day running of Eastfield whether it’s recording, releasing,
mending broken equipment or buying petrol to play benefit gigs.

Everything is covered without anyone needing to dip into their own
pockets but no one makes a living from Eastfield either. If we were
doing it simply to line our own pockets then I for one wouldn’t

DA. When you go to your website and click on photos its all
photos of locomotives not the band. Why’s this?

Look at the photo section on any bands website and you’ll find it
consists of countless photographs that fall into three distinct
categories: badly taken live shots, the band posing in the cheesiest
manner possible or those depicting a band in-joke which usually
means the drummer has passed out when drunk, has toilet paper
draped over him and some wag has marker-penned “I love
Kylie” on his forehead.

Having no desire to inflict such images on the unsuspecting public, I
believe my photographs of locomotives taken at Eastfield depot have
greater relevance and are much more aesthetically pleasing. I’m
still working on the idea of having an mp3 section that plays snippets
of freight trains in full thrash rather than our songs!

DA. Do you have any trouble mixing pop & politics?

If you separate ‘politics’ from the farce that is ‘party
politics’ then politics are present in everything we do; our
choices (or lack of them), our decisions and our interactions with
others. Thus like anything else there is no reason why pop cannot be
intertwined with politics. Bands such as Chumbawamba have always
done the pop and politics thing very well. However, when working
within a limited framework such as a song, care has to be taken so it
doesn’t come across as empty sloganeering or sounding too
corny and therefore not able to be taken seriously. Conversely, I
believe an injection of relevant humour can actually be an effective
tool if used in conjunction with serious issues. This is what we strive
to achieve in Eastfield.

Obviously music isn’t purely about politics and protest but to be
‘political’ in music shouldn’t be limited to churning out
some fast screechy dirge. Far too often bands can make profound
points only for them to get lost with indecipherable lyrics. Surely
music that is catchy and accessible is a better vehicle for highlighting
issues which individuals can then themselves explore further via
other media?

DA. So what’s all this about Burt Reynolds?

Burt Reynolds has always been the target of some superficial ridicule
due to his crap moustache, his crap films and his crap macho
attitude. Recently I have been informed that he has a far more
sinister side in that he had a penchant for domestic violence. I find it
offensive that so-called celebrities that commit such abhorrent acts
are still at large in the public eye. (David Soul, Gazza there’s a
few of them still out there). If they want to be perceived as role
models then surely film footage of them getting their just desserts
would set a much better example.

Contact details: Eastfield, PO Box 7804, Birmingham B13 8AS, UK

Leave me Alone
Power control and resistance in a primary school
Joanna Stephanie Gore/Lib Ed - ISBN 0 9513997 8 0

Joanna Gore spent 3 months in a school experiencing what children
experience day to day - endless lining up, eating dinner, sitting with
‘back straight, hands on head, bottoms on the floor’, playing
in the sand, having her hair pulled and sneaking sherbet into
assembly. She considers the everyday forms of power and control
exercised over children. Much of this control is internalised and
embodied within the person as the children ‘grow up’, but
they also find ingenious, playful, creative and effective ways to resist
and so get to play a part in social change.

Joanna begins by trying to understand what a child is, and clearly
mapping out the place children occupy in today’s world. She
points out that this concept of children as separate from adults now
seems universal. It’s a division based on the idea that children
are not yet people, that everyday socialising and conditioning, turns
them into people (adults). For Joanna ‘the oppression of
children is vicious …no other group of human beings is stripped of
its rights in such a ruthless but deemed-acceptable
manner...persecution for being the wrong age...’

To make the point we are asked to imagine being forced by law to go
every day to an institution where people make you stand in lines, sit
on the floor and listen for hours to talk that is of no interest to you;
where they restrict your movement, shout at you, and punish you for
speaking or being lively; while they take away your
‘privileges’ for saying what you think. That basic human
rights are called privileges when applied to children is telling in itself.
To oppress children and allow these atrocities to go on with a clear
conscience, adults must dehumanise them - they are not yet people,
hence the category ‘child’.

Joanna including some of her ‘field notes’ which add lots of
wonderful colour to the concise and empirical understanding of just
what was taking place. We get many simple tales of control, and
resistance to it, from somewhere near floor level, from the classroom
to the playground and, when allowed, to the toilet. The children get a
re-designed playground divided into ‘apartments’ for
particular groups to use. Of course, they break the rules, play on
anything and everything, and the whole thing is closed as a form of

I found the section on resistance to noise restriction particularly
poignant with the madness of grown-ups shouting ‘quiet’ at
the tops of their voices. ‘Children use noise control as an
inverted tool of resistance...there was a constant shushing...it had
become a habit to many teachers to shush at least once in each
sentence...’ By the time infants become juniors they have learnt
to resist covertly.

Any discourse on power eventually gets to punishment - the
powerful get to inflict their world on the innocent young. Children
‘were not allowed sugar in their drinks and had to be nice and
kind to others, while the teachers had sugary tea with biscuits and
shouted at the children’. The children’s codes of conduct
tell them how they should behave, yet they ‘are not allowed full
knowledge of the adult world’.

We are told that ‘schools are repressive institutions, no matter
how hard the people inside them are trying to reform and improve
them’; that ‘the job of schools is to train children into
conformity to an irrational capitalist society where people are only
valuable if they produce a profit’; and that ‘rational
education centres would be so different from the ones we have now
that...trying to reform an oppressive system in a piecemeal way is
useless’. If we want any real freedom in education we must stop
‘trying to confine everybody into the same narrow boxes’,
must abolish ‘the education system as we know it, along with
the class system, and must end ‘the oppression of young

Adults seem to have sacrificed their children to this whole idea of
power. As a parent I found myself one day with two families, five
children, with no TV, living in a big house trying to exist without the
whole power trip. Some of our children were home-educated -
school is not compulsory - and John Shotton’s ‘No Master
High Or Low’, and ‘Freedom in Education’, Lib
Ed’s d-i-y guide to the liberation of learning and other books
were a great help.

Joanna Gore’s book, and its clinical dissection of the whole
school phenomenon, was particularly poignant. To read page after
page of cleverly observed relationships across the age barrier was an
eye opener. She has written a wonderfully woven and crafted story.
For it is a story, the story of the everyday world of today’s
children, shocking in its truth. I will certainly pass this excellent
book around my family and friends. Every parent should read it - but
don’t let the kids!!

School and education = learning capitalism - about sums it up.

Lib Ed, 84b Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX

Journal of the anarchist Solidarity Federation

A-infos-en mailing list

A-Infos Information Center