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(en) Britain, Freedom* December 2011 - Editorial: TIMES ARE A CHANGIN\Uffffffff-8

Date Wed, 25 Jan 2012 10:01:16 +0200

As the turbulence of 2011 subsides just enough for us to catch our breath and look back over the last 12 months of a truly eventful year, it seems amongst the chaos and cacophony there were moments we can take as inspiration, some we can take comfort from and others that act as warnings of things to come. ---- As we have said countless times in the paper these are remarkable times we are living through and it is an incredible time to be an anarchist, to be a part of all this, active in the very moments of defining social change. ---- With uncanny prescience the first Freedom headline of the year stated ’2011 -year of rebellion?’ and went on to suggest in no uncertain terms “with capitalism in crisis it’s time to get angry”. Little did we know what form that would take, or how people would respond with such enthusiasm to the call.

March 26th TUC demonstration against the cuts was for many a surprise and a delight. A massive turnout of 500,000 people, itself impressive, was overshadowed by a nascent black bloc, rarely seen in the UK, that tore through the streets and shopping district of central London stealing the limelight away from a Labour leader desperate to get his soundbite on the six o’clock news.

This was followed by the unprecedented social riots of August. Like the March 26th black bloc high street stores were targeted, although for very different reasons, as the anger and desperation of an austerity generation was unleashed with devastating effect across several major cities in England.

There was also the two massive public sector strikes, June 30th and November 30th, and although anarchists played little visible role in either day it bodes well for the future that workers are gaining confidence in their ability to take collective action.

The Occupy movement, seemingly coming out of no-where, caught the imagination with public spaces being occupied across the world and transformed into permanent protest sites. This global commonality, (although politically unassured – see page 6 of this issue) suggests a universal recognition that things at the very least can’t continue the same way.

We also saw the once invincible Murdoch empire begin to crumble with the closure of the institutional tabloid News of the World and expose the real relationship between police and media.

What was troubling was the very public outing of several undercover cops working within the protest and activist scenes. The fact that they were able to work unhindered for such a long time suggests radicals have yet to come to terms with real issues of state infiltration. There were many other examples of political policing this year (see front cover article) that we should be prepared. It may be obvious but it’s worth repeating the greater the state feels threatened the greater the repression it will attempt to impose.

Overall though 2011 has given us glimpses of our potential. To all Freedom readers, enjoy the remainder of the year and we will see you recharg
* Anarchist journal
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