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(en) Dem Window Smashin' Anarchists

From "Big Van Badham" <cippra@speedlink.com.au>
Date Sun, 12 Dec 1999 08:14:37 -0500


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No-WTO

Okay, I think I'm amongst the many who are getting a little frustrated with
the circular nature of this discussion about What to Do About Dem Window
Smashin' Anarchists. Let me offer you a story.

Australia's horrific, conservative government was elected in 1996. The first
100 days of their term consisted of cuts to education spending, attacks on
Aboriginal people, attacks on trade unions, making welfare impossible to
get, approving new uranium mines, tendering government contracts to their
own companies, "whoo yeah we love free trade" etc etc etc. In short, they
suck.

So, we (students, unions, greenies, fellow travellers) had a bit of a
demonstration. 20,000 of us marched on Parliament House. It got crazy, there
were cops everywhere, and while there was a "peaceful" gathering of
demonstrators on the lawn in front of the House, there were also 5000 of us
up at the doors of Parliament House who were getting the shit beaten out of
us by cops, and were beginning to wonder if standing "peacefully" chanting
"the government is not very nice" was going to get anybody anywhere. 

After seeing the cops beat up their 500th Aboriginal person of the day (love
that racism), the crowd at the doors spontaneously took it one step further.
We broke the doors open and poured in. Things got smashed, protestors got
smashed, there was blood (ours) everywhere. Eventually, the cops arrested
everyone, and the prime minister did some great footage walking through the
broken glass going "tut tut tut - they're obviously all on welfare, we'll
have to cut it" and shaking his head.

The cappo media obviously went nuts: "riots", "student and union rabble"
etc. The moderate trade unions immediately freaked out "no, that weren't us,
sir - that was Dem Window Smashin'
Anarchists/Communists/Students/Left-Handed Mohican Beekeepers!". Obviously,
not much comfort to those of us who were lying bleeding on the ground.

The rainbow broke when the leader of the Labor Opposition (hardly Mr
Radical, sometimes barely pushing moderate, alas) said: "You might not
support violence, I don't support violence, but you can UNDERSTAND why
people engage in violence when their lives are threatened like this." If the
moderate trade unions had followed this line, our unity would not have been
broken, which it was when it all fell apart in finger-pointing and the
conservatives got off scot free.

What I'm saying is: in the scheme of things, Starbucks, McDonalds etc is not
important. Personally, I think: "Smash 'em up, cappo pigs instruments of
global oppression" and while I understand why some people aren't into that
tactic, I expect them to understand why I am, and to be able to justify that
publicly, as I can justify their position. Everyone fights their own war.

And if anyone really thinks that social change can be achieved without
property damage, please start paying attention.

xxx Van


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