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(en) UK, London Calling - October 2003 - DSEi analysis, ANARCHIST WORKERS NETWORK, etc.

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Wed, 29 Oct 2003 13:45:18 +0100 (CET)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
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This year's DSEi actions were notable for a number of reasons.
Firstly, they were conspicuous by the absence of the sort of reporting
we've come to expect! In fact there seemed to be a conspiracy of
silence surrounding the protests as far as the mainstream media was
concerned. Rather than the sensational journalism which we've grown
accustomed to for Mayday, coverage was far more subdued than
anyone expected. The Red Army Faction realised in the 1970s that
one cannot rely on the media to spread one's message. In this country
much public disorder goes unreported. What few people had
anticipated was the extent to which a large political protest in London
would go unnoticed by the majority of Londoners due to a media
blackout. People may wish to do something about this. The core of
protest, particularly in recent years, has been to publicise issues. If
the capitalist press no longer wish to report certain actions then
perhaps some activists may wish to reconsider their strategies and

Secondly, it was reported (where it was covered!) that the police had
been preparing for DSEi for a year. This was evident in the way that
they did their best to split up and pen in protestors. Yet despite a low
turnout (tops 2,000 on the "no guidelines" day) the police were run
ragged and nearly lost it. The strange position of the ExCel Centre,
right beside the Canning Town estate, made it difficult for them to
police the area effectively. The number of alleys and cut-throughs -
many known only to the locals - effectively neutralised the police
advantages in communication and mobility which they used to greater
effect outside the estate. Interestingly, the paucity of planning by
demonstrators may have made it harder for the police to act more
efficiently. With fewer ideas of people's schemes, there was little the
police could do except to react to the unfolding of the day's events.
The only two certain events were "Storm DSEi" and the call to rally
at Canning Town DLR for 4pm. Storm DSEi turned out to be a load of
people sitting in a road; and though people congregated at the DLR for
the street party in the afternoon, the street party never happened.
Throughout the day people coalesced into groups, split up and mingled
once more. Though confusion reigned for much of the day, when
people did get together and start moving, the police had to wait for
them to falter before they could control the situation. The filth are
very good at this!
Thirdly, the locals were very supportive. Throughout the day Canning
Town residents of all ages helped demonstrators avoid the police. The
mazy lanes and alleys of Canning Town are almost incomprehensible
to the outsider, yet with the help of residents many demonstrators
were able to evade the police. What beggared belief, though, was the
lack of work that appeared to have been done with those living on the
Canning Town estate. We recognise that the lack of resources, the
other commitments of activists - as well as the brief duration of the
arms fair - may have militated against greater involvement with the
local community. However, we also feel that future objectionable
events held at the ExCel Centre would be better opposed with the
active support, and involvement in planning, of Canning Town
residents. They're members of the class, it's their area, they've been
at the sharp end of Dockland's redevelopment - for these reasons
they should be central to any future opposition to events at the ExCel.
Also, we believe that in future, wherever possible local people should
be consulted. But not consulted in some liberal wanky way! Their
opinions should be listened to, as should their criticisms of planned
actions, as part of the planning process. In their own area, people will
know the best ways to get things done. Why ignore the expertise of
residents when it's there for the asking?

Communication between various groups left much to be desired: the
absence of a sound system for the street party was the most
noticeable failing. Had other groups learnt of this a week or two
weeks prior to DSEi, another one would undoubtedly been procured. It
seems that liaison between affinity groups was also flaky. We've
heard that four affinity groups at one point all intended to target the
same point! And communications on the day were almost
non-existent. Though large numbers of people who turned up were
unaffiliated to any organisation, those of us within groups should
make more of an effort to coordinate our plans and have a centre
which can relay and record information. Ideally there'd be a secret
war room in central London with punkettes pushing models of rioters
and cops round a map like in Dambusters - a bit! - but that may be
taking centralisation a bit far.

In summary, this year's DSEi did have failings. The low turnout, the
lack of planning, the lack of coordination… all these contributed to a
noticeable weakness on the part of the demonstrators. On the
positive side, though, the arms fair didn't receive the trouble-free
week that the government had hoped for. On 11 September the
delegates heard and saw raucous opposition to their presence outside
their gala dinner. We have - hopefully! - learnt from it, from its
weaknesses as well as its strengths.

We recently received some information about the AWN, reproduced

About the Anarchist Workers Network

The workplace is an arena where we have the chance to change
society. Trade unions ought to be a radical force for social change.
And for all their many weaknesses over seven million British workers
belong to reformist unions like Unison, RMT, GMB and T&G.
Industrial action is at its highest level since the miner's strike.
Industrial militancy is on the rise. Workers are angry; wildcat strikes
are back. Bosses steal our pensions. They make us sweat while
awarding each other massive fat cat salaries. We are exploited for
their profit. Unions - even those led by so-called left wing general
secretaries - have failed to build on this mood of anger. They demand
marginal reforms that change nothing. They hand over millions of
pounds each year to New Labour even though it is the bosses' friend.
Anarchists know the importance of industrial organisation. But
while anarchism and anarchists have been at the heart of the
anti-capitalist movement, we have not spread the anti-capitalist
message to working people. We need to link up and support each
other - in our unions and workplaces. We need to push for union's to
disaffiliate from New Labour. We need to make the case for anarchist
methods of running industry and society.
We need to organise solidarity for workers in struggle.
As anarchists we recognise the many weaknesses of the official
trade union movement, but we cannot ignore that millions of working
class people belong to unions.

The Anarchist Workers Network is being set up with a number of

To provide a means for anarchists in individual unions or industries to
link up and support each other (including unemployed or retired

To coordinate campaigns like disaffiliation from New Labour.

To raise awareness of anarchist methods of organising society and

To circulate and share news, advice and information.

Supporting workers in struggle.

AWN will be a network not an organisation, a means of bringing
anarchists together. It will work alongside and with the anarchist
national federations.

Do you agree with this? Then get in touch!

To get involved on the internet you can access our egroup and
discussion boards via the AWN website: www.awn.org.uk

If you are interested in joining the AWN please send a slip of paper
with your name, address, email address, union and occupation (e.g.
RMT, Rail worker) and your subs (see below) to the following

Anarchist Workers Network (AWN)
c/o 84b Whitechapel High Street
London E1 7QX

Subs (per year) are as follows: £5 high wage, £2 low wage/part
time and free for unemployed or disabled workers. Cheques payable
to 'AWN' please.

Remembering the Past
Anniversaries for October

1: 1851: US: A Syracuse, NY, crowd amshes a police station to free a
recaptured slave.
2: 1809: Birth of (Louis-) Charles Delescluze, French revolutionary
involved in the uprisings of 1830, 1848 and an important leader of the
Paris Commune.
3: 1896: Death of English socialist, designer, printer and author
William Morris, author of the utopian novel "News from Nowhere".
4: 1982: US: President Reagan suggests that since he sees big
"help-wanted sections" in the Sunday papers, unemployment must be
caused by a lot of lazy people who'd just rather not work.
5: 1929: Nicaragua: National Guard garrison mutinies, murders its US
Marine commander.
6: 1966: LSD made an illegal drug in US. California makes possession
and use of LSD a felony.
7: 1911: Mexico: Revolutionaries with the anarchist Zapata take
Axochiapan, Mor. from government forces.
8: 1949: Czechoslovakia: Secret police arrest 10,000 and send them to
work in coal and uranium mines.
9: 1967: Che Guevara captured and summarily executed in the
Bolivian highlands by US-trained troops.
10: 1888: US: Strait & Narrow? Teetotalers excursion train crashed,
killing 64, Mud Run, Pennsylvania.
11: 1924: Founding of the Bureau of Surrealist Research
12: 1873: Famous Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin retires from the
struggle, and resigns from the anarchist Jura Federation.
13: 1925: Birth of standup comic and social rebel Lenny Bruce.
14: 1912: Milwaukee, US: Former President Theodore Roosevelt shot,
seriously wounded by anarchist William Schrenk.
15: 1860: US: 11-yr-old Grace Bedell writes to future President
Lincoln, advising him to grow a beard.
16: 1925: US: Texas School Board prohibits teaching of evolution.
17: 1860: Scotland: A good walk ruined! First professional golf
tournament held, won by one Willie Park.
18: 1648: First American labour organization formed: Boston
19: 1910: France: Death of Luigi Lucheni, found hanged in his cell.
Anarchist advocate of "propaganda by the deed," he killed the
Empress Elisabeth of Austria in 1878 and received life in prison.
20: 1990: Brixton: Anti-poll tax march ends in riot.
21: 1916: Austro-Hungarian Prime Minister Count Karl von Sturkh
assassinated by anti-war socialist Friedrich Adler.
22: 1963: US: More than 200,000 students boycott schools in Chicago
to protest de facto segregation.
23: 1956: The Hungarian revolt against Soviet leadership began.
24: 1945: Vidkun Quisling, Norwegian wartime traitor and, well,
quisling, executed.
25: 1920: Greece: King Alexander dies from blood poisoning shortly
after being bitten by a pet monkey.
26: 1909: Prince Ito of Japan assassinated by a Korean.
27: 1659: Massachusetts: William Robinson and Marmaduke Steven,
two Quakers who came from England in 1656 to escape religious
persecution, are executed in the Massachusetts Bay Colony for their
religious beliefs.
28: 1920: England: Sylvia Pankhurst jailed for urging people to loot the
29: 1886: England: Freedom begins publication.
30: 1961: Moscow: Stalin's body removed from Lenin's Mausoleum,
reburied in Kremlin wall.
31: 1971: A bomb exploded at the top of the Post Office Tower,
London. Angry Brigade widely believed to be responsible; 1998: the
Movement Against the Monarchy get more than 1,000 and a guillotine
out in pouring rain for a march through central London.

Diary Dates


Fri 17 Planning meeting- for Guantanamo protests on 20 Nov during
Bush's visit. Venue: KNK office, 10 Glasshouse Yard (Barbican
tube) Organised by Campaign Against Criminalising Communities

Film Screening- of "Injustice" the film that tells the story of people
killed by the police and follows the families fight for justice... with Q
& A discussion, spoken word, Spanner, DSG, Cop Car Pileup + DJs
(drum n bass, reggae) @ ???. Info: 07770 432439 or 07793 360565.

Thur 23 Demo- by Essex SHAC (Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty-
against vivisection lab) demo: meet 11 a.m. at Epping tube station
(end of Central line)

Fri 24 Protest- outside Karl Debbaut's court hearing (charged with
assaulting a police officer on Day X, the day the War started) 9.30am
@ Belmarsh Magistrates Court (next to prison), Belmarsh Rd, SE28

People's Global Action (PGA) info & social night- @ LARC, 0207
377 9088 www.londonarc.org Doors open 7pm start 7.45pm. On the
eve of the anarchist bookfair, a report back from last weeks PGA
meeting in Belgrade (with subtitled footage lent by a local activist),
feedback from the Argentina Autonomista tour last summer, some
discussion, and a photo exhibition and bar. The night is open to all, &
especially various direct action groups (Rhythms, Wombles, AYN,
Rising Tide, IMC, etc) as well as UK PGA infopoints and
Autonomista Tour contacts.

Sat 25 Anarchist Bookfair- @ ULU Malet Street, WC1. Look out for
the CLASS WAR stall! www.anarchistbookfair.org

National Demo- against deaths in police custody. Assemble at
Trafalgar Square at 1pm for march to Downing St. All Welcome.
Please wear black. Info: United Families & Friends 0845 330 7927 or
07770 432 439 or see www.uffc.org

Mon 27 Demo- Stop the Corporate Invasion of Iraq @ 1 Whitehall
Place (Embankment tube) from 8.30am. Organised by Voices UK.
Info: www.voicesuk.org email: voices@voicesuk.org

30 South London Radical History Group- is back!! 8pm, @ Use Your
Loaf "The Witch Trials 1560-1690" What happened and why?

Fri 31 Hallow's Eve Zombie Massacre- a benefit against (?!)
Bloodsports w/ FuckHatePropaganda (2piece ferocious Stoke
thrash), Among the Missing (scarey-sounding metal HC) +tbc @ the
Windmill. £ cheap (cheaper if in fancy dress- not as a punk!) Raffle,
prizes for best/ worst/ most disgusting costumes! 8-11pm. Gig info:
losers@innit4life.plus.com Proceeds to: West Kent Hunt Sabs


3-9 Barry Horne memorial week of action- Sentenced to 18 years in
prison for his actions against animal abuse, Barry died on 5 November
2001 after a series of hunger strikes against the vivisection industry.
See www.shac.net/ACTION/dates.html or contact SHAC, 6 Boat
Lane, Evesham, Worcs, WR11 4BP

Thurs 6 Day of Action- London SHAC(Stop Huntington Animal
Cruelty- against vivisection lab) day of action against Japanese
banks: meet 11 a.m. at Liverpool Street tube, Bishopsgate exit

Meeting- London Grassroots Opposition to War (GROW) Network
meeting. Venue: to be confirmed. JNV - 0845 458 9571 -

Sat 8 Conference- "Smart Bombs Dumb Wars" A one day conference
examining changing conditions of war and peace in the age of global
terrorism @ Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, WC1H 0AL

Sun 9 Global day of demonstrations- against the Apartheid wall in
Palestine www.stopthewall.org

Thurs 20 Picket the Police Jamboree! Picket of the Police Review
Gala Awards Dinner, Merchant Taylors Hall, Threadneedle Street,
City of London. Bank tube. Boo Blunkett! Catcall top cops! Called by
London Class War.

19-21 Resist Bush! Mass Nonviolent Civil Disobedience to welcome
George "Dubya" to London. Nov. 19th, go to Buckingham Palace.. or
organise your own affinity group for (nonviolent) actions nearby.
Email lists: resistbush@yahoogroups.co.uk or
Bushinghampalace@yahoogroups.com or see Justice Not Vengeance

22-29 National anti-fur week- Actions at fur shops and on the street
everywhere. Campaign materials and further details from Coalition
Against the Fur Trade, PO Box 38, Manchester, M60 1NX. Tel. 07939
264 864, www.caft.org.uk

29th Campsfield: 10 Years Too Long! Tenth anniversary
demonstration at Campsfield Detention Centre, Langford Lane,
Kidlington, Oxfordshire with guest speakers and music.Bring drums,
whistles, etc to make sure the detainees hear us! 01865 558145 or
01993 703394 info@closecampsfield.org.uk

29th Buy Nothing Day- buynothingday.co.uk or

Sun 30 Not a Gig- but there's two Tower blocks being blown up or
down! at 12 noon on the Nightingale Estate, Hackney, London. Kinda
fun to see!

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