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(en) UK, Manchester Anarchist News - MAN #3 - Manchester Special Don't Vote - It Only Encourages Them!

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>(http://af-north.org/men3.pdf)
Date Sun, 30 May 2004 13:46:30 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
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And so it goes on. It's time for the electoral
circus again. You get canvassed a month
before the elections. Parks get cleaner. The
council finally removes the clapped out car
in your estate. Somebody is actually seen
sweeping the streets. Holes on the roads are
filled. How stupid do they really think you
are? Think about it...what goes through
their heads? "Eh up! Elections time again.
Let's make the Plebs think that we're doing
summat with their cash! I know, we'll do a
handful of the jobs that we've been ignor-
ing for the last three years. They're a
bunch of thick layabouts,
most of `em, that'll shut the buggers up."
There are those local poli-
ticians who actually care about the commu-
nity that they come from. They go into
politics, hoping that they can make a differ-
ence for their people. But once they are
there, they find themselves surrounded
by Little Bosses, all playing politics with
each other and all dreaming of grandeur in
the Big City. If they don't become disillu-
sioned and drop out, even the good people
find themselves becoming corrupted.

Hey Stupid! What do you mean, you've never met
me before? I'm your local councillor. I'm always round here,
chatting to you, asking you what you think needs to be done, re-
porting back on what progress I've made in fulfilling your wishes.
What do you mean? You've never even heard my name before?
R. Swipe...that's me. I'm internationally known in our
ward. I'm on my way to London, me. Might even get
to the Cabinet. We've all got to begin small.

An Anarchist Alternative
So what should you do? In Manchester
Anarchist Group we think that one thing
that needs to be done is to stop supporting
your own oppressors. These people who
decide when your neighbourhood gets
cleaned or that your local park gets ce-
mented over are all on salaries and we are
the ones paying them. You wouldn't think
that we are their bosses. More often than
not it seems like we are a fly in the oint-
ment to them. So, as a first step, we recom-
mend that people don't get involved in the
electoral process.
If you're not voting, you are not responsible
for any of the crap that they drop on you or
your neighbourhood. But somebody has got
to do what needs to be done. So, the second
step is to start building an alternative. Or-
ganise meetings in the neighbourhood. Go
to meetings that have already been organ-
ised. GET INVOLVED! Instead of think-
ing, "That's other people's jobs," start
thinking and acting for yourself! Defend
each other from the bailiffs; put an end to
vandalism in parks; make your own speed
bumps; paint your own zebra crossings;
look for alternatives instead of relying on
the wasters at town hall.

Take Control
The third step is to see that even the small-
est step gives you back a sense of dignity
and control over your own life. The
council takes bloody ages to come
and collect all of the glass that gets
smashed in the park at the weekend.

You get together with some others
residents from the neighbourhood
and decide to do it yourselves. You
also decide to have a word with the
people smashing the glass. They
respond better because it's people
from the same background as them
asking them to think. It's a success.
You decide that there are many
other ways you can act together to
get the job done. You begin to wonder what
that council tax is for anyway. The council
starts to panic because your neighbourhood
group is getting a lot of favourable cover-
age in the papers.
The fourth step is to recognise that small
steps are not enough and that it is time to
take big steps. Giant steps! Once we've
tasted a bit of freedom from the crap that
we are fed, we're going to want more. This
means no more politicians in London telling
us what we can and can't do; it means no
more politicians in Europe deciding what's
in "our" best interests; it means people
deciding what needs to be done; what can
be done; and doing it. This is anarchism.

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