Teaching superiority, and the class-bias of the ‘expert’ witness

I think there is a case to be made that radicals need to perform a multitude of tasks to help make society less oppressive and exploitative, including pointing out why the current system is flawed. I suppose there is a case to be made that the radical left does have a tendency to spend the majority of it’s time analysing and pointing out the worst aspects of the current systems and structures, and not enough…

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The global drugs trade as counter-revolutionary, and club-culture as useful distraction and funding source

The fourth of the five essays on the War On Drugs covers the years from 1984 to 1998, the same years that I lost sight of what was important, due in part to, but mostly facilitated by the global drugs trade. To be entirely accurate it was probably more like 1985 to 1998, and rather than a block of lost years, it was more like a process of decreasing humility, compassion, honesty and respect, and…

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How does ‘rape as entertainment’ factor into the wider matrix of domination

I have been researching in and around the idea of the social construction of identity, and how this plays into a matrix of domination in our wider societies. As part of this, the hierarchies of oppression and exploitation, and the social narratives that misinform about and distract from them, appears more like a series of interlocking processes with shared objectives and mutually beneficial proponents. One could in fact argue that a better understanding of this…

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Anti-war yesterday, solidarity today, equality tomorrow

One of the first pieces I ever had published was about Baby Bush's War in Iraq, and the corresponding mass mobilisation of solidarity in the global anti-war protest of February 2003. And just as it was promised at the time, over fifteen years later the dead are still mounting in Afghanistan and Iraq, democracy is nowhere to be seen, large sections of the Middle-East are at war, and of course the most aggressive regimes in…

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The Anti-Trump march last Friday sits comfortably alongside the 15M movement in Spain and the 2003 Anti-War march

I was at the Anti-Trump march and rally in central London on Friday. For me at least, there was definitely something of the 15th February 2003 anti-war march about it. That is not to say that there was anywhere near as many people there, but the make up of those attending was very similar. Many protests and rallies can end up feeling like the same old faces and banners, but every once in a while…

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Who benefits from shutting down the Anarchist Bookfair?

I have only just found out that there will be no Anarchist Bookfair in London this year. It is not entirely surprising, but it is entirely unfortunate. One of the problems facing socialist events in the UK, is that in our hurry to ensure that all voices are heard, we inevitably allow those who would undermine us the opportunity to do so. One of the key strategies of the state, in its capacity as proxy…

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Questions facing The People’s Assembly; austerity or neo-liberalism and hierarchy or democracy?

Last Saturday I was at the People's Assembly conference sub-titled 'How can we achieve an anti-austerity government?'. I have two problems with this phrase. Firstly, I believe the word austerity has been hijacked by the ruling class to act as a euphemism for 'bankers' bailout'. And secondly, covering up for and bailing out the ruling class when they break stuff is pretty much what government in the UK, and Europe, and much of the world…

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If we want to stop being sheared, we need to stop being sheep.

In the lead up to the 15th anniversary of the 15th February 2003 global anti-war protest it struck me that much of the cross-campaign solidarity, that we had achieved at that time has since seemed to disappear and our movements fragment back to their original single-campaign focuses. There was a moment fifteen years ago, that seemed like we may really be able to start addressing inequality and exploitation at it's source. As all the various…

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May Day, McStrikes and my review of McLibel

In the mid 1980s London Greenpeace wrote a fact sheet and started handing it out in front of McDonalds in North London. In 1990 the McDonalds corporation issued libel writs against 5 of the activists. The ploy nearly worked. 3 of the five backed down, apologised and retracted their claims. Two of them didn't. Helen Steel and David Morris refused. What ensued was, at the time, the longest trial in English history. It soon became…

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Attention seekers, progressives and the ruling class – that same old song

Back in 2004 I attended the London European Social Forum. I had been writing and involved in activism and campaigning for a few years by then, and was beginning to struggle with notions of party politics. At the time the Green party was positioning itself as the egalitarian and progressive voice in the UK but with little electoral success, while the Labour party was still firmly in the clutches of the neoliberals, and the socialists…

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