The Acorn – 62

Number 62


In this issue:

  1. We will prevail!
  2. Naming the enemy
  3. Shattering illusions
  4. Here comes Santa Klaus!
  5. Jaime Semprun: an orgrad inspiration
  6. Acorninfo

1.  We will prevail!

Bristol Nov 14

It was back in March 2020 that we first reported signs of resistance against the Covid-themed totalitarian coup.

We hoped back then that this would quickly develop into a largescale uprising that would quickly see off this unprecedented global power grab.

Things didn’t quite work out that way, though, and opposition has been much slower to build than we would have imagined.

But now, as 2020 draws to an end, things in England and elsewhere are finally hotting up.

People who were pro-lockdown are seeing through the illusion, and GPs and hospital staff are voicing their huge concerns about the mRNA vaccine and so-called hospital statistics.

There’s a definite swing occurring – and not in the technocrats’ favour, either.

Since our last Acorn bulletin came out, there have been thousands on the streets of the UK.

This has not just been in London (see this also), but also in the likes of Manchester, (plus this link and this), Bristol (this also), Liverpool (plus this), Brighton (and this), Nottingham, Edinburgh, Neath, Stroud and Bournemouth.

This video round-up from the StandUpX site shows some recent action.

London protest1b

london protest1

mancnov8-1

mancnov8-2

mancnov8-3

mancnov8-5

mancnov8-6

nov21 bournemouth

edinburgh dec 12

All over Europe, too, people are rising up against the 0.001% and their police state.

From Rome to Leipzig (also this and this), they have been showing their dissent.

Water cannon were rolled out to attack enormous and diverse crowds in Berlin.

There have been protests in Paris (also this), Montpellier, Nice, Bordeaux and all across France.

The Italian revolt has continued in Florence, Cosenza, Reggio Calabria, Genoa, and elsewhere.

Protests have been sweeping Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine and Albania.

In Ireland, freedom campaigners (or “conspiracy theorists” in the language of the corporate media!) set up big LED roadside displays across the country declaring “Covid tests are fraudulent”, and “Take off your masks!”.

There was an impressive performance protest in Austria, with people masked and dressed in full Hazmat suits, like mesmerised zombies, wearing signs saying “our breath kills”.

In the USA, protesters burned face masks as they marched through Manhattan following similar demonstrations in California, upstate New York and Minnesota.

US protest dec 2020

US protest dec 2020b

In fact, there have been protests all across the world, from Argentina to Serbia, Australia to South Africa and Malawi.

More protests are planned in coming days and weeks, not least the big New Year’s Eve Freedom Protest street party in central London from 9pm on Thursday December 31.

Most of this dissent goes unreported by corporate media, of course, as the system struggles to keep a lid on the rebellion.

As awareness of the Great Reset agenda spreads around the world, the likes of the BBC and Wikipedia are being used to insist that it is all just “conspiracy theory”, despite it having been set out very clearly by Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum.

Authorities are hurriedly drawing up new “online safety legislation” to eliminate what they define as “harmful content” from the web.

Scientists who challenge the Covid agenda are being locked up in mental hospitals and anti-vaccine campaigners are being found dead in mysterious circumstances.

The global capitalist mafia have evidently invested an enormous amount of time and resources in planning this enormous coup.

They are not willingly going to abandon it. The repression will be ratched up yet further and many of us will pay a price for our resistance.

But we have to keep going. We cannot give up. We are not mere spectactors to the unfolding of history, but active participants. We, and our actions at this time, are the future unfolding!

And we should know that if we stay strong, if we all hold our nerve in the face of everything, we will prevail!

Together, in joy and determination, we will defeat the dictatorship.

manc 99

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2.  Naming the enemy

New Normal NWO

We badly need a new vocabulary to describe what is going on in the world today.

Under cover of Covid-19, a long-prepared and widely-orchestrated attempt is being made to enslave humankind in a hi-tech global police state.

But what do we call these people and their odious system?

Everybody seems to use a different term and bickering over which one is most appropriate distracts attention from the essential question of how we can get together and bring them down.

anti-capitalist-protestMany of us have been content to use the word “capitalism” to describe the combination of wealth and power behind this clique.

This term now seems increasingly inadequate, partly because not all of those who we would identify as capitalists are complicit in this coup, but mainly because some supporters of the “new normal” seem to be framing it as kind of post-capitalism.

A dictionary definition of capitalism: “An economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange, characterized by the freedom of capitalists to operate or manage their property for profit in competitive conditions”.

As far as the first part of that sentence goes, we are entering deeper into capitalism, with private ownership and exploitation of everything and everyone a key aim of the Great Reset.

But the final reference to “competitive conditions” sounds less relevant when we are looking at a total monopoly imposed by global governance.

So what do we call the people behind the Covid Coup, the people laying claim to ownership of our lives, our land and our future, if we don’t call them “capitalists”?

Hammer and sickleThere are some out there who think these dictators are “communists”, because of the strong element of state control involved.

This impression is reinforced by the deliberate use of “redwashing” and “wokewashing”, as well as the usual corporate greenwashing, to disguise the true nature of what is happening and thus sell it to a part of the population.

But are we really talking about what the same dictionary defines as “a classless society in which private ownership has been abolished and the means of production and subsistence belong to the community”?

No. Obviously not. We are not looking at a classless society at all, but a society divided between a tiny elite class of absolute rulers and a vast lower class of exploited serfs.

The means of production and subsistence will not even theoretically belong to us all, even via the intermediary of a state which is supposed to incarnate the interests of the community. They will remain firmly in private hands.

What we are seeing is a lot closer to the fascist model of pretending to be “socialist” in order to use the power and the resources of the state to prop up private industry.

But there are some problems in using the term “fascism”, as many people associate fascism and Nazism primarily with the specifically nationalist and racialist narrative of its original proponents, which does not apply to the new global version.

nazi-flags

On the other hand, the rival term “globalist” is problematic because it is too vague about the nature of those it describes. We need to be clear that we are not just talking about people who think in terms of a global situation, or who have an internationalist approach, but about a class of billionaires who already own much of the world and want to stitch up the whole thing.

The term “technocrat” is pretty accurate, when you look at the history of that movement, but is often understood as meaning simply rule by experts, with the implication of some kind of political neturality.

The problem is that we have never been in this situation before, in which a conspiracy of the wealthiest people in the planet is so overtly using the lies and police-state tactics previously associated with authoritarian communist and fascist regimes.

Transhumanism7And we have never before been in a situation where this sociopathic ultra-rich elite seems prepared to ditch the vehicle that brought them this far – capitalism – and switch into a dictatorship built on raw power.

We also have the added element of the twisted transhumanist ideology which seems to lurk behind these sinister neworks.

So what name can we agree to give to these powerful enemies of humanity, of freedom, of community, of nature, of friendship, of love, of everything that makes life worth living?

When we raised this question on Twitter recently, we were deluged with good suggestions.

The System
Technofeudalism
Globofascism
The Mechanicus
Mordor
The covidian cult
Techno-despotism
Techno-tyranny
Authoritarianism
Feudal Eugenicists
Autocrats
The Predator Class
Technocratic neo-feudalists
Neofeudalism
Neofeudalist biofascism
Neofeudalist technoscientism, or absolute rule by the financial oligarchy through the tools of biofascism & greenwashing
Virus spewing technofascists
Self-appointed overlords
Corporate Technocratic Fascism
Technazis
Panfeudalism
AntiHumanists
World Enslavement Forum
Totalitarian managerialism
War
The Machine
The Iron Heel

And what name will we give to ourselves as we come together to defeat them?

Wild Humans? “Los Liberados”? World Freedom Fighters? Or simply The People?

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3. Shattering illusions

shattering illusions

Contemporary society is pure spectacle, “the superficial reign of images” as Guy Debord put it.

“All that once was directly lived has become mere representation,” he said. “What is false creates taste, and reinforces itself by knowingly eliminating any possible reference to the authentic”.

He also wrote of efforts “to turn secret agents into revolutionaries, and revolutionaries into secret agents” and warned of the use of “provocation, infiltration, and various forms of elimination of authentic critique in favour of a false one which will have been created for this purpose”.

We already knew, before 2020 got underway, about the greenwashing falsity behind the climate capitalists’ agenda, with their astroturf rebels, their manufactured patron saint and their fake-radical promoters.

But this year has seen even more layers of deception peeled away.

Bill McKibbenThe faux-green scam was brought to a much wider audience by the documentary Planet of the Humans, to the wrath of Bill McKibben of the group 350.org, who came under particular scrutiny.

And the launch of the Covid coup revealed that vast swathes of people who had appeared to be opponents of the system, even anarchists, were in fact staunch defenders of Authority and its Big Businesss sponsors.

It also transpired out that the same financial networks funding Extinction Rebellion have also been doling out money to a wide range of “activist” groups working for the Great Reset aim of ““systemic change”.

Rob Hopkins of the Transition Movement turns out to be heavily compromised by links to powerful corporate networks, adored by climate capitalist Bill McKibben and happy to regurgitate the “storytelling” slogans of the Great Reset.

Hollywood “radical” Sean Penn has been outed by UK investigative journalist Vanessa Beeley as receiving funding from Bill Gates and promoting the Great Reset.

Celebrity “communist” activist and academic Angela Davis not only publicly backed neoliberal warmonger Joe Biden in the US election but has now launched her own fashion label, helpfully plugged by The Guardian!

Naomi KleinNaomi Klein, erstwhile darling of the anti-capitalist movement, who once warned us about  The Shock Doctrine often used to accelerate corporate control, has finally stopped pretending to be on our side.

With people increasingly clued up about the Great Reset, Klein was wheeled out on the once-interesting The Intercept site to declare that any such information was “a viral conspiracy theory” which  “blends together legitimate critiques with truly dangerous anti-vaccination fantasies and outright coronavirus denialism”.

Yes, that’s right. She actually used the phrase “coronavirus denialism”!

It increasingly seems that all the “left-wing” and “radical” heroes that we have heard of – via the corporate media! – are not what we thought they were.

They appear instead to be gatekeeping puppets, promoted in order to place limits on our dissent and shunt it into directions that best serve corporate agendas.

Vandana Shiva 3One of the few exceptions to this betrayal seemed, until very recently, to be Vandana Shiva, whom we have often mentioned on this site.

She is, after all, a famous opponent of the bio-tech industry and critic of Bill Gates’ empire and even declared in a November 2020 interview: “The Great Reset is about maintaining and empowering a corporate extraction machine and the private ownership of life”.

Surely her heart is in the right place? Well, we would love to think so, but unfortunately the evidence is stacking up that there is something awry here.

Simply retweeting the ubiquitous Bill McKibben would not be a serious matter, on its own.

vs bill McK

But we do wonder why Dr Shiva has chosen to sit on a body called the World Future Council (catchprase “Solutions for Our Common Future“).

She is pictured on their website, sitting alongside Anders Wijkman (to her right).

VS WFC

Wijkman is “an opinionmaker and author”, says the World Future Council. He is honorary president of the Club of Rome and has been assistant secretary-general of the United Nations and policy director of the United Nations Development Programme.

“As of March 2017 Anders is chairman of the Governing Board of Climate-KIC – the largest public-private partnership on innovation for low-carbon solutions in the EU”.

We were also alarmed to learn that Dr Shiva had writen a positive review of The Green New Deal by Jeremy Rifkin, a book published in 2019.

The other names lined up in praise of this dubious tome are in themselves cause for concern – there is Paul Polman, former Unilever boss and one of the shadowy Extinction Rebellion business backers, billionaire Richard Branson and Anne Pramaggiore of US nuclear energy giant Exelon.

As for the author himself, Rifkin is an enthusiast for the technology of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (which he confusingly prefers to term the Third Industrial Revolution!), in other words for AI, robots and “digital infrastructure”.

This video makes it clear that, despite all the usual lip service to the environmental crisis, his real passion is for industrialisation, economic growth and profit.

So why would a genuine environmental and anti-capitalist campaigner want to endorse his work?

Dr Shiva’s own latest book is entitled Oneness vs. the 1%: Shattering Illusions, Seeding Freedom and now features “a new epilogue about Bill Gates’s global agenda and how we can resist the billionaires’ war on life”.

Let’s hope that her apparently laudable political position is not yet another illusion which is about to be shattered in these revealing and tumultuous times.

Vs book

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4. Here comes Santa Klaus!

santa kDo you remember the Christmases we used to have when we were young, in the good old days, way back in the 2020s?

I used to get so excited about it all when I was a kid.

I remember one year waking up in the night to see a large figure looming in the doorway of my bedroom. I was amazed! I thought it was Father Christmas himself! But it turned out, of course, that it was only the Biosecurity Police checking up that I was socially distancing from my teddy bear.

In the morning we could hardly wait to unplug ourselves from our beds, fight our way out of our plastic anti-viral protection tents and rush to check the contents of our digital stockings.

If you’d done what you were told all year long, there would be all sorts of Citizen Credits in your account, for games, films, chat. Once I’d even earned 40% of the cost of the next year’s People’s Vaccine! I was the happiest kid in town, I can tell you!

After breakfast we liked to go out for a Christmas morning stroll, so out came the treadmills and virtual reality headsets.

My mum used to like v-walking on the beach in Portugal on a spring afternoon, my dad preferred the Alps on a bright winter morning, my brother usually went for the Australian outback at night and I loved to e-stroll through the Scottish highlands on a summer evening.

But I remember my grandad telling me that he always took his v-walk around the back streets of Coulsdon on a grey and drizzly winter day, because that was what December 25 had always meant to him. Sad old duffer!

By the time lunchtime arrived, all the extended family were there. In the chatroom.

space foodWe took off our masks, put on our plastic hats and tucked in. Mounds of protein-rich lab-grown meat substitute with genetically-modified fake-veg chunks and lashings of synthetic chemically-enhanced gravy, followed by freshly-printed Christmas pudding strips sprayed with post-custard dessert fluid! De-bloody-licious!

Later we would all be glued to our screens to watch the traditional Christmas Day address from the Global Supreme Ruler himself.

What kind of a world would we be living in today if Santa Klaus had not come down our collective digital chimney with his generous gift of technology-driven inclusive exploitation, ensuring secure and sustainable corporate control for one and all?

PC

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5. Jaime Semprun: an orgrad inspiration

The latest in our series of profiles from the orgrad website.

jaime semprun

“In the old days it was forbidden to think freely; today we have gained the right but lost the ability”

Jaime Semprun (1947-2010) was an influential anti-industrialist writer, translator and publisher.

Estranged from the mainstream left because of his rejection of the modern mindset, he warned that we lived in “an era of acceleration and falsification” (1) controlled by a “mercantile tyranny”. (2)

Semprun echoed René Guénon in judging that so-called “progress” had in fact brought about severe cultural decline amounting to “the loss of all quality”. (3)

And he was scathing about those whose semi-radical thinking left the way clear for right-wingers and fascists to recruit those with a deep-seated aversion to the industrial capitalist world.

He warned in 1993: “We mustn’t neglect people’s need to attack existing society, or simply to counter it with a new conception of the world and of the life they could lead in it. We have already seen, with fascism, the high price of allowing our enemies to fulfil this need”. (4)

For Jaime-Semprun article

Semprun worked with fellow orgrad inspirations Guy Debord and Miguel Amorós and was a great admirer of George Orwell.

After being involved in the Situationist International, he was a key figure in the Post-Situationist movement and founded the journal Encyclopédie des Nuisances, which later became a book publisher.

Semprun translated and published writing by Orwell which had not previously been available in French, along with work by Theodore Kaczynski, Jean-Marc Mandosio, René Riesel and Chuang Tzu. (5)

He was also known as a leading opponent of nuclear power in France, publishing the essay La Nucléarisation du monde in 1980.

Semprun regarded industrial capitalist society as fake in both its whole and its parts. Reforming certain aspects of it would make little difference, he argued.

“Today, demanding to eat healthy food, for example, is in itself revolutionary”, he wrote, “because in order for that demand to be met it would be necessary to abolish the totality of the social relationships under capitalism”. (6)

hypermarché

Like John RuskinWilliam Morris and Herbert Read, Semprun felt an overwhelming aesthetic distaste for the modern industrial world, arguing that its character was made quite clear by its sheer physical ugliness. (7)

He called out those who adopted pseudo-radical postures while actually defending the assumptions of this foul system. His 1976 pamphlet Précis de récuperation targeted postmodernists like Michel Foucault, Jean-François Lyotard and Gilles Deleuze on this account, but Semprun identified the problem as polluting much of the so-called left.

The root problem was the general acceptance of the notion of “progress” as a means of interpreting history.

For Semprun, explains Patrick Marcolini, this notion was merely “a product of the bourgeois industrial age”. (8) For him, contemporary technology and science carried no promise of liberation – “on the contrary they form part of the structures of domination which have to be brought down”. (9)

The bourgeois-industrial concept of progress was accepted uncritically among supposed dissidents because of a state of mind that was itself a by-product of the general lowering of quality in industrial times, said Semprun.

dumbed down

He condemned “amnesia, identification with modernity and the hatred of critical thinking”, (10) commenting: “In the old days it was forbidden to think freely; today we have gained the right but lost the ability”. (11)

In Dialogues sur l’achèvement des temps modernes he has his character Ziffel declare: “What we are most missing today is individuals. Marxism told us that man is only the product of the social conditions in which he lives and that his individual conscience is a mere illusion, his freedom a sleight-of-hand and so on. And voilà, just through writing such horrible stuff, it ends up coming true”. (12)

Semprun shared Orwell’s distaste for conformist groupthink, and condemned modern followers of so-called democracy with their “remote-controlled indignation, their way of expressing all together and to order their hatred of those denounced to them as totalitarians, fanatics, or as racists, terrorists, in short as lunatics putting progress itself in danger”. (13)

The left-wing identification with modernity had lent a strange meaninglessness to terms such as “reactionary”, used to attack anyone who opposed the contemporary industrial capitalist machine.

“Everyone is so caught up in what they call progress that you could go as far as to say that if there were today any consistent reactionaries, they would certainly be mistaken for revolutionaries”, (14) wrote Semprun, but not without stressing that “criticism of the modern world is something too important to be left to reactionaries and nostalgists”. (15)

In common with other organic radicals and the anti-capitalist romantics identified by Michael Löwy, Semprun saw nothing wrong with looking to the past for inspiration as to how we might imagine another, non-capitalist, world, referring in a posthumously-published essay to “a past which was still filled with a future that we can imagine could have been, which could still be”. (16)

solutions

He was one of the first to expose the emptiness of the now-dominant strand of “environmentalism” which remains firmly embedded within the modern mindset and seeks “solutions” to environmental crisis in the development and production of yet more industrial technology.

He warned, with Riesel, that “precisely the same intellectual and material means used to build this world threatened with ruin, this teetering edifice, are now being deployed to diagnose the problem and recommend a remedy” (17) – which did not augur well for a successful outcome.

Semprun died in 2010, before “climate capitalism” raised the art of greenwashing to new levels of duplicity, but had astutely predicted that “the illusion-merchants have happy days ahead of them. During the disaster, the selling goes on”. (18)

As a genuine revolutionary, he of course completely discounted any possibility of ever creating a better world by reforming or adapting the very industrial capitalism which got us into this mess in the first place.

In Dialogues, the two characters discuss the difficulties in fighting a dominant system whose processes of production, distribution and domination, whose economic and social relationships and whose ideologies are so tightly and inextricably intertwined. Remarks Kalle: “You know full well how to deal with Gordian knots”. (19)

For those not familiar with the legends surrounding Alexander the Great, he is said to have sliced the knot in two with one powerful stroke of his mighty sword.

Jaime-Semprun-art

1. Jaime Semprun, Dialogues sur l’achèvement des temps modernes (Paris: Éditions de l’Encyclopédie, 1993), p. 44.
2. Jaime Semprun, L’Abîme se repeuple (Paris: Éditions de l’Encyclopédie des Nuisances, 1997), p. 54.
3. Semprun, Dialogues, p. 46.
4. Semprun, Dialogues, p. 86.
5. www.oeuvresouvertes.net/IMG/pdf/Communique_EdN_9_aout_2010-2.pdf
6. Semprun, Dialogues, pp. 122-23.
7. Jaime Semprun et René Riesel, Catastrophisme, administration du désastre et soumission durable (Paris: Éditions de l’Encyclopédie, 2008), IX.
8. Patrick Marcolini, ‘Jaime Semprun’, Aux origines de la décroissance, co-ordonné par Cédric Bagini, David Murray, Pierre Thiesset (Paris: L’Échappée, 2017), p 279.
9. Marcolini, Aux origines de la décroissance, p. 278.
10. Semprun, L’Abîme se repeuple, p. 29.
11. Semprun, Dialogues, p. 133.
12. Semprun, Dialogues, p. 31.
13. Semprun, L’Abîme se repeuple, p. 14.
14. Semprun, Dialogues, p. 34.
15. Semprun, Dialogues, p 37.
16. Jaime Semprun, Andromaque, je pense à vous, suivi de fragments retrouvés (Paris: Éditions de l’Encyclopédie des Nuisances, 2011), p. 18.
17. Semprun et Riesel, Catastrophisme, administration du désastre et soumission durable, X.
18. Semprun, Dialogues, p. 59.
19. Semprun, Dialogues, p. 93.

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6. Acorninfo

The Great Reset (aka Build Back Better, The Fourth Industrial Revolution, the New Normal or the New Deal for Nature) is an attempted global capitalist coup on a scale never before imagined. The more that people are aware of what this vile billionaire elite are really up to, the less chance they have of getting away with it, so we have set up a Great Reset page, an ever-expanding collection of resources to help spread awareness and, therefore, resistance!

great-reset-ks-1

* * *

A timely bundle of in-depth reports and analysis on the anti-lockdown revolts spreading across Europe has been published by Crimethinc. In particular, it demolishes the divisive claim that the protests are “right-wing” and should therefore be snubbed by anarchists and the left, noting: “Like the Gilets Jaunes movement in France, most of the protests across southern Europe involve a contradictory mix of people”.

crimethinc lockdown protests

* * *

“They’re looking at an operating system for the world. It’s essentially as if the world were remade by the CIA to profit hedge funds. How does capital circulate if nobody is making any money and everyone’s in debt? You create a new game where the poor can be gambled on as investment commodities”. Crucial insights into the Great Reset agenda from Alison McDowell in this video talk.

Alison McDowell

* * *

“The truth is that your life and how you live it is over, unless you do something about it – now!”. In this important short video, the Books of Ours team warn about the merger of state and business to create 21st century global fascist feudalism.

Books of Ours The Truth

* * *

“Can you see what’s happening? Anywhere people can meet up to be sociable and entertained is under threat. As things currently stand it feels like there will be no end to this. We face a more atomised, lonely and fearful future. One where an increasing amount of our interactions will be digital rather than face to face. A depressing future where many of us will be merely existing rather than truly living”. A powerful warning from South Essex Radical Media.

essex warning

* * *

Make no mistake, for all the greenwashing around the 5G-enabled Fourth Industrial Revolution, it spells further disaster for the natural world, as a new report into 5G from the US state of New Hampshire concluded. Meanwhile, Plymouth Sound, a stretch of sea off southern England, is to be home to “the world’s first 5G ocean-based marine testbed”, according to reports. This “will enable ultrafast download speeds and low-latency 5G connectivity to support the development of new marine technology”. Did anyone consult the fish?

5G mast

* * *

Did you know that there is an international campaign focused on stopping the so-called New Deal For Nature, the corporate coup of the commons under the guise of protecting and restoring nature? Check out the No Deal for Nature site here and its informative Twitter account here.

Nodealfornaturesite

* * *

New propaganda techniques being used in 2020 are analysed by Cory Morningstar, Hiroyuki Hamada and Varun Mathur in this superb December 7 video panel discussion with Jason Bosch, ‘Purpose Messaging for Compliance and Social Engineering‘.

propaganda panel with Cory

* * *

A riddle for you all. What is it that links Hitler’s SS with Al-Qaeda? Why, it’s NATO and the CIA, of course! An enlightening talk with Hugo Turner.

gladio wacl etc

* * *

Acorn quote:

“There is an undeniable glory in the thought that an indelible temporal bond links us, not only with our ancestors and our descendants, but above all also with the whole rest of the organic world”.

Constantin von Monakow

gaia2

(For many more like this, see the Winter Oak quotes for the day blog)

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The Acorn – 61

acorn 2019bNumber 61


In this issue:

  1. Libertà, libertà, libertà!
  2. Us against them
  3. To the humans who refuse to disappear!
  4. England is a prison
  5. William Blake: an orgrad inspiration
  6. Acorninfo

1.  Libertà, libertà, libertà!

A61 napoli2

“A massive new social struggle is about to begin, in which the vast majority of humankind will resist the techno-slavery being imposed on it by the fascist 1% elite”.

We sent out this urgent message on October 14 and reality has not been slow to catch up, as the slumbering masses everywhere awake.

The new front line is Italy, where thousands upon thousands have been taking to the streets in anger at the new curfew and draconian rules being imposed under cover of fighting “the virus”.

“Libertà, libertà, libertà!” they have been shouting across the peninsula, from Lombardy down to Sicily. “Freedom, freedom, freedom!”

Molotov cocktails have been thrown at the cops who ruthlessly enforce the despised clamp-down, with burning barricades blocking streets choked with tear gas.

A61 napoli

Media report that “luxury goods shops, including a Gucci fashion shop, were ransacked in the centre of Turin as crowds of youths took to the streets after nightfall, letting off firecrackers and lighting coloured flares”.

A61 torino

A61 torino3

The Italian insurrection seems to have begun in Naples, the famously feisty city in the south of the country.

Angry crowds defied the new curfew to march through the city streets on Friday night, October 23, “attacking police vehicles, forcing the officers to leave the scene”.

They were rebelling again on Monday night, October 26, filling up city squares and chanting “libertà!”

There were also protests in Rome at the weekend, as anti-lockdown rebels defied the curfew in the capital and were attacked with tear gas by police.

a61-rome

In Milan, protesters took to the Corso Buenos Aires, the swankiest commercial street. A molotov was thrown at a city security vehicle and a policeman was injured, apparently not seriously, in front of Milan Central Station. See videos here and here.

There were also significant protests in Genoa, Treviso and Viareggio, where young people blocked traffic and threw smoke bombs and firecrackers.

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In Lecce protesters broke through the Carabinieri cordon shouting: “Libertà, libertà, libertà!”

The discontent spread to the island of Sicily, with protests in Catania, Siracusa and Palermo.

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Hundreds of miles to the West, Europeans were also taking to the streets against The Great Fascist Reset in Barcelona, where angry protesters made burning barricades from rubbish bins.

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On October 18, Czech riot police deployed tear gas, flashbang grenades, and a water cannon to disperse a defiant crowd of anti-lockdown protesters who refused to leave Prague’s Old Town Square.

In reaction, the protesters pelted the cops with stones and fireworks.

In Warsaw, Polish police detained an astonishing 278 people on Saturday October 24 after thousands protested against new freedom-crushing rules.

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Hundreds of people took part in several “unauthorised gatherings” against the Covid coup in Brussels on Sunday October 25.

A group called “Black Sheep Belgium” called on people to gather on Rond-Point Schuman, in the heart of the European Quarter, to denounce the “freedom-killer” restrictions.

“It is time to reclaim our rights which have been, until recently, ignored,” they wrote. “We are asking you, the Belgian people, to come and claim back your rights”.

The Belgian state’s fascistic response involved the arrest of 71 dissidents.

In Berlin, thousands of demonstrators gathered at Alexanderplatz on Sunday October 26 to protest against the German capital’s “coronavirus” restrictions.

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Some 600 cops were sent in to quash this latest sign of mass dissent, with police complaining that “neither minimum distance nor the obligation to cover one’s mouth and nose was observed”.

People shouted: “We are here and we are loud because we are being robbed of our freedom” and “we are the people!”

On the same day, bottles and petrol bombs were thrown at the front of a Berlin building belonging to the Robert Koch Institute, the government agency at the forefront of spreading Covid fear-propaganda in Germany.

In Dublin, Ireland, there have been a string of big anti-lockdown protests, with the demo on October 22 bringing city traffic “to a standstill”.

One activist said police were out in force because “they smell revolution in Ireland,” adding “they are waiting for the country to rise, basically. They’re waiting for the country to rise up”.

Across the Atlantic, there was a big anti-lockdown protest in Toronto, Canada, and in New York, USA, members of the Orthodox Jewish community have been burning masks in the streets in protests against new restrictions.

Australia has been the victim of one of the most draconian lockdowns in the world and huge protests against the new global tyranny have been held in both Brisbane and Melbourne.

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Meanwhile, the UK has seen plenty more pro-freedom demos since the one on Saturday September 26 which we featured in our special photo report We Are the 99%.

There have been dangerous outbreaks of democracy in places including Leeds, Belfast, Edinburgh, Bournemouth and Liverpool, which saw two protests in two days.

And, of course, the big events in London continue, with protests on both Saturday October 17 and Saturday October 24.

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In case anyone is in any doubt as to what is at stake here, it was set out with admirable clarity by the economist and author Ernst Wolff at a protest in Stuttgart earlier this year.

He said: “Never before in the history of mankind have so few people owned so much as today. Since we live in a society ruled by money; this means that never before have so few people held as much power as today.

“And that power has played a historic role in the past few months, because never before has power been abused to such a large extent as during the corona pandemic”.

Our task, he said, is to break free from the control and exploitation of the 1% and find our way to “a future that looks different from the digital financial prison in which the current rulers want to lead us!”

@js100js100 has also put it very succinctly on Twitter: “Covid is being used to create a global economic crash to distribute wealth and resources upwards, and turn people into serfs under authoritarian control in a biosecurity state”.

This is, as James Corbett warns in a video on the Great Reset, about nothing less than the future of humankind.

We have to rise up and reclaim our lives!

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2.  Us against them

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A deep fog of ideological confusion surrounds the global Covid-1984 coup and the new order which it is trying to force on humankind via its Great Reset.

Not only do those going along with it often seem to have no idea as to what they are endorsing, but those standing up to the dictatorship are also sometimes in the dark as to what it actually represents!

This is hardly surprising, as the system’s deliberate dumbing-down of people’s minds does not stop short with its “news” and “current affairs” propaganda, but extends to the historical dimension, where it want to make sure that people have no bearings at all.

In the famous words of George Orwell’s fictional dictatorship: “Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past”.

In truth, as explained at great length here, here and here, the newnormalist Schwabism of the Great Reset is nothing but a mutation of fascism, the dehumanising totalitarian creed of which the world supposedly rid itself some 80 years ago.

But this is difficult for some people to accept, because of the way in which “fascist” has been, and still is, bandied about as general insult to close down debate.

Furthermore, if you regard fascism as only applying to the national level of centralisation, as it did in the 1930s, then you will conclude that global fascism cannot be actual fascism simply because it is global.

But Schwabism takes fascism on to the global level. This 21st century Fourth Reich wants to control the whole world.

It is also crucial to understand that this new global fascism, like its historical predecessors, is entirely capitalist. Not free-market capitalist perhaps, but capitalist nevertheless.

Its whole raison d’être is the protection of the wealthy ruling elite from popular challenges and the increase of its power by means of new mechanisms of control and exploitation.

alwaysantifascist copyBut here, too, the relentless mind-scrambling propaganda of the system has done its work. Capitalism is seen by some as being principally about “freedom”, so anything threatening freedom must come from what we have been taught is the “opposite” of capitalism.

The reality that the WEF is an international capitalist organisation engineering a Great Reset for the profit of the world’s richest billionaires does not deter some of its confused opponents from insisting that it is “communist”!

The fascist project of a merger between state and corporate power, in the interests of the latter, is, in fact, widely misunderstood by people of various political backgrounds.

Some right-wingers think that the problem with fascism was that it was basically “left-wing”, without understanding that fascism bails out big businesses under the mere pretext of acting for the general good, whether this is framed as “national” or “global”.

Some left-wingers, while obviously not endorsing historical fascism, find themselves cheering on its 21st century counterpart because they have fallen for its sleight of hand and (apparently, incredibly!) really imagine that great global capitalist institutions such as the WEF, the IMF and the World Bank have seen the light and converted to some new kind of socialism.

Too many of those who are proud to identify themselves as “antifascists”, are nowhere to be seen when a real struggle against real fascism is at hand.

They are too busy supporting the government in its “fight against coronavirus“, parroting the system’s warnings of “conspiracy theories about the imaginary ‘deep state’” or announcing obediently that “we recommend practicing [sic] social distancing“.

By openly supporting the new world dictatorship and condemning those who challenge it as “far right” or “fascist”, these deluded leftists of course further reinforce the impression in other people’s minds that there is something “left-wing” about the new tyranny…

we-are-the-99-percent1This absurd knot of misunderstanding and underinformed name-calling leaves those engineering the coup sitting pretty. We are unable to even name them properly, let alone resist them!

We urgently need to strip away all the confusion caused by this labelling and counter-labelling and see the truth for what it is.

The events of 2020 have made it quite plain that the old “left” versus “right” division is no longer fit for purpose.

What we are looking at is an ultra-rich, extremely powerful technocratic mafia which is trying to enslave humankind for its own profit.

It’s really very simple, once you cut out the noise from their distorting propaganda.

It is the people against the ruling elite, it is the 99.99% against the 0.01%, it is us against them!

Our international revolt against the would-be slavemasters will come neither from left nor from right, but from below!

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3. To the humans who refuse to disappear!

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Translation of Communiqué #80 – September 2020 from GARAP in France

To all those who are not paralyzed by fear but rather motivated,

To all those who have kept the memory, know the history, seek the truth,

To all those who are not exhausted, jaded, who are resourceful,

To all those who want to fight oppression, who want to live free and equal,

We address this appeal:

We do not believe the official lies – mapped out by the rogue “Scientific Council” – that present the Covid-19 as a pandemic so serious that it requires villainous measures installing a real dictatorship in France and elsewhere. The sole function of the propaganda bombing we are daily subjected to is to neutralize our revolt in the face of a merciless social war.

The sanitary pretext allows them to carry out a policy of general enslavement never seen in this part of the world since the Nazi occupation. This coercive and repressive mechanism comes alongside a provoked economic collapse because the crisis of capitalism had entered in 2019 into a dangerous dead end, the absence of global growth being combined with the outbreak of insurrections on all continents.

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The goal of the Macronist State, in agreement with the governing bodies of the world’s major powers, is to try to give capitalism a few more years of survival. A good expression of this view is seen in Prime Minister Jean Castex’s speech at the MEDEF Summer University. It is about restructuring the economic system on the back of the workers, by forcing down wages, liquidating social and democratic rights, throwing millions of us into unemployment and misery.

This reformatting of society, which has no visible timeline, relies on the destruction of what constitutes the human bond in favour of an ultimate mercantile colonization of all spaces and activities. Every attitude, place, and moment that still escapes capitalist valorization must be erased or converted to the barbaric course of profitability. Capitalism wages war on what constitutes our humanity.

In these conditions of generalized lies, of sanitary dictatorship, of violent crisis of capitalism, the memory of our predecessors who were actively resisting oppression is revived. It summons us to rise up and strike at the tyranny of an unbearable world from which only the capitalist scoundrels take profit.

Resistance begins with individual action, the refusal to submit to discipline, the desire to show solidarity, to regroup. It continues with organizing the exploited, the oppressed, outside the bodies responsible for taming their forces, i.e. political parties, unions and other NGOs. It is carried out through counter-information, sabotage, strikes, demonstrations and insurrection.

Circulate this appeal and take action. If you don’t do it for yourself, at least think of future generations.

https://garap.org/communiques/communique80.php

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4. England is a prison

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Inspired by Gerrard Winstanley who was born 411 years ago in Wigan. 

Most are happy to say they belong to a ‘nation’ or ‘country’ and feel a strong sense of pride in their connection to its land and shared ancestry. We think the times when monarchs and lords made claims on everything and everyone living on the land have long since gone and that these ‘nobles’ now ‘serve’ us and there are laws and safeguards to stop this kind of wicked exploitation happening again.

What if on the surface it only looks like this but, in reality, these old ruling elites have found more covert ways to exploit us, keeping us in a similar state to how we were back in the dark and middle ages only with a veneer of modern state crafted respectability?

Are modern day ‘nations’ no more than ‘mega brands’ that can be owned and managed for personal gain? Does state propaganda, and a corrupted mainstream media convince us that we have more freedoms than we in fact do, and that by voting once every 5 years, we have a say in who governs us when really we don’t?

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You only have to look at current leaders like Boris Johnson and Donald Trump to wonder how they got to these important positions on which so many lives depend. Do these wily old families continue to benefit unfairly from the most constant and lucrative revenue stream available to a people? That is, its collective creative energy; namely the taxes we all pay on everything we earn, spend and own… For which we receive very little in return.

Where does all this money go? How is our country still in debt after all this time, and the hard work we all put in? To give recent and obvious examples of everyday corruption, we know that £12 billion has just been spent on a phone app and £103 million was spent on a ferry company with zero ferries and so on… This list is in fact endless! Is something still ‘Rotten in the State of Denmark?’ as Shakespeare said? It appears it most definitely is.

If it is the case, it means countries are more like fiefdoms and our common status that of chattels rather than a modern citizenry. In other words, 21st century slaveism.

Perhaps it’s time to ask ourselves some pertinent questions. Are we falling for a very clever marketing con trick that makes us feel free and empowered when the reality is that a few power-obsessed and stupidly rich groups are still running everything behind the scenes, while life for the rest remains a constant struggle on an increasingly damaged Earth? How far have we come as a society when the weak are still made to carry the strong? You have to ask – and keep asking.

C.D.

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“England is a prison; the subtleties in the Laws are the bolts, bars and doors of the prison; the Lawyers are the Jailers; and Poor Men are the prisoners”. Gerrard Winstanley. (19 October 1609 – 10 September 1676)

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5. William Blake: an orgrad inspiration

The latest in our series of profiles from the orgrad website.

William Blake1

“Human Thought is crush’d beneath the iron hand of Power”

The poet and artist William Blake (1757-1827) is today held in high esteem in his native land.

His art is regarded as among the greatest of the period, his poems such as ‘The Tyger‘ are widely appreciated and the song ‘Jerusalem‘, which uses his words, has become a kind of unofficial English national anthem.

But in his lifetime Blake was an entirely marginal figure, a social, artistic and intellectual misfit who died in poverty and obscurity.

Indeed, he was an outright enemy of the dominant culture and until the end of his days did not “cease from mental fight”, nor did his metaphorical sword sleep in his hand, (1) as he challenged its deepest assumptions.

Blake was very much an opponent of the Industrial Revolution, which already had a firm grip on the England into which he was born.

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This “poet of the soul”, as Max Plowman describes him, (2) was of course appalled by the “dark Satanic Mills” (3) which blighted “England’s green & pleasant land”. (4)

In the new cities, he saw:

turrets & towers & domes
Whose smoke destroy’d the pleasant gardens, & whose running kennels
Chok’d the bright rivers.
(5)

But his disgust extended beyond the merely physical into the whole way of thinking which underlay industrialism and which had made possible its emergence and its expansion.

Theodore Roszak judges that “Blake was among the first to link scientific sensibility to the killing pressure of the new industrial technology upon the landscape”. (6)

And Kathleen Raine writes: “For Blake, outward events and circumstances were the expressions of states of minds… Man has made his machines in the image of his ideology”. (7)

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Blake’s depiction of Newton

Blake used the term “single vision” to describe the mechanistic worldview – the “enemy of life” in Raine’s words (8) – which had been pieced together from the bone-dry philosophies of Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton and John Locke.

He saw this narrowing of the intellect as amounting to a spiritual enslavement of the people of Albion, an old name for England, making them fit for nothing more than lives of docile wage-slavery in the capitalist factories that were taking over the land.

This is beautifully expressed in his long poem ‘Jerusalem’:

… O Divine Spirit, sustain me on they wings!
That I may awake Albion from his long & cold repose;
For Bacon & Newton, sheath’d in dismal steel, their terrors hang
Like iron scourges over Albion. Reasoning like vast Serpents
Infold around my limbs, bruising my minute articulations.
I turn my eyes to the Schools & Universities of Europe
And there behold the Loom of Locke, whose Woof rages dire,
Wash’d by the Water-wheels of Newton; black the cloth
In heavy wreathes folds over every Nation; cruel Works
Of many Wheels I view, wheel without wheel, with cogs tyrannic
(9)

For Blake, all the social evils that he saw around him were merely aspects of one vast problem, a civilization in which “Human Thought is crush’d beneath the iron hand of Power”. (10)

Blake London

E.P. Thompson, in his fascinating study of Blake’s philosophy, examines the political meaning of the poem ‘London’:

I wander thro’ each charter’d street,
Near where the charter’d Thames does flow.
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.
(11)

“Charter’d” clearly refers to commerce, says Thompson, and is perhaps a reference to the East India Company which was becoming increasingly powerful in the British capital city at that time. The mark seen in “every face”, he adds, “is the mark of the Beast, a mark explicitly associated with commercialism”. (12)

But the poem continues:

In every cry of every Man,
In every Infant’s cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forg’d manacles I hear
(13)

These mind-forg’d manacles are the single vision imposed by Blake’s “tyrant-demon Urizen”, (14) the narrow materialistic mindset at the root of all the misery and poverty.

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Undaunted by the enormity of the problem facing him and his beloved Albion, Blake leapt up on to his philosophical chariot of fire to embark on what Raine calls a “prophetic mission” (15) to “pull down a civilization”. (16)

To do so, he created a powerful alternative vision drawn from sources far removed from the arid calculating spirit of the Enlightenment and the commercial world it had spawned.

Blake’s worldview was holistic, emphasising the sacredness and interconnectedness of all life. “Every thing that lives, Lives not alone, nor for itself”, he wrote. (17) And: “Every thing that lives is Holy” (18).

This outlook shines through in his illustrations, which are full of tendrils, roots, skies, clouds and insects, and also in poems such as ‘Auguries of Innocence’.

To see a World in a Grain of Sand,
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
(19)

In ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell’, he describes the “Energy” which he feels behind all the various manifestations of glorious living.

1. Man has no Body distinct from his Soul; for that call’d Body is a portion of Soul discern’d by the five Senses, the chief inlets of Soul in this age.
2. Energy is the only life, and is from the Body; and Reason is the bound or outward circumference of Energy.
3. Energy is Eternal Delight. 
(20)

blake comusPeter Marshall regards Blake’s metaphysics as “a kind of pantheistic idealism” (21) and also as dialectical in nature in that “he saw reality as a constant process of flux and believed that change occurs only through the dynamic interplay of opposing forces”. (22)

In all respects, Blake’s ideas were very much out of place in the society in which he lived and worked.

Like his compatriots John Ruskin and William Morris, those Victorian enemies of the modern commercial system, Blake was inspired by medieval civilisation, as reflected in his “lifelong love of Gothic art”. (23)

He wrote: “Grecian is Mathematical Form: Gothic is living form, Mathematic Form is external in the Reasoning Memory: Living Form is Eternal Existence”. (24)

Blake’s politics were defiantly radical. He was very much inspired by the American and French revolutions and instinctively opposed to authority, as witnessed by his famous ejection of a soldier from the grounds of his cottage while he was living in Felpham, West Sussex, during which he is alleged to have cursed the king.

He was also deeply offended by the blatant inequality he saw around him in London, as the poem ‘Holy Thursday’ illustrates.

Is this a holy thing to see
In a rich and fruitful land,
Babes reduc’d to misery,
Fed with cold and usurous hand?
(25)

Furthermore, Marshall regards Blake’s awareness of his radical politics as being behind the somewhat obscure direction his work increasingly took.

He writes: “Blake witnessed the government repression of radicals, the censorship of the ‘Gagging Acts’, and the anger of the Church and King mobs who were ready to ransack libraries and throw the disaffected artist or poet in the mud. Blake was obliged to clothe his radical message with allegorical garments”. (26)

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However, Blake’s radicalism was built on very different foundations to that of contemporaries such as Thomas Paine or William Godwin, as he himself well realised.

Thompson writes: “Blake had always been decisively alienated from the mechanical materialist epistemology and psychology which he saw as derived from Newton and Locke. And he did not for a moment shed his suspicion of radicalism’s indebtedness to this materialism”. (27)

In addition, unlike other contemporary radicals, Blake believed in innate qualities. In criticising the thinking of the artist Joshua Reynolds, Blake insisted: “Innate Ideas are in Every Man, Born with him; they are truly Himself”. (28)

“The Man who says that the Genius is not Born, but Taught – Is a Knave” (29) he insisted. “Man is Born Like a Garden ready Planted & Sown” (30)

One illustration, “What is Man!”, the frontispiece to The Gates of Paradise (1793) depicts a human baby as a caterpillar in the chrysalis of metamorphosis which will allow it to take wing and fulfil its innate potential.

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Raine describes how, in Tiriel, Blake “denounced the current view of childhood – deriving in great measure from Locke, that early forerunner of behaviourism and brain-washing – as a passive state to be ‘formed’ by ‘instruction’. The poem describes with scathing indignation the consequences of ‘forming’ a child according to the laws of mechanistic rationalism, imposed all from outside and regardless of the mysterious formative laws of life itself”. (31)

Some of Blake’s aphorisms on this theme are very similar to those deployed by Chuang Tzu, the Taoist metaphysician.

“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings”, (32) wrote Blake. “The apple tree never asks the beech how he shall grow, nor the lion the horse, how he shall take his prey”. (33)

Blake brushed aside other radicals’ fears that the notion of innate ideas could be used by conservatives to justify “innate” social inequality. He stressed that for all our differences every single one of us has a divine potential as part of Universal Humanity.

He also differed from many other modern radicals in his interest in archetypes and ideal forms.

“There Exist in that Eternal World the Permanent Realities of Every Thing which we see reflected in this Vegetable Glass of Nature”, wrote Blake in ‘The Last Judgement’. (34)

He anticipated the work of Carl Jung with his belief in a collective archetypal realm full of “ever Existent images” (35) behind the particularities of the physical world,

Responding to those who criticised the way he represented these abstract forces in bodily form, he commented that they “would do well to consider that the Venus, the Minerva, the Jupiter, the Apollo, which they admire in Greek statues are all of them representatives of spiritual existences, of Gods immortal, to the mortal perishing organ of sight; and yet they are embodied and organized in solid marble”. (36).

blake the glad day.jpgThere has been much scholarly debate concerning the sources for Blake’s passionately-expressed personal philosophy.

Raine rightly points out that the concept of “ideal form” is very much part of “Neoplatonic – and specifically Plotinian – aesthetics”. (37)

She traces Blake’s thinking not just to Plato and Plotinus, but also to the Hermetica, to Paracelsus and Robert Fludd, to Jacob Boehme and Emanuel Swedenborg (38) and stresses “Blake’s knowledge of Christian Cabbala, Neoplatonism, and the mystical theology of the Western Esoteric tradition as a whole”. (39)

Marshall puts more emphasis on a radical heritage, seeing Blake as “looking back to the gnostic heresies of the Middle Ages and anticipating modern anarchism and social ecology”. (40)

He describes “an underground heretical tradition” which “finds its roots in the mystical anarchists of the millenarian sect of the Middle Ages; especially the Brethren of the Free Spirit”, then “re-emerged in the extreme Left among Anabaptists, Ranters and Diggers of the English Revolution” and lived on still in the London of Blake’s youth. (41)

This is also the conclusion reached by Thompson, whose detailed research suggests that Blake was not quite as isolated in his thinking as it may appear to us today.

His references and images belong very strongly to the dissenting antinomian tradition of Protestantism, which spurned the worldly power of authority and the law in favour of the inner light in every human being.

Gerrard WinstanleyThis tradition, forced to hide from repression since the heady days of the “quasi-pantheist” radicalism (42) which flourished during the 17th century English Revolution (see Gerrard Winstanley), had been notably kept alive by the Muggletonians.

Thompson says antinomianism’s “Londonish rhetoric” (43) was “consciously anti-hegemonic”, (44) which is to say that opposition to the ruling culture was absolutely central to its worldview.

The antinomianism given voice by Blake existed outside “polite” society with its universities, courts of law, sciences and classical learning and often expressed itself in tones of “class war”, (45) encouraging “a stubborn lack of deference, both social and intellectual”. (46)

Writes Thompson: “Everything in the age of ‘reason’ and ‘elegance’ served to emphasise the sharp distinctions between a polite and a demotic culture. Dress, style, gesture, proprieties of speech, grammar and even punctuation were resonant with the signs of class; the polite culture was an elaborated code of social inclusion and exclusion.

“Classical learning and an accomplishment in the law stood like difficult gates-of-entry into this culture… These accomplishments both legitimated and masked the actualities of brute property and power, interest and patronage”. (47)

Blake presented this conflict in a particular way which is not always easy to understand for a modern reader. His “Spectre” of tyranny, ego, empire, false reason and the Church was contrasted with the “Emanation” of creativity, imagination, forgiveness and inner divinity as personified by Jesus Christ.

But behind the biblical language he and the antinomian tradition as a whole were essentially challenging the power of wealth, the state and its official religious structures in the name of an egalitarian universalism.

blake the ecchoing greenThompson says that when Blake or others declaimed against “Reason”, we might today interpret this as “Ideology” or as the compulsive constraints of the ruling “discourse”.

He adds: “Antinomian doctrine was expressive of a profound distrust of the ‘reasons’ of the genteel and comfortable, and of ecclesiastical and academic institutions, not so much because they produced false knowledges but because they offered specious apologetics (‘serpent reasonings’) for a rotten social order based, in the last resort, on violence and material self-interest”. (48)

In the place of this corrupted England they offered “the Everlasting Gospel”, a new Golden Age in which people would find spiritual freedom and be “liberated from the bondage of Morality and Legality”. (49)

Marshall explains that Blake, like other antinomian radicals, wanted to restore humanity to what he saw as its original state: “He assumed like them that in the Garden of Eden man and woman lived in a state of innocence and wholeness, without private property, class distinctions and human authority”. (50)

It was this “revolutionary anarchist” (51) vision of a possible future which Blake named ‘Jerusalem’ and which he longed to see built “in England’s green & pleasant land”. (52)

Video link: The Life of Poet William Blake (48 mins)

william-blake2

1. William Blake, ‘Milton: A Poem’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies (London: J.M. Dent & Sons, 1954), p. 110.
2. Max Plowman, ‘Introduction’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p. xi.
3. Blake, ‘Milton’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p. 110.
4. Ibid.
5. William Blake, Complete Writings, ed by Geoffrey Keynes, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1972), p. 361, cit. Peter Marshall, William Blake: Visionary Anarchist (London: Freedom Press, 2008), p. 39.
6. Theodore Roszak, The Voice of the Earth: An Exploration of Ecopsychology (New York: Touchstone, 1993), p. 42.
7. Kathleen Raine, William Blake (London: Thames & Hudson, 1977), pp. 73-74.
8. Raine, p. 50.
9. William Blake, ‘Jerusalem’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p. 177.
10. Blake, ‘Milton’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p. 137.
11. William Blake, ‘London’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p 31.
12. E.P. Thompson, Witness Against the Beast: William Blake and the Moral Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), p. 182.
13. Blake, ‘London’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p 31.
14. Raine, p. 76.
15. Raine, p. 111.
16. Raine, p. 171.
17. William Blake, ‘The Book of Thel’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p. 40.
18. William Blake, ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p. 55.
19. William Blake, ‘Auguries of Innocence’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p. 333.
20. Blake, ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p. 43.
21. Marshall, p. 24.
22. Marshall, p. 23.
23. Raine, p. 17.
24. William Blake, cit. Raine, p. 17.
25. William Blake, ‘Holy Thursday’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p. 23.
26. Marshall, pp. 16-17.
27. Thompson, p. 193.
28. Blake, Complete Works, p, 459, cit. Marshall p. 30.
29. Blake, Complete Works, p. 470, cit. Marshall, p. 30.
30. Blake, Complete Works, p. 471, cit. Marshall, p. 30.
31. Raine, p. 47.
32. Blake, ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p. 45.
33. Blake, ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p. 46.
34. William Blake, ‘The Last Judgment’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p. 358.
35. William Blake, cit. Raine, p. 7.
36. William Blake, cit. Raine, p. 9.
37. Raine, p. 114.
38. Raine, p. 51.
39. Raine, p. 186.
40. Marshall, p. 13.
41. Marshall, p. 22.
42. Thompson, p. 26.
43. Thompson, p. 8.
44. Thompson, p. 109.
45. Thompson, p. xxii.
46. Thompson, p. 112.
47. Thompson, p. 110.
48. Thompson, p. 109.
49. Thompson, p. 6.
50. Marshall, p. 38.
51. Marshall, p. 13.
52. Blake, ‘Milton’, Blake’s Poems and Prophecies, p. 110.

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6. Acorninfo

“Before we walk through the door of digital identity, realize it opens onto a maze designed to disorient, confuse, and control us”. So warns Alison McDowell in a recent analysis of blockchain techno-slavery on her excellent Wrench in the Gears website. She can also be seen on this video showing up Naomi Klein as the apologist for the capitalist system that she unfortunately turned out to be.

wrench in the gears

* * *

Shocking facts about the new worldwide pollution threat caused by disposable masks are revealed by investigative journalist Cory Morningstar in an important new article. She writes: “Six months of face masks alone equates to seven hundred seventy-four billion while 12 months of consumption equates to stunning one trillion five hundred forty-eight billion face masks. What happened to all those who cared about our environmental crises? That of climate change, biodiversity and ocean pollution?” A new video interview with Cory can be seen here.

mask pollution

* * *

An insightful article on stopping Bill Gates’ insidious global agenda and defending humanity against the greed machine comes from Indian campaigner Vandana Shiva. She writes: “The coronavirus pandemic and lockdown have revealed even more clearly how we are being reduced to objects to be controlled, with our bodies and minds as the new colonies to be invaded”.

vandana-shiva

* * *

“The people are under attack by their own State. All the necessary components of a fascist technocracy are rapidly being assembled”. A great piece on the In This Together blog.

hybrid war

* * *

An open letter has been published by Belgian doctors and healthcare workers calling for an end to all ‘Covid’ measures and the immediate restoration of “our normal democratic governance and legal structures and of all our civil liberties”.

belgian doctors

* * *

Veteran journalist John Pilger has condemned in the strongest terms the UK/US legal persecution of Wikileaks’ Julian Assange. He writes: “I have sat in many courts and seldom known such a corruption of due process; this is due revenge. Putting aside the ritual associated with ‘British justice’, at times it has been evocative of a Stalinist show trial”.

assange-g

* * *

“To deprive a child’s or an adolescent’s brain from oxygen, or to restrict it in any way, is not only dangerous to their health, it is absolutely criminal. Oxygen deficiency inhibits the development of the brain, and the damage that has taken place as a result CANNOT be reversed”, says Dr Margarite Griesz-Brisson MD, PhD, a Consultant Neurologist and Neurophysiologist with a PhD in Pharmacology, with special interest in neurotoxicology, environmental medicine, neuroregeneration and neuroplasticity.

child in mask

* * *

The Corona fraud scandal is “probably the greatest crime against humanity ever committed” says German lawyer Dr Reiner Fuellmich in this video. “Democracy is in great danger of being replaced by fascist totalitarian models”. Meanwhile an unofficial translation of the German Corona Inquiry’s short report (part 1) can be downloaded in pdf from here.

Reiner Fuellmich

* * *

“A new government document lists anti-capitalist views alongside racism and the desire to overthrow democracy as ‘an extreme political stance'”, reports Sky News in the UK. Overthrow democracy? What democracy? It is the idea of restoring democracy, real democracy, that frightens those in power. Talking of which, the Million Mask March protest will be held in Trafalgar Square, London, on November 5 from 6pm. Remember, remember…

million-mask-march1

* * *

Acorn quote:

“Technological optimism is the snake oil of urban-industrialism”.

Theodore Roszak

technology3

(For many more like this, see the Winter Oak quotes for the day blog)

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The Acorn – 47

acornmastheadnew1

Number 47

In this issue:

  1. Yellow voices
  2. Defending nature means fighting capitalism
  3. Zombie archaeology
  4. Everybody expected the Neoliberal Inquisition
  5. Tall tale of “eco-terrorism”
  6. Acorninfo

1. Yellow voices

voices14

The Gilets Jaunes, or Yellow Vests, movement in France is the most important political phenomenon to emerge in Western Europe so far this century. It has smashed through the barriers of political stagnancy and sterility which so often disempower and stifle spontaneous expressions of popular discontent.

The yellow banner of revolt has rallied parts of the population previously unreached by political organising and the relentless determination of hundreds of thousands of men and women has shaken the citadels of neoliberal power to the core. As well as the rubber bullets, grenades, water cannon and tear gas deployed by the French state against the uprising, another major weapon against the Gilets Jaunes has been the corporate media.

Constant lies, smears and alarmism in France have been matched by almost total silence elsewhere, punctuated by small dribbles of largely inaccurate information. We at Winter Oak have been trying to help counter this information war against the rebellion by reporting their activities and opinions in English. Below we present five new translations which offer some useful insights into what is currently being spelled out in yellow in France.

The uprising is very much ongoing as we write this, with Act 18 of the protests on March 16 likely to be significant, particularly in Paris. For  news updates about the movement follow us on Twitter.

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i. Power to the people!

This declaration was agreed at the Yellow Vest assembly of assemblies in Commercy at the end of January, attended by delegates from across France. It was then “sent back” down to the local assemblies, who have gradually been endorsing it from the grassroots.

Ever since November 17, from the smallest village in the countryside to the biggest city, we have been rising up against this profoundly violent, unfair and unbearable society.

We are not going to be pushed around! We are revolting against the high cost of living, against precarity and misery. We want our loved ones, our families and our children to live in dignity.

26 billionaires own as much as half of the human species and that is unacceptable. Let’s share wealth and not misery!

Let’s do away with social inequality! We demand immediate increases in pay, in the minimum wage, in benefits and in pensions; the unconditional right to healthcare and education; free public services for everyone.

It’s for all these rights that every day we occupy roundabouts, that we organise actions and protests and hold discussions everywhere.

voices11

With our yellow vests on, we are having our say, which we have never had before.

And what’s the response from the government? Repression, contempt, denigration.

People killed and thousands injured, the massive use of weapons fired directly at us which mutilate, take out eyes, wound and traumatise.

More than 1,000 people have been arbitrarily prosecuted and jailed.

And now the new so-called “anti-vandal” law aims simply to stop us demonstrating.

We condemn all violence against protesters, whether it comes from police or violent factions. None of that is going to stop us!

The right to protest is fundamental. End the impunity for the government forces! Amnesty for all the victims of repression!

And what a con, this Grand National Debate which is nothing but a government PR exercise taking advantage of our desire to discuss and take decisions!

The real democracy is the one we practise in our assemblies and on our roundabouts. It is neither on the TV nor in the fake debates organised by Macron.

He insults us, says we’re less than nothing, then depicts us as hateful crowd, fascistic and xenophobic.

But in fact we are completely the opposite: neither racist, nor sexist, nor homophobic, we are proud to be together with our differences to build a society of solidarity.

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The diversity of our discussions is our strength and even now hundreds of assemblies are drawing up and putting forward their own demands.

They involve real democracy, social and fiscal justice, environmental and climate justice, the ending of discrimination.

Among the most debated demands and strategic proposals we can find: the eradication of misery in all its forms; the transformation of institutions (citizen-initiated referenda, constituent assemblies, an ending to privileges for elected representatives); environmental transition (energy precarity, industrial pollution); equality and the valuing of all women and men regardless of their nationality (people with disabilities, gender equality, ending the neglect of working-class districts, rural areas and overseas territories).

We, Gilets Jaunes, invite everyone to join us, as and how they see fit. We call for a continuation of the series of “acts” of protests, of the occupation of roundabouts and the blockading of the economy and of the effort to build a huge national strike.

We call for the setting up of committees in the workplace, at places of study; and everywhere else so that this grave can be built on the basis of the strikers themselves.

Let’s take control of our own activities! Don’t stay on your own, join us! Let’s organise democratically, autonomously and independently!

This assembly of the assemblies is an important step which allows us to discuss our demands and our means of acting.

Let’s come together in federations to transform society!

We ask the whole of the Gilets Jaunes movement to circulate this call.

If, as a Gilets Jaunes group, you agree with it, then don’t hesitate to send your support to Commercy.

Please do discuss and draw up proposals for the next assembly of the assemblies, already under preparation.

Macron resign!

Power to the people, for the people, by the people!

voices8

The “nothings” are on the streets

ii. The ghost of 1789

This is an extract from a leaflet issued by a group of Gilets Jaunes in southern France after a local bigwig, the Prefect, accused “anarchists” of inciting hate of the state and confrontations with the police.

Mr Prefect, there is no need for anarchists to sow hate as your government is managing to do that all on its own. Oh, nobody for the moment is talking about reaching for their rifle, but everyone can see what they earn and what the rich earn. Hate is on the rise. The Gilets Jaunes are simple people, generally workers at the bottom of the scale on low wages, or people living on modest pensions…

They say, when they talk about the rulers and the fat cats in this country: “They are like the kings and aristocrats used to be”. They are not talking about having a revolution here and now but they talk a lot about our great revolution: it is always coming up in conversation.

Macron has said repeatedly that he won’t change course: so we can expect nothing from him but scraps of charity. One day or the other the poor, like in 1789, will take action and a lot of others with them.

This won’t be a revolt, but a revolution!

voices1

It is clear that every government since 1983 has done all it can to ensure that the poor are in this state of mind.

In our assemblies there are, among the hundreds present, lots of workers and pensioners. There are also teachers and nurses.

Some anarchists work and earn roughly as much as the other Gilets Jaunes, others are unemployed, like many others.

Sorry to disappoint you, but there is nothing to differentiate them from other Gilets Jaunes except that, perhaps, some of them are more active than most: that’s their right and we don’t hold it against them!

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iii. Our community is the struggle!

This analysis comes from issue 2 of an eight-page A3 street paper, Jaune: Le Journal Pour Gagner (Yellow: the Paper for Winning).

From the start of this movement, two symbols have been competing on the roundabouts. The yellow vest and the tricolour flag. Of course, many wouldn’t put it that way. They would say that the flag is the symbol of the French people, while the yellow vest is the symbol of the struggle, so the two are complementary. And it’s true that in each instance those who sport them regard them as signs of rallying around something in common. But there are different kinds of commonality.

The idea of a community founded on belonging to a territory, defined by a state and the defence of the borders of that state, is very old. We can see it in the founding myths of the Roman Empire.

Some will say that this is a hard reality. They will argue that every country has its share of misery and that at the end of the day defending your tribe, your territory, your compatriots, is a necessary part of being human. Their slogan is “our own before the others”.

But who are “our own”? Have you really got more interests, aspirations and sufferings in common with the rich of France than with someone who works on the same building site as you but hasn’t got the same passport? More in common with the Loréal family than with an Italian or Algerian delivering for an Amazon subcontractor? More in common with someone else on the minimum wage, regardless of nationality, or with someone who used to pay the highest rate of income tax until Macron scrapped it?

Nationalism will tell you that yes, French people, regardless of their social position, have more interests in common together than with any other form of solidarity, such as that based on a common situation. But where does that lead? Who profits from saying that? Who benefits from nationalism?

voices9

Everybody knows the line about divide and rule. It implies, of course, that it those who rule who divide the others. So, let’s put the question this way: who rules? Who owns the wealth and the means of producing more wealth? The rich, the bourgeoisie. And who is divided according to passport and nationality? The poor, the workers, the unemployed.

Anyway, do you really think the bourgeoisie practises what it preaches for us? Do you really think that the French rich feel closer to you than to their friends in such or such a country, with whom they go skiing in Switzerland or Dubai while you go to work? Let’s not be naive.

But there is another community: the community of struggle. Thus, in France, for a long time now, a revolutionary tradition welcomes all those who want to struggle. As far back as the French Revolution, lots of people from every corner of the world came to lend a hand. During the Paris Commune, as well, the organisation of the barricades was partly organised by Polish revolutionaries.

And we can see this solidarity in struggle and revolution at many other times of history and in many other parts of the world. That is the community which brings us together. Today, it has a rallying call: the yellow vest. This call is universal and as such it is closer to the spirit of past revolutions, including the French one.

So we are saying it loud and clear: we are on the side of the yellow vest, of what it says about common struggle and also about a shared refusal of our dire situation, about chilly early mornings blockading and about evenings around a pile of burning palettes, talking about our rock-bottom living conditions.

Yellow Vests of every country, unite!

voices5

iv. Poisoned by neoliberalism

From an interview with François Boulo, a lawyer and a Gilets Jaunes spokesman in the northern city of Rouen (source: Thinkerview).

How do you see the current situation with the Gilets Jaunes?

There is a fight to be won in terms of communication. The mainstream media are trying to criminalise the movement. But the real question of immorality lies with the distribution of wealth. To live in a country and pile up a personal fortune that is 10, 100, 1,000 times more than you need to live, while in France 9 million people teeter on the brink of poverty and 140,000 are homeless…

What kind of politics are you proposing?

For the last 40 to 45 years there has been an ideological drive to poison our minds with the dominant neoliberal thinking, which is presented as the only possibility. This is the framing for the way we think about politics today. This economic framing is imposed on us and they tell us that there is no alternative. This has generated a mood of resignation.

The economic debate has been closed down. They explain to us that we have to have permanent growth, even though we live in a finite world. We have a cake and they tell us we can’t change the rules for allocating the slices of the cake. I think citizens’ control is needed.

What do you think of the political and policing climate around the Gilets Jaunes movement?

Right from the start, everything was done to ramp up the climate of tension. On the second Saturday of protests in France, from 8.30 or 9am people were being “kettled”, caught in a trap, and teargassed! How do you expect them to feel that their right to protest is being respected?

What about Europe ?

We have got to stop following the demands of the banks and investors, because their financial games do not help the real economy. We should finally create the social Europe we were promised.

voices16

v. A breath of fresh air

Here is an abridged version of an in-depth article in issue 12 of Avis de Tempêtes: Bulletin anarchiste pour la guerre sociale (Storm Warning: Anarchist bulletin for social war), a 20-page A5 zine with a yellow and red cover. The piece takes a witty swipe at a certain kind of comrade who considers themself too ideologically pure to possibly be able to join in the diverse and mould-breaking Gilets Jaunes uprising.

For once, a movement has erupted in a self-organised way without political parties and trade unions, for once it immediately set its own agenda – an agenda which is often daily and not at the weekly or monthly rhythm of the big days out orchestrated by the troop masters and agreed in advance with the police – even deciding for itself its own places and routes of confrontation and blockage by obstinately refusing to beg for official authorisation.

In short, a breath of fresh air for all those activists who have been waiting for nothing other than a big collective movement before venturing out of their homes. However… While the meagre crumbs claimed by any number of reformist, trade-unionist or victimist organisations – backed up by a show of strength in the streets to help their representatives in their negotiations with authority – have never put too many people off taking part, now we see those marvellous anti-authoritarian activists diligently dissecting those who have lit the yellow-vest fuse.

The anti-authoritarian activist, well schooled in swallowing all kinds of reformist demands in order to join in various struggles, this time finds that there is not enough familiar common ground.

voices2

With the Gilets Jaunes movement, the activist has suddenly discovered the world around him. Having been in raptures over the Arab Spring without finding his enthusiasm impossibly deflated by the “interclassist” use of the term “the people” (“The people wants the fall of the regime” was a much-used popular slogan) and the abundance of national flags, he is now disgusted by the same limitations on his own side of the Mediterranean.

Having rioted against the Loi Travail labour reforms, or last May Day, without feeling his presence incompatible with that of  massed hammer and sickle flags, or with the sometimes-dubious banners at the head of Parisian demos (emblazoned with the wise words of 100%-reactionary rappers), he is now mortified by the tricolour flags and populist slogans.

He had chosen to be blind to the hundreds of tricolour flags in the left-wing France Insoumise rallies at the last elections, as well as to those wielded by hundreds of thousands in the streets after the epic victory in the footballing spectacle of July 2018 (sported in unison by poor urban youth and old rich racists).

No, the activist is as simple as his organic-supermarket ideology. An unclean symbol equals a fascist. Full stop.

voices7

Further reading:

Tear gas and rubber bullets on the streets of southern France

Yellow is the new bloc

Yellow fever: long live the revolutionary mob!

Gilets Jaunes: unfiltered anti-capitalism

“Police everywhere, justice nowhere!” – Gilets Jaunes on the streets of Nîmes

The heartbeat of the yellow jacket revolt is rural

Christmas with the gilets jaunes

May our yellow sparks of revolt set the world ablaze in 2019!

France on the brink: either we topple the system or it will crush us

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2. Defending nature means fighting capitalism

GAF image

A radical anti-capitalist dimension to the Extinction Rebellion (XR) has emerged in the UK, with the creation of a new alliance.

The Green Anti-Capitalist Front is born of the realisation that if we want to defend nature we have to fight capitalism.

It says it wants to support the high-profile XR “with a parallel mobilisation that has a greater focus on the capitalist roots of climate catastrophe”.

GAF explains: “As we all know, capitalism is killing the Earth. We have been observing the rise of the Extinction Rebellion movement and, while we are glad to see a growing interest in fighting climate change, we do not think their critique goes far enough and believe a specifically anti-capitalist critique is needed.

“As such we are calling for the formation of an anti-capitalist block to tap into this rising interest in radical politics and to fill the vacuum of a green and anti-capitalist movement in London. We plan to loosely work alongside Extinction Rebellion’s actions, especially their week of actions planned from April 15th, while also developing our own unique
approach.

“The Green Anti-Capitalist Front is intended as a broad coalition of groups with varying ideologies, but with a common interest in tackling environmental problems at their social roots”.

GAF logo

In an open letter to XR, GAF praises it for having reinvigorated environmental activism at a time when this was most needed.

It says: “XR has been bold in its aims when much of the established movement has been cynical, and has managed to tap into a broader sense of alarm over environmental degradation, and mobilised many people not previously involved.

“XR has grown at a speed that many people would have thought impossible before we saw it happen.

“XR has also been far more radical in this broad appeal than many people would have thought, pursuing a strategy built around both local direct action while maintaining an international orientation.

“We cannot overstate the overwhelmingly positive effect that XR is having on environmental politics”.

However, GAF says it has “doubts about some of the tactics that XR has adopted” and thinks a conversation is needed about this.

GAF is inviting like-minded people and groups to get in touch via
greenanticapitalistfront@riseup.net. It has a website, Twitter account and Facebook presence.

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3. Zombie archaeology

zombie archaeology

by Eric Fleischmann

In the 21st century, the world is now veritably swamped with commodities. According to APLF ltd. American consumers purchase an average of 7.5 shoes per capita per year. The LA Times reports that “the average U.S. household has 300,000 things, from paper clips to ironing boards.”

I am not by any means claiming that everyone is an affluent borderline-hoarder. One of the fundamental problems of capitalism is the unequal access to this seeming abundance of goods.

With so much paraphernalia in the world, it is inevitable that significant portions will be wasted.

In an article for The Atlantic, Derek Thompson explains that in a year the world creates around 2.6 trillion pounds of garbage—“the weight of about 7,000 Empire State Buildings.”

Much of this is food waste, but many inorganic items are produced with cheap plastic and other materials that fall apart quickly. Some companies, such as Apple, even reportedly preprogram their products to stop functioning properly after a certain amount of time in order to force consumers to buy new wares at a much greater rate than they otherwise would.

All this waste, all this stuff tossed away, has to go somewhere. Such rubbish becomes part of the planet’s topography, enters into its ecological systems, and eventually returns to the human sphere of interaction – much to human detriment.

This is zombie archaeology; when the remnants of our past are not uncovered by human beings but return to us by themselves with a vengeance.

angelus novus

In this age of capitalism-induced ecological collapse, zombie archaeology is certain to become only increasingly suited for describing the world. Walter Benjamin, in his Theses on the Philosophy of History, writes of Paul Klee’s Angelus Novus, “This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But… …[t]he storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward.”

But what happens when the wreckage and debris – both literal and figurative – begin shambling towards the present? When the dead are, in a sense, awakened? Zombie archaeology poses these questions.

See full article here.

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4. Everybody expected the Neoliberal Inquisition

spanish inquisition

We have been drawing attention for some time now to the ideological smears being deliberately used by the neoliberal elite to stifle dissident voices.

Unlike Monty Python’s ridiculous “Spanish Inquisition”, this one has long been expected by everybody who has been paying attention.

The most important task, we feel, is to point out the essential dishonesty behind these attacks.

Neoliberals differ from the old-fashioned right in that they like to paint themselves as the Guardians (yep, quite!) of Progressive Thinking, as somehow vaguely left-wing despite their full-blooded backing for capitalism, militarism, imperialism and everything that goes with it.

So they cannot attack the left in the traditional way, by simply saying they do not like it because it is too left-wing and threatens the status quo which they support.

Instead, they pretend to be attacking their enemies from a progressive position, one which occupies the liberal moral high ground.

This is the case with the longstanding smears against deep green thinking which try to claim it is a continuation of Nazi ideology, even though Hitler’s regime was the epitome of industrialism (see our article Organic Radicalism: Bringing Down the Fascist Machine for a full analysis of this).

orpic

Neoliberals, including pseudo-leftists, aren’t honest enough to say that they oppose deep green politics because they support industrial capitalism – that would blow their ideological cover.

Instead, they have to pretend that it is because they have cleverly identified it as a sinister right-wing threat to democracy as we know it.

The same phenomenon is basically at work with the “anti-semitism” allegations cropping up everywhere at the moment.

This issue is slightly complicated by the fact that it is partly about Palestine and the need for the pro-Israel lobby to silence all criticism of the apartheid state by conflating anti-Zionism with anti-semitism.

A real witch-hunt atmosphere has been created here, which the original Spanish Inquisition would surely have been proud of.

witch hunt

Once accused of “anti-semitism”, the victim is faced with a dilemma similar to that of the famous ducking stool  – if you drown you are not a witch and if you don’t then you are a witch and you have to be burned alive.

If the person accused of anti-semitism admits guilt and apologises, not only will they not be left alone, but they will also have surrendered important political ground and will have set a precedent for the next absurd denunciation.

If they deny having said anything wrong, this denial will be regarded as a further offence of perhaps even greater severity.

This is what has been happening to UK Labour Party figures such as Chris Williamson and to US lawmaker Ilhan Omar (see here and here).

The secondary smear technique has also been used against the Gilets Jaunes in France, particularly following an incident in which intellectual Alain Finkielkraut was called a “dirty Zionist”.

Comments, or lack of comments, on the much-hyped confrontation were used to attack prominent Yellow Vest supporters such as journalist Aude Lancelin and leftist politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

It is important to note that all these smear attacks have been targeted at the political left. Anti-semitism on the right is rarely even mentioned.

It is clear that the Palestine question, important though it is both for supporters and critics of the Israeli state, is not the only issue at stake here, as the likes of Jonathan Cook have been pointing out.

seattle99b
Seattle 1999

One of the great successes of the wave of global protests that took place in the 1990s and at the start of the 21st century was to put anti-capitalism on the public stage.

Previously, the mainstream had never even accepted that we lived in a capitalist society, let alone that people could be against that.

The word “capitalism” was regarded as a nonsensical one, used only by communists or other left-wing cranks.

Suddenly, they were talking about anti-capitalism on the BBC, examining who these troublesome anti-capitalists were and what exactly they wanted.

Twenty years on, the Establishment feels under threat, its system crumbling and its mind-control power over the population lifting like fog in the sunshine.

It therefore seems to have decided to try to push anti-capitalism back out of the public domain, beyond the perimeter fence of ideological validity.

99 per cent

We have commented previously on the peculiar political argument that there is something “anti-semitic” about opposing the “1%” who own most of the world’s wealth (it’s a lot fewer than that…) or about condemning bankers or international capitalist organisations like the IMF, the WTO or the Bilderberg group.

As we pointed out last July: “What appears to be happening, in some cases at least, is that the ‘Jewish banker’ figure is again being deliberately deployed to thwart opposition to capitalism.

“Previously, it was used to steer people away from anti-capitalism and into anti-semitism, but now the aim is rather to steer people away from anti-capitalism with the threat of being labelled anti-semitic”.

This twisted approach is now being presented as a common-sense view by mainstream media, in tandem with the other smear attacks on left-wingers.

Right-wing Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh spun this toxic propaganda on BBC Radio 4 on March 4, with presenter John Humphreys helpfully summing up: “In other words, to be anti-capitalist you have to be anti-semitic?”

Such are the desperate, dangerous lies of a system that senses its days are numbered…

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5. Tall tale of “eco-terrorism”

edinburgh castle

In his new “extremist” novel, No Such Place as Asha, Paul Cudenec gives a fictional airing to the ideological smears often deployed by neoliberals against opponents of their ecocidal industrial capitalist system. This excerpt describes a speaker at a private conference of the “Transatlantic Alliance for Freedom” (TAF) in Edinburgh…

His special subject was environmentalism. He started off paying lip service to the importance of balancing economic growth with sustainable practices, of ensuring the well-being of human and animal communities, so on and so forth. Responsible environmental organisations acted as crucial watchdogs that reminded the authorities and industry of their responsibilities. While TAF did not always agree with their positions, they recognised the role they played, etcetera, etcetera.

Then he moved on to the substance of his talk. Unfortunately, there was always a fringe of green protesters who took things too far, who refused to play by the rules. He talked about “eco-terrorists” in the USA and “hardcore” environmentalists in Europe, such as 1990s road protesters in the UK, a mobilisation against a high-speed rail line in Italy, a protest camp against an airport in France, another against mining in Germany.

More recently, the “worst” instance of these campaigns was the anti-fracking movement in the UK. The dangers of these extremists’ illegal direct action were well known, he said, as was the “Luddite” ideology that inspired them.

But lately things had taken a turn for the worse. These groups were starting to develop a common ideology, aided by the exchange of news and views made possible by the internet. They were borrowing ideas from campaigners on the other side of the world and incorporating them into their own rhetoric. They were increasingly identifying the enemy not just as their local government, or business, but as something they termed “the industrial capitalist system”.

Up against this, they were piecing together their own counter-position. They had taken the idea of “sacred land” from indigenous struggles in North America, Australia and elsewhere and were applying it to their own sites. The use of direct action was turning into an ideology of direct action, an anarchist contempt for the rule of law and the due democratic process. French and German groups had fed into the mix the idea of “degrowth”, which rejected the very fundaments of our society – the idea of progress, economic growth and increased prosperity for humankind.

I wrote down a complete quote at this point. “Let’s be clear, these people are negationists. They are guilty of progress denial. And I would suggest that this brand of negationism should be treated as seriously as the other one of which we are all too well aware. Because that’s where it ends, ultimately. It all ends at the same place. The destruction of civilization. The deaths of millions of men, women and children in the name of fanaticism.”

There was a great burst of applause across the room at this point. Having established his moral high ground, Heath went on to spell out the particular form this Eco-Terrorist Apocalypse would take, which seemed to involve mainly a drop in the profits of “important wealth-creating institutions”, faced with increased grassroots resistance to their projects and falling levels of consumption as the “poison” of anti-growth views contaminated the population.

More info here.

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6. Acorninfo

A top-notch new comic has been published by Corporate Watch in London. Worlds End uses words and pictures to help people understand climate change and capitalism and encourage a different approach, one that builds power to fight them. Read it online here.

worldsend

* * *

“Just because the participants in the growing number of Extinction Rebellion actions may be predominantly middle class, it doesn’t mean to say that we as working class people aren’t concerned about environmental issues”. So says a useful article in The South Essex Heckler. It adds: “What we need to do is to start to own the narrative of the campaigns around those issues so that it’s our voices that are being heard. We’re the ones on the frontline from traffic induced air pollution through to being housed in flood risk areas”.

traffic fumes

* * *

Disturbing evidence keeps emerging about the way the environmental movement, particularly the climate justice element, is being hijacked and manipulated by big business. For instance, a Daily Mail report in February revealed that Tory peer John Selwyn Gummer, who heads the UK government’s Climate Change Committee, has a private company which has been paid more than £600,000 from “green” businesses hoping to profit from government subsidies. And the full report from Cory Morningstar mentioned in Acorn 46 is now online and a must-read for any nature-defender who wants to avoid being used as a useful idiot by a bunch of lying industrial capitalists.

Gummer

* * *

The threat of new industrial capitalist mega-projects in Mexico has been highlighted in a letter from Zapatista women to their sisters across the world. The authorities’ destructive schemes include the Mayan Train, the “development” of the Tehuantepec Isthmus and massive commercial tree farms. The letter declares: “We’re going to fight with all our strength and everything we’ve got against these mega-projects. If these lands are conquered, it will be upon the blood of Zapatista women”.

zapatista women

* * *

“Fracking is stoppable, another world is possible!” is the title of a highly informative and inspiring new online bulletin from the frack free movement. Issue 1 is available here but issue 2 should be out very soon – follow the excellent frackfree_eu on Twitter for updates.

frackingisstoppable

* * *

The 2019 Liverpool Anarchist Bookfair will be held on Saturday April 13, 11am till 5pm at The Black-E, 1 Great George Street, L1 5EW. This will be a day of stalls and workshops, with a vegan cafe and kids’ space – free entry (donations towards event costs welcome). Says the website: “Books, zines & more to feed your brain  let’s learn, organise, grow & create!”

liverpoolbookfair

* * *

If the neoliberal Establishment succeeds in totally destroying the (very mild!) threat presented to its domination by Corbyn’s Labour Party, there will no doubt be a few we-told-you-soes from us anarcho-cynics. But the anger sparked by such a collapse in people’s hopes could well lead to something more interesting happening in the UK. As Jonathan Cook notes: “If parliamentary politics returns to business as usual for the wealthy, taking to the streets looks increasingly like the only option. Maybe it’s time to dust off a Yellow Vest”.

* * *

Acorn quote: “The poorest man hath as true a title and just right to the land as the richest man. True freedom lies in the free enjoyment of the earth”.

Gerrard Winstanley

Gerrard Winstanley GJ2

(For many more like this, see the Winter Oak quotes for the day blog)

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The Acorn – 15

acornmastheadnew

Number 15


In this issue:

  1. Capitalism is built on violence and lies
  2. Free the Love Bank Five!
  3. Panic in high places
  4. Resisting NATO in southern Europe
  5. Blocking the death-dealers
  6. Acorninfo

1. Capitalism is built on violence and lies

g8cops2

The biggest, ugliest truth hidden at the core of the capitalist system is that it is built on violence.

This is something that it never admits and that it can never allow to be generally understood – instead it spreads around a load of drivel about democracy, markets and competition, about enterprise, endeavour and opportunity.

But the fact remains that the capitalist state was created by violence, is maintained by violence and is always prepared to resort to all the forms of violence at its disposal to resist challenges to its power.

prison

The “law” itself, that foundation of its control over the population, is the flag of convenience under which this violence is carried out.

Physically attacking someone is violence, even if you happen to be dressed up in some fancy clothes provided by the state. Physically confining someone in a locked space, with the constant use and threat of force, is also violence, even if you put on a stupid wig to announce what you are going to do to them. Bombing someone is violence, as is shooting them, torturing them, spraying them with chemicals.

Wearing down someone’s resistance, forcing them to follow your rules, to live the way you tell them to, by means of a permanent, lifelong threat of violence if they step out of line is also, needless to say, violence.

Right and wrong have no place in the artificial world of “legal” and “illegal” which capitalism and its state machinery have imposed on us.

diggers

Land ownership is theft – from all the rest of us! – but is declared “legal” and the state can therefore “legitimately” use violence to protect that theft.

Everything else flows from there. Kicked off the land, former peasants are forced to work for the capitalists in order to earn money to buy the food that grows in the soil.

Wage slavery is also theft and exploitation but there is nothing “illegal” about it in the eyes of a capitalist state. Indeed, it uses its back-to-front “law” to prevent the victims from standing up to their oppressors – using violence as and when necessary.

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The British state uses violence on striking miners 30 years ago

orgreave

It is very important to the capitalist system that its violence remains invisible to most people, that it can continue its nefarious activities unchallenged by a population that has been fooled into thinking that “legal” is the same as “right”.

So it must also ensure that voices exposing its violence, and the deceit with which it hides this violence, are quickly silenced. Again, it uses the self-feeding circular logic of its own lies to justify this.

Capitalism hides behind a state, which physically imposes the capitalist system on the people. The state hides behind the idea of “legality”, having created a legal system which declares the state to be legal! Anyone opposing the capitalist system and its state are therefore opposed to this “legality” and can be regarded as criminals.

Having pre-defined all opposition to its system as criminal in itself, regardless of any specific activity, the capitalist state has proved to its own satisfaction that it is “legal” to act against them in any way that it sees fit.

policesurveillance

It is “legal” to spy on the “criminals” who oppose capitalism, to monitor their every move, to follow them, to film them, record them. It is “legal” to infiltrate their ranks, to lie to them, to betray them, to lead them astray, to sabotage their work, their lives and their ideas. It is “legal” to slander them, to frame them, to rape them.

Because the capitalist system’s thinking is closed in on itself, there is no point in trying to challenge the phoney idea of “legality” with which its justifies its oppression and violence.

To do so merely makes you more of a “criminal” in its eyes – more of a “threat to democracy”, more of an “extremist”, more of a “terrorist“.

The self-serving logic of the system can never concede that the real crime is capitalism itself.

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2. Free the Love Bank Five!

Liverpool
This spring’s Liverpool occupation

A nasty example of the oppressive violence of the capitalist British system came in Liverpool on September 17, when a court sentenced five anti-capitalists to imprisonment for a protest occupation.

The Love Activists will be locked up by the state – two of them in jail and three in a young offenders’ institution – for ten long weeks after daring to take action against homelessness.

There were disturbances inside and outside the court as the sentences were handed down. One man in his late fifties was dressed in a superman costume as he shouted at officers: “Feeding the homeless is not a crime! Homeless not banks!”

Others waved hand-painted banners saying: “Resisting homelessness” and “Homes not Banks”.

Two further people were arrested during the protest which spilled over from the court area onto the Strand behind, and at one point blocked the southbound carriageway during rush hour.

Liverpool3
The Love Bank occupation – deemed a heinous crime by the British state

As we reported in Acorn 9, the Love Activists moved into the unoccupied city centre bank in the middle of April to set up a support centre for Liverpool’s homeless people, incorporating places to sleep, an advice centre and a street kitchen, before being evicted a month later.

Their crime was “trespass” – a law which takes us right back to the core of a system which grew from the violent theft of the land from the people by a tiny elite. The imprisonment of the “trespassers” is the continuation of that historic violence.

Liverpool2

The words of District Judge Andrew Shaw also shed some light on the thinking of the system and the restraints it places on our freedom to do what we know is the right thing.

In sentencing, he condemned the “selfish actions” of the activists and added: “The apparent object of the exercise was to protest about the plight of the homeless. None of the defendants have done any work in the community to benefit the homeless. None of you worked for charities or voluntary organisations in the immediate lead-up to this offence; indeed the majority had no charitable involvement”.

What he’s saying here is that in a capitalist system it is only permissible to treat the symptoms of social ills, never the root causes which are deeply embedded in the structure of the system itself.

So it’s OK to help individual homeless people, OK for the rich to hand out patronising “charity” to the poor but completely unacceptable to try to change society so that everyone has a roof over their head or so that the earth is a common treasury for all, as Gerrard Winstanley put it, and there is no longer such a thing as “the rich” or “the poor”.

There is a limit to your right to participate in society – that’s the message of Judge Shaw to the activists he has sent behind bars. And if you dare stray beyond that point, by taking any kind of real action, the British state will unleash its age-old violence against you.

liverpool-loveactivistslogo

A statement from Love Activists said: “Love Activists are outraged and disgusted by the sentences handed out to the Love Bank Five today. The judge today showed a clear prejudice against the activists, as they openly applied their personal opinions to legislative law: they declared that it is ‘selfish’ for someone to openly help homeless people or indeed be homeless yourself.

“We, Love Activists, stand in full solidarity with the Love Bank Five, and strongly oppose the harsh sentencing imposed today by a judge clearly lacking impartiality. We fully support any campaign to see the unjust sentences overturned”.

Support the campaign against the sentences via the #freelovebank5 hashtag on Twitter.

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3. Panic in high places

cops downing street
Armed police in Downing Street protect David Cameron from the public – and possibly from angry farm animals

Two recent political developments nicely sum up the increasingly authoritarian capitalism of the UK state.

One of them is the Trade Union Bill, which is currently working its way through the UK parliament.

This will place ludicrous restrictions on trade unionists’ freedom to strike and protest. For instance, it will introduce fines of up to £20,000 for unions whose members do not wear identifying armbands when picketing and will allow bosses to hire agency temps to break strikes.

picket

Adds Netpol: “Amidst its highly restrictive current provisions, the Bill will require unions to report their intention to organise any protest – including any form of demonstration related to an industrial dispute that takes place away from the workplace – to employers and regulators 14 days in advance of any action.

“The Bill’s automatic assumption is that any form of union-organised protest is ‘intimidation’ and requires curbing… the government appears intent on using ‘intimidation’ as a useful excuse for clamping down on any protests against corporate interests that include union participation”.

The Bill is clearly a draconian attack on the right to strike and organise. Even Tory MP David Davis condemned the idea of obliging picketers to give their names to the police as like something from Franco’s Spanish state and a poll showed the legislation was opposed by two thirds of the British public.

Franco (right) - a role model for fellow right-winger David Cameron?
Franco (right) – a role model for fellow right-winger David Cameron?

But the ruling clique continues to describe it with the vocabulary they always use to describe all their policies. Business secretary Sajid Javid declared that: “The heart of this is all about democracy… It is simply the latest stage in the long journey of modernization and reform”.

Inside the same parallel universe in which democracy is a synonym for capitalism, this plutofascistic new law attacking workers’ freedom is presented as good news for “hardworking people” (Javid again), with the right-wing Spectactor brazenly insisting, without the slightest hint of embarrassment, that “the Trade Union Bill defends workers”.

The same dogmatic ultra-capitalist mindset can be seen behind the British Establishment’s reaction to Jeremy Corbyn’s election as leader of the Labour Party.

You don’t have to be a supporter of Corbyn, or to see his politics as particularly radical or interesting, in order to appreciate the significance of the relentless attacks on him. In fact, from an anarchist perspective the vitriol deployed against Corbyn seems even more extraordinary.

He isn’t calling for the destruction of the state (far from it!), for an end to private land ownership, for the abolition of prisons, for the disbanding of the army and the police, for an end to wage slavery, for the removal of all borders, for the abandonment of the pursuit of ecocidal “growth” and industrialism or for the complete decentralisation of decision-making to a consensus-based community level. He is happy to work within the putrid parliamentary system and to acknowledge its legitimacy, along with that of the “law” and the monarchy.

And yet he was still described by the prime minister as “a threat to our national security”. As Nafeez Ahmed pointed out on Twitter, David Cameron was here evoking “the language of Hitler and Stalin”.

Stalin - he knew a threat to national security when he saw one
Stalin – he knew a threat to national security when he saw one

Senior generals have also been warning of an army “mutiny” (or even military coup?) if Corbyn ever managed to become PM.

This extreme reaction to Corbyn’s ascendancy, alongside the government’s attack on the trade unions, doesn’t merely highlight the narrow agenda of the corporate-military ruling elite.

It also points to their growing sense of panic that they might lose control, that the public have not been completely pacified by their propaganda and scared into submission by their armies of thick-skulled uniformed thugs.

Courageous people are still prepared to take a stand against the horrors of the industrial-military-capitalist complex in all the various forms it takes – arms fairs, refugee crises, homelessness, fracking, exploitation, environmental destruction, racism, police violence and repression.

If Cameron and his venal Bullingdon buddies think the Corbynist wing of the Labour Party is alarming, we can’t wait to see their faces when they encounter the rise of the real resistance!

cameronandpig

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4. Resisting NATO in southern Europe

nato-1

Anti-militarists in southern Europe are planning resistance to massive and alarming NATO “war games” being staged in October and the start of November.

The “Trident Juncture” manoeuvres – mainly in Italy, Portugal and the Spanish State – will involve more than 36,000 troops from 30 states.

They will be “the most important NATO exercise during 2015” and “the largest deployment of NATO forces since the Cold War”, according to the Spanish Defence Ministry.

nato3

There is a sinister sub-text to the exercises, in which NATO says it will implement the “lessons” it learned in the war of occupation in Afghanistan.

The whole thing is looking very much like a dress rehearsal for massive military intervention across the Mediterranean in northern Africa, so rich in the minerals and hydrocarbons needed to keep the industrial capitalist system churning.

Although the pretext for the focus on Africa is the Islamist threat, and the war games will also send a belligerent message to Moscow, analysts think the main target of the US-led initiative is to combat Chinese influence in the continent.

Says a report on thefreeonline blog: “China is investing in many African countries, building infrastructure to extract natural resources – especially minerals – from the continent. Curbing Chinese expansion in Africa from the main competitor of the member states of the Atlantic Alliance, is one of the hidden motives of these ‘super wargames’. All this is part of the imperialist competition between the military powers and their dependence on the commercial interests of transnational corporations”.

NATO-2

Various call-outs have already been made for anti-NATO action in Madrid, Gibraltar, Zaragoza, Albacete and Cadiz.

Activists in Italy are planning protests outside NATO’s Rome HQ from October 8 to 11, as the exercises get underway, with other actions likely across the country.

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5. Blocking the death-dealers

DSEI1
The body bags pile up outside the DSEI arms fair in London

Anti-militarists have been in action in London in September, with two weeks of protests against the DSEI arms fair in the Docklands.

Among the highlights of a successful mobilisation were:

* Numerous demonstrations both before and during the militarist murder-fest. There is a report on the main day of action here. Police maintained their proud tradition of using violence against those trying to stop the violence being facilitated by the arms fair – see this video, for instance.

DSEI5
Blockading the arms fair

* Artists from Banksy’s Dismaland theme park visited East London to decorate bus stops and Docklands Light Railway trains with anti-DSEI subvertising.

dsei art

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* The arms fair’s cyber security was breached by anarchists calling themselves the Information Liberation Front (ILF), who leaked documents to the Indymedia UK website.

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6. Acorninfo

Anti-industrial activists from ZAD protest camps across France are to converge on Paris in December for the Cop21 climate summit (see Acorn 14). They will be going to the capital on foot, bike and tractor to make a stand against the destruction of our planet by the capitalist system. Info at http://marchesurlacop.noblogs.org

zadmarch

* * *

“The use of unmanned drones to launch so-called ‘risk free’ attacks in remote areas of the world has rocketed over the past decade. Technology, we are told, can control the chaos of war. The reality is that armed drones make it much easier for governments to opt to use lethal military force rather than engage in diplomatic or political solutions”. This is the warning from http://dronewars.net, a UK website packed with information about the drone menace.

drone image

* * *

Environmentalists in South Korea are furious after the Winter Olympics construction mafia felled thousands of trees just to build a ski slope for the one-off event. Rebecca Kim of SungkongHoe University in Seoul reports: “Pyeongchang2018 has completed the destruction of the primeval forest which has stood on Mount Gariwang for hundreds of years to make way for the Alpine Downhill ski event which will last for all of three days. This act and its unbelievable criminality have gone almost entirely unreported and unremarked in the world’s media”.

Gariwang
Mount Gariwang – devastated

* * *

The discovery of a previously unknown 4,500-year-old 90-stone monument near Stonehenge has led to renewed outrage at government plans to drive a new road through the area. Said the Stonehenge Alliance: “The massive stone monument recently discovered under the southern bank of Durrington Walls is yet another reason why the Government needs to abandon its proposal for a ‘short’ tunnel near Stonehenge and substantial road building within the World Heritage Site”.

stonehenge

* * *

Acorn quote: “May the revolution bring rebirth. May, since we need nothing so much as new, uncorrupted men rising up out of the unknown darkness and depths, may these renewers, purifiers, saviors not be lacking to our nation. Long live the revolution, and may it grow and rise to new levels in hard, wonderful years. May the nations be imbued with the new, creative spirit out of their task, out of the new conditions, out of the primeval, eternal and unconditional depths, the new spirit that really does create new conditions. May the revolution produce religion, a religion of action, life, love, that makes men happy, redeems them and overcomes impossible situations”.

Gustav Landauer, For Socialism

revolutionaries2

(For many more like this, see the Winter Oak quotes for the day blog)

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