Totally Pointless Policing

Whoever placed this poster outside New Scotland Yard (HQ of the Metropolitan Police), not only does that take serious cojones you are my Person of the Year ;-) These posters are originally from Strike Magazine and seems like someone has worked out how to replace those bus shelter posters with something far more truthful.

And cheaper than MILLIONS the Met spent last year telling us how so wonderful and brilliant they are. They spent nearly half a million pounds on that campaign alone? Right.

Apparently they’ve been Infiltrating Christmas too on the Tube. Love it. Subvertisements with some real meaning, at last…let the #notallpolice and #onebadapple comments commence!

London’s Burning with boredom now…

Unless you want some cheap Nikes or a plasma TV. Cos ransacking JD Sports is SO revolutionary! Liberate those Sweatshop Reeboks! Westfield to the World! Ironic the revolutionary anti-capitalist anarchists bigging the kids in the hood looting for gear to maintain their profile; mainly because those kids would laugh at their ideas, being the perfect Thatchers (grand?)children. Yes the revolution will be televised on my nice 50″ TV! As of writing this, Tottenham and Wood Green had The Riot Tour 2011 yesterday, and tonight disturbances in Enfield, Kingsland Road, Ponder’s End, Edmonton Walthamstow and Brixton kicking off, althougn not as dramatic as Tottenham still very stony burny. And of course looty.

Sad they never learned the lessons of ’85 isn’t it? The SUS laws, the no jobs, the unemployment, the Big Society That Doesn’t Include You. Still disappointed that their idea of revolution is raiding and torching the local Aldi, though. And about the police shooting of a bloke who was far from squeaky it seems? Not exactly Blair Peach nor Ian Tomlinson, I do have some sympathy for those having to stop hardened or armed criminals, however bad they are at communicating – an impossible task if the community shields them, and calls them ‘elder’. Really places like Tottenham have to face up to their dark side too, rather than just blaming the police – who are bad – for everything. The black on black shootings and kids accidentally getting in the firing line are testament to that. (Maybe they need some Violence Interrupters like in Chicago – a great idea and I’m going to see the film tomorrow thanks Dean for the link).

Even turns out I might be wrong about this Chav Gangsta Knees Up, that Mark Duggan didn’t shoot as the Guardian report the bullet in the radio was police issue (although I still maintain that no ‘honest geezer’ pulls gang signs in photos or talks of the ‘feds’ following him – or can spot same)? If so, gonna be a Summer of Hate, don’t mind the Long Hot Summer bit, but you do need the sun bit for that. Looks like no-one trusts the police anymore anyway (have to say I lived in Wood Green in 1999 and the speciality of the local coppers was to tell you to fuck off and not give answers at all (my crime? Wanting to walk down a road towards Tottenham!) and strong arm tactics, so not really surprised. The area is weird though…but it seems to be spreading. *sigh*)

I did say end of last year on Twitter that 2011 was the year of protest and riot…scarily correct in that assertion, really. If you need me I’ll be behind the door with a baseball bat.

Oh and ver Kids really should listen to ver Bragg:

Up in the morning and out to school
Mother says there’ll be no work next year
Qualifications once the Golden Rule
Are now just pieces of paper

Just because you’re better than me
Doesn’t mean I’m lazy
Just because I dress like this
Doesn’t mean I’m a communist

The factories are closing and the army’s full –
I don’t know what I’m going to do
But I’ve come to see in the Land of the Free
There’s only a future for the Chosen Few

At twenty one you’re on top of the scrapheap
At sixteen you were top of the class
All they taught you at school
Was how to be a good worker
The system has failed you, don’t fail yourself

Just because you’re better than me
Doesn’t mean I’m lazy
Just because you’re going forwards
Doesn’t mean I’m going backwards

Who can you trust? The Police and state propaganda war

A very strange (long) weekend, a good one for royalists, bad one for anarchists and the Met Police, and complete headache for Osama Bin Laden (it’s OK, he went for a US government sanctioned swim :-P).

No link between those? Well in all three events the media has been used and spun to either pre-convict protesters as all dangerous anarchists and to threaten anyone who dares protest that it wouldn’t be allowed, or deny someone was unlawfully killed by police at every stage and try and hide and obscure it a la Blair Peach, or a strange shifting story of killed then not killed wives, guns being fired and then not, and lack of evidence and a sudden strange hypersensitivity to Islam that wasn’t really there in the last 10 years. Not to mention the news-speke of ‘ammonia filled lightbulbs’ of previous months (have you ever tried to open up a lightbulb, let alone fill it with anything?). That’s not to say that Osama didn’t play up or invent these fantasy narratives – a wonderful bedfellow boogie-man for the USA. It’s a weird dance or death spiral with us all sandwiched inbetween these people.

The lone beacon of good news is the verdict of unlawful killing in the case of Ian Tomlinson…for once justice is seemed to be done, although the sceptic in me thinks Simon Harwood will go the way of Alan Murray in the case of Blair Peach – fingered but not prosecuted. Prosecuting a police officer is always balked at by juries usually. I hope he doesn’t return to the Met though, and sorts out his anger issues.

Really we are now in a strange psyops propaganda world where the battle like with Osama is purely symbolic, where ‘truth’ is accepted and not questioned even when it seems as fishy as what’s nibbling Bin Laden’s toes. The Met has repeatedly lied or denied in many cases recently, there’s a good article about these trust issues here – and a rather scary report from a transgender member of Queer Resistance, part of the Zombie Flash mob in Soho Square…Met ‘diversity’ and gender issues trainers, read that and weep – yes we still have people who have to ‘check’ someone’s gender by doing what sounds even worse than the ‘touch my junk’ the TSA did on me when I asked not to go through the backscatter coming back from the States (they were great actually, and it wasn’t that invasive, my bag was less happier though).

And the idea you dump the body of the World’s Most Wanted Man (well if you think the world is America) into the ocean – understandably not wanting a shrine to Osama – without independent verification and expecting your enemies and critics just to buy your story and trust implicitly what you say is incredulous to say the least. Maybe Osama will become the new Elvis and appear in your local laundromat singing his best hits or something…or pal up with his friends Abominable Snowman and Nessie for a full tour of remote parks everywhere? Have people really become that unquestioning at what is pumped at them by the media and state? It seems so by the actions of such authorities.

Also disturbing how if true in the case of the arrested QR members how frank they were about not letting anyone ‘spoil Kate and Wills big day’ – I thought the police were there to solve crime, not stop protests as part of a political protection of the state or royalty? Even admitting keeping someone there til the wedding is over, you can’t keep or arrest someone just because you ‘might’ think they’ll do a crime – that’s Minority Report not real life.

But bullshit has a (un)welcome ring and in all these cases language was used pre-emptively to spin the whole precedings, or in some cases lie knowing that the media will have moved onto the next story before it comes out those ‘lightbulbs’ and ‘guns’ and ‘weapons of mass destruction’ weren’t there. Sad when you hoped the likes of Obama would open up transparency rather than keeping on the cloak and dagger or lies of previous administrations…because that just feeds the cranks and fundamentalists, but recently I’ve felt herded too close to Truther nuttiness for my liking since the official stories do not ring true…they are lying to us all…and like in 2003 with Blair and Iraq just are not really caring if they are caught out as they can shout louder?

Or maybe I’m just paranoid…whose fault could that be?

Kids are angry…and a dubstep revolution

Just wrote this over at Facebook about the protests today…I went down to Whitehall about 6ish before the Treasury occupation to have a look. Not much was happening, kids were standing around outside the kettle, burning placards and changing NWA Fuck the Police slogans. Sirens have been going off all day, and helicopters – surreal, last time it was like that was 7/7 – or the Poll Tax riots.

Love the responses by the armchair reactionaries – and at points in the past I have been one – but somehow become experts on violent protest when they’ve never been to a fucking protest in their life. Those who didn’t bother to even go down and see the protest, or read much of the articles like this one they just swallow the BBC/state line…the reality on the ground seemed more complex, and less hard cut than violence = bad or the anarchic few stereotype. It’s harder to think that the sons and daughters of middle class Torygraph and Daily Fail readers might have been in that melee…

The kids are angry, and rightly so…doesn’t make them all bad, nor even rule out the voices of those that were violent, nor make their points less pertinent, if not in a form that we deem acceptable. After all we as a society taught them this is the only way – or shut off the other ways by not listening to them, not teaching them rhetoric or discourse, kept them dumb. What the fuck do you expect? What you’re seeing is a whole generation trying to find it’s own way politically – and it doesn’t really need adults telling it what to do.

I’m proud of the ones building bridges on the tube lines, stopping the angry ones from going too far on previous protests, the Whitechapel Anarchist Group who lead a local grilling of the community against their councillors over the cuts…a lot of this is being done organically, instinctually…no leaders, these are schoolkids and kids from the estates who were never taken on the anti-war marches or cause celebres and taught how to wave a placard like Emily and Tarquin…so of course they’re learning on the job, so to speak. Mistakes will be made…throwing rocks and smashing windows is pretty dumb, if understandable. But it’s not the issue at hand – have you noticed how people get outraged when a shop gets trashed or a window smashed? Shopping truly is the new religion…..depressingly.

(picture by East London Lines)

The ‘violence is bad mmmkay’argument is a straw man. The more important thing is do they have a point? What are they saying? And what do we do to change this awful system to be more fairer to them the next generation, and us, and take control away from a government and banks who don’t care? If you focus on the Daily Mail ‘OMG THEY SCARED CAMILLA’ (which is a priceless image and well worth all the hassle – keep going all you’ve even got the establishment scared now!) and the pre-thought image of anarchist yoot then I really can’t help you, you’re an old reactionary and should shuffle off to the grave sharpish. Go on, and take your copy of Daily Fail with you.

A good balanced article about the dualities I saw on the ground is here, and pictures here and here but really look around because the best and most shocking yet true pictures were the ones from the people in the march, shared on services like Twitpic like this one of police pulling disabled Jody Macintyre from his wheelchair. Also interesting was the live Google map from the UCLOccupation people, which anyone could update – an important use of the new technology. I think we are seeing a new Wikipolitick, a new responsible Flash mob political activity which I’ve been talking about here for a while, nice to see the usually inane Twitter, Facebook, Google Maps and YouTube et al used for good as with the Iran protests.

This is the crossover with Wikileaks, and why activism on the internet and mobile is becoming more important…as previous G20s have shown the crowd can act all the more quicker using these tools, react or even resist kettling or police action or change strategy as with the dayx2 protest almost immediately. It’s a new era of protest online and off, and the tools are enabling that, although as Wikileaks have found the cloud can be dispersed by the US Government almost as quickly, meaning that for real political ends the likes of Paypal and Amazon’s cloud must be avoided…and such tools have to be carefully (ab)used and chosen with backups in place.

And SHAME ON YOU Met Police for keeping protesters kettled on Westminster Bridge til going on midnight in nearly zero temperatures…and ignoring their requests for medical assistance.

Also to bring this back to music, apparently the Sound of the Revolution was dubstep…and grime. As someone said on twitter it’s bigger than hip hop hip hop….unless it’s NWA, y’all.

May I also suggest King Blues, from when they were radical, this came on by chance on DJ Charles IV as I walked down to Whitehall, the lyrics seem really appropriate for how I feel about the 16 and 17 year olds who are either fighting Wikileaks censorship or fighting on the streets for their and our future:

I see them coming for the youth, and me say “No Lord”.
I see them coming for the youth, and me say “No”.

They riot through the night in Burnley,
We have another kind of mashup party here in Hackney.

They come to take away my liberties,
But round here we nah want no stinkin’ B.N.P.

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