In the UK, on March 26th 2011, over a thousand Anarchists took to the street to send a clear message to the British government that we were not going to take the cuts lightly. Buildings got smashed, Banks set on fire, and corporations attacked. This action would have been many times bigger if it had not been for a certain group known as the Love Police. A man by the name of Charlie Veitch, either aware or unaware, gathered in Trafalgar square on the day of the mass disturbance with a message of “Love the police.” You could almost say that on this day, the message of Anarchy in the UK was diluted by Veitch’s message of loving the police.
Skip forward to Occupy London, October 15th 2011 and the many demo’s and actions that were associated, out of No where came Anonymous, this was the 1st time they launched themselves into the Generalised protest world outside of Scientology. They bought with then an underlying message of peaceful protest that was built into their code of conduct. No one actually knew where this code of conduct came from, some even pointing the finger at it coming from the FBI themselves.
Skip forward to November 1st 2011 and a conversation on a very large Facebook thread . It was 5 days before the big protest on November 5th 2011 AKA “Operation Stand” the Operation discussion thread had many comments. The biggest and most controversial part of this thread that was the majority of UK Anons were unanimous that the threat of violent or disruptive behaviour should be dealt with by handing any confrontational protesters over to police. That’s right, the peaceful protest code of conduct had become all out complicity with the police. This caused mass outrage and became a very big thread with many criticizing Anonymous UK as counter-revolutionary.
The underlying code of conduct that promoted peaceful protest has been a topic of controversy ever since . From my perspective , We should all want peaceful protest, but it’s really not that simple. By all means support Anonymous, but we really must read between the lines, the police are not our friends, they are not on our side. I do not want violence, but without justice, there can never be peace. Any activist in there right mind knows this to be the case,
Skip forward to 2013 and I see the activist world completely divided by this subject. Are we peaceful or are we violent, the truth is always somewhere in the middle, this blog will hopefully remind people to read between the lines, we are not doing this to be violent, but we are naive if we state that we are organizing a peaceful demo, because In the current police state, you can not guarantee this.
So 1st, the love police quelled the uprising for 2 years, then Anonymous quelled the uprising for a further 2 years. Now in 2013 going on 2014, you have the next big groups in the UK, The Peoples Assembly, Left Unity and The Peoples voice, All three with clauses written into their mission statement of peaceful protest, all three at risk of quelling the uprising.
Please read between the lines. we do not need peaceful protest, we do not need violent protest. What we need is affirmative action, from the grass-roots level up. The alternative is simple, never affiliate with a group that has “peaceful protest” built into their code of conduct, because you may just find yourself getting arrested or sacrificed by your own team.
A Ground Activist in the thick of it.