Tag: patrik

Belgravia: The Anarchist Present

@ClassWar2015

@ClassWar2015

JAN 30, from ASH: “The occupation of an oligarch’s empty mansion in Eaton Square by the Autonomous Nation of Anarchist Libertarians is real, not symbolic. The courts, acting with a swiftness that only a billionaire’s displeasure can buy, will have them out of there at the end of the riot police’s batons, but they have pushed back against the occupying force of capital that presides over every aspect of this servile country, and in doing so opened a chink in its armour — a chink we and others may chose to help force open…”

I know almost nothing of anarchist theory, but of what little I know there seems to be a problem with what happens afterwards. A little like Jane Eyre’s famous concluding line — ‘Reader, I married him’ — it’s the unwritten bit that follows that will determine whether the love affair was real or just infatuation.

But whether the idea is to destroy the power of the state (and refuse to get married) or take power (and abolish marriage as an institution), I don’t understand how that is meant to be done or maintained against the power of the military-industrial complex backed by the wealth of international capitalism.

Communism, by contrast, came up with a pretty clear image of the future once their fabled Revolution was brought about, even though so far things haven’t quite gone according to plan — quite the contrary. However, the hope and faith in the Revolution has induced a sort of idealism in communists, who tend to act as if it was always just around the corner, capitalism always in crisis, and just about to fall, as it has been, it seems, practically since it reared its ugly head.

I have always felt that the contradictions of capitalism are more often to be found in the hope and faith of those predicting its imminent demise than in the economic, political and ideological system that has colonised the entire world.

This hope and faith — terms more appropriate to messianic religious nutters than materialist revolutionaries — leads communists to act in ways that are purely formal approximations of political activity. The latest example was last week’s communist protest outside a Glasgow bar, apparently against Bacardi for being ‘an enemy of Cuba’.

If you can’t see the ridiculousness of this you belong in Stalin’s politburo — or worse, on Tariq Ali’s picnic guest list. Quite apart from the Borg-like behaviour of its adherents towards those who don’t toe the Party Line, it’s because of absurdities like this that communism has never managed to appeal to the British working class sufficiently to make it a political force in the UK, as it has been, at times, in Germany, Italy and France.

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As much as communism gains a certain authority from its international scope, and notwithstanding the importance of its critique of capitalism as a global system of exploitation and violence, the British working class, faced with homelessness, unemployment and poverty, and without an apparent alternative to the corruption and capitalism of the Labour Party, are not going to be lured by communists banging on about Palestine, Cuba and Venezuela and thrusting one hundred year-old texts by Lenin in their faces.

The failure of communism to increase its followers — even now when there is such a need for a political alternative — is, if not proof, then a strong argument to the truth of this accusation, no matter how unpalatable it may be.

The working class of Britain want to be spoken to about solutions to their own sufferings, which however much they pale besides those of the people of Palestine, Yemen or Syria, are theirs, getting worse, and to which no political movement in this country is presenting a solution.

It’s for this reason that anarchists alone, it seems to me, are grabbing the attention of the despised of Britain, the ‘left behind’, the ‘just about coping’, and other euphemisms of capitalism’s victims. Marching, demonstrating, protesting, and all the other out-of-date activities of the Left have become a purely formal, symbolic activity.

That is to say, they have become the playthings of the middle-classes. They have neither constitutional reckoning (which is why President Trump really doesn’t give a fuck how many people march against him) nor political threat — not only because of the growing power of the police, army and other security forces, but because, with a few exceptions, the mass of people who march, whether in Washington or London, do so with no intention or ability to use their numbers as a political force.

As I said, what was once, a long, long time ago, a demonstration of working-class power, has for some time now become little more than a show of disapproval. And people with armies at their disposal don’t care about disapproval.

In contrast, the occupation of an oligarch’s empty mansion in Eaton Square by the Autonomous Nation of Anarchist Libertarians is real, not symbolic.

The courts, acting with a swiftness that only a billionaire’s displeasure can buy, will have them out of there at the end of the riot police’s batons, but they have pushed back against the occupying force of capital that presides over every aspect of this servile country, and in doing so opened a chink in its armour — a chink we and others may chose to help force open.

They haven’t made demands of the corrupt, they haven’t asked someone else to do something about the problem, they haven’t stood around waving flags demanding that a politician in a faraway country who has never heard of them does something he wouldn’t do in a million years and pretended they’re making a difference.

They’ve taken direct action — a term that is much used but little understood. Marching, demonstrating, protesting, demanding, petitioning isn’t direct action. Whatever affectivity people might kid themselves into thinking it may have is always mediated through the addressees of their pleas, who really and truly do not give a fuck.

If you don’t know and face this, your protest is not only ineffectual bullshit, it is contributing to the spectacle of democracy by which the mass of people in this and every capitalist country are kept politically passive.

Anarchism may not have a plan for what happens when our three-volume romantic novel is closed and we all walk off into the sunset with Mr. Rochester, but we’re no way near crossing that line. Quite the opposite. And pretending we are is the surest way to turn our Bildungsroman into a Gothic horror.

@ClassWar2015

@ClassWar2015

Perhaps anarchism is best understood — it’s how I understand it through watching and participating in the actions of my anarchist comrades — as political action under the yoke of capitalism — which is to say, in the horror story of our present reality.

Finally, anarchists, whether chasing fascist architect Patrik Schumacher down the street, occupying the Aylesbury Estate, smashing the Cereal Cafe, taking Tower Bridge, hanging anarchist and anti-fascist flags over Eaton Square, or setting up a homeless shelter in an oligarch’s empty mansion, really know how to produce an image that captures the imagination of anyone in Britain who may be thinking of throwing off the shackles of capitalism and the blindfold of parliamentary democracy and joining the fight.

And under the blanket propaganda that keeps the British electorate in a state of consumerist complacency rising, when required, to xenophobic hatred, this is one of the most important tasks of direct action.

I’d suggest that, if communists ever want to turn their Revolution into reality, they should start learning from the anarchists.

After victory for Harrod’s workers organised by United Voices of the World and the halt to the compulsory purchase order on Millwall Football ground and the surrounding estates and businesses by the campaign of resistance, the occupation of 102 Belgrave Place, which has been reported around the world, is our third victory in London in 2017. And we’re still in January.

Original article here at Architects for Social Housing (ASH)

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The Canary: A shocking attack in the heart of London sums up why Trump is so dangerous [VIDEO]

Quick report on Class War against social cleansing architect Patrik Schumacher

via peter marshall: London, UK. 8th December 2016. Ian Bone of Class War speaks at their second protest against Zaha Hadid Architects director Patrik Schumacher who suggested solving London’s housing crisis by getting rid of regulations, privatising all public space and scrapping social housing.

They say this would be a fascist social cleansing of the city which would force out the working class and abandon it to the wealthy.

Schumacher’s ideas have been widely disowned by the architectural profession and the protesters demand he resign; he apparently left the building as the protesters arrived shortly before I got there but ran off down the road when challenged and asked to discuss the issues with the protesters. (more…)

Feedback from the first Schumacher demo

@ClassWar2015

@ClassWar2015

UPDATED 6 DEC: “What Patrik Schumacher has said is social fascism. If it’s not opposed early on, it will grow and grow… We as working class people want to stop it right at the beginning” said founder of Class War, Ian Bone…” After Patrik Schumacher voiced his desire for public and affordable housing to be abolished, protesters have targeted the office of Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) in Clerkenwell, London. In Schumacher’s speech, made earlier this month in Berlin, he argued that state regulations stifle architectural creativity and development while giving tenants of public housing unfair access to city centers. (more…)

“Unproductives” demonstration against the architect of social cleansing fascism, 1pm 30 November EC1R 0BQ

es-schumak

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1pm on Wednesday 30 November 2016 @ Zaha Hadid Architects, 10 Bowling Green Lane, EC1R 0BQ London

BRING POSTERS, BANNERS! Architect Patrik Schumacher wants to get rid of all affordable housing and remove the “unproductive” from London. Let’s show him on Wednesday just what us “Unproductives” think about that!

This is PATRIK SCHUMACHER, director of Zaha Hadid Architects, hater of the working class, and social cleansing denier. And here’s what he had to say recently about who ‘deserves’ to live in London, in which he uses photos from an action against social cleansing that some of us did outside a posh prize-giving at the Royal Institute of British Architects.

His message is clear: the rich want London’s council estates and they don’t give a shit about what they have to do to the working class to get them. (more…)