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Anarchist Block on anti-war demonstration in Britain

category ireland / britain | imperialism / war | news report author Friday September 29, 2006 17:55author by Northern Anarchist - Anarchist Federationauthor email info at afed dot org dot uk Report this post to the editors

Report & pictures from Manchester 23 September 2006

The anti-war demonstration in Manchester on September 23rd (taking place the weekend before the Labour party annual conference) was supported by a colourful and vocal 'anarchist block' with attendance from anarchist organisations and non-aligned anarchists from Manchester and across the country, at least 40 bodies in all. The block was called by the Anarchist Federation and Solidarity Federation, two of the class struggle anarchist organisations in Britain with international links (read the jointly produced leaflet 'Why We Haven't Stopped the War Yet'). The day started with an IWW picket of Starbucks in support of union workers in the USA, followed by the anti-war march.

Red & black flags of the anti-war anarchist block
Red & black flags of the anti-war anarchist block

The anti-war demonstration in Manchester on September 23rd (taking place the weekend before the Labour party annual conference) was supported by a colourful and vocal 'anarchist block' with attendance from anarchist organisations and non-aligned anarchists from Manchester and across the country, at least 40 bodies in all. The block was called by the Anarchist Federation and Solidarity Federation, two of the class struggle anarchist organisations in Britain with international links (read the jointly produced leaflet 'Why We Haven't Stopped the War Yet').

In the morning, prior to the demonstration, an Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) union picket of Starbucks was well supported. This took place at the Starbucks next to Albert Square, and another branch, in solidarity with 'wobbly' activists in USA [IWW members Daniel Gross, Evan Winterscheidt, Joe Agins Jr., and Charles Fostrom were all sacked in less than a year, and Daniel Gross after more than three years of organizing at the company. Daniel's expression of solidarity at a union picket line with co-worker and fellow union member, Evan Winterscheidt, was deemed threatening by Starbucks despite multiple eyewitnesses who confirm that Daniel merely asserted to District Manager Allison Marx that Evan should not be fired]. It was great to find that many potential coffee-drinkers opted to go elsewhere on hearing the facts, and for most of the picket the Albert Sq. clientele seemed to consist mostly of cops and going to the loo and at times drinking, we believe, free drinks provided by the management.
In the Peace Gardens before the rally started, home-made banners encouraged soldiers to desert, and called for opposition to the tools of state repression like ID cards. More than a two dozen red-and-black flags, well known from the Spanish Revolution as a symbol of anarchist-communism and anarcho-syndicalism, flew high in the air. Also in the sky, a police helicopter droned on, while cops on the ground did their best to snap anarchist faces on camera, presumably to be used when they get tired of harassing other potential 'terrorist' suspects with the raft of new repressive laws brought in by this government. Haven't they realised that governments, elitist groups and the capitalist arms companies who supply all sides for profit, are the real terrorists?

On the march, chants of "no more leaders, no more laws, no more lies and no more wars", could be clearly heard. Or was it no more pies? Certainly "no Gods, no masters" was included amongst the other slogans that were shouted by anarchists that day. Who cares if the war is technically 'illegal' or not, wars are never in the interest of ordinary people. When we get rid of capitalism with its ownership of the Earth's resources by wealthy minorities who force us to work for them, and nation states with their borders, armies and police forces, only then we will finally get rid of war. Unlike the terrorist tactics of groups who just want to take another form of power over our lives and impose a new set of rules, our refusal of work and mass revolt against all authorities are the tactics that will eventually win freedom and equality for all.

We are against all wars. All wars are against us.

No war but the class war!


Earlier (but slightly inaccurate) report with more pictures is at:
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2006/09/351646.html

More links:
Call for Anarchist Block on 23rd: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/manchester/2006/09/351088.html

Anarchist Federation (North): http://www.af-north.org/

Anarchist Federation: http://www.afed.org.uk/ including Resistance bulletin.

Solidarity Federation: http://www.solfed.org.uk/ including Catalyst bulletin.

Starbucks Union: http://www.starbucksunion.org/

Related Link: http://www.af-north.org

Starbucks picket before demonstration
Starbucks picket before demonstration

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