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Call for contributions: Voices of Resistance from Occupied London

category ireland / britain | anarchist movement | other libertarian press author Saturday January 13, 2007 21:00author by voices of resistance from occupied londonauthor email occupiedlondon at riseup dot net Report this post to the editors

“Voices of Resistance from Occupied London” is the brand new, self-portrayed “Anarchist Bulletin of News, Theory and Action from the British Capital After the Empire”. Our first issue will come out in early/mid-March - on time for the day of direct action for Iraq on March 19.

We are looking for contributions to the first issue. While this is an anarchist and London-based initiative, you don't have to be an anarchist to contribute and of course you don't have to live in London! All pieces with a critical anti-capitalist/ anti-authoritarian stance are welcome; topics could include, but are by no means limited to:

- The rise of CCTV/ Surveillance culture in Britain

- SOCPA/Anti-terrorist legislation and its effect on dissent

-Social centres in London/UK/elsewhere!

-Inspiring community projects

-Gentrification/spatial segregation in the UK and 'abroad'

... and, needless to say, any London-specific tales of resistance will be gladly received.

The deadline for submissions is March 1st 2007. If you would like to contribute please contact us at occupiedlondon@riseup.net



Screaming Out in the London Desert: Introducing this Bulletin

Some years ago Chumbawamba would incite their audiences to “go where the silence is and say something”. In the year 2007 the busy, overcrowded streets of post-British Empire London are covered by a near-deafening silence: The most heavily surveilled urban spaces in the world are constantly patrolled by trigger-happy Metropolitan Police, enforcing their now official shoot to kill policy. The true face of the “democratic” British State regime is unveiled further day after day: It is now illegal to hold a demonstration in the close vicinity of their parliament without prior permission; over 1,5 million surveillance cameras pointing at a population of ten million and newly-introduced “participatory surveillance projects” make Orwell seem somewhat obsolete. But Orwellian Doublespeak is very much alive and kicking: Political refugees are dubbed “asylum seekers” (to imply it is “them” asking “us” for asylum, their position stripped off its social and political context...) Such “asylum seekers” are then thrown into worse-than-prison detention centres around the British territory; two of these centres are located a stone's throw from the luxurious lounges of Heathrow airport. In November last year the
detainees rightfully revolted, offering us a short glimpse of hope amidst the desert of apathy in the rest of the city. The revolt served as a useful reminder of a fact easily forgotten when dwelling London's streets: no amount of commercialisation, spatial control or repression will bring us any closer to the end of history. The capitalist metropolis is literally built on inequality and repression - therefore resistance and dissent will always find their way into it, might that be on the streets or inside fortified, secluded spaces. Today, the city's streets increasingly resemble the latter, making it more vital than ever for us to join the dots of resistance both on and off the streets.

The migrants' November revolt was one of a series of reminders that things do not have to be like this and actually in many places they are not. All of us in the editorial collective carry experiences of anti-capitalist struggles 'abroad' that shaped our livelihoods to transcend some of the suffocating elements of everyday capitalist culture. This is by no means a claim that anyone could ever live outside capitalism: that, for now, is impossible. But there are ways to retain some autonomy whilst living inside the belly of the beast; to create structures and relationships competitive and hostile to those of Capital and the State; to dream about, and to catch glimpses of what a post-capitalist, anarchist future could look like.

This bulletin aspires to discuss the London situation in particular: Non-abiding to the physics law that action brings reaction, our city is
one of the most tightly controlled and repressed urban spaces in the world yet resistance is (or seems to be) scarce. For us, London is an occupied city. By this we do not, of course, imply that London was ever free – but it is an expression of our hope that one day it can be liberated from its
occupying army of cops, cameras, yuppies and pathetic consumers...

We wholeheartedly support all anarchist and anti-authoritarian initiatives aimed against capitalist and state structures. Such initiatives include the inspiring social centres that have recently sprang up in our city - see http://www.londonsocialcentre.org.uk. The excellent No Borders Network, building direct solidarity links with migrants across the country (http://www.noborders.org.uk/). Naturally, we support and will be responding to the call for global direct action against the Iraqi occupation on March 19.

We want to provide a platform for discussion on all aspects of surviving and living in London today and to strategise on how to keep the flame of
resistance alive. Your own contributions are not just welcome but absolutely vital for this project to live and grow; you can reach us at occupiedlondon@riseup.net. We would love to see anything from inspiring news of everyday resistance in the city to future actions/events (please send us your event's info for our calendar!) and theoretical approaches on all of the above.

The bulletin will also feature news and views from our many friends and comrades around the world: It is time for us to learn from effective ways of resisting elsewhere and to use such lessons to create spaces of freedom right here, in our occupied city!

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