Archive | Riot Porn RSS for this section

anti-government/anti-capitalist – it’s popping off everywhere

I wrote a piece for the section of the newspaper I edit about Turkey and the protests there. Unfortunately I couldn’t add a lot of the lefty rhetoric I would’ve liked to hurdur so I’ll add it in here.

It’s obvious that the resistance is emblematic of wider social problems caused by a conservative and controversial regime. That so much protest, by so many different types of people on all ends of the spectrum, kicked off as a result of the environmental demos, shows that there are more deeply entrenched anxieties and problems than seen if viewed superficially.

There has been a G8 demo in London today, and it was pathetically attended, and vociferously over-policed. Anti-capitalist demos should be drawing more people than ever in today’s austerity Britain, and yet I was dramatically underwhelmed. There was just no publicity – it is apparent that the situation in Turkey is not likely to be replicated in the UK if the comments of people walking past are anything to go by. The stereotype of stinky hippy/black bloc anarchists needs to be overcome if we are to create a populist uprising (dare I say revolution?), but it is not gonna happen soon if the only people that attend demos such as this, at least visibly, are either of the aforementioned.

There are further parallels to be drawn between Turkey and the UK, in that the policing is OTT. While we may not have rubber bullets and tear gas, the actions of the TSG certainly contradict the vision of a larvely English Bobby pedalling a quaint little bike. What I’m saying is that it’s all relative – in such a ‘polite’ society such as England (doubtful, but lets go with it) punching the public in the face and telling them to “shut up” is pretty naysty. Things are obviously worse in Turkey, and I’m not putting the two situations on an even footing, but the similarity is there.

But anyway, vicious treatment, raiding convergence spaces and pre-empting mass arrests by bringing – how many? – meat wagons… a sign that the cops are scared, and that they are trying to big up situations like this to stop the cuts affecting them – but surely they will… and then we shall see.

Street party at 5.30 in Piccadilly Circus. I will be boxing. But be there!

Advertisements

This is my attempt at being objective and diplomatic.

May first is symbolic in many ways. As well as representing the beginning of spring, it is International Workers’ Day, prompting demonstrations of solidarity across the world every year. This week was no different, with demonstrations taking place in the North America, Asia and Europe. Thousands of people took to the streets of cities like Bologna, Napoli and Madrid to protest against austerity measures and record levels of unemployment throughout Europe, which stands at 27% in Spain. Some demonstrations ended with frustration turning to violence, such as in Istanbul, where police used teargas and watercannon against protesters, who were said to have thrown stones and Molotov cocktails at police lines. Public and private sector strikes were called in Athens, bringing services like hospitals and banks to a standstill, and causing major disruption to transport services.

Similar scenes were seen in Seattle, the location of the 1999 ‘Battle of Seattle’ anti-globalisation demonstrations against the World Trade Organisation. Peaceful rallies of trades unions, students and labour activists marched throughout the day, but a small “non-permitted” demonstration caused damage to property during the evening, after the march. Police were quick to dispel the situation, with mayor Mike McGinn justifying their response by connecting the situation to the Boston bombings earlier this month, which is still fresh in the minds of many Americans.

The collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh earlier this week sparked May Day protests in Dhaka, where demonstrators demanded factory owners be held to account for the disaster which killed 402 people and injured around 2500.

May Day is a celebration of the strength and solidarity of workers all over the world, and many marches showed exactly that. The sporadic violence that erupted illustrated the anger and frustration felt by workers in exploitative situations such as in Dhaka, where workers were paid just £32 a month.

International Workers’ Day

Happy MayDay 2012. May it be filled with righteous workers’ pride, revolutionary thoughts and discourse. And of course lots of fun. And Ri- Ots.

Remember not to work more than 5 days this week, or 8 hours. Cos that’s what this is about, innit.

One Solution:

Re-vo-lu-shun

I love the Met.

I love the Met.

Bridge kettle in the freezing cold at the December student demo 2010. Not warm.

Riot porn

Riot porn

I believe this was in the Guardian 2010 summary. I may be wrong there.