Jacob Rees-Mogg’s Grenfell comments show us what the Tories really think about people of colour

It’s our fervent wish that Rees mogg finds himself trapped in a burning building real soon, so we can see how clever he is. If it’s the house of commons, so much the better.  – Ed.

gal-dem

Header image by Carcharoth

You could be forgiven for thinking that in this day and age, certain false narratives like the myth of meritocracy and racial superiority are a thing of the past. Not so, felt Jacob Rees-Mogg, who this week decided to test his usually teflon-tongue, speaking on Nick Ferrari’s radio show about the report on Grenfell Tower. When asked about the causes of the 72 reported casualties, attributed in part to race and class discrimination that meant their concerns about the cladding went unheard until they burned to their deaths, he chose to partially blame the victims themselves for not ignoring the fire brigades’ advice and fleeing the building.

He then compounded this narrative of how, and on whom, to apportion blame by asserting that, unlike the black and brown working class victims, “you and I” (the interviewer and himself) would have had the “common sense” to know better than to listen to the fire brigade. Despite the fact that any reasonable person might suspect the fire brigade are experts on fire safety, Jacob claims he would have exited and fled to safety. It is not immediately clear what distinction Jacob draws that holds himself and Nick on one side and the Grenfell inhabitants on another. But, Jacob and Nick are both white men, both Leave voters and both drive (and enjoy talking about) their expensive cars, a Jaguar for Mr Ferarri and at least one Bentley for Jacob. Or to put it simply, whilst the Grenfell victims were people of colour and poor, Jacob and Nick are both white and rich.

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Red & Black telly: 2019 GENERAL ELECTION COMMENTARY ( 1 )

Rioting, Legislation and Estate Demolition: A Chronology of Social Cleansing in London, 1999-2019

Architects for Social Housing

Mounted police charge Poll Tax demonstrators in Trafalgar Square, London, 1991

‘We show respect to everyone — to each other, the general public and to the government and police. We engage in no violence, physical or verbal.’

— Extinction Rebellion

1990  Did the UK Poll Tax demonstrations in 1990 mark a watershed in the relations between governments and crowds? Certainly not in the violence used by the former. The troops of baton-wielding police who rode their horses into the packed crowds on Trafalgar Square were the same who charged the picket lines of striking miners at the Orgreave coke plant in 1984. And certainly not in the lies the government used afterwards to justify that violence. What Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher denounced as ‘Marxist agitators and militants’ using the Poll Tax demonstrations for their own political ends echoed her description of the 1981 uprising in Brixton against unemployment, cuts to public spending and police racism as a ‘fiesta of crime, looting and rioting in the guise of social protest’ — with both demonstrations subsequently imprinted on public perception as ‘riots’. Perhaps the difference, then, was that, where the violent suppression of the miners’ strike and the Brixton protests that spread across the UK had little impact on Thatcher’s reign, the Poll Tax demonstrations are credited with bringing down a Prime Minister who had ruled over Britain for 13 years.

What it didn’t end, however, was

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EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT UNIVERSAL CREDIT: 9th October, Bridport

Hi Autonomy film watchers,

We haven’t shown a film for a while because we’ve been doing other things, but we thought you might like to know about a meeting we’re organising this week.

So many people have been having trouble getting the benefits they are entitled to – or even getting any kind of response – from the new Universal Credit scheme. For some it is causing real hardship. So two members of the Citizens Advice Bureau are coming to explain it and try to help. Please let anybody know who might be interested! Hope to see you there.

Solidarity with Exarcheia! | Statement

Reproduced in full from Organise Magazine

On Monday the 26th of August, the Greek police launched a large operation in Exarcheia, the famous rebel district in the centre of Athens. This is a unique place in Europe for its high concentration of squats and other self-organised spaces, but also for its resistance against repression and solidarity with migrants and the precariat.

Early in the morning, the squats of Spirou Trikoupi 17, Gare, Rosa de Fon and Transito were surrounded by huge police forces: anti-riot police, anti-terrorism police and secret police. The police then launched a large repression operation, leading to over 100 arrests. Migrants have been sent to camps known for inhuman living conditions. More than 15 kids that grew up in Athens and had their life there were deported. The security forces are now walling up the buildings that used to be home to so many.

This operation aimed to directly attack the incredible solidarity efforts that were developed by a network of people, many of them anarchists, to cope with the austerity measures the Greek state and the EU implemented.

It aimed to destroy a neighbourhood that has invented a new world where it has been possible to exist and live regardless of your economical, social or cultural background.

It aimed to keep Exarcheia under the control of a violent state that, like the rest of Europe, is ready to put humans in camps, simply because they were born on the other side of a border.

Exarcheia has many other squats, around 20, but the newly elected Greek prime minister promised a complete “cleaning”. More battles are to come.

The Anarchist Federation is expressing its full support to everyone in Exarcheia.

For a future without state, police or borders. ■

Solidarity! αλληλεγγύη!

Anarchist Federation

Additional from the Editor:-

Since this morning when the evictions took place Spirou Trikoupi 17 put out the call for people to gather and have taken a stand.

” Here, in Spirou Trikoupi 17 we have lived more than 2.000 people, coming from more than 10 different countries, and that we have crossed, at least, 3 borders till here. This wall that the state is building to seal the entrance will never be able to stop us!

See you at 6pm the solidarity assembly towards the squats in Notara 26 “

Since the evictions police have rounded up immigrants who will be dragged through the system and government workers have bricked up the doorways to peoples homes.

As night has fallen the police have taken a aggressive stance against the locals and tooled up with riot gear have taken to the streets for what is sure to be yet another night of horrific state violence.

Follow them & the AF for updates.
Spirou Trikoupi17
Anarchist Federation

External reports on what is happening from the ground.
Enough is Enough
Squat.net

Homelessness is a Political Environment: Vancouver Tent City

Architects for Social Housing (ASH)

Vancouver’s Longest Running Tent City: A Year in Review, photo essay.

 

Elephant & Castle shopping centre: the battle at London’s gentrification “ground zero”

Corporate watch

The Elephant and Castle has been called London’s gentrification “ground zero”. In a just a few years the area has been transformed beyond recognition – from a bustling neighbourhood of council estates and street markets, to a spike of high-income glass skyscrapers owned by offshore investors.

The developers’ next target is the shopping centre in the middle of the area. The complex’s architectural beauty is debated – 1960s design icon to some, concrete carbuncle to others. But it’s undeniably a living heart of a diverse working class neighbourhood, with its many Latin American shops and cafes, street stalls, a popular bingo hall, and the nearby Coronet venue.

All this is set to be demolished and “redeveloped” by property investor Delancey (see our profile of the company here). Delancey is also responsible for the Elephant One tower next door: a luxury housing development with zero “affordable homes”, involving massive profiteering through offshore tax havens. In the new shopping centre scheme, too, Delancey has used every possible trick to minimise its commitments to local people.

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