Dastardly duke puts on pressure

Anarchist Communist Group

Back in December 2018 we reported here on Ralph Percy, the 12th Duke of Northumberland, and his foiled attempt to remove 37 allotments from next to his stately home Syon House, in Isleworth, West London, so that 119 flats and eight houses could be built there. The allotments have been there for over 100 years but Percy wants the new housing development to pay for £13 million repairs to Syon House. It seemed then that his moves had been defeated, but since then, Percy, who has an estimated family fortune of £445 million, ordered allotment holders to leave by the end of September, the period of harvest time. Faced with stiff opposition, he extended the deadline until later in the autumn.

He did this before obtaining planning permission, and with 1,000 objection letters to Hounslow Council’s planning department. This move was clearly to push the planning committee to make a decision to his benefit.

Allotment holders have been growing vegetables on the site since 1917. Many of them live in flats and will not be able to store their plants and equipment whilst they look for new allotments.

In October Percy got the backing of the planning officers who have recommended that councillors on the planning committee give the go-ahead to the dastardly Duke’s plan.

The final decision on this is due this Thursday. Here’s hoping the attempt by Percy to throw out the allotment holders fails. As we said in the previous article, “These are the sort of people owning most of the land in Britain. Speed the day when they are swept away and all land is held in common!”

Privilege (for the benefit of the privileged), identity and the Class War. By Mal Content.

“We live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves. The martyrs go hand in hand into the arena; they are crucified alone.

… From family to nation, every human group is a society of island universes.”

– Aldous Huxley: ‘The Doors of Perception’.

This was always going to be a personal account, anarchism is after all an extrapolation of the particular to the general. The author is an able-bodied (at time of writing), cis-male, heterosexual*, Working Class anarchist of North European heritage, self-educated with a few engineering and craft skills, living in the South of England, I don’t need a university lecturer to tell me that’s a position of considerable privilege in the modern world, and a potentially reactionary one, yet I’ve honestly never wanted anything from this society but to witness its demise. I’m also big, ugly, and in my fifties which helps when dealing with management and cops.

* I seldom use the word ‘straight’, it implies bias, and I’m not claiming my relatively banal proclivities as a badge of community with anyone.

Early on I questioned whether I was writing primarily for people more or less like myself, and dismissed the idea. Obviously it has its limitations, it wouldn’t be of much use to someone whose interest was, for example, the development of anarchism within Chinese culture. It is intended for people new to anarchist ideas, and privilege is a concept many find utterly baffling. Like reification* it’s a hard one to get your head around because it’s woven into the fabric of perceived reality, it’s largely invisible, especially if your contacts are all drawn from a narrow social base.

* Of course, privilege is a form of reification.

Privilege in this context is an absence or mitigation of oppression, seen from the point of view of the oppressed. At first sight it’s counter-intuitive, because no one ever feels privileged,* and the colloquial use of the word is a benefit of some kind, usually earned. It sounds dangerously close to the bosses’ view that we ought to be grateful for access to work, housing, health and education. It’s a demonstrable fact that the presence of any super-exploited group, migrant labour for example, depresses pay and conditions for all workers, so how does it work? How is it a privilege not to be excluded, underpaid, sexually abused, targeted by cops or attacked by bigots?

* There’s a lesson there; not even the ruling elite feel privileged, because they’re conditioned from birth to believe they deserve a bigger slice of the pie.

The liberal would claim these as basic human rights, but they have it backwards, society is oppressive by its nature, its institutions were specifically devised to divide and exploit us, so we each become acclimatised to the level of oppression we experience, and only when these lines are crossed protest that our rights have been violated. This is the liberal trap – it’s the oppression that’s normal, not the absence of it. For many these experiences are routine, and they may indeed consider it a privilege to walk home without being harassed, to apply for a vacancy and be offered an interview, or to attend and not hear that it has just been filled.

If X walks a steeper road than Y, all things being equal, Y will make more progress in a given time for the same effort. Capitalism requires us to compete by excluding others*, so as Y is ahead of X they will have the first choice of whatever they need for the next leg of the journey, and set off feeling positive and refreshed. So on through life; Y will always be where X isn’t, and X will have to work harder than Y just to avoid being left by the wayside. Y’s setbacks will be easier to overcome and of shorter duration. Believing in equality of opportunity, Y may conclude the demoralised and resentful X isn’t trying, or they may congratulate themselves on their own industry and cunning. Meritocracy is a nasty bourgeois trap, like justice, it’s a logical fallacy.

* Housing gentrification and social cleansing is a good example of this.

Read the rest of it.

Decolonizing knowledge – young mothers as radical thinkers

Focus E15 Campaign

Thank you for the following thoughts by our guest blogger Toni Adscheid from Germany, who supported the campaign on the street stall and in meetings when he was in London, and who participated in our online meetings during lockdown. It is through back and forth conversations such as these that we are inspired to carry onwards and take up the fight for housing with greater clarity and awareness of the role campaigning plays in the tremendous struggle that lies ahead. Educate! Agitate! Organise!

Toni writes:

View post

Red and Black Telly roundup.







London: Four squats evicted just before Xmas

Squat Net

Today [December 21] four separate squats were evicted in London. One being the mutual aid community free shop [pictured] in Harringay that was very close to our hearts. They illegally evicted us, as they didn’t tell us we had court on 17 December.

Many people have been made homeless today due to parasitic landlords. They’ve destroyed homes and communities. All before 9am.

Support your local squat. We’re working with other members of the crew to relocate and get running again but cannot guarantee when. We hope soon.

Kill bailiffs. Kill landlords. Kill cops.

Squat the world. We’ll squat the copshops. We’ll squat the bailiff HQs. We’ll squat your fucking holiday homes.

Red and Black Telly roundup.












Red and Black Telly roundup.





Red and Black Telly roundup.











The Real Enemy

Anarchist Communist Group

Regents Park in London contains probably the richest street in the city. Many of the mansions here are said to be ‘worth’ £165 million. Many of these large properties are empty, while just a mile away people are left to sleep in doorways. This is the situation created by capitalism and perpetuated by conservatives and nationalists when they point their fingers at vulnerable refugees fleeing British made bombs. These properties at Regents Park should be seized and put to practical use – but you will never find conservatives or nationalists demanding or proposing that – because they are on the side of the ruling class parasites and their failing capitalist system.

The real enemy is not desperate refugees risking their lives to get to safety. The real enemy is people like the 7th Duke of Westminster, Hugh Grosvenor, who the capitalist system is set up for. His Dad left him £10 billion! He managed, due to trickery, to avoid paying £4 billion of this money in inheritance tax. £4 billion is enough money to pay the entire unemployment budget for the year, or the wages of 120,000 fire fighters, nurses and police officers- not that we as anarchists think the money should go to the police, but it gives you an idea of the sort of money we’re talking about. What does Hugh Grosvenor like to spend this money on? He likes to spend it on parties. These are the real parasites whose side all nationalists and fascists are on. There’s a very good reason they want to distract you from the real problem.

Don’t believe the lies and propaganda of the bourgeois establishment media who scapegoat working class people – whether it’s refugees, immigrants, single mums, the unemployed, the disabled or whoever it is.

Red and Black Telly roundup.