Smile like you mean it and it will be returned!

“Smile like you mean it and it will be returned.”
– Nahko & Medicine for the People, Father Mountain

I live in a society that is suffering from a sickness – a society where we are fearful and distrusting of our fellow human beings; a society where any sense of community has vanished and where we don’t have a clue who our neighbours are; a capitalist society where we are conditioned to be individualistic and competitive in order to be the best, as opposed to selfless and giving; a society where we have been brought up to think that it’s okay to bomb and massacre other people because we’re somehow more right and just; a society where our obsession for smart phones and social media feeds our egos and fuels narcissism; a society in which many of us are suffering from epic rates of mental health problems. Continue reading “Smile like you mean it and it will be returned!”

to be an anarchist…

Having referred to myself as an anarchist in various blog posts, I thought I would write about what anarchism means to me. Anarchism means something slightly different to each anarchist, so this is a very personal post.

“Anarchism means a condition or society where all men and women are free, and where all enjoy equally the benefits of an ordered and sensible life.”
– Alexander Berkman: ABC of Anarchism (1929)

Anarchy, and anarchism, doesn’t mean chaos, despite what the media and politicians will tell you. Anarchists believe that no-one should be ruled over or managed and that no-one should hold more power than another. We believe that we can organise together and that people should directly run society, as opposed to governments enforcing their laws on us and imprisoning us if we don’t obey. We demand a world without oppression and without governments, judges, the police, the military, landlords and land owners, and we demand a world without borders. We believe that all people should have a right to land and a right to move wherever they want to, no matter how ‘poor’ they are, or what colour skin they have, or what passport they have (if they are privileged enough to have one at all). Continue reading “to be an anarchist…”

London: a rant.

Protesters at Piccadilly Circus last year
Protesters at Piccadilly Circus last year

I loathe London. I lived there for a decade. I did my time there, I lived on both sides of the river, I knew the city. So now I feel that it is my right to loathe it!

Why do I dislike London so much? Maybe my views are tainted by the past – by memories of the old me. But mostly I dislike London because it is the epitome of the capitalist system.
Continue reading “London: a rant.”

Fighting to shut down Brighton’s arms factory

Since moving to Brighton, my second home has become the Cowley Club, a collectively-owned non-profit base for activists to meet each other, hold meetings, stage events and eat vegan cake! I have become involved with Smash EDO, an anti-arms campaign against the local weapons factory, EDO MBM. Admirably, Smash EDO has been campaigning constantly since 2004, holding weekly demonstrations outside the factory, as well as organising many mass direct actions, rooftop occupations, peace camps, critical mass bike rides, blockades of the company’s phone lines…the list goes on. And in January 2009, when more than 1,400 Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Massacre, a group of activists broke into the factory and caused hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage. In court, the activists were found not guilty, as they were trying to prevent a greater crime. Despite all this, EDO remains in Brighton, protected by police at every demonstration.
Continue reading “Fighting to shut down Brighton’s arms factory”