Strategies of Domination (in Meetings and beyond)

Post from follow them cus they is comrades ennit

[Tags taken From Original Post]

The following list, is a collation of different “tactics” or actions that people may consciously or unconsciously use in meeting, conversation or other group settings to dominate and exclude others (alternatively as a method of self defence against dominators in some cases).  We think they are really useful to look at and think about within the program of evolving our selves, challenging our own dominant behaviours and those of others around us and generally making a conversations and actions more radical, equal and revolutionary.

1) Make them invisible

 Make someone feel ‘invisible’, by ignoring them or their ideas. You can do this by not asking them to speak, doing other things while they are speaking, interrupting them before they are finished, and not responding to their ideas. This should make them feel insignificant, unsure of themselves, and incapable of action. Another option is ‘pirating’ their ideas – giving someone else credit, even though they did not come up with it first.

Example 1: When it is someone’s turn to speak, start talking to the person next to you

Example 2: When someone proposes an idea, don’t respond to it – act like it never happened

2) Ridicule them

 Constantly degrade and make fun of someone, or their social group, or their ideas. This will make them feel stupid and embarrassed, and make them look less important in the eyes of others. Ridiculing is effective because laughter is on your side, and the other person will look boring if they tell you to stop. You can do this by making sexist or racist comments about people, patronising them by acting like they can’t understand you, and making fun of them personally (for example, the way they speak). Always talk about how and why they speak, rather than what they actually say.

Example: When you disagree with a woman, make a joke about women being  ‘emotional’ or ‘irrational’. If you are criticised, just pass it off as ‘banter’.

3) Withhold information from them

 Keep someone out of where the real decision-making happens, or keep useful information away from them. Form small, informal groups where you can discuss things away from those you want to oppress. This not only means you can make the real decisions without their input, but keeping them out of the discussion also means you don’t have to tell them everything you know.

Example 1: Exclude people with less money from a meeting by going to a posh pub to chat beforehand

Example 2: When you make points at a meeting, use academic words that only a few people will understand

4) Criticise them, regardless of what they actually do

 Find reasons to punish or complain about someone, regardless of what they actually do. You should always give a reason for the criticism, so the real reason you are belittling them (e.g. because of their class, race, or gender), is not obvious to anyone listening. The fact you always complain regardless of what they do means that they will feel trapped. Eventually the constant criticism, which no-one else seems to get, will make them feel unwelcome and excluded.

Example 1: Accuse women of weakness when they try to listen and not interrupt people, but accuse them of not being feminine when they stand up for themselves.

Example 2: Use the techniques in this guide to oppress other people, but call people out for using them if they fight back

5) Lay the blame on them

 When someone starts to notice that they are being oppressed, blame them for it, even though it is your fault. This will make it harder for them to realise or stop what is really going on – by creating doubt about whose fault it is, and by making them feel guilty or embarrassed whenever they try to pick you up on it. Try to make them feel as though they are being oppressed because they themselves are inadequate. This will also help you and other oppressors to feel justified, and stop you from questioning yourself or feeling guilty.

Example: When someone in a group complains that a small number of people are making all the decisions, tell them that it is their fault for not doing enough of the work (even though the reason they don’t take on more is because you have excluded them)

6) Treat them like objects

 Treat someone as though they were an object, not a person – talk about and judge their appearance when it isn’t relevant. This will distract others from what they are actually saying, and make them get taken less seriously. It will also empower you to oppress them further, as treating them like an object means you will feel less sympathy for them, and means you will feel justified in treating them as less important than you. If you do it in their presence, it will embarrass them, and cause them to take themselves less seriously.

Example: Make remarks about the sexual attractiveness of the women in your group

7) Threaten or use violence

 Threatening someone with violence makes them feel afraid and unsafe, while making you feel strong. Though you can directly threaten someone, it can also be done subtly – for example by intimidating someone physically, showing aggression with your voice and body language. Aggressive talk and action creates a space that will feel especially unsafe for groups that are often on the receiving end of violence. This happens even when the aggression is between people who it doesn’t make feel unsafe – because everyone who hears it will worry that they will have to face the same aggression if they say anything.

Example 1: Show disagreement by making threats rather than arguments, such as: “Feminists should be shot for dividing the movement!”

Example 2: Start arguments with anyone who disagrees with you – making sure to raise your voice, cut in when they’re speaking, etc


 This post was inspired by Berit Ås, a Norwegian feminist and social psychologist. In looking at the question of how men maintain their superiority in society, she put together the five ‘Master Suppression Techniques’, which she observed being used by men to oppress women. For more information, I suggest you start by reading the following:

 I should also add a disclaimer: the point of all of this is to expose how the “systematically privileged” keep and use their power. For one thing, this means that the techniques above are a lot more damaging when used against people who face constant and “systematic” oppression (for example, on grounds of gender, race, social class, etc). For another, using these techniques isn’t necessarily oppressive – in some circumstances they can be used to fight back too. For example, being aggressive with people, even to the extent of using violence against them, may well be the only possible response to people using these techniques. Basically, what I’m trying to say is: “manarchists”, you are not being oppressed by feminists, please fuck off and do not use this guide for your own twisted ends. Christians (in the UK) – you are not being victimised or systematically oppressed for your religion in this country at the moment: what is happening is that you are slowly loosing the unfair privilege and power you have had for hundreds of years, and if you actually believed what your religion says then you’d be grateful for this! Ok, rant over…

Final note: Please feel free to copy/re-print/plagiarize this article however you like.


“The Syrian revolution is a baby – it needs nourishment”

Article from a friend of the blog who was in Syria learning about the revolution there and writing about what is going on. A shorter version was published in the New Statesman- 1.

We're in Ma'arrat al Numan, a front-line liberated town in Idlib
province, Syria. Once home to 120,000, the population is now between
4-10,000. Families who couldn't afford to flee live in ruins, makeshift
shelters and even caves. Destruction is everywhere; piles of rubble
daunt the streets between bomb-axed minarets and burnt out shops.
Part-collapsed apartment blocks reveal gaping living rooms. Shelling
echoes daily from the Wadi Deif regime military base close by. It's
mostly local Free Army fighters holding the line, along with Ahrar al
Sham, and Jabhat al Nusra playing a smaller role. The scant weaponry
ranges from regime-raided machine and hand guns to the "Cannon of Hell"
– a launcher made out of a tractor, with cooking gas canisters for
missiles. The city's sub-station, water plants and pipes have all been
destroyed. Repairing the pipes is impossible due to their proximity to
Wadi Deif.

The injured are ferried by fighters or medical volunteers to a
"hospital in hiding" – far back from the frontline, where operations
are carried out in a basement with a lamp made out of a satellite dish
with half a dozen light bulbs stuck in it. The service runs on a
drip-feed of aid sourced in Turkey and round-the-clock volunteer hours
spread between a few dozen exhausted doctors and nurses. Ma'arrat al
Numan is still a city at war.

We're in the gloomy garden of widow and mother of six Om Abid. Ahmad*,
an activist and volunteer with [3]Basmat Amal (Smile of Hope) [2], a
home-grown relief organisation, has brought us here. He's doling out
cash donations of 500 Syrian pounds sent from a wealthy Syrian woman
living in Saudi Arabia. It's a drop in the ocean. Cooking gas costs
£S3,000 per canister up from £S1,000 two years ago, bread is £S25.
water needs to be delivered by truck and costs £S500 a week and a box
of thirty candles, which once cost 70, is now hitting £S300. The dark
takes over at night.

Relief doesn't feel revolutionary but keeping it coming is a means to
stay put and keep up the front. Basmet Amal are one of four local aid
organisations feeding into a relief co-ordination committee that feeds
into a broader council including military-security, social affairs, and
media-comms committees.

Basmat Amal recognise the role aid can play in buying loyalties
according to a donor's agenda, and how depoliticising desperation can
be. Self-sufficiency is key. By opening the first primary schools in
Ma'arra since the revolution began, a low priced products supermarket,
cash for widows and a soap and shampoo factory in the pipeline, they
hope to create autonomy and strength for the community. They still see
themselves as part of a revolution that began with unarmed
demonstrations, but was met with bullets, then bombs, and then
warplanes, until street-protest-as suicide was no longer an option.
According to Basmet Amal, 850 people have been killed, and 2,000
houses, 20 schools and 15 mosques destroyed since November 2011. 'We
are fighting for our dignity' we hear again and again.

But what is the scope for people – especially women - to participate in
their own relief? Can people come together and make collective
decisions? "Everyone is locked in their own homes," starts Ahmed.
"Everyone just cares about their own problems". "But there are always
shared problems, no?" we suggest. "I suppose so, but just to get people
together in one place, to feel safe, is a struggle." Shelling and
gunfire rattles in the distance as he speaks. Neither landlines or
mobiles work in Ma'arra, but there is internet if you have a satellite
and generator. Otherwise comms are face to face, and door to door.
Kinship and neighbourhood networks have been fractured by the town
haemorrhaging so many residents. Who will look after your children? Who
will drive you home, when fuel and cars are in such short supply? And
even if you put together a group, with 90 per cent of your town in
exile, who are you representing?

It's an ongoing conversation throughout our trip, "How to build
participation?" If Basmet Amal have 30 volunteers now, how can they
reach 100 and more? Particularly under the lengthening shadow of
militarisation and sectarianism, and external regional and global
interests "all wanting to eat from Syria". How do you keep up a
revolution which you keep being told is a civil war, that it's gone, it
belongs to 'warlords' eating the hearts of their opponents and shooting
children in the face, that is going to break Palestine, and will be
Iraq mark two, is something you should never have started. This is not
your revolution is the message. For many of us in the West it's the
same, that it's too complicated, leave it to the big boys, you can't
relate to this, there's nothing you can do, this is not your
revolution. Isolation and disposession creeps and the work of creating
spaces of resistance and reclamation is eclipsed by a what-bleeds-leads

It's a burning hot afternoon and we're in the languid garden of the
Kafranbel media centre talking solidarity with local organisers. The
centre is famous for its' viral banners. For UN Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi's
from activists, only journalists," says local fixer Amer.* "We want to
show them our demonstrations but they just say, 'Take us to the
fighters'." It's a common obsession. This May Al Jazeera reported from
Raqqa, central Syria but focused squarely on Al Qaeda chopping three
peoples heads off and not demonstrations by public sector workers
demanding wages from money looted from the central bank or protests
against Sharia courts.

We discuss the idea of a joint news-behind-the-news project that can
profile struggles that mainstream media ignore. Mona* a local feminist
activist working on a children's support project called [4]Karama Bus
(Dignity Bus) [3] is lukewarm. 'Everyone in Syria knows what is going
on. It's a good idea but we do not have the capacity. We literally do
not have the people on the ground. Too many Syrian activists are
outside in Turkey or Lebanon. They need to be here'. We talk about
skills-sharing on facilitating meetings and organising but stress
unequivocally that this is dangerous territory for foreign activists
because it reproduces colonial dynamics of white Westerners telling
Arabs what to do and how to organise; the NGOised "facilitator" that
conducts, regulates and wields power over locals. But co-training with
Syrian and Arabic speaking activists, is agreed, could be useful...

The thread continues back in Ma'arra. We eat breakfast with a young
medic who treats fighters on the Front. "You were in Kafranbel? They
have three functioning hospitals there, we only have one and we are on
the Front! I don't understand why they don't help us," he says.
Emergencies take up energy. "Our revolution is a baby," he explains.
"It needs milk, it needs nourishment, it needs to grow. Of course we
want people to be organising their own representation, but that's
walking, that's further down the line. For now, we need to survive." As
if on cue a war plane tears through the sky above us. He starts to
utter prayers. His wife, an organiser, but still unable to go to the
internet café without a male relative, begins to breathe shallow and
fan herself. It passes over. We sip our tea in silence until we can
find our words to talk again.

*Names changed to protect identity

A shorter version of this piece appeared in last week's New Statesman

Please support Basmet Amal and Karama Bus - their facebook pages are


Bank name : kuveyt turk katilim bankasi A.S.
Iban : TR37 0020 5000 0085 7799 4001 01




Go Home or be Arrested=Fuck off and Die

For those who haven’t watched the news recently, or are otherwise indisposed; UKBA (The Uk Border Agency) announced a brand new shiny piece of shit in to add to its axis of evil1. UKBA can now add psywar to its ever increasing list of evils including murder2 and imprisonment of children3 (supposedly illegal under UK law). This most recent campaign of trying to scare “illegal” migrants into surfacing amounts to little more than a determined position of fuck off and die; which is literally what it means for many so called illegals when they are caught and deported.A friend of this publication (a Sudanese national who fled the country after his political activism caused him to fear his life) was recently arrested by UKBA and deported to Romania, he is currently in prison, and like many of his friends is likely to be sent back to Sudan where he will face long term imprisonment or death. This is not a single case, many Talmils deported from the UK have reported torture and death on return to their so called “homes”4.

Well you know what UKBA, why don’t you take your own message and fuck off and die.  In the mean time anyone reading this who is “Illegal” or those of you who might know people who are please read this5… If you feel like it, copy, reproduce and continue the actions such as the one pictured here, in as many languages as possible, and lets fight the fucking fuckers.


Poster in Arabic/ ملصق باللغة العربية

Solidarity with migrants everywhere, No Borders No Nations No Prisons. Stay safe, if you are illegal don’t hand yourself in

 and if your not protect those who are however and whenever you can. Solidarity means attack.

Collectively written by many participating in this publication- this is not a singular opinion piece, but a call to action on an issue that is fucking obvious- racist comments will not be published.

لأولئك الذين لم تكن قد شاهدت الأخبار مؤخرا، أو هي نافر؛ وأعلن UKBA (وكالة الحدود البريطانية) العلامة تجارية جديدة قطعة لامعة من القرف في إضافة إلى أن محور الشر. يمكن إضافة UKBA الآن إجازته إلى قائمة متزايدة من أي وقت مضى من الشرور بما في ذلك القتل والسجن للأطفال (يفترض أنه قانوني بموجب قانون المملكة المتحدة). هذه الحملة الأخيرة أكثر من محاولة لتخويف المهاجرين “غير الشرعيين” في تسطيح المبالغ إلى أكثر قليلاً من الموقف العزم من اللعنة قبالة ويموت؛  وهو حرفيا ما يعنيه لمهاجر ما يسمى كثيرة عندما يتم القبض عليه وترحيله.اعتقل من قبل UKBA مؤخرا صديق لهذا المنشور (مواطن سوداني فروا من البلاد بعد نشاطه السياسي تسبب له خوفاً على حياته) وترحيلهم إلى رومانيا، هو حاليا في السجن، وعلى غرار العديد من أصدقائه من المرجح ليتم إرسالها مرة أخرى إلى السودان حيث أنه سوف يواجه السجن مدة طويلة أو الإعدام.  هذه ليست حالة واحدة، وقد أفادت تالميلس العديد من ترحيلهم من المملكة المتحدة التعذيب والموت على العودة إلى ديارهم بما يسمى “أمان” .

تعلمون جيدا ما هي UKBA، لماذا لا يمكنك أخذ الرسالة الخاصة بك واللعنة ويموت.  في الوقت نفسه أي شخص قراءة هذا الذي هو “غير شرعي” أو أولئك منكم الذين قد يعرفون الناس الذين يرجى قراءة هذا… إذا أشعر بأن ذلك، نسخ، إعادة إنتاج، ومواصلة إجراءات مثل واحد في الصورة هنا، في العديد من اللغات قدر الإمكان، ويتيح مكافحة fuckers سخيف.
التضامن مع المهاجرين في كل مكان، “لا حدود لا الأمم لا السجون”. البقاء آمنة، وإذا كنت غير المشروعة لا تسلم نفسك في






We thought we had nowhere to live- Then we realised we lived everywhere!

Poetry from submitted by a squater friend in Europe<

We’ve lived in multi million pound mansions, raved, explored and BB fucking Qd on the roof of a 13 story hotel, slept in the stairwells of car parks and turned a grotty bedsit into a 12 bedroomed family home for us and our friends.

We’ve resided in offices in central London and run social projects out of them- we’ve climbed cranes and slept amongst the rubble of building sites.

We’ve built beds, and a kitchen in an old restraunt half underground with no sunlight, and painted the walls of our six million pound pub with pictures of the world ending.

We’ve watched movie premiers from the roof of an apartment in Leicster Square and turned the top floor of a high street department store into an art gallery.

We’ve climbed lampost laders in the streets of foreign lands, and slipped roof tiles to live in huge abandoned schools and city buildings.

We’ve served dinner to 50 people in a semi derilict factory we called home and shown 100 more to empties where they could rest their heads.

We’ve  spent a night in the cells after they kicked in the door of our hospital but we still got high on the rooftops of SE1, WC2, and N16.

We’ve organised a party in a wharehouse and chased away the filth, and nutters and all the fucking minions of babylon who tried to stop us.

We’ve delivered food from the skips to churches, offices, gyms, banks and all the other places our weirdo mates live in.

We’ve slept on sofas at motorway service stations when we couldn’t get a lift and spent the next two days huddled round the gas fire in our comrades semi detached.

We slept on that boat when we couldn’t be fucked to go back to the carpet shop, and put on an art display when we could.

We opened our doors when we had them to Skum, gutter punks and faggots like ourselves and they opened theirs when we didn’t.

We wildcamped outside a corporate camp site until some spanish punks invited us to crack a squat with them and 70 of us marched through the streets of Amsterdam and kicked down the door of a new home.

We made love on top of the scaffold tower we built to keeps the cops out, and crashed out with bodies broken in trailers that would get torched the next day.

We slept by the side of the road when we should have been hitching, and fell asleep in the boot of the 5 seater car when 7 of us wanted to get from Bristol to Brighton.

We undid the tower bolts for beneift parties, film nights and boxing lessons; and armed only with crowbars and a couple of crossheads brought class war to the crown estate.

We’ve freeeeee climbed the heygate, snuck past security at battersy power station, and bolt cropped locks in brixton.

We scuttled up drainpipes and through empty windows, and all the broken bones we got were just tattooed memories of great nights out; tired and sweaty we colapsed in tree houses and got drunk in ditches around the baricades.

We’ve made queer safe spaces, and organised ourselves, built shanty towns from scafold inside a freezing cold wharehouse, and slung banners from the roof.

We move freely from Cardiff to Warsaw and beyond chasing shadows and looking for the lighting bolt inside a circle that will bring us in to the arms of loved ones.

And even when the cop, the thug, the nutter booted us out of where we lay our heads, we simply picked up the crow bar and found another place…..

We keep moving and we always find the next adventure.

Fuck the Law, Squat the World

At Your Service (Tales From Community Service)

Article written by contributor who is currently serving a 120 hour community payback order, in which they are required to do a program of unpaid work for the terrible “community”1. This Article forms the First part of a short series detailing different aspects and analysis of the community payback program, from thinking about the actions being performed and their implications to offering a kind of insight into what this shit is actually like. Please distribute to anyone you know who might be about to get sentenced to community payback.

Part 2: Faggot Till I Die.

Identifying as Queer has never been a particularly easy part of my life- from growing up in a working class area where homosexuality was seen as either a mental health problem or an infectious disease, to social isolation from the gay community for my attraction to women as well as men, to getting beat up for wearing dresses and having long hair as well as a penis. Life more recently has been somewhat easier, it’s very easy to use the personal pronoun IT, fuck men, and wear makeup when you live in and around queer squats and have friends/comrades who are up on their queer theory, but re-entry into mainstream culture through community service has been something of an uphill struggle and challenge to my queer identity and politics.

The first time I really came up against it was my first day in the probation office; i sit down at a desk and start filling out this twenty page questionaire abo0ut my gender, sexuality, drug use etc so that they can tick all their boxes of inclusion, assimilation, and so called safe gaurding. I sit for several minutes pondering what to answer for gender- i mean clearly (at least today, at least when I am presenting to most of the world) I look like a man, I receive the same male privelige that other people with my body/sex recieve and most people (who don’t know me) would certainly pronoun me he/him/his; but that’s not the point, that’s not who I am, that’s not how I feel and that’s not how I want to be seen. I’ve struggled damm hard and found communities that accept the identity i feel so attached to: a fucking IT, genderqueer, who wears dresses some days and jeans others, and fucks with people who they like regardless of their gender.

I start thinking maybe it’s my fault; i’ve wrapped myself up in this little squatter/anarchist bubble outside of  questionaires,  jobs, mainstream straight culture and i’ve forgotten what it’s really like out there, what it’s like to feel singled out for the way you feel about your body/sexuality and what its like to be in conflict with hetronormitivty 1 and the gender binary 2. This first question, this tiny tick box on some stupid piece of fucking paper has really spun me out. In the end, I write a tiny, but perfectly formed n (for neither/neutral) in the space after the question; this might sound pathetic and teenage, but for one beautiful moment it felt like a tiny act of queer insurrection, like resistance to the straight culture. I smash the next question (spurred on by my aforementioned act), are you gay, straight, bisexual, other? with a swift tick in the other box and proceed through the rest of the sheet (mostly meaningless rubbish about my drug histories and mental health- both of which i lie profusly on) and hand the questionaire back to my case manager.

There is a brief pause as my case manager looks down at the sheet, after what feels like a year they look up at me and asks the fatal question, a question that to gender straight3 readers probably seems tiny and meaningless, but a question that smashes the resolve of my previous box ticking and brings years of “but you look like a boy”, “but your to straight looking to be…”, “boys can´t do that” flooding back to me- why have you put an N here? For a brief moment, i see myself standing proudly up and detailing the twenty one years it´s taken me, the specific moments of my struggle, and all of many reasons that I hate the male identity; but in the end a little whimper of “I just don´t see myself as a man” comes out, my case manager looks at me a bit oddly and (as i realize from future correspondences/notes about me) proceeds to gender me as male. Then comes the awkward explanation of the other tick box. In this respect, my case manager is at least not biggotted, but rather interested and wanting to learn; they ask me about what this means- explaining that they are learning about all these things (I feel something between appreciation for their consideration, and like an animal at the zoo) and want to know more; i explain this in more detail, offering examples and explaining my identity as queer and the various reasons I choose to use it rather than bi/gay, they ask a few questions and we move on.

Moving on to the interesting parts.

But before I do, one thing to mention here, to gender rebels, fellow faggots, feminists, anti racists and other people who generally find themselves in opposition to mainstream attitudes that may be about to start community service is that there is a constant conflict (at least there is for me) in picking battles about calling out sexist/homophobic behaviors which might be considered minor (e.g. use of “casual slurs” based on gender/sexuality etc) and seriously stopping/challenging more serious ones (street harrassment, threats of violence etc). The thing i found, is that sometimes you have to let words/behaviours slide (whilst still showing your dissaproval by refusing to enter the conversation/laugh at jokes) which you would normally call out, in order not to get labled as the weirdo/person with a problem with everything, in order that when something more serious happens you can make an effective intervention. In short sometimes you have to earn friendship/street cred in order to get any of your ideas accepted, and to be able to be effective at stopping harrassment/oppression.

Roughly three weeks later i´m out on a site picking up litter and cleaning up an old cemertary. Your kind of classic pub banter about homosexuals, men fucking, and the latest celebrity faggots is being rolled out and as usual I’m standing silently in the corner refusing to be involved in the banter, but not wanting to speak up both for fear of alienation (which I accept is weak and also only possible because i can fairly easily appear to assimilate) but also because I know someone is going to say something really bad at some point and I am going to have to intervene. Then one of the people in the group does it, “I think, personally we should just shoot all the gays, i mean when they kiss in front of us, it’s just it’s fucking disgusting why do they do it- we should shoot them.”

I flip, i pipe up and shout ok big man, do you want to kill me hey, take your fucking spade and kill a fucking gay then- cus you know what i’m a faggot till I die  and (turning to everyone else to try and make a slight joke in order to undermine this dick head) given what you’ve just said that might just be today! Everyone erupts, and the questions start flying- “so you take actual dick in your mouth/your arse”, “you actually fuck boys?”, “what, how do you do it”, “can’t you just like choose to be straight”. To be honest, at this point in my life it’s all quite normal  and actually conversations like this have become something of a challenge, how can I maximise both the education experience for the people I’m chatting to whilst simultaniously making as much of a joke out of it/making it as uncomfortable for the homophobes as possible. The highlight of this situation comes when someone asks me if when I fell off a wall and broke my wrist my boyfriend was there to catch me in his arms- “no,” I responded calmly “I Landed on his erect dick, ruined my arse hole and split my spleen, yano it’s a normal gay thing we also get the worst injuries us gays, cus we’re so busy getting our bums raided that we can’t do any of that stuff the straight people do without someone getting a collapsed sphincter”. There is a general uproar of laughter, disgust, and actually begrudging acceptance- sometimes when you say the most extreme things, people seem to accept you more (not that you should say this unless you feel completely comfortable with it, and are aware that it might mean having to fight or be hurt for what you say) at least in community service where so much seems to be about front and attitude.

I wish I could have gone back to the project where all this happened, it felt like at the end of that day I was really getting somewhere, like people were kind of accepting in as a normal thing, like maybe just maybe people were learning something. Sadly I got moved to the quite charity shop i spoke about in the last article, moved to the quiet middle class environment with the gay manager and the general acceptance of the assimilated homosexual´- where as long as you don’t talk to much about the specifics or kiss people of the same sex it’s all fairly above board. On the plus side, I can always escape back to my sheltered little queer circles where everyone is supportive about the situations I face and people have similar experiences to myself, but this doesn’t really feel like enough, I mean sure it’s safe and comfortable and really really fucking nice, but I do feel like on the projects I could do something, I could chance peoples minds, and I could fight the fight of the queer struggle.  I don’t really know what the answer is, but hopefully some of this is useful to someone….

Faggot Till I Die.

1. Hetronormitivity is the assumption people make when they see a man and assume he is attracted to women or visa versa.

2. The Gender binary is the societical assumption that there are only two genders, male and female. Queer theory argues that this is not the case, that there is a vast range of different relationships people have to their identity and that our identities should not be defined by our sexual organs

3 Gender Straight- Living and wanting to live as the gender that you would naturally be assigned based on your sex, socialization etc.

At Your Service (Tales from Community Service)

Article written by contributor who is currently serving a 120 hour community payback order, in which they are required to do a program of unpaid work for the terrible “community”1. This Article forms the First part of a short series detailing different aspects and analysis of the community payback program, from thinking about the actions being performed and their implications to offering a kind of insight into what this shit is actually like. Please distribute to anyone you know who might be about to get sentenced to community payback.

Part 1: Honor Amongst Thieves.

I’m going to dive straight in, it doesn’t really matter how I got to this moment; from the hands of thugs in blue uniform, to the loving embrace of the sham judicial system weighted against the poor/non white and indeed anyone who doesn’t fit the citizen factories standard model, through the hands of a lazy probation office more concerned about why I identify as  gender and sexuality queer than my welfare, broken wrist or what work I’d like to do; and finally into a council estate in Sydenham (South London) where i’m expected to clean railings for seven hours a day with one half hour break and a theoretical further two fifteen minute fag breaks for no money whilst some middle aged, wanna be screw gets on my case every time I miss a spot.

I arrive at five to nine,and spend ten minutes looking for the room that we’re supposed to be in; by the time i find it it’s about ten past nine- todays particularly jobs worth supervisor decides that time will be taken off my hours and will therefore have more to complete. Suddenly there is an explosion, five guys (two of the literally jumping out of there seats) start kicking off, fighting MY corner, telling the fucking supervisor that i don’t deserve to loose 15 minutes from my days work and that they should give me a break. After about ten minutes the arguing subsides and low and behold by the end of the day i’ve been given my full time- this is the vein by day begins in, I feel like one of the tribe.

Flash forward a day or to and I’m at another site in another part of the city sat under the shade of a tree, all of us (there are 4) convicts sharing a spliff and talking about our various crimes. I feel more at home here than i have in a long time, we take it in turns to watch each others backs, pick up the slack of the guy rolling the spliff, and cover for each other when someone wants to sneak off to the shop (an offense that can get you sent home, and therefore breached which means going back to court and potentially facing prison). Everyone here is friendly and helpful, of all the guys i’ve met on these “projects” not one has done any harm to an individual- all us are victims of a system that targets us for our poverty, ethnicity, or lack of complicity with our own oppression/refusal to assimilate.

Like in the workplace, or the community, organizing happens through a series of friendships, and through organization we are stronger. Similarly to the workplace our organization is most apparent when we are in opposition, when we must fight for our survival, when we come into direct conflict with the authorities that are enslaving us. When a supervisor attempts to send one combatant home for not working quickly enough, our collective action, our friendship, and our realization of what this would mean enable us to combat effectively the wishes of the supervisor (who in this case has no understanding of the loneliness and alienation of the court room, the bias of the judge, or the reality of  the prison) and protect our comrade through the threat of non compliance.

Isolation is a parasite. In the footsteps towards our current situations, each of us was singled out, plucked from the homogenous mass by the camera, the state thug, the security guard, the ticket barrier, the bank; isolated from our friends,our comrades, our lovers (physically in the cell, the prison, the courthouse, and mentally in so far as our charges, our convictions are our individual crosses to bear), and attempted to be individualized, demonized and disconnected. In finding each other, in sharing our stories and in experiencing struggle together we come a step closer to liberating ourselves both from our physical situations and our subconscious labels as outcasts; our hi visibility jackets become a symbol of our brotherhood where they were intended to mark us out, to other us and power shifts back into our favor, away from the hands of those who oppress us.

Friendship sticks, there is honor amongst thieves. Many friendships form from our “projects” which extend beyond the parameters of the seven hour days in which we are forced together. Many combatants drive each other to and from the days slavery, we socialize after “work” and we learn more about each others situations, we build solidarity, we advise each other on claiming benefits, personal security against state intrusion, and on basic methods of survival in the face of capital. Together we make each other stronger.

And then the state strikes me a blow. The phone rings “Hello Mr/Mrs/N/A ———, i’m just calling from the control centre to tell you that you have been redirected to an A.P placement 2(see footnote); from now on you will be working X/Y/Z day in a charity shop; you will be the only community payback member at this placement” End call. I protest to every level of authority, but thats just the problem I am forced cap in hand as an isolated individual to the feet of my oppressor, without my fellow combatants to back me up I inevitably loose my battle and I’m shunted to the charity shop a few miles from my home. It’s ok there (at the shop), the days are easier and as an individual I’m treated more fairly by those who own the rights to my body for seven hours a day than on the “projects”, but I’m isolated and alone in my struggle against my detention. I find some solace in my sisters, brothers, and gender fuckers enslaved on the workfare program 3/4 (what we share is of course that our bodies are the property of someone else, and our labour <which is of great value to our slave masters> does nothing to improve our material conditions) who are similarly the victims of their own low economic status; but it is not the same, because whilst our struggle is not connected; we are not organizing for the same freedoms or against the same oppression.

After my first day I call up a friend from one of my old projects. I discover that they too have been moved onto an A.P placement and are finding the adjustment similarly hard. We hang out and we chat about it, and we conspire to fight it, and we vent; but our ability to act in solidarity with each other has ultimately been stripped from us and it is hard to feel that same feeling of camaraderie when we are not fighting shoulder to shoulder any more.

I continue to meet my fellow combatants from the “service” of the terrible community, and i will continue to do so; the state can not take that away from us. I will continue to talk with them, to share with them, and to publish with them tales from our enslavement; we will never surrender.

My advice to anyone about to start on the community payback program would be to try your dammed hardest to get on a project, not an AP placement. You can help this process along, by answering your initial assessment questionnaire (which will be done by your case manager) in a way that makes it seem like you may need supervision. If they think you are likely to steal anything (bring up previous convictions or fixed penalties for theft if you have them), hurt yourself or anyone else or anything similar to this, you will almost certainly have to be put on a “project”. Good luck to all future combatants.

Combatant A, South London Forced Labour Camp.



2.) AP or agency placement means a program of work that is not directly supervised by serco/the state; it is outsourced to a charity or other organization who feels it can benefit from our slave labour in order to lower its running costs and maximize profit; from sercos point of view these placements are goldust since they reduce staff costs massively (taking away the need for supervisors, much of the infrastructure etc) and from the states point of view they are a perfect tool in isolating, alienating, and reducing our power; if we don’t see each other we can’t organize.

3.) For more info on workfare see

4.)For More info on workfare see

Resistance is Fertile- (News From the Zad)

The Zad or Zone A Défendre (Zone to defend) is a large protest site in rural wetland outside the 
French city of Nantes.  The site is the location chosen by French Company Vinci on which to 
build a second airport for the city. The airports building would mean the loss of many miles
of grassy wetland, and displace hundreds of residents and local farmers. 

[TW police brutality\graphic detail] So it just kicked of again in the
ZAD, heres a first hand account of what happened. It’s a bit long and
probably has grammatical errors..

My ZAD experience this time has been completely different juxtaposed to
last years adventure. Hitching from Nantes to La ZAD this time a year ago
no one new about the anti-arport occupation where as this year everybody
was talking about it [after the evictions in November the ZAD was national
front page news].

I had to get dropped off slightly outside the zone because the police had
set up a check point on the road. After spending too long walking over
fields with all my tools and backpack. I finally got onto the D281, the
whole road is in the control of the ZAD residents. At first I passed a few
stacks of branches blocking parts of the road, I thought it was pretty
cute. Then every 10-50 meters would be a new barricade usually bigger than
the last until I was see huge piles of tires, haystacks and other
burnables with spikey shit jutting out of it and  painted messages all
over the road, trenches dug deep through the tarmac and stone until they
hit water, projectiles lying in wait everywhere!

There is an air of militancy around the ZAD that wasn’t there before, this
is a real reinvention the meaning of “barricaded up to fuck”. Yet despite
this need for defenses there is still a lot of really cool projects going
on. There is still the ZADs own bakery, farm, bike workshops, libraries,
pirate radio, bars, internet cafe/comms van and probably loads more that I
haven’t stumble across yet.

I was anxious about coming because I’ve had reports of the ZAD [at the
moment] being hard for people turning up who don’t already know people on
la ZAD especially if [English is not your 1st language]. This is a bit
true but I think if you have a little self confidence and an initiative to
get up and do stuff you’ll be alright.

The weekend just saw an event called “Seme Ta ZAD” inviting the public to
come for a day of demonstration and various gardening events. Tonnes of
people of all ages and backgrounds rocked up and the event was really
successful. During the weekend the cops left their usual permanent check
point on the D81 road. ZADians and their supporters wasted no time
reclaiming the road with barricades and trenches dug out with pick axes.

Monday morning I woke before Sunrise and cycled the several kms to the
freshly liberated road. People were already standing around, some masked
up, watching figures on the opposite hill. At 1st I was unaware what was
unfolding. It later transpired that people were harassing the cops before
the could have their pre-raid breakfast. The cops aimlessly chased the
figures around the field a bit firring tear gas and concussion grenades.
Then the avant garde came running back and thats when things kicked the
fuck off.

The cops rocked up in vans in front of the 1st barricade and ran into the
adjacent woods and field trying to flank and rush us. Bricks, bottles and
the first molotov came out. In the confusion or out of stupidness a unit
of the filth rushed into the middle of crowd [now aprrox 30 and growing
rapidly]. Two hero cops jumped a combatant and all 3 ended up in a large
ditch on the side of the road. Then the next thing I know our friend has
made it out of the ditch and the cops are getting beaten hard by their own
battons! A cop across the road is also getting a kick in. The rest of
their “courageous” unit have bricked it returned to the safety of the
woods. The two manage to stubble out of the ditch and as they ran off one
gets hit with a molotov and is a burning cop. The crowd cheer.

Moments later the cops move in with force carpeting the road in tear gas
fired out of launchers. The stormtroopers dressed head to toe in armor and
gas masks make a slow advance under a hail of stones, fireworks and

More and more gas is fired, a lot ending up in puddles in the ditches, a
lot getting thrown straight back [careful that shit burns even with
In a filed by the cross roads I see a person no less than 5 meters have a
stun grenade blow up in his face ripping it open. Luckily there where
medics to hand including a doctor, none the less this guy needed hospital
treatment his eyebrow was hanging off [an ambulance was quick to respond].

The tear gas isn’t too bad if you just catch the periphery but it’s nasty
shit when your in a cloud of thick white smoke coughing up a lung getting
rushed by pigs. I had to change masks several times due to them getting
contaminated. People were carrying round saline solution to flush the
eyes. The concussion grenades are a different kettle of fish. They are
essentially a less lethal frag grenade without the outer casing. They
still fire off nasty bits of shrapnel that cut people open and when goes
off you know about the bang for miles around, not fun for standing next
to! Apparently a ZAD resident lost some toes in the evictions due to one
of these bastards.

After the filth had taken back the cross roads with now hundreds of police
they continued their advance into the Grand Forrest and down some other
roads. Barricades where set alight and the cops halted at just after
midday. There where 3 injurys on our side 3 on theirs and 4 arrests. The
ZAD has issued a press release stating the the invasion of the cross roads
by the police is an act of military occupation. Demonstrations took place
outside police stations in over 10 cities across France  including the
blockading of one with a tractor. Also I believe there was an occupation
of a police station.

Things are a lot calmer on the ground now. Although the cross roads is to
be avoided as the cops are controlling people and arresting them if they
do not show ID.

More to follow…