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
flares.

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
gloves]!
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…

Give Up Classtivism

Just got Permession to publish this Extract from some Northern friends of ours DP and CW. The full article can be read at http://libcom.org/library/give-classtivism-why-class-struggle-long-boring-hard-work

Tactics – “Organising is about creating a series of friendships”

Activists are part of the working class just as much as factory workers and miners. We all form active parts of capitalism, as consumers and workers, but as workers we create surplus value. Just because we don’t wear overalls doesn’t mean we are excluded from this process. However, protest actions play into the idea that activists are an exterior force. If activists want to get involved in class struggle, they need to develop their own class consciousness as well. It is easy to talk about this as if it is a theoretical concept that the working class needs to develop on a general basis. What developing class consciousness actually means is each of us realising our own position in capitalism – your own, real position as an actor within the process of production, not of the mythical, abstract concept of “the workers.” Until individual activists start to grasp this fundamental role they’re not in much of a position to ask others to.

The working class for far too long has been reliant on exterior forces, political parties, do-gooders, union bureaucrats: We need to do things for ourselves. It is our historic mission to overthrow capitalism and this cannot be achieved by relying on the intervention of charitable types. We have been serviced by unions for decades, succededing only in seeing hard fought reforms vanish and safety nets disappear. At the heart of these errors is the failure to build and sustain a culture of class confidence that has a willingness to defend workers’ interests (and fight for more). Taking steps towards this means abandoning our reliance on outside forces (in whatever form this may come) and looking to the immediate relationships around us as our source of solidarity and support.

Finally, there is the danger that activism will strengthen the reverse relationships – the capitalistic ones between workers and managers and workers and the company. The sentiment that “we are all mates with our manager, why shouldn’t we just talk to them he takes us out for a drink all the time”, for example, forms a continuous barrier to workplace organising. Starbucks Workers’ Union organiser Liberté Locke has described it well as being akin to an abusive relationship – “My body, my rules: a case for rape and domestic violence survivors becoming workplace organisers”. At Pizza Hut, mangers receive bonuses based on the amount of money the store spends. If the manager doesn’t repair broken mopeds, they receive a higher bonus, if they don’t replace safety equipment, such as oven gloves, they receive a higher bonus. These things help the manager as an individual, but make the rest of our working lives more difficult. At the same time, this is hidden by the manager who then acts as a social leader, as everyone’s mate, offering people lifts home, organising the Xmas do etc. As Liberté Locke argues, these abuses are hidden by a friendly exterior and layers of manipulative behaviour. Breaking through that is one of the most difficult things to achieve as an organiser. “Shop pickets” may well do real favours to managers, giving workers in store a false sense of the limitations of their own capacities, reinforcing existing worker-brand identity and the idea of the company as “one big family”.

Friendship must be at the core of solidarity. For our Fellow Workers to take the organising we push seriously they have to trust that we are saying it as a friend and not as a political campaigner. As organisers we must be there when the important conversations happen, and those aren’t the conversations that happen with the activist outside, they are the ones that happen on smoking breaks, while taking a pizza out to the moped, as you mop the floor at the end of the shift or in the pub after work. That is where people express their true feelings, whether that is about the protest outside, or the dick-head manager. Working under capitalism is stressful, isolating and hard, and we need the support of our Fellow Workers as much as everyone else. Class organising is about creating our own spaces of resistance. It is a process of creating a series of friendships.

In short, what we need is a far richer (perhaps a micro-level) understanding of class consciousness to accompany our organising perspectives. We take inspiration from the idea of the “Wobbly Shop” or to “Wobbly the Job”. To “Wobbly the Job” is not just to get people signed up to the union or provoke actions, it’s to foster specific attitudes in that workplace. This can range from anything to the jokes that are made behind the bosses back at break time, to the walk-out you hold during peak operating hours. The point is that this is something that emerges within the culture that organisers create as a result of the real bonds of solidarity and support they have built with their Fellow Workers.

Against the spectacle of material, in defence of the value of material

Thoughts on Christmas, and the Battle Between Materialism and Anti Materialism within Consumption Culture.

The circus has once again come to town, hundreds upon hundreds upon thousands upon millions of feet are marching up and down streets all over the country (indeed all of the world) on a multitude of separate quests- chasing something, a dream, an image, an impossible reality sold to each and every one of us on our t.v’s, on billboards and in magazines. Like the children of Hamelin running blissfully towards their unhappy [1]ending all of us march glazed eyed and dozy footed through rows of lights and tinsel, eyes shining towards that unattainable moment, that glorious realization that can never quite be reached; because each time we get close to reaching material satisfaction, the advertiser, the store owner, the profiteer, our peers, and even ourselves snatch it away and raise the bar a little higher.

Yet doggedly we keep on, believing somewhere somehow perhaps that in material we will find salvation, that among the cess pit of new toys, lingerie, and Christmas fucking pudding we might find something that will bring daylight streaming into the underside of the hill[2]– but we won’t. Shopping, the quest for material enlightenment is like masturbation without the orgasm[3]. Yet, when Christmas is done and put away and we go back to working overtime at our nine to fives to pay back the money we owe to loan sharks and credit card companies; we will if nothing else have once again achieved one giant cum stain of waste, broken toys, and half eaten food in the landfill of post consumer commodities.

So here is the paradox. We live in a society that practically made I phone a religion, (there are probably more I phone users than Sikhs in the world right now with approximately 400 million ipods sold since 2008 compared to around 30million Sikhs worldwide) we spend half our lives chasing NEWER, BIGGER, BETTER, we have whole industries that exist solely to give us wet dreams about things we don’t own yet but will soon; and despite all of this we are fundamentally anti materialist in our interactions with commodities.

We hold them (commodities) aloft and afar as spectacle but in attaining them, in demystifying them, we devalue, degrade, and eventually destroy them. A perfect example of this interaction is the rate at which the monetary “value” of any item depletes from the moment it leaves the store; it’s so called value, it’s worth evaporates as soon as it is in the hands of the consumer.  Now part of this of course is down to the power relationship between chain stores and individual consumers meaning that a shop has much more power to dictate “value” than you or I; however if we explore concepts like “mint in the box” and the obsession with “new” we see a trend which indicates a desire not for an item as a useful or valued thing, but as a concept a symbol of a lifestyle that is part of achieving some kind of perfection. We have reached a point where we no longer care for material possession; we care only for the thrill of the chase.

For me this new anti materialism is characterized by two key factors in our consumption; the first is the upgrade culture of add-ons and new versions of things (take for example Windows 1997,1998, XP et al) every five minutes, and the second is the throwaway culture attached to many commodities- many products including children’s bikes are not made too last more than a year, whilst even among individuals the destruction of material possessions is a common consumer act (you only need to look in the refuse bins of most housing estates to find all of the furniture, cooking equipment, and electrical goods needed to keep a household running).

So what does this conflict between spectacle and value mean, and where should we position ourselves around it? For me the root of the problem is tied intrinsically to the nature of our society and of our wider systemic structures. The capitalist and corporatist abattoir to which (like good little lambs to the slaughter) we have all merrily wandered into demands constant growth, constant expansion, and constant profit; despite being pitted against a world that cannot sustain this strategy and us such must continue to produce to “change” and to sell. When we run out of new markets and new products, we run out of capitalism and into a new freedom of reuse; the coming apocalypse of no more oil and the eventual ceasing of the ability to mass produce consumer commodities will see us all running to scrap yard to salvage our Iphone 2’s, Mini Disk Players, and gramophones; when this happens we will truly be free of the spectacle of material and perhaps once more understand the value of material.

Enough though of my nihilist predictions for the future, what can we do now? How do we eliminate the spectacle of material? An option in this war against spectacle is to simply destroy commodities “People who destroy commodities show their human superiority over commodities[4]”, to tear them from the shelves and burn them, to destroy the adverts that perpetuate them, to smash the shops that sell them, and bomb the factories that produce them; this at least would end their reign of terror over our lives, negate them as anything meaningful, and eradicate at least for some short time their grip on our reality. However, in the modern capitalist setting, the impending doom of total environmental collapse leads this writer at least to question the effectiveness of such a tactic, and this for me is where our relationship to the value of goods because important.

Each and every product on the frickin shelf has a story, a life, a journey, it has almost certainly been made of one or many natural resources that the planet will sooner or later be entirely void of; if we destroy the product then we only perpetuate the wasting of thousands of natural resources. So what can we do? For me we must begin to reuse, to reinvent and to modify those commodities that we do have, to keep and to treasure them as valuable things, to look after them, and adapt them to make a new world from the tattered scraps of welded metal and processed oil of commodity culture.

Alongside this though, we must advocate a strategy of spectacle destruction; we must tear down the billboards and the cumming soon (though never actually cumming) culture, we must kill the voice inside our head that tells us we need the next car, t-shirt, or DVD, we must slay the advertising monster and make soup from its cold dead heart, we must smash the lie that the next product will bring us that step closer to material enlightenment or we will be crushed to death under the sheer weight of our own consumption.

Time is ticking.


[2] Reference to the Pied Piper “And when all were in to the very last, The door in the mountain-side shut fast.”

[3] You work yourself up and up until in a frenzy, but never reach satisfaction.

[4] Guy Debord The Decline and Fall of the Spectacle-Commodity Economy http://www.cddc.vt.edu/sionline/si/decline.html

A.C.A.B not A2B

 (A critique of the TUC model of Demonstration- and a look to the Black Block)

Every smashed window is a portal into the future, as John Holloway might put it, a crack into the capitalist structures that exist now, and a temporary move into a future that looks beyond the idea of private property as an institution of any importance. Meanwhile, the politics of solidarity, mutual aid, horizontal organization, and direct action (by some accounts the corner stone’s of anarchism, at least in the libertarian communist trend) are at no point more alive than in the swiftly moving sea of black. An unidentifiable gender, race, and classless mass; each individual afforded their own autonomy to move or act in any direction whilst simultaneously forming parts of collective units (affinity groups) which all feed into a collective mass- this is self organization and leaderless management in action.

Meanwhile a mass of people are told by the bureaucrats and backstabber’s of the TUC that they are part of some mass movement, a movement stumbling towards “a future that works” and are consequentially lead like cattle to the slaughter to hear Edd Milliband talk about how Labour can co-opt the struggle against austerity and package it in a neat framework of reformist politics. The naming of the October 20th march, selection of certain privileged intellectuals to speak, and ideologically authoritarian pacifism (take for example the TUC stewards who attempted to prevent and break up the direct action by disabled people against the cuts when they tried to block a road) amount to little more than an attempt to crush intersectional approach to resistance, and effectively dump large diasporas of the anti austerity movement (e.g. queer, women’s, people of colour etc) into the thoroughly reformist box of workers against the cuts.

Imagine for a moment if “a future that works” was in fact named ” the future is now” and created a space where every section of anger could take steps relevant to them in a broad range of direct actions. Imagine the power of DPAC blocking either end of oxford street, whilst insurrectionist anarchists smash its shops to pieces, families use the distraction to occupy and take over closed down libraries and child care centres, UKUNCUT stunt against a tax dodging business, and unemployed people banner drop from the job centre. Imagine the power of 125 thousand people taking action for the now instead of being told to walk from embankment to Hyde park for the future. Instead of looking to Labour to reform our future, we must take it upon ourselves to liberate the present.

Most of all though, the TUC’s organizational steps in their so called protest do not represent  a crack or attack in the status quo but in fact serve only to reinforce the position of our oppressors. First of all, within the discourse of “a future that works” we are offered not an alternative to those things that oppress us now; we are fed a future that is reliant on capitalist modes of relationship, that is locked squarely in the framework of bosses and workers, of some owning the means of production and others toiling in them- I don’t want to work, I want to live. My second point of issue, is the TUC’s insistence on the presence and inclusion of professional politicians and statists arguing the case for their political programme on a soapbox provided by the so called “resistance”; what kind of resistance is it that invites our oppressors (those who in the days of new labour began this austerity program) to lecture us from their ivory towers of luxury expenses and extraction from life as a prole/pleb on why we should pay for their crisis.  Finally, the decision by the TUC, to work both for (supporting them in their so called struggle) and alongside (agreeing on a march root, attacking those attempting to take direct action etc) the police (those boot boys and murders who form a shield wall between us and the realisation of freedom, between us and the puppet masters) will always hamper the movement from self emancipation and smash its ability to self organise.

So, perhaps counter intuitively (given that the Black Block demands such a strict dress code) I argue that the TUC option of “demonstration” is the enemy of creativity, of imagination, and of real predigurative1 action; whilst Black Block creates a world of unlimited potential, individual expression, and all power to the imagination. There is perhaps and argument to be made, that the action of the Black Block are fundamentally machoistic and elitist both in there mode (often that of property destruction) and in its dominance of the discourse (e.g. March 26th in so far as “anarchist thugs” filled every major newspaper headline, whilst hundreds of thousands of other protesters were largely ignored). I will try briefly to offer a contrasting analysis to this position.

First, I would like to argue that the destruction of property is in fact a destruction of the male chauvinism, violence, and elitism on which institutions such as Banks, Government Buildings, and Anne Summers operate; and would further point to the multitude of actions beyond property damage that members of Black Blocks have participated in (from window cleaning of empty buildings and council housing to opening squats to provide homes for homeless families). The fact that Black Block also relies on personal autonomy and group solidarity, for me at least defies the accusation of elitism (so often cast upon this tactic by other leftists). Black Block is a tactic to protect everyone (regardless of their mode of action) from persecution by state or cop and within this sea of anonymity there is space for everything and anything from window smasher, to medic, theatrical protester  to media person, five year old to grandparent. Never mind thousands of V’s Marching on Parliament, this is hoods and masks attacking the reasons of our sleepless nights and nightmarish day, attempting to shape a new society based on basic human solidarity; (exemplified through the diversity of action e.g. one person smashes a window, another helps to hide that person, another writes the literature explaining the whole action, and another tends the wounds of those injured rucking with the filth) Black Block- now recruiting!

As for arguments around the negative discourse of the Black Block, I would argue there is little any of us can or should do to influence the language and arguments the bourgeoisie press choose to use in attempting to undermine struggle; our actions must be judged by our own morality and by history, the Black Panthers, the ANC, even Ghandi were dismissed by their own press as criminals and yet today we hail them as heroes. We should not modify our politics or our tactics in order to suit other people’s ideas of “acceptable forms of resistance” and if anything the importance the mainstream media afford to Black Block should act as something of a call to arms to all those content to be confined to police kettles and pre agreed A to B’s. I argue we should be lead by what is effective and what we believe to be just, imagine if you will for a moment the power that the anti Iraq war movement would have held had it decided to mask up and occupy army recruitment centres, sabotage Ta Bases, and destroy machines in weapons factories- imagine for a second the power of one million E.D.O decomissioners. The power of the Black Block lies in its prefigurative and post capitalist approach to the notion of resistance; whilst the A to B of the TUC is trapped inevitably in a capitalist mode- marches are not the limit of our imagination speeches cannot contain our desires.

This then, is a call out to mothers and fathers, children, workers, unemployed, queers, people of colour, and all others to join the anonymous mass of the Block, not as a means to an end but as an act to change our reality in this moment, to reinvent the now. The tactic, the mode of action is ultimately for you to decide; but your family, your colleges; your friends are already your affinity group. Mutual aid exists in everyone’s lives: when we buy our friends a pint or make them a cup of tea; we organize horizontally when we pick a movie collectively or decide what toppings to have on a pizza, we show solidarity when we care for our friends children or visit them in the hospital when they are ill, and we take direct action when poverty forces us to shop lift or the cold forces us to rig the meter. We are all common sense anarchists; we need only to formulate our subconscious actions, conceptualize these divided thoughts to reach our potential- Black Block is one way towards this conceptualization. Next time the aparatchiks at the TUC organize a “mass show of strength”   to bolster their outdated and irrelevant analysis; lets fuck them off and do our own thing, let us take action, and rather than allowing some smarmy fuckwit in a suit to tell us what our future is going to be, let’s be the change today, that we want to live tomorrow.

Smash Capitalism, Create Anarchy.

The housing crisis is a war- Squatting is our (not so) secret weapon

On every street, down every alleyway, and in every housing estate in London you will be hard pushed not to notice a strange and almost haunting phenomenon. This city is plagued with it, ravaged by it, consumed entirely in some cases by its slow rot and crumbling brick; the empty houses, offices, and factories that pierce endless soulless rows of chain stores and corporate commercial ventures. Even shiny central London’s prestigious Oxford Street sports two such bastions of emptiness; whilst elephant and castles monolithic heygate estate is a ghost town of over three thousand empty homes. Yet crying out against the cold, in the darkened doorways and silent stairwells of abandoned buildings, the homeless are freezing to death.

In the last year alone, there was between a fourteen and seventeen percent rise in the number of homeless people in England and Wales, with 48,510 households being classified as homeless in 2011[1]. At the same time there are nearly a million empty or abandoned homes in the U.K, 300 thousand of which are long term empty[2]. We are in a state of war. On one side we have ordinary people savaged by cuts to housing benefits, 1.7 million people long social housing waiting lists[3], mass unemployment, and now new laws against squatting; and on the other we have politicians, land lords, and developers fighting tooth and nail to keep house and land market prices high. The government has no centralised targets for the number of houses needed, and puts no guidelines on what this housing should be, or how much it should cost; despite the crisis house prices in London continue to rise[4]. The market therefore is rife with developers and speculators who are happy to see their shiny centres of yuppiedom sit empty, and callously wait till their over inflated rents can be met.

This year, I lived in an abandoned property in Dalston situated behind Kingsland station. The eight bedrooms and two bathrooms that in the past had made a micro bedsit empire for its owner (grossing him nearly £1000 a week) had been empty for more than a year and had been left to rot (when we got in, windows had been left open to allow for damp, wind and rain, one floor was entirely flooded, and many pipes and radiators were left damaged or leaking). On speaking to local residents as to why an enterprise which would have grossed its owner around £40,000 per year would be left completely empty (no dole scum such as myself could afford to lose that much money a year) we uncovered some sickening information about our slum lord millionaire. The slum lord, one Isah Gluck was a real estate and property villain, who heavily disguised himself behind a number of shell companies, fake development agencies, and other tax dodging guises; his main aim for our building, to let it fall down. The really interesting bit though is why. It turns out Mr Gluck had dreams of moving up the ladder from slum lord to respectable proprietor of the white middle class dream- the swanky condo in an edgy part of town, next to the coffee shop selling things most people can’t spell let alone afford, and the rent that starts in quad figures a month. Standing in his way however was planning permission, and the only way out of this was to let the building simply crumble something he could only do so long as none lived there. He, unlike the rest of us, could afford comfortably to lose 40 grand a year safe in the knowledge that in a few years time that yuppie palace would be well in vogue and worth millions.

It’s slum lord filth like Gluck who perpetuate the housing crisis, keeping all of us on the streets, in temporary accommodation, and hostels so that they might make a fat buck out of our poverty: there greed is our misery- we must go on the attack, and take what they won’t give us. Undoubtedly (as in the case of Gluck) they will fight us, (like some spoilt child deciding it wants its long forgotten, damaged toy, the very second a new child starts playing with it) they may evict us, but they will never destroy us- we have nothing to lose but our chains.

There is a simple fact greater than the situation we find ourselves in, and the line those in control of property have drawn in the sand against us, is a fundamental fact- regardless of the housing crisis, regardless of situation, and regardless of government- rent is theft, we must all join the rent strike. How is it that the rich, the landed, the powerful, have all convinced us it is just and right to pay them for the so called privilege of a roof over our heads; that we should drag our sorry selves out of bed five days a week, twelve hours a day, to enter into their work money system, break our backs and still barely, just barely, afford the cost they put on our right to shelter.

A storm is brewing inside the heart of this housing crisis (in the same way that it exploded in the Thatcher years) soon many thousands of us will be faced with a choice- the street or the squat. In this writer’s opinion, it is awareness of this coming storm that has pushed the hegemonic serpent of privilege (sometimes called the conservative government) to act against squatting. The rich know that if ordinary people are left dying on the street they are powerless, marginalised, and unlikely to form resistance; but if they are allowed to re-expropriate the properties landlords have stolen from them they will grow in strength and number, imagining alternatives to the ownership of property and taking for the common good that which the rich have kept for themselves- your landlord fears you, always remember that.

In response to the attacks on our right to shelter, we must arm ourselves, where they cut our benefits, we must cut their sources of income through rent strike, when they fire us from jobs, we should sack them as our landlords and use our rent for home improvement, and when they evict us from our homes we must squat theirs- as workers, unemployed, students and all others we have the keys to every door they claim to possess- we just have to grasp the confidence to use them. The answers to this housing crisis will not come from governments, policy makers, or Balfour fucking Beatty- this crisis to them is only another money making opportunity, another opportunity to keep us down; for us this crisis is our lives- what we do now will make the future. This crisis of housing will only end when each and every one of us fights back until every mouth can honestly speak the words “everyone and no one owns this house”; one avenue along the road to this reality is to squat that which they would have us pay for. It is time we woke up to the evils of property; it is time we squatted the world.

Peter Bonanno

[1] Guardian Article http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/mar/08/homelessness-jumps-repossession-unemployment

[2] Report by the Charity Empty Homes

[3] From Shelter article “The Housing Crisis” http://england.shelter.org.uk/campaigns/why_we_campaign/the_housing_crisis#_edn2 Stats taken from Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix Data 2010, Communities and Local Government, 2010

[4] http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2012/aug/14/housing-market-flat-london-price-rises