Some of you may know that while I was in London last year I got a totally unexpected but fabulous whirlwind tour of Whitechapel by Martin Wright, longtime Class War militant. Getting off the subway in Whitechapel was a culture shock to say the least. The neighborhood, Martin pointed out later, had been a working class center of struggle for a long, long time in London. Now, still working class -- and still a point of class conflict -- it had a very large population of conservative Muslims. I saw the first real burqa of my life there. And the second. And the third...
The street was alive with activity. Street vendors everywhere, selling just about everything if I remember right. We wandered down the street, looking for Freedom Books. It was the most foreign experience I had on that trip and certainly was not expected. Eventually, after some searching, we found the bookstore and on our way out, while offering up a copy of PCWC's paper to the cashier, I ran into Martin. One thing led to another and before we knew it I was getting a hands on tour. Martin pointed out everyplace of note, telling us the story of what riot happened where, and also dutifully noting every tag representing the local anarchist crew, the Whitechapel Anarchist Group. The neighborhood was covered in their graffiti.
So, being a fan of Class War legend Ian Bone's blog, I was perusing it the other day and one click led to another and all of a sudden I was watching a video of Bone's always entertaining but as far as I can tell now sadly defunct radio show "Anarchism in the UK" featuring Martin as the guest. In the interview Martin talks at length about anti-fascism, insurrection as a goal and tactic of struggle, the history of Class War and a number of other very interesting topics.
One of the things I like a lot is the uncompromising anarchy that was the hallmark of Class War. As soon as I found out about Class War, years and years ago, I instantly liked it. And that affinity has never faded. Indeed I was talking with a comrade tonight discussing the importance of anarchy without excuses. One that clearly delineates exactly what makes us different from the cesspool of leftist crap that so dominates what passes for critical analysis these days. It seems to me that if anarchism offers anything, it is straight shooting, saying what can't be said -- or saying what we all say to each other but that the power structure won't allow to be heard. Fuck the rich. Screw the cops. Work sucks. Things like this. Obvious truths that are banned from respectable discourse.
Sure, we should -- and PCWC certainly does this -- make the connections that reveal commonalities in struggles. We can force either/or choices that reveal contradictions. But, whatever else we do, one thing anarchists can offer is intransigence and consistency. A refusal to bow to politics. A refusal to apologize for our unbending attitude towards power and politics. If we have nothing else, we must have this.
Check out the video below (follow these links to parts B and C):
Oh yeah, one more thing:
Bash The Rich Film
Oh yeah, one more thing after that: