The Acorn is an info bulletin produced by our friends at Winter Oak, which we are sharing on this site. The Anarchist Action Network is not responsible for the content.
- Ancient energies and modern anger!
- The British state is violent and criminal
- Complete control: “cleaning up” the internet
- Invasion of the transhumanists
- Paving the way for road profiteers
- Show of strength from the ZAD
- Zika and the Big Pharma agenda
Ancient energies and modern anger will be coming together in a “masked parade of fuck” on the streets of London on May Day.
The fourth anti-gentrification Fuck Parade has been announced for 6pm on Sunday May 1 2016 at One Commercial Street, London E1 7PT. “Dress code: smart casual, with masks“.
The last Fuck Parade in Shoreditch in September (see Acorn 16) managed to grab national and even international headlines when participants dared to daub paint on the outside of a hipster “cereal cafe” – unleashing a great vomiting of self-righteous hypocritical outrage from London’s smuggest.
And now, with Spring in the air, the rowdy rebels are ready to go again on a day traditionally set aside for life-affirming revolt.
Says their website: “The London Fuck Parade began as a ‘Fuck you’ to property developers who had introduced ‘Poor doors’ into one of their shiny new blocks of apartments in Aldgate on the edge of London’s East End.
“Tenants on affordable rates or social tenants were obliged to use a separate door down a dark side alley, while those paying full rate could swagger through a front concierge area with chandeliers glittering above and bag-carriers on hand 24hr.
“So some people said ‘Fuck that’, and so we had the first Fuck Parade on May Day, Saturday 1st May 2015. Hundreds gathered, sound systems on trolleys, pulled by bikes, dragged or pushed on all sorts of contraptions, a riotous parade of Fuck toured central London to finish six hours later in deepest Soho.
“And then we thought: ‘That was fun. Let’s do it again!’ And so we did…
“May Day in 2016 falls slap-bang in the middle of a true Bank Holiday weekend and as a Sunday must surely be a day of rest, quiet reflection and banging techno in our streets.
“Prepared to make the necessary sacrifices, our MaskARaid will liberate space and minds, channeling the ancient energies and the modern anger in a masked parade of fuck”.
The British state is a ruthlessly violent criminal organisation that will stop at nothing to push the interests of the rich elite that owns it.
This plain and unpleasant fact should always inform the thinking of anybody who dares to stand up to the system – and yet, all too often, activists slip into a naive liberalism that simply cannot cope with the grim truth.
This issue was recently addressed in an astute article about reactions to the Heathrow 13 trial, in which the anti-airport protesters finally avoided jail and received suspended sentences.
Here, the Free to Fight Collective point to a worrying assumption that we have the “right to protest” in the UK and that it would be unthinkable for nice peaceful protesters to be put behind bars.
The Heathrow protesters may be relatively “free” (though facing immediate jail if they step out of line again) they explain, but we are still living in a country “where we have the most privatised prison system in Europe, where people are being locked up for profit, where every single day thousands of people are harmed by the prison industrial complex.
“Violence, beatings, self-harm, drug abuse, rape and sexual assault, suicide and just the simple brutality of being caged are all endemic in our prison system. Prison is inherently violent, and it’s the tool of a violent state that serves the capitalists who are the real ones profiting from aviation and environmental destruction”.
The real nature of the British state is becoming increasingly clear to anti-fracking activists in the UK. Back in 2013 at Balcombe, many were happy to fraternise with the police, whom they regarded as neutral observers in the battle between the frackers and the public.
But experience has gradually eroded faith in the “boys in blue”, both in the North of England and now at Horse Hill, near Horley, where Surrey Police have been particularly aggressive, making violent arrests and generally doing their best to conform to the internationally-recognised “ACAB” policing standards.
“At around 12 noon on Tuesday February 23, grandmother Linda Foord thought she was being a good Samaritan by offering tea and cakes to police officers and protesters outside a proposed drilling site in Surrey”, reports the Talk Fracking site, for instance.
“But rather than a smile and gratitude, Linda was given a verbal warning and told she risked being arrested by the officers for obstructing the highway”.
The truth is, of course, that the police are nothing but mercenary thugs and enforcers for the “untouchable” business mafia, whose salaries are sourced from the centuries-old criminal protection racket known as the British state.
While still (technically!) human beings, in order to carry out their robotic role they have surrendered the right and indeed responsibility of moral choice that lies at the heart of what it means to be truly human.
The same can certainly be said of those state-mercenaries who take their anti-social activities a step further by hiding their true identity behind a cloak of officially-authorised lies.
A reminder of where this can lead came with the news this month that the case against the one remaining “suspect” in the Omagh bombing case had collapsed.
It now appears that nobody will ever be convicted for the terrorist atrocity which killed 29 innocent people, and two unborn babies, in the north of Ireland in 1998.
The reason for this is obvious for anyone who has followed this particular case, the “Troubles” in general or indeed the whole history of terrorism.
There is a hint of the truth in one paragraph of The Guardian’s report: “Omagh victims’ families have complained that police on both sides of the Irish border failed to act to thwart the attack on the town because they were running agents inside the Real IRA, and that previous bombings in 1998 were allowed to take place to bolster their agents’ reputations within the new republican terror group.”
The reality is that both “sides” of the conflict were penetrated and manipulated by UK and US intelligence agents in order to further their own nefarious ends.
Even the head of IRA internal security was a British agent codenamed Stakeknife, happily using his position to order the murder of any remaining Republicans not under orders from London.
As a detailed Spinwatch report states: “It can be shown that senior members of the British security forces/services and politicians were and are prepared to use civilian assassinations, bombings and black propaganda to achieve a military, rather than a political, solution to the Northern Ireland conflict and other conflicts in which they are involved”.
As for the motives behind the Omagh bombing, it is worth recalling that it led to Parliament being recalled and that within less than a month Tony Blair’s government had somehow written and introduced the Criminal Justice (Terrorism and Conspiracy) Act 1998.
This allowed people to be convicted of belonging to a proscribed organisation merely on the say-so of a senior police officer, created an offence of conspiracy to commit offences abroad and generally prefigured more recent “anti-terrorist” legislation. Helpfully, it included a clause giving “all crown agents immunity from prosecution under the legislation”.
Meanwhile, anti-capitalists in the UK are well aware that their movement has been targeted by state infiltration, even if those so far exposed have been lower level police spies rather than higher-level spooks.
The Pitchford Inquiry into undercover policing, which starts this month, was never going to reveal more than a fraction of what has been going on, but it risks descending into total farce with police insisting they want to have large parts of this “public” inquiry held in secret and intend to use their “Neither Confirm Nor Deny” approach.
Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance say: “It is the police characteristically failing to admit wrongdoing, let alone sanction those who did it. It results in the absurdity of police refusing to confirm whether people like Mark Kennedy and Bob Lambert were ever undercover officers.
“We only have details on 14 officers from Britain’s political secret police – 90% of them are still unknown. The only way we will know what those officers did is if the people they spied on tell their stories and, in turn, the only way for that to happen is if they are told they were targeted.
“The inquiry cannot be credible if it hides 90% of the truth. It must release the names of officers. Those who were spied on should see their files to discover what took place and why, rather than take the word of the liars who abused them.
“The inquiry has designated 179 people targeted by the 14 known officers as ‘core participants’, and 133 of them have called for the release of the officers’ cover names. For many, this issue is the test of whether the Inquiry is serious or a whitewash.
“There will be a demonstration outside the High Court at 9am on Tuesday 22nd March, ahead of the first day of the Pitchford Inquiry’s hearing. Let’s make it clear; without truth there cannot be justice”.
The internet has always been a double-edged sword for the capitalist system. On the one hand it enables surveillance and control on a scale undreamed of by the tyrannies of yesteryear.
But, on the other hand, it allows information and opinion to circulate in the public realm that would have traditionally have been filtered out by the gatekeepers of the authorised media.
Finding pretexts for clamping down on that inconvenient freedom of expression has always been a preoccupation for the 21st century authorities and it’s worth noting some recent moves in that direction.
This article in The Guardian talks about efforts to make the internet “nice” and to “design out toxic behaviour”.
But behind the use of terms like “antisocial users” and “troublemakers” you can be sure that there lurks another, less fluffy, agenda.
Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg talks of mounting “a concerted counter-offensive of what can only be described as organised niceness”.
This sounds like an online version of the broom-wielding nice bourgeois fascists “clearing up” after those nasty riots in 2011.
And the political agenda becomes plainer with Sandberg’s explicit references to tackling these “extremists” by “shutting offensive accounts”.
Liberal Guardian readers are supposed to believe that all this is aimed at Jihadists and right-wingers, but who exactly decides what is “offensive” or not?
It’s a flexible term, as we have seen lately with the attempts by the extreme right-wing Zionist lobby to have all criticism of Israel branded as offensive “anti-semitism”.
When activists from London Palestine Action carried out some subvertising on the London tube last month, putting up posters criticizing Israel’s apartheid policies against Palestinians, Israeli politicians described them as “anti-semitic and “inciteful”.
Oxford University Labour Club’s support for Israeli Apartheid Week was also classed as “anti-semitism” by right-wing Zionists given a platform by The Guardian on February 17.
Meanwhile, the Independent reported that the British government is banning public boycotts of Israeli goods because the practice undermines “community cohesion” and Britain’s “international security”.
This report from Associated Press confirms that it is not by chance that the meme of pro-Palestinian “anti-semitism” has been spreading.
It reveals: “Israel is using its world-leading expertise in cyber security to take on the growing threat of the global pro-Palestinian movement to boycott Israel.
“Among the government officials involved in the efforts are some of Israel’s top secret-keepers, including Sima Shine, a former top official in the Mossad spy agency, and [Sima] Vaknin-Gil, who recently retired as the chief military censor responsible for gag orders on state secrets.
“Vaknin-Gil said her ministry is encouraging initiatives to expose the funding and curb the activities of anti-Israel activists, as well as campaigns to ‘flood the Internet’ with content that puts a positive face on Israel”.
This sounds strikingly similar to Facebook’s fluffy liberal plan for “a concerted counter-offensive of what can only be described as organised niceness”.
First you declare that there will be zero tolerance for extremists and offensive opinions and then you redefine all your opponents as “extremists” and their opinions as “offensive”…
The same logic will no doubt apply to government plans “to prosecute ‘trolls’ who use fake online profiles to harass others”.
The BBC reports that this clamp-down could target cases “where a false identity is used to post upsetting messages, including false information that could cause anxiety”.
We can see where that’s heading!
If there is one present-day current of thought that stands out as even more repugnant than all the other repugnance of industrial capitalism, it is transhumanism.
For those who have not come across it before, this is a warped ideology that wants to physically merge humans and industrial technology, with the “dream” of abolishing mortality and creating a super-race of cyborgs or Daleks.
Whether or not this is ever likely to come true is pretty much beyond the point – the transhumanists are dangerous simply in that they are promoting a way of thinking, a way of envisaging the future, that is completely bound up with the extension of industrial capitalism and, of course, completely against any idea of caring about the living planet.
The transhumanists form part of an ultramodern neoliberal cult – also worryingly infecting supposedly “radical” circles – which regards the very idea of “nature” as out of date and builds its cold worldview on a fetish for all that is false, artificial, inhuman.
It was therefore rather surprising, to put it mildly, that a leading spokesman for this cult was invited to speak at an eco-fair in Lyons, France, on February 28 2016.
This was Didier Coeurnelle, a Belgian transhumanist, vice-president of the French Association of Transhumanists, who is also known by the name “Technoprog”.
A group of radical anti-industrialists from Pièces et main d’oeuvre (PMO) in nearby Grenoble reacted by publishing an open letter to the organisers of the eco-fair, the Salon Primevère.
They pointed out: “The transhumanists are picking up where the Nazis left off, with an eugenicist project for improving the race. They have an advantage over the predecessors in that they have 21st century technology on their side: nanotechnology, biotechnology, IT, neurotechnology.
“It is part of the transhumanists’ strategy to infiltrate anywhere that offers them a platform. Some years ago they decided to reach out to the largest possible audience by using slogans designed to draw in the ‘alternative’ sector: ‘Another transhumanism is possible’ is the AFT president’s slogan.
“To give a talk at a fair where people are showcasing herbal medicine, warning against the harmful effects of microwaves, criticising vaccination policies in France, is an excellent way of spreading their propaganda”.
In response to the open letter, the fair’s organisers invited the PMO radicals to come and debate with Coeurnelle, arguing that allowing him to speak was “the only way of exposing” his real agenda.
PMO replied that there was an important distinction to be made “between debating with transhumanists and fighting transhumanism”. They added: “If we follow your logic, the ‘only way of exposing’ pesticides is to invite spokespeople from Bayer, BASF and co. The ‘only way of exposing’ GM food is to invite Monsanto and biotechnology researchers…
“We are happy to accept your offer for a discussion, on the only subject that matters: why and how to fight transhumanism”.
Skullduggery is being used to push through plans for an environmentally disastrous new road across the Sussex countryside near Chichester.
With the official consultation due to begin any day now, even the local media have been kept in the dark about what is actually being proposed.
It is feared that forces behind the scenes are pushing for a new northern bypass around the city, conveniently “opening up” countryside for the profiteering of parasitical property developers.
A key figure in the pro-bypass campaign is one Pieter Montyn, a senior West Sussex county councillor.
As we reported last year in Acorn 4, Montyn has spent most of his life profiting from mass murder in the higher echelons of the global arms trade – “37 years in the UK aircraft and defence equipment industry (British Aerospace/BAE Systems and GEC), in which he held senior export management positions at home and overseas”.
And with that sort of ethical background, it is not surprising that he has been less than transparent regarding his involvement in the push for a new northern bypass.
The Chichester Observer records that the wealthy Tory was an active campaigner for the northern route before the option was originally dropped by the government in 2005, when he was not yet a councillor.
Montyn is claiming that this is all now in the past and told a public meeting in January this year: “That was ten years ago when I hadn’t been elected to anything and I was free to do what I felt I wanted to do.
“Since I was elected to district and then county (council), the situation has been very different for me. The moment I was elected I never campaigned or spoke out again.”
But this does not seem to entirely be the case – an email leaked to the local paper shows he still very much identifies himself as part of the pro-road campaign.
In this message, written 17 days before his public statement, he refers to the anti-road fight “gathering momentum” and adds: “We need to get together in the new year with willing individuals of whatever kind (PC members or not) and begin work on a better informed pro campaign.” The word “we” is significant here!
The lack of information from the authorities is frustrating residents and media alike.
Complained one local journalist on March 3: “The utter ineptitude Highways England continues to show in its handling of the A27 simply beggars belief.
“Its whole handling of Chichester’s A27 improvement plans would be laughable, if we were not talking about the biggest transport decision the area has seen for decades, a decision that will affect everyone in the area and beyond for years to come.
“Highways England continues to treat Observer residents with nothing but utter contempt. Do the well-paid bosses think we will all just sit back and allow such a major project to be allowed to lurch from one disaster to the next?”
Fortunately, there are many in Sussex and beyond who are not prepared to let Montyn and his road-lobby chums get their way.
As the “Nature Says No A27” Twitter account says: “A bypass through the beauty of the South Downs is environmental destruction of the highest order. Extensive diverse landscapes will be lost to a road that heaps yet more pollution on us all – NO A27 BYPASS!”
UPDATE 4.3.16: Hours after this bulletin was published, news broke that the battle may have been won! The government has apparently ruled out the options of northern route or any new section of road in the south. “Instead the junctions on the existing stretch will be upgraded”.
Threatened by the infrastructure of industrial capitalism
A massive show of strength was held in Nantes on February 27 by those who oppose the proposed new airport and support the ZAD protest camp.
Some 60,000 people gathered at Notre-Dame-des-Landes to send a clear message to the French state – we will not let this scheme go ahead!
Coaches travelled from all over France to the protest, the biggest yet, and there was also a contingent of UK activists who are ready to help resist any attempted eviction.
The ZAD has become an important symbol of the struggle against industrial capitalism in France and Europe as a whole – the long-term aim is not just to stop the airport but to keep the space at Notre-Dame-des-Landes liberated from state control on a permanent basis.
Both lanes of a dual carriageway were filled with protesters as far as the eye could see and much of the road surface, road signs and a petrol station were covered with graffiti – a news video can be seen here.
The police were largely invisible and if skirmishes were limited and late in the day, this suited the strategy of the ZAD supporters.
With a dubious local referendum in the offing, and no eviction attempt likely until at least the Autumn, the task at the moment is to keep the diverse anti-airport movement solid and persuade the state to stay away.
Of course, the moment that any attack on the ZAD is made, the game will change immediately and the crackling potential energy that was so evident on February 27 will be released in a quite different form.
If you’re stupid enough to believe what you hear in the media, you may think that Zika is the biggest threat to humankind since Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction.
The mosquito-carried disease is set to spread north from Brazil any day now, killing billions and threatening to bring the world as we know it to a horrible and painful end…
That’s the hype, but tucked away at the bottom of a recent Guardian article was the rather underwhelming truth: “Brazil is investigating more than 4300 suspected cases of microcephaly and more than 460 have been confirmed. The Zika infection so far has been identified in 41 of them.”
41 confirmed cases? Hardly the Black Death! Researcher Jon Rappoport adds: “Zika has been known about since 1947. It has never been considered a health threat. It has been linked to mild transient illness with few symptoms. There was no reason to assert that Zika was the cause of microcephaly in the first place. It was all hype and no science”.
Sceptics like Rappoport are suggesting that the real issues lie elsewhere. With the use and production of pesticides in Brazil, for instance. Or with mass vaccination schemes. Or with the release in Brazil of genetically modified mosquitoes.
There are many elements in our industrial society, and in the poverty afflicting many Brazilian families, that could affect immune systems and damage unborn children.
A group of doctors from South America are now saying the brain deformations the world is witnessing are caused by the mass fumigation of low-income Brazilian people with a chemical larvicide, not by mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus.
Says a report in Natural News: “What we’re seeing with the brain deformations of children, in other words, is more like the history of thalidomide, a prescription medicine given to pregnant women that caused children to be born with limbs missing.
“But the official narrative on all this is pushing a false link with Zika in order to justify more chemical fumigation, more vaccines and more genetically engineered mosquitoes”.
The Zika scare is also being used as a Trojan Horse for megalomaniac biotechnological dreams of “editing nature” and simply wiping out mosquitoes altogether – regardless of the knock-on effects on the food chain and global eco-system.
A leading force behind this insanity is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. A propaganda piece in The Guardian on February 27 was jointly authored by Dr Trevor Mundel, president of its global health division.
The agenda is quite clear as the article calls for “a coordinated response involving infrastructure, international organisation and readily available vaccines”. It states: “When such research takes place at all, it generally relies on the goodwill of pharmaceutical companies prepared to take a loss. That isn’t sustainable… we must invest in technologies that enable more rapid deployment”.
“The goodwill of pharmaceutical companies” – there is a phrase that tells you all you need to know about the article and what lies behind it!
In the same way that the bogeyman of “terrorism” leads to massive government spending with security and arms companies, so the threat of an “epidemic” is aimed at prompting a flow of cash into the coffers of Big Pharma.
Rappoport points to a saner approach to tackling the root issues: “Cleaning up contaminated water supplies, improving sanitation, eliminating overcrowding, introducing nutritious food to replace no-food or junk food—these and other non-medical measures would make people healthier and drastically reduce their need for any medical intervention at all”.
But then that’s the last thing the global pharmaceutical industry wants to happen!
Sheffield Anarchist Bookfair is being held on Saturday April 23 2016 from 10am to 6pm at Showroom Workstation, 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S1 2BX. Each year, the book fair brings together over 50 radical booksellers, distributors, independent presses, and political groups from around the country, and features books, pamphlets, zines, art, crafts and films. It includes speakers, panels and workshops, and is followed by an evening social.
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Good news from St Louis in Missouri, USA, where Black Rose Books is to open the first of at least two locations on May 1 2016. The de-centralized, non-profit project says it aims “to get our favorite radical books into circulation in St. Louis. We hope to make available great books, magazines and journals on a wide range of topics, from LGBTQIA, feminism, anti-racism, direct action, radical ecology, anti-colonialism, anti-war, philosophy, peoples’ histories, and much, much more!” At least one Winter Oak title will be available!
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“We won’t stand for business people to profit from racist death, displacement and torture” say activists opposing the Cardiff Arms Fair from Wednesday March 16. As we reported in Acorn 21, Stop the Cardiff Arms Fair (Na i Ffair Arfau Caerdydd ) is being supported by the Anarchist Action Network, Smash EDO, Campaign Against the Arms Trade and South Wales Anarchists.
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Corporate drug-dealers GlaxoSmithKline have been fined £37.6m for cheating the NHS. The Competition & Markets Authority said the pharmaceutical firm had paid generic drugmakers more than £50m between 2001 and 2004 in return for them delaying the launch of cheaper versions of the antidepressant drug, branded Seroxat, which sold more than £90m in 2001. Unlike street-corner drug-dealers, however, Glaxo’s bosses are not looking at jail sentences for their dodgy activities…
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“To comply with the no-trespassing order, to allow a forest to be cut down, to hide our rituals and secret away our traditions – these are what is desired of us by the powerful and the rich, by world leaders and wealthy businessmen. To insist that life and the world and each other are more important, more meaningful than the demands of Capital and Authority – this is a beautiful resistance.” So say the pagan anti-capitalists behind the US-based gods and radicals website – godsandradicals.org
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Acorn quote: “The spirit of oppression, the spirit of servility, and the spirit of fraud, these are the immediate growth of the established administration of property. They are alike hostile to intellectual and moral improvement. The other vices of envy, malice and revenge, are their inseparable companions. In a state of society, where men lived in the midst of plenty, and where all shared alike the bounties of nature, these sentiments would inevitably expire. The narrow principle of selfishness would vanish”.
William Godwin, Enquiry Concerning Social Justice
(For many more like this, see the Winter Oak quotes for the day blog)
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