Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Quote of the day...

The thousands of trade union members coming on Saturday from across the country, along with the representatives of service users, and countless other voluntary and community groups who oppose the cuts, know that the objective of this demonstration is to send a strong message to the government through our unity and a huge turn-out. I want nothing to distract from that.
This was not the rallying cry of a militant trade union boss, leading the fightback against the government. (Even if you believed in the existence of such a mythical creature.) It was an utter, bald lie by a self-aggrandising collaborator defiantly maintaining a death-grip on his delusions.

There is nothing new in his statement. We know that talk of "distracting" from the "strong message" is a red herring, because society is "primarily a power struggle, not a moral argument." As such, Barber's "united message to government ministers" will inevitably fall on deaf ears. Only by tipping the balance of class forces, putting the economy under seige and making the country ungovernable so that implementing the cuts becomes the more expensive option, do we stand a chance of victory.

Likewise, we know that the police's "duty to facilitate our right to protest" is nothing of the sort. The police's role is to maintain the states monopoly of violence, "exercised to defend the privilege of the propertied minority." As such, aside from ignoring the realities of power in liberal democracy, Barber's claim of "our responsibility to run a well-organised and disciplined event" is a pre-emptive capitulation to the ruling class. It is an agreement to stage-manage protest, and box it into the extremely narrow parameters of acceptable dissent. Challenging established power is quite simply not an option.

The problem for Barber and the TUC is that, whether they like it or not, they're mobilising class anger in London, a million strong. He can do an Aaron Porter and denounce "violence" after the fact, but must know he is likely to face roughly the same response. As such, what we are witnessing is a concerted demobilisation effort, aimed at deflating the March for the Alternative into the wet fart of an event it was originally conceived as.

The only problem he has is that he's moved far too late. Because plans and mobilisations for widespread disruption and direct action are already in place.

UK Uncut have their sights set on Oxford Street. There are plans for coordinated flash mobs to shut down London. Despite being officially disowned by the TUC, the various feeder marches continue to grow and there will be a number of anarchist and radical blocs on both them and the main procession. Full details are listed on the Freedom Press website here.

Most importantly, whilst the human rights organisation Liberty is thoroughly compromised by its collaboration with the police, there will be genuinely independent legal observers there. The Legal Defence Monitoring Group, Green and Black Cross, and FITwatch will all have a presence, and they and others will be offering legal advice and bust cards to protesters. Not to mention doing what Liberty will undoubtedly fail to do - monitoring the activities of the police and acting to warn and protect people faced with state violence.

But it is not just the police who we need to keep a close eye on. Senior stewards will be sharing intelligence with police, who will have access to their radio systems. Route stewards have been trained as a "first response" to "troublemakers," alerting senior stewards and the police. The entire "official" stewarding and legal observer operation is part of the policing operation, even to the point of having a seat in central command.

Brendan Barber, along with the Met, is "confident that our planning and well-trained steward team" means that, whilst dissidents cower under the blows of police truncheons, the struggle against the cuts dies by his hands. We have a duty to disappoint him.