Sunday, 25 December 2011

Season's Greetings

So, once more it's Christmas Day and the most important thing that means is a rest. For the next week, I'm free from work - but I'm also free from organising, handing out leaflets, attending demos, etc. At least until we're all back in the thick of it in the New Year. For many other friends and comrades, I know it's much the same.

It's been a hectic year, even just taking into account what happened in Britain. I was only last night reflecting that as the last twelve months have flown by, they've left only key landmarks - 29 January, 26 March, Stokes Croft30 June, the August riots, the Sparks, Dale Farm9 November30 November. But then there's all the organising in between. The untold hours making and printing flyers, handing them out, holding meetings and rallies, having debates and arguments and generally running yourself ragged to make sure that everything comes off alright.

Beyond Britain, of course, we saw revolution. From the self-immolation of one desperate, defeated man in Tunisia sprung a wave of revolution that would first take his home country, Egypt, and the rest of the Arab world. Then there were the indignant of Europe. Finally, Americans tried to Occupy Wall Street and sparked a worldwide wave of actions which reached their most militant apex (thus far!) in shutting down the ports on the west coast of America.

Then there's the stuff that didn't make headlines or draw people's attention. Fighting the BNP, supporting political prisoners, not to mention keeping alive the memory of radical events from a century ago or 75 years ago. All of which adds up to one of the most eventful and world-changing years in living memory, to the extent that Time named "the Protester" as person of the year.

The movements and revolutions initiated this year have yet to run their course. Importantly, even as austerity bites and the same old faces continue to sell us short, it has demonstrated to the working class how much power we have and given us a glimpse of the world we're fighting to win.

But before we get back into it in 2012, those of us with that luxury ought to enjoy this reprise - however brief - from work, study and all the struggles around us. Unless you're an all-too-earnest career activist who takes the advice of annoying Twitter accounts, we don't live to struggle - we struggle so that we might improve our lives. So, wherever you are and whatever you're doing, Merry Christmas to all family, friends and comrades!