As the dust settles on Millbank

Sunday, 14th November 2010 at 16:46 UTC 1 comment

Yesterday I made the objective remark that the Millbank Occupation pushed the issue up the media’s agenda. This doesn’t say whether it was a good or bad thing. Many bad acts cause the media to notice things, as do many good acts. This is not a moral judgement. Of course I find it lamentable that people got injured, including the police. Beneath the shell of authoritarianism that riot police put on, they have a story the same as ours, and as the events of Germany in the last 48 hours show, even thousands of police will eventually begin to refuse to do the dirty work.


But right now I’m trying to find a way of making sure that the good intentions within the crowd are drawn out and made into lasting movement, and by deliberately throwing up everything bad that happened. By simply accepting the media’s contorted and selected vision of what happened that day, we shall see only an ugly reflection of ourselves, and one that rightly scares us away – we shall be unable to see the vast potential beyond these events. It is what the media has in mind for us – the BBC and Sky News are not run by people who want to move beyond the profit/growth paradigms into a more human-oriented world.

People make mistakes, movements make mistakes, but walking together we learn, and in each moment the question arises of what to do next, we look back and find there were things we can repeat in ways that have infinitely more potential.

I back any and every move to train up those who were involved at Millbank in methods of protest that fundamentally improve their welfare whilst struggling for a better world. Non Violent Direct Action may not appeal to everyone as a moral obligation, but it can be understood by everyone, certainly anyone who isn’t an agent provocateur, as a means to ensure people get home in one piece. Its no good covering your face to avoid identification and then ending up in casualty.

”It seems kids everywhere are mobilising”, writes Jon Jordan of the “‎24th Nov day of action against cuts. Maybe thousands will be walking out of school, some will be occupying and holding teach ins about the historical role of disobedience, others will be throwing raves in their headmasters offices. a few might lock the gates at the crack of dawn. The future is born in the present, and they will be acting now to change it”

When someone throw a fire extinguisher, it is those who shout “stop through shit” who we should be talking about. Let the moron disappear into history, get the story back to intelligence of the crowd. And, as I said to a friend recently, lets continue to hold in mind that

if anyone was looking for metaphorical crystals of revolutionary potential, some were found in London last week. That hasn’t happened in a long while.


Entry filed under: Activism, News.

Draft Statement on Millbank Occupation You shall not suffer a hedge fund manager to live among you?

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Corey James Soper  |  Sunday, 14th November 2010 at 18:20 UTC

    You’d be amazed how may of hsitory’s great revolution started as a University-based action.

    The obvious paralells with Paris ’68 are made alot, but I don’t think it fits. The trick is getting students to move beyond the politics of rection, and of individualism; and into a broader anto-cuts movement. Judging by comments made on the day, the students are more than willing to throw their lot behind the fightback.

    I think, in defense of the Millbank occupation, most of those alienated by such disrespect towards the capitalist idea of property rights are unlikely to put their support into an anti-cuts movement anyway; what counts is what percentage of the non-conservative (for want of a better term) population got behind the action – and I think the answer to that is almost all.


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