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Ok, so we are back home now, bruised but far from beaten, obviously there were some rather glaring failures of the Unauthorised March which we will cover first. Then we will move onto post march actions and how we can look at future resistance in our communities.
The No CPC group / site was set up by very few individuals as a frustrated response to the lack of interest in REAL radical action against the Conservative Party Conference. It was a quick reaction to the idea that the Tories might not have faced any resistance at all on the 3rd. We wish very much that we could have held a public meeting months before but we simply left things too late and did not have the support in place to achieve this.
Squatted Convergence Space
One of our larger failings was the failure to open a squatted space for activists. We did attempt to open a space on the Tuesday but found ourselves under arrest and tools taken. With such little support for securing a space and after weighing up the pros and cons we decided we would update the site to show that they space would not be happening and that people should organise a place to stay themselves.
The “Unauthorised March”
The black bloc was a good size and had some real potential but failed to act as a unit in most cases. Support when attempting to breaking police lines and break the kettle was minimal and some blocers resigned themselves to the cordon too easily. We stood face to face with cops at the barrier fences to the ICC but had no chance of breaching so re-joined the main march. We did break from the main march but were then blocked off and kettled by police who then forcibly searched and filmed people leaving the cordon. All in all it wasn’t exactly an Unauthorised March but we certainly didn’t comply with what the police tried to force us to do.
And now our little bit of success:
After the RTW coaches were arriving back at their respective home towns we headed towards Broad street and confronted various Tories including Boris Johnson himself. Police were slow to react and Bo-Jos response to our question “Oi Bo-Jo, Why don’t you stop fucking over the poor and stop helping the rich?” was one of bewilderment and an awkward shoulder shrug. Worth the stop and search by its own merits. Other Tories were hounded and abused as we asked “where the soup kitchen might be” so we know for when we are left in poverty by their cuts.
Unions with teeth
We were really pissed off to hear that some Unions had told their members that they were not to engage in civil disobedience on Sundays march. This is unacceptable, the union is only as strong as the action it takes, if union bosses start to dictate to the individual what they can and cannot do on a protest they should question their motives. It was for this reason that many union members came outside of their unions so they could use some of the anger and focus it without permission.
Anger to meaningful resistance
We spoke to many angry people this weekend whilst flyering for the march on Sunday. But you have to question whether people ARE angry? What separates us from our comrades in Greece, Spain, other EU countries and worldwide who stand united amongst burning barricades against the tyrannies their communities face. Why are we so pacified? Why are we failing to take the situation seriously?
We need to see the march as what it was: inconsequential, the Tories didn’t give a fuck, the elite weren’t quaking in their boots. At best our actions increased the cost of the event in terms of security but in reality none of this has any effect our communities. What happens when we return home is where true battle starts.
ORGANISE! Realise that marches and actions are only symbolic of the strength of our struggle we need to organise within our communities to make a difference. Start something new, a newsletter, a blog, network for solidarity, do anything to make your community a better place, but remember that direct action must always be taken to remove the rot from our communities be they corporations, the local army recruitment centre, bank or local government.
We cannot begin to think about the deconstruction of the state and capitalism when we cannot provide an alternative to ourselves and those around us.
Resistance to cuts will prove a great driving force over the coming years and we hope that actions against those involved in the cuts will provide a solid platform for liberating our communities.
To sum up, we have learned a lot from organising against the Conference, next year we will be ready!
Solidarity and rage!
We are currently discussing some of the minor successes and the failures of the days in relations to the actions and prior organising. Obviously we would be interested to hear your thoughts and constructive criticism. firstname.lastname@example.org
But a full breakdown of the day and how we can organise (more) effective actions against the state in future will be coming asap.
At Lionel street, same meeting as Rtw march look for black flags.
Security at the Icc was a farce today, the “ring of steel” was literally builders fencing. Other venues unwatched by police.
Let’s make this a day to remember.
100 bust cards for tommorow print your own map and write the legal number on your arm.
I suppose we should start with the shite news, the squatted convergence space is looking very unlikely as police arrested those involved with taking the space earlier this week and confiscated tools. We are trying to co-ordinate with the few Brummies that we know to try and open another convergence space before the weekend but at this moment no guarantees.
Anyone who can offer floors to activists on the day who stay around for the evening activities please let us know. I know this is quite annoying but we simply don’t have the numbers in Brum beforehand to secure the space, if anyone wants to get down to Brum before and open a space let us know and we will put it on the site.
Now for the main news. After much discussion we have decided that having a separate meeting place for the unauthorised march would be a bad idea for the following reasons.
1) If we have our own meeting place cops would most probably act quickly and prevent us from taking action by cordoning us before we move off.
2) If we marched separately to the other marchers it removes the radical option for those who want to take part in actions on the day. Now everyone can decide whether they want to get to the ICC and other venues and disrupt the conference and know that they have our full support!
3) We want to show solidarity with others marching and present a working class, anti-authoritarian, anti-state message to other marchers instead of the one track reformist pro-government agenda of the liberals and trots on the day.
4) If the cops get heavy, we would have no support from the thousands of marchers on the day and vis versa.
Therefore we will be meeting at the same location as the SWP / RTW convergence and will be carrying black flags and a big old banner that you won’t miss. Remember to bring spare masks if the cops confiscate yours, consider wearing normal clothes until the march starts then changing top and masking up etc when we are moving.
Try and bloc as soon as possible head towards the anarcho / black / red & black flags, and bring your own. We will try and merge with the militant workers bloc as we are all there for the same thing. Then we can break off from the main march when we approach the ICC check out the venues and use google street level to get an idea of the layout of the streets so you are more prepared.
The use of blockades and road blocking comes into its own here, there aren’t that many roads leading to or from the ICC.
See you on the streets,
Birmingham Botanical Gardens, B15 3TR
“Our Bollywood-themed Members’ Dinner looks set to be one of the highlights of this year’s Conference. Sayeeda Warsi will host the evening, with Boris Johnson as guest speaker and a new MP on each table.”
Taking place on Sunday 3 October from 20.00 – 22.30 at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Edgbaston.
A Shuttle coach will be available to take guests from 19.15 hrs from the City Centre (as near to The ICC) to the Botanical Gardens with a return shuttle back to the City Centre after dinner. Please note that this event is outside the secure zone and you do not need to be accredited to attend.”
The Angel, 125-131 Hurst Street Birmingham B5 6SE.
“Following the success of our first ever official conference gay night in Manchester, we’re delighted to announce that Conference Pride is coming to Birmingham.
Dinner – Enjoy a fabulous three-course dinner with half a bottle of wine and music by professional pianist Carl Joseph. The ticket price includes entrance to the club night, so you can carry on partying with fellow Conservatives until the small hours.
Taking place on Sunday 3 October at 19.00 at The Angel, 125-131 Hurst Street Birmingham B5 6SE.
Nightingales Club, 18 Kent St, Birmingham, West Midlands, B5 6RD
Club – Adam Rickitt will host the evening at Nightingales, Birmingham’s top gay club, and there will be appearances from Cabinet Members and high-profile MPs. As well as great music and a lively atmosphere, there will be a live performance by Mica Paris, and outdoor terraces to relax on.
Taking place on Sunday 3 October from 21.30 – 03.30 at Nightingales Club, 18 Kent St, Birmingham, West Midlands, B5 6RD.”
Cop shops are marked with a blue P and courthouses with Red marker point.
We have been thinking strongly about the purpose of the Direct Action Bloc this Sunday and have come to some conclusions that we hope might define the difference between a successful day and a potential failure, although one persons failure is another persons success and the very act of us acting for our communities is great in itself.
We should always be forward thinking and should never start out by defining what we are not as this gives no clear purpose to our actions.
Who we are.
We are normal people, we are people who get by on a daily basis existing or subsisting on what the ruling classes decides we need to just about survive. But we wish to LIVE not merely survive. We realise that it was our labour and our support that put these cretins in their positions of authority and power, we built their houses, we baked their bread and then we served them drinks. Now they continue to plan on how to give us even less. We all come from different walks of life, some of us are workers, some of us aren’t. We are normal people who have had enough and are willing to use more than words to protect each other and our communities.
Our purpose on the 3rd.
We have learned many things from past actions and from the successes and failures of other mobilisations some celebrated victories, new tactics and some tactics which don’t work so well. Here are some of the things we think might help people on the day.
Be prepared and organised
Organise your own actions, bring you own supplies, be prepared on the day.
Disrupt police surveillance of actions
Forward intelligence teams will be out in force on the day, they need to be shown that it isn’t safe for their equipment to be out in such unpredictable situations. Fitwatchers will be around on the day to block cameras and counter the intrusive cops evidence gathering to allow others to continue actions with less of a risk.
Look after one another
The police might attempt snatch arrests, we need to counter this by staying vigilant of snatch squads assembling and announcing them to others around you then intervening to prevent the arrest. Share food and water where possible.
Know when to retreat / regroup
The purpose of the day is not to stand toe to toe fighting the cops all day long, it is to disrupt the Conference events. If one venue is heavily protected by the cops then find another or attack and retreat / regroup. There are plenty of targets on the day don’t get bogged down trying over and over again to get to the main ICC building go for a smaller target. Even go for a target that isn’t on the list Birmingham has a lot of capitalist scum floating around, not to mention countless police stations and courthouses.