Feature

LCAP: A decade of direct action

Based on a “direct action casework” model of community organising pioneered in Ontario, Canada in the 1990s, the London Coalition Against Poverty was formed in 2007 to fight against the worsening squeeze on welfare provision which had been occurring under successive Labour governments.

Organised on horizontal lines, it immediately made a splash with punchy actions such as occupations of jobcentres and housing offices demanding that councils keep to their legal… Continue reading

Bread and blood: Living in an industry town

Jamie O’Brien tells his story of growing up surrounded by industry and injury in the Welsh steel town of Port Talbot…

November 8 2001. My grandfather had just brought me home from rugby training. Walking into the living room and seeing my mother’s parents there. The grave looks. Before a word is uttered it’s very clear something terrible has happened. Who’s died?

“Daddy has been in an accident”

I… Continue reading

Sister Uncut: A look at Bristol

Sisters Uncut in Bristol have been carrying out protests against cuts and closures. The group occupied the Cheltenham Road library for 12 days this Spring protesting the closure of services and the housing crisis. The library site has been sold to developers and is going to become a development of private flats. Last December Bristol Sisters disrupted a council meeting calling for more rehousing to be made available for women… Continue reading

Why beer is in a bad State

In this special feature written for the Organise Issue 88, a member of the Anarchist Federation looks into the historic consequences of State intervention in beer, from frothing masses to watered-down ideas. 

Throughout history the ruling class have placed restrictions, controls and taxes on alcoholic beverages and their consumption. As with all things, this has not happened without resistance but to this day the twin evils of capitalism… Continue reading

When your neighbour is your jailer

In 2012 Theresa May announced the creation of the “hostile environment” for “illegal migrants.” This new policy framework has extended the powers of the Home Office to everyday life. Whilst immigration power has traditionally always been exercised at external borders, the multiplication of internal checkpoints has reached hospitals, jobs, homes, banks and any other service, public or otherwise, in which the State wants to extend its tentacles. By passing a… Continue reading

Why I shut down Britain’s biggest opencast coal mine

Reclaim The Power and Earth First! activist Andrea Brock explains why, on the first day since the industrial revolution in which none of Britain’s energy was generated from coal, she was part of shutting down Ffos-y-fran, the UK’s biggest opencast coal mine.

I decided that we have to take action because governments are not responding to the impact of climate change and air pollution. We need to… Continue reading

Anarchist Haringey: Brief radical history of a London borough

I guess Tottenham is most known for its riots in 1985 and 2011. These were in no way organised or led by anarchists, and we were a very small part of them. But, they definitely showed the anger sections of the local community had toward the killing of members of their community by the police. This anger was also evident on the streets of Haringey when Joy Gardner and Roger… Continue reading

View from the floor: A supermarket worker on organising and retaking stolen life

In this piece from the shop floor, a supermarket worker talks about their initial feeling of isolation and slow making of links with others on the back of small acts of rebellion — and the spectacular disruption that can be carried out by the bottom rungs.

Supermarket work is fucking disempowering and alienating. You’re under constant surveillance (security let you know that they’re there just as much for you as… Continue reading

Anarchism and the bookshop trade

Other than the London Anarchist Bookfair and a few smaller regional book fairs — Bristol, Manchester, Sheffield for example — there are few places where anarchist books are seen. Few general bookshops are interested in anarchism and there are few radical bookshops.

That has not always been the case. At one time there were 130 radical bookshops in the UK with a public magazine, The Radical Bookseller. Some seemed predestined… Continue reading

Democracy and the NHS

The mythology regarding the 1945-51 Labour governments dies hard on the left, particularly in the era of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour which often sees itself taking up the mantle of an older, less compromised, form of state socialism. The foundation of the welfare state and the National Health Service is a special touchstone, with both it and its founder, Nye Bevan (pictured above with nursing staff at Park Hospital, Davyhulme) seen… Continue reading