Don’t despair, organise!: Guillotine Media

In the next chapter of our mini-series dedicated to new groups and projects forming across the UK and beyond, we introduce Guillotine Media: London-based podcast focusing on grassroots left wing activism.

Are you involved in a new, or not that new but lacking the attention it deserves, project and want to share your experience? Drop us an email: [email protected]

We are Guillotine – three anti-capitalists interested in the ways in which people are organising against the state, capital and the toxic ideologies that these instruments of control produce.

We want to create an accessible media platform to demonstrate the ways in which people are organising, both to those familiar with political activism and audiences that are new to the subjects we’re discussing.

From the outside, activism and the radical thought that inspires it can seem like an impenetrable circle of hardliners that will demand a sophisticated level of knowledge from those wanting to get involved. While revolutionary ideologies and utopian visions of a better tomorrow are undoubtedly important to many on the radical left, communicating those ideas to the millions of disenfranchised or disillusioned and translating them into action can be a daunting task.

By speaking to a variety of individuals and groups from a plurality of causes, we want to highlight the accessibility of activist organisations, as well as help people explore different forms of left wing activism and thought so that they can begin revolutionising the world around them through their everyday actions.

We believe that focusing our conversations on grassroots, community-based activism and speaking to those involved about the concrete actions they are taking to resist various forms of domination is the easiest way to bring the ideas and theory that animate their activity to life.

By underlining the efforts of these activists, we want to showcase the real-world applicability of concepts like solidarity, internationalism, direct action, and mutual aid, which will dramatically improve the material conditions of all.

We also hope it will be a good way for seasoned activists to learn about other groups and struggles happening around them, and can give them some ideas on how to expand their insurrectionary portfolio.

The project currently focuses on activism in London, as this is where we all currently live and work, although conversations tend to broaden out depending on the types of activism or issues being discussed.

So far, we have spoken to a number of groups on the podcast: the Green Anti-Capitalist Front outlined the kinds of radical measures needed to overcome the climate crisis and how organising ourselves is the best way to do it; Netpol explained how police deal with protest in the UK and how to deal with those pesky boys in blue; Rent Strike helped us imagine a world beyond private property; and Focus E15 taught us about different forms of community defence, among others.

We have thoroughly enjoyed creating every episode, and would like to thank all the groups that have come on already for their participation. You have greatly helped educate us (and hopefully any listeners) on how to challenge the innumerable oppressions inflicted on society’s most vulnerable by the onslaught of capitalist development, the urgent need to craft radical alternatives and that, in spite of the seemingly endless barrage of injustices produced under capitalism, change is certainly possible. Indeed, it has already begun.

If you like the sound of what the Guillotine is about and would like an activist organisation you like or are part of to come on for an episode, please get in touch with us on [email protected]

We will speak with activists from a range of leftist tendencies – whether you’re anti-fascists resisting far-right street mobs, a radical publisher promoting and freely distributing vital and inspiring theory, a guerrilla gardening collective utilising private land for communal benefit, or anything in-between, we are very keen to speak with you about your ideas on organising and how to one day see a world free of oppression (but please, please, please, p l e a s e no tankies!).

All of our previous episodes are freely available on Podbean and Spotify, and you can keep up-to-date with what we’ll be releasing in the future by following us on our Twitter.

Solidarity now and forever,

Guillotine