The pros and cons of the black bloc

A black bloc, despite all the controversy around it, isn’t a complicated thing. It is simply the act whereby great numbers of people wear all-black clothing and cover their faces on demonstrations. They then come together as a unit, for both strength in numbers and anonymity. That’s it. It is not an organisation, as conspiracy … Continue reading

Anarcho-syndicalism and the limits of trade unionism

One statement that I quite often make is that I’m not a trade unionist. This can confuse those who know me, because I am a member and active rep within the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS). However, though I believe in worker organisation as a part of class struggle and the challenge to capitalism, … Continue reading

Notes on sectarianism

This has been something I’ve been meaning to write for a long time. However, each time I have given up because I can’t find the words to articulate something which flowed brilliantly as a rant, but not so well as prose. So, you’ll have to forgive me if this post comes out more as a … Continue reading

Where do the “middle class” fit into it all?

It is, perhaps, the most vague and ill-defined term in sociopolitical discourse. At the same time, it’s one of the most commonly used. It can be everything from a badge of honour to the most callous insult. Something which defines your economic status or destroys your street cred. The term I’m talking about is “middle … Continue reading

On participation in mainstream trade unions

Anarchists, particularly anarcho-syndicalists, are often highly critical of both the form and function of mainstream trade unions. Perhaps the most incisive critique comes from a postal worker, reflecting on the sell-out by the Communication Worker’s Union (CWU) for The Other Campaign; Because the leaders of the CWU are so remote from the daily lives of … Continue reading

Whither class consciousness?

“The class war is over.” So declared former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in 1999. Of course, Blair was speaking from the perspective of a most zealous convert to centre-right neo-liberalism, but his words held a ring of truth. Over perhaps the last twenty years, and certainly the past decade, there has been a marked … Continue reading

Class war and the agents of the state

One of the key components of anarchism is class struggle. This struggle has many forms, from picket lines, through anti-racist and anti-fascist movements, to the fight for migrants’ rights and armed insurrection against imperialism. However, the aim remains the same. Agitation, organisation, and education for the working class against their exploitation and repression by the … Continue reading

An argument for the abolition of the prison system

As with borders, the prison system is an element of state structure deemed to be beyond question. Debate rages on whether it is “too soft” or “too tough,” on whether it needs reform, and on how it can be made to work better. However, the idea of its abolition remains unspeakable, indeed unthinkable. There simply … Continue reading