The pros and cons of the black bloc

The black bloc formed at the TUC March for the Alternative was the largest ever seen in Britain

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

The principle and practice of “violence” against property

For tactics which included property damage and direct action, the Suffragettes were labelled as "terrorists" by the state

The recent student protests – in particular the siege of Millbank Tower and the riots on the day of the tuition fees vote – have provoked an awful lot of debate. Among other things, it brought the boogeyman of anarchism back into the media spotlight and helped to reinvigorate the fight against the cuts. What … Continue reading

Against religion?

Emma Goldman, writing Anarchism: what it really stands for, pointed out that there were three main strands of hierarchy that anarchists opposed. “Religion, the dominion of the human mind; Property, the dominion of human needs; and Government, the dominion of human conduct, represent the stronghold of man’s enslavement and all the horrors it entails.” In … Continue reading

In support of direct action

The unknown rebel: one of the most iconic images of direct action in the 20th century

In the popular imagination, the term “direct action” conjures up images of violence and chaos. Masked thugs rampaging the streets, battling with the police, spraying graffiti on walls, throwing eggs, bricks. Smashed windows, social disorder, and impotent alarms caterwauling into the night. But, as with all that offers a challenge to the ruling class and … Continue reading