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The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts are urging action on the 24th November.



There is a solidarity demo for Occupy Wall Street today 17th of November 2011 at SOAS from 16.30 – 18.00 – Facebook event 

The Common in Revolt



It did not take much imagination, once the analysis of the current economic crisis had been brought back to its causes and social effects, to foretell urban revolts akin to jacqueriesCommonwealth1 had predicted that already in 2009. What we did not expect, on the contrary, is that in Italy, in the movement, this prediction could be rejected. It seemed in fact, we were told, ancient; they told us, instead: now is the time to rebuild broad fronts against the crisis and establish within the movements forms of organization-communication-recognition to address political representation.

Well, now we are nonetheless facing movements that express themselves in more or less classic insurrectionary forms and yet are everywhere, thus uprooting the old geopolitical grammar within which someone stubbornly kept thinking. What we have is, therefore:

1)      A new proletariat, made of precarious and unemployed workers, joins the middle classes in crisis. These are diverse subjects unifying in unusual ways in the struggle, asking, as in the countries of the Southern Mediterranean, new, more democratic forms of government. The political dictatorship of the Ben Alis and the political-economic one of our fake democracies may not be equivalent – although for decades the latter have accurately built, supported, and protected the former – but by now the urge for radical democracy is everywhere and marks a common of struggles emerging from different sides, blending and intertwining, cross-breeding one another’s demands.

2)      The very same social forces, those suffering from the crisis in societies with class relationships by now definitely controlled by financial regimes within mixed, manufacturing and/or cognitive economies, are moving across different terrains (first movements of workers, students, and precarity more generally; now
complex social movements of the “acampados” kind) with equal determination.

3)      The resurgence of movements of pure refusal is crisscrossed by a societal composition as complex as ever, stratified both vertically (i.e. middle classes plunging towards the excluded proletariat) and horizontally (i.e. in relation to different sectors of the metropoles, torn between gentrification and – as Saskia Sassen notices – “Brazilianized” zones, where clashes among gangs start leaving the marks of AK-47 bullets on the walls of those neighborhoods where the sole – dramatic, entropic – alternative to organized struggles is organized crime).

The current English revolts belong to this third kind and are quite similar to the ones that some time ago have affected the French banlieues: a mix of anger and desperation, fragments of self-organization and crystallizations of other kinds (neighborhood associations, networked solidarities, soccer fans’ clubs, etc.) expressing by now the unbearability of lives turned to rubble. The rubble, surely unsettling, these revolts leave behind them is not in the end so different from what the everyday lives of so many men and women is made of today: shreds of life in one way or another.

How can we open a discussion on these complex phenomena from the standpoint of thinking the common? What we argue below has the mere intention to open a space for debate.

First and foremost, it seems to us that we need to debunk some interpretations voiced by the mass media of the ruling classes.

They argue, to begin with, that these movements we are discussing should be considered, from a political point of view, in their “radical” diversity. Now, it is obvious that these movements are politically diverse. But to say that they are “radically” so is simply idiotic. All these movements are, in fact, radically characterized not only because they oppose Ben Ali or other dictators, whatever is the case, or because they denounce Zapatero’s or Papandreou’s political betrayal, or because they hate Cameron or refuse the impositions of the European Central Bank. They are, rather, characterized as radical because all of them refuse to pay for the consequences of the economy and the crisis (nothing would be more mistaken than considering the crisis as a catastrophe striking a fundamentally sane economic system; nothing would be more terrible than nostalgia for the capitalist economy before the crisis), which is to say the huge movement of wealth that is now taking place to the benefit of the powerful, organized as they are in the political forms of the Western regimes (democratic or
dictatorial, conservative or reformist alike…).

These are revolts born, in Egypt, Spain, or England, out of the simultaneous refusal of the subjection, exploitation and plunder this economy has prepared for the lives of entire populations of the world, and the political forms within which the crisis of this biopolitical appropriation has been managed. And this is also true for all the so-called “democratic” regimes. Such a form of government appears only preferable for the seeming “civility” with which it masks the attack on the dignity and humanity of the existences it crushes, but the vanishing of political representation is now at the point of collapse. To argue that there are – according to the criteria of Western democracy – radical differences between the representativeness of Ben Ali’s Tunisia and Cameron’s Tottenham or Brixton, is simply to denying the evidence: life has in both cases been so violated and plundered that it cannot but explode in a movement of revolt. Not to talk of mechanisms of repression, which are bringing England back to the times of primitive accumulation, to the jails of Moll Flanders and the factories of Oliver Twist. To the mugshots of youth in rebellion posted on the walls and the screens of England’s cities one should really juxtapose large sized prints of the swinish faces (a variant of the PIGS2?) of the bankers and financial corporate bosses that have turned entire communities to that condition, and keep fattening their profits out of this crisis.

Let’s go back to the newspaper’s trivia. They also say that these revolts are different from an ethical-political standpoint. Some would thus be legitimate, as in the Maghreb countries, because there the corruption of dictatorial regimes has led to miserable conditions; the protests of the Italian students or the Spanish “indignados” would still be understandable because “precarity is bad”; the revolts of the English or the French proletariat are, instead, “criminal” as they are allegedly marked by mere looting of other people’s property, hooliganism and racial hatred.

All this is largely false, because these revolts tend – with all the differences among them, which we don’t deny – to have a common nature. They are not “youthful” revolts, but revolts that understand social and political conditions that increasingly large layers of the population consider entirely unbearable. The degradation of the working and social wage has gone beyond the threshold identified by classical economists and by Marx with the level of workers’ reproduction, which they called a “necessary wage”. And now, we dare the journalists to argue that these struggles are produced by excesses of consumerism!

Here comes a first conclusion. These movements can be defined as “recompositional”. They actually penetrate populations – be they workers guaranteed up to now or precarious ones, unemployed or those who have only known odd jobs, improvisation and off-the-books activities – exalting their moments of solidarity in their struggle against destitution. Declining middle classes and the proletariat, migrant and not, manual and cognitive workers, retirees, housewives, and youth are joined in poverty and the struggle to oppose it. Here they found conditions for a united struggle.

Second, it is immediately apparent (and this is what mostly terrifies those who assume consumerist characteristics in these movements) that these are not chaotic and nihilistic movements, that they are not about burning for burning’s sake, that they don’t just want to sanction the destructive potency of an unforeseeable “no future”. Forty years after the punk movement (which on the other hand was, in spite of the stereotypes, passionately productive), these are not movements declaring the end, recorded and internalized, of every future; they rather want to build the future. They know that the crisis affecting them is not due to the fact that the proletariat does not produce – either under a boss or in the general condition of social cooperation by now underpinning processes of capture of value – or does not produce enough, but is happening because they are robbed of the fruit of their productivity; which is to say, they are forced to pay for a crisis that is not their own; they have already paid for healthcare, retirement and public order systems while the bourgeoisie was accumulating for war and expropriating for its own profit. But mostly they know that there’s no way out of this crisis until they, the rebels, don’t handle the power mechanisms and the social relations that regulate those mechanisms. But, one may object, these are not political movements. Even if – the critics add – they expressed politically correct positions (as it has often happened for the North-African insurgents or the Spanish “indignados”) these movements are prejudicially outside or critical towards the democratic order.

Of course, we would like to add: it is difficult if not impossible to find, in the current political order, passages and paths through which a project attacking the current policies for overcoming the crisis can take place. Right and left are, almost always, alike. For the former the wealth tax should hit incomes of 40-50,000 Euros, for the latter of 60-70,000 Euros: is this the difference? The defense of private property, the extension of privatization and liberalization are in the agendas of both sides. Electoral systems are by now reduced to the pure and simple selection of delegates from the privileged strata, and so on and so forth. These movements are attacking all this: are they political or not when they do so? These movements are political because they position themselves on a constituent, not a claim-making, terrain. They attack private property because they know it as the form of their oppression and rather insist on the constitution and self-management of solidarity, welfare, education – in short of the common, because this is by now the horizon for old and new powers.

Of course no one is so stupid to think that these revolts immediately produce new forms of government. What, nonetheless, these revolts teach is that “the one is now split into two”, that the seemingly flawless solidity of capitalism is by now only an old phantasmagoria, which in no way can be brought back together, that capital is immediately schizophrenic and the politics of the movements can only locate itself within this fracture.

We hope that those comrades who believed insurrections to be an outdated tool of autonomist politics will be able to reflect on what’s going on. It is not by wearing ourselves off waiting for parliamentary deadlines but by inventing new constituent institutions for the common in revolt that we can understand together what is to come.

taken from here:




Shoplifters of the World Unite

Slavoj Žižek on the meaning of the riots

Repetition, according to Hegel, plays a crucial role in history: when something happens just once, it may be dismissed as an accident, something that might have been avoided if the situation had been handled differently; but when the same event repeats itself, it is a sign that a deeper historical process is unfolding. When Napoleon lost at Leipzig in 1813, it looked like bad luck; when he lost again at Waterloo, it was clear that his time was over. The same holds for the continuing financial crisis. In September 2008, it was presented by some as an anomaly that could be corrected through better regulations etc; now that signs of a repeated financial meltdown are gathering it is clear that we are dealing with a structural phenomenon.

We are told again and again that we are living through a debt crisis, and that we all have to share the burden and tighten our belts. All, that is, except the (very) rich. The idea of taxing them more is taboo: if we did, the argument runs, the rich would have no incentive to invest, fewer jobs would be created and we would all suffer. The only way to save ourselves from hard times is for the poor to get poorer and the rich to get richer. What should the poor do? What can they do?

Although the riots in the UK were triggered by the suspicious shooting of Mark Duggan, everyone agrees that they express a deeper unease – but of what kind? As with the car burnings in the Paris banlieues in 2005, the UK rioters had no message to deliver. (There is a clear contrast with the massive student demonstrations in November 2010, which also turned to violence. The students were making clear that they rejected the proposed reforms to higher education.) This is why it is difficult to conceive of the UK rioters in Marxist terms, as an instance of the emergence of the revolutionary subject; they fit much better the Hegelian notion of the ‘rabble’, those outside organised social space, who can express their discontent only through ‘irrational’ outbursts of destructive violence – what Hegel called ‘abstract negativity’.

There is an old story about a worker suspected of stealing: every evening, as he leaves the factory, the wheelbarrow he pushes in front of him is carefully inspected. The guards find nothing; it is always empty. Finally, the penny drops: what the worker is stealing are the wheelbarrows themselves. The guards were missing the obvious truth, just as the commentators on the riots have done. We are told that the disintegration of the Communist regimes in the early 1990s signalled the end of ideology: the time of large-scale ideological projects culminating in totalitarian catastrophe was over; we had entered a new era of rational, pragmatic politics. If the commonplace that we live in a post-ideological era is true in any sense, it can be seen in this recent outburst of violence. This was zero-degree protest, a violent action demanding nothing. In their desperate attempt to find meaning in the riots, the sociologists and editorial-writers obfuscated the enigma the riots presented.

The protesters, though underprivileged and de facto socially excluded, weren’t living on the edge of starvation. People in much worse material straits, let alone conditions of physical and ideological oppression, have been able to organise themselves into political forces with clear agendas. The fact that the rioters have no programme is therefore itself a fact to be interpreted: it tells us a great deal about our ideological-political predicament and about the kind of society we inhabit, a society which celebrates choice but in which the only available alternative to enforced democratic consensus is a blind acting out. Opposition to the system can no longer articulate itself in the form of a realistic alternative, or even as a utopian project, but can only take the shape of a meaningless outburst. What is the point of our celebrated freedom of choice when the only choice is between playing by the rules and (self-)destructive violence?

Alain Badiou has argued that we live in a social space which is increasingly experienced as ‘worldless’: in such a space, the only form protest can take is meaningless violence. Perhaps this is one of the main dangers of capitalism: although by virtue of being global it encompasses the whole world, it sustains a ‘worldless’ ideological constellation in which people are deprived of their ways of locating meaning. The fundamental lesson of globalisation is that capitalism can accommodate itself to all civilisations, from Christian to Hindu or Buddhist, from West to East: there is no global ‘capitalist worldview’, no ‘capitalist civilisation’ proper. The global dimension of capitalism represents truth without meaning.

The first conclusion to be drawn from the riots, therefore, is that both conservative and liberal reactions to the unrest are inadequate. The conservative reaction was predictable: there is no justification for such vandalism; one should use all necessary means to restore order; to prevent further explosions of this kind we need not more tolerance and social help but more discipline, hard work and a sense of responsibility. What’s wrong with this account is not only that it ignores the desperate social situation pushing young people towards violent outbursts but, perhaps more important, that it ignores the way these outbursts echo the hidden premises of conservative ideology itself. When, in the 1990s, the Conservatives launched their ‘back to basics’ campaign, its obscene complement was revealed by Norman Tebbitt: ‘Man is not just a social but also a territorial animal; it must be part of our agenda to satisfy those basic instincts of tribalism and territoriality.’ This is what ‘back to basics’ was really about: the unleashing of the barbarian who lurked beneath our apparently civilised, bourgeois society, through the satisfying of the barbarian’s ‘basic instincts’. In the 1960s, Herbert Marcuse introduced the concept of ‘repressive desublimation’ to explain the ‘sexual revolution’: human drives could be desublimated, allowed free rein, and still be subject to capitalist control – viz, the porn industry. On British streets during the unrest, what we saw was not men reduced to ‘beasts’, but the stripped-down form of the ‘beast’ produced by capitalist ideology.

Meanwhile leftist liberals, no less predictably, stuck to their mantra about social programmes and integration initiatives, the neglect of which has deprived second and third-generation immigrants of their economic and social prospects: violent outbursts are the only means they have to articulate their dissatisfaction. Instead of indulging ourselves in revenge fantasies, we should make the effort to understand the deeper causes of the outbursts. Can we even imagine what it means to be a young man in a poor, racially mixed area, a priori suspected and harassed by the police, not only unemployed but often unemployable, with no hope of a future? The implication is that the conditions these people find themselves in make it inevitable that they will take to the streets. The problem with this account, though, is that it lists only the objective conditions for the riots. To riot is to make a subjective statement, implicitly to declare how one relates to one’s objective conditions.

We live in cynical times, and it’s easy to imagine a protester who, caught looting and burning a store and pressed for his reasons, would answer in the language used by social workers and sociologists, citing diminished social mobility, rising insecurity, the disintegration of paternal authority, the lack of maternal love in his early childhood. He knows what he is doing, then, but is doing it nonetheless.

It is meaningless to ponder which of these two reactions, conservative or liberal, is the worse: as Stalin would have put it, they are both worse, and that includes the warning given by both sides that the real danger of these outbursts resides in the predictable racist reaction of the ‘silent majority’. One of the forms this reaction took was the ‘tribal’ activity of the local (Turkish, Caribbean, Sikh) communities which quickly organised their own vigilante units to protect their property. Are the shopkeepers a small bourgeoisie defending their property against a genuine, if violent, protest against the system; or are they representatives of the working class, fighting the forces of social disintegration? Here too one should reject the demand to take sides. The truth is that the conflict was between two poles of the underprivileged: those who have succeeded in functioning within the system versus those who are too frustrated to go on trying. The rioters’ violence was almost exclusively directed against their own. The cars burned and the shops looted were not in rich neighbourhoods, but in the rioters’ own. The conflict is not between different parts of society; it is, at its most radical, the conflict between society and society, between those with everything, and those with nothing, to lose; between those with no stake in their community and those whose stakes are the highest.

Zygmunt Bauman characterised the riots as acts of ‘defective and disqualified consumers’: more than anything else, they were a manifestation of a consumerist desire violently enacted when unable to realise itself in the ‘proper’ way – by shopping. As such, they also contain a moment of genuine protest, in the form of an ironic response to consumerist ideology: ‘You call on us to consume while simultaneously depriving us of the means to do it properly – so here we are doing it the only way we can!’ The riots are a demonstration of the material force of ideology – so much, perhaps, for the ‘post-ideological society’. From a revolutionary point of view, the problem with the riots is not the violence as such, but the fact that the violence is not truly self-assertive. It is impotent rage and despair masked as a display of force; it is envy masked as triumphant carnival.

The riots should be situated in relation to another type of violence that the liberal majority today perceives as a threat to our way of life: terrorist attacks and suicide bombings. In both instances, violence and counter-violence are caught up in a vicious circle, each generating the forces it tries to combat. In both cases, we are dealing with blind passages à l’acte, in which violence is an implicit admission of impotence. The difference is that, in contrast to the riots in the UK or in Paris, terrorist attacks are carried out in service of the absolute Meaning provided by religion.

But weren’t the Arab uprisings a collective act of resistance that avoided the false alternative of self-destructive violence and religious fundamentalism? Unfortunately, the Egyptian summer of 2011 will be remembered as marking the end of revolution, a time when its emancipatory potential was suffocated. Its gravediggers are the army and the Islamists. The contours of the pact between the army (which is Mubarak’s army) and the Islamists (who were marginalised in the early months of the upheaval but are now gaining ground) are increasingly clear: the Islamists will tolerate the army’s material privileges and in exchange will secure ideological hegemony. The losers will be the pro-Western liberals, too weak – in spite of the CIA funding they are getting – to ‘promote democracy’, as well as the true agents of the spring events, the emerging secular left that has been trying to set up a network of civil society organisations, from trade unions to feminists. The rapidly worsening economic situation will sooner or later bring the poor, who were largely absent from the spring protests, onto the streets. There is likely to be a new explosion, and the difficult question for Egypt’s political subjects is who will succeed in directing the rage of the poor? Who will translate it into a political programme: the new secular left or the Islamists?

London Review Cakeshop

The predominant reaction of Western public opinion to the pact between Islamists and the army will no doubt be a triumphant display of cynical wisdom: we will be told that, as the case of (non-Arab) Iran made clear, popular upheavals in Arab countries always end in militant Islamism. Mubarak will appear as having been a much lesser evil – better to stick with the devil you know than to play around with emancipation. Against such cynicism, one should remain unconditionally faithful to the radical-emancipatory core of the Egypt uprising.

But one should also avoid the temptation of the narcissism of the lost cause: it’s too easy to admire the sublime beauty of uprisings doomed to fail. Today’s left faces the problem of ‘determinate negation’: what new order should replace the old one after the uprising, when the sublime enthusiasm of the first moment is over? In this context, the manifesto of the Spanish indignados, issued after their demonstrations in May, is revealing. The first thing that meets the eye is the pointedly apolitical tone: ‘Some of us consider ourselves progressive, others conservative. Some of us are believers, some not. Some of us have clearly defined ideologies, others are apolitical, but we are all concerned and angry about the political, economic and social outlook that we see around us: corruption among politicians, businessmen, bankers, leaving us helpless, without a voice.’ They make their protest on behalf of the ‘inalienable truths that we should abide by in our society: the right to housing, employment, culture, health, education, political participation, free personal development and consumer rights for a healthy and happy life.’ Rejecting violence, they call for an ‘ethical revolution. Instead of placing money above human beings, we shall put it back to our service. We are people, not products. I am not a product of what I buy, why I buy and who I buy from.’ Who will be the agents of this revolution? The indignados dismiss the entire political class, right and left, as corrupt and controlled by a lust for power, yet the manifesto nevertheless consists of a series of demands addressed at – whom? Not the people themselves: the indignados do not (yet) claim that no one else will do it for them, that they themselves have to be the change they want to see. And this is the fatal weakness of recent protests: they express an authentic rage which is not able to transform itself into a positive programme of sociopolitical change. They express a spirit of revolt without revolution.

The situation in Greece looks more promising, probably owing to the recent tradition of progressive self-organisation (which disappeared in Spain after the fall of the Franco regime). But even in Greece, the protest movement displays the limits of self-organisation: protesters sustain a space of egalitarian freedom with no central authority to regulate it, a public space where all are allotted the same amount of time to speak and so on. When the protesters started to debate what to do next, how to move beyond mere protest, the majority consensus was that what was needed was not a new party or a direct attempt to take state power, but a movement whose aim is to exert pressure on political parties. This is clearly not enough to impose a reorganisation of social life. To do that, one needs a strong body able to reach quick decisions and to implement them with all necessary harshness.


taken from here:




3. They are just being “materialistic,” stealing things they can’t afford

Do you really expect people to riot immaterially? You expect them to loot only what they could afford?

But as before, we agree in the letter of your condemnation: people are taking this material situation as an opportunity to steal things they cannot afford – or can only with real difficult – to purchase. That is entirely true.

But in saying so, there are two separate issues, twin intertwined strands of bullshit.

First, this recurrent accusation of “materialistic” signals a broader refusal not of consumerism – with which you are well familiar and for which you cheerlead full-throated – but of the material fact of social disruption. To speak, with disdain, at the materialistic nature of these days is to speak, beneath your tongue, of a desire that people should go back to “protesting” in ways that remain representational: be counted, be seen, be ignored, go back to the places they live, remain there. It marks your horror at what it looks like for “protest” to become material, and, at that point, no longer protest.

To recognize this is not to give up any degree of judgment: one can of course – and should – think hard about the inflections of this shift, about what it means for this material critique of the city to hit indiscriminately, to not differentiate between corporate chains and “local business.” And to think hard about this means to act in such a way as to contribute to that inflection, to throw oneself into or in the way of it, as one wishes. But buried beneath the attack on the “crass materialism” of the looting is a nastier worm, that of distance and sheen, that supports critique and dissent precisely to the degree it remains irrelevant and immaterial, that it is to be seen and heard and not ever felt.

More particularly, though, this condemnation of being “materialistic” marks both a startling absence of self-reflexivity and an insistence on pathologizing, racializing, and dehistoricizing the poor and angry.

Because let us be very honest. You who work, who have the opportunity to do so, who perhaps had it handed to you or who fought tooth and nail to get that opportunity, you who “earn an honest living”: do you truly work only to cover the bare necessities? Do you work just enough to pull off a base level of caloric intake, a hair shirt, an empty room, an indulgent pint at the end of the week, and bus fare to get you to your job? Do you disdain desire beyond that?

No. You don’t. We don’t. Even if you are among those who can rarely afford them, you want, and you work and scrape and cheat and borrow to get, expensive trainers, big screen TVs, sport utility vehicles, prams that resemble sport utility vehicles, expensive vodka, pants with the name of a certain brand on the ass and that make your ass look good, earrings, cologne, cigarettes that don’t taste like cardboard, video games, diamonds, good quality beef.

(Or worse, you play at being above that. And so you want a brand new hybrid, soap made from hemp, something locally farmed, a flat with bamboo floors, the complete works of Matthew Arnold.)

And so, even before the question of criminality emerges (how those goods get gotten), you are condemning the looters for something else: for wanting the very objects you want.

You are condemning them for your desire.

You are declaring that desire to be abject and unacceptable, as soon as it is untethered from the legitimation of labor. You think, then, that they are supposed to desire and be refused its payoff. That such is the fundamental condition of the poor: to want and to go wanting. That want is supposed to be identical to access.

Such that when you bend the stick toward counterfactuals (as many of the condemners slightly left of center do) and say, well, it would be different if they were just taking food, nappies, medicine, you know, the things you need to get by, what is being said is that they should steal only goods of a quality equivalent to their social standing. The poor, whose standard of life is not very high, should have goods whose standard is not very high. They should not be taking pre-rolled cigarettes. They should not be taking champagne, or at least not the good stuff and only for special occasions. They should not be taking large televisions. For they do not deserve these things. And they should know better.

And you are misunderstanding this, fundamentally, if you reduce it to simply a desire for goods. An act of taking is not a neutral redistribution of commodities on the market.

For what is it to loot? To loot is not to shoplift. It is not to steal, which implies the coherence of a relationship between potential property owners, from the one who owned it to the one who takes it, such that the latter comes to own it, as property, however “ill-gotten.” This is not looting. Looting is not consumerism by other means. Looting is going for broke and, in so doing, breaking down the consistency of property as a title and a transfer between particular subjects.

Looting is necessarily collective: fantasies of a proletarian Rambo aside, it is not a solo endeavor. It is a horde of people taking everything, for it implies also the total nature of the theft. Not tactical, nor careful, not sly. It is a moment of total abandon, defined by the fact that it treats all it comes into contact with as within reach. The verb is just a version of the noun loot, which means “booty” or “stolen property.” And so too the relation it has to the stores, streets, city, and world in which it takes place: it sees all as already booty, property already theft, gathered, hoarded behind glass and steel.

It is, therefore, a genuine collapse of this very logic you trumpet and with which you scold, of deserving, of being adequate to your cash flow, of being and wanting nothing more, of having the realism of frustration that the poor alone are asked to accept. It is an attack.

Your nervous, pacing anxiety at this is entirely understandable, given that it has very little to do with “them.” Rather, it points up the way you understand your own property, your own lusts, your own taste. Namely, that you have no particular interest in a nice pair of trainers because they are comfortable/look good/help you run fast. That is incidental. The specificity of your desire is negative. It is that you don’t want other people to have them. That what you crave is not plenitude as such, especially not for the many, but the condition of general scarcity over which your meager holdings rise like a tower. All the more so because you will deny and denounce it, play it down (after all, displaying wealth on the surface is supposed to be the province and practice of the poor and tasteless), not even have the decency to flaunt it. Well, times are tough, but I’m getting along OK. We all have to tighten our belts a bit sometimes.

You condemn, then, those too hungry, pissed off, bored, sick and tired, and desperate for not having in practice the self-denial you ape. With one exception. There is one thing they are supposed to want and are supposed to do whatever possible to get them: jobs. And so…

4. They don’t work, they are criminals

Yes. To not work under capital is criminal. It is structurally so: a fault, an offense, that which calls out for punishment – hunger, jail, coercion. Now that we have left behind the era of general wars, home ownership, and the cross-class production of children, full-time work is the guarantor of adult status, of citizenship, of being a proper subject. The absence of work – that is, labor recognized as such – is a general criminalization of populations, before any legal transgression technically occurs.

It is locally so, because insofar as work means sanctioned labor, then to not work means that one must labor in modes that are technically criminal: steal, sell stolen goods, sell drugs, sell your body, con, beg, squat, loot.

And in a time when there aren’t enough jobs to be had, or, God forbid, when people don’t want to labor, don’t want to throw their lives into hours of toil and boredom from which they, their families, their friends, their parts of town will only reap only the smallest portion of reward, in such a time, to keep telling people that this isn’t the right way to go about things is literally, and precisely, to say to them: you will not be able to work, and you will not be able to not work. You should scrape by, and you should be quiet about it.

However, it would behoove you, and us all, to clarify just what is meant by work.

In brief, it is the exchange of one’s time and exertion – a portion of a life – for a certain quantity of commodities, money being the most common and infamous one. The specificity of such labor under capital is that the value of commodities returned to the worker is not equivalent to the value generated by her labor: that’s what Marxists mean by surplus-value. That’s what capitalists mean by making a killing.

Work does not have a constant rate of return for the worker. Wages are not identical, and an adequate portrait of the world economy makes it clear that barring certain overall correlations for highly trained work (surgeons, assassins, jazz pianists) and excluding our fantasy that it must be the case that wages and worth are commensurate, the amount earned bears very little relation to the quality or quantity of labor performed. Some work is unskilled and paid very little. Some work is unskilled and paid a lot. Some work is highly skilled and paid a lot. Some work is highly skilled and paid very little.

I’m sure we can all agree on this, even if you don’t particularly enjoy doing so. After all, it is true.

It is also true, then, that this looting is a form of labor, even as it ruins the category of labor. It is, like credit, an inflection of the crisis of full employment. It is high-risk, precarious, informal potentially high-yield activity. Those who loot are trading a portion of their time – a few brief minutes or hours, but with the potential for years in jail or with death, such that the hourly wage is highly uncertain – and intellectual and physical skill and energy in exchange for access to a set of goods which they are not alone in wanting.

They are working, in a time in which work is hard to come by. They are working together, which, we all know, is really what scares you all. We know we told them to band together and work as a community to improve their lives, but we didn’t mean it like this…

And to give an adequate account of what is happening, we can’t reduce it to ransacking consumables or goods for home use. (Besides, having a huge flat-screen TV doesn’t make it any easier to pay the cable bill.) For immediately after the looting of an electronics store, people were immediately trying to hock laptops for 20 pounds, something close to 2.5% of their original retail value, if not less. Meaning not only that one sees the much-fêted entrepreneurial spirit that the working, and non-working, poor are supposed to combine with their bootstraps to pull themselves out of poverty.

It means also that your claim that it is somehow morally reprehensible, or tactically misguided, for people to take these items instead of the “bare necessities” is, strictly speaking, an idiotic one. Are we to insist that along with restricting the scope of their desires, the poor are not supposed to understand the fundamentals of exchange-value? That they should have been loading shopping carts with flour and beans, rather than with computers which could, in theory, be sold for a larger quantity of flour and beans? Or kept and used, because access to the internet, the ability to write friends or stories, to listen to music, to look at photos of those you love or might like to: last time we checked, poverty doesn’t abolish the desire to try and enjoy the existence one has and to share that with others, however blighted this era may be.

So indeed, they are being opportunistic. They are taking the excuse of a “legitimate cause for concern” (the murder of a young man), and they are using it to produce a situation in which one can access material goods and wealth which they are otherwise banned from touching.

To blame anyone for this is to share in a profound and inane mystification of the world. As though the basic workings of capital were not fundamentally oriented around the seizing of opportunities. (Such as, for example, taking the opportunity of excess populations of the poor and the global character of labor to keep wages down.) As though only the poor took opportunities. As if one should be restrained from taking a risky chance to better one’s life.

As if fighting, in however “loathsome” and violent a manner, against a loathsome and violent social order was supposed to remain political and therefore ignorable. As if, after all, the stakes of all this was not material, not about how one does or does not live a life, not the very disaster of the social.

5. They have no right to do this. This isn’t how you protest.

Of course they have no right to do this. It is for that reason that it is not a protest.

A protest is that which one has the right to do. It is that which you recognize the minute you see it and forget as soon as it passes from your immediate field of vision.

Perhaps the worst article of your faith, the thickest bile on your tongue, is to now dare to suggest that 1) there are some legitimate concerns behind this, 2) that, as Tim Godwin (Acting Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police) put it, “they are conversations we need to have, but they don’t excuse what is happening”, 3) the riots are not going to make those conversations happen, and 4) people should return home to start having those conversations, assured (and scolded) that if they just made use of the proper channels of voicing their opinion – voting, community forums, pre-sanctioned marches, letter writing campaigns – then those with the power to materially better these situations will happily consider doing so.

To simultaneously assert that this havoc is not the way to be heard and to encourage people to return to the modes of giving voice to rage which you have concretely proven for the last decades to be utterly uninterested in hearing is to directly and unequivocally tell them that they are heretofore mute. That there is no possible manner of articulating a position that will be registered or taken into account.

(To say, as some of you do, that these unfortunate events show that we all should need to listen more closely now is to admit – gasp! – that violent disorder actually gets attention. But you couldn’t possibly be saying that…)

Unfortunately for you, though, a riot is not a mode of language. Especially not a persuasive one. It is not trying to prove a point or win you over. It comes out of the frustration of mouths that may as well be without tongues for how much they are heard. But it is not a speaking. It knows damn well where that gets us all.

6. This is indiscriminate violence, it isn’t being targeted

Another point of clarity is crucial here. Despite what you think, class status and human decency are not identical. (Barring the rich, who are almost universally rapacious assemblages of fecal matter and ego.) It’s a shame, as it would class war so much easier, divisions of allegiance so much cleaner. But from the extremely poor through the middle class and back again, there are those who are stellar, those who are mediocre, and those who are vile.

The difference is solely in how these tendencies get expressed. Those atrocious humans with enough money to stay within the law express it by beating their wives in private and cheating their workers out of fair wages. Some of those without the money to do so are those, in recent days, who are indeed acting horrifically, savagely. Anyone who justifies this is a moron, and we have as little interest in fetishizing all violence as such as we do in condemning all those who riot because some people are nasty pieces of work and see a good chance to fully act as such.

But it is entirely unacceptable to extrapolate a general case from this. As it is to imagine that you could clearly sort out a few very nasty people from a situation in which many people have lived through some very nasty situations and, frankly, don’t care a whit about offending the propriety or ruining the property of those who have had an easier time of it. Who know very well what they are doing.

Those who speak of looters as “mindless” are saying, in essence, that they literally cannot fathom a state of mind in which it would make perfect sense to loot. That it might be a very conscious decision. That they have no interest in grasping why some people may not find these distinctions – between local and corporate, for example – to matter much.

We understand why such a desperate rescue measure of condemnation is necessary, though. For what is at stake is less the prospect that people will support what happens than the very real fact that what is happening is a rupture of the enclosures of rent, privilege, and race, that are supposed to keep the poor in their part of town, where they can be left to “prey” on one another, in zones from which all social services are abandoned other than the police.

Therein the common refrain ringing out all over now: I can’t believe this is happening in X. I’ve been following the news, and it seemed far away. I never expected it to happen in X too.

One can never expect this, the passage from a designated zone of poverty to a partially generalized impoverishment of the city as a whole. It necessarily comes as a moment of horror, even without a moral condemnation, for it is the coming apart of clear lines of demarcation and restriction. It is an unbinding. It leaves buildings and cars as black skeletons, and it does not have a general hovering over the battlefield map. It spreads.

But we will say that there is a basic ethical injunction of the present, and it is closely connected to this. It is the structuring condition of the real movement of what has long been called communism.

It is not the redistribution of wealth. It is the redistribution of poverty, which occurs in those process of those who have nothing finally starting to get and take theirs.

From this, the only ethical grounding we can have, and the only one we need, is to understand that there are two options, and they are mutually exclusive.

There is that which more evenly shares across us all the staggering violence and contradictions of our present.

And there is that which continues to demand that those most brutalized and left to fend for themselves should continue to bear the brunt of the trainwreck of contemporary life.

You insist on the latter, and you find plenty of ways to justify and reinforce this. We insist on the former. It is messy. It is harder going. It’s been so for a very long time. And it will only continue to be so, more and more, the worse things get, the more you continue to parrot your skipping record of key phrases, while behind your words, jails crouch and swell, armies bristle.

7. There is no excuse for this. It is just destructive

All the more because there is no excuse. There is no order or structure that excuses those who insist on the latter. Not in theory or concept (which may be easy enough, to put these words in our mouths and hands), but in doing what they need to get by and to not accept that they should just get by. That they may want, that they see everything that there is to offer that they can’t have. That they are pissed about this. And now, they aren’t having it.

There is no excuse for this, but this is a time in which one either makes excuses or takes them.

You make them. We stand both with those who take them and with those whose lives are disrupted by a situation in which such a taking is necessary. The very language of victims is wrong. But nevertheless, we can say that it is not true that you are on the side of those who are losing small businesses. It is the way in which you have left some to rot and allowed others to exhaust themselves in trying to go on that means that they will pitch themselves, and whatever rubble is found in the street, at one another. And you’ve long welcomed this state of affairs.

It was this that Hegel meant when he wrote of cunning, of the way in which the general idea – here, the ceaseless preservation of capital and its relations – doesn’t pay its own penalty. As he put it well, “It is not the general idea that is implicated in opposition and combat, and that is exposed to danger. It remains in the background, untouched and uninjured.” And it allows the particular – the passions, desires, needs, days of those who live within and beneath it – to contend with one another, to hurl themselves against property and bodies. Sometimes, rarely, the passions exceed the idea and threaten to derail it, if only for a while. This may be one of those rare times, in all its bloody confusion and urgency, in which cunning stalls and slips.

Because people are going to get theirs, one way or another. Too bad if it doesn’t sit well with you. Too bad for all of us that it comes to this, as there’s no doubt that this will come to nothing, insofar as one might imagine coming to something as the construction of forms of collective action, development of infrastructure, and capacity to make otherwise. That clearly is not what is currently at stake.

But here we speak to ourselves, not to you, because for all your cruel inanity, we are far from innocent in the failures of thinking. And we – this amorphous we, but not “the left”, however that may be defined – have slipped on at least three fronts.

1. We cannot allow the severity of what happens to occasion or excuse a call for the police to reinstate order. This is not because of social disorder being good or bad, those childish words tossed around. It is because it is not for us to call. It is what will happen, regardless of our opinion. As such, if we have anything to say about it, it can only be a critique of a) the way in which that kind of response is precisely what brings about situations like this in the first place and b) the way in which this situation will be used to retroactively justify the ongoing treatment of the poor as criminals, the very treatment that engenders such an explosion.

We utterly reject any such auto-verifying realism, anything which will confirm your condemnation. We do not consider it coherent to think that the solution to this “problem” is the further and more relentless application of that problem, the criminalization of the poor. We do not think that the confusion of the time justifies such a perversion of reason or its outcomes.

2. We cannot allow our critique to remain critique at a distance. We cannot remain afar and venture claims as to what “they” should or should not do, anymore than we should call on the state to do what it will or won’t do regardless of our urging. To do so is to fall back onto the logic of condemnation, to appraise and judge a situation in which one takes no part. If one thinks that the rioters should attack large corporate stores instead of local businesses, one should encourage, actively, on the ground, with an armful of bricks, the former rather than merely denouncing the latter. If one thinks that there should be a formal organization and structuring to what is happening, one should start doing that, rather than bemoan their lack of classical political form. If one thinks that what matters is to defend, with force, homes and businesses, then one should do that, together with others who think that, rather than wait for the police.

(This is not to say that the only thing for people to do is to put themselves in violent situations in which they could be hurt or killed. It is only to say that condemnations or suggestions of this order are irrelevant if they are not a material practice. Those who, understandably, want no part of this should take no part in it. They also should not condemn it or purport to give it advice.)

For if we insist on thinking the insurrectionary aspect – that is, what makes of this more than just “criminality” and consumerism run amok, as it has been claimed – of what is happening, we see that it does not lie just in the severity of the violence or the degree to which it rattles the state. Alongside from the fact that many of those rioting are getting themselves organized in a very serious way (even though it does not look like what people recognize as political organization), the insurrectionary character is also, strangely, in the fact that shopkeepers and others are taking care of themselves, with baseball bats, that they are acting against an insurrectionary situation. Because it is here that there is a falling apart of previous lines of assumed allegiance, that there is a massive rupture in the consistency of every day life. A rising up not of all against the state in a clear division, but a rising up on many fronts. A boiling over of contradiction that indexes the full delegitimation of the state’s capacity to manage its population in the eyes of that population. A taking action without waiting for the mediation of the police. Is such a thing pretty? No. Not in the least. But it is part and parcel of the negation of the given.

3. From this is perhaps the key distinction, albeit one that appears initially a flight into the overly abstract. That is, we have to insist on the difference between destruction and negation, for it is this difference that constitutes the particularity of communist thought and the elision of that difference that constitutes the most common attack on the thought and practice of those who aim to extend it: you only know how to negate and critique, you just want to destroy, you cannot offer anything constructive.

What is happening in London of late has been a lot of destruction. Buildings and cars have been smashed and burned. Nothing is being constructed. There is not a blueprint, plan, or program. One speaks of social negativity, and it shows itself in the destruction of a portion of what exists. It indexes a hatred: a hatred of police, of a city that keeps them shunted off to the side, of windows that guard things that cost too much to own, of being told you need to make your own way and getting arrested when you try to do so, of all those who look suspiciously at them when they pass because they wear hoods and have dark faces.

But this is not negation as such, even as it is part of the process of it. Negation, rather, is the removal of the relations that sustain a given order as it stands. Relations like property, law, and value. It is not obliteration, not a razing to the ground, but the placing of all under doubt and critique, often of a very material order. (Property shows itself highly resistant to arguments, no matter how well-worded.) It is an acid bath: privileging nothing, it removes the consistency that excuses the existence of things to see them as they are, see what stands, what falls, what has long been poisoning many.

It is that very difference, that slim one, between destruction and negation that makes up the we that has been speaking throughout here. Destruction happens. Not unbidden, not automatically (there are individuals who make real decisions to do so), but it is a constant fact. What is rare is to seize – yes, “opportunistically” – its visible emergences as the necessary occasion to extend that anger and disturbance beyond its flare-ups into a real, lived, sustaining thought of negation. A negation that is, indeed, built, built of the bonds that come hastily into shape when the previous relations that kept things afloat – commerce, policing, transportation, labor – find themselves tottering.

In this particular instance, what needs to be negated, which require analysis and development beyond what comes from material disorder alone, are, above all, two things. First, the designation of political as a way to disavow what happens as apolitical and hence wrong. Second, the clarity of fully opposed positions, even as they are fully necessary at times. (That is, the difference between you who condemn and us will not be going away anytime soon.) Yes, we recognize real material separations between populations and their class background (one should be very clear in recognizing when a struggle is not one where one is welcome). Yet we strive to entirely abolish those separations. That is, to stop speaking of the looting they as if a different species. To stop imagining that what happens to “them” does not profoundly, utterly resonate, determine, and deform what life is like for those who may not feel a part of them. To do so is the crassest form of thinking class as caste, of making of the mass a sub-mass to which we do not belong, a trend and direction that does not exceed itself.

But for all these critiques of ourselves, all our slipping into distanced forms of condemnation and wishful thinking, still, yours is far, far worse.

Because you are not condemning those who loot because they loot. You have condemned them long before, condemned them to irrelevance and death. The fact that they loot just gives you some ammo in your long war of exclusion and denigration.

It is for this reason that we want nothing to do with you.

Because you, you who cry foul at any social programs that might exist to the side of labor, programs that might act as another circuit through which housing, food, clothing, medicine could pass to those who need it, you should not dare to let your thick tongues cluck at what follows from such an abjuration of care.

Instead, you just want to get to the cleaning up. In a sick parody of the viral spread of riot information through digital technologies, “mobs” are organized to sweep up. “Keep Calm and Clear Up” posters are made – oh, how clever. You urge all to keep a straight face, pull together, feel “beautifully British” after the defeat of those you do not consider British, and get on with it.

But it was you who pleaded simpering for both the anarchy of the market and its martial defense. Now, when it shows its full consequences, you might have the rare decency to remember your words and stay quiet.

You cried out for this bed to be made. Now you cry when you find it to be hard, when you find it too loud outside to sleep peacefully.

May you have neither rest nor peace til the heavens fall,

taken from :

(for part one please scroll down a couple of pages back )

March to Save the NHS

A demonstration has been called on Tuesday 17th May 2011 at 17.30pm from University College Hospital, on Gower Street. The date has been chosen to be during the Government’s so called listening period and before the Whitsun parliamentary recess. The proposal is to march to a rally outside the Department of Health.

Save Our NHS!

Facebook event here:

The AAC weekly meeting will take place after the March, meet at about 8p.m in The Chandos (Sam Smiths Pub just off Trafalgar Sq.)

See you there x

stay for one day occupy hyde park

This Saturday, hundreds of thousands will gather in the UK capital to demonstrate against shock doctrine tactics from a Conservative-led government. Not only has the finance industry walked away scott free after destroying the economy but the damage they caused is being used by the party they fund to push back the hard-won gains of a century in society’s care for its most vulnerable. They claim there is no alternative. We are demonstrating because that is not true.

A giant wooden horse will appear at Camberwell in south London in the morning. A critical mass of cyclists will form in the east. Slowly from all points of the compass, weird and wonderful groups of protesters will begin to coalesce in what promises to be a spectacular day of demonstrations that may go on all night.

The Trade Union Congress who are organising the main event know of more than 600 coaches and nine special trains bringing demonstrators from around the country – and of one person who is walking from Cardiff. A recent protest organised on Facebook in Portugal mobilised nearly half a million people at short notice. It is not unreasonable to imagine that numbers might reach a million.

The itinerary of the official march is to form at Victoria Embankment from 11am then to set off to Hyde Park for a rally starting at around 1:30 and continuing until around 4:30pm. Among the marchers following the official route will be blocs including 6 Billion Ways, Buggy bloc (for people with children), the Green Party, the Quakers, Women’s bloc and the Woodcraft Folk.

The unions have been working hard to make access easier but for those who cannot physically make the day, Disabled People Against Cuts are also offering the chance to make your presence felt through a virtual protest map.

There are also several feeder marches starting from different areas of London and ending at Hyde Park, none officially recognised by the TUC. The largest will be the Education Bloc from ULU and the South London feeder march, from Kennington Park. The best sources for information on the feeder marches and blocs are Political Dynamite and Freedom Press.

On the fringes of the march, theatre activists will invite people to take part in alternative reality games using exercises drawn from the Brazilian Theatre of the Oppressed.

Sukey will be doing its best to keep people safe, mobile and informed on the day with live map updates showing kettles and blocked roads, a smartphone app and free SMS service. If the police do use the controversial technique of kettling, then SOAS University students will be maintaining a Kettle Cafe to provide people with food and water within the containment zones.

Indy Media London will be providing their news service with rss access to updates. VisionOn.TV will be offering a platform for video journalists to share their reports. Dissident Island and Resonance 104.4 FM will be providing radio coverage of the day.

At most festivals, the most interesting things occur at the fringe and the same is true for the 26 March.

At 2.00pm the crowds will begin to quieten, shushing one another until an eerie silence is achieved. Then at 2.10pm from the distance the sounds of World War 2 air raid sirens will begin, growing louder until 2.11pm when everybody is encouraged to make as much noise as they possibly can as hundreds, maybe thousands split off for a range of direct actions around London.

These include UK Uncut who will Occupy for the Alternative, targeting tax dodging banks and shops on Oxford Street whose legal exemptions, if stopped, would pay for the services being destroyed. Many other actions will become apparent on the day.

Don’t think that when the speeches end at 4.30pm it’s time to go home.

Battle of Britain themed parties with bunting, tea and cakes will be served from 5pm at key points on the map. As night falls, activists will seek to turn Trafalgar Square into Tahrir Square and Occupy Hyde Park for 24 hours. Mass sleep outs to protest at Westminster Council’s planned criminalisation of homelessness will also be occurring.

Make your voice heard, stay safe, bring your sleeping bag – and don’t forget to keep your eye out for the pirate cinema!

[Original by Tim Hardy first published at boingboing.]

Camden Town Hall: Monday 28th Feb
March from the Crowndale Centre, 6pm to Camden Town Hall, opposite Kings Cross, St Pancras. Council Meet at 7pm.

Newham: Monday 28 February
Join local unions in a march to East Ham Town Hall, Barking Road starting at Queens Market on Green Street at 5pm Lobby Newham council’s budget meeting, Town Hall from 6pm

Westminster City Council: Wednesday 2nd March
Protest starts at 6pm and meeting at 7pm. At Council House, Marylebone Rd.

Hackney Town Hall: Wednesday 2nd March
Meet at 5.30pm, Council to meet at 7pm.

Tower Hamlets: Tuesday 8th March
Mass Lobby of Tower Hamlets Council. Meet 5pm to march from Tower Hamlets College, Poplar High Street to the Town Hall, Mulberry Place.

Today is the NCAFC conference, at UCL from 11am. More info here.

Tomorrow there is the Cuts! Climate! Action! teach in on climate change and the cuts, which will be held at SOAS Russell Square campus in room B102, Brunei Gallery. Map here.

The teach in will feature talks on:
* Bread and butter issues: food, fuel, transport, work and welfare
* Stopping the cuts: who’s doing what?
* Where is the money going? From bailouts to subsidies to tax evasion, what has the money been spent on and what could it pay for instead?
* What do we want? The growth, austerity and climate justice debate
* Turning information into action

On sunday there is also a comprehensive legal observer training session from Green and Black Cross at the G2 Lecture Theatre – Ground floor of SOAS, Vernon Square campus. Map here. It’s a session for anyone that is interested in legal oberserving and wants to get the full run down on how to deal with the police, take witness statements, support people who are assulted and arrested and learn more about the law and protesting. For more details email gbclegal(at)

Have a good weekend!

Olá a todos,

Estou a preparar um grupo relativamente improvisado com o intuito de discutir ARTS AGAINSGT THE CUTS, a ter lugar no Camberwell College of Art.

Algumas questões gerais mas cruciais são:

– Como é que os cortes no financiamento da educação neste país afecta estudantes internacionais e aqueles fora da comunidade europeia?

– De que forma estão esses mesmos estudantes envolvidos com a situação política quando vêm estudar para o Reino Unido?

– Esses estudantes sentem-se integrados e conseguem exprimir a sua opinião?

Estou à procura de um ou talvez dois estudantes/ex-alunos/membros do staff que estejam dispostos a apoiar este problema/antagonismo relacionados com a sua própria experiência e ideias. E obviamente, pessoas que sintam que estas questões são relevantes e muitas vezes ignoradas. Em baixo, uma ideia geral de alguns pontos de partida.

Estamos agendados para Domingo à tarde, mas há a possibilidade de existirem algumas alterações.

Questões Mais Importantes:

-Preço de Propinas altíssimo/Estereótipos

-Choque Cultural/ Motivação Política/ A forma como isso afecta a vida dos estudantes e a sua relação com o espaço envolvente.

-Globalização/ Internacionalização/ Substância do sistema Educacional?

– Students NOT Suspects (Espera-se que com a presença de um representante) – Aumento da negação a vistos de estudantes/ reformulação do ensino superior/ Cultura do Medo.

A desenvolver (se ainda houver tempo)

-Persistência do ideal romântico do artista como individual/autónomo objecto de arte/”Mas eu preciso de fazer o meu trabalho” como um obstáculo à formação de um ideal político presente nos artistas, como grupo que pode desenvolver e ampliar o não aos cortes financeiros. Cruzamento não só com as Artes, mas com todos os campos possíveis.

-Possíveis propostas para acções direccionadas em relação aos temas debatidos.

A todos os que se sentirem interessados, por favor, contactem-me. É um momento aberto a novas direcções e novas propostas, as quais poderão dar origem a novas soluções.




この週末に即興のディスカッション、the Arts Against Cuts  DIRECT WEEKEND をケンバーウェル美術大学 (Camberwell college of Art) にて行うことを予定しています。
– イギリス国内の教育予算削減は海外および、留学生に将来どのような影響をもたらすか?
– イギリスにおいて、各国の政治状況はどのように留学生を巻き込むか?
- 留学生は個人の意見が聞き入れられていると感じているかどうか?
- 莫大な学費/資金投入/ステレオライプ化あるいは偏見
- カルチャーショック/戦略的、あるいは政治的な動機/機動性
- 方向性をうちだせるリーダーシップ/グローバリゼーション/国際化/教育の実質?
- 信頼性のある学生 (できれば学生代表)/学生ビザの制限が拡大している事について/ポスト・スタディー・ワークの廃止について/不安をひきおこす文化
- 個々のアーティストが抱える空想の持続について/自己完了しているアート作品/障害として存在する「しかし作品を作らなくてはいけない」というアーティストへの威圧感
これらの点についてthe cutsは積極的に発言しています。
- 学術的な規範を越えて、見込みのある直接的な行動の提案
ローラ モリソン




Estamos preparando un grupo de discusion para el fin de semana en la Universidad de Arte de Camberwell, en el marco de DIRECT WEEKEND, un fin de semana de talleres y discusiones facilitado por el colectivo Arts Against Cuts.


Algunas preguntas a considerar:

–        como afectaran los recortes del gobierno a la educacion, cuales seran los efectos para los estudiantes extranjeros.

–        Cuan involucrados estan con esta situacion politica

–        Si sienten que tienen una voz



Estamos buscando estudiantes, ex-alumnos y trabajadores que puedan generar, contribuir y expandir esta discussion con sus ideas y experiencia. Pero todos los que crean que este tema es de vital importancia y no esta siendo discutido lo suficiente son mas que bienvenidos.

Esperamos tambien contar con la presencia de representantes de Students Not Suspects para esta charla / taller.


Nos encontraremos este domingo 16 de febrero por la tarde en la Universidad de Arte de Camberwell, 45-65 Peckham Road, London, SE5 8UF



Matriculas universitarias

Shock cultural

Motivacion politica

Globalizacion / internacionalizacion

Aumento de tarifas en visas

Acciones directas en espacios publicos,


Pero de todos modos, la charla es abierta y los temas pueden variar si hay propuestas. Esta lista es solo una guia.


El horario exacto es a confirmar, pero para mas detalles, por favor dirigirse  a




Los Esperamos!


Arts Against Cuts


저는 이번 주말 Camberwell college of Art에서 열릴 Art Against Cuts Direct DIRECT WEEKEND 의 임시회의를 준비하고있습니다.

몇몇 전반적이지만 주요 질의사항은 다음과 같습니다:

_이 국가의 교육재정 삭감정핵이 외국 유학생들에게 어떠한 영향을 미칠 것인가?

_ 학생들이 영국에 유학을 올 때 당면한 정치적 상황과 어떻게 연관되어 있는가?

_그들은 그들이 견해, 또는 주장을 갖고 있다고 생각하는가?

저는 각자의 생각과 견해를 가지고 이 토론에 지원/ 또는 반대 해 주실 한명 또는 두 명의 학생/ 졸업생/ 직원을 모집하고 있습니다. 그리고 이것이 중요하면서도 충분히 토론되지 않은 문제라 여겨지는 확신을 가지시는 분들도 함께 오셔서 참석해 주시기 바랍니다.  발의사항은 아래와 같습니다.

저희는 이번 일요일로 회의 일정을 정하였으나, 변경될 가능성이 있습니다.


_ 막대한 교육비/재정 위협/ 선례

_문화충격/ 정치적 자극/조작

-고급 경영 상당의 광고성 발언/ 세계화/ 국제화/ 교육자산

_ 학생비자 제한의 증가와, post study work/culture 비자 폐지 가능성에 대한 의심없는 학생 (각 그룹의 대표자가 있기를 희망합니다.)

다음안건 (시간이 있을경우)

_ 예술가 배후에 강력한 정치적 압력을 형성하는 장애로서, 개인적 / 자주적 예술 목표/ “그래도 나는 내 일을 해야해” 라는 삭감에의해 자극되어야할 그룹인 예술가들의 지속되는 낭만적 생각들- 다양한 인문분야의 절충안들이 있을예정.

_가능한 직접적 실행 안건

모든 가능성이 열려있는 장이니만큼, 이것과 관련된 무엇이든 여러 방식으로 관심이 있으시면 연락부탁드립니다.




(uebersetzt aus dem Englishen original)

Ich bereite eine Impromptu Duskussions Gruppe vor, welche sich dieses Wochenende auf dem Arts Against Cuts DIRECT WEEKEND (Direktes Wochenende) im Camberwell college of Arts treffen wird.

Einige der etwas generellen aber dennoch wichtigen Fragen:

– Wie werden die Sparmassnahmen im Bildungsbereich sich auf “overseas” und Internationale studenten auswirken?
– Wie beteiligt sind diese Studenten an der politischen Situation welche Ihnen begegnet bei Ankunft im United Kingdom?
– Fuehlen sich diese Studenten ueberhaupt so, als ob sie eine Stimme haetten?
Ich suche nach Ein oder Zwei Studenten/Ex-Etudenten/Personal welche dazu bereit waeren die Diskussion zu unterstuetzen, sich zu beteiligen und etwas durch ihre eigenen Erfahrungen beizutragen. Vorallem wuerde ich Menschen einladen die meinen das dies eine wichtige und uebersehene Diskussion ist. Bitte findet unterhalb einige loose Ideen als erste Anhaltspunkte.
Bisher sind wir fuer Sonntag Nachmittag eingetragen, es gibt jedoch die Moeglichkeit dies zu aendern.
Riesige Gebuehren/”Cash Cows”(Melkkuehe)/Stereotypen
– Kulturschock/Politische Motivation/Manoevrirbarkeit
– Fuehrungstab oder Senior Management level des “Brand-speak” oder der Markenzeichen-Sprache/Globalisation/Aufklaererische-Substanz?
Studenten und nich verdaechtige/Students-not-suspects (Ich hoffe einen Sprecher von dieser Gruppe ankuendigen zu koennen) – Erweiterung von Visa-Restriktionen/die vorgenommene Abschaffung von post-Studium Arbeit/Kultur der Angst
Ausserdem (wenn dann noch Zeit bleibt)
– Die Persistenz der romantischen Idee von kuenstlern als individuelle/autonome Kunst-Objekte/”aber ich muss doch meine Arbeit machen” als Hindernis zur Formung einer starken politischen Kraft hinter Kuenstlern, gerade als eine Gruppe welche von den Sparmassnahmen ganz besonders betroffen sein wird.
– Moegliche Direkte Aktions Vorschlaege
Falls du auch nur irgendwie interessiert bist bitte melde dich bei mir, es ist alles sehr offen im Moment und das ganze koennte sich in welch-auch-immer am besten relevante Richtung entwickeln.


Kunst gegen Kürzungen //
AKTIONSWOCHENENDE kommenden Samstag und Sonntag [15. Januar und 16.]

Camberwell College of Art, Wilson Road Building (bei Peckham Rd)

Im Anschluss an das fantastische Long Weekend bei Goldsmith’s im Dezember, dem Turner Prize und der National Gallery Teach-ins, dem Bücher Block und die vielen Besetzungen und Aktionen, die diesem Wochenende folgten, organisieren Art Against Cuts an diesem Samstag (15.) und Sonntag  (16.) ein weiteres Wochenende der Aktionen, Planung, Imagination, gemeinsamer Arbeit und Denkanstösse.

Der detaillierte Zeitplan (sie unten) wurde aus der großen Liste der eingesandten Vorschläge zusammengestellt. Es gibt an diesen Tagen zusätzlichen Freiraum für alle die weitere Ideen vortragen wollen, organisierte Spontaneität gewünscht. Änderungen im Zeitplan vorbehalten.

* Samstag, Krippe den ganzen Tag
10 bis 11                   Frühstück (selbst mitbringen)
11 bis 12                   Offenes Treffen

12 bis 5                    parallele Räume und Freiflächen einschließlich …

* Die Kunst der Direct Action, John Jordan Diskussion und Workshop
* Poster und Graffiti im Jahre 1968 Atelier populaire oui, bougeois Aterlier nicht, reden und machen Druck Werkstatt, Warren Carter Jess Baines, Jo Robinson
* Radical Education Workshop mit Radical Education Collective
* Was sollen wir mit unseren kulturellen Institutionen zu tun?

Precarious Workers Brigade

* Paid Not Played Choir & Political Music Collective music und Lyrik workshop
* Alter/ate Mobile Slogan Factory/ Counterproductions und CGTV
* Siebdruck und Banner machen den ganzen Tag


10 bis 11                   Frühstück (selbst mitbringen)
11 bis 12                   Offenes Treffen

12 bis 5                   parallele Räume und Freiflächen einschließlich …

* Objekt Sabotage mit Evan Williams Calder & Mute
* Zusammenschluss mit den Gewerkschaften
* Video Box – 1-Minuten-Videos und kommunistischen Galerie

* Die Bücher Block Werkstatt

* Schulden und Sklaverei, David Graeber
* Theatre of the Dead / Dual Power – Planung für die 29.
* Fact Sheet Workshop-und Freie Schule
* EMA Arbeitsgruppe – Planung für 18. und 19.
* Internationales Studenten Forum / Chelsea-Projekt

Danach: Party und Konzert mit Chicago Boys in Camberwell

Kunst gegen Kürzungen wurde im letzten Herbst in den Londoner Kunstschulen initiiert. Wir wollen in der Öffentlichkeit den kritische Raum, der Universitäten und Kunsthochschulen sein sollten zurückfordern, und diese Gebäude in die Kunstschulen der Zukunft verwandeln, zum Zwecke der Zusammenführung von Kunststudenten, Künstlern, Kulturschaffenden und denen die gegen die den Kürzungen in ganz Großbritannien den Kampf angesagt haben, zum Trotz der unerbittlichen Ökonomisierung unseres Bildungssystems und Lebens. Wir werden Wissen und Fähigkeiten teilen, wir werden Leute aus verschieden Disziplinen, verschiedenen Altersgruppen und jeder Herkunft zusammen führen, und wir werden unsere Phantasien und Wünsche zu Werkzeugen des Ungehorsams zu machen. Wir werden dafür sorgen, dass das gesammelte Wissen und all die Ideen, Werkzeuge und Projekte die aus diesen Veranstaltungen hervorgehen werden, verbreitet und in die Tat umgesetzt werden, um sie in den Straßen und den öffentlichen Plätzen dieses Landes mit allen zu teilen die die Anti-Cuts Bewegung unterstützen. Direct Weekend wird ein Fest der non-stop Workshops und Präsentationen, Dia-Shows und Filme, Gewusst-wie Kursen und geteilten Aktionen, und einen Freiraum für spontane Kreation von Veranstaltungen, Aktionen und Ausdrücke. Es ist nicht wichtig, was Kunst ist, sondern was sie tut. Dieser Moment hat das Potenzial aus der Krise der Kürzungen in eine Chance für Veränderung zu machen.


我正在準備一個即席的討論會,作為藝術反教育刪減(Arts Against Cuts)的直接週末(DIRECT WEEKEND)活動一部份,此討論會將於這週末在Camberwell藝術學院舉行。





我們徵求一至兩名目前正在就讀/ 已經畢業的國際學生/學校職員參加,來此分享他們的想法(或是經驗),以幫助我們的討論。除此之外,我們也歡迎其他認為此議題重要、但卻未被討論的人參加。




—文化衝擊/ 政治動機/ 操作性

—學生非嫌犯組織(Students Not Suspects )(希望他們有代表來參加)

—越來越繁雜的學生簽證/ 將取消的畢業工作簽證/ 恐懼文化


藝術家作為個體/ 自主性藝術品/ “幹但是我還是得工作“此等想法隱身其後而阻礙藝術家的政治能量、並失去與政府刪減經費之對抗能力。並且此種癱瘓狀態也在許多的學術領域中看到。





我正在准备一个即席的讨论会,作为艺术反教育删减(Arts Against Cuts)的直接周末(DIRECT WEEKEND)活动一部份,此讨论会将于这周末在Camberwell艺术学院举行。



我们征求一至两名目前正在就读/ 已经毕业的国际学生/学校职员参加,来此分享他们的想法(或是经验),以帮助我们的讨论。除此之外,我们也欢迎其他认为此议题重要、但却未被讨论的人参加。

—文化冲击/ 政治动机/ 操作性
—学生非嫌犯组织(Students Not Suspects )(希望他们有代表来参加)
—越来越繁杂的学生签证/ 将取消的毕业工作签证/ 恐惧文化

艺术家作为个体/ 自主性艺术品/ “干但是我还是得工作“此等想法隐身其后而阻碍艺术家的政治能量、并失去与政府删减经费之对抗能力。并且此种瘫痪状态也在许多的学术领域中看到。


Tuesday 7th December 6.30pm

RCA Café Kensington

In response to widespread budget cuts by the Coalition government, students at the Royal College of Art are holding a late-night skill-sharing event at the College’s Student Union café in Kensington from 6.30pm on Tuesday, 7th December. A cold snap of unprecedented cuts to arts and humanities education and a proposed rise in tuition fees is upon us. As artists and educators, the land before us lies wasted and frozen. Unless we unite and fight.

The evening will open up networks and collaborative efforts by students, staff and artists – marry up thinkers and doers, join working hands with working solutions. A parliamentary vote on whether to lift the cap on university fees is set for Thursday, 9th December. The time for debate is over. We all know where we stand. We all know what we stand to lose. We need to resist. Now.

The Royal College of Art is the UK’s only postgraduate art institution. Its reputation is unparalleled – its teachers are masters in their craft and it draws its students from all walks of life. Uncapping university fees will put the College’s unique culture and legacy out of reach to all but the wealthiest students. Studying for an MA at the RCA is serious business. If the Coalition gets its way, it will just be a business.

Add your voice, bring big ideas. We know it’s bloody cold outside – warm us with the heat of political anger, not hot air. Come ready for action, not reaction.