Here are your choices

IssueJune 2015 - July 2015
Feature by Bristol Anarchist Federation

Cameron remains in Downing Street, now with a majority (having successfully cannibalised his former LibDem partners). A lot of people are understandably depressed by this, and now to top it all off Nigel Farage hasn’t even resigned as leader of UKIP.

FFS politics, give us a break.

We don’t have much say in what policies they try to force upon us – after all we had ‘Vote Tory for capitalism and austerity’ and ‘Vote Labour for the same, only a bit less and our heart isn’t really in it’.

What we do have a say in, is how we react to them.

  • Reaction One: voter apathy
  • Reaction Two: fight for what we have, fight for what we need

We are often presented with a doctored version of history. One where the oppressed asked the government nicely for reforms, where they appealed to their rulers’ reason and consciences,
or simply voted in nicer leaders.

A closer inspection reveals a very different story: everything we have was fought for, tooth and nail. Everything we have, we fought for, and everything we fought for they want back.

The good news? If you want to take action there are plenty of ways to do it. Here are just a few based on some Tory policies.

1. The Tories will ruin the lives of disabled people

Not without a fight from the likes of DPAC! In Bristol, we at the Anarchist Federation were key in organising demonstrations and protests against ATOS, right up until they dropped the contacts for ‘work capability assessments’ and ran. We have also helped individuals through the interview process to ensure they keep the support they need.

2. The Tories will repeal the Hunting Act

The sad truth is the hunting act didn’t stop the hunters anyway. Where the law failed, hunt saboteurs succeed. You can join them in the field, donate to them, or support their work.

3. The Tories will force the poor from their homes

People have the power to make evictions unworkable. Bristol Solidarity Network has already helped families who were threatened with being kicked out onto the street – direct action, protest and solidarity gets real results. It also builds up our confidence in what we can do ourselves – and dents the confidence of the state, big business and their agents!

Another great strength is the power of organising collectively on housing. London leads the way here with both individual campaigns and growing success in linking them together.

4. The Tories will cull badgers

They’ll try. Last year they barely completed one of their two trials due to the resistance of a few hundred individuals over two months. Imagine how far they’d get if they were being blocked by a few thousand!

5. The Tories will force the young and the unemployed onto workfare

Anyone who has been following our exploits will know how much we have achieved on this one! Enough for the department for work and pensions to list us as a threat to the whole workfare scheme along with, of course, 'Boycott Workfare'. Protest and direct action has been forcing companies off the workfare scheme one by one – from Holland & Barrett and Wilko to Homebase and Superdrug!

6. The Tories will curtail our rights at work

The good news is these rights never really came from parliament, they came from the struggles of the organised working class. In recent years, workplaces have lacked organisation, and a lot of mainstream unions lack bite.

If you want to teach the Tories and your boss a lesson, find your nearest SolFed [Solidarity Federation] or IWW [International Workers of the World] branch!

7. The Tories will criminalise dissent

That is where groups such as Bristol Defendant Solidarity come into play, supporting those facing arrest or court.

The best legal defence in the world won’t stop some of our comrades from ending up inside though, but the Anarchist Black Cross ensures they continue to be supported.

8. The Tories will read our emails and track our movements!

Tech Tools for Activism will guide you through securing yourself online, and in June there’s the tech skill-share, Barn Camp.

9. The Tories will scapegoat and target migrants

The struggles continue to be hard, but with nationwide movements against detention and dawn raids there are countless opportunities to stand together against our racist government.

10. The Tories will frack up the countryside

Companies only want to frack for one reason, profit, and anti-fracking protesters can make the whole process very, very costly.

Destroying the NHS, scrapping the Human Rights Act, selling off our public spaces, forcing millions into food banks.… The array of attacks can seem overwhelming.

However every single one of those attacks relies on us, relies on our compliance, relies on us deciding to let the government have an easy life. That’s not a decision that we’re going to take!

We must make ourselves ungovernable, that is a strategy accessible to all.

Already people are linking up and fighting back, creating opportunities for different movements to show their strength, to grow and to act in solidarity with each other (and hopefully avoid the pitfalls of condemnations of ‘bad protesters’ from ‘good protesters’)!