London News Round Up

Several thousand attended the Anarchist Bookfair at Queen Mary’s College, mile End Oct 18th.  A high standard of debate in the packed meetings made this the best bookfair so far. With no cops lurking around, the all day event was trouble free and relaxed despite some inevitable minor chaos due to the large amount of people on the premises.

Halloween night saw folks gather at Canary Wharf on the Isle of Dogs for the carnivalistic “Dancing on the Grave of Capitalism”. The happy event, complete with elaborate costumes, props and including the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. Many kids, demons, witches, drummers, jokers were in evidence. Also Zombies as the party atmosphere was somewhat marred by a heavy police presence along with about 100 self proclaimed “revolutionary” students bleating well rehearsed bland slogans. They pretended to rush the police lines, giving themselves a mild adrenaline rush. Nevertheless the event went ahead much to the amusement of office bods and bankers. Press down, Friday was never like this.

The traditional London Fields bonfire night failed to materialise despite hundreds of anarchists, local funsters and family groups turning up for the early evening fun. Up to 60 paramilitary style police, including a heavy plain cloths contingent, three crowd control transits, thermal image equipment, dogs. The forces of law and order attempted to disperse would be revellers by force. This after ordering the closure of the nearby pub and forcible confiscation of bonfire wood. In spite of this overwhelming display of force, we gained entry to the fields. Kids had sparklers grabbed from their hands by hyped up cops, while in the darks of the evening, much pushing and shoving took place and de-arrests. We held our ground, letting off fireworks, taking the piss, sending the odd can into their ranks. Later in the evening the cops used pepper spray and truncheons on small groups departing the fields. So where did their orders come from, who is responsible for this over the top operational? The smart money is on our fun loving London mayor Boris.

Meanwhile, congratulations to the Anarchs and youngsters who took on the cops protesting the BNP meeting at Bethnal Green. Despite arrests there were no charges. Also, the long standing, internationally famous Rampart street social centre and squatted venue still functions in the face of threats to evict the residents by bailiffs and cops. Should the eviction occur, another social centre will be squatted in the E. 1 area nearby. Watch this space.

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