The day started off with us trudging down to our old haunt Bank for 12 Noon prompt, despite the usual stereotypes of Anarchist time keeping we were there bang on time, but then the waiting began. Two hours in total. The Police presence was tiny, though they did enjoy ducking behind pillars and spying on us when we met up with some more famous anarchists, though being a WAG means the police are always interested in your activities anyway. We spotted the FIT Copper from television programme Bargain Hunt who took the wisecracks on the chin to be fair. He never should have bought those stones though!
Around 1pm we decided to tie up our banner, only to be told by climate camp prefects that “This is an autonomous zone. Could we not put it up!” at which point we decided to act autonomously and put it up much to the amusement of the journalists. We then went to the pub. Or as one Times journalist described it: “Demonstrating surprisingly efficient organisation, the Whitechapel Anarchists have taken a collective decision to sit out the bingo and go to the pub!” Despite winding up the “Tranquility Team” about the fact we had come straight from the Westham / Millwall game and trying to spread a rumour that it was Hackney Wick there really was nothing else going on. So the pub it was.
A few pints later around 2pm and we are on our way to Cutty Sark Greenwich on the DLR line to Blackheath. The chosen spot for the Climate Camp. And what a historic place – Wat Tyler and The Peasants Revolt! Will the thronging masses be ready to smash the religious and state institutions like their forefathers/mothers did..? Not entirely. The walk up to Blackheath was much amusement for us WAGs as people dared not stray from the pavement and obiedently marched two by two. When we pointed out that maybe we should take the streets and walk in the road we were told “No” by one eager eco-warrior. I mean you wouldn’t want to stop the traffic now would you? Anyways we broke from the crowd and walked in the road. And then the crowd followed. For some this was probably the most revolutionary act they have ever committed.
Arriving on site our top priority was securing the supply lines as a crack team ventured into the leafy village of Blackheath in search of an off license. Back on the camp we set up a large piece of fencing (which we “found”) attaching our WAG Banner and a number of Red/Black Flags, the cherry on top being a booming sound system. For the next few hours all was jovial, with much alcohol consumed, a football kick about and crap dancing amongst an assortment of WAGs, punks, old RTS, Cambridge Anarchists and other nefarious characters who congregated around us.
The first bit of trouble came from a man who was obviously employed by the Camp to help set up tents, the kind of prole who during the Peasants Revolt would have defended Lord and Lady Rupert’s Estate against members of his own family, who with no warning came shouting at us to turn the sound system off. But his major mistake happened when he threatened to “Get my Sledge Hammer and smash it up!” Out of everyone on the camp to try and bully and intimidate he sure picked the wrong crowd. Let’s just say it didn’t take us very long to convince him otherwise.
Then the shit hit the proverbial wind turbine. Superintendent Julie Pendry and some other lackey Copper (Possibly Ian Thomas) were wandering around undisturbed. They were taken into a tent for a cup of tea and a chat with members of the Officer Class while Climate Camp prefects defended the door, initially to keep out press, as they blocked up the entrance so no one could see or hear what was going on. Climate Camp made two tactical errors here. Firstly allowing the Pigs onto the site (Which was fenced off by this point with only one main entrance). And secondly by allowing them asylum in a tent right next to our mob. Oh dear.
And so it began. Heckling. Shouting. And a few choruses of Harry Roberts. People flocked from all corners of the camp to get involved. But the mood was split. Conflict between those opposed to the police presence and those willing to protect and tolerate (And in some cases welcome) the old bill. Climate Camp soft cops warned us that “It’s not best to act like this with media around” which just goes to show that some involved in the Camp have so much faith in the corporate media, police and state that their hopes for real radical environmental change are merely liberal posturing at best. At this point a spray can was used to much artistic effect as “ACAB” was decorated on the tent, though the artist was stopped before he could finish “KILL POLICE”. The sound system was then pushed up against the tent so that the inside occupants could listen to the brilliant Dead Prez rap about the joy of politically motivated drive by shootings.
Finally the two little piggies were rushed out, protected by Camp prefects, but given a run for their money by us lot. Barrages of “SCUM”, “MURDERERS”, “BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS” and “WE HAVEN’T FORGOTTEN ABOUT IAN TOMLINSON” were hurled at them until they managed to escape out the main gates. With back up now assembled. FIT Watch’s finest did a brilliant job in undermiming their presence and they all finally left as the angry abuse continued letting them know that they were not welcome.
Heated discussions then abounded. We should say that people shouting at the police were not just our group but was a mixed mob of anarchists and sound newly found comrades from the camp who got involved. It was made clear to Climate Camp prefects and others protesting against our actions that we have a right to stand up and be heard when the police, who are oppressive violent functionaries of the State and ruling class, enter a space that is supposed to be liberated and collectively organised for radical purposes of real change from the old order. Obvious to many was the fact that decisions had been made and people were kept in the dark which exposes the hierachical nature behind the non-hierachical rhetoric.
Many at Climate Camp experienced the Polices full force on April 1st, for some of us we experience this on a day to day, but despite some class divides common ground was found and can be built on. For radical change to make a real impact on our lives and environment we must be empowered as individuals, as a combative force willing to level the class system, opposed to all forms of oppression inflicted upon us from the State. For the freedom of all people. For the freedom of the planet and all her creatures. The police can not be reformed. They protect private property and the ruling class. They always have and they always will. They are the enemy.
For the author of this blog it was the DLR back to Shadwell but some WAGs are camping on site. A text message was received: “Loads of support for the action against the cops tonight, be good if WAG came back, judging by the mood, definitely welcome.”
We will be back on Friday discussing live from the camp on Dissident Island Radio at 7pm exactly what went on and some of the controversies around it possibly dispelling rumours.
On a closing note all those involved in the camp have come together out of a respect for each other, the general atmosphere on site was friendly, positive, constructive and highly enjoyable. This can only remain if the police keep well away as expressed in the open letter to the MET.