Anarchy@ Heathrow Climate Change Camp
Anarchy at Heathrow Climate Change Camp
To read through reports and the comments on the reports of the Heathrow Climate Change Camp is to enter a groundhog day, a mindless time loop in which history has become frozen in the endlessly repeated spectacle of … of what? Perhaps this:
The great illusion of our epoch - that capitalistic society is a society consisting of free and self-determining individuals - can only be maintained by keeping the people unconscious of the real contents of those basic relations of the existing social order which by the fetishistic device of the economists had been disguised as objective and unchangeable conditions of all social life.
According to the police, - see below- the Heathrow Climate Change Camp has been infiltrated by anarchist
veterans of clashes at G8 protests, Reclaim the Streets demonstrations and anti-capitalist May Day marches.
I reckon it goes a little deeper than that. I spy 17th century Diggers at work:
The Diggers called themselves "True Levellers". They were associated with the political Levellers but Lilburne and other spokesmen were at pains to deny the connection. The Digger agenda of the "levelling of all estates" — i.e. the abandonment of private property rights — was too radical a step for the Levellers, who were attempting to negotiate a political settlement within the existing social order. The guiding light of the Digger movement was Gerard Winstanley, a former mercer whose business was ruined in the civil wars. Working as a cattle herdsman at Walton-on-Thames, Winstanley was inspired by a vision of communal cultivation of the land and an ending of property rights, which he outlined in his tract: The New Law of Righteousness. Similar ideas were arising spontaneously around the country. A Digger community in Buckinghamshire published a tract entitled Light Shining in Buckinghamshire in December 1648. Winstanley joined the community established by William Everard, a former soldier and lay preacher, who called upon the common people to support themselves by cultivating the waste and common land of England. The Diggers occupied St George's Hill in Surrey in April 1649. Winstanley attempted to put into practice his ideals for a utopian communistic society, but the Surrey Diggers were persecuted by local landowners and clergymen. The Council of State sent soldiers to break up the community and the Diggers were taken to court accused of trespassing. They were driven from St George's Hill to nearby Cobham Heath. Persecuted by landowners and lacking funds, the Cobham commune was dispersed by the summer of 1650. At least ten other Digger communities appeared in southern and central England around 1650, but all met with a similar fate to the Surrey group.
And don’t forget the 188th anniversary of the Peterloo (Manchester) massacre.
No more holidays in the sun!
Police: Heathrow camp 'infiltrated by anarchists'
Matthew Weaver and agencies Guardian Unlimited Thursday August 16 2007 Police today defended their tactics and large presence at the environmental protest camp outside Heathrow airport by claiming it had been infiltrated by anarchist troublemakers. Officers at the Camp for Climate Action outnumber the 600 protesters by two to one. Protesters have accused police of adopting a heavy-handed approach to control the demonstration and the unjustified use of anti-terrorist laws against protesters. However, commander Jo Kaye, of the Metropolitan police, today said some of the protesters were "anarchists" who wanted to use the cover of an environmental protest to confront officers.
He claimed veterans of clashes at G8 protests, Reclaim the Streets demonstrations and anti-capitalist May Day marches were among those who had joined the camp. "Some of these people have Reclaim the Streets heritage. Some of them will go back to the days of the Liverpool dockers march, not necessarily involved, but linked to it," Mr Kaye said.
"If we frustrate them, then they will go in for confrontation because their aim is anti-state. "The environment is part of that, but we are talking about anarchists, so the cause assists their overall cause."
Twenty-one people have so far been arrested in connection with Operation Hargood, the police response to the camp, officers said. Assistant commissioner Tarique Ghaffur said 1,200 officers were policing the protest every 24 hours, adding: "This is far more than we would like and we would want to.
"The only reason we have done that is because they have threatened direct action … we know the types of targets these people will go for, and there are many in Heathrow and the surrounding areas."
Mr Ghaffur said there had been "very little cooperation" from organisers during "limited dialogue" between them and police. He said police feared the extreme elements could "suck in" otherwise peaceful protesters, and said any attempt to disrupt the airport could be dangerous because of the high terror alert level in place.
Penny Eastwood, a spokeswoman for the camp, said: "Many of the people here have been on protests before. The police have labelled all those as dangerous extremists." Ms Eastwood, who was arrested when she Superglued herself to a gate at the camp earlier this week, said officers were "trying to smear us as irresponsible". "I don't think I'm irresponsible - I'm trying to save the planet from devastating climate change," she added. "There is a long tradition of civil disobedience in this country." Earlier today, 11 climate change protesters were arrested at Biggin Hill airport, in Kent, after they chained themselves to the entrance and blocked the road to the airport. A similar protest was mounted at Farnborough airport, but ended peacefully without any arrests.
Both demonstrations, aimed at highlighting the "obscenity" of private jets, were part of a week-long campaign against the aviation industry.