National Funeral for the Unknown Cyclist, London, 13th October 2018

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I’m very proud to have collaborated with my mate, Donnachadh McCarthy again, helping to put together the posters, flyers and social media materials for the National Funeral for the Unknown Cyclist, organised by Stop Killing Cyclists and supported by a broad coalition of campaign groups.

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The event will honour and mark the deaths of:

  • over a thousand cyclists killed on our roads in the last decade
  • the thousands of cyclists killed by traffic pollution
  • the hundreds of thousands of people who wanted to cycle but were afraid to, due to the lack of protected cycle lanes and who thus died from horrific lung & heart diseases, asthma, diabetes and a plethora of other diseases brought on by the sedentary, petrochemical lifestyle.

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National_Funeral_800X800_V3UK Gov. Plc has invested almost nothing on safer cycling but tens of £billions on ever more roads for the car-lobby. £billions more is given in annual tax-cuts to the toxic diesel/petrol lobby, which is accelerating the 6th Mass Extinction.

The excellent photograph in the poster captures the scale of Stop Killing Cyclists’ first mass die-in, at Tfl headquarters, 5 years ago. 1500 people came together to protest, after 6 people were killed while cycling in one month.

This year’s National Funeral for the Unknown Cyclist hopes to be the largest ever Die-In in UK history, to ensure the Chancer of Death, Phillip Hammond, the incumbent PM, Jeremy Corbyn and his incumbent Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell hear two clear demands for the Autumn budget:

£3 Billion per year investment in cycling

A reversal of tax cuts on toxic diesel and petrol

#3Billion4Cycling

Donnachadh explained how they had arrived at the £3 Billion per year figure based on doubling the Dutch model, which invests the equivalent of £30 per person per year on cycling. The UK needs to catch up with 50 years of failure to invest in safer cycling.

The Dutch have the safest cycling infrastructure in the world. Despite some hotspots, they also enjoy some of the cleanest air in Europe.

More Dutch Cycling = Safer Cycling + Less Pollution + Cleaner Air

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#Divest

The second demand, a reversal of the year on year tax-cuts on toxic fuel should be a no-brainer, given the calamitous state of our collapsing climate. If we are to survive the 6th Mass Extinction, we must create a cleaner, safer world. Electric vehicles alone aren’t going to cut it, especially if the electricity which powers them is still produced by burning toxic fossil fuels and distributed across an ancient, inefficient power grid. Electric vehicles still have a massive embedded carbon footprint.

The UK, and the world must fully divest from fossil fuels as Ireland has done and properly invest in safe cycling infrastructure.

Righteous Rage to Peaceful Action.

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Channel your anger at all these injustices into peaceful direct action and demand better from UK Gov. Plc.

If you’re not able to attend, please share this event with your networks.

Cheers.

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The Extinction Symbol represents extinction. It is quite important to raise awareness of the 6th Mass Extinction, particularly as corporate power invests so much pretending that it isn’t really happening…

 

 

Cop Drops BARS on Amber Rudd in Poetic Police Petition

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A COP has started a poetic petition to the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd to stop single crewing (screwing) them. It has been written in bars of emotional rhyming verse.

I recommend reading the whole thing but here’s an excerpt:

Last week I was hit, spat at and punched.
There wasn’t one day that I ate my lunch.
I held a man’s hand who’d just lost his wife,
I took a child from his Father who was wielding a knife.
I pulled a girl off a bridge who was mentally ill,
I locked up a worker who had nicked from the till.
I persuaded a battered woman to finally speak,
After seeing her every day, week after week.
 ”

At time of writing, the petition has received over 100, 000 signatures. 

As an artivist and anarchist, it gave me some serious pause for thought before signing it. Locking up anybody, let alone workers who are so skint they have to steal is extremely problematic for me, as is any monopoly on the use of violence, but still,

Not All Cops Are Bastards

(the ratio is debatable).

Despite my currently taking legal action against the police.

Despite my being appalled by their track record of endemic racism.

Despite my outrage at the way they are used as corporate-state enforcers to infiltrate, distract, suppress and destroy peaceful, democratic protest in the UK and worldwide.
 
Despite all these reasons (and more), I recognise that not ALL cops are bastards. I doubt very much that the individual who started this petition is a bastard. 


I’ve made the same point about ACAB before. Now, in light of the recent police violence in Catalonia, I think we would all do well to heed Julian Assange’s warning that this change of relationship between state and population threatens to ripple throughout Western Europe and America.

These ‘ripple effects’ have been ebbing and flowing for centuries…where are we now?

In the UK, where public police numbers have already been cut dramatically, private security firms G4S and Serco are soon to be given the power of arrest in a £290 million deal with the Tories.

We must prevent these ripples of neo-fascism becoming a wave as they have in the past. We need to focus on resisting the apparent rise of extreme fascism in the new millennium through all non violent means.

That’s going to mean more than just repeatedly getting our fucking heads kicked in for practising non-violent civil disobedience.


The Wrong Side of History

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The police and security services are tools which can be used to either create, or destroy individuals and societies. Historically, the police have always been on the wrong side of civil rights movements. When they go native en masse tends to mark the end of one struggle and the beginning of a new one. This petition isn’t exactly going native, but it does send a stark message which deserves support.

Grinding down the public police while creating and now empowering private police as the war drums grow ever louder are extremely disturbing trends which echo the rise of fascism in the past.

I value, respect and extend solidarity to all those cops who are not bastards. Those who save lives and especially those who have sacrificed their lives to save lives; those who try to keep us safe from the fascist corporatocracy, rather than enforcing it; those who find a way to actually do the job of protecting people in spite of the impossible situations they are placed in.
 
In particular, I respect those who find the courage to speak out. Those who refuse to follow orders which they know to be wrong, those who blow the whistle on their colleagues who ARE bastards. Those who stand up to UK Gov Plc and their chums in positions of power.
 
Hopefully, the cop who started this petition will read this and know that they have the public support of at least one anarchist. I hope this small gesture gives cops and private security pause for thought the next time they receive orders to spy on us, or to drag us out of a peaceful demonstration, occupation or lock-on.

I will almost certainly lose a few subscribers for reiterating my position on the ACAB trope. This is a contentious point for an anarchist to make but I don’t give a fuck, I think it’s a necessary discussion, particularly as we are rapidly sliding into ecocide and neo-fascist dystopia.

In my anarchist utopia, we would still have cops but their only role would be to protect people from violence. As things are now though, I would far rather a publicly accountable police force than the clunking fist of G4S, an unaccountable, profit driven transnational corporation who have an appalling track record of oppression and human rights abuses.

Thought Crime?

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