Archive for the ‘Revolts’ Category

Remix van internet foto’s van de rellen te Haren met een focus op Heineken Bier.

De ‘helden van de verveling’ die het feestje in Haren op Facebook ontdekten waren aanvankelijk nog in een gemoedelijke stemming zo kunnen we dagelijks in de terugblikken op de televisie op Project Haren op de tévé zien. Na enkele uren sloeg echter de stemming om. Naar mate het indrinken vorderde ontstond de bekende sfeer voor een goeie Heineken-Rel. Dat is wat de ‘voetbalhooligan’ en het ‘strandfeestbeest‘ verbindt met een facebook-vandaal en zijn party-crowd:


“Haaa Lekker Feestje Bouwen” is een terugkerend thema van Heineken bieradvertenties en reclamespotjes… het zijn de nauwelijks ‘verborgen verleiders‘ van de super bier magnaat die alles wat de massa tot bier drinken kan aanzetten omarmt in een nooit eindigende dorst naar winst. Van festivalterrein, tot voetbalveld, van concertzaal tot feesttent, van jongeren camping tot illegaal zuipkot, bier brengt het door Heineken gevisualiseerde plezier binnen een ieders hand- en mondbereik en zo gaat alles aan de rol en wordt een samenscholing dol.

VRAPPSS spoelt het gouden vocht uit de tap; RATSS  klokt het uit het blik, PLOEPSS spring de kroonkurk van de Koninklijke bierbrouwer in de lucht…

 Biertje!, Brrrrtje!, Bertje!

de boodschap is even klaar en helder als het dorstlessend en baldadigend vocht van s’werelds grootste brouwer, die nu ook  – zo lees ik vandaag – de Aziatische biertijger gaat bijtanken.

Voor al de geschockeerden onderzoekers van het uit de hand gelopen Facebook feestje in Haren: bestudeer eerst eens de invloed van deze Koninklijke Brouwer  op ‘het onder invloed geraken’ van de toegestroomde feestgangers, die na een ongeteld (*) aantal blikjes of flesjes tot vandalen werden

Het gaat niet zo zeer om Facebook-Vandalen, maar om Heineken-Helden en dat laatste onderzoeken is als dreggen in diep en troebel water.

Toch eens uitrekenen wat nu de opbrengst aan accijnzen op dat Heineken Bier is voor de staat en of een paar procent daarvan niet voldoende is om een ‘Nationaal Bierrel Peloton’ modern uit te rusten voor directe inzetbaarheid. We hebben nog zeker vijf gevechtshelicopters van het type Apache die niet langer nodig zijn in Afghanistan, die kunnen dan als helpende engelen op al de dorpsbrinken in Nederland waar de plaatselijke dienders het niet aan durven, standtepee bijspringen….

(*) Of heeft de Harense burger-opruimploeg de volgende dag de achtergelaten flesjes en blikjes geteld? Zo ja, dat is dan alvast een stukje statistiek voor de onderzoekscommissie van Facebook-specialist Job Cohen, om niet enkel naar de invloed van de ‘sociale media’ te speuren.

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The unseen participant is Trenton Oldfield who swam into the line of rowing boats during the yearly river Thames Oxford/Cambridge rowing competition on April the 7th this year and caused quiet a stir with his non-violent direct action. The Diamond Jubilee Flotilla of today would have been yet another excellent occasion for his daring protest swimming, but I failed to spot him in the live coverage by the BBC, yet in my mind’s eye I saw him courageously crossing the path of the ‘ship of state of the United Kingdom’… I am sure that Trenton Oldfield has been put under special surveillance during this River Thames event preventing him from participating. Apart from waving and cheering, the audience at such events is supposed to be not involved in the action.

click picture to go to Oxford student paper reaction they called him “a crazed Marxist”…

I had made – in the beginning of April this year – a note of his personal web pages with his extensive somehow confused ‘manifesto’ “Elitism Leads To Tyranny”   on the server of squarespace with the URL http://elitismleadstotyranny.squarespace.com/ ,  but his site had disappeared. If this is because of his own will or that of others, I can not tell. So, because I had neatly documented his ‘manifesto’ web blog (posted before his action on April the 7th 2012), I can reproduce the full text hereby for posterity. It does not mean that I do fully agree with his way of arguing, but as someone who has studied and documented ‘social movements and direct action’ for decades, I try to understand how someone choses a ‘social issue’, reasons his or her intervention, and what are the reactions. Trenton Oldfiled, worked in the tradition of the British ‘suffragette’ movement. The use of his own bare body as a weapon during an elite sport event, links to an historic action back in the year 1913 by the British suffragette Emily Wilding Davison, who threw herself during a Derby attended by the King before the king’s horse, an action that toppled the horse and the jockey and hurt herself so much that she died of the wounds. “DEEDS NOT WORDS” was the slogan of that time of the militant fighters for equal rights of women.

Trenton Oldfield does make a direct reference to the historical – catastrophic – action by Emily Wilding Davidson, he fails – though – to make a good analysis of the different meanings of that action at that time (*) and links it in too few words with the practice of what he calls “anti-imperialism activists and guerrillas” and the sabotage survival tactics of  “trans-Atlantic slaves.” Nevertheless Trenton Oldfield was on my mind today and others may have had similar associations seeing the royal pomp of the Brits and thinking about what social realities are hidden by such spectacles and how someone swimming in the pathway of a Royal Flotilla would have been a refreshing addition. That is why I choose this day to republish his somehow clumsy manifesto to honour the River Thames Swimmer Activist of the year 2012.




 This part of the River Thames is very well known to me having previously worked in the area. I have continued to visit it as often as possible as it is one of the London reaches I became most fond of, mostly because of its unregulated Wooded Tow Path, the expansive foreshore at low tides and the wildlife habitats in the adjacent Leg of Mutton Reservoir. It is a beautiful place, one of the more serene spots in London. Best to visit when it has been dry for a few days as the path can be very muddy and puddled.  

 Setting aside the compelling natural environment for a moment, this reach is also the site of a number of past and present elitist establishments; Fulham Palace, Chiswick House and St Paul’s Schools and a large collection of other ‘independent/public/free schools’. It is also where Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Prime Minster of the Government lives with his family, despite his constituents living hundreds of miles away in post-industrial Sheffield. Most notably and most importantly for today, it is a site where elitists and those with elitist sympathies have come together every year but one for the last 158 years to perform, in the most public way, their ambition for the structures and subsequent benefits from elitism and privilege to continue. (They even list in the programme which public school the rowers attended before Oxford or Cambridge)

 The boat race itself, with its pseudo competition, assembled around similar principles of fastest, strongest, selected …etc, is an inconsequential backdrop for these elite educational institutions to demonstrate themselves, reboot their shared culture together in the public realm. It is also inconsequential to the performance that the overwhelming majority of the population continue to remain interested in their own lives and disinterested in the boat race. The boat race, while accessible to everyone, isn’t really advertised or promoted as something for the general public to attend, you know when it’s on because it is part of the social networking calendar. This is a public event, for and by the elites with broader social relations aims. The fact that it happens in the public realm (visible) almost exactly as it has done for the last 158 years also becomes important; the untouched; the unchanged is significant. Most standing alongside the Thames today are in fact the pumped-up though obedient administrators, managers, promoters, politicians and enforcers; functional, strategic and aspirational elites. The transnational-corpo-aristocratic ruling class (invisible) haven’t turned up today and would never consider doing so, despite the best endeavours of Bollinger, Xchange and Hammersmith & Fulham’s mayor.


 When hasn’t elitism lead to tyranny? When hasn’t the belief of being ‘more’ than another person led to tragedy? Who benefits from elitism? One won’t be surprised to learn the etymology of the word ‘elite’ derives from ‘the elected’ … unfortunately not elected by democratic means, but rather, elected by god. Yup…‘elected’, ‘selected’, ‘chosen’ … by god … inherited. When has this understanding of oneself or by a group of people ever been a good thing? When has this understanding not resulted in tyranny? Is tyranny surely not the inevitable outcome? And in contrast, when hasn’t the pursuit of equality, not resulted in these long passages of tyranny being overcome, even if temporarily?  

 Everyone will remember some of their history lessons … where people have been taken advantage of by people that believe themselves somehow better, more entitled than another individual or group of people. Most recently this has included the enclosure and eviction from the commons, transatlantic slavery, imperialism and colonialism, fascism, holocausts, genocides and dictatorships and migrant labour camps. It is difficult to grasp, as many of us are still heady and have strong memories of the previous ‘boom’ decade, but we are in the middle of the early stages … or we have just about reached the precipice of another era of mass enslavement and the large scale enclosure of ‘Our Public’. What is happening in the UK, for example, is not ‘privatisation’ but a contemporary demonstration of full scale enclosure of Our Public. Couldn’t happen again … why not? Why wouldn’t something different but similar happen again? What policies, what institutions, exist to prevent something similar from happening again? What evidence is there that this isn’t happening? When did Our Public last experience an injection of its own readily available dose of agency and liberty?

 To enclose and to enslave requires the audacity, cunning and daring to take advantage of our natural kindness, our belief in others, our respect for authority, our desire to please, and our apprehension about ‘causing waves’, our hope for all to have a better life, somehow. It also depends on our disbelief, despite having experienced it, that other people would purposefully set out to harm us for their own advantage. More recently we have also been encouraged, though the evidence displays the opposite much of the time, that a whole raft of institutions exists that work to prevent human catastrophes like our right to protest being denied, detention without trial or charge, the monopolisation of  industries, and essentials like food and water. These institutions were established to prevent slavery, genocide, indentured labour and groupings of indices of deprivation and poverty from occurring.  It is likely many in the western Baby Boomers generation (large percentage of the UK population), who have benefited so much from these institutions, are finding it very difficult to consider that these institutions might now be turning against them, their children and their grandchildren?

 Could what is happening in the UK (and around the world); the state of exception with Olympics, the wholesale removal of countless civil rights, the project to create fear and suspicion of others, the transfer of our money into the vaults of a handful of corporations, the ongoing wars, the pomp and ceremony for unelected official anniversaries, the amazingly high unemployment, the devastation to public services such as health and education, the isolation of education due to high fees, the entangled corrupt relationship between the media, police and politicians, the racism, the increasing misogyny, the forced labour in supermarkets, the spying on our emails, skype calls, the control of food production and distribution and the reductions of tax burdens for the richest … could these all be best understood as the process of enclosure? Do we resist now setting out to avoid something akin to slavery and imperialism? Or do we hesitate and find ourselves and our children without agency once again and in a long battle to gain it again? How long might it take and how many lives might this demand?


 There is a concerted effort to disintegrate ideas of Our Public; to atomise and divide us. Only yesterday did a British government minister suggest that citizens should ‘shop’ (dob-in) people they know to be organising or attending a protest related to the forthcoming Olympic Games. Along with the brutality the police and military are prepared to use against organised peaceful protestors, it seems it might be time to employ ‘little war’ / ‘guerrilla tactics’.

 My swim into the pathway of the two boats today (I hope) is a result of key guerrilla tactics; local knowledge, ambush, surprise, mobility and speed, detailed information and decisiveness. There is no choice but to be apprehended in this action. I know this area very well and have planned the swim as best as I can, taking into account all the local knowledge I have gained over the years. Guerrilla tactics could be summarised as; ‘preparation, creativity, daring and attrition’.The aim of employing these tactics is to shift from being a ‘victim’ … of having things done to one, to being the ones setting the agenda, placing elites more and more on the back foot, increasing their costs, causing confusion, fermenting internal mistrust, creating embarrassment (a Tory’s worst nightmare?), frustration and manifesting a vulnerability. This will provide the time and space for an ongoing development of post-elitism, post-capitalist thought and debate.

 Our current disorganisation and indirection is an advantage. In the past, guerrilla tactics have been employed by small groups of people. Today there is the opportunity to also undertake this alone, as an individual. Part of my inspiration for today’s action comes from a protest action that took place 99 years ago – when Emily Davison ran into Epson Derby race. On the 4 June 1913 Emily ran into the horse that the king had entered. She died from the injuries sustained from action. She was demanding rights for women. It was an individual act born of a political and philosophical position. This action is also part inspired by the anti-imperialism activists and guerrillas. This includes trans-Atlantic slaves who not only forced their freedom by revolting but undertook tactics of breaking tools, working slowly, acts of sabotage, feigning illness and maintaining their cultures. They found ways to continually undermine the system in small and large ways.

 We all need to make a living and sometimes we do this by taking jobs we disagree with or find out are likely to detrimental to our children’s future. Being in these jobs also provides us with a great opportunity to employ civil disobedience and guerrilla tactics.  It is the chance to match the personal and the political. Security guards are possibly in the best position. Examples of actions might include:

 · Setting off Fire Alarms in buildings where we work, perhaps at strategic times, when a particular meeting is meant to happen that will agree the cutting of services, for example? (This action seems morally okay as all the emergency services happily deployed vast numbers to participate in the filming of a Bond movie the other weekend on Whitehall).

 · If you work in a private company or government department that is helping enclose Our Public perhaps you could work slowly, make mistakes, loose documents, sending large documents to clog up email accounts?

 · If you are a taxi driver can you take the passenger the slowest possible and most expensive route?

 · If you are a plumber can you ‘store up’ a problem in the office of a conservative think tank office you have been called to?

 · If you have a tow truck company can you park in front of Nick Clegg or David Cameron’s driveway, accidentaly? Could you tow their car away?

 ·  If you ride a bike and it’s difficult to find somewhere to lock your bike (as bike racks are taken away), can you lock it the one of the corporate bikes which now litter our streets everywhere?

 · If you clean the bathroom of someone that considers themselves elite or is an elite sympathiser, like a right wing professor, can you never put loo paper in their bathroom?

 · If you work in a restaurant where elitists eat, can you serve the food once it is cold or cook the wrong food?

 · If you are a builder repairing the house of an elitist can you also bug it and share the footage and audio online?

 · If you are a pest controller and you are called to the office or home of an elitist or elitist sympathiser can you fail at destroying the pest and possibly introduce new pests?

 · Can you take up the time of a ‘VIP’ you work for by arranging time consuming meetings, asking as many questions as possible? Can you make them late?

 · If you work in a call centre, can you refund people and find the best discounts?

 · If you are a student and attend a talk, can you challenge the professors? Can you take the stage and highlight to the audience the work they have done in contrast to academia?

 · Are there networking events designed for the elites and their sympathisers where you could let off a stink bomb?

 · If you work in audio-visuals for meetings/conferences could you put up the wrong slides, or turn the correct ones upside down and remove cables, rendering the equipment unusable?

 · Could you plan your own government or council made up from people you admire and trust – in similar vain to Football Manager and publish it on the internet?

 · Are there events like today’s boat race that you could do something similar to Emily Davison with? Is this possible in the lead up to and within the Olympics itself?

 This is a special call to security guards. The elite depend on you the most. Without you they are nothing.

 Copyright © 2012, TRENTON OLDFILED. 

A 1911-1912 typical banner of the British suffragette movement with the action paradigm “DEED NOT WORDS” and a later depiction of the action of Emily Davidson throwing herself before the King’s racing horse.

– The Women’s Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide, 1866-1928 By Elizabeth Crawford has many references on the complicated history of Emily Wilding Davison and several pages can be read on line via GoogleBooks.

– Another good source is “A Suffrage Reader: Charting Directions in British Suffrage History By Joan Ryan, Laura Ugolini, also available on GoogleBooks.


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Grotesque and hypocrite the new Libyan Government statement on the persecution of the alleged killers of Gaddafi. Stating that these could not have been regular opposition groups and that the new government knows the rules of war… and taking prisoners.

“With regards to Qaddafi, we do not wait for anybody to tell us,” NTC vice chairman Abdel Hafiz Ghoga.

 “We had already launched an investigation. We have issued a code of ethics in handling of prisoners of war. I am sure that was an individual act and not an act of revolutionaries or the national army,” the top interim official said.

 “Whoever is responsible for that (Qaddafi’s killing) will be judged and given a fair trial.”

What a lie, as both NATO and the insurgents – that became the army of the new Libyan government – have thrown tons of munition on any spot they thought Gaddafi would be at a certain moment. A fair trial of Gaddafi has never been on the agenda of neither NATO nor the insurgents, who became the new government. Only the International Criminal Court in The Hague lent itself to suggest that such a trial was a viable option, never protesting in public against the repeated attempted killing of their indicted trial candidates, Gaddafi and his close circle.

Photograph published in The Independent 2011/07/24 with this caption: "Nato planes bomb a Gaddafi compound in Tripoli last month. Air strikes by allied forces have become increasingly ineffective"

NATO and insurgents were out to kill all those months, but failed in spite of all the high tech devices put to the task. Now a few hot heads – which are necessarily part of any insurrectionist forces – finished Gaddafi’s life by hand, and they will be made into culprits, to wash the virtual bloody hands of NATO and the new  government.

Photograph published on the web site of the Daily Mail 2011/10/21 with the following caption: "Celebration: Rebel fighters carry a young man holding what they claim to be the gold-plated gun of Colonel Gaddafi which was taken from him."

It is sad that such distortions of reality  are published in the international press without any direct rebuttal.

Gaddafi should have been put on trial. His murder will hamper any attempt to cleanse Libya of decades of dictatorship.

It is most disturbing to notice that – apparently – distant killing by regular armies using state of the art guided missiles airplanes with remote sensing, and the like, is not conceived as murder and somehow a civil way of getting rid of an adversary, whereas traditional lynching on the spot or firing a gun at a victim at close range is perceived as a barbaric act that can be classified as a crime of war or murder.

Two additional sources that give details on other summary executions of pro-Gaddafi forces  in the same town of Sirte, less in the picture than the person of Gaddafi:
– Media Lens: “Killing Gaddafi” 2011/10/27
– Human Right Watch report on Libya: “Apparent Execution of 53 Gaddafi Supporters” 2011/10/24

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How anybody can protect civilians by throwing bombs from the air? When we find the sight of the mutilated body of Gaddafi on show in a freezer of a butcher store appalling, what about the multiplication of the principle – now in Libya – on the backstage of global news? Which accounts are settled in the shadow? Who gets hold of whom for what, in a situation without rule of law? What has been the example given by the Alliance forces dropping explosives from the air, not bringing members of the contested regime to justice, but to punish them on the spot by attempted annihilation?

When it is true that a fleeing or escaping convoy of Gaddafi has been attacked by NATO airplanes with their deadly load just outside of Sirte, why to muddle about the subsequent lynching that seems to have taken place? NATO tried to lynch from the air, long distance and  ‘high tech’, opposition forces finished the job by hand on the ground.

Who will hold out her or his phone camera to document the revenge between civilians triggered by such examples, raging now in Libya?

It is sufficient to have read the recent report of Amnesty International “LIBYA: THE BATTLE FOR LIBYA: KILLINGS, DISAPPEARANCES AND TORTURE” published on September 13. 2011, to know that the perpetration of violence was/is not only a monopoly of the Gaddafi regime in Libya, but has entered the veins and bloodstream of this society.

"Muammar Gaddafi's 'trophy' body on show in Misrata meat store Libyans queue to see dictator's body as wounds appear to confirm he was killed in cold blood" (The Guardian October 22, 2011)

These are the days of the ‘little axes’, in so many hands, falling down on so many heads… How dare heads of state – like Sarkozy – speak through broadcasts to the Libyan people, “Its time now for reconciliation” , whereas those that need to be reconciled have been left behind with a collapsed state and hardly any governmental or citizen’s networks to undertake such a huge task of building a civil society and reconcile?

Many millions have been wasted on advanced technological military exercises. Nobody wanted to invest in diplomatic and civil campaigns to bring about regime change.

The nazi regime lasted a mere twelve years and ‘de-nazification’ several decades. We Europeans have not been able to stop the wild enforced regime change by an outsider high technology military force. NATO has been send in, paid by our tax money. What has been sold to us by Aljazeera and the like as a ‘people’s revolution’ may in the end well have mutated into a ‘coup d’état’ where the top have been toppled, but the echelons just below it remain in control.

Who then will be responsible for the ‘de-gaddafization’ of Libya?

This is certainly not a task for generals and their milieu of the military industrial-complex, it is not something NATO is good at and still we Europeans lay the solving of humanitarian crisis in the hands of the military  allowing the derivation from ‘problem solving’ into  ‘problem making’. It is sad that in times where ‘development aid’ and ‘humanitarian aid’ is discredited by many politicians, and scratched off the budget in many EEC countries, that military investments in missions like the one in Libya are well supported by the same representatives, we all have voted into our parliaments. There are even – recently – several examples of military missions paid for by  budgets earmarked for development aid.

Don’t we need new institutions, or at least a radical reformatting of the tasks of big organisations like NATO to try out other methods of human protection and appeasement?

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LOOTING: peeling off layers of meaning on the crossroad of wanton destruction and instantaneous greed…

Images of Tripoli and London blur on my inner eye…

Fire burning social constraints.

For a short moment only.

Property remains the fundament of societies through all times.

Ownership resurfaces like a phoenix from fire.

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