Livestream shoutouts – 3rd September

CLIMATE JUSTICE IS MIGRANT JUSTICE PROTEST

Tomorrow, a coalition of climate groups will be holding a socially distanced protest to raise awareness of the link between climate justice and migrant justice. The ecological crisis is already upon us and hitting the inhabitants of the Global South first and in the coming years it is only going to get worse. In anticipation of the inevitable new waves of migration from climate refugees, we are witnessing the increased militarisation of borders in the Global North as well as the rise of racist rhetoric against migrants and refugees.

GAF will be joining tomorrow’s protest, please join us too. The meeting point is the Nelson Mandela statue in Parliament Square at 10am.

YOUTH 4 CLIMATE JUSTICE COURT CASE

Six young people from Portugal are taking thirty-three European countries to the European Court of Human Rights for failing to do their part to avert climate catastrophe. Their goal is to seek a legally binding decision from the European Court of Human Rights requiring governments in Europe to take the urgent action needed to stop the climate crisis using the argument that the European Convention on Human Rights obliges European governments to fight climate change.

While in GAF we believe the state is part of the problem and no real solutions can be found working within their apparatus, we applaud the initiative as a useful precedent and a good way to raise awareness and start fruitful discussions and hopefully also actions. The young plaintiffs are being supported by the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN), you can help by sharing the case on social media or donating to the funds being raised to cover the legal fees. For more information, visit youth4climatejustice.org.

INTERNATIONAL RESISTANCE TO MINING FILM FESTIVAL

In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement, Indigenous activists and mining affected communities across the globe, London Mining Network presents the International Resistance to Mining Film Festival. The films deal with the colonial legacy of international extractivism and the lives it affects. From Bouganville to South Africa, Australia to Colombia, these true stories remind us of the human cost of mining as well as the amazing acts of resistance that it inspires.

Films will be shown at 7.30pm between 21 and 28 September 2020. For more info and to register your place, see the Eventbrite page. 

SUSTAINING ALL LIFE & UNITED TO END RACISM AT CLIMATE WEEK

Sustaining All Life (SAL) and United to End Racism (UER) are international grassroots organizations working to end the climate emergency within the context of ending all divisions among people. SAL/UER is participating in Climate Week, September 21-27, a week of international climate events happening online. They will present many interactive workshops and forums that address barriers to resolving the climate emergency. Topics include Eliminating the Effects of Racism in our Climate Activism; Women, Girls and Climate Justice; Jews and Climate Justice:Building a United Front and War and Climate Change. Their six forums provide opportunities to amplify the voices of people who don’t generally get heard and include Voices of Latin America, Indigenous Voices and Youth Leading on the Climate Emergency.

ENDE GELÄNDE

This year, just like the previous years, Ende Gelaende is organising an action against coal infrastructure in Germany. They will be holding a decentralised blockade in the region of the Rhineland from the 23rd to the 28th of September. The Coal Extension Act will keep coal alive for another 18 years, using billions of Euros. Ende Gelaende are fighting to ensure that coal is phased out immediately and the door to a fundamental system change is opened. They plan on placing themselves between the coal diggers and the threatened villages to protect them. It is to be a publicly announced blockade with a wide range of opportunities to participate. To find out more check their facebook pages or their call to action.

DAVID GRAEBER

It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the death of David Graeber yesterday.

David Graeber was an American anthropologist and anarchist activist author know for such books as Debt: The First 5,000 Years, where he explores the violence that lies behind all social relations based on money, and calls for a wiping out of sovereign and consumer debts and Bullshit Jobs in which he argues that most white-collar jobs were meaningless and that technological advances had led to people working more, not less.

Graeber also had a history of involvement in political activism since the 90s including being a member of the Industrial Workers of the World and being a pivotal figure in the Occupy Wall Street Movement in 2011 as well as the Global Justice Movement. He was a professor at the London School of Economics at the time of his death.

You can find links to some of his work on Graeber’s website.

Setting up a new GAF group

So you’ve decided to set up a local GAF group! Amazing! This is how the movement spreads and how we create a vibrant, linked up international movement. The first GAF group, in London, was set up by just a few people – it may seem like an intimidating task, and it takes work, but it’s very doable and the rewards for both yourself, your community, and our planet will be huge.

First steps

The first thing to do is read our Aims & Principles and Points of Unity. These are the only things that link all GAF groups – in every other sense they are networked but autonomous, but any GAF group or member who does not adhere to and believe in these principles has no place organising under the GAF banner. Any questions or concerns, get in touch and we can talk about it!

Capacity and what you already have

Assess your capacities (skills, time, resources, mental energies to put into organising), what you already have, and the base you’re working from. Ask yourself:

– Do you have any friends who’d be interested in this?

– Do you know any pre-existing leftist/environmental groups whose members may be interested in getting involved?

– Are there any good meeting spaces or social centres in your area? If the answer is no, keep looking! Libraries, community centres, squats, and even pubs often have spaces you can meet in. In summer, parks and green spaces can be nice.

– Are there platforms you can spread your message on? Anything from local physical noticeboards (think supermarkets, corner shops, community centres, libraries) to local digital spaces. Even the smallest communities tend to have a local Facebook group or page.

These are the big ones – there’s no need to start thinking too big yet. If the answer to any of these is ‘no’, don’t be discouraged. It’s a surmountable obstacle. Pop us an email/Facebook message and we can help.

Security and safety

It’s a fact that if you are fighting for climate justice, you are eventually going to be the target of repression by the state and private entities. To resist it, you need to start thinking about security culture as soon as possible. Any mistake you make early on will haunt you later down the line. Even if right now you are not doing anything that may attract heavy surveillance, maybe in the future you will. And then you will regret not getting your security right from the beginning.

First of all, you should consider what personal information you are going to share with the people you are going to organise with. Using an activist alias or “nom de guerre” as opposed to your real name is a good idea. Also avoid sharing personal information that can be used to identify you, such as where you live or work.

For any online communication, you should use accounts not linked to your personal identity. Ideally you should delete your social media or create fake accounts only used for activism. Wherever possible, use secure services and software. Applications like Signal or Element or services like Protonmail or Riseup are worth looking into. If you upload any file to online platforms or share around, make sure to delete any metadata they it may contain; as some types of documents store sensitive information without you knowing it. Take advantage of VPN and the TOR network when using the internet, but always keep them separated from your personal browsing. Use encryption in your devices and strong passwords everywhere. If you have trouble keeping track of your passwords, use an open source password manager such as Keepass. There are many other things to keep in mind and tools to use, so try to keep up to date with the latest developments in computer security and strive to find a balance between ease of use and security that works for your group.

But ultimately, none of these will offer complete protection if a state-level actor is really putting all their resources trying to gain access to your data. It’s important to still follow this advice, as you still need to defend from more run of the mill threats. But in the end the best and most important advice is that if you don’t want the state to find out about something, never say it on or near any electronic device. And never, ever write anything that could be construed as evidence of a crime on any online platform; no matter how secure they are. Sometimes the old ways are the best ways: let your phones at home and go for a walk in the park or a forest. Enjoy nature while you plot the downfall of capitalism.

Finally, always remember the most important principle of Security Culture: people should never be privy to any sensitive information they do not need to know. This may seem harsh and you may feel the need to share confidential information with your comrades, specially once you get to know them a bit. This is just part of our nature as social beings. But keep in mind that restricting the information you share is not about not trusting your comrades, but rather about wanting to keep them, and yourself, safe.

Creating an online presence

One of the best ways to establish a basic presence online is to use Facebook. As much as we resent having to use capitalist platforms at the moment, it’s the fastest way to reach a lot of people in a local area on a short time scale. We can send over things like the image files for the logo that you can then edit if you want, to personalise. Take a look at the other GAF pages for inspiration! It doesn’t need to be anything elaborate – just a simple page with the logo, your name, and a short description of what GAF is. The first step is to follow this link: facebook.com/pages/create. From here you will be guided through the basic steps.

You may also want to create a Twitter/Instagram account if you have capacity for this at the moment, however this isn’t essential.

You will also want an email address. We recommend Riseup. We can sort you out with a Riseup invite. Protonmail is also a good alternative. Do not use mainstream, insecure email services like Outlook, Gmail, etc. Although you can never be certain an email server is entirely secure, anything that goes through a non-encrypted email service (Outlook, Gmail, etc.) can be read by the authorities. For more information on digital security, get in touch and we can send some stuff over.

Working towards your first assembly

The best way to kick start a new group is to hold a public assembly. This is an event where you invite people to come, talk about GAF, find out who’s up for putting in the work to be an organiser, and hopefully come out the other side with some next steps. These next steps will often be your first action, but not necessarily. We recommend sticking to safer, less risky actions at first while you get to know your new comrades and build trust. The key to any successful group is genuine trust, affinity, and friendship.

Who to contact

Before ‘going public’ with your event, it’s a good idea to see which existing groups might be interested. Local anti-fascists, environmental groups, anarchist groups and other leftist groups are a good start. One thing to be aware of is that some groups might be interested who do not organise in a bottom up, horizontal manner as laid out in GAF’s aims & principles. It should be made clear to these groups that should their members begin to organise under the GAF banner, that they will have to organise in a different way than they are used to.

It’s a good idea to pop us an email (greenanticapitalistfront@riseup.net) and ask who we know in the area, as we may be able to point you in the right direction. Likewise if you are unsure of any groups, let us know. Be cautious of Extinction Rebellion groups and established hierarchical communist groups – they often have great members but sometimes their ideals and styles of organising do not sit well with GAF’s aims & principles.

You should also get any friends or acquaintances you think might be interested involved. It’s easier to set up and run a successful assembly with friends and comrades than alone, but that doesn’t mean that going solo isn’t a very doable option!

Planning and promoting your assembly

The following is adapted from our Assembly Checklist, which is available on request.

You should decide amongst yourselves the date, time and venue. Community centres, libraries, social centres, squats, parks (in nice weather), and even pubs can provide good spaces for an assembly. Be sure to consider accessibility. Venues with stairs, or that are difficult to get to via public transport, are not ideal. If you can’t decide on a venue right now, that’s okay, it can be announced closer to the time.

The next thing to do is to write an invitation text. This should include:

  • What GAF is, why the assembly is being held, what you want to talk about and what you want to get out of it.
  • Whether food will be offered.
  • Whether childcare will be available.
  • The accessibility details of the venue, including acknowledgement that people can get in touch to ask about accessibility needs that haven’t already been addressed.

Don’t worry if you don’t know all this yet. You can amend the invite text later, but it’s good to at least show that all of this stuff is being thought about.

Next, promote the event. Send the invite text to any organisations you identified earlier who may be interested – usually email is the best route here. If possible, it can be a good idea to print posters and flyers to stick up around your community.

If nothing else, you should create a Facebook event on the page you created earlier. To do this, go to your page, go to Events, and find the button to create a new event. Then just make a title, copy your invite text into the description, set the date/time and location if available, and you’re good to go! Let us know when you’ve done this and we’ll share your event on the main GAF social media accounts, our website, to our mailing list, and to anywhere else we can think of!

Childcare and food

If possible, it’s good to offer food and childcare. Assemblies tend to last between 3 and 5 hours in total, including breaks, so people get hungry! This can be anything from snacks (hummus and dips are a firm favourite) to a hot meal if you have capacity/kitchen space.

If possible, childcare should be made available too in order that the event is accessible to parents. If this isn’t possible, don’t worry.

If possible, challenge the men in your group to take on these responsibilities. GAF groups should always try to destroy social hierarchies, and as these roles are often pushed onto women, men should try to take them on for a change.

Creating the agenda

Now that you’ve got your event up and there will hopefully be a few people turning up, it’s time to decide what you’re actually going to do. To do this you should know the goal of the assembly. A good goal for a new group could be just to get to know each other, get some commitment from people, create private channels to communicate (we use an app called Signal, mostly – it’s like WhatsApp but a little more secure. Remember not to ever write anything down you wouldn’t want read out in a court of law, even on ‘secure’ apps and email servers), and plan your first action. It is also wise to include a safer spaces policy, that can be immediately outlined so that people understand that GAF spaces are supposed to be inclusive, and bigotry/intolerance will not be tolerated. We can send over our safer spaces policy in advance. Below is a sample agenda.

1. Safer spaces policy

2. Introductions – go round and get everyone to tell you their name (or whatever name they like to use), their pro-nouns (they/them, she/her, he/him etc.), and why they came to the assembly.

3. A short introduction to GAF. Read out the aims and principles and maybe talk a bit about what got you interested in GAF and why you called this assembly.

4. What are some of the biggest issues in your area? Are there any nearby major polluters, companies who invest in fossil fuels? Think outside the box – remember it doesn’t have to directly relate to ecological destruction. Capitalism as a whole is destructive, anything that contributes to it is by default.

20 MINUTE BREAK

5. Brainstorm ideas for a first action. This could be something that symbolically or practically disrupts capital, or something that helps people while spreading the messaging. It can be good to split into breakout groups for this! Examples of previous actions from assemblies include: guerrilla gardening with seed-bombs, banner drops, postering sessions, and much much more. Use the skills and experiences of your group, and look at what’s relevant to your area!

6. Decide when you’ll next meet, and what next steps need to be taken for your action. It’s also smart to set up a communication channel – we recommend the app Signal. It’s like WhatsApp but with more secure encryption. IMPORTANT: Do NOT write anything on even a secure app like Signal that you wouldn’t want read out in a court of law.

7. Go round and reflect on the assembly as a group, and find out who wants to be further involved. GAF may not be for everyone so it’s good to see who really wants to get involved, and who’s just going to sit in a long-forgotten group chat.

8. Go to the pub! Or cafe, or park, or anywhere. It’s important to get to know each other though.

Remember that this is just a sample agenda, and will not fit the needs of every (any?!) specific group. If you come out of this first assembly with an idea for a first action, a few solid comrades you like and think you can come to trust, a next meeting date and a way to communicate, you’ve done well.

Final thoughts

Keep meeting, keep agitating. Aim to help people, hurt the system, or convincingly spread the message with every action you take. Your anger at the system will get things going, but trust and care for your comrades make sure they endure. Never hesitate to reach out to other GAF groups for inspiration or help. Solidarity always.

Further reads

Mayday Revolt 2020

2020 is turning out to be a year unlike its predecessors, forcing us to redefine how we act and how we react. This May Day, the usual displays of working class radical mass action were off the cards due to COVID-19. However, now more than ever, despite being told repeatedly by the state to “stay at home” and be obedient, radical action was needed to mark this anniversary. Workers’ rights have suffered multiple attacks over the last decade and now the pandemic is shining a bright light on the inequalities of our society and the war that is waged against the working classes by those in power.

This Mayday GAF sent out a call out to all to participate in any way they were able in actions of revolt, small or big, because not even a global pandemic can quell the rage of the oppressed. We were heartened to see how many of you responded to the call as hundreds of autonomous actions against the state and capital took place all across the country. The GAF May Day Revolt saw banner drops, postering campaigns, graffiti and other actions taking place across the country from Devon to Scotland.

May Day maybe done for this year, but the spirit of resistance lives on – we must continue to disrupt capital and build a new world no matter the date. What ever happens 2020 will prove a crucial year and will see many changes, it is up to us to make sure we get a say in what those changes will be.

Islington – North London

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Lewisham – South London

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Old Kent Road – London

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Edinburgh

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Norwich

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Kent

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Devon

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Mayday Revolt Call Out

May 1st is well known as international workers day across the globe, but this year we want it to be known as a day where anyone who is sick and tired of capitalists and the state threatening their life can step up and fight back by any means necessary.

The Green Anti-capitalist Front (GAF) is calling for May 1st to be a day of action, where we can all be apart physically but united as one cause against the rich and the state.

These actions should be done to maximise the amount of damage inflicted upon the ruling class while staying safe and observing social distancing. Each action should be done safely and in small crews or alone. Use the hash tag #MayDayRevolt to show what you find on the day.

We called this day of action alongside comrades from a range of different organisations across the globe to show that we are angry.

How many deaths could have been prevented if governments didn’t act purely to keep their own class’ power? How many loved ones will be lost because they prioritise economic growth over people’s lives? How many times can the police abuse their power and see no consequences?

Let’s make them scared to ever risk our lives again.

Solidarity and good luck.

Click on the images below to download printable pdfs of the flyers.

Why I’d be Happy to see Boris Johnson Dead: Structural Violence and COVID-19

Happy might be an overstatement – while there’s some catharsis in seeing butchers like Johnson bite it off the back of their own hubris, ultimately it wouldn’t help those who still suffer at the hands of his toxic party and ideology. That said, the world would undoubtedly be a better place had Johnson never existed, and I daresay will in the future be a better place if he ceases to exist. This probably seems cruel, callous, and unkind. In some ways it is, but now that’s out the way, I want to spend the rest of the article explaining myself.

Continue reading “Why I’d be Happy to see Boris Johnson Dead: Structural Violence and COVID-19”

Reflections on Covid-19: it’s not the virus that is killing us, it’s capitalism

Over recent weeks, the business as usual that activists have been fighting against for decades has been abruptly suspended in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Although many expected such a crisis could occur around this time, what could not have been predicted is the form and magnitude of the upheaval. Not just governments, businesses and heath-services, but also activists and grassroots organisations – we have all been caught with our proverbial trousers down. In this short period of time we have experienced significant changes to our lives and daily routines. Some have been able to adapt quickly, immediately getting involved with setting up mutual aid initiatives around the country. Others have needed time to recover, reflect, and regroup.

Continue reading “Reflections on Covid-19: it’s not the virus that is killing us, it’s capitalism”

Statement in reference to the RCG

The Green Anticapitalist Front, as stated in its Aims and Principles is committed to organising in a way that is supportive and inclusive, and therefore to driving out abusive or bullying behaviour wherever it presents. This includes the challenging of perceived tolerance of sexual violence and/or covering for abusers. 

Recently, allegations of such nature were brought to the attention of GAF London regarding the Revolutionary Communist Group (RCG), who have organised under the GAF banner. Link 1 Link 2 Link 3

Continue reading “Statement in reference to the RCG”

The Rally Against Capital

At the Rally Against Capital, the Green Anti-capitalist Front wanted to show that it’s not regular working people but the rich, the bankers and those who protect them who are causing climate change. We led our demonstration to the London Stock Exchange, a centre of finance and capital for some of the most destructive companies on the planet, to attempt to disrupt some of their capitalist system.

Continue reading “The Rally Against Capital”

Statement in relation to Revolutionary Communist Group

The Green Anticapitalist Front, as stated in its Aims and Principles (https://greenanticapitalist.org/aims-principles/) organises in a supportive, inclusive way, free from bullying or abusive behaviour. This includes sexual harassment and abuse, as well as covering up and tolerating such behaviour. GAF London has been approached several times by people outside the organisation about why we were organising with the RCG (Revolutionary Communist Group) who are accused of all the aforementioned actions.

We want to assure everyone that we are taking these accusations very seriously and are in the process of investigating them and holding discussions with the RCG. A decision and statement will be released as soon as all parties are satisfied.

Continue reading “Statement in relation to Revolutionary Communist Group”

New week of action venue: welcome to GRASS!

While Green London is still holding strong in the former Paddington Green Police Station, we felt it was unfair to bring members of the public into a situation where they could be exposed to the aggressive and threatening behaviour of the police and bailiffs. We have therefore, while continuing our occupation of Green London, decided to open a new social space for our week of action: the Green Revolutionary Anticapitalist Social Space. GRASS!

Continue reading “New week of action venue: welcome to GRASS!”