All Cops Are Brutalisers

“Don’t fear the axe said the tree, the handle is one of us!”  Turkish Proverb.

The grotesque public beating of Tyre Nichols on the streets of his hometown of Memphis, taunted by the police who murder him as he lay dying, should animate us as much as the police murder of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Iran last year.

That the veneer of ‘social peace’ in capitalist democracies is only skin deep is shockingly exposed in this modern ‘lynching’ of a black man from the south by other black men.  This tragically all too familiar event transcends the usual cultural and institutional racism of the police to the nature of policing itself. 

These ‘workers in uniform’ as some on the ‘left’ would have it.  are not the arbiters but enforcers of capitalist discipline and control, ultimately by any means necessary as countless assaults on prisoners, rioters, demonstrators and dissenters through generations testify.

Since there have been privileged elites with power to enforce and property to defend, there has been a concept of policing going back to Egypt, China, Babylonia, Persia et al.  Historically it has been in the form of rewards and bounties for the franchised-out capture and killing to protect the status quo. 

The first centralised uniformed police of the modern era was established under Louis XIV in Paris 1667.  In the southern states of the USA, they emerged from the Slave Patrols recapturing runaway “property”. 

Today they are international capitalisms first physical line of defence in whatever form that system takes across the globe.  From neutral Switzerland to warring Ukraine, from pacific superpower China to pacific islands Fiji, they are the franchised bounty hunters of the state.

In the West we somehow imagine this as a vice of non-democracies, looking at Iran for example, where deaths in custody are frequent and at least 500 have been killed since the current wave of protests began.  We are thus lulled and fooled into keeping our eyes off our own state’s affairs, but in reality, the figures of brutality speak for themselves.

From the US, some names we know:  Eric Garner, George Floyd and now Tyre Nichols.  Barely a glint of the tip of an iceberg that sees around 1200 killed after police contact there each year.  That’s one person (predominately people who are black or poor) ever 7 hours.  Survivors like Rodney King multiply the evidence of that violence exponentially.

‘Only in America’ we like to think but here we have our names too like Mark Duggan or Chris Kaba, who’s enquiry into “potential homicide” according to the Independent Police Office for Conduct, was put on hold in November.  The IOPC itself investigates on average around 200 deaths a year following police contact or custody, numerically proportionate to the USA.

In addition, the Metropolitan Police alone Is reviewing 1071 serious and sometimes multiple allegations against serving officers for violent and sexual offence against women and children.  Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley emphasised the problem was bigger than “a few bad apples” adding that they “..haven’t applied the same sense of ruthlessness…that routinely apply to confronting criminals”.  In a force of 45,000, that is roughly 2.5%.

Before such revelations we already had some appalling examples in the arrest of PC Hussain Chehab for child sex abuse following the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard by PC Wayne Cousens and the recent conviction of PC David Carrick for a dozen cases of rape and false imprisonment. 

While the media fabricate a threat to us from trans people, it’s clear to us that women are far more in danger from predatory men joining their local police force than a trans person seeking a gender recognition certificate!

The detail however blurs the principle.  The police have one objective role, Policing!  It speaks for itself:  ultimately to control through the contrivance of consent, or brutalisation if necessary, those not in possession of power and wealth.   This we will see manifest more blatantly as our current wave of resistance to austerity grows in strength and confidence.  Our view is as the internationalist writer and fighter George Orwell put it: 

“When I see an actual flesh-and-blood worker in conflict with his natural enemy, the policeman, I do not have to ask myself which side I am on.”

Article by Dreyfus

The Tanks Roll East

For the first time in 70 years, western battle tanks are rumbling eastwards at a cost of a $3 billion bonanza for the military industrial complex, to distract from the allegations of ‘trickle up’ corruption uniting the Zelensky and Sunak regimes.

At home, a million workers endure the hardship of strikes in preference to the poverty of capitulation, whilst in Ukraine the combined casualty figures for our butchered class now ranges from a conservative 200,000 to a concealed 400,000.

The figures in both cases are staggering by contemporary standards in the ‘developed’ world, though sadly not surprising to revolutionists who have never stopped predicting it throughout the reign of capitalism.

The stalemate on both fronts, on the battlefield abroad and the class struggle at home, is soon to break in the spring thaw of ice and the frustration at restraint.  The two conflicts portrayed as related only in the unavoidable impact on us, are different expressions of one war between the rich boss class and us as workers with no resources but our labour. 

A chancellor misplaces £5 million in tax and the BBC favours a friend of the PM here, while a deputy leader and a minister in Ukraine siphon off international aid.  Is either such a contrast to Putin’s kleptocratic dictatorship?

Putin might be less mithered by scrutiny or opinion, but he can’t ignore the full prison cells, the near million draft dodgers nor an active opposition that has led to nearly 80 attacks nationwide on recruitment centres and military infrastructure by class struggle militants since the invasion began.

Unity in our class at home is growing through struggle, mutual respect and solidarity, as it is growing throughout Europe in resistance to making us pay for wartime austerity, such as the national French strikes to raising the pension age. 

Splits amongst our rulers are being exposed.  In Britain, tested loyalties at government level and discord over how to resolve the strikes; in Ukraine, the oligarchs fighting the political struggle for power; in the Western alliance over how to preserve post war trade with Russia.

In Russia itself, there is conflict between the once secure military establishment and the ‘court favourites’ in the Wagner group.  If those knives aren’t sharp enough, Putin’s inner circle will we wondering where to moor their yachts or send their kids to school if all bridges burn.

Every crack and wound of theirs is an opportunity we must ruthlessly exploit.  Every new weakness is our opportunity.  Every strike we make is a blow to corrupt power at home and against their war.  The front line here is the picket line, the occupation, the civil unrest, the coordination of resistance. 

The war is not coming – it is here and escalating.  The peace movement wins with victory on the home front!

Article by Dreyfus

Notes from the Picket Line #2

AnarCom joined the first day of the nurses picket outside Manchester’s world famous hospital The Christie today.  Despite the noisy and continuously tooting car horns in solidarity, discussion was widespread.

 With a turnout of around 70 for the 8am start it continued in high spirits through the day averaging around 30 at any one time.  Mainly striking Christie’s staff but also nurses from other locations on their day off and other workers and well-wishers showing solidarity.  Our ‘picket line solidarity’ stickers proved popular with sheets being taken and shared around. 

Nurses we spoke too weren’t just striking for the NHS and better patient care, as the Union’s sanitised official version goes, but for themselves and each other, fed up of low morale, over work, under pay and being cold and increasingly vulnerable to debt and hardship.

“Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!”

Russia trumpets victory in Soledar – a name translated as ‘gift of salt’.  A town no more than a dot on a landscape that once held 10,000 residents, primarily working in the salt mining industry.  Slightly smaller than the old ex-mining town of Bargod in the Welsh valleys. Thousands of workers have died in a deadly Stalingrad cosplay for dust and rubble. The strategic significance is negligible. The significant consequence is disproportionate in its dramatic escalation.

The desperate Putin military machine will accept any portrayal of victory no matter how small, after 6 months of abject failure piled on retreat just weeks before the war’s first anniversary.  It also pilots a resurrected military project of franchising out imperialist conquest to private capital in the form of the Wagner Group.

Once a small elite of experienced military adventurers that could grace any Bond film, it has become a ruthless and desperate army of violent criminals promised riches and freedom in exchange for unquestioned obedience and sacrifice.  Now their estimated 40,000, accounting for a quarter of effective Russian combat forces, has become a law unto itself with the political implications that go with it, like Caesar letting in the barbarians to protect it from barbarism.

The value to Putin is clear, their desperate dead is not officially a Russian body count and more than that, this paid mob are not bound by the so called ‘rules of war’. Atrocity has been privatised and not a government issue.  A successful model of colonial expansion in the 17th-19th centuries.

This onslaught, aided by an estimated $1 billion worth of 2,400 Shadad (meaning ‘Witness’) drones from Iran’s blood-soaked Islamist regime, demonstrates the unholy nature of barrel scraping before escalation.

The West has recognised Russian weakness for the opportunity it offers.  Rather the defeat them, leaving a vengeful adversary in intact, Russia can be bled, impotently, to death.  The piecemeal upgrading of Ukrainian military technology – always sufficient to avoid defeat but never enough to win – now has added tanks. 

No longer Soviet T72 leftovers from the Poles or the Czechs (backfilled but the UK and US with our sophisticated yet outdated upgrades) but 14 British Challenger 2’s.  Insufficient in themselves but lifting the escalation taboo, anticipating a Europe wide tithe that could see around 300 first line (primarily the ubiquitous German Leopard) tanks equalising ground forces as the war grinds on.  The aim is prolongation not end, though when that happens, Western capital plans to be the victor in every sense.

As the stakes are raised, crisis ridden Iran has decided to shackle itself to Putin’s fate, squaring another circle for Western imperialism.  Russia is believed to be paying with technology not just cash for this alliance, just at the point Iran’s nuclear program reaches critical mass. 

While it’s workers revolt, the Mullah’s seek to create a unifying external crisis by waving a red flag at bullish markets eying their downfall.  It would be hard to imagine that Israel, so long eager for a preemptive strike and emboldened by its new nationalist government, is still being kept on as tight a leash by its military underwriter, the USA.

At home we get colder and poorer, in line with our fellow workers either side of the war’s frontiers.  The war is meant to distract us from our rulers abuse as much as it is in Russia and Iran. 

Our hope lies neither in the success of millionaire Zelensky’s fire sale of his country’s resources to western bankers than it does in mullahs or authoritarian dictators.  The conflict escalates towards our annihilation with every victory and defeat on the battlefield. 

Our victory lies in the defeat of everyone planning their fortunes on the corpses of our class.  We keep on about the war because it is always aimed at us, by bombs or poverty they scrabble for riches from our lands and our labour, our picket lines are a tank trap against their plans.  At home and abroad we have to refuse their call for unity in the national interest.  Our interests are only internationalist, against boss’s greed, robbery, militarisation and crises, whatever the side of their frontiers we find ourselves. Their war is stepping up, our resistance through class war must too.

Article by Dreyfus


Kropotkin Community Garden is located in Mpigi district, in central Uganda, on 6 acres. It is organic, free from pesticides and fertilizers, with 3 inter-cropping planting seasons. Crops grown are sweet potatoes, kale, maize, soya beans, cabbage, passion fruits and beans.

The food feeds victims of gender-based violence and orphans at the nearby ShelterMi Safehouse & Orphanage, with surplus sold to pay tuition fees and buy school supplies for the orphans.  

Oloo Livingstone – director of the garden – says

“I find the works of Peter Kropotkin most interesting especially his Mutual Aid: A factor of Evolution. His model if adopted in Africa would propel development and improve the quality of life in our societies.  We are excited to put into action his ideas to help our communities.”

Kropotkin Community Garden needs organic fertilizers, seeds for soybeans, cow peas, maize, and passion fruit, and it wants to expand an additional 4 acres.

Original article from Mutual Aid Institute –

New Year – Old Tricks

In the red heat of the greatest strike wave in 50 years, the Trade Union bosses walk once again into a trap choreographed by the state and its capitalist masters. 

We warned about this in November when the RMT, without a mandate from its members, paused it’s successfully mounting actions on the ‘promise’ of meaningful talks.  That con effectively bought a month’s breathing space for the then reeling rail industry.

In the state’s latest trick to buy time for training up more army strike breakers and introducing a ‘sack not clap’ essential workers bill, almost every active sector has found an open door for a cozy chat with their respective government overlords.  All later emerging claiming disappointment or insult.

Both sides knew, the government had been very clear, that only productivity, not wages, would be on the table.  However insulted or disappointed union leaders profess to be, they have actively served the bosses propaganda agenda!

The months of sacrifice by hundreds of thousands of workers hasn’t been for the right to access the top table, but to win against the onslaught on our communities, wages and terms and conditions. What the unions are demonstrating is their inability, if not unwillingness, to meet the needs of our class.

With a million workers predicted to be on strike by February, 2023 should be a new year of renewed commitment and militancy!  Workers are clearly up to the task, but their ‘representatives’ are feeding the government narrative of listening, caring but constrained by crises not of their making.  A reason for us all to be quiet and on the same side – it worked so well when their hive queen died in September.

Our eyes must remain on the prize despite the unions obsequious demonstrations of weakness. We are in a unique situation.  We are all being brought together not just by assault but through our struggle against it. 

Everyone knows someone impacted by Covid, everyone knows someone who’s too cold, everyone knows someone who’s going hungry, and everyone knows someone striking or thinking about it. 

We are usually manipulated to not see how much we have in common.  Now though, reality is asserting itself above the spin.  We are not isolated individuals but a community of shared experience, need and action.  Nothing in our response says we are failing or getting weaker.  On the contrary, our community of resistance and solidarity is growing. 

Every day of implied concession feeds our bosses, not us.  The shameless groveling masquerade and humiliation of the organised Trade Union leaderships should be called out for what it is, cowardice bordering on collaboration, in effect if not intent.

More and more of our class are fighting back, each worker is recognising their struggle in their solidarity with another.  The government is mobilising not conceding and will soon confront us with the challenge of criminality – where we don’t already face it through hunger and extortion. 

Trust your class, not your Union leaders with their eyes over their shoulders on their bureaucratic corporate interests.  Spread the word, spread the struggle, spread the solidarity – build a unity of resistance in strength.

By Dreyfus

Anarchist and Radical Bookfairs

The ACN will be attending as many bookfairs as we can. So far we are confirmed at Sheffield and Bradford. Unfortunately we cannot make the Weston Super Mare one.


Weston Super Mare

Following the success of the first radical bookfair in WSM, we have set a date to co-host again with the wonderful team at North Somerset LGBT+ Forum on Sunday 12th Feb, 11am to 4pm.

Come and meet activist groups in the South West, worker unions, buy new and second-hand books by underrepresented authors. Taking place in two separate venues which are 1 min walk apart. #radicalbookfair #lgbthistorymonth #workersrights #equityandinclusion #housing


Manchester: TBC

Appeal: Days of international solidarity with deserters

The war in Ukraine continues with all the negative consequences for much of the world. However, acts of desertion and draft evasion also continue, which, if widespread, could lead to the end of the war. Anarchists from the Central European region are therefore publishing this call to organise active support for deserters. Wherever we live, let us make every other day a day of international working-class solidarity and resistance against the war. Let us organise in workplaces, schools and streets to strengthen the influence of desertions. Let us fight for dignified conditions for all who refuse to serve as a cannon fodder in the inter-imperialist war.

At least 200,000 people are fleeing Russia to escape Putin’s military mobilisation, and tens of thousands more are avoiding mobilisation in Ukraine. Yet some voices claim that “the number of deserters is so negligible that it is strange to even begin to talk about it.” These cynical attempts to “make invisible” people who choose not to serve in the army, to defect or to emigrate for political reasons, must be opposed. Their voices must be heard and practical help must be given.
Anti-war speeches do not yet have the subversive power needed to stop the war, which is why it is necessary to create conditions that make it easier for other people considering a desertion to move from reflection to action. It is not a question of standing on the front line between the tanks of both armies and thinking that this will make the soldiers lay down their arms. It is about achieving the conditions at the international level that ensure that deserters can safely defect and live in another country without a risk of prosecution and social stigmatisation.

At present, opponents of the war in Russia and Ukraine have almost nowhere to go. They are trapped between national borders by their ‘own’ governments, while neighbouring countries refuse to accept them and provide them with decent material conditions. If people’s choices remain limited to the options of ‘either being forced to serve in the army or face persecution’, we can hardly expect an increase in desertions. It is necessary to achieve the opening of borders not only for civilian refugees, but also for deserters from the armies on both sides of the war line. This is precisely what can significantly weaken the dynamics of war.

But this will never be done by negotiation with the various governments which are only the local minions of the world capital state, nor will it be done by a social-democratic call to “make concessions in the area of migration policy”. Our only weapon for us, the proletarians, is the class struggle, it is the mobilization in the streets, it is the sabotage of the economy, and it is the direct action against permanent war… It is then, and only then, that the frightened ruling class is forced to let go, which will never constitute for us the goal of the struggle but only a moment from which new offensives must be carried out against the whole of this world of misery and war…

After all, the proclamations of politicians criticising the aggression of the Russian army are an expression of hypocrisy whereas they refuse to share material conditions and resources with people who refuse to serve in the army. And besides, why and how would they act otherwise, these worthy representatives of the bourgeois order!? It is necessary to stand consistently against Putin’s aggressors, as well as against the statesmen of other countries who, through their own policies, allow the army to retain its war potential. It is the governments of the countries in which we live that effectively make it more difficult to desert, and thereby they contribute to the continuation of the war.

Those who are concerned about saving lives should be thinking about how to weaken the fighting capacity of armies, how to get soldiers off the front lines, how to get them to disobey, how to motivate them to use their weapons against those who force them to go to war. Let us think about this and organise direct actions that will turn these considerations into concrete results.


Link to original blog