Sunday, December 12, 2010

Some more DayX3 Music Notes

I know it seems trivial to focus on the music played in the recent riotous demonstrations in London and elsewhere against education cuts, student fee rises, and the scrapping of the Education Maintenance Allowance for low income 16 to 18 year olds. Still plenty of other people are commenting on every other aspect of it, and for me what protest sounds like in 2010 is as important as what it looks like.

So having already written on some of the sounds on the December 9th demonstration and the Battle of Millbank, here's some more notes on the subject.

- Dan Hancox has put together a 2010 Riot Playlist of tracks he heard being played in and around Parliament Square on December 9th. Tinie Tempah, Rihanna, Princess Nyah and Sean Paul all feature, while in the comments others add Rage Against the Machine (Killing in the Name of) and Polynomial-C by Aphex Twin. Dummy mag has turned this into a Spotify playlist.

- I've noted previously that the Star Wars 'Imperial March' theme, also known as the Darth Vader tune has cropped up several times in the current movement. I've been down to the Goldsmiths occupation a couple of times in New Cross and couldn't help but notice that some of the people involved had put together a short film using guess which tune?

- Another track I heard being played at the demo on Thursday was Liar Liar by Captain Ska. It was being played from the fairly dismal National Union of Students bus on the embankment (footage here). It is an explicitly anti-cuts anthem, is this what Dan Hancox had in mind in his recent call to arms for musicians to make some noise about the cuts?:


Anonymous said...

(part 1)

Never mind the music shit. Sound systems should be smashed just as much as press cameras should be. The following is much more relevant...

Our old enemy The Sun have set up a grass line for people to call if they think can identify people in the 14 photos.

“Do you know these riot suspects? If so call our newsdesk on 0207 782 4104″.

Let’s add that to our list of target numbers, comrades.

I am getting flashbacks to 1990 (Operation Carnaby) and the 1980s (lots of Trots, doing stuff like calling the TUC to call a general strike – which I never thought I’d see again). A big difference this time is that the main lefty front organisations aren’t united in condemning violence on the part of the protestors. This is remarkable!! The only possible reason is that they are scared things might get out of their control if they do. And since their leaders’ main concern is precisely to keep things under control, I suspect they (and those who give them their orders) know bloody well what they’re talking about. For the first time for many many years I have a little bit of optimism. It’s small-scale, OK, but our power is building.

It’s interesting how Cameron has publicly poured shit on all protestors, not just on a “violent minority”, and on their parents too. Trying to gee up the right-wing masses of petty-bourgeois, Daily Mail readers, cops, not to mention most of the bourgeoisie itself who are full of extreme racist-style hatred against the lower orders. On 30 May 1968, the French right wing put a million people on a demonstration in Paris. The message? That they were itching for a fight, for a bloodbath. (They didn’t get it, but they did get a general election the next month, which the Gaullists won).

Could a massive right-wing mobilisation happen here? Not yet. But after a few terror attacks, pinned on Muslims or whoever? It could. We can be sure that the bosses are scared…perhaps more so than at any time since the 1970s.

Another thing that’s different is that the Labour Party is nowhere. Sure, most of the miners hated Kinnock’s guts in 1984-85, and everyone knew the party did fuck-all to support the miners, but the Labour Party still had some clout, calling for shit like “one more push to unseat the Tories at the next election”. Today, it’s becoming increasingly obvious to a large part of the population that this battle will be won and lost on the streets. That too, I’ve never known before.
(part 2 follows)

Anonymous said...

(part 2)

Kettling, which has been a successful tactic for some time, has now failed. Most previous demos have mostly had politicos, or politico followers, on them. Sorry but these people are not especially imaginative. They are either militants, or they look to militants so that the militants (“old hands at demonstrating”) can show them what to do.

Now it’s different. Many many people on the recent demo were not politicos; nor were they people putting their toes in the water to see whether they want to become politicos. They were working class youth of undergraduate, sixth-former, college, and other varieties. Bullshit politico-heavy demonstrating is getting replaced with the real thing…over a few weeks which is turning out to be a long period of time in the sense that a lot is changing. At the next big demo, assuming it ain’t successfully stitched up beforehand (which is unlikely), kettling won’t work.

It’s true, the poll tax riot defeated the poll tax and brought down Thatcher. The first was great, the second was also great but didn’t achieve much because which pig does that job isn’t really important. But nobody saw the riot coming. This time there is a widespread expectation of a big confrontation. Let’s hope this centres on London…and that the focus gets put on taking over buildings – any buildings, all in one area. To go further than’68, people have to go as far as ’68 first… Announcing the ‘night of the barricades’ and then doing it…could set the world on fire once again… Taking over 10 acres of the West End or of the streets by Victoria Street (or anywhere in the centre of town!), and defending the area using barricades, could potentially lead much further than just attacking a few government buildings. Just think how the bosses would be shitting themselves after 12 hours, 24 hours, 36 hours, 2 days…

This time, there is increasing violence at demonstrations…and it’s not hard to see that sooner or later (probably sooner), there will be the big one.

The bosses are up for a big battle. Here’s the rub…it’s just like with the miners in 1984-85: if the students get smashed, we’re all going to get smashed. The students have been picked out as the first target. The bosses want to smash them and really rub their faces in the shit. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the cops kill a protestor or three at a demonstration in the near future.