Saturday, November 28, 2020

Reclaim the Streets: Bristol and Oxford 1997

A couple of reports from Mixmag magazine of Reclaim the Streets parties  in 1997-

'Police Seize Desert Storm Truck After Reclaim the Streets Party' (Mixmag. August 1997)

'A truck and equipment belonging to the Desert Storm sound system was seized and two of its occupants charged with conspiracy to cause a public nuisance after a Reclaim the Streets party in Bristol on June 21st. An exuberant-yet-peaceful march from Castle Park was followed by a four hour rave on a major dual carriageway with two sound system playing techno and jungle to between 400 (police estimate) and 1500 (RTS estimate) people... 

...trouble flared when mounted officers and dog handlers dispersed the remaining crowd. In the ensuing scuffles, 22 people were arrested for public order offences, criminal damage and assault... The Desert Storm truck was seized the following day, and the sound system is currently planning a series of benefit parties to replace its loss'.

'Reclaim the Streets party strikes in Oxford' (Mixmag, January 1998)

'Police have failed to stop an Oxford Reclaim the Streets party despite ugly clashes... protestors outflanked police and occupied the busy Cowley Road area on November 1st [1997]. A series of clashes arose as police attempted to seize a van containing the KSN sound system, but eventually police had to admit defeat and let the party continue. A five mile exclusion zone had been declared under 1994's Criminal Justice Act. Inspector David Whittaker said that his original intention had been to "prevent an obstruction of the road" but they had "obviously failed". According to RTS estimates, more than 1,000 people danced at the peak of the party. Three men were arrested for possession of cannabis... In Sydney, Australia, police adopted a more laidback approach as Enmore Road was blocked - and between 2,000 and 3,000 enjoyed a trouble-free day' 

See also:

Brixton Reclaim the Streets, June 1998

J18 Carnival Against Capital, Reclaim the Streets 1999


Thursday, November 26, 2020

Ultimate Leisure Workers Club

The Ultimate Leisure Workers Club is an interesting project based in Vilnius in Lithuania focused around the radical politics of clubs and parties:

'Insurgent workers’ minds and bodies turned u on dance-floors long ago, anticipating their liberation from the factory's mechanistic discipline. Clubs were sites that integrated political education and entertainment; social recovery and antagonistic social articulation. Then arrived the weekend, ripe with evening temptations, as both a working class victory and a bargain with capital for an ever more dutiful submission to the pains of the working week. Whether mere toxic retreats into a world of purchased pleasures serviced by instrumentalized hospitality workers; or as maddening aspirations toward collective self-abolition in the crushing beat of capitalist ruins, spaces of nightly leisure are energized by a social desire for what Kristin Ross calls communal luxury: a communistic drive for collective prosperity that capitalism recuperates and exploits.

The Ultimate Leisure Workers' Club hopes to draw from these political potentials, linking up with groups and individuals involved in the struggle to open new terrains for social liberation and communal joy in the night and beyond'.

They are holding an online assembly next week, and as part of it me and Christoph will be giving a talk:

The Club is the Centre of the Invention of New Needs: Dead by Dawn, 30 Nov 2020, 19h (UTC+2)

'Neil Transpontine and Christoph Fringeli will discuss the seminal Dead by Dawn parties held between (1994-1996) at the squatted 121 Centre at Railton Road Brixton. Crossing self-publishing, visual and sonic experimentation, exploratory theory, social spaces, new communications technologies and the emergence of ludic and networked politics, the Dead by Dawn parties were a catalyst for exploring a leisure time clawed back from the social compulsion to labour.

Christoph is the founder of Praxis Records and the editor of Datacide magazine for noise and politics. He was part of the collective responsible for Dead by Dawn. Neil Transpontine attended Dead by Dawn and has written about it for his blog History is Made at Night. He is a regular contributor to Datacide magazine'

Other speakers include Annie Goh, Kristin Ross, Agne Bagdzunaite, Mattin, Noah Bremer, Arnoldas Stramskas and Valda Stepanovaite. Full details here

For previous posts about Dead by Dawn see:

Dead by Dawn, Brixton 1994-6

More Dead by Dawn