Friday, 16 January 2015

Operation Pandora, UK Version.

     Today, Friday, 16 January, is a day of international solidarity with the anarchists in Spain being harassed and arrested by the Spanish government's Operation Pandora. However, like I said, this ideology of repression against anarchists is not confined to Spain. Here in the UK, the anarchist community around the Bristol area is at the receiving end of a UK version of "Operation Pandora". I have no doubt what so ever, that this will spread across the country. The state will always, first try to silence those most vociferous in their critique of this rotten, stinking, unjust system of power and corruption, they are seen as the greatest threat to its monopoly of power and violence. Stand up in solidarity for all those who see this cancer called capitalism as a blight on humanity. Solidarity has no borders.
       The vast majority of Bristol's anarchist community aren't like this. With their status as queen-and-country-hating tabloid pariahs, few people would be aware of any difference between different anarchist groups. But their methods, goals, and targets differ radically. Groups such as the Anarchist Federation (Afed) and Solidarity Federation (Solfed), which constitute a majority of the scene in the UK are involved in open, public-facing, class-based community work—handing out leaflets, helping workers who go on strike, that kind of thing—rather than acts of fly-by night vandalism.
      But these distinctions don't seem to count for much as far as the police are concerned. Over the past few months, activists from across the anarchist community say the police have been targeting them arbitrarily and indiscriminately. They say individual activists have been harassed, houses raided, workplaces visited, and arrests made without charges.
      The police maintain that they are searching for suspects linked to the IAF, but activists say they are targeting anyone that publicly identifies as an anarchist. And they say it's getting worse by the day. For the last week I've been talking to different members of the anarchist scene in the West Country and the impression I've got is of a community under siege.
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