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Occupied London

April 3rd, 2007 · post by anon · Make a comment


Why did you decide the world needed another radical journal?
The world has plenty of radical journals but London has very few. Also despite the (even temporary) spring of groups and activities of anti-authoritarian/ anarchist nature, the London activist scene has largely abstained from using the word ‘anarchist’ to describe itself. Using the a-word in the journal’s title was a deliberate provocation, a bid to remind people who we are, where we are coming from and how we could potentially still pose a threat to the capital and the State; or for that matter, that we should at least keep trying! The journal’s main title (Voices of Resistance from Occupied London) is also provocative in purpose, aiming to incite some thinking: Do you really live in a free country? Is your everyday condition that ‘normal’? And how much worse would your life be in an occupied city? You might be surprised…

Finally: like elsewhere, London and the UK have some extraordinarily disconnected communities of activists and academics with the latter often only claiming to be part of or ‘represent’ the former. This journal aims to bridge the gap to whatever degree possible, but with action always in favour of theory: the two need to come together yes, but for us the priority of action is unquestionable. We’ve read enough and we can read some more, but it really is time we did something!

Can you give a brief intro to the journal and what it plans to cover?
When we recently described the journal to a friend as “an anarchist take on the city” he responded by saying that “anarchists used to take over the city, now they can only take it on!” Sadly that’s true but it doesn’t mean that things cannot change. We aim to focus largely on issues of urban control, on elements of contemporary urban life that crunch individual and social freedoms. We also aim to have many contributions from friends and comrades ‘abroad’, which is where we’d start from in answering the final question:

‘Resistance’ seems to have slackened in London in the past couple of years, or moved into social centres, why do you think that is? How can we change it?
It’s not necessarily helpful to think of grassroots resistance in London as a fading thing of the past – it’s more like a wave with its highs and lows; while we are undoubtedly on a low right now it does not necessarily mean it should be that hard to turn things over. This is where our existing and future links with our comrades ‘abroad’ could come so handy: There must be a way to take advantage of London’s extraordinary flux of people from our global movement, constantly entering and leaving the city, each with their own tales and experiences of resistance. Find a way to solidify their knowledge and galvanize the in between us links and we could be close to creating a truly promising social condition…

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