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Take Back The City

category dublin | anti-capitalism | opinion/analysis author Sunday September 25, 2005 18:20author by W Report this post to the editors

The Party is over

Post Match analysis..

Yesterdays take back the city action, turned into the one thing we promised it would not be - Just another street party.
Although fun was had and it was a great laugh when things eventually fell together you would have to have had a fair amount
of cider inside you before you could convince yourself that it was the "working example of autonomy" that we had promised.
To be honest, as one of the people involved in organising, I feel that we fucked up.

There should have been open meetings and we should have been honest about what the plan was from the start.
People showed up to a party they had no part in organising and as such expected to be entertained,
to be spectators, how did we expect them to feel empowered? How did we expect them to be interested?
When we didn't even feel it necessary to ask them what they would like to do. What we were left with
yesterday was just a bunch of teenagers getting drunk and having a laugh in the street, it wasn't a threat to
the state, it wasn't pushing new ideas, it wasn't really doing anything.. it was about as radical as a goldfish.

"Take back the city" and "reclaim the streets" need to have some serious discussion about what they're actually
trying to achieve and really question if they're taking the right course of action. I really feel they're not. Instead of
building a real struggle, that is relevant to ourselves and the people all around us that deals with the oppressive nature of the state
and capitalism are we just going to continue dancing in the streets and having stand off's with the cops?

I propose that we call an open meeting to discuss yesterdays action and the tactics of R.T.S.

The party is over, let's start playing for real.

Solidarity!

author by wohpublication date Sun Sep 25, 2005 18:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I reckon the ratio of
instigators : engage.on.the.day : audience
was the same as at the height of the rts events

author by Damienpublication date Sun Sep 25, 2005 18:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Poster is quite right....the RTS event turned out to be a social event and achieved none of its political ambitions.

If anything it had a negative affect - it just irritated the public.

author by ('',)publication date Sun Sep 25, 2005 19:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I propose that we call an open meeting to discuss yesterdays action and the tactics of R.T.S.


I Agree...

author by dfpublication date Sun Sep 25, 2005 19:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"and having stand off's with the cops?"
The Cops?

Is that the cool kids term for Gardaí now?
Were they drinking "soda" too!?

The people at this rallies(For the MOST part,not all of them)know nothing about politics,or how things are run and just want to get pissed.Their idea of political is listening to Green Day.Fair play to those who want to make a difference,keep up your fight,but kick those fucking kids off the bus now,before they get near the wheel.

author by gramsci fanpublication date Sun Sep 25, 2005 19:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Open meeting would be a good idea - what is RTS for at this point and where do we want to go with it?

Woh is right - yesterday did just fine considering the numbers. RTS is political in and of itself (direct action - take over streets). Absolutely it could go further, but with a couple of hundred people how much can you do?

The small group action trying to block the eastbound quays was never likely to work with the numbers we had there (could probably have done it with the numbers we had on the May RTS, at least for a while) - by contrast people successfully dearrested the sound trolley.

Yes, it would be good to involve people more in thinking about where we can take this, and that would certainly help mobilise people (as it is I think a fair few of us turn up out of solidarity more than anything else). But it also needs to be linked into other struggles.

Ciaron from CW makes the point that there was no mention of Shannon - he could equally have said "why hold an RTS on the same day as the Shannon demo and the MPH march?" Yes we have a history of doing RTS on the Sat. of the car-free day, but if there isn't any more organised link in to e.g. Critical Mass, communities opposing roads (Tara campaign maybe?), struggles over liveable space in the city, etc. then taking that particular day becomes a bit ritualistic.

The linkup with the rooftop gig was no bad thing, and it does make sense to connect in with people in that subculture. But we need other links - particularly with other direct action campaigns (it could easily have been held so as to blockade an appropriate garage, like) and with inner-city communities (the Gardiner St and Dominick St ones were good from that POV).

OK, nuff said. An open meeting would be a good way forward. But "just another street party" may be frustrating if you'd hoped for more (as I think lots of us did) - it's still better than nothing.

author by ('',)publication date Sun Sep 25, 2005 19:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is an interesting discussion.

Anyone got any pics from yesterday?

I was quite dissapointed to see that the event didn't feauture on the news or in ANY national newspapers. The one last year which wasn't as good as yesterday, was on the front page of The Irish Times!

author by Disko Kid - BYCpublication date Sun Sep 25, 2005 19:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Kicking kids off the bus? Did you go up and talk to any of the kids about what they felt or are you just making a blind assumption? You'll get nowhere with your envisioned elitist movement.

On the positive side ysterday was better than siting at home on a saturday.

However yesterday failed in its plan and back up plan and as such lost all of its intended political significance.

The only inspiring thing of the whole day was a local kid from the city who did 2 raps at the rooftop gig telling me afterwards it was the best experience of his life.

author by tompublication date Sun Sep 25, 2005 20:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

that was the only inspiring thing?

What about when the crowd went through the shopping centre?

What about when the two seperate groups met up in a jubilant explosion of joy?

What about when we partied late into the night in the civic offices and then in portobello?

What about when everyone began picking up barricades and carrying them with them?

Great day, well done to all.
(pity the rooftop group took so long getting there)

author by ('',)publication date Sun Sep 25, 2005 20:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hey, what happend in portobello? I left soon after we got to wood quay.

author by rinagaeilgepublication date Sun Sep 25, 2005 20:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Things were fucked up big time time but I have to agree with tom, cos it was a good buzz in that way. To many people there just getting pissed and taking the piss. We have to organise and get ready for the Revolution and be prepared for any kind of shit. Is de réir a chéile a thogtar an chaisleán

author by Paul Baynespublication date Sun Sep 25, 2005 21:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

My bag was stolen at Wood Quay - I found it later with all my stuff taken out and strewn around the place. Missing was my basketball runners (no, they're not Nike...), and my gear (and I've a match tomorrow), my naggin of brandy, and a CD with installation software for a WI FI card.

No doubt this was a right-on anti-capitalist action. It has my full support. I'd love to thank the activists in person, if anyone has any information about them...

author by D'otherpublication date Sun Sep 25, 2005 22:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

First up, fair play for actually having an objective stance on an event you were involved in organising, half the time when people try to raise a healthy critique around these things someone assumes they are at the butt of the critique as individuals rather than the aproach thats taken.

When asking what the role of RTS is, well its a bit of a dud questions to begin with isn't it? It was always a tactic, and only ever an organisation that saw multiple generations of activists run through it with little coherancy between the lot of them. As a tactic it was dependent upon a culture that existed in Britain ten years ago, it was reliant upon the fact that people would mobilise for a party without having to know the exact location. So it was the utilisation of an existant mode of organistion among sectors of youth by politicos who wanted to organise an city centre actions that would bring the critique of the rural roads campaigns to the urban area. It was also around a time where the state was launching a wave of repression around dance culture and the mass mobilisation of youth it incurred. So RTS answered the concerns of youth by defying attempts by the state to stop these mobilisations and it latched a political edge on to them that was centred around the car. Now that rave culture consists of Spirit Nite Club on a mass level and a few head bangers on pills at a house party where everyone else is listening to the Killers. Going to RTS from the beginnings here, I've noticed that I can no longer be guaranteed to see most of my peer group at them, which was something I did in the past. And it was probably this training in political protest that was a factor that resulted in the mobilisation of such large numbers in May 2004. But RTS now as tactic - its ten years out of date, and as an ideology we are no longer in the era (..or country) of the anti-roads campaigns - so whats the point even discussing it?

On the other hand, the Take Back The City approach was an attempt at moving beyond RTS towards a strategy of engaging in the creation of "autonomous social spaces", in the process we were to see a "rupture between the dominant reality" and the way we live our lives or something. Now I really don't know what any of this means, apart from it sounds nice. However I do know where the sentiment is coming from, and I broadly agree with it.

If we are to move anywhere we are seriosuly going to have to take a breather for a while and spend some time thinking about where exactly are we as a movement and how do we relate to those which we seek to engage with on a political level and mobilise behind our ideas. On an aesthetic level the posters still hankered after the RTS/anti-capitalist era. That also reflected that there is something of stalling in the poltical thought process of where we go as a movement after the anti-capitalist period. While the actual idea for the reclaimation was dependent upon the mobilisation of a body that just does not appear to be there or interested anymore. That lack of interest probably comes from the fact that RTS as a generational thing is not answering the concerns this mileu are now facing as they get older.

The reason for abbandoning the original plan, highlights one thing that there are substantial issues of the use of space in this city. The mutiple postings on the net explaining why the plan didn't go ahead also show that large sections of the people plugged into this stuff are not behaving in the most socially conscious manner.

If we are going to do similar things in the future, then we are going to have to take a political approach. RTS relied on the cultural ones out of rave culture. The political one actually means being open with people about the issues you want to address, and privileging this attempt to engage with people on a discursive level over a substantial period of time is more valuable than the multitude of events we organise to occupy our time as activists. We are dangerously becoming cliches of ourselves, and our movement will suffer as a result.

http://www.ocap.ca/ocapnews/pope_squat.html

author by Neil Mooneypublication date Sun Sep 25, 2005 22:49author email starchy_ramone at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

"The people at this rallies(For the MOST part,not all of them)know nothing about politics,or how things are run and just want to get pissed.Their idea of political is listening to Green Day."

I never knew that a street party was an elitist thing. Surely anyone who wants to come along and join in an act of civil disobediance for the sake of civil disobedience can do so without feeling unwelcome. Boring people with your politics and trying to preach about why their way of life is wrong won't get you anywhere.
Why would someone want to come along to hear about how wrong they are? Be more welcoming.

author by Paul Ryanpublication date Mon Sep 26, 2005 02:40author email whiteraven at amuro dot netauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sorry if I'm going a bit off topic here.....

I'm gonna put something together about the take back the city demo. Agit Prop music video type thing. I assume people want their faces blurred/blacked out?

I'd like to get peoples opinions on this. On one hand there was no property damage or major confrontational tactics and the one guy who was arrested was released after a short period but on the other hand it was a small enough crowd so it would be easy to pick people out. There was one Garda filming but all he got was people dancing. My general rule is that if I see anyone during the day wearing a mask anytime I see them unmasked in my video I black out their face and of course if there is footage of anything "interesting" then its blurred faces all round.

The confusing/grey area is when I have footage of people who were masked up earlier partying. I think it would look really weird to see someone dancing in a crowd with a blurred face...it would focus attention on that person.

What do ye think?

author by unburialpublication date Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fair play to you W for admitting that things werent organised the way they should have been... its rare you hear any left political activist admit they were wrong, say sorry, or make friends after a row.

Building on your 'goldfish' metaphor... there seems to be a bit of a 15 second memory condition prevalent among people at RTS actions, especially on Saturday and Mayday this year. You always read about anarchists saying that there needs to be connections to other struggles, how its a movement of the imagination, and how anarchism is all about creativity and spontaneity - yet when it comes to RTS, all memory of whats happening beyond the edge of the drunken dancing crowd seems to vanish.

The Mayday RTS took place near Busaras, while five minutes walk up the road, Top Oil (who refuel the US warplanes in Shannon) happily operated all day long. Why was the party not held there? Did people suddenly forget about all the antiwar stuff they had been involved in not that long ago? Instead of maybe focusing the issue back onto the war issue, instead there was a furore about defacing the Connolly statue with graffiti. On Saturday, when the building occupation didnt happen, why was the party not moved further down the quays, in front of the Statoil garage, one of the companies involved in the Rossport pipeline? This would have been a strong anti-car culture statement, and also even demonstrated libertarian solidarity with the five guys in prison, as well as set a good example of how to do a blockade as an effective action, instead of just marching to the Dail next Saturday. Both of these are very simple actions, yet when people get giddy, the beer comes out and the sound system kicks in - you can pretty much forget about people thinking about how to better the action. Woohoo! Look at us! We're drinking and dancing! In the street!

Sorry, I'm getting smart-arsed now. But Saturday just made me think again that there's zero imagination and ideas in the anarch/anti-cap movement in Dublin any more. If people are rating a sudden turn of the march into the Irish Life Mall as an example of the spontaneity of anarchist thought, then you're right, the people you're fighting against have absolutely nothing to worry about.

author by wohpublication date Mon Sep 26, 2005 12:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So pursuing the DIY ethic as these guys do week in week out is not political enough for you?

author by anarchaeologist - DGN (personal capacity)publication date Mon Sep 26, 2005 12:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

For the time being, here's something political happening next Saturday, to show solidarity with 5 men in prison for refusing to give an undertaking not to use direct action.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=72167
author by missed that onepublication date Mon Sep 26, 2005 12:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Having gone to most of the rts events in the last five years or so i completely missed that one, didn't even know it was happening, I was about town and when i heard there was some sort of protest going on i thought i was just some shinners stragglers from their big march having some sort of protest. Maybe im just not as vigilant as before but i completely missed that one, it was certainly under the radar.

author by dunkpublication date Mon Sep 26, 2005 13:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

4 days of positive actions and events to promote a healthier alternative to todays unsustainable and somewhat boring state:

thr- criticall mass @ 40 turned up at very short notice

fri- seomra spraoi arts night, homeless network meeting, theatre of opressed workshop c/o raul from brazil + other stuff incl healthy vegan food part of which came from (y)our community garden in dolphins barn (half year old in 3 weeks)
@ 60 people at arts night ?

sat- take back the city, good fun, could have been better, always good to meet up and celebrate again- good to see civic zone being used as it should be - for the citizens to use it as they wish
and there was much love and play from the clowns

sun- the monthly dublin greenway cycle (3 people) and a garden day in dolphins barn which was really great @ 20 people over day, much work done
also another garden was visited and plans put in place for its opening next weekend

so FOR a healthier life
and from the government - another abismal international car free day

Mr Roche called on the public to make the 'right choice and truly make a difference'.
http://www.rte.ie/news/2005/0922/carfree.html

we are doing that and will continue to do so - things are definately growing
some were upset that sat coincided with shannon and make partition history - but surely it is a sign that things are indeed improving in the activist community when there are 3 major(ish) demos/ events on the same day

all in all, thanks to all from all angles who are doing stuff to build the alternative and who are making it more of a reality

we are winning and more people are realising that and helping make it happen

funny world

author by nespublication date Mon Sep 26, 2005 13:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

i came a long way expecting an rts that would be in a squat..great i thought, maybe they'll be able to hold it afterwards too and do stuff there and that would be great..dublin seems to need a social centre..

i watched people working towards this event that looked like death, only having one or two hours sleep a night: completely wasted but still impassioned..and that was beautiful.

ok so it didnt happen in a squat.. but it was still great..sorry to get crimethinc on your asses but fun is revolutionary..also the openness of the street party encouraged others to join in as it was more visibla than it might have been inside a squatted building, i met quite a few people that had just been passing and wanted to find out what was going on, and had a great time. The traffic was also stopped!

There was loads going on this weekend in dublin and there seems to be a lot going on in general..inspirational people are working hard to achieve their dreams and don't need dissing..if you have a problen with how it went, yeah be constructive learcn from it and go out and do it yourself how you see it happening..the revolution wont happen with one event and one person-

on that note being 'exclusive' isnt always a bad thing. working with friends and people you know well to achieve something great has massive advantages, in britain it seems that it would be impossible to plan an 'open' rts..and i think people understand the neccessitiy for that- and people can become involved in different ways other than organising and still have an important role- flyering, playing music, bringing water, being the one that shouts 'this way' just in time...

dont worry about being closed with certain aspects of organisiation..and those who are pissed off that they weren't involved why not get some friends together and organise something too..like i said the more stuff happening the merrier...

thank you for a truly amazing and inspiring time..

author by damianpublication date Mon Sep 26, 2005 20:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors



The public will eventually come over to our side - "You can't make an omelet without cracking a few eggs".

author by Aikonpublication date Tue Sep 27, 2005 00:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

is there gunna be a dedicated page for the pics or they gunna get lashed up here?
thank you please.

author by Billpublication date Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

are more along the lines of what the governors want than of what they fear.

author by Michaelpublication date Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

RTS as it is celebrated in Dublin is no different really than what the powers-that-be would have you all doing with your spare time: Going into town, spending your money on music, accessories and drink, and providing a bit of a 'wild' spectacle for the tourists/visiting investors to Dublin.

author by Epublication date Tue Sep 27, 2005 17:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi Tom,
can you elaborate on your points please?

What is "inspiring" about
- a crowd pushing through the shopping centre?
- two groups meeting in a street party?
- partying "late into the night"?
- people walking off with barricades (to the best of my knowledge you can see this most Saturday nights in Temple Bar)?

It does sound like a great laugh... but I'm missing the "inspiration"?


(btw: hats off to the original poster for making so brave an admission and moving to start a mature debate on what exactly RTS is about. Because if it's about getting pissed and having a laugh (and, don't get me wrong, I'm all for pissed laughs); that would really be a shame)

author by ---publication date Wed Sep 28, 2005 01:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What is "inspiring" about
- a crowd pushing through the shopping centre?
- two groups meeting in a street party?
- partying "late into the night"?
- people walking off with barricades (to the best of my knowledge you can see this most Saturday nights in Temple Bar)?

In the words of the Solidarity group: "Meaningful action, for revolutionaries, is whatever increases the confidence, the autonomy, the initiative, the participation, the solidarity, the equalitarian tendencies and the self-activity of the masses and whatever assists in their demystification. Sterile and harmful action is whatever reinforces the passivity of the masses, their apathy, their cynicism, their differentiation through hierarchy, their alienation, their reliance on others to do things for them and the degree to which they can therefore be manipulated by others - even by those allegedly acting on their behalf."

In a world where not only our labour is commodified and sold back to us but so is our leisure and the space we live in, anti-capitalist action must extend outside the walls of the workplace and into the streets we walk on and the songs we dance to. Posing the alternative between what is and what could be, between profit based social-organsation and joy based social-organsation can be done in many ways. RTS/TBC is just one of them.

Dancing against the State and Capital is just as valid as marching against the State and Capital.

Related Link: http://www.prole.info/articles/asweseeit.html
author by guydebordisdeadpublication date Wed Sep 28, 2005 02:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

PROLE INFO!
PROLE INFO!

author by anarchobotpublication date Wed Sep 28, 2005 02:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"on that note being 'exclusive' isnt always a bad thing. working with friends and people you know well to achieve something great has massive advantages, in britain it seems that it would be impossible to plan an 'open' rts..and i think people understand the neccessitiy for that"

Eh... if you call yourself an anarchist, then organising a public event in an exclusive, secretive manner IS always a bad thing. That's why we hate trots...

I'm not here to attack the organisers of this particular event, RTS-style actions are always organised by some form of closed group who become the de facto leaders of the crowd on the day. It's obvious why this is the case (security issues and all that), but that doesn't justify it. If we can't find an effective middle ground between secretive, affinty group actions, in which the organisers are the sole participants, and mass actions organised in an open, transparent manner, then we should just stick to those forms of mobilising.

It's irrelevant how good the event is. Sure, some RTS events have been great. But as anarchists, the WAY we organise is more important than WHAT we organise. It's unacceptable that we ignore our basic principles for the sake of a good action. If we can't organise in a truly non-hierarchical way, how do we expect to convince others that anarchism works?!

"and people can become involved in different ways other than organising and still have an important role- flyering, playing music, bringing water, being the one that shouts 'this way' just in time..."

So people should carry out decisions they had no opportunity to contribute to? Sounds like day-to-day life under capitalism, the State etc...

author by sleepless botpublication date Wed Sep 28, 2005 05:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

is really asking for is a RTS! which is
* transparent
* accountable
with agreed budget and release of information to the public over a 30, 40, 60, 100 year length of time.
& about time. The public don't know if the t-shirts are value for money or not.
* & of course less utterly harmless trotty ducks.

author by robo-botpublication date Wed Sep 28, 2005 11:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

looks like there's a lot to discuss...fully support the proposal to have a public meeting in order to do that - but let's call one already..anyone got a suggestion, venue, day, etc?

author by Wpublication date Wed Sep 28, 2005 12:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I propose saturday the 8th?

and perhaps the WSM office or a more neutral place, any suggestions?

author by Epublication date Wed Sep 28, 2005 12:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Dancing against the State and Capital is just as valid as marching against the State and Capital."

In theory / on paper I agree with you, but... couldn't that arguement be used to justify any binge-drinking escapade. What is the *actual* difference between a crowd of drunken anarchists pushing through a shopping centre and a crowd of drunken football fans pushing through a shopping centre?

I'm sure both groups feel equally 'demassified' and more confident, and autonomous. I'm sure both groups feel they are participating in displaying solidarity with their group.

What is the difference for those groups? And what, do you think, is the difference in perception for those doing their shopping at the time?

...

I've done cultural studies courses too; give your own argument, not Marx or arguements about managed leisure time and open-air prisons.

author by Wpublication date Wed Sep 28, 2005 13:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

look, at the time of going into the centre nobody - not even the anarchists - were drunk.

You are being quite pedantic by focussing on the parts people said they enjoyed - if they enjoyed it then that's great - but we're looking at the totallity here.
Questioning the entire event and how we should function in future is the task at hand, please don't get side tracked into petty arguments and trying to belittle peoples genuine feelings that they were a part of something.

I hope if we get this meeting sorted then some of the people here will actually show up and ask these questions in real life.

Solidarity

W

author by Epublication date Wed Sep 28, 2005 13:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sorry, it wasn't my intention to belittle anyone. What I was hoping to do was agree with the orignal poster (yourself, I think?) in questioning what the event was "actually trying to achieve".

I think a street party where people enjoy themselves, cause no damage, and feel that they are genuinely part of some inspirational event should be applauded. I would, however, question its political achievements or aims.

author by nespublication date Wed Sep 28, 2005 16:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

anarchobot: yeah i know working with hundreds of people in a meeting deciding by consensus is definitely inspiring..ive done it and its been great, but ive also done it and its been shite..not because consensus decision making cant handle it but more because paranoia kicks in..then you think you're all just being paranoid and carry on..only to find out that you werent that paranoid after all and end up in some fuckin police cell after the police were all waiting for you..cos they were sat in that meeting afterall...

all im saying is that people see that organisation of specific details such as place, time, and even date can sometimes be left to a few people that trust each other. meetings can still be held that are open where other important tasks are taken on (as i said like publicity and outreach), yet for safety and effectiveness it is sometimes best to assign certain aspects of organisation to an affinity group that will feed into a larger group.

i only wish we lived in a world where we could be completely open and still be effective.

anyway it doesnt really matter..people drinking on the street, having a laugh, running through a shopping arcade might not be everyones idea of revolutionary action.but random fun and socialising in a way that is still radical (no matter how vaguely radical you think rts is) still enables to create a forum for discussion and meeting new people to organise with. The posts here show that people found this event inspiring and it has inspired lengthy discussion..dont think we could ever dis drinkin and chatting, afterall the best actions tend come out of chats in a pub..

author by noolypublication date Wed Sep 28, 2005 19:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

by Michael : "RTS as it is celebrated in Dublin is no different really than what the powers-that-be would have you all doing with your spare time: Going into town, spending your money on music, accessories and drink, and providing a bit of a 'wild' spectacle for the tourists/visiting investors to Dublin."

first of all, what music and accessories, second, the price of some cans isn't a huge investment compared to getting pissed in the coyote lounge or wherever people who live the lifestyle you're pointlessly alluding to go to, and third, are you seriously suggesting that a bunch of rowdy, drunk, dirty freaks and a guy in a PVC catsuit gyrating to raunchy pop music makes a positive impression on 'tourists/visiting investors'? what a completely shit argument to attempt to make.

author by dpublication date Wed Sep 28, 2005 19:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

..were made by all involved and all working groups.
Of particular concern to me was the fact that the vast majority of talking and organising at the meeting was done by a small amount of people, this is the mutual fault of both those people (and i was one) and the others who did not participate. There is no point in a 15 person group attending a meeting with only 3 people speaking and assuming responsibility for doing stuff. This is also the reason for the exhaustion that nes talked about. When a small affinity group put their lives into the project, they had literally nothing left to give on the day, hence responsibility falling upon a single organiser on the day (despite the fact that there was the rest of the group present). This is not fair on that person or the group and should never happen again.

Also worth noting is that the planned action eclipsed our understanding of how it shoulld be done. We rushed into doing this and it showed on the day. I think we need to have a stronger understanding of why are doing actions and how we can do them more effectively.

On a positive note, we did, and are learning from this. There is nothing that helps us to think so much as concrete mistakes, if we stay in the realm of theory and possible plans about potential actions, then its harder for us to understand the realities of organisation.

There is no need to assume that public and private actions are mutually exclusive. However, they do require a lot more thought than this one. Let's get going on organising this meeting.

author by Miss Strap On Anarchista USApublication date Thu Sep 29, 2005 00:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If dancing on the street is comparable or on a par to marching up and down in pointless trot like formation for the sake of it - then how much closer to the revolution does that bring us?

Don't lazily cut and paste from a defunct organisation in order to satisfy one particular statement outside of the context of the orginal qoute.

Solidarity also said
"There is a role for conscious revolutionaries. Firstly through personal involvement, in one's own life and where possible at one's own place of work. (Here the main danger lies in 'prolier than thou' attitudes, which lead people either to believe that there is little they can do if they are not industrial workers, or to pretend to be what they are not, in the false belief that the only relevant areas of struggle are in relation to industry.) Secondly, by assisting others in struggle, by providing them with help or information they are denied. (Here the main danger lies in the offering of 'interested help', where recruitment of the militant to the 'revolutionary' organization is as much an objective of the 'help' as is his victory in the struggle in which he is involved.) Finally, by pointing out and explaining the deep (but often hidden) relations between the socialist objective and what people are driven to do, through their own experiences and needs. (This is what we mean when we say revolutionaries should help make 'explicit' the 'implicitly' socialist content of many modern struggles.)"

So how do we put socialism on the agenda today? I'm sure some of you immediately balk at the term..

To be honest I'm shocked at the lack of debate around this Take Back The City action, a certain section of anarchist militants in Dublin put a substantial effort in to this - and fair play. But the last thing I wanted to see here was people coming on and threatening to go all Crimethinc on anyones ass for fucksake. I'm not having a go at any one here, but the whole theme of this debate so far has consisted of one argument - it doesn't matter how impotent what we are doing is as long as we can intellectually masturbate lack enough to justify it as revolutionary.

author by anarcho-beorpublication date Thu Sep 29, 2005 01:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Of particular concern to me was the fact that the vast majority of talking and organising at the meeting was done by a small amount of people, this is the mutual fault of both those people (and i was one) and the others who did not participate. There is no point in a 15 person group attending a meeting with only 3 people speaking and assuming responsibility for doing stuff."

this is not down to mutual fault - those who organised the event are the same people who organised the closed meetings which led up to it, organised a guest list of those invited to the meetings and had already organised the planned private action to be taken by a closed affinity group prior to anyone outside of that group even knowing such an event was in the works...in this case, lack of involvement is not down to public apathy or refusal to take any kind of initiative - it's down to the active and conscious exclusion of people both within and outside of activist circles, in my opinion, to satisfy the desires of a small group of individuals to carry out an action, and USE the public who were not forewarned or informed as to its nature to legitimise it...again, mistakes were made, undoubtedly without intention or malice, and i say this only to high-light a growing and very dangerous problem within all activist circles, not to bitch or vent. to ignore these issues for the sake of sensitivity would be wrong..the acknowledgement of the original poster along with others as to some of the mistakes made is a definite step, but it seems only right that those involved in organising recognise their role and mistakes, because if an elite and central organisnig group elect themselves to that position they MUST therefore accept their responsiblity when things go to shit...which is EXACTLY why we should avoid this in the future: no few individuals should HAVE to take responsibility for the perceived failure of a public demonstration..

enough of this, to the meeting: i second the proposal of saturday the 8th - afer the rossport march? but i'm not sure if the wsm office is big enough to to host such a large and seemingly opinionated crowd...let's do everything we can to make this meeting as accessible as possible..any other suggested venues? nicholas of myra?

author by anarcho-beorpublication date Thu Sep 29, 2005 01:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

sorry, rossport march not on the 8th, my mistake...

author by Emmapublication date Thu Sep 29, 2005 17:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Last Saturday was actually my first RTS, but not that I had known it was on I was just walking past and saw a few red and black flags in the distance and thought you were actually there for the make partition history rally.
From an observers point of view I didn't think there was any political motivation or thinking behind it for instance how many people knew they were outside the GNIB on Burgh Quay were asylum seekers sign on for deportation ? and are deported from there without knowing their fate.I asked
a couple of people was it a decision for RTS to have it there but it turned out not.
Most of the people I didn't recognise from campaigns or anything, I also think you can not call yourself an activist for turning out at a demonstraion or a street party it's just daft.
I think some people just want to be involved in the abstract, I understand why some people get annoyed with the way the left is going.

author by Gerro - My Ownpublication date Thu Sep 29, 2005 18:28author email cgmurphy at gofree dot indigo dot ieauthor address dunshaughlin, co.meathauthor phone Report this post to the editors

My God you guys, get a grip and move on to more serious and meaningful issues - this is so passe and '60's.

You are really living in a time warp. if you "don't know the answers - you are not asking the right questions".

Gerro

author by barrypublication date Thu Sep 29, 2005 19:22author email arnau21 at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Their is nothing wrong with and concept but when a weak turn out is expected what is really the point in penning the name "Take back the city" ,realistic goals so we don't look pathetic. I really don't see any sort of a future for anarchists...etc unless their is a base camp so to speak where we can organsie from. Isolation from each other should be or first border to break down..........Space or we shall be just spacers

author by triggery - katalystpublication date Thu Sep 29, 2005 23:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

On the retention of power amongst a cadre

There is an element of autonomy in how 'power' sifts through various people and onto other people in the short history of the RTS. Some of the original spearheaders would get calls from the cops along the lines of 'now sonnie ,yill just be tellin us where it is now, won't ya sonny' 2 years later and not actually have a clue where it was on...

And...various semi-organised moments can be arranged for...can occur...can happen – 2 I liked are outlined below

the play 'accidental death of an anarchist/accidental death of an activist' at the RTS after the infamous one was a simply stunning moment...
to get to watch those cops...
many of them on duty the day of the infamous rts...
the one previous to the play...
to get to watch them watch the play...to grin and bare it.....
to be there watching them have to stand there and watch that play live on the streets

that was worth it alone.

(pause while Alan Partridge peeps in to say 'watching me watching you...I'm Alan Partridge')

yes I was a spectator, a member of the audience....but that was all part of the performance

(and que Mr.Partridge...)

Soccer balls were a good idea too...a ball rolls over to you, you kick it back...and you're in...teract --ing.....

Luv me partyin for hedionism in an autonomous way but I think there was a lot less standin around drinkin at the first 2 I went to...the one's before and on and the infamous Mayday...

Overall doin sth other than drinkin cans of MNC cider and larger...that's a thing....even some microbrewery bear ...or homemade cider...sth that means sth

100% in favour of avin d tunes there btw...electronic dance culture has many tendencies, some ppl, all accross europe still engage in a type of autonomous space creating around a rig wif tunes...the image of a co-opted spirit nightclub attendees defining the full gamet of possibility is a tad limited

accomodating the farce which is car free day at this stage seems utterly pointless – there are other days to do

the debate so far essentially mirrors the cultural and political debate in social movement theory btw

There's an excellent Irish source for a bit on mvmt theory (beyond the cult vs pol debate too...)

http://www.iol.ie/~mazzoldi/toolsforchange/ring.html

needs updatin but well worth a look

someone called for an old fashioned meeting...well we're havin it here...AVIN it eh!?!

Way back then, a utopian futurist (McCluen 1960) went on about the medium being the message. Melucci (1984, 1989, 1995) went on about the medium being the message too...but for him the way we protest is as important as the point of the protest...feminism may have began the protest about the everyday, about the structures of homelife; today, the everyday is perhaps even more the terrain that the important activist action happens on.

In the 80s, 2 Canadians came up with the phrase 'hegemony of form' (Laclau and Mouffe 1985)...ie hegemony has a form and a content....changin how we interact with our surroundings, our city, restructuring even a bit of it and how it operates for a while.... rts has a form and a content

wooah! what happened there!?!?! What was _that_ all about....

in sum

i tink day are re-lay go(o)d, dem rters

author by picassopublication date Fri Sep 30, 2005 10:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

See comment further up the thread: "But the last thing I wanted to see here was people coming on and threatening to go all Crimethinc"

It seems like people cant get beyond the whole "oh yeah man RTS is such a rupture in the dominant blah blah existence of the psychocultural lifestyle of the yak yak people making an art statement etc" waffle when it comes to defending RTS. There is a time and place for it - maybe about 3 or 4 years ago.

Are people going to give some time and mental space to actually thinking about what way to develop anarcho politics, or even question why attendance at these things has been dropping over the past year or so...?

Please, no more abstract guff... its painful to read.

author by Epublication date Fri Sep 30, 2005 11:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'picasso', 'Gerro', 'Emma', 'Miss Strap On Anarchista', and others have all asked some questions here and have been received "abstract guff" in response.

I don't anyone is actually trying to just offend people or belittle anyone. Posters are asking some quite serious questions about the intended purpose of these events (and the perceived purpose by passersby) and the methodologies employed in running them.

'd' made a stab at addressing some of these issues earlier on, but I'm getting a bit worried that there's no real response here (and I'm assuming many of the organisers and attendees are regulars on this forum).

Is RTS an excuse for a bloody good party wrapped up in some cultural studies so it's easier to swallow? I really really *really* hope not, but I'm starting to wonder?

author by W - dissentireland@yahoo.compublication date Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Discussion Organised

Place - St. Nicholas Of Myras Hall (francis st)
Date - Sunday the 9th of October
Time - 1pm

Be there, be full of ideas, be ready to be criticised and criticise without taking it personally.

W

author by grassrootsdissenterpublication date Fri Sep 30, 2005 16:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

seriously.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=72242
author by triggery - katalystpublication date Fri Sep 30, 2005 16:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'no more abstract guff' - - that's _Exactly_ what the left said to the women's movement when they suggested that their life at home was important....remember one _man_ one vote?...

without the 'abstract' nothing beyond sloganeering (a la the front cover of the socialist worker newspaper ) will happen.

maybe the abstract is painful to read because your brain is doin overtime

ppl afraid of 'the abstract' are in fact afraid of the details, and already have their minds made up about who what where when and how things should happen. That is not healthy.

I've enjoyed being able to get to a deeper and better level of understanding of the issues here...not everyone lives in or near dublin, to attend a meeting. So here is a place to get through some of these things. In fact, having a discussion like this before a meeting frees up time and space at the meeting to go further into the discussion.

You could say that having a discussion like this should be policy before each meeting!

Imagine starting all of this again at a meeting! unless someone who's going to the meeting summarises the above discussion, and/or prints it out for those who haven't seen it/don't have internet access, the meeting will in fact be the repeating

author by Epublication date Fri Sep 30, 2005 17:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I can absolutely assure you that my brain is not "doin overtime". I'll let you know when it happens though, don't worry.

I can also state quite confidently that I am not one of the "ppl afraid of 'the abstract'"; I'm quite comfortable with it.

I just believe that, all too often, people hide behind pseudo-intellectual rhetoric to bluff justification/reasoning to others and, possibly, to themselves. I think some people, obviously I'm including myself here, would like to get past that to search for a "deeper and better level of understanding of the issues", rather than wasting time proving how well read we all are.

...

Btw: well done to those organising the meeting; I hope it goes well and provides a good opportunity for discussion. Nice one for putting in that effort. I'm sure it's appreciated by all.

author by triggery - katalyzerpublication date Mon Oct 03, 2005 14:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

agreed that a meeting is good, but the discussion we've had here should be sumarised by some attendees, otherwise fully 1/2 the meeting will be taken up getting to where we are now.

I am not attending. Others reading this may be. Sooo, why don't you (plural) print this out and bring it along to the meeting?

author by Cpublication date Mon Oct 03, 2005 19:40author address Dublinauthor phone Report this post to the editors

I was tempted to ignore this debate but that was just my laziness getting in the way, so here goes my few bits of comments and musings………….

Comments:

Before the take back the city action, a loose organisational structure was initially in place. The weekly meeting was to be a report back from the working groups that had been sketchily agreed. However, this didn’t happen. One of the groups – let’s just call it the set up group, took on more tasks than had been intended. In some ways this was necessary as the other working groups weren’t functioning very well. This led to problems though, for example, at the meeting the week and a half, before the event not one person from the set up working group turned up. In effect the rest of the group was in the dark, they did not know what was or was not being looked after already.

There were problems with closed meetings, some of those who had been involved from the beginning were no longer deemed necessary, meetings were happening that they didn’t even hear about until afterwards.

So, so much of the work and organising could have gone ahead without knowing the location etc. There is an obvious need for a certain level of secrecy but the “secret” itself was not that important, it was the idea behind it that mattered, once we all agreed on this, open meetings could have continued to deal with various areas that needed work. In some ways this meant the actual bones of the work was unintentionally out-sourced to another group, it was not coming from within the group who initiated the action (not necessarily a bad thing, just making the comment).

I acknowledge that friendship based organising for more secret actions can work well and has advantages. However, an observation of the set up group would be that there wasn’t much mix of age, background and experience, gender balance was fairly bad too.….this may not be healthiest way to organise.

There was lack of communication with a large group of people – those already interested or working in the arts and who would have been very up for getting involved. More communication links could have been made in advance. Lets just also consider, what if we had done as originally planned, did we really have enough proactive stuff organised to happen e.g. workshop/art/dance/music, ideally of course things would have just “happened” unplanned but I think that we did not put enough thought into this in the run up.

Legal support was left to the end, which was terrible, considering. As organisers of this event we should have taken a little responsibility. We were very lucky as two solicitors were contacted before hand, both of which agreed to be available on the day if required and thankfully we didn’t need them. (Just to let ye know the legal phone was pinged, presumable by the Gardai, twice on the day and three times on the following Monday). The small amount of work that was done for legal support should be consolidated and kept for the future.

During meetings, probably due to lack of time and numbers tactics and actual objectives were at the end of the agenda and really not fully discussed at all.

It was a positive aspect that the action as originally planned was aborted. Did we ever have a viable plan B? Could we have called things off completely? Any plan B would have been better than the bit of road we ended up at (bad memories for many from the robocop RTS, 2002). Possibly an open park, as had been mentioned previously would have been good. I understand that it may not have sat right with some as we wouldn’t be blocking any traffic etc. but when we went later to that little place at the civic offices it was much more fun, lying on the grass and playing football than standing on the hard, cold, tarmac. You may argue that the fun aspect wasn’t the main point of the day but when we had to forget about the initial plan A, all we were left with really was the “lets just have a good party anyway” side of things? As the cops would have know exactly what we were going to do and how we would behave (cos it was exactly the same as every other RTS type thing held in recent years) we didn’t really cause that much disruption, didn’t turn too many heads, didn’t interrupt the shopping, didn’t involve too many people who weren’t going to come along anyway, maybe didn’t even prompt people to question or wonder about our motivation.

Another point, we did know about the planned Shannon demo when we decided on the Sep 24th date and decided we should go ahead anyway. Looking back on it I’m sorry that we clashed with Shannon.

Other positive things: the Arts night on Fri night was great, lots of interesting art to look at and displays to read, relaxed atmosphere, great mix of age and people, very good reports from the workshop.
On the day, again, the clowns were cool and stepped in once or twice to deal with hassle from the Gardai.

Overall the day was predictable, with fewer people than we would have hoped, confrontation and all interaction with the Gardai was more or less formulaic. It was inspiring to see the people from Kilcoole and catch some of their energy. I met some new people and the craic was good.

Finally with regards to some comments above, don’t presume everyone reads indymedia boards. Printing off this discussion won’t do away with the need to discuss fully all points brought up already, at the meeting itself…but possibly it could move it along a little.

author by R. Isiblepublication date Mon Oct 03, 2005 23:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Some of the comments that I deleted on Wednesday would have made it completely clear to even the most moronic Garda what was planned. Maybe some of the people in on the "secret" weren't that secretive.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=72091
author by braeburnpublication date Wed Oct 05, 2005 19:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

so is that meeting going to happen?

author by dpublication date Sun Oct 09, 2005 20:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

in the set up committee was actually quite good.

author by jack whitepublication date Mon Oct 10, 2005 14:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Just to let ye know the legal phone was pinged, presumable by the Gardai, twice on the day and three times on the following Monday"

What does that involve, whats it used for, how can you tell it happened?

author by dunkpublication date Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

and see how seomra spraoi is now homeless

1 + 1 = ?

also saw, how what was Stack A, a previous derelict shed, has been turned into yet another commercial shopping zone.

I thought that part of the pre construction side of the deal for IFSC was that stack A would become a community space for the local community?

car free day is on again in 2 weeks, any plans for stuff this year'

Here in BCN we hope to enjoy a few days exploring alternatives to petroleum dependancy in cities.

good luck

dunk

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