Remembering J18 street protests: a few short vids

Discussion in 'protest, direct action and demos' started by editor, May 12, 2006.

  1. free spirit

    free spirit more tea vicar?

    yeah we'd somehow ended up with a huge stack of them, so we spent a good hour standing at the top of the steps leading up from kings cross tube giving them out to commuters in the morning rush hour:D

    iirc evading standards was funded by the Met:D

    [some compo claim against the met won by RTS crew for something or other I think...]
  2. Urbane Worrier

    Urbane Worrier a scuttler scuttling

    correct;) I still have a copy lurking under the bed along with a small roll of green RTS sticky crime scene tape.

    I think I may also have a spoof Metro.

    I'm getting older and bending is difficult so when I die maybe my son will delve under the bed and bung it all on Ebay:D
  3. Dougal

    Dougal Banned Banned

    It was a good day. For RTS, one problem was many, many people wanted vengence for the Stop the City Debacles of the past, this included the police!
    TopCat likes this.
  4. DJWrongspeed

    DJWrongspeed radio eros

    yer right there, they wanted vengeance, one guy i knew got raided early morning months later, that'd tracked him down from a photo, completely innocent, he was just taking pics. All of which weren't at his flat luckily. People were banged up some mths after this.
  5. Dougal

    Dougal Banned Banned

    Perhaps I was not too clear. The J18 was always going to be problematic because of the Stop the City demonstrations in the eighties. Many people (over 450) got nicked in 1985 at a stop the city demo and the police were quite heavy handed. Plus the demo was a bit crap really. Hence when J18 came along lots of (by now) veteran protesters were up for a re-match with the police, not exactly what RTS were thinking of. Plus, the police wanted revenge for the 1985 demo and those before it as they never forget and love a ruck.

    I think the RTS were a bit naive all told but good eggs none the less.
    TopCat likes this.
  6. aurora green

    aurora green Tectonic

    I think this is an interesting analysis, which could explain a lot. Certainly, there was a positive explosion of otherwise unexplained violence (towards property only, and (unexplained)within the context of RTS' that had gone before) which took many people by suprise. My own most vivid memory of the day (which Im sure I've posted on here before) was standing up high on some street furniture trying to take a picture of the whole crowd around the sound system scene, when someone tapped me on the shoulder and said "Oi, mate you wanna be lookin at this" and I swivelled round 180 degrees and witnessed the smashing in of the mercedes showroom, and it was one of the most shocking things I'd ever seen (not necessarily in a bad way) but to me, a veteran of many RTS actions, totally unexpected.
    TopCat likes this.
  7. Blagsta

    Blagsta Minimum cage, maximum cage

    Yeah I think I have a copy of Evading Standards somewhere, as well as a cardboard mask and a J18 poster.
    Pickman's model likes this.
  8. Buds and Spawn

    Buds and Spawn ...if I can't dance...

    I think there may-have-possibly-allegedly-etc.. been some RTS peeps quite hoping that J18 would turn out the way it did. I imagine that most of those involved in the coalition felt pretty much the same. I guess it threw a lot of the single-issue brigade though...

    Many of those involved shared a mantra along the lines of - 'we're really going for it - The City - which we've so far imagined to be off limits cos' it's too hardcore - (post-IRA etc..) - it's going to be a bloodbath - we're all mad and irresponsible'. Thus, violence of some kind was inevitable.

    Funnily enough, I think RTS were guilty of underambition - i.e. not believing that everything planned would happen - and consequently, the plans fell short of what would have been even more breathtaking.

    The idea that the LIFFE trading floor could be occupied for example. It so almost was....

    One image I'll never forget - mounted riot cops charging the crowd at the top end of Southwark Bridge - crowd doesn't budge - instead a horse plus cop get pulled down and disappear (they did get rescued by a baton charge eventually)... Never seen people so up for it.

    After J18 a lot of peeps criticised RTS for the violence. This criticism contributed quite a bit to the nature of the Guerilla Gardening on Mayday 2000. Which of course - got criticised by many for being too fluffy... :rolleyes:
  9. aurora green

    aurora green Tectonic

    Yeah, it was so very close, if it wasn't for the traders themselves holding back the activists, and perhaps if there was a few more people trying to accomplish something more meaningful that smashing up stuff...who knows...
    anyways it's one of those RTS stories that seldom get told, rather like the jackhammering up of the M41 and planting trees...

    I thought this was a brilliant comeback, a reclamation of true RTS roots, as it were.
  10. Dougal

    Dougal Banned Banned

    This was the most heartening thing I ever saw on a demo in my life. The police send in a horse with (female) copper on the back and she gallops right into the crowd. Instead of running away (which has nearly always been the norm) the crowd ran at the horse and pulled it with many many hands to its knees and also pulled the copper off the back. She was uninjured and indeed was rescued by a baton charge. The upshot was this was the only police horse charge of the day and consequently a long standing tool in the police's box has been found to not work against anti capitalists. I salute the people who did this.
  11. Paulie Tandoori

    Paulie Tandoori shut it you egg!

    Interesting account of what gwan here including a link to Evading Standards, i've stored my copy ready for the Anarchist Antique Road Show that I'm gonna suggest to the Beeb sometime soon :)
  12. TeeJay

    TeeJay New Member

    Are you saying that what happened at Euston in November was due to SWP/GR getting involved between June and November?

    I would love to blame them for that, but somehow I can't see it myself.
  13. TeeJay

    TeeJay New Member

    Of course there was also N30 in between J18 and MayDay 2000.

    I remember that the RTS build-up to N30 was really emphasising the peaceful & non-violent angle, yet the violence happened anyway.

    I was not involved directly with RTS / N30 planning but I was someone who - rather naively in retrospect - fully bought into the claim that it was going to be a totally non-violent protest outside Railtrack HQ at Euston. I was thinking back to the fluffy events in Brixton and thought that the violence at J18 was not going to be repeated (quite why I though this I am not sure - naive optimism maybe?). I did end up giving out RTS leaflets to passing commuters and even repeated some of the RTS Railtrack info to a radio reporter who asked what we were protecting about. Things seemed fine up until something like 9pm (?) when seemingly on cue things kicked off - apparently "some people" went and started attacking the riot police, who then used this as their signal to move in and attack back. I didn't see this so I don't know what to believe and ultimately I think it was just "inevitable" - another reason why after that I stopped going to any events like this.

    I'd still love to read people's accounts of N30, not least because I ended up getting dragged away and given a bit of a kicking (naively (again) after standing in-between a baton charge and its intended targets who were throwing stuff at the police), but was then let go and told to "go home" whereas a lot of other people were pinned in for ages and had all their details taken.

    I was the last "demo" of that kind I went to, no least because after getting a partially dislocated shoulder and other possible damage to my back I simply didn't feel physically up to risking any more damage.

    I don't have any specific proof but in I have a suspicion that the whole thing kicking off and ending like it did was not entirely accidental, unplanned or unforseen ... on "both" sides in fact ... and the media certainly got the photos and footage they wanted, but had missed on J18. I remember the headline "Flames of Rage" or something - and the pictures of the police van that had some some bizarre reason been parked beforehand right by the protest area, unattended and full of hi-vis jackets etc. The press and police had had all day to set up at Euston and were there far in advance, yet for some reason all the right "props" (things to throw, a van to smash up) were left abandoned in convenient places.

    For that matter much the same thing happened on J18 - for some reason there just happened to be an unattended builders lorry lorry full of various heavy throwable stuff right by the hydrant/LIFFE. Coincidence? Or someone willing things to get nasty, so they could retaliate as hard as possible and finally discredit RTS as violent thugs?

    I suppose N30 was overshadowed by the vastly more dramatic events in Seattle.
  14. aurora green

    aurora green Tectonic

    I didn't even bother to go to N30. I remember thinking it was glaringly obvious from the outset, the thing was completely doomed. In fact, I really questioned the thinking and motives of those organising such a mindless and uninspiring gathering, in the dark.
  15. Paulie Tandoori

    Paulie Tandoori shut it you egg!

    My thoughts precisely, was not surprised at all when that one all got nasty. And i have to say that various bits of TeeJay's post have been kicked around for discussion since e.g. agent provacateurs, convenient props, etc.
  16. TeeJay

    TeeJay New Member

    Yeah - in retrospect I should have figured it out for myself.

    Unfortunately I probably hadn't been on enough demos and protests to know better and was naive enough to believe the reassurances that the whole event was going to be non-violent and fluffy along the lines of the Brixton event.

    My first mistake was going in the firt place and my second mistake was to not take that chance of leaving at 9pm (when the demo was billed to end) and staying around with some misguided notion that "passive resistance" would somehow calm everything down and 'stop the violence'.

    I saw a fair few people getting kicked about as they sat in the road doing the hippy thing (I suppose this would include me although I just got rugby tackelled/bundled from behind (I was facing the wrong way :D) by about four riot police, hit round the head with batons and kicked a few times ("passified"), dragged backwards along the road by my arms for about 20 metres, dropped. I suppose I should feel lucky that they didn't really put too much effort into it, I wasn't more badly injured and that they didn't arrest me.

    But like I said - it totally soured my whole view of what people were doing and how they planned things and I stopped going to anything similar (not that things remained the same for much longer anyway).
  17. Buds and Spawn

    Buds and Spawn ...if I can't dance...

    Or for the wall that got built over the lower entrance to LIFFE?
  18. Buds and Spawn

    Buds and Spawn ...if I can't dance...

    As I remember N30, it was only ever planned as a very small thing. I agree about the location and timing etc... Most peeps were still recovering from J18, and so not interested or able to organise something so soon after. I think we should have not bothered with N30 over here at all - it was bound to go very wrong... I was more excited by the news coming in from Seattle...
  19. TeeJay

    TeeJay New Member

    The thing is, these are "excuses" in a way - it doesn't matter exactly how things go to shit or precisely who is to blame, because at the end of the day anyone organising a protest or action has to take this into account when they plan things: the time, location, build-up, likely attendees (on all sides) how other people might try and screws things up and so forth.

    For example the Brixton "Car Free Day" (to choose one example) was different in so many ways that it would have been far harder for people with another agenda to derail it. Other events are almost taylor made for confrontation, violence, a massive police reaction and so forth.

    For what its worth I have seen a similar fuckwittedness in "design" almost occur at one of the early STWC demos: Maps and instructions were circulated telling people to converge on Westminster from about three directions (From Victoria, Waterloo/the bridge and Charing X/Whitehall). Any idiot could see immediately that the plans as proposed would lead to a massive crowd control/crushing problem in Westminster Square.

    Intestingly, although these plans had apparently already been approved by the Met, as soon as the problems were pointed out in a public forum the plans were all changed, although this was down silently and without comment.

    I sometimes wonder if some (senior-ranking?) psychopaths in the Met are really willing to see people (including their own officers) get seriously injured and perhaps lives lost, just so that they can pin the blame on groups they don't like and crack down on public protests etc.

    Having said this, it might have been psychopaths with the STWC. I doubt anyone would be able to prove it either way - it is just certain odd and utterly dangerous decisions by people who really should know better...
  20. rainbowman

    rainbowman New Member

    wheres the link for vids ?

    any one ?
  21. Blagsta

    Blagsta Minimum cage, maximum cage

    errr...on the first post of the thread?
    Pickman's model likes this.
  22. Mr Smin

    Mr Smin Registered Luser

    remember the film trailers?

    Undercurrents produced a short 'trailer' for the event and included it on one of their numbered news videos. As well as getting shown at various video nights, there were lots of stories of people who had 2 VCRs to rub together copying it over the 'official' trailers on rental videos before returning them. Superb.

    That's one that won't happen again in days of the dvd.
  23. Hanoipete

    Hanoipete Banned Banned

    there's a limit to how many protests there can be of a similar ilk in one country i think. generally political people from those events are still doing their thing in a whole variety of ways, even this site maybe, and the protests and the revulsion against `free market` economics has been all round the world...
  24. tbaldwin

    tbaldwin the experts are morons R.I.P.

    Not really blaming them as much as disappointed at the time that the "oh where so scared of hierarchy brigade" let the SWP who they would see as very hierarchical take over as spokespeople for what had been quite a good social movement.
    I think the RTS approach of partying down capitalism was interesting but GR was just more of the boring leftie shite.
  25. cemertyone

    cemertyone Well-Known Member

  26. stethoscope

    stethoscope Well-Known Member

    10 year old thread bump :cool: as I pulled these out earlier…


  27. stethoscope

    stethoscope Well-Known Member



    Can do proper high res scans at some point if anybody was interested.
    spliff, Ming, gawkrodger and 5 others like this.
  28. Ground Elder

    Ground Elder Well-Known Member

    I really should start scanning all the ephemera I've hoarded/failed to throw away/preserved for future generations, (I favour the latter, my wife has a different opinion). Reading through a pile of Schnews the other day felt like reading ancient history :(
  29. free spirit

    free spirit more tea vicar?

    I'm still gutted that my RTS treasure trove of leaflets, posters etc from that era went walkies during one of my many house moves. I still hope I might find it again in my parents loft or something.
  30. Red Sky

    Red Sky It was like that when I got here.

    When SchNEWS closed down they left piles of boxed up detritus from twenty odd years of protest and DA - Still stashed in a loft somewhere I believe.

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