Pirate Radio in Hackney, early 1990s

Pirate Radio – authentic expression of working class youth culture, but also a right pain in the arse if you happen to live in the same block…

That aside, this is a nice documentary about Rush FM (in what appears to be an abandoned block anyway) with ‘ardkore aplenty. Rush was based on the Nightingale Estate in Clapton.

Amazing that Stoke Newington Police can be talk with a straight face in the film about being “vigorous about the misuse of drugs” when they’d recently been exposed for planting them on people and dealing out of the police station.

More info on Rush FM:

DTI investigators faced one of their toughest jobs yet when they found the pirate station they were attempting to raid barracaded behind a wall of concrete. Rush FM had installed its transmission equipment in a disused flat on the 21st floor of a council tower block in Hackney, East London.

To prevent access, the entrance to the flat had been sealed up with three tons of concrete. Programmes came from a studio some distance away, connected over a radio link.

Contractors called in by the council to enable them to gain access to the flat hit a scaffolding pole wired up to the mains while attempting to drill through the concrete, causing a small explosion. Phials of ammonia and CS gas were also reported to have been found embedded in the concrete. A Police guard was needed to prevent the contractors being attacked while the flat was secured. Hackney Council are currently carrying out work to secure their tower blocks from use by unlicensed stations.

Police have suggested that for the station to go to such lengths to protect itself there must be a drugs link. They say they believe a number of unlicenced stations are part of a network of pay party operators and drug dealers. This has been denied by deejays at Rush FM who say they aren’t making any money out of the hardcore techno station. They also denied that they had installed booby-traps, saying they were simply trying to protect their equipment after facing 10 raids already this year.

Showitzer has an amazing photo of the Nightingale towerblocks here, as well as some gruesome Rush FM recollections.

Hackney Council has some film of a couple of the blocks being blown up in 1998 and 2003.

There’s a slightly weird site about the estate being regenerated here.

See also: Alexis Wolton’s “Tortugan tower blocks? Pirate signals from the margins” from Datacide Magazine.

Hackney Anarchy Week reviews/responses 1996

Hackney Anarchy Week flyer

Coverage below from:

  • The Observer
  • Earth First UK!
  • Gridlock discussion list
  • Goal! Magazine
  • The Fifth Times Book of Best Sermons

“Anarchy puts its house in order”
The Observer (UK) 26 May 1996

What do the following have in common: Ronald McDonald, a sandpapered testicle, a three-sided football match, Luis Bunuel and space travel? The answer is that they are all on the agenda at Hackney Anarchy Week.

This is a celebration of DIY culture that marks new interest in an ideology most had written off as dead or – in the year the Sex Pistols re-formed – sold out. Not true, say the ‘organisers’ of Britain’s biggest anarchist bash, who promise activities as diverse as a punk picnic, an anti-fascist football-match (no right-wingers) and a workshop on the Unabomber manifesto.

The McLibel Trial will be discussed, along with sexual freedom and the Operation Spanner case.

Anarchy – they insist – is alive and well and living in the UK. from the Twyford Down, Newbury and M11 protests to the anti-veal campaign, to the new frontiers of cyberspace, a new kind of anarchy is abroad – one that would have Tolstoy, Emma Goldman, Bukanin or the Barcelona syndicalists spinning in their graves.

Earth First UK
Action Update 28 June 1996

As part of the Hackney Anarchy Week in London there was a Reclaim The Streets action to draw attention to the fact that the Borough of Hackney has one of the lowest proportion of people owning cars in the country, yet still suffers from the ecological and social consequences of all the commuter traffic that passes through the area every moming.

A road blockade was planned and on Thursday 30th May an assortment of cyclists and pedestrians met at 7.30am to try to block rush hour traffic. About fifty people walked to a point where the road was due to be blockaded. Unfortunately the police had discovered the tripods and they couldn’t be used. Despite this everybody closed the main road and then walked and cycled slowly around the area.

There was a comparatively large police presence, both from local Hackney police and also quite a few from the Forward Intelligence Team there to gather infonnation about people involved.

Remember to keep your diary free on Saturday 13th July for the Reclaim The Streets festival in London. Contact Reclaim The Streets on: 0171 281 4621 for more information.

ANARCHY IN HACKNEY?
its coming some time, maybe?
(Nicked from here)

For ten days from May 24th Hackney anarchos enjoyed a festival “celebrating subversion in East London”.

It included a bookfair, a punks picnic, poetry, comedy, music, workshops and actions. Hundreds came to hear Ken Loach speaking about his films. A Reclaim the Streets action disrupted the morning rush hour traffic. There were different musical events every night. McDonalds was picketed. Class War won the football tournament (after nearly having a punch-up with the North London Buddhists). The workshops were interesting, varied and generally well attended. Our squat cafe was open and busy every night. Altogether it went really smoothly and was much appreciated by a lot of people. people came from France, Belgium, and even South London. the only intervention of Stoke Newington cops (who should have been more involved as they break the law more than any anarchos) was to trash two punk gigs, beat people up and nick them.

In many ways it could be interpreted as something of a barometer on the state of the anrcho scene in Hackney. All the known groups and individual organisers in the area had been contacted and invited to organise something. The resulting programme reflected the current range of interests and activities.

Few people were interested in organising actions apart from around environmental issues. Most wanted to put on cultural events which invariably cost money but were pretty good.

We received glowing coverage in the Hackney Gazette:

“(the organisers) are hoping the special week will highlight their positive work”

“CYCLISTS SHOW WAY. Pedal-pushers brought anarchy to Stoke Newington on Saturday……. one of the highlights of Hackney Anarchy Week.”

It seems that anarchism has become a recognised and relatively respectable position.

But what has all this got to do with revolt, revolution, transforming our lives and our world? Not a lot I’m afraid. There’s a lot of struggles going on in Hackney and elsewhere, and plenty to be angry about, to rebel against, and you don’t have to be a fulltime activist to be involved. The problem is to get together those who are fighting and who want to fight, who want to find a way to rebuild the world, to find what we really have in common instead of hiding behind labels and scenes that are scared even to confront internal problems.

The Anarchists’ Ball – 3-Sided Football
Report by Michael Hodges
Goal! Magazine 1996

Three goals, hexagonal pitches…The rules have changed over the years, but FIFA would have a field day with this lot. Goal shrugs off the shackles of organised leagues and hangs out with the anarchists.

It is unlikely that Luther Blissett is even aware of the fact that he’s the inspiration behind three-sided football, a form of the game that ‘deconstructs the mythic bipolar structure of conventional football’. But then Watford is not a hotbed of class war and, although it is rumoured that he organised a three-sided football league during his playing days, Blissett probably isn’t attending Hackney Anarchist Week in east London. Goal is, however, and it is here that we encounter the Luther Blissett 3-Sided Football League, named after the man himself. The game has been further developed by anarchist group the London Psychogeographical Association (LPA).

Played on an hexagonal pitch between three sides, each defending one goal, the aim is not to score the most goals, but concede the least. Goals are conceded when the ball ‘is thrust through a team’s orifice’, so dissolving ‘the homoerotic/homophobic bipolarity of the two-sided game’. Put simply, three-sided football is, ideally, an exercise in co-operative behaviour, with one side persuading another to join in a campaign against the third – thus breaking down the very basis of capitalist organisation – and all before teatime.

Hmm. Today’s game involves fellow anarchists the Association of Autonomous Astronauts (AAA) who are developing an independent space-travel project based on the premise that all we require to travel the universe is imagination and a map of another planet. Accordingly, today’s match is to be played on the surface of the moon, or Hackney, depending on who you believe.

Gathering in St. Barnabas church hall, the assembled anarchists, amateur astronauts, baffled hacks and the merely curious are asked to form three groups, autonomously of course, and issued with Bartholomew’s maps of the moon’s surface.

John Eden of the AAA joins our side, Group One. “We’re going to the moon now to find a suitable site to play three-sided football. We’re starting from one of the lunar seas, the Mare Heraculem.” So, we begin milling around looking for a football pitch and resisting all bourgeois notions of imposed order. Consequently we fail to get anything together. Perusal of the map suggests that the north end of the moon is flattest, and thus more suitable for a pitch. Eventually, following what suspiciously sounds like an order to get on with it, we start out, and immediately get lost. No wonder. According to the map, we are in a 20-mile crater with no obvious way out.

A friendly local stops to offer assistance. “What you looking for mate?” The north end of the moon. Unimpressed, he walks off to the pub, muttering. It’s tempting to join him but at that very moment one of our number finds a street corner and, according to the map, Apollo 13’s landing site. Appropriately, the American flag is found – or at least a pair of trousers on a line. Beneath them, uncannily, at some point in the past goalposts have been painted on the wall. John looks triumphant; his plan (sorry, autonomous collective decision) is working. Sadly, if not strangely, the playing area is only the width of an east London pavement. Defeated, we return to the Mare Heraculem (let’s call it the church hall for convenience).

Groups Two and Three report back. A serious and politically committed conversation ensues, punctuated only by the mobile phone of another journalist. He is, perhaps, a man who hasn’t got the hang of the property-is-theft side of anarchism. Group Two report that not only did they find a spaceship (to be expected on the moon) but also a ‘No Ball Games’ sign, which is something of a blow to our hopes.

The third group have found a part of the moon which bears astonishing resemblance to Grove Street Park. One astronaut thinks carefully, “It’s probably better to play on grass.” Conventional? Probably. Bourgeois? Perhaps. Sensible? Definitely.

We head for the park. Richard Essex of the LPA gives us a short lecture. “Three-sided football offers unique problems. How do you keep your team together? What is your identity? The very boundaries of what a team actually is can loosen; we can discover new ways of organisation.”

It is at this point of anti-hierarchical anarchist debate that the correspondent from another football magazine chooses to ask Richard Essex if he is in charge. This really is the wrong question. Essex, kindly, lets it go and continues. “This is not just a case of scoring goals and its not just about footballing skills, other skills are required, too.”

Mainly, it seems, the skill to trick people from another team into thinking you are going to form an alliance with them. This is illustrated early on in proceedings when Jason Skeet of the AAA, calling for the ball, takes delivery of the pass and promptly scores in the goal of the side the pass came from. Embarrassingly, this is the end that Goal is defending. More embarrassingly, it is one of our representatives who has been so obviously and completely duped. Worse still, it’s me. It has taken a very short time to realise that with three sides playing one is going to be picked on. It is us.

Both the other two groups press towards our goal, indulging in an orgy of free-scoring libertarian collectivism. The attempt to defend is made all the harder by not knowing any of the people on your side, while furthermore most of them are turned out in gear that could best be described as ‘New Age’. Gradually I recognise the man with the purple spiral on his head as being on my side. We start to develop an understanding down the right-hand side. Unfortunately, it isn’t an understanding of three-sided football.

We remain under the cosh and the score reaches 4-0-0. But then Group Three let in a goal and suddenly the wisdom of their pact with Group Two seems less sure. Tentative steps are taken to reform the on-pitch alliance, but talk of oppressive structures and fascistic centre-forwards gets us nowhere. Then a burly Australian in a rugby shirt, who’s come for the fun, barges through and lays it on. The goal may be no more than a discarded Cure T-shirt and a smelly black jumper, but it’s there in front of me. I shoot, I score, the Australian cuddles me. We’re 4-1-1 and the game is anyone’s.

A singular feature of three-sided football is that casual passers-by are as entitled to play as the original participants. Before long an Italian runs on and proceeds to push, dig, goal-hang and score with all the flamboyance and petulance his footballing heritage can muster. Ignoring one third of the pitch, he’s either a fascist or he doesn’t see the third goal, but as his only words of English are “Goal! Goal!”, it’s difficult to find out which.

The man runs riot and soon the scores are in the region of 5-3-6, but no one is really sure. The more professional of the anarchists respond to the challenge in a suspiciously organised way. John, however, maintains a rigorously un-ordered democracy, regularly swapping keepers and giving the ball away whenever the build-up looks promising. Jason, in Group Two, has no such qualms, taking advantage of a pitch which allows him to be both libero and striker.

The correspondent from another football magazine, unable to play because he is wearing an Armani suit of doubtful provenance, looks on from the sidelines, baffled. Our Italian guest, unaware of three-sided football’s commitment to the non-fostering of aggression or competitiveness drifts off when it becomes apparent that everyone else is ideologically unwilling to fight for victory at all costs, or in my case, simply too knackered to carry on.

The cure T-shirt is recovered, breath is regained, and ‘homoerotic/homophobic bipolarity’ declared soundly beaten. We head off autonomously and literally, over the moon.

Christmas, King Herod and Anarchist Football
Rev Mike Starkey
Appears in The Fifth Times Book of Best Sermons (Cassell, 1999), edited by Ruth Gledhill

[Needless to say this includes some dubious 3rd hand reporting embellished with some outright nonsense about goals being ripped down, which of course didn’t happen at Hackney Anarchy Week. Just goes to show you can’t trust a man of the cloth!]

One of my favourite stories from the Hackney Gazette this year was their report on the annual Anarchists’ Five-a-side Football Tournament. No, this is serious. Every year the local Anarchist community celebrates Hackney Anarchy Week. And the centrepiece of the week is a grand picnic in the park and football tournament. Now, you might think the idea of Anarchist football is a contradiction in terms. After all, anarchy means the absence of order or rules. It comes from the Greek word anarchos which means ‘without a ruler’. And all my fears were confirmed when I read the Gazette’s account of the games.

During the football matches, said the reporter, ‘anarchy prevailed’. It all came to a great climax as the matches ended with the goal posts being symbolically ripped down. Presumably by way of protest against people dictating to them where they ought to be kicking, or drawing oppressive distinctions between real goals and missed goals. Far better, thought the Hackney Anarchists, to rip down the goals altogether so that everybody could do their own thing.

I enjoyed the report. This was partly due to some unintentional irony. The reporter informed us that all the Anarchists wore ‘bright Mohican hairstyles’ and ‘trademark safety pins’. Now I find it oddly heart-warming to think of Anarchists having a rigid dress code, or trademark anything. Anarchist uniform does rather seem like a contradiction in terms. I would have thought any consistent, self -respecting group of Anarchists might wear a chaotic mixture of pinstripe suits, cassocks, boiler suits and pyjamas- the only ‘rule’ being that there are no rules. If I were an Anarchist leader (which, of course, I couldn’t be since they don’t have leaders), I’d excommunicate as a heretic any member who dressed remotely like another one.

But there was a deeper irony afoot. Before the event, posters went up around Hackney promoting it. And on these posters the event in the park was billed as a ‘celebration of subversion in east London’. The young anarchists were claiming to be subversives: in other words, challenging the basic values of our society, undermining all that the rest of us hold dear. In fact, their soccer tournament turned out to embody, in miniature, all the central values of their generation. It was another utter act of conformity. Why do I say that?

Well, we need to look at what these anarchists were claiming: through their attitudes, their doctrines, and even the way they played football. They were claiming that no external authority should have power to determine people’s lives. They were saying that there are no absolutes in life. They were saying that the only morality or rules are whatever we can piece together for ourselves. And that’s what you’d expect them to do-because that’s what Anarchists have always stood for. The problem is, to say these things just isnt radical or subversive anymore. To most of todays young adults, the ideas behind behind Anarchism – that authority is oppressive, there are no absolutes, the only morality is what we concoct for ourselves – these are no longer subversive. Theyre simply the new common sense. Its what practically all my contemporaries were bought up to believe. Its what most academics in our universities believe. Its what most of our media promotes. Its what most of our neighbours in Finsbury Park believe as well.

We live in a culture today where all the old certainties of the past are crumbling away. People no longer automatically trust the police, the monarchy, the judiciary, the social services, the Church. All the moralities of the past are questioned too. Our culture works on a supermarket shelf model of truth, where you simply cobble together whatever works for you, whatever happens to make you feel good. We like a personally-defined truth, which prefers words like relative to words like absolute. It prefers words like rights over words like duty or obligation. And ours is a society whose favourite concept is freedom of choice.

So you see why it struck me that the Hackney anarchists seem rather safe and predictable. Theyve chosen to make a political ideology of something that most of my contemporaries believe anyway. Wheres the radicalism in that? Let me suggest what a real celebration of subversion in East London might look like. How about this: an event which undercuts everything my generation has been bought up to believe, which challenges our most basic assumptions from the roots up. An event held in honour of a great King, who has supreme authority. An event which announces uncompromisingly that he alone is Lord, and that to him every knee should bow in service. It would be an event which tells us the only sure path to freedom is complete submission, putting yourself out of the picture and putting others first.

Hackney Anarchy Week, final programme 1996

NB: This updated programme was published on the first day of the festival – Friday 24 May, so events on that day are not included.


All Week

Squat Cafe • Cheap vegan food • Every evening 18.00-23.00 • Note the cafe provides food only and not accommodation

“Mistakes” art exhibition • Barnabas Hall • Mon-Thurs afternoon & evening (not Wednesday evening)

The Wormfarts of Art open exhibition • Bring your own stuff as well • The Factory Squat • Daily 17.00-21.00

Saturday 25 May

14.00 • Anti-Fascist 5-a-side Football Tournament • Teams indude: Legal Defence & Monitoring Group, Class War, Rugger Bugger FC., The Nation’s Vibration, Hackney Patients’ Council, the Albion, Squall, Active Badminton Crew, the Co-ordinators + teams from Bradford, Brighton & Bristol + many more • Sign your own team up on the day • Bring balls! • Clissold Park • free

16.45 • Facilitating Meetings • workshop • Squat Cafe • free

18.00 • Defending demonstrators • workshop • Legal Defence and Monitoring Group • Squat Cafe • free •

20.00-02.00 • Dub Soundsystem • The Nation’s Vibration • The Factory Squat • £donations

Sunday 26 May

16.15-20.15 • Films at the Rio • 16.15 Themroc (dir. Claude Faraldo) + 18.20 Un Chien Andalou (dir. Luis Buinuel) 8.40 Ghosts of the Civil Dead (dir. John Hilcoat) • ABC prisoner support group stall • Rio £4.50/3.50

19.30 • Visions of Poesy • Riff Raff Poets • Hackney launch of this anarchist poetry bock with readings from contributors • The Acton Arms • £2

20.00 • Exploding Cinema *A visual feast – no budget and low budget shorts, films, videos and live performance • The Factory Squat • £3

Monday 27 May

All day

• Three P Pirate Radio • 102-106 FM • straight out of the ghetto with kicking music, deliberate fun and hard-hitting politics

The WormFarts of Art exhibition opens • see All Week

13.00-18.00 • Small Press (Book) Fair • Books, comics, zines, records, Tshirts, underground’s finest • Expect to see AK Distribution, Active Distribution, A Distribution, Black Flag, Slab-O-Concrete, Bypass, ACE, McLibel, Squall, Freedom, Survivors, Between the Lines, ASS, Hackney green groups and many more … • Barnabas Hall • free

19.30 • Anti-Election Alliance Meeting • Class War and the Anarchist Communist Federation (ACF) • Barnabas Hall • free

Tuesday 28 May

11.00 • Perspectives of Anarchism • workshop • Barnabas Hall • free

12.30 • Picket of McDonalds • Meet outside McDonalds, Narrow Way, Mare Street, Hackney E8 • (BR and buses: as Samuel Pepys)

14.30 • McDonalds under the Grill: lessons for fighting multinationals • McLibel Support Campaign • The essential tool kit for taking on greedy corporations with live demonstration by McSpotlight (http://ww.mcspotlight.org/) • Barnabas Hall • free

16.30 • The Unabomber Manifesto – Key Ideas • discussion • Barnabas Hall • free

19.30 • Survivors Poetry & acoustic music night • Survivors Poets • Readings & performance by survivors of the mental “health” system with Billy Childish, Dave Russell, Ray Wilmot, Fiona Branson • Barnabas Hall • £2.50

19.30 • Sexual Freedom • workshop + cafe + risuals • From free lore to the Spanner trial, with especially sexy steamy food at the cafe • Squat Cafe • free

20.00 • Acoustic night • The Astronauts, The 1926 Committee, the Dole Claimers, Dr Feelshite • The Acton Arms • £2

Wednesday 29 May

14.30 • Training day for autonomous communities in space • Association of Autonomous Astronauts • Barnabas Hall • free

19.30 • Politics and Inner Change • Discussion • Unity Club, upstairs meeting room • free

20.00-24.00 • A Night of Extraordinary Acts • Comedy night compered by Tony Allen • With Mark Kelly, Mr Social Control, Col. Fitz, Steve Ignorant, Rory Motion, Julia Palmer, Jenny Moseley + more • Chat’s Palace • £2. 50/4.00

20.30 • late addition • Grunge, punk, reggae: Penalised, Brassic Park, possibly NothingFace, possibly P.A.I.N and other bands (subject to alteration) • Acton Arms • £1.00 21.00 •

Uncle Bob’s Special Film Night • Noam Chornsky’s Manufacturing Consent + Cable Street footage (60th anniversary) + more • Technobabble • free

Thursday 30 May

7.30 • Reclaim The Streets action Stop the Commuter-Polluters • meet outside Chat’s Palace • People on bicycles needed

15.00 • Anarchism & Mental Health • talkshop • Barnabas Hall • free

18.00-19.00 (maybe longer) • Organising in the Education Industry: Discussion for students and workers, what to do in terms of organisation and resistance. Barnabas Hall • free

18.45-23.00 • Ken Loach double bill • 18.45 Riff Raff + 20.30 discussion with Ken Loach + 21.15 Land & Freedom • Rio Cinema • £4.50/3.50

19.30 • Anarchism, Islamic Fundamentalism & the Kurdish Struggle discussion • 5th of May Group (Turkish/Kurdish anarchist group) Barnabas Hall • free

20.00-23.00 • Out-take charity event • Academy 23, the Apostles, John Antiss (queer poet), Sam & Mono band (anarchistic cabaret) • Out-take – Gay & Lesbian Survivors of the mental “health” system • Chat’s Palace • £5/:.3)

Friday 31 May

17.45 • Critical Mass • Regular monthly action • Cyding mayhem in central London, meet on South Bank below Waterloo Bridge • Followed by films at Squat Cafe (see below)

20.00-01.00 • Stricknien D.C., Terminal Heads, Substandard, The Restarts, Walking Abortions • Reknaw • Venue t.b.c., look out for posters • £3

20.45ish • Critical Mass film night • Screening of Return of the Scorcher, film from California that gave Critical Mass its name • Starts after the regular London Critical Mass • Squat Cafe • free

21.00 • Farrago Poetry Slam Poets vs. Rant Poets • Farrago Poets, MC John Paul O’Neill • Current Farrago London slam champions – Mark Rathmell, Annie Byfield, Brian Lynch – against the Rant Poets – Steve Tasane, Gabby Tyrrell, Vic Lambrusco, Annie Rouse • Squat Cafe • suggested donation 12

20.00 • Bad Attitude magazine party/benefit • Women only, mesas guests • The Factory Squat • t.b.c STOP PRESS: Now on Sat 1 June

Saturday 1 June

12.00-14.00 • Critical Mass 2: This time it’s Hackney • Cycle ride through Hackney from London Fields to Clissold Park (and the Punx Picnic) • By Pub on the Park, London Fields • free

14.00 • Punx Picnic • Reknaw • Possibly with the Tofu Love Frogs • Post-picnic gig at the Albion • Clissold Park • free

17.00 (after Punx Picnic) • Aus-rotten (USA), Oi Polloi, Special Duties, The Nerves, MDM, Coitus, Red Flag 77, English Dogs, The Varukas • Reknaw • Venue to be announced at the picnic • £4

20.00 • Bad Attitude. see Friday 31 May

LATE • United Sound Systems party • Phone for venue details on the night 0181-959-7525 £donations

Sunday 2 June

15.30-19.00 • Mad Hat Tea Party • Requirements for attendance: bring a hat • Bands – Dead Dog Hat, Ming Hat, Dole Hat • Springfield Park, outside cafe • free

19.00-22.30 • HHH Video Evening • HHH cooperative • Screening of first edit of the “official” Hackney Anarchy Week film made by HHH throughout the week + HHH films “It’s a bit rough, ain’t it?”, Spikey, ARCH, 75A, demolitions etc. • Samuel Pepys upstairs

Organising groups

5th of May Group • PO Box 16881, London 118 7L

ABC-Anarchist Black Cross • c/o 121 Bookshop, 121 Railton Road London SE24

Anarchist Communist Federation • c/o Freedom Press (address below)

Association of Autonomous Astronauts • BM Box 3641, London WCIN 3XX

Bad Attitude • c/o 121 Bookshop (address above)

Class War • BM Box 357, London WC1N 3XX

Critical Mass • just turn up

Exploding Cinema • 0956-823712

Farrago Poets • 106 High Street, West Wickham, Kent BR4

HHH • email: HHH@phreakintermedia.co.uk

Riff Raff Poets • c/o Freedom Press, 84b Whitechapel High Street London E1 7QX

McLibel Support Campaign • 0171-713-1269

McSpotlight • http://www.mcspotlight.org/ & email: info@mcspodight.org

Nation’s Vibration • 0171-639-8702

Out-Take • Derek 0171-613-5326

Reclaim The Streets • 0171-281-4621

Spare Change Press • Box26,136-138 Kingsland High Street, London E8

Survivors Poets • 0171-916-5317

United Sound Systems • 0181-959-7525

Bust Info

Look out for the Legal Defence and Monitoring Group bust cards and carry them at all times.

These are their recommended solicitors:

Moss & Co. • 0181-986-8336, Pager 01459-103582

MacCormacks • 0171-790-4339

Thanks to Hackney Squatters Collective, 75A, 67A, the Factory, Chat’s Palace, Charles @ the Rio, Rick, pHreak, Tao Links, Calverts, Giles and all the groups & individuals who organised events this week. See you next year!

Venues

Free maps from the council, try Hackney Town Hall

Acton Arms • 296 Kingsland Rd (corner Arbutus St), Haggerston E8, 0171-254-7056 • Bus 22A, 22B, 67,149, 243, 243A, N243 • Access: ground floor

The Albion • please note the Albion is now being boycotted

Barnabas Hall • 109 Homerton High Street, Homerton E9 • BR: Homerton, Bus 228, 236, 276, 52, W15 past the door; 221., 30, 38, 55, 106, 253, N38, N253 nearby • Access: ground floor

Chat’s Palace • Brooksby Walk, Homerton E9 • Buses and BR: see Barnabas Hall • Access: good

Clissold Park • Stoke Newington Church Street/Green Lanes N16 • Bus 73, 106, 141, 171.

The Factory Squat • 8 Shelford Place Industrial Estate, Stoke Newington Church Street N16 • Bus 73, 141, 171 Tube Arsenal • Access: ground floor

London Fields • Pub on the Park, Martello St E8 • on your bike

Rio Cinema • 103 Kingsland High Street, Dalston E8, 0171-254-6677 • BR: Dalston Kingsland, Bus: 67,76 (not Sun),149, 236, 243, 243A, 8243 past the door; 221., 228, 30, 38, 56, 277, 38 near­by • Access: good

Squat Cafe • 67A Stoke Newington Road (entrance on Princess May Road) 816 • BR: Dalston Kingsland, Bus: 67,76 (not Sun),I49, 236, 243, 243A, 8243 past the door, 236 goes near • Access: lots of steps

Samuel Pepys • Mare Street, Hackney E8 (next to Hackney Empire), 0181-533-7709 • BR: Hackney Central, Hackney Downs, Bus 221., 228, 38, 48, 55,106, 236, 253, 277, D6, N26, H253 past the door, 30, 56 nearby • Access: poor, up stairs

Springfield Park • Spring Hill ES, near Clapton Common. Bus: 253 outside, 106 nearby

Technobabble • 40 Underwood Street, Hoxton NI • Tube: Old Street, Bus: 43, 76, 141, 214, 271 nearest, 55, 243, N243 nearby • Access: poor, up stairs

Unity Club • 96 Dalston Lane, Dalston E8 0171-241-0923 • BR: Dalston Kingsland, Bus: 22k 30, 38, 56, 236, 277 • Access: poor, upstairs

Food

all cheap with vegan & vegetarian

Squat Cafe • cheap vegan food every evening 18.00-23.00

Pumpkins • 76 Clarence Road E5, 0181-533-1214 • 12pm-21.30pm veg & vegan

Cafe Alba • 183 Mare Street E8, 0181-985-8349 • Mon-Fri 12.00-15.00 & 18.00-23.00, Sat & Sun 12.00-23.00

Centerprise • 136 Kingsland High Street E8, 0171-254-9632 • 10.30-17.00

Info updates during the week

Posters at events • Squat Cafe noticeboard • http://www.pHreak.co.uk/anarchy/ • pHreak bulletin board • email: anarchy@phreak.intermedia.co.uk • HAW @ BM Active, London WC IN 3XX

Message From The Organisers

So it’s finally happening, but what is it and why? First, it is whatever you “the people” make of it, if riots and insurrection ensue during or following the week you can bet we’ll be blamed or cele­brated, depending on the bias. All that the co-ordinators have done is in fact what you see on these pages of the pro­gramme. We asked those who call themselves Anarchist or Anarcho-something to do their thing during this week. Hackney Anarchy Week is therefore just a concentrated reflection .of what the Anarchists of Hackney and London are, however weak, disorganised, diverse or dynamic that is. For those who are unfamiliar with Anarchist politics it may seem confusing but take heart that there are people who believe in chang­ing things away from the tired hypocrisy of government and trendy left (and right) wing revolutionar­ies who can’t see past their paper sales!

We did not aim to provide a Hackney Anarcho-Butlins Holiday camp. The festival has come through a Do It Yourself structure and we see it as an on­going path for the week and the eventual revolution itself. Hackney Anarchy Week did not ask the council for any­thing, and in fact all they have done is attack us, and we do not expect to be asked of anything ourselves. We want to inspire. to bring together, to celebrate and to advertise, not to patron­ise, regulate or act as benevo­lent guardians of revolutionary anger. We’ve done something, it won’t end here, what about next year’?

Dedicated to Albert Meltzer, Emma Cray and Joshua Compston for lives of dedi­cation and enthusiasm.

The Bread and Circuses Roadshow

Are you fed up with an unsatisfying, meaning­less existence’? Would you like to do something about it’? Fancy researching Ozone-hole depletion in Antarctica’? Or maybe doing that bit of metal- sculpture that you always want­ed to’? Or maybe trading in your polluting car for an environmen­tally-friendly pony and trap’? Wanna get a band together’? Or just get a break from the con­sumerist treadmill for a few years?

Well, tough shit. You can’t and there’s nothing you can do about it, because that’s the way it is. Yes, welcome to the BastardWorld (TM) Bread and Circuses roadshow. Here’s the low-down… what would you really like to do with your life instead of the dead-end tread­mill existence you’ve been allo­cated’?

Yes, that’s right, just fill in the triplicate form enclosed and return it to the Department of Social Control. Then, after it’s been bent, folded, mutilated and stapled, lost, found, lost again and then put at the bottom of the pile enough times, we’ll arrange for you to see a group of our own hand-picked professionals doing exactly what you’ve always wanted to do but aren’t allowed to. Remember, all the interesting jobs are reserved. If we allowed the likes of you to get a look in, there wouldn’t be any plum jobs to hand out to the privileged members of society, their offspring and their min­ions.

Musn’t grumble, otherwise we’ll stitch you up as a social deviant and send you off for rehabilitation therapy and find a dozen good reasons why you shouldn’t get a look in. So remember, get into vicarious living, because that’s all you’re gonna get. Don’t get any funny ideas about voting in a different government to change things at the next election, because it won’t make a jot of difference. Why? Easy, because all the political parties are just another aspect of tile Department of Social Control’s very own “Bread and Circuses” roadshow. We’ve had it all sewn up long before you were even born and were not about to change any­thing for some little git like you. Sure, everything’s bullshit and we don’t care because, we don’t give a toss. Get used to it. We control everything and that includes you.

Don’t like it’? Well, there’s nowhere to go, buddy. So you can either put up and shut up or check out.

Albert Meltzer

A life time of Anarchist struggle ended this month with his death. A public procession to his memorial service is planned for 10am Friday, 24. March from Celestial Gardens, off Lee High Road, Lewisham, SE 13. Bring Black Flags, respect, but no Golden Angels.

There follows an excerpt from his recently published auto-biography Couldn’t Paint Golden Angels, Sixty Years of Commonplace Life and Anarchist Agitation:

“Personally I want to die in dignity, but my passing celebrated with jollity. I’ve told my executors that I want a stand-up comedian in the pulpit telling amus­ing anecdotes, and the coffin to slide into the incinerator to the sound of Marlene Dietrich. If the booze-up can begin right away, so much the better, and with a bit of luck the crematorium will never be gloomy again. Anyone mourn­ing should be denounced as a repre­sentative of a credit-card company and thrown out on their ear. Snowballs if in season (tomatoes if not) can be thrown at anyone utter­ing even worthy cliches like “the struggle goes on” and should any one of a religious mind offer pieces of abstract consolation they should be prepared to dodge pieces of’ concrete con­frontation.”

Reclaim the Streets…

…is an autonomous group who take direct action against ‘car culture’. Hackney has the lowest propor­tion of car ownership in London, yet every morning and evening commuters bring their pollution through Hackney on their way to the City. Stop the Commuter- Polluters and join the RTS action. Thurs, 30 May. Meet outside Chat’s Palace at 7.30 am.

Hackney’s Anarchic Nineties

Text accompaning the Timeline in the Hackney Anarchy Week Programme.

Rough and Ready

The last ten years and beyond

In the past twenty or so years Hackney has acquired what’s possibly the largest concentration of Anarcho types in the UK.

The London Borough Hackney’s Labour council is largely to be thanked for this. Their inefficient and poorly managed housing department and lack of resources have ensured that several thousand homes are always left empty. The corruption and complacency of Hackney’s Labour Party is a clear manifestation of the failure of the country’s “democratic” system.

The only viable opposition is coming from radical action outside of the establishment. The infamous and murderous activities of the Stoke Newington Police are an obvious demonstration that the state is not  interested in maintaining a harmonious community but in criminalising and oppressing those at the margins of mainstream society.

A decade ago Anarchists from Hackney were involved in the anti-apartheid campaign and anti-racist issues, the riots at Wapping (which turned a lot of people off non-violence) and squatting actions.

Animal rights issues have been of consistent interest, with actions against fur shops, the anti McDonalds campaign, hunt sabbing, the live exports protests and other more underground activities receiving considerable support.

In the second half of 1987 what became labeled as “Hackney’s Squatters Army” disrupted every monthly council meeting demanding an end to evictions while 3-4,000 council homes remained empty. Links were developed with unions, while direct actions were carried out, such as against workers attempting to steel plate empty fiats. A squat centre was opened on Northwold Road. N16, a minibus purchased and a fairly well organised network established.

By March 1988, with over 120 flats squatted on the Stamford Hill Estate alone, the council brought in riot cops to attempt a mass eviction. After a three day stand off, with burning barricades, hundreds of masked squatters and local supporters, the estate was finally lost.

The Town Hall was again invaded and the former Salvation Army Hostel opposite occupied as emergency accommodation. Brynley Heaven, the Chair of Housing, was hounded out of Hackney and squatting continued to increase.

At the end of 1988 there were weekend gigs and parties at the squatted Club Mankind, Hackney Central and Lee House in Rectory Road N16 was occupied as a cafe/ bookshop/ meeting space and an unforgettable 7 feet half pipe skateboard ramp!

Support continued for outside issues with Hackney Anarchos making lively contributions all the main demos, the Troops Out campaign, the development of the Hackney Community Defence Association and the annual “We Remember” marches in respect of all the people killed by Hackney police. The Hackney Solidarity Group was formed and the controversial “Hackney Heckler” published and distributed free throughout the borough.

In 1990 when the poll tax was introduced there had been disturbances all over the C0untry and trouble was expected the night Hackney set its poll tax. Several thousand people gathered outside the Town Hall, the police lost control and were chased up Mare Street, cop cars were overturned and rioting and looting ensued. (A lot of local people were involved in looting Radio Rentals etc.) “Outside agitators” waving black flags were blamed for the trouble…

A few weeks later there was not surprisingly a massive contingent of Hackney rent-a-mob at Trafalgar Square taking the cops on and smashing up the West End. Police raids followed and a number of Hackney Anarchos ended up in jail. Andy Murphy, a Class War member who had appeared on television, was suspended from his council job (but later reinstated). The following year the council launched a new campaign against squatting using PIOs (Protected Intended Occupier forms). Holmleigh Road estate, N16, which had for years been a hotbed of Anarchist activism including the Rock against the Rich tour, Hackney Solidarity Group etc was evicted.

Hackney has always had a number of combative anti-fascists. Activists from Hackney have been involved in confronting the fascists: in the Kings Cross area and at the annual Remembrance Day commemorations, thwarting the Hitler’s birthday celebrations at Hyde Park in 1989, closing down Nazi shops in the West End, the Battle of Waterloo Station in 1992, and at Hoxton Market, Brick Lane, in the fighting at Welling (formerly home of the BNP headquarters) in 1993 and challenging the BNP on the Isle of Dogs.

There have been numerous squatted party spaces, in warehouses, factories etc. as well as more serious centres such as at 149 Amhurst Road and the Neville Arms. Support has been given to industrial disputes, occupations and actions against cuts in services. In 1988, several libraries were occupied and kept open until they were finally evicted. In 1993, the same happened with various wards of the University College Hospital.


Hackney has a thriving cultural scene (see over!) with lots of bands, sound systems and party organisers. An estimated 30,000 people attended the last Hackney Homeless Festival in Clissold Park in 1994 despite obstructions by the council. Naturally, Hackney produced a lot of opposition to the Criminal Injustice Act with active participation in the different actions and demos culminating in the Hyde Park riot in 1994.

In 1993, the council started a vicious anti-squatting campaign in Hackney, leading to the destruction of many communities. The heavily squatted Pembury Estate, where a feeling of togetherness between tenants and squatters prevailed, became one of the first causalties.

In 1994, the council managed to evict Glading Terrace, Church Crescent and the Spikey Thing with Curves (the old Salvation Army building empty again) in Mare Street. Large numbers of former squatters also began taking up offers of council tenancies on “hard-to-let” estates (for good or for bad).

Hackney Anarcho types had been involved in direct action concerning environmental issues for years and have notably been present at the road protests, in particular the long running M11 campaign and the 1995 Reclaim the Streets actions. New centres have been squatted, the New Pigasus, 75A Mildinay Park, which lasted over a year and provided a vegan cafe, creche, video and poetry nights, circus nad meeting space etc. and the current squat cafe in Stoke Newington.

At the beginning of 1996, the former North London Magistrates Court was squatted to provide accommodation for refugees. As well as combating the government’s racist immigration measures (by means of the autonomous refugee centre ARCH), another issue that is being taken up is the proposed introduction of the Job Seekers Allowance.

Hackney Anarchy Week, 1996

This ten day festival in the borough was inspired by the London-wide “Anarchy In the UK” festival of 1994. It commenced exactly 15 years ago to the day.

HAW was the culmination of six months of a small crew  holding at least weekly meetings, originally held in a squatted social centre around Newington Green, and then HQ was set up in a squatted block on the corner of Kingsland High Street and Princess May Road. Contacts were pooled, favours were called in.

The main programme was a massive foldout thing (click on the images for bigger versions):

The inner pages of the programme included a Hackney Timeline and other material which will appear here shortly.

There was also a Hackney Anarchy Week film – does anyone fancy getting that up on Youtube?