Weekly Web Watch: Anarchists in the UK go worldwide

The ringleaders of the ’carnival against capitalism’ which caused pounds 2 million of damage in the City of London on 18 June were hard to pinpoint, as the event was organised by a number of different groups working in a cell-like structure.

The ringleaders of the ’carnival against capitalism’ which caused

pounds 2 million of damage in the City of London on 18 June were hard to

pinpoint, as the event was organised by a number of different groups

working in a cell-like structure.



A follow-up event, an international day of demonstration against

capitalism, being planned to coincide with the World Trade Organisation

talks in Seattle on 30 November, is being organised along the same

lines.



A trawl through their internet sites shows the 30 November event is

being organised by a similar network of groups to the carnival against

capitalism.



The group includes Reclaim the Streets, the Direct Action Network, the

PGA (Peoples’ Global Action against ’Free’ trade and the WTO) and

Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).



A central element common to both events is the use of a dedicated web

site, with links to the home pages of the organisations involved. The

N30 site has an e-mail address for local organisers to send their

contact details to, so that they can be posted on the bulletin

board.



In London, N30 participants have been asked to meet at Euston station at

9.30am, and later outside Canada House to protest against Canada’s

stance on asbestos. However, a related site for the International

Lobster Party is urging participants to meet at Euston during the

evening rush hour, between 5pm and 7pm, to ’reclaim the railways’. What

is clear is that Railtrack, whose headquarters are at Euston, will be a

target for protest.



N30 also contains a call to action explaining the reason for the

demonstration and offering suggestions about what types of protests

local groups could organise. It is not clear who created the N30 site,

although it ends with a contact address for the IWW in Seattle. But by

using the same techniques as the J18 site, it may well succeed in

mobilising as many people. A tracking system on the site shows it has

had over 9,700 visits, although 87 per cent of visitors have only been

to the site once.



The value of the J18 site to the protest organisers was not simply in

planning events. It was used, along with web TV and radio sites, to

broadcast action live on the day. Reports, pictures and video clips were

posted throughout the day, and the site is now being used as a

photographic record of the event and to put out press releases

countering negative reports on the organisers.



If the N30 site is used during and after the event in the same way as

its predecessor, the loose band of anarchists involved in the protest

will be making fuller and more imaginative use of the internet than many

of the highly organised and well-resourced multinationals they are

targeting ever have.



Organisation: Various

Issue: N30

At: www.seattlewto.org/n30/



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