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
A trawl through their internet sites shows the 30 November event is
being organised by a similar network of groups to the carnival against
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
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.