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Do or Die No 8. BACK | INDEX | NEXT page 333 - 340
Lettuce to the Cabbage
Come on in Number 7—Your Time is Up…

These pages are open access and we will print most letters we receive—although remember that they do not necessarily reflect the views of the Do or Die Editorial Collective. Due to space constraints it would be good if letters could be kept to around 500 words, and sending them as text files on disks would mean less work to do for us. It also makes it more likely that your letter will appear without spelling mistakes or bits missing due to our appalling typing! Unless otherwise marked we will assume all letters received are for publication—although the names and addresses of senders will not be printed unless relevant.
Fuck Off!

Dear Do or Die!

Publish this! Ha Ha Ha!!! Publish an article that slags us off! Print loads of inaccuracies in the article! Refuse us a right to reply! Waste a quarter of a page telling people that you refused us a right to reply! And then you ask us to help you distribute it! FUCK OFF!

With love from the corporate sell-out department at Undercurrents.

You’re Crap

Dear DoD,

Thanks for carrying Gandalf news and London Greenpeace’s defiance pledge (pp.129-131)—even if your report was crap.

We don’t “mix up…revolutionary calls with concerns for civil liberties”. We’re clear the basis of the bourgeois State is the social contract and the Gandalf prosecution’s tyrannical negation of rights of expression, association and conscience justifies a revolutionary response, even in their terms. Just because your writer’s so mixed up he can’t get beyond his liberalism doesn’t mean this message should be obscured from your readers so they are prevented from responding appropriately too.

Re. “winning”, our main role is to discredit Gandalf trials so they can’t be used to legitimise conspiracy/incitement laws as a generalised repressive instrument against the direct action movement. Through this, we can hope to discredit the State as a whole in our small way. If the State’s shown to deny our rights rather than guarantee them, justice can only come about through its revolutionary abolition. If we acknowledge any of their procedures, it’s only to show they’re self-serving and/or absurd. For example, combining burning the judge in effigy on 2nd February 1998 with applying to him to stand down on grounds of personal animosity towards the defendants effectively showed the impossibility of justice in this case. Similarly, appeals to liberal bodies have largely been made to show how useless they are rather than to divert campaigning into futile, piecemeal lobbying. Rarely, they have proved useful despite themselves. Index, for example, effectively took direct action bypassing State censorship by putting ‘inciting’ texts on the Net.

Calling for direct action, a revolutionary response to the Gandalf prosecution isn’t “promot[ing] the revolutionary politics of Green Anarchist” as your writer offensively suggests. It’s just a common-sense response to political prosecution. There’s nothing specifically anarcho-primitivist in it. Anarcho-primitivism in an anti-ideological tendency anyway—we would no more want to impose it on any animal lib ideologues sharing the dock with us than anyone else! As Camatte and Colli argue in On Organisation, propaganda represses revolutionary consciousness rather than raising it—if they’re right, our ideas are already in everyone’s heads anyway!

As your report didn’t mention it, I should say here that MI5 want to use the Gandalf prosecution to showcase ‘eco-terrorism’ and make work post-Cold War. During her 1994 Dimbleby lecture, Stella Rimington said ‘subversion’ was down and ‘terrorism’ was up. A vengeful New Labour is now decimating the counter-subversion section. As F2’s staff move on to become ‘counter-terrorists’ they’re re-filing us accordingly. So at the last Gandalf trial, Selwood denounced writers (‘subversives’) as ‘terrorists’ for supporting direct action, not even taking it. We can at best discredit all this by focusing on well-documented provocateurs like Tim Hepple (now Matthews) sent into the early-1990s movement to manufacture this ‘threat’.

Yours for the destruction of civilisation,

John Connor, Oxford GA’s, BCM 1715, London, WC1N 3XX, UK.

PS: How could you end your otherwise sympathetic review of Bob Black’s Anarchy After Leftism (pp.145-6) by referring readers to Fabian ‘Fuckwit’ Tompsett’s crass cowardly libels?! He’s more the anti-Semite than Black, defending convicted Holocaust revisionist Robert Faurissan (see his Sucked, p.2), Stewart “Long Live Death” Home and his Evolian fascist buddy Tony Wakeford. You reviewed 5th Estate in the same issue (p.154), so you know what lying scum the Neoists are! For more info, see Larry O’Hara’s Stewart Home and His Fascist Friends, BM Box 4769, London WC1N 3XX, UK.
An Insight From India

Dear Folks,

I was sent a copy of Do or Die No. 6 by The Land is Ours and have been heartened by it. I’m a member of a radical group in India and work here November to March each year, returning to the UK and following the same principles there.

Being away gives perspective. I’m going to work on the basis that the party political AND economic structures are grossly damaging. This I’ve been already doing, but have not been ‘preaching’ it. All our other structures/institutions are also destructive. Firstly, on the advice of folks at my centre I have been finding out more about just and sustainable alternatives in the UK—this has become a pleasure now, rather than a chore.

I see great potential in the LETS scheme (not the trademarked systems!) and applications (informal) of the mediation UK type.

Once one of the unthinking and complacent I have become radicalised by a number of forces—my main ‘badge’ being that of a poll tax refuser. I was enthused when your movement began and I hope to see it continue—beware Porritt’s ‘Forum for a Future’ which is offering Swampy figures a course of education, with various corporates, so that they can put their case in the right way!! Hope all ignore him—or that volunteers are replaced.

Belonging to the generation that landed you all with this mess of pollution and anomie I can only belatedly pull myself together and do what can be done. Positive microtrends are being supported and recorded by such people as Helena Norberg-Hodge (Ancient Futures), Richard Douthwaite (Short Circuit) and James Robertson (read his briefing on the ‘New Economics of Sustainable Development’—better still his 1988 ‘Sane Alternative’.) Another, Jeremy Seabrook, is taking this up and I hope to arrange a two day exchange to discuss the way forward in Bromsgrove, around April/May.

Before that I’d like to see a few of you and invite you to choose a rep (or two) to join in this discussion. Will be in touch re: this when I get back.




The UK’s Oldest Political Prisoner…

Dear Members,

Thank you for your Do or Die copy No. 7, it was appreciated. It makes one think that perhaps Nature itself has its own plan, and that mankind was allowed to climb so far up the evolutionary chain in order to destroy itself and most of the World. How else to explain the blind greed that so many are infected with?

All those in power will not, cannot, make changes in isolation, particularly in the Oil and related industries. I am too old to live to see the day when change for the worse becomes obvious to all, and irreversible.

It would be interesting to see the panic and realisation set in among those who obviously think that they and the dynasties that they are a part of, or hope to found, cannot after all be untouched by the conditions they have created and which cannot be bought off no matter how much money they have.

Yes, Nature is tilling its own garden with our help, and what survives or is created in this process can only be another in a long line of experiments. We have the intellect to rise above the challenge, but only by conquering greed and I am afraid that is too strong a trait in too many. Again thank you for so many thought provoking articles.


Ron Easterbrook B88459, HMP Highdown, Sutton Lane, Sutton, Surrey, SM2 5PJ, UK.
Dead End Workerists?

Dear comrades,

I have issue No. 6 (which is the first Do or Die I came across) and I would like to say how very impressed I am by it indeed. Increasingly I am beginning to see that the best and neediest hope for change in society has to occur through eco, environment and lifestyle rather than the old hoped for point of revolution of workplace struggles which take nobody, but nobody, past the end of any particular dispute. Won or lost, capitalism and planet destruction prevails. Challenge to this ugly, wasteful system must now come from a broader, more vital, more far-thinking front.

Best wishes,

Welsh Authoritarians?

Dear Do or Die,

Over the past couple of years, through the counterculture and direct action movement, it has been heartening to see anarchists and other radicals moving away from the sectarianism of the past. Peace News is supporting the GA and ALF Defendants, Green Anarchist gives positive reviews of the new look Class War, and the May Day ‘98 conference brings together all types of anarchists, socialists and libertarian leftists to discuss the future. Great stuff!

I do not want to negate any of this good work, but I would like to highlight the dangers of authoritarian groups masquerading under the anarchist/DIY movement’s broad banner. Specifically, I refer to a party calling itself Cymru Goch (in Welsh, literally, ‘Red Wales’), operating from a PO Box number in Wrexham. They have, I understand, already been listed as a Welsh contact in the pages of Schnews, Animal and possibly other publications.

The group is keen to present itself as an integral part of our grassroots movement, but the briefest examination of them reveals this to be more than a little misleading. Cymru Goch is, for starters, heavily statist. It is allied to the Scottish Republican Socialist Party in Glasgow, a group openly hostile to anarchism (and, I might add, noted for its venomous misogyny and homophobia). Indeed, one of the few things that anarchists, DIY-ers and Trotskyists all agree on is that the SRSP are—er, potty. (They don’t have the members to be considered dangerous).

Cymru Goch, furthermore, claim their Welsh Republican heritage from the legacy of the Free Wales Army, a 1960’s terrorist outfit led by ultra-patriot Julian Cayo Evans, eulogised in Cymru Goch’s paper, ‘Y Faner Goch’. The Angry Brigade they weren’t—the FWA were racist to such a degree that John Tyndall (then of the NF) opened talks with them (see ‘To Dream of Freedom’ by Roy Lewes (Y Lolfa, 1980)) and they were rabidly KKK-ristian to boot.

In 1996, Cymru Goch began negotiations with Militant Labour (now The Socialist Party) aimed at bringing about a coalition ready to stand in the following year’s general election. It was following the failure of this strategy (Militant were, quite rightly, suspicious of them!) that the group really pushed to be recognised as a part of the anarchist/DIY underground, talking of its commitment to ‘Red, Green and Black’ politics. And yet, they have failed to become remotely involved in any DIY struggle in Wales, from the Anti-Election Alliance to the recent campaigns against the building of a McDonald’s store in Aberystwyth.

I might, moreover, add that many of the senior party members are academics, and that membership remains overwhelmingly male. Indeed, at least one former female member that I know of quit over the sexism of what she described as the “sweaty, rugby-lad” mentality of the membership.

All this suggests that Cymru Goch are another tired cadre of the ‘old left’, and, like the WRP’s vampire-like Reclaim the Future project, attach themselves to the anarchist/DIY counterculture for ends best described as ‘opportunistic’.

Yours sincerely,


PS: In case you’re wondering about my motives for writing the above, no, I have never been a member of Cymru Goch, have not fallen out with them and have no personal grudge against anyone involved.
Clueless Americans?

Dear Do or Die Collective,

Reading your magazine, through the hands of a friend via the EF! ho-down up in Oregon or wherever it was, was a great blast of interesting and funny and informative writing. Personally speaking, too much of the EF! scene here just pisses me off with it’s ignorance, separatism from other struggles, and straight out stupidity. Not to say folks here aren’t doing important shit, it’s just that they’re sometimes a bit clueless as to the rest of the planet, or the rest of their own continent, for that matter.

But I liked your ‘zine, because of its intelligence, global vision, and, well, its radical-ness. Oh yeah and sense of humour. I’m afraid that I’d have to agree with your reviewer about our own stateside journal: it’s a bit tame politically, and basically has the same navel-gazing world view of most other gringos, with a cool eco-merchandising section. Without sounding too much like a social scientist, I actually do feel there’s a sort of anti-intellectual bent in the US that pervades many facets of society. Sometimes it’s a helpful thing, and makes people trust themselves over the ‘experts’, and try anything, but other times it manifests itself as an active unwillingness, or even fear of thoroughly discussing things or figuring out where you’re coming from, or going to. That’s why I liked Do or Die, it contained thoughtful and in depth discussions about the directions the radical environmental movement is taking, covering way more intelligently and thoroughly than most of the similar writing I’ve seen from this side of the Atlantic.

Also, it seems that you don’t even question that the radical green movement is inherently connected, in some way, to the ‘red’ and ‘black’ movements, while as here I feel like people still think it’s a completely separate thing, which is bullshit as far as I’m concerned. So keep up the good work.


A Big Fat Feminist Rant About Sex

Dear Do or Die,

Pregnancy is a political issue. So why are loads of otherwise sorted site girls getting inseminated, and why are most of them either very young or from working class backgrounds? Something seems to be up the duff with our capacity to talk about cultural attitudes to sex and it’s leaving a lot of women either emotionally scarred by abortion or up to their ears in nappies. That’s an impressively dodgy sweeping statement but from what I’ve observed this year it seems to be true, and unless a debate is started soon the damage can only get worse.

These pregnancies aren’t the result of women who have consciously chosen motherhood as what they want most at this point in their lives, they’re accidents. They must be genuine accidents because we can’t possibily accept that sexism and even straightforward arrogance and ignorance are rife within parts of the movement. That these women may not be confident enough to demand protection. That their bumps might in part be the product of a mindset which finds it easier to rant about society’s inhibited attitudes to orgies than the fact that condoms and other contraceptives are sneered at as Babylonian and distasteful.

It’s an unfortunate truth that direct action does have a tendency to OD on testosterone, but usually the boring shadow of sexism is just irritating. When it comes to shagging however, patriarchy becomes positively dangerous. Male dominance in the sleeping bag means that condoms are seen to equate with bad/inhibited sex just because they slightly dull the bloke’s sensation and thus delay his orgasm. The fact that this is good news for female pleasure seems to have got lost in the prehistoric notion that women ‘give themselves’ to men in a procedure where male satisfaction is the ultimate goal.

This sort of bollox is given an eco-warrior twist with the whole ‘live life to extremes, every risk is worth it, I am an adventurer in the world of sensual excess unburdened by the shackles of latex’ type stuff. Apart from the uncomfortable truth that very little sex is worth risking AIDS for, there is also the small matter of another human being. Of course we have the right to screw up ourselves and our bodies with class A’s, dodgy walkways and other strange pleasures, but that liberty can’t really be extended to messing with the lives of people we create. Not that I’m denying a lot of people make great emergency parents, but isn’t the universe a hard enough place to arrive in without being an inconvenient blip in someone’s general world saving/happiness achieving schemes?

I don’t know what the answer is to all this, cosy contraceptive lectures round the firepit would hardly aid slop digestion, and a communal stash of rubbers from the local family planning only works if people use them. One way or another though we need to be more open about this, before all that yoghurt about ‘protecting the Mother’ starts tasting a bit sour.

Yours expecting lots of vociferous feedback about how it’s ’none of your fucking business you preachy middle class twat’

Nanny Cunt of the Durex marketing board
Dilution by Acceptance…

Dear Do or Die,

Issue seven made many good points on the media’s relationship with direct action: in particular, the review of Gathering Force was valuable in revealing the ‘recuperation’ tactic of dilution by acceptance. The same tactic also applies to more ‘reasonable’ campaigns, which have been overwhelmed by government consultation exercises of dubious sincerity. The new regional government structures promise ‘a seat at the table,’ so should we stop shouting outside?

It’s vital to be heard at all levels… but experience from the campaign Bills, public inquiries and Agenda 21 shows a vast democratic deficit. Take the Hastings Bypass Public Inquiry of 1995-6, which in July 1998 said the road should go ahead, with even this decision now subject to yet more bureaucratic, semi-clandestine ‘study’.

I’ve been involved in South Coast Against Roadbuilding (SCAR) which, while not undertaking direct action as such, has been an excellent network for local anti-roads groups. Your Personality Politics article (see Do or Die No. 7, page 35) is right to question media coverage, but I have no problem with media stunts as long as that is the clear aim: with Fairmile, this wasn’t the case, hence trivialising the issue. SCAR has done a lot of photo-stunts, and fought the Hastings inquiry hard. We even had the ‘award-winning’ Emma Must (and we never called her that!). But for all our expert witnesses, the system prevailed.

Regional government could be the biggest ‘recuperation’ ever, with SCAR and other groups forming a network to feed into it. But if the system starts to control them, they lose the cutting edge. The danger lies in respecting the ‘shadow’ role too literally, rather than allowing grassroots campaigns to find their own agenda (and, if necessary, ‘unrespectable’ tactics). Taking the SCAR example, we began in order to shadow the DOT’s agenda for a Folkestone to Honiton super-bypass…which was the opposite of divide and rule. But regional government is exactly that. Roads, airports and development cross many boundaries, and losing the wider view creates a parochial outlook. Pandering to the official line without scepticism, ‘reasonable’ campaigners can be manipulated no less than the radical activists. It’s best to trust your instincts!

Captain Gasmask

Bob Black’s Bits…

Dear Do or Die,

Both the merits and limitations of my book Anarchy after Leftism are implicit in its first sentence: “This small book is nothing more than a critique of another small book, Murray Bookchin’s Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism: An Unbridgeable Chasm.” This was all I promised. If I delivered a little more, as your reviewer suggests (and I like to think), so much the better, but a book taking this form is bound to be more critical than constructive. I don’t have to have all the right answers to notice that Bookchin has the wrong ones.

In itself, it is not too important that Bookchin now contradicts his earlier writings, and on a large scale. A bigger man than Bookchin would acknowledge his mistakes and recount what he has learnt from them. After all, he claims to be a dialectician. But Bookchin, like Big Brother, is always right. In SALA he savages a motley array of critics and rivals, arraigned as co-defendants, as “lifestyle anarchists”, although only he perceives the essential equivalence of their iniquity: to anyone else, all they seem to have in common is Bookchin’s hatred. It’s not just that these villains disagree with him now, the worst of it is they agree with him back when. As I wrote in AAL: “Some of us believed him then. Now he tells us we were wrong, although he never tells us he ever was. Why should we believe him now?”

I dealt with Bookchin as a leftist because in SALA (Inshallah?) he cast himself as inheritor and champion of “the left that was”—his phrase—and because his regression from his earlier, higher perspectives invariably consists of regression to the traditional leftism he traduced in “Listen, Marxist!” He seems unaware that his own vaunted creation Social Ecology is now part of The Left That Was and has had little appeal to The Left That Still Is, Sort Of. “Lifestyle anarchists” take Social Ecology a lot more seriously (too seriously, I’d say) than do the class-struggle workerists. For realising what remains vital in the left whilst superseding the rest, Bookchin’s tirade is quite useless.

If Bookchin’s category of “lifestyle anarchism” is incoherent, his usurpation of “social anarchism”—defined as Bookchinism—as its antithesis is slanderous and scandalous. Without exception, Bookchin’s designated enemies are anti-capitalist, collectivist anarchists. As far as I’m concerned Bookchin can define Social Ecology as whatever he says it means this week, as he seems to have coined the phrase, but he’s not absconding with Social Anarchism.

Finally, a disagreeable point about footnote 6, which most of your readers must have found incomprehensible. Among his other adjectival ejaculations, Bookchin denounced lifestyle anarchists as fascistic Nazi sympathisers (while contradictorily accusing the very same people of individualism and liberalism). Meanwhile he celebrated the Great White Fathers of 19th century left anarchism, such as Bakunin. So I quoted a disparaging description of Karl Marx in a letter by Bakunin which included mention of Marx being Jewish, because it was uncannily descriptive of Bookchin too. I was not endorsing Bakunin’s private lapse into anti-Semitism, I was showing up Bookchin’s double standard.

Enter Anarchist Integralism by gay novelist Stewart Home, writing as ‘Luther Blissett’. As his books are not selling very well and his Art Strike publicity stunt is ancient history, Home has cast about for other ways to attract attention. In successive pamphlets he has denounced as fascists—first, environmentalists and Greens; next, Green anarchists; and now anarchists generally. In this latest pamphlet, he quotes me, quoting Bakunin to prove that Bakunin was something of an anti-Semite, to prove that I am an anti-Semite. By similar reasoning, when Home quotes somebody to prove he is an anti-Semite (such as Bakunin or myself) that proves that Home is an anti-Semite, right? As he may well be, as he has long standing ties to the neo-Nazi band Sol Invictus associated with the National Front.


Bob Black, PO Box 3142, Albany, NY 12203-0142, USA.
The Third Way

Greetings Do or Die,

In the 1960’s USA activists really only explored two alternatives to political power—the ballot or the bullet. Direct action by USA left activists was generally a means to the end of one of those two alternatives. I am still reading Do or Die to understand how the political end is achieved via the direct action strategy. Be good to yourselves! For a better future for us all!

Power to the people!

Mark Cook #027100, Airway Heights Correctional Center, PO Box 1809, Unit LA-5L, Airway Heights, WA 90001-1809, USA.

Liberal Myths

Dear Do or Die,

Activists are welcome to criticise the revolutionary politics of Green Anarchist (GA) but the correct place for this is in the pages of GA, other movement publications and not in court or inside a prison cell.

Under the liberal myth, people have a supposed ‘right’ to express themselves freely. With the Gandalf trial, this liberal myth of freedom of thought is shown to be an empty lie. Their whole system is founded on lies. Do you propose to answer this with Reformism?

To campaign for freedom of expression is not to endorse the revolutionary politics of GA. As the list of publications in my ‘Gandalf Diary’ shows, any movement publication is a potential target: Do or Die, the Newbury Road Raging book publishers, SchNEWS, Earth First! Action Update. Gandalf is just a laboratory and DSI Thomas merely the vivisector sub-contracted by the state. Is there a reformist answer to this?

Now that we have been done, all they have to do is demonstrate you have ‘links’ with GA and you can be part of the conspiracy too. Ever mentioned GA in your zine? Knowledge equals guilt…

It starts with slogans like ‘For the destruction of civilisation’ and ends disallowing calls (‘incitements’!) to save the trees at Stanworth Woods, or the snails at Newbury. Once you allow the Hampshire Stasi in, you might as well just hand over editorial control.

No, the answer is to deny the Reich any ‘right’ to interfere IN ANY WAY with our publications. You aren’t going to get this repudiation through reformist bleating about the supposed ‘right’ to freedom of expression. That is a lie, it is empty. You won’t get Liberty defending you, or any of the dead mainstream press supporting you. You can whittle away at it piecemeal forever with Reformism, but so long as the Reich remains, so does our problem. Alternatively, there is always Revolution. It’s your choice…

With best wishes—in a personal capacity,

Steve Booth, Green Anarchist, BM 1715, London, WC1N 3XX, UK.
Still No Escape From Patriarchy

Dear Do or Die,

Well, well, well, Do or Die finally has something to say about women! (No Escape from Patriarchy—DoD No.7) I imagine that most of the women (and probably quite a few men) reading this article could identify with a lot of the situations mentioned—and not just in the experience of living on site. For the 6 years that I have been involved in radical ecological direct action I have found that time and time again on actions, in offices, in meetings, in publications, on camps and in bed, sexism in its many forms is rife.

I agree with the writer of this article that “sites are patriarchal, but then so is society, and it is society I blame for it.” However, I disagree that this is “a by-product of Western culture.” Unfortunately, patriarchy is way more than that.

Patriarchy is the systemic oppression of women by men which has arguably been present in society since at least the dawn of civilisation. (There isn’t space here to go into the many theories around how and why patriarchy developed, but if you’re interested then go to any bookshop or library and look in the Women’s/Feminism section and you’ll find plenty of stuff on the subject.) Yes, patriarchy has specific manifestations in late 20th century western culture—like the systematic objectification/sexualisation of women’s bodies in popular media, or the fact that women are generally the primary care-givers to children and the elderly (but hooray! in our liberated world they can have a job too!!). However, fundamentally patriarchy is still about just one thing—men’s power over women.

The many manifestations of patriarchy at any given time are nothing more than the system’s latest ways of enforcing that power. Sometimes this is very, very blatant—in situations like rape and physical abuse against women (in other cultures and historical eras we have seen foot-binding, female infanticide, forced sterilisation or hysterectomy, female genital mutilation, wife-burning, forced prostitution…). However most of the ways in which patriarchy is enforced are much more subtle—the education system which conditions subordination in girls, or the gender stereotypes which capitalism promotes and profits from. (If you want proof of the latter just watch a few hours of TV for a quick run-down on the ways in which women are represented as either domesticated, deferring to men, in caring roles, needing protection from men etc., or as the sexualised ‘property’ of men (both physically and ideologically.)) The whole thing is very insidious and it has to be. It works on a level of not only accentuating the power men have in society, but also the powerlessness of women. We are meant to internalise our inequality and accept it as the norm, then we become tools for the system, continually reinforcing our own oppression. Yet this only works because of the subtlety of forms which patriarchy takes. Look at how much more resistance and outrage there is to the blatant manifestations of patriarchy—rape, physical abuse etc. compared to the more subtle forms such as how kids are educated and how the entire legal system is inherently sexist.

Looked at in this light it is easier to see why the radical ecological direct action movement is not really tackling the issue of women’s oppression, and why the blatant sexism seen on site is unfortunately the very tip of the iceberg. We are very good (as a largely anarchist, increasingly anti-capitalist group of people) at arguing and acting for the removal of the great inequalities of power between classes of people in our society (the possessed and the dispossessed basically). However, we are not so good at looking at the more insidious types of power systems—especially those in which we have power ourselves. If we are serious about wanting revolution, then we have to face the fact that this revolution will need to remove the power element in our social relationships—not just our overtly political or economic ones. So those with the power will need to give it up. We aren’t just talking here about men giving up their power over women, but also able over disabled, white over black, older over younger…in other words creating a society where no-one has any sort of power over anyone else.

This is a bloody difficult task. We are all conditioned into our roles of power and powerlessness, and the systems of power which dominate our society do not take holidays. It is virtually impossible for us to conceive of a society without power systems because we have never experienced it and there are few, if any, cracks in the system which we can enlarge. (Also I suspect that power has a nasty habit of being rather like a computer virus—even when you think it has gone away another manifestation of it crops up elsewhere!)

This all leads me to agree with the writer of ‘No Escape from Patriarchy’ when she says that “being aware, and not assuming that women are incompetent is a major step forward.” But “being aware” is not a Saturday job. “Being aware” for all people must mean continually attempting to remove the power relationships that exist between groups and individuals in society. We’ve all got to learn to give up our power and our powerlessness, and to assist others to do the same, whether that means pointing out the power dynamics of our social relations or challenging overtly sexist/racist/ etc. acts. Above all we should recognise that this is not a ‘diversion’ from the revolutionary process of which we are a part, but rather the very heart of it.


Sylvia Pankhurst’s Maid
Slack Blag Writes…

Dear Do or Die,

I greatly enjoyed No. 7 which was full of inspirational stuff, particularly the Sem Terra article. I have to say I find some of your analyses a bit contradictory, but that’s a much longer letter than you’d have space for. I just wanted to raise a point about the article on the No Opencast actions, where the author said that as a radical ecologist they didn’t want to see any docks at all, as they are part of an insane system of mass production. Well, yes and no—ancient cultures all had ports despite very limited production. Without them, the implication is that no one would ever leave or come into this island.

In any anarchist society, a great proportion of long distance journeys made would be unnecessary, but not all. For example, a woman I work with had to fly to Jamaica to be with her dying father a few years ago—who is to tell her she can’t? I realize it’s probably a day or so’s walk in similar circumstances if your family is from Cheshire or Sussex, but one in three people where I live are not white. Perhaps the ‘radical ecological society’ your writer envisages will also do away with migration, but somehow I doubt it will happen like that. I’m sure they didn’t mean to put things this way, but the position of no ports/airports, and by extension immigrants, is one that would normally find favour with the sort of people your contributors would not normally agree with.


M, c/o Black Flag, BM Hurricane, London, WC1N 3XX, UK.
Albert Dryden

Dear DoD,

As someone that has been imprisoned for political activities, I strongly agree that prisoner support is one of the most important aspects of political activity. However, unlike the other people listed in Prisoners (Do or Die No. 7, page 136) Albert Dryden does not fit into the Do or Die statement “those imprisoned for their involvement in ecological, anti-nuclear/military, animal liberation, anti-fascist/racist, anti-State and indigenous peoples struggles.”

The person he killed (who is) referred to as a council official was involved in many campaigns for a better world, both ecological and for people. Harry was a gentle friend who did not deserve to be killed. He was a friend of mine, killed 7 years ago. There was no justification for his killing and I would imagine someone’s been misled into putting his killer down as deserving support from activists. Maybe you could let people know about this.



Irish Wind

Dear Do or Die,

You may be getting some news from us in the future as this place is a vegan anarchist commune perched halfway up a mountain. And a great way to be until someone decided to propose here as a place to put the biggest wind farm in Europe so far! I’m into windpower but not on that scale. We’re 250 acres and a mile from the house that will be dug up and concreted with roads all over it. It’s crucial habitat for rare birds of prey, bats, otters etc. so we ain’t going to let it happen. We’ve teamed up with Cobh anti-pylons groups in County Cork who I’ve actively supported since it started a year ago. They at present may be evicted from tree houses at any time.

Anyhow it’s important EF!ers get to know about the wind power issue and how it’s not ‘green’ in any way. Don’t believe the bullshit—the power is for plastics/agro-chemical factories etc.. It will not save coal or peat being burned. This is because they demand more power. Windmills (the big ones) kill birds and the power fields fuck up all life.

Good luck—and keep up the pressure,


If you want to contact the author of this letter send your correspondence to DoD and we’ll pass it on.
Do or Die No 8. BACK | INDEX | NEXT page 333 - 340

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