-- The Politician-Free Zone
As well as being politically spot on, this website also has awesome psychic powers.
Free board game based on the 1999 anti-World Trade Organization demonstrations.
Information about Rachel Corrie, an American killed by the Israeli army in 2003.
Carlo Giuliani was a 23 year old anarchist, killed by Italian police at a protest in 2001.
A small collection of political tattoos.
The Politician-Free Zone is the place to start if you're interested in reading about anarchist ideas. It has articles which between them answer most of the questions that people have, as well as a lot of cartoons and graphics.
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An anarchist tribute to Tintin.
How long would it take the head of a big company to earn your pay? Trick question - they don't earn their pay.
An introduction to the site and information on the latest things that've been added to it.
Useful or fun stuff on other sites.
PLEASE NOTE: As of November 2014, this site is no longer updated. However it will be left up indefinitely as an archive.
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Being A Yob Is No Crime
Youths wearing Burberry shirts in Leicester town centre have been banned from two pubs owned by the Barracuda Group. Mild amusement was afforded at the weekend by the fact that Tony Blair was photographed wearing a Burberry top in Italy, though what with the high probability that this was a freebie from a prominent Italian - and not to wear it might be considered an affront that would lead to his getting less free stuff next year - he has so far escaped a ban from any drinking establishment.
Oh, and besides, the ban only applies where the uniform bisects other telltale signs of hooliganism: travelling in a large group of same-gender friends, cutting your hair short, making a lot of noise. PC Karen Holdridge, of Leicestershire police's violence and disorder team, said: "Well known football hooligans have a dress code. These people are recognised as coming into the city centre day in, day out and causing trouble."
Sure, sure - all very true, but omitting to mention the fact that a lot of people wear this stuff who aren't hooligans, for the simple reason that it is trendy. This is no Clockwork Orange garb sought out so that a trio of young psychos can look threateningly different. Everyone wears it; Danniella Westbrook wears it; the only reason I don't wear it is that I'm too middle class, plus the skirts are too short and they show my fat bits.
Here's the rub - people talk about "yob culture" and "hooligan culture" to describe behaviour that is usually not illegal, causes no lasting damage, but that they just find very annoying. That milky suffix "culture" allows tags of criminality to be applied to people who have committed no crime. Naturally, these men wearing Burberry might go on to commit a crime. It is likely that the people who will commit a crime at the end of the night, or at some later point, will own a garment featuring the distinctive check. But it's equally likely that everyone facing any charge of high-level fraud owns a shirt by Hackett, or Thomas Pink.
Numerous crimes - pretty much all crimes that aren't domestic - are associated with structures of fellowship: groups whose momentum in pursuit of their common interest interferes with their personal ethics. This momentum might come from booze or it might come from farcical amounts of money. It might gather more pace in groups who have less to lose. Reason still dictates that you can't exclude or castigate people for sharing a sartorial profile with other people who behave criminally.
So what is this behaviour, that Blunkett et al feel legitimate in describing as yobbish, and yet isn't illegal? Principally, it is being drunk and noisy. This irritates me as well. But I'm way more irritated by art students, with their piping, over-confident voices, bellowing on the top of the bus about some tripe that involves cutting turf into the shape of a car. (Man alive! They've disturbed a relationship between rural and urban!) I'm irritated by braying, corn-fed men in rugby shirts. In other words, people with very posh voices, who don't have the grace to camouflage or muffle them, send me crazy. And don't think this is irrational. In parading, rather than hiding, a moneyed accent, people are saying: "I'm not ashamed of the privilege of my class. Indeed, I think I deserve it. This whole business suits me rather well." That's social carelessness.
Then there is obscenity. A judge recently barred a juror for wearing a Fcuk T-shirt. What is the world coming to when you can be offended by an anagram? Max Hastings described upbraiding a youth for having "I am a cunt" written across his top. OK, it's a bit balder - but a caramel silk vest top from Jaeger, a flock of cashmere pashminas, a pair of Tod's men's driving shoes: these all say, "I am a cunt" to me. Graffiti annoys a lot of people. It tickles me. If we are talking about polluting a public space with coarse messages, I feel more offended by almost all adverts (at the moment: "It's not your shirt, it's not your job, it's not your blah ... it's your watch that says the most about you." Just Fcuk off!
And what does that leave us, yobwise? It leaves us with litter. Litter really is bad. I used to be an inveterate litterer until a bloke saw me drop an apple core on the floor of a train and said: "People like you think there are people born to clear up after you." I was so ashamed that I picked it up and ate it. Yes, even the hairy bit.
Otherwise, if you mean criminal, say it, and back it up with actual crime. If you mean noisy, say noisy. And if you mean I just don't like young, working-class people, then for God's sake say so. Don't hide behind yob, or culture, or any combination thereof.
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