This post is part of a series of stories and articles I wrote exactly ten years ago, on this day in 2003. This one’s a feature article based on some time I spent visiting and helping out at the Catholic Worker hospitality house in New York. For more stories in the series, click here. 30th April 2003 A young Japanese woman with purple hair tripped along First Street, clutching to her chest all the books that she couldn’t fit in her fashionably miniscule backpack. A graffiti-covered computer keyboard dangled cryptically from… Read More
This post is part of a series of stories and articles I wrote exactly ten years ago, on this day in 2003. Here I talk about my reasons for protesting against the Iraq war, which had just started at that point. For more stories in the series, click here. The dust storm came blasting down Wall Street. Luckily I saw it coming and managed to duck inside before it engulfed our building, blocking out the sun. For several minutes, crouching nervously in the darkened lobby, I tried not to think about… Read More
Was saddened this week to hear of the death of peace activist Brian Haw. There are not too many people in these times who live completely honest lives. We may have our opinions about the way we’d like things to be, but we hide them, or express them timidly. Rather than speaking generally, let me be specific. I am ashamed of hiding my opinions, or only expressing them timidly. I am ashamed that, although I opposed the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, I merely went on a few marches, and… Read More
Just read an interesting pamphlet called “The Story of William Cuffay, Black Chartist.” It’s quite a story. His grandfather was an African, sold into slavery in St Kitts, where his father was born a slave. Somehow he ended up being freed and living in Chatham – the pamphlet doesn’t say how – and that’s where William Cuffay was born in 1788. He worked as a tailor all his life, only getting involved in politics when he joined the Tailors’ Strike of 1834 and was sacked from a job he’d held… Read More
Thanks to Contemporary Anarchist for drawing my attention to this protest against the occupation of Palestine being organised by a coalition called “Enough! Enough!“. London, June 9th 2007, 1:30, Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Be there or be apathetic.
Some day I’m going to compile a list of all the adjectives used by journalists writing about protesters. Sometimes protesters are irresponsible, obstructive or stubborn, other times they are aggressive or violent, and usually the word anarchist crops up sooner or later. What’s interesting about these adjectives is that they are never chosen by the protesters themselves. Rule number one of journalism – represent all sides fairly – goes out of the window when people have the temerity to express their opinions outside the officially sanctioned method of putting an… Read More