The Stirrer

Back in 2021 when I went on the first of a number of anti-lockdown, anti-vaccine mandate protests in London, my initial impression was this was an indication of the emergence of a new social phenomena. That came from the range of people who turned up to express their anger at what was being done to us during 2020 and 2021. Many of these people had never been on a protest of any kind before in their lives. At that time, the closest comparison I could find to what I was seeing and to an extent, taking part in, was the Gilets Jaunes (a.k.a. yellow vests) movement across the Channel in France.

These were my initial impressions. As with any new social phenomena, there will be chancers and opportunists hanging around the fringes, ready to exploit people’s anger, fears and concerns for their own nefarious purposes. There were a few people from the likes of Patriotic Alternative sniffing around the fringes, hoping to pick up recruits but also, looking somewhat bemused at the racial diversity in evidence at the London protests. There were also chancers such as Laurence Fox with his Reclaim Party and David Kurten with his Heritage Party sniffing around these protests.

At the time I was berated for being on the same protests as these opportunists and chancers but, as I pointed out at the time, this is what happens when a political vacuum is created. With the vast majority of the Left and too many anarchists swallowing the Covid narrative we were being fed at the time and refusing to acknowledge people’s concerns about the impact of the lockdowns and their fears about a rushed through, experimental mRNA jab, a political vacuum was inevitable.

I went on the protests to distribute specially produced editions of The Stirrer paper with the aim of offering an anarchist perspective to those taking part. This led to a number of interesting conversations with a range of people. It felt like the old political divides between Left and Right were starting to become redundant, with new ones between those supporting freedom on the one hand, and those supporting massive state and corporate intrusion into our lives on the other, starting to emerge. Obviously at such moments in history, there will be confusions and contradictions before anything starts to clarify.

It should be noted that as well as what some would label the alt right shuffling around the protests trying to pick up recruits, when I was handing out The Stirrer, I met a number of people who did identify as left wing but who subsequently ended up becoming politically homeless. I also bumped into a few anarchists I knew from way back as well which led to some very interesting conversations:) Seeing and talking to this range of people made me soon start to realise that the phenomena I was witnessing and to an extent, taking part in, was always going to be temporary in nature. It became pretty clear that at some point, things would start to fracture.

Some people have tried to characterise these protests and other actions as being the start of what they loosely termed a ‘freedom movement’. This attempt at characterisation took in not only those participating in the protests but also, the Covidians swallowing the narrative who wanted to lump us all together. For those taking part in the protests, it was a case of trying to create some semblance of unity out of disparate currents of dissent that would at times, be in contradiction with each other. For the Covidians, lumping us together and smearing everyone as alt right meant they could justify totally ignoring people’s concerns about the impact of the lockdowns and their fears about the experimental mRNA jabs.

Ever since 2021, I’ve been expecting the fragile sense of unity between these disparate currents of dissent against the Covid narrative in particular and the great reset in general to start fragmenting at some point. For some while, there’s been a process of some of these currents choosing to distance themselves from each other. A process that in my view, was absolutely necessary because I don’t want to be associated with any of the chancers who jumped onto the bandwaggon!

Well, what I thought was going to be an ongoing slow process of fracturing suddenly turned into a shattering. One that started on Saturday 7th October when Hamas militants/terrorists (pick according to taste) crossed over the border from Gaza into Israel with shocking ease to launch a series of deadly attacks on military personnel and civilians alike. An incursion that, after an inexplicable delay of a good few hours, was responded to by the Israeli Defence Forces. A response that’s ongoing and is inflicting mass casualties on Palestinian civilians.

It took just a few days for what some thought was a growing sense of unity between disparate currents of dissent against the Covid narrative and the great reset to completely shatter along the lines of whether people support Israel or Palestine. Given the tribal nature of the way sides are now being taken in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, that sense of unity is never, ever coming back.

I’ve got some bad news for those who have been berating me for my involvement in one of the many currents of opposition to the Covid narrative and the great reset – I’m not mourning the loss of what was nothing more than an illusory sense of unity. At some point, the shit had to be cleaned out of the stables – that has finally happened. I’ll be honest and admit that it should have happened a lot sooner. Anyway, a massive shaking out has happened so, while I haven’t found what could be termed a tribe, I have found a range of people thinking roughly along the same lines I can work with on fighting the great reset.

As for the conflict between Israel and Hamas, the broader tensions and potential for wider conflict in the Middle East, and the even broader geo-political implications, it would be both wrong and naïve to take up a fixed tribal position. With the geo-politics at play, the situation is not only complicated, it’s also leading to an even greater degree of instability across the globe. This is not the point to take sides and then find the evidence to try and justify why you’ve taken a particular side. Things are getting way too dangerous to indulge in unthinking tribalism…