Expressions of support for Bristol anarchist Huw ‘Badger’ Norfolk have been growing since he published an open letter online last month. The letter first appeared on an international solidarity website and has since been linked to numerous other sites, before being front paged on the Bristol Indymedia site on 22 October (and also therefore showing on the UK Indymedia newswire).
Here’s the text from his communiqué:
1st communication October 2011. An open letter to whoever wants to be concerned.
Two months have passed since the police execution of Mark Duggan tipped the already-fragile balance of power in the UK, unlocking an orgy of defiance across this island. A well of frustrations finally boiled over and the system was left reeling by a determined insurrection from a wide range of people. Following these days and nights of brazen attacks in Bristol (as in other places) a house is raided in a police and media orchestrated scene as part of their revenge operation for the blows they have both received in the uprising – they leave without the hostage they sought there, but I am made aware by their blunder that I am on their wanted list.
Two months have now passed of successful evasion, and meanwhile the winds of insurgency still blow in many towns and moments – indeed, for many they started long before this summer. There have also been at least two more deaths at the hands of the Law in August alone…
My decision is not to comply with my judicial persecution, and I greet D.C.I Will White and their kind reading this by the names they are known here and everywhere in different words and tongues: COPS – PIGS – MURDERERS.
I am one of those who simply cannot and will not stomach the social, economic, moral, psychological, physical conditions not of our making that we are born into at this point of history. I have never sought to decorate the walls of my cell with exam certificates, job promotions, sports prizes, status-symbols borrowed from the wealthy by our labour. I curse those who sell themselves so cheaply to buy such unimaginative dreams at the expense of a possibility of a freedom truly of their own making. Since an early age this unwillingness and refusal has put me in conflict, like countless others, with that reality. And our understanding is growing along with our fury.
We are the “lost kids” angry and disappointed by false promises, the “uncontrollable youth” unsatisfied with the paltry futures offered to us, the “useless components” who reject or are excluded anyway from wage-slavery or the “disruptive elements” who fight to destroy it from within, the “minority of trouble-makers” within the constructs of obedient-hierarchical-racist-patriarchal normality, the “hooded rioters” within the constant revolt against all that and more. We are your children, and those of your society. And it is time today for the components of that society to decide if they will be the hand trying to stop us, or the hand lighting their own conspiracy for self-determination.
Today we are here. Today we throw our rage and anarchy against the station that this order would prescribe us: an open-ended contract to be locked in the cage of modern living, of humiliating routine, withdrawn into quiet desperation despite all distractions, cast into inexplicable loneliness, into inner exile from any greater values, divorced from any connection to the Earth, walking commodities to be used and discarded.
Each day, be sure that we are faced with constant battle as each individual must strive to make their own path and decisions against the flow of the conformity and submission demanded of us by the jailers of everyday life – if the revolution is not here, truly it is nowhere. Let us live proud lives of rebellion and compassion, reclamation and antagonism, poetry and fire.
So, in the midst of this incessant war underlying all in this world – I acknowledge with a glad and thankful heart all who have ever stood next to me, with the rebels wherever and whoever they are against the disguised violence that is passivity, the disguised violence in the suppression of the hostilities and tensions around us that urge to be realised. Here’s to those who make choices that in different ways break out of line when everything in the dominant culture advises silence, assuring us of their strength and feeding us poisoned whispers of our own powerlessness and insignificance.
And of course as the clash continues and escalates with increasing recognition that everything we desire lies beyond the ruin of their rule, the enemy will carry on retaliating against those people with every vile method in their book: propaganda to misrepresent our passions and aims; the loyal “opposition” of political parties and unions presented as the democratically acceptable way we should amend our “extreme” expressions to; the surveillance, infiltration and invasion of our friendship groups and spaces; the arrest, interrogation and imprisonment of our comrades-in-struggle. We don’t forget, and we don’t forgive.
Action replaces tears.
for solidarity and self-organisation,
Huw ‘Badger’ Norfolk