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Class War

Class War is a UK based Council Communist[?]/anarchist group originally formed by Ian Bone[?] and others in 1983. The organisation had its origins in Swansea, Wales, developing from a group of community activists who produced a local paper called The Alarm[?], which focussed on issues such as corruption within local government. Following a move to London, the London Autonomists[?] (including Martin Wright and Pete Mastin[?]) soon became involved and a decision was made to produce a tabloid style newspaper which would reach a wider audience, particular young anarchists and pacifists, including followers of the anarcho-punk band Crass.

The articles in Class War criticised pacifism and the Peace movement, arguing the idea that violence is a necessary part of the class struggle. Their analysis identified the enemy not only as "the system" or the "State" , but as the "ruling class[?]", both as a social grouping and as individuals. Early issues of the paper were typified by their unsophisticated language and trademark "gallows humour[?]" (one particularly notorious cover depicted a cemetery with the caption We have found new homes for the rich...). The paper also gained further notoriety for it's regular and long running column "Hospitalised Copper", which would feature pictures of injured members of the police force, usually in riot situations. Class War explained that their intent here was to show that people could 'fight back' against the 'state' rather than be 'passive victims'.

Inspired by the Stop The City[?] actions of 1983 and 1984, Class War organised a number of Bash The Rich demonstrations, in which supporters were encouraged to march through and disrupt wealthier areas of London such as Kensington, and Henley (during the annual Regatta[?]) bearing banners and placards with slogans such as "Behold your future executioners!" A third Bash The Rich event, scheduled to march through Hampstead in 1985, was largely prevented by a heavy police presence, and was acknowledged by Class War to have been a failure.

A national conference in held Manchester in 1986 proposed that groups and individuals who produced and supported the paper should form "Class War" groups as part of a National Federation with common 'aims and principles'.

(more to follow...)

also see No War But The Class War



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