"I have long argued that the giving of offence, and even hate speech, should be a moral matter but not a matter for the criminal law. That is as true on the football pitch as on the streets. We should always challenge racism. We should also always challenge attacks on liberties in the guise of faux antiracism." Kenan Malik

Occupy Norwich Attempt To Intimidate By Calling For Info And Personal Details On Activist..


With criticism of the global occupy movement mounting in certain circles mixed emotions permeated the group of NCAG supporters and sympathisers that attended the Norwich event. We decided that, in the name of solidarity, our attendance would be appreciated, despite diverging views and tactics advocated by the Occupy movement and NCAG members. After a slow build up numbers peaked at less than one hundred around 4pm on Saturday afternoon.

A physical and ideological divide was clear throughout the course of the two days NCAG were in attendance of the event. This divide was to develop into a gapping ravine as time marched on. Despite an initial attitude of boisterousness and revelry the mood cooled fairly quickly, there was little to offer from the event organisers (henceforth ‘the vanguard’) to draw in a crowd, as the call and answer megaphone rhetoric appealed only to the union and socialist faithful. Passers by were bemused by the hippy drum circles and slogans painted on signs but few came and engaged.

The NCAG delegation was a little more successful in courting popular appeal, attracting some support from quarters which the vanguard seemed to consider unsavoury; the working class, the youth and the homeless. Therein began our problems, unable to do right for doing wrong we were reprimanded for chalking on the pavement, first by the vanguard, then, on the formers request, the police. The forces of law and order after a little cajoling issued a warning for the use of the slogan “fuck the one percent”; requested by a thirteen year old boy who had come to join in the arts and crafts corner we had established. We later received another visit from the police threatening to confiscate our sound system after our hosts had complained to them. A few other minor falling-outs also occurred between the two groups mainly petty and pointed sloganeering and half-arsed undermining and character assassination.

We were quite clearly not welcome, despite supporting the majority of the movement’s grievances and having been engaged in similar activities. Though ultimately they lacked the balls to ask us to leave, as this would have halved their numbers. Had this been all it would have been easy to walk away as events wound down, happy we had played our small part in a global movement and had a good couple of days of protest, and merry making to boot, but as is par for the course, slightly miffed at the regressive and authoritarian leftist elements that overshadow almost all popular protest in the U.K. at the moment.

It was at this point however that, in the parlance of the youth, shit got real. We were alerted that, not content with collaborating with the police to make sure the event proceeded on their terms, despite not inviting us to any of their “general assemblies” (sic) and our failure to engage in any but the prescribed activities (sitting, and talking quietly and politely amongst ourselves) our tactical differences had become too much for them to bare. An NCAG member had suggested that given the event was called Occupy Norwich an adoption of black-block dress and an actual occupation of a corporate location may serve as a reasonable escsalation.

Below is a response, copied from their facebook page from a person/group calling it/themself ‘wearechangeNorwich’, with our comrades name removed:
“ …wishes to adopt Blac Bloc tactics, if any know him and could tell us his real face and name we’d like to do a piece on him please, his kind bring in the ‘measures’ we’re fighting against, contact us at icenirising@myspace.com. Thanks”
Last time I checked the measures we were fighting were the political systems supporting global financial corruption, or are they part of a different 99% to the rest of us?

Suffice to say NCAG will have nothing to with any organisation that slanders, attacks and endangers our members.

As a result we intend to sever ties with the Occupy Norwich movement, for their member’s attempts to strangle dissenting opinion and activity, and to condemn all those who would call for  information on any activist in a manor that can only be compared to that of the nazi Redwatch site or the touts on the payroll of the Police.
For further info on global problems with the occupy movement these links will set you on your way:
http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2011/10/07/tptg-an-open-letter-to-the-british-internationalistanti-authoritarianactivistproteststreet-scenes-and-to-all-those-concerned-with-the-progress-of-our-enemies/

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2011/10/486505.html?c=on#c273965
Skank

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44 responses

  1. Marcus Clarke

    Scum. SWP and 9/11 truther fraggles.

    October 17, 2011 at 6:06 pm

  2. Ella

    I think, for the sake of clarity, it’s important to make it clear that (as far as I know) wearechange is not an organizer of Occupy Norwich – the problem (for me) arose when those who were/are running the page took no action about this, even when it was bought to their attention – and in fact seemed to find little wrong with it – whilst at the same time one of the organizers posted a photo of a (different, I belive) protester they were warning people to watch out for, for very little reason. Semantics, I know, just wanted to make sure all was clear, especially as the group in question have conveniently deleted all the evidence…..

    October 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm

  3. Fair comment Ella.

    October 17, 2011 at 6:30 pm

  4. Danny B

    It’s also fair to point out there are many people who have never been politically active before, sadly it appears this some of the ‘organisers’. Their moment of fame is upon them. They are happy the SWP and other liberal leftists are ‘giving them a hand’ 😉 I look forward to that falling out- or ‘eureka’ moment!
    Whats more alarming is the amount of ‘9-11 truth campaigners’ involved. That is very worrying.

    October 17, 2011 at 6:36 pm

  5. Yawn

    The NCAG was invited to our meeting on Saturday evening but decided they didn’t want to be part of it.

    The Occupy movement has always been a family movement, words like ‘fuck’ are not very family or child friendly.

    The sound system was fine, but it kept getting louder and louder – blotting out the two or three fellows that were trying to play a live set only a few feet away.

    You’ve also clever blotted out the responses below (well done for censorship) I believe the comment below that said something about not removing the post because we allow freedom of speech – then followed a number of messages, and then the message was removed by another admin.

    There have been similar messages from others that have stayed, but I think the Occupy movement is pretty bored of the infighting within the left – we welcome everyone, regardless of their standpoint.

    October 17, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    • Marcus Clarke

      Hello Yawn. No we haven’t cleverly deleted anything, it was a matter of sizing. Tell me, would you like to post your name on here ( I notice you choose to remain anonymous ) and if I disagree with you I can post across this blog or other pages requests for your personal information? Have you ever heard of REDWATCH ‘Yawn’? Does it compute to your tiny little brain that putting activists personal details around puts peoples lives in danger?

      You OWN the Occupy movement do you? Enough to claim to speak for it? Well good for you Yawn 😉

      October 17, 2011 at 7:37 pm

  6. blue

    They have also now barred anyone from disagreeing, discussing or engaging in political debate on their facebook page and direct them to another website… with new admin posting:

    ‘Yippeeeee….. I’ve just been made an admin! Power’s rushing straight to my head am going to be deleting posts that I think are not helpful to the cause, starting with the picture and then all mention of politics and then anything that isn’t positive toward the cold and shivering brothers and sisters standing at the Haymarket. All agree, say Aye!!!!’

    this sounds tongue in cheek – but apparently not. You will be directed away from their facebook page to a rather less public, slightly confusing forum. So anything that they decide is not positive will be removed – just by their opinion of course.

    I felt it wasn’t positive of one (organiser?) to draw attention to members of the public who had not committed any crimes by putting up photos of them without permission, and tried to engage in a discussion requesting that the person took responsibility, and to ask if the group supported the action. As a result of which they are now engaging in some kind of online censorship of their most public page (which was missing the point somewhat).

    Isn’t this just the kind of control and censorship that we are trying to protest againt the 1% engaging in? But it is ok for them?

    I am really sad about it, as it is a cause very close to my heart, that I now feel I have been alienated from.

    If we are confident in our causes, open discussion should be valued and then divides will not occur so acrimoniously.

    October 17, 2011 at 7:37 pm

  7. ReturnoftheJuddi

    FIrstly, ON is not and organisation it is a collection of people who wish to generate discussion and debate on the problems we face, ways we might move forward and to engage with the public. We are not necessarily activists and we come from all walks of life Someone has posted a photo of a ‘subversive’ person but it is not the responsibility of nor does it echo the sentiments of any other person involved, only the one who posted/said these things and the consensus seems so far to be that such behaviour is non-helpful and in poor taste.
    Secondly, as far as I know nobody from ON was telling the police to do anything. There were ongoing dialogues with the officers present to ensure that they would not try to remove those people wanting to stay overnight as such we wanted to show that we would not cause any trouble and when they requested we did not graffiti the area as it was considered “disrespectful to the citizens of Norwich” (Their words). Yes it was only chalk but showing complicity on the first day is a long term tactic and so far it has done us no harm.
    And lastly, I did not speak to one person who gave the impression that you were not welcome. Perhaps by physically distancing yourselves from the main group and not joining in the ‘general assemblies’ you distanced yourself from the whole thing from the outset. I I have no qualms with NCAG at all but this whole blog actually makes you sound a little childish – along the lines of ” They told tales on me and wouldnt play with me.” Come down, discuss, engage and accept that people may not agree with you but will stand beside you regardless and I assure you, you will be welcome.

    October 17, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    • NCAG, and our supporters will NOT be engaging with people who are happy for a political activists personal details to be pasted on two different FB pages and requests for information on said activist to be ‘sent in’.

      Our members and supporters ages range from 15 to 65 some will act in a manner that others will not approve of..NONE however will post YOUR details across the internet.

      October 17, 2011 at 7:48 pm

  8. Also, can I just say that rather than focusing on the actions of one or two individuals and using that to tar many other individuals (in a group that specifically espouses no central mantra and gaining consensus), you should perhaps try and be less reactionary? From what we have learned through this issue, we have gained consensus from both online and at the camp itself to separate personal debate to a forum specifically designed for such, that has been linked to from the group page. Admins have been increased and a message added to say that the group page is to be as intended, a support page for the camp and the occupy movement worldwide, and that any threatening, INTRUSIVE or abusive content will be removed. I don’t know if you hung around to see that all play out in an open and democratic fashion, or whether you were to busy bleeding your heart out at the first sign of trouble.

    October 17, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    • Marcus Clarke

      We like your attitude Ben King. Trouble’s our middle name. Ever been in any? lol!

      October 17, 2011 at 7:52 pm

  9. You realise that by starting it with the heading ‘Ocuppy Norwich [do this and that]’, you sound exactly like all the mainstream media outlets who lump the “group” togther as though the actions of one has anything at all with the actions of the others? It’s sounds ooooh so enlightened.

    October 17, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    • Marcus Clarke

      It’s a harsh world out there sunshine. The trouble with your little piece of enlightenment is the fact that more than one person posted an activists details and it took a good few hours to remove while most of the posts were pushing for the details to remain!

      We are well aware that we can’t judge everyone on the Haymarket as culpable…but blind allegiance will lead to an early grave…like following the tail lights of the car in front in a heavy fog. How’s that for enlightenment?

      October 17, 2011 at 8:00 pm

  10. FA

    ~NeVeR TrUsT a HiPPie~ 😉

    October 17, 2011 at 8:01 pm

  11. ReturnoftheJuddi

    Blue, I think you have misunderstood. Debate and discussion have not been moved to the forum so that admins can delete them, it has been moved because actual logistical stuff about getting supplies to the camp was getting lost. FB’s new method of putting recently commented on posts at the top of the page rather than the most recent post has caused this and moving discussion to the forum will help make sure important stuff about supplies etc is seen! Here some other posts (under the tongue in cheek one you actually posted) which you have failed to include in your piece “Aye, let’s wipe the slate clean and keep this clear for posting updates and co-ordinating logistics.” “Aye, lets encourage vigorous debate free from the shackles of unity and general administration!” “So the political stuff to go in the forum, and the organisational day to day needs etc stuff and photos to go here? Okay, makes sense. Facebook is pretty crap, and getting worse if people’s posts are disappearing here now too.”

    Regarding the posting of someones picture, it wasnt right, it wasnt clever. One individual made a mistake and thats that. It wont be happening again so can we please now stop fighting amongst ourselves and work together towards positive change?!

    October 17, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    • Some of us have been working together for positive change for decades and support your individual endeavors. Really-we do.

      Our members and supporters are allowed to do as they please without fear nor favor.

      This organisation however advises it’s members/supporters to stay away.

      October 17, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    • blue

      I don’t believe I misunderstood, there seems to be a direct un-willingness to discuss general concerns or differences of opinion on the facebook page – it was explained also that discussions shouldn’t take place on there due to perceived divisions by the media etc, and should take place elsewhere, and on reflection that seems to me to be misguided. To say that it is to make the page easier to find the needs of protesters is actually not the sole reason, though it may a reason.

      And no, I didn’t quote the entire content of the page; that would have been silly.

      One way to show a united front is with transparency, consideration and discussion without knee-jerk reactions.

      I think this applies all round, with ON and NCAG etc etc etc

      I am unsure of the details of this particular article, but chose to post here, as I could see that there was a discussion going on that I could participate in.

      Just to add – I am not a member of any aforementioned groups, or have a political agenda etc etc just wanted to have open discussion, but I am leaving all these forums alone now; it all seems ridiculous as people are much more interested in not being challenged and being defensive. I agree about working together, unfortunately, myself and other friends have been put off to join the protest as it seems quite removed and we feel the need to discuss things openly, be it online or in person.

      It’s a real shame.

      October 18, 2011 at 6:24 pm

  12. villa

    if i ever get wearechangenorwich on his own i will cut his head of , gouge out his eye scull fuck him and then piss down the stump of his neck , solidarity

    October 17, 2011 at 8:14 pm

  13. We did ask if they wanted to join in,the reply? “Fuck off” The man in the photo returned today,and it became clear a misunderstanding had taken place,on both our part and his,he stayed and talked and debated with us,this time with less emotive tone,which John admitted to using. I was the one who posted his picture as other occupys have said ‘agents’ had tried to cause divide.I never wanted to know who he was,nor did I ask.I,not any group posted it.Be we now get along and am happy for his future imput. As for wearechange,I have had nothing but trouble and beef with other wearechange usernames.And Vic can do and say what he wants,no-one needs to know who he is,and no-one here cares. The sound system: You do know some where sleeping in the tents?

    October 17, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    • Thanks for that Ghostly King.

      October 17, 2011 at 8:29 pm

  14. Alex

    NCAG strikes again, conisder this the first blow to capital and injustice in the world. Let that be a lesson to everyone out there! If we dont like it then we will ignore it and write on our blog, take that…

    October 17, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    • Ha! Good one Alex. We’re leafleting the estates in a fortnight, wanna come? Or do the working class make your knees shake? 😉

      October 17, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    • Marcus Clarke

      Sod off an’flog your shite fraggle paper, daft cunt.

      October 17, 2011 at 8:58 pm

  15. Alex

    yep I look in the mirror and I am frightened. Depends whats on the leaflets tbh.

    October 17, 2011 at 8:57 pm

  16. Skank

    As the author of this piece I would like to clarify a couple of things. I made sure to try to level criticism where due, and as such did differentiate between actions of wearchange and the Occupiers. And whilst I acknowledge that ON is not a formal grouping if only one person were responsible for breathing down our necks for two days its a pretty poor show not to have called them about it, we only didn’t do so ourselves (though individual members did want to) for the sake of trying to maintain some unity within the camp, you’ll notice most complaints were begrudgingly dealt with. Secondly having been in attendance for most of saturday day and night, save for an hour or two when i popped home, at no point was I or anyone with me asked to attend a meeting. The only meeting anyone I spoke to was invited to was to discuss sleeping arrangements which he asserted, and I am inclined to agree, was a total waste of time. As for the use of bad language, its covered by freedom of speech, the language used simply reflects the depth of emotion that people feel about these issues, also the problem I was referring to was more related to the use of the police as an intermediary rather than dealing with the problem by discourse. Finally I forget was it Counterfire or the SWP that threatened to put us in their rag when we had our fall out earlier this year (wouldn’t wanna level criticism where it aint due) either way I doubt anyone was making such snide comments to them.

    October 17, 2011 at 9:41 pm

  17. Alex

    counterfire doesnt have a rag, its got a broadside that comes out every now and then, I dont think anyone would have any interest in reading about a ‘fall out’ tbh…

    October 17, 2011 at 9:49 pm

  18. villa

    i think we should all turn up sat just to clear the air

    October 18, 2011 at 6:18 am

  19. Marcus Clarke

    Alex you make me laugh! The SWP and Counterfire (ALEX-“I’m it’s only member and I didnt say that”) is insisting that NCAG should be called Norfolk Community ‘Inaction’ Group, when all you have to do is google us then google Norwich SWP or Norwich Counterfire. Hysterical! Just because we aren’t involved in what YOU are doing doesn’t mean we aren’t doing anything you plank! Likewise if we walk away from campaigns it’s generally because you freaks turn up and we can’t be arsed!

    We should have a measuring stick for things we get involved in-if it attracts the SWP or the one member of Counterfire it’s probably not worth bothering about because it ain’t class struggle!

    Villa, have you learnt nowt about these people the last few days?! You really want to go back for more?!

    October 18, 2011 at 7:14 am

  20. Neil

    Ahh and so the revolutionary groups waste time arguing amongst ourselves and the only ones to benefit are the authorities. Been there, done that and got far too many T- shirts.
    If you look at yourselves both sides are being somewhat elitist. With ON disin the black bloc and NCAG disin hippies and truthers (SWP fair game lol )
    Anyway this is supposed to be direct democracy, so if some of you feel things should be done differently then get down there and join in. The posts have now been removed, everyone has had their chance to air their grievances. So lets put that all behind us and start again. Focus on the issue at hand and make some progress.
    So Id like to ask NCAG to come back and take part again perhaps makin more of an effort to integrate, and to the other side? ( grrr sides already ) those new to the protest movement.. hold off on your unwanted opinions about anarchists, they have after all been doing this alot longer n should deserve some respect.
    Now can we all focus our anger at the real targets please…..Those rich fascists are still getting richer while we fuck about.

    October 18, 2011 at 8:53 am

  21. Alex

    ha yes marcus there is some great plot to rename NCAG, clap clap clap. and yes I said that last time people tried to insinuate that I had been saying shit, simply not true, give some evidence.

    Neil agreed, whilst we waste our time here with ‘he said, she said’ and ‘Im more working class then you’ bullshit there are plenty of people who are getting fucked by this government and this system.

    October 18, 2011 at 9:45 am

  22. Marcus Clarke

    We’ll fuck off an save em Alex, don’t let us hold you back 😉

    October 18, 2011 at 11:52 am

  23. Cheers for your input Neil.

    October 18, 2011 at 12:06 pm

  24. Villa

    I will turn up in a personel capacity saturday. I look forward to the meeting at the rumsey fri at 6. Trotts and truthers. No hopers solidarity

    October 18, 2011 at 1:01 pm

  25. blue

    I don’t believe I misunderstood, there seems to be a direct un-willingness to discuss general concerns or differences of opinion on the facebook page – it was explained also that discussions shouldn’t take place on there due to perceived divisions by the media etc, and should take place elsewhere, and on reflection that seems to me to be misguided. To say that it is just to make the page easier to find the needs of protesters is actually not the sole reason, though it may a reason.

    And no, I didn’t quote the entire content of the page; that would have been silly.

    One way to show a united front is with transparency, consideration and discussion without knee-jerk reactions.

    I think this applies all round, with ON and NCAG etc etc etc

    I am unsure of the details of this particular article, but chose to post here, as I could see that there was a discussion going on that I could participate in.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:03 pm

  26. villa

    united fronts dont work , never have done , never will , simples, why do the trotts keep using the same failed stratergys over and over again ?, try somthing differant

    October 18, 2011 at 4:25 pm

  27. Marcus Clarke

    Georgina Moles is apparently taking pictures of our lot…one particular bloke is specifically trying to find out who Vic is…people are attempting to take beers off people…this really is a sorry shower of shit…

    Hope that someone does indeed meet Vic…

    October 18, 2011 at 6:07 pm

  28. villa

    i just came back from the camp , they were very apologetic , no sighn of swpys or truthers , one young bald fella in a puffa cycled away? mainly vulnerable adults sleeping rough and scater boys , i gave them some sweets and left , truthers and trotts are shite , but i like the poor and homeless , some real fruit loops though lol, as douglas adams would say mainly harmless , lets discuss it in depth fri

    October 18, 2011 at 8:04 pm

  29. villa

    oh and they said they realy want ncag to come back and talk to them , reminded me of medievel penitants , quasi religeouse , suffering for the sins of the world , a real lack of political focus , mainly a hangout for people with nothing better to do , i do think that their are some genuine good people there

    October 18, 2011 at 8:08 pm

  30. The problem with saying how and what should change is it just throws up all those different political thoreys that all groups on the left argue over.That’s not what these protests are about,they’re about protesting about and being annoyed with x.y and z,and give people a chance to say why,for themselves and about how it affects them.

    October 19, 2011 at 1:59 pm

  31. villa

    we all agree on the problem , capitalism , what we don’t agree on is the solution , reform or revolution , and if its revolution , how?

    October 19, 2011 at 3:31 pm

  32. Danny

    @Ghostlyking. Question please. Do you really believe that the majority of people who are sick of being screwed over by the system and the state are actually responsive to what you are doing? They don’t give a toss. Hence there’s nobody there. Because they’re too busy working their butts off to make ends meet. How does you sitting around the Haymarket discussing what we already know go anyway to dealing with the situation?

    October 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm

  33. I do feel that we should support their action. But dont put up with any shit from them

    October 20, 2011 at 8:57 am

  34. james walsh

    Ever noticed those who who start the internal control- as soon as their stood up to and start lossing the fight, they start telling us it’s time to bury the hatchet. Waffling on about the common enemy- managers are the common enemy, that’s why life sucks to a degree under capatilism, because we’re always being ‘managed’. My the way I don’t agree that the English lanuage is non family friendly if used correctly- next your be saying change and revolution are family unfriendly words. Want to make friends with the cops and use them to control the opposition- you have crossed a line!

    October 21, 2011 at 4:22 pm

  35. villa

    spot on , and that line is the differance bettween a reformist and a revolutionary

    October 22, 2011 at 5:18 pm

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