Talk:Class War

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Class War[edit]

I seem to recall attending a Class War meeting where there was not one anarchist present. The relationship to anarchism was much more tenuous as many people would call themselves autonomists and communists rather than anarchist. Harry Potter

I once heard Ian Bone refer to himself as a 'council communist'. I'm not quite sure what one of them is, but I'll add it to the entry. When did you go to the Class War meeting? Certainly in the early days they definately had a large anarchist following, but i think turned more 'lefty' when the CW federation was formed. I liked the early editions of CW, but thought the later editions tried to take themselves too seriously and ended up being patronising and boring. The last CW meeting I ever attended was in 1986 BTW. I've got their book Unfinished business somewhere, maybe that will explain where they politically define themselves... quercus robur 13:01 May 5, 2003 (UTC)

I went to several CDub meetings before parting company with them in the Autumn of '85. I feel in many ways CDub was using some of the experiences gained through participation in the Gay Liberation, Black Power and Women's movements and applying them to anarchist discourse.I'll try and get something together on council Communism.Harry Potter

The following needs to be wiki'd and heavily NPOV'd before re-inserting into the article quercus robur 11:48, 17 Nov 2003 (UTC)

From here the Class War Federation developed, gaining particular prominence in the anti-poll tax movement of the late 80s and early 1990s. When Class War spokesman Andy Murphy praised those who had rioted in Trafalgar Square against the tax as "working class heroes" Class War become a household name. The early 1990s also saw Class War develop the theory of "communities of resistance" areas of working class towns and cities where resistance to the police, baliffs, politicians and other figures of authority could not only be celebrated but extended. 1992's "Communities of Resistance" speaking tour, organised by Class War's National Organiser Tim Scargil, saw the media clumsily attempt to link Class War to violence that was then occuring in several British cities. It was not all brick throwing though - 1992 saw the publication of "Unfinished Business - The Politics of Class War" a highly acclaimed book, published jointly with AK Press that set out where Class War came from, and where it wanted to go.

Frustrated at what he saw as "too much dead wood" in the organisation Scargill left Class War in 1993, to be folllowed by founder Ian Bone. Class War was now edited by Bristol Class War, and largely assisted by a group of activists from Leeds who had been strongly critical of the "stuntism" of Bone and Scargill, Class War began to move in a more serious political direction. However, riots and disturbances were still linked to the organisation by the traditionally sloppy British media, and in October 1994 the Class War leaflet "Keep it Spikey" distributed before a riot in Hyde Park against the Criminal Justice Act, returned the organisation to the front pages. The deabte between "fluffies" and "spikies" in the Anarchist movement rumbles on to this day.

By 1996, with membership falling, Class War members from Bristol and Leeds launched a "review process" to examine the direction the Federation should now take. What had begun as a rejection of the "stuntism" of Bone or the high media profile of Scargill was now a rejection of Class War's perceived "violent" image which was seen as off-putting to women and ethnic minorities. Although claiming at the start of the process they believed the Fed's politics to be "sound" by summer 1996 Leeds Class War were stating that regardless of whatever the rest of the Federation chose to do, issue 73 of Class War would be the last issue they would be involved in.

Class War voted to produce a special issue of its paper, the aim being to assess its history, role and direction, with a view to disbanding the organisation. This would be followed by a conference in London in 1997 to "reforge the revolutionary movement". Although there was clear concern at this (and some open opposition) from members in London and Doncaster, real differences did not emerge until early in 1997 when a meeting to plan issue 73 was attended by only one Class War member from outside London. When it was discovered a "secret" meeting was being convened in February by a select band of activists, and that a similair meeting had already been held in Bristol that the bulk of the organisation was unaware of, a split became inevitable.

In March 1997 Class War formally split at its Nottingham conference between those who would continue as Class War, and those who wanted to disband the organisation. The group that had rejected so much of the failed practice of the revolutionary left, was now replicating it. The "quitters" went on to produce issue 73 of Class War - "An open letter to the revolutionary movement" Even its harshest critics accept this was a beautifuly produced document, although the intended London conference had to be abandoned as London Class War had decided to carry on producing Class War. Indeed as the revolutionary movement chose to largely ignore the "final" issue of Class War, the rancour and bad feeling between the two factions increased.

With editorship of Class War now passing to London, London CW attempted to return Class War more to its direct action up and at them roots. Arguments about the failings of those who had left CW to honour commitments to supply London Class War with computers and mailing lists unfortunately caused further distraction. By 1999 those who had left Class War had held a conference (May Day in Bradford in 1998) and were producing a theoretical magazine, Smash Hits. Both sank without trace. Class War in London continued to produce a fiery tabloid, and when rioting broke out in the city of London on June 18th 1999, Class War members were again to the fore. As of course was the usual rogues gallery of investigative journalists.

In Yorkshire Class War took a slightly different tack, with prominent member Dave Douglass concentrating on work in the National Union of Mineworkers, and compensation for miners harmed by their time in the pit. His website develops this work onto the international stage. Douglass was also the author of Class War's second book "All Power to the Imagination!" (Class War,1999) This stressed the need for the working class to struggle to improve its material conditions and strongly rejected "purist" Anarchist criticisms of trades unions per se.

Come the 21st century and Class War chose to stress the need to support not only Britain's political prisoners but prisoners in general. The case of Sheffield Anarchist Mark Barnsley, jailed for 12 years for defending himself from attack by drunken students, empahasised this. Class War used the growing attention given to MayDay protests in the UK to organise their own actions against companies involved in exploiting prison labour. The supermarket chain Wilko's being a prefered target.

By 2003 Class War had one of the more popular anarchist websites in the UK, and the group had set up sister branches in the USA, Germany and Australia. Class War merchandise remains one of the most visible signs of the Anarcist movement in Britain today.

Just as class was showing a remarkable ability to remain at the centre of British life, especially with an ex-public schoolboy as a Labour prime minister, so Class War was showing itself to be an organisation permanently commited to fighting that class war.

Ian Bone on Votes for deletion[edit]

Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Ian Bone. The nominator and voters up to now are basing their delete votes on the very minimal beginning there right now. To stay on Wikipedia, the article should be expanded significantly and soon, and the expansions should clearly show Ian Bone's notability. Thanks! Samaritan 05:22, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Class war record[edit]

I've added details of this to the main article in (hopefully) the correct position chronologically. I was struggling with how to reference it though. My main source is the record itself (I own a copy). Fork me 10:27, 26 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Recent edits[edit]

I have just edited this article to remove material which was entirely POV, particularly linked to CW's recent activities. Most of the material was not referenced and reflected a specific point of view. if it can be sourced and NPOVed, please re-insert. --Black Butterfly 15:00, 24 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Cna someone please get rid of the massive space from the beggining of the article down to where the text actually is. CDuck2 15:29, 19 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Class War in Literature[edit]

Should there be a section? The last few chapters of Jake Arnott's "He Kills Coppers" has the books protoganist living in a Class War squat on Bonnington Square and picketing Wapping after meeting up with some members at Molesworth!

Class War now disbanded[edit]

Really? Ian Bone's blog seems to state otherwise, and implies 'hacking'... I think this should be removed until the truth is known either way... Chaosandvoid (talk) 10:26, 16 May 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The current version of this article is farcically unsourced and the burden of verifiability lies with the editor adding the content. If you have sources, now is the time to add them. Otherwise, the content needs to be removed. czar 17:08, 4 October 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified[edit]

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