This was done in the spirit of Bristol’s rebels. The Stokes Croft riot was not the result of, but related strongly to a campaign that had exhausted every possibility to stop the unwanted supermarket. The people took the only logical step that was left and in doing so empowered themselves beyond their own expectations. The joy on their faces was enough evidence of this. We believe this clear demonstration of self-management and spontaneous street level organisation was perhaps more of a threat to the police and current social system than the violence against them on those days of rage (although it is clear that one cannot be separated from the other).
We also desire autonomy and we hope to see more such self-empowerment from our neighbourhood. We encourage people to organise themselves for themselves and against this culture of cooperation with the authorities.
We recognise no legitimacy in the police or the justice system. We hope to spread this sentiment through practical means. We hope this act against two symbols of wealth and inequality plays its part in revealing the almost invisible yet ironically total conflict we are forced to endure in our daily lives. Better yet that it gives one a sense of the potential and irrepressible power we have over our lives.
It hurts deeply inside of us when we see people talking with police on these streets or condemning rioters without intelligent critique. We have a huge level of disgust reserved for the media and liberal demographic that has reduced the level of tension surrounding Stokes Croft through its intense moral conditioning. For those who fought on those days, we say this: it was perfectly rational, do not feel guilty, listen to your hearts. It worked once and one can only assume it would work more thoroughly if it was done again.
In solidarity with those who fought on those days, especially those who were caught and face charges/time, stay strong, don’t snitch.
On another note, we would also like to use this opportunity to send a message of revolutionary solidarity to others who are resisting in other countries during this time of increased struggle. Our respect is given to those facing repression in Bologna and Florence (Italy), the inspiringly consistent rebels in Belgium, those fighting against police and fascist occupation in the streets of Athens (Greece), and we wish a speedy recovery for comrades injured in action: Theofilos Mavropoulos captured and shot after fleeing police in Athens, Ioannis Kafkas also of Greece and Luciano Pitronello Schuffeneger of Chile. To you we leave some words of inspiration:
“But only the one who knows and practices the iconoclastic fury of destruction can possess the joy born of freedom, of that unique freedom fertilized by sorrow. I rise up against the reality of the outer world for the triumph of the reality of my inner world.” – Renzo Novatore