On the night of May 1st (2am Wednesday morning) a number of targets in 2 different locations were attacked. In Downend, the windows and ATMs of Lloyds and HSBC banks were smashed, with a Besley Hill and St Andrews estate agents both smashed up as well. On Wells Road in Knowle, the windows and ATMs of a Natwest were destroyed, as well as a Money Shop; Besley Hill and Mathews estate agents were also attacked.
Whilst Mayday once commemorated the lives of anarchists murdered by Chicago State Police, it has now been recuperated by the reformist left into a celebration of the working class. We wish to destroy work – its logic and content – and no state sanctioned bank holiday, party or celebration even begins to touch on our hatred of it.
We are not specialists in social struggle, we work as you do, we shop where you shop and we catch the bus with you, yet we’ve decided that enough is enough.
Banks and estate agents represent the ownership of property, privatization and corporate control. Banks play a leading role in the impoverishment of our lives through the destruction of our environment and our dependence on the economy. They support dictators, arms dealers and the military who invest in murderous regimes. Money lenders such as the Money Shop are legalized loan sharks, flourishing in times of recession by preying on the poor. The estate agents make huge profits from the gentrification of our neighborhoods and the urban landscape. All these businesses show the extent to which the land and our lives have been colonized by capitalism.
That is why it brings us joy when banks are continuously attacked in Bristol, blown up and robbed in Santiago (get well Tortuga, freedom for Marcello, Freddy and Juan!), set alight in Ottawa (freedom for Roger Clement!) and Yogyakarta (freedom for Eat and Billy!).
With regards to the criminalization of squatting, we wish to be part of no campaign defending its legalization. Instead we stand with the excluded who act in a manner that serves their own autonomy, independent of any governing body. This includes those on rent strike, strategic squatting in the context of genuine struggle (rather than as an end in itself) and all those who have taken back space from the rich without falling into the monotonous binary of legal/illegal. We hope that the autonomous housing movement can develop into something more dynamic, radical and dangerous. Because property is still theft, rent is still robbery, and profit is still only another word for plunder!
We choose this method to break the illusion of social peace. Taking action means taking control of our lives, not asking the state for scraps.
The future is unwritten…