Anarchism in the North East and beyond: The fight for freedom, autonomy, and life
I shall start this off with a great quote, and move forward from there:
“Anarchism is the revolutionary idea that no one is more qualified than you are to decide what your life will be.”
Put so simply, its easy to understand why we exist as a group. Anarchism is about self-determination and the autonomy that is so missed in modern society, and this group was born from that very autonomy.
In some moments, in this insane world, anarchy appears in fragments, whispering of hidden lives that beckon from within this one: those hours you spend with your best friends after work, the remains of a poster pasted on an alley wall, that instant during making love when you are neither male nor female, fat nor skinny, rich nor poor. In other moments, that insanity is the exception, the fragment, and anarchy is simply the world we live. One hundred thousand of us can found a new civilization, one hundred can transform a city, two can write the bedtime stories our children have been waiting to hear—and sow the seeds for millions to come. When one of us defies the protection racket of public opinion and “necessity” and drops everything to live as she has dreamed, the whole world receives the gift of that freedom. When we fill the streets to dance and blow fire, we can remember with our bodies that we deserve such dances and such space for them. When the ski resorts burn and department store windows shatter, for a moment “private property” is neither private nor property— and we create new relations between ourselves and a cosmos that is suddenly ours, and new, once more. If we risk our lives, it is because we know only by doing so can we make them our own.
Anarchism isn’t about destroying all for the sake of that destruction, it is about destroying what destroys us, and creating a new way of life that both liberates us as individuals and as a collective, for both are the same.
Why in the North East?
Here’s another great quote:
“These days it can be difficult, even terrifying, to be an anarchist. You may well be one of those people who hides their anarchism, at least in certain situations, lest others (equally scared, and probably by the same things) accuse you of being too idealistic or “irresponsible”—as if politely burying the planet in garbage isn’t! You shouldn’t be so timid—you are not alone. There are millions of us waiting for you to make yourself known, ready to love you and laugh with you and fight at your side for a better world. Follow your heart to the places we will meet. Please don’t be too late.”
North East Anarchist Group aims to be one of those “Places”, and everyone within NEAG was once that person, trying to find other’s to work together with towards a similar goal, with that goal being “something better than this”. We created the group because we recognised that there was little organisation in our own areas, and just as Anarchists should do, we arose to the challenge. If you are interested in organising with us, then let us know. “Please don’t be too late“.
What does Anarchism mean to us?
- It means figuring out how to work together to meet our individual needs, working with each other rather than “for” or against each other; and when this is impossible, it means preferring strife to submission and domination. It means not valuing any system or ideology above the people it purports to serve, not valuing anything theoretical above the real things in this world. It means being faithful to real human beings (and animals, and ecosystems), fighting for ourselves and beside each other, not out of “responsibility,” not for “causes” or other intangible concepts. It means denying that there is any universal standard of truth, aesthetics, or morality, and contesting wherever it appears the doctrine that life is essentially one-dimensional.
- It means not forcing your desires and experiences into a hierarchical order, but acknowledging and embracing all of them, accepting yourself.
- It means not trying to compel the self to abide by any external laws, not trying to restrict your emotions to the sensible or the practical or the “political,” not pushing your instincts and passions into boxes: for there is no cage large enough to accommodate the human soul in all its flights, all its heights and depths. It means seeking a way of life which gives free play to all your conflicting inclinations in the process of continuously challenging and transforming them.
- It means not privileging any one moment of life over the others— not languishing in nostalgia for the good old days, or waiting for tomorrow (or, for that matter, for “the” Revolution!) for real life to begin, but seizing and creating it in every instant. Yes, of course it means treasuring memories and planning for the future—it also means remembering there is no time happiness, resistance, life ever happens but NOW, NOW, NOW!
- It means refusing to put the responsibility for your life in anyone else’s hands, whether that be parents, lovers, employers, or society itself. It means taking the pursuit of meaning and joy in your life upon your own shoulders.
- Above all, it means not accepting this or any manifesto or definition as it is, but making and remaking it for yourself.
This world will never change until we dare to live free, to share everything, to spread anarchy!