An article from Do or Die Issue 10. In the paper edition, this article appears on page(s) 1-101.
I hope the conclusion to this pre-history and future strategy will not be written in words - but in action.
I went to a funeral. An ending, but it felt like a beginning. Old Mick was a veteran squatter, rebel and thief. His most successful heist was the reclaiming of his life from those bosses and jailers who think they own us. For decades he lived in the gaps. No one made him into a wageslave. No dropout, he fought. He was no saint, but if ever there was a temporary autonomous zone, Mick was it.
His funeral was one of the best 'actions' I have ever been on. Mick wanted to burn in Lyminge Forest, a large part of which was saved from destruction by direct action. Funeral pyres are illegal, death rights have to be sanctioned by the state. Mick wasn't going to take that, neither were his mates.
Thanks to a snitch the cops had got wind of the plan and a decoy was arranged to throw them off the scent. Meet up points were organised, phones rung. From all over the country vehicles arrived at the secret destination, appropriately marked 'Covert Woods' on the OS map. Over a hundred were gathered. Ten foot the pyre of 'stolen' wood rose, Mick's coffin astride. Night came. Fireworks shot into the sky. Crackling fire, we saw Mick's bones burn, back to the earth. For hours he burned. Some were lairy, some were silent. All of us knew that despite the petty daily bother, we were tribe and on the pyre was one of our elders.
Away from the roads, fearful in the dark - authority crept. The cops knew they had no power here. In the woods, a short confrontation. We were many, they were few. Behind our line - a fire. They listed their petty rules. Illegal gathering. Illegal land occupation. Not to mention illegal funeral. But they could do nothing. Just then a track on the sound system announced with base certainty:
"The day belongs to The Man, but we shall control the night."
When we step out of legality, when we are masked by the night, when we become the earth, we are unconquerable.
These moments of collective power, of togetherness and tribe, are not limited to those times we mass together. In the dark in different places, different times, our sparks join together as one fire. Many of us will never meet each other; all the better, we'll still be one - but those who want to extinguish our flames will find it all the more difficult.
Sun Tzu counselled that even under attack an enemy will only fall through its own mistakes and weakness. The key to victory is not so much to defeat one's enemy, instead it is to make oneself undefeatable.
This is true for our aim, objectives and form. In a sense it is the 'depth' of our victory which is at stake; as victory, given our aim, is not in question. For we know one thing; civilisation is temporary, an aberration. The class war is vicious - but there can be only one winner, the wild. We aim to shorten civilisations rule, to hamstring its tyranny, to lessen its damage. How far we succeed will in large part depend on which objectives we set and which forms we grow.
Of course our networks have not come out of nowhere, but have evolved within struggle. Many of what others see as our weaknesses, are our greatest strengths - with us thanks to a rejection of past mistakes. Our tactics are pretty direct, our immediate objectives usually achievable, our forms relatively autonomous.
As the corporations and states grow ever more powerful they know they can win any 'symmetrical conflict'. What the strategists of authority view with horror is the potential 'network power' of increasingly direct, decentralised, oppositional movements. Their nightmare, our dream; but to reach our potential we must go far beyond ourselves.
Our strength is in our ability to take action and by doing so inspire others to take action. Not mass growth but cellular growth.
Rooting ourselves in the soil and the future, with keen strategy and an ever more tangible - but less visible - combative edge, we can get far stronger.
Our tribes, our counter-cultures will grow. We'll prepare for the fight. No prostituting ourselves to the media, we'll grow in the shadows, but strike when needed. New technologies will attempt to track us, we'll have to evolve to throw them off the scent. Some of the old techniques will have to be abandoned, others picked up. No faces. No names. No Compromise.
For over a decade many on this island have fought for the earth. Yet if we are going to truly defect we will have to struggle harder, think quicker and live wilder. The long trek back to the earth and each other is only beginning. In writing this I merely hope to aid our navigation. Part One showed where we came from. Part Two pointed a few routes to the future. The four tasks are huge; yet with sensible objective-led thinking, luck and hard will, they are perfectly realisable.
Imagine the machines, the pylons, the factories, the labs, the tanks - broken by you.
Imagine the wind, the sun, the beautiful moments - lived by you.
"Whatever you can do, or dream you can - begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
Begin it now."