haringey solidarity group: a critique (1999)

This was distributed internally to  Haringey Solidarity Group members. It refers to my participation in the group for about 18 months from 1997 to the end of 1998. I got involved partly because I knew a couple of people in it, and partly because I’d just moved to the area and in particular was concerned with a project to build, amongst other “regeneration” projects, a supermarket about 100 yards from the flat I’d moved to. I was the only person in HSG who was directly concerned with this project, and had produced the text “Who gives a toss?”, which after long  and difficult discussions and arguments, HSG had agreed to print and distribute, and then at the last minute, I was told (by phone) that they’d decided they weren’t going to. I then paid for it and distributed it with some friends. This came out of my anger with this, but more importantly –  their subsequent desire to collaborate with the local SWP on a campaign against the Private Public Finance Initiative that was being projected by the new Blair government for the financing of local schools.

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It should be added that H and G, the 2 Turkish anarchists who wrote “To eat grapes or to beat the vine grower?”, eventually tired of HSG and effectively dropped out of it. They were particularly pissed off with the fact that some of the HSG wanted to express support for a Turkish political group that was utterly Stalinist, since one of them had suffered from this group when he was in prison in Turkey, and they both knew well of these Stalinists murderous attacks on Turkish anarchists and other  anti-state capitalists in Turkey. What seemed to particularly piss off the one who’d been in prison was the fact that his experiences were dismissed by people who knew nothing about this group they wanted to support.

HSG was so annoyed by the above text being distributed by me to all HSG members by post that they “punished” me with a life-long ban and by withdrawing me from their mailing list.

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