I don't get along with "zaney" video games. Maybe I'm just a grumpy git with no sense of humor but I just can't get into them. Across the board from Team Fortress to Borderlands, I just can't get into them. So when I first saw a trailer for The Outer Worlds, my eyes rolled right back, I gave a good huff and booted up the buggy mess that is Star Citizen. I'm the kind of player who would rather have weight to a game. I want it to make me think about my actions, fret over them afterwords and dare I say it, develop as a person. Ok, so sure, sometimes I'm looking for some idle distraction to relax too and that's what PUBG and Euro Trucker 2 are for!
If I'm going to invest emotionally with a story it needs a narrative I can get my teeth into and truly feel. This for me, always means less bubblegum and more substance.
Deus Ex did this, Colony Wars did this, Skyrim did this and it's why they remain so treasured by the gaming community. They draw you into their world, make you invest and leave you rambling like a mad man over the proverbial watercooler and leave you thinking about your choices long afterwords. The Outer Worlds started making this kind of noise on the run up to it's release but I'd invested in bah humbuggery so carried on ignoring it until a couple of days after it comes out, half my social media to spilling over with praise for it's politics and, ah what the hell, I went and bought it for PC (Yep, Epic finally got me), I want to play me some space revolutionary!
Fair warning, there are plenty of spoilers after this point.
The Outer Worlds is set in the colony of Halcyon a couple hundred years into the future. A group of corporations – know as The Board - have cobbled together and bought the rights to the fledgling colony and have driven it into the ground. You come into the game a frozen popsicle in a colony ship called The Hope which after some mysterious malfunctions turned up late and get's mothbballed on the edge of the system. Thankfully for you the infamous Dr. Welles is at hand to rez you and send you packing off to do his bidding. There is a pretty good theory (which the creators effectively confirmed during a QnA) that it's set in an alternative timeline where the Anarchist Leon Czolgosz never assassinated William McKinley in 1901 and subsequently the governmental curbing of large scale buisness trust under Roosevelt never occured. Subsequently they've been left to run rampant and Halcyon is a prime example of this. Flooded with crass advertising, forced corporate compliance and all manner of woes for the workers and customers alike.
The game is lush, like amazingly beautiful. It's an orgy of visual delight. The score and foley are similarly fantastic and you'll find yourselves truly absorbed in no time. Straight up, I can't here the theme without getting shivers of adventure. The main combat is driven by gunplay and for this you're armed with a diverse array of weaponry and they all feel meaty enough. The various types of weapons (force, plasma, shock anmd a couple of rarer specials) all give differant effects when you murder someone and it's all very satisfying. Yeah, it's safe to say that graphically everything has a very high standard of polish on it. The colonies aestethic is a curious clash of frontier western, golden era pulp, art deco and Juche propoganda which... well it works, it really works.
Instead of a vast map to explore you'll bounce around five main maps areas with a similar amount of smaller, self contained, mission specific ones. There isn't any flying of space ships mind, you just jump from one to the other. This actually works and provides the game with several very dissimilar environments and keeps a fast paced space opera feeling. Aside from The Groundbreaker which is a self contain space ship come station, these spaces all have the feeling of being a small part of a wider world and you're simply at the bit we're focusing on for the story. However it is here that I find my first criticisms. Once you've been there, killed/fetched/hacked your way through the lab/ruin/base then you're done with that location. Even when the game drags you back to places you've been before there is absolutely zero incentive to check up on people you've affected, the NPCs are all limited in their little parochial encampments and once you've ticked them off you'll never see them again.
It's drive through heroism, and while not the worst sin a game could commit, it's was the first aspect to pull me out of the game, I started fast travelling and just speeding through towns with little care or need to stop by and say hello.
Now, you've played this game before.
Here you are random stranger, come to do the fetching and killing with your near super hero prowess. Enjoy sunny Halcyon, meet the dead eyed locals who can't do anything for themselves and save or ruin their day as you see fit. Get yourself a few companions and help them grow! We've been here before, but their ain't nothing wrong with retreading well loved ground. Encounters with the local wildlife and maruaders are limited to set areas rather than random occourances and you're given the usual variety of ways to go about things, hack the security system, smash them with your hammer, snipe snipe, or go in all guns blazing etc. This is made even more fun with additional of "science weapons" such as the shrink ray and mind control gun which I'm sure are going to bring us plenty of memes. Combat is a bit basic tho, with the AI being a weak and held into a rather rigid "threat assessment" system thats pretty easy to cheese and there is little in the way of tactical combat from the AI. This time around you also have the ability to slow down time and deal specific debuffs to your prey, this is called " Tactical Time Dilation " and it works quite well. It'sdefinitely worth making good use out of TTD, not it is vital in some of the harder fights, it also makes for some tidy Max Paine esk moments (my particular favourite is blasting some poor fella while diving off a a house). You have this ability due to the chemicals used to ressurect you, but the game spends literally about two lines of dialogue on this and moves you along. It's never a great sign when the game can't be assed explaining your super power to you but by this time you've landed on Edgewater and already hating these corporate bastards so let's move on!
There is an interesting but woefully undervalued system of consuming drugs and food via a vape that's right out of Barbarella that is your health and skill buffer. I would have liked it more if combinations had interactions but alas it's just a way of bumping up the stats. Mind you I didn't use it much as you auto heal in two seconds and the game is pretty damn easy. This isn't a bad thing so much but given how much you stumble over weapons and consumables it seems bit of a loose extra. I'm sure on "Super Nova" difficulty it comes in much more use tho.
One of the first computers I had a gander on was a record of a man's suicide. The chief concern was that as an indentured servant he had actually damaged company property and they were not happy. It set a grim tone that I was pleasently suprised with. Over the next hour I was supporting striking workers at the cannery and meeting with deserters after being sent on a mission that would give me my first ethical hurdle. Do you keep the power going to Edgewater, forcing the deserters to abandon the Botanical gardens they had made their home, pushing them back into the corporate fold or do you reroute it to the deserters new home and shut down the company town?
This should have been a really hard hitting moment for me, but it wasn't.
You see I always play my first run through "straight", by which I mean I play myself in this fictional world. I'm playing on normal and I'm not looking up "best solutions" or any of that. In both in Edgewater and The Botanical there were curious statements made in passing and in the dialogue. The leader of the Edgewater is a seemingly reasonable man Tobson, a typical middle management pettifogger, asking you to do right by everyone. The leader of the deserters on the other hand is a women called Adelaide whose quite comfortable with the idea of letting the workers in the town die due to starvation, because hey, it's for the environment and liberty and what not.
A little looking around the place and it becomes evident that "it's aint Saltuna in the cans", meaning that there is some Soylent Green situation going on at the cannery, while back at The Botanical they are able to grow crops, simply because they are using corpses and fertilizer.
I go with the lesser of two evils and as I'm specifically intent on fucking over corporations I make the call to pull Edgewater's power because that's what I would have done.
What ruined it for me is two fold. First, it's immediatly apparently that the games revolutionary branding is actually going to be more about thje binary choice to support the evil corps or deserters with indigestibly muddy ethics. Second, I know games and understand the silent language we all accept. So I'm 90% certain that with enough back and forth, the finding of a specific document, the right dialogue path or some shit, I can reveal to both Tobson and Adelaide that they are cannabal pricks and they'll agree to share the power or something, you could almost taste it. I don't want to be "playing" the game to get all the ticks and the best ending. Solutions like this shouldn't be hidden behind the modern day version of "rubbing the right item with the right object to progress the story". It should come from our actions and intentions instead (similar to this is the super weapon on Monarch which turns out to be a form).
So bye bye Edgewater despite the concerns of my first companion Parvati, and I'm here feeling railroaded. Ok, so this is the just in intro so maybe I should just get on with it?... Still, I would have liked the option to push the workers into seizing the cannery and then working with Adelaide to establish a better food basket for the colony. If you CAN do this, feel free to shut me down, but I tried and failed and for a game that's trading on its counter corporate politics I thought this would have been the default go too? Instead we get a fairly standard by the numbers mission which some hidden solutions if you know the secret math.
This is the grounding of my third and primary point of concern.
The politics are shite.
I really don't understand where other people are coming from with their fawning affection over the games revolutionary patter. It's all surface, it's hideously shallow and pretty inept. I'm not asking for quotes from Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution or anything but the first time you see the word "Revolutionary" it's to define a npc class from a faction of religious zealots call ed the Iconoclasts and "anarchy" is only ever used to mean "chaos". Almost everyone, even the anti Board types are full of praise for the the corprate system. The standard line is "sure they are bad guys, but without them who would protect us? Who would keep order?" urgh. Wretch. This is repeated time and time again even from allies who hate The Board. They don't want to end the corporations, they just want a better type of corporation.
(This is woven into the game itself as it seems there isn't even a corporate free ending that could be considered good)
The Outer Worlds really dives into this in the third act when get to work for a corporation The Board have cut out of the colony proper with an embargo and propaganda campaign. They are a Democratic Socialist's wet dream. Monarch Stellar Industries (MSI) want a more ethical form of capitalism and eventually if you play I like I did (not simply murdering everyone corporate for no reason but trying to do "what's right") you end up leading them into an alliance with the afformentioned "revolutionaries" who are akin to right wing libertarians and christian survivialists.
Even your companions constantly berate you for being so naive if you cuss out the corporations. The only light in the political window is Felix, but he's played as a violent thug of low intelligence, lost in a somewhat arbitary loyalty and romanic vision of revolution. The only faction that seem legit are the crew of The Groundbreaker who hold onto their position as a bastion of liberty in the colony and even tho they hold offices for both the evil Board and the local mafioso Sublight Salvage & Shipping. Maybe I'm wrong here, maybe Max and Ellie turn out to be full on Black Bloc bad asses if you take them to get lit on Scylla together but I doubt it.
It's a bloody waste of a great premise that never delivers on the compliments it seems to be getting. I actively tried to be anti corp, but without randomly mowing down their guards this seems impossible. I was well respected by them right up until the end game.
Ok, the end game is a nice protracted fire fight where the outsiders come together and help you take down the big bad but this itself happens with zero build up. I feel like I missed a chapter where I went around rabble rousing and building up a plan of attack, they just randomly turn up. Given that franchaises like Farcry, Killzone, Half Life and Red Faction have all taken on social movements and political commentary in a much better manner, I was expecting the ground work to have already been put down. I went in looking for a work class revolution to join and I struggled to find even an anti-capitalist dialogue string let alone a revolutionary that wasn't played are corrupt in one way or another (ok, Zora comes close in the end).
Saying all this, it does do a grand job of visibility with a diverse range of characters and the very first asexual story thread I've ever encounted in anything other than a small indie game. So fair's fair top marks there.
So is it worth a play?
Yeah, go on, it's worth it. If you like fast paced narrative driven gameplay and can get behind the cheesy space opera stuff, you'll love it. It isn't half as zaney as I thought and I got pretty invested in some of the storylines (Parvati is pure and needs to be protected!).Jjust don't expect too much as it feels like half a game. I felt that it constantly drops the ball on going deeper and so many of the interesting possibilites hit a dead end. Why didn't we get to explore the mechanical love affair Ada and SAM seem to have? Why did we never get to usurp the social order in the capital Byzantium, even after we get to know it and realise it's falling from grace? What the hell is happening with Earth?
The game is refreshing in a world of microtransactions and is very well made. Heck, no day one patch tells us that they are quite happy with what they've put out. I only encountered one of two bugs such as the missing text on the computers and the odd visual glitch. There are a couple of game breakers but they seem quite difficult to find yourself in and in thirty hours of gameplay that is rather rare. The character creator is pretty cool with a good array of options. Politically it rises above some previous failings by including afro hair styles and while you have to select male or female as a template, males can have makeup and the females can fashion themselves with a beard. The vibe here is Adam Ant meets Peaky Blinders depending if you want a dirty face or some big ol' scars. Easy to miss there are also some blemishes and features hidden under "make up" and while it could do with allowing multiple layers it's plenty servicable given that you're almost certainly never going to see your face again.
On normal the game is mostly a cake walk (aside from one particular Mantiqueen and RAM, there was little threat). If you have a decent set of dialogue and science skills you'll avoid a bunch of fights and with the right companions, with the right perks, you'll walk through it. You're tripping over guns and food so you never really find yourself in a tight spot either, infact I never really had to use any of the venders for anything other than the bypass shunts and mag-picks or the odd obviously a quest item purchases. This isn't really a major problem with the game tho, it's flaws lie a little deeper. I want more politics, more social development and more reason to treat it as a epic adventure come walking simulator as I do Fallout and Skyrim. Tho The Outer Worlds makes the right kind of music it never really becomes as substantial as either of these other titles, and I'm not sure we can blame budget or anything like that. There is a wee game we reviewed called "A Bewitching Revolution" which managed to do all three of these in a much smaller and confined narrative space. As it is, after beating it, other than trying the challenge of Super Nova or replaying as a corporate stooge or violent insurgent terrorist there is little reason to go back to it right now, tho hopefully this changes with DLC.
At the end of the day tho, I think the game is well worth your time, get hold of a copy and give it a spin. Just don't go in expecting a proper space sim and certainly not something to sink your Anarchistic teeth into. It's a fast paced space opera full of thrills and spills but it's as shallow as a paddling pool. Accept that and you're going to have a blast, look for something deeper and you are going to find it lacking. The story is engaging, the dialogue pretty hilarious at times, I really liked filling my spaceship with enough bits of tat that it looked like an American dinner and for some reason I got quite serious about collective tossball cards.
You'll invest and you want to talk about it and that's what games are about. It'll make you want to ramble on like a mad man over the proverbial watercooler or leave you squirming about with a knowing smile when your mate says "no spoilers!". The Outer Worlds sure did that for me and for that reason it's thumbs up. Seriously tho, the politics of it were a let down and a few choice quotes don't change that. ■
Rhyddical is just another pseudo bohemian revolutionary Anarchist who expects better of us all but does his mains in Tesco anyway.
(mildly proofed and edited 03/11/19)
There has forever been this disconnect between the more radical and liberal Anarchists which keep us somewhat isolated from each other, even when our political positions more or less mirror each other. Radicals tend to make direct action and opposition with the state and capitalism a core part of their life accepting that the politics and methods aren't for everyone and have a crack anyhow, this means smaller numbers but often more dramatic responses. Our more liberal comrades tend to seek numbers and so bring to the table broad campaigns that next to anyone can get involved in, these invariably mean maintaining the social mandate of being civil and avoiding conflict with the police. The liberal position is almost universally the default of the middle classes who, removed of the genuine threats to their existance the working class face, can often afford to be a little more ... hum... accommodating. That's not a rule of thumb mind, just an observation and it doesn't mean that the working class are never more liberal in their political actions, it's just a predisposition that seems to be set to repeat.
I should make clear here as well that "Liberal" itself is bit of a poisioned term and one very few people like being applied to them. I don't meant to use it with any of the negatives attached to itm, there are plenty of campaigns that had liberal appeal that do amazing stuff from UK Uncut to No Borders. I'm using liberal as a catch term for those whose core stratergy is peaceful and via non violent direct action, this tends to be campaigns of a large and and broad scope. Radical and Liberal are somewhat loaded terms, but they are at core simply a differance in tactical and strategic intention methodology. So the term "liberal" is a poision chalice and a label we shun and to be honest I think thats a shame coming from a community so enamored with "a diversity of tactics". Now that I write this I realise "Radical" is probably a similar loaded term in certain communities and thats a shame too.
Ok, so it's not quite so binary, heck it's bit of a false dichotomy that I'm being a bit flippant with in an attempt to describe the differances between those of us focused on immedaite radical action and those aiming to be more approachable and garner mass support. I'm sure there are academic positions and deconstrcutions that could be taken by smarter folk than me but let's be honest most of us are in both columns quite happily, I am a radical and I am a liberal both. I've got nicked for doing actions that fit into either catagory and despite having a favourite olive I'm working class through and through. What's more in my daily organiser life I try and help folk equip themselves with both sets of tools becuase a culture of resistance requires a diversity of tactical approaches. IDK Maybe we need some kind of kinsey scale between these poles... but thats a tangent. Point is, stripped of the attached politics and symantics we all tend to slide to one of the other and have a dash of both, however sometimes this divide becomes very apparent... sometimes there is a clear differance.
Sometimes the radical in us wins out, sometimes the liberal.
For me this was most highlighted a few years back when we blockaded Westminster Bridge in aid of the NHS. It was all in all a great day but quite “fluffy” and little was happening. The few pockets of black clad anarchos started talking about doing the things... We agreed to respect the gathering and wait until the Citizens Assembly was done with and things were winding down before putting the call out. 4:30pm we said we'd go. We spread the word, talked to the samba band and after a short and fiery speech during the Assembly that amounted to “fuck sitting around let's do this” by a random chap in a flat cap energy was high and like that we were off.
Only we weren't... As soon as we rallied together one of the “official” organisers shouted “Don't follow them, they're trouble makers!” The newly formed black bloc gave a wave and started heading down the stairs to the the next bridge over, the police flew into action and so did the organisers two and which darted over the bridge and stood at the top of the stairs down to the embankment in between the now mobile focused black bloc and the casual attendees plus band now keen to follow them...
They formed a physical barrier in peoples minds told the crowd that “this is the official action, don't go with the hooligans”. Stripped of numbers the black bloc got kettled on Lambeth Bridge and we stood there watching the main demonstration get cleared out.
Without radicals to defend them, both with presence and capacity they were easy to sweep up.
Without the support of numbers and friendly faces we were easy to mark out and suppress.
There was a mutual disconnect that held both groups back and I think maybe we were expecting too much. (Tho is solidarity too much to ask for?)
The reality is you don't ask the RSPCA to go out sabbing, or the rainforest alliance to molotov a digger. So we shouldn't expect Exctintion Rebellion to result in a radical response.
We have to understand them for what they are beyond all the revolutionary patter, which is a liberal middle class lobby group. I've always sort of had affection for Extinction Rebellions organisers, Rising Up and Compassionate Revolution LTD. Their approach is not always for me or the direction I feel we should take but they are approachable and have a effective degree of organisation that's often anathematic to the radical “spikey” Anarchists and results in our limited efficiency. Rising Up have a track record for getting shit down and in a manner thats accessable to the very fluffy liberal groups and some of the spiker folk too.
So the Extinction Rebellion is a lobbying campaign with an “in your face” vibe whose stated aim is to have everyone arrested and force their way into the room with the government. They appropriate the revolutionary lingo for catharsis and charge forward with three demands revolving around asking the Government to save the world and usurp themselves by officially approving a Citizens Assembly on climate change. They make themselves very appealing to the wet behind the ears democratic socialists and media darlings from Chris Packham (who thinks there are too many humans... but that's a different ramble) to Caroline Lucas and Sian Berry, heck we're on day nine/ten, wild stuff has happened, the news has been flooded and I've listened to a lovely talk by Greta Thunberg and had a nice reminder of Beth Orton's music. That's all well and good, standard liberal days out at the protest.
I'm not going to ramble on to much about the tactics, the validity of a road block or the fetish for a celebrity voice, We shouldn't expect XR to uphold the value sets of revolutionary organisations.
I want to talk about a few other things... I want to about the things that changed a friendly “this is how to get the Anarchists onboard” opinion piece into one - just a few days and questions laters - set on position that even the briefest of critical assessments should light up anyone's red flags and tho some fantastic people are involved, there are also some deeply concerning issue that people are turning a blind eye too.
I want to start with something important here.
There is this “code” in activism, specifically Anarchism and direct action that albeit not always put into words is pretty much an understanding amongst those of us with a history of rabble rousing.
It's probably best summed up in the “The St. Paul Principles for Activists “ which were coin in 2008, They read;
1. Our solidarity will be based on respect for a diversity of tactics and the plans of other groups.
2. The actions and tactics used will be organized to maintain a separation of time or space.
3. Any debates or criticisms will stay internal to the movement, avoiding any public or media denunciations of fellow activists and events.
4. We oppose any state repression of dissent, including surveillance, infiltration, disruption and violence. We agree not to assist law enforcement actions against activists and others
XR break three of these principles, and I'm breaking the other.
What's really kicked this off is that I know a dozen or so people who feel locked into relative silence because they know some tidy folk doing some awesome shit and because they are genuinely afraid of being excommunicated from their circles if they dare to highlight any of this... instead keeping chit chat to a few small groups and threads with likely minds and that kind of social silencing isn't my jam. This is before we start on the "Join us or you don't care about the children" stuff let alone the willful ignorance and turning of blind eyes.
I believe there are elements here that are deeply problematic.
Actually I'll be honest, I'm tamping. you can tell when stuff is really hitting the bone when I switch from "XR is" to "You".
Anarchists tend to loath criticising each over in public manner because it spreads divisions and arms the oppressors, let alone all the numpties who just spit venom and hate out at every not right-wing enough for them. Fuck, watching the jumped up prats on the telly scowl or in the papers, turns my stomach sideways and I really don't want to parrot their twaddle or sit on the same side of this conversation as them. However, sometimes, sometimes we need to pipe up.
We make a great deal about calling out the SWP coving up rape and generally utilising some shitty methods for a shitty political agenda, we talk openly about the inherent flaws of trade unions who seek to negotiate a softer whip and we sure as shit take issue with revolutionaries and rebels echoing the capitalist state by living parasitically of other activists or who trade political power and respect for personal gains.
If we aren't willing to sort out our own house, who will?
This isn't going to fix things, but I hope it leaves a few folk a bit more prepared.
These are just my opinions and those of the people I'm sharing, Accepting my concerns is going to require disengaging your mind from the “flag fealty” which seems to come with groups with such prodigious use of symbols, codes and mantras and it's going to require you to understand that I am not just “jealous” of the numbers, money or days out in the sun any more than I was “jealous” when pointing out that Elon Musk is an anti union, worker abusing parasite. It's way to easy and flippant a way of negating someone's legit concerns.
Mind you, It's gotta be said that I support any action my fellow working class comrades take, the people on the ground, fighting for the future of the world in the only way apparent at the moment, I fucking love you. Especially those of you who are scared of the police and who are new to all this palavra.
Empowering yourself is the most beautiful and awesome thing you can do.
You have my respect and commendation. I hope you carry on using your energies to help build a better world. The “Twelve Years” isn't hyperbolic rhetoric, we are at crisis point and the XR folk on the ground are the vanguard of what I hope is an ever escalating international environmentally focused anti capitalist front that in all reality is exactly what we need to save our world from ourselves.
Please separate my concerns for the mob of voices that seek to weak the movement and undermine you.
This is not an attack on you, I'm absolutely amazed by you all!
Let's talk about cops and security...
Let's talk about finance and business...
Let's talk about race and bigotry...
Let's talk about solidarity, autonomy and decentralisation...
Let's talk about security...
Let's talk about Roger, brand management and other problems…
(Click the links yo ;p)
TL;DR and some positives...
If you are with XR, first and formost please stop seeing yourself as an "Arrestable."
You are not just an “Arrestable”, you might get arrested, you might even be comfortable with it but you should not have your individuality and character stripped away, turning you into just an asset.
Please stop talking to cops and when the high energy of these actions dies down take a proper look at the Exctintion Rebellion network and make it better. I've written all this not to attack you and stymie the XR movement but to bring light to some of the issues which may result in XR kneecapping yourselves. Only you and your fellow rebels can address them and make the movement better. Despite all these concerns I recon we need to take the passion that's so clearly here and build a wider reaching radical movement. That means XR groups taking an honest assessment of the network they are within and it means getting behind the Green Anti-Capitalist Front, Earth First and campaigns like Earth Strike. We need to put fuel to this fire and provide a clear and visible next step for the people out there doing the things.
Talk to people and get them involved.
Plan actions and do them.
Set up new affinity groups, sabotage networks and organise your friends.
Do not rely on some distant central core group to lay policy.
Distant demos at coal mines are difficult and even tho I despise a set policy of “all go to London”, taking the fight to the heart of capitalism does seem to have a powerful effect. So maybe more of that, google your city, see whose about. In Manchester you have TOTAL, In Cardiff you have Fracking Companies and TATA etc etc Don't sit idle waiting for days of rage or syndicated actions. Revolutionary struggle needs to be asymmetric, without predicable pattern or rhythm, this was one of the brilliant aspects fo Swarming and if road blockades are a tactic you appreciate, then utilise them.
Radicals, Anarchists, long in the tooth comrades who are just as frustrated...
We're failing here too.
When the fash turned up and started giving them shit, where were we?
We are that black bloc who bailed to go do some shit and then stood and watched them get swept up.
We know how these things work and we left them to it, not wanting to sully their action with our bandanna's and whole “not wanting to be arrested” malarkey but that doesn't mean we couldn't have provided a better alternative. So how can we improve our response? How can we be Anarchists and help defend folk in future, if they heat things up we need to be willing to be the Singh to their Gandi.
The Green Anti Capitalist Front are doing this in a full on and righteous manner in my opinion. They rocked up on the first day for a solidarity action which reflected the wider XR strategy but distinctly in an Anarchist tone. They did not inform the police, they decided the direction on the fly as an autonomous and mutually respective group of people and didn't line up for arrest. They spent Sunday talking to XR street rebels about the need for anti-capitalism as a focus, it was a sunny day and people we're listening. It very much feels like they are the enemy within to me at the moment, a group the organisers would rather fuck off but accept the existence off.
They aren't “inducted” and XR sure as heck aren't acknowledging their presence publicly on social media and such (hope that changes) however the more an Anarchist voice is present, the more the activists on the street have support in developing their groups and a alternative network with which to work alongside. More of this please.
The XR leadership are spending the next two weeks capitulating to the state in the hopes of getting into the room with a few MPs. Many on the street disagree with this step and wanted to continue to full on pressure. Since I started writing we've seen a distinct change in pace.
We shouldn't be sat idle.
Follow your comrades and talk to your local XR mob and try and make it better.
If not, set up a GAF/EF network hub and take to action.
We can all do more, we've only got twelve years... (apparently)
P.S. I'm yet to see XR talk about Veganism. minimising meat consumption and the issues with industrial land management... I've left critism around this out until I see something on one side or the other, tho it's absense it concerning... I guess if you tell people to eat a little less meat they might not come rebel... it'd be annoying if revolution required any personal development eh?
Rhyddical is just another pseudo bohemian revolutionary Anarchist who expects better of us all but does his mains in Tesco anyway.
If anything here is factually inaccurate email [email protected] and we'll retract or alter it accordingly.
** Note** We have made the choice to pull the original cover image which featured Mark Kennedy, a spy cop who messed up peoples lives.
It was insensitive to the ongoing difficulties he brings up for people. We Apologise for any distress caused and will aim to be more sensitive in future.
So why the fuck are we not talking about XR's internal funding requests?
Gail Bradbrook, a chief organiser who takes £335 per day as a consultant requests £3,600, while Stu wants £800 a month coming in at £4800, Stephen Reid who's main project is the “Psychedelic Society” proposes XR covers his living expenses of £2k/month, which would represent a 50% reduction on his usual rates.
All in all if these requests are upheld it comes to something like 20K a month, mostly so a couple of dozen people can live in London and do a couple days a week work on XR long term.
The link at the top there is a single one of various funding request spreadsheets shared as part of their aim to be transparent, We'll remove the link or upload a name censored upon request..tbh this is just more of XR overt ignore of security culture and we would ideally “fix it” but out of respect from your transparency policy we'll leave it be.
Just look at it tho, some of those requests are just so removed from the reality. I have absolutely nothing but respect for those on the list asking for travel expenses or feeding. Fair play, good use of donations but that's sadly a minority.You want to move to London to co-ordinate that's great... get a collective property for you all or take a squat and set up a social centre. There are plenty of squat collectives who would just love to take a building and provide it as an active space.
Look, paid activism is a plague. If you want to set up a corporate charity and turn a wage do it, but political organisations have a responsibility to their donors and to those who put themselves at risk... this document alone (I imagine there are a few similar) spits in the face of your street teams and it says that you are for sale, you are turning a wage and you (unless you are simply amazing individuals) will protect that wage, which means undermining your personal ethic and all to often the well-being of the organisation.
Writing this I notice they have added “being in this sheet doesn't mean folks are getting money” which is weird because the people requesting monies are the ones making the decision right? There is also that curious line “our other financial processes remain the route for potential volunteer living expenses” which is a bit curious... I've no idea.... oh wait, is it anything to do with XR Business?
Like serious what the fuck is XR Business? Heck even the makers of the symbol you appropriated have an issue with it and it fles right in the face of any “anti capitalist” rhetoric you spout, heck what Citizen's Assembly approved this bullshit?
Look at it... The statement on the website has the signatures of parasitic scum from Bodyshop and a former Ceo of Unilever. Paul fucking Polman... Paul Fucking Polam whose drowning in accolades for sustainability and savvy business develop all in the while drowning east Asia in plastic sachets in an attempt to monopolies the poorest markets and oh yeah, Paul Fucking Polman who mad Unilver the biggest buying of palm oil in the world covering some 3% alone.
Fuck, the website is even built and hosted by GoDaddy whose owner is notable for hunting elephants.
It's not just him, several names on that list are serious problems. Green Capitalism is a lie, a marketing campaign to see a more wholesome product. This spits in the face of the solid campaigning the street teams are involved in. All that good work raising awareness and trying to bring about social change. XR Buisness comes from the core group, unapproved, all part of the big campaign plan.
Rather than dive into all the faces and organisations here I'm just going to link this article from Winter Oak that looks more into it specifically... “Rebellion Extinction: a capitalist scam to hijack our resistance” I don't know the writers over at Winter Oak but the issues with this list are made pretty apparent.
Remember when that pensioner apologised to Tommy Robinson because he couldn't send £20 quid this week but when his payment came in?... meanwhile Tommy's on TV with a £2k watch or something?
It's the same thing.
You don't take money to improve your personal lot out of donations.
Last I looked XR Uk are near 300k mark for public donations... how much of this is going towards action? How much of this is going into landlords pockets? How much will be sitting in Compassionate Revolution LTD's / Rising Up's bank account churning profits of the next big misadventure or being set aside for “ethical investment”, remember those words “our other financial process”?