It would have been a bit silly of us not to acknowledge what happened on Saturday 14th May, wouldn’t it? Like, also the state-sanctioned media did, hence we couldn’t really avoid that. It is also true that, so far, both Police and journos have been calling it “disorder” or something like that. But we will try to go for something more appropriate.
The Dalston Resistance
What we know and what you’re about to read is none other than a mosaic of information we put up together between social media, word of mouth and tarot readings since no one from the cafe was present at the event sadly.
The Police showed up on Ashwin Street, little alley known for being one of the spot where many Deliveroo-and-similar riders chill and wait for their calls. Many of such riders are also members of IWGB and took part at demos against Kingsland Road’s McYouKnowWho and Hackney Council. In fact, it wasn’t the first time the Police showed up there, having started to target the riders since they dared to ask for better working conditions.
Ashwin Street. The police were there. And even though the public statement mentioned an operation against “moped-related crimes” (which, in any case, it would have brought to racist stop & searches), they not only seemed to stop exclusively who clearly looked like a food courier but every stop was backed-up by a Portuguese speaking officer (most of the drivers/couriers in Hackney are Brasilians and allegedly undocumented). So, bit dodgy, innit?
As per usual, some people thought the same and stopped to witness Police behaviour and support the drivers. This time, though, many many people stopped, so many people that the cops were quickly outnumbered and surrounded in the tiny Ashwin Street. And would you ever guess what happened next? The good old bill turned violent and aggressive, started making arrests and managed to move into the wider and more open Kingsland Road.
They had probably imagined to be clever and such, having called support and whatnot, but no matter how many cars and vans came, they would still be surrounded and outnumbered. The situation was on a precarious stall for hours, with police bursting into violent rampage and the occasional arrest, before retreating. Once they realised they couldn’t kettle or arrest or just beat the shit out of the whole Dalston, they decided it was time to run away. And they did it so badly and, of course, without any concerns for their own “colleagues”. Many lonely puppets were left behind and got showered by the voiced hatred our community feel for those authoritarian institutions that bask into our suffering and unhappiness.
But Dalston said not today, today you fuck off.
What did we learn from this?
Well, for those in the back who couldn’t hear properly, we can repeat it once again.The Police is not there to protect you, us, no one. They are just one of the many weapons of those in power to protect their capital and break our will to change.
Then, in case it wasn’t clear, we are more than them. We are stronger than them. Because we care for each other, we support each other, we do what we do because we want each other to thrive and be happy. It wasn’t nobody specifically who prevented those riders from being deported. Yes, none of them has been arrested thanks to the community effort. The people, which is each one of us, came out together to resist.
Even though the response was great, there is still a lot we need to learn. There have been reports of people giving wrong advice to drivers, being unaware of the difference between a “regular” stop and search and one carried while on a vehicle, and something like that could easily escalate a situation even if it wasn’t intended to, giving more ground to the Police to act.
And, although we always wish no one is, being arrested is always a risk, especially in this climate (can you smell the nazfash in the air?). And so we should be ready also for these occasions, knowing what to do in case we end up handcuffed, but also in case we are the one who’s not.
And also on that occasion, people showed a tremendous amount of love by immediately setting up an arrestees support group which, coordinated by the wise people from Green and Black Cross, went on for two days until everyone was out (even though with some harsh charges, follow ACAB to know more).
What now then?
We keep resisting. And we fight back.
Tomorrow (Wednesday 25th May), there will be a protest (anticipated by a Police Intervention Training) organised by Hackney Cop watch , Hackney Anti-raids and IWGB right outside Hackney Town Hall in response to what happened on the 14th.
As for us, we will be as always giving free food and drinks on the 11th of June while possibly informing you all about what to do in case of an immigration raid? I guess you will have to follow us to find out. Eheh!
If none of this is enough, remember you can join your local Copwatch or Anti-Raids or both because why not?
Bit intense for being our first blog post, but we guess it was needed? Well, hopefully, from now on, there will be more of this and we hope there will be more of you at the cafes!
Remember that institutions only have power upon us as far as we consent to them “being” a thing. And to always let the water boil before putting the pasta in.
See you in the streets. Masked up.
Love & Solidarity.