On the 14th and 15th of January, planning meetings took place in London for the second “Stop The City” action which is going to take place on the 29th of March.
In case anyone doesn’t know what all this is about I’ll say a bit about the first “Stop The City” before going on to the second. On the 29th of September last year, about fifteen hundred people took part in an attempt to disrupt the City of London in a protest against militarism. The City is the financial centre of this country and is full of company headquarters, banks and other institutions which benefit from the arms trade.
During the day we blockaded buildings, spoke to people who work in the City, gave out leaflets and attempted to reclaim the streets for people rather than traffic. Generally we did everything we could to make sure that “business” was not “as usual” on that day.
So much for history — on to the future. The planning meetings were held in an old ambulance station in the Old Kent Road which has been squatted by a group of people who deserve to be thanked for accommodating us during the weekend and also for organising a benefit gig (with Flux of Pink Indians, Kluk and Flowers in the Dustbin) which raised £300 for Stop The City.
It has been decided that this year the theme of the action should be wider than just militarism: it should be a general protest against the profit-driven system which is responsible for not only the arms trade and war but also the exploitation of animals, genocide against native peoples, poverty, destruction of the environment and many other evils. It cannot be stressed too much that capitalism is the root cause of all these different forms of oppression and that as the City is the nerve centre of British capitalism, all people involved in movements concerned with the issues mentioned above have an interest in taking part in this action.
The 29th of March is the last day of the financial year and on that day profits are reckoned up for the whole of the previous year, so it is the most important day in the financial year. It is also what has become known as “Harrisburg Day”, that is to say, it is the anniversary of the Three Mile Island “accident” when the core of a nuclear power station almost melted down and vast amounts of radiation were released into the environment. Green CND will be marking the anniversary by being outside the offices of the Central Electricity Board in the City of London doing street theatre, giving out leaflets and generally calling attention to the links between so-called “civil” nuclear power and nuclear weapons. They will also have an exhibition of alternative energy sources.
A very rough agenda of events has been drawn up for the day, though it should be emphasised that this is still subject to further planning and also that it is only a “skeleton”; groups of all kinds are urged to create their own actions.
8 o’clock start (it was felt that last year’s 6 o’clock start was to early).
10 o’clock Concerted attempt to stop traffic. Last year we never really managed to stop the traffic completely. It is vital that we do so this year, so at 10 we will try to block Threadneedle Street. If that is impossible because of police presence, we will go for the junction of London Wall and Moorgate. Other contingency plans will also be ready.
11, 1 and 2 o’clock People are encouraged to make as much noise as possible.
12 o’clock There are plans for a “die-in” with people falling to the ground wherever they are and lying there for two minutes.
4 o’clock Everyone should gather outside the Royal Exchange as there are plans for a very important action about which it would not be very wise to say more at the moment.
6 o’clock We should all go to the Guildhall magistrates courts to support those who have been kidnapped by the police — last year the courts sat until 8 or 9 o’clock.
All sorts of plans are bubbling away below the surface: there may be a large squat somewhere in the City just before the action; there are plans to disrupt traffic by means of a bicycle blockade (which was quite successful last time) and by other methods.
Another national planning meeting will be held at the Ambulance Station, 306 Old Kent Road on Saturday 3rd of March. On the 22nd of March there will be actions around the country to publicise Stop the City… who knows — something might even happen in boring old Hastings.
If you want more information, get in contact with Hastings Anarchists or write to Box STC, 6 Endsleigh Street, London WC1.
From: Poison Pen (Hastings) 20th January 1983.