Here’s the third issue of our bulletin which is a substitute for producing a printed paper. One day, we would like to bring The Stirrer out as a paper but we need to work out how and where we could distribute it. Having withdrawn from the anarchist movement / scene, stalls at bookfairs are pretty much off the agenda for the forseeable future! Although, there’s always the option of standing outside the venue with the other apostates and renegades to hand out papers…

With the situation on ‘variants’, masking mandates, other restrictions and vaccine passports changing on a day by day basis, trying to produce content that won’t date isn’t exactly easy. Which is why the articles in this bulletin are on the generic side. For more up to date commentaries, see the main feed on this blog. Although as we have found, even these can start to date within a few days of publication!

1. Looking back and trying to look ahead

2. Saying it with memes

3. Is this really the future you want?

4. Our way of thinking

5. Whoever controls the food supply controls the population

6. Friends & Allies

7. Stop press – The last word

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1. Looking back and trying to look ahead

December tends to be a time of reflection where we try to make sense of the year that has almost passed while attempting to anticipate what’s coming. Looking back is easier in that you know what took place – the hard part is trying to comprehend what happened and why. Trying to look forward in the current ever shifting and volatile situation is to put it bluntly, a mug’s game. However, as you can see from the links towards the middle of this piece – Situation report – October 2021 – an alarming amount of what we predicted has started to come to pass, is about to be implemented or is definitely in the pipeline. Trust us when we say that we take no joy in being pretty accurate with our predictions because if the rest eventually come true, we’re in for a pretty grim future.

A lot has changed since the start of this year. While it feels like we’re sliding towards a dystopian future, those leveraging the Covid crisis to bring about the great reset / fourth industrial revolution (4IR) aren’t getting it all their own way. There have been glitches that they have not expected. One being the number of double jabbed people who are simply not having it when it comes to the imposition of vaccine passports. This is because more people are becoming aware of how it would be all too easy for a digital vaccine pass to morph into a form of digital identity. We’re seeing a growing number of un-vaxxed and vaxxed people getting together to fight what they see as a technocratic dystopia. This is evident in the growing wave of protests around the globe.

The authorities are starting to get a bit rattled by the growing amount of non-compliance and outright resistance. This ranges from the proprietor of Cinema & Co in Swansea refusing to implement the vaccine passport scheme being imposed by the devolved Welsh government all the way through to violent clashes in a number of towns and cities across the Low Countries. Facing this, we can expect many governments, egged on by the corporations with a big stake in the 4IR, to double down in an attempt to regain full control of the situation. How this will play out is very hard to predict so we won’t. All we can say is that things will get tougher for a lot of resisters – how tough will depend on what jurisdiction they live under. Definitely expect a ramping up of the psyops. Buckle up…it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

A fair bit has changed for us over the course of 2020 as is explained in this statement which was also published in the previous edition of this bulletin: Going our own way November 21, 2021. Basically, we’ve withdrawn from the anarchist movement / scene / whatever you care to call it… Despite some tensions that have built up over the last few years, we’re trying to make this break as amicable as possible. In the past, we’ve made the mistake of getting involved in some of the infighting – no more, life’s too short for that! Aside from moving away from the infighting, this withdrawal has a number of positives, one being that we have more time and energy to focus on resisting the 4IR plus what we’re doing out here in Essex.

We’re living through a period that will be of great interest to future historians. Bear in mind that history is written by the winners. All of us fighting back against what’s being done to us are playing a role in shaping that history. To be honest, this will not end neatly and there most likely will not be a clear cut off point where we can say we’ve won. That’s just being realistic. If we can increasingly start to gain the upper hand, then we’re in with a chance of having a future where we can shape our destiny while putting the techno-fascists onto the back foot.

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2. Saying it with memes

Sometimes it’s better to get a message across using graphics rather than paragraph after paragraph of text. This isn’t dumbing down – it’s just another way of communicating ideas. The point of these memes is to (hopefully) prompt people towards some critical thinking. Like a fair bit of what we do with our propaganda, it’s a bit of an experiment:)

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3. Is this really the future you want?

If any of you are wondering why, on our Alternative Estuary blog, we keep on putting up posts like this – Whoever controls the food supply controls the population – November 2, 2021 – encouraging people to take control of their food supply, here’s why… The supermarket giant, Sainsbury’s, are trialling a cashierless store in London: Sainsbury’s to open first checkout-free store in London using Amazon technology (16.11.21).

The shop is fitted with technology interacting with a smartphone app that will automatically deduct what you’ve spent from your account. If the big retailers decide this is the way shopping is going to go in the future, then a smartphone that was once seen as a bit of a luxury will become a necessity just to get hold of the basics in life such as food. At this point, we ought to remind ourselves about the environmental costs of smartphones: Three ways making a smartphone can harm the environment – The Conversation | August 28, 2018.

There are some people who will see a checkout free store as a high point of consumer convenience. There are others, like us, who will see this as another step towards dystopia. Not everyone has a smartphone. For the reasons listed in the piece from The Conversation, not everyone will want a smartphone. Any significant roll-out of stores like this will be blatantly discriminatory as those without smartphones face an increasingly restricted choice of where they can shop to buy food. This particularly applies to the elderly.

It’s easy to see how the technology Sainsbury’s are trialling could be linked to and meshed with other more discriminatory and oppressive technologies. Here on The Stirrer, we’ve written a fair few posts on the dark places these technologies could end up taking us to. Here are just a couple of them: Too much tech? – October 29, 2021 and: Situation report – October 2021 – October 11, 2021.

If as could well happen, the kind of technology Sainsbury’s are trialling at some point in the future is meshed in with vaccine passports that lead to digital identity, eventually overlain by some form of social credit, then we’ll be in a very bad place. Before anyone screams ‘conspiracy theorist’ at us, please take a look at the predictions we listed in Situation report – October 2021. A good number of them have come true, are in the early stages of being implemented or are definitely in the pipeline.

Imagine a future where entry to a food shop and the ability to purchase what you need is linked to a) having a smartphone b) having the requisite amount of social credit. Suppose you’ve been a bit ‘naughty’ and you recently been arrested on a protest. With all the technologies at their disposal, it would be easy for the authorities to punish you by pressing the relevant buttons to ensure you’re denied entry to many food shops. That’s if we let them get away with implementing this.

Sainsbury’s are conducting this trial in a central area where there’s not a lot of competition. It’s a reasonable assumption that when these cashierless, checkout-free stores are rolled out, it will be in central business districts, shops attached to filling stations or stores in or adjacent to new housing developments. Basically, going for the kind of demographic who are willing to embrace this kind of technology without thinking or worrying about the social consequences.

We can’t see Sainsbury’s rolling out stores like this in areas where there are a decent number of international food shops run by people of migrant origin. If they did, it’s a reasonable assumption that the proprietors of the international food shops will be gleefully wiping the floor with Sainsbury’s who may only have a few tech obsessed hipster types as customers. The same applies for the smaller towns that have managed to retain a healthy mix of independent food shops. This also applies to anywhere where there are genuine farm shops within easy reach.

To conclude, this is about how we want to source our food. Sainsbury’s are offering one route which is massively over-reliant on technology and can easily be re-configured to act as a form of control. With our Alternative Estuary project, we’re encouraging people to do what they can to gain as much control as possible over their food supply. The kind of dystopian technology the likes of Sainsbury’s are trying to foist upon us can and has to be defeated.

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4. Our way of thinking

We’re featuring this quote because it sums up the underlying ethos of what we’re trying to achieve with our Alternative Estuary project. Namely dismantling the existing power structures that limit our lives. Then bringing power right down to the grassroots so each and every one of us are in control of how our communities develop and how we live our lives.

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5. Whoever controls the food supply controls the population

This was first published on our Alternative Estuary blog. To give you an idea of what that project is about, we’re re-publishing it, with a few minor amends for context, here in this bulletin.

We’ve written a LOT of posts about the need for people to get together to start growing more of the food they need rather than buying it. These posts have been written from a variety of perspectives. They range from the length and fragility of complex, just in time supply chains through to taking back a degree of control over your life through a greater level of food self sufficiency. Also, if a food growing project is done collectively, there’s the additional benefit of the boost to community solidarity and morale. Something that in these troubled times, we need as much of as possible. A number of these posts are listed at the foot of this piece.

What we probably haven’t mentioned as much as we should have done is the satisfaction you get from growing your own food. That in part is from the physical work and being out in the fresh air. If you’re growing food collectively, there’s the satisfaction of taking part in a collective endeavour and bonding with like minded people. In an increasingly atomised and fractured society, this kind of contact is vital for maintaining mental well being. Also, there’s the taste. The taste of home grown tomatoes (the ones that survived the blight) is way better than anything you’ll get from the supermarket, trust us on that one:)

All of the above are reasons to make the effort to grow more of your own food. However, in these troubled times, there’s one reason that overrides everything else – the clue to what that is can be seen from the title of this post!

The last nineteen months have been the weirdest and possibly most disturbing we’ve experienced as activists. There are a growing number of people who, for a variety of reasons, have lost any degree of trust in government, the media and the faceless corporations they serve. They do not trust either the government or the corporations with their welfare and security. The talk of vaccine passports that could well morph into a form of digital identity alongside an acceleration towards a cashless society and hints of some kind of social credit system have understandably, exacerbated that sense of mistrust and to be blunt, fear.

All of this is leading to a steady increase in people looking for ways of lessening their dependence on a toxic system. As we’ve mentioned before, going down the rugged individualist route to try and achieve this degree of independence is absolutely not going to work unless you want a life of constant paranoia holed up in a fortified stockade! It has to be people in a community voluntarily embracing a collectively organised way of taking back control from the state and big business. As the title of this piece states – whoever controls the food supply controls the population. When a community organises to grow as much of the food they need as possible, it’s a step in taking back control to where it belongs at the grassroots.

Talking about community food growing as a means of starting to take back control is an overtly political point. We make no apology for that. Alternative Estuary is not a fluffy, feelgood project. We’re about radical system change. Part of that is about empowering and facilitating people to get stuck into bringing this change about. Growing as much of our food as we can is a vital part of that.

Here are a number of the pieces we’ve written about this:

Don’t buy it, grow it! – October 9, 2021

Prefigurative action – September 1, 2021

Keeping it local and under our control – August 9, 2021

Healthy choices? – July 27, 2021

Building community resilience – securing the food supply – July 21, 2021

A sense of urgency is needed right now! – April 11, 2021

Alternative ways of subverting the system – March 16, 2021

Crops NOT Shops: Growing the Mutual Millennium – February 18, 2021

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6. Friends & Allies

https://winteroak.org.uk/acorn/

https://nevermore.media/

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7. Stop press – The last word

A PDF of a 74x74mm sticker can be downloaded from here. Have fun:)