If we desire to be more than mere spectators, we need to get closer and closer to the screen and finally crack the looking-glass. It may be that making a collective newspaper is as much about investigating the behind-the scenes practices, the mechanics of working together, as it is about the finished product. What can we learn from ‘doing’ together? Which of our own experiences might prove useful to all of the other clusters of people out there learning, like us, what it means to create collectively? In grappling with these questions, we trip up a lot, we argue over what should be printed in The Paper and over what we want it to become.
Unsurprisingly, the language superimposed on our movements finds resonance with the (neo)-liberal buzzwords used to appease or worry the ‘public’. The movement is strictly ‘anti-cuts’ (we’re fighting for a strictly defined piece of ground), it is composed of (a minority of) ‘students’ (young and idealistic, who will one day learn the meaning of a balanced budget) and, of course, who have been the cause of much ‘violence’. Violence, perhaps with its antonym ‘peaceful’, are the most fraught with hypocrisy of all these trigger-words. With that carefully crafted story, the boundaries of our political imaginaries are fixed, and crossing the frontier will result in punishment. It is made crystal-clear: step out of the authorised march route, break a window, take over the roof of a nexus of power, and we will make you pay. Apparatuses of fear, from kettles to horse charges to the methodical judicial hunting down of ‘dangerous elements’ are there to keep the fear alive and the story straight. Disobedience begins with hijacking that story, the space between here and our future is the battleground.
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