How the anarchists infiltrated the Daily MailTagged as: environmentalism repression social_struggles
Published by group: Anarchist Federation (Sheffield)
Undercover with the anarchist mob: paying a visit to one of the UK's worst tabloids
An affinity group of anarchists who had been participating in Climate Camp and had been concerned about the tone and low impact of some of the mainstream camp actions decided to visit the Daily Mail head office in the hope of having a few words. The immediate trigger for this was the poor write up the Camp had received in that week's paper which stereotyped those at camp as 'young, posh idiots', although all the activists involved had many other motivations for this action. Most of all, as working-class people with a sense of basic human solidarity, all those present detested the Mail for its sexist and racist overtones and long record of consistently scapegoating and demonising marginalised social groups such as immigrants, queers, transpeople, the unemployed, youth stigmatised as "chavs", as well as specific instances like the incredibly inaccurate hack job of an article about anarchists in the run-up to the G20.
The group located the Mail's head office on Derry Street in leafy Kensington, masked up and attempted to enter the building, flying a red and black flag and shouting anti-capitalist and anti-Daily Mail chants. The group approached a door clearly marked 'Visitors', but were made to feel rather unwelcome by the reaction of several security guards - both uniformed and plain clothed - who immediately locked the revolving door and attacked and threatened the 'visitors'. Public reaction was warm, with some passers-by photographing and filming the action and shouting their opposition both to the Mail and the severity of the reaction.
There was a disproportionate over-reaction by armed police, culminating in a very visible get-together on the scenic banks of the lake in Hyde Park - several police vehicles, several anarchists, and several swans were in attendance. Although the group didn't get to have the little chat they'd intended with the Mail journalists, those involved spoke of feeling invigorated and empowered by the action and its reception - intimidating heavily armed men just by singing and asking questions, for instance, was a new experience for many of them. And we bet the hacks shit themselves a little bit too.