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Bristol Socialist Caucus - May May 17 13
Two Billboards and a Van Attacked in Bristol
Bristol has a strong history and present of destroying billboards and subverting adverts (see http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/westcountry/2006/07/344582.html, and the amount of ripped down and subverted adverts around Bristol) In the last few weeks we made a contribution to this by making three attacks on the advertising industry.
We burned a Clear Channel van (one of the main advertising companies) in Staple Hill by setting fire to the front grill and causing an engine fire, most likely writing-off the vehicle.
We also tore down a billboard on Netham Road, by sawing through the wooden supports and pulling it down with a rope. Over two weeks later it has still not been replaced.
We attacked a second billboard, a giant free-standing, back-lit one on St. Philip’s Causeway by climbing up and cutting the advert on both sides and prying open the electric box, switching off the power and cutting wires and ripping out components. This space was “liberated” from advertising for more than three days.
This is for every advert that reminds us that women equal sex.
For every advert that creates and exploits our insecurities.
For every advert that gives ecocidal industry a friendly green face.
For every advert that endlessly re-inscribes impossible standards of masculinity and femininity, that are anyway ridiculous constructs.
For every advert that tokenises people of colour, whilst still normalising whiteness as the default cultural standard.
For every advert that shouts that happiness is the latest smart phone and fulfilment is an 4x4 on the drive of a suburban home.
We want to expose this relentless assault as psychological warfare; a violation of our senses so complete that we can find no sanctuary in civilisation’s cage. Billboards provide a mirror in which we see reflected the true value our lives have in Capitalist society – as consumers. The value at which we are bought and sold along with our desires, bodies and aspirations. A society that brings people together only to fulfil commercial rituals.
Christos Stratigopoulos is someone who refused to buy this tranquilising dream, and who chose instead to steal back some livelihood outside of wage slavery. He is imprisoned in Greece, having claimed political responsibility for robbing a bank in 2009. The state is trying to stop his return to the streets by now accusing him of a second robbery. We don’t forget you Christos – In social war no fighter stands alone.
We refuse the identity of consumer. We want to break the mirrors and rewrite our lives. This present reality is not the only one within our reach, and through it’s destruction we can discover our immense potential for freedom.
Smash Capitalism, Patriarchy, White Supremacy, the State! Long live anarchy!