Many of our regular readers will already have heard about 0161‘s recent inclusion on a list put out by the police. For those who aren’t aware, Counter Terrorism Police have recently issued a new list of organisations to schools and hospitals as part of the ‘Prevent’ counter-extremism programme. These lists are not a new thing, however alongside the usual Islamist groups and Nazi organisations, there are now a series of “extreme left wing” organisations, including “0161 crew”.
The inclusion of most of these leftist groups is absurd to begin with. Many of them, such as Stop the War and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, have huge mainstream appeal and support. The idea that these groups could pose a terrorism threat is laughable. But the point of this list is not to deter terrorism, but rather to deter the existence of working class organisations all together.
The police, on the short leash of the Conservative Party, know that they are not welcome in most working class communities. This list is an attempt at bullying community activists who haven’t committed any crimes and who pose no terrorist threat whatsoever. We are organising in our communities because we know that we cannot rely on the government for support or the police for protection, and that terrifies the authorities. They are disturbed and afraid of the idea of independent working class community organisations. And they should be!
0161 will not be cowering in the face of the government’s implied threats. We stand in solidarity with the other genuine working class organisations on this list, and we will continue to organise, protect and rebuild our communities in Manchester, and wherever else we can.