January 4, 2010 by cosmoakacitizensmith
Well I would say happy new year but I’ve caught up with most of you lot in rehab the last few days, so….
The Wobblies a.k.a the IWW a.k.a the Industrial Workers of the World will be familiar to all you hardcore American folkies out there. It was the militant Trade Union associated with singers such as Woody Guthrie, Cisco Huston and Leadbelly amongst others. Bob Dylan calls them “the fighting wing of the American working class,” and they were hardcore.
As the boss class in the USA in the early part of the 20th century rode roughshod over workers in their relentless pursuit of bucks, the Wobblies fought back. They organised strikes for workers’ rights, birth control and free speech amongst other things.
They’re kind of mythologised now, but I was very happy to get a call just before Christmas from the nice people up in Reading who have started a Wobblies branch up there and wanted me to play at a benefit gig for them. No prob!
After the show a bunch of us went to what was euphemistically termed “a party nearby.” After a forty-five minute walk to an industrial estate, we ended up facing lines of cops shining lights in our faces in order to dissuade us from going into a warehouse which had been liberated that night for the purposes of having a proper mash up for the local populace, complete with banging sound system and everything.
There I was thinking my free party days were behind me!
Anyhow, while Stu and Yvonne broke through the lines, myself and Rob decided that we weren’t up for it, so we wondered away from the police lines into the night, following the direction of a nearby fence. Just then, in the inky darkness, a line of cops wearing black came out of nowhere and started swearing at us.
“Oi! You two! Fuck off! Now!”
Well, funnily enough that is what we’d been in the process of doing anyway. But it seemed in order to reinforce the righteousness of our thinking, they decided to get behind the pair of us and give us a few almighty shoves. Those of you who’ve been pushed around by cops will know what this is like: they put their whole bodyweight behind into the push and it gives you something like minor whiplash.
Well, you may be surprised that the pair of us, despite being a couple of seasoned anarchos, could not even be bothered with so much as a stray comment about Ian Tomlinson Frankly, I couldn’t be arsed, but it’s refreshing to be reminded of what twats smalltown cops can be for no reason whatsoever. Probably.
This year I want to play lots of gigs. Please keep sending your suggestions. I look forward to catching up with you soon!