Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Facebook joins wave of wedding repression

Fifty anticuts pages taken down under cover of royal celebrations

At the same time as the royal wedding, alongside a wave of raids on squats and ‘pre-emptive’ arrests of activists, Facebook took down fifty pages, all belonging to groups coordinating protest against the government’s vicious spending cuts.

Groups shut down included local anticuts groups from Southwark, Camberwell, Chesterfield and, UK uncut groups in Bristol and Nottingham, a raft of student occupation pages plus the page for the London Student Assembly, plus socialist, anarchist, Green and labour movement pages including Westminster Trades Council and Central London SWP.

The timing was obviously not chosen solely to prevent protests against the royal wedding. Under cover of a wave of whipped up patriotism and mythic threats of disruption, the state was carrying out a trial shutdown of facebook pages to see how it would work and how much protest it would spark.

Aware of the role played by facebook in the revolutions on the Middle East and North Africa, and conscious of the huge movement against the cuts at home with 500,000 marching against cuts on 26 March, this is a thoroughly modern example of old-style repression and should be resisted by the whole working class movement.

It also reveals that new media and social networking are always going to be vulnerable to surveillance and shutdown. Facebook is controlled by a billionaire and his corporation. This is not the first time he has acceded to state and intelligence requests to take down revolutionary or anti-establishment pages: pro-Palestinian groups calling for an Egypt style day of rage have already been suppressed.

Socialists should add the big social media companies to our list of corporations that should be nationalised without compensation under democratic working class control.

While taking full advantage of the opportunities social media open up to the revolutionary movement, we must now work to dispel the notion that they have totally changed the environment for revolutionaries and that old methods such as organised structures, democratic centralism, professionalism and discipline are now somehow out of date. In the face of repression, revolutionaries around the world still face the necessity to combine legal and illegal work.

Read also: Wedding used for anti-cuts clampdown

List of suppressed facebook pages

  • Anti-Cuts Across Wigan
  • Arts Against Cuts
  • Beat’n Streets
  • BigSociety Leeds
  • Bootle Labour
  • Bristol Anarchist Bookfair
  • Bristol Ukuncut
  • Camberwell Anticuts
  • Central London SWP
  • Chesterfield Stopthecuts
  • Claimants Fightback Ecosocialists Unite
  • Firstof Mayband
  • Frfi Students
  • Freedom Isa StateofMind
  • Goldsmiths Fights Back
  • IVA Womensrevolution
  • Jason Derrick
  • Leeds City College Against Fees and Cuts
  • London Student
  • Network X
  • Newcastle Occupation
  • No Cuts
  • No Quarter Cutthewar
  • North East Walkout
  • North London Solidarity Federation
  • Notts-Uncut Part-of UKUncut
  • Occupied Oxford
  • Occupy Monaco
  • Open Birkbeck
  • Ourland
  • Rochdale Law Centre
  • Rock War
  • Roscoe ‘Manchester’ Occupation
  • Save NHS
  • Sheffield Occupation
  • Slade Occupation
  • Socialist Unity Southwark Sos
  • SWP Cork
  • Sheffield Anti-libdemconference disabled today
  • Tower Hamlets Greens
  • UWE Occupation
  • Westiminster Trades Council
  • York Anarchists
If you agree with this article, please join or donate
Send news, comments and reports to contact@workerspower.co.uk

Sign up for our Newsletter