Cory Johnston, Rosanna Lilley & Ellis Langsdale
Interview With Cory Johnston, host of Mind of a Skeptical Leftist
CORY: We go out to the podcast where I talk to a variety of people to spread critical thinking, progressive politics, and left wing philosophy. And today I'm joined by Rosa and Ellis yeah, so I guess a good place to start is like who are you guys?
ELLIS: I've been politically active for about. I don't wanna give away my age. I was in London at the riots in 80s.
CORY: OK wow.
ELLIS: Yeah, against Thatcher I took part in the poll tax riot. I was also involved with housing action movements, squatting houses, putting furniture in them, setting up electricity, gas, all that sort of stuff. Put it on now.
ELLIS: And then there was anarchist bookshop on the Old Kent Rd in London. Where we dropped the keys to the house off. Once we put locks on it.
ELLIS: And then if we find homeless people, we go look. You know if you go to the bookshop, they'll house you and they go in there and tell them that they're homeless and they get a set of keys to a flat that's got everything in it and everything set up already for them you. Know there was one of those in I did one of those in Bristol. Oh yeah.
ELLIS: Well, a few years later, yeah, I also took part in the Saint Paul's riots in Bristol Police racist police brutality. That was about where they were regularly coming down to a primarily black area called Saint Paul's where. OK.
ELLIS: I was living. The police were just coming down and basically cracking down on everything and everyone and every now and again it would kick off against the. Police and there was a couple of times in the 80s when it got quite big and it was national news and all. The rest of it, . Yeah, then then I went on to the illegal rave and free party scene. I did quite a lot on that on an electrician by trade and I did lighting. For illegal rapes for quite a long time, yeah it's good. It's a good atmosphere and it's a good group of people. You know what I mean? It's like everybody throws everything in for the benefit of everybody. It's very much anarchistic.
CORY: Right, yeah?
ELLIS: But ? That's awesome, yeah, yeah. But yeah, like I say, I've been politically active for a long. Time I had a motorbike accident about 20 years ago now. And I'm registered as disabled.
ELLIS: So most of my political action now is online. We do the YouTube channel that we have and yeah, I mean most of it is radicalizing younger people to action. You know?
CORY: Yeah, which is pretty vital right now, it's with.
ELLIS: Oh absolutely, absolutely. I mean other one I think, is it. It's important to try and form communities where you live, yeah? Like for example, we live on a static caravan site with about 20 caravans on it. Yeah, and there's about I don't know. 4045 people living there.
ELLIS: Yeah, we've played.
ROSA: Actually about anarchism, nobody minds.
ELLIS: And yeah, I mean. But yeah, it everybody it is very much like living on anarchist commune. I'm an electrician. We have a plumber. We have, like we have builders. We have people that can do all sorts of things mechanics. All of this yeah, and we've got a big shed with a pet in it for vehicle for vehicle repairs and stuff, and everything's done on site and everybody knows each other. Everybody does things as favours for each other and it's all very much. About her, sort of like what I mean, I'll, I'll give you an eighth of weed if you can sort out. The exhaust on my car sort of thing, ? It works, it really works. And you would kick the. ******* landlords off.
ELLIS: And when I moved there, there was a problem with heroin addiction site and people coming on site and stealing stuff, yeah? I was very much in the attitude where. This site has to become a family. We can't be individual units on this site, yeah. And eventually. The two guys that were that were heroin addicts on site that were primarily causing a lot of the trouble. They were persuaded to move on to a different site down the road and. Ohh there was a there was three guys came on site with a with a baseball bat to do to rob people. Ohh geez and they came and knocked on my door. I beat down on them until they ran away and then after that we had the police on site. Every three days for about 3 weeks and they were just parking in the middle of the site. Yeah, in the van. Every time they were there I was going out there going what? You doing mate **** *** get out. Of here yeah. And eventually I went out there with my phone I took, took a photo of the van with the number plate and then went up to the guy and I said, right, this private property. What you do? Right now and he says this community policing. I said this private property. The community that you serve is in town 4 miles down the road.
ELLIS: **** *** down there and serve the community because you're doing nothing here but causing trouble. And as it's private land I’ve spoken to everyone on site, I am the representative of the Residents Association that is telling you. Right now, **** ***. Go away, don't. Come back, yeah. Yeah, just.
ELLIS: And they, they've gone. And they went away. And they've. Never been back since that. Was about three or four years ago, .
ROSA: Just just to say that's certainly not your only interaction with police, which is exactly why? Why they, read it, because basically I saw the YouTube channel before being fully radicalized. And self-described socialist or.
ELLIS: Oh no, no no. They don't like you.
ROSA: Let alone anarchist and,, once I when I do things I really do run away with a. Redacted, throwing anarchist, and I think that I was already talking in a manner that clearly made made it very clear that I felt I had little to lose and was prepared to make a real a bit chaos and so I think that. Working with somebody who knows some interesting things, like other stuff like EMP devices, you can tell you how to. Build some and take out the Commons for a whole set of riot cops or building.
ELLIS: The idea is if you got a tennis. Ball then flip. You know the idea.
ELLIS: It open and.
ROSA: Of somebody like me working with somebody like him.
ELLIS: You can look up.
ROSA: I think basically gave him the shifts and so they paid a visit because I just. He was just.
ELLIS: I mean the other one is I'm well known to the local police around there, but being a bit belligerent. I know you.
ELLIS: I, I mean they throw they throw.
ROSA: You have you. Have you ever seen somebody call a Paris call a landlord a parasite to their face? Yeah, it's the sexiest thing in the world.
ELLIS: Yeah, yeah. I mean, I, I tell the police to their face that they are the guard dogs and licks petals. Of the rich. And I'm just there for you to persecute. That's that's the only reason I exist in your eyes. You know what I mean? So if you go town mate, yeah.
ROSA: I said I got into politics late right? It's kind of a weird statement, but like in some ways because. Was like since I was a teenager I’ve been essentially an advocate for a for people who've been through **** like myself. You know, I like I was. I used to be a visual artist. I say used to be which is sad phrase but my disability is. Slowly got to the point where, like I can't even write that much anymore. My hands are pretty ******. Right?
ROSA: I've got something called airless danlos syndrome. Which is like bones aren't connected together properly by like the ligaments are all constructed a bit wrong, so nothing holds together quite right. You're always in pain. You dislocate subluxate. Things and I. OK. OK.
ROSA: I have a long history of this help them so I pretty much woke up from like a living coma of mental illness. And like I say, this somebody with ongoing problems like it that was that ship was a whole different level and but I was always doing. Activism essentially in my very confined frame of reference of being of being a person, very consumed by experiences of traum and a lot of these inform some of my political views. One of my earliest positions was. Schools shouldn't be private. You know, I went to a. Private school and I went. I was so aware at the very ******* time. That the reputation for. The school was reveal. And that the son of the ad of department who lived on the school ******* grounds abusing somebody would be embarrassing and a risk to the school fees of other students who might pull out. And so I watched my whole school in the in service of profit. Enable this for years. Ultimately, cover it up. You know. I mean nothing ever ******* came of. It. Essentially only ended because. I left school. And it completely ******* out. So obviously I went to private school. I grew up with a fairly. You know, with a middle class family. I mean, I, this now is not the first time I've been very, very distant like, as a student who couldn't work, I think being student is quite interesting to you. Wait experience.
ROSA: For people in terms of the. Of consciousness because. Particularly now most people are pretty skinny, and particularly if you if you can't work. But,, yeah, but you?
ELLIS: Know no.
ROSA: But deprivation wasn't like an alien concept to me, like we had. It was a very strange school is sponsored by breweries like as in alcohol.
ROSA: We had the Brick Vic Theatre and the Smirnoff Dining room were very strange, so people whose parents owned pubs got to go for like cheaper and people whose parents were in the army so and so I.
CORY: Oh jeez.
ROSA: You know, associated with working class people in as much as I associate with anyone really at school, and I've always been a bit of a loner. So when I do go out or when I used to go out, it was always on my own and any time I see a homeless person, I'd ask if. They want some company because. It's ******* lonely. I mean, like I’ve had a few close homeless friends when I've lived in London where I've, put them up and cold nights and ****. And, I've heard how *******, alienating and lonely and dismissive? I mean, I, I sat with a man after I saw just the most. Awful thing of him. Asking somebody very politely if they had any change and the man doesn't even acknowledge him at all. Not a flicker in his eye puts his hand up in front of the man. 's face and just walks past him and.
CORY: Just like he doesn't exist.
ROSA: Yeah, and it was so my oh, it was so angry. And yeah, we sat for a while. But anyway. I'm thinking about. Like one of the first times I did that. And I had friends at Windsor boys and girls school. Well, no, not. Really, at Windsor Girls School, but Windsor Boys School, which is a weird place because you got Winter Boys school state school and then just like 10 miles you got ******* eaten. You know which is where? All of our prime ministers come from.
CORY: Oh, Gee.
ROSA: They go through that ******* school. They got like a plaque on the wall of all the past. Students, alumni or whatever you call it who have become Prime Minister and these kids. These overindulged kids grow up and see that like this what you can be in this environment. It's so gross.
ELLIS: I believe our last cabinet I, I believe that. 9 of 12 of them went to Eaton Private School and six of them were in the same.
ELLIS: Yeah wow, yeah so yeah.
ROSA: So I've sat multiple times with unhoused people opposite and ****** ******* Castle Windsor Castle. And just marvel at the insanity of it.
CORY: Just the dichotomy of it like the.
ROSA: Absolutely and discussed yeah and every time I, I could conclude nothing else other than it would be just to seize it for them. And I used to talk to people about this like and I genuinely think come the revolution, you will find that our house people are more than ******* ready. They've been ready for a long time. Like It’s about critical mass and there are people. Like Ella. To have been held the revolution in the hospital of ******* long time and it we when we succeed it won't because of the people who newly felt the feeling and pushed us over the edge. It will because of every single person who ultimately made-up that critical mass to put things.
ELLIS: Everybody owes a part to play in the revolution, whichever side they On the only thing I have to do is choose the side. I mean, even if all it's like me now. Yeah, I don't go out to protest, I don't. I don't go and throw ******* fire bombs at cops anymore. Do what? I mean, I sit, I sit on ******* Facebook and try to radicalize boomers and the youth.
ELLIS: You know, and I'll it. It's that's all I can do that's all I can do. But as long as I can radicalize people and I see people being radicalized, that's what Matt.
ELLIS: That's that's what matters. That is the contribution that I make at the moment, .
CORY: That's fine.
ELLIS: And yeah, everybody has a role to play. You know it, even if all it is throwing down ******* dank memes, yeah.
ROSA: I mean it, It’s incredibly. I am continually frustrated by the limitations of the things that I that I can do. Like I did used to really like going and speaking at protests, which I didn't do that often. And I something I found the most frustrating is like even though I was so clearly pushing myself very hard to be there like I would be sort of staggering on my crutches, even though it was clearly pushing hard to be there. Which obviously means. I would like to be there more, but I just can't. You know nobody's on. The street or doing any of the parts. Of direct action that I can't engage in want to hear from from me. Any strategic advice? Disabled people have more reason than many to hate the capitalist system more time than most. To dedicate to informing themselves, raising their consciousness, and engaging in the thinking that. Must come with any action .
ELLIS: I mean, the other one is the other one is I’m one of the three founder members of Aberystwyth Antifa. And it's not just I mean I sort of like, say oh, my role is throwing down memes, yeah, or whatever. There are real consequences to your actions online, right? And like.
ROSA: That constantly oscillates between like I'm a revolutionary and. I'm a **** poster, so .
ELLIS: Yeah, yeah, there’s. There's a rock down the road on the coast yeah about 8 miles away. Yeah, and years ago in the 1960s the English government decided. That they were gonna flood a valley in Wales, which had a village in it called Druelle, right? And there's a rock. On the coast that's painted red with white writing on it that says Drew Drew Erin, which means remember Drew Erin. Yeah, because it was part of the Welsh people had no choice. The people in that village forcibly moved out and that Valley was flooded by the English government and then the Welsh people have no say in it whatsoever and it's counted as a. It’s famous. It is world famous.
ROSA: Yeah, in terms of like a displacement of population for profit. Yeah, it's like gentrification steroids mixed with extraction. It’s awful and.
CORY: Yeah, right? It's but at the.
ELLIS: End of the day that rock is quite important to the Welsh people. The local Welsh people. Because it means something to them. The Welsh language was made illegal for 200 years.
ELLIS: By the English, yeah, the oppression of the English against the Welsh has it's gone on for over 600 years, yeah, and it's a strong deep feeling within the Welsh people, right? And someone. Decided to paint a black swastika and a black sun.
CORY: On the rock.
ELLIS: The rock Yeah, yeah, two years ago. And I found out who it was. I found the three guys that were involved. And the guy that actually did it, it was his idea. He was the one that with the paintbrush and his aunt he was the one that. Painted it on. I contacted his boss and said look mate sent him a photo on like emailed him, sent him an attachment with the photo of the rock. And I said this what one of your employees has done. And I don't think that you should be employing him and he got the sack right? Yeah, and I had.
ROSA: No, I guess they're saying that there can be real world material from. I mean anything you understand, directed materialism should understand that things like online activity can have material results in the real world and that there's a relationship between the two.
ELLIS: So even if you, even if you can't get out there and throw bombs. Yeah, yeah. Just because you can't get out the door doesn't mean you can't actually. Create and do something what I mean.
CORY: Yeah, yeah for sure.
ELLIS: I had a lot of come back from local fascists with that though my personal Facebook profile for about a year. Of course.
ELLIS: Anytime I posted anything it would get reported. Ohh, I at one point I had a three day ban a one day. Ban A7 day band a month ban all running at the same. Time no, jeez. But yeah, yeah that's eased off an awful lot. Now, though I haven't been banned for quite a long time, but I have been sort of trying to tame what I've put on there a bit, .
ROSA: It's just.
ELLIS: No direct threats of violence to everyone. Not that.
CORY: Yeah, they don't like that. I mean the.
ROSA: Police may have come here under a false pretext, but they did legitimately find some illegal things and just like noted it in their brains and left, so I mean, if they want to they can. There's a guy at the moment he was meant to be released from prison like 2 weeks ago. His name's Toby shone and he was working with 325. No state they. They seized the service and the lingual operation to dream, he was the only person presently. It was an. National effort now. Interestingly, the state logic of operation of dream is that anarchism is inherently terroristic political ideology.
CORY: Of course of. Course if you've got.
ROSA: Naturally is that's a reasonable, kind of framework and no justification provided. I've read I've read the outline. And so they tried to bring a terror based case against him. They failed, and so instead they literally banged about for four ******* years for personal possession of some niche psychedelics that helped him with his cancer. And, I mean. Nobody gets locked up for four years for personal possession of anything for just no reason, . And it's clear that they just they know that they shut the bed. They tried to put him in prison. They tried to attach a special surveillance order with all sorts of seriously politically repressive measures. It would have required him essentially to inform on all of his. Comrades, which lives collectively with it, would have made collective living impossible for him without compromising the security of everybody around him. Yeah, yeah.
ROSA: And they that had to be challenged. Court, and so there his defence. Defeated that, but they've just extended his stay in prison to December and parole, which is can add conditions like apparently. Without any sort of legal challenge until the day you find out, and by the time it happens he may well have broken those ******* conditions to be back in prison., they're attaching advice, advice from the counterterror agencies on his parole even though he's not in for terrorist offences now.
ELLIS: That he's in for personal possession of drugs.
ROSA: So essentially, you're an access that.
CORY: Right, so how does that have? Anything to do with terrorism?
ROSA: You has a bit of. Yeah, yeah.
ROSA: Percy and you go to prison, but you will won't renounce your anarchism. You'll never see the light of day again some. I mean, that’s basically the scenario that they're pointing at. This president stands. I don't even know if it.
ELLIS: It's wing officer.
ROSA: Is a precedent I mean.
ELLIS: It’s wing officer told him that he was gonna kill him and blame. It on another prisoner. No juice, yeah.
ROSA: Yeah, he was being. I mean this a man who I think is a self confessed fascist. Certainly if you can make it a fair, fair assessment of as a fascist.
ELLIS: That's the Esso of the prison of the wing. Office is wing officer for the wing that he's on.
ROSA: Yeah, he's threatened to make false intelligence reports to compromise his release and did it.
ELLIS: I'm done, sorry, yeah.
ROSA: It abuses the Muslim prisoners and Toby for his Irish descent. Mocking events like Bloody Sunday, which is obviously incredibly cruel and an unresolved injustice in our country. Where there's still a lot of legislative efforts to. I like chocolate ice cream. Ohh my goodness.
CORY: I'm gonna take you upstairs. OK, OK we can have ice cream. I'm sorry I will be right. Back did you wanna see the puppy?
ELLIS: Yeah, no problem. Man, no problem. We'll still be here. Oh wait, you wanted?
CORY: See the puppy. Puppy dog OK, let's go get ice cream, kids don't. Care what you're doing.
ELLIS: Oh absolutely yeah, yeah.
ROSA: We've been trying to kind of figure out what we're going to come back and talk about, and the plan is to talk about sort of the wave of direct action in the UK, but not just, around the world because of my earliest realizations about one of the points. On which there can be no unity. You know, I I'm interested in discussions of left unity like but no unity can be blind because that's madness. That's literally baseless. So one of the things I noticed in Extinction Rebellion particularly. One of their spokespeople, Rupert Reed, was this a contingent of the environmentalist movement that is interested in living on thisland like? A lifeboat and. Kind of OK with other people dying. In fact there are some of them who. Right?
ROSA: Think that. Is good and will redress balance to nature. There's some real issues there, I. Mean the. People who are the most vulnerable, if we're going to assign blame? Are the least. Responsible in many instances and the fact that they don't have the resilience to deal with the increased risk is again due to our actions in the Imperial Court. And so what's happened in. Pakistan, ? For us it’s about saving everyone you. Know it's. More about preventing genocide than avoiding extinction, because if we don't stop. This if we. If we survive on a lifeboat, see the blood of blameless people. I don't think we deserve much other than extinction, and the I've said before that the first island to go underwater, leaving as its only trace, the floating corpses of its inhabitants, which is literally what we're on course to do. Yeah, yeah.
ROSA: There are no ******* plans. For relocation of these people upon this event, no ******* plans happening. And all these environmentalists say we're not gonna stop 2%. OK, so where thell are you asking for these plans in this eventuality? Because that will result. I mean, the reason actually 2.2% is was changed for this reason because it became 1.5 precisely because and the nations were like guys will be underwater beyond them and ? We like literally an international body agreed to something initially that would have killed these people and they had to bring it up and like address it. And you still got people saying, well, we're. Not gonna stop that. And it's like. So what are you saying is gonna happen to these people? Because I just I don't feel anything about nationhood. Personally, I never have I, I just don't. I really don't. I think it's very weird. The conversations of like mostly just English people talking about being upset about. Wales becoming independent or Scotland, it's just like. But I would be more comfortable in my relationship to another person if there was some fairness in that. In the relationship of the power structures that govern our lives. You know it is a fundamentally undemocratic system. Wales literally has no constitutional mode of exit. You know, I mean, Scotland. Highly debated, but at least there is some legal literature that underpins it well. Right?
ROSA: It's got nothing. Wells had nothing on entry and obviously agreements between kings and bucking rulers. Not exactly. It can't really be claimed to be consent of the people. Sunday so. So It’s turned into an entirely colonial relationship. Even though the empire itself was a precondition for British colonialism to be able to control your entire island, landmass was extremely advantageous in empire and. And here's the thing. About empire geography people. Is the only reason that the countries that are safer from climate collapse that have reaped the benefit of empire and globalization is just geography sheer chance of where we land on the map Europe is a strip across one band of. Of themisphere, there's not big climactic changes. You can move your armies, move your crops far easier than a force in Africa could go from above the equator over the top and down to the bottom of the Horn of Africa. You know It’s just a different prospect. It's not because. As Europeans were more ingenious. It was just advantageous location and the other thing is, the human movement is the only *** **** reason any of us are in any of the nations. In today and. Those nations are artificial. Human movement is entirely natural. It's in fact the only reason we're here in these nations to have these concepts of nationhood. So it seems. Just absurd to me to. Hold as sacrosanct something that. Is illogical, unnatural and harmful over something that is?
ELLIS: No bones.
ROSA: Inevitable and it's like when I characterize this as a genocide. It's like I've just written a not for the first time. A poem citing a definition of genocide and explaining why something that people don't think of as genocide is in. Genocide, I've done this before, both in both cases are very sound because to deliberately inflict upon the group conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction in whole or part deliberate. The calculations were made long time ago and with them tons and tons of promises like, I mean, promises that we still talk about today about resilience funds and what essentially amounts today's discussions of climate reparations. Promises were made in anticipation for their need. And they have never been fulfilled. Billions and billions. What would amount now to trillions and like? And what matters is that they knew what was coming and they didn't change course. What matters is they can see is like ******* here and they are doing nothing to change. Course that is a choice that is a deliberate choice and the consequences are known so. If you are somebody who believes that inaction is not morally neutral, that that as we all think we agree, that all the evil needs is for good men to do nothing. Well then you. Are responsible for doing nothing and letting evil things or evil people do bad things, and so. When I see. The victims of the Melia massacre in Spain, after Spain takes in like 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. And I'm glad that they were given security. That is not, . Obviously, the point I'm making here point of making is that they shot down about 40 people. And killed them in suppressing the passage of just 200 Africans from the Morocco border.
ROSA: And I mean, I don't know how many people. Died eventually because it. Was just a pile of injured people and all I feel is that this war and I'm on their ******* side. Yeah, what we're saying is that we have to fight at a pace that actually is commensurate with the scale of the challenge faced. And if you are concerned in for the threats faced by the most vulnerable people, that means blocking. Now that means yesterday that means as soon as we get the chance, any opening. As what it means?
ROSA: And so that's the thing that I think. Would be what radicalized as some other people and into a readiness for action, so it. It's that confrontation. I mean there it was a. Pretty standard documentary about. You know the alt right? I think it's called age of rage. The alt right? By VC
ROSA: But it was just. It was the only one that pulled together very well the issue of migration climate induced. Operation and the response. The question that was going to be asked which is sanctuary or genocide and the fact that some people have already got that answer in them. They know what that answer is, and so I became convinced of the necessity of confronting, as has always been. My approach with the kind of obviously I did around my own experiences was confronting people with brutal ******* realities and trying to get people to face the issue sooner rather than later. You know, I, I don't want people to make this. It's only when things get really scary and self preservation is an even stronger motive. So it felt like a conversation I have now, but. You know everything I see tells me that the answers are I already have for that conversation need to be acted on now and then the hope is to bring other people. You I've done a lot. Of reading about climate induced migration. And one book I would recommend like as two OK two. Two books I'd recommend to people like above. All others is Empire of Borders and also tropics of chaos Christian Parenti and the Empire of orders is Todd Miller or something and. It also talks about the role of violence in the world and how conflict over scarcity. Somebody was talking about water wars earlier. People were already fighting, where wells are drying up and groups or tribes are being pushed closer together by having to share a well. That they previously didn't need to you. You've got groups coming into contact and conflict with scarcity, which is a false scarcity. Of course we have the capacity. To feed everybody. It's just not ******* profitable to. The thing is. Is that when you understand what the stakes are and you understand that you're not making that genocidal choice within an accurate? Range of. Missions, but rather you're constantly being told that tons of things aren't possible. If those things. Are possible then? What we're doing.
ROSA: Is ******* reprehensible and I truly believe those things are possible and so I can't forgive the inaction, yeah?
CORY: That's it makes me think of. In Canada we talk about like in order to stay like, and I don't really buy in the whole nation of Canada thing like it's kind of trash to me anyway, but people have like done this work to figure out like we need to stay economically viable. Canada needs a population. Of 100 million by the year 2100. But we don't have enough in like incoming immigrants to do that. Yeah, and so part of me thinks that. Like the neoliberal state, is thinking like OK? Well, once climate change makes certain places uninhabitable, those people will have to come here and people will be more like. I mean, maybe a little bit of a. Conspiracy theory.
ROSA: I think if you. Read empire reporters. What you'll see is a long, long worked on construction of a. A system in, in anticipation for climate change and its influence on migration, and this proliferation of borders, funded by the US so that the US border was the last line of defence, not the first. Right?
ROSA: The idea being that you make every other border as hard as *******. Nobody can get to you because they're too busy. Back there and they've let all sorts of human rights abuses occur. There of course, trained in the horrible way, of course, and it certainly seems like. You know, I mean, the reason people reject the idea of dealing with an aging population by taking immigrants as racism. Maybe the reason why they are more concerned with constructing these barriers to these people is racism within the, those in power and capital . I mean it, it is hard to understand. Well, they wouldn't see that as something to exploit, but at the same time. You know it, they don't do things that are reasonable, and I think it's. It's also having somebody else suffering horrifically can make somebody else in tolerate some pretty awful **** because they think, well, I'm not, I'm not.
CORY: At least I'm not, yeah.
ROSA: I’m, right?
CORY: I just don't. Have that.
ROSA: Really when, when really the US empire Fox its own people just like it folks other people around the world just in different. Ways yeah and have. Being a pitiful masses can make you feel protected and convince you're not being constantly assaulted and extracted from.
CORY: Yeah, creating an like a specific underclass that has like all these really poor state of being. Like then your workers. They're placated. Well, now now I can, I can make my minimum wage job and barely make rent with three roommates, but I'm not at the border being abused by border guards, so.
ROSA: Yeah, I think perhaps the part of the thing about why they're not so concerned about. Being able to have a large amount of workforce is that they will want to automate and I mean, somebody once asked me, do you think automation is the greatest threat to workers? Well, greatest liberation is literally that's. A really dumb question. It could be one or the other. It really just depends who. Turns it's in. You know, but it could literally be. The most incredible opening up of our lives and personal development and development is as communities. Or it could be. The worst dystopia we've ever known, and it is all about whether that is replacing your work or replacing your job and your livelihood. And I think that. That they will likely. Wait until they can automize, automate a lot of once they don't want a long running movement against automation, as . Because there is already. One right people already unsatisfied with you, know self checkouts and things like this and but it will get worse. And I, I think that there's it's like. Degrowth is the same thing degrowth could be. The only way degrowth is not just austerity is if it's redistributive, like it could. Again, there's different degrowth, some better some dystopia, and like it, it's. I find it really concerning when people just bound around the growth as a. Answer because it's like people aren't ******* stupid. They may understand the arguments that are that continuous growth is unsustainable, but they also know even though they know trickle down, there's ******** really, that the only way that their economic prospects improve is if the state of the economy improves. And so and that means growth. And therefore when you're telling somebody the growth, but you're not telling them how their life is still going to get better, you are dismissing something so fundamental as a concern that. It is. It's really appalling politics and appalling . Engagement with people on the precise level at which we're meant to be helping, which is their material conditions and their hope for the future and to dismiss that you lose any ground that you were standing on as a voice. For them to think that they should listen to. So I think not only is it just a open-ended advocacy that could go, in completely the wrong ******* direction, it's also. You know a mistake, a question quite acquitting. Is that a thing going on in the US? This.
ROSA: ******* me off.
CORY: So I hear it is but.
ELLIS: Right when I was, when I was younger, it was called work to rule, yeah?
CORY: He's just not doing extra ****.
ELLIS: Yeah. Work to rule makes more sense to me than quiet quitting.
ROSA: Quite Britain literally implies that you're not doing your job anymore, and. Yeah, what the **** does?
ELLIS: That mean what I mean.
ROSA: Well like ohh, they're calling us lazy, you're, you're literally handing it to them. You're saying I'm not doing my job anymore. The point of work to rule is I'm only doing the job you're paying me to. Do and you're not even. Paying me enough for that. So that's like there’s. So many. So mistakes I see in advocacy that. Like of ostensibly.
ROSA: Good ****, but I just wanna shake people.
CORY: 's The quiet quitting thing really baffles me because I've always been like OK when I'm at work, I'm at work and when I'm at home, I'm not at work. So don't *******. Yeah, yeah.
CORY: Call me, don't ?
ELLIS: Yep, Yep.
CORY: Don't bug me, I'm not. I'm not at work.
ROSA: Yeah, I mean, I think it's that there's also I mean only as a rhetorically, giving it to your opponents to call it quite fitting. It's also disconnects it from a history that is comprehensive. That took a lot of discovery of legal limits as to the what you can define as. What is within the remit of the job you're? Paid for there's. Like capitalist came up with this concept of what was it? Malicious compliance.
CORY: Yes, yeah, that's right.
ROSA: It's literally a term that came up for work to rule action, malicious compliance, you're complying with what your job is and that is malicious of you. You know, I. Mean It’s so done, but the point is that there is a history to this. There's legal precedents that people need to be aware of if they're engaging in. This action now by. Calling it, quitting. Divorcing it from work to rule as a form of direct action, but has lessons to be learned from its implementation in the past. It's just. So it's again strategically unwise just wildly, but I mean ultimately, we'd love to see work INS, but we have had a realization about that may not work as well nowadays because of the electronic transfer of wages, but. So that was.
ELLIS: Again, well, I mean I. I think The thing is, is. You have to with working. You have to understand that. Everybody has a part to play with in the business I’ve. Had my own business. Yeah, everybody within that business has a part to play. Even the accountant.
ROSA: Yeah, it was the most legitimately socialist example of running a business I've ever heard of. He paid himself the least and all of the decisions were. Made by all. The trades together and.
ELLIS: Right, I'm a I'm a qualified high voltage electric electrical fitter. Yeah anything over 1000 volts.
ELLIS: Yeah, so that's industrial. Hospitals, shopping centers. Yeah, stuff like that, right? It's all, it's all. Most of. It is commercial. Yeah, I employed up to 8 people at a time. Yeah to work on different contracts.
ELLIS: There'd be like a school somewhere that's 100 miles away and there'd be a factory 50 miles away. 2 contracts running at the same time. Two teams of four in, like 4 in each one. Yeah, my job. As owner director, all the rest of it of the business. My job is to go and get contracts, find contracts, to make sure that the money's paid for the contracts that we've done, and to make sure that's distributed amongst the workers in the business. Yeah, yeah, and the only the only money that doesn't go to the workers is money that goes to things like van upkeep tools. You know what I mean? Equipment, supplies? Yeah, all of that yeah, so that's how I worked it and. Because all I did was ride a motorbike around all day, like going and to meetings and signing checks and signing contracts. I'm doing **** all the guys that are working are doing the *******. Work right, yeah? So if you're unqualified and you've got, you've got no qualifications and you're just a labourer for one of my guys, I'm gonna pay you £100 a day. Yeah, that's £500. Wait, that'll cover your rent. That'll cover your food, that'll cover expenses there, and you'll have a bit leftover. Right?
ELLIS: You won't need to claim benefits to be able to do any of that. Which every other employer, it doesn't matter where you work, you get a job. You have to claim benefits top up your wages so that you. Can pay the rent. Yeah, that's just wait. Blocking works, but I don't want that for my workers. Right, right? So the minimum I pay just 500 pounds. Week if you're qualified, you're getting £750 a week. Yeah, I mean you have to bear in mind this was. 10 years ago now yeah.
CORY: Right, so that's pretty decent then.
ELLIS: Yeah, it was a good wage. Yeah, it was a good wage myself. I paid myself as much as I paid the untrained guys 500.
ELLIS: And a week. Yeah, and the only thing more that I took than that was petrol for the bike because I did do 1000 miles a week on the bike, right? Do what I mean? Yeah, so.
CORY: Right, yeah, so yeah, it can't come out of your living expenses.
ELLIS: Yeah, yeah. I mean, I the if I paid myself 500 a week and tried to 1000 miles a week on the bike I would. Not have much. Money left I mean yeah. So and it worked. And when I? Went for contracts. And it got to the point after a couple of years where we'd be offered contracts rather than having to go and. Look for them, yeah? And like Tesco would come up to us and go. Yeah we we got a contract for you. We're doing an expansion the 24 hour Tesco's can you come and work nights 12 hour shifts, yeah? And I'm like, yeah ******* no problem. You know what I mean? Good money in that, yeah, and we'd usually try I. The only thing I ask of the people that I'm paying to that are working for me. Is that they work? Yeah, I don't want to see you standing about watching ******* neighbours on your phone. Yeah, do what I mean? Yeah, yeah and.
ROSA: Considering he's not nicking your surplus labor value, I think it's a.
ELLIS: Fair request yeah. And the idea is that if you work most most crews on building sites don't work most of the time. Yeah, yeah. Looking for ways out of work. Right, yeah, so can't blame if you if.
ROSA: Don't him.
ELLIS: We've got a. Contract right? And it's a three month contract. And they're paying us enough money for me to pay all of my dues for three months, and all of the supplies and all of the ancillaries and ******* everything right? And it's a fat cheque for that. Yeah, what I used to say to them is look, this. This check is not for me. It's for us. Yeah, so the sooner we finish this job. Yeah, the more money. We're getting paid for the amount of time we're working because it's a standard fee for doing the job. Yeah, so if it's a £40,000 check at the end of the job, yeah, and we can do it in three weeks. That's a lot of ******* money coming our way.
CORY: Yeah, Yep.
ELLIS: You know what I mean, and that's how we used to do it, and we made quite a lot of money at it. You know it was. It was good work.
ROSA: Funny how people are more motivated when you're out like exploiting them, but the other.
ELLIS: One, you get a bonus at the end of every job, right? Right? Because there's always money leftover from the cheque, right? Because you’re finished. Right, right? So you're not paying six weeks worth of wages, yeah? So that just gets divided immediately equally between everyone. Yeah, what I mean? There’s no like Oh yeah, I'm having that. As profit ****. Off people are what I mean?
CORY: Like actual incentive to yeah.
ELLIS: Yeah, so they deserve it, so I'd split equally between everyone I meanother one we used to do is because it was like high voltage. A lot of the cables are like this, but yeah, so the copper core on them is worth a fortune.
ELLIS: And there's always excess cable. Yeah, so I used to have a hydraulic cable cutter for cutting fat cables. Yeah, and you just whack it in the cutter and cut it. Cut it into metre lengths and then you pay one of the unqualified guys. One of the labourers. Yeah, you tell them to spend the whole day. Hey, just stripping all of the casing off of the cable so that it's all down to the copper course. Yeah, and you end up with a big rack and these huge fat copper cores. Yeah, like big bars of copper and you Chuck them in the back of the van. Take them to a scrap yard. You get £1500 for them and then just split the money. Between everyone and. There's ******* banging job. Really good job. I really enjoyed doing that, .
CORY: Yeah, no kidding yeah.
ELLIS: Yeah it's looking brilliant, yeah?
ROSA: That sounds awesome. I mean, It’s. It's not often that you hear examples of people who call themselves socialists or anything like that. Running businesses that are in any way that committed to. To the. Ethic, so? Yeah no I thought it was it was.
ELLIS: Pretty impressive, yeah. Yeah, I mean.
ROSA: And then stuff you were saying about the housing action like that. That's the kind of thing that should be happening more. It was great there was. A last year, some anarchist.
ELLIS: Yeah, I mean I don't. I’ve not heard of that going on like in modern like within the last sort of couple of decades people going and actually squatting houses as a group of people going and finding empty houses, opening them up, connecting them up to the electricity with a paid bill supply.
ROSA: I've just.
ELLIS: Yeah, and like putting furniture in it. Putting carpets down. The whole ******* works and then just giving the keys away to homeless people. I've not seen that in the last couple of decades. I've not heard of 1 instance of it. Do what I mean?
CORY: Yeah, yeah, that's. That's the kind of thing like it's. I don't know how.
ELLIS: Back in the late 1980s, that was massive.
CORY: Rainy the snake learned that they can crack down on it early. Yeah, I mean I did back from the yeah.
ROSA: Yeah, it's I just got a follow back from the anti eviction squad network so maybe I'll talk to them but it's I was gonna say It’s that kind of radical action that it hasn't been taken in ages and it's what I one of the things I find so interesting talking to others is, . Yeah, yeah.
ROSA: Talking and some of his other friends, the other radicals from a time when radicals were actually bold and . It was quite exciting. I think I was gonna say yeah, last year some anarchists took over some Russian oligarchs mansion and like they sent in riot cops and like. It was like just three guys.
ELLIS: There's three guys right in the house. Yeah it was hilarious.
ELLIS: You know what I mean? But because it was a Russian oligarch, they went ******* right over the top with it. ******* SWAT squad squad yeah.
ROSA: And because these people declared themselves to be anarchists as well, and so. You know people. Were like, oh yeah no, but good move I think with. Like we've got this, don't pay campaign in the UK for energy bills, which is just I don't know whether there's any discussion of things like this in Canada or the OR the US, but don't pay is literally we're not gonna pay our bills, so this obviously doesn't work for anybody on an electric meter because you. Don't pay for topping up. You don't have any energy, so it is. Right?
ROSA: You know it is limited in who can engage in it, but the idea is that if enough people engage in it, they can't really effectively take punitive action against. You it's a gamble, but to be honest, the only risk you're really running is paying the bill you were gonna pay anyway if you don't pay it, it just means you have to. Pay it later, . So It’s like it's worth it to see whether you could shake things up a bit. So I like. I think that's maybe something that. You know some people in other countries could do with looking at. I don't know whether the legal situation would be quite the same, for example. Like the DWP, which is like the disability and pensions services. They can make direct payments so if. Like for example. We didn't pay the energy bills, they could take their money and pay them. But again, what risk is that actually running? You're just ending up paying the bill. You would have paid anyway, so you may as well. You know, do that thing, it's just some inconvenience so my concerns around that. For more vulnerable people have been ameliorated and I'm basically supportive of. You know anything that happens that I think essentially pushes us in the right direction that I show support both through to all sorts of campaigns and people that would probably think. We're all for. You know, but I don't.
ELLIS: I've changed, I've changed slightly.
ROSA: Really care because I think they're still still useful if not. Saying exactly the thing I think is correct, they're saying they're communicating some of the arguments that you have to accept before you accept the arguments that I'm interested in talking about.
ELLIS: See I, I change it the whole don't pay thing.
ROSA: And to be fair, it's difficult like flipping between. The idea is that one has for like. That you just.
ROSA: Want to go reformist? Sucks like why aren't you talking about this? Like I don't have. Time for this ****. But this. Is obviously what you if. You don't want a revolution cause you're scared. That's obviously what you should be saying and it's a waste of time in many regards, but at the same time . I think I said the. Other day that like.
ROSA: Striving for revolution in a way is hedging your bets because there is still a chance in failure. You can achieve more than reformists could achieve in success.
CORY: Right, yeah?
ROSA: And like Michael Parenti, who I know isn't very friendly about anarchists again again II. You know, I do listen to a lot of people who don't agree on everything. You know, I'm not one. To like, refuse to engage in with Marxist leninists either. You know, I. I none of that. I mean like we do know a legitimate like authoritarian communist that we don't talk to. Like it's not like I don't have a line but I think some people are wrong about. Right?
ROSA: It, but he said. That social democracy wouldn't won by Social Democrats. So the Democrats were created. They were the capitalists that saw a compromise to ameliorate a public in at the time of a popular full on revolutionary communist movement. It was. It was the failure of thattempted. Revolutionary period the gave us the most effective reform reform that did matter, like as a disabled person. The benefits that I live on that we live on wouldn't ******* exist without social democracy. And I, I don't think it's good to completely dismiss. Elements of progress and distinguish bad from worse. For example, I think the Tories Labour. They're both ******* terrible. On some issues they are literally as bad as each other, on others they are. They are, one is worse than the other. You know both things can be true and. And considering that the things that they're both terrible on are like the primary causes of. All the other. ****, it's it seems the. Answer is fairly. Obvious, I mean, I did write a blog post, I don't know if but Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour Party here is not popular. He like lied to I wasn't a part of the Labour Party. I didn't vote in this election, but. I saw what he. Said to the members and he just lied completely and. Every point since when he's rode back from all of the pledges, he's just been celebrated for doing so by the British mediand it because. You know, as one of the more tame left wing commentators said, because the less are not treated like legitimate political actors. So I ask. Why do we keep chasing legitimacy then if they won't? Give it to. Us if they don't treat us like we're legitimate, why are we restraining ourselves? To their. Definition of legitimacy. The enemy's definition is absurd, and it wasn't legitimacy or legitimate, presentable Social Democrats that won social democracy. So it it's never been legitimacy by which we've achieved the most that the left has ever achieved. And I'm more convinced of that. Than ever, so I'm fairly patient with people who say, you may wanna disavow us for now. But when these other campaigns fall away, it'll be people like us who are still sticking around, . And like I'm curious to see. Whether like that. Manner I was talking about the trade Union Leader. And he Dempsey will stick around. I mean, this a man who. Who's publicly called himself a revolutionary in recent weeks, which is bold, and so who knows.
CORY: Yeah, yeah.
ROSA: Maybe maybe he. Will still be around when the rest of the trade union movement. Fails, I mean. That's how the general strike in 19. 26 failed
ELLIS: He was starting to get fire in the press today.
ROSA: Yeah, I know. Yeah, I was talking about that earlier and yeah, yeah It’s a load of nonsense. Yeah, yeah, It’s. It's really disappointing because. Yeah, I think of what some people think of as empathy. You know, people get empathy and sympathy very confused. I think that empathy is as the exercise of imagination for how somebody can arrive at a position, not necessarily any agreement or endorsement in that. Well, yeah, when I first met Ellis? OK.
ROSA: I mean he was joining when I was doing a period of live streaming and. And talking directly with fascists a lot, and I had an approach that they hadn't really encountered which did engage in. A kind of. I get how you. Got to this but I also think you're *******. Scum, it was it was it? Was a very balanced approach, in equal. Pleasure engaging in their questions because I believe that the lack of answers was what was leading them to accept these incorrect analysis of fascists, but also just making it so clear. That I am not investing time in your deradicalization I think it's possible and I think it's actually my understanding of the radicalization of fascists is that the belief that society will never accept them after having been fascists is one of the things that keeps people fascists. So they think, well, I've been ******* Nazi. Nobody wants me back I'll stick with my Nazi friends it's and so letting people know. There is a form of redemption there, but pairing it with but no, I'm not going to invest time in it because the likelihood of success. While I think it's possible for you, so I'm not saying you're just irredeemable, it's just too. It's too low for me to invest my energy there, but. Planting that seed or that society could forgive you. You could act, cause I mean, former Nazis have performed incredible service to anti fascism that is undeniable. And anybody who doesn't want to engage in any discussion with anybody who's held reprehensible views. Just because it's deeply uncomfortable, it doesn't really want to learn about how to prevent this perpetuating? I mean, I've spoken to somebody who was a like a member of order of the 9 angles that was ******. I mean he wasn't as bad as many of them in that circle, but that was. Such a strange conversation, but it was also incredibly illuminating, made me. Reconsider, some anarchist notions and rhetoric about about freedom, because freedom for these people is absolute freedoms. The freedom to transgress on others and.
ROSA: Anarchism is precisely against that. So what we're not about is absolute freedom. We're about almost a utilitarian freedom where we can all be the most free by not transgressing against one another.
CORY: You know, and you've.
ROSA: Got people who their conception of freedom is. Is it so individualistic that they Right?
ROSA: They feel special. About exerting power over other people because that is ultimate freedom and. There's still really.
ROSA: Corrosive motions of what freedom is and others and. Or mainstream ones like whether you should be free to own an SUV when it has. Those so much damage. Whether you should be free to. Hoard more money. Than you couldn't spend in a ******* lifetime, right? Like that restrains the freedom of so many other.
ROSA: People you're fundamentally less free if you've got enough less money. There is a finite amount of resources and whatever the inflation is that money represents, access to those resources. That is finite. So where there is wealth, there will always be poverty, and where and there is only wealth because there is poverty vice versa. Is yeah.
ROSA: We need to understand why some people. Kind of book at the our statements about anti authoritarianism. Because while we are anti authoritarian we are asserting a different analysis of what freedom it is OK to express because we believe that the freedom to do some things impinges too far on the. Freedom of others. And the fact that is that is not enforced by a state under the and the anarchist proposal is kind of besides the point in terms of people. Understanding where you're coming from and why that's important and why that's not an aligned thing, but in fact the only way to give people the fairest chance in life.
CORY: Like I often joke. About the freedom from capitalism, it's just the freedom to buy seven different kinds of ketchup. Like It’s not true freedom and like I mean, I think everybody knows the baconing quote about how I'm not free so long as. No other people are unfree.
ROSA: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So yeah.
ROSA: And that's very much. The attitude. We bring to. You know, action the climate, like I was talking earlier about. About Pakistan, it's You know, I'm not. I'm not OK with this happening to anyone anywhere. You know. I'm certainly not OK with. It happening after ******* decades of promises in the knowledge of what was coming and total inaction. Constant insult as they play, pay lip service to the suffering of these people and yet within a ******* week of this, some of the worst flooding we've ever seen. Jacob ************* Reese Mugg, who is one of the worst people in our politics. By the way he wears a monocle and a top hat sometime. And see.
CORY: Oh, that's good, yeah?
ROSA: He was like a Charles Dickens character and he needs to be leveled up a ******* lamppost.
ELLIS: Commonly known as the Victorian haunted pencil.
ROSA: He's a climate change. Nowadays, because there aren't many outright climate deniers in British politics anymore.
CORY: Right, they're just like, oh, but the economy. And blah blah blah.
ROSA: Yeah, it's a lot of that. I mean, there is a bit of a resurgence actually in more denialist stuff, like with the new.
CORY: Oh, is there?
ROSA: Yeah, it's concerning. It's not, but it's not surprising. I mean, one of the things I say about the likelihood of Brexit going the way it went is down to the incredible amount of money funneled towards it by climate denialist networks. There's a great work by Desmog called like mapped the who's who of Brexit and climate denial, which I consider to be some of the most important reporting.
ROSA: On Brexit in terms. It's influence where it was likely to go, but obviously people don't know any of that the time when they voted. Yeah, he's been appointed as Energy Minister or yeah, energy minister. Yeah, this man who's denying climate change within weeks of. I mean, it's incredible. I used to before I got. Like informed enough to like speak about things. I was just watching the news and playing my weird form of catch up on politics and I was just constantly harassing the BBC for a while, saying. It is not hard to explain warmer atmosphere climate change. Global warming can hold more moisture for longer and then it all comes down at once. That's why it rains infrequently, but when it rains it really ******* rains. How hard is it to explain that we got? Were having floods here everywhere. This, it's actually one of the most obvious. Link like links of like extreme weather that you can explain really easily to people to do with climate change. Right?
ROSA: Some of them are really complex, like storms and stuff like the relationship between the increase in occurrence and the severity is very complicated, but. The rain one and the floods. It's so easy.
ROSA: And people don't get it, but this absolutely this bad because of climate change. Without a ******* doubt I've got. I got friends with family there, and ? And obviously I hope their family is safe, but I wish all of their families. Were safe, it, it's just it's.
CORY: Yeah for sure.
ROSA: It's horrendous, but it was. It was nice to see that there was a video of Indiand Pakistani soldiers waving and dancing at each other over watchtowers. After the floods. Like in support, which is, I mean these countries have real animosity their their powers have been in conflict for so long. They're on the brink of war all. The *** **** time and. You know It’s a nice example that there is. Something still there in people even within structures like the military that make them want to connect with people in the other, . You know the opposite.
CORY: Shared suffering and.
ELLIS: Exactly, well the military is made-up of individuals. Yeah, do what I mean? And individuals have connections with other individuals and it is easy to connect with. I mean. People, yeah? And I, I mean It’s like the First World War when the English and the Germans started playing football on Christmas Day. It just came out of the trenches and started playing football with each other. You know what I mean? It's and when I used to go to Stonehenge and the police just try and stop us. And yeah, fun would ensue and. Yeah, and what? What we used to do is you, like you've got like. Hundreds of coppers in front of you. 3 deep in a line from the horizon to her. Poison and you just pick one like the one that's easily identified. That bloke with the ginger beard. Yeah, and you tell everyone around you. The bloke with the ginger beard bloke with the ginger beard and everybody just targets that one copper with abuse. Yeah, and it's just. Targeted right at him. Do what I mean? And it's just a full on barrage of like hundreds of people screaming.
CORY: Something he's not part of a. ***** he's a dude being of.
ELLIS: Yeah, and what I mean.
ROSA: That reminds me of.
ELLIS: It just ***** with thead.
ROSA: Yeah, yeah, that's awesome that and what I was saying earlier about fascists.
ELLIS: It's gotta be. Done, ?
ROSA: You know, being able to not be fascists anymore. And like my ability to even have respect for somebody who acts against fascism at that. Point, but not investing time in deradicalizing them individually is very much the same feeling I had when I saw. I think. It was. Me and Ma police officer take off his helmet and join the protesters and it's like you. Know what great? I'll give him a clap and a. Pat on thead at this. Point right, but do not waste time. Trying to get this to.
CORY: We're not trying.
ROSA: Happen would you?
CORY: Yeah, we're not trying to convince. Just be pleased when it.
CORY: You to do this.
ROSA: When it happens going oh nice one but don't don't don't actually invest. Any effort in making this a? More likely occurrence because you're not gonna.
CORY: Yeah, no, that's true.
ELLIS: It's like ******* thousands of people. And they're all facing off against thousands of cops. And there's a gap of about 30 feet between cops and the people. Yeah, and I’m at the front. I've taken some acid I'm tripping balls, man, .
ROSA: But I'm at.
ELLIS: The front yeah. And I saw. On the side of the road there's like a road going that way big **** *** building there. Yeah, on the corner of it and the big **** *** building on the corner of this one. The cops are on that side and we're on this side. Like and I saw like four or five cases. I remember one of them with a brown leather jacket, yeah, and they came out from behind the police right up against the building and went round the corner and down the street a bit and crossed the road and then came back up and came into our site. And it was like from where they were. That rocks and **** started going towards the cops. And then it all kicked off, ah. Mate, I saw it ******* plain as daylight. Do what I mean? It was up until that point it was just lots of shouting. You know there's lots of shouting and everyone had come to a stop in front of this huge police line. Yeah, that was ******* under. It's deep. It was like half a brick and a ******* bottle and like what I mean. And then all of a sudden the police just went **** this and charged, . Of course, yeah.
CORY: Well now something's been thrown, so they have. Reason right?
ROSA: Last year, the police charged a group of seated protesters and then claimed that they had had their ribs broken and lungs punctured. And yet they didn't. They retracted that, like the next day, you.
ELLIS: Yeah, none of it was true.
ROSA: See, one guy injured his hand. In his own police car, because he shot it in the cage in the back?
CORY: OK, yeah.
ROSA: Yeah, that's. That was it.
ROSA: Like look at the breakdown of the injury of the protesters or someone else.
ELLIS: Yeah, that was the only police injuring. Yeah, they waited, the police just waded in with nightsticks and Shields like with seated protesters.
ROSA: And you got a lot of people in our country right now with the discussion about strikes and civil disobedience saying oh, but what if this what the government wants and they want to, bring in even more draconian measures under the guise of defending themselves against. It's like.
ROSA: That is one of the saddest *** **** things. I've ever heard. In my life that’s just you. Believe these people are. So evil that they would. Do that and your response. Is let's hope they don't get worse rather than let.
CORY: If we don't do anything, they won't get. Know what?
ELLIS: They do.
ROSA: You know in. Other words, bring it on. You know, I mean, surely that's where this going and kind of running out of time so. Frankly to be a revolutionary is to be a balanced accelerationist so. You have to like consider how some of the things like I wrote a blog post about Keystone of being a Prime Minister keystone of Prime Minister. The hate the left hates kissama for good reason because I Legitimately think for as long as there is an opposition to the Tories, people will cling on to the hope that will better and they will.
ROSA: Prefer to hold on to that. Than choose the legitimately. Difficult decision and it should be difficult. Otherwise you're being naive to revolt right? And until we cause what we're seeing in the US with Biden is finally a discontent that voting blue is not enough Democrats. We call your bluff that chant that was beautiful to see that because and you couldn't see that when Trump was in. And the Democrats have it. Sure, you probably know they. Again they literally funding right wing like contenders and trumpets because they want to threaten the electorate with fascist violence if they don't accept their mediocre offer. I mean, it's disgusting, and I hope that. The customer is elected Prime Minister because I, I think. In the same way that liberals held on to hope when Trump was in office, and certainly because the Conservatives have been in office for so ******* long, because the Labour Party has been untested for so long for 12 years, they haven't had to demonstrate their ability to make things better, so people can hold all sorts of imagination. Of the improvement possible, but I do not believe any reformist any person that's going to continue the neoliberal order can satisfy that level of change that ameliorates revolutionary action, wherein the pan. First reform did that. You know it, it reform was something you almost were concerned about because it would calm people down and they wouldn't go further. Now I just don't think It’s reasonable to think that anybody could offer people something that doesn't fall short and. Frankly, it's only once you've seen you have no alternatives that many people will accept the difficult and potentially bloody task of revolution, and that's understandable. So kids down the Prime Minister I.
ELLIS: Guess would have been radicalized from a young lad because when I when I was 11 I went to private school, even though my parents there was no way they could afford it. Yeah, I yeah, I the government decided that they'd pay for me to go to private school, yeah?
ROSA: He's a very clever boy.
ELLIS: And I was the only poor kid there. I went to school, I went to school with the Prince in Nigeria. My mum lived in a 2 bedroom terraced house. My uniform didn't fit my I mean I was wearing cheap green NHS glasses. And so people are legitimately ********. Like I know this from private school.
ELLIS: I got so much **** when I was at school for being a poor kid. Do what I mean? And yeah. Took me until the third year to learn to box. You know, and from there on, I didn't really get much.
CORY: ****, the class stratification. Was pretty obvious at that point.
ELLIS: **** it was, yeah. Yeah, and then I went and then I went and joined, joined the Army and like the ******* Cold War was still going on. Yeah I joined the British Army as a child. Soldier, they’re are.
ROSA: One of the few countries that enlists 16 year.
ELLIS: There are three countries.
CORY: Olds, oh jeez, yeah.
ELLIS: There are three. There are three countries that have child soldiers according to Amnesty International, and that's North Korea, Irand the United. Kingdom yeah Jesus.
ROSA: We still have them.
ELLIS: And yeah, yeah.
ROSA: We still enlist and.
ELLIS: We still in this 16 year olds and still have them in our army. Like you weren't you, you weren't see like.
ELLIS: You know?
ROSA: Active war zones at 17 or 16. But you will you. Know you're very young. And to be subject to a heavily indoctrinating system? Yeah, and I mean I obviously didn't know, he just said thank you for the skills and.
ELLIS: Yeah, I mean what? The main reason I joined was because I knew that if I joined and I joined the Royal Engineers. Then they would teach me pretty much any skill I wanted to learn any trade I wanted to learn, anything I wanted to learn. They do everything from blacksmithing to electronics. To ******* mechanics. Do what I mean? You can learn anything, yeah?
ROSA: Because The thing is, is soldiers are not heroes.
ELLIS: And that's why I joined. There are people.
ELLIS: That's why I joined, yeah?
ROSA: They didn't join because they felt some noble draw towards dying for their country. They join because they wanted access to education, . And **** like that. And that is. It's so explosive it was incredible to see. I think it was a US politician. Just go and mask off about that, like complaining about the Student Loans is gonnaffect army enlistment.
ELLIS: Well, I mean other times.
ROSA: It's like dude. The quiet part. Fun mark.
ROSA: You didn't real loud.
ELLIS: Margaret Thatcher was into her second term office here in the UK. When I joined. And before I joined,, before I left school, we had a careers officer came round to the school to talk to like the kids about what they're gonna do once they leave school. And he said to me that because I didn't have family that were industrialists, or I didn't have family to fall back on. I had two choices. I could either join the forces or sign on. Because there was no work. Out there.
ELLIS: And I decided to join forces now. Even even with.
ROSA: That benefit of access to private education and doing well in it.
ELLIS: Imagine I made. I figured I made the best choice I could with the Royal Engineers. And I learned I learned communication, sabotage.
ROSA: Communication sabotage?
ELLIS: I learned building demolition. I learned things like how to completely cut off a town for an invasion.
CORY: Oh, geez.
ELLIS: Like completely cut it off from communication. Travelling and out everything everything we'll. Can look you can look up the plans for a new device online like Google will tell you tell you how to device but all you gotta do is scale it down.
ROSA: But you could make one so small you could put it inside a tennis ball. Check it out.
ELLIS: Yeah you don't have to have much range on it. A couple. Of metres will do, yeah. And you get a tennis ball, split, open 9 Volt battery with the capacitor on it with a little bit of circuit board. Yeah, and there you go. Yeah, it's done right and then all you gotta do is just throw it at the cops. Yeah, and if you get like loads of people with loads of these tennis balls and they all throw them at the cops then it'll fry every communication device that they have. Yeah, and they'll have no way of communicating with each other. And if you get one.
ROSA: On top of a police. Station near the aerial. Yeah, if you follow on.
ELLIS: Because police station has big aerial, yeah.
ROSA: The like the whole building.
ELLIS: One of those tennis balls on top of the police station. Yeah, it'll pulse for. It'll go for maybe 30 seconds before dying. Yeah, but if at any point in that. 30 seconds they have an outgoing transmission. Yeah, it'll fly the transmitter. Yeah, so they've got no communications from the station out.
CORY: Right, yeah, that's pretty good.
ROSA: You know some cool stuff.
ELLIS: I mean, back back in the days it stopped the city like stopped the city was the thing that went on in. London in the. 80s yeah, and the idea was like it went on in London, Manchester, Liverpool. Those few cities. Did it, yeah. But the idea was you just stopped the city you like. Pick up the tube the tube entrances. Picket bus stops. Yeah, stop people going to work stop people like just what I mean stop. The city, yeah.
CORY: Disrupt things, yeah?
ELLIS: Yeah. And it was ******* awesome. It was really good. Stuff, yeah.
CORY: Yeah, that's great.
ELLIS: But one one idea for that was to get the EMP. Yeah, and like have a like. If you're in a car, you got a box of them. Yeah, and you just have an on off switch inside the slot on the on the tennis ball. Yeah, so you just turn it on and Chuck it or turn it on and put it somewhere. You get like. Cyclists go around the city, right, delivering stuff, Courier. If you just stuck one like you're at a traffic light, you lean out of the car and just like take one to the back of his bike and then turn it on everywhere he goes, he's gonna he's gonna cut out laptops, cars, ******* everything's just gonna stop working everywhere he goes, yeah.
CORY: We've got a. We've actually got a comment. Utah Outcast says be careful if you do that, don't have any Google searches related online purchases that are related. I feel like that would be a federal. Crime here in the states. So you want to be very careful. Yeah, Oh yeah, definitely be careful and do not take anything we say may we may do as.
ROSA: As the advice of. This not what's. Going on.
ELLIS: What I really mean? Is open up your modified Mozilla Firefox. And go on.
CORY: Yes yeah.
ELLIS: Go on DuckDuckGo with Matt and friends and have a look and I'm sure you'll find.
CORY: Your VPN and your.
ELLIS: It yeah.
CORY: Your Tor browser.
ROSA: Something that I think is not realized by a lot of the online left, which is obviously as I mentioned, the only kind of presence that I have is online. Apart from the fact that I know Ellis and his other comrades that weren't online at all, they're still. Looking anarchists, they're still radicals. They were they were, fighting police., against violence against travellers back in the day, they still hold the same ideals. Now there are a lot of people who never stopped wanting this change, yeah? I, I think and people don't realize enough that how many of them. Stop like talking about their ideas, but if they saw something happen, if they saw a revolution come. There are tons of people. Who would suddenly step thell up and be ready for down or anything because they've been wanting it their whole lives? But they. May have been, disillusioned and. You know, disenfranchised, but they were never hyper normalized. They, never let go of a radicalism that is actually rare to see nowadays anyway. And you're, I mean, you're seeing exciting stuff with younger people like, I mean, your son. Jake is incredibly based, but that's not surprising. You know, but, yeah, there is more and. Like say we talk openly about our political views with a. Lot of people we don't necessarily. We don't. Ask them their.
ROSA: View and they’re like they give their views on what we say, but we don't ask their political affiliation before we start. And everybody is incredibly accepting of it. And a lot of people they don't flinch. Suggestion of revolution. They are just waiting. Yeah, there are a lot of people who really are not. They're prepared to take that risk at trying something new and I think it's always wrong to like suggest that it's not a risk because it's a risk you don't know where the. Revolution's gonna go. And I you. Know This why I think it's. It's not, . There is utility in some people talking about specialized. You know ideologies and types of anarchism and everything, but . But I am a pragmatic in my own way, just not within the artificial confines of people like Keith Starmer when he talks about pragmatism, like and the basis of that is kind of isn't even a really appropriate analogy because there is more scope. Or possible improvement and or in the analogy, cure in this world with the issues we face than there is with my health. But I know what the difference is between bucking terrible and even worse, the difference is wanting to live or die, ? It's these things matter, and if ideal is not attainable, it is still worth something to make things as good as you can. Anarchist as a political ideology describes my ideal and the way in which I understand the world, the kind of concerns that I have and would bring to any other. System that comes in contact with those concerns, but it's not the only scenario I consider worth fighting for. I think it's worth fighting for every inch.
CORY: So yeah, no, that's that. Makes sense to me.