London Book Bloc

by | 9 Dec 2010

London book blocOn this day, despite the protests, the plan to raise the cap on tuition was carried by 323 votes to 302. Like the Wu Ming in Italy, would anyone like to have a go at summarising a message of protest from the names of the books on their shields?  Feel free to use the comments section below.

Their Manifesto Read:

The Book Bloc joins the student and public sector workers’ protest to affirm and defend what is under attack:
Our universities and public libraries, literacy, thought, culture and jobs. In the past few weeks our attempts to do so peacefully have been met by police with batons, riot shields and horses. These are not isolated incidents of brutality but part of a system of institutional violence. By bringing books into the streets we are drawing attention to the violence at the heart of the neo-liberal ideology of the Con-Dem government. When the police kettle us, baton us or charge us we will not only see police violence against individuals but the states violence against the free thought, expression and education.


  1. This is the list of most of the books that took part in the London Book Bloc Yesterday:
    Deschooling Society – Illich
    Brave New World – Huxley
    Unto This Last – Ruskin
    The Coming Insurrection – The Invisible Committee
    Endgame – Beckett
    Just William – Cropton
    Negative Dialectics – Adorno
    One Dimensional Man – Marcuse
    Society of the Spectacle – Debord
    A Room of Ones Own – Woolf
    The Idiot – Dostoyevsky
    Our Word is Our Weapon – Marcos
    The Permaculture Way – Bell
    Sense and Sensibility – Austen
    Alice in Wonderland – Carroll
    Waiting for Godot – Beckett

  2. A polite objection:
    I sent this picture to a friend of mine who works at the University of Bremen, and is expert in Adorno and the Decolonial turn. She replied:

    ‘Good to see something happens, but what’s missing: cesaire, fanon, wynter, spillers, lewis, quijano, de sousa santos, davis, etc. etc. etc… are the students all white? or don’t they understand that what happens to universities has something to do with global crisis, and thus, with (de)colonialism?’

  3. Does your friend think that Subcomandante Marcos has nothing to do with de-colonialism? Anyway, anyone who tries to make the point of “what’s missing” is clearly missing the point.

  4. Scott: I sent the link to the picture on Thursday, so she did not have the opportunity of looking at comments and find the list of books you provided yesterday. But, between us, you are right, the Zapatistas have a lot to do with resistance against current neocolonialism and the decolonisation of culture. However, the way you dismiss her comments is a bit too similar to the usual way in which any reference to Non-Eurocentric perspectives is rejected as irrelevant. Probably a less rushed reaction and a reflection on what it has been said in the South could be more productive.

  5. You are missing:

    Specters of Marx – Jacques Derrida
    Catch-22 – Joseph Heller

    No, not all of us were ‘white’. And we just picked our favorite books that were somewhat relevant.


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