The Great Commotion: Norwich's free newsletter

The Great Commotion FAQ

What is the great Commotion?

The Great Commotion is a completely free monthly newsletter produced in Norwich, England. It provides the people of Norwich and Norfolk with an alternative view of current local events. The first issue was released on November 15th 2005.

Where does the name come from?

The name "the great commotion" was given to Kett's Rebellion in 1549. Robert Kett, along with his brother William, led a peasant revolt against a tyranical government and greedy land owners. Kett was hanged at Norwich Castle on 7th December 1549, but his rebellious spirit and lives on to this day. Like Robert Kett, and the countless others who fought for justice alongside him, we at The Great Commotion see ourselves as fighting for the common man (or woman - we hate sexism). Although we haven't taken up arms against the local government (yet), we are doing what we can. To learn more about Kett's rebellion go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/legacies/myths_legends/england/norfolk/

Who is behind all this?

The Great Commotion is produced by Norwich residents. Many, although not all, are students. Most of the members are also anarchists or libertarian communists. Although The Great Commotion is not strictly an anarchist publication.

Communists? How can you support such an awful system, don't you know how many people were killed by Stalin?

Libertarian Communism is strongly opposed to Marxism-Leninism, which is the type of "communism" that all the countries that have claimed to be communist have adhered to. We beleive that communism goes hand in hand with direct democracy, that is, communities being controlled by local people, not centralised governments. We believe that everyone should have equal political power and that there should not be one supreme leader who makes all the decisions.

Don't anarchists just want chaos?

No, not at all. The word anarchy literally means "without rulers". We believe in creating a society based on direct democracy where everyone has equal political power. Contrary to popular belief, we do believe in organisation, however we believe that it is possible to organise without an unquestionable leader telling everyone what to do.

To learn more about anarchism and libertarian communism go to www.infoshop.org and www.libcom.org

Why are you doing this?

We are partly doing this for our own amusement, but mostly because we believe that there should be a local news source which presents an alternative view of the mainstream media. The mainstream media is mostly owned and controlled by rich capitalist business owners, or in some cases (like the BBC), by the government, who we believe, mainly exists to cater to the needs of the forementioned rich capitalist businesses owners. This means, that most of the information we get from it, however objective it may claim to be, will always, to some extent, present us with views and opinions that justify the existence of

capitalism. We believe that people should always hear both sides of the argument and that there should be news sources which present anti-capitalist views and opinions. While there are many such sources on a national and international level (see www.indymedia.org.uk and http://www.libcom.org/news) there are very few sources presenting such an opinion on a local level. That is where we come in. You do not have to agree with any of our opinions and many of you probably wont, but

nonetheless, we believe that it is better for people to understand the full picture, not just one side of it.

Why do you always present a negative view of politicians? They do good stuff too you know.

We believe that politicians do more harm than good. We are strongly opposed to the idea that a local communty needs someone to control it on our behalf. We believe that through a system of direct democracy, local people should have control over their own local community. Direct democracy stands in contrast to representative democracy, the system we currently live under, in which people merely choose who has control over them and their community. We are also trying to show the side of

the story that the mainstream media doesn't dare to touch. For a positive view of politicians, you just have to turn to the corporate media. While it will sometimes portray individual politicians in a negative light, it presents a postive view in general and never questions the existence of the political system which puts them in power.

Why do you hate police officers?

We don't hate police officers as individual human beings, we realise that many police officers are good people. However, we are extremely critical of the police as a social institution. While it is obvious that an institution similar to the police which deals with anti-social crime must exist in any society, we believe that the current policing system is unacceptable.

Policemen are given too much power and are unaccountable to the local community. We believe that in a society that truly serves the needs of the people, this must change.

Can I write for the Great Commotion?

Yes. Please email us any articles you have written. If you would like to become part of the writing team please email and tell us and we will let you know when and where we are having our next meeting.

Do I have to be an anarchist to write for The Great Commotion?

No, not at all. However, it would would help if your political views are at least somewhat left wing. Any submissions presenting opinions that justify the status quo have little chance of being published. Submissions containing opinions that we judge to be racist, sexist or homophobic will be thrown away instantly.

This should be going on the great commotion website once we get that up and running. If anyone can offer constructive criticism or more questions then I would greatly appreciate it.

Posted By

Coconut man
Nov 14 2005 21:39

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Comments

rich
Nov 14 2005 22:06

Nice one mr Coconut.

Coconut man
Nov 15 2005 12:46

You can read the first issue here

Tug
Nov 18 2005 00:10

Congratulations to all who worked on the first issue, looks really promising and will be a great addition to the alternative media in Norwich.

stinkerbell
Nov 18 2005 00:43

It looks really great, well done everyone!

Few things confusing me though....

The people who were integral to the news letter were the same people who didn't want to be associated with Now or Never! I was expecting it to be completely opposite, and not to include any of the things that NoN! was criticised for. To be honest, I think it is at least as equally 'random' as NoN!, some of the articles don't actually make sense at all! NoN! was criticised for the fact it would alienate people - whilst the newsletter doesn't have swearing etc, it has articles suggesting bare knuckle boxing should be introduced to Norwich....

I know that it's not a Norwich Anarchist publication, as NoN! was, which gives the arguements against NoN! force, but I am somewhat confused by the fact that NoN! was so fiercly criticised by a small minority of the group, who then seem to have gone on to make a newsheet with all the same 'flaws'! Surely if NoN! was giving anarchism/libetarian communism/whatever we're calling ourselves today a bad name, so is TGC? it seems a tad hippocritical to be honest. Also, saying it's "Norwich's only completely independant, fearless publication" is a bit shit, to be fair.

To be honest, I could rant a hell of a lot more, but this really isn't the place. I don't want to air our dirty knickers, but seeing as neither of the publications are affiliated to the group, it doesn't seem too inappropriate. Also, I am well aware that TGC wasn't set up as an alternative to NoN!, so it might seem a bit irrelevent to be making comparisons, it's just that having read it, I'm frankly baffled as to the recent actions of some people in the group in realation to NoN! - I feel that their arguements, which they seemed to believe in so strongly, hold a little less water than they previously did.

Coconut man
Nov 18 2005 02:24
stinkerbell wrote:
To be honest, I think it is at least as equally 'random' as NoN!, some of the articles don't actually make sense at all!

I agree. If I had put the thing together, there are two articles in particular that I wouldn't have included, at least, not in their current forms. However, in future we have decided that we will all sit down together and look at everyone elses articles and edit it collectively. We couldnt do that this issue because rich had to get it ready for RYB, which was the day after the deadline for submissions.

Tug
Nov 18 2005 13:18
stinkerbell wrote:
It looks really great, well done everyone!

Few things confusing me though....

The people who were integral to the news letter were the same people who didn't want to be associated with Now or Never! I was expecting it to be completely opposite, and not to include any of the things that NoN! was criticised for. To be honest, I think it is at least as equally 'random' as NoN!, some of the articles don't actually make sense at all! NoN! was criticised for the fact it would alienate people - whilst the newsletter doesn't have swearing etc, it has articles suggesting bare knuckle boxing should be introduced to Norwich....

I know that it's not a Norwich Anarchist publication, as NoN! was, which gives the arguements against NoN! force, but I am somewhat confused by the fact that NoN! was so fiercly criticised by a small minority of the group, who then seem to have gone on to make a newsheet with all the same 'flaws'! Surely if NoN! was giving anarchism/libetarian communism/whatever we're calling ourselves today a bad name, so is TGC? it seems a tad hippocritical to be honest. Also, saying it's "Norwich's only completely independant, fearless publication" is a bit shit, to be fair.

To be honest, I could rant a hell of a lot more, but this really isn't the place. I don't want to air our dirty knickers, but seeing as neither of the publications are affiliated to the group, it doesn't seem too inappropriate. Also, I am well aware that TGC wasn't set up as an alternative to NoN!, so it might seem a bit irrelevent to be making comparisons, it's just that having read it, I'm frankly baffled as to the recent actions of some people in the group in relation to NoN! - I feel that their arguements, which they seemed to believe in so strongly, hold a little less water than they previously did.

I'm a sucker for girls with split personalities wink

Whilst I agree with some of what Stinker says, I think it is a good publication and is after all still in its its embryonic stage. Whilst TGC is not a NA publication it is a NA initiative and deserves our solidarity. Whilst I do not think Stinker should have made her last post (and I told her so last night - I dunno, these uppity feminist types seem to have minds of their own!) I do sypathise with her. She is not the only member of the group to show a lack of solidarity in recent times. A lot of people still feel bitter about the separation of NoN!, myself included and divisions in the group are beginning to form. We need to nip this in the bud if we're going to continue to be a thriving group.

The last meeting was great, a good turnout and good discussion on the future of the group. Hopefully at the next meeting we can agree on a constitution and move forward. In recent times way too much of the group's time has been spent analyising what the group is and how it's perceived. What has made NA a success has been our actions and our achievements. We're becoming inward looking and we need to put all this crap behind us. I came away from our last meeting feeling really positive about NA, something I've not felt for a long time. As Norwicher said at the last meeting, we've been focusing on our differences rather on what we have in common, the exact opposite of what NA set out to be when it was set up. I think the bright light NA has been is in danger of fading, I think the last meeting was a much needed spark but we're going to have to bung on a bit of kindling (Christ, am I actually writing in metaphors!).

joe P
Nov 18 2005 13:34

As for some of the articles being random and not making sense theres one i think that fits that bill. But one that you might be refering to, and maybe coconut man as well, is the werewolf one. I wrote that and it was a bit rushed and I realise i wasn't very well written. I just thought that as the mayors coment was completley different to the person who was 'attacked' by the dogs he should be cal;ed up for talking bullshit and i tried to write it in a humorous way (in which i probably failed) so that tgc wasn't too dry.

stinkerbell
Nov 18 2005 13:50

Fucking hell, I can't believe I'm arguing with the man I live with on the interent while he's down the shops. roll eyes Oh well, there's no secrets in NA!

Tug wrote:

Whilst I agree with some of what Stinker says, I think it is a good publication and is after all still in its its embryonic stage.

So do I. If you read my post, you'll see that the first thing I said was "It looks really great, well done everyone! " My comments were in no way critisisms of TGC, I am just genuinely confused by the content of it after recent events. I am not, however, criticising the content of it. Some of it I l liked, some of it I didn't - all in all, I thought it was ace and that those involved should be really proud of themselves.

Tug wrote:
She is not the only member of the group to show a lack of solidarity in recent times.

I am not showing a lack of solidarity with the group. It's not the groups newsletter, I wasn't criticising it, it was just not what I expected judging by recent events. I realise that this is a public forum, but I have bitten my tongue like a motherfucker to be honest, as I am really quite fucking angryc about the hippocracy of the situation. If NoN! or TGC were NA publications, I would not have even discussed the matter on a public forum. Also, I feel that to single me out as showing a lack of solidarity out of everyone in the group is unfair - I believe very strongly in the principle that NA were founded on, and feel that I have been one of the many people who has been battling to defend them in recent times.

Tug wrote:
A lot of people still feel bitter about the separation of NoN!, myself included

True, and I feel a lot more bitter about it having seen TGC.

Tug wrote:
In recent times way too much of the group's time has been spent analyising what the group is and how it's perceived. What has made NA a success has been our actions and our achievements. We're becoming inward looking and we need to put all this crap behind us. I came away from our last meeting feeling really positive about NA, something I've not felt for a long time. As Norwicher said at the last meeting, we've been focusing on our differences rather on what we have in common, the exact opposite of what NA set out to be when it was set up.

I completely agree, and I apologise if my ranting on this thread has dragged us backwards a bit, it really wasn't my intention. But I felt that it was something I needed to say, and that to raise it at a meeting/in a group email would make to much of an issue of it and bring the whole NoN! arguements up again, which I really didn't want to do. However, I feel that I've bitten my tounge so much recently for the good of group solidarity, despite how angry I feel about some recent decisions/actions, and that I wanted to say something. I'm not trying to stir up trouble, but TGC has made me question some of the things that have been said by members of the group, so I expressed my concern/confusion - that's all. I apologise if anyone feels it was inappropriate or distructive, but like I said, I thought it would be more counter productive to be discussing this shit it a meeting yet again.

Tug wrote:
I think the bright light NA has been is in danger of fading, I think the last meeting was a much needed spark but we're going to have to bung on a bit of kindling.

Urgh...you are sleeping on the sofa tonight hippy.

stinkerbell
Nov 18 2005 13:54
joe P wrote:
As for some of the articles being random and not making sense theres one i think that fits that bill. But one that you might be refering to, and maybe coconut man as well, is the werewolf one. I wrote that and it was a bit rushed and I realise i wasn't very well written. I just thought that as the mayors coment was completley different to the person who was 'attacked' by the dogs he should be cal;ed up for talking bullshit and i tried to write it in a humorous way (in which i probably failed) so that tgc wasn't too dry.

Mate, I wasn't slagging of any articles at all, honestly! People like different things, and it's good to cater to different tastes. I'm not even sure if that was the article I was thinking of TBH! Nah....my point was about the content in the context of the NoN! debarcle - nothing more!

joe P
Nov 18 2005 14:06

Ok fair enough, i wasn't involved in the NON! debate so I can't really comment. Except to say I really like the paper and I'm thinking about trying to get the newsagents on campus to stock it, if people thought that was ok. smile

Tug
Nov 18 2005 14:17

Hey Stinker, sorry I misrepresented your views, you hadn't actually criticised the content of the newsletter. embarrassed

When I was referring to a lack of solidarity I wasn't just talking about stuff that is directly affilitated to the group. TGC is produced by people in NA and regardless as a progressive local rag I think we ought to show it some support. I hadn't singled you out for lack of solidarity, I was referring to other members of the group as well, which I thought I made clear, just chose not to name names. In fact, in recent times you've shown a great deal of solidarity on occasions when others haven't.

Anyway, don't want to argue on the internet when we can have a perfectly good arguement face to face. On the plus side, if we break up due to this we can contact the Trisha Show for a "Enrager ended our relationship" special? wink

Joe - your werewolf article was fine, just the sort of thing we like at NoN!, fancy submitting something to us sometime?

Tug
Nov 18 2005 14:35
joe P wrote:
Ok fair enough, i wasn't involved in the NON! debate so I can't really comment. Except to say I really like the paper and I'm thinking about trying to get the newsagents on campus to stock it, if people thought that was ok. :)

Hey, if you could distribute NoN! on campus that would be awesome, it's something I've been meaning to do for ages but haven't got round to. smile

joe P
Nov 18 2005 15:10

Yeah i've thought about writting something for NON! but i dont know what. When i think of something to write i iwll.

The paper shop pn campus won't stock anything NON! or TGC, cunts! i'll see where else i can distribute stuff

stinkerbell
Nov 18 2005 15:15
Tug wrote:
Hey Stinker, sorry I misrepresented your views, you hadn't actually criticised the content of the newsletter. embarrassed

Yeah, well you should've discussed the issues with me last night instead of drinking the NA bar dry of whisky and passing out grin

Tug wrote:
TGC is produced by people in NA and regardless as a progressive local rag I think we ought to show it some support.

I am! Right, the next fool that implies that I don't like TGC gets a virtual slap. For the last fucking time.....I think it's great, it has my full support and I believe it should have the groups full support. Christ, get your ears syringed tinitus boy (or your eyes I guess confused ).

Tug wrote:
On the plus side, if we break up due to this we can contact the Trisha Show for a "Enrager ended our relationship" special? wink

Nah, I wannna go on that cunt Jeremy Kyle's show so that I can beat him to within an inch of his worthless life.

stinkerbell
Nov 18 2005 15:16
joe P wrote:
Yeah i've thought about writting something for NON! but i dont know what. When i think of something to write i iwll.

The paper shop pn campus won't stock anything NON! or TGC, cunts! i'll see where else i can distribute stuff

Pricks. How come? Tug says it might be worth trying Waterstones.

joe P
Nov 18 2005 15:30

I dunno why really they just said they don't stock anything other than mainstream stuff and union publications. Yeah waterstones might be a good bet they already stock class war.

Coconut man
Mar 14 2006 17:22

We've got our own website now (or at least our own part of the NAS site).

http://www.anarchist.org.uk/the-great-commotion/

Rob Ray
Mar 16 2006 23:05

Remember you can post news on the EASF site like, including commotion extracts.

Just a thought.

rich
Mar 27 2006 16:16

Working on it dude! When we have more time...

Coconut man
Mar 30 2006 15:45

I just had another look at the website - it's looking really good. Good work rich (I assume).