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Rupture Spring 2020: The sickness came long before the virus

Well here it is – the lockdown edition of Rupture. Notable for the fact that in the 20 years of publication this is the first issue not to be printed as a hard copy. This has come with its benefits – we can use colour images, don’t have to design in blocks of four pages (for folding purposes uh-huh), didn’t have to agonise about fitting all the text and imagery into the layout and well, there aren’t any listings to collate. It’s also rare for the zine to have a theme – but quite frankly it’s kind of nice doing things a different way for a change.

Originally published by Rupture.

[Written on 10 May 2020 – the days seem to be flying past and it probably needs stating when this was written within the crazy, topsy-turvy, Old-Testamentstyle final series of the Humans boxset]

Read the full issue of Rupture Spring 2020 “The last thing we want is a return to normality” Screen PDF (7.7mb) …best saved and then opened in a PDF reader!

Table of content:

  • Lockdown special edition – editorial
  • Human rights are also for people I cannot fucking stand (rant)
  • Sorry to go all class war on you but fucking hell, class war! (rant)
  • Random Artists presents… Televised Autonomous Art
  • May Day 2020 – International Workers Day during a pandemic
  • TAA autumn 2019 writeup
  • What is TAA?
  • Guerillas in the Midst (guerilla gardening)
  • Loving Miss Daisy (story)
  • Rural Murals (article)
  • Squatdoku
  • Update from Disgraca, Lisbon (article)
  • Proton Art
  • Frontline magazine news
  • LOTS of artwork, poetry and prose
  • DIY or Die guide to making face masks

Although it’s been on and off, changed tact slightly and passed through a couple of pairs of hands, Rupture has largely remained the same for the past 20 years. It’s still a messy mish-mash of writings culled and collated from the wider circles around DIY and free party culture. It’s edited but not particularly curated and a good issue is a matter of striking balance between the different strands of material. Some of the content that resonates better and longer has made into the Compendium bumper editions – and a whole heap of stuff (from whatever we can find between our collective muddles and fragmented archives) will make into the long promised book that’s due to be published later this year.

Anyway, as mentioned – it’s good to get away from ‘the norm’ and this is especially fitting as there’s currently a lot of
talk of ‘the new normal’ and how we ‘go back to normal’ after all this coronavirus shenanigans. The real question we should ask ourselves is “do we want to go back to normal?”!

Sure, there’s things that we miss from our lives and a human connection that’s severely lacking; but there’s very little of what became normalised in our society that we should be trying to preserve and covet. We could of course instead be looking at this pandemic (and the resulting governmental shitshow) as an opportunity to wipe the lens clean. We need to learn from these valuable lessons and help others to come along with us for the ride.

The lockdown has produced some clearly positive outcomes – in the spontaneous springing up of mutual aid groups
across the country (even if many were coopted by local councils and Labour activists, shout out to Base and Roses in Bristol for staying true) and the desire to help our neighbours and the vulnerable in the face of a potential apocalypse. There must be a swell of people who now have faith in themselves and the power of solidarity and community; and who now see the government, and the corporate interests they serve, as the bloodsucking detriment that they really are.

People (whether selfishly or not) have to a degree taken charge of their own lives and movement in a way they might previously have disregarded. This came with some inevitable drawbacks – snitching on people you know nothing about is on the rise; it’s still hard to find enough fucking bog-roll. The sneering middle classes had to find out why some people rely on benefits (whilst reaping the grim fruits of Universal Credit, something they may have helped usher in) and everyone got to show their appreciation for health and care workers (if we could actually give them a pay-rise over some clapping we surely would).

In a horrible use of wartime rhetoric the media (and the government/companies who refuse to sort out a decent living
wage for the population) started praising anyone who had to keep going to work to keep the roof over their heads as frontline ‘heroes’ – when in fact they more closely resemble ‘hostages’. This is compounded by the fact that if it were a war campaign we would have dropped any amount of money on providing the necessary PPE protection and general safeguarding. The dithering, dosile and downright dangerous approach of the Tories is tantamount to mass murder – and the cabinet should go on trial for it.

It seems easy for those with a comfortable domicile, replete with a large garden (and a distinct lack of abusive partners
or troublesome neighbours) to think that somehow we’re all in the same boat. Quite frankly, we’re not – some people
have more to worry about than whether their third attempt at making sourdough bread is Instagram-worthy. It’s likely that (if we even ever do) find out about the stories of the less fortunate, who are getting sidelined in the ongoing Tales of the Covid saga, it will be after all this has ‘blown over’ – whatever that means.

The parasites who are making a profit out of this crisis (oh, don’t worry – there’s always someone making a profit out of every crisis; just speak to the familia Rees- Mogg!) or those who are syphoning off tax-payer money instead of their vast cash reserves to pay furloughed staff, or worse yet – utter cunts like Branson who, not satisfied with suing the NHS for failing to win a contract, will be looking to get millions in a government bailout. All because the risky business of being a capitalist business (where you’ve got to have big, heaving, sweaty man-balls of steel) is suddenly not very much fun at all when that house of cards comes tumbling down.

Although the lockdown has made most forms of protest and activism even more illegal and hazardous (fair play to those who have found a way to endure) we haven’t yet been in a position to actually get out onto the streets and do anything about our new found (or newly heightened) sense of anger and power. It will be the coming weeks, when the restrictions ease and it stops becoming illegal to be on the streets (it will come soon – big business demands it!) when we should be mobilising and trying to shape the new world, away from the old normal. It is said that it only takes 3.5% of a population to overcome tyranny – and so, even if many people find the motivation for action hard, we need to find our own ways to be part of that 3.5%.

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