Necessity Still Breeds Ingenuity - Archive of SQUALL MAGAZINE 1992-2006
Vote Nobody in Bristol, General Election, 2001.
Photo: Simon Chapman

Nobody Does It Better

Vote Nobody campaign secures first election victory in Bristol

26th May 2001

Blair may think that his heartland of property owning country folk are once again ready to vote for him, but one corner of Britain doesn't really care what the election outcome is, because they've already declared themselves an autonomous zone.

On May 3rd the people of Easton in Bristol were asked to go to the polls and decide who should run their community: Nobody or the Council. "Bogus as it is, May 3rd was the day the Council's mandate ran out," said spokeswoman Nora Nobody told SQUALL. "We posted ballots through 5,000 doors and have received enormous local support for ejecting all authority from the community."

Stickers and posters declaring Nobody Cares, Nobody will make a difference and Nobody is the Black Candidate have appeared throughout the inner city ward during the last month. On May 3rd, a righteous Nobody motorcade was mobbed in the streets before the ballot returned 145 votes to Nobody and five to the council. One staunch anarchist even spoiled their paper in the vote. As the result was announced the Autonomous Zone of Free Easton was declared, a stirring rally was held and the first Easton Popular People's Assembly was initiated - it's first task was go outside and sack the police who were waiting outside. "Your services are no longer required," said one elderly resident as she handed one officer a large sack. Easton Councillors John Kiely and Muriel Cole were also fired in their absence.

The following morning, anyone entering the zone was greeted by the legend 'You are now entering Free Easton' stenciled across the road at every entry point to the community.

"Every spoiled ballot paper is counted and the numbers are announced on polling day" said Nora Nobody. "Today was a victory, but on June 7th we're encouraging people to go to the polls and scrawl Nobody or None of the Above, or something more offensive, across their ballot papers again".

As both the ward's councillors were elected on less than 1500 votes (and everyone gets two votes), Nobody campaigners have calculated that if 750 ballots are spoiled then the autonomous zone is set in stone. "When the votes are counted and Free Easton is set in stone, all local and central government authority in Easton will cease permanently," said Ned (another Nobody). "And the community assembly can get on with the task of addressing the needs of the people. No more sham democracy. We're taking the power back, and we encourage other communities to do the same."

Meanwhile in Eugene Oregon in the US, another group of anarchists are endorsing the re-election of their city's ultra right wing Mayor, Jim Torrey. "Although we don't buy into the scam of democracy, we encourage others who believe, to vote for the greater of two evils. If not for pure comedy, at least to make it clear to all what type of Fascist system we live under." They believe Torrey's policies of brutal policing and corporate pandering have been instrumental in creating the city's "inevitable and beautiful anarchist backlash", and his re-election can only swell their ranks.

Photo's of the Autonomous Zone of Free Eastern and recent election in the ward can be viewed in the SQUALL Pictures section.

Related Articles
METAPHYSICAL GRAFFITI - out and about with Banksy in Bristol - 2000