We’ve been going for a year…

Today is the first anniversary of this blog and it’s sister project, On Uncertain Ground. Our predecessor was the South Essex Heckler which had been going in various forms since 2011. At the start of last year, we thought the Heckler had lost its focus and was trying to be all things to all people. It was veering from fairly punchy posts focusing on local and some national issues, attempts at more theoretical pieces through to what some would see as more ‘fluffy’ promotions of community focused projects.

Having all of this under one roof became too much so we binned the Heckler in early February last year and after a short experiment with localised blogs covering Thurrock and Basildon respectively, the South Essex Stirrer was launched and this is where we are. Our other sister blog, The Estuary Alternative which as you may guess from the title, promotes positive alternatives in the form of grassroots projects that make a difference in the here and now, was launched in the aftermath of the Southend Radical Fair which took place in early May last year.

How are we doing? Reader numbers on the Stirrer are up to what they were on the Heckler before it was scrapped so we’re making pretty good progress here. With On Uncertain Ground which is for the longer, more theoretical pieces, it only gets updated every couple of weeks so when a new post goes up, the hits come in but then tail off until the next update. As for The Estuary Alternative, it’s not taken off in the way we wanted. That’s down to a number of factors, one of which was not having the time to seriously push the project last year. We’ve reviewed the situation, come up with a few new ideas which we’ll be implementing so hopefully it’ll be onwards and upwards for The Estuary Alternative this year.

The Stirrer, On Uncertain Ground and The Estuary Alternative all come under the umbrella of South Essex Radical Media which has a presence on Facebook. This is where we announce the updates for all of our blogs as well as briefly commenting on issues and sharing events and items of interest from other like minded pages. South Essex Radical Media also has a presence on Twitter as well.

What we want to do with all of our blogs is make them more open and collaborative. We do not want to be writing all of the posts for the blogs and all of the copy for any papers we bring out. With the Stirrer, we’re making reasonable progress in sourcing material from external sources but we would warmly welcome more! With On Uncertain Ground, as it’s intended to be a bit more theoretical in its outlook, we’re more than happy to accept guest posts from people who are broadly in agreement with our politics. As for the Estuary Alternative, the long term aim is to hand that over to other grassroots activists in the south of Essex so we need you to start contributing to it sooner rather than later!

All of the above blogs and the Facebook page are linked to in the side bar on the right hand side.

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Yes, there will be a paper!

Time to fess up – this blog is the very thinly disguised successor project to the now defunct South Essex Heckler. It was a complex set of circumstances ending in a bit of a cluster***k that left us with no option but to discontinue publishing the Heckler as a blog and paper – a good part of that was due to its role in getting the ball rolling for the Southend Radical Fair (see below).

Anyway, after a few weeks pondering what to do and some experimentation with other blogs, we’re here with the Stirrer. There will be a paper – work on producing it is already underway and we hope to get it off to the printer by the first week in April. If you broadly support our anarchist principles, live in southern Essex and want to take a small bundle of papers to hand out to friends, comrades, colleagues, neighbours, etc. get in touch with us (contact detail on the About us page) and we’ll work out a way of getting them to you.

As ever, we’re always keen to have people who support our politics contributing to this blog or its sister project, ON UNCERTAIN GROUND. If you’re involved in a grassroots community project, workplace industrial action, an anti-gentrification campaign to name just a few, have a story to tell, get it down and send it in to us. That kind of material will be published here on the Stirrer. If there’s an issue you feel passionately about and you want to write about it in depth, that’s the kind of piece we’ll be looking to publish in ON UNCERTAIN GROUND. Alternatively, if there’s something we’ve written in ON UNCERTAIN GROUND that you have a different take on, write it up and it’s quite likely we’ll publish it! With both blogs we try to take a light touch with editing, generally checking spelling and grammar.

Southend Radical Fair

The South Essex Heckler was instrumental in setting this fair up which is taking place at The Railway in Clifftown Road on May 6th. For a complex variety of reasons involving a certain amount of political incompatibility with ‘partner’ groups down in Southend, we’ve walked away from the fair and no longer have any involvement with building or organising it. If anyone is expecting to see us at the fair, this is just to let you know that we will not be attending it in any way, shape or form.