The WOMBLES (White Overalls Movement Building Libertarian Effective Struggles) are a loose anti-capitalist group based in
Londonthat once dressed in white overalls with padding and helmets at protests, mimicking the Italian group Tute Bianche.
They should not be confused with the British animated children's television characters, "
The Wombles" from whom they drew their name and white colour.
The group was founded by some of those who came together as the September26Collective to organise transport to the Prague for actions to disrupt the meeting of the World Bank and IMF, on their return. Since then they have participated in various protests, including the
Halloween 2002 protest, and May Day 2001, Thessaloniki, €uroMayDayand Gleneagles. They claim to operate in a "non-hierarchical but self-disciplined way".
"On Mayday 2000 the cops gave [the protesters] a good kicking", [http://www.wombles.org.uk/ their website] says. In response to this, the group was started to provide "self-protection from the depredations of the constabulary" (the
They have since abandoned their trademark white overalls because they found it made them too visible and open to attack, instead favouring clothing that enables them to be anonymous.
Some of their professed aims include:
*to facilitate free movement and communication during protests;
*to stop attacks on demonstrators - such as baton charges, horse charges,
CS gasand sprays;
*to be living examples of our libertarian solidarity, organisation, and humour;
*to promote mutual respect and protection among demonstrators.
Civil and social disobedience
London Action Resource Centre
Zapatista Army of National Liberation
* [http://www.wombles.org.uk/ Wombles.org.uk]
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