To the political left Hunter's people are the ignorant and the ill informed, to the victorious right they are the unwashed and discarded waste product of the labouring class. Chav Solidarity is part autobiography, part meditation on trauma, class and identity, part one finger salute into the face of respectability politics, but mostly an articulation of the contradictory heart of Chavvy shit heads across the U.K.
This collection of essay's pick apart the lived experiences of its author. Hunter uses his experiences as child sex worker, teenage crack addict, violent thug and community activist to examine the ways in which our classed experiences shape the ways in which we think and do our politics.
D. Hunter is an ageing chav, whose first 25 years depended upon the informal economy including child sex worker, robbing from shops and homes, and dealing. From the age of 14 he was a homeless crack addict who was moved in and out of young offenders institutes and prison, until at 24 whilst sectioned under the Mental health act he learned to read using borrowed copies of a Spot the Dog book, Gramsci's "Prison Notebooks" and a young adult novel which involved a teenage girl with cancer and her sarcastic best friend Since then he's been an anti-capitalist motivated community organiser who spends too much time watching and reading about football. He pays his bills by working as a mental health support worker, and thinks everyone should stop recycling until they've collectivised and/or redistributed all their current and future economic resources.
He has written for the Canary, Dope, Plan C, Red Pepper and the Independent.
Praise for Chav Solidarity
“A training novel, a political manifesto, a children’s book, an essay on gender issues.”
and "a contemporary classic"
“This is honestly the most important intervention into mainstream, predominantly white and middle class social movements – of which I count myself a part of and perpetuator of for many years – that I have ever read. This book does what groundbreaking writing should – models new awareness and challenges, reflects and changes the reader’s thinking and understanding of oneself and their relationship to others. Take it, grab it with both hands and read it.”
Writer and Union Organiser Ewa Jasiewicz in Red Pepper
“This is a book that must be read. It is a guide and a balm, a meditation on the politics of survival and an appeal to extend our arms towards each other. At the same time, it is a slap across the face, an unflinching exhortation to open our eyes. Ultimately, it is a call for justice.”
Ayesha Manazir Siddiqi Writer and Organiser with Literature Must Fall in Ceasefire
"Brutally honest and challenging"
Luke Campbell, Writer, Academic and Community Worker in Bella Caledonia
“Tell yourself your story to avoid being told by those at the top of the economy’s food chain. Without victimization, without self-indulgence. This is Hunter’s measure. A masterpiece of working class literature.”
Alberto Prunetti author of mianto: Asbestos: a Labour History and 108 Metri: The New Working
“A powerful and personal frank memoir that is all working-class anarchy without the baggage. Chav Solidarity is the rare set of stories where the personal is political and finding your life outside state systems is more than posturing- its survival that leads to awakenings for collective liberation on your own terms.”
scott crow, author of Black Flags and Windmills: Hope, Anarchy and the Common Ground Collective
“Chav Solidarity challenges the ongoing demonization and persecution of working and subaltern classes, by communicating the powerful and perhaps unexpected ways that communities (at the impoverished and/or violent margins of society) rally together in the face of adversity. This book should be read by anyone interested in community self-organising, and the oftoverlooked capacity – so brilliantly illuminated here –of subjugated people to name and identify their own oppression, and the seeds of hope that spring within it.”
Cllr Maya Evans, Hastings Borough Council
“Chav Solidarity is literature in the tradition of Hubert Selby Jnr., William Burroughs and Charles Bukowski and deserves to reach the widest possible audience.”
“Hunter wants to remind the “regular” and bourgeois leftists what many people are forced to do to in order to survive, and how important is the unexpected help among desperate people they know nothing about.”
Wu Ming 4, Author of Q, The Army of Everywhere and the Invisible Nothing.
“Full of nuanced self-reflection and complexity that refuses to caricature. Hunter offers us a gift with this book: an essential opportunity to interrogate the ways in which class informs our identities, experiences, relationships and resistance.”
"Hunter has gone through a violent condition, and has been through it since his childhood. He narrates it without morbid complacency, but also no moralism. Even though he now looks like a librarian, he does not expect to get out of it completely, it is enough for him not to bleed anymore”