Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army
The Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army (or CIRCA or Smile LiberAtion Front) is an anti-authoritarian left-wing activist group that uses clowning and other non-violent actions to challenge corporate globalisation, war and similar issues. The group originated circa 2003 in the United Kingdom.
- I am a rebel clown.
I am a buffoon in a platoon of fools.
I serve the children of the world
and live by the values of CIRCA
- "The Clown's Creed" on a CIRCA poster.
- I stand ready to deploy, engage, and use clown logic to change my enemies into friends and then into clowns.
I am a harbinger of freedom, fun, and friendship, the clown's way of life.
I am a rebel clown.
- "The Clown's Creed" on a CIRCA poster
- ClownArmy.org, the official CIRCA site (defunct site as of August 2016)
- The Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army is looking for fools and rebels, radicals and rascals, tricksters and traitors, mutineers and malcontents to join its ranks.
You could be part of a fighting force armed with ruthless love and fully trained in the ancient art of clowning and non-violent direct action. You could learn ingeniously stupid tactics that baffle the powerful. You could uncover your inner clown and discover the subversive freedom of fooling.
You don't need to like clowns or soldiers, you just need to love life and laughter as much as rebellion.
- CIRCA Recruitment page
About the Army
- We are clandestine because we refuse the spectacle of celebrity and we are everyone. Because without real names, faces or noses, we show that our words, dreams, and desires are more important than our biographies. Because we reject the society of surveillance that watches, controls, spies upon, records and checks our every move. Because by hiding our identity we recover the power of our acts. Because with greasepaint we give resistance a funny face and become visible once again.
- We are insurgent because we have risen up from nowhere and are everywhere. Because ideas can be ignored but not suppressed and an insurrection of the imagination is irresistible. Because whenever we fall over we rise up again and again and again, knowing that nothing is lost for history, that nothing is final. Because history doesn't move in straight lines but surges like water, sometimes swirling, sometimes dripping, flowing, flooding — always unknowable, unexpected, uncertain. Because the key to insurgency is brilliant improvisation, not perfect blueprints.
- We are rebels because we love life and happiness more than 'revolution'. Because no revolution is ever complete and rebellions continues forever. Because we will dismantle the ghost-machine of abstraction with means that are indistinguishable from ends. Because we don't want to change 'the' world, but 'our' world. Because we will always desert and disobey those who abuse and accumulate power. Because rebels transform everything — the way they live, create, love, eat, laugh, play, learn, trade, listen, think and most of all the way they rebel.
- We are clowns because what else can one be in such a stupid world.
- Since the beginning of time tricksters have embraced life's contradictions, creating coherence through confusion.
- We are circa because we are approximate and ambivalent, neither here nor there, but in the most powerful of all places, the place in-between order and chaos.
- RUN AWAY FROM THE CIRCUS
JOIN THE FORCES OF THE CLANDESTINE INSURGENT REBEL CLOWN ARMY
- CIRCA aims to make clowning dangerous again, to bring it back to the street, restore its disobedience and give it back the social function it once had: its ability to disrupt, critique and heal society. Since the beginning of time tricksters (the mythological origin or all clowns) have embraced life's paradoxes, creating coherence through confusion — adding disorder to the world in order to expose its lies and speak the truth.
- "Rebel Clowning : What is it?"
Quotes about CIRCA
- The clowns may look ridiculous — and they vow they are non-violent — but their mission is serious: to provide diversions to more vigorous protests and highlight what they see as the nonsense of non-thinking actions likely to damage the environment.
- We played game after game and at times it was almost impossible not to feel ludicrous. But they were all designed to help protesters defeat barriers — and police.
Even the staunchest environmental protesters — some of whom come from the most far-flung fringes of society — regard the clowns with suspicion, as slightly untrustworthy anarchists. But then, almost everybody else was so earnest.
There was a smattering of middle-aged, grey-haired folk, but many were cliches of "Swampy" — thin, vegan and humourless.
- Jo Knowsley in "The day I joined the Heathrow Climate Camp's Rebel Clown Army" in The Daily Mail (18 August 2007)