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(en) en - resistance issue 45 - january 2003. Anarchist Federation (UK)

From "E W" <nastyned@email.com>
Date Tue, 31 Dec 2002 04:36:44 -0500 (EST)


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No money for the firefighters, but loads of cash for
carnage...

As masses of US troops build up in the Middle
East, Bush looks determined to find any excuse to
start a war. The bombing of Iraq has never stopped
since the last war in 1991, but we can expect a full
scale attack to begin in the next few months.
Why do the US and UK governments want this
war? Accusations of ?weapons of mass
destruction? are used as cover, to frighten the
population into supporting the war effort. Weapons
inspectors? actual findings will not matter but will
be distorted to make a war look justifiable to the
public. Bush?s real reasons for war are much
simpler of course: money and power. Control over
Iraq?s oil fields would net great gains for US
business interests and Bush personally.

War is the health of the state
This war will be very convenient for the current
British and American governments, providing a
common enemy to unite against as a distraction
from economic problems and corruption at home.
Strikers and dissenters in general are already being
accused of aiding the enemy.
What will the consequences of this war be? The
war could unfold in several ways and with dire
consequences. In economic terms, a quick victory
as with the last Gulf war would cost the US $120
billion, but if the war became drawn out (with
prolonged fighting in cities) costs would be as high
as $1.6 trillion.
Much as Bush will go to great lengths to avoid
spilling a drop of oil, the war is also likely to have
severe environmental consequences. The British
government has been avoiding the issue of war
funding, but has already allocated an extra £2
billion to the MoD...
Financial statistics pale into insignificance when
you look at the cost in lives. Press coverage may
only be concerned with deaths of western troops,
but medical researchers estimate that with Iraq
already weakened, the death toll this time around
will be very high, with 260,000 dying in the first few
months and two hundred thousand more later
deaths from famine and disease.
For people in Britain the war will mean potential
tax increases and cuts in funding health, education,
etc. Striking firefighters? demands could easily have
been met. There will be an increased threat of
terrorism, which will in turn be used to justify
attacks on civil liberties, as we have witnessed with
the Patriot act in the US and new ?anti-terror? laws
in the UK.
Of course, this is only if the war finishes quickly.
Otherwise we could witness a drawn out war with
heavy casualties on both sides, escalation involving
Israel, severe ecological damage from burning oil
fields, or even nuclear strikes.
resist!
This war is being already being met with lots of
opposition at home even before it?s started.
Opposition to the Vietnam war, for example, was
much smaller scale until several years into the
conflict. If we can successfully resist Bush and
Blair?s plans with direct action, strikes and
sabotage we will have taken a small step towards
taking control of our lives and the world around us.
See inside for reports of anti-war
actions.

---

...AND PRISONS TOO

Another indication of our rulers priorities is the
news of how much they?re prepared to pay to keep
imprisoning us. An extra two-and-a-half pence will
have to go on income tax to pay for an expected
37,000 rise in the prison population over the next
seven years.
Home office statistics showed the number of
prisoners in England and Wales could rise from
73,000 to 109,600 in 2009. Ministers would have to
spend £3.5 billion building 49 new jails for the extra
convicts, with an additional £1.5 billion a year
running costs.
The forecast does not take into account the effects
of the new Criminal Justice Bill, which some
experts predict will add another 10,000 to prison
population.
Jails are already at their most overcrowded ever
after a seven percent rise in the number of inmates
in the first nine months of this year. The cost of
custody has already doubled in the last four years to
£3 billion.

---

ON THE FRONTLINE

There?s been no sign of the recent rise in industrial
action cooling off during the holiday period.
?Trouble? continues on the railways as conductors
on Arriva Trains-Northern are holding a series of
24 and 48-hour walkouts over the Christmas
period. First North Western train drivers also
carried out a 48-hour stoppage in December and
are planning more of the same for the New Year.
These two disputes have rumbled on for most of
the past year - a clear indication of the strikers
determination to win this one.
College lecturers are expected to strike for better
pay in January, closing a at least 40 further
education colleges, with 30,000 lecturers and
support taking part. Drivers working for Borders
bus company in Edinburgh are also set for
industrial action after the company decided to
impose its own pay structure, despite it being
rejected five times by the workforce. Ambulance
crews in Yorkshire have imposed an overtime ban -
their first industrial action since the 1991 dispute.
Industrial disputes are also on the rise in Europe:

France: Truckers, railway, subway and bus
workers, air traffic controllers, nurses, civil
servants, postal workers, telecoms, radio and TV
workers - the list seems endless as strikes,
blockades and street demonstrations involving
hundreds of thousands shook the country. People
?from Luxembourg, Germany, Great Britain,
Austria and the Ukraine travelled to the French
capital to show their solidarity? with the strikers.

Poland: 10,000 miners, steel workers and nurses
demonstrated in Katowice to protest at government
moves to close ?unprofitable? coal mines;
Macedonia: 500 miners are on hunger strike to
demand their unpaid wages ; Croatia: More than
1,500 angry workers from a bankrupt steel mill
scuffled with riot police as they attempted to march
towards the capital
to demand unpaid salaries. Germany: 3 million
state employees are on the verge on an indefinite all
out strike, that would see nurses, bus and train
drivers, firefighters and garbage collectors striking
for only the second time since WW2.

And to end on a festive note - Almost a million
people were forced to work on Christmas Day, even
more worked on New Year?s Day, (according to the
Labour Force Survey). And more than three million
workers with those days off will receive no holiday
pay - UK workers have the second fewest number
of paid holidays in Europe.

---

CELEBRITY PRAT OF THE MONTH

Elementary observation of public office tells
anarchists that politicians and the champagne
circuit they swill around in are unfailingly corrupt,
deceitful and polluting, so let?s waste little breath
on the many irregularities of Cherie Blairs dodgy
property deals.
What has to be questioned is how Cherie B.
apparently feels so inadequate as a person that
perceives the need to shell out something in the
order of £3000 a month on a ?lifestyle adviser?.
Airhead irrationality like this exposes the myth that
the Prime Minister?s partner retains down-to-earth
working class roots. Hardly. Working class women
of our acquaintance possess an abundance of
common sense, struggling daily to negotiate
endless obstacles and prejudices, under their own
resources, meagre at the best of times, without
recourse to the aid of ?gurus?. They don?t have
high-priced ?personal counsellors? inducing them,
even could they afford it, into Planet Zog
indulgences like ?re-birthing ceremonies? where
Cherie baby and her asinine husband (you?re
supposed to vote for him folks, and place your
future in his hands!) chant to the four winds whilst
imagining animal apparitions arising from lava
rocks doused with herb-infused ?holy? water.
Amidst other oddball fads Cherie is obsessed
We reckon anyone stupid enough to be in need of a
?lifestyle coach? to sort themselves out should be
put out of their misery immediately. Chop chop
Cherie!

---

Argentina - A Year of Struggle


2002 was one of the most inspiring years of
Argentinean history - a year in which the working
class demonstrated once again that it has the ability
and creativity to run society in the interests of the
many, and the bosses simultaneously demonstrated
that they did not.
Following the original ?Argentinazo? in December
2001, there has been an incredible growth of
working class self-organisation - Neighbourhood
Assemblies; barter clubs; workers? control;
community gardens; the varied activity of the
Piqueteros; pensioners groups; national congresses
of all the above; and many local initiatives.
These initiatives have developed outside of the state
and its institutions. The co-operation between the
groups over the year has built up very strong bonds
of solidarity - solidarity that was highlighted during
the important National March by Piqueteros, made
possible through the wider networks established in
the struggle.
This March lasted five days, blocking highways and
organising soup kitchens whilst passing through
towns and cities that have played a central role in
the uprising and in building up resistance (Rosario
and Cordoba being particularly noteworthy). The
slogan for the march was ?Throw the bums out!?
and ended up at the Plaza de Mayo (scene of bitter
fighting and many deaths last year) on the one-year
anniversary of De la Rua?s resignation.
Solidarity actions under the banner of ?Que Se
Vayan Todos? (They All Must go) took place at the
same time in every corner of the globe Australia,
Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile,
Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador,
Finland, France, Germany, Greece,  Italy, Mexico,
Netherlands, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Spain,
Sweden, Switzerland, UK, Ukraine, Uruguay,
USA, and Yugoslavia. The Argentinean resistance
is spreading worldwide.
There was no violence this year - but the links and
solidarity that will surely grow out of this march are
going to ensure that 2003 will be as least as
inspirational as 2002. Argentina shows that we can
take back our lives when we join together in
collective action - we have the power, we just need
to use it!

---

SABOTAGE THE WAR EFFORT!

Many actions AGAINST the  war happened last
month, some reports are below:
Night time, 8/12 - ?The Armed Forces recruitment
office in central Bristol was attacked. All windows
were smashed, locks  glued and walls splattered
with blood-red paint.  ?NO WAR?  was the
spray-paint message...This is direct action against
state terrorism and social control. It is also a call to
the anti-war movement to begin serious, effective
resistance. The genocidal system is not challenged
by marches, rallies and petitions. Polite protest
poses no threat to the war machine. It is time now
to get in the way and do some damage...Pick your
targets and fight back. Anyone can take direct
action...?
Women with bolt croppers, 14/12 -
?We, the Women with Bolt Croppers claim
responsibility for breaking into US spy base
Menwith Hill in Yorkshire and destroying their
devices for intercepting radio communications...we
made our way through fields and fog and rain to the
fence of the base...
No alarms sounded, no-one came to challenge
us...We walked to our target unhindered. Armed
with just a pair of bolt croppers and a hammer we
set about our task of causing hundreds of
thousands of pounds worth of damage to the US
listening devices...We had been inside the base,
undetected sabotaging the war effort for over an
hour! It was easy!...Imagine the power we would
have if just 1% of the people on the last anti-war
demo decided to take their opposition to the war a
step further...?
RAF Fairford, 8/12 - Over 500 anti-war
demonstrators went to Fairford in Gloucestershire.
RAF Fairford is one of only three B-2 Stealth
bomber forward bases in the world. First wave of
attacks on Iraq will most likely be carried our by
Stealth bombers flying from Fairford and Diego
Garcia. Some people managed to enter the base...
For a list of actions planned when the war breaks
out visit:
http://www.schnews.org.uk/pap/ifwarbreaksout.htm


---

RESISTANCE CONTINUES IN ITALY

Over the last month thousands of Fiat workers and
supporters have continued to resist redundancies
and restructuring.
After Fiat/government/union talks broke down on
6/12 workers in Turin poured out of the factory
blocking roads and railway lines, bringing much of
the city grinding to a halt. About 5000 workers were
involved in angry and dramatic scenes. Workers
from the Fiat plant in Cassino near Naples reacted
by blocking Italy?s main North-South motorway for
a number of hours. The 9/12 was the first day of
unemployment for the workers and those that
turned up at the Mirafiori plant in Turin were
greeted by a sign forbidding laid-off workers from
entering. Turin-based workers who still had jobs
downed tools for four hours, blocking Mirafiori?s
car assembly line.
In Sicily, where all 1,800 workers at the Termini
Imerese plant have been laid off, a group of about
200 blocked the road between the island?s two
main cities, Palermo and Catania. Wives of workers
from the Termini Imerese plant organized a sit-in
in front of the Rome offices of the prime minister,
and when results of the talks were made known
they began chanting, ?Clown, swindler, it?s a
disgrace.?
Around 700 people who used to work at the Arese
plant near Milan blocked a major motorway north
of Italy?s financial capital for an hour. These were
the same workers who days earlier occupied Milano
Centrale railway station. A regional General Strike
was held in the Piedmont area on 13/12 and was
coupled with a major demonstration in the regions
capital, Turin. Students blocked the cities roads in
solidarity. Mirafiore workers held another strike on
the 16th, sadly the Union limited it to two hours,
reducing it to a token gesture.
In Sicily about a hundred Fiat employees at
Termini Imerese and industries linked to car
manufacturing blockaded the two entrances to the
Palermo branch of the Rinascente department
store, which is part of the empire of the Agnelli
family who own most of Fiat. The workers?
intention is to cause the famous clothes shop to
make a loss. ?We want to make the Agnellis pay
some of the very high costs resulting from their
disgraceful industrial plan?, said a spokesperson.
The Fiat workers? best hope though has to lie not
just with industry wide action, but with action by
the wider working class.  The last year has seen a
huge level of industrial militancy in Italy with 28
million working hours being lost to strikes in the
first 10 months of 2002.
Links made across different industry sectors now
will not only help win this battle, but be a step
closer to the type of organisation needed to win the
class war once and for all.

---

TIME BOMB

Continuing our series on revolutionary history (see
the Irish AF website for longer version at
www.afireland.cjb.net).

By the beginning of 1918 the Austrian war machine
was on the verge of collapse. While the Habsburg
Empire tottered, and while soldiers starved at the
front, the working class back in Vienna took
matters into their own hands. In January 1918,
250,000 workers, ignoring their unions? plea for
calm, struck and elected councils to represent
them. The workers? and soldiers? councils that
grew out of the strike were in imitation of the
councils that had been established in Russia just
months before, and, like the councils there, were
never given the time to fully develop any degree of
lasting political consciousness. They were
dismantled by a combination of political intrigue on
the part of the Social Democrats (SDAP), and a fair
amount of naiveté on their own part. In Moscow,
the Bolsheviks though were confident?     ?The
All-Russian Congress sees in the powerful protest
of the workers of Vienna, Lower Austria, and
Hungary against an annexationist peace, and in the
awakening revolutionary
(Resolution of the third All-Russian Congress of
Soviets on the terms of peace proposed by the
Central Powers.)

?which doesn?t really explain the terms of the
Treaty of Brest Litovsk!
The SDAP in Austria were no less bent on
destroying any signs of working class self-activity
than their counterparts in Germany. Indeed, the
Germans no doubt learned a thing or two from the
Austrians. Although they were the smallest of the
three parliamentary blocs, they received a
pre-eminent role in the post-war provisional
government because it was perceived as best able to
maintain public order in the face of the
revolutionary situation created by economic
collapse and military defeat.
With Bauer?s Marxist rhetoric and the party?s
strong ties to organized labour, the SDAP was
easily able to outmanoeuvre the KPÖ (the
Communists). They soon suppressed the old
imperial army and founded a new military force, the
Volkswehr (People?s Defense), under SDAP
control, to contain revolutionary agitation and
guard against bourgeois counter-revolution. It was
the Volkswehr which kept a lid on the growing
radicalism of the councils, and enabled the SDAP
to apply its reformist tactics.


---

INSIDE INFORMATION

Greece
On 27th October the Greek state arrested the
fighter for social justice, Yannis Serifis, and sent
him to Korydallos prison. Serifis is 63 years old and
is known in Greece as an anti-authoritarian trade
union militant who, during the past 35 years, has
taken part in many struggles, mainly in the name of
the autonomous working-class movement.
The magistrates ordered his detention, on the basis
of the false claim that he had confessed to the
offences of ?participation in a terrorist group? and
?secret possession of weaponry?. Following the
announcement of the decision, demonstrators in
solidarity with Serifis came into conflict with the
police and one demonstrator was arrested.
In his October 2002 statement, Serifis made his
own appeal as follows:- My persecution has a long
history and many false accusations against me in
the past have been brought up again in relation to
my alleged participation in the organisation known
as ?17th November?, and other organisations that
have been in the news. I WOULD LIKE ONCE
AGAIN TO STATE UNEQUIVOCALLY THAT I
HAVE NO RELATIONSHIP WITH THESE
ORGANISATIONS, AND THAT THEY ARE NO
CONCERN OF MINE BECAUSE THEY ARE
IRRELEVANT TO MY POLITICAL BELIEFS,
AND TO THE LOGIC UNDERLYING MY
ACTIONS.
Visit the website: www.yserifis.org

Poland
Workers in Poland occupying a factory have battled
for five days with police and private security, to try
and prevent machines being removed.  Fifty people
were arrested. All of them are free now but they
may face fines or prison sentences. The protest has
been going on for months while these workers have
no income. Most of them cannot afford attorneys.
Now, in this hard and decisive moments workers of
Ozarów really need a strong support from all of us
from outside. Every help is important - it will show
that their struggle is not isolated.
Funds, with a note ?for Ozarow?, can be sent to:
PEKAO BP XX odzial poznan ul.Stary Rynek 44
61-722 Poznan Poland swift code: bpkoplpwapoa
for USD: 10204085-5999100-270-44787 owner:
marek piekarski

Turkey
Thirty five trade unionists - two of whom are
anarchists - from the KESK have been sentenced to
1 year 3 months imprisonment for not obeying to
the ?Meeting and Demonstrations Act?.
The charge was about a demonstration organized
by KESK on 7th of June 2001 against the law offer
about trade-unions banning strikes. The protesters
were accused of blocking the traffic, passing
through the police barricade illegally, not obeying to
the police order telling ?to split away?.
We call everyone supporting struggles of liberation
and labour to protest this venture decision of
Turkish state and mobilize solidarity with those
people facing imprisonment.
More info: abcankara@yahoo.com

---

Subvert and resist

Take precautions when going on demonstrations
and don?t take cameras, booze or drugs. If you?re
nicked give your name and address then say ?no
comment? to any other questions.

JANUARY:
11 Workers are calling on anyone who supports
workers? struggles and public services to join mass
pickets at the libraries in Hackney Central, Stoke
Newington and Shoreditch. For more info contact:
Solidarity Federation, PO Box 1681, London, N8
7LE, Tel: 07799 251 035.
18-19 Mass Nonviolent Blockade of Northwood
Military Base, London. To mark the anniversary of
the Gulf War. Info 0845 458 2564. For more info
Visit: www.j-n-v.org
19 Injustice - film about black deaths in police
custody. 1.30pm at Birkbeck College, Malet St.,
London, WC1.
FEBRUARY
15 Don?t Attack Iraq demonstration in central
London from 1pm. Organised by Stop the War
Coalition. For more info Tel: 020 7053 2155, Visit:
www.stopwar.org.uk
APRIL
22 Really Big Blockade, Faslane naval base,
Scotland. Help close down Britain?s Trident base.
Scottish CND Tel: 0141 423 1222, Email:
big_blockade@hotmail.com

LEICESTER ANARCHIST FEDERATION meets
every FIRST TUESDAY of the month at 8pm,
upstairs at the Ale Wagon pub Charles Street,
Leicester LE1


----

Join the resistance

The Anarchist Federation is an organisation of
class struggle anarchists aiming to
abolish capitalism and all oppression to
create a free and equal society. This is
Anarchist Communism.
We see today?s society as being divided into two
main opposing classes: the ruling class which
controls all the power and wealth, and the working
class which the rulers exploit to maintain this. By
racism, sexism and other forms of oppression, as
well as war and environmental destruction the
rulers weaken and divide us. Only the direct action
of working class people can defeat these attacks
and ultimately overthrow capitalism.
As the capitalist system rules the whole world, its
destruction must be complete and world wide. We
reject attempts to reform it, such as working
through parliament and
national liberation movements, as they fail to
challenge capitalism itself. Unions also work as a
part of the capitalist system, so although workers
struggle within them they will be unable to bring
about capitalism?s destruction unless they go
beyond these limits.
Organisation is vital if we?re to beat
the bosses, so we work for a united
anarchist movement and are affiliated to the
International of Anarchist Federations.
The Anarchist Federation has members across
Britain and Ireland fighting for the kind of world
outlined above.  Get involved! Contact us at:

Anarchist Federation,
84B, Whitechapel High Street,
London,  E1 7QX. Tel: 07946 214 590
Visit: www.afed.org.uk
Email: anarchistfederation@bigfoot.com


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