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(en) Resistance issue #43 - November 2002

From "E W" <nastyned@email.com>
Date Mon, 4 Nov 2002 04:19:28 -0500 (EST)


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Turning up the heat!
Apparently the class war is over - replaced by industrial
harmony and peaceful co-operation between boss and
worker - that is if you believe the media or the self-serving
words of our political leaders.

In the real world however, we can recognize this for the
blatant bullshit it is. Class war is raging as fierce as ever in
the workplace - in fact, this year has seen a remarkable
spread of open struggle, which shows no sign of slowing
down.

The state?s own figures show that this year has seen the
largest number of strikes since 1989, and since the Labour
Party (the workers friend!) came to power the number of
days lost to strike action has risen by a massive 500%, and
these figures don?t include the ongoing disputes on the
railways or the temporarily suspended fire-fighters? national
strike. London teachers and ambulance workers in Scotland
and Lincolnshire are also preparing to take action, whilst the
postal service is regularly hit by wildcats (see inside for the
latest info).

This year there have been stoppages on the railways; at
airports; in schools; on the buses; on the tube; in hospitals;
on the docks; in call centers; in the post office; in the courts;
in museums; at steel works; at various factories all over the
country - and this is only the tip of the iceberg, there are
hundreds of small scale or regional disputes that are taking
place without being reported.

A September survey of 240 companies and unions found
that they believe ?Strikes and other forms of industrial action
are set to increase during the coming year?.

This is very encouraging as it shows that the working class
is starting to once again put its needs above those of the
bosses, the current wave of struggles are helping to re-build
the confidence in our own collective power and develop the
sense of social solidarity that we once took for granted.

Despite all the setbacks of the last few decades, the bosses
are still dependent on our labour - we are the ones with the
power!
How this growth in militancy develops will depend upon the
workers? ability to form direct links with other workers in
struggle and their autonomous organisation that operates
according to their agenda not those of a union bureaucrat.

We saw recently in the Edinburgh bus drivers dispute (see
Ar-A-Mach issue 3, details inside) how unions are prepared
to act in their interests first - mass assemblies and rank and
file committees independent of the union can ensure control
of the dispute remains in workers hands.

This upsurge of class struggle has shown that working class
rebellion and resistance hasn?t disappeared - and it won?t
until we?ve destroyed this system that forces us into a life of
slavery!

---

PRISON RIOT

A prison riot broke out in Lincolnshire prison on the evening
of the 24th October. A group of inmates attacked a prison
guard, beating him over the head with his own truncheon
and locking him in a cell.

The prisoners stole the officers? keys and unlocked more
than 150 cells, before setting fire to three parts of the jail and
smashing windows.

After the riot a spokesman for the Prison Officers?
Association said the damage to the Victorian jail was likely
to reach £2m. Three prison officers were injured, and
several prisoners suffered side efftects after breaking into the
pharmacy. One prisoner died of an overdose.

---

ON THE FRONTLINE

The International McStrike!
Global Day of action against McDonalds

>From McDonalds Workers Resistance: ?This is an attempt
to give a taste of struggle on October 16th from a workers
perspective. Its difficult to know where to start because so
much happened - sections of the McDonalds workforce
launched an unprecedented counter attack against
exploitation and boredom.

Its 3:00am GMT, Wednesday October 16th 2002, some
tired and slightly drunk Glaswegians are trying to vandalise
a McDonalds restaurant. Unremarkable, except that these
are McDonalds own employees and at the very same time
on the other side of the world, in New Zealand they?re
attempting a strike, and the leaflets are reaching workers in
Australia

Six McDonalds in France represented by the CNT union on
strike. Temporary work stoppage in Moscow. Strike in
Norfolk. Attempts at strikes in three London stores. Walkout
in Nottingham. Demonstration in Mexico which has
unfortunately resulted in 94 arrests. A mass of direct action
and sabotage. Actions to encourage workers resistance from
Sweden to Sydney. Class struggle from Aberdeen to
Adelaide, from Milan to Malmoe. The whole thing captured
on an all day radio special in Slovenia.
The streets of Milan are filled with hundreds of supporters of
fast food workers, while ten bus loads of cops wait in the
driving Frankfurt rain to try and limit communication
between the Freie ArbeiterInnen Union and the golden
arches employees.
Now its lunchtime in Europe and, for a time, eight
McDonalds can?t function because the staff are no longer
prepared to sacrifice themselves obediently to the McProfit
machine. McDonalds workers taking direct action and
solidarity actions all over the world.
Regrettably, we have heard that those arrested in Mexico
may be facing very serious charges and are in urgent need of
solidarity.
We hope to have more information on what can be done to
help soon. www.geocities.com/globaldayofaction.? More
info on prisoners on the back page.

Posties do it again
Postal workers have once again shown their not afraid of
taking action despite what Consignia are doing or
threatening to do. Wildcat actions have happened at postal
offices in Manchester, Bath, Walthamstow and Somerset
and an official strike broke out at Ayr delivery office over
bank holiday allocations.

---

CELEBRITY PRAT OF THE MONTH

Cushy five day week skive at the ?Theatre Royal?... dining
out in swanky restaurants serving up caviar, smoked salmon
and triple pounder sirloins ... swilling champagne at parties
thrown by failed tory ministers ... swanning to and fro in
your own black luxury BMW ... quite some life prisoners
lead these days, eh? But only if you are no. FF8282 AKA
Lord Jeffrey Archer, lying knob of a novelist jailed for four
years for perjury.
Martin Narey, prisons director, claims (the swelling in his
cheek could well be his tongue!): ?Archer has been treated
no differently than any other inmate?. Really? Pull the other
one, guv! Let?s take just one example for comparison, that
of mixed-race Liverpool prisoner Ray Gilbert. Barely able to
leave his cell unaccompanied to visit the toilet, never mind
cruising round town on a set of posh wheels, Ray?s family
must travel hundreds of miles each way to see him. Serious
ill-health dogs all of Ray?s close kin yet prison officials
continue to deny him a move nearer his loved ones. Unlike
Lord of the Lies who can seemingly open his cell door, call
up a bevy of well connected pals and waltz off to a binge
whenever the urge takes him.
Contrast this malarkey with a recent visit to Ray paid by his
brother and step dad: throughout the allotted time a small
army of eight burly guards stood ringed round Ray, 5' 4" in
his socks, whilst one of the screws made note of every word
that passed between Ray and his folks. You can bet your old
Aunt Fanny that nobody earwigs on Archer?s circle of
cronies when he?s regaling his chums with the waffle he?s
going to inject into a forthcoming yarn. A well-worn used
cliche we know, but never has it been more apt: there?s one
set of rules for them and another for us. And nobody can tell
us any different! For Ray?s contact details see resistance 41.

---

A TALE OF TWO PROTESTS

Shannon airport has been used as a stopover for US troops
going to and from Afghanistan (see resistance 41).
The first demonstration I was at in Shannon warport had an
open meeting for all participants prior to it.
We formed a circle and debated our course of action, while
our entrance to the airport grounds was being blocked by the
police. We decided collectively as equals. In the end (and
this was a short-ish discussion, based upon the idea that we
could go separate ways) most people marched up the road
with no negotiations, no compromise and no surrender.
Others choose a different route - as was their right.
At the second demonstration the megaphone wielding
apparatchiks of the ?Socialist? Worker?s Party successfully
sabotaged events (despite prior assurances there would be a
meeting) and led the march up the road to the airport. This,
incidentally, after negotiations with the police (i.e. accepting
the authority of the state), and, according to a police
spokesman, giving assurances to them there would be no
action.
So what did this mean? Firstly; that proceedings belonged to
the ?Irish Anti-War Movement? (the current pseudonym for
the Politburo of the ?Socialist? Worker?s Party) rather than
to all participants as equals.
Secondly; that there was no collective open discussion about
direct action prior to it kicking off.
So, anyways, we marched to the airport building, and upon
arriving spontaneously blockaded the entrance to the
terminal. Out with megaphones for an ?open mic? and this
soon died away. An ?open mic? which by curious design
had as it?s first speaker none other than Patricia McKenna
MEP for the Green Party.
Thankfully the situation was saved when a number of
individuals took the initiative to tear down the fence on the
way out of the airport, and about one hundred people piled
across, much to the consternation of Mr Plod, both of the
soft cop and regular variety. A number of arrests were made.
Eventually a stand off ensued when a body of protesters
refused to the leave the runway grounds, despite arrests and
threatened use of water cannon and police dogs.
Meanwhile outside the now demolished perimeter wire,
another group of protesters briefly blocked the road, for the
same reason. This group included a number of prominent
members of the SWP, who were then ordered to desist by
their leadership!
After assurances that the arrestees would be released, we
went en masse to the cop shop to make sure. With an
unruly mob (OK, slight exaggeration) outside the police
station, the ten arrested people were processed and released.

---

SABOTAGE THE WAR EFFORT!

The impending war against Iraq may have recently slipped
out of the headlines of the bosses? press, but it hasn?t
slipped our minds. We know the probability of mass murder
by state terrorists like Bush and Blair is still high. And while
it was good to see hundreds of thousands of people mobilise
against this war, as anarchists, we also acknowledge the
limits of such demonstrations. For while these big marches
can show the strength of opposition to this war, it is
nevertheless a strength that is not utilised. Ultimately, the
demonstrators go home, and maybe later watch themselves
on telly. So in place of this, we advocate direct action as the
key tactic.
But can direct action really stop the war? An easy answer ...
Yes. But unfortunately the reality is not so simple.
If the workers of Britain, the US and any other country
involved were to stage a mass strike, the bosses? war
machine would undoubtedly grind to a halt. But what with
current levels of general revolutionary consciousness among
our class, plus the nature and role of the trade unions in
customarily undermining or sabotaging such activities, then
it makes this scenario a tad unlikely.
In spite of this, on a less grand scale there are still many
things we can do which can undermine, hamper and
seriously sabotage the war effort. And to this aim, the
Anarchist Federation urges everyone to organise to do what
they can.
Recently, AF-ers in Leicester intervened at a general ?Stop
the War!? meeting in the town and called for a direct
action campaign to sabotage the war
effort.  And although our comrades actually expected a luke
warm response, they were pleasantly surprised by the
positive reception their suggestions were given by many of
those present.  Luckily, there are more than a few quality
activists in the Leicester anti-war group  (and fortunately it
hasn?t been swamped with pacifists and Trotskyists).
Subsequently, the AF called a local organising meeting for
?direct action against the war?, which was well attended, the
outcome being that a concerted local effort is now under
way in Leicester, to propagandise for a general and
immediate response of direct action to the ?official?
outbreak of war.
Local ?Sabotage the War Effort? posters (similar to those
produced by the AF) have been printed for flyposting around
the city, as have flyers for handing out in the town centre
and outside factory gates.
This AF poster puts out the call to do the following on the
morning after war ?officially? begins ... ?Don?t go into work
- either go on strike (if possible) or phone in sick. Get
together with your mates and congregate outside the homes
of your local MPs - make sure you bring the war home to
them!  Stop ?business as usual?, blockade roads to stop
other people getting into work.  And when you go into work,
try and set up a direct action group against the war with your
workmates.  Get in touch with the AF and anyone else
who?s into putting the kybosh on Blair?s Bush?s and all the
other leeches? war plans.? It seems to us at resistance that
similar concerted campaigns in other towns around the
country can only be a good thing. Let?s get on with it!
Organise to fight the bosses, not their wars!
If you want a bundle of the AF?s ?Sabotage the war effort?
poster for flyposting, college/work noticeboards etc, then
drop us a line - contact details are on the back page and in
article on the right.


---

HEREFORD AGAINST WAR

On Saturday, 5th October, around 60 people including a
small anarchist bloc, gathered in Hereford to protest against
a possible war in Iraq. The protesters made their way into
the city centre along a main road, temporarily blocking
traffic, with the local plod in hot pursuit (who carried on
following them through the pedestrianised area, still in their
car!).
Once there, around 30 people staged a ?die-in? to signify all
the innocent people this war would kill. Obviously 30 silent
people laying down posed a threat to the public as the police
called in back-ups. However, no arrests were made.
Although this action gained a lot of publicity and voiced
concerns about a war in Iraq, it still wasn?t enough. As one
passer-by put it ?why are they lying down here? Why aren?t
they blocking traffic?? The state can cope with 100,000?s of
people lying down in wide open spaces, but only direct
action will stop a war, and only direct action will stop this
war from starting - mass civil disobedience that stops this
whole system from functioning.
Indeed, a social movement that abolishes capitalism and the
state and establishes an anarchist communist society is the
only alternative to war. Email Hereford AF at:
herefordanarchists@hotmail.com

---

AF NEWS

On 5th October in London the AF hosted a international
anarchist meeting with delegates from the British,
Czecho-Slovak, French, Italian and Iberian Anarchist
Federations attending.
Discussions took place about the international situation and
better cooridination, as well as preparing for the
internationnal anarchist congress in Germany in early 2003.
This marks a further stage in
co-ordination between anarchists on a
European wide level. In the evening the delegates were
treated to some British culture by being taken out for a
curry.
October also saw a new issue of our magazine, Organise! for
revolutionary anarchism come out. Articles on Sex, class
struggle, revolutionary history and more. Available for £1.50
from the address on the back page.
A new edition of our popular pamphlet Basic Bakunin has
also been produced. This is a great introduction to the
revolutionary ideas of this early anarchist militant. Only £1.
We have now produced the first issue of Student resistance,
with article focusing on education. Available free from our
website or send us a stamp for a copy.
As mentioned on the left, Leicester AF have produced a new
anti-war poster, as well as holding a public meeting against
the war. Subscribers should received a copy with this edition
of resistance or contact Leicester AF, Dept Z, 73
Humberstone Gate, Leicester, LE1 1WB.
We are also having more anti-war stickers printed. Send us a
donation for a bundle.
Over in Ireland AF members have produced a new bulletin,
Wildcat in conjunction with the Anarcho-Syndicalist
Federation. Send them a stamp for a copy (AFI, PO Box
505, Belfast, BT12 6BQ) or download it from
www.afireland.cjb.net You can also find Irish edition of
resistance there.
The AF in Scotland are now up to
issue three of their bulletin, Ar-A-Mach, available from AF
Alba, PO Box 248,
Aberdeen, AB25 1JE or http://flag.blackened.net/af/alba. On
November 9th an anarchist dayschool is being held in
Glasgow, details on the back page.
Finally, a Welsh edition of  resistance has also been
produced. Contact AF, PO Box 7, Pontypool, Gwent, NP4
8YB for more information.

---

INSIDE INFORMATION

Anarchist supporters raise £500!
Supporters of anarchist prisoner Harold H Thompson (see
resistance 38) have raised £500 pounds to support his
campaign to allow political literature into US prisons.
Thanks to all who?ve contributed, much appreciated.
For more info: Friends of Harold H Thompson, PO Box
375, Knaphill, Woking, Surrey, GU21 2XL.

Spanish anarchists and anti-fascists face repression.
A mass demonstration against legal fascist party Platform
Spain 2000 scheduled for the 11th Oct met with extreme
harassment.
 The march itself was met with intense police repression and
two arrests for resisting police and failure to show
identification. Over the next three days the repression
continued. On the afternoon of the 12th, two workers setting
up a benefit concert for the anti-fascist organising an
occupied social centre were detained at gun point and taken
to police headquarters, where one was released. The other
was held for 24 hours before being released with an order to
return to court.
The morning of the 14th, a joint force of riot police and
private security raided another occupied social centre and
attempted to forcibly evict the residents, which was delayed
by fast legal work on the part of one of the occupants, but
not before the police confiscated and photographed various
material.
On the 15th, four comrades were arrested for allegedly
taking violent direct action against commercial real estate
interests. One was badly beaten by the arresting officers.
They have been charged with Illegal Association With
Intent to Disturb the Public Order, punishable by up to
fifteen years in prison. The police have raided the homes of
the four comrades and taken as evidence pamphlets and
correspondence.
Two of the arrested are members of the anarcho-syndicalist
CNT-AIT.
Fax?s and e-mails of solidarity should be sent to CNT
Valencia. Fax: 96 341 59 90 or Email:
cntvalenciapyp@mixmail.com

Freedom for the anti-McDonalds political prisoners
Ninety four demonstrators were arrested in an
Anti-McDonalds protest on 16th October. Each protester is
being held under a bond of $14,000.
The Mexico City Anti-McDonalds protest was held from the
Monumento a la Revolucion to Zocalo to denounce the
transnational companies which plunder poor countries and
trample over their flora and fauna without respecting
anybody. They are held under the accusation of damaging
Federal Property and carrying explosives, which were
simply fireworks. Once arrested, the State, skilled in the art
of extortion, has posted a bond of $14,000 for each
protester, just for damaging a shade umbrella and a
windowpane, as well as refusing their rights to make a
phone call or use the toilets.
The bank account to support the prisoners is:
Name of bank: BBV Bancomer Account number:
1299949054 Recipient: Martha Cecilia Garcia Juarez

---

Subvert and resist

NOVEMBER: 9 - Anarchist Day School, Kinning Park
Centre (the old school next to Kinning Park underground),
Glasgow, Scotland. 10.30am-5pm. Workshops, discussions,
and much more! £3.00 waged £1.00 low/unwaged - Tea,
coffee and lunch provided email:
Anarcho-scots@lists.mutualaid.org or
af-alba@hushmail.com
14-19 - Trident Ploughshares International Disarmament
Camp. For more information and a briefing pack Tel: 08454
588 363 Email: Devonport@tridentploughshares.org Visit:
www.tridentploughshares.org Main Tel: 0845 45 88 366
15 - Demonstration at the next court appearance of the 12
Yarl?s Wood detainees facing charges over the fire at Yarl?s
Wood in February. 9am Harrow Crown Court, Hailsham
Drive, Harrow. Email: ginn_emma@hotmail.com Tel:
07786 517 379
22-24 - Women Speak Out - a weekend gathering of women
activists. For more info contact: WSO Manchester, Dept 29,
22a Beswick Street, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 7HS Tel:
0161 227 8086 Mobile: 07753 606 723 Visit:
www.bellow.org.uk
23 - Brighton March Against the War. Organised by Sussex
Action for Peace. Starts at 12 noon, hopefully from Preston
Park (Details to be confirmed nearer the time)
DECEMBER: 7 - Manchester Radical Bookfair 1pm until
5pm at Bridge 5 Mill, 22A Beswick Street, Ancoats
Manchester. Visit the AF stall. Email:
info@radicalbookfair.org.uk Visit:
www.radicalbookfair.org.uk




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