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(en) Issue #3 of the AF Scotland journal Ar-A-Mach

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>(http://flag.blackened.net/af/alba)
Date Tue, 5 Nov 2002 08:38:42 -0500 (EST)


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No war but the class war!

THE BUILD UP to a war against Iraq in-
tensifies every day, regardless of the de-
bate around UN resolutions and the stall-
ing tactics of the Iraqi regieme. American
imperialist interests demand decapitaton
of the Iraqi ruling clique in their terroristic
War on Terror, regardless of evidence. But
the question is why?

First of all, lets get one thing straight.
Saddam Hussain, has been Our Man in
the middle east for a long time. In the years
prior to the 1991 Gulf War Saddam and
his Baathist Party enjoyed the full support
of the US, regardless of their human rights
record. In 1980 the US encouraged (and
armed!) Iraq to attack its neighbour Iran,
at that time in the grip of a disruptive Is-
lamic revolution.

Saddam had been promised the Shatt
Al Arab waterway and the Khuzestan oil-
fields in a strategy to weaken Iran and its
Islamic rulers. But the puppet of Imperi-
alist forces had imperialist plans of his own
and when Iraq invaded Kuwait (having
actually been given a green light by the
US) his former masters were handed the
opportunity to strengthen further their
influence in the region by permenantly
stationing their military forces. Even after
the victory of Desert Storm the US under-
stood that Saddam remained the best bet
for short term stability and stood by as the
regieme butchered its internal enemies
and, indeed, got actively involved by
slaughtering thousands of deserting Iraqi
conscripts on the road to Basra. Since then
the US has employed a policy of contain-
ment. This containment, through sanctions
and bombings has resulted in countless
Iraqi civilian deaths. A war by other means,
suffered most.

September 11th
The murderous attacks in New York and
the subsequent crusade have given the US
and its British ally the pretext for declar-
ing war on Iraq but these events have been
a long time coming. Saddam has for some
time been trying to sell himself to the USs
rivals, including co-operation with Russia
regarding oil extraction. Syria reopened its
oil pipe line with Iraq and oil is being ex-
ported to Turkey, Jordan and even the old
enemy, Iran. US Imperialist interests are
not being served well and a reassertion of
its political-military power is a warning
shot to its rivals such as the EU and Rus-
sia. The present imperialist adventure,
despite all the talk of human rights, has
no interest in liberating Iraqis from
Saddam, but of liberating itself from a non-
compliant former employee. Any US spon-
sored regime change would have to retain
the oppressive apparatus, which it helped
build, in order to maintain stability. The
decapitation would in fact be the first
stage of a head transplant, the new head
nodding better for the US!
War against War!

So what of the opposition to this po-
tential bloodbath? How can we practically
stop the war machine?

Given the level of passive opposition
to a war against Iraq, the active opponents
are in a good position to start with. The
massive demonstration against the war in
London at the end of September was a
start, but marches alone, even giant ones,
dont stop wars. Our weapons in the war
against war are:
1) Our ability to undermine support
through counter-information stressing the
real motivations behind the militarists and
the fact that the mass murder of Iraqi ci-
vilians and conscripts is part of a larger
war against the working class internation-
ally
2) Our commitment to actively sabo-
taging the war through direct action
3) Our creation of a crisis for the state
here through a class war on the home
front.
The key will be to keep one step ahead
of the state using methods of getting our
message across to people in imaginative
ways and of using direct action which ac-
tually stops business as usual. This sort
of activity is beginning to be discussed and
acted upon internationally and we need to
do the same here in Scotland. The milita-
rists are preparing to blow up, burn and
bury alive thousands of Iraqis in their
search for profit and power. Lets get to-
gether and start to find ways to stop the
bastards.

ON THE FRONTLINE ANOTHER BUSY
MONTH of indus-
trial disputes  of-
ficial figures show
that this year has
seen the highest
number of strikes
since 1989  and
we still have a na-
tional fire-fighters
strike yet to
come
Wildcat strikes returned to the postal
services with 30 workers at the Filton
(Bristol) Royal Mail Cashco depot walking
out unannounced  to be joined later by
90 members of the morning shift. The
walkout was over the planned selling off
of part of the business to Securicor  who
were also the inspiration for a wildcat in
Scotland where stoppages at Broxburn,
West Lothian and Glasgow took place af-
ter they were sold part of Consignias cash-
handling services.

More strikes on the London Under-
ground  a 24-hour strike on the 25th is
to be followed by another on 3rd October.
Drivers are demanding a 5.7% pay rise
and moves towards implementing a prom-
ised 35-hour week. All twelve lines were
fully shut down  at a cost of £60 million
 London Underground itself loses about
£3 million every strike day and so cannot
hold out indefinitely without damaging
itself and making it a worse investment
option for PFI/PPP funds.

24-hour strikes also took place on
Arriva Trains Northern, where conductors
are fighting a long running (19 days of
action) and increasingly bitter battle with
bosses. Theyve now been joined by Sta-
tion and retail staff who are involved in a
separate pay dispute. Arriva has been in
dispute with workers in almost every cor-
ner of the country, and have seen their
operating earnings drop by 4%  as a re-
sult.

International news:
 In Ireland there is to be a national
work-stoppage on October 4 in Support of
Irish Glass Bottle and Peerless Rug Work-
ers, who are both fighting for full payment
of their redundancy payments. A General
strike has been called in South Africa to
protest the current wave of ANC imposed
privatisations and resulting redundancies.
General strikes are also in the pipeline in
Italy and Venezuela. In France Air France
pilots are planning to strike against par-
tial privatisation on 3 October, and Italian
air traffic controllers have also been strik-
ing. A Europe wide co-ordination of these
stoppages looks likely in the coming
months - as happened earlier this year.

MENTAL HEALTH POLICY: THE DOMESTIC FASCISM
WITH THE ADVENT of the new
mental health legislation in Scot-
land, psychiatrists will get the right
to enter peoples homes when they
have come off their medication, and
with nurses in tow, forcibly medi-
cate them.  In practice this will
probably mean the patient will be
assaulted and given an injection in
the arse, by force.  That this policy is a
negation of human rights would require
comment, were it not for the fact that
mental health patients at present have the
least rights of any sector of society, ex-
cepting prisoners.

Where else would you be given
mind altering drugs, confined on a whim,
ususally for refusing the aforesaid drugs
or trying to leave your confinement, ig-
nored, vilified and then at the end of it all
forced into suicide because the drugs you
take have removed your will to live.  Were
this all, the crimes of psychiatry would be
great, but in addition, certain neuroleptics
can actually kill, if taken in high enough
doses, or over a long time, or in cocktail.
No wonder that so many ex-patients cant
lead a full life, destroyed as they are in
spirit, and all for perceiving reality in a
different way from the rest of the popula-
tion.  This situation, is however, unique.
In most Third World countries
patients recover and up to five
years later can be showing no
symptoms.  It is only in the West
that a history of confining the
mad and then attempting to ne-
gate their madness has led to the
present system of legislated
murder.

What can be done?  Well in the rest
of the world 65% of people with schizo-
phrenia recover, due to unknown factors,
perhaps diet, perhaps physical environ-
ment, perhaps their method of care.  The
first thing to do is find this out, what we
can learn from these poorer countries, not,
as in the usual scheme of things, what
ways we can use to exploit them.  The next
thing would be to organise in the mental
hospitals, to refuse medication collectively,
hence outnumbering the goons who care
for/ persecute us. Only in this way can we
qverthrow the oppression of the innocent.
Admittedly, this might be difficult as no
doubt the mentally ill would be difficult to
organise, but as thousands of people are
exposed to the mental health system,
which is already a police state, thousands
of people would benefit.

Mad Pride! Fuck Psychiatry!

UNIONS AGAINST THE WORKERS

THE RECENT INDUSTRIAL dispute be-
tween Edinburgh bus drivers and Lothian
buses has taken a very acrimonious turn
of late  and interestingly, a great deal of
that acrimony has been directed not only
at the fat-cat bosses, but also at the driv-
ers union by the drivers themselves.
The facts behind the current dispute
are the Lothians plans to tie wage in-
creases to an increase in the maximum
shift length  and their rejection of an un-
conditional 12% pay rise. They offered a
deal of 5% this year and 10% next  an
offer rejected by 94% of drivers. The up-
shot of this was plans for an indefinite
strike from Friday 27th September.

There is another story here though,
one that demonstrates what most work-
ers already know  the Unions (the TGWU
here) will do all they can to police dis-
putes like this to keep them on the bosses
terrain, and work against any activity that
threatens their control. The original plan
was for an all out strike to begin on 18th
September after a drivers mass meeting
and a ballot  but in a bureaucrats stitch-
up, the union, behind its members backs,
agreed to fresh talks and came back with
a pathetic offer, which they then had the
cheek to recommend the drivers accept!
When the drivers got wind of this, they
reacted furiously and forced the union to
re-instate the strike. One driver said We
are not happy that the Union appeared to
have caved in and accepted an offer that
the drivers think is too low and we will
walk out on strike with or without the
backing of the trade union. Incredibly, the
union pulled exactly the same trick on the
eve of the second proposed strike! The
strike was cancelled and the union again
recommended acceptance of the bosses
offer  union officials then worked hand in
hand with the company through the night
trying to contact drivers  unsurprisingly
many were not in and so an unofficial
stoppage may still take place. The latest
news is the union has called the strike
off again at the last minute.

If we dig a little deeper we find that
Lothian Buses is in fact, the former Edin-
burgh Corporation bus company with a
majority shareholding held by...a Labour
council ! Is this the union officials doing a
favour for their cronies on the Council
bureaucrats solidarity against the work-
ers  it wouldnt be the first time!
All of this begs the question: what use
is a workers organisation if it refuses to
fight? Or if it actively tries to sabotage the
workers demands?  This type of behaviour
has happened too many times to be acci-
dental. Surely its now time to reclaim our
struggles from the control of time-serving
bureaucrats of all stripes, especially those
posing as friends of the workers?


Scottish Anarchist Day School

Saturday, 9th November, in Glasgow.
Kinning Park Centre  nearest under-
ground Kinning Park. 10 am  5 pm.
Admission £3/£1 concs.
Workshops on anarchist alternatives
to capitalism, Anarchists organising in
the community, Getting the message
across- libertarian media, The libertar-
ian movement today- Scotland and be-
yond. Refreshments available.

TIME BOMB

St. Petersburg Soviet 1905
ONE EVENING WHEN there were several
workers at my house, as usual Nossar was
there too, -we had the idea of forming a
permanent workers organisation: some-
thing like a committee, or a council,...
Voline: The Unknown Revolution
The meeting above took place in mid-
January 1905. A decision was made to in-
form workers in all large factories about
the idea of the Soviet, and to proceed next
to the election of officers which would
name a council (soviet) of workers del-
egates. The petition, in January 1905,  to
Tsar Nicholas II was an example of the
overwhelming faith the working class had
in their little father, but  betrayed a simi-
lar naivety in its faith in the system that
exploited them. Among the measures de-
manded were complete freedom of the
press, freedom of speech, the right to or-
ganise, the right to strike, the right to join
unions, agrarian laws which would lead to
the expropriation of large landowners, and
the immediate convocation of a Constitu-
ent Assembly that would greatly reduce
the power of the Tsar himself.

On Sunday January 9, the march which
carried this petition to the Tsar was gunned
down by government troops. The day af-
ter the massacre, the factories and ship-
yards throughout the capital were silent.
The strike itself was spontaneous, not di-
rected by any union apparatus, political
party or strike committee, simply a mass
demonstration of resistance. Meanwhile,
the soviets spread like a virus, represent-
ing most of the labour force of St.

Petersburg, and 80,000 workers in Mos-
cow. Overall, 50 soviets of workers and
peasants were formed. The Tsar needed
to bide his time before bringing his full
force to bear against the people. In Au-
gust, the monarchy pretended  to recog-
nise the gains the people had already taken
for themselves. Before long bakers and
printers called for another general strike 
a call that was soon heard by the rest of
their class.The general strike in October
began on the railroads but soon spread,
suspending the life of the country.

Finally, the government gave way, and
issued the famous Manifesto of October
17th which promised the setting up of a
state Duma (parliament) with the right to
proclaim laws, along with greater civil lib-
erties, and extension of the franchise. The
workers were suspicious, but the strike
was called off, and the Tsar bought him-
self the time he needed. By the end of the
year, the freedoms granted a few months
before were rescinded.  The revolutionary
press was censored, major uprisings were
put down, all workers organisations in-
cluding the soviets were suppressed. 


INSIDE INFORMATION
Mayday Appeal for Witnesses
WE ARE PASSING on this appeal from a
solicitor about a person arrested on May-
day in Wardour St at 8.50 pm: I represent
Philip Paden who is accused of affray in
Wardour St. on 1st May 2002 at 8.50 pm.

He is accused of using a plastic dustbin lid
to hit police officers shields. Philip denies
the charges and it is very important that I
contact any eye witnesses who may have
seen his arrest and the events leading up
to it. Philip was wearing a white paper suit,
a white arm guard and was holding a pink
plastic dustbin lid. If anybody can help
please contact me :
Andrew Katzen Moss & Co. Solicitors,
17 Lower Clapton Rd, London, E5 0NS.
Tel: 0208 986 8336 Email:
andrew@mosslaw.co.uk
Cypriot Anarchist imprisoned
On September 4, 2002, anarchist
George Karakasian was sentenced to seven
months in prison for assaulting a police
officer at a demonstration outside the Is-
raeli ambassadors home. For more info
email: exegersi2002@yahoo.com or:
anarchy@vip.gr
New Defence Network for Free
 In June 2000, two US anarchists, Free
and Critter, were stopped by police in June
2000 and ended up charged with Criminal
Mischief and Arson. They had been fol-
lowed by undercover agents after setting
fires to vehicles at a car showroom. Critter
was sentenced to five years and five
months, Free was convicted and sentenced
to an outrageous 22 years and five months,
with no possibility of parole. Friends of
Frees have recently formed a new defence
network to co-ordinate support.
Check out the websites to see how you
can support Free: www.freefreenow.org or
www.spiritoffreedom.org.uk/prisoners/fc/
free.html
Brighton Anarchist Black Cross will be
the UK contact, for information (please
send an SAE) and for donations toward
Frees costly appeal process, and/or his col-
lege education in prison.

Contributions however small are wel-
come and will be passed on regularly
 (please make cheques payable to ABC)
Brighton ABC, PO Box 74, Brighton, BN1
4ZQ
Contact Free and Critter directly at:
Jeffrey Luers (Free), #13797671, OSP,
2605 State Street, Salem OR 97310, USA
and Craig Marshall (Critter), #13797662,
SRCI, Stanton Boulevard, Ontario OR, USA
Support the prisoners on dirty
protest at HMP Frankland.
Tony Daniels, Greg Newland, Keith
Pringle and Tony Woods are on a dirty pro-
test against their shit treatment.
For more info & copy of a protest letter
contact: Miscarriages of Justice UK
(MOJUK) Tel: 0121 554 6947 Fax: 0121
554 7891 Email: mojuk@mojouk.org.uk
Website: http://www.mojuk.org.uk/
Online information
Much of the information for this col-
 umn came from the excellent Brighton
ABC website. Vist it at:
www.brightonabc.org.uk

 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.
OCTOBER: 16: Worldwide anti-McDonalds day of action. Adopt Your 
Local Store - leaf-
lets from Veggies Tel: 0845 458 9595 Visit: 
www.veggies.org.uk This will 
also be worker
led mobilisation by the McDonalds workforce. Email: info@mwr.org.uk 
Visit: http://
mwr.org.uk/proposal.htm
19: Scottish march against the war. Glasgow Georges Square. 11a.m.
19: Anarchist Bookfair, Camden Centre, Euston Rd., London WC1 (Kings 
Cross tube)
Visit: www.anarchistbookfair.org  Remember to visit the AF stall.
25: Anarchist Federation and Hereford Anarchists benefit gig. 9pm at 
Karlos,
Widemarsh Street, Hereford.
26: Stirling Campaign for Justice Not War. War  What is it good for? 
Conference,
Cowane Centre, Cowane St, Stirling 124 (register from 11.30). For free 
registration
Tel: 07941 769 809. Creche available if requested.
NOVEMBER: 9: Scottish Anarchist Day School in Glasgow. Kinning Park 
Centre 
nearest underground Kinning Park. 10 am  5 pm. Admission £3/£1 concs. 
Workshops
on anarchist alternatives to capitalism, Anarchists organising in the 
community, Get-
ting the message across- libertarian media, The libertarian movement 
today- Scotland
and beyond. Refreshments available.
Subscribe to Ar-A-Mach
q    I enclose £4 (£6 EU, £12 Rest of the world) for the next 12 issues of
Ar-A-Mach bulletin (cheques payable to "AF Scotland") and send to AF
Alba, PO Box 248, Aberdeen, AB25 1JE
q    I enclose £4 for a year's subscription to Organise! the magazine of the 
AF.
q    I am interested in the Anarchist Federation and would like more 
informa-
Name.....................................................
Address..................................................

 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 todays 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 over-
 throw 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 capitalisms
destruction unless they go beyond these limits.
Organisation  is vital if were 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.  Contact us at:
Anarchist Federation (Alba),
PO Box 248, Aberdeen, AB25 1JE
Tel: 07946 214 590
Visit: http://flag.blackened.net/af/alba
Email: af-alba@hushmail.com



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