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(en) Anarchist Age Weekly Review No. 539 24th March ­ 30th March 2003

From Anarchist Media Institute <anarchistage@yahoo.com>
Date Wed, 26 Mar 2003 12:07:49 +0100 (CET)


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NO GLOBALISATION WITHOUT DIRECT DEMOCRACY ­ ANARCHIST MEDIA
INSTITUTE "WE SWEAR BY THE SOUTHERN CROSS TO STAND TRULY BY
EACH OTHER AND FIGHT TO DEFEND OUR RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES" ­
EUREKA REBELLION OATH 1854

DANCING IN THE STREETS, SINGING IN THE RAIN
It seems the neo-conservative Bush administration has
fallen for the trap of believing in its own propaganda.
For months they have told the world that
the Iraqi people would be dancing in the streets and
singing in the rain at the first sight of coalition
forces in their country.
As the coalition of the willing armoured columns
stream through the desert and bypass major
population centres, the civil uprisings that
accompanied the invasion in
Afghanistan have simply not materialised. The
coalition troops involved in
the war are beginning to realise that they are not
being hailed and treated
as liberators, but that a significant proportion of
Iraqis see them as foreign invaders.

The difference between the war in Afghanistan and Iraq
is striking. This
difference is directly related to the distinctness of
each country¹s
administration. The Taliban in Afghanistan were the
creation of the Pakistan
secret service, and acted and were viewed by the
Afghanistan people as an
army of foreign occupation. Faced with the possibility
of overthrowing a
religious fundamentalist government that attempted to
control all facets of
their lives, they rose up in the rebellion and
liberated the population
centres before the invading armies, largely composed
of Afghani troops, even
reached their cities.

The Ba¹ath Party dictatorship, led by Saddam Hussein
in Iraq, is a homegrown
political movement, which, interestingly, came to
power because of American
support. Faced with the possibility of the largest
Communist Party in the
Middle East seizing power in Iraq, the CIA backed and
supported the coup,
which led to Saddam Hussein seizing power. Although
Saddam Hussein's
administration rules by force, it is first and
foremost a local movement.
The administration, a secular dictatorship, allows a
degree of personal
freedom outside the political sphere that is hard to
find among many of the
religious fundamentalist regimes that are currently
supported by the United
States in the Middle East.

Iraqis living in Iraq are more likely to blame the
United Nations sanctions
that has seen 60% of the people forced to rely on food
aid to survive and
which has directly led to the deaths of over a million
Iraqis than their
government for the hardships they have suffered.
Historically (Stalin's
Soviet Union in World War II is a classical example'),
people rally behind a
local government when invaded even if that government
is a dictatorship,
fearing more the consequences of occupation than the
consequences of a
dictatorship. They only dance in the streets when a
foreign invader is
overthrown or defeated, a fact that the
neo-conservative politicians in the
United States, Britain and Australia are ignoring at
their peril.

IRONY PILED ON IRONY
It's ironic that at the very moment the Iraqi people
are being bombed back
to the dark ages by the United States led invasion to
introduce "democracy
and liberty" to Iraq, governments in Australia are
working feverishly to
remove what few common-law rights we still enjoy to
freely associate and
protest in this country. The Federal government¹s
reintroduction of the ASIO
bill into parliament during the invasion of Iraq is a
cynical attempt to use
the hysteria and fear generated by the war to push the
bill through the
Senate.

Over the past eighteen months a coalition of people
from all walks of life
have successfully pressured the Federal Labor Party to
resist attempts to
introduce the more draconian measures of the ASIO bill
in the Senate. As the
dogs of war are unleashed, the Labor opposition seems
to be having second
thoughts about its opposition to the ASIO bills. Kim
Beazley, the former
opposition leader, is at the forefront of a faction
within the Labor Party
that wants Labor to drop its opposition to the ASIO
bill.

At the State level, the Labor Party has been stampeded
into passing security
legislation that stands against everything that the
Labor Party has
traditionally stood for. The Victorian government with
enthusiastic support
from the opposition has passed legislation through the
legislative Assembly
that robs Victorians of what few civil liberties they
still enjoy. Giving
State police powers to secretly search people¹s homes
because the police are
concerned that people are involved in protest or
industrial action will lead
to a situation where secret State police dossiers will
be kept on citizens
who are involved in legitimate workplace and community
protest.

To rob Australians of the very rights, liberties and
freedoms that they have
won from the State through protest will, if they are
not careful, create the
very conditions that lead to the creation of an
authoritarian State where
power is concentrated in the hands of a dictatorship.
It would be a tragedy
if the so-called war on terror turned the clock back
in this country to the
early days when power resided in the hands of the
colonial governor.

"No meetings of more than twelve persons to beholden;
such meetings without
permission and public notice will be deemed unlawful
assemblies. If two or
more persons who may have assembled contrary to this
Act shall continue
together for half an hour after having been required
by any person of a
description of a free-man to disperse, they shall
suffer death."
Proclamation Governor King of the colony of New South
Wales 2nd April 1802.

WAR, SOFT AS PORN
The unprecedented media coverage of the war in Iraq
has not quenched the
demand for information about what's really happening.
It's difficult to know
what is fact what is fiction, what is propaganda and
what is reality. The
coverage of the war from an Arabic perspective as well
as coverage from the
usual suspects ­ CNN, fax media, the BBC and even the
ABC ­ has exposed the
fundamental difference in approach taken by the
independent Arab Media, the
State controlled Arab media and the Western media.

People who use the media to make sense of this world
are finding that it's
difficult to distinguish media coverage from State
sponsored propaganda. The
information and analysis provided by the Western Media
rivals that of the
State owned Iraqi media in terms of objectivity.
Western reporting to a
large degree is the mirror image of the reports that
are heard and seen on
what's left of the State owned Iraqi media. In the
West, the war is
presented as sanitised analysis that could be
realistically described as
soft war pornography. We get the pictures of the death
machines in glorious
three dimensional clarity, the colour and sounds of
the war are presented in
glorious technicolour and Dolby stereo sound, but we
don¹t actually see the
consequences of what is happening to the people, both
coalition soldiers and
Iraqis, when two thousand bombs are pitted against
human flesh.

The drama of the Vietnam coverage has been replaced
with talking heads and
instant experts whose loyalties lie with the coalition
forces. News becomes
a sanitised, packaged commodity which reflects the
editorial position of
those who own and control the media. Irrespective of
how brave or foolhardy
individual reporters are, what is finally presented to
the public is
self-censored fiction that has very little to do with
what's happening on
the ground. The digital revolution, a revolution that
promised to represent
reality has failed to live up to expectations because,
at the end of the
day, what is said and what isn¹t said, what is seen
and what isn¹t seen is
made by editorial teams who owe their immediate
livelihoods and long-term
reputation to that small band of people who own and
control the
infrastructure that defines and redefines what we see,
hear and read.

PROXIES NEED NOT APPLY
Since the demise of Reagan¹s great enemy, "the evil
empire", war has
changed. Twenty-first century warfare is no longer a
contest between two
superpowers, fought out by proxies, bankrolled by
these superpowers. The
demise of the Soviet Union as a superpower has changed
the nature of 21st
century warfare.

Coups, insurrections, counter insurgency programs are
a thing of the past.
The concentration of military might in the hands of
one superpower has
radically changed the rules of engagement. Subterfuge,
intrigue,
intelligence agencies are a thing of the past. The
pre-emptive strike
doctrine ­ you're either with us or against us ­ has
clarified the rules of
engagement for the United States and her pathetic
clutch of allies. If they
don¹t like the way a regime functions, bankrupt them,
keep them out of the
economic loop, refuse to grant them IMF and World Bank
loans, and see them
decline and disintegrate. If this does not work, there
is always a good
old-fashioned invasion. Proxies need not apply; the
great game is now played
by one nation ­ the United States.

Why waste money, time and effort on a proxy to do your
bidding when you can
invade anyone anytime you like ­ well, that¹s the
theory. Iraq is a testing
ground: if things don¹t work out to the United State's
satisfaction, then
maybe we'll see there introduction of the proxy in the
great game. If the
Iraqi invasion is smooth, causalities are kept to a
minimum, and the Iraqi
army and irregulars are decisively crushed, then the
invasion of Iraq will
act as a template for future action. Iraq is a testing
ground; governments
around the world are looking at what's happening in
Iraq. If the united
States succeeds, resistance will be limited to
terrorist outrages. If the
Iraqi government¹s armed forces and to some degree the
Iraqi people drag the
United States into a quagmire, then the world¹s only
superpower will be seen
to have feet of clay.

The stakes are high not just for the Iraqi people but
the world as a whole.
Whether United State's imperial power is extended by
direct military
conquest will be decided in Iraq. If they succeed in
colonising Iraq, the
world's second greatest oil producer, with minimal
military effort, State
after State, will, like Australia, be prostrating
themselves at the feet of
the US of A.

PAN ARABIC NATIONALISM
The twenty-two modern Arab States that make up the
Middle East are
artificially created postcolonial entities that were
designed to destroy the
threat posed to Europe by pan Arabic nationalism. It's
important to remember
that for centuries the Arab world, a world bound by a
common culture,
language script and religion, posed a direct threat to
Europe.

The division of the Arab world into twenty-two
separate and competing States
had nothing to do with culture, geography and
language, and everything to do
with European domination of the Arab people. The idea
of a pan Arabic
society that crosses national boundaries is an idea
that has been around for
over a millennium. Nasser, the late President of
Egypt, was a great
proponent of pan Arabic nationalism as a political,
cultural and social
force that would free the Arab people from centuries
of European domination.

The invasion of Iraq by the United States and the
treatment handed out to
the Palestinians by the Israeli State are two factors
that have rekindled
pan Arabic nationalism as a potential political force
in the Middle East.
Over the past decade, the democratisation of
technology has resulted in the
rise and rise of Arabic television networks that are
free of State control.
These networks have had a profound effect on the
region because for the
first time in a century the people of the Middle East
are beginning to see
themselves as Arabs first and citizens of a State
second.

Saddam Hussein, a dictator in a region where
parliamentary democracy is
almost non-existent, now finds that his only chance of
survival is to tap
into the rising tide of pan Arabic nationalism
sweeping the region. The
direct invasion of Iraq by the United States will fan
the flames of revolt
in the Middle East. The puppet governments in the
region that ignore this
rising tide of nationalism may soon find that their
alliance with the United
States is not enough to save them from the threat of
revolutionary activity
in their own countries. Having an enemy that all Arabs
can identify with,
re-colonising the region may be the very impetus that
is needed to see the
re-emergence of pan Arabic nationalism as a political
and cultural force
that radically redefines the current post colonial
national borders that
have pitted Arab against Arab during the 20th Century.

ANARCHIST QUESTION AND ANSWER
Q. What is the best way an anarchist society can
defend itself?
A. Faced with the prospect of an invasion by hostile
forces an anarchist
community has to make a decision about whether it will
defend itself or let
itself be overrun. Leaving the question of defence to
the last possible
moment will inevitably result in the destruction of an
anarchist society.
The single most important method of resisting
oppression is based on the
principle of encouraging and supporting the
establishment of the anarchist
movement in surrounding countries.
The stronger the anarchist movement in countries that
want to invade an
anarchist community the greater the difficulty
surrounding states will have
in mobilising the necessary resources to mount an
invasion. Even if they
are able to mount an invasion they will have to take
into account the
resistance to their plans that a local anarchist
movement can mobilise.
Defence in an anarchist society rests on the ability
of that community to
build a non-authoritarian movement in surrounding
communities. The stronger
the international anarchist movement the less likely
opponents will launch a
direct frontal assault on that society.
It¹s important that anarchists take very seriously the
question of defence.
The Spanish Civil war was lost by the anarchists
because of the weakness of
the European anarchist movement. Although activists
from around the world
flocked to Spain in 1936 to defend the Social
Revolution, their
participation was more symbolic than practical. The
CNT / FAI unlike the
communists encouraged anarchists to stay in their own
countries and support
the revolution by increasing their level of activity
where they worked and
lived. Working within the belly of the beast and
giving it indigestion is
one important way of blunting its attack on its
anarchist neighbours.
The deployment of the overwhelming firepower that many
centralised states
currently enjoy makes it imperative that anarchism
became an international
movement. The stronger the anarchist presence around
the world the more
difficult it will be for authoritarian hierarchical
states to impose their
will by force on emerging anarchist societies.

ACTION BOX
"AWESOME" OR IS THAT "APPALLING"
The invasion of Iraq is being conducted on two fronts.
While the current
coalition of US led war criminals makes it way across
Iraq, a far more
important war is being conducted by the corporate and
government dominated
media. This war isn¹t just aimed at demoralising the
Iraqi people, it¹s
also aimed at demoralising opposition to the war,
especially in countries
that have committed troops to the slaughter.
The ?awesome¹ one-dimensional saturation coverage is
directed at sapping the
will of protestors. Activists run the very real risk
of being mesmerised by
the 24hour propaganda that is laughingly presented as
non-biased news and
commentary. It¹s important that we not only take the
propaganda projected
at us with a grain of salt, but we limit our exposure
to this propaganda
stream. It¹s very tempting to become passive and
focus all our attention on
the propaganda that¹s being beamed to us.
Attempt to get your new from alternative sources, if
you can¹t get your news
from alternative sources, limit your exposure to the
propaganda pumped out
by the corporate and state dominated media. Although
nobody wants to talk
about the war, continue to engage with your neighbours
and friends about
what is happening in Iraq and what it means to them.
It¹s important we
don¹t let the state sanctioned murderers dominate the
discussion about the
immediate and long-term consequences of the state
terrorism that the world
is witnessing.
Although the ultimate conclusion of this unwarranted
butchery isn¹t in
doubt, what is in doubt is the type of society that
will emerge after the
war. As activists, we should not limit ourselves just
to the war, we need
to expose the transparent plans that have been put in
motion by the US and
its allies to control the world¹s resources and impose
their will on people
who currently fall outside their sphere of influence.
It¹s important we
don¹t forget that only one evil twin died in 1990, the
other one, the US is
alive and thriving.

AUSTRALIAN RADICAL HISTORY
1802 - 2003
Governor King put down the first rebellion of Irish
convicts in 1800 just 12
years after the convict settlement at Port Jackson had
been established.
Concerned that another rebellion could occur at any
time and that the
soldiers at Sydney Cove could be overpowered by the
more numerous convicts,
Governor King proclaimed on the 2nd April 1802 a
series of measures that
were designed to curtail any act of rebellion before
it occurred.
When you examine the Federal government¹s and various
State government¹s
attempts to introduce draconian legislation in 2003 to
combat ?terrorism¹,
it¹s interesting to see how Governor King tackled the
problem in 1802.

2nd April 1802
"Whereas 2 attempts have lately been made to revive
seditious meetings
composed of those deluded people sent to his country
for the commission of
the most diabolical crimes, resulting from the anarchy
and confusion aimed
at by their silent and concealed employers"

"No meetings of more than 12 persons to be holden;
Such meetings without
permission and public notice will be deemed unlaw
assemblies"
"If 2 or more persons who may have assembled contrary
to this Act, shall
continue together half-an-hour after have been
required by a Magistrate or
free man to disperse, they shall suffer Death"

"If any person shall administer or cause to be
administered, or to be
present at and consenting to the administration, or
taking of an oath,
purporting to bind the persons taking it to engage in
any mutinous or
seditious purpose, or to disturb the public peace, or
to be of any
association formed for any such purpose, or to obey
the orders of any
committee or body of men not lawfully constituted, or
of any leader or other
person not having authority by law for that purpose,
or not to inform
against any associate or other person, or not to
discover any unlawful
combination, or any illegal act or oath done or to be
done or taken, shall
on conviction be adjudged guilty of felon and be
transported. If already
transported they will receive a corporal punishment of
1000 lashes and the
goal gang during their term of transportation."

Two years later in 1804 the Irish convicts rebelled at
Vingear Hill. The
rebellion was put down and 10 of the ringleaders were
hung for their part in
the rebellion. Fifty years later in 1854 the men in
the Eureka stockade
adopted the password "Vingear Hill" in honour of the
rebellion at Vingear
Hill in 1804 as the password to be used by people who
wanted to enter the
stockade.

BOOK REVIEW
"CONVICTS AND COLONIAL SOCIETY
1788-1853"
L. Evans & P. Nicholls, Cassell Australia Limited
1976, Review copy 1978
edition, ISBN 07269 2662 0
?Convicts & Colonial Society 1788-1853¹ gives an
excellent account of the
important role that convicts played in colonial
Australia. Deteriorating
economic conditions in Great Britain n the late 18th
century and the loss of
the American colonies in 1776 placed great pressure on
the British judicial
system, a system that kept control over its people by
the frequent use of
capital punishment. The transportation of convicts
from Britain and the
colonies to Australia became a very profitable
industry for an enterprising
few.
Everyone except the convicts made a handsome profit
from the trade.
Convicts with trades and skills became valuable
commodities in a society
that was made up of convicts, their jailers, squatters
and ?ticket of leave¹
men and women. Convict labour, especially skilled
labour was the fuel that
propelled the colony forward. The allocation of
convict labour, was the
main way the Governor of New South Wales rewarded
those who supported his
rule. Many of the men and women transported were
habitual offenders, they
were victims of a class system that was structured on
strict hierarchical
lines. Few were political activists. The British
authorities were
concerned about the potential for revolt in the
colonies and deported very
few political activists to the Australian colonies.
Revolts in 1800 and
1804 at Sydney Cove by transported Irish convicts
caused consternation in
the British Foreign Office. As a consequence of the
Vingear Hill rebellion,
strenuous efforts were made to limit the number of
political activists who
were sent to the Australian colonies.
English radicals who were convicted of High Treason
and were transported to
Australia in 1820, were separated from the other
convicts by Governor
Macquarie on instruction from Downing Street. About
50 Dorchester Luddites
(machine breakers) were transported to Australia in
1831. The Tol puddle
martyrs and a small number of Chartist rebels were
transported in the 1830¹s
and 1840¹s. A number of Canadians were transported to
Australia in 1839 for
rebellion while the leaders of the Young Ireland
movement were transported
to Van Diemens Land in 1849 at the very end of the
transportation era.
The rise of the number of ?ticket of leave¹ men and
women (ex-convicts) and
free immigrants in the colonies heralded the end of
the convict period.
Salaried workers organised to pressure the colonial
office and the British
government to stop the transportation of men and women
who competed directly
with them for the limited number of jobs available in
the colony.
Interestingly economic factors were responsible for
both the beginning and
the end of the transportation era.
The authors have brought together a great deal of
original material to cast
some light on a period of Australian history that is
romanticised by 5th and
6th generation Australians who are looking for that
convict ancestor in
their family tree who was transported to Australia for
stealing a loaf of
bread.
?Convicts & Colonial Society 1788-1853¹ is available
from 2nd hand bookshops
(I bought the review copy for $6.00) and should be
available in libraries.
The book is one of the titles available in the
?Problems in Australia
History¹ series resource books for high school and
university students and
teachers that were used in Australia in the early
1980¹s. Its extensive use
of original sources makes it an invaluable reference
book for the period.

PERSONAL OBSERVATION
He must be all of 8 years old, pushing his scooter up
and down the street,
not a care in the world except the passing traffic.
In 10 years time he
will be 18, just the right age to be conscripted to
join the fight against
evil. Just in case you think I¹m exaggerating a
generation of Australians
were conscripted to fight in Vietnam just 30 years
ago. If you were lucky,
your marble didn¹t come up, if you were unlucky and
your marble did come up,
you could find yourself in Vietnam fighting to stop
the dominos from
falling.
Twenty two 15 year olds playing soccer on an outer
suburban field, in 3
years time they¹ll be ready to fight the good fight
against the evil empire.
Today Iraq, tomorrow North Korea, some other day maybe
France, who knows who
is a potential enemy in this world of pre-emptive
strikes. It doesn¹t
matter how many cruise missiles, nuclear bombs,
chemical or biological
weapons you have at your disposal, when push comes to
shove you need men and
women to do the killing and maintain order. Without
them, you can¹t
maintain your occupation. Democracy, freedom,
liberty, abstract terms that
mean nothing when you¹re drafted to fight for your
country.
Twelve year old girls playing netball, maybe just
maybe they¹ll be able to
play their part in the forth coming war of
civilisations, why just draft
young men when you can conscript young women.
Children as well as men and
women can use modern weapons. Don¹t think it can¹t
happen here, it happened
before it can happen again. We don¹t have to be
facing a direct threat for
conscription to be introduced. If the State can
create the necessary
climate and the corporate owned media and the
government gelded ABC beats
the nationalist drum, it¹s possible like the war on
Iraq that the stay at
home patriots will be willing to sacrifice your
children¹s blood for good of
the State.
It¹s not your life, they¹re not your children and we
are owned by the State
whether we like it or not. They have the bureaucracy,
the guns, the courts,
the police and the armed forces to do their bidding.
We have the
principles, the morality and ultimately the courage to
resist their attempts
to make us fight to maintain their power and wealth.
Conscription, far
fetched, don¹t bet on it, it happened before when we
didn¹t face a direct
threat, it can happen again if we don¹t resist the war
criminals in our
midst.

STOP PRESS
JACKPOT !!
The corporate media¹s fulsome support for unilateral
invasion of Iraq has
paid off handsomely. News Corporation has seen its
share value increase by
20% within 48 hours of the invasion with more goodies
to come. Even
Australia¹s pseudo-liberal press the Fairfax Press has
seen its share price
rise. Considering the depth of opposition to the war
in both Britain and
Australia, it¹s interesting to notice that not one
corporate media outlet
opposed the invasion of Iraq.
Now that the invasion has become a reality and the
public is thirsting for
some information, the smart investor is seeing their
efforts bearing fruit.
No wonder 174 of 175 of News Corporation¹s editors
championed the
pre-emptive strike strategy, denigrating anyone who
opposed the war. It
seems that the corporate media has struck the
proverbial jackpot and is
raking in the cash as Southern Iraq and Baghdad burns.
There¹s nothing like
a good war to boost profits. Interestingly most of
the information coming
out of Iraq is coming courtesy of the US armed forces
propaganda unit. The
corporate media is more interested in tagging along
for the ride and using
the censored crumbs, than actually doing any real
reporting.
Just in case you¹ve wondered why the corporate press
so vehemently
championed the US of A, the sudden increase in their
bottom line would have
played a major part in their thinking. Allowing a few
letters opposing the
war slip in and a few articles pointing to the reasons
why people are
opposing the invasion of Iraq is a small price to pay
for the even handed
appearance the corporate media needs to portray in a
society where freedom
of expression is tolerated unless that freedom leads
to change.
The corporate dominated media is part of the problem,
not the solution to
the problem. News is a commodity that is sold to the
highest bidder. There
are no ethics or morality in the news game, just
profits. News Corporation
has been handsomely rewarded for its support for the
war. Murdoch, a man
who has always had an eye for a business opportunity,
knows that his
domination of the English media will be enhanced if he
throws his support
behind the US of A. The only cloud on the horizon is
the increasing level
of disgust felt by an increasing number of people who
no longer believe
anything they hear, see or read in the corporate
media.
Joseph TOSCANO / Libertarian Workers
for a Self-Managed Society.

ANARCHIST PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED THIS WEEK
OPERAI CONTRO Vol.22 No.106 FEB 2003, Giornale per la
Critica La Latta,
L¹organizzazionale degli Operai Contro La
Struttamento, Via Falck 44, 20099,
Sesto S.Giovanni (MI), ITALY,
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ALL THE NEWS THAT FITS ­ (ATNTF)
One of the people accused of helping refugees escape
from Woomera
is asking for letters of support. Please write to:
Timothy Daniel Collins, Port Augusta Prison, P.O. Box
6, Port Augusta SA
5700
(Tim can't receive any books or papers but can receive
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THIS WEEK'S STORIES: Photography Against TerrorSIt's
Not Just Oil...We Know
They've Got Weapons Of Mass Destruction, We Kept the
Receipts...Western
Australia Invents New Form Of Bigotry...Salvation Army
Competes With
Anglicans & CatholicsSPeople of Iraq to Be
Liberated...To Create A New World
Free From Terrorism...Free From Fear...& Based on
Democracy..
A US amateur photographer named Mike Maginnis has been
arrested & accused of
being a terrorist - just for taking pictures of
buildings in an area where
Vice President Cheney was residing. Mike says he
carries his camera wherever
he goes. He who works in info technology often
photographs such subjects as
corporate buildings & communications equipment. As he
was putting his camera
away, he found himself confronted by a Denver
policeman who demanded he hand
over his film & camera. When he refused to give it up,
the officer pushed
him to the ground & arrested him. After being brought
to the District 1
police station, he was made to wait alone in an
interrogation room. 2 hours
later, a Secret Service (SS) agent arrived, who
identified himself as
Special Agent "Willse." The agent told Mike his
"suspicious activities" made
him a threat to nat¹l security & that he¹d be charged
as a terrorist under
the USA-PATRIOT Act. The SS agent tried to make him
admit that he was taking
the photos to analyse weaknesses in the Vice
President's security entourage
& "cause terror & mayhem." When Mike refused to admit
to being any sort of
terrorist the SS agent called him a "raghead
collaborator" & a "dirty pinko
faggot." After approx. an hour of interrogation he was
allowed to make a
call. Rather than contacting a lawyer, he called the
Denver Post & asked for
the newsdesk. This was immediately overheard by the
desk sergeant, who hung
up the phone & placed Mike in a holding cell. 3 hours
later he was finally
released with no explanation. He received no copy of
an arrest report & no
receipt for his confiscated possessions. He was told
he¹d probably not get
his camera back, as it was being held as evidence.
Mike¹s lawyer contacted
the Denver PD for an explanation of the day's events,
but they denied ever
having Mike - or anyone matching his description - in
custody. (www.2600.com
news wsite, Dec 5).
The Bush govt has invited selected companies to bid
for govt contracts to
'rebuild Iraq' after the US invasion. The companies
chosen to bid are all US
companies, who¹ve donated money to the Republican
Party.
(www.ariannaonline.com).
The germ samples that Iraq used for its biological
weapons program (which it
says it has now abandoned), came entirely from a US
company & a French
scientific institute. (NY Times).
AMP has taken what The Age described as "a really
tough stand on [former
CEO] Paul Batchelor's termination entitlements". Mr
Batchelor was given a
cheque for $1.4 million, after tax. (The Age, Mar 15).
4 of the 11 people who were refused permission to
adopt children in WA last
year were refused b/c they were 'too fat'. Jodie
Gaywood 21, was refused
permission to adopt b/c she was overweight, due to a
condition called
polycystic ovary syndrome. This condition is also the
reason she's unable
to have children. (The Age, Mar 15).
The Salvation Army kept a sex abuse case secret, paid
for the offender to be
counselled but not the 14yo victim, a Q¹land court was
told. (The Age, Mar
15).
A UN report prepared before the war on Iraq estimated
that it will create
900,000 refugees. The report also says as many as
500,000 Iraqis may
require treatment: 100,000 for injuries, 400,000 for
disease. The report
says 3.03million people will require 'therapeutic
feeding' - "2.03 million
severely & moderately malnourished children under 5 &
1million pregnant &
lactating women". London Times.
The US govt is planning a secret meeting to discuss
the construction of a
new generation of nuclear weapons, according to a
leaked Pentagon document.
A meeting of military officials & nuclear scientists
in August would also
decide whether to restart nuclear testing & how to
convince the public new
weapons are necessary. The National Nuclear Security
Admin, which is
responsible for designing, building & maintaining
nuclear weapons, has
confirmed that the document is real. A policy paper by
Secretary of Defence
Donald Rumsfeld identified 7 countries as potential
targets for US nuclear
weapons. The US govt has adopted the policy of
'pre-emptive strikes' -
attacking other countries that they feel might pose a
threat in the future.
The Guardian (UK), Washington Post.
More than half of the San Francisco police dept's
leadership face
prosecution for allegedly trying to cover up a street
brawl involving
off-duty police officers. 4 of the city's senior
police officers, including
its police chief Earl Sanders, were among 10 officers
indicted on criminal
charges in connection with the fight reportedly
sparked over a bag of
Mexican take-away food. 3 junior officers are accused
of beating 2 civilians
who refused to hand over their bag of steak Fajitas.
ABC news website.
The Aust govt has established an email address where
people can pass
messages on to troops in Iraq. However the Defence
Department says that
'negative' messages, presumably meaning messages
critical of the war, will
not be passed on.
anarchist news service write to James, PO Box 503,
Newtown NSW 2042 or email
james.hutchings@ato.gov.au contact us to get ATNTF
emailed directly to you.
If you like ATNTF, forward it on. Love and Rage is a
new anarchist,
non-profit record label. The first CD will be out in
a few weeks - 20 songs
for $10 within Australia (overseas prices available
soon). Address is PO
Box 503, Newtown NSW 2042. www.angry.at/politicians -
new anarchist website
with fliers for download, contacts
www.angry.at/racists -
Anarchist/anti-racist music site with free mp3s, Real
Audio, Real Video,
internet radio, band interviews etc. Also includes
the text of 'Escape',
an anarchist novel -
www.geocities.com/skipnewborn/novel.doc,
www.dolearmy.org - information for unemployed people,
.www.activate.8m.com -
anarchist magazine aimed at teenagers. ATNTF appears
in the AAWR
(www.vicnet.net.au/~anarchist - PO Box 20 Parkville
VIC 3052) & The Ham
(www.theham.cat.org.au), as well as Melbourne
Indymedia
(www.melbourne.indymedia.org).
Media outlets mentioned in All the News That Fits are
sources - items are
not direct quotes from news media. Background
information may have been
gathered from sources in addition to media outlets
cited. Where no source
is cited, the information has been gathered from
direct sources.

ANARCHIST MEDIA INSTITUTE OBSCENITY OF THE WEEK
Has been awarded to Bush - ?The Butcher of Baghdad¹
and
our beloved Prime Minister John Ho¹war¹d - ?The Bush
Kangaroo¹

IS GOD A MALE GANGSTER ?
CITY OF GOD.
Brazil. 2002. Director Fernando Meirelles.
Much hyped, "best foreign film" nominee for those
jaded by stupid white men
on cinema screens. The houses in the City of God,
Rio's most notorious
favela (or slum) are tiny. Often, 8 or more people
share a space barely big
enough for a couple. It's swelteringly hot, certainly
too hot to be indoors.
That's why the kids rarely come home. Their parents,if
they have them, are
away working as doormen or housemaids in the homes of
the rich in the other
part of the city. Police cars are parked at the
entrance to the slum area,
vetting & harassing anyone who goes in or out. The
drugs trade is rife. So
is the violence. This slum wasteland, 6km from
downtown Rio was created in
the early 1960s for the most cynical reason
imaginable: to isolate the poor
& remove them from view.
Background
After civil disobedience & riots in inner cities in
the USA, "spacial
de-concentration" became the global urban design
answer to working class
suprisings in inner-city slums. Get the "undeserving
poor" away from the too
easily disrupted City centres & out on the margins
where they can compete
with each other for scarce resources & indigenous
people evicted from
traditional lands. Brazil's peasants. students &
workers were so rebellious
the Military staged a coup, took over the country -
with US military
training & supervision. This "anti-communist
initiative" was undertaken by
the supposedly liberal John F.Kennedy regime &
applied, by US regimes &
client states since, around the world. In war-time
Vietnam original villages
were "destroyed in order to save them"; survivors
uprooted, moved into
fenced off & patrolled "strategic hamlets". An idea
adapted from earlier
last century, the German Nazi architects enclosure of
'ghettoes' &
demolition of 'uncontrollable' areas. The Nazi's
simply applied - older
empires of exploiters' - maxim 'divide & rule' (the
slaves). Paulo Lins'
Cidade de Deus, novel, is based on real characters
growing up in the
favelas. We rarely "see" them & then only from the
outside, from news, from
journalists. But Paulo was raised in the City of God &
took 8 years writing
this book. Lula da Silva, the new leftist President
who swept to power in
Oct.02's elections, has voiced his admiration & has
even written a review of
it (something it's hard to imagine Tony Blair doing
for, say, a new Ken
Loach film). More than 3million Brazilians have been
to see the film. There
are moves from below, from the residents, for
co-operatives, collectives &
communes to self-manage the zone. In the past locals
got so sick of violent
& corrupt "security" & police they hired a crew of
gangsters to chase out
the other gangs. Predictably once they got monopoly
these "security" began
exploiting the locals too so another uprising
exploded. The film has its
share of tabloid headlines (b/c a reputed drug lord
was arrested at a
preview screening in Aug¹02) while provoking long &
agonised debate amongst
Brazil's political élite. The issues that the film
touches on ­ the enormous
gulf between rich & poor, the status of black
citizens, the drug culture,
unemployment, etc have obvious relevance. Not that
this is some
self-righteous drama about Brazil's underclass. Flashy
& exuberant, shot
with handheld cameras, it's as brash & entertaining as
any Hollywood
gangster movie. The drug war that it builds up to is,
film director
Meirelles explains, "like a cocaine trip, very quick,
a lot of information.
It's really a mess. First you begin with this
organised society, all those
houses lined up, then you finish with this confusion.
It's about losing
control." The film-makers were determined not to
repeat the mistakes of
"sensational" exploiters of this misery...Hector
Babenco's controversial
film Pixote (1980), "star" Fernando Ramos Da Silva, a
young street kid from
São Paolo, was plucked from obscurity. A few years
later, his dreams of an
acting career stymied by his illiteracy, Ramos da
Silva died a violent death
at the hands of 3 military policemen. His murder, in
?87, caused much
soul-searching in the Brazilian film industry &
prompted one director, José
Joffily, to make a documentary, Who Killed Pixote?,
attacking Babenco.
Film-makers from privileged backgrounds who talk about
their "empathy for
the underclass", risk sounding smug & condescending.
They¹re usually sexist
too. As it¹s the 21st century after all, it might make
more interesting
films to see what "3rd ie. majority world" women are
doing to transform
their lives... Earlier this year in Brazil at Porte
Allegro, the World
Social Forum met with 100,000 people attending the
alternative to the
(Corporate) World Economic Forum. Anarchist Noam
Chomsky and many others
spoke. Melbourne readers might recall the WEF visit to
the Crown Casino &
police baton charging protesters on Sept 11th ?00.
After many such bloody
confrontations one response has been to meet
elsewhere. Moving on from just
"exposing poverty" to trying to change the situation,
the Social Forum
movement is one of many anti-capitalist initiatives
networking today.
Summary
Luis Bunuel's Los Olivados (The Young & The Damned)
1950, is set in Mexico
City slums. It¹s a tale of delinquent life which can
still make audiences
squirm at the misery amongst the dangerous classes.
Charles Dickens' Oliver
Twist is set in London 's Victorian-era slums & the
workhouse. To sweeten
the 'medicine' it was turned into a musical, animated
& Disneyfied to make
it palatable to the employing class like Scrooge
(originaly an expose of the
mean-ness of bosses). Disturbing povo dramas end up
getting used to justify
authoritarian inner-city slum-clearing & make
stereotypes of criminals for
the media to incite the State police to then maim or
murder. Real estate
developers also fan urban paranoia to sell 'gated
communities', alarmed &
walled in private estates that exclude the
propertyless losers The Corporate
media tell us that misery & poverty are past. Any
lingering throwbacks are
being overcome by charity (from the guilty rich?). Now
we can all enjoy the
'level playing field' & an aspiring future of
self-improvement & endless
overtime to pay our debts. Yuppies around the world
enjoy inner-city
'exotic' locations while the poor are shunted to these
outer 'burbs. Music &
culture from these areas is always more interesting
though so get
re-presented, packaged & marketed to the bored yups as
World Music, rap.
reggae, rai etc. Church & State Welfare
institutionalisation of poor kids in
Australia has also been viewed in Phil Noyce's Rabbit
Proof Fence; for
aboriginal people it's known as the "stolen
generations".
PHIL OXENIA.
ENTERTAINMENT *** POLITICS **

If You Like What You Have Read, Photocopy This
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The articles in the Anarchist Age Weekly Review
reflect the personal
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reflect the opinions of the
publishers, the Libertarian Workers for a Self-Managed
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All material in the Anarchist Age Weekly Review can be
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ANARCHISM ­ ADVANCING IN DIVERSITY STRIKING IN UNISON
­ YAMAGUCHI KENJI

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