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(en) resistance issue 59 - TAX IS THEFT, SCHIZOPHRENIA SPREADING, ON THE FRONTLINE and more

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sat, 6 Mar 2004 07:20:13 +0100 (CET)


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News about and of interest to anarchists
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TAX IS THEFT
Politicians are the enemies of the working class, and recently they were
positively crawling over each other to illustrate it. Jack Straw said:
“If British companies benefit from working with Indian service providers
in Bangalore and elsewhere, then Britain as a whole benefits”,
predictably substituting the interests of owners for those of workers.
Tory Oliver Letwin, on the other hand, chose to try and help business
put yet another boot in: this time in the guise of tax structure.
Companies doing business in the UK already contribute less than in any
other country in Europe, but this wasn’t enough for Letwin, who believes
those much-maligned do-gooders the rich are being “squeezed for every
penny” by being forced to pay VAT. Quite unsurprisingly, his desire is
to reduce the “tax burden” on businesses operating here. A Tory
solution, but like so many others, implemented with vigour by a Labour
Party eager to please it’s corporate masters. Government policies
already managed to reduce the average level of corporate tax in the 30
richest countries from 37.5% to 30.8% in just seven years.
Along with politicians eager to do the work of the capitalists, these
threats help the capitalist class displace costs from its own shoulders
and onto ours. Prem Sikka, a leading accountancy specialist, estimates
that up to £85bn of tax is avoided each year just through the use of
offshore tax havens. In the four years to June 2003, Murdoch’s News
Corporation paid just 6% of the pre-tax profits for the same period,
much less than the rest us have to pay. During the nineties, he paid a
grand total of no tax whatsoever in the UK. For some reason, his
mouthpieces the Times, the Sun and Sky attack working class “dole scum”
but never their masters.
Whilst our communities are plastered with scare-tactic advertisements
warning us that the benefits agency “are onto us”, the state seems
remarkably less interested in pursuing tax cheating by the rich. Inlan d
Revenue statistics reveal that businesses illegally avoid billions in
taxes.
But it is not just blame that gets targeted at us. The avoidance shifts
the tax burden onto the working class, whose council and income taxes go
up to compensate for the shortfall. Taxes extracted from workers
increased by over 120% between 1989-90 and 2002-03, whereas corporate
tax collection increased by just 36%, despite a massive rise in
corporate profits.
Parliamentary democracy is simply a method of managing society in the
interests of capitalists . The minutes of meetings between the Inland
Revenue and top corporations reveal promises “not to examine in any
detail” fraudulent tax payments.
At the current time class conflict seems at a low ebb. The boss class
use weapons like taxes, productivity deals and “outsourcing” to grind us
down. But we also have weapons. It is all too easy to forget tides
always turn and the fight back has already begun. Resistance to council
tax increase s is spreading and the government is running scared. At
work the number of strikes is increasing as people take direct action to
improve their lives – see inside for more details.

---

SCHIZOPHRENIA SPREADING

You’d probably hope for politicians to be, at least to some extent, sane
and sound. Forget now about Bush, just focus on British and European ones.
First there’s the homicidal urges. Killing people by ordering the
bombing of a foreign country surely must be murder.
Then they seem to be developing a split personality and holding
different opinions on similar issues. For example according to Tony
Blair borders must be both opened and closed at the same time. Is this
possible?
On the one hand, as a country leading capitalist globalisation, the UK
wants to have every market on the planet open to its products, so these
don’t have to bother about customs or borders. That this can destroy the
economies of many households in developing countries, as well as
working conditions here, doesn’t bother politicians. Big money 1, normal
people 0.
On the other hand the controls at the borders, for people trying to
cross them, are getting tighter. Those who can fil l gaps in “our”
labour market, so Blair said, will be allowed in, but without the right
to benefits at all. They´ll still have to pay taxes, though, probably on
an emergency higher rate. So borders will be closed for the people,
unless required by the companies, but still open for exports. Big money
2, normal people 0.
We, as working class anarchists, can’t help but express our solidarity
with all those arriving to this country, either fleeing an oppressive
political regime or the equally threatening, and much more widespread,
economic misery. Borders are only a tool in the rulers’ hands to impose
the society they have designed on a worldwide basis, a profoundly
divided one between privileged and dispossessed. So don’t believe their
lies. Campaign for sanity. Bring down the borders.

---

ON THE FRONTLINE

Many major strikes happend last month:
• 85,000 workers from job centres and benefits offices went on strike.
Also 5,000 driving tests could be cancelled as more than 1,000 examiners
joined a strike by office staff at the Driving Standards Agency. The
strike has added to the biggest outbreak of industrial unrest in the
civil service for 13 years. Civil servants across Northern Ireland
staged another one-day strike as part of their ongoing pay protest and
thousands staged walkouts of up to two hours to attend protest rallies.
Meat inspection staff staged a four-day strike as part of the civil
service pay dispute. Meat plants in Ballymena and Crumlin have been closed.
• Over 100 workers at the Beagle aircraft firm in Christchurch staged a
one-day strike on 23/1 in support of a pay claim. A spokesman said they
were demanding a 6.5 per cent increase, and had not received an expected
pay award in August. Some delivery lorries were also turned away from
the Stony Lane fact ory.
• Tram services in Manchester were disrupted on Saturday after drivers
went on 24-hour strike.
• Staff from Bristol’s Crown and County courts went on strike in protest
against poor pay. Clerks, ushers and administrators picketed outside the
courts to protest against below-inflation pay rise proposals. Let’s hope
there’s more strikes!
• Production of Land Rover vehicles was hit by another 24-hour strike
over pay. Thousands of workers out of the company’s factory in Solihull
staged a second walk-out in two weeks after rejecting a two-year deal
worth 6.5 per cent.
• Workers at black cab manufacturers London Taxis International have
pledged to stay out on strike until company chiefs agree to a four per
cent pay rise. Production was halted when all 199 workers walked out in
protest over the company’s 2.9 per cent pay offer.
• Bus drivers in Lincoln manned a picket line in a strike over pay.
Around 150 workers from the travel firm were expected to take part in
walkout today and again on Monday.
• Disgruntled bus drivers from First Scotland East held a one day on
strike last Saturday, as part of an ongoing dispute with management over
conditions and pay. Many drivers began an unofficial overtime ban on Monday.
• College lecturers in Leicester struck in protest over workload and
holiday concerns.
• About 4,000 nursery nurses have taken part in further strike action as
part of a pay row.

---

CELEBRITY PRAT OF THE MONTH

“Only the fake succeed”

You said it Johnny. Rotten, with an overdose of supreme irony, by taking
part in the so-called “Reality T.V. show” (bikinis in a jungle:
Reality?) “I’m a Celebrity – Get me out of Here” confirms what any
genuine anarchist, even in the ‘70’s, knew about his phoney posturing,
which included the filthy habit of spitting on people.
As (in)famous for the wearing of safety pins and swastika emblems as
singing “anti-establishment” songs. Rotten passes the time reading the
Economist while working property deals in the egotist’s paradise of
Hollywood. Some working-class rebel our Johnny, eh?
Now he joins the publicity seeking desperadoes who’d do literally
anything to keep their fading faces in the media spotlight. What is the
point of this show? More to the point, what is the point of prats like
Rotten who fall all over themselves to appear in it? REAL anarchist punk
bands like Crass not only made more meaningful music than the sex
pistols, they never sold out either, still turning out songs urging our
class to revolt. Which is more than can be said for Rotten and the
idiotic company he keeps these days. ‘Get me Outta Here’ indeed – we say
get the fucking lot of ‘em out of here! Permanently.
Rotten/swamp/parasites/celebrities/snakes/piranhas: the Jungle – a
murky, slimy, slithery mass of glop. We couldn’t come up with a more
accurate description of Capitalism if we tried. Thanks Johnny, yer PRAT!

---

BREAK WITH LABOUR

The rail union RMT has been thrown out of the Labour Party. Some of its
branches supported the Scottish Socialist Party. Labour demanded
complete allegiance from its union associates, the RMT leadership refused.
The RMT leaders have not broken with “old” Labour politics though. The
support of branches for the Scottish Socialist Party, for the now nearly
dead Socialist Alliance and the new lash-up of the Respect and Unity
Coalition between George Galloway MP and the Socialist Workers Party
shows a frenzied search for a replacement for Old Labour politics. A
break with Labour has not meant a break with old-style reformist politics.
Today, Labour has adapted itself to the market. There is no room in
today’s world for reformist, social-democratic, politics. The choice is
either to completely adapt to the market, or to develop revolutionary
positions. In this process, a number of political groups have/will set
themselves up, as alternatives to the Labour Party. But their solutions
are no solutions at all, just a return to dreary, dead end politics that
offered and still offer no real solution to the hell of capitalism.
Nevertheless any break with Labour can be used by those arguing for real
independent working class politics in the workplace. As part of this we
should point out that members of other unions can fill in a form that
stops their dues going to finance the Labour Party.
Alongside the move by RMT, and possibly the Fire Brigades Union, to
disaffiliate from Labour comes a counter-move. The Labour government
wishes to forestall any further signs of revolt by promising millions of
pounds to “modernise” the unions. This money is designed to ensure the
loyalty of the union leaders, which is forthcoming anyway, as a whole
bloc of unions with UNISON and GMB at their head consistently argue for
continuing affiliation to Labour.
Any hopes in these other union leaders leading a breakaway from Labour
politics, whether of the “O ld” or “New” varieties, are false. Workers
will have to rely on their own efforts at self-organisation and not on a
bunch of union bureaucrats.
No Vote for War! Boycott the Next Election.

Don’t back Labour’s warmongering
If you do not wish to contribute financially to the Labour Party, who
think blood for oil company profits come before the welfare of the
populations of Iraq and here, copy the following, and send it to your
work’s wages section.

Political Fund Exemption Notice
I hereby give notice that I object to contributing to the political fund
of the union and in consequence exempt, in the manner provided by
Chapter 6 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (consolidation) Act
1992, from contributing to that fund.

Sign it, print your name, union membership number, address, union branch
and date. Tony Blair’s money will then be in your pocket. Enjoy!

---

ONE LUMP OR TWO?

On Monday 16th February the fascist British National Party held two
demonstrations in Central London. Counter demonstrations were called,
but noticing a pair of fascists had left their demonstration to get a
coffee some anarchists decided to take more direct action. A short while
later the fascists were wearing their coffee and had sprouted lumps on
their heads!
Directly confronting fascists makes it more difficult for them to
operate. We need to have a political climate where the BNP can not come
out and hold public events. Racism and fascism are weak when workers are
fighting for their own class interests. Struggle will re-emerge. There
are already signs of this which the media prefers to hide news of
beneath a barrage of false debate over capitalist issues. To get
involved in militant anti-fascism contact London AF (details on back page).

---

ANARCHIST AGAINST THE WALL AND OTHER NEWS

The Israeli Army fired live rounds against the Anarchist Movement
Against the Wall, which organised an international camp against the
wall being built in Cisjordan. These attacks took place on the 28th and
31st December. Two activists were seriously wounded, including the
Israeli anarchist Gil Naamati. This adds to a long list of Palestinians,
Israeli anti-militarists and foreign activists seriously wounded or
murdered. The movement unites Israelis and Palestinians in
internationalist action against Israeli colonialism and Palestinian and
Israeli nationalism. It calls for the free federation of communes in the
region, the coexistence of the populations whatever their origin, and a
break with the logic of nationalism, colonialism, militarism and
religious bigotry. Such ideas divide Israeli workers from their
Palestinian and Arab counterparts, to the greatest profit of the ruling
classes of the region. To make contact with Anarchists Against the Wall:
noa_revolting@yahoo.com or gshalif@netvision.net.il or cat@squat.net

London Anarchist Youth
London Anarchist Youth have re-launched themselves, with a clear
organistional structure and five agreed principles:

• Anti-Authoritarian
• Anti-Capitalist
• Anti-Prejudice
• Class Struggle
• Direct Action

The resistance editors see this as a very positive step and wish them
well for the future. Contact London Anarchist Youth, c/o 84b Whitechapel
High St, E1 7QX or visit: www.anarchistyouth.net
Repression in Mexico
In October paramilitaries attacked a meeting at Santa Maria Yaviche of
the CIPO-RFM (a libertarian organisation based among the native
inhabitants of Oaxaca State in Mexico).
A libertarian miltant, Bartolome Salas Chavez, was murdered, and nine
others seriously wounded. Behind these paramilitaries, the CIPO-RFM sees
the hand of Jose Murat, governor of Oaxaca State. They demand his
immediate sacking, as well as that of his secretary Hector Anuar Mafud,
and the dissolution of the paramilitary groups.
More info at: www.nodo50.org/cipo

Not even wage slavery!
Highfield’s Minimum Wage Project in Leicester has revealed that a
factory worker, who they describe as having “learning difficulties,” was
recently being paid the princely sum of just 29p an hour! Unfortunately,
the Highfield’s project have not named the employer, but if any of our
readers in Leicestershire happen to know the leech responsible for this,
then drop us a line at:

Leicester Anarchist Federation, Dept. Z, 73 Humberstone Gate, Leicester,
LE1 1WB. Email: leicester_af@yahoo.co.uk
The Hereford Insurgent
Hereford Anarchist Federation have launched a new bulletin called “The
Hereford Insurgent”, Herefordshire’s only working class newspaper.
For a copy write to:

Anarchist Federation (Hereford),
PO Box 7, Pontypool, Gwent, NP4 8YB or
Visit: www.afed.org.uk or
Email: hereford@afed.cjb.net

---

TIME BOMB


Kate Sharpley
In 1917 Queen Mary was handing out medals in Greenwich, most of them for
fallen heroes being presented to their womenfolk. One 22-year old girl,
said by the local press to be under the influence of anarchist
propaganda, having collected medals for her dead father, brother and
boyfriend, then threw them in the Queens face, saying: “If you think so
much of them, you can keep them”. The Queens face was scratched and so
was that of one of her attendant ladies. The police, not a little under
the influence of patriotic propaganda, then grabbed the girl and beat
her up. When she was released without charge from the police station a
few days later she was scarcely recognisable.
The girl was Kate Sharpley, who had been active in the Woolwich
anarchist group and helped keep it going through the difficult years of
World War 1. After her clash with the police she was sacked from her job
on suspicion of dishonesty (there was nothing missing, but a policeman
had called to check up on her…) and, selling libertarian pamphlets in
the street, she was recognised by the police, and warned that if she
appeared there again she would be charged with s.o.l.i.c.i.t.i.n.g as a
prostitute (which in those days would have been a calamity, and even
today a disaster, if once convicted). Isolated from her family, and with
the group broken up, she moved out of activity, away from the
neighbourhood, and married.
By chance, shortly before her death she re-connected with the anarchist
movement. She remembered the movement with nostalgia, and gave a
fascinating account of the local group in the years before World War 1.
Some young anarchist women asked her if she had a message to the
Anarchist movement today. Her answer: “tell the kids they’re doing all
right, they don’t need any advice from me”. Especially she praised the
young women of today: “I wouldn’t have had to take cover like I did if
women of my day had any guts” she said. But she did have guts. Only a
few in 1917 dared take any action in bereaved England.
In 1978 The Kate Sharpley Library was formed, dedicated to researching
and restoring the history of the anarchist movement, it regularly
publishes information on lost areas of anarchist history. It was named
in honour of Kate Sharpley, one of the countless “unknown” members of
the movement so often ignored by “official historians”.
Kate Sharpley Library, BM Hurricane, London, WC1N 3XX or Visit:
www.katesharpleylibrary.net

---

INSIDE INFORMATION

Anti-War activist on hunger strike!
Eoin Rice, who has refused to accept a ban from Co Clare as a bail
condition and has been jailed, has gone on hunger strike. Mr Rice, an
anti-war activist, had been before the bench for motoring offences and
this new condition was introduced by the judge himself and not the
prosecution. For a full report on this at: www.indymedia.ie
Send letters to:
Eoin Rice, D-wing, Limerick Prison, Mulgrave Street, Limerick, Ireland.

Anarchist Jailed in England
on the 23rd Jan, in Southwark Crown court anarchist James Borek pleaded
guilty to attacking a policeman at the J18 protest in London plus an
additional charge of skipping bail in 2000. Jim will serve four and a
half years in prison.
Please write to: James Borek LL6803, B4-14 HMP Wandsworth, PO Box 757,
Heathfield Road, London SW18 3HS
More info contact Anarchist Prisoner Support:
anarprisonersupp@hotmail.com
or Visit: www.anarchistps.org

Anarchist Jailed in France
René Riesel has been sentenced to seven months in jail because he
destroyed Genetically Modified Organisms in a “on ground” crop and also
in a research laboratory in the south of France, in 1998.
René Riesel, an anti-capitalist militant has been in jail since the 1st
of December. In the jail he reads things for his jail mates, including
Tatchanka (the newsletter of the anarcho-syndicalist CNT-AIT
Gards’Union). You can send letters and reading material to: René RIESEL,
n° d’écrou 4612, Maison d’Arrêt, 37 chemin Séjalan, 48000 MENDE, FRANCE
More info: cnteducation30.free.fr

Sardinian anarchists
An virulent media campaign against anarchists, is being carried out in
Italy. The Minister of the Interior, Pisanu, has drawn attention to a
demonstration in Cagliari, capital of Sardinia on 22nd October 2003,
where two anarchists were arrested for “Resistance with violence against
the agents of public force”. The trial looks set to last several months.
This is linked to the arrest of another Sardinian anarchist, Massimo
Leonardi after a demonstration in Rome in October 2003 and has already
spent three months in prison. Another anarchist, Marco, was arrested on
3rd December. Write to: Massimo Leonardi, carcere di Rebibbia, via
Majetti 70, 00156 Rome and Marco Ferruzzi, carcere di Regina Coeli, via
della Lungara 29, 00165 Rome.

Prisoners riot at jail
In early February a riot and a siege took place at Exeter Prison.
Inmates damaged computers and doors during the five-hour disturbance.
Some of the prisoners armed themselves with chair legs and pool balls.
The incident started just before 8pm when a group of about 15 inmates
refused to return to their cells after socialising. Prison staff tried
to negotiate with them but were forced to withdraw when the prisoners
became aggressive. The Home Office said that “moderate” damage was
caused on the wing. The authories regained control by 12.45am.

---

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.

MARCH:
1: Libertarian parent and kid drop in – then every Monday 4:30-6:30pm
Autonomy Club, Freedom Bookshop, Angel Alley, 84b Whitechapel High St.
Email: libertarianparents@yahoo.co.uk
6-7: Frock On! Women’s Music/Skill-Sharing Festival in honour of
International Women’s Day. At the Pearse Institute, 840 Govan Road,
Glasgow. 10 am-6pm daytime, 8pm-midnight nighttime Daytime - everything
free, nighttime - £3-£5. Email: info@frockon.org
or Visit: www.frockon.org/march04.htm

6-14: Global Women’s Strike Week of Activities. Tel: 020 7482 2496
Email: womenstrike8m@server101.com
Visit: www.globalwomenstrike.net
8: International Women’s Day Visit: www.enrager.net/hosted/m8/
19: Block ade and demonstration against US militarism at Menwith Hill,
North Yorkshire. Visit: www.blockthebase.org.uk Tel: 01274 730795
20: Anti-war march. 12 Noon, from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square. For
info on the Anarchist block visit: www.enrager.net/bloc
or contact London AF.
25: Anarchist discussion meeting organised by London Anarchist
Federation and Freedom collective. 7pm Autonomy Club, Freedom Bookshop,
Angel Alley, 84b Whitechapel High St. More info from London AF.

---

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 wi ll 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. Contact us at:

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




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