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(en) UK, THE UNDERDOG Walthamstow's rabble rousing rebel rag Issue 7 - December 2003

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Wed, 24 Mar 2004 08:57:11 +0100 (CET)


________________________________________________
A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
News about and of interest to anarchists
http://ainfos.ca/ http://ainfos.ca/index24.html
________________________________________________

Inside this issue:
* Dealing with the bailiffs - An Underdog Guide
* Council and postal strikes
* When "anti-terrorism" becomes a clampdown on us all
* Shinnanigins at the Central Library
* Weapons of mass destruction found in East London
* Patriotism and Anarchism
You're not singing anymore! Protestors: 1 UCKG: 0

It now looks like Walthamstow's EMD
cinema could be saved. Owners of the
building, the Universal Church of the King-
dom of God (UCKG), have lost their appeal
for planning permission that would enable
them to use the EMD as a place of worship.
When the EMD closed it became clear that
not only had we lost our cinema, but we
had gained an unwelcome presence in the
form of the UCKG - an organisation best
known in this country for its failure to act
in the case of child abuse victim Victoria
Climbie.

Demonstration

Public feeling has been running high. This
was demonstrated clearly one Saturday
in May, when market goers were stopped
in their tracks by a stand off between
the Church and Cinema campaigners. Lo-
cal group `Reclaim our Cinema' (ROC) had
organised a march with a simple request
to the UCKG that some of the group be
allowed in for a public inspection of the
cinema. Around 80 supporters turned out
for what was intended to be a quiet pro-
test, but the church stunned campaign-
ers and Saturday shoppers alike with
their (over) reaction to the event.2 or
300 UCKG members arrived in
Walthamstow (complete with PA system)
and proceeded to block Hoe St with
three hours of non-stop religious sing-
ing and dancing. Not one of them was
prepared to talk to the marchers, or
respond to their request for an inspection.

Daytrippers
At the end of the event, churchgoers
streamed back to the tube and headed
out of Walthamstow. So much for the UCKG
claim that they have `thousands' of sup-
porters in this borough.

So what now?

The issue is far from resolved. The council have said that
they are prepared to put a compulsory purchase order
on the cinema on behalf of a third party - will they for once
follow through on a promise and make this happen? If the
process is as painfully slow as the rest of Walthamstow's
"regeneration" plans, then those currently interested in
buying the EMD could well lose interest.

It's also clear that the building itself can
ill afford to stand and wait for the cogs of
bureaucracy to turn. It needs investment
and repairs soon if it is to return to its
former glory and the longer it is left to
rot, the more unlikely it is that a buyer
will be found who is willing to foot the bill
of restoration.

And what of the UCKG?

Will they be packing their bags? It seems
unlikely. They seem keen to get a foot-
power to stand up to bullying and intimi-
dation and to bring a company as big as
the Royal Mail to its knees -and to the
negotiating table.

Action spreads

Shortly after, firefighters, frustrated that
the Government had gone back on their
agreement for a 7% pay rise, also decided
to take control of their own dispute, with
wildcat action s p r e a d i n g throughout
stations up and downthe the country.

Leading us nowhere

This type of action is in sharp contrast to the
official strike action in October when over
75,000 postal workers, bin workers, special
needs assistants and school catering
staff throughout London struck in support
of their claim for &4,000 London weighting.
Management ignored them and in many
cases victimised those who had taken action
when they went back to work. Management
from both local government and
Royal Mail felt confident that union lead-
ers could keep a lid on the action, and
police their own members, keeping the
strike to just one day.

Striking back

CWU, FBU, UNISON - they all allow highly
paid union leaders to act like just another
boss. You have to wait for them to tell
you when you can go on strike, they tell
you when you have to go back, and then
they do deals with management. It's time
more of us took control of our situations
at work, and took action that actually gets
results: action that is controlled and de-
cided on by the people who matter - us,
the workers. The postal workers, among
others, have reclaimed the strike weapon
as a method of direct action that workers
actually have control over.

Organise!

In a capitalist society that increasingly
encourages us to rip each other
off, the postal workers have decided enough
is enough and have taken a stand together.
As workers' our only strength is to act
collectively and work in solidarity with each
other. Us workers need to organise
fightbacks ourselves outside of the hierar-
chical union structures. This is the only way
to see that our demands aren't sold out
and to set us on the road to revolutionary
forms of organisation that are capable of
challenging capitalism in its entirety.
*************

Leytonstone posties spark strike

Waltham Forest postal workers can proudly
boast that they were behind the 25,000
strong wildcat strikes earlier this month.
A London postal worker's starting wage is
&13,572 while Royal Mail boss Adam Crozier
takes homes &500,000 a year. Now the
posties have taken matters into their own
hands.

Solidarity

At the beginning of the dispute management
were happy to ignore what was going on,
and play it down. But the solidarity
action that each depot took, brought
senior management to the negotiating table.
Yes, the strike has been largely sold
out by union leaders of the Communication
Workers' Union, only happy to stitch
up a deal with management. But a strong
message has gone out that 25,000 workers
are prepared to stick their necks out and
act together, and that they have the
hold in Walthamstow, and despite their
problems with the EMD, have been out in
the town centre most weekends, offering
`free spiritual readings' and `healing' to
passers-by.

Deceit

The UCKG are not what you'd call upfront
about who or what they are. In all 8 pages
of their publication `City News' there is
not one use of the word `church', and
not one mention of what the letters UCKG
actually stand for - instead their literature

almost exclusively refers to UCKG
`Helpcentres'. Misleading? Most definitely,
but no more misleading than their
fundraising tactic of accosting motorists
stationary at traffic lights, and asking for
donations to local community centres.
Their identity is marked only by a red-heart
symbol, that just happens to bear more
than a passing resemblance to the logo of
another totally unconnected charity.
`City News' also gives an insight into what
kind of `help' is on hand for anyone seek-
ing assistance from the UCKG with various
life problems. In a recent edition has the
story of a couple &12,000 in debt and home-
less who claim that their problems were
solved following prayer at a UCKG
helpcentre! As with the Victoria Climbie
tragedy, an organisation that recommends
prayer to deal with the very real prob-
lems of people in crisis is cruel, exploita-
tive and manipulative not a help.

Send them packing

Nowhere else in this country has the UCKG
met the kind of opposition that its met in
Walthamstow. But driving them out of our
borough isn't enough if they continue to
exploit people's vulnerabilities elsewhere.
As long as the UCKG are publicising their
`helpentres' we need to be publicising the
truth about the way they operate. Let's
send them packing for good!
Contact ROC:
e-mail: reclaimourcinema@hotmail.com
Go to www.walthamstowcentral.co.uk/roc
or write to:
ROC, PO Box 35832, London E11 3WT
(See Underdog editions 4,5 & 6, available
via our website, for more info on the UCKG).
********************

Weapons of massdestructionfound in EastLondon

Just down the road from Walthamstow, in
Docklands, the Government recently sub-
sidised an arms fair, DSEI at the Excel Exhi-
bition centre. It cost approximately
&500,000 to host delegates, and possibly
&1,000,000 security. They invited Govern-
ments from all over the world to come and
buy weapons. Buyers were treated to a
massive array of weaponry, from tanks to
cluster bombs (land mines). "Security" in-
volved hundreds of police rioting around
the place kicking and punching peacefully
protesting people.

Protests

The protests were many and varied, in-
cluding, a quiet vigil, marches, a street
party, a samba band, sit downs, "lock ons"
that stopped DLR trains and people gen-
erally expressing themselves and exposing
what was taking place on our doorstep,
using our money (see www. Indymedia.org
for more reports).

Symbolic

Your reporter got up early on Tuesday
morning joining a few friends to pour red
paint across the entry to Excel from Cus-
tom House DLR station, as well as squirt-
ing paint on signs. With my friends from
London Catholic Worker we held banners
saying "Blood on your hands" and "Gov-
ernment sponsored terror". Eventually
some cardboard was put across the paint
to form a bridge.
After about 20 minutes the police took us
away, finding it necessary to handcuff two
of us although we had been non-violent
throughout. We are charged with &15,500 Free/Donation
worth of "criminal damage" and will appear in
Snaresbrook Court sometime in the new
year. Support will be welcomed.
******************

Jacobs Bailiffs: Taking the biscuit


Jacobs Bailiffs, based in the Wirral, are one
of two Bailiffs firms currently used by
Waltham Forest Council to collect the
Council tax on their behalf. Bailiffs firms
have always been well known for their
thuggish and intimidating behaviour, stick-
ing the boot into the weakest and poor-
est sections of society. But Jacobs stand
head and shoulders above anything we've
previously come across.

Council Tax

Many of this company's targets are peo-
ple whose Council Tax benefit has not
come through, often because its been
messed up by the Council. So a lot of the
time people are being pursued and threat-
ened because the Council have cocked
up in the first place. And the cost added
on for recovery to the alleged debtor is
likely to be far higher than the original
amount people owed. Our caring Council
boast about pursuing non payers of Coun-
cil tax and evicting those who don't pay
their rent.
But again, rent payment arrears are often
the fault of the Council, whose Housing
Benefit system is in a complete mess.
The effects of the Council's action is bru-
tal and punishing against the very poor
and desperate, who bullied, threatened
and thrown into desperation by eviction
or imprisonment.

Complaints

These are just some of the complaints The
Underdog has recently heard about
Jacobs :
* Threatening to break into houses to remove goods,
* Threatening to take away essential items such as fridges or beds when they are only allowed to take away "nonessential" items.
* Adding hundreds of pounds in costs on to people's fines.
* Implying in writing that they have the powers to put people
in prison "for up to 90 days"

Resistance

What can you do if you're faced with bail-
iffs? Finding out your rights and sticking
up for yourself is vital (see "The Underdog
Survival Guide" ). Exposing and hassling
councillors with reports of how their
council is sanctioning the use of these
thugs, doesn't do any harm also.
But the only way we are ultimately going
to defend ourselves is by getting together
with our friends and neighbours and mak-
ing sure bailiffs don't set foot in our neigh-
bourhoods because they know people will
come out and oppose them.

Direct Action

This type of grassroots direct action hap-
pened during the campaign against the
hated Poll Tax in 1990-1991. As millions re-
fused to pay, local councils tried intimida-
tion - and the widespread threat of bailiffs
But there was a network of community-
based anti-poll tax groups up and down the
country who organised so that people
could stick up for each other. Crowds
turned up outside the houses of those fac-
ing threats and often turned the bailiffs
away. Bailiffs' offices or own homes were
visited and occupied, to give them a bit of
their own medicine. These actions made it
almost impossible for many bailiffs firms to
do their dirty work and many went bust.

Can't Pay Won't Pay

This could happen again. The Council Tax
that replaced the Poll Tax is now widely
recognised as being unfair. The recent
hike in bills has led to pledges by some
not to pay. This raises the possibility of a
mass non-payment campaign similar to the
one that stopped the Poll Tax from get-
ting underway.
*****************

THE UNDERDOG'S Survival Guide

We continue our regular column on sur-
viving the worst effects of capitalism.
Beating the Bailiffs
Firstly, get advice from one of Waltham
Forest's Citizen's Advice Bureaus at 167
Hoe Street or 547-551 Leytonsotne High
Road They are busy, but very helpful.
Bailiffs firms and the police break the
law if they think that they can get away
with it. Knowing your rights, and mak-
ing sure that the Council and Bailiffs have
followed legal procedures, should buy
you some more time.

* Your possessions can't be seized
unless you've been sent a written no-
tice by the Authority at least 14 days
before any visit. This must have details
of any fees they have added on.

* The police have no power to
force entry on behalf of the bailiffs or
local authority, unless there is a breach
of the peace.

* Lock all windows and doors. Bail-
iffs have no powers to force entry by
breaking open an outer door, which is
locked or bolted.

* If the bailiffs do get in, offer what
you can afford to pay, not what they
want you to pay. Ask them to drop the
costs they have added.

* Bailiffs can only take things that
belong to you the debtor. If you have a
receipt proving that an item belongs to
someone else, they cannot take it.

* Bailiffs cannot have you put in
prison. If they never get in and you do
not pay they will return your case to
the court. The magistrate will then look
at what you can afford to pay.

If you're still stuck and would like some
help with taking on the bailiffs by what-
ever means are necessary, contact us
at The Underdog and we will help in any
way we can. We also have more informa-
tion about your rights against the bailiffs.
If you are struggling with debt, both
the Consumer Credit Counselling
Service (0800 138 1111) and National
Debtline (0808 808 4000) offer free
information and advice. But whatever
you do, don't phone the UCKG!

No win no fee - accident specialists

These parasites are regularly seen hang-
ing around Walthamstow High Street ask-
ing if you have had an injury in the last
three years. Should you win a case
through them the fees they rake are
phenomenal - up to 38% of any settle-
ment! One of the few worthwhile things
that Unions do these days is pursue these
personal injury claims. If you are in one,
use them.
***********
Councillor in "fear of her own shadow" horror

So Councillor Lesley Finlayson lays awake
at night fearing what she calls
Walthamstow's "transient population":
"These people are living with us, working
with us, and going to school with our chil-
dren .... It is the transient population, I'm
afraid, that makes the Borough unsafe."
(Waltham Forest Guardian 2/10/03).

Now if these were just the comments of
some sad, bitter and twisted deranged
racist who has lost the plot we could at
best ignore her and hope she would go
away. But she's a councillor for God's
sake! People have actually elected her to
represent them! She made
the comments after the "anti-
terror" raids that took place
recently in Walthamstow. Let's
look at a few facts behind the
headlines.

Banged up on suspicion

Shortly after the 9/11 attacks
the Government rushed
through Home Secretary
David Blunkett'sAnti-Terrorism
Act which allows for the po-
lice to intern any foreign na-
tionals. They are denied any
access to the normal judicial
process to prove their innocence, and
often have no information about what they
are being accused of. These arrests and
internment can take place simply because
Blunkett has a "belief" or "suspicion" that
they may have some involvement in ter-
rorism.
So perhaps Blunkett's suspicion is what led
to around 30 tooled up riot police charg-
ing into "L'Hirondelle", the Algerian cof-
fee shop and patisserie on Hoe Street,
earlier this year. A member of The Under-
dog team happened to be passing at the
time. Faced with a riot cop blocking the
doorway to Walthamstow's cappuccino-lov-
ers in the name of freedom and security,
we saw the place been closely searched
by men in white "Ricin-proof" protective
overalls. And after a thorough search and
the detention and questioning of the
owner for many hours, what did they find?
No weapons of mass destruction. Nobody
charged.

Terrorists?

There have been over 300 arrests nation-
ally under "anti-terrorist" legislation.
Eleven people remain banged up in High
Security prisons, accused of no crime, and
with no idea when they will get out, if at
all.
If these people detained are "terrorists"
you'd expect the police to be finding out
as much information as possible from them
to try and prevent any terrorism taking
place, therefore protecting the rest of the
public. But what is really strange is that
many of those arrested since December
2001 have not even been questioned or
interviewed, nor have they any idea what
the charges are against them. In fact, out
of all 300 arrests under anti-terrorist leg-
islation since 11 September 2001, only
three have so far resulted in convictions.
And these convictions related to member-
ship of banned organisations rather than
any specific terrorist activity.
So if the State aren't making these arrests
to "protect the public" and if they haven't
charged anyone, then what are they up
to? Well, the Media want a sensational
story. The police and politicians want a
result at any price. And poli ticians will support anything
that makes it look as if they're doing something, even if the
police are blatantly stitching people up. So literally round-
ing up and locking up people who have no rights, and call-
ing it "anti-terrorism" suits all three.

Ireland- It's happened before

And it's been done before. In
1974, the IRA embarked on a
campaign of bombings, which
left many people dead and in-
jured. In response to the pub-
lic and media outrage against the bomb-
ers, the Government introduced a Bill that
gave new powers to the police to arrest
and detain suspects on suspicion. Many
raids and arrests followed. The resulting
convictions were later found to have been
secured by a catalogue of falsified and
concealed evidence, police brutality, un-
trustworthy forensic evidence, and forged
confessions. To date, a total of 38 peo-
ple allegedly involved in IRA activities have
had their convictions quashed. Sounds
familiar?

Keeping us all in our place

Most so called anti-terror" raids are noth-
ing of the sort. They're a deliberate at-
tempt to frighten our communities, and
to hype everyone up into a state of fear.
They're also an attempt by the security
services to justify their own existence by
creating a "terror" problem so that they
can keep their jobs now that there's not
as much for them to do in Ireland.
The Government have an agenda to try to
keep us in constant fear of an "enemy
within" that is out to get us. It works like
this: perpetual "war" is waged against en-
emies at home and abroad that can't be
defined and in many cases don't even ex-
ist. Then we start suspecting our neigh-
bours because they're different. Suspi-
cion, racism and xenophobia all increase.
And if the Government can divide us all
against each other then they've got us
where they want us. They make us think
that the only people that can protect us
are the Government themselves, the very
people, who are creating the problems in
the first place!
Yes, the 9/11 attacks were horrific acts.
And yes there's always a real danger of
religious fundamentalists -Christian or
Muslim- taking out their frustrations by
killing and maiming ordinary people. But
the war on terror (TWAT) does nothing to
improve this situation. In fact it makes
things worse: A recent report by Amnesty
International found that people around the
world now felt more scared than at any
time since the cold war, because Govern-
ments, including our own, are using the
threat of "terrorism" to "trample on hu-
man rights".

War: Terrorism with a bigger budget

The Oxford Dictionary defines terrorism
as "the systematic use of violence and in-
timidation to achieve some goal".
So what do you call the following?

Tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians and sol-
diers maimed or injured, hundreds of Brit-
ish soldiers now dead in Iraq and the car-
nage continuing. And all in the cause of
opening the way for US businesses to mus-
cle in on a poor country, privatise it and
fleece the Iraqi people of there oil reserves.

Now that comes pretty damn close to the
definition of terrorism to us! We would sug-
gest that war is just terrorism with a big-
ger budget. And the politicians who per-
petrate this are far more scary than a few
religious bigots who get there kicks from
watching Osama Bin Laden videos.
Politicians use every trick in the book to
divide and rule us so that we take our eyes
off the ball, and distract us from the dam-
age they themselves are doing to our so-
ciety.
And as long as politicians like Councillor
Finlayson are gullible enough to spout their
ill-informed, ignorant rubbish, the Govern-
ment can carry on this deception. After
all, these are the same people who told
the porkies about Iraq's Weapons of Mass
Destruction that were poised to attack
Britain in 45 minutes. But don't get us
started on that...
*******

THE UNDERDOG Quiz
Question:
What's the difference in the cost of
parking fees for Waltham Forest Coun-
cillors, and for workers?

Answer:
Councillors pay zilch (that's abso-
lutely nothing) at the Forest Road
Town Hall Car Park. Council workers
have to pay around
******

By-the-by election - DO NOT IT ONLY ENCOURAGES THEM


The recent by-election in the William Mor-
ris ward saw the continuation of some very
welcome national trends in Walthamstow.
Firstly there was the low turnout; a mere
30% of those eligible to vote did so.
Secondly, there was the complete failure
of either the Green Party or the Socialist
Alliance to halt this development, coupled
with their inability to make any impression
on that minority who still see the point in
voting.

L e f t - w i n g f a i l u r e . . . a g a i n

Lets look at some figures: The Greens got 151
votes which comes in at 6.3% of all votes
cast. The Socialist Alliance managed per-
suade a paltry 84 people to put a cross by
the name of their candidate. That's 3.5%
of the vote.
What is particularly interesting about this
set of results is not the complete failure
of either Party to make anything approach-
ing an impact on the electorate. This is
usual.

So what's new?

The significance lies in the fact that this
failure comes on the back of both wide-
spread anti-war sentiment, as manifest in
recent massive demonstrations, school
strikes etc, and also some of the most size-
able and varied industrial action seen in
Britain for a long time.
No doubt both of these Parties would have
told their recent recruits that this extra-
parliamentary action on the part of ordi-
nary Britons will inevitably lead to elec-
toral possibilities. This is not the case. It
hasn't made a blind bit of difference, and
one has to wonder just what excuses they
make to keen new members who have well
and truly been led up the garden path -
literally, in their spare time, walking up
garden paths knocking on strangers doors
canvassing for inevitable defeat.
As anarchists we'd like to think that this
rejection of the role of "voter" by ordinary
people is because over 100 years of the right
to vote has taught the majority of the popu-
lation, that choosing one politician over an-
other doesn't actually change anything.
The likes of the Green
Party and the Socialist Alliance can attempt
to turn the clock back if they wish, though
there is no evidence to suggest that this
is at all possible, let alone desirable.

The anarchist alternative
As anarchists we at The Underdog insist
on looking forwards to a new future. A fu-
ture where people live without bosses,
politicians and all the misery they bring.
And what's more we practice what we
preach. We don't want politicians and
bosses in the future so you'll find none in
our organisations now. Instead you'll find
people who treat each other as equals and
who have no desire to lead others or gain
political power off the backs of others. As
thousands of postal workers have shown
recently, its direct action that brings
about meaningful social change.
**********

British hunger striker "critical"

At the time of going to press British hun-
ger striker Simon Chapman is facing "irre-
versible health damages" following almost
2 months without food.
Simon and six other protesters were ar-
rested at the anti-EU demonstrations in
Thessaloniki, Greece on 21st June this year
and then blatantly framed by the Greek
police. There is undisputable photographic
and video evidence that Simon's bag was
taken by the police and replaced with 3
others containing petrol bombs and a ham-
mer. It is on this "evidence" that their case
against him has relied.

Solidarity protests

Solidarity protests against the framing have
taken place around the world including,
of course, London. On 21st November over
a dozen supporters of the Thessoloniki 7
entered the Greek Embassy and refused
to leave until they had presented their
demands directly to a State diplomat. The
Greek Tourist Office was occupied later
on in the same day by a similar number of
activists.

Pressure

Supporters are to continue pressuring the
representatives of the Greek State in Lon-
don until Simon and his fellow innocents
are released.
If any of the hunger strikers dies or falls
into a coma there will be a demonstration
starting at the Greek
Tourist Board, Conduit St, Mayfair, at 4pm
the same day.
For more information, to be put on a text
alert network and to get involved either
contact The Underdog or go straight to
the support campaigns website at
www.freesimonchapman.org

Shinnanigins at Central Library

Staff at Walthamstow's Central Library
are being subject to the attentions of a
management consultant, Anne Malloy. In
addition to picking up a yearly salary of
&100, 000, her job involves poncing about
the library, winding everyone up. She's
been sent in by a company called
"Veredus". With their slogan of "Inno-
vation, delivery, excellence" Veredus
specialise in sending in highly paid con-
sultants to tell councils how to slash and
cut services. This is in preparation for
flogging them off to the private sector.
In fact, Veredus - with the support of the
Government- are behind the idea to com-
pletely flog off as many services as they can.
Pile `em high and flog `em off
Veredus's website is a scream. It's full
of gobbledegook and claptrap to cover
up what they really do, and lots of pho-
tos of executives shaking hands with Gov-
ernment ministers.
One of their ideas is to pay even higher
wages to Council bosses in the hope
that their "performance" will improve!
This would presumably be funded from
the cuts they've made to ordinary work-
ers' wages. Obligingly, Waltham For-
est Councillors have already started:
they recently agreed to give senior
council officers a pay rise amounting
to &160,000 of Council Tax payers'
money.
Dictators
Another idea Veredus have is to take away
the right of local people to elect their
Council leader. OK, we at The Underdog
don't exactly jump up and down with ex-
citement that we have the "right" to
"elect" which particular careerist para-
sitic Council leader will shaft us for the
next few years. But the fact that is this is
one of their ideas shows where they are
coming from.
Forget the nice new cosy "Community
Councils" where local councillors "hear
what we say" in the local church hall.
We're being conned. It's just a
smokescreen for the real agenda. Waltham
Forest Council's strategy is to cut serv-
ices to the bone and then flog them to
the highest bidder.
*************

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Wot anarchists fink: Patriotism

We continue our series on anarchist ideas
by offering an opinion on patriotism.
As anarchists we are totally opposed to
both nationalism and the state. As patriot-
ism is loyalty to a nation and the state rul-
ing it we are also completely opposed to patriotism.

What's the problem?

We are not particularly concerned by the be-
nign sort of patriotism that appears when the
English football orrugby teams are competing in
World Cup competitions. We trust that working class
people have the intelligence to realise
that there is a difference between the
enjoyment of cheering on the teams on
the one hand, and making yourself read-
ily available to be the next wave of can-
non fodder in the next war on the other.
The sort of patriotism that bothers us is
the one that drives people to do the lat-
ter, that drives them to give uncritical loy-
alty to a nation state and leads them to
kill other working class people across the
globe because their leaders tell them to.
It is this loyalty which is in our worse in-
terests and in the worst interests of the
rest of the working class.

False idea

Patriotism rallys us behind the flag of a
nation state. And when we are standing
there, who do we see around us? Not only
our fellow workers, our family and friends,
but also the police, magistrates, screws,
bosses, politicians, even estate agents!
What is "national unity" if it is not a false
unity designed to act as a smokescreen to
cover very different and conflicting class
interests? What exactly has a worker or
unemployed person got in common with
Tony Blair? Why should we stand with him?
And anyway, just how patriotic are the rich?
What national loyalty do factory workers
get from shareholders when the latter
decide to shut the workplace down and
open it up in a part of the world with rock
bottom wage levels and non-existent
health and safety. What mention is there
of "national pride" when English workers
are thrown on the dole in order to in-
crease the profit margins of English capi-
talists?

True loyalty

The ruling class fully understand
that patriotism is a nonsense, but this
doesn't stop them from trying to get
us mugs to believe in it. After all, it
suits their interests.
In place of patriotism, anarchists believe
in true, meaningful loyalty; loyalty to
our mates, workmates, neighbours, community
and other working class people across the
globe who are facing the same system of
exploitation.
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W@G

The Underdog is produced by Walthamstow
Anarchist Group. We are a group of
Waltham Forest residents who are sick of
the system of capitalism which allows the
rich and the bosses to exploit and control
the rest of us. We promote working class
resistance and self-organisation and
through this aim to create a new society
where people live together in freedom and
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PO Box 35832
London E11 3WT
Tel: 07810 288 889
www.walthamstowanarchy.org.uk
info@walthamstowanarchy.org.uk


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