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(en) Britain, AF, resistance issue 66. October 2004

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Wed, 6 Oct 2004 08:11:25 +0200 (CEST)


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A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
News about and of interest to anarchists
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THE POLITICS OF TERROR
Politics and warfare have always gone together. When governments could
not get their own way through persuasion or pressure, they have used
violence to achieve their ends.
War then, is an extension of politics, and given the risks involved, it
is usually a measure of the last resort. War involves destroying the
enemy’s ability to resist and necessarily requires the use of violence-
the killing and wounding of soldiers, sailors, etc. A part of this
process involves terrorising the combatants in the opposing side to
achieve surrender by breaking their will to needlessly sacrifice their
own lives and preserve the strength of your own side.
When this took place using professionally hired troops who formed a
relatively small armed force, or through the use of mercenaries, warfare
remained a bloody game of the few. However, in the 20th century,
volunteer armies were replaced by forced enrolment-conscription.
So, as in World Wars One and Two, people were forced against their will
by States to terrorise and destroy each other. Ordinary citizen soldiers
became the victims of State terror – from their own governments, intent
on tota l war and from enemy states, who were just as determined. The
victims of terror are overwhelmingly ordinary working people, the poor
bloody infantry.

Destruction
Not content with the destruction of soldiers, States in the 20th century
decided to apply terror to non-combatants – the elderly, mothers,
children. The clearest example of this, perhaps, was the nuclear
destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
In Iraq, the US forces have been indiscriminate in their use of
firepower. It is mainly non-combatants who have been killed, wounded and
disfigured – over 13,000 so far. The US airforce bombed and continue to
bomb residential areas.
State terror breeds terror. Again in Iraq, the armed opposition to the
USA and its allies has led to the creation of terrorist groups opposed
to them. The sick joke in all of this was that Saddam supposedly
possessed weapons of mass destruction, i.e. terror. So in the name of
combating terror, Bush, Blair and their enem ies have unleashed an
ongoing cycle of terror.
Similarly in Chechnya, the Russian government used terroristic methods
to defeat Chechen nationalism. Tens of thousands of ordinary citizens
were killed and cities were bombed into rubble. This led the Chechen
militias to respond in kind – the massacre of non-combatants in an
ongoing spiral. The massacre of theatre goers and schoolchildren will
not aid their cause.
Terroristic warfare, however, achieves little beyond a cranking up of
the means of mutual destruction. Terror is a blind alley. Those who want
a more just world must renounce terror. States will never do it but
people who want freedom and equality have no choice. Justice cannot
spring from terroristic violence.
We need is movement that will bring real change to the world through the
self organisation of ordinary working class men and women. Only then
will we have the basis for a better world.

---

ONLY DOING THEIR JOB

What have the striking miners of 1984 and the posh toffs of 2004 got in
common? Answer: they were both attacked by the police.
As anyone who has ever been involved in violence on the picket line or
in demonstrations know, it is the police that start the trouble. During
the miners strike, the pickets were attacked and beaten by the
police…and the media couldn’t have cared less. In September in the
pro-hunting demo outside of parliament, the rich, fox butchering set
became the victims of police assaults. And the poor dears and most of
the media were outraged. At resistance we never support police violence
– but we do hope the hunt protesters had some sense knocked into them!

---

ON THE FRONTLINE

Our regular look at workplace struggles:

We’ll start another busy month at Heathrow and Gatwick airports where
two separate industrial disputes look set to effectively close down a
large number of flights.
Baggage handlers at Gatwick plan to stage 24 hour walkouts on Thursday
30th Sept. and on the following Saturday, whilst re-fullers at Heathrow
intend to strike on the same Saturday. The first dispute concerns a shop
steward sacked for raising health and safety issues, and about those H&S
issues themselves. The second is about pay, overtime, pensions and cuts
in sickness benefits that the company is trying to impose to boost
profits (and their own wages, pensions and bonuses).
It seems that working conditions in the transport industry are
approaching the appalling levels that worker experience in the Post
Office - both deliberate attempts to destroy workers conditions or to
drive them away and not replace them, increasing the work burden on others.
Sticking with the air industry, engineers, sales, marketing, ground and
cargo staff at Lufthansa are currently voting on whether to take strike
action after rejecting a pay raise of 2.6% (a pay cut in reality given
inflation, despite the company making £149 million in the last quarter
alone) by 92% - if, as expected, the strike vote wins, the entire
airline is expected to be shut down by the action.
Workers at the Jaguar plant in Coventry – scheduled to be shut down with
the loss of around 1500 jobs – have also agreed (by 86%) to ballot for
strike action in order to halt the planned closure - and crucially,
workers at other Jaguar plants have voted to join any strike action
agreed at Coventry, and on top of this workers at Ford’s other
factories including Land Rover, Aston Martin, Ford Blue Oval factories
and other Ford research facilities, are also planning meetings to decide
whether to join any strike. Could be a big one this in an industry with
a long history of industrial mi litancy with a company that doesn’t give
a shit and workers with nothing to lose.
The weeks long wildcat at Wembley is now over, and it appears that the
strikers have got pretty much all they were demanding - the
re-instatement of 240 workers sacked in the most underhanded manner and
compensation for time lost whilst out.
Well done to all involved for showing how to get things done!


---

COURIERS STRIKE AT SMS IN LONDON

One hundred cycle and motorbike couriers at SMS have been on strike
since went on strike on 17th September after representatives chosen to
speak to management regarding pay and conditions were sacked. There is a
large presence by strikers outside the company’s London offices on
Bayliss St. London SE1.
Two of the sacked organisers, Pedro and one who wished not to be named,
explained that on Tuesday 14/9 when they attempted to explain workers’
grievances to the London managers they were told that nothing would
change and to go back to work. The London manager Deborah shouted at
them to get back to work. When the representatives were invited back for
further discussion on Friday the four men were told they had been
sacked. The workforce walked out.
Management then offered to meet workers individually and declared that
the reps had been sacked for “intimidation”, which is strongly denied by
them. This offer was rejected by the couriers and some 100 out of a work
force of 150 are striking.
Pedro, a cycle courier, complained that SMS pays half the market rate
for delivering passports and credit cards. He said he did 200 drops a
day in NW1 and worked 12-15 hours to do this. Other courier companies
paid up to double the rate. He also said that if the consignee was not
home or if it was not possible to gain access, couriers received only
50-75% of the going rate of 48p (68p for motorbikes) for a credit card
or 70p for a passport.
SMS, according to workers, is the UK’s largest courier company. It has a
£55 million pound contract with the Home Office to deliver passports.
Workers complained that passports were now at risk of theft and of being
carelessly delivered, as in the rush to find scabs SMS was not ensuring
the necessary care that its workers have to display.
Workers also accused SMS of not being organised and of having offered to
organise things for them. They were paid late or wrongly and w ould have
to complain to receive their money. The London office of SMS pays less
than other branches, where in Croydon for example a drop is worth 65p.
Since the strike began SMS has been farming out work to other companies
and is able to pay them far more than it pays its own workers. It has
been telling customers that its computer systems are down, not that it
is in dispute with its workforce.

---

"WE DON'T TRUST YOU"

Trust in ministers and MP’s has fallen since the war in Iraq, a detailed
survey on public attitudes revealed in early September.
Unsurprisingly only 24% have any faith in ministers and only 27% trust
in MPs.
The fact that around only 25% of people have any faith in the men and
women that are elected to make decisions on behalf of everyone else is
certainly not good news for the government.
It must leave ministers and other bureaucrats wondering why, if only 24%
trust in them, they have not been swept out from their positions of
power by a tide of angry people. When the Yugoslavs, in 1996 lost faith
in their government they gathered in the streets, in their hundreds of
thousands, and laid siege to the parliament building, kicking out both
leader and government. Anarchists across the UK are hoping that similar
things will happen here soon.
One member of the Anarchist Federation said: “The fact that millions of
UK citizens can remain this docile and obedient to their government,
despite their obvious contempt and distrust of politicians, is astounding.
“Across the decades and centuries, the world over, people have
overthrown government and other leaders and managed whole regions
themselves, in the interests of people’s welfare. We don’t seem to do
that in Britain. It seems like we’d rather just forget about it, not to
make too much of a fuss and just to be content with what we’ve got.
“It’s time we changed all of this and forgot our tradition of ignorance.
We should be kicking out this government, and all government for that
matter. It’s our obligation as human beings to confront such tyranny.”
Journalists on the tabloids The Sun, Mirror and Daily Star were the
least trusted, with 89% hardly believing a word they read.

---

RESIDENTS STOP PHONE MASTS

In September diggers seeking to put phone masts up on London Fields in
Hackney, London were seen off by local residents. They explain why they
object below:

Why We Object:
Health: - The emissions for 3G phones, which receive and send moving
pictures as well as voice calls, are different to standard mobile
phones. They are set at a higher frequency, about 2,400 megahertz (MHz)
as opposed to 900MHz and 1,800MHz used for most standard mobile phones.
Scientists working for the Dutch government have concluded they can be
bad for our health. The Dutch scientists found that volunteers exposed
to 3G emissions suffered headaches and nausea which they did not get
when exposed to standard mobile phone emissions. Children in Hackney
have very few open spaces within which to play. London Fields therefore
acts as a key social space both for children and parents with young
babies. The siting of the mast immediately above the picnic area, close
to the children’s play park, on the main route to Gayhurst primary
school, and immediately in front of the Wayman Court tower block which
contains a high density of residents will cause great fear and concern
to many of those who use and live in these spaces.
The appearance of London Fields is important to Hackney residents and
the proposed 40ft (11.7m) high tower with 3 antenna and 300mm diameter
dish will not be in keeping with the appearance of the rest of London
Fields. The Mast will be higher than the neighbouring trees and it would
detract from the view of the park.
Obstruction to pavement. The two metres high, two metres long ancillary
cabinet will take up a third of the footpath. The footpath is not very
wide at this point and this could force parents with double buggies on
to a very busy and dangerous road.


---

FIGHTING FASCISM

Oct 7 election in Dagenham:
At the recent Laindon ward council election in Basildon (23/09), David
King, a former British National Party (BNP), treasurer was standing for
a seat.
Unite Against Fascism held a meeting a week prior to the election, with
fifty people present, but no picket of the election count was organised.
On the night it was announced that King had come third, and the twenty
BNP members and supporters left the town hall unopposed.
Two minutes down the road, were seven anti-fascists who just happened to
be drinking in town. When the two groups met (despite being outnumbered
three to one), a “full and frank discussion” with King and other BNP
members ended with them on the floor, and later receiving treatment from
an ambulance crew. One of the BNP “security” entourage panicked and
managed to spray two anti-fascists with mace, as well as half his mates.
No arrests were made.

Meanwhile...
A little known Nazi organisation has chosen Essex as a jumping off point
to bring Hitler’s ideas into local politics. The November 9th Society
has all the usual rubbish we associate with the extreme right (but which
similar groups like the BNP keep quiet about to gain respectability).
They believe in white racial supremacy, dictatorship, deportation of all
immigrants and suppression of gay identity.
The group aims to stand in the coming local and national elections. They
claim to have gained support in the Borough of Havering and are aiming
to contest seats in the town of Romford.
Anyone with any sense knows just what a set of barbaric thugs Nazis are,
and true to form the November 9th Society, in order to attract support,
deny that Hitler and his followers destroyed millions of Jews in the war.
Surprisingly, the Nazi group has publicly named and released photos of
their fuehrer, Kevin Quinn. They will be stopped. Abort this monster - b
efore it crawls out of its hole.

For more information about fighting fascism, contact Antifa at:

www.antifa.org.uk <http://www.antifa.org.uk>


---

TIME BOMB

The Great Leeds Gas Riot 1890

The gasworkers in Leeds had won the 8-hour day in November 1889, but
they knew the Liberal-controlled council would want revenge. They were
ready for strike action. In June 1890 they received notices abolishing
some of the gains they had made and demanding a 25% productivity
increase. A strike was called. The council brought in hundreds of scabs
and locked out the workers and fortified the gasworks.
The gasworkers, backed up by other sections of workers, marched through
the city to the marketplace. The next day (1st July) 200 police escorted
scabs from the station. The gasworkers used their long stoking poles and
rushed the police, but were beaten back. As the scabs stormed into the
Meadow Lane works, workers climbed on adjoining walls and roofs and
called on them to defect. 80 did so, and the 50 left cowered inside. The
police baton-charged the crowd.
The scabs for the New Wortley gasworks were being feted by the council
that day. The Liberal chairman of the gas committee narrowly avoided
being beaten up by a crowd outside the Town Hall. Now the streets filled
with workers coming out of work and 10,000 assembled.
The cavalry and police escorting the scabs were pelted with stones and
lumps of coal. They charged the crowd. Meanwhile 130 scabs went over to
the strike. The next day these paraded four abreast with the strikers.
That night the windows of New Wortley police station were put in and
gasworkers attempted to enter the works. The cavalry drew their swords
and the Riot Act was read. By night Army and Police had cleared the
streets and occupied the works.
Three days of riots and mass public support had led to defeat on the
streets for the gasworkers.
BUT the gas committee gave in and withdrew their attacks, (although the
union conceded holiday rights against a reduction in work loads and the
end of fixed term contracts).

---

RESISTANCE IN US MILITARY

A web page dedicated to those US military people who have at one point
refused orders in this war in Iraq.
You may see it here: www.tomjoad.org/WarHeroes.htm
<http://www.tomjoad.org/WarHeroes.htm>
It includes a short summary of each case of every publicly known
resister, with links to their websites, if available.

---

INSIDE INFORMATION

What do anarchists think about prison?
Prisons do not work. That is unless you want to improve your burglary
skills or want a ready access to class A drugs. It is undeniable that
locking people up and giving them nothing to do for years at a time only
encourages prisoners to think about the next big job and develop ways to
make it work. Prisons are universities of crime, with board and lodgings
thrown in.
Prisons turn bad lads (mainly) into professional criminals. They mix and
identify with already hardened gangsters and pass out of their criminal
courses with diplomas.
Prisons are also dumping grounds for the mentally ill, the illiterates
and the social misfits. Prisoners become brutalised and brutal in their
confinement. And so do the prison officers.
And all the time, the prison population is increasing and more and more
prisons are being built. Instead of this, what is needed is the ending
of a sick society that breeds crime and prisons in the first place.< /P>

Greek conscientious objector sentenced to 3 years and 4 months
Greek Conscientious objector Giorgos Monastiriotis was arrested on 13
September, and immediately tried and sentenced. In May 2003 Giorgos
refused to embark with the crew of the battleship “Navarino” on a
mission to the Persian Gulf. He declared his immediate resignation from
the Navy instead. Giorgos gave the following statement prior to his
refusal :
“Acting on the basis of my conscience, I refuse to take part or
contribute by any means in the relentless slaughter of the Iraqi people.
I refuse to take part in a war that is not ended, as even now after its
official end people and among them many children are being killed. Even
if this war is officially finished, many more are to come, as war is
necessary for the expansion of the dominance of the ruling powers. I
declare my immediate resignation from the Hellenic Navy, which is a
mechanism that promotes inhuman practices through o rders and hierarchy
and acts as a means of extortion and repression of the movement and the
uprisings of the people. My refusal is also the minimal act of
solidarity due to the Iraqi people and to the peaceful sentiments of the
Greek people.”
Although Greece recognises the right to conscientious objection in
principle this does not apply to professional soldiers, who cannot claim
their right to conscientious objection.
War Resisters’ International calls for letters of protest to the Greek
authorities, and Greek embassies abroad. A list of Greek embassies can
be found at www.mfa.gr/english/the_ministry/missions/
<http://www.mfa.gr/english/the_ministry/missions/>. You can send a
protest email to Mr. Kostas Karamanlis, Prime Minister of Greece, at
wri-irg.org/co/alerts/20040915a.html.
Contact for protest letters:
Mr. Kostas Karamanlis, Prime Minister of Greece Maximos Mansion (‘Megaro
Maximou’) 19, Herodou Attikou str GR-106 74 Athens, Email:
info@primeminister.gr <mailto:info@primeminister.gr>
Info from: www.brightonabc.org.uk <http://www.brightonabc.org.uk>

---

Subvert and resist

Take precautions when going on demonstrations and don’t take cameras,
booze or drugs. If you’re nicked give your name and address then say ‘no
comment’ to any other questions.


OCTOBER
3 Demo at USAF Lakenheath military base. 12 till 3ish Gate 1, USAF
Lakenheath. Tel: 07760 161 755 Visit: www.lakenheathaction.org
<http://www.lakenheathaction.org>
3 Protest against internment at Belmarsh prison from 12 noon. Belmarsh
prison is on Western Way, London, SE28, just north of Plumstead station.
Trains leave every half-hour (e.g. 11.01am, 11.31am) from Charring Cross
to Plumstead station Contact: CAMPACC, Estella on 020 7586 58! 92,
estella24@tiscali.co.uk <mailto:estella24@tiscali.co.uk> or Stop
Political Terror on 07951 159 257 or Email: spt622@yahoo.co.uk
<mailto:spt622@yahoo.co.uk>
15-17 European Social Forum, London. www.esf2004.net
<http://www.esf2004.net>. For a critical view of the ESF
www.enrager.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1783
<http://www.enrager.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1783> and for an
alternative to the Trotskyist-GLC bureaucrat sponsored events
19 International Da y of Action Against McDonald’s, to mark World Food
Day. 020 7713 1269 www.mcspotlight.org
<http://www.mcspotlight.org> Adopt your local store - for ready-made
leaflets Tel: 0845 458 9595 Email: mclibel@veggies.org.uk
<mailto:mclibel@veggies.org.uk>

NOVEMBER
27 Anarchist Bookfair, University of London, Malet Street 020 7242 8032
Loads of stalls, events and meeting. Including meetings organised by the
Anarchist Federation. Contact: mail@anarchistbookfair.org
<mailto:mail@anarchistbookfair.org>, Visit: www.anarchistbookfair.org
<http://www.anarchistbookfair.org>

---

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 t hey will 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: http://www.afed.org.uk
Email: info@afed.org.uk


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