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(en) Anarchist Age Weekly Review No. 614 11th October ­ 17th October 2004

From weekly <weekly@anarchistmedia.org>
Date Wed, 13 Oct 2004 13:28:28 +0200 (CEST)


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DON'T COMPUTE!! DON'T COMPUTE!!
John Howard's 'victory' isn't all that it's claimed to be. Although the
Liberal / National Party has won a convincing victory in the House of Representatives
and may even win a Senate majority, the Coalition has won this so called resounding
victory with a little over 40% of the votes of all eligible voters.
Around 10% of eligible voters in Australia are not registered and around 10%
of registered voters don't vote or vote informal. Only about 80% of all
potential Australian voters cast a formal ballot on the 9th of October.
Once preferences are distributed the Liberal / National Party has won its
so-called landslide with just over 40% of the votes of all Australians who
are eligible to vote. The Coalition's so-called mandate to sell Telstra,
introduce new industrial relations laws and attempt to pass a host of new
legislation through parliament that could lead to major changes in how the
Senate is elected, is just not there.

It's a mistake for the Coalition to think that with just 40% of the support
of eligible voters that it will not face strong opposition to its
legislative agenda. Citizenship is more than filling in a ballot paper
every 3 years. A government's legitimacy is ultimately determined by the
confidence and support it enjoys from those that voted it into office, those
that didn't vote for it and those citizens who didn't participate in the
electoral process.

The Howard government has through the implementation of its neo-conservative
agenda, created a degree of polorisation in the community that Australians
have not seen since the W.W.I. conscription referendums. Howard's pyrrhic
'electoral landslide' has been one of a loss of confidence in electoral
process and representative democracy. He will face increasing opposition in
the streets from citizens who have been disengaged from the political
process and from those that are disillusioned with a political process that
allows 40% of eligible voters to dominate the parliamentary landscape.

'SYCOPHANTS'
'Power with glory', scream the headlines. The corporate media sycophants
are patting each other on the back congratulating themselves on the
ascendancy of their boy John Howard and his mealy mouthed crew of Latter Day
Saints. The triumphant babble that passes, as commentary, has no relation
to reality.

A great number of Australians are shocked, sickened and most importantly of
all disillusioned by a political process that consistently sees the
corporate media throw their support behind conservative political parties.
The re-election of a liar as Prime Minister is a prospect that many
Australians don't relish. Irrespective of what the final state of the
parties in parliament is, the re-election of John Howard for a 4th
consecutive term as a consequence of the blanket support he enjoyed from a
sycophantic media, has polarised Australians.

Those who are singing the praises of the current incumbent need to realise
that behind all the bravado, only 52% of those who voted formally, voted for
the Howard government, while the other 48% voted for other political
parties. When you combine this number with those who didn't vote or voted
informal, the Howard government has managed to gain around 40% of the
eligible vote. The celebrations surrounding Howard's victory needs to be
tempered with the thought that only about 40% of registered voters voted for
his government.

Although Howard may have the parliamentary numbers to manipulate the State,
the social dislocation that will occur if he tries to impose his
neo-conservative agenda on the Australian people, will wipe out any gains he
thinks he may have made as a result of the 9th of October election.
Howard's historic 4th term will be met by a wave of opposition from the
increasing number of Australians who believe Senate majority or no Senate
majority that he won the election as a result of the support of the
corporate owned media and the use of fraudulent and dishonest tactics and
statements.

At the end of the day, governments are only able to govern if they have the
support of both those who elect them and those who oppose them. In John
Howard's case, a significant proportion of those who opposed him do that
accept the legitimacy of his so-called historic 4th term.

'CHOICE'
John Howard in his last pre-election address to the Australian Press Club in
Canberra highlighted that the major philosophical difference between his
government and the A.L.P. was the importance of choice in the Liberal
Party's intellectual pantheon. His assertion that his government is
increasing the options Australians are able to exercise in their lives does
not stand up to even the most cursory examination. Choice in a capitalist
society is determined by the amount of disposable income people have. The
more disposable income they have, the greater the number of choices they are
able to exercise.

Whether somebody is able to access public or private education or public or
private health care is determined by their ability to pay for private
education or private health care, not their abilities or needs. It's both
dishonest and illusory to say that people are able to exercise choice in a
capitalist society if they don't have the income to buy the goods or
services they want. The more disposable income they have, the greater the
choices people are able to exercise.

During his term in office, the transfer of taxpayers funds from the public
to the private sector have subsidized the costs of those people who have had
the disposable income to avail themselves of a private option while
decreasing the choices of those people who have no option but to rely on the
public sector for access to education facilities and health care services.

The Liberal / National Party's policies have resulted in a major
philosophical and social shift in community attitudes to the idea that
governments should provide services on the basis of need. Today people with
both ability and need are increasingly denied services because taxpayers
money is being diverted into programs that increase the choices of those who
have disposable income at the expense of those who don't have the income to
exercise the choices that are put before them.

PRELIMINARY FIGURES
A preliminary analysis of the 80% of votes that were cast in the Federal
election on the 9th of October has shown that the informal vote has
increased once again. On a national level, the informal vote in the House
of Representatives has increased by over 50%, to just over 5%. The informal
vote in the Senate has also increased by about 30% to just over 5%. It's
difficult to know the significance of this increase at this early state. It
will be at least another 4 weeks till all the postal and pre-poll votes are
counted and we will know the full extent and significance of the informal
vote.

At the end of the day, about 80% of all eligible electors cast a valid
ballot at this election. It's difficult to know what percentage of people
have made an honest mistake and what percentage deliberately spoil their
ballot because they are disengaged or disillusioned with the political
process. Compulsory voting draws many people to the ballot box that would
normally not vote if voting were not compulsory. Once people came to the
polling booth, they are much more likely to cast a ballot for a particular
party or candidate than spoil their vote.

Unless the informal vote rises from about 1 in 19 to about 1 in 4 voters,
it's unlikely that the level of informal voting will be taken seriously.
Even if it reaches significant numbers, it's unlikely that much notice will
be taken of the level of informal voting. In the United States where only
about 40% of registered electors cast a ballot for the Congress and the
Senate, only about 50% of registered voters cast a ballot in the
Presidential election, non-participation is ignored and those
representatives who are elected claim to wield legitimate power although
less than 50% of people have participated in the electoral process.

Abstention does not seem to provide the boost to the extra-parliamentary
movement that anarchists have expected it should provide. It's time that
consideration is given to electoral campaigns that raise the questions about
the electoral process itself and parliamentary rule in particular. Unless
anarchists are willing to tackle this major conundrum, we will continue to
be marginal players in a political process that's dominated by people
masquerading as democrats.

CAN'T SEE THE WOOD
FOR THE TREES
The political process in Australia has been successfully reduced to a
context between issues. Health care, education, the economy, forests, Iraq,
green issues, gay rights, prisoner's rights, and families are a few of the
issues that dominated the political agenda during the last Federal election
campaign. Politics has been reduced to a context about which flavour of ice
cream we should eat, not whether we want to eat ice cream at all.

Nearly all the political parties and independents that took part in the
Federal election campaign accepted the premise that representative democracy
is the process that best serves the interests of the Australian community.
The discussions that occurred during the electoral campaign did not hinge
around ideas about what democracy is, but the fact that 'representative
democracy' is 'democracy'. Rule of the people, by the people, for the
people is automatically equated to the idea that casting a ballot for a
representative is what the democratic process is all about.

The central issue in electoral campaigns should be, what is democracy, how
decisions are made, who makes decisions and how decisions are implemented.
Electoral campaigns that revolve around particular issues, legitimises the
idea that democracy is a process that gives people the right to cast a
ballot every 3 years to elect representative to make decisions on their
behalf, not that the people involved in a decision should make that
decision.

Debates about the decision making process itself, not particular issues,
should be the major focus of election campaigns. Unless radical activists
are able to turn their focus away from issue orientated politics to
campaigns about the very nature of democracy itself, the 2007 Federal
election will once again focus on the issues, not the political process
itself.

ANARCHIST QUESTION AND ANSWER
Q. DOES ANYBODY TAKE ANARCHISTS SERIOUSLY?
A. While we remain irrelevant and impotent, anarchists will remain the butt
of jokes. How many anarchists does it take to change a light bulb? Ten.
Ten? Yes ten!! A delegate can only change the light bulb when the 10
anarchists present reach a consensus that the light bulb needs to be
changed. Anarchists are currently portrayed as mad bombers or hopeless
dreamers who don't understand human nature.
Everywhere we turn, anarchists are denigrated, abused, ignored, threatened
and in the more extreme cases jailed. Nobody takes anarchists seriously
because we have not been able to capture the imagination of ordinary people.
Anarchists continue to cling on the margins of social and political life.
Since the defeat of the anarchists in the Spanish Revolution in the late
1930's, no anarchist movement has captured the popular imagination.
Irrespective of how hard individuals and groups have worked, they have not
been able to break through into mainstream cultural, social and political
life.
Until anarchists are able to break through into mainstream life, they will
be regarded as little more than curiosities. Anarchist organisations can
pose a serious threat to the status quo. Whether they will ever be regarded
seriously, will depend on the influence they are able to exert on society.
The more people they are able to influence the greater the role they will
have in society. The greater their role, the more seriously they will be
taken. It's important that anarchists do what they can to break down the
stereotypes that are used to marginalise them. The best way to break down
these stereotypes is by becoming involved in the communities we live and
work in. The more people realise that the person working or living next to
them is an anarchist, the less power the media is able to exercise over the
community.
People who have contact with anarchists will be able to compare their
personal experiences with the stereotypes that appear in the media. The
more people that have contact with anarchists, the less power the media is
able to exercise over the communities we live and work in.


ACTION BOX
DESPAIR?
He's back!! Like Freddy Kruger, he's back. Many people I know were walking
around shell-shocked on Sunday. John Howard liar, cheat, possible war
criminal wins a 4th term as Australian Prime Minister. Despair? Why
despair? Do you think the Labor or a Labor / Green coalition would have
delivered a better deal? Howard is back for another 3 years, for one very
good reason. 52% of electors voted for the Liberal / National Party or
minor parties who directed their preferences to the Coalition government.
Very simple mathematics, 52% of Australians believed the propaganda that was
pumped out by the corporate owned media and the government gelded ABC.
During the election campaign, anybody who tried to buck the corporate line
received a spray. Almost to a man and a woman the media promoted and
supported the Coalition. Why should anybody expect any different? The
corporate sector owns and dominates the means of dissemination of
information. When Latham had the audacity to promote an Education policy
that would see the richest 60 private schools have some of their taxpayer
funded subsidies transferred to the less wealthy private schools, the media
went berserk and why shouldn't they, they send their kids to these schools.
The re-election of the Liberal / National Party is no big deal, nothing has
been lost, nothing has been gained. If they win a Senate majority,
Australians will begin to understand that a neo-conservative agenda doesn't
hold any joy for them. All those working people who cast a ballot for the
Coalition government will soon find out what's in store for them. At the
end of the day nothing's changed. Power doesn't lie in parliament, it lies
in the boardrooms of national and transnational corporations. Radical
egalitarian social change doesn't come about from casting a ballot, it comes
through direct action. What the Coalition government will be able to get
away with over the next 3 years will be determined by what people let them
get away with.
Don't despair, don't mourn, organise is the mantra of the day. A culture of
resistance is the single most important weapon we have. Working up the
right channels, casting a ballot in a process that is completely corrupted
is a recipe for disaster. Parliamentary elections are 2 minutes of illusory
power, he may be back but he is not presiding over a conquered population.
He may have supporters but he, as sure as hell, has people who will not
allow the neo-conservatives in the Coalition government to impose their will
on those who did not support them and those who boycotted the electoral
process.

AUSTRALIAN RADICAL HISTORY
THE EUREKA SERIES 2004 ­ No.25
UNFINISHED BUSINESS ­ PART C
'HAPPY HOUR ­ No.3'
The Massacre Continues
Eyewitnesses reported atrocities occurring in and out of the Stockade site
long after the battle had ended. If it wasn't for the bravery of the women
who swarmed over the Stockade site after the battle ended, looking for
husbands, lovers and brothers and draping their bodies over wounded miners,
the death toll would have been much higher.
One of the seminal pictures on the diggings after the battle had ended was
the sight of 3 troopers straddling the body of a wounded miner, one knelt on
him, one tried to choke him while a third soldier went through his pockets
looking for gold. Peter Lalor, writing some months after the fall of the
Stockade, made some very strong remarks regarding the brutality of the
police and soldiers after the battle. He claimed 34 diggers were killed or
wounded during the encounter. He stated that 22 of the 34 died because 'the
unusual proportion of the killed to he wounded, is owing to the butchery of
the military and troopers after the surrender'.
What is extraordinary about what happened that fateful morning is that the
killings were not limited to diggers. Innocent bystanders became caught up
in the slaughter. The story surrounding Henry Powell, a Creswick miner who
was camped outside the Stockade, is just one example of what happened to
people who were not involved in the fighting but happened to be nearby.
Henry was awakened by the commotion as he stumbled out of his tent; over 20
mounted police approached him. Arthur Purcell Akehurst, a Clerk of the
Peace who was riding with the mounted police, hit him on the head with his
sword, a number of police fired into his body while he lay on the ground and
others rode their horses over him. Some how he survived for a few hours and
was able to give a deposition about what happened to him before he died. A
Coroner's jury found Akehurst guilty of the wilful murder of Henry Powell.
A Melbourne jury a short time acquitted him of the charge.
Other witnesses gave account of the murder of 2 Italian diggers, one, who
had his tent in the Stockade and another, who had a tent on Specimen Hill,
300 metres from the Stockade. The first was shot and as he lay wounded on
the ground, he offered the troopers some gold if they spared his life. They
took the gold and bayoneted him to death for good measure. The digger at
Specimen Hill was shot dead by 2 mounted police as he returned to his tent.
One of the unluckiest people to be caught up in the slaughter was the
Melbourne Morning Herald reporter Frank Hasleham. The Melbourne Morning
Herald was the only Melbourne newspaper that supported Hotham. Hasleham
only got to within 300 metres of the Stockade before a mounted policeman
shot him in the chest.
Martin Diamond, a storekeeper, was shot dead by the police long after the
battle had ended, whilst he was sitting in his store. His store was burnt
to the ground. Nearly every tent within the Stockade was burnt down. Many
tents within 500 metres of the Stockade were also burnt to the ground. The
police and soldiers targeted many of the stores that had sprung up around
the Stockade. They pilfered the contents and then burnt the tents to the
ground. Some of the storekeepers, who had lost their property in fires that
were lit by the police outside the Stockade after the battle had ended, made
successful claims for compensation for their losses.
By 7am, almost 2 hours after the battle had ended, the killing and
destruction at Eureka came to an end. Silence had descended on the Stockade
site, the dead lay where they had fallen. All the tents inside the Stockade
except one, had been burnt down, many tents outside the Stockade had also
been burnt down long after the battle had ended. The wounded coped as best
they could. The police and troops exhausted from their handiwork, rounded
up those who were left.
NEXT WEEK: Prisoners Mistreated.

BOOK REVIEW
'SBS WORLD GUIDE
­ The Complete Fact File On Every Country'
12th Edition, Hardie Grant Books 2004
ISBN 1 74066 1672
The 12th edition of the SBS World Guide is bigger and better than the
previous 11 editions. The cover on this year's edition highlights some of
the more important moments in world history. 'SBS World News' and 'World
News Tonight' provided the impetus to produce this 832-page complete fact
finder on every country. A particular news item on 'SBS World News' doesn't
jell, have no idea why the latest atrocity has occurred in some forgotten
part of the world, never heard of a country, name sounds familiar but you
just can't place it, then dip into the SBS World Guide. Even if you don't
find the answer you're after, you won't be able to put it down.
The book follows a very simple formula. Every country from Afghanistan to
Zimbabwe is listed in the pages of this massive edition. The geography,
climate, population including its ethnic composition, constitution and
government, communications, international relations and a comprehensive
history of the country from its inception to 2004, is listed in the SBS
World Guide.
The most important section of the book is the historical section that
examines what has happened and is happening in every country listed. The
depth of detail gives the reader the opportunity to make some sense of the
more troubling aspects of what's happening in the world's trouble spots.
The centre of the book has colour photographs of the flags of 195 countries.
One disappointing aspect of the book is the non-inclusion of East Timor's
flag among the flags listed. The section on East Timor in the body of the
book claims there is some confusion about the permanence of the flag that is
currently flying in the capital Dili. Reading the section on East Timor,
the historical account gives a good overview of what's happened since
independence, mentioning the November 2002 riots by members of Falantil (the
official armed East Timorese Resistance Army), who are angry that they have
been disenfranchised from the current political process. Mention is also
made of the banning of the Popular Council for the Defence of the Democratic
Republic of East Timor, a radical organisation that challenged the
legitimacy of the government and the current East Timorese constitution.
Oman, Vatican City, Bhutan, Belize, Togo, Andorra as well as San Marino a
land locked republic of 28,119 people in east central Italy, are just a few
of the entries you can read about. The SBS World Guide is an indispensable
reference guide for people who want a ready source of information about a
particular spot on the planet or want to know something about everything.
Retailing at AUD$45.00, the book isn't cheap until you do your sums and work
out the cost is 5c a page. A much cheaper version than the 8c a day we each
spend on the ABC. The SBS World Guide is available from most bookshops.

PERSONAL OBSERVATION
Dark brown mosquito droppings welded to the paint. Nothing changes, dull,
dark damp. One year runs into the next, children grow up, leave and don't
come back. Dirty brown blinds drawn. Foxtel in the corner, cricket, rugby,
union, Aussie rules. Never bored, life flickers on the screen. Up, down,
down, up, night, day, day, night. The house closes in on you, as you walk
in sit down the walls peer at you as you get up, move around.
Once a week, $20'bingo hall. Once a week, 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, 25
years. Nothing changes, home empty handed. Forwards, backwards, backwards,
forwards. BINGO!! BINGO!! Thank you, $400, tuck it into a handbag, play
another game, 2 games, 3 games, everybody's forgotten. Pick up the bag, go
home. Empty the contents on the table, $4000. When you survive on $250 a
week, $4000 in one big pile is just as good as a Tattslotto win.
Look around, dark brown damp walls. Colour, green, yellow, not dark but
subtle, wonderful combination. Replace the green with blue, yes that's
better. Look up the local paper, find a painter, cash job, no GST, no tax,
the black economy at work. Every room including the laundry, mission brown
banished to purgatory. Blue walls, light yellow ceilings. 25 years of
neglect gone in 4 days. You can't keep the blinds down in a blue and yellow
house. Up they go, the sunshine floats in, the screen stops flickering, the
TV set is turned off. They look at each other, at the window, at the
sunshine. Everything changed, nothings changed. There is a world out
there. Waiting for life to begin, not end.
No mosquito droppings, no old stains, just the smell of fresh paint, windows
open, life goes on at a different pace. Gambling the doorway to a freshly
painted house, a spring in the step, a new life. Bingo, $1,000 a year,
$25,000 in 25 years, $4,000 back, who's won, who's lost. Waiting for the
big one, not today, maybe tomorrow, life goes on, money or no money.

STOP PRESS
REALITY CHECK?
The Sunday Age's editorial (10/10) highlights that not only do elections not
change the issues confronting the Australian people, but that parliamentary
democracy is arguably just two minutes of illusory power. There is no glory
in a victory that is based on lies, innuendos, half-truths, fear, media
manipulation and a barely disguised contempt for the Australian electorate.

In no other field of human endeavour, except parliamentary elections, do
people give away blank cheques. Australians are forced by legislation to
give parliamentary representatives power to make decisions on their behalf
for the next 3 years.

Representative democracy is ultimately an act of faith. At every election,
people are expected to give a blank cheque to a representative who may have
lied to them on countless occasions on the understanding that they may or
may not carry out promises they never intended to keep or knew they could
never deliver. Parliamentary democracy is a farce.

Instead of electing representatives, people should have the power to make
decisions and then elect or appoint delegates to carry out those decisions.
Direct democracy, as opposed to representative democracy, is based on the
idea that the people involved in a decision make that decision. What
percentage of national income is spent on education, health, defence could
be determined through the electoral process. Delegates with specific
mandates can then be elected or appointed to implement those decisions. If
delegates do not carry out the mandate they have been given, they can be
recalled.

What at first sight seems a relatively complex procedure, is a much more
effective and productive way people can govern themselves. Instead of
having an adversarial political process where 52% of the population are
constantly at loggerheads with 48% of the population, people can, through
direct democratic means, make the political parties irrelevant and directly
be in involved in the decision making processes that impact on their lives.

Joseph TOSCANO / Libertarian Workers
For A Self-Managed Society.


ANARCHIST PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED SINCE LAST ISSUE
- LE LIBERTAIRE No.249 SEPT/OCT '04, Revue de synthese anarchiste, Boite
Postale 745, 76060 Leitavre Cedex FRANCE Tel:(0148414594),
www.le-libertaire.org,libertaire@normandnet.fr
- ROJO Y NEGRO No.169 SEPT 2004, CGT, C/-Compania9, 10 1zda, 31001
Pamploma/Iruna SPAIN, Tel:948224766, Fax:948212399, email:srojonegro@ctv.es
- SOCIAL ANARCHISM, No.36 SPRING, 2004, A Journal of Theory & Practice, 2743
Maryland Ave, Baltimore MD, 21218 USA, www.socialanarchism.org
edirtors@socialanarchism.org
- UMANITA NOVA Vol 84 No.29 EL 26TH SEPT 2004, Settimanale Anarchico, C.50
Palermo 46, 10152, Torino ITALY. tel/fax (011) 857850 Mobile 338-6594361
email:fat@inrete.it
OTHER PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED THIS WEEK
- THE OTHER ISRAELI No.115/116 SEPT '04, Newsletter of the Israeli Council
for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, P.O.Bpx 2542 Holon ISRAEL Tel/Fax:03 5565804,
Email;otherisr@actcom.co.il

DEBT ELIMINATION APPEAL'Our debt stands at $1127.24
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ALL THE NEWS THAT FITS
The Israeli govt's policy is deliberately designed to avoid a peace
settlement with the Palestinians acc to a senior advisor to Israeli PM Ariel
Sharon. Dov Weisglass told the Haartez newspaper the govt's plan to withdraw
troops & 'settlers' from the Gaza Strip while increasing control of the West
Bank was "the freezing of the peace process". He said the plan had obtained
the backing of the US govt & that it'd allow the Israeli govt to avoid a
final peace settlement, prevent the establishment of an independent
Palestine & maintain the occupation indefinitely. "Effectively this whole
package...has been removed indefinitely from our agenda." Palestinian
authorities said 21 kids had been killed, 1 had been left brain dead &
dozens had been wounded since the Israeli army entered the Gaza Strip last
week. Although Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz claimed "the dozens of
Palestinians who were hit were dozens of terrorists, period", a 13y.o girl
was killed as she made her way home from school. Witnesses said soldiers
continued firing after the girl was wounded & had fallen to the ground. The
Israeli army claimed soldiers believed she had a bomb in her school bag. The
bag was later found to contain schoolbooks. (Source: The Age)
The Coalition brokered a deal with the fundamentalist Christian party Family
First, agreeing to consult with them over policy in return for their
preferences. The Aust newspaper reports the deal was personally brokered by
John Howard. Some Liberal candidates have been asked to sign 3-year voting
agreements before being included in the deal. Family First has ruled out
some Coalition candidates who "don't necessarily reflect the family agenda
we have"'lesbian Ingrid Tall & supporter of gay marriage Warren Entsch.
The party will however give preferences to Ross Cameron, who is a
conservative Christian but who recently moved out of his family home after
publically confessing to having an affair while his wife was pregnant.
Family First recently disciplined one of its volunteers, after he answered
'yes' to a question as to whether the party supported lesbians being burned
to death. (Source: MCV newspaper, news.com.au)
The Vic Labor Party has denied making a mistake by giving preferences to the
conservative Christian party Family First ahead of the Greens. Family
First's candidate Steve Fielding is now the favourite to win the 6th Vic
Senate position, possibly giving his party the balance of power. The Greens'
candidate received 5 times as many primary votes. However Mr Fielding will
benefit from preferences from the ALP & the Democrats. ALP State Secretary
Eric Locke denied the ALP could work more easily with the Greens than with
Family First, saying "I'm not going to make any judgements about Family
First. They've assured us they are a bipartisan party." (Source: The Age)
Evidence of prisoner abuse & possible war crimes at Guantanamo Bay reached
the highest levels of the Bush admin as early as autumn 02, but Donald
Rumsfeld, the Defence secretary, chose to do nothing about it, according to
a new investigation. The investigation, by journalist Seymour Hersh, quotes
a ex marine at the camp recalling sessions in which guards would "fuck with
[detainees] as much as we could" by inflicting pain on them. A CIA analyst
visited Guantanamo in summer 02 & returned "convinced that we were
committing war crimes" & that "more than half the people there didn't belong
there. He found people lying in their own faeces," a CIA source told Hersh.
The analyst submitted a report to Gen John Gordon, an aide to Condoleezza
Rice, Mr Bush's national security adviser. Gen Gordon was troubled & 1 ex
admin official told Hersh "that if the actions at Guantanamo ever became
public, it'd be damaging to the president". Ms Rice saw the document by
autumn of the same year & called a high-level meeting at which she asked
Rumsfeld, to deal with the problem. But after he vowed to act, "the Pentagon
went into a full-court stall", a ex White House official is quoted as
saying. "Why didn't Condi do more? She made the same mistake I made. She got
the secretary of defence to say he's going to take care of it." A senior
intelligence official told Hersh: "I was told [by FBI agents] the military
guards were slapping prisoners, stripping them, pouring cold water over them
& making them stand until they got hypothermia." The secret "special access
programme" facilitating much of the mistreatment of prisoners, widely held
to have contravened the Geneva convention, was established following a
direct order from the president. Hersh reports a secret document signed by
Mr Bush in Feb 02 stated: "I determine that none of the provisions of Geneva
apply to our conflict with al-Qaida in Afghanistan or elsewhere throughout
the world." Hersh reports an army officer communicated concerns over abuses
at Abu Ghraib both to Gen John Abizaid, the US central command (Centcom)
chief at the time & his deputy, Gen Lance Smith. The officer told Hersh: "I
said there are systematic abuses going on in the prisons. Abizaid didn't say
a thing. He looked at me'beyond me, as if to say, 'Move on. I don't want
to touch this." Hersh, who broke the story of the My Lai massacre in the
Vietnam war, makes his revelations in a new book, Chain of Command. It
emerged at a recent Congressional hearing the admin is being accused of
concealing up to 100 "ghost detainees" from the Red Cross, which must be
granted access to prisoners of war & other detainees under the Geneva
convention. Rumsfeld told reporters on Friday he'd approved the use of
'harsh' interrogation measures, but that they'd only been meant for
Guantanamo. He also justified them on the grounds that terrorists' methods
were worse. "Does it rank up there with chopping someone's head off on TV?"
he asked. "It doesn't." (Source: The Guardian [UK])
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "Formerly the master selected the slave; today the slave
selects his master." Albert Parsons. more quotes -
www.apolitical.info/quotes
ATNTF weekly anarchist news service visit us on the web -
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email list.

ANARCHIST MEDIA INSTITUTE OBSCENITY OF THE WEEK
Awarded to the corporate media and the government gelded ABC, for their
pivotal role in the re-election of a liar and possible war criminal, as the
Prime Minister of Australia.

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Email it your friends, it's the cheapest and best birthday present you'll
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ANARCHIST WORLD THIS WEEK
Heard across Australia. 10am ­ 11am every Wednesday.
An anarchist analysis of local, national & international events. Tune into
your local community radio station to listen to the Anarchist World This
Week. If they don't broadcast it, ask them why not! If they're one of the
150 community radio stations around Australia that are affiliated to the
National Community Radio Satellite, they are able to broadcast the Anarchist
World This Week.


RECLAIM THE RADICAL SPIRIT OF THE EUREKA REBELLION
JOIN US
4.00AM FRIDAY 3RD DECEMBER
EUREKA PARK (Cnr Stawell & Eureka St) BALLARAT
To celebrate the 150th ANNIVERSARY OF THE EUREKA REBELLION at the site and
time it occurred. Community breakfast after dawn gathering.
9.00am ­ Walk to the Old Ballarat Cemetery to pay our respect to the dead,
then we walk through Ballarat to Bakery Hill to reaffirm the Eureka oath,
then we will walk back to Eureka Park for a community lunch and
conversation.
Email: anarchistage@yahoo.com
Write: P.O. BOX 20, Parkville, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
For a poster, pass it on to your friends. Join us on the day.
Reclaim your history, change the future.
Join us at Ballarat at 4.00am on FRIDAY 3RD DECEMBER 2004

TRIVIAL PURSUIT NIGHT
We now have a Trivial Pursuit Master to organise the questions and
festivities.
7.30PM SATURDAY 12TH FEBRUARY 2005.
We NEED A HALL IN MELBOURNE ­ Can anyone help?
(We are looking for a hall that has tables and chairs for at least 150)
We need YOU to organise a table of 10. Cost for a table of 10 = $100.
If you can't organise a table, don't worry, cost per person
$15 ­ (wage earners)'$10 ­ (non wage earners)
We are taking advance bookings from now. Make out cheques or money orders
to LIBERTARIAN WORKERS and send to PO BOX 20, PARKVILLE 3052, VICTORIA
I f you can help with the venue / hall call us ASAP ON 03 8508 9856 OR
Email us at anarchistage@yahoo.com
ATTENTION :THE ANARCHIST MEDIA INSTITUTE'S ACTIVE PARTICIPATION IN THE
FEDERAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN, THE DEFEND & EXTEND MEDICARE STRUGGLE AND THE
EUREKA CELEBRATION STRUGGLES HAVE FORCED US TO PUT THE TRIVIAL PURSUIT NIGHT
BACK TO
*** SATURDAY 12TH FEBRUARY 2005 ***

If You Like What You Have Read, Photocopy This Publication and Leave It In
Doctors, Dentists,
Vets Waiting Rooms and In Railway Stations, Bus Stops, Libraries and
Restaurants Etc.
The articles in the Anarchist Age Weekly Review reflect the personal
opinions of the authors, they do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the
publishers, the Libertarian Workers for a Self-Managed Society/Anarchist
Media Institute.
All material in the Anarchist Age Weekly Review can be used by anarchists,
anarchist collectives and non-profit organisations as long as the source of
the material is mentioned in the article. The Anarchist Age Weekly Review
reserves all rights as far as commercial publications are concerned.

ANARCHISM ­ ADVANCING IN DIVERSITY STRIKING IN UNISON ­ YAMAGUCHI KENJI
WELCOME TO THE 21ST CENTURY ­ THE ANARCHIST CENTURY


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