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From classwaruk@hotmail.com
Date Wed, 1 Sep 2004 16:54:54 +0200 (CEST)

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

A FORMER HACKNEY Tory party official, Stephen Mertens, who went on the run after
repeatedly raping a six year-old girl was jailed for ten years last week. He was
initially arrested in 1996 and given bail“ yes, BAIL!“ for rape. What makes this
case even more sickening is that his wife, Joan, who at the time was the Chair of
Shoreditch Conservatives, covered his tracks and went on the run with him, ending
up in Bristol. Stephen Mertens was finally caught after raping another girl, and
the filth found child porn on his computer.

We must ask why Joan Mertens was not charged, and why the judge felt it reasonable
to give Mertens bail. Was it because he was a Tory and a "pillar" of society?
Working class people are constantly remanded for things like fraud and shoplifting
and sent to Britain's overcrowded jails. Mertens also went on the run after being
given bail. If he'd been working class there'd have been a massive manhunt.

Hackney Council is renovating its town hall on Mare Street. Readers living in the
borough will know that the building has been shabby for many years, and some sort
of work on it may well be needed. Yet the council's record indicate that all we'll
see as the result of work on it will be new shab replacing the old shab. For the
privilege of having a newly shabbed town hall it seems that the astronomical sum
of £60 million has been allocated. For that much money you could build several
new, clean and decent town halls, not to mention restoring many of the services
long-suffering residents have seen cut over recent years.

In the last few years nurseries have vanished from Hackney, and other amenities
have disappeared. The Haggerston Baths have been shut down, Citizen's Advice
Bureaux have had their budgets slashed, council workers have seen their jobs
privatised and then been constructively sacked As life for both council
employees and Hackney residents has got grimmer it's got correspondingly better
for councillors and senior management. Even though they have presided over a
series of humiliating fiascos, they haven't been sacked or disciplined.

The Clissold Leisure Centre, for example, is but one disgrace. Originally budgeted
at £15 million, it cost £32 million in the end, and is now shut and unusable. With
a record like that, it's unlikely that the town hall renovation will stay within
even its capacious budget. What will it end up costing? £80 million? £100 million?
Those familiar with Mare Street will be astonished it should cost anywhere near
£60 million“ or £6 million“ to do up the town hall. We wouldn't be surprised if
for that the executive toilets had gold taps and˜engaged' signs, nor if they used
Derry Irvine's expensive wallpaper as bog roll. It simply beggars belief that so
much money could conceivably be spent on the town hall!

Once more it's a case of snouts in the trough. The people with the power to
allocate funds are doing very nicely out of it, while people living in the council
housing in Hackney are more prone to catching TB than residents of most other
London boroughs. Amenities for the borough come a poor second to comfier offices
and newer furniture. Will the public gallery, from where people watch council
meetings, be made accessible for the disabled? We doubt it.

The recent media hysteria about animal rights "extremists" has a subtext which
protestors will recognise all too well. Once more one section of protestors is the
subject of attacks by the state, with consequences for all sorts of protestors and
for the working class as a whole.

The phenomenal success of animal rights protestors with a wide variety of tactics,
some notably novel, has undoubtedly led to the calls for new and unheard-of powers
and new crimes. Animal rights protestors have doubtless been helped by the fact
that there is a broad degree of agreement with their aims, if not all their
methods, among the general public. The new measures to deal with them“ of which
more below“ have been hyped because the vile practice of animal testing, and the
lucrative contracts which accompany it, might be driven abroad. The government has
determined that this is a Bad Thing, for purely financial and prestige reasons.

The government has been joined by the National Association of Pension Funds, a
previously anonymous organisation which few people had heard of. They are offering
massive rewards to capture militants who they say are driving down the value of
their investments. It's interesting that they are doing this now“ if in the
future there's a repeat of June 18, we wonder if they will repeat the offers of
rewards to convict rioters. We wouldn't put it past them.

The government's plans at the minute are to criminalise demonstrations outside
people's homes and to create 43 prosecutors“ one in each police area“ to
concentrate on animal rights cases. One of these is daft, and the other distinctly
worrying. Banning demonstrations outside people's homes will perhaps be difficult
to legislate against. For example, demonstrating outside the Prime Minister's
home, 10 Downing Street, is widely seen as legitimate. Equally, next time there's
a media scare about paedophiles this proposed law will be brought to many people's
attention for the first time. What will happen then? There is every chance that
the gutter press could join in calling for it to be repealed! Creating a bunch of
mini-Vyshinskys (Vyshinsky being the main prosecutor at the Moscow show-trials of
the˜30s) to deal with animal rights-related "crime" will, we fear, soon escalate
into the creation of a special branch of the CPS devoted to prosecuting political
offences. Is animal rights extremism really such a threat to the rule of law that
43 full-time barristers and their staff need to concentrate on it? We are not

SUNDAY 25TH JULY had, if you believe the papers and some of the more lurid
internet chatrooms, promised a battle royal in central London. The "weirds with
beards" of Al-Mujihiroun had called an Islamic rally for Trafalgar Square that
afternoon. The fascists of the National Front called a counter-rally. Class War
recognises the NF and Al-Mujihiroun as threats to our community. Although they
profess to hate each other, they share remarkably similar views towards women,
trades unions, socialists and other ethnic groups. They are two sides of the same
coin. Indeed about the only thing wrong with the term "Islamic-Fascism" when
discussing groups like Al-Mujihiroun is that Richard Littlejohn uses it!

Class War soon got involved when the new anti-fascist group Antifa called a
demonstration in opposition to both fascist groups. On the day however the
fearsome Islamic warriors of Al-Mujihiroun failed to show, as they did not have
legal permission for their event. Such much for not obeying man made laws!

First in the square in significant numbers were a large contingent of Sikhs (there
to demonstrate against Al-M) The Sikhs turned up and promptly nicked the NF's
pitch by the National Gallery. A small number of fascists arrived, mostly in
threes and fours, and looked rather forlorn, both at their own organisation and
the Sikhs "Sikh, British and Proud" flag!

Without clear leadership the NF contingent, bolstered by the Ulster British
Alliance, remained disjointed, but the very large police presence in and around
the Square prevented any clashes. At this point the only danger was that some
anti-fascists might die laughing at the particularly thick fascist who insisted on
regaling us with information about the NFs plans, and even when told he was
talking to anti-fascists refused to believe them. He will go far!

With police numbers increasing and the potential of being blocked in rising, it
was time to shift. Having taken a short break for refreshments, about 35 anti-
fascists returned to the Square to find the fash had now got their act together
but were split into two separate groups. This included a contingent from a group
called the United British Alliance (mostly football hooligans) who claim to be
non-racist. Indeed it has been suggested by the NF that their number includes non-
whites. We did not see any on the day, and when we approached their picket of
about 60 lads, amongst the loyalist chanting were several cries, in our direction
of "race traitors". So much for them not being racists!

Having been shifted on by a large contingent of cops it was time to present our
credentials to the NF, who mustered about 30-40 strong. Again they chose to stay
behind the police barriers. By now the cops had more than lost their patience with
us, and we were forced out of the Square to Charing Cross station, pausing only to
swap rounds of applause with the Sikhs. All in all the day went reasonably well,
in what was one of Antifa's first outings.

Some lessons from the day:
Turn up on time. More people arriving later in the day has less impact than large
numbers being present at the start.
Be calm but purposeful - it was perfectly possible to get close to the opposition
and look them in the whites of their eyes. If you want to stand behind barriers
with the cops, go and join Unite Against Fascism.
Bring a friend. We need more people at these events - they are regularly out
numbering us. Fighting fascism involves more than sitting about talking.
Expect to be stopped and searched by the police. Don't carry anything you would
not want to be found with.

Finally a big thank you to the guys who came down from Leeds - it is nice to meet
some anti-fascists from the city who aren't the usual Searchlight compromised

ON 29 JULY Respect: the Unity Coalition won their first council election, in Tower
Hamlets. They received 878 votes, with Labour coming three hundred votes behind.
This unfortunate result has breathed fresh life into the foul RUC, and they now
seem to think that they stand their best chance of getting an MP in the East End.
They may be right: there are large numbers of Muslims in the East End, who might
vote for them in haste but repent at leisure.

Winning a seat in a by-election, though, is one thing. When the General Election
comes along, we feel that their resources and forces will be spread thin, probably
too thin for them to achieve any sort of breakthrough.

The SWP, the main driving force behind the RUC, is plainly in decline, though. It
is unlikely that they will retain their dominant position in the Leninist left-
wing for too much longer. Thus, the coming General Election“ and maybe the London
council elections in 2006“ are likely their last big chances to make any sort of
electoral impact and increase the life of the party.

WHEN I FIRST laid my eyes on this three hour-long DVD I thought it would be
another dull politico nonsense talk: but after watching it I found the information
and Noam's insight into America's current war on terror quite an eye-opener. He
explains it well, and it's good to see another viewpoint on why America is going
to war in the Middle East instead of the drivel we get in the press. You won't
want to eat another McDonald's again.
THE FILM THEY tried to ban! Moore gives another slant on mainly what BUSHISM is
really up to and I quite liked the start on how BUSH elected himself, which people
seem to forget. A good film on how the ruling class use working class people to
fight their dirty wars and how they use state fear as a tool.

THE FINNISH ARMY is finished, according to reports reaching the London Calling
editorial team. A number of Finnish conscripts had had their term of military
service slashed because of their addiction to the internet, army sources reveal.

The Finnish Defence Forces say that doctors have found some young men miss their
computers too much to cope with the compulsory six months in the army. The Forces'
recruitment officer said some troops were diagnosed as addicts. The men concerned
were sent home and would be called up in three years' time, he said.

"For people who play [internet] games all night and don't have any friends, don't
have any hobbies, to come into the army is a very big shock," recruitment officer
Commander-Captain Jyrki Kivela said.

There are no official figures for the internet addict dropout rate. However, Cmdr-
Capt Kivela said, "it's not a big problem for the Finnish army," adding that he
was "proud of Finnish men". And, presumably, their games-playing prowess.

The Finnish army consists of nearly 50,000 full-time troops and about 27,000
conscripts are drafted annually. More than 44% of the Scandinavian country's 5.2
million people reportedly use the internet every day.

A MAN WRONGLY convicted and framed by Cardiff filth spent more than eleven years
fighting for his freedom, and he is still battling for justice. In March Michael
O'Brien lost his appeal against the Home Office after they decided to charge him
£37,000 for bed and board for his time in prison. This has got to be the sickest
decision made by our sick Home Secretary.

Mr O'Brien, who suffered in prison, spending months in solitary and being beaten
on a daily basis, along with Darren Hall, who is now suffering mental illness, and
Ellis Sherwood were all framed and given life sentences for the murder of a
Cardiff newsagent in a bus station. All three had their convictions overturned in
1999 and in May 2002 Michael O'Brien was awarded £650,000 compensation“ but
£37,000 was missing, stolen by the Home Office for accommodation, expensive
porridge. O'Brien's solicitor stated that a Home Office assessor was literally
"plucking a price out of thin air". We at London Class War think that if the Home
Secretary wants to claw back these so-called expenses, then he should look no
further than South Wales Police who wrongly arrested and charged Michael O'Brien
with murder, and the court which convicted him. We will be watching the outcome of
this case closely.

WHEN PURCHASING BUS tickets from those machines
On the little boxes you put money into, there's a telephone number for any
0845 458 3496
If you've "lost" money in the machine phone it, and LT will refund you what you've
"lost", say £2.50. Bizarrely they have to
send you coins. By law they have to send you the money. Apparently.

That the new bendy buses are also (and more popularly) known
as the free buses?
Class War
Po Box 467
London E8 3QX

London Class War, PO Box 467, London E8 3QX
* Part of the Anarchist Class War Federation

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