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(en) Britain, Resistance #73 - May 2005

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>(nastyned-A-email.com)
Date Fri, 29 Apr 2005 10:18:26 +0200 (CEST)


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VOTE CUCKOO! ------ We don't think that people are cuckoo to vote, just that they're
-----------cuckoo if they think that voting will change anything, whoever gets
in. More and more people realise this, and in Britain fewer and fewer
people vote, which is why politicians are keen on new methods such as
postal voting, hoping that these will reverse this trend.
Labour, Tory, Liberal Democrat, Nationalist (Plaid Cymru, SNP, Sinn
Fein), `principled radical' (Green party, Respect), or nationalist-
racist (UKIP, Veritas, BNP), the fundamentals of the system are the
same: Bosses and Landlords who own and control the vast majority of
the wealth that we create, protected by the police, legal system, and military.

Lets look at the National Health Service. Labour have put a lot of
money into it, but most of us know that it's still miles short of
what it could and should be. There are long waiting lists for
important operations, causing deaths, worsened health, and distress.
People are hassled out of hospital before they are well enough to
cope, to clear beds and improve the figures, and NHS staff are gagged
by rules and management from telling the truth. Shortages of doctors
and nurses lead hospitals to poach them wholesale from poor regions
such as Africa, which cannot afford to lose them.
Why? A lot of this money has been spent on rubbish such as more
layers of management, and the Private Finance Initiative (PFI). PFI
is an extremely expense way of building new hospitals where the
taxpayer takes the risk and private finance (banks, builders etc.)
rakes in inflated profits for up to 90 years (they own the buildings
and lease them back). Old hospitals are closed down for PFI ones,
often leading to a net loss in beds. Not forgetting that many PFIs
are plagued by major building faults. Labour claim that they are
unlike the Tories because they won't privatise health – rubbish! They
are hard at it through PFI, the continued privatisation of cleaning
(which the Tories introduced), Foundation Hospitals (first class, at
the expense of the rest), etc.
What about immigration? Both Labour and the Conservatives try to
outdo each other to show how "tough" they are (or will be) to poor
people fleeing war, political repression, and hardship (particularly
if they are black).
Why? Because its far easier to blame immigrants / asylum seekers for
lack of housing and decent jobs, instead of those who are really
responsible, bosses, landlords, and politicians. The majority of
immigrants take jobs that others don't want - the crappiest, and
poorest paid ones. Both main parties have built fewer and fewer
houses over the last thirty years, so there is a housing shortage
(and vastly inflated prices) for many, leading (rightfully) to anger
and resentment. The Lib-Dems claim they will be fairer and more
reasonable, but their record in power in councils such as Tower
Hamlets shows that they are just as quick to play the race card as
the others.
War and terrorism? Labour have a fine record of going to war every
five minutes. It shows how tough Blair is that he is happy to send
British workers in the military off to kill (or be killed by) their
foreign working class brothers and sisters, because it serves the
Bosses' interests (American power, Oil etc) . The Tories always
support this mass murder and terrorism, of course. But surely the Lib-
Dems have a better record? They opposed the last Gulf War, after all –
until it started. Then they supported it "to support our troops".
Well the best way to do that would have been to continued opposing
the war, demanding that the troops came home.
So, vote, or don't, it won't make any difference. What will, is to
organise ourselves without leaders, with our neighbours and
workmates. We are the experts on what we need, and on the best way to
run things together for the common good. We have the power, when we
do this and take direct action (work to rule, go slow, strike,
occupy, sabotage, rent or price strike) to achieve what we want.
Let's chuck the cuckoos – politicians, leaders, and Bosses – out of
the nest!

---

ON THE FRONTLINE

Our regular look at struggles in the workplace:
FIRST OFF, POSSIBLY some good news for those of you already fed up of
the election – due to the proposed sacking of 4000 workers at the BBC
(nearly 20% of the workforce) a ballot has been called to vote over
strike action – a yes vote will lead to major problems in covering
the election (and as another bonus, coverage of Wimbledon is also
under threat). Staff in the newsroom are already enforcing a work-to-
rule which is putting pressure on management, a yes vote is expected
with action to follow soon after. In the same field ITV workers have
also been on strike this month over a new pay offer – a 36 hour
walkout followed details of the offer and they?ve now been made an
improved offer as a direct result and are now voting on whether to
accept this.
Tube drivers in Glasgow were also out on a two day stoppage this
month in protest over pay, working conditions and safety issues. This
is the fourth strike in this particular dispute with each walkout
being more complete than the last – management have been unable to
run buses between the city's main stations.
Also trouble on the buses – guess which company we're talking about?
Yes, that's right - First Bus yet again are under attack for their
crappy management, crappy pay and crappy working conditions.
Following successful strikes around the country (most notably
Sheffield) drivers in Swansea and Staffordshire are taking action to
force improvements. In the latter case the dispute is over the bosses
petty vindictiveness which has led to them removing buses providing
transport for drivers who work very early and very late shifts.
There's another dispute in Swansea that the local council thought
they'd seen the back of that's threatening to erupt once more. Last
year council workers staged a mass eight-week wildcat to prevent a
part-privatisation plan going through. The dispute ended with
definite promises being made by management, those promises have now
turned out not to be worth the paper they were written on and there
is once again talk of walking out. The staff involved are I.T.
workers and so have the potential to cause major disruption to the
council. Could get nasty this one.
Teachers in Northern Ireland are balloting for industrial action over
plans to cut their budget by £30 million leading to probably job
losses. Teaching assistants are already out.

---

POPE ON A ROPE

It has been screwing up people's lives for nearly a couple of
thousand years and we are still stuck with it. Of course we are
talking about the Roman Catholic Church ruled by dictators known as
Popes. Why is it that this particular body has survived since ancient
times when nearly everything else from the Roman Empire has gone?
The simple answer is that the Catholic Church, supposedly dating back
to Saint Peter, has managed to combine anti-human beliefs and
superstitions with alliances with the most brutal, thieving and self-
serving states throughout history.
Think of Hitler, Mussolini and Franco, for example. Which religious
body gave them at least passive support? Yes, you've got it- the
Catholic Church. It is no coincidence that the Popes backed them, for
they shared so many ideals in common- blind and unquestioning
obedience for the masses, total control from above, screwing up
people's minds and an obsession with the cult of death.
One pope has just croaked and another has taken his place. The
Church, transfixed with its death cult, made a circus out of the
funeral of Pope John Paul II. Appropriately, every modern day
political butcher from Bush and Blair to Mugabe, rushed to the
funeral, all intending to bask in the glory of this disgusting
display.
John Paul is often called a conservative, but in reality he was only
parroting what the Catholic Church is all about. Despite all the
supposed concern for the meek, poor and helpless, the Church actually
is their greatest enemy.
Countless millions of people have suffered from the Church's
obsession with the evil that it sees in sex. Millions of women across
the globe suffer the effects of multiple births because of the
Church's opposition to contraception and abortion. Millions of the
world's poor are dying from AIDS and the Church carries on
regardless, citing the immorality of non-marital sex and condoms.
Thinking about it, despite the Church's opposition to sex (of all
kinds) why are so many Catholic priests paedophiles?
The Catholic Church and every Pope that leads it are stuck in the
dark ages. Hence the idiotic belief that those who attend mass,
nibble on a biscuit and sip wine are supposedly cannibalising Jesus'
body and blood. Just as daft is the idea that in religious matters,
Popes can never be wrong.
People beware! The rush to grovel at the corpse of the previous Pope
involves a serious message. State leaders, once again, are looking to
religious dogma to control us more effectively. As the saying
goes "We fool you, we rule you."

---

CANADIAN STUDENTS OCCUPY

Between 60,000 and 100,000 militant students marched in Montréal on
March 16. Thousands more marched in Québec City, Sherbrooke, Trois-
Rivières and many other community colleges and universities over
grants. Students blocked the Port of Montréal, closed down the
lucrative Montréal casino, blocked Federal Highway 40, and occupied
various government and Liberal party (the ruling party) offices in
Québec City and Montréal—often for days at a time. In all, close to
300,000 students went on strike, closing almost all public higher
education in Quebec for up to seven weeks (and continuing on many
campuses). Up to 15,000 secondary school students joined
demonstrations in solidarity – with backing from teachers and
widespread support from university lecturers and other college staff,
as well as expressions of solidarity from other workers.
The massive wave of student unrest has received an almost complete
blackout over the border in the United States.

---

COMMUNITY ACTION GATHERING

Haringey Solidarity Group are hosting a special community action
gathering on June 18th, in Bethnal Green, East London: "The idea is
to share information and experiences, and exchange our views as local
activists. Obviously, there's only so much that we can do at one
event, but we hope to establish better links and communication
channels among all the local groups. We will then be able to pass
info around, support each other better, and work together on specific
issues when we need to. That way we will be more effective and be
able to make a real difference to our communities."

How best to organise and take action in local communities?

"Are we having the effect we'd like? What is our relationship with
local residents' groups and broad-based campaigns? Which issues
should be our main priorities? How do immediate practical concerns
link to the need for fundamental social change?

This event aims, through workshop discussions, to:

• share information, local experiences and views about some of the
key issues affecting our communities
• establish better links and communication channels among radical,
community-orientated local groups and individuals

• promote anti-authoritarian, anti-state, anti-capitalist and pro-
working class politics, and collective, non-hierarchical forms of
organisation."

Community Action Gathering c/o Haringey Solidarity Group, P.O.Box
2474, London N8 tel: 0208 374 5027 email: info@hackneyindependent.org

Community Action UK Gathering - Saturday June 18th, 12 noon - 6pm,
Oxford House, Bethnal Green Road, London E2

At resistance we welcome this development and the commitment of those
involved to orientate themselves towards working class struggles.
However, we have our reservations. Back in '98 and 2000 large
anarchist meetings were held which attracted hundreds of activists to
discussions on a wide range of subjects. But although the meetings
were enjoyable they were almost devoid of practical proposals and
achieved little. If this meeting is to be a success it will need to
move its focus away from just discussion and towards active
organisation.

---

JUST BOOKS PROJECT

"Just Books was an Anarchist `bookshop' that was opened by the
Belfast Anarchist Collective back in June 1978. Just Books was more
than just a bookshop however, the premises included a cafe and print
workshop and provided a focal point for the collectives many
activities until it closed shop sixteen years later in June 1994.
The Just Books collective disappeared for a while after that but in
recent years we have provided book stalls at the Belfast May Day
celebrations, at numerous Grassroots Gatherings and at other events.
Just Books are working towards opening a new centre in Belfast. We
are aiming to have things up and running in time to mark the 70th
anniversary of the beginning of the Spanish Revolution - July 2006.
To do this we need some active solidarity.
Again we want to make Just Books more than just a bookshop. We
envisage a solidarity centre in Belfast that incorporates accessible
resources and information for workers in struggle - in a premises
providing a multi-lingual resource library, a bookshop, meeting
space, internet access and a coffee shop. Ideally we would also like
to include a print workshop and a projector for showing films. These
are possibilities - we are asking for your support in order to
achieve them.
At the minute this is how you can help: Donate books to our multi-
lingual resource library (hundreds of titles have already been
collected).
Buy a tee-shirt, printed by Organise! to raise funds for Just Books.
The design is a wild cat (see picture ) with Solidarity is Strength
in text. Red ink on black shirt or black ink on red. These are
available for £8.00 plus a couple of quid postage from the Just Books
email address.
Buy a copy of `A Wee Black Booke of Belfast Anarchism', by Mairtin
O'Cathain, for £2.50 and printed by Organise! Again all the money
raised from sales of this pamphlet will go to Just Books."
In Solidarity;
Jason for Just Books Collective
email: JustBooks@safemail.com

---

TIME BOMB

Our monthly look at history:

Mayday in Chicago 1886

May 1st 1886 saw 340,000 workers striking all over the United States
demanding an 8-hour day. In Chicago alone 80,000 came out. There the
anarchist movement was strong and had taken a great part in the
agitation.
The following Monday, the police fired on strikers at the McCormick
Harvester works and killed six.
The next day a protest meeting was held in the centre of Chicago. At
the end, the police attacked the rally. In the following uproar a
bomb was thrown at the police, killing one outright and fatally
wounding seven others.
Evidence came to light later that a police agent had thrown the bomb.
The State and the bosses used this incident to victimise anarchists,
some of whom had spoken at the rally, and had already gone on
elsewhere when the bomb was thrown.
After a farce of a trial, where the judge showed openly how biased he
was, with a jury made up of businessmen, their clerks, and a relative
of a dead policeman, four anarchists were hanged, another foiling the
hangman by taking his own life.
In 1888 the American Federation of Labour proclaimed May Day as a day
of action. The Paris Conference of the Second International of
Working People fixed Mayday as an international day of solidarity for
the 8-hour day.
That year, demonstrations took place all over the world.
The anarchists had not been satisfied with the granting of 8 hours,
they saw the actions as a springboard to further action and
organisation and the destruction of capitalism.
In Britain, when workers took the day off on May 1st, a previous
Labour government conveniently granted a public holiday- but not
necessarily on Mayday but the closest Monday to it! What a joke!
May 1st should be brought back to life as a day when we don't go to
work, when we take over the streets and prepare for the time when
every day will be Mayday, when we take on the State and the boss
class, when we ignore the pathetic manipulations of the trade union
bureaucrats and their leftist friends (who conveniently disguise the
fact that the Chicago martyrs were anarchists), when boring
ritualised demonstrations are replaced by meaningful mass action.

Roll on that day!

---

INSIDE INFORMATION

US anti war activist gets five years
A man opposed to the war in Iraq will spend the next five years in
federal prison for throwing a Molotov cocktail through the window of
a local armed forces recruiting station in Vestal, NY. Brendan Walsh
was recently sentenced in Federal Court. Walsh had pleaded guilty to
a charge of attempting to damage or destroy a building by arson.
In April of 2003, he threw a Molotov cocktail through the window of
the recruiting station on the Vestal Parkway. He was also charged
with attempted destruction of communication lines utilized by the
U.S. Armed Forces, which carried a maximum sentence of 10 years.
Detectives say Broome Security's work with surveillance video was
crucial in their investigation. Walsh is also responsible for
smashing the window of the recruitment centre in June of last year.
To support please mail all correspondence to: Brendon Walsh c/o
Jeremy Shirvan 2714 WIlliam St, Endwell, NY 13760-5822, USA.

Turkish military objector jailed
Gay anarchist military objector Mehmet Tarhan was taken into custody
by the police in Izmirand. Now Mehmet Tarhan is planning civil
disobedience and if necessary, he will start a hunger strike. Groups
have been formed to support Mehmet and are organising a big campaign.
The repression that Mehmet is suffering is part of a wider campaign
by the Turkish state against Kurds, leftists and all who oppose it.
His supporters are calling all the anarchist, anti-authoritarian and
anti-militarist groups in other countries to arrange actions and
campaigns against the Turkish state.
Revolution is anywhere, and nothing will suppress it!
www.savaskarsitlari.org

Anti fascist in Russia jailed
Aleksander "Miller" Tomenko was arrested in Rostov-na-Donu of Russia
in end of march after a fight with local nazis.
He has been active in the anarchist movement for three years. His
sister has hired a lawyer, but yet she can pay only half of the
reasonable payment of $500 the lawyer asked for his services. Also at
least $20/month is required to feed Miller in remand prison.
Accounts for international money transfers are being opened and the
account details will be put online at
www.avtonom.org/news/miller.html in Russian and English when they are
available. In the meantime if anybody wants to plan solidarity
benefit events, etc., the money will be appreciated...
Info from: www.brightonabc.org.uk

Brighton ABC need funds!
Brighton Anarchist Black Cross prisoners support group, working for
prison abolition and supporting political prisoners, have lost a
major source of their funding. This group need our support!
Cheques made to "ABC" can be sent to: ABC Brighton, PO Box 74,
Brighton, BN1 4ZQ, 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.

MAY: 1: International Workers' Day.
3: Picket of Spearhead Exhibitions (organisers of the DSEi arms fair)
and all day electronic blockade. visit: www.dsei.org
4: Campaign Against the Arms Trade morning of action at BAE SYSTEMS
Annual General Meeting. From 10am to 1pm. Queen Elizabeth 2
Conference Centre, Broad Sanctuary, opposite Westminster Abbey,
London. visit: www.caat.org.uk
15: International Conscientious Objectors' Day. Organised by War
Resisters' International. tel: 020 7278 4040 email:: info@wri-irg.org
visit: www.wri-irg.org
15: Sexual Freedom Coalition Conference & Celebration. The Horse
Hospital Entrance £10 / £5 concessions The Colonnade, Bloomsbury
London WC1.visit: www.sfc.org.uk
19 - June 2nd: Trident Ploughshares Devonport Disarmament Camp. tel:
0845 458 8368 Visit: www.tridentploughshares.org
20: Blockade The Base - Trident Ploughshares Regeneration Carnival.
Meet Devonport Dockyard gates from 6.30am onwards Part of the Trident
Ploughshares Disarmament Camp tel: 0845 458 8368 vist:
www.tridentploughshares.org
June: 11: Norwich's 2nd annual anarchist bookfair. 10am to 7pm. tel:
07941 657 485. email: norwichanarchists@hotmail.com visit:
www.norwichanarchists.org
18: Community Action Gathering See article inside

---

JOIN THE RESISTANCE

The Anarchist Federation is an organisation of class struggle
anarchists aiming to
abolish capitalism and all oppression to
create a free and equal society. This is
Anarchist Communism.
We see today's society as being divided into two main opposing
classes: the ruling class which controls all the power and wealth,
and the working class which the rulers exploit to maintain this. By
racism, sexism and other forms of oppression, as well as war and
environmental destruction the rulers weaken and divide us. Only the
direct action of working class people can defeat these attacks and
ultimately overthrow capitalism.
As the capitalist system rules the whole world, its destruction must
be complete and world wide. We reject attempts to reform it, such as
working through parliament and
national liberation movements, as they fail to challenge capitalism
itself. Unions also work as a part of the capitalist system, so
although workers struggle within them they 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: www.afed.org.uk
Email: info@afed.org.uk


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