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(en) Britain, Anarchist Federation - Resistance 80 - Dec 2005-Jan 2006

Date Wed, 07 Dec 2005 19:32:42 +0200


SOCIAL CHANGE NOT CLIMATE CHANGE
The disastrous effects of Global Warming are being felt world-wide.
Rising sea levels are leading to floods and landslides, increasing storm
activity is causing widespread death, homelessness, and destruction,
and long and sustained droughts are severely damaging food
production. Ultimately, millions will die, and there will be massive
ecological destruction, if we do not act.
Global Warming is caused by road and air traffic, fossil-fuelled
manufacturing and industrial agriculture (together 85%), and
fossil-fuelled electricity production (15%). The twin vampires of
corporations and governments are responsible for the mess we're in,
relying on ever-expanding production and consumption to provide
them with their life blood - profits and power.

Solutions that aren’t

Admitting that any real change would be “politically
unrealistic”, politicians and their corporate sponsors are keen on
“technical fixes”- new technologies that don't address the
causes of climate change. Nuclear power is the current favourite of
Blair and his spin doctors, claiming it doesn’t produce carbon
dioxide. However, as a technology it is very dangerous. It relies heavily
on dwindling supplies of uranium, is still so costly that it needs
massive government subsidies, is vulnerable to terrorism, fuels
nuclear weapons production, and produces volumes of toxic waste
with no safe storage solution. In addition, it has an unprecedented
record of accidents, near disasters and health risks. And, the power
stations themselves release unknown quantities of greenhouse gases
that are more powerful than CO2. In any case, it would take about
2000 new nuclear power stations of 1000 megawatt capacity to
produce a noticeable reduction in global carbon dioxide emissions.

The road and air traffic lobby is massively powerful, ensuring that
alternatives are not developed. The government's response to
increased demand for transport is to build more roads that immediately
become congested and to expand and build more airports. Meanwhile,
privatised buses and trains are run for profit, making public transport
often a more expensive and unusable option, forcing people to rely on
their cars. Schemes such as the congestion charge are about ensuring
that traffic (transport for profit) keeps flowing, rather than creating
transport for human need. The idea of a 'green car' is as sensible as a
chocolate frying pan.

People Power

Since companies and governments can't and won't act, it is up to us to
do something. As individuals we should do what we can - minimise
car and air travel, insulate our homes, minimise waste and maximise
recycling etc. Ultimately, however, we can only reverse global
warming by challenging the system that has brought the planet to the
brink of disaster. In particular, we need to organise against the
State’s plans to resurrect Frankenstein’s monster of nuclear
power, challenge new road and airport plans and oppose Agribusiness
with their use of chemicals, production of GM crops and factory
farming. We can only do this by getting together with our neighbours
and workmates, organising and acting collectively, without politicians
and leaders, and taking direct action. This maximises our power, and
avoids us being “sold out” as leaders always end up in bed
with the powerful.

We want renewable energy - solar, wind, tidal and hydro-electric,
geo-thermal etc, different sources deployed as appropriate to the
locality. It should be small-scale, generating electricity for local needs
(rather than for the centralised national grid), and genuinely
community controlled. And, we need to question the whole logic of
capitalist growth that has chained us to work and consumption,
producing increased quantities of goods whilst the quality of our lives
deteriorates.

IT'S OUR WORLD, LET'S TAKE IT BACK!
--



ON THE FRONTLINE

Our regular look at workplace struggles:

We’ll start a busy month with an extraordinary story aboard two
Irish ferries where workers have been involved in a long running
dispute over management’s willingness to exploit the desperation
of east european workers to undermine pay and safety conditions. A
recent High Court victory for the workers should have guaranteed
current conditions remain in place till at least 2007. However the
management has decided to simply ignore this ruling and in an echo
of the recent case in Corsica, where commandoes were used to clear
strikers off a ferry, they decided to hire a gang of strong arm goons to
remove the most militant of workers from the ferries (smuggled
aboard disguised as paying passengers!). Unluckily for them the goons
turned out not be so fearless as expected and were swiftly repulsed
from the ferries, followed by workers barricading themselves into the
engine room - meaning that the ferries would not be going anywhere.
The two ferries remain stuck in port and the management are left with
egg on their face.

Firefighters in the Midlands have held a series of three hour walkouts
in protest at unacceptable changes in their working conditions. More
are in the pipeline but the local authority looks to have caved in,
already fearful of yet another national flare up. The lesson is strike
now, and strike quickly...

Trouble looming in the Magistrates Courts where 7000 workers are
expected to vote for a national strike in early December. Workers are
angry at a cost-of-living pay rise that’s actually below the rate of
inflation and so is effectively a pay-cut, and this in an industry where
over 50% already earn under £15 000 a year.

Gas engineers have also just voted for a national strike over pensions
in December - 6000 of them will walkout in anger at plans to scrap the
final salary pension scheme for new workers from mid 2006.

And speaking of pensions, research on directors who’ve signed an
open letter urging the government to raise the retirement age has
revealed that 98% of company directors have the right to retire before
65, with 78% of them being able to retire at 60 - and with a pension
payout on average 26 times higher then the average. How nice of them
to be so concerned with us eh?
---

JESUS CHRIST!

The Christian charity Breakfast Trust are upset because some
switched-on, street-wise kid asked why Mary and Joseph named their
baby after a swear word! So they have spent. £200,000 making a
30-minute animated film called “It’s A Boy!”, featuring
the voices, of among others, Cannon and Ball, with music by the
celestial Wanker Virgin Sir Cliff Richard! A copy is being sent to every
primary school in Wales. Geraint Davies, secretary of the
teachers’ union NASUWT thinks it’s a good resource and
should be widely used in the run up to Christmas. The indoctrination
of children with a fictitious story about the birth of Jesus (the Xmas
story) is rather perverted and sick considering Jesus never actually
existed as a person.

Yes, that’s right, he’s a construct. A myth! If you want proof
check out Brian Flemming’s revealing film “The God Who
wasn’t There” at www.thegodmovie.com. You will discover
that the early founders of Christianity seem wholly unaware of the idea
of a human Jesus. The Jesus of the Gospels bears a striking
resemblance to other ancient heroes and figureheads of pagan saviour
cults.

Christianity borrowed its central myths and ceremonies from ancient
religions. The ancient world was rife with tales of virgin births, miracle
working saviours, tripartite gods, gods taking human form, gods
arising from the dead, heaven and hells, and days of judgement.

Many of the ceremonies of ancient religions match those of
Christianity, e.g. consider Mithraism. Mithra, the saviour of the
Mithraic religion and a god who took human form, was born of a
virgin. He belonged to a holy trinity and was a link between heaven
and earth. And he ascended into heaven after his death.

His followers believed in heaven and hell, looked forward to a day of
judgement and referred to Mithra as “the light of the world”.
They also practised baptism (for purification purposes) and ritual
cannibalism - the eating of bread and the drinking of wine to
symbolize the eating and drinking of he god’s body and blood.
Given all this Mithra’s birthday should come as no surprise:
December 25th. This event was celebrated by Mithra’s followers
at midnight.

But Christians today aren’t obsessed with blood and violence, are
they? Bush: “God Told Me to Invade Iraq”. Now this cruel and
bloodthirsty religion is to be used to corrupt our children. Jesus Christ
indeed!

Gwent Anarchists will be showing the film “The God Who
Wasn’t There” on 12 Dec 7.30pm at Oasis Leisure Club,
Edlogan Way, Cwmbran.

---

ARMAGEDDON OUT OF HERE!

Fundamentalist Christianity threatens the environment, in addition to
the damage it inflicts on people. Millions of fundamentalists take
books such as the Bible as the literal truth.

These dunderheads believe that when the Israeli state has occupied
the rest of its ‘biblical lands’, it will be attacked by the legions
of the Antichrist, resulting in a final showdown in the valley of
Armageddon. Jews who have not converted to Christianity will be
burned, and the messiah will return for the Rapture. Believers will be
transported naked to heaven, and their political and religious enemies
will suffer plagues of boils, sores, locusts, and frogs for several years.

So, many fundamentalist Christians may actually believe that
environmental destruction should actually be welcomed or hastened as
a sign of the forthcoming apocalypse. This includes nearly half of the
US Congress who were backed by the religious right. James Watt,
who was the first secretary of the interior under president Reagan, told
Congress not to worry about protecting natural resources because
‘After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back’. The Bush
administration wants to rewrite laws in favour of corporations, and to
open the Arctic wildlife refuge to oil drilling. The Environmental
Protection Agency plans to spend $9 million to pay poor families to act
as guinea pigs, continuing to use pesticides which have been linked to
brain damage in children in their homes .

All this reinforces our view that all fundamentalist religions threaten
humanity (and our planet), and that we need to actively oppose their
ideas.

---

CAPITAL OPPRESSES, THE STATE REPRESSES

RIOTS IN FRANCE

Report made by French comrades to a meeting of the International of
Anarchist Federations (IAF-IFA).

On October 25th, The Minister of the Interior, Nicolas Sarkozy,
presented a new series of measures on the television which gave more
powers to the police and reinforced controls and surveillance
(Internet, cameras) in the name of the struggle against terrorism. The
same day, he declares that he wants to take on the ‘rabble’,
how he describes the youth of the outlying neighbourhoods of Paris.
On October 27th, two young people, met accidental deaths at Clichy
sous Bois in the Paris region, while they were trying to escape a police
control. The following night, the young people of the neighbourhood
where Ziad and Berbou lived, confronted the police. Ministers
absolved the police who had chased the two young people, even
though witnesses contradicted the official versions. This so angered
people that more nights of violence followed.

In the next few nights, the revolt spread to many French towns.
Hundreds of cars, schools, police stations, businesses and public
transport vehicles were destroyed by fire. Confrontations took place
with the police and many hundreds of arrests were made. After the
11th night of riots on the November, the French government decided
that a curfew could be declared throughout the French departments:
enacting a law of 1955. This law was created by the State to deal with
troubles linked to the Algerian war. Despite that, riots continue, but
less frequently.

These events, unique in French history, originated in the poverty in
the outlying neighbourhoods of the big towns. Built at the beginning
to welcome the French who left independent Algeria (1963) but also
the rural populations which wanted to work in the towns, these estates
became places abandoned by the State; The buildings became
rundown because they were not maintained, the population changed:
the poorest were sent there, notably immigrants and their families.
Very quickly, these neighbourhoods, all built far from town centres,
concentrated foreign incomers (in majority African), unemployed,
poor labourers….Other difficulties added to this, progressive
withdrawal of public services from these neighbourhoods, appalling
housing, lack of socio-cultural structures, social, racial and spatial
discriminations… In the place of workers’ organisations leading
the working class, religious networks attempted to structure social
relations. During this time, State police repressed and watched the
young people of these neighbourhoods, to dissuade them from coming
out of there; progressively the identifications of these young people
with their neighbourhoods evolved into an urban ghetto culture and
often mixed with religion.

It is still too soon to know if this spontaneous movement will have
effects on French society; today, the government takes decisions
which don’t have direct effects on the problems experienced: the
curfew is a weapon of war, not of dialogue; tax remittals to bosses of
businesses who would set up there are no answer to massive
unemployment; proposals to work in apprenticeships from 14 years
old, is the setting up of child labour.

The other question tragically put by these events, is the legitimacy of
the Republican model: “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”. Whilst
the capitalist economic system keeps children of immigrants in
poverty, the State reinforces surveillance and repression. This situation
legitimises the racist speeches of Le Pen and a fringe of the French
population.

The great difficulty now is to anticipate a situation which is getting no
better. How to formulate collective projects of social and political
emancipation where youth of these abandoned neighbourhoods could
create the instruments of their own autonomy and freedom? How,
concretely, to put forward an anticapitalist and libertarian method of
analysis which could be taken into account and perhaps let these
spontaneous revolts give birth one day to a revolution? Finally, how to
integrate from now the demands of these young people into those of
the social and libertarian movement, so that the convergences of
struggles are no longer overlooked?

For more information on news from France and the up-coming
IAF-IFA Day of Action against State repression and the military visit
www.iaf-ifa.org

---

DEFY ID

ID cards update: Here are some developments over the last month or
so:

• ID card trials are being organised in the UK. We hear that Steve
Green, Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire is planning to have
Nottingham as a trial area for the ID cards, prior to the nationwide
introduction of the scheme. And the bill hasn’t even got through
yet - does that tell us something about whether writing to your MP
would work?

• Driving licences are a problem. The UK’s vehicle licensing
authority DVLA is working towards adding more and more
information. If you apply for a licence you already have to have your
photo on it and, along with the Passport Office, they have been
conducting iris scan trials.

• Bristol City Council has joined eight other councils who have
already voted to refuse to implement ID cards. This might sound good,
but local council “don’t implement” pledges during the
anti-Poll Tax campaign didn’t amount to much – so let’s
not forget it was the people wot stopped it!

• In Paris, leading up to the riots across France, ID checks were
implicated in the deaths of teenagers who were electrocuted hiding
from police in a power substation. Interior ministry forces continually
harass suburban residents with ID checks.

• Dutch ID card refusers have been fined and taken to court. A new
law came into effect in January 2005, making it compulsory in the
Netherlands for everybody over14 to carry ID. Getting stopped without
one means at least a fifty Euro fine, which has happened to tens of
thousands of people already, and a first batch of 250 people was taken
to court in September.

The lessons here are firstly that to build an effective fighting
movement against ID, lobbying parliament is pointless – instead
we need to strengthen and set up more local activist groups and
organise public meetings. Secondly, the move to biometric ID and
databases is already happening through passports and driving licences.
Thirdly, it is clear that the ID cards problem is much wider than
Labour’s own Bill, and international solidarity will be needed. The
Dutch experience is set to be repeated across Europe, and the world, if
we don’t put a stop to it by popular revolt and our sharing of
experiences.

Read the AF’s new pamphlet, Defending Anonymity, on the web
from http://www.afed.org.uk, or in print for free (but send SAE) from
BM ANARFED, London, WC1N 3XX.

---

INSIDE INFORMATION

Repression in Poland

“In the past months, a wave of repression has struck Poland. We
assess the number of people currently or lately under police repression
to be about 80. For several years actions of many different political and
social groups that openly protest against the Polish government’s
policy have suffered more and more repression. This phenomenon is
not an incidental, but on a mass scale. For the past 3-4 years many
activists of anarchist, antiwar, ecological movement, etc. have been
put on trial. The reason of the government’s repressions is
undoubtedly an increase in number of social conflicts. You can help us
by sending a donation for costs of lawyers, suits etc. We are collecting
money through the Anarchist Black Cross’s bank account:
PEKAO BP // XX o/Poznan // ul.Stary Rynek 44 // 61-722 Poznan //
Poland // swift code: bpkoplpwapoa // for USD:
10204085-5999100-270-44787 // owner: Marek Piekarski. Anarchist
Black Cross/Anarchist Federation P.O.Box 5 60-966 Poznan 31,
Poland sanch@wp.pl

US prisoner attacked by Nazis

Harold Thompson, an anarchist comrade and jailhouse lawyer who
has been in Tennessee prisons since the late 70’s has been
attacked by a racist ‘Aryan Brotherhood’ gang.

Harold says: “Consider calling, or writing, to Warden Tony
Parker, NWCC, 960 State Route 212, Tiptonville, Tennessee 38079,
USA or to Commissioner George Little, Tennessee Department of
Correction, Rachel Jackson Building 4th floor, 320 Sixth Avenue
North, Nashville, Tennessee 37243-9465, USA to ask what is up with
this prison when an older prisoner, sixty three years old, is mobbed by
AB punks while working his assigned job? I realize I am fortunate -
bones were not broken in the attack on me and that I am breathing
even though when I clear my throat or blow my nose I still see fresh
blood, several days after the assault. I may hurt all over but I will live. I
am tough as nails and a survivor.”

You can also write to Harold at: Harold Thompson, #93992, NWCC,
960 State Route 212, Tiptonville, Tennessee 38079, USA

---

READ THIS!

Active Solidarity Newsletter

Oct 05 issue out now!

Active Solidarity is our occasional newsletter, with the latest news on
prisoners, repression and solidarity.Free with an SAE to ABC, PO
BOX 74, Brighton BN1 4ZQ, UK
---

SUBVERT!

When going on demonstrations stay sober, don’t talk to the police
and if you’re arrested give only your name and address then say
‘no comment’ to any other questions. For more info visit:
http://www.ldmg.org.uk

DECEMBER:

3 Manchester Anarchist Bookfair The Basement in Manchester's
Northern Quarter.Visit the website: http://www.radicalbookfair.org.uk

3 International Day of Climate Protest - to coincide with the next
round of climate talks in Montreal. Days of action in London and
Edinburgh and Bangor (www.hebffinia.com) as well as simultaneous
demonstrations in many other countries including USA, Canada,
Greece, Turkey, Australia and Asia.
http://www.globalclimatecampaign.org & http://www.campaigncc.org

3 Anarchist Assembly Against Authoritarianism “The UK regime
is quickly constructing a dystopian web of repression. Today’s
ASBOs, injunctions and exclusion zones will soon be joined by
biometric ID cards, internment, blanket powers of arrest and summary
justice. This cannot go on unchallenged. This is an invitation for an
open dialogue between all anarchist and anti-authoritarians to discuss
how we resist the authoritarianism of the state in our day to day lives,
in our local communities, and on an international level.” 2pm -
6pm University of London Union (ULU)
an_assembly@hushmail.com

4. “Beating the Bounds” of the Democracy-Free Zone around
Parliament in London, where protest is now a crime. Meet 12 noon by
Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, London.

8 Brighton Peace and Environment centre presents a fund-raising
night of folk, blues and soul @Grand Central Pub (opposite the
centre) Tickets 2.50 minimum donation

10 Stop the Arms Trade! Defend the Right to Protest! Churchill
Square, Brighton. 12 noon.

JANUARY: 7-8 10th anniversary Newbury Re-union. 10 years since
the start of work on the Newbury Bypass “Thousands of people
passed through this mammoth campaign, many with their lives
changed forever. Come and meet up with old friends and relive that
freezing cold winter experience! People who weren’t at Newbury
are more than welcome too.” www.roadalert.org.uk

9-15 Faslane Peace Camp “Adventure Week’

27 Brighton Critical Mass 6pm The Level,
http://www.tinyurl.com/dfkc2

28 Prison Abolition Seminar. Resisting prison construction, radical
alternatives to prison and abolitionist theory past and present are the
themes for this seminar. Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn,
London 2 - 5pm. http://www.alternatives2prison.ik.com

---

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.

If you’re interesting in joining contact us at:

Anarchist Federation,

BM ANARFED, London, WC1N 3XX

Email: info@afed.org.uk

Also visit: http://www.afed.org.uk & http://www.iaf-ifa.org

Subscriptions to (printed copy of) resistance costs £4 from the
address above for 12 issues. A two issue subscription to our magazine,
Organise! for revolutionary anarchism, is also £4.

You can subscribe to resistance by email for free via the website
above.
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