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(en) Britain, AF - resistance Issue 70 - February 2005

From nastyneduk <nastyned@email.com>
Date Wed, 2 Feb 2005 19:08:48 +0100 (CET)


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A TIDAL WAVE OF SOLIDARITY ---- One of the most encouraging things about
the aftermath of the tsunami disaster was the way ordinary people all around
the world gave money in a global gesture of solidarity.
This was in sharp contrast with politicians like Bush and Blair who
at first failed to even respond to the disaster and then promised
derisory amounts of aid. The initial sum promised by the US was the
equivalent of a day and half of the money spent on the war and
occupation in Iraq and by the UK was the equivalent of five and a
half days. When this was exposed the US and UK governments were
forced to up their aid.

Even the aid promised by countries and institutions could prove to
be a mirage. One example among many is when the International
Monetary Fund promised million in aid after the Iran earthquake. A
year later, only illion had been received!
Likewise, the banks charge a transaction fee, usually between one and
2.5 per cent, each time a credit card is used for charity. The fee is
paid by the charity anywhere which accepts electronic payment a
company known as a "bank acquirer cover costs such as processing the
payment and guaranteeing the funds. Under widespread pressure, the
banks were forced to waive this sly way of making profit.
An early warning system for tsunamis was possible, but was rejected
by governments in the region as "too costlyhey don't think twice
about spending far more on their military, like Sri Lanka and
Indonesia, busy fighting internal wars with ethnic minorities.
Finally, however, how much of the money so generously given by
ordinary people will actually get to those who need it? A lot will be
creamed off by the bureaucracies of charities. What does arrive may
well be carved up by the State structures and then regional and local
administrators. Some of this may well disappear into officialsckets,
whilst the aid that is distributed will be given to favourites and
any `troublemakersy be discriminated against. Local groups of workers
and peasants will have to fight to make sure that aid is distributed
fairly.

---

RESERVIST REVOLTS!

On the same day that the Ministry of Defence released figures citing
790 UK troops as having suffered "serious injuries a result of
hostile actions in Iraq, Lance Corporal George Solomou called for
other Territorial Army reservists to follow his lead and refuse to
obey orders to deploy there.
Citing his objections he said believe the occupation of Iraq to be
illegal e weapons of mass destruction, the connection to al-Qaeda ne
of it was true. This war is a turning point in history and is about
America setting itself on a course to control the world's petroleume
followed this up with a press conference the following day, where he
gave his reasons for war resistance in detail.

---

PENSIONS

New Labour put forward new regulations for pensions last December
which will come into force in April, increasing the age at which
employees can retire with an unreduced pension from 60 to 65. They
are also planning under the National Health Service pension scheme to
increase retirement age to 65.
The Trades Union Congress as a result of widespread anger and
pressure from union members has called a day of action to protect
pensions on February 18.
The TUC dragged its feet over the day of action and took many months
to arrange it. Even then, it was to be a day of action, and not
involve anything like strike action
Whether it's state pensions where payout is low, private sector
pensions where final salary schemes are ending or public sector
pensions where the retirement age is being raised to 65, pensions are
under attack.
At it's last conference New Labour announced a scheme to discourage
people from retiring early. Work until 70 and receive a lump sum of
30,000. Apart from some people dropping dead before they get there
and so saving the State a lot of money, you stand a good chance of
being totally knackered when you get it!
Make no mistake, the attack on pensions is an attack on the working
class. It is vital that we stop Blair and his cronies getting their
way.

The Russian example
Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, was forced to double pensions
after widespread protests across Russia by pensioners. He stated that
pensions should go up by 200 roubles. Demonstrations had taken place
from Vladivostok on the Pacific coast to Moscow. These days
demonstrations and other shows of mass discontent are rare and the
Putin administration was obviously rattled. The old pensions system
was given out mainly in subsidies, from free travel on public
transport to low prices on medicines. The new scheme would be
replaced by cash payments. Pensioners were not convinced.

---

ON THE FRONTLINE

Our MONTHLY STRIKE watch:
Things seem to be heating up in Glasgow where there have been two
serious disputes rstly on the underground, where a wildcat four-hour
strike following the workers rejection of two year pay deal has been
immediately followed up with an overtime ban and a vote in favour of
a series of one-day strikes. The speed with which the workers have
escalated their action seems to have taken the management by surprise
tting them hard and fast works en if you have to go outside of the
union bureaucracy to do so.
At Glasgow airport fire-fighters have declared a an indefinite open-
ended strike from Jan 29 over drastic changes in working practices
that endanger both workers and travellers, and will result in
dragging out response times to incidents from two to 14 minutes.
Management meddling in working practices is rarely beneficial to
anyone but this is also highly dangerous d they're supposed to be the
brains of the operation!
Central Trains in the midlands are also to be the target of strike
action after 700 drivers voted for three 24-hour stoppages three
consecutive Saturdays e dispute flared after two drivers were the
subject of disciplinary action, which the workers feel amounted to
management bullying.
The trouble keeps on coming at the under-construction Heathrow
Terminal 5 where access problems for construction workers are adding
three hours to their day rict security issues mean that it takes 90
minutes to get into work and 90 minutes to get out! To make matters
worse management are refusing to reimburse some sections of the
workforce the that they pay to others for this delay clear attempt to
split the workers. This has led to a strike ballot that is expected
to endorse one-day stoppages. Steel erectors at the site are also
holding a strike ballot over disciplinary action against three of
their fellow workers.
And in France an estimated 210,000 public sector workers including
teachers, postal workers, rail and air traffic control workers,
joined a January strike movement against cuts and changes to the 35
hour week rules. The strike saw large demonstrations across France in
what the unions have described as warning actions in preparation for
an all-out public sector strike on February 5. France's big union
confederations find themselves in a difficult situation when they
call strikes as history has shown, angry workers don't like being
used as a stage army and have a tendency to take things a little
further
---

WATER WAR TWO VICTORY!

After the World Bank promoted privatisation of the water supply in
1997, Bolivian workers have seen water price rise by up to 35%. This
provoked a revolt in the city of Cochabamba in 2000 known as
the "Water Waren community direct action and mass street
mobilisations resulted in the water supply being taken out of the
hands of the US Bechtel corporation.
In early January, in what has been described as "Water War
Twoeighbourhood organisations in El Alto (pop. 800,000) launched an
indefinite general strike against the local private water and
sanitation supplier, French firm Aguas del Illiamani whose prices
have left tens of thousands of the poorest without access to clean
water. The government, fearful of a repeat of the oil price protests
of 2003 which swept the country and saw the fall of their
predecessor, was forced to immediately cancel the company's contract.
The service is now back in municipal hands.

But obviously state ownership means that control of resources remains
out of the hands of those people who need them and those who actually
run the services, the water and sanitation workers. Indeed, under
pressure from the World Bank the Bolivian government may at any time
sell to another transnational company
The spokesperson of the Cochabamba campaign, Oscar Olivera, says
that "The people want to participate in the management of all that
affects their daily lives.timately, as our comrades in the
Libertarian Youth (Anarcho-communist) argue, "Only a social
revolution and the construction of a new society can offer a future
to the workers who fight, not only to solve their immediate problems,
but also to construct their self-managed, horizontal, libertarian
communist future.or further information contact:
Juventudes Libertarias, Bolivia
Email: jjll_bolivia@hotmail.com

---

FASH BASHED

After a lot of confusion and last minute date changing, the fascist
National Front (NF) finally decided to have their march in Woolwich
on January 15. The march was held to stir up racial tensions
following the horrible murder of white teenager Terry Gregory last
year. His family have repeatedly said they want nothing to do with
the NF or their politics. This was the anniversary of Terry's death,
with the NF also holding a march last year.
One group of anti-fascists spotted two particularly ugly and badly
dressed boneheads and followed them onto a train heading towards
their meet up point. At the next stop, the boneheads were made to
feel extremely `uncomfortable the train and one fascist would later
turn up to the march looking more than a little worse for wear. One
anti-fascist sustained an injury, from the fascists attacking his
fists with their faces!
The NF later held their march, bringing out thirty members (almost
half last year's total). No arrests were made.
For more information about fighting fascism, contact Antifa at:
www.antifa.org.uk

---

LIBERTY NOT TYRANNY!

Stalinist icon Che Guevara's grandson, Canek Sanchez Guevara, has
become an anarchist!
Canek has severely criticised the Castro regime in Cuba set up by
Fidel Castro and his grandfather. Adopting a clear anarchist
position, he gave his reasons why he thought the regime in Cuba had
nothing to do with workers having control of society, and was a
dictatorship suppressing freedom of speech and association.
Read about it here: www.ainfos.ca/ainfos336/ainfos16681.html

---

THEY'RE ALL AT IT!

When the BBC broadcast the Jerry Springer Opera in early January
the moral guardians of the right raised their hackles. Mediawatch
UK, the UK Lifeleague, and Christian Voice all voiced their strong
disapproval. The last group is trying to prosecute the BBC under a
17th century law of blasphemy which "forbids the promotion of
reviling, scurrilous or ludicrous matter relating to God, Jesus
Christ, or the Bible, or the formularies of the Church of Englandt
believes Britain is "deep in sind drowning under a "tidal wave of
filthThis crew of Christian fundamentalists were much encouraged by
the protests by Sikh fundamentalists against the play by Gurpreet
Bhatti (herself a Sikh) which succeeded in closing the play down. One
Sikh who set himself against the action of these fundamentalists said
that "the promotion of religion in public life, especially under New
Labour, has not only legitimised `rottenlticulturalism- where culture
has long given way to religion, particularly if it is capable of
delivering ethnic minority votese went on to say that the result is
often to stifle dissent within religions and make particular
traditions as representative of the whole of the Sikh, Muslim,
Christian or Hindu way.
Around about the same time, the Rampart social centre in East London
and Indymedia Cinema organised a festival of documentaries from
India. The social centre received threatening phone calls from Hindu
fundamentalists who claimed that the films had an anti-Hindu agenda.
These threats began after fundamentalist groups (the BJP and the
VHP) were alerted on a mailing list .The social centre refused to
give in, especially after the solidarity it received from many
quarters.
These incidents are a backdrop to the plans by Charles Clarke,
successor of Blunkett as Home Secretary, to push through "religious
hatews.
We anarchists stand for a secular society. We oppose all attempts by
reactionary religious groups to impose their agendas. We stand for
free speech and free expression. These moves by religious
fundamentalists are equally to protect the vested interests of groups
within the Sikh community against rebellion within its own ranks, as
is the case within the Muslim communities.
Multiculturalism as pushed by the New Labour establishment is meant
not to promote tolerance and understanding but to promote rigid ideas
of ethnic identity. Instead of competing communities defined by fake
ideas of ethnicity and by religion, we look towards a working class
that will be united in action whilst remaining ethnically and
culturally various and different. We must fight any attempt to gag us
with dodgy laws based on clapped-out ideas about blasphemy.

---

WELFARE FOR THE RICH


When Rachel's Organic (Dairy) Ltd announced a "massive new extension
its headquarters and main processing plant in Aberystwyth at a cost
of BBC Wales News focused on the extra 50 jobs that would be created
and that the company were getting huge political and financial
support from the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) and the Welsh
Development Agency.
In fact Rachel's Organics Ltd received million from the public purse
in the form of a grant. No wonder Neil Burchell (Managing Director)
stated that "Wales is a great place to do businessIt seems Rachel
Organics were milking its success but they were also milking the
general public. Why should the WAG give million in public monies to
a private company so that they can make a private profit? It's bad
enough workers are exploited on a daily basis through the wage system
whereby the rewards workers receive in the form of wages are less
than the value of the products and services they bring about. The
difference in value between what workers produce and what they earn
is the basis of profit which goes to the capitalist boss class. So
not only are workers exploited at the point of production but the
WAG/WDA have no qualms in handing over large sums of taxpayersnies to
private companies. This is the norm and is how the capitalist system
works.
What is so interesting about the Rachel's Organic Ltd state handout
was the way it was reported. The emphasis put by BBC Wales was on the
wonderful jobs being created. It was a success for "ouronomy of mid-
Wales and we should all be happy. (You would have thought the workers
actually owned the factory they were working in!)

---

TIME BOMB

The Potemkin Mutiny

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Potemkin mutiny, one of
the events that sparked the 1905 Revolution in Russia.
In June, 1905, sailors on the Potemkin battleship of the Black Sea
fleet, protested against the serving of rotten meat. These are the
words of Afanasy Matushenko, the quartermaster on board:
"Hearing of the unrest among the crew, the Captain of the Potemkinnt
the senior surgeon of the ship…to examine the meat. He approached the
meat, put on his pince-nez so as to see the maggots better, twisted
it round in front of his face, sniffed and said that the meat was
very good, that the crew was merely faddy and therefore did not want
to eat it. All that was necessary was to wash off the maggots with
water, and the meat would be excellent Captain Golikov ordered a
sentry to be stationed by the meat... The sentry was instructed to
write down the names of all who came to look at the meat and
afterwards to report them to the Captain.he captain ordered that the
ringleaders be shot. Matushenko appealed to the guard with the
words:
"Comrades, don't forget your oath –don't shoot at our own men.he
muzzles of the rifles dropped to the deck ey had refused to shoot.
Matushenko shouted:
"Comrades, look what they are doing to our fellows! Grab rifles and
cartridges, shoot them down, the swine The sailors rushed to the gun
deck, seized rifles, loaded them, and ran out to their comrades who
stood surrounded by the guard. Captain Golikov threw himself on
Matushenko with the order:
"Drop your weapons,o replied:
"I will drop my weapons when I am no longer a living being but a
corpse. Get off the ship. This is the people's ship and not yours.
The crew threw the officers overboard and sailed into Odessa.
Fearing that the Potemkin would be attacked by other ships of the
Russian fleet, the mutineers decided to sail to Romania where they
surrendered to the local authorities.
The brave Matushenko was an anarchist and the following year, after
having spent some time in London, he returned to southern Russia to
carry out underground anarchist activity. He was caught and hanged
with many other anarchists. The mutiny has been immortalised, above
all in the classic movie Battleship Potemkin by Eisenstein.

---

INSIDE INFORMATION

Polish ABC and Antifa News
ANTIFA 5 trial unfortunately still continues. Despite the acquittal
of all five defendants, both the prosecutor and the nazi that accused
the anarchists filed an appeal what means another trial.
This farce has already gone on for three years and it seems that
prosecution is really determined to prove those charged guilty. It is
clear sign of repression, which eased a bit last year, still exists.
Lapa, an anarchist from Bialystok sentenced to one years jail on
grevious body harm charges filed an appeal and was finally acquited
after three years of court hearings and lots of money being spent in
his defence. This verdict was welcomed with relief, as Lapa was very
close to a jail sentence, especially taking in account that he has a
suspended sentence for other anti-fascist actions.
Soja, an anarchist from Bialystok, had his trial opened again.
Charges are "violently resisting arrestd two counts of "insulting a
police officerharges are related to police raid on DeCentrum squat in
bialystok three years ago. Process was stopped before due to
inability to interrogate all witnesses, but now the police have
finished new investigation and sent the case to court again.
Five people who took part in anarchist action against the visit of
Russian diplomat in Poznan in September 2004, when a convoy of
diplomatic cars was attacked by anarchists, had been finally
sentenced by local courts to fines for breaking of public order (all
people got between 30 and 65 euro fines). It is definitely not such a
bad end, as for action like this they could face criminal offences.
There are a few more people charged for the same event who will be
having trials soon.

Prisoner in Poland needs support
Sebastian Ksiazek is serving a six year sentence for alleged armed
robbery of a shop (seems that shop belonged to a policeman) and
stealing ammo and surveilance equipment from there.
He is interested in any anarchist and punk literature and can
understand pretty well English and Russian.
Recently he has been having some problems with the prison authorities
for receiving some anarchist magazines (after the last issue of Akcja
Bezposrednia, kind of Polish Class War equivalent, he was acused of
trying to organize sabotage in prison, however ridiculous it
sounds...) but he is in good spirits. Its possible that he will be
released on parole in next few months, but its not sure yet.
Address: Sebastian Ksiazek, Nowosolska 40, 61-171 Poznan, Poland

Solidarity needed in Russia
Recently Russia has been shaken by huge protests against cuts in
pensions. Little surprise, that in some cities anarchists and their
friends organizing and participating to these protests have been
targeted with a fierce repression.
They need your help now! To stay updated, read: www.avtonom.org (this
has an English section) and www.russia.indymedia.org

More info from: Brighton Anarchist Black Cross: www.brightonabc.org.uk

---

Subvert and resist

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

February: 11-13 PROJECTILE: International festival of anarchist film
and culture, Side Cinema, Newcastle upon Tyne. Visit:
www.projectile.org.uk
12-13 Dissent! Gathering, Glasgow. If you wish to attend, please
email g8gathering@yahoo.co.uk
14 Scrap the Olympic Bid Public Meeting. 6.30 pm at Bryant Street
Community Centre, off West Ham Lane, Stratford, E14 4RU. All Welcome.
14 KISS IT! XX Human rights protest against psychiatric assault. 11am
Whitehall place with march to Imperial War museum. Tel: 01332 366 447
Email: info@kissit.org Visit: www.kissit.org
18 Cycle Against The Olympic Bid. Critical Mass Bike Ride. Meet 6pm
outside Greater London Authorities HQ City Hall.
19 Scrap the Olympic Bid March et 1pm outside Stratford Station,
Meridian Sq, E15. www.nolondon2012.org
March: 6 -21 Trial and celebration of resistance in Dublin. Five
Irish saboteurs are up on a trial expected to last 2 weeks at
Dublin's Four Courts for disabling a US war plane at Shannon Airport,
on Ireland's West Coast. Visit:
http://geocities.com/pit_stop_ploughshares/pitnews.html
8 International Women's Day

---

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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