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(en) Britain, Resistance #69 - january 2005

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>(nastyned-A-email.com)
Date Thu, 6 Jan 2005 16:29:03 +0100 (CET)


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CLASS WAR ON THE HOME FRONT
As the state privatises council housing, house prices continue to
spiral upwards, and private renters continue to pay through the nose,
all this is seen as the inevitable course run by market
forces. "Affordable" housing developments by private companies (part-
funded by the taxpayer) are often affordable only to those with
minimum incomes of £30K-£50K, close to or well above national average
income, suggesting that just about every other form of housing is
now "unaffordable" to working people. Builders, plumbers, architects
or electricians aren't paid any more than they used to, so the only
people who benefit from this situation are landlords and the
directors and shareholders of the housing industry.

Council tenants are faced with increased rent under
PFIs/ALMOs/Housing Associations and still live in accommodation that
hasn't seen essential repairs for years, new owner-occupiers have
historical levels of debt, and private renters have few alternatives
and very little security. No-one's getting any more for their money
except those who already have plenty to invest in development schemes
or buy-to-let. If a house was worth £60K ten years ago, and £300K
now, is it five times as good? Of course not, more than likely it's
in a worse condition; house prices have little relationship to how
useful something is or how much labour has been put into building or
maintaining it, they merely reflect the power of a minority to
control an essential resource that was built and paid for the first
time decades or centuries ago.

We'd like to see all housing become social housing, collectively
owned and maintained by communities, so that individuals and families
can have homes to live in without spending half their working week to
pay for rent to landlords, service charges to PFI companies or
mortgages. This means defending what's left of social and low-cost
housing in the short term, and trying to build up networks of
tenants' and residents' groups that can take control away from
private companies, landlords, and the state in the long term.

When people talk about communal ownership of property, they often
think that anarchists want to steal someone's nice house away from
them and fill it with dirty squatters. That's not the case, we think
everyone should be able to live in a decent level of comfort, but no-
one should be able to live off the labour of others due to private
ownership of a resource they didn't do anything to create, and don't
use themselves. Libertarian socialism would allow the community to
provide for builders, plumbers, architects, electricians, painters
and decorators like everyone, without exploitative employers forcing
them to work in unsafe and often lethal conditions. More than one
construction worker dies every week in this country while working in
unsafe conditions so the status quo hardly suits them either.

Communal ownership of housing would allow for people to take control
over their own homes, existing owner-occupiers would be able to keep
their houses without paying out tens of thousands to banks, and the
only people who'd lose out would be the capitalists and landlords
shafting everyone else at the moment, but even they'd have somewhere
to live.


---

GET INVOLVED!

ULU Anti-Authoritarians
A new anti-authoritarian initiative has been launched by students
under the banner of "ULU (University of London Union) Anti-
Authoritarians". A meeting ground for anarchists and radical students
as well as non-students alike. In the pipeline so far are movement
wide meetings on the G8, Mayday 2005 and the no Olympic bid
campaign. If you would like to get in contact or be put on the email
list, email: uluantiauthoritarians@yahoo.co.uk

East End Anarchism
Interested in helping set up an Anarchist group in the East End of
London (Tower Hamlets/Hackney)?
Contact AF c/o Freedom Bookshop,
Angel Alley, 84b Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX


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ON THE FRONTLINE

First off, happy New Year to all our readers, and the best of luck to
you all in your battles with bosses of all kinds - now onto the class
conflict!
Here's a tale that demonstrates the sort of Christmas cheer the
bosses specialise in – strikers at the William Cook Foundry in
Sheffield have just spent their fourth Christmas on the picket lines,
following an industrial tribunal that found in their favour, but with
the company refusing to implement the courts decision. A message from
the strike committee read "Cook said we would not last one Winter
out. Well, it is now our 4th winter of discontent and we are still
going strong." (For further info/donations contact Eddie Grimes, WC
strike committee 116 Richmond Park Crescent Handsworth, Sheffield S3I
8HG 0114 243 2540 or 07765 546 056.)
Post Office workers walked out in 243 sorting offices nationwide on
Christmas eve when management attempted to impose an extra 3½ hours
work, taking them well past their traditional 12:30 finish – do the
bosses think Christmas is only for them? They might well do given
that last year they were given £23 billion worth of unpaid overtime
throughout the year – don't give them a penny this year, they steal
enough off us as it is without us giving them presents!
Tube drivers in London also walked out for 24 hours in protest at
management bullying a fellow worker.
A very interesting cross-Atlantic action took place in London,
Connecticut, Florida, Illinois and Minnesota – demonstrations and
protests against the union busting activity of the notorious
FirstGroup multinational bus and rail Company. First is now the 2nd
largest private provider of school bus transportation services in the
US and has been using all sorts of methods to drive down wages and
safety conditions and to expel unions from workplaces, despite posing
as a worker and union friendly company over here – ask the Sheffield
drivers and hundreds of others who've been forced to strike in this
country about that…
A series of strikes is planned for the first week of January in the
Clyde shipyards where workers are angry about bosses manhandling of a
worker who was correctly complaining about fire evacuation procedures
being ignored following an alarm – which the company accepts
happened, but are refusing to rescind a final written warning. The
strikes are timed to coincide with an overtime ban by electricians in
the yards.

---

ID CARDS

Blunkett's gone, but not because of his increasingly authoritarian
policies. Just before he left, he planned to draw up plans to fine
people who resisted his ID cards scheme. Moving house without
informing officials would carry a fine of up to £1,000. Refusing to
sign up to the scheme would carry a penalty of up to £2,500 while
anyone who intends to submit a fake or spoiled application would face
a fine of £1,000. Like his fast tracking with visas, Blunkett
intended pushing the ID scheme through quicker than at first thought,
that is, making it compulsory sooner. Ministers had said that they
would wait until 80 per cent of adults had registered before making
it mandatory but the Bill leaves open the option of forcing people to
register.
Blunkett has gone but Labour still plans to push through ID cards.
Their plans for an even stronger State must be fiercely resisted.
Day of Action January 28th
Defy-ID is putting out a call for a day of direct action on the ID
cards issue on Friday January 28th. Your group could do anything from
leafleting, to blockading one of the companies involved in the ID
cards process. There's going to be a page on the Defy-ID website
soon with loads of ideas for actions, and some possible `targets'.
They hope to be able to produce a list of all the companies and
organisations who are involved with, or stand to profit from the ID
card legislation, and their locations around the country.
Visit: www.defy-id.org.uk

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SAVE OUR COUNTRYSIDE!

Community based Fight the Plan Group (FTPG) in Torfaen, South Wales
have been very busy fighting the Labour controlled council's desire
to build 1,200 private houses on the greenbelt between Cwmbran and
South Sebastapol (Pont-y-pwl).
Although over the years opposition to this development has slowed
down the process the council (whose motto is laughingly "Putting
People First"!) have ignored the wishes of Torfaen residents and
decided to go ahead and vandalise our environment. House builders'
profits come first not our countryside or our health.
The last FTPG demonstration was outside a REVIT conference held in
County Hall, Cwmbran. Delegates from the UK/Europe were given copies
of ASBOs which highlighted the hypocrisy of Torfaen Council hosting
this event which promotes the environmental benefits of building on
brownfield sites when they themselves are hell-bent on destroying our
greenbelt! The council were not happy with the demo, calling in 2
lots of cops who tried to move us off "private land"! (Obviously we
didn't move!)
The FTPG are mounting a legal challenge in the courts and need to
raise £8,000 plus. Donations are much needed. As building is due to
start in the near future we are going to try and occupy the site.
For more info contact www.torfaen-fighttheplan.org.uk or Gwent
Anarchist Group (GAG) c/o PO BOX 70, Newport, NP20 5XX or
gwentanarchists@yahoo.com

---

THE OLYMPICS SHOULD HAVE DIED IN GREECE!

An Olympics `Back the 2012 Bid' presentation was disrupted at the
University of London Union (ULU) by a group including AF members.
The `Back the Bid' campaign had - rather optimistically, since only
six supporters showed up (seriously!) - booked the main room in ULU,
to explain why destroying East London will be good for Londoners.
Around 10 people who oppose the bid came to the meeting to disrupt
this vision of destruction of working class communities and to
present an alternative vision of the world based on mutual aid and
solidarity. After about forty minutes, the organisers started packing
up, and the loyal supporters started to leave, at which point the
faithful servants of capital – the Met police – turned up to chuck
the group out, and support the ULU security decision to ban the group
for life!
For more info and future actions see:
http://www.nolondon2012.org/

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INVASION OF THE BODY SNOOPERS

The government is going to spend £40bn over ten years on a program
of `modernisation' of the Health System: the `National Program for
Information Technology' (NPfIT). This will include a national
database of the medical records of all the NHS patients (Integrated
Care Record Service', ICRS). The NHS presented their brief for a
national database at a conference in July 2003. Significantly, the
participants were asked to keep the `specifications' highly
confidential. But doctors made public their criticism as soon as they
found out that:
• The national database of medical records is going to be created
without patients' consent.
• Our right to `opt out' will be limited to our right to deny access
to an `identifiable' version of the database (where our names are
explicitly written). But another version of the same data will be
created in a where our names are coded (`pseudonymised'). This will
be widely accessible to non-medical companies without our consent.
• The keywords to decode our `pseudonymised' data will be kept by the
government, and government authorities such as the police will be
allowed to decode our data in `special circumstances'.
In June 2004 the annual meeting of local medical committees of the
British Medical Association voted to boycott the ICRS. The NHS plan
to go ahead anyway, because, they say, modern patients want an IT
service! But who among us has ever been consulted?
The truth beyond the spin.
In practice, the Health Authorities are going to create a national
database of our medical records without our consent. Even if they
tell us that our data will be safe and our authorisation will be
required for access, this is a lie. Any database on-line is
vulnerable - even the Pentagon can be hacked! And it won't respect
our consent: the police will have access to our records in
(conveniently vague) `special circumstances'. Plenty of repressive
laws have already been introduced in the UK for `special
circumstances' and have been used against political protests,
extremely petty crime, and to harass ethnic minorities or the poorest
in society.
There are also plans to link the NHS to the National Identity
Register connected to the new ID card. If these plans go
unchallenged, one day the police, the DSS (DWP), etc. will be able to
read all about our health problems (unwanted pregnancies? impotence?
drug addictions? phobia of rats?...); our accidents and their
circumstances; our sexual relations and next of kin... just in case.
Surveillance state
Medical records can reveal private facts and relations. They can be
humiliating. Medical records have been effectively used to design and
implement psychologically and physically coercive interrogations of
prisoners by the US, with whom our government claims to share its
values. The ICRS is an effective way to realise the surveillance
dream of a comprehensive and reliable database of UK citizens: it
will be comprehensive because we all are NHS users and it will be
extremely reliable because we have been sincere with our doctors.
The ICRS and big business.
Our medical records are useful also because they are information -
and today, information, of any kind, is a valuable `resource'. When
information becomes `resources', power, money and greed is
inevitable. `Modernisation' means' gathering and distributing'
these `resources', freeing them from the hindrance of old-fashioned
ethics. This will help the transformation of the health service into
a business - where we and our GPs are not persons, whose feelings,
professionalism and dignity have a (non-monetary) value, but mere
sources of `resources' - and where these `resources' are (monetary)
value, worth to be exploited.
Virtual access to our records will be possible only if our doctors
adopt a new and uniform computer system which allows for
remote `link' to our records. This will be soon realised. The NHS is
now introducing the new `Choose and Book' system in some of
surgeries. This system makes patients' records helplessly open to
automatic remote access and download! The `Choose and Book' system is
the thin edge of the wedge: once our records are put on a system
which is open to remote access, there will be no obstacles to the
national database.
What to do
Ask your GPs to confirm that your medical records are and will be
safe in their custody. That they won't be loaded without your consent
into a system that allows for remote access. Ask your GP to stick to
the boycott of the Integrated Care Record Service. Publicise this
issue. Contact your doctor and tell others to do the same! More info
from: brighton_against_databases@yahoo.co.uk

---

TIME BOMB

In 1839, the La Amistad, a slave bearing Spanish vessel, was carrying
53 captives all previously taken from the African country of Sierra
Leone when an insurrection occurred. The insurrection started when
the ship was taking the slave captives from Cuba to a slave market in
South America. La Amistad was sailing in the Caribbean when Singbe, a
25 year old African, later given the Spanish name Joseph Cinque, was
able to free himself and the other captives from their chains. During
the night, they went on deck and killed the captain and his cook.
Two other crew members were saved and directed by Cinque to turn the
ship back toward their homeland of Africa. Instead of going toward
Africa, the ship was steered to the shores off Montauk, Long Island.
Here the ship docked for food and water, but it was noticed by the
American naval ship, U.S.S. Washington. The captain ordered the ship
to dock over at New London, Connecticut. New York was bypassed as a
docking area due to slavery being illegal in the state. Connecticut
still had not abolished slavery at that time period.
The importance of the Amistad Insurrection brought the focus of
slavery to the attention of many more Americans. The abolitionists
were looking for evidence of cruelty and the profiteering involved
in slavery. The abolitionists wanted slavery abolished in America. An
18 month legal battle ensued, and the black Africans did not seem to
have a chance of gaining their release from prison as they were
accused of murder and mutiny.
The Cubans and the Spanish government were diplomatically trying to
force President Martin Van Buren to side step any conflicts between
America and Spain, and send the "murderous Africans" back to the
slave port in Cuba. The technicality was that Spanish law "had by
1817 prohibited the importation of slaves into any of its territory,
including the colony of Cuba." Attorney Roger Sherman Baldwin of
Connecticut was able to secure a translator of the Mende language to
help with the documentation of Cinque's journey and the others being
kidnapped in Africa where they were put into the hold of the
Portuguese Slave ship and sent via the middle passage to Cuba. They
were acquitted and the court decided: "they were illegally enslaved,
their papers were forged and they were never Spanish speaking Cuban
slaves." The verdict favoured Cinque and the 35 surviving Mende
Africans. Before leaving Connecticut, Cinque, with an interpreter,
spoke at several abolitionists' meetings. The Africans returned to
Sierra Leone in 1841.

---

INSIDE INFORMATION

Action Alert!
A South Korean anarchist and peace activist was arrested on November
21, 2004 and now he is in prison. His name is Eunkuk. He was very
active in the Korean peace movement. But about a week ago he was
physically detained by the police. The police say the reason he was
arrested is he obstructed justice and used Molotov cocktails to harm
policemen during the national workers rally 2003, which held in
November 9, 2003. The situation is very bad for Eunkuk. He may have
to stay in prison for more than 2 years. For more information
contact: zo@dopehead.net

Polish anti-fascist faces prison
Patryk Cichon, anti-fascist from Stalowa Wola and animator of RASH
(Red & Anarchist Skinheads) had been sentenced to 3 years of jail for
alleged assault and robbery. However, he remains free on bail until
his appeal against the sentence is heard. It is clear that the case
had been based on his political beliefs from the very beginning.
Patryk is well know anti-fascist and anarchist, notorious among nazi-
bonehead scum in his city for his uncompromising and militant stand
against them in the past. Boneheads managed to convince few of their
friends to testify against Patryk and his friend in alleged case of
assault and robbery. As it appeared later, his friend had a very good
alibi and was acquitted, so Patryk ended up as superman sentenced for
beating four people on his own, so badly that he was even able to
take their wallets afterwards!
Patryk appealed this decision and another trial will take place on
the beginning of 2005. Adding to that he has 300 euro fine to pay for
assault on police officer (average 2 monthly wages in Poland). It is
necessary to show our solidarity to people who dared to stand against
nazi menace and show them that they are not alone! If you want to
help Patryk you can send some money to his bank account- every little
bit counts!
22 1020 4939 0000 0402 0008 9284 Patryk Cichon´ PKO BP SA ODDZIAL 1 W
STALOWEJ WOLI
Solidarity With Polykarpos Georgiadis
On 16th April 2004 civil police stopped anarchist Polykarpos
Georgiadis on one of Thessaloniki´s streets and brought him to Police
Headquarters. Just hours after his detention the cops presented
proudly to the mass media their story, bragging about having "caught
a bomber in the act". Polykarpos was initially presented as being
responsible for undefined number of arsons that took place in the
city and finally accused of an arson attempt against car belonging to
private security company, parked on the street where they caught him.
He denies all the charges and clearly states that as an anarchist
he's a police target and had been followed for a long time.
Some demonstrations and numerous attacks (e.g. many arsons) took
place in solidarity with Polykarpos Georgiadis. The best form of
solidarity with imprisoned anarchists is always continuing, spreading
and escalating the struggle!
Information from: 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' to any other questions.

JANUARY:
8: International day of action in support of those arrested at the
Salonica (Greece) summit. SOLIDARITY DEMO 1pm AT GREEK EMBASSY
(LONDON)
1A Holland Park, London, W11 3TP Tel: 020 7229 3850 Fax: 020 7229
7221
(nearest tube Holland Park) From the station, cross road, turn left,
first right and follow road round

15-17: Trial of the Caterkiller Blockade 9 The nine people that
blockaded the Caterkiller HQ are on trail! These people were arrested
under the Anti Social Behaviour Legislation, which is expected to be
used more and more against protesters, so it's vital that we support
them. The action takes place at Solihull Magistrates Court, crash
accommodation in Birmingham, If you want to support the case call
07900 698 550 or Email: thewallmustfall@hotmail.com

February
11-13: Labour Spring Conference, Gateshead. Inside the conference Neo-
Labour tell us how caring they are while announcing proposals to
crack down on dole scroungers and immigrants - the unions wring their
hands and do fuck all. Outside the People of Gateshead get to have
armed police and random stop and searches to make them feel safe.
11-13: PROJECTILE: A festival of anarchist film and culture, Side
Cinema, Newcastle upon Tyne www.projectile.org.uk

---

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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