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(en) Britain, Anarchist Federation resistance, Issue 75 - July 2005

Date Thu, 30 Jun 2005 18:56:48 +0300


G8 GANGSTERS GATHERING
This month in Scotland the meeting of the G8 leaders takes place. As
thousands of protesters demonstrate, picket, blockade, discuss and
resist, the leaders of the most powerful nations meet behind closed
doors, protected by a security operation that will have cost
millions of pounds. These leaders know the protesters are there;
they know why they are there and what they represent- a growing
anger and dissatisfaction with the way these leaders have
contributed to a world ravaged by the effects of global capitalism:
environmental destruction, poverty, war and repression. The
protesters have come to vent their anger and disgust and to let the
leaders know that they do not support them. But for so many people
to have come all this way, at considerable cost in terms of both
time and money, it is hoped that this week will mean more than just
a ritual `letting off steam'.
With people coming from many countries and representing different
political perspectives, there will be a variety of aims. New Labour
itself is hoping to divert attention away from its role as one of
the main culprits by trying to make out that it supports the demands
of the `Make Poverty History' march and that the G8 summit is really
about trying to tackle poverty. Many of the protesters may
unfortunately buy-in to this version of events and think that by
having a mass protest that the leaders will actually listen to their
demands. However, they will be very disappointed. The most we can
actually expect from the summit is a few pious statements,
setting `targets' for action that, like all the other targets that
have been set in the past, will never be implemented. Even if people
have no illusions in New Labour, many will still hope that such a
large protest will force the leaders to do something. But the record
so far does not give many grounds for optimism; huge protests
against every G8 summit, World Trade Organisation meetings, as well
as enormous anti-war demonstrations have had no impact. It is
unlikely that this will be any different. Even if the tactics are
more militant and there is some actual disruption to the summit,
Bush, Blair and the others will remain unresponsive.

See below for a real alternative.

---

GLOBALISE MY ARSE!

We are sure that most of the people taking parting the anti-G8
demonstrations would agree that globalisation is a bad thing.
Globalisation is part of an offensive that the rich capitalist
countries are waging against the dispossessed of this planet under
the name of the free market and neo-liberalism.
So, when politicians talk about globalisation, you know what they
mean- open borders to commerce and traffic of goods, but closed to
people. They apply a certain set of policies, regardless of these
having proved catastrophic for local economies in the past. This
means the imposition of so-called Western style democracy at the
point of a missile, even if in reality this often leads to a
worsening of rights and conditions for the mass of people.
Obviously, that's why we anarchists oppose globalisation. Or rather
that half of globalisation. Because in fact, what we actually want
is the other half of it. The one capitalism and its supporters are
leaving out. We mean a globalisation of solidarity, of freedom, of
self-organised struggle and resistance, without any leaders.
That's actually what we work for every day, This globalisation is
one that will spread cultural diversity and respect, instead of
stamping out any local distinctive culture in favour of
MacDonaldisation. One that will learn from the local ecologically
integrated ways of producing, instead of covering the whole planet
with smoking chimneys.
A globalisation which won't shrug its shoulders in front of the vast
misery capitalism is creating in this world, but one which tackles
the root of the disease: capitalism itself.

---

ON THE FRONTLINE

Our regular look at workplace struggles:

We'll start this month with the news that the Fire Brigades Union
executive – after a very short lived bout of `awkward squadism' has
voted to BAN members from reading or posting on an independent
public rank-and-file website!
This piece of petty bureaucracy was described by one member as
being "in the best traditions of a tinpot eastern European
dictatorship". Members who ignore the ban could find themselves
expelled from the union! If only the FBU executive had been so pro-
active in fighting the national strike eh? The clear message is that
the members dismay and anger at the feeble actions taken during the
strike is beginning to worry the `tops' and they're trying to clamp
down on any movement that could lead to them losing their power –
the union hierarchy is – once again – doing the States job and
pouring cold water on workers anger.
Maybe those Respect supporters currently working with Louise
Christian could pass on her number – she does have legal experience
of shutting down rank and file groups for union bigwigs after all…
MPs could soon find the hard-working people who clean up the mess
they've made in their 24 hour bars, gyms and restaurants walking out
in protest at their 12 hours shifts for just over £10 000 a year (in
London!) MPs, by the way are themselves on a basic £59 000 a year,
plus and average of double that in expenses.
There's continuing trouble for the bosses on the transport network.
In London tube drivers are refusing to book on at the Earls Court
station because of the unhygienic nature of the 19th century toilets
they're provided with – on a network that been given millions of
pounds to modernise. As ever, the actual workers are the last to
see any of that money.
And workers on Midland Mainline held four one day stoppages to
highlight lapses in safety that were putting both them and
travellers at risk.
Asda bosses in the north have some serious trouble on their hands as
they face two separate strikes in their supermarkets and
distribution centres.
The first is over the victimisation of a shop steward and industrial
action is likely very soon.
The second follows the rejection of a 4% pay offer to the generally
low paid workers from the company which made £2 billion in profit
last year.

---

CELEBRITY PRATS OF THE MONTH

Bon(e)ohead and Ge(l)dof – rich, talentless, pop preachers. Geldof
described George.W. Bush as `the best president Africa ever had',
Blair and Brown as `the John and Paul [of Beatles] of the world
development stage'[!!! by June, British arms sales to Africa had
reached £1 billion], and the head of the (vampire-like) World Bank,
James Wolfesohn as `the Elvis of Economics'. In 2001 our two
superheros slated the militant anti G8 protests in Genoa
as `unhelpful' [to the Bosses]. Bono's attitude is summed up in his
recent song lyric `I'm waiting for the crumbs from your table'. His
personal fortune is around 500 million euros, and he pays no tax on
it in Ireland courtesy of the artist's income exemption; he wants
governments to spend more taxpayers' money on aid to Africa however.
Africa's poverty is not an unfortunate accident of geography and
climate (as the Band Aid lyrics suggest), but the result of the
theft, murder (15 million slaves) and exploitation of Empire, which
continues today through the actions of multinational companies,
supported by Western governments and local African elites. Africa is
rich in resources with large amounts of Gold, Platinum, Diamond,
Oil, Gas, and Coal. Equatorial Guinea exports are worth £2.5 billion
pounds a year, but the government only receives 12% of these
revenues (and trousers a wadge also). Consequently, vampires such as
BG (formerly British Gas), with annual profits of £1.5 billion
expect `considerable profits'. Other British based companies
involved HSBC ($17 billion profits). Shell has pumped $30 billion
worth of oil from Nigeria since the 1950s, polluting rivers,
charring farmland, and turning the air rancid, but 70% of Nigerians
continue to `live' on less than $1 a day.
As a result of the `debt victory', European governments have agreed
to spend 0.7% of their income on foreign aid by 2015. Even this
pathetic gesture is undermined by their boycott of corrupt and
dictatorial governments (that is ones they don't like, and the G8
countries won't sign up for the `anti-corruption' stuff themselves).
Worse still these governments insist on `free trade' (i.e on their
big brother terms), and the forced privatisation of essential
services, such as the government's support for the British company
Biwater's plans to privatise Dar es Salaam's water supplies (it
doesn't just fall out of the sky, you know). So, after Iraq, our
heroes help Bush and Blair to rehabilitate themselves as kind and
caring, promoting the idea that governments and multinationals who
cause and benefit from poverty, can help the poor. The poor in
Africa need to seize back control of their land and resources from
governments and bosses - African and Western, they need our
solidarity, not patronising charity from pious windbags like Bono
and Geldof, who can't even include African musicians in
their `concerts for Africa'.

---

ANARCHIST SOCIAL CENTRE FOR GLASGOW

The Saorsa social centre is a newly opened social centre on
Glasgow's southside. It is run by a loose collection of anarchists
and other anti-authoritarians under the banner of the G42 Collective.
This collective was set up in September/October 2004 in order to
open another centre after the experience of running a previous
project in the summer. The actual centre is a suite of three rooms
in a small office building behind a disused garage.
The primary focus of the centre over the next few weeks will be as
an infoshop in preparation for the G8 summit but the hope is to
continue using the space afterwards as a community resource. The
centre will be used to host meetings and other projects, such as a
small bookshop and internet café. In the more distant future it is
hoped that the centre will become a base for promoting social change
more directly, through helping the local community with poverty and
inequality issues. Saorsa means "freedom" in Scottish Gaelic.

---

A REAL ALTERNATIVE

In the week of demonstrations and actions against the G8 meeting in
Scotland a number of different groups with different motives will be
visible. Various left-wing groups have their own agenda for the
week. Using front organisations like Globalise Resistance, they hope
to extend their influence and recruit members – it doesn't really
matter what the outcome of the summit is. They, as with many
lobbying groups, are really just `states-in-waiting'. They hope that
eventually they can replace the current leaders and then they will
institute alternative policies. In other words, they are using the
G8 protests as a means of getting people to follow their leadership.
Anarchists have a completely different perspective. We have no
illusions that the protests, no matter how big or how militant will
in themselves have an impact on the policies of this global State.
Neither do we put our trust in other self-proclaimed leaders, no
matter what revolutionary statements they may make. Real change can
never come about through either lobbying the State or replacing the
State with another one. We will only transform society by
confronting capital and the State in our everyday lives. It is here
that our real power can be felt – in our resistance to bosses at
work, in a fight to preserve a green space from developers, in the
chasing of fascists out of the community or in our refusal to have
our lives revolve around passive entertainment and consumption. It
is the building of such a `culture of resistance' that will provide
the foundation of our struggle and give us the means by which we can
change this world. The leaders of the G8 may be able to hide behind
their security fences and their armed guard, but they will be
helpless against a mass movement of resistance which will strike
them everywhere. It is within the context of this growing movement
that we must see this week of protests. By bringing people together
internationally, giving us the experience of organising actions and
communities and providing opportunities for spreading ideas of
resistance and alternatives to capitalism, we are developing our
strength and our capacity to resist. It is not so important what the
outcome of the summit is in terms of policies and promises, but what
confidence, enthusiasm and experience it has given us for when we go
home to continue the struggle where it most matters.

---

BOLIVIA BOILS OVER

Bolivia is Latin America's poorest country. The imposed policies of
privatisation, cuts to welfare and other business friendly reforms
are only designed to help the multinationals get richer whilst the
poor get even poorer. Five years ago, during the Cochabamba `water
war', a mass uprising wrestled back control of the water supply from
the grip of the Bechtel Corporation which had even managed to
persuade the Bolivian Congress to introduce a law banning people
from collecting rainwater! People are now fighting to keep the hands
of British Gas and their like off their gas supply.
In March, demonstrators foiled a deal which would have given the
Pacific LNG consortium, which includes British Gas, ten dollars for
every one they invested in the country. Tens of thousands of people
forced the shutdown of four oilfields and access to seven of
Bolivia's nine regions, demanding that a tax of 50% be levied
against the gas companies. Over the past month protesters have
firmly rejected the 32% `compromise' tax suggested by Congress. On
7th June the mass protests forced President Carlos Mesa to resign.
The new president, Bolivia's Supreme Court head, Eduardo Rodriguez
is the country's third president in less than two years.
In a country where 30% of the population lives on less than 60p a
day, G8 policy has been more concerned with privatisation and profit
than poverty. The current economic system, invented by US economists
in the 1980s, has destroyed the country's agriculture and industry,
bringing hundreds of thousands of workless families to live at the
gates of the capital city, La Paz. It is from here that they have
been able to hold the country to ransom: only one road connects La
Paz with the outside world and it's been blockaded by large numbers
of people since May. Meanwhile, a powerful business elite in the
south-eastern city of Santa Cruz has been pushing for far greater
regional autonomy and a bigger share of the region's gas and oil
wealth. Leaders there, where most of the country's gas is located,
have pledged to hold a referendum on increased autonomy this August -
with or without the approval of central government. But mass
resistance has forced a turn-around already and it can be used again
here.

---

TIME BOMB

Our monthly look at history:

Summit going on:

Wherever the world's rulers meet to finalise their plans, they are
met with the rage of the people on the streets. Summits are no
longer photo calls and fancy announcements, today the true face of
the State and capitalism is revealed as riot police, tear gas, red
zones, beatings, prison and murder.
Looking back we can see in fights for public services, housing, and
the Miner's strike, the birth of the same struggles now being fought
around the world, the anti-globalisation struggle. This constant
struggle has made headlines during Summit protests, particularly
after the "Battle of Seattle" however, the method predates Seattle.
The G7 met in Bonn, in 1987, 30,000 people took to the streets,
three years later the "action day" was repeated in Berlin, when the
IMF and World Bank met. This time the response was more militant,
with 1,000 arrests, 300 cop cars and 40 bankers cars destroyed, and
110 arson attacks recorded, the autonomists declared this a
successful "political and practical attack on the ruling class."
In 1995 the IMF and the World Bank met in Madrid, to commemorate the
50th anniversary of their foundation. Demonstrations and riots
organised under the banner "50 years is enough" continued until the
summit ended. Many people were injured, including some bankers who
decided it was a good idea to go for a stroll... In the end police
tanks were used to guard banks!
In 1998, the G8 met in Birmingham and activists descended on the
city, creating a street party and scuffling with the police, the
summit location was moved at the last minute to safeguard the
delegates! From here many struggles followed: J18, Seattle, Prague,
Gothenburg, Genoa, Cancun, Evian and many more that never made
headlines, many without names or faces, together today they are
making history.
The next chapter is being written… It is up to us what comes out of
it.

---

Read other Anarchist Federation publications and subscribe to
resistance online for free via our website:
http://www.afed.org.uk

---

INSIDE INFORMATION

Bush's gulag
There are 2.2 million prisoners in the United States, nearly twice
as many as in 1990. That gives the US the biggest prison population
in the world and one of the highest proportions of the population in
jail. Young black men are 10 times more likely to be in prison than
white men. Forced labour and violence are commonplace. But even
these prisoners are luckier than some; they know the crime they are
accused of and the length of their sentence – unlike the detainees
in the US's network of secret prisons.
And Bush dares to talk about a crusade to bring freedom to the
world, especially when he keeps quiet about places like Uzbekistan,
with 6,000 political prisoners living in atrocious conditions. But
unlike Saddam's Iraq, the Uzbekistan regime is still useful to the
Unites States.

Peace activist arrested
Peace activist Paul Lesniowski was jailed for allegedly breaching
the controversial injunction imposed by Brighton arms dealers EDO
MBM. This-is the first-time that a political activist has been
remanded under section 3 of the Protection from Harassment Act.
Paul was arrested on the 15/06, for filming the director of Guardian
security (employed by EDO MBM to enforce the injunction). The
director, accompanied by his own cameraman had crossed the road to
confront protesters. Both men refused to identify themselves when
asked.
Andrew Beckett, press spokesman for the campaign said "It is
disgusting that a committed peace activist finds himself in prison
for an alleged minor breach of this draconian injunction. Sussex
Police have taken it upon themselves to enforce an exclusion zone by
whatever means necessary".
Paul was later freed on bail after Lewes Crown Court overturned a
District Judge's ruling that he should be detained for 'breaching'
the injunction. Paul was acting as a legal observer (wearing a
clearly marked yellow bib) at the regular Wednesday noise demo when
an unidentified man in a suit crossed the road to confront
demonstrators.
For more info visit: http://www.smashedo.org.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: www.ldmg.org.uk


July: INVITATION TO THE ANARCHIST/ANTI-AUTHORITARIAN ASSEMBLY: JULY
3rd, EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND.
A collection of UK-based anarchists and anti-authoritarians seek to
encourage anarchists and other malcontents from around the globe to
work together in taking practical, direct action to effectively
disrupt the G8 summit. We are calling for an assembly of anarchists
and anti-authoritarians in Edinburgh on July 3rd to coordinate
action specifically against the opening day of the Summit on July
6th, and also to facilitate other anti-authoritarian activity over
4th-8th July. We invite you to get involved. To contribute to the
discussions at the Assembly, let us know you're planning to come and
if you can provide translators, please contact us
at `aaa_assembly@hushmail.com' and we'll send you more details.
For a full list of dates see:
www.dissent.org.uk/content/section/12/63/
1 Edinburgh Critical Mass
2 Make Poverty History March, With an anti-capitalist bloc, cos
after all capitalism causes poverty. Edinburgh.
www.makepovertyhistory.org
3 Make Borders History A Tour of Immigration Controls and the "Chain
of Deportation" in Glasgow . We will visit organisations involved in
locking up and deporting Asylum seekers. www.makebordershistory.org
4 Big Blockade at Faslane Nuclear Submarine Base. Peace campaigners
are called to blockade the base. Visit: www.faslaneg8.com
4 Carnival for Full Enjoyment Street Party, Edinburgh. Meet around
the West End 12 noon. Email: dissentagainstwork@yahoo.co.uk
5 Close Dungavel Detention Centre. Hundreds of people - including
families with children - are imprisoned behind the razor wire of
Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre, join the No Borders
demonstration. 11am to 4pm Strathaven, South Lanarkshire, ML10 6RF.
To Book transport: Tel: 0141 946 6193 email glascamref@hotmail.com
or vistit www.makebordershistory.org
6 Global Day of Action at the opening day of the G8 Summit A day of
decentralised action, in villages, towns and cities worldwide. The
biggie: www.agp.org or www.dissent.org.uk
6 G8 Blockades `The Blockades Group', call out to all autonomous
direct action groups and individuals opposed to the G8 to carry out
autonomous actions starting on the 6th July to blockade the summit.
www.g8blockades.org.uk
6-8 Hill Walking Actions Cross Country Rambles and Scrambles on the
Ochil hills with a big day-glow banner or two.
7 The People's Golfing Association is hosting an open golf
tournament at Gleneagles. Form autonomous golfing affinity groups!
For more info email: pgag8@lists.riseup.net
8 Day of action on the root causes of climate change.
www.cca.movingpages.org
Also in July: 4 Independence from America Day, Menwith Hill SpyBase,
North Yorkshire 12 noon - 4pm 01943 466405 www.caab.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.

If you're interesting in joining contact us at:

Anarchist Federation,
84B, Whitechapel High Street,
London, E1 7QX.
Email: info@afed.org.uk
Also visit: www.afed.org.uk
and www.iaf-ifa.org

Subscriptions to [the printed edition 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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