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(en) Britain, AF - Resistance #71 - March 2005

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Tue, 8 Mar 2005 09:35:32 +0100 (CET)


________________________________________________
A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
News about and of interest to anarchists
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WAR AGAINST WAR
Whenever there is a war humanity is defeated. When the machinery of
confrontation gets started it follows a logic of its own, that goes
past the human beings trapped in its path, over whom it will roll.
When war is declared all things that make us human are abolished.
Compassion, pity, desire for the truth, equity and justice, care for
others, freedom and rebellion are the first to be banned. The laws of
confrontation state that the enemy is no longer a person capable of
feelings, just a thing to be destroyed, and that whichever appalling
deeds they commit must be returned tenfold. Otherwise defeat would
follow. When war starts the whole of the enemy side is alienated from
our concept of humanity, because otherwise our side's deeds wouldn´t
be justified. In these days of general conflict and preventive wars,
an awful lot of people fall under this category. The ranks of
humanity are being quickly depleted. We are all being defeated by
this New Order policy.
Conflict is deeply ingrained in capitalist society. It is only
natural that when there is inequality there will be confrontation
particularly when there is the level of injustice that there is now.
Some years ago there was still hope in progress, that would level
inequalities as production progressed, allowing cheaper things to
reach the dispossessed. It was proven to be the other way round. In
the choice between a thousand rice bowls and a digital camera mobile,
the bowls were sold to buy the one phone. Despair is spreading, and
war is mounting, following the path of the neoliberal delusion.
Bigger, more profound changes are needed. Reform was never a valid
option, but now it won´t even ease our consciences.
Too often it is conveniently forgotten that there are other ways of
dealing with problems. Politicians, particularly at some levels and
in some nations, stress the idea of conflict and confrontation. So do
the filthy rich, you know who they are, as if they had never had
help from any one when making their fortunes, when it is most likely
they already owned them at birth.
So do some thinkers, paid by the same filthy rich, who go on ranting
about social Darwinism, civilization conflict. Because they own the
media and they bomb every one with these ideas, many end up believing
war is the natural state in society and winner takes all. But we know
that cooperation and solidarity are valid ways of solving issues and
much better ones. In fact, anything is better that the war they have
declared on humanity.
They know how to make this conflict serve them. Politicians enhance
their careers posing as tough on immigrants, asylum
seekers...whichever weaker group they have declared to be the enemy,
the scape goat. Nationalism and religion are used to manipulate
people by those who don´t believe in anything but in power.
Corporations use states to wage war and gain access to further
resources, as in Iraq now, and politicians work out the reasoning to
hide the real motivations.
The rich declare themselves the fair winners of a competition that
never happened.
But their interest is not ours. We need to step outside this logic
of war before we sink any deeper in it and it spreads to more corners
of the planet. As workers, it is in our interest that no one joins
the army, works in arm dealing companies or is involved in any way in
the military effort. What we do in our everyday lives is not
innocent.
Take a stand against the routine of capitalist warmongering! Turn
your backs on their calls for support, don´t believe their lies,
don´t buy their shit. Don´t research on weapons, don´t transport
arms, don´t deliver their supplies, come back home from the
occupation front! Soldiers, desert!; Join the ranks of humanity,
defeat war!

---

STREET PROTEST

During the first week of February, residents of Copenhagen Street in
Islington (London), including many mothers with baby buggies, blocked
their street to prevent unauthorised heavy goods vehicles and buses
from driving down it. The vehicles had long been banned from the
street, which includes three nurseries, two primary schools, and a
children's library, but were diverting down there anyway due to
Channel Tunnel Rail Link works causing the closure of another street.
CTRL's response was to sack two drivers who may well not have been
given clear information or prior warning by their managers. This
along with the Laing workers' strike at Kings Cross shows the impact
the Link is having on working class people, both those constructing
it, and those living in the community surrounding it. That both
groups are taking direct action to resist both pay cuts and threats
to their safety by CTRL is a positive sign, and one that we hope
people will apply to their own situations.

--

ON THE FRONTLINE


Our regular look at industrial struggle:
First up this month is the news of a very important (and long fought)
victory for part-time and low paid workers.
North Cumbria Acute NHS Trust has been ordered to pay between £35,000
and £250,000 to women workers that it systematically discriminated
against for 14 years. This has far wider importance than this single
case and opens the door to other claims in the public services from
part-time workers. There has been a clear determination amongst
public sector managers to try and divide their workforce along
gender/part-time/full time lines over the last 20 years – this
victory is a very welcome step towards rejecting this false division.
Lecturers have voted to stage a one-day strike this month – over 70
colleges are expected to shut down on 24th February when 9000
lecturers walk out in protest at their failure to implement
nationally agreed pay rises. There is also the threat of a nationwide
open-ended stoppage over the governments falsely engineered "pensions
crisis".
One million other public sector workers are being balloted for a one
day strike over the same issue in mid-march. This clearly isn't
enough, and is a result of the union and Labour bureaucracies meeting
at the end of February to hammer out a deal that would suit them both
rather then those likely to be affected (and to ensure union support
for Labour at the upcoming general Election). Any real challenge over
the pensions issue is going to have to be built against these two.
Figures released this month show that hundreds of workers are being
sacked each year for refusing to work in unsafe conditions
or "whistle blowing" on unsafe procedures and conditions. The report
concludes that "in the five years since 1999, 1,500 workers have
found themselves out of a job for raising safety concerns with their
employers." and that bosses often employ the existing labour
legislation to sack people as the fines they will face for unfair
dismissal are lower then bringing the workplace up to standard – and
this only covers unionised workplaces.
Conditions elsewhere are significantly worse. And how much has the
Labour party, done to remedy this situation of legalised murder since
it came to power – nothing. Nothing at all. It's even blocked the
introduction of Corporate Manslaughter legislation.

---

ACTION AGAINST WAR AND MILITARISM

To coincide with the anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq as
well as the anniversary of the Bolshevik repression of the mutiny at
Kronstadt (see Time Bomb in this issue), member sections of the
International of Anarchist Federations (IAF/IFA) are organising a
series of actions against the war and against the general
militarisation of society.
Increased police and state repression in Italy and the war in
Chechnya are all examples of where anarchists are having to organise
in increasingly repressive circumstances.
It is important to recognise that this process of militarisation is
going on all over the world and therefore, the IFA wants to show that
anarchists are also trying to build a global resistance.
The Anarchist Federation is contributing to this international event
by publishing this special anti-militarism issue of resistance,
attending the demonstration and carrying out some local actions. We
have also produced some stickers that you can order from:
AF, 84b Whitechapel High St., London E1.

---

BRITISH BULLYDOG

There has been a lot in the news recently about murder and torture by
British troops in Iraq, highly suspicious "suicides" amongst them
at "home" (Deepcut Barracks and elsewhere), and "an unchecked
culture of secrecy and bullying" in the army.
40 families of 40 soldiers who died in suspicious circumstances at
British Army Bases between 1987-2002 are considering legal action
against the MOD (Ministry of Death). Record numbers of troops are
deserting, and the army is finding it hard to recruit, especially
after the 2nd Gulf War.
Seven members of the 3rd battalion of the parachute regiment face a
court martial arising from the violent death of an Iraqi civilian,
Nadhem Abdullah, in southern Iraq in May 2003. Another squaddie from
the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment has been charged with murdering another
Iraqi civilian in August 2003.
Three Royal Regiment of Fusiliers soldiers face nine charges of
abusing Iraqis at a Basra aid camp in May 2003, including forcing
them to simulate sex acts, after 22 photos of the incidents were
reported by a woman processing them in a shop. Major Dan Taylor, camp
commander, ordered that the prisoners be "worked hard". The Iraqis
were allegedly caught stealing powdered milk and food.
Suicides?
There have been 138 military British "suicides" between 1996-2001;
the death count for the 1991 Gulf War by comparison was only 47, and
only 9 servicemen were killed in action during this period. Four of
these deaths were at the Deepcut Barracks in Surrey; two aged 20 and
18 (gunshot wounds to the chest, one to head) in 1995, a 17 year old
in 2001 (two shots in head), and another 17 year old in 2002 (single
headshot). In Northern Ireland between 1992-2002 the respective
figures were 20 deaths from suicides / "unexplained circumstances"
compared with 13 soldiers killed by "terrorists". One of
these "suicides" had been shot 3 times in the head! An internal Army
report contains allegations of sexual assault and gay rape in his
regiment, the Royal Irish.
A quarter of court martials in the first 6 months of 2003 were for
sexual offences (the 2002 figure was 20%), and only a fraction of
incidents are reported. Barrack room culture consists of "initiation
rites", homo-erotic bullying, sexual harassment of women, illegal
hardcore porn, and alcohol fuelled violence involving knives, iron
bars, and heavy sticks. A 2003 survey of women cadets at the premier
US military academy found that 10% had been raped or sexually
assaulted.
Record numbers of soldiers are deserting from the British Army – 1
in 48 deserting or going AWOL (absent without leave) in 2000,
compared with 1 in 55 in 1996, with bullying a main cause. In 1999
there were 2000 desertions, many from the junior ranks.
Of course there is bullying in the Army (and military generally):
they are based on brutalising people, training them to kill complete
strangers (fellow workers in the same position) because `their'
government has labelled them `the enemy'. The military exists to
protect the rich and powerful (and grab more resources for them);
they are often used against their own people – in strikes and civil
unrest, as well as war. We say up the desertions and resistance, down
with all armies!

---

FOOD FOR PROFIT

Food for Peace is a program which forces US workers to pay gigantic
US food tyrannies to flood poor countries with subsidised food,
drives out local producers and provides what are called "counterpart
funds" which go to puppet leaders to enrich the already rich and
drive local farmers off their land. It's one of the reasons why
Colombian farmers were chased into the Amazon jungle to harvest drug
crops and no longer produce wheat. America's government used it to
help Saddam murder Kurds with gas in 1988, even though back then, as
a bread basket of the Middle East, Iraq was one of the few countries
in the region which was producing food efficiently and even
exporting. But the destruction of the Kurdish agricultural areas and
the people who lived in them with US chemical agents was leaving
Saddam with food shortages, so America stepped in to help him
continue with his gas project, for a minimal agribusiness fee, of
course. And the American state's generosity in Iraq doesn't stop
there.
According to Corporatewatch, new laws have recently been put in place
to prevent Iraqi farmers from saving seeds. This new "Plant Variety
Protection" law heralds the arrival of patents on life forms law and
means that Iraq will no longer be able to feed its starving and
diseased population. That fits in nicely with the US vision of
future Iraqi agriculture -an industrial system hopelessly dependent
upon the big US food tyrannies for input and terminator seeds, which
farmers will have to buy from them every year.
In 2002, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, which is
itself in the pocket of corporation genetic engineers, 97% of Iraqi
farmers used saved seeds from their own stocks from the previous
year's harvest or from local markets. If they do this after the new
US law is put into effect they will be prosecuted on behalf of
corporation food tyrannies by their new vassal king in Baghdad. This
is the latest phase of the war on the people of Iraq and is just
standard state capitalist war economics.

---

ASDA USING CHILD LABOUR

Asda Cwmbran in Wales are punishing children who pinch from their
supermarket – and other young offenders – by making them work in
their store for no wages
This is to teach the young offender to "realise the harm caused by
their criminal behaviour and for them show some remorse". This, for
the child, we are informed "is a very emotional experience"
and "helps them accept responsibility for what they have done".
We wonder if the Youth Offending Team (YOT) realise that exploitation
under capitalism means that workers are robbed through the system of
wage slavery by their employers of the full value of their labour?
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 "legalised"
robbery of the worker occurs on a daily basis. Theft for their class
is the economic norm. For our class it is a crime.
The rate of exploitation depends on what Asda pays its workers. The
going wage at its Cwmbran store for shop-floor workers is a pathetic
£4.95 and £5.26 per hour! Now they can get children to work for
nothing. so they can teach them a lesson. Presumably a lesson how to
rip people off big time?
Asda are owned by the US based Wal-Mart whose work practices have
come in for criticism. The US National Labor Committee reported that
Wal-Mart's contractors in Bangladesh were paying workers as little as
5p per hour and were expected to work an 80 hour week. Wal-Mart has
also used sweatshop labour in China where wages range from 13 cents
to 35 cents per hour. To boost profits further Asda Cwmbran can get
kids to work for them for sod all! We wonder what punishment should
be dealt out to Asda and the YOT team? Who are the real criminals?


---

TIME BOMB

The Kronstadt Uprising

In March 1921 the sailors of the Kronstadt naval base in the Gulf of
Finland rose in revolt against the Bolshevik government, which they
themselves had helped into power in Russia. Under the slogan of "free
soviets" they established a revolutionary commune that survived for
16 days, until the Red Army was sent across the ice to crush it.
After a long and savage struggle, the rebels were subdued
Those who took part were radicals of various types- some were
Socialist-Revolutionaries, some anarchists, quite a few rank and file
Bolsheviks, disgusted by the behaviour of their Party, and many were
revolutionaries who belonged to no party at all.
The Kronstadt rebels demanded freedom of speech and press to workers
and peasants, anarchists and left socialist parties, and the release
of political prisoners of socialist parties, together with those
imprisoned in connection with the labour and peasant movements. They
wanted equalisation of rations and an end to the Bolshevik
detachments used to repress the workers.
The Bolsheviks killed 600 insurgents in the assault on Kronstadt and
in the aftermath hundreds more were summarily executed, and many
perished in their prisons and concentration camps.
In the aftermath, a number of foreign Communists questioned their
faith in a government that had dealt so ruthlessly with genuine mass
protest.
Kronstadt represented the genuine and original spirit of the Russian
Revolution and of free, libertarian socialism, in sharp contrast to
the authoritarian and heavy handed repression of the Bolsheviks. As
they themselves said: " Kronstadt has been the first to break the
chains and the iron bars of the prison. It is fighting for a
different kind of socialism, for a Soviet Republic of the toilers, in
which the producer himself will be the sole master and can dispose of
his products as he sees fit"

---

UNDER THE PAVEMENT

Under the Pavement is a groundbreaking radical alternative radio show
broadcast fortnightly on south Manchester's ALL FM 96.9 community
radio station and with highlights from the shows available online at:
www.underthepavement.org
The show reports on Manchester's diverse radical and activist actions
and campaigns. They have guests, music and news. Check it out
email:radio@underthepavement.org

---

INSIDE INFORMATION

Russian Prisoners
Two members of "New Revolutionary Alternative" organisation have been
imprisoned for anti-war activities.
The NRA first appeared in Russia in the autumn of 1996 when they
attempted to burn down a military conscription centre in Moscow, in
protest against the Chechen war. Over the next few years their
targets included Government, military and police buildings.
Olga Aleksandrovna Nevskaya, UU163/5, 7 Otryad, pos.Dzerzhinskiy,
Mozhaysk140090 Moskovskaya oblast, Russia.
Larisa Valerevna Romanova, pos. Golovino, OD 1/2,Sudogordskiy Rayon,
601395 Vladimirskaya Oblast, Russia.

UK Prisoners
James Borek LL6803,HMP Blundeston, D-108, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32
5BG Sentenced in January 2004 to four and a half years for injuring a
cop during the June 18th 1999 "Carnival against Capital" riot in
London's financial district.
Keith Pringle CB0078, HMP Whitemoor, March, Cambs, PE15 0PR
Keith has been inside for 11 years and continually harassed for
standing up for himself and other prisoners, rioting, dirty protests,
and general disobedience. Recently fitted up for threatening to kill
a screw landing him with another 3 years just when he was due for
release.

European Prisoners
Tomek Wilkoszewski, Zaklad Karny, ul. Orzechowa 5, 98-200 Sieradz,
Poland.
Polish anti-fascist sentenced to 15 years in prison for killing a
nazi in Radomsko in self-defence in 1997. See his website
www.wilkoszewski.pl for more info
Thomas Meyer Falk, JVA Bruchsal, Zelle 3117, Schoenbornstr. 32, 76646
Bruchsal, Germany: In 1996, Thomas was sent down for a bank robbery.
He'll be inside until at least 2010. Because of his strong beliefs,
he's been subject to very harsh repression – kept in solitary, daily
cell raids, suppression and censorship of mail (no packages, and he
has recently been denied his regular correspondence with some
political groups by High Court Ruling), no access to education. On
top of this his cell is in bad disrepair. Protest letters and faxes
are needed towards improving his conditions. When writing to him
don't mention you are a political supporter. Besides hand-written
letters, the only things he can get in the post are 3 IRC's at a time.
For more info email: thomas_m_f@so36.net, or see http://www.freedom–
for-thomas.de.

New Prisons Pamphlet
In this new pamphlet, Mark Barnsley tells the story of 10 long years
in prison, a story of resistance against repression, about struggle
and solidarity. He explains how the State attempted to crush the
British prison struggle, and the tactics they used, he looks at the
Prison Industrial Complex, the use of prison labour, prison
privatisation, prisoner solidarity, and more.
For more information, or to order copies, please e-mail IPRN@mail.com
or Markbarnsley@mail.com

---

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.



MARCH: 6: Celebrate Anniversaries of Struggle. Newcastle. 100 years
since the founding of the Industrial Workers of the World, 20 Years
since the end of the Miners' Strike. Films, talks, music. Starts 1
PM, The Side Cinema, 5/9 Side, Newcastle, NE1 3JE
6: Working Class Movement Library International Women's Day event. 51
Crescent, Salford. Tel; 0161-736-3601. 2.30pm www.wcml.org.uk email:
enquiries@wcml.org.uk
6-21: Trial and celebration of resistance. Five Irish saboteurs are
up on a trial expected to last 2 weeks at Dublins Four Courts for
disabling a US war plane at Shannon Airport, on Ireland's West Coast.
http://geocities.com/pit_stop_ploughshares/pitnews.html
11-12: Benefit gigs for Catalan political prisoners. 9pm on both days
in a North London squat – call 07792 141 840 for details. 7pm on the
12th in Leeds at the Fenton, Woodhouse lane.
16-28: Behind the Smile: the tsunami of tourism. Is a major
exhibition illustrating the plight of hotel workers and their
communities in tsunami struck Thailand and bomb-blasted Kenya. Oxo
Wharf, Bargehouse Street, London SE1
21: Destroy the arms trade - International Day of Direct Action.
International groups are calling for a day of direct action against
the arms trade to coincide with the second anniversary of the start
of war on Iraq. www.dsei.org for more information.

---

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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