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(en) Britain, AF resistance, Issue 74 - June 2005

Date Fri, 27 May 2005 14:17:19 +0300


G8: UNWANTED HEADS OF STATE
At the beginning of July, eight men from eight countries are coming
to Gleneagles, Scotland, with the aim of making decisions that will
affect the entire planet. What makes them think they have the right
to decide on our behalf? There are many people, from all over the
world, who think that these so-called leaders do not have this
right. Some of them are assembling in Scotland and others are
initiating actions in their own countries and communities in order
to protest against the arrogance of these world `leaders' and to
affirm that the only people we trust are ourselves.

There are many reasons to reject their leadership. Firstly, they
come together in order to discuss world problems, such as poverty,
terrorism and international crime, that they themselves have
created. It is their policies and support for a global economic
system based on competition and greed that has brought humanity to
the brink of disaster. No one feels safer after five years of
the `war on terror'. The war in Iraq and support for Israel and
reactionary governments such as Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan have
only managed to increase religious fanaticism.
Though many people were glad to see the back of the Islamic regime
in Afganistan, the American and British supported-government is
hardly an improvement. Heroin addiction has increased and recently a
female singer who dared go against the Islamic mould for women was
shot dead. Many people are beginning to wonder what the real
motivation was for the invasion of Afganistan and Iraq. The lack of
serious interest in human rights abuses leads to the conclusion that
access to oil was the real reason for wanting to overthrow these
oppressive regimes.
Similarly with the lip-service paid to poverty in the developing
countries; they express concern and set `targets' that they never
meet or make any effort to meet. In fact, they can't meet them
because they also support the banks and companies who undermine the
poorer economies of the world, as well as turning a blind eye to
weapon sales to dictators to use against their own people. The same
goes for their `leadership' in their own countries. As we all know,
Blair's Britain (as was Thatcher's Britain) is riddled with problems
of redundancies, inadequate services, spiralling housing costs and
alienated young people. It is the same for other countries that make
up the G8. So why should we think these politicians will sort out
the world? We can only conclude that they either have no interest in
solving the world's problems or they are completely incompetent!
Our `leaders' would claim that they are representing us because we
vote for them. However, voting turn-outs are low every election. The
politicians may argue that this is because people are apathetic, but
this is not the case. Rather, people don't vote because they have no
confidence in any of the political parties. Years of broken
promises, with no sign of any improvements in people's quality of
life, have made people very cynical. It is very clear that the
politicians, no matter who they are, represent no one but themselves
and their own interests.
It is for these reasons that it is important to let them know what
we think of them. Though we can really only change things in our own
communities and workplaces, where we experience the concrete
hardships and brutality of a profit-driven economic system and
oppressive State directly, it is important to let our voices be
heard. You can do this in a number of ways. The obvious way to
protest is to come to Scotland itself and join in the demonstrations
and actions. This may be financially difficult for most, but you can
still organise protests where you are, aimed at anything that is
part of the problem – an oil station, a company headquarters,
weapons suppliers – the choice is endless! If you live and work in
Scotland, refuse to have anything to do with servicing the G8
summit. If you need to work, then make their lives difficult in
whatever way you can: spit in their soup! Whatever you do, let the
message be heard- these eight men are not our leaders, they do not
speak for us; we want a different future from the one they are
helping to bring about. And, long after the summit is over, we will
fight everywhere against their world and for ours.

---

ON THE FRONTLINE

The BBC strike has finally started over the coming month after weeks
of union foot dragging. Four 24 hour work stoppages have been called
to protest plans to lay of 4000 workers (20% of the workforce) as a
cost cutting exercise. News programs on TV and Radio have been hit
badly with essential studio managers, broadcast assistants and
researchers strongly behind the strike action. Some high-profile
presenters have crossed the picket lines (following the example of
Nicholas `ratface' Witchell in 1989) including Terry Wogan, Chris
Moyles, Jo Whiley and Vanessa Feltz.
Incidentally in the last year the 18 members of the BBC's Executive
Committee between them shared £6.2 million pounds (more than 50,000
licence fees) in salary, bonuses and taxable benefits, and have
individual pensions as high as £2.5 million.
Continuing trouble for the bosses on the railways with strikes at
opposite ends of the country. In Norfolk a series of one day
stoppages on One Rail is expected to bring all train services in the
county to a stop. The strikes are planned to gradually spread to
wider areas and to eventually cover the whole south east. The
dispute is over plans to introduce new ticket machines. There's also
a dispute over working hours on MerseyRail and four one day walkouts
are taking place throughout May and June.
Keeping with long standing `On the Frontline' tradition we bring
news of yet another strike involving Stagecoach workers. 400 drivers
in the east midlands have started a series of five one day stoppages
over pay. There's a trend towards this being successful at the
minute with this company – though the all out strike in Yorkshire
has produced the best returns so far…
Council workers in Coventry are out in their thousands as we write
this. 50% of the workforce is out on an open ended series of 24 hour
strikes against the unilateral imposition of a new pay system that
means wage cuts for many workers.
Whilst all these and many other disputes have been taking place,
whilst working class people struggle to ensure they have a decent
life Gordon Brown (The left's knight in shining armour) was at the
Amicus conference urging "wage discipline" – this from a man who
already earns £133 000 from his own job, with an added £130 000 on
top in expenses, not to mention being housed, fed and transported at
the cost of those scrabbling around for a few quid a week extra –
the same ones who he calls to exercise "wage discipline"!

---

DEFY ID Part 2. ATTACK OF THE CARDS

The election over, the government is pressing ahead with its plans
for a National Identity Register and compulsory ID cards for
everyone in the country. Carrying personal information in the form
of fingerprints, iris scans and other electronic data, these cards
will set us back £93 each. That's over £370 for a family of four.
We'll need these cards to visit the doctor, the chemist, go to
hospital, collect benefit and family allowance. The police will
have the right to demand that we show them our cards. If we fail,
then a trip to the local nick will be in order to sort things out.
Lose them and we face a fine. Private companies will have access to
our records. This will be with our "permission" of course, but who
fancies telling a future boss he can't look at our files?
Even more frightening than the attack on our civil liberties is the
ability of the state to cock up with their databases. None of their
great computer systems yet has worked properly. Pensioners have had
their details lost, single parents been unable to claim benefit.
They can't even manage to computerise health records properly. Fancy
being the victim of mistaken identity? The ID database makes that
more likely. We've all heard tales of people being refused credit
because they are confused with others. Now imagine that magnified to
60 million people.
Add all this to dispersal orders, CCTVs, ASBOs, attacks on kids in
hoodies and we see the beginnings of a frightening interference in
our ability to go as we please, where we please.
Efforts are already being made to fight this. In the North West,
Defy ID Groups have been set up in Liverpool, Preston and
Manchester. We urge all our readers to get in touch with Defy ID, to
join an existing group or set one up themselves. Defy ID can be
contacted at: admin@defy-id.org.uk

---

HANDS OFF OUR HOLIDAY!

Millions of French workers refused to turn up to work on Monday May
16th after the Pentecost bank holiday was cancelled by the
government for the next four years.
Workers were told that the cancelled holiday would let employers pay
into a government health care fund. This was to pay for the expenses
incurred by the 2003 heat wave that killed 15,000 people, mostly
elderly. People quickly saw this as a blatant rip-off, particularly
as the government had failed to respond adequately at the time!
Demonstrations took place in many cities throughout France on the
day. Prime Minister Raffarin, when asked how many people had turned
up to work had to reply:" Four Polish plumbers and three Romanian
plasterers".


---

HAVE A BUTCH AT THIS...

Residents of a Wolverhampton neighbourhood are fighting back against
an abattoir that has been making their lives misery for years.
The Abattoir, owned by H+L Butchers has a long history of causing
too much noise late at night and early in the morning, stinking the
area out, and dumping animal parts in the vicinity. Local people
have had enough and are trying to get the polluting abattoir shut
down. They've already invaded council meetings and are threatening
to barricade the entrance unless the butchers clean up their act.

residents resist
Other residents are up in arms over a decision by the high court to
restrict any information about the locations of Care Homes for
disadvantaged youth set to open across the city.
The company that runs the centres, Green Corn, took at an injunction
against anybody wishing to report the location of their centres.
This follows intense pressure form local communities resistant to
more drains on already cash-strapped areas and concerns over anti-
social behaviour that have not been addressed. Residents have now
announced they will take direct action to oppose both the
restriction on reporting and the construction of the homes. Here at
resistance, we support the important social role played by care
homes, but if companies and the government think they can do as they
like without any consultation with local residents they are in for a
shock!

---

GREEN ALTERNATIVE OR BIG BUSINESS?

It might come as a surprise to some that wind farms are now the
object of a growing protest movement across many parts of rural
Britain, notably in the Highlands of Scotland. The Scottish
Executive is supposedly committed to significantly increasing the
amount of energy coming from renewables in the next decade. Onshore
wind farms, rather than tidal or offshore, have been the preferred
choice. Wind farms planning applications are proliferating across
Northern Scotland. This area is a prime target because of the
supposed `emptiness' of the country. Several large scale planning
applications have been made, including new power lines through the
Cairngorm National Park to bring the energy supplies to the urban
areas of Scotland and then further south to England.
Local communities have been divided, with some people putting up
fierce resistance and others accepting compensation or hoping to get
jobs. It is understandable that many working class people would see
wind farms as a way to bring in much needed work rather than being
reliant on the low-wage tourist industry.
So what's wrong with these farms? Aren't these protesters just
blocking any serious solution to global warming out of their own
trivial concern with a `view'? This is certainly the message given
out by pro-wind farm developers and there is an element of truth in
this. Often those most against wind farms have moved into the area
and are angry that their rural idyll is being spoiled. However, who
actually stands to gain from wind farm development? 60% of planning
applications have been put forward by the property consultants
Bidwells.

Immense profits
These large companies stand to make immense profits and very little
of these profits will go back into the local community. Most of the
jobs will be temporary construction and will not provide much stable
employment. The wind farm in the Monadhliath Mountains is expected
to make more than £125 million for the London-based Renewable Energy
Systems company. The turbines themselves will be built by the
Italian multi-national Gruppo Falke. Energy companies are not really
interested in the problems of global warming. The governments'
Renewables Obligations scheme means that companies can come to
Scotland, build a wind farm and get green certificates that they can
then use to offset the limitations on their production of carbon
emissions.
Wind farms will also provide the Scottish lairds with an easy way of
making a lot of money. As the Skye Action Group says: "During the
Highland Clearances the present day landlords took the people from
the landscape, now their descendants want to take the landscape from
the people." Much of the Highlands is owned by a few landowners and
they are in a position to use the land for their financial benefit,
regardless of the consequences. Before it was sheep farms and deer
stalking, now it's wind farms. The absentee landowner of Dunmaglass
Estate in the Monadhliath Mountains stands to make £9 million.
Campaigners also argue that these wind farms aren't really needed
anyway. The vast majority of the energy produced will be for the
urban areas. But as property is so expensive in the urban areas,
(and there are more people there to object!), developers find it
more profitable to `industrialise' the rural areas, knowing that
they have the support of greedy landowners and that they can win
over many less well-off locals with the promise of jobs. The Energy
Saving Trust has shown that insulating a loft and installing
condensing boilers in 15% of UK households would save an equivalent
amount of energy of 3000 turbines.
Wind farms aren't a problem as such, as long as they are on a small-
scale and completely controlled and run by the local community for
its own benefit. And, renewable energy sources are needed as an
alternative to fossil fuels and nuclear power. But as part of a
capitalist-driven energy strategy, they will blight the landscape,
provide few jobs or benefits for the local community, make the rich
richer and just encourage us in the illusion that we can go on
consuming endlessly without any energy worries.
More info at: www.wind-farm.org. and www.stopdunnmaglass.com

---

TIME BOMB

Portuguese Revolution
ON APRIL 25TH 1974 a radical faction within the Portuguese Armed
Forces, the MFA, revolted against the 50 year old fascist
dictatorship.
New political parties sprouted up. The parties all used the
situation to gain political power in the government. Ordinary folk,
in contrast, used the situation to improve social conditions in
their communities and workplaces through new autonomous
organisations.
Strikes had been met by brutal force under the fascist regime but
lack of experience proved no deterrent to the Portuguese working
class. A workers assembly of the TAP airline demanded the purging of
all fascists in the company and the election of union
representatives to the administration council. When it was
discovered that some of the representatives had raised their
salaries the union came under a lot of criticism. An assembly, held
without union officials, drew up a list of demands which the
government rejected, so the workers struck.
Another assembly of maintenance workers reduced their 44-hour week
to 40 by refusing to work the extra four hours! All international
flights were halted. The Minister for Labour, a Communist Party
member, called on the workers to resume work. The military were sent
to occupy the airport and arrest the strike committee. 200 were
sacked but were reinstated after mass demonstrations. The 40-hour
week was gradually introduced.
People also began occupying empty property. The jittery government
decreed a rent freeze and allocated money and tax exemptions to
builders. 260 families from a Lisbon shantytown moved into an empty
apartment block near the city. The military ordered them out but
were forced to back down. Autonomous Revolutionary Neighbourhood
Committees were set up, elected from general assemblies of local
residents. They arranged occupations of property for use as free
crèches, workers' centres and for other community services.
Rural workers began taking the land with co-operation from
industrial workers. In Santarem a meeting of 354 farm workers
declared that a massive amount of land was to be occupied. Other
workers, armed with pickaxes, arrived in trucks to aid them and at
the end of it over ten major farms were collectivised.
Gradually the political parties destroyed the gains of the working
class. But the Portuguese Revolution had been a great experiment in
how to start organising for a future society.

---

INSIDE INFORMATION

Conscientious objector in danger
A report from May 24:

"Gay anarchist conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan is under arrest
for more than 45 days. He's held in Sivas Military Prison and will
have his next trial on Thursday, 26th of May. He has faced threats,
torture and lynching attempt by some of the prisoners who are under
the manipulation of prison administration.
His lawyer Suna Coskun made a press release today. However according
to the latest news, he's still under threat and risk of physical
assault. His lawyer Senem Doganoglu declared that in today's visit
he was again threatened by the same prisoners (one of whom is held
with the claim he killed four people). Anarchists, anti-
authoritarians and anti-militarists in Turkey are actively working
under the name of "Solidarity Initiative with Mehmet Tarhan" and
calling all comrades and friends to support his struggle.

PLEASE SEND PROTEST FAXES TO THE FOLLOWING NUMBER
Fax (of Sivas Military Prison): (+90346) 225 39 15
To send solidarity messages to Mehmet Tarhan: Postal address: Mehmet
Tarhan 5. Piyade Egitim Tugayi Askeri Cezaevi Müdürlügü,
Sivas/Turkey."

---

(Euro) Mayday
Mayday saw the first EuroMayday action in London, which was
organised by the precarity network. This targeted a Tesco
supermarket in Hackney. The police were very heavy handed and some
scuffles broke out with several people arrested. For a report of
the action see www.precarity.info
In all there were about a dozen arrests. If you witnessed any
arrests, or police assaults on people, please contact the Legal
Defence & Monitoring Group (LDMG) c/o BM Box HAVEN, London, WC1N
3XX.
Visit: www.ldmg.org.uk or email:
ldmgmail@yahoo.co.uk

---

For the latest news on supporting prisoners visit:
www.brightonabc.org.uk

---

THE FACE OF THE STATE

On the 18th of May, at the Colombian consulate in London, about 30
activists expressed their anger for the brutal killing of Nicolas
Neira. "Nico" was brutally slaughtered by the Colombian police when
taking part in a peaceful Mayday demonstration. The cops attacked
the anarchist part of the march, without any previous warning and
beat whoever was in their way. As a result of this, Nico, only 15
years old, sustained such a severe brain damage that he entered a
coma and died a few days later. The murderers proceeded to
intimidate his family in the following days, through threatening
calls, so they abandoned any attempt at bringing the culprits to
justice.
This is the real face of the state. A brutal, repressive machine.
The state's repression unfolds in many ways. By killing, torturing
and imprisoning the dissidents, no matter how peaceful and harmless
they are. Or by condemning millions to starvation through the
implementation of neoliberal policies which benefit just a tiny few.
As the G8 does….

---

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.

JUNE: 4 Anarchy Bear's Grrr8 Picnic. Reclaim a city centre
greenspace for peaceful festive gathering against privatisation,
cuts in local services, Big Brother (ID, ASBO's etc), and the G8.
From 12 noon College Green, Bristol city centre
dissentbristol@subsection.org.uk
4 Gwent Anarchists G8 info night Le pub in Newport. Showing short
films about the upcoming G8 summit and footage from previous
protests from around the world.
http://riseup.net/cardiffanarchists/images/spanner-newport-gig.gif
4-12 Stop the Arms Trade Week. Organised by Campaign Against Arms
Trade 020 7281 0297 www.caat.org.uk
10-12 Weekend Of Resistance For environmental activist prisoner Jeff
Luers www.freefreenow.org/june2005.html
11 Norwich's 2nd annual anarchist bookfair. 10am to 7pm 07941
657485. norwichanarchists@hotmail.com www.norwichanarchists.org
18 Community Action Gathering Oxford House, Bethnal Green Rd.,
London E2 12 noon-6pm 0208 374 5027 info@hackneyindependent.org
July: 6 Global Day of Action at the opening day of the G8 Summit
www.agp.org www.dissent.org.uk For a comprehensive list of events
from the 2nd July go to
www.nadir.org/nadir/initiativ/agp/resistg8/timeline.htm

---

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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