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(en) Britain, AF resistance Issue 77 - September 2005

Date Mon, 12 Sep 2005 18:52:24 +0300


Guns Don't Kill, Coppers Do
WHAT A PUBLIC relations disaster for the police, intentionally
holding down and shooting a Brazilian electrician in the head on the
London tube and then making up a string of lies about what happened.
Armed police pumped bullet after bullet into the brain of Jean
Charles de Menezes. He had not jumped the ticket barrier; he had not
run down the escalator, he had not been wearing suspicious heavy
clothing in warm weather. All of that was lies, was a cover-up. The
death of de Menezes shows that "shoot to kill" is now completely
sanctioned by the Blair administration. Sir Ian Blair, the
Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said, shortly after the killing of
Jean Charles that further mistakes would be made, BUT that the
policy of shoot to kill would remain "in order to protect". In other
words be prepared for more killings by trigger happy police who,
incidentally, had already notched up other killings like that of
Harry Stanley in Hackney.
Of course they'll probably get away with it because of the
heightening of tension following the terrorist bombings in July. But
how crazy it's got is clear from the number of armed responses all
over the country. In Nottingham, for example, over the last couple
of months there have been no less than three bomb scares resulting
in armed police on the street, and then an armed assault on a bus.
All turned out to be false alarms. Coppers with machine guns over
their shoulders are becoming so common they have even been spotted
doing a bit of morning shopping in a local Sainsbury's.
Anarchist communists are as horrified as everyone else about the
indefensible murder of ordinary people by suicide bombers, in any
country and for any cause, and struggle to change the society that
drives people to accepting twisted religious dogma which justifies
such actions. But it's important to remember who's got and who's
dropped the biggest bombs, and, apart from the crudest of home-made
devices, make and distribute most of the weapons and explosive
materials they use. They are Governments of all political and
religious persuasions with their armed forces and police, along with
a hugely wealthy state-subsidised arms industry that is proud of its
profits - especially in Britain since we' are one of the biggest
arms producers in the world. All of the massive spending on so-
called defence by governments worldwide quickly turns to offence
when the time is right, whether its waging war on other countries
whose borders have themselves been made up as a result of warfare
between ruling classes throughout history, or keeping down popular
dissent against their murderous policies.
Likewise, activities of terrorist groups work against freedom,
not just by killing innocent people and making us fear each other
when we could be acting together to counter the daily onslaught of
life under capitalism, but by giving nation states the opportunity
to tool-up and pass repressive laws, making social action much
harder.??

Shoot to Kill
ALONGSIDE THE SHOOT to kill policy are other threats to civil
liberties with increased surveillance and the introduction of ID
cards. We should not be cowed by either the Islamist or the state
terrorists. We must fight to maintain the few liberties that we have.

Contacts for anti-ID cards:
Defy-ID is a national campaign fighting ID; there are many local
groups who would love to hear from you-contact details on www.defy-
id.co.uk
Send for a copy of the Anarchist Federation pamphlet on ID cards,
Defending Anonymity to BM ANARFED, London WC1N 3XX enclosing an A4
stamped addressed envelope, or download from www.af-
north.org/anon.pdf.


Gate Gourmet

GATE GOURMET, CATERER for airline food for British Airways
deliberately provoked a walk-out to get rid of workers and maximise
profits. This was part of a year long plan revealed in a clandestine
document from Gate Gourmet. Workers at Heathrow Airport responded
with a magnificent example of unofficial solidarity strikes. 1,000
other airport workers drawn from the same communities as the
strikers supported them. For a short while, the strikers looked set
to win. But this mass and uncontrolled action was too threatening
to the bosses in the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU).
They could not deal with the idea of losing control of the situation
and frustratingly for the Gate Gourmet workers, persuaded the
solidarity strikers back to work. Now the striking workers look
set for a long fight.

WILDCAT STRIKES
Gate Gourmet sacked 670 workers following an unofficial stoppage
over the employment of 130 casual staff. They also tried to reduce
the pickets to 6 but the strength of community feeling pressurised
the high court judges, not normally known for their pro-worker
stance, into allowing nearby demonstrations to continue. The strikes
stranded up to 100,000 BA passengers, some of them for several days.
This dispute did not just happen overnight; the employers had
been planning it for months. In a secret internal briefing Gate
Gourmet declared the following:

"Recruit, train and security check drivers. Announce intention to
trade union, provoking unofficial industrial action from staff.
Dismiss current workforce. Replace with new staff."
A steering committee of GG managers cited the top risk as "potential
for wider Heathrow based disruption". But it would be worth the risk
because of annual pension savings of up to £7 million.
Gate Gourmets new company, Versa Logistics, hires workers for lower
wages and clearly exists to undercut the striking workers wages so
saving the company money. The secret document tells of their plans
to destabilise the work force and maximise profits. Among the
threats listed were: "No redundancy packages, no leaving early, no
extra pay for extra work, random drug testing, no smoking, eating or
drinking in cabs."
The plan also advises how to sack staff. It reads: "Immediate
dismissal without legal protection. Collect ID cards, airside
passes, locker keys. HR to issue dismissal letters, extra security
presence. Security to escort dismissed staff from the premises."
Under the heading "Can we replace employees?" the document lists
details of agencies that could recruit staff from Eastern Europe.

WHO ARE GATE GOURMET?
Texas Pacific Group owns Gate Gourmet. Its owner, Mr Bonderman
has built an estimated £6 billion fortune by buying nearly bankrupt
companies and turning them round. He is also chairman of Ryanair,
the budget airline which doesn't offer in-flight catering.
GG made a £26 million loss last year and is forecast to lose £25
million this year. It obviously needs to save some money if Mr
Bonderman is to continue his obscene profiteering.

SUPPORT FOR THE STRIKERS
As part of the plan, Gate Gourmet is recruiting cheap labour
from outside the UK using specialist agencies.
The company is currently under pressure from all sides. Financially
it is making huge losses. The company, which has headquarters in the
States and Zurich, Switzerland, also is locked in labour disputes in
the United States, where it is trying to cut $42 million a year in
costs. This summer, workers successfully sued the company to have
their health benefits reinstated after it said it would eliminate
them. The British Government and BA need them to settle to
maintain BA's position in the airline market. The budget companies
are snapping at their heals.

SPREAD THE STRIKE
This is the strongest card the workers have. They must spread
the strike throughout the airport. All discussions must be in the
open at mass meetings, with no space for the TGWU to maintain
control. This will put pressure on BA forcing it to make Gate
Gourmet to take the sacked workers back. It also provides a golden
opportunity for other workers at Heathrow to raise their own demands
to improve their wages and conditions.
We need to support the strikers. One way is by picketing the
agencies responsible for recruiting scabs and explain to those
workers what is at stake for the Gate Gourmet strikers. This example
of further casualisation is an attack on the humanity of workers.
Send messages of solidarity to
media@tgwu.org.uk


Boycott Shell Rossport 5

FOR SEVERAL YEARS a consortium consisting of Shell, Statoil, and
Marathon have attempted to build an unprecedented high pressure up-
stream raw gas pipeline 9 kilometres inland to a refinery in Erris,
Mayo, in the north-west of Ireland.
These are high pressure pipelines, up to 345 bar pressure for
the gas. The gas is untreated, that is, odourless, without the
added smell for detecting leaks. This is not a normal gas pipeline.
Normally gas is refined at sea, piped ashore at a much lower
pressure and odorised. The biggest gas pipelines in Ireland run at
16 to 70 bar pressure.
The pipeline is to pass within 70 metres of people's houses,
within 10 metres of the nearest uninhabited house, and within 20
metres of a public road. Should it be built three households will
have to pass over it on their way to their front gates.
The pipeline is only one part of this development and only one
part of the environmental and health and safety concerns surrounding
this development. There is also pollution from the refinery into the
surrounding area, including the lake which provides the regional
water supply, and the waste to be pumped into Broadhaven Bay, a
Special Area of Conservation under E.U. regulations which also
provides livelihoods to local communities through fishing.
Since the middle of June mass pickets have halted all work on
this development. Shell has recently announced a suspension of all
work till next year.
They have been prevented from carrying out any work The final
blow was a plan by 15 to 20 fishing boats to blockade the path of
the ship hired to lay the off-shore pipeline.
Part of the popular effort has been Rossport Solidarity Camp,
involving people from across Ireland, and from a number of European
countries.
On the 29th of June five men were imprisoned indefinitely for
breach of a court order stopping them from preventing Shell from
accessing them and their neighbours' farm lands to construct the
pipeline.
These men, known as the Rossport Five, after the hamlet in which
the main body of the pipeline is to go, include not only people who
are expected to live beside the pipeline, but also people who are
expected to work in the fields above it everyday.
Many solidarity actions have taken place across Ireland,
including simultaneous picketing of almost all the Statoil stations
in Dublin. Some protests have
also taken place overseas.
Shell 2 Sea, an international network formed to resist this
development, is holding a major blockade of Shell's main depot in
Dublin on September 10th and is calling on people across the world
to join in protests on this day.
Another day of protest is 1st of October, simultaneous with a
major protest rally planed for Dublin city centre.
Appropriate targets include Shell, Statoil, Marathon, Irish
Embassies or Consulates, and Norwegian Embassies
or Consulates as Statoil is owned by the Norwegian state.
For more information see: www.shelltosea.com
www.indymedia.ie/mayo
If you can, please write to the prisoners or donate to their legal
defence fund:
Contribute to the Rossport Five Legal Defence Fund:

Account Name: The Rossport Five Fund
Bank: Ulster Bank
Address: Main Street, Belmullet, Co Mayo
Sort Code: 98-53-14
Account Number: 23987020
For International Transfers also use:
Bank ID: ULSBIE2D
IBAN: IE74 ULSB 9853 1423 9870 20

Write to prisoners Willie Corduff, Philip McGrath, Brendan
Philbin, Vincent McGrath and Michael O'Suighin at Cloverhill Prison,
Clondalkin, Dublin 22, Ireland.


A Rod for Rod's Back

BRITISH AIRWAYS BOSS Rod Eddington got a taste of how it sounds
being next to an airport runway on August 19th at 5 am when a sound
system blasting loud aircraft noises was set up outside his
£2.5million country house in Berkshire.

Protesters dressed in pyjamas paid Rod a visit the same day as the
BA Annual General Meeting to make him rethink plans for expansion of
Heathrow and Stansted airports. It was Rod's last AGM at BA as he is
about to become a Transport Adviser to the Government, and John
Stewart from anti-noise group Hacan ClearSkies said, "Residents
under the flight path wanted to say farewell to Rod Eddington by
giving him a taste of his own medicine.

The majority of night flights using Heathrow are operated by British
Airways or one of its subsidiary companies. And BA is amongst the
strongest supporters of night flights."

For more info call John Stewart on 07957 385650 or see
www.hacan.org.uk

Strikes in South Africa
ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND South African gold miners went out on strike in
August for both pay and living conditions in the mining industry. At
the same time 80,000 municipal workers also went out on strike for
better pay. Police attacked demonstrations and arrested 43 workers
in Durban.

Miners often work in 40°C heat up to three kilometres below ground.
Whilst the big mining firms of AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields and
South Deep make huge profits, miners are forced to live in barracks,
leaving their families in townships faraway. Even though the racial
zoning laws were abolished in 1991, three out of four of South
African miners still live in hostels.

Inside Information

Political prisoners on hunger strike
Three of the fifteen political prisoners of Buenos Aires, who were
arrested 13 months ago after a demonstration against the new
"Civility Code" of the city, have started a hunger strike in demand
of their freedom as well as those of their comrades. Martin Amitrano
started the strike on Tuesday and was soon followed by Cesar Gerez
and Marcelo Ruiz.
To demand the immediate freedom of the prisoners you can email:
Señor Presidente, Néstor Kirchner: privada@presidencia.gov.
Señor Ministro del Interior, Aníbal Fernández:
anibalfernandez@infovia.com.
Señor Procurador General, Esteban Righi: web@mpf.gov.ar

Support anti-G8 prisoners in Scotland
The G8 summit was held in Scotland from the 6th to the 8th July, and
was protested against by a wide range of people, with
demonstrations, blockades and actions. Unfortunately involved around
354 people being arrested and imprisoned, and some will face serious
charges and probable prison sentences. We are calling for groups,
individuals and movements to both carry out solidarity actions and
to support prisoners. At the moment there is one prisoner held on
remand till his court case:
John Mackie 18769, HM Prison Edinburgh, 33 Stenhouse Road,
Edinburgh ,
EH11 3LN
Remember that all letters must have a reply address.
Almost two hundred people are due to have trials in Edinburgh,
Glasgow, Perth, Stirling and Falkirk. Court cases have already
started and more are due in the next few weeks.
Contact:
July 2005 Solidarity Group
c/o 17 West Montgomery Place
Edinburgh EH7 5HA
email address:
July2005solidarity@yahoo.co.uk

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