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(en) US, Strike! (Boston Edition) March/April 2006

Date Mon, 13 Mar 2006 17:21:21 +0200


Strike! (Boston Edition) is a free anarchist agit-prop broadsheet put out by
the Boston local of the Northeastern Federation of Anarchist-Communists (NEFAC)
This issue's contents: Government Escalates Attacks on the Poor, Rising Fuel Costs,
Subway Fare Hikes, Hotel Workers Organizing, BU Bioterror Lab, Intro to Anarcha-Feminism,
and more... Government Escalates Attacks Against the Poor: When Will Social
Misery Turn into Class Rage?
Massive cuts in social spending. Increased budget for militarism and war. Further
tax cuts for the rich. Rising unemployment and poverty for the rest of us… There's
a class war in this country. Unfortunately, we're on the losing side. How much
more is it going to take before we start fighting back?

Recently the Bush administration presented its $39.5 billion
budget-cutting package to Congress. More than half of the funding
slashed will be coming from programs such as Medicaid and
Medicare, programs that benefit the poor and elderly. Another
provision will gut $12.7 billion in federal funding towards grants,
loans, and work-study programs for working class students. Further
cuts will affect after-school programs, child care, foster care
programs, pension insurance, transportation, food stamps, farm
subsidies, community development, Section 8, and more.

As if this wasn't enough of a slap in the face, there is also a push to
make Bush's tax cuts (which benefits the richest 5% of the
population) permanent while simultaneously asking for increased
military spending of over $70 billion to continue the bullshit wars in
Iraq, Afghanistan, and who knows where next. Are these people
serious?

It would be easy to blame Bush and his cronies for these attacks on
poor and working people and look to the Democrats to fight for our
interests. But let's be honest. Were things much better under
Clinton? Clinton slashed as many social programs and increased
military spending as much as Reagan, and he had a much easier
time doing it because he was a Democrat. A party for the rich is
always going to be a party for the rich, no matter what name they
hide behind.

Its time we look beyond politicians, both Republican and Democrat,
because they don't care about our needs, the needs of our families,
or the needs of our communities. They only care about profits for the
rich and keeping themselves in positions of power. We need to be
out on the streets fighting against these cuts… through our unions,
community groups, or our social organizations. At the same time we
need to develop alternatives to meet our needs, and not be as
dependent on the small scraps the government throws our way to
keep us quiet.

Let's turn our social misery into class rage, and start escalating our
resistance to these attacks on our lives!

**********

New England Anarchist Bookfair

Speakers, workshops, panels, booktables, art, films and more…

To be held in Boston the weekend of April 21-22nd

For more information: http://www.neanarchistbookfair.org

**********

Freeze for Oil Profits? Not Without a Fight!


All of us know how the increases in gas and oil prices have shot up
over the last year. For those of us that drive to work, prices have
gone up almost 50 cents a gallon on average, and heating oil prices
have seen a similar increase. For many of us, this is an impossible
situation.

We're keeping our homes as cold as we can stand, wearing extra
layers inside. We're doing all we can to stretch our tanks of gas by
waiting until the last moment to fill up and avoiding side trips. The
prices are just too high.

But why are they too high? Has production of gas and heating oil
dropped off? Is there a distribution problem? The answer points to
something much more despicable.

Oil companies have seen record profits at the same time we have
seen record prices. Their profits are up 35% over last year. These
companies' production costs have remained similar, and the prices
of crude oil are not increasing at a rate that justifies the cost to us.

The problem is simple: greed. The government is held up and
supported largely by these companies that are causing us to pay
$1000 more this year on petroleum products than last year.

When this gouging was limited to gas, only those of us who have to
drive to work were feeling the worst of the burden. But now that the
oil companies and the State have seen how well their ploy is
working, they've expanded it to heating oil as well. And now we all
feel the chill.

Well what can we do about it? This is a tough question. The money
and power involved in this coupling of government and huge
corporations is staggering. It is not the sort of problem that can be
done away with without a huge amount of change. Writing your
Congressman won't do a thing. And because oil products are so
pervasive in our society, we have little choice but to pay up. Pay up
or freeze is the message they give us. Pay up or don't drive.

We need to be sending back a message of our own. We won't except
a government that teams up with companies to exploit us all while
lining their pockets. There is little option other than opposing the
entire system that allows these conditions to persist and to worsen.
In many countries around the world, when gas prices go up it is
often met with massive protests and riots in the streets. This has
forced the government to step in and lower the prices before they are
faced with total social crisis. Maybe its time we start following this
example?

**********

MBTA Plans to Screw You... Again

The MBTA plans to raise subway and bus fares by as much as 25%
in January 2007. This would be the second fare increase in three
years, despite the continued poor service, substandard facilities, and
racist policies that have limited access to neighborhoods like
Roxbury and Chinatown.

Transportation officials blame everything from increased fuel costs
to a stagnant ridership and want to stick us with the bill. This is
outright robbery against working people who need to get to their jobs
everyday and are forced to use these public services daily.

Our solution? Fight the fare increase with economic sabotage. Hit
‘em where it hurts, and remember: NO FARE IS A FAIR
FARE!

**********

Organizing to Fight Back: Hotel Workers Rising in 2006

Hotel Workers have fought hard these last few years to ensure all
major citywide contracts expire in 2006. This was to guarantee that
the hotel workers union, UNITE HERE, would have the power they
need in taking on the larger hotel corporations.

In the last twenty years the hotel industry has seen a consolidation.
Instead of local, independent, family owned hotels we now find a few
large multi-nationals who have an aim to end the impressive
industry-based organizing UNITE-HERE! has achieved in the past
fifteen years. The workers realize multi-nationals such as Starwood
and Hilton can not only withstand a strike, but could easily break the
union through decertifying union hotels or locking workers out of
their job and hiring scab, non-union workers. These multi-nationals
are a threat to the livelihood of hotel workers in that they have
increased healthcare costs and at the same time initiated workload
increases causing repetitive strain injuries and more rooms for
housekeepers.

The hotel workers plan is to fight back and clear the air as to who
makes these hotels what they are. The plan on gaining leverage by
standing together and demanding rights and dignity not only for
themselves, but for their non-union brothers and sisters who cannot
organize without fear of intimidation or being fired. Along with room
reduction, free healthcare and wage increases, hotel workers know
they will not get what they deserve until all hotel workers are
organized.

In the coming year, hotel workers will need the community to stand
with them.

**********

Let The Rich Fight Their Own Wars!

On Saturday, February 25, residents of the greater Boston area came
together outside of the Tremont Street Military Recruitment Center
to resist military recruitment in local high schools and college
campuses. The demonstration was called by members of the Radical
Youth Alliance, an organization of dedicated youth throughout the
area who work together on a variety of issues but focus on resisting
the war.

Leaflets were passed out explaining how military recruiters lie in
order to trick potential enlistees, and emphasized that the problem is
not just one war or one president, but with the system of militarism.

http://operationover.freeyouth.net

**********

BU Bioterror Lab: Bringing Infectious Diseases to Our Community!

Boston University has undertaken the process of attempting to build
BioSafety Level 4 research lab in Boston, a lab to be used for the
research of highly deadly and infectious diseases, including anthrax,
botulism, and the Ebola virus. And they want to build this lab in the
South End / Roxbury!

Not only would this lab put the residents of Roxbury-as well as
greater Boston-at the risk of infection of these diseases, it offers to
give little (if anything) back to the community. BU has made no
commitment to offer jobs in the laboratory to community members,
while adding an influx of highly skilled white collar jobs to the area
will surely bring a new wave of gentrification to push out long time
residents of Roxbury.

The lab has been awarded federal funding, and Boston University
hopes to begin building the lab within the month.

Opposition to this lab is vital for the safety Boston!

To become more involved contact: Alternatives for Community and
Environment (www.ace-ej.org) at: (617) 442-3343

**********

Thinking About Anarchism: Anarcha-Feminism

An important principle of anarchism and one that more than any
other differentiates it from other types of socialism is its emphasis on
freedom and non-hierarchical social relations. Central to anarchism
is the rejection of any power hierarchy between men and women.
Anarchists believe that the liberty of one is based on the liberty of all
and so there can be no true anarchist society without an end to all
existing structures of domination and exploitation, including
naturally the oppression of women.

As anarchists we believe that the means determines the end. This
means that we do not wait for some future revolution to tackle the
problems of sexism but instead see that it is important to struggle
against it in the here and now. As anarchists we strive to ensure that
both our own organizations and also those campaigns we are
involved in are free from sexism and power-hierarchies and that all
members have equal decision-making power.

We recognize that the full participation of women within the
anarchist movement and social struggles of today is very important.
In order to shape the future society women must be involved in its
creation and, of course, without the participation of half of the
population there will be no social revolution. Just as we believe the
emancipation of the working class is the task of the working class
themselves, we also see that, essentially, women's development,
freedom and independence must come from themselves. Becoming
involved in political struggle is in itself an act of empowerment.
Many women in today's society do not believe that they could have a
role in fundamentally changing things. However by getting involved,
by assuming our place -- agitating, educating and organizing -- we
begin to take control of our own lives in the process of actively
fighting to change the unjust society in which we live.

Only in an anarchist society will the basis for the oppression of
women cease to exist. This is because women, due to their
reproductive role, will always be more vulnerable than men in
capitalist society which is based on the need to maximize profit.
Abortion rights, paid maternity leave, creche and childcare facilities
etc., in short everything that would be necessary to ensure the
economic equality of women under capitalism, will always be
especially relevant to women. Because of this, women are generally
viewed as being less economical than men to employ and are more
susceptible to attacks on gains such as childcare facilities, etc.

Also, women cannot be free until they have full control over their
own bodies. Yet under capitalism, abortion rights are never
guaranteed. Even if gains are made in this area they can be attacked,
as happens with abortion rights in the USA. The oppression of
women under capitalism has thus an economic and sexual basis.
From these root causes of women's oppression, stem other forms of
oppression like, for example, the ideological oppression of women,
violence against women, etc. That is not to say that sexist ideas will
just disappear with the end of capitalism, but rather only with the
end of capitalism can we rid society of an institutional bias that
continues to propagate and encourage sexism.

As an anarchist society will not be driven by profit, there, for
example, will be no economic penalty for having children or wanting
to spend more time with them. Childcare, housework etc., can be
seen as the respon-sibility of the whole of society and thus give
women and men more options in general.

Anarchism/Anarcha-feminism joins the fight against class
exploitation and that against women's oppression together. True
freedom, both for women and men, can only come about in a
classless society, where workplaces are self-managed, private
property is abolished and the people who make decisions are those
affected by them.

Clearly the struggle for women's freedom requires a class struggle by
the workers. And in turn, the class struggle can only be successful if
it is at the same time a struggle against women's oppression.

- by Deirdre Hogan, Workers Solidarity Movement (Ireland)
http://www.struggle.ws/wsm

**********

Contact us!

Strike! (Boston Edition) c/o PO Box 230685 Boston, MA 02123
nefacboston@nefac.net http://www.nefac.net
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