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(en) Britain, Anarchist Federation bulletin - Resistance #105 - September 2008

Date Fri, 05 Sep 2008 06:40:05 +0300



Contents of the September 2008 issue: ----- WELCOME TO MANCHESTER - Labour Party
annual conference. ----- LOCALS SAY "NEVER AGAIN" TO SCUMFEST - Direct action at
the BNP Red White and Blue Festival. ----- CENTRAL EUROPEAN WORKERS STRIKE BACK
- In Iceland, following deaths at power construction site. ----- UNIONS SLAMMED
FOR FAILING LOW PAID WORKERS - Women workers still getting a raw deal. -----
TAKING BACK OUR PRIDE - 18 years of the Manchester gay pride festival, but money
talks too much. ----- E'ON, F'OFF! - A PLEASANT STROLL TO KINGSNORTH - Report
back from the 3rd Camp for Climate Action. ----- TIME TO TRIM THE FAT (AND GET
SOME EXERCISE) - Opposition to Wembley academy school. ----- SUBVERT - Diary
dates in Manchester: Roma solidarity demo (19th) and Stop the War anarchist & no
borders bloc (20th).

---

WELCOME TO MANCHESTER

The Labour Party is holding its annual conference in Manchester. Manchester
Anarchist Federation have this to say: Welcome to Manchester, home and co
sponsor of genocide! ‘Nuclear Free’ Manchester, City of Peace, this year
welcomes key sponsors of the current Chronic World War - the Labour Party - for
its annual conference. This is the party that brought us Bloody Sunday in 1970
when British troops massacred unarmed civilians in Northern Ireland. It brought
us the war in Iraq current death toll over 1.7 million. Taking a break from
efforts to start a war against Iran, Labour is hurling hypocritical accusations
of genocide against the Russians.

We know that capitalism needs war and now Russia, like during the Cold War, has
proved to be just another capitalist warmonger. After the Georgians annihilated
the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali, the Russians moved in with their
militia death squads. Russia threatened a pre-emptive nuclear strike against
Poland, a NATO member. As Iraq cools down, so a new Cold War hots up.

We should not be surprised that Gordon Brown, who claimed to be a man of peace,
is cheering this on. He is the same man who taxed us to pay for the wars in Iraq
and Afghanistan since 1997, pushed for the renewal of the nuclear deterrent and
the regeneration of the British fleet which is set to cost around £20 billion
without a shot being fired. This is a great financial boost for business when
times are hard. This is not a war-game nor is it an accident. It is the
lifeblood of a system based on profit, competition and conflict.

Meanwhile the same system devastates the worlds' largely impoverished population
and causes millions of bullet less casualties. Anarchists have mobilised in
large numbers to demonstrate against not just this war or even all wars, but
against its causes. We do not need better or more left wing governments. Neither
do we need a fantasy crusade for an honest politician. We don't want to get a
government back on track, or help a party regenerate. We are saying they are
murderers! This is their system and a system they will kill to defend. War is
the natural state of this system based on nations and borders as the organising
form of international capitalism. Labour, through its membership of NATO, along
with Russia, continues to promote and exploit every conflict it can. They will
do this until they leech profit from the Caucasus and across the globe.

This new Cold War is of their making and it is to their benefit to keep us in
danger and rallied to the interests of the state with all that entails. The
state will use any method to keep us controlled, from nationalism to racism,
from immigration and border controls to ID cards and from increasing detention
to social control. Workers of the world have no country, should recognise no
nation or border. Mobilise to fight the bosses not their wars!

---

LOCALS SAY "NEVER AGAIN" TO SCUMFEST

After a year of preparation by Notts Against the BNP (a coalition of anarchists
and left-wing activists) August 16th finally saw a national anti-fascist
mobilisation against the British National Party’s ‘Red White and Blue’ festival
in Derbyshire. The so-called ‘festival’, which moved to Denby in 2007 on to the
land of BNP farmer Alan Warner, is an annual rallying point for the party since
it was started by their uber-fascist Nick Griffin. Last year the council were
unable to prevent the BNP having an events licence when the police said they
could handle it. This year was very different.

First the licence was denied unless the fascists put up huge fences around the
site, so the BNP withdrew their application after a tantrum in the council
meeting at Ripley. A second ‘mini-licence’ was also denied and the mighty BNP
were forced to hold their family hate event as a private party. Door-to-door
leafleting of local areas took place before the event. Then, on August 16th, a
demonstration and rally took place in the nearby town of Codnor. Elsewhere on
the day, anti-fascist activists took part in a creative direct action that gave
the police a headache by blocking a road near to the festival site, in order to
prevent access to the festival. Riot police were called in to put down the
action, beating activists with batons and mounting a chase through fields in
full riot gear with dogs and helicopter support. There were over 30 arrests and
most were bailed to answer charges in a few months time. But the result is
already clear. All the local papers are full of the news that the BNP is not
wanted in the future, so anarchist direct action certainly showed its worth on
the day.

As a result a new Amber Valley ‘Stop the BNP’ has been formed. But from this
point on it will be important not to let the trotskyists destroy all the good
work of local campaigning with their bickering and competing for leadership.
Unite Against Fascism (a front for Socialist Workers Party) really did the dirty
leading up to the demo and on the day itself. They organised a later start time
with the police, behind the backs of local campaigners. Other leftists within
Stop the BNP seemed more concerned with this Unite Against Fascism betrayal than
actually stopping the BNP on the day. There must also be a much clearer message
as to how much the Labour Party and the opposition have aided fascism with their
‘war on terror’ and anti-immigrant policies. We know this is translating into
the reality of increased detention & deportation.

It’s even worse in Italy, where the right wing government is in full swing,
openly attacking immigrants and the Roma population. All in all though, the
message ‘Never Again!’ against fascist organising is crystal clear.

See www.antifa.org.uk for militant anti-fascism.
Read Indymedia UK for many reports about anti-RWB action.

---

CENTRAL EUROPEAN WORKERS STRIKE BACK

On August 20th two Romanian workers in Iceland suffocated. They had been welding
pipes to help expand the electric power plant in Hellisheidarvirkjun. This is in
order to power a new alumininium smelter.

The company tried to cover up the deaths. Because of this, foreign workers at
the Altak firm (a contractor to public owned company Reykjavik Energy) held a
meeting, and the non-unionised workers are now trying to get better safety
conditions. Polish workers didn't go to work for two days and if bosses won't
agree to their demands, say they will all call in sick.

Around 300 people are working for various companies on construction-related
projects.

---

UNIONS SLAMMED FOR FAILING LOW PAID WORKERS

Trade unions have been slammed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission for
selling out low paid women members. Up to 150,000 women have received too little
from local authorities and the NHS in land mark equal pay cases because unions
‘rushed into ill considered back pay deals and accepted too readily pleas of
poverty’.

A low paid GMB member, who works for Middlesbrough Council as a home carer said,
“I have been paying my union subs to the GMB for 11 years and the only time I
have gone to them was over my equal pay claim. What I found out was that we
counted for nothing”. Unions have been criticised for not taking equal pay
claims forward, leaving women members with little choice but to take individual
cases using private legal firms which can take up to 25 per cent of any pay
out”. A retired Unison rep and ex-care worker said “for the last three decades
the unions have been telling us how they are going to fight for equal-pay
workers and nothing has happened”. She told The Observer that she earned up to
£5,000 a year less than men doing an equivalent job.

Unions say they stand up for working class people but they don’t. They reckon
that all they have to do is sort out the right compromise to keep everyone
happy. This always means selling out their members. That is why anarchists say
that we should always fight for the control of our organisations in the
workplace and not trust union officials who will always put their own careers
before defending our interests.

---

TAKING BACK OUR PRIDE

This year saw Manchester Pride celebrate it’s 18th birthday. Just like at most
birthday celebrations there was a lot of drink, a lot of balloons and plenty of
glitter. Sadly, not much else came from the event, unless of course you count
the loss of the £17.50 it would have cost you toattend!

Once again the Pride organisers along with their profit-sucking sponsors such as
Selfridge's and Co and West Properties decided that politics were a no no. Pride
was to be strictly apolitical. In fact the organisers even went as far as to
deny entry to the Pride parade to anyone with banners that had slogans such as
‘Pride not Profit’.

Sadly, Manchester Pride is not alone in forgetting that Pride should be a
protest for LGBTQ liberation and not just some market driven celebration of ‘gay
life and culture’- also known as ‘gay-only products’ and ‘gay-only nightclubs‘.
At the opening ceremony of Pride several Anarchist and Queer comrades went and
crashed the party. They hurled banners reading such slogans as ‘Too Poor To Be
Gay’. Right throughout the Manchester Pride season they continued to antagonise
the Pride cash cravers with mass leafleting and other activities. Not one
negative comment was thrown our way by those we talked to throughout all our
interventions. We sure we made our mark felt and heard. Our message was, and
remains, perfectly clear. We won't sit back and watch as Pride becomes an event
aimed solely at advertising products and corporate sponsors. We stand in
solidarity with all LGBTQ individuals who feel that bosses and businessmen -
Lesbian, Gay or otherwise - have nothing in common with our aim of liberation
and shouldn’t be running our Pride events. At the same time we remind all LGBTQ
peoples that liberation means more than begging the government for a civil
partnership or equal age of consent. Our enemy is the homophobic, gender binding
capitalist system.

---

E'ON, F'OFF! - A PLEASANT STROLL TO KINGSNORTH

The annual climate camp this year took place at Kingsnorth in Kent. Its aim was
to shut down the coal fired power station as a criticism of the government
policy of developing more sources of dirty energy. An AF member at the camp
gives his personal account of the mass day of action:

The fluffy face of climate camp started out at 9am with a sanctioned march and,
even with constant stalling, spirits were high. The police twice attempted to
disrupt the procession but the march continued nonetheless. Upon reaching the
entrance of Kingsnorth, one sharpwitted anarchist noticed a help-desk number on
the main gates. After dialing, we were informed by a quite apologetic security
guard that he’d be straight down to let us in! (needless to say he didn’t
materialize) An hour later we were told that police dogs would be unleashed
should we fail to disperse. Monty Burns, eat your heart out! After about 45
minutes of dragging our heels, the march slipped away with most people managing
to give the police escort the slip to travel through the nearby village of Hoo
St Werburgh. Reactions from locals were largely positive, with many coming out
of their homes to cheer us on, showing that the gap between protesters and
residents is largely fabricated. After all, there is nothing quite as
heartwarming as seeing Anarchists dancing down the road with old ladies applauding.

Direct Action in the Countryside

Setting off across the fields, about half of green bloc managed to evade the
police and continue the journey to Kingsnorth. There were many obstacles but
luckily someone had left some harris fencing to help protesters across the
perimeter fence. In a similar act of kindness the employees at E.on turned off
the electric fence surrounding the station! It was only the giant concrete wall
and lines of riot police that stopped the green bloc from completing the trip.
Those that didn’t make it as far as the inner wall hung a banner from a nearby
pylon reading ‘Shut Down Kingsnorth’.

Rebel Rafters

Climate Camp was also able to boast its own naval division - the blue bloc.
After ingeniously burying their boats months in advance, they managed to sneak
past the police (dressed as pirates), and launch their boats onto the Medway,
with many managing to evade police speedboats! A few of the rafts got to the
coal loading jetty, hung banners and generally provided the police with a few
headaches. Others managed to reach the water intake pipes before being arrested.
Despite 26 police forces, constant stop and search and brutal police oppression
all three blocs managed to outwit 1400 cops on land and sea!

The camp wasn’t without its problems however. The anti-authoritarian roots of
the movement seemed to be being ignored at points with standing ovations for a
Liberal Democrat MP and Monbiot (read: patronizing wanker) accusing anarchists
of playing “political football” with the camp. It is crucial that climate camp,
and environmental action in general, be kept in the hands of communities
involved. It is not good enough to hope for mythical ‘good leaders’. And of
course there was the usual liberal hippy presence on site which served to
isolate the more radical campers - “No I do not want to hear your poem about
fucking lentils!!”. As one camper put it while resisting police incursions to
the camp ‘I can handle riot cops, but not this drum circle rubbish.’

---

TIME TO TRIM THE FAT (AND GET SOME EXERCISE)

Team GB has returned from Beijing with its clutch of medals, hyped up by the
press and promoted by the government who want to boost their image by cuddling
up to the successful athletes. A waning Brown and his sidekicks are sucking up
to their success in order to increase their hopes of re-election. And who are
the successful athletes? 60% of the medal winners come from fee paying schools
for the rich where they can use first class training facilities. But, despite
paying lip service to the obesity crisis and the poor health of the nation (the
UK is the fattest nation in Europe) schools continue to be built on open land
and playing fields in working class areas are sold off by councils for housing.

In Wembley, an academy school is planned for Wembley Park Sports Ground. Local
people occupied the land in a struggle to stop the developers. At the moment the
land can be used for as little as £1 a session. Once it is taken over by
American and Swiss bankers, the cost will rocket. Although their tent city has
been evicted, local people will continue the fight.

In Oldham, Lancashire five schools are to close. They are to be replaced by
three academies. Two of these schools - Counthill and Breeze Hill - have huge
playing fields. The current schools cater for school children during the day and
local people of all ages in the evenings, together they boast a swimming pool, a
full-sized astro-turf pitch and excellent rugby facilities. The new school is to
have a couple of five a side astropitches! The Liberal council also plan to
build a second academy on football pitches in the south of the town. Life
expectancy of Oldhamers in the working class areas served by the proposed school
is 6 years lower than neighbouring middle class areas. Students at the new
school will have less chance to at least remain fit never mind develop high
level skills in sport. Sport for adults will become something open to those who
can afford monthly gym prices. Yet again, it's one rule for the rich and one for
the poor. Oldham is a town known for its race problems. It seems like the new
schools are helping overcome some of these.

Working class people from white, Bengali and Pakistani areas have all started to
campaign against them. They are also realising that local politicians of all
types only want to sell them out and feather their own nests. They have held
large meetings and some exciting demonstrations. More are planned and the
council can expect a rough time over coming months.

---

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 http://www.activistslegalproject.org.uk or
contact the Legal Defence Monitoring Group: ldmgmailyahoo.co.uk

SEPTEMBER

19th - Roma Solidarity demonstration at 11.30am on Friday 19th September - Join
the AF, Manchester No Borders & Roma groups at the Italian Consulate (111
Piccadilly Manchester, M1 2HY) the day before the big ‘Stop the War’ demo at the
Labour Conference. The demo follows serious attacks on Roma people in Italy
including physical attacks on camps, threats of fingerprinting of the Roma
population (including children) and right-wing/fascist manipulations by Italian
politicians & press that are linking Roma people to 'crime' and 'illegal
immigration' which is increasing populist calls for their expulsion from Italy
and destruction of Roma camps.

20th - For a world without borders, states and war! Saturday 20th September -
Assemble at All Saints, Manchester. Look out for the red and black flags.
Details here:
http://nobordersmanchester.blogspot.com/2008/07/no-borders-vs-labour-party-conference.html

Read/download this issue now in PDF format

---

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
BM ANARFED,
London, WC1N 3XX.
Email: info@afed.org.uk
Also visit: http://www.afed.org.uk and http://www.iaf-ifa.org

Subscription to resistance in print costs 4 pounds from the address above for
one year of issues (usually 10 as we have one month off in summer, and one over
new year). Non-UK subs are £8. A two issue (annual) subscription to our
magazine, Organise! for revolutionary anarchism, is 5 pounds (£6 Non-UK orders).

Download now in PDF format from http://www.afed.org.uk
_________________________________________
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