(AK) Anarchist Age Weekly from The Goonie

esperanto (lingvoj@lds.co.uk)
Sun, 12 May 1996 05:55:42 +0200

Number 198 - Extracts

About four o'clock on Sunday aftemoon I
heard that eight people had been shot
dead in a shooting spree at Port Arthur
Tasmania. Half an hour later radio
commentators were breaking into the
football coverage giving listeners running
scores on the number that had died. By
eight o'clock that evening some media
outlets were claiming that over forty
people had been shot dead and scores
more were injured. We were told that the
gunman had taken three hostages and was
hold up in a tourist cottage at Port Arthur.
As I went to bed that night I wondered if
any children had been killed. I wondered
why so many people lay dead and why
Port Arthur had become a moving

When I woke up Monday morning the
newspapers were screaming thirty two
dead, eighteen injured, five critical. By
midday it was all over, the gunman had
been arrested as he stumbled out of the
burning cottage. As the body count rose
and the instant experts began to try to
fathom the extent of the carnage I began
to look for a reason, for the random
anonymous deaths tha@ had rained on
unarmed tourists and workers as they
went about their business. There were no
clues about why the gunman had gone
berserk. Each and every Australian tried
to find a reason for the indiscriminate
carnage. Accidental death is shocking,
mass death is even more shocking,
random anonymous death is impossible to
accept. We need to know why somebody
is willing to go out and treat living men,
women and children as running cardboard

As the forensic experts and pathologists
piece together the story and as
psychiatrists try to fathom the reasons for
such indiscriminate slaughter, people
want to know why such horror could
engulf so many innocent people. Some
people are claiming the gunman is
mentally ill, others talk about frustrations,
others talk about the evil that lurks within
us all, while others have reduced this
whole disaster to an argument for and
against gun control. We need to take the
matter further, we need to know why so
many people in our society have decided
to indiscriminately and randomly kill
those around @lem. There is something
horribly wrong with a society that has
embarked on a course of social

All around us we are surrounded by
unexpected death. Australia has the
highest youth suicide rate in the western
world. We also have one of the highest
rates of sexual assaults in the western
world. Children are physically and
sexually assaulted in ever increasing
numbers. Drug addiction is becoming an
increasing social problem and more and
more young people believe they are the
no future generation. Australian society
is drowning in a sea of hopelessness.
Although the veneer of normality greets
us at every turn, collective lunacy seems
to be our lot. There is something lacking
in our very essence and our very being.
As we crowd around the idiot box trying
to make sense of reality, more and more
Australians are beginning to realise that
reality is nothing more than an illusion.

Consumption, production for production
sake and consumerism have become our
mother and father and our new God. As
we waste our lives in a mad dash to
accumulate what we can, the very essence
of what makes us human becomes an
other commodity to be sold in the market
place. No wonder social cannibalism has
become such an entrenched feature of
Australian life. As we become isolated
and privatised units that only interact with
the idiot bpx and ourselves, our life
experiences become withered and reality
takes on a cardboard appearance.

No wonder so many of our young end the
pain of meaninglessness by killing
themselves. No wonder others go out and
mistake people for computer generated
cut outs. We live in a society where
social cannibalism has become the norm.
On some days the bodies which pile up in
our morgues are the legacy of a
generation that sees it has no future. On
other days the bodies which pile up are
there because people who believe they
have no future or purpose have lashed out
at those around them. Individual
privatisation and the growing sense of
alierlation and hopelessness that pervades
the Australian community has become the
kindle that feeds the fire that burns at the
very heart of our society.

Random death both at a mass and
personal level has become the hallmark of
a society that is eating its own entrails.
We live in a society where a sense of
community and humanness has been
replaced by a private relationship with the
idiot box. Social cannibalism has become
the hallmark of our society. Despair has
become our harvest and death has become
the spectre that haunts us all.

Let's not reduce the current carnage to a
debate about gun control. Let's expand
the debate, let's f=EDnd out why people run
amuck and go berserk and cut down their
families, friends and neighbours. our
society is impregnated with the smell of
premature death. Let's try to find out why
these things occur and let@s try to develop
a sense Of community and a spirit of co-
operation. If we don't co-operate and
develop a sense of community we are
doomed to live in a society that will be

indignation that will make the Port Arthur
massacre seem like a Sunday School

Five hundred confectionary workers have
been locked out by Nestles at
Campbellfield in Melbourne. In a dispute
that's bound to be repeated in factories
and manufacturing plants all over
Australia, workers have been locked out
by a company that wants to reduce wages
and re-negotiate working conditions.
Five weeks after the lock out began
Nestles is talking about closing down its
Australian plant and moving its plant
offshore. The current lock out at Nestles
Campbellfield is only a taste of things to
come. Workers across Australia need to
prepare them@elves fQr the onslaught that
corporate Australia is going to inflict on

The lessons to be learnt from the Nestles
plant at Campbellfield in Melboume are
clear. Workers need to think about
occupying their place of work before they
are locked out. Once they are locked out
they have little if any bargaining power
left. Nestles has taken workers through
the court system and has obtained
injunctions on the strategies Nestles
workers can use on their picket lines. If
workers had occupied the factory the shoe
would have been on the other foot. They
would have been able to negotiate from a
position of strength. If they had occupied
the factory Nestles would have been
forced to negotiate with the occupiers.

Instead of talking about moving their
factory offshore, they would have been
forced to reach some accommodation
with the workers. Today they are trying
to starve the workers back to work. The
stakes are high, very high, do workers
accept changes in conditions and pay or
do they fight to maintain and extend what
few gains they have? If workers want to
bargain from a position of strength they
need to look at new workplace strategies.
Occupations give workers the opportunity
to become involved in tactics that give
them, not the bosses control of the
dispute. So if you're involved in a
dispute at work, encourage your fellow
workers to occupy your workplace. If
they decide to occupy the workplace, they
will most likely find that they will win
any dispute that they are involved in.