(AA) ++ AAWR 217

esperanto (lingvoj@lds.co.uk)
Fri, 20 Sep 1996 00:02:43 +0200

Anarchist Age Weekly Review

Number 217 16th - 22nd September, 1996


It's very easy to dismiss Pauline Hanson's maiden speech in
the House of Representatives as racist or fascist. It's very
easy to ignore her and say that her views are not
representative of the way Australians think. It's much more
important to analyse why Pauline Hanson's sentiments have
won such widespread media coverage than to waste our
time calling her a racist and a fascist. Let's not forget that
over twenty coalition members crossed the floor and
congratulated Ms. Hanson on her maiden speech. Let's not
forget that the Prime Minister and the inner cabinet have not
attacked Pauline Hanson's twisted picture of reality. Her
reality is possibly their reality.Pauline Hanson strikes a cord
with many people, because she articulates what people are
saying in backyard gatherings and dinner parties across the
nation. She is able to tap into the widespread belief that
Australia would be a marvellous country and everybody
would be much better off if the original inhabitants were
pushed out of the way and immigrants returned to where
they came from.Pauline Hanson's ideas are not new, they're
not radical, they are not her own ideas. They are ideas that
are freely articulated by a significant proportion of the
population. As more and more people become disillusioned
and alienated with their day to day lives and as more and
more people feel they are being exploited and have no
power over their own destiny they look for scapegoats for
their problems. It's always much easier and potentially
much more satisfying to attack people with little or no power.
It's always easy to turn your attention to a minority and
blame them for your feelings of powerlessness and
alienation.As anarchists we have the same feelings of
powerlessness and alienation that Pauline Hanson's
supporters feel. The difference between us and Pauline
Hanson and her ilk revolves around the fact that we don't
blame people with less power than ourselves for our feelings
of alienation and powerlessness. We understand that our
powerlessness stems from the fact that we don't have any
real power to make decisions about our lives and we don't
control the means of production, distribution and
exchange.As activists we need to harness the energy and
enthusiasm that Pauline Hanson is able to generate, to
attack parliamentary rule and attempt to divert people from
attacking the weak and powerless and focus their activities
and enthusiasm on those structures, corporations and
individuals that create that feeling of powerlessness that
both conservative and radical elements of Australian society
feel and face. Unless we are able to expose the Pauline
Hanson clones as cowards who are happy to attack those
who are powerless, while supporting those elements in
society which create powerlessness and alienation we will
continue to let people like Pauline Hanson dominate the
political and social landscape in this country.


A historic anarchist conference was held last weekend in
Melbourne. Anarchist activists from Victoria and New South
Wales met to discuss the possibility of forming a series of
occupation based unions. The first days discussion
revolved around the viability of such a proposal. A number
of opinions were expressed. Some people felt the whole
concept was wrong and people should attempt to create
independent rank and file groups within established trade
unions. Others felt that the concept was good but
anarchists had never shown an ability to form long term
structures. "They're very good at talking but never seem to
be able to be involved in action." Others agreed that the
concept was good but felt such structures would not be
viable. While another group liked the concept and wanted to
go ahead with the establishment of occupation based
unions.Three groups that represented community services,
health and agriculture met on Sunday to discuss the
possibility of forming occupation based unions. Interest was
also expressed in forming a manufacturing, education and
arts and entertainment union. After extensive group
discussions participants met as a whole on Sunday
afternoon to review progress towards the formation of these
occupation based unions.It was agreed that a Federation of
Occupation Based Unions (F.O.B.U.) that represented
community services, health and agriculture be formed.
Each group would be open to wage earners, self-employed,
unemployed, retired people and students within a particular
occupation. Each group would work on their principles of
association and work out both long term and short term
goals and decision making processes within each group.The
Federation of Occupation Based Unions appointed a
National Co-ordinator, Evan Ling, from Melbourne. He
would act as co-ordinator till the next congress. People in
Australia who are interested in forming new occupation
based unions and people who are interested in joining
established unions should contact the F.O.B.U. co-ordinator,
Evan Ling.A number of meetings have been called. Evan
Ling will report on the progress of the Federation at the
Anarchist Media Institute Public Meeting which will be held
on the last Thursday in November namely 28th at 8.00 pm
at Ross House, 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Ground Floor
(Mezzanine). The next congress will be held in Melbourne
on Sunday 2nd February 10 am to 6 pm. By the 2nd
February 1997 the New Industrial Relations Laws will have
been passed and people would be in a better position to find
out if we can register some of these new occupation based
unions.As the community services, health and agriculture
unions become better established information about their
activities will appear in publications, both anarchist and non-

ALPHINGTON. 3078. Melbourne. Australia,

Co-ordinator Evan Ling.


8 pm Thursday 28th November.National Co-ordinator
reports on Progress Federation, Ross House, Ground Floor,
Mezzanine, 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.

F.O.B.U. CONGRESS10 am - 6 pm, Sunday 2nd February

This will be a practical congress that will accept new unions
into the Federation and that will allow current Federation
Unions to report their activities to the congress.Venue -
Ross House, 4th Floor, 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.
3000Further information about the Federation (F.O.B.U.)
and affiliated union activity will appear in anarchist
publications in the next few months.


The Dalai Lama is here! The Dalai Lama is here!
Thousands of people ranging from the Foreign Minister
Alexander Downer to adoring members of the public and the
mass media see the Dalai Lama as a spiritual leader as well
as a bulwark against Communist oppression in Tibet.
People who would baulk at the thought of living in an Islamic
State or who would be shocked to learn that they would
have to live in a State that was ruled by the Pope or Jewish
clergy seem to greet the Dalai Lama's potential return to
Tibet as something that they should support and strive
for.Most people agree that the Chinese invaded Tibet in the
early 1950's and have ruled the country with an iron fist
since. Few people accept the fact that the Dalai Lama
presided over a Feudal dictatorship before the Chinese
invasion. To attempt to force Tibetans back into a situation
where the Dalai Lama and his followers are given Tibet on a
plate is to force Tibetans back into a society where they
have few if any personal and community rights. Although
Communist Tibet is a nightmare, pre-Communist Tibet was
one of the last remaining feudal societies in the world.The
situation in Tibet today is akin to the situation in Poland
before the overthrow of Communist rule. The Catholic
church played an overwhelming role in the fight against
Communism. As soon as the Communist order was
overthrown the Catholic church lost most of its new found
power because the Polish people didn't want to revert back
to a society where the church dominated all facets of their
life.The Dalai Lama's visit to Australia highlights a parallel
situation in Tibet. While the Dalai Lama likes to project
himself as the only alternative to Communist rule, many
people in Tibet who are unhappy with Communist rule, do
not want to see Communist rule replaced by the
reimposition of a feudal order that is presided over by the
Dalai Lama and his Buddhist followers. Although many
Tibetans want to see the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet
as a spiritual leader, most do not want to see Communist
rule replaced by a Buddhist Feudal Society that controls all
facets of life in Tibet. Although many Tibetans want to see
the end of Communist rule, most do not want to see any
new found freedoms usurped by the Dalai Lama and his


Hip Hip Hooray, Papua New Guinea is 21 this week. Twenty
one years after independence, eight years after the
beginning of the Bougainville crisis and two years after the
election of the Chan government, many people believe that
Papua New Guinea is on the verge of disintegration.
Corruption, graft and crime seem to be the hallmarks of life
in Papua New Guinea in 1996.Things are happening in
Papua New Guinea, that should be sounding alarms in
Australia. Over the past decade the Indonesian military
dictatorship has made more and more successful overtures
to the Papua New Guinea government. A raft of Indonesian
bankrolled companies have been given a number of
lucrative contracts to exploit Papua New Guineas natural
resources. They have been given these contracts because
they have been able to grease the palms of local as well as
provincial officials. More and more Papuan and New
Guineans are finding that land that has been theirs for
generations, suddenly becomes the property of some
overseas concern.Indonesia's involvement in Papua New
Guinea is not only economic, it's also military. The
Indonesian Military Dictatorship has conducted joint patrols
with Papua New Guinea forces along their common border.
They have also been given rights to pursue O.P.M. guerilla's
inside Papua New Guinea. The Papua New Guinea
government has been one of the strongest supporters of the
Indonesian military's attempts to crush the West Papua
Freedom Movement.More ominously for Papua New
Guineans and Australians the Indonesian Military
dictatorship has attempted to destabilise the P.N.G.
government by cultivating senior generals in the P.N.G.
armed forces. A coup attempt a few years ago was backed
and bankrolled by the Indonesian Military. As the World
Bank and Australia puts the bite on P.N.G., Indonesian
influence and support in the P.N.G. Military is increasing at
an alarming rate.


Q. Why build a social movement based on a persons
occupation?A. All of us (whether we are old or young,
employed, retired or unemployed, whether we're rich or
poor) are involved in some type of occupation. The Spanish
CNT and the Spanish LGT are examples of Libertarian
Movements trying to organise around a persons occupation.
Unions in Australia are based on a persons trade. Dozens
of unions may represent workers in a particular industry and
not one trade union incorporates the unemployed, students
and the retired.An occupation based union allows people
that work, are training, retired or are interested in working in
a particular occupation to join the same union. Such a union
will inevitably reflect the composition of society and can
eventually develop into a society within a society. Such a
union can provide protection and mutual aid for its members
and their friends and families. An occupation based union
tends to break down the divisions that exist and are fostered
in many workplaces.Self-employed people, wage earners,
retired people, students and unemployed people tend to
identify with each other in such a union. The potential power
of such a union of people can become a direct threat to the
status quo. A federation of occupation based unions can act
as a focus for radical social activity. Trade Unions reinforce
differences and hierarchies. Occupation based unions tend
to breakdown hierarchies and can act as a focus for
egalitarian change.Occupation based unions are able to
include a wide community cross section. They can help to
overcome geographical isolation, racial, gender and sexual
differences. Such a union is normally a greater threat to the
status quo than a trade union. Occupation based unions
can act as a society within a society and can take over the
States and private enterprises role during a time of crisis.
The C.N.T. was able to fill in the void created by the
breakdown of central authority within a few days of the
attempted coup in Spain in 1936.We need to look at the
past and attempt to rebuild structures that have succeeded
in the past. The re-creation of a federation of occupation
based unions is an idea that all activists should reconsider.


Most people see politics as part and parcel of the consumer
spectacle. People tend to see political parties and political
groups as organisations which provide a range of possible
options. Many people believe that participation in a political
group is a matter of choosing and consuming a particular
ideology. The same attitude that people have to a group or
organisation that provides a service or product is transferred
to political parties or organisations. They have the product
all the punter has to do is choose what political product they
want to consume.The same attitude that many people have
to consumer society seems to spill over into many anarchist
circles. Many people who come into contact with anarchist
groups see these groups as organisations that provide a
particular service. They seem to think that all they have to
do is choose what services they want to consume. The
reality regarding most anarchist groups is that they are not
consumer organisations. They are not there to provide
services which other people in turn consume.Anarchist
organisations are more than service providers. They consist
of groups of people who have come together to explore
ideas, provide mutual support and become involved on
action. Whether they succeed or not depends on their
ability to encourage people to participate in the organisation
or group. Anarchist groups that just provide consumer
services and don't have mechanisms by which people can
participate in those groups are just reinforcing the consumer
mentality that we all suffer from. Political consumerism is a
disease that reduces interaction between people to a
provider/user relationship.As anarchists we need to break
away from the idea that anarchist organisations are there to
provide services that other people consume. Involvement in
anarchist organisation is more than just mere consumption.
Involvement means participation, not participation as a foot
soldier blindly following orders, but as an active participant in
the decision making processes and activities of the group.
For far too long anarchist groups have been criticised
because they don't provide particular services. Those
people who see anarchist groups as service providers need
to look further. They need to break out of the consumer
mode they have adopted and become involved in activity
that fills the void they believe exists in the anarchist
community. If they continue to see the anarchist movement
as a potential provider of consumer services they will
continue to be disappointed by what they perceive to be the
lack of services provided by anarchist groups and



Tom Mann one of the founding members of the Victorian
Socialist Party (which had over 1,500 members by 1907)
issued a leaflet in 1906 entitled 'Anarchist Leaflet No.3
Prince Krapotkins Letter suppressed by the Trades Hall
Executive.' In this leaflet Tom Mann claimed that a letter
sent by Peter Krapotkin from France to Australian comrades
was suppressed by the Melbourne Trades Hall Executive. In
the letter Peter Kraptokin expresses his desire to travel to
Australia to help the anti-parliamentary Labor
Movement.Dear Comrade,Thank you very much for your
letter. Things must be worse than I thought if the Labor
Organisation's are entirely in the hands of the politicians. I
have still the hope that apart from those working men who
lay their hopes into parliament there are men who will
understand that the progress of Labor Unions is not Politics,
but what in Latin countries is described by the working men
as Direct Action. Do you follow the movement in France?
The Syndicalist (Trades Union) Movement which for a
number of years was in the hands of political socialists, is
now freeing these bonds and we see really a new birth of
what was the International Working Men's Association
before the Franco-German war; their aim now is Direct
Action against Capital and Philistine Rule. Even when they
want to obtain something from Parliament they think -quite
right- that it would be better to impose their will be strikes
etc., instead of begging they prepare, as you now, the
General Strike of May 1, 1906. What are you doing in
Australia for this eventuality? It is time to think of it. I would
be so happy to go to Australia, and help the Labor
Movement in any way. But since I have had an attack of the
heart, I have had to give up all lecturing. Are you receiving
regularly "Freedom". There is a general revival of the
movement in Europe. With best brotherly greetings, P.


Mr. Ben Alterman, a prisoner at Loddon Prison Castlemaine,
Victoria has been transferred to St.Vincents Hospital D
Division in Melbourne. Prison authorities have transferred
him to St.Vincents Hospital because they are concerned that
his hunger strike is having an unsettling effect on other
prisoners. As his condition deteriorates it's possible hospital
authorities will attempt to certify and force feed him.Mr
Alterman is sick and tired of prison authorities refusing him
access to political material. As he is being denied access to
the State Ombudsman to investigate his complaints of
political censorship Mr Alterman feels he has no choice but
to continue his hunger strike to draw the public's attention to
the political censorship that is being practised in sections of
the Victorian Prison system.Although he has recently
appeared before the Parole board, Ben Alterman feels so
strongly about this matter he has commenced a hunger
strike. He believes fighting for a prisoner's right to receive
political material is more important than his early release
from prison.We urge our readers to urgently contact Mr Bill
McGrath, Victorian Minister for Corrections, the Victorian
Ombudsman and the Victorian Department of Correctional
Services and any media people they know to bring Ben's
plight to the public's attention.


Wednesday 18th September 1996. Mr. Ben Alterman has
been moved from Loddon Prison Castlemaine. The
Victorian Department of Corrections is refusing to answer
questions about his whereabouts and his state of health.
The mass media continues to ignore Ben's plight We
strongly encourage our readers to ring:- The Kennett
regimes media unit on (03) 96515799. Kennett's media unit
is authorised to answer questions about Ben Alterman.
Contact the unit and the Victorian Minister of Corrections Mr.
Bill McGrath to find out what has happened to Ben Alterman.
Unless readers make inquiries about Ben and contact local
media outlets the Victorian government will get away with
the current inhuman policies.Joseph Toscano/Libertarian
Workers for a Self-Managed Society.


FREEDOM VOL. 57 NO.17 7TH SEP'96, 846


TELEFAX (93) 441,38.02






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MEETINGSpirituality An Anarchist Perspective - Jeremy
DixonWhen: Thursday 26th September, 8.00 pm. Where:
Ross House Ground Floor (Mezzanine), 247 Flinders Lane,
Melbourne. (Less than 200 metres from Flinders Street
Station) (Near Corner Flinders Lane & Swanston Street).
Anarres Bookshop will have a bookstall on the evening.A L L
W E L C O M EMelbourne Anarchist History GroupThere
seems to be some interest in forming a Melbourne Anarchist
History Group to look at local, national and international
anarchist history. If you are interested in being part of such
a group write to us at PO Box 20 Parkville 3052 or
Telephone us on (03) 9828 2856. The first meeting of the
Melbourne Anarchist History Group will be held in October.
Details re venue and time out soon.

REGIONAL ANARCHIST FLAG5 feet x 3 feet Approximately
175cm x 110cm, Cost $25.00 (includes postage within
Australia), $35.00 (Includes postage air-mail
overseas).The Black represents the International Anarchist
Flag. The Black Flag negates all borders and all flags. The
four stripes (red, green, yellow, blue) represent the dominant
colours of The Aboriginal Flag (Red and Yellow) and the
Torres Strait Islander Flag (Green and Blue). The red stripe
represents the blood spilt during colonisation. The green
represents the land. The yellow the sun. The blue the sea.
Quotes available for larger and smaller flags and for bulk
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You too can have a copy of the August 1996 Anarchist
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black hole with the hopes, dreams and aspirations of the
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6.30 - 10.30pm Wednesday 25th September at
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you can afford it.

The articles in the Anarchist Age Weekly Review express
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Sunday 6th October 1996, 2.00 pm, Ross House, Ground
Floor (Mezzanine). A meeting where various members of
the Anarchist Community come together to discuss what
project they are involved in. ALL WELCOME

WEEKVictorian Corrective Services for denying Ben
Alterman a prisoner at Loddon Prison Castlemaine Victoria
copies of the Anarchist Media Institute Monthly Obscenity