(AA) ++ Anarchist Age Weekly Review 218

esperanto (lingvoj@lds.co.uk)
Sun, 29 Sep 1996 00:52:01 +0200


Anarchist Age Weekly Review

Number 218

23rd - 29th September, 1996

DOOR OPENED FOR SLUM LANDLORDS

Some of the most moving photographs I have seen are the
photographs of tenants being evicted from rat interested tenements
during the Great Depression. Federal and State government attempts
to reform the public housing sector have the potential to open the door
to a whole new generation of slum landlords. The governments
decision to stop funding the acquisition of new housing stock and give
people who qualify to be on the public housing waiting list rent
subsidies to help them rent property from private landlords will help to
recreate the worst excesses of the Great Depression.Although a
"grandfather" clause will be introduced to protect people who are in
public housing no new housing stock will be acquired. Existing stock
will be sold to the private sector as people die or move. Current public
housing stock will be allowed to deteriorate and so-called protected
public tenants will be forced to find accommodation in the private
sector. All those people who are currently on the public housing
waiting list (over 250,000 Australia wide) and any other person who
will qualify to be on the public housing waiting list will be forced to find
accommodation in the private sector. Irrespective of how difficult it is
to get on a public housing list and irrespective of how long it takes to
find suitable public housing, once somebody has access to public
accommodation they are guaranteed access to secure affordable
accommodation for the rest of their lives. Rent for public housing is
normally fixed at 25% of a persons income and maintenance is
normally taken care of by the Ministry of Housing. Irrespective of how
basic the accommodation is, public housing tenants have security of
tenure.Irrespective of the size of the government rent subsidy, private
tenants do not have security of tenure. They can be evicted at any
time. They normally don't have the power to force a landlord to carry
out maintenance and it's very likely that their rent will be much greater
than the 25% people pay in public accommodation. Considering the
nature of the private rental market, it won't take long for unscrupulous
operators to set up rows upon rows of substandard
accommodation.Those sections of the community who can least afford
accommodation will be subjected to the vagaries of the private rental
market. The security of tenure that is a feature of public housing will
be replaced by the real insecurity of living in rented premises. By
embarking on this course the Federal and the various State
governments are ensuring that those sections of the Australian
community that can least afford accommodation will live a life fraught
with insecurity. People will be forced to move time and time again.
They will not be able to lay down any roots and their children will be
forced to move from school to school never forming any permanent
attachments.The changes that are proposed for the public housing
sector will help to destroy an institution that has provided security of
tenure for generations of postwar Australians. The worst excesses of
pre World War Two Australian society will be unleashed on those
who are least able to withstand this assault. Hundreds of thousands
of poorer Australians will once again feel the cold winds of the private
rental market. Slum landlords will reign where government
bureaucracies tried to stretch the ever shrinking public housing dollar.
Unless people begin to understand and resist these changes those
moving photographs that are such a poignant reminder of life in the
Great Depression will once again become a very real part of
Australian life.

THEY'RE BACK

No not the neighbours from hell, something worse - the Queensland
Nationals! It didn't take long for the National Party in Queensland to
slip back into its old ways. Anybody who has witnessed the
exchanges between Frank Claire the head of the Queensland Criminal
Justice Commission and Mr Borbridge the Premier of Queensland and
his cabinet could be excused for thinking that the blood of the Bjelke
Petersen regime is coursing through the veins of the current
Queensland National Party Government.It looks like all those Terry
Lewis (former QLD Police Commissioner who is serving 14 yrs behind
bars for corruption) clones have taken off their masks and are
beginning to ply their trade. The Borbridge government has the
distinction of offering Queenslanders the same brand of corrupt
politics that characterised the Bjelke Petersen regime. The
Queensland government would love to emasculate the criminal
Justice Commission. You don't want a C.J.C. looking over your
shoulder when you're about to embark on a course of action that
makes people think of the Bjelke Petersen days as Queenslands
halcyon days. They'll keep brining back the past as long as
Queenslanders believe that "their" government knows best.HOME
ALONE!!

HERALD SUN DOES IT AGAIN

The Herald-Sun, the jewel in the crown of Murdoch's Australian
empire has done it again. No they haven't put a picture of another
dead baby on their front cover pretending the baby is alive. No they
haven't inflicted another picture of Diana's cellulite on an unsuspecting
Australian public. They've gone one step better, they've publicly
accused a Victorian Port Fairy couple of leaving their small children
home alone while they were having a holiday in Warrnambool.

HOME ALONE the Herald-Sun headline screams. Children left home
alone while house burns down. Neighbour rescues children from
certain death. By the time any reasonable reader had read the article
they would be frothing at the mouth at the couples callous disregard
for their children. As the story grows legs, the neighbour tells the
A.B.C. that he and his partner were minding the children. That their
bedroom was on the other side of the children's bedroom and a
common door was used to get into both bedrooms. One large unit
had been split up into two units that were connected by a common
door. The couple's neighbours had minded the children before and
they weren't alone this time or at any other time. I hope both couples
involved take the Herald-Slum to the cleaners. Unfortunately knowing
the Herald-Sun's past record they always seem to pick on people who
don't have the funds to take them to court. Maybe, just maybe in this
case some "nice" legal firm will foot the bill for a defamation case
against the Herald-Sun.

SEND BEN A NOTE

Ben Alterman will have been on a hunger strike for 26 days when you
read this article. Ben A. Alterman was transferred from Loddon Prison
to D Division Pentridge prison 14 days into his hunger strike. Mr
Alterman began his hunger strike because he is being denied access
to political material that he has been sent. He has not only been
denied copies of Green Left Weekly and Angry People he has also
had copies of the Anarchist Media Institute Monthly Obscenity Award
removed from his cell. Mr. Alterman is in prison for armed robbery, he
was given a five year sentence with a 2 1/2 year minimum. He is so
incensed about having been denied this material he commenced his
hunger strike a short time after his parole hearing. It's very likely his
hunger strike will jeopardise any chances he had of early release.Mr.
Alterman's demands are very simple, he will end his hunger strike
when he receives the material that is currently being withheld from him
and when he receives a written guarantee from the Victorian
Department of Corrections that he will have no further problems
receiving political publications. We encourage our readers to phone
the Minister of Corrections Mr. Bill McGrath (03)96034452 and ask
him to provide these guarantees. We also ask as many of our readers
as possible to send messages of support to Ben Alterman. As Ben
said in his letter to us on Monday."I have already started receiving
letters of support over my current hassles and I must say that such
support makes a hell of a lot of difference when stuck in a place like
this, so thanks again for your support and the media work".Ben has
lost 15 kilos since he began his hunger strike. Spare a few minutes
and send Ben Alterman a letter of support or a card and address your
correspondence to:- Ben. A. Alterman, Metro Rec Prison, PO Box
260, Coburg 3058, Melbourne. Australia.

POST SCRIPT

A successful rally was held outside the front gate of Pentridge Prison
in Melbourne on Tuesday afternoon. The ball is now in the Minister of
Corrections hands. Mr. Ben Alterman has lost over 15 kilograms he
will be in his 27th day of his hunger strike when you read this article.
His demand is simple - that he receives from the Minister of
Corrections Bill McGrath a written assurance that he will receive
political material while in prison. We encourage our readers to:-
Phone the Minister on (03)96034452, Fax the Minister on
(03)96034444 or write to Mr. Bill McGrath/Minister of Corrections,
Level 21, 200 Queen Street, Melbourne 3000.

HISTORIC FORESTRY AGREEMENT

The New South Wales government has signed an historic forestry
agreement. After months of negotiations the government,
conservationists and timber workers have been able to reach a
settlement that seems to have satisfied most players. Whether other
State governments and the Federal government learn anything from
the New South Wales experience remains to be seen.As more and
more scientific papers confirm that the earth is on the verge of a major
natural catastrophe it's pleasing to see that some governments and
some business interests are able to become involved in projects that
may help to reverse this impending disaster. It's not often that
anarchists welcome government initiatives. In this case I'm willing to
reserve judgement on this potentially historic agreement. If it works it
could be used as a model by other State governments.

FEDERAL COURT TO RULE ON EAST TIMORESE REFUGEE
STATUS

It hasn't taken long for the coalition government to forget the promises
it made to East Timorese refugees in Australia. Just a few months
down the track of its election to government it is supporting the
ludicrous idea that any East Timorese who were born before the 1975
Indonesian invasion of East Timor is a Portuguese citizen. On the one
hand the government celebrated when the International Court ruled
that Australia's Timor Gap Treaty with Indonesia was lawful. On the
other hand it attempts to weasel out of any responsibility it has to East
Timorese refugees when they land in Australia. Although the
Australian government supported the invasion of East Timor by
Indonesia in 1995 they are not willing to recognise that everybody who
resides in East Timor is an Indonesian citizen. It's about time
somebody told poor olde Alexander Downer the facts of life.

SHOOT 'EM ALL!!

Whatever you do don't run aground anywhere in South Korea. If
what's happened to the North Koreans whose submarine ran aground
in South Korea is any indication of the reception you can expect, you'd
be better off going down with your ship. South Korean troops are so
trigger happy they have even killed a South Korean who ventured out
to pick a few mushrooms. If we can believe the sanitised news that's
leaking out of South Korea you'd think that the whole peninsula had
been overrun by ten's of thousands of rabid North Koreans.Eleven of
the sailors who ran aground were so frightened of the brutal treatment
they expected from the South Korean army they committed suicide. If
their suicide is anything to go by the South Korean army hasn't much
to be proud of.

ANARCHIST QUESTION AND ANSWER

Q. What role would the media play in an anarchist society?

A. Although the media does not force people to think in a particular
manner, it tends to set boundaries on what is practical and possible.
In many ways the media's role in a dictatorship is similar to its role in a
parliamentary democracy. In both societies the media sets the
political and social agenda by reinforcing dominant social, cultural and
political viewpoints. In a dictatorial regime views that don't fit the
ruling elites views don't ever see the light of day. People who attempt
to use the media to put forward different viewpoints are hounded,
arrested and eventually executed.Media outlets in a parliamentary
democracy tend to allow a wider range of viewpoints. In societies
based on parliamentary principles the media is normally owned and
controlled by a small group of people who see information and news
as a commodity which can be bought and sold. These media outlets
may report on a wide variety of events but tend to reinforce the idea
that only ideas that reinforce capitalism have any validity.Staff are
essentially employees, irrespective of their personal integrity. They
won't go very far if they don't follow the editorial directions of their
employer. Although people in parliamentary societies are bombarded
by a plethora of ideas and options, these ideas and options reinforce
capitalism as the only concept that has any validity.The overwhelming
similarity between the media in a dictatorship and a parliamentary
society is the question of ownership and control. In both societies
ownership and control resides in the hands of a small group of people.
The essential difference between the media in these societies and an
anarchist society is the question of ownership, control and access. In
an anarchist community the media would not be owned or controlled
by a small elite, it would be owned by the community. Access to the
media would be available to whoever wants it. Like any other scarce
resource, access would be determined by need and by a roster
system. Need would be determined by the community that uses a
particular media outlet.Although media outlets in an anarchist society
may still tend to reinforce dominant cultural moves, its structured in
such a way that it allows other opinions to be floated and seriously
discussed. As anarchist communities are constantly involved in
debates about the best way to pursue a particular question or issue
the media would become a natural focus for that debate. Questions
that involve large numbers of people and that cross regions would
have to be discussed and debated in the media. One of the reasons
that the media would become such a dynamic and important part of an
anarchist community is the anarchist idea that the people who are
affected by a decision should make that decision.The media in an
anarchist society acts as a vehicle for discussion, debate and
information, not decision making. Decisions are made by those
people who are affected by a decision. The media in an anarchist
community is the oil that helps the anarchist engine run efficiently.
The people are the engine in an anarchist society. The media is that
engines lubricant.

ACTION BOX - "KULTURE"

Kulture is all around us, we see it, smell it, touch it, feel it, hold it. It
bombards our senses, twists our mind and tires our body. Everywhere
we turn we're embraced by a greying culture that swirls around our
feet and pulls us back to earth. Kulture (with a capital K) in our society
has become a commodity. It doesn't reflect our past, our roots, our
dreams, our aspirations, our longings or our desires. Kulture has a
price. Its dissected, parcelled, packaged and sold back to us as our
kulture, our future, our hopes, our aspirations.Kulture has become a
virulent virus destroying everything in its path. Michael Jackson
clones bob up in the slums of Buenos Aires and gyrate in the streets
of Moscow. The terminator struts his stuff in the back streets of Asia
and flits across the movie screens in Tehran. A never ending stream
of culture is produced from the same tired old mould. Kulture has
become something we passively consume not produce. Only those
lucky few who are considered potential money making machines
become the new Messiah's of mass culture.It's time we as anarchists
began to think about the possibility of creating our own cultural milieu.
Each and everyone of us is able to create culture. Culture is not
something that is passively consumed, its something that is created.
Why should we continue to accept their culture and define ourselves
as extensions of their life denying Kultures. Libertarian culture is an
inherent component of anarchist struggle. As we grow and develop
our organisations and activities, we should consciously think about the
cultural norms and activities that we are creating that reflect the
freedom loving and egalitarian nature of anarchism.Commodity culture
in no way reflects the aspirations of most people. Although we are
subjected to a barrage of sounds and images that reinforce
commodity culture people tend to view this culture as little more than
an unwarranted intrusion in their lives. The void that has been created
by commodity culture can only be filled by culture that we ourselves
create. As long as we allow other people to determine what is and is
not our culture we will continue to feel alienated from what's
happening around us.Egalitarian social change cannot occur without
the parallel development of an egalitarian culture. Every time we're
involved in activities, discussions and projects that help to develop an
egalitarian community we are creating our own culture. This culture is
the cement that helps to bind us together as people who have a
common vision and a common goal.

AUSTRALIAN ANARCHIST HISTORY

THE I.W.W. TWELVE

On the eve of the 1916 conscription referendum the New South Wales
government charged twelve members of the Industrial Workers of the
World (I.W.W.) with "Conspiracy to commit Arson and Sedition". On
the 4th December 1916 Charles Beatie, Bernard Besant, Joseph
Fagin, Thomas Glynn, Donald Grant, John Hamilton, John King, Peter
Larkin, Donald McPherson, Thomas Moore, Charles Reeve and
Willian Teen were found guilty of "Conspiracy to commit Arson" and
were jailed for periods ranging from five to fifteen years.Each of the
I.W.W. twelve declared their innocence of the charges. Within a few
months the real story behind the trial and conviction leaked out. The
New South Wales police came to an arrangement with two former
members of the I.W.W. , Lewis and Donald Goldstein. They promised
to drop forgery charges against the pair if they testified against the
I.W.W. Twelve. Although it took only a few months for the truth of the
matter to become public knowledge it took another four years before
10 of the I.W.W. twelve were cleared of the charges and were
released from Long Bay Jail. The final two were released by executive
pardon in August and November 1921.The twelve were never charged
with arson, they were charged with "conspiracy to commit arson".
They were only found guilty on the evidence of police informers. The
I.W.W. trial and conviction sounds vaguely reminiscent of the Amanda
Marga Trial in New South Wales in the 1980's. It looks like the New
South Wales police have amassed invaluable experience as far as
"fitting up" political activists is concerned.The Anarchist Media Institute
will be organising a celebration on the 4th of December 1996 to mark
the 80th anniversary of this disgraceful episode. We encourage
anarchists in other parts of Australia to organise their own celebrations
and reclaim this day as our day. We will be producing a poster with
pictures of the twelve to mark the 80th anniversary of this travesty of
justice.

STOP PRESS

ART DEALERS LOOKING FOR ANOTHER KNGWARREYE

You've got to hand it to the art world. Less than four weeks after the
death of the famous Utopian Station Aboriginal artist Kngwarreye,
Australian art dealers are falling over themselves in their efforts to fill
the potential void in their pockets. During the past eight years
Kngwarreye became the property of a number of art dealers. Although
she received some financial rewards for her efforts and although the
Utopian Community outside Alice Springs benefited from her work the
people who benefited the most from her work were a number of art
dealers who had exclusive access to her work. Over 80% of any
money she made went directly into the pockets of these dealers.Now
that Kngwarreye is dead they have become concerned that a flood of
Kngwarreye forgeries has hit the market. Dealers who kept rooms full
of Kngwarreye's works thinking that they would make a financial killing
when she died, are finding that they may have burnt their fingers.
Hopefully Kngwarreye and the Utopian community will have the last
laugh in this sorry little saga.Joseph Toscano/Libertarian Workers for
a Self-Managed Society.

ANARCHIST PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED THIS WEEKAINFOS
No.21 Apr-Aug'96, LAS p6 1610, 6501 BP, Nijmegen, Netherlands.
****CNT No.203,204 July, August'96, Apdo Correos 4040. 18080
Granaga, Spain. Fax 958-220119 Tel 958-220065. ****EL SOLIDARIO
No.6 June'96, e/- Espoz ymina, 1510 129.28012, Madrid, Spain. Tel
95231516. sobrera@mail.ddnet.es ****LE MONDE LIBERTAIRE 12th-
18th Sept'96, 145 Rue Amelot, 75011 Paris, France. Tel (1)48053408.
Fax (1)49299859. ****ROJO Y NEGRO No.79 June'96, Estafeta 2710,
31001 Pamplona/Iruna, Spain. Tel (948)224766. Fax (948)212399.
****UMANITA NOVA 76th Year 14th July'96, C/- G.C.A. Pinelli, Via
Roma, 48- 87019, Spezzano Albanese (CS). Italy. Tel 0981/950684.
****OTHER PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED THIS WEEKTHE SUBS N'
DUDS REPORT Vol No.11, 7th & 13th Sept'96, Melbourne, Australia.
(No address supplied). ****WEST END NEIGHBOURHOOD NEWS
No.37 Sept'96, PO Box 5208, Westend 4101, Brisbane Australia. ****

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P U B L I C A T I O N S

Weekly4 pages of Anarchist comment on Local, National and
International events. Subscriptions: $50.00 for 50 issues, $10.00 for
10 issues, Subscription includes postage.Monthly36 pages of Local,
National and International events.12 issues $36.00 wage earners, 12
issues $20.00 non wage earners.Make out cheques or money orders
to: Libertarian Workers, P.O. Box 20, Parkville, 3052. Vic, Australia.

Melbourne Anarchist History Group

There 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 orders. Make out cheques and
money orders to : LIBERTARIAN WORKERS P.O. Box 20
PARKVILLE 3052, Melbourne Australia.

THRILL YOUR FRIENDS

You too can have a copy of the August 1996 Anarchist Media Institute
Obscenity Award won by The Federal Treasurer Peter Costello "The
World's second greatest Treasurer for filling the coalition's mythical
ten billion dollar black hole with the hopes, dreams and aspirations of
the poorer sections of The Australian Community". Size A3, Colour:-
White, Yellow, Green, Purple, Red, Blue (you choose), Cost $5.00
non-laminated, $8.00 laminated. (Includes packaging and postage
costs). Send stamps or make out cheques or money orders to:-
Libertarian Workers and send to P.O. Box 20, Parkville 3052,
Australia.

The articles in the Anarchist Age Weekly Review express the opinion
of individuals within the Libertarian Workers for a Self-Managed
Society/Anarchist Media Institute. They do not necessarily reflect the
opinions of The Libertarian Workers for a Self-Managed
Society/Anarchist Media Institute.If You Like What You Have Read,
Photocopy This Publication And Leave It In Doctors, Dentists, Vets
Waiting Rooms And In Railway Stations, Bus Stops, Libraries And
Restaurants Etc.1996 DEBT ELIMINATION APPEAL !!! YO!
ANYBODY OUT THERE !!!We require donations and subscribers to
help us continue our current level of activity. If you can help us please
subscribe to our publications or send a donation to Libertarian
Workers, PO Box 20, Parkville 3052, Melbourne Australia. Make out
all cheques and money orders to LIBERTARIAN WORKERS.
Postage, telephone, radio, printing and typing costs all add up. Please
help us disseminate ideas and support Anarchists across the
globe.DEBT 24.9.96 - $1482.50u

VICTORIAN ANARCHIST EXCHANGE MEETING u 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 projects they are involved in. ALL
WELCOMEANARCHIST

MEDIA INSTITUTE OBSCENITY OF THE WEEKThose members of
the Federal Parliament who crossed the floor and congratulated
Pauline Hanson on her maiden speech.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Sorry, they forgot to send all the paragraphs ;-)

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