(AA) ++ Anarchist Age Weekly Review 30th Sept

esperanto (lingvoj@lds.co.uk)
Fri, 4 Oct 1996 00:59:15 +0200


Number 219

30th September - 6th October, 1996

JOHN HOWARD RIDES TANDEM WITH PAULINE HANSON
There's nothing more satisfying than seeing two people successfully ride a
tandem bike. It looks like John Howard has found the perfect tandem partner
in Pauline Hanson. Both of them seem to be riding in perfect unison.
Pauline stating that Johnny is the leader for her and Johnny declining to
criticise Pauline's maiden parliamentary speech. There they are riding
their tandem perfectly both blaming the victims for Australia's woes.

It's just so satisfying to see such a perfect tandem strutting their stuff.
They're so brave when they hone in on those people in society who have
difficulty in defending themselves. It's just so good seeing them bowl over
indigenous Australians, single parents, low paid workers and
multiculturalism. It's just such a pity that those perfect tandem mates
have got it so wrong. John Howard and Pauline Hanson tug on the
heartstrings of those Australians who have been forgotten in capitals brave
new world. Family run farms, regional centres and the ever expending urban
rust belts have become seething cauldrons. Australians who have been pushed
aside in the struggle to create a corporate dog eat dog culture are being
encouraged to blame those sections of the community that have less power
than themselves. There's nothing brave or radical about people without
power turning their frustration on people who are worse off than they are.

The sentiments that are articulated by Pauline Hanson and are fostered by
John Howard are fanned and pushed along by a media that is looking for quick
solutions to the structural inequalities that exist in Australian society.
As anarchist activists we are faced with an important challenge. How do we
as individuals and groups turn the anger of those who have been left on
society's sidelines towards those who are responsible for their
powerlessness? We need to show that the situation is similar for all of
those people who are marginalised.

When you look at the problem closely there's very little difference between
those who believe they have recently been dispossessed and those who have
always existed on the margins of society. Ironically although both groups
are implacably opposed to each other, both groups have the same enemies.
The current dispute between these two groups highlights the ludicrous nature
of working people and people on social security benefits blaming each other
for their current predicament.

Pauline Hanson's not some type of lone ranger. The divide and rule
sentiments she expresses are the central platform of the Coalitions
re-election strategy. As long as they can kick along the blame the victim
can they are now pursuing they believe that they will win the next election.
It's no accident that over twenty members of the Coalition government
crossed the floor to congratulate Pauline Hanson on her maiden speech. It's
no accident that John Howard is riding tandem with the Member for Oxley.

The possibility of egalitarian social change is minimal while those
responsible for the current state of Australia's economy and the
marginalisation of an increasing number of blue collar and regional
Australians are able to keep out of the public spotlight. The real culprits
for today's disillusionment are not those who find themselves on the margins
of society. The real culprits sit on the boards of transnational and
national corporations, the upper echelons of the bureaucracy and in the
political party's and organisations that represent their interests. Sooner
or later people will realise that victim bashing will not improve their
position one millimetre. Once a significant number of Australians realise
what's happening to our community the Pauline Hanson's and the John Howard's
of the world will have their tandem steered across the road into a ditch.

PUTTING ON THE PRESSURE!!

Ben Alterman has now entered the 33rd day of his hunger strike. He has lost
over eighteen kilograms and has commenced having blackouts. Mr Alterman is
on a hunger strike because he has been refused access to a number of
political publications while in prison. Some material produced by the
Anarchist Media Institute is part of the material that has been withheld
from Ben.

Mr Alterman has asked for a written assurance from the Victorian Department
of Corrections that he will have access to political publications in the
future. Members of the Friends of Ben Alterman group have been told that
the Minister will be making a written response to Ben's hunger strike this
week. It's important that pressure continues to be applied to Mr Bill
McGrath over the next few days. We encourage our readers to visit the
Minister's office, Level 21, 200 Queen St, Melbourne, phone him on
0396034452 or fax the Minister on 03 96034444. Unless pressure is applied
the Department of Corrections will continue to ignore Mr Alterman's plight.
As the mass media has shown minimal interest in Ben's protest it's important
that political pressure is maintained on the Minister of Corrections, Mr
Bill McGrath.

We also encourage people to write directly to Ben Alterman, in his last
letter to us which we received on the 30.9.96 (although dated 23.9.96). "I
will have to sign off for now as it is now day 25 of the hunger strike and I
am getting noticeably weak both in concentration and physically. A great
many thanks to you all for the strong support you have given me. It makes
this situation all the more bearable."

SEND POSTCARDS and LETTERS OF SUPPORT TO: Ben A. Alterman, Metro. Rec.
Prison, P.O. Box 260, COBURG. 3058. Melbourne. Australia.

HERALD-SUN DOES IT AGAIN

You've got to hand it to the Herald-Sun editorial team, one week they're
putting a picture of a dead baby on their front cover, pretending it's
alive. Another week they named a couple on their front page accusing them
of leaving their children home alone, although the couple had made
arrangements to have their children cared for. This week they've gone one
better, they've launched CROWN DOLLARS on an unsuspecting public. By
scratching a coupon readers can win fistfuls of crown dollars, which they
can't reclaim as cash, but which they can gamble away at the new social and
cultural heart of Melbourne, Crown Casino.

Considering the number of people whose lives have been ruined by the Casino
and considering the number of people who are being processed by the courts
for Casino related crimes, you'd think that the crew of the Herald-Sun would
have thought twice before they launched their Crown Casino dollar game. But
as you and I know the editorial team at the Herald-Sun don't normally let
the social implications of their actions get in the way of their desire to
boost their circulation figures.

LIVING WAGE A KILLER?

In an effort to regain what little credibility the A.C.T.U. has among
working people, they have launched a campaign for a living wage in the
Industrial Relations Commission. The A.C.T.U. has launched a two pronged
campaign in the I.R.C. They are asking for a $20 a week wage rise over the
next three years for workers who have missed out on wage rises under
enterprise agreements. They are also asking the I.R.C. to over the next
three years set a minimum $12 an hour wage rate for Australian workers.

Anybody who looks at the A.C.T.U.'s campaign, would realise that their
demands are very modest indeed. Anybody that is, but Australian employers.
In an extraordinary move, Australian employer representatives have claimed
that the A.C.T.U.'s "outrageous" demands for a living wage of $480 dollars
for a 40 hour week will bankrupt employers and nip the recovery (their
recovery not ours) in the bud. It's amazing to think there are people out
in the community who believe that it's outrageous to pay a worker $480
dollars for a 40 hour week.

The only language that employers seem to understand is direct action.
Workers who want a living wage are wasting their time going up the right
channels begging for a living wage. I'm sure employers would change their
tune in a hurry if workers decided to bypass the I.R.C. and began a few work
to rule campaigns. It's amazing how quickly workers can win their demands
when they become militant.

COALITION SQUIBS ON MEDIA INQUIRY

It's official, the Coalition government has decided that Australians don't
need a public media inquiry into media cross ownership laws. Before the
Federal election they faithfully promised (cross my heart hope to die) that
they would hold a public inquiry into media cross ownership laws if they
were elected into parliament. Now that they have been elected to parliament
they are beginning to whistle another tune.

In an extraordinary back down the coalition has decided to ditch its promise
to hold a public inquiry and has decided to consult with the public about
its proposed legislation. If I wasn't such a trusting lad I'd say that our
friendly media moguls had got to the Coalition. I can imagine
representatives from Australia's media conglomerates dropping in and saying
"That's a nice government you've got there, it would be a pity to see
something happen to it at the next Federal election." Not that I'm accusing
anybody of such beastly behaviour, its just a flight of fancy I sometimes have.

It's amazing how a friendly chat with your friendly media mogul can change
your whole outlook on life. The consequences of stepping onto the toes of
somebody who owns great slabs of the media could be very tragic indeed. Not
that I for one moment believe that the Coalition government would succumb to
threats from the media. I'm sure those great heroes and heroines that sit
on the government benches would never, never, never, change their mind about
a public inquiry into media ownership because they may upset their friendly
media moguls. No way would the people who filled the mythical ten billion
dollars black hole with the hopes and aspirations of Australia's poor
succumb to pressure from the media. No way, now way would they succumb!

THE ISRAELI TWIN PASSPORT BRIGADE

The current round of Israeli/Palestinian bloodshed can be layed directly at
the feet of the TWIN PASSPORT ISRAELI BRIGADE. Mr Netanyahu is a new breed
of Israeli leader who owes his success at the Presidential elections to
foreign interests. A new breed of Israeli citizen with twin passports has
come to the fore in Israel. The people who are bankrolling Netanyahu's
government and who are now extracting their pound of flesh are people who
don't live in Israel but who use their assets to push their own personal and
political agendas.

When the going gets tough the twin passport brigade can in a blink uproot
and take their money with them out of Israel. Netanyahu allegiance does not
lie with Israel and Israeli's it lies with the twin passport brigade. Those
Israeli citizens who were born in Israel and those citizens who do not have
foreign passports are aware that they need to reach an accommodation with
the emerging Palestinian state. If they don't reach some type of agreement
what happened last week is just a forerunner of what will happen in the future.

Helicopter, gunships and tanks were deployed in the West Bank and the Gaza
Strip last week. Tanks have not be deployed in these areas since 1967. The
ongoing sense of insecurity is playing havoc with the economy both in Israel
and in Palestine. Netanyahu's backers have little understanding of the
various forces that are at work in this part of the world. Their attempts
to recreate the Israel of 2000 years ago is making the Israeli state and
people international pariahs. Irrespective of how much military power they
unleash the twin passport brigade will not be able to de-rail the current
peace process. Netanyahu's time has come and gone, he has been found
wanting and it's only a matter of time before the twin passport brigade find
themselves on the margins of Israeli society.

ANARCHIST QUESTION AND ANSWER

Q. What Criteria Could An Anarchist Use To Assess New Social or Political
Movements?

A. It's very tempting to support an emerging political or social movement,
especially when that movement is fighting for its independence. As
anarchists it's important that we attempt to analyse emerging movements.
It's one thing to support peoples struggles to overthrow an oppressor, it's
another thing to offer unconditional support to the political organisations
that represent people in these struggles.

The success of the Taliban in Afghanistan highlights the pitfalls when
activists offer their support to a liberation movement. Few if any
anarchists would support the Taliban's social and political program.
Although we may support Afghans attempts to bring some peace and security to
their lives, not one of us would support the Taliban's life denying
authoritarian social programs. The main difference between anarchists and
other social and political activists is that anarchists support an
individuals rights to decide how they should live their lives.

In a society where everybody has an input into the decisions that are made
by that society, no group or individual has the right to impose their will
on another individual or group. As long as individuals and groups accord
the same freedom to other people to organise their lives on egalitarian
principles, then no one individual or group can determine how somebody else
should live.

The essential difference between anarchists and other activists revolves
around the question about who makes decisions and whether a groups or
individuals social or political program attempts to remove other peoples
rights to organise their lives on egalitarian principles. As anarchists we
reserve the right to criticise all those individuals groups within society
that want to determine how other people should live. It's relatively easy
for Anarchist to make decisions about emerging social and political
movements. Those movements that want to impose their morality on people And
those movements that are organised hierarchically do not normally elicit
anarchist support. Those social and political movements that attempt to
decentralise power and that do not want to impose an authoritarian code on
people are normally supported by anarchists. It's important to remember
that old adage "my enemies, enemy is not necessarily my friend", when you
analyse a new social or political movement.

ANARCHIST ACTION BOX - PLAY

Play is a revolutionary act. Not play that's tied to consumption, but play
that's independent and which helps to build an individuals self-confidence.
It's surprising how few children and for that matter adults are involved in
play. Most children are either involved in play that's an extension of
consumption or they're involved in competitive sports. The all pervasive
consumer culture that is the dominant feature of the capitalist experience
becomes one of the main factors that influences children as they grow up.

Irrespective of how hard parents try by the time children reach pre-school
age they are familiar with the major icons of post-modern consumer culture.
The Golden Arches, the Colonels chicken, and the Barbie doll, the front line
troops of capitalist culture are some of the symbols that most children are
familiar with. It's no accident that teenagers have become moving human
billboards for the corporate world. It's amazing how many children and
adults for that matter are willing to pay exorbitant sums to display some
transnationals logo.

Play needs to be removed from the consumer realm. Children need to be able
to play in an environment that's not structured to promote corporate and
consumer interests. Children are constantly bombarded by sounds, sights and
smells that interlink play with consumption. Unless a child has a
particular toy or swap card or a particular piece of sporting equipment they
feel they can't initiate or participate in play. Consumption has become the
substitute for independent play. As children grow older they identify play
with access to the latest consumer gadget.

Take your children out, fly a kite with them, taken them to the beach, go
camping or bushwalking. It may take a little more time, but it's worth it
in the long run. If you want to teach them about life and if you don't want
their hopes and aspirations to be linked with the latest consumer fad, you
need to become involved in their play. As more and more of us are forced to
work longer and longer hours to make ends meet, the first casualty in the
user pay nightmare that is being created by the corporate world are
children. As we have difficulty in finding the necessary time to play with
them, the moving consumer feast that is provided by television, radio and
computer games becomes their entry into a post modern world where the
essence of being is tied up with consumption not self-development.

AUSTRALIAN ANARCHIST HISTORY

I.W.W. LAYS FOUNDATION FOR THE FORMATION OF THE A.C.T.U.?

One of the central tenets that drove the Industrial Workers of the World
(I.W.W.) was the idea that they should form One Big Union (O.B.U.). >From
1917 to 1921 the I.W.W. worked to create One Big Union in Australia. An
interstate O.B.U. Congress was held in Melbourne from the 11th-16th January
1919. Another congress was held in Queensland and Unions in South
Australia, Tasmania and West Australia declared their support for the idea.

Although the 1921 all-Australian-Congress of Trade Unions supported the
formation of One Big Union, the plan never really got off the ground. The
struggle to form the O.B.U. was a failure. The impetus for the idea of
O.B.U. was provided by the I.W.W. The idea continued to influence the
Australian Trade Union Movement right through the 1920's.

Just six years after the trade union movement failed to establish One Big
Union, it established the Australian Council of Trade Unions (A.C.T.U.) the
forerunner of today's A.C.T.U. It's ironical that the radical Industrial
Workers of the World (I.W.W.) provided the impetus that led to the formation
of the A.C.T.U. one of the most conservative union bodies that has ever
existed in Australia.

STOP PRESS - WHAT PRICE SECURITY

(Why Afghans love the Taliban)

The extraordinary success of the Taliban army in Afghanistan has been
attributed to financial and logistic backing from Pakistan and from revenue
from Afghanistan's poppy fields (said to be worth 75 billion dollars last
year). Although Pakistani support and financial assistance from Afghan's
poppy fields has helped to bankroll the Taliban, it's extraordinary success
culminating in the seizure of Kabul last week can be almost entirely due to
Afghanistan's desire for security.

After seventeen years of war and terror, over a million deaths and the
destruction of much of Afghanistan, any group that can provide security is
bound to attract support. Although the Taliban has brought security to over
70% of Afghanistan the price that people are being forced to pay is very
high indeed. Afghan's who initially welcomed the Taliban with open arms are
now having second thoughts about what Taliban rule means.

The imposition of strict Islamic law in the countryside has been welcomed by
some. Many others are willing to tolerate Islamic law if it brings
security. Although the Taliban has captured Kabul, its attempts to impose
Islamic law on a city that has a liberal tradition may spell the beginning
of the end for the Taliban. The same forces that are eroding the power of
the Mullahs in Iran will eventually erode the power of the Taliban in
Afghanistan. The Taliban draws its most experienced fighters from
Afghanistan's Pashtun majority few other Afghan groups are part of the
Taliban. Its lack of minority support may become its Achilles Heel.

Afghanistan may decided that the price that the Taliban is asking for
security is too high a price to pay. Considering the number of arms that
are available to Afghans the Taliban a military force of just 10,000
soldiers may find that its attempts to impose strict Islamic laws will be
violently resisted.

Joseph Toscano/Libertarian Workers for a Self-Managed Society.
ANARCHIST PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED THIS WEEK
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BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA.

FREEDOM VO.57 NO.18 21ST SEPT'96, 84B WHITE CHAPEL HIGH ST, LONDON E17QX,
GREAT BRITAIN.
http://www.lglobal.com/TAO/Freedom

LEMONDE LIBERTAIRE NO.1051 19TH - 25TH, SEPT'96, 145 RUE AMELOT, 75011,
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REBEL WORKER VOL. 15 NO.8 (139) SEPT'96, P.O. BOX 92, BROADWAY N.S.W. 2007
AUSTRALIA.

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ITALY.
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98145-2172, UNITED STATES.

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Anarchist Media Institute Public Discussion Meeting

Time To Establish A Melbourne Anarchist History Group
Thursday 31st October - 8.00 p.m.
Ross House/Mezzanine Ground Floor, 247 Flinders Lane. Melbourne.

REGIONAL ANARCHIST FLAG

5 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,
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THRILL YOUR FRIENDS

You too can have a copy of the September 1996 Anarchist Media Institute
Obscenity Award won by The Minister for Education and Employment, Amanda
Vanstone "For overseeing and implementing Education and Employment policies
that will drive tens of thousands of young Australians from the Education
sector to the Unemployment sector". 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.

FEDERATION OF OCCUPATION BASED UNIONS F.O.B.U.
National Co-ordinator Evan Ling,
P.O. Box 5006,
Alphington 3078
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
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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 2.10.96 - $1451.40

VICTORIAN ANARCHIST EXCHANGE MEETING

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 WELCOME

ANARCHIST MEDIA INSTITUTE OBSCENITY OF THE WEEK
Has been Awarded to Jocelyn Newman the Federal Minister responsible for
Social Security and Housing who has supported changes to the Public Housing
Sector which will see the destruction of the Public Housing Sector and the
rise of a new generation of slum land lords.

FREEDOM PRESS
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