(en) ++ AAWeekly

Philip McCrory (philmcc@melbpc.org.au)
Wed, 04 Dec 1996 23:40:42 +0000


Number 228

2nd - 8th December, 1996

WE DON'T NEED BATTLERS!!
The Coalition is once again raising the spectre of the little Aussie
battler. In an extraordinary move the Liberal/National Party has claimed
that the extra 400 million dollars that has to be found to fund certain
social security payments for new immigrants will come from the sweat and
honest toil of the little Aussie battler. It's so wonderful to know that
the Coalition government is so concerned about the fate of those sons and
daughters of the soil, the little Aussie battlers.

Pigs arse, that's right pig's arse. If the Federal government was so
concerned about the fate of the little Aussie battler they would put
policies in place that would make the battler extinct. We don't need to
live in a society where there are battlers. Why should a community that is
as rich as the Australian community have to have battlers? Why should
people battle all their lives to put food on the table and a roof over
their heads.

It's disgusting to think that so many Australians have to battle to make
ends meet and it's even more disgusting to think that the coalition
government has claimed its taken up the cudgel to fight for the little
Aussie battler. There's no earthly or heavenly reason for that matter, that
one Australian should have to battle to survive. Battlers are Australia's
fastest growing segment of the community. Their increasing numbers are a
direct consequence of the policies pursued by business and their bovver boys
and girls in parliament.

It's obscene watching political parties fighting each other, trying to
champion the cause of the battlers. Their support for the interests of
national and transnational corporations ahead of the interests of
Australians has caused the phenomenal growth of battlers that the Australian
community is now faced with. We don't need to live in a two tier community
where battlers pay the taxes that fund the social security infrastructure
while corporations don't pay any tax or at best pay a peppercorn tax.

We don't need or want to live in a community where there are winners and
losers. If the Coalition government or the opposition were really
interested in the fate of the little Aussie battler, they would pursue
policies that put the interests of ordinary Australians before the interests
of the corporate world. Unfortunately for those Australians who still
believe that power lies in parliament, it doesn't, it lies in the boardrooms
of national and transnational corporations. If power lay in parliament
you'd think parliament would do something to alleviate the plight of the
little Aussie battler.

BULGING WAREHOUSES
Irrespective of what you read, hear or see in the mass media, Australia is
on the verge of a particularly nasty recession. Warehouses across the
country are bulging with goods that nobody wants to purchase. For the first
time since the 1982/83 recession retail figures are taking a consistent
battering.

As the level of insecurity rises among Australian's, their level of spending
has plummeted. Over fifty per cent of Australians prefer to keep their
savings in low interest accounts instead of investments so that in
emergencies they have access to any funds they have been able to save. The
low inflation, low wage rise, high unemployment and high taxation economy we
are currently saddled with is the perfect recipe for a recession if not a
depression.

The bulging pre-Christmas warehouses are an omen that everything is not what
it seems in retail land. People are not buying. Although they flock into
the post modern temples of consumption that littler our community, they are
not opening up their purses. Those that have decided to open up their
purses are not taking out as much as they normally would. Everybody has
become concerned about how far their next pay packet will stretch.

It's no wonder the warehouses are bulging. As the Christmas retail frenzy
approaches you can help to keep the warehouses full and bring capital to
its knees by keeping your purse shut. If you want to give gifts to welcome
the new year, make your own or give some of your time to friends and
relatives. Why should you help the corporate sector out of the hole its dug
itself.

ADMINISTRATIVE TERRORISM
When we think about terrorism we think about bombs, guns and bullets. All
of us understand the terror that the threat of physical violence has on
individuals and groups, few of us understand the nature of administrative
terrorism. In a pre-planned viscous assault on many Australians the
Australian Federal government and various State governments have embarked on
a policy of administrative terrorism. Government hostages (social security
beneficiaries) are being subjected to a campaign that can only be described
as State sponsored terrorism.

Across the country the unemployed, old age pensioners and people on sickness
and disability pensions have been targeted by the Social Security
department. At the same time Workcover and Transport Accident recipients
have been targeted by a number of State governments. Those people that are
least able to defend themselves find they are being targeted by the State.
In an effort to intimidate and humiliate social security beneficiaries and
potential social security applicants the Federal government and most State
governments have embarked on a paper war.

Application forms and contact with the department has been made difficult to
consciously encourage people to make mistakes or to stop them from applying
for benefits. Thousands of social security beneficiaries (government
hostages) have lost their benefits because they've inadvertently made
mistakes with their paper work. People who rely on benefits as their sole
form of income have found they have lost their benefits because they have
inadvertently made mistakes with their paper work. The Federal government
has embarked on a course of administrative terrorism in an attempt to
frighten people from claiming benefits. Those who can't keep up with the
paperwork was soon find they are destitute.

The damage that is being caused by the States campaign of administrative
terrorism is just as damaging if not more damaging to the community than any
act of terrorism.

COMMONWEALTH EDUCATION CUTS TARGET DISADVANTAGED SCHOOLS
Remember when the Commonwealth government cut 100 million off the education
budget, Kemp the Federal governments education hitman crowed that nobody
would notice the difference. Well, in a way he's right. As a number of
State governments hand down their primary and secondary education budgets
for 1997 its obvious that the private education sector won't notice the
difference. They are going to benefit enormously from the Federal
governments changes to the education budget.

The biggest losers in this sorry little saga are those State schools that
rely on Commonwealth grants to fill the gaping holes that are left by State
governments. Those schools in non English speaking areas of the country,
those schools which service pools of unemployment or ministry of housing
estates are the big losers in the Commonwealth education cuts. The
Victorian government in its infinite wisdom has decided to drop those
Commonwealth funded programmes that were introduced to help overcome the
structural inequalities that exist in many regional and urban areas.

As far as they are concerned if the Commonwealth government is not willing
to fund programmes for disadvantaged schools, they don't need to. Following
their logic it's obvious that they have decided that children of parents who
are unemployed or are on social security benefits or who have to battle to
make ends meet don't need any special considerations. As far as they are
concerned directing education towards this segment of the community is
wasted money. Why waste the State's money providing decent education for
the children of the disadvantaged (those that have been robbed by capital
and the State) when you can pour more money into the private education sector.

RECONCILIATION BLANK CANVAS
Many Australians have no interest or see any need for reconciliation with
indigenous Australians. Many believe land rights and the reconciliation
process is something that comes directly out of left field. Others think
reconciliation is an excuse used by blacks to shirk their responsibilities
to the country. Unfortunately most Australians see Australian history as
some type of blank canvas and see no reason why blacks should get anything.

The reconciliation process is grinding to a halt because many people have no
knowledge about the history of this country. Those of us who are fortunate
enough to have some understanding of our history, need to fill in parts of
this blank canvas so that other Australians understand why the
reconciliation process between non-indigenous and indigenous Australians is
so important.

Unless people have some knowledge about the brutal nature of the colonial
process they will never understand why reconciliation is vital. The history
of the colonisation of this continent is a history of murder, rape,
kidnapping, dispossession and cultural and lingual genocide. If people have
some understanding of the nature and the consequences of the colonial and
post colonial era they may see the reconciliation process in a new light.

The collective amnesia that is such a prominent feature of Australian
folklore and culture needs to be replaced by an understanding of what havoc
the colonisation process has played on indigenous communities and families.
Those of us who have historical knowledge of this period need to share it
with our neighbours and friends so that we can kick start the reconciliation
process.

WHAT CAN AUSTRALIANS LEARN FROM THE SUCCESSFUL FRENCH TRUCK STRIKE
It was wonderful watching the French truck drivers mount a successful
blockade of France's transport system. Thousands of trucks brought France
to a standstill. The French government had two options, they could either
call in the army and escalate the dispute or they could open up negotiations
with the truck drivers.

Within eleven days of the commencement of the blockade the truck drivers had
won most of their demands. Increased wages, better conditions and most
importantly retirement at 55. The truck blockade was successful because the
truck drivers were willing to take co-ordinated direct action. Using their
knowledge of the French highway system and using C.B.'s and mobile phones,
they were able to keep open the lines of communication and keep one step in
front of the government.

Unfortunately not many workers have the immediate might of the truck
drivers, but all working people have the potential to carry out direct
action. If you're involved in a workplace dispute it's important you
examine all the options that are available to you. In many situations
strikes are not the optimal tactic. Go slows, occupations, sit ins,
blockades, barricades are a few of the tactics that workers should think
about when they embark on workplace campaigns.

Use your imagination and become involved in activity that will bring the
dispute to a head. Workers normally lose long strikes because people can't
afford to survive without their pay packets. Activists who use direct
action are more likely to win their demand, because the State and employers
are concerned about the social consequences of any dispute that uses direct
action.

ANARCHIST QUESTION AND ANSWER
Q. Would a Pharmaceutical Industry Exist in an Anarchist Society?
A. About 20% of Australians would die within a few weeks if they were denied
access to pharmaceutical's, a further 20% would develop major health
problems if they were not able to have access to pharmaceutical products.
Although about 10% of people develop complications as a result of
pharmaceutical's, the great majority derive significant benefits from access
to these products.

The main question facing anarchists as far as the pharmaceutical industry is
concerned is not whether one would exist, but how it's organised. The
current pharmaceutical industry is no different from any other industry.
It's based on a number of principles that anarchists find unacceptable.
Although pharmaceutical companies produce products that save and extend
lives, their primary responsibilities revolve around producing profits for
their shareholders, monopolising production of various products via the use
of patents, and directing research into areas that maximise profits.

A pharmaceutical industry in a anarchist society is based on a number of
different principles. The industry would exist to develop and produce
medications to assist members of the community it services and in some
situations it would produce medications to help ease shortages in other
parts of the world. What direction it's research and development wing would
take would be decided by the needs of the community it services. It would
also be decided by the needs of society at large. The amount of resources
that are allocated to the production and research sector would be decided by
the community and workplace councils that make up an anarchist federation
not by the amount of profits that the pharmaceutical industry can generate.

As the industry would be organised in such a manner as to satisfy human
needs, there would be no need to have patents over new products. Various
sections of the pharmaceutical industry would share research findings, this
would mean that new products could be developed much more quickly and once
they're developed other people could produce these products. Breaking the
pharmaceutical corporations monopoly over the production of medications and
improved quality control programs means that everybody in the community not
just those people with resources would benefit from pharmaceutical innovations.

Anarchism is a social and political philosophy where we don't have to
reinvent the wheel. The pharmaceutical industry is a classic example of an
industry that potentially provides significant benefits to a community.
Anarchists are interested in changing the way such an industry is organised
and structured so that it satisfies human needs not just produce profits for
its shareholders.
ANARCHIST ACTION BOX - IT NEVER SEEMS TO BE THE RIGHT TIME
For most people it never seems to be the right time to become active.
Initially we're too busy growing up and trying to carve a place for
ourselves in the world. As we become involved in relationships, we don't
seem to have any time for anything else. Before we know it many of us find
that we are responsible for the physical and emotional needs of children.
As we struggle to make ends meet, there never seems to be enough time for
anything else. As we approach middle age, we begin to worry about what will
happen to us. Our impending mortality hangs heavily on everything we do.

Once we reach our sixties most of us find that the dreams and aspirations
that we harboured in our youth are a little dusty and tarnished. As we
battle to pay the bills and survive on a meagre income we tend to sit around
waiting for the inevitable. Life for most people is a never ending saga of
missed opportunities. "If only I'd taken advantage of the situation or had
approached the problem in a different way maybe things would be different."

The right time to become active is not yesterday or tomorrow, it's today.
Unless we as individuals are willing to make the effort today to change our
lives, nothing will change. Nobody is going to say well you've worked hard
all your life, you deserve a little bit of rest and quiet. One of the most
striking aspects of life in a capitalist society is how little human beings
are worth. A human beings worth in any capitalist community is measured by
what they have, not what they are. It's no accident the idiot box is full
of images of people who have acquired material wealth. As far as individual
worth in a capitalist society is concerned you are nothing unless you are
able to show you can accumulate wealth.

If you want to continue living in such a life denying community, then wait
for that special magical moment when you have the time to become involved in
activity. Radical egalitarian change comes from conscious action, it just
doesn't happen. Irrespective of the burdens we carry, irrespective of the
hand that life has dealt us, we need to act today not tomorrow.
Irrespective of how much we believe we have to lose, to live a life in the
shadowlands is an insult to our humanity and to those we are responsible for.

Stop looking for the right time examine your life and see what you can do.
Although you may think it's not very much, it's much better than doing
nothing, waiting for that magical moment that will never come.

AUSTRALIAN ANARCHIST HISTORY
UNLAWFUL ASSOCIATIONS ACT - 1917
Not content with jailing 12 innocent members of the I.W.W. for "conspiracy
to commit arson," the Commonwealth government passed the UNLAWFUL
ASSOCIATIONS ACT in 1917. The act was specifically drafted to outlaw the
I.W.W. Members of the I.W.W. were expelled from established trade unions,
their meetings were broken up by returned servicemen and I.W.W. members were
refused employment, arrested and deported.

In an attempt to overcome the legal sanctions that were directed against the
I.W.W. members of the I.W.W. formed The Workers Defence and Release
Committee. This became the I.W.W.'s legal front. Meetings were called
across the country to mobilise support against the Unlawful Association Act
and to mobilise support for the I.W.W. twelve. Henry Boote a printer was
one of the most active members of the defence committee.

The release campaign was so effective that the Labor Premier of New South
Wales, John Story was forced to appoint Mr Justice Ewing to investigate
their cases. Ten of the twelve were cleared of most of the charges and were
released from Long Bay Jail in Sydney on the 4 August, 1920 and in August
and November 1921 the last two were released as a result of an Executive
Pardon. By the time the last of the I.W.W. twelve was released from prison
in 1921 the I.W.W. had all but been wiped out by the combined action of
employers, trade unions and various State governments and the Federal
government.

I HAD A DREAM
I had a dream last night. I dreamt that me mate Kerry Packer's
defibrillator "thumpers" batteries were flat. I don't know if you know,
Kerry Packer is a little bit concerned about his brush with death a few
years ago and he is discreetly accompanied by a nurse and his own personal
defibrillator when he travels. Well getting back to my dream, I dreamt poor
old Kerry fell off his horse while playing polo and stopped breathing.

His personal nurse rushed out with the defibrillator, but couldn't get the
equipment to work. As Kerry's life ebbed away a picketer at the polo
grounds (you know how these professional agitators are always around to make
the lives of the rich and famous hell) jumped the fence and commenced
external cardiac massage and gave mouth to mouth to Kerry Packer. After
about ten minutes of resuscitation, Kerry sat bolt upright, altered his
will, leaving his publishing empire to his employees to run as a
co-operative and dropped dead. What a touching end to an improbable dream.

STOP PRESS - SAVINGS!!!
Save! Save! Save! We're told by the Commonwealth government. On average
Australians save about 2% of their income. The introduction of compulsory
superannuation and the deregulation of the banking industry are two of the
most important factors that have led to a dramatic fall in the amount of
money Australians are able to save.

It's no good, lamenting that Australians don't save. If they could, they
would. Unfortunately the last decade has been a time when real wages have
fallen and banking charges have risen. Diminishing returns on investments
have been eaten up by increased banking charges. Over forty two percent of
an average wage earners pay packet goes into paying local, State and Federal
taxes. A decade ago only 32% of an average workers pay packet went to pay
taxes.

Most Australians would save if they could. Unfortunately most are not in a
position to save. If Federal government wants to overcome the current
balance of payment problems (1.7 billion for October) they need to pursue
policies that increase not decrease real wages. Until social security
beneficiaries and working people have greater access to the wealth that is
produced in this country, personal saving levels will continue to be abysmal.

Joseph Toscano/Libertarian Workers for a Self-Managed Society.
ANARCHIST PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED THIS WEEK
REBEL WORKER VOL. 15 NO.10 (141) NOV-DEC'96, P.O. BOX 92, BROADWAY 2007,
SYDNEY. AUST. Emailrworker@chaos.apana.org.au ****
THE STATE ADVERSARY NO.25, 26, 27 1996, PLUS ELECTION SPECIAL SPRING 1996.,
P.O. BOX 9263, WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND
Email aaa@nubm.wgtn.planet.co.nz ****
FREEDOM VOL. 37 NO.22 16 NOV'96, 846 WHITE CHAPEL HIGH ST, LONDON 717QX,
GREAT BRITAIN http:llwww.lglobal.com/Tao/Freedom ****
LE MONDE LIBERTAIRE NO.1060 21-27 Nov'96, 145 Rue Amelot, 75011 PARIS.
FRANCE. Tel: 01 4805 3408 Fax: 01 4929 9859 ****
OTHER PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED THIS WEEK
LITTLE FREE PRESS NO.139, OBITUARIES TO ERNEST MANN from his children and
friends. Ernest Mann was a United States activist who promoted and who
tried to live in a moneyless society. ****
GRASWURZEL REVOLUTION, KALSTRADE 14a, 26123 OLDEN BURG (Oldb), D 4025E,
GERMANY. ****
j ANARCHIST AGE HOME PAGE j
http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/3879
ANARCHIST AGE EMAIL - email:anarchistage@geocities.com.

P U B L I C A T I O N S
Weekly
4 pages of Anarchist comment on Local, National and International events.
Subscriptions: $50.00 for 50 issues, $10.00 for 10 issues, Subscription
includes postage.
Monthly
36 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.

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

AUTONOMOUS HEALTH UNION
Secretary Liz Rea, PO Box 5035, Alphington 3078, Australia.

MOTHER EARTH 1st ISSUE OUT
Subscribers needed. Ring Judith (03)9543620 13 issues $35/$25

ANARCHIST STORY NETWORK
Aim of the network is to gather information about the Anarchist movement in
Australia both past and present. A.S.N. PO Box 756, Lower Brunswick 3056.
Melbourne Australia.

IT'S COME TO THIS
Looking for a gift to mark the festive season and the beginning of 1997 then
LOOK NO FURTHER. ANARCHIST MEDIA INSTITUTE OBSCENITY AWARD PLACE MATS -
That's Right A3 Laminated Place Mats. (Colours White, Yellow, Green, Purple,
Red, Blue you choose). Four $20.00, Six $30.00, Eight $40.00 Make out
cheques and money orders to Libertarian Workers & send to PO Box 20
Parkville 3052 Melbourne Australia.

FEDERATION OF OCCUPATION BASED UNIONS
CONGRESS - SUNDAY 2nd FEBRUARY 1997
10am - 6pm Melbourne. Registration $4.00 wage earners $2.00 non wage
earners. Send stamps to F.O.B.U. P.O. Box 5006, Alphington, Melbourne
Australia and register. All welcome. For further information contact
National Secretary Evan Ling
041 939 4243 (8am - 10pm)
AUTONOMOUS HEALTH UNION
Secretary Liz Rea, P.O. Box 5035 Alphington, 3078, Melb, Aust
COMMUNITY UNION
c/- F.O.B.U. P.O. Box 5006, Alphington, Melbourne, Australia
Tel: 041 939 4243.
STRIKEBACK
Organic Seed & Information Network, P.O. Box 213 Ocean Grove, 3226.
Victoria, Australia

3CR BENEFIT - FOR SQUATTERS AND UNEMPLOYED SHOW ON 3CR - 11.00AM FRIDAYS
Friday 6th December beginning 6.00pm ALL WELCOME
Fleming Hall, 98 Victoria Street, East Brunswick. (between Lygon & Victoria
Streets). Vegan meals, songs, poems, children's activities, Anarchist
bookstalls. Tel:- BARRICADE BOOKS on 9387-6646 for more information. $6.00
waged, $4.00 unwaged.

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,
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 November 1996 Anarchist Media Institute
Obscenity Award won by The Federal Treasurer the Right Honourable Peter
Costello, "for his pathetic transparent attempts to project himself as the
next Prime Minister of Australia". 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 & send to PO Box 20, Parkville 3052, Aust


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
help help help help help help help help help help help help help
help help help help
Our debt stands at $1501.00. We encourage all our readers and that includes
all those anarchist groups who receive the Anarchist Age Weekly Review and
Anarchist Age Monthly Review - FREE of CHARGE help us eliminate this debt by
the END of 1996. If everybody who read the weekly sent us TEN DOLLARS we
could eliminate our debt overnight.
If you have some spare cash, want to re-subscribe or want to buy a
subscription for a friend make out cheques and money orders to LIBERTARIAN
WORKERS and send them to L.W.S.S. PO Box 20, Parkville, 3052. Melbourne
Australia.
DEBT 4.12.96 - $1501.00

ANARCHIST MEDIA INSTITUTE OBSCENITY OF THE WEEK
Has been won by Lindsay Fox, the trucking magnate for describing himself as
"a simple truck driver" when he walked through picketing Coles-Myer
employees at the Coles-Myer Annual General meeting at the Sydney
Entertainment Centre. If he was even "a simple truck drivers" little finger
he wouldn't have crossed the pricket line.