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Thu, 30 Jan 1997 22:53:33 GMT

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20th - 26th January, 1997

AUSTRALIA DAY Sunday marks the 209th anniversary of the colonisation of Australia. On the 26th of January 1788 Captain Philip and a motley crew of officers, guards and convicts disembarked from eleven ships onto the shores of Botany Bay. Since then the 26th of January has been celebrated as Australia Day. In an attempt to find a common celebration that encompasses all things, "Australian", that day that marks the beginning of European Colonisation of the Australian continent has become a day of national celebration.

I personally don't have a problem if people want to remember the first day of Australian colonisation, but I object to this day being known as Australia day. By linking the act of colonisation with a national celebration that celebrates life in Australia, we demean the very notion of a national day of celebration. The national celebrations that accompany the 26th of January should be ditched for a more appropriate day. The 26th of January does not mark the foundation of the Australian State, that occurred on the 1st of January 1901. The only other day that I can think of that could be used as a day of national celebration is the 3rd of June. On the 3rd of June 1992 the High Court of Australia handed down a judgement that overturned the ridiculous colonial notion that this land was not inhabited "Terra Nullius" before the beginning of European settlement on the 26th of January 1788. When you realise it took 204 years for the Australian nation to acknowledge that Aboriginal and Torres Strait people had lived here for thousands of years before European Colonisation, you begin to understand the enormity of the lie we have lived with.

The 3rd of June 1992 marks the day when the first tentative steps were taken by Australians to overcome over two hundred years of illegal occupation of this continent. The 3rd of June is a day that marks the beginning of the reconciliation process. It's also a day when the descendants of the first European settlers and the immigrants and the children of immigrants who now live on this continent are able to celebrate the beginning of a new era. This era acknowledges the past and attempts to work towards a future that incorporates indigenous and non-indigenous Australians as well as old and new immigrants. I encourage all those people who find the 26th of January being used as a day of national celebration hypocritical and unsettling to celebrate Australian Day on the 3rd of June - Mabo Day.

CAPITALISM, SHAREHOLDERS, CUSTOMERS AND COMPETITION The current attempts by a number of banks to force small depositors from their ranks is a timely lesson on the inherent deficiencies of capitalism. No one can serve two masters, least of all the banking sectors. Private banks are keen to maximise profits for their shareholders. In order to maximise shareholder profits they need to squeeze the customer. Customers theoretically have the option to move to another bank if they are unhappy about the service they are receiving from "their" bank.

Unfortunately for bank customers the health of the whole banking sector depends on an individual banks ability to generate profits. Banks don't get any brownie points from their shareholders if they don't do all they can to maximise their profits. In order for capitalism to even begin to work for the benefit of the customer you would need the development of a banking sector that welcomes competition. All very well in theory if you have thousands of banks to choose from. Unfortunately the very nature of capitalist relationships leads to the growth of monopoly.

Everywhere we look most facets of our economic relationships are governed by monopolies. Theoretically governments have the power to control monopolies via legislation. Unfortunately for you and I monopolies have become so strong they control governments. Anybody who thinks the reverse, needs only to look at what happens to governments when monopoly interests are threatened. All governments know the dire consequences of an investment strike in a capitalist society. No investments results in a drop in living standards and eventual social chaos.

The very nature of capitalist relationships within the market place prevents the development of any co-operative relationship between shareholders and customers. Governments inability to prevent the development of monopolies combined with their inability to force monopolies to compete against each other exposes the weak underbelly of any economic system that's based on capitalist relationships.

The current Australian banking fiasco, highlights the diametrically opposed interests of customers and shareholders in a monopoly driven capitalist economy. You can't even begin to reform the banking sector, all you can do is replace it with an economic system where there are no shareholders or customers, just people working co-operatively to satisfy their economic needs.

COMMERCIAL CONFIDENTIALITY The current fiasco over Intergraph a United States owned monopoly that has been imposed by the Kennett regime on the Victorian Ambulance, Fire Brigade and Police has raised the hoary question of commercial confidentiality. As Intergraph lurches from crisis to crisis questions are being asked about how the Victorian government has wrecked an effective emergency response service.

In the past all any Victorian who found themselves in an emergency situation had to do was dial 000. An operator would then connect them to the Ambulance Service, Fire Brigade or Police. Each service has its own emergency switchboard staffed by experienced members of that service who could sort out the urgent from non-urgent calls and dispatch appropriate assistance.

Once Intergraph was awarded the contract by the Kennett regime to provide emergency services, they turned this tried and tested system on its head, shut down each services emergency switch board, laid off staff with decades of experiences and replaced the whole deck of cards with a group of unskilled telephone operators (two weeks training) who have through no fault of their own created a cost cutting monster for the parent company in the United States.

To make matter even worse the Kennett regime has refused to release details of the contract the people of Victoria are paying for, using that old chestnut of commercial confidentiality. It's ridiculous and immoral to see the Kennett regime hide behind the cloak of commercial confidentiality. If they, as the people's representatives have come to a commercial agreement on the people's behalf it's essential that people are able to scrutinise any contracts signed on their behalf. Unless public servants or anybody else who has access to these so called confidential documents is willing to leak them to the press, the Kennett regime will continue to sign secret commercial agreements with a plethora of unsatisfactory private companies. If the deals done on the public's behalf, the public should be able to read the content of any contract signed on their behalf.

VICTORIA'S BURNING The cool change that swept across Victoria on Tuesday night bought temporary relief to millions of people who are sick and tired of the heat. As Victorians draw in a collective breath of relief their good fortune, fires still burn in the Dandenong Ranges, at Creswick outside Ballarat, the Otways, Campbellfield and on the Mornington Peninsula. As members of the country Fire Authority (mostly volunteers) trundle out their fire trucks to prevent further property damage you can't help noticing the poor state of many of the vehicles.

Although everybody has done all they can, over thirty homes have been razed and thousands of hectares have been cleared by the fire. As the tired volunteers make their way home, you can't help but wonder, whether the fires would have caused so much devastation if the C.F.A. had access to more up to date equipment.

Watching two "fire bombers" from Adelaide, blanket the fires with aerial water bombardments, you can't help but wonder whether so many homes would have disappeared if the C.F.A. had the resources to purchase more up to date equipment. It's time that Victorians asked questions about the Victorian governments priorities. They seem to be able to find the money to bankroll a number of dubious commercial agreements with the Grand Prix Corporation and Crown Casino, but they don't seem to have the money to provide the community with appropriate emergency services and access to health care, community services and education.

The Kennett regime is not a can do government. It's a government that's presiding over a mountain of dodgy commercially confidential deals with a number of dubious private companies. It's time the Victorian State government in Spring Street, began to take responsibility for the abysmal state of public infrastructure in Victoria. Unless they are pressured to untie the purse strings and supply some basic emergency services. Victorians will be in for a grim time indeed. The co-operative structure of the C.F.A. is a direct challenge to the Kennett regimes competitive philosophy. No wonder so many C.F.A. crews had to struggle with equipment that should have been replaced after the Ash Wednesday fires in 1983.

YELLOW REVOLUTION? There's a revolution going on in Indonesia, a yellow revolution. All over the country from Irian Jaya to down town Djakarta, public buildings are being painted yellow. That's right Canary yellow. Court houses, police stations and government buildings are all being painted the same canary yellow.

No it's not that Suharto the Butcher or one of his family has cornered the canary yellow paint market. (I'm sure they would if they could). It's a little bit more serious than that. Within a few months the Indonesian people will be casting their ballot for the ruling GOLKAR PARTY (Suharto's party) or one of two State sanctioned opposition parties one of which is a Muslim fundamentalist party. In an attempt to head off any challenge Suharto the Butcher and his military cronies have been able to ban any contenders that had a chance of unseating a sitting member from standing for the election.

In another attempt to guarantee their victory, they have begun dishing out their customary bribes. They have stood on the feet of any notable challenges (throwing many in jail before the election) and have used the State run and the State gagged private media to sing the praises of Suharto the Butcher and his supporters. At the same time they have activated their threat and bribe campaign, they have begun to paint all public buildings canary yellow - Suharto's parties (GOLKARS) colour.

Unfortunately for Suharto and his followers, many Indonesians find this blatant political advertising a little bit too hard to swallow and in the dead of night they have repainted the buildings white. In some provincial centres buildings have been repainted up to six times. (No, as I said before there's no truth in the rumour that the Suharto family has cornered the paint market although I understand their trying).

What's happening in Indonesia is just another example of how the military misuse their power. The Indonesian military continues to use the Indonesian archipelago and its people as their own personal fiefdom!

ANARCHIST QUESTION AND ANSWER Q. Would restaurants and cafes exist in an anarchist society? A. Of course they would, but they would be different, very different. Human beings need to get together to talk, sing, dance, eat and relax. Over 40% of meals in Australia are eaten out. Take aways from transnational food chains are forming an ever increasing part of the national diet. How many times somebody eats out and where they eat out is determined by the amount of disposable income they have.

Restaurants and fast food chains would disappear in an anarchist community, they would most likely be replaced by neighbourhood centres, some small, some large. These centres would be staffed both by locals on a voluntary roster basis and individuals from other communities who are interested and good at food preparation. These people would move from centre to centre. There would be more of these centres in an anarchist community than there are restaurants and fast food chains in Australia today. These centres wouldn't just be limited to shopping strips or malls or sit on the edge of highways.

Many buildings that are hardly used could be turned into local community and social centres. Some people may even decide to turn part of their living space into such a social centre. It's important we don't underestimate the social and cultural importantance of such outlets. Freedom loving communities tend to provide opportunities for people to mix and eat and celebrate life. The interactions that occur in such centres would have a very important impact on the type of anarchist community that is being created. It's no accident social centres and community meeting places played such an important role in Anarchist Spain during the Spanish Civil War. Anarchist communities would automatically replace the economic parameters that govern relationships within most restaurants, cafes and all transnational food outlets in a capitalist society with social parameters. These centres would be run by local communities as well as individuals who are interested in food preparation. They would exist everywhere and would be part of the social cement that promotes the human interaction that is so essential in any anarchist community. ACTION BOX - CONDITIONING Ever wondered why we continue to practise behaviour that we know is inappropriate? Ever wondered why we seem to have a knee jerk reaction to things that happen around us? It's one thing to approach things in a rational manner, it's another thing trying to be rational when we attempt to come to grips with the day to day problems that plague all of us. There's no such thing as a perfect anarchist let alone a perfect human being. Most of us stumble through life, repeating mistakes we'd prefer not to make. Although we promise ourselves that we'll never do it again, most of us tend to repeat behaviour that we are uncomfortable with. Conditioning plays a huge role in all our lives. Although many anarchists intellectually reject authoritarian behaviour, many continue to display authoritarian traits. Those people who claim that you can overcome authoritarian and anti-social behaviour through legislation seem to forget the profound influences upbringing, culture and capitalism have on all of us. Although we may be able to intellectually grasp what we need to do to overcome our authoritarian conditioning, we cannot completely overcome that conditioning unless we live in communities and societies that promote, encourage and psychologically reward anti-authoritarian behaviour. While we continue to live in communities that are based on authoritarian and hierarchical principles our efforts will be dogged by family and cultural conditioning. This doesn't mean that we shouldn't try to overcome this conditioning but it does mean we should remember that different people with varying experiences will have varying degrees of difficulty coming to terms with their particular conditioning. There are no perfect human beings, there are no perfect anarchists. As long as we live in communities that reward and expect authoritarian behaviour we can expect to seesaw between authoritarian and non-authoritarian behaviour. As activists we should attempt to overcome our conditioning, but at the same time we should remember that most of us will slide back into personal behaviour that we find intellectually troubling. As activists we need to remember there are no perfect human beings, let alone perfect anarchists. All of us are constantly battling demons that have been created by our childhood, experiences, by the people we live with and by the society we live in. AUSTRALIAN ANARCHIST HISTORY 1st - 3rd January 1893 - THREE DAY ANARCHIST CONFERENCE HELD IN SYDNEY A significant international Anarchist Conference was held in Sydney from the 1st to the 3rd of January 1893. The conferences proceedings were reported in the Workman on the 7th of January 1893 and in Truth the next day. Although delegates from all Australian anarchist groups were not able to attend, a delegate attended from the United States and spoke about the Haymarket tragedy. Reports were also presented by English, Irish and Scottish anarchist groups.

Congratulations were sent from S. Merlino and Most (New York), Lucy Parsons (Chicago), Louise Michel (London) and La Revolte (Paris). During the meeting a placard reading "Anarchy is Liberty - Read News from Nowhere" was hung around the neck of a statue of Queen Victoria (sacrilege indeed). Considering the government of the day went out of its way to curtail protest activity by secretly mounting machine guns in sensitive areas of the city, it's a wonder that Australia's anarchists were able to hold a successful national forum in early 1893. Source of Information-Anarchism and State Violence in Sydney and Melbourne 1886-1896 by Bob James.

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS 2.46pm Saturday 17th January 1997 There were four of them, the shortest was about a meter tall, the tallest was about 1.3 meters. They weaved in and out of the crowds that were milling about the local temple of consumption. (Yes I admit it, I'm a secret devotee who occasionally worships our local mall). Two wore caps, two didn't, they all wore shorts and T-shirts with short sleeves.

They were intoxicated with their own youth, pushing each other and occasionally breaking into a trot. One was grossly overweight, another was skin and bone. Although they were traversing the very soul of one of societies major post-modern temples, they showed no interest in the piles of cargo cult merchandise. As far as they were concerned there was nobody but them paying homage at the temples altar. I followed them for about a minute and then broke away to worship at one of the many grottos in the complex.

The oldest of the groups was about 11, the youngest possibly 7 or 8 years old.

I can see you thinking what's so remarkable about four young boys being intoxicated with their youth. Well one was from an Asian background, one was from a middle Eastern background, one was from an African background and one was from a European background. As far as they were concerned it was not an issue or anything remarkable. Maybe, just maybe this scene will become so commonplace that you and I will not think it's anything out of the ordinary, lets hope so.

STOP PRESS - CIVIL UPRISING IN KHARTOUM? Few people have any knowledge of the Islamic military dictatorship that has ruled Sudan over the past decade. Still fewer know anything about the festering civil war that has raged in the Southern Sudan over the past three decades. It looks like things are about to change in this part of the world. The civil war between the Arab north and the African south that was being pursued with ruthless zeal by the military authorities in Khartoum has taken an unexpected twist.

Around the middle of last year Arabs who were sick and tired of the hamfisted attempts of the military authorities to drag Sudan back to the 14th century took up arms against the Muslim fundamentalist government in Khartoum. In a positive move representatives of various Southern liberation movements held talks with representatives of the Northern Sudanese rebellion. Although the Southern groups are predominantly Christian and African and the Northern group is predominantly Muslim and Arab they have forged an alliance to dislodge the fundamentalist regime in Khartoum.

Late last week forces that opposed the military dictatorship were within 80 kilometres of Khartoum's main water and electricity supply. Taking a leaf out of the Eriterian Peoples Liberation struggle in Eriteria. The Eriterians did not attack he capital Asmara in their thirty year war because they realised that if they won they would need the capitals infrastructure to provide services. The alliance against the Islamic military dictatorship in Khartoum has agreed not to attack Khartoum, but encourage and support the inevitable civil uprising that will occur against this universally hated regime.

Joseph Toscano/Libertarian Workers for a Self-Managed Society.

I HAD A DREAM I Had A Dream - And realised it was coming true. One night I dreamt that Blue Mountains people were beginning to act compassionately toward their fellow humans. They were doing this on an immediate level - having share meals, taking an interest in their neighbours, orientating their work towards providing for real needs. They were also acting compassionately on a less immediate level - they were acting on concerns about environmental degradation and becoming vocal about the plight of exploited workers in South-East Asian countries.

There was still struggle in the local community, as different people had different ideas on how society should be and how to get there. Yet many people had good intentions. David helped the older lady next door with pruning a fruit tree. Kerrie went to the RAAF base and put a hammer through the F-16. There was something "humane" about the ways many Blue Mountain's people were acting.

With the sun appearing up through the blue gums, it dawned on me that I hadn't been dreaming. The humane intentions of the people around me were indeed a reality! I was filled with knowledge and a new energy as I went to work that day. Nathan Williams.

ANARCHIST PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED THIS WEEK SEKHMET No.12 Spring'96, C/- Weta, PO Box 22076, Christchurch, New Zealand, Sandi@ch.planet.gen.nz **** OTHER PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED THIS WEEK Asia Pacific Anti-Militarism Forum, Newsletter Nov '96 - Dec '96, P.O. Box 1315, Collingwood 3066, Tel: +61 3 9419-8700, Fax: +61 3 9416-2081, 28th Mar - 1st Apr Brunswick Town Hall Melbourne. **** Kleintje Muurkrant No.304 20th Dec '96, Den Bosch, Postbus 703, 5201, As Den Bosch, Netherlands. **** The People Vol 106 No.9 Dec '96, 111W Evelyn Ave Ste 209, Sunnyvale CA 94086, USA. **** The Other Israel No.76 Dec '96, P.O.B. 2542, Holon Israel 58125, Tel/Fax (03) 556-5804 **** A-News No.14 July-Dec '96, Information from Greece, P.O. Box 30557, Athens 10033, Greece. **** Freedom Vol 58 No.1 11th Jan '97, 846 Whitechapel High St, London E1 7QX, England. http:/www./global.com/TAO/Freedom **** Italian Anarchist Defense Committee, CDA, C/- El Paso, Via Passo Buole 47, 10127 Torino, Italy. A Infos @lglobal.com and CSLIST@ECN.ORG, http://www.ecn.org/zero/anarchy.htm Tel/Fax 0039-11-674 33 **** Le Libertaire No.171, No.172 Jan/Dec '96, 25 Rue Dumed'Aplemont, 76600 Le Havre, France. Tel: 02 35533341 **** Le Monde Libertaire 1065,1066 2-8th Jan 9th-15th, Jan '97, 145 Rue Amelot, 75011, Paris, France. Tel: 01 48053408, Fax: 01 49299859 *** 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.

ANARCHIST MEDIA INSTITUTE PUBLIC DISCUSSION MEETING When: Thursday 30th January 1997, 8.00pm "THE ROLE OF THE AUTONOMOUS HEALTH UNION" Where: Ross House, 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. ALL WELCOME Anarres Books has a bookstall at Anarchists Media Institute Public Discussion Meetings

FEDERATION OF OCCUPATION BASED UNIONS CONGRESS Sunday 2nd February at Ross House, Hayden Raysmith Front Meeting Room, 247 Flinders Lane Melbourne. 10.00am-6.00pm Agenda  Registration - 10.00am - 10.30am  Welcoming Address - 10.40am, Evan Ling/National Co-ordinator F.O.B.U.  Reports:- Autonomous Health Union - 11.00am  Community Union - 11.20am  Strikeback Organic Seed & Information Centre -11.40am  Reviewing the New Industrial Relations Act - Midday, Evan Ling (includes discussion on Enterprise Unions)  Lunch - 1.00pm - 2.00pm  Practical Workshop on how to form an Occupation Based Union - 2.00pm - 5.00pm Presented by members of the -  Autonomous Health Union  Community Union  Strikeback  Election of National Co-ordinator - 5.15pn A L L W E L C O M E Registration: $4.00 wage earners, $2.00 non wage earners Registration Form Name: ............................................................................ .................. Address: ............................................................................ .............. ............................................................................ ............................... Telephone Number: ...................................................................... Don't forget to enclose $4.00 or $2.00 of postage stamps to cover your registration costs. F.O.B.U. National Co-ordinator Evan Ling, PO Box 5006. Alphinton Vic 3078. Melbourne Australia. Any inquiries phone Evan Ling on 041 9394243, 8.00am - 10.00pm.

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.

@@@@ 1997 DEBT ELIMINATION APPEAL @@@@ help help help help help help help help help help help help help help help help help Our debt stands at $1734.00. 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. 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 22.1.97 - $1734.00

ANARCHIST MEDIA INSTITUTE OBSCENITY OF THE WEEK Has been won by the Herald-Sun for giving the opening of National Actions new bookshop, publicity money can't buy. They even listed the shop's address in case any racists would like to get in contact with these throwbacks from Hitler's Nazi Germany.

FREEDOM PRESS http://www.lglobal.com/TAO/Freedom

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