(en) Anarchist Age Weekly Review

Philip McCrory (philmcc@melbpc.org.au)
Fri, 7 Mar 1997 12:50:24 +1000


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Number 239

3rd - 9th March, 1997

COMMON LAW, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW

Although parliament has the power to pass any law it likes, the High = Court of Australia has the power to determine whether parliamentary = legislation is constitutional or not. The High Court has the power to = reject any legislation that goes beyond the constitutional boundaries = that were determined by the countries "founding fathers". Only the = people through a referendum have the power to change the Australian = Constitution. Parliament has the sole power to put constitutional = questions to the people, but only the people have the ultimate power to = change the Australian Constitution. Parliament has the power to pass legislation that can alter people's = common law rights. Although common law is deemed to be sacrosanct = parliament can pass legislation to remove people's common law rights at = any time it likes. The current posturing by conservative = parliamentarians about the so-called power of the High Court is a = struggle for power. Because a number of High Court decisions have not = suited conservative elements in this country, they want the mechanisms = by which judges are appointed to the High Court changed so they can = control the High Court. Both the 1992 Mabo decision and the 1996 WIK decision were decisions = which were determined on common law not constitutional grounds. = Conservative governments have baulked at the possibility passing = legislation to alter the High Courts Mabo decision, not because they are = concerned about justice and human rights, but because they are concerned = at the possible adverse international reaction to such a mean spirited = response to the Mabo decision. The conservatives reaction to the very few High Court decisions that = have gone against their interests highlights the disdain and contempt = that conservatives hold for the rule of law. Theoretically they'll = fight to the last drop of blood to support the "rule of law" practically = they will use every means at their disposal to subvert the "rule of = law". Borbidge's, Court's and Kennett's reaction to the High Court's = WIK decision highlights that the few freedoms we take for granted can be = swept away in the twinkling of an eye. Whenever the power and wealth of = this countries ruling elite is challenged either through the courts or = direct action, we see the thin veneer of respectability that the ruling = elite hide under evaporate. Their ultimate power lies in their ability = to manipulate people and events, they wouldn't hesitate to suspend the = constitution, declare a state of emergency and close down parliament if = they felt their interests were threatened. If their hysterical reaction = to the High Courts WIK and Mabo decision is anything to go by, = Australians may find themselves victims of a conservative coup d'etat = sooner than they think.

SHARPENING THE KNIVES

You've got to hand it to the maggots in the Liberal Party, just one year = after the election of the Liberal government the troops are restless. = Over the past few weeks we've seen Peter Costello attempt to manoeuvre = himself into position where he can knife John Howard in the back and = become Prime Minister of Australia. Peter Reith the only other likely = contenter for Liberal Party Leadership has in a viscous campaign been = sidelined by the drys in the Liberal Party. Corporate interests have not been happy with the governments inability = to deal a deathblow to the Australian Trade Union movement. They are = concerned that the Coalition juggernaut is not using all the power at = its disposal to drag Australia down the deregulation, "free" trade path. = They want their cake and they want to eat it, they know that John = Howard is unwilling and possibly incapable of delivering the Australian = people to them but they do know that Peter Costello is their man. It's no accident that John Howard has launched an attack on the ever = expanding gambling industry. He knows that the knives are being = sharpened. He knows that the policies he needs to pursue to win the = next election are not supported by the drys in his party. The = disagreements that have surfaced between the Federal Coalition and the = Liberal dominated Victorian, Queensland, West Australian and South = Australian governments are a precursor to a widespread campaign to = destabilise John Howard's leadership. The knives are out, the bullets = are being prepared. If Howard wants to survive as Prime Minister he'll = have to dust off the flak jacket he wore when he addressed the = pro-shooters rally in Victoria last year. Keep your eyes peeled for a = slow destabilisation campaign. Watch Peter Costello mouth his loyalty = to John Howard while he organises his troops to neutralise any other = leadership aspirants and prepare the ground to knife John Howard.

BOUGAINVILLE

Eight years after Bougainville seceded from Papua New Guinea, the = Bougainville Revolutionary army still controls most of Central and = Southern Bougainville. In a last ditch attempt to neutralise (nice word = for destroy) the B.R.A. leadership, the Papua New Guinea government has = called on Sandhurst, a world wide mercenary organisation based in South = Africa to help them crush the B.R.A. While the Australian government claims the high ground in the = Bougainville struggle, the P.N.G. government has already made plans to = buy back the mine at Bougainville from C.R.A. It's no accident that the = P.N.G. government has asked Sandhurst to provide the military muscle. = The Sandhurst organisation has come to an agreement with the P.N.G. = government that has sold the people of Bougainville into virtual slavery = for generations. The Chan government has promised Sandhurst a share of = the Boungainville copper mine if they provide the muscle. It's no = accident that the P.N.G. government wants to buy C.R.A. out, at the same = time it has employed Sandhurst's mercenaries. Sandhurst works like a = debt collection agency, they'll recover (try to recover) your property = if you give them a significant share of that property. Whether the P.N.G. government is successful in its attempts to find a = military solution to the secessionist movement in Bougainville will be = determined by the amount of military hardware they can direct against = the B.R.A. Irrespective of whether they can force the B.R.A. to = surrender (and I don't believe they can) the only way that peace will = come to Bougainville is when the aspirations of the people of = Bougainville are incorporated in a negotiated settlement. Without a = negotiated settlement peace will never come to Bougainville. You'd = think after eight years of conflict the P.N.G. government would have = learnt that they cannot impose a military solution on Bougainville.

WHO ARE THE REAL VANDALS?

So some diesel oil was spilt on the Melbourne Grand Prix track. = "Vandals" cry the organisers, "shameful" cry the drivers, "un Victorian" = cries Kim Il Kennett and the Liberal parties Federal Treasurer Ron = Walker. Listening to the cries of dismay from these august citizens = you'd think that spilling some diesel oil on the Melbourne Grand Prix = track was the worst thing that has ever happened at Albert Park Lake. If we go back a few years and think about what happened to the public = park at Albert Park Lake, you'd realise that the real vandals aren't the = people that poured a bit of diesel oil on the track. The real vandals = are those people in the Victorian Government and the Melbourne Grand = Prix Corporation who made the decision to use Albert Park Lake as a = Grand Prix circuit. When you think about the number of trees that were = cut down to make the circuit, when you think about the number of people = who are denied access to the park, you begin to realise who the real = vandals are. The Melbourne Grand Prix Corporation calling those people who attempted = to sabotage the track with a bit of diesel oil, vandals, is akin to the = pot calling the kettle black. It's perfectly obvious that the real vandals are those people who turned = over a public park to a private corporation. Just go down to Albert = Park Lake and have a look at the forest of barbed wire that now tops the = fence that encircles the Grand Prix circuit. Just wander down and look = how Albert Park Lake has been mutilated so that a few highly paid human = billboards can go round and round a track carrying logos for the = Corporate world. Think about who the real vandals are, you may be = surprised by your conclusion.

THE FEBRUARY 1997 ANARCHIST MEDIA INSTITUTE OBSCENITY AWARD HAS BEEN WON = BY "THE MELBOURNE GRAND PRIX CORPORATION"

"For call whoever spilt oil on the Melbourne Grand Prix Track 'vandals'. = Considering the Melbourne Grand Prix Corporation had over a thousand = trees cut down to build the Grand Prix track, it's interesting to = speculate who the real vandals are." If you want a record of the Melbourne 1997 Grand Prix but don't want any = of the paraphernalia produced by the Melbourne Grand Prix Corporation = send us three dollars worth of stamps and we'll post out your very own = Anarchist Media Institute February 1997 Obscenity Award, which has been = awarded to the Melbourne Grand Prix Corporation. Be a devil, go ahead = and get your reminder of the 1997 Melbourne Grand Prix.

ALBANIANS - BOUGHT OFF WITH FRESH ELECTIONS??

Albania is being convulsed by a rebellion that goes beyond the collapse = of a nationwide government sponsored pyramid investment scheme. The = collapse of the pyramid scheme acted as the catalyst for the revolt that = is about the engulf the capital Tirana. The collapse of fifty years of = Stalinist rule in Albania was followed by the imposition of a = parliamentary system. As State property has been transferred to the private sector, Albanians = have found that little has changed. Although theoretically they are = able to change "their" government, they have no economic power. Other = European States are concerned that the revolt in Albania will get out of = hand and spill over into other post Stalinist societies. Some are = concerned that the Albanian example will be taken up by an increasing = disaffected public in the Western democracies. The days of the current Albanian government are numbered. Segments of = the Albanian police and armed forces are siding with the people and are = opening up State armouries to the people. As the government in Tirana = battens down the hatches, barricades are being thrown up all over the = country and the people are about to march on Tirana. Although the = government was elected in a landslide victory, only twelve months ago, = many Albanians have had enough of capitalism and are seizing the towns, = cities and the means of production, distribution and exchange. Whether we have seen the emergence of a libertarian movement that is = unwilling to give control back to a centralised authority is yet to be = determined. Currently the rag tag opposition parties are calling for = the government to step down and for fresh elections. Whether people are = fooled by a call for fresh elections will determine the outcome of the = current revolt. Why should Albanians return to their homes and vote in = another group of representatives to rule them? They now have their fate = in their own hands, whether they turn back and participate in fresh = elections or move forward and create a revolutionary egalitarian society = will be determined by the events of the next few weeks.

ANARCHIST QUESTION and ANSWER

Q. Would "due process" exist in an anarchist community?

A. There's nothing more frightening than being dragged out by agents of = the State and being summarily imprisoned. There's nothing more = frightening than being dragged out by a mob and summarily punished. = "Due process" is an important component of any non-authoritarian = community. It's a corner stone of an anarchist society. Each individual in an anarchist community should be safe in the = knowledge that no mob can determine their fate. We're constantly told = that the State exists to protect us from mob rule. We're told if the = State disintegrates due process would vanish and each and everyone of us = would be at the mercy of the mob. Due process is the mechanism by which = each and every one of us is theoretically protected from the excesses of = the State and mob rule. Although the State does not exist in an anarchist community, mob rule is = a potential problem in any community that has no centralised authority. = No one wants to find themselves expelled from the community they live in = or have their freedom curtailed by the vagaries of a mob. An anarchist = society would have a series of steps by which any individual or group = that is accused of an offence against an individual or the community = would need to go through before a decision is made about the offence = they are accused of. Every member of the community needs to know that a = mob can't just turn up at their doorstep and turf them out of their = workplace, their home or any community bodies they are associated with. Any community that values individual freedom would need to have = processes that ensure that an individuals freedom cannot be arbitrarily = removed or curtailed. What processes a community would decide on would = be different in different communities. Each and every community would = as a group decide what due process is in their community. Whether it = resembles anything we are familiar with is hard to envisage. Whatever = processes are agreed on would obviously form part of the basic = principles of association of that society. Due process is an essential = component of any living breathing anarchist community, it is not an = essential component of an authoritarian society. ACTION BOX - SATIRE The judicious use of satire can do as much damage to societies = political, cultural and social structures, as an army of termites can do = to a building. Satire's parents are disillusionment and cynicism. = Disillusionment about the possibility of change, coupled with a cynicism = about working up the right channels. Satire can sap the energy of a = ruling elite and it can lay the framework for the creation of = organisations and structures that are able to replace current reality. We are living in an epoch where an increasing number of people have no = faith in the dominant political, social and cultural values that form = the skeletal framework of the communities they live in. Irrespective of = the soothing noises that are made by government and even more = importantly the corporate sector, more and more people are beginning to = think that they are being sold a lemon. Irrespective of the number of = spin doctors that are hired by governments, corporations and political = parties, more people are beginning to realise that they are being sold = doses of soma laced with orange flavoured Kool Aid. Satire is the = weapon of the powerless. It's the weapon of people who feel that all = avenues are blocked to them. Whispering campaigns about the reality = that people are confronted with is an important outlet for those who are = frustrated with the purposelessness of their existence. If we become = involved in whispering campaigns, it's important that we lace our satire = against dominant culture with traces of hope. There's nothing more devastating than being surrounded by an aura of = utter hopelessness. Satire which raises the possibility of change is = more effective than satire based solely on criticism. The satire that = helped to break the spine of the U.S.S.R. and its Eastern European = empire, laid the ground for the resurgence of capitalism. Although its = effect was devastating, it did not raise any new alternatives. As = anarchists we need to realise that satire both at a personal and public = level is a weapon we should use. What we should try to remember is that = we need to lace it with hope and a vision for the future. Unless we do = this we run the risk of laying the groundwork for a more authoritarian = society than the society we want to replace. AUSTRALIAN ANARCHIST HISTORY STANLEY WEST PARODIES THE GALILEAN

By the beginning of 1917 the Wobblies (I.W.W.) had difficulty in = speaking anywhere in Australia. On the 15th of December 1916 the = National Labor Government led by Billy Hughes passed legislation that = made it illegal to be a member of the I.W.W. Membership of the I.W.W. = was a summary offence that was punishable by six months imprisonment. = Another section of this law stated that all members of the I.W.W. who = were not born in Australia (irrespective of how long they had lived in = Australia or whether they had taken up Australian citizenship) were to = be deported. Over the next few months hundreds were imprisoned and = hundreds were deported. I.W.W. locals across Australia were closed down = and printing presses, publications and any equipment held by I.W.W. = locals was confiscated by the Australian government.

In Townsville in North Queensland when the I.W.W. was prohibited from = meeting in the streets, they moved their meetings to the beaches. When = the police broke up these meetings, Stanley West a member of the = Townsville I.W.W. local took the matter a step further. Dressed as a = parson he waded out into the sea and addressed his "parishioners" on the = beach, in the same manner the orator from Galilee had addressed a = similar crowd nearly two thousand years ago. The crowd loved every = minute of this performance. The police decided to let Stanley West = speak as they didn't want to be drowned by the crowd on the beach. Source for Article. "Sydney's Burning by Ian Turner 1969".

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS

A conga line of women of all shapes and sizes, pushed up against the = hastily erected barriers. Here and there a middle aged man filled the = gap in this seething mass of womanhood. Everybody was waiting to touch, = feel, see one of the high priests of the post-modern temple of = consumption. He was well over fifty but he had the body of a twenty year old, not one = ounce of fat bulged out of his corseted body. He sat down, the crowd = surged forward, two couples, the women in short silky black dresses and = the men in black suits and unbuttoned shirts danced the Tango. The men = rubbed their hands down their dancing partners bodies, kissing their = breasts, midriff and buttocks. A small opening was made in the barrier and a never ending stream of = women and the occasional man took the stage, kissed or hugged the high = priest and had their entry ticket into mass culture signed by this = prophet of love. He signed and signed and signed and joked and stood up = and sang a few bars. They stood there spellbound thinking of the past = or more likely of a life of experiences they had never had or were = unlikely ever to have. It was enough that they could touch the great man, it was enough that he = signed their compact disc. They left, a rose in hand wondering why life = had passed them by - Julio Iglesias the high priest of pre-packaged = sanitised lust and maybe even love was promoting his latest compact disc = at Southland, one of Melbourne's Westfield temples of post-modern = consumption. They loved him, why shouldn't they he's one of a score of = post-modern prophets that has been able to blur the lines between = consumption and love. STOP PRESS

Happy Birthday dear Johnny, happy birthday dear Johnny, happy birthday = to you. It's one year since the Howard Coalition government won power. = All the major newspapers ran "think pieces" on one year of Coalition = rule. Steady as she goes, no great change in the wind, triumph for = status quo, screamed the headlines, They all congratulated Johnny = Howard on a job well done. A job well done, they must be joking!! The Coalition government has taken over where the Labor government left = off. They have pursued policies that have brought a smile to both Hawke = and Keating. Their steady as she goes policies have delivered = Australians lock, stock and barrel to the local and international money = markets. A small percentage of Australians are doing well, many are = standing still but most are finding it more and more difficult to = survive. Most Australians see little difference between the policies of = both the Coalition and the Labor party. As far as they are concerned, = neither party has any real solutions to the problems they are facing. = Unfortunately many believe that the only way out of this mess is by = throwing their support behind Graeme Campbell's Australia First Party. = The growing support for Campbell and Hansen is not only an indication of = people's dissatisfaction with main stream politics, it's also an = indication of the failure of non-authoritarian activists to seize centre = stage with egalitarian solutions to today's problems.

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

=09

I HAD A DREAM JOHNNY THE SHAREHOLDER HAD A DREAM

Johnny the Shareholder Had A Dream. A dream of a divided workforce in = which one sector would fund the other. A dream of a society where a = precise numbered group of oppressed wage slaves existed solely to fund a = larger pool of unwaged workers. A dream of a society in which = tax-funded workers out numbered company paid staff. Scheme's were put = in place which forced dole recipients to work for their measly = entitlements and who's labour freely accessible for use by private = companies. Waged workers were laid off in favour of tax-funded workers = and thus themselves became tax-funded workers. Simple, monotonous, = labour intensive work was now paid not by the hour, but by the = fortnight, in accordance to the individuals material wealth. Factories = and supermarkets were now full of tax-funded contract workers. As the = number of tax-paying wage earners decreased, taxes were forced sky high. = Wage earners continued to decrease until the precise number of wage = slaves was left to fulfil their tax duties. As a result of the massive = reduction of paid staff, private companies prospered in wealth and = furthered their involvement in international trade. The shareholders = were delighted with the substantial increase returns on their shares, = whilst on the other side of town, the workforce was destabilised and = poor and chaos reigned. It was at this stage Johnny the Shareholder = awoke to his usual breakfast in bed. How long before Johnny embarks on = a mission of rearrangement to realise (t)his dream? =20

Chris Kennedy.

ANARCHIST PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED THIS WEEK REBEL WORKER Vol 16 No.2 (143) Feb-March'97, PO Box 92, Broadway NSW = 2007, Australia. Email rworker@chaos.apana.org.au

VISIONS OF FREEDOM Booklet Feb'97, PO Box 13, Enmore 2042, Australia. = http://www.cat.triode.net.au

VERSIONS OF FREEDOM Book (104 pages) Feb'97, ISBN0-646-30962-5, PO Box = 13, Enmore 2042, Australia. http://www.cat.org.au

UMANITA NOVA 76th Year 10th Nov'96, Italino Rossi, C.P. 90 - 55046, = Querceta (LU), Italy. 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, PO Box 20, Parkville, 3052 Vic, Australia.

AUTONOMOUS HEALTH UNION PO Box 5035, ALPHINGTON. 3078 MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA.

FEDERATION OF OCCUPATION BASED UNIONS National Co-ordinator Evan Ling, PO Box 560, Altona 3018, Melbourne. = Australia. Inquiries Tel: Evan Ling on 041 9394243. 8.00am-10.00pm.

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). =20 The Black represents the International Anarchist Flag. The Black Flag = negates all borders & all flags. The four stripes (red, green, yellow, = blue) represent the dominant colours of The Aboriginal Flag (Red & = Yellow) & the Torres Strait Islander Flag (Green & 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 = & smaller flags & for bulk orders. Make out cheques & money orders to: = LIBERTARIAN WORKERS PO Box 20 PARKVILLE 3052 Melbourne Aust.

DIRECT DEMOCRACY Sick and tired of the parliamentary circus. Interested in Direct = Democracy then make a financial contribution to the Anarchist Media = Institute Direct Democracy account to help us fund our anti-electoral = campaign for the next Federal Election. Make all cheques & money orders = to DIRECT DEMOCRACY send them to PO BOX 20, PARKVILLE, 3052 AUSTRALIA.

ANARCHIST WORLD THIS WEEK POSTER AVAILABLE FOR THE COST OF A FEW STAMPS Want to help us find new listeners for the Anarchist World This Week = then send us a few stamps to AWTW, PO Box 20 Parkville 3052, Australia & = we'll send you out a colour poster (A3) for your use & a Black and White = poster you can photocopy & put up to help us increase the number of = people who listen to the Anarchist World This Week.

MAKING A NEW WORLD Anarcho-Syndicalism and the Labour Movement in Australia. WEEKEND CONFERENCE When: Saturday 8th March, Sunday 9th March, 10.00am - 6.00pm at COSHG = (BUILDING). Where: 22 Pitt Street, Carlton. ALL WELCOME Open ended discussion organised by ASF-IWA. Registration Free. Children = Welcome. Wheelchair Access. Contact Jeremy (03)9349 3418 Melbourne. = Jura Books (02)95509931 Sydney.

THE REAL THING EASTER CONFERENCE Anarcho-Syndicalist Subjects. Contact Warren. PO Box 287, Roseberry 2018. Sydney for further = information.

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.

6 6 6 1997 DEBT ELIMINATION APPEAL 6 6 6 help help help help help help help help help help help help = help help help help Our debt stands at $1710.20. We encourage all our readers to 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 & money orders to LIBERTARIAN WORKERS & send them to = L.W.S.S. PO Box 20 Parkville 3052. Melbourne Australia. DEBT 5.3.97 - $1710.20

ANARCHIST MEDIA INSTITUTE OBSCENITY OF THE WEEK Has been awarded to the Melbourne Grand Prix Corporation for calling = whoever spilt oil on the Grand Prix track, 'vandals'. Considering the = Melbourne Grand Prix Corporation had over a thousand trees cut down to = build the Grand Prix track it's questionable who the real vandals are.

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