(en) Anarchist Age Weekly Review

Fri, 14 Mar 1997 10:22:31 GMT

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Number 240

10th - 16th March, 1997


The Kennett regime has had it easy until last weekend. Victorian Trade = Unionists weathered the Kennett regimes first four years in office by = moving over to Federal Awards. The election of the Howard government in = March 1996 and the re-election of the Kennett regime a month later, = closed off the escape route that Victorian workers had stampeded = through. When Kennett and his cronies transferred the whole industrial = relations sector into the hands of the Federal government they felt they = had drawn and quartered the Victorian Trade Union Movement.

The Public Transport Commission Union's decision to go on strike on the = very weekend that Kim Il Kennett was about to enjoy the antics of his = lovechild - the Melbourne Grand Prix, has thrown a spanner into = Kennett's plans for Victoria. The current dispute about a new workplace = agreement between Victoria's Public Transport Commission workers and the = State government can be laid wholly and squarely at the feet of Kennett = and the Victorian Treasurer Stockdale. On the 26th of February the = Public Transport Commission Unions and the Victorian Public Transport = Minister Cooper had come to an in principle agreement about a new = workplace contract. Cooper, a relatively new minister was asked to take = the contract via Treasury and Stockdale. =20

An important part if not the central piece of the agreement concerned = superannuation. The State government had agreed to honour all = superannuation commitments and allow workers to transfer their = superannuation entitlements to the new corporations that were going to = be formed in the Public Transport Sector.

Stockdale and his cronies in Treasury realised that many, if not a = majority of Public Transport employees would decide to take = superannuation lump sums when the Public Sector was corporatised. They = realised that there would NOT be enough money in the State Treasury to = pay workers superannuation entitlements. They were also concerned that = tens of thousands of other public sector workers in health and education = would demand the same superannuation entitlements that Public Transport = Workers were entitled to.

In an attempt to defuse the situation Kennett and his cronies decided = not to offer workers any superannuation guarantees but offer them a six = per cent wage rise over the next two years.

As soon as public transport workers realised that they were going to be = CHEATED of their superannuation entitlements, they decided to withdraw = their labour for the Grand Prix weekend. In an extraordinary display = Kennett was near to tears when he found out that the workers were going = to go out on strike. He stated that Victoria have never seen such an = act of betrayal, that the workers stand was un-Victorian and that he = would reek his personal vengeance on public transport workers after the = Grand Prix weekend.

All over the Grand Prix weekend and since the Grand Prix weekend, radio, = television and especially newspapers have done all they can to vilify = the public transport workers. On some days not one reason was given why = public transport workers had gone on strike. Except for talkback calls = on radio not one media outlet seemed to have a good word top say about = the strikers. Reading newspaper accounts of the strikers you'd think = they were all practising paedophiles and ate human flesh for breakfast. = The sympathetic coverage of the Grand Prix and the governments efforts = to use private buses with volunteer drivers (you don't drive you get the = sack) were a disaster. The Grand Prix Corporation stands to make over a = ten million dollar loss which, surprise, surprise will be subsidised by = the Victorian taxpayer.

The current dispute is not over yet. Other Victorian Public Sector = Workers are beginning to realise the implications the governments stand = has for their superannuation payments. If there is one things that's = sacrosanct among workers it's their superannuation entitlements. Many = public sector workers continue to work in boring repetitive meaningless = jobs, dreaming of the day when they receive their lump sum payment and = begin living. Kennett and his cronies believe they can destroy = Victorian Unionists by turning public opinion against them.

What Kennett and his ilke have forgotten is that although they have = three more years to serve in office before they face the voters, the = increasing number of Victorian who are dissatisfied with the Kennett = regime can bring the State to a halt. People are becoming sick and = tired of Kennett's bovver boy approach. The only difference between = Kennett and his cronies and a gang of thugs is that Kennett is more = dangerous because he has the State apparatus to support him. = Interestingly the Kennett regime worked out a sweetheart deal with the = Victorian Police Association over police officer's superannuation = payments just after they were elected to office in 1992.

Kennett and his cronies are nothing more than a mob of bullies, they can = be stopped and they will be stopped. People don't ever need to withdraw = their labour, they can work to rule, refuse to co-operate with the = government and within a few weeks bring the whole government to a = grinding halt. If their ever was a time for unity this is it. People = need to work together to neutralise these bullies. The public transport = workers and any other Victorians who are willing to stand up to this = can't do government, this second rate government that can't even = organise a successful Grand Prix, need to be supported to the hilt. The = struggle has just begun, as individuals and as groups we can't continue = to let the Victorian Coalition parliamentary maggots ride roughshod over = us, our hopes and our aspirations. Now is the time for united action = against these apprentice fascists.


I specifically didn't mention International Women's Day in last weeks = Anarchist Age Weekly Review, because I wanted to analyse the mass = Media's response to the 8th March. Considering the advances women are = supposed to have made in this country you'd think that a few newspaper = columns or a few seconds of television time or a few minutes of radio = time in the so-called main stream media would have been devoted to = reporting what women did to celebrate the day.

Scanning the pages of the Victorian Herald Sun, the Melbourne Age and = the Australian, the only mention that was made of the day was a diatribe = by Padric McGuiness (the failed Sydney Morning Herald columnist who has = been banished to the Melbourne Age) bemoaning that International Women's = Day is a socialist plot. The only other mention I saw was about 10 = lines in the Australian acknowledging that John Howard the Prime = Minister of Australia marked the day by saying women should have equal = opportunities to men. Scanning the rest of the newspapers they seemed = to be full of information about the Melbourne Grand Prix. The Age, = Herald Sun and Australian devoted acres of trees to this pathetic = display of machismo.

If anybody was under the illusion that International Women's Day meant = anything to the mass media, any illusions they had would have been = dashed when they realised that the television and radio gurus were more = interested in a few fools racing around a race track in a public park = than acknowledging what International Women's Day means to hundreds and = thousands of women. Even an old cynic like myself was shocked at the = lack of acknowledgment of the day both on the day and the day after.

Anybody who believes that the struggle for equality between men and = women is over only needs to look at the total lack of interest = International Women's Day generated in the mass media to realise that no = much has changed in the last two decades.


When he works for the government of course. Nothing highlights the = coalition governments moral bankruptcy more than their reaction to the = Bougainville revolt. Over the past nine years Bougainville has been = gripped by a civil war that has directly and indirectly led to the = deaths of over 10,000 people. The Hawke and Keating Labor government = bankrolled the Papua New Guinea government and provided them with = equipment, training and on the ground military assistance.

When the Coalition won office in March last year, there seemed to have = been a distinct change in the governments attitude to the Bougainville = crisis. For a time it seemed that the Foreign Minister Alexander Downer = was interested in broking a deal between the Bougainville rebels and the = P.N.G. government. Today nothing seems to be further from the truth. = This weeks meeting between John Howard and Julius Chan has seen the = Coalition government fall in line with the Papua New Guinea government.

The Federal government has promised to provide indirect and direct = military assistance to P.N.G. to quell the Bougainville rebellion, if = they don't deploy mercenaries in Bougainville. It's strange, very = strange indeed that the Australian government is willing to change its = policies towards P.N.G. and Bougainville after just one meeting with the = Prime Minister of P.N.G., Julius Chan. Possibly John Howard and the = Coalition government have thrown their support behind the P.N.G. = government because they want C.R.A. to maintain its presence in = Bougainville. Why else would a government that was sympathetic to the = rebels demands change sides midstream?


Disillusionment, despondency and dependency will peel off the backs of = young Australians when they begin their work for the dole programmes - = John Howard's not my words. The work for the dole scheme must be one of = the most cynical exercises that Australians have been exposed to this = century. Listening to the Coalition government beating their breasts = you'd think they had just done young people a great big favour. Being forced to work for the dole albeit for award wages will not = overcome disillusionment, despondency and dependency. It will not build = up young peoples self-esteem and self-confidence. At best it will = artificially lower unemployment rates short term, but will eventually = increase unemployment rates as unscrupulous employers take on work for = the dole recipients and lay off both casual and full time staff. The = work for the dole scheme is a recipe for more disillusionment, = despondency and dependency. In the long term it will be as singularly = unsuccessful as Kim Il Kennett's attempts to reintroduce a Cadet Corp in = Victorian Secondary Colleges.


The sight of 2000 junior doctors protesting and striking in New South = Wales is something I did not expect to see in my life time. In an = attempt to decrease doctor numbers the Federal Coalition has passed = legislation that will block four hundred doctors each year from pursuing = a career in medicine, not before but after they have graduated from = medical school. Instead of limiting the number of people entering medical schools or = closing down a few medical schools across the country, Michael = Woolridge the Federal Health Minister and Federal cabinet have decided = to limit training opportunities for medical students who have FINISHED = their course. Instead of guaranteeing new graduate doctors positions = while simultaneously restricting entry to medical schools for first year = students, the government has decided to destroy the lives of hundreds of = graduates who have studied for six years. These students went through = medical schools on the understanding that they would be allowed to = practise medicine once they graduated and finished their training. Junior doctors are on strike in New South Wales because many of them = will have wasted seven years of their lives doing medicine. They will = find that at the end of their internship they will not be allowed to = practise medicine or they will be forcibly conscripted into hospital or = rural service. So much for the actions of a government that promotes = itself as a supporter of individual liberty. The way the Coalition = government has treated junior doctors highlights the Federal governments = total lack of regard for individual liberties let alone justice.


Q. Would an anarchist community stifle individual initiative?

A. We're constantly told that an egalitarian community would inhibit = individual initiative. Why would anybody bother to perform at their = peak if they received the same financial rewards as everybody else. Why = would anybody want to go that extra mile if they received the same = rewards as their neighbours. Those people who think that an egalitarian = community would stifle individual initiatives believe that monetary = rewards are the most important driving force behind initiative. They = seem to forget that there are more important rewards than money in life. An anarchist community promotes individual initiative, it does not = stifle it. The biggest barrier to an individual developing themselves = to their fullest capacity is external not internal. How many well known = writers, artists, scientists and doctors would have never "made it" if = they hadn't had financial and personal support along the way. An = anarchist community does not reduce initiative to the lowest common = denominator, it actually promotes initiative by creating an environment = which meets peoples' economic needs. Such an environment would encourage hundreds of thousands if not = millions of people whose ability to develop themselves to their fullest = potential is stifled by the struggle for economic survival. It's no = accident that so many of the people who today are praised for their = initiative didn't have to worry about the economic necessities of life. = Many painters are able to paint and writers write because somebody else = has sacrificed their life looking after their physical and economic = needs. That old saying "behind every great man lies a great woman" acknowledges = the fact that one individual, usually a woman, has to sacrifice = themselves so that another individual can develop themselves. Such a = system is not only grossly unfair but highly inefficient because it = stifles initiative in the great majority of the population. The very = fact that each and every individual has power and has access to the = "common wealth" is the best and most efficient way of encouraging each = individual to show initiative and develop themselves to their fullest = potential. Power and wealth are not rewards that promote individual initiative in = an anarchist community. The rewards individuals strive for in an = anarchist society are different and in their own way much more = satisfying than an ability to acquire power and wealth. Community = recognition of effort and an enhanced reputation among ones community = are two very important rewards that individuals who show initiative = receive in an anarchist community. The reward of knowing that you have = done a job to the best of your ability and the community recognition you = receive for doing that job are two important ways initiative and effort = are recognised in an anarchist community. ACTION BOX - KEEPING THE FIRES IN THE BELLY BURNING Remember the fire in the belly that you felt when you first become an = anarchist. It's important to feed that fire and keep it glowing. It's = very easy to let the trials and tribulations of living and life smother = those embers and put out those fires that burn inside you. It's no = accident that many young people lose that fire as they grow older. It's = no accident many older people lose those fires and consequently lose the = ability to envisage and work for change. There's nothing more soul destroying than listening to the activist who = has seen it all, done it all. Listening to these dried up wizened = characters, you'd think that the spirit of revolt had been doused for = everybody when their embers had been extinguished by the disappointments = and limitations of their own struggles. Although the path towards = libertarian change may be difficult it's important to keep those fires = in your belly burning. If they're not fed that quintessential fire of revolt that was ignited = when you first confronted personal and community injustices will = eventually flicker out. You'll then either become a privatised = individual who has no interest in what's going on around you or you'll = continue to mouth the words of revolt but do nothing to bring about = change. The same injustices that ignited our souls are still there, = what many of us find as we grow older and become economically secure is = that the flames of revolt die down and eventually flicker out. We need to feed those embers by becoming involved in activity that = challenges dominant ideology. Unless we remain active the flames of = revolt in our bellies become embers which occasionally cause us = indigestion but eventually go out. Try to keep in contact with other = activists, try to keep yourself informed about what's going on in the = anarchist community and most important of all try to introduce anarchist = principles of organisation and action in any struggle you're involved = in. Try to keep the flames alive by reading, writing, thinking about = out your life, your goals and how you can tackle injustice both at the = personal and community level. AUSTRALIAN ANARCHIST HISTORY - JOE HILLS ASHES - THE AUSTRALIAN = CONNECTION Joe Hill, the I.W.W. song writer and activist migrated from Sweden to = the United States in January 1901. In 1910 he joined the I.W.W. and was = an active member of the I.W.W. until he was arrested for murder in Salt = Lake City, Utah, in January 1914. Joe Hill denied he was ever involved = in the murder but was convicted in a trial that was more a trial about = the activities of the Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.) than a = murder trial. Although the President of the United States Wilson, = appealed to the State of Utah to commute the death sentence, Joe Hill = was strapped to a chair and shot on the 19 November, 1915. On the day before he was executed he sent telegrams to the Chicago = headquarters of the I.W.W. "Goodbye, I will die like a true blue rebel. = Don't waste any time in mourning, organise....It is only a hundred miles = from here to Wyoming. Could you arrange to have my body hauled to the = State line to be buried? I don't want to be found dead in Utah." Over thirty thousand people attended his funeral service in Chicago, his = body was cremated and his ashes were sent to I.W.W. locals across the = world. Tom Barker a leading I.W.W. militant in Sydney recalled that the = Sydney I.W.W. local received a parcel of Joe Hill's ashes from Chicago. = They intended to scatter his ashes near the Domain the following Sunday. = Unfortunately the New South Wales Police raided the I.W.W. headquarters = and confiscated Joe Hill's ashes. When Tom Barker found that Joe's = ashes were missing he went to Sydney Central Police Station to find out = what had happened to the ashes. The Police Chief told him that he had = thrown the ashes into the fire in the police station. =20 Nobody really knows whether the police threw Joe Hill's ashes into the = fire at Sydney Central Police Station. Who knows? Joe Hill's ashes may = still be languishing in some dusty corner of some Sydney Police Station. = Sydney anarchists who have the time and inclination to find out what = really happened to Joe Hill's ashes should consider making enquiries to = find out what happened to his ashes. They should start by demanding the = New South Wales Police Force should make every effort to find out what = really happened to Joe's ashes. If they're still around they should be = returned to the Sydney anarchist community for burial.


As I walked into the office I was greeted with cries of she's a Kennett = supporter. I was a little surprised by this revelation. For six years = I had been trying to meet a Kennett voter. Considering over 50% of the = Victorian electorate have twice voted for the Kennett regime, I was = surprised that I had never come across someone who had admitted voting = for Kim Il Kennett and his cronies. After six years I had assumed that = voting for Jeffrey was akin to having a pleasurable hidden vice. You = enjoyed your vice in private, but you'd never think of telling people = about it. It would just be too embarrassing. Well it looked like things were about to change for me. I had = accidentally stumbled on the Holy Grail. I didn't really believe what I = had been told, I was sure they were having a joke at my expense, but I = was wrong. Yes she said she was a Kennett supporter and proud of it. = Jeff had got the State moving and she adored him. She even told me she = had a scrap book and collected cuttings of Kim Il Kennett. Yes folks it = looked like I had struck the mother load. By now I was beside myself = with excitement. She was about forty years old, had an angular frame and was pounding out = information on a computer screen. I asked her name, she pointed to a = typed name attached to the top of her computer. I assumed she had = trouble with her memory and needed every so often to look at the name = attached to the computer frame to reassure herself about her identity. = I placed my hands on her shoulders and leaned forward to make out her = name. My hands hovered on her shoulders and then slowly sunk until they = settled on her angular frame. She was wearing a plain coat with large = shoulder pads. Power dressing her way to who knows where. She was a = mirror image of the Kennett regime, all froth and bubble and show, = looked good but when you get close to her or the Kennett regime you = quickly find out there's no substance to either of them, just fluff. By = now I could make out her name, it was Yvonne. I said hello and told her = to hold her Kennett scrapbook tightly, because in a few years time the = only public record that would be left of her idol would be bad memories = and a few newspaper cuttings.


It looks like sections of the Trade Union Movement have begun to realise = that you can't negotiate with the Coalition government either at a State = or a Federal level. The level of workplace disputes is beginning to = rise. Last weekends dispute by Public Transport Workers in Melbourne = highlights the desperate position many workers find themselves in, in = the state of froth and bubble. It's no accident the Victorian Public = Transport Workers were the first to capitulate and are now the first to = strike back at the Kennett regime. The Federal government and Kennett regimes policies are very clear. = Initially they corporatise State of Federal assets, once they're = corporatised and they're attractive to the private sector they virtually = give them away to the private corporate sector. Victoria's Public = Transport Workers have finally realised that the Kennett regime is = rapidly corporatising the transport sector, fattening up the transport = cow so it can be slaughtered before the next election. The main people = who will lose from this little exercise are public transport users and = public transport workers. Users will be asked to pay more for an ever = diminishing service and workers will find that the minimal terms and = conditions they now enjoy will evaporate. It's no wonder many Victorian = Public Transport Workers have decided to no longer turn the other cheek. = They realise that they are caught between a rock and a hard place and = unless they strike out they will lose what few entitlements they have. I HAD A DREAM Wanted - dreamers - fax or post your dream to the Anarchist Age Weekly = Review.

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

ANARCHIST PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED THIS WEEK ALTERNATIVE LIBERTAIRE No.49 Jan'97, BP177 - 75967, Paris Cedex 20, = France. **** ARIVISTA ANARCHICA No.232 Dec'96, Editrice A, C.P. 17120, 20170 Milano, = Italy. Tel & Fa 02/2896627. **** CNT No.219 Feb'97, A.C. 4040, Granada, Spain. Tel 958-220065, Fax = 958-220119. **** FEDERATION ANARCHISTE FRANCOPHONE 24 Feb'97, 145 Rue Amelot, 75011 = Paris, France. Tel 01-48-05-34-08. Fax 01-49-29-98-59. **** LE MONDE LIBERTAIRE No.1073 27 Feb - 4th Mar'97, 145 Rue Amelot, 75011, = Paris France. Tel 0148053408. Fax 0149299859. **** LIBERECANA LIGILO No.80 1996 (Esperanto), Gilbert Ledon, Rua Maria = Aparecida Anecleto. 111-A, BR 04809-120, SAO PAULO, Brazil. Tel & Fax = +55-12-262-1983. **** UMANITA NOVA 76th Year, 8th Dec'96, Italino Rossi, C.P. 90 - 55046, = Querceta (LU), Italy. **** OTHER PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED THIS WEEK Down to Earth Confest Newsletter 1997, PO Box 295, East Beunswick 3057. = Melbourne Australia. Tel (03) 94162803. **** NEIGHBOURHOOD NEWS No.41 Feb'97, PO Box 5208, West End 4101. Queensland, = Australia. **** 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 Next meeting - Thursday 3rd April, 8.00pm. Ross House/Mezzanine. 247 = Flinders Lane, Melbourne. Observers Welcome. No Conference for Sunday = 16th March. Postponed, rescheduled for June or July 1997. Interested = in attending write to: A.H.U. PO Box 5035, ALPHINGTON. 3078 MELBOURNE = AUSTRALIA.

DIRECT DEMOCRACY Sick & 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.

ANARCHIST MEDIA INSTITUTE PUBLIC MEETING HUMAN CLONING-An Anarchist Perspective, Joseph Toscano Thursday 27th = March, 1997, 8.00pm. Ross House (Mezzanine). 247 Flinders Lane. = Melbourne. Anarres Bookshop will have a bookstall on the night. - All = Welcome. -

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.

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.

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 $1926.00. 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 12.3.97 - $1926.00

ANARCHIST MEDIA INSTITUTE OBSCENITY OF THE WEEK Has been won by the master of hyperbole the Premier of Victoria Jeffrey = (Glib) Kennett for describing the Public Transport Unions decision to = withdraw their labour on the Grand Prix weekend as an "ACT of Betrayal".



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