(en) Anarchist Age Weekly Review

Philip McCrory (philmcc@melbpc.org.au)
Thu, 15 May 1997 14:32:03 +1000


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Number 249

12th - 18th May, 1997

= HERE WE GO AGAIN - BUDGET TIME

Budget night, eyes = glued to the idiot box waiting for the Government's solutions to the = current malaise. The Federal Treasurer pops up and tells us we've never = had it so good. Looking at the package it's obvious we're dealing with = a government that's bereft of any new ideas. With official unemployment = rates hovering over 9% and unofficial rates double this level, you'd = think the Coalition would do something about job creation. Well they = have, they've given up on the idea that the "power house" of = the nations economy, small business will employ more people and they've = turned the pages of history back to Wilson's "New Deal" = program, allocating one billion dollars over three years to create some = infrastructure projects for Federation. Wow, what a complete turn = around from the, let market forces sort it out crowd.

Believe it or not our little = mates in government are going to provide a rebate of up to 450 dollars a = year for people who derive interest from their investments. At the same = time they have prevented people from getting their hands on = superannuation funds until they turn sixty. You wouldn't want the = buggers to retire at fifty five would you, not this government. For = those older people who love their jobs and are entitled to the pension = if they work an extra five years, they'll get over twenty thousand = dollars cash in hand. What for? To use as a deposit on their nursing = home bed.

To compound matters this = government is so stupid, they have decided to use the Pharmaceutical = Benefits Scheme as their ideological battle ground. Instead of forcing = foreign transnational corporations to lower their prices on essential = pharmaceutical items, they in their wisdom have decided to let the = consumer (people with acute and chronic illnesses) pay more for their = medications. Using their perverted logic, if sick people are forced to = pay more for their medicines they'll think twice about buying them and = hence put pressure on the transnational pharmaceutical companies to = lower their prices. I'm sure you'd only find this type of priceless = logic in the cabinet room, any body else would have promoted the = establishment of a local pharmaceutical industry or they would have told = the transnationals, lower your prices or suffer the consequences. If = there's one thing that's going to get up people's noses, it's the = governments changes to the pharmaceutical benefits scheme, nobody = especially middle and lower income earners as well as health card = holders and pensioners are going to happily forgo treatment or cough up = money they can't afford to spend because the government is too = frightened to set limits on the pharmaceutical industry.

BART WHAT = HAVE YOU DONE!!

It looks like the = Victorian Police Force can't take a trick. The 10,400 members of the = Victorian Police Force are not only the best shots in Australia (over = the past decade they have shot dead more people than all Australia's = Police Forces put together). They are now facing an internal = investigation (very slow one at that), into a number of allegations that = Maryborough Police Station in Central Victoria was the base for a group = of police officers who were more interested in sexually exploiting = vulnerable members of the local community than performing police = duties.

On Tuesday the Victorian = Ombudsman Office, a pretty tame unit that uses police to investigate = police, has actually issued a report that is highly critical of the = actions of senior police officers in regards to the window shutter scam = that Victorian Police had been practising for years. Operation Bart the = Victorian Police's attempts to uncover corruption in the Victorian = Police Force, seems to be uncovering a whole heap of interesting = information. Police passing on information to known drug dealers, = sexual abuse, petty corruption and not so petty corruption. So what's = Jeff and the boys and girls in the Victorian government doing about it, = sweet f - - - all. As far as they're concerned, everything's all right = with their praetorian guard, the Ombudsman's office is doing a good job = and no independent investigation or for that matter Royal Commission = needs to be held into the Victorian Police Force. Let's see if they can = maintain this line as more and more revelations about the activities of = the boys and girls in blue became public knowledge.

MURDOCH = TURNS SHIP IN MIDSTREAM

There's one thing = you can say about Murdoch, he knows that if you want to make a buck, you = did to ditch any racist sentiments you may hold. The Murdoch newspaper = hacks in Australia have been having a field day promoting Pauline Hanson = and her One Notion (sorry Nation) devotees. Now if there's one thing = Murdoch is sensitive about, it's the bottom line. He and his cohorts = know that racism is bad for business especially if you own an = international media empire.

Over the last few days the = Murdoch hacks in Australia have been given the message, don't give = Pauline and the One Notion crowd any more free runs. Within 24 hours = the whole tenor of his outlets opinion on Pauline Hansons and One Notion = changed with a twinkling of an eye. Pauline has been transformed from a = saintly Joan of Arc figure to some type of deviant. Aha! the power of = the pen, especially if your bottom line is threatened.

HYPOCRITES

Eleven 16 to 18 = year olds have been expelled from Glen Eira Secondary College in = Melbourne after they were caught using heroin in the school's toilets. = The principal had the toilets (male) secretly videotaped and eventually = was able to identify the students who were using heroin. Although the = State Education Department talked counselling and treatment for the = students, they now face the possibility of criminal charges and have = been expelled from the school.

Heroin is flooding Melbourne and = Sydney streets. While both governments (all governments as a matter of = fact) talk about doing something about the problem. They are putting = all their eggs in the enforcement basket and are actually closing down = the already over filled detoxification centres in Sydney and Melbourne. = Although it's very easy to get a fix it's almost impossible to get any = long term treatment anywhere. Kennett bankrolled the last Victorian = election on the promise that he would initially decriminalise marijuana = use. When this option was knocked back he said the government would = provide more resources to treat major drug addicts. Addicts and the = friends and families of addicts are still waiting. Unless the = government pulls its finger out, what happened at Glen Eira Secondary = College in Melbourne is only a foretaste of things to come.

OH = JAMES!!

WE LOVE YOU - OR DO = WE?

The next apparent = of the Packer tribe made his public debut on Ray Martin's Current = Affairs program on Channel 9 (his dad's channel, just in case you didn't = know). "What a polished performance" the media groupies = crowed. Almost everyone in the Packer camp (it helps to have a = television network and a magazine empire at your beck and call) lauded = young James for his polished performance. What did young James talk = about, did he talk about world poverty, unemployment in Australia or = even cross media ownership laws. No not our young James, all he was = interested in was putting his papa's case for the Packer conglomerate = consuming and regurgitating the former Fairfax empire.

For those 1% of our readers who = may have been impressed by young James's performance, a few basic = truths: the program was not live, it was pre-recorded and according to = our sources in Channel 9 heavily edited. Those spontaneous questions? = They weren't as spontaneous as most people think, young James and his = army of advisers was able to cast an eye on many of the questions before = the interview. Regarding his interview with Neil Mitchell on Crown = Radio 3AW, a very soft gentle interview if ever I've heard one.

Seeing young James use his = daddy's media network to try to twist the Coalition's arm to let them = digest Fairfax is just the very reason why you need media diversity in = this country. Giving the Fairfax empire to the Packer clan will further = reduce the possibility of a wide range of viewpoints (not that we have = any now) being seen, heard or printed in Australia's monopoly media. If = young James and the rest of the Packer clan think they can just walk in = and use the Fairfax group to peddle their garbage and fill their = pockets, they better think again.

Although many members of the = Fairfax group are using a wet sponge to practice their arse licking = technique, other brave souls are talking about occupying the Fairfax = group and publishing newspapers for the benefit of the community, not = for the benefit of present or possible future shareholders in this = little media conglomerate. If young Packer thinks the bird is in the = bag, he better think again. His scripted performance on Channel 9 = impressed no one.

IT GETS = WORSE

Anybody who thinks = the Coalition's defacto removal of native title on pastoral leases is = the last chapter in this sorry little saga needs to think again. The = Coalition government has not only removed native title claims from = pastoral leases, they also intend to use Aboriginal and Torres Strait = Islander Land Funds to compensate indigenous Australians who have had = native title rights on pastoral leases extinguished. The very fund that = was set up (still not functioning) to compensate those indigenous = Australians who were dispossessed and have no chance of launching land = claims will be used to compensate those indigenous Australians that have = had their native title rights on pastoral leases extinguished.

Talk about rubbing salt into an = open wound, fancy using the same funds that have been allocated to buy = land for indigenous Australians who can't claim land under the Mabo = decision to compensate those people who have had their rights = extinguished. Although the Coalition government has not publicly = signalled its intention to use the land fund, it's common knowledge that = they will signal their intent once their legislation passes through the = senate. It's obvious the Liberal/National party has no intention of = supporting the reconciliation process. Although John Howard is one of = the main speakers at the Reconciliation Convention that will be held in = Melbourne at the World Trade Centre from 27th of May to the 3rd of June = it's obvious most Coalition members and supporters have no idea what the = reconciliation process is all about.

In September 1996 the = Libertarian Workers for a Self Managed Society/Anarchist Media Institute = unfurled a regional anarchist flag. In an effort to acknowledge our = past and promote the reconciliation process we incorporated the primary = colours of the Aboriginal flag (red and yellow) and the primary colours = of the Torres Strait Islander flag (green and blue) onto the black = anarchist flag. The Libertarian Workers for a Self Managed = Society/Anarchist Media Institute recognise the importance of the = reconciliation process in this country and will do what we can to = promote it.

KABILA = BLOCKED

Kabila, the leader = of the Rebel Forces that are poised to advance on the Zaire Capital = Kinshasa has done the unforgivable. His provisional government has dared = to nationalise a major Zaire railway. Western governments didn't turn a = hair when Kabila's forces massacred and continue to massacre the pitiful = remnants of the Rwandan Hutu refugees that are dispersed across Zaire, = but they began to squeal when "their boy" nationalised a = railway line.

As the Western World lined up to = sign corporate contracts with the Zaire rebels they thought that Kabila = and his forces would turn over Mobutu's (the Zaire dictator who makes = Suharto the Butcher look like an amateur) stranglehold on the Zaire = economy to them. Well it looks like the rebel government still hasn't = given up its Marxist legacy. If there's one thing that gives the = corporate world indigestion, it's nationalisation. Any rebel group that = talks about let alone implements nationalisation policies, will soon = find that any support they may have enjoyed from the corporate world = will evaporate.

Last week Kabila was a lay down = mezzaire to become the new president of Zaire. This week Western and = South African corporate interests are looking around for a new leader to = represent their interests. Mobutu's delaying tactics seem to be paying = dividends. As he flies around Africa trying to bolster support for his = crumbling empire, other contenders are emerging from the pack. The West = and South Africa wants Mobutu out, the man they chose as their = "boy" seems to have a different agenda to those corporations = who believe they are on the verge of making a financial killing.

As far as they are concerned he = needs to be stopped and somebody else who is more agreeable to their = corporate agenda should be given the presidency. In an effort to Stymie = Kabila's attempt to seize the presidency they have offered the speakers = position in the Zaire parliament to Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo they = have also attempted to bolster the power of parliament at the expense of = Mobutu's power. The Corporate world wants to integrate mineral rich = Zaire into their global network. Whether they do or not depends on = whether they can have Mobutu replaced by someone who supports their = agenda.

ANARCHIST = QUESTION AND ANSWER

Q. How would an anarchist community deal = with sexual predators?

A. Whether we like it or note, whether = we live in an anarchist community or not, we will always be confronted = with sexual predators. We may hope or even believe that fewer people = will be sexually abused in an anarchist society, but irrespective of = what we believe, some people will continue to suffer at the hands of = sexual predators. How an anarchist community deals with this problem is = one of the most difficult tasks it faces.

No anarchist community can = afford to expel sexual predators, by expelling them, they are only = inflicting them on another community. At the same time they make = themselves vulnerable to another communities sexual predators. Each = community needs to deal with its problems. They can't expect another = community to deal with their problems. Once an offender's guilt has = been determined would they be removed from society and be placed in a = secure environment? Or would they continue to live freely in the = community?

If they continued to live in the = community would members of that community be notified of their offence? = Would they be permitted to live wherever they like? Would they have = minders assigned to them to protect them from the wrath of the = community? Would they have minders assigned to them to prevent them = from re-offending? Would they be forced to confront their offence and = have to go through a rehabilitation program? What would happen if they = decided to flee the community or refused to undertake a rehabilitation = program or refused to accept a minder?

I believe repeat offenders need = to be removed from the community for their protection and the protection = of the community. First offenders and minor repeat offenders would be = publicly identified. The community would be alerted about their offence = and where they lived. They would be asked to undergo a recognised = rehabilitation program and in some cases would have a minder assigned to = them to help them overcome their problem. They would also be confronted = with their offence and would be expected to make amends to their victim. = If they expressed no interest in confronting their problems and moved = to another community, that other community would have the option of = letting them live there or detaining them and sending them back to the = community they come from. Although it maybe difficult to deal with = sexual predators, to ignore their offence not only puts the community at = risk, it also encourages the offender to continue their offences. = Anybody who has followed the damage done by priests who were not = confronted with their offence but moved to a new parish will realise the = damage sexual predators who are not confronted, exposed and stopped can = do to a community. Sexual predators need to be stopped. How an = anarchist community deals with them is one of the most difficult = decisions it has to make. Different situations would require different = solutions, in every case amends would have to be made to the victim and = the offender would have to go through programs that help them to stop = offending.

ACTION BOX - THE SAME = TURF?

Many of the people who are drawn to One = Nation and the Australian Reform Party are people who are disillusioned = with life in this country. In many ways they are the very people that = we as anarchist activists have directed our activities towards. = Listening to what they have to say, many of the points they are = articulating are the very points we have tried to make. Yes they are = disillusioned with life, yes they are the forgotten people, yes = government has stopped listening to them.

The critical difference between = them and us is that we believe that the problem lies with hierarchy and = capitalism. They on the other hand are looking for an authoritarian = solution to their problems and believe that the problem lies with = foreign capital, not local capital. As far as they are concerned if = they can return back to the old "certainties" and local = capital rules the roost, everything will be all right.

They need easily identifiable = scapegoats, the more easily identifiable the better. Although we both = believe there is something very wrong with society, we have different = reasons and very different solutions for our powerlessness. Although we = all suffer, their solutions just scratch the surface, they believe that = if we somehow return to some homogenous mythical past and the = "others" are put in their place, everything will be all = right.

Every anarchist needs to = re-double their efforts to meet the current challenge. Tens of = thousands of Australians want change, currently they seem to be drawn to = solutions that are based on racism and nationalism. It's all very well = to confront them, but we need to do more. We need to infiltrate their = meetings and articulate radical egalitarian concepts that are not based = on nationalism, racism and authoritarianism. Unless we have the = confidence to articulate these ideas and attempt to stem the tide, we = may be the first casualties of this new menace.

Although the State and capital = is currently running an anti-racial line, it wouldn't take much to see = them sing a different tune. Unless we publicly articulate egalitarian = ideas, the possibility exists that what is currently little more than a = nuisance could with a bit of luck team up with local capital and form an = authoritarian social and political movement that could threaten our very = existence.

AUSTRALIAN ANARCHIST HISTORY - = 1984

George Orwell's 1984 had etched its = message on most Australian anarchists minds. As 1984 drew nearer, many = wanted to seize the opportunity to raise the concerns that 1984 raised. = Many of us had become anarchists because of the sentiments raised in = Orwell's 1984. The Party began on new Years Eve in 1983. The = Libertarian Workers for a Self-Managed Society in Melbourne hired a = restaurant in Fitzroy and held a fancy dress New Years Eve party. Thea = Swifte from the Libertarian Workers organised the function an on New = Years Eve the place was packed with people thumbing their nose at Big = Brother.

Anarchists centred around Jura = Books in Sydney, took up the theme and organised a 1984 Social Control = Conference at Sydney University. Hundreds registered and = anti-authoritarians and anarchists from across Australia participated in = a three day conference in June 1984. The conference explored the past, = looked at the authoritarian nature of society and tried to look at the = future. Hundreds participated in the discussion and workshops. = Conference participants agreed that technological changes had increased = the power of the State and corporate sector to influence and ultimately = control peoples' lives.

A consensus was reached that it = was important to fight authoritarian tendencies at a personal, = community, workplace and State level. Although no agreement was reached = on the best way of doing this it was felt it was important to create an = anti-authoritarian climate in as many areas of life as possible. Most = authoritarian changes are sold to people as inevitable, by creating an = anti-authoritarian climate among people, participants felts it's = possible to challenge the inevitability of these changes.

The rest of 1984 was dominated = by individual discussions about how to best tackle authoritarian = tendencies. Anarchists pride themselves on the anti-authoritarian = nature of their movement. Unfortunately sometimes the gap between = rhetoric and reality is very wide indeed. By focusing on the = authoritarian nature of society and the potential for authoritarianism = in the anarchist movement Australian Anarchists were one of the few = groups that seriously looked at the question in 1984.

PERSONAL = OBSERVATIONS

Work commitments = drew me to the neo-natal cardiac ward at the Royal Children's Hospital = in Melbourne. I hadn't been to the Children's Hospital for many years = and was surprised that little seemed to have changed. The ramshackle = buildings still continued to provide much needed services to Victoria's = children. Everywhere I turned people were scurrying about, each = pre-occupied by the job at hand. Parents in various shapes, colours and = dress wandered around the hospital, comforting their = children.

Here and there someone had tried = to make the place children friendly. Although it's difficult to make a = place that sees so much suffering and despair functional as well as = bright and friendly, the staff seemed to have done the best they could. = Walking through the hospital it was obvious that the cuts that have been = inflicted on the public health sector have not even spared the = Children's Hospital. Staff are doing more with less, they are doing = their best to maintain a first class standard of care. Sometimes it = doesn't matter how hard they try they just can't bridge the gap and near = enough has to be good enough.

As I made my way to the front = foyer, it was obvious that the Children's Hospital could have benefited = from some basic maintenance, a few benches, and a new paint job. = Imagine my surprise when I noticed a bench near the front exit. A = Vietnamese gentleman in his early thirties was sitting there staring = vacantly across the foyer, most likely worried sick about the fate of = one of his children, maybe his only child. Next to him sat a man = extending a protective arm behind his back. He too was staring vacantly = across the foyer but looking in a different direction. He looked as if = he hadn't moved in years. While his friend contemplated his child's = fate, the other man just sat there, a blank smile on his face. As I = approached these two men I noticed the younger man was wearing bright = yellow and red clothes and surprise, surprise he was wearing bright red = lipstick.

I've seen some strange sights in = my life, but it's not often you come across a man wearing bright red = lipstick, make-up and very loud yellow and red clothes in the foyer of a = large public hospital, let alone the Children's Hospital. Strangely the = Vietnamese man wasn't bothered by his friend's strange attire, he just = kept sitting there thinking about his own problems. As I drew level, = with the two men I realised that I knew the gentleman wearing the yellow = and red clothes, it was none other than a statue of my good friend = Ronald McDonald, extending his arm towards the Royal Children's Hospital = McDonald's franchise. Well, well, things have changed since I last = visited the Royal Children's Hospital, it looks like that good corporate = citizen McDonald's has become a permanent fixture in Melbourne's Royal = Children's Hospital. If the administrators at the R.C.H. and the = Victorian State government are really smart they could also sell = franchises to Wendy's, Hungry Jacks, Red Rooster, Pizza Hut and Kentucky = Friend Chicken, maybe then they would have the funds to brighten up the = Royal Children's Hospital.

STOP PRESS! - HOWARD KNOWS WHAT = SIDE HIS BREAD IS BUTTERED ON

Over twenty years = of politics has taught John Howard how to sniff the political wind. = Last Thursday Howard launched his first broadside against Pauline Hanson = and the One Nation Party. (Funny name for a party that's hell bent on = creating two nations, Anglo Celtic and the rest). Reading between the = lines it was obvious that Howard had no stomach for what he was doing. = Although he mouthed the "right" sentiments, it was obvious = that he didn't believe what he was saying. Just two days later he stood = up criticising the demonstrators who had made their feelings abundantly = clear. Why should the One Nation Party be immune from demonstrators? = Why should they be allowed to peddle half truths and outright lies and = not be challenged?

Howard knows that he will need = One Nation preferences to be returned at the next election. The = Liberal/National Party, especially the National Party knows that their = supporters are transferring their allegiances to One Nation. Without = their support they know they could never win government. Significant = sections of the Liberal National Party and Howard is one of their = number, have racist sympathies. Anybody who analyses their immigration, = Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and multi-cultural (or lack of = them) policies knows where their sympathies lie.

One Nation Party policies are a = natural off-shot of Liberal/National Party policies. No wonder Howard = is attempting to pursue policies that straddle the racial divide. = Howard's policies will isolate Australia from the rest of the world. = The world is changing, Nation States can no longer hold overtly racist = positions. Those that do will soon find themselves isolated. The same = odium that any white carrying a South African passport felt in the past = will now be felt by Australian who travel overseas. It's one thing to = attack a political movement, it's another thing to attack individuals or = a group of people because of their racial background. Any political = movement that uses race as its rallying cry needs to be stopped. If = that means confronting them every time they attempt to spread their = wings than so be it.

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

ANARCHIST PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED = THIS WEEK

ANARCHIST BLACK CROSS No.3 April 97, PO = Box 558, South Brisbane 4101, Q.L.D. Australia. ****

AINFOS No.22 Aug-Dec'96, Postbus 61523, 2506 Am Den = Haag, Netherlands. ****

ANARCHY A JOURNAL OF DESIRE ARMED No.42 Fall'95, Vol = 14 No.4, B.A.L. PO Box 2647, New York N.Y. 10009, United States. = ****

BULLETIN 53 March'97, C.I.R.A. Beaumont 24, CH-1012, = Lausanne, Switzerland. Tel (+4121) 6524819, 6523543. ****

FREEDOM Vol 58 No.5,6,7,8, 22nd March-26th April, 84b = Whitechapel, High Street, London E17QX, Great Britain. = http://www.tao.ca/-freedom. ****

GRASWURZEL REVOLUTION, No.219 May'97, Kaiserstrabe 24, = 26122 Oldenburg (Oldb), D 4025E, Germany. ****

LIBERTARIAN LABOR REVIEW No.21 Winter/Spring'97, PO = Box 2824, Champaign Il, 61825, U.S.A. ****

LE MONDE LIBERTAIRE No.1082 30th April-6th May'97, 145 = Rue Amelot, 75011, Paris France. Tel 014805 3408. Fax 0149299859. = ****

ROJO Y NEGRO No.85 Feb'97, C/- Compafia 9, 10 129 = 31001, Pamplona/Iruna, Spain. ****

SEKHMET 13 Summer'97, Katipo Collective, C/- PO Boc = 14-156, Kilbirnie, Wellington New Zealand. sandi@ch.planet.gen.nz = ****

] 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.

46 PARTY TIME 46

Help us = Celebrate Five Years of Continuous Publications Of The Anarchist Age = Weekly Review. Help Us to Celebrate The 250th Issue Of The Anarchist Age = Weekly Review. Date: Thursday 29th May Time: 8.00 = p.m.

Venue: Ross House 247 Flinders = Lane Melbourne

All Welcome. Bring Along - New Ideas = for the Weekly, Musical Instruments, Drinks, Food. Anarres Bookshop = Collective will have a Book Stall on the Night.

ANARCHIST MEDIA INSTITUTE APRIL = OBSCENITY AWARD

Has been awarded to = VICTORIA INCORPORATED (The Victorian State Government), 'For pursuing = culpable, corrupt and cynical policies'. A3 copies of the award = available, non laminated $5.00, laminated $8.00. Colours available = green, white, yellow, orange, purple, blue you choose. Make out cheques = or money orders to Libertarian Workers PO Box 20 Parkville 3052. = Melbourne Australia.

"GARAGE = SALE"

Yes that's right "a = garage sale".

Our backs are to the wall, we = continue to have debts of over two thousand dollars. We either clear = these debts or cease publishing. Do you have any unwanted goods in = reasonable condition. Do you live in Melbourne. Then give us a call on = the A.M.I. number - (03)98282856 leave a contact name & phone number = & Steve will get back to you, to organise a suitable time for us to = pick up the goods. The garage sale will be held in early July, so give = us a call now.

Anarchist = Media Institute Obscenity of the Week

Has to go to the = Melbourne Age's Editorial team for throwing their lot behind James = Packer. What some people will do to keep their jobs. At least Mal = Colston sold his soul for the Deputy Presidency of the Senate. ------=_NextPart_000_01BC613C.C18E6D00--

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