Anarchist Age Weekly Review Aug 7th! language en

Philip McCrory (philmcc@melbpc.org.au)
Thu, 7 Aug 1997 12:20:37 +1000


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Number 261
4th - 10th August, 1997


THREDBO - A TRIUMPH FOR
MUTUAL AID
The continuing rescue efforts surrounding the Thredbo = disaster are a triumph for collective action and mutual aid. If we = ignore the banal, inane and exploitative nature of most of the media = coverage, we can't help noticing that the Thredbo rescue attempt is = being conducted in a spirit of mutual aid and by collective action.

The rescue of Mr Diver, who was pinned beneath tons of concrete for over = sixty hours, can be directly linked to the collective nature of the = rescue attempts. Planning, co-ordination, individual sacrifice and team = effort, all combined to ensure Mr Diver's survival. If there's one = lesson we can learn from the rescue attempt, it's that co-operation and = mutual aid will always triumph over competition and selfishness.

Thredbo is a dramatic reminder to all of us of the failure of = competitive ideology. All around us we are being asked to compete and = look after ourselves. All around us we see the consequences of = competitive behaviour, failure, poverty, unemployment and an increasing = gap between the haves and the have nots in our society. It's interesting = to note how few, if anyone. in the media fraternity has stumbled onto = the fact that co-operation, not competition has been the driving force = behind the Thredbo rescue attempt.

If this countries leaders had the intelligence to see what was going on = before their very eyes, maybe we wouldn't be in the mess we are in = today. Almost every Australian has seen footage of the rescue attempt. I = wonder how many of them realise that what they are seeing is collective = effort and mutual aid in action. Whenever people are faced with a = disaster, they embrace collective behaviour, because they realise that = collective effort is necessary to make the best out of a bad situation. = For every profiteer there are hundreds of people who willingly throw = themselves in the rescue effort.

Let's use the Thredbo rescue attempt as an example of what we can do as = individuals and a community. When we co-operate with each other and = assist each other the chances of overcoming our problems are much better = than when we compete against each other. Those people directly involved = in the rescue attempt will remember the power of collective action for = the rest of their lives, let's hope all those of us who are mere = spectators to these events will remember the power of collective action = and mutual aid long after the rescue effort is finished.

MASS MURDER

Cold stiff bodies, slumped over colder concrete greet = the morning sun. Unconscious forms deserted by their friends, slowly = stop breathing. Youngsters being resuscitated by a shot of narcan, these = are the all too frequent images that greet police and paramedics. This = country is in the grip of a war, it's in the grip of a war that's being = fought by law enforcement agencies against a culture that prizes instant = oblivion.

Heroin is a problem that effects all of us, not just users seeking = oblivion in some deserted shooting gallery. We are all victims, whether = we know someone who has died from a heroin overdose or not doesn't = matter. We are all victims, each of us can be robbed, each of us can = become victims of a corrupt police force that feeds on heroin induced = misery.

The facts are there for all of us to see, accidental heroin overdoses = have increased by over 800% in the last decade. Huge unheard of profits = are being made by foot soldiers, distributors, and importers of heroin. = A few grains of white dust are worth much more than any gold horde. No = wonder people are willing to take risks in the hunt for a quick buck. = While heroin remains illegal and huge profits can be made from the = illegal heroin trade, hundreds of thousands of Australians will continue = to suffer as a consequence of the heroin trade.

Heroin should be legalised tomorrow, the savings to the community and = the resultant reduction in crime would more than compensate for = addressing heroin addiction as a medical problem, not a legal problem. = Enforcement is not the answer, the only answer to the problem is = legalisation. Unless we stop looking at heroin as a legal problem and = make it a medical problem, the current epidemic will continue to grow. = Enforcement has failed, heroin should be legalised and be made available = and controlled via a medical model, not treated as a criminal problem. = Unless we as a society are willing to cut through the hypocrisy = surrounding this issue, we will continue to wake up to ever increasing = numbers of young cold lifeless bodies.

JUSTICE NORTHERN TERRITORY STYLE
RETRIBUTION!! RETRIBUTION!! RETRIBUTION!!

Mandatory sentencing for a number of common offences = commenced in the Northern Territory on the 8 March, 1997. Amendments = introduced into Northern Territory law have made it mandatory for = magistrates and judges to jail people for a number of common offences. = Stealing, criminal damage, unlawful use of a motor vehicle and unlawful = entry of a building all now attract mandatory sentences. Anybody = convicted of such an offence will be jailed for 14 days for a first = offence, 90 days for a second offence, and one year for a third or = subsequent offence. The government is so intent on creating a climate of = fear they have also passed legislation that will force magistrates and = judges to sentence 15 and 16 year olds to 28 days detention for a second = offence.

Some of the people that have been caught up in the police dragnet = include a 23 year old Aboriginal single mother with no previous record, = who stole a can of beer and a 17 year old youth who was caught stealing = coins from an unlocked car to buy a loaf of bread. The governments = mandatory sentencing laws will ultimately backfire on them. Filling the = jails with people who commit nuisance crimes will create an embittered = sub-culture that will seek revenge against the society that put them in = jail. Any government that thinks mandatory sentencing for common crimes = is going to decrease crime has been reading too many American detective = stories.

Considering the Federal government passed legislation to override the = Northern Territories euthanasia laws you'd think that this country's = Federal politicians would push legislation to override these laws. No = not our Federal mates, not a whimper from any of them about the = injustice of a justice system that removes discretion in sentencing from = the hands of a magistrate or judge. Federal politicians don't have to go = far to find legal grounds to challenge this unhealthy legislation. = Mandatory sentencing of 15 and 16 year olds contravenes the Convention = of the rights of children. This casts an obligation on the Federal = government to review any territory legislation that contravenes the = Convention of the Rights of children. Knowing our Federal politicians = don't hold your breath waiting for something to happen.

AGE GIFT WRAPPED FOR KENNETT

Everybody knows that Packer and the fruits of his loins = James have been manoeuvring for some time to take over John Fairfax = Holdings Ltd. The Melbourne Age is the tarnished jewel in the crown of = the Fairfax empire. The Age is tarnished because Jeffrey (Glib) Kennett = finds the Age's criticism of his government offensive. It's common = knowledge in Melbourne that the Kennett regime has been directing = revenue away from the Age into the coffers of the Herald Sun.

In an extraordinary move, Steve Harris, the Editor in Chief of the = Kennett friendly newspaper Murdoch's Herald Sun has been appointed = publisher and Editor in Chief of the Age. Everybody knows that the = current Editor of the Age, Bruce Guthrie, has been a thorn in the side = of the Kennett regime. The Fairfax board believes that it can maximise = the Fairfax's paper sale value if they can engineer a truce between the = Kennett regime and the Age.

In an attempt to appease Kennett, they have appointed Harris, the Editor = of the Herald Sun, a Kennett friendly mouthpiece, to head the Age. By = gift wrapping the Age for the Kennett regime, they hope to maximise = profits and win back some of those Victorian government contracts they = have lost. If Guthrie does not resign in the next few weeks, our sources = within the Age have told us that he will be sidelined into a dead end = job.

It will be interesting to see if the Age becomes another Kennett regime = mouthpiece in the next three months. If it does, there will be no = mainstream newspaper left in Victoria that won't act as a mouthpiece for = Kennett and his regime.

THEY'RE AT IT AGAIN

You've got to hand it to the Queensland National Party, = when they're in power they like to use the courts, the police and the = government bureaucracy to push their barrow. Well it looks like the = Borbidge Queensland National Party has taken a few leaves out of Bjelke = Petersen's manual of political intrigue. In an attempt to cripple the = Queensland Criminal Justice Commission, they set up the Connolly, Ryan = inquiry into the Criminal Justice Commission.

Imagine the Borbidge governments surprise when the Queensland Supreme = Court handed down a decision on Tuesday that blew the Connolly Ryan = attempt to investigate the C.J.C. right out of the water. In a = courageous decision the Queensland Supreme Court found that former = Queensland Supremo Court Judges, Connolly and Ryan were biased and would = not be able to hand down an impartial decision on the C.J.C. Denver = Beanland (The Queensland Attorney General) and Premier Borbidge have = been embarrassed by the Supreme Courts decision.

The National party is beginning to find out that unlike the Bjelke = Petersen era, it doesn't own the entire police force and justice system. = There are elements within the judiciary and possibly the Queensland = Police Force that are willing to take on the government to prevent the = stench of political and personal corruption that was such an integral = element of the Bjelke Petersen government becoming the central feature = of the Borbidge government.

Whether the Borbidge National Party government can survive this attack = on its ever diminishing integrity remains to be seen. Either way the = Queensland National/Liberal party Coalition government is in for a = torrid few months. Watch this space for further developments.

REVEALED AT LAST

One of the world's best kept secrets was revealed on Wednesday. The same = government that supports and bank rolls the feudal government in Saudi = Arabia is also bank rolling the Muslim Fundamentalist Taliban in what's = left of Afghanistan. The appearance of the Taliban on the world's stage = almost three years ago was portrayed as the rise of an indigenous = Afghanistan political movement that was trying to unite Afghanistan.
During the last two years, the Taliban came within an ace of overrunning = Afghanistan. It's only recently become public knowledge that this brutal = Muslim Fundamentalist regime has been supported by the Pakistan = government. What's even more surprising is that the United States = government has channelled funds, equipment and advisers into Afghanistan = to bank roll the Taliban. No wonder the United States government was one = of the few governments that toyed with the idea of recognising the = Taliban government when they overran Kabul a few months ago.

Now that the Taliban's fortunes are changing it's becoming increasingly = obvious that it's advances have been supported by Pakistan and bank = rolled by the United States. No wonder the Iranian government has been = so hostile to its Muslim brothers success in Afghanistan. Unfortunately = the only losers in this sad little civil war have been the people of = Afghanistan.

ANARCHIST QUESTION AND ANSWER

Q. Would cities disappear in an anarchist society.

A.
Yes and no. Cities today are a collection of dependent and = interdependent highly centralised units. People flock to cities for = work, social and cultural reasons. Many people who live in cities would = like to live somewhere else, others wouldn't live anywhere else. Over = the past few decades a number of developments have occurred that could = spell the end of cities as we know them.

Rapidly increasing populations make it highly unlikely that cities will = disappear, but peoples' desire for an independent lifestyle coupled with = ever increasing scarcity of renewable resources makes it likely that = cities will change radically. Autonomous housing units that satisfy = peoples physical needs by using renewable energy sources will form the = foundation of cities in an anarchist society. People will no longer need = to live in cities to obtain access to water, drainage systems, gas and = electricity. This will allow smaller decentralised autonomous = communities to be established all over the planet.

Recent technological changes telephones, faxes and the internet allows = people to have almost instantaneous communication with anybody else in = the world. People no longer need to live in cities to communicate. As = long as you have access to an energy source you can live anywhere and = you can communicate with anybody you like in real time. Although many = people say they live in cities for cultural and sporting reasons most = are just observers. Most people don't experience or participate in = cultural or sporting events.

Smaller decentralised communities will most likely foster a sense of = community that will encourage people to become participants not just = observers. Those cities that exist in an anarchist society will consist = of self governing units that will rely on renewable energy sources to = satisfy human needs and facilitate communication. The division between = work and leisure would break down in such a community and although some = large production sites would continue to exist work sites would most = likely become decentralised allowing different communities to = concentrate on becoming self sufficient. The responsibility for = producing those goods that still need to be produced in traditional = factory settings would be shared among all the communities that need to = produce these goods. Labour, resources and the technological skills that = are needed to support such industries would be supplied by all those = communities that need the goods.

Population pressures, not production, energy sources, or social or = cultural reasons is the reason why cities (albeit very different from = the ones we live in today) will continue to exist in an anarchist = society.

ACTION BOX
Anarchist Superannuation Funds.

Whether we like it or not, whether we're self-employed or wage earners = we all have to pay superannuation contributions. Wage earners = contributions are paid by employers, self-employed people pay their own = contributions. Just in case you think that the money paid into your = superannuation fund is the employers money, think again. The = contributions made by employers to wage earners superannuation funds are = trade offs for minimal pay increases and workplace peace.

Billions of dollars of workers superannuation funds are being = "invested" in the very organisations that support capitalism = and exploit workers. One third of world wide stock market investments = come from workers superannuation payments. All this extra capital that's = floating around is being used to exploit not support workers. Why should = we continue to put all our superannuation funds in organisations that = exploit us?

Recent changes to Australia's superannuation laws make it possible for = superannuation funds to be setup by anarchists. At last Thursdays = Anarchist Media Institute public discussion meeting in Melbourne on = Anarchist Economics participants of the meeting decided to explore the = possibility of setting up anarchist superannuation funds. A number of = people will be reporting back at the Anarchist Media Institute public = discussion meeting at the end of October, to report on the feasibility = of setting up an Anarchist superannuation fund.

Sentiments ran very strongly in favour of anarchists diverting a small = percentage of their superannuation payments to such a fund. The capital = raised by such an enterprise could be used to purchase land and = buildings for fund members to live in when they retired. Capital could = be used to fund other anarchist projects. These projects would then = repay the superannuation fund. Setting up a superannuation fund is a = serious proposition. If we are able to setup such a fund we will be = calling for 100 members to initially put $100 each into the fund. They = would then make regular weekly contributions to the fund. Think about it = anarchist superannuation funds could be used to provide collective = security for a members old age. Over the next few months we will keep = readers informed of any new developments.


AUSTRALIAN ANARCHIST HISTORY
MEDIA INDUCED HYSTERIA

As W.W.I drew to a close, the United States government = embarked on an anti-anarchist anti I.W.W. campaign that saw thousands of = immigrant anarchists and I.W.W. members deported from the United States. = The pretext that was used to justify this anti-radical hysteria was the = discovery of a plot by anarchists and the I.W.W. to deliver the = governments of the United States, Australia and New Zealand to the = Bolsheviks in Russia.

Newspapers across the United States reported that the government had = uncovered an I.W.W. plot to destroy the United States, Australia and New = Zealand. It seemed that United States investigators had uncovered a = conspiracy to blow up simultaneously all the ports in the United States, = Australia and New Zealand. They claimed the I.W.W. was going to sink, = beach or hand over to the new Bolshevik government in Russia every ship = in the Pacific.
The newspaper induced hysteria was used as a screen to hound, arrest and = deport thousands of immigrants whose only crime was they were suspected = of being members or associates of the I.W.W. or anarchist groups. The = story grew legs and the San Francisco chronicle reported on the 27 = November, 1918 that the plot had been stymied and that thousands of = I.W.W. members had gone to Seattle, jumped onto ships going to Sydney to = join thousands of their comrades who had already mutinied, sunk ships = and murdered their officers. Fortunately, the Sydney police had been = warned of this invasion and they frustrated the I.W.W.'s attempts to = deliver Australia into the hands of the Bolsheviks. This story is an = excellent example of how the complete fabrication of news is one of the = methods that was used and is still used to destroy radical political = movements. The media induced hysteria that followed the arrival of = Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin to this country is a classical example of the = corporate dominated media can be used to prepare people for government = action against radicals. The Nazis well oiled propaganda machine was not = something that appeared out of nowhere. It was a logical extension of = the tactics that had been used by the corporate media to destroy the = I.W.W. and the anarchist movement.

Although the I.W.W. plot to blow up every port in the United States, = Australia and New Zealand was complete fiction, it had the desired = effect. The government, both in Australia and the United States was able = to use the media induced hysteria to arrest and deport thousands of = immigrants (many who had lived in their adopted countries for decades) = whose only "crime" was their desire to create and live in a = more egalitarian community.

BOOK REVIEW
THE AUTONOMOUS HOUSE
by Brenda and Robert Vale
(Design and Planning for Self-Sufficiency)

The autonomous house is not linked to mains gas, water, = electricity or drainage. It operates independently of centralised energy = sources and uses the sun, wind and rain. Brenda and Robert Vale put = forward the proposition that houses within cities are like small = children who are dependent on parents or carers, they are tied by an = umbilical cord to centralised energy sources and could not survive = without the city. An autonomous house is an independent house which can = not only survive but grow and prosper within or outside the city.

Autonomous housing not only promotes independence and decentralisation, = it uses renewable energy sources. It could provide a very real solution = to the greenhouse effect and it also protects scarce non-renewable = resources. In 220 pages Brenda and Robert explore how you can build an = autonomous house. This is not just a theoretical book, it's a practical = guide on how to build such a house. They explore how you can derive = power from the sun, how to harness the wind, and build heat pumps. A = chapter is devoted to how you can recycle waste and another chapter = explores how you can collect rain water and overcome the problem of a = limited water supply. The last two chapters of the book explore how to = make and acquire batteries and fuel cells and store heat.

The book's appendix outlines plans for an autonomous house and Brenda = and Robert have pages of references for readers who want to explore the = ideas they have raised further. Interestingly this book was first = published in 1975. Over twenty years later little effort has gone into = producing autonomous houses. Cities grow like topsy, renewable energy = sources are being used as if there is no tomorrow and as communities and = a society we are drowning in our own waste.

Everybody should read this book, not just people who want to build an = autonomous house. This book has some excellent no nonsense advice on how = cities can be decentralised and offers practical ammunition for any = anarchist who is involved in a debate on the role of the city in an = anarchist society. Just reading this book gives an individual hope that = we can overcome the environmental problems that we are faced with today. = Even more importantly it may even tempt some of us to seriously explore = the possibility of building an autonomous house.

The Autonomous House - design and planning for self-sufficiency by = Brenda and Robert Vale, published by Thames and Hudson Ltd 1975. 30 = Bloomsbury St. London WCIB 3QP ISBN 0500930015.


PERSONAL OBSERVATION

Saturday morning, people rushing round to finish their = shopping, take the kids to sport or just hanging out waiting to veg in = front of the idiot box. Coles supermarket dwarfs the strip shopping = centre, people stream through its doors, hoping to get the shopping done = in one go. Cash registers ringing, efptos machines swiping, trolleys = laden with manufactured goodies, masquerading as edible food.

As I made my way down the street, lugging bags full of soft drink = bottles, I noticed them. Dad, mum and the mandatory two kiddies. They = were setting up outside Coles. Dad was about 40, he'd seen better days, = his matted hair fell over his face and shoulders. He had a good old = fashioned guitar in his hands, which he was trying to tune (ever tried = to tune a guitar on the footpath of a busy shopping strip, pedestrians = bumping into you as you try to find those elusive chords, I don't = recommend it). The two kids, about 3 and 5, dressed in clothes that had = spent the best part of their lives in opportunity shops, sheltered = behind their father.

Mum looked dazed, tired, small, harassed, she was fiddling with the = handle of a small shopping trolley, arranged braid and ribbon to sell. = She turned to one of the little girls that was squeezed between her and = her man, and slid a small piece of cardboard through her hair, looking = for a clump to braid. The little girl had done this many times before, = while other children played sport, watched television or went to church, = she helped her parents make a buck. Mum finally found a suitable strand = of hair and began to braid it, hoping some other little girl would beg = her mother to stop and have the woman braid her hair. Their two year old = squatted against the wall, trying to make sense of the crowd that was = oblivious of their existence.

Dad finally began strumming the guitar. He had a powerful voice, his = crumpled clothes failing to cover his body. The little girl stood there, = having strand after strand of hair braided. People walked past, most = didn't notice, some gave them a wide berth, no one put a coin in the = forlorn cap on the ground. It was obvious they had done this before, if = they were discouraged, they didn't show it. When I passed them an hour = later, they were still there, a few coins in the cap, their bodies on = the pavement, their souls somewhere else.




STOP PRESS
HANSON HYSTERIA

Twenty thousand Melbourne "preppies" turned out to see Zachery = 11, Taylor 14, and Isaac 16, three brothers who have made it big on the = American music charts. Children cried, screamed and fainted as these = post modern heart throbs gave a thirty minute promotional concert in the = Southland Shopping centre carpark in Cheltenham, Melbourne. Some = children camped out for more than 24 hours in a damp, cold carpark = waiting to see and hear their heroes.

The Hanson brothers, a marketing induced phenomen rose to prominence in = May this year with their hit MMMBop. This song is a post modern anthem. = It's a series of words, that are devoid of any meaning, but I'm reliably = told great to bop to. No wonder the mean age of the girls who swarmed = round the stage was twelve. 140,000 records sold in Australia in less = than three months, tens of thousands of adoring fans, what can you = say?

As Isaac strummed an acoustic guitar, Taylor banged a tambourine and = little Zac shook his maracas, they launched into Madeline, followed it = with The Man from Milwaukee and ended their promotional tour with their = hit MMMBop. Mass hysteria is nothing new, anybody who's seen footage of = the Nuremburg rallies or the Chinese Cultural Revolution would have seen = the same expressions of mass hysteria they saw in the Hanson = audience.

Post modern mass hysteria is the same but different. It's packaged, = controlled and promoted by people whose only interest is profit. Success = is measured in terms of records sold and profits made. Vertical = integration of media empires allows one corporation to create, package = and use mass hysteria to sell commodities. Today the Hanson's, tomorrow = another fad. As long as they can sell records, jeans, posters or = t-shirts they're considered to be successful. Once sales fall off, a new = product is created, packaged and marketed.

Joseph Toscano/Libertarian Workers for a Self-Managed Society


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<BR>

</CENTER><B>Number 261<BR>

4th - 10th August, 1997<BR>

</B><CENTER><FONT = SIZE=3D"3"><BR>

</CENTER><BR>

<B><U><CENTER>THREDBO - A TRIUMPH FOR = <BR>

MUTUAL AID<BR>

</CENTER></U></B>The continuing rescue efforts = surrounding=20 the Thredbo disaster are a triumph for collective action and mutual aid. = If we=20 ignore the banal, inane and exploitative nature of most of the media = coverage,=20 we can't help noticing that the Thredbo rescue attempt is being = conducted in a=20 spirit of mutual aid and by collective action.<BR>

<BR>

The rescue of Mr Diver, who was pinned beneath tons of concrete for = over=20 sixty hours, can be directly linked to the collective nature of the = rescue=20 attempts. Planning, co-ordination, individual sacrifice and team effort, = all=20 combined to ensure Mr Diver's survival. If there's one lesson we can = learn from=20 the rescue attempt, it's that co-operation and mutual aid will always = triumph=20 over competition and selfishness.<BR>

<BR>

Thredbo is a dramatic reminder to all of us of the failure of = competitive=20 ideology. All around us we are being asked to compete and look after = ourselves.=20 All around us we see the consequences of competitive behaviour, failure, = poverty, unemployment and an increasing gap between the haves and the = have nots=20 in our society. It's interesting to note how few, if anyone. in the = media=20 fraternity has stumbled onto the fact that co-operation, not competition = has=20 been the driving force behind the Thredbo rescue attempt.<BR>

<BR>

If this countries leaders had the intelligence to see what was going = on=20 before their very eyes, maybe we wouldn't be in the mess we are in = today. Almost=20 every Australian has seen footage of the rescue attempt. I wonder how = many of=20 them realise that what they are seeing is collective effort and mutual = aid in=20 action. Whenever people are faced with a disaster, they embrace = collective=20 behaviour, because they realise that collective effort is necessary to = make the=20 best out of a bad situation. For every profiteer there are hundreds of = people=20 who willingly throw themselves in the rescue effort.<BR>

<BR>

Let's use the Thredbo rescue attempt as an example of what we can do = as=20 individuals and a community. When we co-operate with each other and = assist each=20 other the chances of overcoming our problems are much better than when = we=20 compete against each other. Those people directly involved in the rescue = attempt=20 will remember the power of collective action for the rest of their = lives, let's=20 hope all those of us who are mere spectators to these events will = remember the=20 power of collective action and mutual aid long after the rescue effort = is=20 finished.<BR>

<B><U><CENTER><BR>

MASS MURDER<BR>

<BR>

</CENTER></U></B>Cold stiff bodies, slumped over = colder=20 concrete greet the morning sun. Unconscious forms deserted by their = friends,=20 slowly stop breathing. Youngsters being resuscitated by a shot of = narcan, these=20 are the all too frequent images that greet police and paramedics. This = country=20 is in the grip of a war, it's in the grip of a war that's being fought = by law=20 enforcement agencies against a culture that prizes instant=20 oblivion.<BR>

<BR>

Heroin is a problem that effects all of us, not just users seeking = oblivion=20 in some deserted shooting gallery. We are all victims, whether we know = someone=20 who has died from a heroin overdose or not doesn't matter. We are all = victims,=20 each of us can be robbed, each of us can become victims of a corrupt = police=20 force that feeds on heroin induced misery.<BR>

<BR>

The facts are there for all of us to see, accidental heroin overdoses = have=20 increased by over 800% in the last decade. Huge unheard of profits are = being=20 made by foot soldiers, distributors, and importers of heroin. A few = grains of=20 white dust are worth much more than any gold horde. No wonder people are = willing=20 to take risks in the hunt for a quick buck. While heroin remains illegal = and=20 huge profits can be made from the illegal heroin trade, hundreds of = thousands of=20 Australians will continue to suffer as a consequence of the heroin=20 trade.<BR>

<BR>

Heroin should be legalised tomorrow, the savings to the community and = the=20 resultant reduction in crime would more than compensate for addressing = heroin=20 addiction as a medical problem, not a legal problem. Enforcement is not = the=20 answer, the only answer to the problem is legalisation. Unless we stop = looking=20 at heroin as a legal problem and make it a medical problem, the current = epidemic=20 will continue to grow. Enforcement has failed, heroin should be = legalised and be=20 made available and controlled via a medical model, not treated as a = criminal=20 problem. Unless we as a society are willing to cut through the hypocrisy = surrounding this issue, we will continue to wake up to ever increasing = numbers=20 of young cold lifeless bodies.<BR>

<BR>

<B><U><CENTER>JUSTICE NORTHERN TERRITORY=20 STYLE<BR>

RETRIBUTION!! RETRIBUTION!! RETRIBUTION!!<BR>

<BR>

</CENTER></U></B>Mandatory sentencing for a number = of=20 common offences commenced in the Northern Territory on the 8 March, = 1997.=20 Amendments introduced into Northern Territory law have made it mandatory = for=20 magistrates and judges to jail people for a number of common offences. = Stealing,=20 criminal damage, unlawful use of a motor vehicle and unlawful entry of a = building all now attract mandatory sentences. Anybody convicted of such = an=20 offence will be jailed for 14 days for a first offence, 90 days for a = second=20 offence, and one year for a third or subsequent offence. The government = is so=20 intent on creating a climate of fear they have also passed legislation = that will=20 force magistrates and judges to sentence 15 and 16 year olds to 28 days=20 detention for a second offence.<BR>

<BR>

Some of the people that have been caught up in the police dragnet = include a=20 23 year old Aboriginal single mother with no previous record, who stole = a can of=20 beer and a 17 year old youth who was caught stealing coins from an = unlocked car=20 to buy a loaf of bread. The governments mandatory sentencing laws will=20 ultimately backfire on them. Filling the jails with people who commit = nuisance=20 crimes will create an embittered sub-culture that will seek revenge = against the=20 society that put them in jail. Any government that thinks mandatory = sentencing=20 for common crimes is going to decrease crime has been reading too many = American=20 detective stories.<BR>

<BR>

Considering the Federal government passed legislation to override the = Northern Territories euthanasia laws you'd think that this country's = Federal=20 politicians would push legislation to override these laws. No not our = Federal=20 mates, not a whimper from any of them about the injustice of a justice = system=20 that removes discretion in sentencing from the hands of a magistrate or = judge.=20 Federal politicians don't have to go far to find legal grounds to = challenge this=20 unhealthy legislation. Mandatory sentencing of 15 and 16 year olds = contravenes=20 the Convention of the rights of children. This casts an obligation on = the=20 Federal government to review any territory legislation that contravenes = the=20 Convention of the Rights of children. Knowing our Federal politicians = don't hold=20 your breath waiting for something to happen.<BR>

<BR>

<B><U><CENTER>AGE GIFT WRAPPED FOR = KENNETT<BR>

<BR>

</CENTER></U></B>Everybody knows that Packer and = the fruits=20 of his loins James have been manoeuvring for some time to take over John = Fairfax=20 Holdings Ltd. The Melbourne Age is the tarnished jewel in the crown of = the=20 Fairfax empire. The Age is tarnished because Jeffrey (Glib) Kennett = finds the=20 Age's criticism of his government offensive. It's common knowledge in = Melbourne=20 that the Kennett regime has been directing revenue away from the Age = into the=20 coffers of the Herald Sun.<BR>

<BR>

In an extraordinary move, Steve Harris, the Editor in Chief of the = Kennett=20 friendly newspaper Murdoch's Herald Sun has been appointed publisher and = Editor=20 in Chief of the Age. Everybody knows that the current Editor of the Age, = Bruce=20 Guthrie, has been a thorn in the side of the Kennett regime. The Fairfax = board=20 believes that it can maximise the Fairfax's paper sale value if they can = engineer a truce between the Kennett regime and the Age.<BR>

<BR>

In an attempt to appease Kennett, they have appointed Harris, the = Editor of=20 the Herald Sun, a Kennett friendly mouthpiece, to head the Age. By gift = wrapping=20 the Age for the Kennett regime, they hope to maximise profits and win = back some=20 of those Victorian government contracts they have lost. If Guthrie does = not=20 resign in the next few weeks, our sources within the Age have told us = that he=20 will be sidelined into a dead end job.<BR>

<BR>

It will be interesting to see if the Age becomes another Kennett = regime=20 mouthpiece in the next three months. If it does, there will be no = mainstream=20 newspaper left in Victoria that won't act as a mouthpiece for Kennett = and his=20 regime.<BR>

<B><U><CENTER><BR>

THEY'RE AT IT AGAIN<BR>

<BR>

</CENTER></U></B>You've got to hand it to the = Queensland=20 National Party, when they're in power they like to use the courts, the = police=20 and the government bureaucracy to push their barrow. Well it looks like = the=20 Borbidge Queensland National Party has taken a few leaves out of Bjelke=20 Petersen's manual of political intrigue. In an attempt to cripple the = Queensland=20 Criminal Justice Commission, they set up the Connolly, Ryan inquiry into = the=20 Criminal Justice Commission.<BR>

<BR>

Imagine the Borbidge governments surprise when the Queensland Supreme = Court=20 handed down a decision on Tuesday that blew the Connolly Ryan attempt to = investigate the C.J.C. right out of the water. In a courageous decision = the=20 Queensland Supreme Court found that former Queensland Supremo Court = Judges,=20 Connolly and Ryan were biased and would not be able to hand down an = impartial=20 decision on the C.J.C. Denver Beanland (The Queensland Attorney General) = and=20 Premier Borbidge have been embarrassed by the Supreme Courts=20 decision.<BR>

<BR>

The National party is beginning to find out that unlike the Bjelke = Petersen=20 era, it doesn't own the entire police force and justice system. There = are=20 elements within the judiciary and possibly the Queensland Police Force = that are=20 willing to take on the government to prevent the stench of political and = personal corruption that was such an integral element of the Bjelke = Petersen=20 government becoming the central feature of the Borbidge=20 government.<BR>

<BR>

Whether the Borbidge National Party government can survive this = attack on its=20 ever diminishing integrity remains to be seen. Either way the Queensland = National/Liberal party Coalition government is in for a torrid few = months. Watch=20 this space for further developments.<BR>

<B><U><CENTER><BR>

REVEALED AT LAST<BR>

</CENTER></U></B><BR>

One of the world's best kept secrets was revealed on Wednesday. The = same=20 government that supports and bank rolls the feudal government in Saudi = Arabia is=20 also bank rolling the Muslim Fundamentalist Taliban in what's left of=20 Afghanistan. The appearance of the Taliban on the world's stage almost = three=20 years ago was portrayed as the rise of an indigenous Afghanistan = political=20 movement that was trying to unite Afghanistan.<BR>

During the last two years, the Taliban came within an ace of = overrunning=20 Afghanistan. It's only recently become public knowledge that this brutal = Muslim=20 Fundamentalist regime has been supported by the Pakistan government. = What's even=20 more surprising is that the United States government has channelled = funds,=20 equipment and advisers into Afghanistan to bank roll the Taliban. No = wonder the=20 United States government was one of the few governments that toyed with = the idea=20 of recognising the Taliban government when they overran Kabul a few = months=20 ago.<BR>

<BR>

Now that the Taliban's fortunes are changing it's becoming = increasingly=20 obvious that it's advances have been supported by Pakistan and bank = rolled by=20 the United States. No wonder the Iranian government has been so hostile = to its=20 Muslim brothers success in Afghanistan. Unfortunately the only losers in = this=20 sad little civil war have been the people of Afghanistan.<BR>

<BR>

<B><U><CENTER>ANARCHIST QUESTION AND = ANSWER<BR>

<BR>

</CENTER></U>Q. Would cities disappear in an anarchist=20 society.<BR>

<BR>

A.</B> Yes and no. Cities today are a collection of dependent = and=20 interdependent highly centralised units. People flock to cities for = work, social=20 and cultural reasons. Many people who live in cities would like to live=20 somewhere else, others wouldn't live anywhere else. Over the past few = decades a=20 number of developments have occurred that could spell the end of cities = as we=20 know them.<BR>

<BR>

Rapidly increasing populations make it highly unlikely that cities = will=20 disappear, but peoples' desire for an independent lifestyle coupled with = ever=20 increasing scarcity of renewable resources makes it likely that cities = will=20 change radically. Autonomous housing units that satisfy peoples physical = needs=20 by using renewable energy sources will form the foundation of cities in = an=20 anarchist society. People will no longer need to live in cities to = obtain access=20 to water, drainage systems, gas and electricity. This will allow smaller = decentralised autonomous communities to be established all over the=20 planet.<BR>

<BR>

Recent technological changes telephones, faxes and the internet = allows people=20 to have almost instantaneous communication with anybody else in the = world.=20 People no longer need to live in cities to communicate. As long as you = have=20 access to an energy source you can live anywhere and you can communicate = with=20 anybody you like in real time. Although many people say they live in = cities for=20 cultural and sporting reasons most are just observers. Most people don't = experience or participate in cultural or sporting events.<BR>

<BR>

Smaller decentralised communities will most likely foster a sense of=20 community that will encourage people to become participants not just = observers.=20 Those cities that exist in an anarchist society will consist of self = governing=20 units that will rely on renewable energy sources to satisfy human needs = and=20 facilitate communication. The division between work and leisure would = break down=20 in such a community and although some large production sites would = continue to=20 exist work sites would most likely become decentralised allowing = different=20 communities to concentrate on becoming self sufficient. The = responsibility for=20 producing those goods that still need to be produced in traditional = factory=20 settings would be shared among all the communities that need to produce = these=20 goods. Labour, resources and the technological skills that are needed to = support=20 such industries would be supplied by all those communities that need the = goods.<BR>

<BR>

Population pressures, not production, energy sources, or social or = cultural=20 reasons is the reason why cities (albeit very different from the ones we = live in=20 today) will continue to exist in an anarchist society.<BR>

<B><U><CENTER><BR>

ACTION BOX<BR>

Anarchist Superannuation Funds.<BR>

</CENTER></U></B><BR>

Whether we like it or not, whether we're self-employed or wage = earners we all=20 have to pay superannuation contributions. Wage earners contributions are = paid by=20 employers, self-employed people pay their own contributions. Just in = case you=20 think that the money paid into your superannuation fund is the employers = money,=20 think again. The contributions made by employers to wage earners = superannuation=20 funds are trade offs for minimal pay increases and workplace=20 peace.<BR>

<BR>

Billions of dollars of workers superannuation funds are being=20 &quot;invested&quot; in the very organisations that support = capitalism=20 and exploit workers. One third of world wide stock market investments = come from=20 workers superannuation payments. All this extra capital that's floating = around=20 is being used to exploit not support workers. Why should we continue to = put all=20 our superannuation funds in organisations that exploit us?<BR>

<BR>

Recent changes to Australia's superannuation laws make it possible = for=20 superannuation funds to be setup by anarchists. At last Thursdays = Anarchist=20 Media Institute public discussion meeting in Melbourne on Anarchist = Economics=20 participants of the meeting decided to explore the possibility of = setting up=20 anarchist superannuation funds. A number of people will be reporting = back at the=20 Anarchist Media Institute public discussion meeting at the end of = October, to=20 report on the feasibility of setting up an Anarchist superannuation=20 fund.<BR>

<BR>

Sentiments ran very strongly in favour of anarchists diverting a = small=20 percentage of their superannuation payments to such a fund. The capital = raised=20 by such an enterprise could be used to purchase land and buildings for = fund=20 members to live in when they retired. Capital could be used to fund = other=20 anarchist projects. These projects would then repay the superannuation = fund.=20 Setting up a superannuation fund is a serious proposition. If we are = able to=20 setup such a fund we will be calling for 100 members to initially put = $100 each=20 into the fund. They would then make regular weekly contributions to the = fund.=20 Think about it anarchist superannuation funds could be used to provide=20 collective security for a members old age. Over the next few months we = will keep=20 readers informed of any new developments.<BR>

<BR>

<B><U><CENTER><BR>

AUSTRALIAN ANARCHIST HISTORY<BR>

MEDIA INDUCED HYSTERIA<BR>

<BR>

</CENTER></U></B>As W.W.I drew to a close, the = United=20 States government embarked on an anti-anarchist anti I.W.W. campaign = that saw=20 thousands of immigrant anarchists and I.W.W. members deported from the = United=20 States. The pretext that was used to justify this anti-radical hysteria = was the=20 discovery of a plot by anarchists and the I.W.W. to deliver the = governments of=20 the United States, Australia and New Zealand to the Bolsheviks in=20 Russia.<BR>

<BR>

Newspapers across the United States reported that the government had=20 uncovered an I.W.W. plot to destroy the United States, Australia and New = Zealand. It seemed that United States investigators had uncovered a = conspiracy=20 to blow up simultaneously all the ports in the United States, Australia = and New=20 Zealand. They claimed the I.W.W. was going to sink, beach or hand over = to the=20 new Bolshevik government in Russia every ship in the = Pacific.<BR>

The newspaper induced hysteria was used as a screen to hound, arrest = and=20 deport thousands of immigrants whose only crime was they were suspected = of being=20 members or associates of the I.W.W. or anarchist groups. The story grew = legs and=20 the San Francisco chronicle reported on the 27 November, 1918 that the = plot had=20 been stymied and that thousands of I.W.W. members had gone to Seattle, = jumped=20 onto ships going to Sydney to join thousands of their comrades who had = already=20 mutinied, sunk ships and murdered their officers. Fortunately, the = Sydney police=20 had been warned of this invasion and they frustrated the I.W.W.'s = attempts to=20 deliver Australia into the hands of the Bolsheviks. This story is an = excellent=20 example of how the complete fabrication of news is one of the methods = that was=20 used and is still used to destroy radical political movements. The media = induced=20 hysteria that followed the arrival of Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin to this = country is a=20 classical example of the corporate dominated media can be used to = prepare people=20 for government action against radicals. The Nazis well oiled propaganda = machine=20 was not something that appeared out of nowhere. It was a logical = extension of=20 the tactics that had been used by the corporate media to destroy the = I.W.W. and=20 the anarchist movement.<BR>

<BR>

Although the I.W.W. plot to blow up every port in the United States,=20 Australia and New Zealand was complete fiction, it had the desired = effect. The=20 government, both in Australia and the United States was able to use the = media=20 induced hysteria to arrest and deport thousands of immigrants (many who = had=20 lived in their adopted countries for decades) whose only=20 &quot;crime&quot; was their desire to create and live in a more=20 egalitarian community.<BR>

<B><U><CENTER><BR>

BOOK REVIEW<BR>

THE AUTONOMOUS HOUSE<BR>

by Brenda and Robert Vale<BR>

(Design and Planning for Self-Sufficiency)<BR>

<BR>

</CENTER></U></B>The autonomous house is not linked = to=20 mains gas, water, electricity or drainage. It operates independently of=20 centralised energy sources and uses the sun, wind and rain. Brenda and = Robert=20 Vale put forward the proposition that houses within cities are like = small=20 children who are dependent on parents or carers, they are tied by an = umbilical=20 cord to centralised energy sources and could not survive without the = city. An=20 autonomous house is an independent house which can not only survive but = grow and=20 prosper within or outside the city.<BR>

<BR>

Autonomous housing not only promotes independence and = decentralisation, it=20 uses renewable energy sources. It could provide a very real solution to = the=20 greenhouse effect and it also protects scarce non-renewable resources. = In 220=20 pages Brenda and Robert explore how you can build an autonomous house. = This is=20 not just a theoretical book, it's a practical guide on how to build such = a=20 house. They explore how you can derive power from the sun, how to = harness the=20 wind, and build heat pumps. A chapter is devoted to how you can recycle = waste=20 and another chapter explores how you can collect rain water and overcome = the=20 problem of a limited water supply. The last two chapters of the book = explore how=20 to make and acquire batteries and fuel cells and store = heat.<BR>

<BR>

The book's appendix outlines plans for an autonomous house and Brenda = and=20 Robert have pages of references for readers who want to explore the = ideas they=20 have raised further. Interestingly this book was first published in = 1975. Over=20 twenty years later little effort has gone into producing autonomous = houses.=20 Cities grow like topsy, renewable energy sources are being used as if = there is=20 no tomorrow and as communities and a society we are drowning in our own=20 waste.<BR>

<BR>

Everybody should read this book, not just people who want to build an = autonomous house. This book has some excellent no nonsense advice on how = cities=20 can be decentralised and offers practical ammunition for any anarchist = who is=20 involved in a debate on the role of the city in an anarchist society. = Just=20 reading this book gives an individual hope that we can overcome the=20 environmental problems that we are faced with today. Even more = importantly it=20 may even tempt some of us to seriously explore the possibility of = building an=20 autonomous house.<BR>

<BR>

The Autonomous House - design and planning for self-sufficiency by = Brenda and=20 Robert Vale, published by Thames and Hudson Ltd 1975. 30 Bloomsbury St. = London=20 WCIB 3QP ISBN 0500930015.<BR>

<BR>

<B><U><CENTER><BR>

PERSONAL OBSERVATION<BR>

<BR>

</CENTER></U></B>Saturday morning, people rushing = round to=20 finish their shopping, take the kids to sport or just hanging out = waiting to veg=20 in front of the idiot box. Coles supermarket dwarfs the strip shopping = centre,=20 people stream through its doors, hoping to get the shopping done in one = go. Cash=20 registers ringing, efptos machines swiping, trolleys laden with = manufactured=20 goodies, masquerading as edible food.<BR>

<BR>

As I made my way down the street, lugging bags full of soft drink = bottles, I=20 noticed them. Dad, mum and the mandatory two kiddies. They were setting = up=20 outside Coles. Dad was about 40, he'd seen better days, his matted hair = fell=20 over his face and shoulders. He had a good old fashioned guitar in his = hands,=20 which he was trying to tune (ever tried to tune a guitar on the footpath = of a=20 busy shopping strip, pedestrians bumping into you as you try to find = those=20 elusive chords, I don't recommend it). The two kids, about 3 and 5, = dressed in=20 clothes that had spent the best part of their lives in opportunity = shops,=20 sheltered behind their father.<BR>

<BR>

Mum looked dazed, tired, small, harassed, she was fiddling with the = handle of=20 a small shopping trolley, arranged braid and ribbon to sell. She turned = to one=20 of the little girls that was squeezed between her and her man, and slid = a small=20 piece of cardboard through her hair, looking for a clump to braid. The = little=20 girl had done this many times before, while other children played sport, = watched=20 television or went to church, she helped her parents make a buck. Mum = finally=20 found a suitable strand of hair and began to braid it, hoping some other = little=20 girl would beg her mother to stop and have the woman braid her hair. = Their two=20 year old squatted against the wall, trying to make sense of the crowd = that was=20 oblivious of their existence.<BR>

<BR>

Dad finally began strumming the guitar. He had a powerful voice, his = crumpled=20 clothes failing to cover his body. The little girl stood there, having = strand=20 after strand of hair braided. People walked past, most didn't notice, = some gave=20 them a wide berth, no one put a coin in the forlorn cap on the ground. = It was=20 obvious they had done this before, if they were discouraged, they didn't = show=20 it. When I passed them an hour later, they were still there, a few coins = in the=20 cap, their bodies on the pavement, their souls somewhere = else.<BR>

<B><U><CENTER><BR>

<BR>

<BR>

<BR>

STOP PRESS<BR>

HANSON HYSTERIA<BR>

</CENTER></U></B><BR>

Twenty thousand Melbourne &quot;preppies&quot; turned out to = see=20 Zachery 11, Taylor 14, and Isaac 16, three brothers who have made it big = on the=20 American music charts. Children cried, screamed and fainted as these = post modern=20 heart throbs gave a thirty minute promotional concert in the Southland = Shopping=20 centre carpark in Cheltenham, Melbourne. Some children camped out for = more than=20 24 hours in a damp, cold carpark waiting to see and hear their=20 heroes.<BR>

<BR>

The Hanson brothers, a marketing induced phenomen rose to prominence = in May=20 this year with their hit MMMBop. This song is a post modern anthem. It's = a=20 series of words, that are devoid of any meaning, but I'm reliably told = great to=20 bop to. No wonder the mean age of the girls who swarmed round the stage = was=20 twelve. 140,000 records sold in Australia in less than three months, = tens of=20 thousands of adoring fans, what can you say?<BR>

<BR>

As Isaac strummed an acoustic guitar, Taylor banged a tambourine and = little=20 Zac shook his maracas, they launched into Madeline, followed it with The = Man=20 from Milwaukee and ended their promotional tour with their hit MMMBop. = Mass=20 hysteria is nothing new, anybody who's seen footage of the Nuremburg = rallies or=20 the Chinese Cultural Revolution would have seen the same expressions of = mass=20 hysteria they saw in the Hanson audience.<BR>

<BR>

Post modern mass hysteria is the same but different. It's packaged,=20 controlled and promoted by people whose only interest is profit. Success = is=20 measured in terms of records sold and profits made. Vertical integration = of=20 media empires allows one corporation to create, package and use mass = hysteria to=20 sell commodities. Today the Hanson's, tomorrow another fad. As long as = they can=20 sell records, jeans, posters or t-shirts they're considered to be = successful.=20 Once sales fall off, a new product is created, packaged and=20 marketed.<BR>

<BR>

<B><I>Joseph Toscano/Libertarian Workers for a = Self-Managed=20 Society<BR>

</I></B><CENTER><BR>

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