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(en) Britain, Anarchist Federation bulletin - RESISTANCE #149 March 2013
Sat, 30 Mar 2013 17:50:18 +0300
Contents ---- Something in the Air: Scandals, Sex-pests, Corruption and Cover-ups ----
Hundreds Protest to Support the Halesowen Four ---- Sussex Staff and Students Fight
Privatisation ---- Paisley Lecturers Strike Against Cuts ---- Coming Up: Barnet Spring
Demonstration ---- Free Palfreeman! ---- Toronto Airport Fuels Dissent ---- Prisoner
Support on the Web --- 1. Something in the Air: Scandals, Sex-pests, Corruption and
Cover-ups ---- There’s a stink of corruption hanging in the air. From the recent cover-up
of Clegg and his cronies to disguise the actions of the sexual harasser Lord Rennard, to
the scandals rocking the Catholic Church in Scotland and in the inner Vatican circles and
Vatican Bank we have seen how deeply corrupt the whole system of government, state,
church, big business and the media are.
Almost every day new scandals and cover-ups are revealed. We have seen the phone hacking
and bribing of police and officials by News International journalists. We have seen the
cover-up of the predatory activities of Jimmy Saville and others at the BBC. We have seen
supermarkets scurrying to distance themselves from the horsemeat scandal. We have seen the
Royal Bank of Scotland forced to shell out £390 million over its Libor rate rigging. We
have seen Tesco forced to pay out £6.5 million over rigging of dairy prices. We have seen
the appalling treatment of patients at the Mid-Staffs Hospital (and take it as read that
that is the situation prevailing at other hospitals with 9 more hospital trusts to be
Revelation after revelation is appearing at an accelerated rate. This is an indication of
how unfit for use the present system is. As austerity bites, as the Bedroom Tax attacks
the working class, as benefits for the disabled are under attack, as the beleaguered
health service is eyed up for further privatisation, as the Coalition prepares for the
possibility of further military adventures in Africa and possibly in Syria following the
fiascos in Afghanistan and Iraq, now is the time to consider that a new world is possible:
a world based on equality and solidarity, where the wealth of the world would be shared
out, where there would be no more wars, no more famine, no more exploitation.
Mass actions saw the collapse of regimes in Eastern Europe in recent decades, and more
recently the Arab Spring brought down regimes in Tunisia and Egypt. That struggle is
ongoing, and so are the mobilisations in Western Europe. Surely now here in Britain, we
can start creating movement to sweep away this rotten system, can’t we?
Education Workers in Revolt!
2. Hundreds Protest to Support the Halesowen Four
On Saturday 26th January over 200 people took to the streets of Halesowen to demand the
reinstatement of four members of the Maths department who had been sacked. On a cold day,
with snow on the ground, there was a fantastic array of banners and placards showing how
far people had come to express solidarity with the Halesowen four.
Music and speeches made for a carnival atmosphere as workers, students and members of the
local community assembled outside the gates of Halesowen College.
The reason that these sackings have caught so many peoples’ attention was highlighted in
many of the speeches. Educators realize that if these unprecedented dismissals, based
solely on student outcomes, are allowed to go unchallenged then no teacher is safe. Any
college, school or university can ignore local and national agreements and tear up
contracts because they can apply any arbitrary measure to isolated sets of student
results, ignoring other outcomes that may not suit their purpose, in order to justify
sacking staff. This notion of sacking at will is not only a very real fear in education
but across all areas of working life.
3. Sussex Staff and Students Fight Privatisation
Following a demonstration of over 300 staff and students in opposition to the
privatisation of services at Sussex University; a large group of people occupied the
university conference centre on February 12th.
In May 2012, the University announced its unilateral decision to sell off most services
provided on campus, over 10% of its workforce, to private investors. This announcement
came with no student consultation, and next to no consultation with the 235 workers
concerned. Since then, management has failed to offer any more than a series of
“negotiations” and piecemeal Q&A sessions, only after repeated requests by students and
staff, and the conclusions of which it repeatedly proceeded to ignore.
The workers and students demand:
A complete halting of the ongoing bidding process and end to the entire privatization
program, effective immediately.
A commission of students, staff and lecturers to be formed. With full remit to re-evaluate
procedures and channels for holding management accountable as well as reviewing and
extending student and workers’ say in these decisions.
An end to the intimidation that senior and middle management have used to deter students
and workers for airing and acting on their concerns.
4. Paisley Lecturers Strike Against Cuts
Over 200 lecturers at Reid Kerr College, Paisley, started a series of rolling strikes on
The lecturers are fighting attacks on their wages and conditions. Around 40 pickets
covered the four college gates on a freezing cold day. Reid Kerr, like all FE colleges in
Scotland, faces massive attacks. The Scottish government wants another £30 million worth
of cuts this year by merging colleges. Reid Kerr is to be merged with James Watt and
Clydebank colleges. Workers at both these colleges supported the Reid Kerr strike.
Strikers plan a further strike for two days for each of the following two weeks and a
three-day strike each week until June if there is no movement from the management.
5. Coming Up: Barnet Spring Demonstration
Saturday, 23rd March
Meet at 11 am at Finchley Central Station
March starts at 12 noon
Barnet Alliance are building towards a demonstration on the 23rd of March in Barnet. They
aim to turn it into an all-London event, since Barnet is the flagship of the government
annihilation of local services, running under the name One Barnet. The scheme involves
handing over 90% of the council services to private companies (Capita is the preferred
bidder with the Tory council) nailed into a 10-15 year contract, worth around £1bn. This
means massive lay-offs of the local work force, major cuts to services and moving services
out of the borough. You are all invited to participate, and to spread the word.
For further details contact Barnet Alliance for Public Services.
Tel: 07534 407703
Or visit: www.barnetalliance.org
6. Free Palfreeman!
Australian prisoner Jock Palfreeman, currently serving a 20-year sentence in Sofia,
Bulgaria for defending two Roma boys from a racist mob, was on hunger strike this January.
The Director of the Central Sofia Prison had ordered another punishment measure because of
Jock´s activist work as chairman of the Bulgarian Prisoners Association. Due to this
punishment Jock is now not allowed to finish his education.
After 30 days Jock ended his hunger strike, having lost 20 kilograms, because he got an
answer from the prison administration. However, they will only allow him to study in a
Bulgarian university, not in a foreign one. Bulgarian universities do not accept prisoners
as students, so in practice he is not permitted to continue his studies. However, he can
now apply in the courts against the decision.
The issue is not resolved, so please continue to write letters of complaint to the
Ministry of Justice in Bulgaria.
Write letters of complaint to:
Ministry of Justice
No. 1, Slavanska Street
Write letters of support to:
Sofia Central Prison
21 General Stoletov Boulevard
See the following websites for more information:
Sign this petition to the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice: To Approve Jock Palfreeman’s
Prison Transfer to Australia
7. Toronto Airport Fuels Dissent
Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and members of the anarchist Common Cause Toronto
joined picket lines in support of striking refuelers employed by Porter Fixed Base
Operations at the Toronto Island airport. The strike has been bravely fought by 22 workers
fed up with unsafe working conditions and low wages. Workers currently earn just 12
dollars an hour.
A recent picket saw IWW and Common Cause members come down to the lines in the bitter
cold. Workers stopped cars going into staff parking lots for over 10 minutes. Delays this
long are rare on picket lines today, with standard delays being just 2 to 3 minutes. In
addition on January 26 a large number of anarchists, IWW members and others, with
encouragement from the striking workers, blocked the only road into the airport causing
It remains to be seen if or when Porter will come to the negotiating table, but what is
clear is that when they do the IWW and Common Cause will have a real voice with the
workers to help ensure the refuelers’ demands are met in full.
8. Prisoner Support on the Web
Books to Prisoners
Haven Distribution buys books for inmates who are on courses in prison. They supply
dictionaries to inmates whose first language is not English and send to prisoners with
dyslexia books on improving reading and writing skills.
Green & Black Cross
G&BC was set up to support autonomous social struggles. GBC was inspired by the Anarchist
Black Cross plus skills and networks built up by elements of the environmental movement.
Against Prison Slavery
Campaign Against Prison Slavery campaigns against compulsory labour in British prisons.
The CAPS site has many articles; news, analysis, links and suggested books about prison
Legal Defence & Monitoring Group
LDMG monitors police activity on demonstrations & pickets; assists anybody assaulted by
the police or wrongly arrested to sue the police and provides support to those held on
remand. LDMG have produced No Comment and The Survival Guide to Prison.
Pen and Ink
A letter to a prisoner helps to maintain a connection with the outside and relieves the
tedium of a regime that often involves spending 23 hours a day in a cell. Leeds Anarchist
Black Cross produce a leaflet Writing to Prisoners. For addresses of prisoners to write
to, search for Anarchist Black Cross Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds or London.
Liked Resistance? Try Organise!
Organise! is the Anarchist Federation’s theoretical and historical magazine. It is
published in order to develop anarchist communist ideas. It aims to give a clear anarchist
viewpoint on contemporary issues, and initiate debates on areas not normally covered in
You can order or subscribe online at www.afed.org.uk, or get in touch with your local AF
group for a copy.
Organise! single issue (including postage and packing):
£3.50 UK/£4.00 EU /£4.50 rest of world
Annual subscription to Organise! (two issues, saving £1/year or 50p/issue):
£6 UK/£7 EU /£8 rest of world
Resistance subscription (10 issues per year, to cover postage and packing):
For UK addresses only:£8.00
Anywhere in Europe: £15.00
Rest of World: £20.00
About the Anarchist Federation
The Anarchist Federation is an organisation of class struggle anarchists (based in Britain
and Ireland, but with many contacts overseas) which aims to abolish Capitalism and all
oppression to create a free and equal society. This is Anarchist Communism.
We see today’s society as being divided into two main opposing classes: the ruling class
which controls all the power and wealth, and the working class which the rulers exploit to
maintain this. By racism, sexism and other forms of oppression, as well as war and
environmental destruction the rulers weaken and divide us. Only the direct action of
working class people can defeat these attacks and ultimately overthrow capitalism.
As the capitalist system rules the whole world it’s destruction must be complete and world
wide. We reject attempts to reform it such as working through parliament and national
liberation movements (like the IRA) as they fail to challenge capitalism itself. Unions
also work as a part of the capitalist system, so although workers struggle within them,
they will be unable to bring about capitalism’s destruction unless they go beyond these
Organisation is vital if we’re to beat the bosses, so we work for a united anarchist
movement and are affiliated to the International of Anarchist Federations.
Contact the Anarchist Federation
Email: info [at] afed.org.uk
London, WC1N 3XX,
International of Anarchist Federations (our international coordination):
Resistance bulletin no. 149, March 2013
The Anarchist Federation: http://www.afed.org.uk
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