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(en) Britain, Anarchist Federation Resistance bulletin issue #150 April 2013
Fri, 12 Apr 2013 09:31:49 +0300
APRIL 2013 RESISTANCE is out. WHO ARE THEY TRYING TO FOOL? (The Labour Party), Food
prices, Mayday, Belarus ABC info-tour report. Wildcat strikes worldwide, Thatcher death
parties, Prisoner news, Bristol Anarchist Bookfair. ---- Contents ---- 1. Who are they
trying to fool? ---- 2. The Great Food Price Robbery ---- 3. May Day ---- 4. Anarchist
Black Cross - Belarus ---- 5. Wildcat International ---- 6. Thatcher death meets warm
reception ---- 7. Prisoner news: Russian Police Pinch Prison Protesters, Libyan Prisoners
Escape, Jail Yard demo ---- 8. Bristol Anarchist Bookfair - 20th April ---- Who are they
trying to fool? ---- 15 years ago we launched Resistance after a year of New Labour. We
have come a long way since then, and the Tories may seem worse than ever, but it’s worth
remembering how we got here under the last Labour government.
We are ten years since the start of the first Iraq War, but Labour’s first major war of
their time in power was in the former Yugoslavia, where they ordered the bombing of
Serbian cities over repression being meted out by the military in the region of Kosovo. We
argued against NATO’s warmongering in print and on the street before, but to no avail.
Many more people have since suffered the consequences of Labour’s adventures in
Afghanistan and Iraq.
As the Coalition launches a new wave of benefit attacks, let us cast an eye back to
another snippet from Resistance issue 1, where we reported that Newcastle benefits agency
had carried out a sustained months-long victimisation campaign against Incapacity Action
member Chris Marshall. They confiscated his benefit book and paid him nothing for weeks on
end. Chris, who was waiting for joint replacement surgery, was told by the SS to “get a
job instead of sponging off the State” (yes, it really was still called Social Security in
This is worth bearing in mind whilst the Labour opposition and its Trotskyist apologists
bleat about how much they are against the unfairness of the Bedroom Tax and the other
nasty welfare cuts that begin this month.
Massive NHS reforms also get underway this month, with almost the entire budget passing to
the control of GPs and a National Commissioning Board, with immense pressure to buy as
cheap as possible. But let’s not forget that when it was last in power Labour massively
pushed forward the ‘purchaser-provider split’ in healthcare that was begun by the Tories
in the 1990s. It is this that is allowing more for-profit companies into the NHS. Not only
this, but Labour were responsible for the creation of Treatment Centres and outsourcing of
NHS purchasing to the logistics company DHL. They also presided over further contracting
out of cleaning and of GP out-of-hours services.
So the record of Labour in power is clear and anyone who thought they were better last
time around, and has maybe forgotten what they got up to, would do well to examine the
history books and not be fooled again.
The Great Food Price Robbery
Recent massive rises in food prices are yet another attack on working class people. These
price increases are hitting the poorest the hardest as they spend the greatest percentage
of their income on food. For the rich, the impact will be like being hit by a feather.
Price hikes are blamed on ‘natural’ factors like drought, bad harvest and the increase in
demand outstripping supply. This may be part of the story but the basic cause of rising
food prices is the way the capitalist food system works. Food is a global commodity,
bought and sold by huge corporations. Rather than food being produced for local use, it is
shipped all around the world, with many countries, including Britain, unable to feed
themselves without importing. In addition, food is the target of speculation, with banks
essentially ‘betting’ on food and causing a large part of recent price rises. Desperate to
increase their profits, the supermarkets who dominate food sales in the UK make sure that
they pass on price rises to consumers.
Demonstrate against food price hikes. May 6th. 3pm. Tesco. Covent Garden. Pickets will
move off later to more supermarkets.
May Day for most people is a nice bank holiday break - a chance to get away from the city
for the weekend with the kids or a lie in, in the morning. May Day began as a call by
workers in America for shorter working hours. The first Mayday actions took place in 1886
where mass strikes, meetings and demonstrations were held across America. In Chicago, the
lock out of 1,500 workers at the McCormick Reaper Company turned up the heat on the
actions. 80,000 people struck and picketed in Chicago alone.
Two days later during one such picket police opened fire on the strikers who were stopping
scabs crossing the picket line. As a result, 6 people were killed. A mass demonstration
was called in response the next evening at the Haymarket. 200 cops arrived to disperse the
gathering, but the protesters would not be moved. In the battle that ensued, a bomb was
thrown at the lines of armed cops, killing one and fatally injuring others. 30 people died
in a hail of police bullets.
The press whipped up hysteria about the bombing and the police rounded up well-known
anarchists. As a result eight were brought to trial and despite there being no evidence to
link them to the bombing the defendants were found guilty and four of them were executed,
another only escaping hanging by blowing his own head off with a stick of dynamite! As
Albert Parsons said on the gallows: The time will come when our silence will be more
powerful than the voices you strangle today!
This article was first published in Issue 1 of Resistance in 1998.
Anarchist Black Cross – Belarus
An impressive 15 date speaking tour by a member of the Belarusian Anarchist Black Cross
described the harsh situation for anarchist prisoners inside ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’.
The tour kicked off on February 15 in London and visited venues around England, Wales and
Scotland, finishing on March 8. Around 350 people in all attended the various meetings
that were organised by the AF and UK Anarchist Black Cross groups.
*On March 5 a wildcat strike flared at Lonmin PLC’s platinum mine in Marikana, South
Africa. The owners had just invited journalists to tour the mine, but thousands of workers
went on strike. Last August 34 striking miners were shot dead and 80 others injured by the
ANC controlled police at the same mine.
*Workers at the Bosch factory in Bangalore, India went on a wildcat ‘tool down’ strike on
March 7. The strike is the second in 18 months. Previously workers had launched an illegal
strike against a move by bosses to outsource some jobs at the factory.
*At the start of March, illegal strikes started at five Exxaro Resources mines in South
Africa. The unofficial strikes began at two mines in Mpumalanga then spread to mines in
Limpopo, stopping production. The strike ended on March 23.
*Hundreds of refuse workers walked out on March 15, in Oakland, California. The wildcat
flared because the company has been threatening employees, mistreating immigrant workers
and imposing stricter rules. The strikers at Waste Management included landfill, clerical,
customer service and recycling workers.
*An illegal and very militant strike at two South African Post Office sorting centres
started on February 14 and finished the end of March. Doors to the depots were locked
because management feared the striking workers.
*On March 26 police escorted managers across a picket line at the Labatt brewery in
Canada. Bosses training replacement workers incase of future strikes sparked the wildcat
action. “The scabs went in, these guys walked out,” a worker said.
*At the end of March, South African coal mining company Shanduka fired 250 workers for
taking wildcat strike action at the Graspan colliery. Strikers tried to seize earth-moving
equipment but police used rubber bullets and seven workers were injured and nine arrested.
Thatcher death meets warm reception
8th April 2013 marked the death of one of Britain’s most despised former Prime Ministers,
Margaret Thatcher. While the government and many national news networks were quick to
issue messages of praise and bereavement for the late Thatcher, street parties formed just
as swiftly to celebrate her overdue demise. Around 40 parties took place in the UK and
abroad, with hundreds gathering in Brixton, Glasgow and Bristol. One of the elite’s most
disliked may have passed away, but it is important to remember that the destructive ideals
and policies she embodied still remain, and must continue to be opposed.
International prisoner News
Russian Police Pinch Prison Protesters
During March 24 Russian police arrested 12 protestors near Moscow’s Red Square. 40
activists were on the demo displaying slogans such as “Freedom to Political Prisoners”.
The demo called for the release of people who had taken part in an anti-Putin rally in May
2012 when 400 people were arrested. So far 21 of them have been charged and one person has
been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison.
Libyan Prisoners Escape
Nearly 50 prisoners escaped a prison in the Libyan city of Sabha. Before the mass breakout
on March 26, prisoners had rioted against jail conditions. They set fire to cells and
smashed up doors then managed to get over the prison wall. Police shot one prisoner dead
during the escape and nine were arrested.
Jail Yard Demo
On March 27 cheering and whistling prisoners occupied the jail yard as part of the
resistance against conditions at the Cibola County Correction Centre in New Mexico, USA.
The 250 protesting prisoners refused orders from screws to return to cells until the evening.
For more info on resistance to prisons search the Campaign Against Prison Slavery (CAPS)
and Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) websites.
Bristol Anarchist Bookfair - 20th April
Check out details of the forthcoming 5th Bristol Anarchist Bookfair on Saturday 20th
April. Stalls and meeting/workshop space available. Kids space. Vegan Cafe. For info and
bookings visit: http://www.bristolanarchistbookfair.org/2013-bookfair/
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, from the London address (below) or get in touch with
your local AF group for a copy.
Subscriptions to Resistance & Organise!
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,
Local group and regional contacts: email addresses, websites, Facebook and Twitter:
International of Anarchist Federations (our international coordination):
Resistance bulletin no. 150, April 2013
The Anarchist Federation: http://www.afed.org.uk
Download RESISTANCE bulletin issue #150 April 2013 [PDF]:
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