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(en) AF Bulletin - resistance 27 - July 2001

From "E W" <nastyned@email.com>
Date Wed, 4 Jul 2001 14:31:09 -0400 (EDT)


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      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E
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resistance - monthly bulletin of the Anarchist Federation (Britain)

                            ISSUE TWENTY SEVEN - JULY 2001

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Address: AF c/o 84b Whitechapel High Street, London, E1 7QX, England, UK
E-mail: anarchistfederation@bigfoot.com   
Web: http://www.afed.org.uk/

Note: HTML and PDF versions of resistance are available via:
> http://www.bigfoot.com/~anarchistfederation/res/

For more in-depth articles, read Organise! magazine in print or on-line: 
> http://www.bigfoot.com/~anarchistfederation/org/

------------

BACK ON THE STREETS

Mass abstention from the elections, militant demonstrations 
against capitalism in cities around the world and a posties 
wildcat strike spread across Britain. A rejection of 
parliament clearly does not mean political apathy. 

NEW LABOUR: SAME OLD CRAP
The general election in Britain showed that Labour has lost 
hundreds of thousands of votes among the working class. In 
London only 27% of voters in “Old Labour” areas voted for them. 
Despite the government changing the rules on postal voting, 
less than 3 in 5 people turned out at the ballot box. In some 
areas turnout fell below 50%, most spectacularly in safe 
Labour seat Liverpool Riverside where the turnout was 34.1%!
So, in fact, more people made a decision not to vote than voted Labour!
The rejection of the parliamentary system  by millions has 
dramatically increased in the last 4 years. Only 1 in 4 voted 
for Labour. The increasing disillusionment with the system has 
so far not emerged as an active social opposition, but  a passive 
one with conscious decisions not to vote. A number of strikes and 
inner-city disturbances, at the moment few in number, might herald 
the emergence of new militancy. 
The fascist British National Party (BNP), taking advantage 
of the racist hysteria whipped up by the media in Oldham , 
did fairly well in seats there (though they managed exactly 
0 votes in council elections in Nottingham). For their part, 
despite self-deluding boasts to the contrary, the leftists 
of the Scottish Socialist Party, Arthur Scargill’s SLP, and 
the Trotskyist/ex-Labour cartel Socialist Alliance did poorly.
A political vacuum is opening up in British society. The 
fascists are attempting to fill this vacuum , as are the 
leftists. It is up to revolutionary anarchists to get down 
to serious work, on a day to day basis, spreading anarchist 
ideas and influence in the community and workplace.		                         	                 

THE RIOTS IN OLDHAM
"We can’t understand the ferocity of these riots", said Eric 
Hewitt, chief of Oldham’s police. "Why did the Asian youth 
attack us with petrol bombs?"
"It’s all because of outside agitators. NF (National Front) 
and BNP coming into town to stir up trouble.  It wouldn’t 
have happened otherwise", bleated the council chiefs. "Oldham 
is a thriving multicultural community."
Bollocks. The riots have been a long time coming and their 
ferocity should surprise no one. Oldham is a deeply divided 
town where different ethnic communities coexist, but can 
hardly be said to have many points of contact outside of work, 
schools, taxis or takeaways.
The immediate cause of the riots was revenge. Revenge against 
a racist police force who attacked Asian school kids when 
they had been called to deal with white racists attacking the 
kids themselves. Revenge against police who stood by two days 
later and watched the same racists beat up Asian boys and 
invade houses to attack their inhabitants. Revenge against 
police who routinely pick on Asian kids and subject them to 
racist abuse.
Tension was raised by repeated invasions of the town by 
fascists intent on making trouble. These were tolerated by the 
police and led to hysteria in all sections of Oldham’s community. 
Hysteria that was pumped up by the local press, carrying 
repeated stories about how the NF were coming. People were 
frightened to leave their own community areas to go into 
the town centre.
The local rag, the Evening Chronicle had spent years reporting 
every mugging of a white person by an Asian youth as a racist 
attack, rather than the action of a piece of anti-social filth. 
This reporting was colluded with by the police, who claim that 
60% of racist attacks in Oldham are Asian on white. 
Oldham’s racist housing department had made sure that council 
estates were ethnically pure. This policy created large 
deprived white working class estates, away from the town 
centre with few facilities. Growing up separately, people 
see little in common with each other. Unemployment and poor 
wages are common in Oldham. They are worse in Asian areas 
than white, but cut across the town causing a deep-seated 
sense of grievance. The grievances lead one group to blame 
the other for their problems, rather than seeing a common 
enemy in the capitalist system that ultimately causes them. 
They lead people to identify with race rather than class.
The riots were encouraging in showing that Asian youth have 
had enough. On the other hand they were depressing to the 
extent that they led to attacks on pubs and shops seen as 
belonging to whites.
What seems inevitable is that the state will foster the myth 
that it was all due to outside agitators. They will offer 
nothing of any real value to the working people of Oldham, 
but will feel content to blame them for the problems in 
the town.
		
More info from: Anarchist Federation,
PO Box 127, Oldham, OL4 3FE.

www.geocities.com/anarchist_federation 

------------

ON THE FRONTLINE

Bin the bosses: On 13th June 250 refuse collectors occupied 
their works site in Hollingbury, Brighton. 
Management had decided to try and impose impossible new 
measures. Staff who refused to do these impossible rounds 
were suspended. The rest of the workers protested about the 
suspensions. Then Management sacked them all.
10 people, in solidarity with the striking binmen, invaded 
the office’s of CIP (Catering & Industrial personnel employment 
agency). The management have decided that maybe it was not such 
a good idea, and on 15th June, all the binmen were re-instated.  

Several hundred striking mechanics from AOM/Air Liberte  
blocked road access to Orly airport, Paris’s second largest, 
and then invaded the runways as part of a demonstration over 
the financial state of the companies.

217 people went on strike at Original Cakerie in Delta, Canada 
on Wednesday, June 13th. Issues include wages, benefits, 
usage of the company handbook to oppressively discipline 
employees, and the use of non-union workers. The workers are 
mostly ethnic women, on strike for the first time. The 
strikers are requesting that letters of protest be sent 
to the company at: sales@cakerie.com.

 1,500 flight attendants stopped working for Aeromexico 
(Air Mexico) in a pay dispute.

On June 7th about twelve thousand miners converged on the 
city of La Paz, Bolivia. They are determined to stay until 
the government approves a fund for reviving their industry. 
They are demanding $100 million for this purpose, and will 
stage daily marches and blockades if the demand is not met.

 1,500 nurses in Minneapolis, USA set up picket lines as they 
walked off the job as their shifts ended, saying a new contract 
being offered to them did not provide for adequate patient care.

Korean Air Strike: On June 12th a strike by pilots and ground 
staff grounded most flights at Korean Air and domestic 
departures by Asian Airlines. The state declared the strike 
illegal, threatening punitive action against workers who take 
part in illegal strikes. State prosecutors issued arrest 
warrants for 14 pilots’ union leaders as a result of the 
action. 

...then the hospitals. On June 13th workers at South Korea’s 
major hospitals, including Seoul National University 
Hospital, joined nation-wide strike action. Several thousand 
nurses from eight hospitals walked off their jobs after 
negotiations on pay and working conditions broke down. 
Emergency and intensive care units were unaffected.  

------------	 

A new issue of the long running anarchist news-sheet Counter 
Information is now out. Please note the new address: Counter 
Information c/o 17 W. Montgomery Place, Edinburgh, Scotland, 
EH7 5HA, 0131 557 6242 (ask for CI), ci@autonomous.org.uk 

------------

CELEBRITY PRAT OF THE MONTH
Geri Halliwell said: "A lot of people knock Britain, but I am 
proud of this country and the opportunities it offers people. 
I genuinely admire and believe in Tony Blair. He has done a lot 
of good work in the past four years."
Er, like the opportunity of being force into taking a shitty 
McJob that pays only the barest minimum wage? Not much by way 
of opportunity that, Geri, is it?
Geri Halliwell’s dog, Harry, is finally getting the recognition 
he deserves. Pedigree Pet foods are in secret negotiations with 
the singer about using him in a world-wide ad campaign for a new 
range of specialist pet food.
O, right, we see. You meant opportunities for doggies. 
Especially pampered pooches owned by ‘superstars’ like your 
grand self, is that it? On dumb animal in billions and, 
because its boss is you, it’s elevated to a position where 
it gets the opportunity to make more money than any ‘ordinary’ 
human being could dream of, or earn, in a lifetime. Great, 
capitalism, innit? No crap minimum wage for celebrity dogs. 
Nice man that Tony Blair, to dish out wonderful opportunities 
like that. ‘Might even consider voting for him next time ourselves. 
Woof! Woof!   

------------

BERBERS BATTLE BOSSES
There has been an almost continuous uprising  by the indigenous 
Berber population in Kabylie, a mountainous region of Algeria 
since April. Horrific social and economic conditions - poverty, 
unemployment and lack of housing, coupled with savage 
repression by the forces of the state and opposing Islamic 
fundamentalist groups (who many think are manipulated by the 
state to camouflage their own repression). The Berbers have a 
tradition of secularism, free thought  and radicalism and were 
at the forefront of the struggle against French colonialism. 
The death of a youth in police custody set off riots that have 
rolled across Algeria. Many state buildings have been destroyed 
and public warehouses looted. In Bejara, 300 flats were occupied 
by homeless families and in Boura 1,700 flats were occupied. 
The authorities have responded with appalling ferocity, 
gunning down many people in the street and carrying out night 
raids, burning down villages and terrorising the Kabylie 
population. In mid-June a million Berbers demonstrated peacefully 
in the capital, Algiers, but the demo ended in a riot when the 
police attacked without provocation. Riots have continued since 
then, with great courage by the masses in confronting the state 
forces. Berbers and Arabs must attempt to unite now, and reject 
both the government imposed by the West/International Monetary 
Fund and the fundamentalist militias, both butchers of the people.


------------

MAKING WAVES IN IRELAND
Abortion is still illegal in Ireland, but not in the international 
waters around it. This the thinking of Dr. Rebecca Grompeti 
(ex-doc on Greenpeace's 'Rainbow Warrior') who has procured the 
use of a Dutch ship to help out the 6000 or so Irish women each 
year who have to travel to the UK for their abortions. 
The ship which this time round will only provide contraceptives, 
information, legal and medical training will later sail on to other 
countries around the world where abortion is still illegal. More 
information can be obtained from www.womenonwaves.net or you can 
email: ireland@womenonwaves.org 	  

It seems that the ongoing Dublin campaign against bin charges (see resistance #26) has got councils there on the run. Drastic measures were taken when Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown council inserted microchips in the bins of 1200 householders in the Ballyogan area of South
Dublin. Chips are read by a computer on the bin lorry and if bin charges have not been paid the refuse is not collected.
A cunning plan? Methinks not. The Campaign Against Service Charges assure those affected that microchips inserted under the rims of bins can be removed by the equally cunning application of a screwdriver. Meanwhile the campaign goes on, spreading in the last few weeks
to the Liberties and Walkinston areas of Dublin.
More info: flisamaher@eircom.net
http://struggle.ws/wsm/bins.html  


------------

LABOUR PAINS
Police in Manchester told an anarchist to remove anti-election leaflets from his window.  Someone (a Labour councillor lives in the same road) had complained about the language of some of the leaflets. Not to be outdone the anarchist painted don’t vote on the front of
the house! In Manchester Central just 39.13% of the electorate voted.
In Oldham, members of the North West Unemployed Network including members of the Anarchist Federation and Solidarity Federation were arrested at Labour Party offices. The protesters were demanding to speak to  MP Phil Wollas, who favours DNA testing for benefit
claimants. He also said the law should be changed to deny benefits to anyone not registered on the electorial roll. Eight of them were held at Oldham police station for six hours before being released. 
A new analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies shows the Labour government has spent less on infrastructure, hospitals, schools, etc. than a certain Margaret Thatcher! 


------------

WILDCATS SPREAD LIKE WILDFIRE
On Tuesday 22nd of May wildcat strikes by more than 6,500 postal workers at six sorting offices halted deliveries and collections in south and east London, Watford, Liverpool, Stockport and Chester. The wildcat strikes spread after management attempted to divert mail
away from the Watford sorting centre where staff were on an official 24-hour strike over attempts to introduce “flexible” working procedures. Employees in Liverpool walked out because they were expected to send letters and packages to other centres to get round the
Watford stoppage, staff at other offices followed suit with widespread effects.  It is estimated that up to 50,000 workers joined the rolling unofficial stoppages including depots in Watford, London, Liverpool, Cardiff, North Wales, Manchester, Preston, Teesside,
Maidstone, Stockport and Chester. Over 10m letters had been delayed by the strikes. 
In Waterford, workers have been staging official walkouts in protest against new shift patterns, designed to deal with the rapid growth of junk mail. The union agreed to flexible working in return for higher basic pay last year, but striking London postal workers said
they were not prepared to accept the imposition of a move from 5.25am to 4am shift starts, and working patterns which entrenched part-time working.


------------

CLOSE DOWN CAMPSFIELD
This month the leaders of the G8 industrialised nations meet in Genoa, Italy to discuss ways to increase our exploitation through economic globalisation. In solidarity with protesters actions will take place at the notorious Campsfield detention centre near Oxford.
 Those escaping persecution, murder, torture and exploitation often find their reception - in what they had assumed were civilised “safe” states - can be harrowing.
Campsfield House (6 miles from Oxford) is the UK’s flagship Immigration Detention Centre. All of its inmates are escaping from states like Iraq, Turkey and Afghanistan. It was opened in 1993 and is run for profit by the private security firm Group 4. 
Campsfield operates as a high security prison with visitor searches, restricted visitation rights, a 20ft razor wire-topped fence, extensive use of surveillance cameras etc. Inmates are constantly told that they are not welcome in the UK and that the people do not want
them here. Racism and physical abuse are integral parts of the centre’s make-up. Many inmates become so worn down they accept voluntary deportation.
The fight against the prison industry and deportation is an important struggle in the fight against capitalism. The G8 are meeting in Genoa between 20-22 July. Ya Basta! will open a No Borders camp in Italy to coincide with the meeting. A camp has been opened near the
detention centre in solidarity with those in Italy and those locked behind the wire inside Campsfield’s walls. Actions will take place demanding the closure of the centre. For more info contact: g8campsfield@hotmail.com     

------------

REPORT FROM GOTHENBURG
An eyewitness account of the events at the EU Summit in Gothenburg, Sweden, by a member of the British based WOMBLES organisation:
Thursday 14th June: Arrive at Gothenburg to find out that many of our Finnish and Swedish comrades have been 
surrounded at the convergence (meeting) centre. This happened at 10am in the morning when riot police wanted to search the building for weapons. At 8.00pm or so there was an attempt by a 500 strong Anti-fascist/Anarchist Black Bloc to break people out. This failed and a
full scale riot kicked off.
Friday 15th: A strong crowd gathers for an already planned “Red Bloc” march onto EU summit. The Black Bloc numbers about 700 people. Police attack demonstration when it starts to move towards EU Summit. Black Bloc responds with cobble stones and bottles. Police charge
with horses, many people injured here. People  are chased down main avenue. At this point  many people are extremely pissed off so decide to charge riot police with hundreds of cobble stones. Police again respond and chase black block a few hundred metres down main
avenue. Barricades are placed in the middle of the road  and are set fire to. The conflict continues for a few hours. At 6.00pm a peaceful 20,000 people, made up of trade unionists, commies, anarchists and liberals march towards EU summit. At 8.00pm a re-directed street
party at Vasa Platsen starts with a techno sound system. About 1,000 people there, 10 fascists attack an anarchist, crowds responds and fascists are chased behind police lines. Police respond by firing 5 shots hitting 3 people: 1 in the leg, 1 in the stomach and 1 in
the chest. A riot ensues in response to this and 150 people get arrested there many injured. 
Saturday 16th: Official demo starts at 11.00am.  The march is re-directed away from EU summit an returns 2 hours later for a “rally” in a park. During the day we hear reports of people being arrested on the streets (like in Prague). At 7.00pm an Anti-repression
demonstration of about 300 people is surrounded by hundreds of riot police. We call for actions in protest at the violence of the Swedish state against protesters and for the shooting of our Swedish comrades. More info from: www.wombleaction.mrnice.net 

------------

TIME BOMB

Moscow workers revolt against Bolsheviks

The food shortages in Bolshevik-controlled Moscow in 1921, including staples like bread, ignited a whole set of demands amongst the working class. From January this discontent was voiced through mass meetings in plants and factories. Bolshevik repression was denounced
and the call for free labour as opposed to militarised labour was raised. When Bolsheviks at meetings suggested that the discontent was just about ‘stomachs’ they were shouted down.
The Bolsheviks responded with increased repression, unleashing the Cheka, the secret police. But it was the Moscow Cheka who had been one of the causes of the discontent. Between December 1918 and November 1920 they had shot 578 people, and arrested 40,000, 6 per cent
of the adult city population. They shot 345 people from January-May 1920 and liquidated their stock with shootings of 2-3000 prisoners just before this.
Most of the arrests were of juveniles, forced to steal food and these were imprisoned in appalling conditions.
Strikes broke out and the metalworkers led the way. Denouncing the regime in a conference they held in February, denouncing the issue of special ration privileges to 10,000 top Bolshevik Party leaders.
Street demonstrations began, kicked off by a strike at the Vtorov money printing works. The soldiers called in refused to fire, and special armed Bolshevik detachments (ChON) shot at the striking workers killing and injuring several*. That evening mass meetings took
place on the railways, at the women’s higher education institute and at the university. Several factories struck the next day. 1500 people demonstrated and tried to call out the soldiers. These were disarmed by the Bolsheviks and locked in their barracks. All Moscow’s
Bolsheviks were mobilised and armed. These fired on the crowd.
A demonstration on February 23 brought out 10,000 workers, where speakers made strong criticisms of the Bolsheviks. That day Moscow was placed under martial law with a 24-hour watch on factories by the ChON. Strikes had been accompanied by go-slows and calls on
Bolshevik deputies to the soviets to be recalled. The Bolsheviks now made wide-scale arrests and some of these were among the 300 socialists beaten in prison by the Cheka on the night of April-25-26. Disturbances and unrest continued into March but the movement had been
defeated. It was to herald the Kronstadt uprising against the Bolsheviks later in the year and showed the anti-working class and counter-revolutionary nature of the Bolsheviks.

*Lenin reporting to the Moscow Soviet (Feb 27) lied about this saying that "What did happen was that a gun went off in the hands of an agent provocateur, resulting in the death of a Communist. This was the only casualty during these rather unfortunate days."       


------------

INSIDE INFORMATION
Fitted up South African poet prisoner Mzwakhe Mbuli recently lost his latest appeal. Now his fate rests with the supreme court. All-out efforts have to be made immediately to get Mzwakhe his freedom. Write to: South African Ambassador, Ms. Cheryl A. Carrolous, S.A. High
Commission, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DP. Urge British Minister Peter Hain at the Foreign Office to use his influence on the South Africans. Check out the campaign website for regular news: www.mzwakhe.org
Donations can be sent via: c/o Gill Lloyd, Artsadmin, Toynbee Studios, 28 Commercial St, London, E1 6LS. Mzwakhe speaks to his supporters around the world: “I am the stone. When thrown in the river I create waves.” Lets see to it that those waves reverberate right
across the globe - Free Mzwakhe!

U.S. Anarchist prisoner Harold H. Thompson now has two official websites online: 
http://www.srussell16.fsnet.co.uk/
http://members.tripod.fr/HHTHOMPSON/welcome.html 
email address is: haroldthompson@hotmail.com

Gothenberg EU protest prisoner
A number of people have been arrested, including an anarchist from the UK. Paul Robinson has been charged with violent rioting and battery, an offence which carries a maximum 4-year sentence. He is currently held on remand in a Swedish prison and his trial is being
fast-tracked to take place in a few weeks. It is Paul’s birthday on 4th July, so it would be great if he got hundreds of birthday cards. Write to:
Paul Robinson, Goteburg Remand Centre
(Haktet), Goteburg Polis Headquaters
(Polis Huset), Box 429, 40126 Goteburg,
SWEDEN
For more information contact: LDMG, C/o BM Haven, London WC1N 3XX (please send a stamped self-addressed envelope); by e-mail: ldmg@altavista.com; and by ‘phone: 020 8245 2930 (24hr answerphone).


At the start of June there were 18 people sentenced to prison in Finland for refusal of   military service. The following 7 imprisoned antimilitarists would be happy to receive letters of support. 
Janne Rantala is an anarchist.
Matias Raita (14.2.2001-1.9.2001), Suomenlinnan ty-siirtola, Suomenlinna C 86, 00910 HELSINKI
Ilkka Forsblom (26.3.2001-13.10.2001)
Jesse Kariluoto (14.5.2001-8.11.2001)
Johannes Milen (29.1.2001-30.7.2001)
kaikkien osoite: Helsingin ty-siirtola, PL 36, 01531 VANTAA
Lauri Kostiainen (3.1.2001-17.7.2001), Iskolan avovankilaosasto, PL 2, 74345 KALLIOSUO
Aleksi Sutinen, Naaraj-rven vankila, PL 1, 76851 Naaraj-rvi, (1.6.2001-17.12.2001)
Janne Rantala,(18.12.2000-5.7.2001), Juuan avovankilaosasto, PL 26, 83901 JUUKA

Framed Anarchist prisoner Eduardo Garcia (see resistance #23) is still inside awaiting trial for serious charges. 

Please continue sending letters to:
EDUARDO GARCÍA MACIAS, Modulo 4
CP:Madrid V SOTO DEL REAL, 28791 SOTO DEL REAL, MADRID, SPAIN

Send money to:
CAJA MADRID: 2038-1022-21-3004669143 a nombre de Elsa, Sola Peces, Spain

Eduardo was active in an Anarchist Black Cross prisoners support group which can be contacted at:
CNA Madrid, Paseo de Alberto palacios 2, 28021 Madrid, Spain

e-mail address is: edulibre@yahoo.es


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