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(en) Anarchist Age Weekly Review No.528 9th December ­ 15th December, 2002

From Phil McCrory <philmcc@melbpc.org.au>
Date Wed, 11 Dec 2002 03:27:58 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E


The frightening consequences of the McCabe's attempt to obtain justice for
their late mother Rolah McCabe in the Australian courts is the latest in a
very long line of examples that have demonstrated that justice is a
commodity that is in very short supply in this countryıs legal system. For
far too long justice has turned a blind eye to the troubles that a rapidly
increasing number of Australians have when they find themselves before the
courts, or are forced to use the courts to resolve criminal, civil or
familial matters.

The Australian justice system has very little to do with dispensing justice
and everything to do with maintaining the law. Nearly 40% of people who face
the family court are not represented, an increasing number of people who
face magistrate, county and supreme courts are also not represented, and
even 25% of people who appear before the High Court are not represented.
Access to justice in this country is directly proportional to disposable

Unless a person is faced with a serious criminal charge, their likelihood of
accessing legal aid is non-existent. Faced with the prospect of losing
everything they have by taking a case through the courts, many people elect
to bypass the legal system because they don't want to put their dependents
through such an ordeal. The McCabesı possible fate highlights how difficult
it is to access the courts, let alone achieve justice in this country. The
legal system has become an obstacle to the dispensation of justice.

The courts, especially in civil cases, have become the private property of
those in the community who have the deepest pockets. Today, Australia has
the best legal system that money can buy. The lengths that most people have
to go to to access the courts, let alone achieve justice, is an indictment
on those governments, both at the State and federal level, that have allowed
this pathetic state of affairs to develop.

The violence that has exploded in Dili and other parts of East Timor is a
direct consequence of the frustration felt by an increasing number of East
Timorese with the infrastructure of the emerging East Timorese state,
parliament, police, the bureaucracy imposed on them by the United Nations,
and the growing bureaucracy within the East Timorese government itself. The
jubilation and celebrations marking East Timorıs independence have been
rapidly replaced with resentment and anger directed at the society that is
emerging from the ashes of the old world.

The East Timorese did not conduct a twenty-five year struggle for
independence that resulted in over 200,000 deaths and widespread destruction
to become another Third World country thatıs exploited by its regional
neighbours. They don't want to become a cheap tourist destination for the
Western world and a cheap labour supply for transnational corporations.

Since 1999, the country has been invaded by foreign carpetbaggers who now
have a stranglehold on the economic destiny of the country. It's no accident
that a supermarket was ransacked, as supermarkets have became the symbol of
economic oppression for the East Timorese. For minimal wages they employ
local labour who don't even earn enough to buy the goods that are sold

It would be a mistake for the Australian government to think they can
resolve this crisis in East Timor by bolstering the power and size of the
East Timorese police and armed forces, turning them into organs of a state
that oppresses its own people. One of the fundamental reasons for the
current crisis is the way the guerillas who fought in the mountains for so
long and suffered so much have been treated by a government that sees them
as a threat to their authority and has bypassed them when selecting members
of the police force and the East Timorese military.

The East Timorese want to live in a society where they are treated fairly
and where they are able to enjoy their "commonwealth". They donıt want to
see their future controlled by a corrupt government that dances to the tune
of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, foreign governments
including Australia, local and transnational corporations that view East
Timorese as the latest in a long line of Third World countries that provides
them with access to cheap resources and cheap labour. Unfortunately, it
seems that East Timor has become the latest casualty of globalisation ­ an
economic system that has resulted in the transfer of power from the
nation-state to a few hundred powerful transnational corporations.

The Australian foreign Editor, Greg Sheridan, seems to have responded to
being left at the debating altar by John Pilger by becoming quite unbalanced
his intellectual facilities. His assertion that the left delivers ammunition
to fanatics, is an excellent example of the intellectual masturbation that's
been a feature of the great bulk of opinion pieces that have appeared in The
Australian over the past eighteen months. Taking a leaf out of Goebbel's
book, The Australian seems to believe that if you repeat the same drivel
often enough, it somehow makes it true.

Just in case The Australian's foreign Editor hasn't noticed, Muslim
fundamentalists use their peculiar interpretation of the Koran as their
justification for their actions. Osama Bin Laden and his supporters cut
their intellectual teeth and formulated their strategies while they were
helping the United States government topple the godless communists in
Afghanistan. Osama Bin Laden, an avowed capitalist who uses the considerable
fortune that he has amassed as a result of his business ventures to finance
his terror spree, is an intellectual soul mate of Greg Sheridan and his ilk,
not the left.

The woolly thinking and the generalisations exhibited in this article are
exactly the reasons why so few people take any notice of the intellectual
claptrap that's currently peddled in the pages of The Australian to justify
the existence of an economic system that's geared to generate profits,
irrespective of the human and social costs.

Instead of trying to shoot a few of the more prominent messengers who raise
these issues, Sheridan would have done his readers and himself a favour if
he actually examined what they and other critics of capitalism and
globalisation had to say. "Left delivers ammunition to fanatics", is the
type of opinion piece that's produced when a newspaper continually gives
space to a few tired old drought stricken perennials and doesn't allow a
hundred flowers to bloom in its garden.

The intellectual sterility and rigidity that characterises today's
Australian is a consequence of editorial decisions that have been made at
The Australian to limit debate. What was once a proud newspaper that
canvassed a wide range of opinions is becoming a mouthpiece for just one
point of view.

The spread of Islamic fundamentalism is directly related to the
establishment of religious schools that have provided education to boys in
Third World countries, who would never have seen the inside of a classroom.
The continuing attraction of Muslim fundamentalism to people in the
developing world is linked to the practical assistance that fundamentalists
have provided to millions of people in the developing world.

The war on terror waged by the United States and her allies in the West
(including Australia) is doomed to fail if no attempt is made to understand
why Muslim fundamentalism has such a powerful hold on so many people. The
Islamic coalitions good showing in the recent Pakistani elections, which
delivered into their hands the balance of power in Pakistan's parliament, is
not an aberration. It's an indication of the strong support that
fundamentalism engages in these communities. To believe there is a military
solution to fundamentalist generated terror is as ludicrous as the Sheron
government in Israel believing there is a military solution to the question
of Palestinian independence.

The hold over people that Muslim fundamentalists currently enjoy can only be
loosened by radically reforming the current economic links that exist
between the West and the developing world. The exploitative one-way
relationship that has characterised the relationship between the West and
the developing world needs to be altered. Third World debts need to be
cancelled, wealth needs to be re-channelled back into these countries to
provide access to education, food, shelter and health care for tens of
millions of people. The monopoly that a few hundred transnational
corporations currently enjoy over the world economy needs to be destroyed if
any inroads are to be made in the war against terror.

What we are witnessing is not a clash of civilisations, ideologies or
religions. What we are seeing is the continuation of a struggle that many in
the media and those in power consigned to the dustbin of history ­ the
struggle between the haves and the have nots. The increasing gap between
those who exercise power and have access to wealth and those who don't is
the catalyst that has propelled Muslim fundamentalism into the limelight.

Hegemony: "domination, especially by one State over the others".

The world has entered a new phase. The United States exerts cultural,
economic and technological hegemony around the world. It has become so
powerful that even the United Nations hasn't the will or the power to
challenge its domination of world affairs. Its power doesn't derive from a
moral or ethical dimension; it derives from the barrel of a gun.

Casting around to hide its naked ambition, it hides behind the cloak of
democracy and freedom. The rhetoric reality-gap has grown so wide that naked
aggression is portrayed as defence. The world has become the United States
military industrial complexıs oyster.

It is so confident of its military superiority that the United States
government believes it has the right to strike against whoever it wants,
whenever it wants. Increasingly surrounded by a hostile world, it justifies
the unjustifiable by claiming it's acting in the interests of liberty.

Although the tissue of lies it hides behind are so transparent, it's
domination of the worldıs media means it can justify anything at anytime,
anywhere. The United States government refuses to ratify international
treaties that protect human rights. It has the highest prison population in
the world and the second highest execution rate after China in the world.
Its health care system is abysmal, and less than 40% of eligible electors in
America bother to cast a ballot. Its legal system is a cesspool of
corruption, and it's prison system is a financial bonanza for the private
sector. Bush finds himself at the head of an evil empire that will use
whatever method it takes to succeed. The rights enshrined in the
constitution are flouted, and the Supreme Court has become a servant of the
government of the day, not the people.

How long the lies that are peddled as truths are believed will depend on
people of good will and courage in the United States ­ a commodity that in
downtown 21st Century USA is in short supply.

Q.  Is an anarchist society possible?
A.  The single most important question people ask when they first come into
contact with anarchist ideas is "is it possible? - can it really happen?".
As you start talking about direct democracy, delegates, mandates, you begin
to see their eyes glaze over.  Itıs all too hard.  How can people make those
decisions?  Isnıt it easier to give power to a representative?  Let them do
it all.
When you talk about peopleıs desire to control their own lives, they tell
you they prefer to leave it to leaders.  Itıs easier that way.  Before you
know it, your ideas about how an anarchist society could function in a mega
metropolis, not just a small community, are dismissed as the ravings of
somebody who knows nothing about human nature.  Thatıs when your ears prick
up and you come in for the kill.  You, call me an anarchist utopian.  You,
who believe a leader, a God, the State, your employer will do the right
thing by you.  You call me utopian.  I am a realist.  I understand the
limitations of human beings, thatıs why Iım an anarchist, thatıs why Iım not
willing to give power to somebody else.
Anarchists are realists because they understand that all human beings are
fallible, they know thereıs no gold at the end of the rainbow, thatıs why
they want to create a community where there are no structures which allow
people to impose their will on others.  By this time youıll have them
thinking about their belief in leaders, hierarchies and institutions.  They
may agree with your argument, but then theyıll come up with the statement ­
it all sounds very nice in theory but itıs not practical.  It will never
work, people want to be led.  How could you ever organise life in a complex
mega metropolisı.
You patiently explain that you donıt need to re-invent the wheel to create
an anarchist society.  Anarchism is about changing the way decisions are
made and how wealth is held and shared.  The conversation grinds to a halt,
you know that on this occasion you havenıt changed their minds.  What you
may have done is create enough self-doubt in them that they may reflect on
the conversation sometime in the future.


Photograph by Ellen Jose ­ 3rd December 2002

Bakery Hill is one of the most radical sites in Australia.  On the 11th
November 1854, the Ballarat Reform League was officially launched in front
of over 10,000 diggers.  From the 11th November to the 3rd December, Bakery
Hill acted as the meeting site for the people of Ballarat.  On the 29th
November 1854, the Southern Cross was flown for the first time at Bakery
Hill in front of 12,000 miners who attended the meeting.  After a police
raid on Tuesday 30th November which saw a number of diggers who had burnt
their licences the previous day arrested, the miners began to throng about
their old spot, Bakery Hill.  The Southern Cross was unfurled and they
marched behind it to Eureka.  At sunset, the diggers marched back to Bakery
Hill, Peter Lalor proclaimed with a firm voice the first oath sworn in
Australia under a foreign flag - "We swear by the Southern Cross to stand
truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties".
Today, Bakery Hill is a sad reflection of what it stood for.  The site has
been reduced to a roundabout, surrounded by a ring road.  A flagpole and a
small brick monument mark the spot where over 12,000 people met to discuss
and reclaim their future in 1854.  On Tuesday the 3rd December 2002 about 40
of us marched from the Eureka Stockade site to Bakery Hill and back to the
Eureka Stockade site to reclaim the radical spirit of the Eureka rebellion.
The desolation of the site is clearly seen in the photograph taken by Ellen
Jose on Tuesday 3rd December 2002.  The golden arches and above ground
lighting dominate this important site.  In many ways, what has happened at
Bakery Hill has become a metaphor for what has happened and continues to
happen in this country.  It seems, we have become the 51st State of the
United States without even noticing it.
At the end of each year we should take time to reflect at what we have and
havenıt achieved.  Itıs important that we havenıt spent the year just
fighting our own personal demons and making money for the "man".  Far too
often, we have spent the year just existing or worse, watching other
peopleıs celluloid lives unfold on television and radio.  We need to reclaim
our lives and use our time on this planet to work to satisfy our needs and
make our dreams a reality.
Sit down, close the door, if you havenıt time make time, examine what you
havenıt and have done.  Have you spent another year realising other peopleıs
dreams, making money for them, enriching their lives by sacrificing yours?
Well youıve got a problem, a real problem.  While everyday needs dominate
our lives, our ability to work to change our reality is greatly diminished.
The more we work for the "man", the more "he" dominates us.  As individuals
and groups, we need to break free of the all-encompassing embrace of the
corporate and State dominated media.
The media limits our imagination, sets limits on what we can and cannot do.
It reduces us to individual acts of consumption.  It destroys community life
and sets the parameters that define our dreams and expectations.  I never
cease to be amazed by those people who tell me that they have no time,
theyıre run off their feet, they can barely catch their breath, let alone
become involved in a movement to change their reality, their lives.  If
youıre one of those people who donıt know where the day has disappeared,
itıs time you conducted an audit on your life.
How many hours do you spend listening to radio, watching television, reading
newspapers, absorbing their propaganda through the pores of your mind?  One,
five, ten, fifteen, twenty thirty hours a week maybe more.  Can you afford
to waste your life dreaming their dreams, paying with your soul for their
propaganda?  Reflect, make some changes, reclaim your life, get together
with other people who want to change things.  You have nothing to lose by
reclaiming your future.

A Legacy of Post Cultures and Civilisationsı by Lesley & Roy Adkins.
Grange Books 1990, This edition 1996 (Qunantum) ISBN 1-85627-833-6
Any person living in a city could be forgiven for thinking that the society
and civilisation they are part of will live forever.  "Abandoned Places"
examines the fate of past civilisations in four continents, that had been
built to last forever.  From Pompeii in Italy to the Great Zimbabwe in
Africa to Ankgor in Cambodia to Macchu Picchu in Peru, the ruins tell the
story of the mortality of past cultures and our own civilisationıs impending
demise.  This coffee table book is full of fascinating illustrations and
even more interesting, text is divided into 7 chapters.
Chapter 1 - Lost and Foundı describes how great civilisations have been
rediscovered by chance or by meticulous archaeological excavations.  Chapter
2 - The Power of the Elementsı examines how flood and drought have brought
great civilisations spanning hundreds of years to an abrupt halt.  From
Mohenjo-Daro Pakistan to Pueblo Bonito in the USA and Sabratha and Leptis in
Libya, the authors outline how the elements destroyed flourishing
Chapter 3, in my opinion the most fascinating chapter, describes how
rioting, rebellion and war have closed the chapter on some of our most
vibrant civilisations.  The authors claim that rioting, rebellion and war
are the most common reasons for the abandonment of sites.  Carthage in
Tunisia, Hasanlu in Iran, Elba in Syria, Vijayanagora in India, Ankgor in
Cambodia and San Lorenzo in Mexico are examples of what happens as a
consequence of war.  Each chapter is full of interesting vinaigrettes of
information that could give you that winning edge at a normal trivial
pursuit night.  The walled city of Angkor Thom in the Angkor complex in
Cambodia, contains more stone than all the Egyptian pyramids together. ­ I
bet you didnıt know that!!
Chapter 4 examines disasters, Pompeii in Italy, Akrotiri in Santorini Greece
and Port Royal in Jamaica are a few examples of the devastating effects of
disasters.  Chapter 5 ­ Market Forcesı outlines the role economic forces
have in the decline and fall of civilisations.  El-Amarna in Egypt, the
dissolution of the English monasteries by Henry the 8th and the decline and
abandonment of Bodie a 19th century gold mining town in the USA, Petra in
Jordan and the Great Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe, are some of the civilisations
they explore.  The story of Easter Island is a microcosm of what happens
when society uses up its available natural resources.  The descent of this
remarkable civilisation into a hell on Earth, where groups of people hunted,
killed and ate other people to survive, is a timely reminder for the 6
billion people on planet Earth of what happens when we use up all our
available resources.
Chapter 6 ­ Changing Landscapesı recounts how changes in landscape can wipe
out vibrant civilisations.  In Chapter 7 ­ Abandonment Todayı the authors
point out that abandonment is an ongoing and rapidly spreading problem.
"Increasingly the damage to the environment in many parts of the world
threatens to bring about the abandonment of whole regions".
This is a fascinating book that interlinks the past, present and future.  A
great gift if you can find a copy somewhere ­ try those remainder bins in
your local book-out.

Donıt like the way you look?  You donıt have to suffer in silence.
Australiaıs fastest growing sector in the medical field is cosmetic surgery.
Cosmetic surgery centres are springing up across the suburbs, rubbing
shoulders with McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Seven Eleven and the
rapidly disappearing Masonic Halls.  Sitting in traffic waiting for the
lights to change to green, I noticed a medical clinic that had been empty
for some time, had been resurrected.
The lawns had been cut, the windows cleaned and three huge billboards hugged
the front of the building.  Cosmetic and Well Being Centreı screamed the
banner.  Three young nibble female torsos beckoned those of us who are
unhappy with our bodies and our state of being.  One billboard proclaimed
they performed cosmetic sculptures, not liposuction.  With a little bit of
fat sucked out here and sucked out there, you could reclaim the body you had
before you had children or tucked into the good life.  A woman in a brief
swimsuit (it always seems to be women in brief swimsuits) displayed her
hourglass figure, taut shapely buttocks, perfectly sculptured back, the end
product of a course of cosmetic sculpture.
Another billboard displayed another headless female torso, perfect in the
eyes of Western males, touting for business for varicose veins.  Iıve been a
doctor since 1975 and have never seen a woman that young with varicose
veins.  Maybe she got them by shooting up heroin in the veins of her lower
limbs.  As I savoured the delicious irony of billboards that were offering
eternal youth to cellulite pocked legs and buttocks, the very antithesis of
the sculptured look, blocked my peripheral vision.  As he dragged his tired
frame forward, his shuffling gait partly obscured the printed body
beautifuls.  Here was a delicious juxtaposition of reality and dream time.
Head encased in matted hair, paralysed right side dragging his leg behind
him, elbows sticking out of his tattered jumper.  Here was the living
nightmare of every cosmetic sculpture.
For one moment I toyed with the idea of giving our friend a job, paying him
handsomely to walk in front of the body factory, letting harsh commercial
realities bury a shop that only exists to make money from an ever increasing
number of peopleıs vanity.  As I only had 15c in my pocket, my dream was as
real as their dream.  I understand Thursdayıs Power Ball has jack-pottedı
to $12 million ­ What could I do with $12 million?

Anarchist Platformı a Turkish anarchist umbrella group, participated in
demonstrations in Istanbul against the imminent war with Iraq on the 2nd
December 2002.  The Turkish anarchist movement has been growing rapidly in
the past few years, bringing fresh ideas and vigour to an
extra-parliamentary movement that has been dominated by Nationalist and
Marxist ideas.
Marching under the banner "Ozgur Hayat", the name of the bi-weekly newspaper
published by the Platformı and other banners that read "Capitalism Kills In
War and Peace", "For Bread, Justice and Freedom" (a slogan popular with
Mexican anarchists in the Mexican revolution and Spanish anarchists in the
Spanish revolution), they formed an important section of the 8,000 strong
peace march.  The ranks of over 200 anarchists marching under the red and
black and red and green flags, were swelled by many more as the march
The rally was an important demonstration of the anti-war feeling within
Turkey (an important USA launching pad for the war on Iraq), and the growing
influence the anarchist movement is having in Turkey, especially Istanbul.
The slogans which were being shouted from the anarchist section of the march
"Capitalism Kills In War and Peace, No Justice No Peace, No Bread No Peace,
No Bread For Justice For Freedom, Action! Revolution! Anarchy, Wallet Or
Conscience, Donıt Be A Soldier, Donıt Obey and Earth Commune Freedom", were
soon taken up by the rest in the  march.
Considering that conscription is an important aspect of Turkish life and
that opposition to conscription is a criminal offence, which can result in
years of imprisonment, the slogans shouted during the rally were significant
challenges to the power of the State.
Anarchist Platformı acts as an umbrella group for anarchist groups and
individuals in Turkey.  Its growing significance has brought it to the
attention of the Turkish State.  In a country where thousands of political
prisoners rot in jail and hundreds have died as a result of beatings and
attacks by armed prison guards and the military, open defiance of the
government is an extremely dangerous course of action.
Contact with Anarchist Platformı can be made via the net.  -

Joseph TOSCANO/LibertarianWorkers
for a Self-Managed Society.

 REBEL WORKER Vol.21 No.4 (178) Sept/Oct2002, Paper of the
Anarcho-Syndicalist Network. P.O. Box 92, BROADWAY 2007, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA,
 CAPITALIST CASUALTY Vol 1 No4 ı02, CC is published by some Aussie members
of the I.W.W. based in Melbourne, P.O. Box 145, Moreland 3058, Melbourne
 FREEDOM Vol.63 No.23,30thNOV. 2002, Anarchist Fortnightly, 84b Whitechapel
High St, London E17QX, ENGLAND Email:FreedomCopy@aol.com
 LE MONDE LIBERTAIRE No.1298 21st ­ 27th Nov. 2002, 145 Rue Amelot, 75011
Paris, FRANCE, Tel:0148053408, Fax:0149299859
 NOTIZIARIO CDP Vol23 May/June ı02, Notiziario del Centro di
Documentazione, Via degli Orati29, Cas Post 347, 51100 PISTOIA, ITALY,
Tel/Fax:0573977353, www.centrodocpistoia.it giorlima@tin.it
 SEME ANARCHICS Vol.23 No.4 Oct.2002, Periodico di Pensiero Anarchico, C/-
Eisa Di Bernardo, C.P. 150, 56100 PISA, ITALY
 UMANITA NOVA Vol 82 No.39 EL 24thNov.ı02, Settimanale Anarchico, C.50
Palermo 46, 10152, Torino ITALY. tel/fax (011) 857850 Mobile 338-6594361
 OPERAI CONTRO Vol.21 No.103 Nov/ı02, Giornale per la Critica La Latta,
Lıorganizzazionale degli Operai Contro La Struttamento, Via Falck 44, 20099,
Sesto S.Giovanni (MI), ITALY,

DEBT ELIMINATION APPEAL ­ Our debt stands at $1242.20
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Want to help us find new listeners for the Anarchist World This Week? Send a
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We'll send you out a colour poster (A3) for your use  & a black & white
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Increasing financial problems have forced us to review how The Anarchist
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donations only account for about 40% of the income necessary to cover our
costs.  To overcome this problem weıve launched a:-
We are looking for THIRTY People, interested in our activities, to pledge to
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Thirty that saved the Anarchist Media Institute.

Has been awarded two weeks in a row to John Winston Howard the Prime
Minister, for his myopic statement about launching pre-emptive strikes in
the Asia-Pacific region.  Howard has done more to endanger the lives of
Australians in the region in one statement, than any perceived or actual
terrorist threat could ever hope to achieve.

19 McCOMBE STREET, ROSEBUD      (Mel. Ref:170AI)
(Approx. 90 kilometres from the Melbourne G.P.O.)
Tea and Coffee provided.  Bring along food and drinks.

STAMP APPEAL  - We normally spend over $400.00 per month on postage stamps.
If you have any spare stamps floating about or are about to write to us,
stuff a few stamps in the envelope.  Every little bit helps.

Politically manipulated and scorned?  Sick of being a peripheral player
every time a Federal election comes around, then join:-  VOTE INFORMAL
TODAY, DIRECT DEMOCRACY TOMORROW - a "political party" that is putting the
boot into the Australian Parliamentary Process.  Send a stamp self-addressed
envelope to
PO Box 20, Parkville. 3052. Melbourne. Australia Telephone (03) 9828 2856
(24 hour answering service).  We will send information about how to join
this unique 21st century Australian phenomena.  DON'T PUT IT OFF  JOIN THE
Written and authorised by Joseph Toscano
(National Convenor 205 Nicholson St Footscray 3012  Melbourne Aust.)
Current membership 176.  We need 550 members to apply for registration as a
political party, so that members can stand at the Federal election in 2004
and show Australianıs that Parliamentary Democracy is nothing more than two
minutes of illusory power.


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The articles in the Anarchist Age Weekly Review reflect the personal
opinions of the authors, they do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the
publishers, the Libertarian Workers for a Self-Managed Society/Anarchist
Media Institute. 

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