A - I n f o s
a multi-lingual news service by, for, and about anarchists **

News in all languages
Last 30 posts (Homepage) Last two weeks' posts

The last 100 posts, according to language
Castellano_ Català_ Deutsch_ English_ Français_ Italiano_ Polski_ Português_ Russkyi_ Suomi_ Svenska_ Türkçe_ All_other_languages _The.Supplement
{Info on A-Infos}

(en) Anarchist Age Weekly Review No.521 21st October ­ 27th October, 2002

From Philip McCrory <philmcc@melbpc.org.au>
Date Wed, 23 Oct 2002 03:08:59 -0400 (EDT)

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

Father Moses (The Age 21/10) the Anglican theologian in Canberra who used
the memorial service attended by the Prime Minister on Sunday, the National
Day of mourning, has done all Australians a disservice by stating that
"mateship, the Anzac spirit, a fair go, sticking up for the underdog,
cutting down the tall poppies - these derive ultimately from the Gospel of

Human solidarity predates any notion of a monotheistic religion.  To ascribe
fundamental human values to a particular religious viewpoint is the very
reason that so much hatred and resentment exists between people expressing
different religions viewpoints.  The development of cooperative behaviour
among human beings gave the human species the evolutionary edge it required
to prosper and spread to every corner of the globe.  Human solidarity and
mateship were characteristics, which gave indigenous Australians the
strength they required to survive in a harsh environment.

Mateship flourished in 19th century Australia, not because of values which
are ascribed to Christianities but because without mates it was impossible
to survive and flourish in a country where the State did not provide any
practical assistance to its citizens.  The fair go mentality, a mentality
which has taken a battering, as a consequence of the rise and rise of the
greed is good philosophy is a strategy for survival that pre-dates the
Christian church.

Human decency, not religion has been the saviour of human beings.  To
suggest that human decency is the preserve of the followers of Jesus, is to
make the same mistake that has stopped religious leaders and the world's
religions from making peace and acting ethically.  While the misconceptions
held by people like Father Moses about the role of religion exist religious
fundamentalism and the pain suffering death and destruction it causes will
continue to be a significant world wide problem.

The historic Green's victory in the Cunningham by-election by Michael Organ
in Wollongong is a shot in the arm for the parliamentary system.  At the
very moment when participation in parliamentary elections was decreasing,
the election of a minor party into the House of Representatives has, to some
degree, restored peoples' faith in the parliamentary system. Those people
who still believe in the myth that power lies in the parliament should be
grateful to the Greens for temporarily rehabilitating a system that is
beyond rehabilitation.

Parliamentary democracy is an illusion, it's nothing more than two minutes
of illusory power.  Every three years, Australians are asked to give a blank
cheque to a representative to make decisions for them for the next three
years irrespective of what they are promised and whether their
representative does anything to carry out those promises, or even changes
their political allegiance in midterm, those people who have given them a
mandate cannot remove them from parliament until the next election.  The
Greens' victory reinforces the idea that power lies in parliament and that
parliament has the power to make major decisions about peoples' lives.

Real power does not lie in parliament, it lies in the boardrooms of national
and trans-national corporations.  Parliament may have the power to change
the deckchairs on the Titanic but it does not have the power to alter the
Titanic's course, that power ultimately resides in the boardrooms of
national and trans-national corporations.

The Green's victory will see many people who are disillusioned with
parliamentary democracy once again participate in parliamentary elections,
their participation may lead to the election of more Green candidates into
parliament but it will not alter the fact that representative democracy is
an illusion. Those of us who want to create a society based on direct
democratic principles, where the people involved in a decision make those
decisions and elect or appoint delegates to coordinate and carry out
decisions made by the people, should redouble our efforts to highlight that
radical egalitarian social change cannot and will not occur by changing the
political composition of Federal parliament. That can only occur when people
have the power to make decisions directly and they have the economic power
to make those decisions into a reality.

The United States government has taken a new interest in its deputy down
under.  Concerned that the Australian people are not enamoured with the
United States proposed war on Iraq and that many are blaming the Australian
government for the carnage in Bali, Uncle Sam has sent out the big guns to
round up the waverers.  In a message from President Bush beamed to the
Australian people on Sunday, Bush had the audacity to call on Australian's
at the very moment they were mourning the Bali tragedy, to continue throwing
their weight behind his push to militarily change the regime in Iraq.

The United States embassy, in a bid to get a feel for what is happening on
the ground in Australia, (not trusting the one sided opinions that are
expressed in the fourth estate) interviewed the major candidates for the
Federal seat of Cunningham in Wollongong.  Colin Powell, the United States
Secretary of State, has embarked on a charm offensive, attempting to cajole
the United States skittish bride, Australia, back into the marital bed.  The
United States faced with the prospect of unilaterally invading Iraq needs
Australia's support.  Local opposition or no local opposition, it is leaning
on the Bali button, hoping that the combination of charm, encouragement and
threats will provide the necessary impetus that's required to pull those
wavering Australian's back into line.

Fear, jingoism, patriotism and nationalism, are the buttons that are being
pushed by an administration that is skilled at getting its own way.  Colin
Powell's charm offensive assisted by a fourth estate, that's forgotten what
journalism is, has succeeded in pushing the wavering parliamentarians back
into line.  What it hasn't been able to do is turn around the opinions held
by a sceptical public that's concerned about where Downer's rhetoric will
lead them.

It's important that we don't allow the mawkish responses to the Bali
bombings be used by the United States government to push its war barrow.  At
the end of the day, it will be young, fit and healthy Australian's and their
friends and families, that will be asked to pay the ultimate price for this
manipulative drive to push Australian's into a war they don't want.

Two weeks ago television, radio and newspapers in Victoria carried prominent
articles about a minor confrontation between a shopkeeper and a middle aged
man of Asiatic appearance in Footscray.  It seems the man was carrying a
puppy that he had found in a shopping bag and that he was trying to sell it
for a few dollars in the mall.  The shopkeeper came across, asked him what
was going on and the man made a motion of bringing his hand to his mouth.

The shopkeeper acting on deeply held prejudices within the Australian
community that Asians especially Vietnamese eat dogs, mistook the man's hand
motion to mean that he was going to eat the puppy. Actually the man was
trying to say that the puppy was hungry.  As misunderstanding piled on
misunderstanding, the shopping bag with the puppy in it was wrestled from
the man's grasp.  

Within a few hours a minor confrontation based on a misunderstanding became
a major community issue.  Front page newspaper articles appeared about how
the dog had been saved from a backyard BBQ. Pictures of the lost puppy
reunited with its owners appeared on the evening news and in the State's
major newspapers.  Next day talk back radio ran hot with conversations about
how the Vietnamese eat dogs.  As the tempo of the discussion increased the
R.S.P.C.A called for changes to the law to stop people from eating their
pets. The Premier, Steve Bracks added fuel to the community wildfire by
suggesting that we can't tolerate this type of behaviour and the law will be
changed to stop this happening in the future.

Within a few days the good will that had been built up over the past two
decades between the Vietnamese community and the wider population, lay in
tatters because of a simple misunderstanding.  What happened is a classical
example of how, flimsy race relations within the Australian community are,
the prejudices that lurk just beneath the surface can come bubbling up at
any time.  If a simple misunderstanding can cause such a reaction, it's
important that those of us within the community that donıt want to see the
hatred and bloodshed happening in Australia, thatıs a feature of ethnic
strife overseas, resist the temptation to scapegoat minorities within
Australian society.  In the aftermath of the Bali tragedy it's doubly
important to resist the temptation to scapegoat minorities because of their
colour, race, religion or culture.  If we donıt, we run the very real risk
of opening the lid on a Pandora's box that will burn all of us.

Across the country the fourth estate, both in its private and public
manifestation is busy, very busy, creating a climate of fear.  Virtual
communication has created an industry where the real and the virtual,
becomes indistinguishable.  Every act of overt violence, no matter how
mundane, is dissected and relived over and over again.  The same images are
flashed up to create a climate of fear that has no relation to the reality
confronting humanity.

People initially become frightened and eventually become hardened to death.
Society rapidly loses its capacity to differentiate between real and
perceived threats, between mass murder and minor altercations.  The threat
of violence percolates every pore of society, compromising even the most
mundane human task.  People sit in their homes, paralysed by the
never-ending images of violence that strips them of their humanity.  Every
little detail is repeated ad nauseam, until it becomes difficult to
differentiate reality from the celluloid.

Individual death and tragedy becomes just another commodity.  Mass,
instantaneous death, becomes a sideshow.  The unnecessary suffering, pain
and death experienced by tens of millions, because of an economic system
that is based on the creation of profit, irrespective of the human and
social costs, is never mentioned, let alone discussed.

If the images don't fit societyıs prevailing view of itself, they don't
exist.  The methodical daily violence, which is perpetuated, is on behalf of
those who have achieved the Australian dream, both inside and outside this
country, is not acknowledged, let alone discussed.  No wonder so many people
in the first world, genuinely cry out why do they hate us, every time they
experience another atrocity.
Q.  How would an anarchist society defend itself against external attack?
A.   The first question the community would ask itself is whether defence is
practicable or for that mater possible.  People may decide that the loss of
life involved in defending what they built is not a price theyıre willing to
pay.  A decision may be made to conduct a protracted guerilla campaign to
dislodge those who have overrun the country because itıs one thing invading
a country but itıs another thing holding onto what has been conquered.
As an anarchist community wonıt have a highly centralised standing army at
their disposal, the task of defence is shared by the community.  Itıs highly
likely storehouses full of weapons have been set up throughout the
community.  In times of danger, these storehouses are opened and arms are
distributed to a citizenıs militia that will use them to defend themselves.
Defensive measures may have been taken before the attack, underground cities
may have been created to protect the population from bombing.  Evacuation
routes may have been prepared to evacuate non-combatants from any possible
combat zone.  
An anarchist community would have also come to some type of arrangement with
surrounding communities.  These communities would come to their aid, if they
were attacked.  What at first may seem to be a haphazard approach to
defence, is a much more satisfactory one than leaving defence to a
professional body of armed men and women who could in times of peace pose a
threat to the community itself.  A well equipped and trained citizens
militia plays an important role in any long term defence option in an
anarchist society.  Although they may be overrun initially, they would pose
a formidable obstacle to any occupying force as those people in the citizens
militia could melt back into the community with their arms.  They would
harass the occupying force when theyıre vulnerable and they would melt back
into the community when they come under pressure.
The history of what happened in East Timor is a history of how small bands
of fighters can dislodge a much larger and better equipped occupying force
that has little if any community support.  Even in the current
technologically sophisticated climate, citizensı militias and small bands of
guerillas still post a significant threat to an occupying force that does
not enjoy community support.
All those of us who were involved in the struggle that helped the Australian
Labor Party decide to block the A.S.I.O. bill in the Senate, need to
re-double our efforts to ensure that the Labor Party does not fall victim to
the hysteria surrounding the deaths in Bali.  Itıs important that we
re-double our efforts to ensure that in the pain and emotion surrounding
these tragic events that the Labor Party does not succumb to the pressure
that the government and the fourth estate are applying on them to pass the
A.S.I.O. bill in the Senate.
To give intelligence agencies extraordinary powers over its citizens opens
the gate to state terrorism.  Historically, some of the worst atrocities
that have been committed, have been committed by governments that control
every aspect of their citizens lives.  Intelligence agencies and political
police play a pivotal role in these atrocities.  Thatıs why itıs important
that we encourage the A.L.P. to hold the line and not give intelligence
agencies the power to arbitrarily detain and interrogate citizens without
charges being laid.
Over the next few weeks itıs important we write to, telephone, fax, email
and visit A.L.P. politicians across the country to encourage them to hold
the line and not abandon their decision to block the A.S.I.O. bill in the
Senate.  In a situation where there is so much personal suffering and where
tragedy has suddenly and unexpectedly touched so many lives, itıs important
that we donıt allow a situation to develop, where the very rights and
freedoms which give us that space to freely associate and protest, are
removed to fight a war on terrorism.  A war which creates the conditions
which encourages and nurtures the growth of terror as a political
philosophy, that is pursued by those who claim to be acting against
terrorism and those who have embraced terrorism as a political weapon.

Hotham appointed a Commission of Enquiry barely two weeks after the Eureka
Stockade massacre, as he was concerned about the ongoing possibility of
further rebellions.  The commission was chaired by William Westgarth a
merchant in the Legislative Council.  The commissioners took evidence for 3
weeks, travelling to Ballarat, Bendigo, Creswick and Castlemaine.  They
released their report 3 months later.  Not surprisingly, they agreed with
all of the diggersı demands, mindful that if they didnıt, civil insurrection
could re-occur in the colony.
They decided that the problems that led to the Eureka rebellion included a
lack of political rights, the minersı inability to buy land and the way the
mining licence was levelled and collected.  Although the mining licence was
the trigger that led to the unrest, it by itself was not the main cause.
They recommended to Hotham that the minersı licence be abolished and
replaced with an export duty on gold of 2 shillings and 6 pence per ounce.
They also recommended that the diggers would pay an annual 1 pound miners
right.  This would give them the right to vote in elections to pick 8
members of the Legislative Council as well as members of the local courts.
The local courts replaced the hated corrupt Gold Commission and regulated
conditions on the goldfields.
On the 14th July 1855, just 8 months after the Eureka rebellion, 9 members
of the mining community, one of which included Rafaello Carboni, were
elected unanimously at Bakery Hill to the local courts.  The diggersı
control of the local courts was seen by the mining community as the "blood
bought rights" of the Eureka rebellion.  Interestingly the right to elect
officials to the local courts is a right that has been lost in Victoria.
The Commission of Enquiry also recommended that the squattersı control of
the land, be broken and the diggers have the right to buy land.  The
resultant subdivision of land around mining sites led to the development of
some of Victoriaıs most important regional towns and cities.  When the gold
petered out, diggers bought land and set up farms and businesses, many
miners made the diggings their new homes.  The Commission also recommended
that the prisoners awaiting trial for High Treason, be given an amnesty,
this suggestion was flatly rejected by Governor Hotham.  It seems the
Governor needed a conviction to justify the Eureka massacre and keep his
The right to elect members to the Legislative Council led to the election of
two of the main leaders of the rebellion Peter Lalor and John Humffray, to
the Council in November 1855, less than one year after the massacre.  The
right to elect members to the local courts and the Legislative Council in
the mining areas was restricted to males with a current Minerıs Right.

By Jack London, Introduction by Anatole France, 1st Published 1907, 1947
Edition Northumberland Press, Great Britain.
An old communist Roy Salfinger, a man who these days, is fighting to see the
sunrise the next day, gave me this book to read.  He claimed it was the
greatest book that has ever been written.
Jack London was a revolutionary socialist and author who wrote a number of
very popular novels during the first part of the 20th century.  In _The Iron
Heelı he attempted to predict the type of society that would be created if
unbridled capitalism won the class struggle.  His hero, an amalgam of the
mythical socialist man Ernest Everhard, is in Anatole Franceıs words "full
of courage and wisdom, full of strength and gentleness".
The central story revolves around what happens when the people pit
themselves against the "Plutocracy".  London was greatly influenced by the
fate of the Paris Communards in 1871.  He uses what happened in Paris, when
the Communards were overrun by a coalition of French and German troops, as
the backbone for his novel.
London was writing less than 35 years after the summary execution of 1 in 10
Communards in 1871 (about 40,000 people) after the failed Paris Commune.
The executions were carried out to ensure that the people of France and
other European countries would never rise up against their masters.  London
weaves the events of the Paris Commune in his book.  Through his characters,
he attempts to create a world that is populated by the Oligarchy, the people
and a band of highly disciplined communist revolutionaries that act as fish
in a sea of humanity.  Jack Londonıs world is bleak and despairing.  The
author has in _The Iron Heelı inadvertently highlighted the criticism that
anarchists have always levelled at communists, that in the end there is
little difference between those who use a highly centralised State apparatus
to impose their vision whether itıs capitalism or communism on the people.
_The Iron Heelı is an example of a type of literature that was spawned by a
movement that believed that a highly committed vanguard was the only way to
create revolutionary change.  Itıs the type of book that I imagine Stalin,
Trotsky and Lenin took to bed with them.  If you want to get a hold of a
copy, try your local library or one of those old communist/socialist book
stores that still manage to open their doors.
Thanks to Roy Salfinger for providing me with the review copy of _The Iron

Two birds flew from one tree to another just as the car I was driving passed
by a clump of trees.  I thought nothing of it, although I was a little
surprised by their decision to fly across the front of a rapidly moving
vehicle at that very last moment.  A few hours later, I thought I heard a
rustle in the front of the car, I thought little about it, till I stopped
about half an hour later.  This time I was sure I heard something, I pulled
next to an oval, climbed out and had a look round, nothing.  As I moved back
to the front door, I heard it again.
Opening the car hood, the heat welled up in my face, nothing, a minute later
I heard a rustle, not in the engine but in the front panel adjacent to the
engine.  I looked but could not see a thing.  The thought that a snake had
curled up into the panel sometime during the day, crossed my mind, I
dismissed it when I saw some greyish bird down next to the front wheel.  The
sun streaming under the open hood caused more activity in the panel.
Suddenly I noticed a bird beak poke out between some pieces of metal.  It
was a bird.  I left the hood open and within 5 or 6 minutes, what seemed
like a wattle bird flew into the top branches of one of the trees
surrounding the oval.  It sat there ruffling its feathers and making a
racket.  Within a few minutes about a dozen of its countrymen came to
investigate.  When they saw it, they pecked at it and drove it from what I
assume they believed was their patch of trees.
After miraculously surviving a 70 kilometre trip in the hot side panel of a
car with a few ruffled feathers, it was driven off into the wilderness by
its own kind.  I suspect the bird has starved or is starving to death
because every time it touches down into somebody elseıs territory, it is
driven away.  I doubt it has found its way back to its patch of dirt.
Thinking about what happened, I couldnıt help note the similarity between
the fate of the wattle bird and the fate of the asylum seekers who arrive in
Australia by leaky boats.  After escaping and surviving horrors that we
canıt even imagine, they are faced with the very real prospect of being
driven out of the land they sought refuge in.  The way they are treated by
Australian society is very similar to the situation that the wattle bird
faced when it flew unannounced into somebody elseıs territory.
Youıd think that after millions of years of evolution things would be
different.  It seems that although human beings may be bathing in
technological opulence, human morality was stillborn during the Neanderthal

The Turkish government has just moved over 12,000 soldiers into the Northern
Iraq _no fly zoneı.  It seems that the White House has given the Turkish
government the green light to prevent the Kurds from establishing a Kurdish
State, if Saddam Hussein is ousted from power by the United States military
machine.  Saddam Hussein was left in power in 1991 to act as a buffer zone
to prevent the spread of Muslim fundamentalism from Iran into Southern Iraq.
Now that his regime has outlived its usefulness, it is about to be toppled.
Itıs highly likely that Kuwait, Syria, Iran and the Kurds will carve up
Saddam Husseinıs fiefdom if heıs ousted and a United States military
occupation of Iraq does not occur.  Needing the Turkish governmentıs support
to invade Iraq, the United States has negotiated a deal about the Kurds
future that once again leaves them without a homeland.  Itıs important to
remember Kurds who have been living in Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey have
been fighting to establish a Kurdish State since the beginning of the
The Turkish government has been involved in a protracted armed struggle
against the Kurds over the past few decades.  Its biggest fear is that the
Kurds will be able to form their own State in Northern Iraq and use the
resources at their disposal to liberate those Kurds who have been living
under the yoke of an occupying force in Turkey as well as Syria and Iran.
The Kurds were denied a State when the imperial powers divided the region
after World War I.  Over 80 years later, they still are being denied the
right to form a State because statehood does not fit the geo-political plans
of the United States and her allies in the region.
If Bushıs talk of _regime changeı (military occupation) has any legitimacy
and if the United States has any interest in the human rights of the people
in Northern Iraq, it wouldnıt have given the Turkish government the green
light to cross over into the area and resist with armed force the Kurds
attempts to declare a State if the Saddam Hussein regime is toppled.
Joseph TOSCANO/Libertarian Workers
for a Self-Managed Society.

1976 Director: Sidney Lumet.USA 121 Minutes.
A network news commentator Howard Beale begins to say what he thinks about
the world and becomes a new Messiah to the viewers and an embarrassment to
his corporate sponsors. Howard threatens to kill himself "death live on TV"
and the show's ratings go ballistic.
quote: "You're television incarnate, Diana, indifferent to suffering,
insensitive to joy. All of life is reduced to the common rubble of banality.
War, murder, death ­ all the same to you as bottle of beer and the daily
business of life is a corrupt comedy. You even shatter the sensations of
time and space into split seconds and instant replays."
quote: "I want you all to get up now, out of your chairs, go to the window,
open it, stick your heard out and yell: I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to
take this anymore ! " '
26 years later the over the top satire seems like media today.
**** entertainment *** politics
TRIVIA: similar themed tv-fix flix
Ace In The Hole.aka The Big Carnival. USA. Director: Billy Wilder 1951 112
min. (note: There is a Simpsons cartoon tribute to this classic with a
similar poor soul stuck in a hole theme exploited by the media.)
Bob Roberts 1992. US Director Tim Robbins. 104 min. Reactionary millionaire
folk-singer and wannabe politician Bob Roberts career. Great mockumentary on
manufactured imagery and smearing the opposition.
Face In the Crowd. 1957.           Fellow Traveller. 1989.
Kamikaze. 1986   KentuckyFriedMovie.1977.
Meet Mr Lucifer 1953.                Tapeheads 1988.

1969 Director: Joseph McGrath. 95 min. UK.
Based on Terry Southern's book on the power of money.  Peter Sellers plays
an eccentric multi-millionaire playing hoaxes & jokes on a greedy populace.
Ringo Starr, Spike Milligan, John Cleese, Christopher Lee & others string
together the sketches.  Climaxes with citizens diving for dollars in a vat
of blood and manure.
*** for enertainment *** politics
TRIVIA: similar British satires.
1966 Morgan a Suitable Case for Treatment.
1968 Praise Marx & Pass the Ammunition.
1969 The Bed Sitting Room.
1969 Oh What A Lovely War !
1970 Rise & Rise of Michael Rimmer.
1973 O' Lucky Man.
1975 Monty Python & The Holy Grail.
1982 Britannia Hospital.

_ ABATALHA No.194, July/Aug 2002, R Marques de Ponte de Lima, 37-2-D,
1100-337 LIJBOA, PORTUGAL, jornalabatalha@hotmail.com

DEBT ELIMINATION APPEAL ­ Our debt stands at $1564.25
23-12-2002 TO 10-01-2003 in an attempt to help clear our mounting debts.  If
you can help re-subscribe, buy a subscription for your local library or
friends or send a donation.  Make out cheques or money orders to LIBERTARIAN
If sending less than $20.00 please send us 45cent stamps.    Subscription
Rates 10 Issues = $10.00, 50 Issues = $50.00
Debt 23-10-2002            $1564.25
Breakfast at Eureka Hall at 8.00AM
on the Eureka Stockade site, bring your food and drinks
AT 11.00AM
(Round trip around 5 kilometres)
Lunch at EUREKA HALL AT 1.00PM
Bring your own food and drinks

Increasing financial problems have forced us to review how The Anarchist
Media Instituteıs finances are raised.  Currently subscriptions and
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
_A Dollar A Dayı for twelve months.
You can donate monthly or yearly.  Make out cheques and money orders to:-
Libertarian Workers and send to PO Box 20, Parkville. 3052. Melbourne.
Those who pledge will receive a "I Saved The Anarchist Media Institute" A3
poster which you can frame and put up at work or home - A great talking
point if nothing else.  Weıve got the ideas and energy but we need your
financial assistance to keep going.  Go on, become one of the Magnificent
Thirty that saved the Anarchist Media Institute.

ADDRESS  http://www.freespeech.org/anarchistAge
Want to help us find new listeners for the Anarchist World This Week? Send a
few stamps to AWTW, PO Box 20, Parkville 3052, Melbourne VIC. Australia.
We'll send you out a colour poster (A3) for your use  & a black & white
poster you can photocopy, put up & display to help us increase
the number of people who listen to the Anarchist World This Week.

Has been awarded to those government and media gurus who are using the
deaths at Bali as an excuse to pressure the A.L.P. to drop their opposition
to the passage of the A.S.I.O. bill in the Senate.

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.

This week's stories: Jails Creating Criminals...New York Firefighters Get
Words But No More...Selective Compassion After Bali Bombing...
A former nurse at a jail has said that criminals are routinely brutalised to
the point that jail makes them far more likely to commit serious crimes, not
less. The former nurse identified only as Jenny, told one story of a man in
his 20s who was raped by other prisoners. She went to his cell where he was
curled up in a corner. "I have never seen anyone so scared. It was one of
the most horrific things. He could barely speak. I was trying to comfort
him, and in the background the guards were laughing, as if it was a joke. I
managed, after a while, to coax him from his cell - he was like a pup that
had been badly beaten. As we were walking across the yard, they [the guards]
were mimicking how he was walking, crouched over, and laughing at him. He'd
been so badly raped that his bowel had ruptured. That seemed to provide an
additional element of humour. He was just a boy". A prison officer working
in the same jail has confirmed Jenny's story. The victim, who was serving a
short sentence for drug offences, had been placed in a cell with a man who
was in for 15 years for a series of violent armed robberies, and whoıd a
history of standing over younger prisoners. The victim had filled in 2
complaint forms saying that he feared heıd be raped and asking to be moved
to another cell. Theyıd been ignored. The victim was too scared to say
anything for fear of retribution. A prison official told Jenny that "itıs
not a rape in that case. Itıs just institutional sex" and refused to have
him taken to a sexual assault unit. Jenny even had to argue for him to be
taken to hospital. The rapist also had a 'notifiable disease' - possibly
AIDS. Jenny said "the prisoners are treated as being beneath animals by the
guards". Forensic psychiatrist Dr Yolande Lucire told a similar story. An
inmate had been "banged up between 2 sadistic psychopaths whoıd beaten him
up and thrown hot water over him. They knew he had money in a bank account
on the outside and were threatening to send people over to his sister's
house to rape her unless he handed over the money". Dr Lucire says prison
authorities knew about it but did nothing. Dr Lucire interviewed the
prisoner and made a submission to prison and health authorities. Ron
Woodham, then senior assistant commissioner of the NSW Corrective Services
Dept, and now Commissioner, wrote to her saying "it is my intention to deny
you access to every NSW correctional centre". The majority of prisoners are,
drug addicts and are sentenced for drug-related crimes. Theyıre placed on
methadone for their prison term. One officer said "with methadone, we are
just keeping them addicted to drugs for their sentence, making them easier
to handle, and then they get out and go straight back on heroin". Another
officer said that "there are inmates who would genuinely like to use their
time inside to come clean, but there is nowhere for them...But thereıs a
pervading attitude in the Dept. that drugged prisoners are easier to deal
with". One expert said "the only real difference between the 19th century
prisons and the today's is that the toilets flush. They're just as brutal as
they've ever been". An officer at a Sydney jail said "you hear all these
people talking about how jail is a holiday...but gee, if they only knew. I
always think about what it would be like if my son got sent to jail - I
mean, there are plenty of good kids who, for whatever reason, can go a bit
off the rails. If heıs a rough-and-tumble sort of bloke I suppose he could
survive. He'd be scarred forever - he'd never be the same. But if heıs in
any way soft or weak and he got more than, say, 4 or 5 years, I'd almost
wish him dead rather than see him go through that system, knowing what
happens. I really would". Today there are more than 21,000 people in jail at
any one time - almost double the number a decade ago. Over the last 15 years
the rise in the number of people in jail has been matched by an equivalent
increase in the numbers of crimes. This seems to contradict the 'law and
order' theory that tougher sentences and more jails will reduce crime. (Good
Weekend, Oct 19). 
New York firefighters, despite being hailed as heroes for their role after
the World Trade Centre bombing, have been refused an adequate wage. Steve
Cassidy from the Uniformed Firefighters Ass., says firefighters appreciated
the praise they had gotten from politicians, but "we need a living wage".
NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg has asked all city agencies to prepare for deep
cuts in next year's budget. (The Age, Oct 12).
Nearly half the victims of the Bali bombing were local Balinese - despite
the presentation of the bombing in the media as an 'attack on Australia'.
The Balinese victims have not been airlifted to Western hospitals, but have
been left with the local hospital system, which is inadequate at the best of
times. (email from an Australian working in Bali, who is coordinating a
relief effort for local Balinese - email Imgoen at idep@dps.centrin.net.id).
anarchist news service write to James, PO Box 503, Newtown NSW 2042 or
email james.hutchings@ato.gov.au contact us to get ATNTF emailed directly to
If you like All the News That Fits, forward it on. All the News That Fits
appears in the Anarchist Age Weekly Review (www.vicnet.net.au/~anarchist -
PO Box 20 Parkville VIC 3052)
and The Ham (theham@cat.org.au).

Some other Australian anarchist websites:
www.angry.at/racists - Anarchist/anti-racist music site with free mp3s, Real
Audio, Real Video, band interviews etc.
www.dolearmy.org - information for unemployed people.
www.activate.8m.com - anarchist magazine aimed at teenagers.

EMAIL MADNESS - Have access to cyberspace?  Want to help us save on printing
and postage costs?  Then why donıt you receive the Anarchist Age Weekly
Review by email?  INTERESTED??  Then email us at anarchistage@yahoo.com and
arrange to have the weekly emailed to you.

 If You Like What You Have Read, Photocopy This Publication and Leave It In
Doctors, Dentists, 
Vets Waiting Rooms and In Railway Stations, Bus Stops, Libraries and
Restaurants Etc.

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. 

All material in the Anarchist Age Weekly Review can be used by anarchists,
anarchist collectives and non-profit organisations as long as the source of
the material is mentioned in the article.  The Anarchist Age Weekly Review
reserves all rights as far as commercial publications are concerned.

       ****** The A-Infos News Service ******
      News about and of interest to anarchists
  COMMANDS: lists@ainfos.ca
  REPLIES: a-infos-d@ainfos.ca
  HELP: a-infos-org@ainfos.ca
  WWW: http://www.ainfos.ca/
  INFO: http://www.ainfos.ca/org

-To receive a-infos in one language only mail lists@ainfos.ca the message:
                unsubscribe a-infos
                subscribe a-infos-X
 where X = en, ca, de, fr, etc. (i.e. the language code)

A-Infos Information Center