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(en) resistance issue 52. Monthly bulletin of the Anarchist Federation (Britain)

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Fri, 1 Aug 2003 16:46:29 +0200 (CEST)

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

> From: E W <nastyned-A-email.com>
The recent wildcat walk-outs at Heathrow, which caused the
cancellation of 400 flights showed in stark terms how vulnerable the
bosses really are, and how dependent they are, on our willingness to
carry on working as usual.
The unofficial action by 250 check-in staff was against the imposition
of a new electronic time-keeping system, Automated Time Recording
(ATR). The workers concerns are that information gleaned from the
system will be used to devise new rostering systems that could see
them working shifts of as little as two hours, being called in at short
notice during busy periods, and sent home during quiet shifts.
To say the least, this would make it difficult for the workforce to plan
their lives out of work well as they currently can. In essence, this
struggle is about a group of workers not wanting their bosses to
interfere to a greater extent in their lives.

The imposition of the new system, which BA tried with no
consultation, was met by point blank refusal to work. The action was
wildcat in nature due to the unions being merely verbally opposed to
ATR rather than actually doing anything to stop it. The response of the
unions to the strike was to get the workers back to work and go to
ACAS. The GMB union leadership, which has been trying to achieve
majority representation in Heathrow and Gatwick, played tough and
called for a official strike ballot, as did the smaller Amicus, but the
Transport and General Workers Union held back. The wildcat action
has led to a climb down by management, with use of the new swipe
cards being voluntary, so workers are wisely still using the old signing
in system.

The unions have openly spoken of the need for a “cooling off
period”, which is predictably manipulative, given that August is the
time of year when the airport is busiest and so the company is most
vulnerable to attack from workers.

The way forward for check in workers is to go back on the offensive
during the busy summer period, create independent links with others
opposed to the new system, such as the engineers, who are
threatening strike action on this issue, and to co-ordinate their own
fight, outside the control of the union full-timers. Relying on official
channels to initiate anything always brings frustration – direct
action is the only way we can win.


Supporters of Western capitalism used to argue that democracies do
not start wars. It is now perfectly clear what nonsense this is.
States, all states, including so-called democracies are enthusiastic in
their use of violence to maintain and extend their power. Bush, Blair
and co have demonstrated their enthusiasm for butchery in Iraq and
elsewhere in the world.

As the media never tire of telling us, the USA is the worlds only
remaining super power. With the almost total collapse to Stalinism as
a counter weight to US global domination, the USA is flexing its
muscles when and wherever it sees fit. The US has, of course, used
violence before to extend its power, the example of Vietnam comes to
mind and for many years it has treated Latin America as its own
private domain.

But now, with the collapse of the USSR, it can act more or less totally
unchecked. As is clear from the war on Iraq the interests of American
capitalism are the predominant factor in US actions and nothing it
seems will stop them. After all, they effectively destroyed the United
Nations over Iraq (not that it was good for anything). No power exists
to prevent the US doing exactly as it wishes.

The US is creating a truly global empire and it’s happily sacrificing
its soldiers (not to mention foreign populations) in the process.
Daily, US troops are killed by Iraqi resistance. The US is building up
its own system of client states to extend and reinforce its global
power, Britain of course, being the number one poodle in this process.
So, we have the beginnings of the American world empire.

Empires are unstable
Empires, however, are inherently unstable. All empires in the end
collapse under the weight of the contradictions they create. And, the
US empire is not as strong as it appears. Of course, militarily the US
is virtually unstoppable. It can destroy any force that opposes it
through a vast superiority of firepower.

However, it is one thing to win the war and it is another to win the
peace, as is demonstrated in Iraq. There is a limit to the number of
dead US soldiers that the American system can tolerate.

After Vietnam, the USA cannot take huge numbers of casualties. Iraq
was a push over, however, with its million strong army and probable
nuclear weapons North Korea will not be as easy. Even Cuba, which is
the USA’s next-door neighbour, cannot at the moment be defeated
without unacceptably high losses.

Another threat to the US power is daily growing stronger. This threat
is China. Although economically backwards at the moment the
Chinese system of market capitalism combined with one party
dictatorship is making enormous progress. In the not too distant future
China too will be a super power, re-creating a world system similar to
the one under the cold war.

So, arrogant as it now is, the American empire is vulnerable. Whether
it is super power rivalry or resistance at the bottom US domination is
not permanently safe – but it is only resistance from below that can
rid the world of Empires and the “democratic” or “socialist” states that
create and maintain them.



There seems to have been something in the air for the last month –
aside from the Heathrow Wildcats, there’s been a burst of
industrial action around the county and much of it has been successful.
The fight back against the attempts to divide the workforce in the NHS
into those directly employed by the NHS trusts and those employed by
a private contractor received a couple of welcome boosts this month,
with two victories in the fight for equal conditions. Workers contracted
by Carillion at Goole, Grimsby and Scunthorpe general hospitals struck
for 17 days and won a 18% pay rise and an occupational sick pay
scheme, as well as paid compassionate leave. In Bolton, porters took
12 days of action and won a rise of 10.25%, sick pay from first day of
any absence and payment at time and a third for night working as well
as other benefits. News of these victories seems to have spread
throughout the NHS – Porters at Glasgow's Southern General
Hospital are now set to strike.

There was another encouraging victory for Nursery nurses in Tower
Hamlets who successfully fought off the bosses plans to significantly
worsen their working conditions. The dispute provoked a three-week
walk-out – fully supported by the local parents and residents –
which resulted in complete victory for the workers.

The long running transport dispute in Devon between Stagecoach and
drivers saw a fifth day of strike action – the drivers are currently
paid 20% below the national average, despite the huge profits
Stagecoach are pulling in. Stagecoach have a terrible reputation for
treating their workforce like dirt – this fight-back is long overdue.
The chemicals company Rhodia faced two days of strikes 17-18th July
at their Oldbury and Widnes plants - a total of 625 people walked out
to defend their pensions – the first time workers have ever struck
over this issue (more please!) and they have promised more to come if
their demands are not met promptly.

Big trouble brewing for bosses at Shorts in Belfast, where nearly a
1000 workers have rejected a company offer recommended by their
union and also refused their shop-stewards a mandate to negotiate on
their behalf. Along with reports that union officials have been busy
working to stop any further walk-outs at Heathrow, we once again see
what appears to be inevitable in times of upturns in open class
struggle - unions working hand in hand with bosses to protect
themselves and their positions instead of taking action on the workers
demands. How much longer will they be allowed to get away with it?


Against the arms trade, Against the WTO, Against the global
capitalist system!

The arms fair “Defence Systems & Equipment International
(DSEi) 2003” is due to run from the 9th to 12th September, at the
EXCEL Centre, London. This get-together for the merchants of death
is organised by Spearhead Exhibitions Ltd, in association with the UK
Ministry of Defence.

DSEi coincides with the WTO meetings being held in Cancun,
Mexico. As part of the continuing world wide opposition to the WTO a
European call to action has been issued to support the “Disarm
DSEi” actions happening between the 6th and 12th September. The
10th September, coinciding with the opening ceremony in Cancun, has
been reserved as a day of direct action, with no rules or guidelines. As
part of this day labelled “Destroy DSEi” there have been calls
for autonomous direct action and blockades, and a critical mass and
reclaim the streets actions are being arranged. The Anarchist
Federation is supportng the actions aimed at destroying DSEi, and
opposing the WTO, along with the whole capitalist system.

The last DSEi exhibition took place on 9-11 as New York and
Washington were under attack, unsurprisingly DSEi unlike many other
industries decided to keep their doors open to ensure all sides were
armed and ready for the ensuing wars. Once again DSEi gears up to
ensure the leaders of the world have their tools for repression and
destruction, while their friends in the WTO ensure that those not killed
by the weapons of war will be sucked dry by their economic policies.
This whole lavish affair, sponsored by the government, takes place in
Canning Town, in Newham, one of London’s poorest boroughs, this
kind of sick display is another kick in the teeth that working class
people have come to expect, the Government seemingly have money to
burn to ensure these dealers in death are able to ply their trade in
luxury whilst the needs of those who live locally are continually
ignored. Lets put a stop to this…

Days of Action include:
Saturday 6th - Unity March in Central London. The Anarchist Youth
Network are calling for a “Libertarian bloc” on this march. For
more info Email: info@anarchistyouth.net
Sunday 7th and Monday 8th - Conference with workshops.
Tuesday 9th - “Facing the Arms Traders” A peaceful
demonstration at Custom House. Wednesday 10th - “Day of
Direct Action Blockades” (no rules, no guidelines)

For more information visit:
http://dsei.org and



Whilst attending the counter-protests to the bosses EU summit on the
21st June in Thessaloniki, Greece, UK activist Simon Chapman was
brutally attacked by Greek police.

Whilst sitting on the roadside still being beaten undercover police
swapped his rucksack with a black one containing Molotov cocktails
and an axe. He now faces, if convicted, a minimum of seven years in
prison. He has been denied bail for the moment and is in prison in
Greece, sharing a cell with nine other people. He was among eight
other activists arrested in Thessaloniki.

Thessaloniki Prisoners Solidarity are providing support for the
prisoners, including Simon. They meet regularly in London and are
planning further action and fund-raisers. Email them at
or join the email list by sending a blank email to:
If you can donate you can do it by standing order to:
Account #: 51 172 0009
Sort code 70-00-01
Send cheques payable to “ABC” to:
BM Automatic, London, WC1N 3XX.



The Argentina Autonomista Project have just finished a successful
tour of Britain and Ireland. The tour consisted of an excellent puppet
show telling the history of capitalism in Argentina and the resistance
to it by the people.
This was followed by a talk by a member of the militant piquetero
group Anibal Veron and then a question and answer session. It was
inspiring to hear how people have used direct action to take control of
their lives.
The tour made about 20 stops - from Brighton to Edinburgh to Dublin -
and was very well attended. Many anarchists from the AF and other
groups were involved in the organisation of the tour which resulted in
our Argentinian sisters spreading the word about their struggles and
also taking over £1000 back in donations to help set up a community
based health centre.

For more information visit:
To listen to an interview with Graciela, the puppeteer, Visit:



Following a lively and enthusiastic meeting it was decided that
Wakefield Anarchist Group and Bradford Anarchist Group would
merge to form a new group called “Stateless” working in both
cities and the surrounding areas, weekly meetings have been arranged
and a new fortnightly newssheet called Stateless is in preparation
(Wakey Wurka is to be no more). The group also decided to hold
weekly stalls alternatively in Wakefield and Bradford
Stateless, P.O. BOX 6, Wakefield, WF4 3WX, 07715 517 094 Email:
• Surrey Disarm-DSEi has bee formed to campaign against the
arms fair being held in London Docklands in Septmeber (see article
over). A pubic meeting has been organised at the Friends Meeting
House in Guildford (Ward St, off North Street) at 7.30pm on August
Contact Surrey Disarm DSEi on: 07952 653 582 or Visit:
• In Devon there are around 250 people actively refusing to pay
their council tax since it went up in April and have said they will only
pay increases in line with inflation (something like 1.5%).
• Hereford residents recently showed that the powers or
spontaneous direct action are alive and well - and successful.
Hereford city busses were recently re-routed for the first time in 30
years, turning quiet residential areas with no bus stops into busy bus
lanes for the convenience of the travel companies. Furious at this,
locals staged a sit down protest blocking the busses for around an
hour. Later that week First Bus Company announced the re-routing
away from the quiet back roads - to equally quiet back roads!
More pressure from local residents forced the bus company to cave in
and reverse the bus routes to the former state. Hurray to the
sit-downers! (see Rebel Bull 6 at: www.herefordanarchists.cjb.net)
• Residents of Wolverhampton forced the local council into an
embarrassing turnaround. The inept council had planned to shut down
the main road into the city for 6 weeks. Angry locals announced they
would take direct action to prevent the closure, resulting in the council
backing down, only shutting small areas of the road.
Last month 5000 people took part in a demonstration against the
expansion of halfpenny green airport near Wolverhampton. Expansion
would result in both environmental damage/noise pollution for
residents in working class districts of Wolverhampton and the



Rotten to the Core
Gary Mills and Tony Poole are now free, their convictions quashed.
The issue is not over yet: “Nothing will ever make me feel that
justice has been done.” Remarked Tony. This is the hypocrisy of
the system; “Two examples of gross police malpractice have
recently come to light. In once case, two local men are fitted-up for
murder and serve 14 years in prison despite being innocent. Do the
police apologize? Do they, fuck. Is there an enquiry in the this
miscarriage of justice? Is there, fuck.”
“In another case some stand-up comedian gatecrashes a party and
within a day there are investigations all over the place. There is a full
and unreserved apology and much grovelling and scraping from the
More on this can be found here: http://anarchist606.blogspot.com/ and
Prison System in Chaos
Leaked reports reveal prison chaos with 1,200 serious incidents in 2
weeks. For more see:

Victory for Jailed Anarchist
US anarchist Cassidy Wheeler has his lawsuit settled on 23rd April.
Bristol ABC received this communique from the US; “Oregon DOC
has to re-write the mail regulations and probably the Security Threat
Group criteria as well. What this means is that folks CAN send
anarchist related materials to Cassidy. Pamphlets, newspapers,
reprints off the INTERNET are exempt. NO ESCAPE PLANS or
HOW TO BUILD BOMBS. Of course you can’t encourage people
to riot etc. at least not in clear language. Confusion To Our
Enemies.” Mike.
Way to go people! For background info Visit:

Wobbly held in Israel
Bill Capowski, a member of the Industrial Workers of the World
(“the Wobblies”), left the US on July 1 to volunteer with the
International Solidarity Movement to help the Palestinian people
peacefully resist Israeli military occupation. He travelled to a small
village in the northern West Bank, near Jenin where with three other
internationals and the local population a peace camp was set up.
To make the story short, the four internationals were arrested by the
Israeli army on July 9 after refusing to leave the area. They were
beaten, taken to a military base, and denied legal counsel. At their
deportation hearing they were issued deportation orders, which they
would not sign. They were transferred to Ariel Police Station on
Thursday. During the ride to the station, the police captain transporting
them was driving 93 miles per hour and got into a serious car accident
with Bill and the others in the back, who were shackled and not
wearing seatbelts. They are injured and need independent medical
personnel to evaluate and treat them. The four remain at Ariel Police
Station, and are denied visitation from lawyers and others, phone calls,
proper food, exercise and natural light.


Subvert and resist

Take precautions when going on demonstrations and don’t take
cameras, booze or drugs. If you’re nicked give your name and
address then say ‘no comment’ to any other questions.

AUGUST – 1-3: Radical bookfair and film festival 1in12 Club,
Albion St, Bradford, 01274 734160 repressed@mail.com
2-15: Trident Ploughshares Camp. The camp is just half a mile from the
Trident warhead depot. Contact: davidmc@enterprise.net
11: Oxford Rising Tide demonstration in London. 01865 241097
info@risingtide.org.uk www.risingtide.org.uk
13-17: Earth First! summer gathering. Radical ecological direct action
get together. Write c/o Cornerstone Resource Centre, 16 Sholebroke
Avenue, Leeds LS7 3HB. Email: summergathering@yahoo.co.uk,
Visit: www.earthfirstgathering.org.uk
22-25: Reclaim the Bases summer camp, Bluebell wood AWE
Aldermaston, near Reading. www.reclaimthebases.org.uk
SEPTEMBER – 6-12: Shut Down DSEi (Defence Systems
Equipment International). DSEi is Europe’s largest trade fair for
guns, bombs, military planes, small arms, mines and tanks. A mass
international protest has been called. For more info Email:
disarm@dsei.org, Visit: www.dsei.org or write c/o 11 Goodwin Street,
London, N4 3HQ. Tel: 0781 7652 029 or 07887 620 379.
10: Day of Direct Action against DSEi. Mass actions are being
planned along with assorted affinity group actions. For more info
Email: dsei_da@london.com


Join the resistance

The Anarchist Federation is an organisation of class struggle
anarchists aiming 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, its destruction must be
complete and world wide. We reject attempts to reform it, such as
working through parliament and
national liberation movements, 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 limits.
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
The Anarchist Federation has members across Britain and Ireland
fighting for the kind of world outlined above. Contact us at:

Anarchist Federation,
84B, Whitechapel High Street,
London, E1 7QX. Tel: 07946 214 590
Visit: www.afed.org.uk
Email: anarchistfederation@bigfoot.com

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