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(en) reistance issue 55 - November 2003. AF (Anarchist Federation - Britain)

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Mon, 10 Nov 2003 10:15:18 +0100 (CET)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
News about and of interest to anarchists
http://ainfos.ca/ http://ainfos.ca/index24.html

It was a Red October for Royal Mail with two weeks of wildcat
strikes at many post offices and depots in the UK.
Over 25,000 postal workers took direct action outside the confines of
the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and stuck two fingers up
at the bosses. Royal Mail bosses reacted to this show of strength
with Gestapo type surveillance techniques.
However, the wildcat strikes spread like wildfire through Royal Mail
depots in west and north-west London and then to outside of the
capital. The action is said to have flared-up at Southall in west London
where workers were livid about aggressive management tactics.
The walkouts spread as people were suspended for such action as
refusing to do the work of people already on strike. On Tuesday 21st
October 400 workers at Dartford sorting office went on wildcat after a
driver was suspended. More than 100 people continued to maintain the
picket line even after the driver was re-instated. Also on the 21st
about 1,000 workers at Greenford in west London walked out and
workers in West Ealing, Acton and Kensington and many more places
also took direct action. Up to 100 workers walked-out of the delivery
office in Leyton on 23rd of October. All of London’s main sorting
offices were hit including the city’s biggest, Mount Pleasant.
On the 27th of October Royal Mail top boss Alan Leighton turned up
at a mass meeting at the Greenford sorting office desperate to
convince workers to get back to the slog. He was ignored.
Roger Baynes, Head of Operations for Royal Mail appealed to the
CWU to do its job of helping to control workers when he said,
“The union tells us it disowns this wildcat action. Let them prove
it by working with us to get their members back to work”.
Postwatch the so-called “consumer” group helped illustrate
the real role of the unions in this society when it stated. “The
management and unions must regain control,” or face a “winter
of postal discontent”.

Direct Action
On Tuesday 4th November Firefighters in Norfolk took wildcat strike
action against a stitch-up two stage pay “deal”. The strikes
spread rapidly throughout the UK as far as Strathclyde, Grampian,
Fife Central, Lothian and Borders, Derbyshire, Wiltshire,
Nottinghamshire, Humberside, South Yorkshire and Northern Ireland.
The recent strikes show that direct action against all bosses including
those of the unions is always possible. As one firefighter put it
“For workforces everywhere, if something annoys them enough
they take spontaneous unofficial action,” he said. “It
doesn’t matter whether they’re in Strathclyde or in the Polish
The fire-fighters direct action happened as the unions at Heathrow
airport were preparing to stage a two-day strike. Bosses in the UK
and overseas got a real shock in the summer after a major wildcat
broke out at Heathrow. Check-in staff and baggage handlers were
enraged at the imposition of the totalitarian Automated Time
Recording system. Now it seems that the unions are attempting to
demonstrate to the bosses and state that they can police the anger of
workers. By organising two-day official strikes the union can help take
the heat out of the situation and pacify the workers with minimal
disruption in a vital part of the economy.
But now the spectre of the wildcat strike is haunting the UK again
what next? Simultaneous direct action across different workplaces
and on the streets? We’ll see.

See a leaflet & text produced by a posties workplace resistance group
on the Anarchist Federation discussion board at www.enrager.net
under “forums”.



A new version of council tax has been introduced across the country
in recent months, seeing amount payable rocket by up to 18%.
This amount, far outreaching inflation is hitting working class people,
especially pensioners, hard. The cost of council tax has risen by 70%
since 1997 and is set to rise at least an extra 10% by the end of the
next year. Pensioners have been suffering from the raises, with
pensions simply not matching the rocketing tax increases. However it
isn’t all doom and gloom. People are beginning to organise and
fight back against these crippling taxes. About 300 pensioners in
Devon and Cornwall are refusing to pay, and many more are taking
other forms of direct action. This is a tax which effects us all, and the
best way for us to halt its destructive progress is to join together with
others in your community, old and young(er) alike, to fight the
Over twenty anti-council tax groups have sprung up and details can be
found on the “Is it Fair” campaign website: www.isitfair.co.uk
(though if they think petitions to Tony Blair will help they’re going
to be sadly dissapointed). The poll tax was defeated by a massive
campaign of non-payment, local organising, massive demonstrations
and riots. “Is it Fair” would do well to learn from this.



• What? The Confederation of British Industries’ National
• When? The opening cocktail reception that we are targeting is at
6pm on Sunday the 16th of November 2003
• Where? The ICC, Birmingham
• Why? Because the CBI is essentially a bosses’ union which
calls itself “the voice of British business”. It lobbies for a
“competitive atmosphere” for business, which obviously
translates into attacks on workers, the environment,and pretty much
everything that we as activists oppose. This event is even billed as
“the most high profile business event in Europe outside
Davos”, so it seems a worthy target to us. Just have a look at their
own website at www.cbi.org.uk/conference2003/.
• How? However you like! In recent years the police seem to have
cottoned on to our tactics and have become irritatingly effective at
stopping some of them. You have only to look at the recent DSEi arms
fair protests: the tactics which worked were those carried out
unannounced by small affinity groups, whereas the announced street
party was an abysmal failure with people walking straight into a police
To avoid a repeat of this and recent May Days, the West Midlands
Anarchists are encouraging you and your group to come up with your
own way of disrupting the CBI’s dinner. They e have provided a
map of the area (and a plan of the building?), and nearer to the date
they will provide anyone interested with any other information that
they have. They ask any groups who are likely to come to Birmingham
for this to let them know if accommodation is required and to contact
them to help co-ordinate actions etc., although you should obviously
use your own judgement as to how much information you share. If
there is sufficient interest then they will hold a meeting to plan and
co-ordinate protest before the event.
In recent years Birmingham and the West Midlands has seen very
little activism, so they really do not know how the police will react to
this demonstration. They would like to use it as an opportunity to
break away from always tagging along to boring left demonstrations
and spread our ideas as a separate movement, as well as if possible
developing more effective tactics.

To contact West Midlands Anarchist Group visti:
www.wmanarchists.org Email: wmanarchists@email.com or
Tel: 07973 697 430



Although Ireland will not hold a traditional council of leaders summit
during its six-month presidency because of logistical problems, it is
likely that two meetings of EU leaders will take place in Ireland during
that period.
The second gathering of EU heads of state will take place at
Farmleigh House in Dublin’s Phoenix Park on 1 May to celebrate
the new enlarged union. It will be the first time that the heads of all 25
member states will meet. Invitations have already been issued for the
event which will coincide with a street carnival in the capital.
So the EU bosses are planning to hold a meeting on the Workers
Holiday, when the anarchists murdered by the State in Chicago are
commemorated. What a miscalculation! They may soon realise their
mistake and cancel this meeting. If not they may need a little help to
do so.
For more information contact the Anarchist Federation (Ireland), PO
Box 505, Belfast, BT12 6BQ, Tel. 07951 079 719
Email: contact@afireland.cjb.net



Anarchists have taken steps to improve thier effectiveness in
workplace struggles.

The Anarchist Workers Network is being set up with a number of
aims; to provide a means for anarchists in individual unions or
industries to link up and support each other (including unemployed or
retired workers), to coordinate campaigns like disaffiliation from New
Labour, to raise awareness of anarchist methods of organising society
and industry, to circulate and share news, advice and information.
AWN will be a means of bringing anarchists together. It will work
alongside and with the anarchist national federations. To get involved
on the internet you can access the egroup and discussion boards via
the AWN website: www.awn.org.uk for more details write to:

Anarchist Workers Network (AWN)
c/o 84b Whitechapel High Street
London E1 7QX



For over two months, there has been massive unrest in Bolivia in
opposition to the export of gas to the USA. The peasants of Altiplano
region have blockaded all the main routes to the capital La Paz. As a
result there were hard struggles with the forces of order, leading to six
In the town of El Alto, with a population of 650,000 a “civic
strike” organised by the neighbourhood associations, paralysed
the town and spread through the La Paz valley. The army surrounded
the town with tanks. As a result of struggles with the military, at least
30 people were killed. In response, electric power stations and gas
pipelines were attacked. Rumours are circulating of mutinies in the
barracks and police stations.
3,000 miners marched from Huanuni to La Paz to join the protests. The
army blocked their route on 15th October a hundred miles from El
Alto. Another vicious attack took place, leading to two dead and more
than 15 wounded by rifle fire. The soldiers used the situation to rob the
miners of their personal possessions. On the 15th also, the military
closed down several daily papers that have criticised the Sanchez de
Lozada government. The television studios were also attacked by the
military, but huge assemblies outside them caused the retreat of the
army. This was not the case with various radio stations which the
army dynamited.
Various ministers began to resign, but “Goni” Sanchez de
Lozada then appeared in public surrounded by fascist and far right
leaders and proposed a referendum to “consult” on the
question of gas sales. This was meant to calm things down, but only
led to larger demonstrations, where the subject of 75 dead murdered
by the regime in the confrontations, and avoided by “Goni” was
put on the agenda. Goni referred to anyone opposing the government
as “terrorists, drug traffickers, enemies of democracy, anarchists
and delinquents”.
The military panicked more and began to destroy TV aerials in the
working class areas. On the 16th enormous demonstrations converged
together on the administrative capital. More confrontations with the
military took place leading to more dead. The vice-president broke
ranks and said he was opposed to the government’s policies. 700
people set up “hunger strike pickets” in various regions,
demanding the resignation of Goni. Goni was forced to resign, to be
replaced by his vice-president, Carlos Mesa. Despite this new
attempt to restore order, the blockades are continuing and the mass
mobilisations have not –as yet- been fooled.
The situation is evolving. Watch this space.



With the Scottish winter now upon us, Glasgow City Council has
begun a programme to evict nearly 200 asylum seekers from their
homes in Glasgow.
They have no right to work, no entitlement to benefits or help from
social services, and once evicted will have no access to housing or
council homelessness services. In many cases financial support,
through the Home Office’s National Asylum Support Service
(NASS) was stopped months ago, but the council has allowed them to
remain in the accommodation - mostly flats that no one else wants to
live in, many of which were scheduled for demolition before the
government dumped asylum seekers in them. This has created a
backlog of people not entitled to housing, and NASS has started
putting pressure on the council to evict. The council has so far put up
no resistance, and is trying to avoid the issue, shifting the blame to
Westminster and ignoring pleas from the Scottish Refugee Council
and others to take a stand or find an alternative solution.
The natural solidarity of Glaswegians with oppressed people from
around the world has been evident in sympathy and in practical
support but is now turning to anger. Over the past three years, in the
housing schemes of Glasgow where refugees live, local groups of
Glasgow folk and refugees have been set up to help refugees re-build
their lives. They are furious at this latest attack. People remember
well the massive grassroots campaign against the Poll Tax, which
included strikes, blockades of homes against the hated Sheriffs’
Officers and occupations of council offices. Hopefully this attack on
refugees will be a step too far, and the people of Glasgow will stand
by their neighbours again.



Our occasional history colum:
IN RESPONSE TO an attempted fascist coup in 1936 the anarchist
workers of Spain rose up to fight. They took up arms against the army,
and in the areas they won control of started to build a new society
based on freedom and equality.
So how well did the anarchists do at running society?
The industries collectivised in the anarchist stronghold of Barcelona
included construction, the metal industry, bakeries, breweries,
slaughter houses, public utilities (gas, water, electricity, etc.),
transportation, health services, theatres and cinemas, hotels and
boarding houses.
Wages were equalised for all workers (which meant an increase for
most) and there was free medical care for all workers in the city.
The takeover of industry was surprisingly quick. And it proved beyond
the slightest doubt that modern industry can be efficiently conducted
without share holders and very highly place executives. Wageworkers
and salaried employees can themselves operate the complicated
machinery of modern industry.
We’ll look in a little more detail at the collectivisation of municipal
transportation The first measure in the collectivisation of the street
railways was to discharge the excessively paid directors and company
stooges. The saving was considerable. The next step was the
reduction of working time. With the profit motive gone, safety became
more important and the number of accidents was reduced. A new
automatic safety and signalling system was introduced. Sections of
track were repaired and re-laid.
Before the revolution, streetcars, buses, and subways were each
privately owned by separate companies. The union decided to
integrate and consolidate all transportation into an efficient system
without waste. This improvement meant better facilities, rights of
way, and incomparably better service for the riding public. Fares were
reduced with free transportation for school children, wounded
militiamen, invalids, and the aged.
The repair shops worked extra shifts to repair damaged, and remodel
old, conveyances. And these achievements must to a very great
extent be ascribed not to competition between fellow workers, but to
the spirit of good will and mutual aid that inspired the workers.
So we can see when the anarchists were in control things worked
better than they did before. It was only the dual attacks from
Communists and Fascists that ended this successful experiment.



Hunger strike goes on
A medical team has been checking up on the hunger strikers, Suleiman
"Castro" Dakduk, Carlos Martinez, Fernando Perez, Simon Chapman
and Spiros Tsistas held in a Greek prison. As can been expected,
most of them have lost around a stone and half each in weight but
their spirits are high. A decision on the latest bail application is
expected in a couple of weeks, but it does not seem hopeful.
At this difficult time, Simon and the others need support more than
ever. Please write letters of support to: Kratoumeno Simon Chapman,
Dikastikes Flylakes Diavation, T.K. 540 12, Thessaloniki, GREECE
(be sure to included a return address on the back of the envelope).
The Thessaloniki Prisoner Support Campaign have produced 5,000
colour leaflets describing the background and events of the EU
summit in Thessaloniki as well as detailing Simon Chapman's case.
5,000 postcard have also been produced, addressed to the ambassador
of Greece. The Thessaloniki Prisoner Support Campaign meets every
Wednesday at 7.30pm at the Autonomy Club, Upstairs at Freedom
Bookshop, 84b Whitechapel High Street, London E1.

Political Prisoner needs help
Political Prisoner, John Two Names, needs your help! For over seven
years, John has been held captive by the State, not for any crime, but
for his activism and involvement in “confrontational politics.”
John, an Echota Cherokee, is involved with Indigenous Rights
Campaigns, Anti Racist Actions and Prison Struggles.
In 1996, Two-Names was captured by the ATF, FBI., and the Cullman
County Sheriff’s Department in, Alabama, an area notorious for
lynch mobs, crooked politicians, and the Ku Klux Klan. He was
charged with two-counts of Arson 2nd Degree, four counts of
burglary, 3rd degree, and one count of unlawful breaking and entering
a motor vehicle. Two-Names was considered a suspect because he
was labeled as a “militant, terrorist/extremist.”
After ten months of being held without bail, he was taken to trial. In
this time, the District Attorney tried unsuccessfully to link
Two-Names for the crimes. The finger prints didn’t match; no
recovered merchandise was found, and there were no witnesses to put
him at the scene-just two-blocks from his home. So, just 3 days before
trial, a “lost” transcript of a witness conversation appeared
which said that John confessed to the crimes while in jail.
John Two Names has a parole hearing set for Nov 13.He has
requested letters, emails, and faxes of support to be sent to the
parole board in favor of his release. Send letters to: State of Alabama
Board of Pardons and Paroles, Lurleen B. Wallace Building, 500
Monroe St. PO Box 302405, Montgomery, AL 36130-2405, USA.
State of Alabama Board of Pardons and Parole, Lurleen B. Wallace
Building, 500 Monroe St. P.O. Box 302405, Montgomery, AL
36130-2405, USA
You can write to John directly at:
Andy “J.2.N.” Riendeau, #193786 Dorm C-2-168, Elmore Corr.
Fac., PO Box 8, Elmore, Al 36025, USA.


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.

16 Disrupt the Confederation of British Industries’ National
Conference opening cocktail reception 6pm The ICC, Birmingham.
Organised by West Midlands Anarchists. 07973 697430
wmanarchists@email.com www.wmanarchists.org/ See article inside
17 Big Noise Demo against Bayer From 10am, all day ay Bayer
House, Strawberry Hill, Newbury. www.stopbayergm.org/
24 Monday 24th, film showing: New Century of Protest, Halt Bar.
(lounge) Woodlands Rd Glasgow 8pm Organised by the Glasgow
Autonomous Project autonomy@nocog.org
20 Police Review Gala Awards Dinner, Merchant Taylors Hall,
Threadneedle Street, City of London 6pm “Turn up and boo
them!” Organised by Class War
29 Mayday Conference to chat about next years demonstrations.
1-5pm in Room 3a at ULU, Malet street London WC1.
6 Fifth Manchester Radical Bookfair. Bridge 5 Mill, 22A Beswick
Street, Ancoats, Manchester. 11 am - 5pm
13th Scottish Anarchist Dayschool in Glasgow. Organised by
Glasgow Autonomous Project and Anarchist Federation. Email:
13-15 Menwith Hill Spy Base women’s peace camp and blockade.
01943 458 593 helenmenwith@yahoo.co.uk


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

From: E W <nastyned-A-email.com>

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