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State

Friday, 13 November 2009 22:51
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The Anarchist Federation condemns the group Unite Against Fascism (UAF) who, on Saturday 31st October at a mobilisation against the English Defence League (EDL) in Leeds city centre, openly handed one of our members over to the police. Several UAF stewards, including the head of UAF Leeds, physically prevented our member from rejoining the cordon, and then called the police over to arrest him. We will not tolerate collaboration with the state to halt  the activity of genuine anti-fascists and ask other progressive organisations to do the same. UAF's policy of negotiating with the state for its public protests is well known, as is its alliance with religious leaders, trade union bureaucrats and politicians. UAF, apart from being nothing more than a front group for the Socialist Workers Party, has never been an effective means to combat the rise of fascism in Britain nor does it offer anything to working class communities.

D. Yates, National Secretary (Anarchist Federation, UK)

Monday, 26 October 2009 09:49
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In a case that clearly exposes the vicious cruelty and insanity of borders and nationalism, a trainee radiologist has been jailed for 19 months for the "crime" of not being from England. Felista Peters, a 28-year-old resident of Bristol, was close to graduating when she was arrested after it was found that she had false documents and was actually from Kenya. If she'd been born in this country, she could now be working as a radiologist and helping to save lives, but because she committed the crime of being born elsewhere, she's been imprisoned, so her skills are of no use to anyone. She will be deported on completion of her jail term. Even viewed from the narrowly selfish perspective of the "national interest", whatever that is, it's impossible to see how our society benefits more from locking this woman up and then flying her out of the country than it does from allowing her to practice medicine; from any vaguely humanist viewpoint, the punishment for this victimless offence is even more inexplicable.

Read more: Guilty of being foreign

Wednesday, 21 October 2009 19:51
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There's been a bit of a fuss in the media of late about the BNP's use of military imagery. A letter's been published signed by various prominent military figures warning of "extremists" trying to "hijack the good name of Britain's military for their own advantage". If you're wondering who these "extremists" are, that's understandable, since "extremist" is basically a meaningless political swearword that can be (and often is) thrown at anyone who feels strongly about anything, from Mussolini to Martin Luther King and from to the Pankhursts to Pol Pot. But then the letter goes on to explain that these people "are essentially racist", which clears things up a bit, since no-one likes racism (although beware if you're an anti-racist who feels extremely strongly about it, because that might make you one of those nasty extremists). So that's alright then, isn't it?

But if you take a moment to stop and think about it, it's not hard to see the colossal irony here: this is the Armed Forces we're talking about. Their entire purpose is to kill large numbers of foreigners. This isn't overblown rhetoric or anything, it's a simple fact that if, at various times over the last century, soldiers refused to kill Germans, Italians, Koreans, Egyptians, Kenyans, Yemenis, Argentinians, Iraqis and Afghans (among others), they were court-marshalled. For military leaders to complain about people who don't like foreigners trying to steal their image is like Arsenal complaining about their proud traditions being hijacked by extremists who really like kicking footballs around in a field. They're basically saying "we didn't slaughter thousands and thousands of poorly-armed brown conscripts so you lot could go around being horrible to people from other races."

Read more: Extremists hijacking our traditions?

Monday, 07 September 2009 09:05
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An affinity group of anarchists who had been participating in Climate Camp and had been concerned about the tone and low impact of some of the mainstream camp actions decided to visit the Daily Mail head office in the hope of having a few words. The immediate trigger for this was the poor write up the Camp had received in that week's paper which stereotyped those at camp as 'young, posh idiots', although all the activists involved had many other motivations for this action. Most of all, as working-class people with a sense of basic human solidarity, all those present detested the Mail for its sexist and racist overtones and long record of consistently scapegoating and demonising marginalised social groups such as immigrants, queers, transpeople, the unemployed, youth stigmatised as "chavs", as well as specific instances like the incredibly inaccurate hack job of an article about anarchists in the run-up to the G20.

Read more: Undercover with the anarchist mob: paying a visit to one of the UK's worst tabloids

Sunday, 30 August 2009 19:23
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A perspective paper produced by members of the Anarchist Federation within climate camp 2009.

At the 2008 Climate Camp in Kingsnorth an open letter was circulated by anti-capitalist campers raising concerns that the movement was increasingly being by influenced state-led approaches to tackling climate change. A more developed version was later published by Shift magazine. The original argued broadly that the camp should adopt anti-capitalist, anti-authoritarian principles and objectives.

Read more: Climate Camp and Us - a perspective paper

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