The order has been signed for the execution of revolutionary prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal. The decision, pronounced at the end of October, has been greeted with international action from supporters and friends of the former Black Panther and member of MOVE (a radical direct action group: many of whose members were gunned down by FBI officers in a stake out of their offices at the end of the 70s).
Mumia has been on death row fighting his conviction for the last 16 years. He was sent down for the murder of a Philadelphia policeman, despite overwhelming evidence that he is innocent. Since then, Mumia has carried on the struggle inside, fighting both for himself and others. His refusal to keep silent has only increased the determination of the authorities to silence him forever - with the most permanent gag!
It is not the first time that Mumia has faced the final stage before execution. In 1995, international pressure ensured that the authorities caved in at the last minute by issuing a stay of execution; but only as a result of marches, demonstrations and occupations of American big-business all over the world. Once again, international action is all that can save Mumia from the claws of crazy Pennsylvania governor Tom tosser Ridge, who has pledged to execute Mumia as soon as he legally can.
Mumia now moves to Phase 2, where his head is shaved, he is stripped of his legal materials and possessions and is denied access to visitors. All this in a prison where he has had much of his legal mail kept from him for the last 6 months, by sick racist prison guards determined to see him dead.
The response from supporters has been swift: A national demonstration in Philadelphia on November 7th was supported by solidarity actions as far away as Oslo and Cape Town. In London, supporters joined up with the Friends of Move in a demo outside the American Embassy. The following Saturday, they turned their attention to American businesses , symbols of corporate America. But action needs to continue and build, if Mumia is to be granted a further stay of execution.
Mumia needs all the support he can get so join us in the struggle against this injustice
Fax Governor Tom Ridge on 1-717-783-4429. Express your concerns and demand that Mumia be allowed a new trial.
Send letters of support to:
Mumia Abu-Jamal AM8335, SCI Greene, 1040 East R. Furman Highway, Waynesburg, PA 15370-8090, UNITED STATES.
Join in the demonstrations. These are going to be regular events
Anarchist Black Cross, 121 Railton Road, London SE24 0LR. Or leave a message on 0171 326 0353
or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the Mumia website:
According to popular belief,everybody hates students,with the possible exception of brewers. Spoilt, lazy middle class brats sponging off the taxpayer and forever whinging about how skint they are. Selfish, arrogant idiots having a three year binge at public expense before sliding neatly into a highly paid job somewhere bossing the rest of the world about.
Snotty rich kids?
Like most cliches, this one has an element of truth in it. A lot of students are snotty rich kids just after a cushy career in the professions ( lawyer, accountant, etc ). A ( very ) small number are actually at university because they want to learn and the rest are filling in time. This includes people who probably would have gone on the dole in a kinder age, but looked at the whole nightmarish scenario of living off benefits in the 90s and decided to go and get an education instead. You get more money and less hassle than you would on the Job Seekers Allowance, even if you do become a social leper overnight.
Of course, we do get off our arses occasionally. French students sparked off massive resistance to the state amongst all sections of society in 1968 after trouble with the university authorities, and all over the third world , most notably recently in Indonesia, students have been at the forefront of resistance to oppression. This doesnt turn us into some sort of revolutionary class - in - waiting though, as most political students are members of shitty wastes of time like the Socialist Workers Party for a start. It also takes an awful lot to provoke a student into doing anything, and this coupled with the apathetic atmosphere of the age means that were unlikely to get out of bed for the time being.
Tear it down
So how should the student phenomenon be dealt with? Should we have to spend 3 years avoiding work, or should we abolish work? Should we plough more funds into the university, or should we take it over and turn it into something useful to everybody? Patch it up or tear it down?
Ive made my mind up. Its time you made yours up too.
resistance can recommend the following reading for homework:
Obsolete Communism: a Left Wing Alternative by D & G Cohn - Bendit (Penguin) is the best book weve seen on this. However, its out of print, so you could try Paris 1968 by Marc Rohan ( available from AK distribution, PO box 12766, Edinburgh, EH8 9YE ). Its about 6 quid, though. And as we firmly believe in combining ideas and action dont just read the books - get out there and DO SOMETHING!
Blast from the past is a regular column where we look at important events in working class history, often ignored or distorted by historians and bosses. As our rulers have kindly made the maximum working week 48 hours (unless we volunteer to do more) we look at an earlier struggle for shorter hours.
May Day for most people is a nice bank holiday break - a chance to get away from the city for the weekend with the kids or a lie in, in the morning. May Day began as a call by workers in America for shorter working hours.
The first Mayday actions took place in 1886 where mass strikes, meetings and demonstrations were held across America. In Chicago, the lock out of 1,500 workers at the McCormick Reaper Company turned up the heat on the actions. 80,000 people struck and picketed in Chicago alone
Hail of bullets
Two days later during one such picket police opened fire on the strikers who were stopping scabs crossing the picket line. As a result, 6 people were killed. A mass demonstration was called in response the next evening at the Haymarket. 200 cops arrived to disperse the gathering, but the protesters would not be moved. In the battle that ensued, a bomb was thrown at the lines of armed cops, killing one and fatally injuring others. 30 people died in a hail of police bullets.
The press whipped up hysteria about the bombing and the police rounded up well known anarchists. As a result eight were brought to trial and despite there being no evidence to link them to the bombing the defendants were found guilty and four of them were executed, another only escaping hanging by blowing his own head off with a stick of dynamite!
As Albert Parsons said on the gallows: The time will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today!
In the remnants of Yugoslavia, ethnic conflict has once again flared up with horrific results. Ethnic Albanians are trying to split from Serbia to form a breakaway republic in Kosova. They have suffered severe repression from the Serbs, prompting NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) to threaten air strikes against Serbia unless the killing stops.
Whilst the Serbian armed forces are undoubtedly guilty of brutal atrocities we have to ask ourselves can air strikes really be used to bomb people to peace?
And the only answer to this question is a resounding NO. Despite the images usually portrayed on the news of surgical strikes and smart bombs it should not be forgotten that we are talking about dropping from the sky large amounts of high explosives. Pious talk of minimising civilian deaths will be of no comfort to the friends and families of those who will inevitably have been killed. If NATO planes start bombing Serbia it will only drive people into supporting the unpopular dictator currently in power and making it even harder to get rid of him. There is opposition to the war in Serbia and thousands of conscripts are refusing to report for military service.
And whilst an independent Kosova would improve the lives of most of the people living there we should not forget that this would only be a normalisation of capitalism - i.e. they would be living in the same shit system as the rest of us. This, of course, is why NATO is taking an interest in seeing peace enforced in Yugoslavia.
Only recently a huge revolution broke out in neighbouring Albania against the market capitalist system introduce there since the collapse of the state communist system. Now that Albania is returning to business as usual the last thing the western powers want is more instability in this area.
At the moment the lid is being kept on the discontent simmering across Eastern Europe. But with living standards declining enormously in recent years the capitalists know more revolutions could break out at any moment.
We should not be fooled into taking sides in wars between nations - the only war we support is the class war of the international working class against the bosses of all nations.
Former Chilean fascist dictator General Pinochet has suffered the humiliation of being arrested whilst in England for surgery on his back. This has already caused howls of outrage from his right wing friends over here (Lady Thatcher prominent among them).
Here at resistance we take a different view. Pinochet seized power in Chile in an American backed coup against the left wing government. Once in office he had thousands of his opponents rounded up in a football stadium before they were dragged off to be tortured and murdered. He ruled with an iron fist for seventeen years and has escaped all punishment for his murderous activities. He still maintains his privileged position and has been free to travel around the world enjoying the best that money can buy.
Now due to a Spanish magistrate applying for his extradition there is a chance that Pinochet will be brought to trial to answer for his crimes. The British government are deeply embarrassed by this and have no idea how to avoid upsetting the Chilean military (and damaging arms sales) without appearing to support this fascist thug. They look set to let him go free rather than risk losing a valued client.
We say the only way to deal with this bastard is by taking him to the nearest football stadium and shooting him in the back of the head.
DREADFUL HUMAN BEING
RAKES IT IN
Steven Norris has done well for himself. The former Tory Transport Minister who went on to become chairman of CCB holdings earning between £100,000 to £150,000 per year has now copped another £300,000 for flogging the company off. Norris who once described public transport passengers as dreadful human beings is now Director General of the Road Haulage Association.
Meanwhile at the other end of the payscale, Newcastle Benefits agency carried out a sustained months long victimisation campaign against Incapacity Action member Chris Marshall. They confiscated his benefit book and paid him nothing for weeks on end. Chris, who is waiting for joint replacement surgery, was told by the SS to get a job instead off sponging off the State.
POLICE RACIST SCUM - ITS OFFICIAL!
The chief countstable of Manchester has admitted what weve long known - that racism is institutioinalised in the police force. Whether the bastards are going to do anything about it remains to be seen.
SOLIDARITY IN PUERTO RICO
Barricades went up as over 500,000 workers (about half Puerto Ricos work force) staged a general strike to support 6,000 telephone company workers threatened by the governments privatisation plans.
THE PARTY THAT CARES
Anarchists have always told anyone whod care to listen that Labour were just as much a gang of bastards as the Tories. Still, some people do like to make excuses for them. Oh, they tell us, Thats Tony Blair/the Millbank Tendency/the right wing leadership, etc, etc. Honest, theyre not always so bad....... etc, etc. Transparent nonsense to us of course but if youre still not totally convinced, then remember disabled 70 year old Parkinsons disease sufferer Betty Jack - jailed by Doncasters caring Labour council, for non-payment of poll tax arrears.
Please send us details of your event for inclusion in resistance
INTERNATIONAL NO SHOPPING DAY
Saturday 28th November. Info from 0191 226 6668
STOP THE CITY - PLANNING MEETING
Saturday 28th November. Marchmont Community Centre, Marchmont St, London, near Russel Square tube.
WORLD WIDE GENERAL STRIKE
25th December. Santa exempted (OK, we were short of events and wanted to get this bulletin published, alright?)
END OF THE ROAD - NEWBURY REUNION
Sunday 10th January 1999. Newbury Bypass. Info from 07000 785 201
MOVEMENT AGAINST THE MONARCHY
May 1st 1999 11am. March from Kennington Park. More info from MAM,
PO Box 14670, London, E9 5UQ
ANNUAL LEVELLERS PARADE
May 15th 1999, 11am, Burford, Oxfordshire.
STOP THE CITY
Close down the city center as part of an international day of action aginst global capitalism! June 18th 1999. Supported by loads of groups.
email discussion list: J18discussion@gn.apc.org