WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
The announcement of the horrific deaths of 58 Chinese people makes us ask the question who is to blame? The decision by the Labour government to clamp down on 'illegal' immigrants has boosted the whole chain of gangs who profit from smuggling in economic migrants. Just as the prohibition of alcohol in the USA led to the growth of the gangsters, so has the sealing of the borders . In these days of rampant 'neo liberalism' and the glorification of the free movement of trade and capital we see the freedom of movement of people severely curtailed. The smuggling of thousands of 'illegal' immigrants into Britain and other countries of the west has involved the deaths of hundreds every year, with boats sinking with all on board drowned and others freezing to death in aircraft cargo holds.
Once here the 'illegals' are forced by the gangs to work for a pittance, in prostitution of the drugs trade. Many so called legal employment agencies exploit this cheap labour to make fat profits for themselves by provision to the clothes industry farming and catering. Home secretary Jack Straw condemns these gangs and in the next sentence uses the fifty eight deaths as a 'stark warning' to others not to come to Britain. The hypocrisy of those politicians condemning the gangs while they themselves lock up migrants and then deport them back into poverty is staggering. What gives governments and big business the right to decide where working class people can or cannot live? Whilst the capitalists can close down industries in one country and transfer investment to another, throwing many out of work, those who suffer because of this are barred from escaping from dire poverty. Note: there are over twenty six million refugees around the world. Under one percent were taken in by Britain last year.
What you can do:
The National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns (NCADC) campaign and
network on behalf of those fighting deportation. To find out more and get
on their mailing list contact:
NCADC, 110 Hamstead Road, Birmingham B20 2QS Tel 0121-554-6947 Fax 0870-055-4570
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web www.ncadc.demon.co.uk/
MEANWHILE IN CHINA...
The effects of globalisation have hit heavily the conditions of working people in China. In four years annual sackings have been from ten to twelve million and the old conditions of employment for life, cheap housing, free primary school, free medical care and retirement pensions are under severe threat. Material and psychological poverty has soared, especially in the industrialised North East. The official union AFCTU has had a big hand in creating massive redundancies in industry. Local government is playing a key role in the opening up of the markets in China to foreign capital. Many female workers are forced to work in saunas, karaokes and massage parlours which hide a massive prostitution industry, in collaboration with the police who profit from large bribes. With the rise of unemployment and short-term work contracts the number of social and industrial conflicts has soared. There were 120,000 work place disputes in 1999 rising by 28 per cent from the previous year. Zhang Shanguang, who organised the Association to Defend the Rights of the Sacked Unemployed was given a ten year prison sentence on the 27th of December 1998.
...THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES
At the end of February more than 20,000 miners accompanied by several thousand members of their families demonstrated and took over the town of Liaoning for three days. A curfew was imposed for a month. In fact the police lost control, the army was called in and a riot blazed for three days! More than twenty 'ring leaders' were arrested as a result. Alongside this there has been widespread agitation amongst university students. At the same time the state and the Communist Party has taken full advantage of the new situation by plundering pension funds, by creaming off taxes collected in the countryside and by the illegal import of cars, petrol, cigarettes, mobile phones and arms. All institutions are involved: Party, police, customs and banks. The Chinese Communist Party has transformed itself into a Chinese Mafia. Officials close to Zhu Rongji, the Prime Minister, Li Peng, the President of the National Assembly, and Jiang Zenin himself, the overall leader have been implicated in corruption scandals. The whole state system is corrupt right up to its summit. Who knows what social conflict may emerge in the next few years?
Leonard Peltier, the native American prison activist serving life has had his parole request turned down. Peltier's team presented over 10,000 letters from supporters around the world, a medical report detailing his deteriorating condition including diabetes, blood pressure problems and the potential complications, including kidney failure and blindness.
This is caused in part by the inadequate medical care at Leavenworth Penitentiary, The hearing itself was a farce with the parole board refusing to read the medical evaluation or any of the other documents presented. The decision will still be considered by the US parole commissioners in Washington D.C. before the denial is finalised. However, it is abundantly clear that there will be no release, no matter how uniquely eligible he may be, unless he confesses to a crime he did not commit.
What you can do
Letters of protest are still needed: US Pardon Attorney, Roger C Adams, 500
First Street, NW Suite 400, Ref: Loenard Peltier #89637-132, Washington DC,
Letters of Support to: Leonard Peltier Defence Committee, PO Box 583, Lawrence, KS 66044, USA Email: email@example.com
You could also try phoning Janet Reno's office on 001 202 514 2000, citing
1. An arbitrary, irrational and capricious denial of parole is a due process violation under the United States constitution;
2. A decision to deny parole before evidence is even read or considered is a denial of a fair hearing and constitutes a due process violation under the constitution as well;
3. A denial of parole in order to force Mr Peltier to confess to a crime he did not commit is also a due process violation. While you're at it you could try the White House switchboard 001 202 456 1414 and the Congressional switchboard on 001 202 224 3121.
On 14th of May, IAMI (Istanbul Anti-Militarist Initiative) organized an anti-militarist festival in Istanbul. The festival was supported by anarchist groups from Ankara and Istanbul, ISKD (Izmir War Resisters Association), and ASKD Girisimi (Ankara War Resisters Initiative). The festival began with speeches on anti-militarism and conscientious objection (to do military service) and later three "new" conscientious objectors (Ugur Yorulmaz, Timucin Kizilay and Hasan Cimen) declared their objections in front of the 800 people who had filled the auditorium. The festival continued on with songs of music groups making Turkish and Kurdish folk and rock music. Ankara Anarchists, ISKD, and Amnesty International sent their solidarity messages for conscientious objectors. The following is the English translation of one of those objectors' declaration:
"Governments never care about the way I feel, think and live. It is the
governmental approach that forces me to be one of those billions of men who
should do nothing but obey. I am asked for governmental service as a soldier;
I am required to learn how to use guns and forcibly defend the state, of
which I am claimed to be a citizen; I am asked for unconditional obedience
and even killing and being killed.
My acceptance of this obligatory "military service" means my approval of this power elite regime for which I am not a decision maker but a subject. It means my whole-hearted guarantee that I will never make objections and I will not disturb "them" as long as I live. However, for me, intersocial domination, states and their imaginary boundaries are major obstacles on humanitarian advance; armies are nothing but organized violence institutions responsible for protecting governmental and capital interests.I always solved my problems by detailed discussing, analysis and at worst by isolating the problem source. However, I have never used violence. I have always excluded myself from any form of hierarchy. I do not want to rule or be ruled anymore. I have always desired to live in a world where there are no classes, boundaries, states, and countries and where sharing out shadows exploitation. Current regime is not what I dream of, but it does not necessarily mean that I should accept your life style.
Your conscription for my military service means your call for my confidence in life, my dream for a free world and my hopes. All these belong to me and I will never give them to you. On grounds of these, I reject to complete military charge and serve for any states. I do not accept to make any legal defence in any suit to be brought against me due to my ideas and non-fulfilment of military charge; I call all people suffering from similar consequences for solidarity and nonviolent action."
More detailed and daily info about anti-militarism and conscientious objection in Turkey can be taken from the web page of War Resisters in Turkey - www.savaskarsitlari.org - but for now only in Turkish.
An Italian Job
The recent death of the Italian cyclist Gino Bartali may have moved the pope to mourn his passing but we at resistance have managed to fight back the tears. For those of you not familiar with the history of the worlds greatest sport (after Thai boxing - Ed) Bartali was, as well as being a very good cyclist, a committed catholic and all round superb propaganda tool for a very nervous ruling class in volatile post war Italy. On 14th July 1948 the leader of the Italian Communist Party (PCI), Palmiro Togliatti was shot and seriously wounded. Fearing the start of a Fascist coup, and also fed up with three years of minor reformism and PCI sell outs, the Italian working class decided to take matters into their own hands and rose up against the state. Throughout the land factories were occupied, town squares taken over, public meetings held, barricades raised and in Genoa where combativity levels were highest the police fled the city, leaving the workers, many of them armed, in control. The spontaneous and insurrectionary nature of the struggle caught all sections of the political establishment unawares, and scared them shitless.
Bikers for Jesus!
So, what's all this got to do with Bartali? Well, while all of this was going on he was busy riding the Tour de France. He received a phone call from the Italian President who told him the future of the country and the Roman Catholic church were at risk and that Barali had a duty to do all that he could to save both. Acting on this Bartali attacked on the stage to Briancon and put 18 minutes into his nearest rival. Then on the following stage he attacked again to take the yellow jersey by a comfortable margin, and went on to win the tour. It is accepted opinion amongst the sports historians - professional and bar room - that this win had a significant effect on events back home, with Bartali's efforts doing much to distract the cycling mad Italians and help instil in them a sense of national pride and the idea that 'maybe things aren't that bad'. No wonder Pope John Paul II described his as the 'i deal example of sporting practice'. Incidentally, the pope was speaking the day before the start of this year's Giro d'Italia (Tour of Italy), at an audience for all of the riders due to take part in the race. The prologue the next day around central Rome was won by a Czech, Jan Hruska. When asked if he had been inspired by the pope and the religious surroundings he replied: "Not particularly. I don't really believe in God." Now that's more like it.
Last month Police in Eugene, US stopped a car with 2 anarchists for a broken headlight. On checking the driver's license, they arrested both on suspicion of arson to a car dealership. The night earlier they had arrested another anarchist, Jeffrey Luers or "Free" who had video taped cops harassing some punks.
In the following days warrants were obtained and both Free's and other activists houses were searched. They took away common household items such as sponges, empty plastic containers, joss sticks, rubber bands, petrol and paint. One of the charges against them has been dropped, but they still face the charge of Arson, which carries a "mandatory minimum" sentence of 5 years and 10 months. The police in Oregon have stepped up their surveillance of anarchists and other activists since June 18 last year and Seattle. The two are waiting to see if they are indicted as we go to press.
Please show them support by writing to them:
Jeffrey Luers "Free", #1306729, 101 W. Fifth Street, Eugene, Oregon 97401,
Craig Marshall "Critter", #1340996 at the same address.
For more info on the case contact Eugene Active Existance at firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit www.fruitiondesign.com/eae
CAGE are organising for Bastille Day to extend our network, spread information, have fun and cost 'them' money! Bastille Day is the start of a long weekend of events; the day itself is intended to be an occupation of space relevant to the prison industry. Once taken, the space will be open for sharing ideas, action planning and general mischief. There will be resistance, information, action, legal support, entertainment and good food.
MEET: 9am, GOLDERS GREEN STATION, LONDON, FRIDAY 14th JULY 2000
Bring what you would like to find and expect to need; camping stuff, your friends, transport. Leave behind Journalists, Police, Drugs. Stuff we need...Marquee, Yurts and large structures, Mobile Office, Generators, Crèche (poster paints, scrap paper, lego, badminton rackets, footballs etc.), Vehicles, Funds, You.
CAGE c/o PO Box 68, Oxford, OX3 1RH.
Tel 07931 401 962 or web: www.veggies.org.uk/cage
Here's a brief report from an earlier CAGE action: "On a sunny afternoon, Tuesday 30th May, 30 people surprised security guards by descending in two vans on the construction site at HMP Onley. Charging into the site people had to find their way through an almost finished perimeter wall to stop the work of about 100 workers. People climbed cranes and sat on machines, whilst others invaded the offices and annoyed a senior manager for three hours." A well planned escape route meant no arrests were made.
2000 Villagers from Chuquiña in Bolivia were tear-gassed last month as they protested against oil leaking from a pipeline owned by Transredes - a Bolivian subsidiary of Enron-Shell. The oil leakage is destroying their land and polluting a nearby river. Because of the company's negligence, on May 31, the pipeline ruptured, causing thousands of gallons of oil to spill into an irrigation channel. The spill spread to 200 kilometres of rivers and irrigation canals used for watering crops. The resulting contamination affected water used for drinking and irrigation by more than 127 rural farming communities. Despite promising compensation to the villages affected, Transredes made no effort to clear up the destruction they had caused. When villagers brought their dead sheep to the city of Oruro to demonstrate, they were attacked by police.
Later, the protesters went to the offices of the multinational Enron-Shell, where they broke windows, threw Molotov cocktails and stones. They tried to force open the building's entrance with poles and crowbars. The police ordered them to disperse, and attacked them with gas, but the villagers had water to help them withstand it. They threw themselves on the ground, and it took some time for the police to move them. There have been many meetings between the multinational representatives and the rural people, who are demanding forage for their animals and water for drinking. But, up until now, nothing has been done to meet their demands. The villagers have been demonstrating outside the offices of the oil pipeline company with signs reading: "Death to Transredes, end the contamination." In reprisal, the company has announced that it would suspend it's services in the region.
Here at resistance we had to laugh at the answer-phone antics of a Barclays Bank office worker. Customers phoning up last month got treated to a message asking them "Why the fuck are you ringing at this time of night? Please leave your name and number, it will be totally ignored. In other words Please Fuck Off! Thank you for your call but we'd rather do without it. Unlike you we finish at five. After that we do not give a shit!".
If our hotline hero would like to get in touch with us they're welcome to apply their voicemail verbal to the new AF hotline number: 07946 214 590
L.A COPS SLAM DUNKED
Basketball bonkers L.A. Lakers fans showed Europes footie fans the way to go with a, shall we say, impassioned celebration following their team's NBA Championship victory. Thousands of rampaging fans torched police cars, looted shops and scrapped with the filth. Christ knows what would have happened if they'd lost!
GUERRILLA GARDENS FOR 850,000 GILDERS?!
Squatters in the Swammerdam district of Amsterdam have gone on the offensive against property developers De Key Housing Corporation by turning a derelict piece of wasteland into an open community garden with a fire, outdoor cinema screen and flowerbeds. Supported by squatters from other parts of the city and local residents they put on a "breakfast in the square" last month, with banners proclaiming "why privatise when you can socialise?", "we stay" and "no pasaran". They're fighting both the police and the developers, who want to build yuppy flats at 850,000 Gilders each (or a quarter of a million quid!) in court.
This event will be a mixture of fun and protest against GM crops. The GM oilseed rape at New Craig Farm is the only large-scale planting in Scotland. It's got to go! We want people to come along, join in and create a carnival atmosphere. Bring your own ideas for activities for others to join in.
Transport to Daviot: Bus 307 goes from Aberdeen toInverurie every 20 mins, then Bus 308 goes from Inverurie to Daviot every 2 hours, with one leaving Inverurie Town Hall at 1.05pm.
For more info, transport etc, leave messages on 01224 451140, or e-mail email@example.com
Please visit the regularly updated Anarchist Federation diary page for details of the latest events
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