THE PALESTINIAN UPRISING
The recent weeks of uneven violence between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers is sickening, yet only to be expected. Stones versus helicopter gunships is a very unequal conflict and as a result virtually all of the casualties have been Palestinian civilians.
The Israeli state which dominates the region is a racist apartheid-type regime which uses and abuses the Palestinian workers with a degree of arrogance and indifference that is difficult to believe. The Israeli government response to any Palestinian opposition has always been massive and unmeasured revenge - the bulldozing of houses, seizure of land and unrestrained violence.
The mini Palestinian pseudo-state is hardly a haven of peace and prosperity either. The Palestinian working people suffer incredible hardships in the Gaza Strip and on the tiny bit of the Left Bank which they have been allotted. As well as poverty and job insecurity, the Palestinians suffer the burden of a Palestinian (almost) state with everything that implies - graft, corruption, self-seeking politicians, exploitation and a violently repressive state apparatus.
Manipulative politicians have been able to channel opposition into the dead ends of nationalism and religion. The creation of the Palestinian (almost) state has done nothing for the Palestinian working class - a few acres of territory is no substitute for real liberation. Nationalist solutions do not challenge class rule and lead to war, as the middle east continually demonstrates. Militant Islam offers no way out either. The Islamic state has proved to be just another form of exploitation and oppression and Iran fully demonstrates this.
The current Arab states were created by the colonial powers in order to make exploitation of the area easier. Since then local rulers have tried to drum up nationalism to reinforce their own class rule and crushed any opposition ruthlessly. There is a solution for the Palestinian and other Arab workers and that is nothing to do with nationalism or religion. The region has the potential for mass revolution and the creation of an international federation of free and equal peoples. Without this, the workers are faced with perpetual imperialist interventions and home-grown dictatorships. A Palestinian revolution would be a positive step forward and could spark uprising in Jordan and beyond.
For background information visit http://www.slip.net/~knabb/SI/11.wars.htm and also read A Brutal friendship: The West and the Arab Elite, by Said K. Aburish H
Residents and council workers are continuing action against bankrupt Hackney council in the light of £22 million cuts announced last month (see also resistance #19).
Nearly 1000 people blocked the main road outside the town hall dancing to some pretty fine samba while councillors inside plotted which essential services would be cut.
The two nurseries threatened with closure, that parents occupied, were reprieved - the council running scared of the PR disaster of being seen to evict parents. 1500 council workers crammed into nearby Hackney Empire on 20th November to discuss further action.
Council boss Mad Max Caller asked to address the audience, obviously misjudging the mood of militancy from council workers whove had enough. This kamikaze mission was greeted by booing, heckling and hissing as he attempted to justify and play down the crisis that Hackney faces.
Balloting is currently taking place for a one -day strike on the 18th December. Another day of action is due to take place on the 29th November, with further actions in the pipeline. This looks set to be a long protracted struggle. More reports in the next issue.
This months award is shared amongst the likes of David Beckham (footballer), Anna Kournikova (tennis player) and Denise Lewis (Athlete) for accepting such huge sums of money off famous sportswear companies such as Adidas in exchange for promoting products manufactured in the sweatshops of Indonesia. In order that icons like Beckham can boost their meagre £50K per week earnings, real workers slave away for 15 hours a day, 7 days a week, without a break, are penalised if theyre off sick all for the princely sum of £40 a month.
Not even peanuts when compared with the obscene wads of cash pulled in by the stars. Do any of these false idols bear a conscience that the riches theyre piling up are built upon the backs of unseen and unheard men, women and children forced to labour in conditions worlds away from their own pampered existence? Probably not, too busy counting their dosh and wallowing in all the misplaced hero worship surrounding them.
One bunch of workers who are more than willing to use direct action when they need to fight back against their bosses are posties. And nowhere more so than in Scotland, where the wildcat strike is the favoured direct action tactic.
Responding to the launching of an investigation into a postie accused of deliberately delaying the mail (not working fast enough for the bosses?), the Shettleston sorting office staff walked out, in defiance of both managers and union, in mid November and remained on unofficial strike for five days. A divisional Communication Workers Union boss said The unofficial strike indicates to me that there are other underlying problems bubbling away. How very perceptive! He did not, however, add that he realised that his union was part of the problem and would be doing its best to make sure no unofficial disruption would delay the mail again! The workers returned after the union and management agreed to jointly review work practices.
Meanwhile,the postal workers of Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife are being balloted for strike action by the CWU, anxious that the direct action bug doesnt resurface there. Management have been using the new working agreement introduced earlier this year to increase flexibility. If posties had to be more flexible than they already are they would need to be made of rubber! In response to this flexploitation posties have been refusing to be pushed around. If its a fight management want then theyve got it, there have been 25 strikes, official and unofficial in Edinburgh Post Offices in the past 4 years and the direct action tradition is alive and well amongst the posties! Despite calling the ballot, the CWU will be looking to stitch up a deal with Royal Mail, knowing that it is potentially playing with fire, as an official strike in one area can quickly spread unofficially to other areas as workers refuse to handle scab mail.
MAYDAY 2001 mini-conference December 16th, 10am-5.30pm. The Button Factory, Hardess Street, Herne Hill Road, Brixton, London.
An open mini-conference will be held to discuss what to do for next years Mayday in the London area as part of the local and global celebration against capitalism and the state.
The aim of the conference is to invite all interested groups, organisations and individuals to decide what actions and events will be held for the celebration of MAYDAY 2001. All contributions are welcome as long as they are non-party political and anti-capitalist/state. These decisions will formulate a final co-ordinated framework of actions and events on Mayday in London.
Please bring fundraising ideas if possible, enthusiasm and co-operation. Lets make this a day to all meet up and build links in our local and global struggle against capitalism. There will also be a social event in the evening to celebrate past and future struggles.
For this mini-conference we hope to gain a consensus amongst the anarchist/anti-capitalist groups and individuals on co-ordinated actions and events to make Mayday 2001 a success.
If you are interested in attending please come along with a clear idea of your proposal, focused on Mayday 2001. (This is NOT a conference on ideology, direction of the movement, party building etc )
If you are interested in attending contact the organisers in advance. If you need a crèche place (babies to 8 years old), 9-15 self-managed youth space or accommodation let them know before you come. (Note: there will not be a crèche available for the social event in the evening)
If you cannot attend please send in clear ideas ASAP and a hard copy by post if you are not using email.
BM MAYDAY, LONDON, WC1N 3XX
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more info check out:
People are asked to respect each others space and also to support the facilitator in her or his role. Journalists are not welcome. No filming or photography is allowed in the building. We must also stress that you should always be cautious on what you say.
A demonstration took place in London on November 15th and attempts to liven up the official march were a partial success....
A student group broke through the heavy police lines at Holborn and marched up Oxford street - Regents street - Trafalgar Square - where they were met with a line of cops in Whitehall. But they managed to break through that, and run to Parliament ... where they were swiftly stopped by a large group of police and vans. Meanwhile in Holborn fights broke out between students and police, the President of North London Uni was arrested, students over-optimistically tried to push over a double decker bus onto the cops! A third activist group took Waterloo bridge for a few hours .... jumping on cars and causing chaos...! All groups eventually met back in Kennington Park where the rest of the march had located themselves, out of sight of the general public.
There were several arrests for minor offences, criminal damage, obstruction of a public highway etc. Many students have since expressed their support for direct action and now see it as a fun and effective form of protest. News coverage was small (as expected). Overall the objectives were not achieved because of lack of coordination and a rapid response by the police...But a good day out never the less!!
On November 12th a huge police operation in central London enabled 50 fascists from the National Front to lay a wreath at the cenotaph war memorial. Despite our best efforts this time we were unable to get to grips with the fascists and explain to them the error of their ways. Next time...
We have also heard that there is a small but active branch of the NF operating in the Ramsgate area. Anyone interesting in countering it please get in touch with us.
The counter demonstration was organised by the No Platform Anti-Fascist Network, BM Box 5827, London, WC1N 3XX
On September 26th, a disused building in Newcastle City centre was squatted. Dubbed Eclectic city a vibrant resource centre was formed. A free food cafe was set up, gigs were put on and a temporary home was provided for homeless people. There was strong local support with people bringing food, candles and other supplies. When the inevitable eviction order came the occupiers stayed one step ahead by moving to the empty building next door - which was not covered by the order! For more information contact:
Think Globally - Act Locally, PO Box ITA, Newcastle, NE99 1TA
Prague Prisoner up date (at 15.11.00) One of the Polish prisoners was sentenced on Friday to one year in jail. This is the first person sentenced because of the protests against the World Bank/International Monetary Fund annual meeting on Sept 26th. He has received an unconditional sentence, which means that he has to stay the whole year in jail. The better news: the trial was so fucked up that this is very unlikely to be the final word on his case. His recently got a new lawyer, apparently one of the best of the country. The very good news: according to reliable sources, the remaining Czech prisoner and the other Polish prisoner have both been released. This means that there are only two people about whom we have 100% certainty that they are still in jail for the actions on S26: the polish guy recently sentenced and Mads from Denmark, he would like to receive letters: Madsthordal Trcrup Pankrac Prison Vazebni Veznice Taborska 988 14000 Praha Czech Republic
The charges of the others arrested range at ridiculous (such as throwing a stone to a broken window) to more serious allegations such as assault to public officers. A German and a Hungarian woman were kept for more than 3 weeks in police stations and jails for NO REASON. The most serious allegations are of the kind that were made against the Hungarian woman, who was also charged with assault to police (although it was her who was illegally arrested, beaten up, handcuffed to the bench and the walls of her cell, threatened with pepper spray, not released as she should have after paying a fine for participating in the demonstration against the IMF, not allowed to make phone calls, not allowed to speak with a lawyer, and told that she would remain in custody and go to jail for trying to get the number badge of one of the cops beating her, in front of an open window...) Fortunately all the illegal things that were done to her are extensively documented beyond any doubt, making any allegations of assault to police based on policemens testimonies very difficult to believe.
ANARCHIST PRISONER MARK BARNSLEY (see previous issues of resistance) has been moved to HMP Frankland. On 13th of September 2000, Mark Barnsley was transferred to HMP Frankland. Mark is currently amongst the general prison population (not in segregation) at HMP Frankland and is now much closer to his family and friends in the North of England.
THE MARK BARNSLEY SUPPORT CAMPAIGN POSTAL ADDRESS HAS CHANGED. The new address is: PO BOX 381, HUDDERSFIELD, HD13XX.
The web site is at: www.appleonline.net/markbarnsley/mark.html
Write to Mark directly at his new address:
Mark Barnsley WA2897- HMP Frankland, Brasside, Durham, DH1 5YD, England.
Support BARRILEE BANNISTER US anarchist prisoner: Barrilee is one of our brave and fearless young anarchist sisters incarcerated in the state of Oregon. Since her unwarranted incarceration Barrilee and a host of other women were transferred to a privatized prison where she was sexually molested and abused before being returned to Oregon to finish her time.
Though the incident of Barrilee being sexually abused by prison guards was traumatic it has not stopped her from fighting against the system or speaking out against the injustice she and other women are undergoing at the hands of corrupt prison officials. Right now, Barrilee continues to RESIST and fight the repressive prison authorities whove labeled her a trouble maker (because she is an anarchist).
Theyve also called her a Security Threat and have placed her in a higher security. She has been barred from receiving any anarchist literature (which is a First Amendment Violation). Barrilee says ...I speak loudly and boldly about my rights as a human, a U.S. citizen and a prisoner. Such spirited defiance from a sister locked down and whose suffered what she has by her captors only warms the heart of a true revolutionary to fight harder. Show directly: Barrilee Bannister #11309597, E.O.C.I., 2500 Westgate, Pendleton, OR 97801 USA.
Amelia Johnson (aka Bahiya S. Shakur) is an Afrikan-Amerikan political prisoner. She is serving life in Texas for allegedly kidnapping and murdering her husband, Darius Leon Powell. She was convicted on circumstantial evidence, inadequate Court-appointed legal counsel, witness compromising by the District Attorneys office who harassed, threatened and coerced her son to implicate his mother (Amelia) and overall judicial abuse. Since Amelias incarceration she hasnt lost spirit or determination to fight for her freedom, the clearing of her name and the injustices shes had to face and endure since incarceration and could benefit from our support. For more information you may contact Amelias attorney: Myrtle L. McDaniel, c/o Amelia Johnson Legal Defense, PO Box 2973, Temple, TX 76503 USA.
If you wish to write Amelia directly you may do so as: Bahiya S. Shakur (aka Amelia Johnson #640983), 1401 State School Ed., Gatesville, TX 76503 USA.
Vincent Bethell, the man famous for appearing everywhere with no clothes on, has been imprisoned since August. He now refuses to wear clothes at any time and is not being allowed to leave his cell. Letter of support to: Vincent Bethell (remand prisoner), HMP Brixton, Jebb Avenue, Brixton, London, SW2 5XF. Complain to the governor about Vincents treatment at the same address.
Fuck the police
After revenge for the defeat they suffered on Sept 26th (see resistance #18 for report on S26) Czech police have targeted for repression the anarcho-syndicalist group the Federation of Social Anarchists (Czech section of the International Workers Association). Two members in different towns were simultaneously arrested and a virus sent by email knocked out the FSAs only computer. Police from the antiextremist department interrogated them, trying to link them with organising illegal demonstrations. One has since been charged with public rampage. Contact the FSA-IWA at: PO Box 5 - 15006 Praha (Czech republic). Tel +420-602-224747.
The Czech Organisation of Revolutionary Anarchists-Solidarita have sent a message thanking all those who have sent money to the defence fund and held demonstrations in support of those arrested after the Prague S26 demonstrations. See adjacent article for the latest info on Prague prisoners. Contact: Solidarita-ORA, PO Box 12, 751 52 Prerov 1. Email: email@example.com
On December 9th will be 19 years since Mumia Abu-Jamal was shot, arrested and framed for the murder of a Philidelphia cop. He was denied a fair trial and was sentenced to death. From death row he has fought for his freedom ever since. A huge international campaign has grown to support him and demand his freedom. For more info contact: Mumia Must Live!, BM Haven, London, WC1N 3XX or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In 1999 the US government approved $1.6 billion of emergency aid for Colombia. The money is to be used in the war against drugs, or more accurately the war against leftist guerillas and the civilian population. As reported in resistance #16 a libertarian alternative to the Colombian state and the leftist state in waiting is now growing. See also the latest issue of Organise! magazine. And recently a meeting was held in Bristol to form a Colombian solidarity campaign For more info contact: email@example.com
And if youve enjoyed the US election farce check out our new pamphlet Against Parliament, For Anarchism for the low down on the British political parties. Only £1.50 from the London address.. Also available online
Please visit the regularly updated Anarchist Federation diary page for details of the latest events
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