ISSUE TWENTY TWO
Regular resistance readers will know that postal workers have been at the forefront of class struggle over the last year or so, with unofficial, wildcat strikes and sit-downs breaking out in offices the length and breadth of the Britain all last year. The posties in Liverpool showed why this is likely to carry on in 2001 when they came out in January over a sacking.
Initially 200 workers at the Copperas Hill sorting office held a sit-in strike (their second in less than six months) in response to the sacking on 15th January. The action escalated with 1000 posties, delivery and processing staff, operating a mass illegal picket on Tuesday morning.
Within two days the strike had spread to offices in Walton, Lark Lane, West Derby and Wavertree and by Thursday all deliveries in Liverpool had come to a standstill.
On Thursday night two posties in Crewe were suspended for refusing to handle mail from Liverpool, leading to a solidarity walk-out there too. Whilst condemning management bullying and intimidation, the Communication Workers Union Branch Secretary in Liverpool asked postal workers in other areas not to boycott re-directed mail, thereby attempting to prevent any escalation of the struggle. National union negotiators were called in and the posties returned to work on January 22nd after assurances were given that the individual disciplinary cases would be dealt with and a national review of the application of disciplinary procedures would take place at some point in the future.
What is certain is that the anger which fuelled the actions hasnt diminished and the solidarity that exists on Merseyside and beyond guarantees this thing isnt over by a long chalk. Watch this space.
275 cabbies recently boycotted Gatwick Airport for 4 hours in a contract dispute with BAA, which may escalate in to an all out stoppage. It looks like this lot mean business, and are fully aware of the muscle that they have. Their spokesman didnt mince his words saying, quite simply,that their bosses ...are totally relying on us to work for them. If we say no, there are no taxis. A full on dispute at Britains second largest airport. Sounds good to us.
...AND IN FRANCE FIREFIGHTERS FIGHT FILTH WITH FOAM!
Some misguided individuals seem to think that firefighters are cut from the same cloth as the police. Beyond the uniforms and the military discipline, however, nothing could be further from the truth. When it comes to the class struggle the cops are on one side of the class divide, firefighters the other. A recent confrontation in the French city of Lille illustrates this clearly.
During a demonstration for improved working conditions firefighters were faced with the CRS, the much hated riot police. The firefighters responded to their provocative presence with a fusillade of foam, covering the cops with a layer of white goo. The CRS replied with smoke grenades, one of which maimed a demonstrator. Next time the firefighters take to the streets they should maybe think about using their high-powered hoses on the bastards.
Macdonalds Workers in one Paris branch struck and occupied at Xmas and won a pay rise for all Macdonalds workers in France. Similar actions are spreading through the Pizza Hut chain in Paris. See adjacent article for news of McDonalds Workers Resistance in the UK.
As we go to press an offical strike on the London Underground has been declared illegal. The message is clear: to win workplace disputes workers need to take the initative organise themselvs to fight effectively. Fighting through offical, legal channels usually guarantees defeat.
McDonalds Workers Resistance (MWR), is a non-hierarchical, independent workers organisations, run entirely by McDonalds employees. We hope to unite workers, against the company we all love to hate, by countering their propaganda and encouraging resistance. As part of this, the Glasgow (Scotland) branch of the group have produced a workers paper called McSues (McNews is the companys rag) which voices our frustration at the dehumanising idiocy of our working lives, but is also a positive attempt to do something about it.
Where we have yet to make contact with other employees, we are writing to local groups with an interest in workplace organising, to request assistance. We would be very grateful to any groups who could possibly get some copies to workers at McDonalds restaurants in their area. If you think you might be able to help, then please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be delighted to send down a sample copy of McSues and to answer any questions you might have.
McDonalds is the epitome of triumphalist capitalism, arrogant and contemptuous of those who oppose it. It may soon be surprised; the workers united are more possible than they can powerfully imagine! MWR
Life is a journey that does not end once you find happiness or your true self and I want to let people know I have the same struggles as them.
One more example of the pompous and privileged elite trying to sweep under the carpet any notions of the stark tangibility of class polarity. Cmon Fergie, are you asking us to believe your struggles are identical to those of working-class people? Rubbish! Anyone so obviously out of touch with reality as Royalty can know nothing of what its like to scratch and scrape to find the rent, feed the bairns, pay theleccy bill and cope with the 1001 difficulties thrown up in our faces every day of our existence as a consequence of the foul society you and your tediously whinging ilk represent. One day well help you put an end to your struggles- permanently!
The trial against the Chattanooga 3, arrested at a protest at city hall in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA, finally resulted in convictions of each defendant. They now face 6-18 months in prison. Lorenzo Komboa Ervin, Damon McGee, and Mikail Musa Muhammad, actvists with the Black Autonomy-COPWATCH group in Chattanooga, were arrested on for leading a crowd of over 100 Black protesters, irate over the deaths of two Black men killed by Chattanooga police officers. Local officials sought to punish Ervin and the other activists for this with criminal charges. Thus the Chattanooga 3 (C3) case was born.
During the trial a police provocateur, only know publicly as Omar was encouraged by the Sheriffs deputies to bring a gun and ammunition into the court, implying that he was part of a conspiracy with the Defendants to disrupt the trial. Omar was never arrested for bringing the ammunition and gun to court, and it now appears that this incident may be the basis of another prosecution, this one charging the Defendants with being engaged in a conspiracy to disrupt the proceedings and smuggle guns into the courtroom.
If the prosecutors do so, the C3 would be felony charges for conspiracy (5-8 years in prison), and for bringing firearms into a courtroom (7-10 years in prison). This secret police use of undercover operatives to frame activists is how the Black Panther Party and other organizations were destroyed in the late 1960s-early 1970s. We cannot stand by while yet more activists are railroaded to long prison sentences by a Sheriff seeking to justify security measures.
The real possibility of felony charges being filed against the C3 in connection with the police provocateur is particularly serious for Lorenzo. He is an ex-Black Panther political prisoner who served 15 years in federal prison. Under three strikes and youre out, if hes convicted of another felony, hell be sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole.
For information, contact: International Committee to Support the Chattanooga 3, Banco_midwest@hotmail.com. Also write letters of complaint to Sheriff John Cupp, JohnCupp@cdc.net, and demand that he drop plans of any further criminal charges.
Three antifascists sentenced! Solidarity needed now
On 3 April 1998 several neonazis were attacked in small Czech town Zlin. The incident happened near to the railway station. One of the fascists was wounded and the rest managed to escape. The aggressors disappear.
The police arrested a group of 9 antifascists, who were getting on the bus away from Zlin. The antifascists was accused of battery in organise group with ideological reason and brawling with 3 - 10 years penal servitude.
Three of the nine accused antifascist have been sentenced. One of them, Vladimir Futak, active anarchist and member of CSAF (Czech-Slovak Anarchist Federation), has been given suspended sentenced to 4 years with 3 years deferment. Other two guys has given 3 years with 2 years deferment.
The rest have been set at liberty, including David Srott, member of FSA-IWA (Federation of Social Anarchists). Vladimir Futak went to the police because he could testify the alibi of David Srott. He was accused without any proof, only because a neonazi branded him as one of the aggressor.
What you could do:
1) Send a protest letters, faxes and e-mails to your local embassies and following addresses, numbers and e-mail boxes:
President Havel, KANCELAR PREZIDENTA REPUBLIKY, PRAZSKY HRAD, PRAHA 1, 119 08 FAX : (00 420) 2/ 24 37 33 00
Ministry of the Justice, MINISTERSTVO SPRAVEDLNOSTI, VYSEHRADSKA 16, PRAHA 2, 128 00 FAX : (00 420) 2/ 24 91 99 27
Ministry of the Interior, MINISTERSTVO VNITRA, NAD STOLOU 3, PRAHA 7 - LETNA, 170 34, E-MAIL: email@example.com,
FAX : (00 420) 2/ 24 22 60 68
PLEASE, SEND THE E-MAILS DAILY!
If you send the e-mails, send copy to firstname.lastname@example.org , please.
2) Organise demonstrations, pickets or other actions in front of Czech embassies or other important buildings. If you make demonstration or other action for Zlin ten send an e-mail to: email@example.com.
Urgent call for anarchist prisoners in Turkey
Hunger strikes and death fasts have continued for more than two months in the prisons of Turkey. 15,000 prisoners went on hunger strikes. More than 35 prisoners were killed by police raids. The Turkish state wants to dissolve the prison resistance movement.
However, the most important thing is here; we would like to share with our comrades is that the anarchist prisoners in Turkey. They are under oppression of both powers. On the one side the Turkish authorities, the other side is Leninist-Stalinist Left. These leftists build an inner prison. They are in power inside the prisons and negotiate with the prisons authorities. A few months ago, one of the anarchist was killed by them in the prison. Two other anarchists were killed by DEV-SOL (revolutionary Left) outside prison. Inside the prisons, our comrades need solidarity and help for their basic need and treatment; some of them heavily ill.
If you would like to donate money towards his treatment, you can send us cheques payable to Emine Ozkaya and the address is: 5th May Group, P.O. Box 2474, London.
If you need more information, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
REFUGEES seeking asylum in Liverpool began a hunger strike, claiming they are being treated like animals.
A group of 27 men staying in a hostel in Princes Park have vowed to continue their protest until their basic living conditions improve. They arrived in England last year from Iran, Iraq, Uganda, Burundi, Congo, Afghanistan, Russia, Albania and Somalia and were all housed at the Sunnyside hostel, Devonshire Road, by the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) based in London.
The government-run service was set up to ease pressure on local authorities as the number of asylum seekers reaches an all-time high.
The men are all claiming political asylum after fleeing persecution in their home countries. Many have left their wives and children behind.
They say they have been treated badly at the hostel and been forced to go on hunger strike.
A spokesman for the group said: We came to England to seek safety but have been treated worse than animals.
We have all had to leave our homes and families behind or we would have been killed.
We have no hot water, no proper food, no clothes and are living in appalling conditions.
Our landlord treats us with contempt.
At mealtime, we are given three potatoes on a plate with a tin of beans if we are lucky. One man was given a banana and told to share it among three.
At Christmas, the landlord handed us a plastic bag each containing three spoons of sugar, three spoons of powdered milk and three teabags. He then wished us a happy Christmas.
As the Centre co-ordinator said: These men came here looking for safety and are now being stripped of their dignity.
Mayday Monopoly is conceived as a celebration of Mayday in London. People from outside the capital are also welcome, as are events that celebrate Mayday organised along libertarian lines in other areas.
Mayday is traditionally a day of celebration (see resistance #1 for more info on the anarchist origins of mayday). Over the last two years people have begun the process of reclaiming Mayday as a day of celebration for all those struggling against capitalism and globalisation. In 1999 a tube party was held (see resistance #4) and last year a four day festival of anti-capitalist ideas and action (see resistance #14).
This year there are plans to celebrate Mayday by playing a game of Monopoly on the streets of London on the 1st of May. Hopefully this will take the form of lots of autonomous actions, separate yet interconnected, which express our opposition to the monopoly that capitalism has over our lives. Here are some ways in which you can get involved:
ORGANISE AN AUTONOMOUS ACTION
Look at a monopoly board and consider the possibilities: housing, debt, railways, privatised utilities, prisons and above all streets and areas in which the daily business of capitalism continues, normally unhindered. Get your group or campaign to begin discussing what action they want to do. If you do not belong to a group then get together with a few mates, form an affinity group. Contact the Mayday Monopoly organisers.
A pamphlet is being written around the monopoly theme with loads of ideas for Mayday actions. See below for details of where you can get a copy.
If you want to be involved with the overall co-ordination of Mayday Monopoly and the publicity for the day, then come to the co-ordinating meetings, which will be held monthly from now on.Check the website or phone for details.If you cannot come to the meeting then make sure that you are on the mailing list to keep up to date.
As ever funds are needed. Last year many groups contributed an initial sum of £100 to get things off the ground. It would be great if this could happen again. Donations, no matter how small, are welcome. Send cheques made payable to MAYDAY 2000.
For more info contact:
post: BM Mayday London WC1N 3XX
telephone: 07989 451 096
And some people have started on the Monopoly theme already!
15 people stormed a meeting of Tower Hamlets Healthcare Trust in late January as part of an effort to stop a local clinic, the Barkantine, being sold to Berkeley Homes, a bunch of bloodsucking developers. Officials were given a Monopoly game board before being showered with toy money!
Trafalgar Square. Witnesses needed to help in case for violent disorder.
Anyone who was in the square during the time we were held under the section 60 order.Preferably anyone who was not arrested,to help build a picture of the conditions in the square. Witnesses would only be required to tell their own version, of the days events. Your account could help make a difference to a possible prison sentence. If you feel you can help please contact Tim Green, at Bernberg and co. 0207911 0166. Or phone Sean on 07939303223.
In 1977 BNFL was instructed to capture atmospheric discharges of Krypton 85 at its THORP plant in Cumbria, which can cause fatal skin cancers. Every year since then it has claimed that there is no available technology to achieve this and that it is diligently trying to rectify this. It now transpires that BNFL dissuaded Japanese Nuclear Fuels from fitting this technology to a new plant under construction, as this would compromise their claims (lies?). They then corroborated their stories that capturing Kr85 was less acceptable than releasing it, and that there is no appropriate technology available. So, the people of Japan will soon be able to enjoy this deadly substance just like we have for years. Both the Japanese and British industries have similarly appalling safety records and a penchant for prevarication (lying!). And the reason for all this deceit - BNFL claim it would cost £50m, well that is if it, err actually existed at all, which it doesnt, honest guv!
April 7th. Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London. 10am - 5pm.
Topics: Revolutionary Anarchism: past, present and future.
Against Parliament, Against the State.
Anti-capitalism and Class Struggle.
More info from London Anarchist Federation
Who won the U.S. election? Monsanto thats who! Never mind the low turn out, less votes wins, secured in brothers state, widespread corruption (One person elected was actually dead - an easy mistake!). The new cabinet of the USA is riddled with Monsantos people.
President Bush (climate change doesnt pose any serious problems) and practically everyone below him seemingly received campaign donations. Attorney General John Ashcroft - advocates GM export to Third World, and forcing EU acceptance. Secretary of Health Tommy Thompson - spent $200m of Wisconsin State money on biotech zone; supported Monsanto GM promotion campaign. Responsible for Biotech licencing! Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman - former director of GM company Calgene now owned by err Monsanto; involved in WTO talks, advocating GM export to Third World. Defence Secretary Donald Ramsfeld - president of Searle Pharmaceuticals when bought by, guess who? Monsanto. House of Representatives Agriculture Committee Chair Larry Combest - a GM advocate. And Clarence Thomas, one of the supreme court judges who decided the election, is a former Monsanto lawyer.And they wonder why so few voted?
Joseph Estrada was ousted as president of The Philippines after 3 days of massive street protest following the collapse of an impeachment trial for corruption. Unfortunately for Filipinos he was replaced! He had spent his two and a half years in office embezzling a fortune, reminiscent of Marcos before him. Estrada may be tried, or like Marcos, he may somehow escape the country to live it up while the poor of The Philippines continue to go hungry.
Kabila is dead, long live Kabila! Laurent Kabila president of the D.R.Congo, was apparently assassinated by a lone bodyguard, who was then conveniently also killed. Nobody believes this. Did his enemies or his allies kill him? What is certain is a general lack of concern at his demise. Fellow leaders condemn (with one eye on their own backs no doubt) but dont mourn. Congolese turned out for his funeral in large numbers, though few were displeased, mourning was merely prudent. Unfortunately a new Kabila was found for president. His future depends on whether the Congolese and Zimbabwean armies back him, while the people just hope the madness will stop.
Please visit the regularly updated Anarchist Federation diary page for details of the latest events
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