The world policeman the USA and its faithful little special constable Britain are continuing to wage war on Iraq. This is not a spectacular over in few days war like the previous Gulf War. This is one of low level (but tell that to murdered Iraqi civilians and their families) attacks on Iraqi military installations, and the remorseless murder of sanctions. But once again, the purpose is not to overthrow the murderous Saddam regime, but to keep it in check, and make sure Saddam knows his place.
The US and the rest of the big Western powers are content to have Saddam police the region and keep any chance of revolution by the Middle Eastern masses in check. Thats why they inflicted severe damage to his military apparatus in the last Gulf War, but failed to destroy his regime.
The US and British governments care nothing about homicidal military dictatorships. After all, they have supported every Latin American dictator - just look at Pinochet. In nearby Jordan, they supported the late, unlamented King Hussein, who himself operated a repressive regime, keeping an iron grip on the country. Whilst professing sympathy for the Kurds in Northern Iraq, who have been victims of Saddams savagery, they connived through their secret services to arrest the Kurdish nationalist leader, Occlan of the PKK (Kurdish Workers Party). It all comes down to whether the interests of Western powers are best served by talk about the defence of democracy or turning a blind eye to the atrocities of a particular state. With Turkey, which has a long history of repression against the Kurds, radicals and the working class in general, this can be safely ignored, because Turkey serves the interests of the West. The same happened with the military regimes in Chile, South Korea, Malaysia and Indonesia. There were no threats of bombing Indonesia for waging a war of genocide against the people of East Timor.
The US and Britain have used the suspected evidence of chemical weapons manufacture in Iraq to launch these attacks. But where were the attacks on Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, who also posses and manufacture chemical weapons? No, the attacks on Iraq are about the US proving that it is still the top nation able to impose its will on the world. This has the calculated feel good response of making the US public feel that it is the greatest nation on the planet, with big dividends for the President.
Blood for oil
The war is about oil as well. The last Gulf War was fought to protect US oil supplies in the region. This has increased because of new oil supplies in the nearby Caspian region. The US and the big oil companies need to know that these are safe. In the process the British government, by hanging on the coat tails of the USA, hopes to get some of the kudos and restore the glory of the long gone days of yesteryear when Britain itself was the top dog.
Millions killed ethically
Labours ethical foreign policy went out of the window as quick as you could say Robin Cook. And meanwhile the smart bombs claim the lives of more ordinary Iraqis. The war has cost billions for the US and Britain to mount, whilst at home the austerity packages in both countries continue to affect working class people. At the same time the sanctions imposed against Iraq have resulted in the death of well over a million Iraqis due to malnutrition and lack of medical supplies. And its estimated about a million children under the age of five are malnourished.
We hope that soon the Iraqi people will overthrow and destroy Saddam and his death dealing military state. If and when that happens, we expect neither the US or Britain to support a mass uprising. Indeed, they will do all they can to sabotage it, as they have before.
Attacks on crops of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have grown an impressive rate, both in Britain and as far a field as India. People realise that only direct action can stop the multinationals from tampering with their food and fucking up their environment.
Monsanto, the biggest biotechnology company in the world (which we have, incidentally, to thank for Agent Orange which the Americans used to murder thousands of Vietnamese peasants in the 1960s) has gone to huge lengths to suppress this opposition to its genetically modified food products including a massive £1 million advertising campaign in Britain alone. This campaign has been totally unsuccessful and opposition to GM foods is bigger than ever!
As usual the politicians and bosses are up to their necks in it. Blair refuses to even temporarily ban the growing of genetically modified foods in Britain, despite the fact that bans were implemented in France and Austria. The reason?? Apart from Blairs well know link to Sainsburys, Bill Blow Job Clinton had also been placing pressure on Blair to accept the testing of GMOs in Britain because GMOs are worth $ millions to the American economy. He might also have mentioned that Monsanto is one of five companies spearheading his Welfare to Work schemes, and was singled out for special praise in Clintons State of the Nation address last year. Needlessto-say, Clinton didnt do all this out of the kindness of his heart: in 1996 Monsanto donated $1000s to the Clinton presidential campaign.
Of course, the politicians wont eat this genetically modified food themselves as no one knows what kind of effect sticking a fish gene into a plant will have on people and the environment. For this reason all genetically modified food has been banned from the House of Commons. Yet they are quite happy for us to be their guinea pigs whilst they connive, as always, to line their pockets.
Its the same old story: as far as theyre concerned were just here to produce and consume whilst they use us in whatever way they like.
For more info on genetic engineering and what you can do to fight back contact:
Freepost (Lon 6013)
PO Box 6313
c/o P.O. Box 9656
Radical American journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal continues to languish on death row, only a signature away from execution. Despite overwhelming evidence his trial was rigged his appeal against conviction has been rejected. Thousands of people have already taken to the streets to protest against this injustice and demand Mumias freedom. Only by building this movement can Mumias life be saved.
Mumia Must Live!,
BM Haven, London, WC1N 3XX
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
London Anarchist Black Cross can now also be contacted at the above address
In the last resistance, we saw how the Russian revolution came when workers decided theyd had enough of the misery of the bosses war. Wars dont always produce revolutions, but they often produce revolutionary ideas.
This is what happened in Britain at the end of the English civil war in 1649. King Charles, convinced that god had given him the right to do what the fuck he liked with his kingdom and its subjects had a bit of a falling out with his parliament, who disagreed and wanted power for the people (then, as now, the people meant a middle class elite, they didnt give a fuck about ordinary people either....)
Off with his head
When parliament won and Charlie boy lost his head, many people really felt that the world had turned upside down. In this new and exciting atmosphere, new ideas burst from all over the place. There were religious nutters like the Ranters, or middle class people who wanted a vote like the Levellers. The most radical ideas came from Gerrard Winstanley and his group the True Levellers or The Diggers. The Diggers claimed that the Earth was made for all and therefore that private ownership of the land was totally wrong. Acting on these ideas, they occupied land from St Georges Hill in Surrey to as far away as the Midlands, forming ten communities. They grew crops communally on the occupied land and gave what they didnt need to the poor.
It didnt take the landlords and bosses long to work out that the Diggers ideas against hierarchy and the ownership of land represented a revolutionary threat to their interests. Only a year after the Diggers started, the landlords struck back, hiring thugs to beat them up and throw them out of their homes, destroying their crops in the process. Whilst the Diggers were defeated, their ideas and example survived and they still inspire revolutionaries today.
The Land is Ours are holding commemorations for the Diggers this year and every year around April 1st. See the news diary for details of this years events.
The Federation of Social Anarchists (the Czech section of the anarcho-syndicalist International Workers Association) is calling for international support after one of its members was charged with murder in relation to an incident last November.
On November 27th 1998, two members of the FSA were attacked by a group of at least five neo-nazis in the Prague club Campton. One of the two was knocked out after a short fight, while the other, Michal Patera was injured. Fearing for his life, Michal drew his legally owned gun and fired at the attackers. One of the fascists was shot three times. Michal managed to escape but was captured shortly after by the police. He was charged with attempted murder motivated by ideological conviction and faces a 25-year term if convicted. None of the attacking neo-nazis faces even minor charges.
This is the forth time in recent years that the Czech authorities have charged a victim of fascist terror with murder or attempted murder for defending themselves. Anti-fascists Vaclav Jez, Pravel Hroupa and Pavel Opocensky were all finally cleared of similar charges, but not until they had spent up to several years in custody awaiting trial. The Czech anti-fascist movement has also had to raise large amounts of money to cover legal costs.
The Czech republic has a growing neo-nazi movement. According to police information, there are at least 30,000 organised neo-nazis and active supporters of fascist ideology in the Czech republic, with 3000 in Prague alone. Last year the fascist Patriotic Front stood candidates in municipal elections, the first time such an organisation has done so since the 1930s. Festivals with bands performing white music attract hundreds of supporters.
Support for the neo-nazis is also strong among the police. The Ministry of Interior Affairs estimates that one third of the police force are members of or active sympathisers of neo-fascist, racist or extreme nationalist organisations.
Send letters of solidarity to: Michal Patera (1976), PO Box 5, 14057 Praha 4, Czech Republic. His defence campaign can be emailed at: email@example.com
In this country the Solidarity Federation are raising money for Michal. Send cheques to: Solidarity Federation, PO Box 1681, London, N8 7DN.
A benefit is also being planned for Sat 1st May. Contact Anarchist Communist Federation (London) c/o 84b Whitechapel High St, London E1 7QX or phone 0152 3 786692 (pager) or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anti-Genetically modified food activists hit the Sainsburys in Camden and dumped Frankenstein food on the pavement. Their leaflet slagged off the Labour government, calling it little more than a mouth piece for Sainsburys and attacked those making huge profits at the expense of public health and the environment.
LET THERE BE LIGHT
After power cuts in Buenos Aires left 300,000 people without electricity for a week, people eventually took matters into their own hands by taking to the streets and starting fires outside branches of the electric company.
Privately run Doncaster prison has the highest suicide rate in Britain. So what was the response of the prison inspectors? Yes, they gave it an award - a Charter Mark for providing a secure, safe and humane environment.
PEOPLES JUDGE MY ARSE
The late Lord Denning has been hailed by the mainstream press as The Peoples Judge. But we remember it was this bastard that rejected an appeal from the Birmingham 6 and said the Guildford 4 should have been hanged. We say good riddance!
KOREAN WORKERS FIGHT
Workers in Korea arent taking job losses lying down. In response to mass layoffs 4,000 metalworkers took to the streets of Seoul and fought with the cops.
CAPITALISM GOES BANANAS
A trade war between Europe and the USA is looming over bananas! US companies in Latin America have lobbied to start this 'war' to help their profits, whilst Oxfam have campaigned to get British consumers to support the smaller-scale Caribbean growers. A World Trade Organisation ruling will decide the outcome, without any thought of the welfare of the workers in either area.
The 300 locked out LSG Skychef workers (sacked for going out on strike) have daily pickets at Foggs Road, Feltham, West London (nearest tube: Hatton Cross) Get down there and show some solidarity.
RUSSIAN FACTORY TAKE OVER
A factory in Yasnogorsk has been taken over by 4,200 workers in opposition to the local Communist Party and Yeltsinite privatisation plans. Special police forces have been sent in to counter the workers but resistance continues.
Please visit the regularly updated ACF News Diary page for details of the latest events