resistance - monthly bulletin of the Anarchist Federation (Britain and Ireland)
ISSUE THIRTY TWO - DECEMBER 2001
“Let them eat shrapnel”
...as Bush and Blair must be saying as they drop cluster bombs and food parcels on
Afghanistan. But opposition to the war is growing on the home front:
THE RECENT anti-war demonstrations in London have been the largest protests seen in the capital
for years, with tens of thousands attending. There have also been many other demonstrations
across Britain and around the world, all of which have shown the level of opposition to the
war and, equally important, the fact that people are prepared to get out on to the street
and voice their opposition.
For an anti-war movment to develop we have to understand the reasons for the large scale
September 11th and the media
After the attack on the World Trade Centre everyone had an opinion of some sort about it and
what should be done as a result of it. The media, however, immediately started telling us all
what we should be thinking and feeling. There was no subtlety whatsoever. We were all hit
full on by a PR sledgehammer of the only 'acceptable' opinion. This, we reckon, got a lot of
people's backs up.
The left diversion
The media have been so one sided the left wing establishment figure heads(Tony Benn, Arthur
Scargill, Ken Livingstone, etc) haven’t filled their usual role of providing a loyal
opposition. This lack of space for any alternative, no matter how weak, could have been a big
motivating factor for people to get out and speaking up for themselves.
Media friendly liberals and socialists of the CND and Leninist parties like the SWP have
shown that their decline is sadly not yet terminal. Turning up at Hyde Park demonstrations
is like entering a time warp and landing back in old leftie land. Tired old pacifist slogans
have been dusted off and ludicrous nonsense about supporting the ‘anti-imperialist’ Taliban
is on offer from the more deranged sects.
Although the marches are single issue demonstrations, there can be little doubt that a whole
load of people there were motivated out of a reality that goes way beyond the "Stop the War"
message of mass produced placards.
The recession is hurting a lot of people: layoffs, redundancies, wage cuts. The ruling class
have used the September 11th attacks to justify an offensive against workers. Mass sackings
in the airline industy that had long been planned have been rushed through. Capitalists are
using the war to justify their re-structuring. An effective anti-war movment will be linked
with workplace struggles.
At the last demonstration the plod knew where the potential "troublemakers" were situated.
The anarchists and other anti-capitalists marched together with a Samba band, which was
escorted by a heavy police presence. At first it looked like the cops were going to attempt
to separate off this block. This is something we need to be vigilant of, as well as that
tried and tested tactic of the police provoking people in to kicking off in order to move
in and isolate or arrest them.
As it turned out the splitting up of the anti-capitalist block was no bad thing. By mingling
in with the rest of the march anarchists were able to spread the message of revolutionary
opposition to the terror of capitalism, governments and religous bigotry to more people.
Large demonstrations can be inspiring but we need to build against the war in all areas of
life: at work, with friends and in our local areas.
On the frontline
Hastings drivers strike
40 Stagecoach bus drivers went on strike over pay during early November in Hastings. The
drivers also picketed the Beaufort Road depot.
Australian air workers have shown the way to fight restructuring. 4,000 Sydney airport
workers went out on a wildcat strike, rejecting Ansett bosses plans to layoff 16,000
fellow workers. Qantas workers refuellers and baggage handlers have shut down many flights
by unannounced walkouts. Melbourne also saw fierce resistance, including the use of vehicles
to blockade a plane that the New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark was travelling in. She
was forced to use a police helicopter to escape from angry workers.
General Strike in Serbia
Several thousand people across Serbia have taken part in demonstrations against a draft
labour law that would freeze pay in state-owned companies. In the capital,
Belgrade, up to 5,000 people attended a rally at the main government building. Demonstrations
have also been organised in other cities. They are part of a general strike against the
Governments plans to lower wages/conditions.
In the latest of a series of escalating disputes, including a wave of wildcat strikes,
following the 1998 financial crash and ruble devaluation, workers at Ivanovo Mashzavod
machine building factory went out on unofficial strike action.
Bypassing the Local and National Union Structures the workers won significant concessions,
and are now facing the anger of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions (FNPR), who work
hand in glove with the Kremlin. Many workers are rejecting the Unions and turning to forms
of autonomous direct action such as armed occupation of workplaces, taking supplies from
stores and refusing to pay for services such as gas and buses.
Mozambique strike back on
Aluminium plant workers at Mozal have gone back on strike after promises of no disciplinary
measures for earlier strike action were not respected. Bosses and Unions hatched the deal to
trick workers into returning without their demands being met, but as soon as workers realised
what was happening a walkout developed.
More than 28,000 Minnesota state employees staged a walk out. With more than half the state
workers on strike, government services shut down.
Celebrity Prat of the Month
“Anti-capitalists are the same as Bin Ladens terrorists...similar aims to Al-Quaeda...
enjoy the fruits – mobile phones, Nike trainers – of what they’re protesting about”
Clare Short, MP
This from the Woman who made her name railing against the tawdry tabloids use of page 3
girls. Now this same woman, turned warmonger with an overworked mouth, is more than happy
for her boss (Blair) to cosy up to that same vile print-rags proprietor, Rupert Murdoch,
in New Labours quest for popularity and votes; that is when the space can be spared between
its pages devoted to celebrity nonsense and you guessed it, still page 3 girls. People who
speak with forked tongue shouldn’t give lectures Ms. Short. For the record, absolutely we
oppose capitalism and aim to bring about its demise, you can depend on that. But we’re coming
from a position of class struggle, not one of religious fanaticism financed by Middle-East
multi-millionaires whose wealth was built on capitalist exploitation. The people who armed,
trained and set Bin Laden on his way, i.e. the US and the West, are infinitely closer to
the Bin Ladens of this world than we could ever be. It is deliberate deceit to claim that
anti-capitalists have anything in common with Al-Quaeda or anyone else of that ilk, including
the Bush/Blair sheep like war coalition, who self righteously slaughter innocent people
without feeling a tinge of remorse.
Our position has been the same since day one: No War but the Class War. Politicians and
warlords are culpable, innocent men, women and children are not. If capitalist mouthpieces
can’t tell the difference we can: the ruling class are the real enemy.
FIGHTING AGAINST THE JAMAICAN POLICE
Political and social unrest continues in Jamaica as reported in resistance #25. Police
incursions in to working class areas have met considerable resistance. In one case a rasta
named ‘Dread’ was arrested for dealing ganja, until a crowd of people attacked the cops and
set him free. Incidents like these imply genuine solidarity between people. This tendency
is not limited to Kingston.
A few days later, again in Savanna-la-Mar, cops shot 23 year-old Junior Wright, in the back
of the head as he ran from them, killing him. Witnesses insist he was unarmed. They began
rioting and continued for several days, smashing up two high street banks and blocking roads.
When cops tried to move the blockades they were stoned.
The spontaneous, “illegal” solidarity shown recently by ordinary people leaves its
participants in danger, but it is hard to see what course other than the co-ordination of
such courageous defiance will change things for the Jamaican working class.
Post office workers are still fighting Royal Mail/Consignia plans to impose more work and
shutdown militant delivery/sorting offices. The last few weeks have seen a series of wildcat
strikes, mostly in and around London. Around 80 workers walked off the job in Acton, and
workers at six other delivery offices came out in support. This is a fairly regular occurrence amongst Royal Mail workers: who says working class solidarity is dead?
Posties in Waltham Forest recently stuck two fingers up to bullying bosses by staging a
wildcat strike. The action started in South Woodford with 35 workers walking off the job.
They were followed by workers at Leyton sub district office who had their own grievances,
which included racist abuse from managers, and the axing of the 9.30 am collection. This
last issue has seen a number of wildcat strikes in East London. We can feel a bit of a storm
brewing. Postal workers have shown time and time again that they are not going to take it
lying down. Is another national wildcat on the cards? Watch this space.
On 13th Nov demonstration against the World Trade Organisation meeting took place around
20, 000 rice farmers protested against the WTO’s plans to further open up South Korea’s
agricultural markets. Among the farmers demands was for the South Korean government to
withdraw from the WTO, and to send surplus grain to starvation stricken North Korea. The
farmers later stormed the headquarters of the Grand National Party and clashed with riot
And closer to home the newly formed
Surrey Activist Group took to the streets.
INTERNATIONAL ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT
UK - Bristol
Posted to www.ainfos.ca/en: “In response to the terrorist war being waged on the innocent
people of Afghanistan, anarchists in Bristol have taken action against state and corporate
property...the windows of the armed forces recruitment offices in the centre were graffitied
with glass etching fluid “War of Lies”, accompanied by a paint bomb and glued locks...a
McDonalds was attacked; most windows smashed, anti-capitalist war graffiti and locks glued.
It was shut the next day. Let “collateral damage” mean more property damage. No more
capitalist war and terror. Sabotage the machine! To be continued...”
“...6th November, Bristol...Starbucks cafe was smashed up, and forced to close the next
day...the same night a Barclays Bank was spray painted ; Sabotage the war / no peace under
capitalism. To be continued...”
UK - Nottingham
On 13th of Oct, as part of demonstrations taking place around the country, around 20 people
picketed the Armed Forces
Careers Centre in Nottingham forcing the centre to close for the day. For more info Email:
UK - Brighton
On 2nd Nov about 20 people from Brighton Against the War occupied the Navy Unit at Sussex
University. The occupiers barricaded themselves inside the building for several hours,
hanging a banner from the window reading ‘War I$ State Terrorism!’ One of the university’s
daily demonstrations against the war moved to the outside of the building being occupied to
give the occupiers support. A crowd of around 150 people gathered outside, chanting and
handing out leaflets.
To contact Brighton Against the War email: email@example.com or write to Brighton Against
the War c/o Brighton Peace and Environment Centre, 43 Gardner Street, Brighton.
UK - Hereford
“On 10th Nov, there was an anti-war rally in Hereford. It drew 100-150 people. We drew a lot
of attention from passing shoppers. Banners and placards were held saying things like “Food
not bombs” and “Stop the war!” On the 24th October a small number of anarchists leafleted the
public calling for no war but the class war. The reception was generally good, apart from the
squaddie in the Armed Forces Careers place we stood outside who was close to punching us when
we tried to give him a leaflet!” For more info Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
“At the Irish national rally against the war at Parnell Sq. Dublin, the AF were there with
stall and banner, along with over a thousand people. Irish resistance were considered quite
a hit (man, even a nun took one!).
The SWP were to the right of us (as usual), and had hired a float and some Labour minister
to speak on their behalf - not that their leader didn’t speak...Christ!...the bloke didn’t
draw breath once.
Then came the usual desultory march up and down O’Connell Street, and round and round, and
up and down the hill again, while the lefties bleated ‘2 legs good, 4 legs better’, and
preached again, saying ‘Blessed are the cheesemakers’...or something like that.”
For more info contact: Anarchist Federation Ireland, PO Box 505, Belfast BT12 6BQ, Tel:
07951 079719 or Email: email@example.com
On 1st of Nov, Anarchist Platform demonstrated against war, poverty, and capitalism in
Istanbul. With bread (symbolizing poverty) and black flags in their hands. Police attacked
the anarchists and 58 anarchists were arrested; all beaten brutally, one was hospitalized
because of a serious injury.
The demo started in the main campus of Istanbul University. Anarchists carrying the banner
‘CAPITALISM KILLS IN WAR AND PEACE’ started marching. While marching to the main entrance
slogans, ‘Capitalism kills in War and Peace!’, ‘Capitalist war mongers: oil giants and arm
traders!’ ‘More patience more poverty! More patience more misery! It’s enough, no more
slavery!’ were yelled.
When the anarchists reached the main entrance, they continued to yell the slogans and
broke down the chained gate leading to Beyazit Square.
About 400 anti-authoritarians and anarchists marched on the main streets of Thessaloniki
with slogans like: “We take the streets against terror”, “Terror is your civilization“,
“Neither Allah, nor God, only social war “, “Yesterday they were allies , today they are
enemies, always in the target will be the people“
There was an anti-war demonstration organized in front of the US embassy in Belgrade.
Around 20 people gathered in front of the police line, burned the US flag and started
throwing things at the US embassy. Five of them were arrested but were later released.
DOMINANCE AND SUBMISSION
The current military adventure by the White House and its allies in Afghanistan and the
anti-Islamic outbursts here in Britain requires anarchists to clarify their views.
Revolutionary anarchism is atheist. Anarchists have always rejected all authority, not
least that of a mythical god. Islam in contrast is all about submission to such a nonentity.
Muslims are essentially enslaved not to a god but to a set of bogus revelations found in the
Koran. And, it is the task of Islam to ensure that all of the peoples in the world are
Modern, fundamentalist Islam seeks to destroy the gains of enlightened thought and replace
them with the values of a religious leader from the seventh century. To the true Muslim,
the words of the Koran are literal truth, valid for all peoples at all time.
Slavery is at least tolerated within Islam and half of humanity, women, are considered
inferior to men. Women are subject to all
sorts of handicaps, starting from the outrageously sexist assertion that men are their
protectors and maintainers (Koran 4:34). Furthermore should wives be disloyal, husbands are
ultimately instructed to beat them (ibid). In legal cases women’s evidence is considered
less than men’s‚ and in all social respects except for the family home, the women has
Anarchists have always advocated sexual freedom. Not so in Islam where marriage is the only
acceptable sexual relationship. For example, according to one Koranic verse, sex between
unmarried people is punishable as follow: “Flog each of them with a hundred lashes”
(sura 24:2). In Islam, homosexuality deserves even harsher punishment.
Islam enshrines inequality and promotes commerce (seventh century style that is). However,
those with adequate means are required to give the needy 2.5% of their capital assets per
year, hardly a massive wealth redistribution.
Given the Muslim view that the Koran contains the word of God, the severest punishment must
be meted out either here on earth or in hell fire. There can be no tolerance for
non-believers and a variety of other belief systems. To give up Islam is to invite the death
So, Islam is an enemy of all freedom loving people. Anarchism alone recognises the need to
destroy all gods and replace them with human solidarity, freedom and equality. It is certain
that, if given the opportunity, Islam would introduce another form of authoritarianism in
Britain and across the globe. It must be resisted.
ANARCHIST prisoner Eduardo Garcia Marcias was released from Madrids Soto del Real prison
recently. High court judges ruled there was no evidence to justify his continued detention.
Eduardo sends thanks to all who voiced their support for his campaign over the last year.
Anti-war protesters imprisoned
In 1999 during a demonstration in Rome against the NATO war in Serbia, a group tried to get
to the headquarters of the ruling PDS party. The comrades were forced to stop at the
beginning of the street as there was a security barricade there. The Rome special police
falsely accused the three of using “violence consisting of an attack, also of throwing
harmful objects, on the Forces of Order”.
The accusation is false as the comrades stopped at the barricade without any offensive
moves towards the police. On 6th Nov they were given sentences of 7 months imprisonment,
plus 4 months for one who was wearing a motorcycle helmet while the police aimed tear gas
cannisters at the protesters heads in Piazza Venezia.
For more info email: firstname.lastname@example.org
American anarchist gets three years
Robert Middaugh was sentenced to three years in prison, charged with assaulting a police
officers during the Mayday fiasco in Long Beach this year. The police rioted in reaction to
an anarchist gathering. A “Reclaim the Streets” like action was planned with about 200
anarchists mostly dressed in black. During the demonstration a clash with the police took
place which resulted in over 100 people being arrested.
Most of those who were arrested originally were all given basic charges of felony - ”
conspiracy to riot” and misdemeanor “failure to disperse.” A handful of anarchists arrested,
such as Robert Middaugh, faced more severe charges.
Most of those arrested from Mayday have pleaded out with a years probation and at this
point six are still being tried. As for Mr. Middaugh’s day in court, the Prosecutor threw
everything they could at him with charges totalling 14 years and ten months. In addition,
Middaugh was on probation relating to his arrest. During this incident he was charged with
assault on a police officer and was given ‘a strike’ for this arrest. This added another 3
years to his prison sentence. Although some charges were to run concurrent, Middaugh was
looking at 16-17 years in prison, plus another ‘strike’ against him.
The courts gave Middaugh a choice: either 17 years behind bars plus a strike or 3 years
plus a strike. With no other option Middaugh took the plea bargain. When released if he is
convicted of another strike, he is facing 25 year to life.
Please write to Rob Middaugh #6859467, PO Box 86164, Los Angeles, 90086-0164, USA.
For more info contact: Los Angeles
Anarchist Black Cross, PO BOX 3671, Anaheim, Ca, 92803 -3671, USA or email:
LA_blackcross@hotmail.com or Blackcross@disinfo.net
Brighton Anarchist Black Cross have moved their website, they are now at:
They also have a new postal address: Brighton ABC, P.O. Box 74, Brighton,
BN1 4ZQ, UK.