As war still rages in Yugoslavia with horrific results, nationalist Albanians are trying to split from Serbia to form a new state in Kosovo. Albanians in Kosovo have suffered severe repression from the Serbian military and special police forces. NATO has used this ethnic cleansing as a reason to attack Serbia and threaten to invade with ground troops. Serbian armed forces, like all state armies, are undoubtedly committing atrocities - so should we support the use of air-strikes against Yugoslavia?
Stop the bombings
The answer is NO! Despite the propaganda in the media about smart bombs and surgical strikes it should not be forgotten that they are dropping tons and tons of high explosives day and night for weeks on end. The lies about minimising civilian deaths now look so hollow after NATO missiles have twice slaughtered people travelling on buses. Other civilian deaths have occurred when factories and residential areas were destroyed by NATO. And thats not to mention that theyre deliberately killing a mostly conscript army. No doubt the accidents will increase as this war escalates (Russian embassy next time?). The bombing of Serbia has so far only strengthened the hand of anti-working class dictator Slobodan Milosevic. There is opposition to this dictator in Serbia and thousands of conscripts are refusing to report for military service. NATOs bombing has only helped to halt the development of any revolutionary movement in Serbia and keep the system of patriotism and capitalism in place. Would the ambitions of Kosovan nationalists for a new separate little state improve the lives of the people living there? Remember that an independent Kosovo would still remain a capitalist Kosovo - exploitation and alienation for the majority designed to benefit a new elite. This of course, is why NATO is presenting itself as peace enforcer in Yugoslavia. There needs to be end to Serbian state aggression as much as the NATO attacks but we shouldnt be conned into supporting Kosovan nationalism against Serbian nationalism. We must recognise that wars between all states or would be states are power struggles within capitalism. Unlike the Trotskyist and Stalinist sects who always support one side or the other, anarchist revolutionaries organise to oppose these wars as they are always an attack on working class people.
Its getting worse
Its now estimated that well over a million people have been forced to flee Kosovo as a result of both ethnic cleansing and the NATO attacks. The Western alliance has given the Serbian army a great opportunity to intensify the war, which they have done with relish. So much for NATOs protection of the Kosovans! The British government have cynically reacted to the problem that theyve helped to create by offering to temporarily house a few thousand refugees, possibly in prisons - which illustrates the meaning of the term Humanitarian. Many politicians and their obedient lackeys in the media are now calling for ground troops to be sent to Yugoslavia - a great way to speed up the slaughter.
We should never be fooled into taking sides in wars between nations - the only war we want is the class war of the international working class against the bosses of all countries.
Do anti-war graffiti in your area. Organise and advertise anti-war meetings.
Opposition to war is being built.
Contact: No War But The Class War
at: Escape c/o PO Box 2472, London, N8 0HW
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org for the latest information on resistance to the war
Also weekly meetings in London: Wednesday 7.30pm, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, WC1 (nearest tube Holborn).
The weekend of 24th/25th April saw the biggest mobilisation yet for revolutionary death row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal. Massive marches in Philadelphia and San Francisco drew attention to his plight, despite an ongoing policy by almost all the press of not reporting his case, partly due to lobbying by the cop loving Fraternal Order of Policemen .
Activists in San Francisco, spent the early hours of Monday 12th April opening up hundreds of news racks across the city to post a spoof 4 page cover across the San Francisco Chronicle. The cover gave information on Mumias case and advertised the march. 10,000 copies of the paper, amended to the San Francisco Chomical were distributed. In Madrid, many arrests were made against Mumia supporters, though most were released after the weekend. Mumia Must Live! marked the weekend with a benefit night of comedy, poetry, speakers and videos on Mumias case. The campaign continues to build and organisers are looking to link up activists interested in becoming local contacts for Mumia Must Live! around Britain. The next 9 months are the most important ones for Mumia: the Federal Supreme Court can ultimately decide his fate, but it is by no means assured that the case will get there, due to 1996 anti-terrorism laws which restrict the defendants right of appeal.
It is vital that actions continue to take place both in the states and around the world in the coming months. Mumia Must Live! have leaflets, stickers, posters and lots of other information available on his case. If you would like someone to speak at a local meeting, become a local contact or just to get more info contact: Mumia Must Live! BM Haven, London, WC1N 3XX.ail: email@example.com or visit the site: www.callnetuk.com/home/mumia
The idea of the Stop The City (STC) demonstrations was hatched by three London anarchists at a party in the early eighties. At around the same time people in Australia and America had had the same brainwave. The plan was to bring together the radical end of the peace - ecology - third world - and anarchist movements to attack the root cause of all their problems - Capital - by attacking the heart of finance. It took a lot of work to promote the idea of STC and then hold together an uneasy alliance of radical liberals and anarchists. The main problem was the issue of violence - many pacifists were worried that people might defend themselves against police attacks/arrests and buildings could be damaged by violence (sic) against property. Pat Arrowsmith, veteran CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) labourite did her best to successfully sabotage CND involvement.
The police-state were freaked out by the idea of an organised demo which wouldnt consult/inform them - very rare in modern Britain. They repeatedly tried to contact the organisers and on one occasion two plain clothed senior cops turned up to a London anarchist meeting pleading to meet with people only to be met by an angry silence and sent away.
On the day of the first STC the phone of one of the main organisers was mysteriously cut off, and on the night before a large number of riot cops stormed the peace centre near the Angel in Islington (a large anarcho-pacifist squat where many of the demonstrators were crashing, searching for weapons - none were found).
Several Stop The Cities were held in London and caused a lot of disruption in the square mile - the first caused and estimated £100 million losses. A number of Stop Business as usual demos also occurred Numbers involved ranged from 3,000 in the first STC, dwindling to 500 odd at the last one as energy and enthusiasm were sapped by arrests, greater police sus, etc.
A repressive Public Order Act was passed in response to STC and the activities of hunt sabs, etc.
With the June 18th demonstration (see diary and June 18th article) having more than a passing resemblance to a Stop The City its vital that demonstrators use their heads and keep one step ahead of the boys in blue.
On Friday June 18th thousands of people will come to party and protest in the city of London, and major financial centres across the world.
On this day the leaders of the G8 (Group of 8) leading capitalist states meet in Koln to decide how best to ensure that the fat cats continue to rake in huge profits at the expense of the rest of the world. Financial centres are being targeted for a variety of actions because they produce nothing of real use to people, whilst their financial transfers rob the poor to give to the rich.
The world is in a terrible mess - war, pollution, exploitation and dire poverty are everywhere. The symptoms are easy to see, we need to tackle the disease - a system based on money not need and power not people. Nows the time to change all that. June 18th is about Reclaiming Our World, not just for one day but forever! The world leaders think they are the ones to make the decisions about our future. Theyre wrong. Everybody is equally important. Everyone should be involved in making a better future. Our happiness depends on freedom and our freedom depends on courage.
See the diary page for event details..
With International Workers Day falling on a Saturday this year there were a host of activities to get involved in whilst commemorating our anarchist martyrs:-
TU Rights March
For those who fancied a traditional trudge along behind load of boring lefties a perfect opportunity was presented by the TUC (Trade Unions Congress) march for union rights .
Usually the May Day march in London only attracts Turkish and Kurdish Leninists of various persuasions, but this year there was a better turn out as many trade unionists came along to see old Stalinist hack Arthur Scargill.
Still, at least the weather was nice and sunny. There have been some interesting groups emerging from Trade Unions recently: the Strike Support Group (SAE to:145, Imperial Avenue, Victoria Rd, London, N16 8HL) exist to support the self organisation of workers in struggle and Anarchists in Trade Unions (PO Box EMAB, 88 Abbey Street, Derby, DE22 3SQ, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org) has been formed to unite anarchists active in trade unions for more effective action.
The Party Line
A bit more excitement could be had by toeing the WAR (West London Anarchist and Radicals) and RTS (Reclaim the Streets) Party Line on a tube privatisation protest.
Hundreds of people gathered a Tower Hill before sneaking off in smaller groups to invade a circle line train. Once we were all on the sound system started, decorations were put up and several anarchists gave themselves hernias trying to inflate party balloons!
The plod seemed stumped as to how to deal with us, but eventually sent us on a sealed train express to Embankment, then shuttled us on to the legalise cannabis festival in Clapham (which was where we were going anyway).
You can contact WAR at: BM Makhno, London, WC1N 3XX, and RTS at: PO Box 9656, London, N4 4JY
Free Michal Patera
And to round the day off the ACF and Solidarity Federation organised a benefit gig for Czech anarchist prisoner Michal Patera, imprisoned for shooting a fascist in self defence.
Despite the threats of friends and foes, over a hundred people carried on the May Day celebrations until the early hours (the bar was open until 2!) and raised hundreds of pounds for Michals defence fund. The anarchist movement in the Czech republic is small and under constant threat from large numbers of neo-nazis, both inside and outside the police force. They need all the help we can give them to keep on fighting for a free and equal society. Already anarchists in Britain have raised £500 for Michals campaign, but more is still needed.
The Solidarity Federation are coordinating the collection of money for Michal in Britain. Send cheques to: Solidarity Federation, PO Box 1681, London, N8 7DN.
Letters of solidarity can be sent to: Michal Patera (1976), PO Box 5, 14057 Praha 4, Czech Republic.
THANK YOU MAM
Movement against the Monarchy activists (as seen on TV) have been keeping our beloved rulers on their toes, much to the annoyance of the cops. One was arrested in Southend for a footprint which caused criminal damage to a flower bed and five were nicked in Basildon for the crime of walking through a police cordon. All were released without charge. See the diary on the back page for details of MAMs latest events
ANARCHOS EVICTED FROM PALACE!
The last two protesters evicted from the Crystal palace development site issued the following statement: As Anarchists we understand Direct Action to be the only way people are empowered and real change achieved... As capitalist media cannot be expected to fairly represent any action that undermines the capitalist system, we will not be saying any more. The campaign is far from over. Contact: 0181 693 8200
Sailors on board the Greek destroyer Themistoklis mutinied against the war in Yugoslavia. Nikos Gardikis, Antonis Patsoulas and a number of anonymous sailors on the ship said they were opposed to becoming an ally in the crime of slaughter and refused to take the ship to join other NATO warships in the Adriatic.
In response to the Columbine High School massacre, Bill Clinton said We must do more to reach out to our children and teach them to... resolve their conflicts with words, not weapons. Bill then went on to spent the rest of the day bombing the shit out of Yugoslavia.
FATTEST CATS - CHEAPEST WORKERS
A report in bosses magazine Management Today boasts that Britain has the highest paid bosses in Europe (with average salaries of £400,000 a year). The report also claimed that out of all the developed countries in the world, workers in Britain are cheapest to lay off.
In Germany, anti-war activists occupied Green Party HQ for its part in backing the war in Yugoslavia (the German Foreign minister is in the Green Party). Also Green Party offices in Hamburg were attacked and the words Green Warmongers were daubed on the walls.
Harold H Thompson
U.S. anarchist prisoner Harold Thompson is having a tough time at the moment and needs help desperately. Due to a corrupt prison official working with White Aryan Brotherhood scum he has been brutally assaulted, robbed and placed in segregation for his own safety. Because of Harolds work as a prison-house lawyer, officials seem to be colluding with white supremacists to halt his good work. Please write protesting to: Warden Jack Morgan, Turney Centre Industrial Prison, Route 1, Only, Tennessee 37140-9709, USA, in order that Harold gets a transfer avoiding further victimisation. Send letters of solidarity to: Harold H. Thompson #93992 at the same address
Tips and Advice Personnel
A new magazine has been launched, sure to bring joy to bosses everywhere. Tips & Advice Personnel offers a range of helpful hints for getting the maximum exploitation out of workers at the lowest possible cost:
· How to dismiss employees quickly without paying compensation.
· Cutting down the amount of sick leave that workers can take.
· Getting the most out of dole claimants forced in to New Deal jobs
· Forcing workers to accept flexible working conditions.
· Ways of getting around the 48 hour maximum week.
· Theres also a special feature on persuading employees to get vaccinated for flu (thus avoiding that expensive sick leave).
What next? Growth hormones? Selective breeding? And all this is in only one issue of the fortnightly bulletin. In case you had any doubts, this bulletin clearly shows that whats going through the mind of the average boss is how much can he squeeze out of you.
Our tip is to contact the editor, Duncan Callow, at: The Glassmill, 1, Battersea Bridge Rd, London, SW11 3BZ, Tel (0171) 228 9101, Fax (0171) 228 9106, email: email@example.com and tell him where he can stick his advice!
Please visit the regularly updated ACF diary page for details of the latest events
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