HOT SUMMER AHEAD
There’s a hot June month ahead, regardless of the rainy English weather.
To start with, the G8 summit in Evian, France on 1 – 3 June is going to be met with
widespread opposition. This is the first summit to be held in Europe after the Genoa
riots in which one demonstrator, Carlo Giuliani, was killed by the defenders of the
rich and powerful. Since then, they have held their meetings in unreachable places
such as the Seychelles. The leaders have been cast out by their own governed and as
usual in their case they found it better to run away and hide than to think about
why so many people are opposed to them. Of course, once again the opinion of the
democratically governed people had nothing to do with the decisions made in these
far away places. Now they are trying to hold their meetings in a very central
European location again, not far from Genoa.
The aim of the our movement will be to show that our opinion of them hasn’t changed
at all. We still consider them to be murderers, and puppets of big corporations
implementing policies that only bring destruction to the environment; empoverishment
of the already poor and lots of money for such nice guys as land mine manufacturers
and rain forest destroyers.
Also, later in the month on the 20 – 22, there will be a meeting of the European
Union representatives in the Greek town of Thessalonika as the start of the six
month Greek presidency of the union. Widespread opposition is expected at this
summit as well. We can’t help but have the impression that the whole process of the
EU construction is being carried along according to an agenda agreed before hand,
considering the opposition of the respective peoples as obstacles to surmount. Not
very democratic, eh? Curiously enough the only point of the construction already
being implemented is the Europol, the pan-European police with wide power of
surveillance on all the citizens of this free union of countries.
We can see a general trend in both the G8 and EU summit: the lack of real democratic
decision making forums in the so called democratic world. If we want to build an
alternative to capitalism and corporate rule of our lives, then we need to do it
ourselves from now and getting together in the streets and discussing it is the best
way to start. If by simply doing this we meet the violence of the state and its
defenders so be it, but it will be their choice not ours.
Recently, the Anarchist Federation gave its support to the “Convergence of
Anti-Authoritarian and Anti-capitalist Struggles” ( CLAAAC), the French-Italian
based network which has been set up to counter the G8 at Evian. They write: “We
believe that between human beings, there should exist relationships other than that
of the market, of domination, alienation and exploitation. Pollution, the waste of
natural resources and differences in wealth are ever more catastrophic...”
Read the full statement online at www.claaacg8.org contact us for a copy.
LIES, DAMNED LIES...
...aND THE LABOUR PARTY. Over the past few weeks, as weapons of mass destruction
(WMD) have stubbornly refused to be found, Labour ministers have come up with a
succession of excuses. What are they?
The ‘Sneaky IRA’ Defence
John Reid, Leader of The Commons, argued that if the IRA could hide their weapons
during 35 years of searches, it was no surprise the Iraqis could do the same. He
forgot that dozens of IRA arms caches actually were found, but then they actually
The ‘Big Country’ Defence
Before the war Jack Straw told us it would be hard to find WMD in a country as big
as France. Weeks later he pointed out that Iraq was “twice the size of France”.
Finally he admitted that WMD might never be found. How big does Iraq have to be
before Straw admits he’s a warmonger?
The ‘Fast Shooter’ Defence
Tony Blair said that Saddam had “chemical and biological weapons which could be
activated within 45 minutes” and needed to be taken out. Yet none were used, so
where are they hidden? On Mars?
The ‘Documents’ Defence
Bush’s national security advisor, Condoleeza Rice, recently announced that, with no
weapons to be found, the US was pinning its hopes on finding “incriminating
documents” instead. As if there’s a government in the world that doesn’t have
The ‘Biggs Was Guilty’ Defence
According to John Reid, everyone knew Ronnie Biggs carried out the Great Train
Robbery even though they couldn’t prove it. Now this excuse is used about Iraq.
The disease of lies and hypocrisy is rotting the whole fabric of government and
always will because it serves to create and protect privilege and power.
ON THE FRONTLINE
as predicted in previous issues of
resistance it appears the union bosses are joining hands with the state bosses to
try and impose a previously rejected deal over the heads of ordinary fire-fighters.
The FBU executive is again recommending acceptance of the 16% (phased) offer that
was thrown out earlier this year – it would be no surprise to see delegates reject
it as they did when voting down the previous FBU recommendation. This would lead to
the scenario of workers having to organise outside of their official union
representatives, who would in turn be doing all they could to sabotage the new
strike – it’s happened before.
Nursery workers across Scotland have been staging strikes in support of a 30% pay
rise and a 35-hour week. Over 5000 walked-out closing workplaces in all the
countries Local Authorities. The dispute is especially bitter as there hasn’t been a
pay or status review in 15 years! Funny that MPs and company directors seen to need
a review at least once a year…
In London there’s been more of the constantly recurring walk-outs over the
inadequate ‘London Weighting’ - this time local government workers ( mainly low
paid school workers) went on strike in 9 boroughs in support of a £4000 rating -
which has been accepted in other sectors - in effect these workers are facing
pay-cuts. With rising rents, many local authority jobs are going un-filled and
having to be staffed by high-wage temps - further worsening the financial situation.
The words piss-up and brewery spring to mind.
Across the channel now - and the French state was hit by a series of strikes
connected to pension reforms in the public sector. Two million postal workers, bank
staff and employees of the state-controlled communications giant France Telecom
joined the strike – schools were worst affected, as around half the country’s
primary and nursery teachers and 40% of other teachers reportedly joined the
stoppage – including blocking entrances to end-of-year exams.
Given that similar reforms have led to General Strikes in Italy, Spain and Portugal
recently then this could develop into an extremely serious dispute - especially if
linked with the current industrial unrest sweeping the continents docks, airports
and other transport networks.
Israel was the scene of a five day national strike that crippled the public sector
and shut down much of the economy - the strikes were in protest at budget proposals
for job and salary cuts. It seems the workers determined action actually paid off
with the budget being altered.
If Mayday demonstrations are a show of strength then the anarchist movement in
Britain needs to put in some more effort at the gym.
Despite the usual hostile press about Mayday before hand a few thousand people still
turned up in central London to protest about the way business and the state actively
promote war and repression. But thousands more coppers turned up and were able to
stifle dissent with little effort. Whether anarchists in Britain like it or not
events like this are showing diminishing returns. It’s time for some serious though
about what’s the best way of promoting our ideals.
To make anarchism a threat to capitalism and the state we need strategy of building
up our strength and the long-term commitment to follow it through. Amongst other
things, members of the Anarchist Federation (AF) have recently been making the
effort to build anarchist groups locally and have already seen success in
Walthamstow, Herefordshire and Surrey. The AF works to build anarchist organisation
locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. By putting the effort in to
build anarchist groups where we live and work we might be able to build a grass
roots movement strong enough to challenge our enemies when we demonstrate and
strike on Mayday or any day.
At the moment there are real opportunities for anarchists. The mainstream political
parties are discredited and the Leninist left seems to be in terminal decline. It’s
an excellent time to build a real alterative
Anarchists, inside and outside of the AF, should seize the opportunity.
We’re always open to honest debate about this or other issues. The Anarchist
Federation discussion forum can be visited via our website at: www.afed.org.uk.
For more on the views of the AF read ‘Beyond Resistance’ also on the website or two
pounds from the address on the back page.
The Mayday website can be seen at www.ourmayday.org.uk
WALTHAMSTOW AND BEYOND
Meanwhile, in Walthamstow, local anarchists within the Reclaim our Cinema group have
been busy in their fight to stop a cinema being turned into a branch of the
Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, that well-known Christian sect.
Over 100 – 150 people went along to the church/former sinhouse of moving pictures,
having requested an opportunity to inspect the listed building. It had previously
been thought that sect members hadn’t had the decency to reply, but anarchists were
forced to eat humble pie when they saw that the Christians, bless them, had planned
a little surprise.
Knowing that demonstrations can get a bit boring, the godheads had travelled all
the way from Finsbury Park to lay on some sounds, with a choir of 200 and a sound
system blasting out hymns. Locals didn’t seem too keen on the UCKGers whose raucous
singing and pavement blocking was an unwelcome taste of the Kingdom of God on earth.
Ironically, the church members whose counter protest was to ensure that the cinema
would belong to them and nobody else (except possibly God), stood around singing
“Hosanna” and carrying placards that proclaimed, “The cinema is yours”. It later
transpired that this wasn’t a surrender note, just a new spin on the word “Yours”.
“Yours” is really “ours” without the “why”. And that pretty much sums up religion in
a nutshell, don’t you think?
Acitivists from argentina are coming to Britain for speaking tour about the huge
social struggle happening there. The (as yet unconfirmed) dates are:
JUNE: Brighton 16th, Guildford 18th,
North London 17th, East London 19th,
Durham 21st, Manchester 23rd,
Hebdon Bridge 25th, Leeds 27th,
JULY: Glasgow 1st, Edinburgh 2nd and
3rd, Lancaster 5th, Bradford 7th,
Liverpool 9th, Cardiff 11th.
The tour has been arranged by anarchists and activists across Britain. Contact the
AF for final details.
BRIGHTHOUSE - LEGALISED LOAN SHARK
On Sat 10th of May, West Midlands Anarchists held a demonstration outside
Brighthouse, in Birmingham, off Corporation St. near Virgin. Here is why:
Got hardly any money? Bad credit rating? Then Brighthouse wants you to sell them
your soul (well, almost).
For many of us, Brighthouse is one of the only places we can actually buy anything.
Well, we say buy, what that normally means when you get something from Brighthouse
is being badly ripped off and lumbered with debts for years, paying a ridiculously
high interest rate (almost 30% in many cases). This means you actually end up paying
several times the actual value of whatever it is you’ve bought, while the rich who
can afford the full price to begin with actually pay less than you!
If for some reason you should miss an instalment, you get a hefty fine on top of the
amount you’re already being ripped off for. Worse if they think you’re not being
quick enough in paying their extortionate prices, they’ll send the bailiffs round to
intimidate you and seize back the goods that you’ve probably already paid more than
the full value for. They don’t care that you’ve lost your job, or that you’ve got
kids, or whatever the reason you can’t pay is.
Not surprisingly, this vile practice of exploiting the most financially vulnerable
of us has not gone unchallenged. Questions have been asked about the company in
parliament, the company is a target of the “Debt on Our Doorstep” Campaign
(www.debt-on-our-doorstep.com), in Birmingham residents of an estate in Bartley
Green took direct action against two bailiffs employed by Brighthouse, and it was
even kicked out of France for unethical practices!
However, this is not enough. In the long term what is needed is a mass non-payment
campaign such as the one that defeated the poll tax in the early 1990s.
Unfortunately, this is not easy, as isolated individuals refusing to pay will only
result in their lives becoming hell. This has to be an organised community effort so
we can defend each other’s property from the bailiffs and support each other through
any court cases until Brighthouse is forced to stop trying to squeeze the our last
pennies out of us.
If you would like further information get in touch with West Midlands’ Anarchists –
Tel: 07866 933 927 Visit: www.wmanarchists.org.uk Email: email@example.com
CAMPAIGN AGAINST PRISON SLAVERY
London Anarchist Federation started mayday by going to the picket of Wilkinsons
organised by London Class War.
This was part of the “Campaign Against Prison Slavery” as Wilkinsons use prison
labour. Prisoners are forced to work for pitifully low wages (£10 for 30 hours work
is common!), helping to keep Wilkos profits high and wages for the rest of us low.
There was a good turn out of anarchists (and police!) at the demonstration and
passers by were very interested about both why we were picketing Wilkos and
anarchism in general. The manager of Wilkos didn’t look too happy though!
Meanwhile in Wales AF members were picketing Wilco’s in Blackwood, Gwent:
“Just got back from picket of Wilkinson’s in Blackwood, Gwent. A couple of us went
up and handed out leaflets to passers by and customers for well over an hour. The
reaction was mixed - a lot of people had little regard for prisoner’s human rights
but we made more headway by explaining about it undermining wage levels/job security
etc. on the outside. Even the man they sent out to intimidate us seemed to concede
this point. After some harassment by the management we were finally paid a visit by
the local plod, who said they had received complaints from “residents”.
When we said what we were doing and showed no sign of leaving she had to radio back
to base for instructions, finally returning to explain we were not breaking the law
and then walking off, much to the disappointment of the Wilco management!”
AF (Cymru) can be contacted by Email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Campaign Against Prison Slavery can be contacted at CAPS, The Cardigan Centre,
Cardigan Road, Leeds LS6 1LJ. Email: email@example.com
Untamed Distribution is a small anarchist inspired pamphlet, magazines and books
distribution service based in Bristol.
Write to: Untamed Distribution, Box 18, Greenleaf Bookshop, 82 Colston Street,
Bristol, BS1 5BB or send an Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
LET’S GET ORGANISED!
The past year has seen a growth in the national anarchist movement, most notably
with a number of local groups springing up around the country.
Local anarchist groupings are what make networks and federations such as the
Anarchist Federation stronger and make the destruction of capitalism and the state
that bit closer. Here, a member of Herefordshire Anarchist Group
(www.herefordanarchists.cjb.net) gives a guide to setting up your own anarchist
“Firstly, it’s always best to get in contact with existing anarchist organisations
to see if they know of any groups or individuals in your area. Get anarchist
propaganda out onto the streets. Make sure people can visibly see posters and
stickers etc. Perhaps hand out leaflets to raise the anarchist profile. But remember
to add a local contact address such as an email people are more inclined to get
involved with local projects.
Once you have started to generate a bit of interest, it is best to call a meeting to
set up a local anarchist group. It is best to draw up a set of principles, even if a
short paragraph, perhaps a mission statement, perhaps as criteria other people
wanting to join have to agree to. Discuss local issues or whatever takes your fancy,
but get to know people. Most importantly decide on something, if only the date of
your next meeting. People don’t want to feel that the meeting didn’t have a purpose.
Once you have a local group set up tell people about it. There may be other
anarchists or people keen to get involved who you’ve just managed to miss. Publicise
it in bulletins such as resistance. Perhaps even your local newspaper. After your
group has established itself, it’s up to you what you do publish a newspaper of
your own; support struggles that are already going on; distribute anarchist
For information or help setting up your group contact the Anarchist Federation,
details on back page.
Issue 60 of Organise!, the magazine of the Anarchist Federation, is now out.
Available from the address on the back page for one pound fifty.
From the Legal Defence and Monitoring Group (LDMG) :
“Although Mayday was very peaceful, the cops still managed to arrest about 30
people. Not all have been charged and the picture is still slightly confused, but we
know of 15 people who have been charged (including a journalist on the Evening
Standard!). Of these, one pleaded guilty (see below). All the others are on bail.
Trials will not take place for at least a few months. Most people are facing s4
(threatening words & behaviour) or assaulting a cop. One is charged with s3
(affray). The desperate nature of the charges is illustrated by the person charged
with possession of an offensive weapon - they had a multi-tool in a pouch, in a
pannier, attached to a bicycle!
WITNESSES NEEDED We urgently need to make contact with potential witnesses. If you
saw an arrest or have photos or video of an arrest, please get in touch (email is
quickest). Please let us know the time and location. This information may keep
someone out of prison.
Of the 30 or so people arrested at Mayday this year, about 20 have so far been
charged. The first court appearances were at Bow Street on 2nd May. Only one person
pleaded guilty and he was sentenced to 28 days prison for spitting at a cop. He will
serve a minimum of 14 days inside. LDMG has long warned against pleading guilty
before all the evidence has been produced in protest cases as, where there is lots
of media interest, sentences are handed down with an eye to how it will be reported.
Legal Defence & Monitoring Group can be contacted by post:
LDMG, c/o BM Haven, London WC1N 3XX (please send a stamped self-addressed envelope);
by e-mail: email@example.com and by ‘phone: 020 8245 2930 (24hr answerphone).
www2.phreak.co.uk/ldmg/index.php Postal address: LDMG, c/o BM Haven, London WC1N 3XX”
Harold H Thompson
U.S. prisoner activist /jailhouse lawyer Harold H. Thompson has had his most vital
piece of equipment, his electric typewriter, go bust on him and the authorities have
ruled inmates cannot replace/renew any more. Harold’s workload on behalf of other
prisoners has increased enormously as a result as everything has now to be
handwritten, which is not only time consuming, but a big strain on Harold’s health.
Please write protest letters to:
Mr Quinton White,
Northwest Correctional Complex,
Harold’s support group can be contacted at:
Friends of Harold H Thompson,
PO Box 375, Knaphill, Woking, Surrey, GU21 2XL.
Subvert and resist
Take precautions when going on demonstrations and don’t take cameras, booze or
drugs. If you’re nicked give your name and address then say ‘no comment’ to any
JUNE: 1 – Campaign Against Prison Slavery Conference A conference in Leeds is
planned to highlight the slave work prisoners do. The use of prisoners is slavery
(they have no choice) and affects workers outside prison whose pay and conditions
are undermined. For more info Tel: 07944 522 001 Email: Markbarnsley@aol.com
1-8 – Stop the Arms Trade week of action. Info from: Campaign Against the Arms Trade
Tel: 020 7281 0297 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit: www.caat.org.uk
3 – Leicester AF meeting. Upstairs at Ale Wagon Pub, Charles Street.
7 – Campaign Against Prison Slavery picket of Wilkinson’s Burgess Hill Store.
Organised by Brighton Anarchist Black Cross. 12.30pm bring banners, placards etc...
9-15 – Faslane Peace Camp 21st Birthday week of action. Faslane Peace Camp, Shandon,
Helensburgh, Argyll, G84 8NT. Tel: 01436 820 901 Email:
email@example.com Visit: www.faslanepeacecamp.org.uk
13 – Pro Missile Defence Rally! Join Blair and Bin Laden, Bush and Saddam standing
side by side, hand in hand supporting missile defence. Outside the US Embassy in
Grosvenor Square, London. Info: CND – Tel: 020 7700 2393 Visit: www.cnduk.org
19 – North London Critical Mass. Bring your wheels to take part in this carnival of
anti-car culture. Meet 2pm outside Finsbury Park main gate, Seven Sisters Road.
Takes place the third Sat of every month. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Join the resistance
The Anarchist Federation is an organisation of class struggle anarchists aiming to
abolish capitalism and all oppression to
create a free and equal society. This is
We see today’s society as being divided into two main opposing classes: the ruling
class which controls all the power and wealth, and the working class which the
rulers exploit to maintain this. By racism, sexism and other forms of oppression, as
well as war and environmental destruction the rulers weaken and divide us. Only the
direct action of working class people can defeat these attacks and ultimately
As the capitalist system rules the whole world, its destruction must be complete and
world wide. We reject attempts to reform it, such as working through parliament and
national liberation movements, as they fail to challenge capitalism itself. Unions
also work as a part of the capitalist system, so although workers struggle within
them they will be unable to bring about capitalism’s destruction unless they go
beyond these limits.
Organisation is vital if we’re to beat
the bosses, so we work for a united
anarchist movement and are affiliated to the International of Anarchist Federations.
The Anarchist Federation has members across Britain and Ireland fighting for the
kind of world outlined above. Contact us at:
84B, Whitechapel High Street,
London, E1 7QX. Tel: 07946 214 590