A TALE OF TWO TYRANTS
You could be forgiven for thinking that “The War Against Terror” is just an
excuse for aggressive American foreign policy. Certainly someone needs forgiving
judging by the range of excuses we’ve been given for starting the war on Iraq.
First it was because Saddam had “Weapons of Mass Destruction” ready to use
within 45 minutes. When no such weapons were found, despite rigorous inspections
both before and after the war, the excuse was changed to one about human rights.
Now the war was to bring freedom to the Iraqi people, though how a country being
occupied by foreign armies is free is unclear.
Of the fact that Saddam Hussein murdered and tortured thousands there can be no
doubt. But this never bothered the American or British states when he was fighting
Iran. When Saddam used poison gas on the people of Halabja Donald Rumsfeld, now US
Secretary of Defense, personally visited Saddam to reassure him that the faint criticism
from the US government was only words and they continued to support him. Saddam only
became a problem when he started to control more of the worlds oil supply than the US
was happy with.
Now Muamar Gaddafi, one potential member of “the axis of evil” and candidate to be the
latest “new Hitler” has made a stunning transformation into a friend of Britain and the US.
Has he done this by ending his tyrannical oppression of the people of Libya? Are Libyans
now safe to exercise such basic freedoms as, say, criticising his government without
fear of arrest by the secret police? In a word, no.
Humans rights are off the agenda again and it’s by renouncing weapons of mass
destruction that Gaddafi has rehabilitated himself. Some old machine parts and
an ageing stock of mustard gas (a first world war era weapon) will be destroyed
and Libya will be welcomed back into the “international community” (AKA the
international ruling class). Expect US oil companies to set up shop in Libya
anytime soon. Once again “ethical principles” behind US and British foreign policy
are clear: they’ll support whatever’s good for business.
The term “human rights” is used as a weapon by the ruling class to justify
actions in their own interests. By selectively showing concern for human rights
our rulers justify in one case starting a war and in another making peace with
The rulers of the world will continue to act in their own interests, irrespective
of the consequences for others, or appeals for human rights to be respected. It’s
time the rest of us started to act in our own interests.
HAPPY NEW YEAR
The seasonal festivities are now over and it's time to cope with the hangover. OK,
this time of the year is a time for celebrations. Let’s face it our lives can be
pretty crap all the year through but in the dark months we need to brighten up our
But of course there’s a payback. With credit card firms screwing what they can
with extortionate interest rates you can guess who had the best Xmas. Loan organisations
like the Provident charge even more. So, we'll be paying for our holiday fun for months
Now you are back at work, the boring emptiness and stress of everyday life are all
back in force. After we have battled to get to work on over-crowded and over-priced
public transport we face all sorts of controls over our lives when we’re at work.
But the pay is not good and the boss is worse. However, do not despair. We can find
ways to take our lives back. Instead of work controlling us, it is time for us to
take our lives back. There are countless ways of slowing down and sabotaging the
work/slave system. It just takes a little imagination, that's all.
So, our new year's message is clear. Fight back against the countless little dictators
who govern so many aspects of our lives. Demand more of the things we really need like
friendship, community and freedom. Reject what we don't need, endless, pointless toil.
The year is new and so is our determination to fight back.
See inside for more examples of people fighting back.
ON THE FRONTLINE
Christmas has done nothing to dampen workplace resistance.
The first strike by refuse collectors in Scotland for more than a decade meant the waste
of thousands of households and businesses was not collected on 10th Dec. More than 150
members of the GMB in North Lanarkshire Council's cleansing department refused to work
in the first 24 hours of a two-day stoppage.
Workers at a Stoke-on-Trent security company staged a wildcat strike mid-December in a
dispute over pay. Staff at Security Plus’ Hanley depot staged the unofficial action after
bosses at the Uttoxeter-based company turned down pleas for a pay rise. The employees,
who all work in the packing department at the Samson Street depot, said they were angry
because drivers at the company had already received a wage increase.
Staff working at the plush headquarters of one of Britain’s most powerful unions are
threatening to walk out over alleged harassment and bullying by the organisation’s new
leader. Employees at ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, based in Hampstead, London, have
decided to hold a strike ballot in protest at the allegedly authoritarian regime introduced
by Shaun Brady, the recently elected general secretary.
Workers at Land Rover are to ban overtime as part of industrial action in a dispute over
pay, it was announced. But union leaders pulled back from calling workers at the company’s
plant in Solihull out on strike even though they voted in favour of stoppages. Which side
are they on?
Hundreds of school pupils staged a walkout in Colchester at St. Helena school where they
rose up in revolt. Around 300 school kids walked out of lessons, demonstrated, ran amok
and caused general mayhem. The protests have been a reaction to plans by the school to split
up classes (and class mates) into divided houses. The shouts of “strike, strike, strike”
and “we will not be moved” were heard as kids rushed round their teachers who helplessly
looked on and tried to gain some sort of command of them. Burning school ties and blocking
the road the protesters were not going to be moved and were learning strategy and tactics
as they marched, blockaded and sang.
More from: www.prol-position.net
Anarchist Federation members in Hereford are trying to set up a local AF group there.
Anyone interested should contact Hereford AF, c/o PO Box 7, Pontypool, Gwent, NP4 8YB or
CELEBRITY PRAT OF THE MONTH
“Not…peasantry but professionals and business people” stand to benefit from a Stanstead
upgrade. “Airports are the cities of the future” so says Germaine Greer.
As if suited types are somehow of more importance than rural working class communities when
these decisions are taken. Greer’s radical feminism was always mostly self-serving anyway.
She did little for women who didn’t enjoy her own arty-farty middle class values. Greer
persistently feigned lip service to limp shades of socialism whilst living the life of
a grand dame luxuriating in the comforts of an ancient Essex farmhouse. Her home is
situated on the outer fringes of the area designated to suffer most from the increase
in jet noise if the Stanstead expansion goes ahead as she advocates. Her brand of feminist
ideology was flawed by the vitriolic anti-maleness she employed in ‘90s work like
“The Change”. Who is Greer speaking for now?
True to form, typical of her class, Greer comes out in favour of hard-nosed strategists,
greedy profit makers of the Global Airline and Airport industry, propped up by the government
of the day. What do the likes of Greer care, that 3000 acres of recreational unspoilt
countryside are up for development and that up to 200 planes will take off once Stanstead
is made into one of the worlds largest airports? Do working class people (peasants the
arch-feminist calls us) need this expansion? Whose interest rates does it best serve?
That’s right, lukewarm, red professor Greer obligingly parades her influence as a celebrity
alongside the destroying infrastructures of capitalism. Some socialism! Some prat!
Unless you are obscenely rich you will likely be familiar with the rigmarole that is
public transport. You won’t need us to tell you about the cost, the never-ending delays
and cancellations, the dirty conditions of carriages/busses and even the injuries caused
by neglected states of service
However for many of us we see using these expensive, uncomfortable services as a necessary
evil. After all, in the current society we often have little choice but to spend eight hours
a day cooped up engaged in often pointless work. To reach our oh-so exciting workplaces we
need to travel. For those of us without cars or where we have little option but to be
squeezed in to public transport, “tighter than cattle” – this isn’t just the opinion of a
bunch of pissed off anarchists, these are the words of a recent Parliamentary report on
public transport in the UK. By the time we get to work we are unsurprisingly knackered,
let alone by the time we get home!
It isn’t all negative though. There are numerous instances of people not taking this bad
situation lying down. Fare Evasion is described as “common” with a link between bad service
and refusal to pay, and with the fines relatively low it is often cheaper not to pay and
risk a low fine.
Of course the bosses and their lackeys will moan, but us here at resistance we can’t help
but notice that not paying for crap services eases the strain on our finances.
Over the summer on one very delayed train on route to Glasgow the passengers on the train
united and showed how powerful they could be collectively. They took over the train and
the nearby tracks and refused to move until they were given alternative forms of transport
In Sweden and Paris striking transport workers have adopted novel tactics –tactics our
often striking transport workers could well benefit from learning. Instead of shutting
down public transport they instead open up all gates and refuse to charge for travel!
Transport workers certainly wouldn’t have to worry about public support and situations
like this give brief glimpses of how much better society would be if it was run for
collective needs, not the greed of a few.
WORKING CLASS RESISTANCE!
A new Irish anarchist organisation has formed and published a new publication.
Working Class Resistance (WCR!) is a new eight page anarchist paper which will be appearing
six times a year from this point on. The next edition will be ready by early February 2004.
Who are involved with ‘Working Class Resistance’? The appearance of this publication marks
the coming together of the Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation, Anarchist Federation (Ireland),
Anarchist Prisoner Support and a number of other individuals to create a more effective and
better resourced class struggle anarchist organisation across Ireland. Together they have
created a new organisation, Organise!, with local groups and individual members throughout
The ASF and AF in Ireland had already collaborated on two previous publications, called Wildcat,
which presented agreed positions on the trades unions and the “north”. The impetus for the
creation of this organisation goes back to a proposal made earlier this year asking anarchists
to look seriously at building more effective organisation across Ireland. The response to
this proposal was mixed, but discussion on moving things forward took place between those
who were most interested in pursuing it and who felt they had most in common. Their attitude
to those class struggle anarchists outside their organisation is comradely and co-operative;
while we may have differences, we seek to work to overcome these where possible and to build
stronger links and more effect methods of working together as part of the process of
building a broad libertarian movement in Ireland. They will not, on the other hand, shy
away from debate and discussion of differences, but attempt to deal with these in an
open and comradely fashion.
Most importantly, they seek through their activity and propaganda, through discussion and
practical solidarity with their fellow workers, to show the relevance of anarchist methods
of organising and ultimately the benefits of a future libertarian communist revolution for
A new website should be online in the very near future.
If you would like more information, to get in touch with Organise! members ,
or distribute WCR!, contact them at:
ORGANISE!, PO BOX 505, BELFAST, BT12 6BQ.
On 9th December, two fascists from the BNP were spotted door-to-door leafleting in
Dorking, Surrey. Two angry residents quickly confronted one of the BNP pair, who weren’t
local, in the street. He quickly walked off towards some nearby flats where the second
man was. An aggressive verbal exchange took place. The fascists quickly left the area
heading towards the other side of town, but after a third resident joined the other
two, they decided that they would go and give the BNP some more grief.
They soon spotted the pair in nearby roads. Having seen the residents coming towards
them the fascists fled into a side road – a dead end. The locals waited at the entrance
of the road until one of them went to see where the leafleters had gone and found them,
hiding behind a large hedge, where they had been for over half an hour. Then having realised
that their hiding place had been found they began making frantic phone calls and concerned
that the fascists had called the cops, the residents headed home leaving the pair behind
the hedge. It doesn’t take much to get the fascists running scared.
Info from: www.surreyanarchy.org.uk
DESERTERS IN THE DESERT
Plans to deploy the first battalion of Iraq’s new army are in doubt because a third of the
soldiers trained by the US led forces have quit. Touted as a key to Iraq’s future, the 700
man battalion lost over 250 men over recent weeks as it prepared to begin operations.
Pay of just £40 a month and fear of violence from Iraqis fighting the occupying armies are
thought to be to blame.
US soldiers deserting too
And it’s not just Iraqis that are deserting. According to a French weekly magazine over 1700
U.S. soldiers have deserted their posts in Iraq, with many of them failing to return to
military duty after getting permission to go back to the United States.
The magazine says the French intelligence agency obtained the information from what it
described an “American colleague.” Citing a senior French official posted in Washington,
the magazine also said that 7,000 U.S. soldiers have left Iraq allegedly due to psychological
troubles and other illnesses. Some 2,200 others sustained serious injuries including the
loss of limbs, it said.
“Ya Basta” (Enough is Enough) declared the EZLN (Zapatista National Liberation Army), as
they burst to international attention ten years ago, New Years day 1994.
The rebellion started in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico in the tradition of
all peasant armies: ransacking town halls and burning land deeds! Destroying 10 government
offices, freeing 179 prisoners, then attacking an army garrison, and in one town shooting
down an army helicopter, and torching the town hall before quietly slipping back into the
jungle. The timing for the international “audience” was crucial, coinciding with the
controversial introduction of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
It didn’t take long for the state to respond, on January 4th ten towns near San Cristobal
were bombed, 400 people died. On the 5th tanks arrived in the area along with more troops,
yet more died. The government began to distribute black propaganda, and prevent human rights
organizations entering Chiapas. The EZLN then withdrew to the jungle, and a tense ceasefire
began on January 12th. Since then the Mexican army has been using a tactic of low intensity
warfare (killing and displacing civilians), which continues to this day.
The Zapatistas have organised international “ecuentros” attracting thousands of people from
around the world which have been influential on the global anti-capitalist movement.
The Zapatista uprising has allowed over 1100 communities in Chiapas of 300-400 people to
organize federally into 32 autonomous municipalities where power lies at the base. Local
decisions are taken at a local level and important decisions are made at a wider regional or
municipal level, discussions continuing until something like consensus is reached. In these
areas the people have much more control over their lives than before and women can play a much
bigger role than traditional society allowed.
On the negative side the EZLN is hierarchically organized with officers of different ranks and
high profile leaders. Their stated aim is a programme offering little more than liberal
capitalism and it’s even backed up by appeals to the Mexican constitution.
Nevertheless, the struggle of the peasants in Chiapas has been inspirational to many people
around the world. On this the tenth anniversary of the Zapatista uprising the people producig
resistance send our solidarity to all those struggling for freedom and equality in Chiapas.
Prisoners Support Email List
Not being aware of any anarchist mailing list in Ireland or Yorkshire concerned with Prisoners,
Prisons and related areas, Dublin and Hull Anarchist Prisoner Support has decided to try and
create some sort of place where information of this type can be exchanged. It has thus created
They see no reason to keep this discussion limited to political or POW’s and would encourage
posting & debate about all categories of prisoners and prisons.
To subscribe to the list send an Email with the text “subscribe lumpenlist” to
Anarchists Arrested in Italy
During the early morning of the 3rd of December a furious man-hunt led to the arrest of an
anarchist comrade after many searches throughout Rome and its surroundings. Marco, the arrested
comrade, is accused to be one of the two people who, together with Massimo (who was arrested
in October) had rightly beaten the police infiltrator inside the demo against the
intergovernment conference of the EU on the 4th of October.
A picture, taken by one of those informers who populate demos, has been enough to cause the
arrest of both Massimo and Marco. Write to them at: Marco Ferruzzi c.c. Regina Coeli via della
lungara, 28 00165 Roma Italy and Massimo Leonardi c.c. Rebibbia via R.Majetti,
165 00156 Roma Italy.
Prisoner of War Against War Needs Our Solidarity!
Write to a prisoner today! Sue Brackenbury is on remand in HMP Eastwood Park - having
one wall and cut one fence too many, at UK nuclear establishments. She has five trials
pipeline - most of them in magistrates’ courts - and one in Plymouth, in the Crown Court
( “Going equipped” = Looking for a submarine with a hammer, at Devonport nuclear dockyard).
Sue would LOVE to hear from people. Her address is:
Sue Brackenbury HT 6792, HMP Eastwood Park, Wotton-under-Edge, Falfield, Gloucestershire,
She can also receive ( and would love to have) CDs, and stamps. If you wish to further
show your solidarity with Sue, why not arrange to visit her? If you wish to do so, Emai:l
firstname.lastname@example.org to sort it out.
Freedom for Michel Gaucher!
Anti-capitalist militant Michel Gaucher is currently illegally imprisoned in Portugal.
The Comité de Libertacão de Michel Gaucher is calling for solidarity in the fight against
the abuse of power and law, committed by the authorities of France, Germany, Portugal and
the European Union by detention and ill-treatment of MG.
You can write to him at:
Michel Gaucher, E.P.L., Rua Marques de la Fronteira 1, Lisboa, Portugal
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 other questions.
JANUARY: 5th – London Earth First! is holding an open discussion on the plans for a new runway
in the South East and how we can fight it. 7pm, Autonomy Club,
Freedom Bookshop, 84B Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX.
17-18th – Reclaim the bases weekend of anti-militarist action. . Start organising an
event at a base close to you. Networking via: www.reclaimthebases.org.uk
17th – From World War II...to Iraq 2003...to...? A Bloody History of Northwood HQ,
Assemble at 12pm Northwood tube, Or 11am Baker St exit of Baker St tube. Northwood is
where the UK Permanent Joint Forces HQ are based. Contact: email@example.com
www.thed10group.org.uk 07887 585721
18th – Disarm DSEi 2005 Open Meeting. To target Spearhead the company who organize
Europe’s biggest arms fair. 2pm, London Action Resource Centre, Fieldgate Street,
18th – Open Meeting to Plan for Mayday 2004. 2-5pm, London Action Resource Centre,
62 Fieldgate Street, London. Visit: www.ourmayday.org.uk
22nd – Discussion meeting on workplace struggles. Organised by London AF and other
anarchists. 7pm, Autonomy Club, Freedom Bookshop, 84B Whitechapel High Street,
London E1 7QX.
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 overthrow capitalism.
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