TAX IS THEFT
Politicians are the enemies of the working class, and recently they were positively
crawling over each other to illustrate it. Jack Straw said: “If British companies
benefit from working with Indian service providers in Bangalore and elsewhere, then
Britain as a whole benefits”, predictably substituting the interests of owners for
those of workers.
Tory Oliver Letwin, on the other hand, chose to try and help business put yet another
boot in: this time in the guise of tax structure. Companies doing business in the UK
already contribute less than in any other country in Europe, but this wasn’t enough for
Letwin, who believes those much-maligned do-gooders the rich are being “squeezed for
every penny” by being forced to pay VAT. Quite unsurprisingly, his desire is to reduce
the “tax burden” on businesses operating here. A Tory solution, but like so many others,
implemented with vigour by a Labour Party eager to please it’s corporate masters.
Government policies already managed to reduce the average level of corporate tax in the
30 richest countries from 37.5% to 30.8% in just seven years.
Along with politicians eager to do the work of the capitalists, these threats help the
capitalist class displace costs from its own shoulders and onto ours. Prem Sikka, a leading
accountancy specialist, estimates that up to £85bn of tax is avoided each year just through
the use of offshore tax havens. In the four years to June 2003, Murdoch’s News Corporation
paid just 6% of the pre-tax profits for the same period, much less than the rest us have
to pay. During the nineties, he paid a grand total of no tax whatsoever in the UK. For some
reason, his mouthpieces the Times, the Sun and Sky attack working class “dole scum” but
never their masters.
Whilst our communities are plastered with scare-tactic advertisements warning us that the
benefits agency “are onto us”, the state seems remarkably less interested in pursuing tax
cheating by the rich. Inland Revenue statistics reveal that businesses illegally avoid
billions in taxes.
But it is not just blame that gets targeted at us. The avoidance shifts the tax burden
onto the working class, whose council and income taxes go up to compensate for the shortfall.
Taxes extracted from workers increased by over 120% between 1989-90 and 2002-03, whereas
corporate tax collection increased by just 36%, despite a massive rise in corporate profits.
Parliamentary democracy is simply a method of managing society in the interests of capitalists.
The minutes of meetings between the Inland Revenue and top corporations reveal promises “not
to examine in any detail” fraudulent tax payments.
At the current time class conflict seems at a low ebb. The boss class use weapons like taxes,
productivity deals and “outsourcing” to grind us down. But we also have weapons. It is all
too easy to forget tides always turn and the fight back has already begun. Resistance to
council tax increases is spreading and the government is running scared. At work the
number of strikes is increasing as people take direct action to improve their lives –
see inside for more details.
You’d probably hope for politicians to be, at least to some extent, sane and sound.
Forget now about Bush, just focus on British and European ones.
First there’s the homicidal urges. Killing people by ordering the bombing of a foreign
country surely must be murder.
Then they seem to be developing a split personality and holding different opinions on
similar issues. For example according to Tony Blair borders must be both opened and
closed at the same time. Is this possible?
On the one hand, as a country leading capitalist globalisation, the UK wants to have
every market on the planet open to its products, so these don’t have to bother about
customs or borders. That this can destroy the economies of many households in developing
countries, as well as working conditions here, doesn’t bother politicians. Big money 1,
normal people 0.
On the other hand the controls at the borders, for people trying to cross them, are
getting tighter. Those who can fill gaps in “our” labour market, so Blair said, will
be allowed in, but without the right to benefits at all. They´ll still have to pay
taxes, though, probably on an emergency higher rate. So borders will be closed for the
people, unless required by the companies, but still open for exports. Big money 2,
normal people 0.
We, as working class anarchists, can’t help but express our solidarity with all those
arriving to this country, either fleeing an oppressive political regime or the equally
threatening, and much more widespread, economic misery. Borders are only a tool in the
rulers’ hands to impose the society they have designed on a worldwide basis, a profoundly
divided one between privileged and dispossessed. So don’t believe their lies. Campaign
for sanity. Bring down the borders.
ON THE FRONTLINE
Many major strikes happend last month:
• 85,000 workers from job centres and benefits offices went on strike. Also 5,000 driving
tests could be cancelled as more than 1,000 examiners joined a strike by office staff at
the Driving Standards Agency. The strike has added to the biggest outbreak of industrial
unrest in the civil service for 13 years. Civil servants across Northern Ireland staged
another one-day strike as part of their ongoing pay protest and thousands staged walkouts
of up to two hours to attend protest rallies. Meat inspection staff staged a four-day
strike as part of the civil service pay dispute. Meat plants in Ballymena and Crumlin
have been closed.
• Over 100 workers at the Beagle aircraft firm in Christchurch staged a one-day strike
on 23/1 in support of a pay claim. A spokesman said they were demanding a 6.5 per cent
increase, and had not received an expected pay award in August. Some delivery lorries
were also turned away from the Stony Lane factory.
• Tram services in Manchester were disrupted on Saturday after drivers went on 24-hour
• Staff from Bristol’s Crown and County courts went on strike in protest against poor
pay. Clerks, ushers and administrators picketed outside the courts to protest against
below-inflation pay rise proposals. Let’s hope there’s more strikes!
• Production of Land Rover vehicles was hit by another 24-hour strike over pay. Thousands
of workers out of the company’s factory in Solihull staged a second walk-out in two weeks
after rejecting a two-year deal worth 6.5 per cent.
• Workers at black cab manufacturers London Taxis International have pledged to stay out
on strike until company chiefs agree to a four per cent pay rise. Production was halted
when all 199 workers walked out in protest over the company’s 2.9 per cent pay offer.
• Bus drivers in Lincoln manned a picket line in a strike over pay. Around 150 workers
from the travel firm were expected to take part in walkout today and again on Monday.
• Disgruntled bus drivers from First Scotland East held a one day on strike last Saturday,
as part of an ongoing dispute with management over conditions and pay. Many drivers began
an unofficial overtime ban on Monday.
• College lecturers in Leicester struck in protest over workload and holiday concerns.
• About 4,000 nursery nurses have taken part in further strike action as part of a pay row.
CELEBRITY PRAT OF THE MONTH
“Only the fake succeed”
You said it Johnny. Rotten, with an overdose of supreme irony, by taking part in the so-
called “Reality T.V. show” (bikinis in a jungle: Reality?) “I’m a Celebrity – Get me out
of Here” confirms what any genuine anarchist, even in the ‘70’s, knew about his phoney
posturing, which included the filthy habit of spitting on people.
As (in)famous for the wearing of safety pins and swastika emblems as singing “anti-
establishment” songs. Rotten passes the time reading the Economist while working property
deals in the egotist’s paradise of Hollywood. Some working-class rebel our Johnny, eh?
Now he joins the publicity seeking desperadoes who’d do literally anything to keep their
fading faces in the media spotlight. What is the point of this show? More to the point, what
is the point of prats like Rotten who fall all over themselves to appear in it? REAL anarchist
punk bands like Crass not only made more meaningful music than the sex pistols, they never
sold out either, still turning out songs urging our class to revolt. Which is more than can
be said for Rotten and the idiotic company he keeps these days. ‘Get me Outta Here’ indeed –
we say get the fucking lot of ‘em out of here! Permanently.
Rotten/swamp/parasites/celebrities/snakes/piranhas: the Jungle – a murky, slimy,
slithery mass of glop. We couldn’t come up with a more accurate description of
Capitalism if we tried. Thanks Johnny, yer PRAT!
BREAK WITH LABOUR
The rail union RMT has been thrown out of the Labour Party. Some of its branches supported
the Scottish Socialist Party. Labour demanded complete allegiance from its union associates,
the RMT leadership refused.
The RMT leaders have not broken with “old” Labour politics though. The support of branches
for the Scottish Socialist Party, for the now nearly dead Socialist Alliance and the new
lash-up of the Respect and Unity Coalition between George Galloway MP and the Socialist
Workers Party shows a frenzied search for a replacement for Old Labour politics. A break
with Labour has not meant a break with old-style reformist politics.
Today, Labour has adapted itself to the market. There is no room in today’s world for
reformist, social-democratic, politics. The choice is either to completely adapt to the
market, or to develop revolutionary positions. In this process, a number of political
groups have/will set themselves up, as alternatives to the Labour Party. But their solutions
are no solutions at all, just a return to dreary, dead end politics that offered and still
offer no real solution to the hell of capitalism.
Nevertheless any break with Labour can be used by those arguing for real independent working
class politics in the workplace. As part of this we should point out that members of other
unions can fill in a form that stops their dues going to finance the Labour Party.
Alongside the move by RMT, and possibly the Fire Brigades Union, to disaffiliate from
Labour comes a counter-move. The Labour government wishes to forestall any further signs
of revolt by promising millions of pounds to “modernise” the unions. This money is designed
to ensure the loyalty of the union leaders, which is forthcoming anyway, as a whole bloc
of unions with UNISON and GMB at their head consistently argue for continuing affiliation
Any hopes in these other union leaders leading a breakaway from Labour politics, whether
of the “Old” or “New” varieties, are false. Workers will have to rely on their own efforts
at self-organisation and not on a bunch of union bureaucrats.
No Vote for War! Boycott the Next Election.
Don’t back Labour’s warmongering
If you do not wish to contribute financially to the Labour Party, who think blood for oil
company profits come before the welfare of the populations of Iraq and here, copy the
following, and send it to your work’s wages section.
Political Fund Exemption Notice
I hereby give notice that I object to contributing to the political fund of the union and in
consequence exempt, in the manner provided by Chapter 6 of the Trade Union and Labour
Relations (consolidation) Act 1992, from contributing to that fund.
Sign it, print your name, union membership number, address, union branch and date. Tony Blair’s
money will then be in your pocket. Enjoy!
ONE LUMP OR TWO?
On Monday 16th February the fascist British National Party held two demonstrations in
Central London. Counter demonstrations were called, but noticing a pair of fascists had
left their demonstration to get a coffee some anarchists decided to take more direct
action. A short while later the fascists were wearing their coffee and had sprouted lumps
on their heads!
Directly confronting fascists makes it more difficult for them to operate. We need to have
a political climate where the BNP can not come out and hold public events. Racism and
fascism are weak when workers are fighting for their own class interests. Struggle will
re-emerge. There are already signs of this which the media prefers to hide news of beneath
a barrage of false debate over capitalist issues. To get involved in militant anti-fascism
contact London AF (details on back page).
ANARCHIST AGAINST THE WALL AND OTHER NEWS
The Israeli Army fired live rounds against the Anarchist Movement Against the Wall, which
organised an international camp against the wall being built in Cisjordan. These attacks
took place on the 28th and 31st December. Two activists were seriously wounded, including
the Israeli anarchist Gil Naamati. This adds to a long list of Palestinians, Israeli anti-
militarists and foreign activists seriously wounded or murdered. The movement unites Israelis
and Palestinians in internationalist action against Israeli colonialism and Palestinian and
Israeli nationalism. It calls for the free federation of communes in the region, the
coexistence of the populations whatever their origin, and a break with the logic of
nationalism, colonialism, militarism and religious bigotry. Such ideas divide Israeli
workers from their Palestinian and Arab counterparts, to the greatest profit of the ruling
classes of the region. To make contact with Anarchists Against the Wall: email@example.com
or firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
London Anarchist Youth
London Anarchist Youth have re-launched themselves, with a clear organistional structure
and five agreed principles:
• Class Struggle
• Direct Action
The resistance editors see this as a very positive step and wish them well for the future.
Contact London Anarchist Youth, c/o 84b Whitechapel High St, E1 7QX or visit:
Repression in Mexico
In October paramilitaries attacked a meeting at Santa Maria Yaviche of the CIPO-RFM (a
libertarian organisation based among the native inhabitants of Oaxaca State in Mexico).
A libertarian miltant, Bartolome Salas Chavez, was murdered, and nine others seriously
wounded. Behind these paramilitaries, the CIPO-RFM sees the hand of Jose Murat, governor
of Oaxaca State. They demand his immediate sacking, as well as that of his secretary Hector
Anuar Mafud, and the dissolution of the paramilitary groups.
More info at: www.nodo50.org/cipo
Not even wage slavery!
Highfield’s Minimum Wage Project in Leicester has revealed that a factory worker, who they
describe as having “learning difficulties,” was recently being paid the princely sum of just
29p an hour! Unfortunately, the Highfield’s project have not named the employer, but if any
of our readers in Leicestershire happen to know the leech responsible for this, then drop us
a line at:
Leicester Anarchist Federation, Dept. Z, 73 Humberstone Gate, Leicester, LE1 1WB. Email:
The Hereford Insurgent
Hereford Anarchist Federation have launched a new bulletin called “The Hereford Insurgent”,
Herefordshire’s only working class newspaper.
For a copy write to:
Anarchist Federation (Hereford),
PO Box 7, Pontypool, Gwent, NP4 8YB or
Visit: www.afed.org.uk or
In 1917 Queen Mary was handing out medals in Greenwich, most of them for fallen heroes being
presented to their womenfolk. One 22-year old girl, said by the local press to be under the
influence of anarchist propaganda, having collected medals for her dead father, brother and
boyfriend, then threw them in the Queens face, saying: “If you think so much of them, you can
keep them”. The Queens face was scratched and so was that of one of her attendant ladies. The
police, not a little under the influence of patriotic propaganda, then grabbed the girl and
beat her up. When she was released without charge from the police station a few days later
she was scarcely recognisable.
The girl was Kate Sharpley, who had been active in the Woolwich anarchist group and helped
keep it going through the difficult years of World War 1. After her clash with the police
she was sacked from her job on suspicion of dishonesty (there was nothing missing, but a
policeman had called to check up on her…) and, selling libertarian pamphlets in the street,
she was recognised by the police, and warned that if she appeared there again she would be
charged with soliciting as a prostitute (which in those days would have been a calamity, and
even today a disaster, if once convicted). Isolated from her family, and with the group
broken up, she moved out of activity, away from the neighbourhood, and married.
By chance, shortly before her death she re-connected with the anarchist movement. She
remembered the movement with nostalgia, and gave a fascinating account of the local group
in the years before World War 1. Some young anarchist women asked her if she had a message
to the Anarchist movement today. Her answer: “tell the kids they’re doing all right, they
don’t need any advice from me”. Especially she praised the young women of today: “I wouldn’t
have had to take cover like I did if women of my day had any guts” she said. But she did have
guts. Only a few in 1917 dared take any action in bereaved England.
In 1978 The Kate Sharpley Library was formed, dedicated to researching and restoring the
history of the anarchist movement, it regularly publishes information on lost areas of
anarchist history. It was named in honour of Kate Sharpley, one of the countless “unknown”
members of the movement so often ignored by “official historians”.
Kate Sharpley Library, BM Hurricane, London, WC1N 3XX or Visit: www.katesharpleylibrary.net
Anti-War activist on hunger strike!
Eoin Rice, who has refused to accept a ban from Co Clare as a bail condition and has been
jailed, has gone on hunger strike. Mr Rice, an anti-war activist, had been before the bench
for motoring offences and this new condition was introduced by the judge himself and not the
prosecution. For a full report on this at: www.indymedia.ie
Send letters to:
Eoin Rice, D-wing, Limerick Prison, Mulgrave Street, Limerick, Ireland.
Anarchist Jailed in England
on the 23rd Jan, in Southwark Crown court anarchist James Borek pleaded guilty to attacking
a policeman at the J18 protest in London plus an additional charge of skipping bail in 2000.
Jim will serve four and a half years in prison.
Please write to: James Borek LL6803, B4-14 HMP Wandsworth, PO Box 757, Heathfield Road,
London SW18 3HS
More info contact Anarchist Prisoner Support: firstname.lastname@example.org
or Visit: www.anarchistps.org
Anarchist Jailed in France
René Riesel has been sentenced to seven months in jail because he destroyed Genetically
Modified Organisms in a “on ground” crop and also in a research laboratory in the south of
France, in 1998.
René Riesel, an anti-capitalist militant has been in jail since the 1st of December. In the
jail he reads things for his jail mates, including Tatchanka (the newsletter of the anarcho-
syndicalist CNT-AIT Gards’Union). You can send letters and reading material to: René RIESEL,
n° d’écrou 4612, Maison d’Arrêt, 37 chemin Séjalan, 48000 MENDE, FRANCE
More info: htt://cnteducation30.free.fr
An virulent media campaign against anarchists, is being carried out in Italy. The Minister
of the Interior, Pisanu, has drawn attention to a demonstration in Cagliari, capital of
Sardinia on 22nd October 2003, where two anarchists were arrested for “Resistance with
violence against the agents of public force”. The trial looks set to last several months.
This is linked to the arrest of another Sardinian anarchist, Massimo Leonardi after a
demonstration in Rome in October 2003 and has already spent three months in prison. Another
anarchist, Marco, was arrested on 3rd December. Write to: Massimo Leonardi, carcere di
Rebibbia, via Majetti 70, 00156 Rome and Marco Ferruzzi, carcere di Regina Coeli, via della
Lungara 29, 00165 Rome.
Prisoners riot at jail
In early February a riot and a siege took place at Exeter Prison. Inmates damaged computers
and doors during the five-hour disturbance. Some of the prisoners armed themselves with
chair legs and pool balls. The incident started just before 8pm when a group of about 15
inmates refused to return to their cells after socialising. Prison staff tried to negotiate
with them but were forced to withdraw when the prisoners became aggressive. The Home Office
said that “moderate” damage was caused on the wing. The authories regained control by 12.45am.
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.
1: Libertarian parent and kid drop in – then every Monday 4:30-6:30pm Autonomy Club,
Freedom Bookshop, Angel Alley, 84b Whitechapel High St. Email: email@example.com
6-7: Frock On! Women’s Music/Skill-Sharing Festival in honour of International Women’s Day.
At the Pearse Institute, 840 Govan Road, Glasgow. 10 am-6pm daytime, 8pm-midnight nighttime
Daytime - everything free, nighttime - £3-£5. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Visit:
6-14: Global Women’s Strike Week of Activities. Tel: 020 7482 2496 Email:
email@example.com Visit: www.globalwomenstrike.net
8: International Women’s Day Visit: www.enrager.net/hosted/m8/
19: Blockade and demonstration against US militarism at Menwith Hill, North Yorkshire.
Visit: www.blockthebase.org.uk Tel: 01274 730795
20: Anti-war march. 12 Noon, from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square. For info on the Anarchist
block visit: www.enrager.net/bloc or contact London AF.
25: Anarchist discussion meeting organised by London Anarchist Federation and Freedom
collective. 7pm Autonomy Club, Freedom Bookshop, Angel Alley, 84b Whitechapel High St.
More info from London AF.
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