WHAT A PUBLIC relations disaster for the police, intentionally holding down and shooting a Brazilian electrician in the head on the London tube and then making up a string of lies about what happened.
Armed police pumped bullet after bullet into the brain of Jean Charles de Menezes. He had not jumped the ticket barrier; he had not run down the escalator, he had not been wearing suspicious heavy clothing in warm weather. All of that was lies, was a cover-up. The death of de Menezes shows that “shoot to kill” is now completely sanctioned by the Blair administration. Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said, shortly after the killing of Jean Charles that further mistakes would be made, BUT that the policy of shoot to kill would remain “in order to protect”. In other words be prepared for more killings by trigger happy police who, incidentally, had already notched up other killings like that of Harry Stanley in Hackney.
Of course they’ll probably get away with it because of the heightening of tension following the terrorist bombings in July. But how crazy it’s got is clear from the number of armed responses all over the country. In Nottingham, for example, over the last couple of months there have been no less than three bomb scares resulting in armed police on the street, and then an armed assault on a bus. All turned out to be false alarms. Coppers with machine guns over their shoulders are becoming so common they have even been spotted doing a bit of morning shopping in a local Sainsbury's.
Anarchist communists are as horrified as everyone else about the indefensible murder of ordinary people by suicide bombers, in any country and for any cause, and struggle to change the society that drives people to accepting twisted religious dogma which justifies such actions. But it’s important to remember who’s got and who’s dropped the biggest bombs, and, apart from the crudest of home-made devices, make and distribute most of the weapons and explosive materials they use. They are Governments of all political and religious persuasions with their armed forces and police, along with a hugely wealthy state-subsidised arms industry that is proud of its profits - especially in Britain since ‘we’ are one of the biggest arms producers in the world. All of the massive spending on so-called defence by governments worldwide quickly turns to offence when the time is right, whether its waging war on other countries whose borders have themselves been made up as a result of warfare between ruling classes throughout history, or keeping down popular dissent against their murderous policies.
Likewise, activities of terrorist groups work against freedom, not just by killing innocent people and making us fear each other when we could be acting together to counter the daily onslaught of life under capitalism, but by giving nation states the opportunity to tool-up and pass repressive laws, making social action much harder.??
ALONGSIDE THE SHOOT to kill policy are other threats to civil liberties with increased surveillance and the introduction of ID cards. We should not be cowed by either the Islamist or the state terrorists. We must fight to maintain the few liberties that we have.
Contacts for anti-ID cards:
Defy-ID is a national campaign fighting ID; there are many local groups who
would love to hear from you-contact details on http://www.defy-id.co.uk
Send for a copy of the Anarchist Federation pamphlet on ID cards, Defending Anonymity to BM ANARFED, London WC1N 3XX enclosing an A4 stamped addressed envelope, or download from http://www.af-north.org/anon.pdf (or http://www.afed.org.uk)
GATE GOURMET, CATERER for airline food for British Airways deliberately provoked a walk-out to get rid of workers and maximise profits. This was part of a year long plan revealed in a clandestine document from Gate Gourmet. Workers at Heathrow Airport responded with a magnificent example of unofficial solidarity strikes. 1,000 other airport workers drawn from the same communities as the strikers supported them. For a short while, the strikers looked set to win. But this mass and uncontrolled action was too threatening to the bosses in the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU). They could not deal with the idea of losing control of the situation and frustratingly for the Gate Gourmet workers, persuaded the solidarity strikers back to work. Now the striking workers look set for a long fight.
Gate Gourmet sacked 670 workers following an unofficial stoppage over the employment of 130 casual staff. They also tried to reduce the pickets to 6 but the strength of community feeling pressurised the high court judges, not normally known for their pro-worker stance, into allowing nearby demonstrations to continue. The strikes stranded up to 100,000 BA passengers, some of them for several days.
This dispute did not just happen overnight; the employers had been planning it for months. In a secret internal briefing Gate Gourmet declared the following:
“Recruit, train and security check drivers. Announce intention to trade union, provoking unofficial industrial action from staff. Dismiss current workforce. Replace with new staff.”
A steering committee of GG managers cited the top risk as “potential for wider Heathrow based disruption”. But it would be worth the risk because of annual pension savings of up to £7 million.
Gate Gourmets new company, Versa Logistics, hires workers for lower wages and clearly exists to undercut the striking workers wages so saving the company money. The secret document tells of their plans to destabilise the work force and maximise profits. Among the threats listed were: “No redundancy packages, no leaving early, no extra pay for extra work, random drug testing, no smoking, eating or drinking in cabs.”
The plan also advises how to sack staff. It reads: “Immediate dismissal without legal protection. Collect ID cards, airside passes, locker keys. HR to issue dismissal letters, extra security presence. Security to escort dismissed staff from the premises.”
Under the heading “Can we replace employees?” the document lists details of agencies that could recruit staff from Eastern Europe.
Texas Pacific Group owns Gate Gourmet. Its owner, Mr Bonderman has built an estimated £6 billion fortune by buying nearly bankrupt companies and turning them round. He is also chairman of Ryanair, the budget airline which doesn’t offer in-flight catering.
GG made a £26 million loss last year and is forecast to lose £25 million this year. It obviously needs to save some money if Mr Bonderman is to continue his obscene profiteering.
As part of the plan, Gate Gourmet is recruiting cheap labour from outside the UK using specialist agencies.
The company is currently under pressure from all sides. Financially it is making huge losses. The company, which has headquarters in the States and Zurich, Switzerland, also is locked in labour disputes in the United States, where it is trying to cut $42 million a year in costs. This summer, workers successfully sued the company to have their health benefits reinstated after it said it would eliminate them. The British Government and BA need them to settle to maintain BA’s position in the airline market. The budget companies are snapping at their heals.
This is the strongest card the workers have. They must spread the strike throughout the airport. All discussions must be in the open at mass meetings, with no space for the TGWU to maintain control. This will put pressure on BA forcing it to make Gate Gourmet to take the sacked workers back. It also provides a golden opportunity for other workers at Heathrow to raise their own demands to improve their wages and conditions.
We need to support the strikers. One way is by picketing the agencies responsible for recruiting scabs and explain to those workers what is at stake for the Gate Gourmet strikers. This example of further casualisation is an attack on the humanity of workers. ? Send messages of solidarity to email@example.com
FOR SEVERAL YEARS a consortium consisting of Shell, Statoil, and Marathon have attempted to build an unprecedented high pressure up-stream raw gas pipeline 9 kilometres inland to a refinery in Erris, Mayo, in the north-west of Ireland.
These are high pressure pipelines, up to 345 bar pressure for the gas. The gas is untreated, that is, odourless, without the added smell for detecting leaks. This is not a normal gas pipeline. Normally gas is refined at sea, piped ashore at a much lower pressure and odorised. The biggest gas pipelines in Ireland run at 16 to 70 bar pressure.
The pipeline is to pass within 70 metres of people’s houses, within 10 metres of the nearest uninhabited house, and within 20 metres of a public road. Should it be built three households will have to pass over it on their way to their front gates.
The pipeline is only one part of this development and only one part of the environmental and health and safety concerns surrounding this development. There is also pollution from the refinery into the surrounding area, including the lake which provides the regional water supply, and the waste to be pumped into Broadhaven Bay, a Special Area of Conservation under E.U. regulations which also provides livelihoods to local communities through fishing.
Since the middle of June mass pickets have halted all work on this development. Shell has recently announced a suspension of all work till next year.
They have been prevented from carrying out any work The final blow was a plan by 15 to 20 fishing boats to blockade the path of the ship hired to lay the off-shore pipeline.
Part of the popular effort has been Rossport Solidarity Camp, involving people from across Ireland, and from a number of European countries.
On the 29th of June five men were imprisoned indefinitely for breach of a court order stopping them from preventing Shell from accessing them and their neighbours’ farm lands to construct the pipeline.
These men, known as the Rossport Five, after the hamlet in which the main body of the pipeline is to go, include not only people who are expected to live beside the pipeline, but also people who are expected to work in the fields above it everyday.
Many solidarity actions have taken place across Ireland, including simultaneous picketing of almost all the Statoil stations in Dublin. Some protests have also taken place overseas.
Shell 2 Sea, an international network formed to resist this development, is holding a major blockade of Shell’s main depot in Dublin on September 10th and is calling on people across the world to join in protests on this day.
Another day of protest is 1st of October, simultaneous with a major protest rally planed for Dublin city centre. Appropriate targets include Shell, Statoil, Marathon, Irish Embassies or Consulates, and Norwegian Embassies or Consulates as Statoil is owned by the Norwegian state.
For more information see: www.shelltosea.com and www.indymedia.ie/mayo
If you can, please write to the prisoners or donate to their legal defence fund:
Contribute to the Rossport Five Legal Defence Fund:
Account Name: The Rossport Five Fund
Bank: Ulster Bank
Address: Main Street, Belmullet, Co Mayo
Sort Code: 98-53-14
Account Number: 23987020
For International Transfers also use:
Bank ID: ULSBIE2D
IBAN: IE74 ULSB 9853 1423 9870 20
Write to prisoners Willie Corduff, Philip McGrath, Brendan Philbin, Vincent McGrath and Michael O’Suighin at Cloverhill Prison, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, Ireland. ?
BRITISH AIRWAYS BOSS Rod Eddington got a taste of how it sounds being next to an airport runway on August 19th at 5 am when a sound system blasting loud aircraft noises was set up outside his £2.5million country house in Berkshire.
Protesters dressed in pyjamas paid Rod a visit the same day as the BA Annual General Meeting to make him rethink plans for expansion of Heathrow and Stansted airports. It was Rod’s last AGM at BA as he is about to become a Transport Adviser to the Government, and John Stewart from anti-noise group Hacan ClearSkies said, “Residents under the flight path wanted to say farewell to Rod Eddington by giving him a taste of his own medicine.
The majority of night flights using Heathrow are operated by British Airways or one of its subsidiary companies. And BA is amongst the strongest supporters of night flights.”
For more info call John Stewart on 07957 385650 or see www.hacan.org.uk
ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND South African gold miners went out on strike in August for both pay and living conditions in the mining industry. At the same time 80,000 municipal workers also went out on strike for better pay. Police attacked demonstrations and arrested 43 workers in Durban.
Miners often work in 40°C heat up to three kilometres below ground. Whilst the big mining firms of AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields and South Deep make huge profits, miners are forced to live in barracks, leaving their families in townships faraway. Even though the racial zoning laws were abolished in 1991, three out of four of South African miners still live in hostels. ?
Three of the fifteen political prisoners of Buenos Aires, who were arrested 13 months ago after a demonstration against the new “Civility Code” of the city, have started a hunger strike in demand of their freedom as well as those of their comrades. Martin Amitrano started the strike on Tuesday and was soon followed by Cesar Gerez and Marcelo Ruiz.
To demand the immediate freedom of the prisoners you can email:
Señor Presidente, Néstor Kirchner: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Señor Ministro del Interior, Aníbal Fernández:
Señor Procurador General, Esteban Righi: email@example.com
The G8 summit was held in Scotland from the 6th to the 8th July, and was protested against by a wide range of people, with demonstrations, blockades and actions. Unfortunately involved around 354 people being arrested and imprisoned, and some will face serious charges and probable prison sentences. We are calling for groups, individuals and movements to both carry out solidarity actions and to support prisoners. At the moment there is one prisoner held on remand till his court case:
John Mackie 18769, HM Prison Edinburgh, 33 Stenhouse Road, Edinburgh , EH11 3LN
Remember that all letters must have a reply address.
Almost two hundred people are due to have trials in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth, Stirling and Falkirk. Court cases have already started and more are due in the next few weeks.
July 2005 Solidarity Group
c/o 17 West Montgomery Place
Edinburgh EH7 5HA
Also see www.g8legalsupport.info
or leave a message on 0131 557 6242
When going on demonstrations stay sober, don’t talk to the police and if you’re arrested give only your name and address then say ‘no comment’ to any other questions. For more info visit: www.ldmg.org.uk
SEPTEMBER 8 Stand Up against the Arms Fair- A comedy benefit in aid of Campaign Against Arms Trades campaign against the DSEi arms fair, which will be taking place in London’s Docklands the following week. Featuring Adam Bloom, Ivor Dembina, Felix Dexter, Ayesha Hazarika, Stewart Lee, Angie McEvoy and Ian Stone.
Red Rose Club, 129 Seven Sisters Road,
Finsbury Park, London. £8/5 For tickets call
020 7281 0297 or email:
SEPTEMBER 13-16 Disarm DSEi arms fair DSEi is Britains
biggest weapons supermarket. This is where
scumbags like BAE Systems can sell weapons
to murdering tyranical regimes to wage
war on their own people, it is subsidised by
the government. When you next hear of
some Atrocity commited in some far off
country there’s a pretty high chance the
weapons used were made by British companies.
Its time to Disarm DSEi! ExCeL Centre,
London Docklands 07817 652029.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit: www.dsei.org
14 We are all terror suspects’ public meeting 7pm Sussex Arts Club, 7 Ship St., Brighton Visit: www.campacc.org.uk or www.smashedo.org.uk
OCTOBER 1 No One Is Illegal’s days of
action and days of outrage.
A NEW ANARCHIST Federation group has
recently been formed in West Yorkshire.
They cover the area of Bradford, Leeds and
Halifax. They are active in:
Bradford Anarchist Black Cross, Campaign Against Prison Slavery, 1 in 12 Club/ The Common Place, Squats, 635 Group (Antifa).
They can be contacted at:
Organise is our twice yearly magazine. The current issue features: G8 , Casualisation, ID Cards, Women's struggle in Iraq, Water Wars.
For a FREE sample
copy write to the AF at:
BM ANARFED, London WC1N 3XX
Back to AF Homepage
Back to resistance index