Capitalism is the most destructive, life crushing system the world has ever seen. It is a global monster that ensures misery for billions of people throughout the world. It is literally eating up the planet, allowing politicians to wallow in corruption - see what's going on in Pakistan for example.
Capitalism is constantly revolutionising itself, all for the pursuit of profit. Profit is robbery resulting from the exploitation and taxation that supports armies of bureaucrats and politicians. This is robbery with violence. So far at least, capitalism, in the headlong rush for ever greater profits, has proved itself incapable of stopping the destruction of our planet. State leaders relentlessly pursue national (read capitalist) self-interest. Together, capitalism and the state represent the twin enemies of working people everywhere. It's with this in mind that we celebrated the June 18th event in the City of London known as the Carnival against Capitalism. This festival of the oppressed was organised on a decentralised anarchist basis and proved to be blindingly effective. Whilst capitalism itself was hardly touched, the State was badly rattled. The police proved themselves to be totally incompetent, inefficient and all-round losers. Politicians babbled on about anarchy in the streets, demanding revenge and more effective counter measures for the future. We can be sure that they will re-think their tactics for the next anti-capitalist riots and there surely will be more. But what the cops, bureaucrats and bosses must realise is that we too are drawing from the lessons of June 18th to be even more effective and militant.
Assault on the system
Victorious, politically motivated riots based on a clear anti-capitalist perspective are great moral boosters and encourage more activities of a similar nature. We can be sure that there will be further actions and hopefully a whole movement will snowball into an all-out assault on the system that oppresses us. Let us be clear, we have no future in capitalism. Only the destruction of this system and its replacement by anarchy will give us a life of freedom, peace and social justice. Anarchy means common ownership and effectively the destruction of private property. It means social equality. It means providing the whole world with the means of achieving personal human growth. Anarchy means freedom. It means taking for ourselves a world in which we can live in harmony with each other and nature. Anarchy is a return to living based on social co-operation and respect for individual freedom. Anarchy is our future and the time to make it real is now. Never have the conditions been more favourable The Leftist days of marching up and then down the hill are over. The time for direct action for freedom is opening before us.
The construction workers who made AEEU union boss Sir Ken Jackson eat his
words by going on strike after he called for a strike free Britain produce a bulletin called 'Builders Crack'. It contains loads of useful info including going rates that construction workers can expect, the latest strike news from the frontline and a list of demands on the industry. Pick of the bunch 'Build council homes for the homeless not speculative office blocks for spivs and yuppies' and 'If you're knocked knock it down'. People in the construction industry are urged to get involved. Contact the Joint Sites Committee. 0976 762040 (sparks) 0181 427 8480 (brickies). Give em a call this is the only builder's crack we've ever seen that's worth looking into!??
A night of sabotage occured at a Ford factory on 23th September. Night shift workers at Ford's car plant in Dagenham, London sabotaged cars costing up to £5 million in lost production. Police were called to the factory. Ford denied that a 'mini-riot' had happened although workers insisted the vehicles were attacked. Up to 50 cars were wreaked as well as the loss of production of nearly 600 cars. Windows were smashed and tools were used to gouge freshly painted bodywork. There is also a suggestion that the action was in protest in solidarity with a worker who had been arrested and cautioned at Dagenham police station over the theft of 100 metres of electrical cable and two junction boxes. Sabotage is an old and very effective form of workers' independent action. This method of fighting back is not so easy for the unions and the Left wing to control.
Liberals and left-wingers have welcomed the recent European Court ruling that it was illegal for the British State to exclude/eject gay people from the military on the grounds of their sexuality. The Ministry of Death's (AKA 'Defence') justification was that gays were a security risk because they were open to blackmail by foreign powers that could threaten to reveal their guilty secret.
Gays would also 'undermine the morale' of the troops the poor dears would be worried about being molested but aren't they all tough macho men and super women? There have always been gays in the military as in all sections of society and institutions which are mostly single sex or sexually segregated: Army, Church, Prisons and single sex schools. Also, gay sex is often the only sexual option so even straights are at it including the sexual violence of rape and abuse.
Although homosexuality undermines the masculine-macho and heterosexual nuclear family foundations of the military, armies can and will accommodate it. The European Court decision is nothing to celebrate because the military is the ultimate repressive institution of the State.
MURDER, MAIMING, TORTURE & RAPE
As revolutionaries we welcome this decision no more than we do the introduction of more black people in the police, more women judges or more Catholics in the Royal Ulster Constabulary. The military exists to increase and defend the wealth and power of the ruling elite. All armies use murder, maiming, torture and rape of strangers within and without of any nation who the bosses have labelled 'the enemy' (Thatcher called the Miners and their supporters during the 1984 strike 'the enemy within'). We don't want equal opportunities in the military and police we want to abolish them forever.
Each issue we remember collective action against states and capitalism by our class. This time we look at an uprising against a government operating in the name of the working class: The Bolsheviks. The Bolshevik seizure of power in 1917 proved to be a disaster of enormous proportions for the Russian working class and the peasantry. In the name of the workers Lenin, Trotsky & Co. quickly established a vicious one party dictatorship of great brutality. It was against this dictatorship that the sailors and workers arose in March 1921. These sailors, since February 1917, had proved themselves to be the most radical and eager to enter the battle for freedom in the whole of Russian society.
By the beginning of 1921 they had had a gutful of Communist arrogance, corruption and suppression of workers' strikes. In the name of the working class, the Communists suppressed all independent working class activity and all of the workers' political voices. On the island of Kronstadt, even local Communists encouraged the rejection of the dictatorship. Meeting on the battleship Petropavlosk, the sailors called for a peaceful dismantling of the police state, the abolition of raids on the peasants food stocks and the re-establishment of the workers' councils (soviets means councils in Russian) without Communist manipulation and control. They further demanded the legalisation of anarchist organisations and left political parties, free elections to the soviets and the ending of Communist organs of oppression and their privileges.
HAIL OF BULLETS
These and other pro-working class and peasants' demands were met with the organised violence of the Communist State. The first attacks failed. They were followed by an assault by 50 000 Communist troops on March 17th and 18th. These soldiers were followed at the rear by squads of machine gunners who ensured that any less than enthusiastic troops were met with a hail of bullets from their own side! The Kronstadt revolt was the last serious attempt to bring about a return to direct democracy based upon soviets without Communist dictatorship. It failed, and with it the last vestiges of the revolutionary spirit of 1917. The brutal repression that followed signalled the birth of a new era, that of even more dictatorial methods and the death of any political freedom. Like the Paris Commune of 1871, the Kronstadters were slandered by successful government counter-revolutionaries. They were denounced as unsophisticated, non-political country yokels whilst in reality most of them had been fighting against Capitalism and the State since 1917. With the defeat at Kronstadt came the final defeat of the Russian revolution.
Last May, the French Communist (Stalinist) paper L'Humanite printed a few short lines on the mutiny on board the aircraft carrier Foch. This news was never denied officially. Soon after a rumour began circulating in the French Navy and beyond that 60 young conscripts had taken their commanding officer hostage to protest against the treatment that they were receiving. After having barricaded themselves into the cafeteria of the ship, they were attacked by a unit of riflemen-marines specially sent from the Breton part of Lorient to deal with them. The rumour was that the mutineers, all of North African origin, were all stroppy elements who the Admiralty wanted to punish by putting them onto the Foch in inhuman conditions. As this was a time of war the last Balkans offensive the Navy used particularly harsh methods to put the mutiny down, overseen by one of the most senior French officers. Questioned by many journalists, the Minister of Defence denied these allegations and discouraged any further publicity. But the rumours continue and point to the most important mutiny in the French Navy since the mutiny on the Black Sea during the Russian revolution. Above all, the public pronouncements that the Beurs (second and third generation North Africans born in France) are welcome in the Navy are shown to be complete bollocks. The fact that a prestigious officer led the lynching of the recruits shows the seriousness of the revolt.
British high street retailers (Marks & Spencers, C&A, Debenhams, Pringle, etc.) are using textile factories in Latvia, Bulgaria and Romania to obtain goods such as Levi Strauss clothing where female workers are humiliated with strip searches, worked up to 60 hours, and paid as little as 20p per hour! Valem Tushtev chief factory inspector for a region in Bulgaria said: "They are not only stripped in some factories but beaten if they do not do as the bosses ask. We alert the police but they do nothing." Working conditions at the factories are so bad that workers are developing chronic health conditions exasperated by them being forced to live in slum like conditions due to poverty pay. Companies such as Adidas, Puma and Nike also source goods from the region which has been called Europe's labour 'gulag'. If wage slavery under Capitalism is bad enough, here the brutal greed is revealed in the scramble for profits by trans-national companies. Tony Blair's inane utterances about "a stakeholding society", "the third way" or "a partnership with business" is pure bunk regarding the above! As we can see the class war is a stark reality globally. Workers can either fight back or continue to suffer the exploitation.
Over the past few months we have heard that girls have been denied the right to wear trousers to school, kids have been threatened with exclusion for wearing facial rings or having hair any colour other than brown, blonde or black.
The reality is that school kids across the land can confidently wear what they like 'cos the schools have to avoid slipping down the exclusion league table. Thanks to Blair and Blunkett's latest exclusion policy the threats of exclusion are empty - no Head can afford to exclude pupils for fear of closure or privatisation! The UK remains one of the few countries that insists on conformity through uniformity - time to sound the death knell for uniforms (this includes fashion 'uniforms' dictated by capitalists in the rag trade!)
Constant CCTV surveillance, more police weapons, zero tolerance, dissidents facing terrorist treatment, the new top cop at the Met comes to us direct from Special Branch. Every year they bring impose new laws to outlaw new forms of protest, our pleasures and survival and make punishments harsher.
All the time the police get hold of more weapons and power. Capital and the state constantly extend their control into every aspect of social life. And every year they build more prisons! The British State sends more people to prison than any other in Europe. In 1997 the prison population rose by the rate of a small prison every single month. More and more people are getting sent down for more offences, for first offences and for longer than before. An estimated 11, 000 people are arbitrarily detained by the immigration services each year for an average of 3-6 months without charge, trial or even understanding the reasons why. Thousands of them are asylum seekers fleeing persecution or even death. They come here seeking safety and protection and they get intimidation, racist officials and the nightmare of bureaucracy. Many are held in high security detention centres run for profit by Group 4. Up to 300 are held in HMP prisons such as Rochester and Brixton. The numbers detained are increasing rapidly, from 200 held at any one time in 1990 to over 850 by 1997. Now the British State is imposing a fairer, faster, firmer asylum policy. Several massive detention centres are to be built along the South Coast. Sites include Ashford and Heathrow. Capitalism produces poverty and alienation which in turn generates crime. The role of the state is to protect property and the social system of capitalism. The situation is worsening. The prison authorities use to have to beg money from the central government if it wanted to expand or build new prisons.
CONCRETE AND CONSENT
Now private companies build and manage prisons. Companies such as Group 4 and Corillion (an offshoot of the Tarmac de-merger) invest their own cash, build and run prisons, the state pays them back later. There is no stopping the expansion of the prison building program. Two prisons are built a year, gaols for youth, extensions to existing prisons, detention centres for asylum seekers, new police stations and magistrate courts. We can stop this. To trample on us they need concrete and consent. We can physically resist the prison building program. CAGE is a network being set up to oppose the prison building program, the locking up of asylum seekers and the police state. It intends to link existing groups campaigning on these issues, link up with communities affected by the State clampdown and provide information for the action against the Prison State. Resist while you can! Info for this article was nicked from a CAGE leaflet.
Contact CAGE for local contacts and events. c/o 180 - 188 Mansfield Road, Notts, NG1 3HW. email: Prison@narchy.fsnet.co.uk
Miners at one of Rio Tinto's large Hunter Valley collieries in Australia begin a three-day strike in response to a new company offensive that cuts pay and benefits by up to $15,000 a year. The company's decision to formally terminate the wage deal of 178 workers at the Howick coalmine projects a drop to the bare legal minimum of miners' annual income.
Brazilian Steelworkers Organise "Strike Festival" For Salary Raises And Jobs. About 70 thousand steelworkers stopped production of autoparts in 15 plants located in the greater São Paulo area, Campinas and Vale do Paraíba in an attempt to force national collective contracts and an inflation increase in their salaries. Military Police follow strikers, but no major confrontation reported.
Colombian workers staged a one-day nationwide strike against the increasingly unpopular economic policies of President Andres Pastrana, who has called for a new public-sector wage freeze next year. Organisers of the stoppage - the latest of more than a dozen since Pastrana took office - claim the backing of state employees, including the powerful oil workers' union USO.
STRIKE IN PERU
Roadblocks, demonstrations and clashes with anti-riot police marked the 24-hour general strike called to protest against the economic policies of Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, which have created unemployment and poverty. Protesters blocked roads across the country, and in the capital, Lima, three thousand demonstrators burnt effigies of Mr Fujimori at a noisy rally outside the presidential palace.
Armed Justice Ministry forces in black ski masks tried to seize the Vyborg Pulp and Paper Mill in Russia. The police intervention comes after deepening hostility between workers and the owner of the factory, the London company Alcem UK. Eight workers are injured - two of them shot by the officers and held hostage.
SAC ACTIVIST MURDERED BY FASCISTS
A union activist within the Swedish syndicalist union Sveriges Arbetares Centralorganisation, SAC, was murdered by fascists after helping to expose a well known fascist at his workplace in south ern Stockholm.
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