SOCIAL CHANGE NOT CLIMATE CHANGE
The disastrous effects of Global Warming are being felt world-wide. Rising sea levels are leading to floods and landslides, increasing storm activity is causing widespread death, homelessness, and destruction, and long and sustained droughts are severely damaging food production. Ultimately, millions will die, and there will be massive ecological destruction, if we do not act.
Global Warming is caused by road and air traffic, fossil-fuelled manufacturing and industrial agriculture (together 85%), and fossil-fuelled electricity production (15%). The twin vampires of corporations and governments are responsible for the mess we're in, relying on ever-expanding production and consumption to provide them with their life blood - profits and power.
Solutions that aren’t
Admitting that any real change would be “politically unrealistic”, politicians and their corporate sponsors are keen on “technical fixes”- new technologies that don't address the causes of climate change. Nuclear power is the current favourite of Blair and his spin doctors, claiming it doesn’t produce carbon dioxide. However, as a technology it is very dangerous. It relies heavily on dwindling supplies of uranium, is still so costly that it needs massive government subsidies, is vulnerable to terrorism, fuels nuclear weapons production, and produces volumes of toxic waste with no safe storage solution. In addition, it has an unprecedented record of accidents, near disasters and health risks. And, the power stations themselves release unknown quantities of greenhouse gases that are more powerful than CO2. In any case, it would take about 2000 new nuclear power stations of 1000 megawatt capacity to produce a noticeable reduction in global carbon dioxide emissions.
The road and air traffic lobby is massively powerful, ensuring that alternatives are not developed. The government's response to increased demand for transport is to build more roads that immediately become congested and to expand and build more airports. Meanwhile, privatised buses and trains are run for profit, making public transport often a more expensive and unusable option, forcing people to rely on their cars. Schemes such as the congestion charge are about ensuring that traffic (transport for profit) keeps flowing, rather than creating transport for human need. The idea of a 'green car' is as sensible as a chocolate frying pan.
Since companies and governments can't and won't act, it is up to us to do something. As individuals we should do what we can - minimise car and air travel, insulate our homes, minimise waste and maximise recycling etc. Ultimately, however, we can only reverse global warming by challenging the system that has brought the planet to the brink of disaster. In particular, we need to organise against the State’s plans to resurrect Frankenstein’s monster of nuclear power, challenge new road and airport plans and oppose Agribusiness with their use of chemicals, production of GM crops and factory farming. We can only do this by getting together with our neighbours and workmates, organising and acting collectively, without politicians and leaders, and taking direct action. This maximises our power, and avoids us being “sold out” as leaders always end up in bed with the powerful.
We want renewable energy - solar, wind, tidal and hydro-electric, geo-thermal etc, different sources deployed as appropriate to the locality. It should be small-scale, generating electricity for local needs (rather than for the centralised national grid), and genuinely community controlled. And, we need to question the whole logic of capitalist growth that has chained us to work and consumption, producing increased quantities of goods whilst the quality of our lives deteriorates.
IT'S OUR WORLD, LET'S TAKE IT BACK!
ON THE FRONTLINE
Our regular look at workplace struggles:
We’ll start a busy month with an extraordinary story aboard two Irish ferries where workers have been involved in a long running dispute over management’s willingness to exploit the desperation of east european workers to undermine pay and safety conditions. A recent High Court victory for the workers should have guaranteed current conditions remain in place till at least 2007. However the management has decided to simply ignore this ruling and in an echo of the recent case in Corsica, where commandoes were used to clear strikers off a ferry, they decided to hire a gang of strong arm goons to remove the most militant of workers from the ferries (smuggled aboard disguised as paying passengers!). Unluckily for them the goons turned out not be so fearless as expected and were swiftly repulsed from the ferries, followed by workers barricading themselves into the engine room - meaning that the ferries would not be going anywhere. The two ferries remain stuck in port and the management are left with egg on their face.
Trouble looming in the Magistrates Courts where 7000 workers are expected to vote for a national strike in early December. Workers are angry at a cost-of-living pay rise that’s actually below the rate of inflation and so is effectively a pay-cut, and this in an industry where over 50% already earn under £15 000 a year.
Gas engineers have also just voted for a national strike over pensions in December - 6000 of them will walkout in anger at plans to scrap the final salary pension scheme for new workers from mid 2006.
And speaking of pensions, research on directors who’ve signed an open letter urging the government to raise the retirement age has revealed that 98% of company directors have the right to retire before 65, with 78% of them being able to retire at 60 - and with a pension payout on average 26 times higher then the average. How nice of them to be so concerned with us eh?
The Christian charity Breakfast Trust are upset
because some switched-on, street-wise kid asked why
Mary and Joseph named their baby after a swear word! So
they have spent. £200,000 making a 30-minute animated film called “It’s A Boy!”, featuring the voices, of among others, Cannon and Ball,
with music by the celestial Wanker Virgin Sir Cliff
Richard! A copy is being sent to every primary school
Yes, that’s right, he’s a construct. A myth! If you want proof check out Brian Flemming’s revealing film “The God Who wasn’t There” at www.thegodmovie.com. You will discover that the early founders of Christianity seem wholly unaware of the idea of a human Jesus. The Jesus of the Gospels bears a striking resemblance to other ancient heroes and figureheads of pagan saviour cults.
Christianity borrowed its central myths and ceremonies from ancient religions. The ancient world was rife with tales of virgin births, miracle working saviours, tripartite gods, gods taking human form, gods arising from the dead, heaven and hells, and days of judgement.
Many of the ceremonies of ancient religions match those of Christianity, e.g. consider Mithraism. Mithra, the saviour of the Mithraic religion and a god who took human form, was born of a virgin. He belonged to a holy trinity and was a link between heaven and earth. And he ascended into heaven after his death.
His followers believed in heaven and hell, looked forward to a day of judgement and referred to Mithra as “the light of the world”. They also practised baptism (for purification purposes) and ritual cannibalism - the eating of bread and the drinking of wine to symbolize the eating and drinking of he god’s body and blood. Given all this Mithra’s birthday should come as no surprise: December 25th. This event was celebrated by Mithra’s followers at midnight.
Christians today aren’t obsessed with blood and violence, are they? Bush: “God
Told Me to Invade
Gwent Anarchists will be showing the film “The God Who
Wasn’t There” on 12 Dec 7.30pm at Oasis Leisure Club,
ARMAGEDDON OUT OF HERE!
Fundamentalist Christianity threatens the environment, in addition to the damage it inflicts on people. Millions of fundamentalists take books such as the Bible as the literal truth.
These dunderheads believe that when the Israeli state
has occupied the rest of its ‘biblical lands’, it will be attacked by the
legions of the Antichrist, resulting in a final showdown in the
So, many fundamentalist Christians may actually believe that environmental destruction should actually be welcomed or hastened as a sign of the forthcoming apocalypse. This includes nearly half of the US Congress who were backed by the religious right. James Watt, who was the first secretary of the interior under president Reagan, told Congress not to worry about protecting natural resources because ‘After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back’. The Bush administration wants to rewrite laws in favour of corporations, and to open the Arctic wildlife refuge to oil drilling. The Environmental Protection Agency plans to spend $9 million to pay poor families to act as guinea pigs, continuing to use pesticides which have been linked to brain damage in children in their homes .
All this reinforces our view that all fundamentalist religions threaten humanity (and our planet), and that we need to actively oppose their ideas.
CAPITAL OPPRESSES, THE STATE REPRESSES
Report made by French comrades to a meeting of the International of Anarchist Federations (IAF-IFA).
On October 25th, The Minister of the Interior,
Nicolas Sarkozy, presented a new series of measures
on the television which gave more powers to the police
and reinforced controls and surveillance (Internet, cameras) in the name
of the struggle against terrorism. The same day, he declares that he wants to
take on the ‘rabble’, how he describes the youth of the outlying neighbourhoods
In the next few nights, the revolt spread to many French towns. Hundreds of cars, schools, police stations, businesses and public transport vehicles were destroyed by fire. Confrontations took place with the police and many hundreds of arrests were made. After the 11th night of riots on the November, the French government decided that a curfew could be declared throughout the French departments: enacting a law of 1955. This law was created by the State to deal with troubles linked to the Algerian war. Despite that, riots continue, but less frequently.
These events, unique in French history, originated in the poverty in the outlying neighbourhoods of the big towns. Built at the beginning to welcome the French who left independent Algeria (1963) but also the rural populations which wanted to work in the towns, these estates became places abandoned by the State; The buildings became rundown because they were not maintained, the population changed: the poorest were sent there, notably immigrants and their families. Very quickly, these neighbourhoods, all built far from town centres, concentrated foreign incomers (in majority African), unemployed, poor labourers….Other difficulties added to this, progressive withdrawal of public services from these neighbourhoods, appalling housing, lack of socio-cultural structures, social, racial and spatial discriminations… In the place of workers’ organisations leading the working class, religious networks attempted to structure social relations. During this time, State police repressed and watched the young people of these neighbourhoods, to dissuade them from coming out of there; progressively the identifications of these young people with their neighbourhoods evolved into an urban ghetto culture and often mixed with religion.
It is still too soon to know if this spontaneous movement will have effects on French society; today, the government takes decisions which don’t have direct effects on the problems experienced: the curfew is a weapon of war, not of dialogue; tax remittals to bosses of businesses who would set up there are no answer to massive unemployment; proposals to work in apprenticeships from 14 years old, is the setting up of child labour.
The other question tragically put by these events, is
the legitimacy of the Republican model: “
The great difficulty now is to anticipate a situation which is getting no better. How to formulate collective projects of social and political emancipation where youth of these abandoned neighbourhoods could create the instruments of their own autonomy and freedom? How, concretely, to put forward an anticapitalist and libertarian method of analysis which could be taken into account and perhaps let these spontaneous revolts give birth one day to a revolution? Finally, how to integrate from now the demands of these young people into those of the social and libertarian movement, so that the convergences of struggles are no longer overlooked?
For more information on news from France and the up-coming IAF-IFA Day of Action against State repression and the military visit www.iaf-ifa.org
ID cards update: Here are some developments over the last month or so:
• ID card trials are being organised in the
• Driving licences are a problem. The
• Bristol City Council has joined eight other councils who have already voted to refuse to implement ID cards. This might sound good, but local council “don’t implement” pledges during the anti-Poll Tax campaign didn’t amount to much – so let’s not forget it was the people wot stopped it!
• Dutch ID card refusers have been fined and taken to court. A new law came into
effect in January 2005, making it compulsory in the
The lessons here are firstly that to build an
effective fighting movement against ID, lobbying parliament is pointless –
instead we need to strengthen and set up more local activist groups and
organise public meetings. Secondly, the move to biometric ID and databases is
already happening through passports and driving licences. Thirdly, it is clear
that the ID cards problem is much wider than Labour’s own Bill, and
international solidarity will be needed. The Dutch
experience is set to be repeated across
Read the AF’s new pamphlet, Defending Anonymity, on
the web from http://www.afed.org.uk, or
in print for free (but send SAE) from BM ANARFED,
“In the past months, a wave of repression has struck
Harold Thompson, an anarchist comrade and jailhouse
lawyer who has been in
Harold says: “Consider calling, or writing, to Warden Tony Parker, NWCC, 960 State Route 212, Tiptonville, Tennessee 38079, USA or to Commissioner George Little, Tennessee Department of Correction, Rachel Jackson Building 4th floor, 320 Sixth Avenue North, Nashville, Tennessee 37243-9465, USA to ask what is up with this prison when an older prisoner, sixty three years old, is mobbed by AB punks while working his assigned job? I realize I am fortunate - bones were not broken in the attack on me and that I am breathing even though when I clear my throat or blow my nose I still see fresh blood, several days after the assault. I may hurt all over but I will live. I am tough as nails and a survivor.”
You can also write to Harold at: Harold
Thompson, #93992, NWCC,
Active Solidarity Newsletter
Oct 05 issue out now!
Active Solidarity is our occasional newsletter, with
the latest news on prisoners, repression and solidarity.Free
with an SAE to ABC,
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: http://www.ldmg.org.uk
International Day of Climate Protest - to coincide with the next round of
climate talks in
3 Anarchist Assembly Against
4. “Beating the Bounds” of the Democracy-Free Zone
around Parliament in
8 Brighton Peace and Environment centre presents a fund-raising night of folk, blues and soul @Grand Central Pub (opposite the centre) Tickets 2.50 minimum donation
10 Stop the
Arms Trade! Defend the Right to Protest!
JANUARY: 7-8 10th anniversary Newbury Re-union. 10 years since the start of work on the Newbury Bypass “Thousands of people passed through this mammoth campaign, many with their lives changed forever. Come and meet up with old friends and relive that freezing cold winter experience! People who weren’t at Newbury are more than welcome too.” www.roadalert.org.uk
9-15 Faslane Peace Camp “Adventure Week’
28 Prison Abolition Seminar.
Resisting prison construction, radical alternatives to prison and abolitionist
theory past and present are the themes for this seminar. Conway Hall,
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 Anarchist Communism.
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
If you’re interesting in joining contact us at:
Subscriptions to (printed copy of) resistance costs £4 from the address above for 12 issues. A two issue subscription to our magazine, Organise! for revolutionary anarchism, is also £4.
You can subscribe to resistance by email for free via the website above.