Anarchist Federation bulletin - Resistance 88 - October 2006
In the October 2006 Resistance:
* MORE IN COMMON THAN IN CONFLICT... THE MIDDLE EAST – anarchists oppose war.
* DEFY-ID - anti-ID national gathering to take place in Nottingham in November.
* HOTTING UP IN CHILE – squat raid by police and intelligence, aimed at anarchist network.
* STEALING OUR FREEDOM AND IDENTITY – ID cards under Labour and Tories.
* SEND SHELL TO SEA – Latest from Rossport camp – attempts to restart pipeline work.
* DRAX, LIES AND VIDEOTAPE – Report from the climate camp in Yorkshire.
* A TALE OF TWO DEMOS – anti-war protests in Manchester during Labour conference.
* SUBVERT – Events for October.
MORE IN COMMON THAN IN CONFLICT... THE MIDDLE EAST
While the conflict between Israel, Lebanon and Palestine continues as a
temporary stand off, the superpowers do nothing but give the green light to
Israeli attacks. As anarchists, we refuse to see this as a war between
nations. The real oppressors here are the ruling classes, the ones in
command of the armies, the ones with the weapons, the ones with the mass
propaganda machines that generate enormous popular support from angry and
displaced peoples, regardless of the cause.
States and their stooges
The Israeli government and Israeli Defence Force, nothing more than a long
arm of the Western ruling classes, coupled with the Iranian ruling class
and the Hezbollah as their proxy army, do nothing but bring death and
oppression to the working class people of the region. While the illusion
maintained is that of Olmert and the IDF bravely standing up for the freedom
of Israeli citizens, or the Iranian-controlled Hezbollah defending the
helpless Lebanese civilians from the ever-mightier invader, the reality is
that neither of these “noble” organisations help working class people beyond
what is necessary, beyond what they need for maintained support.
Mutual aid in the war zone
While the IDF destroys whole Palestinian villages with Caterpillar
bulldozers bought from Western companies, and the Hezbollah fires
Iranian-made rockets into Israeli residential areas, the organisations who
really strive to make a difference are the grassroots ones, ones without
leaders, run by the people who need them and for the people who need them.
There is the Sanayeh Relief Centre in Beirut, which operates out of schools
and is run by volunteers, giving refugees from Southern Lebanon shelter,
food, and medical and psychological support. There is al Badil al Chououii
al Taharruri, or Libertarian Alternative, whose analysis of the situation is
an important and valid one. In Palestine and Israel there are the Anarchists
Against the Wall, a group of Israeli, Palestinian and international
anarchists who work directly with Palestinian communities threatened by the
apartheid wall, using methods of direct action and protest to dismantle
fences that separate villages from their crops. These organisations and more
like them deserve and need our support.
Sanayeh Relief Centre: http://www.sanayehreliefcenter.blogspot.com
Anarchists Against the Wall: http://www.squat.net/antiwall
ANTI-ID NATIONAL GATHERING
The Nottingham group of the Defy-ID network will be hosting a national
meeting to discuss opposition to ID cards and the National Identity
Register. The meeting, happening in November, will provide information about opposing
ID, a chance to share resources and ideas and also to meet and discuss with
other anti-ID campaigners.
Nottingham Defy-ID will be providing a brief recap on legislation so far,
but say that a small amount of background knowledge on the issue would be
helpful (see Nottingham Defy-ID bulletins for more information, available
from their website). The meeting is open to all, but is particularly
intended for those who are already active or looking to get involved with
the struggle against ID cards.
A spokesperson for the group said: “This is not so much a public meeting to
discuss the overall implications of the ID scheme, but as a planning day of
how we are going to stop it.”
The meeting will take place on Saturday, 25th November 2006 at The Sumac
Centre, Nottingham, starting at 11am. Food will be available as well as the
possibility of lift shares and basic accommodation.
For full details of the day, as well as posters and flyers to advertise the
event, visit: http://www.nottingham-defy-id.org.uk/gathering
HOTTING UP IN CHILE
On September 26th, special forces of the police broke into a squatted house
in downtown Santiago, and six people, were detained. Police say that molotov
bombs and all the stuff required to prepare them were found in the place.
Empty bottles (who doesn't have them at home?), kerosene, sawdust (used for
catlitter) and of course "subversive material": zines, posters, banners,
books, and videos. Four ready made bombs were found, according to police.
All the four bombs were allegedly to be used in the protest organized for
that day by teachers and high school students’ organisations.
This is an intelligence operation directed by the Vicepresident himself
together with A.N.I. (National Agency of Intelligence), a sinister
institution that resembles the ones that operated during the Pinochet
dictatorship. Of course, this is just one part of the operation, they have
been filming during protests, investigating activist groups, infiltrating
grassroots movements. We suddenly start to hear and see on television that
"anarchists” are responsible for all kinds of destructive actions during
protests. This year has been tough for the public image of anarchists in
Chile. What used to be "infiltrators" in protests are now identified as
"anarchists", which is, at least in the mass media, new.
"A network of anarchist activists has been dismantled", said the General
Director of Carabineros (Police). "We've seen this for a long time, [these
people] breaking into authorized protests, with their faces covered and
molotov bombs". Belisario Velasco, the Vicepresident said "intelligence
operations are being developed by the Police and the Investigation Bureau
and some houses where molotov bombs are being produced have already been
identified and will be raided soon"
President Bachelet was satisfied with all the operation. She said that the
government is "going to do whatever is necessary to preserve the rights, not
only of those who want to express themselves, but also of the ones who want
to live in peace and quiet”. This is what democracy looks like.
STEALING OUR FREEDOM AND IDENTITY
Just over a decade ago, the Conservative Party very nearly gave us ID cards
when Michael Howard was Home Secretary under John Major’s government. But
they ran out of time and Labour won the 1997 election. Since the ID Card Act
became law in March this year Tony Blair has said it will be a "major plank"
of Labour's next election manifesto, whilst heir-apparent Gordon Brown aims
to increase even further the use of ID databases by private companies like
banks and supermarkets.
It's clear that both main parties have a history of repression when in
power, whatever they say in opposition. This makes it all the more annoying
that No2ID, the so-called ‘non-partisan’ campaign against ID cards, seem to
want to convince us that the Tories have changed and will scrap it if they
win the next election. Don’t believe a word of it – anything we hear from
now on will be electioneering rubbish. Conservative MP Anne Widdecome voted
in favour of Labour's identity scheme on many occasions. On the other hand
Labour politicians like Frank Field strongly supported ID even when the
Tories were in power, when we were led to believe New Labour policy was
against. This is the same Merseyside MP who stamped on the unemployed by
supporting Tory work-for-dole schemes which carried over into the Job
Seeker’s Allowance, and is now very vocal about keeping migrant workers out
Also, if we go back to 1995 we see that the reasons why the Conservatives
wanted ID cards then - crime, fraud, illegal immigration - are all part of
Labour’s justifications for ID except they have now added terrorism &
security. As the human rights organisation Liberty said at the time, "They
are not backed up by research or evidence from other countries, but are
myths masquerading as arguments. "This is exactly what anarchists are saying
now about the 'terror threat' whereas Liberty, now a supporter of No2ID,
have moved their arguments to saying ID cards 'won't work', which is not at
all the same as saying these justifications are a complete sham.
There are some other differences from eleven years ago. Labour is most keen
on using an ID system to help 'modernise’ the welfare state. So they are
prepared to spend billions of pounds on tracking our every move, whereas
Tories are traditionally more into direct cuts. Cash handouts to private
companies and consultants all add to the overall cost, as do the biometrics
(fingerprinting and eye-scanning) equipment they intend to use. Britain has
led the call for high-tech passport and identity schemes across Europe. The
Home Office admits it spent £46 million on its ID project between May 2003
and May 2006, most of it before the ID Cards Bill was passed in March! As
well as using databases to help control spending on public services, Labour
no doubt sees contracts for British telecoms and security industries as a
boost to the economy, one that we will all pay for of course, both in our
pockets and by our loss of freedom.
SEND SHELL TO SEA
Shell are currently attempting to resume control of their refinery
construction site at Ballinaboy, Mayo in the west of Ireland. Building has
been shut down by pickets since the beginning of July 2005.
Protests at the site began after five residents were imprisoned for opposing
Shell’s plans to devastate the area with a refinery complex and production
From Monday the 11th of September onwards we have been on a heightened
state of alert in Mayo.
At most crucial moments this has involved people staying up all night to
keep watch on the gates of the onetime refinery construction site in
Ballinaboy, and the picket there starting up at between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m.
instead of between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. with numbers at around one hundred
rather than the usual half a dozen. Last Tuesday September 26th the cops and
Shell sub-contractors arrived, but were turned away.
When they don’t show up the situation is not that they are not trying to get
in. Each day they are being stopped.
You can be sure that numbers at the picket are being checked each day and
that various means are being employed to lessen the mobilisation, such as
smear stories in the media, an increased police presence, intimidatory
intelligence gathering, extra security guards.
This is a test of determination and resilience. The sub-contractors have
been mobilised to be ready to enter the site. This is an attack, for the
most part not very spectacular but very real nonetheless.
At the time of writing - the 3rd of October - police, brought in from around
the country, are gathering in a nearby town, mostly likely to attempt to
break the picket.
Shell’s currently published schedule had them doing preparatory civil
engineering works and water treatment from September onwards, peat removal
in spring 07, and full scale refinery construction in mid July 07.
One analysis has it that it is crucial for them to sort out the water-logged
almost lake like mess the site has become, which is only going to become
worse as winter beckons, hence the current push.
Solidarity actions at the premises of Shell or the Irish state are very
More information see: www.shelltosea.com http://www.indymedia.ie/mayo
http://www.struggle.ws/rsc/ or call (00353) 857629614
Shell to Sea Campaign, public meeting:
Two speakers from the Rossport Solidarity Camp will be speaking in
Manchester on 2nd November 2006. The meeting will start at 7.30pm at The
Basement, 24 Lever Street (off Piccadilly Gardens).
DRAX, LIES AND VIDEOTAPE
Late August saw the establishment of a Climate Camp in the Yorkshire
countryside. The Camp consisted of workshops for people involved in
environmental issues and culminated in the blockading of the coal-fired
power station, Drax, and a nuclear power station in Hartlepool. The message
was clear: we have to find alternative, renewable and clean fuel sources
now, but the nuclear option is not acceptable. A wide-variety of different
types of people attended, from those who wanted to share ideas to angry
activists eager to make a stand against big business and government wrecking
both the planet and people’s lives.
Bolting for cover!
The Camp received a fair amount of media attention, including a smear
campaign on the part of the news agency Reuters. The agency circulated a
photograph of a violent looking ‘protester’ being arrested. In fact, it was
a farmer who had driven his tractor at a group of activists! In another
Reuters story, dozens of people were arrested for carrying concealed and
offensive weapons, when in fact these were tools to be used on the actions:
bolt croppers are for taking down fences, Reuters, not for attacking people,
and the arrests were mostly only for tresspass anyway.
Doing it our way
One reason why the camp was considered so threatening, aside from its
targeting of the power stations, is perhaps that it demonstrated that 600
people can establish a sustainable living space and organise themselves in
effective action on non-hierarchical lines. The camp consisted of
‘neighbourhoods’ as centres for decision making. Each day issues affecting
the whole camp would be discussed (for example, should cops be let on site
and under what circumstances, which occupied rather more of the business of
the meetings than some would have liked). Two delegates were then chosen by
each neighbourhood to take its opinion to a larger meeting of delegates, who
would discuss the matter further and decide what to do.
The open nature of the decision making made it easy to feel involved in the
camp. Although much advance planning had obviously taken place (the site
squatted and made habitable, and the possible focus of demonstrations
explored, for example) new-comers were not excluded from contributing. The
decision making suited the nature of the camp. Large numbers of people
needed to make rapid decisions but over a relatively short period of time.
As such it avoided unnecessary bureaucratic inertia. It demonstrates one of
the ways forward in organising non-hierarchically in campaigning and in
action on other issues relevant to working class people.
For more information visit: www.indymedia.org.uk/enactions/2006/climatecamp
A TALE OF TWO DEMOS
September’s Labour Party Conference in Manchester saw several demonstrations
against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and against Labour’s policies in
Britain. Members and supporters of the Anarchist Federation joined in on a
number of them.
On Saturday 23rd September, thousands of people marched on the CND/Stop The
War “Time to Go” demo. The Anarchist Federation had worked hard with our
friends in the Solidarity Federation to organise a very successful anarchist
block of over 100 people on this march. We made flags and placards and
distributed thousands of copies of anarchist literature to fellow
The following Wednesday a much smaller rally took place near the Town Hall
in Manchester. Around 70 people met to protest about Labour’s war, health
and asylum policies. This time the police reacted heavy-handedly. The small
group, including people with children and walking sticks were surrounded by
hundreds of cops.
Indymedia reported, “Then they decided, for whatever reason, to shove people
as hard as they could into a smaller cordon area, and add a second ring of
police. Several protesters were badly shaken, and the police narrowly missed
shoving young children and elderly campaigners. A group of students who were
trying to stick together were shoved against a tree, and were forcibly
separated. The police then began trying to clear onlookers to prevent people
seeing what was going on.
When the situation nearly stabilised, senior police were seen and heard
discussing how to get into the cordon to arrest "ring leaders", and cameras
were shoved in the face of anyone trying to reason with the officers.
Protesters were allowed to disperse for a short while, from the end of the
cordon farthest from the fence. Then this was stopped for some time, as the
protesters who managed to leave were deemed too dangerous. Later, protesters
were allowed out in pairs to disperse. Some took refuge in the Friends’
Meeting House, while some officers stood on the doorstep. Others were
followed for some time.
Solidarity needed for anarchists in The Philippines
The 'Sagada 11' are a group of anarchist prisoners falsely accused of taking
part in attacks by communist guerillas on a military outpost in the northern
Philippines. Please spread information about this case as much as possible -
they have been in prison for 7 months now, and have received very little
Darwin Alagar, Cell 1 (age 21);
Rundren Lao, Cell 3 (age 24);
Jefferson Dela Rosa, Cell 3 (age 22);
Metro Villegracia, Cell 4 (age 24);
Neil Russell Balajadia, Cell 5 (age 25);
Ronron Pandino, Cell 8 (age 23);
Arvie Nunez, Cell 8 (age 23);
Aldous Christian Mafosa , Cell 9 (age 19);
Anderson Alonzo, Cell 12 (age 18).
Mail can be sent to: [name and cell number], c/o Jail Warden James Simon,
Benguet Provincial Jail, Justice Hill, La Trinidad, Benguet 2601,
Support: All of the prisoners read at least some English, and they are very
interested in connecting with other anarchists, learning about punk and
activism, as well as daily life, around the world. Gig posters and photos,
flyers, stickers, patches and shirts would also be very well received. Bear
in mind though, that they are accused of being communist guerillas and
overtly political material could be used against them. The solidarity
actions that have happened in the past have meant a lot to them, and would
make a difference, especially if they could be sent photographs. Also, funds
are needed for basic neccesities, transportation and lodging for friends and
family to visit, which also greatly assists their legal process, as the
lawyers prefer to deal only with relatives. For information on how to send
money or other items to Manila, contact Solidarity South Pacific at
Polish anti-fascist jailed
Igor Kisielewicz, 24 yrs old antifa activist and ex-squatter from DeCentrum
was few days ago arrested and sentenced to 3 months of prison. 3 years ago
he was fined 1000 zlotys (about 250 euro) for the beating up of nazi scum in
his home village. He applied to change it into social work, which was
granted, but in a meantime he started education and work in Bialystok and
didn’t report for social work in his village. As a result court decided to
change it into three months of prison. Igor needs letters of support.
Igor Kisielewicz, syn Aleksandra, Zaklad Karny, Grady Woniecko 34, 18-312
Rutki Kossaki, Poland.
SUBVERT – Events for October
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
6th – Film night for Sack Parliament Demo: Part of the 'weekend of
resistance' in build up for Sack Parliament on Monday 9th October. 7pm at
the London Action Resource Centre (LARC), 62 Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel,
London E1 1ES. Phone: 020 7377 9088 http://www.londonarc.org
Free/donation. Check http://www.sackparliament.org.uk for programme and details.
7th - Migrants on the march for their rights: In London, Assemble 12.00pm,
Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ and in Glasgow, Assemble
12.00pm, George Square, Glasgow. See more see www.ncadc.org.uk and
7th - 70th Anniversary of Cable Street Comemoration: Gig - and to raise
awareness of the growing right wing threat worldwide today. Organised by
Antifa U.K. with Inner Terrestrials, PAIN, Liberty, Fear of Fear, Headjam,
Beyond Repair, Bottlejob and Moral Dilemma. 5pm 1am Chat's Palace, 42-44
Brooksby's Walk, Homerton, London. £6 - with proceeds to Antifa. For more info
7-8th - Training days for Sack Parliament:
Part of the 'weekend of resistance' in build up for Sack Parliament on
Monday 9th October. A second training day for those who couldn't make the
first with workshops including: Affinity groups, medic/ trauma, legal, mass
action, autonomous actions. Bring ideas and food to share. 10am-4pm at
RampART (not LARC) 15-17 Rampart Street, London, E1 2LA, free entry, email
firstname.lastname@example.org web http://www.sackparliament.org.uk
9th - Sack Parliament Demo: Over the past few years the UK parliament and
government have led this country into war upon war, torn up age-old rights
and made the division between rich and poor to grow ever wider. MPs and
Lords return from their summer recess on October 9th. We need to ensure they
can’t get back inside Parliament. Take part! Stop them continuing their
wars. 1pm Houses of Parliament, London. web email
email@example.com web http://www.sackparliament.org.uk
21st - Anarchist Bookfair: at the 25th Annual Anarchist Bookfair you'll find
all things anarchist including books, pamphlets, t-shirts and other
paraphernalia. Visit the Anarchist Federation stall. 10am-7pm, at the
Voluntary Sector Resource Centre, 356 Holloway Rd, London, N7 6PA. Tube -
Holloway Road. http://www.anarchistbookfair.org
THE ANARCHIST FEDERATION
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
The Anarchist Federation has members across Britain and Ireland fighting for
the kind of world outlined above.
If you’re interesting in joining contact us at:
London, WC1N 3XX.
Subscriptions to 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.