Anarchist Federation bulletin - Resistance 89 - November 2006
In November 2006 Resistance:
* SOCIAL CHANGE NOT CLIMATE CHANGE! - false solutions versus people power.
* MEXICAN WAVES OF RESISTANCE - revolt in
* ANTI-WAR ROUND UP – demos & action at airbases face new police powers.
* WHO LET THE DOGS IN? – 'watchdog' tells us what we already know about state surveillance.
* ON THE FRONTLINE – industrial action by divers, in NHS Trusts, at
British Airways, and on
* SUBVERT – Events for November.
SOCIAL CHANGE NOT CLIMATE CHANGE!
estimated 25 million people have been effected by food supply crises in
sub-Sahara this year.
effects of global warming are already being felt worldwise-
widespread, death, homelessness and destruction caused by rising sea levels,
increasing “freak weather” typhoons, storms and tornadoes causing floods and
landslides and substantial droughts and desertification.
warming is caused by human made carbon dioxide which builds up in the
earth’s atmosphere causing a dangerous acceleration of climate change and
extremes of weather. The main causes are petrol-based road and air traffic,
fossil-fuelled manufacturing and industrial agriculture (together 85 %) and
fossil-fuelled electricity production.
and governments are the twin vampires who are responsible for
the mess we’re in- 122 private and state corporations such as Shell, Exxon,
BP etc., are responsible for 80% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions.
threat to humanity than terrorism; the only people refuting this are
professional deniers funded by the big oil companies. Yet politicians and
their business sponsors admit that making any real change is “politically
makes them keen on “technical fixes” that don’t tackle the causes.
Nuclear power is a favourite, sold with the lie that it doesn’t produce
carbon dioxide. It’s very dangerous, producing deadly waste with no safe
storage solution, is vulnerable to terrorism and fuels the production of
nuclear weapons. It is also so costly that it needs massive government
subsidies and relies heavily on dwindling supplies of uranium. The industry
has a long and infamous record of “accidents”, near disasters (Windscale,
Three Mile Island,
(literally pollution) trading and burying CO2 under the seabed are
similarly ostrich-like. Neither tackles the production of CO2. Green taxes
are likely to target “consumers” e.g car drivers, rather than the big
suppliers like oil companies and there is no guarantee that the revenue will
be spent on alternatives.
lorries and planes are a massive cause of CO2 but the road and traffic
lobby is hugely 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 –an upward spiral- and to expand
existing airports and build new ones. Meanwhile privatized buses and trains
are run on the basis of profit rather than need making public transport
often a more expensive and unstable option, forcing people to rely on cars.
Schemes such as the congestion charge are about ensuring that traffic keeps
flowing, rather than creating transport for human need. The idea of a green
car however fuelled is as practical as a chocolate frying pan.
companies and governments cannot make the necessary changes- and don’t
even try, it is up to us. As individuals we should do what we can- minimize
car and air travel, insulate our homes, minimize waste, maximize recycling.
Ultimately however, we can only halt and indeed reverse global warming by
challenging the system that has brought the planet to the brink of disaster.
We need to organise against the government’s plans to resurrect the
Frankenstein monster of nuclear power, defeat plans for yet more roads and
new or bigger airports. We should oppose agribusiness with its use of
unnecessary and dangerous chemical production, of GM crops and factory
only do this by getting together with our neighbours and workmates,
organizing and acting collectively, without politicians and leaders, and
taking direct action. The Rossport Solidarity camp in western
has worked with local people who have halted Shell’s construction of an oil
refinery and pipeline is an inspiring current example. Organising in this
way maximizes 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
etc, different resources deployed as appropriate to the locality. It should
be small scale,, generating electicity for local needs rather than the waste
and centralization of the National Grid., and genuinely community
controlled. Human scale planning and free public transport would minimize
the use of cars. We need to go further to question the whole twisted logic
of capitalist growth that has chained us to work and consumption, producing
increased quantities of goods while the quality of our lives deteriorates.
IT’S OUR WORLD, LET’S TAKE IT BACK!
ON THE FRONTLINE
four weeks were pretty busy on the strike front, with action being
taken all over the country (even internationally in one case) and a wide
range of industries as well as a couple of very important victories.
interesting action that could have wide ranging consequences is the
divers carry out essential maintenance work on the pipelines that pump oil
and gas to the
much longer then energy supplies are going to be threatened. The strength of
the strike and the divers determination to win is demonstrated by their
fellow workers striking as far away as
absolutely great position to win their demands and give a boost to other
workers to press forward their own.
an important victory with possible wider ramifications for a group
of Notts fire-fighters this month when the high court ruled that they should
have their docked pay re-instated. They had refused to take on extra work as
part of the managements restructuring plans (i.e. more work for less pay and
in worse conditions) and were consequently docked 10% of their pay for a
year, which they will now receive backdated to the original date. This is a
process that the fire service managers have been trying to use to
getcut-backs via the backdoor, with this precedent it now appears that
they’ll be unable to do so - a useful victory.
trouble at yet another hospital - workers at Stamford and
Peterborough Hospitals have decided to take strike action in protest at
their being paid £3000 a year less than those doing the exact same job for
other NHS trusts - this links up with recent strikes about contracted in
workers being paid less than directly employed workers and is going to be a
very important area over the next few years - especially if they can link up
outside of the official unions structures.
facing more industrial action as it’s managers continue to lie to the
workers about their pensions whilst desperately trying to save their own (or
even boost them). Talks on the issue broke down this week and an all out
strike looks likely as the workforce is putting heavy pressure on the union
to stop their back-pedalling and organise some real action to secure their
Strangord Lough ferry in
the ships crew struck in protest at being paid less then other crews doing
the same work.
MEXICAN WAVES OF RESISTANCE AND REPRESSION
police backed by armoured vehicles and helicopters retook control of
the Mexican city of Oaxaca on Sunday (29th) following five months of
occupation by striking teachers and other activists. Burning barricades were
no match for the additional 6,500 military personnel, water cannons and tear
gas, as physical resistance was crushed.
and their supporters have been demonstrating since May against a
corrupt authoritarian state regime, guilty also of seriously underfunding
local education. Included on their list of demands were outrageous requests
for more textbooks, breakfasts for schoolchildren, scholarships, uniforms,
shoes, medical services and better pay. The clincher, perhaps, was their
demand for the resignation of the Governor, Ulises Ruíz Ortíz, who has been
busy using the usual array of tactics available to Mexican cops, with
disappearances, beatings and torture being used against so called
‘subversive elements’ for some time.
unrivalled success story”, the Economist investment rag says about
own around 60% of the wealth, a gap that continues to rise, along with the
number of poor and hungry, despite all the ‘sustained economic growth’.
One of the demands was for an increase in the minimum wage. During the 1990s
the value of the Mexican minimum wage actually fell by 5%. In
minimum is lower than in most places as the government keep the rate down
cos they reckon it’s cheaper to live in a poor place, so why pay so ‘em more
money?! After all, along with
poorest three states in
much more affordable holiday home for a weary Mexican stock broker.
15th, National Teachers Day in
long state-wide strike if their demands were not met. They weren’t and a
week later a 40,000-strong group of mainly teachers and other union
activists occupied the centre of the city. Such actions have been common for
the last 25 years in
support amongst the general population than usual.
occupation continued until 750 police stormed in on June 14th in maximum
repression mode. Local media reported four deaths from the ensuing violence
and the teachers’ radio station, Radio Plantón, was trashed. Soon after,
though, students at the Benito Juarez Autonomous University of Oaxaca seized
the uni station which had a much more powerful transmitter.
August, police infiltrators poured sulphuric acid on that equipment,
but by this time TV Caserolas had been running for 8 days. The state-owned
Chanel 9 station was seized and re-named after the women who had marched on
the station banging pots and pans.
they were booted out on 21st August, TV Caserolas had paraded a host
of Mexicans on the telly – each of whom gave a withering commentary on what
neo-liberalism meant to them - the loss of land to developers and the
ramshackle rural mountain schools without toilets; the thousands of
communities without safe water or sewage systems; the rising cost of food
and rent as subsidies are removed in the name of free trade; and, of course,
the continuing falls in the value of those wages.
365 grassroots organisations movements had joined up to form the
Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO).
under “Operation Iron,” Ruiz was busy renovating the prison in the
keen to keep costs low, Ruiz has not bothered building any extensions
preferring simply to put a partition wall in each cell! Many prominent
activists are, however, more worried that they won’t even make it to prison,
convinced of an impending wave of repression that is sure to follow the
recapture of the city.
government top brass debated what to do, primary school teacher, Pánfilo
Hernández Vásquez was shot dead as he left a public assembly. His death
brings the average number of murdered teachers, activists and indigenous
leaders to one a week since May. They were joined last Friday by New
York-based Indymedia journalist Brad Will, who was shot dead along with
three others as pro-government militia opened fire on the unarmed
Vincent Fox finally authorised the the really heavy squad, the
Federal Preventative Police (PFP) to ‘retake’ the city military style, last
Sunday. Since then things have quietened a little with the heavy ongoing
military presence, but resistance continues and people’s spirit and
determination seems unbroken.
President Fox declared victory, announcing “the return to peace” in
PFP launching tear gas in an attempt to evacuate the premises. Radio APPO is
currently still managing to braodcast (have a listen at
http://icecast.v2v.cc:8000/appo1.mp3). The Zapatistas have called for a
general strike and national day of action on November 20th.
largely by Brad Will’s murder, there have been a series of actions
took place in front of the Mexican Embassy in
Eight arrests followed an attempt to project Brad Will’s final footage on to
the embassy itself.
From an article in Schnews: www.schnews.org.uk/archive/news567.htm
Mildenhall Peace Camp
Israeli bombs were dropping on
and possible illegality of these flights some planes were quickly diverted
to Brize Norton and Mildenhall. Although we were on ‘holiday’ at the time –
running workshops at the Big Green Gathering - we quickly organised a peace
camp at Mildenhall on our return. We squatted a piece of unused land at the
end of the runway and quickly developed our plane spotting skills. The MOD
and local police did not give us any problems much to the annoyance of the
airbase – “a gad damn section what!” (referring to our Section 6s). There
was much local support including many teenagers who sat around our camp fire
in the evenings (Mildenhall not being known for its nightlife). While at the
peace camp we checked on Lakenheath and although we did not find planes
The Lakenheath Eight
is one of the trio of military bases on the Norfolk/Suffolk
boarder along with Feltwell and Mildenhall and is home to the 48th Fighter
Wing (Ensuring Freedom's Future). The F15Es at the base are capable of
carrying nuclear bombs and it is believed that there are 110 B61 (possibly
B61-11 bunker busters) being stored at the base. Although they can neither
‘confirm of deny the presence of nuclear weapons at RAF Lakenheath they have
won a nuclear safety award which is a bit of a give-away.
demonstration was held at Lakenheath on the 1st of October and people from
the area plus people staying over from the day before visiting the base the
next morning, cut the fence and chained themselves to the gate of the
munition dump where we had seen the cluster bombs. We immediately phoned the
police and told them that we had secured evidence of war crimes and would
stop the perpertrators from continuing their crimes until the police had
time to investigate. The police responded immediately and after three to
four hours we were being questioned about criminal damage and Section 128 of
SOCPA. We were not charged but bailed to the police station for the 30th
Serious Organised Crime and Police Act brought in a new charge of
trespassing on a designated area. Although they were brought in to stop
terrorism - suicide bombers will definitely be deterred if they can get
£5,000 fine and/or 51 weeks in prison – the designated areas seem to be
remarkably similar to (mainly US) bases where direct action has taken place.
The charges have to be considered by the Attorney General and this probably
explains the two month gap between the arrest and our return to the police
station. The first trial of people being convicted of this offence is in
been very useful to take a wide range of actions; contacts are made
and people gradually get more involved in political activity. Many of the
people taking part on the Lakenheath and Faslane 365 actions had never taken
part in direct action before but we had made contact with them through
things such as Mildenhall Peace Camp and Stop the War marches.
the efforts of Special Branch who are desperately trying to cause
splits between the peace movement and ‘violent’ anarchists this does not
seem to be bearing fruit. Most of the actions have had non-violence
guidelines but this does not mean that everyone taking part is a pacifist.
Of course I am not naive enough to believe if we ‘ban the bomb’ everything
would be alright, although some people I have taken action with are. However
many people have taken direct action for the first time, have began to
question power, are learning new organisational skills and trying to take
back control over what is being done in our name.
such action, for it is not the like of Bush, Blair or Bin Laden who suffer
but people like you and me.
WHO LET THE DOGS IN?
official ‘watchdog’ has deduced “we are waking up to a surveillance
society all around us”. Richard Thomas, our Information Commissioner (whose
office was set up to promote access to official information and at the same
time protect personal information) also tells us that he was barking on
about this about this two years ago.
man a bone! How about telling us something we don’t already know?
Anarchists have been saying this for decades, even before 1984! The
whimperings of these 'independent' watchdogs make you sick with all their
talk of needing 'balance'. Watchdogs give the illusion of debate amongst the
authorities, and make you think there is some accountability when there
really isn't any. Same goes for industry watchdogs like ‘Energywatch’ that
can do nothing about the gas companies buying cheap and selling dear,
massively increasing domestic fuel prices whilst the gas companies and their
global shareholders reap their profits.
response from governments and corporations is to create some media
spin to convince us they are listening and lie that it’s not something we
should worry about. So in reply to the Information Commissioner, we hear
cops on the news saying, oh yes, there might be too any CCTV cameras in
society, whilst at the same time they are trying to create a national
digital camera network for motor vehicles, and photographing people on every
anti-government demonstration. Again we hear a supposedly reasonable side of
the state when the reality is waves of repressive laws and tracking systems
that are coming in fully supported, and many initiated, by the police.
Politicians are only concerned about losing 'public trust' (read votes). Too
needed to beat repression and unwanted surveillance like ID
databases, is mass direct action that refuses to accept what is happening to
what little freedom exists against overpowering state and capitalist bodies.
The UK Identity and Passport Service is building 69 interrogation centres
that will be used for passport applications & ID cards, whereyou will be
expected to agree to being questioned and fingerprinted. This is
unacceptable and must be opposed. Anti-ID campaigners have already found the
addresses of half of these centres, mostly by checking up on local planning
applications. No2ID aims to oppose planning permission for as many as
possible. The Defy-ID network will meet in
how to widen the revolt by getting the entire pack out of the kennels. We
certainly shouldn’t rely on an establishment ‘top dog’ to stop it for us.
More info: Defy-ID - www.defy-id.org.uk
– diary dates for November and early December
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
the Afro-Caribbean Centre, on
the night will include top techno from Andy Mailey, punk and hip-hop spun by
Saoirse, and 80’s sounds played by Applemax. £5/£3.50 on the door. As always
the proceeds of the benefit will be used for the direct support of Anarchist
and class struggle prisoners.
28th - UK
Rank and File Building Workers Committee 2012 Olympics organising
meeting. 19:00-21:00 at the Cock Tavern,
All building workers and rank and file trade unionists welcome. Contact
Leicestershire Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) is holding a Big
Screen Film Night at the Secular Hall, 75 Humberstone Gate, Leicester LE1
1WB at 7.00pm on Tuesday 28 November.
The Wobblies: an excellent and informative documentary made in the 1970s
about the IWW's historic days, with interviews from a number of old time
Together We Win: The Fight to Organise Starbucks - made this year, this
short film follows the successes of the contemporary IWW Starbucks Workers'
Union in the
There'll be time for discussion and socialising too! Everybody welcome!
National anti-war demonstration at RAF Brize Norton - where British
troops are flown to and from Iraq and Afghanistan, and from which Iraqi and
Afghani asylum seekers are deported from. This demo seeks to draw attention
to the massive array of military bases around us, & broader militarisation
of the U.K. Demo supported by National Stop The War Coalition & National and
CND. Assemble at 12 noon in Carterton, Oxfordshire. www.stopwar.org.uk For
more email firstname.lastname@example.org tel 07764563855. For more on the
plight of the deportees see : www.ncadc.org.uk For map of Carterton see
'Car Crawl' Protest against planned Newhaven Incinerator. The worlds
first drive-thru protest? Meet in your car 12 noon at
travel in convoy around Newhaven arriving at the Hollingdean Depot,
set up outside the depot. Best dressed car wins. For more see
www.dove2000.org The incinerator will release dangerous pollutants such as
dioxins and mercury which accumulate up the food chain and pose a long term
health threat see www.no-burn.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
the kind of world outlined above.
If you’re interesting in joining contact us at:
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