Anarchist Federation bulletin - Resistance 96 - September 2007
Also read/download now in two parts PDF pages 1 and 4 and PDF pages 2 and 3 format from http://www.afed.org.uk
Contents of the September 2007 issue:
CAMPING TO SAVE THE WORLD - an AF member reflects on events at Camp for Climate Action 2007, near Heathrow.
MANCHESTER STUDENTS ORGANISE - as low-paid part-time workers, by joining the IWW.
ON THE FRONTLINE - Manchester health workers strike to reinstate victimised nurse, Rhode Island IWW support a worker after police attack, Postal strike.
CRICHTON SAVED? - following successful struggle, Glasgow University campus in Dumfries given cash to stay open, but staff still uncertain about jobs.
RESISTANCE IN ROSSPORT - direct action continues against building of Shell on-shore gas refinery in West of Ireland.
NO BORDERS, NO NATIONS, NO PRISONS - join Gatwick camp 19-24 Sept, with workshops and action against new 'removal' centre and immigration control in general.
ANARCHIST FEDERATION NEWS - report from demo at Lindholme immigration prison & anti-Starbucks international day of action.
PRISONER SUPPORT - Russian anarchists from St. Petersburg arrested on 'terrorism' charges call for support.
ANTI-FASCIST NEWS - British People Party's pathetic Gay Pride picket gets a pasting.
SUBVERT! - diary dates for September and October.
CAMPING TO SAVE THE WORLD
Anarchists think that the camp for climate action was one of the most important protests of the year. It was important not only for the environment but also for the class struggle.
Here an AF member explains some of what went on:
“On Sunday, there was going to be a march in the streets towards BAA (British Airport Authority). The police managed to block all the roads leading to it, and gave us little option but to go back to camp, where hundreds of people then headed towards the fields and ended up protesting there. This is where the police turned much more violent towards us and we ended up being surrounded and once again being led back to camp.
"But the cops did not manage to stop everyone getting to BAA. Protestors occupied the BAA parking lot and turned it into another camp. This was one of the most inspiring actions of the camp. This occupation started when the cops were busy attacking the march. After the violence more protestors were able to get from the camp to the BAA parking lot. We stayed overnight in the parking lot and the protests continued on into the next afternoon."
Campers and pickets
"Some of those on the camp joined the pickets at the strike at Nippon Express. They are striking against a new work deal which would mean 44 days a year more work, holiday pay reduced by 65-70 hours, and for some, a loss of Ł1265 a year in pay. The Rhythms of Resistance samba band were just one group who joined the picket."
"There was a lot of support from the local community in Sipson the nearest village. It is a working class area. BAA plan to demolish the village to build a new runway. The camp had a lot of support from the local community, many people camping with us, as well as getting involved in the actions."
The choice of the site of this year’s climate camp made it so successful. It was somewhere which already had a local struggle being fought. What the climate camp has taught us this year is that class struggle is not something that clashes with environmental struggle, but is rather two struggles that are part of the fight against the same problem – global capitalism.
MANCHESTER STUDENTS ORGANISE
Student workers are pressured into some of the worst pay and working conditions in the UK. Too often they work for temp agencies who cream off their wages, or have to work on a first come first serve shift basis. They are at university to learn, but by working have less time to spend on their studies, lowering their potential results and chances in the future.
Students at Manchester’s universities say, “We can put a stop to this. Most of the time we only take on jobs because our student loans can barely cover the basics of life. So on top of studying and lectures, we must work.” They are organising in the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World), a grass-roots, democratic and militant union that is open to all workers in all unions in all countries into One Big Union.
The IWW has no stifling bureaucracy with huge salaries who'll do a deal with the boss behind our backs. “We aim to unite workers along industrial lines in order that we are not kept divided and competing with each other in the job market.”
“The IWW can't sell you out. The leadership is the membership - we decide the demands and we carry out the negotiations and we have the final say. We help ourselves through collective organization. In short, the IWW stands for Solidarity, Direct Action, and the Will to Win. If you have a job or plan to get one, you should join us.”
They can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
ON THE FRONTLINE
Manchester Health Workers’ Strikes
Defend Karen Reissman!
Almost 90% of mental health workers in Manchester have voted to strike in defence of Karen Reissman. Karen has been working as a community psychiatric nurse for the past twenty five years and is the UNISON branch secretary.
Earlier this year in response to proposed cuts, Karen was a leading figure in the strikes which reversed any proposals on cuts and made gains in staffing levels and mental health care provision in Manchester. After the workers won, Karen was suspended for speaking out against the cuts. Management claimed they “had lost confidence in her”.
Three days of strikes have been called starting on the 29th August as well as demonstrations (see back page) in defence of Karen and the attacks on health workers in Manchester and across the country. It is important that we all support Karen in her fight to get reinstated, and join together to fight the cuts in the NHS.
Victory for Embattled North Providence IWW
News from the USA.
On Saturday 11th August, the police beat up and hospitalised Alex Svoboda, a peaceful marcher of Rhode Island IWW (Industrial Workers of the World).
The local IWW had organised a demonstration to stop the chain restaurant “Jacky’s Galaxy” contracts with HWH/Dragonland. That company is guilty of a wide variety of unfair labour practices.
The local cops ordered the marchers onto the pavement. When they did as told, they were attacked with mace and batons by the police. One suffered burns. Alex got a dislocated knee and ruptured blood vessel. She now faces criminal charges along with another marcher!
Despite this, the march continued and wobblies were able to speak to the owner of “Jacky’s Galaxy”, Jacky Ko. Following this and continued pressure from the IWW and members of the local community, on Thursday 16th August Jacky Ko pledged under oath in front of IWW lawyers in Providence Superior Court that he no longer does, nor will he ever again, knowingly do business with HWH/Dragonland.
A new buffet restaurant in Providence has also now confirmed that they have stopped using HWH/Dragonland.
For Alex and her fellow workers the struggle still continues. They need money for legal support and to help with medical bills. Alex has finished her third operation and is awaiting a fourth. There isn’t any guarantee at this time she will not suffer permanent damage. The IWW plans a further march to protest police brutality and violation of civil rights and to celebrate the recent victories of the IWW and workers everywhere.
This is the paypal e-mail address Alex is using for her support funds: email@example.com
If sending mail, please send it to Providence GMB:
PO Box 5795
Support the Posties
The post workers have suspended their strikes pending negotiations. But we hear reports of part time workers working unpaid overtime, posties driving their own cars to get to their shifts because the bosses have cut the number of vans.
Other reports are coming in of management plans to recruit large numbers of temporary staff as strikebreakers.
It’s easy to support the posties. A few words of support when they deliver your mail go a long way. They need to realize we back them.
They also have to make sure their union, the CWU, doesn’t do a deal behind their backs.
Find more about wildcat actions and other news on the libcom.org newswire
We reported in our last issue of the fight to save Crichton Campus in Dumfries. The University of Glasgow had planned to shut it as a cost cutting measure.
The news has just reached us that the Scottish Executive have provided additional resources and Glasgow University has reversed its decision so as to allow undergraduate student entry for 2008-09. The current curriculum provided by Glasgow University has also been largely saved despite the attempts by the Scottish Funding Council who wanted only a limited range of vocational HE courses available in Southwest Scotland.
But the situation for many of the staff remains touch and go. Support staff, especially those in IT and Library service are under threat of redundancy.
The large support from the local community with their petitions and letter writing campaigns; the protests organised by students, including a 100 mile march on Glasgow were crucial.
The UCU union, Community Councils and local press were also supportive. Special mention should also be made of the IWW who gave active support and whose members help energise the campaign and spread it up, especially into the main campus of Glasgow University.
So some good news, but the struggle will no doubt continue.
ROSSPORT STRUGGLE CONTINUES
Arrests, Blockades, Fight Back
Resistance is continuing in Erris, in the west of Ireland, to the state’s plan to turn the area into a refinery zone for the exploitation of offshore gas resources. Shell are building the first part at the moment. Construction was brought to a halt on the morning of Monday August the 27th , after local campaigners gained access to the site. In July three local fishermen were imprisoned for allegedly assaulting a police officer during a protest at the refinery site in October 2006. The cop had no recollection of being assaulted by anyone, but the judge is married to a politician that supports the project. The sentence was three months imprisonment.
On the Friday following the sentencing all traffic into the site was stopped, and for that reason all work, when two people blocked a road off by locking themselves underneath a car parked across it. When construction traffic tried to use another road - one for which they had no official permission to use - that too was blocked by local residents. That night over one hundred people took part in a mass trespass on the construction site. After a few days in prison the men were released on remand pending an appeal. Later that month there was another mass trespass onto the site.
The local residents managed to stop the orginal pipeline route, so Shell have brought in a consultancy firm, RPS, to map out eight possible new routes, including new ones which adjoin schools and a main road.. RPS are the only sub-contractor with extensive premises in Britain. Full details of those offices can be seen here: http://www.rpsgroup.com/location_html/greatbritain.html
The local government has began eviction proceedings against Rossport Solidarity Camp, a protest camp established on the pipeline route in 2005. Local people have rallied round with cash, land and houses. So the camp can move.
Campaigners plan a mass sit down blockade of the refinery site on Friday, September 14th, which will involve a gathering of campaign supporters from around Ireland.
For more information see:
NO BORDERS, NO NATIONS, NO PRISONS
The Gatwick No Border Camp 2007
From 19th to 24th September No Borders are holding the first No Border Camp in the UK at Gatwick Airport. This camp will be a chance to work together to try and stop the building of a new detention centre, and to gather ideas for how to build up the fight against the system of migration controls.
Gatwick Aiport - The Border Point
Gatwick is a border in the middle of Britain. People arrive here everyday. People are forcibly deported from here everyday. It is a place where people are imprisoned for unlimited lengths of time without trial, where people are forced to hide underground and be invisible, where people are treated as criminals for the 'crime' of crossing the border. The government has recently announced it’s going to build another new detention centre at Gatwick airport. This will be another in a long line of barbarous prisons across the world, imprisoning people who migrate. Unless we stop it from being built.
Not far from Gatwick there are other border fortifications: the immigration reporting centre at Croydon, the airline companies who charter deportation flights and the ID Interview centre in Crawley. A few miles away are the border posts at Dover and Folkstone, where fear of detection by the border police forces people to risk their lives hiding under lorries, or in suffocating containers.
While the physical borders get fortified, governments also tighten up the controls on those of us who already live here: from international databases to video surveillance, biometric ID cards to electronic tagging.
Camp(aign)ing Against Borders
This camp is continuing the tradition of the No Border camps across the world since the late 1990s, and like the camps taking place this year in the Ukraine in August and on the US/Mexican border in November. It will be a space to share information, skills, knowledge and experiences. A place to plan actions together against the system of borders which divides us.
We are aware that the struggles for "no borders" reach far beyond "open borders". Without borders the idea of states will become obsolete, without states the national economies will be history. In a world without borders, nobody will ask for papers anymore.
No Borders is a network of groups struggling for the freedom of movement for all and an end to all migration controls. We call for a radical movement against the system of control, dividing us into citizens and non-citizens.
We demand the end of the border regime for everyone, including ourselves, to enable us to live another way, without fear, racism and nationalism.
This article has been adapted from information on the No Borders website www.noborders.org.uk
ANARCHIST FEDERATION NEWS
Lindholme Solidarity Demo
On Tuesday 10th August, members and supporters of No Borders along with Sheffield and Nottingham Anarchist Federation demonstrated at Lindholme detention centre in solidarity with asylum seekers incarcerated there and elsewhere, and for the closure of all such centres. The demo was met with a nervous (and hugely disproportionate) response by South Yorkshire police. Protesters were hassled, filmed, banned from peaceful marching along certain areas around the centre and finally blocked from exit of the site. Doncaster's chief inspector imposed a Section 14 on the demonstration disallowing us from doing a full tour of the periphery. One beleaguered comrade was even put under surveillance after deciding to sit down in an adjoining field to have a quiet lunch – never underestimate the power of the picnic!! Despite this, we displayed banners, chanted messages of solidarity, and did a little tour of the site. Our true intentions for the day held through and despite an extended game of “cat and mouse” with South Yorkshire Bobbies a visual show of support was much appreciated by detainees, who we were in contact with throughout the day.
Starbucks National Day of Action
On Thursday 18th August, the Anarchist Federation supported the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) and No Sweat in a national day of action against the coffee chain Starbucks. Starbucks exploits its workers and the farmers who grow the coffee beans it uses. Worldwide it has over 12,000 stores and employs over 100,000 people. In Britain , it has over 500 stores employing 5,000 workers. Starbucks baristas in the UK are barely paid above the minimum wage and are subject to excessive working hours, unpaid overtime; work at a relentless pace, resulting in repetitive strain injuries for many workers. In the US , Starbucks has waged an illegal union-busting campaign resulting in firing of six baristas in New York City . Coffee growers receive little more than 0.50p for a pound of coffee, which is then sold for Ł80. Demonstrations were held in ten cities throughout the UK, including Glasgow, Leeds, Edinburgh, Leicester and London. For more info: http://www.starbucksunion.org or http://www.baristasunited.org.uk PRISONER SUPPORT
Russian Anarchists Arrested
SOLIDARITY APPEAL: Two anarchists from St Petersburg Denis Zelenuk and Andrey Kalenov as well as a Chechen from Novgorod Hasan Didigov have been kept in prison on trumped up “terrorism” charges . Andrey Kalyonov is on hunger strike. . There is information that the authorities have tried to force feed him. Andrey and denis are being held in jail in Novgorod. Its address is:
ul. Bolshaya Peterburgskaya, 25A
phone 7 (8162) 984900.
Both anarchists now have lawyers who represent their interests. It is clear that lots of money will be needed for legal expenses (up to 3000 euro). The St. Petersburg comrades have created a beneficiary bank account to raise some money to help the prisoners: beneficiary Bank:
Bank VTV24 (JSC)
In favour Acc 30301 840 2 00001060000, St.Petersburg, Russsia Bank
VTB24(JSC) Branch7806 Swift: CB GU RUMM
Beneficiary 40817978603060007327 Ekaterina Vargina
News from: ABC-Petersburg
Participants of Anti-war Committee
Someone in Brighton police force has a sense of humour. When arch Nazis the British Peoples Party and the National Front applied to hold a picket against the 2007 Gay Pride March the local coppers assigned them TWO OFFICERS. Needless to say the thousands of gay (and proud) marchers and their friends gave them hell. That's funny. What's funnier still is the statement put out by the BPP: their attackers were huge muscled monsters on cocaine! They attacked with children present! The numbers weren't fair!
A question? If you think that being gay is sign of weakness and disease - how come they thrashed you? If you are campaigning to reintroduce Clause 28 - cos you don't want your kids 'exposed to gays' - why take them to Gay Pride?! And the numbers will never be fair: you can victimise all you want, but nazis are the minority.
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
9th: MANCHESTER—Defend Karen Reissman (see p2) Assemble 1pm at the Peace Gardens, St Peters Square.
11th DISARM DSEi - ONE DAY, MANY ACTIONS From 11-14 September, DSEi (Defence Systems Equipment International), the world’s largest arms fair, returns to East London’s ExCeL Centre. Despite massive local opposition, and a huge bill to the taxpayer, arms dealers will once again be free to deal in death and destruction. email - firstname.lastname@example.org For further information go to http://www.dsei.org
13th CYMRU-IMC BENEFIT GIG. Benefit gig to support the cymru-imc-wales indymedia project to bring indy news to Wales. Minsky's Showbar, Charles Street, Cardiff 8pm till 11.30 First band on 8.30pm
22nd INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST IMMIGRATION PRISONS The UK No Borders network is calling on all concerned individuals and groups all over the world to join us in an international coordinated day of action against immigration prisons everywhere on 22 September, 2007. While we realise that resistance is continuous and not confined to 'days of action', we call upon refugees and migrants and their supporters throughout the world to organise their own actions on this day, both inside and outside immigration prisons, in a global united cry: NO TO IMMIGRATION PRISONS; NO TO RACIST BORDER REGIMES! Details: www.noborders.org.uk
29th SHEFFIELD: Red and Black Fest: "Day of music and politics to raise money for the Oaxacan struggle in Mexico." Details: sheffield @ af-north.org
2nd: MANCHESTER: Film Night—Our Oil and Other Tales, the film Chavez tried to ban. Exploitation in Venezuela's oil fields. Details: manchester @ af-north.org
27th: LONDON— ANARCHIST BOOKFAIR -Queen Mary & Westfield College, Mile End Road, London, E1. 10-7 A chance to meet all sorts of anarchists. Details: http://www.anarchistbookfair.co.uk
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 Britain and Ireland fighting for the kind of world outlined above.
Contact us at:
London, WC1N 3XX.
Also visit: http://www.afed.org.uk and http://www.iaf-ifa.org
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