Anarchist Federation bulletin - Resistance 106 - October 2008
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Contents of the October 2008 issue:
ROBIN HOOD IS DEAD, LONG LIVE ROBIN BANKS, Roma Solidarity, Travellers, Armed forces on campus, coal & climate change, economic chaos, IWW Sheffield campaign, ID cards for some foreign nationals.
ID cards for ‘foreigners’ to begin in November
At the end of September's Labour Party conference in Manchester, Jacqui 'Lock' Smith, our hated Home Office minister, officially announced the launch of UK Borders Agency introduction of ID cards for foreigners. This is due to start next month for overseas students and people who have come to Britain to join their spouse on a marriage visa, if they are not from the European Union.
This is really nothing new because ID cards for foreigners have been part of the government's existing parallel timeline for identity and border control for a while now. But to confuse matters, the new cards which will be issued as part of a visa renewal and are coming in through a piece of legislation called the UK Borders Act (2007) that was passed a year later than the original ID Cards Act of March 2006. Everybody else, including British ‘citizens’ and residents from EU countries, are due to get ID cards some time later if the government gets its way. A few British-born people have been ear-marked for early ID cards, such as airport and airline workers, although this has already been opposed by both the British Air Transport Association and the Trades Unions Congress, so this plan is already delayed.
Really, though, it makes no difference which law is being used to bring in ID cards. The government will learn a lot by introducing cards to overseas students, who can hardly refuse to have one if they want to stay here and study, before they roll-it out to the entire population (let's not forget that the 'Switch' debit card was also trialed on students). At the same time, corporations like IBM and Thales have already been awarded contracts to design, build and test the National Identity Register which is the backbone of the overall scheme. This will involve photographing and fingerprinting every adult in Britain over 15 and perhaps even as young as 14. So those of us born in Britain should not be complacent, or fall into the trap of believing right-wing lies about the supposed need for tight immigration controls.
Instead we should urgently make links with migrant workers, visiting students and anyone else who is subjected to the new cards. As long ago as February, it was revealed that any foreign national who boycotts the introduction of ID cards could face losing their right to stay in Britain. Refusing to make or turn up to an appointment to scan their fingerprints and facial image would incur a fine from £250-£1,000, and £125 for failing to tell police about a lost card. We must keep an eye on how these sanctions are used in practice, support any resistance that arises and mount a collective attack in defence of freedom, before the state comes after the rest of us.
For a copy of our free anti-ID cards pamphlet, Defending Anonymity (can also be read online), please send at least 50p in stamps to our usual address (to cover postage) or order one online from our website. Additional donations are welcome to help us print more.
Full content coming soon.
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.activistslegalproject.org.uk or contact the Legal Defence Monitoring Group: ldmgmailyahoo.co.uk
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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.
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