Apparently the class war is over – replaced by industrial harmony and peaceful co-operation between boss and worker – that is if you believe the media or the self-serving words of our political leaders.

In the real world however, we can recognize this for the blatant bullshit it is. Class war is raging as fierce as ever in the workplace – in fact, this year has seen a remarkable spread of open struggle, which shows no sign of slowing down. The state’s own figures show that this year has seen the largest number of strikes since 1989, and since the Labour Party (the workers friend!) came to power the number of days lost to strike action has risen by a massive 500%, and these figures don’t include the ongoing disputes on the railways or the temporarily suspended fire-fighters’ national strike. London teachers and ambulance workers in Scotland and Lincolnshire are also preparing to take action, whilst the postal service is regularly hit by wildcats (see inside for the latest info).

This year there have been stoppages on the railways; at airports; in schools; on the buses; on the tube; in hospitals; on the docks; in call centers; in the post office; in the courts; in museums; at steel works; at various factories all over the country – and this is only the tip of the iceberg, there are hundreds of small scale or regional disputes that are taking place without being reported. A September survey of 240 companies and unions found that they believe “Strikes and other forms of industrial action are set to increase during the coming year”. This is very encouraging as it shows that the working class is starting to once again put its needs above those of the bosses, the current wave of struggles are helping to re-build the confidence in our own collective power and develop the sense of social solidarity that we once took for granted. Despite all the setbacks of the last few decades, the bosses are still dependent on our labour – we are the ones with the power!

How this growth in militancy develops will depend upon the workers’ ability to form direct links with other workers in struggle and their autonomous organisation that operates according to their agenda not those of a union bureaucrat. We saw recently in the Edinburgh bus drivers dispute (see Ar-A-Mach issue 3, details inside) how unions are prepared to act in their interests first – mass assemblies and rank and file committees independent of the union can ensure control of the dispute remains in workers hands.

This upsurge of class struggle has shown that working class rebellion and resistance hasn’t disappeared – and it won’t until we’ve destroyed this system that forces us into a life of slavery!


A prison riot broke out in Lincolnshire prison on the evening of the 24th October. A group of inmates attacked a prison guard, beating him over the head with his own truncheon and locking him in a cell.

The prisoners stole the officers’ keys and unlocked more than 150 cells, before setting fire to three parts of the jail and smashing windows. After the riot a spokesman for the Prison Officers’ Association said the damage to the Victorian jail was likely to reach £2m. Three prison officers were injured, and several prisoners suffered side efftects after breaking into the pharmacy. One prisoner died of an overdose.


The International McStrike!
Global Day of action against McDonalds

From McDonalds Workers Resistance: “This is an attempt to give a taste of struggle on October 16th from a workers perspective. Its difficult to know where to start because so much happened – sections of the McDonalds workforce launched an unprecedented counter attack against exploitation and boredom.

Its 3:00am GMT, Wednesday October 16th 2002, some tired and slightly drunk Glaswegians are trying to vandalise a McDonalds restaurant. Unremarkable, except that these are McDonalds own employees and at the very same time on the other side of the world, in New Zealand they’re attempting a strike, and the leaflets are reaching workers in Australia Six McDonalds in France represented by the CNT union on strike. Temporary work stoppage in Moscow. Strike in Norfolk. Attempts at strikes in three London stores. Walkout in Nottingham. Demonstration in Mexico which has unfortunately resulted in 94 arrests. A mass of direct action and sabotage. Actions to encourage workers resistance from Sweden to Sydney. Class struggle from Aberdeen to Adelaide, from Milan to Malmoe. The whole thing captured on an all day radio special in Slovenia. The streets of Milan are filled with hundreds of supporters of fast food workers, while ten bus loads of cops wait in the driving Frankfurt rain to try and limit communication between the Freie ArbeiterInnen Union and the golden arches employees.

Now its lunchtime in Europe and, for a time, eight McDonalds can’t function because the staff are no longer prepared to sacrifice themselves obediently to the McProfit machine. McDonalds workers taking direct action and solidarity actions all over the world.

Regrettably, we have heard that those arrested in Mexico may be facing very serious charges and are in urgent need of solidarity. We hope to have more information on what can be done to help soon. http://www.geocities.com/globaldayofaction.
More info on prisoners on the back page.

Posties do it again

Postal workers have once again shown their not afraid of taking action despite what Consignia are doing or threatening to do. Wildcat actions have happened at postal offices in Manchester, Bath, Walthamstow and Somerset and an official strike broke out at Ayr delivery office over bank holiday allocations.


Cushy five day week skive at the “Theatre Royal”... dining out in swanky restaurants serving up caviar, smoked salmon and triple pounder sirloins ... swilling champagne at parties thrown by failed tory ministers ... swanning to and fro in your own black luxury BMW ... quite some life prisoners lead these days, eh? But only if you are no. FF8282 AKA Lord Jeffrey Archer, lying knob of a novelist jailed for four years for perjury.

Martin Narey, prisons director, claims (the swelling in his cheek could well be his tongue!): “Archer has been treated no differently than any other inmate”. Really? Pull the other one, guv! Let’s take just one example for comparison, that of mixed-race Liverpool prisoner Ray Gilbert. Barely able to leave his cell unaccompanied to visit the toilet, never mind cruising round town on a set of posh wheels, Ray’s family must travel hundreds of miles each way to see him. Serious ill-health dogs all of Ray’s close kin yet prison officials continue to deny him a move nearer his loved ones. Unlike Lord of the Lies who can seemingly open his cell door, call up a bevy of well connected pals and waltz off to a binge whenever the urge takes him.

Contrast this malarkey with a recent visit to Ray paid by his brother and step dad: throughout the allotted time a small army of eight burly guards stood ringed round Ray, 5' 4" in his socks, whilst one of the screws made note of every word that passed between Ray and his folks. You can bet your old Aunt Fanny that nobody earwigs on Archer’s circle of cronies when he’s regaling his chums with the waffle he’s going to inject into a forthcoming yarn. A well-worn used cliche we know, but never has it been more apt: there’s one set of rules for them and another for us. And nobody can tell us any different! For Ray’s contact details see resistance 41.


Shannon airport has been used as a stopover for US troops going to and from Afghanistan (see resistance 41). The first demonstration I was at in Shannon warport had an open meeting for all participants prior to it.

We formed a circle and debated our course of action, while our entrance to the airport grounds was being blocked by the police. We decided collectively as equals. In the end (and this was a short-ish discussion, based upon the idea that we could go separate ways) most people marched up the road with no negotiations, no compromise and no surrender. Others choose a different route – as was their right. At the second demonstration the megaphone wielding apparatchiks of the “Socialist” Worker’s Party successfully sabotaged events (despite prior assurances there would be a meeting) and led the march up the road to the airport. This, incidentally, after negotiations with the police (i.e. accepting the authority of the state), and, according to a police spokesman, giving assurances to them there would be no action. So what did this mean? Firstly; that proceedings belonged to the “Irish Anti-War Movement” (the current pseudonym for the Politburo of the “Socialist” Worker’s Party) rather than to all participants as equals. Secondly; that there was no collective open discussion about direct action prior to it kicking off.

So, anyways, we marched to the airport building, and upon arriving spontaneously blockaded the entrance to the terminal. Out with megaphones for an “open mic” and this soon died away. An “open mic” which by curious design had as it’s first speaker none other than Patricia McKenna MEP for the Green Party. Thankfully the situation was saved when a number of individuals took the initiative to tear down the fence on the way out of the airport, and about one hundred people piled across, much to the consternation of Mr Plod, both of the soft cop and regular variety. A number of arrests were made.

Eventually a stand off ensued when a body of protesters refused to the leave the runway grounds, despite arrests and threatened use of water cannon and police dogs. Meanwhile outside the now demolished perimeter wire, another group of protesters briefly blocked the road, for the same reason. This group included a number of prominent members of the SWP, who were then ordered to desist by their leadership! After assurances that the arrestees would be released, we went en masse to the cop shop to make sure. With an unruly mob (OK, slight exaggeration) outside the police station, the ten arrested people were processed and released.


The impending war against Iraq may have recently slipped out of the headlines of the bosses’ press, but it hasn’t slipped our minds. We know the probability of mass murder by state terrorists like Bush and Blair is still high. And while it was good to see hundreds of thousands of people mobilise against this war, as anarchists, we also acknowledge the limits of such demonstrations. For while these big marches can show the strength of opposition to this war, it is nevertheless a strength that is not utilised. Ultimately, the demonstrators go home, and maybe later watch themselves on telly. So in place of this, we advocate direct action as the key tactic.

But can direct action really stop the war? An easy answer ... Yes. But unfortunately the reality is not so simple.

If the workers of Britain, the US and any other country involved were to stage a mass strike, the bosses’ war machine would undoubtedly grind to a halt. But what with current levels of general revolutionary consciousness among our class, plus the nature and role of the trade unions in customarily undermining or sabotaging such activities, then it makes this scenario a tad unlikely. In spite of this, on a less grand scale there are still many things we can do which can undermine, hamper and seriously sabotage the war effort. And to this aim, the Anarchist Federation urges everyone to organise to do what they can. Recently, AF-ers in Leicester intervened at a general ‘Stop the War!’ meeting in the town and called for a direct action campaign to sabotage the war effort. And although our comrades actually expected a luke warm response, they were pleasantly surprised by the positive reception their suggestions were given by many of those present. Luckily, there are more than a few quality activists in the Leicester anti-war group (and fortunately it hasn’t been swamped with pacifists and Trotskyists). Subsequently, the AF called a local organising meeting for ‘direct action against the war’, which was well attended, the outcome being that a concerted local effort is now under way in Leicester, to propagandise for a general and immediate response of direct action to the ‘official’ outbreak of war. Local “Sabotage the War Effort” posters (similar to those produced by the AF) have been printed for flyposting around the city, as have flyers for handing out in the town centre and outside factory gates.

This AF poster puts out the call to do the following on the morning after war “officially” begins ... “Don’t go into work - either go on strike (if possible) or phone in sick. Get together with your mates and congregate outside the homes of your local MPs - make sure you bring the war home to them! Stop ‘business as usual’, blockade roads to stop other people getting into work. And when you go into work, try and set up a direct action group against the war with your workmates. Get in touch with the AF and anyone else who’s into putting the kybosh on Blair’s Bush’s and all the other leeches’ war plans.” It seems to us at resistance that similar concerted campaigns in other towns around the country can only be a good thing. Let’s get on with it! Organise to fight the bosses, not their wars! If you want a bundle of the AF’s “Sabotage the war effort” poster for flyposting, college/work noticeboards etc, then drop us a line - contact details are on the back page and in article on the right.


On Saturday, 5th October, around 60 people including a small anarchist bloc, gathered in Hereford to protest against a possible war in Iraq. The protesters made their way into the city centre along a main road, temporarily blocking traffic, with the local plod in hot pursuit (who carried on following them through the pedestrianised area, still in their car!).

Once there, around 30 people staged a ‘die-in‘ to signify all the innocent people this war would kill. Obviously 30 silent people laying down posed a threat to the public as the police called in back-ups. However, no arrests were made. Although this action gained a lot of publicity and voiced concerns about a war in Iraq, it still wasn’t enough. As one passer-by put it “why are they lying down here? Why aren’t they blocking traffic?” The state can cope with 100,000’s of people lying down in wide open spaces, but only direct action will stop a war, and only direct action will stop this war from starting - mass civil disobedience that stops this whole system from functioning.

Indeed, a social movement that abolishes capitalism and the state and establishes an anarchist communist society is the only alternative to war. Email Hereford AF at: hereford@afed.cjb.net


On 5th October in London the AF hosted a international anarchist meeting with delegates from the British, Czecho-Slovak, French, Italian and Iberian Anarchist Federations attending.

Discussions took place about the international situation and better cooridination, as well as preparing for the internationnal anarchist congress in Germany in early 2003. This marks a further stage in co-ordination between anarchists on a European wide level. In the evening the delegates were treated to some British culture by being taken out for a curry.

October also saw a new issue of our magazine, Organise! for revolutionary anarchism come out. Articles on Sex, class struggle, revolutionary history and more. Available for £1.50 from the address on the back page.

A new edition of our popular pamphlet Basic Bakunin has also been produced. This is a great introduction to the revolutionary ideas of this early anarchist militant. Only £1.

We have now produced the first issue of Student resistance, with article focusing on education. Available free from our website or send us a stamp for a copy. As mentioned on the left, Leicester AF have produced a new anti-war poster, as well as holding a public meeting against the war. Subscribers should received a copy with this edition of resistance or contact Leicester AF, Dept Z, 73 Humberstone Gate, Leicester, LE1 1WB.

We are also having more anti-war stickers printed. Send us a donation for a bundle. Over in Ireland AF members have produced a new bulletin, Wildcat in conjunction with the Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation. Send them a stamp for a copy (AFI, PO Box 505, Belfast, BT12 6BQ) or download it from www.afireland.cjb.net You can also find Irish edition of resistance there.

The AF in Scotland are now up to issue three of their bulletin, Ar-A-Mach, available from AF Alba, PO Box 248, Aberdeen, AB25 1JE or http://flag.blackened.net/af/alba.
On November 9th an anarchist dayschool is being held in Glasgow, details on the back page.


Anarchist supporters raise £500! Supporters of anarchist prisoner Harold H Thompson (see resistance 38) have raised £500 pounds to support his campaign to allow political literature into US prisons. Thanks to all who’ve contributed, much appreciated. For more info: Friends of Harold H Thompson, PO Box 375, Knaphill, Woking, Surrey, GU21 2XL.

Spanish anarchists and anti-fascists face repression. A mass demonstration against legal fascist party Platform Spain 2000 scheduled for the 11th Oct met with extreme harassment.

The march itself was met with intense police repression and two arrests for resisting police and failure to show identification. Over the next three days the repression continued. On the afternoon of the 12th, two workers setting up a benefit concert for the anti-fascist organising an occupied social centre were detained at gun point and taken to police headquarters, where one was released. The other was held for 24 hours before being released with an order to return to court. The morning of the 14th, a joint force of riot police and private security raided another occupied social centre and attempted to forcibly evict the residents, which was delayed by fast legal work on the part of one of the occupants, but not before the police confiscated and photographed various material. On the 15th, four comrades were arrested for allegedly taking violent direct action against commercial real estate interests. One was badly beaten by the arresting officers. They have been charged with Illegal Association With Intent to Disturb the Public Order, punishable by up to fifteen years in prison. The police have raided the homes of the four comrades and taken as evidence pamphlets and correspondence. Two of the arrested are members of the anarcho-syndicalist CNT-AIT. Fax’s and e-mails of solidarity should be sent to CNT Valencia. Fax: 96 341 59 90 or Email: cntvalenciapyp@mixmail.com

Freedom for the anti-McDonalds political prisoners Ninety four demonstrators were arrested in an Anti-McDonalds protest on 16th October. Each protester is being held under a bond of $14,000. The Mexico City Anti-McDonalds protest was held from the Monumento a la Revolucion to Zocalo to denounce the transnational companies which plunder poor countries and trample over their flora and fauna without respecting anybody. They are held under the accusation of damaging Federal Property and carrying explosives, which were simply fireworks. Once arrested, the State, skilled in the art of extortion, has posted a bond of $14,000 for each protester, just for damaging a shade umbrella and a windowpane, as well as refusing their rights to make a phone call or use the toilets. The bank account to support the prisoners is: Name of bank: BBV Bancomer Account number: 1299949054 Recipient: Martha Cecilia Garcia Juarez

--- Subvert and resist

9: Scottish Anarchist Day School in Glasgow. Kinning Park Centre – nearest underground Kinning Park. 10 am – 5 pm. Admission £3/£1 concs. Workshops on anarchist alternatives to capitalism, Anarchists organising in the community, Getting the message across- libertarian media, The libertarian movement today- Scotland and beyond. Refreshments available.
Anarcho-scots@lists.mutualaid.org or af-alba@hushmail.com

14-19 – Trident Ploughshares International Disarmament Camp. For more information and a briefing pack Tel: 08454 588 363 Email: Devonport@tridentploughshares.org Visit: http://www.tridentploughshares.org Main Tel: 0845 45 88 366

15 – Demonstration at the next court appearance of the 12 Yarl’s Wood detainees facing charges over the fire at Yarl’s Wood in February. 9am Harrow Crown Court, Hailsham Drive, Harrow. Email: ginn_emma@hotmail.com Tel: 07786 517 379

22-24 – Women Speak Out – a weekend gathering of women activists. For more info contact: WSO Manchester, Dept 29, 22a Beswick Street, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 7HS Tel: 0161 227 8086 Mobile: 07753 606 723 Visit: www.bellow.org.uk

23 – Brighton March Against the War. Organised by Sussex Action for Peace. Starts at 12 noon, hopefully from Preston Park (Details to be confirmed nearer the time)

7 – Manchester Radical Bookfair 1pm until 5pm at Bridge 5 Mill, 22A Beswick Street, Ancoats Manchester. Visit the AF stall. Email: info@radicalbookfair.org.uk Visit: www.radicalbookfair.org.uk

--- Join the resistance

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:

Anarchist Federation,
84B, Whitechapel High Street,
London, E1 7QX. Tel: 07946 214 590
Visit: www.afed.org.uk
Email: anarchistfederation@bigfoot.com