Resistance issue 62 - June 2004

THE WORLD is clearly in a bad way. The
war in Iraq and the situation in the Middle
East go from bad to worse. The world
economy is in permanent crisis, causing
hardship for most, and threatening the
very survival of some. The predictions
of scientists, as well as the evidence of
our own senses, warns of ecological catastrophe.
So what is the answer? According
to the deluge of party political
propaganda, our big chance to change the
world is the elections. All we have to do
is put a tick by the right name and all
our problems will be solved . Anarchists
argue that not only is voting in elections
futile, it actually continues to prop up a
system where we choose our own oppressors.
Most people have now seen through
the lies and empty promises of the Labour
Party. However, there are still some
who say 'vote Labour' to keep out the
Tories or the fascists. This line of argument
is seriously flawed. It is unclear
whether there is that much difference
between Labour and the others in any
case. Labour has pursued anti-working
class and racist policies. Whatever the
motivation for voting Labour, the likes
of Blair and Livingstone will use a victory
to legitimise the continuation of
their current policies
Many others agree with these points
and are arguing for a vote for an alternative
party- The Greens or the leftist coalition
Respect. This is also a useless diversion
that sows illusions in the whole
electoral system. Governments do not
break promises, lie or further the system
of oppression and exploitation because
they are 'bad' people or because they
have the 'wrong' policies. Even a 'well-meaning'
politician will soon find that
his/her hands are tied, constrained by the
demands of large corporations and banks.
It is in the very nature of the State to
oppress. Its role is to have power and
use it to impose its will. Look what happened
in the Russian revolution when the
Bolsheviks took over the State 'in the
name of the working class'. The German
Greens backed down from their original
positions once in power. In Brazil the
election of Lula, the popular working
class leader, soon proved to be another
dead-end for the long-suffering workers
and peasants. He has already backed down
from confronting the corporations, landowners
and western moneylenders. He
is now even attacking the poorest shanty
town dwellers for not being willing to
accept his version of how things should
be done. If the Greens or Respect did get
in, we could not expect any different from
them. Once in power, they become entangled
with the institutions of the State
and would be quite willing to use them
if anyone should dare challenge their authority.
Once we give up our power to others,
to 'representatives', we are in trouble.
It makes us think that other people
can change the world for us. It makes us
passive and we lose control. This is why
many workers in Argentina said 'no' to
all politicians. They were beginning to
organise their own communities and taking
responsibility for their own lives and
The Respect Coalition puts out the
slogan- 'Stop the War, Vote Respect', giving
people the idea that by doing this,
we don't have to do anything anymore,
the new politicians will do it for them.
Unfortunately, changing the world is not
so easy. It will require all of us to be
organising and fighting back in our daily
lives. We will have to struggle to find
new ways of doing things, where any
delegates- and not representatives- are
only temporary, completely controlled by
those who have chosen them. It doesn't
matter what government gets in. It is
only the strength of the working class
movement, at work, in the community
and in the streets, that can bring about
peace, freedom, justice and equality. Do
something to build this resistance; don't
give in to the blackmail of the 'least of
evils' argument. You do have a choice-
'no' to politicians and 'yes' to your own


AS PREDICTED in last months issue the
fire-fighters and rail disputes have flared
up again with a near-national wildcat by
fire-fighters, and rail and tube workers
on the brink of a nationwide stoppage
on the day of the elections in June!
Fire-fighters took part in wildcats
across the country following the suspension
of 150 Manchester fire-fighters for
refusing to use anti-terrorism equipment–
this was only the spark though,
the real issues concern modernisation
measures and the refusal to award a raise
promised on completion of certain conditions–
all of which were met some time
ago. Basically, management are trying to
shaft the workforce on the sly in order
to avoid another nationwide strike.
The rail dispute looks like it could
be a biggie. Provisional plans have been
made to strike around the 10th June -
the importance of the 7,000 signalling
and maintenance workers expected to
stop work means that to all intents the
national rail network will be shut down,
for the first time in over a decade (following
on from first national stoppages
for decades in other key areas, notably
the fire-fighters). The core of the dispute
is the bosses’ attempts to cut pensions
and limited free travel to new workers,
and the paltry 3% pay rise offer. Links
are being made to London Underground
workers who are likely to strike at the
same time.
Another summer of stoppages is
looming at the airports with strikes by
baggage handlers, ramp workers and
clerical staff expected at all of Britain’s
major airports - the dispute is over a tiny
one year pay offer from the company,
despite an increase in profits.
A welcome bit of news from the
posties who’ve taken the decision not
to deliver BNP election material in Wales
and Somerset, invoking a conscience
clause in their contract, and forcing the
reluctant union to back them up – a far
more effective tactic than the state bans
that the left call for, and one which opens
the door to further collective action in
pursuit of other gains.
Bernard Matthews is also facing
strike action at his Norfolk poultry factories,
as he tries to impose a work increase
of 20% - protests outside the factories
have already taken place and walkouts
are expected soon.
Finally inally inally, we would like to thank Aslef
president Martin Samways for belting
Blair’s pet bureaucrat, general secretary
Shaun “barbecue” Brady - many Aslef
members have wanted to do so for some
time – next time let’s hope it’s a rankand-
filer meting out the justice!


Just over a week ago
an unused building in
East London was occupied
by a group of international
artists and activists
with the aim of
opening up a new social
space. The building has
been secured, tidied up
and some essential repairs
made. The Rampart
will provide a
meeting and workshop
space, free internet access,
info shop, community
cinema, cafe, free
shop, art gallery and
theatre space.The building
contains a cosy hall
in which a stage has
been built and the whole place decorated.
As is usual with such projects, we urgently
needs people to volunteer some
time on an occasional or a regular basis
so that the building can be open everyday.
People are also welcome to organise
events, run workshops etc. The address
of the hall is 7a Rampart Street (nearest
tube Shadwell) Phone 07050 618445 or
visit. email rampart@lists.riseup.net
Glasgow Autonomous Project
We are a new group that came together
because we found out that Glasgow was
going to be one of the trial sites for the
biometric ID card scheme and we felt that
this was a serious threat to our civil liberties.
We have started educating ourselves
about the issue,
produced a leaflet, thousands
of which have so far
been distributed We have
started having regular
meetings and we would
really welcome anyone
else who wanted to get involved.
We are a collective
currently operating a
resource centre in Glasgow's
city centre. 58,
Albion St (corner of Bell
St) Merchant City noon to
9pm every day. Our long
term aim is to establish a
permanent radical resource
in the heart of the
city. Our main aims are to
encourage individuals and
groups in the Glasgow
area to take more control of their lives -
to work together for social change,
rather than depending upon political parties
and other bosses. Our guiding principles
are solidarity and mutual aid.
Phone 07952 969102 or 0141 552 4551
or email: gap@glasgow-autonomy.org
South Wales
Gwent Anarchists have just brought
out the second issue of their newsletter
Gagged! It's got articles on the battle to
save St. David's Wood in Blackwood,
killer Cola alias Coca-Cola, and an antielection
rant. If you live in South Wales,
contact Gwent Anarchists at PO BOX 70,
Newport, NP20 5XX email


15TH, 42 year old father
of six Kebba “Dobbo”
Jobe was asphyxiated
while being arrested by
police in Camden Town,
London. A week later
approximately 250 people
of all backgrounds
joined a vibrant, militant
march held in his
memory and to protest
at his death, to the
Kentish Town Police
Station, base for the arresting
The gathering was
angry and defiant and
was addressed by a number of speakers
including Dobbo's wife and father. Since
1990 there have been 237 deaths in police
custody or caused by police actions
in the London area alone. Over the same
period not one police officer has been successfully
prosectued for their actions. The
Justice for Dobbo Campaign are holding
nightly vigils at Kentish Town Police Station
from 6-8. For more info call 07951
596048 / 07949 158 898. No justice, no


NOT HAPPY WITH making £4.4 million
profit A DAY out of staff and shoppers,
greedy bosses at Tesco have decided to
trial a scheme of cutting sick pay for staff
for the first 3 days they are off. Sickness
of 4 days or more will require a doctors
We see this move for what it is - an
attempt by Tesco to squeeze even higher
margins out of their staff. Tesco are the
UK largest private sector employer. If
Tesco bosses see the 12 month trial as a
success and introduce the policy across
the board this will be bad news not only
for their existing 220,000 staff but for
all workers as no doubt it will kick off a
chain reaction through the whole of the
retail industry and beyond, giving a green
light for all other private sector employers
to follow suit.
That a food retailer is pioneering a
policy of forcing staff to come in and
serve shoppers when they are ill speaks
volumes about what they think of us all.
Staff - organise to take action against
this measure. Strikes and mass sickies
will see the back of it. Shoppers - hit
them where it hurts. Take your money
elsewhere until this trail is abandoned.
Walthamstow Anarchist Group held
a demonstration outside the Tescos in
Walthamstow on the 29th May. For more
info contact:
07810 288 889


Burghley Secondary
School were among
people who defended
the squatted social centre
at the former Grand
banks wine bar in
Tufnell Park, north London..
Police and bailiffs
were turned away by 60
centre supporters behind
a makeshift oil
drum barricade on 17th
May . Pupils gave their
support because the
centre gave them the
chance to run the place
for each other, with everyone
having a say.
There is a blackboard
up with ideas and a
weekly meeting in which people discuss
ideas for events . The centre has been
open since March and has organised a
programme of film screenings and political
debates, open to all. The wine bar
had been empty for 2 years. Last year, a
youth club run at the school was forced
to close after council spending cuts.
A comprehensive was forced to close
for the day in May when pupils walked
out in support of a teacher threatened
with disciplinary action for telling them
they were being denied a proper education.
When the school threatened to discipline
him around 100 pupils walked out
of lessons after the morning break on
Monday. Outside
the gates some
waved placards
while others
shouted "We will
not be moved."
When more than 40
pupils refused to go
back in managers
shut the school .
But one 15-year-old
girl said: "We are
protesting about
the new management.
"At the moment
we always
seem to have supply
teachers and
they don't know
anything." Another
pupil said: "The new
management seem to be changing everything.
All the best teachers have been
leaving." In the open letter to histutor
group Mr Walker said that he was leaving
at the end of term for reasons that
he could not disclose. He wrote: "I do
not agree with the way staff and pupils
have been treated since the new management
took over. "I think the permanent
teachers have been treated without
respect and students have been neglected
(denied a proper education).One Headlands
teacher, said: "It was anarchy. After
period three the kids refused to come
back into class. Hundreds of them took
part in a sit-down protest in the field
and half of them ran out of the school


There is an emergency situation right
now (20/5/04) in the Gaza Strip and the
town of Rafah, in particular, with scenes
that bring to mind Israel's invasion of
Jenin and Nablus in the spring of 2002.
So far today, 18 Palestinians were killed,
but the action continues. Last weekend,
116 homes were destroyed, making over
a thousand people homeless. Hundreds
more are slated for destruction.
Even Yossi Sarid from the Yahad
Party (the social-democrats), normally a
staunch defender of the Israeli Occupation
Forces, described actions in Rafah
as "war crimes". Many – Israelis, internationals
and Palestinians – are desperately
trying to halt the bloodshed. The
Israeli women's peace movement called
for an immediate halt to the violence and
renewal of negotiations for what they
call "a peace agreement that will extract
us from all the occupied territories". Although
we, anarchists from Israel, are
against any kind of peace between the
ruling classes, we decided to participate
in the united front against the genocide
in Gaza strip. Forty women drove to Gaza
to see if they could intervene physically,
but they are being prevented from entering
Gaza by the occupation army. The
women have set up an encampment at
the Sufa checkpoint and say they will not
leave until the army stops its actions
there. In addition, the ruling of Israel's
High Court of Justice allows the Israeli
Army to continue its mass house demolitions
in Rafah. Since the beginning of
the Intifada, the Army has demolished
some 1,800 homes in the Rafah Refugee
Gush Shalom, Israel's peace movement,
reports: “We heard what happened
in Rafah while preparing in the Gush office
for the already announced Friday protest
at the Gaza entrance. We couldn't
think of a more fitting reaction than sending
out a call to come to the Defense
Ministry for an immediate protest. We
felt rather futile compared with those on
whose behalf we were going to protest:
the Rafah demonstrators in the middle
of whom a helicopter gunship had sent a
missile wounding dozens. Still, the protest
of some 250 - with besides Gush
Shalom a very visible and loud presence
of the dissident reservists (“Courage to
Refuse”) and the Anarchists - had more
spirit than the mass rally some days earlier.”
Reactions of passers-by were not
unfriendly, but soon police arrived. Eight
were arrested and are facing charges in
Israeli courts.
From http://www.ainfos.ca


Anti-fascists jailed
“Slick” is an anti-fascist who took
part in the October 1993 demonstration
against the British National Party offices
in Welling, London, England. The police
aggressively defended the BNP, and fighting
broke out between anti-fascists and
cops. As a result of his involvement in
the “riot” Slick was sentenced to 5 years
imprisonment, but he disappeared before
he could be jailed. Eleven years later and
Slick was arrested during a noisy argument.
Once arrested the cops worked out
who he was and he has now started his
five year sentence. Letters of support
should be addressed to:
C.Varkki, JR9335, HMP Elmlea,
Church Rd, Eastchurch, Shearness, Kent,
ME12 4AY
Matthew Lamont
Below are details of Matthew Lamont,
an American Anarchist who was jailed
for possessing explosives allegedly for a
bomb attack on fascists in the USA Details
of his arrest and conviction are at:
Write to: Matthew Lamont, #T90251,
CSP/A5-114, PO Box 901, Imperial, CA
92251, USA
Support needed on or around March
25, Timothy Jones, founder andmember
of A.R.I.S.E. (an internal prisoner support/
abolition group) was forced into
administrative segregation at the Missouri
State Correctional Center at Potosi.
Tim had been involved in filing grievances
on behalf of prisoners at Potosi in
response to practices of the prison law
library. Potosi’s policy dictates that an
inmate must choose between going to
the law library to work on their case or
going to recreation time. Many prisoners
go weeks without outdoor or indoor
recreation so they can spend time filing
needed paperwork for their cases.
Send letters in support of Tim and
the rights of prisoners to full access to
the law library AND recreation time: Don
Roper, Superintendent. Potosi Correctional
Center, Route 2, Box 2222, Mineral
Point, MO 63660, 573-438-6000,
Missouri Department of Corrections
Director Gary B. Kempker, PO Box 236,
Jefferson City, MO 65102, 573-751-2389,
Send words of love and solidarity to
Tim at:
Timothy Alphonso Jones 505163,
Housing Unit 2B-1, Potosi Correctional
Center, Route 2, Box 2222,> Mineral
Point, MO 63660, USA. Visit:
Anarchists in the former USSR
7 activists of Minsk Anti-Fascist Action
are in prison awaiting trial for "malicious
hooliganism" after several beaten
up fascists claimed that they were
mugged, probably encouraged by local
police who are known to have fascist
sympathies.This is a serious charge, and
they could be looking at several years
inside. To help, contact antyfa@mail.ru,
or abc-moscow@avotnom.org
An anarchist in Izhevsk, and an Ethiopian
migrant in Moscow, who were both
badly beaten by fascists are in need of
financial help for their medical
treatment.Contact Moscow ABC abcmoscow@

Subvert and resist

Take precautions when going on demonstrations and don’t
take cameras, booze or drugs. If you’re nicked give your name
and address then say ‘no comment’ to any other questions.

JUNE: 3rd: London AF/Freedom Public Meeting - 2 members of the North East
Federation of Anarchist Communists talk about anarchist opposition to the right
wing government in Quebec. Freedom Books, Angel Alley, 84b Whitechapel Hight
St London (Aldgate East tube).
5th: The 6th Annual Cannabis March & F Festival. estival. Carnival style march from
Kennington Park (assemble 12pm) leading to an all day free festival in Brockwell
Park, Brixton. Poets and rappers, soundsystems, live acoustic stage.
info@thecannabisfestival.co.uk www.thecannabisfestival.co.uk
10th: ‘Vote Nobody’ Election Rally on election night, Le Pub, Caxton place, Newport,
Wales. With music, poetry and speeches, free.
12th: Nor Norwich wich Anarchist Bookfair Bookfair, Waterloo Park Pavilion, Angel Road, Norwich.
12-late. Stalls, meeting, music.
15th: Manchester Anarchists meet at Friends Meeting House, 7:30 pm
19th: Manchester Radical Bookfair, Bridge 5 Mill, Ancoats, Manchester. See
25th: INTERNA INTERNATIONAL TIONAL C CALL- ALL- OUT OUT! Ambush Bush at Shannon military base in
Ireland - contact ambush2004_international@yahoo.com for more details.
Ever Every y Thursday Thursday: Manchester Social Forum, 7.30, Friends Meeting House, Mancs.

Join the resistance

The Anarchist F Federation ederation 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
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: info@afed.org.uk