Merseyside Resistance!

Winter 2003 Edition 


You Have The Right To Remain Silent, Punk!

Basic democratic freedoms, the very right to walk the streets of our city, are being sold out to the grotesquely rich Duke of Westminster as he seeks to squeeze more money from ordinary working people. Liverpool City Council is backing the privatisation of 35 public rights of way and a series of compulsory purchase orders for a £750m redevelopment of the Paradise Street area.  An area of Liverpool stretching from Hanover Street to The Strand will be policed by a private force known as 'quarter masters', if a public inquiry happening right now says yes. If a Government inspector approves a series of applications to take away traditional rights of way with public realm arrangements it will pave the way for the private sector to control who can - and cannot - enter the shopping area.

”Keeping The Riff Raff Out”

The Council and developers admit that taking away the rights of ordinary people isn’t necessary for the project to go ahead, they just want “to control and exclude the riff- raff element".  Well, who’s to decide who’s “riff-raff”?  Some minimum wage security guard from out-of-town?  You bet!  The consultants are  recommending American-style “controlled zones”, sterile areas given over totally to shopping, eating and drinking.  But these streets are public spaces that we have walked for centuries in freedom.  If the proposals are accepted rules will be drawn up to be applied in the controlled zone:


*              Alcohol and food only to be consumed in designated areas – their shops, where they can milk you of money;

* Skateboarding and rollerblading not allowed;

*              Demonstrations will also need police permission with a controlled meeting place;

* Street entertainers will need permission, even girls with violins


Private owners and money men – especially the semi-invisible companies that own half the city - don’t want to have to deal with looking at locals who may not be wearing expensive clothes.  Eating food in my mall? Not dressed right? Three black lads with your hands in your pockets? Kids out without their mums?  Hanging around with no money to spend? Get out! Get lost!  Fuck off!  

Just Who Do We Think We Are?

Its not just people going from one place to another without spending money who will be watched, challenged and barred out.  People with a story to tell or a grievance they want you to know about will also be victimised by this greedy and disgusting theft of public space.  The right to legitimate protest, to hand out leaflets against injustice or simply talking to people about important issues will be abolished completely.  Liverpool already has more cctv cameras and beady-eyed security guards than anywhere else in Britain.  Do you want to be watched everywhere you go in the city centre?  Pretty soon New Labour will be introducing identity cards. How would you like to have to produce one to some deadbeat with a can of mace in order to buy a Big Mac or go to Debenhams? If the privatisation of everything continues we won't be able to go anywhere or express any opinion without our owner’s permission...  Civil rights group Liberty are to investigate the plans for the UK's first privatised city centre. Their lawyers would be carefully examining the scheme to decide whether to mount a legal challenge. 

What are you going to do about it?



It’s Not Possible…………

Ask the people of Bolivia if it’s possible or not.  What began as isolated strikes for better working conditions in the tin mines and against the export of natural gas and privatisations, turned in October into a full-scale insurrection against pro-market policies imposed by the IMF. People established neighbourhood committees which organised road blockades, isolating the capital, La Paz.  The trade union federation, our TUC, called a general strike and the government called out the army to push petrol through to La Paz.  Shots were fired and protestors killed.  In response, protests began in La Paz during which there were more deaths.  What began as isolated demands for social justice in a country where 80% of people live below the poverty line turned into a political demand that the president stand down.  Tens of thousands of people began to march on the capital and despite a military crackdown, martial law being declared and mass arrests and murders, eventually the president was forced to resign and fled to a ‘safe’ city in the west.  He will become the latest asylum-seeker welcomed to America’s shores. This was no crazed military dictator.  President Gonzalo de Losada was a nice looking, US-educated businessman and regular churchgoer.   But years of grinding down the people and lining his and his cronies pockets with bribes and kick-backs from western companies eager to exploit Bolivia proved his downfall.  Now what other nice-looking political leader famous for kickbacks, cronies and selling us out to the Americans do we know?

…………Is It?


You Buy The Dream But Live The Nightmare

Capitalism is a sickness killing the planet.  It encourages greed, creates the illusion of hope, counterfeits happiness out of the things we buy, drives people to despair, madness and death.  You keep it going by buying things you don’t really need, that you think will make you happy but only make you empty inside, that you throw away and replace with something equally crap.  



Female athletes have been forced to parade their bodies on a pay-per-view site to raise money for winter training; it seems the Dutch Athletics Union is happy to make money from their performance on the track but won’t pay for the training that gets them there.  The site was created by a (male) trainer, who is selling images of the women in the same way a pimp sells time with one of his girls.  The site received 2m hits in one day alone, proof that the sick gym-shorts brigade is still with us.  Like everything else, sport -and sportswomen’s bodies- is for sale. 

Playboy or Sports Illustrated?  Pay your money, take your choice.



The boss of Barclays has admitted he would rather gnaw his left leg off than use one of his own credit cards: “It’s a mugs game, debt, and only idiots like my customers would use a Barclaycard”.  He went on to say he would “feed his children to a pack of wolves (cute!) before letting them borrow on credit”.  Barclaycard’s 9m customers – and everyone else living in never-never land by buying things on credit – are about to suffer one of the worst economic crashes in history. Like addicts they can’t stop shooting up (or as the junkies call it, “shopping”) and the more worried they are by debt the more they have to buy to make them happy.  Boss Matt Barrett earns £1.7m a year – that’s why he doesn’t need to use a credit card.

Junkies and vampires rule this planet.  Which are you?



The boss of Jobcentre Plus (hah!) has admitted it is agency policy to sack people just days before they reach two year’s employment.  In case you’ve never worked anywhere near that long, two years is when you become entitled to pension payments, holidays and other employment ‘rights’. He’d previously told MPs that such treatment by an employer would be “appalling”, apparently forgetting that it’s policy for the agency he runs.  But David Anderson can afford to be appalling: he earns almost £200,000 a year forcing people to take mickey mouse jobs and making disabled people work.   

Anderson works for the government you voted in.  Tough, isn’t it?



How times change.  Derek Hatton, once the working class hero of Liverpool’s militant working class, has turned into a money-grubbing, property-mad sleaze bag.  Robbed of a computer, a Mercedes convertible and a Chrysler Cruiser worth £60,000, he said “I can now sympathise with Tony Martin (the mad farmer killed a teenage burglar when he broke into his home). I only wish I had woken up so I could have done something (what, blown them apart with a shotgun?).  They have violated my home and taken the liberty of stealing things”.  Hatton promised people the earth and when it all when wrong he pissed off and sold out to whoever would fund his ‘celebrity’ lifestyle.  Now, when the crime he couldn’t cure comes back to bite him in the ass, he reaches for a pump-action shotgun.  Where’s your politics now, Degsy, or was it just a game you played to get what you wanted? 

Perhaps guns ARE the answer.  It only depends which way they’re pointed, eh?

The Kinder Face of Capitalism………

Now for some heart-warming stories about capitalism us anarchists would never tell you:


Child Slaves Saved In Africa

74 children sold into slavery by their parents for as little as £25 have been rescued from a quarry in Nigeria where they were being slowly worked to death.  Not so lucky were the 13 children already dead from illness, starvation and beatings.  Nor the 6000 other children indentured in Nigeria, living lives of equal brutality before dying, un-mourned and unremembered. The children, some as young as four, can earn up to 25p a day quarrying rocks and breaking them for gravel using primitive tools.  Earlier, 116 children were rescued from the same quarries in September and 1200 children sold to work the Lake Volta fisheries were returned to Ghana.  But little can be done to rescue the thousands of children sold as sex slaves and prostitutes throughout West Africa; their owners are usually important priests, businessmen and politicians who can’t be touched.  At least someone is looking out for them, hey?


Italian Couple Bring Hope To Child

Whose heart would not be warmed by the tale of Oracio, a little Albanian boy given the chance of a new life by an Italian couple desperate for a family?  Or the fact that his parents, Kujtim and Fatmira got a new TV from the couple for selling Oracio to them?  Or that their other five children now watch Venezuelan soap operas on the TV? Or that the £5000 paid by the Italian pensioners was pocketed by the child-trafficking gang that set the deal up? Or that up to 15000 other Albanian children have been trafficked throughout Europe, all of them – presumably – to good homes and loving parents. Children can be bought for as little as £1000 or – as in this case – a new TV, then sold by child-trafficking gangs for £200,000 to wealthy European couples, often in sordid ‘auctions’.  Some are sold on repeatedly and end up in brothels, often near to US Army bases.  You make the connection.  It isn’t just in impoverished Africa that it happens, its wherever there is a commodity that someone is prepared to buy – don’t you just love the free market at work……..


Baa Lambs Saved – Aahhhh!

52,000 sheep have been saved from a horrible death in Saudi Arabia (having their throats cut) and sent by a caring Australian government to live out their lives in comfort on an idyllic tropical island.  Aahhh!  Well no, actually.  The Saudi inspectors found the consignment infested with disease and refused to allow it in.  The sheep sat on the ship for two months in searing heat before the owners were forced to take them back.  Thousands died.  But the government won’t let sick sheep back into the country so has sent them to the Cocos Islands – without bothering to ask the islanders – where they will sit off-shore in crowded cages until they die and are thrown overboard or are certified disease-free so they can be slaughtered in good old Oz.  Yum!


Capitalism: You vote for it every year and you pay with the rest of your life


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