Counter Information issue no.49  
 
Inside Info
 
 
World to Win
 
GET INVOLVED


A Beacon of Solidarity

THE 500 LIVERPOOL dockers have been involved in a struggle of major international importance since September 1995. Sacked by Mersey Dock and Harbour Company for refusing to cross a picket line organised by Torside dockers, the Liverpool dockers are still determined to win their jobs back. They are determined that there should be no return to casual labour and that their elected shop stewards should be recognised.

The struggle is not officially recognised by the dockers union, the TGWU. Union leaders are pushing a "compromise" - read sell out - settlement. They want the dockers to accept compulsory redundancies. But the Liverpool men have consistently voted against accepting redundancy payments. The jobs are not for sale, they insist. Meanwhile the new Labour government shows no signs of intervening on the dockers' side.

Though they have not fully broken with the Union, the dockers struggle has largely been run by the dockers themselves. The Women of the Waterfront - women from the dockers community - have played an important role, from pickets of bosses' and scabs' houses to international speaking tours.

JOINING FORCES

The dockers are trying to broaden and link up their struggle. They have joined forces with Reclaim the Streets. They have launched The People's Charter for Social Justice, encompassing aims in the fields of work, welfare, civil liberties, housing, racism, sexism, pollution, internationalism, including the withdrawal of British troops from N.Ireland. Criticised by some as reformism, on the other hand The People's Charter could be seen as a positive attempt to help towards practically bringing together different struggles.

The dockers are fighting casualisation. This means no rights, no guaranteed wage, no set hours - waiting by a phone to be told when the boss wants you to work. Today more than half of the British workforce are experiencing job insecurity and casualisation. Government schemes like Project Work and the planned Welfare to Work mean unemployed people are forced to work for their benefits - underming everyone's wages and conditions.

As the Dockers Charter says "All over the world, workers are fighting against privatisation, casualisation and anti trade union laws."

The September '97 issue of Dockers Charter describes how in Britain and world-wide Parliament has passed legislation attacking working class interests. Speaking of the new Labour government the Charter states "there must be a mobilisation in opposition to any government which continues these policies. If the Union leaders, the TUC, are not prepared to mobilise the movement to alter anti working class legislation, the workers on the shop floor have no choice but to organise themselves through their own elected representatives."

The Labour government and the TUC are clearly part of the very capitalist system which is attacking the dockers, and all workers. The inspiring example of the Liverpool dockers and the Women of the Waterfront, and the international solidarity they have provoked, shows that the working class world-wide has the ability to organise ourselves, in opposition to Union leaders and parliamentary parties, to challenge and ultimately overthrow the power of capital, multinationals and governments.

DOCKERS - 8 SEPT INTERNATIONAL DOCK STRIKE

From Australia to Alaska, from Sweden to South Africa, from Lisbon to Los Angeles. A world-wide dock strike in support of the sacked Liverpool dockers blazed a beacon of solidarity round the globe on 8th September.

"This is not simply a stepforward for Liverpool dockworkers, or simply for dockworkers internationally. It is a step forward for workers the world over," said dockers spokesman Terry Teague.

Higlights of the 8th September action include

USA / Canada : 10,000 Longshore workers walk out as all west coast ports fromSan Diego, California to British Columbia and Dutch Harbour, Alaska shut for 8 hours. This includes the world's 3 largest ports at LA/ Long Beach. Strikes hit Canada's east coast.

Australia : Dockers defy government threats to bring in troops. All major ports hit by stoppages of 5 hours or more on both day and night shifts.

Portugal : Lisbon and Figuera da Foz strike for 24 hours, with shorter stoppages elsewhere.

Sweden : All 20 ports organised by the Dockers Union boycott all ACL and CAST containers and all trade with Liverpool and Sheerness for 24 hours.

Dockers strike in Denmark, Amsterdam, Drogheda (Ireland), and Le Harve, France.

UK dockers have had their organisation smashed, and have to date given little support to Liverpool. But 8th September saw a start with overtime bans in Belfast and Derry, plus Derry also operating a go slow. The local Support Group picketed Belfast docks, causing a 2-3 mile tailback. In London Reclaim the Streets took action (see article BEYOND SINGLE ISSUES).

The 8th September actions developed from the International Dockworkers' Conference held in Montreal, Canada in May when dockers reps from 17countries and 5 continents came together. Now the 2nd stage of international solidarity action is planned to start. This is even more important. Thsi is a a total boycott of all Mersey Docks and Harbour Company (MDHC) shipping world-wide.

South African dockers plan to boycott all trade involving Mersey Docks . This will hit the big trade in SA oranges through Sheerness,100% owned by MDCH. "People supported us during the apartheid era; now they need help and we have the chance to repay them," said the Cape Town dockers branch secretary. (In 1988 Liverpool dockers blockaded S. African and Namibian uranium.)

Japanese dockers have pledged action against companies using Liverpool, Sheerness and Thamesport. In Spain the grass-roots dockers organisation the Co-ordinara are, with the CGT, organising a Southern European dockers conference to plan 24 hour stoppages targetting trade with Mersey Docks.

Dockers world-wide face similar problems to Liverpool. Recent, current or expected dockers'disputes involve Australia, Amsterdam, Brazil, India, Sri Lanka and South Africa. South African dockers held a national day of action on 9 September as part of their struggle to establish a national Docks Labour Scheme and win improved wages and conditions. This action was explicitly linked with solidarity action for the Liverpool and Australian dockers.

San Francisco longshore workers striking on 8 August in solidarity with Liverpool were joined by striking Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) workers. A rally outside the British consulate was followed by a march through the city with chanting in support of the Liverpool dockers and BART strikers.

This kind of coming together of struggles on a world-scale is vital. In the era of multinationals and globalism workers need to organise internationally.

Liverpool Dockers, c/o 19 Scorton St, Liverpool L6

Tel 0151 207 3388

Latest news on the dockers' fight from http://www.Labournet.org.uk/

pic 12 April 1997 : March for Social Justice in London


BEYOND SINGLE ISSUES

The 8 September International Day of Action saw 30 people from Reclaim the Streets picketing the west London house of Mersey Docks chairman Gordon Waddell. INJUSTICE IS NOT ANONYMOUS, IT HAS A NAME AND ADDRESS and VICTORY TO THE DOCKERS proclaimed the banners .

Next target was Drake International in Regent St.. 13 Reclaim the Streets (RTS) people occupied the offices of the scab labour company for over 30 minutes.

This was the latest in a series of joint initiatives involving RTS and the Liverpool dockers. On 12 April 20,000 marched in London on the March for Social Justice/ Liverpool Dockers/ RTS event. And in September 1996 RTS played an important part in the demo / mass picket / docks occupation in Liverpool.

The Dockers Charter paper now reports direct action to resist environmental destruction, such as the extension of Manchester airport.

What is the connection between the dockers struggle against sackings and casualisation and the struggle to reclaim the streets for people from cars and traffic?

As Reclaim the Streets themselves say "The power that attacks those who work, through union legislation and casualisation, is the same power that is attacking the planet with over-production and consumption of resources.....

....This power is capital. As long as economies run on the basis of profit for business, social and ecological exploitation will occur. The question is : can we come together as a movement that will effectively challenge and dissolve this power, before those in control lead society into the social and ecological catastrophe that is currently just beginning?" (Do or Die mag no.6, p.9 : 1.50 from Do or die, c/o South Downs Earth First!, Prior House, Tilbury Place, Brighton, E.Sussex)


RECLAIM THE PLANET

WHETHER in city or country, our stolen enviroment is our own. And when we take it back we know how to party! Through spring and into the harvest months people have been fighting to enjoy whats ours.

*There is a huge local consensus against a massive proposed financial development in Spitalfields, London which would destroy a multitude of local amenities. The inflated land prices would push out local tenants.(info 0958 778592)

*Plans to widen the A320 through Stringers common in Surrey were scrapped after protestors set up camp.

The Reclaim the Streets movement is spreading...

*In Tampere,Finland, 1200 people blocked a major road and partied fron 12 to 6pm on 9 August. Later the reverly continued in an all-nighter beach party.

*The entire Bristol city centre was blocked as 1000+ people took over the M32 on the summer solstice.

*Over 1000 people reclaimed a city centre dual carriageway as hundreds of critical mass cyclists cruised simultaneously through Sheffield's town centre.

* In Edinburgh on 11 August a multinational crew danced international folkdances and took tea in one of Edinburgh's busiest roads.Polis trying to get everyone to move on got drawn into a group dicussion on whether or when to move. Translation into 12 different languages meant this took some time. Confused by consensus decision making they retreated behind their megaphones and truncheons. (Longer report on Edinburgh Reclaim the Streets on http://www.ace.worldhq.com/ace/rtsedin.htm)

*In Taliesin, Wales, a village with a population of 200, the local vicar organised a street party that stopped the flow of tourist traffic all day.

(Thanks to Earth First Action Update! actionupdate@gn.apc.org)


SHERIFF AT BAY

The mass resistance to the building of a second runway at Manchester Airport cost the money men dear.(6 million+!). Starting mid-May, the protest camp resisted eviction for 4 weeks.

People drew strength from the earth that they fought to defend and dug deep and built high. A new development in tree house building - 4 storeys high! - kept the sheriff and his men at bay for four days. Labyrinth tunnels reduced the forces of the state to hammer and chisel techniques as they battled to remove determined protestors. Regular Sunday Fundays brought hundreds of local people on site as everyone worked together to smooth the path of sustainability not profit.

31 October : Halloween actions to close down open cast mine sites UK-wide. No Open Cast 0171 603 1831.


YES TO SOCIAL JUSTICE. YES TO SOCIAL REVOLUTION!

The Yes votes to set up a Scottish Parliament and, a week later, a Welsh Assembly reflect a widespread mood for change. However, when they are set up, they are unlikely to change the balance of power or distribution of wealth.

Many people already expect little change through changing the structure of Government, say towards a 'Europe of the Regions'. This was shown by the lower turnout and a lack of enthusiasm, especially in working class neighbourhoods. People suspect the politicians are a bunch of rogues - Lord [David] Steel for example and the 94,000 from a pro-hunt countryside lobby .

Reforming the relic of the British State will not lead to social justice, and business has been assured by Labour that it will be free carry on exploiting. Massive subsidies in Wales and Scotland have gone to multinational companies for establishing small assembly plants. As Jimmy McConnell from Drumchapel in Glasgow put it ""Damn right we want a Scottish Parliament Edinburgh is within walking distance and if they ignore us, screw us or try to palm us off, thousands will make that walk. Revolution isn't as much a joke as people think".


FREE SCHOOLS! FREE SOCIETY!

The moves of politicians and business leaders are to increase inequality within education and churn out schoolstudents with the qualifications needed to be of use within the labour market.

In opposition to this, we stress that it is a right for children to grow up and learn in an environment free of compulsion, fear and threat. Unlike those who defend 'education' to uphold tradition, the values of libertarian education have sought to put the needs of the kids first, linked to the necessity for radical change.

During a recent talk in Glasgow, Pat Edwards of the Tamariki Free School in New Zealand described how libertarian alternatives to education work. High emphasis is placed on the importance of play and creative activities; academic activities are optional; school rules are decided by the children and teachers have no more say in the running of the school than do the children.

Unlike the demands of industry and commerce for punctual, obedient, passive workers, willing to accept their disadvantaged position, free schools encourage free thinking individuals likely to question the acceptance of educational qualifications as the basis for social rewards".

Further info: Lib ed, Phoenix House, 170 Wells Rd., Bristol BS4 2AG.


NO HIDING PLACE

The National, and international sense of 'loss' over the death of Princess Diana raises many crucial questions. The complete shutdown of 'public life', manipulation of TV and other media coverage,sporting and recreational fixtures illustrated the stark power of the nation state to impose its will.

It also served to illustrate the neo-colonial links of South Africa, India, Australia etc. as leaders from Mandela to Howard lined up to pay homage. For the Royal Family at first the death was very convenient, given that more disclosures of their machinations has ceased, but the hysteria threatened their legitimacy. It also gave rise to Diana as an icon, the patron saint of women & suffering.

The part played by the so-called 'paparazzi' in the car crash has attracted great controversy: literally a fatal attraction with the spectacle. However, the media intrusion into the lives of 'stars', to promote identification with lifestyles beyond the reach of 'lesser mortals', serves to deflect attention from those who should have no hiding place. Those that rule our lives: the rich investors, the board of multinational corporations, the billionaires who accumulate through speculation on the stock exchange or switching exploitation around the globe to sites where they can maximise profits[exploitation].

Glamour is a cloak to obscure all that pervades the workings of capitalism, and those who operate the levers of this power should be exposed as the ruthless villains and exploiters who accumulate wealth and power at our expense.


Inside Info

Enemy of the state

Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin, a revolutionary activist from Chattanooga, Tennessee, toured several European countries earlier this year. He gave a powerful personal narrative on the sixties black civil rights movement revealing its broad based grassroots nature that came from the mass of people rather than the leaders in the histories. He called for international support for the 24 Black Panthers and over 100 other activists still imprisoned from that time. He was pleased that an international campaign begun in Scotland had lead to his freedom.

A call for a united front and demos on July the 4th against the racist, unjust and barbaric death penalty (40% death row inmates are black against 10% in population of US), was taken up in many places including Sheffield, Dublin, Edinburgh and London.

Black Autonomy, 323, Broadway Avenue E#919, Seatle, WA 98102

Lorenzo can be contacted at Concerned Citizens for Justice, c/o The Rest of the News, 2014 Citico Avenue, Chattanooga,TN 37404.


A state conspiracy

The Italian state has charged 70 anarchists with belonging to an armed gang, robbery, kidnapping and membership of a (non-existent!) Insurrectional Anarchist Revolutionary Organisation. 20 have been jailed. International solidarity is needed.

Breakout mag from Solidaritatskomittee Italien, c/o Infoladen Munchen, Breisacherstr.12, 81667 Munchen, Germany.

WEB http://www.ecn.org/zero/anarchy.htm

Anarchist Defence Comm. E mail elpasosq@freenet.hut.fi

FAX/Tel (Italy) 39 11 317 41 07


The dark tower

A SPECIAL BRANCH bigshot was spotted making masonic signals to presiding judge (Major Gen) Selwood - an expert in military law - at the opening of the GANDALF trial in August. On trial for 'conspiracy to incite criminal damage' are Green Anarchist and ALF (=GANDALF) editors and writers. The catch-all charge carries a possible 5 year jail sentence.

The GANDALF trial is the culmination of Special Branch's Operation Washington which saw 55 raids across Britain during 1995/96. The case itself has involved over 100 Branch raids, including one on an old woman who wrote to a defendant, and another on a man who bought a Green Anarchist teeshirt.

This thought police prosecution is a danger to all who dissent and must be resisted.

Contact : GA, BM 1715, London WC1N 3XX for info.


Taking over the asylum

A 13 HOUR riot by asylum seekers in late August caused 1000,000 worth of damage to the Campsfield detention centre near Oxford. Parts of the Group 4-run hellhole were destroyed.

Over 100 riot police were used to crush the revolt and access roads were blocked to prevent supporters from picketing the razorwire perimeter. The riot was the third and largest at Campsfield this year.

Despite New Labour's waffle about 'human rights' over 52,000 asylum seekers are currently awaiting decisions and 750 refugees are 'detained' in prison conditions each year.

Source : Schnews 132. Info: Campaign to close Campsfield 01865 558145


Kenny Richey

Prison guards attacked Kenny Richey of Edinburgh, who is on death row at Mansfield, Ohio, after a riot. He is filing for a new trial to present new evidence that shows his innocence. (Contact Karen: 0141 641 0364.


Dehumanising the Stateless

The new 'socialist' Government in France has issued a policy for the regularisation of 'certain categories of undocumented workers', meaning some 'illegal' immigrants will receive offial recognition. TheSans Papiers (Without Papers) movement has rejected this policy and are continuing to resist the deportation of immigrant and refugee people, demanding 'papers for all'. Women play a major role in the Sans Papiers struggle, organising autonomously as well as working alongside men. One woman from the movement spoke in Edinburgh at the end of July and said: 'The new government's policy is a gain in a way but it's not what we are demanding. We have always demanded the regularisation of all those sans papiers in France. So we cannot accept a 'case by case' treatment. And the new policy gives discretionary powers to the notoriously racist prefectures. What about the sans papiers in jail and others banned from France? We're fighting for an amnesty for those in jail and a global regularisation of all Sans Papiers in France.'

(more info WEB http://bok.net/pajol E-MAIL pajol@book.net WRITE Coordination Nationale des Sans Papers, 22, rue Pajol, 75018 Paris, France. Fax (331) 4607 16 19


Mumia latest

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is expected to reject Mumia Abu-Jamal's Appeal in mid-October. To keep up to date: Equal Justice USA Quixote Center POB 5206 Hyattsville MD 2782. http://www.igc.org/quixote/ej

LORENZO addition/ Calls to boycott or even suppress the planned Sydney Olympics in 2000 have gathered momentum. The attempts of the Australian Government to label Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin as a "terrorist" because he dared to oppose KKK violence and the past Atlanta Olympics in 1996, during his recent speaking tour, have backfired. SAE to LPA [ELS} Box 15 138 Kings-land High St., London E8 2NS.


Those who Dare to Dream

Last summer, at the invitation of the EZLN in Mexico, around 3000 people from around the world attended the 1st Encuentro (Gathering) for Humanity and Against Neoliberalism in the Zapatista heartland of Chiapas. The aim was to bring together people involved in diverse struggles in all parts of the world, both as a show of solidarity and as a starting point for the creation of a global 'network of resistance' to the reality which is life under capitalism.

The 2nd Encuentro was held this year in several parts of Spain during 10 days in July and August, attracting over 2500 participants. Three days were set aside for formal discussions of the various themes: Economics, Nationalism, Patriarchy, Ecology, and Culture some of which were broken down into sub-topics, allowing for smaller groups. A plenary session was held at the end where all of the groups gave a summary of their discussion and outlined their hopes for the future. The exchange of information and contact making took place as much on an informal basis as within the discussion groups.

Although by its nature the event attracted people from varying political backgrounds, there were a high number from the libertarian left and most groups emphasised the need for any network that develops to be anti-authoritarian.

From escalating casualisation of labour to environmental destruction, the increasing demands of global capitalism, in pursuit of even more wealth for the ruling classes, deepen the misery of the oppressed in every corner of the world. Examples such as the practical international solidarity shown to the Liverpool dockers, shows the way forward for the resistance. The Encuentros provide us with a real opportunity to create a meaningful, global network of anti-authoritarian resistance - a chance we have to grasp if we are to begin to win back the world and realise our dreams of a new one.

Encuentro info: http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/3849/gatherdx.html


WORLD TO WIN

AFRICA ARISE !

Gold miners and lumberjacks in Sierra Leone, West Africa have been joining the Industrial Workers of the World. Before the recent coup, and repression, over 3 thousand had joined, with metalworkers in neighbouring Guinea becoming "wobblies". Help support them by sending a PO or cheque payable to IWW IWW (Sierra Leone !IWW Appeal) 75 Humberstone Gate, Leicester LE1 4WB.

121 AGITATION

For over 16 years the 121 Centre in Railton Rd has promoted squatting and anarchist resistance. Now reactionary Labour Lambeth Council are trying to close it. Tel. contact 0171-274-6655. 121 Books, 121 Railton Rd., Brixton, LondonSE24.

EU ROT OP

This slogan which means "EU Fuck off" in Dutch was coined during the June 14th Social Justice march in Amsterdam, by an anti-wage slavery contingent. After clashing with the police en route, the contingent linked up with almost 2,000 Italian autonomists protesting at the railway station at the arrest of 200 comrades after a mass refusal to pay the train fares from Italy. News reached Rome and the Dutch Embassy was occupied in solidarity. Later demonstrators were detained under Article 140, a law designed to 'foil criminal conspiracies'. On the 22nd June a demo was held against the detentions and the use of this draconian law. Further anti-European Union demos included 10,000 Kurds against the Turkish State being granted EU status, and attempts to breach 'restricted areas' where EU bureaucrats were staying in hotels. (For further info send a SAE to Brighton Autonomists, c/o Prior House, 6 Tilbury Place. or visit websites).

LAND KILLING

23 Amerindians in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sol whose deaths were passed off as 'mass suicides', were liquidated as repression during attempts to reclaim traditional land. Since 1982, 293 other amerindians have perished by being made drunk and then hanged, carried out by so-called "captains" associated with the Government Agency, Funai who 'police' the reserves. Elsewhere, the Movimento dos Trabalhadoes have mobilised the landless to demand land reform.

FUELLING DISCONTENT

With over 2,000 houses disconnected daily, the 'get tough' policy of Councils in Gauteng Province, South Africa has provoked backlashes. In February, in Eldorado Park, Soweto, 4 died in a riot & a Councillor was stoned to death in June. In Johannesburg on August 7th, rioters stoned and destroyed Telekom vehicles who were removing electricity cables from non-payers. In addition to the white/black wealth divide, the richest 10% of Africans have benefited from an ANC Government with incomes over 60 times greater than the poorest 10% ! Thus the South African Workers Solidarity Federation raise the slogan "black liberation Through Class War".

(to contact the Workers Solidrity Federation

WRITE WSF, PO Box 1717, Rosettenville, 2130 South Africa.

E-MAIL wsf@geocities.com

WEB http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/7017/

CLOSING CARACAS

Workers held a 12 hour protest strike in the Venezuelan capital on August 6th.The action, against low wages and gasoline price increases, brought public transport to a halt against IMF approved neo-liberal economic austerity.

SOURCE: INDUSTRIAL WORKER http://iww.org/-iw/

CHINA CRISIS

As several large state factories declared 'bankruptcy', 100,000 workers in the SW China city of Mianyang took to the streets in early July. This follows unrest in Nanchong in spring when 20,000 workers besieged the city hall for 30 hours, demanding back pay from failing factories.

(SOURCE: INDUSTRIAL WORKER)

THE WAY OF NIKE

As workers in the Youngone (Korean owned) factory in Bangladesh which is contracted to produce Nike products, presented demands to the employer they were attacked by armed police resulting in 300 injured, 50 being 'serious',97 fired and another 800 charged with 'criminal offences'. Youngone's repressive policy is also carried out in factories in Jamaica,Korea & China. (SOURCE: INDUSTRIAL WORKER)

FIGHTING CORPORATE AMERICA

As the U.S. 'boom' continues, workers in USA have demonstrated that solidarity can win disputes. 7% of the U.S. economy has been affected during the Teamsters strike against United Parcel Service[UPS], involving 180,000 union members with the issue of part-time employment to the fore. The lessons of the Detroit Free Press dispute, where 1,800 locked out workers are ensnared in legal rulings over whether they can reclaim their jobs, demonstrates "the only way people in this country are going to win a struggle is by massing all the workers around the country [and}..all around the world and mass in force" Rick Torres, former truck driver with Free Press, interviewed in INDUSTRIAL WORKER.

OVER THE BRIDGE

Although supporting the future Scottish Assembly, a Skye Bridge campaigner, fighting to remove tolls on the new bridge owned by the Bank of America and criminal charges against protesters, stated that they are determined to force 'new Labour' to accept the will of the islanders prepared to continue their non-payment direct action defiance.

CRITICAL MASS

Danni Plank, aged 29,was killed by a lorry near Worthing on August 27th while riding her bike. Her death provoked a Critical Mass cycle protest in Worthing on Sat20th Sept. details 01903 522949.

DEL SKINNED!

The Del Monte offices in Tunbridge Wells were closed on 20th August after a protest against the banning of union representation in Costa Rica led to one and a half tons of bananas being dumped there.

NO 3RD MILLENNIUM

Calls to boycott or even suppress the planned Sydney Olympics in 2000 have gathered momentum. The attempts of the Australian Government to label Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin as a "terrorist" because he dared to oppose KKK violence and the past Atlanta Olympics in 1996, during his recent speaking tour, have backfired. Send SAE to LPA [ELS} Box 15 138 Kingsland High St., London E8 2NS.

NO CONVOY NO PEACE

Two Hundred delegates from Europe [including an editor of Variant arts-newssheet in Glasgow] joined Kurdish protesters on the Musa Anter Peace Convoy scheduled to travel to Diyarbakir in eastern Turkey for a million strong rally on 1st September. Having had the train halted in Brussels due to Turkish pressure on the German State, a press conference in Istanbul on 4th Sept. was broken up by riot police with two spokespersons badly injured. Meanwhile on 1st Sept. Kurdish demonstrators joined anti-militarist activists in disrupting the Arms Fair in Farnborough because of the responsibility of UK companies in selling arms to Governments, such as Turkey who repress the 35 million Kurds.

(more info Schnews http://www.schnews.org.uk/)

Steal Back what is Stolen

THE Mapuche indigenous people of the Argentinian Patagonia are fighting back. Greedy capitalists, aided by the state, stole their lands - including some sacred places - to construct camping sites for so-called "ecological" tourism. The Mapuche took direct action, taking over the lands again to graze their cattle.

The Police evicted Mapuche in December 1996, arresting 12. But their struggle continues, with trials due in spring '97, land occupations continuing and more evictions threatened. (info Germinal, CNT, Umanita Nova. Contact anarchist human rights commission - write : P. Benitez, Casilla de Correo n.114, 1708 Buenos Aires, Argentina)

THE EARTH IS SACRED

5000 indigenous people have decided to comitt suicide if "Occidental Petroleum" violate their land in order to get petroleum.

Despite the Colombian law made to protect indigenous territories from exploitation, by putting presure on the Colombian government and local authorities the multinational company"Occidental Petroleum" have achieved "legal" ways to go ahead with their plans.

For the U'wa comunity who believe Mother Earth is sacred,digging for petroleum, which they call the blood which gives life, is wrong for many reasons, mainly because it disrupts nature, more specificaly increasing the unpredictability of earthquakes.

Although other indigenous comunities such as Guahibos,Cuiva,Mecaguan,Hitny and Sikuani have disappeared as a direct result of previous drilling,authorisation has been given for the drilling to begin.

Info:Organizacion Nacional Indigena de Colombia(ONIC)

C/13 numero 4-38 Bogota Colombia

FAX:5712843465


No quarter asked

In Spain, the Insumision movement - against military and social service conscription - has adopted a new tactic. Labelled 'insumision in the quarters', conscripts register at the barracks when called then quit immediately , making a public presentation to explain their anti-militarist reasons for disobedience a few days later. By July, 13 such insumisos had gone through this process and miltary lawyers are asking for jail sentences of several years for each. Messages of support to: Izar Beltza, PO Box 1188, Iruea 31080, Euskal Herria, Spanish State.


NO BASES FOR MILITARISM

A MAY DAY demonstration showed the unity of different groups and individuals joined together to oppose the plan to double the size of the US military air base at Aviano, north Italy, making it the largest US airbase in Europe. Unitary Committee against Avaino 2000, c/o Circolo E.Zapata c.p. 311, 33170 Pordenone, Italy. (info Germinal)


ALBANIA

IT masquerades as a "humanitarian mission", but it's really military oppresssion and neo-colonialism, subjecting the country to the domination of the European Union and repressing the people's revolt. So charge opponents of Italy's military intervention in Albania. 500 marched in Ancona in southern Italy on 17 May in an anarchist-inspired demo which also expressed solidarity with Albanian refugees fleeing to Italy. 89 refugees were killed in the spring when an Italian naval ship sank their vessel. (Umanita Nova c/o La Coop. Tipolitografica, via S.Piero 13a, 54033 Carrara,Italy)


CROP READY

In Coventry, on 6 August, local residents wearing protective clothing uprooted an experimental genetically altered crop. The mutant DNA in this crop could have easily spread to the surrounding area through cross pollination or virus infection.October 2nd marks the start of 2 weeks of Global Days of Action against Biotechnology. To find out where your local GMO test site is get a full copy of the GMO public register from the Department of Enviroment Biotech Unit on 0171 276 8331.For more free info.write to 'genetix Update", Box 9659, london n4 4JY, 0181 374 9516.


PEACE CAMP RESISTS

THE FASLANE Peace Camp is resisting attempts to evict their camp outside the Faslane nuclear naval base in the west of Scotland. Demonstrate at the court eviction hearing, 5th November, Dumbarton Sheriff Court, Dumbarton. Contact Faslane Peace Camp, Shandon, Helensburgh G84 8NT. tel 01436 820 901.


McJUDGEMENT

AFTER the long and drawn out libel case of the McLibel 2 a decision has been reached which reinforces the statements in the "What's Wrong With McDonanlds" leaflet. The judge agreed with the leaflet on the following accounts:

McJUDGE RIGHT

Low Pay - McDonalds helps depress wages in the catering industry. Unsatisfactory work practices eg sending you home without pay when the store's not busy.

Advertising - McD's spends $2billion (!!) on corrupting young children's minds through obnoxious Ronald McDonald who promotes McD's unhealthy diet.

Animals - Cruel practices include restriction of movement for battery hens in the UK and the USA, and the same applied to pigs.

McJUDGE WRONG

Union activity - Judge couldn't connect union activity as a "sackable offence" and "gross misconduct" with present McD's policy on unions. Hee, haw.

Diet and ill health - Judge couldn't connect low fibre, high sodium (salt) high fat and animal product fiet of McD's to cancers of bowel and/or breast and heart disease/ Our health correspondent says "Hee, haw."

Food safety - Judge couldn't connect Food Safety recommendations to cook burgers for 2 minutes (McD's do it for 40/44 secs) to stop E . Coli 0157. Our Health correspondent says "Hee, haw."

Rainforests - Judge couldn't connect dwindling rainforest to land use for meat products (Where do McD's get their coffee?). Our wildlife correspondent says "Hee, haw."

Packaging / litter - Judge couldn't connect 1 million tons of waste packaging a year world-wide of McD's to McD's litter on the streets!! Our litter expert says "Caramba!"

A Day of Action at McDonalds stores world-wide on the Saturday after the trial verdict proved that McDonalds cannot prevent the ever-wider diffusion of the leaflet.

Thousands more will be given out on the upcoming Day of Solidarity with McDonalds workers (Oct.12th) and world Anti McDonalds Day (16 Oct.).

McSpotlight http://www.McSpotlight.org/ McLibel Support Campaign, 5 Caldedonian Rd., London N1 9DX Fax +44 (0)171 713 1269


NEW LABOUR NEW FIGHTBACK NEEDED

The new Labour government aim to create a comprehensive compulsory work for your dole system.

Their so-called Welfare to Work scheme targets 18-24 year olds unemployed over 6 months. They are to be forced to work for their benefits, plus 15 per week. Those refusing could have their benefit stopped for 2 weeks, 4 weeks for a "2nd Offence".

This is due to start in January 1998 as a pilot, April '98 uk-wide.

Labour is also continuing the Tories' discredited Project Work scheme (PW). PW hits 18-50 year olds unemployed for over 2 years in 29 areas Britain-wide.

It means 13 weeks part-time work for benefit plus 10. It threatens 2 and 4 week benefit cuts for refuseniks. It stinks.

In Brighton anti PW action has led to 4 employers withdrawing from PW and one of the Training Providers looking to pull out.

On 4 August Brighton Claimants Action Group and Brighton against the JSA occupied the offices of PW Training Provider AV Seaworth for over an hour. 3 days later AVS was again invaded.

On 11 August it was the turn of Network Training, the other PW Trianing Provider, to get a visit. Despite the presence of a van load of old bill the disruption continued for over an hour.

Persuasion, pressure, and where necessary pickets, and leafleting has led to Hove YMCA, Hove Engineerium (a museum), Tarner Youth Project and Oxfam all withdrawing from using PW slave labour.

This success will hopefully inspire similar action elsewhere. The Groundswell network of independent groups brings together claimants Britain-wide. A Groundswell-co-ordinated Day of Action against Labour's workfare plans on 21 July included action in Edinburgh - a joint rally and Job Centre occupation with the Dockers support group , Birkenhead - an occupation of MP Frank Fields surgery, and Nottingham - a "3 Strikes" photographing of 2 bullying dole officials. Police have since raided the homes and detained 2 people from Nottingham, using the new "harassment" legislation against stalkers. The charges have now been dropped.

In north west England a series of occupations and direct actions at Benefit offices and Project Work Training Providers have featured the participation of Dole House Doris, a large brown nanny goat!

Groundswell newsletter and lots more info from Groundswell c/o Claimants Action Group, E.Oxford Community Centre, Princes St., Oxford OX4 1HU Tel 01865 723750. Edinburgh Claimants 0131 557 6242. Brighton Claimants Action Group 01273 671 213. Nottingham Campaign against the JSA, PO Box 192, Nottingham NG1 1FJ. North West anti JSA Dole Bully Hotline 0161 338 8465. Regular reports on claimants' activity in Freedom

WEB http://www.tao.ca/-freedom


FRANCE - OCCUPATIONS AGAINST BENEFIT CUTS

France : People occupied several ASSEDIC government social security offices in early July to oppose the cutting of benefit payments. Over 50 were involved in the 2 July occupation of the Picpus ASSEDIC in Paris.

A comrade from France writes:

The ASSEDIC (unemployment insurance scheme) is an organisation which compensates the unemployed in France. When someone has been unemployed for too long to receive benefits, the ASSEDIC gives her/him a small sum of money, called social fund, each month.

At the beginning of July 1997 the ASSEDIC was on the point of doing away with the social fund. In response to this possibility, a group of autonomous anarchists decided to occupy ASSEDIC offices. Occupations happened in various ASSEDIC offices, the first one lasting several days without any major problem. The following account is about the second occupation on 2nd July.

20 or so people arrived towards 2pm at the Picpus branch of the ASSEDIC. Securiy people were hired in all ASSEDIC offices following the first occupation, and there were two at Picpus. They had to be physically prevented from closing the automatic doors, and were told quite clearly that we were in charge of the building from that point. There was though, neither physical nor verbal violence. We gave out leaflets explaining the reasons for the occupation to both workers and claimants who were present. We asked those in charge that the workers be allowed to continue their work for the claimants.

After several hours, over fifty people had joined us. One of us explained to the public why we were there. It was not only about the social fund, but the more general question of the working of the ASSEDIC. The national managers were immediately informed of the occcupation, and they ordered that the computer system be shut down and the office closed. We explained to the claimants present that we were not responsible for that decision.

Mattresses and food for the night were brought in. Then we organised a general meeting to discuss what to do next. Four security guards were ordered to stay inside the offices to ensure we caused no damage. We gave them a room off to one side so they could not eavesdrop into our discussions. We tried to explain our demands to the national leaders of the ASSEDIC by telephone but were unable to contact them directly.

The aim of this action was to occupy the ASSEDIC until evicted by the police. The strength of the autonomous anarchists lay in their number and determination, and not in violence or aggression. To find out how the occupation ended, and if there have been others since, you can contact the people at the anarchist paper APACHE at the address below:

Info : anarchist paper APACHE, Maison des Ensembles, 3-5 Rue d'Alegre, 75012 Paris, France.

 

USA : In Pembroke, Massachusetts a terminally-ill woman committed suicide while her family was being evicted from their home. In New York Marsha Motipersad was forced into workfare despite her heart disease. She died of a heart attack on the job. "Welfare reform" is killing the poor.

The Kensington Welfare Rights Union from Philadelphia is using direct action to fight back. Setting up tent cities, taking over an abandoned church to house the homeless, distributing free food, organising a 10 day march to the United Nations at New York in June '97 - these have been just some of their activities.

WEP Workers Together! is organising amongst New York City's 37,000 workfare workers forced to labour for their benefits. On 16 June workfare workers and their children set up an impromptu children's day care centre at the offices of the welfare commissioner. This was to protest at the dangerous lack of childcare for the 25,000 parents on workfare during the coming school summer holidays.

Info Love & Rage Aug.'97 (2441 Lyndale Ave. South Minneapolis, MN 55405, USA). Kensington Welfare Rights Union, PO Box 50678, Philadelphia, PA 19132-9720, USA.


Strikes against wage cuts imposed on teachers in Neuquen province, Argentina, escalated into nationwide anger after a a young woman was shot dead by police. 10,000 blocked roads in Cutral-Co,Neuquen , a town with 50% unemployment, as unrest grew about privatisation & cuts. President Menem's Government has tried to "delude the public into thinking this is about subversion when we are hearing the most intense cry of social anxiety yet" said an opposition politician.


GET INVOLVED !

Scottish anarchist network contacts:

Box A Fahrenheit 451 bookshop Virginia Galleries, Virginia St Glasgow G1 1TU (address closed since publication)

anarcho@geocities.com; [E-mail]

Tantrum (anarcho-feminist collective ) via CI address below:

The Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh / Edinburgh Claimants

(also for Dundee & other east coast contacts),

17 West Montgomery Place, Edinburgh EH7 5HA

0131-557-6242.

Anarchist Black Cross, PO Box 446, Sheffield, S1 1NY (prisoner solidarity)

Anarchist Communist Federation, 84b Whitechapel High St,London E1 7QX

Angry People, PO Box 108,St. Peters,NSW 2044 Australia

Smash Hits: : BM box 5538 London WC1N 3XX 0117 907 3667

Collective Action Notes, PO Box 22962, Balto., MD 21203, USA

Contraflow, 56a Infoshop, 56 Crampton St., London SE17; fax: 0171-326-0353;

WEB http://www.gn.apc.org/gridlock

Education Worker Network, PO Box 1681, London, N8 7LE

E. Anglia Anarchist Network, PO Box 87, Ipswich IP4 4JQ

Federation Anarchiste, 145 Rue Amelot, 75011 Paris, France

Frontline Collective and Organise both at: PO Box 505, Belfast BT11 9EE, Ireland

Haringey Solidarity Group, Box 2474, London N8. 0181 802 9804

Industrial Workers of the World, 75 Humberstone Gate, Leicester LE1 1WB

Kate Sharpley Library, BM Hurricane, London WC1 3XX

Kommunist Kranti, Majdoor Library, Autopin Jhuggi, Faridabad-121001, India (write for their new pamphlet on work)

London Anarchist Forum Fridays 8pm ,Conway Hall, Red Lion Sq,

London Class War POB 467 London E8 3QX (also got a new Class War paper out)

CW hotline -01582 482338

Bristol Class War PO Box 772, Bristol BS99 1EG

London Greenpeace, 5 Caledonian Rd., London N1 0171 837 7557. independent internet info on McDonalds and McLibel http://www.mcspotlight.org/

Norwich Solidarity Centre/S. Fed.: PO Box 73, Norwich NR3 1QD

Ratbag infoshop POB 126, cygnet 7/2, Tasmania, Australia

SchNEWS, PO Box 2600, Brighton BN2 2DX; tel/fax: 01273-685913 (weekly news-sheet)

http://www.schnews.org.uk/

Sheffield Anarchist Group, PO Box 446, Sheffield S1 1NY (also contact address for Anarchist Distribution Service)

Solidarity Fed - IWA, PO Box 493, St. Albans, AL1 5TW

South Bristol Anarchists, PO Box 1076, Bristol, BS99 1WF

Subversion http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/8195

Zizana, apdo. 400, 26080 Logrono, Spain.

.Books/Pamphlets:

DS4A, Box 8, 82 Colston St., Bristol BS1 5BB

Active Distro, BM Active, London WCIN 3XX

AK Distribution, PO Box 12766, Edinburgh, EH8 9YE. 0131 555 5165. ak@akedin.demon.co.uk

 

Apologies to groups whose address got missed out, especially from the printed version, due to lack of space and/or our mistake.

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CI 49 went to press 22.9.97.

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