No.48 March/April/May 1997

Scots Fight Back- people resist cut backs by local authorites

Social Justice- Dockers fight harbour company scabs

Magnet- workers go on strike

Hillingdon Support - hospital workers seek support

world to win- news from around the world

the heaviest penalty- suicides in prison

nobody's fool - a new society:what you cannot vote for

inside info - there in there for us, we are out here for them

Squatters Resist

No to fortress Europe

Women FightBack

Days that Shook the Tarmac

Korea Opportunities

Bouganville Resists

Working on a Chain Gang

Lost in Limbo

Get involved

Genocide in Bougainville

Up to 150 mercenaries have been hired by the government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) in preparation for an attack on the Bougainville rebels. The island of Bougainville has a population of 160,000 and is situated to the north of Australia, at the western end of the Solomon Islands archipelago. Although ethnically part of these islands too, power-broking by European colonial powers forced B'ville to come under PNG rule early this century. In 1969, the Australian owned CRA/RTZ copper mine at Panguna was forcibly established leaving 800 people homeless and a huge trail of environmental damage, destroying the subsidence living of gardening and fishing. The B'ville people have opposed the mine from day one and after 20 years of protesting without success, they forcibly closed the mine in 1988, using guerilla tactics. The PNG government, with Australia's support, responded by sending riot police then the army in its attempts to re-open the mine, which by then had become the most profitable in the world. Bougainvilleans then formed the B'ville Revolutionary Army (BRA) an declared themselves independent. The air and sea blockade imposed by PNG to isolate B'ville has claimed more than 10,000 lives, directly or otherwise. In terms of regaining control of the island, the military strategy has had less success as central B'ville, with around 100,000 people, is in the hands of the BRA who have displayed incredible ingenuity during the blockade, learning to make their own guns. Despite its claims to the contrary, Australia is heaily involved in the war, sending £150m annually and supplying training and equipment to the PNG army who've been intensifying their attacks of late. On Nov 26, 2 children were killed by PNG forces in the village of Bigisagu and on Nov 28, 9 people, including 4 kids, were killed by a mortar bomb which hit the Malabita care centre. 11 were massacred in a dawn rid a Mokakuru on Dec 1st. For info: Bougainville Freedom Movement (UK), c/o SDEF!, Prior House, Tilbury Place, Brighton, E Sussex; BFM, PO Box134, Erskineville, NSW 2043, Australia; Thanks to SchNEWS.

PNG's the indigenous peoples in the other half of the island of Papua, West Papua, ceded to Indonesia in 1969, have themselves been resisting multi-national mining companies for the past 20 years. The Amungme people, amongst others, have resisted the destruction of their lands by Indonesia's biggest mining operation. The Grasberg opencast mine lies in the forested hills, exploiting the rich copper and gold deposits. It' s operated by an Indonesian subsidiary of the US company Freeport McMoran. WIth no consultation and only token compensation, the Amungme have lost their hunting grounds,, seen their crops ruined, their rivers poisoned and their sacred sites destroyed. 100s have been forcibly resettled in a crowded and unhealthy township. And now, due to a £500m investment by RTZ, the mine is set to expand by 300 times, covering an area the size of Wales. Hand in hand with the mine's development has been the brutal repression by the Indonesian army. In 1977, some Amungme people, aided by independence fighters, blew up a slurry pipeline. In retaliation, the military bombed entire villages. The government itself estimated that 900 people were killed. The outrages continue as evidenced by the murder of 11 Hoea villagers, including 5 women and children, by the Indonesian army on 31 May 95. Despite the repression, the resistane goes on and the mine was closed down for 3 days last year due to riots in the area. The Amungme have shown that they will not rest until the destruction of their land and the military repression is defeated. No justice, no peace.


Dunlop aced

Workers at the Dunlop tennis ball factory in Barnsley, Yorkshire have won a struggle to have temporary staff paid at the same rate as full-time workers.

Newham Labour Cuts

Newham Monitoring Project, fighting racism, police harassment and fascism in east London has had its funding stopped by the Labour Council. The NMP (0181-555-8151) also suffered a mysterious fire at their premises on 14th January.

New Sell Off

Hackney Labour Council, trying to sell-off 7,000 Council flats to Housing associations are being resisted by a campaign involving Haggerston Tenants Association, with leaflets translated into 6 languages. Contact via 0171-254-2312.

Big Brother!

The Labour Party, trying again to outdo the Tories, plan to use the Inland Revenue to check whether people are avoiding the Council Tax amongst other taxes.

A.C.E. is the place!

15 months after being evicted from Broughton St., unemployed resistance has a new base at 17 West Montgomery Place EH7 5HA

Seeds of Discontent

Sabotage was being investigated at Seed crushers in Arbroath, Scotland after £5,000 damage was linked to a local campaign against foul smells coming from the factory.

Dublin pirates appeal

Dublin alternative Radio Collective want news material for their daily 2 hour news service. Send to P O.B. 3327 Dublin 8, Eire.

Pyramid toppled

In Albania's dispossessed south, what began as protests over the loss of personal savings based on the fraudulent pyramid schemes, became an armed revolt in early March '97, leading to militias taking over arms, gun boats and other military arms, in confrontation with the discredited Government of President Berisha in Tirana.


In England, where communities have been subjected to attacks on jobs and services on a regular basis since the early 1980's, included Greenwich where Labour councillors called police to remove disabled childreand head teachers from the council chamber where they were protesting at the implementation of Tory cuts. In Sheffield council workers walked out on a half day unofficial strike to lobby the council. Workers in Tower Hamlets have voted overwhelmingly in favour of indefinite strike action if compulsory redundancies are issued. In Islington, over 800 pupils, parents and teachers marched in protest at the Labour council's threatened cuts at Holloway Boys School.the fight continues. Recent actions have included Greenwich where Labour councillors called police to remove disabled children ÊWHEN 103 workers at the Glaciers factory in Glasgow were sacked in November for refusing to accepts imposed by management, they defied the bosses and the Law and occupied the factory. Trade unionists and new working practices imposed by management, they defied the bosses and the Law and occupied the factory. Trade unionists and lers were encouraged by the support from other workers and community groups, and hope that their action will be an example to others. Some have become involved in the TGWU NE London Textile Workers Branch, a Union branch with an unusual their own struggle.


70 TEXTILE workers made significant gains by occupying the Tudorgold factory in Tottenham, London for 10 days from 24 January. The workers, many Turkish and Kurdish, took action to win several months unnges.egree of independence and militancy which has been active in several recent local disputes. Contact the Branch Secretary Tekin Kartal, 8-10 Stamford Hill, London N16. Tel 0181 806 6636. Ê

Korea Opportunities

At a secret vote of the South Korean parliament on December 26th'96, a law was passed that cut workers' rights. It entailed: * Making it easier for bosses today off workers; * Banning the formation of 2 unions in one workplace - until 2002; * Banning the formation of umbrella labour groups - until 2000; * Increasing powers for S.Korea's spy agency (No doubt to stifle political dissent). The irony of these laws should not be overlooked by those of us who stay in Britain. The Korean Government is trying to copy the 'flexible' approach of the U.K. Government ! These new laws were quickly attacked by workers. On December 27th, workers in the car industry, exporting and dockers went on strike, amounting to 300,000 on strike. In Seoul, 6,000 demonstrators took to the streets where they met riot police and tear gas with a greeting of bottles and paving stones. In Ulsan, 20,000 Hyundai workers held a rally burning an effigy of President Kim Young-Sam and chanting: "Fight, Fight, Fight". The South Korean Government is trying to blame the ailing stalinist regime of North Korea for the industrial unrest. However, it is obvious that workers interests are opposed to any 'dictatorship of the proletariat' where any unrest would be dealt with by brute force. Remember, capitalism is a 'dog eat dog' system. State socialism is the reverse!! On March 2nd the struggle continued with a half-day general stoppage. 230 wed to any 'dictatorship of the proletariat' where any unrest would be dealt Recent months have seen a wave of resistance from workers as governments across the globe impose austerity measures and cuts in public spendingÉ
  The last week of 96 saw Israel brought to a standstill as 400,000 workers, mainly in the public sector, struck for 5 days in protest at the government's proposed budget cuts. The telephone company, banks, postoffices, seaports, airports and radio and TV stations were all affected by the strike which forced the Knesset to reject the budget. The govt. wants to reduce deficits and pay for financial incentives to settlers on the Gaza Strip and West Bank. The Israeli working class have already suffered through increased taxes and welfare cuts.
  Meanwhile an 8 day strike by 800,000 public sector workers in Colombia forced the govt. to back down on its plans to limit wage increases to 9% below inflation.

Union bosses? Who needs 'em.

Following a 97% vote for strike action in February, Ireland's nurses have forced their govt. to dish out 80m including nearly 30m in back pay. They previously rejected 4 separate deals negotiated by union leaders despite govt. protests that there was no more money.