anarchist bulletin by absences

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                                                                                                               A
   anarchist bulletin                                                  Britain and Ireland
                                                                       Anti-war special Feb 03
       www.afireland.cjb.net




War against war
SINCE THE 1950s, North American                own exploitation and if
                                               we want to continue to
warlords, usually accompanied by
                                               see but a fraction of the
their pet poodles in Westminster               wealth we create return
and Whitehall, have intervened                 to us in wages.
against various factions of the
                                               It’s not a million
ruling elite in the Middle East.
                                               miles away
Squabbling over the oil that lies                  The            British
under the desert sands.                        gover nment’s          own      Anti-war protesters invade Shannon airport
    Not that “America” needs the oil, most     estimate is that the war
petrol consumed in the United States does      will cost £5 billion. Every pound of tax uprising of the poor and oppressed. If we
not come from the Middle East, and most        payers’ money that is spent on obliterating were as poor as Bin Laden we would be
of America - the ordinary working people,      the people of Iraq, every pound that has doing well.
have about as much say in U.S. foreign         been spent over the course of the last 12         The truth is there are two sides – the
policy as the ordinary working people of       years doing just that, could have been working class, the soldiers in all armies,
Iraq have in policies of their government.     spent on the health service, could have builders in Baghdad or office workers in
A big chunk of the profits of oil              been spent on the fire service, could have London, against the ruling class consisting
corporations is, however, dependent on         be spent on social welfare. And this is not of officers in all armies, war mongering
relations with the oil-producing states.       just a minor thing. Poor public services multi-millionaire scum bags like Bin Laden
                                               KILL.                                         or Bush.                                ★
The Billion Dollar Question                        Nor is the battlefield confined to far
    The question isn’t what happens to the     off deserts. It stretches across the world,     WHAT CAN WE DO?
oil, it’s what happens to the profits?         from New York, to Moscow, to Bali. While      AN UNNAMED US
    For the ruling Western elite this is an    the Al Qaida - Iraq link has no substance defence official
important issue. If they circulate back into   outside the day dreams of Dubya’s recently admitted to
the Western-dominated world economic           scriptwriters, we have no doubt they will USA                Today
system, then all well and good for Bush,       use the opportunity presented to them by newspaper that the
Blair and the capitalists they represent.      the invasion of Iraq to build their timing                of    an
This usualy happens. The non-Western oil       organisation.                                 invasion had slipped
producing states fill the coffers of the           All the deaths and injuries inflicted in from mid-February to the end of February
multinationals by buying fighter planes        this war are the responsibility of all sides. or early March due to logistical problems
and other armaments. However, if it is         We don’t think the planes on S11 just in shifting a huge land, sea and air force.
used to develop native industrial              popped out of the sky with no relationship        Bases across Europe are the lines of
capitalism, as Hussein, Nasser, Bin Laden,     to the previous 50 odd years of American supply to feed the war machine in the
Khomeni and the like aimed at, beneath         military intervention in the Middle East, Middle East. Demilitarise them and the
the cloak of nationalism or religion, the      nor do we think the people of Iraq have capacity of that war machine to go to
problems start for “our” rulers.               much to thank Hussein for other than 22 work is seriously impaired.
    Not only does this lead to lost profits    years of war.                                     See the back page for upcoming direct
for them but it also leads to the                  We think anyone who blames actions and demonstrations against
development of a new rival to their            “Americans” needs to wise up, we’ll start military bases. Nothing going on in your
monopoly of economic and state power.          blaming the cleaners in American office area? Then form your own anti-war group
    So what they are fighting for is the       blocks the day they start sending armies and get organising. Read the reports of
                                                           day
right to exploit and we should only support    to Saudi Arabia, likewise with anyone who anti-war actions inside this paper. There
the war effort if we want to support our       thinks Bin Laden represents some kind of are no limits to what can be done!           ★
 ON THE                                          ON THE ATTACK
 FRONTLINE                                     FROM THE AUTUMN of 2001 to the Au-
                                               tumn of 2002 there have been at least half
WE’RE HAPPY TO report that 2003 has            a dozen massive anti-war demonstrations
picked up where 2002 left off with             in central London, not to mention protests
continuing worker resistance, including the    marches where there have never been pro-
possibility of a new wave of strikes in the    test marches before, the largest anti-war
car industry – which has long been claimed     demonstration in Glasgow ever. Are you
as a ‘strike-free’ area by the bosses.         listening Tony Blair? Well is he? It is time
    The Fire-fighters have gone back on        to go on the offensive, it is time to start
the offensive after the cooling-off period     inflicting a cost, it is time to stop asking
over the holidays. 55,000 workers held         nicely, it is time to stop playing by their
another 24-work stoppage on 21 January         rules. The following are some beginnings:
and are now threatening to hold further
48-hour strikes over the coming weeks –            October,
                                                   October, 02: Over 100 anti-war dem-
unless the FBU manages to pull the rug         onstrators took part in a mass trespass in          Actions on Januar y 18/19 : In
from under them – the “leaders” are            the runway grounds of Shannon airport, a        Northwood Strategic Command Military
showing clear signs of wavering, happy         civilian airport in the West of Ireland which   Base north west of London. 150 demon-
to use ACAS to discuss an 11% offer            is being used for re-fuelling by the U.S.       strators took photos of the British military
previously rejected. The strike has            military.                                       HQ – illegal under the official secrets act,
noticeably developed from being over a             November, 02: Walthamstow anar-
                                                   November,                                   and the next day the base was blockaded
wage increase to one that is essentially       chists re-decorated their local Territorial     by hundreds. There was a wide cross-sec-
about jobs – the modernisation plans that      Army base, and an anti-war mob invaded          tion of people showing the widespread re-
the fire-fighters have rejected would mean     the Confederation of British Industry Con-      sistance to war.
a loss of 4,500 jobs – the union officials     ference in Manchester.
should be pushing this, not back-                  Night time, 8/12/02: “The Armed                 At U.S. Airbase at Mildenhall fifteen
pedalling.                                     Forces recruitment office in central Bris-      anti-war protesters got on to on the base’s
    Workers at the Peugeot and Nissan car      tol was attacked. All windows were              main runway after breaking through a pe-
factories in Coventry and Sunderland are       smashed, locks glued and walls splattered       rimeter fence. Together with nearby
close to striking. Both are pay disputes,      with blood-red paint. “NO WAR” was the          Lakenheath, it is among the biggest U.S.
the companies making annual offers below       spray-paint message...This is direct action     airbases outside the United States main-
what is average in the industry, as the        against state terrorism and social              land. Aviators from both bases have seen
factories are in high-unemployment areas.      control...Pick your targets and fight back.     action in most major conflicts involving the
The return of industrial action in an          Anyone can take direct action...”               US in recent years.
industry which was once a hotbed of                Women with bolt croppers, 14/12/02:
working class resistance is a welcome sign     “We, the Women with Bolt Croppers claim             A group of activists from the Cardiff
that people are increasingly not going to      responsibility for breaking into US spy base    Anarchist Network chained themselves to-
let the bosses walk all over them anymore.     Menwith Hill in Yorkshire and destroying        gether to block one of the busiest roads in
    Bus drivers in Nor wich held a             their devices for intercepting radio            Cardiff, as part of the global protests
weeklong strike early in January over          communications...we made our way                against war in Iraq. The blockade took
unacceptable changes in working                through fields and fog and rain to the fence    place during an anti-war march through
practices,                                     of the base...No alarms sounded, no-one         the city centre bringing the march to an
    In Ireland, construction workers have      came to challenge us...We walked to our         abrupt halt and causing traffic chaos.
taken part in a series of wildcat strikes in   target unhindered. Armed with just a pair       Other marchers responded by holding an
response to attempts to undermine their        of bolt croppers and a hammer we set            unplanned sit-down protest in support.
safety conditions and wages through the        about our task of causing hundreds of               The Anarchists said that they resorted
use of “black-market” workers. At the          thousands of pounds worth of damage to          to direct action because the government
minute, the action is mainly limited to        the US listening devices...It was easy! ...     finds it so easy to ignore traditional
Limerick but there are signs that the          Imagine the power we would have if just         marches and protests. “400,000 people
trouble could spread to other counties.        1% of the people on the last anti-war demo      marched through London and no-one took
    In Italy recently, a similar dispute       decided to take their opposition to the war     the slightest bit of notice. The government
occurred on the railways, and the “black       a step further...”                              doesn’t give a damn about the views of
-market” workers also went out on strike           RAF Fairford, 8/12/02: Over 500 anti-
                                                         Fair
                                                          airford,                             the ordinary person in the street. If the
– something to bear in mind.                   war demonstrators went to Fairford in           anti-war movement is going to have any
    In Europe, dockworkers blocked a           Gloucestershire. RAF Fairford is one of only    impact whatsoever it has to move to di-
number of ports in Belgium and Finland         three B-2 Stealth bomber forward bases          rect action and civil disobedience, it has
in protest at EU proposals that threaten       in the world. The first wave of attacks on      to involve people in active opposition to
jobs – potentially this could be a very        Iraq will most likely be carried out by         the war and government machine, it has
important struggle in the coming months.       Stealth bombers flying from Fairford and        to get people to take back control of what’s
Italian pilots and flight attendants also      Diego Garcia. Some people entered the           being done in their name.”
struck in a dispute over safety.               base …
    Finally a success story: the workers at        8/01/03: Scottish train drivers refuse          In San Francisco an anarchist bloc of
Friction Dynamex who had held a two-           to carry ammunition for the war.                two thousand broke away from a permit-
year long picket outside their factory won         11/01/03: Anti-War demonstrations           ted march of 200,000. The British Consu-
their case against the company, holding a      disrupt US Air Force-run military base in       late and the Immigration and Naturalisa-
victory parade through Caernarfon and          Norfolk, same day, blockade of Naval base       tion Service offices were re-decorated, and
were cheered on by 1,500 locals.          ★    at Portsmouth.                                  the police constantly outwitted.          ★
    MESSAGE TO THE SOLDIERS                                                                     TIME
SO WHAT IS to be made of the                                 worse part of being a victim
                                                                                                BOMB
discovery dozens of phials of                               of Gulf War Syndrome is the        Continuing our regular look at history:
anthrax vaccine found washed                               not knowing, not knowing what
up on a south coast beach a few                           the cause is, not knowing what’s           Mutiny: A Noble Tradition
days after the departure of a Royal                     yet to come, and being powerless
Navy Task Force bound for the Gulf                     to do anything about it.”               IN JANUARY 1991 the Iraqi army fought
from a nearby port? Gulf War                              Aaron Kidwell – “Two months          well against the enemy, by refusing to
Syndrome, according to the US and                    [after the war] it started. I had         fight the Allies (not one Allied soldier was
UK governments and military, does                      noticed that since I had returned,      killed by Iraqi fire), by deserting the front
not exist. This is especially so when                   it was difficult for me to breathe     line in droves, and by returning home and
it is claimed to be caused by                             when we would do PT (physical        turning their guns on their government.
military vaccines. Seems that                              training)…I was 19 years old.           Soon Iraq was in the grip of revolution,
some troops bound for the Gulf                              These “attacks” became more        and the effective authority of the state
beg to differ. For those still in                           and more frequent and their        reduced to the central region around
doubt of the reality of Gulf War Syndrome      intensity was frightening. My joints also       Baghdad.
and as a way of showing just how much          became tender. I became quite irritable,            The reaction of the U.S. Government
the state cares about “our boys”, the          and later angry. In the years since, I’ve       and it’s allies:
following words which are all from British     been diagnosed with PTSD, depressive
and US military personnel who served in        disorder with paranoid traits,                     • Thousands of deserting troops were
the first Gulf War serve as a stark warning.   fibromyalgia, anxiety disorder, irritable       massacred on the road to Basra by the
    M Mor ris – “We were given all kinds
       Morris                                  bowel syndrome, alcoholism, and simply          USAF and RAF.
of shots, exposed to depleted uranium, oil     accused of lying…I now have little faith           • A ceasefire was then made with the
well fire smoke, etc... One day in January     in our government, no faith in the              Iraqi regime, all thoughts of overthrowing
1991 the entire company was lined up.          institution that is our military, and am        Saddam forgotten, and crucially the elite
We were ordered to take “secret” shots,        deeply suspicious of military doctors. I will   Republican Guard left intact to crush the
we signed non-disclosure forms, and the        trust them only as far as I can throw           uprising.
corpsmen were ordered NOT to enter the         them…I do think that there is a Gulf War            • As part of the truce Iraqi counter-
shots in our record books. I started           Syndrome. I do think that thousands have        insurgency helicopters were allowed into
experiencing a lot of the symptoms of          gone through similar experiences and            the ‘no fly zones’ controlled by the
“Gulf War Syndrome” within a year or so        have suffered for it. I do think that most,     American and British airforces.
of returning to the states…The VA denied       like myself, have given up hope that
my claim for muscle and joint pain,            anything will ever be done to help us. The          In 1917 and 1918 the Russian,
shortness of breath and problems walking.      government knows what happened, but             German and Austro-Hungarian Empires
They did however approve me for a 10%          those that are willing to help are              crumbled and the First World War was
disability on the basis of the brain damage    outnumbered and their voices silenced.”         brought to an end as the common soldiers
they found in an MRI. Funny, I didn’t have         William Cotton – “I was given a couple      refused to fight. Also in 1917 massive
it before the war…Couldn’t have been the       of “vaccinations” during the lead-up to the     mutiny made the French Army unable to
“secret shots” or anything, you think?”        air war…Since leaving the military my           take offensive action.
    Andy Vincent - “...after the fighting
           Vincent                             memory problems have increased and that             After both the First and Second World
was over I was responsible for preparing       frightens me…I once held the American           Wars mutiny and demands for
this equipment for its return back to the      military in high regard and was the most        demobilisation in the armed forces left the
UK...Many of them that had been used in        gung-ho of my colleagues in uniform.            British Empire unable to effectively
the field came back to me filled with dust     Today I’m angry and bitter with those who       combat internal rebellions.
from all over Kuwait and Iraq...I left the     once called me their friends who have now           Following W.W.1 demob. unemployed
RAF in 1994, it wasn’t until 1996 that I       deserted me…I’ve since found that I’m           ex-soldiers rioted across Britain, after
had my first emergency trip into               not alone in that sort of treatment             W.W. 2 they forged a powerful squatting
hospital…I wake in the mornings feeling        either…We should all stand together,            movement in the face of chronic
like I’m 75 not 42. All this and a memory      because no one else will help us. We are        homelessness.
that don’t work properly…I think the           on our own.”                              ★         During the later stages of the Vietnam
                                                                                               war, as a U.S. Officer wrote at the time,
                                                                                               “By every conceivable indicator, our army
   WHATEVER HAPPENED TO AFGHANISTAN?                                                           that now remains in Vietnam is in a state
A YEAR AGO the war camp talked                          on women’s rights.”                    approaching collapse, with individual
about defeating terrorism and lib-                          Meanwhile PakNews.com              units avoiding or having refused combat,
erating the women of Afghanistan                        reports on December 28, 2002:          murdering their officers and non
while the anti-war camp talked                          “Pakistan, Afghanistan and             commissioned officers, drug-ridden, and
about pipelines through Afghani-                        Turkmenistan on Friday signed          dispirited where not near mutinous.”
stan for oil and gas fields.                            here a framework agreement for             Today, over 500 Israeli soldiers are
    Well leaving “defeating terrorism” to      a US $ 3.2 billion gas pipeline project pass-   refusing to ser ve in the occupied
one side (nobody seriously argues it did       ing through the three countries.                territories.                             ★
that!), according to a recent Human Rights         “According to a study by Asian Devel-
Watch report: “As of December 2002, the        opment Bank (ADB), the 1460 km pipe-
U.S. and coalition military forces in Af-      line would use gas reserves at Dauletabad        Anarchist Federation online:
ghanistan are continuing to pursue a strat-    fields in Turkmenistan, which has world’s                      www.afed.org.uk
                                                                                                British site: www.afed.org.uk
egy of entrusting general security and po-     fifth largest reserves, while passing                        www.afireland.cjb.net
                                                                                                Irish site: www.afireland.cjb.net
licing to local forces with terrible records   through Afghanistan into Pakistan.” ★
PRISON                                          CLASS WAR NOT RACE WAR
RESISTANCE                                   WITH THE NEWS that two of the six
                                             suspected Algerian terrorists caught up       “unite and fight for
ABOUT 80 PRISONERS fought back               in the “ricin plot” were asylum seekers,
against the regime at Shotts maximum-        the press wasted no time in spinning into
                                             nationalist,      anti-asylum       seeker
                                                                                           a decent life for all”
security prison in Lanarkshire, Scotland.
The 19-hour rebellion began on the 2 of      propaganda overdrive. But what the            annually are smuggled world-wide by
January when prisoners refused to return     government and “their” media seem to be       ruthless entrepreneurs who have
to the cells. A number of small fires were   forgetting is that the only myth is the       developed sophisticated methods of
started and three screws were                “bogus” asylum seeker.                        relieving desperate people of the little
hospitalised. The prison authorities have        The main sources of refugees are          money they have. If “customers” arrive
used drug sniffer dogs, drug detecting       Palestine, Somalia, Afghanistan, Ethiopia     alive at their hoped for destinations, in
equipment, monitoring of phone calls and     and Eastern Europe with people making         order to clear debts to the traffickers, they
CCTV as part of a crackdown. Some            potentially tragic journeys to Britain. Not   risk being forced into prostitution, organ
prisoners succeeded in getting onto the      because Britain gives the most benefits,      donation, slavery or forced marriage.
roof and shouting could be heard inside      but because life in their “home” country           What is needed is for people to
the jail. Flags were waved from the          is simply intolerable. What the media fail    recognise that it is the ruling classes,
windows and a banner demanding ‘leave        to mention is the conditions endured by       whatever their nationality, that take from
our visitors alone’ was also visible. The    the refugees that try and get here – they     society and leave us, the working classes,
revolt was suppressed when van loads of      die from suffocation in trucks; from          whatever our colour, with nothing but
riot cops and screws stormed the jail.       minefields; from stowing away in              destruction. The only way out of this mess
Prisoners in Shotts jail have fought back    undercarriages and freezing or falling; or    is for the working classes to unite and fight
several times in the recent past.            from drowning in shark infested seas.         for a decent life for all – to smash the state
                                             Without a doubt, all would have preferred     and capitalism and to organise our lives
Prison Labour Conference To establish a
               Conference:                   not to have had to leave home and familiar    and communities according to everyone’s
campaign against prison labour. Leeds,       surroundings in the first place.              needs. Don’t let the authorities divide and
starts 12 noon. Tel: 07944 522 001 ★             It is estimated that some four million    rule us!                                    ★



                         Subvert and resist                                                     Join the resistance
                                                                                           The Anarchist Federation is an organisation
                                                                                                           Federation
                      Take precautions when going on demonstrations and don’t              of class struggle anarchists aiming to
                      take cameras, booze or drugs. If you’re nicked give your name        abolish capitalism and all oppression to
                      and address then say ‘no comment’ to any other questions.            create a free and equal society. This is
                                                                                           Anarchist Communism.
FEBRUARY: 8 – Mass die-in 1pm Bournemouth Square. Tel: 07743 537 043
FEBRUAR ARY                                                                                    We see today’s society as being divided
    8 – Worthing against War 1pm – Gathering in Montague Place with banners and            into two main opposing classes: the ruling
                                                                                           class which controls all the power and
speakers 2pm –March to war memorial, Chapel Road. worthingagainstwar@yahoo.co.uk
                                                                                           wealth, and the working class which the
    14-18 – Actions organised by Faslane peace camp including action against a Labour
                                                                                           rulers exploit to maintain this. By racism,
party war conference in Glasgow. Tel 01436 820901 faslanepeacecamp@hotmail.com
                                                                                           sexism and other forms of oppression, as
    15 – Don’t Attack Iraq demonstration in London from 1pm. Meet at Embankment.           well as war and environmental destruction
    15 – Anti-war march and rally in Glasgow. Meet 10am on Glasgow Green.                  the rulers weaken and divide us. Only the
MARCH:
MARCH: 1 – demonstration against military re-fuelling at Shannon airport. Visit:           direct action of working class people can
                      ransport:
www.indymedia.ie Transport Dublin Tel: 0877 939 931 or Email ggantiwar@yahoo.com,          defeat these attacks and ultimately over-
Galway Tel: 0861 682 416 or Email: galwaytoshannon@yahoo.com, Belfast Email:               throw capitalism.
anarcho_syndicalist_federation@hotmail.com                                                     As the capitalist system rules the whole
    To join a discussion list for the non-hierarchical anti-war movement in Ireland send   world, its destruction must be complete and
a blank Email to: gg-antiwar-subscribe@yahoogroups.com                                     world wide. We reject attempts to reform it,
    22 – Demonstration outside Fairford USAF base. Email: james@venables.plus.com          such as working through parliament and
    22 – Action at Menwith Hill Base. Tel: 07905 913 139 or Email: mail@now-               national liberation movements, as they fail
peace.org.uk                                                                               to challenge capitalism itself. Unions also
    If war breaks out check out: http://www.schnews.org.uk/pap/ifwarbreaksout.htm          work as a part of the capitalist system, so
for details of events planned for your area.                                               although workers struggle within them they
                                                                                           will be unable to bring about capitalism’s
                       Subscribe to resistance                                             destruction unless they go beyond these limits.
                                                                                               Organisation is vital if we’re to beat
  !      I enclose £4 for the next 12 issues of resistance bulletin (cheques payable to    the bosses, so we work for a united
         “AF”) and send to AF, PO Box 375, Knaphill, Woking, Surrey, GU21 2XL.             anarchist movement and are affiliated to
         Specify if you want the British or Irish edition.                                 the International of Anarchist Federations.
  !      I enclose £4 for a year’s subscription to Organise! the magazine of the AF.           The Anarchist Federation has members
  !      I am interested in the Anarchist Federation and would like more information.      across Britain and Ireland fighting for the
                                                                                           kind of world outlined above. Contact us at:
  Name.....................................................                                          Federation,
                                                                                           Anarchist Federation,
  Address..................................................                                84B, Whitechapel High Street,
  .........................................................                                London, E1 7QX. Tel: 07946 214 590
                                                                                           Visit: www.afed.org.uk
  .........................................................
                                                                 "                         Email: anarchistfederation@bigfoot.com

								
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