Sunday, 28 August 2016

A Call For Solidarity.

A call for support from Merseyside Anti-fascist Network.

       Our much loved sister, Michelle Smith, pleaded guilty to the state charges against her for her participation in organised direct action against fascists in Dover on January 30th 2016.
     On Tuesday 12th July Michelle was sentenced to 12 months in Prison at Canterbury Crown Court.
     On that dreadful day in Dover, the state supported a group of armed and dangerous fascists to meet together in public and bring terror and hate to the streets of Dover. These neo-nazis demonstrated with the protection of the police, they hurled insults and threw missiles at our comrades, the public and at the police.
     Michelle is passionate in her beliefs and in standing up for the rights of people to live without fear of racist attacks.
      Michelle has never been violent, she has remained dignified even when these thugs have repeatedly threatened her home address, her children and her livelihood. Michelle remained dignified when one of these thugs attacked her in her in her work place.
     She has spent her life in the service of others. She is a single mother of two children and her involvement in anti-fascism has always been about making this country a safer place for them to live. Her actions were taken to resist racism and fascism.
   We believe that anti-fascist action is always self-defence. By confronting fascists and their ideas we strive for people to live without fear. We stand with Michelle and always will do. We ask every one of you to remember the atrocious history of violence that fascists have done and continue to do to our society and to support us by joining, campaigning and donating to the cause.
     We will not allow our comrade to be forgotten; we will campaign for her release
      She is in there for us, and we are out here for her.

No Pasaran!

       If you want to write to Michelle message our page and we will send you her details.

Solidarity x
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Saturday, 27 August 2016

Just An Expendable Cog In A Machine.

         I must admit that I had never heard of Tetsuya Ishida the Japanese artist who was killed by a train at a level crossing in 2005, until I visited arrezafe site. However having a look soon convinced me that I had missed out on something special. Tetsuya painted ordinary working people, but as embodied in some for of mechanism or object for use. Human, but not living the life of a human, just part of a mechanised system. He captures the moribund boredom of employment, and the fact that we are all just usable objects in this capitalist system.
More images HERE:
This short video is a tribute to his memory.

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September 9th. Prison Strike.

        It is well documented, but little publicised, that the American prison system is nothing more than continuation of the slave labour system that existed prior to the 13th. amendment, that supposedly abolished slavery. American prisons are profit making corporations, where human rights are non-existent, a vast slave empire hidden from public scrutiny. It is also a model that is being replicated here in the UK and else where. A society that cages its people is a society that must be abolished, and remade in the interest of all its people. Modifying prison regulations and prison reform, still leave you with the barbarity of humans in cages, an unacceptable situation.
       The coming September 9th. American prison strike demands support across all borders, solidarity knows no borders.
 This from Contr Info:
Call for International Anarchist Action
in Solidarity with US Prison Strike

        On September 9th [the 45th anniversary of the Attica prison rebellion], prisoners across the United States will begin a strike that will be a general work stoppage against prison slavery. In short, prisoners will refuse to work; they will refuse to keep the prisons running by their own labors. Prisoners are striking not just for better conditions or changes in parole rules, but against prison slavery. Prisoners state that under the 13th Amendment which abolished racial slavery, at the same time it allowed human beings to be worked for free or next to nothing as long as they were prisoners. Prisoners see the current system of prison slavery to thus be a continuation of racial slavery, which is a system that generates billions of dollars in profits each year for major corporations in key industries such as fossil fuels, fast food, banking, and the US military.
      Soon after the passing of the 13th Amendment, many former slaves were soon locked up in prisons on petty offenses, quickly returned to their former roles as slaves. Over a century later, the Drug War sought to deal with the growing unemployment rate brought on by changes in the economy (outsourcing, financialization, deregulation, etc.), as well as the threat of black insurrection which grew in the 1960s and 70s, by throwing more and more people in prison. At the same time, the state and corporations continued to look towards prison labor as a source to generate massive profits.
       Due to all of these factors, at the present time round 1 in 100 American adults is locked behind bars, and many more are on probation, parole, house arrest, or in immigrant detention facilities. While African-Americans, Native, Latino, and poor whites make up the bulk of the prison population, black, brown, and red convicts make up much a higher percentage of inmates than their white counter-parts. For instance, there are currently more African-American people locked within the prison industrial complex than were held in racialized slavery prior to the American civil war in the 1860s. It is in this climate that prison rebels have organized themselves to carry out the strike.
Read the full article HERE:
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Coffins From Derry.

       Sometimes the Glasgow dialect can be difficult to grasp, and the magic of words lost even though the passion may shine through. This may have been the case in the last post, so for comrade Loam and those others who might not have been able to grasp all the words, here is a transcript of Victoria McNulty's poem Coffins From Derry. Thanks Victoria.

Coffins from Derry

A thousand flood
Could have burst The Clyde
Each day of 1848
Had it not been for people.
The undead
Sailed in coffins from Derry.
Irish fever
Spilled from the Foyle, to
Boil the banks with Typhoid, the
Young scratched with fleas from starving rats
To be sacked -
Abandoned in Scotland's slums,
Feared and greeted by no one.
When my family crossed to Scotland,
They didn't flea famine,
But civil war.
The Gaeltacht already Black An Gorta Mhor,
Their names now warning signs on windows.
No work or trade gave way to
Forgotten faiths
And altered names; just tags of tarrier, terrorist and taig.
Coffins aren't made of mahogany today,
Just tarpolin and waves.
Not Killkenny's mass graves
But the beds of the Aegean Sea-
The road from Damascus stacked with similarities
Even Saul could see,
Floatsome children line beaches,
Their flesh all bloated and grey like typhus
Their parents, skeleton faces
Line security gates and fences -
Wire poked with frail famine hands-
Lips stitched and stomachs pitted
As Joe McDonnell, Bobby Sands....
And still we say they're not like us,
Don't belong like us.
I can never forget,
Scotland is cut from refugees,
And I am privileged.
My mothers made their journeys for me,
So now I watch from couch
And TV,
Miles from pipe bomb and peace walls.
Yet I will not fall silent,
I stand tall I stand proud
In welcome and unity
I stand in solidarity
With displaced people now residing in Scotland.
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Friday, 26 August 2016

We Owe Our Migrant Ancesters

       We can all feel with passion but trying to express that feeling, be it anger or love, is more difficult, We can all feel strongly about injustice, and frustrated that we can't portray that same passion to others, in the hope of finding common ground upon which we can act. Poetry is an amazing vehicle for getting those passions out to others, of saying what is really in our hearts.
 Do you believe he done this to claim a paltry benefit?

       There is a lot of passion burning in people about the injustice that migrants suffer, and though there is a lot of action to support migrants, there is need for more. This poem by  Victoria McNulty burns with passion, but also helps us understand that migration is a human thing, it's what humans have been doing since they first walked this earth. Whether it be in search of a better life, or fleeing persecution, people moved, it is a survival thing in every human, and it will continue. Migrants are our brothers, sisters and our parents from the past, and will be our brothers, sisters and our parents of the future.

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Thursday, 25 August 2016

No War But Class War.

       Under capitalism, the festering cancer that dominates our lives, the ordinary people fight a multitude of battles, there are plenty of injustices to pick from. There is racism, sexism, patriarchy, gender problems, inequality, injustice, militarism, and so the list goes on. All of these struggles are important, but winning one or all of them, will not bring this corrupt exploitative system crumbling down. There is the core battle that has to be fought, and that one struggle is the only struggle that will free us from the crushing power of the capitalist system. We have to realise that it is a class based system, that is its foundation, it ability to function. We are its serfs, its peasants, its slaves, and no matter how many injustices we manage to right, the same class system will still be in place. There is an "elite" of privileged parasites who control every aspect of our lives, and we feed them generously. Until we eradicate that class bases of our society, we will never be free, we will always have injustices and exploitation as the norm of our lives. Class war is the only road to demolish this needless burden on the shoulders of humanity.

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Aberfoyle Old And New.

       Wednesday 24th. was a glorious day, lots of blue sky, beaming sunshine and a light wind, a cyclist's dream world, so I headed for Aberfoyle. The little town of Aberfoyle in the Trossachs area is a lovely little spot. It has been the haunt of walkers and cyclists from away back and still is, though there has been a lot of changes. As a young apprentice in the shipyards one of my interests was hill walking and the bus from Dundas Street Glasgow to Aberfoyle was a weekend regular. At the Weekend I think it was walkers and climbers that made up 100% of bus company's customers.
The main street Aberfoyle, with Ben Lomond in the distance. 

      It was a ritual, you all poured off the bus at Aberfoyle square, a small square in the centre of the town. The ragtag bunch that hit the town soon head of in usually two directions, some would take the road to the right and head over The Duke's Pass to Lendrick Youth Hostel or to their favourite camping or dossing spot. Others would head along the shores of Loch Ard to the Loch Ard Youth Hostel or likewise their particular camping spot or doss. Our spot if the weather was good would be to follow the Ledard Burn up the hill, where there were plenty of good camping spots at the side of the burn with the clear water of the burn gurgle down to the loch. Lots of those walkers/campers/climbers arrived with a guitar slung over their shoulder and for the crowd that made Loch Ard area their base, it would almost be obligatory at night to head to the Alskeith Hotel on the shore of the loch, where there would chatting sing and general mayhem until the hotel decided it was time to throw us out, then the little groups dispersed in the darkness to their hostel tent or doss.
 Outside The Forth Hotel, Aberfoyle.

      In those days the last bus out of Aberfoyle on Sunday night was something that you will never see again. All the now dirty, sweaty hoard, would pile into the bus, and if it was a wet night the windows would soon be steamed up. People would be taking of socks and bits and pieces, wringing them out and drying their feet etc. It was not that unusual for someone sit in the floor of the passage way in the bus, light a Primus stove and start to do some sausages or what ever was left over and share around. Guitars would be strumming and songs would be ringing out. All this as the bus wound its way in the darkness through those winding twisting roads back to Dundas Street Glasgow. Once there it would disgorge it human cargo who would then thin out as the made the last bit of their journey on a corporation bus or tram, usually to one of Glasgow's many slums or some housing scheme.
      Still popular with walkers/cyclists etc., Aberfoyle has changed, now a popular tourist attraction with special parking places for tour buses, but is still very much recognisable, however, the main difference is that now the main means of travel to the town is by car or tour bus, they are everywhere.
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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Stand Up For Peace.

      With what can be called world war III going on in the Middle East, we should never lose sight of the fact that with all the imperialist powers involved, there is every possibility of it spiralling out to a wider area covering countries beyond the Middle East. There is no guarantee that the bloodshed, death, devastation and misery, will be contained to that particular region, those involved will up the ante if they feel they are losing ground to their opposing imperial powers. There is too much oil and gas involved for the power mongers to walk away.
     With that in mind we should continually keep raising our voices against the militarist basis of the system we live under. We must make it clear to the powers that be that we will not tolerate this world based on military might and power.
     To that end the Scottish Peace Network in conjunction with others, holds a monthly vigil, in Buchanan Street Glasgow, against the militaristic nature of our society.
       August vigil will be held this Thursday August 25th. at the Donald Dewar statue at the top of Buchanan Street Glasgow, from 5pm-6pm. The weather is set to be fine so no excuse, turn up and raise your voice for peace and an end to this ruthless slaughter in the name of power. 
Thursday, 25th. August,
5pm to 6pm,
Donald Dewar Statue,
Buchanan Street,
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         Is Rojava, Spain 1936? Well the Turkish state seems to think so. After the recent bombing in the mainly Kurdish area of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey's fascist psychopathic president, says, he will play a more active part in the war in Syria, which in his language, translates to, bomb the shit out of the Kurds involved in the Syrian war. Which of course will be Rojava. There are anarchists across the world who passionately believe that Rojava is Spain 1936 and put their lives on the line in support of that belief, and others without any reference to Spain see what is happening in Rojava as a spark of hope for the future of freedom for the individual, and the freedom of all humanity, and likewise, put their lives on the line. They deserve the support and respect of us all.
This from Insurrection News:

       When anarchism was born, it was born as a borderless struggle and as a struggle for a free world. From its inception as a political theory its proponents moved across territories to engage in the struggle, connected with comrades, and fought alongside those who struggled for liberation as virulently as they did.
        In New York we struggle on the backs of giants, yet still for a hundred years, against a massive state that never stopped its colonial, imperial incursions. Rojava has pried open the hegemonic monster of the state and illuminated the possibility of liberation in the struggle of anarchists worldwide; not just anarchists but all those who feel the inescapable draw of a free life.
        We are here to say goodbye to Jordan MacTaggart (also known as Ciwan Firat). He was an american anarchist and YPG fighter who gave his life for the liberation of Manbij: a key point in the struggle for Rojava and a city under the oppressive rule of Daesh.
       We salute you as a comrade who deeply knew the struggle we face here.
      We salute you for recognizing the importance of Rojava in our international struggle and for making the ultimate sacrifice to help keep the revolutionary struggle alive.
       We will never forget that when you lay on that field injured, you asked those of us who remain to keep the revolution going.
       For the sacrifice you have made we deepen our commitments to the struggle here, to fighting for the revolution in Rojava,
and to acting on all fronts of this battle with the dedication you have set.

Biji Ciwan Firat
Biji Rojava
Long live the anarchist fighters
Long live the revolution

-Anarchists of New York

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Tuesday, 23 August 2016

USA Incarcerated Manufacturing Corporation.

         This post is to remind us that there is a prisoners strike planned for September 9th, in America's prisons, and why. Because of the utter appalling conditions, injustice and corruption of the whole prison system this strike demands our support. Caging animals is is seen as wrong, but we still tolerate the caging of humans, why?
           I doubt that the general public are aware that the so called leader of the free world, The Good Ol' US of A, is also the leader in incarcerating its own people. The US leads the world in nuclear power, and in general military power, to quell any resistance to its hegemony from overseas, but it also has a brutal system to quell any resistance by its own people to the tyranny of its savage system of capitalism.
         The American prison system is one big corporate money making machine, which recruits from the poorest and most disadvantaged sections of its communities. The judiciary in America is part and parcel of that corporate recruiting system. Once incorporated into its caged workshops, you are there for years, you lose all rights, and become a slave in one of the largest corporate money making enterprises in America. No union rights, no holidays, no days off, and punishment if you don't work hard enough.
      The U.S. imprisons a larger percentage of its black population than South Africa did at the height of apartheid. 
1. The United States has 5% of the world's population, but 25% of the world's prisoners.
2. The total incarcerated population in the U.S. is a staggering 2.4 million — a 500% increase over the past 30 years. 
3. One in every 108 adults was in prison or jail in 2012.
4. One in 28 American children has a parent behind bars.  
5. At the end of 2007, 1 in 31 adults was behind bars, on probation or on parole.
6. Currently, 65 million Americans have a criminal record.
7. There are more people behind bars today for a drug offense than there were in 1980 for all offenses combined.
More facts HERE:
         The American corporate world have more or less taken over the prison system and are working it to create massive profits. It has nothing to do with punishment or rehabilitation, it is all to do with increasing the numbers of slaves and maximising the profits. 
Human rights organizations, as well as political and social ones, are condemning what they are calling a new form of inhumane exploitation in the United States, where they say a prison population of up to 2 million – mostly Black and Hispanic – are working for various industries for a pittance. For the tycoons who have invested in the prison industry, it has been like finding a pot of gold. They don’t have to worry about strikes or paying unemployment insurance, vacations or comp time. All of their workers are full-time, and never arrive late or are absent because of family problems; moreover, if they don’t like the pay of 25 cents an hour and refuse to work, they are locked up in isolation cells.
Read the full article HERE

Episode 198: This week we bring you another installment of our Which Side: Lectures series. This presentation was given by the Tucson ABC on August 2, 2016 in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Boing! Anarchist Collective. The Lecture is called: “Prisoner Support for Prison Abolition: National Prison Strike September 2016“.
In this lecture, members of the Tucson Anarchist Black Cross discuss past and present anti-prison struggles in the United States. The aim of the lecture is to provide historical context to mass incarceration, detail past struggles against prisons and policing by prisoners and folks on the outside alike, and to discuss current forms of creative resistance to the U.S. prison system. The conclusion highlights ongoing efforts to coordinate a national prison strike set to begin September 9th of this year, and note how an abolitionist perspective can inform effective prisoner support work. #fsd
You can find out more about Which Side: Lectures and all the other podcasts in the collective by visiting:
Help Contribute: Anyone is free to contribute lectures they’ve recorded from events they’ve attended or speeches they have given. We actually encourage it… So please send your audio or video recordings to #fsd
Episode Sponsor:
This weeks episode is sponsored by Prisoner Support!
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Monday, 22 August 2016

A Pause In The National Chest Thumping, until 2020.

      Now that the 2016 Olympics are over, what now? We have come to the end of the frenzied flag waving, the thumping of the national chest, time now to go back to your crap job and lousy wages, back to trying to scrape by on benefit, but now you are supposed to do that with a feel good factor. After all, look at all those medals, but also look at the billions of dollars that rolled into the coffers of the corporate institutions involved, and think of the billions of dollars of Brazilian tax payers money that made it all possible. Brazil, a country with stark differences, the usual capitalist opulence, and the obligatory capitalist deprivation. Millions living in slums and a crumbling infrastructure, being fed the syrup of illusion that they should be proud to have hosted this massive money making juggernaut at their expense. Think, who gained most from this extravaganza of nationalism, what will your quality of life be like next year, how much benefit from those medals will come your way.
       The Olympic games are here again and while it’s sold to us a demonstration of peace and solidarity and the finest humans have to offer, it is often anything but that. In fact, in many ways, it is a reflection of the very worst of society under capitalism.
        The modern Olympics were established with the highest ideals, and a desire to foster peace. Instead they have become little more than a display of nationalistic pride and flag waving by nations who co-opt the efforts of the athletes to further their own schemes. From the very first games this has been demonstrated when the 1896 games in Athens led to a surge in Greek nationalism, and an eventual war with Turkey in 1897.
       The rich countries of the West also get the chance to reinforce their perceived superiority over the rest as the Games are heavily weighted in their favour. From the very beginning the Games were set up by European elites and built on western sports. Many non-western countries have long histories of indigenous sports and games that were ignored and continue to be. In response to this, Brazil saw the hosting of the first World Indigenous Games in 2015 where over 2,000 participating indigenous athletes from 30 countries, including 43 Māori athletes, competed in a variety of sporting events. These ranged from a few Western-style competitions (football, athletics) to many indigenous traditional games, such as xikunahity, a football-style game in which the ball is controlled only with the head.-----
Read the full article HERE:
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A Fine Piece Of Wood.

     This Sunday found me cycling up the Loch, (Loch Lomond), a lovely part of the country. The weather forecast wasn't quite what I understood it to be, early cloud clearing, brightening up in the afternoon. In fact it was drizzle and rain most of the way to Tarbet, but it did clear up on the way back down the Loch. Still a wonderful place to be with a bike.
     The last time I cycled up the Loch I took a photograph of the Tarbet Hotel, and comrade Loam at arrezafe commented on the wooden table outside the restaurant, Saying he had an interest in carpentry, and he had not seen table legs put on that way.
      So to feed his interest in carpentry, I thought I would post this picture of the wooden seat across the road from the hotel, just up from the shore of the Loch. As you can see from the bike, it is a large chunk of wood.
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Saturday, 20 August 2016

The Violence Of The State's Minders.

       How can a person who is known to the authorities, and who under their instructions, presents himself to the local police station, end up dead during this visit and classified and buried as an unknown person.This is just another case of callous police brutality. The minders of state power know that the establishment will protect them, as they do their bosses dirty work. From America to Greece, from UK to France, police violence is well documented, but never prosecuted. However we should never forget that brutality, nor where they stand in relation to the ordinary people.
       This horrifying case of alleged defenestration is not the first in police history, and, sadly it will not be the last. 
(defenestration: While the act of defenestration connotes the forcible or peremptory removal of an adversary, and the term is sometimes used in just that sense,[6] it also suggests breaking the windows in the process (de- also means removal). Although defenestrations can be fatal depending on the height of the window through which a person is thrown or throws oneself or due to lacerations from broken glass, the act of defenestration need not carry the intent of, or result in, death.) Wikipedia.
This from Contra Info:

      Open letter from the prisoners of Greek prisons to the jointly responsible ministers of public order and justice:
      On the 3rd of August 2016, the recently released—and former co-prisoner of ours—Pëllumb Marnikollaj goes to Patisia Police Station [Athens] to present himself before the relative authorities in fulfilment of the conditional terms of his release. Under up-until-now unexplained circumstances, he is transferred to Red Cross Hospital and, eventually, to the morgue. Shortly before being buried as of unknown identity—and despite the fact that his identity was known to the authorities—his relatives collect his corpse and allude to torture and defenestration.
       We are not the ones in charge of judging on what really happened. However, the number of reasons, which we have, not to believe the version of the Greek Police equals to the thousands of prisoners found in Greek prisons. It’s not merely the clumsiness in the way police attempted to cover the incident up; neither the fact that their explanations go against any common sense. (Come on, misters of the Greek Police. Who would believe that not only a prisoner, but even a citizen that visits a station to have his ID card issued would ever be allowed to roam around police offices, opening and closing windows undisturbed?)
     We have every reason to believe the family’s version of the needless death of our co-prisoner because every single one of us has endured the atrocities that take place inside the interrogation offices of police stations. We might not have had a first-hand defenestration experience; however, plenty of us have been under its threat as form of a not at all uncommon method of interrogation. We have, also, all been surprised by the fact that the windows of police stations are adorned with “flower boxes”.
      That we draw up this letter and make it public does not at all mean that we have the slightest hope for an investigation or that those responsible will eventually be held accountable. It’s already straightforward that we, the poor, the unemployed, the immigrants, all those who fill up your prisons are obliged to pay the price of our deeds. In contrast, those who brought us here by means of sweeps, batons and automatic guns will always enjoy the immunity that you open-handedly offer them, since double standards apply when it comes to decisions upon what is regarded as crime and what is not.
      Finally, we make it clear to all that we, as prisoners of the Greek prisons, do not intend to take sides in the game that the Greek and Albanian embassies play. We only want a reply. Even if we take the provocatively untrue version of the police seriously, Messrs. Ministers, is it the capacity of former prisoner or that of immigrant that allows a human being’s death to be dealt with such worthlessness that not even objects deserve?

PS: As an action of protest, we will be delaying our night return to our cells by one hour for three days.

Prisoners of Greek prisons
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