Saturday, 20 January 2018

Again, Direct Action And Solidarity Win.


 


          Once again direct action and solidarity wins the day. The ZAD occupation has been running for years. The project to build a massive new airport in 5,000 hectres of wetlands and small hamlets was first raised in the 1970's, the protests grew larger and took on a more direct action approach during the 2000's, and the area has been occupied since. The protesters have determinedly held their ground and increased their presence, despite heavy and at times brutal, military and police opposition. It has now been announced that the massive destructive project has been cancelled. 
         However the struggle goes on, with the locals and protesters laying out their demands of what is to happen to this extensive piece of land that the state grab for the airport.
This report from Freedom News UK:
         In a communique the famous horizontal community Zone √† Defendre (ZAD) has declared a “historic victory” and called for “expropriated peasants and inhabitants to be able to fully recover their rights as soon as possible.”
         The entirety of the land area devoted to the airport project — 1,650 hectares of land declared as being of public utility in 2008 — currently belongs to the State, with the exception of three roads crossing it. the ZAD has argued that this land should be kept in public hands and, rather than turned into an airport, put into forms of public lease for the benefit of the community and wildlife.
         Responding to reports that the Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport project is now officially dead, reps for the ten-year environmental occupation campaign wrote:
         This afternoon, the government has just announced the abandonment of the project.
        We note that the declaration of public utility [key to enabling large projects to function and compulsory purchases to happen] will not officially be extended. The project will definitely be null and void on February 8th.
     This is a historic victory against a destructive development project. This has been possible thanks to a long movement as determined as it is varied.
          First of all, we would like to warmly welcome all those who have mobilised against this airport project over the past 50 years.
        Regarding the future of the ZAD, the whole movement reaffirms today:
         The need for expropriated peasants and inhabitants to be able to fully recover their rights as soon as possible.
The refusal of any expulsion of those who have come to live in recent years in the grove to defend it and who wish to continue to live there and take care of it.
        A long-term commitment to take care of the ZAD lands by the movement in all its diversity — peasants, naturalists, local residents, associations, old and new inhabitants.

To implement it, we will need a period of freezing the institutional redistribution of land. In the future, this territory must be able to remain an area of ​​social, environmental and agricultural experimentation.
       With regard to the issue of the reopening of the D281 road, closed by the public authorities in 2013, the movement undertakes to answer this question itself. Police presence or intervention would only make the situation worse.
       We also wish, on this memorable day, to send a strong message of solidarity to other struggles against major destructive projects and for the defense of threatened territories.
         We call to converge widely on February 10th in the grove to celebrate the abandonment of the airport and to continue building the future of the ZAD.
      Acipa, Coordination of Opponents, COPAIn 44, Naturalists in struggle, the inhabitants of the ZAD.
A new e-book on the struggle,
 Defending The ZAD, can be read HERE:

Visit ann arky's home at radicalglasgow.me.uk

Friday, 19 January 2018

From Southwark To Seville.

        There are countless ways of putting a spoke in the wheel of this money based system of greed and exploitation. It doesn't always have to  by anger, though we have a right to express our righteous anger. A revolution will not come with roses alone, but we can have a dance on route. Great to see, from Southwark to Seville people stopping the system in their own particular way, whether it is to stop a particular policy/event, as in Southwark or to disrupt their money making machine, as in Seville, more power to their elbow. I'm sure your own area can come up with some form of prevention/disruption. Every minute of disruption costs them money, and they don't like that one little bit. Thanks Loam for the link.


Visit ann arky's home at radicalglasgow.me.uk

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Direct Action And Solidarity Are Winning Weapons.

         Every city in the developed world faces it, redevelopment, gentrification, this type of procedure may not be "ethnic cleansing", but it is "class cleansing". Each area in the city or town must be made into a profit making entity, capital needs somewhere to gamble. So push out the low earners and bring in the big spenders, it is the foundation of this era of capitalism.
          This "class cleansing" can be stopped, but only by community direct action and solidarity. So we raise a fist in solidarity with the residents of Southwark area who have forced the council to "temporarily" suspend its intended "class cleansing" 
        Southwark Council has been forced to bow to community pressure, temporarily shelving the redevelopment of Elephant and Castle shopping centre on a night which saw anti-gentrification protesters storm the council's offices.
        Local residents - many from the area's Latin American community - and students, marched from the London College of Communication's (LCC) campus off the Elephant roundabout to the council offices on Tooley Street. As the march snaked through South London, protesters chanted demands for social housing - in a borough with a notoriously poor track record of providing it.
        Outside the Council offices, protesters listened to impassioned speeches before the chant of "let us in" went up. Security gates blocking access to the foyer sprang open and the crowd rushed in to the foyer of the council building. Demonstrators had to be held back by security guards as meetings on the ground floor were evacuated.


      As the protest continued inside the council offices, music was played and the crowd made space for some Latin dancing. The next track on was Skepta's Shutdown, reflecting the feeling that the planning committee meeting had been successfully disrupted - although that wasn't the case.
       The threatened demolition of the Elephant and Castle shopping centre in South London has loomed over the space for over a decade. Those familiar with the area will be all too aware of the destruction of social housing on the nearby Heygate Estate, where over 1,200 homes have already been demolished by the local council, as well as the ongoing destruction of the nearby Aylesbury Estate and many of the other programs of estate “regeneration” taking place across the area.
Last night, Southwark Council’s planning committee met to discuss the proposed redevelopment of the shopping centre by Delancey (the objections to this redevelopment are covered in far more detail here). The proposals would see the shopping centre and LCC's campus demolished, to be replaced by a new development resituating the two alongside a new housing development featuring a staggeringly low 33 “affordable” homes out of the 979 promised.
Continue reading and view video HERE:
Quote:
       Massive love and respect to all those who came out today to support The Elephant community's opposition to the social cleansing of the area. The march up Borough High St was well spirited, noisy and powerful!! 
Visit ann arky's home at radicalglasgow.me.uk




     

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

The Natives Are Revolting.

        Spirit of Revolt in its continuing process of making the history of the ordinary people's struggles accessible to the public at large, is working in conjunction with The Mitchell Library, on putting on a free event. This event should be of interest to everyone who lives, or has lived in Glasgow or has connections with the city. So mark your diary, phone for a place, or pop in to Granville Street and book you spot.
Spirit of Revolt – Archives of Dissent
 
Show and Tell
Monday 12th February 2018, 12–2pm
Blythsewood Room, The Mitchell Library, Glasgow
Free event
Limited places, please book on 0141 287 2999 or at Granville Street
reception desk.

The Natives Are Revolting – over 40 years of organising & direct action in Castlemilk and beyond.

       A display of material from the Spirit of Revolt's John Cooper Collection.
John Cooper and Paula Larkin (Project Archivist) will be on hand to answer any
questions and inform the session.

http://spiritofrevolt.info/john-cooper-finding-collection/

Admission Free

All Welcome.
Visit ann arky's home at raicalglasgow.me.uk

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

The Illusion Of freedom And Cages Of Repression.


 
        In October 2013, the incarceration rate of the United States of America was the highest in the world, at 716 per 100,000 of the national population. While the United States represents about 4.4 percent of the world's population, it houses around 22 percent of the world's prisoners.[1] Corrections (which includes prisons, jails, probation, and parole) cost around $74 billion in 2007 according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.[2][3]
         In 2016, the Prison Policy Initiative estimated that in the United States that about 2,298,300 people were incarcerated out of a population of 323.1 million. This means that 0.71% of the population was behind bars. Of those who were incarcerated, about 1,351,000 people were in state prison, 646,000 in local jails, 211,000 in federal prisons, 34,000 in youth correctional facilities, 33,000 in immigration detention camps, 14,000 in territorial prisons, 5,500 in civil commitment, 2,400 in Indian country jails, and 1,400 in United States military prisons.[4]
          With the best propaganda system on the planet, clever smoke and mirror techniques, America has managed to weave the illusion that is the world's leader in justice and freedom, the planet's defender of democracy. It would be safe to say that it is actually at the other end of the spectrum. It also locks up more of its own citizens per head of population than any other country in the world.
          Besides locking more of its own citizens than any other country, it also has the world largest immigration detention centre infrastructure.
          According to the website Endisolation.org, the U.S. operates the largest immigration detention infrastructure in the world, with between 380,000 and 442,000 people detained per year.
         A privately run U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in rural Georgia forced a detainee into solitary confinement after he encouraged other detainees to stop working in a labor program, although ICE claims the program is voluntary, according to The Intercept.
         The news organization reports that those in ICE custody often work for just $1 per day.
        Shoaib Ahmed, 24, came to America to escape political persecution in Bangladesh, where he participated in the primary opposition party of what many viewed as the country’s authoritarian government.
           Upon arriving in the U.S., Ahmed was held in a detention center, where he has been for more than a year. He says he was forced to work in ICE facilities and punished with solitary confinement when he refused. He is now in the process of being deported.
The Intercept reports: 
          Ahmed’s account adds to a growing chorus of ICE detainees who allege that they have been forced to work in for-profit ICE facilities or else risk punishment with solitary confinement — a harsh form of captivity that, if prolonged, can amount to torture. Late last month, ICE detainees at a CoreCivic-run facility in California sued the private prison contractor, alleging that they had been threatened with solitary confinement if they did not work. In October, The Intercept reported that officials had placed another detainee in solitary confinement for 30 days for “encouraging others to participate in a work stoppage” at the same privately run facility where Ahmed was disciplined, the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia.
       CoreCivic has said that its practices of segregating detainees in individual cells are humane and has disputed the term “solitary confinement,” arguing that its harsh connotation does not apply to the publicly traded firm’s practices. “Use of the term in your coverage with regard to Stewart would give readers a false impression of the reality of restricted housing at the facility,” CoreCivic spokesperson Jonathan Burns said in an email.
        But over the course of two interviews with The Intercept over a fuzzy detention center phone line, Ahmed used rudimentary English to describe being subjected to the isolating conditions of solitary confinement as it is generally understood. “The room is at all times locked,” Ahmed said. “If you talk, the sound does not go outside. And nobody comes to talk with us.”
       “Sometimes I think I will be mentally sick,” Ahmed said of his time in isolation. “I feel pain in my head.”
         In addition to severe isolation, Ahmed spoke of being subjected to restrictive treatment in segregation that might be more expected for a violent and volatile criminal than for an immigration detainee under punishment for encouraging a work stoppage.
        Once a day, detention center officers would handcuff Ahmed and escort him outdoors for an hour in a recreation yard — which he described as a “cage” for one person. Three times a week, Ahmed and other detainees in solitary confinement were given the opportunity to shower. This meant being guided in handcuffs from his isolation cell to an individual shower room. “They push you into the shower room and then open the handcuffs,” Ahmed said, adding: “You take a shower and after that, you come back in your room. Then they put you back in the room. When you enter the room again, they open the handcuffs.”
       Ahmed said that because no one outside his room could hear him talk at a regular volume, his only opportunity for human interaction would often be to shout out, though he was prohibited from raising his voice — an infraction that would only cause his sentence in isolation to be extended. “Sometimes I think my head is not working, and I think I want to loudly call them: ‘Release me. Please, take me to some open site,’” Ahmed recalled. “Sometimes I think the segregation will kill me.”
Visit ann arky's home at radicalglasgow.me.uk

Radical Imagination.

        My friend and comrade Bob of Citystrolls has produce some very informative videos, two of them on the subject of Radical Imagination, this is the second, enjoy, think and learn.


Visit ann arky's home at radicalglasgow.me.uk

Friday, 12 January 2018

State Manufactured Terrorists.

 
        History tells us that the case posted below is far from unique, nor confined to America, we in this country have recently had the cases of undercover police steering groups in particular directions, leading to arrests. Universal surveillance, covert police, and secret service agents, are all part of the state apparatus, and make it very simple to manufacture terrorists, which in turn leads to a call for more policing, strengthening the state's control over the population. Keeping the population in a constant state of fear of an evil enemy infiltrating the fibre of our society allows for more draconian measures to "protect" the population, in so doing slicing away at the few freedoms we have.
This from Its Going Down:
         On the Friday before Christmas, “Breaking news alerts” came out on the 24-hour mainstream news cycle that a 26 year old Modesto, CA man was arrested on a federal charge of providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization. The alleged plan was a mass casualty attack on Pier 39, a ranking candidate for San Francisco’s most well-known tourist trap. Pressed suits full of melodramatic reporters were on hand to remind everyone to stay safe and vigilant, more aptly to remind everyone of the set of vague and ill-defined external threats that are perpetually meant to keep a population, as any victim of abuse, in anxious compliance. Even the acting mayor of the city assured San Franciscans that “our way of life,” would not be assuaged, and of course promised more police.       
           It’s a story that ties up nicely and advances the ever growing paternal and nativist narrative about mysterious dangers that the new regime, in all its clumsiness, is alone equipped to protect us from. I was sitting in a laundromat just across the water from Pier 39 when the story broke, and what struck me instantly was how razor thin the shell game was. Even the highly publicized facts of this case say something bleak and concerning about the status of contemporary popular ideology, and the State’s hunger to fuel paranoia and to target anyone who fits, even in the most tangential way, into a criminalized category.
         Lay the order of events out chronologically, add a basic understanding of FBI counter-surveillance practice, what you have is not a story of domestic radicalization and terrorism. Rather, what emerges is a story of surveillance, thought policing, targeting, and media fear mongering. Our only goal in this short intervention is to expose that layer of the story that is still in the process of coming to light or being buried, and to raise important questions that are left strategically open in the story that is being told.
 “The FBI started watching Jameson in September after becoming aware of social media activity in which he “liked” or “loved” posts about terror attacks and ISIS, the affidavit said. Undercover employees of the FBI posed as supporters of ISIS and contacted Jameson, the affidavit said.”

Here’s an example of a post that the FBI apparently found concerning. Posts like this were flagged as terrorist sympathy and made Jameson’s Facebook page the subject of surveillance, and ultimately made him the target of a months long entrapment campaign.
What We Know
           According to CNN and multiple AP and MSM news outlets, Everitt Aaron Jameson, a 26-year-old Muslim convert from Modesto, California became the subject of FBI interest in September. From CNN:
          The affidavit avoids a direct admission of this, but media sources confirm that the FBI initiated contact with Jameson. Agents were posing to be senior members of ISIS. The agent who ultimately met with Jameson in person (the only such meeting) identified himself as an immediate subordinate of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. There was apparently no communication whatsoever between Jameson and any member of any foreign terrorist organization.
          Communications between undercover agents and Jameson throughout the Fall were vague at best. Jameson expresses his willingness to use or donate resources for “the cause,” the meaning of which is never expressed in any of the communications in court record. He makes vague references to Western colonialism saying things like, “the kuffar (loosely translated to “unbeliever”) deserve everything and more for the lives they’ve taken. He uses Arabic pejoratives like this against the US.
            What is being described as a “terror plot” in the media amounts to some vague suggestions that Jameson made in a single, in-person meeting with an undercover agent. He suggested a strategy in the broadest sense. Concrete plans were not reached. Relevantly however he indicated a willingness to die. We’ll revisit this.
           Jameson attempted to back out of the alleged plot on what appear to be moral and conscientious grounds two days before his arrest saying, “I also don’t think I can do this after all. I’ve reconsidered.”
Jameson’s Family Tells a Drastically Different Story
          He and his father (a self-identified Pentecostal) would argue amiably about their respective religious beliefs. His father even quotes him as saying, “yeah Dad, we all believe in the same God.”
          Jameson’s family, in conversation with the Modesto Bee, tell of Jameson as a distraught young man. He had lost his two young children to Child Protective Services after their mother Ashley was incarcerated. They divorced in 2016, and after a long battle with CPS Jameson once and for all lost custody of their children three months ago. Incidentally around the same time he became the target of a federal investigation.
       His father reports that he was frequently suicidal. Authorities also confirmed that he was held on suicide watch when taken into custody. Despite struggling with depression, he maintained a close relationship with his family. He shared his difficulties with his father, and his religious convictions with many in his family. His faith even made him the subject of teasing. Days before his arrest Jameson and his father even attended a Raider game in Oakland.
        Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, the veracity of the facts presented in the court affidavit and in the subsequent media storm, brief though it was. Jameson is still far from a picture of a terrorist master mind. At worst a slightly unstable man, he likely saw himself as having little to lose. He was in a position highly vulnerable to the kind of manipulation that we know the FBI to be capable of. We also know that his suggestions of violence were loose, ill formed, and abstract. He assumed guidance and direction from the FBI agents who were the actual architects of the alleged plot. Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, when lofty fantasizing about violence started to feel like something real Jameson easily saw that this path was not for him.
         No matter how the dots of this story connect, we are forced to recognize the shallow simplicity of seeing this man as a terrorist threat. Consider further how Islam is portrayed in the media. Consider what a white Muslim, with no family history or traditional relationship to the religion, in one of California’s most conservative counties, might come to understand about the meaning of being Muslim. As we alluded above, his family jokingly nicknamed him ISIS. Consider how suggestible such a person might be to the perception of being sought from across the globe for service to his faith.
FBI Entrapment: The Public Strategy
         This struck me as an extraordinarily obvious case of FBI entrapment. According to Federal guidelines (Section 645 of the US Attorney’s Manual), entrapment takes place when one is A) induced to commit a crime by state officials, and B) one has no prior disposition to commit such a crime. No doubt Jameson’s prosecutors will cite his hastily crafted suicide note as evidence of his predisposition, however observers must ask what would possibly have motivated him to any kind of fantasies of violence if not the interference of undercover agents. Moreover, and not to sound too conspiratorial or alarmist, speculating about one’s internal attitudes with respect to violence, and punishing those with certain attitudes basically amounts to a case of thought policing.
Visit ann arky's home at radicalglasgow.me.uk

Thursday, 11 January 2018

The Parallel Worlds.

        We live on a planet which has several worlds, the biggest world is the one where the vast majority of the population live. That's the world that produces all the wealth of the planet, but its people live in perpetual struggle, poverty, deprivation and endless wars. Then there is the world of lies and illusion, fashioned by propaganda, manufactured by smoke and mirrors, to shape the minds of the people, in an attempt to create a submissive and subservient populace. Behind that there is the world of a small number of parasites, that takes place in the grand corridors of power, behind closed doors, away from the prying eyes of the public. A world where events are planned to control all that wealth created by the first world. Where plans are made to plunge the people of a country into death and destruction, where the death of millions is callously seen as inevitable to their plans, where the displacement of millions is registered as collateral damage, in their aim to control, enhance or protect the earth's natural resources from a competing cabal of parasites.
       This is the reality of planet Earth, a small globe that could be a paradise for all, a sphere rich in natural resources and potential, that is being plundered and raped for the benefit a handful of power hungry, greed driven parasites, under the banner of capitalism. We have to look behind the smoke and mirrors, see through the fog of illusion, dismantle the propaganda, and destroy this cancer before it destroys us all.  Thanks Loam for the link.


Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Glasgow Events.


         Some interesting events coming up in the next few days, a chance to show solidarity, learn about anti-fascists, and have a right good sing-song, if you are in or around the Glasgow area:

Fuck Off Tory Cunts Court Case
Thursday, 11/1/18
Glasgow Sheriff Court
10am

        David McHarg is on trial for displaying a 'Fuck off you Tory cunts' poster on his window. Class War Scotland has called for a solidarity demonstration outside Glasgow Sheriff Court.

Anarchist Federation Film Showing: The Anti-Fascists
Thursday, 11/1/18
Glasgow Autonomous Space, 53 Kilbirnie Street
6-9pm

        In 2014, left-wing activists and a group of neo-nazis clashed in the immigrant quarter of the Swedish town of Malm√∂, leaving several wounded and one anti-fascist - Showan Shattack - nearly dead. That same year, a violent gang of Fascists attacked an anti-Racist demonstration in Stockholm. A fight broke out between them and the few members of Anti-Fascist Action, which left one Fascist wounded, and one anti-fascist in jail. In this context, a documentary crew set out examining the history and activities of the Swedish anti-fascist movement, and its connections to the same one in Greece. Its successes and failures have lessons for all of us.
        Join us for tea and biscuits at GAS (we'll heat the upstairs room up ahead of time :-)) and we'll watch the film and chat about it informally afterwards. Free, all welcome, donations accepted.
www.afed.org.uk

Red and Black Song Club
Wednesday, 17/1/18
Glasgow Autonomous Space, 53 Kilbirnie Street
7-9pm No experience necessary, just a desire to join with others in letting you dulcet tones have freedom.

Screw The Sytem, Get Messy.

       Modern capitalist society functions better when we are all controlled, predictable, and set in our routine of work and consume. It starts to fall apart when we are self thinking, unpredictable free agents, who don't follow their rules. It makes the system difficult  to manage when they can't fit us into nice little boxes of predictable productive units. So screw the system, be unpredictable, think for yourself, for get their rules, choose your path, be alive to the possibilities that a free life has to offer. It might not be the easiest path but it will be the most exciting, and it will be the real mixed up existence, the way our lives are supposed to be, we are humans, social creatures who enjoy challenges.

The usual words of wisdom from Not Buying Anything:
        I have always thought that the luxurious, easy, prosaic predictable life was the kiss of death. Humans were designed to be challenged. We are actually good at it, and grow stronger through overcoming adversity.
       To be easy is to be on auto-pilot. Challenges build character, creativity, and resilience.
         That is why I am looking forward to a messy new year in 2018. This year I will enjoy slogging through the mud pit of life, interacting with real things and real people. I will get messy, and I will know that I am alive.
        Nassim Nicholas Taleby said, “Provided we have the right type of rigor, we need randomness, mess, adventures, uncertainty, self-discovery, near-traumatic episodes, all these things that make life worth living..."
       The quote continues, "...compared to the structured, fake, and ineffective life of an empty-suit CEO with a preset schedule and an alarm clock." But not many of us are CEOs, while all of us are expected to be worker drone/ultra-consumers.
         I would amend that to read, "...compared to the structured, fake, and ineffective life of empty consumers with a preset list of aspirations that keep them diligently working at unloved jobs and careers."
         Life is increasingly random, messy, and uncertain with weekly or daily near-traumatic episodes. And I don't think it's just me. We might as well make all that work for us, and embrace it as part of the human experience.
      Will I have an easy, uneventful and predictable new year? I hope not.
        An adventurous and rigorous simple life provides everything that makes life worth living.
      Happy simple messy new year to everyone. Linda and I look forward to sharing it all with you in the coming year.
        When you realise that you are in a cage of conventions and illusions, when you are bound by habit and ritual, the only dignified response is rebellion.

THE REBEL

Rebel rebel break the rule,
What does it matter that a “wise” man sees a fool.
Not for you the herd’s dull beat
Making tomorrow, yesterday’s repeat,
Living out the life of a clone
Marching with the crowd but always alone.
Shaping your life from some dusty tome
Playing it safe, staying at home.

Rebel rebel break the rule
Swim in the sea, never the pool.
Live your emotions, feel the surge
Follow your dreams, chase the urge.

Make life though short, an exciting game
Not a mad march for fortune or fame.
Capture the moment, live it now
Being alive your only vow.
Rebel rebel break the rule
In the end, you’re humanity’s jewel.

Monday, 8 January 2018

The Antifascists.

           In this capitalist world fascism never dies, from time to time it raises its ugly head  and vomits out its hate and divisive filth. Fascism seems to make its appearance within a state when the state feels under threat, it is fanned by the right-wing parasites that hold tenuously onto their privileged positions, Its rise is not an unavoidable accident of fate, but a strategy of capitalism to protect and or bolster the wealth, power and privileges of the parasite class that hold the reins of power. To allow fascism a voice does not enhance free speech, on the contrary, it stifles free speech and gives rise to hate and opens up irrational and unnecessary divisions within the ranks of the ordinary people.  
        Fascism, like capitalism cannot be reformed, it must be confronted head on, and destroyed. We don't need lessons on what it does when it gains power, we have history that paints a true picture of its methods and aims. If you wish to be able to make you own decisions, and choose your own path, then you are an enemy of fascism, and should join in the fight to drive it from our communities,  off our streets, stamp it out in our work places and eradicate it from any of our groupings and organisations.
       The Antifascists, is an excellent documentary on the rise of fascism across the world and how best to mercilessly crush this cancer in our midst. Thanks Loam for the link.

 

Winning Raffle Ticket No. 0241.

       Hi, to all those who purchased a Spirit of Revolt raffle ticket, we have a wee problem with one of the raffle prizes. It is for winning ticket No. 0241, which gave us an email address with love-------@----- which has bounced each time we have tried to send it to notify the person that they have won a food hamper. So if you are holding the ticket No. 0241 get in touch with me to arrange delivery of your goodies.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

UK's State Sanctioned Slave Labour Force.

            Slave labour is alive and well in the UK, though most people are unaware of its extent. What is more it is state sanctioned, and housed in special built units all across the country. It is big business, and makes millions for the corporate world and undercuts the living standards of the ordinary working population. This slave labour force is paid as little as 40p an hour, no paid holidays, no right to join a union, can be punished for not working hard enough, and has none of the workers rights that have been won by bitter struggles over the centuries.
        This vast slave labour army is housed at our expense of approximately £33,000 a year, of tax payers money, per individual, but produces massive profits for the corporate world. I am of course talking about UK system of encouraging the corporate world to use prisoners as a very cheap, captive, labour force.
         Prisons have always been used as a means of control and repression of the ordinary people, in the past they have been used to colonise occupied territories, but we no longer colonise other people's countries, so the state has switched prisons into cheap totally controlled, commercial units for their corporate buddies. Prisons built and run by private companies for profit and useing prisoners as a source of cheap labour is now the norm in this country. The UK has the most privatised prison system in Europe.
        Our babbling brook of bullshit, the mainstream media will from time to time highlight the use of prison labour by large corporations in other countries, but seldom shine a light on the subject of UK prison labour. However the UK prison slave labour industry is used by many well know brand names. Of course it is dressed up as "preparing prisoners for life outside prison" but paying them £10 for a 40 hour week to produce goods for rich companies to sell in the open market, seems to stink of raw greedy exploitation. Prison slave labour may not be the main source of our shrinking living standards, but it definitely is a very strong contributing factor, and is certainly a model the corporate world would love to expand.
          Since the Lib-Dems enabled the Tories back into power in 2010, British workers have suffered the longest sustained period of long-term wage deflation in recorded history. The real terms value of British wages has slumped 10.4% since the economic crisis, a wage decline only matched in severity by Greece out of all of the most developed economies in the world.
         The Tories have been doing everything they can to reduce wages and the disposable incomes of ordinary people: They've reduced public sector wages in real terms by imposing below inflation 1% pay rises (whilst accepting an 11% pay raise for themselves), they've overseen an exponential rise in people employed on exploitative Zero Hours Contracts, they've repeatedly slashed in-work benefits like Tax Credits and Housing Benefit, they've massively increased the amounts charged for university education and the interest rates charged on this appalling form of Aspiration Tax, they've unlawfully used unemployed people as a massive pool of free labour to distribute to their corporate mates and they've massively expanded the number of prisoners working for private companies too.
        The economic effect of prison labour driving down the wages of ordinary workers is bad enough in itself, but there is evidence that the availability of prison labour is actually resulting in real job losses as unscrupulous companies lay off their paid workforces and replace them with prison labour.

Again from Another Angry Voice, some specific examples:

     DHL According to the One3One website the global distribution company employs over 800 UK based prisoners to receive orders, pick, pack and ship. Meanwhile they have been shutting distribution centres, laying off hundreds of paid staff across the country (including 330 jobs in Droitwich, 200 job losses in Swindon and further job losses in Scunthorpe and Corby), and slashing wages across their distribution network prompting strike action. This is how Chris Taylor, DHL General Account Manager described the scheme on the One3One Solutions website: "Once you are through the prison door we like to create an environment identical to any DHL workplace". 
Going Green
        A Cardiff based loft insulation and solar panel instillation company that laid off 17 workers at their call centre and replaced them with prisoners from Prescoed prison at an hourly rate of just 40p an hour
Speedy Hire A tool hire company that sacked 800 workers and shut down 75 depots in 2010. Since then they have massively increased the size of their prison contract to service and repair the tools they hire out, paying Erlestoke, Garth and Pentonville prisons £114,012 for the services of around 100 prisoners during the 2010-11 financial year. 
Timson Ltd
         The boss James Timson is happy to act as a propaganda mouthpiece for the government's prison labour scheme, but what he fails to mention in his praise for the programme is that his company's increased use of prison labour coincided with a wave of redundancies that wiped out some 30% of the paid workforce at the company.
CiscoCisco is mentioned by the Tory MP Andrew Selous as being a big player in the government's prison labour scheme. In August 2016 the company announced that it plans to lay off 5,500 workers worldwide. Perhaps they could prevent a few job losses in the UK by bringing the services they've outsourced to prison labour schemes back in-house?
From Incarcerated Workers Organising Committee: 
         Prisoners that work in prisons have no rights to organise, no contracts, no pensions, no right to to choose what they do – they have no use of the gains that workers have fought and died for over centuries. If prisoners refuse to work they are punished via the IEP (Incentives and Earned Privileges Scheme), and can have visits, association (time outside in a courtyard or out of cell) and other ‘privileges’ take away from them. They are the ultimate captive workforce for capitalist industries and have been used to break strikes, while simultaneously taking jobs out of communities and into prisons. Prison labour has been used as a tool for conquest and domination for centuries, from using convict labour to colonise countries, to putting prisoners to work in making goods for armies and war.
       This is state and capitalism working hand in hand to protect and enhance their power, privileges and wealth at our expense. They see nothing wrong in locking people up and turning them into cheap production units with no rights what so ever. The system stinks from top to bottom, it is a bubbling cesspool of greed and exploitation, far beyond reform. For justice, freedom and peace, its destruction is the only answer.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

What Is Class?


     A common call from the left is for class war, then there is those rightwing academics who claim class is dead, an outdated phrase an old way of looking at society. Yes society has changed, capitalism has developed, but class is still the defining structure of the capitalist system. It is a them and us, you belong in one class or the other, no matter the illusions created by the babbling brook of bullshit, the mainstream media, and other corporate and government mouthpieces. It is beneficial to the capitalist system if it can create the charade, that, "we are all in this together", it is just a matter of working hard and everything will be OK, total bullshit. The harder you work the stronger the system gets and the richer the bosses become. Hard work does not move you out of your class, chicanery, fraud, exploiting your neighbours, might, but working hard, never. My father was a miner all his life, I have never come across anyone who worked harder, we never became a rich family, nor did we, as a family, leave or class, we struggled all our lives and are still in the same class.
What is Class?


Thursday, 4 January 2018

A Big Thank You.

          As those who attended the Spirit of Revolt fund-raiser, Revolt in Songs, will know the event was a great success with positive responses from audience and performers, a big thank you to all involved. Also sales of Trump toilet rolls, Radical Glasgow book and Spirit of Revolt calendar went very well. For those who didn't get an opportunity to purchase any of these items, there are still a few left. If you are after any of them just get in touch with myself. Our annual raffle which should have been drawn on the 29th of December, was delayed because of the weather. The draw took place on 3rd. of January. I, on behalf of the Spirit of Revolt group, would like to thank all those generous people who handed in goodies to be raffled, the food hamper was so generously donated to that we decided to make it two hampers, giving another lucky person some goodies for the larder.
A very poor scan of the calendar, the actual one is much better picture.
  
      The winning raffle ticket numbers are:
0235, bottle of mulled wine.
0385, Zapata bag.
0458, bottle of red wine.
0114, bottle of Whisky.
0188, Morphy Richards slow cooker.
0028, framed Ann Vance print.
0170, framed Stasia Rice print.
0241, first food hamper.
0141, Pete Seeger CD.
0175, bottle of wine.
0147, second food hamper.
       Some of the prizes have already been delivered, the others will be, in the next few days.
        So once again, I can't say too often, a great big thank you to all involved in these very successful events. 
        If you think Spirit of Revolt is a worthwhile project and worth supporting, why not help to sustain the archive and help it grow by visiting our "DONATE" page, and make a one of, or a monthly direct debit payment, no amount is too small, all is very much appreciated. For Spirit of Revolt, John.

For A Free Society, Prisons Must Be Destroyed.

 
        Prisons are one of the state's repressive tools, they are brutal places, where ever aspect of your life is at the whim of the repressive administration. Apart from over crowded and insanitary conditions, there is the abuse by the corporate bodies that use prisoners as very profitable slave labour, in this particular field I believe American leads the field. Now it seems they are going one step further in this abuse and exploitation with a rolling out of a new scheme which bans those incarcerated from receiving fresh fruit and veg from their families and friends. Packages for prisoners can now only be made through named vendors. This is just another cruel and vindictive aspect of this savage inhumane state repressive machine. Denying prisoners of healthy food and squeezing more money from families and friends while at the same time, increasing the profit of selected corporate bodies. True capitalism, profit before humanity.
          This from It's Going Down
      The thugs who run the NYS prison system (NYS DOCCS) has issued a new directive (4911A) that describes new, draconian package rules that they are testing in 3 prisons as a ‘pilot program’. This directive comes in the wake of petty rule crackdowns after the escape of two prisoners from Clinton prison in 2015. Reports have trickled in about long term prisoners losing their trailer visits, hoodies being eliminated and even more bitterness on the part of the guards. This past fall, political prisoner Herman Bell was beat down by 3 or more guards, others like Ramsey Orta had to deal with transfer way upstate and have been assaulted by staff. Basically, staff thinks they can do what they want.
     Currently, at most facilities, family and friends can drop off packages at the front desk when visiting, packages that include fresh fruit and vegetables that supplement the high carb/sugar, meager diet provided by DOCCS. Although you have to deal with the guards and their bullshit attitude about what can and cannot come into the prison, at the end, you know your friend or family member will be getting to eat some fresh fruit, vegetables and treats they cannot possibly get from DOCCS.
      These new rules are horrible in so many ways including:
1. Packages can be ordered only from approved vendors (so basically, some corporations will win out and have a guaranteed market to sell overpriced processed food).
2. Fresh fruit and vegetables are not allowed.
3. Family and friends cannot drop off packages while visiting. All packages must be shipped through the vendor.
4. Each person is limited to ordering three packages a month for him or herself and receiving three packages a month from others. Each package cannot be more than 30 pounds. Of the 30 pounds per package, only 8 pounds can be food.
5. Allowable items will be the same in all facilities. (No more local permits.)
6. There are far fewer items allowed than before and of the items that are allowed, far less variety. This includes additional restrictions on clothing.
7. The pilot rules are not clear about how books, media, religious items and literature, or other items subject to First Amendment protection will be treated. This could mean that prison book programs like Books through Bars will not be able to send free books to the 52,000 people in the prison system.
       The pilot program implements an “approved venders only” package system. This means that only packages from approved vendors will be accepted. The vendors appear to be companies that specialize in shipping into prisons and jails. There are currently five approved vendors identified on the DOCCS website. This amounts to a cash grab for these companies.
        The pilot program is starting at three facilities: Taconic, Greene, and Green Haven. Those facilities will stop accepting packages from non-approved vendors on January 2, 2018.
          A call to organise against this callous, vicious and vindictive piece of repression and money grabbing action:


       We have to make this package directive unworkable. These new rules are cruel; eliminating fresh fruit and vegetables and creating massive profits for the vampire companies that will fill the niche.
WE CAN ORGANIZE TO ROLL THESE RULES BACK.
Some ideas how:
1.) Sign the petition- share it with your address book, share it on twitter, share it on facebook. It takes two seconds. https://diy.rootsaction.org/…/no-package-restrictions-for-n…
2.) Get in touch with your people in NYS Prisons and let them know about this. Inform them, send them the info. Massive non-cooperation on the part of NYS prisoners will have to play a huge role in this. People inside know how to make things unworkable.
3.) Flood the politicians with postcards and letters. Send one to Governor Cuomo and one to Anthony Annucci, the acting commissioner of DOCCS.
Andrew M. Cuomo Governor of New York State NYS State Capitol Building Albany, NY 12224
Acting Commissioner Anthony Annucci NYS DOCCS Building 2, State Campus Albany, NY 12226
Some sample text:
Dear Governor Cuomo,
This holiday season is about giving, not taking away. I object to the new DOCCS package rules.
From,
(Your Name)
(Your relationship to people in prison, if applicable)
Dear Acting Commissioner Annucci,
The new DOCCS package pilot punishes innocent families. Having a loved one in prison is already expensive and difficult—the new rules make it worse. Rescind the package pilot!
From,
(Your Name)
(Your relationship to people in prison, if applicable)
4.) Call Cuomo’s office and leave a message about it. You won’t have to talk to anyone. Just leave your message. 518-474-8390
6.) Tweet at Cuomo: @NYGovCuomo
7) Get friendly media to cover this issue, to talk to family members of people inside and spread the word.
       Though I agree that prison reform is a dead end, and the prison system must be demolished, we must always show our solidarity with those trapped in this brutal state system of repression.