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Friday, 02 March 2012 17:56
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In August 2012 anarchists from all over the world will be gathering in St Imier, Switzerland for a week of events to mark the 140th anniversary of the founding of the Anarchist International- a major split with the authoritarian international of Karl Marx. This split represents a fundamental divide between those who believe that communism can be imposed from above, and those who believe that we can only have true communism if we have freedom as well. How we get where we want to go is as important as where we want to go.

As part of the process of building up to the summer event, the AF is hosting a series of meetings around the country. The theme of the meetings is the struggle against authoritarianism- from St Imier to today. The following issues will be discussed:
• The background to St Imier and what was involved in the split
• How the struggle against authoritarianism continued in key revolutions such as Russia and Spain
• The debate about human ‘nature’ and why humans do not need authority to flourish
• The role of authoritarian tendencies in struggles today eg the cuts movement, the strikes in the public sector, the student movement and within the anarchist movement itself
• Examples of organising without authority

Friday, 02 March 2012 17:55
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Support the call-out for an International Week of Action against Ryanair, on the 12-18 March Hold pickets of airports where Ryanair put on flights, offices of Ryanair and agencies / recruitment fairs through which they hire staff.

Picket the Cheltenham Festival, which Ryanair sponsors, and particularly the Ryanair Chase on Thursday 15 March.

Phone, fax and email Ryanair to complain about exploitative recruitment practices.
To contact Ryanair and complain about their practices, below are the easiest ways to contact them.
Phone: +353 1 812 1212
Fax: +353 1 812 1676
Friday, 02 March 2012 17:55
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Prisoners in Kyrgyzstan, Central Asian, went on hunger strike at the end of January. 1,197 prisoners stitched their mouths shut using staples and thread in a way that allowed only liquids to be consumed. The massive protest was against the terrible conditions in the jails that are notoriously overcrowded and teeming with disease.

Altogether around 7,000 prisoners went on a hunger strike. The prison population of Kyrgyzstan is more than 15,000. Prisoners’ rights campaigner Tolekan Ismailova said, “Those on hunger strike are against inhumane conditions,” “They don’t have medicine, normal food, linen or soap. Their illnesses are not treated because there are not enough doctors.”

Even Kyrgyzstan’s ombudsman, Tursunbek Akun, said that prisoners “are complaining of beatings and mistreatment by the prison personnel, and are demanding to receive what is rightfully theirs.” Since 2005, prisoners in the former Soviet republic have frequently staged protests and mutilated themselves to denounce jail conditions. The authorities often blame these acts of resistance on organised crime groups.

Check The Campaign Against Prison Slavery for more info, links, news and analysis on prisoners’ resistance.
http://www.againstprisonslavery.org

Friday, 02 March 2012 17:54
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Across London local communities have been fighting back against the cuts, demanding that their libraries stay, stating that they are a vital part of the local infrastructure. Brent is the latest council to act, where the ‘SOS Libraries’ campaigners have been refused permission to take the council to the Supreme Court this week. This was after a strong community action of 24-hour vigils, but still six libraries will close. Other campaigns around Kensal Rise and Preston are also struggling to win, but will continue to fight.

This is despite a consultation into the proposals showing that 82% of respondents were against the closures, the council announced in April last year that Barham Park, Cricklewood, Kensal Rise, Neasden, Preston and Tokyngton libraries would shut. Brent Council announced plans to close six out of Brent’s 12 libraries to save £1 million in 2010. Residents united by their anger formed Brent SOS Libraries to stop the closures and took their fight to the High Court and Appeal Court but lost.

The council began stripping bare the libraries before Christmas but undeterred the campaigners formed pop-up libraries outside the closed reading rooms including Kensal Rise Library which was opened 111 years ago by American author Mark Twain.

Over the coming year it is estimated that as many as 600 libraries could close although so far, due to the public anger, only 32 have actually been shut down. Some are being handed over to local communities to control and others are being privatised. Even where the fight back is successful the staff are being cut back to a minimum.
Friday, 02 March 2012 17:54
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Vita Cortex announced it was closing its plant in Cork, Republic of Ireland, September 2011. When the workers finally got issued their notice in December they discovered that the bosses had screwed them out of their redundancy payments. The workers occupied the factory, and have remained there since. Their occupation continues. They are refusing to leave until the bosses cough up what they owe.

For many of the workers Vita Cortex is all they have known. The 32 occupiers have worked for the company for a combined total of 847 years. They now face little chance of finding alternative work as there are over 25,000 unemployed people currently living in and around Cork.

In a typical bosses trick, Vita Cortex has shifted money here, there, and everywhere, passing assets between companies making it difficult for anyone to get at it.

In a show of solidarity, the local fire brigade has been delivering food to the occupiers, and a taxi firm has been offering their services free of charge.

On February 12th over 5,000 people marched through Cork in support of the occupation. It was the biggest demonstration that Cork has seen in years.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Support-the-Vita-Cortex-Workers/212225242192914

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