“BRITISH JOBS FOR BRITISH WORKERS” is a slogan that’s become very familiar in the past few months. Energy sector workers across the country have staged wildcat strikes and demonstrations to protest at the fact that workers have been brought in from outside the UK while local people go jobless. Now the protests are spreading to the construction industry. The union Unite is planning pickets and unofficial action at construction sites where foreign workers are employed, and the Olympic site in East London is being highlighted as a high-profile potential target for the campaign.
Peterloo Press series – council communist pamphlets / booklets published by Manchester AF, plus Pannekoek’s Party and Class; published by Leicester AF.
Scottish Unite official Bobby Buirds’ comments that the current strike are “not against foreign workers, it’s against foreign companies discriminating against British labour” confirms that the strike is against bosses, not fellow (foreign) workers. The foreign workers are just doing what any of us would do if we were desperate for work, but the media have turned this into some “foreigners go home” trip again. Foreign workers regularly suffer appalling living and working conditions, along with low wages and little in the way of representation. Given that the contract was awarded to the lowest-bidding tender, it is likely that these are the same conditions being faced by the Italian workers on Humberside.
Benicio Del Torro stars as the oft romanticised revolutionary, Che Guevara, in Steven Soderbergh’s two part epic. The sweep of the two films is certainly ambitious, covering the entire period of the Cuban revolution as well as Che’s last months in Bolivia. Del Torro‘s performance is impressive giving a convincing performance that displays the sheer will and strength of character that was central to Che’s personality. Yet, there is also a sense that despite the meticulously researched history of Che’s life the film presents very little in terms of the inner workings and controversies surrounding the man.
I work for a contracted company in charge of the maintenance of a oil refinery in south Wales. The start of the strike occurred due to an Italian company being contracted to increase refinery capacity at the Lindsey refinery. The strikes quickly spread across the rest of the refineries sporting the slogan “British Jobs for British workers”.
Israel’s brutal attack on the Gaza strip has elicited widespread revulsion, and has led to protests across Britain and the world. It is clear that the Israeli state has committed atrocities which anyone with an ounce of humanity would seek an end to. Its savage bombing of one of the most densely populated places on earth has resulted in over a thousand deaths. Nowhere is safe – Mosques, schools and UN sites have been attacked by the IDF. Even by the “civilised” standards of warfare between nation-states, which allow for a reasonable degree of “collateral damage”, several incidents stand out for their brutality.
The Killing of 15 year old Alexis-Andreas Grigoropoulos in Athens, Greece was cold blooded, unprovoked murder. Alexis was murdered by someone working for the state, a policeman, who we are lead to believe are there to keep order and help the public. Of course, it is our rulers and their colleagues in the mainstream media who need us to believe that that is what the police are there to do. We Anarchists, however, are fully aware of the purpose of the state, we hear regularly of police and state corruption and abuse of power and it is the mainstream media who keep that information from the majority of the public. The mainstream media and those working for states and big corporations around the world claim that those who protest riot and mobilise autonomously are a minority of crazed anarchists who want to create chaos and destroy anything and everything. They want everyone to believe that we anarchists want chaos, insanity, everyman for himself, back to year zero, a mad nihilistic sect who want to create a society akin to fascism. They want us to believe this because they need us to believe that without them, without the state; the police, the military, the courts, the government and capitalism there would be chaos. That without our noble, powerful and bold leaders we would be helpless, vulnerable and in panic, back to the stone-age, our great civilisation crumbled to dust. However as events have shown us the total opposite is true.
Most people in Israel will remember one thing about the protest later today (Sat 3/1/2009): that the organizers went to the Supreme Court in order to make sure they are allowed to present a Palestinian flag.
The following text was received from an anarchist activist living in the Middle East. It has been edited slightly for clarity, but is largely as written by an activist on the ground in the Middle East. For obvious reasons we publish it here anonymously.
European Union officials once again proved themselves to be the standard-bearers for free-market capitalism by making a series of concessions to the continent’s heavy industries in the latest series of international climate change negotiations in Poznan, Poland. These industries will now only have to pay for 70% of their climate ‘credits’ on the already-flawed EU Carbon Trading Scheme, while hospitals and universities remain paying the full charge. The talks, which are designed to iron out the differences between the various national capitalist interests ahead of the Copenhagen climate summit in late 2009, have been littered with obstructions that are exclusively based around state sovereignty (such as Brazil’s reluctance to allow isolation of the Amazon akin to that of Antarctica) or corporate interests from the oil, coal, aviation and automobile industries.