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No, the Ogoni people and Ken Saro-Wiwa were not the exception to the rule. Yes, Africa is fighting back against capitalism, ethnicism and nationalism. This interview with Sam Mbah of the Awareness League in Nigeria reveals the reality of African resistance. It was always a myth. The archetypal liberal view that Africa is a continent without hope or the spirit for resistance to its western exploiters — imperialist, colonialist or global marketeers — never held true. So, are you curious to know how a resistance group in Nigeria views the outside world and the task ahead? How they view the involvement of Shell in the Ogoni heartlands? Samuel Mbah was interviewed during his recent speaking tour of the United States. This is what h... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Forward The recent struggle in and around the shipyards of Puerto Real, Spain, in both workplace and community, against threatened closure witnessed the anarcho-syndicalist union CNT playing both a prominent and decisive role. The CNT’s involvement meant that the methods of organizing and the forms of act taken departed from those common to reformist unions — with dramatic consequences. When the PSOE government (socialist in name, but Thatcherite in practice, announced a program of ‘rationalization’ at the Puerto Real shipyards, the workforce came out on strike. The CNT was at the forefront in spreading the action to the surrounding population. Not only was the government defeated, but a number of pay and condit... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
If your only exposure to labor issues is through the torn and tattered pages of a greasy tabloid, you might be forgiven if you believe the TUC actually encourages workplace militancy. Full of contributions from beleaguered CEOs, scare-mongering columnists, condescending politicians and even tough-talking officials, you might even believe trade unions are an irrepressible engine of class struggle. For those us in trade unions, we know reality paints a far different picture. Far from encouraging and even organizing industrial action, more often than not, trade unions leave militants feeling sold out, disempowered and sidelined. Take striking for example. First, it's a struggle to get a ballot. When the ballot is secured, it passes, but the u... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Why will most people never be ‘suitable’ for reading the news? A guide to the workings of the grammar police. Careful what you say, the language police are just around the corner. Don’t let them catch you saying that. You’ll be in trouble, that’s not proper English. OK, you won’t get a fine or sent to jail, but they’ll try to stop you passing GO and collecting your 200 pounds. It’s done very subtly, by making people feel self-conscious and inadequate about their language. And then they start to mumble, and are seen but not heard. Games Grammar Police Play Can I have another biscuit? You’ve got hands, so it’s physically possible. Uh? I didn’t do nothing. Ah,... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
It is well known by anyone who has ever worked in, or been around the social care system, how much employers in that sector try to exploit their staff and just how badly they treat them. Care workers have long felt they are viewed in low regard by both local authorities and the government, until recently being described by both local and national politicians as being ‘low skilled’. This has started to make headlines in the national press and get into the public consciousness and never has it been more apparent than during the current Coronavirus crisis, where employers have shown a complete disregard for the safety of not only their workers, but also for the people who use their services. Careworkers have shown an unwavering co... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Welcome to Chumbaworld! John Prescott may not wear his Chumbawamba T-shirts any more but their 15 year overnight success means some people are. While the gutter press try to make up their minds whether they are cuddly or dangerous, DA lets Alice Nutter of the band speak for herself when we caught up with them before a recent gig. DA: Did you anticipate accusations of selling out by writing the song “The Good Ship Lifestyle” (on the recent album Tubthumping). Have you got that sort of reaction now you’re famous? Alice: No, well the whole album (Tubthumping) was written before we signed to EMI anyway. Have you seen that pamphlet “The circled A and its parasites” ? We wrote it about that, and about some people&r... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Throughout history, people have fought and died for “freedom”, often only to exchange one form of slavery and oppression for another. Yet, freedom is a goal we continue to strive for. It is fundamental to our very humanity. Its opposite, oppression, stunts and distorts human nature and restrains, if not prevents, progress. That we don’t have a society in which freedom is fully realized arises as much from confusion as to exactly what freedom is, as from the effectiveness of repression. There are two aspects to what we call “freedom”, a negative one and a positive one — a “freedom from” and a “freedom for”. There is also the nature of the individual or people seeking freedom. Thes... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
January 1st marked the 50th anniversary of the flight of dictator Fulgencio Batista from the Caribbean island of Cuba and the initiation of what is now commonly referred to as a communist regime under the direction of Fidel Castro. Nowadays, of course, the reins have been passed to Raul, Fidel’s younger brother, but the socialist rhetoric has not weakened in the intervening 50 years. Much has been made of the Castro dynasty’s persecution of political dissidents, homosexuals and other non-conformists and many readers will find themselves irritated by the inaccuracy of the oft quoted Fidelist "socialist paradise" in press coverage of the regime’s jubilee celebrations. Of course, that the Castro brothers identify themselves ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Do you ever wonder what your life would be like if society was organized along different lines? As a postal worker, my job can sometimes be routine, so to relieve the boredom, I sometimes daydream about such things, particularly what the job would be like ‘come the revolution’. Of course people would still want letters delivered, but does that mean the job wouldn’t change? It would — though the fine details would be up to all of us to work out when we are in a position to do so. Some things are assumed, although if management stopped running the post office, we would make sure everyone got their letters. The sole purpose would not be profit at all cost. That would mean shorter hours and no more 6 day weeks, no more... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The number of people killed at work has risen by almost 20% over the past year, according to Health and Safety Executive figures. A similar pattern emerged in the new serious accident statistics, with a rise in the rate of major injuries in every industrial sector, and the overall figure up by well over 60% to 28,040. Figures show a disproportionate increase in the number of self-employed fatalities, reflecting the increase in numbers of vulnerable casual or contract workers. It is estimated that a third of all ill-health is due to work. Ill-health is increasing with new technology, new chemicals and a general worsening in working conditions. Health and safety can no longer be just seen as the domain of the industrial worker. The new type ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
With a provisional date set for the gradual reopening of the hospitality sector in UK, now seems a prescient moment to reflect upon the experiences of hospitality staff during the Covid-19 pandemic. While many staff will feel grateful to have a return date set in their diaries (albeit provisionally), we should reject the much posited idea of a ‘return to normal’. Accepting such a move lets both government and employers – many of whom have behaved disgracefully in the last twelve months – off the hook. While the government’s furlough scheme has ensured hospitality staff have had a source of income and have jobs to return to in May, we should not accept the bare minimum as anywhere close to enough. For starter... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Preface This pamphlet has been written by a group of people in the Solidarity Federation. We are actively involved in taking direct action for a better world. However, we are also interested in what this better world might be like and how it might work. In the current world of US-led terror against terror, corporate cronyism and corruption, and widening global and class inequality, we all want and deserve better. The Solidarity Federation is the British section of the anarcho-syndicalist global movement. Anarcho-syndicalism is about direct democracy – democracy from the bottom up - no party politicians, corporate managers or union leaders. Direct democracy means decisions are made by all those present. Hence, we cannot be prescrip... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Sorry mate, you can’t buck the market. Old clichés die hard, especially when they still have some use in them. The current line is that we cannot do anything about the ‘poor, unfortunate’ Brazilians, Indonesians, Thais, etc., etc., it’s just the whim of the market. Back in the middle-ages, some Godlike being was supposed to be looking over us and dealing out lessons wherever ‘he’ (sic) willed. More recently, it was Imperialism that was to blame. Now it’s Mr. Global Market that steals from the poor and gives to the rich. Just how many outfits have these filthy rich emperors really got? Imperialism is based on inequality, on capitalists using their economic power, backed by state military powe... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Emu is all set for take-off. Will it spread its wings and fly, or crash-land predictably? More importantly, what dark secrets lurk behind emu’s innocent façade? Despite widespread skepticism that the project was doomed to fail, it is now certain that the European single currency, the Euro, will be launched next January. The fact that European monetary union (emu) has got this far, is itself a tribute to the combined political will of European leaders. The politicians’ road to emu has been a tortuous one. The struggle to meet the arbitrary conversion criteria has caused mass unemployment. At the same time, the whole convergence process descended to the level of farce, most notably when the German government attempted to... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Discrimination conveniently divides us so the real source of exploitation, bosses over us, can continue. Equality initiatives haven’t worked; it’s time for more serious measures. The traditional Left viewpoint on issues such as racism, sexism and homophobia is that they divide the working class, and therefore we must oppose them so that we can all unite and get on with the real business of fighting the bosses. It assumes that prejudices are simply encouraged among the working class by the ruling class in order to divide us, and that by emphasizing our common (economic) interests as workers we can unite and consign them to history. Reality is more difficult. For a start, oppression is wrong not because it is divisive, but beca... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
“Against the offensive of capital and politicians of all hues, all the revolutionary workers of the world must build a real International Association of Workers, in which, each member will know that the emancipation of the working class will only be possible when the workers themselves, in their capacities as producers, manage to prepare themselves in their economic organizations to take possession of the land and the factories and enable themselves to administer them jointly, in such a way that they will be able to continue production and social life.” — Statutes of the International Workers Association (IWA-AIT)[1] “One must try to increase as much as possible the theoretical content of all our activities,... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The communications revolution is stripping away the cultural, economic and political barriers that defined the nation state. Or is it? The idea that we live in a global market is now accepted as reality. In this new global village the concept of national government is becoming increasingly irrelevant. In future it will no longer be state power that shapes our lives but the power of market forces. The history of the nation state is at an end. Not so fast. If the free market vision of a global market is a reality, then we live in revolutionary times. The establishment of a true global market will require a massive shift of wealth from the rich north to the undeveloped nations of the Southern Hemisphere. For, if the global capital markets o... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
About this pamphlet This pamphlet is based on a course organized by North & East London Solidarity Federation called "Organizing for Health and Safety" back in 1997. Part 1 introduces the idea of health, safety and welfare standards at work, and places them in the context of capitalism. Part 2 suggests ways of finding out about and taking up health and safety issues. Part 3 details some common problems and definitions, and Part 4 provides a case study from the Norwich and Norfolk Solidarity Federation, and introduces the idea of union support surgeries. Part 5 compares and contrasts modern trade unionism with anarcho-syndicalism as advocated by the Solidarity Federation, and argues for social revolution. Finally, there are appendices... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
”I look around my colleagues and I see landlords, capitalists and lawyers. We are a cross-section of the national life and this is something that has never happened before.” Arthur Greenwood, Labor Lord Privy Seal, Hansard, August 17, 1945. ATOMIC INSANITY The war in Europe ended on May 5, 1945. As a result of the General Election that followed, the Labor Government took office on July 26, 1945. Eleven days later, on August 6, the first atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. The second atom bomb devastated Nagasaki on August 9. The total casualties from these two insane acts will never be known, but the death toll was certainly upwards of half-a-million and, eighteen years later, victims are still dying from radiation si... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Poverty does not lurk in corners — it is running rampage across the so-called ‘Third World’ — most of Africa, South America, South and Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. This is no secret. But why? — the roots of this poverty is not dinner table conversation. Even less so is the scale and sorts of global bullying still going on in 1999. The poverty and general lack of ‘development’ in the ‘Third World’ is typically thought to be closely related to the fact that it was colonized and controlled by a few countries in Western Europe (and now the US) for so long. But what is this link and how important is it? All underdeveloped countries have, of course, felt the curse of colonialism, th... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
“The Central Council of the Hungarian Workers has issued a manifesto addressed to the workers. It says that against the terror of the Russian rulers, assisted by their Hungarian henchmen, there is only one thing to be done – to fight to the bitter end. It is a question of ‘To be or not to be,’ the statement adds. “Because of the terror, however, and the death penalty even for distributing leaflets, the Council exhorts the workers to spread all news concerning the underground by word of mouth Sabotage and passive resistance are the order of the day. Strikes and go-slow tactics are recommended.” – The Times, 15.1.57. The spectacular return to the barricades of the early days of the Hungarian Re... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Language is such a major part of everyday life, it gets taken for granted. But from the day we’re born, our identity is defined by language. The genders, races and classes we belong to are also thus defined. Our status and level of living is fundamentally influenced by the language of power. But language can also be turned into an important weapon in the fight against discrimination. This article details two primary concerns; how language is used to maintain power over us, and how we can use it to challenge and overcome existing power structures. Language is vital in developing, maintaining and reproducing all sorts of power relations. It perpetuates a vast range of myths and stereotypes based on class, gender, racial, sexual and ot... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Quality has become the tantra of managers everywhere. Quality is the buzzword that masks relentless, increasingly rapid capitalist ‘restructuring’ on a global scale. This is especially apparent in the vehicle making industry. The “Quality Revolution” began with the “Toyota” or “lean” system of production, and then spread like a cancer that unions have been unable to stop. And it is in the same sector that QS-9000 is now aggressively being implemented. QS-9000 is based upon ISO-9000’s international quality standards, which date back to 1987 and have been adopted in over a hundred countries. ISO-9000 incorporated central features of the lean system. Indeed, its proponents boldly proclaim... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Organize! comrades, We are not sure if the screw-ups in the letter published in Organize! 48 were the result of cack-handed typing, poor proof-reading or mischievous fun on the part of the editor. Typing shouldn’t have been necessary because the comments were sent on disc. However, in the interests of accuracy we would appreciate a little of your letters space in issue 49 to make a couple of corrections and to add a brief comment on the latest critique of anarcho-syndicalism. We did not quote L.Komboa Ervin as saying that anarcho-syndicalists believe “...that somehow unions are progressive, and what’s more the unions are some kind of force that can not be revolutionized” as the addition of “not” makes n... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Dear Organize! If your periodic ‘analysis’ of syndicalism is not a defining characteristic, then what other purpose does it serve? You know perfectly well that anarcho-syndicalists are as opposed to mere trade unionism as is the even tinier anarcho-communist element yet any casual reader would be hard-pressed to discover this from the pages of your comment paper Organize!. A little defining ‘sectarianism’ probably does no-one harm, however, and we’ve grown use to these ‘attacks’ over the years. You rightly point to the counter-revolutionary activities of anarcho-syndicalists during the Mexican Revolution. this may have been due to a lack of information as to the reality of the situation in the s... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Why have we declared war on the world’s children? New Labor is considering electronically tagging children as young as ten, in its drive to deal with the expected rise in young people held in custody, caused by implementing the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act. Already, children aged ten to fifteen are being tagged in two pilot projects run by the Youth Justice Board, in Manchester and Norfolk. The pilots will continue until March 2000. After this, the Government will decide on extending its plans nationwide. Jack Straw is a real charmer — even more reactionary than Michael Howard. Speaking recently at a Family Policy Studies Center Conference, he expressed surprise that, at any given time, 3,500 children under two years old are in... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Media ownership in Britain today is concentrated into the hands of a few moguls. The implications of this have given rise to a debate around the respective merits of complete de-regulation within the industry, or (a return to) increased state intervention. Those who argue for regulation to protect public service broadcasting (in the shape of the BBC), and for stricter limits on cross-media ownership, see the current trends as a fundamental threat to good old British democracy and free speech. On the other hand, the media corporations and rampant free marketeers want a free hand to expand and compete internationally for a better position in the hyped-up, multi-media future. Besides the BBC, the state control brigade includes a range of soci... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Media might be molding the minds of us masses, but how? Media is a crucial means of societal information exchange. Information is money and power. Little wonder then, that media is so important to the power bases of capitalism. But what role does media play and how do they ‘get away with it’? We come into a society, with social relations already in place. In adjusting to it, while at the same time, being constantly bombarded with stimuli designed to ‘socialize’ us, we become largely what this environment makes us. That is to say, our development is influenced to fit society’s values. This social conditioning to a large extent determines what we call “public opinion” and, as such, could be said to ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
As soon as the bombing started back in April, the trickle of people fleeing Kosova became a flood. As usual, NATO got it really wrong, and Blair, Clinton and their hundreds of clever advisers failed to see the obvious coming. Now, there is a chance to start sorting out the thousands of split, broken and suffering families. NATO hasn’t even dared contemplate the scale of the devastation, killing and economic and social damage it has wrought across Serbia and Kosova. And Milosovic, well, does he care? The main thing is, both he and Nato knew that he wasn’t going to be on the streets when the bombs rained down. The real victims, as in every war, are ordinary working class people like you and me. Factory workers, public service wo... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The British pop music press used to be fairly easy to designate into its various categories; there were the glossy mags for teenie boppers, the more serious magazines for the middle of the road types and the inkies — papers — for the pop fan who was a bit more serious about their music than the teenie boppers, but less staid in taste than the typical glossy reader. These people (and I was one) were catered for by three weekly tabloid newspapers; Sounds, Melody Maker and New Musical Express. Of the three of them one is no more; Sounds went bust. The two main indie/alternative orientated papers Melody Maker and NME remained, in the same building owned by the same people, but seemingly at each other’s throats. It was not so ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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