Monday, 24 November 2014

No Prisons, No Borders.

      It is a strange fact that as we become, supposedly, more civilised, we lock up more people than ever. That, supposed pinnacle, of Western development America, locks up more people than any other country on the planet and is responsible for a quarter of the world's prison population. The UK has one of the highest prison populations per head, in Europe. These two countries strut the globe shouting "freedom", while the holding the accolade of locking up more of their citizens than anybody else in the West.
 
      The concept of prison is outdated in any truly civilised country, it was built on a failed and false premise. Take a "bad" person, punish them and they will become good. It then was modified to take a "bad "person, lock them up and they will see the errors of their ways and reform. The fact that over the centuries we have seen the prison population grow, can only mean, it is failing, or we are becoming a more "bad" species. Of course we all know that prisons are really there to keep the population in thrall to the established power. There is no place for prisons in any free and civilised society.
An interesting article originally from MediaPart before being translated by Lena Theodoropoulou and appearing in Xpressed:
      ---“Prison was built on the principles of philanthropy: during the time of their incarceration, the offenders would reflect, would improve, would be reborn. History defeated this sad nonsense. A prison can only be constructed on the foundations of absolute spiritual cruelty; otherwise imprisonment is just based on the hope that everything will go well after it ends, hence on something completely inconceivable”. When Catherine Baker (journalist of the libertarian movement, author and supporter of the abolition of prisons) was writing these words in March of 1984, in France there were 38,600 persons held in prisons. Thirty years later this number has increased to 69,000 and the average time of incarceration is more than double (from 5.5 to more than 12 months).----
Read the full article HERE:
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Sunday, 23 November 2014

New Nukes For The Clyde.


    A £37 million deal has been struck by Westminster with the US government for a dozen huge new Trident missile launchers more than a year before the UK parliament decides if the nuclear weapons system should be renewed.
The MoD denies the order for 12 new missile tubes pre-empts any decision on Trident by the UK parliamentPhotograph:  Tony Buchanan

They call it democracy, what would you call it?
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They Want Your Water And Your NHS.




        There is a lot of campaigning against TTIP, and rightly so, but there is still a lot of confusion among the general public as to what it really is, and what it intends to cover. Basically it covers almost everything in our lives, it is all to the benefit of the corporate world and to the detriment of the ordinary people. That's it in a nutshell, but the detail is more complex.

      One little piece speaks volumes, it intends to take water and health, out of public hands and into private corporate hands, and all this negotiated between governments and corporate bodies, behind closed doors away from the prying eyes of the public.


This from Xpressed:
2. To consolidate the liberalisation of services markets. This is a euphemism that sounds great, but it starts to sound really bad when you go into the details of what is on the negotiating table:
- Privatisation of water supply, in line with both the interests of European and American multinationals [17].
- The Americans have confirmed their intention to negotiate the opening of public health and education services, taking advantage of the privatisation dementia affecting European governments.
Read the full article HERE: 

         How dangerous this TTIP is to you and I is summed up in that one small part in the long and complex set of demands by the corporate world, privatisation of our water and our health service. If agreed, it will make no difference which party you vote in to govern over you, they will be bound by international law to go down the road of private water and private health service. They call it democracy, what would you call it?
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Saturday, 22 November 2014

Who's Design?


    Saw these photos on arrezafe and felt sick, why do we tolerate such an unequal world in the midst of unbelievable wealth. They display the fruits of corporate crime, the life that these photos depict is not here by necessity, it is here by design. Who's design?

 

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Loukanikos.


       Just as an after thought to the last post. The dog Loukanikos, that appeared in that film died recently. He probably was present at more demonstrations in Athens than any other protester, always took his stance on the side of the protesters against the police. Much loved and much missed.



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Let's Not Live Like Slaves.


      The Greek experiment is still in progress. On the one hand the financial Mafia trying to create a model for a Western sweatshop, on the other hand the people of Greece, trying to create a new world where people don't live like slaves. The result is important to the rest of Europe, if the financial Mafia win and the people are subdued into a subservient cheap workforce, then the experiment will be rolled out across Europe. If on the other hand the people win, then that new world we all dream of could be rolled out further than the borders of Europe. That new world will germinate in the cesspool of greed and exploitation that is capitalism.



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Sometimes,Self Help Needs Help.


       A call for support and solidarity from a local Glasgow group, "LoveMilton", as usual bureaucracy stands in their way. Sometimes self-help needs a little help.

 
Hi

    For the last 5 years LoveMilton have been working hard to achieve their dream of building a new community centre in Milton in the North of Glasgow as a community self-build project. Using the building process to actually train, upskill and qualify local residence in sustainable building techniques giving them the skills, confidence and access to better employability. We have already trained over 135 people through smaller building projects in the area and have everything lined up for our first big community build. The land we have identified for the build is derelict and owned by the people of Glasgow, however, transfer of the land is proving impossible and without this transfer LoveMilton looks set to close at the end of this financial year. Please show your support for our project by signing this petition. Thank you.

http://www.change.org/p/gordon-matheson-lovemilton-community-land-transfer?recruiter=79588568&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition

Thanks!
Hannah 
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Thursday, 20 November 2014

World Corporatism.

     TTIP, world corporatism takes control, unless we stop them. David Cameron, friend of big business, is their minder in Westminster.
This from 38 Degrees:
  American corporations suing our government? Exposing our NHS to competition from the US health industry? What’s your top reason for wanting to stop TTIP?
      38 Degrees members have forced this shadowy trade deal up the political agenda. [1] As a result, next week, I’ve been asked to go and explain our campaign to a powerful committee of MPs. I want to make sure I’m speaking for you.
     Please can you fill in a quick survey to tell me what to say? It will mean I can represent you properly. And my message to MPs will be so much more powerful if I can say it’s coming from thousands of us.
       The meeting is next week, so I need to start getting ready this weekend! Please can you fill in the survey as soon as you can? Thank you!
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/ttip-evidence

       I’m up in front of the committee of MPs which looks into the government’s Business Department - they’re in charge of TTIP. [2] It’s a chance to tell this influential group of MPs how bad TTIP is. I want to show them just how determined we are to stop big corporations hijacking our democracy.
So far our campaign has made the government nervous. But they’re still trying to press ahead. David Cameron's now saying he wants to put “rocket boosters” under TTIP to get the deal back on track. [3] This is a chance to show the government that no amount of "rocket boosting" TTIP is going to stop our campaign.
      The survey will only take a couple of minutes. I’d hugely appreciate it if you could fill it in now:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/ttip-evidence

I'm looking forward to hearing what you think and I’ll let you know how I get on.

Thank you,
David
     PS: There's another sign that our campaign is starting to get noticed. The minister in charge of TTIP, Vince Cable, has said that he is willing to hear from 38 Degrees members directly about their concerns. The office team will keep you posted as soon as we have more details. In the meantime, please let me know what I should say to MPs next Tuesday: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/ttip-evidence

       PPS: You may also be interested in a big meeting in London on 1 December with a group of MPs who are already against TTIP. It will be a chance to hear from them about how we can most effectively put pressure on other MPs. The office team will attend and report back, but if you’d like to attend yourself you can find more details and sign up here: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/ttip-westminster
NOTES
[1] The Guardian: Politics live blog:
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2014/nov/17/rochester-byelection-hustings-politics-live-blog
[2] BIS Select Committee:
http://www.parliament.uk/BIS
[3] The Guardian: Politics live blog:
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2014/nov/17/rochester-byelection-hustings-politics-live-blog
Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk
  

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

UK's Continuous Wars.


    The powers that be in the UK talk of peace, while fighting continuous wars. Our continuous wars read like a geography lesson as country after country feels they force of the British imperial machine. Remembrance Day may have past, but this is worth remembering.

Lyrics

On Remembrance Day
When the army prays
And the flags go up
To remind us that they do it for us

On Remembrance Day
By the flower display
Where the church explains
How the heroes keep the villians away

There I’ll tell it to the careless wind
I’ll tell you when the good guys win

On Remembrance Day
I should stay away
From the BBC
Where they tell you how a real man should be

And the children watch
As the vicar walks around with a cross
'Cause to love is fine
If you do it at a sensible time

Yeah, I’ll tell it to the careless wind
I’ll tell you when the good guys win
Yeah, I’ll save it for the next of kin
On Remembrance Day
On Remembrance Day
On Remembrance Day

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Workfare Can Be Beaten.


       The millionaire cabal that inhabits The Westminster Houses of Hypocrisy and Corruption, want to see workfare firmly embedded in our culture, they are hoping kids leaving school will see this as normal procedure, work for the corporate sleaze machine for no salary, in the hope of getting a crap job with lousy wages at some point in the future. It's the Cameron-Osborne duo's gift to their millionaire corporate buddies. No doubt they all meet in splendour and discuss these matters over a glass or two of champagne, after all, they are all in this together. However, thanks to the efforts of ordinary people this attempt is being met with strong resistance and is forcing some organisations to think again about participating in this slave labour scheme. They need more support and solidarity if this vicious attack on our living standards is to be killed off.


      On October 9, members of Haringey Solidarity Group and Boycott Workfare paid workfare provider Urban Futures in Wood Green a visit. Fifteen people occupied the office with banners and a soundsystem – challenging Urban Futures on their treatment of claimants and speaking to people on enforced jobsearch about their experiences and sharing info on their rights.
A number of claimants have complained about bullying and misreatment from Urban Futures management.If you want to speak to someone about how you've been treated, or join the campaign in Haringey, email info@haringey.org.uk or ring 07804 599 327.
Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk


Ferguson Waits For Justice.


      The verdict in the Darren Wilson case is due any time now. Darren Wilson is the white police officer charged with shooting the black youth Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. How the verdict goes will determine what happens next in Missouri. so far there are 68 arranged meet-up places for when the verdict is announced. I don't think the local population will take it quietly if the verdict doesn't satisfy their cry for justice.
     There is now a compiled list of 68 different meet-up places across the country that will ignite in response to the upcoming Darren Wilson verdict. Some of these have been fairly under-promoted, so it might make sense to start spreading this information around your networks now. There are rumors that the verdict will be announced this week (perhaps even this afternoon) and many of the meet-ups are the day of/after the announcement. Please keep your ears to the ground.
 New meet-ups are being added every hour. Go to http://fergusonresponse.tumblr.com/ to add your own, or find more specific details about locations. Visit http://fergusonandfurther.noblogs.org/ for flyers, posters and other propaganda about Gerguson.
Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Workers Know Your History, Broughton Street Centre.

     A date for your diary, if you can get through to Edinburgh.
December, 6, 2014. 18:00
The Autonomous Centre Edinburgh
17 Montgomery Place
Edinburgh EH7 5HA.

    Join us for a photographic exhibition and an evening of music, history and poetry.
    In 1992 the unemployed and claimant users took control of the Edinburgh Unemployed Workers Centre to stop its closure. In 1994 they resisted the imminent eviction of the Broughton Street Centre by launching a 24 hours per day occupation, which lasted six months. 20 years after the violent eviction of the occupants, an exhibition of photographs to be held at the Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh will remember this experience and discuss why this is still relevant today.
This event is supported by the Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh & Edinburgh Coalition Against Povery. During the opening we'll present the new stock of Books from ACE InfoShop and the new external mural project.

There will be drinks and food

Program:
18.00 Opening & Intro
18.15 Live set - Geek Maggot Bingo
19.15 Poetry and Dj Set TBC
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What Shape A Life.


Dripping from the labyrinthine of my mind, a wee thought for the day.

What Shape A Life.

This tottering tower this edifice around me,
mocked by twittering tongues
viewed with suspicion by powers that be,
by my own hand was it fashioned.
Though ugly and unkept
to the keepers of the canon,
its shape was by beauty driven.
Each brick each lintel by my own hand placed
drawn from what I could.
There is raw bone,   weary flesh,
anguish is there, anger
by the bucketful,
love by the truck load:
burning thoughts illuminate its darkest rooms,
attack it if you will, it will not tumble,
sincerity its binding mortar.

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The Smoke And Mirrors Of "The Recovery".

       The Cameron-Osborne Bullingdon Club duo, are patting each other on the back and congratulating themselves on the UK recovery. Of course from where them live, in the millionaire bubble, it is certainly all very bright and rosy, with more millionaires joining the club. However, from where you and I live, it is a very different story. According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the number of impoverished households has more than doubled since the days of Maggie Thatcher. Research also shows that due to the increase in the cost of living, a full-time job is longer likely to prevent you from falling into poverty. The result being that one in six of those adults who are in paid work, can now be classified as poor.
 
      The Poverty and Social Exclusion project, based on interviews with more than 14,500 people in Britain and Northern Ireland carried out by eight universities and two research agencies, reported:
  • More than 500,000 children live in families who cannot afford to feed them properly
  • 18 million people cannot afford adequate housing conditions
  • 12 million people are too poor to engage in common social activities
  • About 5.5 million adults go without essential clothing
     The survey showed that the percentage of UK households which lacked “three or more of the basic necessities of life” has increased from 14 per cent in 1983, the year that Margaret Thatcher was re-elected (around 3 million), to 33 per cent (around 8.7 million) in 2012, despite the size of the economy doubling in that period. Researchers used the “three or more” formula as it is directly comparable with methods used to study poverty and deprivation in 1983. Academics said the findings dispelled the myth that poverty is caused by a lack of work or by people shirking work. Almost half the “employed poor” were clocking up 40 hours a week in work or more.
    Another interesting fact from The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, regarding the Cameron -Osborne "recovery", is that approximately 50% of the 13 million people in poverty in the UK, live in household where someone works. It is also said that between 2008-2014, cost of essentials had risen by almost a third, and you and I know that in the same period, incomes have fallen by approximately 10%.
     These are the cruel facts of the Oxbridge millionaires recovery, wealth flowing rapidly up to those who already have far too much, while those who create that wealth are getting an ever shrinking share. Ah the wonders of capitalism.
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Greek Prisoner Hunger Strike Grows.


      Other prisoners go on hunger strike in solidarity with Nikos Romanos, who is on hunger strike in a stinking hell hole of a Greek prison.
This from Contra Info:
      Comrade Yannis Michailidis, currently incarcerated in Koridallos prison, announced that the anarchists who were arrested after the double robbery in Velventos, Kozani (in February 2013), begin a rotating hunger strike as of Monday, November 17th, 2014 to show factual support to Nikos Romanos, who is on hunger strike since the 10th of November demanding that educational furloughs be granted to him.
       In his statement, Michailidis – who is the first comrade to enter this solidarity hunger strike – has mentioned among others:
“In this instance, my comrade and brother Nikos Romanos is using his body as a barricade to claim passageways out of the stifling conditions of confinement, so I sought a way to express my solidarity with him in practice. Given the condition in which I also find myself at the present juncture, I decided to participate in a rotating hunger strike that we, the comrades who were arrested together after the robbery in Velventos, have now commenced. As of November 17th I start a hunger strike until the request of Nikos Romanos is met.
      This choice of ours aims to contribute towards further motivation of comrades outside the prison walls so as to multiply and intensify multiform solidarity actions, thus opening another front in the war against the State and consequently a scope of awareness amongst new comrades.”
     Additionally, anarchist prisoner Yannis Michailidis expressed his solidarity with Iraklis Kostaris, imprisoned member of the R.O. 17 November (17N), who conducts a hunger strike since October 29th, 2014 claiming educational furloughs he’s also entitled to.

 Educational furloughs:
       It was in 1955 that prison furlough, namely the release of prisoners on a temporary licence, was first introduced by Greek penal legislation. However, the Ministry of Justice was reluctant at the time to test the new measure on the ground. Indeed, it was only 35 years later, in 1990, that the Greek authorities decided to follow the lead taken by most western countries and take action towards implementing this penal provision (van Zyl Smit and Dünkel, 1991; O’Brien, 1995; Massouri and Koutroulis, 1996).

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Monday, 17 November 2014

The True Face Of Capitalism.


      The people of Greece are still experiencing the deepest and most rapid decline in social conditions of anywhere in Europe, with all its attendant miseries. The average salary in that unfortunate country has shrunk to a miserly £17,000 per annum. That is of course if you are working, and that is certainly no guarantee, with unemployment running at 25.9% and youth unemployment at 49.3%. With this economic disaster heaped on the people of Greece, under the dictate of the Troika, (EC, European Commission, ECB, European Central Bank, IMF, International Mankind Fuckers), unrest and crime grows rapidly. In parallel with this, state repression increases and so the prison population grows, and in Greece it grows at a staggering rate.
      The Greek prison system is by far, the worst in Europe, and could compare unfavourably with some Third World countries. Overcrowding is away beyond anything acceptable in any civilised country, and is not going to be resolved any time soon.
     With many prisons already at double or triple capacity, hundreds are stuck in police holding cells, many in pre-trial detention, which has an 18-month limit under Greek law. These detainees have no yard access and are kept locked up for months as their cases wind at a snail's pace through the overburdened justice system.
     The Council of Europe's latest annual penal statistics, published in May and covering 2011, show Greek prisons were at 151.7 percent capacity on September 1 that year, with 12,479 inmates crammed into 8,224 available places. The number of inmates has increased steadily. In January 2010, Greek prisons held 11,364 inmates, according to the Justice Ministry's website. On Nov. 1, they reached 13,147, according to Greek prison system figures obtained by the AP. That doesn't include those, like Aslanis, held in police stations.
       Recent Greek prison system documents from late 2013 list a higher capacity number of 9,886 places across the country, but the number is deceptive as it includes at least five prison wings in two prisons that remain shut due to budget cuts.-------

        Bad as the prisons are, the prison hospitals move into a category of their own, somewhere close to the seventh circle of hell in Dante's Inferno.


      — Inmates held in Greece's only prison hospital are refusing food and medication as part of a protest campaign against their severely overcrowded living conditions.
      The Korydallos prison hospital west of Athens is designed to hold 60 men but currently houses more than 200, rights groups and prison staff said Monday. Most are HIV positive and many others suffer from communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, hepatitis and scabies.
      Protesters posted statements on Facebook and Twitter saying at least 178 of the inmates have been refusing prison food for the past week, while some HIV positive inmates are refusing to take antiretroviral drugs to draw attention to their plight.-------

       It is in the face of this barbarity that we have seen a wave of hunger strikes in Greek prisons. On one recent occasion it was a hunger strike that stretched across the entire Greek prison system. Today their are still individuals on hunger strike, attempting to draw attention to the injustices that they suffer.
      This is the price that the people of Greece are paying as the Troika carries out its experiment to turn Europe into a Western sweatshop, to compete with its rival, the Eastern sweatshop bloc. Greece is capitalism with the gloves off, it is the true face of capitalism.
     A doctor who examined the comrade at Koridallos prison on Thursday morning, November 13th – during the fourth day of hunger strike – reports that 21-year-old Nikos Romanos has lost 3.2 kg of body weight and feels intense weakness and fatigue even after very mild exertion, such as walking from the cell to the prison infirmary. His blood glucose level (measured by finger stick) was 64.
Between the 13th and the 14th of November, 75 prisoners in the Ε wing of Koridallos men’s prison abstained from meals in solidarity with their fellow inmate Romanos.
Read the full article HERE:

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Sunday, 16 November 2014

Who Pays For The UK Recovery?


       Yea, the nights are fair drawn' in, it's getting' cauldur, for some that is a fearful dread. In this country of millionaire economic recovery, this winter, approximately 3.5 million people will not be able to to heat their homes adequately. Age UK states that an older person dies every 7 minutes from the cold weather, then there is the increase in cold related illness, if it doesn't kill them, can leave their health impaired for the remainder of their lives. The winter figure for England and Wales is 206 cold related deaths a day. Every winter, across the country, elderly people die from living in homes they can't afford to heat, yet the big energy companies see their profits go through the roof. The UK energy watchdog states that this year suppliers of our energy will see a record profit £106 from every customer, up from £53 the previous year. In 2009 the big energy companies averaged £9 profit from each customer, since then they have enjoyed a staggering 1,100% increase in their profit per customer. That is a crime against the elderly of this country and people should be held to account for those deaths. 
       Another symptom of this millionaire economic recovery is the increase in evictions, and the threat of eviction, even although you have no rent arrears. Citizens Advice Bureaux states that it has seen a 38% increase in the number of people consulting them over the fears of eviction, even although they have no rent arrears. Eviction by private landlords is the most common cause of homelessness encountered by their offices. The housing shortage, and increase price of houses see landlords increasing rents to unaffordable levels. Some tenants have been faced with eviction after asking for repairs, the landlord making the excuse he wants to sell the house. Others have been faced with eviction after informing the landlord that because of changed circumstances they have moved on to housing benefit, even although they have no rent arrears. Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “Tenants are being treated as cash cows as a chronic housing shortage pushes up prices and forces renters out of their homes. Competition for properties means that tenants are easy to replace, increasing insecurity for people trying to create a home in the private rented sector. “We see people who will be forced to move away from work, school or family and friends, which can ramp up commuting and childcare costs or disrupt children’s education.”
     These are the conditions of the ordinary people in this rich millionaire controlled country, these are the building blocks of the millionaire economic recovery. As the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, it's called capitalism.
 
 
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