Wednesday, 22 November 2017

To The System, Refugees Are Non-Productive Units.

       Although our babbling brook of bullshit, the mainstream media, like the European states, have long since abandoned the refugees that are scattered around the EU, the misery and deprivation is still there. No more so than on the Greek islands. Where they are held in camps and in some cases in prison. Herded like cattle in unhealthy and totally inadequate conditions for the winter weather, their plight is real, but hidden. In this capitalist system refugees in such numbers are surplus to requirements, so can be left to rot, only when the system sees a way to make a profit from them will they become of some interest to the pundits of our corporate financial Mafia. Humans are no more than productive units in this callous system of exploitation. Cease to be productive and you can rot in hell.
        This from Enough is Enough:
       The protests of refugees on Lesvos island continue. In the past days conditions at the Moria refugee camp even got worse because of heavy rainfall. According to a post by Arash Hampay on Facebook. Hesam (who is on hunger strike) was questioned about his refusal to eat. Hesam replied that, “Until you set me free I will stay on hunger strike, because I didn’t do any crime, and if you deport me I might die there,” to which the policeman replied, “Ok. So you will die.”
        The protests of refugees on Lesvos island continue. In the past days conditions at the Moria refugee camp even got worse because of heavy rainfall. According to a post by Arash Hampay on Facebook. Hesam (who is on hunger strike) was questioned about his refusal to eat. Hesam replied that, “Until you set me free I will stay on hunger strike, because I didn’t do any crime, and if you deport me I might die there,” to which the policeman replied, “Ok. So you will die.” 
Lesvos solidarity – Pikpa wrote on their Facebook page yesterday: “Protests and fire in Moria camp last night. Amidst rain and tear gas, several families were brought to the nearby community centre of Humans 4 Humanity. Together with many different groups, we all helped and came together to respond to the emergency: with tents for the families, food, water, medical assistance,…
Today the municipality organised a protest and called for a general strike, to demand the central government to decongest the islands. At the same time, refugees are protesting for their rights and to open the islands.
      How many more emergencies, protests, distressed families, cold and wet nights, speeches, marches? We need immediate action. #opentheislands
      Arash Hampay wrote on his Facebook profile that yesterdays protests were confronted with counter protests but the refugees avoided any kind of confrontation with the “anti-refugee” protesters: “The anti-refugee protesters want to do their protest at the same place that we are, so we decided that when they start their protest, we will collect our stuff from there and let them do their protest, to show that we are respecting the people who are living there and who are born there. We also want to show that our protest is peaceful. Therefore, we will wait until the end of their protest before we begin ours.” The goal of yesterdays refugee demonstration was clear: “To be free from Moria Camp and Karatpe Camp and, of course, from Lesbos prison. They will use the following slogans: #Opentheborder #Opentheisland #Freetherefugees.”

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Universal Credits And The Cull Of The Poor.

        An excellent article by Libcom, on "Universal Credits", is well worth reading in full. It charts the devious road of the state trying to appease the discontent that poverty nurtures, callously trying to keep the lid on things, while it gets on with the usual capitalist exploitation. 

        The official line is that universal credit is being introduced to make things easier, simpler, gather a multitude of payments together to benefit people generally. As if fine-tuning bourgeois bureaucracy is a matter for anyone apart from itself and those it serves. The reality for those on the receiving-end is catastrophic to say the least.
       Right from the start the scheme as a whole failed its own timetable time after time. For anyone relying on state benefits, especially new claimants, the system has become increasingly erratic, unfathomable and more and more subject to the arbitrary whims of individual bureaucrats. A sociologist might tell us that the delivery of a service, its timeliness and serviceability, are less important than the self-aggrandising machinations of bureaucrats and ministers and their staffs. Of more significance to us, however, is what it tells us about the state of capitalism in the so-called advanced world today.
       Despite its name, the universal credit project runs completely against the professed ideal of the post-war welfare state: that a wage worker who becomes unemployed should be compensated with an income adequate for subsistence as a right, i.e. without means testing. Even if the 1946 National Insurance Act didn’t exactly see things in terms of basic human rights – it was conceived as an insurance scheme run by the state where the pay-outs would come from a fund based on the sizeable fraction deducted from workers’ wage packets. Anyone who had been earning a wage [well, at any rate adult males and single women] was entitled to ‘the dole’ simply by registering as unemployed. (Though this in itself was not always without stigma and unconditional payments for “interruption of earnings” did not last beyond six months or a year.) This is not a small point. The end of means testing was a key part of the post-war vision of Britain outlined in Beveridge’s famous 1942 report which gave the state responsibility for eliminating the five giant evils of want, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness. The Beveridge Report was not just discussed by bureaucrats in some obscure parliamentary committee. Thousands of copies and summaries of it were published and widely distributed to reach a working class audience – including amongst serving soldiers and sailors. Hence the prospect of a benign welfare state capitalism in place of mass unemployment, poverty and the workhouse, became a key part of government propaganda to keep the working class committed to “the war effort”.
       And so what Margaret Thatcher later called “the nanny state” came about, though it never fully matched Beveridge’s paternalistic vision. It didn’t last of course. But the reason is economic. The heyday of state-funded provision for the welfare of all citizens coincides with the period of post-war reconstruction and boom. The return of capitalism’s inbuilt structural crisis at the beginning of the 1970s undermined Keynesian economic theory and the state welfare policies that went with it. On the employment front, a more or less manageable situation of “full employment” (defined as a situation with no more than 2-3% of the work force unemployed) quickly gave way to mass unemployment on a par with the 1920s as industry after industry was restructured, dismantled and production ‘outsourced’ to cheap-labour economies in the rest of the world. This, coupled with rampant inflation [over 25% by the mid-1970s] which quickly undermined the value of unemployment benefit, put an end to any idea that national insurance could cover the cost of maintaining the unemployed, especially as many workers faced long term unemployment and could hardly be considered as ‘between jobs’. To this day, despite all the fiddling with official figures and measures to disguise it, unemployment and under-employment are intrinsic to the UK economy as in all the capitalist heartlands, as the table Unemployment and Insecurity in the UK Labour Market from the Centre for Social Investigation, Nuffield College, Oxford at the top of this article shows.
         The old ‘family wage’ is long gone. Minimum wage or not, for decades now the take-home pay of a growing portion of the workforce has not been enough to live on without some form of additional state ‘benefits’. Today more people in a job than without a job are officially classified as ‘poor’. Together they make up well over a sixth of the workforce. (5.8 million out of a work-age population of 38 million people.) For decades too the state has been trying to disguise and manage the situation. Not always successfully. In 2011 riots of the dispossessed in various London districts echoed events in Toxteth and Brixton of thirty years earlier. No government dare withdraw the state support cushion altogether but nowadays nobody who loses their job is entitled to income adequate to live as a right, no matter how much national insurance they have paid. Instead a sophisticated form of means testing and monitoring by state agencies of people’s personal circumstances has become the norm.
        The whole panoply of benefits, allowances, credits claimable/available to individuals and/or families on low pay, to ‘jobseekers’, invalids, disabled … at the discretion of a state bureaucrat … has mushroomed out of the National Assistance scheme that was originally set up in 1948. Basically this was a bureaucratic afterthought to cater for a minority of people with “abnormal needs” not covered by national insurance. Anyone with an ‘abnormal need’ would have to undergo a means test. In 1966 National Assistance morphed into Supplementary Benefits. In 1988 Supplementary Benefits became Income Support. Since the introduction of ‘austerity’ following the financial crash a decade ago, the various Tory-led governments have been working on the introduction of Universal Credit.
Read the full article HERE:

It closes with the statement:
         All of this needs to be set against the continuing capitalist crisis. Capital always has to find ways to ease its own pains even if it causes misery and more to the working class. All of these measures have been a way to impose new rules on those with little. The British capitalist class and its uncivil servants have placed a new name at the head of a new set of rules designed to force people into a situation where it “pays” to work longer hours for less – the capitalist ideal! The Tories have been shown on a regular basis to be incompetent, callous, unprepared and heartless. Well, nothing new there! But the solution for the working class is not the very same system managed by pious Labour technocrats – there is no comfort zone – the solution lies in recognising that we have to get rid of capitalism, wage labour and its corollary, unemployment altogether.
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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Today City Plaza Hotel Is One And a Half Years Old.

         Having spent a considerable time in Greece over the years, some of that time on some of the islands, but mainly in Athens, I have great admiration for the activists there. They seem to be able to mobilise in numbers, and to hold onto what they have won, of course it is the numbers and the solidarity they show to each other, that brings them victories.
        One such action which I consider a remarkable achievement is the City Plaza Hotel. Back in 2008, when the financial Mafia went with demand notices to the various states, insisting in getting back their gambling losses, the following "austerity" ideology decimated lots of countries, in Europe, Greece was the worst hit. unemployment rocketed, hotels, shops and workplaces closed their doors, evictions mushroomed, plus Greece was facing a vast influx of refugees. That's when the local activists stepped in, occupied a large empty hotel in the centre of Athens, and housed lots of refugees. That was in April 2016, they are still there today.
      The logistics to keep such an enterprise going over this period of time is a considerable achievement, but they have done it, and are still doing it. The City Plaza Hotel is home to hundreds of refugees, in the centre of Athens, thanks to the local activists, refugees and their supporters.

        On April 22, 2016, 250 activists and refugees took over the hotel City Plaza in the center of Athens. A hotel which like many other businesses stood closed for 6 years after the economic collapse and the government’s policies of austerity. This abandoned hotel was transformed into a Refugee Accommodation and Solidarity Space. Since then the solidarity initiative has, for more than 500 days, provided free and decent housing to over 1700 people in the center of Athens, irrespective of their nationality and residence status. These people are housed in the hotel’s 120 rooms, 350-400 persons at a time, a third of whom are children.
       There are other ways you can measure what’s been happening here over the past 18 months; with the 385,000 warm meals served by the kitchen group or with the 35,000 working hours spent at security posts by the hotel’s entrance and on the balconies of the building. With the 13,560 hours of shifts at the reception desk or with the more than 32,700 rolls of toilet paper distributed by the warehouse team. It can also be counted in 156 full van-loads of fresh vegetables and meat; or in the countless hours spent cleaning the building, or in the medical center, in the hours spent teaching in the two classrooms, or in the women space and in the playground or with the 18 tons of heating oil used in the boilers and radiators.
Read the full story of this wonderful achievement:
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A Man Made Hell, To Protect The Parasites.

       Prisons are an indictment on any society that claims to be civilised, they are the antithesis of civilisation, and humanity. Across our planet all states hold on to this tool of repression as a bulwark to protect the wealth and power of the established order. The conditions in prisons vary from state to state, some are barbaric in the extreme, some are more subtle in the form of repression they use, but all are there to intimidate, repress and break the human spirit, no matter the method.
       However, does Argentina hold the dubious prize of the worlds most degrading and inhumane prison, a hell-hole beyond imagination. What the following article shows is something that you might think is from some horror movie, but in fact is how this particular state treats its own citizens, here, today in the 21st. century.  Prisons are a man made hell, to protect the parasites.
       Those responsible for incarcerating people in these conditions cease to be human and deserve the wrath of all humanity, this must be brought to an end, and the only way is to bring down the whole stinking system. It is time to enjoy the ecstasy of our righteous anger and bring an end to this barbarity. 
This from arrezafe:
This is what these hell-holes protect.

         40 photos showing the inhumane conditions in the prisons of Olmos and Marcos Paz (Argentina)
      Not the best translation, but readable. 

     ------In the bureaucratic vocabulary Penitenciaria Bonaerense Unit No. 1, prison Lisandro Olmos, the term "Sector Isolation Coexistence" is at least a euphemism. "Mailboxes" or "leoneras" is the best known name . There are 22 small rooms of a meter by meter with a pallet of cement and a latrine without ventilation and with a small crack in the door; there is sent to prisoners who are separated from the rest of the population . Prisoners of Olmos can end in one of those rooms, at least in theory, in two ways: in response to a request to be separated from the rest of their fellow prisoners in the pavilion facing a problem, or to receive a punishment. Olmos criminal, as building is over a hundred years. The isolation area is precisely in its catacombs; the "mailboxes" occupy part of subsurface ice .--------
Read the full article and more photos HERE:

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Sunday, 19 November 2017

The Dear Green Place On a Cold Dull Night.

       What else would you do on a cold miserable Saturday night in Glasgow? Or where else would you do this?

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Ring The Bells That Still Can Ring.

        No need to get depressed because you can't move mountains, but you can still shift a pile of rocks by yourself, think how many rocks you could move with the help of some friends, it could be a whole mountain. A few words of wisdom from that excellent site Not buying Anything.

       Things appear grim these days, globally speaking. But that should not overshadow all the good that can be enjoyed in the time we have remaining, however long that may be. Lots is broken, but lots is still working.
       Yesterday Linda and I were viewing Leonard Cohen performing his song "Anthem". As we listened, I thought of how gracefully Cohen aged, and how his experience allowed him to view the world in a more Zen-like manner. He wasn't fighting life (or death), but going with the flow.
      When he said,

“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.”,

he reminded us not to fall into despair. Just because we can't do everything, doesn't mean we shouldn't do something. We can't wait for perfect solutions before we act.
       Cursing the darkness is not the answer. When we choose Earth-friendly lifestyles we are lighting candles, and every photon helps.We can do what we can do, and use what works.
      Simple living is a set of bells that still can ring, loud and clear. Their peal cuts through the void. No change, no peal.
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Workers Know Your History, No Gods No Masters 3.

       Following on from parts one and two of Daily Motion's three part history of the anarchist movement, here is part 3. The three part series is quite an extensive cover of the anarchist movement world wide, well worth viewing and spreading the word.

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From Little Acorns Great Oak Trees Grow.

       The people of the world are not going to rise up en-mass and create that better world. What will change the world in our direction will be the sum total of countless little actions across the planet. Small actions in every village, town and city, increasing until it reaches a critical mass, creating a change in consciousness, then it will be unstoppable and the world will be ours. Continuous small affairs, toy-swaps, book-banks, clothes-exchanges, surplus food sharing, skill sharing, and so on. All of this undermines consumerism, the life blood of this insane capitalist system, and draws a community together, then slowly the world changes. However, we must accept that this revolutionary change will not come with roses alone.
This from Its Going Down:

        Last weekend, autonomists and anarchists organized a coat and clothes drive in the Downtown Modesto area, with hundreds of free items. The event was the end result of several days of organizing and collecting donations from the community including warm clothing as well as fresh apples, toothbrushes, and other free dental supplies.
       The event itself was attended by over 50 people, and during the event we had numerous positive interactions with individuals who discussed everything from job loss to how to get involved in the future with upcoming events. We also put up a banner that read: “Free Clothes” in Spanish and in English, as well as the slogan, “Community Mutual Aid” with a circle (A), and flew a red and black flag. We did this to make clear that this event was not simply carried out as an act of charity, but instead to put forward a set of anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian ideas, reclaim public space, have fun, and also meet people in our community. Police drove by, but did not fuck with us.
     In the past several years, attempts by the city, police, and developers to remake the Downtown core by driving out poor, homeless, youth, and the working class, have largely backfired. Many businesses have shut down, including the one grocery store in the Downtown area, cutting off access to the main supply of food for many elderly and impoverished people. But, there are signs that the gentrification machine will attempt to continue on the path ahead, especially in the wake of many stores shuttering, as we are seeing several new hip and swanky stores and bars openly in the Downtown. We can only assume that developers are hoping to accommodate displaced people from the bay area, while at the same time displacing us.
      While we enjoy helping provide resources for those without, we also know that class society and the State will not collapse through an accumulation of either negative or ‘positive’ acts – or posts on anarchist websites. Instead, in the coming together and building of actual relationships, we can attempt to create new forms of power for the battles to come. Only several weeks ago, we found ourselves alongside over 100 others, remembering the life and death of Nick Pimentel, who was murdered by local police in South Side Modesto. Also, on the same day as our coat drive, a march was organized to protest attacks on DACA, and down the road from the giveaway, residents have been protesting harmful waste covered up by the city near their homes.
     All of these struggles are connected, and across the divisions placed upon by by geography, neighborhood, gender, and race, we hope to build something that can overcome the systems of control and domination, and usher into being an existence worthy of the name ‘humanity.’
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Thursday, 16 November 2017

A Planet Of Crazy Apes.

Pinnacle Of Evolution

There's a crazy ape, who
by means of incredible intransigence
has mastered that art of carnage;
through dogged determination
in a ruthless rampage
raised the body-count beyond belief.
This crazy ape
creates the human chronicles
as a cruel callous calendar,
transforms our indulgent earth
into a primitive barbaric abattoir.
He struts across the land
with bumptious pride;
he's destructive, he's devious,
demands dominion
planet wide.
His claim to fame,
history immortalised in rivers of blood.
Even so,
this crazy ape called man, believes
he's the GODS' sublime solution,
progress's perfection
the pinnacle of evolution.

      Our planet is a small entity in the grand scale of things, and we humans pride ourselves as being a peaceful civilised species. However we are the only species that kills for pleasure, personal gain and wealth. We are also unique in that we are the only species that with gay abandon, destroys our own environment, and that of all other species on the planet. We will, if we continue as we are doing, be the cause of the demise of most of the life on the planet, including our own.
        I would imagine that to an alien species viewing our world from some far off galaxy, we would appear to be a savage, callous, self destructive animal, lacking compassion and in most cases reason. Our blood letting, over the centuries, across the planet, would turn all the oceans to a deep red. Our history is a litany of brutal wars, that never cease, of countless millions slaughtered, in the name of some false mantra.
       Today we are at an extremely advanced state of technology, which could transform our world to a paradise on earth, but we use that technology to kill and control, all in the name of greed, personal wealth and power. Glance across our planet, and what you will see is the endless wars, engineered by greed, the stupidity of racism, and the desire for wealth and power.
        Below is just a snapshot of some recent headlines, which doesn't include Lebanon. Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Afghanistan, Libya, and a host of other ongoing wars. 

      For a more comprehensive list of the human carnage visited on humans by humans, have a look at:

       Only the effort and the will of the ordinary people can stop this madness, we can't expect those who engineer and gain immensely from this ongoing slaughter to call a halt, they love their opulence and power.
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Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Workers Know Your History, No Gods, No Masters, 2 of 3.

      Following on from previous post of Daily Motion's part 1 of the history of anarchism, "No Gods, No Masters", here is part 2 of 3, 1922 1945. Enjoy, it's your history, it highlights our problems, and it points the way to the future.

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         Technology can be a tremendous advantage to the human race, it has the potential to create a sustainable world of plenty, the rest is up to us how we use that technology. Sadly the powers that be, see technology as a tool to increase their control over us, they see it as a way to protect and enhance their power and wealth at the expense of sustainability, justice and equality. Power, greed and war are among the main drivers of today's technology, this in turn opens the door to a frightening world beyond the control of the people. 
       The following short video paints a nightmare picture of technology in the hands of the power mongers, I don't know how far down the road we are to this type of technology, but I have no doubt what so ever, if we are not there yet, there are those working hard to get there. Only the people can stop this becoming a reality.
        All the more urgent reason for us all to come together and bring down this system of insanity that is today's capitalist world. I don't think we have a lot of time on our hands, I'm sure the point of no return is very close indeed. Tomorrow is up to us, or it is their vision of total control.

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Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Digital Anonymity.

        Some helpful information from a workshop at The Athens Insurrection Festival. We all use it, the Internet, we all know that it can be a powerful tool in our hands, but we also know that it can be a powerful tool for the state. This info is to try to add to your advantage, but limit the the advantage that the establishment has over you.
       As activists we must know the dangers of the cyberspace, and learn how to protect our privacy. Avoiding the use of telecommunication tools is not an option. But either we own the technology we use or the technology owns us.
      Here are some basic concepts and tips from yesterday’s workshop. We publish this info and ask you to help spread it because information wants to be free
Download the info PDF HERE: 
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Glasgow, Free University, Self Determination.

        Glasgow has always had an anarchist presence, it ebbs and flows, but never disappears, see Strugglepedia, for a glimpse of that history. The 80's and 90's saw a lot of creative activity from anarchist/libertarian-socialists and those of like minds. One such event was the "Self Determination" event at which Noam Chomsky was present.  The Self-Determination and Power event was organised by a loose alliance of the Free University of Glasgow, the Edinburgh Review. Not sure who filmed it. But produced by Street Level  

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No One Forgotten, Nothing Forgiven, Solidarity.

        It is a fact that our prison system, (the state's system of repression), is mainly populated by people with addiction problems, mental health issues and miscarriages of justice, all of these people should be elsewhere, receiving help with their problems or getting on with their lives. Our babbling brook of bullshit, the mainstream media, always spouts the false narrative that prisons are filled with "bad people", and they are put there by the "good" forces of "law and order". However, the history of our legal system and its prisons are a litany of miscarriages of justice and human misery. Once sucked into the penal system, it is extremely difficult to extract yourself from its callous and vindictive claws. The system never likes to show its flaws, the charade of impartial fair "justice" must always be protected, as a flawless system of fairness, protecting you and I. The lie must live for the system to survive.
        The Bristol Anarchist Black Cross, is calling for solidarity in support of one such sufferer of the system's many miscarriages of justice:
     ABOUT SAM AND HER CASE: Sam Faulder is an anarchist prisoner currently serving a life sentence in England. Sam is a miscarriage of justice who has done over ten years in the prison system.
         She has been an anti-authoritarian her whole life and was relentlessly targeted by police because of her lifestyle choices. After serving nearly two years on remand, Sam’s trial was a disaster. Police corruption impacted her trial and her solicitor firm withdrew from her case three weeks before it began. Her need to appeal coincided with cuts to legal-aid and she has been trapped in the prison system ever since.
        She is now working with Cardiff University’s Innocence Project on her appeal. Learn more about her case and appeal here: [1]
     ABOUT SAM’S HEALTH: After ten years experiencing every abuse imaginable, Sam was sadly diagnosed with cancer in 2016. She has still not had
treatment. She has experienced intense medical neglect while being imprisoned in a for-profit prison, HMP Peterborough, run by Sodexo. Read the full story of her cancer situation here: [2]


* Please send letters and cards with solidarity messages to: Samantha Faulder A1209CF, HMP Foston Hall, Foston, Derby, Derbyshire, DE65 5DN
* Please donate to her support fund:
* Organise actions and dedicate them to Sam, this will mean the world
to her!
* Pay attention to the website for action alerts about her treatment
* Share her story online

For more info please email

See the graphic here:

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Monday, 13 November 2017

No Gods No masters, Workers Know Your history.

         Daily Motion has produced a series of three excellent videos, No Gods No Masters, detailing the birth and growth of the anarchist movement, its rise and fall and rise again, over the years. It is important that we know, remember and spread our history, our history is what we are, and points to where we are attempting to go, workers, know your history.
This is the first of the three, well worth watching, enjoy:

No Gods No Masters - part 1/3 - 1840-1906 (cc... by lucyparsons
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