Sunday, 26 February 2017

Vindictive Laws To Prevent Protests.

 
        Once again the Land of The Free, the good ol' US of A, sets the standard in draconian authoritarian laws. The State of Arizona leads the charge in attempting to prevent any form of protest from taking place. This latest piece of legislation, if enacted, could see you take part in a peaceful protest, some individual throws a rock, you are all complicit, and could have all your assets seized. It doesn't matter who threw the rock, one angry individual, an agent-provocateur, or a drunk, you are all still liable. It makes for intimidation of those wishing to enact their legal right to peaceful protest. By protesting an injustice, you could run the risk of being made homeless and penniless, by the vindictive action of the state. So the illusion of democracy capitalist style, grows ever thinner, the truth is there for all to see.
This from Counter Current News:  

        Imagine having all your assets seized because you planned a peaceful protest that disturbed the peace? That could be a reality under SB1142, which just passed the Arizona state senate.
        Under SB1142, Arizona’s racketeering laws are expanding to include rioting. This gives the state government the right to criminally prosecute and seize the assets of everyone who planned a protest that turned violent and everyone who participated.
         The bill also redefines what constitutes a rioter as any person who “uses force or violence or threatens to use force or violence, if such threat is accompanied by immediate power of execution, which EITHER disturbs the public peace OR RESULTS IN DAMAGE TO THE PROPERTY OF ANOTHER PERSON.”
         Read the full text of the bill at http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/53leg/1R/bills/SB1142S.htm
         The vote was 17-13. One of the 17 that voted for this, Sen. John Kavanagh, gave the following justification for this absurd, unconstitutional new law: “You now have a situation where you have full-time, almost professional agent-provocateurs that attempt to create public disorder. A lot of them are ideologues, some of them are anarchists. But this stuff is all planned… I should certainly hope that our law enforcement people have some undercover people there. Wouldn’t you rather stop a riot before it starts?”
         Who defines what is considered a ‘violent’ protest?
        Who determines what ‘disturbs the public peace’? Does profanity, shouting, or loud music constitute disturbing the peace?
       The opponents of a protest could just hire agitators to make protests violent, then the authorities could use this as an excuse to seize the assets of all the protesters.
        You are peacefully protesting and some guy starts throwing rocks at windows. Not only are you arrested on racketeering charges, but then the cops come and seize your house, car, and belongings? Good luck affording a lawyer to defend you in court!
        If this succeeds and is signed into law by the Governor of Arizona, you can bet a similar nationwide law will be on its way not long after…
Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk

An Inborn Desire To Be Free.

         The desire to be free is something that smoulders in every heart, but under conditions of repression and exploitation, it is all too often, a frustrated personal secret. At times in some individuals it bursts forth in acts of rebellion, this is an irritant on the harsh skin of this repressive society, it may be tolerated or, as in most cases, authority will attempt to extinguish that free spirit. However, when the desire to be free explodes in an area, as it did in Spain 1936, and  now in Rojava, the treatment to extinguish that explosion is far more savage and brutal. The possibility of people living together in co-operation and harmony, controlling their own lives, can not been seen to succeed, so will not be tolerated, it will be a fight to the death, as authority does it worst to extinguish that inborn desire. Come what may, the desire to be free will not die, each explosion of that desire feeds another, and another, until one day the entire planet will glow brightly from those explosions and authority, repression and exploitation will be its ashes.
      More on Rojava:



Thanks Loam for this link:

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Saturday, 25 February 2017

Stateless Democracy.




        Recently, for some, Rojava has been hailed as the new 1936 Spain, with its libertarian dreams being painfully brought to life, this being the case it would be expected that the surrounding states would take a dim view of that type of structure, and work to undermine its progress. Our babbling brook of bullshit, the mainstream media, doesn't give it any of that "oxygen of publicity", that it spews out on trivia, sex and scandal. Despite this Rojava has struggled painfully on its course to that better world. However, the cards are stacked against it, as the various states, all of them opposed to any form of libertarian society, try to strangle the dream, as they did in Spain all those years ago, with sanctions, and brutal violence. Now the ultimate weapon is being used in Rojava, starving the region of the blood of life, water. Nothing is too sadistic, nothing is too brutal, as they work hard at stopping the idea of a libertarian society gaining ground. To our imperialist masters with their state apparatus, death and destruction is a price worth paying as they preach their mantra, capitalism or nothing.  

This from Insurrection News:


        The water and electricity cuts continue on its 4th day in Kobane. The Firat river’s water supply is so low that the base of the river, at least 3 kilometres in width is visible. The canton has announced that the cuts are indefinite. Those who have wells are sharing their water supply with their neighbours but this is a limited and ineffective alternative and thousands are without a drop of water.
       The use and control of natural resources has been something that the Turkish state has used against the Kurds for decades. As the crackdown and mass human rights violations against the Kurds continue in Bakur, Rojava is slowly strangled with the ongoing humanitarian embargo and water cuts. Worse, when Turkey finally releases the water from their end hundreds of villages will be flooded causing massive damages and disruptions to agriculture and livestock (as it did last year) which is the backbone of the economy. This is a tactic that Turkey has used repeatedly against Rojava; as did Assad by cutting water supplies to Kurdish regions or rerouting water from Kurdish areas to Arab regions.
        Terrorism takes many forms, whether its bombing and destroying thousands of villages, to burning hundreds of acres of forests and farms, to stopping water flowing further down to other regions, to embargoes. The use of the environment and land to oppress and terrorise the colonised is a well used tactic by states against indigenous communities and minorities.
       The motto of the Rojava Revolution is “Resistance is Life”, but I wonder how a deeply oppressed, economically underdeveloped society that lacks resources, infrastructure and access to multiple borders is able to resist such terrorism.
Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk

Friday, 24 February 2017

Why I'm Not Anti-Trump.

 
       Experiencing the anti-Trump hysteria I'm filled with mixed emotions ranging from sadness, disappointment and anger. This seemingly world wide anti-Trump cacophony is certainly being fed by our lie machine, the babbling brook of bullshit that is our mainstream media. Every outlet has some point of ridicule, outrage or amazement, at the latest revelations coming from that dangerous, moronic, irrational fundamental Christian, Trump, and the world jumps on the bandwagon. It somehow creates the illusion that if we could only get rid of this idiot, it would be a tremendous victory for democracy. Of course their solution is to replace the rabid fundamental Christian with a elitist variation such as the war warmongering duplicitous billionaire Clinton, who, steeped in a life of duplicitous deals, backed Obama's murderous foreign policy to the hilt. There is world outrage as Trump imposes travel bans on Muslims, but where was that outrage while Obama was killing Muslims, aided and abetted by the hypocritical Clinton. This anti-Trump campaign directs our anger from the real problem, the system that allows a bunch of billionaires to control our lives. Get rid of Trump, impeach him, legally challenge him, and have him removed tomorrow, and the American military imperialist power will still be out their killing and maiming civilians, destroying cities and plundering the wealth of the world to fatten that bunch of billionaires that pull the strings to their own personal advantage. Replace Trump by who you wish, and they will make sure they do nothing to hinder the system of American imperialism from continuing to exploit and plunder the planet. So I'm sad that so many people are working so hard to get rid of Trump believing that solves the problem. I'm disappointed that so many people can't see beyond the cult of leadership, I'm angry that so many people think that the pre-Trump option was a desirable era. So much energy being spent that could be directed against the root cause of our problems, the system, and it is being wasted on trying to change the label. Changing the label on a bottle of poison, doesn't change the contents.
Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Anarchy Is For Lovers.

 
          For every anarchist in a black balaclava, there are at least forty aiming in the same direction, but taking a different route, anarchism is a multi-stranded fabric. Anarchism is the destination, the battles, tactics, struggles and strategies are how we deal with the obstacles that litter our path. It is a path that will require all our imagination, initiatives, determination and solidarity, for our opponents, apart from having a massive propaganda apparatus in their armoury, they have power, savagery, brutality and massive weaponry in their arsenal. However we should never forget, our means shape our ends, how we shape the foundation will determine the structure of our building. In spite of the image portrayed by our babbling brook of bullshit, the mainstream media, of anarchism as a violent creed, anarchism is a philosophy of love. It is not hate that drives us to fight injustice, it is love of justice, it is not hate that drives us to struggle against oppression, it is love of freedom. No matter the shape and colour of our battles, it is love of humanity that dives us forward, a desire that all our people must be free from oppression and exploitation.
 
          Potentially at least, anarchism and pacifism are, as Garrison and Tolstoy saw, bound together conceptually; it’s plausible to argue that government could not operate at all without physical force, coercion, incarceration, and other forms of violence, so that pacifism entails the rejection of state power. Mott said that people “should have no participation in a government based upon the life-taking principle—upon retaliation and the sword.” On the other hand, anarchism does not entail pacifism, and many anarchists have considered themselves insurrectionists and violent revolutionaries.
           This debate has extended throughout the history of anarchism. In DC and London in the 1980s, for example, the political punk movement split between militant anti-fascists and “peace punks.” The two strands continue among anarchists now, though the more war-like party is the more visible.
Read the full article HERE:
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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Prisons, The Anthithesis Of Justice.


          It is difficult for people on the "outside" to grasp the full extent of the harsh brutality within the prison system. It is not just the removal of your freedom to move about, but the total surveillance, the arbitrary and vindictive rules in an attempt to have total control over you, to keep you in a state of submissiveness, the violence it breeds, and the isolation from friends and family. Despite these inhuman conditions, because humans are what they are, the desire to be free still burns within, and manifests itself in many ways. Not a new article, but still well worth reading again. Michael Kimble has spent 31 years in prison, and is still fighting against the savage oppression that is the state's way of handling those it deems unmanageable and/or a threat, the prison system. All prisoners are suffering an injustice, prisons are the antithesis of justice, freedom and justice will only blossom when the last prison has been bulldozed and given birth to a meadow of wild flowers.
        The following is an extract from an interview with Michael Kimble in 2015:

Could you talk a bit about why you got locked up in the late ’80s?
          I got locked up in 1986 for the murder of a white guy that wanted to do harm to me and a friend who was out one night walking. We had our arms around each other and this guy started fucking with us, calling us fags, niggers, and all kinds of disrespectful, homophobic and racist shit. When he attacked after confronting him, I pulled a pistol I had on me and shot him. The media tried to turn it into a racially motivated murder and all kinds of things. I really didn’t know any of this until I had a chance to view my Pre-sentence Investigation Report (PSI) and this was after I had already been in prison awhile. I took the case to trial and received a life sentence and here I am 29 years later, still in prison because of a homophobic racist. I have no regrets about it.
You’ve talked before about your political development while in prison – from communism to anarchy. Could you tell us about how that happened? Were there experiences, events, relationships, or writings that pushed you in the direction of anti-authoritarian action?
         Yeah, I became a communist in my early years as I’ve said before, because it spoke to the oppression of Black, gay, poor people and of course prisoners, and espoused the idea of creating a world free of these oppressions. I became a part of the New Afrikan Independence Movement (NAIM) which was very vocal at the time and it seemed that all the warriors from the Black Liberation Movement was part of the NAIM. And they were active in the prisons as far as legal (lawsuits, letter, phone campaigns, education) support and visiting prisoners. And of course, they participated in cultural programs as well in the prisons here in Alabama. Also around this time the ABCs had begun to be visible through their support of “political prisoners/prisoners of war” from the previous decades’ movements (BLA, BPP, UFF, anti-imperialists, WUO, etc)1 , so I started receiving literature and newspapers (The Blast, Love & Rage, Bulldozer, Fifth Estate, etc.) and started to learn about anarchism and it resonated with me. Shit, I was against authority, against oppression and started to see the contradictions between statehood (government) and freedom. Anarchism was/is talking about doing away with all this, and putting into practice now and not waiting on the future. And I’ve been a staunch anarchist since.
Read the full interview HERE: 

From Anarchy Live, an extract from the latest writings of Michael Kimble:
        A new year, same shit! I’m not really a writer and don’t really like writing, and don’t have anything in particular to write about, so I’ll just put things down as it pops in my head.
          Lately, my mind has been troubled about a lot of things and I do feel compelled to write something. One is how we keep going for the same old stuff that power be putting down. It’s really depressing when I see that even some anarchists, who should know better, decry the election/selection of Donald Trump instead of Hillary Clinton. Don’t we realize that Clinton is just another piece in the power matrix and that she would only continue that status quo of power’s domination?
Right now as I write I’m sitting in a single person cell freezing. It’s in the low 30s tonight and there is no heat. I’ve been doing exercise to stay warm. Now I’m tired and decided to attempt to write something coherent and meaningful. I’ve been in this cell since January 4, 2017, allegedly for discussing actions planned for January 20, 2017 with a comrade on the east coast in a letter. They are calling it a conspiracy. Then, a cell phone was found in my property by the riot squad, who has been deployed here at Holman for the last couple of months in an attempt to regain control and restore order to a population that has proven to be tired of order. But since I’m an outlaw, I’m not tripping.
Read the full article HERE

Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Win With Open Source.

 
         The world of open source is an Aladdin’s cave of information and resources that can compete with any of the branded computer software systems and programs out there, the bonus is that it is all free, and backed up my an army of keen helpful people on tap to take you through any computer problems you may come across. The cherry on the cake is that it is another way of taking on the big corporate robber barons, and depriving them of the opportunity to rip you off. Sit down, lean back, listen and learn. The latest information piece from Bob at Citystrolls.


Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk

Whose Law And Order?

        Everybody should be aware of the vindictiveness of the state and its so called "law and order" system. Through the propaganda spewed out by the babbling brook of bullshit, our mainstream media, this piece of state apparatus is pedalled as there to protect the citizens. When in fact it is there to control the citizens, and protect the wealth and power of the parasites who exploit the citizens, the corporate robber barons, who have their hands on the power levers in our society. Hence those who seek to change the system and shift the power and wealth to the people, are seen as the greatest threat to those in power. So it is not surprising that across the world anarchists are targeted and treated  to the blunt end of the state's brutality. This is intended to stamp out resistance to their  corporate plundering, and to intimidate others from following that path to change and justice. Though this takes place across the world, the various states have their own particular methods, and it will take various degrees of brutality, depending on their perceived threat, but all will have the same aim in mind, keep the wealthy and power where it is, and keep control of the citizens. 
       The case of anarchist Tasos Theofilou is not unique, but it does show how the state's protectors will target someone and then fabricate evidence around them to silence them, and remove them from circulation, useing this to try to intimidate others. Solidarity and vigilance are our winning weapons.


Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk

Monday, 20 February 2017

Rough Beast, Its Hour Come Round At Last--



        Capitalism’s regular cycle of crises come round and round again, and each time a new crisis hits us the ugly body of the behemoth fascism, spawns its malignant twins, “Racism” and “Nationalism” who scurry forth in ever growing confidence, creating division among our people. Today, in capitalism’s latest crisis, we see their malevolent hands create hatred, between brother and sister, drown rationalism in dogma, shed blood in the name of ideology, drag humanity to the edge of the precipice. However, time and time again humanity, by solidarity, understanding and tolerance, has tamed the beast and hauled itself back to a brighter horizon. Today is such a time to muster these qualities, as the beast runs rampant across our world, fed by those captains of capitalism, who have most to lose, should capitalism stumble further into crisis. This time we should not aim to tame the beast, but to destroy it, obliterating it from humanity’s consciousness.

THE SECOND COMING

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

William Butler Yeats, 

 What Rough Beast Slouches Towards Bethlehem?
         In the darkening dawn of the 20th century, William Butler Yeats wrote, "Things fall apart, the center cannot hold." Yeats' Second Coming glimpsed a nightmarish "rough beast, its hour come round at last" slouching towards Bethlehem to be born. As we move into the 21st century, my fear is that the "center" is getting too strong--there seems to be no limit to what technology and government can do.
       Computers can only get so fast, but quantum computing harnesses parallel timelines to do things that just aren't possible in a Newtonian universe. A fully-functioning quantum computer should break the barriers between relativity and quantum physics, and should also be able to bioengineer proteins from scratch. Given today's pace of progress, I expect decent quantum computers to be operational by 2025, yielding a whole new generation of technology by 2045.
       Technology isn't the only thing that changes. There's a pace of progress in human relationships, too. I'm not aware of any "Moore's Law" for human interconnectedness, but we've gone from writing to printing to telegraph to radio to television to internet to blogs to Facebook to Twitter over time. Communications move further and faster. The news cycle has gone from monthly magazines to weekly papers to the nightly newscast to 24/7 cable to a constant feed to the Blackberry.
       Yeats heard the winds of chaos scattering the ashes of Europe after World War I. Today an invisible web is twining its tentacles around a shrinking world. Who knows what the future holds?
 Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk

Saturday, 18 February 2017

There Is No Messiah, No Miracles.


      I believe it is safe to say that the vast majority of ordinary people are dissatisfied with the quality of their lives. Sadly, because of the bubble gum and candy floss propaganda, spewed out by our babbling brook of bullshit, the mainstream media, they seek the answers to that dissatisfaction in the very institutions that are responsible for their problems. Daily, in the midst of immeasurable wealth, we face poverty, hardship, homelessness, exploitation at work, wars, and a host of other injustices. In trying to answer these problems we continually return to the failed method of changing the government. We have tried them all, left, centrists, left of centre, right, right of centre and so the crazy pattern goes on. However, so do the problems, nothing is resolved in our favour, each new messiah falls from grace, and we seek a new saviour. By now we should have learnt that the persistent and naive routine of putting another party in power never has, and never will, fix our problems. Our problems are the result of the festering marriage between state and global capitalism, two heads of the same monster. The power of the state is in direct relation to the negation of our own power, we hand the quality and direction of our lives to others, and in doing so enhance their power over us.
        We will have to solve our own problems, by coming together and organising to take control of our own communities and workplaces, ignore the party political system that binds us to the dictate of an ideology, and destroy the capitalist system. There will be no Messiahs to lead us to the promised land, we will receive no miracles from on high, We will have to evolve our own strategies, hone our own tactics, form our own weapons, and create a revolt of strength and intelligence that will take no rebuke from the poisonous power of any state. Anything less will be a compromise with injustice, exploitation and inequality, it will be an acceptance that our earth can be plundered to destruction for the wealth and power of the few. 
Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk

Friday, 17 February 2017

Silent When I Should Be Screaming.


      Paper Chained is a journal of writings and artistic expressions from individuals affected by incarceration. We are currently seeking contributions from prisoners, ex-prisoners and family members of prisoners for our first journal publication. Please circulate this callout throughout your networks.
       If you are currently in prison, have experienced time in prison or have a loved one in prison, we welcome your contributions to this journal! If you know somebody who might be interested in contributing, please pass this information on to them.
        Attached is an information sheet that can be printed and mailed to prisoners and a poster you are welcome to print and display in your neighbourhood, workplaces, schools and other community hubs.
        Details about the journal and how to send in contributions can be found at our website: Runningwild (anarchist collective)

PAPER CHAINED JOURNAL – INFO FOR CONTRIBUTORS (PDF)
       The full horror of conditions within the prison system is not widely known by the general public, nor is the reasoning behind how people end up there. Books like this can help to get the true picture across, and perhaps we can then turn these hell-hole cages of injustice and brutality into piles of rubble.
      The following poem is from another similar book, "Silent When I should Be Screaming" and was dedicated to those unfortunate women who committed suicide in Scotland's Corntonvale Prison for Women.

Choices.

there's a man
in my bed
who wants
to kill me

this is not paranoia
I know this because

he drags me naked
from my bed
kicks me in the kidneys
twists my flesh
drags me over 
broken glass

he's always saying
he's going to do it
especially if I ever leave
oh yes especially then

or if I have another man
he'll kill us both

I'm afraid most of the time

but more than that
I am numbed by his
ranting accusations
fuelled by drink
and the past

I never know
exactly what
I have done
that warrants all this
Jan Coleman.
     
     "Silent When I Should Be Screaming" was published by Smeddum Press, printed by Clydeside Press, 1997, ISBN 0 9523868 2 8 

Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Too Old For The News.


 


        Something about living a long time, news never seems like news. Recently the Joseph Rowntree Foundation announced that almost one third of the UK population are living on an inadequate income. In its statement it said that during 2014-15, approximately 19 million people were surviving on less than the Minimum Income Standard (MIS). Mired in that 19 million group of desperate people are six million children, roughly 45% of all UK children, and 1.8 million pensioners. These depressing figures are up from six years ago when they were quoted as, 15 million, or 25% of the population.  

       Why do I not see this as news? Well has it ever been other? It is just bubble gum and candy floss to plaster across that babbling brook of bullshit, our mainstream media. Through the years, as I have seen governments come and governments go, I have been reading figures like this. Under one government the figures improve slightly under the next they deteriorate, so we switch governments again, and the process goes boringly but brutally on its destructive way. Yes we the ordinary people wrestle small gains here and there, but slice by slice they are taken away from us, and we have to start all over again in the constant struggle to try and get a decent standard of living. Poverty has soared and then slightly abated, homeless has grown and then slightly abated, child poverty has increased and then slightly abated. However, none of these problems have ever been addressed  and solved. Nor can they, the system is incapable of solving these problems, or surely it would have done so by now. Have no illusions, the system has the wealth and the resources to sort it all out, but doesn't. Based on the profit motive, these problems are actual results of the system, a few must gain while the majority must lose, that's capitalism. So if you wish to see that 45% of UK children ceasing to be a statistic on a poverty scale, if you wish to see those 1.8 million pensioners live the remainder of their lives in reasonable comfort, don't ask for better allowances, organise to destroy the system that is responsible for these statistics of misery and anxiety. We must accept that it is a class war, and at the moment we are losing, but we have the numbers, the ability, the resources and the imagination, to turn that tide and be the winners of that better world for all.

Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Workers Know Your History, Simon Chapman.

          We must always remember our own, or the other side will airbrush them out of history, and we are the poorer.
       An obituary by Johnny Void taken from Freedom.
         Over the last couple of days the strangest thought has plagued me.  Two simple ugly words have kept emerging, only for me to lock them out and ridicule them as bizarre.  Simon’s dead.  Just to write it down feels like treachery.  Part of me looks forward to seeing him, to sharing a drink and dispelling this nonsense.  He’d say something wry, and witty and that would be that.  He was good like that.  Was.  Sometimes the shittiest word to ever have to use about a friend.
As part of a (temporary, and self-imposed) exile from all politics, I didn’t know his health had deteriorated so much.  We weren’t the kind of friends who lived out of each other’s pockets.  There are many who were closer to him than me and I wish them all my love.  But for almost 15 years he was always there.  At crap protests and good ones, festivals and parties, we’d find each other and we’d usually end up drinking together.  We shared a love of getting proper twatted and so we did that a lot.
        The London anarchist movement would have looked very different without Simon Chapman.  From the Movement Against The Monarchy to the Wombles, to May Day, several squatted social centres and finally Class War, Simon was an active presence both on the streets and behind the scenes.  Countless flyers were produced by him over the years. He helped organise dozens of gigs, parties, campaigns and demonstrations and I was lucky enough to work with him on several of them. Up until very recently he was still updating the Class War website.
          It was the streets where his heart lay though and he was no passive peaceful protester.  He got nicked all the time when he was younger.  He fucking hated capitalism, was never afraid to get his hands dirty and despised the police.  And he had good reason.
In 2003 Simon was arrested during a vicious police tear gas attack at a particularly fruity anti-capitalist protest in Thessaloniki, Greece.  It was claimed he was carrying petrol bombs in his rucksack and he was held on remand with charges hanging over him that could have seen him spend the next 20 years in prison.  Six other people were arrested and charged in similar circumstances.  All denied the allegations against them.  Photographic evidence soon emerged that showed the rucksack the police claimed Simon was carrying was not the rucksack he was arrested with.  It was a transparent fit up.
          The treatment of those arrested was obscene.  All were beaten savagely following their arrest. For the first few days of his incarceration Simon was left virtually blind after the police smashed his glasses.  He couldn’t see a fucking thing without his glasses.  Despite these abuses the UK’s Labour government did not lift a finger to help.  Neither did any other state. So the prisoners took the only action left available to them and began a hunger strike.
A militant Europe-wide campaign fast emerged demanding that all seven prisoners be released.  Greek embassies were picketed across the continent and in some cases attacked and occupied.  In Barcelona the Metro system was shut down during an international day of action in solidarity with the prisoners.  In the UK a relentless campaign targeted the Greek Embassy and Tourist Board.   Parts of Athen’s University were repeatedly occupied, whilst fierce demonstrations throughout Greece resulted in more arrests.
          In the end Simon didn’t eat for almost seven weeks. All the hunger-strikers were repeatedly hospitalised, such was the strain on their health. In the final days the prisoners stopped accepting fluids.  By now the solidarity campaign was at fever pitch as the risk that someone might die grew ever closer.  Mainstream media across Europe began to take an interest, lured by sensationalism and smelling blood.  Faced with international embarrassment, and concerned about creating seven martyrs who would shine a light on the corrupt Greek police, all the prisoners were released on November 6th 2003 and the charges against them dropped.  Simon came home.
Then, five years later, the bastards came for him again.  After repeated appeals from the Greek state prosecutor the charges against four of the original seven were re-instated.  In 2008 Simon was found guilty of a string of exotic sounding and terrifying charges including Distinguished Riot  and the creation, possession and explosion of bombs.  He was sentenced in his absence to eight and a half years in prison.
           Under the threat of a European Police Warrant, which was likely to see him dragged from his home by our own filth and handed over to the Greek authorities, Simon was forced to return to Thessaloniki in 2010 to appeal the conviction.  In the ensuing trial the police evidence was repeatedly demolished by the defence teams.  The case ended in humiliation for the Prosecutor with all charges  thrown out for all four defendants except for a hastily cobbled together guilty verdict of “minor defiance of authority”.  This misdemeanor was enough to justify the time those accused had spent in prison, although the six month sentence was suspended and Simon once again returned home.
             Simon was much, much more than just one of the Thessaloniki Seven.  But I suspect none who knew him well would deny the shadow these events cast over his life, and the impact they had on his health.  Of course our own state also put the boot in, subjecting him to years of benefit cuts, Atos assessments and at the mercy of London’s fucked private sector rental market.
          Throughout all this Simon stayed strong, never stopping fighting, or laughing and never losing his faith that a better world would one day be possible.  He was kind, and clever and both ruefully cynical and enthusiastically hopeful at the same time.  He was also more than just an anarchist.  As well as raising his fist, he also raised his daughter who he regularly spoke of with loving pride*.  His loss will leave a big hole in many lives.  The last thing he would want is tears, but he will get them.
           For myself, if you find me hassling you to come and find an off-licence with me at some boring, stale protest then sorry, but it’s because Simon isn’t there anymore.  And those are hard words to write, to accept as real.  I will fucking miss you mate.  I’m sorry I didn’t see you whilst you were so sick but glad my last memories of you are happy ones.  At least the bastards will never take you alive again. Rest well Simon, you deserve it.   Love and rage.
Johnny Void x
Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk


Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Ronda's Dark Past.


      Thousands visit the beautiful town of Ronda in Andalusia, in Spain, and are rightfully awestruck by its spectacular, rugged scenery, its breath taking cliffs and natural beauty. But what is the dark secret behind that magnificent bridge?
      The following is taken from a discussion page on the Spanish Civil War, can anyone comrade with well found, backed up knowledge, verify or deny either or both of the two statements in the quotes. It is obvious that the bridge was the scene of hate and vengeance, but what are the facts, are they distorted by mythology, or are they lost in the mists of history.


        I would agree with you overall that the anarchist groups had more blood on their hands than anybody else on the Republican side. And of course there has been a lot of romantic mythology about revolutionary ideals of every kind. But to keep things in perspective, we need to remember that the Nationalists murdered over 600,000 people before and after the war. That's four times the amount killed by Republicans or their allies. Most left atrocities were spontaneous and fuelled by extreme anti-Church hatred amongst the poorest workers and peasants. Nationalist massacres were well organised and planned in an attempt to eradicate not only Socialists, Anarchists and Communists, but trade unionists, teachers, intellectuals and even those whose relatives were working for the elected Republican government. I suggest you visit Ronda in Andalusia where Franco's Moroccan troops threw 2000 people alive off the main bridge into a 260 ft. gorge.
War is hell for everybody and a civil war is worst of all.

         I've seen that too and I don't disagree with it. But I've talked to people in Ronda about it. I speak enough Spanish to do that. They admit that this did happen in the first month of the war. But they also told me what happened when Franco's Moroccan Spanish Legion took over the town a few months later, lists were drawn up of all socialists, anarchists, and teachers etc. and all herded onto the bridge and thrown into the gorge. This became a regular occurrence over a year or more until their enemies were dead. People there have put the number killed at between 1500 and 3000 over a period of time. Some people may have exaggerated and maybe it's not widely reported as an atrocity as it was a more gradual policy of revenge and political cleansing. But that's what I was told and I have no reason to not believe them. What is clear, as I've already said, is that atrocities were committed by both sides. It was a civil war.
        Somewhere in there lies the truth and happy welcoming Ronda of today, seems to have no mention of that dark past. Which tends to make me think that the Nationalist figures are reasonably accurate, and the state has no wishes to mark or broadcast this part of its history.
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