Saturday, 24 February 2018

International Women's Day Glasgow Event.

          An International Women's Day event, initiated by the Equality Officers of the Clydeside Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World, will be held on Thursday, the 8th of March.
            The rally and Walk of Pride will assemble at 4.30 pm at the La Pasionaria statue located on the north bank of the River Clyde next to Glasgow Bridge, opposite the Custom House on Clyde Street.
          This site was chosen because of the prominent role Dolores Ibarruri, called La Pasionaria ('The Passionate Flower') played in the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939, in defense of the Spanish Republic; and because the statue of her by sculptor Arthur Dooley so beautifully represents the revolutionary woman of courage that she was-- and that many of us strive to be.
            The rally will also honour the Scottish revolutionary, Ethel MacDonald, who was a key figure in the Scottish anarchist movement and in the Spanish Civil War. In 1936 she was sent by the United Socialist Movement to Barcelona where she became world-renowned as the English-speaking reporter for an anarchist radio station. She also remained an activist, daringly organising hunger strikes among the political prisoners, smuggling in letters, and helping some escape .
          The rally will feature a banner that says Celebrate International Women's Day For a World Free from Capitalism and Patriarchy, singing, and an open mic.
         At 5.30 pm we will start our Walk of Pride, with banner and placards, to George Square where we will join up with the Scottish Irish Abortion Rights campaigners for a #Solidarity4Repeal demo at 6 pm-- thus linking it to one of the most critical issues of the day: access to abortion as a woman's right. Throughout the afternoon, we will be proudly expressing our belief that Sisterhood, and Comradeship, are Powerful!
          All are welcome to attend. Please spread the word.
More information is available from

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Humans, Surplus To Requirements.

       The labels vary, refugees, asylum seekers, migrants, but these labels are usually badges of misery. People, human beings, uprooted forcibly, or fleeing hurriedly, in fear and desperation. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, in 2017, 65.6 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide because of persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations alone. Think of that figure, approximately the population of the UK hurriedly uprooted and moved on, usually in fear and desperation.
       A river of misery flows from Africa and washes over the graveyard that is the Mediterranean Sea, the inscription “We are not all there – The drowned are missing” is a bitter one. Those who survive that passage find themselves locked in groups at various borders, living in deprivation or in detention centres. Held at the vagaries of the autocratic states, who see them, not as suffering human beings, but as a problem of control. 
      The lot of the refugee, asylum seeker, migrant, is one of being stalked, and if found to be lacking the necessary piece of paper, locked up in some inhumane detention centre, with the constant threat of being thrown back into the hell that they tried to escape. A hell, in most cases, caused by the foreign policy of the host nations, who treat them like cattle. They will be stalked by uniformed gangs of thugs, paid members of the state's protection squad, whose duties are to protect the rich and powerful. These paid minions of the state with complete lack of morality will always obey orders, they are part and parcel of this corrupt and dying system.
       The so called "refugee/asylum seeker/migrant" crisis will only disappear when we end this system of capitalism, that sees humans as productive units or surplus to requirements. This system that spawns wars as a means of profit, that destroys vast swaths of the planet for control of resources, creating that 65.6 million "displaced persons". History tells us a bitter story written in letters of blood, of the dismal failure of this man made system. The future is yet unwritten, we can write that future, a future of humanity, mutual aid, co-operation and sustainability. A future where no one is a refugee, or an asylum seeker, where those power drawn lines known as borders, melt and fade into the dust of history. Only the ordinary people of this world can write that future, but only when they discard the man made cancer that is capitalism and abandon any belief in "leaders" and party "messiahs" who offer to guide them to that "pie-in the-sky" illusion of the promised land. 
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Thursday, 22 February 2018

Call For Solidarity.

          As you may know there is industrial action planned across the University sector. There will be a picket outside some of the main buildings operated by the University of Glasgow on the Crichton campus on Thursday 22, Friday 23rd, Monday 26th, Tuesday 27th and Wednesday 28th February, from approximately 8.30am-11.30am (though on some days it may well go on longer and start earlier).
         We have also organised a TEACH OUT at the Theatre Royal, Shakespeare Street, Dumfries on the afternoons of Thursday (22nd), Friday (23rd), Tuesday (27th) and Wednesday (28th). The aim, is to show students that we care about education and we are not simply putting our feet up. It is a chance for more informal, experimental, less stressful and collaborative education. It is free for anyone to take part and we are open to more spontaneous events taking place in the space .
         We would love you to show support, if you can, by taking part in visiting the picket or taking part in the TEACH OUT or just dropping by for a tea and a chat and/or publicising the events by passing on the attached flier.

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Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Privatisation Equals Enclosures.

         It is sad that here we are in the 21st. century, still angry at the inequality, still complaining about being ripped off by our "betters" and at best most groups want to tinker with the system to make it a little bit fairer. A brief look at history tells you that all the reformers up to the present day have done nothing to change that inequality and injustice. Today the rich are richer than ever before, while the poor struggle to stave off deprivation. When will we ever learn.
        It's not as if we have been unaware of the injustice we live under, it has been recorded and catalogued in song and poem, and in the history of the struggles of the ordinary people, but still there is this sad belief, that reform, after centuries of failure, somehow will deliver. We have to wake up to the fact that capitalism cannot be reformed, under this system, any pittances won in struggle can and will be taken back at a later date, note the destruction of the hard won welfare state.
        How many more centuries will we allow our kids to be shackled to poverty, how many more centuries will we carry the burden of the parasitic rich on our backs, while we struggle for survival? The answer is in our own hands, we have the power, the ability, the means and the imagination to destroy this capitalist cancer that is devouring our world, all that is lacking is the will.
         This poem, by an unknown author from the 17th. century, highlights the awareness of injustice back then, but it still applies to our world today. The privatisation of the public assets today, is just a modern version of the enclosures of the past.
The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose off the common
But leaves the greater villain loose
Who steals the common from the goose.
The law demands that we atone
When we take things we do not own
But leaves the lords and ladies fine
Who takes things that are yours and mine.
The poor and wretched don’t escape
If they conspire the law to break;
This must be so but they endure
Those who conspire to make the law.
The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common
And geese will still a common lack
Till they go and steal it back.

The book "Celebrating The Commons" can be downloaded free HERE:
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Sunday, 18 February 2018

Spirit of Revolt, Archives of Dissent.

       A wee bit of info about Spirit of Revolt Archive and how you might get involved and support  the growth of this unique archive of dissent.

         If you wish to donate to Spirit of Revolt, no matter how little, it will be very much appreciated. You can do so by  visiting our DONATE page. Thank You. 
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Thursday, 15 February 2018

What A Wonderful Soundbite, "This Should Not Happen"!!

     Our political ballerinas are all upset, and creating a fuss. The reason, a homeless man died from the cold, on the street, a few yards from the entrance to their privilege club, The Westminster Houses of Hypocrisy and Corruption. How inconsiderate of that homeless person to die there, why didn't he take himself off to one of the poorer districts, then the political ballerinas would not be so upset. 
     The fact that homeless people are dying on our streets, almost on a daily basis, but no song and dance from The "Right Honourable Members" shows their utter contempt for the homeless, only when it is on the doorstep of their privileged palace do they get upset.
      Where have their crocodile tears been for the last three years over which period, the number homeless rough sleepers has increased by 73% in England only. It has been calculated that on any given night during autumn last year, 2017, 4,751 people were sleeping rough on the streets of England alone, this is more than double the figures for 2010. No agitated responses and calls of this is a disgrace, etc.. The sad, pointless and avoidable death of this young man, is replicated across our country, while our privileged political ballerinas, spout sound bites and platitudes, grasp photo opportunities, anything that might further their careers, but nothing changes. They all go home to their very comfortable mansions, and plan their next career move.

        Jon Glackin, a former rough sleeper who is the founder of Street Kitchen, which provides meals for homeless people, urged that the latest death is one of many.
“It’s getting far too common. This one is poignant because it was outside the Houses of Parliament. But I’ve already been to three funerals of homeless people this year. There is no need for this,” he said.
      “It’s beyond breaking point. All services are over-subscribed, services are closing down left right and centre. Everybody seems to think the problem was solved over Christmas. It’s gone out of the public spotlight but it’s becoming worse than ever.”
Read the full article HERE:

       Of course nothing will happen, the process of dispossessing the poor is in full swing. In Greece it is being done savagely, mercilessly, brutally and quickly, elsewhere in the capitalist world it is happening at different rates, some slower than others, but the aim and direction remains the same, the dispossession of the poor. Everything must end up in the the hands of the corporate greed machine and the financial Mafia. Public assets will go for a song to the cabal of CEO and the financial Mafia. Libraries, public swimming baths, health care, social service, will all be run for profit by private companies. The NHS will continue to be squeezed encouraging the public outcry of "something must be done", and then the "think-tank" of "financial experts", business entrepreneurs, CEO, and members of the financial Mafia, will come up with the magic solution, "private capital" is the only way forward. Then the size of your premium will determine the type of care you will get, not the nature of your illness.
      The so called government will then be tasked with its only purpose, keeping civil unrest of the streets. We haven't reach the stage yet where armed Coca Cola militia patrol our streets, so the government will be the keeper of peace to allow the corporate juggernaut to run roughshod over society, shaping it to meet its ever growing appetite for profit. 
      Those who are naive enough to believe that somehow capitalism can be reformed, should take a closer look at Greece. Within a few years, they have destroyed the health service, the education system, trash all incomes for those who can still find work, reigned over rising suicides, sky rocketing substance abuse, crime, poverty and deprivation. And they are not finished yet, they want more from the people of Greece. With that in mind, do you think they are bothered by a few people dying on on streets every other day. The only answer to our problems, the only way to end people dying from cold and hunger on our streets is to get rid of the cause, capitalism.

        Westminster City Council has described the incident as a “very sad incident” and pledged they would work with police to establish the cause of death.
      A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said the death was being treated as “unexplained but not suspicious”. A file will now be prepared for the coroner.
        Are they stupid, we know the cause of death, it was death by capitalist induce homelessness and hunger, or you could say, murder by capitalism, we also know the remedy, get rid of capitalism.
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Wednesday, 14 February 2018

The Archive of Terror: Mundane Denunciations

        It is sad that so many of the ordinary citizens see it as their duty to become part of the system of repression that is the state. They pass on information about their neighbours, workmates and associates to the authorities, and so strengthen the state's control over the population. They are the unpaid arm of state's repressive machine, they are the people with the cop in their head.
       This is an interesting article about how the minute, mundane pieces if information can be used by the state to operate a reign of terror, aided and abetted by the very people who are being repressed. Today the snippets of information passed to the state authorities adds to the mountain of information gathered by our 24 hour surveillance society, you are guilty 'till proven innocent.
The Archive of Terror: Mundane Denunciations

          On December 22, 1992, acting on a tip off, human rights activist Dr. Martín Almada, and Judge José Agustín Fernández uncovered some five tons of yellowed, raw files detailing institutional kidnapping, torture, disappearance and execution across the Southern Cone of the Americas. The document stash was buried in the back room of a police substation in Lambaré, a suburb of Asuncion, Paraguay. The program, called Operation Condor, in honor of the Chilean secret service (DINA) who first proposed the international system of repression, lasted from 1975 until the late 1980s and is responsible—at least according to the records in the Archive-- for the murder of 50,000 individuals, another 30,000 disappeared, and a total of 400,000 imprisoned, interrogated and likely tortured. The Archive is the mother lode of evil, documented.
          Currently the files are housed in the Palacio de Justicia in Asunción, in a series of small rooms off the main lobby. After the initial discovery and media frenzy, interest in the files from North American or European sources ebbed and remained low. Other than a few South American and European scholars working on articles or advanced degrees the Archive remains painfully untapped as a resource.
          The first encounter with the archive is strange, a quiet room, several computer terminals with access to the entire digitized collection, and large, rolling cases overflowing with the physical files. A few archivists work at computers, one or two students lean into their monitors reading, and there is a centrally placed table, barren and unused.
        ” Excuse me, but where do I start?” I asked the curator Rosa Palau, a women of about sixty, matronly--in charge. She looked up, registered mild shock at the norteamericano in the archive and pulled one large bound book out of the wheeled shelves. "Start here, with the birth of the Condor. If you need anything else, let me know.”
         Pages, pages, pages. Yellowing with time, double hole punched and crammed into large folders. No noticeable system, perhaps location, maybe subject matter, possibly chronological. Hard to say.
         Then the realization, the system, how it works, peeks out from behind the memos, the denunciations, the reports, the interrogations—and its defining characteristic, its distinguishing mark is how dreary it all is. The banality of denunciation after denunciation, the day-to-day reality of writing up the agenda of meetings, a discussion in a classroom, the content of a conversation with a taxi driver. There is a painful sense of the commonplace--to the point of boredom. These weren’t secret agents tracking revolutionaries in the rain, this was the next door neighbor, the work colleague, the owner of the corner store, the cousin, the professor-- sending in unsolicited reports to the police. The cop in everyone’s head.
           Let’s look at some files…
From a meeting of the Agrarian Christian League, and specifically the Agrarian Catholic Youth group, dated 9 June, 1976. Reported by a Sr. Lidio Ortiz, who informs the local Chief of Police that included in the discussion at this meeting were expositions from that most dangerous of books, the Holy Bible. We are told that among the various parables discussed were the stories of the freeing of the children of Israel from bondage in Egypt, the tale of the Good Samaritan, and the raising of Lazarus from the dead. The meeting then took a darker turn and one of the facilitators presented on the organization and goals of the OPM (Military Political Organization) a Tupamaro-like guerrilla group, and one of the main headaches of the Stroessner dictatorship in the 70s and early 80s. Finally, a facilitator closes with the statement that,” the only way for socialism to enter Paraguay is through the Catholic Church.” A prayer, and everyone went home. I haven’t been able to track down what happened to the participants of this sinister meeting yet, but I’m betting that at least the facilitators were detained and interrogated, perhaps even disappeared.
            The archives have some tangential additions as in a note dated 19 March, 1975 denouncing Sr. Pedro Benitez, a resident of Asunción who evidently tried to sell a car which in fact belonged to an unnamed Brazilian. I’m still unsure where this fits in with subversion, or maybe it was just misfiled.
          Of course, denunciation works both ways. A lengthy memo to Pastor Coronel, the Chief of the National Police and a sadistic torturer, discusses numerous instances of corruption by Asunción Police Officer Arturo Hellman. The memo is so long that it has an appendix that includes the following event, Dr. Rafael Ferriera a “comunista dirigente” (communist director) was arrested and being taken to La Tecnica, one of the main torture centers in Asunción. Dr. Ferriera’s wife, however, had different plans for her spouse and offered Officer Hellman 70,000 Guaranís (today about $17USD) for his release. Unfortunately, she only had 30,000 Gs on her at the time. So, she showed up at the prison some time later and paid Hellman the remaining 40,000Gs, and the file seems to indicate that Dr. Ferriera was, in fact, released.
          Finally, cultural workers and events were not immune to denunciation. In a unique entry, a newspaper account of an upcoming performance by the Argentine actress, Maria Rosa Gallo, had been clipped and sent to the local police chief. Among her repertoire for the event in Asunción is the reading of poetry by Sylvain Maréchal, Pablo Neruda, and Jesús López Pacheco. Scribbled in ballpoint pen next to the names of these writers is the cryptic, and relatively accurate, description “poetas comunistas.” Evidently the Asunción police took the denunciation seriously as there is a small typewritten note attached to the clipping indicating that the theater owner was questioned about Gallo’s “judeo-marxist activities.” I haven’t verified yet if the performance was allowed to proceed, or not.
          A scrap of newspaper, notes from a meeting, a corrupt cop, a car sale gone wrong—such is the stuff of denunciation and repression. So seemingly inane as to be laughable, yet in its impact, in the violence, fear, and death that such material produced from such bland sources one is led inevitably to the conclusion that at all times, in all places, where authority exists, repression like this is only one step, one phone call, one email, one thought away. Where there is a nation-state, there is always the possibility of a Condor.

El Errante
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Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Depleted Uranium, A War Crime.

          I wrote the following article some years ago, to highlight the scandal of depleted uranium, being acted out in Europe, Iraq and elsewhere, and at the Dundrennan firing range near the Solway Firth in south west Scotland, but due to the fact that the US has used depleted uranium in the present illegal Syrian invasion, I thought it would be worth repeating. Once again, the state shows itself, in its savagery of war, to have little to no regard for humanity.

 Remember him? UN ambassador for peace in the Middle East!!!
          Depleted Uranium, (DU) is a radioactive waste product which is also chemically toxic and is used by the military in armour piercing shells and bullets. When it hits a hard target it ignites and aerolizies into a fine mist of radioactive particles, if inhaled or ingested can cause cancer, leukaemia, birth defects, Gulf War Syndrome and other illnesses. It can also enter the food chain through water and/or soil. The wind can send particles in all directions over a wide area. The area near the Dundrennan base in Scotland, where depleted uranium weaponry is tested, has the highest incidence of Leukaemia in the UK.

        The UK MOD claim that they don’t hit hard targets at the range but only fire into the Solway Firth. Around 20-30 tons of DU waste is lying on the Solway seabed with the MOD making no attempt to retrieve this danger. As DU is a radioactive waste, it is in breach of the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping Wastes and other Matter, 1972. The MOD are therefore in breach of international law through the dumping of radioactive waste in the Solway Firth. There are also claims that they are creating environmental and health problems by hitting hard targets with DU weapons.
        After the NATO invasion in former Yugoslavia evidence was found that NATO forces used DU on 8 sites. Seven of these sites were in the Republic of Serbia and one in the Republic of Montenegro. Remains of weapons with DU were taken from the soil in these regions and contaminated soil was registered in each of these regions. It is difficult to establish the amount of DU that contaminated these sites. However, Yugoslav Army reports compiled during the war, plus investigation of projectile fragments and data about these types of weapons and how they are used, it can be estimated that NATO fired approximately 3,000-5,000 shells which is the equivalent 1-1.5 tons of uranium 238.
        After the US operation Anaconda in Afghanistan in the region of Tora Bora, it was found that urine samples taken from the local population contained uranium amounts 200 times higher than the population at large.
         These weapons were also used in both attacks on Iraq. The Gulf War 1 in 1991 resulted in 350 metric tons of DU being deposited in the environment and 3-6 million grms of DU being released into the atmosphere. Its legacy to the troops involved in the war, Gulf War Disease, a progressive, incapacitating, multiorgan system disorder, its symptoms include, incapacitating fatigue, musculoskeletel and joint pains, headaches, neuropsychiatric disorders, confusion, visual problems, changes in gait, lose of memory, respiratory impairment, impotence and urinary tract morphological and functional alterations. The understanding of the disease is far from adequate. Uranium isotopes have been detected in urine samples of Gulf War veterans 10 years after inhalation exposure.
          Rageh Omaar, a BBC journalist reporting from Basra stated that Iraqi doctors reported a 20-fold increase in cancers since the end of the 1st Gulf war. Internal contamination with DU isotopes were detected in British, American and Canadian veterans 9 years after inhalation exposure to radioactive dust in Gulf War 1. DU isotopes were also identified in a Canadian veteran’s autopsy samples of lung, liver, kidney and bone. DU danger is illustrated by the following example. In February 1980 a court order from the State of New York forced National Lead Industries, a manufacturer of DU tips, to stop production as they had exceeded the proscribed monthly limits of discharging radioactive material into the air of 150Ci. This value corresponds to 387g of DU. The tip of one shell in a 30mm gun contains 298g. Some time later in a letter to the Atomic Scientists’ Bulletin, Mr Dietz asks if the authorities were worried about discharges that were the monthly equivalent of the particles from 1 or 2 uranium projectiles, why wasn’t the US government worried about the effects of tens of thousands of projectiles fired in the several days of the Gulf War?
        The US Army’s radiology unit suggested press releases should be issued to prevent possible negative international reaction to the use of DU due to public concerns. The report offers the use of tungsten or titanium as an alternative, stating that the only reason to use DU was a cheap way of getting rid of waste. It also outlines ways in which “using arms with depleted uranium is in violation of the basic principles of international law.”

       It is obvious that DU is a highly dangerous substance and is indiscriminate in where it blows and who it affects. The fact that the states that use it are aware of this but continue to use it and put their own troops and the local populations at risk to further their own imperialist gains is just another example of the State’s disregard for the people. War is an arm of the state and it needs ordinary people as cannon fodder but has little interest in the resultant suffering. If we wish to put an end to war and its suffering we have to find a way round the state. We have to eliminate its power by organising at community level, bring power into the hands of the people, work in federation with other communities, creating a world of mutual aid, not profit, of co-operation, not competition, seeing to need, not greed.
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Friday, 9 February 2018

In This Society Politeness Is A Counter-Revolutionary Weapon,

         In this society politeness is posted as the necessary requisite for a civilised society. However, what if your society is not civilised, but is an exploitative, brutal, greed driven free for all, for the wealthy and powerful. Then, in dealing with that society, your politeness is no more than your display of submissiveness.  Most UK anarchists will know of Ian Bone, today, pensioner Ian is facing the corrupt might of a Qatari royal family, who have served him with an injunction. Let's make sure Ian does not fight this battle alone. Some may not like his methods, but he is always on the side of the ordinary people and deserves our solidarity, after all, like it or lump it, we are in a class war.
      Some praise for an anarchist from an unusual source, The Guardian: 

         This week the Qatari royal family is taking a pensioner who walks with a stick to court to stop him protesting outside the Shard. The Shard is owned by this family via funds held in Jersey. They also own Harrods, the Olympic village and half of One Hyde Park. They reportedly own more property in London than our own royal family.
         At the top of the Shard are 10 flats with the price tag of £50m each, and they are currently empty. This is partly what has upset the protester, who lives on his pension of £154.56 a week. The Qatar royals are taking him and “persons unknown” to the high court on Thursday and also asking him to pay costs. He was served with an injunction because of his intention to protest. He had encouraged supporters to “ask at the door to see the £50m flats”, or “make a reservation at one of the Shard restaurants and ask if you can bring your own food”. If any made it inside he suggested shouting about the injustices and the empty flats. And Grenfell.
        “We also want musicians to come down and play, sing, dance, rant,” he said. “Need yer own amps.”
        He, however, needs no amps. For the pensioner is Ian Bone of Class War who has been protesting about gentrification and social cleansing since the 80s. I adore the man. To me he is the best tabloid journalist this country has ever produced. Provocative, hilarious, scathing.
        His Class War slogans are full of bile and bite and angrily brilliant. Described by actual tabloids at times as a dangerous insurrectionary, Bone is full of life and fun, someone who monsters the pieties of the left and simply refuses to play any game that involves subservience to the right.
          The injunction that was served against him contains a statement about him from the Shard’s head of security who had contacted the Metropolitan police. They are worried about the inherent security flaws of the Shard but they are clearly more worried about Bone and his anarchy. He is described in the statement as “belligerent and uncooperative when interacting with persons of authority, such as police officers and security officers”. Amazing investigative work there! Who would have thought that the founder of Class War was a little awkward? Bone has since pointed out that he has never hit anyone with his stick and has Parkinson’s.
        Bone’s real stick is his words. His attitude. His joy at pointing to obvious wrongs and asking us which side we are on. “I hate dull lefties,” he tells me. “All the miserabilism.” He likes action and shock. And swearing. I loved all those posters that appalled all those who like to be appalled. “Eat the rich.” The one of Diana and Charles with baby William and “Another Fucking Royal Parasite”. He doesn’t do deference or respect. The banners on marches that referred to the Socialist Workers as Social Wankers. Bone’s stance has always been about having a laugh along the way to smashing it all up.
       His father was a butler. His family grew up “in service”. “So I grew up bitter and resentful with a chip on my shoulder,” he tells me gleefully. When he was 15 he wrote off to an address that he found in Punch to find out more about anarchism. “I believed in chaos,” he said. “I then panicked for weeks. I though they might send round a bearded person.” Since then, of course, he has realised that anarchists are just not that efficient.
       Underneath all the sloganeering though, Bone has been protesting about social cleansing all his life. He lived in Grenfell for two years. He knew people who were in the fire. He led “poor doors” protests in the East End in 2014. “If you grow up like I did, that gets you. The tradesman’s entrance.” He saw the developing ghost towers but he sees the working class being squeezed out everywhere. “Who wants another coffee shop or prep school?” he asks of Ladbroke Grove.
Statue of suffragist Millicent Fawcett to be unveiled in April
Read more
        Now that social housing is very much on the agenda, Bone as usual doesn’t want anything to do with Labour. He doesn’t see Corbyn as different to any other Labour leader. Everything for him is about people taking over and running things for themselves.
       Whether this means inciting people to march on Boris Johnson’s house or setting up the South Norwood Tourist Board, Bone is a provocateur, incredibly funny and mostly right. If all this pardoning of suffragettes’ civil disobedience by the political class made you feel as nauseous as it did me, Bone is the antidote. If you value politeness and respectability then Class War may not be for you.
       But on Thursday, I want this anarchist grandad to shake his stick at those Qatari billionaires. He wants, as always, to “push things further”. We should help him. All power to the inimitable Mr Bone.

Suzanne Moore is a Guardian columnist
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Thursday, 8 February 2018

The Natives Are Revolting, Free Event.

           Just a few days to go, clear your diary, make a mark on the page, reserve your place to attend the Spirit of Revolt free event in The Mitchell Library, The Natives Are Revolting, the Blythswood Room is on the fifth floor of The Mitchell. Please spread the word, as this type of event could become a regular feature of Spirit of Revolt.

         Spirit of Revolt in its continuing process of making the history of the ordinary people's struggles accessible to the public at large, is working in conjunction with The Mitchell Library, on putting on a free event. This event should be of interest to everyone who lives, or has lived in Glasgow or has connections with the city. So mark your diary, phone for a place 0141 287 2999, or pop in to Granville Street and book you spot.
           Spirit of Revolt – Archives of Dissent
Show and Tell
Monday 12th February 2018, 12–2pm
Blythsewood Room, The Mitchell Library, Glasgow
Free event
Limited places, please book on 0141 287 2999 or at Granville Street
reception desk.

The Natives Are Revolting – over 40 years of organising & direct action in Castlemilk and beyond.

       A display of material from the Spirit of Revolt's John Cooper Collection.
John Cooper and Paula Larkin (Project Archivist) will be on hand to answer any
questions and inform the session.

Admission Free

All Welcome.
Please share.
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Wednesday, 7 February 2018

The Billionaire's Lament.

       A little article from the Freedom Socialist Party, that helps you understand the plight of the billionaire. I think we should take them up on the last statement in the article. Go on, I dare you.

 Paraisopólis shantytown next to its wealthy neighbor Morumbi, in São Paulo, Brazil. PHOTO: Tuca Vieira
       Most of you out there have no idea what it is like to be a billionaire. OK, none of you do. You may think it is easy to have a mansion or six on every continent, to own your own islands, to blow 10 grand a day on champagne, and to get down with Bono at the World Capitalist … er, I mean, Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
        What you just don’t understand is that the more mansions you have, the more “help” you employ, and the more they want to stay in the main house. Why is it my problem that they have to take five buses to get to work every day? All right, I do admit that “home” is a generous word for a shack made of scrap wood. But they wouldn’t have those issues if they’d made the same career choices I did!
        But here’s the thing that really chaps my ass: taxes. Finally, those clowns in Congress gave me some relief. It took them long enough! After countless dinners at my penthouse in Miami Beach with Marco Rubio, and what seems like millions of hours playing pool and drinking single malt with that boring Mitch McConnell, and even taking Bob Corker to strip clubs in Dubai — I’m exhausted. It costs me weeks of therapy to get over all this!
       Tax bill goodies. I may already have more money than I know what to do with, but this thing signed by Trump on December 22 is going to deliver some serious coin. I was flying on my G6 to Monte Carlo on Christmas Eve when I watched Trump on satellite say, “You just got a lot richer” to the crowd at his “winter White House” in Mar-a-Lago.
        Let me be brief, cutting the top corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 per cent is solid gold. Not to mention that we often don’t pay these taxes anyway. But the seismic change in the new tax plan is the 20 percent cut in “pass-through” income. Pass-through corporations are a special classification in the tax code. It turns one part of a huge corporation, like a single Trump hotel, into a separate “small business,” which only has to pay taxes on 80 percent of its income. And I won’t have to pay a battalion of lawyers to dodge the rules and sneak money into tax havens. That’s good business.
        Trump boasted about the new tax bill being good for workers and the “middle class.” Not that I care, but spare me! The cuts to individual taxes are mostly temporary, and the paltry $75 a year that working families earn from the increase in the child tax credit may just pay for part of a week’s worth of groceries. Some say it was cruel to halt deductions for teachers who pay for classroom supplies with their own money. But hey, they can always change jobs if they don’t like it. Anyway, this deduction was retained at the last minute.
       Trump plans to slash $2.5 trillion from Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security over ten years in order to pay for tax cuts to the wealthiest. They say that at the end of ten years, people living in poverty in the U.S. will increase 10 or 20 million from the current 43 million, and the number of homeless may increase to two million from 550,000 today. But giving a tax break to people who already have nothing is condescending at best. It’s unfortunate, but someone’s got to pay for my way of life, and I guess that someone is you!
         A hustle here and a hustle there. Don’t tell anybody I said this, but in my most introspective moments, I admit I really don’t need tax relief. Like I said, I am really, really rich. But I have an economic system and my own comfort to uphold, so I have to take as much as I can. Besides, if I don’t, others will. It’s eat or be eaten, I always say.
         Let’s do some basic math. In 2017 alone, I personally earned $800 million. Even if the Feds taxed me at 90 percent, I would still have cleared $80 million. Yes, I said “Eighty Million.” I am no Bolshevik, but it seems to me the commies got it right. If you tax me to the hilt, those who work for us could get living wages, free healthcare instead of the private insurance charade, and free education. But you can’t have that. Where’s the profit?
       The Democrats didn’t mobilize against this great new tax plan, content to plead helplessness because they’re outnumbered in Congress.
      And neither did the official union heads. I’m not surprised. In business, we eat labor bureaucrats and politicians like this for lunch, and maybe you should do the same with these bozos. But you didn’t hear this from me.
         In the meantime, we businessmen make sure you’re swamped with propaganda about how we rich are “job creators” and you need to give us more money, so we can “invest in the economy and create growth,” and “raise all boats,” blah, blah, blah.
         In fact, I have never invested in anything, anyone, or anywhere that didn’t yield the maximum return for me and me alone, and I don’t plan to stop now.
         My sole aim is profit, whether I’m producing cookies or guns, and whether I get it from the United States, the Congo, China or anywhere else on the planet.
        Want a piece of my action? Gonna’ take a revolution to get it. Go ahead, I dare you.
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Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Destitute In The Midst Of Wealth.


The Homeless.

Tenebrous spectres, they exist,    out there, 
on the crumbling edge of chaos.
A father, a son, a brother,
a daughter, a sister, a mother.
Fragments of some shattered family structure,
waste products
from a society being driven to destruction
by a hurricane of greed
living a life that wears out life,
the devious death of exhaustion from existence.

        The UK is the sixth richest country in the world, we can look about its cities and see opulence, indulgences in extravagant fetishes and in that babbling brook of bullshit, the mainstream media, we can read about individuals buying their latest £150 million yacht, or their latest £250,000 car. We are overflowing with the obscenity of individuals wallowing in lavish unimaginable wealth. But scratch the surface and we see poverty, deprivation and homelessness, the contradictions of capitalism.
      Billions of pounds appear for war, likewise to refurbish the Westminster Houses of Hypocrisy and Corruption, and millions appear to shore up the London home of the UK's largest benefit family, the  Lizzie Windsor brood.
      However, homelessness in this country has risen continuously, for the last seven years, but no millions appear to sort that problem. It falls on charities, friends and family to shoulder that burden, with cash strapped councils failing miserably to do their job.
       Immigrants and asylum seekers are particularly hard hit in this area and lots of them, because of the system find, themselves unable to work and are homeless. Again it falls to the good will and humanity of the ordinary people to attempt to alleviate that particular problem. Glasgow's Night Shelter, has for years been doing what it can for homeless, destitute immigrants, all run by volunteers. Here is an appeal to come and see what they are doing and perhaps contribute support in one way or the other.  

        This is an invitation to join us on Thursday 8th February from 5pm - 7pm for an Open Evening at the proposed site of Glasgow Night Shelter's new premises.
          The address is 24a Fairley Street Ibrox G51 2SN both the Ibrox and Cessnock subway stations are close by. It's also close to the bus stops on Paisley Road West. Please feel free to let anyone else you think may be interested know.
         You'll be able to look at our proposed plans and drawings of how we plan to convert the buildings, what facilities we'll be installing as well as what work is required and how you can get involved!
        It's even possible that some snacks and refreshments might also be available.
        Please let me know if you'd like to attend. We don't have any power in the building yet so please wrap up warm!

All the best
Phill Jones


         Glasgow Night Shelter for Destitute Asylum Seekers* Scottish charity number 047169 providing somewhere safe and warm to stay overnight for people who because of their immigration status cannot access normal homeless services
*Run by volunteers 365 nights a year

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Sunday, 4 February 2018

Cosy Relationships Between Repressive States.

              It is obvious that the repressive Germany government is in a cosy relationship with the war mongering Turkish dictator Erdogan, as he sends his blood machine in to crush the Kurdish enclaves in northern Syria. Turkey buys lots of weapons from Germany and the German state, like any other, can't let the blood of innocents interfere with the arms trade. Besides, Afrin, Rojava, Kobani are not the sort of ideas that the Germany state, or any other for that matter, would want to see expand. So pro-freedom demonstrations in favour of Afrin, and criticising the Turkish invasion will not be tolerated.

 Cops confiscated YPJ and YPG flags in Dortmund, Germany, Feb 3.

This from Enough is Enough:
          I arrived in Dortmund at 02:00pm and the first thing I saw were cops… everywhere. The gathering in solidarity with Afrin was completely surrounded by cops. After the authoritarian German police showed it’s face in Cologne last week, this time the cops decided to ban the march from the beginning. Only a stationary gathering was allowed.
       Cops also confiscated YPJ and YPG flags during a demo in Hamburg today and removed a banner and YPH and YPG flags from the Rote Flora earlier this week. The list is getting longer and longer. The German state exported many arms to Turkey and many of the tanks that are killing people in Rojava are therefore made in Germany. This seems to make the German government nervous (Apart from the growing tension between Turkish fascists and leftwing kurds and Turkish people that are living in Germany.)
       Many speakers on the gathering denounced the ban by police authorities of the march in Dortmund today. Where the cops don’t have a problem to clear German streets for German fascists, they stop or ban demonstrations in solidarity with Rojava because of a couple flags from the only groups that were effective against ISIS. Last week in Cologne the demo was stopped because of Öcalan flags, YPJ and YPG flags were allowed. This week the cops started to confiscate these flags as well. Where is this going to end? It was shocking that there were not many people from the autonomous movement last week. But today their numbers were even less. In Dortmund you could count them, there were maby 25 people from the anti-authoritarian autonomous movement among the 1500 people today.
        Repression is growing and the war against the revolutionary project in Rojava is a war against us all. Against our ideas and philosophy. While we take the streets against German nazis (which is good), it doesn’t seem to bother a lot of people that Turkish fascists are attacking people who take the streets in solidarity with Rojava. Today the cops kettled Turkish fascists who were on their way to the Afrin gathering in Dortmund.
         When the gathering ended a Turkish fascist waved with a Turkish flag, the cops sended him away but not after he got punched by an activist who was immediately arrested (Video above). This provocation by a fascist had no other consequences. No arrest, nothing. When the authoritarian police state is opressing activists who take the streets in solidarity with Rojava and doesn’t arrest fascists who want to attack them, we need to stand up, all!
         We always chant “no borders, no nations” but Rojava seems to be far away. We also shout: “An attack against one of us, is an attack against all!” Its about time that we start to live it. Join the resistance against the German export of German arms and take the streets for the anarchist and autonomous idea.

Defend Afrin!

War starts here!
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Imperialism's New Debt Colonies.

       What is the difference between a bag full of money and a gunboat? None, they are both weapons of imperialism. Capitalism shapes itself according to its needs, the gunboat was replaced by the more subtle bag of money, but when that fails it has no hesitation in going back to the gunboat. Though nowadays the gunboat is much larger and more powerful, as the Middle East has found out in recent times. Modern capitalism still uses blood, death and destruction to further its ends, but in recent years it has swung behind the bag of money model to dominate and subjugate nations, Greece obviously springs to mind as a country beaten into submission by the bag of money, in the form of debt.
           This is an excerpt published by ROAR Magazine from Jerome Roos’ essay, The New Debt Colonies”, well worth a read, Marxist or not.
          Today we are witnessing the resurgence of an old phenomenon: the debt colony. A decade after the collapse the U.S. housing bubble and the onset of the worst capitalist crisis in living memory, governments around the world continue to bear the burden of historically unprecedented public debt loads. In some cases, most spectacularly in the peripheral countries of the Eurozone but also in a number of emerging markets, these mounting financial obligations have led to crippling sovereign debt crises – which have in turn impelled the dominant creditor powers to intervene aggressively on foreign bondholders’ behalf, imposing highly intrusive regimes of international financial supervision on distressed borrowers in order to ensure continued debt servicing. The fiscal autonomy of Greece and Puerto Rico, in particular, has now been abolished in all but name, although similar processes have long been afoot elsewhere as well.
        This contemporary experience in turn carries strong historical echoes. A century and a half ago, Karl Marx already observed how the emergence of the national debt in early-modern Europe constituted one of the “most powerful levers of primitive accumulation,” leading to the “alienation of the state” by private financiers and “giving rise to stock exchange gambling and the modern bankocracy.” These dynamics intensified during the Age of Imperialism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when the export of European and U.S. capital to the newly independent countries of Latin America and the Mediterranean added an international dimension to this long-standing process of dispossession through debt. During this period, the dominant creditor powers regularly subjected distressed sovereign borrowers to external financial control – often under force of arms. The British invasion of Egypt in 1882, the German push to establish an International Financial Commission in Greece in 1898, and the appearance of European gunboats on the Venezuelan coast in 1902 are but some of the most prominent cases in point.
       Today, such long-standing processes of financial subjugation continue in a new form – through what has euphemistically come to be known as “international crisis management.” Ever since the Mexican debt crisis of 1982, banks and bondholders in the wealthy creditor countries have increasingly come to rely on their own governments and international financial institutions like the IMF and World Bank to impose painful structural adjustment programs on crisis-stricken debtor countries in the developing world. Over the course of two decades, international creditors – private and official alike – went on to plunder the immense wealth of the Global South, from Argentina to Zaire, aggressively opening up local economies to foreign capital and restructuring them in line with the neoliberal prerogatives of the Washington Consensus. The result has been a vast flow of capital “upstream,” from public hands in the global periphery to private hands in the advanced capitalist core, with developing countries transferring an estimated $4.2 trillion in interest payments to their creditors in Europe and North America since 1982, far outstripping the official-sector development aid these countries received during the same period.1
           In the wake of the global financial crisis, these same methods have now come to be applied on a massive scale in the capitalist heartland itself. The result has not just been a new wave of “accumulation by dispossession,” but in some cases also the effective abolition of national sovereignty. When Greece’s fledgling Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was forced into a humiliating capitulation to his European creditors in the summer of 2015, for instance, an anonymous diplomat from a Germany-allied country candidly described the terms of surrender as “akin to turning Greece into an economic protectorate.”2 In his memoirs of his brief tenure as finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis repeatedly denounces the creditors’ financial intimidation tactics as an example of “latter-day gunboat diplomacy.” When Poland’s foreign minister was asked for the reason behind his country’s refusal to join the euro, all he had to do was point south: “Greece is de facto a colony,” he explained, “We don’t want to repeat this scenario.”
        These ongoing developments raise a number of important questions about the relationship between contemporary patterns in international crisis management and Europe and America’s long-standing history of financial imperialism. How different is our contemporary era really from the “era of gunboat diplomacy” in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when the dominant creditor powers also regularly intervened in the debtors’ sovereign affairs to defend bondholder interests? What are the continuities and discontinuities between the two periods? And can the hotly debated and polemical notion of imperialism still serve as a useful analytical tool to help us make sense of the current conjuncture? If so, how far can the classical Marxist theories of the phenomenon take us in elucidating the asymmetric power relations at the heart of the contemporary global political economy – and what, if anything, can be done to revamp existing theoretical frameworks to better reflect the enduring relevance of imperialism in our time?
           In what follows, I will argue that imperialism clearly remains an important factor in the early 21st century – even if the original Marxist accounts require extensive revision in light of the recent transformations of global capitalism. The lasting contribution of the classical theorists was to anchor their critiques of imperialism within a broader critique of political economy, highlighting the central role of finance in driving imperialist relations of domination. This, I argue, should remain the starting point for any contemporary analysis of imperialism. At the same time, however, the classical theories also suffered from a number of important limitations. Most consequentially, perhaps, they tended to emphasize the more overt manifestations of imperialist power (territorial conquest and military intervention) at the expense of its more subtle, structural dynamics (operating through the global financial system), which ended up blinding them to some of the underlying dependencies that later kept the asymmetric power relations between debtors and creditors in place even in the absence of territorial conquest or military intervention.
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