Friday, 30 April 2010


Just a few thoughts on the UK elections campaign.


The questions arise. Why war and hunger?
Why does poverty continue to linger?
Why such need in a world of wealth?
Why put a price on a child’s health?
Confused and angry the public stand
gazing in disbelief at this pathetic band.
Those shiny politicians designed by spin
their street credibility paper thin,
the great persuaders looking the mood
struggling so hard just for our good!
Masters of the art of wheeling and dealing
exceptional experts at legal stealing.
Enter the Media, drowning us all in trivial text,
everything you need know
of scandal and sport, crime and sex.
Together they create a world of confusion
all fashion and style, a vicious illusion.
So no matter how often we point at need,
we always drown in a sea of greed,
no debate entered into, no answers found,
the waffle the babble goes round and round.


 Written  by Joseph Abrams NEW YORK.

      Without fanfare, the United Nations this week elected Iran to its Commission on the Status of Women, handing a four-year seat on the influential human rights body to a theocratic state in which stoning is enshrined in law and lashings are required for women judged "immodest."Just days after Iran abandoned a high-profile bid for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council, it began a covert campaign to claim a seat on the Commission on the Status of Women, which is "dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women," according to its website.
        Buried 2,000 words deep in a U.N. press release distributed Wednesday on the filling of "vacancies in subsidiary bodies," was the stark announcement: Iran, along with representatives from 10 other nations, was "elected by acclamation," meaning that no open vote was requested or required by any member states ― including the United States.The U.S. currently holds one of the 45 seats on the body, a position set to expire in 2012 . The U.S. Mission to the U.N. did not return requests for comment on whether it actively opposed elevating Iran to the women's commission.
       Iran's election comes just a week after one of its senior clerics declared that women who wear revealing clothing are to blame for earthquakes, a statement that created an international uproar ― but little affected their bid to become an international arbiter of women's rights. "Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes," said the respected cleric, Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi.
       As word of Iran 's intention to join the women's commission came out, a group of Iranian activists circulated a petition to the U.N. asking that member states oppose its election. " Iran 's discriminatory laws demonstrate that the Islamic Republic does not believe in gender equality," reads the letter, signed by 214 activists and endorsed by over a dozen human rights bodies.
       The letter draws a dark picture of the status of women in Iran: "women lack the ability to choose their husbands, have no independent right to education after marriage, no right to divorce, no right to child custody, have no protection from violent treatment in public spaces, are restricted by quotas for women's admission at universities, and are arrested, beaten, and imprisoned for peacefully seeking change of such laws." The Commission on the Status of Women is supposed to conduct review of nations that violate women's rights, issue reports detailing their failings, and monitor their success in improving women's equality.
        Yet critics of Iran 's human rights record say the country has taken "every conceivable step" to deter women's equality. "In the past year, it has arrested and jailed mothers of peaceful civil rights protesters," wrote three prominent democracy and human rights activists in an op-ed published online Tuesday by Foreign Policy Magazine. "It has charged women who were seeking equality in the social sphere ― as wives, daughters and mothers ― with threatening national security, subjecting many to hours of harrowing interrogation. Its prison guards have beaten, tortured, sexually assaulted and raped female and male civil rights protesters."
         Iran's elevation to the commission comes as a black eye just days after the U.S. helped lead a successful effort to keep Iran off the Human Rights Council, which is already dominated by nations that are judged by human rights advocates as chronic violators of essential freedoms. The current membership of the women's commission is little different. Though it touts itself as "the principal global policy-making body" on women's rights, the makeup of the commission is mostly determined by geography and its membership is a hodge-podge of some human rights advocates (including the U.S. , Japan , and Germany ) and other nations with stark histories of rights violations.
        The number of seats on the commission is based on the number of countries in a region, no matter how small their populations or how scant their respect for rights. The commission is currently made up of 13 members from Africa, 11 from Asia, nine from Latin America and the Caribbean, eight from Western Europe and North America, and four from Eastern Europe . During this round of "elections," which were not competitive and in which no real votes were cast, two seats opened up for the Asian bloc for the 2011-2015 period. Only two nations put forward candidates to fill empty spots ― Iran and Thailand . As at most such commissions in the U.N., backroom deals determined who would gain new seats at the women's rights body.
         The activists' letter sent to the U.N. Tuesday argued that it would be better if the Asian countries proffered only one candidate, instead of elevating Iran to the commission."We, a group of gender-equality activists, believe that for the sake of women's rights globally, an empty seat for the Asia group on (the commission) is much preferable to Iran 's membership. We are writing to alert you to the highly negative ramifications of Iran ’s membership in this international body." A spokeswoman for the U.N.'s Department of Economic and Social Affairs, which oversees the commission, did not return phone calls or e-mails seeking comment. When its term begins in 2011, Iran will be joined by 10 other countries: Belgium , the Democratic Republic of the Congo , Estonia , Georgia , Jamaica , Iran , Liberia , the Netherlands , Spain , Thailand and Zimbabwe .

Wednesday, 28 April 2010


      We've received an urgent request for help from workers at a garment factory in the Philippines.

      A hundred workers have been locked out for more than two months now, camped out in front of the main gates of the Mactan Export Zone, which is one of the largest in the country.
     As the union put it, "The fight of the Alta Mode workers is a struggle for job security and workers rights." Alta Mode supplies garments to such global brands as Abercrombie & Fitch, whose 'social compliance manager' is one of the targets of this protest. No union has managed to successfully organize workers in the three decades that the Mactan Export Zone has been in existence.
     Let's put an end to the "no union, no strike" policy of those export zones and support the Alta Mode workers.

Please take a minute and sign up to the campaign -- and then spread the word to your fellow union members.

Thanks very much.

Eric Lee.
ann arky's home.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010


 Parliamentary wash-up rubber stamps DNA retention of innocent 

       The controversial retention of DNA and other materials of innocent people for 6 years was passed as part of the so called "parliamentary wash-up" before parliament was dissolved. When a General Election is called all Bills not passed on the date when parliament is dissolved are lost. To get around this politicians use something called the "wash-up" whereby the major parties horse-trade over legislation that has not yet made it all the way through the parliamentary procedure. The new DNA retention law is contained in the Crime and Security Act which is just one of many new acts that have been snuck through without proper parliamentary debate. The European Court of Human Rights in 2008 ruled that the UK government's retention of the DNA of innocent people was unlawful - it remains to be seen whether the new 6 year retention is compatible with that ruling. During the wash-up a total of 18 bills were passed into law.
More details HERE

For a list of bills passed without proper debate see:

ann arky's home.

Monday, 26 April 2010


       Ask the average person on the street what they think of “anarchists” and they’ll all probably say something like “chaos” “violence” “mayhem” or some other negative expression. Ask them what they have read of anarchist history or anarchist theory and they will probably say “nothing.” So where did they get their opinions? Obviously they got those opinions from the propaganda organ of the state and the corporate greed machine commonly called “the media”. Why should the media give anarchists and anarchism such a bad press?
        Could it be because they see anarchism as the greatest threat to their desire and ability to rule over and exploit the people of this world. The state is a hierarchical structure set up to control the people and legislate to protect the wealth of the corporate greed machine. Anarchism is a non-hierarchical system of sharing and mutual aid to the benefit of all in society, the two are totally incompatible. The corporate greed machine works to exploit the population and drag all the wealth up to a privileged few, it puts a price on everything and excludes all those who can’t pay the price, be it healthcare, housing, leisure, services or the necessities of life. Anarchism seeks to see to the needs of all in society and for society to be shaped by all those who take part in that society. The state/capitalist/corporate system produces an ever widening gap between rich and poor, plunders and rapes the planet in an endless drive to increase profits to the shareholders of the corporate beast. Anarchism seeks sustainability through a system based on free association, voluntary co-operation and mutual aid. Given a choice why choose to be exploited, why choose to struggle for the benefit of the privileged few, why sell your children into poverty? We can produce enough to see to the needs of all on this planet, the reason we don’t is not lack of resources it is simply that the system says “NO”, there must be profit in every action, profit for that greedy privileged few who control the corporate greed machine.
         We accept a system of winner take all and to hell with the hindmost, our compassion and commonsense surely demand we look at the alternatives. It is only commonsense to attempt to break the downward spiral of the corporate driven consumer juggernaut that destroys the environment and creates the illusion that happiness comes in pretty packaged boxes, at a price. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to try to create a better world of peace and freedom from deprivation for all. Anarchists point the way, anarchism is the tool.


     To all those socially minded Labour Party members and supporters let me remind you where you are.
     You are in or supporting a Party that lied this country into an illegal, unjust and unnecessary war, with all the bloodshed and misery that has unfolded since. You give strength to a Party that has introduced extraordinary rendition, torture and secret prisons at the core of its “anti-terrorist” strategy. You are the life blood of a Party that is, according to Amnesty International, ripping up the precious freedoms of this country.
      To stay comfortable in such a Party you have to swallow the lies and the spin and the sickening self justification and you will continually bleat about change from within. Such bleating has been heard from the loyal members and supporters since before the 60s. In all that time your Party has continually moved to the right. It isn’t working.
       Take your socially mind conscience out of the Party and on to the streets, join the thousands, perhaps millions would be more accurate, who wish to see real change by community based non hierarchical direct action. Grow up, cut the umbilical cord between you and the Party system, be a free thinking compassionate human being.

Sunday, 25 April 2010


      The following short article highlights what is a direct attack on the freedom of expression. Are we not to be allowed to criticise religion and show what we consider to be the foolishness of some of its beliefs? To poke fun at something can highlight the foolishness of a particular opinion, if it can't stand up to that ridicule then so be it. How often have the views of the left be held up to ridicule by all the mainstream media, can we have ASBO's pasted on to the TV and certain newspapers? Anarchist have for years been ridiculed by most politicians, can we take them to court and have them sentenced to 6 months?
       Somehow to hold an irrational set of opinions seems to give you the protection of the courts but to hold a set of views that can be backed up by rational debate and historic evidence leaves you open to ridicule. Why should religion be beyond criticism, it is just another set of views held by a group of people, albeit, an irrational set of views. What a strange society we have created, why should any view, religious or otherwise have special privileges and protection from public opinion?
       Can anyone explain to me why Mr. Harry Taylor should not be allowed to carry and distribute his opinion of a set of irrational beliefs, beliefs based on the writings of a couple of members of Middle Eastern nomadic tribes from a long time ago?

      Atheist given ASBO for leaflets mocking Jesus By Jerome Taylor, Religious Affairs Correspondent Saturday, 24 April Independent.
      An atheist who left leaflets mocking Jesus Christ, Islam and the Pope in an airport's prayer room has been given an ASBO. Harry Taylor, 59, from Higher Broughton, Salford, left the anti-religious posters in prayer rooms at Liverpool John Lennon Airport in November and December 2008. But he was found guilty by a jury and given a suspended six-month sentence yesterday, as well as an ASBO forbidding him from carrying anti-religious leaflets in public.
      One of the posters Taylor left at the airport depicted a smiling crucified Christ next to an advert for a brand of "no nails" glue. In another, a cartoon depicted two Muslims holding a placard demanding equality with the caption: "Not for women or gays, obviously." A third poster showed Islamic suicide bombers at the gates of paradise being told: "Stop, stop, we've run out of virgins".
       Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, has been left angry over the conviction. "The six month sentence may have been suspended, but it is still totally out of proportion for what Mr Taylor did. The professional 'offence takers' in religious communities will now feel that they have a strong weapon to use against anyone who is critical or disapproving of them. It is, in effect, a blasphemy law that covers all religions and is much more powerful than the one which was abolished two years ago."      

Friday, 23 April 2010


         Last year Linda Cook, former executive of Anglo-Dutch Oil, had her pension pot more than doubled to app. £16.5 million, and on leaving the company was given a “golden-goodbye” of app. £5 million taking her annual earnings, not counting the wee pension, to app.£6.5 million. At the same time the company announced that it was to axe a further 1,000 jobs, making a total of 7,000 jobs axed since last summer. Bonuses for them, dole for us!!
       Mean while the bankers still pass themselves fists full of dollars in bonuses for the useless and politicians talk about the need for cuts to our standard of living. Of course not one of the MPs proposing the cuts will feel any of the effects.
       They call it democracy, I call it rip off and exploitation, how about you?

ann arky's home.

Thursday, 22 April 2010


     The news is in -- Judge Garzón is to be tried on charges that could end his career, inflicting a fresh blow to the credibility of our justice system. A decision on whether to suspend his license is expected imminently.
       The main charge, brought by extreme right lobby groups, is that he violated the 1977 Amnesty Law by investigating crimes against humanity -- including the disappearance of tens of thousands of people, during the civil war and its aftermath. But crimes against humanity cannot be amnestied under international law.
      The Supreme Court now faces a historic choice: uphold the rule of law, or allow ideology and impunity to triumph over justice. They are under enormous pressure to bring Garzón down, but a massive public outcry could tip the balance. More than 70,000 of us have already raised our voices for democracy and universal human rights -- let's deliver a 100,000-strong petition to the General Council of the Judiciary this week. We have only days left -- sign the petition now and then help spread the word.

       Whatever we think of Garzon, he has gained a reputation for his relentless efforts to seek justice, pursue brutal dictators, terrorists, drug mafias and corrupt politicians. But the Supreme Court has admitted three complaints against him, two of which could impact on two crucial investigations for our democracy: the case of crimes against humanity, and the Gürtel case, one of the largest bribery and corruption scandals in our recent history.
       The crimes against humanity case is straight forward -- these crimes are of such gravity that international law does not permit accused perpetrators to hide behind national amnesty laws, even if this law played a role at the time of our political transition.If the court removes Garzon's license it will be undermining their commitment to universal human rights and with it our faith in the judicial system. Act now! Sign the petition and share this message with all your friends and family:

      This petition is about all of us, beyond our political or party allegiances, defending our democracy, which is already weakened by an acute economic and political crisis and a plague of corruption. Only through bold citizens' actions can we ensure that our political leaders and institutions work for the common good. This is our moment! Click below to sign now:

With determination,
Luis, Alice, Benjamin, Iain, Ricken, Paul and the entire Avaaz team.

More information:

The New York Times, "An Injustice in Spain":

The Financial Times, "Garzón at bay":

The Economist, "Judge Not:

The Globe and Mail, "Political storm over Spain's most famous judge":

Crimes of War Project: "Spain's Memory War: Judge Halts Attempt to Enforce Justice for Franco's Killings":
ann arky's home.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010


     As the UK election campaign for the Westminster House of Corruption rolls on to its ultra boring conclusion, the media keep referring to the elections having reached “fever pitch”. So far we have had a television “debate” by the three “leaders” where there has been rantings about how well each projected himself. We have also had a mountain of coverage on how well each of their respective wives were handling the affair. We have also had photos of the young Nick Clegg at his posh school with some other toffs.
     Any words that they vomit out at the various photo opportunities are preceded by, savings and cuts that wont hurt anybody, and of course “change”. They are all for change, time for change, our change will be better than their change and other crap waffle. They get quite excited about when the cuts should come, now, later, not at all. The savings are always in meaningless numbers, a billion here and a billion there. Absolutely no detail, no meaningful explanations. They think the electorate is stupid.
      With about two weeks left for you to decide who gets their snout in the pig trough we have heard nothing about any of the real problems facing the ordinary people. It is incredible that we approach a national election and the country has been nine years at war and not one of the main parties have even mentioned the war. A war that has claim almost 300 young British lives, not to mention the other lives lost in that unfortunate country, yet it is not an issue at the national election. They don't want the public to discuss the killing of working class youth.
      So what are you voting for? The three main parties all agree on all but the cosmetics, so what you are really voting for is to see that somebody gets a salary of at least £64,000 plus “expenses” nudge-nudge, and a host of other money making perks, while you can look forward to cuts in all departments of your life. Cuts in health, education, pensions, social benefits, wage cuts and wage freezes, higher unemployment, working longer before you get your reduced pension. You can sit back and watch the billionaires get fists full of tax payers money while you head for a return to the Victorian era. Are you mad!!
      This system of capitalist exploitation is not set in tablets of stone, it is a man made system that benefits the few at the expense of the many. There are alternatives, surely we have sufficient imagination to take control of our own lives and devise a system of justice and mutual aid, a system that sees to the needs of all in that society and not pander to a bunch of greedy power hungry parasites.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010


       Some time ago the media was focusing on the plight of Israelis being forced to end their illegal occupation of Gaza, showing pictures of distressed Israelis being lifted and carried off the illegal settlements. No matter how much they resist, the force against them is never to the extent that they are hospitalised or killed. Nor does it mention that they will each receive $140,000. They also seldom mention that settlements in the occupied West Bank continue to accelerate while Palestinians, whose land it is, are forcibly and brutally evicted as they have been for the last 50 years, with no compensation and in numerous cases hospital and death are part of the eviction process. Those moving onto the illegal settlements on the West Bank are from all over the world, not residents of the Middle East. The only qualification required to grab a piece of somebody else’s land is that you belong to a particular religious faith. The separation wall being built by the Israeli state within their illegal grab of the West Bank is cutting farmers from their fields, workers from their jobs, students from their schools and the sick from hospitals and perhaps the most vicious attack of all is that 90% of the water in Palestine is now under Israeli control.
       The catalogue of cruel vindictive crimes heaped on the Palestinian people by the Israeli state reads like some fictional horror story. Since September 2000 the Israeli state machine has seriously injured more than 42,000 Palestinian civilians, killed more than 3,000, it has destroyed over 3,000 homes and damaged more than 43,000. Well over one third of all those injured are under the age of 18. On top of these heinous state crimes the Israeli state machine has also bulldozed 900,000 Palestinian olive and fruit trees plus 28,000 acres of Palestinian farmland, removing the very basic means of survival for the ordinary Palestinian people.

      The Israeli state with its catalogue of vicious crimes against the people of Palestine is not unique in the annals of state history. Being the most powerfully armed state in the area and backed by the world’s most powerful states, it will do what powerful states always do, expand and grab what resources it so desires, be it land, water, oil or whatever. If that means brutal death and destruction, then so be it, if it means genocide, then so be it, Until the people of the Middle East, the rest of the world is not exempt, realise that it is in their mutual interest to end the power of the state with its inherent brutal expansionism and begin to build their society on the basis of equality across and between communities, on communities that are shaped by all those who take part in them and work with co-operation and mutual aid towards a better world for all peoples, then the brutality of this state or that state will continue, war will follow war, occupation will wreak havoc on ordinary people and our children will inherit that brutality.

Sunday, 18 April 2010


     This scene took place on a British Airways flight between Johannesburg, South Africa & London ..
     A white woman, about 50 years old, was seated next to a black man. Very disturbed by this, she called the air hostess. 'You obviously do not see it then?' she asked. 'You placed me next to a black man.
I did not agree to sit next to someone from such a repugnant group. Give me an alternative seat.' 'Be calm please,' the hostess replied. 'Almost all the places on this flight are taken. I will go to see if another place is available.' The hostess went away and then came back a few minutes later.. Madam,just as I thought, there are no other available seats in Economy Class. I spoke to the captain and he informed me that there is also
no seat in Business Class. All the same, we still have one place in First Class.'
    Before the woman could say anything, the hostess continued It is not usual for our company to permit someone from Economy Class to sit in First Class. However, given the circumstances, the captain feels that it would be scandalous to make someone sit next to someone so disgusting.' She turned to the black guy, and said, 'Therefore, Sir, if you would like to, please collect your hand luggage, a seat awaits you in First Class.' At that moment, the other passengers, who'd been shocked by what they had just witnessed, stood up and applauded.
     This apparently is a true story. Nice to get some pleasnat news, but then again, it wasn't the company but some of their employees. So thanks to the staff of the particular flight.


       War is the biggest carbon footprint, war is state engineered, the state is the biggest carbon footprint, Save the planet, get ride of the state and in doing so get rid of war.

ann arky's home.


       It is difficult to read through history and find a period when this state has not been at war with that state. If it has not been actual physical war it has been threatening war. With that state hurtling abuse at the next state, each proclaiming their threats have a righteous legitimacy. War is never caused by the people, never is it a case of a bunch of German truck drivers running across the border and attacking a group of French florist. It is always the state, the power mongers, the powerful and the wealthy, egged on by wealthy groups with a vested interest and the people are the ones who are called on to get on with the slaughter and be slaughtered. While the people bleed the various states and the privileged parasitical wealthy collect the gains.

       As long as we hold on to this system of state power, each power structure will see the other as a threat. The wealthy power groups in each state will demand that their interests, wealth and privileges be protected and enhanced at the expense of any co-operation. Wealth is enhanced by grabbing what belongs to others and violence is the state's and the privileged parasites main method, since they don't actually get involved in the violence. Those who actually have to do the “violence” gain nothing. Hence, under the present system we will have war without end.

      "Well, there’ve always been people going around saying someday the war will end. I say, you can’t be sure the war will ever end. Of course, it may have to pause occasionally–for breath, as it were–it can even meet with an accident–nothing on this earth is perfect–a war of which we could say it left nothing to be desired will probably never exist. A war can come to a sudden halt–from unforeseen causes–you can’t think of everything–a little oversight, and the war’s in the hole, and someone’s got to pull it out again! The someone is the Emperor or the King or the Pope. They’re such friends in need, the war has really nothing to worry about, it can look forward to a prosperous future."
Bertolt Brecht, Mother Courage (1938)

Friday, 16 April 2010


          Like the workers of every city in the world, Glasgow's workers history has been a continuous history of struggle which continues today, Our struggles of the present day should not be seen as something new, it is the same struggle down the centuries for a decent life, a fairer society, and justice for all. If we forget our history we get a distorted view of society and see today's struggles as blips of discontent and not as the same battle to free ourselves from the grip of exploitation. A struggle to take control of our own lives and shape society for the benefit of all.

June 1725 - The malt tax riots:

Due to the hatred of the 'Malt Tax' there were wide spread riots across the country. The most serious was June 1725 in Glasgow. When Revenue Officers arrived to assess the Maltsters, they were met by large angry crowds who barred their way. On June the 24th a large crowd decided to attack the house of Duncan Campbell of Shawfield believing that he had supported the tax in the Houses of Parliament. The angry scenes prompted the Lord Advocate Duncan Forbes to call in troops from Edinburgh.

15th February 1800:

Unemployment and high taxes during this period caused wide spread demonstrations which culminated on the 15th. of February 1800 when angry and hungry crowds took to the streets. They marched along Argyle Street attacking meatsellers and grocers’ shops. Meanwhile crowds in Townhead and Calton were also smashing into similar shops. The authorities called out the troops to disperse the rioters.

1812 weavers strike:

1812 saw the largest strike in Scotland until that date. The weavers were on strike in an attempt to protect their living standards. The strike was on the whole peaceful, though the Magistrates and the Government claimed otherwise in an attempt to come down heavy on the strikers. The strike lasted three months, it eventually run out of funds and collapsed. Because of this strike Trade Unionism was declared illegal in Scotland and remained so until 1824. Seven strikers were arrested and charged with 'illegal combination' and sentenced to 18 months in prison.

6th March 1848:

There was a serious riot in the city of Glasgow on the 6th of March 1848. It came about when the unemployed operatives had expected a distribution of provisions. The provisions never appeared and the starving and angry crowds set off up Irongate and other main streets of the city centre breaking into food and gun shops. Business in the city came to a stand-still and all city centre shops closed. The people continued to march through the streets shouting 'bread or revolution'. Eventually the 'riot act' was read. Other groups marched off in other directions entering food shops and demanding bread. The alarmed authorities, sent to Edinburgh for more troops.

1915 rent strikes:

1915 saw Glasgow and Clydeside districts organise a massive grass roots movement against large rent increases. Over 25,000 tenants refused to pay rent increases. The struggle spread to the Clydeside engineering and shipyards, forcing the government to introduce the 1915 Rent Restriction Act.

1919 'forty hour week' strike:

1919 the struggle for a shorter working week came to a head with a strike which had the support of practically all the workers in the area. Marches and demonstrations were organised. One massive demonstration in George Square caused the authorities some concern and the police baton charged the crowd creating mayhem. The government fearing revolution sent English troops with tanks into the city.

Thursday, 15 April 2010


Sunday 25th April, 19:00-21:00, ACE, 17 West Montgomery Place, Edinburgh

     The Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh and Coal Action Scotland present an evening of radical films centering around community resistance to new coal.
       We will be featuring a guest speaker who has worked extensively in Columbia and will talk about her experiences visiting communities near the Cerrejon mine, her work with social organisations opposing another huge opencast coal mine in Catatumbo and the importance of international solidarity.
      We will also be showing some films from the occupation and eviction of the Mainshill Solidarity Camp near Douglas, South Lanarkshire as well as some footage of indigenous resistance in Columbia.
     We also hope to show some films from Australia if there is time. Please spread the word - hope to see to see you there!

ACE is at: 17 West Montgomery Place, Edinburgh EH7 5HA

ann arky's home.


* * * * * PRESS RELEASE * * * * *

      'Take Control of your Housing' ? that's the message from organisers of  an information day in the centre of Leeds on Saturday 15th May. The aim of the event, being held at St John The Evangelist, next to the St John's Centre, is for people in unsatisfactory housing to discover options outside conventional social and private landlords and home ownership.
     Organiser, Helena Gonzales said, "people are welcome from 11am ? drop by to learn about diverse housing and lifestyles. We'll be showcasing different ideas which allow individuals, families and groups to take control of more aspects of their lives. Our motto is "Do it Yourself and we want to show how people can do just that, even with very little money." The event is free and will be a day of stalls, workshops and discussions exploring issues such as self-build housing, housing co-ops, boating, communal living, low-impact dwelling, squatting, bringing up children in unusual situations and more. The organisers are individuals who themselves have experience of living in these situations and want to share their skills and knowledge.
There will be a refreshments stall and participants are invited to an evening meal afterwards at The Common Place social centre on Wharf Street, LS1 - £3 non-members, £2 members. For more information, see the or call 0113 262 9365.


1. The day runs from 11am-6pm, 15th May at St John The Evangelist deconsecrated church, 23 New Briggate, Leeds.
2. Contact Cath Muller for more information on the above number, or at
3. The event is being funded by Cornerstone Housing Co-op and by Groundswell, the charity which helps homeless people to help themselves
4. Other contributors to the day include: Leeds Asylum-Seekers Support Network, LATCH (Leeds Action To Create Homes), SNARL (Squat Network & Resource Library), Radical Routes (UK network of radical co-operatives working for social change), LILAC (Low-Impact Living Affordable Community ? Leeds' Ecovillage project) and many more.

ann arky's home.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010


      As our unloved politicians gallop maniacally around the land seeking enhancing photo-opportunities and vomiting meaningless sound bites, it tells you all you need to know about our political system. It is all show and appearances, it is a personality contest, wives included. They call it democracy, I call it theatre. It is baffling how in a country that has been fighting an illegal war in Afghanistan for the last nine years can run up to an election and not one of the main parties mentions the war. Is this a coincidence or is it a pre-arranged set up by the leaders of these little political cabals to make their jabberings all on the narrowest of topics where they can speak volumes but say nothing that is related to reality.
      Imagine living in a land where the system allows you real influence and real choice. Imagine at election time engaging in debate about the war and how to end it, is the “war on drugs” a waste of time and resources, the pointless expenditure on a nuclear deterrent, should we have a religious or a secular society, why do we allow the pharmaceutical industry to bleed the our National Health Service, should we permit the privatization of the Health Service, Can we ever hope to openly debate at election time the morality of the British arms industry, the ineffectiveness of our prison system, or the unfair distribution of wealth within our society, why do we still have a Monarchy. Glory be, that would be going too far.
      What is an even greater stretch of the imagination is having been able to debate any of the above, is the possibility of that debate having any influence on those elected. No matter what is debated, it has no bearing on the policies of the elected government, that just wouldn't be British politics, that might be getting too close to democracy.
     Only with the abolition of the state and all its authoritarian institutions and replacing them with a system of free association, voluntary co-operation and mutual aid based on sustainability that sees to the needs of all our people and not to the needs of the privileged parasites that control this type of society, can we hope for fairer and just society. We need an society of communities controlled by all those who take part in those communities working in federation with each other.
For ann arky's view on elections READ.

Sunday, 11 April 2010



When the hordes run with their flaming torches,

When they light the torch of freedom

Burning all injustices

Scorching all hypocrisies

Making a bonfire of poverty

Throwing dogma, patriotism and religion on the flames,

I’ll be there, among them with my box of matches.


         The aim of anarchism is to build a society free from exploitation and repression in all their forms, sexism, racism, ageism, free from religious domination and economic coercion. To accomplish this we first have to abolish the state and all its institutions. Anarchism will be created by the class struggle between the vast majority of society, the group that produces all the goods and services in society, (the working class) and the small privileged minority who own all the means of production and distribution and who control society. The revolution can only be successful when anarchist ideas become the leading ideas within the working class. As this will not happen spontaneously one role of the anarchists is to propagate anarchist ideas connecting them with everyday situations, bringing anarchist ideas into every debate and action for change. It follows from the above that anarchists are opposed to imperialism but must always state their alternative to nationalism. We therefore support all grassroots anti-imperialist movements while arguing for an anarchist rather than a nationalist solution. An anarchist society based on the principles of free association, voluntary co-operation and mutual aid must surely be preferable to the vast majority of mankind than one of capitalist principles of economic repression and poverty for the vast majority and privilege and power to the few.

Thursday, 8 April 2010


US Beverage-Maker Mott's Celebrates Booming Sales and Share Price by  Attacking Wages!
    This is of course the pattern of things to come as companies across the globe play on the fear of employees as they see lots of jobs disappear. Strong organised union and solidarity between different trades and occupatioins is the only answer. Of course the ultimate aim should be to organise to occupy and run the various workplaces that try to return workers to the Victorian era. 
     Workers at juice and beverage manufacturer Mott's in Williamson, New York, members of the RWDSU-UFCW Local 220, are being asked to celebrate the company's highly successful sales and stock performance by agreeing to steep cuts in their wages and the elimination of their pension plan. Mott's is a subsidiary of the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, the North American beverages division spun off by Cadbury Schweppes in 2008, whose leading brands in addition to Mott's include Snapple, Yoo-hoo, A&W and Hires root beers, Crush, Sunkist, Hawaiian Punch, Canada Dry, Squirt, RC Cola, Diet Rite, and of course Schweppes, among others.
      In negotiations for a new collective agreement, management is demanding an across-the-board reduction of wages of USD 2.50 per hour and the total elimination of their company pension scheme! The company's only announced rationale for these steep cuts has been that the workers simply earn too much an astonishing claim for a profitable, growing company.
     You can support the union by sending a strong, simple message to Dr. Pepper Snapple CEO Larry Young: the company's demands are unacceptable!

To send a message go to:

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      Another election trundling towards us like a dinosaur from the ancient past. All the same old verbal waffle, the same patronising claptrap and theatrical performances. The same old sleaze mongers and corporate poodles trying to tell us, everything will be different this time if we vote them into the pig trough that is the Westminster House of Corruption.
      Surely we have learnt enough to know that voting will change nothing for us the ordinary people. Politics and the party political system is all about big business and how the shareholders minders, the government, can further their aims and protect their wealth and privileges. The very questions they ask are part of the problem, the way they form and frame the problems is restricting the debate to a narrow vein that suits them.
     To break out of this straight jacket imposed by the privileged parasites we have to ignore the party political circus and the election and start to talk to each other at street level and at community level, perhaps there we will begin to formulate our answers round the problems that we ourselves can identify with in our everyday lives. Our lives are dependent on Prime Ministers, shareholders, parasites and sleazy politicians, only if we hand them the power by abdicating control of our own lives. We the ordinary people make, grow and distribute everything in this world, they need us to maintain their privileged position, we don't need them. We can do it all in a fairer and more just manner without the profit motive. Our lives would be so much richer if took control of our communities in federation with all other communities and sent the party political system and its bed companion the corporate world, to the dustbin of history. So to sort our problems, don't vote, talk to your neighbours and workmates about your problems and see what answers you develop. I'm sure it will be much better than the crap that is dropped on you by the present system.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010


     When people in this country talk of and condemn slavery they are invariably talking about that abomination where we “civilised” whites, ripped poor unfortunate Africans from their homes and shipped them half way across the world, brutalised them and forced them to work as machines that were possessions of the plantation owners. We are alas, rather reluctant to admit that some our upper crust individuals in Scotland made quite a fortune from this slave labour.
     However what is completely glossed over is the white slavery that went on here in our own Bonnie Scotland. The Scots landed gentry and industrial bosses were not too bother about enslaving their own white Scots brothers. In a move to protect the Scottish landlords the pre-Union Scottish parliament, enslaved colliers, saltiers, lead miners and fisher folk. Another form of free labour was the practice that was encouraged by the authorities as a way of reducing vagrancy, masters were encouraged to seize able bodied beggars and retain them as slaves.
     There was also the the business of families to avoid starvation selling themselves as indentured servants. During the slavery period there were as many as 100,000 Scots worked in the American plantations as indentured labour, they weren't slaves, but that was in name only, to all intents and purposes they were slaves. The UK parliament outlawed the practice when it abolished slavery. 
     If we look at our history and count those of our ancestors who worked for the “landed gentry” for no wages, then we can assume that there were millions over the years who in this country could be classified as slaves.
     Now of course we are all wage slaves, shackling ourselves to mortgages, credit cards and other debt in an attempt to gain some sort of living standard, the system hasn't really changed, it is just that some of the slaves have more goodies to reward them for their labour.



    The main political parties in the coming general election don't want to mention the war in Afghanistan. They all support it, but they know it is opposed by the majority of the electorate, who want all the British troops withdrawn.
    The Afghan war has led to the deaths of 280 British soldiers and an estimated 30,000 Afghans. As the death toll and the levels of expenditure rise, the politicians' silence is matched by a consensus between the three main parties over proposed savage cuts in public services.
    This year the government will spend £3.8 billion on the war in Afghanistan, almost the same amount it plans to cut from the National Health Service.
     We have now had nine years of wars that the British public did not support, and Stop the War is asking its supporters and local groups to take every opportunity to make sure the issue is not ignored by election candidates seeking our votes.


     On Stop the War's website from Wednesday 7 April, you will be able to email the election candidates in your constituency on where they stand on the war, either by using our model letter
and questions or by writing your own text. As the election campaign progresses, we will publish replies from candidates and list those who have not replied. The questions to candidates in Stop the War's model letter are:
1 Do you support the immediate withdrawal of British and NATO troops from Afghanistan?
2 Did you support the war in Iraq?
3 Will you oppose any military attack on Iran by the United States or Israel?
4 Do you support the immediate closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison?
5 Are you opposed to the renewal of Trident nuclear weapons?
6 Do you oppose the attacks on Muslims and the growing Islamophobia in British society?
7 Do you agree that the use of anti-terrorist laws to restrict the right of protest is an attack on civil liberties?

     We are encouraging all our supporters to use the online facility to contact their local candidates and to report back to us the responses. We need to know from people seeking
election as our representatives in parliament, what their views are on all the key issues of the day.
      You can also telephone or write to the candidates by letter. If you plan to go to hustings meetings, ask the candidates to give their views on the war. Please let us know of any
responses you get, as we will be collating all this information into our survey of candidates' attitudes towards the war.
     If you would like to help a Stop the War group in your area campaign to make the war an issue in this election, contact the national office: or 020 7801 2768


         As the election is now set to occupy the media in its usual frenzy of excitement about nothing, we will be plagued by promises of how each and every one of the parties has the answer to our problems. The fact that we have had elections for some considerable time and the ordinary people still struggle to raise a family in decent conditions, should tell us something. Elections are a theatre put on to create the illusion that we the ordinary people are involved in the decision making process. However, no matter how we vote or if we vote, we still have to struggle to survive while the parasitical rich continually get richer. There's something wrong with the system!!! Everybody that enters the Westminster House of Corruption, comes out richer than they went in, while those who put them there are still struggling along trying to make ends meet.
       We should try to grasp the facts, the corporate world make the decisions and the sleazy two faced politicians are there to give it all a look of democracy by putting their stamp of legitimacy on those decisions. Look at what we have, CCTV cameras everywhere, was that in the party manifesto, did you vote for them? Selling off public assets at bargain prices, did you vote for that? Privatising large sections of education and health, did you vote for that? Billions given to the big banks, did you vote for that? Our money being spent on illegal invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention the slaughter, did you vote for that? Because of the bail-out for the rich and comfortable, we are now heading for drastic cuts in our standard of living through savage cuts to health, education, benefits, pensions etc. did you vote for that?
      While the rich parasites plunder the public purse, with the blessing of their bed-mates, the political puppets, a couple of figures should make interesting reading. In Scotland the number of people living below the median wage has rise from the year 06/07. the figures for 07/08 are 8% of the population live on or below 40% of the median, 13% live below 50% of the median and 19% live below 60% of the median. With the present  “economic climate” these figures are sure to rise. Where was the money to bail-out these people, after all we are told it is a democracy. It is an cruel illusion, a cage of exploitationa, a rich parasites paradise, a blind alley for our kids, not a democracy. For ann arky's view on elections read, HERE.

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Look and listen all you people
can’t you see
you’re being sold a world of illusion
fatuous spin, hypocrisy.
Packs of perverts, pushers and pimps
our media’s daily recipe.
Ever more mobiles and mega-bytes,
a road to instant lunacy.
Keyhole views of other people’s lives
the lonely voyeur’s fantasy.
Fashion and style calling the shots
days of futile fallacy
all froth and bubble, fizz and foam
a modern human tragedy.

Saturday, 3 April 2010


     Why do the authorities come down so heavy on protesters? A protest is really no more than a group of people wishing to be involved in the decision making process, and in an authoritarian system, that can't be tolerated. It might catch on! There is of course, always the possibility that a handful of protesters might trash a few precious trinkets of society, a society that deserves no more respect than the garbage it produces. A society that trashes the lives of the protesters' families, neighbours and friends. A society that trashes communities, villages and towns for economic reasons, example, closing factories and re-opening the other side of the world for cheaper labour.

       The heavy handed treatment also depicts a nervous ruling class, a ruling class that is aware of the threat to its power and privileges. No longer are the police mere stewards at protests, the powers that be have dropped all pretence, they know it is a class war, and now shamelessly treat it with a military response. Police supported by others in full riot gear, backed up by mounted police, with other instruments of force in the background waiting their call to action. The sooner we the exploited and controlled, accept that it is a class war the sharper and more successful our strategies will become.

       There can be no social solution to this situation because there is no longer any common ground, language or experiences between the milieus of groups and individuals that make up “society” and that other group, the parasites, the “ruling elite” that wish to continue controlling “society”.

       It can no longer be stated that a fissure exist between the two classes, it is an unbridgeable chasm, The truth of the situation is that they, the “ruling elite” need us to maintain their parasitical lives of opulence, but we have absolutely no need what so ever of them. Our lives become richer when they finally enter the dustbin of history.

Thursday, 1 April 2010


       We kill horses to make money for the big bookmakers and their cronies, the rich horse owning fraternity. The Grand National horse race is coming up and no doubt another few horses will be killed during that event. Last year's race saw 4 horse killed in what is not a horse race but an obstacle course where it is more luck rather than skill that will say who wins and who survives. Last year's winner was a 100 to 1 shot, so not rated as the best horse in the race.
      In this country, the UK, over the year, 500 horses have been killed while racing or had to be put down due to injury while racing. This is a horrendous price to pay for what is supposed to be a sport. It is sometimes referred to as "the sport of kings" and I find this very apt, as kings never really bother who gets killed for their pleasure or power as long as it isn't them. Horse racing is big business and so as long as the big boys continue to make money from it, then it will never be taken into account how many horses die for that profit. It is like corporate business the world over, profit first, profit second and profit above all else. As long as there is big money in horse racing then horses will be pushed to and beyond their limit, it is not a sport, it is a business, it is only the punters that are fooled into thinking that it is a sport and continue to fund it on the illusion of making money. However rationalism tells you, that if the punters make all the money, then the bookmakers would pull out. When death is a very strong possibility it is no longer a sport. If it were the jockeys that were being killed at this rate there would be an outcry, but horses? And they don't even have a choice in the matter.



Deep in every heart lies the seed of humanity

Ever trying to bloom,

Entombed in doubt, choked by subterfuge,

It struggles to survive.

Look, I undress my heart for all to see.

Here stranger, gaze upon it

Perhaps then you’ll see what’s buried in your’s,

And together we can chip away this rock hard world

And fashion a softer refuge

For those not yet born.


     Take action to keep BP out of the tar sands – the single most destructive project on earth. The BP Fortnight of Shame is a call to action from the UK Tar Sands Network, Rising Tide and the Camp for Climate Action to force BP to reverse their crazy plans to move into Canada’s tar sands. It runs between the annual Fossil Fools day on April 1st, and BP’s Annual General Meeting on April 15th. We hope to send a loud message to BP to stay out of the Tar Sands. Grassroots groups across the UK and around the world, will be taking action in solidarity with First Nations communities in Canada to stop BP’s deadly plans in their tracks.

Why are Tar Sands such a problem?

     Attempts to avert the planet from sliding into climate crisis are being threatened by a single massive project in the Canadian wilderness. Already, millions of barrels of tar sands oil are being extracted every day,producing three to five times as many greenhouse gas emissions as conventional oil. The extraction process is immensely resource-intensive,currently using enough natural gas every day to heat 3.2 million Canadian homes. Add to this the mass deforestation the projects are causing, ridding us of desperately needed carbon sinks, and it becomes clear this project cannot be allowed to continue if we are serious about preventing runaway climate change. The effects tar sands are having on local First Nations communities are devastating. The tar sands development in Alberta covers an area the size of England, with toxic tailing ponds so huge they are visible from space,leaking poisons into the local water supply. Not only are indigenous livelihoods and futures being destroyed, but communities on land where tar sands extraction has been imposed are experiencing disturbingly high rates of rare forms of cancer and auto-immune diseases.

Why target BP?

     BP are the only major oil company with no tar sands extraction projects currently in operation. This is about to change. Since 2007, BP have quietly ditched the ‘Beyond Petroleum’ sham, because investing in renewables simply wasn’t making them enough profit. They have decided to go Back to Petroleum, with a vengeance, under the leadership of new Chief Executive Tony Hayward. Moving into tar sands was one of the first steps Tony Hayward took, acquiring a half share in the Sunrise Project with Husky Energy. The Sunrise Project will be huge, producing 200,000 barrels of filthy oil a day, and using Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD), an extraction process even more energy and water intensive than the more visible surface-mining operations.
     The recession has given us a window of opportunity. BP have been forced to postpone their final decision on whether to go ahead until the second half of 2010. This means it is not too late for us to stop this outrageous project. BP are desperate for Sunrise to go ahead, and will certainly not go down without a fight, but with effective and sustained action we can win this one.
Read the full article here:

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       From the good people at
      OK, so you are using a corporate email provider. You aren't bothered that they mine your behavior to better sell your eyeballs to advertisers. One problem, however, is that governments around the world are using these private corporations as a vast multiplier of state power. The big email providers won't disclose how many requests for data they get from the government. Yahoo, for example, has said in court that they should not be forced to release this information because it would be too shocking for their customers [1].
That sounds bad. But it gets much worse. The Wall Street Journal, among others, has reported on how the US government uses email traffic to build a map of the relationship between everyone in the country:
      "According to current and former intelligence officials, the [NSA] now monitors huge volumes of records of domestic emails... [the telecoms] are giving the government unlimited access to a copy of the flow of [internet] communications." [2]
      The good news is that there are easy things you can do to prevent corporate and state surveillance. The most important step is to use a secure email provider. For more information, see:

[2] Gorman, Siobhan. 2008. "NSA’s Domestic Spying Grows As Agency Sweeps Up Data: Terror Fight Blurs Line Over Domain; Tracking Email." Wall Street Journal.

(depending on where you are, the url might not work, but there are many mirrors of the article)
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