Tuesday, 31 May 2011



Picket Atos Recruitment Evening
Atos Medical Assessment Centre
Corunna House
29 Cadogan Street
Glasgow G2 7AB

Monday 6th June  5.30pm – 8.30pm

Who are Atos?

Atos Healthcare are a part of a private, profit making corporation. On behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), they carry out the medical assessments, now called 'Work Capability Assessments
(WCA), for Employment Support Allowance (formerly Incapacity Benefit).

What do they do?

Atos are currently recruiting more medical professionals to carry out new assessments on all people on sickness benefits. They are actively carrying out the Government’s plan of cutting sickness benefits by £250 billion. The process is driven by cost cutting not objective medical opinion. In recent trials of their largely unreliable new computerised medical test 29% of claimants had their benefits cut, but most people win their case when they appeal with the help of an advice centre. Atos will be also recruiting more staff to carry out these distressing and degrading tests on all people on Disability Living Allowance for the first time, where the plan is to cut the budget by 20%. The Government are cutting these benefits to reduce the debt caused by bankers gambling on the financial markets. The most vulnerable in society are being made to pay for the greed of the rich and the inevitable booms and busts of capitalist economics.
More info: The Crutch Collective on Facebook



Facebook event page:   http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/event.php?eid=188876404494450

ann arky's home.


        The end is nigh, prepare for Armageddon, the banking world is in shit creek and the system is about to explode. Of course most people with any knowledge of capitalism know that it is unsustainable and will eventually collapse, the financial sector is just part and parcel of that same system. Our problem is not so much the collapse of the system, but how do we react to that  catastrophic event? Will we fight to get it back on the rails, so that we can get back to borrowing and getting ever bigger mortgages, back to a job with crap wages and an never ending struggle to get an increase that will help you survive? Or will we decide to take control ourselves and change the entire system to one free from the profit motive, bond holders and financial spivs? The following is an extract form a much longer and more detailed article HERE.

What Happens if the Greeks Default?

       Andrew Lilico, writing in the London Telegraph, gives us the answer to that question with a series of short bullet points. I might not agree with all of them, but he is looking in the right direction. (quoting from http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/andrewlilico/100010332/what-happens-when-greece-defaults/)

       “It is when, not if. Financial markets merely aren’t sure whether it’ll be tomorrow, a month’s time, a year’s time, or two years’ time (it won’t be longer than that). Given that the ECB has played the “final card” it employed to force a bailout upon the Irish – threatening to bankrupt the country’s banking sector – presumably we will now see either another Greek bailout or default within days.

“What happens when Greece defaults. Here are a few things:
- Every bank in Greece will instantly go insolvent.
- The Greek government will nationalize every bank in Greece.
- The Greek government will forbid withdrawals from Greek banks.
- To prevent Greek depositors from rioting on the streets, Argentina-2002-style (when the Argentinian president had to flee by helicopter from the roof of the presidential palace to evade a mob of such depositors), the Greek government will declare a curfew, perhaps even general martial law.
- Greece will redenominate all its debts into “New Drachmas” or whatever it calls the new currency (this is a classic ploy of countries defaulting)
- The New Drachma will devalue by some 30-70 per cent (probably around 50 per cent, though perhaps more), effectively defaulting 0n 50 per cent or more of all Greek euro-denominated debts.
- The Irish will, within a few days, walk away from the debts of its banking system.
- The Portuguese government will wait to see whether there is chaos in Greece before deciding whether to default in turn.
- A number of French and German banks will make sufficient losses that they no longer meet regulatory capital adequacy requirements.
- The European Central Bank will become insolvent, given its very high exposure to Greek government debt, and to Greek banking sector and Irish banking sector debt.
- The French and German governments will meet to decide whether (a) to recapitalise the ECB, or (b) to allow the ECB to print money to restore its solvency. (Because the ECB has relatively little foreign currency-denominated exposure, it could in principle print its way out, but this is forbidden by its founding charter. On the other hand, the EU Treaty explicitly, and in terms, forbids the form of bailouts used for Greece, Portugal and Ireland, but a little thing like their being blatantly illegal hasn’t prevented that from happening, so it’s not intrinsically obvious that its being illegal for the ECB to print its way out will prove much of a hurdle.)
- They will recapitalise, and recapitalise their own banks, but declare an end to all bailouts.
- There will be carnage in the market for Spanish banking sector bonds, as bondholders anticipate imposed debt-equity swaps.
- This assumption will prove justified, as the Spaniards choose to over-ride the structure of current bond contracts in the Spanish banking sector, recapitalising a number of banks via debt-equity swaps.
- Bondholders will take the Spanish Banking Sector to the European Court of Human Rights (and probably other courts, also), claiming violations of property rights. These cases won’t be heard for years. By the time they are finally heard, no one will care.
- Attention will turn to the British banks. Then we shall see…”
ann arky's home.

Monday, 30 May 2011


       The Free Hetherington is probably the longest running student occupation in the country. Hetherington House at Glasgow University was occupied by the students on February 1 2011. It had previously been The Hetherington Research Club but had been unoccupied for a year since the Research Club left the premises in Feb 2010 and was due for redevelopment by the University.

        The occupation is intended as a protest against cuts to higher education within the Glasgow University and across the country. Since the occupation the students and the wider community have organised a varied and interesting series of events and there usually something arranged for most days and evenings of the week.

       One such event organised at the Free Hetherington, which is tied in with today's events of popular uprisings happening across the world, was a talk and discussion with sociologist John Holloway, the events were recorded and can be viewed on the Free Hetherington site.
        Perhaps others will take encouragement from what the students and their supporters have achieved here, the lesson from this action is "Direct Action" gets results.

ann arky's home.

Sunday, 29 May 2011


       A government department has issued what it calls the silliest excuse put forward by people caught cheating on benefit claims. All in an attempt to ridicule and shame those who try to fiddle the benefit system. Hoping to alienate them and scapegoat them as an excuse to introduce draconian measures against anybody who relies on benefit to survive. They have to be held up to ridicule and prosecuted for doing what a vast number of MPs have done and in some cases are still doing. In the case of the MPs all they have to say is that they were not involved in any wrong doing. They may be asked to pay it back or receive a slap on the wrist. Out of 600 odd MPS and about the same number in the Lords and a year or more of scandalous revelations of widespread fiddling, only about 6 have gone to court. One Lord how did end up in court stated, it wasn't an expense system as such, but more of an allowance system to top up their income, and he was doing nothing wrong as they were all doing the same. I hope the Met. were listening to that.

     We are told that benefit cheats cost the tax payer approximately £1.6 billion, shock, horror, that's about as much as the government is expected to spend destroying Libya over a 6 month period. It fades into insignificances when compared to Vodafone's £6 billion tax fiddle, then there is Philip Green with his nice little arrangement of having his wife as owner of BHS Group, claiming she is a resident of Monaco, so doesn't pay UK tax on the company's profits. Most of the big companies avoid paying there fair share of tax by what can only be described as phony overseas offices and other tax avoidance fiddles. However no government department sets out to ridicule and shame them, even although sorting that little lot out would put hundreds of billions into the tax revenue of this country. It seems that the powers that be want a monopoly on fiddling for their own class, and have no intentions of allowing to spread down to us minions.


       Here in the so called “Developed West” our oligarch owned pro-establishment mainstream media, will spout off about the “boy soldiers” being used in some “developing” nations. They scream, horror, crime against humanity, and so it is. However they are rather quiet on the UK's boy soldiers. Recent figures show that in the last 5 years or so the number of boys aged 16 being recruited in to the UK army has grown considerably. The Ministry of Defence, (or should that be of War?) has released figures that show that last year 1,400, 16-year-old's were recruited into the army. This amounts to 17.4% of all of all new recruits, up from 12.7% last year. The Ministry of Defence, (that euphemism again,) has admitted that under 18-year-old's have been sent into combat areas since 2007, also 15, 17-year-old's were sent to Iraq between 2003 and 2005, and that 36 teenage UK soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. How many have been injured and miamed for life, how many will suffer mental health problems because of their eperiences?

         Of course they will say that those poor boy soldiers in Africa etc. were abducted, forced, coerced into the army, while our brave young lads volunteered. Can it truly be called volunteering when you are faced with no further education options, unemployment or at best some crap low paid job. Then along comes a smiling recruiting team who offer you training, education, a trade, travel, a wage, plus accommodation? It seems a good option, because you are not told the truth, once you sign on the dotted line you your travel consists of a trip to Afghanistan, Iraq or some other imperialist resource grab, laying your life on the line for some corporate body who will make billions from your efforts.

      These are kids, just out of school and in most cases from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. You don't see many 16-year-old's from the well-heeled brigade volunteering for the army, oh no, their kids are destined for university and a well paid job with a house in the leafy suburbs.

     This is just one of the many injustices that pass as fair and just in this corrupt capitalist system. What civilised society would allow its kids to leave school at 16, be handed a weapon then trained to kill? What's more, the hypocritical stance, that they are volunteering. Ill informed, mislead, and desperate, kids cannot make an informed choice, they are being used.


       Another wee bit of Scots history that is well worth remembering, though today don't expect the fascists to come marching down the street with jackboots. This time they have arrived in suits in offices of the corporate world where they dictate their policies to their subservient front line troops, the parliamentary party political system. It was Mussolini who said that it should not be called Fascism but Corporatism, as it is the coming together of the corporate world and the state. I'm sure if he were around now, he would be delighted to see its progress. It has arrived and it is world wide. Our only hope is more of the "Arab Spring" across the globe. More than ever solidarity is not to do with your work-place and community, it is to do with our class across the globe. Corporatism is world wide, our resistance has to be the same.

Photo by Capa.
More of this series  HERE.        
ann arky's home.

Saturday, 28 May 2011


      As June approaches it is an appropriate time to remember a bit of our history from the still on going struggle to protect our conditions. It is a struggle that has been part and parcel of the ordinary people's lives since capitalism first raised its ugly head. A continuing struggle against an exploitive system that benfits the few at the expense of the many. The Calton weavers strike was Glasgow's first recorded strike in that struggle.

      Glasgow’s population at this period was around 60,000. Weaving was the main occupation in Glasgow and surrounding districts after the collapse of the tobacco trade due to the American War of Independence. The movement for parliamentary reform was still a seed in people’s hearts. It took the French Revolution to cause it to shoot and grow. Attempts by workers to unite in defence of their living standards were deemed an offence under common law. The weavers’ strike of 1787 was the first recorded strike in Glasgow’s history.
      Around June 1787 the Glasgow weavers and those of surrounding areas learned that the payments for weaving muslin were to be cut. This would be the second cut to the weavers income in eight months. Many meetings were held around the districs and on June the 30th 1787 seven thousand attended a meeting on Glasgow Green. On the 4th of July terms of a unanimous resolution from the meeting appeared in a letter printed in the Glasgow Mercury. The letter was sent by James Mirrie on behalf of the committee appointed by the weavers. The letter pointed out that the cut suggested by the manufacturers would bring weavers income down by one-fourth while other trades had been rightfully rising in face of an increase in house rents and other means of subsistence. It also stated that they would not 'offer violence to any man or his work'.

      The strike started in June and lasted through July, August, September in to October. Calton was a district then just outside Glasgow’s boundary. Most of the population of the district were weavers. Around mid-day on Monday 3rd September, the authorities of Glasgow learned that a large crowd of weavers had formed at Calton near the city boundary at Gallowgate. The Lord Provost and Magistrates arrived to disperse the crowd but were driven back by stones thrown by the weavers. Later in the day the authorities were informed that the weavers were again assembling and proposed to march to Glasgow Cathedral.

      The 39th Regiment of Foot, under the command of Colonel Kellet was sent. With them went the Lord Provost, the Sheriff-Substitute, a Magistrate and others intent on dispersing the weavers. The groups met at a spot near Drygate Bridge. The soldiers were ordered to open fire, 3 weavers were killed outright and three were mortally wounded. A considerable number were wounded. How many can only be guessed at.
    It is now accepted that the Riot Act was not read, it is claimed that the Sheriff-Substitute was preparing to read the Riot Act when the soldiers opened fire in self defence. After the riot Magistrates offered rewards for information leading to the arrest of activists. As well as James Granger, one of the main organisers of the strike, others were arrested but not brought to trial. On the 4th September the Magistrates brought in another regiment from Beith.
     Towards the end of September Colonel Kellet and Major Powlet were presented with the freedom of the city. At the Tontine Tavern a dinner was given for the officers. Each soldier stationed in Glasgow was given a new pair of shoes and stockings.

        James Granger’s trial, he was then aged 38, married and had six children, took place in Edinburgh in the year 1788. It was the first case of “forming illegal combinations” in Scotland. He was found guilty on Tuesday 22nd July and sentenced on Friday 25th The sentence was that he be carried to the Tollbooth, to remain there until the 13th August, on which day he would be publicly whipped through the streets of the city at the hands of the Common Executioner; that he should then be set at liberty and allowed till the 15th October to settle his affairs, after which he is to banish himself from Scotland for seven years, under the usual certifications, in case of his again returning during that term. A severe price to pay for trying to prevent a wage cut. James Granger returned and took part in the 1811-1812 strike and lived to the age of 75.

More on Glasgow's working class history HERE.
ann arky's home.


      With all the hooray, back-slapping and triumphalism of Obama's visit to this country so soon after the assassination of Osama Bin Laden gives the impression that we all agree with this action, a state action that defies the rule of law. It makes his statement that America and Britain have, “the ability to lead the world not by force but by example” all the more hypocritical. When has Britain or America lead the world by the rule of law, both countries have bombed and blasted innumerable countries into submissive arrangements, all "just wars" of course.
      We should read his patronising statement as no more than simply a bit of UK public ego stroking, what he really meant was that America will lead the world. Of course he doesn't consult with the world as to whether it wants to be lead by America or any other nation for that matter. It is the same old macho Americanism, the OK Corral culture still prevails, dressed up in modern clothes but just as selfish and just brutal.
ann arky's home.

Thursday, 26 May 2011


        As Cameron's battle for Libya thunders on we have to admit that it bears no resemblance to the original idea of an “Arab Spring” What was originally floated as a wee umbrella to help the pro-democracy uprising in Libya get on with the their revolution, has now changed into a NATO attack on the government of a North African country. In the regime change being sought in Libya, we have to ask the question, “who is doing the changing” and why? The Libyan people would do well to remember that there is no such think in politics as a free lunch, and also, that NATO and the Europeans are not spending a projected £1 billion in a six month military expenditure out of benevolence towards a North African pro-democracy movement. The European track record in that part of the world does not read of benevolence and democracy.

         The best that the Libyans can expect out of this is a partitioned country, or a civil war. In either case the infrastructure of their country will be in tatters, they will be dependent on the West for loans in an attempt to reconstruct the country. The West will have it troops in, just to keep the peace, of course, and it will also have control of the oil. The Libyans meanwhile can get on as best they can with their civil war or partitioned country.

      Is there anybody out there that believes that the Libyan people will come out of this the victors? When the "rebels"called in a foreign imperialist military power, they sold their revolution. They may get rid of Gaddafi, but their new masters, the West backed up by NATO will prove to be just as ruthless and perhaps even more so. When it comes to oil and profit, people come away down the scale.
ann arky's home.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011


     Cameron's Libyan war crashes on with the anticipated escalation and so another night of heavy bombing in Tripoli, this blows wide open the sham about NATO protecting civilians. The West wants Gaddafi's oil and wants him out of the picture, protecting civilians is just the attempted slim badge of legitimacy. So Gaddafi goes, the West rushes in to support the "rebels" in Benghazi and a long civil war ensues. The West sends in a peace-keeping force and starts to take control of the oil as in Iraq, and as in Iraq, not giving a shit about what state the country of Libya ends up in, just as in Iraq. The people can fight and kill each other while the Western corporate world gets on with the business of milking the people and the country of its oil. When Gaddifi goes it will be interesting to see if the new regime spends as much of the oil revenue on free health care and free education as the Gaddafi regime, time will tell.
ann arky's home.


       Here we go with another exciting page from that wee book, Your Anarchist Teapot Souvenir Introduction to Anarchy, from the Teapot Collective.  Enjoy page 11, page 10 can be read   HERE.         

     --we'll need to do away with both bosses and factories. Anarchists have been up trees, occupying offices, trashing machines, stopping roads, sinking whalers, fighting against a system which is wiping out the future and making the present a misery.

Anarchism is a vision.
     Imagine living in a world where people were able to come together to create a new, free society, realising their desires. Grim and anonymous cities could become places we can actually live in. Tedious useless work would become redundant and room made for play and productive activities we enjoy. Crime could be reduced drastically by a return living in real communities where people look after each other. With the decline of industrial agriculture and economy, the rivers could run clear--
ann arky's home.


       The following information was gleaned from an article on DISSIDENT VOICE, the full article is well worth a read, very detailed and informative.

       While it is becoming more widely know that the US imprisons a greater proportion of its citizens than any other country in the world, it should also be noted that the US, that Land of the Free has seen an increase in the number of peaceful protesters being arrested since Obama came to office. Since the Obama inauguration there have been over 2,600 arrests of activists protesting in the US. Recent research shows that since the start of 2011 over 670 individuals have been arrested at protests in the US. More than 1290 during 2010 and 665 arrested during 2009.

       There has been a steady increase in the number of people arrested at protests since 2009 and these protests have covered a wide range of campaigns. They have been protests against US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Guantanamo, strip mining, home foreclosures, Nuclear weapons, immigration policies, mistreatment of hotel workers, police brutality budget cut backs, the mistreatment of Bradley Manning, Blackwater, attempts to cut back on collective bargaining.

      What is also happening in the US is that there is a steady increase in the number of Americans willing to risk arrest and imprisonment for acts of civil disobedience. That itself is a healthy sign that the American people are becoming more aware of the total lack of democracy in their country.
ann arky's home.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011


    The latest copy of The Anarchist Critic, issue No. 92 May 2011, can be viewed and downloaded as a PDF  HERE.


     A voice from the inside explains how an elite group of Wall St. oligarchies are plundering the world, ripping everything they can from the poor and middle classes to protect their unearned wealth. Land grabbing in Greece, pension grabbing in Ireland with the same prescription for the rest of Europe. A Western world devoid of democracy, more or less being used as a honey pot for the very, very rich. This guy from the Reagan administration believes that revolution is the only answer to this plundering of the poor and middle classes. We know it is the only answer, where there is no democracy, and there isn't, only the people can create democracy.

ann arky's home.


     Without a trace of irony, President Barack Obama -- the commander-in-chief of an empire which straddles the world, who has more than doubled the troops in Afghanistan, who continues to occupy Iraq, who has dramatically escalated a deadly drone war in Pakistan and who is currently bombing Libya -- spoke last week of the "moral force of non-violence" and said he "will not tolerate aggression across borders". (SEE Choking on the Hypocrisy of Obama's Hollow Platitudes: http://bit.ly/kBiFrl )

     Obama is currently waging three wars which are opposed by the majority of people in Britain and the United States -- in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. He has already, in his first two years in office, attacked six countries -- two more than George W Bush.

    This is why Stop the War, CND and other organisations have organised an anti-war protest at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday 24 May, at 5.30pm, when Obama is on a state visit to Britain, with bed and breakfast provided by the Queen.

    The protest will call for the withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan, an immediate end to the bombing of Libya and freedom for Palestine, which yet again was let down in Obama's speech last week by rhetoric which far outstripped any indication that he is going to do anything to stop Israel's countless violations of international law.


     Called by Stop the War Coalition, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Justice for Bahrain Campaign.