Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Solidarity Virus.

       The coronavirus and the state imposed lockdown has quietened must streets across the world, but in Chile where a full blow insurrection was being played out before the pandemic struck, has not followed the majority of countries. The anger is still being played out on the streets, with supermarkets being looted and police attacked, the people's anger is still determined to bring the system down. There are times when public anger will not be pacified by state legislation, even when that legislation is backed up by brutal state repression.

Solidarity is the Virus that Capitalism Fears

       A day of robberies in big chain stores to distribute to homeless people. Audio-visual material recorded in the streets of Santiago, $hile in times of quarantine and militarized curfew under the pretext of the Covid-19 virus.

      All sanitary measures were taken to avoid harming the street people in terms of hygiene and viruses, but the use of white overalls is a gesture of rebellion and action against the power here in the territory governed by the $hilean state. Many high school students resist and attack the police in their jails-schools while wearing these clothes that the police hate and fear. Here is a video for those who didn’t know and to give some context.
Long live the violent war against authority and power!
As long as misery exists there will be rebellion!
Prisoners of war to the streets!
Visit ann arky's home at https://radicalglasgow.me.uk

Monday, 30 March 2020

The Love Virus.

       The coronavirus is a problem that must be faced by all of us, and while the medical profession and scientists work feverishly to protect and take care of us, while diligently seeking that cure, the rest of us can see the coronavirus as a spotlight that allows us to focus on the structures we live under and why they have failed us so drastically. Obviously a profit motivated system will not have as its priority the well being of all our people, and so the very foundations of how we structure society must be brought under scrutiny. Any aspect of the system we create that in anyway produces inequality must be jettisoned, only those structures that nurture caring, co-operation and consideration for all must be built into our future structures. As human beings, sharing, caring and friendship create feelings of well-being, and must be the foundations of our future society. However this can only be brought about be the determined will  of the people and their direct action, to fall back and rely on those architects of the present obviously flawed and failed system, would be to create the same mistakes as before. 

    I have always maintained that we are all born anarchists, but we allow the present society to shape us to its needs. Let's start to look for that child anarchist in our hearts and make it our life. After all in reality anarchism is for lovers, and that should be the foundation of our society. The vaccine for the ills of this society is mutual aid, across the board. Let the Love-Virus run free.
    The following is an extract from an article in Void Network 
      -----We would feel safer if we knew that our country and other countries had not destroyed public health for years, if we knew that we had free electricity, water and telephone in our homes, if we did not have to pay 80% of our wages each month for rent and bills. We would feel safer if we knew we had adequate Intensive Care Units, if we knew we had a large number of doctors, teachers, nurses, cooks, artists, poets and happy grandparents whispering to our children fairytales. There are many questions about how a society ultimately manages every health, economic and social crisis – what we consider important and what is insignificant. How do we meet the medical and living needs of the population? How do we protect the weak, the poor, the elderly from the speculators, the opportunists, the exploiters? How do we heal this world from social injustice?
      Confronting the upheaving coronavirus epidemic cannot be a matter of restrictions, but of research for medication and for vaccines and of their free distribution for all; a matter of equipping the Health Care with the necessary medicines and protective equipment and the requisition of the private sector clinics, by strengthening the health system with human resources and new public hospitals. We need to produce and hand-out a completely free test for everyone – for, everyone has the right to know whether they are sick or not. Let’s be brave and think: Our living conditions are changing, today let us launch a new survival plan. Let society decide, not the rulers. Surely, from now on, anyone who talks about “private hospitals” will be considered a criminal. Surely, tenants must stop paying rent and bills until the crisis is over and demand a total rent reduction after the end of the pandemic. A huge rent strike is currently underway around the world. It is our duty to support it.
      Let us express our deep gratitude and admiration to all medical staff, medical students, people working in welfare, those who participate in self-organized solidarity structures, and all those who will save human lives by risking their own, every single person in the neighborhoods who will help to alleviate the pain of others. Void Network as an affinity group promise that we will strive to be among those who will help in every possible way.

That’s what we need – care and treatment.

Long Live Human Freedom, Equality, Mutual-help and Love.
       Each of us carries a story, of our own pain. Now we all have a common History. Let’s take these moments to get to know the world better. This whole adventure will be over, let us improve ourselves, let us create relationships and social structures for a more just and cooperative world – a world that stands against social injustice, inequality and the repression of liberties.
      It takes patience; we need to look at life in a new way. We are sure we will meet again. Let’s prepare our future plans solely on the basis of love and kindness.

We will hug each other again!

Read the full article HERE:
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Sunday, 29 March 2020


           One thing this insane society has been persistant on is spending vast amounts of money on armaments, massive aircraft carrier, updating trident nuclear submarines, then there is the trillion dollar F35 fighter jet, to name but a few, billions spent on sending our young people to foreign countries to “fight terrorism”. All this was sold to us as keeping us safe and now when a real emergency attacks our country, we find ourselves completely naked and vulnerable, and at the mercy of a pandemic. No doubt all our political ballerinas who supported the vast cuts to the NHS, benefits and social services, and voted for all that military spending, will in no way feel any guilt. One thing our politicians are really good at is practicing self-absolution, what is more, we let them get away with this self cleansing and allow them to merrily go on pontificating in the marble halls of power, and drawing their bounty with privileges.
         The ravages this country and others are now facing, can be placed firmly at the feet of those political ballerinas. They must have been aware that our health services were near breaking point, our decimated social services creating ever increasing numbers of vulnerable people. However, it mattered not, as their vested interests focused their attention on “growing the economy” that magical altar where their cronies and bedfellows worship at, as they make their billions, and to hell with society.
        Now surely is the time of reckoning, now is the moment when rebuilding is on the horizon, that we, the ordinary people cry out, “enough is enough” and start to dismantle this edifice to greed, corruption and plundering of the public purse by the privileged pampered few. There is another way.
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Now Or Never?

       It must now be obvious to even the most the apolitical and apathetic of our society, that the way our society is structured has failed miserably to protect the vast majority of our citizens. This economic system has allowed our pampered privileged parasite class, through corruption and greed, to plunder the public purse and exploit the majority, for nothing more than personal gain. They have squandered the tremendous ingenuity, productivity and industrious effort of the vast majority on nothing more than personal opulence and phony grandeur.
    We are now faced with a choice that has to be made quickly, do we continue to allow this to happen, or do we call a halt, and take control of our lives ourselves. The coronavirus has not brought about society's failings, it has merely shown them in great detail to the vast majority of our people.
      As always in times of disaster and upheaval, the public react with mutual aid and co-operation, despite the failings of the system. This time we have the opportunity to expand these groups and link up, spreading this human idea of mutual aid to all aspects of our society, shaping that society in a more fair and humane manner. Capitalism, the cause of inequality, injustice and wars, is in crisis, it is up to us to ensure it dies, and is replaced with a society that sees to the needs of all our people, one based on mutual aid, co-operation, sustainability and free from the profit motive. Let's see this pandemic as an opportunity to rid ourselves of the real disaster of capitalism and all that it entails, from corruption, inequality, unbridled greed and endless wars.  
The following call from Greece:
Anti-Covid19: Network for Mutual Aid and Struggle (Greece)
       In the unprecedented social conditions we are living in, the spread of coronavirus has taken critical dimensions for the national healthcare systems and the capitalist mode of production as well as social organisation in general. For the system to survive, state and bosses implement totalitarian politics and a further devaluation of our lives.
– Lack of health facilities for the big majority of the population
– Militarisation of our everyday life, with a ban on transportation enforced through economic, surveilled and penal repression
– Mass layoffs, intensification and dire conditions for those working in hospitals, super markets, fast food restaurants, telecommunications
– Creation of concentration camps for migrants and mass incarceration in prisons without any health provision
– No meaningful measure for the homeless, drug users, sex workers
– Increase of domestic and gender violence cases as well as psychological breakdowns due to the prolonged confinement of people in their homes
       All of the above make up a dystopia to which we deem necessary to respond to in a direct and collective way, self-organised and in solidarity with every subject that is experiencing the physical, psychical and mental consequences of totalitarianism; and at the same time to fight to break the unproductive and totalitarian management of the present crisis by the state. For these reasons we want to communicate and create a network for solidarity and struggle, with initial aims the following:
         Food and medicine collection and delivery; or meals from social kitchens
Psychosocial support. Converstation through phone and even face-to-face private meeting, adhering to the healthcare measures
       Reporting domestic and gender violence cases and direct interventions
Collect and publish information from concentration camps and prisons
The responsibility is not collective as the state is shamelessly trying to manipulate us through the horror-loving coverage of the virus by the media, but it is first and foremost the state’s responsibility. The pointed shifting of responsibilities from the state and its representatives to each individual for the acquittal of the systematic underfunding and understaffing of the healthcare system is unacceptable and vile. We are not to blame for the shortages of permanent medical staff, intensive care units, medical equipment but the particular governements that spent thousands of euros to save banks or for military equipment instead of staffing undervalued public hospitals.
       We put forward as a direct collective action a freeze in payments, debts, rent, electricity, water, internet, public transportation. According to us these basic services should be free anyway and let alone in a situation of financial destabilisation like this. All people of the exploited and non-privileged class have to spare their money for basic consumer goods like food and medicine, since the future is uncertain.
        Permanent socialization of all private healthcare facilities and health products units.
         Unemployment benefit to all laid-off workers and the unemployed.
All goods to be sold at cost price, super market bosses do not profit off our backs.
       Compliance with the demands of workers for pay, working time, even the cessation of employment for their self-protection.
       Closure of all capitalist structures (factories, shops etc.) that don’t cover basic needs.
       Compliance with the demands of prisoners and release of all high-risk individuals, prisoners with charges of less than 5 years, and all those who await trial. Setting up healthcare facilities for prisoners and provision of sanitary products.
        Closure of all concentration camps and papers to all migrants.
Transformation of airbnb and hotels to self-containment facilities for people with symptoms, high-risk groups, people affected by domestic and gender violence and people facing housing issues.
       Tsiodras shed crocodile tears for the people who are to get sick and invited us all to assume our responsibilities for the protection of public health. Recognising that public health includes also people in factories, prisons and concentration camps, we announce that if the state doesn’t care about public health in total, we have the collective responsibility to take actions to ensure this. We also inform that we will necessarily move on to organise and escalate similar actions in case the state continues the exploitation of the state of emergency to repress its political enemies, anarchists and fighters, and to pass laws that it wouldn’t be able to pass in times of mobilisation. The movement and the people of the social base are already organising mutual-aid and resistance structures for the current crisis and the upcoming impoverishment and no martial law can stop them. The survival of the repressed and the exploited in times of a general crises depends directly on their self-organisation, thus any attempt to repress must be answered in defiance of any restrictions.
Phoneline: 00306945276127
Email: synsquat@riseup.net
FB: https://www.facebook.com/AntiCovidAidNetwork/
Visit ann arky's home at https://radicalglasgow.me.uk

A Long Struggle.

      Proclaiming to be an anarchist in this system of economic madness is seen as being a threat, and a reason to have you silenced in one way or another, preferably locked up. The case of John Bowden is one glaring example. John Bowden has served 40 years in prison and had four parole requests rejected. The main reason for those rejections was not that he was a possible threat to the public, but that he held anarchist views and was in frequent contact with anarchist groups such as Anarchist Black Cross. Four parole requests rejected simply on the bases of his political views, not his threat to the public, says a lot about our loaded judicial system. In this so called "democracy" holding a political view that fights for equality and justice, and in doing so threatens not the public but those pampered privileged parasites that hold the levers of power, is seen as a crime and must be silenced. They have failed in the past, and they will always fail to silence the human cry for justice, freedom and equality.

A now defunct poster, sadly there are many others to take its place.
       On the 20th February, the Parole Board finally agreed to my release after forty years of my imprisonment and four previous parole hearings when my release was denied not because I represented a risk or danger to the public but because I was labelled an “anti-authoritarian” prisoner with links to anarchist and communist groups on the outside, specifically Anarchist Black Cross and the Revolutionary Communist Group.
      Following a parole knockback of my release last year, I instigated a Judicial Review of the decision. Which although it did not succeed fired a judicial shot across the bows of the Parole Board and Ministry of Justice. And persuade them that future decisions on my release or not would have to be based on proper legal criteria. Specifically, whether my continued imprisonment could be justified in the Interests of public protection and-not just because I was labelled a “difficult prisoner” by the – prison authorities.
      So, the parole panel considering my case in February of this year had to admit there was no real lawful justification for my continued imprisonment and so reluctantly agreed to my release. However, in its written decision, the Parole Board claimed that my “current risk factors” included “anti-authority views” and “attitudes supportive of the use of violence.” It also wrote: “During your sentence, you have evidenced that you have a mistrust of those in authority and professionals have previously reported that if you felt unfairly treated or discriminated against, coupled with any engagement with anti-social peers, then this could increase your risk of violence. Your attitude towards authority and your personality characteristics have also been considered by professionals to present a potential challenge in your future risk management.”
       Focusing specifically on my contact with prisoner support on the outside the parole decision report says:. ‘it is clear from official reports that you have passionate political views and during your sentence, you have engaged with groups that have been described as anarchist groups (specifically Anarchist Black Cross). You stated that these groups could be forthright and radical in their protests, but they were not terrorist groups and did not advocate violence.
You told the panel that you’ve had a lot of time on your hands in prison, and this has facilitated your contact with such groups and your general interest in criminal and social justice, equality, unfairness and inequality.” It then concludes with “The panel accepted that your passion for standing up for people whom you believe need support is unlikely to impact adversely on your risk to the outside community. However, the panel was mindful that when you were previously at large having escaped you were helped considerably by associates you had met through these groups and therefore it would need to be borne in mind that you might be provided with assistance if you disengage with supervision in the community”.
        However, in its final decision, the parole Board admitted that my actual risk or danger to the public was minimal and therefore there was no lawful reason why I should remain imprisoned, and on the 13th March the Ministry of Justice agreed to my release.
       Despite 40 years of imprisonment I finally emerge from prison unbroken and my political integrity uncompromised and unyielding, and I want to deeply thank all the comrades who have supported me during my long imprisonment and provided me with the strength to maintain my struggle, especially comrades in Anarchist Black Cross and the Revolutionary Communist Group. I salute you, comrades!
John Bowden
HMP Warrenhill
March 2020

Source: Brighton ABC… please visit
Additional note: John was released yesterday. Please check Brighton ABC
website for future statements… https://www.brightonabc.org.uk/
email brightonabc[at]riseup.net
Visit ann arky's home at https://radicalglasgow.me.uk 

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Food For Thought.

     We can look at this pandemic as something that is happening to us, or we can see it as something that is showing up the glaring inadequacies in the present structure of society, forcing us to think again about how we function as a society. It is obvious that the existing structure of the way we live is incapable of dealing with this sort of event, due in some great measure to the value given to profit rather than worth to humanity. Wealth accumulation for the individual is seen as success, rather than improving the quality of life for all, thus producing a society of inequality and insecurity. In the aftermath of this pandemic, is that what we want to rebuild? I recently heard a comment that made perfect sense to me, "If you live in a shanty town and a hurricane comes along and completely destroys your shanty town, when it has past and you realise that you will have to rebuild, do you rebuild another shanty town, or do you try to build something better?"
Some food for thought from Anarchist News:

 1. A pandemic isn’t a collection of viruses, but is a social relation among people, mediated by viruses.
Nothing is inevitable, inescapable, or immutable about the coronavirus pandemic unfolding everywhere around us, simply because the pandemic is social. The endless posts and announcements marshalling us to help “flatten the curve” are at least enough to make clear that the historical consequences and human costs of the pandemic entirely depend on the ways we collectively choose to live in relation to it. Because the pandemic doesn’t simply happen to us but is instead something we partake in, a first step forward in these times is to refuse to curtail our thinking to how each of our individual lives may be particularly impacted by the virus and to begin to contemplate the potential we collectively share to change the course of the pandemic as well as to shape the new society that emerges from it.
2. At the very least, the expanding suspension of social, economic, and political norms and laws provides each of us with a unique opportunity to question the pre-pandemic world we had all grown accustomed to living within.
What is the value of work? How might we allocate resources differently if we didn’t have to consider price? Is privatized healthcare defensible? Are prisons truly necessary? As we witness the cancellation of utility, mortgage, and rent payments, the public takeover of private healthcare systems, the cessation of arrests for low-level offenses, and the calls for the cancellation of all debt, what else might we call into question and, perhaps more importantly, imagine taking hold in their place? If those in power are so willing to upend social, economic, and political norms and laws in the interest of defending the world they upheld, then we must be equally willing to upend them and spread the imagination of something otherwise. In this short time, we can already see that the only truly certain thing in the pandemic is that nothing will ever be the same again.
3. As nation states prove unwilling and/or incapable of supporting life, our immediate and urgent priority must be to organize mutual aid, solidarity, and care using whatever means necessary.
It truly didn’t take long for the specters of pandemic darwinism and viral malthusianism to surface, finding support in politicians around the world who tell their citizens that they are on their own. If the state and the market economy prove to be unable to provide the diverse forms of care upon which all life depends, we must find ways of providing that care without concern for who owns what or whether it is legal. In this sense, the struggle to defend life in the pandemic will at times necessarily take shape as a direct struggle against the logic of capital, the violence of law, and the abstraction of price. We must learn about our own needs and the needs of those we are capable of caring for, find ways of producing, expropriating, and distributing goods that satisfy the needs of interconnected and interdependent communities, and be willing to simply take what is needed whenever it is denied to us.
Continue reading: 
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Friday, 27 March 2020

Whose Narrative?

      I stated when this pandemic started  that the state would use it to further its control over the population, and to preserve the power structures that ensure wealth and power stay where they are. It would use the situation to try and bolster  an economic system that was crumbling at the seams, and so it has panned out. One of the tools the state always falls back on is "we are all in this together" they will draw references to the "British Spirit" during the blitz, and try to shape you into one homogeneous entity wrapped in the flag of patriotism. What they fail to mention is that during the 2nd WW there were strikes, peace movements, conscientious objectors, and mutinies, among other differing views on the situation. We were not one flag waving nation of "all in this together" mob. 
     In a system where there are such glaring inequalities with some having gross opulence with a risk they might lose some of it, and the majority struggling just to have a half decent life, it is impossible to claim that "we are all in this together". We are not, the two groups, the pampered privileged and the ordinary people have opposing values and opinions on what to protect and how to do it. Why we should allow the pampered privileged group to dictate what we all should preserve and what must be sacrificed, seems bordering on insanity. We the vast majority, must be in control of these decisions, working for the greater good of that majority. Protection of the vulnerable, yes, but protection for the privileged, most certainly no.
The following is an extract from North-Shore Info:
Ask a Different Question: 
Reclaiming autonomy of action during the virus

        A big part of the state’s narrative is unity — the idea that we need to come together as a society around a singular good that is for everyone. People like feeling like they’re part of a big group effort and like having the sense of contributing through their own small actions — the same kinds of phenomenons that make rebellious social movements possible also enable these moments of mass obedience. We can begin rejecting it by reminding ourselves that the interests of the rich and powerful are fundamentally at odds with our own. Even in a situation where they could get sicken or die too (unlike the opioid crisis or the AIDS epidemic before it), their response to the crisis is unlikely to meet our needs and may even intensify exploitation.
      The presumed subject of most of the measures like self-isolation and social distancing is middle-class — they imagine a person whose job can easily be worked from home or who has access to paid vacation or sick days (or, in the worst case, savings), a person with a spacious home, a personal vehicle, without very many close, intimate relationships, with money to spend on childcare and leisure activities. Everyone is asked to accept a level of discomfort, but that increases the further away our lives are from looking like that unstated ideal and compounds the unequal risk of the worst consequences of the virus. One response to this inequality has been to call on the state to do forms of redistribution, by expanding employment insurance benefits, or by providing loans or payment deferrals. Many of these measure boil down to producing new forms of debt for people who are in need, which recalls the outcome of the 2008 financial crash, where everyone shared in absorbing the losses of the rich while the poor were left out to dry.
       I have no interest in becoming an advocate for what the state should do and I certainly don’t think this is a tipping point for the adoption of more socialistic measures. The central issue to me is whether or not we want the state to have the abiltiy to shut everything down, regardless of what we think of the justifications it invokes for doing so.
       The #shutdowncanada blockades were considered unacceptable, though they were barely a fraction as disruptive as the measures the state pulled out just a week later, making clear that it’s not the level of disruption that was unacceptable, but rather who is a legitimate actor. Similarly, the government of Ontario repeated constantly the unacceptable burden striking teachers were placing on families with their handful of days of action, just before closing schools for three weeks — again, the problem is that they were workers and not a government or boss. The closure of borders to people but not goods intensifies the nationalist project already underway across the world, and the economic nature of these seemingly moral measures will become more plain once the virus peaks and the calls shift towards ‘go shopping, for the economy’.
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Economy V People.

      Different countries respond to the coronavirus pandemic in different ways, it appears that the more capitalist developed a country is the more helping the economy is seen as a must, with the health of the people trailing behind. The more socialist orientated, then the more the health of the people is first and the economy trailing behind. Add to this the situation in the capitalist world of vested interests in the economy and crass stupidity of those in power, shaping the decisions made by our lords and masters and you can understand why some countries are facing a greater disaster than others.
     The following is an interesting article by Leonardo Flores from CODEPINK:

       Within a few hours of being launched, over 800 Venezuelans in the U.S. registered for an emergency flight from Miami to Caracas through a website run by the Venezuelan government. This flight, offered at no cost, was proposed by President Nicolás Maduro when he learned that 200 Venezuelans were stuck in the United States following his government’s decision to stop commercial flights as a preventative coronavirus measure. The promise of one flight expanded to two or more flights, as it became clear that many Venezuelans in the U.S. wanted to go back to Venezuela, yet the situation remains unresolved due to the U.S. ban on flights to and from the country.
       Those who rely solely on the mainstream media might wonder who in their right mind would want to leave the United States for Venezuela. Time, The Washington Post, The Hill and the Miami Herald, among others, published opinions in the past week describing Venezuela as a chaotic nightmare. These media outlets painted a picture of a coronavirus disaster, of government incompetence and of a nation teetering on the brink of collapse. The reality of Venezuela’s coronavirus response is not covered by the mainstream media at all.
      Furthermore, what each of these articles shortchanges is the damage caused by the Trump administration’s sanctions, which devastated the economy and healthcare system long before the coronavirus pandemic. These sanctions have impoverished millions of Venezuelans and negatively impact vital infrastructure, such as electricity generation. Venezuela is impeded from importing spare parts for its power plants and the resulting blackouts interrupt water services that rely on electric pumps. These, along with dozens of other implications from the hybrid war on Venezuela, have caused a decline in health indicators across the board, leading to 100,000 deaths as a consequence of the sanctions.
     Regarding coronavirus specifically, the sanctions raise the costs of testing kits and medical supplies, and ban Venezuela’s government from purchasing medical equipment from the U.S. (and from many European countries). These obstacles would seemingly place Venezuela on the path to a worst-case scenario, similar to Iran (also battered by sanctions) or Italy (battered by austerity and neoliberalism). In contrast to those two countries, Venezuela took decisive steps early on to face the pandemic.
      As a result of these steps and other factors, Venezuela is currently in its best-case scenario. As of this writing, 11 days after the first confirmed case of coronavirus, the country has 86 infected people, with 0 deaths. Its neighbors have not fared as well: Brazil has 1,924 cases with 34 deaths; Ecuador 981 and 18; Chile 746 and 2; Peru 395 and 5; Mexico 367 and 4; Colombia 306 and 3. (With the exception of Mexico, those governments have all actively participated and contributed to the U.S.-led regime change efforts in Venezuela.) Why is Venezuela doing so much better than others in the region?
      Skeptics will claim that the Maduro government is hiding figures and deaths, that there’s not enough testing, not enough medicine, not enough talent to adequately deal with a pandemic. But here are the facts:
      First, international solidarity has played a priceless role in enabling the government to rise to the challenge. China sent coronavirus diagnostic kits that will allow 320,000 Venezuelans to be tested, in addition to a team of experts and tons of supplies. Cuba sent 130 doctors and 10,000 doses of interferon alfa-2b, a drug with an established record of helping COVID-19 patients recover. Russia has sent the first of several shipments of medical equipment and kits. These three countries, routinely characterized by the U.S. foreign policy establishment as evil, offer solidarity and material support. The United States offers more sanctions and the IMF, widely known to be under U.S. control, denied a Venezuelan request for $5 billion in emergency funding that even the European Union supports.
       Second, the government quickly carried out a plan to contain the spread of the disease. On March 12, a day before the first confirmed cases, President Maduro decreed a health emergency, prohibited crowds from gathering, and cancelled flights from Europe and Colombia. On March 13, Day 1, two Venezuelans tested positive; the government cancelled classes, began requiring facemasks on subways and on the border, closed theaters, bars and nightclubs, and limited restaurants to take-out or delivery. It bears repeating that this was on Day 1 of having a confirmed case; many U.S. states have yet to take these steps. By Day 4, a national quarantine was put into effect (equivalent to shelter-in-place orders) and an online portal called the Homeland System (Sistema Patria) was repurposed to survey potential COVID-19 cases. By Day 8, 42 people were infected and approximately 90% of the population was heeding the quarantine. By Day 11, over 12.2 million people had filled out the survey, over 20,000 people who reported being sick were visited in their homes by medical professionals and 145 people were referred for coronavirus testing. The government estimates that without these measures, Venezuela would have 3,000 infected people and a high number of deaths.
         Third, the Venezuelan people were positioned to handle a crisis. Over the past 7 years, Venezuela has lived through the death of wildly popular leader, violent right-wing protests, an economic war characterized by shortages and hyperinflation, sanctions that have destroyed the economy, an ongoing coup, attempted military insurrections, attacks on public utilities, blackouts, mass migration and threats of U.S. military action. The coronavirus is a different sort of challenge, but previous crises have instilled a resiliency among the Venezuelan people and strengthened solidarity within communities. There is no panic on the streets; instead, people are calm and following health protocols.
      Fourth, mass organizing and prioritizing people above all else. Communes and organized communities have taken the lead, producing facemasks, keeping the CLAP food supply system running (this monthly food package reaches 7 million families), facilitating house-by-house visits of doctors and encouraging the use of facemasks in public. Over 12,000 medical school students in their last or second-to-last year of study applied to be trained for house visits. For its part, the Maduro administration suspended rent payments, instituted a nationwide firing freeze, gave bonuses to workers, prohibited telecoms from cutting off people’s phones or internet, reached an agreement with hotel chains to provide 4,000 beds in case the crisis escalates, and pledged to pay the salaries of employees of small and medium businesses. Amid a public health crisis - compounded by an economic crisis and sanctions - Venezuela’s response has been to guarantee food, provide free healthcare and widespread testing, and alleviate further economic pressure on the working class.
      The U.S. government has not responded to the Maduro administration’s request to make an exception for Conviasa Airlines, the national airline under sanctions, to fly the Venezuelans stranded in the United States back to Caracas. Given everything happening in the United States, where COVID-19 treatment can cost nearly $35,000 and the government is weighing the option of prioritizing the economy over the lives of people, perhaps these Venezuelans waiting to go home understand that their chances of surviving the coronavirus – both physically and economically – are much better in a country that values health over profits.
Visit ann arky's home at https://radicalglasgow.me.uk

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Criminal Neglect.

      As this pandemic spreads it tentacles across the globe, we should always think of the most vulnerable and do our utmost to protect them. Yet one section of the most vulnerable are being ignored, the prison population. It's not as if they were an extremely tiny section of our community, there are approximately 9 million individuals locked up in prison across the world. Half of that mass of individuals are held in three countries, with the "good ol' US of A" leading the pack. The prison rate in USA per head of population is 724 per 100,000, in Russia it is 581 per 100,000, in China, that leader of the evil empire it is 118 per 100,000. England and Wales, on their own sit about the midway mark of the world's incarceraters with 118 per 100,000. US is also among one of the highest of women prisoners per head of population at 8.7%.
      Strange that the so called leader of the free world and defender of freedom should be the country that locks up more of its own population in prison cells than any other country on the planet.
      Another very disturbing figure on prison populations, especially during this Coronavirus pandemic, is the fact the practically all the world's prison are over crowded, with Kenya being the worst offender with it prison population being 284.3% of its occupancy. Even that most capitalist developed country in the world is guilty of this sardine policy with its prison population being 107.6% of its occupancy. Prisons are not on the whole, places of the best conditions nor descent medical care and hygiene, add over crowding to this toxic mix, and you have the perfect conditions for spreading this pandemic. To ignore these facts is extreme criminal cruelty and gross criminal neglect.
      A world with approximately 9 million individuals lock up in over crowded prison cells is not a free and democratic world, let's grasp this fact and do our utmost to bring down the prison system and the authoritarian regimes that foster these conditions.

Country Prison population Population per 100,000 Jail occupancy level % Un-sentenced prisoners % Women prisoners %
US  2,193,798 737 107.6 21.2 8.9
CHINA  1,548,498    118 N/A N/A 4.6
RUSSIA  874,161 615 79.5 16.9 6.8
BRAZIL  371,482 193 150.9 33.1 5.4
INDIA  332,112 30 139 70.1 3.7
MEXICO  214,450 196 133.9 43.2 5
UKRAINE  162,602 350 101.3 19.5 6.1
SOUTH AFRICA  158,501 334 138.6 27.5 2.1
POLAND  89,546 235 124.4 16.8 3
ENG/WALES  80,002 148 112.7 16.4 5.5
JAPAN  79,052 62 105.9 14.7 5.9
KENYA  47,036 130 284.3 45.6 42
TURKEY  65,458 91 77.4 47.7 3.3
NIGERIA  40,444 30 101.5 64.3 1.9
AUSTRALIA  25,790 125 105.9 21.6 7.1
SCOTLAND  6,872 134 107.5 21 4.4
N IRELAND  1,375 79 91.5 37.4 2.2

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Why I'm An Anarchist.

       I lifted this straight from Dog Section Press, away back in June 2019, but considering the way things are going right now, I thought it worth repeating.
       There is nothing I could say about the article, except just read it, and start to think for yourself.

     Why I'm An Anarchist by Benjamin Zephaniah

         I got political after I suffered my first racist attack at the age of seven. I didn’t understand any political theory, I just knew that I had been wronged, and I knew there was another way. A few years later, when I was fifteen a marked police car pulled up to me as I walked in Birmingham in the early hours of the morning, three cops got out of the car, they pushed me into a shop doorway, then they beat me up. They got back into their car, and drove off as if nothing had happened. I had read nothing about policing policy, or anything on so-called law and order, I just knew I had been wronged. When I got my first job as a painter, I had read nothing on the theory of working class struggles or how the rich exploited the poor, but when my boss turned up every other day in a different supercar, and we were risking our lives up ladders and breathing in toxic fumes, I just knew I had been wronged.
        I grew up (like most people around me) believing Anarchism meant everyone just going crazy, and the end of everything. I am very dyslexic so I often have to use a spellchecker or a dictionary to make sure I’ve written words correctly. I was hearing words like Socialism and Communism all the time, but even the Socialists and Communists that I came across tended to dismiss Anarchists as either a fringe group, who they always blamed if there was trouble on demonstrations, or dreamers. Even now, I just checked a spellchecker and it describes Anarchism as chaos, lawlessness, mayhem, and disorder. I like the disorder thing, but for the ‘average’ person, disorder does mean chaos, lawlessness, and mayhem. The very things they’re told to fear the most.
        The greatest thing I’ve ever done for myself is to learn how to think for myself. I began to do that at an early age, but it’s really difficult to do that when there are things around you all the time telling you how to think. Capitalism is seductive. It limits your imagination, and then tells you that you should feel free because you have choices, but your choices are limited to the products they put before you, or the limits of your now limited imagination. I remember visiting São Paulo many years ago when it introduced its Clean City Law. The mayor didn’t suddenly become an Anarchist, but he did realise that the continuous and ubiquitous marketing people were subjected to was not just ugly, but distracting people from themselves. So more than 15,000 marketing billboards were taken down. Buses, taxis, neon and paper poster advertisements were all banned. At first it looked a little odd, but instead of either looking at, or trying not to look at advertising broads, I walked, and as I walked I looked around me. I found that I only purchased what I really needed, not what I was told I needed, and what was most noticeable was that I met and talked to new people every day. These conversations tended to be relevant, political, and meaningful. Capitalism keeps us in competition with each other, and the people who run Capitalism don’t really want us to talk to each other, not in a meaningful way.
       I’m not going to go on about Capitalism, Socialism, or Communism, but it is clear that one thing they all have in common is their need for power. Then to back up their drive for power they all have theories, theories about taking power and what they want to do with power, but therein lies the problem. Theories and power. I became an Anarchist when I decided to drop the theories and stop seeking power. When I stopped concerning myself with those things I realised that true Anarchy is my nature. It is our nature. It is what we were doing before the theories arrived, it is what we were doing before we were encouraged to be in competition with each other. There have been some great things written about Anarchism, and I guess that’s Anarchist theory, but when I try to get my friends to read these things (I’m talking about big books with big words), they get headaches and turn away. So, then I turn off the advertising (the TV etc.) and sit with them, and remind them of what they can do for themselves. I give them examples of people who live without governments, people who organise themselves, people who have taken back their own spiritual identity – and then it all makes sense.
            If we keep talking about theories then we can only talk to people who are aware of those theories, or have theories of their own, and if we keep talking in the round about theories we exclude a lot of people. The very people we need to reach, the very people who need to rid themselves of the shackles of modern, Capitalistic slavery. The story of Carne Ross is inspiring, not because he wrote something, but because he lived it. I love the work of Noam Chomsky and I love the way that Stuart Christie’s granny made him an Anarchist, but I’m here because I understand that the racist police who beat me have the state behind them, and the state itself is racist. I’m here because I now understand that the boss-man who exploited me to make himself rich didn’t care about me. I’m here because I know how the Marrons in Jamaica freed themselves and took to the hills and proved to all enslaved people that they (the Marrons), could manage themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I love books (I’m a writer, by the way), and I know we need people who think deeply – we should all think deeply. But my biggest inspirations come from everyday people who stop seeking power for themselves, or seeking the powerful to rescue them, and they do life for themselves. I have met people who live Anarchism in India, Kenya, Jamaica, Ethiopia, and in Papua New Guinea, but when I tell them they are Anarchists most will tell me they have not heard of such a word, and what they are doing is natural and uncomplicated. I’m an Anarchist because I’ve been wronged, and I’ve seen everything else fail.
           I spent the late seventies and the eighties living in London with many exiled ANC activists – after a long struggle Nelson Mandela was freed and the exiles returned home. I remember looking at a photo of the first democratically elected government in South Africa and realising that I knew two thirds of them. I also remember seeing a photo of the newly elected Blair (New Labour) government and realising that I knew a quarter of them, and on both occasions I remember how I was filled with hope. But in both cases it didn’t take long to see how power corrupted so many members of those governments. These were people I would call and say, “Hey, what are you doing?”, and the reply was always something along the lines of, “Benjamin, you don’t understand how having power works”. Well I do. Fuck power, and lets just take care of each other.
           Most people know that politics is failing. That’s not a theory or my point of view. They can see it, they can feel it. The problem is they just can’t imagine an alternative. They lack confidence. I simply blanked out all the advertising, I turned off the ‘tell-lie-vision’, and I started to think for myself. Then I really started to meet people – and, trust me, there is nothing as great as meeting people who are getting on with their lives, running farms, schools, shops, and even economies, in communities where no one has power.

That’s why I’m an Anarchist.
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Wednesday, 25 March 2020



       I can't say anything here, I'll let the doctor do the talking.

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Profit From Illness.

       Capitalism is stateless, capitalism doesn't recognise borders, capitalism has no morality, capitalism is raw selfish greed, nothing more nothing less. Capitalism is also extremely inefficient, as the present pandemic is now proving, capitalism can't cope with large emergencies, its solutions always leave out large swaths of the public, who suffer because of this inefficiency and on many occasions die. Why do we tolerate this greed driven system to rule our lives? There are alternatives, just think about it.
Some truths from Not Buying Anything: 
      When corporate bigwigs raise the prices of things for no reason other than greed, they are doing their jobs. That is the system we live in, and no one says much about it since it increases the GDP, and makes billionaires like clouds make raindrops.
      A common business adage is that a good capitalist will charge as much for a product as the consumer will bear.
    However, when one of the little people feels like being enterprising and taking advantage of the "freedom of the marketplace" and "supply and demand economics", all hell breaks loose.
      $400.00 dollar hand sanitizer is likely to get a small business person scathing judgements and death threats, even though customers may still be buying at that price.
       Price gouging is considered unethical, and for good reasons. But only when the little people do it.
     Drug companies are only one area notorious for unethical practices. Reading the following list it is obvious that price gouging is taking place, and people are paying with their lives.
      The cost of Bavencio, a new cancer drug approved in March, is about $156,000 a year per patient.

       A new muscular dystrophy drug came on the market late last year for an eye-popping price of $300,000 annually.

      In 2016, the FDA appproved Tecentriq, a new bladder cancer treatment that costs $12,500 a month, or $150,000 a year.

     Even older drugs that have long been on the market are not immune: The cost of insulin tripled between 2002 and 2013, despite no notable changes in the formulation or manufacturing process.

    The four-decade-old EpiPen, a lifesaving allergy medication, has seen a price hike of 500 percent since 2007. - AARP Bulletin
       If Handwash Guy can't get away with earning a few thousand reselling his product, how does Big Drug get away with it?
      “The simple answer is because there’s nothing stopping them,” said Leigh Purvis, a health services researcher.
      So what other price gouging is taking place, since in the land of extreme capitalism there is nothing, legislation or morals, to stop them?
       Gas? Housing? Food? Internet access? Health care?
     And isn't capitalism itself about to price gouge all of us to the tune of several trillion dollars over the next few days?
    It is obvious who the real price gougers are.

Get ready to be gouged again.
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