It’s Alternative Working Class Question Time at Dorset Radical Bookfair!

Anarchy in the Sticks!

Alternative Working Class ‘Question time’! Chaired by Charles, branch sec, Dorset IWW.

On the panel, Lisa Mckenzie and Martin Lux from London Class War, Cassie from Bristol, John from Moral Decay Distro, Paul from Dorset IWW, others to be confirmed.

Submit your questions on the day in box provided – add a handle to call it out yourself, or anonymously to be read by the chair.

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Message from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch.

Dear All

You may remember back in early June a few of us traveled to Brighton to welcome the Ship Hurriya, Arabic for Freedom, which was part of the Freedom Flotilla which is now imminently due to arrive in Gaza. Two boats The Hurriya and the Awda, Arabic for return, are right now approximately 50 miles off the Gaza coast. When they arrive they are going to face fierce resistance from the Israeli Navy as they try to break the blockade.

Please take action in order to support them. Please send an email to: fcocorrespondence@fco.gov.uk  or to the UK embassy in Tel Aviv webmaster.telaviv@fco.gov.uk. Ask the Foreign Secretary, Mr Hunt, and the UK ambassador to Israel to demand that the Government of Israel allows these ships safe passage and permission to dock safely and deliver their supplies. Please also ask that the siege of Gaza comes to an end .

Please also write to your MP and ask him/her to raise this matter with Mr Hunt and to ask him and the prime minister to raise the matter with the Israeli Government in the strongest possible terms asking them to bring an end to the siege of Gaza

We will keep you posted about what happens to the Flotilla, they are likely to be arrested and their boats impounded. Follow them on: jfp.freedomflotilla.org/

There is a further important matter of news. PSC really need your support as they urgently need to raise £100,000. They have already raised £29,000 of this target but the need is great so please help.
Last year PSC won an important court action in the High Court, defending the right for local councils to ethically disinvest their pension schemes from companies complicit in Israel’s crimes against Palestine.

The government appealed against this decision, and – unless PSC are able to raise the money to take this case to the Supreme Court, is set to re-introduce regulation that will prevent local councils from implementing their own judgement and moral autonomy.

Please make a donation to support this appeal. Please give what you can. Here are the bank details:

Unity Trust Bank
Name: Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Acct number: 20333702
Sort code: 086001

I am very pleased to report that £1409 was raised this year by our sponsored walk. Thank you to everyone who took part. This money will be split between Medical Aid for Palestinians and the National PSC Appeal

Please send an email to pscsoton@gmail.com if you want details of Southampton PSC Branch meetings we would love to see you.

Thank you for your support
Regards
Cathryn Spiller

Branch Secretary Southampton PSC.

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New IWOC Newsletter: The Imprisoned Worker #1

Industrial Workers of the World Dorset

We are happy to announce the first issue of The Imprisoned Worker. This zine has been put together by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Incarcerated Workers’ Organising Committee (IWOC) in Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England. It aims to provide a platform for prisoners, ex-prisoners and fellow workers to educate and organise one another in order to agitate against the prison-industrial-complex.

You can download the Imprisoned Worker in colour here (2mb): Imprisoned Worker #1 Colour

Or download the version for printing (2mb): Imprisoned Worker #1 for Printing

If you would like to order printed copies to distribute, please email iwoc@iww.org.uk

If you have a friend in prison that would like a copy, please email us their address and we would love to post one in.

Entries are welcome for the second edition. Email them to iwoc@iww.org.uk or post them to IWW, PO Box 5251, Yeovil, BA20 9FS

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No Pride in the Arms Trade

Bristol Anarchist Federation

The following is a repost of an open letter we have signed, the original is hosted here.

If you would like to add your name to this open letter – please fill in this google form.

We, the undersigned, strongly condemn Bristol Pride’s acceptance of sponsorship money from Airbus for this year’s Pride, and demand that they ditch Airbus as a sponsor.

We want an apology from Bristol Pride, a commitment to never again accept money from those who profit from war crimes, and for them to understand that our community does not exist to be used to pink-wash the arming of oppressive regimes.

Police, dispersing Pride Parade in Istanbul

Solidarity is an action not empty words. For Bristol Pride to claim “we are with” LGBTQ+ activists in Istanbul, who bravely marched despite the ban on Pride, while accepting blood money from a company who supply Turkey’s military…

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The mass protests in Baghdad and Southern Iraq continue

By Zaher Baher: Iraq-Sulaymaniyah 24/07/2018

The protests in Baghdad and Southern Iraq still continue and have entered the 3rd week now. So far the protesters have been able to protect their own  independency and none of the political parties or the regional governments  have been able to tame or control them.

While some of the media outlets, particularly Al Jazeera tries to discredit the protesters and describe them as foreign-backed  groups and agents of the United States of America (USA). However, the Iraqi government, to certain extent, acknowledged the legitimacy of the protesters’ demands.  The Iraqi Prime Minister, Hadier al-Abadi agreed to spend $3 million to meet some of the demands of the people.

In fact , there is no doubt that USA, Iran, and the other neighbouring states try to domesticate the protesters, as they  want to intervene in Iraq, to control it to remain in a weak position for their own interest. However, they know that the collapse of the Iraqi government under the pressure of mass protests, demonstrations or uprising is not in their interest.  The “Arab Spring” has given them a good lesson .

It is absolutely certain that the  demands of the people are legitimate. The people have been suffering for so long and now have no choice but to force the government, through their uprisings, to meet some of their demands.

The protests, which started on 08/ 07/2018 triggered when the Iranian authority switched off the electric power from Basra when the
temperature was around 50 degrees. The protests are getting  bigger and bigger and have extended to Baghdad and various other towns and cities in southern Iraq.  See the link : http://anarkismo.net/article/31071

On Sunday the 22nd for the third time, thousands of protesters gathered in Al Tahrir Square in Baghdad and confronted by the heavily armed Iraqi police and security forces. According to the Human Rights Commission report until last Friday, the 20th of July, 14 protesters have been killed,  729 injured and another 757 have been detained .

Furthermore, on the same Sunday the protesters managed to occupy an oilfield  in Nasiryah . According to Almada Daily Political Newspaper, the protesters detained 75 of the workers and other staff members of the oilfield.   The demands of the protesters were including clean water, increasing wages, and employing 270 more workers. Although, the authority claim that no one has been detained by the protesters, however, it confirmed that the oilfield has been occupied and negotiation between the authority and the protesters was going on.

In fact we do not know whether the protesters will be able to achieve all their demands or not , but we know for sure that they discredited the politicians, the political parties and the government. In my opinion the struggle of the people has progressed and left the sectarian war behind. They have begun  to realise the fact that whoever rules them is, more or less, the same. Perhaps the only difference between the  rulers is the different ways of exploitation, dictating and robbing the people.

My review of “Guilty Until Proven Innocent” by Jon Robins

lipstick socialist

guilty until proven

In the introduction to this critical and crucial analysis of the criminal justice (or rather injustice) system Michael Mansfield QC (who represented people in  many of the cases mentioned)  reminds  the reader that after the 1980s landmark miscarriage of justice cases such as the Birmingham Six, which revealed gross non-disclosure by the judiciary,  safeguards were brought in which were supposed to stop a repeat of these cases. But this book shows that the system is now in crisis and that  little has changed since the bad old days of the 1980s.

In chapter after chapter Robins reveals how the system is in a state of permanent decline and the effect that this has had on people caught up in it. The budget for the Ministry of Justice has been cut by 40% since 2010,  affecting  every part of the system from prisons to legal aid.  The Criminal Cases Review Commission, …

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Mass Protest in Central and Southern Iraq

Zaher Baher: Iraq- Sulaymaniyah 16/07/2018

It looks like the US and Western Countries’ propaganda, and the illusions of religion and nationalism, are no longer working for the people in central and southern Iraq. It might be that the time has arrived to end the sectarianism between Shia and Sunna.  It’s fifteen years since the collapse of Saddam Hussain and there has been thirteen years (2005) of Shia government. The failure of the election process and parliamentary system should have given both Iraqi Shia and Sunna the lesson that the real changes cannot happen through this process and establishment. This was probably also the main reason only 38% of the electorate participated in Iraq general election in May this year.

During this period the real winners were the politicians, businessmen, government ministers, heads of government departments and the foreign companies. The loser are the ordinary people who has lost everything – even the little they had under Saddam Hussein’s regime. In addition, people has been suffering badly at the hands of corruption, privatisation, injustice, unemployment, a sectarian war, the widening a gap between rich and poor and lack of gas, electric and clean water.

People in central and southern Iraq obviously don’t want to continue living this kind of life. For almost a week the people of Basra (a city rich from oil and gas and controlled by the central government and foreign oil corporations) have been fighting the authorities. The oil companies employ thirty thousand people – none of them from Basra.

Basra is the 3rd most important city in Iraq after Baghdad and Mosul where over five million people live. They have suffered terribly at the hands of the local authority and foreign companies. They have no decent health treatment or education.  According to one Iraqi report 48% of Basra’s residents have been diagnosed with a type of cancer whose cause has been linked to depleted uranium.  Because of all this, the people of Iraq, especially those in the south and central area had no choice but to fight back against both local and central government.

Protesters in Basra have occupied many government’s buildings and offices and are involved in street fighting with the police and security forces.  People have also set fire to offices and the headquarters of political parties in the city.

Since Friday 13th July protest have spread to many other towns and cities including Nasiryah, Maysan, Qadisiyyah, Karbal, Thi Qar , Babil and Najaf. In Najaf, the most Holy Shia City in Iraq, protesters managed to occupy and take control of the airport. In Basra they are trying to take control of the oil fields and refineries to stop oil being exported. On Saturday afternoon further protests started in four neighbourhoods of Baghdad very close to the Green Zone (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Zone) – a hugely sensitive place in Baghdad.  It seems that the central government has now imposed a night curfew in certain areas of Baghdad.  Other reports talk about the cutting off of the main road by the government  between Baghdad and Kirkuk.

The situation is so tense that Haider al-Abadi, the Prime Minster of Iraq, shortened his visit to Brussels so he could return to Basra on Saturday to have a meeting with the authorities, politicians, and the heads of police and security in Basra.  Protesters tried to occupy the meeting hall but they were crushed by the police and the security.

We do not know the exact numbers of people killed or injured as there are many different reports. Some reports confirm over twenty protesters killed, more than 240 injured and over 1000 protesters arrested. In the mean-time central government doesn’t want the news of protesters and their activities reaching other cities. From Saturday morning until Monday morning Facebook was down and form Saturday 6pm until after 11am on Sunday there was no internet.

We do not know what the outcome will be, but so far political parties haven’t managed to restrain or control the protests. And, at present there are no religion demand, slogans, anthems or shouting “God is Great” from the protestors.

However, if people do not organise themselves in non-hierarchical independent groups in every work places, streets and neighbourhoods to coordinate their actions it is difficult to be optimistic about the situation. There is also the possibility that protesters face the dirty policy of the government  and the bloody tactics in killing of the state that push protesters to defend themselves with weapons. This could change their mass struggle through peaceful demonstrations and protests to a civil war. Recent history of the “Arab Spring” shows that civil wars only really benefit those in authority, the rich, the corporations and the system in general.