Solidarity with Anarchist Prisoners Mônica & Francisco in Brazil

Words of Mónica Caballero from the San Miguel Prison, Santiago. Chile

Compañerxs, friends, and family:

I’m writing to you again from a cell. I am being held in the San Miguel prison, for 14 days I will remain isolated under the protocol for prevention of contagion from COVID-19, later I will be classified and taken to a definitive module.

It’s been almost 10 years since I first set foot in the prison as a defendant. During these years my life has always been linked in one way or another to prisons, although the control systems may change, but their structure essentially does not, punishment and repentance are still sought.

Almost 10 years ago when I entered prison, I was fully convinced that a set of anti-authoritarian ideas and practices were fundamental keys to face domination, in all this time there has not been a single day in which I have thought otherwise. I stand in this prison with my head held high, proud of the road I have traveled.

Solidarity with all anti-capitalist struggles Newen Peñis, Mapuche Political Prisoners Subversive prisoners and prisoners of the revolt To the street!

Mónica Andrea Caballero Sepúlveda Anarchist prisoner.

July 2o2o.


Porto Alegre. Burning barricade and banners at dawn in solidarity with Mônica and Francisco. In front of the enemy: Indomitable!!!

Since last Friday, July 24th, we have felt the imprisonment of two anarchists Mônica Caballero and Francisco Solar, known enemies of the State and of domination. They spent years arrested first in Chile for the Bombs Case, and then in Spain, more than 4 years kidnapped, accused of attacking a basilica, a Catholic church. And today, they are kidnapped again by the Chilean state accused of sending two explosive packages, one against a police station famous for leading repression and the other against former Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter, an old repressor and boss of sending the bullets from his office, what some would call the intellectual author of the crimes of the Chilean state. They are also accused of being responsible for two explosive devices left in the building of a luxury real estate company, Tánica.

Far from the punitive logic, this is not a call for the innocence of these compas, they are neither innocent nor guilty. They are part of those on the other side of the machine of domination and of the society that sustains it, they are part of those who have demonstrated that they do not negotiate with repression when it knocks on their doors, of those who shout death to the state and long live anarchy in the very face of the judges. The power of democracy and its networks of domination over the actions of the compas and over the supposedly “criminal” character of the actions for which they are accused is not recognized. This call is for the propagation of hostility as an action of solidarity with all those who fight and through action, for the solidarity that propagates the action that offends the imposed normality, because these acts of solidarity also expand anarchic sedition against domination.

It is nothing new that the state kills and tortures not only using death policies, but above all the armed wing of the forces of law and order, that is, all its police forces which are always despicable.

The role of the church in this miserable life is fundamental, the church is the spiritual producer of blameless and resigned dominators. The Church, whichever one it may be, is one of the greatest accomplices in the maintenance of the unhealthy order of democracy and the exploitation of labor, causing in people the disease of inferiority and the surrender of life and decisions in the hands of a non-existent fetish. But not many seem to worry about the millions of people who lost their freedom to act and think, dominated by some pastor or priest.

On this side of the ridge, the scenery is not much different. We know even more about the murderous and mutilating police, the life condemned to misery, and the role of the many churches in the multiplication of the resigned and blameless dominated.

Some of us have chosen to keep our anger against all this burning, aware that passivity only strengthens those who dominate, aware that for the dominator to triumph, the complicity of all is fundamental. In times when much is said against fascism and phrases such as “with fascism you don’t argue, you fight” are repeated, we choose to speak with actions, and this is worth more that hundreds of words enclosed in the normality of social networks, the new corral of freedom of expression.

That’s why we chose the day when the tyrant who imposes on us was walking in the region so as to not to collaborate with the image of submissive cattle that they want to present to him.

Expect this domination to end in the exhaustion of tyrants? Expect a new leader to change something? We must take our lives in our hands and for that it is essential to bite our tormentor. In the end every violent action is valid and justified by centuries of domination.

Every small act, as simple as putting some tires together, lighting them up with a little gasoline, changing the normality of any day, provoking others who don’t agree, and collaborating with combative solidarity.

May these flames warm up and bring courage to the anarchists who in Italy, Russia, Spain, France, Belarus, Chile… face the cold repressive winds.

May the fires from the barricades warm the cold of dawn.

On one of the banners could be read: “In front of the enemy: Indomitable! Strength to Mônica and Francisco” and on the other: “Against all authority! Long live anarchy!”

From: Anarchists Worldwide

The Durruti Column 1936

Message from Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch

Dear All
One of our long standing Members/Group Officers, Jon Ellis, whom many of you will know, is entering the Big Ride for Palestine this year.Below is a message from him.
To sponsor Jon: Please make a payment to Acc:08269513 Sort:08/90/26

For Mr J D Ellis and Reference it Gaza. It will be sent to the Middle East Children’s Alliance.

Dear Friend of Palestine,

This year numerous small and local Rides for Palestine will be taking place around Britain during the week ending Sunday 2 August. The annual Big Ride covering 100 – 200 miles with hundreds of participants is not possible due to Covid 19 restrictions. Local rides will have a maximum of 6 riders in a group.

On Saturday 1 August I am leading a Hampshire / Dorset Ride from Lymington Quay to Poole Quay and back again, a round trip distance of about 44 miles.

44 miles is significant. It is the length of the militarized fence which imprisons the Palestinian people of Gaza, the site of hundreds of Palestinian deaths and thousands of wounded.

Please join me for the Ride on 1 August if you are free and if you can cycle the distance. If planning to ride please seek sponsorship. If unable to ride with me please consider sponsoring me to complete the ride.

The route is substantially flat, including the Bournemouth and Poole seafronts, with small hills in Bournemouth itself and between Highcliff and Lymington. The weather forecast is good. There will be a ONE HOUR stop for lunch on Poole Quay, with short stops in Christchurch and Bournemouth for publicity.

The Ride will depart from Lymington Quay outside the Ship Inn at 10am, reaching Bournemouth pier at about 11.30am and Poole Quay at about 12.30pm.  We aim to return to Lymington by 4pm. The ride moves at the speed of the slowest, and goes whatever the weather. We ride with the Flag of Palestine.

The Ride will be measured and recorded on the sports website STRAVA.

You can reach Lymington by train with a bike via Brockenhurst  – half hourly service, bikes free.

Contact to ride or sponsor : Jon Ellis,   Mob.07775982908

lymfriendsofpalestine@gmail.com

For info about the national Big Ride for Palestine event go to :

https://www.thebigride4palestine.com/

Southampton Palestine Solidarity will be in Southampton outside West Quay on 22nd August from 10.30am to 12.30. Tell HSBC and the UK Government to STOP ARMING ISRAEL. Come and join us. More details will follow in a further email in about 10 days time.

Best wishes
Cathryn M Spiller (Secretary Southampton PSC)

Message from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch.

From: PSCSouthampton. pscsoton@gmail.com

Dear All

The state of Israel under Prime Minister Netanyahu, is set to annex much of the West Bank from July 1st onwards. This is unlikely to happen all in one swoop because the state of Israel will want to minimize international reaction but Israel looks set to annex most of the small amount of land that is left to Palestine. This will mean that there will no longer be an effective State of Palestine. The little that will be left will be small unconnected territories heavily controlled by Israel and with no corridors connecting them. This is illegal under international law. Palestine is a state recognised by the UN. However Israel has the support of President Trump and with the world preoccupied by the Coronavirus they may not be much international opposition.

Israel has already announced that Palestinian citizens living in land to be annexed will not have citizen rights in Israel.

Please join us outside West Quay in Above Bar Southampton at 11am on July 4th to demonstrate against this illegal land grab.

Let’s remind people to call on Israel to End Apartheid. Stop the Annexation of Palestine and call on the UK and the EU to implement sanctions. Sanctions Now

We will provide flags and Placards, although please bring your own if you wish. We intend to respect social distancing rules on public gatherings therefore we will not be giving out leaflets and we will be dividing into small groups of six and staying apart . We would advise the wearing of a face mask.

Please also write to your MP. Call on the UK government to implement a ban on all trade with Israeli settlements and for a two way arms embargo on Israel. You can follow the link below to send an email to your MP.

Please also sign the online statement to stand in opposition to annexation.

Write to your MP
http://www.palestinecampaign.eaction.online/parliamentannexation

Sign the Statement
http://www.palestinecampaign.eaction.online/stopannexation

Please also see our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/southamptonpsc

J.K. Rowling and The Chamber of Terfdom.

I’m going to be 27 by the time 2020 comes to a close and as someone who is firmly in the millennial category, the whole universe of Harry Potter has been a fixture in both my childhood and my adult life. As a kid I remember my dad taking time out from his taxi driving job on a Friday night so he could join the queues at my hometown’s sole bookshop to be one of the first to obtain the new Harry Potter book.

The first time I remember going to the cinema was in 2001 to see the first Harry Potter film and I remember my excitement to see the story on the big screen as a seven year old boy shivering outside the tiny, two screen cinema that was in the big town about a half hour’s drive from our house. I remember how magical it was to escape into that world and I remember the messages of overcoming adversity resonating with my young self, being the only boy in the class with cerebral palsy and having to wear brightly coloured leg splints and having daily sessions of physiotherapy.

In my teenage years, I retreated away from this world and dove full throttle into the worlds of Edgar Allan Poe, H.P Lovecraft, B-movies, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and 1980s slasher horror films. I believe these campy, macabre worlds were probably linked to the love my childhood self had for the kitchy, campy, creepy world of Harry Potter. As I approached my twenties and got diagnosed with a bipolar spectrum disorder, the world of my childhood provided much needed comfort at a time where I was experiencing frequent episodes of depression and psychosis whilst trying to complete a degree in English and live on my own for the very first time. Even during the current COVID-19 pandemic, one of my coping mechanisms at the beginning of lockdown was to watch a Harry Potter film on Saturday night by candlelight whilst eating Chinese takeaway.

All of this means that I was deeply disappointed by Rowling’s recent tweets that parroted the TERF talking points about “sex-based rights” and her absolute revulsion against the term “people who menstruate”. The damaging implications of sex essentialism have been documented on this blog and many others and I shall not repeat those same points. However, it says a lot that the world’s first billionaire author decides to use her time during a global pandemic and an uprising against state-sanctioned racism to further marginalise and vilify one of the most oppressed groups of people on this planet.

As a response to the criticism and fury she received on Twitter from trans people, queer people and their allies, she decided to write a 3,600 word essay on her blog. I’m not going to link it here because I do not wish to befoul this blog with transphobic rhetoric but it’s very easy to find if you want to read it; although, I would advise that it is very intense and it will probably be quite an upsetting read. I cried tears of rage reading it and I cried for the trans youth that I work with as a youth worker for a local LGBTQ+ charity.

In the essay, Rowling provides a narrative of her life in the early 1990s before Harry Potter exploded into our cultural consciousness. She frankly and openly talks about being a survivor of severe domestic and sexual abuse. As a sexual abuse survivor, I empathise with her and I do hope that she has been able to access the support needed to be able to process the trauma she has experienced.

The question that remains, however, is why did she choose this moment to speak about it? It plays into the unfounded, deeply bigoted caricature of trans women being men who just want to pose as women so they can sexually assault women in public bathrooms. When we look at the reality, we see that in the 21 countries which have introduced self-ID for trans people to change their birth certificates, none have reported an increase in sex crimes as a result. We can also look at several US States, the most notable being North Carolina, where bathroom bills were introduced and we see an increase in assaults being perpetrated against trans people in bathrooms and an increase in those same assaults against cisgender people who present in a gender nonconforming manner.

It is also important to consider that one of the “leaders” of the TERF movement, the increasingly irrelevant and deplorable former Labour Party hack that is Linda Bellos is actually on film saying that she would beat up a trans woman if she happened to be in the same bathroom as her. Approximately every 72 hours, a trans person is murdered somewhere in the world because of their gender identity and by playing into myths and caricatures, JK Rowling has put those people at increased risk.

Rowling also moves onto the topic of incels. Incels, for the record, are men who believe that they are owed the right to sex just because they happen to be male. They are angry that women choose not to sleep with them and several incels have gone on to commit murders of those women. They also harbour a hatred for the men that they see as stealing their opportunities to pursue the women that they wish to sleep with. Elliot Rodger murdered six people in California back in 2014 as “retribution” for his lack of sexual experience and activity.

In 2018, Alek Minassian murdered 10 people in a vehicle-ramming attack in downtown Toronto to instigate an “incel rebellion” and had written several internet posts praising Elliot Rodger. Many incels look at the Ecole Polytechnique massacre of 1989 as a positive thing and something to be inspired by. In this massacre, Marc Lepine burst into an engineering class, forced the men and women in the room to stand on opposite sides and shoot all six women there. He then rampaged for a further twenty minutes, killing eight more women before killing himself. His motive was to “fight feminism”.

Rowling will be acutely aware of how horrific these events are and how the state does not take violence against women seriously enough. Again, we have to question her motives around bringing up these issues in this particular moment. It is morally abhorrent and repugnant of her and her supporters to link trans people and their allies to incels. I’m a cisgender man but I stand with trans people who are just trying to live their lives as their authentic selves and be recognised as such. We are not murdering women to further this cause and we are not terrorists. We simply believe in human rights and in bodily autonomy. She should be ashamed of herself for insinuating that there is anything linking us to the incels and it proves that her interpretation of feminism is fundamentally and objectively wrong.

The final part of her essay I wish to address is where she talks about “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria” (ROGD). ROGD is a pseudoscientific term used by the TERFs and their allies to try and explain away the large increase of young people seeking help and support with their gender identity. They like to blame a plethora of things for this which include but are not limited to; Japanese anime, tumblr, YouTube and autism. There is a link between being autistic and being transgender but that link is being actively researched by experts in the fields of neuroscience, neuropsychology and cognitive psychology and will probably take a long time to come to any semblance of a conclusion. On the other hand, ROGD has seemingly been invented in a chat room on Mumsnet.

As a youth worker who is directly working with these young people, I can confidently say that ROGD is baseless and unfounded. Young people have access to the internet and they are able to learn about gender outside of a Eurocentric viewpoint. Young people have always explored their gender identity but it is only now that they have the tools and the vocabulary to be able to do so fully. Do I think that every single one of my young people who identify as transgender is going to end up transitioning as an adult? Possibly, possibly not. In spite of that, it is important that young people are able to access the support and guidance that they need whilst exploring their gender identity.

They need compassionate and empathic people around them especially as 80% of trans young people will self harm and about half will attempt suicide. These young people are very vulnerable in a world where transgender people are treated as though they are the lowest class of citizen and by using ROGD as an excuse to explain all this away, Rowling and her allies are creating moral panic reminiscent of the moral panic around gay men in the 1980s and 1990s. It is this kind of language that causes governments to enact legislation like Section 28 that will damage a whole generation of young people.

I do not believe that JK Rowling is an inherently hateful person because a hateful person could not have written the Harry Potter series which is essentially an antifascist parable; despite its use of questionable antisemitic and racial stereotypes. What I believe is, like many women who grew up in second wave feminism, JK Rowling is using her platform to try and stay relevant in a culture that has long since moved on. I also believe that she has possibly been radicalised by the likes of Linda Bellos and Graham Lineham on Twitter. Rowling does not need to indulge in this desperate attempt to remain culturally relevant as Harry Potter has become a permanent and ubiquitous fixture of popular culture. People come from around the world just to have their pictures taken at Kings Cross Station where they’ve set up the entrance to Platform nine and three-quarters.

Rowling has often tried to pander to us LGBTQ+ folks, wildly announcing that certain characters in the series are LGBTQ+ when no hint of that was given in the original stories. It is this that makes her latest outbursts beyond offensive. She has used our community to make money and royalties for herself whilst throwing the most vulnerable people in our community under the Hogwarts Express.

I still love those stories of my childhood and I am taking relative comfort in Barthes’ The Death of the Author to take some sort of ownership of those stories and to separate them from a woman I once admired. Her following is large but the loudest voices in that following are the minority and many of the actors who brought those stories to life have expressed their unequivocal support for transgender people. We will win this fight and we must stand in solidarity with our trans siblings, always.

It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities”

– Albus Dumbeldore

Paul Haw

Solidarity with the Struggle of North American People!

Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front – ZACF

Solidarity with the Struggle of North American People by Sifuna Zonke

We repudiate the cowardly murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis’s police officers, another racist act in the heart of a world imperialist power. This event is added to the countless number of killings of people of colour and the Afro-descendent population in the United States which has been perpetuated since the days of slavery and hasn’t yet stopped.

Racism, a structural element in capitalist society, especially in North American capitalism, is unfortunately intact, but resistance and fighting spirit from people of color and poor people arises in response. Only solidarity and mutual aid will allow us to resist.

Solidarity with the Struggle of North American People!

All Support to Anarchist Organizations of USA

We repudiate the cowardly murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis’s police officers, another racist act in the heart of a world imperialist power. This event is added to the countless number of killings of people of colour and the Afro-descendent population in the United States which has been perpetuated since the days of slavery and hasn’t yet stopped. During Obama’s government there were dozens of murders of young blacks, which recalls similar racist times of the 1950s and 60s.

The answer was a fast and organized upsurge of the black movement far and wide across the country, similar to this moment in which a huge protest movement is developing, revealing that people are sick of police violence and impunity. A Minneapolis police station was burned by protestors and some police cars were attacked. Direct action is a weapon of resistance, something which multiplied across various cities with clashes between protestors and police officers, even Donald Trump ordered the Army to take the streets and curfews were decreed in 25 cities.

Racism, a structural element in capitalist society, especially in North American capitalism, is unfortunately intact, but resistance and fighting spirit from people of color and poor people arises in response. But Trump also accuses anarchists and antifascist activists of being the instigators of the riots. This movement is a popular revolt, the dozens of thousands of people who participate are not anarchists or do not claim to belong to any political current, but as always the spheres of power try to find those responsible to blame, so as not to question structural issues and conclude that the racist, patriarchal and capitalist State that oppresses and kills the popular classes is the actual instigator of the revolts.

RACISM HAS TO BE BURIED TOGETHER WITH CAPITALISM. ALL OUR SUPPORT AND SOLIDARITY WITH NORTH AMERICAN PEOPLE WHO ARE FIGHTING AGAINST POLICE AND STATE VIOLENCE AND ABUSES.

Only solidarity and mutual aid will allow us to resist.

ALL SUPPORT TO BLACK COMMUNITIES IN RESISTANCE!
ALL OUR SUPPORT TO OUR NORTH AMERICAN ANARCHIST PEERS!
LONG LIVE ANARCHISM, LONG LIVE FREEDOM!
VICTORY TO THOSE WHO FIGHT!

☆ Coordenação Anarquista Brasileira – CAB (Brazil)
☆ Federación Anarquista Uruguaya – FAU (Uruguay)
☆ Federación Anarquista Rosario – FAR (Argentina)
☆ Organización Anarquista de Córdoba – OAC (Argentina)
☆ Federación Anarquista Santiago – FAS (Chile)
☆ Vía Libre (Colombia)
☆ Union Communiste Libertaire (France)
☆ Embat – Organització Libertària de Catalunya (Catalonia)
☆ Alternativa Libertaria – AL/fdca (Italy)
☆ Die Plattform – Anarchakommunistische Organisation (Germany)
☆ Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet – DAF (Turkey)
☆ Organisation Socialiste Libertaire – OSL (Switzerland)
☆ Libertaere Aktion (Switzerland)
☆ Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group – MACG (Australia)
☆ Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement – AWSM (Aotearoa / New Zealand)
☆ Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front – ZACF (South Africa)
☆ Anarchist Unión of Afghanistan and Iran – AUAI
☆ Manifesto (Greece)

Anathema, a Philadelphia anarchist periodical: Volume 6 Issue 4, May 2020.


Volume 6 Issue 4 (PDF for reading 8.5×11)

Volume 6 Issue 4 (PDF for printing 11×17)

In this issue:

  • Lockdowns & Incarceration
  • What Went Down
  • Homelessness
  • Resource Extraction Updates
  • The State Of Surveillance
  • Interview With A West Philly Rent Striker
  • When Things Get Rough We Ride Together
  • A Short Timeline Of PA ELF Actions
  • Loving Anarchy (LA)
  • A Quick Rant On COVID
  • Expropriationist Anarchy In Crisis Times
  • Philly Bingo Card
  • Chapter Report Background

Third comment on corona virus pandemic, from the south of England: The future of our Class. By Mal Content.

Parts 1 & 2 can be found here.

“Always be honest and logical with honest and logical people, never be either with a system that is neither.”

– Carl Cattermole: The Prison Survival Guide.

This is written as the British government has once again changed the “rules”* for the territory of England. Scotland and Wales will continue to make their own, under the devolved administration, and of course Ireland will have two sets, causing people to scurry back and forth across the border.

* What a stupid idea; no-one ever takes pride in following rules, only in getting around them.

I’m not remotely interested in these changes, which only reflect what people were doing anyway, or what the state found it could not police, with a smattering of pointless detail on precisely under what circumstances people are “allowed” to meet others from outside their “household”* to give the impression some thought has gone into it.

* I’ll take a moment to deconstruct this bourgeois concept; it is a hateful thing and we should have no truck with it. It implies property ownership and once involved a retinue of servants, including women and children who had no agency and were subject to abuse.

The privatisation of domestic space that accompanied the separation of production from reproduction encouraged Working Class folk, contrary to their own traditions, to mimic the bourgeois household and abuse their own.

The nuclear family is simply the most efficient unit for wage labourers to reproduce at their own expense. The Working Class has always drawn its strength from the extended family, tribe or village; the atomisation of these support mechanisms has been high on the capitalist agenda since the industrial and agricultural revolutions.

Anyone who believes the policy-makers are wiser than us is irredeemably stupid and at high risk of dying from something or other at any time. For example some fuckwit has decided that public transport is safer than car-sharing! For a taste of just how dense these people are, here’s a screen shot from the government’s own website:

According to the Oxford English Dictionary: “Retail is the sale of goods to the public in relatively small quantities for use or consumption rather than for resale.” – Not wholesale, transport, research, manufacturing, cleaning, construction or admin. But you knew that, and so did I.

My purpose here is to examine the class dynamics that will develop in the aftermath, and how we can turn these to our advantage. Indeed, how we must if we are to avoid the bleak future the bosses have planned for us.

As stated previously the concept of “lock down” is construed entirely in bourgeois terms. Their slogan “stay at home, stay safe” is aimed at a tiny minority who are thus able to monopolise the moral high ground. If I had a pound for every middle class prick on the radio telling us “we all work from home now” whilst waiting for a Worker to deliver their groceries, I’d be able to retire. The television combines corporate team-building bullshit with adverts for technological gimmicks and online gambling.

For the precarious and heavily exploited people who keep the infrastructure running, the only noticeable effect of “lock down” has been the closure of their leisure facilities and meeting places, reduction of already sparse and overcrowded public transport, queueing at the shops, and the pressure of a potentially unsafe working environment. The bosses have tacked a ‘race to the bottom’ in health and safety on to that of wages and security.

Workers in hospitality and entertainment, bar and sex work have been subjected to a simple lock-out. The “furlough” scheme is inadequate and doesn’t apply to everyone; 80% of fuck all is fuck all.

Added to this, is the interruption of Working Class children’s education, and loss of their main/only meal of the day, yet another handicap in the lottery of life. It hasn’t occurred to the toffs that many families rely on free school meals to feed their kids, or perhaps they have reverted to the 20th century tactic of using starvation to keep the lower orders from developing.

The changes will feed a new group of workers to the virus, after healthcare, logistics and transport, now manufacturing and construction, whilst the idle rich – including the media and politicians – continue to hide themselves away. Golf and tennis are coming back, but not basketball or boxing. It’s all intended to keep the bourgeoisie firmly in the saddle. As ever, the workers suffer and scrimp to protect their masters’ wasteful and extravagant lifestyles, the bourgeoisie’s self-inflicted crisis of 2007 fell entirely on the poor whilst the rich got steadily richer without a hiccup.

The tinfoil hat merchants would have us imagine the entire situation has been manufactured to allow the imposition of totalitarianism, I won’t entertain this idea, we know our leaders are all bent, but they really aren’t that clever. Neoliberal disaster capitalism is programmed to exploit every crisis to increase the power of the ruling class – but not at the expense of everyday commerce. Even the most unscrupulous capitalists: Virgin’s Branson, Wetherspoons’ Tim Martin and B.A.’s Willy Walsh, bemoan the ineptitude of their political lackeys.

They have visibly been caught on the hop, despite having been warned by the study they commissioned in 2016 that the NHS would not be able to cope with a pandemic, they carried on squeezing it and flogging it off. They shot themselves in the foot with ‘brexit’ and presumed we would carry the can for that as well. You’ve only got to look at that idiot Boris de Pfeffle Johnson pointing at a graph on telly to conclude that he’d never set eyes on one before. Nor are we fooled by their arbitrary “steps” and “phases”. Pfeffle will be getting the sack as soon as they can find a replacement; there should also be hue and cry from our Class over the thousands of unnecessary deaths from their failure to procure adequate PPE, ventilators or testing.

Ask yourselves: how much longer will you let this gang of chancers blight your future in pursuit of their failed neoliberal project?

The money economy is going to take the biggest hit of its life. It was not fully developed during the Black Death and since the modern banking system appeared in the late mediaeval period it has always been fed and watered by the expansion of empires. War has never hurt the bourgeoisie, two World Wars and the cold one generated huge state subsidies to industry for the development of technologies they would come to own and protect with patents. Almost everything we take for granted in the modern world was invented for the military. The debt thus created and traded is underwritten by the Working Class.

This is entirely different, it’s a straight contraction of commercial activity; it has not served any of the functions of war: to destroy surplus production, to cull the working population*, no lucrative technologies have been developed and there will be no rebuilding of infrastructure. The bosses will be desperate to recoup their losses and expect us to do it for them. Capitalism will not survive unless it is carefully nurtured, unless we sacrifice to make up their profits, and why would we want to do that?

* Appalling though it is, the death toll will not have a significant effect on the labour market.

There is going to be mass unemployment, homelessness, failure of health and welfare systems, and vast numbers of empty buildings – what are we going to do about it?

If the anarchist movement has any value in the modern world we must be on hand to offer credible alternatives, bring our experience to bear and lead by example. This is the moment we have been waiting for.

We need to squat everything – including residential dwellings – in an organised systematic fashion and we will need to exercise self-discipline, not just because the virus is likely to be with us for some time. We recall the devastation wreaked on Working Class communities by thatcher. People on the street without support can rapidly lose self-respect, empathy and focus.

The spooks are most likely going to flood the country with cheap smack as they did in the 80’s, or maybe ketamine. Don’t be prison fodder; if they can’t extract your surplus-value they will lock you up and make money out of you that way.

There will be skilled trades-people standing idle who can co-operatively prepare buildings for use once the homeless have taken and secured them.

Occupy unused land and grow food on it.

Turn disused restaurants into free canteens for the Working Class.

Set up neighbourhood supply and defence committees to protect the vulnerable and resist evictions, deportations etc.

Create no-go areas for cops, bailiffs and other undesirables.

We should look into occupying manufacturing facilities with a view to making something useful (to us). The simple act of setting up a co-operative venture, learning and sharing new skills, organising the work and supply chain by consensus, prepares us to take over industry once and for all.

Some will find teaching their children at home works for them. With the range of skills and experiences available to the extended family or ‘village’ kids can learn much more than how to fit themselves to the wage system. Who knows, they might actually find things they enjoy and are good at.

Empty offices can be social centres, libraries, medical or legal drop-in points, venues for gigs, film shows, seminars, meetings, self-defence training or whatever you want.

We should have our own radio stations, they’re more fun than the internet and easier to keep a grip on.

It has been suggested there will be no live entertainment this year, well they can fucking back out with that! We may see a revival of the free party/festival scene, playing cat and mouse with the babylon. Parties could be timed to coincide with more serious expropriations. The more we stretch their resources the less they will have to evict squatters.

Those of us who find ourselves by chance still in waged labour are another front. It beggars belief after decades of austerity and precarity that most of our Class are still not unionised. If this is you, get into one fast, you can join the IWW for a pound a month unwaged, or, if appropriate, one of the more location and industry specific such as UVW, CAIWU and IWGB. It will fall to us to prevent the boss class re-asserting itself; all the old Wobbly tactics are as relevant as ever.

  • Sick-in, the slightest sniffle will now give you good reason to take seven days self-certified, you’re doing society a favour!
  • Good work strike, be kind to your class, turn a blind eye to shoplifting for example.
  • Sabotage (need not involve physical damage), use your imagination here.
  • Expropriation (theft), you need never queue for bog rolls again!
  • Open mouth (whistle blowing); let’s hold the bosses fast to the rules while we break them.
  • Working to rule. Health and safety legislation allows any worker to walk off the job if they believe it poses a risk to themselves, their colleagues or the public. They cannot be disciplined for this and their belief does not have to be correct, only reasonable. This is a good excuse for a sit-down strike while they sort it out.
  • Shirking, skiving, go-slow; take it in turns to do fuck all for half an hour, see above.
  • Dual power: organise the work to suit yourselves and by-pass the boss, it’s good training for when there isn’t one.
  • Bombard management with grievances to tie them up and waste their time; I see no problem with using the law as it is the terrain on which we operate, so make yourself an expert. It’s skewed in favour of the bosses but this has led to a culture of impunity whereby most of them can’t be arsed to familiarise themselves with it, which leaves a lot of ‘low hanging fruit’. It’s akin to hitting your opponent with the door or the wall rather than bringing a cosh to the party. The only thing that matters in a fight is who’s left standing at the end of it.

You’ll find more tactical detail here:

How to Fire Your Boss – a workers’ guide to direct action.

Here’s a pamphlet on taking over the healthcare sector:

Defend the NHS – fight for socialised healthcare. By Felix Sabot.

Let’s hope it’s a long, hot summer and we have some good riots.

Mal C. X

Musings on Lockdown from a Hobbit named Dave

What have I learned from lockdown?

  • Who does it benefit? It benefits large chains and corporations and online traders. The small high street shops are closed. The high street has been in decline for years due to large out of town shopping super-centres. One would imagine that when people start to go out, they will find that their high streets, small retailers, grocers, butchers, clothes shops may no longer be there. How many pubs and entertainment will go out of business? Is it going to become the kind of terrain where anyone out on the street is seen a thug and a problem with no reason to be there?
  • People working from home with no financial loss – it has become apparent that these are the bullshit jobs – with no value to society. The fact that your job continues with little or no variation means that no one directly benefits from it. It may be that it is merely there as a unit of production to make money for your employer. I think that when the lockdown comes down these jobs may well remain at home with many more of them being made up. It will save your employer money on electric and cleaning and rent for their nefarious dealings whatever they may be.
  • Working class people come out of the woodwork. – The classes of worker who are of benefit to society are clear. They are the people who can’t afford to work from home, the nurses, the carers, the delivery drivers, the shelf stackers, bus and train drivers, distribution of food and supplies, plumbers, electricians and engineers. I think there are some more, but their activities are on hold; they are needed but not immediately, clothes-makers, house builders. These are the people we force to put their lives on the line for the rest of us to keep safe behind them, like a human shield – and who is at the back of the queue for death? It’s the toffs, the CEO’s, the share holders, the landowners; the most privileged in society.
  • Compliance – Lockdown has shown me how easy it is to have a population obey orders without question. Nobody needs to think for themselves; zombie-like everyone can follow the rules. “Stay home”, “Stay Safe”, “Save the NHS”. Politicians have cast the care workers as heroes to make them accept that they are losing their life in work because they don’t have the privilege of staying at home and following the rules. Making it sound as if they do this out of duty or love rather than the necessity to earn a living makes it somehow acceptable. In the past governments used patriotism and nationalism to send young men to the slaughter and now they send workers to their deaths with little care or comment bar a clap on a Thursday night. Why would we accept this?
  • Keeping governments in power under the threat of a working class kick off: patriotism and Nationalism again. – When Margaret Thatcher was worried about losing power, she started a war to maintain it. The government need to appear to be servants of the people, “all in it together”. The minute we see them for the scammers they are they will lose control. Hence the incompetent clown Boris, a total buffoon of a man, who increases his popularity with a bogus illness (from which incidentally he was in no danger of dying) proving himself to be just a man like you or me, man of the people, hero who survived against the odds. Does this sound like bullshit to you as well?
  • Educational opportunities. – These are now as they should be as far as the bourgeoisie are concerned. The children of rich parents get their one to one tuition online while the children of plebs are left to be home-educated by parents who have never had any experience of having to teach, or of home learning in all probability, being of a generation that has been thoroughly brainwashed by the school system themselves. The working class are successfully put firmly in their place, women once again confined to childcare and housework, existing only to provide the next workforce for the rulers.
  • The voices of the dissenters have been effectively erased – Anyone that will not or cannot accept the government strict codes of obedience painted as evil. They will kill us all. I am appalled and ashamed at the speed in which the working classes are learning to point the finger and report on their neighbours, families and friends. I didn’t believe how easy it was to create this environment of fear that brings out the worst in people, while banning and blocking the community that brings out the best in us. Effectively separated from each other being locked away in our flats, bedsits, behind our computer and TV screens. Consumers of media, controlled, herded and shepherded. Alone we are powerless, the only way to reclaim our power is to risk coming out blinking into the sunlight and uniting with our fellow human beings.

The 1918 flu pandemic in the CNT media

Kate Sharpley Library

Miguel G.

The notorious flu epidemic of 1918 – known as the ‘Spanish’ flu epidemic – was first reported among US troops bound for the First World War trenches. Given the enormous mobility of troops at the time, the disease was largely free to spread to fresh population centres and so it claimed the lives of 50 million people worldwide. Spreading like wildfire. A powerful example of the destructive power of a pandemic.

In the kingdom of Spain, the disease arrived sometime between April and May 1918. We know that, as there was no press censorship in the country, the Spanish press reported the epidemic within days of its arrival. Which explains why it was initially thought of as having come from Spain and spread to the rest of Europe, when the opposite was true. And to complete the contextualization of the disease, there was a further surge in September and October 1918, when the mortality rate was at its highest. After that, there was another upsurge in February 1919, lasting a further two months. Finally, in 1920, there was a second wave of the epidemic. In all, around 150,000 lives were lost in Spain and 1918 was the only year (prior to the Civil War) when there was a fall in the overall population figures.

The fact is, though, that

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