IWW Couriers Network Demo at Uber Office in Cardiff!

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Spoons strike solid.

From Bristol SolFed on twitter

Bloody hell it was hot! Tolpuddle R.W.B. 2018

A rather laid back Tolpuddle with everyone seemingly subdued by the temperature. It was good to see Brighton SolFed take up a stall, and a pity the IWW didn’t manage to book one as we had loads of local Wobs on hand to crew it and plenty of IWW-related literature, which made our table a bit cramped. Les did us proud as ever, Theresa’s innovative engineering solution with the sacktruck made the Wob Kitchen table more strong and stable than her gormless namesake. Misty in Roots was sublime as I remember them from the 70s and I Destroy from Bristol is a band to watch.

We’re definitely past peak J.C., I only heard three desultory chants of “Ooh Jeremy Corbyn” Some geezer in a ‘wake up Labour’ T shirt came by the stall, seemed normal enough then handed over a leaflet – I can’t remember what it was about – full of anti-Semitic conspiracy bollocks. “What is this rubbish? Who cares if George Soros is Jewish or not?” Bloke shrugged and I gave him a pamphlet about anti-Semitism. Later on the march, the crank was spotted wearing a Guy Fawkes mask carrying a portrait of Vladimir Putin with the caption ‘peacemaker’. At the end of the village, the ‘friends of Israel’ we oiked off the site a couple of years ago stood brandishing vast British and Israeli flags, shouting something about Hamas.

Meanwhile the Labour party squabbles over two ‘examples of anti-Semitism’ from the I.H.R.A. code:

 g. Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour.

j. Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis

Now usually in anti-oppression politics, the hegemonic group doesn’t get to define what constitutes oppressive behaviour, but this is more complicated. Religion is a species of ideology, and ideology is an excuse for doing what you like and/or a palliative for those you’re doing it to. Worse, it’s a cross-class alliance. Caution should be exercised over cultural identity for the same reason; both these things often have implicit hierarchies embedded within them.

Racism is anything that materially or socially disadvantages members of a racialised group, or makes it more likely they will be targets for violence and oppressive behaviour. It’s a methodology for maintaining a power relation so it only works where such a relation exists. Anti-Semitic oppression falls on Working Class Jews who don’t have the protection of the state of Israel or the U.S. government, it doesn’t fall on Netanyahu and co. They are part of the hegemonic group, not because there is a conspiracy, or because Judaism exerts undue influence, but because they are the ultra-nationalist leadership of a state engaged in military-industrial capitalism. States are cross-class alliances; they don’t represent any people, just a mode of production.

I would say the state of Israel is a racist endeavour, so is the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and the Russian Federation. Almost all states were founded on racism; they began with a cultural majority carving out a piece of territory, imposing their language and customs and excluding outsiders; they invaded and robbed their neighbours. The economic and political dominance of North-Western Europe and North America was achieved through the pillage of Latin America, Africa, and the Indian sub-continent. That is the context in which the state of Israel was founded.

So what do you think, if a state grants an absolute right of citizenship to Jews and only Jews, is it racist?

Allowing displaced Palestinians to return to Israel-Palestine would deny the Israeli state a Jewish voting majority, without which it could not guarantee such rights in perpetuity. Is it racist to give Jewish people a greater right to self-determination than Palestinian people?

Is it racist to contend that all Jewish people must make this moral compromise?

Is it racist to take sixty to a hundred Palestinian lives for every Israeli one lost?

Is it racist to claim that a body of privileged individuals speaks for an entire Diaspora, or even that anybody needs to? A Diaspora that comprises a range of ethnicities, religious and secular traditions, proletarians and bourgeois alike – including anarchist comrades – especially when clearly, it doesn’t, as many Jews on this island profoundly disagree with it?

Would it have been anti-Semitic for J.C. to refuse an invitation to a cultural event from a group of young Working Class Jews in his constituency on his night off?

Is it racist to conflate anti-capitalism with anti-Semitism, implying that all Jews are supporters of capitalism?

Is it anti-Semitic to call Jonathan Arkush an arrogant prick?

There is a noble tradition of Jewish anti-capitalist movements, anarchist, socialist and atheist in Britain, Europe and the U.S. and Jews have been active in antifascism as long as there have been fascists. The board of deputies is a deeply reactionary clique that opposed every grassroots Jewish antifascist initiative of the 20th century. It opposed the action at Cable Street, and the work of the 43 and 62 groups, which effectively confounded three waves of British fascism, and if you take these things as seriously as we do, undoubtedly saved many lives. There’s a reason for this, self-organised Working Class Jews kicking their persecutors around threaten the vicarious victimhood of their self-appointed representatives. Wouldn’t the board of deputies be buggered if people stopped being anti-Semitic? These wankers are literally playing politics with Working Class lives.

In practice, nobody represents anyone but themselves, communities do not need states or leaders, and many Jewish people agree. We disdain bourgeois Jews because they’re bourgeois not because they’re Jewish. Just as we have no time for black cops, gay fascists or female prime ministers. Where is the clamour about anti-Palestinianism?

I don’t know if it’s actually anti-Semitic to accuse a Jewish person of acting like a Nazi, but it’s pretty fucking tactless, just as I wouldn’t describe an African-American employer as a slave-driver, use your noggin, Ken. You shouldn’t say stupid things like “Hitler supported Zionism” in the sense that “Hitler supported Arsenal”, because he didn’t. The Nazi state cut a deal with one section of the Zionist movement in August 1933 because they shared part of an agenda – getting European Jews to move to Palestine rather than be comfortably settled in Europe. It meant breaking an embargo on German exports. Other Zionists were violently opposed to the idea and fought valiantly against the Nazis. Haim Arlosoroff, one of the architects of the Haavara settlement was subsequently assassinated.

Anti-Semitism certainly lurked below the surface of anti-capitalism, for example in the Occupy movement; it’s faulty politics and bad history. Using ‘Zionist’ as a pejorative is unhelpful and I wouldn’t recommend it. Historically Zionism was diverse, including utopian socialists, religious groups and of course the right-wing nationalists that eventually took it over.

These aren’t problems capitalism can solve. Jews will be free when everyone is free, when identities don’t have to compete on the market and we’ve done away with the bourgeoisie and their toxic state idea.

Anna Campbell

With great sadness we mark the death of Bristol IWW member Anna Campbell,  a 26 year-old plumber formerly from Lewes, East Sussex, who was killed by a Turkish air strike along with 100 other Y.P.J. volunteers on the 15th March.

Anna was a veteran of the battle of Deir ez-Zor against the daesh fascists and went on to participate in the defence of Afrin against their erstwhile allies, the equally fascist Erdogan regime.

Our thoughts are with her family and friends, in the firm conviction that her sacrifice will not be in vain.

Long live the Rojava revolution!

Anna Campbell – Rest in Power Fellow Worker Statement from Bristol IWW

Missing! F.W. Gaia Pope

Please share widely and turn a hand if you’re in the area

Industrial Workers of the World Dorset

A search is underway for Gaia Pope who went missing on 7/11/17 from Argyle Road, Swanage. She is a 19-year-old female with long blonde hair, blue eyes, medium build and 5ft 7 inches tall. Last seen wearing white shirt with red details, grey leggings, white trainers. Gaia suffers from severe epilepsy so she may in distress.

Please help if you can.

Timeline of Gaia’s movements:
3:35 Gaia left her aunt’s house on Argyle Road, Swanage
3:39- 3:40 CCTV footage shows Gaia running towards Manor Gardens
4:00 Gaia left the address in Manor Gardens on Morrison Road

Download flyer
Obtain printed copies from:

  • The Purbeck Gazette 17b Commercial Road Swanage Dorset BH19 1DF. (9am – 5pm)
  • The Flirt Cafe 21 The Triangle, Bournemouth BH2 5RG
  • Rivera Hotel and Apartments Reception Burnaby Road, Alum Chine, Bournemouth, BH148JF
  • Poole central library, Dolphin Centre, Poole, BH15 1 QE
  • The Lord Wimeborne Pub 59 Lagland…

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Action Alert! Freedom for Hassan Khan

15 years ago Hassan Khan (Prisoner Number: A1187AK) was convicted of robbery and got a “two strikes” sentence – a mandatory life sentence for people convicted of a second serious sexual or violent offence. This sentence carried a 4 year 166 days minimum tariff but he has been inside for 15 years.

He grew up in care in Birmingham and has a Pashtun Father and a Welsh Mother. He had a very troubled childhood with his problems with the law starting at 8 years old. He sued West Midlands Police, having been framed by them and was awarded £23,000 damages. Not long after winning this case he was set up a second time by a corrupt police officer who planted evidence on a crime scene setting him up for a robbery he didn’t commit.

A close relative of Hassan’s stated that:

The system has never forgiven Hassan for exposing, through a landmark case, a corrupt West Midlands Serious Crime Squad as liars, falsifying statements and tampering with vital evidence. This eventually led to many innocent people, like the Birmingham 6 for example to be released. The ‘brotherhood’ within the judicial, legal and police system has never forgiven him for that.”

Hassan has spent 15 years behind bars this November. He faces an impossible situation – his security file in his parole dossier, that will be used to make the decision to release him or not, is full of racist lies alleging he is connected to Muslim gangs, Isis, and dealing drugs and phones. These lies are complete nonsense and the prison won’t even tell Hassan where this “intelligence” came from. Hassan has no way of challenging their racialised accusations against him.

He has 4 grown up sons in north Wales and desperately wants to be part of their lives. His mental health has deteriorated to the point he wants to give up hope but he has kept his resolve and has undertaken several lengthy hunger strikes to protest about his situation. Hassan needs to be released immediately to a hostel or his friend’s house in North Wales so that this 63 year man can try and salvage his relationship with the children he has missed growing up due to the corruption of the racist West Midlands Police. This is our campaign goal and we are asking people to contact HMP Gartree where he is imprisoned.

These are the Guardian articles outlining the way he was set up – twice.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2009/jun/01/hassan-khan-miscarriage-police-set-up

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2010/nov/04/sunglasses-armed-robbery-missing

Why Hassan needs us to take action:

Hassan has a parole hearing coming up on the 19th of October. Despite him doing his best to comply with the prison system his security file that the parole board will read is full of racialised lies about him because of his ethnic background and because he is a practicing Muslim.  He cannot progress through his sentence when coming up against the lies like this – especially in the current political climate. Hassan belongs with his family in north Wales. He wants to go and live with his friend who is in poor health and support him.

Life in prison is taking its toll on Hassan – he has written an autobiography called “A Wasted life.” which the IWW’s Incarcerated Workers Organising Committee are hoping to publish as a booklet.

Hassan needs us to act NOW! His parole is imminent (on the 19th of October) and this will be the only chance to set him free in the next 2 years. He has been considering that if he does not get parole he will undertake a hunger strike until death.

What you can do:

You can only write by letter – and all letters need to be received by the 17th of October, please post your letters to arrive by this date.

Write or email to the Governor of HMP Gartree voicing your concerns about his situation and that he should be released. You can find a template below but we recommend you put this into your own words if possible as it will have much more of an impact. Please let the Incarcerated Workers Organising Committee know if you’ve written to them so we know people are responding and fighting for Hassan.

Address: Gallow Field Road,

Market Harborough,

Leicestershire,

LE16 7RP

Dear Ali Barker

I am writing to express my deep concern about prisoner Hassan Khan who is currently in HMP Gartree. He is a “2 strikes” prisoner over a decade over tariff, with a parole hearing coming up on the 19th of October.

It has emerged that his security file is littered with Islamophobic and rascist lies. It is a travesty that someone like Mr Khan who is in prison with his case now at appeal centring on allegations of police corruption, and that now, after 15 years in prison – over 10 years over his original tariff is being obstructed in the progression of his sentence by these baseless accusations. This is having serious consequences for Hassan’s friends, family and Mr Khan himself. These false statements are likely to be obstructing Hassan’s progression in his sentence.

He is serving an indeterminate sentence and denying him a fair hearing is literally putting his life in danger, him having peacefully protested in the past with several hunger strikes at the injustice of his situation, not to mention this having a knock on effect on his progression.

I ask with urgency for you to investigate why Hassan’s security file is full of these utter lies and for the officer(s) alleging these things against him to be investigated for a form of institutional racial abuse

Hassan has several friends and members of his family supportive of him coming home. I look forward to your written response confirming that you will take action to put Mr Khan on the right path to a life outside of prison.

Yours sincerely,

xxxxxxx

Red And Black Telly: CHOMSKY CASTIGATES ANTIFA !

Professor Chomsky doesn’t know what he’s talking about, which never seems to stop him having an opinion: