The Authority of the Boot-Maker. By Mal Content.

Here’s the whole thing.
You can all now pick holes in it, not that Mal would give a shit.

Death in the English Channel – ACG (GB) and UCL (France) statement

The Anarchist Communist Group.

The following is a statement agreed by the ACG and the Union Communiste Libertaire (UCL) in France.

The recent twenty-seven deaths of refugees in the English Channel follow another ten deaths this year of desperate refugees attempting to cross to the UK. There does not appear to be official figures for the number of deaths in similar circumstances over the last twenty years, but last October a figure of 296 was given of those attempting to cross by boat or tunnel. These latest figures raise the number of deaths to over 330, to say nothing of the thousands who have met their deaths in the Mediterranean. Our thoughts are with the relatives and friends of those who have died.

Both the British and French governments have attempted to place the blame for these deaths on people traffickers. But it wasn’t the traffickers who supplied the arms to vicious authoritarian regimes and who intervened in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan, with bombings and occupations, destabilising the region, it was the Western powers, and that includes France and Britain. In addition, the French state has carried out a war against the refugees, dismantling their camps and pulling down their tents in the middle of winter, running out rolls of barbed wire around a camp at Lille and along the railway tracks to Calais, rounding up migrants, subjecting them to harassment, gassings, and strip searches. On the day of the tragedy that resulted in the 27 deaths, the sub-prefect of Boulogne-sur-Mer sent the police to stop the survivors being supplied with dry clothes.

There have been 1,281 recorded attempts to cross the Channel since the beginning of the year, involving a total of 33,083 people, according to the French maritime prefecture of the Channel and the North Sea. The British Home Office recognises that 25,792 refugees managed to reach Kent, and the Maritime Prefecture says that it has brought back 8,200 during rescue operations.

The refugees don’t come to the West just to annoy people in Calais and in Kent. They are fleeing mass murders, bombings, oppressive regimes and political and religious persecution. Many are Kurds who have been forced to flee from Iraq, Iran and Syria. They are not coming to the UK to “scrounge” as has been stated by Priti Patel and other Conservative MPs in parliament, but because there are already existing migrant communities who can support them and provide work, often off the record. Indeed, in early November, Patel stated that 70% of refugees were ‘economic migrants’ and she has not substantiated this spurious allegation. Tory MPs like Edward Leigh and Julian Lewis have gloated in Parliament over the deaths, saying that it would act as a lesson for those attempting to cross the Channel into Britain.

Both the French and British governments have expressed hypocritical sympathy for those who have died, Macron saying that he would not let the Channel become a cemetery. His actions say otherwise. Meanwhile Boris Johnson allocated £54 million last summer to stop crossings. Both are cynically using the crossings to exacerbate the tension between the British and French governments.

It is precisely because of the militarised and heavily fortified crossing points, particularly at the entrances to the tunnel at Coquelles, that have forced refugees to take to sea, often on improvised rafts.

Johnson came to power because of Brexit and one of the aims of Brexit was to end the influx of migrants, especially from the Middle East. This is failing significantly, as around 25% of refugees manage to cross to Britain. In France there is the run-up to the presidential elections, and candidates are keen to show how zealous they are to combat migration.

The Johnson government has closed down any legal paths into the UK and ways of setting up safer routes, such as allowing asylum applications at British embassies, which it virulently opposes. The resettlement scheme he promised for those fleeing from the Taliban in Afghanistan three months ago has still not been implemented, forcing many to take dangerous routes to escape. As for Priti Patel, the Home Office minister, she continues to blame the French government and her own legal advisers and officials for a failure to deliver on Brexit promises. She has raised the idea of a “push-back” policy, with the coastguard and the Navy forcing refugees back to France mid-Channel. No seafarer relishes condemning anyone to drowning, and even the staff union of Border Force, the frontiers law enforcement agency, has rejected the “push-back”. Other crazy schemes mooted have been the sub-contracting of processing asylum seekers to distant countries, for example Albania. The Albanian government has dismissed this as “totally fake”.

For us, libertarian communists, the world is not divided between East and West, North and South, but between the classes, between those who rule and exploit and profit, and those who work and produce the wealth, and are used as cannon fodder by the boss class. Solidarity between French and British workers and with the migrants. Don’t let the nasty, sordid aim of restructuring capitalism on a global scale by those who rule and exploit fool you. The workers of the world have no country. It is time to resurrect a class consciousness that does not recognise borders and states. In the meantime, we must fight to stop any further deaths in the Channel.

Red and Black Telly roundup.







As Israel designates Palestinian human rights organisations ‘terrorist’, where is the international community?

gal-dem

Two Palestinian human rights workers speak out against Israel’s branding of their workplace as a “terrorist” organisation.

Img. Khadija Said

In late October, Israel designated six leading Palestinian civil society and human rights organisations as “terrorist” organisations – including our workplace. We are two Palestinian women who work for Addameer, a non-governmental, civil institution that works to support Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli and Palestinian prisons. This latest escalation in Israel’s use of its military and legislative powers to maintain control over Palestinians suppresses any form of dissent and severs our right to self-determination.

Two weeks later, the Israeli military

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Racism and the Working Class.

Chapter Seventeen of The Authority of the Boot-Maker by Mal Content.

Racism is another ideological hegemony closely woven into the fabric of modern (capitalist) society. It is a species of mythology, and like religion, requires certain assumptions to be taken on trust, not subjected to rational analysis. So I’d like to examine who racism serves, what racists actually believe, and how these ideas gained currency in the first place. Racism holds that mankind can be divided into separate branches identified by physical characteristics, and that these can be ‘ranked’ in terms of ability, intelligence or morality. I well remember school books in my youth that presented this as fact.

Race is a political construct with no scientific basis, it does not follow from any of the major religious traditions, nor is it particularly old. Nevertheless, apologists for racism often contend that there have always been antagonisms between races and this is rooted in some feature of human nature – that old cobblers. By extrapolation, they imply that racism can never be eliminated entirely, which absolves them from the bother of having to do anything about it, or even

Read More.

The Tories want immigrants to save them from shortages? Fuck off

gal-dem

In a winter of discontent ruled by shortages, the Tories are turning to the immigrants they demonised to help them out.
Kemi Alemoru

Welcome to Britain. A land where Nandos and KFC, our premier chicken restaurants, are out of chicken. McDonald’s has no milkshakes. Our supermarket shelves are empty. Brexiteer-run budget pub chain Wetherspoons has pumped its own beer taps dry. The British Soft Drinks Association says we’re running out of gas to make our drinks fizzy. And thanks to nationwide fuel shortages, people are stuck in mile-long queues at petrol stations. Good luck. Outside of the motorway network an estimated 50%-85% of independent petrol stations in the UK currently have nothing left to give. We’re watching the nation coming apart at the seams.

What a silly little mess

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Spain 1936, Ethiopia 2021: the fight against fascism continues …

CNT-AIT Fr

Leaflet distributed at the Vernet Concentration Camp on the occasion of Heritage Days. Because memory is useless if it does not highlight today’s struggles …

Eighty years ago, at the concentration camp Vernet d’Ariège (France), Tecle HAGOS died. The plaque on his grave reads « August 19, 1941, Ethiopian ». Not much is known about his life, except that he was probably part of a group of a dozen students from the Horn of Africa who had traveled to Spain in summer 1936. The announcement of a Revolution, made by workers and peasants, ordinary people which had triumphed over Fascism on July 19, 1936, gave them some hope, they who had seen this same Fascism seize their land in Africa few months before.

Were they Amhara, Tigrayan, Oromo, or some other Ethiopian ethnicity? We do not know and frankly we are not interested to know. Tecle Hagos and his companions had not come to give their youth for Catalonia, Aragon or Andalusia, not even for Spain, but they came for ridding Humanity of Fascism. And also because they shared with the Spanish revolutionaries a universal idea: that of establishing Liberty through Equality and Solidarity.

There, in this Horn of Europe, these sons of the Horn of Africa had shared the libertarian hopes of this people who began to dream aloud. They had also shared its disillusionment, once the politicians had regained their power in the Spanish Republic. Like the anarchists of the CNT-AIT and the militants of the POUM, some Ethiopian freedom fighters were accused without any evidence by the Communists of « treason » and eventually were slandered and also knew the the republican jails …

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Chiapas on the Verge of Civil War

Enlace Zapatista

Communique from the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee-General Command of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation

September 19, 2021

To the people of Mexico:
To the peoples of the world:
To the Sixth in Mexico and abroad:
To the Networks of Resistance and Rebellion:

First: On September 11, 2021, in the early morning, while the Zapatista air delegation was in Mexico City, members of ORCAO – a paramilitary organization serving the Chiapas state government – kidnapped the compañeros Sebastián Nuñez Pérez and José Antonio Sánchez Juárez, autonomous authorities from the Good Government Council of Patria Nueva [New Homeland], Chiapas.

The ORCAO is a political-military organization with paramilitary characteristics: they have uniforms, equipment, weapons, and ammunition purchased with money they receive from [government-sponsored] “social programs”. They keep part of the money for themselves and use part of it to pay off government officials for reporting that they [the ORCAO] are complying with the terms of the social programs. They fire on the Zapatista community of Moisés y Gandhi every night with these weapons.

The EZLN has waited patiently as all avenues toward a solution were attempted and exhausted. While the Chiapas state government tried to sabotage and impede freedom for our compañeros, it was human rights organizations and the progressive Catholic church who made an objective assessment of what might happen.

Second: The compañeros were deprived of their liberty for eight days and then freed today, September 19, 2021, thanks to the parish priests of San Cristóbal de las Casas and Oxchuc, of the San Cristóbal diocese. The compañeros were robbed of a walkie-talkie and six thousand pesos in cash belonging to the Good Government Council.

Third: Kidnapping is a crime under both the bad government’s laws and Zapatista law. While the Chiapas state government has supported and covered up these crimes, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation took the necessary steps to free those who were kidnapped and to detain and sanction those who committed the crime.

Fourth: The only reason the conflict did not escalate into a tragedy was due to the intervention of the parishes mentioned above, human rights organizations, and the mobilizations and denunciations carried out in Mexico and, above all, Europe.

Fifth: The misgovernment of Rutilio Escandón is doing everything possible to destabilize the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas:

It violently represses the normalistas [1].

It sabotages the agreements made between the organized teachers and the federal government, forcing the teachers to take more radical action to demand the agreements be complied with.

Its alliance with narcotraffickers forces indigenous communities to create their own self-defense groups, as the government does nothing to protect the life, liberty, and property of the population. It not only protects the narcotrafficking gangs, but also encourages, promotes, and finances paramilitary groups like those that are constantly attacking communities in Aldama and Santa Martha.

Its vaccination campaign is purposefully slow and disorganized, creating unrest in rural communities that it will no doubt exploit. Meanwhile, the rising covid deaths in these communities are ignored.

Its officials are stealing everything they can from the state treasury, perhaps preparing for a federal government collapse or betting on a new party coming into power.

And now they want to sabotage the departure of the Zapatista delegation participating in the European chapter of the Journey for Life. They ordered their ORCAO paramilitaries to kidnap our compañeros, leaving the crime unpunished, and trying to provoke a reaction from the EZLN, all in a state where governability hangs by a thread.

Sixth: If what the Ecologist Green Party of Mexico (PVEM) wants is to provoke a crisis with international repercussions so that it can destabilize the regime currently in power, they should call a referendum to revoke the presidential mandate.

The PVEM is one of the names used around here by the same old PRI. Sometimes they say it’s the PAN, sometimes the PRD, and now it’s the PVEM badly disguised as the Movement for National Regeneration [MORENA]. But it’s the same criminals as ever, and now they’re part of the misnamed “opposition” movement, a “fifth column” within the 4T [2].

Those responsible are: Rutilio Escandón and Victoria Cecilia Flores Pérez.

If what they want is to topple the federal government, or to cause problems in retaliation for the current federal criminal investigations against them, or to support one of the factions competing for power in 2024, then they should use the available legal channels and stop playing with the life, liberty, and property of the people of Chiapas. They should call for a vote to revoke the presidential mandate and stop playing with fire because they’re going to get burned.

Seventh: We call on Europe below and to the left and on the Sixth in Mexico and abroad to protest in front of Mexican embassies and consulates and at the government offices of the state of Chiapas, demanding an end their provocations and renunciation of their death cult. The date is Friday, September 24, 2021.

Given the actions and omissions of the state and federal governments regarding these crimes and previous ones, we will take the necessary measures to bring justice to the criminals in the ORCAO and the government officials who sponsor them.

That is all. Next time there won’t be a communique. That is, there won’t be words, only actions.

From the mountains of southeastern Mexico,
In the name of the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee-General Command of the EZLN

Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano.
Mexico, September 19, 2021.

[1] Students at the Escuelas Normales, or rural teachers’ colleges.

[2] The López Obrador campaign deemed its governing project the “Fourth Transformation” (4T), supposedly on par with historic events such as Mexican Independence (1810), a period of reform in the mid-19th century, and the Mexican Revolution (1910).

IWW WISE-RA Joins The ICL-CIT

IWW WISE-RA 11th September 2021


Fellow Workers,

It gives me great delight to inform you that we are now members of the ICL-CIT, thus strengthening our ties with Fellow Workers and, importantly, other anarcho-syndicalist and revolutionary unions, internationally. For those of you less familiar with this organisation, their project is exactly the same as ours, namely:

Its main goal is to contribute to deep social and economic transformation worldwide.

Our membership to the ICL-CIT will ensure that we remain focused on our project of empowering workers at a grassroots level, while also enabling us to co-ordinate the use of the weapons we have at our disposal in our fight against the forces of capitalism.

If you would like to get involved, please get in touch.

In solidarity,

William Sharkey
Secretary for the IWW (WISE-RA)

Wessex stall at Increase The Peace Community Festival, Sunday 29th August.

Wessex Solidarity will have a literature stall at Increase The Peace Community Festival in Bournemouth this Sunday. Our first outing for a while with lots of new pamphlets. Freedom Press are there also.

At Oakmedian club house, Meyric Park, Bournemouth BH2 6LJ

Free Entry from 1 p.m. till midnight, with Live music, food and other attractions.

Supporting International Care Network and Hope For Food.

facebook event