An anarchist argument for getting the fuck out of the European Union, by Mal Content.

EU bombAll the arguments currently being raised for and against exit are entirely bogus from my point of view, but it was still never going to be a difficult question. Basically, the fewer people rulers have to rule over the less power they wield, the more powerful we are. It makes sense therefore, to cut them down to size by always devolving power to the smallest administrative unit possible. For this reason alone I was excited by the near-miss of Scottish independence in 2014.

The trouble with politics of course, is politicians; their choices depend on precisely whose vested interests they are paid to lobby for. Both campaigns are focusing on what benefits the rich and how best to screw the poor: compromising their health and safety, suppressing their dissent, denying them human rights and benefits, spying on them, stopping them striking or moving about.

Whereas all parties stand for the bourgeoisie, the Tory party strives to represent the landed aristocracy as well. Within it there is a long-standing cognitive dissonance between giving free reign to global capitalism, and the palaeolithic idea that there ought to be some advantage to having been born within a given geographical boundary. Squaring up to pork and pigeon abusers Cameron and Osborne for a theatrical toff-off are posh buffoons Johnson and Gove, and the bungling ghoul Duncan-Smith. Never mind whether you despise any one more than the others, they are all our enemies, as are the proto-fascist Farage, the tankie gobshite Galloway, the parliamentary Labour party and that other bunch that John Cleese likes for some reason.

National interest – well there never was such a thing. What possible common interest could there be between the oligarch in their penthouse and people sleeping in doorways over the road? For the wage-labourers in between, neoliberal capitalism has taken great pains to destroy any commonality of interest by atomising our communities and turning us into a socio-economic continuum with each worker half a point above the next one. Whenever politicians use this term they mean the interest of the ruling elite in maintaining the value of its property and its dominance over the rest of us. The slimy use of the pronoun ‘we’ by hereditary millionaires talking to paupers sets my teeth on edge. I especially detest the phrase ‘UK-PLC’, but it does emphasise that this isn’t your island, you only work here.

“This ideological construct of a unified “national interest” includes the fiction of a “neutral” set of laws, which conceals the exploitative nature of the system of power we live under. Under corporate capitalism the relationships of exploitation are mediated by the political system to an extent unknown under previous class systems. Under chattel slavery and feudalism, exploitation was concrete and personalized in the producer’s relationship with his master. The slave and peasant knew exactly who was screwing them. The modern worker, on the other hand, feels a painful pounding sensation, but has only a vague idea where it is coming from.”

– Kevin A. Carson: ‘The Iron Fist behind the Invisible Hand – Corporate Capitalism as a State-Guaranteed System of Privilege’.

The Economy – fuck that! What has the economy ever done for us? It’s what keeps oligarchs in penthouses and their victims in doorways.

“Businesses hate uncertainty and that’s what we would give them,”

Cameron spluttered, and the I.M.F.’s Christine Lagarde echoed:

“Uncertainty is bad in and of itself. No economic player likes uncertainty. They don’t invest, they don’t hire, they don’t make decisions in times of uncertainty”

The poor bastards! No doubt these arguments will resonate with those in precarious employment, on zero-hours contracts, or under constant threat of sanction by the D.W.P. – You could give the bosses a taste of their own medicine, but Cameron’s probably counting on you being too repelled by their toff wars to participate. Referenda are directly democratic; we’re fine with practical questions being settled this way (with the proviso of course that a majority can’t vote away the freedom of a minority).

Let’s spy on another class enemy; this is from the C.B.I. website:

“The vast majority of CBI members are clear that the benefits of EU membership outweigh the costs, but that the EU must reform to be more competitive. Sir Mike Rake called for businesses to speak out on the benefits at our Annual Dinner in May, which an increasing number of CBI members are doing.”

It goes on to list the benefits to its class:

  • The importance of access to the Single Market
  • The value of EU membership for attracting investment
  • How EU trade deals help to grow exports
  • How EU free movement helps businesses to grow and create jobs
  • How EU reforms like digital single market, TTIP and other trade deals help businesses grow
  • Where reducing EU red tape and fewer rules can help make it easier to do business

Creating jobs – bollocks: ever wanted to do something more useful than making the rich richer? Saving the environment, feeding and housing people, fighting disease? The issue for them is how to reduce the price of labour to its absolute minimum and piss off with the proceeds before they have to give any back.

Cameron claims that ‘all countries friendly to the UK’, want it to stay in the EU.

“That’s what the New Zealanders think, the Canadians, the Indians, the Chinese, everyone. I’m yet to meet a serious friendly country, one that wants a stronger relationship with us, that thinks we will be better outside.”

He blithers on, betraying the infantile level of this debate:

“I say you should listen to your friends about what they think would be good for you and would be right for you.”

Let’s deconstruct that statement a little.

Even Porky couldn’t claim that the entire populations of those territories and this island are on friendly terms, much less that a third of the human race gives a flying fuck about the outcome of his referendum. What he means of course is that the rulers of China for example, a one-party dictatorship that presides over sweatshops in which 70,000 people die at work annually, are sympathetic to his ends. From human rights watch 2015 report:

“The government targets activists and their family members for harassment, arbitrary detention, legally baseless imprisonment, torture, and denial of access to adequate medical treatment.”

Both India and China retain the death penalty for civilians, the number of executions in China is a state secret, but is rarely below 2,000 per annum – more than the rest of the world put together. With friends like those, who needs Iain Duncan-Smith?

Sovereignty – another irrelevance; the sovereignty of a parliament full of crooked millionaires and politics graduates versus a load of crooked political appointees. The market is global, as politicians never tire of reminding you when they fail to deliver their promises. It really isn’t up to them but their corporate sponsors; they need the market and the market needs them. According to Alex Edwards, currency analyst at UKForex, the very fact of proles having a say in such weighty matters will terrify the global bourgeoisie, as it did in Greece:

“It’s going to be a very bumpy ride for sterling in the run up to June’s referendum, and we can expect new lows and increased instability as the rhetoric heightens, polls are released and rumours abound.”

Good.

The greatest ever surrender of sovereignty by the British state was its entry into NATO, which has led to the absurdity of professed allies fighting on opposite sides in the Syrian conflict. Although the Turkish state is backing deash against both the Kurds and the Assad regime, the U.S. government will never move against it because it keeps air force bases on Turkish soil, with tactical nuclear weapons.

Some workers fear the loss of social legislation, driven from regions where workers’ organisations are integrated into the state. But stop; if we have to rely for our emancipation on other people’s efforts, we really are in the cart. In the last century liberation movements thought they could get a better deal by being proxies of the U.S.S.R. The German unions have a lot of bargaining power; they also have a vested interest in the stability of the state, thereby supporting prosperity in capitalist terms. The French unions do well because they take to the streets and kick off, we don’t need the common market to do that! In Spain, a wave of political repression is underway that recalls the dictatorships of the twentieth century. Greek workers are at war with their government and the E.U.

Social change that benefits the working class only comes through direct organising with other workers, not through top-down institutions. Activists will continue to work with their overseas counterparts against capitalist globalisation, fascism and environmental destruction. Revolutionary syndicalism is international and does not rely on the political alliances of governments. When we make common cause with workers in European countries, or any others for that matter, we’ll sort it out between ourselves. The E.U. bureaucracy isn’t going to help us organise a Europe-wide general strike, is it?

Freedom of movement within the E.U. is likely to be curtailed in the short term as the squabbling partners all rush to get their fences up. Britain was never going to be in the Shengen zone, and they won’t even let you on the channel ferry without a passport any more. A bilateral agreement between the French and British states places the U.K. border firmly on the other side of the channel. Comrades are regularly accosted by state-terror spooks on their return from oversees events, and political integration of European states facilitates this. For the rich of any zone, travel has never been a problem and never will be, either way. For those of us who want the borders down, don’t worry, that’s going to happen anyway; no force on Earth can stop it. Over the next twenty years large sections of the planet’s surface will become uninhabitable, which is why the ruling class and its client media are relentlessly stoking fear of the ‘other’ to soften us up for some serious crimes against humanity. The very last thing we need is the rulers of Western Europe getting together on this behind closed doors and coming out with a plan.

The EU is nothing more than a bourgeois cartel that can only serve the interests of the bosses and we have an opportunity to break it. We don’t need Brussels any more than we need Westminster; both represent the hegemony of old, rich, white men. What’s more, if the Referendum produces an overall majority for exit this will most likely not be reflected north of the Scottish border* and will re-open their independence debate. It’s unlikely that many in the North of Ireland will want to see a ‘hard border’ with the South again and will be similarly reluctant to follow Britain. The result could be a move towards re-unification or at least to marginalise the bowler-hat merchants. If we’re very lucky, we could see off the U.K. altogether!

*Not because it’s in their interests, but because many are in thrall to a political movement that postulates a softer social democratic capitalism, and they would understandably rather tie up to the mainland than to England’s toffocracy.

Going back to my first paragraph, an independent England with a guaranteed Tory majority in parliament doesn’t scare me in the slightest; the present government acts with impunity already, despite representing less than a quarter of the population. I’d cheerfully take Dorset out of England if I could – and we’ve got the worst of the worst down here: Chope, Drax and Letwin – but we’d be fighting a ruling class so weakened and demoralised I doubt the toffs would have the front to set foot outside their houses.

Ignore all the fuglies on the out campaign; Cameron wants you to vote in, the U.S. government wants it, the Chinese Communist Party wants it, the C.B.I. wants it, the I.M.F. wants it, Hollande and Merkel want it, what more reasons do we need for voting out?

The devil mud run, all in a day’s work for Bristol Antifascists.

bristleOur comrades at Bristol Anti-fascists are taking part in the DEVIL MUD RUN, to raise funds. It’s a hardcore, hilly 8 kilometre course across open, rugged countryside and through woods featuring over 31 obstacles with plenty of mud and water thrown in!

Maybe you don’t run like you used to or you were never too keen on it in the first place, but some anti-fascists are going to do it for you. You can donate here to help ordinary working class heroes keep us all out of the gas chambers a little while longer. Tidy.

Students for Palestine: film show at Highfield Church Centre, Southampton. Tuesday 8th March.

On Tuesday 8th March, 7pm, at Highfield Church Centre, there will be a short 30 minute film about the plight of the Christian Palestinian community in the Bethlehem and Hebron which will be followed by a short talk by Cathryn Spiller who will be running a half-marathon in aid of Amos Trust in Bethlehem in April.

A map of the Highfield Campus can be downloaded here

Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign

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International Women’s Day events at W.I. Hall, North St. Bridport, Sat 12th March.

International Women’s Day Celebration focuses on Women Writers, all welcome.

5.30 for 6pm Play: Five Break the Spell  Join The Bookshop and members of Bridfem for a delightful evening of family friendly fun with a Participatory Pop-up Play where you can join in as actors or audience.  Our play, about a certain well-known British children’s author who set many of her adventures in Dorset, will be led by Beth Shaw, co-author of The Domestic Theatre Handbook.  The Bookshop will have a stall of books for sale by and about women. Admission Free/Donation, with tea and coffee.

8pm Autonomy Films presents: An Angel at My Table Jane Campion’s award-winning 1990 film of Janet Frame’s autobiography tells of her childhood in New Zealand and her triumph over mental illness to become a successful writer. (Colour, 2hrs 38mins)

Admission £3  or less if you’re skint Vegetarian soup on sale from  7.30pm.

Forget the UN! Meet the Self-Determining Refugees in Kurdistan

Foundation of the Shengal Founding Council | Photo: Alan Roj

Foundation of the Shengal Founding Council | Photo: Alan Roj

Written by  Dilar Dirik on Kurdish Question.

Without getting into the dehumanizing, brutal debates that dominate the so-called refugee crisis, let’s explore a different refugee story. One of autonomy, agency, self-determination and empowerment. Three refugee camps in Kurdistan illustrate this radical alternative to the status quo.

Our journey begins in Makhmour, a 40-minute ride south of the Iraqi-Kurdish capital Erbil City. Even today, this refugee camp’s inhabitants call its existence “a miracle.” It was created in the 1990s after the Turkish army destroyed Kurdish villages, forcibly displacing 100,000 people escaping massacre and forced assimilation. Far from the U.S.-cheerleading system in Erbil, decorated with billboards of Turkish companies, you feel an entirely different atmosphere upon entering Makhmour camp which is guarded by PKK guerrillas: a communal life.

Due to the explicitly political nature of the camp, which openly supports the PKK, the camp was displaced several times and repeatedly criminalized, invaded, and partly destroyed over the years by the Turkish and Iraqi states, as well as the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which governs Erbil. The U.N. never adequately supported the camp beyond basic needs, due to its politics.

Many children were killed by scorpions during the early days in this desert-like, hostile piece of land. Over time, despite all the attacks, the people established a principled autonomous system and turned it into a fertile green settlement. Every neighborhood here forms a commune, each having an autonomous women’s commune. The education system, including the syllabus, and health services, the economy, etc., are self-determined and independent from the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq. The entire infrastructure was built collectively. “Everyone placed a brick on every house here,” the story of Makhmour goes.

The Ishtar women’s council was created in 2003 in order to represent women’s will and needs. The women’s academy Martyr Jiyan (named after a camp woman killed by the KDP in an uprising) gives lessons in literacy, self-defense (philosophical and armed), world, regional, and women’s history, democratic confederalism, ecology, and more.

“To know is to become aware,” explains Aryen, who teaches at the academy. “There was a time in Mesopotamia where society was organized by women. That time was far more ethical and egalitarian than today’s age. We want to resist by reviving the values that were taken away from us as women by raising women with strength and ethical-political consciousness.”

Whoever witnessed the invisibility of ordinary women in ultra-patriarchal Erbil encounters a very different type of woman here: self-confident, assertive, and happy – a striking indicator of how systemic environments impact women’s lives. Though the camp is supposedly under U.N. protection, only the PKK was here to evacuate and defend the people, when ISIS attacked last year. All adults in the camp know how to handle a gun and take turns holding guard at night.

Our next stop takes us to the Sinjar (Shengal) mountains, the stage of the latest massacre on the Yazidi Kurds.

“This is definitely the last massacre on the Yazidis,” the people here say. “If we get distributed into the diaspora, this will be our end anyway. We will cease to exist as a community. That is why the only way to survive is to organize.”

What many people who fail to understand the sociological factors of displacement don’t realize is that attachment to a certain geography is an existential element for many communities. Displacement often means the irreversible erasure of history.

“Due to betrayal and lack of organization, we became victims,” explains a member of the Shengal Founding Council, established in January 2015, based on Abdullah Öcalan’s democratic autonomy system. “Now we know that if we do not look after ourselves, nobody will.”

Approximately 40,000 people live in tents on the mountain now. “We started by walking from tent to tent to meet people’s basic needs. Slowly, we began building self-organization through committees for services, culture, health, education, economy, etc. to sort out daily life issues, but also long-term goals. Women and youth organize autonomously. Very quickly, we became a thorn in the eye of the KDP, which withdrew when the massacre began,” he added. While blocking roads for others, the KDP distributes international aid from abroad in its own name here.

Our final stop is the Newroz camp which was created in Dêrîk (al-Malikiyah) in August 2014 after more than 10,000 Yazidis escaped by crossing the fading Iraqi-Syrian border through the “humanitarian corridor” from Shengal to Rojava, fought by the YPG/YPJ of Rojava and PKK guerrillas. During my first visit to the camp in December 2014, the full embargo on Rojava imposed by Turkey and the KDP, the latter controlling the border-crossing on the Iraqi side, prevented any humanitarian aid, including food and blankets, and even books from crossing. Due to political pressure, especially after the resistance of Kobane, some international organizations provide limited aid now, but the embargo continues. The UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, attempted to recreate the camp according to its universal concept, neglecting the fact that there was already a self-determining system in practice. Encountering the camp assembly’s resistance, the UNHCR was forced to respect their demands and now provides material needs, which the people coordinate themselves.

International institutions supposedly in charge have often left these people to die, starve, and suffer, by giving in to state policies. Meanwhile, the refugees, who have had everything taken away from them, create a life in dignity and power.

In September, the photo of the small child Alan Kurdî from Kobane stranded on a beach after drowning in the sea, managed to touch the silent conscience of humanity. My friend and Kurdish activist Mehmet Aksoy wrote:

“Sometimes the fate of a child is written a 100 years before they are born. We are not talking of a divine fate, we are talking of historical forces, politics, power, hegemony, economic exploitation and colonialism.”

What makes bodies like Alan Kurdî’s so cruelly disposable is this order which values state-borders more than human beings.

In a world dictated by nation-states, what can we expect from a system like the U.N. that only respects the agency of states, which cause today’s massacres, genocides, ethnic cleansings, mass displacements, poverty, war and destruction to begin with, because it necessitates them by definition, especially considering that the core of it is made up of the top arms-selling states?

Rendering displaced people as dependent, apolitical non-agents, while leading a chauvinism discourse in host countries which established themselves through imperialism, racism, colonization, theft, exploitation, war, murder, and rape, is a strategy of the international order to maintain the racist status quo. Makhmour, Dêrîk, and Shengal, however, having been empowered by the PKK ideology, which rejects the nation-state system, tell another story.

Sabriye, a mother from Makhmour explains: “They fear us, because we stand on our feet. We did not trust anyone to save us, we took our fate into our own hands and created our own self-defense and social system. We made life sweeter by organizing ourselves.”

More than charity, refugees need comrades that help fight displacement causes (like foreign invasions and arms trade) and support the concerned people’s autonomy. Last month, Abdallah Kurdî, Alan’s father, called for the political recognition of the Rojava administration: “I am grateful for your sympathy for my fate. This has given me the feeling that I am not alone. But an essential step in ending this tragedy and avoiding its recurrence, is support for our self-organization.”

The world cried for Alan’s father, will it support his politics as well?

Original Source: www.telesurtv.net

YPG: WE HAVE NO CONNECTION TO ANKARA BOMBING, TURKEY IS PREPARING GROUND TO ATTACK ROJAVA

ypglogoFrom Kurdish Question 18th February 2016

The General Command of the People’s Defence Units (YPG) has released a statement in response to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu who blamed the YPG for yesterday’s attack in the heart of Turkish capital Ankara which left 28 people dead and 64 others wounded.

YPG General Command said they have no links to the attack, remarking that Davutoğlu put forward this accusation to pave the way for an offensive on Rojava and Syria. The General Command stressed that YPG hasn’t engaged in any kind of military activity against the Turkish state so far in spite of all its attacks and provocations.

We hereby publish the full text of the related statement by YPG General Command;

“As is known to our people and the public opinion, the Rojava revolution has entered its 4th year. As the YPG forces, we are protecting our people in Rojava region from the very first day on. Under challenging conditions, we are protecting our people from barbaric gangs such as ISIS and Al-Nusra. Countless states and media outlets have repeatedly reported about the support Turkey has been providing to these terrorist groups. Apart from the terrorist groups attacking us, we as YPG have engaged in no military activity against the neighboring states or other forces. Despite all its provocations and attacks on Rojava border, we have acted with historic responsibility and never retailated Turkey. During the past 4 years, Rojava is the safest area of Turkey-Syria border, and there has been no military action conducted by our side during this period. This truth is best known to the Turkish military and AKP government. They are deliberately distorting the truths and holding us responsible for the explosion in Ankara.

We would like to reiterate our message to the peoples of Turkey and the world; We have no links to this incident. It is not specific to this case alone, as we have never been involved in an attack against Turkey. The Turkish state cannot possibly prove our engagement in any kind of attack on their side because we were never involved in such an action. Turkish Prime Minister Davutoğlu’s remarks “Ankara attack was conducted by YPG” is a lie and far from the truth. With this statement, Davutoğlu wants to pave the way for an offensive on Syria and Rojava, and to cover up their relations with the ISIS which is known to the whole world by now.

As the People’s Defence Units-YPG, we state once again that we have no links to the explosion in Ankara, and we call upon all neighboring states and forces to respect the Rojava revolution and will of peoples.” Source ANF.

KQ adds: The Democratic Union Party (PYD), to whom the YPG is affiliated, said it “completely refuted” the claims of its involvement.

Saleh Muslim, co-chair of PYD, also denied claims the YPG was firing into Turkey. “They don’t consider Turkey as an enemy,” he told Reuters news agency.

BREAK THE SILENCE! STOP TURKEY’S WAR ON THE KURDS! NATIONAL DEMO 6TH OF MARCH LONDON.

breakthesilenceTurkey has launched a war on the 25 million Kurds of south east Turkey ever since the mainly Kurdish political party, the HDP twice won over 12% of the vote in the elections of 2015 and in Syria the Kurdish PYD has led a movement creating a popular progressive democracy in the Rojava region.

Rather than accept that sooner rather than later the rights and aspirations of the Kurdish people to autonomy must be met, in Turkey and beyond, the Turkish state has imposed curfews on towns and cities across the region, with tanks on the streets and snipers on the roofs, and nearly 200 people have been murdered by Turkish forces. An all out policy of annihilation is being pursued by Erdogan and the Turkish state.

Yet while Turkey is a key NATO ally of the UK and USA and desperate to get into the EU, the UK and international media have said and done nothing to stop this brutality.

The Kurdish movement in the UK have been protesting about their treatment by Turkey since 100,000 Kurds came to this country in the 1980s and 1990s, as refugees from the Turkish war against the Kurds when hundreds of villages were destroyed, 30,000 Kurds killed and 3 million made refugees.

But now for the first time, in the face of the Turkish state restarting the war against the Kurds, it has been decided to call a national demonstration under the slogan ‘Break The Silence’, as this brutal attack is unreported in the UK press, and Stop Turkeys War on the Kurds, as we will be demanding the UK govt puts pressure on Turkey to stop these attacks and return to the negotiations for a peaceful settlement with the Kurdish Movement began with the PKK, the Kurdish liberation movement.

Lastly we call for the UK govt to decriminalise the Kurdish Liberation Movement, even though the PKK represents the vast majority of Kurds in Turkey and in the UK, is illegal in the UK, which creates serious barriers and difficulties in the search for a peaceful, political settlement.

PLEASE JOIN US IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE KURDS ON THE 6th MARCH. FOR UPDATES SEE THE FB EVENT PAGE:

Called by Kurdish National Congress [ KNK] UK, Peace in Kurdistan and London, Kurdish Solidarity.

MPs Are Scared. So they Should Be!

From Trade Onion Wednesday, 27 January 2016

The recent report into violence and aggression shown towards MPs reveals an astonishing lack of awareness amongst our elected representatives when it comes to the effects of their policies. Whingeing about violence they receive at the hands of their constituents while they make laws which increase the likelihood of people suffering poverty, eviction and inequality. Many people will be shocked to see the level of anger and hatred shown towards people who are supposedly there to help us all and represent our interests. One MP has written a comparison between how people treat their MPs and their GPs. Of course there’s a major difference between doctors and politicians: doctors try to make you better and politicians always end up making things worse.

There are two issues that this report brings to light which have been overlooked. The first is the frustration many people feel when they discover that discussing things with their MP might not actually get them anywhere. That sense of powerlessness when the bureaucratic reality of life in a liberal democracy hits home can make your blood boil. This is linked to the second issue which is the structural violence of the capitalist system that can only function with willing bureaucrats ready to wring their hands of responsibility.

The power of the piece of paper telling an MP that nothing can be done in a situation because the law has been followed correctly is the most horrendous power we allow. It’s the power that props up every form of legalised abuse. It excuses a million crimes against the citizenry in the name of order and it unleashes violence against us daily. It is our civic duty to consider how that violence works and then vow to suppress it.

The rule of law is backed up with force, or violence. If the law says something is so then to oppose it means you are inviting violence against you in the form of the police, courts, incarceration etc. The very fact that inequality is backed up by law means that inequality is in itself a violent act. The boss that lawfully pays you less than your value is backed up with the full force of the law. The homeless, users of food banks, people needing benefits to survive, the list goes on – these are all victims of a violent system that protects the richest people at the expense of everyone else. It’s a morality that allows the richest to set the wages of everyone and then enforces that inequality and poverty. Rise up against it and you will be criticised for being violent, a thug, mindless and, shock horror, of not respecting law and order. It isn’t order at all. It’s a chaos that’s trikes fear in millions of people every day.

The message from MPs is clear: we make the laws for capitalism to function and you must obey. They ensure that this structural violence exists, in the interest of the rich. They keep this brutal system of capitalism going. They mix with, and enjoy the financial attention of the ruling class. Without them this chaos could be ended today and replaced with order. Not law and order but a harmony where people do not have to suffer the deleterious effects of capitalism and where power can rest with us all as equals.

Instead, we have the sight of these people who inflict aggression on our society pleading for help and protection from the dangerous population. What the reports really show us is that people fully understand the system and are mightily pissed off with it. That people are willing to abuse their MP on twitter or even go to their surgery and be aggressive in person is clearly linked to the hopelessness people see in this system. Democracy was supposed to give us a voice but instead it continues to give voice to the rich, giving them all the protection they need to enjoy life at our expense.

This system isn’t going to change via twitter or people lashing out on their own at their MP’s office. It’s going to change only when we all start to see it for what it is: a protection racket for the rich. It’s becoming increasingly clear that appealing to an MP for help is pointless anyway. It’s as pointless as voting for them in the first place. They’re not there for us and they have a thousand pieces of legislation ready to tell us why they can’t help. They’re better ignored and the system fought instead.

One positive thing to come out of this report though is that we can record how fearful they are of us. It should please us when our tormentors act like frightened little puppies. Our message to MPs should be clear: you are right to be afraid. We should take that fear and make it spread all the way to the top. On March 5th David Cameron has a chance to feel it as Class War march on one of his properties. Whilst his government is destroying housing for the poorest in society he’s creaming it as a landlord. Such things don’t go unnoticed and they will be acted on!

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University of Southampton tries to obstruct talk.

This message is from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch.

Dear All,

I am sorry to have to inform you that the University of Southampton is engaged in what can only be construed as a dishonest and deeply cynical attempt to silence pro-Palestinian voices on campus. Despite having been given well over a month’s notice of Mike Cushman’s talk, due to take place on Tuesday, (at the Highfield Campus in building 46, room 2005 at 6.30pm) by Students for Palestine, the legal department has failed to grant permission for this talk and has today informed the student group that they will send them an e-mail with a final decision on Monday.

They have already succeeded in minimising the amount of time and effort that could be put into publicising the talk as the student group delayed announcing it for a long time in anticipation of being granted formal permission. They will of course be aware that by providing the group with a “final decision” a single day before the scheduled date of the talk they can successfully minimise the number of people attending and/or the amount of time available to appeal against any decision against. This is a deeply sad and disappointing state of affairs and the student group is considering what steps it can take to prevent this from reoccurring. If the university is allowed to “get away” with doing this on whim they will have effectively succeeded in implementing a de-facto censorship of Palestinian and pro-Palestinian voices on campus.

As regards the talk all that I can say as of the time of writing is that it is still due to go ahead on Tuesday evening. However, if you are planning
to attend the talk do please check your e-mail* on Monday evening for what I hope will be a final confirmation that the talk is going ahead.

*We’ll post it up here: W.S.

My sincere apologies for this sad and shameful state of affairs.

Kind regards,

Adam Waterhouse, Branch Secretary – Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign

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Rat-infested Wetherspoons closed.

By our restaurant correspondent, Roland Butter.the Albany Palace in Trowbridge

Wetherspoons’ pub the Albany Palace in Trowbridge was closed for half an hour last night after a diner complained that a rat ran up his trouser leg and stole one of his chips. – From Western Daily Press

Reece Coombs, from Trowbridge, was out with his partner Lucy Wrenn. “It felt like somebody had kicked me, then a rat ran up my leg and took the chip out of my hand and bolted,” staff immediately cleared the pub, without telling other customers why they were getting kicked out mid-meal. Ms Wrenn said: “All we got was a refund, which was going to be a part-refund for the food we were waiting on, until I saw about the rushed drinks and incomplete, potentially contaminated starter we had,”.

It’s believed the rat had escaped from the kitchen.

Is Wetherspoons going down the crapper at long last? The group’s shares fell 9% they claim as a result of the meagre increase in the minimum wage. Multi-millionaire boss Tim Martin, a big fan of the zero-hours contract has always whinged at the prospect of his staff making a living. He hates our class with a vengeance and would ideally like you to pay VAT on food as well so he can compete with the supermarkets. If you encourage the bastard he’ll end up owning everything then he can squeeze your wages and ram up the prices at the same time.

If you’re planning on taking someone special out for Valentine’s, best steer clear of the ‘spoons or you won’t get laid.

JUSTICE FOR KEVAN THAKRAR: Blatant and despicable miscarriage of justice. Thursday 18 February 12.30pm – 2.30pm

JOIN THE PROTEST Thursday 18 February 12.30pm – 2.30pm HM Prison Service Headquarters Clive House, 70 Petty France LONDON SW1H 9EX

Nearest Station: St James’s Park underground station, a 5 minute walk. Buses: Any buses stopping at New Scotland Yard then continue along Victoria Street then turn left on to Caxton Street then turn right on to Palmer Street, continue until you will reach Petty France.

Kevan Thakrar Urgently Needs Your Support!

kevKevan Thakrar was found not guilty of attacking three prison officers and vindicated by evidence that showed he acted in self-defence after months of racial, physical and psychological abuse. Any court ruling that goes against prison officers is VERY unusual. Kevan continues to be held in isolation in the prison services ‘Close Supervision Centres’ more than six years later, no doubt as retribution for his court victory.

Organised by Justice for Kevan Thakrar. (Full details about Kevan’s wrongful conviction and fight for a new trial and letter from Kevan) facebook page

WHAT YOU CAN DO
If you can’t make it to London for the protest please try to find the time to write to your own MP or Kevan’s (Ian Stewart MP). When writing to one of those cunts the address to use is: House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA, or you can contact them on-line www.writetothem.com

Sign the petition for Kev: We don’t believe in petitions either but this hapless comrade was deliberately framed and buried alive by the state and the best we can achieve at the moment is not allow him to be forgotten or allow them to hide their crimes against him. You can also write to him: Kevan Thakrar A4907AE HMP Wakefield Love Lane Wakefield WF2 9AG or e mail from here

Close Supervision Centres – Torture Units in the UK. New Pamphlet from Bristol ABC. April 2012

Close Supervision Centres in the UK #2 – A Brief Follow Up