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woensdag 13 februari 2013

Palestine-Israel, The joint struggle continue along with the mounting tension for the nearing post-election earth quack*


The tactic of tent(s) building direct actions continue with internationals but Israelis 
only as media and support part. The harsh escalation of suppression expressed more in 
house demolition than in direct actions clashes, but even in the Friday demos we 
experience an escalation of harassment of the state forces. Both in Israel Media and the 
public arena the mounting international pressure and the stubborn refusal of the ruling 
elite to yield bring the aura of an imminent disaster. The cracks within the ruling elite 
expand and threaten the efforts to invest increasing part of the national product in the 
settler colonialist project while recruiting the support of the organized orthodox Jewish 
parties by increasing benefits to their communities.


Weekly Non-Violent Protests in #Palestine, February 8, 2013

Bil'in, Ni'lin, Nabi Saleh, Kufr Qaddoum, Maasara, Issawiye, Abu Dis, Jalama, Hebron... 
Weekly protests against Israel's APARTHEID wall and ILLEGAL settlements and in solidarity 
with the Legendary Samer Issawi (200 Days on Hunger Strike) and the hunger Striking 
Palestinian prisoners in Israel jails
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.500567726656717.116045.251098394936986


South West Bank

Beit Ommar

Call for participation in direct action: South West Bank Committee
We are the sons and daughters of Canaanites will establish Canaan Village (Canaan) on 
endangered Canaanite Palestinian land. We declare that it is our natural right to 
develop, reclaim, improve, use, and live on all our lands free and without threats from 
occupiers/colonizers. Beginning Saturday 9 February, we will have several days of direct 
work to help farmers in the South West Bank reclaim and improve their agricultural lands.
We call on people of conscience and media to join us as we work our lands and thus defend 
it against attempts by foreign colonizers to usurp it.
If interested to help, meet us at Bab Zqaq in Bethlehem at 7 AM Saturday when we will 
move to the location/s of the work.

South West Bank committee against settlement and apartheid wall

South West region Today, the South West Popular Committee along with international 
activists embarked on a new effort to establish a village, Canaan, on Palestinian land in 
South Hebron Hills. The village's name was not accidental. We wanted to declare that we 
are the indigenous people of Palestine. We are the descendants of the Canaanites and our 
ties to the land can never be broken or taken away. Early last night, various Palestinian 
activists from a wide array of villages in the South West Bank area along with 
international activists met in a home to discuss plans for the coming day. Signs were 
prepared which stated 'Our Land is Our Right', 'Canaan Village' and a declaration of 
intent which stated that "we are the sons and daughters of the Cananites, we establish 
Canaan Village on endangered Palestinian land." "We declare that it is our natural right 
to develop, reclaim, improve, use and live on all our lands free and without threat from 
occupiers/colonizers."

South West Bank Committee have organized a protest today 8/2/2013 to open the road 
connects Hebron with southern villages; hundreds of Palestinians have participated in this 
protest. This road was blocked by the Israeli occupation forces 10 years ago depriving 10s 
of thousands of Palestinians from using this main road as part of the Israeli occupation 
movement restriction movement imposed on Palestinians. Protesters chanted slogans against 
Israeli apartheid, in addition to slogans asking for the freedom of movement, and slogans 
calling for the release of Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli occupation jails. The 
protest was suppressed violently by the Israeli occupation forces.

Feb. 9, 2013: In the early morning hours, following a night of planning, we established 
Canaan as our first attempt, in the south of Yatta (the entrance to Twani). Within less 
than a minute, while we barely managed to establish the tent, an occupation jeep arrived. 
The occupation soldiers encircled us and told us we must leave. We refused to obey such a 
racist demand. An officer of the occupation army then went on to demolish our tent, steal 
our additional tents and equipment and violently prevent us from reclaiming our land and 
our belongings. Activists build new protest village Canaan, http://on.fb.me/V5P81X
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=501047813270234

Several hours later, we went on with a much larger group of activists, international 
supporters and an especially large number of journalists, to the east Yatta, near Ein 
Mai'in, Hazawai, we established a large tent and began building a room from stones of the 
land. Within half an hour, we were heavily encircled by at least 6 jeeps of the occupation 
forces. A large military vehicle which fires skunk water was brought in. We were told that 
we have 10 minuets to leave the area and that the land was a 'closed military zone'. We 
did not yield of course and were immediately showered upon by heavy skunk water. 
Occupation soldiers then went on to attack journalists and arrest them. They beat an 
elderly woman and other activists. In several instances, activists jumped in and prevented 
with their bodies the arrest of two people. After several hours of struggling with the 
occupation soldiers which numbered more than 50, 4 journalists, 8 Palestinians and 2 
international activists were arrested, our tent was destroyed and we were prevented from 
returning to our land. For many hours during the hot afternoon, hundreds of activists 
remained in the area and demanded the right to return to the Canaan Village.
Younes Arar
Please follow this link for protest photos:
https://plus.google.com/photos/100847693474150205774/albums/5843065937589329377?authkey=CNLxxcWj8cO7DQ


Bilin

This Friday in Bil'in: (Feb. 8, 416th weekly demonstration)
"There seems to be a tendency to escalation from the side of the army recently. Last week 
the soldiers started shooting gas from the moment the first cars could be seen nearing the 
demonstration area, perhaps because the rain made them eager to finish things early. This 
week gas was shot in high quantities and directly at people. The army slowed down the gas 
showers only after most peaceful demonstrators had been forced back, and the shabab took 
over with their stones covered by a favorable wind (as we know, stone throwers are a 
lesser threat to the army than people chanting slogans). When the shabab decided to head 
home, soldiered crossed the wall with the skunk truck, but didn't manage to provoke the 
shabab to return. The presence of Ashraf, who had been arrested in Burin last week, was 
greatly missed."
http://on.fb.me/Wywsca
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.562966700380305.130534.136633479680298
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.408148932611052.95998.387324478026831


Al-Ma'sara

Friday weekly demonstration, Feb. 8, 2013: http://on.fb.me/V3tCuF


Nabi Saleh

Today's demonstration in Nabi Saleh is calling for the release of all Palestinian 
political prisoners and in support of Samer Issawi and all Palestinian political prisoners 
on hunger strike. Activists on the ground report that Israeli Occupation Forces have been 
firing non-stop teargas, rubber bullets and skunk. At least 4 people have been hit by 
rubber bullets and 2 with teargas canisters and many people overcome by the teargas.

Activists on the ground in Nabi Saleh are reporting that dozens of IOF entered the village 
for at least 30-40 minutes and have now withdrawn. While in village, the IOF fired lots of 
teargas, stun grenades, rubber bullets and skunk. Reports of journalists deliberately 
being targeted by IOF with teargas and stun grenades. Skunk also fired directly at houses. 
Reports of at least 10 people injured by rubber coated steel bullets and at least 2 by 
teargas canisters, including one hand injury as a result.

"Quite shaken after the last round of shooting in Nabi Saleh. The soldiers invaded the 
village, spraying skunk water, shooting rubber bullets, sound bombs and gas in every 
direction. We ran to hide inside a house, and they tried shooting several sound bombs into 
it, shaking the house, and those inside it."
Israel Putermam http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqGbF1pvrfM
Haim Schwarczenberg 
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.323368044449563.72883.202358256550543
http://on.fb.me/XVBEEL


Ni'lin

Weekly protest against Israeli #apartheid wall
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=532246836797562
http://on.fb.me/WzbcTT


Kufr Qaddom

Friday, weekly demonstration, Feb. 8
http://on.fb.me/11U0Px1
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.563002150376760.130542.136633479680298


Sheikh jarrah

?Feb. 8, 2013: 150 people at sheikh jarrah erecting a protest tent against the coming 
eviction of the shamasneh family on the first of march
Amir Bitan http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.602072773141075.147360.100000150737581
http://on.fb.me/XsA77f


Tel Aviv - Jaffa

Samer al-Issawi is a Palestinian political prisoner from 'Issawiyeh (Jerusalem), who has 
been on a hunger strike in Israel's prison for 202 days. Although released in a 
prisoner-swap deal in October 2011, Israel re-arrested Samer claiming he violated the 
terms of his release by leaving Jerusalem even though the place of his arrest was Hizmeh, 
which is within the Jerusalem municipal boundaries. Samer has been hunger striking since 
July 29, 2012, and according to recent reports his health has been fast deteriorating, 
putting his life in danger. Joining solidarity demonstrations in Palestine and all over 
the world, a group of Jaffa-based activists began a daily vigil in solidarity with Samer 
'Issawi and all political prisoners at clock tower square, a famed local landmark. 
Protesters, both Palestinian and Jews, attended the second vigil, calling for the release 
of 'Issawi and all political prisoners, as well as putting an end to administrative 
detention as an illegal punitive measure by the state.
Haim Schwarczenberg 
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.323766647743036.72947.202358256550543
Protest in support of Samer Issawi, Jaffa, Feb. 6, 2013: http://on.fb.me/X7GKiO
Protest in support of Samer Issawi, Jaffa, Feb. 7, 2013: http://on.fb.me/UGfU3b
Protest in support of Samer Issawi, Jaffa, Feb. 8, 2013: http://on.fb.me/WUpxcZ

------------------------------------------------
Don't say we did not know #348

Another way to steal land from Palestinians is to declare that land as a National Park.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151689765629688
On Monday, 26th January, 2013, before sunrise, staff from the Israel National Parks 
Authority arrived with Municipality of Jerusalem workmen to Wadi Rababa in Silwan. They 
were escorted by Border Police, regular police, the dog unit and bulldozers. They broke 
into privately owned land and started demolishing fences, terraces, sheds and storerooms, 
and caused damage to ancient olive trees. They undertook work for the creation of a 
National Park that had been announced in the area.

During the activity they made their dogs attack Palestinians protesting the robbery of 
their land and damage to their property. Some were injured and some arrested.

Questions & queries: amosg@shefayim.org.il

**********************************************************
* Please Distribute Widely: APRIL AGAINST THE WALL: Call
for Solidarity Benefits for Anarchists Against the Wall *
* http://www.facebook.com/events/401468346610841/ *
* http://www.awalls.org/april_against_the_wall *
**********************************************************
=================================
* From my blog at: http://ilanisagainstwalls.blogspot.com
See Previous reports about the joint struggles the Anarchists Against the Wall take part 
in at the blog
See also: http://awalls.org / http://ilan.shalif.com/anarchy/glimpses/glimpses.html

dinsdag 12 februari 2013

(en) Brazil, Anarkio.net: The A-Info #17 - February 2013 (pt)


The newsletter is available anarchist A-Info February 2013, good read! Click on 
http://anarkio.net/Pdf/ainfo_periodico17.pdf to open PDF file. --- The oppression and 
exploitation do not stop. ---- A culture of oppression and exploitation not just one day 
to another and is not destroyed by any group with the institutional logic of the system. 
Not a mutation occurs antagonistic that the plug will fall and all will leave the system, 
taking him for a collapse. ---- Expect it, holding block parties and reformist is a waste 
of time. If only remained thus disorders that reformism would be lower. But not enough to 
slow the revolutionary movement, still seek to attack, brake and reduce the actions of 
those who do not want to wait the reformism. It's unfortunate!

We show that anarchism is the fastest and safest source of breaking all control 
structures, power, oppression and exploitation, with each one the responsibility and 
commitment to action. Without this commitment, there is no mold in the reorganization 
social libertarians.

Chances reformists time and give breath to the oppression and exploitation at all levels. 
Thus, not only the oppression and exploitation are strengthened, but multiply, replicate 
through their doctrinal institutions. A society based on these elements are single does 
not consent axs free. If you want freedom and justice, it just breaks through 
organizations of all scales in cultural, social, economic, sexual, educational etc. Until 
now, anarchism proved immune to the advances of totalitarian, the vanguard of the 
oppressors and exploiters.

Unidxs, stop the system and destroy! What are you waiting?

France, Alternative Libertaire #224 - Valls Immigration not in Gu?ant


After three months of waiting and suspense, circular regularization of undocumented 
migrants, promised by the government, is finally out on 28 November. --- immigration --- 
Following statements by Holland which reassured the electorate right in stating that there 
would be no massive regularization, the appointment of Valls inside and policy of mass 
expulsion of Roma, there were strong indications that in this area there either, there 
would be no change. The government of Holland, and in particular Valls, in the footsteps 
of its predecessors by courting the xenophobic right. ---- Under the guise of a so-called 
dialogue with advocacy groups and some foreign unions, this is a circular reform details 
and simple reminder of Ceseda (Code of Entry and Residence of Foreigners and the Right 
asylum) told the prefects, who is out. The logic remains the same and is sometimes lower 
than in some previous provisions.

By definition unenforceable in law, she leaves it to the discretion of prefects who retain 
their discretion and continues the policy of categorization of human beings by the 
differentiation of temporary residence: private and family life or employee or temporary 
worker or student.

The few small steps to the right to family life, are within the criteria set up by Sarkozy 
in June 2006 which set the presence of the parents and the school two years at least one 
child a year. A "mistake" of Nicolas Sarkozy, who had quickly locked the regularization 
process with the influx of applications, lesson Manuel Valls obviously well used. This 
will require parents to five years of presence in the territory three years of schooling 
and for at least one child. The young adults enrolled es-es came before the age of 16 can 
keep the hope of being regularized es, provided they have joined their families. For 
others, no family, no papers.

An absurd policy in favor of Employers

As for the workers, their regulation is still subject to the whims of the owner must 
complete the contract work and pay special rights to OFII (French Office for Immigration 
and Integration) for the introduction of a worker who is already ... in the territory. A 
limiting provision has been removed: the list of occupations. But views the conditions, 
the presence of 3 years and 24 months payslips or 5 years and 8 months of attendance 
payroll over the last 2 years or 7 years and 12 payslips for the last 3 years, this not 
weigh heavy. Constant: not angry employers and maintain a reserve of labor available for 
moonlighting.

Persist racketeering undocumented (any temporary residence amounts to more than 700 
euros), and the quota policy: 30 000 adjustments per year. Those who will enter the nails 
of the new circular will therefore be regularized at the expense of other undocumented. 
This is mathematical.

Unless public pressure to do change the balance of power.

Chlo?e (AL 93)

zondag 10 februari 2013

NZ joins Australian asylum policy‏


http://www.indymedia.org.nz/articles/673

NZ joins Australian asylum policy
by No One Is Illegal
Saturday, 9th February 2013

John Key has today struck a deal with his Australian counterpart that
turns both countries’ asylum policies on their heads.
Key and Australian PM Julia Gillard have announced today, 9 February
2013, – while shopping in Queenstown – that NZ will accept 150 refugees
from Australian detention centres annually. This will reduce the number
of refugees NZ accepts from UN refugee camps from 750 to a maximum of
600. Key tried to explain this bizarre move with having to return
favours to Australia for sharing their 'intelligence' on so-called
people smugglers. Australia had been "extremely helpful to New Zealand
over the past four or five years", according to Key. "There are boats
that we can point to that were on their way to New Zealand where
Australia has effectively taken those people."

The truth is he can point to exactly one boat with a group of ten Falun
Gong refugees, which had been intercepted by the Australian coast guard,
and where the refugees had stated that their destination had actually
been NZ. They also had no idea how far they would have still have to go
and in what direction to sail.

The agreement has been slammed by Amnesty International, the NZ Refugee
Council and the Australian Refugee Action Coalition, who correctly point
out that the NZ contingent of 750 refugees is pathetic to start with
(Australia is taking around 20,000).

Background

Five years ago, in February 2007, the then Prime Minister of Australia,
Kevin Rudd announced an end to the offshore processing policy for asylum
seekers arriving in Australia. The policy had been introduced by his
predecessor, John Howard, in 2001. Offshore processing means that any
asylum seeker arriving in Australia is held in a detention centre on an
offshore island while their claim is being processed. Rudd replaced
offshore processing with the 'Pacific Solution' under which smaller
Pacific countries would be bullied into building and maintaining
detention centres, with the participation of NZ. However, this never got
off the ground.

Then earlier last year, Australia returned to offshore processing under
Julia Gillard who argued that there should be 'no advantage' for
so-called boat people over those refugees who are settled from refugee
camps as part of the UN contingent. 'No advantage' in this context means
that asylum seekers are locked up for what Australian officials believe
to be the average time refugees spend in one of those UN camps before
being resettled. This is has been set to be two to three years.

However, the reality in refugee camps is different. In many of the camps
people linger for 20 years or more. NZ is taking Buthanese refugees from
camps in Nepal who are adults and were born in the camp.

Australia's policy of detaining people on far-away places like Nauru or
Manus Island in Papua New Guinea was supposed to deter people from
taking their lives into their own hands and make their own way to
Australia to claim asylum. But it hasn't worked. Since re-introduction
of the policy in August 2012, more than 20,000 asylum seekers have tried
to get to Australia. Most of them get picked up by the Australian coast
guard, but many of them drown when their flimsy and overloaded boats
strike high seas.

NZ desperate to come in line with Australia

Also last year, the NZ government introduced the 'Immigration Amendment
Bill' (the second amendment to the Immigration Act in just over a year),
which would introduce mandatory detention of asylum seekers (those who
arrive in groups of ten or more, which none ever have), just like in
Australia. Because NZ doesn't really have any offshore islands suitable
for detention centres, the refugees would be held in the Waiouru army
base. If any boats ever arrive here.

The Bill made it to the select committee stage where 32 of 33
submissions were made against it and then it got stuck. It is doubtful,
whether the National government would have the numbers to pass the Bill
at the moment.

Now John Key has struck a deal with Julia Gillard to take 150 of 'their'
refugees (after they have been found worthy of refugee status and have
been sufficiently traumatised by being processed by Australian
authorities and having been locked up for several years). This number
would be subtracted from the 750 refugees NZ normally accepts from UN
refugee camps.

Apart from being complete nonsense, because with a total of 20,000
refugees, the 150 going to NZ will hardly make any difference to
Australia, this also contradicts the official 'no advantage' bullshit
that Gillard has been putting out. If the result of this deal is that NZ
will take 150 fewer refugees from UN camps in favour of those who
arrived in Australia by boat, then the chances of those waiting in the
camps for their resettlement will just have gotten a tiny bit smaller,
giving a tiny bit more encouragement to leave the camp and try their luck.

So why are Key and Gillard striking this deal? Are they too stupid not
to see the contradiction they are creating? Or are they cynical enough
to actually want to encourage more people to try to get to Australia by
boat in the hope that they will capsize and never make it? Australian
Senator Hanson-Young almost hinted at that, when she criticised today's
agreement: "Why wait for someone to take a dangerous boat journey?"

The high rate of refugees drowning on the way to Australia is already
partially a result of Australia's policy of destroying any refugee boats
they intercept, so that "people smugglers" will always choose to send
boats that are pretty much worthless – and therefore dangerous – anyway.

Or is this the beginning of NZ's withdrawal from the UN refugee quota
programme? Is NZ giving up its own assessment of refugees in favour of
letting the Australian authorities do the processing? It looked that
way, when Key announced that this arrangement could come in handy if any
boatloads of refugees ever arrive in NZ. They could then potentially be
processed by Australian authorities in one of their detention centres.

Whatever the real reason for this deal is, the NZ government will from
now on carry part of the responsibility for the protests, the hunger
strikes and the suicides that occur daily in Australian detention centres.

(en) France, Alternative Libertair AL 11th Congress - Against free trade: productive autonomy (fr)


Since the global economic crisis began in late 2007, the criticism of free trade is now in 
vogue in Europe and in France. During the 2012 presidential campaign, there has been, the 
FN PCF, a revival of the idea of ??"protectionism". -- If only FN defends protectionism 
French borders, all government parties - UMP, Modem, PS, PG, PCF, EELV - defend 
protectionism European borders, using various formulas such as "economic patriotism", the 
"fair trade" or "de-globalization". ---- This idea is also supported by a number of 
intellectuals in the social right as Emmanuel Todd, antisocial as Jean-Luc Gr?au, or left 
as Jacques Sapir, the movement of MPEP and Le Monde Diplomatique . ---- To enable this 
protectionism is mentioned most often the implementation of social and environmental 
standards that penalize manufacturing in emerging countries, but also tools like Buy 
European Act , which the U.S. model would reserve procurement companies occurring in the 
European territory.

It is also not just a speech, but a fact. Since 2008, protectionist measures are growing 
around the world, while the process of deregulation of markets, orchestrated by the World 
Trade Organization since 1994, has stalled.

The return of protectionism in the world
Manipulation of exchange rates, subsidies, non-respect of intellectual property, taxation 
of social and environmental standards ... the current trend in the world is to 
protectionist measures.

Observatory Global Trade Alert, London, has recorded a steady increase in these measures - 
total 1200 2008 to early 2012 - in the countries acceding to the WTO. Taxes and customs 
duties strictly represent only a minority share (16%) [ 1 ]. China, Russia, India and the 
Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay) are at the forefront of this protectionist 
movement [ 2 ].

Thus, in 2011, Brazil has decided to tax 30% manufactured vehicles with less than 65% of 
parts from the Mercosur area. Shortly after, Argentina has banned the sale of smartphones 
manufactured abroad, forcing manufacturers LG, Samsung and Nokia to locate their assembly 
on its territory [ 3 ]. End of 2011, the Mercosur is imposing 30% tax on imports. By March 
2011, Russia banned the import of certain foodstuffs to support local production in June, 
she took measures to safeguard its automobile industry. In December 2011, India suspended 
plans to open the retail sector to foreign multinationals like Wal-Mart, Carrefour and 
Tesco. In March 2012, the U.S. Senate authorized the Department of Commerce to apply 
countervailing duties on Chinese imports to punish considered unfair competition, the 
Chinese government subsidizing massively companies.

The double discourse of capitalist
Powerful countries take when it suits them, liberties with the rules of free trade they 
gradually imposed on the world. Even say that it is unfortunate whenever they need to make 
an official statement, as in the G20 in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012!

Poor countries dependent on imperialist domination or direct control, however, are 
condemned to remain "open markets" for the benefit of Western and Asian multinationals.

This silent return of protectionism worldwide brand he a pause, not assumed, in the 
process of free trade, or the beginning of a regression of one? It is not for us to say. 
This will depend on the situation, both protectionism and free trade are two strategies 
that capitalists handle alternately, according to economic sectors, times interest.

Two fractions of the same bourgeoisie may also disagree about it. "Unfair competition" is 
always the other. The capitalist type is readily ultraliberal others. It may, on the one 
hand, vilifying "interventionism" and the other to accept the intervention of the State in 
its favor. It calls for the removal of trade barriers in the markets it wants to enter, 
and at the same time that he willingly accepts book captive markets. Should not seek 
ideological coherence. The only capitalist dogma, it is the private ownership of the means 
of production and distribution. Everything else is adaptable to circumstances.

The ravages of free trade
Presented as a condition of "development", free trade is the official ideology of large 
organizations created by rich countries to dominate the world economy, the International 
Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, G20. Their credo: the removal 
of barriers and the international division of labor will be prosperity for all. In each 
country to specialize in the economic sector in which it has the greatest assets, and 
abandon others.

For fifteen years, the neoliberals have sharpened their rhetoric on this "new 
international division of labor" formerly the South provided raw materials, and the North 
manufactures. Today, Western capitalism always assigned to the southern supply raw 
materials to China and emerging countries to host the polluting factories and West high 
technology and brainpower. This presentation is the fantasy of a high-tech country, 
stripped of its factories and its workers. But it is undermined by the reality that the 
so-called "emerging" are eg producers of intellectual services and high-tech India for IT, 
China industrial design and electronics.

The big winners of the international division of labor are not the workers from any 
country whatsoever, but multinationals that control the entire game real consequences of 
free trade, it is social dumping , fiscal dumping, relocations, mergers, monocultures, 
mono-industries, the ratio of transit time of goods, increasing pollution, the market for 
"pollution rights" ... and monstrous profits for the capitalists North, South and emerging 
countries.

Free trade therefore leads to a triple disaster: a disaster social worker 
deindustrialization and unemployment in the West forced industrialization and working 
poverty in developing countries, farmers dispossessed and hungry in the South; ecological 
disaster: the relocation of production leads lengthening disproportionate economic cycles 
and the scaling of transport and pollution, with an impact on global climate catastrophe 
democratic a country deprived of all or part of its productive apparatus loses its 
economic autonomy, and sees reduced by all the leeway in its political and social. This 
considerably weakens the revolutionary perspective of socialization of the means of 
production and a collective choice on consumption patterns.




The two sides of the same coin
In the controversy that pits rising protectionism to free trade, many arguments are 
invoked in bad faith, which can fool the social movement, forced to choose between two 
"camps" none of which are his. A as Both are warmongers . If the protectionist policies of 
imperialist tensions can lead to control a captive market - what were the colonial empires 
of the past - the did not cancel this dynamic, as shown by the Iraq war. Tomorrow, more 
than the control of markets, it is the struggle for control of natural resources which can 
be a factor of geopolitical tensions. A Both his misery mongers . Protectionist policies 
may lead to higher prices and lower purchasing power of workers and workers in the North 
and the South. But free trade is organizing it, social dumping rampant, unemployment 
worker and peasant ruin. Both An organized competition between workers . If free trade is 
the fierce competition at the global level, protectionism is competition within a limited 
economic space: the European Union, for example, putting in competition 27 different 
social legislation. A Both are interclassist . Both try to believe that the proletariat 
must tighten their belts and agree with employers on behalf of the "national interest" or 
competitiveness in the global market. Neither one nor the other is anti- statist . They 
are in a multinational free trade, or monopolies in a protectionist, big companies need 
the device diplomatic, military and police power of a so-called public to defend their 
interests. Neither the other are not the "self-sufficiency" . This is exactly what the 
free traders blame most commonly protectionists while historically, this has never been 
made, even in the most protectionist phases of capitalism.







Three options to the crisis in the euro area
This false opposition between liberalism and protectionism is found in advanced solutions 
in response to the crisis in the euro zone in which the German economy occupies a key 
position.

However, it is easy to see by the dominant role played it, our commentators most often 
fail to specify the conditions under which exports were boosted by a strong social decline 
(decline in wages of 4.5% average between 2000 and 2009, insecurity and impoverishment of 
a large part of the proletariat).

Faced with this, few options are present in perspective: the supporters of free trade, 
mainly in France represented by the PS, UMP employers and their satellites, we propose to 
catch up on Germany and organize a "clash of competitiveness" through a renewed austerity: 
lower wages, lower social rights, breaking utilities, massive public subsidies to 
employers, etc.. , the most reactionary right, but also a part of the left more open to 
the sirens of protectionism offer for them to abolish the euro and return to national 
currencies in order to have other levers that the lowest social and wages to regain 
competitiveness. However, this would merely change the rules of competition in the 
capitalist market, contrary to the vision that opposes them countries like Germany to 
Greece, anti-capitalists should focus on the community of interest between working classes 
of all countries in the euro area. This is why we can only find ourselves on the goals of 
regaining lost social rights in Germany and elsewhere, to fight against the decline in the 
countries of the euro area as a whole, in a logic of international solidarity between workers.




The alternative: productive autonomy
For nearly twenty years, environmental organizations, workers and peasants of the North 
and the South - Alternative libertarian among them - have fought and are fighting against 
free trade and deregulation of markets. But now that protectionist rhetoric back in force, 
it must be clear that it is not under the flag as we continue the fight.

It should nevertheless be heard from workers' threatened by redundancy plans and 
relocations, and lend an ear to bourgeois politicians when they claim protectionism.

It is therefore crucial that the social movements, to avoid the risk of being led astray 
by the protectionist rhetoric that is a false choice, clearly state, with their own words, 
that the alternative to free trade, is the autonomy productive.

The international Via Campesina peasant said this way since 1996, defining the concept of 
"food sovereignty": each region must be able to feed itself without placing itself under 
the control of the multinationals of the agribusiness. So not to export agriculture, GMOs, 
to land grabbing, monocultures, imperialism, yes local production under the control of 
farmers and the population. International trade should be confined to so-called exotic. 
Anything that can be produced locally can not be imported from the other side of the 
world. The libertarians have accused the concept of "food sovereignty" aggravate hunger in 
the world and be protectionist. Instead, it was the internationalist cement peasant 
struggles in the South as in the North.

Due to the triple disaster social, ecological and democratic which leads free trade, we 
say that social movements in the West, Asia or Africa can now converge in the sense of 
"autonomy productive" every region of the world. This autonomy is productive in the 
interest of the people threatened by social dumping and relocations, whether in the West 
or in Asia, and in the interest of the people that free trade was sentenced to economic 
dependence, particularly in Africa . Relocation of production is a necessity. This does 
not mean spooky "autarky", but short circuits of exchange, and limiting long exchanges 
that can not be produced locally.

Productive autonomy involves reducing production to the needs of the people and to break 
with productivism. This reduction leads to a second: that of working time. And then a 
third: that of profits.

This is why the autonomy of each productive region of the world hinders the interests of 
capitalists. It can only come against them, under the pressure of the people and under the 
control of Workers.

The fight against free trade and productive autonomy must be part of a broader struggle 
for socialism against imperialism and ecology. It can match with claims that may be 
brought by social movements in the North and the South and in emerging countries against 
the fiscal and social dumping, against export subsidies for production indexed to the 
needs of populations, to break with the WTO, the abolition of public debt in both North 
and South.



Relocation of industry claimed by the current protectionist n?ok?n?sien are only 
marginally possible against the logic of the global market. However they are a nationalist 
discourse as opposed to building solidarity. Relocations we defend is only possible in a 
movement to break with the market economy and can wear internationalist activism 
advocating social equality, ecological and democratic global scale.

[ 1 ] The World Economy March 27, 2012.

[ 2 ] "From China to Russia, protectionist measures are growing," Echoes of 8 March 2012.

[ 3 ] The Expansion of March 2012.

(en) France, Organisation Communiste Libertarie - Courant Alternatif CA #227 - Contents + Edotorial (fr)


The February issue of 2013 is out Tuesday, February 5, 2013 by admi2 ---- editorial - page 
3 ---- Resistance to major works unnecessary page 4 - resistance anti THT in Cotentin ---- 
page 5 - Airport, the showdown? ---- page 6, 7, 8 - No TAV Struggle in LYON ---- page 
9,10,11 - Vinci, the business of capitalist development ---- Social ---- page 12, 13, 14, 
15 - Seafrance, reappropriation or dispossession ---- page 16, 17, 18 - and restructure 
Steel ---- Page 19 - Who are we? ---- page 20, 21 - Agreements Wagram ---- page 22, 23 - 
Big Brother ---- Far Left ---- page 24, 25 - Times are tough ---- European Union ---- page 
26, 27 - A capitalist necessity ---- Imperialism ---- Page 28 - Georges Ibrahim Abdallah 
---- Page 29 - Books ---- Page 30, 31, 32 - Mali, announced a war

EDITORIAL

"When the rotation does not change the reality"

One in seven, if one refers to the latest survey by INSEE, is affected by poverty. It will 
only expand as the economic crisis continues, the tandem Holland Ayrault persist in its 
policy of fiscal austerity and wage. Capital managers, they have no other choice. Of 
course some will say they have taken the measure of the problem.

Implementation of a plan to fight against poverty, the RSA has been upgraded: less than 10 
euros per month. The minimum wage has been increased: 3 or 4 million people affected each 
receive 3 or 4 euros more each month!

"The state coffers are empty" exclaimed F. Then Prime Minister Fillon. Faced with this 
reality, our newly elected socialist eco-must make painful choices. They were quick to 
respond to the report Gallois, advocating a "clash of competitiveness." Our duo were then 
awarded 20 billion in business, down payroll over three years. Gift that we will fund in 
2014 in part by the increase in VAT, nearly $ 10 billion will come out of our pockets 
again. As said F. Holland on TF1 News: "The alternating power exchange but does not change 
the reality ..."

It is discovered that workers Florange, Renault, PSA and thousands of others who are 
posting job losses in both the private and the public. To establish these measures useful 
to capital, the government can count on the servility of the union bureaucracies who do 
not hesitate to sign agreements with the MEDEF. This is the interprofessional agreement on 
securing employment signed long ago, the CFDT and CGC and the CFTC, which unravels a 
little more labor code and delivers more employees to employers. It is true that if one 
considers the reclassification of F. Ch?r?que, after his departure from the CFDT to IGAS 
and Terra Nova (1), it is not a bone in his masters gave servile dog but a plump roast for 
its future. It is he who will oversee the entire government plan against poverty. But do 
not delude the radical non-signatories CGT / FO!

The alternation has not changed the reality! This is what note and also suffer the Roma 
evicted from their encampments and thrown into the mob. Immigrants and undocumented 
workers are hunted and hunted like during Sarkozy. And have no doubt: the conductor E. 
Walls, Minister of the Interior, is SOCIALIST. These months of social-ecological power we 
have not seen major changes. Or a zest semblance of democracy and media consultation 
nothing to save time, seeing as the resistance to the draft Notre Dame Des Landes and the 
occupants of the ZAD always exposed to the forces of repression. Capital requirements 
imposes its managers, it must feed its insatiable profits. Still more sweat for workers, 
increasing misery and blood people. It is this "reality" that controls the intervention of 
France in Mali. Abuses and trafficking of all kinds of reactionary gang leaders, rampant 
throughout the Trans-Sahelian were known. The leaders of the neighboring countries were 
there each their own benefit, interest or state. All get accommodated. But these small 
local bullies can leave their territory to go "rob Bamako" left management with a puppet 
government, it was too much. Because in the safe in Bamako, are deposits of gold, uranium, 
oil, gas ... the "Godfather" French which ensures its economic interests. But like any 
cartel must enforce our mafia French statist and imperialist had to react and stop these 
bullies who dared defy it.

Reinforced arms and soldierly by the destabilization of the region (especially Libya and 
the Arab Spring), these frogs foul desert fed financially, certainly kidnappings of 
Westerners or other traffic but also by Qatar and Saudi Arabia, are taken for beef. Which 
obviously will explode. This imperialist intervention rid undoubtedly Malians these 
bullies fanatics (some of which will be resold). The objective is to secure the area. Not 
to bring security to the local population, but for companies Franco-European cartel can 
stuff yourself and to exploit the riches of the subsoil in dismembering the country 
without being too disturbed by rivals American and especially Chinese, Indians or other. 
And, if saluting the "liberators" have no doubt that people with anxiety Malian wonder 
about the fate that they will reserve the mafia cartels re-landed fanfare.

IN FRANCE AND EUROPE, AND MISERY AUSTERITY. MALI, IMPERIALIST WAR AND MISERY.

CAPITALISM IS EVERYWHERE YOU NEED TO FIGHT. Caen January 22, 2013.

(1) - IGAS: General Inspectorate of Social Affairs.

Terra Nova: thinktank laboratory or progressive ideas socializing.

Spanish state: when the building creaks by Jos? Luis Carretero (ca)


The Franco Spanish transition of the monarchy, presented internationally as a model of 
peaceful pursuit of democracy, was a huge fiasco for popular aspirations. ---- What 
actually occurred was the survival, even minimally retrofitted and made up of the 
essential elements of the Franco regime, which was renovated but not subjected to a 
process of breaking existing authoritarianism. The work of the single party passed a 
bipartisan operate them fierce and exclusionary, based on an electoral law specifically 
designed to prevent the emergence of new political forces (except local domain of 
nationalist organizations in their respective fiefdoms). And thirty years of that 
bipartisanship arrogant and haughty, protected by the monarchy, the core areas of the 
business and academic world, and the mass media have given to much.
SPANISH STATE: WHEN BUILDING CREAKING

The Franco Spanish transition of the monarchy, presented internationally as a model of 
peaceful pursuit of democracy, was a huge fiasco for popular aspirations.

What actually occurred was the survival, even minimally retrofitted and made up of the 
essential elements of the Franco regime, which was renovated but not subjected to a 
process of breaking existing authoritarianism.

The work of the single party passed a bipartisan operate them fierce and exclusionary, 
based on an electoral law specifically designed to prevent the emergence of new political 
forces (except local domain of nationalist organizations in their respective fiefdoms).

And thirty years of that bipartisanship arrogant and haughty, protected by the monarchy, 
the core areas of the business and academic world, and the mass media have given to much.

What we're seeing now is nothing more and nothing less than the depth of the process of 
social and political degradation generated by the confluence of bipartisanship and 
consensus with the housing bubble and the European Sponsorship: all robbed, almost to 
exhaustion. And corrupt patronage networks extend across the whole of Spanish society, 
associated with the major parties (but not only them), draining social wealth (including 
this dramatic crisis) to power the machinery of power sharing cacique, arrogant and 
exclusive that consisted essentially bipartisanship juancarlista regime.

From the tangle mafia party (Barcenas, Fundaci?n Ideas ...), the business of the royal 
family (Urdangarin and his wife), or thefts of bourgeois nationalists (Pallerols), passing 
almost every small municipality in this country, some can now see that, under the numbing 
party and brick consumption, thrived and became increasingly strong social metastasis 
undemocratic and kleptocratic, without limit.

We had glimpses previously (Naseiro, the GAL ...), but now something has changed. With six 
million unemployed and two million households without any income, with brutal cuts in 
public health and social services, corruption is no longer a cause for indignation funny 
virtual. Now people feel, really concerned. The delegitimization of the regime reaches 
heights unseen in the last thirty years, and calls into question the entire political 
architecture of the "consensus of the Transition".

With the PSOE in the greatest crisis of legitimacy of your history (compounded by their 
inability to regenerate manifests his image, his leadership and his speech, which, 
moreover, no one would think). With the PP betraying social class who clinched their vote 
power, thanks to the passivity of a working class that they could not trust anyone (jaded 
middle class), and demonstrating its essence a puppet of the powers oligarchic (and even 
the Prime Minister seems to have received envelopes of who knows who), the credibility of 
the political framework that supported the monarchy wobbles rapidly.

Of course, can not forget those who are helping, too, by the way: media groups associated 
with different sectors of the right or social liberalism (El Pa?s, El Mundo ...), families 
neocon policies now offered as saving and regenerating (Aguirre ...). Everyone is playing 
their cards to the increasingly apparent collapse of a government on the brink of an 
opposition and catatonic. But the contradictions within the power bloc above only serve to 
illuminate the fact that the situation is unsustainable in the medium term and open spaces 
for new developments relatively recently unthinkable.

It looks increasingly clear that Rajoy's presidency will not survive the whole 
legislature. And a "regeneration" of PP bankrolled by his neocon wing again shortly 
deslegitimarse deepening in the same economic policy by individuals who are unlikely to be 
seen as something different when it comes to corruption A technocratic government style 
Italian sworn regarding timely payment of the debt to the bankers friends of Mrs. Merkel, 
will be underpinned by the two country's crumbling buildings: bipartisanship absolutely 
degraded, on the one hand, and a monarchy with a social image not much better, on the other.

Something will happen, but we do not know what

So now cross and recross all kinds of rumors and initiatives in the areas of emerging bloc 
antagonistic to the current regime. In line with a massive mobilizations that continue, 
but neither seem, by themselves, capable of bringing down what is definitely the "Syriza 
effect" brings up multiple attempts to generate a common electoral front able to force the 
start of a process constituent open the way for a crucial phase change.

The organization and strengthening of social movements is not happening at the pace 
desired by the dead weight of majority unionism and dogmatism and the inability for the 
cooperation of the alternative. However, as we have said, are constantly struggles and 
anger of the majority of society is increasingly evident and massive.

The hypothetical electoral front is also obstacles (again, fragmentation and dogmatism 
fueled by decades of marginalization and isolation, or past and undigested conjunction 
with the regime), but it seems increasingly possible if the current parliamentary left 
does not prevent .

Something is moving. And all initiatives to unlock and accelerate the situation should be 
welcome: the convergence and reinforcement of struggles, growing organization of the 
subordinate classes, the emergence of alternatives in all areas of social life (also in 
the election, is involved in it or not).

It is time to forge unity and confluence. To build a movement worthy of the name, and to 
prevent the coming changes (which undoubtedly will happen) occur towards authoritarianism 
and dependence transnational financial oligarchy.

The Spanish State (as revealed S?nchez Cedillo) is in a key position for the foreseeable 
future of the Euro-Mediterranean area and the global capitalist crisis. In our hands is a 
way out of the current "perfect storm" that passes through greater democratization of the 
political world and constitutes the beginning of a transition to a radically different 
society in the social, economic and ecological. But for that we need to be at the center 
of the action.

And the action is now.
Jos? Luis Carretero Miramar

Teacher Training and Employment Guidance, researcher at the Institute of Economics and 
Skills (ISAS) and member of the Workers Solidarity Trade Union Confederation

Southern Africa, Reaping what you sow: reflections on the Western Cape farm workers strike by Shawn Hattingh - ZACF


Not only the ecological crisis involves all major balances of the planet - Climate change, 
pollution and radioactive chemicals that affect biodiversity, etc. - But its likely 
consequences will be devastating for humanity itself: critical risks food crises, health 
risks for future generations, forced migrations of populations, etc.. ---- Faced with this 
crisis struggles to defend the wider environment are not up to par. While fighting against 
a nuclear plant against an industry that pollutes the environment, against the 
construction of a highway or airport extra is legitimate and necessary, the combination of 
these struggles point provides no real solution to the ecological crisis. To date there is 
simply a movement of relocation of polluting industries and the development of green 
capitalism whose only motivation is to create new opportunities for capitalist profits.

A conception of ecology limited to the protection of the environment will hardly slow down 
the destruction of the planet. Human activities must be completely reoriented. In Congress 
Agen in 2006, Alternative libertarian rightly stated: "ecological challenge facing three 
revolutions are necessary" - revolution in international trade revolution in consumption 
patterns, revolution in production methods.

We know that within capitalist society, no significant changes in these critical human 
societies will be possible. Social inequalities are in fact at the root of these 
destructive human societies on the planet. This is why anti-capitalism is inseparable from 
the struggle ecologist. Of course we're talking about anti-capitalism, which is not just a 
change at the head of the State, such as that of the Stalinist parties who have built in 
the former so-called "communist" state capitalism even more destructive for the 
environment. We speak of a profound questioning of capitalism by generalized 
self-management of the economy and society. This should lead us to completely revise the 
model of social organization. It is resize the development of human societies to allow a 
balance between productive capacity and local needs. Several considerations are to be 
taken to not be satisfied with mere criticism rhetorical question but the pseudo comfort 
in which the capitalist system we install. Far adjust supply and demand for all types of 
control mechanisms such as markets, have to be tackled to restore direct links between 
producers / consumers and matrices / matrices and solve the adequacy of production 
necessary social and societal .

To make a significant contribution to the ecological struggle Alternative libertarian 
must: demonstrate the link between the struggles against unequal society and ecological 
struggles, in-depth analysis constraints and changes in capitalism. The analysis should 
include both economic and ecological considerations and cultural - "cognitive capitalism" 
- the essence of this system is to transform all aspects of life into a commodity; bring 
environmental concerns into the whole movement social: in union struggles for housing, 
health ... For we know that the opposition can occur between certain ecological struggles 
and, for example, some struggles for employment is the result of non-delivery relevant 
interests of the capitalists and not taking into account the real interests of workers and 
employees. It is essential to carry arm design theory of ecology cuts across all social 
struggles. Provide turnkey solutions is not necessarily the responsibility of a political 
organization but focus the debate within the trade unions, even some contradictions point 
should be. We must also work to radicalize the ecological consciousness that develops on a 
background of green capitalism, without any sectarianism. This is a prerequisite for 
building a mass intervention, describe and disseminate alternative acts even imperfect 
(scop, amap, etc.). integrating the environmental dimension into the discussion. A 
self-managed company may limit the health consequences for workers and the environment for 
those without removing them. The transverse dimension of thinking is a priority to be an 
actress of a cultural revolution involving all forms of low consumerism today advocating 
elements of lifestyle and working alternative to those imposed by capitalist society. 
Firstly, AL must acquire a culture collective environmentalist; wear a reflection on the 
place of humanity on the planet, physically and psychologically dependent on its 
relationship with the rest of the living world can not live permanently placing himself 
"in outside "the living world. It has no future in that as part of the living world and 
integrated in an ecological balance found. Debates on the footprint of human activity is 
just beginning. The concept of decay, very popular in the environmental community must not 
lead to a choice between growth and voluntary simplicity. The main problem is the lack of 
articulation between theory and practice. This is because there are now more real 
environmental movement organized within the libertarian movement. AL to give full meaning 
to the questioning of productivism and advance based on what already exists.







Capitalism, having invented the concept of sustainable development states to reconcile the 
economy, growth, and social environment through the use of new technologies, will continue 
its regeneration after its neoliberal phase, through the development of the green economy. 
Indeed, the Rio +20 Conference, the United Nations Programme for Environment (UNEP) 
introduced the global commodification of nature. It claims to give a value to any 
environment tangible or intangible. At this conference, the inability of the concept of 
sustainable development to resolve the contradictions of capitalism was recorded. To start 
a new cycle of growth it is to extend the logic of the market for the right to pollute by 
assigning a value to the living and to the mineral world with a system of compensation for 
destruction of nature. We must understand this new struggle and organize.

To advance to face all these challenges, Libertarian Alternative adopts a work plan for 
the next two years, the achievement will be followed by the new secretariat intervention 
Ecology - transformation of the former commission ecology - created at this conference.

Posted January 30, 2013 by commission congress

------------------------------

Message: 6
Date: Sat, 09 Feb 2013 21:57:00 +0200
From: a-infos-en@ainfos.ca
To: en <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Subject: (en) Anarkismo.net: Southern Africa, Reaping what you sow:
reflections on the Western Cape farm workers strike by Shawn Hattingh
- ZACF
Message-ID: <mailman.216.1360439841.24843.a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
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The series of strikes and protests that recently took place in and around farms in South 
Africa?s Western Cape Province was fuelled by the deep-seated anger and frustration that 
workers feel. On a daily basis, farm workers face not only appalling wages, bad living 
conditions and precarious work, but also widespread racism, intimidation and humiliation. 
The extent of the oppressive conditions run deep and it is not uncommon for workers to 
even be beaten by farm-owners and managers for perceived ?transgressions?. Indeed, life 
for workers in the rural areas has always been harsh, but over the last two decades it has 
in many ways gotten even worse and poverty has in many cases grown. ---- In fact, since 
1994 farm-owning capitalists have been on the attack. Approximately 2 million farm 
dwellers and workers have been evicted from farms since then in South Africa [1].

Many of these people have been forced into townships in the rural areas, where they have 
become either unemployed or casual or seasonal workers on farms. Services in these 
townships are also of an appalling standard with most people living in shacks or 
dilapidated Reconstruction and Development houses. Coupled to this, there has been a 
proliferation of labour brokers exploiting people?s desperate need for work, and piecework 
has been re-introduced on many farms. Farm owners obviously benefit from this situation: 
many no longer have to provide accommodation for workers, and hiring people on a casual 
basis or based on piecework keeps wage bills low. Thus, whether workers are seasonal, 
casual or permanent, life in South Africa?s rural areas is defined by exploitation and 
extreme oppression. It is no exaggeration to say that farm workers, who are mostly black, 
are viewed and treated as sub-humans by farm owners, managers and labour brokers. It is in 
this context that farm workers in the Western Cape rose up for the first time in decades. 
For once this saw farm owners and managers really reaping what they had sown

This article examines, from an anarchist-communist perspective, the issues surrounding the 
farm workers strike including the workers? actions and demands, and the responses of the 
state and bosses to this. It, however, also looks at the role that some union officials 
and local politicians played, and how this impacted upon the strikes, including the 
sometimes contradictory role of officials from the Congress of South African Trade Unions 
(COSATU). Finally, suggestions around how the struggle of farm workers can be taken 
forward in the aftermath of the strikes are made with a focus of building struggles and 
movements under the control of workers.

Background

The strikes and accompanying protest action in the Western Cape?s rural areas initially 
began on the 27th of August 2012 when workers on farms surrounding De Doorns downed tools. 
Poor pay, bad living conditions and unfair labour practices were their main grievances. 
Protests soon erupted in Stofland (Dustland), the township outside of De Doorns where most 
of these workers live in abject poverty. As part of this, running battles erupted between 
strikers and the police and people barricaded the national highway and railway that runs 
past the township. The appalling conditions on other farms and rural townships in the 
Western Cape soon meant that hundreds of thousands of workers across the province soon 
joined the strike. This saw protests spread to almost every rural town in the south 
Western Cape.
By early November a number of strike committees had been established by mainly, but not 
exclusively, casual and seasonal workers in many of these areas. It was clear at this 
point that the farm workers strike had been largely self-organised and had initially taken 
place largely outside of trade unions and political parties. In fact, trade unions in the 
farming sector are relatively small, with as little as 3% of farm workers in the Western 
Cape belonging to a union [2].

Along with the initial formation of strike committees, a demand also emerged from workers 
that the minimum wage for farm workers should be increased from R 69 a day to R 150 a day. 
Added to this, workers also demanded paid maternity leave, an end to labour brokers, an 
end to piece work, rent free housing, a moratorium on evictions, and an end to police 
brutality in the rural areas [3]. In the early stages of the strike, the police were 
overstretched, and both the state and farmers were firmly on the back foot. At this point, 
the real prospect existed that the workers could win substantial gains through the strike 
as it was gaining momentum and spreading.

During the initial phase of the strike wave, local politicians and prominent trade union 
officials also waded into the battle. With the entrance of these players into the strike, 
the situation became far more messy with political agendas playing themselves out and 
personalities often attempting to jostle for the limelight to increase their and their 
organisations? profiles. As part of this, the strike was suspended undemocratically 
several times by certain union officials, the first being in November: the very point when 
the strike was gaining momentum (how and why it was suspended will be looked at below). 
Yet despite repeated suspensions the strike repeatedly flared-up. Indeed, in January 2013 
the strike recommenced, which saw protests once again erupt across rural towns in the 
Western Cape and battles once again rage between the police and protestors. What has 
become clear, therefore, is that despite the strike being suspended several times, and 
recently called off by Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in late January, 
workers are going to continue to fight. In fact, plans are underway by farm workers to 
march on Parliament in the next few weeks.

The messy entry of BAWUSA and COSATU officials into the strike

While the strike was initially self-organised outside of the unions, officials from the 
BAWSI Agricultural Workers Union of South Africa (BAWUSA) and the Congress of South 
African Trade Unions (COSATU) ? along with its affiliate the Food and Allied Workers Union 
(FAWU) ? soon entered the arena, particularly in De Doorns. Their entry gradually saw a 
shift of power away from the workers? themselves and the strike committees that had been 
formed. In terms of this, the officials from these unions started to become the public 
?face? of the strike, and at times they were able influence the strike in profound and 
often unhealthy ways. In fact, their actions were not always to the benefit of workers in 
practice.
The reason why BAWUSA officials were able to enter the strike is that although the union 
is small, it has had a presence amongst some farm workers in De Doorns for a number of 
years and its general-secretary, Nosey Pieterse, has helped farm workers with eviction 
cases in the past. Through these connections BAWUSA officials soon gained a foothold in 
the strike in De Doorns. In fact, Pieterse along with the COSATU regional secretary, Tony 
Ehrenreich, were also soon singled out by the media as the unofficial spokespersons of the 
strike because of their already existing public profiles. Both of them, therefore, played 
a prominent role in the strikes; and came to largely overshadow the initial strike 
committees that had been formed by workers.

Although BAWUSA is a trade union and supported the strike, it was established by aspiring 
black capitalists within the wine industry through an organisation called the Black 
Association of the Wine and Spirit Industry (BAWSI), which it is still linked to. The aim 
of BAWSI and BAWUSA, therefore, has been to ultimately push for greater black involvement 
in the wine industry across class lines. It is clear that BAWSI and BAWUSA officials saw 
the strike as an opportunity to grow the profile of these organisations and its officials, 
like Nosey Pieterse, soon manoeuvred into prominence. BAWUSA?s agenda during the strikes, 
however, was to negotiate a settlement with the state and farm owners through dialogue. 
While it led demonstrations in De Doorns on a number of occasions, these often seemed to 
be a secondary tactic with the primary objective being to enter into negotiations that 
included unions, the state and farm-owners (with the strike committees having no direct 
representation in the negotiations). The cross-class nature of BAWUSA was also evident in 
terms of Pieterse himself. Pieterse is an emerging capitalist farmer, and through BAWSI he 
has an interest in one of the largest wine companies in the Western Cape, KWV. Due to its 
cross-class make-up, the commitment that BAWSI/BAWUSA officials have in building a 
struggle based on worker control and direct democracy is probably questionable, despite 
their support for the strike [4].

COSATU officials from the start also supported the strike, and through FAWU it had some 
presence in De Doorns. COSATU officials viewed the strike as a way of finally making 
inroads in terms of union membership on the farms. COSATU from the start, however, made it 
explicit that it did not want a similar situation as had occurred on the platinum mines, 
where workers took action outside of the unions and set up their own independent 
structures. COSATU made this explicit when it stated: ?The unions are trying to avoid a 
Marikana situation where workers act without guidance from unions, and resolutions are not 
found in negotiations? [5]. Thus, COSATU wanted to gain leadership over the strikes and 
its agenda was to push for a negotiated settlement along with driving the strikes into the 
confines of the existing labour legislation framework. Indeed, Ehrenriech himself added: 
"When workers take their own action without direction and guidance, that is when the 
danger comes about?they don't understand the parameters of the law and all the other 
stuff? [6]. Hence, COSATU?s interest was not to build a struggle based on direct democracy 
and militancy. So although it supported the strike, it pushed for dialogue between unions, 
the state and the farmers? organisation ? in the form of AgriSA ? to resolve the strike. 
In the process though, the workers and their strike committees were excluded from the 
negotiations.

The fact that Tony Ehrenreich is also a well-known ANC politician (in legislative 
opposition at a provincial level in the Western Cape) with a high media profile, gave him 
a major influence in the strike ? despite most farm workers having no affiliation to 
COSATU or its ally, the ANC. COSATU and Ehrenreich used this profile to, on a number of 
occasions, suspend the strike and ultimately call it off, without consulting or getting 
mandates from workers themselves. In fact, COSATU officials unilaterally called for the 
suspension of the strike when they deemed it useful or necessary. Perhaps the most 
important occasion was in November 2012 when the strike was spreading and gaining 
momentum. At that point, COSATU suspended the strike unilaterally, in order to try and 
negotiate a settlement with farm owners and to allow time for the state to supposedly 
intervene to legally raise the minimum wage.

Thus, both BAWUSA and COSATU wanted to negotiate a settlement through dialogue, and 
suspended the strike unilaterally on a number of occasions to follow this path. Yet, this 
strategy largely ended in failure and excluded the workers themselves ? they were 
supposedly ?represented? by the unions, but not directly. The limitations of dialogue by 
union officials were perhaps best highlighted by the fact that the state point blank 
refused to raise the minimum wage ? a demand of both COSATU and BAWUSA at the negotiating 
table ? until it is up for review in February 2013. Likewise, AgriSA refused to reach any 
national or regional settlement that would see an increase in the minimum wage. Where 
there were gains, for instance where some farmers offered higher wages, these could mainly 
be attributed to the pressure farmers felt from the strikes and protests; and not the 
negotiating skills of union officials. When the state finally announced in February that 
the minimum wage for farm workers would be raised to R 105, this was also mainly due to 
pressure the strike created, and not due to slick dialogue by union officials. The 
problem, too, was that each time the strike was undemocratically suspended by union 
officials it was difficult, but not impossible for workers to regain the momentum.

The fact that COSATU could, however, unilaterally suspend the strike on a number of 
occasions ? to follow a path of what amounted to social dialogue ? also reveals much about 
the strength of the fledgling strike committees. Although they initially played a major 
role in starting the strike in a number of areas, the strike committees simply did not 
have the strength to counter COSATU?s calls to suspend the strike, and workers gradually 
drifted back to work when the calls were made. A strike coalition was also established 
during the strike by unions and progressive non-governmental organisations to build and 
bring strike committees together so that workers could control the strike. Some of the 
unions and organisations in the coalition, like the Commercial Stevedore Agricultural and 
Allied Workers Union (CSAAWU) and the Surplus People?s Project (SPP) have a long history 
of attempting to build workers? committees and forums in the rural areas. However, while 
the coalition did bring some strike committees on board, and helped strengthen some on the 
ground, many areas remained without any such committees, and the coalition did not 
effectively become a platform controlled by workers themselves to coordinate the strike 
(despite the coalition?s intention to facilitate this). This meant there was no strongly 
organised and effective counter-weight to the COSATU and BAWUSA officials and their 
agenda. Indeed, COSATU ? despite participating in the coalition ? largely ignored the 
resolutions and the mandates that did emerge out of it. Rather COSATU unilaterally 
followed the path that its leadership thought was appropriate, and in effect sidelined 
other organisations including in many cases the strike committees and other organisations 
in the coalition.

Perhaps also playing into this situation, was the fact that farm workers do not have a 
long history of organising or undertaking major struggles, unlike mineworkers, in South 
Africa. When a major organisation, in the form of COSATU, suspended the strike, most 
workers went along with it. Certainly many workers were confused by these calls to stop 
and start the strike and many felt disgruntled with it. Yet they did not effectively mount 
a challenge to it. This could be due to a lack of a history of sustained struggle, limited 
experience with workers? direct democracy and the confidence that these bring.

The reaction of the state and bosses to the series of strikes

While the state and bosses were involved in on-and-off negotiations with COSATU and BAWUSA 
officials, they used the numerous suspensions of the strike that accompanied this to go on 
the offensive. Across the Western Cape, and in the aftermath of the first suspension of 
the strike, thousands of farm workers were fired or suspended. Many more had disciplinary 
actions taken against them. When the strikes recommenced, some farm owners even locked 
workers in on the farms, preventing them from striking. Added to this, some farm owners 
hired private security to intimidate workers. In one instance in Robertson, a farmer drove 
around with a shotgun threatening to shoot CSAAWU workers that were out on strike. As part 
of their propaganda offensive, many farm owners threatened to also mechanise in the future 
and lay-off workers. Some of the registered unions, such as CSAAWU, also now face legal 
battles in the aftermath of the strike and some farm-owners are threatening to use these 
unions? legal status to sue them for damages. The state too used the suspensions of the 
strike to repeatedly strengthen its forces. While it was initially overstretched during 
November 2012, when it was unable to cope with all of the protest actions, it used the 
first suspension of the strike to re-enforce police units in the area and deploy a 
Tactical Response Team (TRT) to undermine the strike and end the protests.
Many of the police units seem to have relished the task of attempting to end the protests 
surrounding the farm workers? strike. At least 3 strikers were killed at the hands of the 
police. Tear gas, stun-grenades and rubber bullets were also fired at strikers in almost 
every rural town in the Western Cape. On one occasion during the strikes in Wolsely, the 
police started using live ammunition when they ran out of rubber bullets. Townships where 
farm workers live were also raided at night, and a number of people were threatened and 
beaten up in their houses by the police. During one incident workers that had been 
arrested also reported that police fired tear gas canisters into the police vans in which 
they were being held. The National Prosecuting Authority also instructed state prosecutors 
to oppose bail for workers and activists that were arrested during the latter stages of 
the strikes and protest actions.

Of course, the role of the police and the state in general during the strikes was to 
protect private property and the welfare of the capitalist farmers. So despite the fact 
that a number of local ANC councillors at times supported the strike, due to the dynamics 
of local oppositional politics, the ANC-headed state in practice backed the farmers. Thus, 
although there has sometimes been tensions in South Africa between sections of the ruling 
class in the form of top officials in the state (who are mainly black) and capitalist 
farmers (who are mainly white), the state has played a massive role in protecting farmers 
against the strikers. While there may, therefore, be internal squabbling in the ruling 
class, they have united when faced with workers rising up, and they have used the state, 
amongst other things, to try and crush the strikers. As Bakunin pointed out this is what 
the state is designed to do when he said ?the state is authority, domination, and force, 
organised by the property-owning and so-called enlighten classes against the masses? [7] 
and its role is to protect and maintain by force the privileges of the ruling class. It 
is, therefore, not a neutral entity or negotiating partner that will simply intervene to 
help farm workers, as COSATU and BAWUSA officials hoped, but rather an enemy of the 
strikers. Indeed, its forces will gun down workers if necessary to protect the interests 
of the capitalist farmers; as they did at Marikana to protect the interests of mine 
bosses. As such, the state has to be forced from the outside by the workers through 
struggle to meet their demands and not through a reliance on social dialogue.

Forward to workers? power

Despite the internal and external challenges, the farm workers? strike was both historical 
and in many cases heroic. One of the poorest sections of society finally rose up to fight 
for justice and better wages. While the strike has been called off for now, it is also 
clear farm workers are going to embark on strikes and protests in the near future ? many 
still want R 150 and their other demands met. So while the battle is over for now, the war 
is still being fought.
The strike also was successful in highlighting the appalling conditions facing the poor in 
the rural areas, and it has probably changed the outlook of farm workers forever. As such, 
the strikes that have taken place on the farms and rural towns offer a great opportunity 
to begin to build a militant workers? movement in the rural areas. Certainly, there is a 
massive need for militant worker-controlled structures and radical directly democratic 
unions on the farms and in the rural towns that can fight for not only reforms, but 
eventually revolution.

Perhaps the task for now is for worker activists, activists and organisations that are for 
workers? power and control to put their energy into contributing to building and 
maintaining the worker and strike committees that have emerged and to put energy into 
expanding them into new areas. This too includes building the coalition into a structure 
controlled by workers. It is important too that a culture of direct democracy be 
consolidated amongst activists on the farms and in the rural townships as part of this. 
Certainly, if the strike and workers? committees that have emerged are expanded and 
consolidated, this could enable workers to take the struggle forward in the future and 
direct it themselves. A start has been made during the recent strikes and this should be 
built on. Even if the current strike does not resume, future battles lie ahead and it is 
important that worker-controlled directly democratic structures are there to take this 
forward. Hence, the battle must also be seen as a long-term one.

In the aftermath of the strikes there is also an opportunity for militant unions, like 
CSAAWU, to grow and bring more workers into the union. The problem faced by such unions in 
the past is that it has been hard to recruit on the farms due to intimidation and being 
denied access to the farms. The climate in the aftermath of the strikes may have changed 
this. Unions such as CSAAWU could also use the strategy of recruiting workers and 
community members in the townships first, where the major battles during the strikes were 
centred around, and then use this as a spring board to recruit amongst workers that live 
on the farms. As battles go forward, strong and militant, worker-controlled unions will be 
vital.

It is also important that within the committees a revolutionary counter-culture, based on 
working class pride, be built going forward. This could help sustain people in struggle 
and counter any opportunists that may wish to use the movement for their own ends. Coupled 
to this, radical popular revolutionary education needs to be built.

What is also important is that in trying to build a worker-controlled movement, the likes 
of the BAWUSA and COSATU officials would have to be engaged in a political battle. Their 
ideology of attempting to work with the state, as if it were an ally or neutral entity, 
would have to be effectively countered, along with their practices of undermining direct 
democracy. This is vital for when new strikes and protests erupt. Hopefully, workers have 
also drawn their own conclusions about the necessity of struggles remaining under their 
control and not under that of high profile individuals. An opportunity has been opened by 
the strikes, and it should not be left for the COSATU and BAWUSA officials to fill, but 
rather it must be filled by workers? power.

Notes:

1. 
http://www.pmg.org.za/report/20080304-farm-evictions-briefings-deputy-minister-nkuzi-development-transvaal- 

2. http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/08/23/south-africa-farmworkers-dismal-dangerous-lives
3. Xali, M. Western Cape farm workers courageous struggle. Workers? World News. February 2012
4. http://www.iol.co.za/business/business-news/strike-leader-is-also-farm-owner-1.1454850
5. 
http://mg.co.za/article/2012-11-14-one-killed-in-farm-unrest-before-cosatu-calls-end-to-strike 

6. http://mg.co.za/article/2013-01-25-00-farm-unions-pull-together-for-now
7. Bakunin, M. 1992. The Basic Bakunin: Writings 1869-1871. AK Press, p.140
Related Link: http://zabalaza.net

(en) France, Alternative Libertair AL 11th Congress - Place ecology at the heart of the project libertarian communist (fr)


Not only the ecological crisis involves all major balances of the planet - Climate change, 
pollution and radioactive chemicals that affect biodiversity, etc. - But its likely 
consequences will be devastating for humanity itself: critical risks food crises, health 
risks for future generations, forced migrations of populations, etc.. ---- Faced with this 
crisis struggles to defend the wider environment are not up to par. While fighting against 
a nuclear plant against an industry that pollutes the environment, against the 
construction of a highway or airport extra is legitimate and necessary, the combination of 
these struggles point provides no real solution to the ecological crisis. To date there is 
simply a movement of relocation of polluting industries and the development of green 
capitalism whose only motivation is to create new opportunities for capitalist profits.

A conception of ecology limited to the protection of the environment will hardly slow down 
the destruction of the planet. Human activities must be completely reoriented. In Congress 
Agen in 2006, Alternative libertarian rightly stated: "ecological challenge facing three 
revolutions are necessary" - revolution in international trade revolution in consumption 
patterns, revolution in production methods.

We know that within capitalist society, no significant changes in these critical human 
societies will be possible. Social inequalities are in fact at the root of these 
destructive human societies on the planet. This is why anti-capitalism is inseparable from 
the struggle ecologist. Of course we're talking about anti-capitalism, which is not just a 
change at the head of the State, such as that of the Stalinist parties who have built in 
the former so-called "communist" state capitalism even more destructive for the 
environment. We speak of a profound questioning of capitalism by generalized 
self-management of the economy and society. This should lead us to completely revise the 
model of social organization. It is resize the development of human societies to allow a 
balance between productive capacity and local needs. Several considerations are to be 
taken to not be satisfied with mere criticism rhetorical question but the pseudo comfort 
in which the capitalist system we install. Far adjust supply and demand for all types of 
control mechanisms such as markets, have to be tackled to restore direct links between 
producers / consumers and matrices / matrices and solve the adequacy of production 
necessary social and societal .

To make a significant contribution to the ecological struggle Alternative libertarian 
must: demonstrate the link between the struggles against unequal society and ecological 
struggles, in-depth analysis constraints and changes in capitalism. The analysis should 
include both economic and ecological considerations and cultural - "cognitive capitalism" 
- the essence of this system is to transform all aspects of life into a commodity; bring 
environmental concerns into the whole movement social: in union struggles for housing, 
health ... For we know that the opposition can occur between certain ecological struggles 
and, for example, some struggles for employment is the result of non-delivery relevant 
interests of the capitalists and not taking into account the real interests of workers and 
employees. It is essential to carry arm design theory of ecology cuts across all social 
struggles. Provide turnkey solutions is not necessarily the responsibility of a political 
organization but focus the debate within the trade unions, even some contradictions point 
should be. We must also work to radicalize the ecological consciousness that develops on a 
background of green capitalism, without any sectarianism. This is a prerequisite for 
building a mass intervention, describe and disseminate alternative acts even imperfect 
(scop, amap, etc.). integrating the environmental dimension into the discussion. A 
self-managed company may limit the health consequences for workers and the environment for 
those without removing them. The transverse dimension of thinking is a priority to be an 
actress of a cultural revolution involving all forms of low consumerism today advocating 
elements of lifestyle and working alternative to those imposed by capitalist society. 
Firstly, AL must acquire a culture collective environmentalist; wear a reflection on the 
place of humanity on the planet, physically and psychologically dependent on its 
relationship with the rest of the living world can not live permanently placing himself 
"in outside "the living world. It has no future in that as part of the living world and 
integrated in an ecological balance found. Debates on the footprint of human activity is 
just beginning. The concept of decay, very popular in the environmental community must not 
lead to a choice between growth and voluntary simplicity. The main problem is the lack of 
articulation between theory and practice. This is because there are now more real 
environmental movement organized within the libertarian movement. AL to give full meaning 
to the questioning of productivism and advance based on what already exists.







Capitalism, having invented the concept of sustainable development states to reconcile the 
economy, growth, and social environment through the use of new technologies, will continue 
its regeneration after its neoliberal phase, through the development of the green economy. 
Indeed, the Rio +20 Conference, the United Nations Programme for Environment (UNEP) 
introduced the global commodification of nature. It claims to give a value to any 
environment tangible or intangible. At this conference, the inability of the concept of 
sustainable development to resolve the contradictions of capitalism was recorded. To start 
a new cycle of growth it is to extend the logic of the market for the right to pollute by 
assigning a value to the living and to the mineral world with a system of compensation for 
destruction of nature. We must understand this new struggle and organize.

To advance to face all these challenges, Libertarian Alternative adopts a work plan for 
the next two years, the achievement will be followed by the new secretariat intervention 
Ecology - transformation of the former commission ecology - created at this conference.

Posted January 30, 2013 by commission congress

(en) Canada, La Commune (UCL) Protest against the Plan Nord Montreal February 8, 2013 (fr)


Video http://vimeo.com/59288982 ---- Taken from printempsquebecois.com Shortly after noon, 
200 demonstrators braved the freezing cold and snow blowing in swirls to massage around 
the Palais des Congr?s. Salon of natural resources held in this vast building is for them 
a "Fair Plan Nord [version] 2.0," a repetition in the more bucolic name of the event 
organized in April 2012 by the Government Liberal Jean Charest (defeated in September 2012 
by the Parti Quebecois Pauline Marois) *. Under heavy police surveillance, the event aims 
to expose what she calls the "Death Map" economic plunder of Northern Quebec boreal 
rampage ecological resources (open pits, clearcuts) disregard for the rights and 
aboriginal claims. Facebook launched the call for manifest condemns "the development of 
the North [which] threatens us as parts of living" and calls for solidarity "with all the 
communities in resistance development model imposed on them , North and South, with the 
indigenous peoples who have chosen to oppose [...] **.

"Inside, a heavy police presence prevented demonstrators from entering the Palais des 
Congr?s. The entrance to the Salon of natural resources is free, but a proof of photo 
identification is required to enter the premises (an extremely rare practice of control in 
Quebec). Outside, protesters revolve around the Congress by typing in its high outer walls 
colorful as they can get close. Groups the riot "accompany" in their circular path.

Just the protesters they gathered their gathering was declared illegal on the grounds that 
they have not provided their route ahead to the police. However, the march would be 
"tolerated" as she remained peaceful. At 13 h, patrol cars were damaged and a window was 
broken and a few flowers graffiti on police cars ... At 13 h 10, the police ordered the 
dispersal of the crowd.

They repel demonstrators who move away a bit, then come back, do push a little further, 
disperse, and then come back ... Although only one arrest was reported (a man who tried to 
interfere in the Palais des Congress without showing credentials), the atmosphere is not 
the camaraderie between protesters and police - and it is certainly never fun to slide on 
a patch of ice to meet identified by anti- riot ... - * It will be recalled that Premier 
Jean Charest had then raised the fury of the people in the ironic discontent and popular 
student who spoke outside the same conference center. View Gallery: "Salon du Plan Nord: 
Police skids, the PM lost the compass - April 20, 2012," 
http://printempsquebecois.com/manifestation-contre-salon-plan-nord/

zaterdag 9 februari 2013

(en) Ireland, WSM leaflet for distribution on ICTU's anti-debt marches 9th Feb - Take Back The Power


The leaflet is being distributed by WSM members at the ICTU-organised anti-debt march in 
Dublin on Saturday 9th February. ---- Take Back The Power ---- As we march today, we do so 
with our trade unions hamstrung and weakened. We have suffered the effects of 6 austerity 
budgets in 4 years. Our incomes and standards of living have been slashed and our public 
services decimated. Young workers, in particular, have had their wages and working 
conditions savaged. ---- Workers in both public and private sector have suffered pay cuts 
and job losses. In the public sector, following a 12 - 15% pay cut in 2010, the Croke 
Park Agreement (CPA) was sold to us as the only way in which pay and conditions could be 
protected. It has, instead, provided the cover for a ?3.1billion cut in the public sector 
pay bill and the loss of 28,000 jobs.

Newly qualified teachers, for example, now start on a net salary which is 27% lower than 
the 2008 starting salary.

?Extending? the suffering

And in January, with no consultation with the membership, the union leaders went into 
talks on a so-called ?extension? of the CPA. This time the government are saying they 
want another ?1 billion in cuts over the next 3 years. Their list of demands was 
described by the general secretary of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors as 
being akin to being given ?a choice of whether we wanted to be shot with a handgun or a 
shotgun?.

It should be clear that there is nothing to talk about. Union leaders should have 
politely told the government what to do with their invitation to talks and should have set 
about organising resistance to the coming attacks.

But they didn?t and the question for each of us is - What are we willing to do about it? 
Because while it is easy to blame the leadership, a more difficult and searching problem 
is - What are the alternatives?

Blame

How has it come to this? We can blame the union ?leaders? and there?s no doubt that the 
fact that politically many of them are tied to Labour (and Fianna F?il) is relevant. We 
can blame their lack of ambition, their constant repetition of the mantra of ?There Is No 
Alternative?. We can blame the fact that most of the union leaders see their role as 
being to mediate between the members and government/employers rather than to 
wholeheartedly represent the members.

All of that is true. But blaming the leaders is not enough. Yes they have negotiated our 
defeat. Yes they have presided over a complete loss of solidarity among workers. But 
many union members have gone along with it. Whether through fear, through apathy or 
through hopelessness many union members have kept their heads down, accepted the pain and 
gone along with the idea that ?There Is No Alternative?.

Others have become totally disillusioned with ?the union? and their anger at the 
leadership has made them walk away from seeing the union as a collective organ of 
struggle. Many members have literally walked with their feet and no longer take any 
active part in union meetings or structures.

Others have been content to continue to blame ?the leaders?, the implication being that if 
we could replace the current leadership with a stronger or more left-wing one things would 
be different. But many have failed to engage with their fellow-workers and union members 
and attempt to break that sense of fear, apathy, hopelessness or anger.

Take Responsibility

It is time for every one of us to take responsibility for trying to turn things around. 
We have to stop referring to ?the union? as something outside of ourselves and begin to 
see that our unions are OURS. We have to stop seeing ?head office? and ?the officials? as 
anything other than employees of the union - our employees who should be taking their 
instruction from us. And we have to convince our fellow-workers that there is a benefit 
to engaging with the union structures and organising to resist.

In your workplace and in your union, that means you have to take on that responsibility - 
there?s nobody else to do it for you. By booing Jack O?Connor or any of the rest of the 
leaders who have stolen our movement from us, we can let off steam. Shouting for a 
?general strike now? might make us feel more militant. But the reality is that right now 
the majority (maybe even a large majority) of union members are unlikely to join a general 
strike. There is a huge job of work to be done to convince the fearful, the apathetic, 
the hopeless and the angry that their future lies in standing together in solidarity and 
that things don?t have to be as they are.

For an effective general strike to be possible we need to take control of union 
structures, dump the current leadership and replace them not with an alternative 
leadership but with a new type of union which will take control back into the members? 
hands. We need to re-create a union movement whose primary function is to resist and 
obstruct attacks on our wages and conditions.

Alternative

In Spain, Greece and Italy they?ve had general strikes. But the austerity attacks 
continue. So a general strike in and of itself is not the panacea. It will not bring 
about an end to austerity. But it will at least register resistance. It will show 
solidarity with all those who are subjected to the savage cuts and cast into a life of 
poverty due to this doomed tactic. It will register a knowledge that the rich are getting 
a free ride though this depression. It will show Unity. But it will not be enough 
without an alternative being put forth.

That alternative will come from action, not from negotiations about further cuts. As we 
participate in actions, we will get a sense of our own power, we will begin to realise 
that things don?t have to be as they are.

That?s where you come in as a Union member. So if you wish to boo the leadership, go for 
it. If you want to shout for a general strike now, go for it. But you know that more is 
needed. Go back to your branch and look at ways of taking steps that register your 
resistance at ground level. Support those who are resisting cuts. Build opposition to 
the Croke Park Agreement ?extension?.

Let?s begin to show practical pragmatic solidarity with those in struggle. Let?s say No 
more cuts - anywhere or to any service. Let?s collectively have the confidence to say 
we?re not taking any more of this. Let?s encourage non-cooperation and support other 
groups of workers so that they are not victimised for refusing to co-operate with the 
austerity agenda.

Property Tax

We are immediately presented with an obvious practical example of how this can be put into 
action. A massive campaign of boycott last year forced the government to re-think its 
strategy on the household tax. Now they have come after us again with another home tax - 
this time calling it a property tax.

The legislation introducing the property tax is extremely draconian and the tax cannot be 
defeated by a boycott alone. The most obvious way in which government plans can be 
scuppered would be for workers in the Revenue Commissioners, members of the CPSU and the 
PSEU, to refuse to co-operate with implementation of the tax.

Union members in those two unions should raise this as a possibility and should begin to 
campaign within their unions to convince the relevant groups of workers to take such a 
stance. But the rest of us cannot just leave it to them. Left on their own they would be 
crushed and some of those doing the kicking would be the current leadership of our unions.

But let?s imagine a situation where over the next couple of months - within the unions and 
in wider society - we win people to the idea of a militant fightback against the property 
tax. Let?s imagine that we build a campaign of protest in our communities, at council 
meetings, TDs? offices - indeed everywhere we are - that makes opposition to the property 
tax the central political issue of the day. Let?s imagine that that opposition is 
militant and forceful and stating very clearly that while attempts are being made to foist 
this tax on us we will not allow ?normal business? to continue.

In the context of having built such an atmosphere of militant protest, the likelihood that 
union members in the Revenue Commissioners would take action would be greatly increased. 
And if on top of that we can win other groups of workers to agree that in the event of any 
worker being disciplined for their refusal to implement this austerity tax, they too will 
be ready to take action, we will have transformed the political situation.

This is the type of movement we need to build - and we need to do it now. It won?t be 
easy but anything worthwhile never is. The question is - are you willing to do your bit? 
Let?s do it, let?s get stuck in and see what?s possible.