Saturday, 3 December 2016

Lest We Forget.

             Here in the UK the British state’s level of brutality is relatively low at the moment, however, this is is not a sign of a mellowing, or that of a benign beast. The level of state violence rises and falls in line with the amount of protests against, and resistance to, its control over our lives. This slight trough in UK state violence is in part a sign of our compliance to its power, they see no threat. This can, and has changed dramatically, as soon as the establishment senses a rise in resistance to its power. For those lulled into a false sense that the state is a talking shop for the expression of “democracy” would do well to look back at our history.

1911 Liverpool General Transport Strike: 
          As the rail strike began to spread across the country, a mass demonstration in Liverpool was declared as a show of support. Taking place on August 13 at St Georges Plateau, 100,000 workers came to hear speeches by workers and leaders of the unions, including Tom Mann. The demonstration went without incident until about 4 o'clock, when, completely unprovoked, the crowds of workers suddenly came under attack from the police. Indiscriminantly attacking bystanders, the police succeeded in clearing the steps of St George's Hall in half an hour, despite resistance from strikers who used whatever they could find as weapons. Fighting soon spilled out into nearby streets, causing the police and troops to come under attack as workers pelted them with missiles from rooftops. Becoming known as Bloody Sunday, the fighting resulted in scores of injuries on both sides.
          Fighting across the city continued for several days, coming to a head when a group of workers attacked a prison van carrying some arrested strikers. Two workers were shot dead by troops during the ensuing struggle, one a docker and the other a carter.

Then Glasgow’s own Bloody Friday: 
             On Friday 31 January 1919 upwards of 60,000 demonstrators gathered in George Square Glasgow in support of the 40-hours strike and to hear the Lord Provost's reply to the workers' request for a 40-hour week. Whilst the deputation was in the building the police mounted a vicious and unprovoked attack on the demonstrators, felling unarmed men and women with their batons. The demonstrators, including large numbers of ex-servicemen, retaliated with whatever was available, fists, iron railings and broken bottles, and forced the police to retreat. On hearing the noise from the square the strike leaders, who were meeting with the Lord Provost, rushed outside in an attempt to restore order. One of the leaders, David Kirkwood, was felled to the ground by a police baton, and along with William Gallacher was arrested.
RIOTS AND ARRESTS.            After the initial confrontation between the demonstrators and the police in George Square, further fighting continued in and around the city centre streets for many hours afterwards. The Townhead area of the city and Glasgow Green, where many of the demonstrators had regrouped after the initial police charge, were the scenes of running battles between police and demonstrators. In the immediate aftermath of 'Bloody Friday', as it became known, other leaders of the Clyde Workers' Committee were arrested, including Emanuel Shinwell, Harry Hopkins and George Edbury.
       The strike and the events of January, 31, 1919, “Bloody Friday” raised the Government’s concerns about industrial militancy and revolutionary political activity in Glasgow. Considerable fears within government of a workers' revolution in Glasgow led to the deployment of troops and tanks in the city. A full battalion of Scottish soldiers stationed at Maryhill barracks in Glasgow at the time were locked down and confined to barracks, for fear they would side with the rioters, an estimated 10,000 English troops, along with Seaforth Highlanders from Aberdeen, who were first vetted to remove those with a Glasgow connection, and tanks were sent to Glasgow in the immediate aftermath of Bloody Friday. Soldiers with fixed bayonets marched with tanks through the streets of the City. There were soldiers patrolling the streets and machine guns on the roofs in George Square. No other Scottish troops were deployed, with the government fearing fellow Scots, soldiers or otherwise, would go over to the workers if a revolutionary situation developed in the area. It was the British state’s largest military mobilisation against its own people and showed they were quite prepared to shed workers’ blood in protecting the establishment.
     Black and white photographs taken by friends, family and supporters at the 1984 Battle of Orgreave helped subsequently to demolish Police prosecutions for rioting that were levelled against 95 striking mineworkers. But at the time, very few close-up – and potentially incriminating – pictures made it into the news coverage of the mainstream media.
       Most press photographers and television camera crews were penned in behind police lines, and therefore kept largely to the perimeter of the eight-hour confrontation between pickets and mounted police.
       While newspapers and television news bulletins captured the scale of the conflict – and especially the graphic images of police on horseback charging through the pickets – there was nothing like the visual record of hand-to-hand combat that would be available today as a result of the abundance of camera phone pictures and videos that invariably emerges from demonstrations and protests.
        No wonder the iconic photograph taken by John Harris of Lesley Boulton, cowering as a mounted police officer approached her with a raised baton, has become an enduring image of the strike, reproduced repeatedly to illustrate the violent response of the police as the pickets assembled outside the Orgreave coke works on June 18, 1984.

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Friday, 2 December 2016

The Birth Of A Town.

      The rising numbers at Standing Rock, taking part in the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, is amazing, what started as a small group of dedicated people out to protect the water supply in their area, is fast becoming a small town in its own right. People from all over, who understand the damage that the corporate world is doing to the planet, are massing there to make a stand against this juggernaut of greed, that is riding roughshod over the people and there natural resources.
     These photos give some idea of the extent of the support for this stand to protect the water against the onslaught of corporate greed. Thanks for the link Loam.
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Another Death At The Hands Of The Police.

      For centuries, across the world, the state apparatus has used brutality to silence and repress the voice of the dissident, but still that voice is there. It is not new for death to be the price of being  different, to dare to challenge the established power. Salvador Olmos Garcia will not be the last, he joins a long list of those the various states have seen fit to put to death for daring to be different, it will not stop until we dismantle completely, that brutal power structure that is the beating heart of capitalism.  
     This is a documentary made by two travelers from Belarus, Ukraine, about a Mexican anarchist Salvador Olmos Garcia who was murdered by the police in his home town.
Lang: Spanish
Subs: Russian and English

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Thursday, 1 December 2016

Their Struggle Is Our Struggle.

         An update on the Dakota Access Pipeline. This is a massive protest and is growing, it is directed against the greed and savage rape and plunder of our planet, which is all done for the bank accounts of the corporate masters, it is our struggle. The winter is really biting, these brave people need our support, thousands are braving extreme weather conditions, standing up for their principles. The state militarised police have tried to break them, let's make sure the weather doesn't.

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Time For That Grand Plan.

       Today, because of the economic system that dominates our planet, we seem to stumble from one disaster to another, from one crisis to the next. Our lords and masters' only concern is maintaining their power, their corporate buddies only concern is the next end of year balance sheet, all else is pushed aside. The planet and all its life forms, including us, are sacrificed to these ends. With this sort of prevailing thought, where does that leave our kids and grand kids? Are we prepared to allow this to continue, knowing that we are on a road to total destruction, that could be avoided, how long will we sit and watch vandals destroy our home?
Our long term plan is like our short term plan, only longer.
As usual some food for thought from Not Buying Anything:
         Humanity should think about developing a plan longer than the next election cycle. We don't need 5 year plans, we need 5,000 year plans. Preferably two of them.
          A solid 10,000 year plan would go a long way toward figuring out where we want to go with this petri dish known as Earth. I love the idea of thinking ahead 7 generations, but how about extending that to 500? Supposedly we are the smartest creatures on Earth (and the known Universe according to some), so we should be able to get our big brains together and do this thing.
        In order to reduce the chance of repeating the thousands of years of blind bumbling that we have been experiencing so far, we should come up with an overall plan for humans (and everything else) on our shared petri-planet home. Surely, considering the importance of my proposal, we can get some consensus towards a set of common goals and outcomes.
       Like survival at first, looking at our increasingly grim short term prospects.
       Then we can proceed from there and start planning for things like ridding the environment of human-created radiation produced during our misguided experiment with nuclear energy. That alone is a project that will take thousands of years. We should have one of those already, shouldn't we?
       Next in The Big Plan we can look out over the next few hundred years. Where do we see ourselves as a species? What do we want to achieve in this time? I for one would like to see something more substantial than the planet's first trillionare.
       A lot can happen in one year, let alone a hundred or a thousand. We should have a plan to help direct where we are going. Many of us can imagine a better world, and if we can imagine it, we can achieve it. We can put it in the plan.
      As an ex-teacher I know the importance and the challenges of planning. It will take a different way of thinking to extend our imaginations past the next election, or our own brief existence. But we do care about our kids, don't we? And their kids? And theirs? And so on all the way up the line?
      We have already had many thousands of years to get this thing right, and it feels like we aren't quite there yet. Let's get The Big Plan started.
     How do you see humanity developing over 10,000 years? The glorious possibilities are endless.
      Of course if we are to embark on that 10,000 year plan, the first step must be to completely get rid of capitalism, in all its destructive and ugly forms.
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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Workers, Know Your History, John MacLean.

       Today, November, 30th. marks the 93rd. anniversary of the death of one of Glasgow's best known, of the city's many working class heroes. John MacLean, a teacher in more senses than one. His politics were shaped by the hatred of landlords, due to the treatment hand out to his family and thousands of others in the Highland clearances. A conscientious objector who suffered imprisonment for his beliefs, that imprisonment ruined his health and he died a young man aged only 44. Now, more than ever, we need our John MacLeans, our Ethel MacDonalds, our Guy Aldreds, our Willie McDougals, our Les Fosters, our Mary Barbours, I could go on, our city has a proud heritage of working class warriors, but most of all, we need the ordinary people to pick up that baton of struggle that marked out these people, and many, many others. Only the will of the people will end this insane, unjust, exploitative system that crushes the individual and drives the world to destruction.  
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Tomorrow Can Be Ours, If We Want It.

         The struggle in America at Standing Rock, over the Dakota Access Pipeline, is our struggle. It is not just about a pipe line and the pollution of a river, it is about the earth we live on and its total destruction by big business, for greed and profit to the few. The Dakota Access pipeline is a scenario that is being repeated across the planet, an insane juggernaut of destruction powered by the financial Mafia and the corporate greed machine, and in most cases, they have the full support of the various states, backed up by the brutal state apparatus. It will only stop when we the ordinary people, stand up and end this greed driven madness. A better world is possible, we have the imagination, the resources, the power, all we are lacking is the will. With that will and solidarity, that new world can be tomorrow.
Thanks Loam for the link, this from People's Tribune:

         When the Standing Rock Sioux of North Dakota discovered that a pipeline carrying fracked oil was to be built through their land, poisoning the land and its people, there near the headwaters of the Missouri River, destroying sacred sites and burial grounds, they stood up to block the machinery of destruction. This ignited a resistance that has captured the world’s attention, and gathered the support of hundreds of tribes, and massed thousands of supporters to the site in the struggle for water and life.
        In response, the governor of North Dakota called out the National Guard on behalf of the private oil company against the protesters. Private security hired by the pipeline company pepper-sprayed and set attack dogs on men, women and children. Because of the defenders bravery and solidarity, construction has been at least temporarily halted. The people have vowed to remain as long as it takes to protect the land.
        With their many dangerous pipelines leaking and spilling their poisons everywhere, their mauling of the Earth with fracking, only the oil companies, with immense power over and within the US government, benefit from this plunder. With the poisoning of waters in such cities as Flint MI and across the country, the plundering of the Earth by mineral extraction industries, and the use of water by private corporations, this has become a flashpoint in the people’s resistance to corporate rapacity.
        This struggle represents the unity of working people who have little or no stake in this corporate plunder. The native people at Standing Rock whose land is being decimated suffer from 85% unemployment and the highest poverty rate in the country. A growing section of the working class is heading in this direction, thrown out of the capitalist system by automation, no longer exploitable, targeted by police brutality and murder, their communities torn apart and their land and water poisoned. The so-called oil boom in North Dakota has mostly benefited the owners of the oil companies, leaving many people who go there for work homeless or laid-off and stranded.
      This conflict is coming to a dramatic head as more and more people are driven into poverty, despair and no future. This is unifying us around a common cause, the absolute necessity for a radical change in the economic system—from one of exploitation, artificial scarcity and destruction, to one of cooperation, with each other, the world around us and the Earth.
       Our stand is to hold the government responsible for protecting the Earth and its people. We can unite to create a cooperative society—this one global, national and regional—based on the abundance the new tools of production make possible, along with a social structure to support it. A new Fire is burning.  This is what Standing Rock is to us all.
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Tuesday, 29 November 2016

A Radio Active Ocean!!

        It seems odd that the UK is pushing ahead with its nuclear energy plans when other countries are moving away from that source of energy. We are still reeling from the Fukushima disaster, which to this day is still pouring radio-active waste into the Pacific, with no end in sight. Of course what drives these decisions is never the welfare of the people, but corporate greed and state power. The facts about nuclear power are that we can't fully estimate the cost of construction, we have no idea of the cost of, or a proper method of, decommissioning, we can't give any guarantee that we will be able to use that piece of land again. Even on economics, it doesn't make much sense. On this basis it seems irrational to pursue that path, but pursue it our lords and masters will, unless we do something about changing the system. 
      Hinkley Point C nuclear power station (HPC) is a project to construct a 3,200 MWe nuclear power station with two EPR reactors in Somerset, England.[4] The proposed site is one of eight announced by the British government in 2010,[5] and in November 2012 a nuclear site licence was granted.[6] On 28 July 2016 the EDF board approved the project,[7] and on 15 September 2016 the UK government approved the project with some safeguards for the investment.[8] The plant, which has a projected lifetime of sixty years, has an estimated construction cost of £18 billion, or £24.5 billion including financing costs.[1] The National Audit Office estimates the additional cost to consumers under the "strike price" will be £29.7 billion.[9]
 On Fukushima:
       The 7.4 magnitude quake hit on Tuesday, just off the coast of Fukushima, which was also the site of the 2011 9.0 scale earthquake.
The Japan Meteorological Agency have said that this new quake was actually an aftershock from the previous one, and have warned that further aftershocks could follow.
       The 2011 quake was catastrophic in it’s destruction, killing 15,891 people, with a further 2,584 missing. It destroyed countless homes and ruined people’s livelihoods.
       The fear that these quakes will cause a huge problem in the nuclear power sector is very real. About 30% of all Japan’s power comes from nuclear power stations, many of which are located on the coast where the earthquakes tend to strike.
       The 2011 earthquake catastrophically damaged 3 of 6 nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi facility, the extent of the fallout from this has never been fully identified.
       One repercussion of this has been the pollution of radioactive waste into the sea. It is thought that hundreds of tons of radioactive waste has been pumped into the sea every day ever since. The nuclear waste has penetrated the Japanese food chain and has been detected in food over 200 miles away.
       In 2015 Akira Ono the chief of the Fukushima power station said that there was no known way of decommissioning the power station and stopping the waste leakage.
      Officials have claimed that while there is a definite leakage, they say it is not doing any actual harm to the environment, but the stats claim another story.
        American scientists have been studying what is effectively the ‘death’ of the pacific, where marine life is dying off at an alarming rate. Krill, one of the key players in the sea-life food chain has been found washed up in vast numbers, and bodies of seals and sea lions are repeatedly washed up on shores.
        USA Today ran a story of starfish being washed up that had seemingly turned to ‘mush’, the reason to which they said left them ‘baffled’. It has also been reported that a staggering 98% of the sea floor is covered with dead sea life.
        It’s time people woke up to the reality of what is happening. In our lifetime we have already seen so many species become extinct on land, and now humans are destroying the sea, too.
      Within days of the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, large anti-nuclear protests occurred in Germany. Protests continued and, on 29 May 2011, Merkel's government announced that it would close all of its nuclear power plants by 2022.[5][6] Eight of the seventeen operating reactors in Germany were permanently shut down following Fukushima.
      In September 2011, German engineering giant Siemens announced a complete withdrawal from the nuclear industry, as a response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster.[8][9]
 -------however the Energy Policy Act of 2005 was passed in 2005 which aimed to jump start the nuclear industry through financial loan-guarantees for expansion and re-outfitting of nuclear plants. The success of this legislation is still undetermined, since all 17 companies that applied for funding are still in the planning phases on their 26 proposed building applications. Some of the proposed sites have even scrapped their building plans, and many think the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster
further dampen the success of expansion of nuclear energy in the United States.
      However, following the 2011 Japanese nuclear accidents, the Italian government put a one-year moratorium on plans to revive nuclear power.[3] On 11—12 June 2011, Italian voters passed a referendum to cancel plans for new reactors. Over 94% of the electorate voted in favor of the construction ban, with 55% of the eligible voters participating, making the vote binding.[4]
And Australia, the world's third largest producer of uranium, has no nuclear power plants.

Australia currently has no nuclear facilities generating electricity. Australia has 33% of the world's uranium deposits and is the world's third largest producer of uranium after Kazakhstan and Canada.


Monday, 28 November 2016

We Must Preserve OUR History.

          We, the volunteers at Spirit of Revolt, believe we do a very important job, one that is necessary. We are our history, our efforts and our actions are our heritage, our true culture. If we don’t record and preserve that history, we are a people without a history, a people without a culture, but nothing could be further from the truth. Our history is a rich one of struggle, sometime bitter, sometimes victorious, but a never ending struggle to claim what is rightfully ours. Our history is that ongoing story, we can learn from the failures and success of those who went before us. Without somewhere to access that story of struggle, we go blind into the future, we have to re-invent the wheel all over again. Without our history recorded there for all to see, people get a distorted view of history, a history that tells a false story, a history in which we played no part. However, because of the type of society we live under, (for the present), sadly, no matter how many volunteers we have, to survive, we still need that filthy stuff called “money”. There are boxes, envelopes and other storage materials, there is web-hosting, web maintenance, other sundry costs, and to catalogue the collections to international standards, for easy access across borders, we have an archivist, all costing that filthy stuff, “money”.
         So, all you anarchists, libertarian socialists and people of like mind, go have a look at our website, browse the catalogue, it's your history, consider if you think we are doing a worthwhile job. If so, click on to our “Donate” page and perhaps you may be feeling a wee bit generous at this time of year, and can see you way to help us continue to record our history, a history that we can’t expect any other section of this type of society to record. It doesn’t matter how small your donation is, it will be very much appreciated, a one-of, or a monthly donation, from £1 upwards, we will say thank you very much.
If we are ignorant of our history, we will repeat our mistakes.
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International Protests to Transnational Disaster.

     From Europe to America, the months long opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline is growing, but still needs more of your support. The water protectors are  not only facing the brutal force of a militarised police force, and the national guard, they are now heading into a fierce and bitterly cold winter. There have been a considerable numbers of water protectors injured, some severely, they warrant our strongest solidarity.  As well as actions of solidarity, they need material support to help them survive this two pronged attack.

      If you opposed Keystone XL, then you need to know about Standing Rock. Right now, hundreds of Indigenous activists are peacefully protesting the construction of a crude oil pipeline on ancestral lands, and they need your support.
Continue reading:

And from comrades in Exarchia Square in Athens:

        In the afternoon of November 24th 2016, we dropped a banner in Exarchia Square against the Dakota Access Pipeline, currently under construction in the US. This oil pipeline runs a distance of nearly 1,172 miles, from North Dakota to Illinois, and its cost is estimated to be around 3.7 billion dollars. In its destructive path, this mega-project is causing irreversible damage to territories, rivers and surrounding communities.
      Among the affected areas is also Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota, where residents alongside people in solidarity resist the police, forces of the US army, and security guards of the groups assigned to construct the pipeline (Energy Transfer Partners being the main contractor). Repression has been so harsh over the last days, that among the hundreds who were injured there’s also an activist whose hand was amputated because of a concussion grenade fired by cops.
      At the same time, there have been many actions of resistance in various cities across the US and beyond, with rail-track and train blockades, direct actions and symbolic gestures of solidarity.
        We send strength to anarchist comrades and all others who fight in an anti-institutional, anti-hierarchical manner and without mediators against the construction of the pipeline, showing what it really is: one among the tentacles of domination draining the Earth.
       Our opposition to this and any other mega-project of the techno-industrial civilization stems from the conviction that the Earth belong to no one; from our need to defend by all means necessary everything that has remained untamed and wild in this artificialized world. Beyond any rhetoric of “ancestral” or “sacred” lands, we support the particular struggle until the liberation of the entire planet.

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Sunday, 27 November 2016

The Rise Of History's Biggest Empire.

      Abby Martin's Empire Files, facts and figures of how the new bully on the block rules its empire. Wonderful glaring truths that are normally hidden behind the smoke and mirrors of the media and the illusions woven by state propaganda. Thanks for the link Loam.

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A Flawed System.

        I first saw this video on arrezafe. A detailed discussion, in English, on some of the built in flaws and contradictions within capitalism, explained in simple terms by professor Richard Wolff.

Richard Wolff American economist known for his analytical methodology and study classes or social strata. Since 2005, much of his work has focused on the analysis and critique of the capitalist economic model, the global crisis it has generated and methodical exploration of Marxist economic alternatives along with other cooperative models.
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Saturday, 26 November 2016

Glasgow's Annual Anti-racism March.


         Today, Saturday, November 26th., was Glasgow's annual anti-racism march, and as usual it was a colourful affair, with a host of colourful banners, pipe band and drum ensemble. Despite the very cold weather there was a great turnout. This is encouraging especially in the present climate of a spike in racist abuse. Glasgow, on the whole, is a welcoming city, as I believe most cities are at their core, so we should not really be surprised by the great turnout. However,  congratulations to all those who did brave the very cold weather, to show support for decent human values. It seemed to be a case of everybody and their dogs, joined the march as it snaked its way from Glasgow Green up High Street, through the city to the GFT. Also, as far as I'm concerned, it was encouraging to see a increase in the Red and Black bloc. Let's hope it continues to grow, but at a somewhat increased pace, more than ever, it is needed.
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Friday, 25 November 2016

Whose Normal Do We Accept?

       I was born in Garngad, one of the many slum areas in Glasgow, it is now demolished and renamed Royston. Starting my life in that foul area, I didn't feel deprived, the world I lived in was "normal". Our environment always appears normal, no matter what, it is only when you look out the window, or over the wall, you realise that it is not quite as normal as you thought. That is one of the problems we face, as our freedoms are eroded, and society becomes more controlled, it becomes a way of life, it becomes "the normal". We have to keep looking out that window, looking over that wall and realising that there is a different way of doing things, a better way. The ever increasing repressive legislation, the ever increasing surveillance, the ever more vicious cuts in living standards, is a drip-feed, little by little, like the frog in water that is very slowing being heated, the frog unaware of this sits there until it is too late and is boiled.
      How long will we sit and ignore the heat, how long will we absorb the toxic, the repressive, the shift further and further away from tolerance, before we stand up and say, enough, this is not an acceptable "normal".

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