Tag Archives: anti cuts

Cut Military Spending? Scrap Trident?

john stewart

In 1998, the UN estimated that we would need $40 billion annually to sustain the entire WORLD population. This translates to roughly $58 billion today and would cover housing, food, clothing, health care, education, and a lot lot more. Any one of the countries listed in the picture above could provide that money if that where all it took.

You might be thinking that all that is needed is for a party to get in that will get into power that can reform the system and divert some of the money to meeting our needs, but capitalism cannot be reformed.

The closer a group gets to controlling power, or at least as groups get absorbed into the decision making structure, the divisions between rich and poor disappear from view and the status quo becomes less and less flawed. Preserving the current order (with the odd cosmetic difference here and there) becomes the goal.

As elections draw near there will be more and more calls to scrap trident, with the vulture political parties circling around our anger and horror about nuclear war and hoping to pick it apart for votes. No matter if we vote or not, or if the candidate agrees with us or not, the demand to scrap trident, by itself, is doomed to failure.

Many supporters of the SNP, the Greens, and the smaller socialist parties all think that the lip service for scrapping trident that their parties give now will translate into action if only we all get behind them and vote them into power, but lets look at what has already happened to see what will come down the line.

As the SNP have gotten closer to power they have had to change their posture so that they look appropriate for that power. This has manifested in their U-turn on leaving NATO, instead guaranteeing that an independent Scotland with them at the helm would remain a member.

The Trident missiles themselves (if not the warheads on them) are an american weapons system housed at Faslane under lease to the Royal Navy through a NATO treaty. It is impossible to scrap it without leaving NATO and the pissing off the US government.

The only reason the Greens and smaller parties can get away with still saying they would leave NATO is because they are not getting any closer to power at this time. They can remain a minority voice that will ultimately be ignored by whoever has power.

So let’s keep in mind that the cry to scrap trident is falling on deaf ears and by itself leads to a dead end of supporting political parties and electoral politics. Instead, as we shout out for trident to be scrapped, let’s also start shouting out for what we really need – a world without wars and a life where our well-being is met because we are alive – and let’s do it through building working class power with those who are around us.

After all, why back one party when we can build so that any of them would have to give us what we want least we take it for ourselves? And if we can take it for ourselves, well, that’s where real freedom lies!

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Rob Newman talks Kropotkin in the Metro

I’d not usually link to the Daily Mail lite Metro, but this was an interesting one to see from their pages:

“It was trying to rescue Darwin’s ideas from Herbert Spencer’s ‘survival of the fittest’ idea. Kropotkin looked at how vampire bats feed blood from their own mouths to bats who come back from hunting without any – so he looked at how co-operation is the norm in nature. That got me into it. And also how Spencer’s cardboard view of Darwinism is used to justify cuts on the welfare state – the language saturates everything, using ‘survival of the fittest’ as if it’s about progress, whereas Darwin didn’t think it was. This dog-eat-dog view of evolution has had a harmful impact – we think we’re worse than we are, which leaves us not wanting to take control of our own lives.”

The full interview can be read here.

Links on a week of campus protests

Inside and against the university (Joseph Kay on LibCom)

TOTAL PROTEST (Cops off Campus)

Yesterday, Students Were Arrested for Protesting Against the Arrest of Students (Vice)

University of strife: John Harris on the latest wave of student protests (Guardian)

The articles above come in the wake of the violently repressed ULU senate rooms occupation and the protests against cops coming onto campus. happening in the same timeframe as occupations at Edinburgh, Sheffield, Birmingham, Liverpool, Sussex, Exeter, Ulster and Goldsmiths in London. These provided concrete support to striking staff members out on the picket lines.

At the same time five students have been suspended for involvement in protests at Sussex Uni.

This repression also comes in the shadow of the highly successful industrial action by workers in the 3 Cosas campaign and the creation of the Sussex Pop-Up Union initiative. This resignation letter for a porter at Sussex Uni sims up the feeling amongst staff on their campus.

If any Glasgow-based students interested in anarchist organisation on campus may be interested in contacting the Autonomous Students Network, and of course we would be happy to provide support in any campaign if requested.

EDIT: This also just came across my radar…

Behind the Rent Strike – Full Documentary

(BTW I have no idea why Thatcher is on the preview to this cracking vid as she doesn’t appear in it)

Sussex University Occupied! Solidarity with the Oct 31st Strike!

Says it all in the title folks!

Once again students at Sussex university have come out in solidarity with staff struggles on their campus. Over the past year they have been waging a struggle with a united front of teaching staff, support/catering staff and students to object to on-campus privatisation. In this time they have innovated the pop-up union as a way to forge cross-union cross-trade solidarity, and have held some of the largest student demonstrations outside of London in recent years.

You can follow them on twitter @occupy_sussex

Students and Workers: All Out on the 31st!

Students and higher education workers are going out on strike this Thursday, the 31st of October. Don’t go to class! Don’t cross picket lines! If you aren’t sure why then take a read of this article on LibCom and have a listen to this song to get you in the spirit:

Feel free to print and distribute either this flier from SolFed or the poster/flier below and let people know what is happening:

Unemployed and starving? You get fed in the cells…

Bee O’Brien

 “Yes, I’m setting fire to this to get arrested […] If you don’t get my money I will commit a crime and get arrested. I need some food.”

Having had their benefits stopped and having not eaten for 3 days, Bee O’Brien went to the job centre to get things sorted over the phone. When faced with no other option arrest seemed like the best way to get some food so they took a lighter to the telephone cables in order to get arrested; after all, the police have a duty of care to feed people in the cells.

Full story in the Manchester Evening News.