Tag Archives: Solidarity

Brutal attack on anarchists movement in the Czech Republic

Over the past two weeks the Czech state has launched a massive attack on the anarchist movement under the name Operation Phoenix. Dozens of people have been arrested on terrorism and hate crime charges; flats, squats and social centres are being raided/evicted with alarming speed and brutality (with court orders that would normally take years to process being rubber-stamped overnight and water canons getting deployed); while the Anarchist Federation, the Anarchist Black Cross (prisoner support), and several other radical groups have had their servers taken.

These brutal attacks have been authorised due to the efficiency and effectiveness of the anarchist movement in recent years, with the local solidarity network growing in numbers and so being able to take on bigger and bigger targets, while social centres have provided the space for sharing of experience and ideas while building working class solidarity.

The Belarus ABC have been putting up info as they have it (here and here), while the ABC-Czech is collecting money for the legal support and can be contacted at abc-cz@riseup.net.

Solidarity with our friends and comrades, and if you can’t do anything else then considerer spreading news of this.

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Happy International Workers Day!

Whether you work for a wage, get a social wage, or scam your way by the best you can, today is a day the working class everywhere. We’ll be keeping the spirit of the Haymarket Martyrs alive by heading out on the junction of Buchanan Street and Gordon Street with a stall collecting money for the ‪#‎baltimoreuprising‬ legal/bail fund, and we’ve made a few wee treats to help in the task. Swing by and say hello between 12 and 2 this afternoon 🙂

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Legal/Bail Support for Baltimore

You can donate to folks needing bail money and legal costs in Baltimore here. From the donation page:

The beating and murder of Freddie Gray by 6 police officers have tapped the outrage of the communities of color that have long suffered endless abuse by the Baltimore Police.

The people of Baltimore are protesting the epidemic of police violence in their community. One small way we can support the communities and families of Baltimore is to assert the right of every individual to legal representation. Every American has the right to due process and fair trial, but this has not been the case in Baltimore for too many, for too long. Please donate to this fund to ensure that every person arrested during this crisis, regardless of charges, has access to proper legal representation.

Total solidarity with the #baltimoreuprising

Total solidarity with everyone striking back against white supremacist shitbags in Baltimore!

This linked document will be constantly updated with actions and activity going on in Baltimore. Many have contact details that can be used to send support and solidarity.

Of particular note is that today all Baltimore schools are also closed. 188 schools. 85,000 students overall. 84% of those students rely on free/reduced meals from their schools to have enough to eat every day. Operation Help or Hush will be serving lunch to students today in 4 locations in West and East Baltimore. You can donate to Operation Help or Hush here: http://operationhelporhush.org

Here’s a relevant soundtrack from Seattle: “And they call this a riot? Aw man, fuck that, I’m gonna call this an uprising.”

Go Beyond the Law

Today we went out to a rally to remember Leelah Alcorn, the young trans woman who recently took her life after her parents attempted to put her through conversion therapy. In her suicide note Leelah had called for laws to be introduced to end this torture of trans youth, and that was the initial focus for the day.

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The event  had been called by the city’s queer students, acting autonomously to hold an event for their community. It was widely reported that both the council and the police had done everything they could to try hinder the event, from lying about legal requirements to demonstrate, making up the need for insurance and a list of named wardens, right through to forcing changes in the date and location. Despite this the folks organising the day powered through and the attendance was strong. The newly formed Glasgow Food Not Bombs came down with scran and donations were taken for local LGBT Youth projects.

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We were also involved in chasing off some SWP scumbags who claimed they were attending in solidarity. They did this in front of one trans women they had attacked on George Square and one of our members who they had attempted to drag off while threatening to knock their teeth out, both times for calling out their members involvement covering up rape by Martin Smith (the specifics of the case are linked from here, here, and here). They bold-face denied their part in rape apologism, and at the same time were trying to say they were there as individuals while handing out fliers for an SWP front group! They really are a shameless cult that have no concept of solidarity except as a word employed to further their party.

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Our group was offered a spot to give a short talk and while it went off script a couple of times (due to nerves, emotions, and the freezing cold weather), here is what was being read from at the time:

“My name is Tanya and I am part of the Anarchist Federation of Britain.

Many of the signs brought here today call for human rights and legal protections to be put in place by the institutions that target us with their violence today. Leelah Alcorn’s own final message asks specifically for laws to prevent the torture that is conversion therapy. These calls are understandable and I am glad when things are made easier for us.

However I want put forward a warning: that setting our sights on changes in the law will only benefit a privileged few. We already have laws against murder and yet trans women are killed at an alarming rate. We have laws against child abuse, but our young siblings are still driven to suicide due to neglect.

Laws should not, and can not, be our goal. Anything that can be granted – rights, laws, or charity – can be eroded or turned against us. We can see this with marriage equality, and again with the push for acceptance in the military. Laws are compromises made by a government trying to break up a strong movement.

We need to go beyond the law.

Our goal has to be for liberation from gendered oppression, and nothing less.

This is a struggle that can only be won by finding others who we share an interest with, and organising collectively, first to understand the causes of our oppression, and then in taking action directly at their roots, to remove them for ourselves.

However, at the same time we must recognise that this is a fight that will involve many different groups facing different problems, and it is vital to our struggle to build solidarity across the working class as a whole.

We can see this in our shared history:

The huge waves of self-organisation and militant direct action used to face down the AIDS epidemic and Section 28. The solidarity between inner city queers and the miners that had a real chance of victory against all the state’s institutions. And going all the way back to when black and latina trans women fought back during police instigated riots (most famously at the Stonewall Inn). Remember that these same women would go on to form organisations like STAR – the Street Transgender Action Revolutionaries – organisations that would lay the groundwork for the gains that trans and queer people have made today.

My final thought then is to take a look into my own experience and those of my friends, and look at the physical manifestations of gendered oppression. Our problems come from social isolation, medical gate-keeping, and crippling poverty. We’re estranged from family, constantly forced into dangerous situations, and denied well-being in our lives that leaves us in a precarious position both physically and mentally.

We need to make the space for one another to breath. We need to make the space to understand the causes of our problems. And we need to make the space to find freedom in our lives.

Thank you.”

Solidarity with the White Feather Collective

Yesterday a crowd of people came out to the Sheriff Court in solidarity with four members of the White Feather Collective, who were up in court for dropping a banner from the Finnieston Crane on Armed Forces Day earlier this year.  Never ones to remain idle, the rest of the collective set up a stall with free food, cake, coffee and tea, as well as handing out info on why resisting militarism is needed and making links between the court and military systems.

In the end all four were acquitted which amazing news!

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Angry Women Win!

The latest issue of our Resistance free sheet is on the streets! This special issue looks at the struggles of women, both historically and today. Articles include a look at:

  • Abortion struggles in Ireland and Spain
  • Legal battles for women in the UK
  • Gender and Factory Resistance in China
  • Women & LGBTQIA in Ukraine today
  • Free Women of Spain in the 1930s
  • Dealing with sexual harassment at work
  • Transgender struggles being side-tracked by mainstream acceptance
  • The Angry Women of Liverpool
  • Single mothers fighting social cleansing in East London

You can download the issue here!

Glasgow Palestine Action Shut Down Drone Manufacturer!

FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE

Glasgow Palestine Action Shut Down Drone Manufacturer

A group of activists from Glasgow Palestine Action network have today shut down Thales UK, the weapons systems manufacturer, in Govan, Glasgow.

The activists climbed onto the factory roof, and blocked the doors, during the early hours of the morning and are planning to remain as long as possible. Activists are blockading both entrances, lying on the ground attached to arm tubes, and are occupying the roof.

The action is in response to the recent Israeli bombardment of Gaza, and the UK economy’s ever growing military industrial cooperation with governments that flout international law. In just over 7 weeks, Israel, armed with weapons supplied by the UK, killed more than 2000 innocent Palestinians.

Thales is being targeted today for their close relationship with Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest military company and the world’s largest drone producer.  In a joint venture, Thales UK is working with Elbit Systems to make the next generation of ‘Watchkeeper’ drones, a contact worth £1 billion.  These drones are based upon the Hermes 450, which was documented killing Palestinian civilians in Gaza in 2008-2009.  The drones are marketed as ‘field tested’ – which means they have proven effective at killing Palestinians.

Fifi O’Hara, one of the roof occupiers, explains: ‘Drones are a key part of Israel’s military arsenal.  By allowing this factory to export drone components and other arms to Israel, the UK government is providing direct support and approval to Israel’s massacres.’

Speaking about Scotland, Latrice Royale said:  ‘The UK government, and by allowing Thales to operate with Elbit systems, have blood on their hands.  Last year alone the UK government had 381 extant arms licences to Israel, worth almost £8 billion. We demand that the Scottish government puts pressure on the UK government to end arms sales to Israel. And also takes active steps towards ending the production of weapons systems in Scotland that are connected to apartheid, colonialism and genocide. Another Scotland is possible!’

Glasgow stands with Gaza – 6PM THIS EVENING!

Glasgow demo against the ground invasion of Gaza, today, Friday 18th, 6pm, Donald Dewar statue at top of Buchanan Street.

Solidarity Against the Home Office

I wanted to give a quick personal account of yesterday’s Stand Up For Our Rights protest at the Home Office buildings on Brand Street, as while on the face of it there was nothing unique, there where some points that made it stand out from other similar actions that have taken place recently.

First, and most importantly, this protest was primarily organised by woman refugees and asylum seekers themselves. Many of them have been waiting for a decision on their Home Office cases for over six months and now find themselves trapped in a limbo where they want to be productive but are denied basic rights; many are forced to live in destitution.  They wanted other groups to come out and show support side-by-side with them.

Despite the grim reasons for the event, the protest itself though was an upbeat affair. Drums (some from old water cooler containers), rattles, tambourines, and even a cowbell and an old cone were used as instruments. Although the pile sat lonely for a few minutes while people timidly looked on, out of almost nowhere a rhythm  started up and in moments every price of instrumentation was in use (along with claps and voices held high). People were smiling and chanting with spirits raised, rather than standing looking bleak and hopeless. When a round of music and chanting came to an end it would be one of the people effected by this struggle that would speak up, explaining the situation they where in and putting forward the modest needs they had. No specially selected talking heads at this demo, just words coming straight from the heart.

While this protest isn’t going to solve any of the issues raised directly what it did do was provide an important boost to morale. People from different parts of Glasgow where able to show solidarity in the way it was requested, as opposed to the protests where a group or organisation decides how best to help those who are struggling. This protest provided a place to listen and understand, and build bridges for future dialogue, while also bamming up the Home Office a wee bit, which is no bad thing!

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