Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The graphic says it all. I'll be back in touch tomorrow in the height of my hangover. New Year's Eve was actually quite boring this year, but at least I got happily drunk. Everybody should do this regularly. It puts the proper perspective on life. "Life" should never be taken too seriously. It is, after all, a merely temporary aberration between two nothingnesses. The passing of a year should remind us of this limitation to our existence, with all the good and bad that this implies. Anyways, enough philosophy...HAPPY NEW YEAR...SEE YOU IN THE MORNING WITH IT'S OWN CLARITY AND SADNESS AND JOY.


The following is an appeal from the Canadian Union of Public Employees(CUPE) Local 3903 who represent teaching, graduate and research associates at York University in Toronto. These workers have been on strike for two months now, and the university administration has finally agreed to return to the bargaining table. Please read the following and send the administration a note in support of these workers.
Help CUPE 3903 win a fair contract and settle the strike at York University!:
More than 3,000 teaching, graduate and research assistants and contract faculty at York University have been on strike for two months. The university administration has finally agreed to return to the table on January 3.

You can help CUPE 3903 in their fight for a fair wage increase and cost of living allowance, restored job security for contract faculty, and increases in funds for extended health benefits, child care and other measures to match the increase in membership.

You can help CUPE 3903 by sending a message to York’s administration and bargaining team. Please go to to send a message to York's administration and bargaining team.
Please go to THIS LINK to send the following letter to the administration at York University.
I am pleased to hear that York’s administration has indicated its intention to return to the bargaining table and its willingness to negotiate with CUPE beginning on Saturday, January 3. It is my hope that the administration’s bargaining team will present CUPE with a progressive offer: one that has been developed with the sincere aim of ending the strike and helping all of us at York return to the important work of teaching, learning and research.

As you know, the union is eager to settle the strike, and committed to negotiating a set of collective agreements that will improve job security for contract faculty, increase funds to match the growth in our membership, and provide all our members – who do the majority of teaching at York as well as a good amount of its research – with a fair wage increase and a total compensation package that is tied to inflation.

Undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and the York community as a whole are hopeful that this opportunity to reach a negotiated settlement will be used wisely and well. I urge you to do your part to see that York’s administration bargains seriously and in good faith with CUPE, beginning on the 3rd and until this dispute is brought to an equitable and productive end.

Linchpin is the journal of the Ontario platformist organization Common Cause. Their latest edition, #7, is now online in a downloadable pdf format for reprinting and distribution. Here's the announcement from the Anarkismo website.

Linchpin 7 online:

Linchpin 7 onlineCommon Cause has published the December '08 / January '09 issue of the Linchpin, with articles on the continuing strike of educational workers at York University, women organizing with IWW Edmonton, and two articles with more of a green focus. Murray Bookchin's social ecology is introduced in our continuing anarchism 101 section, and Ottawa Common Cause member Greg Macdougall synthesizes ideas on environmental justice presented at the November Organizing for Justice conference.
Please contact us if you would like to contribute to Linchpin in the future, or if have any feedback on already published issues.
Copies of Linchpin are available in Ontario communities where we have branches and allies, and we are always looking to expand. These are some specific locations where you can find Linchpin:
HAMILTON - The Skydragon Centre, 27 King William St.
LONDON - Empowerment Infoshop, 636 Queen St.
OTTAWA - Exile Infoshop, 256 Bank St
TORONTO - Toronto Women’s Bookstore, 73 Harbord St.
If you'd like some copies to distribute in your town, do get in touch.
Andrew Loucks

The following is from the Satan MacNuggit news service, the outlet of libertarian video creator Jonathan Culp. Take note all ye in Ontario. This is not just about film. It is also about another New Year's party down Toronto way. Enjoy it if you can.

1. DJ Satan Macnuggit @ Cameron House NYE!!!
2. "GAS" at Trash Palace - January 9
3. RED SHIFT at the 8 Fest - January 30
* * * * *
Come hear DJ Satan Macnuggit (Jonathan Culp) spin the tunes on New Years Eve in the Cameron House front room! Count on an eclectic mix of danceable soul, funk, early hip hop, disco, and impure pop. My first DJ gig in ages!
Admission is FREE.
I would love to see you there.
* * * * *
LES ROSE'S "GAS" (1981)
DOORS 8:30 - FILM 9:30
We continue our infiltration of the most excellent Trash Palace with a movie that will haunt you long after the lights come up - the Canadian Tax Shelter monstrosity "Gas"!
What do I have to tell you to make you believe that this movie is a masterpiece? That it's the first film ever to feature Howie Mandel, and he's second-billed ? What more do you need ? How about Dan Aykroyd's brother Pete? Or the worst Donald Sutherland role of all time, as a disc jockey named Nick the Noz ? Perhaps you'll take a plot involving a gas shortage brought on by stolen milk ? Can I sell you on an array of gross racial stereotypes with names like GuidoVespucci, Lee Kwan and Fawsi Ibn Fawsi ? Would you believe a HALF HOUR car chase ? With cardboard English street signs taped on to the Montreal originals ??
>From the director of "Hog Wild"?!?!
Aww, some people are never satisfied. Well maybe I can win you over with some glowing reviews from imdb...let's see now... "A movie to forget!" "If you want bad, this is your movie!" "Sloppy, idiotic, severely witless and desperate!" "I still kick myself for the night I visited the multiplex and chose this thing over "Arthur!"" "This incoherent waste of someone's ability to raise funds!" "I found myself actually looking FORWARD to the commercials!" "To be avoided, this movie bites!" "Everyone who appeared in this one is a bad, bad person!" "Worst film of all time, bar none!"
In other words, my friends: this movie was MADE for Trash Palace! Be there.
Advance tix $5 at Tequila Bookworm, 512 Queen West!
The Trash Palace address is printed on the ticket, along with a handy map on how to get here! (It's a short walk from the ticket location...)
'Cold drinks,' hot dogs, popped corn, candy, merch...and Boardwalk Chocolates, Siue Moffat's brand new vegan fair trade organic orgy of yumminess!
* * * * *
AT TRASH PALACE (see above)
Red Shift (2009, 40 minutes)
Super 8 collage
with live accompaniment by Picastro (Liz Hysen, Nick Storring, Brandon Valdivia)
In this long piece commissioned specially for this year’s 8 Fest, filmmaker Jonathan Culp creates a hypnotic, rhythmic collage of commercially produced Super 8 material. Cutting between faded Eastman color industrial films,classroom-film curios, and Hollywood imagery old and new, the pictures interlock with the haunting semi-acoustic dissonances of local band Picastro, performing live with the film. Red Shift is a slowly disintegrating nightmare of utilitarian media gone wrong.
Presented as part of THE 8 FEST (January 30-February 2) Now in its second year, this is Canada's only film festival dedicated to exhibiting work on small gauge film. It's a lot of fun. Find out more, or join the soon-to-be-resuscitated Facebook group at:
* * * * *
List worker, satanm-announce


This blog(and the cat behind it) has received quite a few holiday greetings this season. I'm only reproducing a few of these here, those with the best graphics. The following from the United Farm Workers has its own charm as they offer a downloadable calender for 2009. See graphic above. I don't know about all the Obamamania shown in this calender. I guess it's appropriate that it comes the day before New Years, as they will be one mother of a hangover for all those who expect miracles from the new US Administration. That, however, is their privilege. Far be it for this cat to advocate any sort of prohibition.
In appreciation of your support we want to offer our supporters a FREE UFW downloadable 2008 calendar. Please click on the image below to download!
Si Se Puede!
United Farm Workers, P.O. Box 62, Keene, CA 93531

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The following is from the Greek Blog Katalipsi Asoee, and it's for those of you who have a little time tomorrow before heading out for the annual booze-up.
Hackers Against Oppression
Hackers Against Oppression have called for Electronic Civil Disobedience in Solidarity with Greek Anarchists on Wednesday Dec 31, the final day of December. :
December is the month in which Alexandros Grigoropoulos, a 15-year-old Anarchist, was murdered in cold blood by Greek Police. It is also the month that will forever be remembered by all those who struggle.
Minutes after his murder, thousands of Greek residents took to the streets as did thousands around the world. Even liberal groups have called for the resignation of the Greek government. The streets were taken back for the people, police buildings were firebombed, and banks were turned into empty charred-out boxes. This entire time, the Greek government has been fighting and oppressing people with guns, tear gas, and the media. It's time that we take them down.
We will be attacking the websites of...
To a thousand more Decembers of resistance!

If you look to the left of this page you will see a new heading..."Molly's Polls". This is the public opinion research centre of that gigantic international conglomerate Mollymew Inc.. It's also a lot of fun. Each poll there will last a week, but popular ones will be reset to keep on going. The first one is 'How do you describe yourself politically ?". I don't know if this will get much response, but toddle on over if you want you two bits worth.
In the same vein I'll be doing my "Best Anarchist Websites of the Year" feature again this January. This time around there will be two categories, my personal choices and the public favourites. This is to announce the opening of nominations for the public choice. Please leave your ideas as a comment here. Also, I'd like to do a "Best 2008 Anarchist Story/Headline". The first choice is obvious, the events in Greece, but, once more, leave your suggestions here. I'll be bugging the readership for suggestions at regular intervals.
One more housecleaning matter. I have finally finished separating the general links section into Canadian and other links, but there is still a long way to go before I am done the necessary editing. This is obviously going to be a very long term project.

Keep smiling, and don't forget to vote.

Here's one to try and make it to if you live out BC way.

Dear friends in supporters in the Cariboo Region of British Columbia
This is an invitation to private new years party up in Wells British Columbia. My babd, the Joey Only Outlaw Band, will be the main event but more is happening as the party is being organized by many of the people associated with the Artswells Festival. I hope we see you there in those beautiful mountains to share the passing of another year. Everyone who is interested must first contact to confirm if tickets are still available:
Thanx very much,
joey only
---------------------- Original Message ---------------
Subject: INVITATION: Private New Year's Party in Wells
From: "Julie Fowler"
Date: Wed, November 5, 2008 9:52 pm
Come celebrate the coming of a brand new year. We are welcoming our friends and family to join the party in Wells at Pete's Shop (Pete Wright is clearing out the heavy machinery and loading in the flashy lights, decor and bales of straw!)
Plus Special Guests Scott Dunbar and late night DJ TBA
This is a private party and is not the regular Wells Community Hall New Year's Event. The Community Hall event is also happening with Bobbi B and Beaumonts.
We ask a donation of $30 at the door to attend.
Please also bring your own party favours, though some exciting hor d'oeuvres will be served courtesy of Sharon Brown and Mark Castignoli.
This is a family event in true Wells style...bring your snowboots and your dancing shoes!
To attend this vent you must RSVP to the email below as soon as possible. The event is limited to 150 people max.
When you RSVP more party details will be sent. Feel free to pass this along to any other friends and family.
PS We are looking to rent the curling rink as a spot for people to camp indoors. It would cost about $5/night, please let us know if you are interested in that option.
Julie Fowler
Artistic Director, Island Mountain Arts & the ArtsWells Festival of All Things Art, Aug 1 - 4, 2008
Box 65,
Wells, BC,
V0K 2R0
Toll Free: 1-800-442-2787
Fax: 250-994-3433

There will be a demonstration this Saturday, January 3, at 2:00 pm at the provincial Legislature. Sponsored by the Canada-Palestine Support Network. See the Winnipeg Events Calender for any details that may be announced soon.



As the economic crisis deepens the province of Ontario seems to be the hardest hit. Just as it is most needed governments, including that of Ontario, seem determined to make the safety net less useful to those who find themselves in the ranks of the poor. Here's an analysis of the matter from the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP).

Poverty Reduction Gets Reduced‏:
In 1995, just before the Harris Government cut social assistance rates by 21.6%, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty marched from the low-income community of Regent Park into affluent Rosedale. The impending welfare cut and Provincial tax breaks would soon transfer about $1 million a month from one community to the other. Replicated across Ontario, this vast transfer of wealth to the already wealthy was at the very heart of the ‘Common Sense Revolution’. Initiatives around poverty that ignore this continuing injustice are of very limited value.

Last week, a report was issued by the National Council of Welfare on the undermining of provincial income support systems since the early 1990s. Written well into the McGuinty Government’s second term of office, the report makes clear that Ontario has lead the way in the deterioration of income adequacy for people on assistance. It is from this dismal starting point that the Government of this Province issues its proposals to address the problem.

‘Poverty reduction’ in Ontario is part of an international trend that has developed after at least three decades of deregulation and social cutbacks. It focuses on patching up some of the worst and most destabilizing impacts while leaving in place, and even securing, hugely increased levels of inequality.

The report just issued by Ontario’s Minister of Children and Youth, Deb Matthews, fits into this pattern. Rather tellingly, it is entitled ‘Breaking the Cycle’ and declares that the problem is to be found in ‘intergenerational poverty’. This dubious conclusion is used to justify an approach of ‘putting children first’. Those who see challenging poverty as a public relations exercise regard concentrating on ‘child poverty’ as a tactical necessity for the obvious reason that children are the ultimate representatives of the ‘deserving poor’. For those designing regressive social policy, however, this approach is extremely useful, as we see in the present proposals.

Any right thinking person is outraged when children grow up in poverty. For this very reason, a dubious undertaking to make sure that ‘the kids are alright’ can cover up a lot of social injustice. Single adults, who have actually fallen the furthest behind, are not considered in the Matthews report. Any limited restoration of lost social assistance income is to be delivered in the form of a special benefit for children. In assessing this, three elements stand out very clearly.

Firstly, measured up against a decade and a half of income loss, the allocation to children is astoundingly inadequate. By 2012, a single parent family of three is predicted to be 35% better off than in 2003. People were already living in poverty in 1995 when Harris cut their income by 21.6%. Thirteen years of inflation, offset only by very small increases in the last period, have made that situation much worse. These measures, viewed at their best, are a selective and partial return of what has been previously removed.

The second aspect to consider is an increased inequality even for children living on social assistance. The report acknowledges that a single parent family receiving the minimum wage will see an increase in their income that is significantly higher than a family on assistance. The level of welfare payments is to fall even further behind the lowest paying jobs on offer, even for people with children. The working poor are to receive a somewhat better (though still inadequate) income through a payment to their children that is really a de facto wage top up to those employers who fail to pay a living wage.

The third question is the extreme fragility of these measures. They are presented as a pledge to reduce child poverty by 25% over 5 years but some caution is needed here. The importance is stressed of federal co-operation and of ‘a growing economy’ if goals are to be met. Given the developments of the last few months, that’s a bit like being offered a car that will run fine provided it doesn’t break down.

In mentioning the state of the economy, the Matthew’s report comes face to face with its own personal Banquo’s Ghost. The developing international economic downturn creates an entirely new context in which to consider poverty in Ontario. In this Province, a severe loss of better paying jobs in the industrial sector had taken a massive toll even before the astounding crisis of the markets flowed into the real economy. We are facing a situation that will have, as one of its central features, a very serious increase in the numbers of people experiencing or facing poverty. That’s why the proposals in this report must now be judged from an entirely different standpoint from how they may have been viewed a few months ago.

This downturn will soon expose the sad fact that the systems of social provision that might have afforded protection have been fundamentally compromised. A shaky pledge to do some small things over five years is desperately short of what’s needed. To go into a major economic crisis with a system of social assistance that will not enable people to pay their rent and feed themselves is a recipe for disaster. Have our expectations been so driven down that we would accept such a thing? A 40% increase in welfare rates would return us only to the levels that existed before Harris did his work. We can demand nothing less and accept nothing less.
**Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
10 Britain St.
Toronto, ON
M5A 1R6

Monday, December 29, 2008

Well, the annual pilgrimage out west to visit relatives is over, and I'm back in Winnipeg. It's always nice to drive a section of road that you know sufficiently well to be able to navigate with your eyes half closed half the time. THIS also includes knowing where the RCMP lurk on practically all of #1. Hint...if it's dark they like well lit places. As I said to one of the nephews-in-law back west when asked about "road conditions", "not bad at all, nothing that would slow me down to 110". Actually untrue. The speed limit in Manitoba is 100 km/hr and this did slow me down to 110 a good proportion of the time. But....for the legal beagles out there I merely claim that my speedometer in inaccurate. Only God knows how fast I went, and given the nature of God this is obviously an imaginary number.
Molly is very happy to be back in her cat box, even if she has to work tomorrow morning. I'll be back in full form on this blog tomorrow. Until then, "keep a smile on your face, a song in your heart and definitely don't forget to barf in the shoes of somebody you hate on the morning of Jan 1..

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Here's another of the cards I have received, this time from the Anarkisterna site in Sweden. the image here may be familiar to readers of this blog as I have used it before, but it deserves to enter the classics anyways. In Sweden, by the way the traditional Christmas figure, Tomte the Christmas elf/gnome, is gradually being replaced by the American Empire Santa Claus. Too bloody bad. May they never cease serving the traditional Swedish drink "glogg" (I shit you not), a sort of mulled wine. What an appropriate name.
In any case here is the greeting from Sweden, along with a repeat of their request for solidarity. Molly is off on the highway tomorrow morning so I wish you the best for the next few days. Keep it clean and don't let the ruling class bite, and, if they do, call the exterminator. Til later......

Seasons' greetings from Athens:‏
Just to get you all in the right spirit - from all of us to all of you:
And while we're at it, a reminder of the people needing our support:
The “December Collection” (Decemberinsamlingen) serves as emergency help for the family that has lost almost all of their belongings in the attack on their apartment:
Re: Decemberinsamlingen
Addressee: SAC
IBAN: SE24 9500 0099 6034 0809 9236
The Cyklopen activists are determined to rebuild their center – financial help can be sent here:
Re: Cyklopen
Addressee: Kulturkampanjen
IBAN: SE09 9500 0099 6034 1607 5525
In solidarity!
/embryo collective
Molly wishes the "embryo" a happy birth and a prosperous life.

It's the holiday season, and the time to send greetings and best wishes for the upcoming year to all and sundry. Here's one that Molly has received from the Maquila Solidarity Network here in Canada. More to follow. Best wishes to them as well, and may the Empire falter in the New Year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

HAPPY HOLIDAYS !!!!!!!!!!!:
To all my faithful readers, to my not-so-faithful readers, to my friends, to my enemies and to those who don't know me from Adam...HAPPY HOLIDAYS . As the sun reverses its course and the days get longer may your days be long and sunny as well. may the New Year bring all the best.
Don't forget to candy cane the powers that be.

The following is very seasonal, the hockey season that is. While hockey may be Canada's national sport it seems that the equipment used in the game is less and less so, to the detriment of North American workers. The Unite Here union is asking you to write to Reebok, asking them to quit making long shots with their sources and return to their own zone. Here's the appeal for your solidarity. For puck's sake lend a hand here.
Ask Reebok to Make the Save!‏:
Hockey is a popular sport in the U.S. and Canada, and Reebok holds the exclusive license for official National Hockey League(NHL) apparel and equipment. But hockey fans may be surprised to learn that many of these products used to be manufactured in North America and are now mostly made overseas.
Since 2002, Reebok or The Hockey Company/Sport Maska (a company that became a Reebok subsidiary in 2004) have shut down five factories in Canada, outsourced work, and eliminated nearly 600 Canadian jobs.
That manufacturing work has been sent to factories in other countries, particularly in China. An analysis of Reebok import shipments into the U.S. from September, 2006 to August, 2008 shows that hockey jerseys, sticks, ice skates and other items are produced in at least 12 countries, with nearly two thirds of the total product coming from factories in China.
Reebok should make a commitment to local manufacturing jobs. Ask Reebok to Make the Save! Send a message to Reebok.
You can take action on this alert via the web at:
Visit the web address below to tell your friends about this.
We encourage you to take action by May 22, 2009
Ask Reebok to Make the Save!
If you have access to a web browser, you can take action on this alert by going to the following URL:
Your letter will be addressed and sent to:
Mr. Mathew O'Toole
Mr. Michel Benoit
Mr. Yan Martin
Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],
I am a fan of hockey, but I am also concerned about the economy and the loss of local manufacturing jobs that have supported our national game. Reebok has closed North American factories and outsourced hundreds of jobs that produced hockey apparel and equipment. Reebok has sent that work to factories overseas, particularly in China.
As a hockey fan, I want Reebok to make a commitment to good paying jobs here at home and to maintain and expand North American production of hockey apparel and equipment. Workers here love hockey and want to contribute to the game. Local production is good for the game, good for workers, and good for the fans. Please make the save!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Here's an interesting item from the LibCom website. Working people worldwide are exposed to unsafe and unhealthy conditions at their place of work, but far too often they merely tolerate the inevitable toll on themselves and their workmates. Sometimes, however, they do fight back. This is one of those instances.
Death sparks building worker riot in Delhi:
After a fatal accident on the Commonwealth Games construction site more than thousand building workers destroyed company offices, cars and trucks.

The aggravating global crisis imposes a new social frame-work for incidents like this: the daily deaths and legal murders become explosive.

The cops shooting a fifteen year old became the trigger of social unrest in Greece, the fatal accident of a building worker sparked the simmering unrest.

The construction site in Delhi is a prestigious show-piece of the capital city, a costly parasitic display of anti-social wealth in times of proletarian misery, desire and wrath...

The Hindu reported that a 28-year-old worker was killed at the Commonwealth Games Village site near Akshardham Temple on Sunday morning when a portion of the crane being used to lift materials to the eighth floor of an under-construction building in the complex fell on him.

The accident led to tension at the site as thousands of workers demonstrated against the project developer, EMAAR-MGF, and the contractors, Ahluwalia Contracts.

Three of their offices were ransacked and more than half-a-dozen vehicles, including SUVs, an ambulance and a dumper truck, were damaged by the mob. The violence, which took place in phases, lasted over four hours.

A case of negligence against the contractors has been lodged with the Pandav Nagar police station. Meanwhile, a company of Delhi reserve police was deployed inside the village to control the situation. The workers claimed that another labourer, Manish (24), was also injured in the incident. There were claims, too, that B P Singh, legal advisor for the contractors was attacked by the workers.

Police said that matters went out of hand around 9.30am. "Thousands of workers at the site suddenly went on the rampage after finding that senior officials had fled the scene. With no news on Shailendra's condition, they barged into the adjoining three offices, broke windows, ransacked the rooms and destroyed computers. Later, they marched to the main security room and tried to set it on fire. They also attacked cars at the site," said a senior police officer.

However, the workers were in no mood to relent. "There have been regular accidents at this site. But the management has never taken our warnings seriously. We demand immediate compensation and a proper identity-card that mentions our designations," said Changoori Singh, a worker at the site.

The votes are in , and the results are final. The Jobs With Justice Coalition's contest for 'The Grinch of the Year' is..."Wall Street Executives". Here's the story.
And the Winner for 2008 Grinch of the Year is...:
All of the candidates for Grinch of the Year were deserving of this year's prize, but ultimately Wall Street's unchecked corporate greed secured them the award for 2008 National Grinch of the Year. Thousands of votes were cast in this year's contest, which pitted anti-worker corporate lobbyist Richard Berman against Wall Street Executives and current US Labor Secretary Elaine Chao. Wall Street won with 47% of the votes cast. Popular write-in candidates included Blue Diamond, American Airlines, United Airline, and perennial favorite and 2002 winner George W. Bush.
The 'Grinch of the Year' awards began locally with Jobs with Justice Coalitions around the country highlighting the greedy grinch in their hometowns, and that tradition continues.Union-busting Western Union edged out Mary Junck, CEO of Lee Enterprises (publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch) and others in a crowded field in Missouri. In Colorado, JwJ delivered Grinch of the Year awards to Jake Jabs, CEO of American Furniture Warehouse, and Steve Ells, CEO of Chipotle Mexican Grill.
Our hope is that these greedy grinches' hearts will grow 3 sizes bigger, as Dr. Seuss envisioned.

Monday, December 22, 2008

As Molly puts this blog to bed the developments in Greece do not look at all good, as the following stories will illustrate. First, and worst of all, the workers occupying the headquarters of the General Confederation of Greek Workers in Athens have quit their occupation. If this is a signal of anything it is a signal that their initiative wasn't taken up by a large section of the Greek working class. It was actually probably opposed by a majority, some of them quite vociferously. This is a clear sign that it is unlikely that the rebellion will spread beyond its youth base. If this doesn't happen the revolt is doomed in the end.

Meanwhile the Greek government feels either confident enough (or perhaps desperate enough ?) to have revoked the right of asylum on University premises. Whether they are willing to risk serious bloodshed and perhaps many deaths by actually carrying out their threats to invade University grounds has yet to be seen. If not, if they have played their cards correctly, the occupations will peter out as predicted over the Christmas holidays. Not that this won't leave them with considerable political discredit, but that is for the future. In the tense atmosphere surrounding the present events they managed to get their budget passed, opposed by a coalition of Socialists, Communists and the far-right Popular Orthodox party (LAOS). The leftist Syriza Party (Coalition of the Radical Left) abstained, but they had more than enough to speak about, defending themselves from the other "leftist" parties. PASOK and the KKE spend almost as much time attacking attacking Syriza for presumably "being soft on the rioters" as they did talking about the budget.

Presently, according to public opinion polls, almost 90% of Greeks "feel the country is going in the wrong direction". The main beneficiaries of this mood have been the socialists, and the main losers the conservative New Democracy government. Polls give PASOK 38.5% support, the ND 32.5%, Syriza 12%, the Communists 8% and the LAOS 4%. Molly has to admit that she especially pleased by the fact that the leftist party is more popular than the communists. Both the socialists and the communists have become less strident in their calls for new elections, the socialists probably because they see no way to go up up as the riots and the economic crisis drag on, the communists because they fear plunging even further into irrelevancy.

Without at least the passive acquiescence of the leftist parties the insurgency in the streets has a snowball's chance in Hell of actually toppling the government, let alone achieving any other vaguely defined goals. In the end the most likely major beneficiaries of the events will be the Syriza Party as they position themselves, in legend at least, as the heirs of the inchoate sentiment against the police and the state. As to the anarchists, all that Molly can say is that these happenings have shown in crystal clarity the need for a positive vision beyond the romance of rebellion. It's a old rhetorical canard that "revolutions that go half way dig their own graves". This should perhaps be updated to say that "revolutions that go 2% of the way and haven't the foggiest clue as to what to do next will get only a light sprinkling of dust rather than a decent grave".

But enough of editorializing. Here's more news from Greece. First from Athens Indymedia...
Emergency Communique from the Occupation of the Polytechnic University in Athens:
There is increasing talk that the occupation of the Polytechnic will be stormed by the police. In sight of this, the occupation's assembly issued an emergency communique.
On the evening of Saturday December 20, and after the clashes in the area of the Polytechnic (one of the tens of massive clashes of demonstrators and police which followed the murder of 15 year old Alexandros Grigoropoulos), a flood of rumors started to circulate around the area of the occupation of the NTUA [Polytechnic].
Continuous information about an invasion of the police into the space of the occupied Polytechnic University, in combination with the strategic movements of the riot police during the time of the clashes, foretold the obvious. The police plan to rush the occupation. Doing an end run around the dean's council [who would ordinarily have to approve suspension of asylum that prohibits police from entering universities], and offering the "earth and water" of the Polytechnic to the prosecutor, the police force, and the ministry of the interior, they sent the message indirectly but clearly, with threats and intimidation, that we have only "a few hours" left.
We answer them that we have as much time left as the part of society that has risen up and doesn't accept ultimatums, decides. That, for all of those who participated and participate now and will continue to do so in revolutionary practices, they had best respect them and fear them. These very men, these very women, these thousands of people who have risen up, the students, the workers, the jobless, the immigrants, our comrades, we call on them all to keep unceasing vigilant watch in the area of the Polytechnic, in view of the plotted invasion.
We call everyone to a mass presence at the occupation of the Polytechnic.
We call you to an open general assembly today, Sunday, December 21, at 9 p.m.
We call you to a concert for solidarity and financial support for our imprisoned comrades in the uprising, at 6 p.m. in the area of the occupied Polytechnic University.
We will have the last word!
These days and nights are for Alexis!
Polytechnic Occupation, 12/21/08
Here also from the Athens Indymedia is a further post about the lifting of the right of asylum, how it was done and what it means.
Pushing for lifting of asylum (translation):
Saturday night the prosecutor decided unilaterally to lift the asylum that prevents the police from entering university grounds. Only the disagreement of the provost board prevented a police invasion.
Acting on his own authority, the prosecutor on duty on Saturday evening, December 21, decided to lift the asylum [that normally applies to university grounds and prevents the entry of police onto the campus] for the National Polytechnic University of Athens, but in the end the police did not intervene, after the disagreement of the provost's advisory board.
Police intervention in the university schools under occupation in the coming days, with the argument that they are being used as staging areas for disturbances, by means of a judicial decision and not an academic one, is now an open possibility.
The occupations in the central universities are expected to continue through the holidays, while the schools close tomorrow for Christmas vacation and the students bid farewell with a rally at midday on Tuesday in Athens, and they have set a date for a new rally on January 9th, the anniversary of the murder of Nikos Teboneras (murdered during the student uprisings in 1990-91). In their company will be teachers from all grades, since the unions representing school teachers and university professors decided the day before yesterday to participate in the rally and to act in common with the students, while they are also discussing the possibility of a strike.
Telephone call from the Greek police force about intervention
As the "News" [mainstream Greek daily newspaper] learned, the provost and vice-provost of the NTUA, Mr. K. Moutzouris and Mr. G. Spathis, this past Saturday evening during the episodes in the region around the university, received a phone call from the police force, which informed them a plan was in the works for intervention, since the prosecutor on duty decided that inside the building there were felonies being carried out, such as the construction of explosives. The law gives to police the right to intervene with an order from the prosecutor, even without a decision to lift asylum from university officials, when it is determined that felonies are being committed.
"Dangerous for victims"
The provost authorities of the university disagreed with this decision. "I believe that the clearing of the Polytechnic [of the occupying students] must happen with dialogue and not police intervention. I hope that the occupation will have ended peacefully before the holidays," Mr. Moutzouris told the "News". "The lifting of university asylum is a political decision and if they want, let them make it, as they have the right to do even without our consent. We don't bring up such an issue because there is the danger of having victims, and also because there hasn't been serious damage to the university and the issue of occupations is more general", added Mr. Spathis.
Under occupation are about 160 schools in universities and technical institutes across the country, with basic centers the Law School, the Economic University and the Polytechnic University in Athens, and the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki.
Finally, from the Occupied London Blog, further news about recent events, including news that the school occupations are likely to be ended as well.
Polytechnic raid scenario weakens; police resort to dictatorship-style surveillance; shots against riot police van; student demo set to start:
UPDATE, 19:41 Mainstream media now report that the riot police van in Goudi received 7 shots, not 2. A group calling itself “Popular Action” (Λαϊκή Δράση) has claimed responsibility for the attack. The student demonstration in central Athens ended an hour ago. There was a very good turnover and the demo was relatively peaceful; one police car was flipped over.

After a quiet night at the Athens Polytechnic last night, mainstream media (which, more often than not, prepare the ground for police operations) are now reporting that a police raid of the polytechnic is unlikely. The people occupying the building have successfully defended their right to decide themselves when to leave - this will happen at today’s open assembly (6pm).

Reports are coming in, both on Indymedia and the occupations’ open assemblies, that the police have been approaching taxi drivers asking them to pass on information about their passengers (just like they would do during the 1967-1974 dictatorship). In one instance a woman who hailed a cab outside the occupied Economics University and asked to be taken to a northern suburb of Athens was driven straight to the police headquarters. Luckily she realised what was going on a block away from the police building and managed to jump out of the taxi’s window and escape, chased both by the taxi driver and the police.

Meanwhile, mainstream media also report a riot police van was shot at twice at 05:50 am in the Goudi suburb of Athens, next to the university campus in Zografou; one bullet hit the van’s tyre and the other hit the engine.

The last student demonstration for this year is set to start in a few minutes. There has already been a call for a fresh student demo on January 9th and it is expected that demonstrations will continue apace in the new year.

It is also expected that the anarchist occupations of the three universities (Economics, Polytechnic and Law school) will all end later this week, as fatigue is seriously kicking in at these unprecedented 17-days long occupations. Actions will, of course, continue - the biggest bet right now is to expand the revolt and unrest in time and people are focusing their plans on this. We should have a better idea of where things will go after this week’s assemblies.

The merchants of death, those who profit by the arms trade, have a long and inglorious history. As in ancient days such ghouls are still entertained by the powers that be who, after all, depend on them in the end in royal and lavish style. This is true in Canada's capital Ottawa where the City has agreed to host Cansec, the countries largest bazaar of human suffering. This is, however, not without opposition. COAT, The Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade, continues to fight against this atrocity. Here's their most recent update.

[COAT] Making a Killing on War! Cancel CANSEC, Canada's top arms show‏:
Join the opposition to Canada's largest weapons exhibition, CANSEC 2009.Please sign the ONLINE PETITION to "Stop Ottawa's Arms Bazaars" and encourage others to do likewise.
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Stop Making a Killing on War! Cancel CANSEC 2009, Canada's top arms bazaar:
By Richard Sanders, coordinator, Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT)
The City of Ottawa has now agreed to host the international CANSEC weapons show at the municipality's prime publically-funded facility, Lansdowne Park, between May 27 and 28, 2009.
Among the more than 200 military firms flogging their wares inside the Ottawa Congress Centre at CANSEC 2008, were some of the world's biggest and most profitable war industries: BAE Systems, Boeing, Honeywell, L-3, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.
These six firms are prime contractors for many of the deadliest weapons systems ever made, including dozens of different bombers, fighter jets, bombs and missiles. Remarkably, these six corporate giants sold about US$100 billion worth of military equipment to the Pentagon in 2007, and their combined revenue from global military sales was $130 billion in 2006. (See details in table, "Top Six Global War Industries at CANSEC 2008.")
The profits made by these leading war industries have come at a disastrous price. The horrendous wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere -- where their deadly products are used daily -- have taken an inestimable toll on the lives and livelihoods of millions of innocent people, and their ecosystems.
Also exhibiting their wares at CANSEC 2008 were many of Canada's foremost arms industries including CAE, CMC Electronics, General Dynamics Canada, Magellan Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney Canada and SNC-Lavalin. These companies -- which consistently rank within Canada's top ten military contractors -- are largely reliant on exports to the US.
But CANSEC does much more than just facilitate the growth of top war industries. Hundreds of smaller players in the bustling world of weaponry are also eager to join the action. The 500 booth spaces at CANSEC 2009 will be bristling not only with displays showcasing war technologies but also an array of products used by police and paramilitary "security" forces to "maintain order" around the world.
We stopped them before! We can do it again!
In 1989, during a campaign against an arms show called ARMX, the City of Ottawa banned all such exhibitions from municipal property. However, in 2008 -- for the first time in almost 20 years -- City Staff leased Lansdowne Park to a military trade show called "Secure Canada."
Due to a legal technicality, City Staff claims that Council's historic 1989 ban no longer applies to Lansdowne Park saying there is "no true impediment to hosting these types of events, while recognizing the degree of sensitivity regarding activities that focus primarily on armaments and various weapons."
"Secure Canada 2008" was eventually cancelled due to federal restrictions on government participation in controversial events during the election. Its organizers also blamed heightened security costs caused by potential protests.
CANSEC is probably the most blatant manifestation of the rapacious, corporate system of global economic exploitation and destruction that will reveal its presence within our local community this year.
As a potent symbol of the international arms trade, CANSEC graphically represents some of the persistent underlying issues faced by peace, human rights and environment activists. As such, CANSEC presents an opportunity to raise awareness about many complex, inter-related issues.
As a starter, please sign COAT's online petition urging City Council to respect Ottawa's ban on hosting arms exhibitions.
Please join our efforts and encourage other individuals and groups to do likewise!

Richard Sanders, is coordinator of the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade, and editor of its magazine, Press for Conversion!
COAT was initiated 20 years ago to organize opposition to ARMX '89, which was the last arms show held at a City of Ottawa facility.
To learn more, and to get involved, see COAT's website:

The international economic crisis is slowly eating away at the patience of people in Europe. It's appropriate that the effects, in terms of popular rebellion, are most obvious at the fringes of the European community, the far southeast in Greece and the far northwest in Iceland. Iceland is particularly hard hit as it built an imaginary prosperity on a pyramid scheme of financial dealings. No profit in that sort of thing anymore. The response has been an upsurge of protest such as the nation has never seen before. Molly has mentioned this country before, and here is an update on the situation in that land, with particular emphasis on the role of the anarchists,from the Aftaka website, via the A-Infos board. Molly especially encourages readers to visit Aftaka for a collage of fantastic photos of what is happening there.
Actions continue in Iceland:
Date Mon, 22 Dec 2008
Before you read this article you might want to check out another article to read about what has been happening in Iceland before. Click here to check it out (with pictures).
---- “Away with the government” or something else. ----
Saturday, December 13th, one more mass demonstration had been planned on Austurvöllur, a square in front of the parliament. But this time, after 9 weeks of speeches, people decided to keep silent for 17 minutes, one minute for each year that Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn (a right wing conservative party) has been in power. It was rather lame and embarrassing to stand there in silence but after the 17 minutes of silence, an alarm clock rang, which was supposed to symbolize the waking of Icelandic people. Jacket suits and other symbols of the male dominated authority, were burned.
Children sold
Before the demonstration started, Food Not Bombs took place like every Saturday, but with an extra event this time. On the same square were Food Not Bombs takes place, a big piece of art has decorated two high walls for more than half a year; big photos of over 400 children. This Saturday a group of radicals glued a price ticked over the kids’ faces saying “11,2 millions - SOLD!” A banner said “Your social cost in capitalism is:” since the 11,2 million Icelandic Krónur (ISK) is the minimum price every single person in Iceland will pay if Iceland receives a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Your Social Cost in Capitalism is: 11,2 millions ISK
Fliers were distributed, explaining the impacts of the IMF loan and the social cost of “continuing capitalism”. The children kept “sold” until couple of days later when a unlucky city worker got the job of picking the price tickets of their faces.
Coca Cola vs. SantAnarchist Clauses
Later this same Saturday, Coca Cola had organized its annual boner-parade to take place in the center of Reykjavík. Every year, the company’s trucks are decorated with Christmas lights and loudspeakers playing American Christmas pop songs. The trucks then drive around the city, stopping in shopping malls and on busy shopping streets, were (for some absurd reason) parents have gathered with their children to experience this one big advertisement of one of the most cruel corporations in the world.
Coke is Capitalism's Shit - Enjoy!
Two years ago, a small group of people tried to stop the Coca Cola train from driving down the center of Reykjavík, but were stopped by the police which drove in front of the company´s trucks. This year, people had other plan in mind.
Around 40 people and 10 SantAnarcist Clauses entered the parade, in between the trucks and the police, with a big banner saying “Coke is capitalism’s shit - Enjoy!” For about an hour, Christmas songs with anti-capitalistic texts were sung and fliers given out, explaining Coca Colas human and environmental crimes around the world. Only with the help of 6 police pigs could the Coke trucks continue their way from the center, which means that a lot of parents had to answer their kids’ question: “Why did the police stop the nice and fun Santa Clauses?”
Ministers enter a meeting through the “ass”
On Tuesday morning, December 16th, the government had scheduled it’s weekly meeting in the prime minister’s office. Just like week earlier people gathered around the building to try to stop the ministers from entering and the meeting from taking place. This time the action had been more broadly announced, which meant that the police knew about it and could make all necessary arrangements. But it also meant that more people were expected to come.
Between 150 and 200 people met together few hundred meters from the office and marched towards it from two different directions. The police later announced they had not expected this many people to show up and therefor not made enough arrangements. Still, between 60 and 70 pigs welcomed the protesters.
Next to the prime minister’s office there is a kindergarten and in the windows, the children sat and watched, exited. The police’s first action was to enter the kindergarten and tell the workers there to take the kids to another part of the house, were they could not see the street. They do not want the kids to how they really work, do they?
The street was completely packed with people who were there only to prevent a government meeting from taking place. After a bit of a struggle the protesters managed to close the street from two sides. But quickly it became clear that the minister’s would enter from the back, so people entered the garden from different angles. The police reacted like usually, by stopping people with force and putting up police lines.
Soon one minister after another started to arrive, having to walk through a hallway of angry protesters, shouting at them. The garden was full of snow and ice, so the pigs gently helped the ministers to enter the meeting. It was beautiful and ugly at the same time to witness the fact that a government meeting could not take place without police help, as well as watching the ministers having to enter from the back - “from the ass” like protesters shouted.
The actions was peaceful for sure, but more aggressive and angry than before. When all ministers were in (at least people though so) and the meeting had been disturbed for a while with noise and snowballs, people decided to use their time differently and leave the place.
But when the group was about to walk down the street, almost the whole police force built a chain and for some unknown reason, prevented people from walking. This ended up in a sort of a fight were the pigs tried to take masks of people and violently throw people away. Few individuals tried to negotiate with the police, ending with all the pigs getting an order to move and let people through. Once again the police showed it’s robot behavior.
In to the banks
The next morning people gathered again, this time in front of the parliament, but not to enter the parliament again. After a short meeting the group of 50 people entered one of the many buildings of Landsbankinn bank, first the technical crew’s office and later the headquarters. A statement was read out loud were it was demanded that the banks and it’s directors would pay their own debts instead of putting it all on people who had nothing to do with the current financial crisis. It is estimated that the Icelandic people will have to pay 250 billion ISK, only to pay up Landsbankinn’s so called IceSave debts.
The loan from IMF was also denounced, since it fundamentally turns every person in the country in to slaves. People made noise, chanted slogans, banged on drums and walls. Work was stopped for a while, but most of all, a clear message was sent to the bank: “We will come whenever we want and stop work in the corrupt institution. Take responsibility for your own stupid business!” The action was short but clear.
And again…
Thursday morning, people gathered once again and now the Financial Supervisory (FS) was hit hard. 50 people marched to the building, which was heavily guarded by security guards, who had locked all possible entrances. People demanded to get to speak to the director of the FS but were denied again and again. When not let in, people took up stones and broke their way in to the outer entrance.
There they banged on windows and shouted slogans against the FS. The security guards contacted the police, who came quickly, but people had formed a chain in front of the doors to protect the ones inside. The windows of the inner entrance were now broken, the message against the FS sent out once again, and than the group left the building and marched away.
People did not walk far, but straight in to the next bank, Glitnir, were a similar action to the one the day before took place. Apart from stopping work with noise, people started reading leaflets from the bank out loud, entertaining themselves with all the bullshit in there. After a while, the group left, but again the message was clear: “We will come back!”
Today, Monday December 22nd, the entrance of the Financial Supervisory was closed again, this time with chains and locks.
The future
Let’s face it, these actions have not been very high profile, especially compared to other countries. But they are a very important step forward in the Icelandic society. Finally people seem to be waking up, realizing the real impacts of capitalism and the nature of authority.
For the last decades, only one direct action campaign has been active in Iceland, the environmental campaign Saving Iceland. For the last four years, Saving Iceland has done direct actions against one of the major heads of the neo-liberalism, heavy industry. Apart from SI’s action, Icelandic resistance has been at level zero. Without it, nothing of what we have been witnessing for the last few weeks would have been possible.
The resistance is getting stronger and it has to get the chance to grow organically. It might take some time, but at least it has started.
Some of the photos in this article are gently stolen from Jakob Fannar and Ljósvaki, others are from Aftaka.
Click here to see more photos from protests and direct actions in Iceland.
A video from the action by the Financial Supervisory can be seen by clicking here
and the action by the Prime Minister’s office is here.
The website of the environmental campaign mentioned above, Saving Iceland, is here.

Well, it's definitely the Holiday Season, and the requests for funds are coming fast and furious. One worthy cause, of course, is the American United Farm Workers, whose campaigns have often been mentioned here at Molly's Blog. A worthy cause indeed, and if you have a few spare shekels send it their way. Here's the pitch....
Will You Make a New Year's Resolution to Help Farm Workers?:
As we enjoy the holiday season and look forward to the New Year, I want to ask you to consider making a New Year’s resolution that lasts all year long. Can you commit to make a monthly gift of $10, $15 or more to help the UFW organize farm workers? If it's not possible at this time, can you make a single gift to help us make a difference to the people who put food on your table?

It has been an exciting year for the United Farm Workers. We've been out there daily fighting for farm worker rights and we’ve been winning. We're thrilled to tell you that a 1.68 million dollar settlement was reached for a sex discrimination case against the Tulare County grape grower Kovacevich 5 Farms. The 2006 lawsuit involved six female applicants who said they were turned away by K-5 solely because of their gender. This is a great victory for all women in California and the country who labor in the agricultural industry. We expect the award imposed to K-5 farms will set an important precedent and show other growers that blatant discrimination will not be tolerated.

UFW organizers are out in the fields fighting for farm workers on a daily basis. In 2008, our efforts have gotten hundreds of workers their jobs back after unjust firings. We’ve been instrumental in getting workers paid thousands of dollars in lost wages. Just in the San Joaquin Valley alone, workers have gotten more than $60,000 of wages unjustly kept from them.

Due to the UFW's organizing and litigation, one on the San Joaquin Valley’s largest growers--Sun Pacific--has stopped the process of making workers to take their grape trays home and washing them without being paid for their time. As forcing workers to do this unpaid labor is a common practice, this action sets a president for all grape growers.

We've accomplished a lot, but there is still more to do. This past summer, six farm workers' deaths have been investigated because of heat-related causes. The UFW is doing everything we can to ensure that no more farm workers fall victim to the heat. The laws written to protect them are not enforced, as the state clearly does not have the capacity to do so. We introduced legislation to correct this problem; however the governor did not sign the bill. The UFW is committed to continue our fight until a law is passed to give farm workers the tools they need to help themselves.

In spite of these difficulties, we are excited by our legislative opportunities for next year. We have great hopes for the Obama presidency. President-Elect Obama’s appointment of longtime friend Congresswoman Hilda Solis to run the Department of Labor can make a huge difference to farmworkers.

Please help us bring justice to the fields by making your monthly pledge or a single gift. No amount is too much or too little. Even a few dollars a month will help us get stronger and take advantage of the opportunities ahead.

Thank you and Si Se Puede!
Let's all come together to help farm workers this holiday season.
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