Wednesday, April 30, 2008

For some time now comrades active against the upcoming G8 meeting in Hokkaido Japan (July 7 to 9) have been touring the world, giving presentations about the G8 meeting in their country and the opposition to it. As they say in the announcement below ,they have held over 100 meetings across the entire globe. A truly massive effort of organization and dedication. The following announcement is from the Asian Anarchist Network (see our links section), and it is a power point presentation that may be of use to other activists across the world. The following has been slightly edited for English grammar.

No! G8 Action Japan has done an info-tour all over the world and had presentations nearly 100 times in various cities.In our presentation, we introduced the social movement in Japan and Asian countries and our preparation for the G8 summit in Toyako.
Finally, we completed a presentation file for public use.You can download this power point file and its description from the link below.
We would love each of you to hold an info-meeting on the Anti-G8 movement 2008. Even if you don't use it for presentation, it is also a useful information source.
These files are helpful for people who have an interest in coming to Japan or who want to know about the Japanese political situation.
Please enjoy,
Description of presentation(.doc) NOTE: Do not bother with the Japanese, just click an icon for the ppt & doc.

Tomorrow is Mayday, the premiere event in the labour calender. Molly has blogged quite a bit about this day, both this year and last (see our archives for April and May 2007). This year make sure to check in with the Labour Start website to see what unions across the world are doing this time around. But also- for something totally different- unions in several countries are using this MayDay to launch the 'Union island' is the virtual world of Second Life. Yes, that's right. After the success last year of the "virtual strike" (protest actually) against IBM , using the Second Life platform various union activists are hoping to develop this tool of working class struggle. See the site for more details. now Molly has her doubts about this sort of thing, but maybe she is just old-fashioned. In any case, here is the press release about this project.
Press release: Virtual May Day
1 May 2008 sees the launch of Union Island, an innovative new trade union project to build a home for unions and activists in the virtual world Second Life™.

Union Island will open with a virtual May Day, a day of training, networking and celebration, to bring activists from the global union movement together in a way never before possible.

Events planned for the day include:

*Celebrating May Day with a dance party, hosted by a live DJ from Second Life’s club Fracture.
*Training for activists in how to get more out of Second Life through networking with others and designing their own 3D creations, and how to run better websites for their unions.
*A photo and video exhibition for the DGB’s Mindestlohn campaign for a national minimum wage in Germany. May Day sees the culmination of a exhibition tour of Germany, and German unionists will be on hand at a Second Life replica of the real life touring set, to discuss the tour and campaign online with supporters from around Germany.
*Themed surgeries for union organisers in Union Island’s virtual bar, swapping practical tips from around the world over a pint of virtual beer from the UK Workers’ Beer Company.
*Guided gallery tours of “5 Photographers”, a virtual art exhibition of 20th century New York photography, presented by American arts group Labour Arts Inc.

Union Island plans to use Second Life to create a community for unionists, which will let activists from around the world meet and work together on shared issues in the global economy. The project also aims to use the virtual world to present union campaigns to a new audience, and enable a new generation of online activists to have more input into union activities.

TUC Deputy General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: ”Trade unions are all about people working together to improve things for themselves and others, and internet networks offer a powerful and cost-effective way for us to forge new links. As more businesses embrace virtual worlds such as Second Life to foster international networking and collaboration, it will be natural to find unions there too.”

UNI Global Union General Secretary Philip Jennings said: “UNI Global Union’s member unions around the world are constantly innovating, to show their relevance to today’s members and tomorrow’s potential members.”
*Second Life is an interactive 3D environment used by millions of people around the world (as well as thousands of companies and organisations) to chat, network, create, conduct business or play games.
*Union Island is a joint project of the TUC, UNI Global Union and the New Unionism Network, supported by unions from the UK, Germany and Italy.
*You can find a full programme of events for virtual May Day, as well as more information on the project and a direct link to Union Island at
*Contact for further information: instant message to Unionisland Republic (Union Island spokesperson in Second Life)

Tomorrow is MayDay, the international festival of labour, founded in memory of the Chicago anarchists who were murdered by the American state. Across the world socialists, both libertarian and authoritarian, will be holding marches, commemorations and festivals. The libertarian ones will, of course, be closer to the original idea of the day.
The following is a translation of the MayDay statement of the French CNT, also known as the CNT-Vignoles. The original in french can be found at their website.

The first May is the day par excellence to consider the international perspective. The days of demands is everywhere in the World the day of workers in struggle. The current economic globalization makesthe coordination of our class even more necessary . Since the I07 international meetings, organized at the initiative of the CNT, and its foreign friends, it has been one year in Paris, and our internationalist work has further increased . Anticipating our directions, coordinations are taking place: these are the coordinations Red/Black and Euro-Maghreb. Days of common struggle in various sectors are in preparation. For this May 1st, our call for the mobilization is common to eight European organisations.
Indeed, on all points of the globe, struggles are the same:
- For utilities managed by workers and customers: the dismantling of social services is now at work everywhere in the world. In Europe, the decline is particularly sensitive. Education, health, transport, energy are now being undermined under the pretext of trade liberalization and at the expense of workers and users of these services.
-- For our trade union rights: they are perpetually scorned. Our solidarity is expressed to Moroccan militants, detained since 1 May 2007 and released in recent days under international pressure; against Mexican militants or Colombian victims of murders, threats due to their actions in the fight; against unionists Véolia in New Caledonia, threatened with prison for strike action; against Romain, our comrade tried for contempt of the former Minister of Interior (now President) as part of the struggle for the defence of undocumented migrants.
-- For working conditions and decent life: low wages and extended hours are not inevitable. Following the example of the victorious struggle of the workers of the Romanian Renault, we can not accept, anywhere in the world, the subjugation of our lives to the desires of investors and shareholders. Following the example of the African struggle against soaring prices of basic necessities (rice, millet, corn, milk, etc.).. We are the ones who produce, we get to decide! In France today, we are experiencing the full brunt of a retrograde policy at the service of the powerful. The principle of solidarity, already very minimum, existing in France to allow a better distribution of wealth is definitely dead:
- Patients pay for other patients sickness with medical deductibles
- The working poor have to sacrifice for other working poor with the decrease of the premium for employment
- The family allowances jump on the pretext of economy
- The rhetoric and policies on unemployment are akin to a bistro conversation , in blaming the unemployed
- The fattening of intermediaries at the expense of farmers and consumers justifies a higher price without precedent. It is true that when people are hungry, they do not lose his time in challenging it.
But the growing dissatisfaction of workers in the public and private sectors against an unworthy policy in favour of the rich counteracts this "beautiful program". We only have to watch the list getting longer: each day of strikes and demonstrations by workers for their wages, their jobs, their working conditions and their social rights. They would have us believe that since the electoral victory of Sarkozy, any challenge to its policy would be illegitimate. Yet the great social achievements (paid leave, minimum wage, pensions, etc. )have been won in the street by the strike and most often against the advice of elected governments. Today, a choice of society is at stake, and for the CNT, our camp is clear: to bring together struggles for a different distribution of wealth, to satisfy social needs of all and all and do away with capitalism. Yes, the street is legitimate!
All together we can push back the governments!
All together, dare to fight! Dare to win!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

As Molly has opined many times before on this blog anarchism today may have the widest geographical extent, if not the depth and maturity, of any time in its history. An example follows below- a call out for a separate (from the dreary legions of the left) anarchist MayDay event in the country of Costa Rica. The following has been translated from a Spanish original published at the Anarckismo site. One only hopes that both the size and self-confidence of anarchist movements elsewhere will lead them to specifically identify themselves as anarchists on future Maydays. We, after all, have little in common with the statist left, and we shouldn't see our role as ineffective critics of same.

Event - Thursday, May 1 2008 Costa Rica: Call for all men and women, tired of so much lying and authoritarianism
by Germinal, La Libertad, San Jose People's Assembly
The fighters must gather on the south side of Parque La Merced, at 10 am. tomorrow.
We , various groups and individuals anti-electoral and anti-authoritarian, are self organizing a large protest reclaiming the true meaning of the first of May, under the slogan
That we will go for it all !
But what will we say to Mr and Mrs candidate , saying that his party is going to prescribe a tlc, with fewer deaths. * (La Nazione, Sunday April 20, 2008, in oblivion but covered in memory)
We must make our voices and our actions heard "That there will be at least a broken glass for honor! We need a stone of decency, to save self-esteem, which gives birth to courage."
On 1 May the dictatorship of the Arias brothers must hear us. The gentlemen of the employers' chambers must hear us. The imperialists who seek to use this territory for their wars must hear us. The fighters and fighters must gather on the south side of Parque La Merced, at 10 am.
No to social injustice!

Monday, April 28, 2008

The following is a reprint from the A-Infos site of an interview with a New Zealand anarchist, "Omar", on the part of the Spanish anarchist site . It gives an interesting perspective on the development of modern anarchism in what is a small and far away country to those of us up here in the frozen north. It also shows glimmers of the gradual maturing of the movement in NZ, just like in the rest of the world.


Anarchism in New Zealand - Another Interview
The following interview was conducted via email between Spanish anarchist website and Omar, an Aotearoa Anarchist of New Zealand who is involved in Indymedia Aotearoa and the Auckland Anarchist Collective.----

ALB - We'd like to know at first, if there is something we could take as an "anarchist movement" in New Zealand. Which is its nature? I mean, is it a popular movement, class struggle, community, counter cultural... ?

Omar---- When we speak of an anarchist movement is New Zealand we are basically speaking of around 200-300 people based mainly in the major cities, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin and organised through a variety of collectives, organisations and social networks. The orientation of individuals within the anarchist movement is very diverse, with some people involved in primarily activist projects, like human rights, worker struggle, feminist, anti-racist, animal rights, anti-war, global justice, and environmental concerns. The other main trend are those others who are orientated more towards a counter-cultural outlook with an emphasis on the creation of local alternatives and community projects. Lots of people are involved in both types though.

ALB -Could you make a quick summary about the history of the anarchist movement in the recent decades?

Omar: Since 1999, the anti-globalisation movement has had a very important impact on anarchists in Aotearoa, as has the anti-war movement since 2001, the movement against genetic engineering, and the climate change movement now emerging. These are the main movements most anarchists have been involved in over the last ten years. During the 1990s, anarchists were heavily involved in activism against the neo-liberal reforms that changed the New Zealand economy and made life very difficult for the unemployed and the poor. Also they were involved in campaigns to stop logging of native forests which was a successful campaign. Another major campaign anarchists were involved in in the 1990s was in solidarity with the people of East Timor. In the 1980s anarchists were involved in the movement against sporting contacts with South Africa, and against nuclear-ship visits and testing of nuclear bombs in the Pacific, and against racism in New Zealand.

ALB- Are there in Aoteoroa "libertarian" social movements not explicitly anarchist? I mean, those movements that don't consider themselves as anarchist but share plenty of common elements with the anarchists. What can you tell about them?

Omar:There are lots of anti-authoritarian, anarchistic organisations that anarchists are involved in in Aotearoa. These include Indymedia, Food Not Bombs and Critical Mass. In Wellington there is lots of anti-war activity around the group Peace Action Wellington which many anarchists there are involved with. In Christchurch and throughout Aotearoa many anarchists are involved in the Save Happy Valley campaign against coal-mining in the South Island. I think these types of organisations and movements consume the majority of time of activist anarchists in Aotearoa.

ALB- To have a proper idea, in which cities, towns, areas,is the movement/scene more powerful?

Omar:Traditionally the stronghold of anarchism in Aotearoa has been Wellington, the capital city which has a well established anarchist community house, infoshop, anarchist press, and strong ties to the inner-city bohemian suburbs. This means Wellington has the most organised anarchist community. In Auckland there are less anarchists although it is a larger city, and there is no social centre or infoshop, although there was for some of 2007. In Christchurch there is a social centre and some fairly active collectives.

ALB- Are there different tendencies inside the movt. or is it more or less homogeneous?

Omar:The anarchist movement is quite homogenous and this means that people who are attracted to it are very particular. It is a mix of lifestylism and anti-authoritarian protest movementism that is quite common to most youth anarchist scenes. There are strong punk and hippy influences as well. Although there are a scattering of anarchosyndicalists, class struggle anarchists, most people are quite movement orientated and there is very little production of theory and analysis by anarchists in Aotearoa.

ALB- Which are the biggest or most important anarchist or libertarian organisations? Are there national federations, networks?

Omar:In my opinion the most important libertarian organisation is Aotearoa Indymedia, which has anarchists involved in five cities in Aotearoa. There was also an attempt to set-up an Aotearoa Anarchist Network, but that fell on its face. There is also the Anarcha-feminist Network which has collectives in three cities and is the most active of the national networks.

ALB- Are there any national anarchist gathering, national conference, bookfair and so on... ? which are the biggest events?

Omar:There was an anarchist conference in 2007 which attracted 60 participants but in my view was a failure, as it failed to achieve the objective we set it of establishing an anarchist network, and a 2005 conference which attracted around the same number and was mostly workshops. With the absence of cross-city organisation and networking there is little attempts to build anarchist movement through larger national events, which ends up reinforcing the isolation of collectives and individuals.

ALB- Is there any social movement in which the anarchist participate? Which degree of influence could they have?

Omar:Anarchists in recent years have had lots of participation in the anti-war, union, environmental movements and are very much at the forefront of many of these struggles, actively engaged in promoting direct action and direct democracy in the organisations of these movements. For example in the campaign to free some Iranian asylum-seekers held in jail, the Auckland anarchist collective was at the forefront of this struggle and did a civil disobedience action at the jail, as well as participating in the pickets. Anarchists also played a large role in the campaign for a living wage at fast food restaurants like McDonalds, especially through the anticapitalist youth group Radical Youth, which organised a high school strike.

ALB- In which campaigns are the anarchists actively involved?

Omar:At the moment the main work anarchists are doing is in solidarity with those activists including myself, Maori and anarchist who were arrested on October 15th 2007, and charged for having allegedly attended armed training camps and possessing rifles and molotov cocktails, in a mountainous remote area of New Zealand called the Ureweras, which is the traditional homeland of the Tuhoe tribe. Also campaigns anarchists are involved in are the Save Happy Valley campaign, anti-fur, battery farming and vivisection campaigns and others are involved in ongoing community projects to build peoples self-reliance and autonomy.

ALB- Which are the relationships with other political movements (ie communists, trots, greens, etc.)?

Omar:Anarchists have quite a close relationship with the Green Party and some are members. In Auckland anarchists work closely in broad political work with the two main Marxist-Leninist groups, and other smaller trot groups. Marxist-Leninists are mainly based in Auckland where they are relatively strong, where as in the rest of New Zealand they are quite weak.

ALB- What is the relationship of anarchists- with other countries, like Australia, Britain? Are there any anarchist people in other islands on the Pacific Ocean?

Omar:Anarchists mostly cultivate their own individual contacts with anarchists in different parts of the world. There is some co-ordination with anarchists in Australia, especially Melbourne, where anarchists from New Zealand often go to live or holiday. Throughout a year there are often anarchists/autonomist people from Europe and North America who come and live and stay and work in different collectives. My own collective in Auckland last year had an Italian, a Russian and a German involved as well as an anarchist from Melbourne and two anarchists from Tucson, Arizona. Sadly there are no anarchists as I am aware of on Pacific Islands but there are lots of anticapitalists especially in Tonga involved in the movement against the monarchy and in kanaky/new caledonia where there is a strong movement against French rule and the power of transnational mining corporations.

ALB- What is the relationship with the Maori people? Are there any "anarchist-Maori" collectives? Are there any convergence with them?

Omar:The relationship with Maori people is quite good, especially with the Tuhoe tribe as we both have been repressed by the state, shared the same cells, court-appearances and protests against this repression. There are also a number of Maori anarchists and projects which are both Maori and and anti-capitalist but no openly anarchist Maori collective. One example is Conscious Collaborations project which has worked to build recognition of Maori self-determination and supported Maori people victimised by the recent police repression.

ALB- Finally, which is the future for our movement in Aoteoroa?

Omar:Looming large on the horizon is the trial of us, 19 anarchists and Maori arrested on October 15th and afterwards, and we all face possibly long prison sentences if convicted. The trial will be sometime in 2009. My estimation of the movement is that lots of people are feeling quite tired and burnt out by constant activism especially under a state of tension, caused by the police. In 2005, Sam Buchanan, a veteran anarchist from Wellington, wrote an article called "Attack of the Headless Chickens" which was widely circulated because it struck a chord with many people who have been worn out with endless protesting for many good causes but little long-term strategy and planning on how to change the world and failure to develop anarchist organisation beyond campaigning groups or single issue projects. I think that if strong, cohesive and purposeful local collectives can be built which focus on issues that are important to everyday people, issues of the environment; human rights, worker rights, colonisation and the New Zealand government's ongoing collaboration with imperialist, militarists and repressive regimes in the United States, in China, and across the world, we may see an upturn for the anarchist movement in its ability in challenging the gross excesses of the powerful.
A Molly Addendum:
Here are some links to anarchism in New Zealand from Molly's links section:
Capitalism Bad;Trees Pretty (good site for links not yet on Molly's list but soon to be)

The following appeal is, unfortunately, only for our American readers. Those of us out here in the colonies cannot participate. Still, it is a worthy appeal, and fully in line with the Workers' memorial day today. So, if you live in the USA this one's for you. The following is from the Working Families Network in the USA. If any of the links below don't seem to be working you can access the campaign HERE.
Workers and safety advocates from around the world today are observing Workers Memorial Day to honor the thousands of workers who are killed or hurt on the job each year. Workers, union activists, religious and community leaders and elected officials are expected to take part in more than 10,000 memorial services, rallies and marches to remember these workers on April 28, Workers Memorial Day.

Decades of struggle by workers and their unions have resulted in significant improvements in working conditions. But the toll of workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths remains enormous. Each year, thousands of workers are killed and millions more are injured or diseased because of their jobs.

These disasters hit home. Tammy Miser, whose brother Shawn was killed in 2003 in a combustible dust explosion in Huntington, Ind., criticized the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for seeking voluntarily--rather than mandatory--safety compliance:
We know that it’s feasible to prevent these explosions. And it is beyond negligent to expect a company that knows about these hazards to voluntarily comply, instead of making it a requirement.
You can do something to help.
Click here to tell your senators and representative to support the Protecting America's Workers Act (S. 1244 and H.R. 2049).
The bill would expand OSHA protections to millions of uncovered workers, enhance whistleblower protections and substantially increase penalties for serious, willful and criminal safety violations.

More than three decades ago, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act, promising every worker the right to a safe job. But the Bush administration has ignored the need for updated safety and health protections. Administration officials have allowed their corporate allies to police themselves.

We have our work cut out for us this year. In the fall, working families will need to work hard to elect a Congress and a president who will put the lives of workers first, restore enforcement staffs and budgets, and put some teeth back into our laws.

We need to do more than simply trust employers who want to increase their profits at the expense of workers and their families.
Please act now to tell your senators and representative to support the Protecting America's Workers Act.
Workers are still being killed on the job, but employers who are found to have violated federal safety laws in fatality cases are paying as little as $750 in penalties for each death, according to the latest edition of the AFL-CIO’s annual report “Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect.”
The 17th edition of the national and state-by-state analyses on worker safety and health reveals that 5,840 workers died from workplace injuries in 2006, compared with 5,734 in 2005. The figures show a continued and significant increase in fatalities among Latino and foreign-born workers. (The year 2006 is the most recent year for which U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures are available.)

The AFL-CIO report shows that 16 workers were fatally injured and more than 11,200 were hurt or made sick each day in 2006. And the price workers pay for toiling in dangerous jobs climbs even higher when the tally includes the 50,000 to 60,000 workers who die every year from occupational diseases.
Help fulfill the promise of a safe workplace for millions of workers.
Tell your senators and representative to pass the Protecting America's Workers Act today.each year.
In solidarity,
Working Families e-Activist Network, AFL-CIO
P.S. Please tell your friends to take action for worker protections.



Today, April 28, is Workers' Memorial Day worldwide. This day is a contribution of the Canadian labour movement to world culture. The day was first promoted in 1984 by CUPE and several other Canadian unions to remember 4 miners killed on the job in Sudbury. The Canadian Labour Congress first declared the day as a day of remembrance in 1985. The significance of the date is that it is also the anniversary of the first Canadian Workers' Compensation Act, passed in 1919. In the USA it is the anniversary of the establishment of OSHA.

The Canadian Parliament passed Bill C-223 in 1989, establishing the day as a day of mourning and remembrance. In 1989 the American AFL-CIO adopted April 28th as their day of morning.In 1996 the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions adopted the day, and it became an official international day with a ceremony at the United Nations in New York. It is still not officially recognized as such by the UN, but a process to make such a proclamation began in 2005. Today it is officially observed in 19 countries worldwide. The International Labour Organization recognizes April 28 as 'International Health and Safety Day". The list of countries that officially observe this day includes Argentina, Belgium, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Greece, Luxembourg, Panama, Poland, Peru, Portugal, Spain, Taiwan and Ukraine. Note the conspicuous absence of the USA.

This day is needed because work usually kills more people per year than wars do. Over two million people per year die of workplace injuries and disease. Here in Manitoba we have the worst rate per capita of any Canadian province. For a listing of the events worldwide please see Hazards Magazine. See also this blog for April 28, 2007 in our archives for more useful links.

The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) just sent this urgent !!! appeal this am. It concerns an imminent invasion of the Tyendinaga Mohawk community by the OPP. Read it and respond if you can.

URGENT ACTION: Call Premier: SWAT Teams ammassing in Tyendinaga 9:30 am Monday‏
**URGENT** Tyendinaga 9:30 am Monday morning, April 28th We have just been informed by the Tyendinaga Mohawk community spokespeople that SWAT teams are amassing now on the Deseronto and Slash Roads, bordering the Tyendinaga quarry reclamation site. Community spokesperson Jason Maracle has just been told by the OPP to pull people out of the quarry because they are going in.
Tyendinaga Support Committee
CALL THE PREMIER! CALL THE PREMIER! CALL THE PREMIER! CALL THE PREMIER! Please call the premier's office immediately and urge them to:
-Honour Mohawk land, call off the OPP: Do not risk people's lives for a gravel pit the government has already acknowledged is on Mohawk land!
-Release all First Nations political prisoners!
Premier Dalton McGuinty: 416-325-1941 (phone)
416-325-3745 (fax)
Yesterday's Press Release:
Ontario Jails Five More First Nations People Involved in Land Struggles
(Sunday, April 27, 2008 -Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory)
Five men from Tyendinaga are in jail today bringing the total number of First Nations people in Ontario jails for defending their land to 12. Ontario, it appears, has opted for the incarceration of First Nations people over the resolution of outstanding land issues as their status quo.
As for the Ontario Provincial Police, it appears the adoption of Justice Linden's Ipperwash Inquiry recommendations is experiencing some delay.While in custody at the Napanee Detachment several different officers repeatedly informed Shawn Brant that they were going to "slit his throat"and that he was a "dead man." This followed a similarly disturbing incident that occurred on Monday,April 22nd during the road closures in Deseronto when an officer on the scene clearly and audibly commented to her colleagues "we should justshoot them (Mohawks) all." Meanwhile, road closures continue in Tyendinaga and Six Nations until, asone man said, "We finish the job."
Jay Maracle: 613-243-4993

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The following is a report from Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories by the Israeli Anarchists Against the Wall. These people hold actions each and every weekend in protest of the policies of the Israeli government. This weekend was an especially busy one. The following has been slightly edited for English grammar.
Palestine-Israel, busy weekend of joint struggle in Jafa-Tel-Aviv and the occupied territories by Ilan S. - AAtW :
The anarchists against the wall initiative were busy on Wednesday with graffiti in preparation for the Thursday evening joint demonstration. On Thursday joined in direct action with our Palestinian partners of Bil'in and others of the region in the temporary liberation of an area near Ramalla where a new settler point is in development. Later, Thursday evening there was the monthly critical mass ride against occupation that started at the Tel Aviv "Zocolo" and traveled to the big counter demo of the 60 years anniversary celebration of the Zionists occupation of Jafa on 1948, in the park built on the ruins of the destroyed al-Manshiya district of the Palestinian Jafa. Friday we split five ways:

One in the Hebron big demo at the Shuhada road and the nearby square. A second in the struggle against the separation fence south of Bethlehem - at Um Salmuna and Al Khader. A persistent struggle for already a year or so. These days, the Israeli state arrested and sentenced to administrative jailing of 6 months Musa AbuMaria - one of the main organizers of the joint struggle against the separation fence and occupation.

The third was at the apartheid highway 443 - a somewhat new project in the Bil'in region. The fourth was in Shiftin - a small village near Shukba (in the west of Bil'in). There the action was targeted against a settler quarry which infringes on the village land and dusts the village. During the action, the villagers succeeded in burning one of the quarry tractors, before the army came. They soldiers shot at Palestinians and the car of the AAtW activists. Two villagers were lightly wounded - one of live ammunition. The fifth was the 166th Friday demonstration in Bil'in.... Bil'in become gradually the unofficial focus of the Palestinian non violent popular struggle against the separation fence and occupation. It is a real bi directional process. Activists from Bil'in participate in struggles in locations in the central part of Palestine.

Grass roots activists from all over Palestine come to Bil'in to be inspired and start similar activity at their villages. Even political activists at the national level feel obliged to come from time to time for meetings and even participate in the joint Friday demonstrations.This Friday, there was in Bil'in a meeting of political activists of the left spectrum of Palestine with a leftist delegation from Europe. After the meeting they participated in the Friday noon demonstration against the separation fence and occupation.The demonstration was, as usual ,with a small variation as the guests gave a speech at the square near the gate of the route of the separation fence.After the speeches, the unruly kids started to throw stones, which gave the Israeli state force the excuse to shoot on us tear gas and bullets coated with rubber. They also use it as usual to shoot at the video cameras documenting the demonstration.
This Friday's video by David can be seen at

On Thursday the 24th a "celebration" took place, courtesy of The Etzel Museum and The Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation, commemorating 60 years of the "liberation" of Jafa . Arab and Jewish activists planned a series of actions trying to raise awareness to the absurdity of celebrating the actions of the terrorist organization the Irgun (Etzel) which was responsible for a series of terrorist attacks during 1947-8.On the night between Wednesday and Thursday, three activists were detained, accused of poster hanging in the area of Neve Tzedek and Jafa. A short time after that 5 more activists were detained and accused of vandalizing public property in the same area. Around 4am the first bunch of activists were released, signing a house arrest form for 24 hours.The second bunch accused of vandalizing were illegally detained for over 8 hours and finally were officially arrested and taken to court. Around noon the court decided to release all the five on self bail.
Hast thou taken possession and celebrated?"
This coming Thursday, April 24, at 19:00
A "celebration" will take place, courtesy of The Etzel Museum and The Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation, commemorating 60 years of the "liberation" of Jafa
It is time to make some noise!
All those who cannot share the joy over the expulsion of Jafa Palestinian inhabitants in 1948 is invited to join us in a joint Jewish-Arab protest (and vociferous) event.
At 19:00, near The Etzel Museum, on the ruins of al-Manshiya, Charles Clore Parc.
Join us to liberate Jafa from the expulsion.
Please, bring pots, pans, and other means of distraction
For further details: 054-xxxxxxx and 052-xxxxxxxx
You can read about the deeds of the Etzel in Jafa:
An alternative tour will start earlier, at 17:30, from Suzanne Dallal Square
For details on the tour: 050-xxxxxxx
Rightist one:
Anarchists Arrested for Tel Aviv Graffiti
Police said Thursday that they had arrested a group of five anarchists early on Thursday morning for vandalizing property in Tel Aviv. The five, residents of Jerusalem and Haifa in their 20s, were caught painting walls with slogans against the Israeli occupation.
The five were released on Thursday morning on their own recognizance. They are expected to face charges of vandalism. One of the suspects was caught in possession of illegal drugs as well.
More sympathetic one:
Police arrested photographer while doing his duty [licensed media worker who is also an activist]A photographer of the "Ha'ir" documented spraying of graffiti in protest of the tours of the legacy of the Etsel [A pre Israel rightist Zionist underground terrorists] tours, was arrested and his camera was confiscated though he did not participated in the action.
The youth intended to spray graffiti along the route of the tour in protest as the official tour does not reveal the story of the nearly complete depopulation of the original Palestinian population of Jafa.
The policemen present disregarded the activists but after they starting the spraying of "where have the Jafa Arabs gone" the plain clothes detectives of the Tel Aviv police arrested them. Oren showed them his official journalist card and insisted he is there in his professional capacity.The detectives did not respect it - arrested him and confiscated his camera.The detectives refused to verify his claim and took all of them to jail.
When they were brought before the judge in the morning the police prosecutor claimed Oren participated in the "crime". However, the judge verdict was that the "damage of property" by graffiti - a despicable act still didn't justify the arrest. He released them on very low bail. As for the photographer, the judge claimed that there was a high probability he was there in his work capacity, and released him with out any condition.
After his release Oren stated he has been working for the media for two years and that day was assigned the task of photographing the protest activity.It seems like the police targeted these activities using a lot of their resources in order to prevent this joint Arab/Jewish struggle inside Tel Aviv and Jafa.
During that day the Menachem Begin foundation held tours in the area of Neve Tzedek and Jafa. A few activists managed to infiltrate these tours, asking questions and handing out fliers. Around 6pm an alternative tour took place on the same route, ending at a demo in front of the "celebration". Activists from the critical mass against the occupation joined the demo and made a lot of noise trying to disturb the so called celebration. The demo was surrounded by a heavy presence of riot police. Three activists were arrested and released about four hours later. Two more activists that were outside the police station were detained for a short time. Haaretz
Palestinian, Israeli activists scuffle with troops in W. Bank
The IDF yesterday evacuated some 40 Palestinian, Israeli and foreign peace activists who had taken over an abandoned outpost west of Ramallah and hoisted the Palestinian flag over it. After the evacuation, the IDF allowed settlers who used to pray in the synagogue at the Yad Yair outpost to return to it, purportedly to "gauge the damage," military sources said. The protesters say settlers have taken over the site and are setting up an illegal outpost there. (Meron Rapoport)
Jonathan Polak of the "Anarchists Against the Wall" said: "The reason for that action was because that outpost expresses the cooperation between the army and the settlers. If we could overtake it with no problem, the army could do it too". He added: "A short time after the take over, an army force arrived and shoot bullets "coated with rubber" that hit the car of the photographer team".In response to the the army claim that it is a closed military zone, and as such needed to be evacuated, he said: In spite of that, there are tens of settlers who arrive there every day for prayers".
[The invitation for the activist to join the Hebron action]:
On April 25th, On the Jewish Holiday of Passover, that symbolizes more than any other thing the meaning of being a free people, we shall conduct a solidarity visit to Palestinian families in Hebron who lost their freedom since the first Jewish settlement 40 years ago in Hebron.For more details please make contact with Amos: Bnei Avraham]MEDIA
Left-wing activists, settlers clash in Hebron
Some 50 activists arrived in the city on holiday eve for a protest march despite an army prohibition; later charge police 'did nothing to stop settler's aggression.' Jewish community slams police 'cooperation with terror supporters'
Scuffles broke out on Friday afternoon between settlers and left-wing activists in Hebron – with both sides denouncing local police forces.Shortly after 1:00 pm some 50 activists convened at the Gross Square in the city to join Palestinian residents for a protest rally under PLO flags and banners. Local witnesses said demonstration participants assaulted a Jewish resident.
[They marched along the Shuhada main street that a court verdict said must be open for the Palestinians too... but it is not respected by the army].
When IDF officials informed the protesters that the gathering was not authorized, they refused to leave the scene and lay down across one of the city's roads. One of the rally organizers has been detained for questioning by the police.Activists also tried to block the main route leading to the Jewish section of the city, preventing residents from accessing or leaving their homes. Police troops were alerted to the scene after the confrontation deteriorated into a brawl and separated the opposing sides.The activists were then escorted to a bus, presumably to leave the city, but its passage was blocked by a group of settlers, forcing the driver to return to the police station.Eventually the bus departed in the direction of Jerusalem with a police escort, but not before it was pelted with eggs by right-wing activists.
"The police did nothing to stop the settler's attacks and chose instead to arrest the leftist activists instead and take them to the police station," said the outraged activists, adding that they had also been attacked with rocks and were delayed for a lengthy period of time at the police station. Meanwhile the Committee of the Jewish Community of Hebron also had harsh words for local law enforcement. "Police here regularly allow anarchist groups, extreme left-wing activists and terror supports to stage provocations here in the city. Today the police allowed them to block the only road into the Jewish sector. We denounce this act and demand the provocations stop, they should be kept away from Jewish communities."

The following announcement is from the website of the French CNT (the CNT-Vignoles). It is about a coordinated Mayday amongst various anarcho-syndicalist unions on the continent of Europe. The poster to the left is a joint effort of the various organizations.
When, throughout Europe, "leftwing" Governments, as well as rightwing ones have similar policies : public services are broken up and privatised, working conditions are under attack from casualisation, subsidies to the bosses, attacks on the welfare system, and pensions, ...

When, throughout Europe, "leftwing" Governments, as well as rightwing ones are criminalising both those who are fighting back, with repression against organised labour, and immigrants, with detention camps and deportation.

When, throughout Europe, "leftwing" Governments, as well as rightwing ones have imperialist and neo-colonial foreign policies such as in Iraq, the Balkans, Afghanistan, Africa and Latin America.

When, throughout Europe, the trade unions are now collaborating with the bosses, with no more strength of will to fight back.

We, anarcho-syndicalist, and revolutionary trade unionist organizations, the "Red and Black Coordination", on 1st May 2008, the day of labour and international solidarity, renew our determination in our anticapitalist, antiauthoritarian, antifascist, antisexist and revolutionary fight.
The Red and Black Coordination :
ESE (Greece), WI (Poland), LA (Poland), GGT (Spain), USI (Italy), IWW (GB), CNT (France), SAC (Sweden).

Friday, April 25, 2008

The following is a reprint from the Harper Index,(by the way, subscribe to this excellent list-Molly) devoted to keeping a close eye on our shifty Prime Minister. What it shows is a pattern of behavior that will undoubtedly be exasperated should sneaky Stevie ever achieve majority government. This pattern is highly authoritarian and anti-democratic. Read on....
Targets have included AIDS activists, Nobel Prize winners and Road to Avonlea star.

OTTAWA, April 21, 2008:
A big reason many Canadians are uncomfortable with Stephen Harper may be the vindictiveness with which he and his team snub political adversaries and others with opposing views. Last week it was Elections Commissioner William Corbett. Before that it was multiple Genie and Gemini winner, and Oscar nominee, Sarah Polley.

News reports last week carried excerpts of a Conservative news release which attacked Polley for her advocacy against Bill C-10, which would give the federal government opportunities to censor artists by retroactively withdrawing previously approved tax credits. "... During the 2004 Federal Election, Sarah Polley was an active member of the 'Stop Harper' campaign, even attaching her name to a news release attacking the now Prime Minister." read the release, which quoted Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre as saying, "Individuals with vested personal and political interests should be honest with Canadians on what their true intentions are." These are tough words to choose for a Canadian cultural icon best known as Sarah Stanley in the TV series Road to Avonlea, based on a character in L.M. Montgomery's "The Story Girl".

The personal nature of the attack on Polley brought to mind the Harper team's lengthy record of personal or ad hominem attacks going beyond civil requirements of discussion and debate, some of which are listed, in alphabetical order, below. encourages readers to submit their own examples, with references if possible, to HarperIndex list entries. As more are received, we will add them to the list.
*AIDS activists felt snubbed and embarrassed when Harper refused to go to the International Aids Conference in Toronto.
*Bains, Navdeep [reader-contributed] is the Liberal MP for whom Harper claimed the Liberals voted against the extension of two clauses in the Anti-Terror Act in order to "protect". (His father-in-law is a potential witness at investigative hearings to advance the Air India criminal probe.)
*Bono, the international rock star and AIDS activist, was snubbed by Stephen Harper at the G8 summit, who said he was too busy to discuss the African AIDS crisis with him. "Meeting celebrities isn't my shtick," Harper said. "That was the shtick of the previous guy."
*Black History Breakfast Clubs were snubbed by Harper on a scheduled visit to Ottawa in February, 2007. While students from an inner-city breakfast club in Toronto had the opportunity to tour Parliament, Harper stayed far away from the quick, scheduled hello. He failed even to send an MP in his place to the event, scheduled as part of Black History Month. Every other political party with seats in Parliament sent a representative to greet the visitors. Present were the deputy leader of the Liberal opposition party, Michael Ignatieff, and prominent NDP MP Olivia Chow, who is the wife of NDP leader Jack Layton.
*Calvert, Lorne, at the time premier of Saskatchewan, was not alerted by Harper of a major federal-provincial announcement in that province in 2007, presumably because Harper was miffed about Calvert's strand on equalization, nor was he invited to it. Not inviting Calvert violated well-established protocol in a way clearly intended to humiliate.
*Casey, Bill, is the Conservative MP from Nova Scotia who was dumped from the Conservative caucus over his dispute with Harper over federal equalization payments, and the ownership and taxation of underground oil and gas resources from his province. During the same week in October 2007 that Stephen Harper and Peter MacKay announced the Atlantic Accord would more or less stay in force (details have yet to be provided), Harper said Casey would not be allowed to run for the Conservatives in Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, against the wishes of the local riding association.
*Climate scientists. Nobel Prize-winning scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were snubbed by the Harper government when it boycotted a celebration for them staged in February 2008 on Parliament Hill, hosted by the Swedish ambassador, and featuring speeches from all party leaders except Harper.
*Dion, Stéphane, the current Liberal leader is being routinely subjected to the same sort of graphic mockery (see the Conservative Party website) as Jean Chrétien, the former prime minister - which they only get away with because he isn't disfigured. (Chrétien, turned the tables on the Conservatives, long before Harper, in the 1993 federal election, in part by making the most of a Conservative campaign ad that appeared to exploit his facial disfigurement.)
*Hawkes, Jim, was the Conservative MP who was Harper's first political boss and the person Harper defeated to first win a seat for the Reform Party in 1993 in Calgary Southwest.
*Ipsos-Reid, the polling firm, was blasted by Harper in 2002 for having Liberal leanings, an accusation he was forced to retract.
*Johnson-Sirleaf, Ellen, the Liberian president and the first woman elected as a head of state in Africa, and who Time Magazine named as one of the top 100 people shaping the world today, got passed over for an official welcome from Harper when she visited Ottawa earlier this month. She met with foreign affairs minister Peter MacKay, but was overlooked by Harper, who met with Russian goalie Vladislav Tretiak the same day.
*Keen, Linda, chair of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, was attacked personally in terms of partisanship and competence in the House of Commons by Stephen Harper and natural resources minister Gary Lunn, producing a chill in the civil service.
*Leadbeater, Alan, second in command at the Canada Information Commissioner's Office, was quietly let go in May 2007, only months after he criticized the Conservative government for reneging on promises to strengthen Access to Information laws. Robert Marleau, a former Clerk of the House of Commons, had recently been hired to replace John Reid, the outspoken former commissioner. Marleau claimed he needed a "flatter organization" and did not need a second in command. Leadbeater, who had worked in the office for more than 15 years, was told he was no longer needed and was immediately escorted from the building.
*MacDonald, Rodney, Nova Scotia's premier, was snubbed in July 2007 when Harper went to Halifax for a funding announcement without informing him. The scheduling "problem" occurred a few weeks after the two engaged in a public feud over offshore resources and the distribution of transfer payments handed out to have-not provinces like Nova Scotia. Harper was eventually forced to feign agreement to Nova Scotia's terms, largely because of pressure led by Bill Casey (see above).
*Manning, Preston, founding leader of the Reform Party, was criticized as being unable to attract a national majority by former ally Harper, leading to Harper's giving up his House of Commons seat in 1997 and taking a job at the National Citizens Coalition.
*McGuinty, Dalton, the Ontario premier, came under unprecedented attack this year, with Conservative house leader Peter Van Loan calling McGuinty the "small man of Confederation", and finance minister Jim Flaherty taking the extreme step of holding a news conference to attack the 2008 Ontario budget the day before it was read.
*Measner, Adam, president of the Canadian Wheat Board and a Board employee for 20+ years, was forced to resign when Harper's government fulfilled the dreams of early Reform members by stripping the Canadian Wheat Board of responsibilities and putting people in charge who want to destroy it.
*Okulitch, Andrew, a scientist emeritus with the Geological Survey of Canada, was relieved of his duties in 2006 after refusing a directive to refer to the federal government as "Canada's New Government". Later he was reinstated after the controversy attracted international attention.
*Ontario, Province of. [reader-contributed] Never has a prime minister unilaterally declared ideological jihad against an entire province, yet this is essentially what Harper has done. When finance minister Jim Flaherty blatantly called into question the intelligence of any company or business considering investment in Ontario, it was more than a partisan attack on a provincial liberal leader recently rewarded with another majority government; he was also calling into question the intelligence of Ontario voters as a whole (who had summarily dismissed his government from running Ontario in October 2003).
*Opposition parties [reader-contributed] were labelled Taliban supporters for asking questions about Afghan prisoners.
*Parliamentary Press Gallery. Stephen Harper has always seen the national media corps as the enemy. His mentor Tom Flanagan clearly instructs that reporters are left-leaning and eager to punish Conservatives for small errors. As a result, Harper never lets down his guard with veteran national reporters, preferring staged photo ops with local media, and internally-produced video and news releases. Stephen Harper refuses to do scrums unless he can control who asks questions. He has security officials escort journalists and camera people away from the hallway outside cabinet meetings and refuses to attend Press Gallery dinners.
*Polley, Sarah. See above.
*Riddell, Alan, a lifelong Conservative, was bullied out of his long-nurtured candidacy in Ottawa South in favour of the whistleblower Alan Cutler. His libel suit against Harper - whose public denial of a deal with Riddell was contradicted by court documents - was settled out of court.
*Williams, Danny, Newfoundland's premier, was an attempted victim of snubbing who turned the tables on Harper, whom he has battled over equalization payments and oil revenues. In a news conference, Williams repeatedly called Harper "Steve" and won an overwhelming victory in the subsequent provincial election as a result of his confrontations with the Prime Minister.

Related individuals, organizations and significant events

The following is an appeal reprinted from the Asian Anarchist Network. As usual it has been slightly edited for reasons of English grammar. It seems that some comrades who are organizing against the upcoming G8 meeting at Lake Toya, Hokkaido, Japan would like to have an international contingent of musicians on hand during their protests. Are you a musician ? Are you footloose and fancy free ? Have you ever dreamed about visiting Japan (Molly sure has) ? Why not check this out.

Hi there,
we need more music for the upcoming protest/party!/catbloc
A statement and call for participation in the musical events during the G8 in Lake Toya, Hokkaido, Japan, by the Sound Collective of NO!G8 Action Japan. Feel free to forward the information below to your music activist friends!
Rebellion Needs Music!
From July 7th to 9th, 2008, the G8 summit will be held at Lake Toya,Hokkaido, Japan. Numerous anti-summit actions will take place against this haughty meeting which is trying to monopolize and define the course of the world by only the so-called 8 major (Group of 8) countries .
We are disgusted at this absurd meeting. We would like to make spaces of protests, interaction, and solidarity with sounds. This is one of the things we can do to express our disgust.
All this time, we had been drowned out, misled and confounded by a deluge of textual/visual information and were at first not interested in politics at all. But the impact of music/sounds opened our eyes to social issues.We are fed up with statements, excuses, apologies, and policy changes by politicians. With music/sounds, we are going to make spaces of direct exchange, solidarity, and confirmation of our will of resistance in Hokkaido where the G8 summit will be held.
Needless to say, musical genre does not matter. Rap, punk, folk, jazz,or whatever, we invite you to come to Hokkaido to express yourself. Unfortunately, we would have to ask you to fund yourself with your travel expenses and since the nature of the events will be benefit events for the movement, we cannot pay a performance fee, but we can certainly guarantee performing spaces. Please contact the following email address, if you want to join us in the resistance against the G8 through musical/sound performance and self-expression.
For more information, contact the No-G8 Action Japan/Sound Collective at:

The following is translated from the Russian anarchist site Avtonom. As Molly has previously reported on this blog the Russian anarchists are the target of increasing repression on the part of Putin's autocratic state, but they have fought back within Russia, and they have international support. The following is a report of one such solidarity demonstration in Germany.

Action against lawlessness of Russian authorities in Berlin
On April 25 in Berlin ,opposite the Russian embassy (Unter den Linden 63-65), there was an action of solidarity with the victims of police lawlessness in Moscow on 4 April, and with all the victims of state violence in Russia and the world.
The anarchist action was sponsored by Abolishing The Borders From Below and Autonomous Action. For two hours day, activists held banners opposite the Russian Embassy with the slogans "Gegen Staatsterror Welweit" ( "state terror against the world") and "Solidaritat mit den von dem russichen staatsterror opfenden" ( "Solidarity with the victims of state terror in Russia").
There were leaflets, telling passers of the incident in Russia,and chants of ", respect human rights", "No police lawlessness" and other slogans, to the at passersby. A few Russian speaking anarchists and one of the defendants came to support the action.