Anarchist Newsletter of South-East Wales • Against Power & Profit
Privatisation of Council Housing? No Way!
In a sane, caring society everyone should have a decent home to live in. However, capitalism means housing is a market & the housing market is mean!
Both Torfaen & Newport Councils want to get rid of their housing stock by selling it off to another body either private company or trust - which will mean higher rents & service charges. Both the Councils are telling council tenants that the only way to get their homes repaired & maintained is to transfer them to Housing Associations! So what has happened to all the rent money we have paid over the years? Some of it has been creamed off by central government & some of it has been spent on other areas by local councils - certainly not on repairs!! Now (surprise surprise!) there is a shortfall of millions of pounds!
We, are in favour of stock transfer anarchist style! We suggest both Newport & Torfaen Council transfer the housing stock directly to the tenants. We will then form housing Co-Ops & pay for the upkeep & repairs of our homes from a pooled rent system. But, as this logical & fair solution is not going to happen, given the pro-business nature of both "new" labour controlled councils, we have no option but to join the massive U.K. wide campaign to defend council housing. Check out: www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk
ID cards, they're a good idea aren't they!
They'll stop terrorism, well actually they won't. They didn't stop trains being blown up in Spain, which has ID cards, most people involved in the World Trade Centre attack used their own names & details. But they must be a good idea though, otherwise why would the government spend £5 billion (more likely lots more) of your taxes on them & then make you pay for them again?
It will possibly save a few million on benefit fraud, but does it make sense to spend billions to save a few million?
So what's it all about then? They wouldn't just want a data base with all our personal details on, like a surveillance state would they? Your details would be available across the whole state machine & be offered to private companies sharing data between dozens of insecure databases. Acting in the interests of people, or acting in the interests of big business? We trust our government to look after our interests, don't we?
There are lots of companies who want ID cards & the database. One of these is TraceTag who provide secure holographic materials & have already given a presentation at the Home Office sponsored ID cards conference. If you have any concerns contact them - TraceTag UK, Merton House, Croescadarn House, Pentwyn, Cardiff, CF23 8HF Tel:029 2026 6012 Fax 029 2026 6115.
info: www.defy-id.org.uk www.no2id.net
Launch PAD: Days of Autonomy
The 4 - 6th November saw the launch of a social centre in Cardiff. The PAD (People's Autonomous Destination) was created within Canton Health Centre, (derelict since March 2004). For two weeks the building provided a free space for local groups & individuals to meet, socialise, hold events & plan actions. The PAD collective is an informal group of individuals, many from other groups including Gwent Anarchists, Cardiff Anarchists Network, Cardiff Queer Mutiny & People & Planet.
The aim of the PAD is to create a place that operates outside of the control of capital & the state, where together we can re-build a sense of community & solidarity, which are being increasingly eroded as the market extends evermore into our lives. The opening weekend 'Days of Autonomy' provided an example of anarchy in action - what is possible within a free, independent, non-hierarchical, self organised space. The “now in a minute” vegan café (donations only), radical library, activist info point, healing space, film showings, live music & DJs. Workshops were held on direct action & blockading, consensus decision making, animal rights, transgender & feedback from the recent Peoples Global Action meeting in India. Also local residents came for tea & cake with their new anarchist neighbours.
Unfortunately, the PAD was evicted from Canton Health Centre after two weeks, the Cardiff & Vale NHS Trust acted very quickly to re-gain possession of a building that, they have told us, will remain empty until at least April 2006. If only all of the NHS was so efficient!
In this consumer society, nothing seems right..........
November 26th was BUY NOTHING DAY! Activists in Cardiff, spread the message of shop less & live more in the pre-xmas consumer frenzy. Giving the GAP corporation some special attention.
Crush Christmas Consumer Chaos!
The PAD’s second event took place on the weekend of 10-11 December in Cardiff Quaker Meeting House. Anti-consumerist art was made & displayed, activist films shown, poetry read, vegan food served & workshops on Defy-ID, revolutionary knitting & anti-coke held. The event offered a space to reflect on & resist the rampant consumerism (all the more magnified at this time of year) that is destroying our planet & ruining evermore lives. Millions of people will find themselves deeper in debilitating debt as a result of the consumer frenzy that is Christmas, while corporate fat cats laugh all the way to the Bank.
On Sunday a ‘Food not Bombs’ soup & bread sharing event took place outside the renowned healthy eating establishment Burger King. Ten depressed looking Santa’s silently snaked their way through City centre shops wearing signs such as ‘Buy ‘til you Die’, ‘Stop thinking, Stop questioning, Stop caring, Keep shopping’ & ‘shopping helps third world children find employment’. The day ended with activists joined the rest of the shoppers in bowing down in reverence to the products that we are continuously told we are worth-less without. Security guards were not left out & upon their arrival they were duly praised as the protectors of the products & the shopping centre temples.
Capitalists in Greed
Is there any truth that Newport popsters Goldie Looking Chain sang the following in their performance at the "Children In Need" concert or did we just make it up?
“I lives on a housing estate
I gets poor pay,
The profits I makes for the boss
Only flows one way!
He lives it up
His fathead in the richmans’ trough,
His gut's always bursting
But he never gets enough!
He dodges the taxman with an overseas scam
He's so greedy he's even sold his mam!
Ever wondered why our children are in need?
I puts it down to ruling class greed!
It's a sickening indictment of capitalist society
We have to give yearly for poor ol' Pudsey!”
Why in the 4th richest economy in the world do we have to resort to charity to provide for needy kids?!?
Trust the Police..?
A family from Libya, with two young children, were taken from their home by police on Monday 3rd October. The man was arrested for a 'terrorist related' offense. It is likely he will be deported. The rest of the family are also being held prior to deportation.
On the past record of the British Government 'terrorism', could mean anything from donating boots to Chechnya (the wrong kind of Chechens apparently) or having vague plans on the back of a fag packet for the production of something that might or might not have been ricin (even though they didn't possess any chemicals, equipment, or anything that could have made the production possible).
The man from Cardiff probably won't stand trial. He & his family could be deported, without any evidence, without any proper procedures. And people will say, “there's no smoke without fire is there, he must have been a bomber cos the police said so”.
And we are expected just to trust the police. To trust them not to abuse their power, trust them not to lock people up just because they're muslim. Or have unpopular political beliefs. Or wear hoodies in shopping centres. Because police are nice people who always act honestly & never tell lies or make up charges or shoot innocent people & try to cover up afterwards or anything like that at all.
Christian charity “The Breakout Trust” were so upset by a kid asking why Mary & Joseph named their baby after a swear word they spent £200,000 making a 30 minute animated film called “It’s a boy!” (featuring Cannon & Ball plus music from Cliff Richard!) & sent a copy to every Welsh Primary school.
The indoctrination of children with a story about some mythical savour character is not only misdirected moral guidance it is also completely fictions. Jesus almost certainly never existed as a person. The early founders of christianity were completely unaware of the idea of a human Jesus. The Jesus of the Gospels (the only writings to put him in an historical context) bears a striking resemblance to other ancient heros & figureheads of pagan savour cults.
Christianity borrowed it central myths & ceremonies from ancient religions. The ancient world was rife with tales of virgin births, miracle working, savours, triple headed gods, god’s taking human form, god’s arising from the dead, heaven & hell & days of judgement.
Consider the older religion of Mirthraism. Mithra, savour of the Mithraic religion, a god who took human form, was born of a virgin, belonged to a holy trinity, was the link between heaven & earth & ascended into heaven on his death. His followers believing in heaven & hell looked forward to the day of judgement, referred to Mithra as “the light of the world”. they practiced baptism for purification purposes & ritual cannibalism - the eating of bread & wine to symbolise the consuming of Mithra’s body & blood. His birthday was December 25th an event his followers celebrated at midnight.
Christianity is a relatively new version of the ancient ritual whereby a designated person suffers & dies whilst his followers eat his body & blood symbolically or otherwise.
But there’s nothing wrong with religion is there..? “God told me to invade Iraq” - George W Bush.
The Peoples Autonomous Destination (PAD) are having a new year discussion & planning meeting on Saturday 21 January at Cardiff Quakers Meeting House between 1pm & 6pm. Come along & get involved!
More details : firstname.lastname@example.org www.thepad.org.uk 07910 973 876
Cardiff Anarchist Network & Gwent Anarchists are very similar & adherents of the Hallmarks of People’s Global Action (PGA - www.agp.org). Please get in touch with your local group or if there isn’t one- set one up!
Cardiff Anarchist Network is a collective who pursue political demonstrations through direct action. There is no members or leaders, just like-minded individuals who act as a whole. The present system is crap! If we want a better world we are all responsible. Email: email@example.com Web: riseup.net/cardiffanarchists
Gwent Anarchists are like-minded individuals believing in autonomy, respect & justice; against all forms of exploitation & bigotry. Aiming to increase the knowledge of & create a resistance to governments & big business abusing people & the earth. Post: PO Box 70, Newport NP20 5XX Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
It looks alot prettier as a .pdf - it's got photots too!