Monthly Archives: June 2006

Stop the War Coalition to Say Sorry!!

Stop the War Coalition are tonight (Wednesday) holding an Evening of Conscience to apologise for co-opting the largest peace movement in the UK’s history and turning it into an unaccountable, undemocratic, impotent farce. Senior STWC figures including Grimacing George are to be publically flogged, haranguaged and humiliated by a selection of anarchists, geuine activists and in a shock move Quakers who have all taken part in a phone in vote for the chance to wield the whip.

Lord Benn will preside over affairs whilst himself being pilloried for having set us on the road to nuclear power and has agreed to spend a period in the stocks whilst the protaletariat pelts him with radioactive clumps of turf. The event will culminate in the public beheading of Globalise Resistance leader Guy Taylor for treasonous behaviour to the revolution.

In a rare moment of solidarity the met have agreed that this beheading may take place on Parliament Square without prior permission and have even offered to lend a guillotine! A bonfire will be made of all current and back issues of Socialist Worker and specially selected SWP members will be hurled into the flames alongside a spectacular pyrotechnic display (organised by the Iraqi Resistance).

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend.

it seems our sources got this one wrong and the event is a benefit to raise money for Malcolm Kendall-Smith, currently banged up for refusing to serve in Iraq. One for rich trots only it will set you back fifteen nicker for the chance to hear hasbeens like Vivienne Westwood and Lindsey German spouting angst ridden diatribes. http://www.stopwar.org.uk/

.. sorry, link here

Critical Mass – 1 Met Police – a big fat zero

Legal! … so leave it

Critical Mass had a legal challenge upheld in the High Court yesterday brought against the Metropolitan Police’s decision to attempt to declare the monthly bike ride somehow illegal.

Cyclist Des Kay and Friends of the Earth (about time they did something useful) brought the challenge after a leaflet was handed out by Superintendent Gomm(less) of the Metropolitan Police at the Critical Mass ride last September. The leaflet stated that “These cycle protests are not lawful because no organiser has provided
police with the necessary notification. Your participation in this event
could render you liable to prosecution.”

To which a High Court Judge responded “bollocks, fuck da police” (or words to that effect, full judgement here)

Walmarts … the resistance begins

Corporate megalith Walmart is set to face it’s first test in control of Asda when GMB workers begin a five day strike on June 30th. Union members voted by an impressive 75% to strike.

GMB members employed in the depots want an agreement, via the new national negotiating structures, that Asda Wal-Mart pay the unpaid 2005 bonus of £300 per worker, the two sides also disagree about profit-related bonus pay and new technology being introduced which leads to work rates which are unacceptable and a risk to the health and safety of workers. more

GMB General Secretary, Paul Kenny in response to the ballot result said, “GMB members in the 20 Asda Wal-Mart distribution depots have spoken. They have voted by three to one to take strike action despite all of the company’s attempts to dissuade or intimidate them to vote no. GMB members have been subjected to unprecedented interference and propaganda by Asda Wal-Mart. This ballot result shows that it is time for Asda Wal-Mart to wake up and smell the coffee.”

Walmart, whose strike breaking and anti-union activities are well documented in the states have already been accused of dirty tricks. A row has broken out in Sunderland after workers were photographed entering work by a man in white van with GMB placards on top of it. Asda have accused the GMB of ‘electronic bullying’ whilst Union spokesperson Julie Elliott said “The GMB was not photographing Asda staff, I want people to be quite clear about that.”

The GMB are accusing Asda of photographing their own workforce, the void reckons that if it was the GMB in the van then this is down to the threat of Walmart employing ‘scab’ labour to break the strike, a tactic long employed by the parasites in the US.

The GMB said it could take legal action against any employment agency which supplies scabs to Asda during the strike.

Meanwhile over in the East End the Friend’s of Queen’s Road Makrket have been celebrating after the propsed Asda development, which would have seen the end of the market, was scrapped last week.

Asda did not give a reason for pulling out, merely claiming they had decided the site to be unsuitable, however the strong local campaign against the redevelopment which was recently featured in the film Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, directed by Robert Waldman seems likely to have been one of the main reasons.

Showing how little they respect the views of locals, Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales, said “We are not prepared to compromise on our aspirations for the market and we will find a deal that adds value and builds on the strengths of what we have already.”

So it seems that Walmart are already getting a taste of resistance in the UK, we say support the strikers by boycotting Asda from 30th June – July 4th.

http://walmartwatch.com/

New Tory Shadow Cabinet Ministers Revealed!!!

the void can exclusively reveal two new front benchers set to take the tory party by storm. International marketing stars Pee & Poo have been persuaded to join the tory leadership after an undisclosed sum secured the services of the two popular children’s characters.

Critics immediately attacked the tories, claiming they are exploiting the young and vulnerable in a cynical marketing campaign however our top source at tory HQ revealed “not at all, of course we like to reach young people but really this is more about transparancy. People accuse the tories of being nothing more than piss and shit, well we thought the time had come to have the honesty to reflect that.”

Poo, speaking from his exclusive West London address said “Well people might call David Cameron full of shit, well I am shit! .. beat that!”, rumours that Mark Oaten has already filled in membership forms to the tory party in a bid for the ultimate brown/yellow pact have so far remained unconfirmed

It is believed tory chiefs came to this decision after an internet poll claimed that 94% of people said they would rather vote for ‘any old crap’ rather than neo-labour.

By the way, the void will never apologise for lack of posts, it’s not really our style. However, things were always likely to get a bit flaky in the Summer months, so bear with us, and remember whilst you’re hard at work, we’re probably on the piss in a park somewhere.

Notes from the Borderland Issue 7 out now

Occasional and top notch journal of parapolitics Notes from the Borderland issue 7 has just been published. Launched on the well chosen date of June 18th it can be found at http://www.borderland.co.uk/

Letter to the Press From Campsfield Hungerstrikers

Dear Producers and Editors

I would firstly like to thank all the people who have shown concern for the way that Campsfield House and other detention camps are being run in the United Kingdom.

As a detainee in Campsfield I would like to confirm that all that has been said in the media was absolutely true and it would be greatly appreciated by all detainees if you could publish this letter.

I would like to bring to the attention of the government and other parties that this strike has nothing to do with the change of management at Campsfield. We are trying to deliver a message to the government. Please see below some of the main points which have led to the hunger strike:

Detainees are in a worse position than prisoners. This is because a prisoner
knows the length of time of their sentence whilst detainees are innocent people who are kept in these detention centres indefinitely. Some people have been in detention for a few months but others have been confined for more than 2 years with no knowledge of when they will be released.

Most of the people in detention are genuine Asylum Seekers who have fled their country of origin because they have been persecuted, tortured, or face death. The government knows this but they pretend that they don’t understand.

These Asylum Seekers need protection but instead of listening to them, the government wants to make them scapegoats for the illegal immigrants in this country. The government appears to like people who come to the country, commit crimes and tell their lies, but if you tell the government the truth they say that you are fabricating things in order to remain in the country.

The government knows that some countries are not safe, yet they are forcibly deporting genuine Asylum Seekers back to them to face death. At the same time, non-genuine asylum seekers, who are willing to be returned to their countries, and even offer to purchase their own tickets in some cases, are being detained in these centres, or even released back into society. Where is the logic and fairness in this?

I would like to ask Tony Blair and his government how they can keep responsible people in detention for more than 3 months without a just reason? Their policies are destroying us psychologically and killing us slowly. I personally feel that I am unable to stand it much longer and so this government should not be surprised if something happens to me soon.

Some of the officers are lovely, caring people, but we want to highlight the approach of other officers who talk to us as though we are the scum of society and racially abuse us. One officer has had many complaints made against him but he remains in his job, free to abuse his trapped victims, knowing that he is safe. Even, maybe unsurprisingly, one of the Immigration Representatives is a racist, but detainees’ complaints fall on deaf ears.

We are treated as slaves. The government’s own laws state that failed Asylum Seekers must not do either paid or unpaid work yet they have us working in their detention centres, painting, gardening, clearing tables and mopping floors in return for £3 or £5 vouchers redeemable only in the detention shop. No minimum wage in detention. What is this new civilised slavery? This is government hypocrisy that allows for the exploitation of the people they round up and force into these centres.

Campsfield staff even tried to give vouchers to detainees if they agreed to end their hunger strike. They also used vouchers to try to bribe detainees to disclose the names of the people who organised the strike. One of the hunger strikers who has been given paracetamol, instead of treatment, for the last two weeks for severe tooth ache, has been refused pain killers since he started the strike.

The medical facilities in detention are bizarre. Sleeping tablets are given to people who have rashes. One detainee who has a bullet lodged in his knee has been refused an operation to remove it. The letter refusing his treatment was written on 27 April, yet he was only given it last week. Detainees who complain of serious illnesses are given paracetamol.

The food served up is the same every day. Sometimes the previous day’s food is reheated the following day. You have a choice – chicken and rice, or chips with curry or gravy.

The man who climbed onto Campsfield’s roof on Monday 12 June 2006 was a Somalian man who had been living in this country for more than 10 years. He was an Asylum Seeker who had been given British citizenship and was living in Milton Keynes. He was arrested at a tube station as a suspected terrorist and put in prison for a year. After finishing his sentence he was kept in prison for a further 4 months. When he asked why he was being kept in prison he was transferred to Campsfield Immigration Removal Centre on 9 June 2006. He climbed onto the roof with a rope and plastic bag. He wanted the government and public to know that he had British citizenship and he was going to hang himself if he wasn’t released. Campsfield management called the police and ambulance services and a compromise was reached before he came down from the roof. None of us know what became of this man or where he was taken to by the police.

Campsfield’s refusal to allow journalists into the centre is an admission to the public that the detainees confined behind the barbed wire are not being treated humanely. The British government talks about human rights and the way that other countries should treat their citizens but where are Britain’s human rights?

We want the government to stop its hypocrisy and release the innocent people they herd into their detention centres.

Yours sincerely Campsfield Detainees

Resistin’ the evictin’

A statement has been released the the residents of The Square, the occupied social centre based in Russell Square

“We have decided to resist the eviction of THE SQUARE scheduled for Friday June 23rd 2006. We are preparing a political statement and call for solidarity to the social centres around the UK, autonomous collectives and radicals to converge on the weekend of the 23rd-24th-25th June in Russell Square. We plan a social resistance to any attempts to evict us composed of all the elements which constitute THE SQUARE – including students, teachers & migrants which have utilised and contributed to this radical public space.”

Meanwhile tonight The Square plays host to a benefit for the 34 Broadway Market campaign.

and that’s not all, tomorrow (Saturday) sees an all day event celebrating 10 years of Peace News, the long running anti-war paper. For details and more on The Square go to http://www.londonsocialcentre.org.uk

Ketamine Kate Gets Off!

the void likes Kate Moss and for more than just the obvious reasons. She’s a working class girl who knows how to handle herself in a police station and we’ve heard she’s a caner that can give her bloke Pete a run for his money.

So we’re racking up the the lines in celebration at the news that Ian Blair’s decision to spend a cool quarter mil’ trying to prosecute her for taking what could have been anything has failed miserably. Keystone cop Blair, who can’t seem to get it wrong enough is sure to come under further pressure to resign, and like his namesake will no doubt keep stumbling blindly on until he’s pushed.

Chief witch Ann Widdecombe has branded the decision not to prosecute as “ridiculous”.

adding “This is pathetic. It is a question of the police and prosecutors not wanting to charge her.

“The message this sends out is horrendous.”

before exploding and covering assembled hacks in a shower of blood and Marks & Spencers ready meals. Meanwhile former deputy drugs tsar Mike Trace sensibly said “These resources would be better used to target problematic drug use or on education and treatment.”

the void knew this would happen as long as Kate kept her mouth shut and we wish her well (neatly sidestepping the fact that she’s a bourgeois parasite).

Apparantly when Kate was asked by the Mirror if she’d ever taken cocaine Kate just snorted. Let’s hope that this has taught her a thing or two and that boyfriend Doherty is able to keep her in lines.

State Murder in Mexico

“Reports are just coming in of a police and military attack on peaceful protestors in Oaxaca early Wednesday morning.

Up to 3000 police and military raided the main square in Oaxaca in Southern Mexico. The protestors, mostly teachers and locals, have been holding a permanent demonstration there since 22 May.

At 4.30am, 11am GMT, the police and military units entered the square and attacked the demonstrators while they were sleeping, using tear gas, pepper spray and beat people.

Then machine guns were used, firing on unarmed people. Three people were reported killed. The numbers of injured are unknown.

Following the attack police with no licence plates arrived to take many of the demonstrators away. It is currently unknown where the detainees have gone or how many have been taken.

A demonstration has been called at the Mexican Embassy at 16 St George Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 1LX on Saturday 17 June, 1.30pm.”

from indymedia

more on Mexico later

Greens Turn Left

“A new initiative was launched on the 4th June by members of the Green Party, when 36 members including Green Party of England and Wales Executive members and councilors came together to agree the launch statement of Green Left, a socialist current within the Green Party.”

http://www.greenleft.org.uk/

Several senior members of the Green Party including four members of the national executive have signed up to be part of a new movement which they are calling Green Left.

Laudably this statement acknowledges that the neo-liberal system in incompatible with environmentalism and this could be a radical step forward for the Greens.

the void’s real concern, is that whilst some party members claim to be standing in the tradition of the libertarian left, and to some degree the statement above reflects that, the Greens traditionally seem hellbent on bureaucracy and larger, stronger government.

Whilst a move towards anarcho-syndicalist principles would be controversial within the Green Party itself and the wider public, it could also be a radical step forward and give the Greens the teeth they need to mount a successful challenge.

It may even move some way towards dispelling the myth of the baby-eating anarchist by rebranding the movement in the minds of the many Green little-englanders who could be tricked into following a libertarian socialist path without even realising it.

But that’s just optimism talking, a more worrying scenario is the eco-fascism of the Greens could merge with the authoritarianism of the hard left creating a truly worrying paper tiger that could tear the Greens apart and cause a lot of damage to those caught up in the process

But then that’s just pessimism, something badly needs to change in the Green Party so we’re happy to tentatively call it a step in the right (left) direction, whilst keeping a keen eye on how things turn out.

What’s wrong with the Green Party?

sorry to get all serious, but the Sun’s disappeared and we can’t find much to laugh about here today.