International

Review: African Anarchism: History of a Movement

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Few people would associate anarchism with Africa. However, it is certainly beginning to take root in there. This book is written by two members of the Awareness League, a 1000-strong anarcho-syndicalist organisation in Nigeria. Starting with a good introduction to anarchism, the authors outline its relationship with Africa in an attempt to "enrich anarchism and anarchist principles with an African perspective and to carve a place for Africa within the framework of the worldwide anarchist movement".

International News: Workers Solidarity #55 1998

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Australian dockers' strike ends

BOTH THE DOCKERS' trade union and the bosses are claiming victory in the Australian waterfront strike we reported in our last issue. The owners of Patricks, the major dock firm, had sacked all 1,400 employees. Their aim was to smash the Maritime Union of Australia and reduce pay rates. The government backed Patricks to the hilt and Patricks spent $100 million on their union busting operation.

Sick Joke of the Year: Al Gore in Vietnam

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THE CURRENT favourite for the Workers Solidarity 1998 Sick Joke of the Year Award is that infamous newspaper of record, The New York Times - for a profile it ran of US Vice-President Al Gore. It prominently tipped Al Gore to run for US President in 2000. In doing so, the NYT notes that Al Gore has many "qualities" that recommend him for the job, including an avid interest in the environment, going back to when Gore was just a lad. (Ah it's lovely!)

What a wonderful world we live in!

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IF EVER YOU'VE felt doubts about why you are so against the capitalist system, just read the latest United Nations Human Development Report (or at least the media synopsis of it - see Irish Times 9/9/98). You may have known that there is inequality in the world, that the rich always seem to look after themselves and the poor just simply get poorer all the time. But are you aware of just how unequal the distribution of wealth actually is? Even for a battle-hardened campaigner against inequality and injustice like myself, the figures are quite horrifying.

That's Capitalism: Workers Solidarity #55 1998

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A man who saved two co-workers from an explosion and fire in Nike's Garuda factory in Indonesia and who suffered extensive burns in the process was fired for his efforts. Instead of a hero's welcome, Mr. Kusnadi received a reprimand when he returned to the plant after hospitalization. The supervisor told him "it's not our business if you try to help your friends".

From behind bars in Clinton's America

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I've been a prisoner at the Huntsville Texas Walls Unit for nearly ten years and during that period probably close to one hundred men and one woman have been strapped down to the gurney in the death house, and had the life snuffed out of them by lethal injection. Undoubtedly, some of these people were on death row for perpetrating heinous acts and undoubtedly, some totally innocent people have been put to death.

Murdoch Disunited (FU All Forever) FC

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A long time ago Karl Marx wrote that "religion is the opium of the people". Well a few decades after the above line first saw the light of day a group of Mancunian Railway workers set up a football club. That was over a hundred years ago and I would update what old Karl wrote and say that Sport is the new opium of the people.

'Propaganda By Deed'

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In 1871 Parisian workers took control of their city, creating the Paris Commune. It was eventually suppressed, leaving tens of thousands of communards dead. A violent campaign against the left ensued in Europe, driving the anarchists underground. The tactic of 'propaganda By deed' was born out of the frustration felt by revolutionaries because of this.

That's Capitalism: Workers Solidarity #54 1998

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'Social partnership' gets better and better. In 1987 the lowest paid tenth of the workforce paid 3.14% of their earnings in direct taxation. By 1995 this had risen to 11%.1

*****

In Dublin, Mexican ex-president Carlos Salinas was quizzed by French officials over drugs money linked to his brother, but an Irish judge ordered a media blackout on the case - which was obeyed by all the papers.2

*****

International News Shorts

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Irish Mexico Group peace camp attacked in Chiapas

THE MEXICAN state of Chiapas has seen further violence, with large-scale military invasions into indigenous communities who sympathise with the Zapatista rebels. In particular, the army and police have focussed on removing foreign human rights observers from the region. 15 people were deported in April. Three of them were taken from the Irish-run peace camp of Diez de April.

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