“They’re laughing at you.”   

            I was at the mass “demonstration and rally” against the cuts, held in Edinburgh on Saturday 23rd. The figure was put at about 20,000, it was very colourful with lots of banners fluttering in the stiff breeze. As we marched down Princes Street it seemed to be a very sombre, quiet and sedate affair, we could have been following a funeral. At this point a comrade turned to me and in a cynical manner stated, “This will have them shaking in their shoes.”  When was the last time a government in this country changed its policies because of mass demonstrations and rallies? It certainly wasn’t the Iraq war, it went ahead in spite of the largest demonstrations seen in Britain and across the world for many a year. It wasn’t the poll tax, the poll tax disappeared because of civil disobedience, non-payment and grass roots organisation and the marches and rallies turned to riots. Around 11am. on Thursday 21st. 11 people occupied a large bank in Glasgow city centre and closed the bank for a couple of hours. They left before there were any arrests. Those 11 probably had a greater impact than the 20,000, though the 20,000 gave a lot of police officers some easy overtime payment.

       If you want a government to move in a particular direction then you have to have strategies other than marching from A to B waving your banners and shouting at the selective deaf. Selective targets, boycotts, work to rule, occupying and selective picketing have to be among your weapons, Surprise and unpredictability are the hallmarks of good planning, mass rallies may politicise more people and can be a gauge of the support for a particular idea but are hopeless weapons by themselves if you are trying to implement change.

           If everybody at that demonstration and rally went back to their community and workplace and organised to fight at that level, in federation with other communities and workplaces, it would have a far greater effect than organising another and bigger demonstration and rally in a few months time. The struggle for change has to be every day and everywhere.

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      Almost a week of sparkling, entertaining, informative, stimulating, provocative, thought provoking, events. A chance to meet up with old associates and meet new friends, create new networks, meet like minded people, or just enjoy yourself. Come along, you’ll never know what you’ve missed if you don’t.

Document 8 :

 *International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival *

26th to 31st October 2010     CCA, Glasgow,   Full Programme:

Associated events, include:

Radical Independent Bookfair (RiB) @ Doc8  Full Programme:     

City Strolls @ RiB
Hang out and chat about what is going on in the city, or what else could
be going on.

Doc8 : a night of agit pop

Thur 28 Oct 2010 : 9pm onwards : CCA Terrace Bar
a frivolously refreshing night of ‘political’ pop

Michael Albert @ RiB

“Participatory Economics” (Parecon)
Friday 29th October, 1pm Details:

Doc8,  The Immediate Broth Presents…

Three films interrogating the juncture between the subject,
and an urban environment ever more subordinate to the marketplace.
Neil Gray / Sacha Kahir / Nick e Melville
Saturday 30th October, 1.15pm

PEN Showcase @ Doc8

Readings from Document 8 PEN writing workshops
Allison Miller, Tom Leonard
Sunday 31 October, 8pm

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Roma in Europe

  Roma family in Italy.


Read Amnesty International’s  page on the plight of the Roma in Europe and help to see that they are given, at least, the same human rights as the rest of us.   

    The Roma are one of Europe’s oldest and largest ethnic minorities, with an estimated 10 to 12 million Romani people living within the countries of the Council of Europe.

Existing predominantly on the margins of society, Roma are among the most deprived communities in Europe. They suffer massive discrimination and are denied their rights to housing, employment, health care and education. Roma communities are often subject to forced evictions, racist attacks and police ill-treatment.

Amnesty’s work on the rights of Roma forms part of our global Demand Dignity campaign, focussing on the human rights abuses that are a cause and a consequence of poverty.

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        Most people agree with aid to poorer countries, They hold the belief that their tax money is going to help poor people in those poorer countries. However in most cases this is not the case, invariably the aid comes with strings attached. There are usually conditions that a large proportion of the aid is spent on buying goods and/or services from the donor country. In other words your tax money goes through a loop and into the pockets of the corporate world. One example is the “aid” package recently sign by Obama which gives Israel $3 billion in “aid” this year 2010, and a further $30 billion over the next ten years. That’s a lot of tax payers money, perhaps the Israeli government will spend it improving the lot of the poorer Arab Israelis or perhaps trying to improve relations with the Palestinian people. There are of course a few strings attached, the “aid” package is conditional on them spending 75% of the amount on military hardware from the United States. Then again there is America’s strategic protection of Saudi Arabia, that is linked to recent $60 billion sale of aircraft, benefiting, not the people of Saudi Arabia, but USA defence manufacturers in some 44 states with approximately 77,000 jobs involved.

         Hence Hilary Clinton’s anxiety about the UK defence cuts and especially the replacement of the Trident nuclear “deterrent”, as the warheads would be purchased in American and the servicing would also be done there. So a large slice of the £80 billion of tax payers money that would be required for this project would eventually end up in the coffers of the American arms industry. Now we can’t jeopardise that flow of tax payers money slurping its way into the the rich parasites pockets, can we? We subsidise the corporate world at every turn, we bail out the gambling bank casinos and we give tax payers money to the arms industry, yep, war is big business.

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       On 20th October millionaire Osborne, one of the millionaire cabal at the Westminster House of Hypocrisy and Corruption, will spell out his hatchet job. We will know then just where and how viciously the chopping will be done. We already have pieces of the slaughter out in the open, social housing budget, hacked by app.80%, family allowance stops at 16, discouraging the poorer section of our society from continuing their education after that date. By some estimates, 500,000 public sector jobs to go and approximately the same from the private sector. Housing benefit cut, forcing some families onto the street, and so it goes on. This an attack on all sections of the working class with the poorest taking the hardest hit.

       All this is supposed to make us fell better in the long run, tell that to those thrown onto the scrap heap of poverty and unemployment. Tell that to the kids of those families as they grow up to find that further education is not for them and a job is a slim possibility. However, the financial sector is happy and the bond markets are happy and of course that’s where our millionaire cabal’s friends hang out ripping off all and sundry as they privatize everything in sight.

          The biggest and most blatant grab for all public assets by the corporate world since the start of the welfare state. These cuts will see the end of councils and government providing services. All will be delivered by the corporate greed machine as it squeezes everything to drain the last drop of profit from everything and anything. You will now find yourself at the mercy of the profit grabbers, if you can’t provide them with profit you will be excluded. In their world money talks and that is the only language they understand, no compassion,  no mutual aid, no seeing to the needy, no co-operation for mutual benefit, no caring society, pay up or get out.

        Welcome to the 21st, century Victorian Britain, if you are in need and don’t have much money, then just hope that there is a charity in your area that handles your sort of problem. Or organise to take control of your communities, take control of your workplaces. Just remember, they need you, you don’t need them.

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    I just love that image, it encapsulates the banking sector perfectly. We have just handed them billions of pounds to save them going bust and now we find they are ripping off the borrowers big time in a downright open fraud. The following article gives you some insight to the fraudulent plunder of the public by the gangsters in suits in the city. Do we need these parasites?

By Zack Carter, Media Consortium blogger

A massive foreclosure fraud scandal is rocking the U.S. mortgage market. Wall Street banks and their lawyers are fabricating documents, forging signatures and lying to judges—all to exploit troubled borrowers with enormous, illegal fees, and in some cases, improperly foreclose on borrowers who haven’t missed any payments.

The fraud is so widespread that it could put some big banks out of business and even spark another financial collapse. Fortunately, things haven’t fallen apart just yet. With strong leadership from President Barack Obama and Congress, the government can help keep troubled borrowers in their homes and prevent another meltdown.

Read the full article HERE.

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Just another wee bit of evidence showing that today’s “austerity cuts” are nothing new. It’s the same old new crap. Again I dive into history via Bread and Roses September 1978.

For more on Glasgow’s working class  history look HERE. 

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I keep repeating my pet little mantra, Workers, know your history or repeat yesterday. No doubt there will be lots of people out there thinking that this cuts thing, is something new, a blip in the wonderful efficient capitalist system. However if you look at history you’ll see that it is the normal partern for this type of society. What gains the workers have won over the years by many and long struggles soaked in blood, sweat and tears have always to be defended as the system attempts to take everything back to feed the parasites at the top of this stinking system. What is happening now, cuts and increasing un-employment is just the system doing its thing, yesterday happening again, simply because we haven’t learnt from the past, we have forgotten our history so we repeat yesterday.

   To make my point I have taken a cartoon from an old newspaper, not any old newspaper, but one worth reading. It is from a 1978 Bread and Roses paper. 

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     Cartoon from Black Flag Vol. VII No.6 1984. 

       Recently an old friend gave me some 1970/80s back numbers of the wonderful magazine Black Flag. What surprised me most was that nothing seems to have changed and what was being said then is still relevant today. There was the struggles against cuts, the miners fight to keep their jobs and their communities. Today its still the cuts and the dole, cuts in all aspects of the social fabric of our society and public service workers, among others, fighting to keep their jobs. The parties come and go, the new leaders come into favour and fall out of favour, the people always have to struggle to try to hold onto what they have. The system never changes, wealth is created and moves up the syphon to the elite pampered parasites who control the levers.

      While our millionaire masters wallow in unearned wealth, they preach to us, the lesser beings, about having to make sacrifices. They can stand in front of a live audience, and with a serious face and not a hint of bushing with shame, can spout such crap as “We are all in this together.” “We have to make difficult choices.” “We all have to make sarifices.” Not one of those with this master plane of cuts and sacrifices will in any way be affected by their legislation. They are the propaganda masters of the corporate world, they weave the illusion of having common ground with the ordinary people. Let’s make it clear, there is no common ground between the pampered parasitical emlpoyers and the struggling ordinary people.  They want you to work as long as possible, as hard as possible for as little as possible and pay them for everything you’ll ever need or want, at a profit to them of course. We want a fair, just and decent society that sees to the needs of all our people based on mutual aid and sustainability. Tell me, where is the common ground? We are diametrically opposed, for our vision of society to become a reality we have to get rid of the opposing view that people are there for exploiting and creating wealth for shareholders. It is their world, or it is our world, it can’t be both. Which do you want?

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        With massive strikes and demonstrations likely to esculate in the coming months perhaps the general public should be looking at what next. What lies beyond this stinking corrupt system of corporate capitalism, what alternatives do we have to the equally corrupt representative “democracy”  How can we change the world forever in our favour?

The following is an extract from Ken Knabb’s ” The Joy of Revolution.”


          “In representative democracy people abdicate their power to elected officials. The candidates’ stated policies are limited to a few vague generalities, and once they are elected there is little control over their actual decisions on hundreds of issues — apart from the feeble threat of changing one’s vote, a few years later, to some equally uncontrollable rival politician. Representatives are dependent on the wealthy for bribes and campaign contributions; they are subordinate to the owners of the mass media, who decide which issues get the publicity; and they are almost as ignorant and powerless as the general public regarding many important matters that are determined by unelected bureaucrats and independent secret agencies. Overt dictators may sometimes be overthrown, but the real rulers in “democratic” regimes, the tiny minority who own or control virtually everything, are never voted in and never voted out. Most people don’t even know who they are…. “

Read the full article here;

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