The Edinburgh June 5 demo against the Israeli massacre had a remarkable turnout. It was good to see such a large crowd at such short notice. There were groups from all parts of Scotland proudly displaying their banners. Despite the problems that the ordinary people of this country face because of the governments economic policies, it is obvious that the people of Scotland have not lost their compassion when others are in need.  

   This brutal Israeli state activity even brought out the local canine activists who marched with the other protesters in solidarity with the people of Palestine.

    It is obvious that the pressure must be kept up to bring the Israeli zionist policies to a halt. Of course that is only one step in the right direction, we must struggle to end the state system. This brutal massacre is only one display of state savagery, we could fill  a library with the list of brutal events visited on the ordinary people of this world by state oppression. By far the greatest killers in this world are states, their brutality outstrips any other organisation. In our focus on this massacre let’s not forget it is the state system that is at the root of this violence.

ann arky’s home.




          Already Israel is pumping out the propaganda about the violence of those on board the aid convoy. How they attacked with iron bars and other implements those poor commandos who come under the cover of darkness to take control of the ship. This in the eyes of the Israeli state is provocation and needed to be put down with automatic machine guns and other peaceful implements. What would any civilian ship do when boarded by armed invaders on international waters, Does Somalia spring to mind? Of course the Israeli state conveniently forgets the case of the Exodus, a ship carrying Jewish refugees that was commandeer by the British in 1947. Here is a short extract from The Times of he event;

       “— Several hours of fighting followed, with the ship’s passengers spraying fuel oil and throwing smoke bombs, life rafts and whatever else came to hand, down on the British sailors trying to board, soon the British opened fire. Two immigrants and a crewman on the Exodus were killed; scores more were wounded, many seriously.—-.”

         It seems very natural to defend yourself against armed invaders on the open sea, those on board had every right to defend themselves, the Israeli state had no right what so ever to board a civilian ship on the open seas without the permission of the captain.

          However we all know that states make up the rules as they go along, the more powerful the state, more it changes any rules to suit its own purpose, and to hell with the consequences on civilians. The state system is at the root of most of the problems on this planet today. We could of course add religion and corporate capitalism.

ann arky’s home.





       In Britain today we are a nation of the observed, there is one cctv camera for every 14 people, making a total of 4.2 million cameras watching you go about your business, more than any other country in the world. It is not unusual for an individual to be captured on more than 300 cameras on one day. There are now plans to to expand the capacity to read vehicle number plates from an amazing 35 million per day to 50 million by 2008.

         You are also being recorded in other forms, the national database holds more than 3.5 million profiles of individuals. Since 2002 there have been more than 8 million criminal records checks on those applying for jobs. By the end of 2002 law enforcement bodies had made more than 400,000 requests for data from mobile network operators. Last year to April, 631 adults and 5,751 juveniles had been electronically tagged.

         We have kids being fingerprinted at school on the pretext that it makes it easier for them to use the library, (how did you use the libraries in the past?) and some schools using palm prints for ID.

           Is your personal data safe, the simple answer is NO. As more and more private companies enter the security field the sharing of data becomes more widespread, the more it is shared the more it leaks into other hands, plus data is valuable on a commercial basis and companies will pay good money for information about you and what you get up to.

           At present there are 216 catalogue companies in the UK that are part of the Abacus data-sharing consortium with information on more than 26 million people. All this available to those how have the money to pay. You can also rest assured that there are lots of other organisations collecting your details to sell to the big companies, if there’s a profit in it, somebody will do it. .

          It is all about control, control of you and me, that’s why the state backs every one of these activities. To know where you are, should you be there, have you permission to move to another point, are you doing what you should be doing at that given time, and all verifiable and therefore can be enforced. Such activity is repugnant to any society that professes to be free, this society is obviously not free. Until we dismantle the state and all its attendant apparatus and replace it with a system of free association, voluntary co-operation and mutual aid, the growth of this type of activity is inevitable. Use your imagination, think where can it further expand to in you personal life, perhaps your living room? Big brother would like that!!

ann arky’s home.



          We should always know our history, it gives us a more accurate picture of the world we live in and the injustices perpetrated in the name of power. The imperialist power struggle goes on with the corporate world leading the charge backed up by its minder the state apparatus. Today the battle for the ordinary people is still the state and its bed partner the corporate world.

         Britain’s Imperial history is always portrayed as a force for good, a paternal approach. Taking care of the colonies for their own good, a civilising process until they were able to look after themselves. Of course those who know their history are fully aware that the reality is a far different scenario.

      Mike Davis’s book, Late Victorian Holocausts, published in 2001, details famines that killed between 12 million and 29 million inhabitants of the Indian continent. He clearly shows that these people were murdered by the British state. When the drought of 1876 impoverished the farmers of the Deccan plateau India had a net surplus of rice and wheat. The then viceroy, Lord Lytton, insisted that nothing should stand in its way as it was exported to England. In 1877 and 1878, at the height of the famine, grain merchants exported a record 6.4m hundredweight of wheat. As the peasants began to starve, officials were ordered “to discourage relief works in every possible way”. The Anti-Charitable Contributions Act of 1877 prohibited “at the pain of imprisonment private relief donations that potentially interfered with the market fixing of grain prices”. The only relief permitted in most districts was hard labour, from which anyone in an advanced state of starvation was turned away. In the labour camps, the workers were given less food than inmates of the Nazi concentration camps. In 1877, monthly mortality in the camps equated to an annual death rate of 94%.

         As millions died, the imperial government launched “a militarised campaign to collect the tax arrears accumulated during the drought”. This collected tax, which ruined those who might otherwise have survived the famine, was used by Lytton to fund his war in Afghanistan. Even in places that had produced a crop surplus, the government’s export policies manufactured hunger. In the north-western provinces, Oud and the Punjab, in spite of the fact that they had brought in record harvests in the preceding three years, at least 1.25m people died.

         The same type of imperialist policies are still employed today by the western corporate world. The continents of Africa and South America can bear witness to the poverty inflicted on millions of people to feed the corporate greed machine. Only when we as ordinary people come together and organise at community level and co-operate with each other on a global scale creating societies based on mutual aid and sustainability, undermining the festering marriage of state and corporate greed and so consigning it and its wars, exploitation and greed, that is part and parcel of that system, to the dust bin of history and perhaps remembering it as man’s darkest hour will we see a world fit for all our children and grandchildren.

ann arky’s home.

Justice for Aafia Siddiqui


Public meeting,

6:30pm, Saturday 22nd May, Augustine Church,

41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EL

Speakers:  Aamer Anwar, Mujahid Islam 

Organised by SACC and the Muslim Women’s Association of Edinburgh

       Dr Aafia Siddiqui is a Pakistani woman who has lived and studied in America. She  is currently Prisoner Number 90279-054 in New York’s Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Centre.

        In 2003  Aafia “disappeared” along with her three children while visiting her mother in Pakistan. Evidence now shows that she was “Prisoner 650” in the notorious Bagram. As a US Detainee she was given no rights to question her treatment and has suffered physical and mental torture.

       In 2008  she was taken to the US to stand trial. After all the investigations done on her, the only thing they charged her with was “assaulting and attempted murder of US personnel in Afghanistan” while she was in prison. She was convicted in March 2010 on flimsy evidence. 

In the Brooklyn Detention Centre she is being denied phone calls and letters while she awaits sentencing (scheduled for 16 August). This is inhuman and she is becoming very ill.  

       SACC is a member of the Justice for Aafia Coalition, an umbrella body of organisations campaigning for the release and return to Pakistan of Aafia Siddiqui and for the opening of a full investigation into the circumstances of her detention and the fate of her children. We are also demanding that while Aafia Siddiqui remains in US custody she must be treated humanely. The humiliating and degrading strip and cavity searches must stop. She must be allowed contact with her family. She must be allowed letters, phone calls, visits and reading material. 

ann arky’s home.


         This is an old post of mine but I think it is always a good idea to remind ourselves of our imperial masters’ history and to remind ourselves that it is still going on in the usual brutal fashion but with more powerful weapons and greater resources. 

         Three recent books – Britain’s Gulag by Caroline Elkins, Histories of the Hanged by David Anderson, and Web of Deceit by Mark Curtis – show how white settlers and British troops suppressed the Mau Mau revolt in Kenya in the 1950s. Thrown off their best land and deprived of political rights, the Kikuyu started to organise – some of them violently – against colonial rule. The British responded by driving up to 320,000 of them into concentration camps. Most of the remainder – more than a million -were held in “enclosed villages”. Prisoners were questioned with the help of “slicing off ears, boring holes in eardrums, flogging until death, pouring paraffin over suspects who were then set alight, and burning eardrums with lit cigarettes”. British soldiers used a “metal castrating instrument” to cut off testicles and fingers. “By the time I cut his balls off,” one settler boasted, “he had no ears, and his eyeball, the right one, I think, was hanging out of its socket.” The soldiers were told they could shoot anyone they liked “provided they were black”. Elkins’s evidence suggests that more than 100,000 Kikuyu were either killed or died of disease and starvation in the camps. David Anderson documents the hanging of 1,090 suspected rebels: far more than the French executed in Algeria. Thousands more were summarily executed by soldiers, who claimed they had “failed to halt” when challenged.

           Extract from The Guardian, Tuesday December 27 2005.

         The history of British Imperialism is littered with such horrors, as is all the empires of the past. Today we have the new imperialism, American Imperialism and its more recent history in South America, Afghanistan and the Middle East show that it is following in true brutal and ruthless imperialist fashion.

ann arky’s home.



       Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JfJP) have organised a short UK tour by one of the Shministim – Or Ben-David – a 19 year old Jewish Israeli woman who has refused to enter military service and has been imprisoned three times as a result. The Shministim – all 12th grade high school graduates – in the tradition of conscientious objectors worldwide, have taken an incredibly brave and inspirational stand in refusing to serve in the IDF in opposition to Israeli policies of occupation and oppression of Palestinians.

     Or will be spending a couple of nights in Scotland – a great opportunity to meet Or and hear first hand about the Shministim campaign. More on the Shministim here


      On Wednesday 12th May, 5.30 pm, Or will be speaking at the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Palestine in Edinburgh.

    On Thursday 13th May – 7.30 pm – Public Meeting at STUC, 333 Woodlands Road, Glasgow G3 6NG.

     The meeting is being jointly sponsored by Scottish Jews for a Just Peace and Scottish Friends of Palestine –

All Welcome.

ann arky’s home.



           Today we are seeing a growing trend towards the “privatisation of war, repression and security”. Iraq and Afghanistan are the crowning glories of this free market trend, the armies of occupation are greatly supplemented by a shadowy network of private security firms who carry out many duties that, in previous times and other places, would be done by regular soldiers. The cost to the taxpayer for these mercenaries is usually hidden, and in most cases enormous.

           In the free market capitalist world this sort of contracting out of security has extended to other fields besides military operations. For various reasons most governments favour these “quangsas” (quasi non-governmental spy agencies), one is their fundamentalist faith in the “free market” and the belief in the illusion that all things will be more efficient and cheaper if provided by private contractors. Of course another reason being that most politicians have friends in the private sector and it is a case of you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. There is also the fact “competing” for such government contracts takes place in a political atmosphere that could only be described at best, as dodgy. As we all know, the sort of atmosphere surrounding government contracts is inevitably and massively corrupt. Ex-politicians and, in this case ex-soldiers and policemen nod and wink their way through their old friendships and connections to land the big fish of free government money, “free market competition” my arse. The pig trough extends its funnels like an octopus..

            There is also the fact that these type of private contracts are far less open to public scrutiny and control. Hence the reason that these private security firms that are mushrooming, the new economic bubble in a corporate capitalist recession. The involvement of private security firms in public events has other implications besides just corruptly siphoning off tax payers money, least being accountability.

             The fact that education and health are being privatised points to a future with a private police force and private prisons whose main concerns are the profits to its shareholders. We already have the private prisons, a private police force would just complete the monopoly and crime and incarceration becomes a big money spinner for the corporate world. Of course we do have an alternative, we can organise to take control our communities and build a society based on mutual aid and sustainability and destroy the Orwellian future that the corporate world has in mind for us.

ann arky’s home.



         There never has been a more critical time in humanity’s history, we are at the point of no return, if it is not already too late. We the ordinary people must create the next revolution which must be a revolution of consciousness. We have to break the mind set moulded by state power and corporate greed. A mind set that sees war as a means of progress, war as a means of sorting out international problems. War has never been to the advantage of the mass of ordinary people who are called upon to sacrifice their lives. The plunder always goes to those who advocated war but never see the front line at the time of conflict. They call on the people to make the sacrifice while they themselves walk the corrupt corridors of power, safe while they wait for the glory and the gold. It is time to see state organised violence at the behest of corporate greed abandoned as the last vestiges of our darkest hour, an era when we lost our humanity and allowed acquisitiveness to run rampant across the world.

             We have to realise that to allow the festering marriage of state power and corporate greed to exist is to continue the rape of the planet, the exploitation of its people and the spiral of violence and corruption. We have to come together to undermine the state and all it stands for, remove its strangle hold over our lives and take control of our own lives and the environment. The corporate world must be transformed by the workers into organisations controlled by those who work in them and for the benefit of all the community. We don’t need kings, presidents, prime ministers or boards of directors and their sweaty palmed shareholders to tell us how to live our lives. Their records can’t stand scrutiny, it’s a catalogue of arrogant cronyism, corruption, self centred greed, exploitation and violence.

            There is an alternative in spite of the established pack of rapscallions trying to preach “free market capitalism” as the only way. Control and decisions must come from the bottom up, we must take control of our communities and work in confederation with other communities to create a society based on free association, voluntary co-operation and mutual aid. Anarchism points the way, its the tool to create that better world of peace and justice for all. Only we, the ordinary people, can create a diverse and colourful world free for all our diverse and colourful human family to enjoy. We have to wake up to the fact that it is their world or it is our world, there can be no compromise, no half measure, tomorrow is ours or there is no tomorrow, and time is running out.

ann arky’s home.



         As the hatchet is taken to the living conditions of the Greek people the rest of the European working class can either look on as bystanders living the illusion that it wont happen to them, or they can be realists and join in solidarity with the Greek working class in the knowledge that they are next in line. It is much better to pre-empt the onslaught on your living conditions rather than trying to win back what has been slashed from you.

          We should have no illusions, we in Britain are heading back to the Victorian era of working class poverty once the elections are out of the way. Once the new millionaires are in the seats of power the real carnage will begin. There will be massive cuts to all social services, raging unemployment, wage cuts and wage freezes, higher taxes, lower pensions and working longer to get that meagre pension. There will be no care home places for the elderly and infirm, no nursery places unless you are prepared to pay through the nose. There has been estimates of council budgets being cut from 20% to 25%. So if you think the council isn’t doing enough at the moment, well imagine what they will be able to do with a quarter less money in their  purse.

          It is only common sense to fight back in self defence, we can’t just sit back and let the financial pundits grab billions of taxpayers money while we bleed and crawl. Our very generous government handed the financial world billions of our tax payers money, which was gleefully accepted and in return the same financial world now tells us our debt is too high and the working class will have to pay to reduce this mountain of debt. Does that sound like your government is taking care of you??

          We don’t owe anybody anything, we the working class make everything in this world, we grow all the food, we transport and distribute everything in this world. At no time has the working class of the world been living beyond its means. However the parasites of the political and financial class have been since the birth of capitalism.

          The capitalist system has lurched from one crisis to another and it is always the poor, the working class, that have to take the pain, yet they are never the ones that have gained the most. This “crisis” could be the greatest opportunity the world’s working class has ever had. A chance to change the system once and for all to a system of justice. A system based on mutual aid that sees to the needs of all our people, a system freed from the grip of the parasites and their insatiable desire for ever increasing profits. A system of free association, voluntary co-operation and sustainability.

            We have the opportunity to realise the people’s dream, we could be nurturing a new spring, ushering in a summer of justice, equality and a society free from the fear of deprivation.

ann arky’s home. 



This article by the late George Woodcock first appeared in War Commentary – for Anarchism, March 1944.

         ” The clock, as Lewis Mumford has pointed out, represents the key machine of the machine age, both for its influence on technology and its influence on the habits of men. Technically, the clock was the first really automatic machine that attained any importance in the life of men. Previous to its invention, the common machines were of such a nature that their operation depended on some external and unreliable force, such as human or animal muscles, water or wind. It is true that the Greeks had invented a number of primitive automatic machines, but these where used, like Hero’s steam engine, for obtaining ‘supernatural’ effects in the temples or for amusing the tyrants of Levantine cities. But the clock was the first automatic machine that attained a public importance and a social function. Clock-making became the industry from which men learnt the elements of machine making and gained the technical skill that was to produce the complicated machinery of the industrial revolution. 

          Socially the clock had a more radical influence than any other machine, in that it was the means by which the regularisation and regimentation of life necessary for an exploiting system of industry could best be attained. The clock provided the means by which time – a category so elusive that no philosophy has yet determined its nature – could be measured concretely in more tangible forms of space provided by the circumference of a clock dial. Time as duration became disregarded, and men began to talk and think always of ‘lengths’ of time, just as if they were talking of lengths of calico. And time, being now measurable in mathematical symbols, became regarded as a commodity that could be bought and sold in the same way as any other commodity.

           The new capitalists, in particular, became rabidly time-conscious. Time, here symbolising the labour of workers, was regarded by them almost as if it were the chief raw material of industry. ‘Time is money’ became on of the key slogans of capitalist ideology, and the timekeeper was the most significant of the new types of official introduced by the capitalist dispensation.
           Now the movement of the clock sets the tempo men’s lives – they become the servant of the concept of time which they themselves have made, and are held in fear, like Frankenstein by his own monster. In a sane and free society such an arbitrary domination of man’s functions by either clock or machine would obviously be out of the question. The domination of man by the creation of man is even more ridiculous than the domination of man by man. Mechanical time would be relegated to its true function of a means of reference and co-ordination, and men would return again to a balance view of life no longer dominated by the worship of the clock. Complete liberty implies freedom from the tyranny of abstractions as well as from the rule of men.”

ann arky’s home.



         A number of years ago the public in the West were overcome with revulsion when reading Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago. The could not come to terms at the hideous cruelty inflicted on the Soviet state’s prisoners. Deliberate cold blooded cruelty, part of a carefully calculated instrument of state policy. Of course it was all done in the name of national security, a policy that was said to protect the nation against enemies of the state, terrorist, traitors etc.

              Roll the film forward and we have the Western Gulag Archipelago. State policy of extraordinary rendition, torture on somebody else’s soil, Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and our own Belmarsh Prison. The policy and the actions are the same as the Soviet era, cruel vicious degrading treatment all in the name of state security. The problem is not merely the system, Soviet or Western capitalism, though both were/are morally corrupt despotic edifices, there will always be an inherent problem with the state apparatus. The state will always put the liberty and life of the individual at a low priority as it seeks to strengthen and expand its power.

          There was outrage at Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago, where is the outrage at the Western Gulag Archipelago?

          Though it is obvious to any clear thinking compassionate person that capitalism must go, that in its self is not enough, the state apparatus must be dismantled and replaced with a community based system federated to other like communities if we wish to see an end to the Gulag Archipelago and its resultant miseries.

ann arky’s home.



           Ask different people and you’ll get different answers, most will be of a negative nature, a media style stereotype. As far as I’m concerned, one thing anarchism is about is pleasure, about enjoying life, not about suffering. It is about removing suffering where and whenever we can, it is about being your real self and helping others to do likewise.

           So why don’t you have a try? Go out and do something creative, make your own free handout, start painting, write a poem, play an impromptu gig, build an art work in your garden, take the day of work and take the kids to the park. You should be the instigator, the creator, it doesn’t matter what you do, just make sure it is your thing and you do it your own way.

        We all have something to say, and what you have to say is just as important as what anybody else has to say, though the system will tell you different. If you do break out of the conformity straightjacket, you won’t be alone, on the periphery of mainstream culture, away from the empty fashion of everyday life, outside the national galleries, free from the blandness of our modern cities there is an army of people being creative, being themselves, join them.

        You know you have something to say, so get out there and say it in what ever fashion takes your fancy, just be creative, creativity is about expressing yourself, standing up and saying, “This is me.” Thinking for yourself and being your own person, even for a short while, is infectious, so go out and start an epidemic.

         To start to be creative forget all that you have been told and learnt, turn your back on the stifling, shallow life of consumerism. Imagine not how things are but how you want them to be. A new world is possible, but it starts with you, you have to want it enough. Imagine your utopia and start walking towards the vision.

            You could get involved in some of the current protest groups and campaigns in your area, you could start your own, that could be the first step to your new world. Tell ann arky what your idea of anarchism is?? annarky@radicalglasgow.me.uk





  All that matters in this society.

        It is difficult to grasp the state of the world that we have created. A world where there is an abundance of almost everything conceivable and yet to the vast majority of the world’s population it is all out of reach. A world where a small elite live a life of obscene and wasteful wealth while millions die of starvation and millions of children die from the lack of clean drinking water. In this capitalist made world there are small enclaves where the rich, in safety, play games with their expensive toys, private jets, luxury cars, yachts and several holiday homes in “exotic” locations. While just over that financial apartheid wall there is the stench of squalor and death for countless millions living in total deprivation and endless wars,

        In this capitalist created world, 8 million people die every year from poverty, One billion children live in abject poverty, 640 million do not have access to appropriate shelter, 140 million have never attended school, 400 million do not have access to clean uncontaminated water, 500 million do not have basic sanitation, 270 million have no access to health care, and 90 million are severely food deprived. Approximately 12.3 million people worldwide live in conditions of “modern slavery,”while over one billion people live on less than one dollar of income per day and over three billion live on less than two dollars per day. Then there is the strata in between that manage to scrape a reasonable existence that seems to keep them from revolt.

        All this misery in spite of the fact that the world economy actually produces one and a half times the amount of food necessary to provide the entire human population with adequate and nutritious meals. The fact that the capitalist system will not allow this to be shared out to those in need tells us that it is not a natural problem but a political problem. Perhaps the words of Derrick Jensen come close to capturing something of that world.

            “We are members of the most destructive culture ever to exist. Our assault on the natural world, on indigenous and other cultures, on women, on children, on all of us through the possibility of nuclear suicide and other means—all these are unprecedented in their magnitude and ferocity … What this means is that corporations and those who run them cannot stop exploiting resources and amassing wealth until they have…I cannot finish this sentence, because the truth is that they can never stop; like cancer, they can only continue to expand until they kill the host … For us to maintain our way of living, we must tell lies to each other and especially to ourselves. The lies are necessary because, without them, many deplorable acts would become impossibilities.”

ann arky’s home.



           Despite the existence of inexpensive and safe treatment, over one billion people in tropical countries still suffer from disfiguring and debilitating diseases associated with poverty. Diseases such as elephantiasis, yaws and leprosy remain untreated due to the absence of political will and lack of directed resources.

        Jai Narain, South East Asia director of communicable diseases at the World Health Organisation, (WHO) recently stated; “these tropical diseases have been neglected by policy makers, by the research community and also by the international community, — but at the same time these diseases cause considerable amount of suffering, disability, disfigurement and even social economic impact, particularly for populations which are extremely marginalised,” He further stated that, “These diseases are closely related to poverty,–” He also said that Indonesia has cured 370,000 people who suffered from leprosy but new cases keep emerging, especially in the poorer eastern part of the country.

            Once again we see the priorities of the festering marriage between the state and the corporate greed machine. As capitalist globalisation marches forward ever increasing the gap between rich and poor at the same time as increasing the number of people living in poverty and the resultant despair and diseases that are part and parcel of poverty, it becomes obvious that solving these problems is of no real concern. Offering cheap effective cures to sick marginalised people in poverty is not really a profit maker and so will be away down the list of priorities, if on the list at all.

         If we accept a system that will create poverty and disease while siphoning all the wealth up to an over privileged parasitical bunch of shareholders, that makes us complicit in this dreadful crime against the most vulnerable. If we selfishly enjoy some of the fruits of this system and close our eyes to the avoidable suffering of others, we are guilty of perpetuating the corrupt and brutal system.

           We as human beings owe it to those in poverty and all its attendant misery and disease to see an end to this system of winner takes all and to hell with the hindmost. There is an alternative way to structure society free from the greed driven profit motive, it can’t be built on the back of this system of greed and selfishness. This system has to be destroyed and in its place we can create a social structure that sees to the needs of all those involved in that society. A system based on sustainability, and mutual aid, where someone’s poverty is the responsibility of all of us. Where all our children can grow to their full potential free from the fear of deprivation.

ann arky’s home.