Bath Bomb #15 out now

The Bath Bomb
@nti-copyright: copy and distribute!
Issue #15
free/donation
Oct 08

Knowledge is Power, So Arm Yourself

Of late, you'd be mistaken for thinking the end is indeed nigh. With the implosion of large chunks of the global economy, and the fall of banks like Bradford and Bingley and Northern Rock over here, Lehman Brothers, Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac in the States, capitalism's days are looking numbered. Far from being an inevitable and efficient system, it seems like the constant financial fiddling and creative math required to meet targets and provide the illusion of continual growth, are causing a global credit crunch whose sting we're all feeling. But whilst Brown & co donated £25 billion worth of corporate welfare to bail out blundering Northern Rock in one day, money sorely needed for our public services is nowhere to be seen. But are there any other answers? Well, last month saw the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair at St Werburghs Community Centre on Saturday the 13th September pulling in over 400 punters, and on Saturday the 18th of this month will be the Anarchist Bookfair in London. Expect reams of info on socially-just economics, alternative energy and lifestyles, childcare, music, food, talks and workshops, radical theory and lessons learnt from the past. Capitalism has been failing us now for decades with poor health, over-exploitation, over-work, increasing authoritarianism, and a widening poverty gap, and it's high time we tried something new. And if you can't make it to London, we now have a new online radical lending library in Bath - so, if you fancy an interesting read on the really cheap, check out the blog section of http://www.myspace.com/bathactivistnetwork.

http://www.anarchistbookfair.org/
www.bristolanarchistbookfair.org/

Labour of Hate

For the first time in decades, the annual Labour party conference was held outside of Brighton, the politicians instead opting for Manchester. The change in location did not bring a change in attitude though, and the conference saw more of the now familiar cosying up to big business, tired taglines and pro-war, pro-privatisation rhetoric. Outside the conference however, 4,000 citizens gathered to rip the agenda away from Neo-Labour and their corporate buddies and highlight the growing disgust the population feels at the contempt politicians show for the needs and desires of the average person. A large part of the demo consisted of the anarchist 'freedom of movement bloc'.

Made up of up to 500 people, the bloc gathered to demand freedom of movement for migrants and an end to national borders, states and war. Before long, our fluoro-jacketed buddies from the deeply unpopular (and taser-happy) Manchester Metropolitan showed an interest in the bloc, diving in to arrest activists treasonous enough to don Gordon Brown masks. After a short, sharp fight however, the cops were sent packing with no arrests made. From then on, police tried to make frequent incursions into the bloc, all of which were repelled, and the least successful ending with 15 cops getting taken prisoner and cut off from their buddies for a period of 10 minutes! The most noticeable aspect of the demo was the increased size and prominence of anarchist politics on the march, a phenomenon that has been growing in recent years. While the demo was a mostly non confrontational affair, it was successful in reminding Neo-Labour that while they privatise our resources, imprison and torture our asylum seeking brothers and sisters, enclose us with CCTV and kill us with fuel prices - we are still watching, and we will not be silent.

Liberate Your Mind at Bubbling Under

Sunday 28th September saw a return to the monthly radical film showings at the Porter Cellar Bar in Bath. This month, the line up included 'Bombs and Batons', a short film covering Brighton's Carnival Against the Arms Trade on June 4th. The film generally showed police officers looking totally fazed and out of their depth amongst hundreds of demonstrators taking a stand against the lucrative arms trade (see below for more info). The second film, 'Can't Complain', was made up of footage from a demonstration in January outside Brighton police station against the oppression faced by those active in opposing EDO/ITT. The third film took viewers back in time to the tree camps of the 1990s. The film included daring stunts by activists to halt the building of the infamous Newbury Bypass. Whilst viewers enjoyed the films, they tucked into the Porter's famous veggie roast. Aside from the fabulous food, previous showings have been accompanied by talks from political activists, live debates and workshops on events such as this year's Climate Camp. Forthcoming events at Bubbling Under will include films about Climate Camp and coverage of the 1990 poll tax demonstrations. Organisers always welcome suggestions to bathactivistnet@yahoo.co.uk for films, workshops and debates.

Pigs Might Fly: Or Was He Pushed?

Matisse once said 'flowers are everywhere for those who are willing to look'. Well, this month, our flowers come in the form of the forced resignation of Sir Ian Blair - ex-head honcho of the London Metropolitan police. Acts during his time at the top include the cold-blooded murder of Brazilian plumber Jean Charles 'it's one of them dark'uns, sarge' de Menezes, the resignation of almost every black and asian high ranking officer he worked with amid claims of racism and the gleeful passing of laws to criminalize, beat and arrest legitimate protestors. The final turd on the mountainous steamer that was Blair's career came when it emerged that he channelled taxpayers' money away from the police and into his mates' pockets. So, goodbye to true scum in its purest form (and hoping that more of his bastard buddies go the same way), and a fond hope that his forced retirement ends soon and bloodily with journalists reporting that the shooting was nothing more than a tragic case of mistaken identity.

Shut ITT, You Slag

Following on from June's smashing Carnival Against the Arms Trade, on Wednesday the 15th of October, activists will converge from all round the nation on the EDO/ITT arms factory in Brighton, for around 2. Rather than toothlessly appealing to the state's fictitious benevolent side to NOT sponsor corporate massacres half way across the world and at home, in the case of the 'Smash EDO' campaign, ordinary people are confronting the roots of war - the very manufacturers of instruments of death (Nazi Germany-affiliated ITT make the Paveway missile guidance system, used in Iraq and Palestine). Not petitioning them, but forcing them to stop, share by share, day by day, with the campaign biting down and holding tenaciously on, until these profit-obsessed bastards are brought down. It's history in the making, an example of a focused campaign succeeding at its aims, even in the face of state, police and media censorship and harassment. And once ITT has been bankrupted, which company is next? Following this course, we will eventually have humanity, mutual aid, and dare we say it, world peace… even if we have to smash, d-lock, shout ourselves hoarse, and superglue our way through every dodgy industry and evil megalomaniac to get it: be there on the day! The demo starts at 12 noon, meeting opposite Falmer train station. For transport down, drop us an email at bathactivistnet@yahoo.co.uk.

http://www.smashedo.org.uk/shut-itt.htm

Positive's Not News

It's come to our attention here at the Bath Bomb of a worrying tendency in the local press. Whilst the same is true of national and regional papers the UK over, the Bath Chronic has taken upon itself to ignore positive local events and initiatives which show communities organising their own needs and doing good for themselves and their neighbours; take for example, the case of the Riverside Community Youth Centre's open evening on the 26th September, where local youth showed off their music talents and staff put on food and highlighted to residents the important work the centre is doing. Staff were told by the Chron that such positive stories, which you might mistakenly believe are the fare of local rags all over the land, were not high enough priority to warrant a photographer, nor any more than reluctant coverage; perhaps the kids should have been out mugging people like a proper hoodie? Likewise, worthwhile activist events throughout the last six months have been equally censored: 'Roots of Change', 'There is such thing as a free lunch!', the Bath FreeShop… the list goes on. If these protesters had lived up to the stereotype and been busy breaking stuff, then perhaps that would have shifted a couple more papers? So whilst the Chron puts a cynical spotlight on the negative, the trivial, the celeb-obsessed, or fear-mongering, is it really the job of the media to decide what its readers are permitted to know or think?

Bath - 2, BNP - 0

Remember last year when Nick Griffin, head Nazi of the BNP, tried to come to speak at Bath Uni? Local anti-fascists mobilised to first kick him off campus, then out of several pubs, then into a field where the cops made him and his bonehead mates go home after a 5-minute speech on public safety grounds! Well, it looks like the Nazis may be back. Reports suggest that several BNP activists were handing out flyers at Bath Uni earlier this month. This month also saw a few hundred Nazis from across Europe converge at the Bungalow Inn in Somerset (against the scared owner's wishes) to drunkenly sieg heil their departed fuhrer Ian Stewart Donaldson, singer of fascist band Skrewdriver, who bravely martyred himself over a decade ago after drunkenly falling in front of a car! While this was a one-off event, the BNP at Bath Uni may not be so, and Bath anti-fascists would appreciate any information on the situation there. The BNP are vicious racists who oppose immigration and trade unions and have a long history of racial violence, Hitler-worship and Holocaust denial (their leader still denies the Holocaust, calling it the 'Holohoax', and recently claimed in a speech to American Nazis that he would be happy to kill for the white race). We have kicked them out of Bath once, and we can do it again. Any information will be treated as confidential and can be sent to bathactivistnet@yahoo.co.uk.

Computer Says 'No… 2ID'

Despite long resistance, the racist state will be pushing in ID cards, this year, starting on the 25th November with easy targets the immigrants. Incensed at this, 35 activists from No Borders across South Wales, Bath, Bristol and beyond converged on the Home Office Identity and Passport Office in Newport, on Saturday the 5th October. Despite the drizzle and minor police intimidation, they stayed on for two hours, leafleting the passing public about this insidious new (old) scheme. Whilst the cards will reach immigrants next month, if the scheme doesn't meet too much opposition, it will then be rolled out to workers in 'sensitive' locations in 2009, and then students in 2010. Acting on flawed 'intelligence', bungling coppers turned up an hour beforehand to police the demo, and the office itself shut its barrier after one hour. But what's all the big deal? Surely if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear? Management of this database (the most complex in Europe) will be doled out to private companies like PA Consulting, who already lost 30,000 people's records back in August. Will their struggling software be able to handle this larger strain? We hope so, because with an increasing reliance on technology, and numerous such computer cock-ups, what's to say that similar incidents won't result in other horror stories, with data-loss victims unable to work, unable to pay bills, unable to shop, and unable to access basic services. But what about ID cards stopping crime? Unless the cards or RFID chips (radio frequency identification implants) miraculously address malnourishment, domestic abuse or poverty cycles, then these cards won't prevent crime. So given that, why is Big Brother so intent on building up all this info? As the proverb goes, “First they came for the communists, and I did nothing because I was not a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did nothing because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did nothing because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to help me.”

http://current.com/topics/88831947_data_loss
http://www.no2id.net/
http://noborderswales.wordpress.com

Your Government Wants You Dead!

A dramatic headline? We at Bath Bomb are known for our occasional sensationalism, but on this occasion, we are being 'deadly' serious. Recent figures suggest that 1/3 of the population is going to be forced into a choice between sufficient fuel or sufficient food this winter. By encouraging price hikes in the private fuel sector and choosing to support failing business rather than average people, the government of this country will literally be responsible for thousands of deaths this winter. Let's put this in perspective - the government is perfectly willing to shell out hundreds of millions of OUR money to slow the inevitable collapse of capitalism, while just down the road in Swindon, 69% of council house residents were recently discovered to be living well below the poverty line. There is plenty to be angry at the government over that we spend much time focusing on - the war on the Iraqi people and surveillance society being a couple of examples, but it is about time we start to resist the brutality that the state dishes out to us all on a daily basis; the fuel poverty, the cuts to NHS, education and jobseekers, the meagre support for low income families. The government has shown that it stands on the side of business above the needs of the people. The class war, this epic social battle between the haves and the have-nots was not started by us, it was started by a ruling class who care more for profit and preservation of the status quo than the lives of its citizens. We have had war declared on us by the political class and we need to begin asking 'how will we respond to the assault of business and government on our lives' and how can we organise to take back what is ours, our basic rights to warmth, food, affordable housing, enjoyment and an end to wage slavery? How will we organise to win the class war?

Mini Bar-stards

Just a quickie: on Friday 26th September, activists from Bath Animal Action and BAN did a short, sharp demo against foie gras seller Mini Bar on John Street, who have taken it upon themselves to sell the stuff. See every other issue of Bath Bomb for more on foie gras and the campaign. As per usual, BAA will be back again and again, until Mini Bar sees sense.

EVENTS

Mondays - Bath Hunt Sabs Meeting, 8pm, Bell
Wednesdays - London Rd Food Co-op, Riverside Community Centre, 4-7pm
Saturdays - Bath Stop The War Vigil, Abbey Courtyard, 11.30-12.30
Weds 15th Oct - Smash ITT, Falmer Station, Brighton, 12noon
Fri 17th Oct - Chris Baines' green spaces in cities talk, Guildhall, 7pm £6
Sat 18th Oct - London Anarchist Bookfair www.anarchistbookfair.org
Fri 24th Oct - Bath Madhatters Birthday Party, Manvers St Baptist Church, 3-6pm
Fri 24th Oct - anti-foie gras demo, against Minibar, John St, 7-9
Sat 25th Oct - benefit gig, the White Hart, Easton, 6pm, £7 entry
Sun 26th Oct - Bubbling Under, Porter Cellar Bar, 1-4pm
Mon 27th Oct - Block the Builders, Aldermaston AWE blockade
Weds 29th Oct - Bath Bomb benefit gig, the Junction, Stokes Croft, Bristol, 8-late
Sat 1st Nov - Bath FreeShop, Stall Street, 12-3pm
Weds 5th Nov - Bath Animal Action meeting, backroom of Bell, 7.30-8.30
Thurs 6th Nov - BAN meeting, downstairs Hobgoblin, 7.30-9
Sat 22 Nov - Bath Vegan Fayre, Percy Community Centre 12-4pm

And now, to the disclaimer: As anyone is free to contribute, the opinions expressed in each article are not necessarily reflective of each contributor. Naturally, any right-wing or corporate bullshit will be binned and spat on. Needless to say, the opinions of the author of this disclaimer does not necessarily represent the views of any other contributor...

For further info on any of our stories see www.myspace.com/bathbomb

Q: Who Are Bath Activist Network? A: A local umbrella group campaigning on issues as diverse as development, environmentalism, anti-war, animal rights, workers' rights and more. Helping to produce The Bath Bomb, we are open to anyone, and our members range from trade unionists to anarchists, liberals to greens, and people who just want to change Bath for the better. For details on meetings, demos, or just to get in touch, ring us on 07949 611912, email bathactivistnet@yahoo.co.uk, or see our website: www.myspace.com/bathactivistnetwork

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