Gagged! 18 - South Wales Anarchist Newsletter

Gagged 18 coverHeres the pdf - http://lists.riseup.net/www/d_read/gagged/gagged18.pdf
audio to follow in the next few days.

some last minute diary dates:
Saturday 6pm - Social Ecology seminar -at the PAD, An introduction by Social
Ecology London
Sunday noon - after the fry up at the PAD a presentation on this years
climate camp, films, talks etc etc
Monday 8pm - South Wales Anarchists forum - a networking gathering with
reports from all the local groups & campaigns. All welcome. 8pm, Glamorgan
Staff Club, Westgate Street, Cardiff. If what you read in Gagged! interests
you, why not come along!
Tuesday 7pm - at the PAD reading group subject 'Turbulence' see
www.turbulence.org.uk

GAGGED! #18 • August 2007• www.gaggedanarchist.tk • FREE
Produced by South Wales Anarchists • southwalesanarchists.org

War on Terror = War on Civil Liberties

South Wales cops have asked the Home Office for invasive powers to stop & search people in Cardiff following terror attacks in London & Glasgow Airport. In a move which echoes politicians’ calls to extend internment without charge, the police here are using the terror attacks as an excuse to extend their powers & further strip away civil liberties. Section 44 of the Terrorism Act gives the plod unprecedented stop & search powers & has already been misused to hassle demonstrators & others.
Speaking at the beginning of July Divisional Commander for Cardiff, Chief Superintendent Josh Jones said: ‘Communities defeat terrorism & I ask anyone who is stopped by a police officer over the next few days to help us by engaging positively & passing on any information that they may have.’

However, Assistant Chief Constable Giles York also said: ‘We have seen several well intentioned calls to the police & I am very encouraged at the vigilance being shown by the public of South Wales , particularly as there is no specific threat to the area.’

Does anyone else see a bit of a contradiction here? They’ve asked for powers to stop & search people because of the threat of terrorism, while at the same time admitting there is no threat to people in Cardiff . This is opportunist nonsense. The cops are yet again using people’s very real fear of terrorism as an excuse to get more powers for themselves.

Know your rights

If you’re stopped & searched under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 you have specific & clear rights that cops will ignore unless you make it clear you know them. They may try & get you to give them your personal details, & they may attempt to photograph you – they are not allowed to do either. Here are some pointers provided by the civil rights group Liberty:
• The police can only give you a pat down, remove outer clothes (eg: jacket, hat) search your bags, & have you empty your pockets
• You do not have to give your name or address.
• You do not have to explain why you are there.
• You are not allowed to flee the search, but you are not required to be actively compliant. You are allowed to "go limp" as passive resistance during the search if you do not wish to comply.
• There is no permission to collect DNA data during the search.
• You do not have to comply with any attempt to photograph or record you (although you cannot wear a mask).
• Women can not be touched by male police during these searches.
• Make notes about the officers searching you - name, number, & police force.
• Note the time & the events preceding the search.
• Note the specific wording used by the police to explain their authority to search.
• Ask police for the reason that they are searching you. Specifically, are they searching for terrorists or are they simply trying to deter, delay, or inconvenience you?
check out: www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk

Plod Spread Terror Fears

South Wales Police have been bleating to the press about the increased level of calls from frightened members of the public about so-called ‘suspicious’ behaviour. Instead of appealing for calm or just keeping their mouths shut, they’ve encouraged people to remain ‘vigilant’ against unknown or non-existent threats, & report every paranoid fantasy to the police.

Assistant Chief Constable Giles York said: ‘It is not only my officers making South Wales a hostile area for any terrorist activity, but also our communities. The public are our eyes & ears & we are grateful for the efforts they have taken to report anything which is slightly out of the ordinary.’
Exactly what are the best nuggets of ‘intelligence’ a frightened public have passed on to York & his team?

‘We have received calls from businesses who are reporting unusual purchases’, he said. ‘One supermarket in South Wales notified us of a group buying a large amount of digital cameras. In another call, the manager of a shopping centre notified us of a call he had received in which he was asked for maps of the centre.’

Digital cameras & maps of Cardiff ? Be afraid. Be very afraid.

York added: ‘Both of these calls turned out to have genuine explanations but I encourage anyone to get in contact with us if they have any concerns, no matter how trivial they may seem.’

Nobody is illegal

A Kebab-house was closed & 5 takeaway workers arrested when cops & immigration bureaucrats raided Cardiff’s ‘Chip Lane’ at the beginning of July.

One worker at Dorothy’s Fish Bar said: “There have been lots of police here, at least 20 officers. They sealed off Caroline Street at both ends & have been through all the takeaways looking for illegals. They checked all the staff’s passports & their status.”

It isn’t known what people were nicked for, they could have been so-called ‘illegal immigrants’ or asylum seekers awaiting Home Office approval to stay in the UK. Under current laws refugees are not allowed to work or earn money while their applications to stay are processed, having to live off tiny state handouts. If they work, they are forced into low-paying menial jobs, & if discovered they are arrested & deported.

Asylum seekers are often from countries where there has been military intervention by the West or regimes armed & supported by the UK. Nothing can justify the suffering that is imposed on innocent people like those arrested in Cardiff in the name of ‘immigration controls’. The rich will settle in whichever country makes them pay the least tax, but the poor are forced to risk their lives to try & make a better life for themselves. As Anarchists we believe in complete freedom of movement.

Picket lines

Royal mail staff in Wales took part in the 1st UK wide postal strike for 11 years on 29th June with another 24-hour strike beginning at 7pm on 12th July. Workers are angry at Royal Mails 'modernisation' plans, which will result in the loss of 40,000 jobs & cuts in wages & pensions. It will also mean higher stamp prices, less collections, later deliveries, cuts in weekend services & the closure of even more post offices.

*****

A high school in Denbighshire, north Wales, was forced to close as teachers staged a one day strike. Industrial action came following a long running dispute over new pay arrangements introduced in 2006 & serious concerns with working practices at the school with many staff feeling "demoralised & undervalued". Sound familiar? Ah the predictability of capitalist working relations.

*****

Strike action at the troubled Grampian Food Group factory, Llangefni, Anglesey was cancelled at the last minute after workers accepted a 4% pay deal in a ballot on the 25th June. Workers were due to strike on 26th, 27th & 30th June because of disputes over pay, pensions & the growing casualisation of the workforce.

*****

Health workers across the UK are still considering strike action over a pay rise deal well below the rate of inflation. Earlier this year health workers were offered a miserable 2.5% pay rise. This was cut even further when both the government & employers said that in Wales, England & Northern Ireland this would be staged - with a 1.5% increase given from April & the final 2.5% settlement paid from November. However, following workers complaints & union pressure the respective governmental bodies of Wales & Northern Ireland were forced to make u-turns & health workers in these countries will now receive their pay rise in full backdated from April. This does not yet apply to health workers in England. UNISON has conducted a ballot of its health worker members (460,000 across the UK) for potential industrial action scheduled to take place in September 2007. Watch this space!

*****

Hospital workers at Ysbyti'r Tri Chwm, Ebbw Vale held a demonstration outside the hospital in protest against £120-a-year car parking charges for staff, which were introduced in April. A spokesperson for the Gwent NHS trust stated that charging for car parking was now standard practice at nearly all NHS hospitals in south Wales & that there was a need to maintain equity with staff in other hospital sites who already pay charges. But many workers feel that they are being charged for the privilege of going to work & that parking should be free for all staff, patients & visitors. Too right!

“Wales?” Same old tory Story

David Cameron’s “New” Tories have appointed an Eton-educated hereditary peer who knows “absolutely nothing” about Wales as Welsh Affairs spokesman. Lord Glentoran, who lives in Northern Ireland , said, “As far as the politics of Wales is concerned, as of 48 hours ago I knew absolutely nothing. I now know nothing, plus a bit. I know nothing about the politics but I know quite a lot about the geography.” he denied this was a problem as he had once stayed with a “literally working class family in Bristol“ when he was 16, before joining the Army. You couldn’t make it up!

NO PIPELINE!

On the morning of 19th June a huge number of police & bailiffs arrived at the anti-pipeline tree camp in Sennybridge, Brecon Beacons, to evict protesters from the trees.

The camp has successfully prevented the destruction of woodland in the Brecon Beacons National Park, on the route of the huge LNG pipleine, since January this year. Protesters were taken to court in early June & had been awaiting the eviction. Some people were locked on high up in the trees whilst others were underground in tunnels in order to delay National Grid's multi-million pound destructive & dangerous project.The A40 road that ran past the camp was closed to traffic & police & bailiffs spent two days removing the activists. Many people headed down to give support but few made it onto site, most being kept in a police cordon outside with journalists.

In total 12 people were arrested, most receiving cautions or conditional discharge with a court fine. National Grid instantly began stripping away the land in order to prevent anyone occupying it again. Perhaps they forget that the route of the pipe is 200 miles long...plenty of room for more resistance!
The camp was successful in raising awareness of how the government & corporations are prioritising money over the future of our environment. Any claim they make to be taking climate change & environmental destruction seriously becomes a joke when they happily overrule objections so they can destroy supposedly 'protected' natural land to make way for yet more fossil fuels. Check out: www.fightthepipe.co.uk

Who watches the watchers?

Five security guards working in Welsh Assembly buildings, Cardiff were caught using CCTV cameras to look at nearby homes & hotels. While this has been going on for around two years, the voyeuristic security guards have received nothing more than a slap on the wrist. An assembly spokesperson claimed that these were "isolated" incidences, which were not thought to have infringed anyone's privacy. We bet the people whose houses were spied on feel a whole lot better now!

Welfare for the Rich

Working class people in Wales are subsidising private industry not only through wage slavery (where the pay we take home is much less than the value of the work we do), but also in huge payouts to businesses funded by our taxes.

Tax is meant to be cash we lend the state so that they can pay it back to us in essential services, education, healthcare, & pensions. But politicians are giving millions to the rich so they can set up more businesses.

For 5 years the Welsh Assembly Government has given millions of taxpayers’ money to business in the form of Assembly Investment Grants (AIG) & Regional Selective Assistance (RSA). During the first 4 years of the scheme’s operations, over 1504 offers of AIG with a combined value of £45.8 million were made to businesses. In the 7 year period to March 2006 1173 offers of RSA with a combined value of a whopping £650 million were made to businesses undertaking capital investment projects in Wales.

These bribes for bosses are typical of the way in which governments operate. Sweeteners for the rich might look attractive to politicians, & might even boost the economy & create a few jobs in the short-term. But in the long-term the people of Wales lose out big-time: Once profits at these subsidised businesses start to fall they close down their factories, sack the workforce & move on to places where the labour is cheaper & new government subsidies are to be had.

Under “New” Labour the gap between rich & poor has widened massively. Payouts to the rich are a major cause of this inequality, the wealthy few can enjoy lives of comfort & extravagance while 3 million British children live in poverty.

COME CAMP WITH US!

Organising & struggling in our local communities is key to building strong social movements & bringing about lasting social change. But we also need to continue to come together in mass mobilisations. It is at convergence spaces like the ones at the recent anti-G8 protests (see Gagged! #17) that we get a glimpse of our collective power. They offer us the space to organise & come up with solutions to social & environmental problems without the need for leaders, where together we can create new worlds in the shell of the old. This summer there are at least two major protest camps in the UK - come camp with us: you know you want to!

CAMP FOR CLIMATE ACTION

On 14th-21st August, somewhere near Heathrow the 2nd Camp for Climate Action will take place, with 8 days of low-impact, sustainable living, learning, collective decision-making & direct action to highlight the problems of climate change & solutions to halt it.

Climate change is happening now. People are dying of starving now. Environmental refugees are moving now & according to the Red Cross already outnumber those displaced by armed conflict. The situation is only going to get worse - unless we act now! If we carry on with business as usual scientists predict a possible 6 degree rise in temperature. Last time the planet experienced this was 250 million years ago & 95% of all life was wiped off the face of the earth.

Our entire way of life is currently structured so that almost every aspect of our lives produces harmful carbon dioxide emission - travel, work, housing, food. In order to cut these emissions by the 90% that many scientists believe necessary, some very major changes need to occur. So where is this change going to come from? We believe that far from offering any solutions to our current ecological crisis governments are part of the problem. Neither can we expect corporations or the market to offer any real solutions. Although we all need to make changes in the ways we live, it's not enough just to switch brands. We need to challenge the logic of capitalism, which got us into this mess in the first place. Capitalism is based on a very simple principle - perpetual economic growth. This leads to the constant over production of goods & services that we just don't need, the consumption of the world’s finite resources & ever growing amounts of waste that our ecosystem just can't deal with. Expecting corporations to sort this out is absurd. They are designed for one thing & that is the maximisation of profit.

The aviation industry is a major contributor to climate change. The main reason why the camp will be at Heathrow this year is to highlight the massive contradiction of the government claiming to be working to reduce emissions while setting the conditions for huge growth in flying, through airport expansion & subsidies on air fuel, which has stimulated a massive increasing in cheap flights.
Last year's camp was a huge success (see Gagged! #13). Activists from south Wales joined over 600 people to take direct action against Drax powerstation, the UK's largest carbon dioxide emitter & explored, debated & discussed grass roots alternatives to the current system. Let's make this year’s camp an even bigger success! Together we can build a better world now! Check out: climatecamp.org.uk

No Border Camp 2007

On 19th-24th September will be the UK’s first "No Border Camp”, continuing the tradition of No Border protest camps across the world since the late 1990s. The government has recently announced its plans to build a new detention centre near Gatwick airport. This will be another in a long list of such places around the world. Places where people are locked up indefinitely & without trial, & from where they can be forcibly deported. Such detention prisons are an integral part of a systematic, racist, & barbarous policy of suffering. Together we can stop this one being built!

The camp will be an experiment in self-organisation. A chance to work together to stop the building of a new detention centre & gather ideas for how to build up the fight against migration controls. It will be an important opportunity to challenge & overcome the artificial borders of class, race, sex, sexuality, & nationality which divide us from each other, & act in solidarity with one another for a world without borders.

'Freedom of movement' is such a scary prospect for the wealthy few because migration undermines a central dimension of contemporary global capitalism - that people living in different parts of the world can be paid different wages. Borders, migration controls, notions of citizenship & the 'rights' that these entail are all integral mechanisms through which this unequal, exploitative world system is maintained. Without them there would be no way of confining people to a certain place, a certain set of working conditions & rate of pay. Check out: www.noborders.org.uk

COPWATCH

Cop Wankers Part II
Last month Gagged! reported how PC Richard Bowen got away with an 18 month suspended sentence & avoided jail after masturbating in front of an arrested woman in the back of a panda car. He was ordered to do 100 hours community service as a painter & decorator on the estate where he grew up. Let’s hope he doesn’t run out of wallpaper paste. This month we can reveal that yet another UK rozzer, Essex Police’s Martin Chapman, has been suspended for the same thing. It must be something about the uniform. There is a silver-lining though: a few more like this & they might all go blind.

Gwent Cops on Tax Payer-Funded fun
Members of the Gwent Police were living it up at our expense at major events this summer. Cops were sent on free trips to Glastonbury & Wimbledon, allegedly to get hints & tips on how to police major events ahead of the Ryder Cup, to be held in Newport in 2010. Superintendent Nigel Russell denied any suggestions cops had been on a junket to Europe’s biggest music festival, claiming they did not see any bands. “You won’t catch the cops in the moshpit,” he said, trying desperately not to sound like a cock.

Police Numbers Fall
Overpaid work-shy plod are retiring in their droves & not enough new ones are taking their place, according to new figures. For the first time in ages more police are leaving Welsh forces than are being recruited, because of a rise in retirement & resignation rates. The number of cops resigning from the four Welsh forces has more than doubled since 2002, while retirements have also shot up, from 110 in 2002 to 269 last year.

Cop Cars Trashed at Gypsy Camp
Two South Wales Police vehicles had their windows smashed in a disturbance at an official traveller’s camp. A Gypsy Council spokesman told the press he didn’t know anything about the incident, but added: “I’m surprised the police left their cars unattended. It doesn’t matter where they go on housing estates anywhere in the country, they shouldn’t leave them unattended. I don’t know any police force that would leave their cars.”

Welsh Plod Ignored Male Rape Victim
Police have apologised to a rape victim after their handling of his case was criticised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Geoffrey Cole, from Neath, was sexually assaulted in October 2005. When he reported the crime, police officers didn’t take him seriously, & failed to make adequate efforts to examine the crime scene for evidence. Mr Cole’s attacker has never been caught.

Diary Dates -If you are unsure about attending any of the events listed below, why not get in touch?

August
1-5 - Big Green Gathering - Sustainable living, music & hippies. Somerset. www.big-green-gathering.com
6 - South Wales Anarchists forum - a networking gathering with reports from all the local groups & campaigns. All welcome. 8pm, Glamorgan Staff Club, Westgate Street, Cardiff.
11 - No Borders Info-day & Social - to mobilise for the No Border camp; with speakers, films, food & live music. From 1pm at the PAD.
14-21 - Camp for Climate Action – near Heathrow airport. www.climatecamp.org.uk
27-30 - Smash EDO Action Camp - Direct Action against the war machine. www.smashedo.org.uk
September
11 - Disarm Desi - actions against Defence Systems & Equipment International arms fair. ExCel Centre, London. www.dsei.org
19-24 - No Borders Camp, near Gatwick. www.noborders.org.uk

Got any news or an event you want us to cover? send details to news@gaggedanarchist.tk

An audio version of Gagged! is available, just check out www.gaggedanarchist.tk, where you can also subscribe online. Five thousand copies of each issue are distributed throughout the region, we always looking to get Gagged! into new places. If you are interested in getting involved in any way, please get in touch info@gaggedanarchist.tk

Peoples Autonomous Destination
a physical space in Cardiff for groups & individuals who cannot or will not work within the constraints of governmental or corporate control.
Vegan fryup every sunday from 12noon.
Not-for-profit-shop every wednesday from 5pm. Plus free shop all the time.
meetings every wednesday from 7pm.
& lots more, check our notice board!
118 Clifton Street, Cardiff CF24 1LW • www.thepad.org.uk

Campaign Groups
Cardiff Rising Tide
is a grassroots group committed to taking action & building a movement against climate change. Meet irregularly, get in contact for details.
cardiff@risingtide.org.uk
www.risingtide.org.uk
No Borders Wales
organises on migration issues & acts to break down boundaries that divide us. Meet thursdays 7pm at PAD.
noborderswales@riseup.net
www.noborders.org.uk
Cardiff Reading Anti-Capitalism
is a study/reading group exploring revolutionary vision & strategy. Meet 7pm last tuesday of the month at PAD.

Cardiff Anarchist Network (CAN) is a collective of people who want to pursue political demonstrations through direct action. There are no leaders, just like minded individuals. cardiffanarchists@riseup.net myspace.com/cardiffanarchists Meet 8pm mondays at PAD.

Gwent Anarchists are like minded individuals believing in autonomy, respect & justice; against all forms of exploitation & bigotry. Aiming to increase the knowledge of, & create a resistance to governments & big business abusing people & the earth. gwentanarchists@yahoo.co.uk myspace.com/gwentanarchists Meet 8.30pm every other monday at the Murenger House, High Street, Newport.

Pembrokeshire Anarchists is a group of like minded people who believe in direct action, justice, freedom & autonomy, are against capitalism, exploitation & bigotry. pembrokeshireanarchists@riseup.net myspace.com/pembrokeshireanarchists

Rhondda Cyon Taf Anarchists are an autonomous group of free-thinking individuals who reject capitalism & resist state control through direct action. We work towards the creation of a world based on justice & freedom. rctanarchists@riseup.net

For more news from all over the world like the sort you find in Gagged! take a look at: www.schnews.org.uk www.indymedia.org.uk www.libcom.org www.anarkismo.net www.infoshop.org

info@gaggedanarchist.tk
http://www.gaggedanarchist.tk