What’s up Queen Street?

South Wales Anarchists held a stall on Cardiff’s Queen Street on Saturday 25th October, to give out copies of the latest Gagged! newsletter. Hopefully there’ll be more regular anarchist stalls on the streets of South Wales in the future. If christians, socialists and communists can be bothered to get out there every week, maybe we should too?

Our banner below a quote from some big old book

Our banner below a quote from some big old book

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Next South Wales Anarchists meeting

The next meeting will be held on Monday 3rd November, 7:30pm, upstairs at the Model Inn, Quay Street, Cardiff.

Gagged! #24

Chick on image for .pdfThe latest issue of our newsletter “Gagged!” is out now! As usual it also contains a number of contributions from No Borders South Wales and Westside climate activists. For the first time, much of the content has already appeared online, though often in a longer format. Contact the Gagged! collective if you want to get a bundle in the post or subscribe online. 

 

Please download the .pdf to print, copy and distribute!

We loves yer Babi

Babi with his dolls

Babi with his dolls

On 20th September at 3.15pm gay radical artist & No Borders South Wales activist Babi Badalov was deported on a BMI flight to Azerbaijan.

Babi sought asylum in the UK in 2006 following years of persecution because of his sexuality. When his brothers found out that he was gay they threatened to kill him: one attack left him with only eight teeth.

His art & poetry also led him to become a target of government repression after mocking members of the ruling elite. The most famous led to threatening visits by the Ministry of National Security (MNS – Azerbaijan’s modern day version of the KGB). It was a photographic piece in which he parodied the ubiquitous statues of the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, who, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, destroyed many of Lenin’s & erected ones of himself instead.

Babi was dispersed to Cardiff in December in 2006 & quickly became a central feature of the activist life. He regularly helped out at Cardiff’s social centre PAD, & despite his precarious immigration status was involved in many campaigns & was a much loved & active member of No Borders South Wales.

Babi was snatched on Tuesday 16th Sept when he attended his weekly signing at the UK Border Agency building in Cardiff. When informed that he was going to be detained & deported Babi responded by saying: “I feel sick.” The UK Border agent replied: “well you make us sick, you’re going back where you belong.”

The next day an emergency demo was held outside the Border Agency on Newport Rd, Cardiff. Over 50 people came together to show their solidarity with Babi & the front steps of the building were covered in banners. Late that night he was then transported under the cover of darkness to Campsfield detention prison, Oxford.

When he arrived he sent the following message: “PlizPLIZpliz i wontWONTwont GO back. i WANT die HERE THAN AZERBAIJAN. HELL O FAKING 21st Century! Can I stay in UK? Can I live 5 year happy here? FAK THE LAW MAKER! humanity”

Whilst in detention Babi received a medical examination. The subsequent report strongly recommended that Babi be given a proper psychiatric evaluation. Despite this, the Home Office continued with its plans to deport him at 8pm on Saturday 20th on an Azerbaijan Airlines flight to Baku. However, following a huge amount of harassment from friends, supporters & many other activists from around the country, Azerbaijan Airlines bowed to the pressure & refused to carry him. This did not stop the Home Office though, & his deportation was rescheduled to a British Midland Airways (BMI) flight at 3.15pm the same day. This time, despite a huge struggle which continued right up until the last minute, Babi was finally deported.

Friend & No Borders South Wales activist, Noah Moore said:

“While Babi is currently safe, if anything happens to him the state & BMI will have blood on their hands. His deportation has left a huge hole in all his friends’ lives & demonstrates the brutality of immigration controls. He was ripped away from his new home, friends & people that loved him just so the government can keep its deportation statistics up. We didn’t fight to keep Babi here out of compassion or because he had suffered. We don’t care why Babi came. We fought for Babi because he is one of us, a fighter for freedom of movement, for equality & a world without borders”.

Babi’s deportation has left us all saddened & very much in a state of shock. But it has also doubled our resolve to continue to struggle for an end to all migration controls & the criminalisation of people who have done nothing other than cross artificial – yet brutally real – borders, in order to build new lives for themselves. We are now more than ever committed to fighting for a world where people are free to move as & when they like. Where people’s relationships can not be torn apart just because someone happens to have been born in one place rather than another.

No Borders. No Nations. Stop Deportations.

For Babi xxx

THE CREDIT CRUNCH AND YOU

As the United States housing market suffers its biggest slump since the 1930s, with record defaults on over 200 million mortgages, banks and financial institutions worldwide are losing billions of pounds. The era of easy credit is coming to an end and the effects are being felt all over the world. Ten years of economic “growth” in the UK under “New” Labour (thanks to cheap Chinese imports) is beginning to unravel.

WHO IS TO BLAME AND WHO WILL PAY?

Corporate greed is to blame, and working class people like me and you will pay twice over. Global capitalism needs ever-increasing profits to meet the demands (greed) of shareholders. Capitalism does not care how profits are made. Jobs are axed and the environment destroyed in the relentless bid to make money. Growth through greed is the name of the capitalist game and exploitation is the norm. So as the banks are bailed out with our money and the bankers allowed to walk away with large pay outs – Andy Hornby, former director of bankrupt HBOS has just trousered £1 million – ordinary people are left to carry the can. Wages and state benefits have been squeezed and kept to a minimum while corporations make record profits. At the same time, “easy credit” has been made widely available. This has resulted in record borrowing, just in order for us to be able to purchase the services and goods produced.

Profits were thus maintained: banks & building societies made a fortune on monies loaned, while customers were lured into debt, often borrowed with their homes as security. Capitalism is based on such exploitation and with the credit crunch it’s us who will suffer further. Successive governments have given the business elite free rein which has resulted in:

  • Workers wages being driven down, e.g. we are told to accept pay “rises” of 2% whilst directors’ salaries soar.
  • A credit boom which has masked the precarious state of the UK economy, built on borrowing and debt.

This is now over. The unavoidable “slump” in the capitalist system has arrived. Easy credit disappears and we have a crisis where a greater slice of people’s income goes on paying off debts. The demand for goods and services will therefore fall. We will inevitably experience the usual “tough love” from the government and bosses:

  • Debtors will be allowed to go bankrupt.
  • People will lose their homes. Repossessions in Wales are up by a staggering 39% since last year.
  • Companies will lay-off workers to maintain profits and corporate greed. Only last month 150 call centre workers in Swansea lost their jobs when XL Airlines went bust – no million pound payoffs for them.
  • Rising unemployment as production is cutback, factories closed or relocated.
  • Prices will increase. Note the rises in our weekly shop, fuel bills & petrol.
  • Poverty, social deprivation and crime rates will rise.
  • The British National Party (BNP) will seek political gain by scapegoating our ethnic minorities for causing the problem.

SO WHAT CAN WE DO?

Do we just accept the dictatorial power of a corporate elite, their politician chums and their unjust capitalist system, or do we fight back? Do we demand and strive for an economic system based on fairness and equality, where exploitation is a thing of the past? Where goods and services are produced for need not greed within a truly sustainable green libertarian socialist/anarchist economic system? The choice is yours.

Next meeting – Monday 20th October

The next meeting of South Wales Anarchists will be held in the Model Inn, Quay St, Cardiff, at 7.30pm on Monday 20th October. In the upstairs bit.