Fascists fail to show at their own event

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Solidarity with all facing racist violence! Solidarity with the anti-fascits actually fighting ISIS in Rojava!

After a couple of weeks of typing small and threatening words online* – no doubt buoyed up by media coverage of the supposed “islamic extremist threat” to the UK – a South Wales-based fascist group calling itself ‘War Against ISIS’ completely failed to turn up at its inaugural event: ‘we will not let our country be taken over by isis’. They called it at a location where they possibly perceived there to be a well known ISIS presence, given the apocalyptic nature of their ‘worldview’*: Cardiff Central Train Station. When counter-demonstrators from various anti-fascist groups, totalling around 100 – 150 persons, gathered in advance of the promised fascist fighters, we found there to be merely the usual procession of christmas consumers, bustling through in a hurry, barely glancing up in their mad march to the merch. Sure, there were hell of a lot more police than usual and a couple of their put upon horses…

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Antifa occupy the fascists’ meeting point early whilst others scout the area

…waiting. But street-fascist-fighters? Nothing. One or two possible fascists braved making handgestures from quite some distance, slinking along the periphery wordlessly, before disappearing, not to be seen again. A few others maybe made it to the pub; perhaps the real reason for calling the demonstration at the station: it’s proximity to sympathetic drinking establishments, but hardly known for their islamic (extremist) punters. Whether nursing last night’s hangover or terrified at the prospect of facing UAF chants, Red Choir singers and Welsh Antifa, with their new shiny pink banner, the upshot is they did not show, let alone pass. As they put it in their own event description: “we need as many people to be here otherwise it will be pointless”.

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UAF and other anti-fascists

Despite their laughable ineptitude today, it would, however, be a mistake to completely dismiss them as a threat. They did have just over a hundred ‘committing’ to attend the event and around a thousand in their online group. They made links to the South Wales National Front and other violent Hitler-lickers. And we obviously haven’t forgotten that Muslims and mosques are currently being targeted in the physical world. But for the time being, this local group appear to be a sad collection of keyboard and barstool warriors. Let’s keep it that way.

* How they choose to describe themselves: “the government are helping the c*nts they want civil war they need for the start of the new wold order. Civil war is coming and it’s going to last around 20-30 years. We need to get our shit together now before they catch us unprepared and slaughter them all. Apparently 600-1000 refugees are coming to the Caerphilly county area we should do something about it asap !!!!!!!”

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Statement against Police Harassment

Police in Bristol appear to be stepping up their so far fruitless efforts to find individual anarchists and those that they think are responsible for property destruction actions over the last few years in Bristol. One year after their firearms training centre at Portishead was burnt down, they have turned to desperate measures to try and get any scrap of useful information.

They have made a number of arrests, detained people at airports, and raided people’s homes. The majority of people targeted have not even been charged with a crime, and we do not know of anyone who has been successfully prosecuted. Further, officers from CID have recently visited people at their homes under the pretext of having “a friendly chat”. Not surprisingly, they have been met with a resounding wall of silence with no cups of tea involved, as most good people understand the importance of not getting drawn into conversations with the police. Even if any one of the people recently harassed by these visits knew anything about these actions or the people involved, we are confident that common sense and solidarity would prevail and the police would get the sum total of zero information. Anything else would be working for the police.

These home visits, arrests, searches and requests to snitch are not just about information and evidence gathering. They have as much to do with a concerted effort to intimidate and divide us all. A big part of their plan is to scare people into inaction and to create divisions between us. They hope to get us blaming each other for increased surveillance to the point where someone falls for their lies and starts talking to the bad guys. These are tactics that have been used against social movements in countless places and times.

But they won’t work here in Bristol. None of us will ever co-operate with those whose job it is, all in the name of “security” and “safety”, to defend the rich and powerful while keeping us down.

We know that we are not the only people who face repression from the police – in no way do we want to compare what is happening to us to the things they are doing to others, for example their systematic use of anti-terrorism powers against people they see as Muslim. We oppose all police brutality and harassment, whoever they do it to. We also understand the need to stick together in the face of state control and repression. Anarchists and others targeted by the police have a wide range of opinions and preferred tactics, but we know who our comrades are and recognise the enemies at our front doors.

Signed:

Bristol Defendant Solidarity
Bristol Anarchist Black Cross
South Wales Anarchists
Bristol Solidarity Network
Bristol Legal Observer Network
Bristol SolFed
Kebele Social Centre
Riot Ska Records
Rising Tide
Spanner
Bristol Hunt Saboteurs
Empty Cages Collective
Bristol AFed

Here is some useful information on dealing with the police, both on the street and at your front door….
There are no friendly chats with the police! If police try to talk to you, we recommend you refuse to answer anything – answer “no comment” or “I am not obliged to answer that” to all questions. This isn’t just about protecting others – any other response will be taken by them as a sign of weakness, and they may hassle you more as a result. The ONLY time you legally have to tell them anything other than your name and address is if you are stopped at an airport under “Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act”. Even then, you do NOT have to answer questions about others, and they can ONLY ask you questions related to terrorism. If this happens to you, request a solicitor.

If police come to your door, do not let them in unless you have to. The only times they can force entry are when they have a warrant, when someone who lives at your house has been arrested, or in order to prevent a crime from happening. If you live in a shared house and someone is arrested, they can ONLY search communal areas and the room of the person arrested.

Dealing with police can be upsetting and intimidating, so it’s important that we support each other. Counselling For Social Change may be able to help if you need to talk through anything that’s happened http://www.counsellingforsocialchange.org.uk. Activist Trauma Support has a list of resources to help understand and deal with trauma – http://www.activist-trauma.net. The most important thing is to give each other space to talk without being given advice, and not to be left to deal with things alone.


Bristol Defendant Solidarity
is a group of local people committed to putting principles of solidarity into practice and standing alongside anyone facing trouble from authorities for involvement in radical politics. Anyone approached and harassed by the police to give information about people involved in struggle, here in Bristol or elsewhere, can contact BDS for support. We are also compiling a list of arrests, home visits and interviews at airports so far to get a clear picture of their lines of questioning, to track their operations and to use in any future court cases that people may want to bring against them.

Contact:
bristoldefendantsolidarity@riseup.net
07746741104

We have compiled a more extensive guide to police powers and your rights if they target you, which you can read here: bristolabc.wordpress.com/defendant-solidarity/police-harassment

Stop NATO Cymru Week of Action in Cardiff & Newport

All week: action camp at Tredegar Park near Newport, with gigs, workshops, skillshares.

Graffiti Spotted in Cardiff City Centre ahead of the Summit

Graffiti Spotted in Cardiff City Centre ahead of the Summit

Sat 30th Aug, 1pm meet at Civic Centre Car Park, Newport – Radical bloc will join demo against NATO in Newport.

Sun 31st Aug, 3pm at the Security Gates nearest to the Nye Bevan statue (west end of Queen Street, opposite the Castle), Cardiff- Action against securitisation and policing.

Mon 1st Sep, 1pm at The Cenotaph, Newport – Sabcat day of action against austerity, benefit cuts and evictions. B.Y.O.Catmasks.

Tue 2nd Sep, 12pm At Home office and Border Force in Cardiff (31-33 Newport Road) – No Borders S. Wales and Stop NATO Cymru Day of Action Against Racism, Prisons and Borders.

Wed 3rd Sep – Day of skillshares and action training at the camp.

Thu 4th Sep – Stop NATO mass action to disrupt the summit. Further details near the time (via contacts below). Affinity group actions to help disrupt the summit also welcome!

Fri 5th Sep – Affinity group actions against capitalism, the state and

NATO; get together with your mates and organise your own action.

More details of all events will be available at the camp, and from:
network23.org/stopnatocymru anarchistaction.net
@anarchistaction 07440 192330 stopnatocymru@riseup.net

Callout – Sabcat Day of Action Against Austerity, Benefit Cuts and Evictions.

Meet at the Cenotaph, Newport at 1pm. Dressing up as Sabcats optional, but we recommend that you mask up. Cat masks will be available on the day. Wear ears, fluffy tails and cat face paint and masks!

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Between Oct 2012 and December 2013, 2,388 people were “sanctioned” by Newport’s Charles Street Jobcentre. Newport Council alone had 28 people on WP/SWP programs in 2011, and 51 in 2012, along with 33 Work Experience in 2012. How many more were forced into working for their benefits?

More people working for their benefits means less people with jobs. The government chooses this policy because they back the interests of bosses over workers. The bosses prefer to get their workers for nothing than pay them. They also profit from scaring those in employment with this humiliating alternative.

How many people have lost their homes, or are in huge debt, because of the Bedroom Tax? How many are forced to use food banks? How many rip-off loan sharks have opened up in the past few years? And how many of us are forced to use them?

It’s happening even to people in full-time paid work.
It’s obscene.
We can fight it!

Join us at the Cenotaph on Monday. We will be taking action against those who profit from this poverty and suffering. But remember, this isn’t a one day wonder! Join your local unemployed group and check out http://www.boycottworkfare.org

‘No it doesn’t’. A reply to Paul Flynn MP.

Recently, the organisers of the NATO Counter Summit – opposed to this September’s NATO Summit in Newport – disinvited Paul Flynn MP after realising what his actual position on the existence of NATO is. Mr Flynn immediately took to his blog, riling against the ‘Marxists’ and ‘anarchists’ who put principles above publicity in a post titled ‘Does ‘No to NATO’ mean ‘Yes to Putin’?’. Below is a response to Mr Flynn, written by a supporter of Stop NATO Cymru, the posturing anarchists who have been organising against the Summit.

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That’s not happened before. A group of campaigners, organising against a huge international institution, in need of as much publicity as they can get, turning away a mildly well-known politician who was very keen to speak at their event. Why on earth would they do this? Isn’t being this intolerant bad for the ‘peace movement’ our politician suggests he supports? And just think of the bad publicity!

Thing is, the event is an explicitly anti-NATO event. NATO is the institution that’s been doing an awful lot of posturing recently, presenting itself as the opposite of Putin’s Russia and the separatist rebels who kill civilians (with weapons produced in NATO member countries, incidentally), defender of the poor souls in places like Crimea – who didn’t know any better than voting to re-amalgamate with Russia – and the civilians of Afghanistan, 20,000 of whom were bravely sacrificed to bring the glory of Representative Democracy to the region.

Now, in fairness, our politician did voice his opposition to the blood-letting exercises that were the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, but people change as they age, and by now he seems intent on stoking the flames of conflict in Ukraine, demanding that NATO “act strongly” with all its nuclear might against Putin and put the Soviets back in their place, full-on Cold War American Hawk style. Not quite the type to speak at an anti-NATO Counter Summit, I would’ve thought. So why’s he so peeved at not getting to speak? Maybe because our politician likes to be seen as bit of an outsider, a rebel on the back-benches, against the system whilst sitting comfortably in its lap.

But then again he doesn’t mind that much (despite having cared enough to blog about it). After all, as he reminds us, he doesn’t need our platform, he already has the best in the country – those comfy looking green benches – from which he is occasionally allowed to stand, ask a question, make a comment and get his five minutes on BBC Parliament. Yes, he may not be a policy-maker, a cabinet member or even a shadow cabinet member (despite having sat in the Commons since 1987…) but he can certainly make his voice heard, if not make any impact on actual policy. In fact, his voice was once heard so clearly, that he was suspended from the debating club for five days! While our politician was wringing his hands at the thought of getting to speak even more at the NATO Counter Summit, the anarchists he dislikes so much have been out on the streets, raising awareness of what NATO is, galvanising people to oppose imperialistic wars and organising to make our voice – the voice of the plebian non-MPs – heard this September.

The accusation that we are pro-Putin is stupidly ignorant at best and deeply offensive at worst. Putin is an oppressive, violent dictator who is guilty of war crimes; does that mean that we should be pro-Obama instead? Should we favour American expansionism over Russian expansionism? Be under no illusions that the US state acts on nothing more than self-interest when it uses its armed NATO puppet to expand its turf. When the Soviet-bloc fell and the Cold War ended NATO’s purpose became exclusively focused on expansion. In Libya, for example, when it saw its chance to take more of the Middle East, it continued to send military aid to the Egyptian dictatorship whist bombing the Libyan people for their own liberation. Stop NATO Cymru is an anti-imperialist movement, against all sates which stifle the self-determination of individuals and communities.

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When our politician is celebrating Obama coming to Newport this September, we will be doing just what he claims to have been doing for years – opposing unnecessary wars. Events like the Counter Summit and the Week of Action exist to demonstrate what a world without warmongering, imperialism and apology for blood-thirsty regimes might look like. Paul Flynn has made it clear that he wants no part in that world.

Stop NATO Cymru Statment

This statment was taken from Indymedia UK.

Today several banners were dropped at various locations around Newport, south Wales as an act of solidarity with the NATO 3 and to launch the statement below which was handed out in the city centre.

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For more information about the NATO 3 follow this link.

Stop NATO Cymru Statment

This year NATO will have their next summit at Celtic Manor Resort, in Newport, south Wales. In early September 2014, “world leaders” – all directly responsible for untold death, illegal torture flights, and wars fought purely to protect Western business interests and resource supply routes – will gather on the edge of this historic Welsh city. Many people from Newport, Cardiff, Bristol and beyond, will oppose the summit and use a diversity of tactics against it. We, an anti-capitalist, anti-militarist network in South Wales, plan to facilitate mobilisations and provide space for workshops, skill-shares and social events. We are organising without leaders as we do not agree with bosses or bombs.

NATO has often used the term ‘humanitarian interventions’ to disguise the fact that it actually fights for the strategic, economic and political benefit of the elite classes within NATO member countries. Militarism and capitalism are part of the same global power structure. A critique and confrontation of capitalism is therefore an indispensable aspect of our anti-militarist stance.

As it stands, NATO is a nuclear armed alliance with over 5000 nuclear weapons. It was supposedly established for mutual defence during the Cold War, and should have been disbanded when the Soviet Union ended. Instead, it has expanded and become an aggressive alliance force, engaged in wars with a crusader mentality.

For nearly ten years it has been conducting the war in Afghanistan, historically a pivotal region between the West and the East, where around 100,000 innocent civilians have died and three million innocent people have become refugees.

But a critique of militarism and capitalism doesn’t end with NATO: The annual global military expenditure stands at over £1,072,600,000,000. Spending is estimated to equal £150 per person, per year, across the world. The UK military budget is the fourth highest in the world. At a time of austerity we must demand to know why military spending is so high and expose the brutality of those in global positions of power.

Most people face much more pressing issues than new fighter aircraft or submarines. People want money spent on local facilities and proper access to social and health infrastructure. Even when the military has made some cuts, these have almost entirely impacted on people in the first instance – rather than material things like arms purchases – through reductions in personnel, lower wages and pensions. The UK still plans to spend almost £160,000,000,000 on new weapons by 2022, including £35.8 billion on nuclear-armed submarines that are designed not to be used.

While people around the world struggle to provide basic necessities for their families, governments still squander vast resources on military interventions that are wasteful of both resources and lives, and reflect outdated paradigms.

The USA, under the banner of NATO, is still working to place a “missile defence” system in Europe, which is provoking an unsettling arms race with Russia. However, we do not have to agree to their plans for us. People in communities around us are building resistance to military bases in their area. Including in Aberporth, Ceredigion, Menwith Hill in Yorkshire, RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, Faslane near Glasgow, EDO in Brighton, local people are mobilising and opposing militarism.

Newport has a history of radicalism. The Chartist rising, which celebrates it’s 175th anniversary this year, was the last large-scale armed insurrection in Wales, England and Scotland. A popular piece of public art celebrating the revolt was recently demolished ahead of schedule, as part of a planned redevelopment of the centre, financed by a £90million loan which the Council have gifted to developers whilst slashing funds for frontline services. This naive gamble on reviving the fortunes of the town via the pumping of public funds into private companies, joins a long list that includes LG, The Ryder Cup, and now this NATO summit.

Together with people from across South Wales and beyond, we are going to mobilise between this winter and September against militarism, Cold-War relics, and inflated defence budgets.

We hope you can join the events, mobilisations and activities to oppose NATO and world leaders being in Newport. Much is planned between now and September. We aim to be an open and inclusive network, working together, with as many people as possible to find non-hierarchical local and global structures as alternatives to the system of exploitation, while being mindful of potential state and corporate infiltration of our movement. Our website will be updated with news and information and we have an email
address that we can be contacted at:  stopnatocymru@riseup.net

Stop NATO Cymru, part of the Anarchist Action Network

supported by

South Wales Anarchists, Cymru Wales IWW, Cardiff Food not Bombs, Swansea Food not Bombs, No Borders South Wales, Bristol Against Arms Trade

Why Anarchy?

We have an event coming up called Why Anarchy? It will be a brief introduction to the politics of anarchism, looking at media misrepresentation and history, as well as local and global perspectives, followed by a discussion. There will be speakers from South Wales Anarchists and a few others further afield. It will be from 7pm – 9pm at the Sandringham hotel, St Mary Street, Cardiff on Tuesday 11th October. Google maps link is here.

Please come! Even – or especially! – if you are not an anarchist, it will be an interesting, infomative and lively evening for all! The Facebook event is here (please click!)