Thatcher is Dead: Resistance is Alive

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Margaret Thatcher’s death was an event long planned for.

While news outlets would have prepared their eulogies for the former British Prime Minister years ago ready to run when the day came many on the left were also prepared.

In Brisbane the decision to hold a party on Saturday April 13 (the first Saturday after her death ) was last minute but successful none the less.

We decided to hold the event under the William Jolly Bridge at Kurilpa Park a public space which has been used for many DIY gigs over the years a tradition which started with Gerald Keaney’s City and the City gigs.

These Dirty Bones

It had been a plan of British Anarchist group Class War for many years to hold a party in Trafalgar Square  at 6pm the first Saturday after Thatcher kicked it, and this was our inspiration for Thatcher is Dead Resistance is Alive.

The debate which has been constant in the media – is it appropriate to speak ill of the dead let alone celebrate a death – also took place after the Autonomous Action Radio announcement of the event in Brisbane.

Our response is that –

1. as the title suggests the event was not really about Thatcher at all. It is about celebrating that there is still a strong culture of resistance to the conditions which people like Thatcher have created in our world.

2. We are not celebrating the death of the private person Margaret Thatcher but the death of the public identity Margaret Thatcher who’s activities while in power caused and is still causing death and hardship to a great number of people, not to mention the other beings on this planet.

3.Demanding that there be respect for the dead, regardless of their actions in life is ridiculous. THEY ARE DEAD.

4. Someone has to remind the world of her true ‘legacy’ and counter the corporate media’s sycophantic portrayals of her life and legacy.

As Margaret Thatcher is dead she does not have to face potentially devastating problems like environmental catastrophe and  nuclear war.

But recent years and months have shown that we, our children and the other beings on the planet do.

Thatcher endorsed a market madness that mandates a short term profit-driven perspective; exploitation and military standoffs or wars occur in a world of ruthless economic competition.

While Thatcher’s influence on the world will continue long after they ‘tramp the dirt down‘ on her grave, the celebrations of her death provided a chance for the working class to unite and have some much needed respite from the class war.

Here is a report about the Class War Trafalgar  Square party from Europeans Against the Poltical System (http://eagainst.com/articles/thousands-attended-anti-thatcher-protest-in-london/)

At least 3000 students, activists and former miners converged last Saturday in Trafalgar Square, London to celebrate Margaret Thatcher’s death, four days before her funeral (April 17). The woman who implemented the theories of the Chicago School, giving birth to Neoliberalism in the 1980s, continues to divide Britain even after her death.

Back in 1990, Trafalgar Square was the battlefield where police and protesters clashed during the Poll Tax riots.

“Maggie’s dead” cheered the protesters. They were confronted by police, who made nine arrests. People of all ages danced in the rain, sounding horns, whistles, and beating drums.

Present in Trafalgar was David Douglas, ex-miner and member of the National Union of Mineworkers of Yorkshire, who said that he was “very pleased” to hear of Thatcher’s death.

“She destroyed our community, our villages and our people. Our children have got no jobs and the community is full of problems. There’s no work and no money and it’s very sad the legacy she has left behind” said David Hopper, general secretary of the Durham Miner’s Association.

Tony Smith, a former miner, said: “We’ve lived under Thatcher’s shadow for many years. It split families right down the middle and that resentment is still going on.”

The Scottish painter Sigrid Holmwood was holding an umbrella which read “Ding Dong” referring to the song “Ding dong the witch is dead” from the film The Wizard of Oz. The song became a slogan among Thatcher’s opponents.

“I came here today, I wouldn’t say to celebrate, but protesting against millions of public money being spent on her funeral when there are cuts that affect the sick or the disabled”, Holmwood said.

17/4/13 Goldthorpe, South Yorkshire, UK - For Margaret.

Here’s some songs about the topic.

The first one was written 25 years ago Elvis Costello looking forward to dancing on Thatcher’s grave.

This was also written years before death by Attila the Stockbroker.

F is for Five Finger Discount

Going through the alphabet last week for F we looked at File Sharing… which some people equate with stealing. This got me thinking about stealing and if stealing is always wrong.

This lead me to another F topic. The good old Five Finger Discount.

When discussing stealing I do not mean that people should steal from small businesses who are likely to be struggling in much the same way we are but rather from large corporations.

I’m also not suggesting people should break the law but am examining the issues surrounding wealth distribution and poverty in current times. Perhaps expropriate is a more appropriate word.

We live within the capitalist system, the capitalist system does not creative an even playing field where people have the same opportunities as others and the same access to the means with which to acquire the basic necessities of life.

The whole system is flawed some people steal millions of dollars and get bonuses and more money others end up in jail for stealing much less.

Large corporations make money through the exploitation of our fellow humans, animals and our planet and we are expected to play the game nicely and although we are aware that we are getting the raw end of the deal participate in the market place.

Crime Thinc have published a text which illustrates the reasons why someone might steal from a large corporations.

” Shoplifting is a refusal of the exchange economy. It is a denial that people deserve to eat, live, and die based on how effectively they are able to exchange their labor and capital with others. It is a denial that a monetary value can be ascribed to everything, that having a piece of delicious chocolate in your mouth is worth exactly fifty cents or that an hour of one person’s life can really be worth ten dollars more than that of another person. It is a refusal to accept the capitalist system, in which workers have to buy back the products of their own labor at a profit to the owners of capital, who thus get them coming and going.

Shoplifting says NO to all the objectionable features that have come to characterize the modern corporation. It is an expression of discontent with the low wages and lack of benefits that so many exploiting corporations force their employees to suffer in the name of company profits. It is a refusal to pay for low quality products that have been designed to break or wear out soon in order to force consumers to buy more. It is a refusal to fund the environmental damage that so many corporations perpetrate heartlessly in the course of manufacturing their products and building new stores, a refusal to support the corporations that run private, local businesses into bankruptcy, a refusal to accept the murder of animals in the meat and dairy industries and the exploitation of migrant labor in the fruit and vegetable industries. Shoplifting makes a statement against the alienation of the modern consumer. “If we are not able to find or afford any products other than these, that were made a thousand miles from us and about which we can know nothing,” it asserts, ‘then we refuse to pay for these.'” Read more …

Below I’m republishing a guide to shop lifting which was published in a student newspaper called Rabelais.

In a ridiculous case of moralistic censorship the article was banned and the editors of the newspaper faced  to six years and/or fines to a maximum of AUD$72,000. You can read about the case here.

http://danny.oz.au/freedom/cases/Rabelais.html

The Art of Shoplifting

Shoplifting is a topic that is practically relevant to many and it should therefore not become an exclusive craft confined to a small shoplifting elite. On the contrary, shoplifting is an art that deserves the widest possible dissemination. For your convenience we have printed below a step by step guide to shoplifting. Good luck.

Within capitalism, most of us are either (1) alienated from our labour and hence dependent on the ruling classes for commodities as basic as food and clothing, (2) excluded from the division of labour, in which case we are likewise dependant on the State, or (3) performing unpaid and/or unrecognised labour and hence dependant on patriarchal relations for food, clothing, etcetera. In any case, our access to resources is severely limited by contemporary relations of domination. One partial solution to this problem may be to STEAL.

Sadly, however, many people living precariously on low incomes tend to either: (1) avoid shoplifting for anachronistic moral and/or ethical reasons; or (2) remain ignorant of the better methods and techniques of shoplifting, thus failing to maximise their lifting potential.

From the onset, the golden rule of theft should be enunciated: NEVER STEAL FROM SOMEBODY WHO COULD CONCEIVABLY BE A COMRADE. Hence kicking into a house on Bell Street with a beaten up old Mazda in the yard is irresponsible and counter-revolutionary!

Be careful, too, about taking stuff from small ‘corner store’ type shops — you could be ripping off someone in a situation not dissimilar to your own. On the whole, it is best to play it safe and go straight for the big corporate fuckers.

Some people will suggest that shoplifters are a selfish breed, since ‘we all pay for it in the end’ through inflated prices to cover losses and so forth. However, comrades, this and closely analogous arguments are used to justify lowering wages, breaking unions, lowering corporate taxation and taxation on the rich and corporate sector we may as well sell ourselves into bonded slavery now, or join the Liberal Party.

No, the injunction against stealing from capitalism is itself a capitalist ideology and should be spurned as such. Although we have been taught that ‘thou shalt not steal’, an order historically backed by threats of divine retribution, this should not for one minute stop us from taking the redistribution of wealth into our own hands. Believe me, no-one is likely to do it for us.

What follows is a list of effective methods and observations that may prove useful.

Preparing oneself for the big haul:

1. If possible, you should always have some money on you when intending to shoplift, because if you’ve got none, it’s rather hard to argue that to steal the item was a spontaneous decision. As a result, if you’ve got no money and are caught shoplifting you are more than likely to be charged for burglary as well as theft.

2. Buying something at the same time that you steal stuff doesn’t necessarily ensure success. Approaching staff for items you are absolutely sure they don’t have is just as good. Think of something that you know they don’t have (i.e. a doona cover with a specific pattern on it or something equally obscure) and pretend that you are looking for this, so that you have an excuse for being there. If staff are ever suspicious of you or ask if they can help you, ask them if they’ve got the thing you are sure they don’t have. Never screw this up — if you do you will have to buy the item or they may realise that you are there to steal.

3. It is always a good idea to carry a bag although you should never stash anything in it — if security/sales staff are suss on you the first place that they’ll check is your bag and it may just get you off the hook if they can’t find anything suspicious inside of it.

4. Remember that there is no such thing as a standard store detective — there is no qualifying dress code, age, race, gender or class. Grandma will bust you this week and next week it’ll be a 5 year old kid.

5. Just as there is no typical store detective nor is there a standard shoplifter. Security do not go looking for the poorly dressed people. They may pick on you out of boredom, but remember, only an unsuccessful store detective picks on poorly dressed people. By the same token don’t believe the stale myth that suits + dresses = more successes; security anticipate that professional shoplifters will dress up a bit. Wear whatever you want.

On entering the maze:

1. As soon as you enter the store, suss out the sales people. First impressions often count here. You could find a valuable blind-eye turning ally in younger or less-affluent employees. Alternatively, an employee can often stand out as a more wishy-washy gullible individual — so even if they see you they are likely to be too gutless to mention it, either to you or to security.

2. Don’t be put off by signs such as ‘shoplifters will be prosecuted’ or ‘security police patrol this store’. Often this is just bluff anyway, and in any case there is no security measure that cannot be undone by a clever shoplifter or a quick talker. Do, however, keep your eye on security and be on the lookout for video surveillance cameras.

3. Try to find where the video surveillance monitors are and who is watching them; often they are not even looking at them. See if you can get a glance at their monitor. Often it is one monitor hooked up to 20 cameras which changes sequentially (every 30 seconds or so). Other times it’s one guy in a room looking at 50 screens while reading the paper or glued to the box. These monitors are usually pretty small and have a wide aperture, showing more of the room but not enough detail to adequately see what you are up to.

4. It is a good idea to keep your back to the camera as much as possible without looking suspicious. Check out cameras (hold-up cameras) are often set up to check on employees, so they are not hard to keep your back turned to.

Blind-spots and other lifting techniques:

1. A blind-spot is a section of the store where you are barely visible and can thus feel free to both dump and collect stuff, without fear of being seen. Display units can make perfect blind-spots — they ensure security is confident they have their eye on you, when in fact they can only see your top half — at the same time they enable you to keep your eye on security. For these reasons, the best blind-spots are usually below the chest — around waist high. Blind-spots are good for loading into the lip of your jeans or into a jacket.

2. Make sure your blind-spot is not under surveillance. Never hang around your blind-spot for too long. Most of all, be careful to never lead security to your blind-spot.

3. A good method is to take everything you want to your blind-spot and collect it all later in one go, or better still get someone else to collect it for you. Getting someone else to collect for you can be a great system, particularly with exchanges — which I’ll come to later. If you are really pedantic, or you think that they are watching you, then load up, go to the toilets and pass the stuff under the wall/partition of the cubicle to a waiting friend in an adjoining cubicle and get them to leave with it.

(No item 4 in original text — ed.)

5. Speaking of dunnies and change-rooms, one of the oldest tricks in the book is to put more than one garment on a hanger (works particularly well with women’s underwear), go to the change-rooms and put the garment underneath what you are wearing. Alternatively, if you are a woman, you can slip your old bra on a hanger and put on the new one. Don’t be put off by the staff as you enter the change-rooms — they are usually quite disinterested and so long as the number of hangers you exit with matches the little plastic number they’ve given you they’ll be satisfied.

6. On the subject of women’s underwear, the lingerie department is ideally suited to male shoplifters — not only is it the perfect excuse for looking embarrassed or suspicious (they have come to expect this), but staff are less likely to harass you by trying to help you and will be more sympathetic generally.

Exchanging crap for more crap

Exchanging things — that is, taking the redistribution of wealth into your own hands by refunding yourself for an item you never paid for, or swapping something you stole that you don’t want for something you do want, or swapping something that you don’t want that is unstealable and therefore refundable — is a whole new ball game.

1. If you plan to steal something and then make an exchange always take stuff that people are likely to take back like sheets, or other obscure household items. If questioned you can say to them “as if I’m gonna keep the receipt, I didn’t plan to bring it back”. Books and other small but expensive items such as computer software are also great exchangeables.

2. Stealing women’s underwear and cosmetics are the perfect alibi for male shoplifters who specialise in exchanges. Male customers always fuck up buying stuff for their girlfriends/wives/mothers and when it comes to lingerie, it’s just too easy for a guy to look goofy, have sales staff sympathise and all too quickly agree to exchange or refund the items. This works particularly well around Xmas time when you can tell them you bought it for your mother but she already had that one.

3. Never take an exchange item to the store you stole it from and make sure the other store (e.g. Myers in Doncaster as opposed to Northland) has the same item before you take it back.

4. Make sure you have chosen your item before you approach anyone for an exchange. Also, tell the people in the first department that you want an exchange without mentioning receipts — they should send you down to the appropriate department for your other item and then ring up this department providing a referral, which if you are lucky will mean you do not have to provide a receipt given that everything appears legitimate.

5. The first time you exchange a stolen item for another product make sure you get something unstealable in return, like a video, watch, or something else kept behind a counter, so that the second time you do it, even if you don’t get an exchange receipt they will not suspect that it is stolen.

6. Exchange receipts are a pain in the arse. Sometimes smart arse sales people will write a cross the original docket ‘no original receipt’ which is a problem, so if you have a bit of money on you, it is a good idea to exchange for something that costs a little bit more so that they have to give you a cash receipt.

7. Don’t freak out if they call security while you are acting out an exchange — as returns will often require security’s signature this is quite standard procedure and nothing to worry about.

8. If you’re having problems getting an exchange, big department stores normally have consumer rights people located upstairs somewhere — they can usually be contacted by information telephones. These are people with big egos who like to wield power and the sales staff, who are much lower down the hierarchy, are usually pretty freaked out by this power. If you do get the ego from upstairs on side, they will organise a sales person to look after you and after the egomaniac goes up upstairs again, they sure will — because the sales person does not want to reprimanded by the same person from upstairs more than once, you will be practically able to get them to do anything that you want them to. A good technique is to tell the person upstairs a different story to the one that you tell the sales person. You can get angry at this stage and tell them that they fucked you around, that you don’t want an exchange any more and that you want a refund now and they will usually comply.

9. Be wary of the long term employee — you’ve got to know when to stop. Be particularly wary of the head of sales or middle management who have been working there for a long time (sometimes 20 years or more) and are not as scared of the big guys from upstairs as are the newer employees. You can often convince some of the younger staff that they are allowed to do refunds if you tell them that you used to work there.

10. Another commonly used technique is to take an empty bag from the same store with a receipt in it for previously paid for items and then nick the same stuff, which gives you the perfect alibi.

11. Better still, if you’ve got some money, find two things that are worth however much you’ve got, take them out of the store and stash them somewhere, then go back in and buy the exact same items. While leaving the checkout, make a big deal about it. “Am I doing the right thing? Will she like it? Will it fit him? etcetera” and then “what the heck!” (Make sure you don’t go overboard and push them to mention keeping the receipt or worst of all mention it yourself!) Pay for it. About half an hour to a couple of hours later (not too long) take the stuff back to the same sales people and they’ll usually give you cash without a receipt because they remember selling it to you. If you pull it off you’ve got a cash receipt and your stolen goods which you can exchange at another store.

Leaving the store safely:

1. Always double back just as you are about to leave the store so that you can check if anyone is following you (99.9% of the time they will follow you out of the store before they approach you). Alternatively, go up and down an escalator or in a lift and press every button in the lift and it will be obvious if anyone is following you.

2. If people are watching you, whatever you do, do not try to discreetly dump stuff unless you are absolutely sure that you can get away with it. If caught dumping stuff they usually won’t charge you but they may fuck you around for a few hours.

3. If you are caught dumping stuff never let a store detective know it was because of them. Always make out it was a result of a sudden guilty conscience. Never let a store detective know that you know that they are on to you, because they won’t put them on you the next time. That way you get to know store security and are able to keep your eye on them as much as you can.

4. If you want to have a bit of fun and don’t plan to continue shoplifting that day, or ever, or you just don’t give a shit, go up to a store detective and treat them like a sales person, asking them for help etcetera. It is just as embarrassing for them to be caught as it is for you. It is always a good thing to break their spirits or at least bring them down every now and again. Alternatively, use reverse psychology on them. Say “I’m going down to such and such department. I’ll see you down there”. Often they’ll be too embarrassed that they’ve been busted and think that you won’t do it now that you’re being watched and you will have the run of the mill.

5.NEVER GET TOO CONFIDENT or you will start to make silly mistakes.

The end:

Finally, if you get caught — lie your teeth out! Never admit to premeditation. Always say that the opportunity arose, so you took it. Don’t act tough or be a smart arse. Cry. Bawl. Admit a guilty conscience. Beg them not to call the cops. Tell them that CSV will take your kids off you and then weep.

Even though some stores say they have a policy to call the police it is not necessarily true and they may, after lots of tears and admissions of guilt, just get you to sign a statement which says you’ll never enter that store again. If the cops do arrive, it’s a good idea to act scared shitless because they may assume you’re a first offender and not bother to check your record. Don’t antagonise the filth — it is their personal discretion as to how bad you get busted.

You are most likely to be charged with ‘theft’ if caught shoplifting, but you can be charged with ‘burglary’ as well if you don’t have any money on you. ‘Equipped to steal’ is what you will be charged with if, for example, you have a slit in the lining of your jacket for concealing stolen goods. ‘Obtaining financial advantage’ and ‘deception’ are what you are likely to be charged with as well as ‘theft’, if caught exchanging stolen items.

Carmen Lawrence, with thanks to Joshua and Destroyer 267.
 
 

I Hate the Indifferent

Indifference

I hate the indifferent. I believe that living means taking sides. Those who really live cannot help being a citizen and a partisan. Indifference and apathy are parasitism, perversion, not life. That is why I hate the indifferent.

The indifference is the deadweight of history. The indifference operates with great power on history. The indifference operates passively, but it operates. It is fate, that which cannot be counted on. It twists programs and ruins the best-conceived plans. It is the raw material that ruins intelligence. That what happens, the evil that weighs upon all, happens because the human mass abdicates to their will; allows laws to be promulgated that only the revolt could nullify, and leaves men that only a mutiny will be able to overthrow to achieve the power. The mass ignores because it is careless and then it seems like it is the product of fate that runs over everything and everyone: the one who consents as well as the one who dissents; the one who knew as well as the one who didn’t know; the active as well as the indifferent. Some whimper piously, others curse obscenely, but nobody, or very few ask themselves: If I had tried to impose my will, would this have happened?

I also hate the indifferent because of that: because their whimpering of eternally innocent ones annoys me. I make each one liable: how they have tackled with the task that life has given and gives them every day, what have they done, and especially, what they have not done. And I feel I have the right to be inexorable and not squander my compassion, of not sharing my tears with them.

I am a partisan, I am alive, I feel the pulse of the activity of the future city that those on my side are building is alive in their conscience. And in it, the social chain does not rest on a few; nothing of what happens in it is a matter of luck, nor the product of fate, but the intelligent work of the citizens. Nobody in it is looking from the window of the sacrifice and the drain of a few. Alive, I am a partisan. That is why I hate the ones that don’t take sides, I hate the indifferent.

Reposted from http://eagainst.com/

Antonio Gramsci, February 11, 1917

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Jesus was an anarchist?

This week I’m going to start off with a quote which I forgot to mention during the radio show, but it’s really funny and topical for this time of year.

“Yes, in my opinion, Jesus Christ is a great model of an anti-authoritarian figure. In fact he was executed by two states simultaneously — the Roman occupiers and the Jewish civil authorities — which I think should at least get him an honorable mention in anarchist circles. The Resurrection has been called the greatest act of civil disobedience in history. Once you’ve been executed by the state, you’re supposed to stay dead”- Unknown Anarchist.

Listen Here

Download from Radio4all

[SONG] Resident Antihero – Ancestry

But on with the show and after a bit of a break we continue on with the Autonomous Action Alphabet… This week looking a F.

But before that F can also stand for feral rich. And Uncle Peter came in to have a little bit of a talk with us about the feral rich. Are the feral rich really that bad? Don’t they bring some good to society? And what can we do to help them?

Peter refers to an article in the New Internationalist called The Feral Rich it’s part of a feature they did on the problem.

[SONG] The British Beat – Big Shot

[SONG] Chumbawamba – ABCs of Anarchism

Feminist Anarchist

F is for Feminism – in particular anarcho feminism. Anarcho or anarcha feminism is the joining together of anarchist and feminist principles… although it could be seen that since anarchism and feminism both aim to abolish oppression they are already linked.

Emma Goldman is considered to be the founder of anarcha feminism which challenges patriarchy as a hierarchy to be resisted in conjunction with state power and class divisions. In 1897 she wrote: “I demand the independence of woman, her right to support herself; to live for herself; to love whomever she pleases, or as many as she pleases. I demand freedom for both sexes, freedom of action, freedom in love and freedom in motherhood.”

Piracy not theft

F is for File Sharing and Free Culture

As anarchists believe in the common ownership of the means of production and the free sharing of ideas many anarchists use and produce file sharing networks.

File sharing is the practice of distributing or providing access to digitally stored information, such as computer programs, multimedia (audio, images and video), documents, or electronic books.

Ideas of file sharing and anticopyright are by no means exclusive to anarchists. Many people partake in file sharing and so called piracy.

QuestionCopyright.org is a U.S.-based  nonprofit organization which aims to open up debate about copyright and reframe the way think about copyright.

By questioning copyright it is hoped that artists/content producers realise and embrace the opportunities which abound in  collaborative cultural production.

Intellectual property and copyright are part of the capitalist system which is driven by profit and competition. Copyright is a system largely in place to protect the profits of distributors not artists.

Creative Commons is a non profit organisation which originated in California. Creative Commons has developed a system where instead of copyright meaning ‘all rights reserved’ content producers can specify ways in which their work can be reused, remixed and shared.

Each license helps creators retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make some uses of their work — at least non-commercially.

Find out more about the licenses here.

We hear a talk given by Creative Commons founder Stanford Law Professor Lawrence Lessig.

Pop Defect Radio NO SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) Mix

Finally It’s the End of the World As we know ir and I feel Fine… Decolonise This!

Bedding Music http://unisonicascension.com/variousmp3s/