May Day Call-Out

May Day 1M Poster

From the 1m Collective:

As part of our call-out for an Anti-Capitalist May Day we would like to provide some information about an event we will be holding, as well as some general information and ideas surrounding the initial call-out.

We are an initiative made up of various individuals who are working towards organising an Anti-Capitalist themed May Day event in Armidale, which is situated on Anaiwan land (an area in so-called Australia). The aim of the event will be to bring people together to hold discussions on our conditions and experiences as workers; to devise strategies for improving our lives; and to build support for all sectors in struggle, whether worker, unemployed, local or refugee.

Our initial call-out was a general call to action, and for those who would wish to, or are interested in, an encouragement to organise their own events wherever they are. Here, in so-called Australia, yearly we see a sombre march made up of political parties, bureaucratic trade-unions walking the same set-out route with no feeling, inspiration, or general opposition to the status-quo. What is worse, is that at the end, it usually culminates in a speech from a labor party leader.

From many anarchists/anti-authoritarians/anti-capitalists, we here the same arguments year after year: that is is a great opportunity to get our information out, that we need to be involved with those who are already involved in a union or want to take part in a march. While this may be true in the smallest way, the fact we walk passively behind a contingent of labor, liberal and greens party members is really enough to chuck any argument in defence of this misery out the window. How can we really demonstrate a shift from the perspective of beautifying an exploitative system when we are only tagging along to a procession that has long forgotten the need to struggle against capital and state? We do not condemn those who take part in these rallies, we just envision and hope for more; we desire a movement that can point to, and address the disasters of capitalism. This one day won’t amount to that, but it can highlight so much more than a march made up of political parties/supporters of this cruel system.

We take inspiration from our comrades in Montreal – as well as those throughout the world – who have in determined fashion continued to remember and demonstrate the anti-capitalist and subversive spirit May Day emanates from.

It may not be much, it may not be taken up everywhere or even elsewhere, as we desire, but it will not prevent us from trying. To start somewhere is all we can attempt.

Perth: Riot police pelted with bricks at wild party

Several police cars were damaged as police tried to break-up an out--of-control party.Several police cars were damaged as police tried to break-up an out–of-control party.

19 April 2017 – Police officers called to break-up a party in Perth’s south have been pelted with bottles and bricks.

The officers were called to a home on Murchison Road in Waikiki around 11.25pm on Tuesday night after receiving reports of several men fighting.

It will be alleged as police went to assist one group of people, bottles, bricks and wooden stakes were thrown at them.

Several police cars received minor damage as an out of control gathering was declared.

 

Riot squad officers attended to disperse the crowd, with bricks and other items thrown at their shields.

A 22-year-old Baldivis man has been charged with criminal damage and a 16-year-old Caversham boy will be summonsed to appear in court at a later date for trespassing.

Cambodia: Villagers, soldiers in land battle

Local Phan Sina (centre right) on Friday confronts soldiers she accuses of attempting to steal land she has cultivated for years. Adhoc
Local Phan Sina (centre right) on Friday confronts soldiers she accuses of attempting to steal land she has cultivated for years
11 April 2017 – Villagers involved in a long-running land dispute in Kratie province’s Sambor district have prevented soldiers from building a fence around disputed land that the army intends to use as a sniper training ground.

The two-year-old conflict surrounding 20 hectares in O’Krieng commune’s O’Kandie village between villagers and the military’s Regiment 42-Ngor flared up again on Friday morning when 10 soldiers, one of them armed with a rifle, brought material to build a fence around the land, which locals have been cultivating since 1997, according to rights activists and villagers.

“I stood in front of [the soldiers’] tractor. I told them to shoot me, but they did not,” said villager Phan Sina, who belongs to one of the six affected families.

Sina said soldiers had been trying to use her 180-by-600-metre plot for sniper training since 2015. She said land titling volunteers measured her land in 2013 as part of a nationwide reform effort and issued a receipt for her, though she is still waiting for the actual title because of a complaint by the soldiers.

“The soldiers accused us of grabbing their land. I said that if I did grab the land, you would have beaten or handcuffed me already,” she said, in turn accusing the soldiers of slashing hundreds of her cashew trees.

Philipines: Homeless Families Occupy 6,000 Vacant Public Housing Units

Thousands of homeless families have occupied over 6,000 abandoned and empty housing units in six public housing sites in Bulacan province north of Metro Manila since March 8, 2017, International Working Women’s Day.

Led by the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay), an urban poor organization, and supported by various activist groups, those who taking part in the occupation have put up barricades and held their ground for almost a month already in the face of harassment and threats of eviction by housing authorities and police forces.

Early into the occupation, President Rodrigo Duterte accused the movement of sowing “anarchy” and vowed to use force to evict them from the mass housing units. “If you want to ignore the law, you cannot do that. I will force the issue with eviction,” he said.

Insisting that the occupied households have been vacant and left to rot for years while thousands remain homeless, Kadamay did not back down from their assertion of the right of the poor to avail of free public housing.

After a dialogue by housing officials with Kadamay, the Duterte government backed off from the planned forced eviction of the families, which was scheduled to begin last March 27. Kadamay called this an important victory of the collective struggle of the poor.

Continue reading “Philipines: Homeless Families Occupy 6,000 Vacant Public Housing Units”

Canberra & Sydney: Activists Occupy Dept of Immigration & Border Protection

Riots break out in Papua New Guinea

24 March 2017 – The head of the Salvation Army in Papua New Guinea says riots that swept through the main streets of capital city Port Moresby on Friday caused “great devastation” to people who already had so little.

Territorial Commander Colonel Kelvin Alley said he watched on helplessly as vital community services like the supermarket, medical centre, dentist and chemist burnt to the ground.

“These places where people had jobs, jobs that were probably the only income to a large extended family. Gone,” he said in a statement on Friday.

“The street rumour is that the fire was started deliberately.

“If so, it is a crime against people who every day face the injustices of poverty and deprivation, who often seek out a living on the streets and markets, but who depend on these vital services.”

Col Alley said although the situation had eased, the city’s Boroko region had experienced “great devastation”.

“Now that calm has been restored, we are left with this terribly empty feeling due to the totally unnecessary loss and destruction of not just buildings, but buildings that represent vital services to people who desperately need them,” he said.

Col Alley described looting during the riots as “astounding”, with hundreds of people taking part in order to get their hands on free goods.

It’s unclear what prompted the riots.

Kathy Testh, who works at the Mapang Missionary Home a few blocks away from the riots, told AAP she woke up to the sound of gunshots.

Ms Testh said she drove to a meeting only to return to find the main roads cordoned off and being manned by armed guards, to stop more people entering the area.

Col Alley said several Salvation Army staff had taken ill after smoke inundated the buildings, located on the same street as the riots.

“Almost the entire business block across the road has been destroyed, unnecessarily by raging fires, rampant looting and out of control crowds,” he said.

He said the Salvation Army was committed to supporting the community to rebuild.

Sydney: Four arrested as protesters clash with police outside Villawood detention centre

25 March 2017 – Protesters have camped outside Villawood detention centre overnight despite the arrest of four people yesterday.

The riot squad was called in at 3.30pm after an initial group of 30 protesters grew to around 70 and began blocking traffic on Birmingham Road.

Police said the group, who were gathered at the detention centre to protest the deportation of a 60-year-old Iraqi man identified only as Saeed, began to impede traffic in and out of the facility.

“This is kind the kind of horrible rise of racism we’re trying to fight here,” Josh Lees, a protester from the Refugee Action Coalition, said.

“We want to see a world of equality and justice not a world of division and hatred and racism.”

Protesters allegedly ignored several move-on directions from police and tried to break a police line, which was formed to allow traffic flow into the facility, just before 7.30pm.

Two men and two women were subsequently arrested.


 

The protesters allegedly tried to break the police line.

The two women, aged 25 and 29, were later released for breaching the peace.

An 18-year-old man, who was chased down a storm drain before being arrested, was charged with assaulting police and resisting arrest. He was granted bail and is expected to front court on April 12.

A 25-year-old man was issued with  a Field Court Attendance Notice for assaulting police.

A police officer suffered minor injuries during the protest.

A small group of demonstrators camped out overnight at the detention centre to continue the protest.

One protester said they were “physically” trying to stop the deportation of the man.

“We’re trying to physically prevent a deportation of man who, if he is deported, his life is at risk,” she said.

“We’re not protesting, we’re actually trying to stop our government from violating international law.”

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection today confirmed Saeed will be deported.