Call out for direct action against the draconian ABCC

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Mar 4 2010 05:14
Call out for direct action against the draconian ABCC

Call out for direct action against the draconian ABCC
The Australian building and construction commission was established in the package of Howard's IR Laws, in an effort to combat worker militancy in the construction sector. Worker militancy in this sector is high, it’s dangerous work (complemented by incredible employer negligence): approximately one construction worker dies on the job per week in Australia.
The powers of the ABCC allow it to request interrogations of anyone involved in 'illegal' activity on a work site - generally 'illegal' stoppages.

If you refuse to go to the interrogation, you're charged and face 6 months jail or a $22k fine.
If you don't provide them with documents they request, you're charged.
If you don't rat out fellow workers, you're charged.

At the moment, Adelaide construction worker Ark Tribe is being prosecuted by the ABCC, because he refused to be interrogated. He signed a petition drawn up on a paper towel at his worksite at Flinders University regarding the appalling safety conditions on site. For this he and his workmates were called in for interrogation. He goes to trial in July.

The response of trade unions reflects the weakness within the union bureaucracy: succumbing to apparently ‘peaceful means’ of demonstration against what is clearly a violent offensive begun by the previous government, and continued under the current one. They suggest online support, when workers are being interrogated and threatened; they suggest writing to an MP when workers blood is being spilt.

What will this do? Nothing! Workers will continue to be victimized, and the government’s indifference will continue!

We need to organize for practical solidarity. This attack can’t be fought with the just words, but actions.

Further, this isn’t just an attack on construction workers: the ABCC came as part of anti-worker legislation brought in by the Howard government, which has been left relatively untouched by the Rudd government, save a name change.

Together, workers, students and the unemployed can challenge this legislation; together, we can win, if we don’t fight, we lose.

This is a call for action around May Day against the ABCC, to demand the charges against Ark Tribe be dropped, and to demand the abolition of the ABCC. May day is on a Saturday, so any actions against offices of the ABCC, or Fair work, or the ALP, should be on the Friday before, or Monday after.

"Ark will spend the next few months with the possibility of up to six months imprisonment hanging over his head."

Long live the struggle!

This call to action is supported by:
Organise! Adelaide’s Anarchist communist group

Alf's picture
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Mar 5 2010 21:16

Gabs - are you in touch with the left communists in Sydney, and the 'Treason' people in Canberra?

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Mar 6 2010 05:48

Sydney left communists yes - one wrote part of this statement, Treason unfortunately not. Could you PM me a contact for them and i'll pass this on to them? Cheers

Dimitri
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Mar 6 2010 08:12

Hi to everyone. I'm new to libcom threads, though I'm following it for years. I;m from Melbourne, but I'm of Greek origins having spent my half life there. I know lots about Greek anarchist movement past and present and have lots of contacts. I've written a history of the greek anarchist movement which (plus other stuff) is here http://ngnm.vrahokipos.net Unfortunately are all in Greek, but it doesn't matter. As an anarchist communist I'm a member of Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group (MACG). I'm also a member of www.anarkismo.net and www.ainfos.ca editorial collectives having the responsibility for their Greek language sectionw. As MACG we are in touch by some way with Organise Adelaide, and we want to be in touch with other similar anarchist communist, council communist, left marxist or so groupings in Australia and Oceania (we know about New Zealand though). Can someone bring us in touch with Treason from Canberra? Our email address is macg1984@yahoo.com.au or at my address ngnm55@gmail.com

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Mar 6 2010 10:27

I think this used to be their site but I am not sure whether the group still exists in its old form or is more of a discussion circle now. I have asked N Rossi in Sydney to put you in touch with them but you can also PM him via libcom.

http://treason.metadns.cx/

kuro
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Mar 6 2010 11:11

I haven't had much luck getting a hold of treason either -
I've got a mate that just moved down to Canberra and is keen to get involved -
are they still active?

Ark Tribe's trial is at the Adelaide mags court June 15,16 & 18

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Mar 6 2010 12:25

AFAIK, they're dead.

N. Rossi
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Mar 6 2010 12:26
Alf wrote:
I think this used to be their site but I am not sure whether the group still exists in its old form or is more of a discussion circle now.

http://treason.metadns.cx/

Alf is right, this is the old website. To clarify, 'Treason' as such is now defunct and has been for some time. The people involved however are still conducting discussions/group readings albeit somewhat haphazardly.

Dmitri wrote:
As MACG we are in touch by some way with Organise Adelaide, and we want to be in touch with other similar anarchist communist, council communist, left marxist or so groupings in Australia and Oceania (we know about New Zealand though). Can someone bring us in touch with Treason from Canberra? Our email address is macg1984@yahoo.com.au or at my address ngnm55@gmail.com

Hi Dmitri, thanks for posting. Currently there is a group of left communists including myself working on an appeal to sympathisers of the communist left in Australia. Maybe this is something we could pass onto MACG and yourself, Even though I think there will be some significant political differences I think it might be worth while. Is this something you would be interested in seeing?

I will be PMing those who've asked for the contact details of the Treason comrades shortly.

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Mar 6 2010 12:39

There was an interesting documentary on the ABCC, focusing on the 90 odd something railway workers who were facing individual fines for a wildcat.

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Mar 6 2010 22:29

Hey all
I was in Treason. We haven't existed in any meaningful form in years. I am in Brisbane these days and am involved in Red Thread . Comrades in Canberra have been involved in reading groups. I think there is some cross over between these reading groups and people involved in Project X .

If you PM me I can forward your email to comrades still in Canberra.

rebel love
Dave

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Mar 7 2010 07:35

Hey all, I used to be involved with Treason in Canberra. I've just reactivated the Treason email contact on the old website (http://treason.metadns.cx/), but you can also contact me here: antyphayes@gmail.com. The left overs of Treason in Canberra are now involved with the Project X list. Also we've set up a workers' solidarity network group in Canberra.

I haven't posted to libcom for ages but plan on visiting and posting more regularly.

Anthony

Dimitri
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Mar 7 2010 08:39

Comrades, thank you for the info and the addresses. I have to discuss everything with MACG though. However, it is great to have contacts with your respective groupings and other schemes.

lumpnboy
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Mar 7 2010 09:37

Project X seems like an shift for people from Treason, what with the desire for "grassroots trade unionism" for "decent wages and working conditions".

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Mar 7 2010 17:16

My understanding is that the Treason comrades, or at least P, does not agree with the quoted Workers Solidarity Network stance on the unions, but agrees on the need to take part in the activities and discussions of the network, while arguing for a clear anti-trade union position. I would support this and I think N Rossi and others in Sydney would also agree.

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Mar 7 2010 17:22

PS
I don't think the Treason group was opposed to the struggle in defence of wages and conditions. I did not read much of their stuff but I did get the impression that there was indeed a 'modernist' influence, but I would have been surprised if they went any near following modernism to its sad demise when important parts of it rejected the workers' defensive struggle and declared the working class a 'class for capital'.

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Mar 8 2010 00:45

Hi All
I am not involved in Project X so I don't feel in a position to comment on it, except to say that my recent conversations with comrades who are involved makes me think it is a very interesting project and could be relatively successful.
As for Alf's points, well I think this was one of the continual tensions within Treason: the seeming impossibility to place a communist approach within the struggles going on around us at the time. Part of it was the 'objective' conditions in Canberra, part of it was the way we tried to go about doing this.

For me the big underlying difficulty is still the line between the class in and for itself. The line between how we function as labour-power and how we can rebel and make ourselves the living negativity that is the proletariat. I don't have an answer. But I feel a certain messianic notion of the proletariat I had at the time didn't really help.

rebel love
Dave

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Mar 8 2010 01:39

Can someone make this into a flyer please? I have no pshop skills. Going to try and make sure something happens for this in Newcastle.

lumpnboy
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Mar 8 2010 02:10

Alf, yes, I was trying to point to the relation to trade unionism as an apparent shift, not the relation to struggles over wages etc per se.

But nonetheless, the way I read it the statement refers not merely to needing trade unionism, but to needing trade unionism around struggles defined solely in those terms. In my life in practice I've found that the combination of rank-n-filism with a narrow idea of economic struggle, whether coming from 'anti-political' militants, anarcho-syndicalists or trade unionists, has a reductive, de-politicising logic beyond simply its trade unionism.

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Mar 8 2010 03:42
Quote:
Can someone make this into a flyer please? I have no pshop skills. Going to try and make sure something happens for this in Newcastle.

At our meeting on friday we discussed posters and leaflet, but figure we'll put this into poster/leaflet form once there are groups in other cities willing to carry out actions, but until then to send it as is - a big block of writing via emails and publications(such as it should appear in mutiny).

Also if anyone has contacts in perth(IWW? ASN? Mutiny subscribers?) could they send the call-out on.

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Mar 8 2010 05:47

I've forwarded this link on to a Perth IWW'er I'm facebook friends with.

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Mar 8 2010 23:00

Just in regards to a few comments by alf, lumpnboy and Dave. I agree with Dave's comment about Treason re: "the seeming impossibility to place a communist approach within the struggles going on around us at the time." My participation in the workers solidarity network (wsn) is motivated by a desire to work with other anarchists and commies. In the Canberra wsn we have been arguing about the nature of trade unionism. Briefly my position is to accept the capitalist nature of trade unions while leaving open the possibility that revolutionists can organise around struggles over wages and conditions without conceding the "necessity" of trade unions as an expression of workers against capital. This view is not shared by all of Canberra wsn, but I am keen to continue the argument.

Anthony

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Mar 10 2010 14:30

Has anyone from mutiny or jura been lurking this thread? And anyone from Brisbane? I'd like to know if any groups have tabled this idea at meetings yet on whether they'll participate/organise actions.

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Mar 11 2010 07:06

I am in Brisbane. However I can't see how I could engage with this in a useful way.
You might want to contact workersbushtelegraph.com.au. . They could be really into it.
cheers
Dave

kuro
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Mar 11 2010 13:28

I'll raise this at our next meet up (Ipswich) but not sure we'll have the capacity to contribute anything substantial to project X (who came up with that name?).

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Mar 27 2010 06:11

Has there been more discussion around this action? Are there any groups who will join in on organising these actions?