International News and Anarcho Quiz - Black Flag #216

Some of the short international new items from Black Flag #216. And the quiz.

Submitted by Fozzie on August 10, 2020

Anarcho Quiz

1. Who said ‘The present day motor-car has developed from the horse drawn carriage; there is every evidence of this development in its form and size and it is probably the most wasteful and uneconomic contrivance which has yet appeared among our personal possessions. The average passenger load of motor-cars in our streets is certainly less than two persons ... The economic implications of this situation is ridiculous and I cannot believe it to be permanent’. What is he most remembered for?

2. Keyhinge Toys, a Hong Kong-owned company, has been condemned by unions in China and Vietnam for its appalling working conditions. Workers are forced to work 14-15 hours a day and frequently sufferacetone poisoning, from which 3 Chinese workers dies in 1992. Whatvital product is worth such sacrifices?

3. What was the Parliament of Bats?

4. In Julius Caesar, Shakespear writes 'Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war'. What does havoc mean in this context?

(Answers at the bottom of the page)

News from Africa

Kenyan Literature Project

US anarchist prisoner Christopher Plummer and the Claustrophobia Collective have set up a project to send anarchist and revolutionary literature to Kenya. A comrade of Chris (who once lived in East Africa) works for a project called the Kipkoriony School and Library which serves over 2500 students in the Rift Valley area. The folks involved are not anarchists but are interested in providing all types of literature.

East Africa has a long history of resistance and autonomy, and from the cultural diversity of the area Chris came to believe we are "born anarchist" and the rest is learned.

Send easy to read books and pamphlets (as well as videos, cameras, typewriters if you have them spare) to:

Claustrophobia Collective

ATTN: Kenyan Literature Project

PO Box 1721, Baltimore MD 21203 USA.

For more info contact them or Christopher Lee Plummer, PP# 677345 Hughes Unit, Rt 2 Box 4400, Gatesville, TX 76597 USA


Teachers in Kenya found out they were fighting a bigger force than the government after a 15 day strike last October. The Financial Times (13/10/98) revealed that the IMF would not approve an urgently needed new loan facility if the government acceded to the teachers demands.

Teachers in Kenya currently receive an average basic salary of US $150 per month. The Kenyan National Union of Teachers argued that most teachers this is not enough to live on. Last July they negotiated an agreement with the government for a 200% increase over a five-year period. The strikes, supported by 70% of the population, were in response to the government defaulting on that agreement.

Kenya is heavily indebted, and 25% of government revenue goes to service debt, compared to 2.7% of GNP on health and 6.8% on education. Over half of the debt is owed to multilateral institutions, including the World Bank and IMF, and last year Kenya paid US $208 million in debt service to these institutions. A reduction in Kenya's debt burden would release funds that could be used for social spending including teacher's salaries. However the International Financial Institutions do not consider Kenya eligible for debt relief.

Police Brutality


This day of protest first began in 1997, at the initiative of the Drapeau Noir collective in Switzerland. For the last two years, the International Day Against Police Brutality (IDAPB) has been a success. Groups that have participated are critical of more than just police brutality, and most are anti-authoritarian and/or anarchist.

To date various types of events have taken place: street theatre, painting murals, demonstrations, conferences, workshops, photo and text exhibitions, radio shows, and cultural events. Some groups have done more than one event for the day. In some cities, coalitions have been formed to organise for IDAPB. Any group or individual can do something. Our imagination is the key.

In this country, it is being publicised by the NATIONAL COALITION OF ANTI-DEPORTATION CAMPAIGNS * c/o 101 Villa Road, Birmingham B21 1NH, England Tel: 0121-554-6947 Fax: 0870-055-4570 E-mail: [email protected] Web:

So, work out what you want to do in your locality and go for it.

Polish farmers

About three thousand farmers from the Self-Defence Committee, together with two other farmer's organisations began a blockade of one of the main Polish/German border crossings (near Frankfurt am Oder) in January.

They were demanding lower food imports from the EU. They came armed with scythes and other farm tools. The government threatened the use of force, but the blockade was lifted after a day or two. One of the leaders of the farmer's organisations said that the goal of the protests is "overthrowing of the government".

The farmers' problems come from the Russian crisis curtailing the export of food, and making prices fall at home. They also face competition in processed foods imported from the EU.

A couple of days later the blockades were back on with about 900 different roads hit throughout Poland, involving about 4000 farmers. The government insinuated that post-communists sponsored their leaders, and the media also tried to create splits, but unsuccessfully. After police were sent against several of the blockades, with armoured cars and water cannon, the farmers responded with Molotov cocktails, clubs, and threw dung at the police. In most cases the police were unable to break the blockades.

The radio quoted one farmer saying: "If we can't achieve what we want peacefully, we'll make a bloody revolution!"

The Polish Anarchist Federation (FA) is working with the farmers' organisations, particularly the Self-Defence Committee, which is regarded as more radical. While the issue of vegetarianism is dear to many of the anarchists' hearts, they also recognise the dangers posed by both the EU and by the far-right trying to win the farmers to their cause. The farmers are self-employed and own their own land, and are resisting capitalist expropriation in exactly the same way they resisted the communist state. The FA are trying to link the farmers' struggles in with the "caravan 99" international tour of Indian farmers when it comes to Poland.

Anarcho Quiz Answers

1. Sir Herbert Manzoni, city engineer of Birmingham, responsible forSpaghetti Junction and the redevelopment of the city centre into the soul-less, car dominated Bull Ring.

2. Keyhinge is a subcontractor of M-B of America, who supply the toys given away at McDonalds. Need I say more?

3. In 1426, a quarrel between the Duke of Gloucester and Cardinal Beaufort was settled at Northampton. They were forbidden to beararms, so all came along with clubs or bats. One wonders if the ideaought not to be revived.

4. It is a command to massacre without quarter.