Brisbane Solidarity Network

Catch BSN @ Laura St Festival 30/11/14

Posted in Uncategorized by Kapi Pulka on November 29, 2014

Laura street highgate hill – Laura Street Fest is self-managed by the tenants on laura st themselves! good times, great bands/talks/music/stalls/workshops – and no cops! Catch the BSN stall there from 1pm onwards 🙂

Solidarity Funds-raiser Friday December 12 6pm

Posted in Events by Kapi Pulka on November 28, 2014

Party/Fundraiser @ Brews Brothers in East Brisbane/Woolloongabba – 31 Wellington Rdbb

The theme is Black Block 🙂

G20 Counter-Forum: Anarchist responses to the g20 & Globalisation from Below

Posted in Events by Kapi Pulka on November 10, 2014

Join us 12th of November 3:45pm @ 199 Boundary Street West End 🙂 Thanks to the Australian Business Review for advertising.
See also:
Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy Program
BRISCAN Program
People’s g20 Zine
Anarchists & the G20 Zine
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Everybody Gets Icecream events @ the G20 counter-summit

Posted in Events by Kapi Pulka on November 8, 2014

Everybodygetsicecream

Don’t believe the Media Hype

Posted in Notice by Kapi Pulka on November 5, 2014

fnaDON’T FEED THE JOURNALISTS OF THE GUTTER PRESS.

If you’ve seen the front pages of the Curious Smell & other sections of the Propaganda Factory over the past few weeks you’ll no doubt have seen the sensationalist doom & gloom headlines and the constant talk of Anarchists threatening to bring chaos to Brisbane for the G20. These $tories (info-tainment) serve a purpose and they are serving it well; to intimidate the population and divide the organisers and movements which are attempting to coordinate a response. As the central task of the media is to deliver audiences to advertisers ($$), the educational value of content comes second to profits, and so we get reporting designed to catch the attention of the public rather than inform them. Front-page photos of thunderstorms and headlines about shadowy groups plotting atrocities at a protest have been all over the news despite the fact that these stories have no informative value whatsoever. How is it that we are flooded with so much information and yet so little is known in the public mind about what the G20 is and why so many different sections of society around the world are resisting it? We’re dealing with a system of imposed ignorance which suits the needs of the powerful.

IF YOU STAND FOR NOTHING, YOU’LL FALL FOR ANYTHING

“…The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum….”

What is the G20? The short answer is that the G20 is a kind of global executive committee for capitalism which hands down recommendations for individual States to implement. The aim is the security and stability (or image of) markets across the entire globe; the rich needto have a safe environment to continue their plunder. The G20 faces a difficult dilemma: it needs to support and coordinate economic stimulation to drive growth and job creation whilst addressing the challenges posed by increasing debt. The G20 Leaders Declaration commits to the seemingly contradictory goal of both ‘promoting labour market adaptability and efficiency’ (ie: a casualised, submissive workforce with little security) and ‘ensuring adequate labour protection’. Whilst it’s correct to see the G20 as the executive committee for global capitalism it doesn’t mean it has more power than the economy itself, and the G20’s attempts to address economic crises over the past few years have created a lot of misery across the globe (as well as increased resistance).

The G20 commitments are about increasing corporate profits, forcing the costs of maintaining an active workforce back on the shoulders of the people. We’ve seen huge cuts across the entire social/services sector in the past year, massive job losses, attacks on the unemployed and an increasingly brutal border policy. The ‘globalisation’ that the g20 talks about means more work put on us for less; it means the globalisation of exploitation and money but an increased control of the globes populations.

The effects of colonialism, capitalism and the extension and imposition of western rule have created economies that displace and compel people to move, yet which at the same time denies culpability and accountability for displaced migrants. The material structures which ‘secure the economy’ have killed, tortured, occupied, raped, incarcerated, sterilised, robbed land from, pillaged, stolen children from, introduced drugs into, sanctioned vigilante violence on, denied public services to, and facilitated the hyper exploitation of broad sections of the globe.

Under capitalism the never ending quest for profit & resources means the system and those who benefit from it commit numberless atrocities as a matter of routine daily functioning. Capitalist social relations violate humanity and dignity of people, their workplaces and communities and continue to ever increasingly threaten us with ecological destruction across the entire planet. We want to dismantle the structures of boarder imperialism, ecological insanity, colonialism, oppression, and the capitalist class system which shapes these.

NO JUSTICE ON STOLEN LAND

As a practice and over-arching worldview Anarchism is fundamentally about sticking up for each other – against the whims of bosses, landlords and bureaucrats, against systemic and psychological systems of social control, against racism, sexism and other forces that hold illegitimate power over our lives. At the same time anarchists looks at how we can organise ourselves and our struggles in a way that reflects the kind of society we want to see, and the nuts and bolts of doing this in such a way so that our movements can’t be demobilised or sold out from above, or used as trampolines for political  careerists, NGO’s and those who seek to rule over and above the people.

Our situation is one where strike action is basically illegal. Trade-Unions for the most part act as representative service organisations and NGO’s do – with all the rotten fruits of bureaucracy, paid officials and hierarchy. Most of the workforce  have never been in or participated in a fighting union culture and there are not many opportunities to learn from struggle. In terms of organising, this sounds bleak; there is so much to do.

Anarchists believe the seeds of a better world exist in the shadows of this one. Against the chaos and instability of the State & Capitalism, we see the need to push for solidarity, democracy, cooperation, mutual aid and popular control to become the basis of the way we organise society.

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Free Scrambled Eggs

Posted in Uncategorized by Kapi Pulka on November 2, 2014

fsaeA group of Brisbane anarchists last Thursday gave away free scrambled eggs in King George Square, pointing out the hypocrisy of the fears of “violence” at the G20.

Eggs are among the prohibited item list in the G20 Safety and Security Act. Any person possessing them in the restricted zone can have them confiscated and be charged. But while the state government considers throwing eggs a dangerous enough crime that it warrants a whole new law banning people from even carrying them, it is at the exact same time turning a blind eye to the extreme acts of violence that the members of the G20 are guilty of.

Despite a track record including brutal and unjust wars, mass human rights abuses against minority groups (eg. in Indonesia and China) or refugees (eg. in Australia), brutal austerity measures in Europe that punish the poorest people for financial crises they did nothing to cause, and runaway climate change that threatens the future of everyone on the planet; the QLD state government is not just allowing the G20 to go about their business, but they are actually rolling out the red carpet – stopping the entire city so the G20 can discuss ways to continue the economic growth that is crippling the rest of the world.

On top of this, these laws will be enforced by an extreme paramilitary police force. The Courier Mail yesterday featured a picture of SAS officers training for the G20 who were pointing a gun at somebody’s head while their dog attacked the person lying on the ground. The police are preparing to use guns, tasers, dogs and armoured vehicles at the summit, yet they call the protestors violent?

Anarchists are in favour of a world where resources (including eggs) are shared among everybody rather than being hoarded for profit. We are in favour of a world where people build bonds of solidarity across national borders. We are against a world where so-called “leaders” sit behind closed doors making decisions that will affect the rest of the world and enforce their rule with extreme violence.

What is the G20?

Posted in Uncategorized by Kapi Pulka on November 1, 2014

1173802_209552119208736_1311925837_n-300x300What is the G20, apart from being an annual event on the activist summit calendar? and what’s so bad about it?

The short answer is it’s a kind of global executive committee for capitalism which hands down recommendations for individual states to implement. These are often contradictory, but the aim is the security and stability (or image of) markets across the entire globe. It consists of 19 nations (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, and United States) and the EU. Let’s look at the excellent work of the g20 education group to flesh this out (highly recommended article available from them). The G20 evolved out of the G7/8 which has a history of involvement in quelling the social struggles of the 60s and 70s.

The G20 has three main forms of action. The first and most concrete is that the various members can commit to carrying out domestic policy as part of a more coordinated plan. The second is that the G20 can decide to act as a global bloc to intervene in and steer other multilateral forums such as the UN, the IMF, WTO, WB etc. Thirdly, it can act as a diplomatic arena where complex issues can be discussed and new initiates launched. The G20 has an increasing relationship with, and an incorporation of, liberal ‘civil society’ elements, including youth, trade unions, NGOs and academics as represented in the Y20, L20,C20 and T20 respectively.

This seems to be an important part of how the G20 attempts to achieve a sense of legitimacy while addressing various criticisms that it is unrepresentative of the broader population. The G20 faces a difficult dilemma: it needs to support and coordinate economic stimulation to drive growth and job creation whilst addressing the challenges posed by increasing debt. The Leaders Declaration commits to the seemingly contradictory goal of both ‘promoting labour market adaptability and efficiency’ (ie: a casualised, submissive workforce with little security) and ‘ensuring adequate labour protection’. If these seem to be unsolvable contradictions it is probably because they are. Whilst it would be correct to see the G20 as the executive board of global capital this doesn’t mean that it is greater or more powerful than the global economy itself. This economy remains largely stuck following the 2007 economic crisis. Attempts to address these issues though cuts to social spending have produced few positive results but great misery. The point is, no obvious solution within the framework of the system itself appears possible. In the discussions amongst the Education Group this seems to be the foundation for a serious, mature and radical critique of the G20: that it can’t solve, and instead simply reproduces, the deep structural problems of capital, as opposed to the G20 itself being the source of some problem.

The G20 members want to stimulate demand, reduce debt and ensure social cohesion – but really don’t have the ability to do any of this. Nor should such efforts be welcomed by the people of the globe. These commitments are about increased state spending on activities aimed at increased corporate profits, forcing the costs of social reproduction back in the home (and therefore onto the shoulders of mainly women) and disciplining and re-orientating the labour force. In sum, it means that not only will we have to continue to experience the global crisis, but that the G20 is attempting to put more of us to work for less. However, the G20’s commitment to economic stimulation and financial regulation, and its attempts to increase participation and representation at its forums, means that opposition from a social democratic or liberal perspective will probably be muted.

The current activity of the G20 is only really objectionable if one objects to capitalism in total. The impact of the G20 can only be understood in a much broader sense – how does capitalism impact on the lives of people in Australia? Capitalism and its structures are profoundly irrational and sociopathic. In it’s never ending quest for profit & resources the system and those who benefit from it commit numberless atrocities as a matter of routine daily functioning. Capitalist social relations violate humanity and dignity of people, their workplaces and communities and continue to ever increasingly threaten us with the destruction of the entire planet. We want to dismantle the structures of boarder imperialism, ecological insanity , colonialism, oppression, and the capitalist class system which shapes these.

The effects of colonialism, capitalism and the extension and imposition of western rule have created economies that displace and compel people to move, yet which at the same time denies culpability and accountability for displaced migrants. The material structures which ‘secure the economy’ have killed, tortured, occupied, raped, incarcerated, sterilised, robbed land from, pillaged, stolen children from, introduced drugs into, sanctioned vigilante violence on, denied public services to, and facilitated the hyper exploitation of broad sections of the globe. The ‘globalisation’  that the g20 talks about means freedom for capital and money, not for people. The predominantly Indigenous Zapatista movement put it well when they say: Throughout the world, two projects of globalization are in dispute: The one from above that globalizes conformity, cynicism, stupidity, war, destruction, death, and amnesia. And the one from below, that globalises rebellion, hope, creativity, intelligence, imagination, life, memory, building a world where many worlds fit.

Capitalism is social war: It destroys certainties capable of giving any measure of meaning to existence on this earth. It is the first truly Total war; not a war on all fronts – a war with No front. Anything that allows us to identify ourselves as existing independent of capital must be destroyed, or reduced to the quantifiable exchangeability of the world market. Cultures, languages, histories, memories, stories, songs, ideas and dreams must all undergo this process; For the capitalist market the ultimate goal is to make the entire world a desert of indifference populated only by equally indifferent and exchangeable consumers and producers…”

So then why respond against it at all?

If the g20 serves as simply a public display of legitimacy, then what can we hope to gain by opposing it? What’s the point? We can show others across the globe that people here too oppose this madness. The g20 draws in broad layers of society with various grievances and our aim should be to better coordinate this and produce new forms of cooperation and bonds of solidarity. We’ve already seen the demonization of any form of dissent, mainly through newspaper articles which demonise anarchists and try to introduce false binaries into the movement. Another great article from the HooHaa group puts this well: “We can except in the lead up to the actual G20 meeting more stories of this type. Whatever the actual motivations of the journalists we can assume the impact that they will have. Such stories work to intimidate the population and divide organizers and militants.

The G20(Safety and Security) Bill 2013 gives the police extensive powers to arrest protesters and break up demonstrations. Under this legislation a protest is only a lawful assembly if (amongst other reasons) ‘an offence is not committed under this Act by at least 2 persons who are acting in concert and participating in the assembly…a violent disruption offence is not committed by a person participating in the assembly’. The bogey-man of violent anarchists will be manufactured whenever the state needs to smash heads.

From past experiences we can assume that often protest organisers who are courting mainstream respectability, hoping to use the media to their own ends, or simply promoting their own organisations often fall for the bait of the media hype and quickly make public statements distancing themselves from those other protestors real or imagined that the state and the media are gunning for. This is an error. We don’t get to decide the dividing line between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ protestors, between ‘peaceful’ and ‘violent’ action. The state will do that and the media will declare it. Any attempt to legitimise such a division is just setting all of us up to receive the wrong end of a baton. But all who struggle deserve our solidarity. Hobgoblins dreamt up by the media shouldn’t be fed and the errors of the past not repeated.”

Unfortunately we’ve seen the logic of the media spread into the movement itself, which is plagued with artificial divisions which reduce dissent to questions of violence/non-violence, good protesters/bad protesters.  The epitome of this has seen people from within BrisCAN itself argue that certain types of protesters should be handed in to the police. Most prevalent is the idea that we need to show ‘truth to power’, the idea that if we show a controlled protest movement that doesn’t need force laid down upon it then we’ll show that the entire spending on security and the g20 is a farce.

This strategy holds that the best way to go about fighting attacks on wages, living conditions, services etc is to point out the flaws in the procuts arguments in a civil way, have a polite march and suggest alternative policies which would avoid the need for cuts. The government are making these cuts because they suit the rich, the wealthy and the powerful. They can get away with it not because they are right, but because they hold power. They won’t be swayed by argument, because from such a position of strength all arguments can be safely ignored. If necessary they can enforce their decisions using the media, police and courts.

Yet the power of a government is based upon our compliance. If the state wants to do something that we don’t like, we can organise towards occupations, economic-blockades, etc. This is where the true hope lies: Not in winning some abstract moral argument, but in building our bonds of cooperation, hospitality, sustenance, coordination & solidarity, and rediscovering the ability to take control of our own lives and communities. Instead of falling back on if we’re being the right kinds of protesters, we should be thinking of if the tactics we’re using are bringing ourselves closer to where we want to be. Who are we accountable to? The ruling class media which will skew us no matter what we do, or ourselves as a movement?

The state is a social relationship; a certain way of people relating to one another. It can be destroyed by creating new social relationships

..NO JUSTICE ON STOLEN LAND.