zondag 16 oktober 2016

4th National Manifestation in Brussels: Two years of struggle against the Michel-government - Two years of combative illusions

It appeared official last Thursday: The social protest against the reactionary government-Michel I and its very worker-hostile austerity policies came to a dead end, because of the three big Belgian Unions.

“In 2014 the Union leaders made a mistake. They had to strike away the government. Though, because they did not let the government fall, they gave this weak and divided government a chance to increase the austerity policy”, the Linkse Socialist rightly wrote in a pamphlet to mobilize for the great manifestation of this day. However, they made the mistake to suggest that the Union leadership only made a mistake in tactics in regard to the struggle against the government, instead of making the masses aware of the fact that this was the deliberate aim of the Union leadership! The Union leadership wanted to canalize the anger of their organized basis through harmless protests and by letting it bleed to death. We can only come to the conclusion this has worked.

Dockers against the Michel-government

Once again the Pseudo-Left in Belgium has let themselves be fooled by the 'radical' language of the Union bosses: Marc Goblet (“far left” within the FGTB) called for the fall of the government by a general strike before the end of this year. Date of strike: 7 October.

However, in the De Standaard of the 22th of September we could already read that “the three big Unions had “canceled” their, for the 7th of October, planned strike” Only the ACV-Metal called for a strike anyway (in metal and textile - good for 200.000 workers). Other Unions would follow in other sectors with actions, but a general strike stayed off. Marc Leeman (ACV-boss) was confused by this: “What signal are we giving? We do not strike and we do strike. It is not very clear.” The CEO of the Federation of Belgian Enterprises, Pieter Timmermans, had not much hope left for a return to an “easier social climate” after the news of a general strike, but it is clear he can feel safe again.

Workers filled the streets as far as one could see

The De Tijd (29 September) wrote on the morning of the manifestation that “one of the many proposals, one by the N-VA, would be a second index jump”. “Nonetheless it would not apply to everybody, only for pensions and unemployment benefits...” The day after the Het Laatste Nieuws continued that the N-VA once again wanted to get rid of “the fiscal deduction of the Union membership fee and wanted to correctly tax the Union premium tax.” (The Union premium tax is a certain amount of money that the employer pays for his employees which are syndicalized) This open and provoking Union-bashing by the N-VA/MR-government will probably not flare up the protests against the government again.

In regard to the manifestation itself we must come to the conclusion that this time there was no opportunity for militant participants to get into a direct fight with Michel's police core on the Zuidlaan. Apparently the Union bureaucracy had gotten their orders from Jambon, by hermetically sealing of the Zuidlaan with barriers manned by the internal Union stewards, who acted as the “auxiliaries” of the cops. Because of this, the masses were not able to hang around at the end of the manifestation with a lack of speechers and music. The set-up of the cops and the Union bureaucracy was very successful: the most part of the militants went to the station to return straight home.

Pyrotechnics lightened at the barricaded Zuidstation

No, any form of militant protest or independent organization of the worker itself was once again stopped by the Union bosses. (Still some libertarian communists gave the headquarters of the PS and the office of B-post a nice 'makeover') Once again the Union bureaucracy had to let down the reformist left; it simply does what has been its function since 1914. Namely: Making sure that the capitalist production process keeps on functioning well. Keeping the class peace (between capital and wage labor) intact!

The PS office got a 'make over'

donderdag 26 mei 2016

Unions protest in Brussels - Firm confrontation with the Cops

Last Tuesday the 24th of May the Belgian workers movement (the "socialist" ABVV/FGTB, the christian ACV and the liberal ACLVB) organized a national manifestation in Brussels. Around 60.000 people gathered to protest against the austerity policy and reforms of the Michel-government. Special target of the manifestation was the Minister of Work, Kris Peeters, who wants to flexibilise the 38-hour working week (the so-called 'Loi Peeters', borrowed from the French 'Loi Travail/El-Khomri' and the very militant resistance against it).

A delegation of the ACN/AKN traveled to Brussels to join in on this protest. Not to join the usual circus of the union-bureaucracy, but to support the independent struggle of the workers. Although the whole demonstration was mostly orchestrated by the system-unions, the massive presence of disgruntled workers and activists proved the Belgium workers movement is alive and still has the potential to become a revolutionary force of interest. As long as they liberate themselves from the yoke of the reformist union- and party bosses! 

Thousands protestors fill the streets of Antwerp

The demonstration started with the usual walk through the city center towards the South station. Fireworks were, as is the tradition, ignited and along the way the RVA (employment service) and PS ("socialist" party) offices were besmirched with paint bombs. Notable was the absence of the dockers of Antwerp during this protest. Did they deliberately avoid this manifestation, because the unions helped to abolish the law Major? A combatant and excited atmosphere prevailed among the many protesters. The unions themselves had employed over a thousand security people to keep the manifestation under control.

KVA Office hit by paintbombs and smeared with graffiti

Arriving at the South station the protest turned grim in no time after the cops, under the threat of bat beatings and 6 (!) water canons, tried to push back the flocking crowd. A motley collection of workers, anarchists and local youth gave a proper response to this police provocation, by setting up an improvised blockade with several crush barriers. The coppers were treated with a rain of stones, pyrotechnics and bottles. During the short confrontation that followed, the police chief of Brussels, Pierre Vandermissen, was knocked down by a militant (there seems to be a trend throughout Europe, where militants deliberately target higher police cadres (-> targeted actions), such as in London in Nov. 2015, in Paris and in Nantes). In the fights that followed the cops were able to arrest several comrades.
Cops try to drive back protestors under the threat of bats and watercanons
Preparations for first charge
'Hero of the day' - Chief of Police goes K.O.
With the help of water canons the militants were pushed back under the bridges of the train tracks. Because of a lack of force and cover of the masses (most protesters went straight to the train station, once arrived at the endpoint - set-up of the unions?), this quickly turned into a stand off with the cops, where the stone throwing was from time to time answered by one of the water canons. The resurrection of some barricades proved useless, and more cops closed in on the protesters from three different sides, only leaving open a small gateway to the train station. After this it quickly came to a climax, where most protesters left towards the station.
Watercanons force back militants

Three cops were wounded during the confrontation. Eight protesters were injured by the police violence and another fifteen were arrested. The bourgeois press did what was expected of them, and used this confrontation caused by the cops to criminalize the entire manifestation. Instead of condemning the police violence, the reformists of the union bureaucracy were the first to put the blame on 'the anarchists'. It is clear that for these reformists the class struggle may only be waged within the boundaries that the capitalist order imposes!

Stand off with the cops
Militants set up barricades
Although this national manifestation was less massive and/or militant than its predecessors, all the signals for a hot summer are there. The coming months several actions, strikes and protests will be held against the scandalous austerity politics and reforms of the Michel-government. We will follow these events closely.








woensdag 18 mei 2016

Refugee crisis? System crisis! - Plea for an entrism in the anti-Refugee Resistance

As national-revolutionaries we strive first and foremost for national and social liberation, by means of a revolution. Only in a situation of a severe systemcrisis this revolution could really succeed.  

Untill this time we need to use all current contradictions within the system and each form of discontent, in order to build revolutionary cadres and to realize a grounding in the masses.

Where there is discontent and unrest, there must be national-revolutionaries to stimulate and exploit this. By doing so we must not put forth our national-revolutionary message, but the concrete discontent, which on a longer term will turn into rebellion.   

Therefore we must reach towards the masses, because only through their participation we can overthrow the vested capitalist system. 

To do so national-revolutionaries must organize themselves within civilprotests and demonstrations, to transform these into happenings of rebellion and uprising!

An important instrument is it to -if needed undercover - infiltrate local civil initiatives and protests, in order to get into key-positions. Cultivate friendships, relations and built out a radical basis (with for instance local youth, footbal supporters, etc.). 

By our presence within civilprotests, demonstrations and other activities we can introduce a dimension of serious resistance within an otherwise timid and directionless movement, so as to convert the indecision and reluctance of the masses into direct action! 

The State, the cops and local politics study and anticipate constantly on the developments surrounding the protestactions against mass immigration. More often the cops fall back on repression as preventive measures to avoid civil disobedience. It is important to respond to this and to always be one step ahead.    

Therefore it is absolutely necessary that we keep on improving our tactics and capacities. This is a constant process of selfreflection. Plan your actions well and work out specific goals. After each and every action gather, to see what has been accomplished in regard to these goals and seek for improvements. Learn from your mistakes and be creative!   

The more effective our movements will become, the more repression from the State we can expect. Be discrete with information, the cops might always be listening and work on a 'need-to-know' basis within your group. Mix your unobtrusively and anonymously in the protests. All information that leaks out in regard to our activities, is a step ahead for our enemies!  

At this moment the asylum debate is dominated by reactionary rightwing forces, who try to canalize the popular anger into a direction which is desirable for the system. Reactionary parties and movements - like the PVV and Pegida - have made the islamophobic NATO retorics of the 'War on terror' their own and embraced zionism. They don't want to overthrow the system, they want to perpetuate it!

Their reactionary agenda is opposed to that of ours. Co-operation with them is therefore no option and we can not tolerate these reactionaries in our own ranks. We need to refute their lies through persistent work on the streets, in the neighborhoods and communities. From here on we have to neutralize the zionist poison and anchor ourselves in the masses as the only revolutionary alternative for this thoroughly rotten system!

Against State and Capital! - Forward to the National and Socialist Revolution!

As a consequense of the massive flows of refugees who come from the Middle East and Africa, the EU expects millions of new immigrants for the coming years . This mass immigration and the alienation of the European nations and its cultural areas, serve the ruling class on several levels.  

In first instance the employment potential of the Third World is delivered straight at the front door of the big capitalist corporations. The wagecosts for the capitalists will be decreased because of a saturation of the labourmarket and this way the workers are forced to work for a pittance. Therefore it does not suprise us that employers-organisations across Europe are currently calling in unison that foreigners must be put to work as soon as possible. However, after years of economic crisis with mass unemployment as its consequence, this will only deteriorate the ethnic relations. 

On the long term this mass immigration serves another goal for the ruling class. The massive influx of huge groups of foreigners, will lead to an insuperable cultural, social and urban disintegration, that will break open the achievements of the bourgeois democracy. By means of the current asylum policy the ruling class makes the European peoples and cultures cooperate in their own destruction.

Throughout Europe we can see an increasing resistance from the basis against mass immigration as a result of this. The opressed masses - the big losers of globalisation - are evermore resisting against the arrival of hordes of aliens who steal 'their' jobs and social security. Reactionary demagogues like Geert Wilders are fanning the fire for their own electoral gain, however their national chauvinism does not provide a solution. They only combat the symptoms, but refuse to denominate the cause - namely capitalism.    

We cannot blame foreigners for trying to find a better live elsewhere, they too are disappointed. They only serve as scapegoats to conceal the problems the capitalist class has created. In their search for the Golden Calf, they have become willing instruments for the ruling class. The welfare of the indigenous people, nor that of foreigners from far places, are of no concern to the internationally organized capital. Their social needs are just instrumentalized by the capitalists, in order to enrich themselves over the backs of the working masses.  

However, the 'anti-refugee resistance' represents much more than a reactionary chauvinism or an expression of 'xenophobia'. It is the expression of a more general discontent about the capitalist system and its symptoms (of which mass immigration is one). It represents a great deal of the justified worries that live amongst vast parts of the population. More important, this anger and discontent is not only aimed at these foreigners, but also against the authorities, the State apparatus and its armed extension (the cops). 

These ever further increasing tensions within society as a result of a radicalizing resistance against the policy of the ruling class, does have a revolutionary potential. A popular uprising against the capitalist system can destabilize and weaken this system. However, our support for this tendency does not come without critizism. Our tasks is to resist all reactionary elements within this tendency to create an awareness amongst our fellow countrymen. The foreigner is not our enemy, the capitalist system is! 

A revolutionary consciousness rarely occurs spontaneously. Even popular movements with an initial reactionary nature may constitute a first step towards a revolutionary political organization. We can try to proclaim the revolutionary truth from our ivory towers, but let us rather go onto the streets and move amongst the masses. Our task as revolutionaries is to consciously participate in these processes and to therefore lift it on both a political as well as an organizational level.   

We do not have the illusion that this movement can be entirely undone of its reactionary elements, but firmly believe that these events may contribute to a political upheaval that offers us revolutionary perspectives. Here lies an important task for us: The building of a revolutionary organization and the development of revolutionary cadres within this popular resistance.

woensdag 4 mei 2016

Stop TTIP? Yes, we could have...

How a potential day of action ended in nothing

On Saturday the 23rd of April over 50.000 activists gathered in all enthousiasm in a united mass demonstration to give a strong signal against the meeting of President Obama and Chancellor Merkel to promote the talks about the TTIP-Treaty. The ACN/AKN called earlier this week to join this day of action, to give a militant signal against this Treaty. Therefore a delegation travelled to Hannover.     

At the Opernplatz - the startpoint of the demonstration - the massive scale of the organisation rose directly to our attention. On a big stage, with project screens to follow the speakers live from further away, a good soundsystem and all kind of infostands from all kind of political parties and organisations. Next to the parliamentary parties such as Die Linke, SPD, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, there were also many activists from parties and organisations, such as the reformist workerparties DKP, the MLPD and its youth movement REBELL, the Arbeiterbund für den wiederafbau der KPD, the SADJ and the Turkish DIDF, the pascifist anarchistische Graswurzelrevolution, Ökologische Linke and many more present, who eagerly distributed their papers, pamflets and other propaganda material to the many thousands of demonstratorsd that kept coming. Next to these activists there were also many bourgeois activists from ATTAC, anti-nuclear energy and other enviromental organisations like Greenpeace and anti-fracking organisations aswell as anti-drone and sigital provacy activists. Also teh Unionjs were present like Ver.Di and the IG Bauen-Agrar-Umwelt/Bergbau-Chemie-Energie/Metall.

Ofcourse we can give a long report on all the banners and protestsigns that were carries, or giva a substenciated critizism on the speeches of the many (petit-bourgeois) speakers and talk about the demonstration route, but this was not why the ACN/AKN participated this day.

Despite the huge numbers of protestors and their messages not a single real blow was made towards Obama, Merkel and their TTIP plans. Expected militant actions - like with Blockupy in 2015 - did not take place. How is this possible? Maybe because the demonstration was held one day in advance of the meeting between Obama and Merkel, which held militants away to give them a message (both were in london and Turkey this day and thus would not directly be confronted with militant resistance)? On sunday a smaller demonstration was organized in the city, but this would not top the attendance of saturday. But a Black Block is useless if it is not supprted by the masses (like the 50.000 on a saturday). Was this all a set up? The cops seemed perfectly happy this saturday and did not seem to expect any serious threat what so ever. This protest - not matter how good and important its theme was - could not beat dent in a pack of butter, even if there were 2 million people present.

Next this msised chance from the militant 'left' to make its statement today, the absence of 'rightist'militants also a sad given. Why national-revolutionary activists did nothing with this day of action against TTIP beats us. Such a Free Trade Treaty - which breaks down social rights and the enviroment on a huge scale - seems to be a perfect theme to agitate against - especially a Trade Treaty with America. Sadly the nationalist scene remained stuck this day in very sectarian commemorations, instead of using these protests (thus among the masses) to break free from the political ghetto. Even with a separate day of action within own movement nothing was done.  

Hopefully better chances occur in the near future against the TTIP, where militants from both the 'left' and 'right' of the political spectre can make combatant use of.

- Some anticapitalist / anti-TTIP demonstrators

Left: Greenpeace activists give a clear signal against Obama, Merkel and their TTIP-Treaty on the Union building of the DGB. Right: Does TTIP really bring hope? The propaganda of the metal lobby looks like it can only exist with the help of the police State. 

Left: Still a relevant slogan >> Who have betrayed us? The socialdemocrats! <<< CDU/CSU, SPD! >>> Right: International solidarity was not an empty word here.

1st of May Plauen: Militant action during the 'Arbeiterkampftag'

Under the slogan >> Destroy capitalism! For a German socialism!  << a delegation of the ACN/AKN travelled to the East-German city of Plauen, to participate in the struggle of the autonomous national and socialist movement during this laborday. Over a thousand comrades attended this demonstration organized by the political party 'Der III. Weg'. 

The autonomous 'Antikapitalistisches Kollektiv' called for the formation of a Black Bloc on this demonstration. This Black Bloc had a strong anticapitalist character, emphasized by the many slogans on banners and flags. The East-German comrades certainly emphasized the social aspects of national socialism. And this Bloc did exactly what it was supposed to do, when a confrontation with the cops emerged!  

At first it seemed to become a peacefull protest, like so many other demonstrations in the BRD. An obedient walk under the supervision of a massive amount of riot police. However, during the demonstration a comrade was hit by a flying object, possibly thrown by a counter-protestor, which severely injured him. Remarkable was the fact that only a handfull of comrades stayed behind to provide support, during which the first aid of the organisation did an excellent job. About one hundred meters further the other protestors were stopped by the cops. A striking detail is that it took about 20 minutes until the police forces called for medical care.

This incident was directly used by the cops to block the demonstration. As a reaction the Black Bloc tried to force a militant but unexpected break through against the riot police. A good and direct reaction against the cops. However, a point of criticism is that this decision was made without feedback, which led to some comrades being stunned. With a shower of pepperspray and tofa strikes, the cops managed to stop this break through and drove it back with the support of a watercanon.    

The willingness to actions and amount of preparations was remarkable. Some comrades were well prepared for the streetfight (handshoes, ski- and sunglasses, disguise) and were able to keep the cops away through good reactions to their tactics. This was strengthened by the use of flagposts, protest- and traffic-signs, garbage containers and anything else present. This however still couldn't prevent the cops from dispersing the Black Bloc. This led to a surrounding by the riot police, who by now had called for heavy materials.  

Der III. Weg-bosses forced a 'spontanious demonstration' in consultation with the cops. In fact this was not much more than a walk under strict police control back to the trainstation Oberer Platz, where the demonstration was dismantled after a long wait.  

Some lessons can be learned from these events: 

- Our own first aid was able to help the wounded before the spontanious actions, but as soon as more people amongst the demonstrators became injured because of the cops, they were unable to keep up because of undercapacity. Other demonstrators were only able to give very limited help through improvisation with bottles of drinking water. Active and efficient help was slow because of a lack of medical knowledge. 

- The 'Bloc-experience' of many comrades was insufficient. For instance; some tactics were not properly understood or incorrectly applied because of limited knowledge and/or miscommunication. We are talking about strategies such as hooking in, the formation of a protective mass for fighting comnrades in the front lines, etc. Eventually mass hysteria took over and the fight was left to a handfull of militants. Because of this we can conclude that the militant actions in the long run took a defensive attitude, because the Bloc was not able to strikingly and massively break out. This certainly is something to analyse for the different affinity groups which were present on this demonstration.    

Remarkably no arrests were made this day (at least as far as we know). The phonenumber for help for the detainies seemed unnecessary, but nonetheless a very good organizational part of the demonstration. Despite some small points of constructive criticism, this certainly was a very combative demonstration. 

Hopefully this is a prelude to a more militant and more organized autonomous resistance against the system and the cops in the BRD!   



woensdag 20 april 2016

23-04 Yes we can, Stop the TTIP! in Hannover (DE)

This weekend the US President Barack Obama will visit Hannover to negotiate with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the 'Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership' (TTIP) between the EU and US. With this TTIP treaty multinational corporations will impose their will as law and it will provide the capitalist monopolies with an unprecedented power.

This treaty is the newest instrument of the capitalist monopolies to get rid of any obstacle in the way of their everlasting search for maximisation of profits. It is a direct attack by the multinational corporations on the European and American communities and a mean to take away any restrictions on their activities.

The biggest losers of the TTIP will be the working masses. Social- and worker-rights, public health, environmental and food security regulations will be abolished, profits will be privatized while losses are collectivized. The situation for the workers will worsen even more under the influence of this new treaty. Therefore the TTIP must be seen as an unprecedented expansion of the policy of the capitalist monopolies, which completely violates the most basic interests and needs of the working class.

Therefore we call upon the working masses to resist against this treaty, as a part of our general struggle against the EU imperialists, the capitalist monopolies and their power. The struggle against the TTIP treaty is inseparable bound to the fight against the capitalist system in its totality, with its endless exploitation and oppression.

The ACN/AKN calls upon everybody to come Saturday the 23rd of April to bring the class struggle onto the streets of Hannover!


France: Mass protests against the 'Loi du Travail'

Away with the 'War on Terror" and Police-State measures!

On the 31st of March around 1 million people went onto the streets of many cities throughout France to protest against the concept text of the 'loi du travail', a law aimed against the organized labor movement. This law is better known under the name 'loi-el-Khomri', named after the Minister of Labor; miss Myrian El Komri. This actionday was characterized mostly by a number of strikes in the transportsector; among others at the railroads and Air France, as well as the public sector. There is a deeply rooted and widespread anger amongst the working masses against the continued attacks of the government aimed at the destruction of all social achievements, which have been realized after years of hard struggle by the labor movement.

Vast numbers of students and college scholars took part in these protest (like they did before, during other mass rallies) that in some cities were twice as big as on the first day of action (the 9th of march). All over the country the forces of 'law and (dis)order' used teargas, watercannons, horses and - mostly - brute violence against the youths. In Marseille and elsewhere the cops attacked youths, who did not immediately spread out after the protest was ended; the clouds of teargas were so dense that people situated on nearby café-terrasses had to flee.  In Lyon protesting students were attacked by fascists, who were covered by CRS-cops. In Rouen a considerable number of transport workers, supported by other workers, supported the students when they were attacked by the cops with teargas. The intervention forced the cops to retreat.

The controversial bill is the most recent in a series of hard anti-Union laws, that were forced through by the Socialist Party (Parti Socialiste). The government Vals/Hollande acts with an unprecedented ruthlessness in order to repress any form of resistance from the working class. In Januari of this year, eight CGT-militants were arrested because of their role in a militant resistance against the closure of the Goodyear factory in Amiens. They were convicted to nine months in prison. Five workers of Air France are confronted with sentences of three years, after two Air France bosses literaly were stripped of their clothing during a militant strikers protest in Octobre last year.

The attacks on the organized labor movement must be seen in the context of the 'state of emergency' (l ‘état d’urgence), that the PS-government declared last November after the terrorist attacks in Paris, and which has been extended to half May. Since then the cops performed thousands of searches (without a court order), mainly in areas where mostly muslims live. Hundreds of people got a house arrest, among them many activists from the autonomous scene who had called for a protest at the Climate Top in Paris (last year December). Grandscale searchoperations allow the cops to save all telephone calls.  

Valls, Hollande: Hands of the organized labor movement!

Away with the El Khomri-law!

We demand the immediate withdrawal of all charges against the workers militants of Goodyear and Air France as well as against all arrested protestors of the last weeks!

zaterdag 27 februari 2016

Independent Protest of Dockers in the Ports of Antwerp (22-02)

The manifestation against the syndical leadership of the three biggest Port Unions in Antwerp announced by the independent committee Dockers Fight Back ("We are just a group of dockworkers, not connected to any Political Party or Union"), was perhaps not such a great success in terms of size and form, but nonetheless a modest success for the Dockers of Antwerp in their struggle against the reforms of the law Major.    

"We find that the Port Unions do not inform us very well while they sit in their ivory towers (...) Feel free to call this manifestation a wake-up call", states Filip Verbeek, a spokesman of this action. It is notable that the PVDA+ and the 'socialist' Union ABVV/BTB-Ports distanced themselves emphatically from this action and were very nervous to see whether or not this action would be a success for the Dockers. So the Union bosses were very happy to see that the number of Dockers was very low.       

When about 50 exultant Dockers armed with a flag and several banners walked from the local recruitment hall 'T Kot towards the office of the liberal Union ACLVB in the Londenstreet, this Union was still prepared to talk with the protestors. However, across the street the ABVV-Port office for unemployment remained closed for the whole day (in this office, Dockers without work can register themselves for an unemployment allowance). 

After the talk with the ACLVB-bosses the group followed by quite a huge group of cops and press, left towards the office of the Christian Union ACV. Along this route some pyrotechnics exploded. During the talks with the ACV-bosses "the well-known Union agent" Patrick Delrue shortly assed the situation with the Dockers (Patrick is known as the trust person of police and Union bosses during the national manifestation of the 7th of October last year - informant for the cops about rioting Dockers!). He took some photos with his smartphone, talked a bit and once the crowd moved towards the last stop, the ABVV Port office, he took an accelerated route towards the office. What did he do? Did he give a report to the Union bosses, maybe handing over the names of the participating men? Who knows? The longest conversations between the Dockers and the syndicates took place at this end point on the Paardenmarkt and the highlight of the manifestation, which by then was ended.   

Major Bart DeWever spared no expense to show his muscles, while he deployed a huge size of the Antwerp Police Core (one water cannon, a debris reamer, many arrest vehicles, mobile control chambers and much more). This is certainly a sign that (luckily) our 'friend' De Wever fears an eventual escalation.  

And why the number of protestors was so low? Maybe because of the pressure from the syndicates on the Dockers who sympathized with this action? Or maybe it was the rainy weather? However, we need to keep on following and analyzing these kinds of interesting developments around the Dockers.

We support these men in their struggle without and against the Union Misleaders!

At the start of July the European Union wants to enforce the new Belgian laws surrounding the pool of dockworkers, of which 1 April the design texts need to be on the desk by the European Commission. This promises to give new and more powerful impulses to the independent Dockers, so that the coming actions will probably have more potency and strength.

We fully support the demands of the Dockers!


dinsdag 23 februari 2016

Steel bosses and Unions for a 'General Interest' - Against Steel dumping

Brussels 15-02-2016 –


While the huge crisis of capitalism of 2008 is still continuing, the European steel industry now also rapidly has a curious crisis of its own - the flooding of the European markets because of the overproduction of (cheap) steel from China, with the disappearance of the British steel industry as a consequence - this on top of the earlier disappearances of the British ship-building and mine closures last year. Since last Christmas 1 on 6 British steelworkers (6000 workers) lost their jobs, while in the rest of Europe massive layoffs have become daily practice. Steel corporations such as ArcelorMittal and Tata Steel (also those in Ijmuiden); see their numbers fall into the red by the billions, which makes their position in the market very vulnerable. Businesses like ThyssenKrupp and Salzgitter AG in Germany experience the same effects of these Chinese dumpings. Steelworkers and bosses have a lot of concerns about their jobs. However, these concerns lead to a very awkward manifestation in Brussels.               

"If China is not stopped, I will lose my job, just like thousands of others in the sector." These could have been the words of a concerned steelworker, but it was the former CEO Geert van Poelvoorde of ArcelorMittal Gent speaking, also President of the Steel association; Eurofer. A crowd of 5000 protestors, mostly workers and patrons that protested hand in hand against the 'unjust' competition from China, together with other concerned workers and managers from other sectors, such as the Chemical industry. A very unusual phenomenon which absolutely needs to be condemned and fought!

The Belgian syndicates did not organize this protest, nor even called for such an action, it was all the work of employers' organizations (!). Syndicates which mobilize workers for the interests of patrons - thus for the national interest of capitalism! This is a form of corporatism in which class conscious workers have nothing to gain. Let's not let the national interest rise above class interest! (In the sphere of class consciousness the Dockers from Antwerp apparently stand on a higher level, shown by their independent protest against the treacherous syndicate leadership concerning the themes Dockers work and the Major-Act.)   

Class-conscious workers reject this protest because 1) it is not organized by the syndicates or any other workersorganisation, but by the implacable enemies of the workers, the capitalist class. And 2), because since 2008 20% of the jobs - 85.200 - vanished in the steel sector, while it was not until now that the syndicates together with the employees expect action from the European Commission in the form of import duty etc. against the deformed workers' state of China (in which the steel industry is state owned and subsidized and therefore cheaper). 

Although China still does not have a status as a free market economy (it 'only' satisfies 1 of the 5 criteria) by the neoliberal policy of the European Union, they may still be accepted for the title of "free market policies”, because of the dumping of the overproduction of Chinese steel onto the European markets. However, the 16 running indictments against these dumpings will take too long and the eventual fines are too low, to prevent the Chinese making huge profits. Also too many European corporations have too much interests in China to really bother the Chinese. Factors the EU will certainly take into account.   

It is not our task to secure the interests of the EU and European capitalists. We won't let ourselves be abused by the capitalist to divide Chinese and European workers, because some country has the advantage in the free market economy. We only choose the side of the proletariat and demand the (RE-) NATIONALISATION OF THE EUROPEAN STEELINDUSTRY under very critical conditions. We are fully aware about the reformist content and know it will bring us nothing on the long term, because in a capitalist State, nationalized corporations will also fall under capitalist laws. The only solution is the creation of revolutionary situations... This demand only offers a temporary buffer against the assaults on State corporations with support from the State. Just like China is doing.
The ACN/AKN keeps on insisting that in these times of crisis there are NO common interests between the oppressed workers and its capitalist oppressors. Even if there would be some kind of 'international danger', which would endanger the 'common/national interest' (the welfare of the 'national' workers and their national bourgeoisie), than still our primary enemy will remain our own bourgeoisie!    

vrijdag 5 februari 2016

Practical tips for the Streetfight: CS/CN-Gas

Self-defense and first aid for wounds caused by the use of teargas

Chemical mace, vomiting gas, remote repellents, teargas - the shit goes by many names. But only one is really correct: combat gas. This is how military handbooks describe these chemical weapons. In international wars and conflicts the use of CN-(Chlorazetophenon) and CS-(ortho-Chlorbenzylidenmalondinitril) combat gas is prohibited by international law. However, in combat against the own populations they have been used by cops throughout Western Europe for some time now. The concentrations used are much higher than the concentration of cans available on the normal market.   

Since we get confronted with the use of combat gas during actions many times, activists need to be aware of the following: Several launch pads transfer the gas to a distance of 120 meters into a human crowd: Chemical Mace: 7 meters; Pepper-Fog (combines CN/CS with smoke): 20 meters; the Superbat (looks like a pesticide dispenser) 15 meters; grenades; 40 meters; and as an admixture in water canons: 65 meters. The newest variation: fragmentation grenades which make great jumps and special projectiles with CN/CS that go straight through windows and doors, filling the room behind it with dense smoke. CN as well as CS both work on the skin, the respiratory tract and the mucous membrane of the eyes. Therefore people with diseases to these organs have an extra risk - the slightest dose of combat gas can cause violent reactions, which in extreme cases can even cause death. However, normally the complaints fade away after some time. Easy measures guarantee a good self-defense and a fast first aid; the deterrent effect is successfully neutralized.           


The eyes can best be protected by gas protection goggles that are air tight. Well closed ski glasses are also an option. For those who wear glasses a small glasses with sports brace and shatterproof glass; these glasses are partly used by us already, because they also offer protection against glass splinters during physical contact. Contact lenses can easily shift away (during the washing of the eyes for instance) and CN/CS-gas can concentrated itself under the lens, remaining active for a longer period of time.  

The airways can be protected with a filter mask. Smaller models, as used in car painting shops, offer full protection. The combination of goggles and mask, the so-called whole mask, make breathing uncomfortable in a short period of time. Mouth/face cloths can be used as well and are usually the most accustomed. These should be woven as dense as possible. Ideally, you can use a triangular cloth from the first aid kit. Wetting this will provide for an incidental closure of the tissue. However, in the long run the water is evaporated by the body heat, the gas particles accumulate and because of this the concentration rises. This can only be retained by exchanging the cloth regularly or rinsing it with lots of water.

The vast majority of skin areas can be protected by oil suits, leather clothing and watertight shoes. Leather clothing needs to be sufficiently greased. Make sure that the collar of the jacket closes tightly around the neck, so nothing can seep into the undergarment. The moist and warm CN/CS in contact with the skin causes skin burns over large areas. (See pictures)   

It is also important to cover your hands with heat repellent material in order to be able to throw back projectiles. Motor- or working gloves (for instance for welding) are perfect for this. Beware: only touch grenades on the non-heated side!

We can only advice against protection with the help of crème, lemon juice or vinegar. These so-called 'insider tips' have no use whatsoever or only strengthen the activity of the gas. Crèmes belong in the make-up bag, lemon juice and vinegar in the kitchen. Water is and remains the only means!


The physical consequences after the use of CN/CS are many-sided and each of the possible consequences asks for fast first aid. The longer the gas is active, the bigger the threat of acute and chronic damage.     

As with almost all effects of chemicals in the eyes, in this case water is appropriate and in most emergencies the only available means of first aid. Only by constantly rinsing the eyes, the gas can be diluted and leached out. This can take 10 minutes or longer. The decreasing pain is the only possible bellwether to ascertain the success of the treatment. In case the pain re-emerges after some time it is possible that leftovers are still under the eye lids, so you have to rinse the eyes again. In case the pain re-emerges after several hours, it can be an indication of a starting conjunctivitis, which asks for a medical treatment.  

Rinse from the inside out, so that no rinsing liquid can seep into the other eye. For this the head needs to be held diagonally or backwards in some occasions (sometimes the treatment has to take place with violence, because some persons become panicked or get disorientated after contact with gas) and the skin above and under the eye need to be pushed open. This way you are able to open the cramped eyelids, so the first water can reach the eye. Within several seconds the pain will decrease, more water rinses out the remainder of the gas.       

With direct hits on the skin or with gas engorged clothing, the clothes need to be removed as soon as possible and washed with a lot of cold water. Warm water is unsuitable, because it opens the pores of the skin and strengthens the function of the gas. Skin irritation and blisters should be medically treated on a later occasion.

After contact with gas, it is important to get out of the clothes that are infected with gas and to package it in a vacuum in a plastic bag. If you don’t store them properly the body heat will make sure small amounts of CN/CS gas will damp out of the clothing and especially in closed rooms this will lead to an ever further receiving of the gas in the airways. In a closed space or in vehicles, windows need to be opened!       

With all forms of difficulty in breathing, pain in the throat when coughing and breathlessness, the first measure is: fresh air! If someone has some kind of chronic disease to the airways, especially asthma or chronic bronchitis, the battleground must be left immediately and to prevent even worse damage lie down with the upper body incremented.

A particular feature of the use of CS is the feeling you cannot breathe anymore. Despite this the lungs still get enough air (see recent experiences in Northern Ireland, Switzerland, Bavaria, Berlin and the Netherlands). Another particular feature of the use of CS is strong nausea and stomach cramps. Because of this CSW is also known as vomit gas. Normally the nausea already disappears after a relatively short period of time; usually first aid is no necessity here. However, the precise effects of CS-gas to the stomach muscles are still unknown. Every sign that go further than the ones described above or lasts longer than 24 hours do require medical treatment!

These tips for self-defense and first aid are only suitable in order to decrease the working of the gas, decrease the consequences of the gas and to get the group ready for action as soon as possible. However, they do not replace treatment by a doctor in more severe cases!

US soldier after several hours of exposure to CS-Gas