Peter Benenson RIP

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lucy82
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Feb 28 2005 19:39

basicly revol we are agreeing. now all i've got to get you to do is start hugging trees wink

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the reason anmesty get shit is cos they dablle in politics in a hypocritical manner, they talk about human rights in other countires yet have a stated policy of not investigating ones in the Uk. it would be like Oxfam overlooking a famine in the Uk cos it doesn't want to get involved in politics.

i agree with this although i could say that i'd like to know how amnesty chose to defend that approach ( i suspect its to do with not pissing off mps who can choose to support amnesty cause like you said its for folk in other countries and so its safe in terms of question time in parliament, funding etc.. but thats the cynical me. maybe someone whose part of amnesty would like to tell us why.)

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why not donate to groups in africa who are doing decent grass roots work?

anyway I don't criticising anmesty is the same as criticising people giving out emergency aid to disaster victims.

so whats the criteria of a "good" charity then that an unhypocritical anarchist caught in contradiction would want to donate to? who is doing decent grassroots work? the criteria of emergency aid doesn't really work , cause one of those big players is the one cited in the example i gave above of the "new colonialism".

lucy82
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Feb 28 2005 19:47
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what i mean is that you can still give money to charity and not be a hypocrite if u accept the contradictions. I mean someone can work for a charity and collect for them as long as they realsie the shortcomings. I just means your in a contradictary position buy your not a hypocrite.

so if you accept the contradictions, its ok to support amnesty international then?

lucy82
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Feb 28 2005 20:32

people can of course get involved in working on campaigns that amnesty works on independent of them as a charity, but essentially without the resources. by resources i mean not just physical resources like photocopiers etc but the wider resources. amnesty have a database, contacts, networks nationally and internationally which i would kill for and thats a major problem. if we are going to replace charity then we need to think seriously about how. even letter writing campaigns rely on a huge amount of information in the background. and the massive network that amnesty is undoubtably produces results that we cannot do.

amnesty may not be taking food and medical supplies out but they would argue that they influence governments to stop torturing someone, that they and their supporters get that person out of their personal, politically induced hell. and sometimes they do. why is that fundementally less valuable than save the children flying in with a plane full of food?

the argument of immediate effects (medical supplies/food) is wrong. you can't argue on the one hand that charities perpetuate and excuse capitalism and then say its ok if its an emergency. its not. the players in the game are the same. and if they weren't right yesterday they aren't right today for all the reasons you used earlier.

.

lucy82
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Feb 28 2005 20:34

it came back. someone came to the door in the middle of me thinking, taking it down and putting it up again... damn doorbells. in a anarchist society we'd have no doors.

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Rob Ray
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Feb 28 2005 20:45

The natural disaster I think is a slightly different kettle of fish from the man-made one. In the case of the man-made one there will be invested intetrests, it willhave heppened for a reason and if it is a governmental or corporate one, there will be pressures on groups like Amnesty in all the ways we described earlier.

Although this is still a factor in natural disasters (the Indonesian rebels for example), it is much reduced. What's more under those circumstances charity can act as a counterbalance against corporate loan sharking (i.e if the money is already there to make improvements without needing world bank loans, fewer loans can be made).

lucy82
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Feb 28 2005 21:08

of course there is a difference between someone collecting signatures for a petition and someone involved in emergency relief work. but your not answering my point. which is you are arguing in that some circumstances ie. natural disaster, charity is ok which just negates everything yoiu said earlier about charity. the fundamental arguments are the same so i dont get why if a tsuinami hits then charities ok, and if people are locked up, tortured, harrassed, beaten its not.

are you talking now about differences in activist actions like collecting signatures on a petition is less valuable than relief work on the ground? if i'm going to go down the path of defending amnesty then that doesn't work in that amnesty does way more then just get people to sign petitions. and yes, i agree signing petitions is a waste of time except that it does hook people to come and talk with you about whats going on. but in terms of charity the game remains the same. no matter where on the stage you're playing.

Caiman del Barrio
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Feb 28 2005 21:18

Revol you've made some excellent points. It's a real pity you're such a cunt.

To add to points already made, maybe the most damaging effect of Amnesty is that it paints the oppressed as exceptions rather the general rule. According to them, what's wrong with the world is not a globalised class divide perpetuated by capital but a few powercrazed (black or Asian) leaders who threw a couple of affluent journalists in jail. Once said journalist is released and free to criticise the leader's haircut, everything's AOK and we can all go back inside.

Caiman del Barrio
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Feb 28 2005 21:38

Lucy you misunderstood me. I was merely backing up someone else who said that Amnesty make any abuses of "human rights" (sic) seem to be far away from home in the Third World. And everyone's heard a Third World sob story before.

lucy82
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Feb 28 2005 21:41

don't agree with you saying according to amnesty its a few powercrazed black or asian leaders who threw affluent journalists into jail because i've never seen any evidence to suggest amnesty are racist in practice or that they only give a shit about rich journalists. they did some really good shit around refugees and asylum and don't tell me its not relevent to the working classes.

neutral

this is the post alan is replying too. sorry. computer fuckup this time. not my fault.

Caiman del Barrio
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Feb 28 2005 21:42

The fuck??

lucy82
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Feb 28 2005 21:43
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The fuck??

what?? the computer froze and when i went back the post had gone and it was the blue screen of death and ahhh shit...

i need money to buy a new computer. i want to be an NGO. i want government funding. i want the national lottery......

oh shit just realised i replied

d

Quote:
on't agree with you saying according to amnesty its a few powercrazed black or asian leaders who threw affluent journalists into jail because i've never seen any evidence to suggest amnesty are racist in practice or that they only give a shit about rich journalists. they did some really good shit around refugees and asylum and don't tell me its not relevent to the working classes.

to what you said and you took it down and arrrrggghhh i will never leave the house again... i am mrs haversham now and its your fault.

StreetSeen
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Feb 28 2005 21:59

I posted the obit notice as I thought it may of been of interest to the wider movement, it sure has opened up a lot of healthy discussion... A lot of what of has been raised im in agreement with.. one of the benefits I have found of Amnesty is the comprehensive mailing list/info they circulate, they certainly have a lot of 'staff' that churn out a lot of info.. one of things that does piss me off bout them is that activists do not participate in their own countries, for example an Irish amnesty member doesnt get involved in Irish campaigns..this to me is plain wrong...

lucy82
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Feb 28 2005 22:07
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i wouldn't start gobbing off at an anmesty worker outdoing research in Chile but i would take issue with them when they are having a stall near my house asking people to sign a petition calling on the government to be careful where it drops it's bombs, especially when there is a massive anit war demonstration happening down the road and when even my mum is on it. there is a big difference because most other charities don't stick there heads into a political arena in such away and hence don't make such fucking ducks of themselves as anmesty

so amnestys ok if they are doing research in chilie but not if they are trying to get people involved on the ground outside your house because that would be useless. hmmmm. theres something truely fucked about that, revol, that i can't be arsed to point out.

moving on swiftly, your talking crap. all charities stick their heads into the political arena. thats how charities get funded. endless bids and compromises with government and the rest. they all make fucking ducks of themselves and the arguments you trotted out yourself against charity as a concept still holds, whether in the face of a tsunami or giving crutches to little kiddies cause the nhs can't afford it. just out of interest, talking in a roundabout way of charity, politics, the nhs etc. there is a kids hospice in manchester that gets three days funding a year from the government, for the rest of the time they rely on businesses (bless them) and ordinary people getting their wallet out. three days fucking funding a year. is the work they do worth less or more than the work that the major charities do when they fly into desperate situations and dig people out of rubble? is there some qualitative factor that makes one persons grief more deserving of charity than another? of course there isn't. the result of charitable work does not change the basis of why you criticise charity.

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Plus we all know that anmesty is for middle class lil careerists who want o be big shot human rights lawyers and get to sit on government quangos.

cause the charities whose area of operation includes natural disasters are somehow less full of middle class careerists and people using it as something to stick on their cv or big people in human rights and those who sit on government quangos than er.. amnesty.

you sure about that?

lucy82
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Feb 28 2005 22:12
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that activists do not participate in their own countries, for example an Irish amnesty member doesnt get involved in Irish campaigns..this to me is plain wrong...

thats the issue that came up before, StreetSeen. Do you know what amnesty says about why it doesn't get involved in the countries its being active in?

StreetSeen
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Feb 28 2005 22:32
lucy82 wrote:
Quote:
that activists do not participate in their own countries, for example an Irish amnesty member doesnt get involved in Irish campaigns..this to me is plain wrong...

thats the issue that came up before, StreetSeen. Do you know what amnesty says about why it doesn't get involved in the countries its being active in?

Dont know the exact policy reasons...but have been told its a 'safety' issue and that goverments listen to outside influences more so.. i can appreciate these concerns, but still seems a kop out in many countries..

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the button
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Mar 1 2005 09:37

It occurred to me last night (when I didn't have web access) that there is an "anarchist Amnesty" -- it's called the Anarchist Black Cross, and it supports class struggle prisoners (unlike Amnesty). Perhaps posters in London might like to get a group going (even if it's just an e-mail list with the odd meeting) -- I know it's been talked about off & on for a while, but it seems to keep coming to nothing. I'd certainly be up for it.

Ceap
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Mar 1 2005 16:27

The policy behind not working in own country is based on the idea that in certain countries human rights workers are persecuted (and, resultantly, often the subject of Amnesty campaigns). While not such a problem in the UK it is more of one in some of the more dictatorial states Amnesty is involved with.

Whilst their letter writing campaigns are nothing like what I'd refer to as actions, they have a tremendous effect in certain instances. A thousand AI letters descending on a dank prison in a tucked away corner of China, for instance, can do more to save a life there than anything the Anarchist movement could. By contrast, it would have little or no effect on achieving the end of capitalism. To each there own and all that.

Basically it comes down to the age-old debate - whether to mend the system or change it completely. Sad though it may be, but elderly pensioners and middle England seems to enjoy (for the most part) the system in which we currently operate. It's not therefore surprising that they choose to operate within it. It may be bollocks but at least they're getting involved in their own way.

Unlike the SWP, Amnesty does not preach "revolution". Unlike the SWP it's not setting itself up as a vanguard, or any such nonsense. By contrast, it does one thing very well and so continues to do it.

Yes it's heirachical, yes it's middle class. Yes they avoid politics to appeal to a mass audience. It would be great if it was run as a horizontal-political-direct action group. But then it would be just another branded anarchist organisation. And do we really want another of those?

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gav
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Mar 1 2005 17:08
Ceap wrote:
The policy behind not working in own country is based on the idea that in certain countries human rights workers are persecuted (and, resultantly, often the subject of Amnesty campaigns). While not such a problem in the UK it is more of one in some of the more dictatorial states Amnesty is involved with.

so are there people in other countries writing letters to the british government about 'human rights' abuses in the uk?

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cantdocartwheels
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Mar 2 2005 13:05
Jack wrote:
Perhaps CAG should start an anti-domestic violence campaign.

Alas, I have no fucking clue how to go about it.

Organising family based activities, having social events, especially as someone could research it and do those based around working hours, tho it might be useful to look at what already exists before jumping in like some activist, i mean i'm not really into providing an ''anarchist version'' of things that are already in place, realistically you'd have to look at who falls through the gaps of the existing structures, and that requires research.

Deezer
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Mar 2 2005 14:12

Um, just a minor, icredibly picky, and no doubt annoying point revol, you said;

"Fuck i think most people knw rape is wrong but they still fucking do it."

Do you really think most people rape? Or is this (hopefully) just a case of sloppy grammar?

circle A red n black star

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Steven.
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Mar 2 2005 14:32
Boulcolonialboy wrote:
Um, just a minor, icredibly picky, and no doubt annoying point revol, you said;

"Fuck i think most people knw rape is wrong but they still fucking do it."

Do you really think most people rape? Or is this (hopefully) just a case of sloppy grammar?

nah just sloppy interpretation I think. "They" obviously just means the few people who do rape.

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cantdocartwheels
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Mar 2 2005 15:57
Ceap wrote:
0Yes it's heirachical, yes it's middle class. Yes they avoid politics to appeal to a mass audience. It would be great if it was run as a horizontal-political-direct action group. But then it would be just another branded anarchist organisation. And do we really want another of those?

no clearly what we need is a stronger UN and international court of human rights roll eyes

redyred
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Mar 2 2005 17:56
Jack wrote:
Perhaps CAG should start an anti-domestic violence campaign.

Alas, I have no fucking clue how to go about it.

I think putting together the community organising group could lay the groundwork for something like that, as well as a bunch of other initiatives.

Ceap
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Mar 2 2005 20:36
gav wrote:
Ceap wrote:
The policy behind not working in own country is based on the idea that in certain countries human rights workers are persecuted (and, resultantly, often the subject of Amnesty campaigns). While not such a problem in the UK it is more of one in some of the more dictatorial states Amnesty is involved with.

so are there people in other countries writing letters to the british government about 'human rights' abuses in the uk?

That's the theory at least.

cantdocartwheels wrote:
ceap wrote:
Yes it's heirachical, yes it's middle class. Yes they avoid politics to appeal to a mass audience. It would be great if it was run as a horizontal-political-direct action group. But then it would be just another branded anarchist organisation. And do we really want another of those?

no clearly what we need is a stronger UN and international court of human rights Rolling Eyes

Nah, that'd be bollocks in the long term. But in the short term, while we're working towards something better, that might have achieved some of the same aims we work towards.

It would still be bollocks though.

Caiman del Barrio
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Mar 3 2005 17:05
redyred wrote:
Jack wrote:
Perhaps CAG should start an anti-domestic violence campaign.

Alas, I have no fucking clue how to go about it.

I think putting together the community organising group could lay the groundwork for something like that, as well as a bunch of other initiatives.

Well yeah...I mean, the intention of a community organising group would be to foster a sense of community and responsibility that would ideally result in people starting up their own initiatives and taking joint control of their communities right??