dissuading workers

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tumble-weed
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Dec 16 2004 15:21
dissuading workers

erm, I havent made my min up about lots of things yet; hence me mposting in beginners thought, but at the moment i cant see why there'd be an argument against chucking shit etc at people who work in placesyou dont like....

I mean i understand that we have to fight the system to sotp making it necessary to work in these places etc etc but surely people do have a hcoice to work in those places, like when i signed on i made it clear then i wdnt work with flesh or corporate coffee companies etc. and htey were fine with that, and surely if no one worked in bad ocmpanies then the bad ocmpanies couldnt function n e more and we'd be progressing in the irght direction?

And perhaps its more realistic to believe that we could get people to stop working for bad companies and try and do that rather than sit and fantasise about overthrowing the st8? this isnt an attack on anyone, but recently i havent seen anyone actually suggest that anyone does anything.

I realise that being on hte doles a miserable existance, but its exactly that, an existance. And surely scabs are just making an existance, and form what ive read (im only young, and have lived a very sheltered life so ive never seen a strike) dont they get loads of abuse for corssing hte oicket line? is that different because they're working class traitors or are you anti that as well?

again, i dont know how succinctly ive put this, hopw it makes some kinda sense....

LiveFastDiarrea
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Dec 16 2004 15:37

Comparing scabs to people who work for 'bad' companies is a bit shit, its not 'just making an existence' its actively working against the working class, where as working for McDonalds isn't.

tumble-weed
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Dec 16 2004 15:42

but surely if you're working for mcdonalds you're helping a capitalist company, and as capitalism is an enemy to the working class then u're still doing a bad thing (bad hting isnt the rite phrase, im shit with words)

LiveFastDiarrea
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Dec 16 2004 15:44

Yeah, but any job you get is part of capitalism, its unavoidable to take part in the system, because its all encompassing.

3rdseason
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Dec 16 2004 16:00

Workers of companies rarely get attacked anyway. Only profits and property of companies..

LiveFastDiarrea
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Dec 16 2004 16:06

its not just physically attacking people, its intimidating them, and trying to guilt trip them because of the work they do. The place my brother used to work at was at high risk of attack from AR people apparently and they worked with bacteria, he was researching gingervitus(sp?) not working with animals at all, and he felt intimidated by the fact fact he may be attacked, wether he ever was or not is irrelevent.

3rdseason
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Dec 16 2004 16:09

Ive done really mild stuff like making noise before to piss people off.

I think in certain cases its justified to harass people (eg HLS).

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Steven.
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Dec 16 2004 17:29

Look tumble-weed, we live in a capitalist world where capital has entered every single sphere of life.

There is no way out of it. Every company is a capitalist company. Capitalist companies are mostly bad *because* they are capitalist - i.e. they exploit their workers by paying them less than the value of their labour, using the rest to expand + pay shareholders. So why attack the workers for that?

3rdseason
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Dec 16 2004 17:32

GB could you envisage any circumstances where workers should be attacked?

What if, for example there was a nuclear weapons factory in the UK and there was a campaign to close it...

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Steven.
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Dec 16 2004 17:40
3rdseason wrote:
GB could you envisage any circumstances where workers should be attacked?

What if, for example there was a nuclear weapons factory in the UK and there was a campaign to close it...

Still no - have you read Direct Action? Ann Hansen + co were mortified when they found out they'd hurt workers at the plant they bombed.

Unless they're directly undermining workers' solidarity - like scabs, cops and fascists do, then no.

3rdseason
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Dec 16 2004 17:42

What about journalists or lawyers who've been severely "undermining working class interests"?

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Steven.
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Dec 16 2004 17:43

Hmmm actually that's a bit simplistic, cos there are loads of other times violence is justifiable/useful, say against muggers, rapists, bailiffs or whathaveyou.

I spose in my head I've got some kind of guidelines... I spose it depends on how immediate the "oppression" is. Cos we're all part of our own oppression (and exploitation) on one level or other so where to draw the line is tricky...

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Spartacus
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Dec 16 2004 18:13

most journalists do not directly undermine workers interests, they do it indirectly. only ones who for instance publish photos of rioters, harass union activists or whatever. well most established journalists earn enough to survive should their job be withdrawn and so aren't really working class...

likewise the vast majority of lawyers aren't even working class, and occasionally maybe certain ones might be usefully targetted if they persistently prosecuted people involved in resistance. although obviously durruti's tactic of organising a hold up of the prosecution, judges and all evidence before a trial was more effective than random attacks on lawyers will ever be. i'd have thought it was quite clear when someone is directly undermining the interests of the working class, rather than in the indirect way most people do just to survive.

it's a bit silly to pick and choose companies any most of the time, because companies are bad because their companies. and if you don't work for a company you'll have to work for the state which is hardly an improvement. so beyond those involved in direct oppression as already said, targetting workers would be pointless and counterproductive. of course occasionally such as during a strike or the campaign against prison slavery, it might be tactically useful to target a company, but again if that just targets the workers in a way other than encouraging them to join in the struggle against the aspect you're focusing on it wouldn't achieve anything worthwhile in the long term.

lucy82
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Dec 16 2004 18:46

ok, this is my job. i think it demonstrates how complicated this gets.

i started in housing as a housing assistant working on the counter at housing offices. I got made redundant though internal restructuring and then offered the post of rent income officer.

As a rent income officer working in council housing, part of my job description is to attend evictions with the baliff and sign eviction warrents. So that’s clearly me as class enemy.

However, I am currently avoiding that part of my job as much as I can and so far, I've been successful . I have manoerved myself into a position within the team where I work with new tenants and the emphasis is on sorting out housing benefit and doing whatever you can to keep people out of debt. This is my compromise which enables me to keep a job which I need because I support other people financially and I have no other income. I’m been lucky to do that, it might not last.

The fact is I could be asked to go and evict people out of their homes for not paying the rent. Politically I hate this. But these are the problems:

is it better to have someone inside a type of employment who actually does give a shit politically (which for me means concrete action or politics doesn't mean much ) and will act on it, or do you just chuck shit at employees cause it was their choice to work there.

or is it better to be "politically pure" and refuse to work in any occupation that compromises your political beliefs? It seems to me that the skills you get through protest of various sorts are often similar to the skills needed in business. Sometimes it seems that activist stuff is a training ground for people to practice public speaking, organising, networking etc. Then, if your lucky, you can get a job for a “nice” business, something a bit green maybe or even as a professional, paid activist working for something like corporate watch. Isn't there a danger then of being part of some activists ghetto? And what exactly is a ‘nice business’ ? Body shop? The Big Issue in the North? Who screwed their employees over and made most of them redundant by the way… “Nice” businesses still profit from capitalism.

Finally, in terms of my job, a lot of the people I work with have multiple debt problems. There is a viscous circle of borrowing money from loan sharks at astronomical interest to pay rent arrears at the point of going to court. Which means eviction is suspended. But then people can’t pay the loan shark and whatever arrangement they have been forced to make with the judge. In the end, they lose the property plus they have even more masssive escalating debt. A lot of that debt is because they have already been to the same shark before cause when you have very little money, it is incredibly hard to borrow and the relative affluence of most people in the society we live in is based on borrowed debt.

So it seems to me, it would be far more useful to target the directors of loan shark companies who now appear on the high streets of economically poor areas (shopacheck for example) than to chuck shit at kids working in McDonalds. And also to get away from the anarchist holier than thou view of what is politically acceptable work and think more about what can be learnt and done.

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Steven.
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Dec 16 2004 19:09
GenerationTerrorist wrote:
most journalists do not directly undermine workers interests, they do it indirectly. only ones who for instance publish photos of rioters, harass union activists or whatever. well most established journalists earn enough to survive should their job be withdrawn and so aren't really working class...

Balls mate.

How many journalists do you know?

Lucky ones get a semi-decent regular wage, most get practically jack-shit, having to work for free, or getting a really crap wage for re-writing stories from AP/reuters.

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likewise the vast majority of lawyers aren't even working class.

Ditto this, most solicitors are pretty low-ranking, and certainly don't earn enough to live without working.

Vaneigemappreci...
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Dec 16 2004 19:24

In that ann hansen book you mention it should be said that hansen and her mates in a discussion with some dudes, do say that theyd happily work for companies if they didnt pollute the environment, fucking hippies! As if thats their biggest crime!

3rdseason
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Dec 16 2004 22:41

Violence against HLS employees is justifiable... and it works...

...they're going down black bloc

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gav
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Dec 16 2004 22:57
3rdseason wrote:
Violence against HLS employees is justifiable...

...and their families, and their neighbours, and the ones who get targetted by mistake, etc roll eyes

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gav
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Dec 16 2004 23:02

the shac campaign has been successful against investors/supporters/etc of HLS, by causing them a bit of hassle and making them realise it would be easier to drop HLS as a client.

but targetting employees at HLS, well it doesnt work, HLS still manages to employ the required number of staff. so why are SHAC and others still targetting them? its pretty sickening.

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JDMF
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Dec 17 2004 08:59

so what people are saying really is that politically, if i get paid for something, i am not in any way responsible for what i do and i should not be criticised for it?

Being a worker relieves you from all responsibility for what you do with most of your waking hours?

Or was there some small distinction saying that if you directly abuse others as part of your work, then this rule of "no responsibility" doesn't apply, like for bailifs? What about people who work in factories making weapons killing uncounted amout of people in other countries?

Or are we making this up as we go along wink

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gav
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Dec 17 2004 12:12
JDMF wrote:
so what people are saying really is that politically, if i get paid for something, i am not in any way responsible for what i do and i should not be criticised for it?

who is saying that?

Garner
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Dec 17 2004 12:44
JDMF wrote:
Or was there some small distinction saying that if you directly abuse others as part of your work, then this rule of "no responsibility" doesn't apply, like for bailifs?

That's about the size of it, yeah.

Quote:
What about people who work in factories making weapons killing uncounted amout of people in other countries?

I'm pretty sure those factories are often in areas where they're the biggest local employer, so the workers don't generally have a whole lot of options. I guess I would have a problem with the people who design the weapons though.

Quote:
Or are we making this up as we go along ;)

Shit, that'd make a change. wink

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Spartacus
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Dec 17 2004 15:25
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Lucky ones get a semi-decent regular wage, most get practically jack-shit, having to work for free, or getting a really crap wage for re-writing stories from AP/reuters.

ok fine, i was thinking of the major ones in national papers etc., not your ordinary reporter, and was probably wrong there, but the point about those who photograph rioters etc. still stands.

lawyers on the other hand if they are directly working to send people to prison are not much better than cops. if it's just doing the paper work then fair enough, i was again thinking of your major ones. either way, i don't think it's tactically useful to randomly target rich lawyers or some low ranking solicitor, unless it was part of a wider movement of some relevance e.g. if there was some big strike and a particular firm was leading the prosecution of strikers or something...

er, in other words, yes i was wrong. except for very specific cases... i should stick to watching yakuza films obviously.

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Steven.
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Dec 17 2004 15:50
GenerationTerrorist wrote:
ok fine, i was thinking of the major ones in national papers etc., not your ordinary reporter...

Loads of people who work for the nationals are well under-payed. And lots *do* have to work for free even, to get the "experience" to get a decent job.

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Spartacus
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Dec 17 2004 17:51

by "major ones" i meant the major journalists, or more precisely the ones who write wanky columns, but as i can rarely to be arsed to read a newspaper then my perspective is obviously a bit skewed, seeing as it's based entirely on private eye spoofs.... luckily i wasn't going to make these assumptions the justification for launching random attacks on journalists just because i don't like newspapers.

lucy82
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Dec 17 2004 22:18

aw noones called me a class traitor yet.

it was next in my ispy book of insults

cry

my daughter wants to be a journalist, does that help?

Caiman del Barrio
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Dec 17 2004 22:32
George'sBush wrote:
most solicitors are pretty low-ranking, and certainly don't earn enough to live without working.

Surely only a very tiny minority of those born into wealth can afford to do this anyway?? Otherwise they wouldn't work...noone really wants a job.

Caiman del Barrio
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Dec 17 2004 22:34
tumble-weed wrote:
erm, I havent made my min up about lots of things yet; hence me mposting in beginners thought, but at the moment i cant see why there'd be an argument against chucking shit etc at people who work in placesyou dont like....

Dude there's a million people who could take their place, probably for lower wages and less rights etc etc. Obviously the general idea is to get the workers of said company to participate in a mass revolution overthrowing all competition and making me Emperor.