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18th Nov 1999


This event was initiated by Reclaim the Streets and the Strike Support Group with the support of the London Transport Regional Council of the RMT (Tube workers) and the Campaign against Tube Privatisation.

The media will be very disappointed when all that happens on November 30 in London is mass leafleting and a successful rally at Euston station. But direct communication between people is what really scares those in power.

Speakers at the rally will, hopefully, include: railworkers and others campaigning for rail safety and against privatisation, people organising banana fair trade and other anti-WTO activists, campaigners against the arms trade and sanctions on Iraq, those opposing the execution of Mumia Abu Jamal and the erosion of civil liberties here, Zapatista supporters and many others.

Anyway, here's the text of one of the leaflets:



overcrowding, high fares, delays, accidents... WHY DO WE PUT UP WITH THIS?

London is wealthy enough to completely rebuild its public transport system and railworkers could run a safe, effective system without the bosses. Instead, they want to sell Tube lines to Railtrack - a company more concerned about its £1 million-a-day profits than about preventing another Paddington.

job insecurity, overwork, boredom, stress... WHY DO WE PUT UP WITH THIS?

We could transform the amazing knowledge and productive capacity of humanity to feed, clothe and house everyone on the planet in abundance. If we, rather than the bosses, controlled our skills and ingenuity, we could do all this in a fraction of the time we now spend at work and without environmental damage. Instead, they say we must work more and more to compete in a world economy that keeps half the world in grinding poverty.


No one believes that politicians, even 'left-wing' ones like Ken Livingstone, can really improve things. The only practical solution is for us to start talking to our fellow commuters and workers, to start coming together to build a new world.

That is what railworkers begin to do when they go on strike. Of course, the media say strikes cause commuter misery and damage to the economy. But what is the economy about? It is about working hard just to survive, while making profits for others to live at our expense. The economy is human misery. By striking, workers reduce the misery!

Strikes are rare nowadays, but this is largely because the bosses have prevented people coming together at work by dividing up the workforce and imposing short-term contracts and anti-strike laws. They are desperate to keep us as atomised, competing individuals, blaming each other's 'laziness' or 'greed' for the world's problems rather than blaming capitalism.


The bosses fool themselves that they can get away with this forever but the moment people come together to say No!, their plans begin to fall apart. You only have to recall the anti-poll tax movement that brought down Thatcher or the mass rejection of the misnamed 'Communist' systems in Eastern Europe.

This month the World Trade Organisation meets in Seattle to further impose the market on our lives. In response, an international day of action has been called on November 30.

The most blatant example of market madness in London is the privatisation of the Tube. Consequently, railways are the focus of the events here. Join us to say No! to privatisation. No! to another century of capitalism. No! to another century of alienated work, poverty, wars and ecological destruction - and Yes! to a new world based on real human community, a society based on our needs and desires not their profits!



London RECLAIM THE STREETS meets every Tuesday evening. Phone 0171 281 4621 for the venue. (Some newspapers have recently made outrageous claims about RTS. Often the stories are completely invented and they seem to be a clumsy attempt to discredit RTS as a secretive, violent organisation. However RTS is a very open group and anyone who wants a world without capitalism and environmental destruction is welcome.)


Nov. 30 / Seattle:
2000, 'a festival of anarchist ideas and action':

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