Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle: Martyrs Festival and rally: 17-19 July 2015

Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle: Martyrs Festival and rally: 17-19 July 2015

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Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle 2014, photo by Wheelz.

It’s our fifth anniversary! Usual deal: scaring the taxpayers, winding up the Tankies – Winning friends, influencing people and impressing them with our revolutionary praxis. Every year we welcome comrades from as far afield as Wales, France, Spain and the Midlands; we enjoy frank but good-natured debate with fellow trade unionists and activists alike. A small contingent doesn’t want us there, but sod ‘em – The Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers was an example of working-class self-organisation – Stalin would have had them shot. Still we hope to extend our safe spaces policy to all festival-goers; their kids will learn to swear without our help and please be kind to the cosplay cops, the council would charge a fortune to close the public highway.

Visit our stall in the Martyrs Marquee, if you’d like to help run it, or you have anything you’d like to give away / accept donations for please contact us An advance party will pitch tents on Friday afternoon, we corral them together so that people can get to know each other. If you’re just marching with us on Sunday 19th July, Meet up as usual 1:30 pm outside the Martyrs Museum; bring your flags and banners, this year’s theme will be politicians heads on spikes…

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Freedom Press

A good start – Kingfisher rising!

SCBU

Just got back from Dorchester where a couple of thousand people marched against the closure of the Kingfisher children’s ward at Dorset County Hospital; estimates vary between one and three thousand. Unless you believe the Echo who put it in the hundreds, odd since they are publicly supporting the campaign.

Conspicuous by his absence was ‘Evil Oliver’ Letwin, who has been hedging his bets, he would not have had a pleasant experience, we think. The march was good-natured but shows the strength of feeling in West Dorset about keeping our health services local, it was organised in a week and people required little prompting to turn out.

This is a grass-roots phenomenon bubbling up from the ground. The left are running to catch up; what will it take to get the unions to put their weight behind this? The workers at the hospital would be a good place to start. It’s all very well going to the capital a couple of times a year and trudging round in a giant police kettle, which just confirms the centralisation of power and frankly, is an exercise in hand-wringing. Here is an opportunity to strike back against austerity and let’s face it, save lives.

A couple of things have occurred to us and need to be widely appreciated:

  • It’ been pointed out by a comrade who is a practising midwife that the loss of Paediatric services and the Special Care Baby Unit will make the maternity ward untenable.
  • Next to close will be A & E.
  • They can then have another go at shutting the pathology lab which was only saved after a similar public outcry last year.
  • Then why not just sell off the rest?
  • We are under no illusions. This is a planned, progressive asset-strip. Letwin would not dream of associating himself with this campaign if he didn’t personally believe it was doomed to failure, so the decision has already been taken, somewhere, and the consultation exercise is just to soften up the public.

That doesn’t mean we are going to allow it to happen, if enough people get out to stop it. The health service is a pyramid with a three-cornered base. At its apex are the managers, politicians and ultimately, their corporate masters. At the base are the medical staff, support staff and the patients – all workers and taxpayers. Unite the base and we will cut the top off!

The fight is on to save Dorset County Hospital’s children’s ward; updated.

Sabo CatA group of around 30 mothers came together today for a flash demo at Vespasian House, Dorchester, outside a meeting of the Clinical Commissioning Group. The protest, which was self-organised through social media, is over a plot to close the Kingfisher children’s ward and Special Care Baby Unit at Dorset County Hospital and move the service to Poole or Bournemouth They were supported by a member of the local Unite community branch and the driver of a bus stopped to show his support.

The protesters were met by someone calling himself an ‘engagement director’, who suggested a small delegation might be admitted to the meeting – and get fobbed off by a gang of suits – but the women were having none of it. The Unite rep told him: “Looks like you’ve got a Spartacus situation on your hands”

Picture from Dorset Echo
Picture from Dorset Echo

We hope the campaigners will stick to their guns and not allow themselves to be split up, intimidated, or worse, co-opted by political interests. The most effective movements come from the ground up. More on this as it develops.

The hospital’s website says: “We have a philosophy of family–centred care in which we see each child as an individual as well as being part of a family.” And: “We encourage parents to stay with their child and there are no restrictions on visiting times.”

Residents in West Dorset are suffering from cuts to their bus services that make it hard enough to get to Dorchester let alone Poole or Bournemouth, there is no longer an evening service and some villages have only two buses a day.

A recent attempt to flog off the pathology service at the hospital was foiled after a public outcry.

West Dorset’s M.P. Oliver Letwin is the author of ‘Privatising the World’ and Britain’s biggest enterprise; his blueprint for selling the NHS.

A fair writeup from Dorset Echo

Bournemouth fascists blamed for doughnut famine in Chandlers Ford.

Comrades in Chandlers Ford turned out earlier today to oppose a handful of heavily refreshed fascists who had come to shout at a Methodist church, apparently on the grounds that there might be some Muslims inside, prompting what must be the largest police operation the sleepy town has ever seen. The fascists mainly comprised Bournemouth EDL, inc Hazel and Whicher, a dope fiend from the island, and some teens in parkas who turned up right at the end perhaps wishing the trains ran on time. Poor showing from Hampshire; Rob Brammer (pictured) was conspicuous by his absence, he seems to have disappeared from both the streets and the internet. Perhaps he’s been locked up, or just pissed off with the coffee money – if anyone knows, give us a shout, we’re almost interested.

The eddles made total cocks of themselves, having been drinking since mid-day, so that by the time they reached the church they were too pissed to chant coherently. A half-hearted ‘je suis charlie’ was intoned in that studied mockney voice they all put on. The irony of English fascists spouting pidgin French in support of a left-wing magazine lost on them. Apart from “eee edl” the rest of it was unintelligible across the serried ranks of plod and we were a good deal closer than the folks in the church. They took to shouting “go home” to people in cars who probably were, a bit rude when you’re from the next county. The residents were bemused, antifascists requested to mind their language by filth, because this is “a nice middle class area” – in case we’d forgotten whose side they’re on. The fantasist facebook group ‘pie n mash squad’ posted this:weirdos

Whatever do they mean? maybe they had a barney amongst themselves in the pub beforehand. After about an hour the fascists’ charlie had worn off and they called a taxi. Our lot went for a drink leaving Costas and Waitrose swarming with Babylon, if you’re after a doughnut in Chandlers Ford tonight you’re out of luck.

Wessex welcomes new IWW Dorset branch!

iwwlogo DORSETgreenIndustrial Workers of the World Dorset group is in the process of chartering as a branch in its own right, having operated for several years under the auspices of Bristol General Members’ Branch. The paperwork’s all done we’re just waiting for the formalities and should be fully operational in the new year.

The IWW is a certified union and can represent you at work, but unlike the TUC unions we’re not shy of direct action and don’t have to pretend we’re all on the same side, we’re not bothered about getting Labour elected and none of us has any ambition to sit in the house of lords! Follow the logo to the side of the page.

– Cindy Callist.

Workfare exploiter fingered in Southbourne!

spyglass-and-kettleWord reaches us that the Spyglass and Kettle Stourwood Ave, Bournemouth, Southbourne, Dorset BH6 3PW Phone: 01202 424888 facebook uses workfare. A storm erupted on social media as a number of comrades called or messaged the establishment. Their responses have varied throughout the day, from:

“Unsure where you find your “facts” but they are ALL false”

And:

“We have only fully employed staff here, on full pay, no work exp, or workfare staff.”

To:

“The team members that we have within workfare are from the job centre who are on job seekers and do earn money each week from the job centre. I see nothing strange”

Which would seem to imply they support the principle of people being forced to work for benefits.

Then:

“We do use the scheme, but as the above comment states there is no abuse of it. 5 people have got full time jobs with us from this job centre scheme to give young people the chance to gain experience and confidence in the work place.”

So they’ve swallowed IDS’ story hook line and sinker, still unaware that workfare is a massive scam that as well as robbing workers of their livelihoods is costing the taxpayer millions. See Johnny Void’s blog for the gory details.

And:

“As I have already pointed out we claim not to be abusing the scheme, not that we have not been using the scheme, and they do get employed by us when they finish the scheme. Speak to the 5 staff we have employed.”

So they get some free labour then give ‘em a job when they have to, that’s nice.

Finally:

‘Ok, point taken, I don’t have any workfare people at the moment and won’t take any on in the future. Can I also suggest that you contact Apple who’s phones are all made in China using slave labour’.

Well of course we do support workers in struggle around the globe as you can see from our archives.

Here’s the point: if you need permanent staff and approach the Job Centre who send you unpaid placements, some of whom you subsequently employ you are doing us all (and them) no favours. The workfare industry gets paid for placing people whether they get a permanent job or not. If you could just get a job straightaway, there would be no profit in it for them. The last thing they want is unemployed people applying for jobs like these in the normal way and being taken on. So the poorest, most disadvantaged workers are supporting corporate entities that serve no one.

If they are serious about giving this up and have learned their lesson they could make amends by paying those staff the difference between their jobseekers allowance and what they should have earned in the first place, backdated to when they started work, as a gesture of goodwill to them and contrition to the working class as a whole.

Every business tainted by this loathsome scheme must be put under pressure until everyone who works receives decent compensation for doing so.

If you exploit us we will shut you down!

Just to complicate the picture, groups of unsavoury UKIP types have been observed entering the Spyglass and Kettle, best avoided, if you can.

Local fascists convicted of abuse.

Three Berkshire fascists, and one each from Hants and Dorset were part of a drunken mob that harassed Hosan’s kebab van in Thatcham with racial and religious abuse on the 28th February2014. Full story

Accused were: 22-year-old Rory Rowbottom of Hartmead Road, Thatcham; Julie Anne Worthington, aged 35, of Russell Road, Reading; 50-year-old Simon Brammer of Haywards Close, Southampton, and Gary Hazel, aged 38, of Forsyth Gardens, Bournemouth. 44-year-old Edward Cullerne Scovell of Donnington Gardens, Reading, failed to turn up and was convicted in his absence.

Hazel was fined £200 with £200 costs plus a statutory victim surcharge of £20. Brammer was fined £150 with £100 costs and £20 surcharge. Rowbottom and Worthington were eached fined £100 with £100 costs and £20 surcharge. A warrant was issued for Scovell’s arrest.

Of particular interest to South coast antifascists are Simon ‘Rob’ Brammer, pictured below (with Bournemouth fascist Stu Whicher), minus his customary rubber pig mask (can you tell?) and Gary hazel, who spouted a load of bollocks at their recent regional manifestation and showed up at the opening of UKIP’s latest shop. He still has money for beer as he was spotted drinking in Poole this evening by members of BHstopEDL Poole’s John Hardy Centuria.

Hazel got a mention in Bournemouth’s Echo a couple of years ago posturing as an ‘Animal rights campaigner’ – not a species usually favoured by the burghers of Dorset – anyway let’s just put that to sleep, humanely:

Gary-Hazel-Facebook

Here’s Brammer, on the left (no that’s not the mask), Whicher on the right:

brammerwhicher1

 

Pubs to avoid: Hamptons lounge bar, Bournemouth, serves fascists.

Fans of rhyming slang and vintage British comedy will recall that Hampton = Hampton wick = Prick.

Hamptons2

PricksHamptons lounge bar, Terrace Rd, West Cliff, Bournemouth BH2 5AQ Map:

Tel: 01202 311005 Facebook page:

Hamptons unwisely betrayed the residents of Bournemouth by playing host to the unwelcome fascist infestation that descended on the town this weekend. Staff were subjected to the indignity of having to serve drinks to the racist pariahs we later saw seig heiling on the seafront – ever considered joining a union? Feel free to get in touch.

The penalty for any establishment that is ambivalent about fascism and racism should be an immediate loss of custom, if you drink there you are complicit!

Hamptons3Most of the town centre pubs stayed closed or admitted only couples and families. As usual, some fascists swerved their own demo and went ‘off piste’ in the hope of causing trouble. A bunch of boneheads entered the Moon in the Square, which didn’t even open until the fascist march was underway, and racially abused a black drinker, shouting “you’re not English any more”, they were booed by the regulars, some of whom joined the ‘We are Bournemouth’ rally in protest. Another group elected to occupy the Hop inn rather than negotiate the hill up to their rally in the service car park behind the B.I.C.

hamptons4At the last minute the fascists’ route was considerably shortened by the cops for fear of mass direct action by angry locals, the pricks were not allowed in the square and had to start at the junction of terrace and Exeter roads.

WeaB

The diversity rally was dignified and passed off without incident. After it was over the police, perhaps frustrated that we hadn’t walked into their obvious trap, decided to behave like absolute cunts to some of our group who were looking for somewhere to chill and debrief.

weab2Bournemouth Echo has, as usual, shown spectacular bias in their reporting, treating the EDL’s nonsense seriously and identifying the counter protest solely with Unite the Union – who did a lot of hard work but check out all the other groups on the flyer! Fucking hell even the Lib Dems showed up!

As for Bournemouth council, for all their bullshit about equal opportunities and diversity their main concern throughout has been the loss of a couple of hours’ parking revenue.

smashfascism

 

Message from BHstopEDL.

First of all, thanks to the organisers of the “We are Bournemouth” event, and to everyone who supported it.

The mood of the town was overwhelmingly in favour of a peaceful and inclusive protest to illustrate how united our communities are in their opposition to the EDL’s narrow racism. It’s probably the broadest spectrum of political opinion, gender, age group, ethnic origin and religious belief we’re ever likely to see gathered over a single issue. Above all it confirms that the ‘Islamification of Britain’ is just the paranoid fantasy of a tiny subculture.

The EDL support on the other hand, was overwhelmingly white, male and middle aged, consisting mainly of football hooligan firms from outside the county, who predictably ended up fighting amongst themselves.

We can always do better though; there are half a million people in the BH area and only a few dozen fascist sympathisers, let’s build on this and fill up the town next time!

*Ends*

es.

We can always do better though; there are half a million people in the BH area and only a few dozen fascist sympathisers, let’s build on this and fill up the town next time!

*Ends*