A good start – Kingfisher rising!

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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 bitter harvest: Human trafficking, child abuse and union busting by British American Tobacco.

Further to the post below, here is the report on the slave-like conditions in North Carolina tobacco farms, published on behalf of the Farm Labour Organising Committee by Unite:

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“Why do we ban cigarettes to minors, but somehow it’s perfectly OK to have 12-year-olds getting nicotine poisoning in the fields?”

Article: Why Are Children Working in American Tobacco Fields?

Clicktivism: Spam the fuckers!

FLOC Presents Alternative Shareholders Report at BAT Annual Meeting, Outlining Labour Abuses in North Carolina

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FLOC PRESENTS ALTERNATIVE SHAREHOLDERS REPORT AT BAT ANNUAL MEETING, OUTLINING LABOUR ABUSES IN NORTH CAROLINA

Arriving in the pouring rain, representatives of FLOC, IUF, Unite, and Rev. Singh of the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility, attended the British American Tobacco annual meeting on the 29th of April. Outside the BAT AGM were a group of young activists protesting BAT policies with regards to child labour and youth smoking. Pres. Velasquez met with them and reported the conditions of tobacco farm workers that FLOC is trying to change.

Full story.

Mayday events 2015.

We’ll probably add more as we hear of them, send us yours!

Why we celebrate May Day.

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Bristol: May Day Demo – Combat Workfare with Bristol Anarchist Federation Friday 1st may.

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We’ve been lucky to mark International Workers Day (1st May) with some effective & fun demonstrations and direct actions for the past four years.

Last year we directly a large local organisation to end all involvement with workfare – picture of the demo is the one above! This year we hope to build on that, and our other anti workfare successes.

Boycott Workfare have called for a week of action that covers May Day, we aim to target a couple of companies who are profiting from the forced exploitation it represents – and hopefully help out some people affected by the schemes at the same time.

We’ll post more details nearer the time, yes we know its during the day on a workday but we also know a lot of you use any means at your disposal to avoid working on May Day! If you are forced into it you have our sympathy, if not see you on the streets again!

Gig afterwards

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Cardiff: Radical Workers Bloc Saturday 2nd May facebook

Caerdydd: Bloc Radicalaidd y Gweithwyr.

“THE DAY WILL COME WHEN OUR SILENCE WILL BE MORE POWERFUL THAN THE VOICES YOU ARE THROTTLING TODAY.”

– (August Spies on the scaffold before his execution)

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South Wales Anarchists will be demonstating in Cardiff to celebrate this years May Day. Originally a pagan festival, the modern May Day bank holiday has its roots in the fight for the eight hour day and is celebrated across the globe as an International Workers’ Day to commemorate the anarchist trade union organisers who were executed in Chicago 1887. They were framed and wrongly accused of throwing a bomb at police breaking up a crowd in the Haymarket during a demonstration involving over 400,000 working in Chicago on May 4, 1886.

The anarchist idea did not die with these workers in 1887 and continues to be the inspiration for many fighting capitalism around the world. We call on all those struggling for a world of justice, dignity and freedom to come together and join us this May Day in Cardiff.

Bring your red and black flags and class struggle banners!

Meet at 12 noon at the southern end of St Mary St, under the railway bridge near the Great Western Wetherspoons. March starts at 12.30 through the streets of Cardiff City centre to…. somewhere with no bureaucrats’ speeches!!!

London: Reclaim the Beats – join the Fuck Parade!

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Class War 12V multi rig street party at 1 Commercial Street, London, from 6pm on Friday May 1.

Manchester: 0161 Festival Friday 1st, Saturday 2nd, Sunday 3rd May 2015 Facebook

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Milano: NoExpo 2015

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May 1, 2015: from Milan, capital of the crisis, to Europe.

After seven years of crisis the precarious pride has become rage and indignation against the burgeoning unemployment and the growth of poverty imposed by BCE & IMF to most of the population with austerity policies, particularly in Italy, Greece and the rest of the Latin Europe. Social slaughter, plunder of wealth and common goods, the end of the public city are the bases upon which governments build their response to the economic crisis.

Make a week of it:

APRIL 28: INTERNATIONAL NO EXPO CAMPING. Until May 3 with debates and workshops
APRIL 29: THE CITY OF MILAN AGAINST THE FASCIST MARCH
APRIL 30: NATIONAL STUDENTS DEMONSTRATION
MAY 1: #NOEXPOMAYDAY
MAY 2: MOBILIZATIONS AGAINST EXPO
MAY 3: GENERAL ASSEMBLY for 6 months of mobilizations
FROM MAY 3: 6 months of meetings and conflict against and beyond the Expo paradigm.

Tyne & Wear:

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Industrial dispute at Refresco-Gerber, Bridgwater, Somerset: Press release from Unite the Union. Support needed!

Please support this major strike in a Somerset manufacturing plant in any way you can. This is a David and Goliath struggle against a vicious multi-national company going all out to weaken or smash trade union organisation. Please share far and wide.

Don’t vote, picket!

Picture by Roy Winter

Press release from Unite the Union: Friday 13th March 2015
Angry strikers set to escalate dispute:

250 Bridgwater fruit-juice makers resolve to see out their David and Goliath struggle against foreign-owned company to bitter end

Picture by Roy Winter

Fifty Unite the Union demonstrators, a familiar sight at the Express Park roundabout at the north end of the Bristol Rd in Bridgwater for months now, were still in determined mood yesterday. This was their seventh 36-hour strike protest against plans by Refresco-Gerber to radically worsen pay and conditions at the factory, which produces household-name fruit juices. At least three more stoppages have been planned for the next two weeks. Unite the Union officer Roy Winter said:

“Our members contribute their working lives to this factory, which makes a handsome profit for Refresco-Gerber. Unfortunately, under new owners whose HQ is now in Rotterdam, those profits are not enough: the plan is to double or treble them at the expense of Unite members sick pay, shift allowances, pay protection. We are talking here of corporate greed, nothing more or less. Refresco-Gerber is making a bad mistake. There has been a recognised union organisation here for nearly fifty years: Unite the Union will not walk away from this dispute until the company agree an acceptable settlement.”

Picture by Roy Winter

Two mass meetings will be held on the 16th & 17th March to inform Unite members involved in the dispute of the latest negotiations.

Future 36-hour strikes are set for:

  • Wednesday /Thursday the 18th/19th March, 0645am to 1900pm;
  • Tuesday/Wednesday 24th/25th March, 0645am to 1900pm;
  • Wednesday/Thursday 1st /2nd April, 0645am to 1900pm.

Trades unionists are welcome at picket lines, key times are 7am/7pm. For further information please contact Roy Winter on 07720 705078 roy.winter@unitetheunion.org

CLASS WAR PRESS RELEASE: London’s longest running protest is under threat from the Met – & National ‘Call A Copper A Cunt Day’.

Picture by Dave Amis Creative Digital Photography, links to site.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information contact

The weekly Poor Doors protests outside No.1 Commercial Street in Aldgate have been ongoing over the past eight months. But last Thursday, organisers Class War were told to remove their banner featuring the four major party leaders with ‘ALL FUCKING WANKERS’ slogan underneath or face arrest.

Although eager to carry out arrests over the banner, Met backed down in apparent confusion over the legalities. The clash between the Met’s reliance on public order legislation against protests and the protesters’ on European rights rulings means the outcome will have far reaching implications for protest. The Met allege the banner was offensive but despite canvassing passers by could not find anyone other than themselves who were offended – a requirement under the legislation.

Class War’s Ian Bone said: “The Met morality appears stuck in a 1960s Lady Chattersley’s Lover era – where offence is taken on behalf of one’s servants. Do they have a remit on English language usage?

“Only four years ago a photographer was acquitted after cops raided his house of a Class War ‘Cameron wanker’ poster in the window. More recently a judge ruled that swearing at a policeman was not a crime because they heard it so often.

“We like swearing and swear that we will continue to swear in public….at policemen. Defend swearing. Tell the cops to fuck off!”

Class War argue that Articles 10 and 11 of the Human Rights Act give them the right to display the banner in a public place. Case law pertaining to section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 also suggests that use of swear words alone is insufficient reason to arrest. See Harvey v Director of Public Prosecutions [2011] All ER (D) 143 (Nov).

DEFEND FREE SPEECH – OUR RIGHTS TO SWEAR ARE BEING ATTACKED

NO.1 COMMERCIAL STREET THURSDAY MARCH 5TH 6pm

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