AFN go wild in the West Country: Exeter demo report

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Report from Brighton Anti-Fascists

Around forty comrades made the trip from around the country to Exeter to check out the last EDL national demo of the year (don’t worry folks, there’s still a few regionals to counter).

Perhaps ignorantly we’d considered Exeter to be a bit of a void politically speaking so we were pleasantly surprised by the size of the turn-out of the Exeter Together effort. Around a thousand locals marched into town from Belmont Park (accompanied by a slow funereal soundtrack of the kind more usually associated with a witch-burning).

Exeter Together was not organised by the UAF – in fact it seemed as if the PCS union played the leading role. The march and rally replicated all the flaws of a UAF gathering – local MPs speaking, bad poetry from the stage and a reluctance to actually confront the racists in town. It also started a good two hours before the EDL were even due to assemble which is as good a way as any to dissipate energy.

However, to be fair, this was a thousand folk who had decided not to be intimidated by the EDL and they decided to stay the course and be in town until the EDL had left. AFN played a useful role sniffing out EDL spotters on the fringes of the crowd and moving them on.

Evading the police later, AFN, together with 50 odd locals, made it to the gates of the EDLs rally point to provide the only opposition visible to the main body of the fash all day. Eventually a heavy police presence forced us down a road away from the rally site and a police cordon was set up to allow the fash to get on their coaches.

The EDL looked dispirited – barely summoning the energy to chant. Altogether there were 200 – tops. The vast majority of them left without a fuss. Given that some of them had come from as far as Mansfield and Dartford it was a piss poor effort

Small knots of EDL were half-heartedly wandering about a couple of hours later – handing AFN activists the opportunity to grab a fantastic souvenir in the shape of the Exeter division’s main banner. No surrender? Fucking jog on, more like.

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Portsmouth Anti-Fascists with captured flag. Will Exeter EDL now be forced to commit suicide from dishonour?

Starbucks union Chile Press release.

iwwlogo-button9th November 2013 3:14am

To our workers, our friends and citizens.

Today 8th November we voluntarily end our legal strike after accomplishing, during the 11 days of mobilisation, every political objective we had set ourselves as a collective at the outset. It was not merely a matter of gaining benefits -we knew Starbucks was going to stick to its anti-union philosophy- it was not about resources either: it was about a fight for our collective rights and a political message charged with solidarity we wanted to send to Chile and the rest of the world.

In just 11 days our organisation grew in unity and political development. Those non-unionised workers who throughout history have been -for obvious reasons-afraid of taking part in the organisation have started to see the justice of our cause and came closer to us each day. It has become evident that Starbucks is a contradictory and stubborn business. There is no social responsibility here, but instead social irresponsibility. “There is no budget for negotiations”, “we cannot grant privileges to collectives”, “unions are unnecessary in Starbucks” were some of the reasons Starbucks gave for not fulfilling its unionised workers’ demands – at the moment when Starbucks had reported more than a 34% increase in profits, reaching US$1,245.7m.

We reached civil society, collecting over 5,000 signatures of support in Chile and 7,000 signatures from the rest of the world in order to pressure Starbucks to modify its anti-union behaviour. Candidates for the Chilean Presidency like Marcel Claude, Roxana Miranda and Marco Enríquez-Ominami expressed their support; Tucapel Jiménez, Cut, Labour Front, CTC and CNT -among many other organisations- also voiced their support. Outside our frontiers, CSA and CSI presented our case to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on 25th October, also to IWW, workers in Belgium, England, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Bulgaria, New Zealand, Spain and Argentina in order to show the world Starbucks’ hidden face. Besides this, Starbucks unions in the US carried out activities in support of our cause.

We know Starbucks will continue to state cynically that, “it has always recognised and respected all partners’ rights to join the union.” Starbucks, however, has paid more than 50m in four fines for having made union freedom vulnerable in the most grotesque ways. Starbucks will say we are a minority and that 95% of its workers “recognise and value the good working environment and the facilities Starbucks offers, and that they therefore do not share the union’s demands”, despite the fact that surveys show that more than 80% of the company supports our organization’s actions but is scared of organising and raising its voice because of the historic repressive actions. Anti-union practices made the unionisation index fall from 55% to almost 6% in two years, but we strongly believe that today a scenario has been put forward which will favour the unity of the workers against Starbucks’ anti-unionism. “Starbucks is proud to be (supposedly) an enterprise whose politics are open and meritocratic.” What disgusts us is that Starbucks is also proud to be an anti-union business. This is why it is our duty to take all necessary national and international measures to guarantee that Starbucks stops making vulnerable its workers’ inalienable collective rights. Starbucks persists in these actions and for this reason we will present our case to los Employment Tribunals of Justice, and also to the OCDE for violation of the procedures stated for multinationals. Moreover, we will complain to the Chilean State in front of OIT for having neglected its duty to the Rule of Law, thus allowing violations to our law and to the international agreements Chile subscribes to. During this process, all the organisations which have stood by us throughout this battle will give their support and solidarity. We Starbucks workers do not return defeated to our posts, because we have created the space that will allow us to democratise the company. We were always conscious that this was the beginning of a long-term battle against a corporate work model which intends to impose itself with violence. We will meet again in 18 months’ time, more united than ever.

Thank you all.

Starbucks Coffee Union

Insomnia Cookies Brings Police Assault Down on Legal Picket

Re-blogged from Industrial Workers of the World – Boston GMB

Last night the Cambridge Police swarmed a totally legal picket of Insomnia Cookies, demanded we shut down our PA (which we did), then attacked, punched, bloodied, threw on the trunk of a car, threw on the ground and dragged away IWW member Jason Freedman who has been charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and assaulting a cop. Jason sustained injuries to his back and arm. This was a completely unjustified attack on Jason, on civil liberties, labor rights and free speech. It was provoked (and lent legitimacy in the eyes of the cops) by a false report from the company that picketers were obstructing the sidewalk in front of the store. Feel free to register protests with Henrietta Davis, Mayor of Cambridge, at mayor@cambridgema.gov

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The story of Riseup dot net

Dear Riseup Users:

Here’s the story of how we got to be the Riseup that we are. Please donate if you can!

Once upon a time, way back at the end of 1999 when the internet was still young and the millennium loomed, a couple of geeks got fired up at the WTO protests in Seattle. After a week of teargas, jail, cardboard butterfly wings, and way too much chanting, they sat in their living room and talked about what the movement needed for the next decade. They came up with Riseup.net as an independent provider of lists and email. They created Riseup on a couple of servers in their house, and soon attracted a couple more geeks to the cause.

Every year Riseup grew and grew, and it became more of a headache in that way where it was more work and had more people relying upon it. Some people came and went from the collective, and there were some hard, lean years where it was unclear if this was the right thing to pour time and money into, but stubbornly, Riseup kept going.

People’s skills increased around providing stable and secure services. More people joined the collective, and they were activist gold: the kind of people who worked hard on all the irritating day-to-day minutiae, the kind who showed up for meetings and cared deeply about this quixotic project, and the kind of people who stay up all night at crisis moments to wield their mighty hacker skills that looked like magic to those of us in the collective (like me) who are writers not geeks.

So somewhere around 2007, the collective became stable member-wise, and we became a group of about ten people who are mostly the same people we have today. Over the last eight years we have become a true collective in a rare way. We’ve worked together on Riseup for a long time, and slowly, that has become a big deal in most of our lives. We celebrate — those of us who live near each other — our celebrations together and care about each other in a true and real way. One of the greatest secret successes of Riseup was when Gadfly and Arara met at one of our retreats and fell in love. We have at times been annoyed, in conflict, and angry with each other (since we are humans not robots), and this has even led to some people leaving the collective, but overall we’ve been surprisingly stable as all but one of us has transitioned from being fiery, dreamy, young radicals into cranky, dreamy middle-aged radicals.

And also, sometime during the last eight years, Riseup has become a force to be reckoned with. We are the largest nonprofit email provider in the world, outside of a university system. We run one of the world’s most used TOR nodes. We are frequently cited and sourced as one of the few ethical, autonomous, and secure internet providers. We legally duked it out with the far right over not turning over our user’s information and won. We use and develop cool-ass secure software. We scheme with other tech collectives across the globe on what we are going to do about all this spying and how we can carry this work on into the next decade. We have big hearts and minds, and we plan to win.

So, that’s us. Or one of the stories about us. Support us if you can! Love, The Riseup Birds

Oppose the EDL national demo in Exeter: Latest Info

Reblogged from Anti-Fascist Network:

This information is from a long term anti-fascist in Exeter:

Details are now clear about Exeter on Saturday.

March Routes

Firstly, the local rag managed to get the details about the route of the EDL march totally wrong. They are NOT marching down Sidwell Street or the High Street. The EDL are assembling at The Locomotive on New North Road at 12.00 and it is our understanding that at 1.30 they will be marching north up New North Road, round to the clocktower and then up Queen Street for Rougemont Gardens.

routes

The above map has both routes: ours in red and theirs in blue.  The Exeter Together route is straight through the middle of town. The EDL route looks like it is very near by and it is as the crow flies. However, New North Road is a main artery road that consists mostly of parked cars and heavy traffic and the combination of the railway and Rougemont Gardens makes an impassable obstacle between them and the High Street.

Rougement Gardens is perfect for the police. There are physically 4 gated exits from Rougement Gardens – the two main ones at either end (new North Road and Queen Street) and two gated passageways (door sized) through the city wall – which can either be locked or easily blocked by the police. Even if some of them got through those, the building work on the library has meant the main footpath out past the library is blocked with a 10 foot wooden fence. That leaves physically only the gated exit by the courts that can be locked. The rest of the park is surrounded by the city wall (which is massive and marked in purple on the map), or on the other side an enormous and very steep bank through dense foliage  leading down to railings which are 5 foot high (red dotted line other side of the park). Basically it is a large kettle away from the view of the public.

Transport from outside Exeter

Initially there had been worries that the EDL might assemble the other end of New North Road down near St Davids train station. This is not the case. They are assembling a very long distance from St Davids. However, it is likely that some of them will come by train. The EDL have issued their own statement about the schedule for the day and suggested transport arrangements:

EDL plans

The EDL’s transport plans are as follows: Their preferred route to the assembly point is via the A30, taking the Ide junction on to the A377 towards Exeter City Centre. On to Alphington Road and Alphington Street to Exe Bridges. Continuing along the A377 on to Bonhay Road. At Exeter St. David’s Railway Station turning right on to St. David’s Hill then second left into Hele Road. Turning right at the top and at the Clock Tower Roundabout straight across in to New North Road to the assembly point at The Locomotive Public House (36 New North Rd, EX4 4EP)

The EDL will be assembling in the pub from 12 noon & their demo starts at 1.30pm, marching to Northernhay and Rougemont Gardens, Castle Street, EX4 3PL for their rally. Coaches & minibuses will be directed to a holding area for duration of demo. Cars are instructed to park in nearby public car parks.

EDL members arriving by rail will arrive at Exeter Central Station.

Anti-Fascist plans for the day

The Exeter Together plans are  here:

We anticipate 800+ on the Exeter Together demo going by the numbers who have signed their statement.

There will probably be 200-300 EDL.

The local support base for AFN in Exeter is tiny and the physical arrangements are such that the EDL are essentially kettled in their rally – which it will not be possible to get in to or out of.  The local geography and policing arrangements will mean that once EDL supporters have got to their assembly point there will be no possibility of contact with the Exeter Together demonstration. There is a football game at 3pm at St James Park and the EDL are probably finishing in time for them to go to the football. So if there are problems it is likely to be after their rally.

Ideological Offensive

The Exeter EDL News website has put some information together which may be of interest.

The first item demolishes the reasons given by the EDL for their demonstration: EDL justifications for Exeter demo are paper thin!

This shows how they circulate fake Islamophobic stories: Reflections on Kristallnacht and the spreading of lies and hatred by the EDL.

This deals with their racism: The vile racism of Exeter English Defence League.

Exeter & Devon EDL criminal convictions:

Exeter & Devon EDL criminal convictions – Part 1

Exeter & Devon EDL criminal convictions – Part 2

Report on action against Neo-Nazis in London

It’s pretty low-grade fash that don’t even warrant a police escort!

Reblogged from London Antifascists:

On Saturday 9th November, notorious fascists and neo-nazi has-beens called a demonstration in support of the jailed leadership of the murderous neo-nazi Golden Dawn party at the Greek Embassy in London.

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Over 40 militants from the AFN responded in a co-ordinated action to send a strong message to those attending or thinking about attending neo-nazi and racist demonstrations – that they are not welcomed and they will be opposed. The message was spelt out to them with a “frank discussion” before the demonstration. For all their talk of “smashing the reds” not one of the 12 fascists said a word, instead the sense of shear fear on their faces would hopefully make an impression and knock some sense in the younger attendees that were present. Around 5 of the younger fascists were escorted out of the pub onto trains by AFN militants and told to fuck off home.

After we had left the remaining fascists, who had hoped for a large police presence at their pub but with none insight, pleaded with community support officers to escort them to the demo as they were too afraid to leave. They ended up getting taxis to the embassy.

Our aim was to never attend or call a counter-protest, if we had we would have had given the 30-35 odd balls that turned up a sense of importance and the cops more intel. The location of the embassy and the high police presence meant that any counter protest would have been completely in the control of the cops. Different situations require different tactics.

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After the action, seized Golden Dawn Flags were burned. We give our total solidarity to our working class brothers and sisters in Greece, the many migrants who struggle against racism and fascism and to our Brother Pavlos who was murdered by Golden Dawn members.

London – always anti-fascist!

Το Σάββατο 9 Νοεμβρίου μια ομάδα φασιστών και νεοναζί κάλεσε συγκέντρωση αλληλεγγύης στη φυλακισμένη ηγεσία των δολοφόνων νεοναζί της Χρυσής Αυγής, στην ελληνική πρεσβεία του Λονδίνου.

Mια ομάδα 40 αντιφασιστών του Anti-Fascist Network (AFN) απάντησε με μια συντονισμένη δράση ώστε να στείλει ένα μήνυμα σε όσους συμμετέχουν ή νομίζουν πως θα συμμετέχουν σε νεοναζιστικές και ρατσιστικές εκδηλώσεις: πως δεν είναι ευπρόσδεκτοι και θα αντιμετωπιστούν αναλόγως. […]

Η ομάδα των 12 φασιστών εκδιώχθηκε, ενώ οι σημαίες της Χ.Α κάηκαν.[…] Στέλνουμε την αλληλεγγύη μας στην εργατική τάξη στην Ελλάδα, σε όλους τους μετανάστες που μάχονται ενάντια στο ρατσισμό και το φασισμό και στον σύντροφο Παύλο που δολοφονήθηκε από μέλος της Χ.Α

Autonomy Films present: Austin the photographer and the Bridport women wildcat strikers. 7pm 9th November 2013

Austin Flyer7pm for 7.30pm Saturday 9th November 2013 W.I. Hall, North Street, Bridport

£3 Entry  (less if you can’t afford it)
Vegetarian soup on sale from 6.30pm
An unknown piece of  Bridport ‘history from below’ of 100 years ago.
Austin the photographer and the Bridport women wildcat strikers.
An illustrated talk by Carlos Guarita

EVENTS  ORGANISED BY OTHERS.

Frack-free Dorset

Dorset Greenpeace will be in South Street, Dorchester on Saturday 2nd November from 9:30 to 12:00 to raise awareness about fracking. Greenpeace have launched a new country-wide campaign to create a legal block against fracking. It’s called “Not for Shale”.  If you’re in town, you can go and say hello and find out more or even help on the stall to get the message across.  Just 30 mins of your time could help nlighten 15 members of the public to the ks of fracking;  it’s easy once you start,  and regular campaigners   will be alongside to support.

The ask will be to enter a postcode on the wrong move –the next page will tell you if fracking could happen in that area. If it’s a yes, then you have the opportunity to object. Frack Free Dorset facebook group and Frack Free Dorset

Unusual Things that Happen at Trees.

Illustrated talk about a hidden history of visions, rituals and healing at special trees. This popular tradition has survived across Europe, partly inside conventional religion and partly despite it, and is traced back over 3,000 years. Thursday 7th November 8 pm The Ropemakers Pub  (at the back of the pub) West Street, Bridport.