For a world without leaders, elections, jobs, money, nukes or fascists: Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle 2016.

naughty boyIt was a lovely sunny weekend, with a superb music line-up. We made some new comrades and enjoyed catching up with the Bognor contingent, Bristol Afed, Swindon A’s, North London, South Wales, West Midlands IWW and many musician friends. Big shout out to the Wob Kitchen for all the tasty vegan meals.

Tolpuddle festival is the Ascot of the left; the various historical re-enactment societies and activist groups rub shoulders in a more or less cordial way and Che Guevara shirts are worn without irony. The Radical Workers’ Bloc idea began in 2011, as a new generation discovered rioting, exasperated with the blatant futility of representative politics. Ever since, in the jolly festival atmosphere, we’ve had frank tactical discussions between Marxists and anarchists, antifascists, environmentalists, trade unionists and hunt sabs. There has been a tacit acceptance of the need for militant antifascism and mass direct action generally.

This was a weird one, the main topic of conversation being the tedious soap opera playing out in the Labour Party. The Westminster freak show is beyond parody, so we understand that the concept of any politician not being a crook or a sociopath is such a fucking novelty it could easily be mistaken for “a new kind of politics”. A good few of our comrades think so: “it isn’t really about Jeremy …” – well you could have fooled us. Each campaign group, union and Marxist party in turn pledged allegiance to the Leader. Even the bands made a point of endorsing Him from the stage. The SWP stall featured a large banner that commanded: “Join the Socialist Workers Party Today!” above a poster of J.C. proclaiming: “We’re the Labour Party and we’re here to stay!” Very confusing.

A more worthwhile discussion is the TUC’s failure to agree a coherent policy on the environment. Unite’s website insists Hinkley nuclear power station must go ahead without delay, plus the third runway at Heathrow– which 13 comrades narrowly avoided prison over recently. We understand there’s still a row going on in the GMB over fracking. If the workers’ organisations are not prepared to take responsibility for the fate of this lump of rock we’re all stood on, then who is? The bourgeoisie don’t give a shit.

Since the weekend three quarters of her majesty’s loyal opposition have voted for a new Trident doomsday machine, they must be stuck on the stench of burning flesh. The Corbyn movement now numbers at least half a million, maybe a million, fair play. So apart from keeping Corbyn what are their demands? They are split on the EU but then so were we. We’d guess they fancy a bit of social Keynesianism in place of the military variety, nationalisation and a progressive tax regime, but how and where are their different agendas going to be reconciled? If half a million people committed to direct action on one single issue – preventing deportation for example – there would be no more deportations. If they announced they would not permit anyone to be evicted from their homes, there would be no evictions. If that doesn’t grab anyone they could shut down fracking, blockade the factories that arm Israel and Saudi Arabia, or stop Trident dead in its tracks.

The only people feeling more left out were the Maoists, whose literature still fumes about the ‘counter-revolutionary renegade’ Leon Trotsky, apologises for the death toll of the Great Leap Forward and offers a defence of the Taliban against western imperialism – bless! I suppose if you actually want a boot on your neck, the left or the right one will do. The retrospective justification of mass murder, though unpleasant, is of little consequence when the perpetrators are a spent force. For sheer convoluted self-justifying, revisionist bullshit they’ve got nothing on Unite’s Executive Council statement on Trident which pre-emptively lays the blame for Armageddon at the door of anyone but the only people with the power to stop it.

Still our seditious anarchist literature flew off the stall, so someone must be reading it, follow leaders all you want, we’ll still be here when you get back. As for paying to vote for one, if anyone’s actually got 25 quid they don’t need it would be better spent supporting political prisoners such as Michelle Smith, a respected community activist, antifascist, and Unite the Union official from Merseyside. This comrade, who has our unreserved admiration, received a one-year sentence last Tuesday for helping the people of Dover defend themselves from neo-Nazis. It is entirely thanks to people like Michelle that the fascist threat is well contained. She is the single mother of two children, we send our solidarity and best wishes for an early release.MerseyAFN

A paypal account is being set up, in the meantime if you would like to donate, or write to Michelle, please send a message to Merseyside Anti-Fascist Network’s facebook page. There will be a fundraising event, Alerta! in Liverpool on sat 20th August 2016. Tickets are £5.

RADICAL WORKERS’ BLOC AT TOLPUDDLE 2016.

captswing2Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival and rally: Friday 15th to Sunday 17th July 2016. View map

We’re back again for the sixth year running, with the stall, Freedom Books, the Big Tent and our Wob Kitchen on the campsite catering for our comrades from Friday to Sunday (F.C.F.S). Camp with us, eat with us and march with us on Sunday. We will have a few of our new ‘Friends of Captain Swing’ T shirts made by the Sabcat anarchist workers’ co-op. If you fancy one for a tenner, let us know through the contact form and don’t forget to include your e-mail address and size. We may ask for a small deposit depending on how much we have to front up – we’re rubbish capitalists!

Pro

We’ve also got a limited number of these left in black or red, also by Sabcat, larger sizes only, but they do work best as a billboard!

Freedom Press

revenge of the working class!

Open Letter to BBC South Today from Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Message from Riseup: The Rise of the Surveillance State.

Hello Beautiful Riseup Users:

Are we still needing funding for the coming year? Yes! We have gotten $35,000 in donations, which is amazing. Thanks all, and please donate to Riseup today, if you can.

Did you know the NSA (National Security Agency) has built a map of the entire world via the communication links of all email, chat, and financial transactions? This map tells a story to them about all of us. It knows who we know. It knows who our activist allies and relationships are.

And, as if that wasn’t crappy enough, the NSA is trying to undermine the security of the internet as a whole by putting in back-doors and weakening encryption standards so that they can spy better. They spend $250,000,000 USD per year on this. This makes the entire internet less secure, and makes it easier for people, governments, and corporations to exploit, scam, and spy on each other.

While the NSA claims they are targeting terrorism, they have been targeting foreign politicians and companies, with evidence that this is happening particularly in Brazil and Mexico. This is plain old espionage and corporate spying. Terrorism is merely the justification for astounding encroachments on our civil liberties.

Last, we have to assume this is all the tip of an iceberg. We have to assume there are other spy agencies across the globe doing similar spy work that we don’t know about (yet).

What can we do about this? We can fight it legally, we can provide support for leakers and journalists, and we can invest in infrastructure (like Riseup) that is building alternative tools for social movements.

Thanks, Love, and Rage,
The Riseup Birds

https://riseup.net/donate

Public Consultation on Slyer’s Lane wind farm, closes 20th December 2014

From West Dorset Pro Wind Facebook group

Application Number: WD/D/14/002611 Case Officer: Andrew Martin Tel: 01305 252227

For the application & to comment online West Dorset District Council “Planning Application Search”
http://webapps.westdorset-dc.gov.uk/PlanningApps/Pages/Planning.aspx?App=WD/D/14/002611

By post: Mr Martin, Case Officer, Planning Department , West Dorset District Council, South Walks House, South Walks, Dorchester DT1 1UZ

If you are writing your own letter make sure you include the application number and your address. Everyone 18 and over in your household can have his/her own say. You can use the same envelope or email address. Save a copy of what you write and use it to contact your local councillors and your MP. Check out the documents online or view at the Council offices on request.

It is an election year. With UKIP and others, there is a new level of climate change denial, a threat to cancel all targets on greenhouse gas emissions and plans to stop the development of renewables both wind and solar in its tracks.

Eco Lit Mini Conference this Sunday in Havant

FFS_001ECO LIT MINI CONFERENCE:

Havant Literary Festival

A half day conference on ecologically inspired literature. Bosmere School, South St, Havant Sunday 12 Oct 2.00 -5.45pm Tickets £10

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  • Helen Moore, on lots of anti-fracking actions – reads from her work and explores the role of the eco-poet in the ecological movement.
  • Dr. Rebecca Welshman of Liverpool University – on the work of pioneer naturalist Richard Jefferies.
  • Dr. Adeline John-Putra of Surrey University – discusses the interplay of ecology and literature.
  • Naomi Foyle of Chichester University – the writer and activist talks about her new post-apocalyptic eco-novel Astra.
  • Organic vegan food from the catering co-op Wild Thyme.

Tim Dawes is offering free complimentary tickets to Greens and Anti-Fracking activists who find the entrance fee daunting. Just email him and ask to be put on the free admittance list.

Frack Free Solent news.

FFS_001Greening Petersfield presents a showing of GASLAND 7.30pm Thursday 18th September, Winton House Centre, 18 High Street, Petersfield GU32 1QA – Map
£4 (£2 concessions) tickets on the door

Film in brief:
Fracking has unlocked a “Saudia Arabia of natural gas” just beneath us. But is fracking safe? When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination. A recently drilled nearby Pennsylvania town reports that residents are able to light their drinking water on fire. This is just one of the many absurd and astonishing revelations of a new country called GASLAND. Part verite travelogue, part expose, part mystery, part bluegrass banjo meltdown, part showdown.

London Climate March
A national march has been organised in London on Sunday 21st September 12.30 – 2.30pm to coincide with the upcoming climate talks in New York. Meet at 12:30pm at: Temple Place, WC2R 3BD – Map

March ends at Westminster with a huge group photo outside Parliament. More information

Friends of the Earth Frack Down Day
FoE is planning a national anti-fracking action day on Saturday 11th October. One strand of this work is the idea of putting Anti Fracking stickers on wheelie bins. Tim has a number of stickers on order. If anyone thinks their street / village might make a splash with wheelie bins stickered-up on either 11th or your collection day in the week following, please email him

FoE are still developing campaign ideas – you can contribute here:

March in Chichester

If you can’t make it to the London Climate March this Sunday 21st September, Transition Chichester are organising a local Climate March through the streets of Chichester from 12pm to 1pm to petition the Mayor, District and County Councils.

“In Chichester we plan to march with a petition to the Assembly Rooms in North Street (5 mins) to deliver our petition to the Mayor, where we will invite him to join us and march on to the District Council Offices (10 mins) to hand over the petition to the Leader of the District Council and we will invite her to join us and the Mayor to march on to the County Council Offices in West Street where we hope to deliver the petition to the Leader of the County Council and our MP. End time approx. 1pm”

For more info Contact Transition Chichester or phone 01243 539090

Funtington Public Info Meeting

Frack Free Solent are helping organise an information meeting about fracking, Friday 24 October at 7.30pm in Funtington Community Village Hall, Southbrook Rd, West Ashling, PO18 8DR. Map More details to follow.

Contact Frack Free Solent or visit our website

Frack Free Solent public information meetings.

FFS_001The government has rushed to let fracking licences all over southern England. Fracking is a very different process to conventional oil extraction requiring major industrial complexes at every wellhead. Typically well-heads are spaced at 1 mile intervals. These meetings are your chance to discuss the implications and get better informed.

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STOCKBRIDGE (between Winchester & Andover) on Tuesday 8 July at 7.30pm Stockbridge Town Hall, High St, Stockbridge SO20 6HE Map

  • Short film describing fracking
  • Marcus Adams from Frack Free Fernhurst
  • Becky Martin from Salisbury Against Fracking
  • Speaker from Hampshire Renewable Energy Collective
  • Question and answer session

IGas Energy, already responsible for a conventional oil well near Stockbridge, holds three exploration and development licences covering large areas between Stockbridge and Andover and Stockbridge and Winchester. In the next few years the Test Valley could become part of the new UK “Gas Lands” with the countryside becoming industrialised.

This meeting is your chance to discuss the implications and get informed so you are ready in the event that planning applications start to be made in this area.

PETERSFIELD on Saturday 12 July at 10.00am St Peter’s Parish Hall, St Peter’s Rd, Petersfield GU32 3HX Map

  • Short film describing fracking
  • Tim Dawes from Frack Free Solent
  • Brenda Pollock from Friends of the Earth
  • Peter McDowell, a geologist
  • Question and answer session

Celtique Energy has been given a large concession that includes Petersfield, Liphook and Midhurst and is presently applying for planning permission for a well-head at Fernhurst.

Contact Frack Free Solent or visit our website

Frack Free Solent April Newsletter

The campaign against fracking continues – there are now 115 anti-fracking groups in the UK.

Frack Free Solent has had another busy month, with two successful fundraising music nights and a public meeting in Forestside plus daily monitoring of the Markwells Wood site. We also gave a short talk to Portsmouth Trades Council, who have very kindly donated £100 towards our campaigning activities. Don’t forget to check our website for up to date info, news & more.

Markwells Wood

We are still monitoring the site at Markwells Wood, Forestside – a few hundred yards north of the – T-junction here. Exploration work could start at any time, and we will be strongly opposing this as it is very likely to include testing for the feasibility of using fracking at this site. The operator of the site, Northern Petroleum, has recently said that they are looking to sell all their UK assets – however, two other companies already part own the PEDL licence, and there are plenty of other possible buyers who could take over operations. Markwells Wood is within the South Downs National Park and is completely unsuitable for the type of large scale industrial extraction involved in fracking.

Forestside Meeting

Markwells Wood is directly next to the small village of Forestside. Frack Free Solent helped organise a public meeting for Forestside residents in March with several speakers, including Marcus Adams from Frack Free Fernhurst. Over 30 local residents attended, many of whom are now setting up a local group to campaign against fracking. We are now looking to organise another public meeting in nearby Compton, while a few miles further north another group has recently been set up in South Harting following a – meeting there

Green Film Festival

Frack Free Solent is sponsoring the showing of Gasland at Portsmouth Film Society’s Green Film Festival. This will be at 6.00pm on Friday 23 May at the Eldon Building in Portsmouth University, and will be followed by a debate with a panel made up of Tim Dawes and Stuart Mills from Frack Free Solent and a local geologist. We have 25 tickets available to buy online at the reduced price of £4 829 . The usual price is £6, or you can also buy a festival pass from PFS for £10, to see all three films – more info

Donations needed

We need cash! To campaign effectively, we need your donations to pay for leaflet printing, web hosting, hall hire etc. We are fortunate to have had some grant funding from Lush Cosmetics, plus donations from Unison & Portsmouth Trades Council, but we need more.

Please consider making a donation to us – you can make a bank transfer to the Frack Free Solent bank account: Account No – 65698017 Sort code – 08 92 99 Or you can use the donate button on our website to donate via paypal.

Facebook

To keep up to date with fracking locally and nationally, join Frack Free Solent’s Facebook group

Next organising meeting

Frack Free Solent holds regular organising meetings, which are open to anyone who wants to help us plan activities to oppose fracking. The next meeting will be on Thursday 10 April at 7.30pm in the back room of the – White Hart, 1 East St, Havant PO9 1AA

Links to other groups

Frack Off – national network against fracking – lots of useful info & resources

Frack Free Fernhurst

Frack Free Sussex

Contact Frack Free Solent

Security Thought Experiment, from Riseup.

Imagine you just found out a member of your project is actually a police informant. What project resources do they have access to? How will your group go about locking them out and protecting yourself? Is there any one person who could bring your project to a halt because they are the only one with certain passwords, access to mailing lists, or databases? Is there anyone who has access to a lot of data who doesn’t need it? (Which isn’t to say they are suspicious, but that a good security practice is limiting access only to people who need the information.)

Are there any changes you could make right now that would make an informant less of a problem?

For sure, this kind of thing seldom happens, but the more prepared we are, the stronger our group will be, and the more trust there can be between the members of the group.