Pie & mash embarrassment in Pompey.

Halloween came early to Pompey on Saturday via the ill-fated pie & mash (fash, get it?) group, sometimes called south coast resistance, formerly Portsmouth EDL. After a no show in Southampton last week that wasn’t worth reporting, the fascists announced they were cancelling their demo in the city to support an event in Telford. A community ‘stand up to racism’ demo was called off. As the Telford manifestation is not until next month, Portsmouth Antifascists smelled a rat, and mobilised 30-35 comrades just in case. It seems the babylon weren’t deceived either, maybe pieash have got an informer in their midst, or perhaps once filth have booked their overtime there’s no going back, anyway the antifascists were heavily pigged all morning. The Guildhall steps were occupied, to deny the fascists their favoured photo opportunity.

pomp0716

After an hour of watching paint dry, a dozen more cops appeared, escorting eight heavily refreshed youths in halloween masks, carrying a flag that appeared to depict a chicken eating a poppy with the caption: ‘lest we forget’. Forget what exactly? They stood, or swayed, for a full ten minutes, perhaps having forgotten the theme of their rally, they confined themselves to shouting personal abuse at a few locals presumed to be amongst the opposition, against whom they hold grudges. The only political content was a bit of seig heilling.

pieash
Plod then led them to the Surrey Arms (1-3 Surrey St, Portsmouth PO1 1JT), where they remained.

surrey-arms

Why do we bother? Unlike the fash, we’ve got lives, but we won’t let them get away with anything. It’s all very well shouting “stand up to racism”, “refugees welcome” and “black lives matter”, but if those groups are subject to the indignity of being abused by these arseholes in our community, it’s our responsibility. They may be a bunch of drunken inadequates but the ideology they promote, and the people they idolise: Hitler, Mussolini, Franco etc, were responsible for about sixty million deaths in living memory. They shall not pass.

Pie and mash go nowhere in Portsmouth.

Picture by Southampton Antifascists.

Picture by Southampton Antifascists.

Having failed to make a significant nuisance of themselves in Bristol or Swindon, internet fantasist group Pie and mash squad began making online threats against a family-friendly Stand Up To Racism meeting at Portsmouth Central Library. Portsmouth Antifascists decided to mobilise just in case – imagine our surprise then, to hear the fascists had asked the police to facilitate a counter-protest! Their demo consisted of half a dozen well-known idiots drinking in the nearest wetherspoons, (the Isambard Kingdom Brunel, but never mind, they’re all the fucking same) surrounded by a larger number of cops. As the meeting drew to a close, about 30 locals surrounded the pub to keep them there while the attendees dispersed, Matthew Woods protesting that they were ‘just having a drink after work’. They all got on the blower and eventually another four fascists arrived, who giving us a wide berth, quick-marched behind police lines to join their colleagues, the expression on Martin Jackson’s face really needed to be seen! Eventually the cops herded them back into the pub and we went home. The following day the Pie and mash farcebook page disowned the hapless pompey mob.

fashboast

They did, however feel the need to bang on about it at some length, eventually blaming it on the EDL. What a waste of time

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

radicalworkerspx

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…

View map Download flyer

Freedom Press

Message from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch.

Next week Students for Palestine will be running Israeli Apartheid Week at the University of Southampton with the following events:

Monday February 23rd, 7 to 8.30pm: Boycott Israeli Apartheid – Beyond the Propaganda. Nuffield Theatre, Lecture Theatre A (building 06/ room 1077)

The first event of Israeli Apartheid Week 2015 – a panel event on the growing BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) Movement to put peaceful pressure on Israel to respect human rights, international law, and basic dignity.

The panel will discuss the principles and importance of BDS, and will address common myths and misinformation surrounding BDS, with time for the panel to answer your questions about the Boycott movement. We will be joined by a trio of eminent panellists from various backgrounds, consisting of:

Professor Suleiman Sharkh: Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Dan Judelson: Jews for Justice for Palestinians
Rena Zuabi: Students for Justice in Palestine

Wednesday February 25th, 6.30 to 8pm: Murder Merchants – Israel and the Arms Trade*. University of Southampton Murray Building (building 58, room 1009)

The second panel event of Israeli Apartheid Week at Southampton will explore the murky world of the international Arms Trade, and the way in which the thriving trade in weapons and military technology between the UK and Israel facilitates and rewards the atrocities Israel commits against the Palestinian people, with the massacres of last summer being just one example.

The arms trade between the UK and Israel is a glaring example of our country’s complicity in Israel’s actions, and companies involved in the arms trade profit directly from the frequently illegal actions of the Israeli state and military. There is therefore a very strong case to be made for boycotting and divesting from these complicit companies, especially in our unique position as students.

We are honoured to be joined by three brilliant activists and speakers for this panel, who will give a fascinating insight into the world of arms dealing, explore what is to be done, and answer any questions you may have:

Mike Deas: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, The Electronic Intifada
Ryvka Barnard: War on Want, Jadaliyya
Maya Evans: Voices for Creative Non-Violence UK, Campaign Against Arms Trade

Friday February 27th, 6.30 to 8.15pm: Roadmap to Apartheid – Film Screening*. Nuffield Theatre, Lecture Theatre A (building 06/ room 1077)

If seeing the words “Apartheid” and “Israel” together shocks, confuses, or even angers you, Roadmap to Apartheid is essential viewing to understand the rationale for the description.

This award-winning documentary, directed by a white South African and a Jewish Israeli, examines and explains the Apartheid analysis, demonstrating how it applies to the situation faced by Palestinians, and why it is a analysis that is increasingly being used in discourse over Israel/Palestine.

Using a facts-based analytical approach, with input from a great variety of respected analysts and commentators, combined with archival material and anecdotes from South Africans, the film forms a complete picture as to why the analogy is being used with increasing frequency and potency – come along and bring your friends!

Map of Highfield Campus showing the location of the Nuffield Building and building 58.

Portsmouth branch group of Palestine Solidarity Campaign is holding a Palestine Day on Saturday 28th from 12 to 5pm.

The event will be held at St. Swithuns Church Community Centre, 105 Waverley Rd, Southsea, PO5 2PL, Map with the following talks:

12am: Palestine and Sport – Red Card Israel Racism – Gareth Edwards (Lecturer in Sports History)
1pm: lunch (free Palestinian food)
2pm: Health and Education in Palestine – Aimee Shalan (Director of Friends of Birzeit University)
3pm: Why is Gaza Blockaded – Kevin Ovenden (Viva Palestinia Organiser)
4pm: BDS – The Way Forward – Salim Alam (Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Campaigns Director)

Free entry, all welcome. For further details about the events  e mail. Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign Website Blog

Left events this Saturday: 4th October. Portsmouth and Dorchester.

pompradhist

From the battle to keep common land to women campaigning for the vote, from mutinous sailors to the fight against racism, the past struggles of local people are a source of huge inspiration and interest. 

Portsmouth Socialist Network invites you to a day dedicated to the radical history of our city. Facebook event

Dorset Socialists meeting Saturday – CHAOS IN IRAQ: the bitter fruits of imperialism.

Saturday 4th October, 1.30pm at the Colliton Club (opposite County Hall), Dorchester.

“Iraq is in a mess, and the Western leaders, who have been in effective charge since the invasion of 2003, have no idea of what to do about it. A region of relative wealth and prosperity, with above average women’s rights for the region and minimal sectarian conflict has been turned into its polar opposite.

An admittedly repressive dictatorship has been replaced by a Shia regime which is entrenched in sectarianism and up to its neck in corruption. And all under the supposedly liberating Western occupation. The naked pursuit of oil profits has plunged the whole country into a crisis which threatens those very same petrochemical interests, and threatens to drag us all back to a boots on desert fighting was. A renewed war can only make matters worse.

Join us to discuss what is to be done.”
DS

Pubs to avoid: the Alma arms, Southsea.

Alma

Barry painted the Alma white.

The Alma arms at 193 Highland Road, Southsea, Hampshire, PO4 9EZ [map] [gmap] for years was notorious as a hangout of the far right; the former landlord Barry Smith being an old-school Nazi who hosted regular events for local fascists and hooligan firms. The pub was taken over in July 2013 by Steve Lant who also runs The Nell Gwynne, in Jessie Road, Southsea, and The Old House at Home, in Locksway Road, Milton, Portsmouth, on behalf of Enterprise Inns. Since then the Alma has been keen to shed its Nazi image, to the extent of sucking up to local antifascist groups and other lefty causes.

Last Sunday Pompey Punx Collective put on a benefit gig at the Alma on behalf of Medical Aid for Palestinians; according to a friend of one of the bands the venue had been leaned on by the cops to hire ‘security’, supposedly in case of fascist ingress. When we arrived there were a couple of awkward looking bodybuilders striking poses in tight-fitting black uniforms and we wondered if someone had hired a striptease act. Anyway we got to see Grant Sharkey do his unique socially-conscious double bass comedy thing (his act is pretty hard to describe, you just need to check it out). The acoustics are shit by the way, no really they are.

It was a Sunday night and the place wasn’t exactly rammed, more like a private party as nearly everyone knew each other, but the atmosphere was dampened by these dudes glaring at people and constantly fussing over who had paid – frankly a gatecrasher would have stuck out like a dog’s bollocks and been challenged instantly. One of us put up a Palestine flag, and was told by the management (one Simon Lawrence, who confesses to be a mate of the old landlord) to take it down, so she wore it instead, the bodybuilders told her to take it off and she refused, we had a word, but they were intransigent, so we just ignored them. Grant’s set, which is the kind of material you really want to listen to, was marred by the bickering going on in the background. More fussing, it seems they were texting Grant’s lyrics to the owners! They didn’t want anything to do with politics they said, they actually used the phrase ‘sitting on the fence’ and we all know where that goes. They were there ‘as a deterrent’ – to what exactly? They didn’t inspire a lot of confidence, “have you done this before?”. Really they should stick to playing paintball. We were informed the event was now a closed one and no-one else would be admitted.

Next up was Thee Infidels, A riotous German Ska/punk band, they got through a couple of numbers then a male comrade put the flag on and was forcibly thrown out. We all followed, the band walked off the stage and came with us. We could not continue under these circumstances and started loading up the gear. About 20 minutes later there was a call from the owner to say he was calling the event off – a bit late for that, mush!

So, is this just a case of a venue badly run by incompetents out of their depth, or was it a set up in league with the police to shut down autonomous organising in the area? A proper antifascist gig was to follow in a couple of weeks, at which they would never have got away with such antics, so this little set piece seems well timed. Never mind, there are plenty of proper venues to choose from.

The Alma will now have to go back to hosting fascists because no one else is going to touch it with a barge pole.

Bournemouth mobilises against fascism! 23rd August.

23rdbannerr

Oppose the racist English Defence League in Bournemouth on 23rd August!

Once again this bizarre right-wing cult threatens one of the most peaceful and diverse communities in the south. Their proposed ‘Bournemouth against the Islamification of Britain’ march is a crude provocation to a section of the population that has been here since before most of them were born.

A broad-based coalition, ‘We are Bournemouth’ comprising unions, community organisations, traders and individuals from all walks of life has called for a massive, inclusive, family-friendly counter demonstration against racism and fascism.

Local antifascist groups such as BHstopEDL, StopEDL Bournemouth and of course ourselves will also be out and about on the day, something for everyone. Bournemouth EDL has a history of importing fascists from elsewhere, notably Southampton and Portsmouth, as the blighters have been quite effectively blocked in their own areas, so we call on antifascists from across the south to join us on the day – who knows, you might get to spot one of your local boneheads!

The EDL, which mostly focuses its hatred on Muslims but attracts every kind of bigot has suffered badly in recent years from defections, criminal convictions and internal splits, but has somehow stayed under the radar in Dorset – mainly because most people have never heard of it or are unaware of its fascist origins and sinister agenda, and because there are few racial tensions here to exploit – let’s keep it that way. Their new chairman Tim Ablitt, who was Dorset organiser for the BNP splinter group ‘British Freedom Party’, lives at Fitzworth Avenue in Poole.

Now, we didn’t make this up, honestly.

berksIt was a response to Bournemouth fascist Gary Hazel‘s plea on farcebook for a field where out-of-towners could get heavily refreshed the night before. The cops having refused the fascists permission to use public campsites – not that any would have them – after telling them they aren’t allowed to cook a pig on the beach.

Details will follow as both march routes are being challenged by the locals, we’ve been forwarding e mail enquiries to BHstopEDL

See you on the streets – they shall not pass!

Tolpuddle 2014.

radicalworkerspx

Photo by Wheelz.

We take a moment to salute our illustrious comrade John Flower (see below 4th July) who passed away in June, we left a small memorial to him at the annual International Brigades ceremony and antifascists from Wessex, Portsmouth and Southampton attended his funeral.

But life is for the living and we had another cracking weekend! We were delighted to welcome four comrades from CNT-AIT Caen this year.

Minor drama on Saturday when some prat tried to trash the stall after a specious argument about royalties. His objection was to our use of the ubiquitous John Harris photograph of Lesley Boulton at Orgreave, on this the 30th anniversary of the Miners’ Strike, which could be seen adorning T shirts all over the site. He was safely and efficiently restrained by one of the older members of our group, who also happens to be a photojournalist. We have several NUJ members in the collective who questioned him about his motives. All became clear when we visited his stall which carried similar images at four quid a pop! It turned out he was just some bourgeois flogging lefty posters for the benefit of no one but himself, and he was upset that we were giving away something he was trying to sell.

The unseemly fracas didn’t do us any harm as people queued up to tell us – and him, what a prick he was, and our now slightly disheveled literature flew off the stall. He approached the organisers (not us) to offer an apology, and we replied that since he cares so much about money, he could make amends by sticking some in our donations jar, this he failed to do.

The stuff we carry on the stall is only there because we want people to read it; we produce it ourselves and we only take donations for it to cover our costs so we can do it again next year. The cash we take for Freedom goes to Freedom. Revenge was foregone as we were reluctant to relinquish the moral high ground we occupied, but if you’re doing a class-based event keep an eye out for this arsehole who just might decide to barge in and fuck shit up. Stocky bloke with white hair, gold-rimmed glasses and beige trousers. This is from his web site, ‘Past Pixels’ click on it to go there:

Untitled

class warpx

Numbers on the march down a bit on last year but it was good to welcome some new faces.

Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle 2014.

Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle 2014.

Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival and Rally, Friday 18th July to Sunday 20th July 2014

RAD00

Tolpuddle 2013 Radical Workers’ Bloc: the weekend in pictures.

This will be our fourth bloc on the Martyrs Festival and rally; from an inauspicious start with seven of us and a black hanky on a stick, we’ve more than doubled each year to about seventy-five in 2013, from as far afield as Wales, France and the Midlands. Our commitment is to the original spirit of the Martyrs: working class self-organisation in the face of a hostile bourgeois state, more relevant today than ever, owing to the abject failure of political and industrial representation to meet the needs of the people, and the increasingly repressive reaction of the state to autonomous protest and resistance.

Once again we have a stall in the Martyrs Marquee; we will be carrying stock from Freedom Books, Britain’s oldest anarchist publisher, plus flags, badges, zines and pamphlets for donations, and loads of free stuff. If you’d like to take part and help run the stall, or if you have literature you’d like to give away or accept donations for please get in touch.

For those who are staying for the weekend festival, an advance party will arrive on Friday afternoon to pitch tents; we corral them together so that people can get to know each other, exchange contacts and ideas, plan and plot another year of class struggle.

If you’re just marching with us on Sunday 20th July, Meet up as usual 1:30 pm outside the Martyrs Museum; bring your flags and banners. View map  Farcebook event

A4 Flyer     2xA5 Flyer To get involved, contact: wsol@riseup.net

Freedom Press

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

Frack Free Solent March Newsletter and public meeting 15/03/14

FFS_001Here’s a roundup of what’s been happening locally, plus upcoming Frack Free Solent events for March.

Don’t forget to check our website for up to date info, news & more.

Markwells Wood

We are regularly monitoring the site at Markwells Wood, Forestside – a few hundred yards north of the T-junction here  – https://goo.gl/maps/qJSPq .

The oil & gas exploration site is owned by Northern Petroleum (50%), Magellan Petroleum (40%) and Egdon Resources (10%) with NP holding operator status on the site.  With their planning permission for further exploration renewed until March 2015, we believe Northern Petroleum will be investigating the possibility of hydrocarbon extraction using fracking.  We have spoken to many local residents, who are very concerned at the prospect of having an industrial fracking site on their doorstep – despite the best attentions of Northern’s PR firm taking many of them out to lunch, sending presents etc.

Frack Free Solent is organising a public meeting for local residents on Saturday 15 March from 10am – 12pm at Forestside & Stansted Village Hall (just opposite Christ Church, on the road to Stansted Park – http://goo.gl/maps/oD3QG Please pass this information onto anyone living locally who would be interested in finding out more about what fracking could mean for the area.

Frack Free Solent. – Benefit Music Nights

FFS_001Frack Free Solent – Benefit Music Nights

We have two benefit music nights coming up soon, put on to raise funds for the costs of campaigning against fracking – printing leaflets, hiring halls.

.

Saturday 8 March 7.30pm

SEIZE THE DAY Internationally known radical English acoustic band with global roots – don’t miss them!

“The musical voice of the environmental movement” – Satish Kumar, Resurgence Magazine

“Folk-rock with a radical edge, the band of choice of the direct action and environmental movements” – Caroline Lucas, Green Party MEP

Plus support band Wheels of the World & guest appearance by Vanessa Vine, Balcombe campaigner.

St Faiths Parish Hall, The Pallant, Havant PO9 1BE – Map

Advance tickets £8/£5 concessions/£16

Please share our facebook event page
Ticket price includes a light supper (veggie). Soft drinks and licensed bar available. All proceeds go to Frack Free Solent.

Friday 14 March 7.30pm

ROBB JOHNSON of the Anti-Capitalist Roadshow

British musician and songwriter, who has been called “one of the last genuinely political songwriters”, and is known for his mix of political satire and wit.  He has his own record label, Irregular Records, and has released more than 30 albums either solo or in several collaborations. Member of the Anti-Capitalist Roadshow singers & songwriters collective

“The real deal when it comes to songwriting” – Mike Harding, BBC Radio2

“An English original” – Robin Denselow, The Guardian

Plus support from Chris Bluemel of radical English acoustic band Seize the Day

In the Gun Room at the RMA Tavern, 58 Cromwell Road, Eastney, Portsmouth PO4 9PN – Map

Tickets in advance from Jenny Flintoft email or 023 9241 358 – £8/£6 concessions.

All proceeds go to Frack Free Solent.

Condor Ferries picket in Portsmouth.

RMT2

RMT!

A healthy anarchist and antifascist presence joined yesterday’s RMT/ITF demo at Portsmouth ferry terminal, in support of French comrades at St Malo who are conducting a sit-in on a vessel to protest against the super-exploitation of Ukrainian seafarers being paid £2.35 per hour by Condor Ferries operating from EU ports.

It is vital that we build and maintain class solidarity across all borders in opposition to global capital, and that the debate on economic migration and employment is framed in terms of class struggle and not the short-sighted protectionism so easily co-opted by the far right.

We emphasise that economic migration is directed by the ruling class, both with the use of super-exploited groups to drive down wages and conditions, and the so-called ‘quality immigration’ of engineers, scientists and healthcare professionals, which just pillages the resources and education systems of poorer regions. Meanwhile the refugees from the bosses’ wars are treated like criminals and there are more slaves alive today than at any time in human history.

The IWW flag you see here represents a proud tradition of more than 100 years of self-organisation across all trades, grades, races and nationalities.

The working class has no country!

Solidarity required! RMT & ITF picket Condor Ferries in Portsmouth 16:00 18th February 2014

Please support RMT / ITF demo 16.00 on Tuesday 18th February at Portsmouth Commercial Freight Gate, Prospect Road, Portsmouth, PO1. Facebook event

French Comrades are currently sitting in on a Condor vessel in St Malo, they have asked the UK unions to support them against ‘social dumping’ by Condor who, are paying Ukranian seafarers £29 a day for a 12hr day. This rogue ferry operator, using Portsmouth as its crew change over base, is avoiding UK legislation through dubious interpretation of immigration laws to exploit foreign workers and pay poverty wages. Bring your banners and whistles! We support our comrades in dispute with Condor and we are not going to accept exploitation of workers in a ‘Race to the Bottom’. SOLIDARITY will change the agenda.

RMT NEWS RELEASE February 17th 2014 Immediate

RMT campaign over social dumping scandal in UK shipping industry returns to Portsmouth this week

A long running campaign against social dumping in the UK shipping industry will return to the south coast this week with a major protest targeting ferry-operator Condor in Portsmouth tomorrow.

The protest, supported by both RMT and the International Transport Federation, will take place at 16.00 on Tuesday 18th February at Portsmouth Commercial Freight Gate, Prospect Road, Portsmouth, PO1.

The RMT campaign to expose the scandal on Condor Ferries is specifically over the ‘social dumping’ of cheap, non-EU labour which makes a complete mockery of both UK and EU employment rights. Condor Ferries are able to duck around rules and regulations that are supposed to stop exploitation and as a result pay their seagoing staff £2.35 per hour well below the UK minimum wage. Condor operates a ferry service between Portsmouth and the Channel Islands.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

“The super-exploitation of foreign nationals in the British shipping industry is a massive scandal that the political elite want to keep quiet. That’s no surprise as it’s their wealthy mates running the shipping companies who benefit from this scam that dodges normal employment regulations while the European Union refuses to lift a finger.

“Social dumping is a mechanism seized on by some of the most rotten employers in the book to dry and batter down wages and conditions. RMT members and their supporters have the full support of the union for this weeks’ protest in Portsmouth as the union, alongside our colleagues in the ITF, steps up the fight against Condor Ferries and the ships of shame.”

RMT National Secretary Steve Todd said:

“The fight to stop the scandal of social dumping remains a national priority for RMT and we will continue to step up the campaign to turn the spotlight on the shameful practices that this ConDem government legitimises in the British shipping industry with the collusion of the EU.”

ENDS

Further information: Geoff Martin 07831 465 103;   0207 255 9146

AFN go wild in the West Country: Exeter demo report

exeter

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.

capture flag

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

Tributes to Pavlos Fyssas 21/09/13.

All over the world this Saturday, solidarity demo’s and pickets were held in support of Greek antifa and to pay tribute to our fallen comrade, 34 yr old anti-fascist Pavlos Fyssas who was ambushed and assassinated in front of  the police by uniformed members of Golden Dawn. Here are a couple from our area

Swindon Radical bookfair:

Swindon Radical bookfair

Portsmouth Antifascists:

Portsmouth Antifascists

The Mental Decline Of Mickey ‘batshit’ Bayliss..

Reblogged from Portsmouth Anti-Fascists:

Click to visit the original post

  • Click to visit the original post
  • Click to visit the original post

It seems that the Pompey EDL organiser, Mickey Bayliss (from Bath) has finally lost his mind.

On Saturday Bayliss and his followers disgraced themselves in Portsmouth (See previous post). We think that in his own head he imagined the entire populace of  Portsmouth bowing down to him as he entered the city on a white horse, surrounded by a sunbeam and wearing a suit of armour, as columns of his loyal foot soldiers went door to door dragging Muslims out of their homes.

Read more… 333 more words

News from the front – a Day of Action in the Class War – Saturday 17th August.

We rose early and breakfasted well as we anticipated the day ahead. The targets had been well defined, plans drawn up with military precision and we were off.

The first action involved a picket and communications blockade by a powerful alliance of unionists and activists from Bristol General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), Dorset Socialists, Wessex Solidarity, Solent Solidarity Federation.

The picket was set up because a good and conscientious worker at Ulwell Cottage Caravan Park in Swanage had been sacked in October 2012 for drawing attention to health and safety concerns, was victimised for membership of the IWW and threatened with local blacklisting.

The picket was in place promptly at 10.00 in the morning and was a good natured, lawful and peaceful affair that did raise some curiosity amongst the holiday makers at the park.

It was wonderful to see holiday makers and activists getting along so well and a large number of leaflets were handed out explaining why we were there. The activists went to extraordinary lengths to reassure the holidaymakers that we weren’t there to spoil their holiday and that if they agreed with our contentions to express their concern to the management at the park who are notoriously bad employers in the Dorset area.

Several holidaymakers expressed their solidarity with our action before they went off to enjoy their day and we can only hope that they had a wonderful time.

Reaction from the management at the park proved to be a different story. One young man who we believe to be a junior (in status not age) member of the family that own the park was rather rude and not a little threatening to one of our female activists who had travelled all the way from the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire. It gives me enormous pleasure to report that this solid comrade was well able to stand her ground and not be intimidated by this inappropriately butch moron.

The communications blockade which, we believe was being conducted from all over Europe, seems to have kicked in around this time and was proving extremely effective. We observed, with some pleasure, that a certain Mrs Karen Jackson, admin manager and daughter of the site owner appeared after about half an hour of setting up in a state of some agitation and with a massive amount of paper. Job done.

After about an hour and a half a large 4×4 police vehicle turned up crewed by a couple of Dorset’s finest. Within less than 5 minutes the jolly boys in blue had been reassured by an activist there was nothing to worry about, accepted one of our leaflets and drove off to, obviously, more urgent duties never to be seen again.

By about 12.30 our point had been made and we moved on to support another action in Portsmouth while the IWW in America continued the communications blockade.

A redoubtable group of concerned Portsmouth citizenry had gathered to tell the English Defence League (EDL) that they weren’t welcome there. Why Nazi’s would want to advance their cause in a British naval port that had been bombed to bits by Nazi’s during World War 2 is anyone’s guess. We can only wonder.

Sadly we were badly held up in traffic at Ringwood. We arrived in Portsmouth at around 3pm and we able to link up with some of the people who had turned out to oppose the laughable EDL action.

Eye witness reports from reliable sources witnessed that for the most part, the bone heads in the EDL, after throwing some fireworks at innocent passers-by and being not a little the worse for drink had comprehensively defeated their own shambolic effort by turning on each other and fighting amongst themselves.

Tired but happy we got home around 10pm after a lot of road miles, chanting, singing, having nice conversations with holiday makers and some top-notch solidarity with the citizens of Portsmouth.

The icing on the cake had to be something we saw on the newsstand at Bournemouth railway station when we stopped off for a well earned coffee and bar of choccy.

‘Police give in to mob rule’ screamed the headlines from a Daily Mail newspaper, one of many on the stand which judging by the number still there at 8.30pm hadn’t sold too well that day.

The headline was referring to a story from Balcombe that Cuadrilla, the drilling company involved in the fracking controversy in Sussex had suspended operations.

How much better could it get? Well 3 victories in one day won by committed activists from all across the spectrum of decent and well motivated working people has to be something to crow about – doesn’t it?

So there we have it. A grand testimony to what decent ordinary people can achieve when they stand in solidarity with each other regardless of race, gender, creed, or sexual preference or state borders.

If I was an establishment bourgeois toff I would be very, very worried by these developments and with good cause.

Anon – somewhere in Dorset – Sunday 18th August

Too busy to blog! Fascist manifestations this weekend.

First of all, respect to all those who turned out at short notice to oppose the EDL in Westminster last weekend, there’s a bit of comment on it below, and if you can make the counter-BNP action tomorrow, you will be most welcome. If not, you will probably find an EDL demo within gobbing distance of your living room! They are springing up like mushrooms – check social media for details.

What is going on is basically a turf war between far-right groups to exploit the horrific death of Lee Rigby. The eddles are holding simultaneous ‘wreath laying’ events at war memorials all over the land as a spoiler for the BNP’s march. Wherever they get sufficient numbers, these will most likely turn into piss-ups and drunken rampages so it’s important that none of them are unopposed.

If your area has a mass mobilisation, please support it; if they are coming to your neck of the woods and you’re the only anti-fascist in the village, you have a choice of attending one of the others or mobbing up with some of your mates – who may not agree with your politics but may not want their town centre controlled by right-wing extremists either. Failing that, if you can do so inconspicuously, hang around and take pictures, or notes, and pass your observations to the network through your local group.

Also be aware that left and radical meetings, cultural events, anti-austerity demo’s etc may be attacked and will need stewarding; union offices and Muslim businesses are also possible targets for the fascists. Whatever you do, don’t just sit at home and watch it all unfold on the Internet.

The present spike in fascist activity ought to kick us out of bed, anti-fascism is not a hobby, it’s a necessity. One observation from Monday was that whilst they outnumbered us massively, few of them were up for any contact beyond throwing stuff and threatening bystanders. The fact that they stood in the sun for hours listening to a bunch of old con-men who all hate each other indicates that many of them are completely new to this, it beggars belief that anyone would give the time of day to an arse-bugle like Yaxley-Lennon if they’d been following what’s gone on in the last few years.

So for now, it looks like the EDL have managed to pull the disaffected UKIP voters on to the streets, the facebook fascists have become fair-weather fascists, they must be discouraged before they get a taste for it.

Fascist manifestations are expected in the following locations:
Leicester, Luton, Peterborough, Dereham, Ipswich, Cambs, Sheffield, Stoke, Halifax, Leeds, Lowestoft, Wolverhampton, Islington, Manchester, Aldershot, Burton on Trent, Rochdale, Ashford (Middlesex), Stevenage, Loughborough, Bromsgrove, Preston, Sunderland, Dudley, Coventry, Takeley, Wootton Bassett, West Bromwich, Oldham, Romford, Macclesfield, Cardiff, Lewisham, Southampton, Glasgow, Ayr, Colerne, Walsall, Scarborough, Hemel Hempstead, Conwy, Chingford, Doncaster, Rotherham, Huddersfield, Bristol, Southampton, Portsmouth, Exeter, Brighton, Weymouth, Bournemouth, Slough, Reading, Oxford, Northampton and Basingstoke.

Drummer Lee Rigby’s family reject “extremist” groups using Woolwich murder for political gain – The Independent

Why take direct action against fascism?

A plague of anarchosyndicalists descends on Portsmouth Poundland 2nd of March 2013.

To get everyone in the mood for SolFed’s southern regional conference, host local Solent called a flash picket of the devious workfare provider on Commercial road; A joint action with CNT-AIT Caen France, Forest of Dean Anarchists, Wessex Solidarity and other comrades.

Poundland’s repeated protestations that they have given up the DWP’s slave labour scheme have proved to be worthless. As always, we talked to the staff and handed them some literature: the stakes were raised somewhat as it turned out two of them were working for JSA (about £2 an hour). It was only fair to share this information with the Saturday morning shoppers, and it was enough to put most of them off.

Bit of déjà vu for Holland and Barrett but they just happened to be next door and there wasn’t room for us all to stand outside Poundland’s shop window. Passers by were mostly friendly including some passing Trots, who were impressed with our level of organisation! Cheers comrades, did you know it was the 92nd anniversary of the start of the Kronstadt Rebellion?

From thence to our secret conference venue, multiple breakfasts and plotting the downfall of the bourgeoisie. The day rounded off with a sociable evening of radical folk, punk & noise. You should have been there!

National Delegate Council 24/01/13 report – Solidarity Federation.

solfedNational Delegate Council 24/01/13 report

At our national delegate council on 24/01/13, the Solidarity Federation officially recognised three new locals, in Calderdale, Hastings and the Solent. We also recognised a Belfast local as being in-formation prior to reaching a formal decision at national conference in April.

We also agreed to make regular donations to the Sparrow’s Nest library in Nottingham which holds the collection of one of our members which stretches back to the Syndicalist Workers’ Federation and is an important record of British anarcho-syndicalism. We will also be making a donation to the London anarchist bookfair collective and encourage others to do the same.

The new Solent local has members from Bournemouth to Bognor and all stations in between, if you are interested, use the contact form on SolFed’s website. The server is undergoing maintenance at the moment so if you can’t get on it contact Wessex Solidarity and we’ll pass it on. 

Anti-fascist Network Supporters’ statement and flyers.

Anti-fascist Network Supporters’ statement and flyers.