BETRAYAL!

The scheming charlatans of Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group have gone back on their word yet again and announced plans to run down local maternity services, bypassing the promised public consultation. The cuts, which are being presented as a fait accompli, will take place with undue haste, despite (or perhaps because of) years of solid public opposition. No one wants them; an internet search will reveal numerous glowing testimonials from relieved parents and sponsored events to raise funds for this universally acclaimed facility. W.S. have known for some time that their long term agenda is to reduce D.C.H. to a pointless cottage hospital, then close it.

Statement from the Save Kingfisher and SCBU at DCH campaign group:

“Plans for Maternity Services and Special Care Baby Unit at Dorset County Hospital to be downgraded, are now going ahead without public consultation. Three maternity rooms are being transformed into a midwife led unit and babies born under 32 weeks and sick babies will be sent to Poole Hospital. The plans will take effect within a matter of weeks. With the setting up of a Triage Unit as well, this brings maternity and SCBU services at DCH another step closer to being a low risk unit. By the time the public consultation on whether to make Bournemouth Hospital the main centre for Maternity and Paediatric care in Dorset takes place, DCH will have already transferred much of this care to Poole Hospital. The public are in effect being denied a say on what happens to Maternity and Neonatal services here in West Dorset.”

Shock at plans to downgrade maternity services before public consultation even begins. From Dorset Echo.

The plot to shut SCBU was first uncovered back in 2009, as reported by Dorset Echo The chairman of the NHS trust Robin SeQueira subsequently resigned rather than implement the cuts, and staff were publicly calling for the remaining board members to be sacked. The trust’s medical director Dr Nick Hateboer (£140,000-£145,000 p.a.) insisted:

“We know that the public are concerned about the future of hospital services, including maternity and the special care baby unit (SCBU) – however, we have no plans to close these departments. We understand how important these services are to the community.”

Dr Hateboer also left in Sept 2011.

According to the Echo:

… a hospital source who confirmed that the baby units were under threat described the latest announcement as a ‘smokescreen’ to ‘calm the troops’ while decisions were made. The source said:

“There’s been a tremendous furore in the hospital internally. A lot of the hospital staff, especially at lower levels, are very concerned and members of the public have also been complaining to the hospital.”

“I think this is a smokescreen. The board of directors realise they’re under the microscope and I know several are thinking about resigning.”

We won’t close – county hospital u-turn over baby units

In Feb 2014, the unit was rated among the top 15 maternity services in the UK for care quality and safety on nine clinical indicators including caesarean rates, length of stay, complications, re-admissions and injuries, as well as three indicators from the Care Quality Commission’s maternity survey. The result put Dorset County Hospital among the top ten per cent of maternity providers in the country. The unit then received £276,000 of funding from the government’s Improving Maternity Care Settings Fund, to develop facilities for mothers with complex mental health needs and build two en-suite rooms between the maternity unit and SCBU for parents of babies on the ward.

Meanwhile, the C.C.G. turned its attention to the pathology service, but was thwarted by another public outcry.

In May 2015 they tried again, announcing “an overhaul of Dorset’s healthcare”, claiming that “experts in paediatric medicine and care are indicating that it is not necessary to have large and increasing numbers of inpatient beds for children.” The C.C.G. ‘s proposals, which would go to public consultation, included having just one ward for seriously ill children and one baby unit for the county – in East Dorset. Dorchester would be reduced to a Paediatric Assessment Unit with consultants available 16 hours a day. Children with serious illnesses or needing long-term care would have to travel to the acute hospital, located in either Bournemouth or Poole.

The hospital governors were disparaging accusing the C.C.G. of “making it up on the hoof”. Mothers responded with a flash demo outside their meeting place, Vespasian House. A week later, two and a half thousand people marched through Dorchester

At the beginning of July 2015 The Kingfisher mums’ campaign was again told, this time by chartered accountant Tim Goodson and chairman Forbes ‘Dr Death’ Watson, that SCBU was now safe and even asked to take it off their banner!

From Dorset Echo. HANDS OFF OUR WARDS: Health bosses insist they aren’t proposing changes to SCBU- but can’t make any promises about Kingfisher

Forbes Watson, Lyme Regis' sinister "Dr Death".

Forbes Watson, Lyme Regis’ sinister “Dr Death”.

Some awkward questions were asked at a public meeting and the proposals were shelved for a year, meanwhile a fraudulent review was conducted costing £2.9 million, culminating in a farcical presentation at which the option to downgrade the SCBU from treating 28 week to 32 week babies was broached by Mr Goodson, the more premature to be shipped anywhere from Poole to Southampton. The later is now probable, as Poole is destined to be left without either A & E or maternity wards.

The CCG stressed that there never had been any consideration of closing the SCBU.

The CCG stressed that there never had been any consideration of closing the SCBU.

They further suggested splitting the facilities with Yeovil hospital, which as a heckler pointed out, is in Somerset! Yeovil immediately dismissed the idea.

Will you just look at all this bollocks!

Will you just look at all this bollocks!

Enemies of the people: Who are the C.C.G.? You can read the full history of their plot to downgrade and close Dorset County Hospital here:

It’s time these sinister crooks came clean and admitted who they’re flogging the site to.

Betrayed: this premature baby would not have survived had these proposals been in place at the time.

Actions against all this will follow, watch this site for details.

March to save Kingfisher and SCBU at Dorset County Hospital! Saturday 17 September in Dorchester

fkinfisherrising31

Note date has changed to avoid clashing with the county show.

“Again we need to show the CCG that they can’t play with our children’s lives we need Kingfisher and SCBU, not forgetting maternity. Please join us at 1pm at top o town car park with a view to be setting off at 1.30pm. Speakers TBC. After the March the Dorchester Round tables have their cider festival with live bands and plenty of entertainment for your children, we will finish the March at the borough gardens in time for the festival to start.”

facebook event

The entire N.H.S. is under siege from this parasitic regime, we need every bastard we can get out for this, come on!

RED FLAGS OVER BRIDPORT

UNITE Community’s Cartoon Action Theatre at work in Bucky Doo Square in Bridport on Saturday 13th August. Their play, written in conjunction with local busworkers, shows a driver in a tug of war with the boss of First Bus Group, in a struggle for decent pay and conditions. £253 was collected for the bus drivers cause.

Byron Hamburgers: “do you want grass with that?”

Staff of the Byron burger chain were called by their employer to 15 non-existent training meetings to lure them into Home Office immigration raids; 50 workers have been summarily detained and at least 20 deported, minus their personal effects.

“It is fucking disgusting. Some of these people worked here for four or five years and they weren’t even given a chance to say goodbye,”

CockroachByron’s, which is owned by the private equity fund and notorious tax avoiders Hutton Collins Partners, will pay dearly for their treachery. Protests have already been conducted by Anti-raids Network, Black Dissidents, Bradford IWW, Global Justice Now, Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants, London Black Revs, London IWW, London Latinxs, Malcolm X Movement, South London Solfed, United Voices of the World Union, Unite Hotel and Restaurant Workers Branches, and War On Want. Activists have taken to releasing insects into their restaurants.

Byron Burgers sending millions to owners offshore while workers are deported – Corporate Watch

Join us in stuffing it up these two-faced anti-working class parasites! Click on the cockroach to find a Byron’s near you. Here’s a flyer for it: 2 x A5 pdf

This Saturday, Bristol branches will be picketed by AFed and SolFed, Meet 6.45pm Saturday outside Bristol Museum. facebook event, and there will be a communications blockade to coincide with this, call 0117 925 6666 repeatedly. Dialling (141) before the restaurant’s number will hide your own number so they will have to pick it up each time.

Know your rights: Immigration raids, UKBA – 25 languages.

Original article from El Ibérico translated by Marcela of Latinxs:

British immigration police deported dozens of Latin American Byron Hamburgers workers.

Sometimes reality is stranger than fiction. Unimaginable situations in real life, can lead to shattered dreams and broken families, all due to the interests of a few to fatten their pockets. Something like this was experienced last July 4th in the hamburger chain Byron.

One of the workers of this company wanted to tell us what happened with the sole purpose of exposing the occurrence of this type of situations, that usually do not transcend public opinion. Out of respect for his privacy, because today they still work for Byron Hamburgers, the anonymity of the person interviewed will be maintained.

It was 9:30 in the morning, read more.

Who are the C.C.G. kidding, is it you?

save-our-wards

You should have been there on Wednesday at the Dorset open C.C.G. meeting; no, really, you should have. With protestors from all over the county we had just enough to fill the available seating and an overflow room but the long awaited angry pitchfork-wielding mob is still holding out on us. The whole rigmarole resulted from an off the cuff remark at an earlier open meeting last summer when one of our number asked to see the costing. The following day it was announced the decision was to be deferred until now. Evidently they hadn’t bothered to do the costing, since the decision had already been taken and they think we’re a bunch of fucking yokels. They’ve since spent £2.9 million on a ‘review’.

The suits staged a piece of choreographed P.R. bullshit, commencing with a presentation involving some silly diagrams projected on a side wall that fewer than half of us could see, accompanied by 30 minutes (it seemed longer) of that meaningless management drivel they all spout – what the actual fuck is a “pivotal provider”? We were subjected to a patronising lecture about how they were going to encourage us all to give up smoking and take more exercise, as if all our health conditions were our own fault. There’s going to be an ‘engagement road show’ (like Radio One?)

Hidden amongst the overarching visions, stakeholder engagements and enabling workstreams were a few gems. They face challenges in recruiting staff – why do you think that is? Having pissed off every other health worker the government is currently at war with its future consultants and that isn’t going to end well.

The threat to children’s services we have been staving off for so long remains, there is a recommendation to amalgamate these facilities with Yeovil hospital, which as a heckler pointed out, is in Somerset! Yeovil are not keen.

There is talk of care in the community or the home. The meaning of this will be familiar to anyone with experience of personal care. The council, or in this case the health service, pays a provider through the nose for half-hour care slots by agency staff on poverty wages. The half hour includes travel time so you only get twenty minutes, about ten of which are spent filling in paperwork.

Incredibly, the review has determined that aggregate travel times from Bournemouth to Poole, and vice-versa, are equivalent. This was challenged from the floor and we were dismissively told some folk had gone out with GPS and things.

The yokels were not impressed. It was pointed out that Poole hospital is a ten minute walk from the railway station whereas R.B.H. is a 40 minute bus ride from the Bournemouth one – when the bus actually shows up. R.B.H. sits in a traffic bottleneck that is virtually impassable for a couple of hours a day. Six streams of traffic converge on a single-lane roundabout then the eastbound traffic goes over a bridge that “was built for a horse and cart”. Even with a blue light on, the ambulance has to queue for traffic lights like everyone else, because there simply isn’t any room to make way. We recall a flooding incident that backed the whole thing up for an hour and a half.

I’ll spell it out for them: if I had an accident at Bournemouth rail station I would go to Poole hospital. The material accompanying the presentation even more extravagantly claimed that:

“… access to primary care and community services … would be possible by car within 8 minutes for 90% of the population … with just 25 [as opposed to 135 at present] well placed primary care locations”.

That’s pure fantasy. Tell you what, I defy any of them to drive into R.B.H. from Cooper Dean roundabout, park their car, and walk to hospital reception in 8 minutes.

There were many references to financial sustainability and overspending. We are told the N.H.S. has a huge funding gap, now we all know why this is, and it’s got nothing to do with obesity or the ageing population. Private Finance Initiatives (PFIs) allow moneylenders to ‘own’ things other people require to live – such as roads, hospitals and schools – which, like everything else, are simply the products of our labour and ingenuity. With up-front privatisation thoroughly discredited, successive governments have handed the infrastructure over to cash-rich corporations who expect us to lease it back from them over decades at a huge premium. The advantage to the politician is that the transfer of public assets to the private sector is temporarily invisible, as is the magnitude of the debt. So it’s a sort of payday loan, by the time the payments become crippling the politician is long gone, having moved on and with luck, landed a job with one of these glorified pawnbrokers. When the state was forced to bail out the financial institutions after the crash it found itself paying for public assets it no longer owned. Servicing these loans is now given priority over providing services; vampire-like, they are sucking the life out of the N.H.S. The agenda of the government is to shut down and amalgamate as many non-P.F.I. hospitals as possible, nevertheless, the U.K. still spends a smaller portion of its G.D.P. on healthcare than Germany, France or the U.S.A.

Capitalists have a problem; every so often they run out of things to steal. A couple of hundred years ago they stole our land and forced us into waged labour. Every day bosses, bankers and landlords rob us of the fruits of that labour, leaving us only the barest means of subsistence. But as technology makes things easier and simpler to produce, labour gets less and less profitable, or even necessary. Even with us all consuming flat out, there isn’t much to do and most of us are simply an inconvenience to them, especially when we’re too sick, old or young to be adding value to their capital. All that’s left to pillage are things like education and healthcare, which are not commodities but social duties. How can any social grouping possibly “overspend” on the health and wellbeing of the very people who create its wealth?

Following some unconvincing questions from the panel, and a vigorous rebuttal from the floor, a farcical voting ritual unanimously endorsed their decision to concentrate A & E in Bournemouth and reduce Poole to a basic outpatients. This will do for the kid with the saucepan on his head and the rugby player with the singed arsehole, but nothing life-threatening. Here’s a consultant’s view We are told Dorchester is safe, and frankly we don’t believe a word. In 2014, a patients’ survey declared D.C.H. Emergency department as the best in the country. It would have looked a bit odd if they’d tried to shut it then so they went for the path lab instead, then when that was foiled decided to sneak up on it by squeezing out paediatrics and maternity.

A note to newspaper and T.V. editors: we are not “concerned”, we know what they are up to and we are fucking livid.

We hope for a larger and rowdier protest at the next one, bring your mates, and a pitchfork.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/nov/30/accident-emergency-overhaul-shelved-warning-political-backlash

How PFI is crippling the NHS

http://www.nhsforsale.info/privatisation-list/surgery/the-great-pfi-swindle.html

https://www.opendemocracy.net/ournhs/caroline-molloy/peterborough-hospital-nhs-and-britains-privatisation-racket

https://www.opendemocracy.net/ournhs/anna-marriott/world-bank-pfi-hospital-and-destruction-of-nations-healthcare-system

SHUT DOWN THE VERNE DETENTION CENTRE! DEMONSTRATION 7th May 2016

Saturday 7th May marks the National Day of Action Against Detention Centres across the UK. Come and demonstrate at one of the UK’s most isolated detention centres, The Verne, on the Isle of Portland in Dorset. Previously a prison, The Verne was reclassified as an Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) in September 2014, however it remains under the jurisdiction of Her Majesty’s Prison Service. Aside from the its isolated location, which prevents many detainees from receiving visits, an HM Inspectorate of Prisons report in March 2015 reported high levels of violence within The Verne as well as considerable difficulty for detainees in obtaining legal representation. The inspectors found that just 30 minutes of free legal advice was available and many detainees “struggled to obtain representation to fight their cases”. The report also highlighted “excessive stays”, finding that 40 of The Verne’s 580 inmates had been in detention for over a year and one had been held for over five years.

This barbaric treatment of people seeking to remain in the UK must stop.Join us in support of those detained, and to call for an end to detention: SHUT DOWN THE VERNE! SHUT DOWN DETENTION CENTRES!

DEMONSTRATION 7th May 2016- 12.45 pm- 1.45 pm outside the Verne (bring things to make noise) 2.15 pm in the town.

TRANSPORT TO THE VERNE on the day or contact bristolclosetheverne@riseup.net.

For more information about the Close the Verne Campaign see https://www.facebook.com/closetheverne/?fref=ts

https://www.facebook event

Resist the Mayor’s Cuts in Bristol!

From Bristol Solidarity Federation.

mayor3George Ferguson, the elected Mayor of Bristol, is directly responsible for cuts to services in this city – including services for children. He has halved the number of beds at the Bush, a residential centre for disabled children. [1] Even though the council voted to preserve funding – he pushed it through personally. This month the Hawkspring, a vital service that helps families affected by drug addiction, almost closed after having its funding from the council slashed. It only stayed open thanks to a charity stepping in to help at the last minute. [2] This is all while having plenty of money for other things – like massive pay-rises for council bosses [3], and £2.3 million a year on public relations and marketing. [4]

Maybe if this one man is responsible, protests should be directed at him as well as the council? We’ve protested in the streets and at council meetings – but the mayor owns a chain of bars and cafés in the city that have been mostly untouched. Last year campaigners against cuts to disabled kids’ services organised a protest outside his home and business – the Tobacco Factory. Bristol SolFed thinks this was a great idea – we’ve always found picketing and communications blockades [5] far more effective than normal protests. We have found a list of some more of the pies the mayor has got his finger in, which should help anyone who wants to take this kind of action. We hope you find it useful…

List: http://pastebin.com/YfTAJ2ra

[1] facebook page for the campaign against cutting The Bush – https://www.facebook.com/No-to-Cuts-to-the-Bush-Residential-Centre-for-Disabled-Children-605680162863622. Debate between the mayor and one of the parents – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0q5sRRX2ebA
[2] background from a Labour campaigner – http://amandaramsay.co.uk/council-should-fund-hawkspring/
[3] http://thebristolian.net/2016/03/11/town-hall-fat-cats-attempt-wage-heist/
[4] http://thebristolian.net/2016/03/01/spin-watch/
[5] a “comms blockade” is where on a set day/time, lots of people call up a business at once, fill their facebook with complaints, etc

BREAK THE SILENCE! STOP TURKEY’S WAR ON THE KURDS! NATIONAL DEMO 6TH OF MARCH LONDON.

breakthesilenceTurkey has launched a war on the 25 million Kurds of south east Turkey ever since the mainly Kurdish political party, the HDP twice won over 12% of the vote in the elections of 2015 and in Syria the Kurdish PYD has led a movement creating a popular progressive democracy in the Rojava region.

Rather than accept that sooner rather than later the rights and aspirations of the Kurdish people to autonomy must be met, in Turkey and beyond, the Turkish state has imposed curfews on towns and cities across the region, with tanks on the streets and snipers on the roofs, and nearly 200 people have been murdered by Turkish forces. An all out policy of annihilation is being pursued by Erdogan and the Turkish state.

Yet while Turkey is a key NATO ally of the UK and USA and desperate to get into the EU, the UK and international media have said and done nothing to stop this brutality.

The Kurdish movement in the UK have been protesting about their treatment by Turkey since 100,000 Kurds came to this country in the 1980s and 1990s, as refugees from the Turkish war against the Kurds when hundreds of villages were destroyed, 30,000 Kurds killed and 3 million made refugees.

But now for the first time, in the face of the Turkish state restarting the war against the Kurds, it has been decided to call a national demonstration under the slogan ‘Break The Silence’, as this brutal attack is unreported in the UK press, and Stop Turkeys War on the Kurds, as we will be demanding the UK govt puts pressure on Turkey to stop these attacks and return to the negotiations for a peaceful settlement with the Kurdish Movement began with the PKK, the Kurdish liberation movement.

Lastly we call for the UK govt to decriminalise the Kurdish Liberation Movement, even though the PKK represents the vast majority of Kurds in Turkey and in the UK, is illegal in the UK, which creates serious barriers and difficulties in the search for a peaceful, political settlement.

PLEASE JOIN US IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE KURDS ON THE 6th MARCH. FOR UPDATES SEE THE FB EVENT PAGE:

Called by Kurdish National Congress [ KNK] UK, Peace in Kurdistan and London, Kurdish Solidarity.

MPs Are Scared. So they Should Be!

From Trade Onion Wednesday, 27 January 2016

The recent report into violence and aggression shown towards MPs reveals an astonishing lack of awareness amongst our elected representatives when it comes to the effects of their policies. Whingeing about violence they receive at the hands of their constituents while they make laws which increase the likelihood of people suffering poverty, eviction and inequality. Many people will be shocked to see the level of anger and hatred shown towards people who are supposedly there to help us all and represent our interests. One MP has written a comparison between how people treat their MPs and their GPs. Of course there’s a major difference between doctors and politicians: doctors try to make you better and politicians always end up making things worse.

There are two issues that this report brings to light which have been overlooked. The first is the frustration many people feel when they discover that discussing things with their MP might not actually get them anywhere. That sense of powerlessness when the bureaucratic reality of life in a liberal democracy hits home can make your blood boil. This is linked to the second issue which is the structural violence of the capitalist system that can only function with willing bureaucrats ready to wring their hands of responsibility.

The power of the piece of paper telling an MP that nothing can be done in a situation because the law has been followed correctly is the most horrendous power we allow. It’s the power that props up every form of legalised abuse. It excuses a million crimes against the citizenry in the name of order and it unleashes violence against us daily. It is our civic duty to consider how that violence works and then vow to suppress it.

The rule of law is backed up with force, or violence. If the law says something is so then to oppose it means you are inviting violence against you in the form of the police, courts, incarceration etc. The very fact that inequality is backed up by law means that inequality is in itself a violent act. The boss that lawfully pays you less than your value is backed up with the full force of the law. The homeless, users of food banks, people needing benefits to survive, the list goes on – these are all victims of a violent system that protects the richest people at the expense of everyone else. It’s a morality that allows the richest to set the wages of everyone and then enforces that inequality and poverty. Rise up against it and you will be criticised for being violent, a thug, mindless and, shock horror, of not respecting law and order. It isn’t order at all. It’s a chaos that’s trikes fear in millions of people every day.

The message from MPs is clear: we make the laws for capitalism to function and you must obey. They ensure that this structural violence exists, in the interest of the rich. They keep this brutal system of capitalism going. They mix with, and enjoy the financial attention of the ruling class. Without them this chaos could be ended today and replaced with order. Not law and order but a harmony where people do not have to suffer the deleterious effects of capitalism and where power can rest with us all as equals.

Instead, we have the sight of these people who inflict aggression on our society pleading for help and protection from the dangerous population. What the reports really show us is that people fully understand the system and are mightily pissed off with it. That people are willing to abuse their MP on twitter or even go to their surgery and be aggressive in person is clearly linked to the hopelessness people see in this system. Democracy was supposed to give us a voice but instead it continues to give voice to the rich, giving them all the protection they need to enjoy life at our expense.

This system isn’t going to change via twitter or people lashing out on their own at their MP’s office. It’s going to change only when we all start to see it for what it is: a protection racket for the rich. It’s becoming increasingly clear that appealing to an MP for help is pointless anyway. It’s as pointless as voting for them in the first place. They’re not there for us and they have a thousand pieces of legislation ready to tell us why they can’t help. They’re better ignored and the system fought instead.

One positive thing to come out of this report though is that we can record how fearful they are of us. It should please us when our tormentors act like frightened little puppies. Our message to MPs should be clear: you are right to be afraid. We should take that fear and make it spread all the way to the top. On March 5th David Cameron has a chance to feel it as Class War march on one of his properties. Whilst his government is destroying housing for the poorest in society he’s creaming it as a landlord. Such things don’t go unnoticed and they will be acted on!

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JUSTICE FOR KEVAN THAKRAR: Blatant and despicable miscarriage of justice. Thursday 18 February 12.30pm – 2.30pm

JOIN THE PROTEST Thursday 18 February 12.30pm – 2.30pm HM Prison Service Headquarters Clive House, 70 Petty France LONDON SW1H 9EX

Nearest Station: St James’s Park underground station, a 5 minute walk. Buses: Any buses stopping at New Scotland Yard then continue along Victoria Street then turn left on to Caxton Street then turn right on to Palmer Street, continue until you will reach Petty France.

Kevan Thakrar Urgently Needs Your Support!

kevKevan Thakrar was found not guilty of attacking three prison officers and vindicated by evidence that showed he acted in self-defence after months of racial, physical and psychological abuse. Any court ruling that goes against prison officers is VERY unusual. Kevan continues to be held in isolation in the prison services ‘Close Supervision Centres’ more than six years later, no doubt as retribution for his court victory.

Organised by Justice for Kevan Thakrar. (Full details about Kevan’s wrongful conviction and fight for a new trial and letter from Kevan) facebook page

WHAT YOU CAN DO
If you can’t make it to London for the protest please try to find the time to write to your own MP or Kevan’s (Ian Stewart MP). When writing to one of those cunts the address to use is: House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA, or you can contact them on-line www.writetothem.com

Sign the petition for Kev: We don’t believe in petitions either but this hapless comrade was deliberately framed and buried alive by the state and the best we can achieve at the moment is not allow him to be forgotten or allow them to hide their crimes against him. You can also write to him: Kevan Thakrar A4907AE HMP Wakefield Love Lane Wakefield WF2 9AG or e mail from here

Close Supervision Centres – Torture Units in the UK. New Pamphlet from Bristol ABC. April 2012

Close Supervision Centres in the UK #2 – A Brief Follow Up

Greeks extradited to Italy for alleged mayday involvement

From a Greek friend in the UK.

I don’t know whether or not it has made any activist websites yet, but 5 Greek students are facing extradition to Italy (via a European Union warrant) where the Italian legal system hopes to imprison them for their participation in the 1st of May demo of 2015. After being arrested and then set free in Italy, Greek police bust into their houses this November. There is no evidence against them and the charges they face are pure bullshit (the translation is roughly one charge for “damages” and one for “extended resistance”- obviously referring to when they were snatched from the streets on the 2nd of May for no fucking reason). These offences carry sentences between 8-15 YEARS.

This issue should be of concern to everyone active in Europe as it represents repression on a variety of levels: 1. The students don’t have any evidence against them, so that is a huge issue in and of itself, 2. they are arrested for protesting, 3. the issue of extradition and the EU’s involvement adds a whole other dimension- if this passes, mass mobilizations like Genoa or like Paris recently will be much harder to organise. Imagine coming back from COP21 and getting snatched many months later while you are chilling with your family. This is next level criminalisation of protesting, ON A EUROPEAN LEVEL. This could set a very negative precedent and people need to be aware of this and be ready to organise.

After Fede, an Italian student studying at SOAS, was snatched in Frankfurt at the Blockupy demonstrations, solidarity actions were largely limited to people taking photo’s of themselves holding a cardboard sign reading “Free Fede”. The most antagonistic action was a 30 person demo outside the German embassy in London, whilst Fede was held in prison for months.

Obviously when lefty kids share solidarity selfies on social media, it raises awareness of the issue, slightly. But it’s had the effect of limiting solidarity to these simple, easy acts for a lot of people, instead of organising larger strategic actions, campaigns and so on. It also reinforces on a large, public scale, the idea that appealing to rulers could work, if only they were nice enough or saw enough sense to grant our wishes. But why should they? They know we’re weak, which is why they can snatch who they want, and profit from whatever they want to, protected by whichever racist or repressive policies they choose.

With solidarity actions for Kurdistan, Spanish anarchists, Greece, with individual cases that look to set dangerous precedents, and in general offensive struggles, we have the potential to build for much more. I think we need to use info from the organisations mapping capital like Corporate Watch, seeing who owns what, and how we can actually exert pressure on targets by reducing what matters to them, profit, rather than just trying to hurt their PR. An example would be how the German state own Deutche Bahn (now the biggest transport company in the world, and running London Overground, Arriva trains and buses, Cross-county rail and more) and DHL, the world’s largest logistics firm. Can we map the most strategic targets for social movements, or the most destructive infrastructures?

There are also huge similarities between anarchists and autonomous Marxists that can be worked on, and should be if we’re going to be able to spread our ideas effectively. It annoys a lot of anarchists (for good reason) that autonomists ignore anarchist lit and tradition when they ‘discover’ that parliamentary politics aren’t too useful, and that seizing the state isn’t the way to change society, but we need to work through our differences. This is especially important in getting beyond a to b demos, and showing how blocs can be done much better.

I don’t think we should be waiting until other groups or movements emerge and do the hard work of getting people working together, to then piggyback it and then get disappointed when things don’t go perfectly, or they get co-opted by liberals or statists. I also don’t think we should be waiting for widespread social unrest or spontaneous rioting to then try sustain the pressure. If there were ideas about how people could take control of their own lives before rioting, strategies, infrastructure to mass distribute information quickly, infrastructures set up to help counter the massive repression we saw in 2011, and help further politicise people that are facing repression (ie bigger than GBC and not just limited to ‘protests’).

So just to summarise, I’m saying I think its time we:

  • Build communication links and a BROAD strategy between groups, networks and orgs in the extra-parliamentary left and anarchist circles.
  • Keep mapping capitalism, but with ambitious, strategic actions in mind.
  • Get the people, money and buildings needed to start working on a much bigger scale (ie can people being priced out of London homes be accommodated in large euro-style housing co-ops in office buildings?)
  • Focus on strategically tailored propaganda and anti-repression infrastructure for when shit kicks off for real.

D.J.s cancel gig at racist Cameo club.

Bournemouth's racist clubThe Playmaker Group’s D.J.s Seani B & DJ Ace were scheduled to appear at the Cameo on New Years Eve. In view of the club’s racist door policy they have decided to cancel their performance and make the following statement:

“As two black men who have active careers in a high profile arena, we believe we need to act upon our beliefs. It is impossible to ignore these seemingly growing number of cases which are seeing the backbone of the music we love – the audience, and in particular young black audiences – being denied the opportunity to enjoy it as other members of the audience.

With that in mind we do not feel we can put our name to an event at a venue where – had we have been audience members – we may not have been welcomed. Celebrating our culture with those who help to bring it to life is very important to us, particularly in clubland, and selective door policies based on race does nothing to enhance that culture. It is with this in mind that we have decided not to appear at Cameo in Bournemouth on New Years Eve 2015. We wish all club goers of all races a very Happy and safe New Years raving.”

Read the full post on their website.

Wessex Solidarity:

We deplore this malignancy in Bournemouth, which harks back to the days not so long ago when black artists appeared on stage but were not allowed through the front door. It doesn’t surprise us though. The obsessive, paranoid racism of yesteryear has been revived by an entertainments industry that has always smudged the line between neoliberal capitalism and organised crime. It survives only by sucking our class dry, and selects its clientele every night from a pool of willing victims to maximise the fiscal yield from every square foot, whilst our communities pick up the pieces and bear the burden of the attending social problems.

Capitalism can no more provide us with safe and rewarding entertainment than clean air and water. We must take our own spaces and make our own, working class fun, squat party anyone?

BBC news item

Dorset rejects bureaucrats’ plan to risk children’s lives.

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For the second time this year, a couple of thousand Dorset residents jammed the county town of Dorchester to remind the Clinical Commissioning Group that we will not accept cuts to paediatric or maternity services in West Dorset under any circumstances. For some time now, the ordinary people of this county have been at war with those who would pillage the health service we built for ourselves, and leave us at the mercy of private corporations who see us as commodities.

dsOur campaign, started by a determined group of working class women whose only motive was defending their kids, has grown and spread beyond the county. We now have the support of thousands of Dorset residents plus Unite Community, Unison, Industrial Workers of the World, Dorset People’s Assembly, Dorset Eye, Dorset Socialists, Bristol SolFed, the local Zumba community, scaffolders, Daleks, anarchists, snowmen, footballing bears, local media and some politicians.

Oliver Letwin M.P.e_2139 author of ‘Privatising the world’  and Britain’s biggest enterprise, his plan for selling the NHS; – who once claimed that within five years of a Conservative election victory the NHS “will not exist anymore”  – is proper squirming now. He said:

“I am absolutely clear that the best interest of patients lies in maintaining paediatric in-patient services at Dorset County Hospital. I have had absolute confirmation that there is no money to be saved from moving them to Bournemouth or Poole, and the advantages of Dorchester in terms of access are huge.”

He will have to look elsewhere for his retirement fund then.

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We’re relieved the Daleks are on our side but we still don’t trust Oliver Letwin.

Dorset Eye.

BBC News

Save the Bush! Protest Tuesday December 15th 2015, Bristol.

On Tuesday 15th, Bristol City Council will be debating cuts to “The Bush”, a respite centre for autistic children. This is after being forced to talk about it by a petition from Bristol Unite Community branch, after the mayor refused to debate his decision to halve the number of beds available. We can win this if we keep up the pressure – there have been protests for two months running, including one at the Mayors place of business as well as at the last two council meetings. So we’ll be joining Unite Community on the 15th, please get your friends and contacts down too!

Full details will be announced on the campaign’s facebook page nearer the date, but the debate will start at 7pm in The Grace Room of the Gloucestershire County Club, BS7 9EJ. The meeting itself starts at 6pm and there will probably be a rally outside just before.

Mayor Ferguson makes a twat of himself:

Ferguson is mainly known for wearing red trousers.

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

Breaking the law: victory for Bridgwater wildcats!

Andrew Mootoo, (centre) with pickets

When Bridgwater Royal Mail victimised a disabled worker, his colleagues walked out; no ballots, no bureaucracy, just solidarity. Andrew Mootoo, is deaf and suffers from severe MS, and management have come up with a stream of ridiculous excuses for keeping him off work for 18 months against his will. He might get stuck in the bog, they said, and anyway they’ve commandeered his rest room for disciplinaries. When Andrew passed a fitness for work test, they changed the test, and used a faulty chair.

80 posties went on strike the day after the government’s anti-union bill received its second reading, showing their plans to chain the working class will come to nought so long as we stick together. The management have backed down and assured the workers that they will sit down with Mootoo and reach a resolution. Watch this space to make sure they do!

CWU rep Dave Chapple said it was remarkable that 98% of staff had walked out (without legal protection) in solidarity with someone they haven’t seen for 18 months, and that he has received over 200 emails of support from fellow trade unionists and disabled people. Royal Mail are now threatening to discipline him for breaking their rules – good luck with that.

So if the bosses are taking the piss, just get together and walk the fuck out – you don’t need a vote if you have consensus. Together we win!

Bridgwater Wildcat walkout for postman and MS Sufferer smashes Tory anti-union laws!

Wessex Solidarity wholeheartedly supports Bridgwater Wildcat Postal Strike in aid of worker sacked for his disability. Reinstate Andrew Mootoo immediately!


80 Royal Mail postmen and women at Bridgwater Delivery Office in Somerset defied the Tory anti-union laws today when they walked out without a ballot to protest at Royal Mail’s refusal to reinstate Andrew Mootoo, a postman who suffers from MS/Multiple Sclerosis. Andrew has been waiting so long for Royal Mail to support his return to work that his pay has been stopped and he has to rely on benefits.

Dave Chapple, CWU Rep, said:

“Most decent employers would do their best to try and get a disabled worker like Andrew Mootoo off benefits and back to work on a properly adjusted duty. Instead, for 18 months, since MS was diagnosed, Royal Mail, nationally and locally, have tried every dirty trick in their book to get Andrew the sack and reduce him to a lifetime of benefits dependency. 18 months ago they tried to sack him. We stopped that by proving they would have acted illegally. Then Royal Mail tested Andrew back at work: when he passed this with flying colours, they invented a new test, which they ensured he would fail, for example, by deliberately using a faulty chair! The last straw is Royal Mail saying that Andrew has no rest room for his meal break, because it is in continuous use by managers for disciplinary purposes; and that his MS means he will get stuck in the toilet. What offensive rubbish from the country’s second largest employer! Justice for MS sufferers at work! Justice for Andrew Mootoo!”

Andrew, who is of Indo-Mauritian parents and who is also profoundly deaf, lives a full life: he drives a car, shops, goes to sport matches, goes shopping, walks down busy high streets, goes to the gym once a week, all without falling over, getting stuck in a toilet or endangering anyone else. All Andrew’ s friends at Bridgwater Delivery Office want, is for Royal Mail to sit down and give him a chance to come off the dole and work for his living, as he wants to do. The work is there. The CWU have even accepted that Andrew could return on a monitored trial basis. Every reasonable compromise CWU offer to Royal Mail has been spurned: every patient CWU plea to Royal Mail to give Andrew a chance has been ignored. 80 Bridgwater trades unionists are right now, a day after the Tory Anti-Union Bill passed the House of Commons, breaking these vicious laws to fight for workplace justice for a severely disabled and much respected colleague. They, and Andrew, deserve your support.

Please contact Dave Chapple, CWU Rep, on 077007 869 144, e-mail davechapple@btinternet.com

Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle 2015 report.

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Pic by courtesy DeGruchy photography

We pitched our tents on Friday as usual and our comrades from Sussex set up their Wob kitchen which fed our bloc, friends and guests excellent veggie food all weekend. The severed heads of Cameron, IDS, Gove, Farage and Osbourne adorned our camp. The evening’s entertainment was memorable for Funke and the two tone baby, and the Tuts, among others.

Bit of a surprise on Saturday when we took our stall to find, amongst the assorted lefties and worthies, like a log in a swimming pool, Bournemouth Action for Israel, who showed extraordinary chutzpah by promoting that rogue state and its genocidal behaviour during the first anniversary of the last Gaza massacre, in which it slaughtered two and a half thousand civilians of whom sixty percent were children. They were repeatedly taken to task by festival-goers, some of whom were in Gaza during the atrocity, and a steady stream of punters approached the organisers to complain. On Sunday morning the Zionists bowed to pressure and left peacefully. We fail to see what connection this group, which appears to be linked with a propaganda hub in the United States, and to be lavishly funded, has to do with working class culture or workers’ associations, it doesn’t even represent the working class of Israel, let alone that of Dorset. What it represents is the military-industrial hegemony of Western imperialism that has brought the entire region to ruin. A glance at their facebook page will reveal the disdain they have for our class; their mission was solely to counter the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Should we perhaps invite the hunt lobby to counter the sabs, the CBI to counter the anti-blacklist campaign, or fracking companies to counter Greenpeace? No doubt Monsanto, Lockheed Martin, G4S and Halliburtons would gladly fork out sixty quid for a stall.

It was great to see supporters of the Save Kingfisher and SCBU campaign, and Lesbians and Gay men Support the Miners on Sunday’s march. See you next year!

Pic by Stef.

Pic by Stef.

A good start – Kingfisher rising!

SCBU

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

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

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

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

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

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

March for SCBU and Kingfisher at Dorset County Hospital. 13th June 2015

angry_KingfisherResidents of West Dorset and supporters will march through Dorchester on Saturday 13th June, determined to retain paediatric and maternity services at Dorset County Hospital.

Meet at 11:00 at Top O Town Car Park Bridport Road, DT1 1XT Dorchester, Dorset.

facebook page

Mass march for SCBU and kingfisher ward

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:

BATslaves

“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

kebele mayday

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

sweary

Bournemouth fascists blamed for doughnut famine in Chandlers Ford.

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

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

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

Pubs to avoid: The Moon Under Water in Manchester. Can Wetherspoons sink any lower?

Gay couple turned away from Wetherspoons pub in Manchester

Photo via twitter

Photo via twitter

Re-blogged from GAYSTARNEWS

A couple has said they were refused entry from a Manchester Wetherspoons pub because they are gay. Joshua Fox, 23, say him and his boyfriend were turned away from The Moon Under Water pub on Deansgate by doormen after they had been for a meal in the northern English city’s centre. ‘Mixed couples only’, they were told when they tried to enter the venue for a quick drink.

On Twitter, Fox said: ‘My 6 year love of Wetherspoons ended last night after being refused entry bc I wasn’t in a ‘mixed couple’ I’ll take my gay elsewhere thnx’

Explaining more to Manchester Evening News, he said: “The doorman stopped us to check our ID, then said “mixed couples only tonight” and refused to let us in. It was quite shocking really. I was staying in a flat near the pub and go in there all the time. I’m surprised they didn’t recognise me to be honest.”

When they complained, another member of staff stepped in and allowed them to enter. The company, known for their chain of UK pubs, has denied any accusations of discrimination. But after Mr Fox sent an email of complaint he received a reply apologising, which said: “Parties of a single sex may be refused entry in order to maintain a balanced and pleasant environment for all customers. This is based on some experiences in which the atmosphere in our pubs has been spoiled due to an unbalanced ratio between men and women. I appreciate that you feel that this action was unjust and please accept our apologies for any inconvenience that this caused you.”

Eddie Gershon, spokesman for JD Wetherspoon, said:

“Wetherspoon is proud of the fact that its pubs welcome a cross section of customers. We have discussed the incident with the manager who in turn has spoken with door staff and they are adamant that they did not mention the fact relating to mixed couples. We appreciate that this was an upsetting situation for the man involved, however, we reiterate that there was no discrimination towards him. We see from his blog that he was a fan of Wetherspoon pubs and hope that he will return to the pub in due course.”

WE (W.S.) HOPE HE WON’T – MORE ABOUT J.D. WETHERSPOONS.

Spanish State – Operation Pandora: Democracy imprisons 7 more anarchists

Re-blogged from Bristol Anarchist Bookfair.

Recent years have seen growing, militant and popular anarchist movements across Spain. Unsurprisingly these have been met with state repression – attacks on protests & assemblies, arrests, beatings, imprisonment – but movements have continued to flourish. Mired in corruption and economic chaos, the Spanish state has recently moved to introduce a new law, the ‘Gag Law’, or Ley Mordaza, to clampdown further on opposition. It was no surprise then when on 16 December mass raids on homes and anarchist spaces were carried out, leading to at least 4 anarchists on bail and 7 on remand. The response of anarchists, other radicals and indeed non-radicals was immediate, as a series of protests & actions have occured daily ever since. The twitter hashtag #YoTambienSoyAnarquista (I too am an anarchist) has achieved mass circulation. The article below is one of many such statements of solidarity & struggle, and comes from the Iberian Federation of Libertarian Youth (Federación Ibérica de Juventudes Libertarias – FIJL), a Spanish anarchist organisation that pre-dates the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39. You can read here the Spanish original, and here the original English translation. Details of a Spanish solidarity fund/bank account are here.

Spanish State – Operation Pandora: Democracy imprisons 7 more anarchists

On December 16, Operation Pandora was unleashed. The State’s security forces burst into different houses and squats in Barcelona and Madrid, and eleven anarchist comrades were kidnapped.

NiInocentesThis kidnapping—and it couldn’t have been done any other way—was coordinated with the media, who helped justify and legitimate it with heart and soul, spreading the news that the police had carried out an operation against international anarchist terrorism. This kidnapping of eleven comrades set off a multitude of rallies and demonstrations that same day in different cities—Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, and Zaragoza, for example—thousands of people coming out in solidarity with the kidnapped comrades and showing rage and hatred towards the State’s new repressive operation against the libertarian movement.

Two days later, on December 18, the news came to light that Judge Javier Gómez Bermúdez, with an ample repressive history behind him, ordered pretrial detention without bail for seven of the eleven comrades, in so doing giving greater media and political justification for the repressive campaign. We have to remember that this new repressive operation is closely related with the still-open repressive case against the anarchists Mónica and Francisco, who have already spent a year in pretrial custody, in isolation, and to remember that the torturer Javier Gómez Bermúdez was also responsible for imprisoning those comrades.

Zaragoza

The persecutor Javier Gómez Bermúdez justifies the pretrial detention of these seven comrades with such compelling reasons as “there are indications that support the hypothesis that they are part of coordinated anarchist groups with terrorist ends” and that “they seriously upset the public peace.” However, as anarchists, we are not going to play the game the System imposes on us, the game of concepts, assessments, guilt, innocence or “investigation” processes; as anarchists, we recognize neither their Justice, nor their Law, nor, of course, their Public Peace; not only do we not recognize them, but we fight them and we declare war on them without quarter. We’re not concerned with what our kidnapped comrades did or didn’t do or say; we don’t recognize the categories of “innocent” or “guilty” imposed by the System, categories that only make sense when recognizing and legitimizing the Law and the Judicial System.

It seems that, in the police searches, numerous copies of a book called “Against Democracy” [“Contra la democracia”] were found. This book attempts to provide tools of reflection and debate for those who oppose democracy, that mythicized and deified system that we are all obligated to venerate and defend, given that if we don’t, we run the risk of ending up with our bones in the State’s dungeons. However, we know that democracy is precisely the following, the same story once again: repression and incarceration of all those who raise their heads and fight daily for the destruction of all Authority and the construction of a new world that works based on horizontality and mutual aid, in which all vestiges of Power have disappeared.

seeds

Democracy is, necessarily, prison, the police, pistols and bombs, wage labour, schools as centres of indoctrination and distortion, psychiatrists, merchandise, the Parliament, government and domination as a form of “organizing” society…; democracy is simply one more way that the State and Capital, the dominant minority, have of administering their system of oppression. It’s because of this that, as anarchists, we declare war against democracy and any other system of domination and Power; it’s because of this that we fight and will continue to fight the “public peace” mentioned by the torturer Javier Gómez Bermúdez, the public peace of jails, of wars, of unemployment, of wage and labour exploitation, of hunger, of misery, of evictions, of consumerism, of beaten and expelled migrants, of arrests and police torture, of the hundreds of women killed at the hands of machismo and patriarchy, of the representation of our lives in the hands of a minority by means of the vote and parliamentarianism, of that false life of cardboard and money whose goal is for us to forget and for us to accept our alienated, submissive, and empty lives.

It’s because of this that yesterday, today, and forever we will struggle day to day against the State, Capital and all forms of Authority, even if they are dressed up in the suit of democracy. It’s because of this that it is undeniably clear and certain to us that we will defend our kidnapped comrades with tooth and nail, that we will unleash that which always scares the State so much: anarchist solidarity, that is to say, mutual aid and direct action against the Enemy and its institutional tools and frameworks. This new repressive blow is not going to put the brakes on the struggle, but just the opposite: we will continue on the path we have set forth on, we will strengthen and organize ourselves even more so as to continue and magnify the everyday struggle against the system of oppression and domination that we suffer permanently and daily. We will construct a new world, where not a trace of Power remains, in which there will be neither dominators nor dominated, neither condemned nor persecutors, persecutors like Javier Gómez Bermúdez.

fijlINTERNATIONAL ANARCHIST SOLIDARITY!
FREEDOM FOR ANARCHISTS IN PRISON!
DEATH TO THE STATE AND LONG LIVE ANARCHY!

FIJL / Grupo Aullido Libertario / Nafarroako Gazte Anarkistak / Juventudes Libertarias de Mallorca / Juventudes Libertarias de Salamanca

AN OPEN LETTER – TO JD WETHERSPOON

This is going viral on social media, we have no connection with the author but thought it was worth sharing.

AN OPEN LETTER – TO JD WETHERSPOON

I have dined in your establishments many times but I write to inform you that I will never do so again and nor will any of my friends or family.

The reason for this is that my stepson has the misfortune to work in your Thomas Sheraton bar in Stockton and I am now aware of the basis upon which you operate and profit.

He is “employed” on a zero hours basis and earns barely enough to feed himself. Not long after joining your establishment he got into trouble with his rent due to the extremely low wages and was evicted from his home. I blame the basis of his employment with you for this. He now lives 2 miles away from your bar and is obliged to walk this distance to and from work as he does not earn enough to afford public transport. Yesterday my wife was obliged to buy him new shoes as he had worn holes in his existing ones. I think it is appalling that you do not provide your kitchen staff with appropriate footwear. If you feel that this communication is becoming a stream of negative comments then I urge you to read on as I have more to say. This 4 mile round trip trudge is sometimes made to attend a one hour shift. Unbelievable, a day’s work of just ONE HOUR. Furthermore, if he attends expecting a longer shift this is sometimes not the case as he is sent home if trade is slack. He, your employee takes all the risk, you the employer take none. You’ll note that I do not mention his name. This is for fear of reprisals. Before you scoff, let me tell you this: When he first joined you, after two months of working every single weekend he politely enquired if he might have a weekend off. He was given the weekend off but worked no other hours either. A genuine ZERO hours. This was clearly a reprisal and he has never asked for the weekend off again.

The only way he can survive on such grindingly low wages is by getting benefits top ups. In order to do this he must provide pay slips which you do not provide. He is obliged to download them and print them himself and given that he will never be able to afford a computer and printer so long as he works for you, he must go to the library. I put it to you that it takes him more effort to work for you for a pittance than it does me to fulfill a full time job.

Clearly your business model requires that the public purse subsidise your employee’s wages. This to my mind makes your firm and others like you one of the benefit scroungers we hear so much about these days.

Yours sincerely
STEVE THOMPSON

Leave a review on the Sheraton’s Farcebook page:

We will fight against exploitation in Amazon! from ZSP union.

amazondzwig10.5 hour shifts, one 30 minute unpaid break for lunch. Barely enough time to get to the canteen, eat something quick and get back to work. Not to mention that the food isn’t fresh. Half the time we work in the night, from 18:30-5 AM. Many of us travel more than one hour to work. Our bodies cannot adjust to the changing shifts. We miss spending the evenings with our families. We treat this job as something we are stuck with until something better comes along. Almost any job is better.

Work in the fulfillment center is stressful, we are always monitored. There is a lot of physical work. We are exhausted in the first few hours. We cannot take a break to rest our feet. When we get home, we can only collapse.

For all our hard work in the evenings and even on Sunday, we get no extra pay. Workers in Sady get paid more than workers in Bielany Wroclawskie for the same job.

In some countries, workers get more money for the evening shift and two paid 15-minute breaks. Not in Poland.

A lot of colleagues say the same: they thought they would have opportunities to work more, overtime, extra pay for night shifts. They feel misled by the agencies that recruited them. Nobody told anybody what the work would really look like. Some people might not have taken the job. A lot of us have no other choice.

There is a total mess with the payments. One colleague is not in the system and can’t get paid. Others claim they received too little payment. There are delays. People do not understand why their salaries are so low.

Some of our colleagues already quit and a lot where just hired til the end of the year. Some of us will stay on here, hoping that things will get better. But nothing will change if we let the bosses treat us like slaves. In Germany workers make 4 times more money for the same job and they still fight for better working conditions. We are being used to increase the profits of a company that earns enough to pay their workers decent wages.

ZSP union has taken action concerning payments through Manpower and Adecco. We will fight so that agency workers and better informed and paid correctly and on time!

In the long term, we want to see better working conditions in Amazon Poland and this means concretely a higher rate for evening and Sunday work, no pay discrimination and paid breaks.

Contact

Fair play for Mike Haney! Communications blockade of Gwalia housing association.

Mike Haney has worked for Gwalia, a large housing association for 8 years, in July 2013 they changed his workplace without any consultation, increasing his annual mileage to and from work by 3,525 miles. In addition to fuel and vehicle maintenance costs he incurred extra insurance premiums. Gwalia have since cut Mike’s salary by £300 per month, making it financially impossible for him to continue. Mike has volunteered for redundancy but is being refused.

Mike has resorted to camping outside his work place at Brecon House, Llantarnam Industrial Park Cwmbran. Np44 3AB. Phone: 01633 833540 He’s camping out 22nd 23rd 29th & 30th Dec, then from 5th Jan he’s there from Monday-Thursday for as long as it takes!

Please support Mike Haney by contacting Gwalia Hierarchy telling them to give him redundancy he deserves otherwise the fight goes on! He’s on his own but with plenty of fighting spirit.

If you would like to go and support Mike in person get in touch first (as he might be working). We will will pass on any messages of support and solidarity to him.

Here’s Mike’s statement:

I have worked for Gwalia for 8 years.

Two years ago I took out a mortgage. I could afford this based on my salary at that time. I could not have anticipated a cut in salary as Gwalia had stated in their 2012 corporate report that they had increased surplus and that their finances were robust. Indeed they had factored in yearly wage rises.

In July 2013 they changed my workplace without any consultation. This increased my annual mileage to and from work by 3525 miles. It also put me over my insurance mileage limit and so incurred me further costs.

Increasing cost of living was also taking its toll, but by cutting back on every possible expense I was continuing to keep a roof over my head. Gwalia have now cut my salary by £300 per month.

There is no living expense I can cut now, except my home to work mileage. I now have no alternative but to pitch a tent outside the office premises during the working week.

Gwalia directors have shown complete contempt for my situation. I volunteered for redundancy but was refused. I believe that this was a deliberate effort by Gwalia to force me to leave the company with no recompense for the years of service and contribution to the company’s reputation that I have given.

The constant changes within my terms and conditions and pay means that I am being forced to leave my job. However, if I resign and cannot obtain immediate employment, then I am unable to either claim any benefits or claim on my mortgage protection. Hence my current situation.

Ironically I was a key member of a group who raised money for rough sleeper kits, including sleeping rough on one of the coldest nights of 2014. Gwalia were happy to make the most of the publicity this generated.

Update to Bristol Solidarity Network action and communications blockade against rogue landlord.

BIG UPDATE 28/12/14: From Bristol Solidarity Network:
CEA have had enough, and have notified the landlord and the tenants that they have quit managing the property. We have called off a second picket and communications blockade of their offices, pending further confirmation. They have put the tenant in direct contact with the absentee landlord, watch this space for more information on how the landlord plans to handle things!

Rotting House, Rotten Landlord

The first protesters arrived outside CEA at 10am

On Monday 22nd December, 20 members and friends of Bristol Solidarity Network demonstrated at the offices of Central Estate Agents in Bristol. There was a great deal of interest and support for the picket from passers by, many of whom said they would tell others about the situation. This marks the beginning of a campaign to expose CEA’s shocking neglect and threats against tenants of a house in Easton, which will continue with a second demonstration on Friday the 2nd Of January.

CEA “manages” this property for an absentee landlord last seen by the tenants in 2007. The house is in an appalling state of disrepair, with a seriously leaky roof, huge cracks in walls and ceilings, broken doors, rotting window frames and intolerable mould, cold and damp. Four family members, including three children, have developed asthma as a result of these conditions they have been forced to live in by CEA and the landlord’s neglect. They are understandably angry.

CEA and the landlord they work for have consistently dodged their responsibilities and ignored the tenants’ repeated requests to carry out the necessary repairs. Even ignoring a legally binding improvement notice issued by Bristol City Council. The very few repairs that have been done have been cosmetic, minimal and ineffective. Unbelievably, the council claim they are satisfied the repairs have been done, without even examining the roof! We offered them a ladder so they could see the extent of the disrepair but they declined. Their “investigation” was clearly just about how they could shirk any responsibility or involvement. As is often the case, the tenants are very unlikely to get help from the council. Luckily, our boxes are not so easily ticked and we are not so easily brushed aside.

Protest against delapidated housing, Bristol, UK 22/12/14

On Monday 8th December Bristol Solidarity Network members accompanied one of the tenants to the offices of CEA to deliver a letter demanding the necessary repairs be done. Two days later Jabar Mohammed of CEA responded, not by agreeing to do the right thing and start the repairs, but by threatening the family with eviction. We will not allow this absentee landlord and his agents to bully a family out of their home just for wanting to live in decent conditions. This family are prepared to stand up against this shameful bad practice, and Bristol Solidarity Network will fight alongside them until we win. We know this family is not alone and this is part of a larger struggle for decent homes for people – rather than ever higher profits for landlords.

CEA have a clear list of the much needed repairs. We will not stop and the pressure will increase until these repairs are done. It seems they won’t listen to tenants or appeals to do the right thing. Let’s see if they’ll take notice of a high profile campaign to affect their profits. Money talks after all.

One of our next steps will be a demonstration at the offices of CEA on Friday January 2nd at 2pm: Central Estate Agents, 52-54 Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 8BH. (Facebook).

At the same time, throughout the day on Friday January 2nd, we are calling for a communications blockade to give everyone a chance to let CEA know what they think.
If you can’t join the demonstration, please contact them to let them know what you think. Here are the company’s contact details:

Tel: 0117 98 92 150
Fax: 0117 94 21 882
Email: info@ceahomes.co.uk

Not quite as pretty as the pictures CEA choose to display in their windows!

Wetherspoons getting defensive over fascist connection.

Wetherspoons are getting all upset about the negative reviews of their Cardiff establishment the Prince of Wales, resulting from their decision to host members of the Neo Nazi Welsh Alliance recently. Antifascist locals have been barred for life.

It seems they are leaning on Fashbook to remove honest reviews from their FB page as well, keep ’em coming! By their own admission, Wetherspoons made record profits of around £80m last year.

spoonsa spoonsb1

“Flood the Embassy – Justice for Michael Brown – Darren Wilson is GUILTY” London Black Revs 26th November 2014

lbrs

IWW Convention Statement on Solidarity with Ferguson

This motion was passed at the Industrial Workers of the World’s 2014 General Convention in Chicago

September 1, 2014

Motion for Solidarity with Ferguson

Whereas the IWW has historically operated in opposition to white supremacy and its relationship to capital, class, exploitation of fellow workers,

And whereas the residents of Ferguson, Missouri are openly defying white supremacy,

And whereas capitalism and white supremacy have conspired to construct a social reality which values private property above the lives of Black people,

And whereas these systems operate in a fashion which seeks to dehumanize rather than empower our fellow workers through tactics of economic, physical, psychological violence,

And whereas the residents of Ferguson have a longstanding history of oppression, disenfranchisement, marginalization due to intersecting mechanisms of economic and racial
control, And whereas the economic and social structures which simultaneously exploit and oppress all fellow workers also finance the technological advancement and surplus of military equipment deployed against the people of Ferguson,

Be it resolved that the Industrial Workers of the World stand in solidarity with the oppressed and exploited residents of Ferguson currently enduring a militarized denial of basic human dignity,

Be it further resolved that the IWW supports industrial action to combat oppression and spread the struggle, such as taken by UPS workers in Minneapolis, and commits to support and organize similar action in the future.

Is it time to shut down J.D. Wetherspoons? – Mal Content.

prince of wales cardiff

There are a few things I like about Wetherspoons; real ale at around £2.50 a pint, plenty of space, and you can always eat for free if you hang around long enough, no one ever seems to finish their dinner and I’m not really that bothered what I eat when there isn’t a transaction involved.

Their selling point is you know what to expect and can more or less budget for it before you walk in, and that’s all they’ve got going for them really, the privileges that come with a large chain, high turnover and the resulting leverage with suppliers. Chairman Tim Martin was heavily influenced by Wal-Mart’s founder Sam Walton, to the extent of making his book required reading for pub managers. His policy was to corner the market by buying up and selling off smaller pubs then open larger ones nearby. Your local struggling independent hostelry may charge up to a pound a pint more. Chances are it also puts on live music, participates in a local sports league and is embedded in the community; you’ll miss it when it’s gone.

The elephant in the room is Wetherspoons’ notorious tolerance of the far right; the lure of cheap beer from breakfast time could have been made for the E.D.L. to organise its political piss-ups for feckless bigots. I’m not giving much away by saying that antifascists usually sus out the nearest ‘spoons to the railway station as the most likely locus of any fascist infestation. The police tactic, excused as containment, is to give the fascists a ‘muster pub’ to get tanked up in with a blind eye turned to racist chanting and the kind of drug use that would get anyone else barred if not arrested. On the other side of the bar are our fellow workers, most of whom will not have chosen pulling pints as a career path but because they need the money. Antifascists on the other hand are always contained in street kettles, because the police are set the task of making sure the fascists can proceed unmolested.

The dark side of Wetherspoons surfaced in Cardiff last weekend, at the Prince of Wales 81-83 St Mary’s Street Tel: 029 2064 4449, opening a heated debate on their business practices. The disgrace of out of town fascists drinking with police protection in the main city centre pub whilst the overwhelmingly local antifascists were refused service or barred entry was followed by frantic buck-passing between the licensee and the police, each blaming the other for the decision. Had they done this anywhere but South Wales, with its proud Working Class antifascist traditions, they may well have got away with it. The fascists are now gloating on the internet that Wetherspoons is theirs, but are there enough fascist sympathisers in Cardiff to keep the Prince of Wales open?

An entity that has so painstakingly identified itself with Working Class culture now has to demonstrate its loyalty by publicly disassociating itself from anti-Working Class movements and show a bit of backbone where the state is concerned, as we have to, every day. As a minimum, we should demand a statement from Wetherspoons on its policy toward fascists, the immediate dismissal of the Prince of Wales licensee, and that those staff who were forced into contact with fascists should be compensated with a day off on full pay, as they should have expected had their management behaved honourably. We would especially like to hear from Wetherspoons staff on this issue, we strongly advise joining a union, and recommend the IWW. Until this matter is resolved, we need to take direct action against this and all Wetherspoons’ premises, with boycotts, pickets, communications blockades, occupations and the like. Why not vote with your feet and drink in an independent? They’ll be pleased to see you.

One thing’s for sure, the fate of J.D. Wetherspoons will not be decided by their board of directors, the police, councils or licensing authorities, but by the Working Class, who have made it what it is, and without whose consent it will not survive for another month.

Tell them so: 01923 477777

Mal C x

Pubs to avoid: Prince of Wales, St Mary’s Street, Cardiff, welcomes fascists and turns away the opposition.

Prince of Wales in St Mary’s Street, Cardiff welcomes fascists.

Prince of Wales in St Mary’s Street, Cardiff welcomes fascists.

Locals who turned out to defend Cardiff city centre against racists on Saturday were astonished to find a dozen of them drinking in the Prince of Wales pub at 81-83 St Mary’s Street. Tel: 029 2064 4449 facebook The J.D. Wetherspoon house refused service to a group of antifascists, had them ejected by police and threatened with arrest, the police proceeded to bar entry to anyone from the counter-demo, insisting it was the pub’s decision to serve fascists only!

Fascists take refuge in the ‘spoons

Fascists take refuge in the ‘spoons

The fascists had originally planned to drink in O’Neills, but the pub wouldn’t have them. They left the Prince of Wales and environs festooned with National Front stickers. J.D. Wetherspoon feedback

The Welsh Alliance, formerly the Welsh defence league, is a small far-right coalition of E.D.L. type ‘patriots’ and people who would have had us on the other side in World War Two. Their facebook page asked marchers to ‘leave the racist banners at home’ which gives a good idea of the kind of support they were counting on.

pippenturnernickedWell known neo-Nazi Luke Pippen AKA earl Turner (facebook page) associated with blood and honour and the National Front, was arrested within minutes for threatening behaviour.

On the day 30 or so assorted fascists appropriated a miscellany of national symbols including the Welsh and British flags, the ubiquitous crusader banner and what looked like a Swedish one and tried to march to the City Hall. Their route was effectively blocked by Welsh Antifa and others. The were diverted by police through the park to an area between the police station and the Crown Court, a venue doubtless familiar to them. Here they made their speeches to an audience consisting entirely of police and antifascists.

Independent reports:

Wales Online

Daily Wales

Let’s get this straight: we’re sick of licencees bleating that they have been pressured by the police or the council to host fascists for whatever bogus reason. We don’t give a damn whether they are fascist sympathisers, too greedy to turn down the money, too spineless to stand up to the cops, too ignorant to understand the issues, or otherwise. Fascists are the enemy of the working class and so is anyone who gives comfort to them. No one is forced to open their doors to these people; you can shut and give your staff the day off. you have no right to compromise their health and safety by exposing them to this abomination. If any of them refuse to work under such conditions we will back them to the hilt, with direct action as necessary.

This is what we’re up against, no platform, no quarter.

This is what we’re up against, no platform, no quarter.

Victory for Dorset Health Campaign! Community rejects pathology privatisation.

The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it” – Aneurin Bevan.

dorset-show_5

The people of Dorset have seen off the piratisation parasites and foiled attempts to flog off the Dorset county hospital’s pathology lab to private contractors out of the county.

Bridport Unite Community Branch performed ‘NHS versus capitalists’ street theatre outside Dorchester hospital ahead of its board meeting on Wednesday. Watch it on youtube

The directors caved in to the avalanche of public outrage over the profiteering scheme. Demonstrations have been taking place outside the hospital for a year and a petition gathered over 11,000 signatures. This is one up the shitter for ‘evil Oliver’ Letwin the bloodsucking M.P. for West Dorset whose manifestation is anticipated in Bridport next month.

Discussions began in July 2013 to sub-contract the service to South West Pathology Services in Taunton – See more:

In August, 24 Dorset G.P.s wrote to the Echo:

“The innovation of electronic reporting means we can receive a result in the late afternoon from a sample taken in the morning. This is great for patient care. There is no intention from local GPs to destabilise or undermine our local service by forcing competition and making a market where none is needed.”

In September a row erupted over a proposal to spend three and a half grand training the governors and appoint a spokesperson to stop them giving the game away to the media.

On Monday midwives at Dorset County Hospital will strike over an ‘insulting’ one percent pay rise. The Royal College of Midwives estimate that if their members, who rely on food banks to survive, began billing the NHS for the 13 hours of overtime they clock up on average over a few weeks, it would increase their pay packets by one percent anyway.

The NHS was built by the working class for the working class. Drugs and medical equipment are made by workers not capitalists. Cleaners, doctors, nurses, midwives, porters and technicians are workers. It belongs to us, it’s not a source of revenue for the socially useless. Keep your filthy grasping bourgeois hands off it!

Dorset Eye report

To celebrate, here’s a song about vampires:

Justice for Citra Mina 78!

citra-AIRFIn response to poor health and safety conditions, precarious employment and issues around pay and social security contributions, workers last summer formed the Samahang United Workers of Citra Mina Group of Companies Union, which was legally registered on July 24. The company responded with waves of dismissals targeting union members and supporters between September and January 2014, leaving the workers and their families without income. However 78 of the workers stood their ground and are fighting back.

Support the struggle of Citra Mina 78! Let us all demand for their reinstatement with full back wages and the recognition of their union. At home, they are supported by the national center SENTRO, which on June 19 launched a national action campaign to support the dismissed Citra Mina union members Official Facebook page of the United Workers of Citra Mina Group of Companies Union (UWCMGCU). IUF e mail campaign

Press Release: 5 September 2014
Contact: Jumary Arevalo (0910) 9770142

Citra Mina’s Human Right Violations Exposed During the Tuna Congress

Today, hundreds of striking Citra Mina workers trooped to the venue of the 16th Tuna Congress to dramatize their plight and to reiterate the pressing need for the erring company to address its continuing human rights violation.

Bearing “Justice for Citra Mina” banner and chanting, “because of Citra Mina, our families are hungry,” the workers conducted a die-in right outside the hall where the congress is being held.

“We find it ironic for Joaquin T. Lu to chair this year’s Tuna Congress whose theme is ‘Shared Resources, Shared Responsibility’ when his company is not even acting responsibly towards us – its workers,” Jumary Arevalo, president of the Samang United Workers of Citra Mina Group of Companies Union (UWCMGCU), said.

Joaquin T. Lu is the Chairman Emeritus of Citra Mina Group of Companies whose human rights record is now under scrutiny at the global level.

“Let’s make one thing clear, the issue in Citra Mina is the grave human rights violation it caused when it sacked me and 237 of my fellow workers in 2013 when we formed our union,” Arevalo said.

“The company’s offer to reinstate 12 of us is nothing but a cheap PR campaign. The only acceptable solution is for the company to recognize our union and to reinstate with full back wages all of us who are still interested to work,” Arevalo added

The right to self-organization is protected under the Philippine Constitution, ILO Core Convention and the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

Citra Mina Group of Companies has been very artful in shifting its operations from one company to another in order to avoid formation of workers’ unions, which only proves that the company’s anti-union attitude is systematic.

“Worse, Citra Mina Group of Companies now resorts to blaming the international labor community for all its woes,” Arevalo said. “Truth is, Citra Mina is now hitting the IUF and the ITF in an attempt discredit them as they are the ones helping us expose the human rights violations of the company,” he added.

The International Union of Food and Allied Workers (IUF) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) are global union federations with millions members around the world.

UWCMGCU has consistently warned that Citra Mina’s human rights violations could potentially damage not just the reputation of the company but of the entire tuna industry of the country. “Citra Mina’s uncooperative attitude is starting to be a liability of the entire industry,” Arevalo said.

Local359Members of UFCW Local 359 at New York’s New Fulton Seafood Market – the entry point for Citra Mina frozen tuna products into the US – were outraged to learn the story of Citra Mina workers in General Santos, Philippines. In a show of solidarity with the workers’ fight for reinstatement and recognition of their union they signed and displayed a poster on July 9 inside the seafood market, and pledged to undertake every possible solidarity action to press Citra Mina to respect worker rights.

Autonomy Films and UNITE Community Group invite you to: NHS vs. PRIVATISATION! Saturday 13th September 2014.

NHS Film_Play

W.I. Hall, North Street, Bridport, 7pm for 7.15pm start (NOTE EARLIER TIME!) Entry £3 or less if you can’t afford it, Vegetarian soup served from 6.30pm. Discussion afterwards: What can we do?

EVENTS ORGANISED BY OTHERS:

Saturday 6th September 2014 1.30pm Film show – MINERS SHOT DOWN (86 mins)
A documentary film about the Marikana miners of South Africa. Followed by a talk by Peter Alexander who works closely with the Marikana miners. The Colliton Club, Colliton House, Colliton Park, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 1XJ organized by Dorset Socialists FREE

Saturday 6th September. The 999 March for the NHS reaches London.
People have been marching for weeks to protest at the privatisation of the NHS, following the route of the Jarrow Crusade against unemployment in 1936. The march will be at: Clissold Park N16 11.45 – 12.45pm, Red Lion Square WC1 2pm, Trafalgar Square WC2 3.30pm more details online

Tuesday 9th September 2014 6.30pm Film show – ‘Pride’
New feature film about lesbians and gays supporting S.Wales miners in the 1984/5 strike. At: Cineworld, Yeovil FREE: ring to book.

Wednesday 17th September 2014 7pm. Film show – ‘Flying Paper’
60-minute film about children in Gaza and their kites. Cerne Abbas Room, United Church, Dorchester DT1 1EE Refreshments. Organised by Dorset Palestinian and Israeli Peace Group ENTRY by donation

ADVANCE NOTICE: Saturday 18th October (Same day as London Anarchist Bookfair) National ‘Britain needs a pay rise’ demo in London organised by TUC.
Assemble 11am on the Embankment near Blackfriars, dept. 12pm for rally in Hyde Park.

And before that, a one-day strike on Tuesday 14th October.

That’s from Unison, same statement can be found at Untie the Onion, it’s mentioned on the GMB site, and many Unison locals have their own plans but it seems there isn’t a single TUC strike page to co-ordinate and promote all the local actions and pickets for this (we’ve looked) why not? Tell you what, if you send your action’s details to us we’ll put them up here. Watch this space.

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

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

Hamptons2

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

Tel: 01202 311005 Facebook page:

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

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

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

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

WeaB

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

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

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

smashfascism

 

Message from BHstopEDL.

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

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

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

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

*Ends*

es.

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

*Ends*

Message from BHstopEDL Bournemouth 23rd August:

♡ Love Bournemouth? ♡ Oppose the EDL! ♡

BHstopedl will be mustering outside Dean Park Cricket Ground on Cavendish Road, where we will move as a bloc together onto Dean Park Road and into the back of Horseshoe Common and towards the ‘We Are Bournemouth’ demonstration.

Further details will be confirmed in the coming days!

* See you on the streets * ¡No pasarán! * They shall not pass *

*Ends*

Your best bet is to ‘like’ their facebook page for last minute updates.

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!

iPhone 6 supplier NXP ramps up intimidation and delaying tactics

From IndustriALL

nxp_philippines_11

NXP Semiconductors, the billion-dollar electronics manufacturer, is further intimidating workers and using delaying tactics to break trade union demands to reinstate 24 illegally fired workers in the Philippines.

The Dutch multinational, which is reportedly supplying technology for Apple’s new iPhone 6, sacked 24 trade union leaders from the Metal Workers Alliance of the Philippines (MWAP) on 5 May for not working on a series of public holidays.

Now the company is said to have conveyed through the ministry of labour that it wants to try and pay off the illegally sacked workers, effectively removing the trade union leadership from the plant. MWAP has rejected this offer.

Despite assurances, NXP has failed to bring a new negotiating team to the table for talks with IndustriALL Global Union affiliate, MWAP, this week, delaying a critical conciliation meeting. In the meantime, the 24 fired trade unionists face yet another week without work and without pay

NXP has also increased the number of security guards at its plant in Cabuyao, outside the Philippine capital Manila, adding to the intimidation already felt by workers there.

Jyrki Raina, IndustriALL’s general secretary, said:

“NXP must end the delaying tactics, stop the intimidation and bring back the workers now. NXP’s cynical strategy to draw out proceedings and break the resolve of 24 loyal workers and trade union leaders, some of whom have been with the company for 20 years, is an overtly aggressive case of union busting, contravening all international standards on labour legislation.”

Furthermore, Raina added:

“NXP’s insulting attempt to pay off the illegally fired workers would set a dangerous precedent of trading corporate cash for worker rights. You cannot put a price on fundamental worker rights.”

MWAP has succeeded against all odds in achieving union representation at NXP’s Cabuyao facility in the country, which is located in a special economic zone notorious for hostility towards unions.

When MWAP workers attempted to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement with NXP, the company responded by firing all 24 members of the union’s leadership under the pretext that their failure to work on a number of public holidays mounted to an illegal strike.

There is a growing global campaign in support of the sacked Filipino workers. As well as protests around the world, 15 IndustriALL affiliates in the Philippines have signed a powerful statement of solidarity in support of MWAP.

NXP has operations in over 25 countries. Formerly a Philips division, in 2013 NXP reported revenue of US$ 4.82 billion. As well as being key supplier to Apple, its customers include major employers of IndustriALL members including Bosch, Continental and Samsung among others.

IndustriALL Global Union represents 50 million workers in 140 countries in the mining, energy and manufacturing sectors.

For more information, please contact:

Communications Officer
Leonie Guguen
+41 22 308 50 23
lguguen@industriall-union.org

Communications Officer
Tom Grinter
+41796934499
tgrinter@industriall-union.org

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

Picket of Poole Council meeting 22.04.14

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.The action was organised by members of the Industrial Workers of the World and Bournemouth and Poole Anti Cuts Coalition, there was a good turnout and the accompanying communications blockade seemed to be going well. The e-mail and phone blockade was specifically targeted to affect the exploiters alone and not impair services to the clients, thanks to comrades and fellow workers around the world who supported us, we will do the same for you.

More actions will follow. An injury to one is an injury to all!

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

50% pay cut for ex-NHS carers in Dorset.

A personal account from a Dorset care worker:

In 2011 approximately 160 adults with severe learning disabilities and challenging behaviour were transferred from long stay hospital units and moved into their own homes. The private sector stepped in to provide care for these people and staff were personally matched and TUPE transferred with each individual. The promise was that any private care provider bidding for one of our clients had to show they could ensure our contracts for 2 years minimum, employ new staff on the same pay as the NHS workers to avoid a 2 tier workforce, and help with retention of new staff. A few weeks after the transfer it became apparent this was not the case; providers were employing colleagues at a much lower rate.

By October 2012 the provider ‘Dimensions’ had cut one third of staff’s salary in the form of lost enhancements, change to overtime rate, reduction in annual leave, loss of sick pay, reduced maternity leave etc.. Staff on average lost between £300 and £500 per month in take home pay. For one reason only, many staff accepted the cut at that time while others were dismissed and re-engaged. This reason being respect for those we care for. In Dorset many of us have worked for decades with these people, and have seen them uprooted and socially isolated in their own homes, often with strangers (agency staff) coming in to care, having lost day care provision and suitable transport, we felt so soon after this monumental change in their lives it would be beyond heart-breaking to remove the stability of those they had grown to trust over the decades, so we bit the bullet and continued to provide good care for our clients with the facilities we have.

‘Lifeways’, another of these providers, early in 2014 not only cut their staff’s wage in a similar fashion to Dimensions, they also reduced the hourly rate by 20% at the same time leading to huge reductions in take home pay. For example, a single parent of 3 previously took home £950 per month for part time hours – for these same hours she will now take home £389 – less than her mortgage payment alone and that is after 27 years in the service.  Again those that did not sign to accept this cut were ruthlessly dismissed and re-engaged.

In March 2014 Dimensions staff received a further letter stating their hourly rate would be cut by £1.90 (a 20% drop this time). This is going to force the long term staff to search for work elsewhere a choice they cannot take lightly but for reasons of survival will be forced to, having devastating effects for those we care for. Stability is essential for their quality of life and the staff realise this as we have, in many cases, dedicated our lives to the vocation.

Both Dimensions and Lifeways insist the cuts are only necessary because the local authorities who commission the work to such companies have cut the budget and they cannot survive as businesses unless they do. This appears to be their priority – survival as a business – rather than the devastation they are about to unleash on staff and vulnerable people.

That said, other private providers locally receiving the same amount of money from the authorities have kept their ex NHS staff on their original terms and conditions without going out of business. Despite staff arguing that the cut of £1.90 per hour to 42 Dimensions staff in the area, will result in recruitment and training costs higher than the saving made, Dimensions are well aware of this and stated they are looking at the long term stability of the company, so to us as staff this devastating upheaval is completely unnecessary, especially when you learn extra directors with huge salaries have been employed, managers have been cut in number but received an increase, deputy managers have been put in place  and a bonus will be paid to all staff in April due to a profit share scheme.

In what world can carers and those we care for be treated this way – in a tory world where profit is put before people time and time again, I would ask everyone reading this to imagine losing 50% of their wage within 2 years, through no fault of their own and in fact for taking more responsibility now than we ever did as a care worker in the hospital units.

Where does this leave me? Other than fighting against this cut I cannot look the gentleman I have looked after since 1999 in the eye for fear of how I am about to let him down, let alone his family and how they will feel when those staff they trust implicitly are priced out of the job. Not to mention how to pay my bills and care for my own children.

Join the “CARE CUTS HURT” demo outside Poole Council meeting. 22 April 17:45

Solidarity, and a bit of fun.

iwwlogo-buttonOur fellow workers at Gainesville’s local food cooperative, Citizens Co-op, announced The Citizen Co-op Workers Unions in early March.

A couple of days letter they brought their demand for union recognition to the board during a meeting, and a few days ago they met with the General Manager.

By unionizing, the workers want to ensure that the patrons of the store are promoting a business that respects its worker-owners and operates in a fair, democratic, and truly cooperative manner.

7 of 10 Citizens Co-op Workers petitioned to have a union. In response Citizens Co-op fired 5 of them and 2 of them are now on strike because of Unfair Labour Practices.

However, it seems Citizens Co-op might be hiring scabs. They have advertised the position of a current Worker Rep on the Board and Workers Union member: http://gainesville.craigslist.org/fbh/4385258888.html

We are asking that every IWW member and supporter immediately apply for these positions regardless of your location or qualifications.

Thank you for you help and Solidarity!

To keep in touch with Citizens Co-op you can follow them online:

Facebook: Tumblr: Twitter: @coopworkerunion

Here look we’ve done it for you – Sample e mail:

To: mvdkn-4385258888@job.craigslist.org

Subject: Grocery Purchaser (Gainesville, FL)

To whom it may concern:

I wish to apply for your crappy fucking job, I’ve been purchasing groceries for years.

I am a member of the Industrial Workers of the World.

OBU

Cindy Callist.

You can support the strikers financially here:

Dorset Socialists organise against deportation 24/03/14

The Verne ex-prison on Portland is due to open its doors to detainees on Monday 24/03/14.

The opening of the Verne as a Detention Centre has been postponed, but the MOJ has declared it will house detainees there from Monday whilst it is still a prison, according to the Echo.

Dorset Socialists have collaborated with Detention Action and others to help set up Dorset Against Deportation.

1/. There will be an Anti-Deportation vigil to mark the opening on the roundabout at Victoria Square on Portland from 17:00 to 18:00 on 24/03/14, followed by
2/. the inaugural meeting of DAD in Osprey Quay nearby from 18:30 to 20:00. This will be addressed by Bill Mackeith from the Campsfield campaign and Oxford TUC. Banners and placards welcome.

All welcome.

Train carries straight on from Dorchester to Weymouth. It is a no1 bus to Portland from Debenhams.

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.

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.

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

FTUC Acknowledges Support of International Union Movements

The FTUC wishes to acknowledge organisers of the campaign for the Fijian unionists who have now had charges against them withdrawn.

The campaign has been hailed a success and FTUC recognises the efforts and support shown by LabourStart, ITUC and TUC. We also wish to thank each and every participant for their participation and contribution towards the campaign.

Fiji still has a long way to go in relation to the abuse against workers’ rights and it is our humble request that our sister union movements from around the world will continue their much-needed support for the campaigns against the violation of our workers.

The ENI Decree for instance is one such legislation established by the Regime that violates Fiji workers’ rights to Collective Bargaining, a right that our union fathers fought to retrieve. We however have not lost faith and the success of this recent campaign is testament to the solidarity between us.

FTUC vows to keep fighting the good fight and encourages all its affiliates to contribute to every campaign as each and every success is a win for workers’ and human rights.

Dear police: A Citizen.

Dear police

I’m pretty sure that, if you bothered to meet me, you’d quickly cast me as exactly the type of person you’d expect to stand politely in a pen while you march racists up and down the high street. A ‘white’ woman with a degree and no criminal record, not exactly what you would call physically imposing, more often laughing than not. If you randomly met me in a setting where you weren’t protecting fascists, you might think I seemed nice, and if someone told you I was an activist, you might object that
surely, I was too nice for that. You wouldn’t be the first, and you know what, you are right. I am nice, and that is exactly why I am out there opposing that fascism you so happily protect, even though you have me at a disadvantage in nearly every way.

You are twice as big as me, you are trained in combat and shooting, you are armed and shielded to the teeth and you are even prepared to abuse dogs and horses in order to attack us. No wonder we terrify you, standing there with no other protection than the strength of our conviction that racism and fascism need to be fought.

It’s not hard to guess why you would protect the fascists and target us. They are authoritarian, we are not. Seeing as you fancy yourselves an authority — and I can understand why, what with all the weapons and state-sanctioned violence—it’s only logical that you’d protect them.

Still, I wonder, how does it feel when the crowd chants ‘Who protects the nazis? The police protect the nazis!’ Do you actually tell yourselves you’re enforcing ‘public order’, or are you perfectly aware of the kind of system you act as hired guns for in the hopes that your willingness to dispense violence at the drop of a word sets you enough apart from the rest of us that you will be protected?

But what am I saying, that is exactly what the system does. The system will always protect itself, and you know it. That’s where you find the courage to face your terrifying opponent, the citizen.

Do you realise that that works both ways? That when you cast us as your opponents, you cast yourselves as ours? I don’t need the fascists to harass me when I have you, pushing me, surrounding me, shouting threats at me, trying to ridicule me. Not to mention what you’ve been doing to my friends or the systematic unfounded arrests you’ve been making for the sole purpose of putting everyone into your databases.

You err on the side of brutality because you seem to think that is the best way of scaring the not-yet-hardened ones among us off the streets forever. I can see you doing your darnedest to force me out of any public space like the sheep you’d like me to be, and while it may seem on paper like I should be the easiest person in the world to intimidate into never, ever exercising her right to assembly, I am afraid it’s just not going that well, my dears. In fact, I am pretty sure at this point that any further radicalisation of yours truly that may occur will not even be because of the non-uniformed fascists. No, I lay that down at your feet.

Before you worry your pretty little helmeted heads too much over how this could have gone so wrong and why brute force and scare tactics haven’t shut me up yet, I’ll be happy to tell you straight up. You see, I never did respond well to bullies.

There. Now stick that into the file you have on me. It’s under C for Citizen.

Report from the front line: Lifeways Dorset tear the arse out of care contract.

Lifeways Dorset will today, Tues 28th January, be dismissing what is expected to be the majority of their support workers for refusing to sign an agreement that would mean up to a 60% cut in take home pay with immediate effect. Lifeways is a private health care provider who won contracts for to provide care to people with a severe learning disability and challenging behaviour.

The staff were transferred with the clients when all of Dorset’s Homes for those with a learning disability and challenging behaviour shut. Most staff have worked with the clients for many years and thus have a positive trusting relationship with those supported and fully understand the complex needs and challenging behavior. Not only are the staff to lose up to £2 per hour from hourly rate, all enhancements for unsociable hours, their pensions reduced, sick pay removed, annual leave reduced all expected to be agreed to with the understanding the budget from the Dorset CCG and Local Authorities had been cut. With a backdrop of an overall profit of £12.6 million last year nationally.

How can a support worker with a family to support possibly agree to such severe cuts and thus have no option but the dismissal and implementation of the lower rate after their notice period? Many have already left to find employment that will not force them into poverty, those that remain are living in limbo and worse of all those positive relationships those supported had are being replaced by being supported by a stranger. How is Private health allowed to get away with this?

APFUTU protest privatisation plan

APFUTUIslamabad: Thousands workers on Friday staged protest demonstration around the country against price hike, increase in petroleum prices, proposed privatization of Wapda and its Distribution Companies, Pakistan Steel Mills, PIA and other national entities.

The protest call was given by All Pakistan Federation of United Trade Unions (APFUTU) The workers of Wapda, Railway, PWD, PTV, PTCL, irrigation department, Pakistan Post, PTDC, National Bank, ZTBL, Municipal Federation, Fon Gas, Wasa and other trade unions affiliated with APFUTU participated in the demonstration.

The protesters were carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans in support of their demands and beating their breasts and raising slogans against the proposed privatisation, price hike, “Petrol Bomb”, anti-labour laws and other problems they are facing.

Addressing the protesters on this occasion the leaders of APFUTU condemned the policies of the government and termed it anti-people and also rejected the proposed plan of privatisation. leaders of APFUTU, said that the government instead of seeking loans from international financial institutions like World Bank and IMF should go for self-reliance.

They said that at a time when people were already hit by high inflation, they warned of country-wide strike, if the government did not introduce necessary economic and social reforms to make national public utilities sustainable. He demanded the Federal Government to hold composite dialogues on the issue with the representatives of the union and stop the process of privatisation of the profitable distribution companies. The labour leaders condemned the killings of innocent citizens including workers by the terrorists and demanded social protection for all by raising old-age benefits. They also demanded to bring the culprits to book who plundered Rs40 billion of Employees Old-age Benefits Institution (EOBI). They appealed to the patriotic forces to join hands with the working class to establish an egalitarian society through concerted struggle and defeat the ethnic, parochial and religious, sectarian and terrorist forces.

He urged the government to withdraw recent increase in petroleum prices and review the labour legislation and repeal Section 27-B of the Banking Companies Ordinance and bring labour laws in conformity with ILO Conventions ratified by the government of Pakistan and review the privatisation policy of national public utilities including Railways, Wapda, PIA by raising their productivity through transparent management in the wider public interest.

*Syed Zia-Ullah Azam* General Secretary *All Pakistan Federation of United Trade Unions (APFUTU)*

Head Office: Imtiaz Labour Hall, Faizabad, Gujrat 50700 Pakistan Tel: +92 533 533 736 Fax: +92 533 525302 Cell: +923338408467 E-mail: apfutu@gmail.com

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

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

50th Anniversary Event Bristol Bus Boycott – Thursday 3 October 2013

busboycott

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 Bristol Bus Boycott. The boycott against the ‘colour bar’ of employment of blacks on the buses began in May and ended in the Autumn with a successful conclusion. After pressure from Bristol’s small black community and anti-racists in the city the colour bar finally collapsed at the Bristol Omnibus Company when the bus workers’ TGWU branch voted at a mass meeting of 500 conductors and drivers to end their support for the colour bar.

This event celebrates that victory with an evening of talks from campaigners, trade union representatives, films of the boycott, food, bookstalls and bar. Madge Dresser’s book ‘Black and White on the Buses’ will also be launched in its reprinted version.

Meeting sponsored by: Bristol NUJ, Bristol City Unison, Bristol Trades Union Council, UWE Unison, Bristol Unite Health, Bristol RMT, Bristol Unite Finance and Legal, Bristol NUT, Bristol Unite General Services, Bristol Unite Against Fascism.

PRESS RELEASE: Anti-Fascist Network statement on Saturday 7th September EDL demonstration

Reblogged from Anti-Fascist Network:

The Metropolitan Police arrested over 280 anti-fascist activists, local community members, and passersby in East London on 7 September, as up to 700 English Defence League supporters were allowed to march over Tower Bridge and rally at Aldgate without encountering any mass opposition.

A large community demonstration was restricted to Altab Ali Park, well out of sight of the EDL’s march route and rally point.

Read more… 526 more words

Pictures from Saturday’s Ulwell picket.

As the entire world knows by now, Ulwell Cottage Caravan Park in Swanage, Dorset, is a terrible employer taking advantage of struggling precarious workers, treating them with disrespect and dismissing them when they complain.

in October 2012 Ulwell sacked a swimming pool attendant for drawing attention to breaches of health and safety and working time regulations and for union membership. A contract manager named Neil Long further threatened him with local blacklisting – don’t they ever learn?

This worker just happened to be part of two of the south’s keenest class-struggle groupings, Bristol IWW GMB and Wessex Solidarity; we have friends in low places, and supported by the SolFed and Dorset Socialists our communications blockade was spread to 4 continents by social media.

Not much point picketing a holiday camp in November so we waited for a busy Saturday in August and assembled at the site in the charmingly named ‘Darkie Lane’ – I shit you not! We’re looking into this now and will get it changed if it’s the last thing we ever do. Any historical background on this would be much appreciated but we suspect Dorset’s murky past involvement with the slave trade, the Drax family being notorious culprits. That association doesn’t seem to bother Ulwell park but the irony was not lost on us; we expect we can shame the council into doing something about it, get in touch if you’d like to help.

Our call out was answered by 17 assorted Anarchists and Socialists with a fantastic age and gender balance, some taking direct action for the first time. By chance we met a member of Surrey and Hants AFed. Had it not been for the sudden fascist manifestation in Portsmouth we would have had twice that number, some did both. See here for a log of one very militant day.

Crap employers take note, we stand ready to do this for each and any employee you mistreat, an injury to one is an injury to all.

If you exploit us we will shut you down!

From Boycott workfare: Take action on the charities creating hunger and homelessness.

end-unpaid-work_0One in five people sent on mandatory work activity in charity shops face destructive sanctions (benefit stoppages) of three or six months. Sanctions are a major reason for the soaring rise in the use of food banks as hunger is made a daily reality in the UK. The charities still involved in workfare are profiting from making people poorer and giving moral cover to the companies involved as well. Let’s tell them it’s time to pull out!

Last month, a poll of charity workers showed just how unpopular workfare is with the majority of people in charities: 92% thought that the government should publish the list of workfare providers that it is withholding.

Since the start of the year, thanks to your action, five charities have said they will no longer take part in workfare schemes: Sense, PDSA, Capability Scotland, Sue Ryder and the Red Cross. The Children’s Society has also pledged not to use workfare.

This means the workfare schemes which rely on charity placements are on the rocks! Already before the latest withdrawals, the government complained“The high profile withdrawal of placements from a number of larger charities meant a sharp reduction in placements.”

Let’s help banish workfare from charities: contact these workfare exploiters today.

RSPCA

Fellow animal charity PDSA has already realised that it needed to show a bit more kindness to the human beings working in its shops. Time for RSPCA to do the same and stop using workfare!

Head office: 030 0123 0100
Facebook: RSPCA
YouTube: www.youtube.com/rspcauk
Flickr feed: www.flickr.com/photos/rspca
Twitter: @rspca_official

YMCA

The YMCA released a statement in March defending their use of forced unpaid workers, and ignoring the fact they are responsible for pushing people into destitution and possible homelessness through sanctions which can last up to three years. Persuade them to join the list of charities who will no longer have anything to do with workfare.

Phone them on 020 7186 9500 or their shops hotline on 0845 601 0728.

Email: shop@ymca.org.uk or enquiries@ymca.org.uk
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/ymcaengland
Find contacts for your nearest YMCA shop: http://www.ymca.org.uk/find/ymcashops
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/THEYMCA
Tweet their President, Bishop John Sentamu, has spoken out against workfare in the past: @johnsentamu

Twitter: @ymca_england

Salvation Army

The government has praised the Salvation Army for ‘holding the line‘ on workfare. When new figures emerged two weeks ago showing just how disastrous the Work Programme is for claimants, the Salvation Army released a pro-Work Programme report and have publicly claimed that ‘The Work Programme is working‘. They have boasted about the fact they even force sick and disabled people to do their workfare schemes.

Salvation Army UK can be contacted on facebook and on Twitter:  @TSA_IHQ and @salvationarmyuk

They can be telephoned on (020) 7367 4500 or emailed at: info@salvationarmy.org.uk

The Salvation Army’s youth section are on facebook here.

To tell Salvation Army branches round the world what is being done in their name in the UK find twitter details here.

British Heart Foundation

Following occupations and pickets in across the UK British Heart Foundation announced they were “moving away” from workfare. Recently they declared they had withdrawn from the Mandatory Work Activity scheme. But they are openly declaring on their website that they are still participating in the Work Programme – despite the fact that in December this scheme was extended to give providers the power to force many sick and disabled claimants on Employment and Support Allowance to work for nothing, or face sanctions.

BHF state on their site: “Our supporters are welcome to contact us directly if they have any questions about our participation in the scheme. Please email customerservice@bhf.org.uk“.

Don’t disappoint them, get in touch!

BHF Retail HQ – 01372 477 300
Head Office – 020 7554 0000
Customer Service Centre – 0300 330 3322
Facebook: BHF
Contact: http://www.bhf.org.uk/contact-us.aspx
Twitter: @thebhf

Papworth Trust

Papworth Trust told civilsociety.co.uk:
“Papworth Trust believes that by being involved in mandatory work activity, we can make sure that each work placement is as effective as possible for each disabled or disadvantaged person.”

Now tell them what you think of their use of disabled people on workfare!

A list of phone and fax numbers can be found here.
Email: info@papworth.org.uk
Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/papworthtrust
Facebook: Papworth Trust
Twitter: @papworthtrust

And if you’ve got a bit more time, why not get in touch with some of the high street brands profiting from workfare or the green charities exploiting forced labour too? Remember there’s loads of action on the streets this Saturday too!

Call to support motions to BMA Conference for London Living Wage for cleaners at BMA House

LivingwageBMA1

The British Medical Association, the national trade union for doctors, pays its workers who clean BMA House the minimum wage of £6-19/hour. The cleaners are demanding the London Living Wage, £8-55/hour. To date the BMA have used the cop out that it is their subcontractor, Interserve, who set the rate of pay. However, the BMA awards the cleaning contract and so holds ultimate responsibility.

In October 2011 the BMA published a guide on tackling inequalities in health for doctors, ‘Social Determinants of Health: What Doctors Can Do’. The report urges doctors and their organizations to work towards creating fair employment and good work, and ensuring a healthy standard of living for all. As the then BMA President pointed out many BMA members are already doing this. Two such examples are BMA Tower Hamlets Division and the BMA London Regional Council which have both submitted motions to the BMA Annual Representatives Meeting supporting the cleaners demand for the London Living Wage.

The BMA Annual Representatives Meeting starts in Edinburgh on Monday 24th June. At present the motions have been consigned to the section “unlikely to be reached due to lack of time” so on Friday (21st June) London IWW leafleted outside BMA House to urge BMA members and passes by to help get motions 482 and 483 on the Table.

You too can help right now. Please email the BMA in Scotland and demand that these motions are heard.

BMA Annual Representative Meeting: London Living Wage

482. Motion by Tower Hamlets Division

That this Meeting notes the dispute between cleaners at BMA House last year and their employer, a private contractor, Interserve, over refusal to pay the cleaners the London living wage. This Meeting calls on the BMA:
i. not to contract with any organisation in the future which does not pay its workers at least the London living wage;
ii. not to renew the contract with Interserve, or any other private contractor if they refuse to pay at least the London living wage;
iii. to amend the contract with Interserve and all other private contractors to pay at least the London living wage at the earliest opportunity.

483. Motion by London Regional Council
That this Meeting sadly notes that the cleaning staff contracted to work in BMA House are paid less than the London living wage. We call upon Council to take immediate measures to ensure that all staff directly employed by the BMA, or working in BMA House in sub-contracted roles, are paid not less than their local living wage.

Please send an email to: BMAScotland@bma.org.uk
Suggested wording: ‘The failure of the BMA to pay its cleaners the London Living Wage disgraces an organisation that is a trade union and a guardian of the nation’s health. Please ensure that the ‘London Living Wage’ motions to conference 482 & 483 are heard, and acted on.’

Livig BMAPage_2

Bournemouth and Poole bedroom tax demo’s, a bizarre response.

A broad range of activists responded to B.P.A.C.C.‘s call out to picket council meetings in Bournemouth and Poole on Tuesday. In each case, a question was submitted by a resident of the borough demanding an assurance that none of our fellow residents would be evicted over inability to pay the bedroom tax.

In Poole, the question was submitted by Kevin Smith; as Mr Smith has recently found employment and is required to work a night shift, he was unable to attend in person. It had been agreed by the council that a comrade would read the question on his behalf but the council went back on this the day before, so only a written answer was given.

Poole Council give no assurances not to evict for Bedroom Tax rent arears

Write up from a comrade in Poole on Dorset eye: BPACC and UK Uncut Activists stage anti bedroom tax Demonstration in Poole and Bournemouth

Stewart McArthur of Bournemouth and Poole Anti Cuts Coaliton (BPACC) sends a clear message to Poole Council

Demonstrators from Bournemouth and Poole Anti Cuts Coalition, UK Uncut and Wessex Solidarity staged protests against the bedroom tax outside the offices of Poole and Bournemouth Councils this evening. The protest in Poole was in support of a question tabled by Mr Kevin Smith of Canford Heath Poole seeking reassurances there would be no evictions in the event of rent arrears being accrued due to these proposed changes.

Mr Smith was unable to attend the council meeting and the council decided any answer would be provided for Mr Smith in ‘due course’.

Outside of Bournemouth Council offices where a similar protest was staged sources reported there was one arrest.

Graham Horne – Swanage  More pictures here

Meanwhile, in Bournemouth, an even more bizarre situation developed; a Public Question was submitted by Mike Cracknell; during one of the most low-key (not to say boring) protests ever, a local activist was arrested for allegedly chalking this picture on the pavement outside Bournemouth town hall.

bedroom_tax

He was taken away by 4 Babylon including one plain clothes and remained impassive throughout. Subsequently a delegation from BPACC comprising members of Unite, CP, SolFed, non aligned and labour party were denied access to the council chambers apparently on the orders of the mayor’s chauffeur! Our comrade was held 6 hours and bailed, he was not informed that the delegation was waiting for him at the police station.

Bournemouth Council give no assurances not to evict for Bedroom Tax rent arrears

Meanwhile as evictions do seem likely to happen, please put some serious thought into adding your support and involvement in setting up phone trees to physically stop bailiffs from evicting you or your neighbours. We need to self-organise now so we are ready, if and when, evictions begin. Thank you.

SOUTH LONDON ANTI-FASCISTS: THANKS TO THE MANY

SOUTH LONDON ANTI-FASCISTS: THANKS TO THE MANY

Posted by Justin on 03 Jun 2013 / 3 Comments
By South London Anti-Fascists / @SouthLondonAF

This statement of gratitude is to the many who were on the streets on Saturday, those who in the past week who emailed us offering support, to those who came to our planning meetings. We thank the thinkers who thought deeply and practically about how to stop fascists,  the activists who got arrested and brutalised by the police, to those who organised childcare and those who were there in spirit. We thank those who met up with individuals including from Lambeth SOS/UnisonSouth London Solidarity Federation andBloomsbury Fightback who without their help would have travelled alone. Also the Animal Rights activists who joined us while dressed as badgers. We thank all of you for your support, the British National Party because of all of your efforts were shown to be a national joke and didn’t even get close to South London.

London antifascists who have been instrumental in the effective resistance on Saturday have published a detailed report which can be read here.

anti-fascist arrests

Antifascist arrests

We are disgusted but once again not surprised by the actions of the police, one female antifascist was hospitalised with a broken leg, while 58 other antifascists were arrested because they refused to allow the fascists to march. The arrests with the prepared buses were clearly planned in advance of the protest. We will continue to show solidarity with the arrestees and we will work with Green & Black Cross to continue to provide legal and financial support. We urge all fellow antifascists who are able to donate to GBC, their help has been incredibly important and vital to organising quick and effective arrestee support.

We saw legal observers were punched and pushed out of the way so that they could not record police brutality. This was planned and prepared by the police and we must learn from this experience.

We note that Weyman Bennett from Unite Against Fascism did not cooperate with the police to divide the antifascist resistance, and also many UAF activists joined us in forming defensive lines against the fascists and the police, this solidarity was welcome.

In Woolwich, we thank activists from the Movement for Justice who kept an eye on the local Islamic Centre and spoke with young black people about the current situation. In Lewisham, various antifascists from the local Trade Union Council, Newham Monitoring Project,  and other people from the local community came together to support Lewisham Islamic Centre. The Centre in response held a meal for all who attended on the day.

However, while we defeat the BNP, despite the valiant efforts of antifascists across the country, the English Defence League were able to hold a few unopposed “silent walks” on Saturday particularly in their home town of Luton. They have subsequently raised significant sums of money for their own organisation. We know that at least 13 mosques and Islamic centres have been attacked according to media reports, and many more Muslims have been attacked in the streets.

Our movement has many challenges ahead, we are too white and disconnected from the migrant communities and activists that are directly affected by Islamophobia, xenophobia and racism. Racism, sexism and fascism doesn’t just appear in fascist marches and pitch battles against the police. It happens in the workplace, in the national newspapers, during stop-and-searches, through local councils and the corridors of power in Westminster. Popular racism is endemic in British institutions and mainstream culture. In response to this, we as antifascists must develop a genuine diversity of tactics and a coherent strategy to pull racist ideologies and power structures up from its imperial roots in the British state. Our autonomous struggle is against police brutality, the murder of migrants labelled “asylum seekers”, the countless deaths in custody, the demonisation of Romanians and Bulgarians, and against the inability to leave your home because of the fear of being attacked for being different.

If you are interested in supporting this struggle, we will be holding a debriefing meeting on Monday 10th June from 6pm to 7:30pm in South London. Details will be revealed on our mailing list. Email us to get involved: southlondon-antifascists@aktivix.org

We are also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SouthLondonAF and Twitter:www.twitter.com/SouthLondonAF

NO PASARAN

HOMEBASE AND ARGOS PULL OUT OF WORKFARE

Bath Anarchist Revolutionary Forces.May 29, 2013 /  / No comments

From Boycott Workfare:

“In yet another massive blow to workfare, Argos – which has 740 stores nationwide – appears to have pulled out of Workfare. Argos had previously boasted that it was using Workfare to cover its busiest period at Christmas. In at least one store, Workfare workers were doing ten hours a week more than paid staff. That they have now pulled out is a testament to the strength of feeling amongst the general public and shows the results we can get when we keep up the pressure!

It gets better. Remember how Homebase were exposed for using 25 workfare placements in one store and boasting about it? How we heard some people’s paid hours were cut from 48 a week down to 8 as a result? They faced such a huge response from the public that they took their Facebook Page down repeatedly. People protested at their stores across the UK. Now, they too, have apparently stopped using workfare. Their statement is full of doublespeak, but people protesting during the bank holiday at the store where the story emerged were told by the manager that the last Workfare workers finished on Friday and they won’t be using any more.

These companies were saving thousands on their wages bill by exploiting the unemployed. This, despite the fact that the CEO of Home Retail Group – which owns Argos and Homebase –  was paid £1.1 million last year. They didn’t ditch Workfare out of the goodness of their hearts: it’s clear that your actions are making a massive difference, taking two big scalps! Please keep an eye on your local stores to check they don’t slip back into Workfare when the pressure eases off.

There are still many scalps waiting to be taken – a list of which, unless the government manages to find a way out of it, it will now be compelled to reveal soon. One such example is retail chain B&M Stores, which wasawarded a prize for its work with Work Programme provider Ingeus. While the award talks about the people who have been given jobs after their stint of unpaid work, it seems existing staff are having their hours cut as Workfare is brought in.

If Workfare is one side of the coin, then sanctions are the other. Without the threat of sanctions forcing people to undertake Workfare, these schemes could not exist. To underline this harsh fact, last week it was revealed in research by London Assembly and Green Party member Jenny Jones, that one in three people in London and the Home Counties sent to Mandatory Work Activity was sanctioned. Another reason to challenge the London Mayor’s Workfare scheme, which forces young people to work without pay from the first day they sign on.

With your support this campaign will continue to take action action against the businesses, charity groups or organisations exploiting Jobseekers and the disabled through Workfare, as well as those forcing people into Workfare via sanctions. After all, it’s not only basic morality, it’s basic common sense. Workfare makes everyone poorer. It’s up to us to stop it, and as these successes show, together we can do it – and we are!”

Activists from BARF and Bristol Anarchist Federation worked together over the last two months in the campaign against Homebase, so we’ll claim this one, thanks.

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?

Press release: National Garment Workers Federation of Bangladesh.

Dear Comrades,

NOT ONLY PROFIT and EXPLOITATION — WAL-MART and OTHERS MUST COME AND SHARE RESPONSIBILITY FOR SAFE WORK PLACE
National Garment Workers Federation ( NGWF )
24.05.2013

Press conference

In a press conference at 11 a.m in Dhaka Unity Hall reporters room , NGWF president Amirul haque Amin mentioned this on behalf of the NGWF. He also added that Wal-mart and other companies – those sourcing from Tazrin fashion and factories in RANA plaza must compensate the Dead’s families, Injured workers and take responsibility for proper treatment , Compensate all workers of Tazrin and 5 factories in rana plaza. NGWF also added Wal-mart , Gap and other companies must sign the Fire and building safety accord , these have yet to sign . They mentioned yesterday 23.05.13 , 38 companies signed the accord. NGWF mentioned today 24th may is 6 months since  Tazrin Fire and 1 month since Rana Plaza collapse. In the press conference , besides NGWF other leaders , 42 injured and family members of the dead of Tazrin and 35 of Rana plaza were present.

In the press conference NGWF raised 7 points as :

1. Proper and sufficient treatment for all injured of Rana Plaza and Tazrin.
2. Immediate support for all victims – families of the dead, and injured of both Rana plaza and Tazrin.
3. 3 month salary as compensation for all workers working in these factories.
4. Compensation for all dead families and injured in the line of Loss of earnings.
5. Murder cases should be filed for the highest punishment against the owners of Tazreen Fashions, Rana plaza and 5 factories in rana plaza.
6. Wal-Mart, Gap and others  companies must sign the Accord to ensure SAFE WORPLACE for the garment workers .
7. For ensuring Living wage the MNC,s must pay fair price for the garment products and have to build long term business relationship.

In the press conference NGWF also demanded withdrawal of all legal , written and unwritten barriers for the exercise of trade union rights in the garment sector.

Press secretary
National Garment Workers Federation

B.P.A.C.C. Demo’s against the Bedroom Tax – Tuesday 18th June – 6pm.

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We are calling on Bournemouth and Poole councils to give assurances that no social housing tenants will be evicted due to arrears accrued through the Bedroom Tax and will be holding demonstrations outside both town halls prior to full council meetings on Tuesday 18th June. Please show your support and assemble outside either Bournemouth Town Hall or Poole Civic Centre from 6pm. Thank-you

Demo’s against the Bedroom Tax – Tuesday 18th June – 6pm

Some ideas to fight the bedroom tax.

The ‘Pop-Up Union’: Sussex University.

PRESS RELEASE: Sussex ‘Pop-Up Union’ to fight outsourcing

The Pop-Up Union

press@popupunion.org

07813 507501

Workers at the University of Sussex have formed a new union in a bid to halt the outsourcing of 235 campus jobs. The initiative comes from rank-and-file members of the three recognised campus trade unions, with the support of students from the now six-week old Occupy Sussex movement.

Announcing the move at a mass demonstration on Monday 25th March, a spokesperson said: “The Pop-Up Union is a result management’s refusal to engage meaningfully with staff, students, and the recognised trade unions for over 10 months. We are now taking things into our own hands.”

“A recent poll found that 70% of students oppose the plans. Numerous academics have voiced their opposition, and the local MP has sponsored an Early Day Motion in the Houses of Parliament. But university management are pushing ahead with this unpopular and unnecessary proposal.”

“We are urging all Sussex staff to join the Pop-Up Union so that we can stand together against the attack on workers terms and conditions that outsourcing represents.”

Notes for editors

1. Outsourcing background. University of Sussex management proposed in May 2012 to outsource 235 campus jobs, including porters, cleaners, security and catering. The Pop-Up Union believes outsourcing will lead to erosion of workers terms and conditions and is calling for the services to remain in-house.

2. Legal background #1. Trade Unions are defined in law under the  Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. The Pop-Up Union has been formed in accordance this definition. 

3. Legal background #2. The Pop-Up Union is in the process of becoming ‘listed’ with the Certification Officer, who maintains a  list of all known Trade Unions.

4. Campaign info. Occupy Sussex have been in occupation of the Bramber House conference centre since 8 February 2013, and have received support from well over 300 academics, trade unions and public figures including comedian Frankie Boyle, actor Peter Capaldi, and public intellectual Noam Chomsky. Letter to Staff at the University of Sussex

5. Local MP. Local MP Caroline Lucas has tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons opposing the plans, which at the time of writing had attracted 11 signatories:

6. Campus trade unions. Three trade unions are recognised by the University of Sussex – UCU, Unite, and Unison. The Pop-Up Union includes members of all three, and does not intend to replace the recognised unions, but to provide a means for workers across campus to lawfully oppose the outsourcing proposals.

7. Union fees. Dues are set at just 50p per month, making the Pop-Up affordable to every staff member on campus.

Press Release: Bournemouth Uncut brands Poole Council leader Elaine Atkinson’s comments as “shameless”.

Bournemouth Uncut For immediate release: 29/04/2013

Elaine Atkinson of Poole Council was questioned about the recent Bournemouth Uncut ‘Who wants to evict a millionaire’ action during her interview on the Sunday Politics South [1] show her response was:
“I mean, it was awful, it was an awful attack on local democracy, because these councillors are ordinary people who are giving up their time to do a job and help to their local communities, and frankly Bournemouth Uncut I have to say they are intelligent, they are articulate, they are organised, go and get a job.”

All Bournemouth Uncut actions are held on a Saturday or bank holidays. This is because the overwhelming majority of people that organise or come to our actions are employed full time. For Atkinson to use her platform to promote the myth that all protesters are unemployed, without any evidence of the group she is subjecting to these claims is utterly shameless. This shows how little she is in touch with the local electorate. Bournemouth Uncut is open to anyone who wants to join us, our turn out has been made up of a very wide range of professions, higher education students and those in-between jobs.

Kim Elkin of Bournemouth Uncut is currently volunteering at the Soup Kitchen at St Johns Church in Parkstone, she said “We care very much about our community and the people in it. That is why we do what we do. We don’t just protest against the cuts, we go out and help the people directly affected by them as well. Bournemouth Uncut is a fun, creative and family friendly way to engage with the public, and it shows people that there are alternatives to austerity. It doesn’t have to be this way. The bankers that got us into this mess are receiving tax breaks, and avoiding tax, while the poor are suffering for the mistakes of the rich.”

Atkinson claimed “councillors are ordinary people who are giving up their time to do a job and help to their communities“ In reality Elaine picked up £32,095 in the period 1st April 2011 – 31st March 2012[4] for giving up her time to Poole Council. She is in fact the highest paid councillor in Poole. Bournemouth Uncut will continue to do their day jobs and help their communities for free in addition to taking creative direct action in their spare time.

589 households in Bournemouth affected by bedroom tax[2] and 635 households affected in Poole.[3] That’s 1224 vulnerable social housing households affected. How many of these households will be able to move to a house with the correct amount of bedrooms? How many will find that the houses just aren’t available and have to pay the tax? How many will be pushed into more expensive rented homes, wasting more tax payer money? Do you know Elaine? We would love to know the figures. So far we have seen no guarantee given by Bournemouth or Poole borough councils to its social tenants that they will not be evicted if they fall behind on rent arrears because of the ‘bedroom tax’. Other councils in the country have given such assurances, but neither Bournemouth nor Poole borough councils have.

When the traditional routes of engagement with MP’s and councilors has been exhausted, and people’s concerns and issues have not been adequately dealt with, then yes, people turn to protest and direct action to get their voices heard, it is a healthy part of living in a democracy. To say that it was an attack on local democracy is ironic to say the very least.

Bournemouth Uncut is part of UK Uncut a grassroots movement using creative direct action to fight the cuts and highlight alternatives to austerity.

###ENDS###

For more information and interviews:
Email: BournemouthUncut@riseup.net

Call 07596 388 848

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01rxx34/Sunday_Politics_South_28_04_2013/
[2] https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/total_households_affected_by_bed_2
[3] https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/total_households_affected_by_bed
[4] http://www.boroughofpoole.com/your-council/councillors/members-allowances/?locale=en

Roundup from Stop MFE Brighton 2013.

brighton

On the other side of the road are several hundred of us who don’t care for cages.

As you all know by now, a neo-nazi front group called March For England comes to Brighton every year to incur the wrath of the inhabitants by shouting fascist slogans in a police kettle; in addition to the pathetic spectacle above, a handful of portly fashion victims called casuals united, NWI, CFX, ETC, etc went off-piste (off pissed?) to incur some proper wrath. After all their secret discussions we earwigged on, the best strategy they could come up with was dressing up as anarchists(?) Given that we all know them, and each other, this was clearly going nowhere… Oh, I’m bored with this.

Here’s a collection of accounts from participants and observers:

March for England 2013 – UK Indymedia

Brighton 24th April 2013 – Something For Everyone!!! – ANTI-FASCIST NETWORK

boneheads battered in brighton – East Midlands Anti-fascists

MOBS AND COPPERS ..an anti-fascist day out by the seaside. by Schnews

MfE battered and humiliated on the streets of Brighton – EDL news

Snapshots from Brighton – amilabosnae.

ENGLISH FASCISTS TOOK THEIR FIRST BEATING OF THE SUMMER IN BRIGHTON THIS WEEKEND – Vice Magazine

Fascists mistake Brighton Pavilion for a mosque and bleat about it on twitter.

Police satisfied with March for England operation – Sussex police defend the most expensive fuckup in their entire history.

Press Release. Bournemouth Uncut responds to reaction over its ‘Who wants to evict a millionaire’ action.

Bournemouth UncutFor immediate release: 19/04/2013

On 1st April the government introduced the bedroom tax, making 670,00 people worse off for having a spare room, even if it’s for a disabled partner or child, or foster children to sleep in at the same time as giving 13,000 millionaires a tax cut [1]. In reaction to this and in response to a national call-out from UK Uncut, Bournemouth Uncut took our creative civil disobedience straight to the people who are directly pushing and benefiting from these cuts.

Bournemouth Uncut is a local group part of UK Uncut, a grassroots movement using direct action to fight the cuts and highlight alternatives to austerity. On Saturday 13th April 2013 a group of activists took action as part of UK Uncut’s nationwide “Who wants to evict a millionaire” that saw actions round the country, including London, Manchester and Chelmsford against the governments changes to housing benefit dubbed the “bedroom tax”.

We are disappointed at Cllr Mike White’s decision to brand our actions sick, and feel that what this government of millionaires is doing to single-mothers, disabled people and low-earners up and down the country is what is actually sick.

In reaction to Poole MP Robert Syms statement to Bournemouth Echo where he claimed direct action would make him and his government “more determined to make sure [they] make fairer policy in terms of housing” [2] Bournemouth Uncut say that they will continue to work with other direct action groups locally and nationally until the “bedroom tax” is added to the ever growing number of coalition u-turns [3].

###ENDS###

For more information and interviews:
Email BournemouthUncut@riseup.net
Call 07596 388 848

[1]http://www.labour.org.uk/torymillionairesdayshare
[2]http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/10367079.John_Beesley_to_Bournemouth_Uncut__not_all_councils_are_the_same/
[3]http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/may/31/coalition-u-turns-full-list

Take Action Against Homebase: Let’s Stop Workfare in its Tracks – From Bristol Anarchist Federation.

UPDATE: Homebase are feeling the heat, time to turn it up! Bristol Demo This saturday ( Facebook Indymedia ) Bath on Sunday ( Facebook Indymedia) and two demos called in London. More in the works… In the mean time keep up the pressure online!

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Yesterday, sources including Tom Pride’s blog, revealed that Homebase had been recruiting unpaid workers via a ‘work experience program’. Even worse they were actually boasting about getting extra hours of work by exploiting job seekers and reducing their ‘payroll costs’.  A poster was spotted in a management office asking  ‘would 750 hours with no payroll costs benefit your store?‘.  Few companies are this brutally honest about their motivations!

Our first response was to ‘politely contact’ homebase online, and we were far from the only ones.  Angry comments on twitter & facebook were popping up faster than they could delete them. They managed to remove ours, only for a many of our facebook friends to repost it.  All these responses seemed to worry the management at Homebase and they quickly put out a couple of rushed statements including:

‘[..] The company has not signed up to the workfare programme, but, on occasions, works with local organisations to help unemployed people into the workplace. A number of unemployed people have recently joined our Haringey store through JobCentre Plus in a short, voluntary programme, to gain work experience. They are entirely under no obligation to participate, nor will non participation affect any benefits. Colleagues at this store also have not been impacted by this programme in any reduction of hours.’ and ‘Some of our best colleagues have joined us having previously been unemployed […]‘

Even on a first read through these statements seem to be full of double speak and blatant lies. They start by saying they haven’t signed up to workfare but then describe a workfare scheme they have evidently signed up to! They move on to say it is voluntary even though it has been repeatedly revealed that the job centre forces people onto so-called ‘voluntary’ schemes, by threatening them with sanctions,  telling them the only alternative is an even worse mandatory scheme,  illegally giving inaccurate information and not explaining to them their right to refuse.

Next they say that the workfare scheme has not impacted staff or reduced over time hours, boycott workfare quickly exposed this as an outright lie with a staff member reporting massive reductions in overtime. They also revealed that Homebase isn’t offering any of their unpaid workers jobs, hardly surprising given the fact that only 4% of people on the work program end up with steady job. As for their claim that some people who got a job with them were unemployed before hand?  Well surely this is true anywhere, its quite common to be unemployed before you get a job!

We’re calling on individuals and groups around the country to join us in taking action against Homebase. (facebook event)

Bristol AFed, SolFed and others at one of our previous boycott workfare demonstrations

Bristol AFed, SolFed and friends at one of our previous anti-workfare demonstrations

We propose that people keep up the contact and criticism via their twitterfacebookyou tube, customer email, media enquiries emailpost box,  and telephone.  Then, if Homebase has not 100% officially backed out of all methods of exploiting unpaid workers at the expense of their paid staff, we call on people to hold protests at their local homebase store a week from now, on Saturday the 13th and Sunday the 14th of APRIL. If there isn’t a Homebase close by, why not hold a protest at an Argos instead, seeing as it also uses workfare in the same way and is owned by the same parent company!

If you are thinking of joining in with the national days of action against Homebase, we highly recommend you speak to the staff working in the shop before hand. If you work their yourself, or know someone that does, this is ideal. Even if you don’t it is worth going down before your protest and politely talking to staff in a relaxed way. Make it clear that your protest is not aimed at them, but at the management and owners of homebase. Explain how if this isn’t stopped it could negatively affect their jobs.  Encourage them to get together and talk to other members of staff at Homebase, and consider joining a workplace group or union to fight to protect and improve their pay and conditions (we would recommend the IWW or Solidarity Federation, but the choice will depend on the local situation).

We will be calling for a picket and protest at our local Homebase, in the mean time we have set up a Facebook Event to help people network, share ideas, and advertise their local events. We also suggest using the Boycott Workfare and UK Uncut websites to help network with other people in your area.

Calling a protest doesn’t have to take a lot of time, print off some leaflets (feel free to copy anything from our last workfare leaflet – we will post links to other leaflets produced (send ‘em to us!) so people can copy them if they don’t feel like writing their own), make some placards and banners, text call and speak to your mates, then publicise the event online or on any community notice boards etc.

Additionally, this is the demand we’ve made of Homebase, what would be enough for you to call off your action may vary:

Release a binding statement that clearly states 1) you will never participate in any workfare schemes nationally or locally*1 2) Homebase will stop all current involvement with all schemes (including the ‘work experience program’) that equate to people working for you for no money*2  3) you apologise for the callous nature of the poster that was up in a management office (a picture of which is bellow) and will investigate the manager(s) responsible 4) You compensate anyone who has been on such a scheme with you, and if a paid position is available offer them a job should they decide they want one. Due to the circumstances of the job offer it should be completely acceptable for someone to refuse, homebase should work with the job centre to ensure this in itself does not lead to sanctions. This absolutely must not impact on hours, overtime or pay for current staff members.

*1with the definition of workfare being any scheme where unemployed people work for you without pay, including (but not limited to) so-called ‘work experience’ schemes operated by the job centre and private companies.

*2 Homebase will also ensure that no one suffers any sanctions due to the scheme ending, something they should actively pursue and check up on with the relevent job centres.

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The UK’s biggest local authority has teamed up with greedy workfare provider Asda to rip off the poor.

Labour controlled Birmingham City Council, which represents around 1 million people, said that from 1 April it would force benefit claimants to use prepaid cards that could be redeemed only in Asda supermarkets. Purchases are restricted to a predetermined list of items excluding phone credit, fuel, tobacco and alcohol.

boycott asda