Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle 2014.
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.
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!
Radical workers’ bloc at Tolpuddle; come and meet the Anarchists! Martyrs’ festival and rally 19th-21st July 2013
In 2011 an anarchist-inspired black bloc stole the TUC’s thunder and dominated the ‘March for the alternative’. For a couple of hours, as Miliband set out his vision for saving capitalism – surrounded by bodyguards in case anyone remembered the last Labour government – militant workers in Oxford Street made a little piece of the country ungovernable.
At that year’s Tolpuddle festival a lonely red and black flag fluttered over the campsite. A small group of anarchists, who had basically come for the music, decided to join the Martyrs’ rally on the Sunday, but not wishing to march under the hammer and sickle or the Labour Party banner, scrounged a length of garden cane and tied a piece of plain black cloth to it. This image appeared on the front page of the Tolpuddle website.
The following year we decided to do it properly; local troublemakers Wessex Solidarity put out the following call through social media:
“Calling on Anarchists, Anarchosyndicalists, Libertarian Socialists, Revolutionary Unionists, Platformists, Wobblies, non-aligned working class radicals and all those who want to celebrate 200 years of class struggle without marching under the banner of a political party or the business unions that affiliate to them. Bring your red/black/(A)/pirate flags and let’s start putting the libertarian left back into the consciousness of our class. We’re portrayed as a disorganised rabble – show ‘em we can get organised and march together as a group.”
The annual celebration of working class struggle is meaningless without us, and allows reformists and reactionaries to claim the union movement as their own. Despite initial hysteria from some of the organisers, we conducted ourselves with dignity, even behaving magnanimously towards a bunch of tankies who pushed in front of us, they have only the past; we’ll take the future.
On the day, we were joined by members of the Anarchist Federation, Solidarity Federation, IWW, Class War and non-aligned Anarchist groups, from as far afield as Brighton, Bognor, Portsmouth, Thames Valley, Swindon, Bath, Bristol and the Midlands, many of us fresh from the counter – EDL action in Bristol. We also picked up some supporters along the way and got the thumbs up from quite a few people.
The 2013 bloc is going to be massive; this initiative has the formal support of AFed and SolFed and other groups are making plans to take part – with a bit of effort we could easily be the largest contingent there.
Stop by our stall in the Martyrs Marquee, or see us on the campsite for a cup of tea and a chat, and march with us on Sunday. If you or your group want to get involved, get in touch via the contact forms on SolFed or the Wessex Solidarity blog.
“Crowned heads, wealth and privilege may well tremble should ever again the Black and Red unite!” – Otto von Bismarck
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!
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 friends at one of our previous anti-workfare demonstrations
We propose that people keep up the contact and criticism via their twitter, facebook, you tube, customer email, media enquiries email, post 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.
Bristol’s Budget Day – Tuesday 26th February – an appeal from Bristol And District Anti Cuts Alliance (BADACA)
Please support and publicise these events via any networks you have available. We need you and all your friends there.
Tuesday 26th February – From 1pm – Lobby Bristol City Council
This is the full meeting of Bristol City Council where a vote will be taken on George Ferguson’s budget – £35 million of cuts and 330 jobs lost. Despite the inconvenient timing we need to get as many people as possible to a lobby from 1pm outside the Council House and as many people as possible in the public gallery for the meeting. We have written to all councillors calling on them to speak out against the budget. A large and vocal lobby and a packed gallery may encourage them to do this. Please come if you can an publicise among others – even if you can only get there for a short time in your lunch hour it will help. Bring banners, flags, placards etc. Facebook event.
Tuesday 26th February – from 5.30pm – Lobby the Institute Of Directors
In previous years the council’s budget meeting has gone long into the evening. This year, George Ferguson is attending an IOD event at 6pm – meeting his big-business friends. This means that either the council meeting will be guillotined or will continue without him – meaning he won’t have to hear what councillors think of his budget. BADACA is organising aprotest outside the M Shed Museum where the IOD event is taking place. Please join us there from 5.30pm. Bring banners, flags, placards etc. A flyer/poster for this can be downloaded from our website.
At our national delegate council on 24/01/13, the Solidarity Federation officially recognised three new locals, in Calderdale, Hastings and the Solent. We also recognised a Belfast local as being in-formation prior to reaching a formal decision at national conference in April.
We also agreed to make regular donations to the Sparrow’s Nest library in Nottingham which holds the collection of one of our members which stretches back to the Syndicalist Workers’ Federation and is an important record of British anarcho-syndicalism. We will also be making a donation to the London anarchist bookfair collective and encourage others to do the same.
The new Solent local has members from Bournemouth to Bognor and all stations in between, if you are interested, use the contact form on SolFed’s website. The server is undergoing maintenance at the moment so if you can’t get on it contact Wessex Solidarity and we’ll pass it on.
Picket times – From 5p.m. on Thursday 17th January to catch people going home from work and late night shoppers. And anytime on Saturday 19th January.
The Co-Op have said that their new occupational health contract starts in March and that the bidding process for the new contract has already begun. The Co-Op have refused to publicly rule out a bid from Atos. Tendering processes are generally geared towards awarding the contract to the lowest bidder. If the Co-Op were going to make their decision based on ethical concerns, which they have said will be a factor, they would have already publicly rejected a bid from Atos. Atos’s unethical behaviour has already been well documented in the mainstream media and Disabled People Against Cuts have compiled a list of Atos’s unethical behaviour for the Co-Op. Pickets with calls for boycotts and communication blockades and the resulting damage to a company’s reputation does have a significant economic impact and has been shown to work with other campaigns. The Co-Op is particularly vulnerable to such tactics as their ethical image is their unique selling point in their part of the market.
Details of the Communications blockade on Thursday 17th January from 9 a.m. to 5p.m. can be found here:
Some background information:
It has recently been discovered that the Co-Op Bank and group of companies have had a 4 year occupational health contract with Atos and that the contract is due for renewal. Atos make huge profits carrying out work capability assessments on sick and disabled people on behalf of the Government. As was exposed by a Channel 4 documentary they automatically pass 7 out of 8 people as fit for work – to comply with Government targets for benefit cuts. Their decisions are not based on objective medical opinion. Citizens Advice Bureau Scotland have received 24,000 complaints about Atos. CAB win 80% of appeals against Atos finding people fit for work. The Daily Record reported on a Government survey that showed half of those found fit for work by Atos end up destitute.
The Government are cutting benefits as part of their austerity measures aimed mainly at the poor, while those responsible for the public debt continue to get richer. Despite the media headlines about one or two bankers losing their bonuses, generally bankers’ bonuses and those of company directors continue to grow. Sales in luxury goods are also rising. Nearly 50,000 new property millionaires were created in the UK in 2012. £2 billion of cuts in housing benefit and child tax credit where announced in the chancellor’s autumn statement, while £3 billion of cuts in corporation tax was announced in the same statement.
The Co-Op sells itself as an ethical company, but what ethical standards are they maintaining by not publicly ruling out awarding a new contract that gives millions to a company that cuts the benefits of sick and disabled people?
Claimants Resisting Unfair Treatment, Cuts and Harassment
Clydeside Industrial Workers Of The World
Glasgow Solidarity Federation:
Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/488541864531259/
The Glasgow picket will be at the Co-Op’s new flagship food store at 143 Sauchiehall Street. At least 3 other pickets are being planned in Dundee, London and Southampton. More details to follow.
from Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty:
Protestors blockaded and occupied both British Heart Foundation and Superdrug in Edinburgh today Saturday 8 December, in opposition to their participation in the government’s workfare schemes.
A huge banner declaring IF YOU EXPLOIT US WE WILL SHUT YOU DOWN blocked the entrance to the BHF furniture store in Leith’s Kirkgate centre as demonstrators occupied the shop. Impromptu speeches were given inside and out, explaining that although BHF had claimed to be “moving away” from workfare, they were still taking on new compulsory placements.
In response to the state of Israel’s continuing massacres in Gaza an emergency demonstration in solidarity with the people of Gaza was called by Dorset Socialists and AUCB Students Union for Saturday 17th November; it was supported by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition, Wessex Solidarity, Solent Solfed and others. The reaction of the shoppers was mainly positive, with some choosing to join in. Best comment of the day came from a bloke who had to walk a few feet out of his way “This is all we bloody need at Christmas innit!” Christmas? It’s the middle of fucking November! Some folk have it really tough.
If the bombing’s still going on we’ll all be there again next Saturday 24th, bring your flags and banners, invite your mates!
Bristol Anti-cuts alliance:
On Wednesday November 14th, the European Trade Union Confederation has called a European Day of Action and Solidarity against austerity. Workers in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus & Malta are staging an International General Strike. In other countries workers will take action. At the initiative of Greeks and Spaniards living and working in Bristol, local activists and trades unionists are holding a solidarity protest on the Centre near Neptune’s statue from 5pm.
Please come if you can. Bring banners. All welcome.
For more information email admin@bristolanticutsalliance.
Bristol Solidarity Federation are planning to hold a protest picket against stores that continue to use the Workfare programme to recruit unpaid labour.
This will be held on Sunday 18th November 2012. Commencing 11.30am and we plan to finish at 1.00pm. We asking people to gather outside Poundland, 42 – 46 East Street, Bedminster. As part of our on-going campaign we are nationally targeting Poundland but we also recognise that other stores continue to profit from this source of free labour. Others that operate in Bedminster include Asda, Greggs, McDonald’s, Poundstretcher, Savers, Shoe Zone, Super Drug and Wilkinsons.
We would like to call on your support to apply pressure to these stores.
Bristol Solidarity Federation.
Ed Miliband booed for promising cuts to TUC anti-cuts march – 20th October 2012
The Solidarity Federation will be at the London Anarchist Bookfair again this year. It will be the first place you can get your hands on our new pamphlet ‘Fighting for ourselves: anarcho-syndicalism and the class struggle’. Our other publications will also be available alongside books, posters and tshirts. This year the Solidarity Federation will be presenting the following talks:
Nobody Expects The Solidarity Federation! – Room 318, 11-12
Stuff Your Sexist Boss – Room 326, 2-3
Introduction to Anarcho-Syndicalism – Room 323, 4-5
Don’t Just Moan, Organise! An introduction to the Solidarity Federation Workplace Organiser Training Programme – Room 321, 5-6
They are going to give us an outlet for our misery while they do their best to help this government of comedy toffs save capitalism. On our behalf they are going to bleat and beg the selfish millionaires, very loudly – until they get their seat in the house of lords.
Who wants to work? There is plenty to do, to be sure, saving the environment, feeding and housing the people, eradicating poverty and disease; but the only activity which will earn you a qualified right to survive in their warped universe is that which enriches someone else.
The TUC echoes the bourgeoisie in fetishising work and money – we already have too much of of both!
Save the economy! Create jobs, stimulate economic growth – which is nothing more than the expansion of debt. We must work longer for less, why? Their money is just other people’s debt and worthless unless someone is prepared to work for it, fuck ’em! All we need is a fair distribution of resources and and end to wastefully producing commodities for exchange.
Fuck the economy, save the planet and the people, it’s time we took back the world we built with our hands, eyes and brains and put it to our own use.
If you can’t be arsed to listen to speeches from a load of career politicians and time-servers who aspire to nothing better than changing sides in the class war:
Stay free, stay safe, no comment, see you on the streets!
Our members in Hastings are launching a new Local. Tuesday, 9 October 2012 at 19:00, venue tbc. There is a Facebook event here.
If you’re interesting in joining the Solidarity Federation, or you’re just curious what we’re about, please come along.
The Solidarity Federation (‘SolFed’) is a revolutionary union initiative: a working class organisation which seeks the abolition of capitalism and the state. If you’re a worker (employed, unemployed, disabled, retired…) and think that this life doesn’t give you everything you deserve and that your work does not let you develop yourself, if you want a world without capitalism and hierarchy, then there are good reasons to join the Solidarity Federation.
You can also get in touch with SolFed members in Hastings via the site contact form
Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation’s (Australia), call for action, saw Bristol SF picket the Dominos store on Whiteladies Road, Bristol. This solidarity action was in support of the campaign for wage justice for delivery drivers who have had their wages cut 19% arbitrarily by Domino’s Pizza Enterprises management.
The Bristol Local members held the red and Black banner across the store’s door and handed out leaflets to passers-by. We had taken time to explain to the workers inside the store the reasons for our solidarity action and gave them a copy of our leaflet. Our anger is against profiteers who steal from workers not other workers.
Our actions soon attracted the attention of Dominos management. Sent out to investigate was the companies regional manager. He accussed us of not understanding that his company is a francise and not being directly related to the Australian company had no control over their pay policy. We insisted that any attacks on a member of the IWA would not be tolerated. His company trades under the same logo as the Australian company and therefore had to share some corporate responsiblity. How Dominos organises the structure of their stores is of no interest to us. We were later informed that news of our protest had been passed on to the UK master francise holder.
Two other interesting conversation happened outside of the store. Firstly, an Australian women came and thanked us for showing soldarity with Australian workers. She told us that on returning home, she would share news of our action on the Melbourne community radio station she works at, so we know the message of our support will get back to Australia.
The next offer of support came from the Bristol West Labour Party’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate. We explained to her how we wouldn’t be voting labour! She was last seen cycling away indignantly shouting “I don’t have blood on my hands” and “I wasn’t even in the Labour Party in 2003” Clearly rattled when it was mentioned how Blair had bombed the hell out of Iraq. Shame we won’t get that promised link from her website now.
Across the world other actions have taken place. Currently we have news of protests held by FAU in front of Domino’s Pizza in Langenfeld and Bonn. While the CNT-AIT (France) took the message to stores in Caen, Clermont, the Paris
region and Toulouse.
Members of Solent local of the Solidarity Federation picketed Domino’s pizza in Bitterne Southampton as part of the International Day of Action in support of Australian delivery drivers of the General Transport Workers Association. Some interesting conversations were had with staff and public (hello Eddie!)
A communications blockade will follow on Monday 17th.
Saturday 15th September, International Day of Action In Support Of Domino’s Workers: A5 pdf Leaflet here:
I.W.A. sections and friends around the world will be picketing Domino’s premises. Find one near you or join:
Bristol Solfed: Gathering at 12.00 for a 12.30 start, for one hour, 119 Whiteladies Road, BS8 2PL opposite Clifton Down Railway Station.
Brighton Solfed: meeting at 7pm at the bottom of Trafalgar St
Monday 17th September Fax and Phone Blockade:
Domino’s delivery drivers in Australia have received a 19% pay cut to their wages this year. Domino’s Australia made $105 million in profits last year. There is no need for a paycut.
The union of the Australian Domino’s delivery drivers is closer to the bosses than it is to the workers it claims to represent and went along with the company’s cuts just to maintain their good relationship with Domino’s management. Now Domino’s drivers in Australia are stepping up and fighting back without their old union. They’re moving on to form their own worker-controlled union, the General Transport Workers Association, (part of the Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation-International Workers Association), so that they can reverse the 19% pay cut and gain some real power and respect on the job.
Phone or fax the Head Office of Dominos in Brisbane.
Free faxes can be sent from here: Choose Australia as the destination country then add the local number.
Fax (+61) 736333399
Telephone (+61) 736333333
If you send a fax to the telephone number they will just hear a short series of beeps, but it will cost them money and time to answer the phone and it will block the phone line.
Cut and paste and send this message: On Saturday 15th September, during the International Day of Action, you can also send this message via the Dominos Australia Facebook page or paste it on their timeline or their website feedback page:
The Dominos Australia Feedback Line is (+61) 1800 805 888
On Saturday Brighton Solidarity Federation were joined by Brighton Benefits Campaign on our first picket in the national campaign against Workfare profiteers Poundland. Over the course of two hours we handed out a thousand leaflets and struck up many conversations with the public at their North Street store. This follows the high court ruling that the DWP were within the law to force two unemployed workers out of voluntary work and into unpaid labour at the store.
Following the sudden caving in of Holland and Barrett, our local anti-workfare group convened outside a branch of Argos in Poole. A diverse range of activists’ groups answered the call out and our peaceful picket commenced, following the usual format:
Reassurance was given to staff and a letter explaining the action along with a copy of Solfed’s Workfare Pamphlet. We had the usual mixed response we get round here: some are already affected by this, some are worried about it, some ignorant but interested, some right right behind us and a few “I’m all right Jack, bugger off”.
After a while we were joined by some sinister black-clad figures who scowled a great deal to no good purpose; they turned out to be the security prats from the nearby Dolphin Centre arcade; a good-natured plod appeared and basically told them to mind their own business as we were doing nothing illegal.
After the picket we took a short-cut through the Dolphin Centre on our way for a coffee, and found ourselves followed by a crowd of the aforementioned prats who were evidently desperate to have a row, near the exit, for some inexplicable reason, several comrades were assaulted, including a grandmother and a teenage girl.
We had resolved to maintain Boycott Workfare and SolFed’s strategy of peaceful protest – which is clearly working – and with Holland and Barrett’s spurious claims of violence uppermost in our minds, we took great care not to harm any of these buffoons, making it our priority to just get everyone out of there safely – though they really were asking for it.
Anyway they did us a big favour because the gathering crowd were suddenly interested to hear all about our protest and the workfare campaign.
We’ll be back!
The usual suspects will be conducting a picket of the hypocritical workfare slave-mongers in the Poole area on 7th July. If you’d like to be involved contact us
A spur of the moment picket was called by Bournemouth Uncut and Occupy in solidarity with comrades in Liverpool on Saturday 23rd. It was well attended, supported by members of BPACC and Solent Solfed. Two shops picketed; police called in relation to attachment of flags and placards to street furniture, despite the plethora of bunting and advertising material in the precinct – we were only asked to take it with us when we’d finished.
At the arcade, the security prat in the jeweller’s next door asked us to go outside (there were two entrances, one inside, one out), another prat in a suit came out, he was asked to prove that he was an agent for the landowner. After variously claiming to be the owner, chairman of the committee and some company he couldn’t name, he “couldn’t be bothered to argue” and went back in to call the police – which he didn’t – so there you go.
Calling on Anarchists, Anarchosyndicalists, Libertarian Socialists, Revolutionary Unionists, Platformists, Wobblies, non-aligned working class radicals and all those who want to celebrate 200 years of class struggle without marching under the banner of a political party or the business unions that affiliate to them. Bring your red/black/(A)/pirate flags and let’s start putting the libertarian left back into the consciousness of our class. We’re portrayed as a disorganised rabble – show ‘em we can get organised and march together as a group.
We urge all who can to go to Bristol on Saturday 14th to oppose the EDL.
On Saturday 26 May, nearly fifty anti-workfare activists met up in Brighton for a national conference entitled ‘How do we break workfare?’; hosted by Brighton benefits campaign
Participants came from Liverpool, Norfolk, Oxford, Dorset, London, Surrey and Sussex as well as Brighton and Hove. They represented welfare and anti-cuts campaigns, claimant organisations, political groups and trade unions, as well as many individuals opposed to workfare.
As part of our rolling campaign against workfare, members of Wessex Solidarity, Bournemouth Uncut and B.P.A.C.C. leafleted members of the Communications Workers’ Union outside their Conference in Bournemouth; both on Sunday and today, ahead of the vote on Bristol branch’s Motion 26 Category A which reads as follows:
This Conference agrees that the Postal Executive will cease all involvement in the Royal Mail Work Experience (as outlined in the letter to branches 012/12) and notify Royal Mail of this immediately after the close of conference.
The Postal Executive is instructed accordingly.
Incredibly the motion was defeated! More detailed report to follow from our journalist comrade on the inside…
The fight goes on.
They’re having their conference in Bournemouth, who’s up for it?
H&B really are taking the piss; having announced that no less than a quarter of their workforce is to be unpaid – and heavily subsidised by the taxpayer through the offices of Chris Grayling’s mendacious cronies.
So it was with some relish that we descended on our local purveyors of quack remedies to neurotic old hippies. Under the banner of Wessex Solidarity, members of IWW, Solent Solfed, Portsmouth Anarchists, Bournemouth Uncut and Surrey/Hants Afed picketed two branches of this bogus medicine show, later we were joined by a couple of SWP. A letter was handed to staff explaining the action along with a copy of Solfed’s Workfare Pamphlet.
Our ginger ninja on the megaphone harangued passers-by with her acidic wit while the punters scurried in in search of cures for their creaky joints, failing eyesight and uncompliant third leg.
The manager showed up: “are you allowed to be here?” What? On a pavement in a shopping precinct on a Saturday! He claimed to be ‘creating jobs’ then bemoaned the fact that we were going to cost him his £59 bonus; we were all set to move on to the next one when we found out he’d called the plod with some spurious allegations so we had to hang around on principle. “Who’s in charge?” – where do they get it from? Our letter now in the hands of babylon we can all expect some traffic on our web sites over the next few days.
As time was cracking on the group then split, a second H&B was picketed while Bournemouth uncut did their thing at vodafone. Having run out of fliers we reunited in top shop on our way to the pub; we brightened up when the guvnor announced security were going to “remove us using force” but they evidently didn’t fancy it and called plod again. I think it was the same copper, they all look the same to me.
One thing that struck us from talking to people was how many posties there are who are pissed off with their jobs and their union. if any CWU members are reading this give us a shout and we’ll put you in touch with others who want to do something – and don’t forget the picket of CWU headquarters on Monday!
A las Barricadas…
Most people will have heard about the CWU leadership endorsing the Royal Mail’s participation in the workfare scheme, whilst at the same time ignoring rank and file members views on forced labour and attacks on workers rights.
Concerned posties from SOLFED, IWW, Boycott Workfare, and CWU send you the following call out, and request for solidarity.
See you on the picket!
Solent Solfed: NO TO WORKFARE AT ROYAL MAIL – APRIL 2ND 11am
Open Letter to all members of the Communication Workers Union, (CWU)
ADECCO, 44 North Street Brighton and Hove, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 1RH
ADECCO, 7-9 Colston Avenue, Bristol BS1 4UB – 11.00am until 1.00pm.
ADECCO, 4 Borough High St, London SE1 9QQ
ADECCO BLYTHSWOOD SQUARE GLASGOW G2 4AD 4PM-5PM
ADECCO is the largest employment agency in the world. Beside profiting on precarity and casualisation, ADECCO and other employment agencies are fast becoming the go-to source for scabs and strikebreakers.
Case in point: At the Asea Brown Boveri factory in Cordoba, Spain …workers have struck over pay and conditions. Besides sacking nine of the twelve members of the strike committee, ABB has now begun hiring scab labour from ADECCO.
This disgusting behaviour must stop. Employment agencies have exploited us long enough. It’s time for us to fight back.A win for workers at ABB, a giant multinational that operates in over 100 countries, will not only improve working conditions for Spanish workers, it will let employment agencies like ADECCO know that workers are willing to fight back against their unscrupulous practices.
Globally, ADECCO has over 5000 locations. In the UK, they own the Office Angels employment agency.
JOIN US ON FRIDAY FOR THE PICKET OF THIS HORRID COMPANY.
Article – Solidarity Federation:
Petition form here:
Or tell ’em what you think!
The Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan
33 Thurloe Square
Tel: +44 (0)207 590 34 90
Fax: +44 (0)207 584 84 81
Our inaugural meeting was held on Monday 28th November. Among the topics discussed were Union solidarity, education and propaganda, IWW and group objectives.