Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle: Martyrs Festival and rally: 17-19 July 2015

Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle: Martyrs Festival and rally: 17-19 July 2015

radicalworkerspx

Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle 2014, photo by Wheelz.

It’s our fifth anniversary! Usual deal: scaring the taxpayers, winding up the Tankies – Winning friends, influencing people and impressing them with our revolutionary praxis. Every year we welcome comrades from as far afield as Wales, France, Spain and the Midlands; we enjoy frank but good-natured debate with fellow trade unionists and activists alike. A small contingent doesn’t want us there, but sod ‘em – The Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers was an example of working-class self-organisation – Stalin would have had them shot. Still we hope to extend our safe spaces policy to all festival-goers; their kids will learn to swear without our help and please be kind to the cosplay cops, the council would charge a fortune to close the public highway.

Visit our stall in the Martyrs Marquee, if you’d like to help run it, or you have anything you’d like to give away / accept donations for please contact us An advance party will pitch tents on Friday afternoon, we corral them together so that people can get to know each other. If you’re just marching with us on Sunday 19th July, Meet up as usual 1:30 pm outside the Martyrs Museum; bring your flags and banners, this year’s theme will be politicians heads on spikes…

View map Download flyer

Freedom Press

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

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

From West Dorset Pro Wind Facebook group

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

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

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

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

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

Wessex welcomes new IWW Dorset branch!

iwwlogo DORSETgreenIndustrial Workers of the World Dorset group is in the process of chartering as a branch in its own right, having operated for several years under the auspices of Bristol General Members’ Branch. The paperwork’s all done we’re just waiting for the formalities and should be fully operational in the new year.

The IWW is a certified union and can represent you at work, but unlike the TUC unions we’re not shy of direct action and don’t have to pretend we’re all on the same side, we’re not bothered about getting Labour elected and none of us has any ambition to sit in the house of lords! Follow the logo to the side of the page.

– Cindy Callist.

Roll of dishonour, M.P.s with their hands in the N.H.S. till.

Crooks

Untie the Onion has helpfully produced a list of honourable members who stand to profit from flogging off our Health Service. No surprise to find ‘Evil Oliver’ Letwin, and the sinister Richard Grosvenor-Plunkett-Ernle-Erle Drax amongst this shower of shit.

Check and see how bent yours is:

1. David Cameron – Prime Minister

Handed a peerage to nursing andcare hometycoon Dolar Popat, who has given the Tories more than £200,000 in donations.

2. Andrew Lansley – Former Health Secretary & architect of privatisation

Received a £21,000 donation in Nov 2009 from John Nash, the former chairman of Care UK.

3. Harriet Baldwin – Tory whip

Former executive at JP Morgan, a major player in private healthcare.

4. Greg Barker – former Energy Minister

Held shares in Quester VCT 5 plc ,a venture capital firm with multiple investments in healthcare companies.

5. Henry Bellingham

Former director of Lansdowne Advisory Ltd, which has shares in private healthcare company Circle.

6. Jake Berry

Has registered interests in legal firm Squire Patton Boggs, which workd with multiple NHS trusts on PFI and PPP programs.

7. Graham Brady

Former advisor to PA Consulting, a management consultancy company which has worked with the NHS’s new Clinical Commissioning Groups.

8. Simon Burns – former Health Minister

Attended an oncology conference paid for by Aventis Pharma – a five-day trip to the US funded by a leading drug firm.

9. Nick de Bois

Was the majority shareholder in Rapier Design Group, an events management company heavily involved with the private medical and pharmaceutical industries.

10. Steve Brine

Received almost £15,000 in donations from James Lupton, the chairman of investment bankers, Greenhill Europe which has a global network of corporate relationships in the healthcare sector.

11. Aidan Burley

Received six bottles of wine from Hitachi consultants for a speech in 2011. Hitachi Consulting UK built an online ‘portal’ for NHS commissioners to help them monitor performance.

12. Damian Collins

Spent almost a decade working for marketing agency M&C Saatchi, whose clients include PPP healthcare, AXA insurance, Astrazeneca, Pfizer and Merck

13. David Davis – former shadow home secretary

Received a payment of £4,250 for a six-hour speaking engagement for private health insurance company Aviva.

14. Jonathan Djanogly

Received £1,900 from Huntleigh Healthcare Ltd, which manufactures medical and orthopaedic equipment and instruments.

15. Richard Grosvenor-Plunkett-Ernle-Erle Drax

Received £14,000 in a series of donations from Derek Luckhurst, chief executive and owner of care home group Agincare.

16. Iain Duncan-Smith – Work and Pensions Secretary

Has shares in hygiene technology company Byotrol plc, which sells products to the NHS.

17. Philip Dunne

Was a non-executive director for investment firm Baronsmead VCT 4 plc, which had multiple investments in private healthcare companies.

18. Michael Fallon – Defence Secretary

Former director of Attendo AB, – a Swedish private health company.

19. Mark Field

Was a board advisor to Ellwood and Atfield; a recruitment firm which recruit for NHS positions and private healthcare.

20. Liam Fox – former Defence Secretary

Received £5,000 from investment company IPGL Ltd, who purchased healthcare pharma company Cyprotex.

21. George Freeman

Has shares in Hill House Assets Ltd, formally private health firm 4D Biomedical Ltd.

22. Mike Freer

Provided marketing advice to Care Matters, a financial planning company for care homes.

23. Richard Fuller

Worked for L.E.K consulting, which has six ‘partners’ in European healthcare.

24. Richard Graham

Received £3,000 from asset manager Crispin Odey, a major investor in Circle.

25. William Hague – Leader of the Commons

Received a £20,000 donation from MMC Ventures, which parts owns The Practice plc which runs 60 GP surgeries.

26. Philip Hammond – Foreign Secretary

Beneficiary of a trust which owns a controlling interest in healthcare and nursing home developer Castlemead Ltd.

27. Mark Harper

Received £5,000 from asset manager Crispin Odey, a major investor in Circle.

28. Nick Herbert

Received £15,000 in donations from Caroline Nash, wife of former Care UK chairman John Nash.

29. Jeremy Hunt – Health Secretary

Received £32,920 from hedge fund baron Andrew Law, a major investor in healthcare firms.

30. Margot James

Had a key role at marketing giant WPP Group, which had a long list of healthcare clients.

31. Sajid Javid – Culture Secretary

Received £11,000 from Moundsley Healthcare Ltd last year.

32. Jo Johnson – Downing Street policy adviser

Received £6,000 from asset manager Crispin Odey, a major investor in Circle.

33. Kwarsi Kwateng

Worked as an analyst for for Crispin Odey’s hedge fund Odey Asset Management.

34. Mark Lancaster

Former adviser to property venture capital firm Company Palmer Capital Partners Ltd, a funder of Danescroft Commercial Developments, which has worked in the healthcare sector.

35. Dr Phillip Lee

Has worked as a freelance or Medical Solutions Ltd, which provided medical cover for events.

36.Oliver Letwin – former shadow chancellor

Was a non-executive director of N.M. Rothschild Corporate Finance Ltd, which invests heavily in healthcare.

37. Peter Lilley

Non-Executive director of management software firm Idox plc, which provides services to the NHS Health Libraries Group and NHS Education for Scotland.

38. Tim Loughton

Received £350 for training sessions with Cumberlege Connections, a political networking firm that works “extensively” with the pharmaceutical industry.

39. Mary Macleod

Was a senior executive at Andersen Consulting/Accenture, which has profited from big PFI deals.

40. Francis Maude – Cabinet Office Secretary

Was a director of PR firm Huntsworth plc, which was part of lobbying group Healthcare Communications Association.

41. Maria Miller – former Culture Secretary

Former director of Grey’s Advertising Ltd, an advertising and brand company which worked extensively with clients in the healthcare sector.

42. Andrew Mitchell – former International Development Secretary

Was a strategy adviser to global management firm Accenture, which has worked extensively with private healthcare companies and the NHS.

43. Penny Mordaunt – Communities Minister

Worked for lobbying firm Hanover, where she had a range of healthcare clients.

44. Brooks Newmark – former Charities Minister

Partner in the Allele Fund, which invests in healthcare startups.

45. Jesse Norman

Received £5,000 from asset manager Crispin Odey, a major investor in Circle.

46. Stephen O’Brien

Received payments totalling £40,000 from Julian Schild, whose family made £184million in 2006 by selling hospital bed-makers Huntleigh Technology.

47. George Osborne – Chancellor

Received donation through Conservative Campaign Headquarters from Julian Schild – see above.

48. Priti Patel – Treasury Minister

Worked for lobbying firm Weber Shandwick, which does PR for big healthcare and pharmaceutical firms.

49. John Redwood – former Cabinet Minister

Advised the private equity company which runs Pharmacy2u, the UK’s largest dedicated internet and mail order pharmacy.

50. Jacob Rees-Mogg

Partner of Somerset Capital Management LLP, which has healthcare investor Redwood Emerging Markets Dividend Income Fund as a client.

51. Sir Malcolm Rifkind – former Foreign Secretary

Chairman of advisory board at L.E.K. Consulting LLP, which helps private healthcare firms identify “new business development” and “opportunities with the Government”.

52. Amber Rudd – Energy Minister

Received £3,000 from hedge fund baron Andrew Law, a major investor in healthcare firms.

53. David Ruffley

Received £10,000 in donations from Caroline Nash, wife of former Care UK chairman John Nash.

54. Mark Simmonds – former Foreign Minister

Was paid £50,000 a year as a “strategic adviser” to Circle Health.

55. Chris Skidmore

Received £3,500 for speeches to STAC Consultancy, which specialises in the launch of pharmaceutical products.

56. Julian Smith

Received a £2,500 donation from Principle Healthcare Ltd in September 2014.

57. Nicholas Soames

Received £2,000 from asset manager Crispin Odey, a major investor in Circle.

58. John Stanley

Consultant on financial services to FIL Investment Management Ltd, which invests in healthcare.

59. Andrew Tyrie – select committee chairman

Attended the Ryder Cup as Secretary of the Parliamentary Golf Society, with travel and accommodation paid for by U.S. healthcare services company Humana Europe.

60. Robin Walker

His office received a £2,000 donation from Redwood Care Homes, which owns multiple care homes.

61. David Willetts – former Universities Minister

Has shares in Sensortec, a company that owns Vantix which was working on a contract for a new product to detect MRSI.

62. Rob Wilson

Had registered shares in Vital Imaging, a private screening company.

63. Tim Yeo

Also attended the 2008 Ryder Cup, courtesy of Humana Europe.

64. Nadhim Zahawi

Non-executive director of recruitment company SThree, which specialises in the Ppharmaceutical and biotechnology sector.

65. Menzies Campbell – former leader

Non-executive director of Scottish American Investment Company plc, which took over one of the care homes when Southern Cross collapsed.

66. Vince Cable – Business Secretary

Received a donation of £2,000 from Chartwell Care Services, which is 100% owned by Chartwell Health & Care PLC. It also owns Chartwell Private Hospitals plc, which provide day case surgery to NHS patients.

67. Nick Clegg – Deputy Prime Minister

Received a donation to his constituency office for £5,000 from Alpha Medical Consultancy.

68. Simon Hughes – Justice Minister

Received £60,000 donation to his constituency party from the founder of Alpha Hospitals, a private hospital firm.

69. Stephen Lloyd

MP for Eastbourne. Received £544.92 aggregated over time for office equipment from Platon Medical Ltd – who provides Ear, Nose and throat devices.

70. Robert Smith

Has shares in pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline.

71. Jo Swinson – Business Minister

Received a donation of £2,000 September 2013 from private optician firm, Peter Ivins Eye Care.

– See more at: Dorset Eye

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:

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!

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anon – somewhere in Dorset – Sunday 18th August

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!

Swanage Workers Forum – on Facebook.

swanWFSwanage Workers Forum

Forum for the workers of Swanage to air issues, seek help and advice. Membership of a Union is strongly recommended although not mandatory.

A place where you can learn what being a member of a Union can do for you

For most workers Swanage has a hire and fire low wage long hours economy servicing the tourist trade.

This forum is for workers who want to find how to organize in their own best interests. Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Islamaphobia or any form of prejudice will not be tolerated.

If you join this forum please be prepared to commit both time and resources, within reasonable limits and better the conditions for workers in the Swanage area.

Members from Wareham and the Greater Isle of Purbeck also welcome

Not in my back yard.

  

NIMBYs have a tendency to react with shock and surprise when they find there’s a bigger world out there and such proved the case with the Swanage flavour of this species on January 13th.

Apparently those nasty Eneco people are going to plonk a bloody great wind farm about 9 miles off the coast of Swanage, spoiling their sea views; of course it would be much better installed on someone else’s patch and it’s all a con and a conspiracy and inefficient blaah blaah blaah.

Of course Eneco are capitalists, and whilst we would prefer that sustainable energy was a resource built, owned and run by the community it will serve, and free at the point of delivery, that ain’t gonna happen right now.

Meantime the planet continues to cook and Dorset continues to get away with putting bugger all into the national grid, freeloading off of the working class communities that live in the shadow of coal, gas, oil fired and nuclear power stations in other parts of the UK.

Imagine the look on their faces when hoards of fluffy greenies turned up at their little ‘we don’t want a wind farm in our twee little town’ demo on the 13th to put the case for sustainable energy, with windmills, carnival dragons, colourful kites and all the rest of it. The look on the collective NIMBY mug was priceless and their link hands protest, having been cobbled together by the usual hi-tech methods of shop window displays, word of mouth and a paragraph or two in the local rag was thrown into total disarray. They didn’t quite know how to deal with rightfully angry counter-demonstrators who forced them to look at such ungainly things as livid jugglers and musicians entertaining them.

Still, when their megatoff tory MP, man of the people Richard Grosvenor Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax (WTF!) turned up to dry their tears, reassuring them that their little bit of the planet was exempt from trying to arrest the effects of climate change, they felt a bit better and had a good shout at the fluffies who just juggled and sang a little more.

The NIMBY wannabe toffs retired to their clubs and bars, and discussed the fact that world was bit bigger than they thought it was; maybe they’d better widen their world vision and stop marrying their cousins if they are to have any stake in the future.

Challenge ‘Challenge Navitus’ on Swanage Sea Front.

save the fucking polar bears!On 13th January 2013 there is a demonstration on Swanage Sea Front by Challenge Navitus to protest against the siting of the Offshore wind farm that Navitus Bay Dev Ltd plan to develop off of the South Dorset Coast. This demonstration is a low key hand linking exercise to make their point, it is being co-ordinated by:

http://www.challengenavitus.co.uk/.

They are a very clever, well organised, and well-funded group that can quote all kinds of technical reasons why this wind farm shouldn’t go ahead but the whole objection boils down to NIMBYism in the end.

It would be nice if their was a carnival type response to this demonstration to try to make the case for renewables and for Dorset to play its part in the drive to sustainability. If you support this concept come and take part in a peaceful and happy rally to put the other side of the case; invite your friends and networks. If you’d like to get in touch use the contact form and we’ll forward to the organisers. This is no one organisation’s action but a federation of activist groups that support a more urgent drive to renewables.

https://www.facebook.com/events/111474079018411/

All attending parties please meet at the Mowlem Theatre at 10.45am.

Anti-fascist Network Supporters’ statement and flyers.

Anti-fascist Network Supporters’ statement and flyers.