Eighty years ago: Malaga, Jarama and Guadalajara.

The story so far: Madrid has been saved a second time by the Working Class, no thanks to the government which fled to Valencia. Durruti is dead, his column decimated, the remainder face militarisation and dispersal. Prime minister Largo Caballero has devoted his energies to re-establishing the power of the state in the republican zone, and Stalin’s grip tightens on it. The Russians have arrived, and so have thousands of foreign antifascists. The following lines from ‘The Authority of the Bootmaker’ by Mal Content.

The fall of Malaga to Italy on the 8th of February 1937 gave the dictator his excuse to unseat Caballero. Malaga suffered from the same government prejudice as Catalonia, agriculture on the coastal strip was mostly collectivised and the city had been held by Confederal militia, only three-quarters of whom were armed; they had sixteen artillery pieces in total. The government’s military representative was Communist fellow-traveller Colonel Villalba, whose incompetence on the Huesca front had inflicted significant losses on the Durruti Column. Weeks of fascist build-up in the surrounding countryside had been ignored. Mussolini’s Blackshirts, nine mechanised battalions worth, descended from the hills to the North and West in little turretless tanks and armoured cars. They were accompanied by thousands of African legionnaires and Carlist Requetés, supported by a hundred aircraft, three Spanish cruisers and the German battleship Admiral Graf Spee. The city had to be evacuated; some ten thousand prisoners were executed while four thousand refugees died on the hundred and fifty mile march to Almeria, simultaneously bombarded from land, sea and air. A nationalist officer wrote:

“During the first week, when no-one could enter Malaga, four thousand were shot. They were shot down in groups by machine-guns on the Playa del Palo. Later on, courts martial were set up. At dizzying speed, people were tried – if that is the right word – in groups of fifty to seventy. In this fashion, by the third month of Malaga’s liberation (sic) ten thousand people had perished.”

– Antonio Bahamonde y Sanchez de Castro: ‘Un Ano de Queipo: Memorias de un Nacionalista’

The reprisals continued for years, in August 1944 the death toll stood at twenty thousand as reported by the nationalist administration to the British consul. I could speculate that the liberal democracies’ indifference to the systematic extermination of non-combatants may have encouraged the Nazis to press ahead with their own genocide; it certainly did nothing to put them off.

The Communists claimed the defeat was due to treachery, and they may well have been right*. Villalba was arrested but swiftly released; the under-secretary of war, General Asensio, one of the few who had failed to join the party, was variously accused of incompetence and duplicity, and Caballero had defended him. He succumbed to the pressure, but his replacement was a left-wing socialist.

*Was Villalba a ‘fifth columnist’ who regretted getting stuck on the republican side? He was allowed to return to Spain after the war, and claim a Colonel’s pension; had he ever been of any use to the Republic he would undoubtedly have been shot. He seriously undermined the Aragon front from the start, when he prevailed on the anarchists to delay the assault on Zaragoza until it was too late. Did he sacrifice Malaga on Franco’s or Stalin’s orders? Or was he just an arsehole?

The Nationalists then sought to cut the road from Madrid to Valencia, which required skirting the south of the city and crossing the valley of the Jarama River. The action was intended to coincide with an attack on Guadalajara by the Italians but they weren’t ready so Franco went ahead anyway. Beginning on the 5th February the Army of Africa with a German armoured company surprised and overran Republican forces on the West bank. They defended their positions to the death, but by the 8th, the Western heights were in fascist hands. The river crossing on the 11th was led by Moroccan commandos who killed the sentries, immediately followed by cavalry that engaged the XIV International Brigade. Another column crossed the Arganda Bridge, which failed to collapse when its charges were detonated, but was halted by the Garibaldi Battalion of the XII I.B. German and Russian aircraft clashed overhead, the Russians retaining control.

The Eastern side was reinforced by the recently formed XV I.B. of British, Irish, Francophone and Balkan volunteers. The British Battalion went into action here for the first time. Things didn’t get off to an auspicious start; their commander Wilf McCartney was accidentally shot by the Brigade Commissar Peter Kerrigan (the Comintern’s British delegate) before they left their base at Madrigueras. McCartney was invalided out so Tom Wintringham took over. The first deployment of the XV was a cock-up; they were poorly equipped, had no maps and had not been told the enemy had already crossed the river, so they came under fire as soon as they began to descend the valley. The machine-gun company found it had been given the wrong ammunition. The truck carrying the replacement batch broke down, and when it arrived, the cartridges had to be belted by hand. The ridge of land that became known as ‘suicide hill’ was continuously swept with fascist machine gun fire, it was held for hours against terrific odds by one of the three infantry companies, led by I.R.A. veteran Kit Conway, who died there.

“Reaching the crest of the hills overlooking the valley and the river, the three companies of the Battalion met the full force of the Fascist advance. Up the slopes long lines of Moors and Foreign Legionnaires surged forward under cover of artillery and machine gun fire, threatening to sweep all before them. No one in his senses could have conceived that this line of riflemen could hold up that onslaught for more than a few minutes. And behind them? Nothing. A clear field down to Arganda, Morata and the Madrid road.

But men who had come hundreds of miles to fight, sustained by an understanding of the cause for which they are fighting, do not act in the way prescribed by the military textbooks. Rapidly deploying in open formation, the Battalion went into the attack against the advancing Moors. The Fascist troops faltered, then hastily dropped down to cover. Only the sheer audacity of this handful of men could have achieved this. Had the Fascist officers been aware of the true position on our side, they would have overwhelmed the Battalion by sheer superiority of arms and numbers.”

– George Leeson, antifascist: ‘Spain Today, February 1947.

The ridge was eventually abandoned, but as luck would have it, just as the fascists came over the top the machine-gunners managed to get re-supplied and mowed them all down. The following day’s chaotic infantry retreat left the machine-gun company exposed and most were captured. Forty infantrymen then charged the position, of whom six survived. On the third day fascist tanks pushed the line back to the road, it was ‘shit or bust’. Frank Ryan and Jock Cunningham gathered the survivors to counter attack, leading them in a chorus of the ‘Internationale’:

“Some were still straggling down the slopes from what had been up to an hour ago, the front line. And now, there was no line, nothing between the Madrid road and the Fascists but disorganised groups, of weary, war-wrecked men. After three days of terrific struggle, the superior numbers, the superior armament of the Fascists had routed them. All, as they came back, had similar stories to tell: of comrades dead, of conditions that were more than flesh and blood could stand, of weariness they found hard to resist.

I recognised the young Commissar of the Spanish Company. His hand bloody where a bullet had grazed the palm, he was fumbling nevertheless with his automatic, in turn threatening and pleading with his men. I got Manuel to calm him, and to tell him we would rally everyone in a moment. As I walked along the road to see how many men we had, I found myself deciding that we should go back up the line of the road to San Martín de la Vega, and take the Moors on their left flank. Groups were lying about on the roadside, hungrily eating oranges that had been thrown to them by a passing lorry. This was no time to sort them into units. I noted with satisfaction that some had brought down spare rifles. I found my eyes straying always to the hills we had vacated. I hitched a rifle to my shoulder.

They stumbled to their feet. No time for barrack-square drill. One line of four. ‘Fall in behind us.’ A few were still on the grass bank beside the road, adjusting helmets and rifles. ‘Hurry up!’ came the cry from the ranks. Up the road towards the Cook-House I saw Jock Cunningham assembling another crowd. We hurried up, joined forces. Together we two marched at the head. Whatever popular writers may say, neither your Briton nor your Irishman is an exuberant type. Demonstrativeness is not his dominating trait. The crowd behind us was marching silently. The thoughts in their minds could not be inspiring ones. I remembered a trick of the old days when we were holding banned demonstrations. I jerked my head back: Sing up, ye sons o’guns!

– Frank Ryan: ‘The Book of the 15th Brigade’ 1938.

The one hundred and forty volunteers who marched back up the road to suicide hill did not all speak the same language, but everyone knew the tune; to compensate for their lack of numbers they engaged the enemy with a high rate of fire. Evidently the Fascists had not expected to see the routed Brigaders again, and presuming them to be reinforcements, fell back. The breach in the front was filled overnight and did not move for two years. To their right the Dimitrov and Thälmann Battalions held off the frontal assault on their own positions.

There were several costly counter attacks that failed to shift the Nationalist lines significantly, Lister’s fifth regiment advancing across open ground in broad daylight took fifty percent casualties, the North American and Irish Abraham Lincoln Battalion fared no better under similar conditions, their first engagement immortalised in the last words of poet Charlie Donnelly: “Even the olives are bleeding”. Jarama seriously undermined the morale of the International Brigades; they were used as expendable shock troops by inexperienced Communist generals who wanted propaganda victories. A month of bloodshed left both sides entrenched in a stalemate reminiscent of the Western front.

It’s fair to say the republic suffered from a lack of military experience, the Spanish metropolitan army had been little more than a dining club, only those officers who had been to Africa had ever seen combat, or even been on manouvres. Their tactics were from old French textbooks* or gleaned from the First World War, to which they had been spectators. The Russian officers were mostly young and equally untested, as the Red Army was being purged. Their authoritarian culture stifled initiative and they were under strict instructions not to risk capture. The best of the I.B.s were those like the Irish, with recent battle experience, or veterans of the Great War.

*To the extent that Franco believed they were receiving training from the French armed forces.

Flushed with the carnage at Malaga, Mussolini planned a showcase for fascist Italy’s martial prowess; sending his Blackshirts to cut off Madrid to the North East at Guadalajara. Instead they took such a shafting as to acquire a reputation for military incompetence and retreat that outlived his regime. Instrumental in their downfall was the Garibaldi battalion of the 12th I.B., exiled Italian antifascists with a score to settle. On the 8th of March the motorised infantry swarmed into the pass in their fleet of little tankettes. With about five to one numerical superiority they initially made rapid progress but were slowed by bad weather and boggy ground. The vehicles began to get stuck and their air support was grounded whilst the Republican air force benefitted from the concrete runway at Albacete. The 14th division led by the Madrid bricklayer Cipriano Mera counterattacked. The rout at Guadalajara guaranteed Mussolini’s continued support for Franco, to save face, it also led to the latter rescinding Blackshirt military autonomy and caused observers to re-think their strategy regarding mechanised infantry. At the same time, in their capacity as members of the non-intervention committee, Italian and German navies blockaded the Mediterranean coast; the only supply route left to the Republic was across the Pyrenees, and the French were all over that.

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.

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.

dalek

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

Dorset Eye.

BBC News

Swindon solidarity with Calais.

image_1Our comrades of Swindon Anarchists have been involved in sending much-needed aid and solidarity to refugees stuck in Calais.

On the 24th of October, members of Swindon Anarchists, including SolFed members, took 3 vehicles crammed with supplies to the refugee camps of Calais. As numbers at the camp swelled to over 6,000, the group decided we had a responsibility to offer what solidarity we could to men, women and children forced into cramped, cold and unhygienic conditions just for seeking a life free of war, persecution, poverty and hunger. As well as hoping to improve material conditions in the camp, we reject the concept of national borders, embrace freedom of movement for all and support all those whose circumstances have forced them into conflict with the border regime, the political class and their stooges in uniform.

From the start of our campaign, we worked closely with Swindon People’s Assembly, who offered us invaluable support in raising funds and donations as well as organising a strong and well attended demonstration in Swindon town centre in support of refugees and migrants. We would also like to offer massive thanks to Swindon Pulse, who promoted our campaign, donated much needed supplies and acted as a drop off point for donations. We were also offered useful advice and practical support from Swindon-Calais Solidarity, who have been doing invaluable work in Calais for months. Read full report on SolFed dot org

If you can, a donation to cover their expenses would be really helpful! – Swindon chippenham aid to Calais

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

Join the international week of solidarity with self-managed VIOME against the auction of the premises

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Foto: Andrés Lofiego

As a result of the legal battle waged against the workers of the occupied self-managed VIOME factory in Thessaloniki, Greece, the state-appointed trustee is now organising a series of auctions with the aim of liquidating the plot of land on which the VIOME factory is located. A possible sale of the land would create the legal ground for evicting the workers from the factory. Although the workers and the solidarity assembly are decided to stand their ground and defend the factory in all eventualities, the auction process represents a threat and it requires mobilisation in order to be prevented. A first step is to block, through direct action, the first such auction that is programmed for November 26th. This is why we reach out to you, to ask for help and mobilisation to put pressure on the government to satisfy the long-standing demands of the VIOME workers for legalisation of their activity, by expropriating the factory and granting it to the VIOME workers’ cooperative, which will operate it in a horizontal and self-managed way, as it has been doing for 3 years now.

We appeal for an international week of solidarity, from November 17 to 24. Facebook.

We urge you to sign the below resolution by returning your details (name, collective, place) to protbiometal@gmail.com, or even better, hand it in to the nearest Greek embassy or consulate demanding that it is transferred to the Greek Ministry of Labour. We welcome any international acts of solidarity, especially ones that involve non-violent direct action towards Greek embassies worldwide.

We urge you to organise screenings of the below 30-minute documentary by D.Azzellini and O.Ressler, detailing the struggle of VIOME through interviews and participation in its assemblies (English subtitles included). Write to us if you want a good quality copy. You can send us announcements of your events, and/or photos to be uploaded to VIOME´s website, to protbiometal@gmail.com, thank you for your support,

The Assembly of Solidarity to the Struggle of VIOME for Self-management.

RESOLUTION:

After being abandoned by the employers, the Factory of VIOME has been operating for nearly 3 years under workers’ control, through self-management by the workers’ assembly. Today, it constitutes an internationally emblematic struggle, which demonstrates that the real response to the crisis that leaves millions in poverty and unemployment is workers’ emancipation and a productive reconstruction based on society´s initiative and creativity.

The workers of VIOME, through the production of natural cleaning products in the premises of the occupied Factory, have proposed a new mode of production that responds to the needs of society, against exploitative labour relations and the drive for endless accumulation of capital.

Unfortunately, despite the promises of a series of governments to legitimise this important example of workers’ self-management, the workers of VIOME are now facing legal procedures that could lead to the liquidation of the factory premises and could threaten the continuation of the factory’s production.

We, the undersigned collectives and individuals, support the struggle of the workers of VIOME for employment, dignity and freedom against the judicial system that blindly serves the interests of the powerful.

We stand by their side in their decision to defend their productive endeavour by any means possible.

We warn the Greek authorities and the powerful business interests that oppose the VIOME struggle that an attack on VIOME is an attack on us all.

We demand that the Greek government stops the auction of the VIOME premises and that it offers a definitive solution by expropriating the land and granting it to the workers, on the condition that the factory keep operating under workers’ control and horizontal decision making.

We state clearly that we will not allow anyone to grab the factory from its legitimate owners, that is, the workers and the wider community. We will support this struggle in every step along the way.

The workers of VIOME will prevail, since they fight for the just cause of dignity and self-determination!

Occupy, Resist, Produce: VIOME / ΚΑΤΑΛΗΨΗ-ΑΝΤΙΣΤΑΣΗ-ΠΑΡΑΓΩΓΗ: ΒΙΟΜΕ

And here’s the film:

VIOME is a building materials factory in Thessaloniki, Greece, which was abandoned by its owners at the peak of the Greek crisis, in 2011. Subsequently it was occupied by its workers, and has been producing natural detergents under workers’ control since 2013. Despite being an emblematic and inspiring struggle, today VIOME is under imminent threat of eviction. Find out how you can get involved and be part of the struggle at viome.org

This is the third in a series of short documentaries on the self-managed factories of Europe made by militant film-makers Dario Azzellini and Oliver Ressler. Find the other two here:

Occupy, Resist, Produce – RiMaflow


Occupy, Resist, Produce – Officine Zero

You are free to organise screenings in your town and use this film for any non-commercial purpose.

The closing video clip is “At utopia’s fiesta” by Greek militant hip-hop collective Social Waste. It was filmed at the factory of VIOME. See the full version here:

Message from Riseup, please support, we’d be buggered without them.

Dear Riseup Users,

Hello to you, and you, and you! This is our yearly user fundraising drive where we hope you will donate to Riseup and keep us going for our sixteenth year of existence. It has been a wild year of leaks around government and corporate spying, and while we finally don’t have to have boring conversations with everyone to prove why we exist, we are also serving a huge number of new users who became fed up with corporate services. Add to that the costs of doing some major security upgrades to our system, and, well, we really need money.

Donate

First though, here’s how we see our work at Riseup: there are many beautiful and important projects in this long march toward freedom and justice, and we are one tiny but important piece that provides the right for people and organizations to whisper. Not everyone needs privacy all the time, but organizing against dictators, running direct action campaigns against corporations, and journalistic autonomy are just a few places where privacy is essential. This, as we know, is hugely under attack. The way Riseup fights this is by providing good security embedded in our services all the time, so that when you do need privacy you don’t have to change your modes of communication (though you may want to use other security measures too, like GPG).

The Riseup collective loves building alternative tech infrastructures that at its roots are smart about surveillance and security. We love providing help services to troubleshoot any problems or questions you have. We love spending our Saturdays tinkering and upgrading at the hot and buzzing room where are servers live, and then going home smelling like heavy metals. As an act of mutual aid, we don’t charge for our services, even though they cost a lot in time and money. Therefore, we depend on those of you who can to donate money. Time and time again, you all have been amazingly generous in supporting us. This year we need $75,000 USD to cover our server and labor costs.

So, hello to you, yes you, with the big heart and dreams! Any donation is wonderful, but may we suggest a **recurring monthly contribution of $5-25 USD or a one-time donation of $15-$100?** That would be huge.

When you give to Riseup, know that you are also supporting a large portion of our users who rely on our services and are not in a position to give us money. Lots of folks live in the Global South, ie countries financially plundered by imperialism and neoliberalism, and we’d rather they donate to more local tech collectives. Likewise, lots of people deal with the ravages of poverty. We aren’t expecting or asking any of you to donate. But for everyone else who can throw a little mutual aid our way, your money not only supports our work, but the huge base of activists we support.

And, last, please know that we don’t ask for donations lightly. For anyone with money to give, there are so many places for it to go. If you can give to us, know that every dollar goes to collective members and/or our bills. We’ll be bugging you with some more emails over the next month, not because this is our idea of fun, but we really want to keep being part of the vital global struggles that you all are part of, too.

Love,

The Riseup Birds

There are many ways to give us money! Bitcoins! Gold dubloons! Or, you know, Paypal or wire transfers.

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!

East London Rising

AANThe Anarchist Action Network is appealing for funds to help it put on a temporary anarchist space in East London during the first week of August 2015.

The network, which consists of individuals and autonomous local groups, based in towns and cities across the UK and further afield, says: “During the first week of August we plan to rent a space in East London, give away free food every day and hold workshops, talks and discussions about anarchism, anti-capitalism, anti-racism, feminism, ecology, housing, austerity, workplace and claimant struggles.”

The event follows the AAN’s Newport Rising event last year – see this report on indymedia.

To donate what you can to help make East London Rising happen, go to http://gogetfunding.com/east-london-rising

Mayday events 2015.

We’ll probably add more as we hear of them, send us yours!

Why we celebrate May Day.

chicagoanarchists

Bristol: May Day Demo – Combat Workfare with Bristol Anarchist Federation Friday 1st may.

BAFmayda

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)

SWA_8x3

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!

Fuckboris
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

Noexpolittle

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:

maynewc

Autonomy Films and Bridport UNITE Community Group film show Saturday 28th March 6:45 for 7:30pm

1503 Sell Off

Other Events locally

19th March 2015.

Film – Life in Hebron. 7:30pm St Catharine’s Hall, Park Road, Frome BA11 1EU. Bradford on Avon friends of Palestine. £3 Proceeds go to bringing the Freedom Theatre of Jenin to Frome.

21st March.

Demonstration – UN Anti-Racism Day. Assemble 12 noon at the Town Pump, march to the war memorial and brief rally. Dorchester, Weymouth and Portland TUC, Unite Against Fascism Dorset Socialists and Dorset IWW.

CAAT conference. 10am – 5pm, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL, UK £7 waged / £3 unwaged (Includes tea, coffee and a light vegetarian lunch).

24th March. Talk – Democracy and War Today. 7:30pm, Minster Rooms, Ilminster. South Somerset Peace Group. All welcome – £3 appreciated, including tea/coffee.

25th March. Public First – Local democracy petition, signature gathering, South Street, Dorchester.

28th March. Disco – Frolic for the NHS at the Con Club, North Street, Bridport 9.30pm.

2nd April. Transition Town Bridport – Talk with Carloine Walker ‘The Circular Economy’. WI, North Street, Bridport. 7.30pm. £3 or £1+2Nets.

8th April. From Page to Screen – The Grapes of Wrath. 11am Bridport Arts Centre. £6/£4.

14th April. Hustings with all local electoral candidates, on human rights and general issues at Woodroffe School, Lyme Regis 7pm

15th April. Hustings with all local electoral candidates, on environmental issues at Thomas Hardy School, Dorchester 7.30pm

An open letter to John Harris, photographer, from a participant in the Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle.

We would like to point out that these comments are in no way related to John Harris Photography of Norwich.
Stick with horses head handle
Background

Those who were at last year’s Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival may recall an attack on the Radical Workers’ Bloc stall. The RWB is an annual celebration of class struggle anarchism focussing on Sunday’s march. For the past two years a collective of libertarian groups has manned a stall acting as a meeting point and a distro for literature and other items for which we will accept donations in the hope of covering our costs. We don’t actually sell anything ourselves although we’ve carried stock for our comrades of Freedom Books, Hunt Saboteurs Association, Anti Fascist Network and Solidarity Federation, the proceeds from which went directly to those bodies.

Insofar as any transaction takes place, it is between the bloc’s supporters and South West TUC who provide us with a pitch for sixty of your English pounds (debt tokens, beer vouchers, symbols of the state’s monopoly on coercive force or whatever you conceive money to represent). That pic of Lesley Boulton at Orgreave has been widely shared on this 30th anniversary of the Miners’ Strike; it’s all over the Internet, in all forms from thumbnail to posterised to high definition. Anyone can click ‘print’ ‘save’ ‘share’ or ‘retweet’ on one of these images, and countless thousands do. We had a couple of them on display though we couldn’t say for sure whether any changed hands. Imagine our (W.S.) astonishment when the following message was received through our contact form:

Name: John Harris
Email: info@reportdigital.co.uk
Comment: If I catch you selling or using my pictures from Orgreave without my permission I will be after you! Pastpixels & OTJC have my permission.
Unlike some we do not have a private income & have to earn money to reproduce ourselves so my family can eat & we can carry on taking pictures
I hope that is something you can understand!
Thanks
John Harris/reportdigital.co.uk

Here, a comrade who was present on the day, but did not witness the incident, makes reply:

“John Harris, you’re coming after us are you? Come on then. Your arrogance verges on self-parody, with your exclamation marks – are you stamping your little feet? You’ve provoked us with some hostile language but sadly there are no words in the English language rude enough to express our contempt for you. Were you ever a protagonist in the class war, or just a tourist? We have within our ranks photojournalists who have risked life and limb to document social struggles the world over, not just to make money. Whatever you may or may not have achieved in your life you have just pissed all over it.

The field of Orgreave, on which working class heroes shed their blood, and the near-execution of a fellow photographer, provided you with the photo opportunity on which you have been dining out for three decades. Those workers fought to reproduce themselves and feed their families, and many have struggled to do so ever since, whilst you have made – who knows? Enough to show for a day’s work?

On the 30th anniversary of that great conflict, you stand, not facing the enemy, but facing your own Class petulantly demanding your royalties. You are the living embodiment of the self-serving moral bankruptcy that defeated the 20th century left.

As to your puerile threat, we fervently hope you mean it, but we suspect what you actually intend to do is invoke the bourgeois concept of litigation in defence of the bourgeois concept of property.

John Harris, do your worst, win, lose or draw the actual working class doesn’t give an actual fuck.”

– Jo Gonmush.

Two more direct action successes, together we win!

together we winRotting house, rotten landlord.

We were just about to share Bristol Solidarity Network’s call out for another comm’s blockade against Jabbar Mohammed of Central Estate Agency and the slum landlord Ernie Biela, this time over a ‘missing’ £800 deposit. After a bit of buck-passing between landlord and agency the deposit has been ‘found’. Solnet have received an email from CEA with a deposit protection certificate attached. We still have a fight on for the necessary repairs, so watch this space for updates.

Recently we asked for solidarity for a long-serving housing association employee whose place of work had been moved miles away from his home and his pay slashed making the job unsustainable for him. Another win. Mike is being made redundant, as he requested, and thanks all those who participated.

We received the following inspirational message from him:

“I could never accept what is fundamentally unjust. I would advise anyone in a similar position to stoke up the fire in the belly and keep fighting. Do not be divided, Don’t accept what is unjust or it will become the norm. Thanks again for the support. M”

You see, it works! We recommend you join a solidarity network or get together with your friends, colleagues and neighbours and start your own, link up with the rest of us. We can help you fight, all we ask is you do the same for others. There is strength in numbers. Wage theft, bad housing, police harassment, bullying at work, evictions, workfare, deportations, racism, sexism, homophobia, all can be resisted.

Please take a moment to support ZSP union members at Amazon.

Click here to send a message to the exploiter.

For better working conditions in Amazon!

Support the struggle of workers at two Amazon fulfillment centers in Poland for better working conditions!
sad_amazonAs the Amazon workers in UK, France and Germany have organized themselves and have even gone on strike, Amazon decided it would be profitable for them to find a cheaper workforce, more desperate for employment. They opened two centers in Poland, where the wages are only a quarter of those in Germany. The warehouse mostly services orders for other countries, especially Germany.

The working conditions are even worse than in other countries. Not only the low pay and long hours. Some Amazon workers, especially those hired by agencies, complain of a number of problems including late payments, incorrect payments, not having the mandatory health insurance payments, etc. etc. There is also the matter of workers in one center having a higher rate than in the other.

Click here to send a message to the exploiter.

Message from riseup: Security is not a crime.

View on Riseup dot net: [en] [es] [pt] [de] [fr] [it] [el] [ca]

[en] Security is not a crime

On Tuesday December 16th, a large police operation took place in the Spanish State. Fourteen houses and social centers were raided in Barcelona, Sabadell, Manresa, and Madrid. Books, leaflets, computers were seized and eleven people were arrested and sent to the Audiencia Nacional, a special court handling issues of “national interest”, in Madrid. They are accused of incorporation, promotion, management, and membership of a terrorist organisation. However, lawyers for the defence denounce a lack of transparency, saying that their clients have had to make statements without knowing what they are accused of. “[They] speak of terrorism without specifying concrete criminal acts, or concrete individualized facts attributed to each of them” [2]. When challenged on this, Judge Bermúdez responded: “I am not investigating specific acts, I am investigating the organization, and the threat they might pose in the future” [1]; making this yet another case of apparently preventative arrests.

Four of the detainees have been released, but seven have been jailed pending trial. The reasons given by the judge for their continued detention include the posession of certain books, “the production of publications and forms of communication”, and the fact that the defendants “used emails with extreme security measures, such as the RISE UP server” [2].

We reject this Kafka-esque criminalization of social movements, and the ludicrous and extremely alarming implication that protecting one’s internet privacy is tantamount to terrorism.

Riseup, like any other email provider, has an obligation to protect the privacy of its users. Many of the “extreme security measures” used by Riseup are common best practices for online security and are also used by providers such as hotmail, GMail or Facebook. However, unlike these providers, Riseup is not willing to allow illegal backdoors or sell our users’ data to third parties.

The European Parliament’s report on the US NSA surveillance program states that “privacy is not a luxury right, but the foundation stone of a free and democratic society” [3]. Recent revelations about the extent to which States violate everyone’s right to privacy show that everything that can be spied upon will be spied upon [4]. Furthermore, we know that criminalizing people for using privacy tools also has a chilling effect on everybody, and human-rights defenders, journalists, and activists, in particular. Giving up your basic right to privacy for fear of being flagged as a terrorist is unacceptable.

[es] La seguridad no es un crimen

El Jueves 16 de diciembre, una operación policial a gran escala tuvo lugar en el Estado Español. Catorce viviendas y centros sociales fueron registrados en Barcelona, Sabadell, Manresa, y Madrid. Libros, panfletos y ordenadores fueron requisados y once personas fueron arrestadas y enviadas a la Audiencia Nacional, un jurado especial para casos de “interés nacional”, in Madrid. Se les acusa de incorporación, promoción, gestión y participación de una organización terrorista. Sin embargo, abogadas de la defensa denuncian falta de transparencia, sus clientes han tenido que declarar sin saber de qué se les acusa. “Hablan de terrorismo sin especificar actos criminales concretos, o hechos concretos individuales atribuídos a cada una” [2]. Cuando fue questionado por esto, el Juéz Bermúdez respondió “No estoy investigando hechos específicos, estoy investigando la organización, y la amenaza que podrían suponer en el futuro” [1]; convirtiendo esto en un caso más de arresto preventivo en apariencia.

Cuatro de las detenidos han sido puestos en libertad, pero siete han sido encarcelados pendientes de juicio. Las razones que ha dado el juez para su detención prolongada incluye la posesión de ciertos libros, “la producción de publicaciones y formas de comuniación”, y el hecho que los defendidos “usan correos con medidas de seguridad extremas, como el servidor de Riseup” [2].

Nosotras rechazamos esta criminalización kafkiana de los movimientos sociales, y la absurda y extrema implicación de que proteger tu propia privacidad en Internet es equivalente a terrorismo.

Riseup, como cualquier proveedor de correo, tiene la obligación de proteger la privacidad de sus usuarias. Muchas de las “medidas de seguridad extremas” usadas por Riseup son buenas prácticas comunes para la seguridad online y son usadas a su vez por proveedores como hotmail, Gmail o Facebook. Sin embargo, a diferencia de estos proveedores, Riseup no está dispuesto a permitir puertas traseras ilegales o vender los datos de sus usuarias a terceras partes.

p. El informe del Parlamento Europeo sobre el programa de vigilancia de la NSA de EE.UU. Declara que “la privacidad no es un derecho de lujo, sino los cimientos de una sociedad libre y democrática” [3]. Revelaciones recientes sobre el alcance de la violación del derecho a la privacidad de todas por los Estados muestran que todo lo que se pueda espiar, será espiado [4]. Más aún, sabemos que criminalizar a las personas por usar herramientas de privacidad tiene un efecto escalofriante en todo el mundo, y en defensoras de Derechos Humanos, periodistas, y activistas en particular. Renunciar a tu derecho básico a la privacidad por el miedo a ser etiquetada como terrorista es inaceptable.

[pt] Segurança não é crime

Na terça-feira, 16 de dezembro, uma grande operação policial ocorreu no Estado Espanhol. Catorze casas e centros sociais foram invadidos em Barcelona, Sabadell, Manresa e Madrid. Livros, panfletos e computadores foram apreendidos e onze pessoas foram presas e enviadas para a Audiência Nacional, uma corte especial que cuida das questões de “interesse nacional”, em Madrid. Eles são acusados de incorporação, promoção, gestão e pertencimento de uma organização terrorista. No entanto, os advogados de defesa denunciaram a falta de transparência, dizendo que seus clientes tiveram que dar declarações sem saber pelo que estavam sendo acusados. “[Eles] falam de terrorismo sem especificar os atos criminais concretos ou fatos concretos individualizados atribuídos a cada um deles.”[2] Quando questionado sobre isso, o Juiz Bermúdez respondeu:”Eu não estou investigando atos específicos, eu estou investigando a organização e a ameaça que ela pode representar no futuro”[1]; tornando assim mais um caso de prisões aparentemente preventivas.

Quatro detidos foram soltos, mas sete estão presos aguardando o julgamento. A razão dada pelo juíz para continuar a detenção deles inclui a posse de certos livros, “a produção de publicações e formas de comunicação” e o fato de que os réus “usam emails com medidas extremas de segurança, como o servidor RISE UP”[2].

Nós rejeitamos esta criminalização kafkiana dos movimentos sociais e a implicação ridícula e extremamente alarmante de que proteger a sua privacidade na internet seja equivalente à terrorismo.

O Riseup, assim como qualquer outro provedor de email, possui a obrigação de proteger a privacidade de seus usuários. Muitas das “medidas extremas de segurança” usadas pelo Riseup são boas práticas comuns para a segurança online e são também usadas por provedores como hotmail, GMail ou Facebook. Entretanto, diferentemente desses provedores, o Riseup não está disposto a permitir a instalação de backdoors ilegais ou a vender os dados dos usuários para terceiros.

O relatório do Parlamento Europeu sobre o programa de vigilância da Agência de Segurança Nacional (NSA) dos Estados Unidos afirma que “a privacidade não é um direito de luxo, mas a pedra fundamental de uma sociedade livre e democrática”[3]. As revelações recentes sobre a extensão da violação pelos Estados do direito de todos à privacidade mostra que tudo que puder ser espionado será espionado[4]. Além disso, nós sabemos que a criminalização das pessoas por usarem ferramentas de privacidade também tem um efeito paralisante em todo mundo e, em especial, nos defensores de direitos humanos, jornalistas e ativistas. Abrir mão do seu direito básico à privacidade por medo de ser marcado como um terrorista é inaceitável.

[de] Sicherheit ist kein Verbrechen

Am Dienstag, den 16. Dezember fand im spanischen Staat eine große Polizeioperation statt. Vierzehn Häuser und soziale Zentren in Barcelona, Sabadell, Manresa und Madrid wurden durchsucht. Bücher, Flugblätter und Computer wurden beschlagnahmt, elf Menschen verhaftet und zur Audiencia Nacional verbracht, einem Sondergericht in Madrid, das für Anliegen “von nationalem Interesse” zuständig ist. Ihnen wird die Gründung, Bewerbung, Verwaltung und Mitgliedschaft in einer terroristischen Organisation vorgeworfen. Allerdings beklagen Anwält_innen der Verteidigung einen Mangel an Transparenz; ihnen zufolge wurden ihre Klient_innen zu Aussagen gezwungen ohne zu wissen, was ihnen vorgeworfen wird. “[Sie] sprechen von Terrorismus ohne konkrete kriminelle Handlungen zu benennen oder konkrete individualisierte Tatsachen, die den einzelnen zugeschrieben werden könnten” [2]. Als er damit konfrontiert wurde, reagierte Richter Bermúdez mit den Worten: “Ich untersuche nicht spezifische Handlungen, ich untersuche eine Organisation und die Bedrohung, die in Zukunft von ihr ausgehen könnte” [1]; damit handelt es sich um einen weiteren Fall anscheinend präventativer Verhaftungen.

Vier der Häftlinge wurden inzwischen freigelassen, sieben bleiben jedoch in Untersuchungshaft. Die Gründe, die vom Richter für ihre fortgesetzte Haft angegeben wurden, beinhalten den Besitz bestimmter Bücher, “die Herstellung von Publikationen und Formen der Kommunikation”, sowie die Tatsache dass die Angeklagten “eMail mit extremen Sicherheitsvorkehrungen verwendeten, so wie den RISE UP Server” [2].

Wir verurteilen diese kafkaeske Kriminalisierung sozialer Bewegungen und die irrsinnige und außerordentlich alarmierende Schlussfolgerung, den Schutz der eigenen Privatsphäre mit Terrorismus gleichzusetzen.

Wie jeder andere eMail-Provider hat Riseup die Pflicht, die Privatsphäre seiner Nutzer_innen zu schützen. Viele der “extremen Sicherheitsvorkehrungen”, die Riseup einsetzt, sind gängige Musterlösungen (sog. “Best Practices”), die auch von Providern wie hotmail, GMail oder Facebook eingesetzt werden. Anders als diese Provider ist Riseup allerdings nicht bereit, illegale Hintertüren zuzulassen oder die Daten ihrer Nutzer_innen an Dritte zu verkaufen.

Der Bericht des Europaparlaments über das US-amerikanische NSA-Überwachungsprogramm stellt fest, dass “das Recht auf Achtung der Privatsphäre kein Luxus ist, sondern einen Grundpfeiler der freien und demokratischen Gesellschaft darstellt” [3]. Die jüngsten Enthüllungen über das Ausmaß, in dem Staaten die Rechte aller Menschen auf Privatsphäre missachten, zeigen, dass alles was ausspioniert werden kann auch ausspioniert wird [4]. Darüberhinaus wissen wir, dass die Kriminalisierung einzelner weil sie Werkzeuge zum Schutz der Privatsphäre verwendet haben, eine Einschüchterungswirkung auf alle hat, und ganz besonders auf Menschenrechtsverteidiger_innen, Journalist_innen und Aktivist_innen. Das eigene Grundrecht auf Privatsphäre aufgeben zu müssen aus Angst, als Terrorist_in markiert zu werden, ist inakzeptabel.

[fr] La sécurité n’est pas un crime

Mardi 16 décembre, une opération policière d’envergure a eu lieu en Espagne. 14 domiciles et centres sociaux ont été perquisitionnés à Barcelone, Sabadell, Manresa et Madrid. Livres, brochures et ordinateurs ont été saisis. 11 personnes ont été arrêtées et déférées devant l’Audiencia Nacional espagnole, un haut tribunal à Madrid s’occupant des affaires d'”intérêt national”. Elles sont accusées de recrutement, promotion, organisation et appartenance à une organisation terroriste. Toutefois, les avocats de la défense dénoncent un manque de transparence, précisant que leurs client·es ont été interrogé·es sans savoir de quoi ils ou elles étaient accusé·es. “[Ils] parlent de terrorisme sans préciser les crimes reprochés, ni même les actes individuels attribués à chacun d’entre eux” [2]. Interrogé, le juge Bermúdez répond: “Je n’enquête pas sur des faits spécifiques, j’enquête sur l’organisation, et le danger qu’ils peuvent représenter à l’avenir” [1]; créant ainsi un nouvel exemple d’arrestation préventive.

Quatre des détenu·es ont été libéré·es, mais 7 restent en détention préventive pour leur procès à venir. Les motifs présentés par le juge pour leur incarcération sont la détention de certains livres, “la production de publications et de moyens de communication”, et le fait que les accusé·es “utilisent les emails avec des mesures de sécurité extrêmes, comme les serveurs RISE UP” [2].

Nous rejetons cette criminalisation kafkaïenne des mouvements sociaux, ainsi que l’implication que la protection de la vie privée sur internet est équivalente au terrorisme. Cela est absurde et extrêmement alarmant.

Riseup, comme d’autres fournisseurs de courrier électronique, a l’obligation de protéger la confidentialité de ses utilisateurs et utilisatrices. Beaucoup des “mesures de sécurité extrêmes” utilisées par Riesup sont de bonnes pratiques communément admises en termes de sécurité sur Internet et sont aussi utilisées par des fournisseurs de services comme hotmail, GMail ou Facebook. Toutefois, contrairement à ces fournisseurs, Riseup ne veut pas permettre la mise en place de portes dérobées illégales, ni vendre les données de ses utilisateurs et utilisatrices à des tierces parties.

Le rapport du parlement européen sur le programme de surveillance de la NSA “souligne que le respect de la vie privée n’est pas un droit de luxe, mais constitue la pierre angulaire d’une société libre et démocratique” [3]. Des révélations récentes sur l’étendue des violations de la vie privée par les États montrent que tout ce qui peut être épié le sera [4]. De plus, nous savons que la criminalisation de l’usage des outils de protection de la vie privée a un effet dissuasif sur toutes et tous, en particulier les défenseurs des droits humains, les journalistes et les activistes. Abandonner ses droits fondamentaux à la vie privée par peur d’être identifié·e comme terroriste est inacceptable.

[it] La sicurezza non è un crimine

Martedì 16 dicembre 2014 in Spagna si è svolta una vasta operazione di polizia. Quattordici tra case e centri sociali sono stati perquisiti a Barcellona, Sabadell, Manresa, e Madrid. Libri, riviste, e computer sono stati sequestrati e undici persone sono state arrestate e inviate alla Audiencia Nacional, il tribunale speciale con sede a Madrid che si occupa di casi di “interesse nazionale”. Sono accusati di aver costituito, promosso, diretto e partecipato a un’organizzazione terroristica. D’altra parte gl’avvocat* della difesa hanno denunciato la mancanza di trasparenza dell’accusa e hanno riferito che le persone che seguono sono state costrette a rilasciare dichiarazioni senza sapere di che cosa erano accusate in concreto. “Parlano di terrorismo senza specificare atti criminali concreti, o atti specifici attribuibili individualmente”[1]. Interrogato al riguardo, il giudice dell’udienza preliminare ha risposto: “Non sto indagando atti specifici, sto indagando l’organizzazione, e il pericolo che potrà rappresentare in futuro”[2], a dimostrare che si tratta dell’ennesimo caso di arresti preventivi.

Quattro degl’arrestat* sono stat* rilasciat*, mentre sette resteranno in carcere in attesa di giudizio. Tra le motivazioni del giudice per la custodia cautelare, si includono il possesso di alcuni libri, “la produzione di pubblicazioni e altre forme di comunicazione” e il fatto che gl’accusat* “utilizzassero caselle di posta con misure di sicurezza eccezionali, come il server RISE UP”[2].

Rifiutiamo questa criminalizzazione kafkiana dei movimenti sociali e l’implicazione ridicola ed estremamente allarmante che proteggere la propria privacy su Internet equivalga a un atto terroristico.

Riseup, come ogni altro fornitore di servizi di posta, è obbligata a proteggere la riservatezza dei suoi utenti. Molte delle “misure di sicurezza eccezionali” usate da Riseup sono buone pratiche invalse nel campo della sicurezza in rete e sono le stesse che vengono usate da provider come Hotmail, Gmail o Facebook. D’altra parte, a differenza di questi servizi, Riseup si rifiuta di inserire backdoor illegali o di vendere i dati dei propri utenti a terze parti.

Il rapporto del parlamento europeo sul programma di sorveglianza della NSA statunitense dichiara che “la privacy non è un diritto di lusso, ma il primo fondamento di una società libera e democratica”[3]. Le recenti rivelazioni sulla portata delle violazioni del diritto alla privacy da parte degli stati dimostrano che tutto ciò che può essere intercettato sarà intercettato[4]. Inoltre sappiamo che criminalizzare chi usa gli strumenti di difesa della privacy ha l’effetto di una doccia fredda su tutti, e in particolare su difensor* dei diritti umani, giornalist* e attivist*. Rinunciare ai propri diritti fondamentali per paura di essere segnalati come terroristi è inaccettabile.

[el] Η ασφάλεια δεν είναι έγκλημα

Την Τρίτη 16 Δεκέμβρη μια μεγάλη αστυνομική επιχείρηση έλαβε χώρα στο ισπανικό κράτος. Έγιναν εισβολές της αστυνομίας σε δεκατέσσερα σπίτια και κοινωνικά κέντρα στις πόλεις Barcelona, Sabadell, Manresa, και Madrid. Κατασχέθηκαν βιβλία, φυλλάδια, υπολογιστές και συνελήφθησαν έντεκα άνθρωποι και μεταφέρθηκαν στη Μαδρίτη, στο “Audiencia Nacional” ένα ειδικό δικαστήριο που χειρίζεται υποθέσεις “εθνικού ενδιαφέροντος”. Οι άνθρωποι αυτοί κατηγορούνται για σύσταση, προώθηση, διεύθυνση και συμμετοχή σε τρομοκρατική οργάνωση. Παρόλα αυτά, οι συνήγοροι υπεράσπισης θέτουν ζήτημα έλλειψης διαφάνειας, αναφέροντας πως οι πελάτες τους έπρεπε να απολογηθούν χωρίς να γνωρίζουν συγκεκριμένα τις κατηγορίες που τους αποδίδονται. “Μιλάνε για τρομοκρατία χωρίς να ορίζουν συγκεκριμένες εγκληματικές πράξεις ή συγκεκριμένα εξατομικευμένα γεγονότα για κάθε μια και έναν από αυτούς (στμ τους κατηγορούμενους)” [2]. Όταν ο δικαστής Bermúdez ήρθε αντιμέτωπος με αυτό τον ισχυρισμό, απάντησε: “Δεν ερευνώ συγκεκριμένες πράξεις, ερευνώ την οργάνωση και την απειλή που μπορεί να συνιστά στο μέλλον” [1], καθιστώντας την επιχείρηση αυτή άλλη μια υπόθεση προληπτικών συλλήψεων.

Τέσσερις από τους προσαχθέντες έχουν αφεθεί ελεύθεροι, αλλά επτά παραμένουν φυλακισμένοι και αναμένουν τη δίκη. Η αιτιολογία που δόθηκε από το δικαστή για την παράταση της κράτησής τους, περιλαμβάνει μεταξύ άλλων την κατοχή συγκεκριμένων βιβλίων, “την παραγωγή εκδόσεων και μορφών επικοινωνίας”, και το γεγονός ότι οι κατηγορούμενοι “χρησιμοποιούσαν email με εξαιρετικό επίπεδο ασφάλειας όπως ο RISE UP server [2].

Εμείς απορρίπτουμε την καφκική εγκληματοποίηση των κοινωνικών κινημάτων, και το γελοίο αλλά και εξαιρετικά ανησυχητικό συμπέρασμα ότι η προστασία της ιδιωτικότητάς μας στο διαδίκτυο ισοδυναμεί με τρομοκρατία.

Το Riseup, όπως κάθε άλλος πάροχος email, έχει την υποχρέωση να προστατεύει την ιδιωτικότητα των χρηστών του. Πολλά από τα “εξαιρετικά μέτρα ασφάλειας” που χρησιμοποιούνται από τη Riseup είναι κοινές βέλτιστες επιλογές για την ασφάλεια στο διαδίκτυο και χρησιμοποιούνται από παρόχους όπως το hotmail, το GMail ή το Facebook. Παρόλα αυτά, σε αντίθεση με αυτούς τους παρόχους, το Riseup δεν είναι διατεθειμένο να επιτρέψει παράνομες “πίσω πόρτες” ή να πουλήσει τα δεδομένα των χρηστών σε τρίτους.

Η έκθεση του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου σε σχέση με τα προγράμματα επιτήρησης της NSA των ΗΠΑ αναφέρει ότι “η ιδιωτικότητα δεν είναι δικαίωμα πολυτελείας, αλλά ο θεμέλιος λίθος για μια ελεύθερη και δημοκρατική κοινωνία” [3]. Οι πρόσφατες αποκαλύψεις σχετικά με την έκταση της παραβίασης από τις ΗΠΑ του δικαιώματος όλων μας στην ιδιωτικότητα, δείχνουν ότι οτιδήποτε μπορεί να είναι αντικείμενο παρακολούθησης θα παρακολουθείται [4]. Επιπλέον, γνωρίζουμε ότι η εγκληματοποίηση όσων χρησιμοποιούν εργαλεία για τη διαφύλαξη της ιδιωτικότητας έχει αρνητικές συνέπεις για όλους, και ειδικά για αυτές που προασπίζονται τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα, δημοσιογράφους και ακτιβιστές. Η παραίτηση από το δικαίωμά μας στην ιδιωτικότητα υπό το φόβο του να μαρκαριστούμε ως τρομοκράτες είναι μη αποδεκτή.

[ca] La seguretat no és cap delicte

Dijous 16 de desembre, una operació policial a gran escala es va dur a terme a l’Estat Espanyol. Catorze vivendes i centres socials van ser escorcollats a Barcelona, Sabadell, Manresa, i Madrid. Llibres, pamflets i ordinadors van ser requisats i onze persones van ser arrestades i portades a l’Audiència Nacional, a Madrid. Se’ls acusa d’incorporació, promoció, gestió i participació d’una organització terrorista. No obstant això, advocats de la defensa denuncien la falta de transparència, els seus clients han hagut de declarar sense saber de que se’ls acusa. “parlen de terrorisme sense especificar tipus delictius concrets ni fets concrets individualitzats que se’ls imputen.”[2] Al ser qüestionat per periodistes, el Jutge Bermúdez va respondre “no investigo els possibles atemptats, jo investigo l’organització i el que poden ser de perill per al futur”;[1] convertint això en un cas més de detenció preventiva en apariència.

Quatre de les detingudes han estat posades en llibertat, però set estan empresonades pendents del judici. Les raons donades pel jutge per prolongar la detenció inclouen la possessió d’alguns llibres, “la producció de publicacions i formes de comunicació”, i el fet de que les acusades “utilitzessin correus electrònics amb extremes mesures de seguretat, com ara el servidor Rise Up.”[2]

Nosaltres rebutgem aquesta criminalització kafkiana dels moviments socials, i l’absurda i extrema implicació de que protegir la teva pròpia privacitat a Internet és equivalent a terrorisme. Riseup, com qualsevol proveïdor de correu, té l’obligació de protegir la privacitat dels seus usuaris. Moltes de les “mesures extremes de seguretat” utilitzades per Riseup son bones pràctiques comuns per a la seguretat online i són emprades alhora per proveïdors com hotmail, Gmail o Facebook. No obstant això, a diferència d’aquests proveïdors, Riseup no està disposat a permetre «backdoors» il·legals o vendre les dades dels seus usuaris a tercers.

L’informe del Parlament Europeu sobre el programa de vigilància de la NSA d’ EE.UU. Declara que “la privacitat no és un dret de luxe, si no els fonaments d’una societat lliure i democràtica.”[3] Revelacions recents sobre l’abast de la violació del dret a la privacitat de totes pels Estats, mostra que tot el que es pot espiar, serà espiat.[4] Més encara, sabem que criminalitzar a les persones per utilitzar eines de privacitat té un efecte esgarrifós a tot el món, i entre els defensors dels Drets Humans, periodistes, i activistes en particular. Renunciar al teu dret bàsic de privacitat per la por de ser etiquetada com a terrorista és inacceptable.

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!

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.

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

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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.

One Commercial Street, One Door For All! Every Wednesday 6-7 p.m. until they give in.

The Lucy Parsons banner.

The Lucy Parsons banner.

As the gentrification and Class/ethnic cleansing of London proceeds apace the people have drawn the line at No 1 Commercial Street. There are weekly pickets at the socially-segregated building in Whitechapel, traditionally a working class stronghold and the spiritual home of London’s Anarchist movement, just a few doors from Freedom Books.

Social apartheid.

The front door, which resembles a swanky hotel lobby, only serves part of the building. Planning regulations require the developers to grudgingly include ‘affordable housing’ on their sites, knowing full well that few of those who actually make this city work could ever afford to buy a flat in London. Tenants of the 70 ‘social plots’ at no 1 are required to enter through the Poor Door, located down a dingy piss-stained alley; they have separate lifts, which are out of order for days on end.

“ONE ICONIC BUILDING One Commercial Street towers twenty-one storeys above Aldgate East like a blade of light, its glass fin protruding dramatically to add a sculptural quality to Redrow London’s first flagship development.” The developers’ website slobbers.

A three bedroom flat here will set you back over four million quid. The sign in the lobby says: “The concierge is available 24 hours per day. Should you wish to contact the concierge by phone or we are away from the desk, please phone: Mob: 07872108385 Landline: 020 7247 0464″

Please be polite.

“This is the Alamo for the working class of East London, if people put up with ‘one door for the rich, another door for the poor,’ they’ll put up with fucking anything. If there’s ever been an issue that people should stand up and be counted on, it’s this disgrace.” – Ian Bone.

Redrow goes on:

“this development bridges the gap between the square mile and London’s exciting East end”

– Every Wednesday for the past fourteen weeks, Class War and allies have been making the East End a bit more exciting for the toffs and swankers who get to use this door:

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Deep blue apartments offer short stays in the flats to corporate sharks working in the City of London, starting at £170 a night for a studio flat about the size of a prison cell. Their website boasts:

“the ideal location in an up and coming trendy area, … right in the heart of the fashionable East End of London … Around the corner, you’ll find the creative hubs of Hoxton, Whitechapel and Shoreditch”

– masturbate furiously!

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” The ideal base to return to after a hard day’s work,”

– stripping assets, cutting wages and foreclosing on poor people’s houses, presumably.

Saturday’s action, coming after the TUC’s festival of irrelevance ‘Britain needs a pay rise’ – emphasising the point that the business unions only represent those who get paid in the first place – was joined by anarchists, socialists and wobblies from across the country. North East Anarchists brought the Durham Miners’ banner, Cosmo entertained the troops, drummers drummed – sorry didn’t get their name – the Women’s Death Brigade did the okey-cokey, and blocked the road as well as the entrance, not a single toff did pass for over an hour.

Poordoors

Redrow’s operating review and financial review for 2014 are full of praise for government policy and reveal that they are making money hand over fist:

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Enquiries:

Steve Morgan, Chairman 01244 527411
Barbara Richmond, Group Finance Director 01244 527411
John Tutte, Group Chief Executive 01244 527411

STICK A ROCKET UP BORIS JOHNSON’S ARSE – NOVEMBER 5th

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If you can get to One Commercial Street on a Wednesday evening please come along and support this campaign: farcebook event

If you can’t here’s a list and map of Redrow’s developments in England and Wales, and if you’re aware of any development in your area using Poor Doors, tell us about it. Let’s spread this battle until we win it!

While we’re at it, why not come to Bridport and give ‘Evil Oliver’ Letwin a bollocking on the 8th November.

Localise the resistance!

March on the Boss, Samsung Bristol

View post on Bristol IWW website

On Thursday 10th of July members of Bristol IWW and friends visited the Samsung phone shop on Park Street in Bristol to speak to an unscrupulous boss who has recently dismissed an employee with no good reason.

Outside Samsung shop

Matthew had worked for the same boss for over 5 years in his two laptop and phone repair shops. After a holiday of 6 weeks, he returned to find his hours reduced. A few weeks later he was told that he was ‘surplus to business requirements’ and that they did not have enough hours for him. This dismissal came completely out of the blue with no disciplinary procedure at all. Insultingly in his last week of work (having only been given one week’s notice) Matthew’s job was advertised in the window of the shop.

Matthew is owed over £1000 in unpaid holiday pay and wages. His former employer has offered no redundancy pay to help Matthew while he looks for another job.

Matthew decided to take the issue to his union, the Industrial Workers of the World, who wrote to the company and asked for a meeting to ensure Matthew received his wages and the holiday pay. After a terse, incoherent and rude written response from the boss, (in which the company expressed that they felt there was ‘no need’ for any further discussion), the union decided to visit in person to deliver their demands and ensure that this boss knows what to expect when he treats his workforce unfairly with little respect.

8 members of the union accompanied Matthew in the shop while around 20 others handed out flyers to potential customers in the street. The boss reacted by insisting they had to leave and he didn’t have any time, but the group stood their ground, delivered a letter with their demands and the boss had to listen to Matthew.

The recently hired manager of the shop was phoned and an organiser with the union spoke with him on speaker phone. Both bosses refused to negotiate with the union and while the phone conversation was taking place, the shop was visited by two police officers.

After assessing the situation the police explained to the boss that the union had every right to be holding their protest.

Samsung Bristol are now taking Matthew’s dispute seriously and are currently seeking legal advice. The union expects that the company will be advised to pay Matthew the money that he is owed or face a much larger cost should this escalate to employment tribunal. Not only have they unfairly dismissed Matthew and withheld his money, the company has broken the law in several other ways including not paying wages on a regular basis, not providing employees with a written contract, having no coherent sick pay policy and having no disciplinary or grievance procedure for longstanding employees.

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Matthew and the IWW are still waiting for correspondence from the company. We urge all readers and friends not to buy services from Samsung Bristol or RepairPhones4u on Park Street and to take your custom to a company that respects its employees. For more information on the company please visit http://samsungbristol.co.uk/

Having problems at work? Fed up of the way you’re treated by your boss? Want to organise with your colleagues for a better deal? Please visit bristoliww.org.uk to contact your local branch of the Industrial Workers of the World, the fighting union.

Tolpuddle 2014.

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Photo by Wheelz.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Polish fellow worker fired for organising, solidarity needed.

iwwlogo-buttonFellow Worker Anna, a worker/organiser, was fired by Aelia, a conglomerate that owns duty free shops around the world, usually situated in airports.

She appears to have been fired directly because of organising. She works at Chopin International Airport in Warsaw. The local workers have been picketing. Thus far there has been no reaction from Aelia.

There’s something you can do right now for Anna. She was organizing a union at Aelia duty free shop at the Warsaw Airport, and she was fired on Friday, June 6. Our union in Poland is conducting solidarity pickets at other airports, where Aelia runs its shops listed here. Globally, Aelia runs shops at more than 10 airports in France, 5 airports in Spain, in China, Australia and elsewhere. Aelia belongs to Lagardere Services group, one of the international leaders in the travel retail market. Lagardere is present in more than 20 countries around the world. So spread the word, so people coming to Poland or traveling elsewhere can boycott Aelia and other Lagardere outposts.

It would be also helpful if some non-Poles could write e-mails to Aelia’s management), as well as Lagardere’s, demanding Anna’s reinstatement and that the the union be allowed to function.

You’ll also find a link to Labourstart’s campaign in the post below.

Here’s the Polish union’s official statement in English.

Autonomy films present: Hispanic film evening in Bridport Sat 28th June 2014.

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Saturday 28th June 2014 7.15pm W.I. Hall, North Street, Bridport Entry: £3 or less if you can’t afford it Vegetarian soup on sale from 6.45pm Discussion afterwards about art and politics for anyone interested.

*EVENTS ORGANISED BY OTHERS*

No More Austerity: National Demonstration and Free Festival organized by the People’s Assembly Saturday 21st June 19, assemble 1pm at BBC HQ Portland Place London W1 1AA, March to Parliament Square.

‘Robert Potts and his Lost Photo-History of Bridport’

Tuesday 8th – Saturday 19th July in the Foyer, Bridport Arts Centre Pre-exhibition seeking local involvement to piece together social history from the postcards of pioneer photographer Potts.

Thursday 10th July *National One-Day Strike against Austerity* by public service workers

Friday 18th July to Sunday 20th July in the usual field in Tolpuddle Tolpuddle Festival ‘to celebrate the early trades union martyrs.’ Stalls, music, workshops, camping. Book online. Events on Sunday are free.

IWW statement on Operation Centurion

iwwlogo-buttonThe IWW condemns the intensification of immigration raids across the UK under Operation Centurion. We believe that all workers, regardless of their place of origin or legal status, need to support one another in order to fight the common enemy; the present system that upholds the interests of business and other elites at the expense of ordinary working and unemployed people.

The undercutting of the pay and conditions of British workers by migrant labour is not caused by the immigrants themselves but by business owners, managers and government who seek to maximise their profit by forcing working and unemployed people to compete for an ever-diminishing number of jobs. This ‘race to the bottom’ forces us to work harder for less money, and all workers suffer from this – while bosses happily rake in their profits.

The IWW urges British and documented migrant workers not to demonise those without papers but to look after one another at work and create a strong labour movement to promote the interests of working class people of all nationalities – improving pay, working conditions, and collective power at work for everyone. The first step is to join a union.

What is the IWW?

We are the union for all workers, working across the globe to empower
workers to improve their lives together. We are one of the fastest-growing unions in Britain, and we pride ourselves on real democracy and getting results through collective worker-led action. We welcome anyone who works for a wage, whatever their immigration status, because we believe that an injury to one is an injury to all.

One Big Union

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

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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!

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:

Condor Ferries picket in Portsmouth.

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RMT!

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

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

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

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

The working class has no country!

Picket of Santander Poole in solidarity with ISBAN comrades.

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Continuing the campaign against Santander in support of the ISBAN Spanish CNT-AIT section, we picketed the Poole high street branch on Saturday, positive feedback from most people, including a few former employees and customers. Santander do not have a good reputation here! One nutter. Actions also took place in Bath and Bristol.

Isban WS
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Message from IWW Uganda.

iwwlogo-buttonDear Fellow workers,

In our continued  appreciation of your support towards our organizing here in Uganda, during our meeting held on Sunday 17th November at our offices, a motion(minute) was passed to thank you our contributors to our fundraising campaigns and explain to you as well the reasons for the campaigns as here follows:

EXPLANATION AND REASONS FOR THE FUNDRAISINGS:

1. The Uganda Government (especially the District local government) demands that None Governmental Organizations (NGOs) operating at local and national levels show a minimum of USD 2000 for their annual income/expenditure and account of related activities and or purchases and a minimum of USD 4000 for international NGOs.Moreover some of these so called policies and laws are not written anywhere.

2. The Industrial Workers of the World(IWW) being the first of its kind not only in Uganda but also in the whole of Africa, we are overwhelmed by the number of enthusiastic workers eager to learn much about it and hence need for a lot of materials to facilitate this.

3. Most of the workers not in self employment but both in formal and informal employments are not paid their salaries /wages in time or not at all paid  and those paid are paid very low salaries compared to the cost and standards of living in Uganda ,eg  a Ugandan teacher working five days a week and 10 hours a day earns equivalent of United States Dollars 120 while nurses working for the same time earn USD 160.Most civil servants have their salaries not paid since April this year. They earn a living by growing crops on their own gardens and staying either at their own homes or government provided simple housing. This makes it difficult for most IWW Uganda members to pay their dues and contribute to other activities/causes for the running of the branch.

4. We always get members of the working class who like to show their solidarity towards our organizing through financial support and there is no way we can be able to mobilize and receive their contributions given that it is always each in amounts expensive to send through internationally other known means of funds transfer.

5. Over 90% of Ugandan population does not have credit cards and have no access to internet banking hence cannot make local fundraisings which can be locally supported in similar ways. Also the Uganda Government opposes/resists local fundraisings by trade Unions and opposition political parties with intent of making sure they remain weak and unstable. Also locally publicly announced fundraisings could lead to the Government sabotaging us(the union).

6. Usually we post the fundraising on the Indiegogo website, and once the campaign receives a reasonable percent of the targeted goal it is given a chance to appear on the Indiegogo website hence advertising the union in general since we always indicate the union website and contact information. This results into contacts and enquiries and possibly also joining the IWW.

7. The contributors are always updated on the prevailing fundraising campaign and finished campaigns and how the funds were properly utilized for the intended cause. Receipts, photos and video clips are also sent to the gallery section of the campaigns as well as emailed to the individual contributors.
The funds are also reflected in the General Membership Branch(GMB)’s report to the General  Secretary/Treasurer of the IWW which is done every 6 months.The Report for the months of January to June this year was sent in at the beginning of July while that of July to October was sent in a few days ago.That of November and December will be sent ii at the end of December.

8. The campaigns are also away of participation of both IWW and none IWW members of the working class to contribute to the building of the IWW in general and Uganda in particular by contributing ideas, cash and in kind. Also increase solidarity among the GMB and other members of the working class.

9. Some of the fundraised funds is taken back by the company through which we make the fundraising usually 12% when the campaign doesn’t reach its goal and 7% when it reaches its goal; plus bank charges.
Also some of the money is used to purchase and post perks to our contributors as stipulated by the company through which we do the fundraising. Hence the money received is less than the targeted and that shown on the website.
This has luckily helped us raise targeted goals in most cases.

10. Most of the perks to our contributors are products of our fellow members, supporters  and or members of the working class especially art works and handcrafts which make a source of income to them.

11. It serves as multiple sources of research on fundraisings and finance management, knowledge of existence of the IWW by fellow workers globally, attitude to the IWW by workers and relationships of the IWW with other workers’ organizations and also research on why workers may or may not join the IWW.

12. It has taken us some of the IWW Uganda members a lot of time, money, brainwork, research and studying before coming out with successful results through crowd funding and instead of stopping it we would rather help other fellow workers on how to make successful crowd funding campaigns.

13. The rate of exchange value of Uganda Shilling to US dollar, Euro, British pound is 2500, 3000 and 4000 times (in that order) the Uganda Shilling thus making it more possible to do much more work or pay for more here with the same amount of such currency than can be done with the same amount of money in the home/origin of that currency.

14.The General Membership Branch being here the first and only one of its kind not only in Uganda but also on the whole Africa continent where there is limited freedom of speech,expression,association,assembly and very little democracy; we encounter a lot of challenges given that the present membership is highly enthusiastic  though small in number. Support can help to make the ROC grow and be self sustaining in the future. As most funds are used to purchase equipments such as computers, photocopier, printers and furniture it gives the IWW ownership of the ROC and thus the ROC being independent of individual members.

15. The working class members here have big families and extended families to cater for thus making them have less to spare as contributions and donations to the organization and organizing.

16. Despite capitalism destroying human nature, the inherent to share and help each other remains. This should be highly exemplified in organizations of the left such as ours that promote fraternity and solidarity.

Yours in Solidarity,

Weijagye Justus
Secretary/Treasurer Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Uganda.

Starbucks union Chile Press release.

iwwlogo-button9th November 2013 3:14am

To our workers, our friends and citizens.

Today 8th November we voluntarily end our legal strike after accomplishing, during the 11 days of mobilisation, every political objective we had set ourselves as a collective at the outset. It was not merely a matter of gaining benefits -we knew Starbucks was going to stick to its anti-union philosophy- it was not about resources either: it was about a fight for our collective rights and a political message charged with solidarity we wanted to send to Chile and the rest of the world.

In just 11 days our organisation grew in unity and political development. Those non-unionised workers who throughout history have been -for obvious reasons-afraid of taking part in the organisation have started to see the justice of our cause and came closer to us each day. It has become evident that Starbucks is a contradictory and stubborn business. There is no social responsibility here, but instead social irresponsibility. “There is no budget for negotiations”, “we cannot grant privileges to collectives”, “unions are unnecessary in Starbucks” were some of the reasons Starbucks gave for not fulfilling its unionised workers’ demands – at the moment when Starbucks had reported more than a 34% increase in profits, reaching US$1,245.7m.

We reached civil society, collecting over 5,000 signatures of support in Chile and 7,000 signatures from the rest of the world in order to pressure Starbucks to modify its anti-union behaviour. Candidates for the Chilean Presidency like Marcel Claude, Roxana Miranda and Marco Enríquez-Ominami expressed their support; Tucapel Jiménez, Cut, Labour Front, CTC and CNT -among many other organisations- also voiced their support. Outside our frontiers, CSA and CSI presented our case to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on 25th October, also to IWW, workers in Belgium, England, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Bulgaria, New Zealand, Spain and Argentina in order to show the world Starbucks’ hidden face. Besides this, Starbucks unions in the US carried out activities in support of our cause.

We know Starbucks will continue to state cynically that, “it has always recognised and respected all partners’ rights to join the union.” Starbucks, however, has paid more than 50m in four fines for having made union freedom vulnerable in the most grotesque ways. Starbucks will say we are a minority and that 95% of its workers “recognise and value the good working environment and the facilities Starbucks offers, and that they therefore do not share the union’s demands”, despite the fact that surveys show that more than 80% of the company supports our organization’s actions but is scared of organising and raising its voice because of the historic repressive actions. Anti-union practices made the unionisation index fall from 55% to almost 6% in two years, but we strongly believe that today a scenario has been put forward which will favour the unity of the workers against Starbucks’ anti-unionism. “Starbucks is proud to be (supposedly) an enterprise whose politics are open and meritocratic.” What disgusts us is that Starbucks is also proud to be an anti-union business. This is why it is our duty to take all necessary national and international measures to guarantee that Starbucks stops making vulnerable its workers’ inalienable collective rights. Starbucks persists in these actions and for this reason we will present our case to los Employment Tribunals of Justice, and also to the OCDE for violation of the procedures stated for multinationals. Moreover, we will complain to the Chilean State in front of OIT for having neglected its duty to the Rule of Law, thus allowing violations to our law and to the international agreements Chile subscribes to. During this process, all the organisations which have stood by us throughout this battle will give their support and solidarity. We Starbucks workers do not return defeated to our posts, because we have created the space that will allow us to democratise the company. We were always conscious that this was the beginning of a long-term battle against a corporate work model which intends to impose itself with violence. We will meet again in 18 months’ time, more united than ever.

Thank you all.

Starbucks Coffee Union

Insomnia Cookies Brings Police Assault Down on Legal Picket

Re-blogged from Industrial Workers of the World – Boston GMB

Last night the Cambridge Police swarmed a totally legal picket of Insomnia Cookies, demanded we shut down our PA (which we did), then attacked, punched, bloodied, threw on the trunk of a car, threw on the ground and dragged away IWW member Jason Freedman who has been charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and assaulting a cop. Jason sustained injuries to his back and arm. This was a completely unjustified attack on Jason, on civil liberties, labor rights and free speech. It was provoked (and lent legitimacy in the eyes of the cops) by a false report from the company that picketers were obstructing the sidewalk in front of the store. Feel free to register protests with Henrietta Davis, Mayor of Cambridge, at mayor@cambridgema.gov

police brutality 1 police brutality 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

ORGANISING THE WORKING CLASS IN UGANDA

iwwlogo-buttonSupporting the IWW Uganda wobblies to organise:

After the successful working class organizers’ training in Uganda last month (see pitch photos, video clips as well as in gallery section of this campaign) by two members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) from USA and Germany,the motivation has compelled the Uganda IWW members and other members of the working class to carry out other series of same training.

This comes at the same time when there is a nationwide strike of teachers under their umbrella Union,Uganda National Teachers’ Union(UNATU) some of whom are IWW Uganda members

In order to do more successful organization there is need for; traveling, training sessions, radio programmes and announcements, distribution of the IWW materials and other working class educational materials,leafleting,banners and other forms of organizing facilitations.

Therefore the Uganda IWW needs your support in form of contribution to this campaign.

We need to raise at least United Stated Dollars(USD) eight hundred($800) to carry out the above mentioned activities and pay for costs of the mentioned services and goods/materials.

Support the campaign here: Also share and refer others to this campaign.

An injury to one is an injury to all. Contact us at: uganda@iww.org

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!

IWW Scottish Education Workers’ Network: What We Stand For

sewn-logoWhat We Stand For:  

Worker and student rights and self-organisation / Opposition to casualisation/precarious work / A vision for education / Full funding / Industrial (sector-wide) organising / Actions and campaigns / International contacts / Equality and diversity / Countering bullying, harassment, and discrimination / Research, scholarship and knowledge creation

Full statement here:

Mobile Rail Management Fires Two IWW Organizers – Workers Will Respond

iwwlogo-buttonContact: Sam Green, 773-728-0996, ghq@iww.org

On Friday the 26th, Management at Mobile Rail Solutions fired Eric and Dwayne, two non-CDL service-helpers who are active participants in the ongoing Unionization effort. They further alluded to the possibility of firing all remaining non-CDL carrying employees. While management claims this is part of a restructuring, we believe that the firings constitute a broad attack on protected organizing activity and most likely a direct retaliation against protected OSHA complaints recently filed across several Mobile Rail locations.

From the very beginning, the workers at Mobile Rail have held safety as their most important demand. We have succeeded in pressuring management to provide some basic Personal Protection Equipment but remaining safety concerns are numerous. A chief complaint is the use of single-worker servicing teams that lack protection from heat-stroke, injuries from faulty equipment, or the threat of train accidents. We fear that the firings could be just the beginning of Mobile Rail destroying the two-worker teams and replacing them with the much riskier and more dangerous single-worker service. We demand that Mobile Rail rehire both Eric and Dwayne, stop all firings, and implement two-worker service teams across all locations.

In a further act of venom, it appears that Management has already posted job openings to replace these organizers. If Mobile Rail has no need for Eric and Wayne, why are they hiring new employees? If Mobile Rail intends to do away with non-CDL workers, then they need to provide full tuition for each existing worker to become licensed. If Mobile Rail thinks they can force everyone into unsafe single-worker teams, they are very, very wrong.

The IWW and the workers at Mobile Rail Solutions are asking for support from the community of labor. Workers have been organizing for months and hope to have their voices heard in an upcoming NLRB election on August 14th. The IWW is a rank and file Union open to all workers across all industries. The workers at Mobile Rail and the IWW are prepared to engage in direct action to see their Fellow Workers rehired and their voices heard.

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

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You could say we got lucky with the weather – up to a point, the heat was actually quite challenging at times and the free showers were as welcome as the overpriced beer. Our stall attracted plenty of interest; we shifted a mountain of literature and took enough in donations to cover our expenses plus making a few quid for Freedom Books; our magnificent banner was supplied free of charge by our comrades at Sabcat Printing, the Anarchist workers’ T-shirt co-op.

The stall was operated by comrades from Brighton, Bristol and Solent SolFedCNT-AIT Caen and Wessex Solidarity; Sunday’s Bloc was about double the size of last year’s, our militants ranged in age from 16 to a 96 year old Spanish Civil War veteran – a proper antifascist! It was good to welcome new faces from Cymru and Reading IWW, with community singing led by Bristol AFed. Shout out also to Bath Anarchists (B.A.R.F) – and anyone else we may have missed – give us a shout and we’ll link to your site.

Everyone we spoke to felt the mood was more militant than previous years; the Labour ‘got to be in it to win it’ line was challenged at every turn, the appetite for direct action is growing. What is the Tolpuddle story but an example of working class self-organisation crushed by the state? The Martyrs came together as equals; they didn’t form a trade union but a friendly society. You can fantasise about general strikes and armed insurrection all you want, the bourgeoisie will carry on chortling into their Dom Perignon; but get together and find practical solutions to the problems they cause you, outside of the structures they need you to rely on, and they will shit themselves.

We reiterate that we don’t come for a row, but to examine each others ideas and find ways of putting them to the test, so that we can give confidence to our class as a whole; the last thing the left needs now is a ‘tribal’. The 20th century is over; we must learn its lessons and evolve. We have the best opportunity for decades to give capitalism a kicking and if we fail, history will judge us harshly.

The above-referenced article on friendly societies is available by courtesy of the author, as an A5 pamphlet from one of our event stalls, or in our reference library, from where it can be downloaded for the princely sum of Fuck All.

Here’s the gallery, pictures still coming in, bear with us!

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.

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.

End Metroline race to the bottom: Reinstate Oscar Alvarez now!

iwwlogo-buttonWe, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) want to express our deep concern and strong condemnation of the unfair dismissal of Oscar Alvarez, Union Representative of the IWW at the West Perivale garage.

Oscar Alvarez has been a London bus driver for 8 1/2 years. He reached the 10th position nationwide in Blackpool Best Bus Driver of the Year 2007 competition, which to date is still unbeaten by any Metroline driver. But Oscar’s sacking is far from being an isolated occurrence. This is part of an escalating wave of sackings on the buses over the last few years, which has seen all London bus companies imposing terrible contracts on new starters, often without union agreement or any serious attempt to fight this ‘race to the bottom’.

Beginning in December 2012 new contracts for all bus drivers began to be rolled out, first Brentford garage and then West Perivale in February. Whereas the Brentford contracts were all accepted, in West Perivale there was a furious rejection by the drivers who refused to sign, apart from a half-dozen or so.

Oscar Alvarez was one of those drivers, bravely opposing these blatant attacks to their terms and conditions, only to be sacked soon after following a minor altercation with a car driver on the road who had cut up his bus.

What is worst, during the disciplinary that resulted in his dismissal there were a number of breaches in procedure which rendered the process unfair and disproportionate, most notably, the withholding of crucial CCTV footage which Oscar could not access prior to the disciplinary. We are certain that, far from constituting gross misconduct, Oscar’s behaviour ought to be construed as an attempt to correct the driving behaviour of a another driver who had not only endangered her own safety, but also that of her baby and other road users. As such, we urge Metroline to reconsider the merits of this case and to reinstate Oscar Alvarez

Now Oscar needs all the support he can get in order to win reinstatement, as it was already achieved by fellow worker Gerry Downing last Tuesday 30th April following his successful appeal against dismissal. Gerry, from the Cricklewood garage, was also sacked on spurious charges. Gerry Downing is a Unite member and the Chair of Grass Roots left

Understanding that these gross misconduct verdicts were undoubtedly management revenge for the strong reaction to the attempts to impose new contracts on all drivers, an impressive demonstration of support was gathered in a public meeting that took place last Monday 29th of April, called by the Brent Trade Union Council.

Several sacked bus drivers attended and their stories were similar; harsh dismissal decisions for what were minor incidents. And the reasons were identified by many of the speakers and from the floor; new contracts from January 2012 took on starters on far lower terms and conditions than existing bus drivers.

For these reasons it has now been articulated wide ranging support for a bus driver defence campaign as a rank and file body on the London buses to fight these increasing victimisations.

The Industrial Workers of the World joins forces with this rank and file initiative and demands not only for the immediate reinstatement of our member and union representative Oscar Alvarez, but for all the London bus drivers to keep the resistance going and REFUSE to sign any new contracts.

Whichever union you belong to, we must hold together, because they can’t force us if we ALL refuse

For Oscar’s case, the IWW are mobilising our members and supporters by encouraging people to send letters and make phone calls this week expressing their dismay at Oscar’s sacking to the Metroline Bus Company. Supporters will also be leafleting outside the Cricklewood Bus Garage.
Oscar Alvarez

Please visit:

For all updates on the campaign actions

Download and distribute:

The flier of the campaign.

TAKE ACTION. SUPPORT OUR BUS DRIVERS. END METROLINE RACE TO THE BOTTOM

REINSTATE OSCAR ALVAREZ NOW!

Groups: London General Membership Branch  ERA

Why we celebrate May Day.

The ‘Haymarket Affair’, Chicago Martyrs, ‘bomb throwing anarchists’ and the fight for the eight-hour working day.

In 1887 four Chicago anarchists were executed. A fifth cheated the hangman by killing himself in prison. Three more were to spend 6 years in prison until pardoned by Governor Altgeld who said the trial that convicted them was characterised by “hysteria, packed juries and a biased judge”. The state had, in the words of the prosecution put “Anarchy.. on trial” and hoped their deaths would also be the death of the anarchist idea… Read the full story on Libcom.

Haymarket martyrs

Oscar Neebe not shown received 15 years.

There was never any pretence of proving their guilt, then as now, working class self-organisation was treated as a menace, to be eliminated by fair means or foul.

“We are all creatures of circumstance; we are what we have been made to be. This truth is becoming clearer day by day …

… My children — well, their father had better die in the endeavor to secure their liberty and happiness than live contented in a society which condemns nine-tenths of its children to a life of wage-slavery and poverty.” – Albert to Lucy Parsons, in his final letter.

So what’s changed?

Adolph Fischer, Albert Parsons, August Spies, George Engel, Louis Lingg, Michael Schwab, Oscar Neebe, and Samuel Fielden are brought back to life every May Day by the actions of militant workers across the world. (And not a fucking tank in sight!)

“If you think that by hanging us you can stamp out the labour movement… the movement from which the downtrodden millions, the millions who toil in misery and want, expect salvation – if this is your opinion, then hang us! Here you will tread on a spark, but there and there, behind you – and in front of you, and everywhere, flames blaze up. It is a subterranean fire. You cannot put it out”. – August Spies.

Take to the streets this May Day! What are you waiting for?

The Anarchist origins of May Day  – a leaflet by the Workers Solidarity Movement (pdf)

1erMayo

Autonomy Films for International Workers Day presents on Sat 4th May in Bridport:

Click to enlarge7.00pm for 7.30pm Saturday 4th May 2013
W.I. Hall, North Street, Bridport
Entry £3 (less if you can’t afford it) + Vegetarian soup for sale from 6.30 pm
Also…

 
Some other interesting local events organised by others:
Friday 26th April 7.00pm Unity Hall, opp. Bus station, Yeovil
Banner Theatre’s entertaining live show ‘Fighting the Cuts’ presented by Yeovil Trades Council Entry free

 

Friday 26th April 8.00pm Town Hall, Bridport
‘Or, the Whale’ talk on the economic and mythic significance of the sperm whale by Philip Hoare. 42nd Lecture on Everything
£6, under-18s free

 
Monday 6th May 7.00 pm for 7.30pm The Corn Exchange, High St Dorchester
Ken Loach’s film ‘Spirit of ’45’ presented by Dorchester Trades Council Entry by donation

 
Thursday 9th May 8.00pm (venue to be confirmed)
‘Art practice, natural sciences and ecology to address issues of future sustainability of the planet’ talk by Angela Cockayne 43rd Lecture on Everything £6, under-18s free.

Day of action in memory of Dead Thing.

Trafalgar

A group of us travelled up to London to attend the ‘thatcher’s dead’ party called by Class War about a decade ago. During the day we divided ourselves between UK Uncut’s ‘bedroom tax’ action at Lord Fraud’s house and North London SolFed’s workfare pickets in Wood Green.

On the lawn at Iain Duncan Smith’s & down Lord Freud’s street – Report by Anarchist Federation

The workfare pickets continued both SolFed’s campaign against Poundland and supported Bristol AFed’s new initiative against Homebase; we were able to have some interesting conversations with staff and customers. The area is stricken by the government’s austerity programme with the crappiest jobs imaginable drawing hundreds of applicants. People here are in absolutely no doubt what is being done to them, why, and by whom. Homebase pickets were simultaneously conducted in Bristol and Bath.

I was going to buy something – but fuck it! Bristol Solidarity Federation.

Meanwhile in Bournemouth: Bournemouth Uncut took on the Tory MP’s and councillors of Bournemouth and Poole this weekend for their “Who wants to evict a millionaire?” action. Their homes were dressed as crime scenes with yellow markers, crime scene tape, evidence bags with ‘blood’ soaked cotton buds, and some lovely eviction notices. Some of the lucky recipients of our crime scenes were Robert Syms MP, John Beesley of Bournemouth Council, and other usual suspects like May Haines, Carol Evans, Ann Stibley, Mike White and Peter Pawlowski. At a time that people are facing losing their homes due to the bedroom tax, we thought it high time those architects of misery felt (for a few seconds) what it would be like to face eviction from their own homes. Very nice homes indeed…with plenty of spare bedrooms.

eviction 1-page1

On to Trafalgar square, a picture circulated on twitter showing the square fenced off and surrounded by police proved to be bogus, trying to put us off? Not a hope, even the rain couldn’t do that, the vibe was joyful and good-natured, and solidarity was palpable. During the course of the evening a steady 3000 revellers divided their time between the square and surrounding pubs. A few incidents of  police misbehaviour were swiftly and efficiently dealt with by the crowd, who had to clear them all out of the way from time to time; similarly, a smattering of fascists showed up to spoil the fun and got battered for their trouble. It’s worth pointing out that we can do this perfectly well without the ‘vanguard’ of press photographers that hurl themselves into the fray at the first hint of bother.

Of course this was not just about celebrating the death from natural causes of some demented old fascist (what was her name again?) who was admired in some circles for doggedly sticking to her principles of greed, self-interest and disdain for anyone who didn’t share her precise ethnic origins and social prejudices. Many present had their own lives blighted by the Dead Thing and had good reason to gloat; but far more importantly this was a positive affirmation of our determination to bury her mean-spirited ideology with her.

We, the working class will do this, we have no faith whatsoever in political or industrial representation, our future is in our hands, as the hangovers fade, let’s get organised!

That Trafalgar thing: Amila Bosnae

Thatcher Death Party, UK Uncut and DPAC Make It Personal – Johnny Void

Radical workers’ bloc at Tolpuddle 2013: Press release.

Press release, Download as: pdf pdf A5

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.

Tolpuddle2011

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.

tp1

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

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!

BHGETJJCQAEZmqf.jpg large

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.

View original post on Bristol AFed

NO to National Front White Pride Demo in Swansea

Tell 'em to fuck off!

Urgent call out from Welsh Antifa!

On  9th March the National Front are holding a White Pride Demo on the streets of Swansea where they will be spewing their Racial hatred, so let’s show them what we think of their bile and show them they are not wanted in Swansea or anywhere else.

Welsh Antifa have received verified information that the NF shall be forced to undertake a static protest in a back street/Carpark near the Strand area of Swansea, away from the shops and out of sight of the public. The UAF shall be holding their Counter Demo in the Strand Quay so if you would rather not be put into a Kettle situation, try to avoid ;). Please make your way to the Strand area about 10.30am. Bring Flags, Banners and Placards, Musical Instruments if you so wish. Stay Safe People :)

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zwhDPrbcGc?rel=0]

 

You know the drill – No Pasaran!

Occupy the Workplace: Solidarity with Workers of Vio.Me (Thessaloniki, Greece)

iwwlogo-buttonThe International Solidarity Commission (ISC) of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) congratulates the workers of Viomichaniki Metaleftiki 

The International Solidarity Commission (ISC) of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) congratulates the workers of Viomichaniki Metaleftiki (Industrial Mining) who have taken control over their factory and restart production after having occupied it for more than 20 months.

After fighting for the payment of their stolen wages since May 2011, the workers have now decided in a direct-democratic assembly to collectively organize production without bosses. They have brought the factory back into operation, shifting to the production of building materials that are not toxic or damaging for the environment. The IWW International Solidarity Commission is in full support of this move.

As the world plunges deeper into economic and ecological crisis, the workers at Vio.Me have shown us the way forward. Instead of waiting for the state to decrease unemployment, instead of leaving their fate in the hands of the capitalist legal system or state bureaucrats, the workers of Vio.Me decided to take the factory into their own hands and to operate it themselves. The Vio.ME workers have given us all a living example of workers’ power and have lit the way for all of us in the struggle against capitalism throughout the world. It is now up to all of us to spread it. Let this be one of millions of workplace takeovers to come across Greece and the world.

The IWW is committed to a grassroots, global resistance to the employing class. We aim to work with others to build a movement that can defeat the capitalists and construct a new world based workers control of the means of production and a radically democratic economy. We salute the seizure of the Vio.Me factory as a step in the right direction, and pledge our solidarity and our commitment to stand at the side of all workers in the struggle for the emancipation of the working class, for the creation of a world without bosses!

Help Take The Smile Off George Ferguson’s Face

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.

Bristol George Ferguson

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.

Urgent call out from Latin American Workers Association.

URGENTE REDADAS DE MIGRACION
Compañeras y compañeros

el rumor ampliamente diseminado de que el UKBA (autoridades de inmigracion) tiene planeado realizar una redada en ‘Old Kent Road’ el dia sabado 2 de Feb. Algunos negocios estan alertando a sus clientes sobre esto. Convocamos a un piquete urgente para protestar contra este acoso por parte de las autoridades de inmigracion. Sabado 2 de Feb 2pm en Old Kent Road a la entrada de Tesco

(La semana pasada UKBA realizo una redada en Elephant and Castle, UKBA utilizaron 3 camionetas, donde varios Latinoamericanos fueren detenidos y una persona fue deportada.)

En solidaridad

LAWAS

Dear brothers and sisters

there is a rumor that UKBA is planning to have an immigration raid in South London, Old Kent road. The business owners on the area are alerting their customers. We therefore urge you to come to our picket: Saturday 2 Feb, at 2pm Outside Tesco in Old Kent Road.

(Last week UKBA raided Elephant and Castle and used three vehicles to transport detainees and at least one person was deported).

In solidarity

LAWAS Latin American Workers Association info@lawas.org.uk

Statement from the Crutch Collective re: Co-op and Atos.

We don’t think it is a co-incidence that the Co-Op have made their statement 3 days before a communications blockade and pickets. Thanks to the individuals and organisations that invited 3200 to the communications blocakde, the 400 who signed up to take part and the dozens who were planning to take part in the pickets. Thanks also to the individuals and organisations who contacted the Co-Op over the months. We will be discussing what to do next over the next couple of days, but unless there is clear evidence that Atos is still part of the bidding process under a different name, we will be calling off the communication blockade and pickets. We will be figuring out other ways to target Atos economically using similar tactics in the future.

Forest of Dean Anarchists: Informal Public Meeting Tuesday 15th January.

Open to anyone with an interest in anarchism.

A congenial, informal meeting around a pub table or corner, where we can discuss whatever anyone wants to put on the agenda (a piece of paper will be handed round)… for starters, what do we view as anarchism, what can we do as anarchists locally, and the rest is up to whoever attends… we will attempt to reach consensus on any decisions and collectively decide on ways forward for this group.

Severn View Inn 3 Lynwood Rd, GL15 5SG Lydney, Gloucestershire

Facebook Event

Co-Op – Don’t Renew The Atos Contract! – Pickets – Everywhere 17th/19th January.

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.

Get our flyer here! Courtesy of Solent SolFed

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:
https://www.facebook.com/events/357131177718217/

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
https://www.thecrutchcollective.blogspot.co.uk

Supported by:
Clydeside Industrial Workers Of The World

https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Clydeside-IWW/216550781713688

Glasgow Solidarity Federation:
https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Glasgow-Solidarity-Federation/237568036376381

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.

Season’s Greetings from all at Wessex Solidarity.

christmas-card

It’s that time of year again, the weather’s shit and everything’s closed.

The pigs are after your licence and your gear, your seasonal job has been replaced by workfare (ho ho fucking ho) and the landlord wants his dough. Drunks celebrate the birth of a popular Palestinian after-dinner speaker by glassing each other in the town centre. ‘Tis the season of commodity fetishism and the bourgeoisie glop all over us.

So crack open a brew, spark up the chalice, throw another fascist on the fire and put your feet up. Maybe even dip into our Reference Library while you’re at it – knowledge is power after all, the only kind worthy of respect.

We hope you like the card, we nicked it, so sue us.

Stay free, stay safe, solidarity forever! X

Westcountr​y Mutineer #3 (December 2012)

Westcountry Mutineer

Yes, yes, we know, it’s a couple of weeks late!

Anyway, here’s your free copy.

Where you’ll find a festive mix of –

* Gaza Palava!
* Healthcare Selloffs!
* Going Postal!
* Don’t Work Smart, Work Fare!
* Striking A Nerve!
* Prisons!
* Anarchy!
* Pirates!

and obviously much, much more!

Merry winterval, winter celebration, snow pagent, cold-weather commodity swapping event or whatever other PC words for Xmas will piss off Daily Mail readers! – WCM editorial collective

If you’d like hard copies to distribute or sell for noble causes, the merry mutineers can be contacted Here.

IWW John Lewis Cleaners Win Pay Rise

Monday 19 Novermber 2012 — The industrial Workers of the World are proud to announce their victory in their latest John Lewis cleaners’ campaign. On Friday 16 November, the IWW-unionised John Lewis cleaning staff employed by contractor Integrated Cleaning Management won a 9% pay rise as a result of their campaign.

The outsourced cleaners work at four different John Lewis sites in London and are employed by cleaning contractor Integrated Cleaning Management (ICM). This announcement follows a previous press release on Monday 12 November, in which IWW lodged a fresh pay dispute on behalf the IWW unionised cleaners at John Lewis, and a further press release on Wednesday 14 November, in which the IWW announced our intention to ballot the John Lewis cleaning staff for industrial action. The attached campaign press release can be downloaded at the bottom of this article.

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday 19 November 2012

Please Support Fellow Workers in Uganda – appeal for funds.

PROJECT THUNDER is as the name implies.

In this project we, the Industrial Workers of the World Uganda (IWW), (see the links below)

http://www.iww.org/en/content/industrial-worker-issue-1744-april-2012

http://www.iww.org/en/branches/Africa

intend to expose the rot, the brutal and cruel conditions most Ugandan workers operate under.

The project will involve making of a documentary film covering most workers from different departments at their places of work where possible and where this is not possible workers will be invited to the Regional Organisational Committee(ROC) office for the same.

Also pictorial (i.e still photo photographs )formats will be captured together with a worker/workers filling out a questionnaire.

During the process,the union members will while using bicycles distribute IWW print and electronic materials to the departments, Institutes  of higher learning and secondary school libraries in and around the Municipality/small city of Kabale.

At an interval of a fortnight, a seminar/discussion session will be held also is weekend  radio announcements and programmes on either of the two FM Radios, i.e Freedom Radio and Voice of Kigezi, in the municipality.

Bristol call outs 14th and 18th November.

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.

Facebook event

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.

Solidarity forever

Bristol Solidarity Federation.

John Lewis Cleaners in New Pay Dispute

Today, Monday 12th November, the Industrial Workers of the World union (IWW) have lodged a fresh pay dispute on behalf of outsourced cleaners at John Lewis. This follows an IWW cleaners strike at John Lewis in Oxford Street earlier in the year – the first strike in John Lewis history.

In the run up to Christmas and January sales, John Lewis can expect to see profits spike, bringing in £millions. Meanwhile, our members working in their buildings are earning minimum wage of just £6.19 p/h.

Budget cuts have seen their workloads increase, leading to stress, sickness and depression. But with no sick pay, they have to carry on regardless. Meanwhile, poverty pay means home life is a daily struggle.

The cleaners, working at four John Lewis sites in South London including the famous Peter Jones store in Sloane Square and the company HQ in Victoria, are not part of John Lewis’ famous ‘partnership’. Instead they are employed by a contractor, Integrated Cleaning Management Ltd. (ICM), part of the giant Compass Group Ltd.

But now these second class workers have had enough…

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday 12 November 2012

Roundup from 20th Oct TUC march.

Ed Miliband booed for promising cuts to TUC anti-cuts march – 20th October 2012

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPORv29TqKY?rel=0]

Solidarity Federation – October 20: The view from Oxford Circus

Radical workers’ bloc on the march.

IWW on the march

Johnny Void: Marching Is Not Enough – Boycott Workfare and DPAC Show the Way

Radical Workers’ Bloc 20th October – for the future we want!

March for a future that works: what exactly do they mean?

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.

For a Future Without Work: Radical Workers’ Bloc on South London feeder to TUC

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:

Workfare Shutdown! Oxford Circus, October 20th

Stay free, stay safe, no comment, see you on the streets! 

IWW press release – solidarity with SOAS cleaner Lenin Escudero 07-10-2012

END SOAS MANAGEMENT COMPLICITY IN ISS DIRTY UNION BUSTING TACTICS – REINSTATE SOAS CLEANER LENIN ESCUDERO NOW!

We, the Industrial Workers of the World want to express our deep concern and strong condemnation for the suspension of the SOAS cleaner, leading activist of the Justice for Cleaners campaign and UNISON rep Lenin Escudero, who has been suspended from his job by the cleaning contractor, ISS, on the 5 September 2012 for refusing to obey to his manager’s request to carry out extra work on top of his normal duties on an unpaid basis. Lenin is being subject to a disciplinary procedure on Monday 08 October 2012 that might result in his dismissal simply for refusing to take on duties not specified in his job description… Full press release pdf

Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle

Respect to all those who turned out to support this initiative, we were joined by members of Afed, Solfed, 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 a few supporters along the way and got a generally positive reception. Having taken our place in the line early on, the tankies managed to sneak in front of us when no one was looking – rude bastards! We won’t let that happen next year will we comrades! Their flags are taller than everyone else’s – which tells you all you need to know.

Let’s make this a regular fixture, it’s important to put faces to names and get to know each other off line, we’re all going to be working together against austerity, capitalism and fascism.

Police protect the fash in Brizzle Report from Bristol Antifascists.

Radical workers’ bloc at Tolpuddle 15th July 2012.

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.

See more…

We urge all who can to go to Bristol on Saturday 14th  to oppose the EDL.

Grass Roots Left Motion of Support & congratulations to the Construction Rank and File

Grass Roots Left Motion of Support to Construction Rank and File

[Passed unanimously at GRL NC 31st March 2012]

This National Committee meeting of the Grass Roots Left [GRL] sends its warmest congratulations to the Construction ‘Rank and File’ who won the BESNA battle. (Read more)

Holland & Barrett pickets.

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…

Solent Solfed – Fighting Workfare At Royal Mail!

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)

IWW Cleaners’ Living Wage Victory at Exchange Tower

IWW Cleaners and Allied Trades, London – Dear friends, compañeros, on the 5th March 2012, after a long and high profile campaign, the IWW secured yet another victory for our cleaner members employed at Exchange Tower who will now be paid the London Living Wage of £8.30 per hour.

URGENT PROTEST JUSTICE FOR CLEANERS AT THOMPSONS REUTERS FRIDAY 16 MARCH, 5:00 PM

33 Aldgate High Street London EC3N 1DL, next to Aldgate tube station