Edgelords with thin skins: on the difficulty of free speech absolutism and “the right to discuss ideas”

DC Miller contemplates the nuances of libel law. Peter Marshall / Alamy Live News

A brief tale that might illustrate some of the difficulties of free speech absolutism as an ideology:

A few years back, a gallery called LD50 invited a range of far/alt-right and anti-immigrant speakers to address a conference. This drew protests from antifascists, who felt that the words of speakers were likely to have harmful consequences in the real world, as illustrated by the fact that Brett Stevens, once of the invited speakers, had been cited as an inspiration by the fascist mass-murderer Anders Breivik.

These protests were then counter-protested by one Daniel “DC” Miller, who held up a sign saying “the right to openly discuss ideas must be defended.” Fair enough: I don’t agree with the kind of free speech absolutism that says free speech is an absolute good that must be upheld above all else, without any regard for other considerations, but I have some respect for anyone who can stick to it as a consistent principle.

Earlier this year, when Nina Power – who, just to stress, I have a lot of respect for based on her past writings and activity, even as I find myself strongly disagreeing with some of her recent decisions – revisited some of these issues, she phrased it as “the question of what can be discussed, and where, and by who. Can we all talk about anything everywhere?

Well, now we have an answer of sorts. Miller and Power are now raising funds to sue one of their critics, an antifascist named Luke Turner, for libel. Apparently they feel that Luke Turner calling Miller a nazi is the sort of speech that could have harmful consequences in the real world, and so the law should be used to prevent Turner from being able to talk about his belief that Miller is a nazi anywhere. In other words, Turner’s right to openly discuss his ideas on this subject must be suppressed, not defended.

Being generous, I hope that this will be a moment of learning and growth for Miller. After all, now that he’s not a free speech absolutist anymore, perhaps now would be a good time for him to rethink the LD50 argument, because if he finds Turner’s speech to be so harmful and distressing that he wants to prevent it, then maybe he’ll be better able to to understand and appreciate why other people might want to prevent fascist and anti-immigrant speech and organising?

Because the alternative would be for him to end up at a position where free speech is good and must be defended if it involves fascists and white nationalists saying horrible things about immigrants, but bad and must be suppressed if it involves antifascists saying horrible things about him and his friends. Readers can draw their own conclusions about how to characterise that sort of position. But be careful about saying them out loud, because you might get sued.

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Anarchist political prisoner Eric King facing false charges that could lead to another 20 years in prison

The following report is reproduced, with some minor edits, from the Support Eric King site:

For folks who are unaware, Eric is an anarchist and anti-fascist prisoner who was sentenced to 10 years for an attempted arson, an action in solidarity with the Ferguson uprising in Kansas city. Throwing two Molotov cocktails into an empty state representative’s office at night time. He has since remained outspoken against the prison system, exposing abuses and standing tall in the face of constant attacks and oppression.

In August of last year, Eric was dragged into a broom closet and attacked by Lt Wilcox at FCI Florence. Attacked because he is an anarchist and anti-fascist. It was timed to line up with the surgery for his wife’s cancer. He was subsequently tortured and abused and never checked out medically despite being kicked in the head for 5 plus minutes, and tied to a 4 point restraint for 8 hours, having to urinate himself resulting in nerve damage to his wrists.

An indictment against Eric, alleging that he attacked the officer, was originally filed in May, but they waited for the painful anniversary of the traumatic incident itself to serve the indictment to him. Since the original indictment was filed, he has been attacked twice at the orchestration of the Bureau of Prisons. Once by being blatantly led into a fenced in area where a fash was waiting to attack while the guards watched, and once by putting someone who was known to have attacked the last cellmates in his cell. In addition, several attempts had been made to attack him at earlier points during his sentence.

Since the attack he was unable to see or talk to his family for a year, kept in segregation, not allowed even the most basic needs such as the right to read a book or have a photo. He was denied medical care as he begged for help during a medical emergency where he suffered stroke-like symptoms on August 1st, the day before his birthday. (See this report for further information on this incident.) His words were coming out in slurs because the whole left side of his body was paralyzed, and he was suffering severe cognitive impairment and confusion. Since then, he has gone at least 29 days without a scan, and each day that goes past without adequate medical treatment and attention increases the danger that he could suffer life-changing damage.

Eric is being held under the custody of the BOP while fighting a BOP case. He is being held in a prison in which an adult man threatened their daughter 2 years before, a man who still works at the same prison. A prison where guards currently fuck with him by asking where his daughters go to school over and over. During his stay in BOP custody, staff have attempted to orchestrate white supremacists to attack and intimidate Eric.

Eric was indicted at the end of August for his own assault. He faces up to 20 years in prison for being attacked and beaten by a guard who feels safe dragging prisoners off camera and attacking them. A guard who is notorious in the public defender’s office for doing this and then destroying lives with false charges. Eric’s case is being brought up in the federal court system, a court system that is built to crush as a much more effective machine than any other in our country, where only 2% go to trial because the feds don’t take a case they can’t win, with fewer than 1% going on to win their case. Things are looking grim.

We need folks help…

We need folks to write Eric letters, print out articles, short stories… hell, print whole books out.

Eric King #27090045

FCI Englewood

9595 West Quincy Avenue

Littleton, CO 80123

[Eric can only receive items with the following restrictions: white envelopes, white paper, only black ink, no cards, staples, or books, no card-stock, labels, marker, photos or postcards. Eric has previously said he would like to receive “interesting articles, cartoons, memes, riddles, poems, short stories, articles about Manchester United, the IRA, anything”.]

We need folks to donate, hold fundraisers, we need to be prepared.

We need folks to show up at court appearances. We need to show the state we won’t let them bury our friend. They’ve started filing court dates at extremely short notice to try to ensure Eric’s supporters can’t be there. We let them do this to Eric once already. We let the state convict him of attempted arson and give him 10 years in federal prison. Now they are trying to make sure he never walks out those doors, and is buried in the depths of the system.

We need help, Eric needs help.

With love and rage

-EK support crew

For much more information on Eric’s case, please listen to this extended audio interview from the Final Straw.

Posted in Anarchists, Repression | Tagged | 1 Comment

In the trans-exclusionary bathroom: a quick reply to Daphne Lawless on left transphobia

The Aoateroa/New Zealand-based group Fightback recently published a short article by Daphne Lawless, aiming to challenge the spread of trans-exclusionary/transphobic ideas on the New Zealand, and international, left. In general, I definitely welcome this article – I also see those ideas as being reactionary, and so I’m always glad to see people arguing against them. But there are a few points I wanted to take up further.

Firstly, Lawless objects to a group called the Left Network for Free Speech, saying that their “insistence that state action against “hate speech” in fact makes things worse” is reminiscent of the old UK Revolutionary Communist Party’s edgelord contrarianism and slide into rightwing positions. I would say that this position in itself is a pretty defensible one – while, with all the other ills in the world today, I’m never likely to make opposing hate crime laws a particular priority, I do think that we can’t trust police, prosecutors and judges to act in any kind of reliably anti-racist or liberatory way, and so putting more powers in their hands is likely to have harmful effects. Where I tend to disagree with “free speech” absolutists, probably including the LNFS, is when they conflate this sort of statist, top-down censorship with grassroots antifascist, feminist or other similar movements taking action to challenge or disrupt their opponents. As Sara Ahmed has observed, it is always interesting to see when someone saying “I disagree with this” is taken as being a bold and important example of free speech, and when it’s seen as being a menacing threat to free speech. Anyway, the fact that it’s often misused doesn’t make the libertarian/left critique of statist approaches wrong in itself.

Secondly, and this is the major point of disagreement, Lawless tends towards “[a]nalysing TERF politics as a variety of fascist ideology” on the grounds that “defining fascism as a movement in defence of the threatened privilege of the downwardly mobile middle class seems to make the parallel unavoidable”. I think this is a weak line of argument, based on a pretty unhelpful definition. As should hopefully be clear, I’m in broad agreement with Lawless’ general position, and think people should take it seriously, but if I was hostile to it, and wanted an excuse to dismiss it, I’d be happy to find an obvious weak spot that I could use to try and rubbish the whole thing.

Being “a movement in defence of the threatened privilege of the downwardly mobile middle class” may or may not be a defining feature of fascism – I do think there’s a danger that this line of argument can lead to dismissing or downplaying the very real working-class base that some fascist movements draw from – but it’s certainly not the only one. While it’s always hard to come up with a precise definition of such a slippery ideology, my own vague attempts would tend to include some element of pseudo-revolutionary hostility to the liberal democracy and the existing order, militaristic discipline and a strategy based on controlling the streets through violence.

This last is particularly important, because what we call something helps determine how we think of and respond to it. To many antifascists, once something is labelled as fascist, the question of what a justifiable response looks like is already settled: if you give groups based around violence space to operate, you’re making physical attacks on their opponents pretty much inevitable. Better Dover/Portland-style clashes now than Pittsburgh/Christchurch-style massacres later. As much as I firmly disagree with trans-exclusionary ideology, I don’t think much of this can reasonably be applied to the vast majority of TERF types.

Thinking about the nationalist right, we can oppose groups like the Brexit Party, or UKIP up to 2018*, or indeed Boris Johnson, without lazily labelling them as fascists; along those lines, then, it might be clearer and more helpful to describe trans-exclusionary politics as being a variant of reactionary/right-populist ideology.

On similar lines, I do wholeheartedly agree with Lawless’ warning “against a sectarian response to SWERF/TERF ideas on the Left – that is, refusal to deal with anyone who might hold such views at the moment.” As a seemingly-endless stream of new controversies constantly reminds us, people who hold such ideas are deeply embedded in socialist, anarchist, trade union, antifascist, feminist and similar movements; whether or not them all just fucking off would be a desirable outcome, it doesn’t seem like a likely or a workable one, so I can’t see any alternative to finding ways to constructively discuss things with them, to de-escalating rather than escalating some conflicts, and to continue working together where possible.


*how to classify UKIP after Batten took over is, I think, a bit of an open question.

Posted in Debate, Gender, The left | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Late August class struggle round-up and events listing

Recent events: it seems that there might be a positive end in sight for the occupation at Harland & Wolff in Belfast, as some buyers have now expressed interest in keeping the shipyard open. In Bradford, a proposed indefinite strike by NHS staff has been called off, as the plans to privatise their jobs have been postponed, but not yet cancelled entirely. Down in London, at least eight kitchen staff employed by a posh Mayfair club have been suspended from work after organising through the IWGB union.

Over in Merseyside, planned strike action on Merseyrail has been suspended after progress was made in talks over the role of the guard, along with another strike at John Lennon Airport which has now been suspended after a new offer from management, but it sounds like things have been heating up in a dispute at construction company BWSC in Ellesmere Port, where one Unite member has been arrested, and the cops have made threats against others. Strikes have also been taking place this week at a Matalan distribution centre in Knowsley, also on Merseyside, and a Sainsbury’s distribution centre in Waltham Point, Enfield. Further strike dates are planned at the Matalan site, although the only public listing I could find was in a not-particularly-clear graph posted on twitter.

In antifascist news, it sounds like yesterday’s set of “Free Tommy” protests and counter-protests was not the largest or most dramatic, but you can read early reports from London Anti-Fascist Assembly and Oxford Anti-Fascists here. Also, the Past Tense blog has put up some reflections on early 1990s South London anti-fascist struggles and their relevance for today, which is worth a read – hopefully people won’t get too caught up in the last few paragraphs, because the whole thing’s worth thinking about, especially the stuff about the Labour party and local councils, in my opinion.

Over in the US, long-term anti-authoritarian black liberation prisoner and former Panther Russell Maroon Shoats has been diagnosed with cancer and is asking for donations towards the cost of his medical treatment.

Looking ahead, for the rest of this week: the international week of solidarity with anarchist prisoners is ongoing, and on Tuesday 27th, there’s a protest in support of the striking Bromley library staff. On the 27th and 28th, Universal Credit staff in Stockport are striking in response to the increased pressure they’re coming under while trying to implement a cruel and broken system, and after that, workers on South-West Rail will be striking to keep the guard on the train for four days from the 30th onward, museum staff employed by Science Museum Group, covering sites in London, Manchester, Bradford, York and Wiltshire, will be striking over pay on the 30th, the same day will also see a protest in support of underpaid train station cleaners in Liverpool, and the IWGB are holding a fundraiser party that evening for their dispute at the University of London. At the very end of the month, on Saturday 31st there’s going to be a protest at Wormwood Scrubs marking a year since the death of Winston Augustine, and Freedom Bookshop are hosting a zine fair.

Going into September, the 1st will see the launch of a strike by night-shift cleaners who are demanding a living wage and decent sick pay for cleaning the offices of high-end law-firm Addlestone Goddard. The cleaners, who are organised through CAIWU, will be picketing throughout the first week of September, which will also see more RMT protests in support of train station cleaners at Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th, respectively. Tube staff on the Central and Victoria lines will be walking out on the 3rd and 4th, while Ryanair pilots will also be striking over a range of issues on Wednesday 4th. There’s also a demo in defence of migrants and against the hostile environment in London on the 4th, which seems to be coming from Labour-type campaigns but might still be a worthwhile show of solidarity. And up in North Yorkshire on Thursday 5th, the famous Drax power station is to see the first in a series of strikes over the employers refusing to apply nationally agreed conditions to some construction workers. Early September also sees actions against the DSEi arms fair running from the 2nd-13th, which now ties into a special worldwide call for actions against the militarism of the Turkish state on the 6th-7th.

On the weekend of Saturday 7th, women and non-binary members of the IWGB and UVW unions are holding a community lunch, and there are anarchist/radical bookfairs happening in Bradford and Dorset, along with the Wigan Diggers Festival up in the north-west. And as well as all that, there’s now a short-notice mobilisation against a pro-Tommy Robinson march in Leeds that day, which I suppose will mess with the Bradford bookfair a bit.

Further ahead, BA pilots will be striking on the 9th and 10th for the first time in the company’s hundred-year history, and on the 11th, Smash IPP will be protesting at the National Probation Service in Gateshead to demand freedom for the IPP prisoners still trapped by endless sentences.

There’ll be further strike action at Drax on the 12th and then an all-out strike is set to start on the 18th if it hasn’t been resolved by then. The global earth/climate strike is set to kick off on the 20th, and on the 26th London Anarchist Communist Group have a meeting about the fight for land justice. At the end of September, BA pilots will be striking again on the 27th, there’s a day of action to save Essex libraries on the 28th, and there’ll be the usual protest against the tory party conference in Manchester on the 29th. Then in October, the ACG are holding their second Libertarian Communism dayschool somewhere in London on the 5th, and on the 12th there’s a radical history festival down in Bristol and a big antifascist mobilisation up in Dewsbury.

Posted in Anarchists, Climate Change, Protests, Strikes, Unions, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mid-August antifascist and workplace round-up, and coming events

In antifascist news, Plan C, London Anarchist Federation and the Anti-Fascist Network all have posts up with reports and analysis from the last big “Free Tommy” mobilisation. On which note, if you can get down to central London on August 24th, that’s when the next round is scheduled for. Oh, and Leeds AFN have just put out a short-notice call to oppose For Britain there next Tuesday.

In broader movement news, the Anarchist Communist Group have a bunch of new stuff up, including the new issue of their paper Jackdaw, plans to produce a new magazine called Virus, and a round-up of workplace notes. The IWW also have a write-up of this summer’s Deliveroo disputes.

In recent workplace news, the Harland & Wolff workers occupying their shipyard in Belfast are suggesting that it could be repurposed to help build wind turbines, an idea with more than a faint echo of the Lucas Plan, CWU members at Shirley delivery office in Solihull struck to demand the reinstatement of an unfairly dismissed colleague, and the indefinite strike action by outsourced workers at BEIS continues.

Upcoming events:

On Monday 19th August, there’s a protest at SportsAid in London in support of the Bromley library staff who are still on all-out strike, and the RMT are holding protests in Liverpool highlighting shady employment practices on ferries across the Mersey.

On Wednesday 21st, there’ll be further protests at more establishments owned by GLL, the company at the heart of the Bromley library dispute. On Thursday 22nd, IT workers employed at the DVSA in Nottingham and Swansea are starting a four-week strike action as part of a long-running dispute over working practices. And Friday 23rd will see strike action by outsourced drug and alcohol rehab staff who used to be employed by the NHS in Wigan, Ryanair pilots who are in dispute over a whole range of issues, members of grassroots cleaners’ union CAIWU holding a Friday morning protest at Addleshaw Goddard, a law firm where cleaners don’t get the London Living Wage or adequate sick leave, as well as the start of an international week of action in solidarity with anarchist prisoners.

That weekend will see the next big London antifascist mobilisation, along with the start of a new round of strikes on Merseyrail in defence of the guard’s role. And on Sunday 25th there’s the Common Ground festival in London with a bunch of community groups, activist organisations, unions and so on.

On Monday 26th, NHS workers in Bradford who are being threatened with outsourcing are set to go out on an all-out indefinite strike. You can donate to their strike fund here. On Tuesday 27th, there’s another in the series of protests in support of the striking Bromley library staff. Toward the end of August, RMT staff on the Central and Victoria lines will be striking over a range of issues on the 29th-30th, workers on South-West Rail will be striking to keep the guard on the train for four days from the 30th onward, CAIWU will be continuing their protests at Addlestone Goddard on the morning of the 30th, and the IWGB are holding a fundraiser party for their dispute at the University of London.

At the end of August, on Saturday 31st there’s going to be a protest at Wormwood Scrubs marking a year since the death of Winston Augustine, and Freedom Bookshop are hosting a zine fair.

Looking into September, there will be actions against the DSEi arms fair running from the 2nd-13th, which now ties into a special worldwide call for actions against the militarism of the Turkish state on the 6th-7th. Ryanair pilots are set to take their second day of strike action on the 4th, and cleaners and their supporters should still be making a racket outside Addlestone Goddard on the 6th if that dispute hasn’t been settled by then.

On the weekend of Saturday 7th, women and non-binary members of the IWGB and UVW unions are holding a community lunch, and there are anarchist/radical bookfairs happening in Bradford and Dorset, along with the Wigan Diggers Festival up in the north-west.

On the 11th, Smash IPP will be protesting at the National Probation Service in Gateshead to demand freedom for the IPP prisoners still trapped by endless sentences.

The global earth/climate strike is meant to be happening on the 20th, and could be pretty big, and London Anarchist Communist Group have a meeting on the fight for land justice on the 26th.

Finally, a look at October: the ACG are holding their second Libertarian Communism dayschool somewhere in London on the 5th, and on the 12th there’s a radical history festival down in Bristol and a big antifascist mobilisation up in Dewsbury.

Posted in Anarchists, Strikes, Unions, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Reinstate Micky: GMB union accused of attempting to persecute rank-and-file shop steward

A series of posts from “Red Tyneside” on twitter, reproduced here for reference:

A GMB regional official, Northern’s Billy Coates, is waging a battle against a rank-and-file, fighting shop steward, Micky Hunnam. On what basis? Three years ago someone allegedly failed to provide Micky’s address when certifying him at regional committee. At who’s behest? We don’t know. Is it [John Warcup]? He’s small fry, the branch secretary of the A61 branch and a 16 hpw-contracted Asda worker. Is it [GMB General Secretary Tim Roache]? Who knows? Micky’s campaigning has pissed off many full-time and lay officials close to GMB’s right-wing bureaucracy. Now what?
I understand Micky has sought and begun to receive independent legal advice. I understand how crucial this fight is. I understand what it’s like to be turned on by one’s own union. I understand the indispensable centrality of the membership as the primary driver of our movement.
So, on who’s mandate does this shadowy shit show in GMB officialdom take place? Not Asda. They’re laughing their horrible asses off at this internal trade union witch hunt. Not the members. Micky’s a popular rep on the shop floor with a depth of presence in the community.
That leaves only a few potential adversaries in GMB’s machinery who have made this a priority for their own purposes. It’ll become clear inevitably. Meanwhile campaigning for #AsdaRespectYourWorkers remains an arms-length endeavour. GMB doesn’t mobilize members. Just tops.
Instead of allowing members expressing a desire to participate in the Leeds protest it by providing travel and time off work it became another expenses-paid day out for many officials. Instead of supporting members who wanted to remain outside Asda house officials moved them on.
Officials also counted on the support of West Yorkshire Police, who read out a section 14 public order warning, the same routinely used against anti-racists, to prevent GMB members from expressing their legitimate class anger openly and thoughtfully. This is fit trade unionism?

Micky Hunnam’s been a leading figure in coordinating digital and real-world campaigning against Asda’s roundly hated attempt at imposition of contract 6, a naked attempt to strongarm staff out of pay and conditions. He led dialogue with leading lay reps which resulted in action.
His style may be unconventional and unorthodox at times but so what? Working class people come to trade unionism from many backgrounds because it’s meant to be a safe place for workers to turn in their hour of need for official support in their workplace and community struggles.
Throughout this struggle however I’ve observed as Tim Roache first sneered at, then attempted to dox detractors urging him in to solid action in defense of workers. Then, coincidentally or not, the funny business began. Now, a blatant attempt to strip a rep’s ERA credentials.
All of this is occurring in the broad daylight of social media and the workplace against a backdrop of high-profile and public dispute in one of Britain’s largest employers. This is nothing less than betrayal. A kangaroo court has even been scheduled to rubber stamp the decision.
A regional committee will assemble to consider the internal failure of officials to convey or provide Micky’s details to regional secretary Billy Coates THREE YEARS AGO. Coates also details that Micky’s response to his email will be considered by the committee, simultaneously.
What’d Micky’s response contain? Not a lot other than a robust response stating facts: the failure to provide his details isn’t his failure – it’s not his fault – why is this an issue NOW? – why is it being prejudiced by Micky’s response which merely calls out suspect details?
Trade union brothers and sisters, rightly or wrongly, Micky is taking action to prevent this betrayal. When he and Asda workers need their union most, it’s turning on him and failing them. This is unconscionable in our movement. It’s contrary to all we do and fight for daily.
I’m hoping you’ll read this thread, a brief, cursory explanation to this complex betrayal, retweet some or all of it, and use the hashtag #ReinstateMicky when commenting. Micky was suspended in perpetuity from work on phony charges, fought it, and won. Now the GMB takes its turn.
Please, discuss, read, and share. Don’t let this fighter go down. He’s fighting for all our basic rights as workers’ chosen representatives to hold the employer AND our trade union leaderships to account. He needs solidarity from around the movement to expose this rotten hustle.

Posted in Unions, Work | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Workplace notes and class struggle events listings for early August

Workplace notes:

At homelessness charity St Mungo’s, staff are balloting for strike action over a range of issues including a demand to stop sharing information on homeless migrants with the Home Office. Over in Belfast, workers are occupying the iconic Harland & Wolff shipyard to fight against its impending closure. Notably, when Boris Johnson made his first visit to Belfast as PM last week, workers from this historically Protestant and Loyalist workplace stood side-by-side with Republicans and an Irish language group, and chanted in both English and Irish.

All-out strikes continue among outsourced staff at government department BEIS, and in Bromley, where library staff are now in their ninth week of strike action, and there’s still a call to boycott gyms and leisure centres owned by GLL, the company who run Bromley libraries. A third all-out strike may have been narrowly avoided in Edinburgh, where bus drivers are considering a new offer in a dispute over management bullying that led them to threaten an indefinite walkout.

Grassroots union United Voices of the World are very busy up in the capital, with ballots for action planned at seven different workplaces across London. As ever, donations to their strike fund will be gratefully received.

In other grassroots union news, the IWGB are sending out copies of their new couriers’ bulletin Puncture/Ruptura, a publication that will hopefully fill the hole left by the Rebel Roo, so get in touch with them if you’d like to help spread the news among couriers near you.

On the railways, the RMT’s “keep the guard on the train” dispute will see more strike action on Merseyrail and South-Western Rail soon, along with another live dispute over contract issues on East Midlands Railway. Elsewhere, they’ve made a new film about their “justice for cleaners” campaign on the London Underground, and will be holding a national “cut fares not staff” day of action on August 14th.

Also in transport, there’s been a few high-profile strike threats by airport staff – as I understand it, the current situation is that Stansted’s definitely off after check-in staff won a new pay deal and recognition agreement, while everything’s still up in the air at Heathrow and Gatwick, where staff are currently considering new offers that have been made. But Ryanair pilots have just announced that they’ll be striking in late August and early September over a whole range of issues, and the pilots’ union is also still in talks with British airways.

Meanwhile, the investigation into blacklisting drags on, with the latest news being that Crossrail paid £59,000 to a security firm to spy on trade unionists and anti-blacklist activists between 2010-2013.

Upcoming events:

On the morning of Friday 9th August, grassroots cleaners’ union CAIWU are asking people to join them for a visit to two employers they’re in dispute with over working conditions and victimisation of union members. Also on the 9th, Community Action Against Prison Expansion are going to protest at the site of the proposed mega-prison in Wellingborough, with transport currently arranged from Bristol and London.

Outsourced HMRC cleaners on Merseyside will be striking for a living wage and equal conditions from August 12th-14th, with a big strike rally planned for the 13th. You can donate to their strike fund here. Down in that London, there’s going to be a fundraiser disco for their strike on Friday 16th.

Also on the 16th, there’s going to be a return visit to the Wellingborough mega-prison site.

The RMT have a lot of stuff going on around mid-August: there’s a “cut fares not staff” day of action all over the country on the 14th, a strike on East Midlands trains on the 17th, and on the 19th they’ll be holding a demonstration on the Liverpool dockside highlighting issues such as pay and the failure to redeploy staff who were working on a ship that’s been sold.

Later in the month, Ryanair pilots are scheduled to strike on the 23rd, and Saturday 24th August is the first date in a series of strikes to keep the guards on Merseyrail trains, which will continue into October.

The week of the 23rd-30th August will be the 7th annual week of solidarity with anarchist prisoners, and at the very end of August, there’ll be a zine fair happening at Freedom in London on the 31st.

Looking into September, there will be actions against the DSEi arms fair running from the 2nd-13th. Ryanair pilots are set to take their second day of strike action on the 4th.

A new collective has announced their intention to run a London anarchist bookfair in late 2020, but if you don’t fancy waiting till then, on September 7th you can take your pick from the Bradford or Dorset bookfairs. Or indeed the Wigan Diggers Festival if that’s more local to you.

On the 11th, Smash IPP will be protesting at the National Probation Service in Gateshead to demand freedom for the IPP prisoners still trapped by endless sentences.

The global earth/climate strike is meant to be happening on the 20th, and could be pretty big.

And further ahead still in October, Kirklees Anti-Fascist Assembly are getting ready to oppose a far-right “Yorkshire Patriots” march through Dewsbury. You can read more about the context here.


Posted in Anarchists, Climate Change, Strikes, Unions, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments