Solidarity with Belarusian antifascists

Bristol Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) have set up a fundraiser for a comrade in Belarus who is accused of attacking neonazis last year. In their words:

“Since 2009, ABC Belarus have been supporting political prisoners in a country where it’s difficult and often dangerous to be known as a campaigner against oppressive state structures. They have helped dozens of defendants by raising legal fees, organising prison support, and creating solidarity campaigns.

Belarus ABC rely almost entirely off fundraising gigs which are invariably shut down by the police. Collective members face arrest and imprisonment in a system where it’s common to be beaten and forced to confess to crimes while held in custody.

Now they are trying to raise €5,000 in legal fees for an antifascist who is accused of attacking neonazis last year. If convicted he faces 8-13 years in jail. The collective have asked us for help in raising the funds and we think it’s reasonable to be able to send them £1,000.

Please share with all of your financially stable friends and anyone who can spare a couple of quid, it’s essential that we support groups who are doing important work where it’s that much harder to organise. If you want to find out more about the great work that Belarus ABC are doing, you can visit their blog at abc-belarus.org/?lang=en, and to learn about the prison system in Belarus you can read On the Way to Magadan: A Prisoner’s Diary (https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/ihar-alinevich-on-the-way-to-magadan). Thank you!

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Support the Leeds Deliveroo Hardship Fund!

An update on the Deliveroo organising effort in Leeds:

Why you should support the #LeedsDeliveroo7

In early February, management at Leeds Deliveroo managed to infiltrate a WhatsApp group being used by our members to organise other riders.

Upon finding the names of key organisers Deliveroo acted immediately. Five riders had their full time fixed hours removed and are now only given minimal shifts with one days notice and limited to a few hours a week. Two other riders have been sacked completely.

Please support this hardship fund for the seven Deliveroo couriers. They have lost their livelihoods because they have been organising Deliveroo riders for better pay and conditions.

Their hardship is immediate. Two riders have kids, all have rent and bills to pay, and as ‘self employed’ all have a tax bill coming in three months that most were expecting to pay from money earned in the last quarter.

Deliveroo’s actions are a direct attack on the right to join a union.

Our union, the IWW, is standing by us. But the IWW is a small union with limited funds and we need your support, now more than ever.

Money raised from this crowdfund will go directly to a hardship fund for the seven workers that have fallen victim to Deliveroo’s anti-union attack.

The IWW is bringing onboard one of the sacked riders to lead on the dispute with Deliveroo and is contributing much needed cash to the hardship fund.

This is the gig economy in action.

We need your help now.

Please donate anything you can afford to our hardship fund.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with the campaign.”

For anyone who’s actually in the area, Leeds and Bradford wobblies and friends will be out in the city centre talking to Deliveroo workers and other precarious workers in Leeds city centre from 12 onwards on Sunday 26th.

On a related note, if anyone’s around in West Yorkshire on March 10th, there’s going to be a fundraiser at Kinsley Coronation Working Men’s Club for the three school cleaners who were sacked for going on strike there.

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Against homophobic abuse and management complicity: London, Friday 24th February

Over two months ago, a cleaner at the London School of Economics, employed via the contractor Noonan, submitted a formal grievance saying he’d been subjected to homophobic bullying at work. While Noonan is known for its record of taking very harsh disciplinary actions against employees for minor offences, like trying to sack three cleaners for finishing their shift a little early, neither Noonan or the LSE have taken any action in this case. The cleaner in question then contacted the grassroots union UVW, and is currently in the process of taking Noonan and the LSE to a tribunal. In the meantime, the UVW union have called a protest for Friday 24th in support of the worker affected and demanding justice, responsibility and accountability.

noonan-lse

 

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Antifascist actions this weekend: against the art-right, Britain First, Polish nationalists and more…

The far-right will be out and about in various different forms this weekend, and there’ll be opposition to them all over the place:

In Telford, Shropshire Antifa are mobilising against a Britain First rally. Down in London, London Antifascists and others will be out leafleting against the LD50 art gallery, which has been using a veneer of arty irony and ambiguity as a cover for hosting talks by a variety of seriously nasty fash types. I don’t want to link directly to the LD5o wankers, but if you’re interested it’s easy enough to find a bit of their hilariously pompous response to the criticism they’ve received:

lolfash

Don’t you just hate it when you dare eschew a constraint and then you end up getting intimidated with menaces in a way that obviates the possibility of rational interpretation? :(((

Anyway, elsewhere the EDL will be making a return to Rotherham, and on the 26th Polish fascists Jacek Międlar and Leszek Żebrowski are due to make an appearance in Slough, while local antifascists are making a big push to get it cancelled.

Down in Bristol, Bristol IWW are hosting a workshop for migrant and refugee workers this weekend, and the weekend after that various racists and nazi types will be descending on the city.

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Call for emails in support of Brighton Deliveroo workers

The IWGB report that supporters of the Brighton Deliveroo workers have been emailing in in support of their demands, and encourage anyone who feels like it to join in. To add your support, email press@deliveroo.co.uk, reception@deliveroo.co.uk and david.ross@deliveroo.co.uk, and cc in the IWGB address at office@iwgb.org.uk so the workers involved can see the level of support they have. Please encourage any unions or other groups you might be a member of to send a quick email about the dispute.

A few quick templates you can copy and send:

“We support fair pay for everybody. Accordingly we fully support the campaign by Deliveroo workers, organised in the IWGB trade union, for £5 per delivery.

While pleased that Deliveroo has agreed to the freeze on recruitment requested by the union, to enable workers to be able to have sufficient deliveries to earn a living wage, we urge Deliveroo to agree to its workers’ reasonable demand for the rate of £5 per delivery.

We look forward to hearing that Deliveroo has agreed to fair pay for all its workers.

Yours sincerely,”

 

“We fully support the campaign by Deliveroo Workers organised in the IWGB for £5 per delivery. We also support the demand for a freeze on recruitment to enable workers to be
able to have sufficient deliveries to earn a living wage.

 

“I write with concern about the dispute with your drivers over employment status and their poor treatment and terms and conditions of “employment”.

You are exploiting your workers by defining them as self-employed, whilst their status is clearly employment based given that you define the working hours, manage the work undertaken and provide uniform. It will no doubt be the decision of an Employment Tribunal to define your staff as workers and not contractors, this is inevitable given recent other case law judgments.

In the meantime, you have the opportunity to correct this and to do the right thing. Until this does happen I will ensure that as many people as possible are made aware of your exploitation of workers in the name of your brand which will no doubt damage your reputation.

I fully support the campaign by Deliveroo Workers organised in the IWGB for £5 per delivery. I also support the demand and a freeze on recruitment to enable workers to be able to have sufficient deliveries to earn a living wage.

Regards,”

 

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Transatlantic conversations: 4th March

The Angry Workers of the World collective are proposing a series of discussions with US comrades. In their words, “We think it would be useful and interesting to speak directly with comrades in the States about recent developments in order to understand the similarities and differences. This might also have a mobilising effect on how and where to centre our political activities over here… Since the 2008 financial crisis the main social dynamics (economic trends, government changes, working class actions) either precede those in the EU or are more pronounced.Therefore, a lot of theoretical and practical efforts made by comrades in the US seem a step ahead from what we see around us – from IWW organising to Viewpoint Magazine’s theoretical work.”

They suggest a range of themes for possible discussion, including organising in the rural hinterland: social conditions in small town America, struggles within the low wage sector, workers self-defence/anti-police organising, developments within the logistics sector, reproductive rights and the right-wing ascendancy, prison organising, developments and strikes in the (industrial) working class, community/housing/solidarity networks, experiences from the past, university organising, and theory and organisation in the current phase.

For anyone in London who’s interested, there’ll be an initial preparation meeting at midday on Saturday 4th March in the Mare Street Wetherspoons in Hackney.

Also for anyone interested in the situation in the US, Peter Gelderloos and Research & Destroy both just published new texts looking at things on a fairly wide level – I haven’t had the chance to read either in full yet cos they’re both relatively long, but they both look interesting, the R&D especially looks great.

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Deliveroo in Brighton: it’s on!

As of today, the Brighton Deliveroo riders who’ve organised through the IWGB union have officially launched a campaign for the company to pay £5 per drop. As of today, that looks like a petition and some ITV coverage, but we can expect more soon. While the Brighton dispute might be the most high-profile, it’s important to remember that Deliveroo is also victimising workers for organising up in Leeds, so anyone who can make it should try and get along to the fundraiser in Shipley on Friday 24th.

brighton-deliveroo-demands

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