The last few weeks have seen a number of worthwhile acts of resistance, and even a few notable victories in areas ranging from housing to workfare. Johnny Void’s summed up a number of the most impressive recent wins – property directors Redrow have sold their share in the luxury Commercial Street flats after a lengthy campaign against the segregated doors for tenants in “affordable housing”, and tenants living in the New Era estate have forced the family of Tory MP Richard Benyon to make a similar retreat. Meanwhile, Liverpool IWW have forced a recycling contractor to pull out of workfare, and LAMH Recycling, the company that made headlines after a former employee was sanctioned for refusing to go back to his old workplace to work unpaid on a workfare placement, has also abandoned workfare.
In other news, Sheffield IWW are reporting that their campaign against the Greedy Greek restaurant, which has included a number of impressive mass pickets, has led to improved working conditions and the end of illegal unpaid trials. The public outcry that led to the end of Dapper Laughs’ career and the “mob resistance” that defeated Sheffield United chairman Jim Phipps’ hopes of re-signing the unrepentant rapist Ched Evans are also heartening signs of a growing backlash against rape culture.
This week’s also seen a revival of the student movement, with a large and militant demonstration not sanctioned by the NUS accompanied by attacks on the NUS headquarters, as well as a courageous response to ongoing police harassment from some anarchists in Bristol. Overseas, the huge campaign against water charges in Ireland is throwing the establishment into increasing panic, as politicians are being opposed everywhere they go and mass direct action is being taken to block the installment of water meters, although I’ve not been able to find a good article giving an overview of the situation as a whole. And over in the US, an IWW-backed campaign by Whole Foods workers has been successful in winning a wage rise.
If you’d like to contribute to similar victories in the future, there’s a number of things you can do in the next few weeks. On the education front, there’s a call for walkouts and occupations on the 3rd of December, and local marches across the country on Saturday 6th. If you want to get involved in housing struggles in London, the New Era tenants are setting up a contact list of people willing to resist evictions, and the Focus E15 Mothers still continue to hold their weekly stall every Saturday afternoon. On workfare, there’s going to be an anti-workfare Christmas street part in Bristol on the 13th and Liverpool IWW are looking to continue their campaign after the victory at Bulky Bob’s. Finally, two local events for anyone who can make it: a demonstration in Middlesbrough against benefit sanctions, and two pensioners from Barnsley who were arrested for protesting against cuts to travel passes will be appearing in court on Monday 8th December, so anyone who can should try and get down to support them.