The last week or so has seen some inspiring international news. In Greece, a big victory has been won by the mass movement in support of anarchist hunger striker Nikos Romanos, as a wave of struggle has won the right for prisoners to take leave to attend educational courses while wearing electronic tags – you can read Nikos’ victory statement here. Elsewhere, last week saw a huge protest against the water tax in Ireland, which is just one very visible high point of a national revolt that’s included consistent local campaigns of direct action preventing water meters from being installed. And the rebellion against racist police killings is still going on in the US, although that subject deserves an entire post of its own – for now I’ll just note that the disruptive solidarity protest in London last week seems to have got the cops quite rattled, judging by the mass arrests that they made.
Closer to home, there’s not been much on the scale of Athens or Dublin, but worthwhile resistance is still ongoing. Whoever put up the brilliant anti-police posters at choice sites across London will have put a smile on a lot of people’s faces, while at the other end of the country Newcastle Solidarity Federation have set up a new website, Stuff Your Boss, to try and publicise their self-organised direct action approach to struggles and build on previous successes. Meanwhile, a planned national strike by Shelter staff has just been suspended so workers can be balloted on a new improved offer – I’m wary to claim this as too much of a victory without knowing what the details of the new offer are, but whatever it is, it must be better than whatever they would’ve got without the threat of striking. Also in workplace news, I’ve not seen anything yet about action to support the two Sheffield recycling workers who’ve been sacked for being workplace organisers, but the story’s worth keeping an eye on, and if possible it might be worth trying to organise a meeting to publicise the issue in your area. And the IWGB recently held a protest inside John Lewis on a busy Saturday afternoon as part of their continuing campaign over cleaners’ pay.
Looking to the future, this Sunday some warehouse workers in West London have put out a call for people to help them distribute leaflets to their co-workers to help with an organising drive there, which sounds like a really important thing if anyone in the capital can make it. They describe the plan as:
“It would be great to distribute the leaflet on Sunday, 21st of December, from 6:30am to 9:30am, 11.30-2pm and 7.30pm-10pm. We can use our flat as a base, meaning that people could sleep over on the 20th of December, return for an extra nap and we plan on having drinks and music from 10pm, as a post-distribution chill out.
Please let us know as soon as possible if you could help us out, at what times you could distribute and your preferred breakfast fodder and alcoholic beverages! We will send out the draft of the leaflet for discussion soon.”
If that’s something you can help with, please get in touch with them at firstname.lastname@example.org
In similar news, Feminist Fightback have just posted up some documents from their workplace organising discussion, which look quite interesting, and are planning another similar event for March 2015, so if that sounds like something you’d be interested in you can contact them at email@example.com.
Another appeal for practical support comes from South Wales, where a No Borders activist had their house raided by the UK Border Force, who smashed their way in through the front door and then rubbed salt into the wound by sending them a bill for £200. Combined with the cost of getting the door properly fixed, this person is facing a fairly hefty financial penalty, so it would be good if you could donate anything you have spare to help them, or share the page around to others who might be able to give a bit.
Finally, seasonal news: Freedom Bookshop are having their Xmas party next weekend, the Focus E15 Mothers will also be hosting an NYE party, and this time of year is traditionally a time to send cards, so if that’s a thing you do, you might want to include someone in prison on your mailing list. The IWW Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee are encouraging people to write to IWW members in prison, and Brighton Anarchist Black Cross have a very extensive list of international prisoners, as do the New York Anarchist Black Cross. Personally, I would suggest that you might want to write to Ceebo/Damonte Shipp at
Wasco state prison B-5/cell 135up
P.O. Box 5500
Joel Almgren at
522 85 Tidaholm
Jock Palfreeman at
Sofia Central Prison
21 General Stoletov Boulevard
Sofia 1309, BULGARIA
and/or Luke O’Donovan at
Luke Patrick O’Donovan
Washington State Prison
P.O. Box 206
Davisboro, GA 31018
But there’s a ton of other people out there deserving support, these suggestions are just a few that happened to catch my eye.