Just a short post this time, I mainly wanted to share two stories.
First, from Nottingham, is the news that the second attempt at evicting the Crawfords has once again been blocked by a huge crowd of hundreds of people turning out to resist the bailiffs. It’s also interesting to note that the resistance seems to have been entirely organised outside of the existing left – as far as I can tell, as an outside observer, there seems to be a lot of Anonymous-type stuff and some “common law/Freeman of the land”-style rhetoric, but no union or political party branding.
The other news I’ve been most impressed by this week is an ongoing dispute in Sheffield over the sacking of a trans worker for using the “wrong” toilets. After Sheffield Industrial Workers of the World picketed Aviva, the story was picked up in the local press, and has now made it into the Telegraph. Interestingly, Aviva now seem to be scrambling to disassociate themselves from the sacking, having stated “We have made it clear to our supplier that the individual concerned is very welcome at Aviva. We would also welcome the opportunity to meet with the individual concerned, together with a representative of the supplier, to apologise for any misunderstanding.” It would be a mistake to declare victory before a full reinstatement is achieved, but the language Aviva are coming out with seems very promising.
Considering that temp agency workers are pretty much defined as workers with no rights who can be sacked at any time for any reason with no consequences, and the increased insecurity associated with this has been played a huge role in undermining workers’ confidence to take action in recent years, a successful fight for reinstatement would set a hugely important precedent that workers elsewhere could take inspiration from. Keep an eye on Sheffield IWW for updates on the dispute.
Other than that, upcoming events still include the picket against manipulative spycop Bob Lambert next Friday, the housing march in London and various protests for free education across the country, and then action against Work Capacity Assessment profiteers Maximus and benefit sanctions in March.