Another quick round-up of a few interesting bits and bobs:
In workplace news, recycling workers in Sheffield are asking for donations towards their fighting fund to help their campaign against a bullying management who’ve sacked two organisers and threatened the entire workforce with disciplinary action after they gave notice of their intention to strike. Over in Ravensthorpe, employees of the bankrupt bedding manufacturer Kozee Sleep have occupied their workplace in protest at unpaid wages. And in the capital, bike couriers have organised in the IWGB union and will be holding a protest starting at 9am on Tuesday 9th to demand a decent rate – see their video here for more information.
In education, two pieces of encouraging news: campaigners at Warwick University are celebrating the defeat of the Teach Higher scheme, which they call “little more than a badly disguised attack on vulnerable staff”. And parents, teachers and students who’ve been fighting plans to turn three schools in Lewisham into academies have also declared victory after the academy orders have been dropped.
In housing news, some students at UCL are currently engaging in a rent strike, and are asking for donations for the strike fund here. Meanwhile, Housing Action Southwark & Lambeth have won confirmation from Southwark council that you have the right to be accompanied to the housing office. Also, the Black Cap in Camden has now been occupied by squatters protesting against the massive gentrification of Camden.
On the legal/repression front, Federico Annibale, a London student who’s been detained for months since being nicked at a protest against the European Central Bank, has finally been freed, Spanish comrades report the mixed news that three of the five anarchists being detained under Operation Pinata have now been released, but the state has frozen the bank account used for solidarity donations, and international antifascists are encouraging people to organise events for a global day of solidarity with antifascist prisoners on July 25th.
Other miscellaneous pieces of news include a large and militant demo that tore down fences at Yarl’s Wood detention centre yesterday, the upcoming national day of action against workfare at B&M stores on June 27th, and the Anti-Fascist Network have published two guides to setting up a local anti-fascist group and resources for action, which are worth a read for anyone thinking about getting involved.
And finally, a few interesting radical projects: Self-Management Notes is an attempt to look at the bosses’ use of management theory and turn it around for the benefit of workers, and Plan C have been busy of late: in London they’re setting up consciousness-raising groups, hoping to deepen their understanding of how capitalism affects everyday life, and they also published a piece looking at the idea of the social strike as a strategic orientation, which attracted some critical comments from the Angry Workers of the World collective here. Both pieces are very much recommended reading if you’re interested in thinking about questions of strategy. Even more recommended, if you can make it, is the current AWW film and discussion tour looking at warehouse workers’ organising, which they’re currently halfway through, but there’s events in Bristol, Birmingham, and West London still coming up – it looks like a fascinating opportunity to examine the challenges of organising and building power in unorganised workplaces.