If you’re reading this blog, you’ll probably be aware of the big upcoming protest in Central London on 20th of June. It’s probably worth going to that, and it’d definitely be worth getting together with some friends to discuss what you want to do to make the day more interesting, whether that’s helping provide childcare to enable parents to attend the demo, dropping by the Boycott Workfare social afterwards, or something else… your own imagination is the only limit, really.
But that’s not the only thing happening this month.
Here’s a few other upcoming events that haven’t had quite the same level of publicity:
On Monday afternoon, the Focus E15 Mothers will be paying a visit to tell the East Thames Group to rehouse Focus E15 residents. On the 17th, the Haringey Solidarity Group will be out leafleting against Finsbury Park Business Forum’s use of unpaid work, as part of their tireless campaigning about workfare. And on Thursday 18th, the Orgreave Truth & Justice Campaign will be holding a rally at the site of the old Orgreave coking plant to commemorate the 31st anniversary of the police terrorism that took place 31 years ago, an event that’s all the more important and poignant now that the IPCC have made it fully clear how little they care about police misconduct. Meanwhile, the “Ditching the Fear” tour about warehouse workers’ struggles in Italy will continue with events in Birmingham on the 18th and Greenford on the 19th.
The week after that, Class War’s Lisa McKenzie, who’s been charged with two public order offences and criminal damage over her involvement in the Poor Doors protests, and has now been denied legal aid, is due in Thames Magistrates Court on Monday the 22nd for a preliminary hearing. On the 23rd, another court case in a very different corner of the UK will see Tony Cox begin his trial after he was arrested for accompanying a claimant to the jobcentre. If you can’t make it to Forfar to support him, perhaps it’d be worth holding a solidarity event at your local jobcentre? The 23rd will also see South Yorkshire’s Freedom Riders meeting at Sheffield train station to continue their fight for free travel, and commemorate the one year anniversary of the unsuccessful police attempt to crush the movement.
On Saturday the 27th, Boycott Workfare are calling for a national day of action against forced unpaid work at B&M stores, with events planned so far in the Wirral, Chorlton, Sheffield, Birmingham, Leeds, and hopefully more coming soon. And the weekend after that will see action against fascism across the country, with Nazis taking to the streets of Golders Green down south, North East Anti Fascists mobilising against the Infidels in Stockton up North, and the EDL calling a national demo in Sheffield in between.
Having covered upcoming events, a few reports of past items of interest: this weekend in London, the housing struggle continued with property developers Lend Lease getting a makeover and an eviction being successfully prevented in Walthamstow.
In other London housing news, the excellent Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth have chronicled attempts to stop them accompanying people to interviews at Southwark housing offices, an issue which really deserves an entire post of its own. They’ve also written a simple and practical list of tips for community organising, which is worth a read. Also in London, Haringey Solidarity Group have been kicking the fight against workfare up a notch by occupying a local charity shop that uses forced workers.
Finally, this week just gone has seen events in a number of cities internationally commemorating June 11th, a day of international solidarity with long-term anarchist prisoners. Although Bristol was the only UK city to observe the event this year, this seems like a good jumping-off point for some closing observations about repression and solidarity: Czech anarchists have set up a blog spreading information about the current “Operation Fenix” crackdown happening there, including writings from those currently held in police custody. UK anarchist prisoner Emm Sheppard’s shared her story of being visited in prison by cops trying to find out why people dislike the police, and Bristol ABC have put together some tips for people being interrogated when entering or leaving the country. And finally, a report on recent goings-on with Operations Pandora and Piñata in Spain, including some words from imprisoned comrade Paul Jara:
“…I want to tell you that I am well both physically and mentally. I continue to think as I did before being inside, and what’s more I feel even more convinced of my ideas, with my head very high and proud of what we are. I am as I act and interact in theory and practice, always making self-criticism so as to continue to grow, because one never stops learning and by saying all this I don’t consider myself any better or worse than others.
I want to convey strength and courage to the comrades and those in affinity, and tell you with all my strength and rage that the struggle is the only road I have. With these blows the repression wants to scare and paralyse the anarchist and affinity milieu so that we only give assistance to those struck by the reprisals. Don’t let this happen, continue your projects with determination, and keep saying what you are and what you think without hesitation…”