When doing a round-up of recent events, one obvious starting point is yesterday’s dramatic events in Dover. There doesn’t seem to be a full report from any anti-fascist group yet, but these posts from London Antifascists and the Anti-Fascist Network give some indication of how the day went, and there’s plenty of mainstream media coverage in places like Vice.
With Dover out of the way, the next upcoming mobilisation against the far right is Saturday 6th Feb in Birmingham, where Pegida UK will be desperately hoping for a turnout that’s less embarrassingly shit than their previous efforts. Meanwhile, as the “counter-jihad” movement fights Islamism by waving some England flags around in a police kettle in Birmingham city centre, people who actually want to do something to challenge ISIS will be in Manchester, discussing how to support the people fighting directly against them in Syria, as well as raising money for the reconstruction of the areas devastated by war.
Dover may have been the most high-profile protest to take place yesterday, but it certainly wasn’t the only one, as people in London were out marching against the upcoming Housing Bill, including a bit of well-directed aggro against some estate agents on the way. In other housing news, two claimants affected by the bedroom tax recently won their appeals in court, an attempted eviction at the Hope & Anchor pub was blocked, while anyone in the Luton area can get involved in the plans to resist an upcoming eviction there. At the end of February, private renters groups DIGS and Housing Hackney will be organising a “Yes DSS” event to demand an end to landlord discrimination against housing benefit claimants.
On the legal/court/repression front, the news this week has been very mixed: there’s been one great piece of news from an unexpected source, as the planned cuts to criminal legal aid have been scrapped following concerted industrial action from legal professionals. On the other side, following on from the recent sentencing of Yusef Asad and two London anti-fascists, 13 climate change activists are awaiting sentencing for aggravated trespass and the judge’s told them to expect custodial sentences, and two other people have recently been sent down as a result of rowdy demonstrations. You can write to them at
Daniel Baker, A6185DP, HMP Isis, Western Way, Thamesmead, SE28 0NZ
Tony Jones A0266DQ, HMP ISIS, Western Way, Thamesmead, SE28 0NZ
But in the face of repression, people keep fighting. There’s been a fair bit of news from the ongoing resistance to undercover coppers recently: Kate Wilson, the woman tricked into a relationship with Mark Kennedy who then went on to beat the Met in court, has shared her story, the Undercover Research Group are organising a series of events across the country for people who think they may have been targeted by undercovers, and the Undercover Research Group and Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance have both been highlighting the dodgy past of Scotland’s new top cop. Meanwhile, a number of different justice campaigns came together to demand an end to blacklisting by Carillion at the Liverpool FC stadium building site.
In another story of defiance and intense repression, Kevan Thakrar, who was found not guilty of attacking prison officers after the court ruled he acted in self-defence, has been kept in solitary confinement for years as punishment, and he’s asking for supporters to show up at
Thursday 18 February
12.30pm – 2.30pm
HM Prison Service Headquarters
Clive House, 70 Petty France LONDON SW1H 9EX
Finally, a few miscellaneous pieces of news: if you’ve got any spare cash after payday, you might want to donate to Khalfi’s legal fees to help him get out of Colnbrook Immigration Detention Centre, or help pay the fines hanging over 8 US comrades. And Unite Community are arranging another national day of action against benefit sanctions for the 9th of March. Last time round, I suggested “It’s worth considering how to make this callout most effective – for instance, would it be possible to make contact with people who’ve been sanctioned in your area, and link the general demand for an end to sanctions with a demand that the specific sanctions that specific claimants have been hit with should be overturned?”, and I’d still pretty much stand by that.
Also, I really don’t have the time or energy for a round-up of international news at the moment, but luckily I don’t really have to since the Dialectical Delinquents News of Opposition page does an amazing job of circulating news of struggle from around the globe, so have a look at that if you want to find out about where things have been kicking off lately.