As ever, there’s a lot going on. To start off with, two quick pieces from the US prison system: the comrades at Anti-State St Louis have put together a list of people in prison who’ve either been convicted of, or are awaiting trial for, offences connected to the Ferguson revolt. Ferguson was an important moment, and one that was really inspirational for a lot of people, so it’s on us not to forget these people now the excitement’s passed and the state’s taking its revenge. Thinking about it, it reflects really poorly on the UK scene that I can’t remember a similar list being circulated after the 2011 riots. Whatever, try and send these people some love, and don’t say anything daft that could be used against anyone awaiting trial.
Meanwhile, over in Texas, prisoners organising through the IWW’s Incarcerated Worker Organizing Committee are threatening to strike on April 4th, a development that definitely sounds worth keeping an eye on. Recent weeks have also seen big uprisings in prisons in Alabama, as documented in this publication that’s been sent to prisoners in the Midwest.
Back in the UK, fascists and anti-fascists have been keeping each other busy. Swansea antifa have a reportback from the opposition to last Saturday’s white pride day there, while the next big day out will be the return to Dover on April 2nd. There’s a round-up of other upcoming far-right activity here. Meanwhile, Midlands anti-fascists are running two upcoming benefit events in Nottingham, a gig on the 8th and a dinner on the 16th, and they’ve also put a call out for articles, writers and discussion as they’re hoping to revive their blog – some of the topics they hope to tackle look really interesting, so stay tuned.
And on the subject of the fight against violent reactionary fuckwits, another plug for the case of Aiden Aslin, who may be facing charges for allegedly fighting with the YPG against ISIS – please come down and show support if you can get to Nottingham on the 5th, or spread the word about it if you can’t.
In workplace news, the next dates in the doctors’ strike are the 6-8th April, and then a full withdrawal of labour on the 26th and 27th. Plan C have an article up that suggests trying to spread the dispute with pickets of private healthcare providers. Also in healthcare, hospital cleaners at four mental health facilities in London have been striking for the London Living Wage. And staying with cleaners, the 18th of April will see a national demo in support of the SOAS cleaners, as that’s the date that management plan to sign a contract that will keep them outsourced for another five years.
The various campaigns to expose past state and corporate skulduggery are still rolling on – the Police Spies out of Lives blog has a summary of recent developments in the Pitchford Inquiry into undercover filth, and there’s a two-day conference examining the political police planned for the 16th-17th of April, as well as a meeting about undercover policing coming up on the 14th in Manchester. Meanwhile, the Blacklist Support Group have been keeping up the pressure with a visit to the headquarters of blacklisting construction firm Skanska, and they’ll be returning to the Royal Courts of Justice on April 7th for the next round of the blacklisting court case.
In more general anti-austerity news, Sunday 3rd April will see Glasgow host the Action Against Austerity conference of grassroots groups organising in Scotland, and radical workers and shirkers will be forming a No Jobs bloc on the next big People’s Assembly demo on the 16th. Two other struggles that deserve a mention are the ongoing campaign against library closures in Lambeth and the amazing rent strike that’s still going on at UCL and has now spread to Goldsmiths – here’s hoping the tactic spreads off campus and among wider groups of tenants soon.
Finally, to take a look at the big picture for a second, CNN recently ran an article called “China on strike” highlighting the increasing worker revolt that’s breaking out over there. Considering the central importance of cheap Chinese labour for the entire global economy, when the Chinese working class starts to seriously act in their own interests, it’s going to drastically reshape the reality that the rest of us operate in worldwide. For more on the situation, I’d recommend taking a look at Gongchao, China Labour Bulletin (who make this cool strike map), and Chuang.