Quick notes on the Free Tommy mob – Manchester, London, and beyond

A few statements have come out in the wake of last weekend’s events, when a Free Tommy demonstration in Manchester, seemingly totally unopposed, trashed a lefty stall in the town centre.

From Plan C London:

“Plan C LDN stands in solidarity with our comrades in the Revolutionary Communist Group (RCG) Manchester who were attacked by supporters of Tommy Robinson over the weekend.

Last Saturday, 27th July, over 100 Tommy Robinson supporters marched through Manchester city centre unhindered by a small police presence, to hold an impromptu rally inside the city’s Arndale shopping centre. After unfurling some shit banners and threatening members of the public, the mob attacked comrades in the RCG who were hosting a stall on the street outside to celebrate Cuba’s Revolution Day; hurling physical threats and racially abuse whilst trashing the Group’s table and materials. Unsurprisingly, Greater Manchester Police did nothing to stop the vicious attack despite requests for assistance – no arrests or charges have been made.

This is the latest in a series of attacks against members of the left by Tommy Robinson’s supporters, who have once again been given a free pass by the Police. In July 2018, a gang of 20 nazi thugs attacked a group of Trade Unionists from the RMT in London who were enjoying a drink after an anti-fascist rally. Several workers were hospitalised after defending themselves from the attack.

The far right will plan to march in London on Saturday 3rd August once again under the banner of ‘Free Tommy’. We will be there alongside comrades in antifascist, feminist, and migrant solidarity groups to oppose the politics of Tommy Robinson and to show the far right we will never let them have the streets. London is anti-fascist.

Plan C LDN”

The Stop Tommy demo in London is meeting at Piccadilly Circus at 10:30 sharp on Saturday morning.

From Football Lads and Lasses Against Fascism:

“In Manchester, 57 years ago, Oswald Mosley & his resurgent fascist movement were quite literally put on their arses & run out of the city. Last Saturday, the far-right were able to parade around the Arndale & Manchester city centre without opposition. Mancunia has a proud tradition of militant anti-fascism, from the 43 Group to the 62 Group to the ANL Squadists & AFA (Anti-Fascist Action). In the absence of effective political or physical opposition to fascism in Manchester, FLAF will commit itself to reviving the real traditions of militant anti-fascism in the city.”

There was also one from the city’s “161 Crew”, which reads quite a lot like a throwing in of the towel:

“Social Duty –
161 Crew MCR have repeatedly set out its position regarding how militant anti fascism responds to discharging a social duty.

Working Class Organising with Trade Unions –
That social duty has many facets, meaning working class communities must organise from its roots of working class resistance to rise a force that can meet and counter the rise of right wing hatred either on the streets or in their communities.

The communities must look to the Trade Union movement, Labour, and left wing grass roots groups such as Momentum to assist in putting a visible opposition on the streets to counter the right wing presence. This should be well defended but not lead inexperienced members of the public into unnecessary danger or arrest.

When the right wing attacked an RMT picket, at Manchester Victoria Station on the 5th January 2019. We saw working class community mobilisation involving Trade Unions and left wing groups the following week. This demonstrates that relationship already exists, and must be built upon.

State Controlled Theatre –
Groups who set up stalls and put on events should only do so if they are confident of defending themselves. Groups should cease expecting militant anti fascists to attend city centres and play superhero bodyguards.

Such a theatre is controlled by the police both overtly and covertly. It allows for the easy identification of activists by police and often leads to avoidable arrests which would jeopardise the ongoing vital working class community cohesion programmes that activists may be advancing.

Not an Emergency Service –
161 Crew MCR have repeatedly made clear, the theatre of engagement is chose by them, and them alone. Engaging with fascists should be done when discreet and opportune, in the tradition of Anti Fascist Action/Red Action. The situation is not critical enough to warrant another wave of unnecessary court cases and bail conditions.

Media –
Most propaganda from the right in the modern era takes place online. The streets is no longer the main concern for the right. They know they can reach far more via the web. We cannot no platform someone on YouTube or social media. The answer is to develop an alternative media operation and develop media personalities.

161 Squads are not a rent a mob or some kind of emergency service for the left, and never will be.

We stand with working class communities, to advance community cohesion.

P.R.O. 161 Crew MCR.”

Aside from the fact that this seems to totally rely on Labour and Momentum to provide political guidance and leadership for the antifascist movement, I can appreciate why people might want to stay off CCTV and engage in more covert activities instead, but whatever quiet stuff they’ve been getting up to doesn’t seem to have dented the confidence of Manchester’s fascists much. As the 161 Crew admit, last weekend’s events didn’t come out of nowhere, but are a continuation of a solid campaign of far-right activity in the city with little opposition – going back and revisiting the video of the fascists abusing the RMT picket from January, it’s notable that some of the loudest voices are scousers complaining that they can’t operate in Liverpool. There’s clearly a lot of work that needs doing if we’re to ensure that fascists don’t see any of our towns and cities as soft touches.

If you can make it to London on the 3rd, that’ll be a good start; but beyond that, let’s make sure that last weekend is the last time a regional “Free Tommy” demo get to throw their weight around totally unopposed.

Posted in The right | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Help Ramsey Orta, imprisoned copwatcher who filmed Eric Garner’s death, make parole

You can sign a community letter in support of his parole application here:

Thank you all so much for your support of my partner Ramsey Orta over the past few years.

Five years after NYPD suffocated Eric Garner to death on a sidewalk in Staten Island, New York, Ramsey, who filmed the incident, is the only person who has faced any consequences.

Since 2016, Ramsey has been imprisoned in New York, where he continues to endure retaliation for sharing his video of NYPD officers killing Eric Garner. This recent article shows what Ramsey is experiencing while incarcerated. Currently, Ramsey is in solitary confinement.

In mid-August 2019, Ramsey will appear before the Parole Board for a hearing on his early release. To support Ramsey’s release on parole, please read and sign the letter below. In early August, we will send the letter to the New York State Parole Board with the signatures of everyone who signs on.

Ramsey deserves to be free. I need him to come home. If you agree, please sign onto the letter below by filling out the form at the bottom of this page.

You can additionally support Ramsey in these ways:

In struggle, Deja

P.S. As of today, July 30th, over 1,000 people have signed the community letter for Ramsey’s early release. This means so much to Ramsey and me. The letter will be available to sign through Sunday, August 4th, so please continue to share it with your friends and family. Thank you!

Posted in Repression | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Unite day of action against Universal Credit, Thursday 1st August

As always with events of this nature, one-off days of action called by national bodies like Unite are no substitute for the ongoing work of building power among claimants at a local level and on a day-to-day basis, but they’ve got to be better than nothing.

Anyway, events confirmed so far are:


List of events across the country 1 August 2019

London & Eastern–Events list

DWP, Caxton House, Tothill Street, London SW1H 9NA 13.00-15.00 (Main London Event)
Feltham, Feltham Ponds, High St, Feltham TW13 4BU 12.00-14.00
Brixton Tube Station, Brixton Rd, Brixton, London SW9 8HE 11.00-12.30
Euston station, NW1 2DU 11.00-12.00
Angel Centre, 1 Parkfield St, The Angel, London N1 0PS 11.00-13.00

Jobcentre Plus, Side Entrance, St Lawrence Lane, Off, Pottergate, Norwich NR2 1BZ 12.00-14.00
Free packed lunches (food supplied by Unite and Norwich Foodhub)
Running between Friday 23 July and Friday 30 Aug 12-13.30 outside The Phoenix Centre, Miles Cross (Brian Green 07913 299865)

Stall on Fitzroy Street (Grafton Centre Entrance) Cambridge, CB1 1ER 11.00-13-00
March to Job Centre at Henry Giles House, Chesterton Road, Cambridge, CB4 3BQ 13.00

Free morning activities and lunch for children age 11-15. Food funded by Unite community and Asda. Activity programme by Arts Council England and Luton Football Club.
Lee Manor High School, North Well Drive, Luton, LU3 3TL (contact Jacqui 07957 752205)

South East–Events list

Outside Slough Jobcentre, Yew Tree Road, Slough. SL1 2AQ
Street stall from 10.30 and 12.30

Street stall & leafleting from 10.00 –14.00 2-6, High Street, Town Centre, Ashford TN24 8TD (Next to Debra Charity Shop)

Meet at the Bargate in Southampton at 12.00.
At 12.30 there will be a noisy march up Westquay precinct, down to the Jobcentre and then back to the Bargate for speeches, songs and free snacks and face painting. Event ends at 14.00

Meet outside the Tesco’s in Cosham 16 High street, Cosham, PO6 3BZ
Foodbank collection and street stall from 11.00 –13.00

Street stall outside Millets in Hastings Town Centre
12/13 York building, TN34 1NN 11.00 –13.00
Speakers will include Richard White and Charlotte Gerada with a Petition on child poverty to go to Amber Rudd. Will also be a Food Bank Collection.

11.00 –13.00 outside the George St -Job Centre.
7 Worchester Street, OX1 2BX
Street stall and leafleting

Meeting outside Costa in Queens Square, Crawley, RH10 1DE.
Leafletting and street stall 12.00 -13.30
Street stall and petitioning.

Leafleting and street stall
The Forum, High Street, ME10 3DL 10.00 –12.00.
Handing out leaflets and petitioning.

10.00 –12.00 at the Clock Tower, ME12 1AG
Street stall and petitioning.

13.00 –15.00 at the Brighton Clock Tower, West St, Brighton, BN1 3GJ.
Street stall and petitioning.

Milton Keynes
12.00 –13.00 Outside Netherfield Shopping Centre, Farthing Grove, MK6 4
Street stall and petitioning.

12.00 –13.00 outside the Guildbourne Centre, Chapel Road, BN11 1LZ.
Street stall and petitioning.

Leigh Park
Outside Greywell Shopping Centre, Greywell Road, Havant, PO9 5AL
10.30 –12.30 Street stall and petitioning.

2nd August (not on the day of action!)
Waterlooville Precinct, Crookhorn Lane, PO7 5QH 10.30 –12.30
Street stall and petitioning

South West–Events list

Tony Benn House, Victoria Street, Bristol BS1 6AY
Assemble 11.00 stall with awareness info and call to action of donations and support for those suffering from Holiday Hunger

Meet outside the Jobcentre-plus, Lemon Quay Truro, TR1 2PU 12.00 –14.00
Info stall to support claimants
Contact on the day 07584938895, before the day 01209 711791 https://www.facebook.com/events/723495021438341/

South Devon
Assemble at TQ2 5EX -near the Fleet Walk car park in Torquay; close to the Princess Theatre 12.00
Leaflet distribution on the seafront
Contact: Lesley Perrin, Catherine Fritz TorbayFACT@gmail.com

North Devon
Event: Holiday Hunger Breakfast Club starting on Thursday 1 August and running over the summer holidays from 08.00 –09.00
1646 café, Castle Hill, South Street, Great Torrington, EX38 8AA
Contact: Siobhan Strode 07736 355720

Working with CaterEd
Asda Superstore Leypark Dr, Plymouth PL6 8TB 12.00 –14.00
Picketing and pop up food stall

West Midlands Region –Events list

Cranaham shopping precinct, Worcester, WR4 9PA 10.00 -12.00
Street stall and leafleting followed by door to door leafleting on nearby estate

Black Country
Dudley town centre (LOCATION TO BE CONFIRMED) 11.00-13.00

Birmingham High Street, City Centre (opposite Primark) B4 7SL 13.00-16.00
Street stall, leafletting, petition and music

Broadgate, Coventry CV1 1FS 12.00-14.00
Street stall and leafleting

Newcastle under Lyme
Outside the Guildhall ST5 1PW 10.00-12.00
Street stall with the local CLP

By the Sister Dora statue, High Street Walsall WS1 1SR 11.30-13.00
Street stall, leafleting and petition with local CLP

East Midlands Region –Events list

Market Place, Mansfield NG18 1HX 09.00-13.00
Street stall and leafleting

Kirkby in Ashfield Library NG17 7BQ 10.00-12.00
Street Stall and leafletting

Outside The Council House Derby
DE1 2FS 13.30-15.00
Leafletting and petition

The Council House Derby DE1 2FS 17.15 onwards
Supporting a motion on Universal Credit by the Labour Group

New Mills
Market Street New Mills SK22 4AA 10.30 onwards

Leicester city centre, Haymarket Memorial Clock LE1 5YA 12.00-14.00
Street stall, leafleting

Market Square, City Centre NG1 1PD 11.00-14.00
Street stall and leafleting

Hyson Green outside the Jobcentre NG7 5FW 11.00-14.00
Street stall and leafleting

High Street, at the entrance to the market SK13 8AR 10.30 onwards
Street stall and leafleting

North East, Yorkshire & Humberside Events List


Doncaster – Clock Corner, Corner of St Sepulchre Gate and High Street, DN1 1QQ –

Middlesbrough – Outside Debenhams, junction of Corporation Road and Linthorpe Road, TS1 1LE –

Newcastle – Northumberland Street, NE1 7AL –

Pudsey – Outside Greegs, Market Place, Pudsey, LS28 7UA –

Sheffield – Outside Sheffield Town Hall, Pinstone Street, S1 2HH –

York (Acomb) – The Gateway Centre, Front Street, YO24 3BZ –

North West-Events list

Liverpool: 11.30-13.00 Williamson Square, Liverpool City Centre.
10.30-11.15 Wythenshawe Forum, Simonsway M22 9QX. Meet outside entrance.
11.45-12.30 Stretford Arndale. Meet in car park next to Aldi, Stretford Mall. M32 9BA
13.00-13.45 Salford Precinct-Meet outside gym/ post office, on Rossall Way M6 5DS
14.15-15.00 Harpurhey Market, Meet in Asda car park opposite market, M9 4DJ
15.30-16.15 Gorton Market. Meet In Tesco car park Hyde Road. M18 8LD
16.15 (approx)Return to Manchester City Centre. (Lifts home can be arranged)

Separately to that, there also seems to be a different session arranged by Manchester DPAC in St Peter’s Square from 13:00-15:00.

Wales-Events list

09:30-11:30 &13:30-15:30. Sea front, LL30 1AP

10.00. DWP Office, Ty Maelor, 15-17 Grosvenor Road, Wrexham LL11 1BW

10.00. DWP Office, 64 Charles Street, Cardiff, CF10 2GS
14.00. Alexandra House, 377 Cowbridge Road East Canton, Cardiff CF5 1WU

12.00. DWP Office, Market St, Bridgend, CF31 1LL

10.00. DWP Office, 37-38 High Street, Swansea SA1 1LS

Posted in Unemployment/claimants and welfare | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Deliveroo riders strike back, cleaners organising across London, union involvement in blacklisting and more: general class struggle round-up for mid-July

A few further updates and things I missed out of my last post:

The strike at Colloids in Merseyside seems to have come to a quiet end, although it’s hard to find out what exactly was agreed – there are posts talking about “a reasonable agreement” being reached, but not much beyond that.

The United Voices of the World union are boasting an impressive list of current disputes. From their website:

THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE: Cleaners, security & receptionists outsourced to OCS have used innovative strike tactics in a protracted struggle

They are demanding the London Living Wage of £10.55 and parity of sick pay / annual leave allowance with civil servants. These brave workers have been organising for well over a year, and so far have only been offered a small pay rise to £9/hour. All are migrants from Africa, Latin America and Asia.

ST. MARY’S HOSPITAL: More than 80 cleaners outsourced to Sodexo have joined UVW recently

These cleaners have all joined UVW in the last month alone (with more joining every day) to build towards a mass strike for the Living Wage and equality with hospital staff. They are migrants from countries including Lithuania, Philippines, Colombia, Hungary, Nigeria and Nepal, all organised by two women!

KING’S CROSS DEVELOPMENT: Cleaners outsourced to JPC are organising colleagues across a huge industrial area in St. Pancras

They are demanding the London Living Wage of £10.55 for their services in and around Grade-A office space, Google’s UK headquarters, major public transport links, lucrative constructions, a hospital and university.

ST. GEORGE’S UNIVERSITY: Security guards outsourced to Noonan are being overworked, underpaid, and denied equal rights

Our members working as outsourced security guards are victims of a two-tier workforce which has seen them severely overworked and disrespected. In addition, their terms and conditions remain on the pernicious statutory minimums, whilst university staff enjoy generous holiday allowances, pensions and sick pay schemes.

CHANEL: Cleaners outsourced to Bayleaf have won their Living Wage demand, but demand the reinstatement of unfairly suspended colleague

They are promised the London Living Wage from September after last-minute concessions on the eve of a major protest in swanky New Bond Street, where Chanel’s neighbours include Dior, Hermes and Vuitton. However, they have been successfully balloted to strike if there is any delay in their pay raise or the reinstatement of their colleague Carmen, who was victimised for her leading role in organising the cleaners.

UNIVERSITY OF GREENWICH: Almost all the cafeteria workers outsourced to BaxterStorey are united in their fight for the Living Wage

On the back of the threat of strike action by our amazing members (first-time unionists) who work as caterers at Greenwich University through the contractor BaxterStorey, our members have been offered a 50p pay rise — backdated to September 2018 — and they’ve offered to meet with us twice a year “to stay connected”. We’re now going to drag them to the CAC to get formal recognition. They have also agreed to implement the London Living Wage by August 2020. So we’ll now ballot our members for strikes, to make sure they implement it by August 2019!

They also said they were “very surprised and disappointed by the approach UVW has taken in this case” – well that is just music to our ears! We’ll also be putting in massive claims for unpaid overtime and fight to end the chronic under-staffing that plagues all outsourcing companies. Some of the team have had to work up to 80 hours a week to finish the work expected of them. This led to one of the chefs collapsing the other day after work from complete exhaustion, and being admitted to hospital.

LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: After UVW successfully brought hundreds of cleaners in-house in 2017, over 110 are still campaigning

UVW is again officially in dispute with the LSE University, with more than 110 cleaners threatening strike action regarding a collective claim about issues around pay and treatment. In the words of our lead organiser there, “the LSE is one of the most disrespectful, arrogant and contemptuous employers that UVW has ever come across.

ROYAL PARKS: Cleaners and gardeners at the charity in charge of eight Royal Parks in London are uniting for the Living Wage

Meet the Queen’s cleaners. They have cleaned the Royal Parks (including St. James’s, Regent’s, Hyde, Richmond, Greenwich and Kensington Gardens) for nearly 200 years between them — one has been on the job for 24 years. However, they are all paid a poverty wage of £8.21 per hour. The good news is they’ve all joined UVW and now intend to strike to win the London Living Wage, occupational sick pay, and full holiday entitlement.

Until now many have been denied their legal right to the statutory minimum number of holiday days (20 excluding Bank holidays) and have instead been allowed only to take only 8 days. Up the Queen’s cleaners!

TROCADERO: Cleaners outsourced to DOC Cleaning have had enough of low wages and statutory sick pay at a landmark West End venue

Cleaners who work at the famous entertainment venue Trocadero, (and the neighbouring Criterion building in Piccadilly Circus, where annual rent for both addresses costs £11m per year) have decided enough is enough — and are planning to down tools and strike until they are paid the London Living Wage and given occupational sick pay.

As ever, strike fund donations are always welcomed.

Anti-fascists mobilised to attend the annual Durham Miner’s Gala after the far-right For Britain movement made threats to oppose it, but For Britain quickly realised that they’d bitten off more than they could chew and were nowhere to be seen on the day.

The weekend of the 13th also saw co-ordinated action by Deliveroo riders across at least three cities in response to new policies from management. In London, a Deliveroo Editions Kitchen was picketed two nights in a row, with London IWW explaining:

“Deliveroo decided to ban motorcycles from the Editions Kitchen we picketed a few weeks ago. They claim this is because of environmental policy negotiations with the council, but we know they banned them because we were unionising the place. Meanwhile couriers elsewhere in the UK have seen themselves banned from using particular Editions kitchens for basically the same reason. Perversely the excuse of environmental friendliness didn’t stop non-motorized couriers from getting banned elsewhere. Why? Deliveroo is scared.”

And reporting the next night that “We won! The kitchen has closed after an evening of next to no service.”

That weekend, the Leeds Courier Network also reported that:

“Last night Leeds Deliveroo couriers held a successful strike and picket line outside of the ‘Dark Kitchens’ in Leeds.

The strike lasted from 7pm – 9pm causing Deliveroo to close up the ‘Dark Kitchens’ with restaurants sending chefs home early. With numerous reports coming in from riders in the city that orders were backed up in the restaurants, with ‘Frank’ (the algorithm) struggling to keep up.

The strike was called in response to the recent changes to our priority booking system. These new changes, that disproportionately effect cyclist, have caused a dramatic reduction of hours for every Leeds cyclist, with only a weeks notice. The profit driven reasoning behind Deliveroo’s decision is that cyclists are less ‘efficient’ than cars and scooters. This is a complete insult to cyclists who have worked tirelessly all year round facing dangerous traffic, icy roads, vicious storms and summer heat waves to build this company up to what it has become today. It is also a complete insult to the general public who now more than ever, demand that our companies and governments clean the air of our cities and directly combat climate change. While Leeds City Council puts forward plans to pedestrianise Leeds city centre, Deliveroo attempts to choke the city with more vehicles and more greenhouse gas emissions. This is the profit-before-people logic of Deliveroo and the so called ‘gig economy’.

The Leeds Courier Network is working nationally with other courier networks and campaign groups to plan further strikes and actions. We intend to carry on and expand this campaign until our demands are met.

  1. Deliveroo immediately suspends its changes to the priority booking system.
  2. Deliveroo immediately amends all booking time changes that were made to individual riders.
  3. Deliveroo immediately ensures that riders that would have previously received weekend peak hours are reassigned all peak shifts so as to not allow their statistics to drop in the coming weeks.
  4. Deliveroo introduces a non variable distance based payment system, offer us fair pay for all jobs and we will do them!

The mood on the picket was of happiness and solidarity!”

The Nottingham Riders Network also shut down a local kitchen that weekend, and will be back to do the same on the 26th.


Blacklisted construction workers have made an important bit of progress, as Unite has finally promised a formal inquiry into the allegation that union officials were involved in the blacklist. From a report on Union News:

The news was welcomed by the Blacklist Support Group, with joint secretary Roy Bentham saying: “We have been calling for an investigation into possible union collusion in blacklisting for ten years, we are therefore very pleased that this is now taking place.

“We do not for one moment think that every union official was conspiring with construction employers against their own members, but it is simply a fact that a number of blacklist files name union officials as the source of information. We are not looking for a witch-hunt but this must be fully investigated.

“There is a big battle to be had in the construction industry against companies who put profit before safety and who deny basic employment rights by engaging their workers on bogus self-employed precarious contracts. But this dark cloud of possible officer collusion, which has caused so much friction within the construction unions, needs to be removed once and for all”.

A delegation from the Blacklist Support Group has met with senior officials from Unite to clarify a number of issues. Speaking after the meeting, joint secretary Dave Smith said: “We have had assurances from Unite that the entire process, from collating the evidence to writing the final report, will be carried out by senior counsel and solicitors independently from the union.

“This is essential and we applaud the union for committing to such a transparent investigation: we intend to hold the union to that promise. We will be pointing the lawyers towards evidence we think is relevant, even if that upsets some people. We encourage any blacklisted worker who has concerns or evidence of possible union collusion to engage with this investigation, or contact BSG directly. BSG would not be involved in this process unless we thought it was capable of getting to the truth.”

Finally, more upcoming listings:

Outsourced workers at the government department BEIS will be out on strike all week. They say:

“Our outsourced workers are fighting back against the scourge of low pay and poor conditions imposed on them through outsourcing and the outsourcing giants ISS and Aramark.

Picket times and locations:

Monday 22 July – support their picket lines from 07:30am – 10:30am

Thursday 25 and Friday 26 July picket lines will be all day and cover every entrance to BEIS.

Location: 1 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0ET

There will be music, dancing and speeches. Come and share time and solidarity with these inspiring and powerful trade unionists.”

On Wednesday 24th, there’s going to be a mass “fck govt, fck Boris” street party in London to welcome in our new prime minister: “On 24 July, when Boris will likely give his first speech as prime minister, a street festival will be held in central London, to let him know that we reject him and his government; that we won’t stand by quietly and be scared into submission. That we see his flimsy, fickle, elitist ideology and we say: nah.

If you share our outrage, or feel Boris doesn’t represent the needs of your community, join us and bring music, art and noise to show the new prime minister and the government exactly what we think of them.”

As well as the various upcoming events that I listed in my last post (just to recap: there’s a “power beyond borders” camp for climate and migrant justice at a secret location somewhere in the southeast, Nottingham Deliveroo riders will be shutting down a Deliveroo kitchen as part of their ongoing organising campaign at the company, Mayday Rooms in London are hosting a discussion on anti-gentrification struggles in Rio de Janeiro, the UVW union are having a fundraiser party in the capital that night, and then on Sunday 27th Leeds Anti-Fascist Network are hosting a summer social and there’s a “No War but the Class War” meeting in Birmingham),  I’d missed the Hazards Conference in Stoke-on-Trent, billed as the UK’s “biggest and best educational and organising event for trade union safety reps and activists”. The theme this year is ‘Cleaning up toxic work’ in increasingly insecure workplaces.

Beyond that, on Wednesday 31st outsourced staff across St. Helens, Blackpool and Liverpool NHS trusts are set to strike for living wages and equal pay to their directly-employed colleagues.

On August 3rd, there’s an antifascist callout to oppose a “Free Tommy” march in London, as fans of the racist grifter are presumably terrified of what’ll happen if he’s locked up much longer and keeps starting fights with pensioners.

On August 9th, grassroots cleaners’ union CAIWU will be taking the fight to two different employers they’re in dispute with in central London, Addleshaw Goddard and the Lilian Baylis Technology School. And on the 16th, there’s a benefit fundraiser night in London for HMRC cleaners who’re striking on Merseyside.

At the end of August, Freedom bookshop will be hosting a zine fair, and the first weekend of September will see two separate anarchist/radical bookfairs, one in Dorset and the other in Bradford. Further ahead still, the Earth Strike/Climate Strike meant to start on September 20th could be interesting.

Posted in Anarchists, Strikes, Unions, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Quick events listings for mid-July

A few quick listings:

This weekend, on Saturday 20th, Norwich Anarchist Communist Group host a video showing and discussion on “YouTube, Social Media and Anarchy – Bringing Radical Politics to the Masses”. Next weekend, there’s quite a bit of stuff coming up – there’s a “power beyond borders” camp for climate and migrant justice at a secret location somewhere in the southeast, Nottingham Deliveroo riders will be shutting down a Deliveroo kitchen as part of their ongoing organising campaign at the company, Mayday Rooms in London are hosting a discussion on anti-gentrification struggles in Rio de Janeiro, the UVW union are having a fundraiser party in the capital that night, and then on Sunday 27th Leeds Anti-Fascist Network are hosting a summer social and there’s a “No War but the Class War” meeting in Birmingham.

Hopefully I’ll get the time to put together a more comprehensive round-up of other stuff soon, but in the meantime the ACG have some recent workplace notes, and Freedom have a guide to other radical summer gatherings, along with a social centre round-up, which are all worth a look.

Posted in Anarchists, Strikes, Unions, Work | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Upcoming IWW and IWGB actions, outsourced cleaners and caterers start indefinite strike, more action to save London Black Women’s Project

A few quick updates on things not covered in the last round-up:

The Angry Workers of the World are asking for a solidarity phone-in to a beauty salon that underpaid a building worker. They ask:

“Dear fellow workers,

Hope you all good. A building worker contacted us after he had been paid only £420 for two weeks of work, converting a beauty salon in West Drayton. We send various letters to the owner of the shop and visited the shop last Saturday. The boss threatened our fellow building worker with sending the police to his home, but otherwise didn’t move. We have to step things up a bit and ask you all to phone the shop on Friday and Saturday (5th and 6th of July). It is likely that the people who pick up the phone are workers who hire chairs in the salon, so please be polite when delivering a message along these lines:

“I just want to inform you that Mr Yaseen still hasn’t been paid his outstanding wages and urge you to ask the owner of the shop to get in touch with the IWW trade union.”

9am to 7pm / UK time”

They also have a new issue of their West London workers’ paper out now.

Meanwhile, the main London IWW branch have also put a request for help out:

“LONDON CALLOUT: London IWW is planning a wildcat action in the coming weeks aimed at resisting exploitative working conditions being inflicted on organised workers! Much like with some of our recent actions we would love for volunteers to stand in solidarity with our Union. We can’t give you the location or time for this yet, so if you want to get involved PLEASE EMAIL us at london@iww.org.uk or SEND A DM to this account. You will then be put into a private message list in order to share details closer to time. Due to the nature of the action we will likely *not* be sharing location, target business, or time publicly. It is therefore important that you contact us directly.”

Outsourced cleaners and catering staff fighting for the London Living Wage at government department BEIS have declared that they’ll be taking indefinite strike action from the 15th onwards. They’re inviting people to come down and join them as they start the indefinite strike by walking out at 12pm on the day. By my reckoning, that makes at least the third ongoing all-out strike, along with Bromley library staff and Colloids on Merseyside.

In other union action, the staff organising through the IWGB at posh Mayfair member’s club Loulou’s are calling for another protest on Thursday 11th, (the same evening as the next AWW reading group), and on Friday 12th the IWGB will also be hosting a “welcome party” for the University of London’s new Vice-Chancellor, reminding her of the ongoing dispute around outsourced workers on the campus. They’re also selling quite nice fundraiser t-shirts at the moment.

In not-directly-union news, there’s going to be a “rent strike weekender” happening in London on the 13th and 14th (they’re also selling some extremely snazzily-designed fundraiser shirts at the moment), and the campaign to save London Black Women’s Project continues with the next protest being planned for Monday 15th July.

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Late June/early July class struggle round-up

A few upcoming events:

On Monday 1st, there’s an emergency protest to save the London Black Women’s Project, which is threatened with closure.

Also in the coming week, on Tuesday 2nd London Anarchist Communist Group are hosting a showing of the film Rebellion in Patagonia, a 1974 film about a historical uprising in Argentina. On Friday 5th, there’s a call for a demo at Charlton Lido as part of a general call for solidarity with Bromley Library staff, who are out on an indefinite strike over pay and staffing levels. Bromley libraries are owned by Greenwich Leisure Limited, who also own the lido and a number of leisure centres across London.

On the night of the 5th, there’s a fundraiser disco for the United Voices of the World union. You can read about some of their recent and ongoing campaigns here, and Chanel cleaners organising through the UVW have also just voted for strike action after a union member was suspended. Cafe staff at Greenwich Uni organised through UVW are also threatening strike action in their attempts to win the London living wage.

In Bradford, NHS staff threatened by outsourcing have voted to strike, with over 300 NHS porters, domestics and security staff set to walk out for a week from Monday 8th July onwards. On the 9th-11th, outsourced cleaners on Great Western Railway will be striking against imposed changes to their shift patterns. On Thursday 11th, the Angry Workers of the World will be running a reading group on racism and class.

On the weekend of the 13th, it’s the Durham Miners Gala, and For Britain are threatening to show up and crash it, so Football Lads and Lasses against Fascism are planning to make any fascists attempting to show their faces feel extremely unwelcome. Beyond that, on the weekend of the 19th-21st, Plan C are running their annual Fast Forward Festival.

Other miscellaneous news, mostly workplace-related, without a specific date attached: the couriers organising through the IWGB at The Doctor’s Laboratory have now called their dispute off after winning a new pay deal. The IWGB is still in dispute with posh Mayfair club LouLou’s, where kitchen porters are fighting for a living wage and sick pay and against the threat of outsourcing.

On the trains, clerical and technical staff on Northern Rail organised through TSSA are threatening to ballot for strike action over pay, while the RMT are balloting for action across London against Tube cuts, and are also threatening to ballot for a national rail strike to defend pensions.

Workers at Merseyside plastics firm Colloids are still out on an indefinite strike for the reinstatement of a victimised rep. Support staff at the University of Birmingham are the only branch in Higher Education to have successfully voted for strike action in the 2018-2019 negotiating period, and have already taken one day of action during an open day. You can donate to their strike fund here.

Staff at Tate Galleries have called off their planned strikes after winning an improved pay deal, and grassroots cleaners’ union CAIWU is planning protests against the sacking of a number of their members at co-working space WeWork. They have a page up about the dispute here, but not much information about it so far.

Finally, cops news: members of the “Tower Hamlets 286”, antifascists who were rounded up in a mass arrest in 2013, have been getting some big money in compensation, and the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance have updated their list of known spycops with a few more names.

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