A1. Nevertheless, HELLO!
A2. Picket and Rally Location
B1. 06:18 – Cold, Wet & Windy – United, Happy, Strikers
B2. Flying the Big Red Flag
B3. BASSA Repurpose Iwo Jima for the Class War
B4. Through a Rain-Smeared Lens @ 06.23
B5. Incoming: BASSA & RMT, or BA & TfL
B6. Strikers Down Aircraft
B7. Coffee and Smiles
B8. Pickets Park Planes on Airport Apron
B9. Mechanised Infantry of the Class War
C1. Hatton Cross Picket, Shift #2
C2. Friendly Waves to Horn-Honking Strike Supporters
C6. Flag Duo
C7. Resolutely, Incontrovertibly, NOT In Servce
C8. Locked Down by Militancy
C9. Like a Bird on the Wire
• Unite Strikers vs. BA – 1, 2, 3, etc.
» LINKs to follow shortly once editing and uploading is complete
» LINKs to follow shortly in a comment below, once editing and uploading is complete
OTHER STRIKE NEWS
• 'Unite union condemns BA for 'bullying' during strike', BBC News interviews Unite's Steve Turner
» video, 1:38 – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8578934.stm
• 'BA Cabin Crew at Heathrow', by Peter Marshall
» pix and report – http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2010/03/447945.html
» pix and report – http://www.demotix.com/news/282331/british-airways-cabin-crew-strike-heathrow
GROW HEATHROW HOSTS WORKERS CLIMATE ACTION
The folks who catalysed the Vestas wind turbine factory occupation last summer, Workers Climate Action, are determined to both help support the strike, and to open up the discussions with the rank-&-file workers in this most emissions-heavy industry about climate change. Connections were made with Grow Heathrow, a land occupation of the Berkeley Nurseries in Sipson village (north of Heathrow airport in potential 3rd runway territory) by Transition Heathrow activists (about which I hope to report in the near future). And the lovely folks at Grow Heathrow were very welcoming in extending their hospitality to us, for which many thanks.
STRAIGHT DOWN THE LINE
From 06:15, we were at the Hatton Cross roundabout, where crash barriers demarcated the 'official' picket site – well away from any actual entrance to any BA facility at the airport. So although plenty of passing motorists, bus and lorry drivers signalled their support for the strike by sounding their in their horns, scabs could simply drive past silently without any implication that they had physically crossed a picket line.
I focussed mainly on capturing pictures and video, while other Workers Climate Action activists distributed somosas, strike bulletins and hot drinks, and engaged those on duty in conversation – for more on what was learned, see:
• 'First day BA picket lines strong at Heathrow', at Workers Climate Action
» blog entry – http://workersclimateaction.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/first-day-picket-lines-strong-at-heathrow/
• 'Why climate change activists support the BA workers' – Workers Climate Action bulletin for British Airways strike, 20-22 March 2010
» PDF, pp.2, 132 kb – http://www.dlandmj.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/docs/ba.pdf
A great deal of anger on the picket line arose from the bullying tactics of BA management towards free-speech: regular BA workers have been suspended and disciplined for expressing their views to the media, to the point where nobody in current BA employment was willing to even record an off-camera interview, with their words replaced by an actor (a technique suggested by and used with an RMT militant on a London underground strike day). And Unite the Union representatives had been briefed in advance by their press department not to give any interviews either. Thankfully, Shaun Dey from the Reel News video activists collective discovered a retired BA worker who was more than willing to record an on-camera interview.
RALLYING FOR VICTORY
With regular changes of the 12 permitted pickets at the Hatton Cross roundabout, facilitated by union minibuses flying red Unite flags, I got to photograph three different shifts of pickets, before moving on to the Strike Support Rally at a local amateur football ground, where around 1,000 people had gathered. The strikers' morale, on both the picket line and at the rally, was pleasingly high, with plenty of jovial high spirits in evidence.
The most strikingly problematic issue seems to me to be the apologetically supine nature of the union leadership. IMHO, unions are for fighting the class war in the interests of their members – but Unite bosses actually seem to be proud of the fact that "BA cabin crew offered changes to pay and working practices that would have made savings of more than £100 million for British Airways" [source: http://www.unitetheunion.org/ba ]. As you can see, they even printed up placards reading, "WE OFFERED A PAY CUT", and "WE OFFERED PAY CUTS TO KEEP BA PREMIUM". As I said to an RMT militant at the rally, this bosses-arse-licking behaviour should be a source of deep shame, not pride.
Two of the things that really stood out for me were the contempt in which the British Airways boss Willie Walsh is held, obvious both in conversations and props produced (placards, T-shirts, pig masks, etc.); and the significant proportion of gay men among the strikers, hugging and kissing each other and their fellow women strikers with genuine affection – there was, as they say, a lot of love in the room that day.
» Grow Heathrow ready for take off – http://www.planestupid.com/category/blog-tags/grow-heathrow
» Reel News – http://www.reelnews.co.uk
» Transition Heathrow – http://www.transitionheathrow.com
» Unite the Union: 'BA: United we stand campaign' – http://www.unitetheunion.org/ba
The Great COP-15 Cop-Out in December 2009 showed how The Powers That Be cannot even be prevailed upon to meet their own woefully low expectations in co-operating to halt the Catastrophic Climate Chaos Crisis into which they are plunging humanity and our ecosphere. So it's time to begin making ourselves ungovernable by their discredited and bakrupt Parliamentary representative democracy, by developing our own dynamic and blossoming Participatory direct democracy – through the People's Assemblies called for by the emergent Climate Justice International. And as workers in aviation and other industries begin winning the upper hand over their bosses through class struggle direct action like strikes, then we'll all be in a way better position to decide democratically how we collectively make the transition to the zero carbon economy demanded by the future of our civilisation.
Over four Election Meltdown Mobilisation gatherings, our numbers, reach and plans have grown from strength to strength. From co-creating a May Day Carnival in Parliament Square, fed by four convergent Carnival Parades, to taking up the call from the Climate Justice International to convene People's Assemblies in the Square and elsewhere, these are exciting times for those who would actively create a popular, truly democratic, and ecologically harmonious future for human civilisation and our biosphere. We're an Open Network collective, open to individuals and groups who'd like to collaborate face-to-face and online, to build a better world for all life on Earth – so YOU are invited, to help broaden out these initiatives, add in your own to the mix, and spread the word before the UK general election: there IS a 'System Change not Climate Change' alternative to the mainstream party's planet-wrecking austerity measures – because We Weave Our Destiny With Our Own Hands!
• Election Meltdown Mobilisation gathering #5
• EMM#5.1 – Saturday 27 March 2010, 15:00-19:00
• EMM#5.2 – Sunday 28 March 2010, 15:00-19:00
• Downstairs at The Foundry, Old Street tube (exit 3), 80 Great Eastern Street, London, EC2A 3JL
» Phone Contact: 07 854 390 408
» Queries: email – email@example.com» Location: Map / Street View – http://tinyurl.com/Foundry-SVmap
» Election Meltdown Mobilisation #5: Facebook Event – http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=366623394500 – click on 'Attending', then 'Invite people to come' and invite your friends to join in
On Tueday 30 March 2010, at Southwark Crown Court, three Labour MPs and a Tory Lord will be put on trail for Theft and Embezzlement. Eliot Morley MP, David Chaytor MP, Jim Devine MP and Baron Hanningfield are being used as scapegoats to vent public outrage at the corrupt politicians without the real criminals having to change their ways. The courts cannot provide the justice we need. The system must be put on trial, not just these four corrupt scapegoats. Election Meltdown therefore calls for a PEOPLE'S COURT to put the whole system on trial. People from all over the country will come to Southwark to add their voices to the clamour for REAL CHANGE, not just false reforms!
• People's Court – Putting the System on Trial!
• outside Southwark Crown Court
• Date: 10:00-17:00, Tuesday 30 March 2010
• Location: 1 English Grounds, London, SE1 2HU (right behind the HMS Belfast)
» Street View / Interactive Map – http://tinyurl.com/SCC-SVmap
• To bring: picnic nick-nacks and food to share; DIY placards and banners
• Public Transport: London Bridge rail and tube station (Jubilee and Northern lines) – 3 mins walk, 300 m
• Journey Planners:
» TfL – http://journeyplanner.tfl.gov.uk
» Nationa Rail – http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk
» Transport Direct – http://www.transportdirect.info
• Facebook Events – click on 'Attending', then 'Invite people to come' and invite your friends to join in:
» PEOPLE'S COURT at Southwark Crown Court – http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=367632691983
» Peoples' Court Picnic – http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=401282973973
“The English people believes itself to be free; it is gravely mistaken; it is free only during election of members of parliament; as soon as the members are elected, the people is enslaved; it is nothing. In the brief moment of its freedom, the English people makes such a use of that freedom that it deserves to lose it.” ~ Jean-Jacques Rousseau (French philosopher and writer whose novels inspired the leaders of the French Revolution, 1712-1778)
• May Day Carnival & People's Assembly
• Saturday 01 – Thursday 06 May 2010
• Facebook Events:
» 1. May Day Carnival & People's Assembly – http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=335415173924 – click on 'Attending', then 'Invite people to come' and invite your friends to join in, and finally choose a Horsefolk-of-the-Apocalypse-led Carnival Parade, and do the same:
» 2a. Red Horse Carnival Parade – http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=338167061775
» 2b. Silver Horse Carnival Parade – http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=315494162167
» 2c. Green Horse Carnival Parade – http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=363481372782
» 2d. Black Horse Carnival Parade – http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=340247816939
» 'A Mayday Tatlin Tower Hometree in Parliament Square (Banshees Remix)' – 3D animated visualisation of a space hijacking icon for a directly democratic People's Assembly; video, 1:20 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5_qZvQm1-Y
“Real change comes about not because we vote for it, but because we fight for it, shout for it, work for it. Placing hopes and fears on who holds power, or who will gain power through voting, is wasting time which might be spent in creating alternatives, both for ourselves and for our communities.” ~ Chumbawamba, 1987
• Election Meltdown on t'InterWebs
» Election Meltdown website – http://meltdown.uk.net/election
» Election Meltdown on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=288264051071 – click on the [Join] button
» Election Meltdown – Activists Group – http://groups.google.com/group/election-meltdown-activists-group – click on the 'Join this group' link in the LHS column
» Election Meltdown – Free Forums – http://electionmeltdown.freeforums.org – click on the [Register] button
Up the Revolution,
Tim Dalinian Jones
All these photos and video clips are 'CopyLeft'
This means you are free to copy and distribute any of my photos and videos you find here, under the following license:
• Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License
» Accreditation: firstname.lastname@example.org
NB: These pix are edited and downsized versions (up to 800x800px, 0.64Mpx, typically 100-900 KB) for onscreen display. If you would like the free, edited, full-sized versions (up to 3072x2304px, 7.1Mpx, typically 1-2 MB) for print, poster, placard, banner, etc, please email your request to tim.dalinian.jones [at] gmail.com quoting the picture title(s) you'd like.
PS: apologies for the delay in publishing; my concentration is sub-optimal at present.
D1. Jus Hangin Roun Doin Nothin
D2. Hatton Cross Picket, Shift #3
D3. All Hail Those Who Toot Their Support
D4. This Strike Day, Oi Haz Mostly Bin Wavin "Thank You's"
D5. Bring Your Daughter to Strike Day
D6. Strikers vs. Labour/Tory Bosses Lackeys
D6a. Strike Support Rally at Bedfont F.C.
E1. Propaganda of the T-Shirt, Good Style
E2. A Sea of Unite Flags
E3. Willie Walsh – OINK, OINK, OINK!
E4. Well Engineered Solidarity