UK J30 Strike Newswire Archive
29-06-2011 13:27Young Glasgow Activist was pulled from his bed this morning, arrested and taken to Carlisle police station and charged with violent disorder in relation to March 26th.
28-06-2011 16:13For years class struggle anarchists in the UK have been waging war against lifestyle anarchists for the legitimacy of anarchist identity.
26-06-2011 21:35Following is a list of actions sent out from http://www.demotix.com/ for the June 20th strike. Note the publishing page now has a "J30 Strike" topic and there is an archive here http:/ http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/actions/2011/j30/
June 30th marks a very considerable mobilisation of industrial action in Britain, in the shape of a large public sector strike. The Trades Unions are making their first tentative steps towards politically motivated action for a generation, with a massive withdrawal of workers labour in response to government plans for pensions reform; whilst the pensions dispute is the legal justification for industrial action (under Britain’s strict, Thatcherite anti-strike legislation), in reality the issue is the tip of the iceberg. The consensus behind the strikes is that of a political fight against the cuts in general. The range of action we will see on June 30th will stretch far beyond those “directly” affected by pensions plans, with a cross-section of those worst hit by the cuts expected to engage with the day of action– the disabled, those who face massive reductions to vital welfare benefits, students, schools pupils and parents and other public-service users.
The nation wide strike action on June 30th by over 750,000 public sector workers is the biggest threat yet to this government’s plan to make public sector workers pay for the economic crisis. While the banking sector has returned to enjoying the fruits of our labour, we are told that there is no alternative but to cut the services we depend on. For updates see the J30 site launched the other day provides links and call outs across the country.
In London there are "Big Society Breakfast" of local pickets outside schools, college and other public sector building followed by a mass trade union march at 11am, Lincoln Inn Fields. On which there will be a J30 Strikers’ Assembly Bloc on the trade union march.
There are People’s Assemblies called for that have no leaders, so every voice counts, ensuring equality for all. Occupying streets and city squares is a natural expression of our power: real democracy now. One such Strikers’ Assembly will congregate near Westminster Central Hall. Find us under the “People’s Assembly” banner.
Critical Mass will set off from Elephant and Castle at 8am for a fun packed glide around the capital supporting pickets and engaging with the public.
UKuncut are supporting call with a day of action stating "The protests will highlight that the strikes by the unions are another form of direct action against the cuts being taken by people in towns and cities across the country. It’s predicted that strike action will grow rapidly towards the autumn and UK Uncut are vowing to support and build on the strike action with more direct action protest against tax avoiders and the banking system.
The PCS union states: "We have continually argued that if the £120 billion that is ‘lost’ evaded or avoided in tax every year was collected, there would be no economic crisis. That argument can now be heard across the trade unions and campaigning groups like UK Uncut have become one of the most popular movements in Britain." This is why the unions are saying enough is enough and walking out.
News, updates, calls of action, interactive action maps, downloads -- its got it all!
Please forward and help plug the site. If you want to add an event for J30 then pleaseemail firstname.lastname@example.org with the following:
Time: Short Description:Location ( with postcode if possible! ):Facebook Event link:Type ( Action, Rally, March, Picket )
We really need more picket locations for the early morning. The site covers the whole UK so please spread far and wide!!
p.s. Facebook has associated the website link with spam - due to the number of invites sent out for the J30 strike event - a pop up window will appear informing you that the content is blocked with link to complain - please complain to get facebook to unblock it. Thanks!
18-06-2011 14:38Info taken from PCS website:
17-06-2011 16:14s the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union released the result of its 30th June strike ballot on Wednesday, the vulpine Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude was all over the TV schedules, in what was clearly a pre-planned counter-offensive. Maude - whose personal wealth is estimated at £3 million - told teatime news presenters that he was concerned about "vulnerable" service users, who would be affected by the strike action. He also argued that the low turnout meant the PCS had no mandate for strike action. Though his hypocrisy is easy to see, the figures do appear to show a general dissatisfaction with the PCS leadership. And PCS is not the only union with a thin strike mandate for the 30th. The turnout was well below half in both the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) ballots. What does this mean, and how does the ruling class intend to make political capital out of these circumstances?
17-06-2011 09:34The Public & Commercial Services Union has voted to join the J30 strike, bringing the total number of striking workers up to 750,000. This union is for civil servants including court staff and immigration officers.
15-06-2011 14:47Come to this meeting to plan how we can support and escalate the strikes in Oxford.
Analysis by a Sheffield activist of the upcoming "J30" mobilisations and what we can hope to expect as well as general observations of the state of the anti-cuts movement.
June 30th has been widely promoted as the next “date” in the escalation of resistance to the government’s continuing austerity measures. As cuts are beginning to bite across the country June 30th will see first efforts at joint-trade union action (NUT, UCU, PCS and ATL) meaning potentially thousands of workers out on strike over this day. Of course, the restrictive trade union legislation in this country means that unions cannot strike against the government’s policies per se (most of the disputes revolve around attacks on pensions), but there is nonetheless a desire amongst some of the Left and the anarchist movement to generalise this struggle beyond these unions into a more widespread fightback against the cuts. There have been some admirable initiatives in London recently, for example calling for open assemblies, to do just this. A number of Facebook groups have been set up to try and get other workers to throw a sickie on the day, the Solidarity Federation has also made materials available that publicise the actions independent of the unions as well as encouraging students to join their teachers in the walkout and the Anarchist federation is producing similar publicity (see statement here).
All good stuff. The question that is on all of our minds, however, is if June 30th is going to be a repeat, or more optimistically a step-up, from the actions taken on March 26th? On a local level, a march has been called by the Sheffield Anti-Cuts Alliance which is intended to bring together anti-cuts campaigners and trade unionists from across the region. However, unfortunately rather than call an action-orientated, planning meeting leading up to the event, the alliance has decided to host a “public” meeting with keynote speaker John Mcdonnell - not only a member of a parliamentary party that both supports and has been implementing cuts but as someone on an MPs wage hardly the most representative individual when talking about our experiences of austerity. Sheffield UK Uncut are also planning actions (although rather bizarrely have called for themed “fancy dress” as “workers”, whatever that means). For our part we hosted our own modest, assembly that will hopefully see both practical help and a bit more creative actions on the day. However, in spite of all this, one can’t help but feel we are starting to be a bit thin on the ground. Many students are currently on study leave or, in the case of University students, have left the city. The radicalism and dynamism of the recent student movement that served as such an inspiration is barely present in the city anymore. If the recent NHS demo is in anyway indicative of continuing opposition over the Summer we can expect a return to the bog-standard Sheffield protest repertoire of the same core group of assorted Trotskyists, Lefties and Greens marching from A-B. The rather unpleasant aggressive recruitment tactics of certain local Trotskyists aside, these events are desperately lacking any real engagement with the general public who typically look on with bemusement (or perhaps just boredom) at the barely audible speeches and hodge-podge of leftist banners outside town hall. There was a UK Uncut action at the end of the march which did successfully shut down an HSBC bank, and rather unsuccessfully shut down a Vodafone. These were positive actions, but the message is still overwhelmingly liberal. In the face of such a forceful attack on working class living standards cries for corporate responsibility seem abstract and disengaged from more pressing day-to-day problems of shrinking welfare, rent-hikes, pay cuts and job losses.
Of course, one could be forgiven for not feeling that inspired by J3o, especially given the wider, international backdrop (thousands of people are currently occupying public squares in Greece and Spain in opposition to cuts). Strike action is clearly symbolic and designed to cause as little disruption as possible, at least where the education sector is concerned. Universities will have stopped teaching by this time and the majority of A-level teachers have most of their students on study-leave (which also makes mobilising them even harder). Of course services will still be stopping and there is obviously a need to attend and support pickets, the point is that, considering the times when this strike could have been staged, it is a rather weak gesture. Perhaps the trade union leadership have heeded the recent warning of Vince Cable that strikes could mean further anti-union legislation? Many have already outright bowed down to the government’s reforms (GMB, for example, has started championing proposed workfare programmes). Either way it is clear that any generalisation of workplace action is going to have to come from outside the unions (not least because the majority of workers in this country are non-unionised). And this is really where the big problems lie.
On March 26th there was undeniably a gap – in tactics, mindset and political consciousness – between the highly radicalised, mostly young minority (albeit a pretty significant minority but a minority nonetheless) rampaging through Oxford Street and the very traditional procession leading to Hyde Park. Of course it’s not quite THAT clear-cut, many workers on the march expressed sympathy with what was going on in Oxford Street for example, but I think broadly we can say that this was the case. This gap concerned me then and it concerns me even more now. Bridging this gap has to be the first priority of any existing anti-cuts movement. We are very much on a short time-scale when it comes to austerity measures and there is a real possibility that many of the changes will be normalised before they really start to bite. The Left, in the face of dwindling momentum in the wake of the student movement, will happily return to it’s orthodox practices. In light of this, putting forward our message- that in order to fight the cuts we need to make this country ungovernable by mass, direct action -is more important than ever.
Before it was clear what shape the anti-austerity movement would take many anarchists had voiced their concerns about the possibility of Labour party members and other groups from the Left high-jacking anti-cuts groups, that we needed to fight for the independence and autonomy of these initiatives as they gained momentum. The expectation also being, of course, that as cuts began to bite movements would grow. Speaking from the experience of Sheffield I can definitively say that this has not been the case. Rather more worryingly what we have seen is an outright scrap from the get-go on the shape and form these anti-cuts initiatives will take between grassroots orientated activists, on the one hand, and leftists determined to maintain an iron grip on their last, dwindling hopes of maintaining working class representation, on the other. Quite frankly, the public don’t figure into it. That would imply some kind of inclusive movement to start with, a level of community engagement, dialogue etc. The reality is the same old cabal of trade unionists and leftists organising the same shrinking pool of local radicals. It’s a repeat, essentially, of the air-tight organising of the anti-Iraq war days (and we all know how well that turned out!). By-and-large the anti-cuts message isn’t even getting out of the leftist ghetto, or when communities have taken their own initiatives they are patronised or simply not listened to. In short, when it comes to actually building (let alone influencing) an anti-cuts movement, the Left is a problem.
It seems an obvious things to say, but what we are really lacking is a grassroots movement which could actually be mobilised on days like J30. Re-building the divides that years of Thatcherite/Blairite policy have reaped on working class communities may be a daunting task, but it is also an essential one. It is little surprise, in this respect, that it is in institutions that have managed to maintain reasonably stable communities, as well as a degree of radical influence, in spite of these policies, i.e. students, that we see one of the first attempts to step up against the cuts. It was not long ago, after all, that students were occupying their departments in solidarity with the pople of Gaza. In this sense the early radicalism of the student protests may have been a very false indication of the social and political terrain we are actually operating in. J30 could be a step towards rekindling the flame of Millbank (and I really hope it is!), perhaps an effort in bringing that spirit to more people, one can’t help but feel though, that the tasks ahead of us now are so much greater, and more difficult, than gearing up for another “day of action”.
J30 - A STRIKE MEANS NOBODY AND NOTHING WORKS
On June 30th up to 1 million workers across the country will be walking out on strike. In Nottingham members of the PCS, ATL, NUT and UCU (further education) will be co-ordinating their walkouts to make the day as effective as possible. In other parts of the country some council workers in Unison and Unite are balloting for action and RMT tube workers are striking.
Nationally the AF has issued a statement on the day:
Locally we will be building for the day. Here are some ideas of what we think people should be doing locally to help build and strengthen the strike:
- Strengthening the strike pickets as much as possible. Everyone should support these by going to their nearest picket. This means not just workers in that sector but everyone who is affected by the cuts- other workers, school students, FE and HE students, pensioners, the unemployed
- Refusing to cross picket lines
- Joining the strike even if you are not a paid up member of a union
- Organising meetings in the workplaces in the run up to June 30th to get maximum support for the strike
- School students and further education students ( where they are still at school because many terms will be ending) should turn out to support teachers and lecturers and organise their own actions
- Most university students will have finished their academic year. However, where possible they should support the strike pickets and demonstrations where they can
- The widest possible solidarity has to be reached between teaching staff and support staff. In all sectors, whether education, the civil service or transport the greatest involvement of those not "officially" on strike
- Encourage those who feel they cannot take part in supporting the strike including workers in other sectors to phone in sick on the day
- On June 30th delegations from picket lines to visit other workplaces to encourage solidarity action. The organisation of local marches and assemblies where possible
- Publicise the strike in the local communities to make the day effective, help bring them onboard, explain your positions and what you have in common.
- Collect funds to help pay strike pay and funds for actions
- Occupy! The occupation has always been a part of the armoury of the working class as much as the strike. Strike everywhere! Occupy everything!
Plans for the day as they stand are, bear in mind these are approximate and liable to be updated as time goes on:
Early: Join a picket! (When we have details on picket lines people can join we'll stick them up here)
11.00 - 12.30: March from waste ground next to BBC into town
12:30 - 13:30: Assembly/rally and meeting in theMarket Square
13.30 - 15.00: Meeting at the Albert Hall with speakers to be announced
facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=226141437413542
13-06-2011 15:09Anarchist Federation on the upcoming strikes and actions on June 30th
12-06-2011 21:10we are holding a second planning meeting to give a chance for everyone t get involved with the J30 action. So please do come to the meeting - bring ideas, friends and creativity :) 6:30pm, Friday 24th June University of Birmingham Guild of Students