UK Newswire Archive
Alongside cities around the world, Occupy London supporters will take to the streets for a mass action on Tuesday 15 May - the day that marks the first anniversary of the beginning of of the Spanish 15-M movement and seven months since we occupied just outside the London Stock Exchange.
The St Paul’s site may have been evicted, but we’re still here and now we’re asking for your help: Who and where do you want to target on this international day of action as we fight social and economic injustice? Le'ts hear those suggestions and show the 1% that they’re not going to get away with their nasty dealings anymore. Your feedback here will help inform the shortlist of targets - do add your own thoughts about other targets. The fun is only just beginning … Spring is here!
30-03-2012 06:38Count-Down onto Leicester Green Light Festival!
29-03-2012 21:01Please contact Potters Leisure Resort right now via email, phone or their contact web forms (or ALL of these!) and ask them to stop dealing with the animal killers at HLS. Let's make sure they know exactly what the murderers at their resort are guilty of.
:::Week of Action:::
Monday 26th – Saturday 31st March
PHONE ACTION – FRIDAY 30TH
Petrol stations in Nottinghamshire, are running dry following the announcement of a vote for strike action by tanker drivers in the Unite Union.
There are reports of panic buying across the county, causing disruption in a number of cases. Tesco Express in Mansfield and Asda at West Bridgford both apparently ran run out completely.
Despite Francis Maude being forced to admit his advice to store petrol in a jerry can was a "mistake," Mike Bettison from the BBC claimed on Twitter that "shopkeepers have reported increases in jerry sales.DIY stores reporting a run on 'jerry' cans,queues at petrol stations across Nottinghamshire - supplies running low in some areas."
This is obviously testament to the government's cack-handed approach to dealing with the strike.This is hardly news, recall their similarly ill-considered suggestions during strikes by teachers last year that schools could be run by parents with no knowledge of teaching, nor any of the stringent criminal record checks to which anybody working with children is subject nowdays. The only difference is that people actually took them seriously this time.
What has been less talked about is how this illustrates the weakness of Just In Time capitalism.
So far, Unite hasn't even set any dates for strike action. As unions are required to give a week's notice of industrial action, this means that there can't and won't be a strike before Friday 6th April at the earliest. Despite this, the system is already straining as people try and prepare for the possible threat of an interruption to supply.
Of course, the government is planning to use the army as a scab labour force to undermine the strike and ensure oil is distributed. However, you do rather get the impression that nobody is very confident this will ensure supplies continue to get through.
The only reason that such a small group of workers can have such an impact is because the system they operate in is so finely balanced. This is the model of Just In Time capitalism. Rather than holding large supplies of a good (storage is expensive) shops only hold as much as they need and get it replaced just before it runs out. This makes great sense from an economic perspective when things are going well, but it leaves supply channels vulnerable to shocks.
In the Black Swan, Nassim Nicholas Taleb points out that an economist looking at the human body would determine that having two lungs and two kidneys was inefficient. Why not stick with one of each? Of course anybody "optimised" along such lines would come a cropper the first time they had a serious accident. It's crazy, but economists consider themselves cleverer than hundreds of millions of year of evolution. We don't need redundancy in our systems - it's inefficient.
The problem is not limited to oil distribution, of course. Supermarkets and most retail outlets operate along similar lines. If they are unable to keep their lorries (and given the "out of town" locations of most supermarkets they remain reliant on lorries, even if rail could pick up the volume) fuelled and on the road, there could potentially be problems getting food onto the shelves.
One possibility (if Unite do their job probably) is that the employers will see the problems so far as proff of how important these workers are and listen to them. Another is that Unite cave under political pressure and sell their members out. Even if the strike does go ahead, we're unlikely to be reduced to fighting each other with pointy sticks for at least a day or two.
The key thing to take from this is that although neo-liberal capitalism has done an exceptionally good job of taming working class movements in the UK they have also created a system that makes it particularly vulnerable to carefully applied pressure from even a relatively small group. Worth thinking about if anybody is considering any solidarity actions with the strike or more widely for tactics to utilise in future struggles.
29-03-2012 14:37Announcing a new digital-rights discussion group in Sheffield
29-03-2012 09:52On March 25, The New York Times headlined, "US and Turkey to Step Up 'Nonlethal' Aid to Rebels in Turkey," saying: Other US allies were urged to do the same. Insisting no weapons will be sent belies heavy Western and Israeli ones delivered through porous borders for months. ... They include powerful explosives, small arms, submachine guns, machine guns, sniper rifles, rocket and anti-tank grenade launchers, among others. They've been used to kill civilians and security forces, as well as destroy government facilities. Russia repeatedly denounces Washington's one-sided support while claiming peaceful resolution intentions. Obama says aiding Assad's opposition furthers transitioning to a "legitimate government." In other words, he wants independent Syria replaced by a client state America controls. Then on to the next target for the same purpose - Iran.
29-03-2012 08:47Press reports and comments by top intelligence officials suggest that Mohamed Merah, the alleged gunman who killed seven people including three Jewish schoolchildren in a nine-day shooting spree in Toulouse, was a French intelligence asset.
29-03-2012 07:24Tim DeChristopher, an environmentalist that called the bluff of oil and gas drilling companies and jailed for doing so, has been moved into a "special housing unit".
29-03-2012 01:46Outrage over the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin compounds daily as the killer remains free, facing no criminal charges for gunning down the unarmed black youth from Miami Gardens, Florida. On February 26, George Zimmerman, a white self-appointed captain of a "neighborhood watch" team in a gated community in the Orlando suburb of Sanford, shot Martin, a black high-school student, who was returning to the home in the development where he and his father were staying. Police and local prosecutors never charged Zimmerman and accepted his cynical claim that he shot the unarmed youth in "self-defense." Thousands have demonstrated around the country, particularly after police tapes of 911 calls by Zimmerman were released, showing that he was stalking Martin. But the main thrust of liberals is to divert the protests into a movement for gun control laws and to get rid of "Stand Your Ground" laws such as Florida's which make it legal to shoot in self-defense. The ruling-class response deliberately tries to obscure the key fact that this was racist murder. Trayvon Martin was killed for the "crime" of "walking while black."
28-03-2012 23:25The House of Lords voted through the law to criminalise squatting in residential buildings last night. Here is the Squatters Network of Brighton (SNOB's) response:
several thousand lecturers and teachers were supported by many students and a delegation from the PCS today on a protest march across london to the department for education in victoria. they are highlighting pension changes which will mena higher payments and much later retirement.