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09-06-2012 11:11

SchNEWS 818 - Serf's Up

06-03-2009 12:55 | 12 comments

Storm the Banks

Climate Rush activists gathered outside RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland), Thursday 5th March to protest the incredible multi million pound pay out to Fred (the shred) Goodwin, former RBS Chief Executive, and more importantly, the banks continuing role in funding the climate changing industries of coal, gas and oil. Posting the largest losses in British corporate history, RBS lost £24.1 billion in 2008 and has since had billions of pounds of taxpayers' money pumped into it. Already the largest bailout to date, the government has agreed to inject a further £13 billion on top of the £20 billion already given, and to make a further £6 billion available. While the tax payer now owns at least 70% of its shares, the bank continues to operate as a private company,

On the same day as the Climate Rush demo outside RBS, the Bank of England reduced the base interest rate to 0.5% and announced the printing of £100 billion pounds of new cash to inject into the stalled economy. Next month, the G20 leaders (G22 to be more precise) will arrive in London to discuss further ways to get the poor to bail out the rich. Various groups are mobilizing to protest against the summit which the police are co-promoting as part of a 'summer of rage'.

The G20 Meltdown group say they're going to reclaim the City, 'thrusting into the very belly of the beast', with a four pronged assault on the Bank of England at noon on 1st April. That afternoon, as part of a series of actions leading up to the COP15 climate summit in Copenhagen, the Camp for Climate Action aim to expose how the discredited market mechanisms are being sold as a solution to climate change and are planning a climate camp in the city close the the Carbon Trading Exchange.

Links : Climate Rush target RBS Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | LCAP occupies RBS | Quantitive Easing | Corporate Undead | Image From The Future | Bristol Dissent g20 Call Out | Climate Camp hits the city | Press Complaint over G20 article | RBS boss pension | Arrogance of Capitalism | Environmental silver lining? | Climate chaos meets economic chaos | Bash a Billionaire | Doubt of global financial crisis? | Origins of the Credit Crunch | Summer of rage? | Demand for energy falling | Climate Crimes Delayed | Dissident Island Economic Special | "Pro-Capitalist" Mobilisation Video


26-09-2008 19:46

Pall Mall protest in solidarity with National Physical Laboratory cleaners

Activists picketed the Institute of Directors on Pall Mall this lunchtime to protest against the suspension of cleaners working for Amey PLC at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in Teddington.

Pots and pans, dustbin lids, whistles and voices created a wall of noise outside the ‘Nanofinance 2008’ event, held at the Institute and attended by representatives of the NPL, as activists handed out leaflets and talked to participants, including NPL staff, some of who expressed solidarity with the cleaners. Read more >>

20-03-2007 10:39 | 6 comments

Murdering Medical Careers - and the future of the NHS?

Save our training!
For the second time in two weeks, a day of action was organised to protest against attacks on the NHS. But this time, it was doctors and their families, demonstrating against a government-imposed program called "MMC: modernising medical careers" that is meant to shorten the length of training and increase the quality of service provision. Instead, it is being described as a "disaster" that will decrease experience, decrease education, decrease career opportunities, worsen patient care, destroy research opportunities and disempower doctors and patients alike. Medics of all types, not generally noted for their militancy, are up in arms, with a number of independent websites such as Remedy UK, Mums4medics, MMC-360 and Mangling Medical Careers all coming online in recent weeks and around 12,000 people taking to the streets of London on Saturday [report, pics: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 and video].

To find out more about the background, read MMC: an explanation for patients [parts 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ]. Other sites of interest include the MTAS debacle, as witnessed by the junior doctors of the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital, and various artistes of the blogosphere such as Dr. Rant, Professor Scrub and Junior Doc. Maybe there will be an NHS in 10 years time, after all.


28-04-2006 17:28 | 1 addition | 8 comments

Mayday Weekend 2006

Monday May the 1st saw the culmination of the MayDay weekend 2006. A series of demonstrations and protests took place all over the UK and beyond. In London up to 4000 people marched from Clerkenwell Green to Trafalgar square in the traditional TUC march. One of the largest blocs of the march was the Autonomous Bloc which consisted of up to 800 people, marching on the issues of precarity and migration. Meanwhile, the Space Hijackers were having a 'police victory party' outside the Bank of England [Pics: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4]

The march went off peacefully until the Autonomous bloc tried to bring its soundsystem into Trafalgar Square to be used as an open microphone for speeches and discussion. At that point police snatched the pedal powered soundsystem from the crowd and prevented the Autonomous Bloc from assembling in the square. It was not until the march finished that the soundsystem was given back. Whilst this was taking place thousands of people listened to speeches at the rally in Trafalgar Square. After 4pm, people dispersed.

See: Timeline of Events | London Roundup | Eyewitness Account
Photos and Reports: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
Audio: 1 | 2 | Videos: 1 | 2

Other May Day demonstrations and protests around Britain included:

A Workers Memorial Day demonstration in London to commemorate those people who have been killed at work. In Manchester, a Chaos Mass bike ride took place, as well as a May Day march, an anti-nuclear demonstration [Video] to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, and a picnic against capitalism. A march [more] also took place in Cambridge against the privatisation of public services, as well as an 'Extra tea for mayday' action where activists visited ASDA to give extra tea breaks to the workers forced to work on Mayday.

In Newcastle a contingent from Tyneside Community Action for Refugees marched demanding the right to work for refugees and asylum seekers, in Liverpool the Merseyside May Day celebrations included a march and a rally in Princes Park, and in Nottingham a march and rally [more] also took place. In Scotland there was the traditional May Day march and rally in Edinburgh, and a MayDay parade in Glasgow.

For reports of the massive demonstrations in the US and the several Euro MayDay Parades in Europe, as well as the full UK's Mayday 06 events listing click at the 'Full Article' link on top.


18-02-2006 12:23

Valentine's Day Protests

Just before Valentine's Day on Sat 11th Feb, around 600 people took part in Reclaim Love III, providing a counter-point to the greeting card and gift frenzy of Feb 14th - partying at Eros statue in Piccadilly, London - saying 'Love not oil is the most important resource in the world' [report | Photos 1, 2, 3 | Video 1, 2, 3].

On Feb 14th itself campaigners held a mock funeral demonstration outside the Icelandic Embassy in London. They were demonstrating against the Karahnjukar Icelandic dam and the multinational aluminium invasion of the last great pristine wilderness of Europe by companies Alcoa and Alcan [report | Saving Iceland website]. Other recent actions included a protest at the offices of Impregilo, part of the company which is building the Dam [report].

The Hazards Campaign also held a Valentine's Day 'Death by Deregulation' protest in London outside the Health and Safety Commission, drawing attention to the abolition of basic safeguards for workers [report + pic]. See also '10 reasons the Health and Safety Executive top brass makes us sick' - New Hazards Report | Safety at Work: a retreat from law? | LabourStart Health + Safety News Stories.

Meanwhile over in Belfast, where an unofficial two week plus postal strike has crippled the postal service, well over a thousand workers marched through the streets including both the Catholic Falls road and Protestant Shankhill. The wildcat strike action was in response to management bullying. The strike ended on Sat 18th, when the Royal Mail agreed to an independent review of industrial employee relations and not to penalise workers for the strike action [report and pics | Libcom Strike Coverage].

Prior to Valentine's, on 12th February campaigners from Trident Ploughshares held a mock wedding at Devonport dockyard in plymouth. Dressed in red and pink and black they enacted the 'marriage' of the people and City of Plymouth to Britain's own Weapons of Mass Destruction, the Trident missile system. A marriage made seemingly without the consent of many residents in the City [report + pics].


02-05-2005 16:55

Euromayday: Precari@s Take Over Hackney Tesco Supermarket

shoppers read the leaflets about the action
On Mayday, 700 people in London were waiting for a text message directing them towards this years Euromayday flexmob action. Although the messages were delayed, and despite intimidating police behaviour on the train and in the street, several hundred made their way to Hackney in north London to participate in a widely advertised yet highly secret Mayday stunt [report].

Bewildered shoppers in a local Tesco store were treated to a free samba performance and vouchers entitling them to just about everything from restaurant meals to films to supermarket goods. A large banner declared that "All we have to loose are our chainstores". For 15 minutes, dancing and rhythm prevailed. Workers at the tills and customers relaxed, even the security started jigging - until the metropolitan police stormed in with a vengeance. Some of the pink invaders were heavily stopped and searched, until they left the store to the cheers of bystanders and shoppers. [report | pics]

This could have been the end of the action - but the police had other plans. The band and some precari@s spent 2 hours in a tight police corral across the street, filmed by the everpresent F.I.T. team. Bystanders were pushed into the corral. Four or five people were violently arrested. [report]

After some negotiation, the group was escorted along Mare Street inside a police crocodile, but with the large banner displayed along the edges. Supporters followed on the pavement, constantly hassled by police. The release of the protesters into London Fields ressembled the release of cattle into their grazing grounds. The police charged once more to arrest more people, bringing the total up to 10 or 11 [pics 1 | 2; appeal]. After another hour of filming, they left everybody to quitely end the MayDay out.

Pics [From Tesco to the corral | From the corral to the Park | yet more pics | from Highbury | video 1 | 2 | 3]

Reports & Reflections [precarity assembly | personal account | angry comment]

Summaries [London timeline | ImcUk EuroMayDay Feature | Mayday,Mayday! All over Europe]


15-10-2003 15:15 | 7 comments

Trade Union Delegation To Iraq

bullet ridden Saddam mural

On October 5th six trade unionists from the FBU, TSSA, RMT and NUJ travelled to Baghdad for a series of meetings with the newly formed democratic Iraqi trade unions. The trip organised by the Stop the War Coalition and hosted by the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions was the first of its kind since the war and occupation. The tour stopped at various workplaces including a Metalworks, a Fire Station, a Transport Depot, an Oil Refinery, and Baghdad University.

All agreed that the delegation had been a success and hopefully the first of many to forge links with Iraqi workers who will soon be fighting attempted privatisation by western companies.


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