By now the glad tidings that ninety of her majesty's most loyal subjects were happy to celebrate 60 years of her reign by kipping under a bridge before a joyful thirteen hour shift of telling union-jack-sporting buffoons the way to the big river in the middle of London without being paid has been splashed all over the papers. But it's just the tip of the iceberg.
On the newswire: Liverpool Workfare Walk of Shame Occupies City Centre Exploiters| Mayday workfare demo shuts Oxford Street stores| Workfare actions around Birmingham in April| Workfare conference cancelled due to protest | Workfare Unravels | 'It's exploitation and it's repellent' | Tesco’s Secret Workfare Slaves | Demo shuts Westminster Tesco | GMB Union Promotes Workfare as Answer | DWP Locks Down FOI Responses | Legal Challenge to Government’s slave labour scheme
From Corporate Watch: Benefit claimant forced to accept Jubilee steward position for less than minimum wage | To pay or not to pay: Asda and Argos choose workfare over work | Regulating workfare (or not)| 'It's exploitation and it's repellent': Retailers, councils and charities benefiting from workfare | Unemployed people bullied into workRead more >>
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 VideoRead more >>
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.Read more >>
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.
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.Read more >>
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.Read more >>
Public sector cuts