The Budget is out – tax cuts for the rich on top of trying to destroy the NHS, welfare cuts, tax avoidance, university fees, post-riot sentencing, hackgate, occupy evictions – the reasons to be angry go on and on and on and on. But, after the massive student demos of just over a year ago, the 26 March demonstration and the 30 November strikes, things seem to have gotten fractured. Lots of small demonstrations and actions, but what we need to do is bring everyone together and create a massive force to take down this government and scare the next.
Readers of a certain blog on a certain newspaper site might have gotten the false impression that I was against the post-riot clean-up operations in London. On the contrary, I promoted plans for Tottenham on Twitter, started early collecting abandoned shopping trollies on Wednesday morning en route and then, alas, found that it wasn’t possible due to the police cordon still being in place on Tottenham High Road. By Thursday, the area had pretty much already been cleaned up by the Council.
Speakers: Donnacha DeLong (chair), Chetna Yuvraj, student occupier, Andy Littlechild, RMT activist,Zoe Stavri, activist with UK Uncut and Andy Meinke, activist in the Legal Defence and Monitoring Group and Freedom Press worker.
Just over a quarter of all British workers are in a trade union. Up to three-quarters of a million of them will be out on strike this coming Thursday, 30 June (J30).
That leaves millions of workers not coming out, many of whom might be wondering why public sector workers are striking over the kind of pensions that no longer exist in the private sector.
The now annual fight between the X-Factor winner and people with taste for the Christmas No.1 spot in the UK charts was something of a damp squib last year. Following the first failed mobilisation in 2008 (the battle of the Hallelujahs) and the glorious RATM victory in 2009, the uncoordinated multiple attempts last year failed badly.
I spent quite a few hours on Saturday, 26 March, walking the streets of London fairly slowly with approximately half a million other people. Some of the time I carried a flag, for a short while I help carry the national banner of my union, the National Union of Journalists. When I finally got to Hyde Park, some friends and I walked down towards Victoria Station to find a pub for a much needed drink, then my partner and I went and got some food and finally home, exhausted.
That was probably like the experience of most of the rest of the 500,000 marchers at the TUC’s long-awaited March for the Alternative. Amongst those who walked themselves to exhaustion and then went hope were probably quite a number of other anarchists like me.
As a sub-editor for more than a decade, I’ve lots of experience reworking copy into a readable form. Sometimes it takes a bit more than fixing the typos and adding proper punctuation, sometimes journalists get things wrong and you have to fix them.
The super-fast radicalisation of the student demonstrations caught everyone by surprise. Direct action is on the agenda again and it’s coming from a group people discounted as being “the children of Thatcher” and dismissed as being fundamentally consumerist and non-radical.
I’ve given a couple of talks to student occupations recently and I’ve reused a line John McDonnell used at an NUJ meeting recently. The trade union movement has been on its knees, the students are showing us how to stand up. They are an inspiration.
Many trade unionists have said similar things – in official statements like the NUJ National Executive did – or in person at events or meetings. But what are we seeing on the ground?