A history lesson for Iain Duncan Smith

Iain Duncan Smith has attempted to appeal to the Left with today’s argument that the EU and “uncontrolled immigration” has caused a downward pressure on wages. Despite being at the forefront of taking from the have nots and giving to the haves for years, he’s now blaming the EU.

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Commemorating the 1912 East End Jewish tailors’ strike – two events

This month marks the centenary of the great 1912 East End Jewish tailors’ strike, which saw 13,000 immigrant sweatshop workers walk out on strike. Three weeks later, on 25 May 1912, the bosses capitulated – they’d won.

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The roots of Cable Street

A poster from the Great Strike of London TailorsFollowing the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street, it is important to remember not just the day itself, but where it came from. The most important thing about what happened on that day was how the other major East End community – the largely Irish dockers – came out in solidarity with the Jewish community in Whitechapel. The roots of this solidarity lie in the strikes of the Great Unrest period more than 20 years before.

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The truth about anarchism

I admit it, I am an anarchist. Go on, report me!Event: Busting the Myths – learn the truth about anarchism, 7pm, Thursday 11 August, University of London Union, Malet Street, London.

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.

Find it on Facebook.

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Blame the anarchists – this time the Olympics

I wrote this last week and sent it to the Independent as a right to reply piece. I got no answer. Of course, since I wrote it, the Project Griffin “report anarchists to the police” stuff has come out – more on that later.

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My Open Democracy piece

Before I go to bed, here’s another plug for my piece on Open Democracy – Unions, why not harness the power of the media? It’s got everything, a bit of syndicalist history, a look ahead to J30, slagging off Labour as well as the Condems and a call to arms to the media to improve their communications to the public. Enjoy!

Student demos: This is just the beginning – what comes next?

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.

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