Following 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.
Commentator after commentator, from politicians to journalists, is blaming the recent chaos in London and beyond on “criminality”. What does that even mean? Crime is a product of social conditions, not a thing in and of itself. Recognising that people smashing, looting and burning are committing crimes is not an explanation – of course they’re criminals, what they’re doing is against the law.
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.
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.
I thought this would be a little bit easier, to be honest. Having taken redundancy last year and returning to university to do a Masters, I didn’t think I’d still be sitting here, nearly August a year later, without work.
The Labour Party got a lot of mileage from David Cameron’s refusal to give a straight answer in Parliament on Wednesday. Watching minister after minister ask him whether he had discussed the BSkyB during any of his meetings with representatives of News International, I was struck by the unasked question.
I’ve written a new piece for the Guardian, which you can read here: The NUJ could have saved the News of the World
I’ve also done a playlist of trade union songs if you want to listen to some radical tunes, which you can watch on Youtube.