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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I finished my Masters course last month and am now working on my dissertation – “An anarchist analysis of power” based primarily on the work of Emma Goldman and Rudolf Rocker. More on that later in the year when I have the thing written!
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.
The fight-back against the Tory* government finally started in London yesterday. A large group of people finally recognised that walking down the road and listening to some speeches is no longer enough.
Condemnation has predictably started to flow, not just from the right-wing press, but hand-wringing liberals and many parts of the “leadership” of the student movement. That’s “leadership” in the sense of “people who want to go into politics when they finish” and is about as connected to their membership as the Labour Party was to theirs before they lost most of them.
Last year at the Anarchist Conference, there was general consensus that a proposal to do something big to mark 2012 was a good idea. No, not because of the Olympics, but because it’s the centenary of the Jewish tailor’s strike in London’s East End that was the high point of anarcho-syndicalist Rudolf Rocker’s influence in the UK.
As I thought about it, I looked into the period between 1910 and 1914, known as the Great Unrest, when syndicalism was a major force for change in the UK. I realised how ignored this part of the history of these islands (Ireland, at the time, still being part of the UK) has become.
I was elected unopposed as Vice President of the NUJ last week, so I didn’t need to print out my leaflet for the ADM. However, I think it’s worth getting out there, so here are the reasons I wanted to be elected.