Think it should be none of the above? Then join us in the streets this Saturday & Tuesday!
The fight against cuts has been a long and tough one, but we can’t afford to let up. Not when peoples’ livelihoods, well-being, and very lives depend on it. It won’t end with the upcoming protests (see below for details). In fact, it will need to step up a gear in the months afterwards, if it is to have any impact.
The government in Westminster continues to demand cuts to essential services, still telling the same old lie that it is for ‘the sake of the economy’ or to lower the national debt. The reality of the past seven years says otherwise. Councillors across the country have spoken about being ‘anti-austerity’, but so far have only put their careers and the easy life first, passing on the cuts, regardless of which party they belong to.
In reality, these cuts are an attack on working class and vulnerable people across the country. It’s about giving less of the wealth that we produced to us – whether we receive it in our wage packets, our benefits, or our access to state services – and giving more of it to the few at the top. Privatisation goes hand-in-hand with this, creating yet more profit for the millionaires, and it’s all the easier to implement when services are already stretched to breaking point.
So, what can we do about it?
On Sunday the union representing Junior doctors, the British Medical Association, held its second march through Bristol ahead of strike action this Wednesday morning. Once again Bristol AFed and scores of other supporters marched with them, and the response from others in the streets was universally positive.
The BMA’s message is simple, the government is attempting to push through ideologically driven changes to their contracts that will negatively affect not only junior doctors but the level of care they are capable of providing. Junior Doctors can already be called upon to work 70 hour weeks, often in extremely challenging and stressful roles and at nights and weekends. The Tories are seeking not only to cut their pay (whilst they continue to be burdened with an average £100,000 in university debt) but weaken their contracts, forcing unsafe working patterns on essential NHS staff. Continue reading
Last Friday was May Day, and as working class agitators we wanted to celebrate it with some action. Having dedicated much of our time to the Bookfair, Anti-Election Campaigning, SolNet, workplace organising, and producing Organise!84 we didn’t have quite as much time to plan and mobilise as in 2012/13. A call out for a week of action against workfare made it easy to choose what to do though. Afterall the DWP listed us as a threat to the workfare scheme – and we want to disappoint our fans. Continue reading
Bristol was awash with a sea of red & black flags today as anarchists, radicals and trade unionists took to the streets for May Day. Four hundred people descended on College Green for a march and rally organised by Bristol Trades Council to commemorate International Worker’s Day (May1st). A large Radical Block we called that was made up of members of Bristol Anarchist Federation, Solidarity Federation, IWW and other revolutionaries numbering around 50 were present from the beginning handing out leaflets about the true origin of May Day.
As the march began the Radical Block took position near the front of the procession. The demonstration snaked out of College Green and down Park Street towards the Fountains as chants rung out from the block. There were some old favourites in there as well as a few new ones including a variation of “Solidarity Forever” called “Aristocracy Forever”.
MAY DAY – May 1st – has been celebrated as International Worker’s Day since 1890. The date was chosen by members of the Second International to commemorate the Haymarket Affair which occurred in Chicago, United States in 1886: On May 1st 1886 American unions held a nationwide general strike. An estimated 400,000 workers went on strike in Chicago. In the days following the strike, seven anarchists were framed and sentenced to death after a bomb was thrown at the police during a rally called on May 4th in response to an act of police violence following the strike outside the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company on May 3rd that left six workers dead.
For a full history of the Haymarket Affair, the Haymarket Martyrs and the origins of May Day please watch this talk by Bristol Radical History Group from 2012 at Hydra Books.
Across the world yesterday workers took to the streets to celebrate International Worker’s Day (1st May)! We have complied below a incomplete list of actions from around the globe. With this list we hope to showcase the sheer size and diversity of the modern worker’s movements:
Update: Facebook Event
This year Bristol Trades Council is pulling out all the stops and attempting to throw their biggest May Day March in years. Whilst they may not have said it themselves, we’d like to think the effort of everyone who got involved with the 1st of May Group last year and the success of our demos, actions, and saturday march is what inspired them! Continue reading
Last Saturday over 50 people gatherd in Broadmead for an anti-Workfare demonstration called by ourselves and Bristol Solidarity Federation. Aswell as friends from Bath Anarchists (BARF), the IWW and the Socalist Party there were plenty of new faces we hadn’t seen on previous demos.
Before we had even set off our spirits were lifted by the news that Superdrug had already pulled out of workfare just before the demonstrations set to take place across the country, Result! The first stop on our tour of companies using forced labor under the workfare scheme was Dorothy Perkins in Cabot Circus. Its always good to reclaim spaces like Cabot that are technically no longer public but in the hands of private owners. The security were powerless to stop us due to our weight of numbers, and ability to resist their clever mind tricks such as saying ‘don’t you want to go that way instead?‘. Continue reading
K: “Guess what? The south west TUC are actually organising a big event for Mayday this year.”
K: “I bet you can’t guess exactly what that are going to do?”
B: “Oh a challenge huh? Well, they will not do it on May day, it will be on the following Saturday. There will be an A to B march from City Hall at …11.00 am?! It will finish in Castle Park for a Rally at the band stand.”
K: “Ha, yes, exactly that! Also I’ve managed to find out where the next organising meeting for the march is. They’ve invited a few groups along, maybe our invite got lost in the post, lucky we found out about it huh?”
So we decided to pop along to the meeting to see if we could have some say on the plans for May Day. Last year we were involved in a group organising (and encouraging others to organise) a week of action based around Mayday including a march and rally hosted by BADACA. We thought we would see how plans were panning out for this years May Day celebrations, expecting a large public meeting (last year had 30+ people at the ‘first of may group’ meetings) we instead found ourselves in some sort of steering committee, Continue reading
Nearly a million workers will be striking and demonstrating on June 30th- workers in education, the civil service and the London underground. This is a further sign of widespread anger within the working class at the package of austerity measures unleashed by the government. We have already had the student demonstration which ended with the Millbank occupation, the huge turnout on March 26th as well as many local actions including strikes, blockades, marches.