Austerity (or cuts as most of us think of it) is a hard pill to swallow. Services are closed or run into the ground with ‘efficiency savings’, jobs are lost, and benefits cut. Still, it’s a necessary cure right? Us ordinary folk can’t continue to have luxuries like care for the elderly. The state needs every penny to help pay off the national debt. You know, that one that got built up by bailing out the bankers. After all, those bankers need to maintain the bare necessities of life, like their multi-million pound salaries and private yachts.
Surely after six years it must be working? Well… Continue reading
A couple of weeks ago we hosted our most popular discussion to date, on the above subject. Somewhere between 150 and 200 people showed up barely squeezing into our emergency ‘bigger than the bookshop’ meeting space. It seems the subject really struck a chord with people.
Our own experiences, and the media, tell us we are in the middle of an ‘epidemic’ of mental health issues. Yet the standard response is to treat and talk about them as if they are solely individual issues (or failings) rather than looking at the situations we find ourselves in and the material conditions and wider culture of day to day society.
Many people present were keen to continue to meet on the subject, to that end we have set up a mailing list (click here to subscribe). What form this new group will take will be decided by its participants – information sharing, mutual support, campaigning and skill sharing were all ideas on the night.
There were some great contributions from AFed folks and from many folks who came, who covered a wide spectrum of society including many people who have issues with their own mental health, study it, work in the field, or have extensive experience supporting others or using services themselves.
For those who are interested the full minutes are online. We hope to compile them into a more easily readable form and into a video in the near future.
While we’ve got your attention there are a few more events coming up in the near future:
Saturday 5th March: March for the NHS!
Linking the struggles of the Junior Doctors against their unsafe working conditions being forced on them, the removal or bursaries for student nurses, and the moves by the local clinical commisioning group to open up the running of NHS services to tax avoiding corporations! Meet 1pm at the Fountains. Facebook Event.
Wednesday 9th March: Support the Junior Doctors Strike!
Junior doctors will be holding a 48 hour strike beginning at 8am. Get down to the picket lines for 8 if you can, or join later in the day! Picketlines will once again be at the BRI and Southmead. We all need to support them in their stand against further destruction of the NHS. More info from the British Medical Association.
Tuesday 15th March: Is JC Really our Savior?
The next of our discussion evenings. This time the topic is Jeremy Corbyn and the campaign building around him. How do we, as grass roots activists engage with this? Critical support? Utter indifference? Active involvement? Hydra Books 7pm Facebook Event.
Tuesday 19th of April A world Without Money?
A talk and discussion looking at why our world could and should work without money. It’s often one of the hardest ideas of Anarchist Communist to first get our heads around, as it is so opposed to the way our current society works. The idea that money is essential to a functioning society is constantly re-enforced, but who’s doing the re-enforcing..? Hydra Books 7pm
Saturday 30th April: Bristol Anarchist Bookfair!
Our cities largest radical event is back again at Trinity from 10-6 Website
Sunday 1st May: May Day
International workers day has come around again, this year the local trade unions are organising a march in the centre, and we’ve some fun ideas of our own!
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
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
spurred on by the condem government the management of NHS trusts across the south-west have spent £200,000 forming the Orwellian sounding ‘South West Pay Terms and Conditions Consortium’. with the sole aim of lowering pay and conditions for NHS staff. This could be yet another blow to our NHS services already battered by cuts and privatisation, attacks on the staff will always negatively impact on the services they provide.
So far staff have been kept completely out of the loop, they haven’t been told who will be affected or in what ways, but many fear the management will attempt to split the workforce by targeting small groups one at a time. However they plan on standing together and after some packed meetings (with 100s present at each) have called for a demonstration in Bristol to show their strength.
We encourage anyone who wants to stand up to the state, fight austerity and protect the NHS to march in solidarity with them. We’ll be there, hope to see you on the streets!
Saturday 1st of December 11am
College Green marching to castle park (rally at 12.30).
Meeting tomorrow, and more goings on! check it out.
Members of Bristol Anarchist Federation have been getting involved in Bristol 1st of May Group a loose group of anarchists, leftists and assorted trouble makers coming together make sure May Day doesn’t go unnoticed in Bristol! Check out the call out.
There are already events planned, and we are meeting again on Thursday (12th of April) 7.30pm, upstairs at the Stag & Hounds on oldmarket, more revolutionarys, rebels, workers, students and other members of the feral underclasses welcome!