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
I long overdue report from last years anti-police repression demo on 13/12
I stood in the crisp December air surrounded by 40 or so friends, comrades, and strangers.We pulled our hoods on tighter, gripping black flags and paraffin torches, their flames fluttering in the wind. High up the harsh brick walls of the police station the blinds twitched as some nervous officer or inspector stole a glance at the crowd.
Sounds like the start of a bad novel (or the latest piece from crime thinc), instead it was the situation Bristol Anarchist Federation and those that had responded to our call for a demo against police repression found ourselves in. Continue reading
Things kick off (as in start that is, not, you know, kick off) with the Anti-Police harassment demonstration 6.30pm, Assembling at Newton Park, Old Market going to Trinity Police Station (MAP) Bring noise, banners, lanterns etc.
A little later in the evening some of us will be taking the short walk to the central fire station to support the FBU members who are staging a four hour strike as part of their fight to prevent the raising of their retirement age.
On Saturday at 12.30pm, the ‘Save Our City’ coalition of anticuts groupings in Bristol are organising a demo against George Ferguson and his plan to cut 1000 jobs, they’re making it a personal and will be protesting outside the Tobacco Factory bar/cafe that he owns and uses as his central bristol base. Facebook Event.
Finally, just down the road from the anti cuts demonstration over in East Street, our friends at Sol Fed have organised a picket of Santander beginning at 2.30pm. This is part of an international campaign of solidarity with a CNT member in Spain who was fired from his job at Santander for union organising, facebook event!
Hope to see you in the streets, let us know if you attend all four and we might give you a cookie.
Love & Rage,
Bristol Anarchist Federation
Includes updates on the struggle against the exploitation of Bangladeshi workers, Wildcat strikes in Brighton, Anti-Blacklist campaigners in Manchester and more.
If thats not enough news about working class resistance for ya, then take a look at the Bristolian.
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”.
The Public & Commercial Services (PCS) union are holding a national strike on budget day (this wednesday) as the start of a renewed campaign against the governments attacks on their members pay and conditions, and cuts to essential services. We send our solidarity to all those going out on strike, and everyone else involved in the larger struggle against government cuts.
In Bristol there will be a Rally held outside Tony Benn House (formally transport house) at 12.30, for PCS members and other supporters.
There will also be picket lines outside many government offices from aroynd 7am, including Eagle house job centre in the centre, Temple Quay House (near temple meads), and HMRC offices in Redland. Get down if you can to show your support, remember solidarity forever doesn’t mean just sometimes!
All power to the spanish miners, if you haven’t been following the story yet read more about it here; Coal mines ignite in Asturias
Update: video of the march/rally
On Thursday workers from Unite Health, Univesity and College Union, and the Public & Commercial Services Union will be on strike. Whilst the official reason for the public sector strikes is always ‘pensions’, this is only because the unions are legally bound to strike on matters that directly affect their members employment. If you speak to the rank and file members of these unions it is clear the strikes are against the governments cuts agenda as a whole, not just the cuts to their own pensions. They are are a response to some of the largest attacks on the quality of life of the working classes, poor, elderly and vulnerable that have ever taken place in this country.
Get down to the picket lines (full list below) and lend your support if you can. There is also a march starting at 10.30am from the Bristol Royal Infirmary picket lines.
For the past month cleaners and other staff at the GBH hospital in Swindon have been campaigning against racism, bullying, and unfair treatment by their employer carillion. The campaign has included 12 days of strike action by over 100 workers in the GMB union and numerous demonstrations. On Saturday, as the workers are set to enter another week of strikes, they held their largest demonstration to date. They were joined by locals from Swindon including the National Union of Teachers, Unite, and Swindon anarchists; aswell as groups from around the region such as Bristol Anarchist Federation, SWP and SP.
The demo was lively as the cleaners and their supporters (totalling around 350 people) marched and danced their way through the streets of Swindon. There was unanimous support for the strikers amongst all the passers by we spoke to, with some showing particular interest in the fact strikes were spreading from the public sector to the private sector.
The dispute began due to the mostly Goan cleaners facing constant bullying and harassment from Carillion, despite 109 individual complaints the company refuses to accept and deal with what the cleaners have described as institutional racism. There are also demands for the right to take their holiday in blocks larger than ten days to allow people to visit their families, and accusations of corruption amongst the Carillion management. Whilst the company seems to think it can ride out the dispute with scab labour bussed in from other sites, the GMB is digging in for a long fight and they have the passion, energy and drive to see this through.
For more information or to get involved in the continuing actions get in touch with Swindon anarchists: firstname.lastname@example.org
We wish to express our support for, and solidarity with, those members of the UCU in England who will be taking part in the forth coming strikes, on the 22nd and 24th of March, with particular regard to members at the University of Bristol and the University of West England. We also wish to express our support for, and solidarity with, those UCU members who have or will be taking part in strikes in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland on the 17th, 18th, and 21st of March respectively.
It is perverse, in a time where students fees are being raised, that staff are being subjected to such an attack on their pension schemes. We see, reflected in this move, further evidence of attacks – justified in the context of a crisis we neither created nor facilitated – on the services on which millions of working class people depend, either for education or for employment.
Further more, we wish to plead with those members of staff who will take it upon themselves to undermine strike action by performing their duties on the day. As fellow workers we understand the cost of a days wages, and of the potential repercussions that supporting this action may entail, but also understand and whole heartedly believe in the power of collective action. It is only by standing together that – in any such struggle – objectives can be met.
Equally, we call upon the students of these institutions to support their staff, much as the staff supported them in the struggle against the rise in Tuition Fees. Support your staff in any way you can, by attending the picket lines or refusing to cooperate with scab staff, or through more inventive measures. Again, it is important to recognise the power of collective action.
Yours in Solidarity,
Anti-Cuts Action Bristol
Bristol Anarchist Federation