Cameron remains in Downing Street, now with a majority (having successfully cannibalized his former LibDem partners). A lot of people are understandably depressed by this, and now to top it all off Farage hasn’t even resigned. FFS politics, give us a break. We don’t have much say in what policies they try and force upon us – after all we had ‘Vote Tory for capitalism and austerity’ and ‘Vote Labour for the same, only a bit less and our heart isn’t really in it’. What we DO have a say in, is how we react to them.
Reaction One: Voter Apathy
Non voters are often accused of apathy, but if after going to the ballot on the 7th you are planning to sit back and do nothing for five years than you are being truly apathetic. Of course the same is true if ‘not voting’ is the sum total of your protest against the system. Maybe to kill time before the next general election you can try to change Labour from the inside, or help the Greens get half a dozen MPs early next decade. If you’re really inspired maybe you could put your energy into reforming how we vote for our ‘representatives’. Although many countries use other systems and they still aren’t socialist utopias yet either. Lets get one thing clear though, would Ed Milliband be screwing us over aswell? Hell yes.
Reaction Two: Fight for What We Have, Fight for What We Need
We are often presented a doctored version of history. One where the oppressed asked the government nicely for reforms, where they appealed to their ruler’s reason and conscience, or simply voted in nicer leaders.
A closer inspection reveals a very different narrative, where everything we have was fought for tooth and nail. Where workers faced down the army for the right to have the evening off rather than work 14 hour days, where women bombed pavilions and learnt martial arts before they were recognised as capable of decisions, where people faced down battalions of police who were trying to force a fascist march through the east end of London. It is the latter telling of history that should inform how we react today.
Everything we have we fought for, and everything we fought for they want back. As soon as we stop fighting – in our work places, in our communities, in the streets and in the fields – we will lose everything. The good news? If you want to take action there are plenty ways to do it. Here are just a few based on some Tory policies.
Whilst hundreds of thousands of people in the UK rely on foodbanks, and millions around the world starve, the wealthiest millionaires (&billionaires) continue to accumalate yet more wealth – and mostly avoid giving any of it back as tax. The capitalist system is rigged, and if we don’t smash it soon it’s going to smash us.
We’re here to say we DO mind the gap between the richest and the rest of us, they are certainly not ‘in it together’ with us.
We will turn a branch of HSBC (notorious for their tax avoidance schemes) into a bank that serves the rest of us – a food bank.
Bring flags, placards, noise, friends and food to share (or if you can’t spare any just a hungry stomach – we’ll be bringing lots).
Meet up at Queen Square 1pm on Saturday, look for the flags & placards
(but so far any attempt by George Osborne to impose VAT on them has failed).
This Saturday in Bristol (1pm at the bandstand in castle park) people will demonstrate against companies that profit from workfare. They will join a total of twenty+ protests (scroll down for full list) across the UK. Workfare has taken a battering, its time to finish it off!
Workfare is the term applied to government schemes that force people to work for free or loose their benefits. It has been shown in its official report not to reduce unemployment, it costs millions in taxes, forces down wages, hurts small businesses, is corrupt, and only benefits (wait for it) big business and the rich!
Media reports, pulic outrage and a string of protests have resulted in dozens of organisations dropping out, and caused the government to lie on national TV to try and calm us all down. Well, we haven’t calmed down. It’s time to finish off workfare for good. Here’s our list, click for more details: Continue reading
Saturday the 3rd is a national day of action against workfare, called by boycottworkfare and started by Liverpool uncut. In Bristol a demonstration has been called for 1pm outside BHS (where the giant wheel is). So come on down for some picketing, music, noise and general chaos.
In the past two weeks loads of companies have dropped their involvement in workfare (Maplins, Sainsburys, TK Maxx), and some others have attempted to give the impression they have without doing so (poundland, boots). It all gets pretty confusing, and we couldn’t find an up to date list anywhere, so we made one. Specifically for Bristol.
List of companies still part of workfare, and their locations in Bristol: