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.
We may have been exaggerating a little with the title, but yesterday was a step in the right direction. Members of Bristol AFed visited our groups most popular destination (yes, it really is) to take part in the first ever Swindon Radical Bookfair. It was a great opportunity for radicals from the town and the wider region to meet up and share information and a chance for other Swindon locals to get involved and find out about their cities radical past, present and (fingers crossed) future.
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).
TELL THE TRUTH AND SHAME THE DEVIL is the old saying and in that tradition this statement from St Georges, Univeristy of London Cleaners should be widely circulated: “We, the cleaners at St George’s are writing to inform you that the stories that UNISON are spreading about the cleaners at St George’s are lies. I am sure you were not aware of this, though.
UNISON did not win us the London Living Wage. In fact we won it not because of UNISON, but in spite of UNISON.
We are members of the IWW union. Only one of our colleagues is with UNISON. We are not represented by UNISON. The IWW, an independent union that’s managed by its members on a voluntary basis, has been with us right from the start. They represent us, and they won us the LLW. Continue reading