Tag Archives: anti cuts

Two Solidarity Events this Friday

This Friday there are now two different solidarity actions going on in the central belt that folks should try head to. First up in Glasgow:

Glasgow Against Atos Monthly Picket
1230-1430
Cadogan Street, Glasgow, G2.
Facebook Event

Monthly picket to show opposition to disability assessments and go out in solidarity with those subject to the profit-led schemes of Atos and the government. Later that afternoon over in Edinburgh:

Solidarity with Pussy Riot hunger strike
1600
58 Melville Street, Edinburgh, EH3 7HF.
Facebook Event

No to death camps in Russia! Solidarity rally with Pussy Riot member Nadezhda, who began a hunger strike to denounce the inhuman conditions in Russian prisons. Come support Nadezhda and all the people who fight for a free Russia!

In an open letter published in the Guardian, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, one of the two members of Pussy Riot sentenced in 2012 to two years of forced labour for hooliganism and blasphemy, described the conditions of detention in a labour camp for women in Mordovia:

“I will not remain silent, resigned to watch as my fellow prisoners collapse under the strain of slavery-like conditions. I demand that the colony administration respect human rights; I demand that the Mordovia camp function in accordance with the law. I demand that we be treated like human beings, not slaves.”

“I am going on hunger strike and refusing to participate in colony slave labor. I will do this until the administration starts obeying the law and stops treating incarcerated women like cattle ejected from the realm of justice for the purpose of stoking the production of the sewing industry; until they start treating us like humans.” (N. Tolokonnikova)

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Social Worker’s Wildcat Strike!

Last Friday members of the Glasgow Homeless Casework Team walked out on a wildcat strike following the suspension of a colleague who refused to cover the work of vacant posts. Then on Monday another 60 people walked off the job in solidarity with their striking co-workers after Unison talks with management over workload broke down. The number of striking workers has been increasing and a group of 70 strikers went to the City Chambers to call for the re-instatement of their sacked co-worker and against the high workloads and staff shortages. The walkout continues.

You can send a message of support to the striking workers via: enquiries@glasgowcityunison.co.uk

Donations towards their strike fund should be addressed to: Glasgow City Unison, 84 Bell Street, Glasgow G1 1LQ.

workers lobby the council

Call-out from the Autonomous Student Network

We have been contacted by the Autonomous Student Network. They are keen to talk with student groups in Glasgow that would be interested in working with others using anarchist principals. If your group is interested being part of the network then their call-out and contact details can be found here.

Anarchist banner on demonstration

from Autonomous Student Network

Herding unicorns : “West of Scotland Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation”

Yesterday there was a march in Glasgow about one of the most rousing, galvanising issues for years; a few thousand people quick stepped from Glasgow Green to George Square along back streets to oppose the bedroom tax. It was called by the “West of Scotland Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation” which seeks to “unite community and other anti-Bedroom Tax campaigns into a West of Scotland federation of opposition leading eventually to an all Scotland campaign of opposition” (http://socialistunity.com/bin-the-bedroom-tax-campaign-launched-in-glasgow/)

Given the widespread anger that the bedroom tax has evoked, why were there relatively few on the march? Where were the hundreds of thousands in the West of Scotland who are passionately opposed to the bedroom tax? Well not under the empty umbrella of the “West of Scotland Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation” which called yesterday’s demo, that’s for sure!

For years now we’ve had a familiar pattern of lefties deciding that what is needed is to “Unite the Resistance” in order to coordinate the wider working class as we fight these latest attacks on us. Worthy figures like Tony Benn head up a “Coalition of Resistance” as an “umbrella organisation to bring together the local and national campaigns to defend the education, NHS, pensions, housing and the Welfare State” (http://www.coalitionofresistance.org.uk/2012/03/appeal-from-tony-benn-president-of-the-coalition-of-resistance/). Surely what we need to be doing in these days of austerity and assaults on our living conditions is to network groups together, to make the connections and work with “trade union, student, pensioner and community opposition to austerity measures” (http://www.coalitionofresistance.org.uk/2011/05/what-is-the-coalition-of-resistance-and-what-does-it-do/)?

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The trouble is that … well these local campaigning groups that the lefties have rather self-importantly decided that they will coordinate … well they barely exist. At least in Glasgow they are scarce, meagre, barely existing on the ground especially compared to the size and scope of the attacks. These semi-mythical creatures that the lefties seek to unite from the top down, are actually rare pearls in an ocean of passive despondency. This “trade union, student, pensioner and community opposition to austerity measures” that the legends speak of is so pitifully rare that it is the same campaigns that get drawn on over and over again.

In Glasgow we have the Save the Accord campaign which was actually just a handful of carers and service users of a day centre for adults with learning disabilities that Glasgow City Council (GCC) decided was less important than a coach park for the Commonwealth Games. The campaign itself is incredibly important and inspiring as the Accord Centre was a vital service for a very vulnerable group with a high level of need. Many of the carers are elderly (their children with learning disabilities grew up but have never stopped needing their parents) and just being a service user or full-time carer precludes much time, energy and other capacity for campaigning. However similar assaults by GCC on services for vulnerable people throughout Glasgow have passed without a flicker of a fightback and it is to the credit to the Save the Accord campaign (https://twitter.com/savetheaccord) that this attack was forced into wider awareness. However this does not excuse the almost parasitic relationship that lefty umbrella groups have had with it.

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Instead of pompously deciding that we will sit on some Glasgow/West of Scotland organising committee from which lofty heights we will steer the local platoons around the battlefield like players in a giant game of Risk, what is actually needed is the basic work of building from scratch local groups and campaigns that can be the genuine grass-roots buds of a better world. This is not glamorous. It does not give us grand titles such as “interim secretary of the West of Scotland organising committee” (http://socialistunity.com/bin-the-bedroom-tax-campaign-launched-in-glasgow/) but rather involves spending hours knocking on thousands of doors, talking to – shock horror – people who aren’t already politicised and don’t know the rules of the game of revolution (for Marx’s sake don’t ever mention the emperor’s nekkid!) It means listening more than talking. It requires transcending the existing, fruitless habits of lefties with their A-B marches, meetings organised online and predictable speaker lists with choreographed applause and cheers. It means not just trying to educate our wider class about how you cannae trust politicians and bosses with patronising, dishonest and disingenuous mock-surprise when politicians are shown to be the lying self-serving bastards that actually everyone in the working class already knows them to be. But working to build up the empowerment, hope and solidarity in ourselves, our communities and our wider class. After all this is probably the reason why people decide to not bother wasting their energy in the assumed to be vain hope that we can make a difference.

Rather than using the few and far between local campaign groups to attempt to legitimise an empty umbrella, organise in your own community, workplace or around the issue that gets you truly going. If you feel this is beyond you, give genuine support and get involved with something already existing. Please get in touch with us glasgow@afed.org.uk if you are in this position but don’t know of any suitable local groups and we’ll try and help you. Because in our experience of local organising there is never a shortage of practical tasks that need done.

Liverpool is leading the way in genuinely combating the bedroom tax with ‘tenant-led community groups organising for themselves’. “It is up to us, our friends, our neighbours, our communities to stand together in working class unity, without politicians or councillors, and combat this attack on working class people, on what it means to have a home and to be a human being. Tenants have reached the point now were they are swerving the disempowering and ‘traditional’ methods of protest –And we don’t need parliament stooges calling us to action. We’ll do that ourselves.” (http://combatbedroomtax.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/combat-bedroom-tax-in-liverpool.html)

Then, once we have actual, real local and campaign groups, then is the time that these groups can make contact with each other and organise themselves into a genuine federation that can support each other’s struggles with the practical solidarity that is really needed. And we can really start to not just fight back against the bedroom tax and other austerity measures, but blossom communities of strength, resilience and hope for a better world.

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Also exemplifying how out of touch the West Scotland “Federation” are, one of the speakers at yesterday’s rally was rape apologist Dave Sherry. When some women in the crowd heckled him they were leapt on by the official stewards. http://athousandflowers.net/2013/03/31/this-is-a-tax-demo-why-dont-you-go-back-to-your-rape-demo/

Anti-Benefit Cuts Leafletting Glasgow 10TH MARCH

1.30-2.30PM, ATOS HEALTH CARE, CORUNNA HOUSE, 29 CADOGAN STREET, G2 7AB

More info after the jump Continue reading

Hetherington Occupation Video

Scottish Universities in Occupation plus Glasgow Plans for Day X

Updates on the St Andrews University occupation

Edinburgh University Occupation ends on a positive note

Meanwhile in Glasgow, aside from the brief occupations on the 24th November day of action, Glasgow is yet to see much direct action.  Will this change?  Well, there is the upcoming day of action.  Here’s the programme :

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