Skip navigation

Indymedia UK is a network of individuals, independent and alternative media activists and organisations, offering grassroots, non-corporate, non-commercial coverage of important social and political issues

Reinstate our right to march past the Tory Conference

Who's Streets?! | 03.09.2010 11:20 | Public sector cuts | Repression | Workers' Movements | Birmingham

On Tuesday 24th August a delegation from the Right To Work campaign met with West
Midlands police and a representative of Birmingham City Council to discuss the route
of the protest march outside the Tory party conference on Sunday 3rd October.
West Midlands police stated that they were happy for RtW to march past the
conference centre and confirmed that centenary square, the square directly in front
of the conference centre, would not be a “sterile zone”. A route was suggested by
Birmingham City Council and West Midlands police and the delegation accepted the
offer to walk the route being proposed.

The Police have now reneged on the proposed route citing security reasons. They are
denying us the right to march past the conference centre.

We are asking everybody to sign the following statement:

“We are alarmed to be informed that, despite earlier agreements with the Police and
Birmingham City Council, West Midlands Police are attempting to stop the trade
union demonstration against public service cuts from marching past the Conservative
Party conference at the ICC on Sunday 3rd October
The march has been initiated by the Right to Work Campaign and is backed by three
national trade unions (the PCS, NUJ and UCU), the Labour Representation Committee
and a number of local trade union and campaigning organisations.
We feel that this is a violation of the right to freedom of speech and our rights to
protest peacefully against the Government. Peaceful protest is a vital part of a
democratic society and people have taken their opposition to Government actions to
their conferences for decades. The decision of the West Midlands Police takes that
right away. We note that Centenary Square will not be a “sterile zone” and that
people will be able to access the area freely. By not allowing the Right to Work
campaign to march past the International Convention Centre we are concerned that
West Midlands Police is attempting to make political decisions about how visible
protests against the cuts can be and are denying a basic democratic right to freedom
of assembly and freedom of speech.
We believe that West Midlands Police should permit the demonstrators to march past
the Conservative Party conference on Sunday 3rd October.”
Add your name here Reinstate our right to march

Who's Streets?!


Hide the following 20 comments

Sounds like...

03.09.2010 11:43

A job for the direct action bloc!

Bloc Rockin' Beats

Fuck asking for permission to march...

03.09.2010 11:57

just do it and make sure its not a pathetic a to b march, lets get some positive direct action sorted......



03.09.2010 12:28

march from a - b. achieve nothing. direct action from 100's if not 1000's of people. that would achive something.

oi oi

Have you checked the link?

03.09.2010 13:27

It leads to an American website which "protects workers from the abuses of compulsory unionism".
Is this an accidental slip of the keyboard, or are they revealing their true affiliation? I think we should be told!



03.09.2010 13:56

@ the anti-union link. Quite a scary website to be honest, quick workers help protect your bosses from yourselves!

I'm assuming the link is meant to be

- Homepage:


03.09.2010 14:13

Just tell them you are Special Advisors to William Hague come for a reunion rally.


right to be a wage slave

03.09.2010 15:16

right to work = permission to be wage slave
to demand rights is to acknowledge that you grant your 'masters' permission to confer said 'rights' upon you
no gods no masters
take what you need- give what you can


what this is

03.09.2010 17:26

Thats are very well and good but what happens when you start a family and get into yours 40s?
Anarchism is a pipedream. Thats why where are no old people on these bloc rantings.
They've grown up and realised what they want to do with their lives.

Angry young males venting off some steam. Nothing more

toad in the hole

To 'toad in the hole'

03.09.2010 19:44

You are half right. I am an anarchist, and when I got a job and responsibility, I nearly lost faith in anarchism as it no longer seemed relevant to me. But then I realised that it is the juvenile 'famous five' way anarchism is practiced by some that is alienating to 'ordinary' people, not the philosophy itself. As it stands, I have stronger faith in my anarchist ideals than ever before, but I am increasingly hostile to the lifestyley, anti-work, fuck society kids who unfirtunatley infest the anarchist movement, give the idea a bad name and make sure that it stays inaccessible and misunderstood by the average person.

(A) Sab

Anarchism in your 40s

03.09.2010 20:42

I will keep this as brief as I can and try to avoid a rant aimed at 'toad in the hole'.

Anarchism as a political philosophy and a way of life, as how you relate to other people and what motivates you in your daily life, is one that by its nature requires constant questioning, otherwise it would not be anarchism. I have done this since my late teens but now, as I am in my 40s, it is as relevant to me as a perspective on life and how I live as it ever was, perhaps even more so.

The principles of mutual aid and co-operation and empowering individuals to value themselves and others is perhaps more relevant to people in their 40s. Creating a liberated environment for children that questions the dominant culture of vacuous consumption and which encourages children to question and think may be indirect action but its value must not be underestimated. Within the work place engaging in discussion and debate to make people aware that they can challenge hierarchies and work in solidarity is something that becomes more worthwhile as you get older. This is not saying that older people are 'better'. It is just to say that circumstances can provide opportunities to put anarchist ideas across to a wider range of people.

Direct action is relevant for all generations. The ruling elite in the UK and throughout the world deserves to be given the anger that people feel. Solidarity extends to all comrades who take direct action to create a better world. But angry young men will question their actions, and in the interests of cooperative evolution, reflect on whether their aims could have been achieved more effectively. Surely these are the discussions that anarchists in their 40s should have with their children, not from any hierarchical crap about age superiority but from the principle of cooperation.

Anarchism, out of all political philosophies and ways of life, values learning above any others. You continue learning throughout your whole life. You continue questioning. You continue to understand how the world works rather than burying yourself in egoising and trivia. You continue to be angry. That is why I am an anarchist in my 40s.


We Demand...

03.09.2010 21:37

Longer Chains!

Bigger Cages!

Longer Chains!

Bigger Cages!

number 6

Just shows

04.09.2010 07:41

Number 6s comment just shows how wildly out of touch many anarchists are with the public. As an anarchist worker, I will always fight for 'longer chains' (ie, demand reforms to the brutal and arbitrary workplace regieme). But I use these small fights to try and build support in my workplace for the big fight. What is wrong with fighting to keep your job ( ie, fighting to stop your kids going hungry), what is wrong with struggles for shorter working hours and more pay? Those of us who work know the reality of how oppressive the capitalist workplace is see nothing wrong with fighting for reforms to the system, particularly if those struggles are used to foster radicalism. It is on the picket lines and protests that we turn angry workers into revolutionaries, not by expecting them to reject all reformist demands. Just ask those great reformists, the Chicago martyrs, who were fighting for a reform to working hours, but at the same time trying to radicalise others who echoed their demands.

(A) Sab

I don't think I will ever understand anarchists

04.09.2010 11:20

Better working conditions etc etc I get.

But this "no chains, no masters blah blah" i don't.
If you don't like working for someone else, then go self-employed or something. I mean, its not like we live under communism, you do have many choices. You can pretty much do what you want and go where you want.

The reason people work is to put food in their mouths. Its all very well going "no chains no masters", fair enough. If you have alternatives available to you - use them. No one is forcing you to work. But by the same stretch, no one is going to work on your behalf so you can eat.

I don't particularly like shaving. But its just one of life realities that my beard will grow if I don't.
Tough titty. I just have to deal with it. No amount of moaning, or marching, or ranting is going to change that.

When your stomach starts to rumble, you got several choices I guess:
a. beg; b. borrow; c. steal, d. work, e. grow your own, f. trade

I can't think of any others. Theres your choices. Im not sure where "no chains, no masters" fits into that.

toad in hole

Again, @ toad in the hole

04.09.2010 12:09

Hi. I think some of your confusion comes from the ridiculous way in which many contemporary anarchists practice and preach anarchism. Here's my interpretation -

Of course we need to work to feed ourselves and our families (and, as a worker and an anarchist, I get really annoyed at the 'don't work', lifestyley anarchists who act holier than thou because they don't have jobs and live out of bins). My argument is not with work itself, but the manner in which we work. I don't see why the workers who produce what society needs, and the people who make up our communities shouldn't have direct control over their own workplaces and communities. In almost every workplace I have been in, the boss was the most superfluous person there, especially when I have done factory work - yet it is he who rakes in the most profit, often just because his dad/grandad set up the company and he has inherited it. I do advocate a society in which everyone works as a productive member, but there are many who I don't see as productive members of society such as many bosses, the landed gentry, the monarchy etc etc, and all I see in government is a group of people eager to preserve the privilage of the wealthy few (as an example, human rights groups have just slammed the Con-Dem coalition for the fact that their cuts hit the poorest hardest. Another example being the bankers bailout, tax breaks for the rich etc etc etc). So, yes, I attach a great value to work (even in the capitalist system, as it provides us with what we need, even if the mode of production is grossly unfair and we are forced to work too long for too little pay), but what I work towards is a society in which the worker, not a parasitical boss in in control of what he or she produces, and how he or she produces it.

Unfortunatley at the moment, the anarchist movement is saturated with angry kids who think that by refusing work, they are somehow striking a blow at the capitalist system. This is a stupid idea of course, as even the bins they live out of were filled by people who worked within the capitalist system, and - knowing many of these 'lifestyle' kids - I don't know of any who grow enough veg to survive without somehow being reliant on the labour of others. Anarchism shouldn't be about refusing work, but about turning work into something that is done in the interest and common profit of all, not just a greedy minority who get rich off what we produce.

Hope this anwsers some of your points.

(A) Sab


04.09.2010 12:53

Hi, yes - thanks for the answers. I appreciate it.

I do agree about the angry young kids. They are an embarrasement and totally alienate people from the whole idea. When i think of anarchists, I think of idiots in black throwing stones at the Nike store whilst wearing Nike trainers.

Furthermore, they're laptops, mp3 players, TVs and video games wouldn't even exist if it wasnt for capitalism. From the getting the minerals out of the ground to the electricity production, the 100s of years of research and development and people working to get an education and then working in a job are what is needed.

Ok, now with your point about a Boss being not necessary - I mostly disagree. Sure, in big organisations, there are waste of space people (bosses and workers). Examples are HR staff - complete waste of time.

Anyone can be a boss. You start up your own company and employee people.
Being a boss is good, it creates jobs in the local community so that people can support their family. The altenative to no jobs? Sit on the dole with very limited money?

People become 'bosses' for many reasons but probably the most important is the potential to make a lot of money. If that "incentive" wasn't there, then why would anyone bother becoming a boss?

Setting up a company is risky and you can lose a lot of money. It usualy involves a lot of effort and time and risk. If it was easy - we would all do it. If there wasnt a potential to earn lots of money, why would any one bother? And if no one bothered, then we would all sit around on the dole growing out own vegetables. Not exactly enough to live on.

I am far better off working than i ever would be sitting around on the dole. Without boss's to employ me, I would have to work extra hard to become sustain self employment.

Theres plenty of choices in life. You don't have to work in a shitty job for someone else.
People who don't work in shitty jobs have (statistically) worked at their education, and worked into getting a good job. Sure, some have got it on a silver plate, but a lot have worked towards it.

I just don't understand people who refuse to help themselves. If I was pissed off with how much money I was earning and who i was working for, the last thing I'd do is riot and march. I'd work out of way of improving and just do it. Sitting around moan, marching around moaning is not going to help matters. I used to live in a houseshare with someone who moaned that there was no food in his cupboard and then just sit there moaning instead of doing something about it.
Angry young men being anarchists and wearing black may be exciting and a nice social number, but at some point you will grow up and realise it just don't work.


@ Mark

04.09.2010 13:25

I would challenge you on a couple of your comments -

1. The point that I was trying to make is that capitalism doesn't produce MP3 players, laptops etc - we do, they are just marketed and distributed by capitalism. What I am trying to do is draw a clear distinction between the act of producing goods/providing a service (the means of production), and the system under which those goods are produced (the mode of production - at this time, capitalism). I agree that MP3 players, laptops etc are great, but I would argue that it is not capitalism that creates them, and on the whole, profit motive is not the reason they were invented. Some of humankind's most amazing inventions (the wheel, the grinding mill, agriculture etc) were created before a profit motive existed, but they were created and shared none the less. At the moment, capitalism is the dominant system, so it stands to reason that new products are incorporated into and supplied through this system. I would argue that in an anarchist society, feudal society or any other type of society, the goods would be manufactured and provided in a way that was appropriate to that society. While we have experienced many different forms of society over the century, the need to produce and consume have remained constant, while that way that we produce and consume is what changes.

2. I would also disagree that we need a boss in order to work, I think that under this system though, we do have bosses, and that their primary function is generating profit for themselves/their class at the expense of the workers. Even if the boss is an entrepreneur who has come up with a great idea, without the hands and skills of the workers, he would be unable to turn a profit, so I view the labour of the worker as being of equal importance to the ideas of the boss. For this reason, I believe that all who work in a workplace are equally important to it's functioning, and thus should have equal control over the profits, production and distribution generated from the workplace. While I will once again re-iterate that work is necessary, I would argue that the hierarchy in a workplace is the product of the capitalist system, not an inevitability of the nature of work.

So, while I accept (and share) your need to work, and you're interst in not ending up on the dole, I would ask you to question wether or not work has to necessitate the oppression and hierachy it is currentley associated with (from a shelf stacker at Tesco, to a sweatshop in Bangladesh - even including my own job, teaching, in which I am subject to the whim of a chain of command which is detached from the realities of the classroom), or if, while working, we could and should try to create a system which truly appreciates, values and rewards the contributions of the workers, and sees them as equal and vital components in the production of goods and services.

As one final point. You are correct to point out that at the moment, the profit motive is dominant, but I would argue that that is neither favourable, fair or set in stone. Over the centuries, the motive for production has swung between communal and personal dozens of times, yet people have still continued to produce goods and services. Just because we have to work under a system of profit at the moment, it doesn't mean we have to like it, and should not struggle to create a fairer and more equal workplace.

(A) Sab

mid age anarchist and til i die

04.09.2010 21:37

maybe, seeing as i seem to have started this thread/rant about @, i should point out that i am 42 and have 2 lovely kids. that hasn't stopped anarchism informing my philosophy starting from an individual and personal view point. try and break down all coercive power structures and hierarchies and have respect for yourself and those around you. anarchy has to be something that you live every day. i've never had a job with a boss that involved paying tax, but i do shit for money obviously, i live in a squat and i do what I want to every day when i get up!
ViVe BoNN@no!


Do what the EDL do

05.09.2010 02:50

and announce a static demonstration or twenty


Stunning Support

16.09.2010 13:53

Leading trade unionists including Tony Woodley (joint general secretary Unite), Derek Simpson (joint general secretary Unite), Paul Kenny (general secretary GMB) Mary Bousted (general secretary ATL) Sally Hunt (general secretary UCU) and Mary Turner (president GMB) have backed the statement calling for marchers to be able to protest outside the Tory party conference.

Ed Balls, Diane Abbott, who helped get us into this mess, safe diversion old fossil Tony Benn, the "Mr Meek" Leftwing Bros John Mcdonnell & Jeremy Corbyn along with John Cryer, Caroline Lucas, and Julie Hilling, also added their voices to the said waste of space

It may be 'backed' by these 'ere Union big wig nob'eads but are any of them going to put their balls on the tram line by organizing and heading a contingent that will out number and swamp the police lines forcing them to give way?

We all know the answer to that one ~ "Not on your Nelly, it may jeopardize my knighthood"

Think it can safely be filed under ...'Bumptious noise and useless actions that makes us look like we are doing something other than cacking our lame arsed pants'

By all means take direct action, show them the alternatives to peaceful protest, but understand, such gains will be slight till someone is capable of turning off (smashing) the Labour Party headlights which mesmerise the working class of this country!

Oh and I've just heard the TUC have called for a National Demo next May, well if you think this one is going to be lettuce leaf crap, save the sick bag for May ....Oh the grand old Duke of York........

Cul de sac