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UK Social Struggles Newswire Archive

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Migrants and supporters demonstrate in Calais

30-05-2011 22:48

On Saturday 28 May around 150 people took to the streets of Calais in a demonstration against the brutal repression against migrants in the French border town. Despite a heavy police presence and smatterings of rain the event went well: no arrests or cop attacks, just lots of emotion and energy.

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Stop Atos Cutting Disability Benefits, Glasgow Mon. 6th June 5.30pm

30-05-2011 20:03

Picket Atos Recruitment Evening

Atos Medical Assessment Centre

Corunna House

29 Cadogan Street

Glasgow G2 7AB

Monday 6th June

5.30pm – 8.30pm

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International Day of Action in Solidarity with San Juan Copala, Oaxaca, Mexico

30-05-2011 18:52

International Day of Action in Solidarity with the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala, Oaxaca, Mexico

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Plain clothes FIT at #ukuncut protests. Cops use 'Breach of the Peace' strategy

30-05-2011 16:56

PC Tony Molina, 1174, on duty at the UK occupation of Cardiff Topshop
The 41 ukuncut demonstrations taking place around the UK yesterday resulted in only nine arrests, in Manchester. It is interesting that the arrests were for breach of the peace. Given that Ukuncut protesters elsewhere were also threatened with BOP arrests, it seems there was a bit of a tendency to deal with occupiers using BOP powers, rather than aggravated trespass.

The police have a good track record in abusing breach of the peace powers. The situation in Scotland is very different, but in England and Wales the arrest is preventative, so doesn’t result in charges or convictions. But it does give police a handy tool to get people out of the way, and in the process, get their names and addresses.

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Kroll and Police spend £1m to Gag plumber Ian Puddick

30-05-2011 12:18

Abuse of Power - Kroll and City of London Counter Terrorism Directorate spent £1m of tax payers money to gag whistle blower Ian Puddick who exposed corruption and cronyism.

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Return of the Big Society Hospital

29-05-2011 23:30

The Big Society Hospital returned to Oxford on Saturday as activists fro Oxford Save Our Services, Keep Our NHS Public, and several other groups converged on Cornmarket to highlight the disastrous implications of the NHS reforms & cuts. Would you let a Big Society volunteer operate on you?

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Rossport: The Pipe Film Screenings

29-05-2011 14:47

'The Pipe', a documentary film which charts the battle between the tiny village of Rossport and the Oil Giant Shell, is coming to cinemas in the UK.

The film is also available for screenings at social centres, gatherings and festivals.

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Trouble at Brook House IRC

29-05-2011 10:55

Continuing harsh relation between staff and detainees, has once again lead to protest

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UG#552 - Defective By Design and The War on Sharing (Copyright or Community?)

29-05-2011 09:01

This week's entire show is devoted to a recent speech by the pioneer of the free software movement, Richard Stallman. He gives a history of copyright law, and how it has become a tool of corporations to maximize profit by creating scarcity. He explains the technical and legal sides of some recent battles about DRM, and the moral and pragmatic reasons why people should refuse to use proprietary software.

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Solidarity with prisoners in Greece!

28-05-2011 09:17

FILAKI – documentary film about prisoners revolt in greek prisons (2007)

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Crackdown begins - Police attacking Real Democracy Ya gathering in Barcelona

27-05-2011 08:41

Its difficult to get clear information at this point but according to catalan radio the police started trying to clear the plaza de catalunya in Barcelona this morning.

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Cambridge Atos Are Occupied Again.

26-05-2011 22:49

Nope, I don't watch Corrie either...
On Wednesday afternoon (25-05-2011) for the second time this month, a small but significant crowd of activists converged upon the Hills Road offices of Jobcentre Plus subcontractor Atos, to protest against the brutally arbitrary way they assess sick and disabled people, considering most of their 'clients' to be 'fit for work', even if they're not.

All part of David Cameron's beautiful vision for a fairer and more just 'Big Society', involving asset stripping everything in the public sector, including the Welfare State.

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Nottingham Solidarity with Spanish Revolution

26-05-2011 21:55

Beginning on May 15th, a wave of protests has swept across Spain, with demonstrations in around 60 cities. The rallies have continued despite being officially banned under Spain’s electoral law. There have also been solidarity protests across the world, with several in the UK, including in Nottingham where a small protest was held in the Market Square on Saturday 21st. Supporters also maintained a small presence at this year’s Green Festival.

On the newswire: Nottingham Supports the Spanish revolution! | Brighton | Bristol | Edinburgh | London: 1, 2

The protesters in Spain have produced and distributed a manifesto:

We are ordinary people. We are like you: people, who get up every morning to study, work or find a job, people who have family and friends. People, who work hard every day to provide a better future for those around us.

Some of us consider ourselves progressive, others conservative. Some of us are believers, some not. Some of us have clearly defined ideologies, others are apolitical, but we are all concerned and angry about the political, economic, and social outlook which we see around us: corruption among politicians, businessmen, bankers, leaving us helpless, without a voice.

This situation has become normal, a daily suffering, without hope. But if we join forces, we can change it. It’s time to change things, time to build a better society together. Therefore, we strongly argue that:

  • The priorities of any advanced society must be equality, progress, solidarity, freedom of culture, sustainability and development, welfare and people’s happiness.
  • These are inalienable truths that we should abide by in our society: the right to housing, employment, culture, health, education, political participation, free personal development, and consumer rights for a healthy and happy life.
  • The current status of our government and economic system does not take care of these rights, and in many ways is an obstacle to human progress.
  • Democracy belongs to the people (demos = people, krátos = government) which means that government is made of every one of us. However, in Spain most of the political class does not even listen to us. Politicians should be bringing our voice to the institutions, facilitating the political participation of citizens through direct channels that provide the greatest benefit to the wider society, not to get rich and prosper at our expense, attending only to the dictatorship of major economic powers and holding them in power through a bipartidism headed by the immovable acronym PP & PSOE.
  • Lust for power and its accumulation in only a few; create inequality, tension and injustice, which leads to violence, which we reject. The obsolete and unnatural economic model fuels the social machinery in a growing spiral that consumes itself by enriching a few and sends into poverty the rest. Until the collapse.
  • The will and purpose of the current system is the accumulation of money, not regarding efficiency and the welfare of society. Wasting resources, destroying the planet, creating unemployment and unhappy consumers.
  • Citizens are the gears of a machine designed to enrich a minority which does not regard our needs. We are anonymous, but without us none of this would exist, because we move the world.
  • If as a society we learn to not trust our future to an abstract economy, which never returns benefits for the most, we can eliminate the abuse that we are all suffering.
  • We need an ethical revolution. Instead of placing money above human beings, we shall put it back to our service. We are people, not products. I am not a product of what I buy, why I buy and who I buy from.

For all of the above, I am outraged.
I think I can change it.
I think I can help.
I know that together we can.I think I can help.

I know that together we can.

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Urgent Appeal From Libya

26-05-2011 20:23

Urgent Appeal From Libya
Hear this call on behalf of millions of Libyans now facing a new stage in the increasingly indiscriminate bombing of NATO that is now targeting civilian infrastructure with exponentially increasing civilian casualties. He only asks you to do a few simple things. Get organized! .........

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Poltical repression Italian style: students placed under house curfew

26-05-2011 10:44

We are not afraid
On Wednesday 25th May, police forced their way into the homes of 6 Padua University students. All have been active in the movement of recent student protests that have shaken several Italian cities, culminating in the December 14th mass protest in Rome. This follows the significant growth of the European movement fighting against attacks on labour rights, welfare cuts, and the marketisation of education, all under a common banner of “We won't pay your crisis”.

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Starve the working unemployed Memo for DWP Robert Devereux

26-05-2011 09:59

Robvert Devereux is the top man at the United Kingdom Department called DWP. His apponytment was hgailed by the ever so adjustable Gus O'Donnel with a gushing tribiute to Robert's acheievemnts. Robert hisme;lf played the Reform card well and dediucatred the key soundbytes on his arrival to the concept of reform. So wehat has Robert been presidnering over for the first six monthsw followinmg his suiccession to Leigh Lewis at the Depratment for Want and Povertry?

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Queer Resistance to transform bank into sexual health clinic to highlight cuts

26-05-2011 01:53

To highlight the 43% cut in NHS Primary Care Trust funding for HIV prevention services in London, which particularly puts gay and bisexual men’s health at risk, Queer Resistance - independent LGBTQI anti-cuts group - plans to transform a major high street bank in London into a ‘mock’ sexual health clinic on Saturday 28 May.

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Anti-racist Campaign

25-05-2011 21:58

The antinational and communst federation Ums Ganze has launched a campaign against socialchauvinism and racism in austria and germany. This is the call to the campaign.

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Report from the first “June 30 Strike” assembly

25-05-2011 20:55

Following on from the call for an open assembly to discuss, propose and organise for the first round of co-ordinated strike actions on June 30th, over 100 people turned up and squeezed into the Marchmont Centre in Bloomsbury on Monday 23rd May. Public sector workers, parents, carers, workers, unemployed, teachers, precarious workers were joined by spanish students who had been, since May 15th, holding self-organised assemblies as part of a new international movement that has seen hundreds of thousands take to the streets occupying main squares across Spain and beyond against crippling austerity and raising unemployment.


The purpose of the meeting was to focus on the June 30th public sectors strikes and how those of us “officially” on strike can connect with the rest of the population, to generalise the strike as a day of action for all those fighting against the cuts and the wider austerity measures. There was a implicit understanding that we should be calling for people not to go to work in solidarity ( taking day off work, calling in sick..etc ) to enable a bigger participation on the various pickets, actions and demonstrations.


Hundreds of thousands of workers could be involved in strike action, from as many as four or five different unions including NUT, PCS, UCU and ATL, possibly involving over 800,000 workers fighting against pension reforms, an integral part of the coalition governments austerity measures.

A brief overview was given by a teacher at an FE college about the effect the pension reforms will have ( pay more for less ), understandable a growing anger is being felt by many in the public sector who have worked all their lives in the hope that they can live in dignity when they retire. All this is being threatened, consequences of which would not be felt on younger generations until its too late.

School students from secondary to FE colleges were also spoken about and the need to encourage walk outs from schools in solidarity with their teachers, which could link into more vibrant localised demonstrations in the morning. Individuals from NCAFC and EAN which were instrumental in calling demonstrations during the student rebellion in November/December 2010 were keen to follow this up so that students continue to be a key feature of this movement.

This first assembly reached consensus on the following:

To mobilise and support early morning pickets of striking workers

To organise local initiatives to link up pickets with marches between different sites.

To promote diverse forms of actions to publicise and circulate the struggles

To take these decisions forward, those in the meeting who live or worked in the same boroughs will be put in contact with each other and were encouraged to meet up and work within local anti-cuts campaigns who have already started to publicise the 30th. Already there are meetings being organised ( email if you would like to get in contact with others in your area ).

The items we couldn't reach consensus on were felt to be important to continue discussing including ideas to call to participate on the main trade union demo in Central London - tentatively being organised by the PCS. Several suggestions to organise various feeder marches and possibly a mass action later on in the day against a specific target were also discussed. There were also proposals to hold on public assemblies, in similar fashion to the recent events in Spain, that could further open up inclusivity and participation than perhaps less engaging forms of actions. These ideas could be included as suggestions for local initiatives. An idea of an all night camp was also talked about. There was no consensus on us organising public assemblies or a camp – and there were concerns that such ideas had failed in the past due to police repression - but it is an idea that will be revisited in future meetings. Economic blockades/disruption were also discussed and there was a general support for the idea throughout the meeting as a possible forms of actions, no doubt this too will be revisited at the next assemblies.

There were a wide ranging participation from radical left, anarchist, autonomist and socialist tendencies as well as people from no “political position” at the meeting but the meeting itself was one of the most respectful, dynamic and inspirational meetings for a long time. We hope to continue with this spirit in the lead up to June 30th with the sole intention to generalise the strikes in London and across the UK, radicalising many more people into taking action for their future.

Next Assembly - 7pm Monday June 6th ( Bloomsbury / University venue tbc )

The next assembly will be held at 7pm Monday June 6th ( University venue tbc ) in a bigger venue. We encourage everyone interested, engaged and up for it to come down and get involved. We especially like more workers who will potentially be on strike ( bearing in mind that at this stage strike ballots have yet to be taken ) to attend and help us organise towards June 30th.

Please contact us if we may be able to help with childcare, if there is enough interest we will try to arrange a creche.


General contact email is:

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Report from Oxford Radical Forum 2011

25-05-2011 16:47

Wadham College
Oxford’s ivory tower may not often feel the tremors of a thousand students pushing through police lines to protest Vince Cable‘s (non) appearance at the Exam Schools in collusion with the marketisation of higher education in Britain. However, some students at Wadham College have, this past week, renewed a tradition (alive since 2008) of bringing radical ideas into the heart of the ‘dreaming spires’, with the aim of reviving that momentum experienced in the winter of 2010 against the cuts and the Tories’ wider programme of austerity and neoliberal reform.