Tag Archives: protests

Douglas Carswell Has Got The Society He Wants, Of Course We Hate The Fucking Rich

simpsons“If we don’t do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us. No society can sustain this kind of rising inequality. In fact, there is no example in human history where wealth accumulated like this and the pitchforks didn’t eventually come out.”

Nick Hanauer, billionaire and founder of amazon.com speaking at a TED talk in 2014

Former Tory and now UKIP opportunist Douglas Carswell, who has been whining in the press after being jostled and shouted at during yesterday’s fuck the tories protest, has got the world he wants.  In a society where the poorest are ground into the dirt whilst the rich live in unimaginable luxury it is inevitable that the wealthy will become despised.  As ever more people see their lives demolished by poverty pay, benefit cuts, forced work and soaring housing costs then it is no surprise that they start looking around for someone to blame.  And someone is to blame.

The likes of UKIP would have us turn on each other.  Worker versus claimant, pensioner versus the feckless youth, UK citizen versus immigrant.  But we didn’t do this to fucking each other.  Whoever you are, wherever you were born, we are on the same side – they are making sure of that.  If you are a tenant, a worker, a claimant or pensioner then Carswell and his political cronies, whether UKIP or Tory, Labour or Lib Dem, are coming for you.  And behind them the global super rich will cheer as their billions increase at the expense of our lives and futures.

The Tories and the rich they serve want to believe that they are a majority, or at least have the majority’s support.  Their newspapers tell us that anyone who opposes them is an extremist or trouble-maker, on the fringes of society.  Yet thousands have come out onto the streets already in protest at five more years of their shit.  In Scotland, Northern England, Wales, London and other large cities it is the Tories that are the isolated freaks.  Across the entire UK only about 20% of people voted for them.  More people than that didn’t vote at all.  The rich think these people don’t count.  They did in the Summer of 2011 when they were kicking in the windows of the local JD Sports.

Yet even the ferocious anger of the urban youth largely passed them by.  Just a blip they imagined, the plebs letting off a bit of steam.  So cossetted and pampered have their lives been so far that they think we will continue to accept any indignity.  That we will work for peanuts, or nothing at all, and let them sack us on a whim and jail us if we strike.  That we will continue to pay them huge rents to live in hovels and willingly accept being socially cleansed from our homes and communities. That the champagne will flow forever and their lives remain undisturbed as they steal the very world from beneath our feet.

Only a few of the pampered elite have looked to history and realised that this situation cannot last.  That the rage of the working class has conquered dynasties and empires centuries old in the past. That no army, or fucking copper will save them when they finally push too far.  And they will only have themselves to blame when the pitchforks eventually come.

pic above via Class War

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Workfare Picket Hits London’s West End

The National Week of Action Against Workfare got off to a fine start on Saturday with demonstrations held outside companies profiting from forced labour around the UK.

So called health food shop Holland & Barrett were due to be the target of many protests, however after the company almost all but withdrew from workfare  new targets were hastily found.  Holland & Barrett blamed the week of protests for their decision to abandon plans to replace a quarter of there staff with unpaid workers.  Astonishingly the company even attempted to slur protesters as violent criminals, meaning that for many, whilst the protests have stopped, a boycott of the firm remains in force.

In London a group of around 40 protesters braved the raid and met by Goodge Street Tube Station.  The first target of the day was Greggs the bakers shop, who were recently supported by working class people over George Osborne’s bodged plan to tax pasties.  Greggs have repaid this support by continuing to use unpaid labour in their stodge ridden establishments.  Banners were unveiled outside the store and lively chants erupted as customers stayed away.

Then the protest moved to McDonalds, by now trailed by a couple of coppers and some gimp from a private security company.  After around 30 minutes outside the restaurant in heavy rain the skies brightened and the rolling picket headed back down Tottenham Court Road chating ‘workfare, unfair’ and ‘no wages, outrageous’.

The protest stopped briefly outside Superdrug, who were caught out fibbing about their use of workfare earlier in the year, before finishing at the busy Pizza Hut at Cambridge Circus.  Here the increasingly noisy picket drew lots of support from the many people making their way to the London Gay Pride event in Trafalgar Square.  Squinting through the windows of Pizza Hut, it was clear that the usually busy central London restaurant was almost deserted as customers voted with their feet on hearing that the company don’t pay their staff.

All in all it was a good start for the week of action which has lots more events, protests and pickets lined up over the next few days. Today people will be contacting charities like the British Heart Foundation (@thebhf) Tel: 01372 477 300 to demand they pull out of forced labour, more details at: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=1298#more-1298

For the latest details of other actions and events visit:  http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=1154

May Day and More

It’s set to be a busy month this May as resistance to the toff Government once more spills out onto the streets.

Join London’s branches of Solidarity Federation, along with UK Uncut and Occupy London, to take on Workfare in Central London on May 1st.  Meet on the TUC March which begins at noon from Clerkenwell Green.

If the Stalinist infected march doesn’t appeal then re-converge at West One Shopping Centre (by Bond Street tube) at 4pm.  Details on facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/events/406395462721503/ whilst Sol Fed have produced a handy map of workfare exploiters in Central London.

There’s events and protests happening on May Day around the UK – some of them can be found at: http://uncomradelybehaviour.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/mayday-2012-anarchist-whats-on/

On Thursday 3rd May the energy companies will be targeted at the Big Six Energy Bash, more info at: http://climatejusticecollective.org/#/big-six-energy-bash/4561602950

Action continues against workfare and the poverty pimps who profit on May 4th, with a picket of A4e in Brighton, meet at the Clock Tower from 11am: http://www.facebook.com/events/211065069004254/

On Saturday 5th May Liverpool Sol Fed and Uncut will be once again Combating Workfare in the city, meeting at the Next To Nowhere Bookshop at 11.30.  http://www.facebook.com/events/388759674490817/

It may not be on the scale we all wanted, but it’s what we’ve got, and on the 10th May members of UNITE, the PCS and NIPSA will be on strike against the Government’s pension massacre.  Not much news of picket lines or demonstrations as yet, but will try and post some details as they emerge.

A conference is being hosted by Brighton Benefits Campaign on the 26th May where campaigners and activists will meet to discuss How Do We Break Workfare?  Full details at: http://brightonbenefitscampaign.wordpress.com/saturday-26-may-national-conference-how-do-we-break-workfare/

Finally, also on May 26th, UK Uncut will be hosting Street Parties around the UK.  No further details have been given yet, keep an eye on their website at:   http://www.ukuncut.org.uk/

Apologies to everything I’ve missed, please feel free to post details of other stuff taking place this month in the comments.

Combat Workfare on May Day!

It’s seems a long time since the heady days of May Day, when Parliament Square was turned into a garden and Winston got a new haircut.  The truth is over the last few year’s it’s been a bit boring.  That could all be set to change with Solidarity Federation calling a Day of Action Against Workfare on May 1st.

Please spread the word.

“On Mayday we are calling on all those fighting back against the government’s austerity plans to join us in taking direct action against companies participating in the workfare schemes. Instead of standing around and listening to speeches at the end of the TUC march we will be heading straight into the West end to regroup and start taking action.”



LATEST NEWS:  Meet at Clerkenwell Green from noon for the TUC March then re-converge at West One Shopping Centre (by Bond Street tube) at 4pm.  Keep an eye on Solfed’s website or facebook for any further details.

Reports From Day of Action Against Workfare

More reports on yesterday’s National Day of Action Against Workfare

Brighton – two Holland & Barretts picketed – more info at: http://brightonbenefitscampaign.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/day-of-action-against-workfare-targets-holland-barratt/ and followed by a successful march against anti-squatting laws.

Edinburgh – British Heart Foundation and Poundstretcher targetted: http://www.edinburghagainstpoverty.org.uk/node/74

Liverpool – ASDA then Holland & Barrett: http://www.solfed.org.uk/?q=liverpool/combating-workfare-in-liverpool-3132012

Halifax – Started early with a picket of Holland & Barrett on Friday: http://www.solfed.org.uk/?q=west-yorks/holland-and-barrett-picket-in-halifax

Bristol – Punk classics outside Holland & Barrett then a tour of the city’s other workfare exploiters: http://www.solfed.org.uk/?q=bristol/bristol-abolish-workfare-demo-targets-holland-and-barrett

Wakefield – West Yorkshire Solfed and Anarchist federation link up: http://www.solfed.org.uk/?q=west-yorks/anti-workfare-poundland-picket-wakefield

Bournemouth – Wessex Solidarity picket two branches of Holland & Barrett whilst ukuncut do their thing in Vodafone: http://wessexsolidarity.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/holland-barrett-pickets/

Swindon – Swindon Anarchists picket Holland & Barrett: https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2012/04/494447.html

Lincoln – Lincoln Underground Collective visit Holland & Barrett, Primark and Poundland: http://lincolnundergroundcollective.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/report-on-31st-march-action-against-workfare-in-lincoln/#

York – York Welfare Campaign take a tour of the city’s workfare exploiters: http://yorkanarchist.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/workfare-protests-in-york/

Glasgow – Solfed, the IWW and Anarchist federation picket Holland & Barrett: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2012/04/494455.html

In London there were pickets outside Holland & Barrett in both North and South London as covered yesterday.

Actions took place in many other towns and cities around the UK – please post up links to any more reports in the comments.

Above pic from the Bristol action.

Workfare Collapses

Hot on the heels of Waterstones pulling out of the Government’s forced labour scheme it seems that other retailers are set to follow suit.

It is unclear whether Sainsburys have genuinely pulled out of their Workfare schemes as reported in the Guardian, however the fact they are claiming to have done so is revealing.   Superdrug have also Tweeted they no longer use Workfare, a somewhat spurious claim which was questioned when campaign group Boycott Workfare pointed out an advertisement for a Workfare position with the company.

Now the Unions have stepped into the fray, with shop workers union Usdaw calling on retailers to pull out of the scheme, in which unemployed people are forced to work 30 hours a week with no pay or workplace rights.  The TUC leader Brendan Barber says in the Guardian this weekend that workfare is ‘exploiting participants’ and has joined the calls for companies to pull out.  Hopefully this call also extends to Post Office union the CWU, who have recently endorsed a workfare scheme at the Royal Mail.

CWU secretray Billy Hayes has remained silent on this subject despite being asked about it repeatedly on twitter.  Keep asking him at: https://twitter.com/#!/BillyHayes_CWU

Like the CWU, Tesco are unrepentant about their use of forced labour.  1,400 people have worked for free at the supermarket for no pay.  Tesco say that they have employed 300 job seekers in the same period, less than 25% of participants.  There is no indication whether Tesco have employed more claimants than they would have done anyway without the scheme, but it is quite likely they have employed less.  Why pay benefit claimants when you can get them to work for free?

They may well change their minds about the benefits of using unpaid workers however as resistance to the scheme is not just spreading in the Unions and the High Street.  Last week a successful picket was held outside Poundland in Brighton aimed at the stores use of free labour.  Today a similar picket is to be held down the road in Worthing at another Poundland.

Action against workfare is planned in both Liverpool and London (so far) on March 3rd, and a Boycott Workfare group also are becoming established in Birmingham, where a legal challenge against the scheme is also taking place. Workfare participants are becoming increasingly savvy and aware of what little rights and power they have.  The danger’s of having an unpaid work-force who are openly hostile to their pretend employers should be obvious to all companies.  Unlike the sharks that are used to bully people into workfare, who pay themselves millions of pounds of tax payers money,  actually taking on workfare staff may well turn out to be bad business.  It could well be this that brings this exploitative scheme to an end as the cost of taking on workfare staff outweigh the benefits.  Pickets, protests and direct action will all add to the bill and keep up the pressure.  Every little helps.

Also this week – help DPAC deliver a letter to Killer Miller the Minister of Disabled People on Monday 13th February, whilst as the Welfare Reform Bill makes it way back to the Lords a demo/vigil will be held outside Parliament on Tuesday 14th from 1-3pm and possibly Wednesday as well.  People will be at gathering in Old Palace Yard, Abingdon St SW1. All welcome.

This is what democracy looks like …

Watch the NYPD attempt to give Chinese state goons a run for their money after wading into this pro-Tibet rally and threatening to kill then beating protesters.

Meanwhile Bone’s beaten us to publishing the full route of the Olympic Torch through London on April 6th.

200 Arrests in US Anti-War Protests

In news that should shame the UK anti-war movement over 200 people were arrested across the US in a series of anti-war protests marking the fifth anniversery of the war in Iraq.

32 people were arrested in Washington after attempting to blockade the IRS building, with another 30 nicked outside a Congressional Office building. Meanwhile in San Francisco 143 people were arrested on charges including trespassing, resisting arrest and obstructing traffic.

In New York, 30 members of the “Granny Peace Brigade” gathered in Times Square, knitting in hand, to demand troops be brought home now.

“We’re out here to show people that this war is madness. We never should have gotten into this war in the first place,” said Shirley Weiner, 80.

Time Line From San Francisco 

200 Arrests in US Anti-War Protests