The number of homes standing empty in Brighton and Hove outnumber the number of homeless families ten to one - but a Tory MP is leading calls to criminalise squatting. Brighton and Hove Council accepts responsibility for housing 368 homeless households, while 3,655 homes sit empty. Despite this, Tory MP Mike Weatherly wants to criminalise squatting, putting the interests of landlords and property speculators before those of the homeless. Home repossessions peaked last year following an increase in defaults on mortgages and rent during the recession.
We are informing the public that the State of Serbia is continuing with its repression against our organization. This time in the form of police investigation of ASI General Secretary, Milan Stojanovic, under suspicion of committing a crime of “Motor vehicle theft with burglary, break-in and threat” for which the possible sentence is up to five years imprisonment.
Namely, in year 2006 Milan was a witness in an investigation held because of the same crime and which was dismissed soon after. Now, five years later, the prosecution has dug up this case, and Milan has mystically changed his role from a witness to accused. To make things even more absurd, Milan cannot drive, actually he has never even started a vehicle.
This is only a last (for the time being) in a row of framed judicial processes against members of Anarcho-Syndicalist Initiative.
Today, members of the Liverpool Solidarity Federation travelled to Moreton, to show solidarity with workers at the Burton's biscuits factory fighting to save their jobs.
A march and rally, organised by the Unite union, saw several hundred people assemble at Moreton Shore car park. The march took in much of the surrounding area, with lots of support and banter from local people, an march past the factory before returning to the starting point for a rally. SolFed members carried our banner on the march in a visible show of solidarity, before handing out copies of our freesheet, Catalyst.
According to a headline in the Chronicle and Echo, "THE LARGEST cuts faced by Northamptonshire County Council in years have been approved by the Conservative leaders of the authority, despite the politicians admitting it was the last thing they wanted to do."
The last thing they wanted to do?
I can think of at least one option they could have taken. Any councillor whose conscience was against the cuts could have taken the decision to resign their position. But they didn't.
There are two conclusions:
1. They actually did want to vote for the cuts, or
Members of Northampton Solidarity Federation joined the protest outside the county offices this afternoon to oppose the cuts being decided upon inside.
In honour of the event the red and black flags of anarcho-syndicalism were waved causing a few people to come and ask us who we were and what we stood for. A good chance to discuss our position in relation not only to the cuts, but to government and capitalist economy in general.
As a perk, many happy punters went home with a copy of Catalyst under their arm.
As for the event itself, it was a fairly mild affair, with a few speakers and a few chants. All in all, less noise was made than at the picket in the morning, when a bunch of kids turned up in green t-shirts and enlivened the event. Radical at 5 years old...
The next official anti cuts demonstration in the town is set for 12th March.
On the day that Northampton County Council meets to discuss and vote on local cuts, members of Northampton Solidarity Federation joined in the morning's picket of the county council offices.
Our poster and leaflet for the morning was a simple statement:
NO TORY CUTS!
NO LABOUR CUTS!
NO LIBDEM CUTS!
Highlighting the fact that these cuts come straight from the heart of our economic and political system, and not just from the whims of one party. Labour were already engaging in cuts, and conditions for ordinary people were being attacked before the crisis: all that has changed is the pace.
The North London Local of the Solidarity Federation would like to show our deepest solidarity with the Wisconsin working class. While we, like the IWW to whom this statement is directly addressed, share a critique of the trade unions we also recognize that the attack on public sector collective bargaining is much larger than the AFL-CIO. It is full frontal assault on all workers in Wisconsin and will reverberate not only in that state but across the entire country. Such a move will put downward pressure on the wages of private sector workers, organized and unorganized alike, will embolden employers to demand concessions, and, if successful, will likely be copied by state and local governments across the US.
On 19th February 700 people marched through Lewisham to protest against local and national austerity measures. The “Carnival Against Cuts” had starting points all over the borough which converged at the Town Hall and marched to the centre of Lewisham. Despite the rain there was a good atmosphere with a samba band, singing, chanting and even SolFed members in wigs! The usual speeches were made by the usual people but 700 people on a Lewisham protest is not usual. It’s a positive sign but much more needs to be done.
South London SolFed leaflet produced for the event:
STRIKE, BLOCKADE, SABOTAGE!
Guides for getting organised
If you would like to support us, you can donate to the Solidarity Federation. You can use your your debit/credit card, or a PayPal account if you have one. Donations will be used to support our work, including our free newspaper Catalyst and our workplace organiser training programme.