The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has been busy of late. Following the Heathrow passports checks scandal of November last year – in which the agency was accused of ‘relaxing’ passports checks on incoming passengers from the European Economic Area, prompting convulsions of anti-immigrant rage across the political and media spectra – the UKBA has invested its time in presenting an image of a robust, strong and uncompromising deportation specialists.
On 15th September SLSF took part in the international day of action in support of Domino’s delivery drivers in Australia.
The drivers have had their pay cut 19% overnight. As their trade union was complicit in the cut, the drivers have formed a new union, the General Transport Workers Association (GTWA), to fight the pay cut.
SLSF went to the Domino’s in New Cross and handed a demand letter to the manager, telling him why we were there and how we would be back.
'What We Are Fighting For: a Radical Collective Manifesto' is a new book out by Pluto Press.
It features a chapter written by ourselves, titled 'Direct Action & Unmediated Struggle', as well as John Holloway, David Graeber, Mark Fisher, Franco 'Bifo' Beradi, Nina Power, and many more.
Ruth, Jess and Charlotte recently took up a rented property in Bethnal Green through the Shoreditch branch of Victorstone Property Consultants, paying £3,451 as rent and deposit. After they had only just moved into the house, Victorstone fell out with the landlords over the fees they would take, the landlords decided they wanted to get out of the letting, and changed the locks.
Ruth, Jess and Charlotte managed to get some money back from the landlady, but the landlady had never been transferred the full amount, because Victorstone had subtracted their fee. Victorstone initially tried to mislead Ruth, Jess and Charlotte, implying that all the money had been transferred to the landlady. In fact they intended to keep c.£1200 of their money for a completely failed deal.
Following enquiries from Solfed, Pizza Hut have confirmed they are no longer using workfare and do not intend to in the future. A spokeperson for Pizza Hut said “none of our restaurants currently take part in the workfare scheme, and haven't for the last six months, and we have no plans to change our hiring practices."
Five Pizza Hut restaurants had been using claimants from the work experience element of workfare but the company is keen to stress this was not national policy. In the middle of a pasta based makeover, Pizza Hut understandably wants to steer clear of association with the government scheme. With Holland & Barrett the latest in a growing number of companies to pull out, workfare is fast becoming toxic on the high street.
South London Solfed can help you fight back against the exploitative practices of landlords and estate agencies.
Our new "Stuff Your Landlord" leaflet lists some basic legal rights.
It can be useful to know the law because many landlords don’t follow basic legal requirements. But we also need to remember that the law is not going to be on our side most of the time. We shouldn’t rely on a court system designed to benefit the rich and powerful to make sure we’re treated fairly.
Re-posted from Johnny Void's blog:
Workfare campaigners staged a lively day of action in South London [on 19th May] following the call out from South London Solidarity Federation.
Snake oil salesmen Holland & Barrett, who have plans to replace around a quarter of their staff with unpaid labour, were the target on a day which also saw actions in Hackney, Brighton and Lincoln.
In Lewisham protesters met in the town centre and thwarted a heavy police and security presence outside Holland & Barrett in the shopping centre by heading to leafy Blackheath instead.
This statement comes from recent discussions within South London and North London Solidarity Federation locals, and in response to a recent case of sexual assault which took place in the wider activist community. Following the actions taken by North London, South London and Brighton Solidarity Federation locals, this statement was written by the South London Gender Working Group.
We want to state clearly a number of things.
May 1st was, of course, Mayday, International Workers’ Day, held in memory of the six anarchists executed after the Haymarket riot, a protest in Chicago way back in 1886 over the 8 hour working day. Despite it falling on a normal working day this year, both London SF branches called an anti-Workfare roving picket through central London, as well as attending an electricians’ picket and, least interestingly, the official, Trade Union Congress (TUC) march.
The electricians’ picket – called by the Sparks rank and file group – was in response to employers trying to block rank and file activists from even attending the ongoing negotiations over the JIB agreement. We braved the bleak, grey early morning for a couple of hours befire retreating to a
café for a break and a caffeine fix.
MEET: 12:00pm @ Clerkenwell Green.
RE-CONVERGE: 16:00pm @ West One Shopping Centre (by Bond Street tube)
MAP OF LOCATIONS: http://g.co/maps/wx93f
On May Day 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.
Report from a South London Solfed member.
On my way to work this morning I found the bus stops around New Cross bus garage swarming with police and UKBA immigration officers. I saw a man being questioned by immigration officials and surrounded by several police under the bus shelter. This was a bit weird and unnerving so I sent a mass txt out to warn people and pass on the message.
As part of the national day of action against workfare and the IWA days of action, SLSF picketed Holland and Barrett along with 20 other SF locals and others around the country.
A heavy security presence in Lewisham Shopping Centre was outwitted when protesters moved down the road to Catford where a noisy demonstration began outside the local Holland & Barrett. The store closed as 20+ SLSF and comrades chanted, sang and dished out leaflets. Many people passing supported the need to take action against forced labour, particularly in a borough which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.
On Sunday 25th March members of the South London Solfed Gender working group, Femcells and others went to church. In response to 40daysforlife harassing women outside abortion clinics, we decided to harass one of their main proponents, Bishop Alan Hopes of Westminster cathedral. The basic message, in chant form, was “Bishop Hopes shame on you, come to us we’ll come to you!”. We won’t let the pro-lifers get away with harassment and intimidation.
Read a full report here
As most people will be aware, February is Serbia month in Great Britain. The British-Serbian chamber of commerce contributed by hosting an evening reception with guest speaker Dejan Popovic, the Serbian ambassador. With Serbian Anarcho-Syndicalists, the Belgrade 6, back on trial for “international terrorism”, South London and Brighton Solfed members felt it appropriate to attend.
On November 30th, South London Solfed set out to support the strike in Lewisham. Members and friends got together with food, drink and positive energy for the pickets. We started at the town hall at 7am and moved north through the borough stopping at Kaleidoscope (NHS), Job Centre Plus, Lewisham Hospital, Wearside refuse centre and Goldsmiths college.
As well as bringing supplies, we helped leaflet and tried convincing workers not to cross picket lines. We found few union members willing to challenge their colleagues in a meaningful way. Having a group of 30 supporting picket lines boosted visibility and confidence, but workers will have to become more active in their workplaces to make the real difference. We hope that as this struggle goes on the social stigma attached to scabbing returns and we see stronger picket lines.
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