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The Cairns Street blockade

Residents of Cairns Street, in Toxteth, yesterday defied private contractors coming to demolish houses as part of a "regeneration" scheme by blockading the street. The demolishers Lovell and the police were both foiled by the peaceful action, which will be continuing every morning from 8am whilst the threat of demolition remains.

The demolition of the houses first came on the cards in June, when Lovell won planning permission to knock down six houses in order to build three. Residents objected from the point of the initial bid, but their protests have been studiously ignored by the Labour council. A site visit won no concessions, and when a planning meeting was split over the issue councillor John Macintosh used his casting vote to take the side of the developers.

As one local resident told Liverpool Confidential;

Dingle community keeps up the fight for Shorefields

Teachers at Shorefields College in the Dingle have once again taken strike action against the possibility of the school becoming an academy. The latest day of action has seen the fight grow, with support staff in the GMB walking out alongside teachers from the NUT and NASUWT.

The picket line was well supported. Parents, teachers and support staff were joined by several pupils from the school - whilst members of the Merseyside Network Against Fees and Cuts, Liverpool Trades Council and Liverpool Solidarity Federation were amongst those who turned up in support. The Liverpool Socialist Choir also added a bit of noise to the event, providing lively renditions of workers and trade union songs, old and new.

Coordinated strike action should be built from below

It is now a near certainty that we will see coordinated public sector strike action within the next couple of months. Solidarity Federation - which has members in the public sector unions which will be striking - stands in support of all workers acting to defend their jobs and the services those jobs provide to working class people.

UCU have already balloted. PCS is putting an emergency motion to its conference in May. The NUT sought permission to ballot at its recent conference. Even the moderate ATL already has a mandate to ask members for strike action. The only question now is how events unfold once the ball gets rolling.

Occupying the BBC

Today, members of Liverpool Solidarity Federation joined members of Liverpool Uncut who had organised an occupation of BBC Radio Merseyside.

The occupation took place at 2.30pm, when over a dozen people entered the building and announced that they were staging a sit-in. The protesters announced that they were protesting against "the appalling coverage" of UK Uncut actions in London on March 26th and would show "how civilised the UK Uncut occupations are by having a lovely tea party."

Whilst the occupiers sat down to eat cakes and drink tea and coffee, a contingent of 8 police officers arrived. They could do little more than stand around, awkwardly. When asking who was in charge, replies of "we all are" and "we operate on consensus" were met with blank looks.

Labour councillors: no friend of the working class

Joe Anderson, the leader of Liverpool City Council, is trying to paint himself as some kind of anti-cuts rebel. In January he joined an anti-cuts march in Liverpool, not long after he wrote to David Cameron to withdraw Liverpool from the Big Society, and then had the cheek to lead a march against cuts in February. This is nothing more than cheap political opportunism, and it should be rejected.

He tells us that the council is “bracing itself” for the cuts. He “warns” us that compulsory redundancies in the council will come. He is “incensed” by Liberal Democrats accusing him of having a “politically motivated” approach to job cuts.

Working-class history: Anarcho-syndicalism on Merseyside

We are very grateful to a comrade from Manchester Solidarity Federation for lending us a book entitled 'Building the Union: Studies on the growth of the workers' movement: Merseyside, 1756-1967'. Below we publish several extracts from the book specifically about anarcho-syndicalism locally in the early part of the 20th century. The essay is by Bob Holton.

Protests and disruption at Liverpool Town Hall

Members of Liverpool Solidarity Federation were amongst the crowd of 300 people who gathered outside Liverpool Town Hall to protest as the council set its austerity budget. With £91m of cuts on the table, local people and community campaigns - including the Park View Project to rehabilitate alcoholics and the Whitechapel Centre for the homeless as well as more than a few nurseries and SureStart centres - joined activists and campaigners to make the council hear their message.

At first, people huddled on the pavement on both sides of the road. Spirits were high and there was a lot of shouting and chanting, but it wasn't until one woman walked into the road with a banner and everybody else joined in that things really kicked off. This buoyed everybody's spirits even further and there was a mood of defiance in the air.

Solidarity with the fight for jobs in Moreton

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.

Councillor Joe Anderson is no ally of the working class

Joe Anderson, the leader of Liverpool City Council, is trying to paint himself as some kind of anti-cuts rebel. On 29th January he joined an anti-cuts march in Liverpool, not long after he wrote to David Cameron to withdraw Liverpool from the Big Society, and now he is asking people to march against the cuts this Sunday. This is nothing more than cheap political opportunism, and it should be rejected.

He tells us that the council is "bracing itself" for the cuts. He "warns" us that compulsory redundancies in the council will come. He is "incensed" by Liberal Democrats accusing him of having a "politically motivated" approach to job cuts.

Shameful Scenes as BNP Gather in Liverpool

On November 22nd, thirteen British National Party members were arrested in Liverpool city centre for distributing racist material. The pamphlet in question was a BNP “report”, purporting to be about “hate crimes against white people”. It begins with a nauseating denunciation of racism by BNP chair and Holocaust denier, Nick Griffin, which is followed by a welter of lies and scare stories about foreign workers, asylum seekers and Black and Asian communities in this country. It is designed to produce fear and hatred amongst white voters, and to drive them into the arms of the BNP.

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