Unison instructs its members to enforce the bedroom tax

The UK's largest public sector union, Unison, has issued guidance to its members advising them to enforce the hated bedroom tax.

Earlier this month, June, Unison sent a circular to local government branches, which is attached below. In this circular, Unison acknowledges that the bedroom tax is "grossly unfair" and claims it is "campaigning for it to be repealed".

Fifth antifascist patrol in Athens

Antifascists patrolled the streets of Athens in large numbers once again on Thursday evening.

Hundreds of people on around 150 motorbikes carried out another antifascist patrol in Athens on Thursday. The patrol started in the central Exarchia neighbourhood and went through the centre and north of Athens before returning to Exarchia without incident.

Ubiquitous racism

A look at the institutional racism of migration policy in Italy and Europe in the wake of another tragic drowning of migrants.

Every year, seasons flow one into another. As smooth flourishing spring gives way to hot sultry summer, people on the other side of the Mediterranean get ready to leave for Europe. Every year, warm weather brings calmer seas and the repeated pattern of emergencies.

Sleepless in Istanbul IV

Report and analysis of the Turkish "general strike" of 17 June and the developments in struggle on the streets since then. Now with additional notes.

In the following post I shall attempt to address several different overlapping subjects, combining both first hand reportage and secondary analysis. First, I shall run through the events of Monday 17 June 2013, the day of the impromptu ‘general strike’ as I perceived them, providing some quotations from different participants I spoke to.

Launch of massive archive of English folk music and custom

Of interest to anyone with an interest in social history the English Folk Dance and Song Society have launched their online archive.

Quite a long time in the making the slightly dubiously named 'Full English' (cheesy name for real ale?) archive is now online.

Angry Workers of the World - a short introduction

Angry Workers of the World

A short introduction to Angry Workers of the World, an unruly and irregular workers' paper from London. For communist class inquiry.

We can identify at least four dimensions of revolutionary organisation which have become detached from each other through the last decades of re-structuring and decline of working class movements, but which, under the current conditions of capitalist crisis, have to be - and can be! - addressed again in their totality.

1) Revolutionary Program

Angry Workers of the World - AWW #1

First issue of AWW - May/June 2013

Free distribution of 2,000 copies

Eviction Resistance: The Story of Leonard Spears

Learn the story of eviction resister Leonard Spears, and how he decided to stay in his home despite his foreclosure.

The housing justice movement, especially when it comes to on the ground direct action, is founded in stories. Each home holds the story of couples coming together, children being born, relationships beginning and ending, and usually the major achievement of becoming a home-owner. Each foreclosure is also a story.

SAC: in solidarity with the Turkish general strike

Statement from the syndicalist SAC International Committee expressing solidarity to comrades in Turkey.

To our comrades struggling in Istanbul.

Teargas, batons and outrageous state repression being deployed against people protecting their park from being turned into yet another shopping centre.

Double struggle in Brazil

Blog about the demonstrations and riots which have swept Brazil in the wake of an increase in the price of public transport.

While the world has been watching Turkey, another country is experiencing revolt. That country is Brazil. Just like Turkey, it is relatively succesful, economically speaking. Just like Turkey, the results of economic growth are divided very unequally. Just like in Turkey, a relatively small provocation is setting off a much biggen chain reaction.

Ruins: Chronicle of an HIV witchhunt: a must-watch documentary

Summary and trailer of a documentary about how in May last year Greek authorities conducted a sweep where they forced women deemed to be sex workers to undergo HIV tests and then imprisoned those who tested positive on prostitution charges.

RUINS: Chronicle of an HIV witch-hunt comes out in September (see below for the trailer).

Sleepless in Istanbul III

More brief notes, quotes and interviews from inside the current uprising in Turkey from Istanbul.

The situation has dramatically escalated in the last 24 hours. I am sure that no one reading this needs me to inform them of that, turn on your television, check your twitter account. But I simply can't emphasise enough how profoundly the atmosphere has shifted in light of these events, things have entered a new phase.

Riots sweep across Brazil in response to police violence

A short overview of the wave of rioting which has swept Brazil in the wake of violent police repression of routine protests over the increased costs of public transport.

Three days of protests against Big Boats in Venice

The committee against Big Boats continues its mobilization in Venice, with three days of rallies, assemblies and other initiatives to create awareness on the damage caused by enormous cruise liners in the lagoon.

For years activists of the Committee against Big Boats in Venice have railed against the damage caused by the enormous cruise liners in the lagoon.

Sleepless in Istanbul II

Bricks used for barricades in and around Taksim

More brief notes, quotes and interviews from inside the current uprising in Turkey from Istanbul.

The hours immediately following my last post on Tuesday 11 June felt to me like days than hours... and long days at that. This is possibly an opportunity to wax loquacious on temporality and revolt but for the time being I'll stick to humbly recounting a few observations from the events of Tuesday and Wednesday evening.

An extra cynical look at the People's Assembly

Some thoughts on the People’s Assembly. Dissecting its claims to be the birth of a movement and looking at what is really required to take on austerity and, more broadly, capitalism.

On 22 June, thousands are set to attend the People’s Assembly Against Austerity in London’s Westminster Hall. The event has generated considerable excitement and support amongst “the left,” with sponsors ranging from trade unions to Trot groups such as Counterfire to the Green Party.

Greek public broadcasting shutdown

The surprise closure of the public broadcaster ERT provokes anger and a general strike as thousands are fired.

The Greek government has ordered the immediate shutdown of the public broadcasting company(ERT). The surprise move was announced on Tuesday and took effect hours later as TV screens went blank. Thousands of people instantly lost their jobs and the decision is being condemned and challenged by the workers of ERT and other trade unions.

Sleepless in Istanbul I

Taksim square in clouds of tear gas

Brief notes, quotes and interviews from inside the current uprising in the Republic of Turkey. All names have been changed to protect the anonymity of those involved. The views expressed by individuals and groups within these blog posts are not necessarily the views of the author.

I have been in Istanbul for 16 hours, but already there is more to tell than I have time to write. The purpose of the following blog is not to provide an in-depth analysis of the events that have lead up to the present situation, nor to provide a detailed scholarly analysis of the material base to which these events relate.

Confederated unions and industrialists sign anti-strike agreement

On June 1st, Italian industrialists and union confederations reached an agreement limiting the right to strike and rewriting the rules of union representation, ignoring protests from base unions and from left-leaning members of metalworkers union FIOM.

June 1st saw the beginning of a new era in Italian labour policy, with a new agreement about union representation signed by the three union confederations and Confindustria (the national association of industrialists).

Workers' struggles in East Asia (May 2013)

Garment workers on strike attack their factory in Phnom Penh

Summary and links to news stories of workers' struggles around East Asia during May 2013 and related resources. The most important stories appear on my Twitter feed as soon as I find them:

This month there has been news from Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

For reports of workers struggles in Mandarin, as usual I urge you to check Jasmine Revolution and with the help of a translator website if you need it.