Blogs

Education round-up 12 July 2012

Bournville School on strike next week. Worthing High out this week. Noel Park School, Haringey out.

Bournville School Strike

No compensation for victims of eugenics programme

Politicians in North Carolina have knocked back a proposal that would have seen all living survivors of the state’s eugenics and forced sterilisation programme receive compensation. The reason for the knock back has been cited as ‘budgetary’ concerns.

The programme emerged from a eugenics law that was passed in 1929. It allowed the state to forcibly sterilise women who may have been ‘sick’, who had epilepsy, or who had the label of, ‘feebleminded’, which would now relate to people with a ‘learning disability’.

Workfare: Do Not Resuscitate

Blog on workfare, and the response of Chris Grayling to the successful protest campaign which forced the withdrawal of Holland & Barrett.

I will not go into much detail about the tremendous campaign that has seen Holland and Barratt dropping out of the workfare scheme, as it has already been covered [url=http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/holland-barrett-pull-out-of-workfare/]very well

Iain Duncan Smith receives a warm welcome in Bootle

Iain Duncan Smith recently slithered into Liverpool for a tour of the DWP offices. This is a brief account of his welcoming committee.

The Secretary of State for Works and Pensions, and failed former Conservative Party leader, Iain Duncan-Smith, last week visited the DWP offices in Bootle.

A picket had been organised outside the DWP offices by the local PCS branch to greet Mr Duncan-Smith on his arrival.

The Teamster Raid on the UTU: A Dispatch from the civil war in the Canadian Transport Industry

This article is based on several interviews with workers that IWW members spoke with while supporting a couple strikes at Canada National Rail. The piece deals with the politics of the several unions who were all vying to become the One Big Union on the railways. It’s also worth looking at the rhetoric and practice of current contemporary Industrial Unionism and the revolutionary vision of the early 20th Century. There’s a lot of talk about mergers and consolidation right now in the labour movement. This is something pay attention to over the next few years.

The union seemed to start out in a strong position with a strike mandate from the membership of over 95%, but early in the strike cracks began to form. While the Canadian administration of the United Transit Union (UTU) was 100% behind the strike the international body based out of Cleveland Ohio, claimed they had to be asked first before workers could walk off the job.

On the Picket Line: The ConEd Lockout in New York

An account of New York City electrical workers who've been on the picket since being locked-out earlier this week.

Having been in the States for six weeks now, I'm glad to report I've just come back from my first picket line. Coming into New York, I hooked-up with a long-time Wobbly friend who promised me not only a bar where each beer comes with a whole pizza, but the chance to attend the picket line of 8500 locked-out electrical workers. I was not going to pass up either.

Teaching and organizing in the ruins of universities: an interview with Alison Hearn

Interview with Alison Hearn with the background of the Québec student protests.

Quebec Student Uprisings: The University is Ours

Workers' struggles in East Asia (June 2012)

A police van after anti-police protests by migrant workers in Guangdong, China

Summary and links to news stories of workers' struggles around East Asia during June 2012 and related resources. The most important stories appear on my Twitter feed as soon as I find them: http://twitter.com/spartacusnews.

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

Education round-up 2 July 2012

A few regional stories wound me up this week. Great Yarmouth academy long days. Waltham Forest strike ballot. Islington academy axes free meals. University pulls unpaid job advertisement.

ACADEMY SUPER-LONG DAYS

"The devil will make work for idle hands to do."

The true legacy of Yitzhak Shamir

A man once described by the United States as a violent terrorist is now eulogized as a hero in the media.

[=Helvetica]On June 30, the world's media filled with announcements of the death of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. Predictably, Shamir's death was treated by American and Israeli politicians as the end of a great statesman and national founder.

Direct action begins at home

Our friend Amédée Garneau sends along this story about small scale tenant organizing in New York.

The other day I met a student named Yusuf who said he wanted to figure out how to organize with the other tenants in his building. “I was active in community stuff when I was back in L.A.” he said. “But since I moved to New York, I haven’t met any of my neighbours.

Review of The Soul at Work by Franco Berardi

Book review about Franco Berardi's The Soul at Work: From Alienation to Autonomy

In the discussion on a blog post that Joseph Kay wrote the conversation turned briefly to 'class composition'. This is a term used by some people in the Italian New Left, particularly a current called 'operaismo'.

Sins of Maddalena

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Sometime words aren’t enough, that’s why we translated this short documentary. We regard it as a good glance into the Notav struggle. It shows who they are, where they live, the aims and reasons of their opposition.

It was shot by Manolo Luppichini, an italian filmmaker.

Monson wins in Russia, signs new fight deal

Anarchist MMA fighter Jeff Monson chalks up another win in St Petersburg, and signs contract with Super Fight League.

Monson secured his 46th MMA win at Russian promotion M1's event in St Petersburg last week with a first round submission win over Denis Komkin (video). To form, Monson finished Komkin with his trademark 'north-south choke'.

Love don't pay the rent: Comments on Cameron's speech

Collective Action offer some initial and cursory remarks on David Cameron's speech today in which he announced his party's intention to make further massive cuts in welfare and to scrap housing benefit for the under-25s. These comments are to be followed by a more substantial look at what these cuts mean to the working class.

1. The high proportional cost of housing benefit relates less to the value of the existing (and depleted) social housing stock and more to the over-inflated rates of private tenancy.

10×100: sign the call

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A call to sign a petition against the potential jailing for 100 years of demonstrators against the G8 summit in Genoa in 2001.

The way public order was managed during the G8 days of July 2001 in Genoa remains an open wound in the latest history of the Italian Republic.

Mapping shared imaginaries for anticapitalist movements: an interview with Tim Stallmann of Counter-Cartographies Collective

Tim shares his experiences of militant research with university workers and students, making disOrientation Guides, and the importance of starting from your own position for building solidarity. Reflecting on the Queen Mary Counter/mapping project and community-based cartography, he discusses the challenges of map-making collectively, as well as the benefits of the process for building a plane of commonality for struggles. Against the individualizing and recuperative functions of academia, he shares some thoughts on how we can better traverse the tensions our movements face across the boundaries of universities and communities.

Solidarity from Our Own Positions and Struggles: Militant Research across Laborers and Students

CW: Can you say a little about your background and how you came to be involved in organizing around universities?

Education round-up 23 June 2012: teacher strike ballot

NUT strike ballot, performance management & teachers' payscale, Gove and O-levels

Back after a break for job-hunting, and the things that I complain about in the blog, being the things that mean I didn't have time to write the blog! But this was important enough for me to bother my arse wink

NUT workload strike ballot

Occupy vs eviction: radicals, reform, and dispossession

Blog post about anti-foreclosure and eviction struggles, and reformism and radicals in mass movements more generally.

Occupy vs Eviction: Radicals, Reform, and Dispossession

Some quick thoughts on Scottish independence

For most people outside Scotland, myself included, the debate over Scottish independence has been largely peripheral. I've come across it occasionally, but bigger things have always taken my attention and I've only found myself discussing it in depth when with comrades from Scotland. This is perhaps a mistake, since the vote in 2014 will have ramifications for both Scotland and the rest of the UK, and there is a marked lack of libertarian communist analysis on the issue.

Referendums aren't great, liberating acts of direct democracy. They offer us no revolutionary change and the debate around the question is framed by various sections of the ruling class. This is as true for the independence referendum as for any other - the options on the table being four variations between the status quo and full independence for Scotland.