Why the pledge from the Labour Party to axe the Bedroom Tax doesn't mean we've won and, if we take it at face value, could mean that we lose.
The Labour Party has this week vowed to scrap the Bedroom Tax. The announcement, which has dominated headlines as well as a lot of talk on Twitter, comes as Labour prepares to hold its annual conference in Brighton.
The Riva group announced on 11 September, just after the new requisition, that production would stop immediately in seven plants unrelated to ILVA, and about 1400 people would be laid off.
Public prosecutor Patrizia Todisco has spoken: the Riva group, owner of the ILVA plant in Taranto – the biggest steel plant in Europe – has failed to invest in safety and renovation measures since 1995. This failure, to the tune of 8bn euros, has resulted in “disease and death” for a number of Taranto’s workers and citizens.
When we limit ourselves to reasoned critique we cut ourselves off from the everyday experiences of life under capitalism from which any revolutionary rupture must grow.
David Graeber's article on 'bullshit jobs' seems to have struck a chord, being widely republished and discussed, as well as inspiring numerous responses.
An emerging radical history of open spaces in Hackney is being put together by Hackney History.
The ever-wonderful 'The radical history of Hackney' has published notes towards a history of the East London borough's parks and green spaces originally put together the Radical History Network's meeting on a similar subject.
One of the forms in which the working class exists today is at the various nodal points along global commodity chains. Even the global production of food is increasingly based on a just-in-time system of production, distribution and consumption -- in addition to being financialized and subject to speculative bubbles. But these commodity chains are vulnerable and this suggests struggles could spread down these chains.
- 1. Where is your food produced?
- 2. What percentage of your income goes to food?
On September 14, mass protests were held in Warsaw against recent anti-labour legislation. Unfortunately the unions did not call a strike.
At least 100,000 people joined the demonstrations called by the three main trade unions in Poland against the legislation that basically did away with the guaranteed 8-hour working day in Poland. Despite the serious attacks against the working class, the unions backed off from calling strikes after the government threatened to do away with the system that gives them subsidized paid union jobs.
As the scramble for work inside the engineering and construction industries continues, finding experienced, skilled workers is proving a problem for employers.
The past 10 years has seen an explosion in the growth of training centres offering shortcut paths to re-skilling in the engineering and building industries. Industry bodies representing their commercial membership have colluded in lowering the previous expectation of having served an apprenticeship; the result seeing a dramatic lowering of standards and an increase in available labour.
Salt of the earth: PAH-occupied flat block in Cataluña is a foot in the door of something new for the involuntarily homeless
For the last five months, sixteen families – from a broad range of backgrounds and nationalities, almost all victims of bank foreclosures – have been living together in an abandoned, brand new flat block in a ghostly quiet suburb of the Catalan town of Salt in Spain.
Organised in the PAH (Plataforma por los Afectados por la Hipoteca –the Victims of Mortgages Coalition), the occupiers of Bloc Salt have held out since 23rd March against repeated attempts by the authorities to cut their water supply and intimidate them into leaving, and instead are concentrating on developing their own community, with a living space t
The traditional August summer holidays were not a time of peace and relaxation this year in Greece.
Summer time is normally a quiet time politically in Greece. During August many people leave the sweltering cities and so not all that much happens. During this time of crisis however that wasn't the case this year. Below is a brief round-up of some of the significant events of the summer.
I'm not sure quite where to start my rant on this public art project in Times Square by Steve Lambert (http://gothamist.com/2013/09/12/talk_about_capitalism_in_the_heart.php), given that it perturbs me on so many levels. The artist might respond, "That's the point!" And certainly I'd like to respond, "You're right!" Instead, my first disgruntlement with this piece it that it only appears to perturb, and so cleverly.
Like capitalism, and its "creative capitol" version in city's such as, say, New York City, it lures us with an aesthetically pleasing, humorous, fun thing, asks for and probably receives our voluntary participation (free labor, not even wage labor!), and thus, convinces us to "buy into" a social relation that's hidden by the thing itself.
A repost from another blog I run, with a personal update and an idea for a project about the Dubuque Packing Company, a large meat processing plant that once employed 3,500 people, until its decline and eventual closure, in 2001.
This is a repost from the Iowa Radical History blog I maintain. For a little while, it was a main interest of mind to uncover mostly forgotten strikes, organizations and protests in the state and collect the records and recollections of them onto one place.
This article, on insistent protests against an environmentallt destructive mining project in Romania, was written for ROARmag.org, where a slightly differently edited version can already be found, together with a very useful comment on the article.
For 8 consecutive days, people in Romania have been protesting a planned mining project in Rosia Montana, a mountain village. The protest is directed against threatened environmental destruction. But protests also express distrust of the government, of parties and the political establishment in general. There is already talk of a “Romanian Autumn”.
A piece exploring an experience organizing with transportation workers and the connections between political ideas, action, tactics, and radical potentials. Militant forms of reformism is explored along the way.
“We would like to thank these activists and the lawyer who won this fight for us. Before we met them we fought for 15 or more years with nothing. We were powerless, but thank god we have people to help us now do what we couldn’t do on our own”.
Summary and links to news stories of workers' struggles around East Asia during August 2013 and related resources.
This month there has been news from Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Myanmar, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The most important stories:
An Eviction Free Zone may look great on paper, but it will only be transformative if it sees evictions as a symptom of something deeper.
The anarchist and anti-authoritarian tradition has its roots not in high theory but instead the actual on-the-ground work. This often traces itself as a sort of reaction to lived experiences; a way of synthesizing a practical theory that has been excised from trial and error.
A video of the Housing is a Human Right march and rally that challenged the City of Rochester and pushed the housing justice movement even further.
The growth of the housing justice in the U.S. through both the Occupy Movement and the various anti-foreclosure campaigns that became commonplace after the first wave of evictions in 2008 has lead to arguments over both tactics and goals.
Juan Conatz goes over some reasons for his personal problems with being able to write, exploring underlying reasons behind the 'writer's block'.
It has been about a year since I've written anything. This is not by choice. Sure, part of it is a choice, in the same way that anything you don’t do is somewhat of one, but there’s more to it than that. Discovering the reason has been mystifying. People ask “Do you still write?” and when the response is “Well, I haven’t in awhile.”, they inquire “Why not?”.
We are planning a militant worker inquiry in the distribution networks around West-London. The initial plan is to continue to research and discuss the situation in the global and local logistics and warehouse sector, to get jobs in strategically interesting places and to potentially make some interventions. Of course all this would be decided by those who choose to join.
Invitation: Meeting on Workers' Inquiry in the Logistics and Warehouse Sector in London
LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street
Wednesday 18th September, 7pm.
CIE detainees often try to break out, resist, harm themselves or go on hunger strike. Now they have succeeded in doing what organizations, politicians and activists have been unable to do: close CIEs.
The fight against CIEs (illegal immigrant detention centers) has taken different forms: from the LasciateCIEntrare (“Let us in”) campaign to allow journalists to visit and write about these prisons to active support from autonomist and anarchist groups.