UK Uncut

How do we fight privatisation?

Some quick thoughts on privatisation and how workers can effectively challenge it.

There two high profile cases of privatisation at the moment. Royal Mail is the one that’s hitting the headlines right now, but the National Health Service is also being sold off piece by piece.

Give up classtivism: Why class struggle is long, boring and hard work

The recent decision by Starbucks to attack its workers’ conditions (cutting paid lunch breaks, sick pay and other work benefits) in response to public pressure to pay its tax bill – public pressure partly generated by direct action organisations like UK Uncut – has highlighted ongoing concerns over the effectiveness of “Tax justice” campaigns and their relationship to class struggle organisation.

The recent decision by Starbucks to attack its workers’ conditions (cutting paid lunch breaks, sick pay and other work benefits) in response to public pressure to pay its tax bill – public pressure partly generated by direct action organisations like UK Uncut – has highlighted ongoing concerns over the effectiveness of “Tax justice” campaigns and their relationship to class struggle organisation.

Boycotting Amazon is boycotting UKUncut! - Or why a thin understanding of post-Fordist capitalism fails

An excellent, friendly critique of UK Uncut's call to boycott Amazon, from By Strategy.

There are currently circulating calls for a boycott of Amazon this holiday season called by UKUncut and [url=http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/com

Tax justice, austerity and class struggle

The recent furore surrounding Starbucks has once again pushed the issue of tax dodging and its relation to austerity into the limelight. But it has also brought into sharp focus the problem with calls to “pay your tax” being divorced from questions of class struggle.

Ahead of the October 20 “Future That Works” demonstration in London, it was revealed that the multi-million dollar coffee chain Starbucks has paid no tax in Britain for three years.

The TUC collaborate with the Met to sew up October 20

On October 20 2012, the TUC is hosting another national march and rally in London. Like the one on March 26 last year, it is likely to be a big event. Like then, too, it is likely to be a way for the trade unions to have their members let off steam without being too radical. But it looks like the lessons of last time are being learned, as the TUC is taking pre-emptive steps to avoid a repeat of last year's "trouble."

This should come as no surprise, of course. Last year, the TUC and "independent" legal observers Liberty were given desks in the Met's central observation room. Stewards were given training to prevent sit-down protests, and for all intents both organisations were just extra layers of the police operation.

The problem with the Pay Up campaign

On the back of a demonstration at Sainsbury's headquarters, Pay Up has recently emerged as the latest UK Uncut-style activist campaign. Its aim is to highlight the problem of "in work poverty" and push for a living wage - starting with Sainsbury's. As someone whose first experience of workplace struggle was in Sainsbury's, this immediately caught my attention. So I decided to have a closer look at the campaign, and its pitfalls.

According to its website, Pay Up is "a national network built on the model of UK Uncut." In essence, this means using protests and street theatre directed against high street chains in order to get its message across. It also appears to mean that it is a structureless entity, with no clue given to exactly who is behind it or how decisions are made.

Liverpool day of action

Liverpool Solidarity Federation members participate in a UK Uncut (Liverpool) action this afternoon. We managed to directly and in-directly close seven stores.

This afternoon, six members of Liverpool Solidarity Federation participated in a UK Uncut (Liverpool) afternoon of action.

Political policing, or business as usual?

Arrests of those involved in anti-cuts campaigns, as well as the brutality of the police on recent demonstrations has grabbed the attention of the press. The behaviour of the police has been widely condemned by the left, some of whom accuse them of overstepping the mark with “political policing”. But we should not be surprised by the actions of the police, this is them doing their job and doing it well.

“They persecute us. Yes, of course they do. We’re a threat to the system they represent. If we don’t want them to harass us, then we should just submit to their laws and integrate ourselves into their system. They won’t bother us if we do that.” - Buenaventura Durruti

A day in three parts - Nic Beuret

Nic Beuret's account and analysis of the TUC-organised March for the Alternative on the 26th of March - in his own words, "What happened on the 26th and why did it leave so many with such an empty feeling?" Originally published in May 2011.

March 26th saw over half a million people take to the streets of London to protest against the latest regime of austerity, cuts and social reorganisation. This multitude of bodies had no one single (or simple) demand.

UK Unmasked and the New Kids on the Bloc

Analysis by a member of the Anarchist Federation on the "March for the Alternative" (March 26th 2011) and the political trends expressed within it, especially UK Uncut and the Black Bloc, in relation to the growing anti-cuts movement in the UK.

Since around the time when we published Organise! #75, October 2010, it is fair to say that anarchists in Britain have been most visibly active on one issue primarily: the Cuts. The ConDems’ vision for the future featured heavily in that issue and has dominated our activity since (see our website for accounts of local activity and national propaganda).