The annual celebration of International Workers’ Day in Turin has become an occasion for activists to organise protests against local Mayor Fassino (PD, Centre-Left):
an episode that is particularly telling of the divide within the spectrum of left-wing forces in times of austerity, and of the tensions between the traditional, ritualized, forms of labour and the unanswered, dramatic demands of the new precarious and unprotected workforce.
This is a short blog inspired by the news that the UK is officially in ‘double-dip’ recession (as predicted by pretty much everyone on the left).
So everybody’s taking perverse pleasure in celebrating the return to recession as proof that 'austerity isn’t working'.1 Setting aside the armchair-Keynesianism behin
- 1. This assumes a rapid return to growth is the objective, rather than tearing up the post-war social contract, smashing the remnants of organised labour, privatising everything in sight and getting even more ridiculously minted.
'The struggle for the streets': Unemployed hawkers, protest culture and repression in the Barcelona area, c1918-1936
A brief report on an anti-workfare event in Liverpool
Today, members of Liverpool SolFed and AFed took part in an anti-workfare protest in Liverpool. This follows on from the first workfare protest earlier in the month.
A 16-page guide to the government's unpaid labour schemes, the logic behind them, and resources for organising against them.
Workfare is a term used to describe a range of schemes in which people are forced to work without wages in order to receive their benefits. After recent controversies the government has sought to obscure the nature of its workfare policies; this pamphlet will set out clearly and concisely the details of all the programmes and why we need to work together to oppose them.
Greenwich council's latest plans for the riverside from West Greenwich (by the Millenium dome) to Woolwich were published in February. It is no big surprise that developers have their eye on Charlton and Woolwich - squeezed between the Millenium Village and the Woolwich Arsenal Crossrail site this is one of the last remaining areas on London's Thames where manufacturing industry survives.
The development 'masterplan' for Charlton depends on bringing in the investment money fast by prettifying the Thames Barrier district, a historically industrial area. 'Low quality' - developer speak for low rent - work premises won't sit well amongst the 'Georgian style' streets of town houses envisaged.
A brief report on the Liverpool workfare action on Saturday 3rd March
Members of Liverpool SolFed and AFed participated in an action against workfare on Saturday 3rd March.
Around 75 activists gathered and marched into the Centre of Liverpool. We first targeted WH Smith, only to be told by the store manager that we were, ‘A health and safety risk’, and we were, ‘preventing workers going about their business’
Brief report on the Boycott Workfare demo in Birmingham 3rd March.
About 60 people in Birmingham today protested against the government’s Workfare schemes, which see people forced to work for up to 6 months in order to keep their benefits for already obscenely profitable companies. Boycott Workfare had organised March 3rd as a national day of action, including London, Brighton and Belfast.