Working Class Self Organisation

Police evict journalists from TV studio following a 5 month occupation

Greek riot police have forcibly evicted dozens of journalists from the former state TV headquarters (ERT), bringing to an end a five month occupation that started after the TV station had been taken off air, and the journalists sacked. The closure had been part of a programme of public sector job cuts to meet their austerity targets. Many of the workers had stayed behind and kept the station running with an illegal news feed via the internet.

Scuffles broke out between the journalists, their supporters, and the police. The streets around the building were cordoned off, and several rounds of tear gas were used to disperse those protesting. Four people were arrested on charges of ‘resisting the authorities’.

A spokesperson for the radio workers union said that:

Las Vegas Casino workers have had enough of union busting bosses

Over 3000 workers without permanent contracts have blockaded three lanes of Las Vegas Boulevard and a further 100 have occupied the lobby of the Cosmopolitan Casino - all of whom were subsequently handcuffed and arrested. Most of those involved have been working in casinos across Las Vegas for more than two years without any job security. Several Las Vegas casino owners are known to have contributed sizeable sums to a Republican Party ‘union busting’ campaign.

This is the second such demonstration in 2013 and the second to end in the arrests of over 100 peaceful demonstrators. The police only waited a few minutes before reading a warning over a megaphone warning people that they are trespassing. Nobody can interfere with the flow of money upstairs to casino bosses, so they were quickly dealt with.

Pussy Riot: Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is ‘missing’ in the Russian Gulag system

During a prison transfer on October 21st, Pussy Riot member, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, was ‘ghosted’ away to an unknown destination. The Russian authorities are refusing to tell her husband, family, or lawyer what has happened to her or where she is being held. It is now 15 days since anyone had any contact with Nadezhda.

In an interview, Tolokonnikova’s husband stated that:

“This is how the system makes a person disappear without a trace for weeks. After two hunger strikes she had in October she must be weak and physically vulnerable – I am very worried about her.”

Two Golden Dawn members murdered outside party offices

Two members of the Greek fascist party, the Golden Dawn, have been shot and killed in a drive-by shooting outside the party HQ in Athens. A third is said to be in critical condition in hospital.

Witnesses describe two men on motorcycles stopping in front of the offices, dismounting, and then ‘emptying their weapons’ into the gathered party members.

The police claim the attack – carried out with an MB5 machine gun - has all the hallmarks of a ‘well organised terrorist attack.’

An open letter to Graham Stanier (Director of Aftercare for the Jeremy Kyle Show)

An open letter to Graham Stanier - the Director of Aftercare on the Jeremy Kyle Show, asking how he reconciles who and what he claims to be with the disgusting anti-working class bear baiting that he participates in and profits from?

Graham, I am given to understand that you are a mental health nurse registered with the Nursing & Midwifery Council, a qualified Psychotherapist, and a member of the British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies.

Three million Indonesian workers strike for a 50% pay rise

Three million workers across all sectors (mainly textiles) have begun a week-long strike to demand a nationwide pay rise of 50%, stricter rules on outsourcing, and universal health cover. Indonesia’s economy grew by 6% last year and the workers want a bigger piece of the pie. A group of 37 huge companies – mainly in the textile industry – have submitted a statement to the government demanding no wage increases in 2014, or they will close their factories and leave the country.

A spokesperson for the workers said that:

“Many workers can no longer afford to pay the rent and live under bridges or even the sewers. Instead of rice, they are forced to eat pre-cooked spaghetti. We have worked a lot to help the economic recovery, why are we being trampled on?”

Clashes at housing protest in Rome

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Rome demanding improved social housing and an end to the eviction of people who fall behind on their rent. The police had turned up looking for confrontation and gleefully responded to a man climbing on a police vehicle and fruit being thrown, with baton charges, pepper spray, and tear gas.

Large numbers of migrants and refugees – many of whom sleep rough or in slums across Rome – joined in the demonstration. Many people carried banners that read, “Stop to evictions and seizure of property”, whilst throwing pieces of fruit at the police.

Review: The Albert memorial: the anarchist life and times of Albert Meltzer (1920-1996) an appreciation - Phil Ruff

A review of Philip Ruff's book The Albert Memorial: The Anarchist Life and Times of Albert Meltzer (1920-1996). Albert was described as"Printworker, writer, troublemaker, but above all a tireless anarchist activist, Albert Meltzer is one of the most important figures in twentieth century anarchism. Scourge of Liberals and tyrants, he never stood aside from the struggle for a better world" by the Kate Sharpley Library.

I wasn’t aware of this book, initially published in 1997, until its author, Philip Ruff, tweeted a link to the newly published e-book format. I saw it almost by accident whilst scanning through the countless irrelevant tweets that had arrived within the previous two minutes. Two bits of text jumped out at me, the first was ‘Albert Meltzer’, and the second was the price-tag of £1.08.

Auckland McDonald's blockaded in pay and homophobia dispute

Around 30 trade union activists have today blocked entry to the Auckland branch of McDonalds. They are protesting against the dismissal of union delegate, Sean Bailey who had been sacked after exposing proof that McDonald’s had been underpaying workers millions of dollars and not giving them adequate breaks. His dismissal came shortly after being threatened by his manager who told him he would be disciplined if he didn’t act ‘less gay’.

Aided by the police, McDonalds had hired several private security goons to ensure that customers could still get into the premises. Several minor scuffles broke out as protesters tried to discuss the issues with customers. The security goons tried to intimidate and draw protesters into confrontation, physically pushing them, and calling people ‘wankers’ (oh the irony).

Martin Smith given PhD place at Liverpool Hope University

It has come to our attention that Martin Smith – who resigned from the Socialist Workers Party following rape and sexual harassment allegations – is now based in the Social Work department at Liverpool Hope University. Trigger warning: rape, sexual harassment.

The accusations against Smith were covered up by an internal investigation from the party’s disputes committee.