Always Against Prison — From Hamilton to Minneapolis by Northshore Counter Info

It’s Going Down

Report back on banner drop in solidarity with five people facing serious charges following a New Year’s Eve noise demonstration in so-called Minneapolis.

This evening, we dropped a banner over highway 403 going towards Toronto in solidarity with the five people in Minneapolis facing serious felony charges in connection to a New Year’s eve noise demo in that city. Although we’re glad all five are out on bail, the arrests and charges mark a significant escalation of repression against an international anarchist tradition.

In our region, New Year’s noise demos started in 2009 in response to a hunger strike campaign by anarchist prisoners, and we have kept doing them every year since. These demos let us a share a moment of celebration with prisoners, breaking the alienation through direct action. As an international tradition, they are also a thread that connects us to anarchists elsewhere, allowing us to exchange ideas and tactics with people whose contexts are quite different than ours.

We can only imagine how the context in Minneapolis has shifted following the uprising. Struggle can seem so slow sometimes, building little by little, year by year. But then you get periods like this summer. It seems calmer now, but the same kind of state violence and impunity continues: we read about how there was another police murder in south Minneapolis this past week, and how the cop who murdered Jacob Blake in Kenosha was not charged.

As anarchists, our hostility towards police and prisons doesn’t wait for the streets to fill. Conflict with those institutions is permanent and we engage on our own terms. Going out on a freezing winter night to set off fire works for prisoners is unlikely to ever be very popular, but we all do it because it’s a meaningful expression of our values. Even if it means that repression often falls heaviest on those who don’t wait for movements to act and who don’t stop acting when they fade.

Massive movements like this summer’s are incredibly powerful though, and struggling alongside others is the best way to learn and grow. This is why international exchanges are so important, because for us here in Hamilton, if we were waiting for the streets to fill, we would be waiting a long time. And relationships of solidarity also mean you’re not alone in the hard times.

Reading reflections from like-minded people in the Twin Cities about the George Floyd rebellion has given us incredible inspiration. Although dropping a banner isn’t much, we hope to send a bit of that strength and courage back your way.

Always Against Prison!
From Hami to Mpls:
For a Fiery 2021!

BOYCOTT CHILEAN PRODUCTS! SOLIDARITY WITH IMPRISONED PROTESTERS!

Leeds SolFed

We post below a statement from the Chilean Friends of the International Workers’ Association, Grupo Germinal, explaining the Neoliberal Government’s harsh repression of protests and asking that pressure be applied to relevant diplomatic institutions, businesses, and organisations with protests and letters of solidarity.

In addition, the French Section (CNT-AIT) has proposed “a boycott of Chilean products as long as all the prisoners have not been released” – something we support as the Leeds local of the Solidarity Federation. Because of Chile’s export oriented economy, in practice this means refusing to buy food products originating there, such as salmon, avocado, wine, grapes, or kiwis. Christmas is one of the most important times of the year for this market, and so a well-organised boycott still has the potential to be highly effective.

Statement from Grupo Germinal:

“Since the uprising of the people of Chile against the rise in Metro tickets…

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“We Keep Us Safe”: Talking guns with America’s Socialist Rifle Association

Anti-Fascist Network

Trump appears to be on the way out, but none of us can have failed to notice all his numerous heavily-armed gangs of supporters out on the streets across the USA. And even if the man may be finished, Trumpism isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. These militias, “boogaloo bois”, ‘three percenters’ etc are constantly readying themselves for the apocalyptic civil war they believe is imminently coming. Meanwhile, mainstream liberals in America are very keen on gun control for the masses but fully support the police, who are themselves the main armed danger to large sections of America’s population.

How are the left responding to these threats? How do leftists, antifascists and minorities operate when the opposition are all armed to the teeth? Where is this all heading? One of the left responses to this situation is the Socialist Rifle Association – a national network of left wing gun clubs…

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The Red Joan of Arc — Elizabeth Gurley Flynn ( 1890- 1964)

rebelbreeze

By Geoff Cobb

(Reading time: 3 mins.)

Few Irish American women have led a more controversial life than Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. A fiery orator with a passionate dedication to social justice, Flynn dedicated her life to the working class. A militant’s militant, Flynn was arrested dozens of times fighting for the causes she espoused and served a prison term for her political beliefs. Flynn became one of the most influential labor organizers of the early 20th century, while also becoming the first female leader of the American Communist Party. Famed international journalist Eugene Lyons praised her intelligence saying she was “the most brilliant woman I had ever met.”

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, the daughter of Irish immigrants, was born inConcord, New Hampshireon August 7th, 1890. The family moved to New York’s impoverished South Bronx in 1900,where Flynn attended the local public school. She later recalled, “I hated poverty. I was…

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‘Rewards for fat cats, the sack for you’: the Tower Hamlets Council workers’ strikes

Let's Get Rooted

On July 3rd, Tower Hamlets broke a COVID pandemic ceasefire with its workers by firing most of them – around 4,000 people – and rehiring on worse contracts. The attack, branded ‘Tower Rewards’ by the council and ‘Tower Robbery’ by everyone else, affected workers in administration, schools, housing, social care, drug and alcohol services, youth services, street cleaning and libraries (or ‘Ideas Stores’ as Tower Hamlets calls them).

Effects of the new contracts included cutting travel and other work allowances, rejigging pay grades, streamlining disciplinary procedures, cutting flexible working, and drastically reducing redundancy terms. The council argued Tower Rewards was a ‘workforce investment’ exercise, making much of enhanced holidays, special leave provisions and the fact that certain categories, like newly-trained social workers, would get higher starting wages.

Workers inUNISON, one of the four main council unions, voted for unlimited strike action in February. Strikes planned for April were called off because of…

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BA Cargo Strike Report

Heathrow Workers Power

Workers with the Unite union at British Airways Cargo have just completed nine days of strike action. Beginning on Christmas Day and ending on 2nd January, workers were striking in an attempt to protect their pay and conditions. Unfortunately, due to COVID, the union decided not to maintain any picket lines. British Airways are cutting staff’s pay (25% for some staff), downgrading other terms and conditions (holiday, sick etc) and breaking up their bargaining unit (making them negotiate for pay separate to the rest of BA staff). BA are also threatening to outsource their cargo operation all together.

All this is very similar to what Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) have been doing with their staff. BA spokespeople, like HAL’s, have been telling the media that large numbers of staff on newer contracts are actually getting a pay rise out of the proposals. [1] Given the 98% return for strike action…

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‘What an utter shitstorm!’ – AngryWorkers look back on their 2020

Angry Workers of the World

We surely miss it…

At the end of this messy heap of muffled days, we thought of looking back so as to look forward in anger. This is not a political assessment of the wider social situation, but a summary of stuff we did and circulated during 2020. And the year had started out all good, with some tasty kebabs and Cobras at our favourite Punjabi Kitchen in Greenford, all happy and mask-free together, celebrating a £7,000 victory of our west London solidarity network! Those were the days…

Covid-19

Then the bat hit the fan. Like everyone else, we tried to understand what was happening to us and the world under the Covid-19 regime. After going shopping for our feisty, elderly neighbour Linda, we first thought of how to discuss the pandemic from a revolutionary perspective. Facing the early panic of fellow supermarket workers and customers, then we…

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Carlo Sorrachi / Carlo Neri / HN104 undercover cop.

Wessex Solidarity

This is Carlo Sorrachi, alias “Carlo Neri”, a rapist who deceived  three women into having sex with him. Women who would no sooner have sex with a policeman than a dog or a monkey.

Sorrachi’s job was to spy on the socialist party, a group that has never been a threat to anybody, being largely composed of boring old tankies. He was active from 2001 to 2006 and based in north and central London.

Judge Mitting, whose seasonal job will be starting any day now. Ho ho ho.

Chair of the Undercover Policing Inquiry, judge Mitting, has taken a shine to Sorrachi and refuses to let him be named in the proceedings, insisting he be referred to as “HN104”. As a result, Dave Smith of the Blacklist Support Group was unable to make his Opening Statement. From the early 1990s until mid 2000s, Smith was spied on by three policemen:…

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Late November round-up: Courier strikes, rent strike victory, upcoming deportation flight and much more

Cautiously pessimistic

Another quick roundup:

Image

Deliveroo and UberEats couriers in Sheffield went out on strike on Wednesday November 25th, with demands including a living wage, due process and an end to arbitrary sackings, and a hiring freeze. This last demand is one that has been criticised at times, with the recent book Class Power on Zero Hours arguing that to demand a hiring freeze is to play into divide-and-rule tactics, but as long as these companies continue to pay fixed piece rates, trying to reduce the supply of workers is going to continue to seem like an attractive option. Anyway, you can donate to their strike fund here, and check the new “Riders Roovolt” site here.

On Monday 30th, cleaners at University of East London organised through the grassroots union CAIWU are holding a protest as part of their campaign to end outsourcing and take their jobs back in-house

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Solidarity from the Overseas Teachers to Language House London staff

Industrial Workers of the World WISERA (Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England Regional Administration)Demonstrating the IWW’s commitment to solidarity within and across workplaces, the teachers at the Overseas Teachers – in the middle of their own dispute over bogus self-employment – have sent words of solidarity and congratulations to the teachers at Language House London who’ve just won their case against false self-employment.

To our Comrades over at Language House London,

Congratulations for winning your tribunal case after a long campaign against the awful wage-theft you’ve encountered!

It is great news to see comrades in a similar situation winning their case, we have full sympathy towards the efforts you have made to get to this point and we thank you for fighting for justice from the terrible conditions that you faced at the company. We hope that you can now take a well-earned rest from campaigning.

Solidarity,

Comrades at The Overseas Teacher