Bristol Radical History Festival on Sunday 17th September at the MSHED (day after the anarchist bookfair)

Wessex Solidarity

Bristol Radical History and the Remembering the Real World War One groups are teaming up to bring you the Bristol Radical History Festival on Sunday 17th September (10.30am – 4.30pm) at M Shed.

Bristol Radical History Festival brings together historians, history groups, publishers and the public for a day of talks, walks, puppet shows and readings, films, bookstalls and displays uncovering radical histories in Bristol, the South West and beyond.

From mutinous Bristolian soldiers to rebellious anarchist women, from Bristol’s underground networks of war resistors to its rioters of 1831 we promise a ‘history-from-below’ approach, with speakers and performers eager to share authentic glimpses of a hitherto undocumented past.

Two important anniversaries are also being celebrated at the Radical History Festival. It is 800 years since the Charter of the Forest was signed granting rights, privileges and protections for the commoner, something which has been…

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Ditching the Fear – angry workers film and discussion, in Plymouth, Saturday 19th August.

Anarchy in the Sticks!

Our friends from Angry Workers of the World present ‘Ditching the Fear’: this is a film we intended to show at the bookfair but had to delete owing to lack of space.

Ditching the Fear tells the story of warehouse workers in Italy who recently went on strike, and overcame all obstacles to win. The film screening will be followed by a discussion led by Angry Workers, who went to Italy to speak with some of the people involved. facebook

Starting 4pm at the Fortescue on Mutley Plain, Plymouth, on Saturday 19th August. Hosted byMarea Granate Plymouth

You can read more about the strikes on the Angry Workers website

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Rent strike wins in Parkdale, Canada!

Cautiously pessimistic

Residents in the working-class Parkdale neighbourhood of Toronto have been on rent strike since the start of May, as chronicled in this interview. Now, they’ve declared victory:

Statement of the Rent Strikers’ Negotiating Committee

Today we are pleased to announce that the Parkdale rent strike has ended in victory. The organizing of hundreds of working class people in Parkdale, including us and our neighbours, has shifted the balance of power between landlords and tenants in Parkdale in our favour.

For the past six months we have organized our neighbourhood to take on our landlord directly. We know that the laws, courts, and bureaucracies of this system do not serve our interests and throughout this fight we would not be trapped in their dead ends. We refused to play by the rules. Instead we set up independent organizations in our buildings and linked those organizations up across Parkdale…

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Workplace round-up for early August

Many faces! – Snapshots from distributing WorkersWildWest

Angry Workers of the World


(article to be published and circulated in WorkersWildWest no.6)

“If you don’t like it here, you are free to go and look for a different job”, is the usual boss’ bullshit talk. Yes, they are right, we are free to go, free to starve and free to sell ourselves to a different boss for similarly bad conditions. During the distribution of WorkersWildWest we have had short conversations with various workers. These snapshots show a bit of reality – we share similar problems wherever we work. They also show a potential – if workers from each company would come together, we could build a strong movement. Get in touch!

Cleaning worker, Heathrow: “They cut our team down from 9 to 7 members. But we have to cover the same area. The union lawyers can’t win against the bosses lawyers.”

Cleaning worker, Bakkavor, Park Royal: “We work night-shift, cleaning food-processing machines…

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Know your rights at work: Overtime and holiday pay

Cautiously pessimistic

In a relatively low-profile case this week, a tribunal ruled that payments for entirely voluntary duties, such as voluntary overtime, standby, call-out work and travel-time linked to that work, should be included in the calculation of workers’ holiday pay. This comes on the back of a similar ruling a few years ago, which first established the principle that anyone who regularly works overtime should have that taken into consideration when getting their holiday pay.

From Unite’s write-up of the ruling:

“Today’s ruling is of major significance to workers nationally, many of whom receive payments for voluntary duties while working, but do not receive those payments when they take holiday. It sets a legal binding precedent which employment tribunals across the UK are obliged to follow.

The case against Dudley council involved 56 Unite members employed by the council as tradesmen, including plumbers, electricians and carpenters, working on…

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