My review of “A Collective Bargain. Unions, Organizing, and the Fight for Democracy” Jane McAlevey

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a collective bargain

There are three reasons why I like this book.

One; it’s written by an activist. There are too many books being published by people who want to preach about what we should but do little beyond that. Give me people who actually make a difference.

Two:  it reminds readers in Europe that the USA is not Trumpland but is a society with a radical trade union history – past and present.

Three; it’s an inspiring book. Jane has a history of activism and she highlights many individuals and groups of workers who are on the frontline of defending their jobs and conditions –and particularly the  women and black workers who are a significant part of the American labour market.

At the heart of this book is the belief that unions are the only effective response to the destruction of democracy by…

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Advice for avoiding arrest and staying free

Bristol Anarchist Black Cross - Prisoner Support

So after the wonderful toppling of Colston’s statue the cops say they are investigating. It may be, in the context of all the popular support for the action, that they won’t actually follow through. But we think it’s definitely best to be prepared and take some simple steps to protect ourselves and each other. So here’s some important advice to help keep people safe and free. Please share widely.

For anyone involved, or worried about being targeted by police:

1. Well done; nice work!

2. Don’t panic. The cops have limited resources and don’t know everything! If the worst comes to the worst you will get solid support and solidarity from Bristol Black Lives Matter, Bristol Defendant Solidarity and a lot of good people on your side and on the right side of history. The authorities want us to feel isolated and afraid – our best defence is each…

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Kick over the statues….Colston is going…going…gone By Randell Brantley

Wessex Solidarity

Bristol Radical History Group

Over the last few years in arguments over the commemoration, celebration and memorialisation of slaver-traders we  have been told many times that the so-called ‘traditions’ of Bristol must must be protected. That is code for not changing anything; names of buildings, schools and statues, which are all part of the memorial landscape of Bristol created over the last couple of centuries largely by the merchant and business elite.

Well, there is another great historical tradition in Bristol, that is Bristolians acting together to destroy statues of their oppressors and institutions that oppress them. From the ‘mob’ who put out the eyes of a  prominent slave trader in 1090, the crowds who pulled down the statue of George III in 1813 to those who added the cap of liberty to William III’s statue as fires raged in the Mansion House in Queen Square and the prisons in…

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Cleaners told to choose between PPE and their union, zoom debate on university struggle, and more

Cautiously pessimistic

A few quick notes:

On Saturday 20th, the Angry Workers/Let’s Get Rooted project are hosting a discussion with students and university workers from Edinburgh, London, New York and New Delhi. In their words,

“Our focus will be to debate how the university is separated from, but also part of the wider social production process and therefore of class struggle:

* Universities as capitalist enterprises and the struggles against it

* The relation between students, academic staff and campus workers

* The changed relationship between students and workers in general

* The current discontent of educated technical workers, e.g. at Amazon or Google

* How can we go beyond campus politics and relate to workers’ struggles beyond being ‘allies’

Comrades will report from current struggles at Goldsmith (Goldsmith Workers Action), CUNY, NYU GSOC-UAW Local 2110, Edinburgh university and the experience of the ‘University Workers’/‘City Notes’ initiatives in Delhi.

https://citynotesinquiry.wordpress.com/.

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A review: Food, Health and Capitalism: Covid-19 and Beyond

Don’t forget you can register your co-operative venture as a Wobbly shop if you meet the criteria.

Anarchist Communist Group – Books & Pamphlets
https://www.anarchistcommunism.org/publications/

Price: £3.50, including postage, for this 44 page pamphlet.
Order your copy via PayPal to londonacg@gmail.com

Over the last few years, we’ve had stalls at a number of vegan fairs. While we’ve met some interesting people at these fairs, overall, they don’t tend to be that political in character. Which is why we turn up to try and put some politics into the discussions at these events! The impact of the COVID-19 crisis will hopefully prompt more people to ask questions about how we get our food, leading to them looking at the politics of this.

While we’ve always had a range of literature on our stalls looking at various aspects of how our food is produced and the numerous problems there are with that, we’ve never really had anything to hand that pulls all of the arguments together. In particular, we’ve…

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‘Let’s get rooted’ – Zoom debate on university struggle as class struggle

Let's Get Rooted

This is the fifth in a series of Zoom meetings. The focus of the meeting is the question how we can combine a new effort to get strategically rooted within the local working class with a process of political debate and coordination beyond our localities. You can find information about the wider project here:

https://letsgetrooted.wordpress.com/2020/05/25/founding-conference-for-working-class-strategy-and-organisation/

For this meeting we invited students and university workers from Edinburgh, London, New York and New Delhi to talk about their experiences. Our focus will be to debate how the university is separated from, but also part of the wider social production process and therefore of class struggle:

* Universities as capitalist enterprises and the struggles against it

* The relation between students, academic staff and campus workers

* The changed relationship between students and workers in general

* The current discontent of educated technical workers, e.g. at Amazon or Google

* How can we…

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Volunteers to help fight redundancies! A message from our branch secretary

Independent Workers Union of Great Britain - University of London Branch

I want to say, again, a big thank you to everyone who has volunteered with the IWGB so far!

We are now preparing for widespread redundancies and campaigns as furlough comes towards the end.

Across our branches, we are beginning to plan how to fight these. We are calling for volunteers who can help with research on companies and their finances, as well as helping to support campaigns with workers.

If you are interested in volunteering and helping with this, please reply to the email and we can assign you to a branch.

Also, as a reminder, our next weekly call is on Monday 22nd June at 7pm, focusing on education under the pandemic, with reports from our Foster Care Workers and Cycle Instructors Branch, and Kevin Courtney from the NEU. Join here: https://zoom.us/j/197558184
Solidarity,

Jamie Woodcock

University of London Branch Secretary and Chair of the COVID-19 Subcommittee

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A message from the collective.

Anarchy in the Sticks!

We’re still hoping the bookfair will go ahead on the 8th August and you can still reserve a table without payment, pending the final say from the Corn Exchange.

Whatever the toffs may announce or advise in the meantime, we ask participants to wear face coverings (so far as is practical) in the venue, both to minimise risk and to express solidarity with the many anarchists and freedom fighters getting  stuck in right now from the US to the Philippines.

No compulsion, we’ve had enough of that, but if it catches on we might have a competition for the best one.

In Solidarity

DRB Collective

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NAASN Statement on the Protests Against Police Violence

Robert Graham's Anarchism Weblog

NAASN Statement on the Protests Against Police Violence

The North American Anarchist Studies Network condemns the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, David McAtee, Nicholas Gibbs, Chantel Moore, and the countless other Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) lives stolen by police violence and white supremacy. The long history of racist police brutality and murder has been facilitated by a culture of impunity that encourages such violence. We therefore stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and other anti-racist groups in condemning police murders and the violent repression of protests, demanding and fighting for racial justice, and calling for long-overdue radical structural changes. These include defunding, divesting from, and abolishing police and prisons, and investing in community-led health, education, and safety alternatives. As anarchist scholars and activists, we also denounce the scapegoating of anarchists and anti-fascists to delegitimize this movement for justice, excuse…

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