We need a lot more than a pay rise
“Hardworking workers who work hard at work.” That’s all we hear about from politicians – Labour, Tory or LibDem (remember them?). But the attack on our living standards goes way beyond the workplace. There’s the bedroom tax and benefit cuts for a start. We need a lot more than a pay rise. And focusing on wages ignores the attacks on those who can’t work, or whose work is unpaid.
The social wage – benefits, pensions, the NHS – is under attack like never before. Last year, food banks provided 20 million meals – 54% up on 2012. The situation is obviously desperate. According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, sixty per cent of planned cuts have yet to be implemented and the situation will get a lot worse over the next few years.
A to B to where?
So here we are again, on another A to B march. It’s always good to remind yourself that you’re not alone in opposing cuts and attacks on living standards. But ask yourself, did any of the previous A to B marches change anything? The million strong demo in 2003, did it stop the illegal war on Iraq? Did the huge demonstrations in March 2011 and October 2012 stop the cuts? Did they hell! No, in all instances, government carried on as before.
What is needed is imaginative action at local and national level. Action like the mums from Focus E15, who have fought displacement and eviction, stood up to their Labour council, and shown what can be done by ordinary people if we stick together and fight to win.
This will mean blockades, occupations and other forms of direct action. It will mean building campaigns and movements where decisions are not made by leaders or celebrities but by the people affected. It means making links with other people fighting cuts in their areas. But more than anything else, it means getting stuck in and not relying on politicians and leaders to do it for us.
Printed and published by Anarchist Federation (London) BM ANARFED LONDON WC1N 3XX
http://www.afed.org.uk london [at] afed.org.uk
* for more about the E15 Mothers, see: http://www.afed.org.uk/publications/resistance-bulletin/431-resistance-bulletin-issue-157-angry-women-win-special-issue-autumn-2014.html (last article)
Here is info about brand new publications from the AF. You can also get any of these at The Sparrows’ Nest right here in Nottingham.
[Note: As well as our own publications we have contributed articles to the latest Black Flag magazine and Freedom paper (the latter having gone online only from now on).]
We are pleased to announce a 12-page issue of our paper Resistance (#157, ANGRY WOMEN WIN) for October 2014 and we also have a brand new Organise! magazine – issue 83 Winter 2014, plus a new edition of our pamphlet Basic Bakunin.
Resistance #157 and Basic Bakunin are free downloads (or to order in print) and Organise! is currently available as a single issue or annual subscription in print direct from us and is also available, as usual, from the AK Press and Active Distribution online shops.
Get Organise! 83 now from Active Distribution: http://www.activedistributionshop.org/shop/magazines/3337-organise-83.html (you can also order the latest issue of Black Flag: http://www.activedistributionshop.org/shop/magazines/3336-black-flag-236.html ).
Bulk orders are available – email distribution [at] afed.org.uk for details. Please note we have suspended new subscriptions to Resistance due to our move to larger but irregular themed issues (we have written to all current subscribers about this change).
See below on the home page for full details, or use the above links in the ‘Publications’ menu on the AFED site.
Global uprisings and the role of anarchists – speaker at The Sparrows’ Nest, Nottingham – 21st October, 7pm
This is a unique opportunity to hear from an activist from the Balkans who has been on a speaking tour about Central European and Balkan uprisings from an anarchist perspective. She was at the recent Balkan anarchist bookfair event in Bosnia and is in a position to talk more generally about the latest developments in the region.
Full title of meeting: Global uprisings and the role of anarchists: examples from Slovenia, Bosnia and Ukraine
Venue: The Sparrows’ Nest.
Date: Tuesday 21st October 2014.
Time: Starts 7pm (ends 9pm approx.)
We would appreciate an indication of numbers so please email in advance to say you are coming (or if you need directions), but equally just turn up (email address & phone no. via the Nest website below).
If you would rather read this on The Sparrows’ Nest website, please see:
Visit the Sparrows’ Nest website: http://thesparrowsnest.org.uk
This year the Ex-libris 8th annual mega-booksale (Carlton, Nottingham) will be on Friday-Sunday September 12th – 14th, running from 11.00 am to 7.00 pm on all days. Books, refreshments, masks…
All details here:
Come to the Sheffield Anarchist Bookfair
Here’s a great chance to get hold of the latest anarchist lit or older stuff, visit campaign & organisational stalls (including Anarchist Federation, Afem2014 & The Sparrows’ Nest library) or attend/participate in discussions and educational workshops.
Whether you are new to anarchism & looking to find out more, are a long-in-the tooth activist, or just want to find an inspiring book, this is place to be on Saturday. After closing time, the bookfair carries on into the evening with a social event.
Date/time/venue (very close to the train station, in an independent cinema complex):
Saturday 12th July 10am-6pm
at Showroom Workstation
15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S1 2BX
(Tel: 0114 2757727)
Full workshop programme now online (starts 11am): https://sheffieldbookfair.org.uk/the-programme/workshops-programme/
The Sheffield Anarchist Book Fair is a free event organised by local activists and volunteers.
Each year, the book fair brings together over 50 radical booksellers, distributors, independent presses, and political groups from around the country, and features books, pamphlets, zines, art, crafts and films. It includes speakers, panels and workshops, and is followed by an evening social. Check out Facebook page for ongoing events leading up to the weekend:
May 1st is International Worker’s Day and is celebrated around the world with marches and actions. There have been many attempts to rewrite the history of May Day. In 2011 the Tories proposed moving the May Day Bank Holiday to October and replace it with “UK Day” and in America May 1st is has been “Loyalty Day” since 1921 (not that many people celebrate it mind!).
Because of this we thought it was important to repost this article, explaining as briefly as possible, the true origins of May Day or International Worker’s Day. Also check out this talk by Bristol Radical History Group from 2012 on the history of May Day: