Spoons strike solid.

From Bristol SolFed on twitter

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Help Bristol Care Workers Network!

Hello comrades!

We are Bristol Care Workers Network. We an autonomous collective of healthcare and social care workers. We are contacting other organisations in Bristol to ask for help.

The charity Mencap have gone to court to demand that the government overturns its recent ruling on sleeping shifts counting as work for the purposes of calculating workers’ entitlement to the minimum wage. Because of Mencap, millions of low-paid workers will now be denied the minimum wage for their sleep shifts.

This has come at a time when non-payment of the minimum wage is at its worst ever level. The care sector is already one of the worst affected. Even for workers who are paid legally, studies have shown that it is almost impossible to make a living on the minimum wage. And now, Mencap want to make it even harder for workers to get the minimum wage.

The social care sector is a precarious sector where workers are routinely denied their rights and where union presence is very low. Although the situation for care workers is dire, this makes it an ideal sector for grassroots organising. We’ve found our campaigns around home care workers pay to be very successful and popular, and we’ve generated a lot of support by fighting this issue.

Precarious workers in other sectors are getting organised in an unprecedented way recently but at the moment the care sector has not caught up with what’s been happening among couriers, hospitality workers and other precarious sectors of the economy. The law around home care is changing rapidly and the TUC unions can’t keep up, so there is a real need for grassroots and DIY organising in the care sector. The home care sector is reaching crisis point due to austerity and Brexit will make this worse, so now is the time to start focusing on this sector. This is also an intersectional issue, as home care workers are overwhelmingly women, and a high proportion of care workers are people of colour and/or migrants, so as well as being an issue of class struggle, this is also a feminist issue and an anti-racist issue. This is why we think it’s important to start fighitng this.

We are a small organisation with limited capacity and influence, so we need other organisations to help make this event a success. You can help us by attending on the day, bringing your banners, and making a lot of noise, and/or publicising and sharing our event on your social media.

Thanks,

BCWN

Useful links:

BCWN website: bristolcareworkersnetwork.org

Stand up to Mencap event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1974568829267337/

BCWN’s critique of Unison and the TUC, and our arguments for grassroots organising in the care sector: https://bristolcareworkersnetwork.org/2018/08/26/unison-social-care-seminar-report-and-actions-the-workers-respond/

Background info on the Mencap court case: https://www.unison.org.uk/news/press-release/2018/07/sleep-shifts-judgment-huge-mistake/

Article about non-payment of NMW: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45608993

Public meeting in Bristol: anti Trump and antifascist demonstrations

Public meeting, Monday 9th July, 7pm. The Station, Silver Street. BS1 2AG.

Resist Trump and the march of fascism!

Donald Trump, megalomaniac disgrace to humanity, epitome of all things bad and most hated man in the world, is inflicting a visit on us on July 13th.

The perfect embodiment of authoritarian state politics and ruthless capitalism, he has been welcomed by the UK government. Unsurprisingly, this billionaire friend of the super rich and unashamed enemy of the working class has the support of the UK government which is equally committed to reactionary politics.

Since Trump’s election, his bare faced sexism, misogyny, xenophobia and bigotry has emboldened racists and fascists everywhere, leading to a huge upsurge in racist attacks, police brutality and fascist violence against political opponents. His tough talking, toxic rhetoric and policies have provided a massive confidence boost to the far right both in the U.S. and elsewhere. They feel more able to show their true colours knowing they now have a fellow white supremacist in the White House.

Whether it’s more ruthless, racist border controls, abducting and imprisoning immigrant children, the attempted Muslim ban or showing support for fascist and neo nazi “Unite the Right” marchers, Trump thrives on the politics of provocation, controversy and conflict. A self obsessed tyrant, with his arrogant and aggressive tweets, inflammatory speeches and dictatorial executive orders, he shows total contempt and disdain for any attempts to stand in his way or to promote more progressive politics.

The resistance in the U.S. to Trump and what he represents has been impressive and determined. Widespread anger, outrage, demos, airport blockades and mass direct action have been largely successful in putting a brake on Trump’s totalitarian plans. Communities have come together in solidarity to defend themselves and each other against the attacks and fight back.

Let’s follow their good example and stand in the way of this tyrant and everything he stands for. Everyone out to the streets of London on 13th July!

Come to the public meeting: 7-9pm, Monday 9th July at the Station,
Silver Street. BS1 2AG.
Demo details: 2pm, Friday 13th July, BBC, Portland Place, W1A 1AA. Coach leaves from Eastgate Road (by Eastville Tescos) 10am sharp on 13th July. Book your place! Contact bristolantifascists@riseup.net

And the next day… Saturday 14th July, central London. Join the antifascist resistance!

Tommy Robinson and the march of the far right.

Ever since the formation of the racist, islamophobic English Defence League, it’s founder Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Yaxley Lennon), has been working hard to further an extreme right wing, anti muslim, racist agenda. As well as forming alliances with far right politicians, parties, groups and individuals worldwide, his latest big tent for islamophobia and far right politics is the so called “Democratic Football Lad’s Alliance”. This organisation is uniting fascist groups, neo nazis, hooligans and everyday racists under one banner and building an extreme right wing street army. Their demos often end in attacks by DFLA mobs against anti racist demonstrators and people of colour.

Publicity hungry and self obsessed Robinson was recently imprisoned for 13 months after masquerading as a journalist to harass and intimidate some muslims on trial, all under the guise of “reporting” and “free speech”. After successfully cultivating a personality cult around himself, he has now become a martyr to far right activists worldwide and will be revelling in the attention and publicity that his imprisonment has provided him and his fellow racists. He claims to speak for ordinary, white British people but we recognise his words as the voice of 21st century bigotry and fascism.

In response to the jailing of Robinson, the racists and fascists are stepping up their efforts with more angry threats, demos and political violence in an attempt to put pressure on the government to free their de facto leader. Thousands of them rampaged in London on 9th June and they will return on 14th July. We need to outnumber, demoralise and defeat the racists and fascists on the streets again. Let’s oppose and expose the DFLA for what it really is and destroy their movement with all means necessary. It’s going to take all of our efforts together to win the struggle on the streets, on the internet, in our communities and everywhere we find racism and fascism. We can’t let them grow. It’s up to us to make sure fascism doesn’t become the new “normal”. Remember history and fight for the future. Now is the time to get involved, get organised and fight back!

Join the Anti Fascist Network on July 14th!
Contact bristolantifascists@riseup.net for transport.
Check out “antifascistnetwork” on facebook for more info.

Trans Student Faces Expulsion from University of Bristol.

Donate at Crowd Justice

by Nic

About me

I’m a trans 1st year PhD student at the University of Bristol. My research examines the ways in which the criminal justice system reproduces rape culture through examining who is prosecuted for sexual violence and who is not. The research takes a queer, feminist and abolitionist approach. This research is important because of the endemic criminalization of black, brown and trans bodies.

The Case

I am facing disciplinary board at the University of Bristol for writing an open letter asking the University to take a stand against the infamously transphobic group, “A Woman’s Place”.

The University claim that the open letter contained, “false information”, that I have attempted to “suppress fellow students’ freedom of speech”, and by trying to address hatred towards trans people, and particularly trans women, I have, “brought the University into disrepute”.

I am facing possible expulsion as an outcome of the disciplinary meeting.

My Ask

I need £2,500 to pay the incredible Raj Chada of Hodge Jones and Allen fame to represent me at the disciplinary board. The University will have legal representation, so it is important I do too.

Beyond this, there are countless trans people incarcerated by the British state, who are in need of legal support.

Money raised for my legal fees will be matched in donations for the Empty Cages Collective to cover legal and medical fees for trans prisoners they support. Empty Cages Collective.

What am I Trying to Achieve?

As well as keeping me at the University of Bristol, the outcome of this case will have important implications for both the trans community and for future attempts at holding Universities to account.

If I am expelled as a result of voicing opposition to trans-hatred, this will set a dangerous precedent, silencing future students wishing to stand up for themselves and their community in the face of hatred towards trans people. This is likely to be particularly damaging for trans women, trans people of colour and international trans students, whose right to remain in the UK is tied to retaining a student visa. It would demonstrate that the University can silence marginalised students with impunity.

Thanks in advance for your support!

A Bristolian (and a toy fox) who fought ISIS

100 years of Antifascism: Bristol 19-20th May

A weekend of talks and short films to celebrate 100 years of fighting fascism at BASE Social Centre (formerly Kebele) 14 Robertson Rd, Easton, Bristol BS5 6JY. All welcome. facebook event

In conjunction with the International Brigades Memorial Trust, Bristol Antifascists presents a weekend of talks and films celebrating our rich collective history of fighting fascism in the UK and beyond. Come along, learn, discuss, share, network and plan for the future.

Events will run from 10-5.30 on Saturday and 10-4 on Sunday and a healthy, vegan lunch will be offered for a suggested donation on both days. In the cafe room, we are excited to be hosting the ANTIFASCISTAS exhibition by the International Brigades Memorial Trust.

If you would like to recommend a speaker or a film please contact us

“Workers Power: Unions against Fascists”

“Beating the Fascists: Physical Resistance to Fascism”

“Fighting Fascism in the Middle East, a report by ex-YPG volunteers”

“A History of the Anti-Fascist Network”

“The 5th Column; Partisan Resistance to Nazis in Poland”

We will be showing many short films throughout the weekend. If you have any films you would like us to show (or films you would like us not to show) then drop us a line.

On Saturday night there will be a social event for anybody interested in discussing things further or networking. Details to be released nearer the time.

This is a free event but can only survive off the back of donations to cover our logistical costs. Anybody who can or wants to is invited to give a £5 suggested donation. Nobody will be turned away. Accommodation can be helped with if you are travelling from out of town but advance notice is needed.

BASE Social Centre (formerly Kebele) is an anarchist/libertarian space that survives off the hard-work of volunteers. It is a safe space and will not tolerate any form of oppressive behaviour at any time. As a rule, don’t be an arsehole.

Wessex Solidarity at Bristol Anarchist Bookfair 2018

In addition to our stall at the Black Swan, we are hosting, as a last minute addition to the programme, the following meeting at BASE (formerly  Kebele) from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Defend the NHS and Fight for Socialised Healthcare!

A Dorset anarchist’s experience supporting grassroots campaigns, working with different groups, dealing with different political agendas, and handling the media. He will then suggest a strategy to set up a defensive infrastructure, capable of rapidly reacting to future threats, and uniting groups of healthcare workers with the users of the service. This will then be followed by open discussion.

That’s a long time to talk so bring your own ideas and experiences!