We have recently been supporting a number of people in trouble for doing the right thing. We’ve had to pay fines and legal fees for anti arms fair, no borders and antifascist activists so funds are now tight. BDS exists to support any one of us who may end up facing the legal attacks from the state. Please support this benefit night and the ongoing practical solidarity work of BDS. Share with all your contacts and on facebook
In response to an invitation from Wales AFed / FfA Cymru, we attended a preliminary planning meeting for this event, which is expected to take place in the South West U.K. next year. It will be open to delegates of Class Struggle organisations, and individuals who identify as anarchists. Some groups have already pledged funds and we are open to volunteers to help with logistics
Our Class is under siege on all sides, yet the response has been haphazard. Large sections of it are pursuing narrow and contradictory agendas, many have returned to archaic ideas: state socialism, corporatism, nationalism and worse. Others cling forlornly to political structures that are inherently anti-Working Class. Those at the sharp end who understand the situation best are struggling just to survive.
Yet there are opportunities too. For the first time in living memory the bourgeoisie is also divided on how to pursue its common class interest. Only a few years ago when the Soviet bloc disintegrated they claimed to have won the Class War, and trumpeted “the end of history”; since then their free market has failed, their globalisation project has stalled and they too are trying to wind back the clock – but to what? They offer us “clash of civilisations”: military Keynesianism and primitive accumulation to float their money economy. Representative politics presents an ever-more ridiculous parade of thick, rich clowns.
But we’re still here, and always will be. We all know we must resist everything the bosses try to achieve, there have been some successes and anarchists have been at the forefront of these actions. Let’s define what we do well and sharpen it.
We plan for a weekend of meetings and workshops, out of which we hope will come agreed realistic positions and strategies, with goals we can work towards (and measure). We aim for it to be accessible and comfortable for all abilities, ethnicities and genders so there will be separate caucuses to this end.
A second preliminary planning meeting is scheduled for the 27th November in Bristol, if you would like to attend, please get in touch with us or Bristol Anarchist Federation. State and journalists are not welcome, so it would be good if comrades could vouch for each other.
New number to call on Saturday night: 07391329767!
Keep up with ’em on Farcebook
“The harder the battle, the sweeter the victory”
Well, this win has been a long time coming and a lot of solid work has made it a victory we can be very proud of. We are well pleased to announce that all the repairs demanded have been finished for an Easton based family who contacted us in November 2014 after seeing one of our posters. Not only have they won their fight for a decent, liveable home, but they have also secured a legally binding 5 year guaranteed tenancy with no rent increases!
Here’s the story of how it happened!
The length of the list of urgent repairs we identified with the family was matched only by the length of the cracks in the wall and the time the family had been waiting for the landlord, Mr. Ernie Biela, and his letting agency, Central Estate Agency to fix up the house. Jabar Mohammed of CEA arrogantly and callously ignored and refused all the family’s requests for desperately needed repairs. So, while he and the landlord were getting rich from fees and rent the family members were getting asthma and poor health from living in intolerable cold and damp. Equally culpable in all this was the council, who refused to take any action when their own improvement notice and licencing conditions ordering repairs were flouted by the landlord. Box ticking, sidestepping Lisa Williams from the environmental health dept made it very clear that we would not be getting any help from the council.
Our first step was a demand letter delivery to CEA in December 2014. Mr Mohammed responded with a call to the tenants saying they should leave the house and would be evicted if they did not go. So then we demonstrated at their offices on Gloucester Road and went in for a frank discussion with Mr Mohammed. He was visibly squirming at a barrage of awkward questions and home truths from family members and supporters as well the embarrassment of the demo exposing their profiteering negligence, complete with large photos evidencing his “management” of this house of horrors. Passers by stopped to hear about the situation and were very supportive of the family’s fight for a decent home. Shortly after the demo CEA did a quick distancing job and ceased any involvement with the property, finding it all too much and folding at the first sign of pressure.
So then it was time to deal with the landlord directly. Mr. Biela is a man that likes the sound of his own voice and likes getting things his way. He tried everything to avoid his responsibilities to do the repairs. He tried to pass it off as an overcrowding issue (“Why can’t they live like normal people?” and “They like living in squalor” – actual direct quotes from him!). He clumsily attempted to sow doubt and division in a phone call to the tenants, claiming that the solidarity network is racist and possibly involved with UKIP! He chose retaliatory eviction over responsible action, issuing a notice to quit to the family shortly after a phone call in which he gave assurances that he would start the repairs soon. As a result, the family suffered a great deal of stress and anxiety facing the threat of being made homeless.
A widely publicised communications blockade of Mr. Biela and his businesses followed as we started to increase the pressure on this slum landlord. Alongside our support and actions, the tenants sought the help of South West Law, who gave excellent advice and acted quickly and decisively. They exposed the eviction notice as bogus and invalid and threatened legal action. Getting it from all sides now, Mr. Biela finally, after almost 10 years of ignoring his tenants’ requests for a liveable home, agreed to start the repairs. It was clear that the pressure was getting to him and he realised that fixing the house and fulfilling his responsibilities to the property and his tenants would actually be the cheaper option. The repairs are finished and the family are finally enjoying a home fit to live in.
We are proud to have stood alongside this determined and courageous family in their struggle. Their refusal to give up should be an inspiration to us all. Together we have shown that we can fight and win. We wish them all the best for the future. We also look forward to supporting other tenants and winning more victories for decent and safe housing for all.
Note venue change! Now at Kebele Community Co-Op 14 Robertson Road, Easton. BS5 6JY.
Wreck it Richy and Rotting Gazza play ska and reggae.
Kid Gog and Pip Bin play mash up and jungle.
Kebele Sound Collective PA.
Come along and bring some friends. Please share on your networks. Party with purpose!
£3 on the door. All proceeds to Bristol Solidarity Network
8pm – midnight. See ya there.
Bristol comrades are picketing Byron Hamburgers as part of the national campaign to punish them for grassing up their own staff to the Home Office and there will be a communications blockade to coincide with this, call (141) 0117 925 6666 repeatedly.
Also, it’s time for the second phase of Manchester Solidarity Federation’s dispute with Laibaz restaurant in Bolton, to recover unpaid wages owed to former employees for hours worked and holiday entitlement.
Following the success of the first blockade of 23rd July, we again request that you repeatedly phone Laibaz on (141) (01204) 227 649 any time between the hours of 6pm and 10pm in order to block the line and prevent takeaway orders getting through.
Remember that the person who answers is most likely another worker, so please do not be abusive or hostile to them, just hang up and re-dial.
Dialling (141) before the restaurant’s number will hide your own number so they will have to pick it up each time.
AN INJURY TO ONE IS AN INJURY TO ALL