Report on Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle 2019

It pissed down Friday afternoon and Saturday morning then cleared up, Sunday was hot and we got our kit away dry. Les’ food was superb as ever. We were  a bit thin on the ground as AFed were all up to no good in Slovenia. The POA seemed to be on their best behaviour, so as far as we’re aware no-one got groped or verbally abused.

Rumours of an imminent TERF infestation having circulated on Saturday night, a sharp eye was kept out for them. The fundamentalist WPUK group boasted on twitter that they had marched, but nobody saw any, and a considerable amount of video footage has been examined since. The picture they bandied about shows three transphobes with an imitation union banner stood on the road outside the marquee facing the march route. The CWU’s balloon-bearers are behind them walking in the opposite direction, indicating the march had finished. Another snap shows them stood with the crypto-Stalinist, dictator-apologising Stop the War Coalition, presumably discussing Bukharinist/Trotskyist revisionism or something equally topical.

The ‘Freedom for Ocalan’ campaign stole the show, with a Kurdish marching band, a disciplined, colour co-ordinated bloc and a balloon each end. We slotted in behind, led by Dorset IWW’s Free Kevan Thakrar banner, highlighting the most blatant miscarriage of bourgeois ‘justice’ since the pub bombing show trials and the framing of Stefan Kiszko in the 1970’s.

We didn’t get a stall this year and we hear Weymouth Animal Rights and Brighton Solfed were also declined. but as Dorset have taken over the IWW one we were able to insert some literature relating to syndicalist history, theory and practice. It was missed, because people kept asking about it. Your best bet is to come and see us at Dorset Radical Bookfair on the 7th September, or if you’re too far away get in touch. We haven’t got a literature catalogue and we’re out of space on here. We may have to set up a separate blog to host all the new stuff. There’s a job for someone with a lot of time on their hands (hint).

Shout out to, in no particular order: Rain, Sabcat Andy, Heledd, Sarah-Jane, Neil, Doozer and Les, Nikki and Kev, Swindon Jon, Dodger, Skimmity hitchers, Russ, positive Jon, Jim-Bob, Bristol SolFed, Morrish solicitors, Barnsley folk, Pete the Poet, Keith, Steve W, Robb, Lib-Com Ray and the comrade from Marea Granate, many others whose names I’ve mislaid.

Here’s some video:

Justice for Kev facebook page

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Communiqué from the Occupied Social Center, La Gatonera (Madrid, Spain)

Reproduced in full from Voices in Movement

This communiqué comes from the occupied anarchist social center in Madrid, La Gatonera, which was recently evicted resulting in the arrest of six comrades. The original in Spanish was published by Contramadriz and can be found here.

June 30th, 2019

In the first place, we want to thank all of the people that have shown their support and solidarity; in particular the collectives, spaces and individuals of the neighborhood. Thanks to this support, we managed to resist more than 24 hours at the door of the building, to carry out a gathering and to hold a rally that we hope has made clear that we will continue here and we will continue struggling.

It has already been at least a year since the threats and coercion began on part of the new landowners and their hitmen (private security companies). There were threats to send companies to deoccupy us after we refused to accept their money (15,000 euros) to abandon the building. Seeing that they couldn’t’ make us bend, they began with the legal route seeking to evict us. The decision of the usurpation trial has not ended in their favor, as it is still in the appeal process.

Today, the space is no longer in our hands, but we can hold our heads high to think that this only happened after a year of struggle, and they having spent more than 15,000 euros that they initially offered us. Only the police and private companies acting together have been able to take the space from us. The latter are those that forcefully entered La Gatonera in the early hours of June 27th breaking and changing the lock with the complicity of the police who escorted them. Six compañeros were detained in attempting to defend the space. Just another example of the capital-state nexus.

With this, we don’t seek to act as victims, nor vindicate legality, but rather to expose the acts and make clear that without the state and its dogs, these companies are nothing. Ours is just another case of a systematic campaign of harassment against squatting that has intensified in recent years. The attack on a squat is an attack on the practices and ideas that sustain it.

These are not our last words.

Death to the state, long live anarchy!

Never surrender, nor give up.

Statement by the Anarchist Comrades Detained in Madrid

AWM English 19/05/19

Madrid

The following is the statement of the compañeras arrested in Madrid on May 13 in an “anti-terrorist” operation carried out jointly by agents of the Information and Riot Squad of the UIP in two squatted spaces in the district of Tetuán, a house and the Anarchist Space The Ambush.

“Guilty” or “innocent”, for them our solidarity, complicity and affection.


On the morning of May 13, an anti-riot unit, together with the group 21 of the Provincial Information Brigade of Madrid, dedicated exclusively to espionage and hunting, burst into our homes and into the anarchist space La Emboscada, three weeks after its inauguration.

They informed us that they were bringing a warrant for the arrest and detention of two of us under the charge of terrorism.

During the registration, which lasted approximately 6 hours, comrades from all over Madrid came to show their support.

Meanwhile, the police seemed especially interested in taking clothes: colored and black coats, scarves of concrete colors, foulards, flower handkerchiefs, specific footwear; they were also interested in agendas, calendars, some notebooks, some notes, notes between the pages of books, computers, hard drives, memory cards, usb, mobiles, cameras and video, CDs and DVDs, construction tools and, in particular, hammers; as well as stickers, patches and T-shirts of the brand M.A.L.P; posters and propaganda in relation to the counter-summit of the G20 2017.

During the investigation, which has been ongoing since March 2017, they have intervened in emails, ordinary mail, mobile phones, tablets, whatsapp, icloud, dropbox and communications in general. For now, we do not have more information, since the investigation continues under summary secrecy.

We were detained 32 hours and, although there were times when the situation was confusing and did not seem favorable, any sadness or fear became insignificant when we left and saw the support and solidarity we received from our friends and friends.

Because even if the State comes for us, the ideas and practices that they pursue are irrepressible and multiply in every gesture of solidarity. And although we do not know what we are accused of, we are very clear about what we are and why we are being persecuted: and we do not ever regret being anarchists.

Repression has always been on the lookout for those who fight but throughout our lives it has given us strength and encouragement to know that there were anarchists all over the world and people who shared our affinity and, living this in the first person and finding so many people, it has been very beautiful and meaningful for us.

No anarchist will be alone as long as there are comrades who continue to fight.

A hug to Embers, arrested on May 1 in Paris and still in prison along with many others. And to all the other anarchists and prisoners in struggle, we do not forget.

From: https://vozcomoarma.noblogs.org/?p=22194

RADICAL WORKERS’ BLOC AT TOLPUDDLE 2019

Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival and rally 2019 Friday, 19th to Sunday, 21st July 2019. View map No stall this year, apparently they were “oversubscribed”. Nah we don’t either, more time to get drunk then.

On the plus side the IWW are back, with a new improved stall run by Dorset branch.

Wob kitchen will run from Friday evening to Sunday lunch, next to the Big Tent; you’ll hardly notice the difference. Wessex Solidarity will make some of our literature catalogue available on the day. We’ve lots of new stuff that isn’t in the reference library as we’re running out of storage space – it hasn’t been updated for years. Why not get in touch now if there’s a subject you’re particularly interested in.

Catering Cadre: Comrade Les, our Wob kitchen chef is offering free training on outside and event catering for Radical Workers and groups who want to feed their members, homeless or unemployed workers in a safe and cost-effective way. Topics including:

  • Basic Health safety and hygiene.
  • Basic budget and Menu planning.
  • Basic dietary requirements.
  • Basic safe use of LPG and Butane gas cookers.

Let us know if you’re interested or come and see us about it at the festival.

Safe Space Policy: “don’t be a dick”.

This year we ask Radical Workers to be especially kind to members of the Prison Officers Association, as they are ever so sensitive, and easily upset by loud noises and rude words.

Bloody hell it was hot! Tolpuddle R.W.B. 2018

Joint Statement by CGT, Solidaridad Obrera and CNT About the Situation in Catalonia

As signatory organizations, unions at state level, we share our concern about the situation in Catalonia, the repression that the state has unleashed, including the diminution of rights and freedoms and the rise of a stale nationalism which is appearing again in much of the state.

We defend the emancipation of all the working people of Catalonia and the rest of the world. Perhaps, in this context, it is necessary to remember that we do not understand the right to self-determination in a statist way, as nationalist parties and organizations proclaim, but as the right to self-organization of our class in a given territory. Thus understood, self-determination passes more by control of production and consumption by workers and by direct democracy from the bottom up, organized according to federalist principles, than by the establishment of a new frontier or the creation of a new state.

As internationalists, we understand that solidarity among working people should not be limited to state borders, so we are not really concerned where these are drawn. What we do find very disturbing is the reaction that is being experienced in many parts of the rest of the State, with the enthusiasm for a stale Spanish state, which is more reminiscent of past times, brewed by the media and in line with the authoritarian drift of the government, notable after the imprisonment of persons for summoning acts of disobedience or the application of article 155 of the Constitution. We do not forget that this nationalist outbreak lays the groundwork for further cuts in rights and freedoms which we must be prevent. The shameful unity of so-called “democratic forces” in justifying repression shows a gloomy picture for all future dissents. It seems that the post-Franco regime that governs us for 40 years, close its ranks to ensure its continuity.

This regime, which has existed and exists in Catalonia as well as in the rest of Spain, feels that its own survival is at stake. Questioned extensively and plunged into a deep crisis of legitimacy, it is alarmed because of the accumulation of open fronts. The threat to the territorial integrity of the state is compounded by corruption scandals, the monarchy’s stigmatization, the questioning of (bank) rescues and cuts that have been applied to the population, discontent with slavery in the workplace derived from the last labor reforms, the extension of retirement age and the economic reduction of pensions, etc. The constant calls to defend the constitution must be understood as foul to rebate and deal with this true existential crisis that besieges the state. The danger is that in the process, repressive behaviors such as those seen recently in many Catalan cities will be sanctioned and become standard. The worst …

Obviously, we do not know in what sense the events will decant. We will remain attentive to what happens, ready to defend the interests of working people throughout the State. We will oppose the repression and the normalization of right-of-way attitudes, which are already perceived, with all our forces. Of course, we will not allow ourselves to be used by the strategies of political parties whose objectives are extraneous to us. At the same time, we will not stop encouraging the mobilizations of the working class when they finally decide that the time has come to shake off the dictatorship of political and economic elites who have spent too long managing the territory to serve exclusively their own interests. As trade union organizations, libertarian and combative, we will be on the streets, in the mobilizations, as we have shown on many occasions, against repression, cuts in rights and freedoms and against corruption.

The Catalan crisis may be the brink of a dying state model. Whether this change is in one sense or another will depend on our ability, as a class, to take the process in the opposite direction of repression and the rise of nationalisms. Let us hope that the final result will be more freedoms and rights and not the other way around. We risk a lot.

FOR RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS! AGAINST REPRESSION OF WORKING CLASSES!

CGT – Solidaridad Obrera – CNT, October 26, 2017.

Perez, Maria, 1917-1942, aka La Jabalina

A short biography of Spanish anarchist Maria Perez, who fought with the Iron Column and was murdered by the Francoists in 1942, from Libcom

Maria Perez Cruz was born at Teruel in Spain on the 3rd of May 1917. Her parents were Manuel Perez de la Esperanza and Isabel Lacruz Civera, also originating in Teruel. Maria’s nick name of La Jabalina (which can be translated as The Javelin in English but also is the name for wild pigs) comes from the fact that her mother’s family were from the village of Jabaloyas, and this nickname was given to all the women of the family.

Economic necessity forced the family to move to the port town of Sagunto in Valencia when Maria was only six years old. A railway linked Sagunto to the Teruel mines and minerals mined there were then shipped to other parts of Europe. There were serious problems of housing and health in the town and this triggered the first workers’ protests.

The family settled near the municipal market. Maria and her five brothers helped the family by working at a vegetable stall in the market. She also helped her mother in the house and worked as a cleaner at the house of a local doctor. Angered by the condition of the working class in Sagunto, Maria joined the Libertarian Youth in 1934 at the age of seventeen. She joined the anarchist militia The Iron Column in August 1936. This had been put together from various groups, including Sagunto metalworkers. She served with it as a nurse, and helped set up a hospital on the front.

During the Battle of Teruel on August 23rd 1936 she received a gunshot wound in the leg at Puerto Escandon, which fractured a femur. She then was hospitalised until December 24th at the Valencia hospital.

After this she worked in an arms factory at Sagunto and then at Cieza in Murcia at a steel works. With the victory of Franco, she attempted to go unnoticed in Sagunto. She was now pregnant.

On April 23rd 1939 she was arrested by the Guardia Civil. After questioning, where she was asked about who she knew in the Iron Column, her head was shaved and she was paraded through the streets, and then released.

She was again summoned by the Guardia Civil on May 30th. She refused to sign a statement read out by the military judge, saying that some of the content was untrue. She was released but on the following day was imprisoned in the Sagunto jail.

She was then charged during a military trial of “aiding the rebellion” and a whole list of deeds, most of which had occurred whilst she was hospitalised, including the assault on the Castellon prison when 11 warders were killed. One of the crimes cited was the murder of the Bolivian consul in Valencia (where no such consulate had existed), whist other murders, including eight priests and an MP, were assigned to her. Local Falangist leaders said that “she had not taken part in the atrocities” but a neighbour testified that “it was said” that she had taken part in the burning of a church. The Director of the Valencia Hospital vouched that she had been there in the period when these deaths happened.

On November 4th she was transported to the Valencia Hospital because of the state of her health and her advanced pregnancy. She was released from there in January 1940 and returned to prison and later the provincial women’s prison.

She was tried before a court martial on July 28th 1942 and sentenced to death. Ten days later on August 8th she was shot with six other male prisoners against the cemetery wall at Paterna. She received a bullet to the head and another to the chest.

During her three years in prison she had been beaten and tortured but refused to own up to anything, apart from being the lover of Paco el Frances (French Paco), who may have been the Column’s war delegate in Sarrion. It is assumed she gave birth to a child on January 9th 1940, but nothing is known further of this child. Many children of prisoners of the Franco regime were given up for adoption, and this seems to have been the fate of the child.

In 2003 a women’s association of the Baladre neighbourhood of Sagunto carried out a campaign Breaking The Silences which remembered Maria and others killed by the Franco regime. A square in Sagunto has now been named after her.

Manuel Girona Rubio wrote a book about her “Un Miliciana en la Columna de Hierro”, published in 2011 and this was followed by a novel based on her life “Si me llegas a olvidar” by Rosana Corral-Marquez and a play written and acted by Lola Lopez, both in 2013.

Nick Heath

Sources:
http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/m0cgsn
https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mar%C3%ADa_la_Jabalina
http://mayores.uji.es/blogs/antropmorve/2011/12/06/maria-%E2%80%9Cla-jabalina%E2%80%9D-una-victima-de-su-tiempo/
http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/qnkb9q

 

Red And Black Telly: GIBRALTAR – STORM IN A SHERRY GLASS?