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

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

Tolpuddle martyrs’ show in Taunton 19 th – 21st January.

A cast of 21 young student actors relive the story of the Tolpuddle martyrs in drama, dance and song .

Tues 19th, Wednesday 20th and Thurs 21st January.  7.30pm – 9.45pm. Licensed bar & cafe, free Parking on site. Union Stands in the theatre foyer pre-show and during interval.

Tickets £6.50 / £5.00 concessions £4.50 students.Box office 01823 414141

The Tacchi – Morris Arts Centre, Monkton Heathfield, Taunton TA2 8PD, 2 mins from junction 25 of M5 or from A358 roundabout (Taunton ).

Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle 2015 report.

11745717_1088676911162230_4587814745909007065_n

Pic by courtesy DeGruchy photography

We pitched our tents on Friday as usual and our comrades from Sussex set up their Wob kitchen which fed our bloc, friends and guests excellent veggie food all weekend. The severed heads of Cameron, IDS, Gove, Farage and Osbourne adorned our camp. The evening’s entertainment was memorable for Funke and the two tone baby, and the Tuts, among others.

Bit of a surprise on Saturday when we took our stall to find, amongst the assorted lefties and worthies, like a log in a swimming pool, Bournemouth Action for Israel, who showed extraordinary chutzpah by promoting that rogue state and its genocidal behaviour during the first anniversary of the last Gaza massacre, in which it slaughtered two and a half thousand civilians of whom sixty percent were children. They were repeatedly taken to task by festival-goers, some of whom were in Gaza during the atrocity, and a steady stream of punters approached the organisers to complain. On Sunday morning the Zionists bowed to pressure and left peacefully. We fail to see what connection this group, which appears to be linked with a propaganda hub in the United States, and to be lavishly funded, has to do with working class culture or workers’ associations, it doesn’t even represent the working class of Israel, let alone that of Dorset. What it represents is the military-industrial hegemony of Western imperialism that has brought the entire region to ruin. A glance at their facebook page will reveal the disdain they have for our class; their mission was solely to counter the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Should we perhaps invite the hunt lobby to counter the sabs, the CBI to counter the anti-blacklist campaign, or fracking companies to counter Greenpeace? No doubt Monsanto, Lockheed Martin, G4S and Halliburtons would gladly fork out sixty quid for a stall.

It was great to see supporters of the Save Kingfisher and SCBU campaign, and Lesbians and Gay men Support the Miners on Sunday’s march. See you next year!

Open Letter to BBC South Today from Palestine Solidarity Campaign

 

Pic by Stef.

Pic by Stef.

Save SCBU and Kingfisher at DCH Demo at Vespasian house, Dorchester 15th July .

scbunyFamily-friendly demo outside meeting of Clinical Commissioning Group, 15th July at 14:00 Vespasian House Barrack Road, DT1 1TG Dorchester, Dorset, to save paediatric services at Dorset County Hospital. Get there if you can.

Facebook event

If you can’t Email CCG   Phone: 01305 368900

Working class kids’ lives matter!

Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle: Martyrs Festival and rally: 17-19 July 2015

Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle: Martyrs Festival and rally: 17-19 July 2015

radicalworkerspx

Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle 2014, photo by Wheelz.

It’s our fifth anniversary! Usual deal: scaring the taxpayers, winding up the Tankies – Winning friends, influencing people and impressing them with our revolutionary praxis. Every year we welcome comrades from as far afield as Wales, France, Spain and the Midlands; we enjoy frank but good-natured debate with fellow trade unionists and activists alike. A small contingent doesn’t want us there, but sod ‘em – The Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers was an example of working-class self-organisation – Stalin would have had them shot. Still we hope to extend our safe spaces policy to all festival-goers; their kids will learn to swear without our help and please be kind to the cosplay cops, the council would charge a fortune to close the public highway.

Visit our stall in the Martyrs Marquee, if you’d like to help run it, or you have anything you’d like to give away / accept donations for please contact us An advance party will pitch tents on Friday afternoon, we corral them together so that people can get to know each other. If you’re just marching with us on Sunday 19th July, Meet up as usual 1:30 pm outside the Martyrs Museum; bring your flags and banners, this year’s theme will be politicians heads on spikes…

View map Download flyer

Freedom Press

A good start – Kingfisher rising!

SCBUJust got back from Dorchester where a couple of thousand people marched against the closure of the Kingfisher children’s ward at Dorset County Hospital; estimates vary between one and three thousand. Unless you believe the Echo who put it in the hundreds, odd since they are publicly supporting the campaign.

Conspicuous by his absence was ‘Evil Oliver’ Letwin, who has been hedging his bets, he would not have had a pleasant experience, we think. The march was good-natured but shows the strength of feeling in West Dorset about keeping our health services local, it was organised in a week and people required little prompting to turn out.

This is a grass-roots phenomenon bubbling up from the ground. The left are running to catch up; what will it take to get the unions to put their weight behind this? The workers at the hospital would be a good place to start. It’s all very well going to the capital a couple of times a year and trudging round in a giant police kettle, which just confirms the centralisation of power and frankly, is an exercise in hand-wringing. Here is an opportunity to strike back against austerity and let’s face it, save lives.

A couple of things have occurred to us and need to be widely appreciated:

  • It’ been pointed out by a comrade who is a practising midwife that the loss of Paediatric services and the Special Care Baby Unit will make the maternity ward untenable.
  • Next to close will be A & E.
  • They can then have another go at shutting the pathology lab which was only saved after a similar public outcry last year.
  • Then why not just sell off the rest?
  • We are under no illusions. This is a planned, progressive asset-strip. Letwin would not dream of associating himself with this campaign if he didn’t personally believe it was doomed to failure, so the decision has already been taken, somewhere, and the consultation exercise is just to soften up the public.

That doesn’t mean we are going to allow it to happen, if enough people get out to stop it. The health service is a pyramid with a three-cornered base. At its apex are the managers, politicians and ultimately, their corporate masters. At the base are the medical staff, support staff and the patients – all workers and taxpayers. Unite the base and we will cut the top off!