protest: justice for cleaners at john lewis

Come to a lively protest to stand in solidarity with the cleaners at John Lewis
This Saturday, 3pm
John Lewis, 300 Oxford Street, London, W1A 1EX

The cleaners are demonstrating because they are….

1) All on the minimum poverty wage of £6.08 p/hour and are demanding the London Living Wage of £8.30 p/hour.
2) Often not paid for the hours they work.
3) Not provided appropriate equipment or protection.
4) Discriminated against by their managers. For example, some Hindu cleaners are called ‘bloody Indians’, whilst some larger employees are called ‘pig heads’
5) At threat of seeing 50% redundancies. The remaining 50% of the cleaners would be expected to cover the work of those made redundant with the same hours and with no extra pay!
6) Prejudicially excluded from the so-called John Lewis partnership. Continue reading “protest: justice for cleaners at john lewis”

urgent protest: justice for cleaners at the lse

From IWW Cleaners Branch
Come and stand in solidarity with the cleaners at the London School of Economics on Wednesday 13 June 2012, from 1PM – 2:30PM
LSE, Houghton Street, City of Westminster, WC2A 2AE – Just by Natwest bank

The IWW Cleaners at London School of Economics will be staging a lively protest to…

1) Stop the LSE from reducing the cleaner’s working hours
2) Stop the LSE from intensifying the cleaner’s working day
3) Stop the LSE from giving with one hand and taking with the other
4) Stop the LSE from treating the cleaners like second-class employees
5) Publicly expose Resource’s management’s inveterate practice of racist bullying Continue reading “urgent protest: justice for cleaners at the lse”

‘this could be heaven for everyone’

Public meeting on the student movement, hosted by the London Commune. From 7pm on Thursday 10th (the day after the NCAFC demo)

Last winter saw massive protests against the rise in tuition fees and cuts to EMA. We had the amazing riot at Millbank Tory HQ, school and college students marched and there were campus occupations and direct action up and down the country. But even all of this wasn’t enough to win.

The Lib Dems were wounded, the left groups picked up some new members, thousands of us could feel what solidarity means. But still students today face a harder position than ever. The cutters and privatisers are still on the offensive. Continue reading “‘this could be heaven for everyone’”

meeting with workers’ initiative, poland (london)

7pm, Friday 15th April, Freedom Bookshop, Angel Alley, 84b Whitechapel High Street

Workers’ Initiative is a militant union in Poland with a revolutionary libertarian orientation.  They grew from a loose network of activists to include a number of active committees in workplaces around the country.  The union, which numbers around 500 to 1000 activists, is active in strikes, sit-ins, and other militant activity.  Come and hear from their International Secretary, who will be able to speak about the experience of Workers’ Initiative over the past decade, and the class struggle in Poland.

Click the flyer to view a full size version:

The meeting is organised by Polish comrades of Workers’ Initiative living in London.

risk of infection: the strike wave in china

Bristol members of The Commune are holding a public meeting, ‘Risk of Infection: The Strike Wave in China’. Details below.

6th April 19.00 – 21.00 @ Hamilton House.

In mid-2010 a strike wave rolled through China’s factories, the most widespread and militant expression of China’s internal migrant workers so far. Their struggle shook the Chinese regime and provoked a world-wide debate about the end of the low-wage-model that stands behind China’s rise to the “factory of the world” and provides Europe and other regions with cheap consumer products.

We will look at the social conditions that stand behind the militant outbreak – the situation and struggles of different groups of migrant workers, such as construction, factory, domestic and sex workers, before examining the strike wave and its implications and discussing the formation of a new working class
movement in China.

what’s going on? social movements and the current crisis – a discussion

An explosion of occupations against education cuts… A growing anger about austerity… The toppling of governments…

An open discussion: Tuesday, February 22 · 7:30pm – 10:30pm at The Really Free School, The Black Horse Public House , 6 Rathbone Place, off Oxford Street. Facebook event

From Millbank to Cairo, the world is changing fast. Yet many of the strategies, tactics, and methods of organisation of the last decade were developed under very different conditions. It’s time for a critical reflection on what can be achieved, and who we can imagine doing it. What has changed over the last 3 months, and why? Is what we’ve done in the past still useful today? And what can be done now that couldn’t have been done last year?

This is one of a number of discussions organised around the country on this topic.

change of venue: feminism event 20th february

a day of mutual learning and exchange hosted by The Commune, 20th February, London. This will now take place at The Arbour, 100 Shandy St, London E1 4ST.

We believe that most of the left has a pretty poor record on gender. Even if overt sexism is less common than in the past, informal hierarchies and alienated, gendered relations run rampant. But this practice can – and must – change if we are ever going to revolutionise society.

As against swallowing the old left traditions, we believe it is important that the left critically reappraise our theory, practice and organisation in the light of socialist feminist politics, as well as the experience of working women’s struggles more broadly.

This is not a day for The Commune to lay down any ‘party line’, but rather to create a space for discussion of the insights of anti-capitalist feminism and the inter-relation between class and gender struggles. We hope to exchange ideas in a participatory, un-dogmatic and inclusive manner. We have planned three workshops. Continue reading “change of venue: feminism event 20th february”

manchester class struggle forum on resistance to austerity, 9th feb

After an extended holiday the Manchester Class Struggle Forum will hold it’s next discussion meeting on Wednesday the 9th of February at 7 pm in Room 5, The Friends Meeting House, Central Manchester, (behind the old Central Library).

The subject will be ‘Class resistance to austerity measures in Britain and Internationally’, with a short introduction from the World Revolution group.

This will also be an opportunity to discuss some of the recent attempts at co-ordinating ‘anti-cuts’ activity around Britain.

Some time will be set aside to consider possible future meetings and subjects.

All welcome.

issue 20 of the commune

The January issue of The Commune is now available. Click the image below to see PDF or use the list of individual articles as they are posted online.

Contact us at if you would like to buy a printed copy (£1 + 50p postage) or set up a subscription. (£12 a year UK/£16 EU/£20 international.


the truth about julian assange – Adam Ford writes on the WikiLeaks saga

tommy sheridan’s celebrity socialism – Allan Armstrong on the politics behind the perjury trial


unite cans heinz strike – Alfred Stevens on the end of the Wigan Heinz dispute (updated/abridged in PDF)

PM: ‘striking never achieves anything’ – Sharon Borthwick didn’t think much of David Cameron’s advice to striking workers

‘no cuts?’ ‘no chance!’ – David Huckerby on Sheffield Homes’ cuts plans

an image of the big society? – ‘Lady Stardust’ looks at the cooperatively-run Woodberry Down Community Library

the global commune – 29th January Edinburgh meeting on trade unionism

Student movement

education: their vote isn’t the end of our struggle – editorial of The Commune

student occupations pamphlet: a call for contributions

can student struggles engage with campus staff? – students’ and workers’ struggles at Bristol university

build the movement or build the party? – Sinead Rylance saw sectarianism at play in the KCL occupation

LSE occupation: 1968 and all that – Jack Staunton saw more hope in the college students’ protests than the occupation at his uni

mobilisation versus representation – Joe Thorne looks at the conflicting dynamics of the November-December student movement and the role of the left

hope against hope: a necessary betrayal – Nic Beuret looks at the aspirations of the student movement beyond ‘freezing the fees’


where next for network x? – Daniel Harvey reports on the activist gathering in Manchester

feminism, organisation and class struggle – a day of discussion and mutual exchange, London, 20th February

issue two of the educator

our platform

our meetings


from celtic tiger to death by a thousand cuts – Ronan McAoidh on the economic and political crisis engulfing Ireland

a french thatcher? the rise of nicolas sarkozy – Noé le Blanc reports on the record of the new right in France

from palace coup to revolution – Camille Boudjak reports on the mass revolt in Tunisia

issue 19 of the commune

The November issue of The Commune is now available. Click the image below to see PDF or use the list of individual articles as they are posted online.

Contact us at if you would like to buy a printed copy (£1 + 50p postage) or set up a subscription. (£12 a year UK/£16 EU/£20 international.

Public services cuts

more work no pay – an editorial on new plans to make the unemployed work for free

PFI disasters and council hot air – Dave Spencer on Coventry’s failed incinerator plan

assetco fiddle as london burns – Joe Thorne on developments in the London firefighters’ strike

no cuts, better services – Bob Goupillot on the anti-cuts demos in Edinburgh

cuts in jobs and services at sheffield council – a bulletin produced by The Commune for housing staff

the crumbling walls of council housing – David Huckerby explains the restructuring of council housing


what’s wrong with kansas – Sharon Borthwick looks at the USA’s Tea Party right-wing revival

crisis and resistance in spain – Millie Wild reports from Seville on the recent general strike

state repression in france’s pensions struggle – Nicolas Dessaux on state attacks on the social movement to defend pensions

stop the stoning of sakineh – report on the fight for the release of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, an Iranian woman condemned to death by stoning for ‘adultery’


bar humbug: the new shape of work – Pete Wright went through the mill of precarious bar work

precarious work and solidarity – Tawanda Nyabango reports on the Cleaners’ Defence Committee

revitalising NSSN – Keir Snow writes on a new syndicalist initiative

Education and students

first issue of The Educator

what resistance to education cuts – Mark Harrison attended the Education Activist Network conference

why are we still protesting this crap? – Bahar Mustafa writes on the Oxford feminist scene’s debates over a lap-dancing club


rimbaud and the paris commune – Sean Bonney was not impressed by the Marx Memorial Library’s talk on Arthur Rimbaud

badiou, the helmsman and communism from below – Sharon Borthwick reviews The Communist Hypothesis

permanent revolution in the andes? – David Broder reviews Bolivia’s Radical Tradition

a strike made in hollywood – Sheila Cohen reviews Made in Dagenham

Our network

platform of the commune

upcoming events


public meeting: social and class struggle in chile

Tuesday 5th October, 6pm, Room G37, Senate House, University of London, Malet St, London WC1E 7HU

Chile has benefited in the last period from high world demand for its minerals – especially copper. But fast growth has come at a cost, as the 33 miners currently trapped underground at the San Jose copper mine know. Continue reading “public meeting: social and class struggle in chile”

manchester class struggle forum on the miners’ strike, 22nd september

The next meeting of the Manchester Class Struggle Forum will take place on the subject of The Great Miners’ Strike of 1984-85, a member of the Wildcat and Subversion Council Communist groups shall be providing a short lead-off and there will be plenty of time for discussion. From 7pm on Wednesday 22nd September at Friends Meeting House on Mount Street.

The miners’ strike of 84-85 was the last great example of open class warfare in the United Kingdom, some parts of Yorkshire were turned into a police state, solidarity was sent to the miners from across the world, yet the experience was still a bitter defeat for the working class. Continue reading “manchester class struggle forum on the miners’ strike, 22nd september”

london forum on big flame

This August The Commune in London has staged a series of meetings on communist organisation, and we have already looked at the examples of Kamunist Kranti in India and 1960s-70s Italian group Potere Operaio.

The final meeting in the series is on Big Flame, a  British libertarian Marxist group in the 1970s. The discussion will be led off by a worker active in Merseyside car factories at that time. All welcome – the meeting is from 7pm on Monday 30th August at the Lucas Arms, Grays Inn Road, near King’s Cross (note change from original venue). Continue reading “london forum on big flame”

protest against marks and spencer over indian sweatshop

Join a solidarity protest in front of the Marks and Spencer store, 173 Oxford Street, London – 11 am, Saturday 4th September 2010

From a press release of Mazdoor Ekta Manch, a union based in Gurgaon:

Workers of the Viva Global Factory, including women were brutally beaten up with hockey sticks and lathis [canes] by goons called in by the Management of Viva Global, the Gurgaon based sweatshop apparel house. The incident happened on 23rd of August 2010 between 9:30 and 10:00 AM when workers were to enter the premises of the Factory, as part of a tripartite agreement between the Management of Viva Global, the Labour Department and the Garment and Allied Workers Union (GAWU).

Viva Global is a major supplier of apparel to ‘reputed’ multinational superbrands such as Marks and Spencer. There have been serious violations of labour laws and human rights at the Viva Global Factory. The Management has been using strong arm tactics against union leaders, representatives of workers etc., each time that the workers have demanded that basic amenities and legal wages be given to them. On the 21st of Aug 2010, at 6.00 PM, contract workers were locked out of the Factory in an attempt to illegally terminate them.

Our demands are: All workers be reinstated and the management of the Viva Global apologise to the workers.