civil disobedience in manchester against education cuts

Mark Harrison writes his personal recollections of today’s great events in Manchester as part of the national day of action against tuition fees.

Student Protest, scaling new heights.

Fortunately today I slept in and missed my 11am lecture and decided to go to what I expected to be a piddly little demo.

What a pleasant surprise awaited me! By 12:30 approximately 3000 people had gathered at the designated meeting point at the University of Manchester, these were not the usual faces. The vast majority of those present were college and school students playing truant, many had travelled from Cheshire, ‘the left’ was completely swamped, The SWP had made an obvious effort to mobilise all their members, there were a few members of the Revolutionary Communist Group, a guy from the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty and a comrade of the Anarchist Federation distributing Anarchist Student. The militancy on display was inspiring. Despite being promised on social networking websites that we would be marching to the town hall, the consensus loving, ultra democratic officers of the University’s Student Union had apparently decided that we would instead be diverted to the Castlefield arena on the edge of the city, out of harms way. I think ‘health and safety’ was the reason given – political correctness gone mad! Continue reading “civil disobedience in manchester against education cuts”

solidarity, power, direction: lessons of france’s 19th march strike

Pete Jones reports from Paris on the 19th March strike day

Three hundred and fifty thousand people (according to organisers) marched on Paris on Thursday March 19th to vent their frustration at Nicolas Sarkozy’s mismanagement of and complicity in the current economic malaise. Paris factory workers also used the day to picket their workplaces, hoping to put further pressure on the government following a month of factory closures thanks to industrial action.


The march from République to Nation in the unseasonably warm sunshine was very pleasant but its final relevance is up for debate. In contrast, the day’s demonstrations finished with limited but significant rioting at Place de la Nation. Following a series of seemingly arbitrary arrests around five or six hundred youths confronted police chanting ‘Release our comrades!’ and throwing bottles and metal grills. The police responded by firing tear gas to clear the packed Place, eventually arresting around 300 people of whom just 49 will be charged. Continue reading “solidarity, power, direction: lessons of france’s 19th march strike”

photo-report of 3rd january palestine demo, london

by David Broder

On the day that Israeli tanks rolled into Gaza, threatening a vast escalation of the war on Palestine, tens of thousands of people marched through London in an emergency demonstration.

The march from Embankment to Trafalgar Square (via Whitehall, where around a thousand shoes were thrown at the gates of Downing Street) was followed by a demonstration of around 5000 at the Israeli Embassy in Kensington, where  15 people were arrested after clashes with riot police.

At the demonstration The Commune activists gave out our own leaflet similar to that distributed during the last week’s daily protests at the Israeli Embassy, as well as another collaborative effort calling for the movement to continue. The next demo is at the Israeli Embassy, Kensington at 2pm on Sunday 4th January, followed by daily pickets at 5:30pm every weekday and another march next Saturday (10th January). Pictures and comments about the 3rd January protests below. Continue reading “photo-report of 3rd january palestine demo, london”

greek embassy demo 18th december

There will be a demonstration outside the Greek Embassy in London on Thursday 18th December showing solidarity with workers and students in Greece, after the murder of teenager Alexis Grigoropoulos by the police and a series of strikes and protests against the government.

The solidarity protest will take place 4-6pm on the 18th. The Embassy is located at 1A Holland Park, London W11 3TP. The nearest Tube stop is Holland Park: see map below.

photo-report of ‘dancing on the grave of capitalism’ demo

by David Broder

Three weeks to the day after the SWP’s March on the City demonstration in the City of London, tonight saw the “Dancing on the grave of capitalism” action timed to coincide with Halloween and thus featuring lots of dressing up. This, the latest in a series of anti-capitalist demos organised in response to the financial crisis, took place in Canary Wharf.

The protest was apparently the brainchild of members of the Radical Anthropology Group and people formerly involved in campaigns such as Reclaim the Streets, but in fact the 200-strong crowd was largely composed of Socialist Workers’ Party students (‘SWSS’, banner depicted below). A sprinkling from the Socialist Party, Workers’ Power, Anarchist Federation and Class War were present, as well as some people holding a poppy-decked banner for an Army veterans’ union. The demonstrators stood outside Canary Wharf tube station shouting abstract anti-capitalist slogans as City types looked on, bemused.

The slogan “anti-anti-anti-capitalista” made another appearance, as did “one solution – revolution” although another slogan had been toned down somewhat since the October 10th March on the City demo: “they say bankers, we say wankers” had bizarrely morphed into “they say bankers, we say jobs”. Perhaps they were wary of swearing in the wake of the recent Russell Brand/Andrew Sachs affair.

The demo, which had no demands and no real politics to speak of, merely served as part of the SWP’s ongoing “activist” turn after the abandonment of its electoral fronts.

demos for reinstatement of sacked colombian cleaners

Reinstate the 5 sacked Colombian cleaners. Papers for All.
Que reintegren a los 5 cleaners colombianos despedidos. Papeles para todos.

Wednesday 29th October
Protest outside the Amey offices in central London.
12.30 – 1.30pm
Meet 12.30pm @ Chancery Lane tube on the Central Line
protest at 5th Floor, 1 Waterhouse Square, London EC1N 2ST

Thursday 30th October
Protest outside the Amey offices in Colindale (supported by Barnet Trades Council)
12.30 – 1.30pm
Meet 12.30pm @ Colindale tube on the Northern Line
protest at 8th Flr, Merit House, Edgware Road,, Colindale, London NW9 5AF Continue reading “demos for reinstatement of sacked colombian cleaners”

schroders cleaners’ demo 17th october

From Jake

The Schroders cleaners’ demo time has changed at the last minute to 1pm; the date is still Friday 17th October… here is their leaflet:

Schroders is a global asset management company with £130.2 billion (EUR 164.4 billion / $259.1 billion) under its management as of 30 June 2008. And it is paying its cleaners only £6 an hour.

The cleaners have been trying to get a pay rise for over 12 months. For all this time our management (Lancaster Cleaning Company) have kept promising an increase, and 3 times have stopped the cleaners demonstrating in front of Schroders Headquarters based on these promises.

We had been congratulated for our good job, but congratulations don’t pay our bills.

Now we have been told that not only will we not receive the London living wage, but also will lose our jobs because Schroders want a night shift to replace our 4 hrs part time shift, and to reduce the staff from 30 workers to 9 workers.

We are appealing to all Londoners to help us stop this injustice by supporting our demonstration in front of Schroders Headquarters: 31 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7QA on Friday 17th October 2008 at 1pm.

You can also send your letter of support to our email:

We want to thank you in advance for your support.


Cleaners from Schroders

photo-report of ‘march on the city’ demo

by David Broder

Friday 10th saw a demonstration in the City of London called ‘march on the City’. The organisers of the 200-strong protest were the Socialist Workers’ Party, but a number of anarchists participated (no organisations or papers though) as well as two of us and a friend, a few from Workers’ Power and one person from the Socialist Party. The large majority of those in attendance were students.

The protest reprised some of the slogans of the “anti-capitalist movement” which existed around ten years ago, and there was plenty of militancy and activist energy on show. Of course, the real aim of the protest was not to put pressure on the government or banks (to do what?) but rather to give the SWP students “something to do” as part of the organisation’s current turn from East-End electoral work towards anti-fascist and anti-capitalist “activism”.

A rather more worthwhile protest will be the Schroders cleaners’ demonstration at 5pm on Friday 17th (details in Jake’s comment here). The National Shop Stewards Network has organised a further protest on Monday 13th at noon.

Below are some photos and a video. A couple of them are ripped off other websites. Continue reading “photo-report of ‘march on the city’ demo”

‘march on the city’

by Jack Staunton

A demonstration has been called for 4pm on Friday 10th October at the Bank of England (Threadneedle St, London EC2, Bank tube) with the slogan “We won’t bail out the bankers”.

Chris Bambery writes in Socialist Worker that “we need to take to the streets to demand, “No bail out for the bankers – we will not pay for their crisis!” From small acts of resistance we can craft a political force that can knock back those running this destructive system.”

Of course, working-class action amidst the financial crisis should not be some instrument for building a party, but rather action which actually helps us weather the storm of the economic situation. While demonstrations mocking bankers like Friday’s may seem attractive, the most pressing matter is not to make shallow propaganda arguing ‘look: capitalism is crumbling’ as if power is about to fall into our lap, but rather for the workers’ movement to organise to defend ourselves from the worst concrete effects of the current economic climate (which is not limited to side-effects of the financial slump). Unemployment and underemployment, casual work with no stability (as experienced by many of the UK’s 750,000 call centre workers) and huge increases in utilities bills are all set to become even more aggravated.

We have produced a leaflet ‘the cost of living: it’s time to act’ about reshaping the workers’ movement for modern realities – the text is below. Continue reading “‘march on the city’”

demonstration: hands off kurdish asylum seekers!

the international federation of iraqi refugees and coalition to stop deportations to iraq are holding a joint lobby to protest at the uk home office’s continuing policy of forcible deportations to iraq.

lobby of the home office, 2 marsham st, london, westminster/st james’ park, thursday 11 september, 12.30 – 14.30

the families of hussein ali and muhammed hussein will be attending the lobby: hussein ali committed suicide days after being forcibly returned to kurdistan on 7 august. muhammad hussein died of cancer following six years of struggle to gain refugee status in the uk.