During a September Saturday Brighton SolFed held a network and skills day covering; the immigration act and healthcare, the attack on benefits, fighting wage theft and anarchists on austerity. This full day, including a mighty lunch prepared by members, maintained a constant level of debate and information, concluding in practical action points to continue agitating around Brighton and beyond.

A dozen people attended, with a few new faces introduced. Though the intention was to have a broader participation, the level of contributions and emphasis on what can be done rather than purely information, made for a quality day.

The day started with a run down on how the immigration act is affecting refugees, making health workers gatekeepers to health and how it is part of an ideological attack on healthcare for all. This part concluded with ways to resist the act and how to spread the local initiative in this area to all those affected.

This was followed by a very informative talk on benefits. From where it all begun and why it was implemented to where we are now with more cuts and the destruction of benefits. A main point reiterated was the fact public consciousness has degraded those on benefits rather than praise that as they scrape by, this system maintains job security and conditions for others. Even the denial that there are those working whilst on benefits such as tax credits and child benefit but feel ashamed to admit so. This talk concluded with the aim of collectivising claimant issues and organising those going through the system currently and linking up the struggle with those in work.

Fighting wage theft resumed the day after a wholesome lunch. With a run down of the Hospitality Campaign and a specific look and reflection of a couple of our cases and new developments within members workplaces. This concluded with our newest initiative over the living wage and how we want to fight not because a charity foundation insists this is our worth but it is what we deserve for our labour and is part of the fight to stand up for and organise ourselves.

We ended with a more general discussion on an anarchist’s perspective of austerity. That every part of our lives is being effect by austerity, as had been seen in the previous talks, and that we can not be happy with just a defensive stance to this capitalist onslaught. One common theme was the lack of any meaningful sense of community and class-consciousness currently fighting back on a larger scale. We looked at how Brighton SolFed has been trying develop this fighting community not only in the workplace, but culturally, socially, activity and educationally. This finished with thoughts of maintaining and developing this further.

First stop however, was a few well-earned drinks to continue the activity into the night.

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This article was published on 24 September 2015 by the SolFed group in Brighton. Other recent articles:

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