Brighton: protest against state repression in Spain

Last Friday, the 27th December, Brighton SolFed members and Spanish migrant workers from the collective “Marea Granate”, were in Churchill Square supporting a coordinated international protest against the current wave of repression in Spain. The protest was in response to the call for solidarity by our Spanish comrades.

Last November, thirty workers were arrested because of their participation in an education strike. This is only one more step in the repression and intimidation strategy of the Spanish government. The increase of detentions and the new laws against the protests, show that they want ordinary people to keep quiet while they dismantle basic civil rights and attack their live conditions.

International Day of Solidarity Against State Repression in Spain

Brighton Solidarity Federation are calling for a day of solidarity with comrades in Spain currently suffering detention and harassment by the state. We'll be unfurling a banner and distributing propaganda about the situation which has reached critical levels for both the anarchist movement and the Spanish people. We are also calling for a communications blockade of the Spanish embassy and consulate in London (details of stall and blockade below). From our leaflet:

Brighton Hospitality Workers meeting

Encouraged by the positive response to our recent publicity campaign, Brighton Hospitality Workers are holding our first open meeting. This will be an opportunity for workers to meet, share experiences and discuss how we can collectively tackle issues in the workplace, no matter how seemingly minor. We’ll be promoting the benefits of workers’ self-organisation in a sector where lack of employment rights and exploitation are commonplace. Towards mutual support and solidarity - all welcome!

Monday 2nd December, 6-8 pm at the Cowley Club, 12 London Road, Brighton BN2 4JA (near to St. Peter’s Church & opposite Co-Op supermarket).

Brighton Hospitality Workers launched

October saw the launch of the Brighton Hospitality Workers, formed in response to the many workplace issues endured by SolFed members and their colleagues working in this sector, arguably the most exploitative in the city. BHW plans to bring hospitality workers into regular contact with one another to promote workers’ rights, solidarity and mutual support in this the most precarious and low paid of industries.

BHW has been approached by workers receiving cash-in-hand wages as little as £3 p/hour, working 10-hour shifts without breaks and being hired and fired at will. The initiative was launched with a poster campaign and visits to some of the most notorious employers, where contact was made with front-of-house and kitchen staff to discuss their rights at work and promote the benefits of organisation in combating illegal practice and poor pay and conditions.

Brighton Bin Men Strike Over Attacks on Pay

Bin men in Brighton today voted overwhelmingly to strike over attempts by the Green led council to slash pay.

The bin men (a self-adopted title, although they include many non male workers) voted 96% in favour of strike action. This follows an unofficial walkout on the 8th and 9th May and a fiercely enforced work to rule since which has left rubbish piled up across Brighton and streets unswept.

The first strike action is due to start on the 14th June and to last for a week. Further action is likely to follow if the council does not ditch the proposed pay cuts.

Workfare: what's your experience?

Are you unemployed and placed on one of the DWP’s Workfare schemes? Contact us.

The court recently judged the DWP regulations surrounding the workfare programme as unlawful. Claimants on any of the other schemes can now withdraw without threat of sanction and existing sanctions must be brought to an end. Unless the DWP wins the right of appeal, all those who have been sanctioned will be entitled to repayment of lost benefit and all referrals will have been unlawful.

However, the DWP is currently laying new regulations which could make all the workfare schemes lawful and mandatory. Added to this, we’ve had numerous reports of claimants being forced under threat of sanction onto the ‘voluntary’ schemes and there is no reason this won’t continue.

"Squatters 1: Tory party nil" - anti-squatting MP chased from university campus

Reports circulating on Twitter suggest Tory MP for Hove and architect of the recently passed anti-squatting law, Mike Weatherley, has been chased from campus by angry students. Weatherley had been due to address the university Conservative Society. Weatherley's anti-squatting law, pushed through amidst a barrage of lies and disinformation about squatting, abolished the centuries-old right to squat in abandoned residential buildings. With rising fees and living costs, squatting has been a way of saving money for many poorer Sussex students - empty residential properties in Brighton and Hove outnumbered homeless families 10:1

Hastings Solidarity Federation launch meeting

Our members in Hastings are launching a new Local. Tuesday, 9 October 2012 at 19:00, venue tbc. There is a Facebook event here.

If you're interesting in joining the Solidarity Federation, or you're just curious what we're about, please come along.

The Solidarity Federation ('SolFed') is a revolutionary union initiative: a working class organisation which seeks the abolition of capitalism and the state. If you’re a worker (employed, unemployed, disabled, retired...) and think that this life doesn’t give you everything you deserve and that your work does not let you develop yourself, if you want a world without capitalism and hierarchy, then there are good reasons to join the Solidarity Federation.

Ruin the LibDems' weekend: shut down workfare in Brighton

The Liberal Democrat conference is being held in Brighton on Saturday 22nd September 2012 – there will be a large demonstration organised by Brighton Stop the Cuts Coalition and Brighton Trades Council.

To coincide with this, Brighton Solidarity Federation, Brighton Benefits Campaign and Brighton Uncut are calling for a day of action in Brighton against workfare – instead of ineffectually “having our say” and being ignored by the junior coalition partner, we should physically shut down a high profile coalition policy.

Domino drivers solidarity in Brighton

Domino's delivery drivers in Australia have had their pay cut 19% overnight. As their trade union was complicit in the cut, the drivers have formed a new union, the General Transport Workers Association (GTWA), to fight the pay cut. The GTWA called for a global day of action to support their struggle, and SF members in Brighton were happy to respond to the call. We spoke to staff about why we were there, giving them information on workplace rights, and leafletted the general public with information on Domino's attack on workers' conditions.

Solidarity actions also happened across the UK and around the world, and are continuing this weekend. The GTWA is affiliated with the Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation (ASF), an Australian 'friend' of the Solidarity Federation's international, the International Workers' Association (IWA).

Solidarity In Action on Brighton Poundland Picket

On Saturday Brighton Solidarity Federation were joined by Brighton Benefits Campaign on our first picket in the national campaign against Workfare profiteers Poundland. Over the course of two hours we handed out a thousand leaflets and struck up many conversations with the public at their North Street store. This follows the high court ruling that the DWP were within the law to force two unemployed workers out of voluntary work and into unpaid labour at the store.

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We are an anarcho-syndicalist union based in Brighton. We have ongoing campaigns in Hospitality and in Health & social care, but we aim to organise with workers of all industries and none. We also have a very active housing union.

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