Brighton

"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

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.

Maintaining the pressure on Holland & Barrett in Brighton

Brighton Solidarity Federation and the Brighton Benefits Campaign picketed the London Road branch of Holland & Barrett this morning (23rd June). We had a warm reception from the public, giving out several hundred leaflets during the three hours we were there and turning at least half of their trade away. 

So many potential customers decided to shop elsewhere that a member of staff came out and started a loud argument, accusing us of having physically blocked people from coming in to the shop. It was unfortunate that his rant was based on the fact that customers had been ‘in the doorway’ before turning away – proving that they found Holland & Barrett’s use of workfare far more off-putting than our picket.

Public Meeting (3rd July) - Opposing the EDL in Bristol (14th July)

Brighton has seen off the fascist EDL twice already this year, with successful mobilisations against the March for England and subsequent 'revenge' visit. Now they've decided to target another southern city - Bristol - on the 14th of July. 

Brighton Anti-Fascists are hosting a public meeting on the 3rd of July to discuss mobilising against this threat. It is at 7.30 in the Cowley Club on London Road.

Sussex Uni: 300 staff and students demonstrate at lunchtime protest

Staff and students rallied against planned privatisation of over 10% of campus jobs in Library Square this lunchtime. Staff had come equipped to disrupt a planned 'bidders meeting' with many carrying airhorns, only to discover management had moved the meeting to the Amex stadium across the road. With security and conference staff amongst those facing outsourcing, suggests management don't feel able to hold such meetings on campus without the details leaking out and the threat of disruption.

Holland and Barrett feels the pressure in Brighton

On Saturday 12th May the Solidarity Federation with help from members of Brighton Benefits Campaign held a third picket outside Holland and Barrett’s main North Street store.

We experienced the usual response from the public with about a fifty-fifty split between those continuing to shop there and those who respected the boycott.  Some potential customers who went into the shop came out after reading the leaflet to say they had changed their minds.  Many passers by offered encouragement to the picketers and others were shocked to discover that an ‘ethical business’ would use unpaid labour.