Conference: defeating cuts in education

THIS Saturday (29th May 2010), 12pm – 6pm in Brighton. Join the Facebook event. Venue to be confirmed very soon here and on Facebook.

As a new government is getting ready to attack the living conditions of ordinary people, students and education workers have already had experiences with cuts – and how we can stop them. We will try to draw the lessons from the strikes, occupations and other forms of direct action taken in HE and FE over the last months. How can we build effective alliances between students and workers? How can we act in solidarity across education establishments? How can we organise from below to defend education?

National conference with talks and workshops, open to students and education workers.

New local newsletter, focused on direct action solidarity

We have just published the first issue of a new newsletter focussed on direct action solidarity: tackling the little gripes and grievances from workplace bullying to wage theft to stolen deposits. Since mid-2011 the Brighton Local of the Solidarity Federation has been running a stall in locations around the city and more recently in Bognor.

Rather than the usual political stall about the big issues of government cuts and policy decisions we decided to use it to talk directly to people about their issues at work, with their landlords or at the Jobcentre. The aim has been to encourage the idea that these problems we face aren’t just something we are having difficulty with as individuals, but rather that they are part of a whole range of wider issues faced by the working class (those who rely on wages and/or benefits to make a living).

Brighton Adecco picketed against strike-breaking

There was a great turnout for the short-notice picket of employment agency Adecco in Brighton today. Around 20 people stopped by, with picket numbers averaging 10-15 for the two hour picket. A division of Adecco has been hiring strike-breakers for the multinational corporation ABB and their contractor EULEN in Cordoba, Spain, where workers have been on indefiniate strike since November 28th. Around 400 copies of this leaflet were handed out. There were also pickets in Glasgow and London.

Stuff Your Boss!

On Saturday Brighton Solidarity Federation held a ‘Stuff Your Boss Doesn’t Want You To Know’ stall and distribution in Brighton’s busy London Road shopping area. Pitching up at 10.30, we welcomed considerable interest from passing public as well as calling into businesses and workplaces, promoting the benefits of worker’s self-organisation and solidarity in response to issues such as low pay, poor conditions, lack of holiday and maternity entitlement and management harassment.

National day of action against ATOS

ATOS healthcare are the private IT company tasked with kicking sick and disabled claimants off benefits by classifying them as fit to work using an automated program. The Brighton Benefits Campaign and Disabled People Against Cuts organised the local contribution to the national day of action against ATOS, which saw around 25 people assemble in Brighton, street theatre depicting the computerised 'fit for work' assessment and a short march to the nearby ATOS building.

Cuts coming to Community Base?

Today we heard that the trustees of Brighton's Community Base were meeting to push through privatisation plans and redundancies to the staff directly employed there (numbering two or three). Community Base is a charity providing a home for community and voluntary groups in Brighton and Hove and services to the local community. They use income from affordable services, including the provision of office space and the use of meeting rooms, to repay a mortgage on their centrally-located seven floor building.

Student Radicals: an incomplete history of protest at the University of Sussex 1971-1975

In time for Freshers Fair, we've printed some of Ed Goddard's excellent pamphlet on student radicalism at Sussex. Ed Goddard is a former member of Brighton SF currently living in Italy, and an admin of the website. Come see us on the Anarchist Society stall to get a copy, or download as a pdf here.