Drumming on the doors at Hackney cuts protest

After a slow start, protesters at a March 2nd demonstration in Hackney against Labour council budget cuts made their voices heard with a drive for the doors which temporarily saw panic in police lines amid chants of "let us in" and "it's your jobs next."

The night had started off slowly, with barely 50 people hitting the pavement outside the council's Mare Street headquarters as the cuts discussion and vote, widely seen as a rubber-stamping of government funding plans, went through.

But numbers grew as the evening got colder until around 200 people were stood outside the heavily-fortified building. Police picketed every door with at least three full riot vans on standby and barriers adorned the main entrance in a nod to events which saw Camden and Lewisham councils browbeaten by their subjects late last month.

Protest in Newham

Members of NLSF from east London took part in the march against cuts in Newham being imposed by a Labour-run council.

Around 150 people marched on the last day of February in the cold and rain to voice their opposition to local cuts, of which £100million were voted through at the council meeting.[1] This means the loss of thousands of public sector jobs, community centre closures, cuts in the voluntary sector and care for the elderly.

Newham against the cuts is an independent anti-cuts group, but many of the leftists present seemed hopelessly stuck in the 1980s, shouting against the 'Tory Cuts!' and maintaining a stifling and defeatist attitude, even sticking to the pavements so as not to disrupt the traffic.

Disruption in Brent Town Hall

Feb 28th saw about 200 activists and militants gather outside Brent Town Hall to voice their anger at Brent councillors’ imminent decision to cut public spending in the borough even further. Called by the local trades council, the protest began with public speakers discussing the implications of the coming attack -- including the severe cuts to Brent Law Centre, support for the disabled, housing, and the closure of libraries.

The protesters mainly consisted of SWPs, 'old' Labour types, Communist Party members, Green Party activists, and a small number of anarchists. This unfortunately set the tone as criticising Labour for "doing the Tories' bidding" -- however one protester's voice was heard to shout "fuck Labour!" in response.

NLSF Statement on Struggle in Wisconsin

The North London Local of the Solidarity Federation would like to show our deepest solidarity with the Wisconsin working class.  While we, like the IWW to whom this statement is directly addressed, share a critique of the trade unions we also recognize that the attack on public sector collective bargaining is much larger than the AFL-CIO.  It is full frontal assault on all workers in Wisconsin and will reverberate not only in that state but across the entire country.  Such a move will put downward pressure on the wages of private sector workers, organized and unorganized alike, will embolden employers to demand concessions, and, if successful, will likely be copied by state and local governments across the US.

Raids, cuts and low pay - one struggle!

When the UK Border Agency (UKBA) carried out a raid on 6 January 2011 they did so under several pretexts. While immigration raids are carried out on a regular basis across London, the size and scale of the raid at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital suggests a concerted campaign to flush out a number of illegals who were working there under quite appalling conditions. These attacks on the migrant community have to be seen in light of NHS ‘reforms’ and the forcing of the unemployed into compulsory work and the low-pay economy.

North Londoners attend SolFed Weekend School

This past weekend saw over one-third of the active membership of the North London Local of the Solidarity Federation take the train to Northampton to join approximately one-third of the total of the national organization for a weekend of strategizing, comradely debate, and hearty discussion.  With topics ranging from an anarcho-syndicalist approach to opposing the cuts to website development, the meeting allowed for networking and a honing of organizational strategy.

We met up with ‘old-timers’ who’d been in SolFed since the 1970s (before SolFed was even SolFed!) and new members, including a majority of the recently founded Thames Valley Local.  With lots of productive conversation, the meeting will help locals not only craft motions for our upcoming national conference but, organizationally, to galvanize both local and national initiatives.

Disruption in Islington town hall

Solidarity Federation members joined a good sizable demo of more than 200 souls who braved the cold to ensure the pressure was kept on Islington Council. Thursday evening (17 February) the council was due to reside over a council budget meeting to determine the nature of cuts in the public services in the borough. The anger from the demo spilled over, and the 'public consultation' in the council building allowing for the hearing to be observed resulted quite rightly in the retreat of the councilors under heckles and 60 protestors being removed by heavy handed means by the police. Massive turn around in fortunes have seen Labour Councilor Catherine West the previous week leading protests of over 1000 protestors to now calling on the police to turn on protestors! How the tables turn when your being held to account, eh Catherine...

Hundreds protest against Hackney Council cuts

Around 500 people turned out in the rain yesterday to show their dislike of Hackney Council's propsed service losses, as it struggles with some of the heaviest austerity cuts to its budget of any local authority in Britain.

North London Solfed members joined the rally, which was organised by Hackney Alliance Against Cuts, as it marched from Stoke Newington on a two hour route through to the centre of the borough to highlight the potential impact of a 8.9 per cent drop in funding.

Council estimates suggest around 800 jobs would go on the back of the losses, which would drain money and jobs out of some of the most impoverished areas of the country.

Self-Education in North London

In the spirit of revolutionary self-education, members of the North London Local of the Solidarity Federation spent a couple hours this past Saturday learning the basics of computer design and layout.  In a relaxed atmosphere, we put to good use the skills of one of our members as he set up a projector and walked us through the steps of designing a newsletter before installing the design programme on each of our personal computers (open source, of course).

All attendees agreed it was an enjoyable and educational experience and are looking forward to the second section of the workshop which will build on our basic knowledge and move from the "how" to the theory and good practice of successful layout and design. 

SolFedders March Against Fees and Cuts

On Saturday 29th January, at least a dozen SolFedders from London and the surrounding area joined thousands of students, trade unionists, and workers to march in opposition to cuts to services, job losses, and increases in fees.  A similar demonstration was held Manchester where Aaron Porter, the sellout head of the NUS, had to be escorted away by police as he was taunted and chased by angry demonstrators.  Needless to say, SFers in both cities applaud the Manchester crowd in recognizing that sometimes our class enemies try to speak in our name.

Fitwatch & LDMG Workshop

A report back from a student workshop co-ordinated by North London Solidarity Federation, held on 25/01/11 at Queen Mary University in Tower Hamlets.

NLSF co-ordinated a highly practical workshop for students (and anybody else) going on the many demonstrations against the rise in tuition fees and cuts in education spending. First up were the Legal Defence Monitoring Group who laid out the basics of the law that is used against protesters on demonstrations and how to get around it. This was followed up by Fitwatch, the activist group dedicated to combating the oppressive surviellance of the Forward Intelligence Teams that plague demonstrations. The main tips here were to mask up, wear plain clothing, and, when in sizeable groups, prevent the FIT cameras from filming you by blocking their line of sight with placards and banners.

Protest Outside Camden Town Hall

Residents of Camden protested outside the Town Hall against the Labour-run council proposed, and voted through, cuts of £100 million to local services. People are angry at the threat of 1000 lost jobs, closure of libraries, sports facilities and increased rents.

A wide cross-section of the local population were present, with students and workers of all ages assembling together. The resulting changes to be enacted include; cuts to free nursery and after school provision and special needs education, rents to be increased by 7%, an increased to marry, the Talacre sports centre to be farmed out to an outside contractor, Mornington Crescent sports centre will close, all non-essential building works cancelled, street cleaning scaled back and even hours of street lighting reduced.

Strike, occupy, sabotage! - leaflet for anti-cuts march

The text of the leaflet produced by the South London local being distributed on the London anti-cuts march on Saturday 23rd October 2010.

The working class across Europe is facing the worst attacks on our standard of living, jobs and services for decades. We have been forced to pay for capitalism’s crisis since it began; redundancies, pay cuts, benefit cuts, increasing workloads for those who kept their jobs... the private and public sector alike.

As the scale of the cut-backs begins to sink in, there are signs of a growing
movement against the cuts, with hundreds attending public meetings across the country. Many, disenchanted with the anti-war marches and the lethargy of the unions, are arguing for more direct methods in this struggle.

Radical Workers Bloc on Anti-Cuts March

A callout by our South London local, reproduced here due to its relevance for all of London

On Saturday 23rd October 2010 a number of trade unions have called for a march in London to lobby the TUC to fight the cuts. This is the same day as the annual London Anarchist Bookfair and a day when a large number of anarchists are in the city. We are calling on all anarchists and militant workers to join us in forming a 'Radical Worker's Bloc' on the demonstration, not to beg the trade union bureaucrats to take action, but to argue that we fight the cuts based on the principles of solidarity, direct action, and control of our own struggles.

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contact info

London has two Solidarity Federation locals, North London and South London.
North London
email: northlondonsf@solfed.org.uk
mobile: 07811017091

Address: London Sol Fed, 84b Whitechapel High Street, London, E1 7QX

If you are an education worker in NL, please contact the LEWN from the contact form.

You can get in touch with us via the contact form on this site.

Our leaflets

Stuff Your Boss - North London
A re-written version of SolFed's national Stuff Your Boss leaflet.  Include North London's contact details. (pdf)
Education Struggle are Our Struggles
Generic leaflet that can be given out to education workers, students, parents, or members of the public. (pdf)
J30 Propaganda
(pdf), (pdf), (pdf), (pdf), (pdf), (pdf), (pdf)
SF posters
Three SolFed posters: Just saying Barcode At Work (pdf), (pdf), (pdf)
Workplace Organiser Training Leaflet
Leaflet and generic invitation for the Solidarity Federation workplace organiser training (pdf)
Don't Cross Picket Lines!
Short, generic double-sided A5 leaflet meant to be given out on picket lines or in the run-up to a strike. (pdf)
Office Angels Leaflet
"Office Devils" leaflet handed out at picket lines in support of a cheated agency worker. (pdf)
North London leaflet for March 26th
Obviously, this is a bit late, but the content of the leaflet still holds true.  Please feel free to plagiarise if you think it will be useful.  (pdf)