Friday, 16 February 2018

RItzy Cinema Workers Strike

there's a week of strikes and pickets coming up at the
Picturehouse Cinemas in London:

 Picket lines - 
 Saturday 17th: Hackney Picturehouse (17.30-20.30)
 Sunday 18th: Picturehouse Central (17.30-20.30)
Monday 19th: DEMO at Picturehouse Head Office, Orange St
 (11.300-14.30)
Tuesday 20th: East Dulwich  Picturehouse (10.45-14.00)
 Wednesday 21st: Crouch End Picturehouse  (17.30-20.30) 
 Thursday 22nd: Ritzy (17.30-20.30)
 Friday 23rd: Picturehouse Central (17.30-20.30)
Please suppoirt the pickets and don't cross the picket lines

Lords v Commoners Week of Action for Land Rights April 14th to 22nd- Land Justice Network callout

It’s time This is a call out to groups and individuals all over the country who think that the time has come for us to have more control of our land. In order to draw attention to this injustice, we invite you to organise an event in your area between the 14th and 22nd of April. This could be a public meeting or protest with leafleting or maybe a banner drop, occupation or mass trespass. for change Join us and make the call for land justice echo around the country. get in touch via: landjusticeuk@gmail.com www.landjustice.uk 

On Saturday April 14th, the Land Justice Network will be holding a walking tour of two of the wealthiest boroughs in London, yet where many still live in poverty: Westminster, owned largely by the Duke of Westminster, and Kensington and Chelsea, where the Earl of Cadogan owns 93 acres. Here we can see the massive area that has been taken from the people centuries ago, and now home to some of the richest landowners, investors and property speculators. By accident of birth these privileged individuals inherit a life of luxury, and by use of trusts they avoid the inheritance taxes everyone else is required to pay, so enabling the grossly unequal distribution of land to continue. Is it right that the rich can avoid paying their taxes and that their land and wealth continues to grow at the expense of the rest of society? In the countryside, large landowners dominate agriculture, squeezing out small farmers and collective farming. Agriculture workers are poorly paid and struggle to find housing that they can afford. Huge tracts of land are turned over to grouse moors to provide the rich with space for their destructive pasttimes. Our freedom to walk and enjoy nature is largely restricted to a limited network of ‘rights of way’. In the cities, land is also unequally distributed, owned by a combination of traditional aristocrats and their modern-day equivalent: offshore companies and institutional investors. Increasingly homes are now owned by buy-to-let landlords rather than by individual home owners or social landlords. All of this forces up the cost of living for those who have to rent. Tenants have little security with standard tenancies running for just 6 months. There are no controls on rent, so now on average people pay a quarter of their wages to their landlord, while in London its roughly half their salary. Even those who manage to buy their own home rarely own it outright until late in life. Most people are stuck paying a big chunk of their salary on their mortgage every month, with the worry that if they lose their job they could lose their home too. In the last 6 years homelessness has dramatically increased. It is obscene that in this day and age so many people do not have a secure home. This could be achieved if the £9.3 billion a year paid in Housing Benefit to wealthy landlords was instead used to build social housing in all communities. Urban areas also need well managed parks, community gardens and allotments, so that everyone has access to nature and the opportunity to grow food. But increasingly these spaces are being sold off or rented out to private companies for events - so damaging the parks and shutting out local residents for lengthy periods of time. 

Land ownership in Britain is one of the most unequal in the world: 0.06% of the population - 36,000 people - own 50% of the rural land of England & Wales. Source: Country Land & Business Association (CLA) Land inequality is both a rural and urban issue. More than a third of our land is still owned by the aristocracy, whose ancestors seized it during the Norman Conquest. By fencing off land and using violence to exclude people, landowners (the lords) have deprived the rest of us of what should be a shared resource. The vast majority of us, the commoners, own little or nothing. Even most of the land that was once declared common land (for local use) has been taken away from us. Land saved for community use, such as for hospitals, fire stations, school playing fields, is increasingly being sold off and asset stripped by private developers. Land issues lie at the heart of so much inequality and environmental degradation in society today. Landowners are able to control and exploit our natural resources and force the rest of us to be beholden to them for food, shelter and other needs. Despite their huge wealth, our taxes are used to pay landowner £billions in farming subsidies and housing benefit, increasing inequality still further.

In the countryside, large landowners dominate agriculture, squeezing out small farmers and collective farming. Agriculture workers are poorly paid and struggle to find housing that they can afford. Huge tracts of land are turned over to grouse moors to provide the rich with space for their destructive pasttimes. Our freedom to walk and enjoy nature is largely restricted to a limited network of ‘rights of way’. In the cities, land is also unequally distributed, owned by a combination of traditional aristocrats and their modern-day equivalent: offshore companies and institutional investors. Increasingly homes are now owned by buy-to-let landlords rather than by individual home owners or social landlords. All of this forces up the cost of living for those who have to rent. Tenants have little security with standard tenancies running for just 6 months. There are no controls on rent, so now on average people pay a quarter of their wages to their landlord, while in London its roughly half their salary. Even those who manage to buy their own home rarely own it outright until late in life. Most people are stuck paying a big chunk of their salary on their mortgage every month, with the worry that if they lose their job they could lose their home too. In the last 6 years homelessness has dramatically increased. It is obscene that in this day and age so many people do not have a secure home. This could be achieved if the £9.3 billion a year paid in Housing Benefit to wealthy landlords was instead used to build social housing in all communities. Urban areas also need well managed parks, community gardens and allotments, so that everyone has access to nature and the opportunity to grow food. But increasingly these spaces are being sold off or rented out to private companies for events - so damaging the parks and shutting out local residents for lengthy periods of time.



Join us and make the call for land justice echo around the country. get in touch via: landjusticeuk@gmail.com www.landjustice.uk


Solidarity With the Mapuche

Benetton is exploiting huge areas of stolen land in Argentina paid for in the blood of the indigenous Mapuche people. The Mapuche people have faced violence, persecution and imprisonment for not wanting to give up their ancestral homes to logging firms, and the clothing giant Benetton.
In 2017 at a demo blocking Benetton's headquarters, the anarchist Santiago Maldonado disappeared. His body was found two months later near to where he was last seen being chased by the police.
On the day of Santiago's burial, the Mapuche community of Bariloche faced a violent eviction which resulted in the death of Rafael Nahuel, who was shot in the back.
The Mapuche people and Argentinian anarchists have asked for solidarity actions across the world to raise awareness of what is happening, targetting both Benetton and the Argentinian state.
Protests and other actions have already taken place this month in Britain, Greece, Italy, Wales and Germany.

Solidarity With Lorenzo Komboa Ervin

ease consider making a donation to this fundraising campaign for longtime anarchist political prisoner, theorist, and organizer LorenzoKom’boa Ervin. He has been going through a lot as of lately, including financial difficulties, transportation issues, health concerns and the medical expenses that come along with being type-2 diabetic. His life’s work has opened a path forward for anti-capitalist, anti-racist, and anti-patriarchy organizing in geographies where the non-profit and academic industrial complexes have largely co-opted the progressive-to-radical “Left.” He needs to survive. Please consider contributing to this fund."
Fundraiser call:
https://www.gofundme.com/Support-4-Lorenzo-Komboa-Ervin
Lorenzo is an outstanding black anarchist in the USA. Please help this comrade.

Solidarity With Russian Anarchists

Splidarity With Russian Anarchists

"We are currently fundraising to pay the lawyers working on several cases related to the police raids and arrests of anarchists and antifascists in St. Petersburg and Penza, Russia. 
As of now, two people in St. Petersburg and five in Penza are under arrest, while many others have been connected to their cases as witnesses. The raids and repressions are likely to continue. 
The arrestees are charged with part 2 of article 205.4 of the Russian Criminal Code, participation in a Terrorist Organisation, and the entire process has been started at the request of the court in Penza. 
On January 23rd, on his way to Pulkovo Airport, Victor Filinkov was detained by the Federal Security Service (FSB). In order to force a testimony out of him he was beaten, and tortured with electric shocks in the woods. Signs of torture have been confirmed by the Filinkov's lawyer and members of the Public Monitoring Commission (ONK) who have visited him in the pre-trial detention center. Filinkov is currently in pre-trial detention/remand for the next two months. 
On January 25th the FSB raided Igor Shishkin's apartment. After the raid neither his lawyer, nor members of Public Monitoring Commission were able to find Igor for more than a day. On January 27th Igor was brought to a session in court with clear signs of beating. He is currently in pre-trial detention/remand for the next two months. Journalists were not allowed to attend the hearing and furthermore two of them were arrested. 
Several witnesses were also tortured: Ilya Kapustin was beaten up and tortured with electric shocks while police demanded he give testimony that some of his acquantances are up to "something dangerous." Medical services later recorded numerous traces of stun gun usage. 
In Penza, arrests began in October 2017. Local FSB officers have arrested six people, five of whom are currently in pre-trial detention. All of those arrested were brutally tortured. The events in Penza are described in detail in this article.
Legal help is needed for prisoners and witnesses, as their numbers are constantly increasing. It is early to speak about an exact amount of money, but it will cost at least 200 thousand rubles (around 3000 Euros/3500 USD) to pay for lawyers' fees in the next months.  

Anarchist Black Cross St.Petersburg

DETAILS FOR TRANSACTIONS TO SUPPORT ARRESTED

  • PayPal: abc-msk@riseup.net ABC Moscow 
    In case you want to support a particular prisoner, add a note about that. In case you want to donate to St. Petersburg and Penza case, write a note For "St. Petersburg and Penza". We recommend to send euros or dollars, as other currencies are automatically converted to euro according to PayPal rates.
  • Yandex-wallet of Anarchist Black Cross St. Petersburg  41001160378989
  • Bitcoin
    1EKGZT2iMjNKHz8oVt7svXpUdcPAXkRBAH
  • Litecoin
    LNZK1uyER7Kz9nmiL6mbm9AzDM5Z6CNxVu
  • Etherium
    0x1deb54058a69fcc443db2bf9562df61f974b16f7
  • Monero
    4BrL51JCc9NGQ71kWhnYoDRffsDZy7m1HUU7MRU4nUMXAHNFBEJhkTZV9HdaL4gfuNBxLPc3BeMkLGaPbF5vWtANQn4wNWChXhQ8vao8MA
  • Zcash
    t1dX9Rpupi77erqEbdef3T353pvfTp9SAt1
If you need another way to transfer money/make a donation please contact Anarchist Black Cross Moscow:
All materials compiled on these cases can be found below: 
Case of anti-fascists of St. Petersburg and Penza

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

In Days of Old

 A leaflet  from October 1896 for a meeting of London Anarchist Communists to 'bid farewell to Louise Michel and Pietro Gori on their departure to America on a lecturing tour' (. The meeting at the Club & Institute Union Hall in Holborn also featured the prominent anarchists Errico Malatesta and Sebastian Faure, as well as Tom Mann  one of the leaders of the 1889 dock strike in London.

Abolish Universal Credit!

ABOLISH UNIVERSAL CREDIT
The May government is bringing in Universal Credit (UC) by stages. It replaces Job Seekers Allowance, Income Support, ESA, Housing Benefit, Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits. At the moment there are 590,000 people on Universal Credit in England and Wales, with around 50,000 new claims each month.
The Tories have been planning this since the 2010 Election and have been slowly introducing Universal Credit since 2013
Lies
·        The Tories say it will encourage more people back to work
·        It will be more efficient than previous benefits
·        It will improve people’s lives and raise their incomes

Facts
·        More people back to work?- in minimum wage, zero hour contract or other unreliable jobs!
·        More efficient? You can only apply for Universal Credit online, and only get messages about UC online. But many don’t have the internet at home, and with the closing of many public libraries with free internet access, many a will be forced to pay to use a cybercafé.  Already, people have to wait six weeks or longer to receive their first UC payment. This causes hardship to many who have no savings to rely on.

Billions taken from the unemployed, the disabled, the needy

·        When fully implemented millions will be worse off. What this is really about is cutting the Social security
·        Housing subsidy will be cut creating more homeless
·        Disability elements cut or abolished completely
·        Some rates lower than current benefit rates
·        Support for child care massively cut
·        Easier sanctioning forcing people off UC to live on nothing
·        UC will be time-limited

Facts
·        Many have already turned to Citizens Advice already- one in ten of those already claiming UC
·        The six weeks already means referrals to food banks, many getting in arrears with their rent, and evictions. One foodbank has said that its referrals have doubled. Two south London boroughs have said that half of the claimants there have gone into further debt as a result.
·        “While the Universal Credit will in many cases increase the financial incentive for one person in couple households to move into some form of employment, incentives for many second earners will be weakened in comparison to the current situation…This will particularly affect women as they are more likely to be the second earners in households and they usually earn less than men and do more informal caring work. Worryingly, the Government finds ‘that any such risk of decreased work incentives for women in couples is justified.’ … this could mark the start of a return to a ‘male breadwinner model’ in which men do paid work and women stay at home to look after children and other dependants.” (Women’s Budget Group)

The Way Forward

Universal Credit could be the equivalent of the Poll Tax for the May regime. The Thatcher government’s very unpopular Poll Tax resulted in mass non-payment, riots and the eventual resignation of Thatcher.

This government is weak and fragile and mass resistance could topple it. But we have to turn the despair at worsening conditions into a positive anger and a determination to resist. But don’t rely on the Labour Party to help. All they can offer is not abolition of UC but a tinkering with it.

Already the Tories have been forced to climb down over the 55p a minute Universal Credit helpline charge. As well as that, twelve back bench Tory MPs are worried about a Poll Tax style scenario and about their seats and asked the Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke to pause the roll out back in September 2017.

The message has to be NO! We won’t pay for your crisis!


London Anarchist Communists

Text of leaflet for Universal Credit this Saturday Jan 27th at 1pm, Trafalgar Square