Welcome to the page of Newcastle SolFed, the local group based in Newcastle. We also have members in North Tyneside, Gateshead and Sunderland. Most of our activity isn't publicised on these pages - much of which may deal with case work and so requires privacy. We hope to be able to give you an insight to the type of work we are engaged with. Please continue to Who We Are for more about our Local.
Newcastle Solidarity Federation
Newcastle SolFed is a diverse group of workers, students and unemployed. We believe in self-organisation, direct action and making our own decisions - this is why we formed our Local branch of SolFed.
Being a Local in Solidarity Federation means we are part of the International Workers Association, and as you can see by the news items we post, we are active in supporting international struggles as well as local. Some of our solidarity actions in and around Newcastle have seen people from other countries join in our pickets.
Please continue to What We Do for a better look at our activity.
Newcastle is a new Local within SolFed. Much of our work currently focuses on building new fighting unions as part the SolFed federation in the North East.
We believe in direct action - we aren't professional legal advisors and we aren't a charity. People who have approached us know that they must play an active role in their own struggle - we are there to help, not to provide a free service.
In our short existence, we have organised public meetings, pickets in support of workers in conflict, fought our own struggles and have given solid, practical advice to an increasing number of enquiries. We do not profess to have all the answers, we believe the best solutions can come from the workers themselves who are in conflict - this is the basis as to why we are different to other unions. We do not lead workplace struggles - even when our own members are in this situation. Given that SolFed uses direct action - action carried out and controlled by those in struggle, as opposed to using intermediaries and representatives - we believe the support we offer is more practical and democratic than that of reformist TUC unions.
We aim to build enough members to create small, fighting unions based around our Local and are keen to meet with other workers who are interested in organising, as well as continuing social actions - community support and educational work. If you or anyone you know needs support and wants to play an active role in their own fight-back, whether working, studying or unemployed, then why not give us a call?
Newcastle Local have launched a new campaign to both highlight workers rights at work and to fight alongside those who seek our help. We make no bones, our aim is to create small fighting workplace unions attached to our Local - but in order to find our feet and gain membership and experience, we feel this campaign is our best way forward.
If you want to be part of our campaign or if your boss owes you money - then why not contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org - or visit our new website at:
Its early days for Newcastle Local and things are moving very quickly. Why not give us a shout and be part of our anarchosyndicalist fightback!
Newcastle SolFed were out again today highlighting the use of unpaid labout under the Governments controversial Workfare Scheme. High street chain Marks and Spencers was again targetted by Newcastle SolFed members and as ever there was a positive response from the public.
Newcastle SolFed found the magic picket attendence today as they continue putting the pressure on Poundland. Poundland are becoming notorious for using and abusing unemployed workers. Using the unemployed as free labour is not only a disgrace in itself, it threatens those in full time or part work jobs in the shop.
We can honestly say that today we were able to really approach people and explain the problem with the government workfare scheme. Previously we have held reasonably large pickets that may have been daunting for shoppers, some times a dozen or more. So what do you know? Small is the new big!
Look out for the next Newcastle SolFed, picket at a piss-taking shop near you!
As part of the week of action against the government workfare and affiliated schemes, Newcastle targeted upmarket retail chain, Marks and Spencer. M&S seek to profit to the tune of 1 million pounds using its own workfare scheme. While M&S attempt to put a worthy spin on its free labour, only a small percentage of people find work because of workfare. Not only is workfare an attack on unemployed workers but threaten the positions of those in work, potentially pitting worker against worker. Marks and Spencer's were no different to all the pickets Newcastle SolFed has taken part in, 15 minutes in sending out their security guard to try and harass us - to no avail. What made it different was people really stopped and took time to listen to what the picket was about.
Freedom, the 125 Year old anarchist bookshop was fire-bombed on February 1st.
Over 100 people came forward to carry out emergency repairs that saw the shop reopen 3 days later.
FREEDOM NEEDS OUR HELP AND SOLIDARITY!
Newcastle Solidarity Federation are proud to present a benefit knees-up at Pride Café! Please come along to show your support.
All proceeds will be given to Freedom Bookshop.
Full line up of bands and DJ's (and start time) TBA.
24 Scotswood Road, NE4 7JB Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Managed to cram in another Poundland picket before the nationwide week of action against workfare and our CALLING ALL FREEDOM LOVERS! A benefit extravaganza for Freedom Bookshop event on the 23th!
Positive responses from those on the streets as always, many thanks to everyone who came down to help out. Watch out for a new banner - this one is getting rather tatty (poor old thing!)
Lets keep it up!
A great turn out again to all that turned out for today's anti-workfare picket at the Clayton Street branch of Poundland - a big thank you and well done to all that took part. See you all next time!
Anyone wishing to help in SolFed's anti-workfare campaign should get in touch via the contact page (top left)
Newcastle SolFed continues its ongoing work against the Governments controversial Workfare Scheme. At the moment our focus is targeting one of its biggest beneficiaries, the Poundland chain of of high street stores. There was a large turnout for the demo, our numbers bolstered by local anarchist and anti cuts groups. As ever the support from the public was overwhelmingly sympathtic, with the anger toward the scheme palpable. Newcastle SolFed will continue organising against Workfare and anyone interested in getting involved please email us.
Over last year Newcastle SolFed members have been shifting thousands of the SolFeds national paper, Catalyst at metros, bus and train stations, as people head to or from work. Our regular street presence has been well received by passing commuters, with regulars stopping to chat. Newcastle will continue to build on their their high profile street pitches for 2013.
Friday 7th of September saw a picket of the Gateshead branch of Poundland, organised by Newcastle Solidarity Federation, against the governments highly controversial workfare scheme. Poundland seek to profit from the exploitation of what is essentially forced free labour.
Following the SolFed's successful campaign against Holland and Barretts involvement in workfare and joined by members of the Anarchist Federation and others, the demo saw massive levels of public support, with car horns being pipped and hundreds of leaflets handed out.
This is a highly loathed and highly exploitative scheme, work will continue until workfare is consigned to the dustbin.
Poundland has been targeted after it announced that it is re-launching its participation in the Workfare scheme following a recent High Court ruling in its favour. The campaign comes on the back of successful action by the Solidarity Federation and other groups and individuals against Holland and Barrett who were forced to pull out of the various schemes. We expect to keep up the same levels of pressure against Poundland in the coming weeks and months.
Newcastle Solfed will be picketing the Gateshead highstreet branch of Poundland.
232-240 High Street, Town Centre, Gateshead, NE8 1AQ
Friday 7th September 16:00
Members of SolFed in the North East are forming a local based in Newcastle. We are widespread across the region and stretch as far as Teeside - so if you live in anywhere in the North East and want to get involved, please give us a shout!