South London Solfed has called an anti-workfare picket of Lewisham Marks & Spencer in solidarity with Boycott Workfare's week of action this Saturday, 7th December at 1pm.
M&S's use of workfare made news in June when they announced 1400 new 'work experience' placements for young unemployed people would be made available. These positions are unpaid. Indeed, M&S have set a benchmark of 2% of their workforce to be unpaid. More info via Boycott Workfare here.
This summer, Jason, a young black man from South London, was assaulted by police officers in an unprompted attack. He had been using a public telephone when officers interrupted him and demanded he submit to a Stop and Search. When he refused, arguing the search was unjustified, officers pepper sprayed him, assaulted him and beat him to the ground. After this attack Jason was charged with obstructing a police officer.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt will make a decision on the future of Lewisham hospital at the beginning of February. If he pushes through the cuts, we need to meet them with a campaign of mass civil disobedience and direct action!
The campaign to save the hospital has done a fantastic job at showing the government how unpopular Kershaw's plans are, but the whole campaign depends upon the government being reasonable and listening to people's concerns. How likely is that?
On January 5th 2013, South London SF hosted a conference to celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the International Workers Association (IWA), to which SF is affiliated. The programme was lively and aimed not only at the history of the IWA but also at the current activities of the sections. As well as participants from across the UK, comrades came from France (CNT-F GAP), Slovakia (Priama Akcia) and Germany (FAU).
The demonstration on Saturday 24th November against the closure of A&E and Maternity wards at Lewisham Hospital drew a huge turnout of between 10,000 and 15,000 people yesterday.
Seasoned older marchers agreed it was the biggest demo in the borough since the New Cross Fire of 1981 or Lewisham’s 1977 mobilisation against the National Front.
The numbers, in pouring rain and on the same day as a demo against the ongoing atrocities in Gaza, showed massive popular feeling and determination to fight the closure.
Ray Woolford is hard to avoid in local politics in Lewisham. He’s a political activist, four-time local election candidate, editor of the Lewisham Campaigner, bankroller of the local self-styled ‘revolutionary socialist’ Lewisham People Before Profit party, owner of Housemartins estate agents and former owner of the now closed Come the Revolution cafe. We want to highlight the risks involved in working with him (and indeed, anyone associated with him), and advise everyone to give him a very wide berth.
On Saturday 8th September, South London Solidarity Federation
continued its campaign against Workfare, a collection of government
"Back to Work" schemes that result in unemployed people being
forced to work unpaid, undermining the conditions of all workers.
The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has been busy of late. Following the Heathrow passports checks scandal of November last year – in which the agency was accused of ‘relaxing’ passports checks on incoming passengers from the European Economic Area, prompting convulsions of anti-immigrant rage across the political and media spectra – the UKBA has invested its time in presenting an image of a robust, strong and uncompromising deportation specialists.
On 15th September SLSF took part in the international day of action in support of Domino’s delivery drivers in Australia.
The drivers 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.
Ruth, Jess and Charlotte recently took up a rented property in Bethnal Green through the Shoreditch branch of Victorstone Property Consultants, paying £3,451 as rent and deposit. After they had only just moved into the house, Victorstone fell out with the landlords over the fees they would take, the landlords decided they wanted to get out of the letting, and changed the locks.
Following enquiries from Solfed, Pizza Hut have confirmed they are no longer using workfare and do not intend to in the future. A spokeperson for Pizza Hut said “none of our restaurants currently take part in the workfare scheme, and haven't for the last six months, and we have no plans to change our hiring practices."
It can be useful to know the law because many landlords don’t follow basic legal requirements. But we also need to remember that the law is not going to be on our side most of the time. We shouldn’t rely on a court system designed to benefit the rich and powerful to make sure we’re treated fairly.