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Anti-Fascist Network Southern regional conference

The Anti-Fascist Network will be hosting a Southern Regional Conference in Reading on the 10th September. There will be workshops, talks, films, stalls with merch and books, a creche and a benefit gig/after party. More information, including a full workshop timetable, to be announced - check the AFN website for updates.

The conference will be in central Reading (location to be announced nearer the time), and doors will be at midday. There will also be an antifascist benefit gig in the evening. If you need help with travel advice and accessability please contact your closest AFN group or berksantifa[AT]riseup[DOT]net.

Anti-workfare campaign in Thames Valley

The anti-workfare campaign is building up in Reading. Over the summer, SF members organised ad hoc pickets with local IWW and AF members. We decided to build up the basis of these joint efforts through coordinated planned actions. We held an initial meeting in August at which we decided to follow SF’s national target and to build our campaign with claimants. So we are aiming to alternate actions outside Poundland and JobCentrePlus.
Three weeks ago, two of us distributed propaganda on the rights of claimants in relation to the workfare schemes outside JobCentre. It became obvious that many of them did not know about it yet. Last Saturday, we held the first picket outside Poundland, which was met with overwhelming sympathy for the campaign from workers and members of the public alike.

Anti workfare protest in Reading against Costa Coffee and support for London IWW cleaners against John Lewis

At 12pm on Sunday 15th July, SolFed members dragged themselves out of bed to join forces with local AFed and IWW activists to extend the anti-workfare campaign to the Costa coffee chain. A cup of coffee from the independent coffee shop next door helped us get ready for the picket. We managed to hand out around 150 leaflets, and, as before, we felt that people were generally very sympathetic to our action (apart perhaps a traditional Catholic, (French) National Front voter).

Reading Pizza Hut targetted by SolFed and the IWW in anti-workfare campaign

In perhaps the greatest team-up since The Avengers (Emma Peel and John Steed, not that comic book superhero rubbish) members of SolFed and the IWW organised a protest and leafleting of Pizza Hut in Oxford Road, Reading, tonight at 5-30, fighting against thunder, lightning and torrential rain to make the case against workfare. Joined by members of TUC unions they leafleted the local community and found many sympathetic voices from people who had themselves been threatened with the joys of workfare. The Pizza Hut staff were happy to come and talk to us and understood why we were there and we encouraged them to send a message to their regional office to abandon the workfare scheme. They obliged by faxing one of our leaflets through to their regional officer.

After H&B - Oxford Day of Action against Workfare

   On Saturday the 7th of July Thames Valley Solidarity Federation joined a host of other groups in a day of action against workfare in Oxford to mark the start of the Week of Action.

   Like many other groups on the day, we began with the dilemma of who to target. Holland & Barrett had surrendered the previous week and there were so many exploiters to choose from. Still, all were in agreement that it was a fine dilemma to have!

Thames Valley's New Banner

Thames Valley Banner

 

Introducing the new Thames Valley SolFed banner!

Designed and manufactured by a local artist and banner maker on behalf of the local, the new banner will be seen out and about at SF events and actions in the Thames Valley area. It will also be joining us, along with the banners of our fellow locals, on the Radical Workers' Bloc at the Tolpuddle March on the 15th.

Hopefully the banner will be a great asset in terms of representing Thames Valley Solfed, and will hopefully add to our presence in Thames Valley!

19th of May – Anti-Workfare Pickets in Reading and Oxford

On the 19th of May Thames Valley SolFed coordinated a day of action against Holland & Barrett as part of the national SF anti-workfare campaign. Pickets were held in both Reading & Oxford.

Thames Valley SolFed (Reading) Vs Office Angels: Round Three - TKO

On Friday 13th May Thames Valley (Reading) SolFed returned to the local Office Angels in support of Dan’s wage claim. By now people had begun to recognise us and in general the public were taking our leaflets quite happily. At 5-45 some of the staff from Office Angels came down and in contrast to the previous night's scuffle the mood was light-hearted. The man from the office who had sought to grab our leaflets came to apologise and tell us how much he respected our actions in support of Dan.

Thames Valley SolFed (Reading) Vs Office Angels: Rounds 1 and 2

On Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th May two members of the Thames Valley SolFed local leafleted outside the Reading branch of Office Angels as part of the nationwide campaign against the firm’s dodgy practices. Round one of the leafleting started on Wednesday at 9 am and included an imaginative re-working of the Office Angel's logo on the door of their building. On both days members of the public showed interest and often support for the campaign with at least 6 people saying that they would phone Office Angels to complain about their behaviour.

Reading Anti-Cuts March

On Saturday 15th January around 50 people, including members of the fledgling Thames Valley local, marched across Reading from the Royal Berkshire Hospital to the Civic Centre to register their opposition to the government’s cuts in public services.

Leafleting the public along the way the turnout was double the number that attended the previous protest and culminated in a series of speeches outside the civic centre. Spokespeople from the Reading Save Our Services group, Unison, the Reading Trades Council, a Labour Party councillor and a councillor for the Green Party all took part. All made clear how the proposed cuts, both locally and nationally, would impact hardest on the poorest and most vulnerable members of the community, from cuts in services for children to the loss of up to 600 jobs at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

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