The Black Rose Centre is a new social centre project at 268 Verdon Street, established by the Sheffield Social Centre Collective. Like Social Centres in other towns this is an anti-capitalist space for people to get together to discuss ideas and take action for social change. It is also a space to share skills and food, run events and watch films in a non-commercial setting. This social centre is run without leaders (non-hierarchically) with a “safer spaces” policy that rejects racism, sexism, homophobia and all other forms of oppression. The Black Rose Centre is an alcohol and drug free space. We aim to make this space a practical example of what we can achieve when we work together.
If you have any ideas of events you would like to run in the space that fit with the principles of the project (or would like to get involved) please come along to our next general meeting – these happen every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month.
What will be happening at The Black Rose Centre?
-Public meetings and discussion groups
-Bitfixit café, offering computer maintenance and free wi-fi
-Drop-in clinics for people having problems at work
-A radical library
The centre will be open until 10:30 in the evening.
Sheffield Social Centre | Website
Demonstrate outside the Bulgarian Embassy in solidarity with Jock Palfreeman the young Australian man who was set up by the Bulgarian police and criminal justice system after he stepped in to stop an attack on a young Roma in December 2007. Jock Palfreeman was sentenced in December 2007 to 20 years in Bulgaria's notorious Sofia Central Prison.
Meet 11am, Thursday 15th March 2012 at:
186-188 Queen's Gate,
Free Jock - Support site for Jock Palfreeman
One Night in Sofia - Australian documentary explaining the background, trial and imprisonment of Jock Palfreeman.
Forensics expert discusses Jocks' case - Interview with Professor Dave Barclay, forensics expert.
Anarchist Federation flyer for N30 - Symbolic Protest or Fight to Win?
Download flyer: http://www.afed.org.uk/pdfs/N30_2011_flyer_afed.pdf
SYMBOLIC PROTEST OR FIGHT TO WIN?
30th November 2011 is undoubtedly the most widespread strike action for years. With 24 public sector unions all striking on the same day, it is very welcome to see unions finally taking concerted action in this way.
However, it's also worth remembering that it will require much more than one day strikes to be sure of a real victory and today’s action will definitely need to be built on. But whether the trade unions are capable of doing this, especially given the weak, legalistic tactics unions are so entrenched in, is doubtful.
But aren’t the unions’ tactics already having an effect?
True, there has been some movement from the government and employers in response to positive strike ballots but this is just conciliatory noises, a ploy to make the unions look inflexible while obscuring the fact that the government and employers are actually offering us nothing. The trade unions long ago surrendered to anti-union legislation and other oppressive employment laws and have got so used to doing everything ‘through the proper legal channels’ that they are now incapable of properly fighting to win.
But it makes no sense to do everything to the letter of the law because these laws were enacted specifically to hamstring effective industrial action.
If we want to be sure of a real victory, then we’ll need to:
- Intensify strike action in spite of the anti-trade union laws and the reluctance of union high-ups to engage in action beyond anything purely symbolic
- Spread the dispute – it’s essential that we take our struggle beyond the single issue of pensions. The way the unions have mobilised makes it seem as though it is indeed our pensions that are the central concern. This is far from the truth. The point is to show that workers reject the idea that we all have to make ‘sacrifices’ and to do so in solidarity with the whole working class, including unwaged people and service users. We cannot unite with the rest of the working class on the basis of a one-day strike over public sector pensions.
- Unite with other workers – that means broadening our aims to include private sector workers over a range of issues other than pensions.
- Go wildcat - in recent years, a number of disputes have by-passed trade union bureaucrats and we have seen a rise in forms of direct action that defy the unions’ reluctance to defy the law. From wildcat strikes to*workplace occupations, from blockades to technically unlawful secondary action, we have seen workers’ refusal to submit being expressed in ways that the state and the employers have not been able to stifle.
- Establish local strike committees between workers from different unions and workplaces - controlled from below rather than by union bureaucrats above.
- Link up with activists in the UnCut and Occupy movements. It is 12 years since the famous N30 demonstration against the G-20 in Seattle. Since then, the global ‘anti-capitalist’ movement has pushed for fundamental social change. Such newer, international forms of protest should increasingly embrace workers’ interests explicitly too.
What we in the Anarchist Federation are talking about is not only winning this particular dispute but also building an effective, militant and autonomous workers' movement that will set us up for future battles and future victories.
Meanwhile, the best way to guarantee any degree of success over pensions, privatisation, attacks on services, attacks on any section of the working class, is to make this strike as strong and effective as we can, to widen the issues and spread the dispute to other sectors.
So let's get to it and fight to win!
THE ANARCHIST FEDERATION
See you on the 30th!
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