Swindon cleaners fight back against racist bosses

For the past month cleaners and other staff at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon have been campaigning against racism, bullying, and unfair treatment by their employer Carillion. The campaign has included 12 days of strike action by over 100 workers in the GMB union and numerous demonstrations.

On Saturday, as the workers are set to enter another week of strikes, they held their largest demonstration to date. They were joined by locals from Swindon including the National Union of Teachers, Unite, and Swindon anarchists; as well as groups from around the region such as Bristol Anarchist Federation, Socialist Workers Party and Socialist Party.

The demo was lively as the cleaners and their supporters (totalling around 350 people) marched and danced their way through the streets of Swindon. There was unanimous support for the strikers amongst all the passers by we spoke to, with some showing particular interest in the fact strikes were spreading from the public sector to the private sector.

The dispute began due to the mostly Goan cleaners facing constant bullying and harassment from Carillion, despite 109 individual complaints the company refuses to accept and deal with what the cleaners have described as institutional racism. There are also demands for the right to take their holiday in blocks larger than ten days to allow people to visit their families, and accusations of corruption amongst the Carillion management. Whilst the company seems to think it can ride out the dispute with scab labour bussed in from other sites, the GMB is digging in for a long fight and they have the passion, energy and drive to see this through.

For more information or to get involved in the continuing actions get in touch with Swindon anarchists: swindonanarchists@riseup.net

From Bristol Anarchist Federation

Also reported on BBC News

Ross-On-Wye huntsman arrested for racial abuse

Huntsman Arrested for Racially Abusing Hunt Saboteur

Lee Peters, huntsman for the Ross Harriers, was arrested today for racially abusing a hunt saboteur who was present to try and stop illegal hunting taking place. As the Harriers left their meet at Penny Farthing, Aston Crews, Mr. Peters shouted racist remarks about a saboteur to other members of the hunt. Fortunately he was overheard by an independent witness who called the police.

The arrest comes just weeks after Alan Morgan, until last year huntsman to the Cotswold Vale Farmers Fox hunt, pleaded guilty to racially abusing a hunt saboteur after an incident in late 2010.

Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt saboteurs association, stated: ” Sadly it no longer surprises us at the depths members of the hunting community will sink to. This kind of behaviour is, sadly, all to common and it is just fortunate that on this occasion there was an independent witness. Hunt saboteurs are verbally and physically abused weekly by hunts but such behaviour only spurs us on in our efforts to see an end to illegal hunting.”

All Press enquiries: 07774 279133

Taken from – Hunt Saboteurs Association Press Release January 7th 2012

press@huntsabs.org.uk

http://hsa.enviroweb.org/

What’s that eggy smell? Urgh, it’s the BNP

Hereford BNP members were shown the contempt they deserve as they arrived at the election count on 6th May.

Fascist candidate John Oliver, and local leader Chris Gower, were among the BNP members to be pelted with eggs, glitter bombs and an endless barrage of abuse as they tried to make their way into the count.

Our supporters on the inside reported how John ‘Billy-no-mates’ Oliver never spoke a word all night and his ‘party’ were completely ignored by everyone.

As the results were announced, he stood on the platform like a “silly little schoolboy” clutching his egg-stained jacket and then promptly left without making a speech.

John Oliver held no public meetings and spoke at none of the election hustings, despite invitations. He failed to secure the necessary 5% of votes to save his election deposit. What a joke.

Hereford BNP announce candidate

Attempting to keep up with the local political game, the British National Party have recently announced their candidate for the Hereford and South Herefordshire constituency. Twenty-four year old, self-employed ‘businessman’ (odd-job man and gardener), John Oliver, has been chosen to represent the party locally. However, one thing the BNP failed to announce is that John is in fact not from this area at all – they’re shipping him in  from Newport, Gwent to stand in the election! Considering John announced that his campaign would focus on the local economy and ‘halting the immigration swindle’ there is some irony here.

This choice highlights numerous things about the local BNP rag-tag. Firstly it shows the incompetency of the local branch, not being able to find a single suitable candidate in the county. A bit strange, considering this time last year they were bragging to the local press about how much the party had grown in the area, and how many ‘decent people’ they had attracted. Along with the fact that we haven’t heard a peep from them since the European elections, the evidence suggests that somebody may have been telling porkies.

This decision also shows that they are no different to the rest of the political parties in the area; shipping in politicians to fight the election, who will be quick enough to up sticks and scuttle off to the next place after the people of Herefordshire vote. The Tories moved millionaire and old Etonian, Jesse Norman, into the county following his failed attempt at becoming a representative for Cheltenham. The Liberal Democrats moved in Sarah Carr, who seems to jump on every bandwagon rolling past. Labour have announced Neil Sabharwal, a businessman from London to stand in the North Herefordshire constituency– he didn’t even turn up at a recent election debate in Bromyard, sending one of his campaign team to speak instead!

Obviously a lot of people move around the country, but these political parties seem to move in career politicians, use local people to their advantage (get our vote), and then leave if they don’t succeed. This attitude is damaging and dividing to local people, using constituents as political pawns or cannon fodder, and putting their own personal political careers and agendas before any real desire to represent us or work to our benefit. The BNP are no different, and despite their claims of being an ‘alternative to the old-gang parties’, they offer very little more. As they have shown numerous times across the country, once elected into a position of power, they repeatedly misuse their position and are just as crooked as the rest! Party officials fiddling  funds and countless suspensions from councils across the country are examples of this.So if you are looking for an alternative to the Westminster liars,  cheats and crooks don’t look towards the BNP!

Locals Turn Out To Oppose BNP

Anti-fascist demonstrators rallied on Ross-on-Wye’s Chase Hotel in October to protest against their hosting of the annual BNP ‘Trafalgar Club’ dinner.

Many of the party’s top brass–including leader Nick Griffin–were in attendance at their elite fundraising event.

Up to 100 local people turned out, with only 48 hours notice, to show their disapproval.

The hotel had earlier denied that the BNP were there, claiming they had no bookings all weekend. This turned out to be an out-right lie.

Upon arrival it was clear that the police were taking the protests very seriously, drafting in officers from Welsh constabularies. It has to be asked, how much did this cost the tax payer to protect these fascists? Private security hired by the hotel also stood guard at the entrance.

The protest was lively. When BNP members started to arrive protesters attempted to block their way, although the combined effort of the police and security present meant that this could not be pulled off. Minor scuffles broke out and deputy leader, Simon Darby, had his car pelted with eggs.

Two women repeatedly entered the hotel grounds in an attempt to complain to the hotel manager, before being ejected by BNP security who threatened to set their dogs on them.

Although these actions did not stop the event from taking place, they have shown that the racist politics of the BNP will not be tolerated in Herefordshire.

Recently the BNP have attempted to portray themselves as victims and use ‘freedom of speech’ as a shield against any opposition they face. This facade is as hollow as Nick Griffin’s head. The truth is that if the BNP had their way ‘freedom of speech’ would cease to exist for many millions of people in this country.

The BNP like to portray themselves as the party of the white working class, but their true colours are shown in the ‘Trafalgar Club’. It is a clear example of the elitism and of the class division that lies at the heart of the party–the ones that can afford it attend black-tie dinners in plush hotels, fill the party coffers and get a chance to spend an evening with the party leadership, most of whom live in large country houses, miles away from the people that they claim to represent.*

The BNP have a history of anti-working class policy, from calling for the army to be brought out in the Miners’ Strike of 1984/85, to calling for the revoke of the firefighters right to strike in 2003. In some areas of the country where they are in local government they have consistently voted for public service cuts, and they have been less than crystal clear on expenses claims. In short, they are the same as the rest of the parties in Westminster–a money grabbing, anti-working class party.

*Like Nick Griffin, who lives on a large farm in mid-Wales, whilst ‘representing’ his constituents in north-west England in the European parliament.

New on Heckler TV: ‘Fighting Talk’

Angelic Upstarts frontman Mensi presents a documentary on Anti-Fascist Action, who were active during the 80s and 90s confronting the National Front and BNP.

First-hand accounts are given of the fight against fascism, and why it must be stopped and not simply ignored. A must see.

Visit youtube.com/HecklerTV