Category Archives: Campaigning

Police attack on Senate House occupation: eyewitness account

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Ruined Lives | The Library | Class: Centre for Labour and Social Studies

This report from the Institute of Employment Rights commissioned byUCATT highlights the problems surrounding the practice of blacklisting within the UK and critically examines the Government’s proposed Regulations to deal with the matter.

The author, Prof Keith Ewing, concludes that the Regulations fall far short of what is required to first outlaw the compiling and use of blacklists and second to compensate those who have been denied work and had their lives ruined by companies using blacklists.

You can find more information and purchase copies of this publication here.

Ruined Lives | The Library | Class: Centre for Labour and Social Studies.

Ruined Lives Cover

Free School And Academies Myth Busters

Myth: Academies and free schools raise standards and outperform local authority schools

The first step in any push for an academy or free school is to brand existing local schools as ‘failing’ – and that is the first myth. The government has continually changed the criteria for what it deems to be ‘underperforming’, with it now encompassing many schools that the system previously considered to be improving well. Nevertheless this is used to give a sense of urgency to the establishment of academies and free schools: the old lie that ‘there is no alternative’.

Yet academies’ and free schools’ results aren’t all that brilliant. According to schools inspectors Ofsted’s 2012 report, half of the sponsor-led academies it inspected were rated only ‘satisfactory’ or below, compared with less than a third of schools overall. Conversely, 69 per cent of all state secondaries were rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’, but only 52 per cent of sponsor-led academies.

One of the first free schools in Britain was Discovery Free School in Crawley, West Sussex, which opened in September 2011. In June it was rated ‘inadequate’ and put on special measures by Ofsted, who wrote, ‘Too many pupils are in danger of leaving the school without being able to read and write properly.’ Ofsted also noted that the school’s managers ‘believe the school is far better than it is’. As of June 2013, Ofsted has visited 11 free schools out of 81 that have opened. Four were rated ‘requires improvement’ or below. None have yet been rated ‘outstanding’, a status held by one in five local authority schools. Continue reading

National demonstration at the Tory Party conference

NHS Leaflet FrontAssemble 11am, Sunday 29 September 2013
Liverpool Road, Manchester M3 4FP
marching to a rally in Whitworth Park

On Sunday 29 September, tens of thousands will be converging on the Tory Party Conference in Manchester. The message will be: save the NHS and stop the cuts. We will be saying loud and clear: austerity is madness, and it is a lie that there is no alternative.

The demonstration is supported by every major trade union and campaigning group and is being organised by the TUC. Click here to download leaflet.

Getting there

People’s Assembly groups, trade union branches and local campaigns will be putting on coaches from across the country. Get in touch with your local groups for information on transport to Manchester.

The People’s Train from London to Manchester

The People’s Assembly has chartered a special train from London Euston to Manchester. The train will leave London at around 07:30 and return at around 18:00 (final times will be sent out by email a couple of weeks before). Book your place here.

National demonstration: No attack on Syria – Stop the War Coalition

National demonstration: No attack on Syria – Stop the War Coalition.

Free Jeremy Hammond

This American Hacktivist Jeremy Hammond is facing decades in prison for whistle blowing the activities of U.S. security company Stratfor. This You Tube clip explains why Stratfor’s activities needed the whistle blowing on their activities and why Hammond’s activities are in the defence of democracy rather than an attack on it. If you can spare a few quid please donate to Hammonds legal defence fund.

Defend the Right To Protest: Justice for Alfie Meadows

Philosophy student Alfie Meadow’s nearly died after being struck with a police baton during the 2010 anti-fees protest. Alfie has since been charged with violent disorder and faces a trial starting on Monday 26th March. If convicted he will go to prison.

This is a picture of Alfie after he perpetrated his violent disorder – well, after the surgery that saved his life, after he was so heinously and violently disorderly.

Perhaps my theory of a Very British Coup isn’t so ‘ironic’ after all? A government that didn’t win an election mounts an unprecedented economic attack on it’s own people while protecting the interests of a wealthy elite. The same government then uses the police to violently confront and suppress popular resistance and puts on trial the victims of police violence as the perpetrators of the violence that caused them life-threatening, traumatic injuries. Sounds positively  Kafkaesque doesn’t it?

Well, Kafka was writing in response to Soviet style state totalitarianism but in the Anglo-American world today it is not the ‘reds under the beds’  that we need to be fearful off, it’s the ‘Freemarketeers in the woodpile’, who have used the Murdochized mass-media to successfully sell 1930’s style economic oppression and Victorian levels of obscene  inequality to most of the population as if they were a self-evident good. It really does beggar belief.

Find out how you can support the campaign to Defend Alfie Meadows here:  http://www.defendtherighttoprotest.org/justice-for-alfie-meadows/