This wordpress blog has been retired. We’re instead using our page on the new SolFed national website at www.solfed.org.uk/?q=local/brighton – please check it out and update your bookmarks!
Way back in the midst of time (or the mid 19th century to be precise) was an organisation called the first International Working Mens Association – or First International for short, which declared that “the emancipation of the working class is the task of the workers themselves”. We would do well to remember those words as we struggle against austerity, as there’s no shortage of would-be vanguards vying to substitute themselves for mass collective action. Read more…
Neoliberal ideology is a crock of shit and everyone left of Labour knows it. Critics have pointed out its flawed assumptions regarding perfect competition, consumer access to information, human nature and a host of other factors that nowhere apply in the real world. They’ve also pointed out that where neoliberal policies have been applied, the results have often been disastrous and rarely matched the promised outcomes of prosperity for the rich and trickle down for the rich. One famous example was the so-called J-curve model for transitioning the former USSR to capitalism. The ‘J’, a small downswing in transition followed by a long upswing when neoliberal policies worked their magic, turned into something more resembling an ‘L’, plunging millions into worse poverty than before.
And then there’s the cuts. Read more…
With workers facing across-the-board cutbacks, members of Brighton SolFed today hit the streets to talk to retail staff about their rights. After the UKUncut protests have shifted attention to the multi-million pound tax dodging of several high street names, we went to talk to retail workers, encouraging them to get organised to prevent bosses cutting costs by cutting their conditions. We’ll be back again in a couple of weeks to keep the issue topical, and keep local bosses on notice that attacks on workers’ conditions won’t go unnoticed!
You can download a copy of SolFed’s basic workplace rights leaflet, ‘ the Stuff Your Boss doesn’t want you to know’ here.
The Millbank riot and some of the subsequent student protests have been widely condemned in the media as the actions of a ‘violent minority’. NUS president Aaron Porter infamously described the riot as ‘despicable’. Property destruction, we were told, undermined the message of the NUS’ peaceful protest. This was the behaviour of ‘anarchists’, outsiders hijacking what would otherwise be respectable political protest in a liberal democracy. But liberals would do well to reflect on their own glass house before casting such rhetorical stones. Read more…
Thousands of students walked out, 2500-3000 people at the peak; good mood on the demo, good reception, lots of conversation with passers-by; the official end-point was ignored; 1500 people went to try and occupy the Town Hall, were kettled there, broke out; then 500 of them went to occupy vodafone, looted Poundland, blocked roads, attacked a police station, then got dispersed and kettled on the sea-front. The Brighton Student Walkout blog is updating an already-detailed account of the day here.
About 200 students went into occupation an hour ago at Sussex University. A statement is being drawn up at the moment. Messages of support can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a student at sussex or brighton please join the occupation in Fulton building on Sussex Campus and bring along your friends, food, drink, sleeping equipment etc…
From a story in the Argus, the local paper:
A student who only wanted to be known as Tom, said: “About 200 of us have just started an occupation in a lecture theatre on campus in protest at the proposals to cut tuition fees and the cuts to education funding.
“The occupation is calling for students in universities and colleges across the country to follow our lead. People are discussing how long we will stay here at the moment.”
The 22-year-old added that the occupation had been a spontaneous decision and that people had been inspired by the protest in London last week.
He said: “It has brought new energy to our campaign. The support of our Wednesday protest has been carried forward to our campus.”
He said they had decided to occupy the Fulton building because it was new and expensive.
He said: “It opened at the same time they made more than 100 lecturers redundant. We are now reclaiming this space.”