Press Release: Liverpool IWW Calls For Demonstration Against Fines for the Homeless

Liverpool IWW

homelessnessLiverpool IWW condemns the council’s proposed “Public Space Protection Order, under which the homeless could be fined up to £1,000 for the ‘crime’ of begging. We call on the people of Liverpool to show their opposition, by demonstrating at St Luke’s bombed out church a week on Saturday (14th November) from 12 noon, and signing the petition, which already had nearly 7,000 signatures at the time of going to press.

It is shocking that we find ourselves in a position where we need to argue for the right of homeless people not to be fined for their poverty, but thanks to greedy mayor Joe Anderson this is exactly the situation we are in. No-one begs for the fun of it. People beg out of desperation, because our society has badly let them down. £1,000 would be a huge amount of money for any working class…

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There will be no unpaid workers at the Co-op!

Brilliant news from Dorset!

Industrial Workers of the World Dorset

end-unpaid-work_0Dorset IWW General Members’ Branch is pleased to announce that our dispute with a Bournemouth outlet of the Co-operative has been settled amicably. We have a verbal assurance from local management who are USDAW members, that they have no wish to exploit unpaid workers on their premises, and that their connection with ‘Prospects’ has been severed. We congratulate them on their principled decision and affirm our commitment to defeat the government’s work programme and end unpaid labour.

Nationally however, the situation is less clear; we have had sight of a Co-op internal document that sets out the parameters of their unpaid work experience programme. Whilst it insists that placements must be voluntary and offer meaningful experience, we note that vulnerable adults are being conscripted who may not be fully aware of their rights. It’s highly likely some of them will not be able to make an informed decision and/or will…

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Liverpool Women’s Hospital Campaign Asks For Help

JS60938086The campaign to save the Liverpool Women’s hospital is moving is up a step and we need your help. There are at least three strands to this consultation.

1. The Hospital Trust and the National Health Service bodies such as Monitor

2. The Clinical Commissioning Group in Liverpool (this is the umbrella group that makes NHS policy in Liverpool)

3. Liverpool City Council

Each set of organisations has been having consultation exercises. Liverpool Council’s is drawing to its close. Oddly two roadshows from the Council on the issue were no shows. We turned up to give our views but those supposed to listen didn’t bother to appear.

Please help us get the campaign views across. We are doing two different contributions; one is about the health needs of Women in the area and the other is about the Hospital itself. We are starting with the health needs of women.

Feel free to copy or alter it and submit it yourself to Liverpool City Council or suggest changes and additions.

The Health Care Women in Liverpool and Neighbouring Areas Need in the 21st century

A response to consultations.

When we started the Save Liverpool Women’s hospital campaign we started with a simple call “To demand full public funding to allow Liverpool Women’s Hospital to thrive, for all our sisters, mothers, daughters and babies. No privatisation or cuts”

This campaign is taking place at a very difficult time for the NHS and there are many cases to be made about the nature of the changes to the NHS. Poverty in this city is growing especially amongst families with young children. All of these are important issues

However, the future of Liverpool Women’s Hospital is under discussion. When we searched the papers there was little in the documentation that specifically looked at women’s health. This is one contribution to that aspect of the discussion. After people have had the chance to comment then this document will be taken to the Clinical Commissioning Group, a key player in plans for the future of Liverpool hospitals.

Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital campaign call for the following

  • That babies and children are provided with good NHS care. That gender stereotypes are countered.

We say that the teenage women of Liverpool and the area served by the women’s hospital need:

  • Clear and effective education in emotional and sexual relationships, on the biological and the emotional elements in relationships, on how to recognise and end abusive relationships, and how to develop independence and self-esteem.
  • Full and appropriate education on breast feeding.
  • Safe, effective, contraception without threat to our fertility, and with full information on all available methods and services available to all.
  • Recognition that poverty damages young women and the babies they may later bear.
  • Recognition that growing up needing food banks is bad for each generation.
  • Recognition of the particular needs of care leavers, of survivors of abuse and of those with chronic illnesses.
  • Respect for the cultural needs of all young women in Liverpool, gay, straight and trans, of every race and nationality and every religion.
  • Access to healthy lifestyles.
  • Speedy access to good mental health services.
  • Good quality comprehensive NHS sexual health services.
  • A determined drive to reduce the number of women who are burdened with additional health issues during pregnancy.
  • Access to opportunities to train as doctors, midwives, nurses and other health professionals so our own community can share the challenge of health care for the future.
  • Young men to be educated about their own physical and emotional sexuality and the requirements of healthy respectful relationships and healthy enduring fatherhood.

For women of child-bearing age

  • Access to good maternity care free at the point of need for every woman. That this be within the NHS which allows for excellent staff training and education, good quality monitoring of the service and access to latest research.
  • That maternity need be as relaxed and non-medicalised as possible
  • That there is choice of home and hospital births, with good levels of staffing including emergency backup services for home births.
  • That women’s choices are respected; that information is shared respectfully. That choices are respected.
  • Support for teen mums ( and dads) is developed
  • Support for pre and post-natal depression be improved both clinically and socially.
  • That the 60% of births in the Liverpool Women’s that have additional health issues are well supported before pregnancy, during pregnancy, during the birth and in early motherhood
  • That the premises of Liverpool women’s hospital are protected and developed without Privatisation
  • That fertility services be available to all.
  • That same sex couples have fertility support.
  • That good quality contraception continues to be available.

For mothers and babies

That mothers should make the choice between hospital or home births. That the increase in home births should be adequately supported by additional ambulance services and good flying squad care, funded to allow these service to work even in the depths of winter crises

  • Babies and mothers need each other. All services should respect and support that bond and help develop wider family bonds where necessary. Mothers and babies should be kept close as much as possible
  • Breast feeding should be supported and developed with specialist midwives and community support.
  • Those mothers who choose not to or are not able to breast feed be supported in appropriate bottle feeding.
  • That methods of support for new mothers be developed across the area, in consultation with mothers and grandmothers.
  • That employers are educated in the need for good maternity leave provision.

For older women

That good quality care for the menopause is available.

We need recognition of the stresses and strains that sandwich generation women face and their needs for care whilst caring.

That care for very elderly women is fully funded without discrimination recognising that independent life at times depends on timely medical and surgical interventions.

For women who are ill

That woman focused treatment, care and research is developed.

Open letter to Families Fighting for Justice

Liverpool IWW

Dear Families Fighting For Justice,

This is an open letter to your organisation, which has been made public on the website of Liverpool Industrial Workers of the World, a trade union.

It has come to our attention that your charity makes heavy use of two of the government’s so-called ‘workfare’ programmes – the Mandatory Work Activity and the Community Work Placement schemes. As you will be aware, these schemes compel people to work for you for free over a period of six months, on pain of likely losing their benefits – and therefore their means of supporting themselves – if they refuse, or often if they are just late etc. This cruel system has contributed to many suicides nationally, as well people simply wasting away from malnutrition.

We understand that your organisation does important work, which would otherwise go undone if you were not in operation. It is crucial that…

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Political Issues Remain After White Man March Sent Packing in Liverpool


Fascists ended up with egg on their face in the left luggage section of Lime Street Station.

The build-up to the White Man March had been intense. As soon as the event was announced by the fascist National Action a few months back, various groups on the Liverpool and national left began planning their response. In Liverpool, this process was complicated by the continuing and horrific presence of activists who had ties to both camps, but that’s a matter for another day.

In the last week or so, Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson threw petrol on the flames when he published a letter purportedly from National Action, which promised “only bullets will stop us”. Though NA claimed the letter was the work of a provocateur, Anderson used it to push for an increase in his own powers. On the Liverpool Labour blog – widely quoted in the Liverpool Echo – Anderson called for national politicians to “reverse the current situation where I, as the highest ranking democratically-elected official in my city, have no power to represent my community and take steps to safeguard my communities – only the Home Secretary does.”

In other words, Anderson – who by his own confession has killed many with his cuts to local services – wants the power to decided what is and what is not “on the wing of any normal political ideology”, and therefore what is to be granted the liberal democratic right to protest. It would be a disaster if Anderson were to be granted this power, as it would no doubt be used against those who oppose austerity before too long.

Yesterday’s result – thousands of working class activists overwhelming both police and fascists to force the cancellation of the march – is infinitely preferable to an anti-working class mayor using the police to ban the march. The ‘Battle of Lime Street’, as it is already being called, it possibly the Liverpool left’s greatest achievement in a generation. Though he was forced to concede that people power won the day, Anderson and all capitalist politicians will be wary of a force that made them irrelevant for one day, and which showed the potential to make them irrelevant for all time.

Houston IWW wins first campaign; a multi-worker fight against a remodeling contractor

Houston General Defense Committee-IWW

For context to this campaign, check out this post.

We won!!

The fight against Felipe Serna has concluded.  Serna wrote a check to Hector, Pancho, and Mauricio which was promptly cashed this morning.

After our letter delivery, folks will recall that we organized a phone blast of The Growing Tree daycare and Felipe’s cell.  It was very effective; his phone didn’t stop ringing and he was in tears begging for mercy.  But when the calls ceased, his verbal commitment to settling turned into indignation as he failed to follow through and after a few days texted us an image of his “lawyer’s” business card, the second attorney he had threatened us with.

So we got indignant too and last night covered the surrounding neighborhood of The Growing Tree with “Wanted for Wage Theft” posters with his image prominently on the front.  We made sure to leave one on the…

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Your Class Needs You!

Liverpool IWW


About twenty people met in Liverpool Central Library’s meeting room 2 last night, as part of IWW national secretary Dave Pike’s speaking tour of England, Scotland and Wales. Dave’s presentation – called ‘Your Class Needs You’ – attracted a mixture of members, prospective new wobblies (or ‘probblies’ in IWW lingo) and people who were just curious what the IWW they knew from tales of Joe Hill were up to nearly a century after his murder.

It was a lot less eventful than the last time Liverpool IWW met on William Brown Street. In 1921, scouse wobblies led by the writer George Garrett occupied the front of the Walker Art Gallery, and were met with a full scale police riot.

For all us IWW members love the old stories, this was evening very much focused on the IWW of today, and how a new generation of relatively young, casualised workers…

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Another win against workfare

Congratulations to comrades in North London.

Cautiously pessimistic

Haringey Solidarity Group occupying a North London Hospice shop against workfare

Some good news from North London, as Haringey Solidarity Group report that their nine-month campaign against workfare at North London Hospice has ended in victory. In their own words:


Following 9 months of protest from Haringey Solidarity Group, North London Hospice has agreed to stop taking part in the government’s workfare scheme. The charity, which has been using the six-month forced, unpaid “Community Work Placements” to staff its charity shops, has agreed to replace all forced labour with the work of volunteers. Running 18 shops in North London and a major supplier of Community Work Placements, the charity’s pledge to pull out will have a significant impact on the scheme’s viability in Haringey.

Under Community Work Placements any jobseeker who hasn’t secured employment for two years can be forced to work for free for six months or be sanctioned – losing their…

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Direct action once again beats the bosses

Direct action wins a Canary Wharf construction worker his job back, despite High Court injunction banning the protest. This is interesting at a time when the government is seeking to make some strike action illegal.

Cautiously pessimistic

Construction workers from Teesside supporting the picket

After the Monday morning picket against the victimisation of a shop steward at Canary Wharf – a picket that defied a high court injuction banning the protest – the bosses at electrical contractor Phoenix have now caved in and reinstated the sacked worker. As reported on the Blacklist Support Group facebook page:

Sacked unite steward Graham re-employed following meeting between Unite FTO Guy Langston and Phoenix MD Lee Compton.

Despite the threats of arrest and a High Court injunction, direct action once again beats the bosses. Rest of the trade union movement, please take notice. Ongoing protests are now suspended while Unite has ongoing negotiations about direct employment.

Many thanks to all those who supported Graham and all the construction workers who refused to cross the picket line.”

Graham himself commented:

“I would like to say a massive ‘Thank You’ to all those who came down to…

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