As the TUC plan another outdated and ineffectual A to B marching protest on March 26th, UK Uncut are  showing the way forward for people power.

Occupy for the Alternative will see UK Uncut ‘take over Oxford Street’. As they say on their website:

Until now we have been fighting a phoney war. On March 23rd George Osborne announces his budget and the real battle begins. We don’t know the exact details of the budget yet, but what’s certain is that it won’t be a blueprint for any mythical Big Society. Instead, it’ll be a recipe for a society that is smaller, colder and crueller.

But there is an alternative. And on March 26th the fight back begins properly, with hundreds of thousands of people descending on London to join the TUC’s massive March For The Alternative. UK Uncut will be joining the march, but we’ll also be bringing a little something of our own to the party.

Over the last five months, thousands of UK Uncut volunteers across the country have been hitting the high streets to show that there are alternatives. Collect the tax dodged by the super rich and make the banks pay for the crisis they caused.

On March 26th, just after the huge march has reached its final destination, we’re going to be holding Occupy For the Alternative, a massive simultaneous shut down of banks and tax dodgers on London’s Oxford Street.

From 2pm flash mobs, bail-ins and occupations will shut down the dozens of banks and tax dodgers along the length of Europe’s biggest shopping street. As normal, it’s up to you to make this happen. The map of Oxford Street is on the website – it’s up to you to fill it with pins. If you have organized or taken part in an action in Liverpool or Glasgow or Brighton or anywhere else, why not bring your skills and your friends to the capital for the day? This is our chance to converge from across the country to take action together.

If you’re up for organizing an action, adopt one of the many targets on Oxford Street, get some people together, list the action on the website and make sure you’re ready for the 26th.

Around the world social networking is becoming the most effective weapon for social justice. All power to King – Flash – Mob!

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This man was blinded when a water cannon was used against protesters in Stuttgart.

Now the British Home Secretary, Theresa May, is calling for the use water cannons against British protesters (i.e. students… i.e. children and young adults – who may be quite partial to their eyesite thank you vey much).

The Met (not exactly well known for their ability to show restraint… JUSTICE FOR IAN TOMLINSON, ALFIE MEADOWS & JEAN CHARLES DE MENEZES!, to name but a few) has been conducting trials with water cannons and already has officers trained in the use of baton rounds – because plastic bullets have never harmed anyone, have they? (Ok, so they killed 14 people, including 9 children, in Northern Ireland, but that doesn’t make them dangerous!)

If Theresa May thinks so called non-lethal methods of controlling people are a good idea then maybe she should let the Met test them on her!

December 9th, 2010, will go down in history as a good day for liberty, justice and freedom. A combination of the student demo and Anonymous’ Operation: Payback activity has empowered thousands of people.

Nobody was under any illusion that government would do anything else but protect the interests of the rich – even if this meant condemning the poorest people in this country to greater deprivation in an uncertain future. Student fees are to be tripled, loss of EMA makes it impossible for many kids to go to college, and an 80% cut in university funding will have a detrimental effect the quality of education on offer (although it’s always worth bearing in mind that Poll Tax was also passed in parliament, so it certainly ain’t over yet!).

It might have been a bad day for education, but LESSONS HAVE BEEN LEARNT!

  1. So called ‘representative democracy’ has been completely unmasked. Many students voted for the Lib Dems because they knew the Tories were scum and that Labour introduced the fees in the first place. Now they can see the truth. Democracy has become little more than smoke and mirrors used to disguise the fact that the rich use the political and legal systems to rob the poor. Wikileaked runs a constant stream of stories which show that supposedly democratic governments are simply the pawns of corporations (i.e. collectives of rich scum who hide behind a wall of greedy little shareholders) and banks (with the same collection of rich scum in the driving seat). The students were quick to point out that ordinary people stood outside parliament while a collection of bloated millionaires decided upon their future!
  2. This, in turn, further strengthened the battle-lines which are becoming ever clearer to more and more people. We are engaged in out-and-out CLASS WAR – unfortunately, as things stand, we’re losing. In affluent times it was too easy, for too many people, to ignore the truth. They didn’t mind that the rich were getting richer as long as they still got their share of the crumbs. This was a time of a Cold-Class-War in the UK (though globally it was a different story), where the poorest were marginalised and working class communities were denied a voice by virtually all political parties. But when the banks fucked-up somebody had to pay, and it wasn’t going to be the rich!  There are some token gestures from a minority of rich scum, but are we really supposed to be impressed when a handful of billionaires give away some of the fortune when they stole it from the poor in the first place? Now, however, the times they are a changing, the Class War is getting hot and the slums of London are stirring!
  3. Not only are they stirring, but they’re learning new tactics on a daily basis. Despite the media myths about ‘an-aargh-kist influence’, the movements we are witnessing are both organic and horizontal. Yes, as anarchists, we welcome this uprising, but it is a groundswell that is completely independent of any of the usual political parasites. They’re learning as they go and they’re learning fast. The decision to breakaway from kettles and the use of harris fencing to defend themselves from police charges were not the result of an anarchist plot, they were ideas generated moment by moment on Twitter (the harris fencing tactic was actually suggested by a copper on Sky News before being tweeted!).
  4. Twitter also helped to further unmask the media for what they truly are. A combination of Tweets and live TV feeds painted a very different story from the one journalists were portraying. 14 yr old kids being charged by police horses is “crowd control” in media speak. A girl stripped of her clothes by cops is no longer a ‘student’, somebody somewhere decided that reporters should use the word ‘protester’ to help disguise the fact that they’re talking about grown men fighting with teenage girls (Sky’s Kate Burley even called them ‘insurgents’!) Lots of shots of paint-spattered coppers, but none of the wheelchair left empty after the police had dragged the occupant from it. Lots of talk about ‘hospitalised police officers’, but no mention of the 20 yr old student who required emergency brain surgery! We could go on, but you get the drift about the so called ‘free press’ – and MediaLens is far more eloquent about describing the lack of press freedom than we are.
  5. Communication and information technology also came into it’s own when Anonymous (irc chat network irc.anonops.net (6667) – channel #operationpayback) continued their attacks on the corporations complicit in the dirty tricks campaign against Wikileaks (a current list of Wikileaks mirror sites can be found here). The power of this campaign is the fact that the Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC) application can be downloaded and used by almost anyone regardless of their technical know-how. Obviously we would never encourage illegal activity (but it’s always worth bearing in mind who’s laws we’re talking about here), but the implications are fascinating when some of the most ICT literate people in the country are exactly those who are currently being attacked by the government. Cyberspace is one battlefield where the underdog can still deliver damaging blows to the rich and powerful.
  6. The same technology also renders the bloated bureaucracy of government completely obsolete. The dream of non-hierarchical participatory democracy is now more possible than ever before. Can anybody, anywhere, honestly tell us why the fuck do we need parliament in the third millennium?

Brigade members joined forces with Underclass Rising to offer our support to students in Sheffield today. First to turn  up were thousands of 6th formers who are protesting against the loss of EMA. These youngsters were in fine voice and the anti-Tory songs took us straight back to the 80s – though I’m sure we never swore as much back then, honest 😉 Sadly we only had a few of AMP’s ‘Best Cut’ posters left to give out, which is a shame because they were very warmly received. You can just make some out in the photos (sorry, these ones were taken on a crappy phone, but Underclass Rising will be putting more online soon). We needn’t have worried though, the kids were on form with some brilliant banners. There were obscure ones – “Dis shit wouldn’t go down at hogwarts”, personal ones – a picture of Sam Cam which read “Not the only one being screwed by David!” and ‘to-the-point’ ones – a piece of paper that simply read ‘CUNTS’.

When the uni students turned up the protesters marched through the streets of Sheffield, down to the Town Hall. It was hard to gage how many people were involved, but West St was full from one end to the other with students. It was pretty obvious that the Yorkshire Post‘s estimate of 1000 was complete bollocks (as usual) – and the Posts ‘coverage’ is predictably negative. The support for the student’s cause is damn near universal in Sheffield and everybody was clapping as they passed. We doubt Sheffield has seen many protests like this since the days of CND or the Poll Tax.

Once at the Town Hall we attempted to get an aerial-photo from the upper floors of Barclays Bank – we were stopped on the stairs and asked what we were doing. When we told them, they said “We wouldn’t want to be associated with THEM!”, pointing at the students. There you have it, as if you didn’t know already – an official spokesman for Barclays wants nothing to do with people fighting for fairness, democracy  and justice! FUCKING BANKERS!

There wasn’t much of a police presence at the Hall, but when we walked round the corner, to the Peace Garden, we found that vans and horses were lined up in force. Sadly the boys with billy-clubs would have been more than happy to vent their spleen on Sheffield’s wonderful children 😦 C’mon lads, you really should have joined them on their demo instead of skulking in a corner like the school bully – after all, you’re gonna be victims of the cuts too!

This was one of the most inspirational protests we’ve seen in years. These kids can certainly teach the grown-ups a thing or to. If the adults are afraid to take to the streets because they might lose their jobs then they need to wake up and smell the coffee – cuz you’re definitely gonna lose them – and a whole lot more – if you don’t!

We need to fight the cuts, and then we need to fight the government. If not, then we get the future we deserve!

Justice 4 Jarvis Workers and the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) have organised an event in support of the 1200 Jarvis workers who lost their jobs when the company collapsed. The protest will take place in Doncaster this Friday, 9th April.

Jarvis workers and their families will be marching from the Jarvis depots in Bentley Road and Marchfield and then assembling outside the Mansion House on Doncaster High Street at 11am.

The protest has become urgent as it has been leaked that three companies – Babcock, Amey-Colas and Balfour Beatty. – are already vying to take over the work that the Jarvis employees were supposed to do.

The RMT will be holding a meeting of the workers at 12 noon in Doncaster Trades and Labour Club.

RMT President Alex Gordon will be speaking at the protest which has the full support of both RMT and TSSA.