Strikes, campaigns, Labour Movement and Trade Union issues.
See also UK Indymedia - Social Struggles
After the ‘March for the Alternative’ in London on March 26th, thousands of people joined the TUC ‘Birmingham for the Alternative’ march on the Lib Dem conference on Sunday September 18th. There was a wide range of trade union participation, especially from public sector unions who recently announced a new wave of national strikes for November 30th. Student activists were also present, with a banner drop by the National Campaign against Fees and Cuts reminding conference delegates of Nick Clegg’s broken promises of opposing rises in tuition fees.
Plans for a third TUC demonstration, the Manchester ‘March for the Alternative’, are underway for the first day of the Conservative Party conference on October 2nd. Tens of thousands are expected to march past the conference centre and the ‘ring of steel’ around it, protesting against an agenda of cuts and austerity for the benefit of the rich. A coalition of anarchists, socialists, trade union activists, student unions and democracy campaigners, dubbed Occupy! Manchester, are also calling for an occupation of Albert Square, outside Manchester Town Hall, to create an assembly of protest on the doorstep of the Tory’s conference, and a place for real debate and discussion about the alternatives.
Plans for occupations and assemblies in Britain have been inspired by the large and vibrant student protests that took place last winter and by the popular demonstrations elsewhere. In New York, people’s assemblies were held on Wall Street on September 17th, the occupation there is on-going with a 24 hour camp in Liberty Plaza. a ‘March to Brussels’ has so far reached Paris. In London, another national student demonstration has been called for November 9th.
On June 30th over 800,000 public sector workers will be on strike against attacks on their pensions. This is a key fight for everyone who wants to defend public services and oppose cuts to pensions, benefits services and our communities. Strikers and anti-cuts campaigners from across South Yorkshire will be marching through Sheffield, please join them.
Thu 30 Jun 2011, 12 noon assemble at Peace Gardens; 1pm rally Barkers Pool, organised by Sheffield Anti-Cuts Alliance, supported by Sheffield Trades Council.
Other protests listed on j30strike.org are, a student march around the pickets, meet on Howard Street (Sheffield Hallam Uni main entrance) at 9am and Sheffield Uncut action, meet at tram stop outside the Cathedral at 10am.
The first day of the Liberal Conference in Sheffield was met by protests [ 1 | 2 | 3 ] outside the Town Hall starting at around 4pm. At around 4:45pm the protest moved up to Barkers Pool and proceeded to chant at the conference delegates outside the City Hall. The protest then moved to the top of Barkers Pool, at the bottom of Division Street and got noisier. A critical mass later in the evening brought Ecclesall Road to a complete standstill. The Star reported that there were 800 protestors and has posted a video and a timeline of the protest.
A far bigger protest is expected tomorrow, assembling at 11am on Devonshire Green, however a warning that it might be kettled there has led to a call to meet outside the Town Hall instead. See the Massive Protests Expected at the Liberal Democrats Spring Conference in Sheffield feature article for more details
Conference tweets are using #ldconf, so use this hashtag in titles of newswire reports to get the delegates attention, you can also follow the Sheffield Indymedia newswire via Twitter or indy.im and also ConDem Sheffield on indy.im
Newswire: Convergence Centre Open in Sheffield | so this is what 2 million quid of policing looks like - day 1 | Photos from the protest, 11th March, Sheffield city centre | Protests at the First Day of the Liberal Democrat Conference | Liberal Democrat Conference: Police State Sheffield
On Wednesday evening (28 January), a group of students started an occupation of a tenth floor lecture theatre in the Owen Building, where an earlier meeting on the conflict in Gaza had taken place.
Following other occupations around the country, students and workers voted to occupy the lecture theatre and democratically approved a list of demands to Sheffield Hallam University. The full list of demands can be read in their announcement on the newswire.
On Thursday morning (29 January) negotiations began with university management.
A teach-in was scheduled for Thursday afternoon and a screening of La Haine for the early evening. University administration demanded that the group leave at 9pm, threatening police involvement if not. When the deadline passed, the group resolved to stay.
After more discussions, however, the occupation now seems to have been brought to an end. Further negotiations are still taking place with university management about the demands to the university: only one of which has been agreed to: "No victimisation of students or staff supporting the occupation in any form".
The group have a Sheffield Hallam Occupation blog with the most up to date information and the group welcome messages of solidarity and support. Messages of support and mutual aid have been received from other occupations in Bradford, SOAS London, Oxford and Nottingham, as well as Sheffield Trades Council, Sheffield NUJ, South Yorkshire UCU, Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Free Gaza and the Sheffield and Rotherham Stop the War Coalitions.
Mainstream coverage: Sheffield Star
Sheffield Welfare Action Network (SWAN) is one of the lead organisations in the campaign against the proposed welfare reforms. They are organising the forthcoming People's March and Rally Against the IB cuts, a national demonstration on the 17th June being held in Sheffield. SWAN has been steadily helping build the campaign and seen opposition grow to the draconian welfare reforms as their implications become clear. There is also a benefit concert in aid of SWAN on the 20th May.
Thousands of people employeed by Sheffield Council and Sheffield Hallam University and others struck on 28th March 2006 in defence of their pension agreements. There were picket lines in front of buildings across the city and there was a rally on the Town Hall steps at lunch time. The strike was supported by the Trades Council.
This one day strike was part of a national day of action and further strike are possible if the government doesn't back down. Some activists are concerned that the union leaders are prepared to sell out future employees by just looking at securing protection for the pensions of existing employees.
Over Xmas a delegation from Sheffield visited the affected region helped by the JKLF. The daily hardships faced by survivors in Balakot, Muzaffrabad, Lagubura and Kamsar were plain to see as was the determination of the aid workers and victims of the quake. Despite the scale of the disaster and the incredible storys of survival, the mainstream media is giving little coverage to what is now a second catastrophe.
There is a screening of the film produced by the delegation on 11th Feb 2006 at SIF.
300 people demonstrated in Sheffield on 19th November 2005 against bus fare rises and cuts in services [callout | reports and photos]. Fares on First buses in Sheffield have gone up four times in the last year and since the privatisation of the bus service journeys made in South Yorkshire have fallen from 350 million a year to 112 million last year and there has been a corresponding increase in car usage, congestion and pollution.
In addition to the demonstration a group of activists put on a free bus service — "Some people believe in asking large corporations for cheaper services so that there is less profit made. Whilst we understand that this is a desirable goal we go one step further to ask for a co-operative way of living, where no profit is produced."
The full list of films is now out for the Sheffield Indymedia's second alternative documentary festival: Alt.Doc.Fest 2: Films from the Frontline 24-26th November at Matilda Social Centre, 111 Matilda Street.
You can download the programme as a PDF file below
Kelly, one of two activists who visited Sheffield in April to talk about Palestine and show a film, has now been imprisoned in Israel for filming.
Public sector cuts
April 2006 No Borders Days of Action
Art and Activism Caravan 2006
Climate Camp 2006
French CPE uprising 2006
G8 Russia 2006
Lebanon War 2006
March 18 Anti War Protest
Refugee Week 2006
Transnational Day of Action Against Migration Controls
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UG#699 - A Country with A Military or A Military with A Country?