Guest post: an apology

Posted on Thu 18th Sep 2014, 12:01pm
This is a guest blog from the organisers of the VodaHome action in London in July

At our recent Vodafone protest in Central London, where along with a number of other activists and campaigners we closed down the Vodafone London flagship store, there was an incident which occurred that was unacceptable, and something the UK Uncut London group would like to publicly apologise for. This blog has been written collectively by the organisers of the London action, and is just one step we’re taking to try and reconcile and apologise for this incident.

A person who was attending the action, was wrongly identified as an undercover police officer, and this was done over a microphone in front of all the people present. Not only was this a dangerous and irresponsible thing to do, which put this man at risk of reprisal from other people; it was also a racist act, as he was a black man in a predominantly white group of campaigners, and the people who accused him were also white.

Subsequent discussions with the man who was wrongly accused, made it clear this incident is another in a lifetime of systematic racism he has experienced, where he has been singled out because of his ethnicity.

We also found out after this incident, that the man who’d been accused of being an undercover police officer, was actually a dedicated and veteran anti-fascist campaigner; and someone who has been targeted consistently by the police throughout his life for being black. Furthermore, that he has close personal experience of police targeting black people and the police brutality which goes hand in hand with that.

We want to take this opportunity to formally and publicly apologise as a group for what happened. We fully accept this was a racist act and it should not have happened. It put you at risk, singled you out as a black man and further marginalised you. We take full responsibility for this.

We also apologise for not doing enough immediately after this happened. We should have ensured a full apology was made to you over the mic, so other people there would have heard too. We realise this lack of appropriate response must have left you feeling even more alienated and excluded.

We also want to assure you how seriously we take this. We recognise that this incident has been extremely difficult for the man who attended the protest and has also effected people of colour who were part of organising the Vodafone London action. As a group we are currently taking steps to learn from what happened. This is an ongoing process and one which we are committed to.

We've put together some resources that we've found useful since dealing with this, we wanted to share them with anyone else interested in these issues:

1) Unpacking White Privilege www.nymbp.org/reference/WhitePrivilege.pdf

2) How to Deal With Being Called Out: http://thinkanddiethinking.tumblr.com/post/38480374534/how-to-deal-with-being-called-out-from-the

3) Tools for White Guys: http://www.starhawk.org/activism/trainer-resources/tools-whiteguys.html

Action Call Out Focus E15

Posted on Sun 14th Sep 2014, 11:57am
Call Out


Sunday 21st September Focus E15 Anniversary Party followed by Top Secret Housing Action!


Focus E15 campaigners are inviting people to join a day of fun and music on the almost empty Carpenters Estate in Stratford. Later in the afternoon, party goers will become activists as they will be led to a Top Secret Housing Action in the Newham area. Together we can put an end to social cleansing!

We started in September 2013 when some of us as young mothers were served eviction notices by East Thames Housing Association after Newham Council cut its funding to the Focus E15 hostel for young homeless people. Our campaign now includes ALL people facing housing crisis because


THE BIGGER WE GROW THE LOUDER WE BECOME

If you’re angry about homelessness and social cleansing, come and join Focus E15 as we tell Newham Council:


SOCIAL HOUSING NOT SOCIAL CLEANSING

 Our campaign has gained no sympathy from our Mayor, Sir Robin Wales, whose behaviour is currently the subject of an internal investigation after a complaint was sent to the council about his disgusting behaviour towards Focus E15 campaigners at the Newham Mayor’s Show in July. This video shows what he did when one of the E15 mothers tried to give him a leaflet!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsPxancNiqk


If you’re fuming about unaffordable rents, the bedroom tax, housing benefit cuts, social cleansing, empty houses and millions being left without safe and secure homes, then take action! If it makes you sick that our Labour Mayor thinks he can get away with treating us like dirt then take action!

Its an outrage that people are being shipped out of London while there are thousands of empty homes on the Carpenters Estate and all over the city!


Join us from 2pm-6pm 21st September Londis Supermarket, Wilmer Lea Close, Carpenters Estate, London E15 2HR

Join the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1487181911524713/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

Like our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Focus-E15-Mothers/602860129757343

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/search?q=focus%20e15&src=typd

Guest blog: Day of Action for our Railways

Posted on Fri 15th Aug 2014, 8:44am
This is a guest blog by Ellie Harrison founder and coordinator of Bring Back British Rail



Please support us this Tuesday 19 August for our national Day of Action for Public Ownership of our Railways, which coincides with the dreaded day when we find out how much our already over-priced train tickets will increase in the New Year.

In rail, as in nearly all of the essential public services and utilities which were privatised in the ’80 and ’90s, we are being ripped off. The inefficiencies of the market coupled with the ‘false’ profits extracted from taxpayer subsidies by the private Train Operating Companies, is wasting £1.2 billion a year. Privatised Rail costs us much more than it ever did, when it was run as one fully integrated public company called British Rail.

For example, Virgin Trains – the joint venture between billionaire Richard Branson and Brian Souter of Stagecoach, which runs our West Coast main line has, since 1997, taken £500 million in profit which could otherwise have been invested for the public good. Arriva Trains Wales – now owned by the German state company Deutsche Bahn – has extracted £75 million in profit since the start of its franchise in 2003 (figures from the 2013 report The Great Train Robbery).

It’s time to make a stand! We simply cannot afford to be throwing away this money. For the sake of the environment, more than anything, we must be investing in and expanding our public transport system, so that it is easy, efficient, affordable and, dare I say, even enjoyable for people as a vital alternative to cars and short-haul flights.

Of all the failures of privatisation, it is in rail where we are making most ground. Since launching Bring Back British Rail in 2009 I have witnessed public support and momentum really grow. Our small passenger-led campaign was joined by the TUC’s Action for Rail in 2012 and Compass’s new All on Board this summer. With signs that Labour is finally starting to admit to failures, now is the time we bring in more new voices to help us really put the pressure on.

We are calling on UK Uncutters to join us on Tuesday at the actions all over the country, and at our big demo in London at King’s Cross Station (see details below). Help us find new ways to draw attention to this important issue, which encompasses economic, social and environmental justice all at once. The re-nationalisation of our railways has the potential to be the ‘thin end of the wedge’ – the carrier for a new political narrative, which, if we can work together to make a reality, could pave the way for the public ownership of all our essential public services and utilities, which should never have been given away.

All on Board for Public Ownership
London action:
Tuesday 19 August 2014
7:30 – 9:00AM
King’s Cross Station
(assemble in King’s Cross Square at front of station for 8:00AM photo-op)

Join the Facebook event for all the updates, or email me to meet in London: info@bringbackbritishrail.org

Support Bring Back British Rail at:
www.bringbackbritishrail.org
www.facebook.com/bringbackbritishrail
Displaying posts 1 - 3 of 281 in total

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