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Met chief says horses targeted in 'despicable' Million Mask violence

The Guardian | Protest -

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe says officers faced ‘incredibly challenging circumstances’ and it was not just a small minority causing trouble

Police chiefs have condemned the “despicable” violence at Thursday’s Million Mask march, in which four police officers were injured and several horses were targeted.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan police commissioner, said some protesters had asked others to stop targeting the animals, but he denied that the attacks at the 1,000-strong march were down to the actions of a small minority. He said the march had tied up the resources of nearly 2,000 officers.

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Trento: Assillo is back

House Occupation News -


On the 24th of october we squatted a building in Trento, Italy.

We need places to live differently and and where we can organize ourselves. The demonstration that those are not only our needs is proved by many and many people who joined the experience of the “Assillo” and “Villa Assillo”, places left empty for years that started to live again for months before the police came and evicted us destroying the roofs – because police fear our will to manage our own lives.

We are stubborn. We view our passions as real because we believe in their reality.

Without the struggles that put brakes on it, the Power is walking on million of people’s lives with a roadroller, every day more precarious, more isolated, more senseless.

In order for the struggles to cross paths between each other, get bigger, get more radical, we need places of freedom and self-management.

We came back in San Pio X (the neighbourhood where we squatted) because this building has been empty for years now, at the mercy of speculation. Because here we met some supportive people and some workers that don’t want to lower their heads anymore.

We have chosen this building from ITEA (the public institution that takes care of social housing) because it is an emblem of the thousands of empty flats around, because house rents are everyday more outrageous, because a lot of people end up on the street if they don’t fight
against evictions.

Because, while ITEA’s managers gets excessive salaries, house rents for poor people get

We sailed off with this ship -this is how the building is called in the neighbourhood- because little and big storms of repression don’t scare us at all.

Still at the port our lives become sad and the masters get fatter. So here we are on board of a ship ready to assault resignation and prejudices. Ready to throw itself against a city which is everyday more militarized, where they plan big and disastrous projects and where they declare war to the poor and the misfits.

There is the need to free our relations from hierarchy. The need to free our scope from property. The need for passion. The need for utopia.

The “Assillo” is back. All aboard!

the occupiers

Million Mask march: police chief condemns 'unacceptable' violence

The Guardian | Protest -

Scotland Yard says three police officers were taken to hospital, including one thrown from his horse outside Buckingham Palace

A Scotland Yard commander has described how police officers came under attack as the Million Mask march in central London descended into a “completely unacceptable” night of violence.

Cdr Ben-Julian Harrington, the officer in charge of policing protests in London, vowed to bring to justice the dozens of activists arrested for offences, including two for assaulting police officers.

Video: Sports car knocks over & injuries protester on #MillionMaskMarch after being surrounded by breakaway group

Someone set a police car on fire. Officer putting it out now. #MillionMaskMarch @LBC

A warning is being broadcast on the side of the national gallery with a laser #MillionMaskMarch

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Jarrow marchers return home: archive, 6 November 1936

The Guardian | Protest -

6 November 1936: Protesters got a far from welcoming reception as they handed over their petition

The marchers from derelict Jarrow, whose petition for work was presented to the House of Commons on Wednesday, returned home yesterday after receiving a somewhat cold welcome from the Government.

Miss Wilkinson in presenting the petition reminded the House that, whereas there were formerly 8,000 skilled workers employed in Jarrow, today only a hundred men are at work on a temporary scheme.

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#IUF2015: Internet Ungovernance Forum 2015 Brazil

Revolution News -

  Revolution News will be hosting livestreams and coverage for the 2015 Internet Ungovernance Forum, November 9 through 13 in João Pessoa – Paraíba, Brazil in cooperation with Partido Pirata. What is #IUF2015? The Internet Ungovernance Forum is for everyone who demands that fundamental freedoms, openness, unity and net neutrality remain the building blocks of Read More

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Protesters launch fireworks at police at Million Mask march– video

The Guardian | Protest -

Tensions run high as fireworks are aimed at police trying to curb anti-capitalist demonstrators in central London on Thursday. Thousands of people dressed in Guy Fawkes masks are met by a ‘significant policing operation’. The Million Mask march is organised by hacktivist collective ‘Anonymous’

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Million Mask march turns violent as police and protesters clash in London

The Guardian | Protest -

Missiles and flares thrown and patrol car torched in capital after crowds surge away from agreed routes

Trouble has broken out at the Million Mask march, with protesters throwing missiles and setting off fireworks and flares in central London. A police car was set alight and its windscreen smashed near Green Park as thousands of anti-capitalist campaigners flowed past the capital’s landmarks wearing the trademark Guido masks of the Anonymous hacking group.

What started off as a peaceful protest descended into violence as activists clashed with officers. Some protesters were treated for bloody injuries and were given first aid at the scene. There was a sudden surge of activity about half an hour into the event, as several people at the front broke off and ran towards the Churchill War Rooms. Crowds gathered outside Buckingham Palace, a long way from the agreed route.

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Berkeley HS students walk out over racist messages on library computer

Revolution News -

This happened at our school! When we will we as Black Students feel safe? — Black Student Union (@BerkeleyBSU) November 5, 2015 Around 1000 Berkeley High School students walked out of class Thursday to protest racist messages that showed up on one of the school’s library computers. According to a letter sent out by Read More

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Million Mask March protest underway in London - live updates

The Guardian | Protest -

Thousands of people dressed in Guy Fawkes masks in Trafalgar Square are met by ‘significant policing operation’, including thousands of extra officers to tackle expected unrest

7.24pm GMT

Damien has been shooting some video of his own:

A large number of riot police head to Westminster bridge as protester shout: it's a trap! #MillionMaskMarch

7.16pm GMT

Nice vantage point for journalist Luke Dray:

All kicking off #MillionMaskMarch

7.07pm GMT

PA reports:
There was a sudden surge of activity around half an hour into the march, as several protesters at the front near Parliament Square broke off from the agreed route and ran towards the Churchill War Rooms near Great George Street, a short distance from Conservative Party headquarters, which were closed off.
A line of police and mounted officers formed a barrier against the densely packed protesters, some of them screaming about inequality. Those who could get their arms above their waist held phones aloft.
A couple of stray bottles were thrust over the barriers towards officers, which was met with cheers and chants of “Shame on you, we’re human too”.

7.01pm GMT

A video of protesters outside Downing Street:

Outside Downing Street for the #MillionMaskMarch #Nov5th

6.56pm GMT

This is England after all...

A very British banner on #MillionMaskMarch

6.52pm GMT

A video from the scene:

Police have been pushed about 20 yards back #MillionMaskMarch

6.51pm GMT

Looks like protesters are going off piste...

Participants of #MillionMaskMarch #London have now gathered at Great George Street, corner of Parliament Square #Nov5th

6.44pm GMT

Seems that police have a laser scroller and they’re gonna use it...

A warning is being broadcast on the side of the national gallery with a laser #MillionMaskMarch

6.41pm GMT

One protester, who gave her name as Lola, told Press Association she had travelled from Hull: “There are people who aren’t represented, they should be here. I am the people,” she said.
“I said I was coming down here and people said OK, but they deny it. They don’t want to face the truth. They are brainwashed and they fill their body with dead energy.
“The media twist it. We are peaceful, we are doing this in a peaceful manner, but the media focus on the 1% who cause trouble.”
Glad she’s cleared that up for us.

6.37pm GMT

Ben Pruchnie is covering the protest tonight for Getty Images:

6.34pm GMT

The Metropolitan Police said that three men were arrested this afternoon after officers on patrol in Trafalgar Square saw them acting suspiciously. They found the men carrying items including knives, smoke and paint grenades, gas canisters and lock picks. The three men, aged 38, 55 and 50, were arrested on suspicion of being in possession of offensive weapons and are being held in custody at a central London police station.

6.30pm GMT

Another tweet from Damien on the scene:

Probably several hundred #MillionMaskMarch protesters in Trafalgar Square so far

6.25pm GMT

Damien Gayle tweets from Trafalgar Square:

Riot Police stationed on Charing Cross road for #MillionMaskMarch London

6.15pm GMT

Reuters photographer Peter Nicholls is one of the many journalists reporting from Trafalgar Square tonight.

6.11pm GMT

There’s a live stream from a protester at Trafalgar Square here.

6.00pm GMT

Jason RockDodger Sangster‎ has posted this video on Facebook of the crowds gathering in Trafalgar Square tonight.

5.58pm GMT

Damien is off to Trafalgar Square to report on the rally, so Chris Johnston here taking over the live blog.

5.45pm GMT

I called out on the Million Mask March London Facebook page asking people for the reasons why they were attending. Setting aside the bunfight over mainstream media, the most articulate and complete response came from Keith Brady. He said:

I won’t be attending, but you want reasons? Jobs are down, educational standards are down, industry is down, public and national services are down, everything’s being sold off, taxes are being increased or diverted elsewhere and investments in infrastructure are being reduced to practically nothing by the greedy ba*ds the people who attend are there to protest too. Even the poverty stricken unemployed, who are stuggling to live on benefits they are often sanctioned on, still pay taxes on products we buy to survive with, so why is it being claimed they’re such a massive drain? Answer the question why NOT march? It’s much tougher to answer

5.35pm GMT

Here’s a segment from the TV news featuring Ch Supt Peppa Mills explaining why the Met has imposed such stringent conditions on tonight’s Million Mask March demonstration.

Conditions imposed upon #MillionMaskMarch #London #Nov5th Updates from @MetPoliceEvents

It’s absolutely essential that the police are able to balance the needs of those who want to protest peacefully with those who live, work and visit London. Over the last three years, we’ve seen people going about their daily business seriously intimidated and disrupted by these protesters at this event.

5.20pm GMT

The Million Mask March is not the only place that will see anti-authoritarian hi-jinks this evening. A giant effigy of a naked David Cameron with a pig’s head resting in his lap is to be set alight at the Lewes Bonfire night celebrations.

David Cameron ready for Lewes bonfire

Images of the surreal sculpture, depicting the prime minister perched on a golden chair clasping the animal head, have circulated on social media before Thursday’s event in the East Sussex town.

The wooden structure alludes to claims made in an unauthorised biography of Cameron that he had put a “private part of his anatomy” into a dead pig’s head as part of a university dining club initiation ritual.

Related: Effigy of David Cameron and pig's head to burn at Lewes Bonfire night display

5.03pm GMT

The Metropolitan police has imposed strict conditions for tonight’s demonstration. This tweet shows what restrictions are in place.

Reminder of conditions for the #MillionMaskMarch in London For further details: #5thnov

4.53pm GMT

There are unconfirmed reports of a heavy police presence at Trafalgar Square and claims that people arriving early are being arrested.

Warning, anons are being arrested for turning up early. Need to arrange amongst yourselves to meet in pubs then ascend all together at 5

4.24pm GMT

Thousands of protesters are expected to gather in Trafalgar Square tonight, with Westminster the focus for the now annual Million Mask March, a worldwide event on Bonfire night that is organised through the Anonymous hackers’ collective.

So far about 18,000 people indicated on Facebook that they plan to attend the demonstration, where protesters don Guy Fawkes masks in an effort to recreate the closing scenes of the cult comic book-cum-movie V For Vendetta.

We will always facilitate peaceful protest and have a strong history of doing so. However, over the last few this event has seen high levels of anti-social behaviour, crime and disorder.

This year we have strong reason to believe that peaceful protest is the last thing on the minds of many of the people who will come along.

We have seen the abuses and malpractice of this government, and governments before it, we have seen the encroaching destruction of many civil liberties we hold dear, we have seen the pushes to make the internet yet another part of the surveillance state, we have seen the government’s disregard for migrants, for the poor, the elderly and the disabled, we have seen the capital, profit and greed of the few put before the well-being of the many and we say enough is enough.

We invite all the activists, the workers, the students, all doctors, nurses and all those that want to see a positive change in the world, to join us, in Trafalgar Square from 6pm, November 5th. The government and the 1% have played their hand, now it is time to play ours.

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The growing grassroots movement to fight the NRA and prevent gun violence

Waging Nonviolence -

by Ladd Everitt

View image |

I won’t lie. As the director of communications for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, it’s been fun watching the Democratic presidential candidates jump over each other in trying to be the strongest on the issue of gun violence prevention — as well as the most vocal opponent of the National Rifle Association. Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley are puffing out their chests and demonstrating fearlessness, the most precious commodity our movement possesses. And Bernie Sanders? We’re going to make sure he doesn’t win anything until he supports a full repeal of the noxious 2005 Gun Industry Immunity law, which gave gun manufacturers, distributors and dealers unprecedented legal immunity from their own negligent behavior.

It’s hard to tell right now if the candidates are feeding off the American public or vice-versa. But Clinton has been leading on this issue for some time now — long before she officially announced her candidacy. For some reason, the Umpqua Community College shooting in Oregon last month really resonated with the public. My organization is seeing that in the correspondences we’ve been receiving from concerned citizens, who have had enough and want to get involved as volunteers on the ground.

When you work on this issue for some time, it’s always very difficult to guess which tragedies will move people to action. My sense with Umpqua is that it finally cemented for people that this endless cycle of daily, gun-related horrors is never going to end given the current status quo on gun laws. I think the same old tired argument about “gun-free zones” is falling flat, too, because Umpqua allows students to carry concealed handguns. MSNBC interviewed a veteran named John Parker, Jr. who confirmed that he and many other students were carrying their firearms on campus that day, but decided not to intervene because they were worried about being shot by responding SWAT officers.

All of a sudden, there’s been a spontaneous burst of energy at the grassroots level, as evidenced by actions like Jessica Jin’s “Cocks Not Glocks” protest at the University of Texas against a law that will allow guns on campus starting next August. Overall, the commentary is increasingly shifting toward a focus on gun culture, as opposed to policy. The times they are a changin’.

It is probably the greatest outburst of energy we have seen since the Sandy Hook massacre, which fundamentally transformed our movement. The two areas where we have long fought to level the playing field with the National Rifle Association are political fundraising and grassroots energy. We have made enormous strides in both areas since that awful day of December 14, 2012.

Ladd Everitt speaks at the “Let’s Start A New Routine, America!” rally at the White House on October 17, 2015.

I am no fan of Big Money in politics — it erodes political equality entirely, and reform is desperately needed to restore the concept of “one person, one vote” — but we have suffered terribly for decades from having no skin in the game when the NRA was paying off politicians left and right. Too many lawmakers who agreed with us in principle ended up voting against us because they were afraid of the NRA running ads against them, sponsoring rallies in their district, getting the vote out on the pro-gun side through paid campaigns, etc. They always had the comfort of knowing that they would never have to face similar resources on our side.

That changed for good when former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg launched his Independence USA PAC in 2012. For the first time, we had the resources to reward candidates who voted with us and punish those who didn’t. Mark Kelly and Gabby Giffords then launched the Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC, which is also extremely well-funded. Both PACs are heavily involved in Virginia’s off-years races right now and that will continue in the upcoming 2016 elections. The great crusade of the 21st century has to be getting money out of politics, but as long as the NRA is free to spend in political races, I want to make sure our side can as well. Lives depend on it.

The gun violence prevention, or GVP, movement has also made enormous inroads in terms of grassroots organizing in the last three years. For starters, Sandy Hook led to the creation of a new national organization mobilizing activists on the ground in 50 states: Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (now incorporated under the Everytown for Gun Safety umbrella with Mayors Against Illegal Guns). Existing coalitions like States United to Prevent Gun Violence in America added additional state organizations and new volunteers as well. Equally important, progressive groups that previously paid lip service to gun violence prevention became fully vested in it. This includes Organizing for America, Americans United for Change, and the fantastic new gun violence prevention team at the Center for American Progress led by Arkadi Gerney.

The result has been a far greater deal of activity on the ground by volunteers, even in red states. This has manifested itself in terms of lobbying visits to lawmakers, attendance at legislative hearings, and even single-issue voting (yes, the gun violence prevention movement is now hearing from many Americans who are indicating they will only vote for candidates who are solid on the gun issue). It has made an enormous difference in our campaigns and advocacy. For the first time in a long time, politicians understand that they better look both ways before deciding how to vote on gun bills.

We are incredibly unified. The federal and state groups in the movement do weekly conference calls and at least one face-to-face meeting each year. A day does not go by in which I am not directly working with activists and organizations from across the country. I don’t want to get too corny with this, but we really are family. Many of us have been working together for many years and you don’t join this movement to get rich — we all believe in this work passionately.

There is broad agreement in the movement that our federal priority should continue to be universal background checks, and also quite a bit of consensus on the types of state policies we need to be promoting. Once you get outside of that, there is a diverse range of opinion in terms of the strategies our movement should be employing for mobilizing grassroots support, messaging with the public, etc. I’m sure you’d find the same in any movement in America. So for those of you calling for a GVP mega-merger, don’t hold your breath. It not’s going to happen on any large-scale in the near future, and it is no panacea for breaking the NRA’s political power anyway.

Finally, we have mutually agreed to never use the term “gun control” again. It is a term from a far earlier time before multi-millionaires like Wayne LaPierre routinely exploited our government’s good name for their own profit. None of our organizations have any problem with Americans owning firearms for a host of legitimate purposes; hunting, recreational shooting, home defense, etc. We will not operate in the biased frame they have spent millions discrediting.

In the months ahead, you will see our movement make aggressive efforts to become more diverse (we need to do a better job of reaching out to communities of color and speaking to issues that they are most concerned about, including gun violence committed by police). You will also see us speak about the cultural aspect of the issue in a way that is far more confident and assured. No longer will the NRA be the sole arbiter of political and moral values on this issue. We are challenging them aggressively on their promotion of insurrectionist ideology and now have them squarely on the defensive in this area. We have seen recently seismic cultural shifts on the issues of gay marriage and the Confederate flag. Our moment is coming as well. We are going to make reckless, threatening gun ownership as cool as second-hand smoke.

Look to see our movement continue to push ballot referendums on universal background checks and other important policy questions at the state level. The policies we promote enjoy broad public support (a recent survey found that 93 percent of registered voters support universal backgrounds checks on all gun sales) and the referendum process allows us to get around legislative stagnation and take these decisions directly to the people. Nevada and Maine, in the 2016 election, are the next two target states and many more will follow from there.

This movement has come a long way since I started as a professional in 2006. Today, we are better organized, better funded, and more determined than ever. It is only a matter of time before we break the political power of the NRA and create space for reforms that can save countless lives. On that day, not only America but the entire world will rejoice.

Anonymous Million Mask March MMM 2015 – Live

Revolution News -

Once again the Anonymous Million Mask March takes to the streets for their annual protest on November the 5th. As we do every year we will be gathering images and live video feeds as they become available. 613 cities have events scheduled on the event map, check back for more. Live video feed from London, Trafalgar Read More

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Hundreds of thousands oppose plan for bullfighting courses in Spanish schools

The Guardian | Protest -

At least 300,000 Spaniards are among the 430,000 signatories to petition opposing plans to create optional bullfighting course for students aged 15 to 17

Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards have lodged their opposition to plans by the conservative government to introduce a two-year bullfighting course in state schools.

More than 430,000 people have signed a petition against the idea, which was delivered to Spain’s ministry of education on Wednesday night.

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#IrishWater Wave of Political Policing Hits Courts

Revolution News -

In a country of just 4 million, hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets in their capital and in their hometowns time and time again demanding change. Increasing numbers of peaceful protesters are being arrested in Ireland because of their involvement in anti Irish Water demonstrations and actions. Political policing is not Read More

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The #LeyFayad is Dead; Worst Bill in the History of the Internet Goes Up in Flames

Revolution News -

Mexico: On Tuesday October 27, Senator Omar Fayad of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), presented an initiative to the Senate called the Federal Law to Prevent and Punish Computer Crimes which was drafted in collaboration with the Federal Police. After a massive response from thousands of Mexican netizens and civic organizations in opposition to the Read More

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Can “solidarity unionism” save the labor movement?

Waging Nonviolence -

by Eric Dirnbach

The debate on how to revive the troubled U.S. labor movement has been around for decades. Labor activists generally believe that much greater rank-and-file democracy and workplace militancy is the key to labor renewal. However, an essential perspective that is usually missing from the conversation is well represented by Staughton Lynd’s “Solidarity Unionism: Rebuilding the Labor Movement from Below,” which was first published in 1992 and has been recently reissued.

Lynd is a legendary progressive lawyer and activist from Youngstown, Ohio. He is the coauthor with his wife Alice Lynd of the classic “Rank and File: Personal Histories by Working-Class Organizers,” a collection of oral histories of militant union organizers, which informs much of the framework of “Solidarity Unionism.” At around 100 pages, the book reads more like a summary of his organizing philosophy, and many readers will come away wanting a more extensive discussion. It should be read along with several other recent books which make similar arguments: Stanley Aronowitz’s “The Death and Life of American Labor: Toward a New Workers’ Movement,” and “New Forms of Worker Organization: The Syndicalist and Autonomist Restoration of Class-Struggle Unionism,” edited by Immanuel Ness, who also provided the introduction for “Solidarity Unionism.”

Lynd argues for a rethinking of the assumptions of the labor movement and for a revived version of labor organizing that was more prominent in the pre-New Deal era that he calls “solidarity unionism.” What may surprise most labor-oriented readers is that central to this kind of unionism is the absence of a contract between the union and the employer.

Isn’t the whole point of forming a union to get a written collective bargaining agreement? Lynd doesn’t think so and he argues that workers fighting together with direct action on the job to make improvements in the workplace do not need a contract and may be hurt by having one. He is critical of the “management rights” and “no-strike” clauses that are standard in almost all union contracts. He believes they reduce the power of workers to influence major decisions in how the workplace is run and to solve their problems at work immediately as they arise. Contracts tend to remove agency from the workers and place it in the hands of union staff who typically bargain and process grievances while the members may be uninvolved and cynical. Lynd is also skeptical of a union’s exclusive representation of all workers in the workplace and automatic dues check-off, preferring for workers to actively join the union and pay dues because they want to.

Lynd’s view of the prevailing “contract unionism” differs from standard labor history, which considers the 1935 National Labor Relations Act, or NLRA, labor reforms as a progressive advance for workers. In the mainstream view, workers organizing, with the support of President Roosevelt, finally won full government enforcement for the right to organize and bargain collectively. In exercising this right, unions typically hold workplace elections and then negotiate contracts with employers that set the conditions of employment and also guarantee labor peace (no strike/no lockout) for the term of the contract. This industrial relations framework led the way for millions of workers to organize and improve their wages and working conditions. This “class compromise” held for several decades until employers changed their mind and increased their opposition to unionization again.

For Lynd, this view is backwards. Workers were already organizing and improving working conditions, but the NLRA contract system was then imposed by the government to tame a militant 1930s labor movement and create the conditions for industrial peace. Opportunistic labor leaders used the rank-and-file workers’ disruptions to step in as responsible partners that could restore order with a union contract. Unions became contract administrators who disciplined unruly workers. Moreover, the ejection of the labor movement’s radical wing during the anti-Communist scare of the 1940s and 1950s eliminated a whole culture of militant unionism. Over the years, rank-and-file initiative and militancy has been weakened, such that when the employer anti-union offensive resumed in the 1970s and 1980s, unions were unprepared.

What does Lynd’s type of solidarity union look like? Shop floor committees based in workgroups organize and take direct action on the job to fight for their demands. The issues could be a wage increase or better scheduling and the actions could be marches on the boss, slowdowns, or other tactics. The goal is not to get official union recognition from the employer and a written contract, but simply the workplace improvements. If the workers have another grievance a month or a year later, they take further action to address it. This has been the model of the Industrial Workers of the World for over 100 years and is also the way many workers centers operate. Solidarity and initiative among coworkers with community support is the basis for this kind of unionism.

As an example, Lynd quotes John Sargent who worked at Inland Steel in Chicago in the late 1930s. “Without a contract we secured for ourselves agreements on working conditions and wages that we do not have today, and that were better by far than what we have today in the mill,” he said. “For example as a result of the enthusiasm of the people in the mill you had a series of strikes, wildcats, shut-downs, slow-downs, anything working people could think of to secure for themselves what they decided they had to have.”

Given Lynd’s analysis, what should the labor movement do today? Lynd doesn’t appear to advocate that unions rip up their contracts. But he does encourage the formation of rank-and-file shop floor committees. Union workers can certainly incorporate aspects of solidarity unionism by practicing workplace militancy as much as possible even with contracts in place, as Labor Notes has advocated for decades. Non-union workers can form independent unions based on solidarity unionism principles. We may also see more hybrid types of organizing, such as the fast food and OUR Walmart campaigns, sponsored by mainstream unions, and based in part on workplace actions. Some labor radicals are encouraged by these campaigns as something new, but Lynd reminds us that they recreate older forms of organizing, at least to the extent that they involve genuine worker leadership rather than stage-managed media events.

Lynd also encourages the formation of what he calls “parallel central labor councils” which are groups of workers in an area from different workplaces that provide solidarity to each other in their struggles. Lynd cites several examples of rank-and-file worker controlled solidarity initiatives in Youngstown in the 1980s, such as the Workers’ Solidarity Club, which provided picket line support and organizing assistance, as well as hosted educational and social events.

Given that almost 90 percent of U.S. workers are non-union, there is certainly a great opportunity to build a large solidarity union movement of the kind Lynd outlines. However, organizing is risky and groups that practice solidarity unionism in its purest form will tend to be small, with few staff or resources, depending almost entirely on the workers themselves. This is a lot to ask. Indeed many members of mainstream unions may point to the benefits of having a large, stable organization with contracts, funds, benefit plans, dedicated staff, lawyers, and political relationships. But for Lynd, these kinds of institutional arrangements tend to come at the cost of democracy and militancy.

This raises, I think, the greatest challenge and dilemma for this kind of unionism. It allows the best chance for workers to run their own union, making their own decisions on strategy and tactics with maximum democracy and freedom of action. But it also carries potentially more risk as workers are exposed to changes in workplace policy and arbitrary boss behavior without any written contract protections. Lynd would likely make the claim that contracts offer no real protection without worker power to back it up, and if you have that power you don’t need the contract. No doubt that’s true in some cases.

Ultimately the solidarity unionism model essentially makes two broad claims: that the outcomes for workers will be better and that it is a way of organizing that can more effectively challenge capitalism. Regarding workplace outcomes, this is a fascinating question that needs more data and there may possibly be too few documented modern cases of workplace organizing and improvements outside of the formal contract system. This certainly deserves more attention.

Regarding the challenge to capitalism, although Lynd doesn’t develop this point at length, he links solidarity unionism with the potential to build a socialist society. This is consistent with Lynd’s view that mainstream union practices cannot meaningfully challenge capitalism. We can see how this might be true since the regular practice of workplace militancy will likely develop more class-conscious fighters of the system than staff-directed contract bargaining. And a mainstream union’s assets and relationships tend to enmesh it in the capitalist system, making alternatives hard to envision within typical union practices.

In any case, union contracts and the working conditions they codify are the current compromise between labor and capital in any given workplace. With or without a contract, workers will have to struggle. Lynd doesn’t seem to consider the possibility that some workers may not be looking for constant class warfare on the job, and that settling a decent contract offers a much needed respite to lock-in gains. In any case, labor radicals should meet the workers where they are, and workers themselves should decide what kind of union they want. Let’s have many different organizing forms and see what works. The philosophy and practice of solidarity unionism provides a critical reminder of alternative ways of organizing and a valuable framework for the stronger and more militant labor movement that we need.

Anti-Trump protesters to descend on NBC headquarters over SNL appearance

The Guardian | Protest -

Congressional Hispanic Caucus tells network ‘racism is not funny’ as Latino groups call on NBC to drop the GOP presidential candidate from the show

Hundreds of people will gather outside NBC’s headquarters in Manhattan on Wednesday to protest Donald Trump’s forthcoming appearance on Saturday Night Live.

Trump is due to host the sketch comedy show this weekend, but his appearance has been heavily criticised given his history of incendiary remarks regarding the Latino community, with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus telling the network that “racism is not funny”.

Related: Whatever Donald Trump says on SNL, the Latino community won't laugh | Julio Ricardo Varela

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Cologne (Germany): Call­-out for a solidarity­ demonstration in front of the Köln-Ossendorf prison and international solidarity actions

House Occupation News -

With the arrest of two other Hambach Forest activists, the repression wave against the anti­brown­coal movement has reached a new height.

Mr. Blue, who refused to give his identity to the police at his arrest (and still has not given their identity), is imprisoned since the 7th of October. He was arrested while blockading one of the main conveyor belts of the open cast mine Hambach, and through this shutting down the mining activities. Mr. Blue has not been allowed to see the prison doctor since he was imprisoned.

Florian and another activist, whose name is not yet published, were arrested on the 22nd of October by RWE security guards in the Hambach Forest, what actually happened there is still unclear. But one of the persons’ nose got broken and they are missing several teeth, also they were refused to see a doctor.

The prisoners will have to stay in prison until the court case, which can take up the several months.
We want to make people aware of this freakin’ brutality!

We hereby invite everyone to participate in a solidarity demonstration in front of the prison in Köln-Ossendorf, on Friday, the 6th of November, at 4 PM.

Furthermore, we call out for all persons who feel connected to our struggle for solidarity actions.
Do actions in your city – prisons, buildings of RWE or other energy companies, German embassies… There are many targets!

This is not „only“ about the protection of one of the oldest forests in Europe. Brown coal is the most inefficient energy­ carrier, and the biggest CO2 source in Europe. This massively supports climate change which has driven thousands of people from their homes and will continue to do that.
We are sick and tired of people getting abused, and put into cages, just for fighting for a world that is a little bit less fucked. We need to stand up against companies like RWE that inflicts so much violence on human and non­-human animals and of course the planet. We need to stand up against a system that protects the exploiters and beat the exploited.

This struggle concerns everybody! Not only those who are imprisoned, hurt and beaten up by companies or police. We are not intimidated, and hope you are not either.
Inform yourself and others, come to the demonstrations or organize yourself, the options are unlimited and time is running out.

Free the T(h)ree!