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(en) Britain, The bulletin of Hereford Solidarity League* Heckler #20 Freedom,â Equality,â Community - June/July 2011

Date Tue, 30 Aug 2011 13:51:42 +0300


This is thugery. When posh people do it itâs called âboisterous merrymakingâ -- Oiks at the races? We canât have that ---- Fighting broke out during this yearâs Ladies Day at Ascot as racegoers looked on. Yet all accounts suggest that these menâand many others on the dayâwere not the usual âwell-to-doâ racegoers that Royal Ascot attracts but ordinary blokes enjoying an otherwise good day out; it seems the posh donât like it one bit. -- The Daily Mail comments: âA quick glance across the terraces reveals a sea of flesh and unsightly tattoosâof women in cheap, tawdry dresses and men who have shunned the expected top hat.â Put another way, they donât like ordinary men and women mixing with the upper classes. Well stuff âem! If we want to go to the races, weâll go to the races! No class discrimination will stop us.

-----------------------------------------

Jesse rubs our noses in it

Fresh from the latest round of cuts with his
chums down in London, Jesse Norman has been
helping out at the Wise Buys charity shop at
The Oval.
The deadringer for a door-knob obviously fails
to see the irony in the growing need for cheap
second-hand goods by victims of recent benefit
cuts â caused by his government!
So as we find ourselves with less and
less money and an ever-present threat of
redundancy, Jesse âtoffâ Norman comes down to
take pity on us and rub our noses in it.
Jesse made his millions working as a banker
for Barclays in London. Obviously realising he
had a talent for screwing over working class
people, he became a politician.
So what makes this slime bag think heâs wanted
round The Oval, coming round pretending to care
about the people heâs screwed over?
Jog on, Jesse!

----------------------------------------

County workers ---- join the picket lines

Strikes hit the county at the end of June
as workers took action to defend their pay
and pensions.
Schools were closed from Leominster
to Lea and colleges, courts and Hereford
Jobcentre were also affected.
Members of four unionsâNational
Union of Teachers, Association of
Teachers and Lecturers, University
and Colleges Union and the Public and
Commercial Services unionâcoordinated
the action on 30th June in protest at
government plans that would see workers
retire later and pay more into their
pensions, reducing their monthly wage.
It was the first industrial action
taken nationally against the ConDem
programme of cuts.
The strikes hit as Herefordshire Council
put into action plans to make redundant all
music teachers throughout schools in the
county in a further âcost-cuttingâ exercise.
The decision was taken behind closed
doors without consultation or a vote.

A business model was recommended
that will see teachers laid off and rehired
on a self-employed basis, dependent on
the whim of schools that want to work
with them.
Chris Levandowski, from the NASWUT
union, spoke up for members and vowed
to fight tooth and nail to save their jobs:
âMost of the staff I have spoken to are most
unhappy about that situation, but they have
no choice.â Err, or should that be canât really
be bothered to fight for anything.
Childminders in Herefordshire have also
been fighting cuts to their budgets by
organising a petition, wholly signed by
over 60 childminders.
The petition was presented to new council
leader John Jarvis, destined we imagine,
straight for the bin judging by the councilâs
long tradition of not giving a monkeyâs.

The news that the Trades Union
Congress has met with anti-cuts groups,
including anarchists and radical groups
like UK Uncut, to coordinate and plan
future protests and strike action should
be welcomed. Our ultimate goals may be
different but right now fighting separately
would be idiotic.
But if we are fighting to win we must
up the ante and go beyond the one-day
strike, the polite petition, the giving up
before weâve even tried. We must stop
merely going, painfully, through the
motions and start getting serious.
Right now the Greek anti-cuts movement
is showing us that it is possible to fight
back against austerity and pose a serious
threat to the state; we didnât create this
mess so why should we pay for it. But
what Greece is also showing us is the
level of struggle we have to aspire to have
any effect.
Unions, workers, community groups
and individuals fighting government
cuts across Herefordshire urgently need
to unite. Isolated petitions just wonât cut
it anymore.

-------------------------------------------

Stonewall â Loud, Proud & Queer

This June saw the 42nd anniversary of the Stonewall riots,
a significant turning point for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
Transgender (LGBT) politics and liberation. The date continues
to be remembered and this time of the year is synonymous
with âPrideâ events across the world. Here in Hereford the
fourth âOut in The Sticksâ festival was recently held, with film
showings at The Courtyard, theatrical events and a conference
to address the invisibility of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
Transgender people in society.
The Stonewall Inn was a gay bar in Greenwich Village, New
York. It became a place for the young, poor, dispossessed and
newly confident gay and transgender people to socialise and
hang out. This was a welcome respite in the face of a widely
homophobic society and establishment.
In the early hours of Saturday 28th June the police raided the
bar and demanded that the 200-strong crowd inside line up
and show their identification, whilst âgender verificationâ took
place and those men dressed as women were arrested. This
was a common occurrence at the time, with state persecution
of sexual minorities being the norm.
However, the raid did not go to plan. Many of the revellers
left but continued to hang around outside where a crowd
began to gather. As the crowd grew and more police officers
arrived hostilities intensified. Pushing and shoving ensued
as the police attempted to make arrests. The crowd fought
back strongly, surprising the police and showing that the
gay community were more than willing and able to defend
themselves from attack. Police vehicles were overturned and a
volley of missiles rained down on them. Rioting continued and
was repeated over the following nights.
These events sent shock waves throughout the establishment,
and are frequently cited as the first instance in American
history when people in the homosexual community fought
back against a government-sponsored system that persecuted
sexual minorities. Activist groups were subsequently set up to
push for equality, linking in with other civil rights struggles of
the time. A year after the riots the first Gay Pride march was
held, and has since become a regular annual feature in many
towns and cities across the world.
The struggle for equality for the LGBT community has come a
long way since Stonewall, but persecution and discrimination
unfortunately still exists. Homophobic bullying is all too
common on the playground and in the workplace, and the
government continues to deport LGBT people to countries
where they face repression such as imprisonment and even
death. This is clearly unacceptable and if society is to truly treat
people as equal regardless of gender or sexual orientation,
then we need to oppose discrimination whenever and
wherever it occurs.

You can find out more about Herefordâs Out In The
Sticks project here â www.outinthesticks.org.uk

----------------------------------------------

âTie yourself to a star and sail with itâ

âEvery person must have a star, an ideal,
to which he clings. The ideal may not
be realised today or tomorrow but you
must have an ideal, which will carry you
forward in life, will inspire you to do
deeds and acts.
âWe are living in a society where there are
slaves, poverty, misunderstanding, social
injustice, all the wrongs of society. And
there are people foolish like myself and
many others who call ourselves anarchists,
who feel that this injustice can be done
away with, that people can be educated. We
must in our soul believe that justice must
prevail. We must have that concept that we
are going to carry on, little by little.
âThe concept of justiceâmoral certainty,
that right is rightâis a doctrine that, no
matter whether you call it anarchist-
syndicalist, anarchist-individualist,
anarchist-communist, whatever label you
put on it â what is the ultimate goal of
all these scattered ideas, whether itâs the
ideas of Proudhon, whether itâs Kropotkin,
whether itâs Malatesta or anyone elseâ
each one had a little variation. But the
ultimate ideal, the ultimate concept of
all of these people was ultimate human
justice for everybody. And that is the ideal
that anarchism stands for.â

Irving Abrams

-----------------------------------

Villagers to run their own school

Long before posh toff David Cameron
was going on about his âbig societyâ,
anarchists were making the argument
that you donât need the government and
state to run society, ordinary people can
do it for themselves.
And so it is that, after a long battle
with Herefordshire Council, Dilwyn
residents have decided to run their
village school themselves.
Last year council bosses decided that
Dilwyn Primary School was
âunsustainableâ and would have to close
despite various rescue plans including
linking with St Maryâs High School in
Lugwardine. The local community are
now working on plans for a free school
run by volunteers.
As weâve said previously, schools are
an important hub of village life and even
more so for a small village like Dilwyn.
At a time when rural communities are
being decimated by the dwindling
agricultural industry and multinational
companies sucking trade in to the towns
and cities, it is vital that we do whatever
it takes to preserve these communities.
Herefordshire Council, whilst paying
its top boss more than the prime
minister, look only at the balance sheet
and see a school as unprofitable, taking
in no account of its social value.
We support the efforts of Dilwynâs
people in keeping their school open, but
it is also vital that we continue to resist
every closure.
Herefordshire Council are currently
reviewing the future of other schools
and will no doubt be attempting to
shut down whatever they can. A
strong and united anti-closure
movement is a must.

---------------------------------------


A Question of Democrasy Lessons from Itâs Our City

Anarchists are often ridiculed and criticised for our attitude
towards voting and representative democracy as a whole.
We view the system of having individuals representing us in
council or government as giving up our freedom. We all know
that these people do whatever they want once elected and
rarely keep the promises they made at election time.
Anarchism comes from the Greek an-archos, meaning without
leaders. Democracy to us is everyone having an equal voice. If
we organised in our communities and workplaces into groups
we could do without those people who claim to represent us.
An example of what we mean can be seen from the Itâs Our
City anti-ESG campaign. This group was set up by people
(including some councillors) in order to stop the destruction
of the city centre. Around 16,000 people agreed with them
and signed a petition to show their support. At this point,
we believe, the democratic thing to do would have been to
have open public meetings to decide on the direction of the
campaign. We would have pushed for the picketing of council
meetings, city centre rallies and other forms of protest. Not
everyone would have agreed with us, but at least in open
meetings people could have shared their ideas.
Unfortunately the self appointed leadership of Itâs Our City
decided that 16,000 signatures meant 16,000 votes. Behind closed
doors they turned a vibrant community-wide campaign into
a political party. This was anything but a democratic decision.
Cynics would say they let their egos and hunger for power get the
better of them. In the end, as Itâs Our County, they failed to gain
any significant power in the local elections. But it would make
no difference if they had won control of the councilâpeople who
claim to be the solution always end up as the problem.
When Itâs Our City was being wound up, we tried to push for an
open and democratic continuation of the campaign, but organisers
refused, thinking that we wanted to take over. We thought that
there would be support for direct action, as numerous community-
based campaigns have successfully used this in the past. This
would have allowed supporters to use their own voice, rather than
rely on councillors to talk for them. As we now know only a lack of
money stands between the council and their ESG plans. We hope
that future campaigns learn from the mistakes of Itâs Our City and
donât allow politicians to get in the way of democracy.

Itâs Our City
at 10 Downing
Street to
deliver their
petition to
the prime
minister

---------------------------------------------

Turning the Tide on Tesco

Wherever Tesco go there seems to
be controversy and numerous high-
profile campaigns against its seemingly
never-ending expansion. From Tenbury
Wells to Stokes Croft in Bristol, local
organisations have been lining up
against the company and Ledbury looks
set to be the next battleground.

Tesco are planning to move their store in
the town from its current site on Orchard
Lane to the site of Ledbury Welding on
Leadon Way. Locals have raised concerns
about the negative effect this may have
on trade in the town. Rumour has it that
the two-day consultation offered was
merely used to pay lip service, with the
company already committed to the plans.
An action group has already been
formed: Ledbury Opposes Tesco
Superstore held its first meeting on
Friday 3rd June, with around 150 locals
in attendance. They have said they are
ready to fight a lengthy battle, with
leafleting already underway and a
Facebook page set up.

People oppose Tesco for many different
reasonsâthe power this huge corporation
yields, its negative effect on small and
local businesses, its ability to steamroller
plans over any and all opposition,
its environmental impact, the sale of
unethical products and so on. But one
thing that almost all hold in common is
the contempt shown to them by Tesco.
We await further information on the
Ledbury plans, but in the meantime we
encourage as many people as possible to
get involved in the campaign against it. The
only way us small people can take on such a
large company is through standing together
and organising from the grassroots. By
using a diverse range of tacticsâfrom
petitions to boycotts to pickets and moreâ
we can pack a powerful punch, and that is
how such a campaign will be successful.

-------------------------------------

Private Vs Public Sector

Efforts by the ruling class to divide workers
into âprivate sectorâ and âpublic sectorâ
are currently going into overdrive. Theyâre
pitting shop staff against nurses, factory
workers against council workers, truckers
against teachers.
Theyâve got us fighting each other for the
crumbs that fall off the rich manâs tableâ
BUT THE BOSSES HAVE GOT THE WHOLE DAMN CAKE!

------------------------------------

The international banking systemâa new motto

Great Britain has âGod and my right â, the
United States have âIn God we trustâ but
we canât find a motto for the international
banking system. May we suggest âProfits we
keep, but debt we share â?

-------------------------------------

Council marks its own quiz

After pledging to make the council more
open and inclusive, new leader Cllr John
Jarvis has axed five scrutiny bodies in
favour of just one committee headed by a
member of the ruling Conservative Party.
A fine achievement for âdemocracyââone
opposition councillor compared it to âdoing
a pub quiz and marking it yourselfâ.
We can see that right from the outset this
council plans to carry on where the old one
left off: doing whatever they please.
The Chinese government is said to be taking
lessons from Herefordshire Council in how it
gets away with such blatant abuses of power.

----------------------------------------------

Sport

Footballâs Green Revolution

Finally all closet football-loving greenies can come out and admit their mainstream
passion. A football club not far from the Shire is set to become the most
environmentally-minded in the land.

Nailsworth, south of Gloucester, is home to Forest Green Rovers FC. Many
Hereford fans have fond memories of the away games at their New Lawn stadium
when we were down in the Conference. Who could resist the charm of this
community-minded club, with the previous chairman serving drinks in the bar, and
fans so friendly that even die-hard Meadow End nutters felt like giving them a hug!
In August 2010 Forest Green were taken over by Dale Vince. This is the bloke who
owns green electricity company Ecotricity, and also happens to be vegan. He began
his green revolution in February this year when red meat was taken off the menu at
the club. Initially it was the players who had red meat removed from their diet, but
this was extended to all staff and fans. Fish and poultry from sustainable sources
and a selection of vegetarian food are now sold instead. Plans are also in place to
embed renewable and low impact technologies throughout the stadium.
In May this year Vince teamed up with Gary Neville to launch the âSustainability in
Sportâ initiative. According to their website âthis new partnership has the aim of
taking the eco message into the world of sport. Environmental projects will be
delivered by Sustainability in Sport, the first of which will be a community solar
scheme in Manchester.â

While all this sounds quite laudable, letâs hope Mr Vince treats Forest Green and its
history with respect. We hope he is able to make the positive changes he has
planned, and works the supporters of Forest Green to achieve them. They will still
be there long after he has gone.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Bahrain grand prix cancelled -- But where do we draw the line?

After months of speculation the FIA has announced that 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix has
been cancelled, but the repercussions will linger on for much longer. The race was initially
suspended due to the violent crack down on unarmed protesters in the Bahraini capital
Manama. Unfortunately F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and his money hungry cronies
couldnât bear to put people before the loss of Â50 million and restored the race to the F1
calendar. This decision angered human rights groups, fans, F1 teams, and some drivers.
Former motor racing chief Max Mosley told the media that âthe race should not go
ahead as the grand prix is being used as part of the machinery of suppression in Bahrainâ.
But this is nothing new; sport has always been used by governments for ulterior
motives. The summer Olympics in 1936 was used by Hitler to build nationalist and
racist fervour. Apartheid South Africa used cricket and rugby to promote their racist
ideology. Last year poverty stricken South Africa spent billions on the FIFA World Cup,
and in the process crushed workers rights and evicted people from their homes.
British governments are no different. While massive cuts are made to public spending,
the previous and current governments have poured money into the 2012 Olympics.
So what of the Bahrain GP? Clearly the race should not happen. But where do we
draw the line? What about the Chinese GP with their human rights record? What
about the Turkish GP with their treatment of the Kurds? What about the British GP
with the high rates of death in police custody?
If sport is going to start getting moralistic then someone is going to have to decide
where the boundaries lay, no easy task in a money driven industry.

---------------------------------------

Helen Heckler

nâ New council leader John âface
like a slapped arseâ Jarvis reckons
the whole county owes a debt of
gratitude to the outgoing leader
Roger Phillips. Too right! Phillips
was a courageous and visionary
leaderâhe closed the LEA swimming
pool, he tried closing care homes
in Kington, as well as 40 schools
across the county. If the council
owned it, he wanted it closed. Oh
yeah, definite debt of gratitude,
John. How can we ever repay him?!

nâ Taking a break from screwing
people over, Herefordshire banker
Darren Farnell recently went on
a day-long jolly to Foley Auto
Services to find out first-hand
what his clients need. Uh, I think
small businesses want more money,
Darren? Any idiot could tell you
that. The government keeps telling
you that! One of the mechanics
told me: âIâm used to working
with some big tools, but this guy
really takes the biscuit.â

-------------------------------------

Caption Competition

Answers to kay.bulstreet@hotmail.co.uk
or 07933 655 985 by 30th July 2011.

--------------------------------------

nâ Hereford Solidarity League works to build a society based on the ideas of freedom, equality and community â

n â Anti-fascism is an important part of our politics, but we believe that all politicians maintain a system of inequality, privilege and control that divides
communitiesâ

nâ Real change does not happen at the ballot box and can only come about by independent working class action; that is, people looking out for each other and organising themselves to deal with the problems that they experience on a day to day basisâ

nâ Our aim is to increase the fighting spirit and self-confidence of working class people to change things for themselves.
Find us on the internetââJoin our Facebook group âHereford Hecklerâ; visit www.herefordheckler.wordpress.com; or email
kay.bulstreet@hotmail.co.uk
=========================================================
* An antiauthoritarian anticapitalist initiative
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