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(en) Britain, Hereford Solidarity League Heckler #16 October/November 2010

Date Mon, 01 Nov 2010 14:17:29 +0200

Freedom,âEquality,âCommunity ---- No. 1 Venns Lane, Herefordâowned by Herefordshire Council, empty for well over 12 months. Last November the council decided that the house should be refurbished and leased to Marches Housing Association to be used as temporary accommodation. Yet when we had a recent look around, there was no evidence of any building work going on and the place was still empty. Why? We encourage anyone in desperate need of a house to consider squatting it. Houses like these should not stand empty. With nobody maintaining them, they are an easy target for vandalism, arson and can quickly become a health hazard. Take the housing problem into your own handsâsquat it! -- Great British Democracyâ ---- Tory Party conference, Birmingham, 3rd October - protesters are surrounded by police and penned in for over an hour on a wet Sunday. They were eventually let go after having their details taken and being individually filmed. Their crime? Well, turning up to a march. Police believed a crime was âabout to occurâ. Despite this almost 10,000 people marched against the cuts, Hereford Solidarity League included. An important first step.


Another Tesco in Hereford? We donât think so!

Supermarket giant Tesco have announced plans to open
another store in the city.
They are currently in talks with Enterprise Inns, the owner
of the Gamecock pub on Holme Lacy Road, in a bid to open
a Tesco Express on the site.

But plans have already met with opposition from locals
who see no need for another store in the area that already
has two similar shops close by.

Soon after plans were announced Cllr Chris Chappell called
a demonstration outside the Gamecock; a petition has been
started and has now been signed by over 1,000 people from
the area; more recently, Hereford Solidarity League organised
a picket outside Tescoâs Bewell Street branch. The majority
of shoppers we spoke to there were overwhelmingly against
another Tesco store in the cityâwhy do we need another one
when they have three stores already?

The Gamecock has now closed but it is still on the market
as a pub. With the right landlord, this important asset could
be turned into the thriving community pub it once was.
Yet there is more than just a pub at stake. Holme Lacy
Road has two small supermarkets, a pet supplies shop, a
greengrocer/florist and an off license/post office, all within
150 yards of the proposed Tesco store. All of them, apart from
Co-op, are independent family run businesses, and are open
seven days a week, selling competitively priced produce.

Greenflynns the grocer have been there for four years, and
buy their produce almost entirely from local sourcesâall their vegetables
and most of their fruit is grown in Herefordshire. Their free range eggs,
honey, jam, pickles, strawberries, apple juice and flowers also come from
all over Herefordshireâhealthy food with a minimum of environmental
damage. They have over 10 local grower/suppliers who would all be affected
if this shop were to go under.

The only benefit of having a Tesco open on this stretch of road would be for
Tesco themselves and at the detriment to all the existing businesses there.

A public meeting has been called to organise opposition to Tescoâs
plans. It takes places on Friday 22nd October, 6pm at the Baptist Church
Hall, Web Tree Avenue.

Ten reasons not to shop at Tesco

1. Uncontrollable expansion damaging the local
economy, social inclusion and local identity
2. Bullying â with its massive 30.8% UK market
share power to bully suppliers and drive down
prices paid to farmers
3. Corruption â including abuse of planning laws
4. Environmental damage â less than 20% of
the total 40,000+ Tesco lines are from the UK
meaning a bigger carbon footprint
5. Poor animal welfare â eggs from battery
hens and intensively reared pork and beef.
6. Animal cruelty â it is involved in selling live
turtles and live frogs in China.
7. Genetically modified food
8. Palm oil â over 1,000 products sold by Tesco
contains palm oil and it is a major shareholder
in Greenergy Biofuels Ltd â both linked to
large-scale rainforest destruction
9. Workersâ rights abuses â allegations of
union-busting, chemical poisoning and poverty
wages in the UK and beyond
10. Tesco continue to sell products from Israeli
settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories


Whoever you vote for, Itâs Still Their County

Central ward councillor Mark Hubbard launched his new political party this September to a packed out Shire Hall of almost 200 people.

Itâs Our County claims to be âa new kind of political party dedicated to returning democracy to Herefordshire and to finding local solutions to local problemsâ. They are now campaigning ahead of next yearâs local elections under the broad banner of âchangeâ. But hang on, havenât we heard all of this before? Blair in 1997; Obama in 2008; Cameron in 2010. What we quickly find out is that theyâre just more of the same.

Itâs Our County was formed out of Itâs Our City, the campaign against the Edgar Street Grid. Itâs Our City now looks set to be wound up at the decision of those involved in Itâs Our County, despite the fact that firm plans are still in place for the ESG development.

**** * ** * *

Since its launch in September last year, Itâs Our City has dragged its feet over the ESG issue. Over the course of a year it has amounted to little more than a petition and it has failed to mobilise its 13,000 supportersâa campaign against a major development like the ESG cannot be fought with the single tactic of a petition alone.

In November when the petition was presented to the council we organised a feeder march to arrive at the time of the presentation. Despite repeated requests, they refused to advertise the march because it might lose them their air of respectability. For us the choice was simple: did they want to look respectful or did they want to win, because you canât always have both.

When the petition failed we pushed for action: pickets at council meetings, marches, mass street meetings and rallies, occupations of council buildings â whatever it took. Many people told us that it was time for Itâs Our City to take a more militant approach. Not knowing where to go next, the campaign went into near shutdown, emerging months later with its key members planning a new political partyâItâs Our County.

Itâs hard not to be cynical about thisâwas Itâs Our City just a strategy to galvanise support for a future political party? Have they ridden on the backs of discontent over the ESG just to gain power for themselves?

Itâs Our County is now claiming to be a more serious fight against not only the ESG but the councilâs âgrowth agendaâ as a wholeâthe plan to build 8,000 new houses and a bypass in Hereford.

What weâre fed up with is Herefordshire Council making all the decisions for us. But Itâs Our County will be more of the same. If they take control of the council next year it will still be âthemâ making the decisions and âusâ who get no say. Their version of âdemocracyâ is exactly the same as all the others: we get a vote once every four years and if you donât like what they do in between then tough!

No more leaders, No more political parties, letâs have some genuine people power instead.


Tudorville Youth Centre in Ross has now been saved from closure!

The council had previously branded the building âunfit
for purposeâ but Tudorville locals knew it was an important
asset. Their campaign against closure now means that the
centre will be run by the community, for the community.
Members of the Tudorville and District Community
Centre association had engaged in several months of
fundraising for the building and will now begin repair
works to bring it back into use. The association aim to
operate it as a community owned not-for-profit asset.

It just goes to show what can be achieved when a
community comes together and acts together. Well done,

You can see our previous article on the Youth Centre here â http://herefordheckler.wordpress.com/2010/04/12/the-battle-for-a-community-centre/ or visit the campaign Facebook page here â http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=309408803675&v=wall


Weâre all in it together are we?

It must be part of every government ministerâs job description at
the moment to bleat out lines like âweâre all in it togetherâ every
time they open their mouths.
One of the latest ministers to be afflicted by this sheep-cross-
Pinocchio curse is Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond: âWe have
a huge fiscal deficit to deal with, we have to get to grips with this
problem, weâre all in it together, weâre all going to have to share in
the pain.â No weâre not all in it together!!! None of the rich
in this country are in the same boat as us. How are they affected?
Might they have to pay more for their private schools, private
hospitals and days out at the races when VAT rises? Aww, diddums.
Are they having their housing benefit cut? If they lose their jobs will
they be struggling to pay the bills? No!
If we really are all in this together then why arenât the bankers
paying for this mess as much as us? For them, itâs business as
usual. In fact, for the remaining banks, business is as good as itâs
ever been. So here we have the guilty parties doing better than
ever whilst the innocent are taking all the pain! And study after
study has shown that working class people will suffer more than
any other group because of these cuts. So how the hell are we all
in this together?!


MP sets up office in hereford

Tory toff and Hereford MP, Jesse Norman, now has an office in
Hereford. If you want answers regarding, hmm, why we have to pay
for the mess that the bankers created, or why this country is still at
war with Iraq and Afghanistan or even why pensioners living alone in
a small three-bedroom council house are being made to feel guilty for
âunder-occupyingâ when tiny rich families can get away with living in
huge country mansions, then pay Jesse a visit at Suite 3, Penn House,
Broad Street Hereford.


Cuts to hit the poor hardest

The spending cuts by the ConDem government are to hit the poorest
in society 10 times harder than the richest, a study conducted on
behalf of the Trades Union Congress has found.
Using publicly available data about the services people use, the
research predicts the impact that the cuts will have on different
sections of society. Unsurprisingly, itâs the poor who are to
be hit hardest.

Many trade unions have spoken with a sense of
militancyâat the recent TUC conference they
overwhelmingly approved a âco-ordinated
political and industrial campaignâ against
government public spending cuts. This will take
the form of a rally at Westminster in October
on the eve of the spending review, a national
demonstration in March and a co-ordinated
campaign of strike action.

Whilst a united and militant campaign is needed
if we are to have any chance at stopping the cuts
and saving our services, we should not be relying on
the unions to lead the campaign. The last few decades
have seen a serious decline in the number of unionised
workers and a change in the direction of many unionsâsome of
which have taken on a conformist nature. This has mirrored a change
by the political left and the moving to the centre ground by the Labour
Party, who many of unions are affiliated to and fund.

The unions and the âtraditional leftâ have so far failed to seriously
challenge cuts and attacks on workers/union rights by successive
governmentsâincluding Labour. This is a result of bureaucratic and
careerist union leadership. Most unions are run from a âtop-downâ
position instead of the democratic approach of being run by the rank-
and-file members.

Instead of relying upon the unions to oppose the cuts we need a
grassroots mass movement. This movement must be run by
the people that are most effected by the cutsâworkers,
service users, the unemployed and the vulnerable. We
need a broad-based campaign, run on the principles
of solidarity, creativity and determination if we
are to succeed. A variety of tactics needs to be
used, and that means more than just strikes. That
means âgo-slowsâ and other acts of resistance
in the workplace. âRefusals to payâ and boycott
tactics, as was seen during the huge anti-Poll
Tax campaigns, could be used. Demonstrations,
pickets and civil disobedience should be used â
whatever the people involved think is needed and

Groups in Norfolk, Oxford and Bristol have already
taken the lead. Norfolk Coalition Against the Cuts has
been formed with involvement from many unions and
community activists. After a successful launch meeting it aims
to co-ordinate action against the cuts in the county.
Hereford Solidarity League will be getting involved in local campaigns
in the near futureâthe cuts must not go unopposed in Herefordshire!

Herefordâs Radical History â part five

The Ledbury Turnpike Riots of 1735
September of 1735 was a turbulent time in rural east Herefordshire and the
borderlands with Gloucestershire. Ledbury and the surrounding areas were subjected
to a âterrifying riot by ax-wielding mobsters,â which left several dead, dozens injured
and led to the arrests of 11 people.
Turnpikes (or âtollsâ) were largely set up in 18th century England as a way of collecting
road taxes. Turnpike trusts were set up to administer them and over-see the collection
of the toll.

Ledbury Turnpike Trust was set up in 1721 and was in charge of turnpikes on nine
of the roads leaving the town; opposition had been growing since their introduction.
Many locals despised having to pay to use roads that they had previously been free
to travel on and complained of the âdeadness of trade and heaviness of taxesâ. The
Ledbury Turnpike Trust was seen as âan unnecessary and unjust tax collectorâ.
Disturbances had occurred before, but they came to a head on the 21st September
1735. The anti-Turnpike mob consisted mainly of local farmers, their servants and
according to the authorities, âthe criminally-minded and the unemployedâ. In a bizarre
scene, many of the rioters dressed as women or blackened their faces as a way of
disguising themselvesâsomething that had been outlawed in âthe Black Actâ of 1723.
The local Justice had rallied a militia of around 100 men to put down the riot and
âdefend the last turnpikeââthis militia was armed with guns, pistols and swords.
Fighting had lasted much of the day and night, and after the mob managed to
destroy the turnpike their fury continued. At about 9 oâclock they âmade an attack
on the Justiceâs house. Several of the rioters were shot down but they refused
to give up and responded with equal force, injuring several of the townsmen
protecting the Justice.â

They had threatened to burn down the house unless
two of their own were released, after a particularly
nasty and violent arrest in town earlier in the day.
After hours of fighting the remaining rioters were chased away into the
surrounding countryside. The two men that the mob was trying to liberate were
apparently executed in Worcester, amid the tight security of 100 bayonet-carrying
troops. Further disturbances followed this particular riot, with troops coming to
quell the disturbances.

Over 100 years later similar events happened on a larger scale in south Wales with
the Rebecca Riots. Turnpikes were eventually phased out in the mid-late 19th century,
amid much celebration.

Article heavily citing âToday in 1735â entry from the Ledbury
Community Portal using facts from Old Bailey Online and the National
Archives. www.ledburyportal.co.uk


Support for Young LGBT in Herefordshire

So what do you do if you are bullied because
a member of your family is lesbian, gay,
bisexual or transgender (LGBT)? Well one young
Herefordian who wasnât prepared to put up with
that kind of crap dealt with it by setting up a
support group.

âOutside Inâ is a youth-led group for young
LGBT individuals, their friends and family.
The group was set up in 2008 and with the
assistance of individuals and organisations such
as Hereford Rainbow Forum and Supported
Housing for Young Peoples Project. They are
now working toward their aims of reducing
homophobic bullying; supporting young LGBT
people; raising awareness of LGBT issues and
challenging stereotypes and misconceptions.

Outside In told the Heckler: âAll young people
struggle with adolescence but it can be made
more complicated when dealing with being
LGBT. Issues such as telling friends and family,
bullying or confused emotions can be very
isolating, particularly in a rural county like ours.

âThrough our own personal experiences of
growing up in Herefordshire, we feel that peer
support and space to meet other individuals and
be free from prejudice and discrimination can
help. So weâve been developing a social network
to provide information, advice, and a supportive
peer network for young LGBT people.â

Outside In are currently organising a schools
project where they plan to inform year 10â11
students about LGBT issues such as perceived
stereotypes, homophobic bullying, health and

âWe appreciate that many problems arise
through a lack of understanding, people react
out of fear and ignorance. So we feel that
through education, we can help tackle the
inequality faced by LGBT people,â they said.

Visit www.outside-in.org (under
construction) or email outside_in@
live.co.uk for advice.



Greed and Corruption in Cricket

With the announcement of the squad for the upcoming Ashes series youâd expect
England cricket fans to be excited about the winter ahead. Unfortunately many of us are
not. This summerâs match fixing and spot fixing allegations during the series with
Pakistan have made us wonder whether we should give up watching the sport, and
instead spend the winter betting money on pointless insignificant probabilities, like
âhow many times Bret Lee will rub the ball on his groinâ or âhow many times Swannys
balls will knock out Pontings middle stumpâ!

But itâs worth having another look at international cricket in light of what happened
this summer.

Letâs take Mohammed Amir. Heâs been accused of deliberately bowling no balls in
exchange for money. For this he has been branded greedy and corrupt. This is an 18
year old lad who comes from a small impoverished village in the Swat Valley, an area
that is regularly bombed by the US and Pakistani military. Cricketing authorities have
known for some time that Pakistan players have been targeted by illegal betting
syndicates. They manipulate players with threats to families and shower them with
gifts. And itâs worth remembering that Pakistan players are among the lowest paid
professionals in the world game.

The chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Giles Clarke, who refused
to shake hands with Mohammad Amir when presenting him with the Pakistan Man of
the Series award, is a former investment banker who has appeared on the Sunday
Times Rich List. This is the bloke who sold the England team to Texas billionaire Robert
Allen Stanford in 2008 for a Twenty20 Championship against the West Indies, for prize
money of $20 million. When Stanford was arrested in June 2009 for a $9 billion bank
fraud, Clarke refused to stand down, insisting that their dealings had been above board.
People like Giles Clarke and the ICC chairman, Sharad Pawar, who is the wealthiest
politician in India, are completely motivated by money. That is why there are so many
tournaments and matches. The money is pouring in from sponsorship and television
deals. And the involvement of betting firms in all sports is on the increase. Where there
is money to be made companies like Skybet will be there and if sports governing bodies
can take a cut then they will.

People like Clarke and Pawar rake in millions of pounds in profits made on the back of
players who lack proper support or representation. Cricket is being screwed by the
greed and corruption at the top of the game and its players and fans who suffer for it.
Itâs due to scumbags like Clarke and Pawar that people like Mohammed Amir end up
being manipulated and abused. Amir may get a life ban if found guilty, but the real guilt
lies with those controlling the game.

Anti-fascist football clubs

Every anarchistâs favourite football team, Germanyâs St Pauli, have made a solid start
to there first season back in the Bundesliga. The predominantly left-wing/anarchist
supported team from Hamburg are one of the most famous of Europeâs left wing
clubs. Teams such as Olympic Marseilles, AEK Athens, Livorno, Besiktas and St Pauli
are well known for their colourful supporters (ultras) who wave anti-fascist, anti-racist,
anarchist and leftist flags and banners. Brain dead racists like those fools chanting
EDL at the back of the Meadow End, would be kicked off the terrace at clubs like these.
Hereford United Anti-fascists anyone?

Local Lad Pens First Football Chant

It has been revealed that âlocalâ lad Elgar
was the first person to write a football
chant. Turns out he was a Wolves fan and
he wrote âHe Banged The Leather For Goalâ
in honour of 1890s striker, Billy Malpass.
Elgar set these lyrics to a piece of piano
music which was performed in public for
the first time recently. Apparently Elgar
used to cycle the 40 miles from Malvern
to Molineux to watch the games. Now
that is a loyal supporter.

Helen Heckler

*â So how do all those people feel
who voted for Jesse Norman just
because âheâs a really nice chap,
only to find out that heâs a
benefit-cutting, money-obsessed,
right-wing enemy of the working
class? If you donât feel guilty now
then you soon will do.
*â Great news, Herefordshire has
a new political party: âIts Our
Countyâ. So at next yearâs local
elections, instead of voting
for old, wealthy, middle class
politicians, you can vote for,
errâ young, wealthy, middle class
politicians! Canât we just get on
with the bloody revolution?
*â So Tesco want to open another
store in Hereford? A few years ago
in southern France a McDonaldâs was
built in spite of local opposition.
That didnât stop the locals.
They fought back and demolished
the building, dumping the rubble
outside the town hall. Now thatâs
direct action!


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