Stop the EDL march - eyewitness report

Eyewitness report of mass arrests at East London demo against the EDL - 7 September 2013

On Saturday 7 September, 5,000 people assembled at Altab-Ali Park, named in honour of a young Bangladeshi textile worker murdered by fascists in 1978, in an attempt to stop the fascist English Defence League from marching through Tower Hamlets, East London, an area with a large Asian population. An FRFI supporter who was at the demonstration reports.

 

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Street Party to resist the threatened removal of the Counihan family - 27 May 2013

The Counihan-Sanchez family from Kilburn are continuing to resist attempts by Brent Labour council to make them homeless. The Counihan-Sanchez Housing Campaign (CSHC) are supporting the family and continuing to fight all evictions and cuts in Brent. The family of seven were made homeless by Brent after they declared £18 a week income from a plot of land in Ireland. Since April 2012, the family have been in shoddy accommodation in Ealing which costs Brent council £500 per week.

 

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UEFA out of Israel! Israel out of Palestine!

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FRFI activists in London and Manchester are participating in the international campaign to demand that UEFA pull its Under-21s final football tournament out of Israel, where it is due to be held from 5 to 18 June 2013.

In London, on 24 May, activists assembled outside St Pancras Inter­national station to receive around 40 activists from several European countries, mainly France, who arrived to cheers and chants of Free Palestine! Boycott Israel! We then set off for a 250-strong march to Grosvenor Hotel in Park Lane where the UEFA annual congress was taking place. FRFI was among the coalition of groups which organised the day of action, along with Football Beyond Borders and Red Card Israeli Racism – which held a five-hour rally outside the hotel. A small group of intrepid activists even managed, later, to get past security and protest at the UEFA dinner itself. In front of guests including David Beckham and Alex Ferguson, one got onto the platform to denounce Israel and another stood behind UEFA president Michel Platini holding a flag.

 

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Defend Whittington Hospital! We want our NHS back!

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16 March 2013 – RCG supporters joined up to 5,000 people marching against the proposed sell off at Whittington Hospital in Archway, North London. The march started at Highbury corner and closed-off the busy Holloway Road as it made its way up to the hospital at Archway.

 

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Lewisham Hospital and the PFI parasites – Feb 2013

Lewisham Hospital is being sacrificed to parasites. The government’s plans to remove its Accident and Emergency service, maternity wards, paediatric and other services in order to provide private companies with extraordinary profits, which furnish the pleasures of multi-millionaires.

The South London Health Care Trust (SLHT) has run up a deficit of £15 million over the past 3 years. In 2012 the cost of servicing its debt is estimated to have been £61m – nearly 15% of its income. The SLHT total debt burden exceeds £2bn.

 

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Defend Whittington Hospital - 12 Feb 2013

Five hundred people attended a Stop the Sell-off meeting chaired by Jeremy Corbyn MP on Tuesday 12 February at Archway Methodist Church in Islington called by the Defend Whittington Hospital Campaign. Two weeks ago the Whittington Management Board announced that buildings would be sold, staff accommodation demolished, 570 jobs in nursing and administration would go, beds to be reduced from 330 to 177 and birth services to be capped at 4,000 per year.

 

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Defend Lewisham Hospital! - event report - 26 Jan 2013

Lewisham Hospital march

On Saturday 26 January 25,000 people march through Lewisham, south east London, in a show of strength against plans to close Lewisham Hospital. No provision has been made for the 30,000 emergency admissions and complex cases every year that would need to go out of area if this hospital is lost. Queen Elizabeth Hospital Woolwich (QEH), already struggling, would become responsible for providing A&E services to 750,000 people from Lewisham. QEH and Princess Royal Hospital Orpington are being bankrupted by unaffordable Private Finance Initiative schemes - £250 million that will be £2.5 billion when repaid. Matthew Kershaw, who has been appointed as a special administrator, has decided to axe Lewisham Hospital, a thriving busy hospital in a neighbouring borough. This is no solution.

 

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The Counihan-Sanchez Housing Campaign starts 2013 in fighting mood

The Counihan-Sanchez Housing Campaign (CSHC) plans to broaden our campaign for housing for the Counihan family and against cuts and evictions in Brent in 2013. In November 2012 we won our first victory in our battle with Brent Labour council, who have been forced to reinstate the Housing Benefit which Brent withdrew from the family when they declared them ‘intentionally homeless’ in April 2012.

 

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Housing for the Counihans! Housing for all!

No cuts in Brent! No cuts at all!

On Saturday 1 December, the Counihan Sanchez Family campaign had its second successful march through Kilburn, north London.  The march resonated with working class people on the streets, who are all too aware of the savage council cuts. The family campaign banner led the march, followed by banners from Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, the Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group and the Labour Representation Committee. The march was loud and vocal to the end, with speeches, chanting, singing and poetry.

 

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Growing campaign for Brent Family facing eviction - October 2012

Counihan Family Campaign

Sarah Counihan-Sanchez aged 15 told a packed public meeting at the Marian Centre in Kilburn on 17October how her family had received a third eviction order from Brent Council and have been ordered to quit their temporary accommodation by 8 November. The family were evicted by Brent Council in April 2012 18 months after they declared £18 a week income from a small plot of land they had inherited in Ireland.

 

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Hands off Somalia! No to the lies of the BBC - British bourgeois corporation! – 30 June 2012

Hands off Somalia!  No to the lies of the BBC - British bourgeois corporation! – 30 June 2012
On Saturday 30 June, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! supported a successful demonstration called by the Hands Off Somalia campaign (HOS) outside the BBC in Portland Place London.

The demonstration was called in response to the biased and selective coverage of Somalia, and in particular to the use of documentaries such as Escape from the world’s most dangerous place to build up propaganda in favour of imperialist intervention, both military and otherwise,  to ‘save’ Somalia from itself.

 

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Imperialist Hands off Africa public meeting – 16 June 2012

Imperialist Hands off Africa public meeting – 17 June 2012

On 16 June 2012, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! spoke alongside other groups at a public meeting of the Hands off Somalia campaign, entitled Imperialist Hands off Africa, in Shepherds Bush.

The conference meeting was organised by HOS to bring awareness and action around the new scramble for Africa which is being lead by the British government and its imperialist allies. The other groups speaking on the platform were Uhuru, Pan Afrikan Women's Association (Moyo-Wa-Taifa), Supporters packed the meeting at the Horn of Africa Community Centre to discuss the legacy and impact colonialism has left on Africa as well as the alternative and ways to oppose British imperialism.

 

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Hands Off Somalia: public meeting, London – 28 April 2012

Hands Off Somalia: public meeting, London – 28 April 2012

On Saturday 28 April, Hands Off Somalia (HOS), held a public meeting to discuss the British government’s threat of military intervention in Somalia, and to raise awareness about the campaign.  HOS was initiated by Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! in January 2012, to mobilise opposition to an international conference hosted by David Cameron in London on 23 February, which was convened to deal with what he terms ‘a failed state’. The campaign was formed together with people from the Somali community in London and other anti-imperialists, and held a big demonstration outside the venue of the conference.

 

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Celebrating 53 years of the Cuban Revolution - London, 7 Jan 2012

 
January 2012 marks 53 years since the triumph of the Cuban revolution. Rock around the Blockade, the RCG campaign in solidarity with socialist Cuba, celebrated the occasion with a street rally in Angel, North London. We publicised the case of the Cuban 5, anti-terrorists jailed in the US in 2001 for trying to peacefully prevent terrorist attacks against Cuba.
In February our 12th solidarity brigade will leave for Cuba. We will take donations for sports equipment for Cuban youth, to coincide with the London olympics. To donate, go to www.ratb.org.uk/donate or you can attend a classical music concert on Friday 20 January in London, where all proceeds will go to the brigade donation.
Go to the rock around the Blockade website - www.ratb.org.uk

 

Classical music concert with Cuban musicians

Friday 20 January, 6:45pm

Raising funds for material aid to Cuba
The concert celebrates the 53rd anniversary of the Cuban revolution and all proceeds will be donated for sports equipment for Cuban youth, in the year of the 2012 London Olympics. The donation will be presented during our solidarity brigade to Cuba in February 2012.

 

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FRFI out on strike day, 30 Nov 2011

FRFI out on strike day, 30 Nov 2011

London, 30 November 2011 - FRFI marched with around 30,000 striking public sector workers in protest at pension cuts. Nationwide around 2 million workers from 30 trade unions were on strike. The attack on pensions will see the value of public sector pensions cut by £2.8 billion, just a fraction of the massive assault on living standards, through which the ruling class are attempting to make ordinary people pay for the crisis of capitalism. We say, ‘No cuts, full stop!’

 

Electricians against the cuts - 9 Nov 2011

Electricians and activists arrived at the site of The Pinnacle in Bishopsgate at 7am this morning, to protest against 35% pay-cuts in the trade, forced de-skilling and corporate greed. 500 protesters occupied the roads where speeches were held about the big seven corporations that are looking to destroy existing employment agreements and reduce pay whilst they continue to rake in enormous profits.

 

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Public Rally: Speak out against the Cuts: Stop the Real Looters!

Saturday 1 October 2011

1 - 3 pm


Outside Angel tube


Upper Street, Islington, North London


RBS bank has been bailed out with £45 billion of taxpayers money, yet it's employees continue to receive millions of pounds of bonuses,while essential services are being cut.

This is a blatant example of how the poorest are being made to pay for the capitalist crisis while the rich continue with the looting that they call financial speculation.

 

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Cuban 5: 13 years of unjust imprisonment - 10 Sep 2011

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On Saturday 10 September, as part of the international days of action for the Cuban 5, on the 13th anniversary of their incarceration in US gaols, members and supporters of Rock around the Blockade in Britain, supported by the Revolutionary Communist Group, held street rallies in four cities: In Glasgow by Donald Dewar Statue, in Newcastle at Grey’s Monument, in Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens and in Trafalgar Square in London.

 

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FRFI Sponsored Bike Ride, Hackney to Waltham Abbey, 3 July 2011

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Supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! cycled 35 miles along the towpath from North East London to Waltham Abbey and back to raise money for our fighting fund through sponsorship pledged in advance. The cyclists are now collecting the promised money and we aim to reach our target of £1,000.

Star of the ride was Max, aged 8, who cycled with no assistance all the way to Waltham Abbey. Join us on our next sponsored ride.

 

Bank robbers demonstrate against the cuts in Angel - London - 16 July 2011

Bank robbers demonstrate against the cuts in Angel - London - 16 July 2011

What is the crime of robbing a bank, compared with the crime of founding one? so said Bertold Brecht.

With this in mind, supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! descended on RBS at the Angel Islington in north London on Saturday 16 July dressed as bankers and robbers to highlight the daylight robbery of our health, education and public services.

 

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Robin Hood and his merry men fight the cuts - 11 June 2011

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On Saturday 11 June in Angel, north London, Robin Hood and his merry men joined a Speak Out Against the Cuts event, targeting the Angel branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland, recipient of £45 billion of public money in the 2008 bail out.

The event was called by FRFI and publicised via the UK Uncut website. Protestors highlighted the role of RBS and other banks in precipitating the capitalist crisis, and the fact that saving the banks is a priority for the British government, at the expense of the public services that millions of ordinary people depend on.

 

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UK Uncut Day of Action to Save the NHS - 28 May 2011

On Saturday 28 May, Angel, north London, was the site of a drop-in surgery for people worried about the bad effects of the cuts on their health. This event was called by Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! as part of the UK Uncut day of action to save the NHS, which saw banks throughout the country occupied and turned into hospitals.

Protestors dressed as doctors, nurses and patients set up their cuts consultation inside the Angel branch of RBS, recipient of £45 billion of bail out money – 40% of the annual NHS budget!

The patients’ recovery was assisted by ukulele players and energetic speeches, making sure that the public understood why we were there.

 

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Event report – Speak Out Against the Cuts – 21 May 2011

Event report – Speak Out Against the Cuts – 21 May 2011
On 21 May, Angel in North London was the scene of a vibrant street rally against the cuts, called by the RCG and supported by hundreds of passers by angry at cuts to services and welfare rights.

RCG supporters set up a stall with colourful banners and a sound system, which they used to talk about the cuts in the context of a deliberate attack against working class living standards. We are clearly not all in this together when the real incomes and standard of life for most people in the country are falling, while those on the Sunday Times Rich List managed to increase their wealth by 18% over the past year. Passers by stopped to sign a petition and take leaflets about a local anti- cuts meeting in Holloway on Weds 1st June.

 

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Palestine Action Group Nakba commemoration demo outside M&S Newcastle - 14 May 2011

Palestine Action Group Nakba commemoration demo outside M&S Newcastle - 14 May 2011

On 14 May supporters of Palestine Action Group (PAG) and Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! in Newcastle staged a vibrant demonstration outside Marks & Spencer in commemoration of the Nakba (catastrophe) in 1948, when 700,000 Palestinians were expelled as the state of Israel was brought into being.

The protest focused on the continuing theft of Palestinian land, through the construction of the ‘apartheid wall’, and violence by armed Israeli settlers and the Israeli military. The state violence of the Israeli Defence Force, who demolish homes and bomb civilian areas, and the violence of armed fascist setters cannot be separated. Both aim to make life so difficult for the Palestinian people that they choose to leave their land.

 

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Camden Against the Cuts, Monday 28 Feb 2011

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On Monday 28 Feb FRFI supporters joined the protest outside Camden Town Hall as the Labour controlled council inside passed cuts to local services.

Gradually the march built up with a sizable contingent of local people, young people and people whose services are directly facing cuts, City Farm, Day Care Centres and Youth Clubs. On the march a good chant got going, ‘ConDem Labour all the same – they all play the banker’s game etc. SWP supporters and others refused to join in, opposing the position that Councillors who vote for the cuts are enemies of the working class.

 

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Islington Labour Council sets police on anti-cuts protesters - 17 Feb 2011

On 17 February, around 200 demonstrators, including supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!, marched on Islington town hall in north London to demonstrate against the council's 2011/12 cuts budget. The budget will contain £52 million in cuts to jobs and local services, including 350 job losses and swingeing cuts to youth services, day centres, transport services and rises in tenant charges. Demonstrators made their presence felt on the steps of the town hall, before entering the public gallery to make their feelings felt.

In an Equality Impact Assessment delivered to the meeting, the council declared that its priority was to ‘make Islington a fairer place’. The blatant untruthfulness of this was demonstrated only a few paragraphs later, where it noted that the cuts would have ‘a direct impact on residents who receive services from the Council and this will mainly be younger, older, disabled and poorer residents’. With cuts that mean slashing essential services to these very people, the Labour council has shown just whose side it stands on.

 

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Islington marches against the cuts - 05 Feb 2011

Photo: Islington Labour Party joined the IHOOPS march, 5th Feb 2011, despite the fact that it is the Labour Council implementing the cuts.
Photo: Islington Labour Party joined the IHOOPS march, 5th Feb 2011, despite the fact that it is the Labour Council implementing the cuts.


Thousands of Islington residents took to the streets on Saturday 5 February, marching against proposed cuts in the borough. FRFI supporters joined the demonstration, organised by Islington Hands of Our Public Services (IHOOPS), which marched from Holloway to Angel.

The budget drawn up by the Labour Party council is brutal, with £52 million being cut this year alone. Up for the chop are services for the most vulnerable, including Sotheby Mews day centre. Sotheby Mews provides day services for elderly residents, and is a lifeline to its users – however, the Labour-run council has declared users are ‘not heavily reliant on it for their well being’. Users of the centre who joined the march disagreed. Speaking to FRFI, one user of the centre, Elizebeth Clare, said that  ‘so many people depend on it, and it's a lifeline, especially to those who have the first stages of alzheimers’. Refuting the other council claim that the centre is underused, Ms Clare said that ‘We've counted up the amount of people who come there. It's well up to full capacity. They are using this to close it down’.

 

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Students take over Parliament Square to oppose cuts and tuition fees – London – 9 Dec 2010

FRFI student society members had contingents on yesterday’s protest, one starting at the London School of Economics and the other at University College Union. We joined forces to march into Parliament Square to oppose the government’s bill to raise university tuition fees up to £9,000 a year. Police had put up metal barricades to keep protesters out of the square, but as up to 30,000 school, college and university students poured into the surrounding road, the barriers were quickly flattened and the green taken over. Almost immediately police in riot gear, on horses and in vans blocked the entrances to the square ‘kettling’ the youth into the area. If you leave a kettle on it boils over.

 

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London branches

North London
020 7837 1688
northlondonfrfi@gmail.com

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