Bath Bomb #28 Out Now

THE BATH BOMB

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Issue #28
free/donation
Mar '10

“The only local paper that doesn't want your kidneys”

Government Cuts Take The PCS!

The first blow has been landed in what promises to be a summer of discontent, the like of which has not been seen for decades. First, B&NES Council were forced to admit their plans for council jobs, starting at just shy of 100. And now, the PCS, a union for public sector workers, held two days of strike action on the 7th and 8th of March involving up to 300,000 workers at job centres, MoD, lifeguard facilities and courts, with nearly 300 out at Ensleigh (roughly 90% of staff there). The strike, the first in what the PCS have said will be a series of action leading up to the elections, is protesting the shaving of over £500 million from civil service redundancy schemes. As per usual, our Labour government has spoken out against the strikes, branding them 'upsetting' (boo hoo) and pointing out that public service redundancy packages are more generous than private ones. This is hardly surprising considering the infamous lack of moral and social accountability found in the profit-driven higher echelons of the private sector, and the fact that the government is trying to drag the pay and conditions of its workers down to private levels is a disgrace. The government has also refused to intervene and cap the multi-million pound bonuses of top bankers, citing 'contractual obligations'. But the Tories wouldn't do much better, promising public sector pay freezes for two years, as well as a raft of other anti-worker policies designed to keep the bosses rich at our expense. Whoever wins the next election, we are all going to be hit hard with austerity measures such as these, and pension reductions the like of which we have not seen for a long time. Unions such as the PCS and the posties' CWU have been leading the fightback, and with more strikes and industrial actions looking certain, it's about time we banded together to fight back against the pro-rich, anti-worker policies of all three main parties (oh, and the BNP - spit!).

Look What The Cat Dragged In

Maybe tomorrow they might just settle down... but for Bath's only autonomous occupied social centre, the Black Cat, it's been a frisky couple of weeks. In their fourth pad this year, they're currently curled up at the 19th Century 'Newark Works' building - Unit 3A Riverside Business Park, Lower Bristol Road, Bath, BA2 3DW – you'll recognise them by the curious cat-flap-size bright red door opposite Pickfords.

The Black Cat briefly found a warm home at the former Methodist manse at 110 West Avenue, Oldfield Park, where they amiably moved on, before a week's holiday at 63 West Avenue. Despite an enthusiastic hissyfit of police repression welcome (with two coppers trying to force their way in, threatening to get 'the boys' to kick the door down, and fuming beat manager Adrian “you won't have a community social centre if I have anything to do about it” Secker angrily knocking on neighbours' doors and stirring up trouble), most neighbours seemed happy enough to see the long empty building in use. Alas, all goods things come to an end, and in this case it took the underhanded lies of housing developer Johan Gulotti, who brought his children around, claiming to be buying the place to move his young family in. By the time the Black Cat folks were tipped off that he was really refitting the place for student accommodation, it was already time to go.

The current location, two years vacant, shows much promise, though the collective is soon facing court on the 17th of this month. With five floors, gig space, bar, yoga/chill-out room, film/workshop room, - and yes, even working toilets – the Grade 2 listed warehouse had brief local fame as the home of the squatter performance collective Letinov Steam Circus (see Bath Bomb #6). Formerly a recording studio, the Council unceremoniously dumped the rate-paying company out on the street when entrepreneur Sir James Dyson hinted that he wanted the old Stothert and Pitt site for a new Dyson Academy. Though the plans had fallen through by January 07, the damage was done. After two weeks of cleaning, the Black Cat have now shifted roughly 50+ cubic meters of beer bottles and assorted debris – saving the council over £1,000 in waste removal – but have gained a grand piano, a second piano, a massage table and all manner of art supplies and toys – all open now for public use! They likewise have samba dancing, debt advice, yoga, sound system, meeting space, art workshops and the like all lined up – see the blog for details: http://www.blackcatcentre.blogspot.com.

Meanwhile, the Tories have done their bit for the sprawling mountain of UK empty buildings (currently at around 840,000), with David Cameron's recent proposed offence of 'intentional trespass', criminalising squatters and travellers alike, and sidestepping local council obligations to provide sites for travellers. But if Cameron does try to push the Black Cat out of Bath, his local Tory stooges will soon find out that kitty has claws!

http://www.thisisbath.co.uk/news/Squatters-Newark-Works/article-1862409-...

They Don't Know What Is Shame

The Black Cat Centre's own slim and slimy miss-fit performer Madame Hatter will on Friday 12th March, 7.06pm, be compering a wide open mic and bang poetry night of craziness and wonder – the Scabrous Cabaret! We shit you not: “Should you be prudish puddings, freak frogs, vegan vultures, breakfast brutes and funky fruits, bang poets or junk poets or even plain poets, studious students and naughty rodents, merry-go-round travellers or magic roundabout surfers and hula-hoop singers, squatterpillars or passers-by, the usual crows and so many more if you're hungry for the encore, you are all invited to the first edition of a night of sweet delirium open to all sorts of performers, musicians, artists, poets, story-tellers...” Apparently the sinister little mademoiselle is a plumber of decadence in residence, but we honestly have no idea what she's on about – why not come along to find out!

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Allot More Space To Grow

Bath suffers from a lack of space for growing food. The official figures for allotment waiting times vary from one year to three, but the figure is realistically more like five. A garden-share project already exists in Bath Area Garden Share (BAGS), giving some of those on the waiting list short-term solutions to their gardening dilemma. Yet, now, a new project called Oldfield Park Growing Together has emerged which, if it proves feasible, could provide even more space.

The Problem: Oldfield Park is an area where most students from the two universities choose to live and is also an area with a fair amount of garden space. However, as students very rarely stay longer than a couple of years and are more often than not renting the premises, the gardening potential goes to waste. On top of this, the tensions between long-term residents and students have intensified recently and one of the complaints which has come to B&NES Council’s attention is the untidiness of gardens.

The Solution: Although only currently in its research stage, the project (which is managed by four Bath University students and funded by a volunteering charity Vinspired) aims to create a sense of community at the same time as promoting sustainability and positive use of land, by allowing community members to put student gardens to permanent good use. If we find that it could work, pilots for the project should be up and running within a month and the project could be in full swing later in the year.

The research is extensive – we are interviewing people to include in case studies, collating questionnaire results and attending community group meetings – and the more opinion we get on the project the more comprehensive our findings will be. So if you can fill out a questionnaire, they are in the Velo Lounge and should take 5-10 minutes, please do. If you want to find out more, are interested in getting involved or need more space for growing e-mail us on op.growers[at]googlemail.com.

Litter-ally Speaking

On Sunday the 28th of Feb, the Oldfield Park community, including members of Bath Activist Network and the Black Cat Centre, came together to sort out and clean up Bath's straightest green area, Linear Park. Tired of finding the park covered with rubbish, around 40 members of the local community descended on the area with bin bags and litter pickers, turning the area from a depressing rubbish dump into a sparkling park again! When interviewed about the litter pick, one volunteer, Rachel, had this to say: “Obviously, we think the council cleaners do a great job under tough conditions, and we would never dream of criticizing their great work, but the volume of litter in this area deserves a community response”. Another litter picker, Steve from Oldfield Park, said “If the community can come together over something like this, imagine what else we can do? Community gardens, community centres, street parties – when the community comes together, you realise that we can do almost anything”. The litter pick was a really good day out, with great company, and shows what we can achieve when we act together as a community, rather than waiting for the authorities to do a bad job of it for us. There is another litter pick planned for a couple of months' time (date tba), so we’ll keep you posted.

Bath Activist Network are a local umbrella group campaigning on issues as diverse as development, environmentalism, anti-war, animal rights, workers' rights and more. Helping to produce the Bath Bomb, we are open to anyone, and our members range from trade unionists to anarchists, liberals and greens, and people who just want to change Bath for the better. For details on meetings, demos, or just to get in touch, email bathactivistnet[at]yahoo.co.uk or see our website: http://www.bathactivistnetwork.blogspot.com

Greece Lightning

As the politicians tell us that the recession is over, a quick glance across Europe tells a different story. Greece is once again on fire, with daily protests involving tens of thousands of workers and students. Why? The Greek economy is failing, and desperate to keep a fellow nation state afloat, a coalition of countries led by Germany are leading the way to Greece's economic revival. In reality, this has meant a massive austerity program, where workers are seeing their wages reduced, taxes and living costs soaring and rights in the streets and workplaces trampled on. As always, the government is trying to keep its head up at the expense of the ordinary people. But in Greece, the people are not taking this punishment lying down, and have been taking to the streets, bricking up the entrances to banks and government buildings, rioting, creating their own alternative political structures. This batch of disobedience may not be as violent as last year's riots, but since then, the Greek people have decided not to take it anymore. What is unfolding in Greece (woefully under-reported by a corporate media terrified that we might take inspiration from the Greek workers) is a battle between the government and the people, and everything is up for grabs. If the government wins, it will give a green light to other European countries to push through similar unfair measures to tax the people to save a crooked and failing financial system. But if the people win, it could provide an inspiration for millions of other ordinary people across the world who are sick of having their living conditions trampled to preserve the luxury of the few.

A Load Of Hot Air

A duo of waffling council meetings in the area have recently come to pass, with the decisions over the expansion of Bristol International Airport and the application for a biofuels plant at Avonmouth. The meeting of the South Area Committee was held at the Town Hall, Weston-super-Mare on Wednesday March 3rd, who mostly ate out of the airport's hands, but spinelessly passed on the decision to a later Planning and Regulatory committee, probably in April. In their efforts to further champion transparency and democracy, they removed the rail from the balcony just before the meeting to shut out significant public access on health and safety grounds. Environmentalist and neighbouring campaigners want to cap the airport's expansions entirely, but also campaign for conditions to be enforced on any developments, such as a limit of 8 million passengers in any 12 months (they only had 5.6 million in 2009), saving the greenbelt from carparks, a control on the number of overnight flights and demanding improvements in traffic and CO2 emissions.

Bristol Council demonstrated a surprising and landmark quantity of cojones though, when they went against their own planners and legal officer to reject W4B Bristol's proposed 'green' biofuels plant at Avonmouth. Instead they took the side of protesters outside, in support of communities in Indonesia, from whom the raw materials would be taken. W4B Chairman Chris Slack was even described by one councillor as a “ruthless profiteer... masquerading” behind greenwash buzzwords. Councils that listen? We've heard it all.

In other eco news, campaigners from Rising Tide are also joining a mammoth bike ride event, from Merthyr Tydfil in Wales (site of Ffos y Fran, a much-hated open cast coal mining operation strongly opposed by locals) to Rossport on the West coast of Ireland, where Shell are trying to build an environmentally-destructive marine gas pipeline and bribing the local cops to harrass and imprison landowners and objectors. The ride leaves on the 22nd of May – contact bristol[at]risingtide.org.uk for details. For a much more sedate cycle, don't forget the Bath Critical Mass on the 27th of this month. For those who like to get their hands dirty, this clashes nicely with two tree planting days – one at Oldfield Park Station that day, 12.15-2.15pm, where 100 native mixed shrubs and trees are due for expansion of woodland corridors, and the other on Saturday the 20th, 10am-12, at Weston Park for 200 trees; volunteers with tools and safety boots are needed for both. This also clashes with our last shout out – the Westside climate action gathering on the 20th March at the Black Cat Centre. Choose wisely!

http://www.stopbia.com
http://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/Environment/News/news-20100224-airportplans...
http://www.bristol247.com/2010/02/24/biofuel-plant-rejected-in-landmark-...
http://www.stopffosyfran.co.uk
http://www.shelltosea.com

EVENTS

Bath Hunt Saboteurs meetings, 2nd and 4th Monday of the month, 8pm, The Bell, Walcot Street

Free samba dancing classes, Mondays, 7-8pm, Black Cat Centre, http://www.blackcatcentre.blogspot.com

Debt advice drop-in, Tuesdays, 4-7pm, Black Cat Centre, http://www.blackcatcentre.blogspot.com

London Road Food Co-op, Wednesdays, 4-7pm, Riverside Community Centre, London Road

The Lost Plot workday, Thursdays, 10am-dusk, Bathampton

Bath Stop The War Coalition vigil, Saturdays, 11.30am-12.30, Bath Abbey Courtyard

Recycle Your Sundays, Sundays, 10.30am, starts Abbey Churchyard, the regular series of sociable, easy-paced cycle rides, http://www.bathrys.org.uk/ tel Hazel 01225 469199

Black Cat Centre general meeting, Sundays, 1-3pm, Black Cat Centre, http://www.blackcatcentre.blogspot.com

Exhibition: 'Loss of Innocence: Gaza Children's Artwork', ends Wednesday 17th March, mostly 10-4pm, St John' Church, Frome, ffi e-mail adam.stout[at]virgin.net

'Madame Hatter's Scabrous Cabaret' open mic night, Friday 12th March, 7.06pm, Black Cat Centre, http://www.blackcatcentre.blogspot.com

Bristol Convention of the Left: discussion and workshops, Saturday 13th March, 10-5pm, Easton Community Centre, Kilburn Street, Easton, Bristol, http://www.eastoncommunitycentre.org.uk/p_Contact_Us.ikml

Bath FreeShop, Saturday 13th March, 12-3pm, outside Pump Rooms, Stall Street

Broadlands Orchardshare Volunteering Day, Saturday 13th March, 12-4pm, Broadlands Orchard, Box Road, Bathford, http://www.bathford.net/broadlands.php

'Resole Your Saturdays' Spring Walk, Saturday 13th March, starting by train from Maidenhead, ring Jane at 01225 423832 FFI

Course: 'Introduction to Vegetable Gardening' part 1, Saturday 13th March, 7-9pm, see http://www.eco-logicbooks.com FFI

Power 2010 street stall, Monday 15th March, 12 midday, Southgate Street

Film premiere and panel discussion: 'Dirty Oil', Monday 15th March, Little Theatre, ring 08717 042061 for start time

Bath Cycling Campaign meeting, Monday 15th March, 7.30pm, the New Inn, Monmouth Place, http://www.bathcyclingcampaign.org.uk

Bristol & Bath Rising Tide meeting, Monday 15th March, 7.30pm, Kebele Community Co-op, 14 Robertson Road, Easton, Bristol

Video seminar: 'The Crash Course (part 3)', Tuesday 16th March, 7.15pm, Minerva Centre, 8 Combe Park, entry by donation, see http://www.chrismartenson.com for first 2 free episodes

Discussion: 'Community Owned Renewable Energy: A Self Sufficient Bathford', Tuesday 16th March, 8pm, Bathford Primary School, e-mail jamiecolston[at]gmail.com/ tel 01225 851377 FFI

Radical debate club: 'When environmentalism becomes fascism', Thursday 18th March, 7-9pm, Black Cat Centre, http://www.blackcatcentre.blogspot.com

Bath Friends of the Earth AGM, Thursday 18th March, 8pm, The Rising Sun, Grove Street

Bath tree-planting project day, Saturday 20th March, 10am-12, Weston Park, bring safety boots and tools

Kebele Cafe: food and talk on links between climate change, coal industry and Columbian trade unionist action, by Bristol & Bath Rising Tide, Sunday 21st March, 6pm, Kebele Community Co-op, 14 Robertson Road, Easton, Bristol

Talk: 'Why Trams?', Wednesday 24th March, 7.30pm, Grove Street United Reform Church Halls, £3 with tea and cake!

Film: 'Born on the 4th of July', Thursday 25th March, 7pm, Black Cat Centre, http://www.blackcatcentre.blogspot.com

Trapese Collective course: 'Tools for Social Change', training in grassroot organising for social change, Saturday 27th March-3rd April, Ragman's Lane Farm, Forest of Dean, £175-£350, limited places available so book early! http://www.stuffit.org/trapese/ragm.pdf

Bath tree-planting project day, Saturday 27th March, 12.15-2.15pm, Oldfield Park train station, bring safety boots and tools

Bath Critical Mass, Saturday 27th March, 1pm start, Kingsmead Square

Bath Hunt Saboteurs street collection, Saturday 27th March, Bath centre, 1-5pm

Bath Socialist Forum, Monday 29th March, 8pm, upstairs at St James Wine Vaults

Bath Activist Network meeting, Thursday 1st April, 7.30-9pm, downstairs at The Hobgoblin, St James Parade, http://www.bathactivistnetwork.blogspot.com

'Fortnight of Shame': two weeks of action against BP's investment in tar sands extraction, 1st-15th April, contact bristol[at]risingtide.org.uk FFI

Radical debate club: 'Radicalism & religion', Thursday 8th April, 7-9pm, Black Cat Centre, http://www.blackcatcentre.blogspot.com

Bath FreeShop, Saturday 10th April, 12-3pm, outside Pump Rooms, Stall Street

Horse Racing Awareness week demo, Friday 9th April, Westgate Street, contact bathanimalaction[at]yahoo.co.uk FFI

Broadlands Orchardshare Volunteering Day, Saturday 10th April, 12-4pm, Broadlands Orchard, Box Road, Bathford, http://www.bathford.net/broadlands.php

'Defend our Public Services' march and rally, Saturday 10th April, London, tickets for coach available

Bath Animal Action meeting, Monday 12th April, 8-9pm, The Bell, Walcot Street

Bath Green Drinks, Wednesday 14th April, 8.30pm, the Rising Sun, Grove Street

Update and discussion on the planning process, Sunday 18th April, 11-3.30pm, £5 adavanced
booking essential by 5th April, e-mail afrelmira at]googlemail.com

World Day for Lab Animals march in London, Saturday 24th April, coach 8.30am, leaving Bristol Temple Meads, £10 ticket

Introductory Permaculture Weekend, Saturday 8th to Sunday 9th May, £50, for bookings e-mail afrelmira[at]googlemail.com

'Adapting to Climate Change' week, 7th-11th June, see http://www.oursouthwest.com/climate/
FFI

Meanwhile In Bristol...

Litigious tax-dodging ultra-capitalist bastards Tesco have recently announced plans to open a new store in Stoke's Croft, Bristol. In scenes reminiscent of last year's opening of a similar store on Bathwick Hill in our own fair town, the community has come together in protest at the plans. Local residents, businesses and charities attended a packed-out community meeting to organise resistance to the plans. Inspired by the recent successes of other similar campaigns, things got quickly underway. A petition was organised; an independent consultation of the local residents was begun; another group began to investigate the council's own woefully inadequate consultation (55 addresses were consulted – many of which were found to be clearly unoccupied); and, of course, direct actions were quickly organised.

Within days, a diverse group of locals had squatted the proposed site to prevent work from starting. Tesco's response was equally quick and typically predictable – they sent round a couple of thugs with sledgehammers to break down the doors. Fortunately, passers-by came to the squatters' aid and the police were eventually forced to intervene. Tesco's heavies, despite having openly violated Section 6 of the Housing Act and thus earned a potential 6 months' prison apiece, were of course allowed to leave unhindered. In response, a Tesco on Church Road in Redfield lost its windows on Tuesday the 9th.

Eviction now looms for the squatters, who have already resisted the first attempt – currently enjoying a tent and tripod shanty town atop the roof - but in the meantime the space is being used for a variety of community events. If you're in the area, pop down to 140 Cheltenham Road and offer your encouragement – and, if the mood takes you, ask how you can help when the big day comes.

Brave Land Of Liberty

Here at Bath Bomb Towers, we sometimes worry that we don't devote enough column inches to the positive side of life in Bath. So we'd like to take some time this issue to celebrate the many freedoms we all enjoy.

The most important freedom of all is of course the freedom to feel safe, secure, and adequately protected. So we were overjoyed recently with reports of the police clamping down hard on a suspicious-seeming man engaged in the highly threatening activity of photographing the new Southgate shopping centre. He might have been just an innocent tourist, fooled by the mock-Georgian architecture into thinking he was in the middle of some sort of World Heritage site. Or maybe an avid reader of the Chronicle, planning yet another scathing letter about the lack of Bath stone in our latest temple to consumerism. But, terrifyingly, the was a chance – however slim – that he might have been – cover your children's eyes – FOREIGN. After all, he was kinda... brown...

There is a happy ending, though, as officers not only identified the man, presumably using a combination of blanket CCTV coverage and the technological marvels of the database state – they also rang him up, threatened to come round his house, and heavily implied that if anything – ANYTHING – happens at the Southgate, well... they know where he lives...

We're sure he won't make that mistake again. The law-abiding citizens of Bath can rest easy in their beds tonight.

Got Me Hanging On The Telephone

In recession-swept Britain, dodgy loan companies, bailiffs and other scum are finding more and more inventive ways to separate us from our hard-earned green. A massive increase in one of their favourite tricks to bleed us for whatever we have comes in the form of threatening telephone calls. During the course of these calls, the caller will try to convince the debtor to set up unrealistic repayment schemes, far above what the debtor can afford, often using the threat of home repossession, court proceedings or bailiff action. While this may sound scary, the important things is to NEVER agree to a repayment package over the phone. The reason that they are ringing you in such an aggressive way is that they know you hold all the cards. In reality, most debts and loans that you cannot pay, the law will not make you pay, or allow you to repay in minimal amounts. Knowing that you have the legal right not to pay back the debt immediately, or at all, the company will try to scare you with a phone call, threaten you with made-up threats of bailiffs and try and pressure you into a repayment. So, before agreeing to repay any of your debts over the phone, pop down to the Citizens Advice Bureau, or the debt advice drop-in (Tuesdays, 4-7pm) at the Black Cat Centre, because nine out of ten times, the bailiffs will be bluffing, and you will have the power to set up a repayment scheme that suits you. The best advice if you are rung or visited by a bailiff is to refuse to talk to them, and speak only to their head office after receiving advice from debt groups.

In For A Pony, Out For A Hound

Most of our readers will be aware that hunting with hounds was made illegal in 2005, although the effect this has had on the amount of hunting in the UK is of course negligible. Some people, however, may have missed this important event. These people include, but are not limited to; hermits; the chronically news-averse; and the police.

Whilst out monitoring an illegal hare and fox hunt last month, hunt saboteurs from Bath narrowly avoided a horse charge and then the grubby hands of local cops. Quickly ascertaining that they weren't after their eye-witness reports of illegal hunting, so much as they were looking after the landed gentry's hobbies, the sabs escaped through a nearby wood and helped the hunt pack up disappointed and early. And on Saturday the 6th of this month, 21 sabs from Bath, Bristol, South Wales, Pewsey, Reading and Southampton converged on the joint meet of the Tedworth and Llan Geinor Hunts. It was a bright, sunny, energetic day out for all concerned, which saw both hunts continuously outfoxed by a trio of saboteur teams running them to ground at all times. There was a smattering of wasting of police time from the hunts, as well as a smashed camera and minor pushey-shovey near the end when the sabs brought the hounds out of cry at the last minute, but the hunts went away with nothing, and at least two foxes survived another day.

The season's drawing to an end now, so to get involved, contact bathhuntsabs[at]yahoo.co.uk quickly, or you'll have to wait until Autumn...

Doing It Ourselves

The Black Cat Centre has now a venue big enough to hold gigs, but also big enough to have all kinds of workshops. At the heart of all community-spirited ventures lies a wish for more self-sufficiency, autonomy and freedom. In the way of such ideals stand the twin policies of mandatory education (instilling uncertainty and submission in the masses) and planned obsolescence (the creation of commodities with a very limited shelf-life, coupled with replacement parts made more expensive than the product itself, due to fake intellectual 'property' rights).

The result is, when you're faced with a defective appliance, you do not repair it promptly – nay, you couldn't; instead, you throw it away and go get a new one. Gee, capitalists have it all marked out for them, eh?

But this need not be. In every community, there is a treasure of unused skills, knowledge, and resources; the building currently owned by the Black Cat is only one instance of a general principle that could make life easier for a lot of people. The community workshop could be the place to pool our tools and skills together, so as to take confidence, and relieve ourselves from the pressure to buy new things, when we could repair them ourselves at a much lower cost. Please think about the things you know, the tools you have, the appliances that gather dust, and all the things we can do about that, together. Get in touch (bathsocialcentre[at]googlemail.com) to help us start a valuable skillshare that could save you time and money, and bring our community together.

Book Review: Live Working Or Die Fighting

Too few of us know about our collective history, and how our ancestors won hard-fought battles for rights that we take for granted, such as the right to strike, holiday pay and the 8-hour working day. What fewer of us choose to think about is those workers who are still struggling for those basic rights today, both in Britain and abroad. In ‘Live working or die fighting’ Paul Mason tells these stories in a fast-paced and exciting way, delivering history and modern-day events through the eyes of the people who experience them. Mason compares the struggles of today's immigrant cleaners with the fight to unionise and for fair conditions fought by British workers nearly 200 years ago.

The narrative takes you through the dramatic riots and social experiments of the Paris Commune, drags us into the desperate resistance fought tooth and nail by Polish communists, anarchists and Jews against the Nazis, shows us the mines and railroads of 1920's America where dynamite-throwing trade unionists battled government troops over pay and conditions, and takes us through the factories of industrial China, where anarchist and syndicalist radicals inspired a hugely oppressed group of women and child workers to take the power back.

Mason gives us a taste of the new worlds created by these workers, then juxtaposes it with the still un-won fights taking place across the world today. ‘Live working or die fighting’ makes a vivid read, showing what we can achieve when we act together, but doesn't shy away from highlighting mistakes we have made in the past – especially detailing how we have been sold out by the ‘leaders’ of political parties and unions. Mason uses history to make the case for a strong leaderless working class taking the power away from bosses and leftwing party bureaucrats and making their own way. Mason's idealism combined with historical case studies leave the reader feeling that a new world really is possible.

If you have ever wondered how we have the limited rights of the modern day workplace, wondered how the new underclass struggle for rights, or just want to get stuck into one of the most interestingly-written history books you will ever read, check out ‘live working or die fighting’.

And now, to the disclaimer: As anyone is free to contribute, the opinions expressed in each article are not necessarily reflective of each contributor. Naturally, any right-wing or corporate bullshit will be binned and spat upon. Needless to say, the opinions of the author of this disclaimer do not necessarilly represent the views of any other contributor.

Putting The 'Fad' Into 'Intifada'

We received an anonymous press release this month by a group calling themselves 'Global Intifada':

“Bath's arms dealers and war profiteers like to hide behind veneers of respectability and legitimacy. One such group is British Maritime Technology Defence Services, who help design the engines for Britain's 'Trident' nuclear-armed submarines, and who supply vital software to the Israeli military.

In solidarity with all the people living under the repressive occupation of the Israeli state, with all the charity and humanitarian workers murdered by that state's military, and especially with the residents of Sheikh Jarrah, an Arab neighbourhood in Jerusalem which has come in for particularly strong oppression recently, we have chosen to expose BMT for the crooks they are. A large banner, bearing the legend “BMT are War Criminals” has been hung by their main offices. Now the people of Bath can be made of the atrocities being made possible right beneath their noses.”