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The Red Pepper round-up: 14 September

A selection of ace articles and videos from this week and upcoming actions for the following week, by Izzy Koksal

September 14, 2012
4 min read

And the booing of politicians continues… this time it was Ed Balls who was put in his place by angry trade unionists after he refused to promise them pay rises if the Labour government come into power.

There was good news for the majority of the 182 Critical Mass cyclists who were arrested on the night of the Olympics Opening Ceremony for the crime of cycling; realising that they had no case whatsoever the Metropolitan police will be taking no further action against them. The police’s actions on that night – which saw people detained on buses, denied food and water, and given punitive bail conditions – were a clear abuse of police power as they sought to use the Olympics as an excuse for heavy handed tactics.

After anti-workfare campaigners forced the retreat of workfare in corporate stores across the country, the government have shifted their workfare schemes into the charity sector in the hope of rebranding workfare. Here are 10 arguments detailing what is wrong with charity workfare. In other workfare news, yet another case study has emerged of workfare being used to replace paid workers jobs.

As the housing crisis intensifies, resistance to it is building. Brum Tenants and Homeless Action Group have produced a report and an interactive map showing the 607 empty houses owned by Birmingham city council. If the council do not act, they will use the information they have gathered and take action themselves. In west London, West Ken and Gibbs Green tenants have been campaigning against Hammersmith and Fulham council’s plans to sell of their homes to private developers. The council agreed a £105 million land sale to developer CapCo last Monday, but local residents promise ‘we shall never surrender!’

Climate protesters built a giant ice pyramid blockading Shell’s London HQ in protest against their Arctic drilling.

Listen to Open Democracy’s ‘What was the true legacy of the Olympics?’ discussion with Suzanne Moore and Dan Hancox and join in the debate online.

The Centre for Labour and Social Studies has published a pamphlet presenting the key findings from Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson’s ground breaking book ‘The Spirit Level’.This is a great resource for furthering our discussions on inequality and what we can do about it. Owen Jones discusses the pamphlet here.

The latest edition of ‘Social Movements Studies’ is a special issue dedicated to the Occupy movement to mark its one year anniversary. The articles will be free to access and download until mid-November. Follow this link and register to access.

Upcoming events

Pussy Riot protest London as part of the Global Day of Action, Saturday 15 September, 11am, opposite the Russian Consulate at Bayswater Road

UK Feminista Summer School, 15-16 September, 10am, University of Bristol Students’ Union

Lambeth Save Our Services ‘Stop the Cuts’ lobby of Lambeth Council, Wednesday 19 September, 6pm, Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton

Fight for Sites public meeting organised by the Traveller Solidarity Network, Thursday 20 September, 7.30pm, Toynbee Hall, 28 Commercial Street, E1 6LS

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Labour Party laws are being used to quash dissent
Richard Kuper writes that Labour's authorities are more concerned with suppressing pro-Palestine activism than with actually tackling antisemitism

Catalan independence is not just ‘nationalism’ – it’s a rebellion against nationalism
Ignasi Bernat and David Whyte argue that Catalonia's independence movement is driven by solidarity – and resistance to far-right Spanish nationalists

Tabloids do not represent the working class
The tabloid press claims to be an authentic voice of the working class - but it's run by and for the elites, writes Matt Thompson

As London City Airport turns 30, let’s imagine a world without it
London City Airport has faced resistance for its entire lifetime, writes Ali Tamlit – and some day soon we will win

The first world war sowed the seeds of the Russian revolution
An excerpt from 'October', China Mieville's book revisiting the story of the Russian Revolution

Academies run ‘on the basis of fear’
Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) was described in a damning report as an organisation run 'on the basis of fear'. Jon Trickett MP examines an education system in crisis.

‘There is no turning back to a time when there wasn’t migration to Britain’
David Renton reviews the Migration Museum's latest exhibition

#MeToo is necessary – but I’m sick of having to prove my humanity
Women are expected to reveal personal trauma to be taken seriously, writes Eleanor Penny

Meet the digital feminists
We're building new online tools to create a new feminist community and tackle sexism wherever we find it, writes Franziska Grobke

The Marikana women’s fight for justice, five years on
Marienna Pope-Weidemann meets Sikhala Sonke, a grassroots social justice group led by the women of Marikana

Forget ‘Columbus Day’ – this is the Day of Indigenous Resistance
By Leyli Horna, Marcela Terán and Sebastián Ordonez for Wretched of the Earth

Uber and the corporate capture of e-petitions
Steve Andrews looks at a profit-making petition platform's questionable relationship with the cab company

You might be a centrist if…
What does 'centrist' mean? Tom Walker identifies the key markers to help you spot centrism in the wild

Black Journalism Fund Open Editorial Meeting in Leeds
Friday 13th October, 5pm to 7pm, meeting inside the Laidlaw Library, Leeds University

This leadership contest can transform Scottish Labour
Martyn Cook argues that with a new left-wing leader the Scottish Labour Party can make a comeback

Review: No Is Not Enough
Samir Dathi reviews No Is Not Enough: Defeating the New Shock Politics, by Naomi Klein

Building Corbyn’s Labour from the ground up: How ‘the left’ won in Hackney South
Heather Mendick has gone from phone-banker at Corbyn for Leader to Hackney Momentum organiser to secretary of her local party. Here, she shares her top tips on transforming Labour from the bottom up

Five things to know about the independence movement in Catalonia
James O'Nions looks at the underlying dynamics of the Catalan independence movement

‘This building will be a library!’ From referendum to general strike in Catalonia
Ignasi Bernat and David Whyte report from the Catalan general strike, as the movements prepare to build a new republic

Chlorine chickens are just the start: Liam Fox’s Brexit trade free-for-all
A hard-right free marketer is now in charge of our trade policy. We urgently need to develop an alternative vision, writes Nick Dearden

There is no ‘cult of Corbyn’ – this is a movement preparing for power
The pundits still don’t understand that Labour’s new energy is about ‘we’ not ‘me’, writes Hilary Wainwright

Debt relief for the hurricane-hit islands is the least we should do
As the devastation from recent hurricanes in the Caribbean becomes clearer, the calls for debt relief for affected countries grow stronger, writes Tim Jones

‘Your credit score is not sufficient to enter this location’: the risks of the ‘smart city’
Jathan Sadowski explains techno-political trends of exclusion and enforcement in our cities, and how to overcome this new type of digital oppression

Why I’m standing with pregnant women and resisting NHS passport checks
Dr Joanna Dobbin says the government is making migrant women afraid to seek healthcare, increasing their chances of complications or even death

‘Committees in Defence of the Referendum’: update from Catalonia
Ignasi Bernat and David Whyte on developments as the Catalan people resist the Spanish state's crackdown on their independence referendum

The rights and safety of LGBTQ+ people are not guaranteed – we must continue to fight for them
Kennedy Walker looks at the growth in hate attacks at a time when the Tory government is being propped up by homophobes