The Red Pepper round-up: 7 September

Red Pepper’s weekly round-up of the left around the web, with Izzy Koksal

September 7, 2012 · 3 min read

Here we’ll collect the best articles and videos relating to lefty politics and action. George Osborne getting booed at the Paralympics seems a good place to start.

It was the latest sign of disabled people’s anger at the government. Last Friday, Disabled People Against the Cuts and UK Uncut targeted both Atos HQ and the DWP in protest against welfare cuts. The DWP was occupied by disabled activists and supporters who locked themselves on inside and remained there for two hours. Watch a video of the actions here featuring a personal story of what disability cuts mean for disabled people’s daily lives.

It’s not just Atos’ sponsorship of the Paralympics that is massively insulting – Robert Jones’ article argues that the Paralympics itself places unfair and unrealistic expectations on disabled people who are expected to reach the feats of elite athletes. Whilst disabled people face brutal cuts to their benefits, the Paralympics further distorts our understanding of disability.

This Monday, Remploy workers in Glasgow and Chesterfield launched a five-day strike to save their jobs from the government’s cuts.

In yet another move that will greatly exacerbate the present housing crisis, the government’s law to criminalise squatting in residential properties came into force on 1 September. In Brighton, the first eviction under this new law to criminalise the homeless was met with resistance as squatters superglued themselves together in an attic with others occupying the roof.

Also in Brighton, those police liaison officers have been overstepping the line yet again – while you may have thought the PLOs restricted themselves to trying to befriend you on protests, it turns out that they might actually rock up on your doorstep, as one Brighton UK Uncut activist discovered.

And also at the Guardian, if you missed it, Ellie Mae’s beautiful article on the need for a politics beyond work is well worth reading.

Finally, in case you’ve given up following Parliamentary politics this furious piece from the Fleet Street Fox tells you everything you need to know about this week’s cabinet reshuffle.

Upcoming actions

This Saturday (tomorrow!) the Boycott Workfare network is holding a UK-wide day of action against charities involved in workfare. Actions will be taking place in Bradford, Brighton, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, and London to put pressure on charities to withdraw from the government’s workfare schemes which force unemployed people to work for their benefits. Find your local action here.

Friern Barnet library will reopen this Saturday after campaigners squatted the library in the early hours of Wednesday morning after it was closed by the council back in April. Opening hours will be from 11am-3pm.



Scientists against the machine

Jane Shallice examines the history of radical research at the British Society for Social Responsibility in Science

Austerity starves our culture

Museums – and museum workers – have been hit hard by austerity policies and cuts. Clara Paillard outlines some of the key battlegrounds and considers what an alternative cultural policy might look like

Locking people up won’t help combat sexual violence

We need look beyond individual punishment to tackle a crisis which pervades the fabric of our society, argues Ann Russo


200 years from the Peterloo Massacre, we need a new movement for real democracy

Jon Narcross reflects on the legacy of the mass gathering for political representation, which was brutally shut down by the military and police.

Organising the ‘unorganisable’

A cleaners’ campaign flies in the face of traditional impressions of trade unionism, writes Lydia Hughes

An open letter to Extinction Rebellion

"The fight for climate justice is the fight of our lives, and we need to do it right." By grassroots collective Wretched of The Earth.