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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.


Jeremy Hunt is poised to flog the last of the NHS
Peter Roderick sounds the alarm on an 'attack on the fundamental principles of the NHS'.

Viva Siva, 1923-2018
A. Sivanandan, who died this week, was a hugely important figure in the politics of race and class. As part of our tributes, Red Pepper is republishing this 2009 profile of him by Arun Kundnani

Sivanandan: When memory forgets a giant
Daniel Renwick calls for the whole movement to discover and remember the vital work of A. Sivanandan, who died this week

A master-work of graphic satire
American Jewish cartoonist Eli Valley’s comic commentary on America, the US Jewish diaspora and Israel is nothing if not near the knuckle, Richard Kuper writes

Meet the frontline activists facing down the global mining industry
Activists are defending land, life and water from the global mining industry. Tatiana Garavito, Sebastian Ordoñez and Hannibal Rhoades investigate.

Transition or succession? Zimbabwe’s future looks uncertain
The fall of Mugabe doesn't necessarily spell freedom for the people of Zimbabwe, writes Farai Maguwu

Don’t let Corbyn’s opponents sneak onto the Labour NEC
Labour’s powerful governing body is being targeted by forces that still want to strangle Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, writes Alex Nunns

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