On Saturday, October 1, massive mobilizations were witnessed in the UK against the Tory (Conservative Party) government for failing to tackle the ongoing cost of living crisis. According to reports, over 100,000 people participated in the protests called by the Enough is Enough campaign across the country. Protests were held in over 50 cities, including London, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Cardiff, Brighton, and Nottingham. On Sunday, trade unions and left-wing sections joined a protest demonstration called People’s Assembly Against Austerity outside the venue of the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham. The protesters expressed solidarity with postal and rail workers who are on strike against poor pay and work conditions.On Saturday, October 1, massive mobilizations were witnessed in the UK against the Tory (Conservative Party) government for failing to tackle the ongoing cost of living crisis. According to reports, over 100,000 people participated in the protests called by the Enough is Enough campaign across the country. Protests were held in over 50 cities, including London, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Cardiff, Brighton, and Nottingham. On Sunday, trade unions and left-wing sections joined a protest demonstration called People’s Assembly Against Austerity outside the venue of the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham. The protesters expressed solidarity with postal and rail workers who are on strike against poor pay and work conditions.
Hundreds of Just Stop Oil supporters marched through central London today, disrupting traffic and are currently occupying Waterloo Bridge to demand the government end the cost of living and climate crisis by stopping new oil and gas.   250 people in three separate marches departed from Euston, Paddington and Waterloo at around midday. There was a mass stop and search at Paddington resulting in two arrests as police tried to prevent Just Stop Oil supporters from marching in the road. Oxford Street, Ludgate Hill and Southampton Row were disrupted, before the groups met at Covent Garden and then went on to block Waterloo Bridge by sitting in the road. Multiple arrests are expected to follow.
After the state funeral of the Queen, class struggle has returned to the forefront in Britain. In a treacherous act by the union leaderships, class struggle had been effectively paused for almost two weeks during the period of “national mourning.” After several suspended strikes and the TUC postponing its annual congress, however, momentum is returning. Those on the side of British capital are leaving nothing to chance: Liz Truss, the new prime minister and Boris Johnson’s successor, prepared a series of neoliberal measures which were presented in Parliament last Friday. On the same day the Queen died, Liz Truss had already announced the first measures to “ease the burden” of rising costs of living and soaring inflation. A so-called “energy price guarantee” will be introduced on October 1, which will cap the cost of energy at around 80 percent of current levels.
The long campaign against Julian and WikiLeaks is a window into the collapse of the rule of law, and the rise of what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls a system of inverted totalitarianism—where the outward symbols of capitalist democracy remain, but the system itself is captured by corporate interests. Assange has spent over a decade fighting imprisonment, extradition, and CIA espionage. On Oct. 8, Chris Hedges and others will gather in Washington, DC, to demand Assange’s release at the same time that protestors surround the British Parliament. For this special episode of The Chris Hedges Report, John Shipton, Assange’s father, shares updates on the international campaign to free his son.
A trade advisor to the UK government has repeated a baseless claim that protests against fracking were funded by the Kremlin. Economist Catherine McBride, a member of the government’s Trade and Agriculture Commission advising on trade deals, said on GB News this week that Russia has given “billions of pounds” to green groups to “go and protest against fracking”. As DeSmog has reported previously, this claim has been promoted by opponents of climate action following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine despite there being no evidence to support it. Her remarks come after 24 MPs signed a letter last week organised by Net Zero Watch, the campaign arm of the climate science-denying Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), urging the government to scrap its moratorium on fracking for shale gas.
This morning, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) leadership met with Royal Mail Group’s senior management. We hoped this meeting would begin resolving the ongoing industrial strife that has seen hundreds of thousands of employees take strike action against degrading real-terms pay cuts and the deterioration of workplace conditions. However, they had other ideas. While we waited, managers began being briefed across the country about new plans for the ‘modernisation’ of the company. One of the company’s CEOs, Simon Thompson, handed us two letters.
On 6 September 2022, as part of their new programme for government, the Scottish Government announced a rent freeze and eviction ban effective immediately until March 2023. Further clarity has yet to be brought in around key questions such as whether the freeze will apply retroactively, whether purpose-built student accommodation will be part of it, how it’ll impact tenants who pay rent and energy bills together, or how it will be implemented. Crucially, we’re concerned that this freeze applies primarily to private tenants as social housing tenants’ rent is increased once a year, on the 1 April, missing out many tenants who are struggling. So we’ve run you through the headline victory and our many unanswered questions. But how did we get there?
If you read the mainstream media, you’d be forgiven for thinking the whole of Scotland is in mourning as Queen Elizabeth’s coffin arrives in Edinburgh. Thousands are lining the streets to pay their respects to the former ruler. However, less covered in the media are the thousands who feel disgust at a monarchy that epitomises colonialism, oppression and racism. There were protests in both Edinburgh and Cardiff as Charles Windsor was proclaimed King Charles III. In Cardiff, people held up signs in Welsh and English saying “It’s colonial subjugation of the Welsh people”, and “Not our King”. Meanwhile, in Edinburgh, a 22-year-old woman was arrested for breach of the peace as she held up a banner which read “Fuck imperialism, abolish monarchy”.
The fawning adulation of Queen Elizabeth in the United States, which fought a revolution to get rid of the monarchy, and in Great Britain, is in direct proportion to the fear gripping a discredited, incompetent and corrupt global ruling elite. The global oligarchs are not sure the next generation of royal sock puppets – mediocrities that include a pedophile prince and his brother, a cranky and eccentric king who accepted suitcases and bags stuffed with $3.2 million in cash from the former prime minister of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, and who has millions stashed in offshore accounts – are up to the job. Let’s hope they are right.
The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, announced that he will call a referendum in the country within three years for the population to decide whether it wants to remain united to the British monarchy or proclaim a republic. "It does not represent any form of disrespect to the monarch. This is not an act of hostility, nor any difference between Antigua and Barbuda and the monarchy," he said. "It is a final step in completing the circle of independence to become a truly sovereign nation," he asserted. The Caribbean country is one of the 14 nations that maintains the British monarchy as its head of state.
The climate activist group the Tyre Extinguishers has claimed its largest night of action yet against SUVs, with more than 600 vehicles “disarmed” across nine countries. Over the night marking six months since the launch of the campaign, which encourages people to covertly deflate the tyres of SUVs, activists took action in the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, the Czech Republic and Canada. “Courageous citizens all over the world last night … deflated tyres on at least 600 SUVs, exactly two months before the opening of the United Nations Cop27 climate summit in Egypt,” the Tyre Extinguishers said.
No doubt millions of people felt a heartfelt attachment to the queen, which will be displayed fully in the next few days. But the anachronistic nature of monarchy is also fully on display, in the obvious absurdities and pantomime procedure, with Heralds Pursuivant and royals buckled with the weight of their unearned medals. Yesterday some BBC stenographer had to type with a straight face the strapline “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Are Now the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge,” which would even 50 years ago have already been absurd enough to be a line in a Monty Python sketch. Still more absurd is the millions in feudal income that goes with that title, all real money paid by actual ordinary people as feudal dues.
On October 10th, eight Palestine Action activists (including cofounders Huda Ammori and Richard Barnard) dubbed the ‘#ElbitEight’ will be facing trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court. The trial is expected to last five weeks and includes charges of burglary, criminal damage and blackmail, pertaining to actions spanning the first six months of Palestine Action. In this timeframe the accused activists helped to spark Palestine Action, the direct action network that has successfully shut down both a factory and headquarters belonging to Israel’s largest arms company, Elbit Systems. Palestine Action have dubbed it their “biggest legal battle to #ShutElbitDown to date, offering up the chance to expose Elbit in the courts and prove that #ElbitIsGuilty”.
Workers in Britain have experienced the longest period of wage stagnation since the 1800s, and now face further real-terms pay cuts amid the worst squeeze on living standards since the 1950s. Two-thirds of adults in poverty are now in a working household. For Arriva bus drivers like Dan*, from Hertfordshire, things have never been this bad. ‘The cost of fuel has doubled. You have to do extra shifts just to break even. We are working to live,’ he says, explaining how the cost of living crisis coupled with low wages are causing him and his family significant hardship. ‘I used to be able to give my kids a bit of money here and there. Not anymore. I’ve had to cut back on trying to give them a leg up. Everything is going up.’ Everything, that is, except wages. It’s a familiar story among many low-paid workers in Britain, and the Arriva bus strikes taking place in bus depots across Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, and Hertfordshire are the latest in a wave of industrial action being taken by desperate workers struggling to make ends meet.
I’m in favor of strengthening our international networks in the face of an increased technocratic authoritarianism. To remain locked up in our local areas without considering the struggles elsewhere is self-defeating, as repressive operations seek to confine us and stem our anarchic contagion specifically to promote sterility. Can we renew an Atlantic bridge that connects our tendencies, that connects the uprisings in the North American metropolises to those in Europe, Latin America and Asia? Can we join together the struggles of the long-term COINTELPRO prisoners with those elsewhere in the global prison industrial complex?