We’d appreciate suggestions for talks, discussions, presentations, workshops and films. Please send us a brief description of what you’d like to do, anything you would need, and a summary for the programme. There are three rooms we can use, one on ground floor with a screen, whiteboard etc. The two upstairs are not very accessible unfortunately, the largest one is used for yoga practice, would suit an active or physical workshop, the other will be used to screen films.
Confirmed so far:
Resisting the Prison Industrial Complex with Smash IPP
Learn about how the prison industrial complex is growing in England and Wales and what you can do to resist it as part of the 2017 Smash IPP year of resistance! The workshop will share info on the new mega prisons and IPP prisoners. More than 3989 people are serving IPP (Imprisonment for Public Protection) sentences in British prisons. Five years since the sentence was legally abolished, thousands still languish in jails with no release date. Parole board delays, prison overcrowding and sheer neglect is leading to unprecedented rates of prisoner suicides. IPPs have one of the highest rates of self harm in the prison system in its entirety. 80% are over tariff and desperate to be free. IPPs are part of the exponential prison expansion that has been happening in recent years – since 1993 the prison population has doubled in the UK and sentences like IPP which has meant there has been a growing number of long term prisoners has massively contributed to this. 2017 will be a year of action to free IPP’s. Prisons are a frontline for resisting racism, sexism and working class exploitation.
3 from Angry Workers of the World
Film screening and discussion: ‘Ditching the Fear’, 2015, 70mins.
AngryWorkers will introduce this film about the growing movement and struggles of warehouse workers in Italy. Employing mainly migrant workers with few social safety nets and insecure immigration statuses, the logistics sector there has been the scene of massive worker victories on the one hand but increasing state repression on the other. AngryWorkers will talk about the situation and how it can be relevant to workers and organisers in the UK.
Insurrection and Production: Some AngryWorkers’ thoughts on a 6-month revolutionary transition in the UK and beyond
The 2010/11 struggles demonstrated the limitations of a political strategy that relied on riots and street-based insurrections. At the same time the classical idea of revolution as ‘general strike’ seems similarly outdated – often remaining trapped in the world of social media. We want to talk about the alternatives, not based on some airy fairy ideology, but an analysis of the essential industries and working class structure in the UK.
Working Class Anger in West London
AngryWorkers give an update about their workers’ inquiry from the warehouses and factories in west London. We will share our experiences of proletarian existence in all its most modern, ‘hidden’, and exploitative forms. We will be talking about: work regimes; housing; gender divisions; migration; our practical efforts (solidarity meetings and newspaper), as well as how we can collaborate with people in other parts of the UK.
Keep our N.H.S. public – Dorset
We are fighting:
- To keep our NHS from falling into the wrong hands and falling apart.
- To make the government accountable for it.
- For the fairest way of sharing out the best care for everyone, publicly funded, with safe staffing levels and fair conditions for staff, available to all on the basis of need.
Our specific aims:
- End NHS privatisation and the use of private health services.
- Repeal the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and reverse all Foundation Trust (FT) plans.
- End compulsory competition for NHS contracts – which wastes millions in public money.
- Reject the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
- Fund a 4% increase in NHS budgets, in real terms, yearly.
- Stop cuts to services based on cost. Make sure these are done through clinical need, backed by evidence and subject to meaningful public consultation.
- Stop any new private finance initiatives (PFIs) and set up independent reviews to look at reducing the existing PFI debts, which saddle the taxpayer with years of debt, and all the risk if these schemes fail.
Sunflower Therapies and Training: An Introduction to Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a simple way of learning to be in the moment,to be completely present in our lives,and experiencing life to the full. Ruminating about the past, or trying to predict what will happen in the future, can be bad for our mental health. Mindfulness is also a way of showing ourselves compassion and love;forgiving ourselves for judging ourselves or others,and letting negative thoughts go. The session will involve an interactive talk about the aims and benefits of mindfulness, and will include 2 mindfulness meditations.
Critisticuffs: Universal Credit: welfare that works
Universal Credit, the new mechanism through which the state will manage useful poverty, merges 6 income based benefits for “working age” people in order to make “work pay, achieve fairness and simplify the system”.
This workshop looks at: What does the design of universal credit show about the purpose of work? Why has the state to seek to ensure it is made to pay through a combination of financial support and sanctions? We look at how universal credit achieves fairness against the interests of those with and without work, and how simplification works without any reduction in rules.
Anarchist Federation: Capitalism, Anarchism & Mental Health
Feelings of alienation, anxiety and depression are at epidemic proportions. How does our current capitalist society create and worsen many of these problems? How and why does it attempt to treat them, and in what ways does it fail? Anarchism relies on a philosophy of freedom, solidarity and mutual aid. Can its ideas influence how we respond to poor mental health in the present, can a radically different society be healthier for us all? Why do such a high percentage of activists struggle with their mental health, and what steps can we put in place to support each other?