Again, a slightly random collection of things that I don’t think got enough retweets, that I want to share again cos they give me hope!
Plan C’s March newsletter shows tonnes of cool events happening all across the country. I’m particularly interested in one London project ‘The Care Forum – an experimental space for theory, organising, and action around reproduction and care’. There are lots of inspiring campaigns and support groups taking action on housing, welfare, the racist border regime, mental health and other issues. Hopefully the Care Forum can provide space for people to make links, share information and ideas and also to think about how we can create and sustain infrastructures of care and reproduction – People’s Kitchens being one small thing, but vital, particularly in response to the BNP’s food bank efforts. As we struggle to afford food and keep roofs over our heads, and the enormous mental toll this takes, we urgently need to organise and reflect on collective projects for our well-being.
The first International Self-Organised Antifascist Martial Arts tournament is happening in Thessaloniki, Greece on 7-8 June! I love the writing down the right hand side of the blog about antifascist boxing gyms in Greece where the concept of competition or winners and losers is rejected. It’s like this great blog on Italian antifascist and queer squatted boxing gyms. London’s got some too, I know of one that’s been going for a year now. I’m well into radical sports practices.
This is less of an ‘awesome thing’ but important. Chris Grayling’s book (and underwear, and other things that could previously be sent in parcels) ban for prisoners has got a lot of deserved media attention. In this article, a Telegraph journalist looks at the appalling state of prison libraries. An interesting post by Haven distribution books gives a little more context to the book ban – even before the changes brought into English and Welsh prisons in November last year Haven distribution were banned from a few prisons, and where they can send them in, some titles have been rejected.
I attended a homelessness training with the brilliant Advisory Service for Squatters yesterday. It was very depressing hearing the labyrinthine application process that homeless people are subjected to – every aspect of their life, nationality, etc. scrutinised, and how at the end of all this, now they can be shafted into the private sector. It was sickening hearing how local authorities spend thousands of pounds on court cases to deny people quality, secure housing that everyone deserves. For me, the workshop reminded me that despite the good work of the housing lawyers who ran the workshop – we’re not really getting anywhere using the law and that collective action is how we’ll secure ourselves quality homes. A recent success for Esther and her family, supported by Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth and Lambeth Housing Activists, shows that collective organising works! Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth have been doing lots of good work providing support for each other and organising together, but it’s also really nice, and quite a boost, to have a concrete result like this. HASL will be celebrating their first birthday this month – check out their beautiful invitation here.
I loved listening to this. Novara’s James Butler interviews writer and journalist Melissa Gira Grant – author of Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work. It’s brilliant. I learnt A LOT. You should listen too.