#Killthebill 1st May 2021 Live Blog

Anti*Capitalist Resistance is playing an active role in #killthebill protests up and down the country today

Simon Hannah from Brixton

Simon Hannah: “activists from the local community have been in windrush square since 8am as part of a Carnival of Resistance organised by the local Latin American community”

Simon Hannah “Latin American group speaking in Brixton for the local kill the bill rally”

Neil Faulkner ” I’m in Central London where the Kill the Bill demo is assembling in Trafalgar Square. Awaiting the arrival of feeder marches from Inner London”

Simon Hannah “UVW on the demo in Trafalgar Square”

Neil Faulkner “video as the demonstration continues to build”

Transport Workers represented by the R.M.T

Neil Faulkner “Large IWGB union contingent joins the Central London demo”.

Terry is in Newcastle

The new Anti*Capitalist Resistance banner at its first protest!

Simon Hannah “We are now marching towards Buckingham Palace”

Neil Faulkner “Over 10,000 people are here protesting today”

Ali Treacher spoke today at a Manchester TUC May Day Rally and her speech is below:

Over the past few months, memories of the start of the pandemic have started popping up on my social media timelines. Posts about the anxiety I felt on March the 23rd going into work dreading the unknown, having to support people with their mental distress whilst masking my own. Battles with management around PPE, having to source locally produced visors, winning sick pay for my colleagues in their probation period, posts about attending distressing meetings with un-unionised workers speaking about fashioning their own PPE, their fears of getting sick whilst relying on SSP, travelling on crammed tubes across London, fearing for their families.

While the Tories spent their time trying to make us pay for the crisis they neglected the science, discharging older people back into care homes to soon letting the virus spread like wildfire. Thousands have died. The loss and trauma lives on.

Recent research from GMB states, “On average, all groups of care workers were more likely to report poor mental health than all other workers. However, some groups of care workers were more likely to report poor mental health and wellbeing than others.

Women workers, disabled workers, those who worked in residential care, and workers employed on Statutory Sick Pay were all more likely to report a lower sense of happiness, self-worth, or life satisfaction, and they were more likely to report higher anxiety levels”

The struggle in social care remains both gendered and racialized. The virus continues to discriminate.

What has changed one year on?

We remain, at large, on minimum wage, on precarious contracts, in outsourced services and in understaffed workplaces. But we knew this struggle is a marathon, not a sprint.

However, over the past year, there have been some incredible actions taken by care workers and it would be wrong not to use this platform to highlight the actions of the courageous workers at SAGE Nursing Home in North London. Fighting for union recognition with United Voices of The World, 12 pounds an hour, and parity of esteem with T&C’s with our colleagues in the NHS. Just last week these workers re-balloted with 100% of workers voting for strike action. Comrades when these workers go back out they will need each and every one of us amplifying their struggle. So please donate to the strike fund and use every lever of power you have to support them because they fight for all care workers.

I am here today representing Care and Support Workers ORGANISE! A group, which formed at the start of the pandemic off the back of a Unison meeting. We are care and support workers who are rank and file trade unionist, coming together across unions to form a collective voice. Making shared demands, offering each other solidarity, working together to be stronger. We constituted about a month ago and will be re-launching the organisation in a couple of months… so please look out for us, affiliate to us and support us with the fightback.

But not everything has changed for the better comrades, the decision from the Supreme Court on March 19th ruling that care workers are not ‘working’ whilst on sleep shifts came as a crushing blow. Yet another kick in a brutal sector.

It was a hard week to be a working-class woman that week. The week Sarah Everard was murdered, the week where the Police violently reacted to a peaceful vigil, the week where we were told that our labour, supporting disabled people in the community, being ready to react to a crisis, being a listening ear, being a shift worker, being disciplined if we left the workplace, meant nothing at all. We, as care workers, can not rely on the courts for moral decisions, we need to fight for them ourselves. Care workers are away from their families, often having to source childcare, needing the wages from those shifts to bolster poverty pay.

Just over the river in Salford has been a beacon of hope for care and support workers. Proof that where industrial strength and political will come together, working-class women will not pay for the crisis in social care. Paul Dennett and Salford Unison working together to say ‘Not in Our City’. Comrades, we need this decision to pay care workers the same rate of pay at night as during the day, to be replicated.

Salford’s actions must start a domino effect across Local Authorities across the North West and any trade unionist official or any Labour councillor worth their salt must stand with care and support workers and say ‘Not in Our City’. There is a meeting on the 12th of May hosted by the Greater Manchester Associations of Trades Councils, with Paul Dennett, care workers and the SAGE Nursing Home strikers. We need you to there, hearing the arguments and taking them up in any forum you can. I’ll post the details in the Chat.

Billy Bragg posed the question ‘Who’ll defend the workers who can not organise?”, Comrades, the answer must be each and every one of us.

Solidarity, happy workers day, I’ll look forward to hearing from the other fantastic speakers and performers. And see on the streets 4 pm St Peters square. We need to Kill this Bill!

Neil Faulkner “London KTB filling the streets en route back towards Parliament. Very young, very diverse, very loud – what Priti Patel might call annoying”.

Meanwhile in Paris…….

Neil Faulkner “London KTB demo arrives at Home Office, the centre of Tory police power”.

Simon Hannah “Demo has stopped at the Home Office, some riot cops coming around”

Terry Conway “Probably 500 to start in Newcastle in the rain. Cops v aggressive from beginning- hassling people for chalking on pavement – 2 arrests for doing nothing at that point then one shortly after i didnt see what happened only after effect. One v aggressive arrest 30 mins or so later when demo decided 2 go to cop shop and three or four of them jumped someone. Ive lost the demo now as my knees not as young as my heart!!”.

📣📣 Leaways mass action: Demand councillors hold Kedleston to account 📣📣

For-profit Kedleston Group charges Local Authorities over £50k of taxpayer money per pupil but has been engaged in a vicious campaign of union-busting at Leaways School. They have failed to settle the ongoing dispute with the NEU despite 18 strike days, with more to come. This is causing huge disruption to pupils.

Councils across London need to step up and hold Kedleston to account. They are spending public money💰on Leaways – they now need to intervene to address the situation.

🔥🔥 Take action now by emailing every councillor in every borough who sends children to Leaways to demand they address the situation.

✊ Click here to take action now https://bit.ly/2QCgVx7

This action is open to anyone, anywhere – please share as widely as possible! ✈️✈️

Above and below are more pictures from Newcastle, great to see a banner in solidarity with the travelling/Roma community.

Neil Faulkner “London demo is on the move again”

Marching to #killthebill in Birmingham!

Neil Faulkner “London KTB now crossing Vauxhall Bridge”.

Neil Faulkner “London KTB now across the river in Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens”.

Ian Parker is in Manchester

Jude is in Oxford!

More pictures from Oxford below…

Taking the knee in Oxford.

Priti annoying!

Ian Parker “About 300 protestors at the main Manchester #KilltheBill protest and about 50 at the smaller SWP protest”.

Speaking on behalf of sex workers in Manchester.

Andy Richards “Pics and video from Brighton rally and march. A joint production of the trades council and local KtB”.

Hello Brighton!

Andy Richards in Brighton “Trades Council organised rally; KtB the march, which ended up at police station. Best speech was Howard Beckett who is very good”.

Dave Hill reports from Brighton “Today’s May Day (Workers’ Day) Demonstration in Brighton..combined, for the first time, with `Kill the Bill’ (the repressive Crime Bill that will virtually ban mass demonstrations that are not to the government’s liking).

Good combination… Trade Unions, the Brighton and Hove District trades Council (trade unions)- the organising body for the Demonstration) and socialist/ Marxist groups and parties (oh, yes, and the Labour Party, too)… together with the local Brighton Coalition Against the Bill, mainly youth… so, a combination of the experience and know-how (eg how to organise a mass meeting) combined with the vigour and anger and irreverence of radical youth.

Superb Speech by Howard Beckett, the left candidate for the UNITE union general secretary election”.

Banner from Brighton KtB protest

Jude Roberts in Oxford “Probably 150 people with lots of local interest. A seriously broad range of groups represented. The sense of solidarity is powerful. Protesters began by taking the knee for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, before marching into the town centre chanting and singing and demanding that the PCSC Bill be killed. We are most definitely noisy and annoying!

Manchester on the #KilltheBill protest

Joseph Healy “I’m still at the virtual protest stall where there are about 7 other people and we’re watching live streaming from Vauxhall of people partying in the park with the cops in the background! All looking very relaxed. Will be leaving the stall soon”

Chris Jones “Showing off our banner in Manchester!”.

Photos below from Susan Pashkoff

Some more pictures from Manchester

Thank you to everyone that contributed to the live blog, it was a pleasure looking at your photographs, videos and words on the anti*capitalist resistances very first MayDay as a group.

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