Tuesday, 31 October 2017

HOUSMANS NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 2017

HOUSMANS NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 2017

NEWS

1. Four special late night openings with 20% discount
2. White Poppies + Housmans Peace Diary
3. Spycops Plaques Project

INSTORE EVENTS
4. Peace education poetry event with the poet Anthony Owen
5. Live theatrical performance: ‘Tinned Goods' with Fiona Whitelaw
6. Left Book Club Present: ‘Student Revolt:  Voices of the Austerity Generation’ with Matt Myers
7. ‘Pages of Protest: Can Books Influence Politics?’ with Sam Berkson, SJ Bradley, Abondance Matanda and Holly Pester

8. ‘Building Better Societies: Promoting social justice in a world falling apart’ with Rowland Atkinson, Lisa Mckenzie and Simon Winlow
9. ‘The History Thieves: Secrets, Lies and the Shaping of a Modern Nation’ with Ian Cobain in conversation with Wail Qasim
10. ‘How the Establishment Lost Control’ with Chris Nineham
11. ‘You Should Come with Me Now: Stories of Ghosts’ M. John Harrison in conversation with Lara Pawson


READING AND DISCUSSION GROUPS12. Fuse Book Club – forthcoming titles
13. Feminist Sci-fi Book Club at Housmans
14. London Pacifism and Nonviolence Discussion Group
____________________________________________

NEWS

1. Four special late night openings with 20% discount

We’re pleased to announce that in the run up to Christmas, we’ll have four special late night openings:

Tuesday 31 October, 6.30 to 8.30pmWitchy Night with 20% discount on all purchases between 6.30 and 8.30pm. You can find more information 
here.
-Thursday 23 November, 6.30 to 8.30pm: Special Student Evening with 20% discount, a beer and a tote bag for all students.
-Thursday 14 December, 6.30 to 8.30pmlate night Xmas opening (no discount).
-Thursday 21 December, 6.30 to 8.30pmlate night Xmas opening (no discount).

2. White Poppies + Housmans Peace Diary
 
Remembrance Day has come around again, and as ever you can get white poppies at Housmans. White poppies signify a remembrance of all victims of war, a challenge to militarism, anda commitment to build a wider culture of peace.  Also, another reminder about the Housmans Peace Diary, available to buy instore or from the website. This year's special feature in the diary relates to the centenary of the end of the First World War: it looks at anti-militarist approaches to the end of a war, at new movements and alternative symbols which that period gave rise to, and to a century of building reconciliation and resistance to militarism.

3. Spycops Plaques Project
Thanks to everyone who came down for the unveiling of the inaugural Spycops Plaque, now in situ above Housmans front door. The project is about marking some of the places where #spycops operated in the past, with a specially designed plaque being installed at locations across London. Keep an eye on the #theyspiedhere hashtag for more updates as the plaques go up over town.
Please support the wider campaign! It’s crucial to keep this on the agenda. 
http://campaignopposingpolicesurveillance.com
https://policespiesoutoflives.org.uk
#theyspiedhere

IN-STORE EVENTS

4. Peace education poetry event with the poet Anthony Owen 
Thursday 2nd November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

A participatory evening of poetry with Anthony Owen, inspired by his experiences of growing up during the Cold War, and travelling to Hiroshima in 2015 to hear testimonies of atomic-bomb survivors.
click here for more info
5. Live theatrical performance: ‘Tinned Goods' by Fiona Whitelaw Monday 6th November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase


A one-off performance of Fiona Whitelaw’s ‘Tinned Goods’, a new play set during the miners’ strike.  Sue and Rachel have not spoken since the miners walked out three months earlier. Can political principle ever be worth more than a lifelong friendship?
click here for more info

6. Left Book Club Present: ‘Student Revolt:  Voices of the Austerity Generation’ with Matt Myers 
Wednesday 8th November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Left Book Club launch their most recent title Student Revolt: Voices of the Austerity Generation which focuses on the 2010 student protests. Author Matt Myers will be discussing his experience as a participant and reflecting on the lessons that can be learned from the movement.
click here for more info
7. ‘Pages of Protest: Can Books Influence Politics?’
with Sam Berkson, SJ Bradley, Abondance Matanda and Holly Pester
Wednesday 16th November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase


Authors from recent publications by Comma Press, Dead Ink Books and Influx Press join us to read from their work and to discuss the influence of books on politics.    
click here for more info

8.  ‘Building Better Societies: Promoting social justice in a world falling apart’
with Rowland Atkinson, Lisa Mckenzie and Simon Winlow

Wednesday 22nd November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

What would it take to make society better? For the majority, conditions are getting worse and this will continue unless strong action is taken. This book offers a wide range of expert contributors outlining what might help to make better societies and which mechanisms, interventions and evidence are needed when we think about a better society.
click here for more info
9. ‘The History Thieves: Secrets, Lies and the Shaping of a Modern Nation’
with Ian Cobain in conversation with Wail Qasim 

Wednesday 15th November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase
From the birth of the first Official Secrets Act in 1889 to present times, investigative journalist Ian Cobain takes a look at the history of the British Government’s clandestine bureaucracy and its political impact on the nation.
click here for more info
10. ‘How the Establishment Lost Control’ with Chris NinehamWednesday 29th November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase


The post-war consensus is breaking up. The general election result, the 2014 Scottish referendum and the Brexit vote all testify to an insurgent mood amongst swathes of the population. This book attempts to explain these dramatic developments and to show how they question received notions about politics, history and how change happens.click here for more info

11. ‘You Should Come with Me Now: Stories of Ghosts’ M. John Harrison in conversation with Lara Pawson
Thursday 30th November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase


The Locomotrix is excited to present New Wave pioneer M. John Harrison in conversation with author and journalist Lara Pawson on the publication of his first collection of short fiction in over 15 years, You Should Come with Me Now: Stories of Ghosts. Acclaimed by writers such as Neil Gaiman, Angela Carter, Clive Barker, William Gibson and Iain Banks (who called him ‘a Zen master of prose’), M. John Harrison is the winner of numerous awards, including the Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K Dick, and James Tiptree Junior Awards, as well as the Boardman Tasker Prize and Tahtivaeltara Award. 

click here for more info

READING AND DISCUSSION GROUPS 


12. The Fuse Book Club – forthcoming titles


Housmans has a monthly book club which usually meets on the second Thursday of the month, starting at 7pm in the shop. Forthcoming titles under discussion are:

Thursday 9th November 
Four Futures: Life After Capitalism’ by Peter Frase
Frase imagines how a post-capitalist world might look, deploying the tools of both social science and speculative fiction to explore what communism, rentism, socialism and exterminism might actually entail.

Thursday 14th December No book - Christmas social!

Thursday 11th January The Mother of All Questions by Rebecca Solnit 
A collection of essays on feminism
If you would like to find out more about the reading group, please email catherine@housmans.comThe Fuse has its own web page with more info here: 
http://www.housmans.com/fuse.php

13. Housmans Feminist Sci-fi Book Club
Genderless societies, anarchist planets, polyamorous aliens, parthenogenesis, feminist militias, reproductive dystopias, cyborg families, and more at the new Housmans Feminist Sci-Fi Book Club! Join us at the bookshop on the first Thursday of every month, 7pm-9pm. All genders welcome. Please bring drinks or snacks to share.
 
Thursday 2nd NovemberThe Bees by Laline Paull
Thursday 7th DecemberBitch Planet Volume 1
Thursday 4th JanuaryThe Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin

Book Club books available at 20% discount from Housmans. Any questions please email Hannah on 
scifi@housmans.com 

14. London Pacifism and Nonviolence Discussion Group
white              poppy
Housmans has a regular Pacifism and Nonviolence Discussion Group, who meet on the second Tuesday of the month. All are welcome, but please be prepared to join in the discussion. Please try to turn up by 7pm sharp. 

In NOVEMBER (on Tuesday 14 November) we’ll revisit NONVIOLENT ACTIVISM – CONSCIENCE, CONVENIENCE AND COMPROMISE. And in DECEMBER (on Tuesday 12 December) we’ll have a seasonally festive topic to discuss – watch this space.

For more information please visit: 
http://londonpacifismnonviolence.wordpress.com/

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Monday, 30 October 2017

Celebrate 20 Years of Defeating Corporate GM Food!

Big Gene Gathering +20
Celebrate 20 Years of Defeating Corporate GM Food!
December 2, 2017 9.30am – 6pm
LARC, 62 Fieldgate St, London E1 1ES. FREE/donation
Are you eating GM food? The fact that you are mostly* not is down to 20 years of inspiring direct action and pressure by anti-GM activists. In 1997, sparked by the threatened invasion of Monsanto’s GM soya, the anti-GM food campaign erupted into the fields and streets of Britain. Five years of frenetic campaigning persuaded the British public that GM crops were an unacceptable threat to nature, farming and health. The supermarkets were forced to ban GM ingredients and repeated ‘decontamination’ of trial sites blocked GM crop development. By 2003 trials had stopped and there was a Europe-wide de-facto moratorium on growing new GM crops.  The myth that ‘you can’t stop technology’ was dead.
The Big Gene Gathering +20 is a chance to learn lessons about how to win on food and environment issues, and how to keep going for the long haul after the initial success and excitement fade.  Despite our victories, scientists and corporations are threatening a comeback with much more powerful new technologies that they claim are not GM and so don’t need regulating. Brexit may force GM crops and imported GM foods on us, while the new ‘synthetic biology’ aims at completely rewriting nature and even creating GM babies. So come and meet some of the hero(in)es of the anti-GM food campaign and discuss ways forward to combat the new threats to nature and people.
Speakers from: GM Freeze, Genetic Engineering Network, Beyond GM, GM Watch, Breaking the Frame, Human Genetics Alert and others.
There will be a 20th Birthday party on the evening of Saturday Dec 2nd.  Dec 3rd will be devoted to planning new and existing campaigns.
The event is free, but places are limited so please book in advance at Eventbrite (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/big-gene-gathering-20-tickets-39334569757). Please help us publicise the event by sharing this on social media and within your networks.
*Products from animals fed on GM crops are still not banned or labelled.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

NSSN 362: PCS strikes against DWP office closures

The full version of this week’s no.362 can be viewed HERE this week's highlights include news, protests, solidarity campaigns against victimisation, strikes and industrial action ballots involving BFAWU, Unite, RMT, PCS, Unison, GMB, CWU, BECTU, UCU, UVW, NBRU, SIPTU, TSSA and TEEU as well as international reports plus much more

NSSN 362: PCS strikes against DWP office closures on November 6th in Plymouth & all-out in Sheffield and RMT announces more DOO strikes
In this week’s bulletin, we headline with the continued action by PCS members against office closures in the Department for Work and Pensions. Also, for the 3rd time, Southern Rail management have put a divisive offer to train drivers in the dispute against Driver Only Operation (DOO). We call on ASLEF members to again reject this offer and open the way to joint action with the RMT, who have now called strikes against DOO in five train operators

PCS
Workers had already taken 26 days of strikes at Sheffield Eastern Avenue jobcentre but started indefinite action this Monday after DWP management announced that they intend to close it on November 17th.
Now PCS members at Plymouth Old Tree Court benefit centre have voted to strike on 6 November in protest at the plans to close the benefit centre. An overwhelming majority of members voted in favour of striking with 76.9% supporting the strike. The 230 members in the benefit centre however have been told they must relocate to another office in Plymouth. However, due to the geography and the transport connections of the area, a large number of members will not be able to relocate to the proposed new office as it is well outside reasonable daily travel from their homes. This has left a significant number of members at risk of redundancy.
PCS DWP Group President Fran Heathcote on Sheffield Eastern Avenue picket line

As well as these two offices, there have also been strikes at Hoylake and Whitley Bay job centres as part of the PCS DWP Group’s strategy to defend offices, jobs and public service.
PCS DWP Group President Fran Heathcote said, “With strikes like these, PCS is showing DWP management and behind them the Tory Government, that we will fight these vindictive closures that are to the detriment of our members and claimants alike.”
To support these strikes and all others by PCS in DWP:-
Send messages of support to leeds@pcs.org.uk. Donations should be sent to PCS DWP Group, 3rd floor, Town Centre House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS28LY.
PCS consultative pay ballot – the consultative ballot on the pay cap and whether members are prepared to take industrial action to protest against it, opened on October 9th
The ballot runs from Monday, 9 October to Monday, 6 November and you can vote by post, email or phone.
If you have not received a ballot paper in the post or received details of how to vote online to your personal email address by 20 October you should request a replacement ballot paper by emailing balloting@pcs.org.uk.
The ballot asks two questions:
Do you agree that the pay cap should be scrapped; and that funds should be made available to provide you with an above inflation pay rise?
If the government refuse to scrap the pay cap, are you prepared to take part in industrial action? Read more   Join PCS by 27 October to vote on pay
Video update from today's CSCS talks (24 Oct) - General Secretary Mark Serwotka talks to members about the Civil Service Compensation Scheme talks that PCS was part of at the Treasury today

RMT
RMT announces strike action in separate disputes over the attack on the role of the guard and the extension of Driver Only Operation (24 Oct) - RAIL UNION RMT today confirmed strike action in November in separate disputes with train operating companies across the UK over attacks on the role of the safety-critical guard and the extension of Driver Only Operation in the name of increased profits. Members on Southern, Greater Anglia, South Western Railways and Island Line have been instructed to take action as follows:
Not to book on for any shifts between 00.01 hours on Wednesday 8th November and 23.59 hours on Thursday 9th November.
Members on Northern and Merseyrail have been instructed to take action as follows:
Not to book on for any shifts between 00.01 hours and 23.59 hours On Wednesday 8th November read more
RMT calls on Southern Rail staff to stand together and reject divisive and tainted company plan to destroy safety and access (24 Oct) - Rail union RMT today called on Southern Rail staff to continue to stand united and reject the latest company and government proposals to extend Driver Only Operation which would destroy the principles of safe operation and access to services for all. Staff on Southern Rail have stood together for nearly 20 months now in the teeth of attacks on the safety culture and have repeatedly rejected plans cobbled together by Southern/GTR, under the direction of the Government, which would give the green light to axing the second safety-critical member of staff from services at the whim of the bosses and which would leave disabled passengers stranded. RMT is calling on staff to maintain that sense of unity. In a letter to members today – below - RMT reveals that the latest tainted company deal on Southern Rail attempts to link the most blatant of attacks on safety to increased pay while rolling back the boundaries on Driver Only Operation on a scale not seen before in any of the earlier proposals. RMT is making it clear that the union will be campaigning for a rejection of the whole package read more
National dispute fund (DOO disputes) – If you would like to donate to the RMT National Dispute Fund which makes payments to support their striking members taking part in National DOO disputes then you can donate via PayPal using the donate button below or make a cheque payable to RMT National Dispute Fund and send it to the address below. Alternatively, you can ring their Freephone helpline on 0800 376 3706 who will be happy to process a credit card payment for you, or, if you would like to pay via internet banking, please email l.rolles@rmt.org.uk for further details. Vicky Thompson, Finance Manager RMT, 39 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD. Tel: 020-7529-8843

CWU
Support the Royal Mail workers: ‘Dispute postponed – not cancelled’ read more on CWU website
Defending the NHS
This Saturday October 28 - National Demonstration and Rally in Barnsley Save Our NHS: fighting back to win. Assemble Barnsley Eastgate http://barnsley.streetmapof.co.uk/eastgate/ at 11.30. Speakers include: Justin Madders, Shadow Health Minister, Mike Forster, Hands Off HRI, Ellen King, Bassetlaw parents
Saturday November 4 Health Campaigns Together Conference in London. Early bird registration and travel concessions closes 23.30. 31st October. The link for online booking is www.healthcampaignstogether.com Lunch will be provided for all PRE-BOOKED delegates Early bird fee: £7.50 | After 31st October / On the door: £10 Concessions: £5 pre-booked (£7 on the door) https://www.healthcampaignstogether.com/

NSSN news
There was an excellent NSSN Solidarity Forum last Saturday in Birmingham.
Over 80 union reps and members discussed how to build support for the increasing number of disputes, including the CWU in Royal Mail, Unite at Birmingham bins, PCS in DWP, BFAWU in McDonalds and the fight to scrap the public sector pay cap. We also heard from campaigners fighting to keep the Derby Women’s Centre open. If you want to organise a similar event in your area, email us via info@shopstewards.net
Get your trade union branch or trades council to affiliate to the NSSN – it only costs £50. Already affiliated? Please think about renewing it. Also, many of our supporters pay a few pounds a month. You can set up a similar standing order to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’, HSBC – sort code 40-06-41, account number 90143790. Our address is NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE. Affiliation letter is below
Download the ‘Join the NSSN’ leaflet here
And if you can, come to one of our regional Conferences. If there is not one in your area, get in touch to either assist in organising or have a speaker at one of your meetings or events. Contact Rob or Linda on info@shopstewards.net
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Saturday, 28 October 2017

Hands off our Jobcentres! Demonstration Monday November 6th 3-4pm

From Brent Fightback Facebook

Hands off our Jobcentres! Demonstration
Monday November 6th 3-4pm
Department of Work and Pensions, Caxton House, 12 Tothill St, Westminster, SW1H
The government has already closed 24 jobcentres since August this year. They plan to close a further 78 Jobcentres by April of 2018.
16 of these Jobcentres are in London.

The poor and vulnerable need local jobcentres, not some superhub that they have to walk miles to reach.

Benefit money is too little to cover regular trips on public transport. People will have to walk. And don't be late or too ill to walk over a mile each way as often as the jobcentre demands– you'll be up for a sanction!

The Tories say that much of the jobcentres' work is now done online, but 5.3 million people in Britain have never used the internet, and 10 million lack the basic digital skills. And millions of these people will be in receipt of benefits.

You can't use the internet if you are learning disabled.

You can't use the internet if you can't afford a computer or a mobile phone contract or or the fee for using library or internet cafe

You can't use the internet if you are illiterate (and six to eight million Britons are borderline or fully illiterate)

Our local Jobcentres, Kilburn and Neasden, serve one of the most deprived areas in the country. If they are closed then over half of the borough of Camden and around two thirds of Brent will be more than half a mile from the nearest jobcentre, i.e. more than a mile round trip. These areas contain heavily populated areas: a lot of people are going to be affected.

In amongst the people who can't use the internet are hundreds of thousands of people who have lost their disability benefit because they aren't disabled enough for the Tories. They may be able to walk just 200 meters, or sometimes panic when out and get lost, or nor be able to plan a journey to places they don’t know, or have epilepsy. They may be seriously depressed or suffering from brain fog brought on by medication or illnesses like Fibromyalgia. They may be recovering from cancer or waiting for a heart operation. They may have variable conditions that mean that they can't guarantee being able to go out at all on any particular day.

But if you miss an appointment, or are simply late, you'll be considered for a sanction!

Let's meet outside the DWP's headquarters at Caxton House and let them know what we think about this.

Save our Jobcentres!
The 16 London jobcentres that are closing are:
Highgate, 24 November 2017
Edgware, 8 December 2017
Finchley, 12 January 2018
Dagenham, 19 January 2018
Southall, January 2018
Kingston, February 2018
Brixton,- 9 February 2018
Neasden 16 February 2018
Clapham 23 February 2018
Kilburn, March 2018
Hammersmit,h 9 March 2018
Croydon, 16 March 2018
Wandsworth, 23 March 2018
Leytonstone,- 30 March 2018
Hounslow, 10 Montague Road,

Thursday, 26 October 2017

A Labour council attacking its own people? This is regeneration gone bad Aditya Chakrabortty

A man looks out on the Broadwater Farm housing estate in Haringey, north London.
 ‘Housing association tenants and leaseholders won’t get the return to the redeveloped estate deal – and neither will those who live on Broadwater Farm.’ Photograph: Paul Hackett/Reuters
Nothing about Gordon Peters sings of being a fighter. He is shy and sweetly reticent, keener to wish me a happy Diwali than to hurl abuse at his opponents. Yet on Wednesday morning at the high court, the 73-year-old kicks off one of the most unequal and important battles I’ve seen.

see more at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/25/labour-council-regeneration-housing-crisis-high-court-judge?CMP=share_btn_fb

Monday, 23 October 2017

LONDON FEDERATION OF GREEN PARTIES Housing conference 21 October 2017

LONDON FEDERATION OF GREEN PARTIES Housing conference 21 October 2017 . Jonathon Bartley Co-Leader of the Green Party of England & Wales introduced by Caroline Russell, Green Party London Assembly Member. url: https://youtu.be/SGds0BP1H5E Sian Berry Green Party London AM introduced by Caroline Russell, Green Party London Assembly Member. url: https://youtu.be/12J4PC-4MVY Workshop on Council Housing and the Gentrification Agenda part 1 with Eileen Short of Defend Council Housing introduced by Caroline Russell, Green Party London Assembly Member. url:https://youtu.be/SXXQ7MpjxxA Workshop on Council Housing and the Gentrification Agenda part 2 with Gordon Peters of Haringey Green Party and the Stop HDV campaign introduced by Caroline Russell, Green Party London Assembly Member. url:https://youtu.be/-lAaavdHoHs Panel discussion part 1 with Eileen Short of Defend Council Housing, Sian Berry Green Party London AM, Kareem Dayes Rural urban Synthesis Society (RUSS) Ladywell project, Seb Klier (Generation Rent) and Oliver Sidorczuk (Adviser to Lord Bird MBE on the Creditworthiness Assessment Bill) introduced by Caroline Russell, Green Party London Assembly Member. url:https://youtu.be/d9c0VHWulq4 Panel discussion part 2 with Eileen Short of Defend Council Housing, Sian Berry Green Party London AM, Kareem Dayes Rural urban Synthesis Society (RUSS) Ladywell project, Seb Klier (Generation Rent) and Oliver Sidorczuk (Adviser to Lord Bird MBE on the Creditworthiness Assessment Bill), introduced by Caroline Russell, Green Party London Assembly Member. url:https://youtu.be/m80e_ihnG6U