Wednesday, 28 March 2018

HOUSMANS NEWSLETTER APRIL 2018


HOUSMANS NEWSLETTER APRIL 2018

NEWS
1. Easter Closures
2. Aldermaston 60 Years On – CND Rally 1st April
3. Lords v Commoners: Week of Action for Land Rights – 14th to 22nd April

INSTORE EVENTS
4.'In Our Hands: Changing the Way we See the Homeless' with Papakow Baiden, Andy Slaughter (MP for Hammersmith) and Tom Copley (London Assembly Member, Heads Up Housing Committee)
5. 'Wobblies of the World: A Global History of the IWW' with Peter Cole
6.
 Tottenham's Trojan Horse? A Tale of Stadium-led Regeneration in North London' with Dr Mark Panton
7. 'Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions'
with Johann Hari
8. ‘The Book of Riga’ with Svens Kuzmins and Dace Ruksane

9. 'Anarchist Accounting' with Anders Sandström
10. 'Poetry: Community and Self-Care' with Ari Haque 
11. 'Alt-Right: From 4chan to the White House' with Mike Wendling
12. “There was just this enormous sense of solidarity”: London and the 1984/85 Miners’ Strike with Terry Conway, Hilary Wainwright, Diarmaid Kelliher, Gary Cox and Terry Harrison
13. ‘Small is Necessary: Shared Living on a Shared Planet’ with Anitra Nelson
14. ‘A World to Win: The Life and Works of Karl Marx’ with Sven-Eric Liedman

READING AND DISCUSSION GROUPS15. Fuse Book Club – forthcoming titles
16. Feminist Sci-fi Book Club at Housmans
17. London Pacifism and Nonviolence Discussion Group
____________________________________________

NEWS

1. Easter Closures
Housmans will be closed on Friday 30th Marchopen on Saturday 31st March and Sunday 1st April, then closed on Monday 2nd April.

2. Aldermaston 60 Years On – CND Rally 1st April
Solidarity plug! 
Join us to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first Aldermaston march - an event that mobilised thousands against the Bomb and shaped radical protest for generations. We will mark the anniversary with speeches, poems, music and memories, and we'll look to the future too, as we continue our struggle to rid Britain - and the world - of nuclear weapons. 

As part of the anniversary CND’s chair Kate Hudson has written ‘CND at 60: Britain’s most enduring mass movement’ which provides detailed coverage of the inside story of six decades of CND, drawing on archive material and interviews with activists from across the decades, and situating CND’s current work in the context of the Trump presidency and increasing global tensions around nuclear weapons – now available at Housmans.

More details: http://www.cnduk.org/home 
3. Lords v Commoners: Week of Action for Land Rights – 14th to 22nd April


Solidarity plug! 
Land ownership in Britain is one of the most unequal in the world. This is a call out to groups and individuals all over the country who think the time has come for us to have more control of our land. In order to draw attention to this injustice, we invite you to organise an event in your area between the 14th and 22nd of April. More info: https://www.landjustice.uk/lords-vs-commoners/ 


IN-STORE EVENTS

4. 'In Our Hands: Changing the Way we See the Homeless' with Papakow Baiden, Andy Slaughter (MP for Hammersmith) and Tom Copley (London Assembly Member, Heads Up Housing Committee)
Wednesday 28th March, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

In Our Hands explains the scope of the issue, what the government does and doesn’t do, and also tells stories of homeless people – with the aim of re-humanising this neglected portion of society.
click here for more info

5. 'Wobblies of the World: A Global History of the IWW' with Peter ColeSaturday 31st March, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase
This book is the first to look at the history of the IWW from an international perspective. Bringing together a group of leading scholars, it includes lively accounts from diverse countries including Australia, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Sweden and Ireland, which reveal a fascinating story of global anarchism, syndicalism and socialism. 
click here for more info

6. ‘Tottenham's Trojan Horse? A Tale of Stadium-led Regeneration in North London', author Mark Panton in conversation with community activists Dave Morris and Martin BallWednesday 4th April, 7pmEntry £3, redeemable against any purchase
 Our guests provide insight into the White Hart Lane stadium regeneration project, from stakeholders on every side including local residents, Haringey councillors, Members of Parliament and Tottenham Hotspur FC managers, and will explore the effects of budget cuts on councils, the consultation process between local politicians and residents, and the history of Tottenham, including the 2011 riots. 
click here for more info

7. 'Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions'
with Johann Hari
Wednesday 11th April, 7pmEntry £3, redeemable against any purchase - Tickets available here


Johann Hari makes the case for recognising the central importance material and experiential  conditions play in affecting mental health, a subject explored in his new book.
click here for more info

8.COMMA PRESS EVENT: ‘The Book of Riga’ with Svens Kuzmins and Dace Ruksane

Friday 13th April, 7pm - Tickets available here

Housmans is very pleased to host the launch of independent publishers Comma Press's latest instalment of their Reading the City series. Comma Press bring The Book of Riga to UK readers, featuring some of Latvia's best known and most exciting short story writers. This launch coincides with the Baltic States Market Focus at London Book Fair.
click here for more info

9. 'Anarchist Accounting' with Anders Sandström 
Wednesday 18th April, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

How would an economic system based on libertarian socialist principles actually work in practice? What kind of information would need to be recorded in order to enable democratic participation, efficient decision-making and equitable outcomes? Anders Sandström  proposes a set of accounting principles for an economy comprised of common ownership of productive resources, federations of worker and consumer councils, and democratic planning.
click here for more info

10. SPRING LOCOMOTRIX IN COLLABORATION WITH BIRDSONG
'Poetry: Community and Self-Care' with Ari Haque 
Thursday 19th April, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against purchase

Locomotrix and Birdsong -the feminist ethical fashion company selling sweatshop-free product that give back to their women makers- invite you to come along and read your favourite poems or literary passages, in an intimate circle, alongside a line-up of women/non-binary/queer/immigrant/working class poets, writers, artists and makers reading work they cherish.
click here for more info

11. 'Alt-Right: From 4chan to the White House' with Mike Wendling
Thursday 26th April, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against purchase

A vital guide to understanding the Alt-Right - the white nationalist, misogynist, far-right movement that rose to prominence during Donald Trump's successful election campaign in the United States. Mike Wendling looks at the support for this reactionary network, arguing that while Trump is in office and the far-right grows across Europe, we need to gain a deeper understanding of the movement's philosophy, history and role in politics today.
click here for more info

12. “There was just this enormous sense of solidarity”: London and the 1984/85 Miners’ Strike with Terry Conway, Hilary Wainwright, Diarmaid Kelliher, Gary Cox and Terry Harrison
Wednesday 2nd May, 7pm
Free Entry
 


Launch of booklet of testimonies about the solidarities forged during the strike and their contemporary political relevance,  based on a series of workshops and interviews, organised in collaboration with the TUC Library Collections
click here for more info

13. ‘Small is Necessary: Shared Living on a Shared Planet’ with Anitra Nelson

Friday 4th May, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against purchase
Anitra Nelson, on a rare visit from Australia, advocates for shared living - from joint households to land-sharing, cohousing and ecovillages - in an era of housing crises, environmental unsustainability and social fragmentation.
click here for more info

14. ‘A World to Win: The Life and Works of Karl Marx’ with Sven-Eric Liedman
Wednesday 9th May, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against purchase
Sven-Eric Liedman introduces his epic new biography of Karl Marx, Verso’s lead title for the 200th anniversary of his birth.
click here for more info

MORE MAY EVENTS HERE: http://www.housmans.com/events.php 

READING AND DISCUSSION GROUPS 

15. 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 12th April
 Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
Thursday 10th May Your Life in My Hands: a Junior Doctor's Story by Rachel Clarke
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

16. Housmans Feminist Sci-fi Book Club 
Genderless societies, anarchist planets, polyamorous aliens, parthenogenesis, feminist militias, reproductive dystopias, cyborg families, and more at the 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 5th April:
 Octavia's Brood edited by Walidah Imarisha, Adrienne Maree Brown  
Thursday 3rd May:
 He, She and It by Marge Piercy  

Book Club books available at 20% discount from Housmans. Any questions please email Hannah on scifi@housmans.com  or check the book club page here.

17. London Pacifism and Nonviolence Discussion Group
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 APRIL (on Tuesday 10 April), the topic will be PACIFISM AND LAUGHTER. And in the run-up to International Conscientious Objectors’ Day (on 15 May), our MAY meeting (on Tuesday 8 MAY) will ask WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT A PACIFIST’S CONSCIENCE?

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

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Friday, 23 March 2018

Spain: Mass protests insist pension ‘a right, not a handout’ Julian Coppens March 23, 2018

https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/spain-mass-protests-insist-pension-%E2%80%98-right-not-handout%E2%80%99





The government’s pension rise is a mere 2 a month — well below the 3% inflation rate. In response, the National Coordinating Committee for the Defence of Public Pensions called for demonstrations across the Spanish state on February 22 with the demand “No to 0.25%”

In a statement, the group said: “The country is governed for a privileged minority that controls the economy, the banks, the electricity and gas companies, and the IBEX 35 [the 35 largest corporations listed on the Spanish stock market] — companies on whose Boards of Directors sit the politicians who have made labour and pension reforms with the sole purpose of favouring the interests of these companies.
“From these Boards, filled with ex-politicians of the [Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) opposition] and PP, electricity has increased by more than 12% and gas by 10% while pensioners, along with most of the population, are increasingly impoverished.”
Hundreds of thousands of people came out in more than 70 cities, including huge demonstrations in Madrid, Barcelona and Bilbao. As a result, a special parliamentary session was held to discuss pensions on March 14.
Legislation proposed by left-wing group Unidos Podemos to fix pensions rises to inflation was vetoed by the two main right-wing parties, the governing PP and Citizens, and never introduced for debate. This measure would have cost 2.1 billion a year.
Meanwhile, the government has approved a bailout for privately owned toll roads of more than 2 billion to cover their losses.
Many of these toll roads were built by the PP and contracts were awarded to construction companies with strong links to the party. This is in a context where the PP is mired in corruption scandals involving illegal cash payments by large corporations later distributed as back handers to leading members of the government at the time.
On March 17, three days after the first mass mobilisations, the next national day of action for decent pensions mobilised hundreds of thousands more across the Spanish state, despite torrential rain in most cities.
These demonstrations are driven not just by anger at the government’s current actions, but also the structurally inequitable social security system.
Changes to social security by the PSOE in 2011 and the PP in 2013 have led to a 35% drop in purchasing power for 9 million pensioners. Spanish pensions are based on contributions to social security and vary depending on the number of years worked and the amount earned.
The average old age pension across the Spanish state is 1074 a month. However, this hides vast differences due to gender (average women’s pension is 79; for men it is 1244) and region (in Extremadura, the average men’s pension is 925, for women it is 716).
About 300,000 pensioners are paid the basic pension. This is 400 a month and paid to those who have not paid into social security for a minimum of 20 years, mostly women. Overall, 60% of pensioners receive less than 1000 a month and 15% less than 500.
These figures reflect a lifetime of inequality based on gender and employment opportunities. Changes to extend the calculation period on which final pensions are based — from the average salary paid over the final 15 years of employment to the final 25 years by 2022 — dramatically exacerbates this inequality even further.
This change was the result of an agreement between the two main union federations, CCOO and UGT, and the PSOE government in 2011, which also raised the retirement age to 67 and raised the number of years in employment to receive the maximum pension to 38.
Perhaps ironically, both CCOO and UGT support the current round of mobilisations. However, they have called demonstrations in their own name at the same time as those organised by the National Coordinating Committee — but in different locations.
As a result, in many cities there were two demonstrations on March 17, causing frustration and confusion for many elderly militants. This is a generation that overthrew the fascist Francisco Franco dictatorship and built the welfare state now being torn apart, many of whom are lifelong union members.
This lack of unity, the role of these federations in supporting past pension cuts, and their relatively timid response to the huge March 8 Women’s Strike, has lowered their standing even further after years of inaction as unemployment soared and wages dived.
On the other hand, the feminist collectives that built the March 8 strike have swung behind the pension’s movement. Youth organisations are starting to come behind the mobilisations as well. As well as the astronomical unemployment and precarious low-paid work young people face, they are also watching the right to a liveable pension disappear.
As one spokesperson said at a rally in Las Palmas, pensioners are not going anywhere: “We already did it in the ’60s and ’70s. We have experience and we are going to tell the union organisations and the political parties that it is on the street where rights are won.”
[Julian Coppens is a member of Podemos and Anticapitalistas.]
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Saturday, 17 March 2018

Watermelon on line


Watermelon on line now at ​http://greenleftblog.blogspot.co.uk/p/watermelon-spring-2018.html

Hard copies available FREE for Green Left members £1.50 to fellow travellers, contact yrrumuk@googlemail.com

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

London's Silver Economy

London's Silver Economy – A conference on older workers contribution towards ec….
Monday 19 March, 11.00am - 3.30pm
Europe House, Smith Square London SW1P 3EU

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

ucu Union members react with anger to proposed deal






Union members react with anger to proposed deal











Photo credit Jonny Jones

Members of the UCU union were expressing their
determination on Monday evening to reject a deal
reached earlier in the day by a section of their
 leadership and Universities UK. The deal was
heavily criticised by members as soon as it was
released by UCU. Many vented their frustration
online, furious that it fell far short of what the strike
has demanded so far. They pointed out that this
 was because the deal:
§  Accepted the bosses case that the scheme
was financially unsustainable and raised the
amount of money workers would have to
contribute each month into their pension. At
the same time, the rate at which employers
pay into the scheme would fall.
§  Forced striking workers to reschedule their
classes that were missed during the strike,
effectively making them work unpaid whilst
also undermining the strike action.
§  Only lasted 3 years, in which time so-called
experts would be invited to come and
present inferior pension schemes, something
 that goes against what people have been on
 strike for.
In one open letter –signed by 5,000 union
members within hours – it said “In three years time
 we will be demobilised and pressured to accept a
worse deal. In our opinion we should keep going
and throw UUK’s offer out all together.”
In another statement released by University of
Liverpool UCU, it stated that a meeting of 100
members earlier in the day had unanimously
rejected the deal. “Members in our branch and
across the country did not join one of the most
impressive shows of collective solidarity in the
face of restrictive trade union laws for a
compromise offer that does not guarantee them
decency in retirement.”, it read. Within hours,
#NoCapitulation was trending on Twitter. One user
wrote “I was feeling a tad unstrikey at the
weekend. I am feeling very, very strikey now.
#NoCapitulation #ucustrike” The branch secretary
of one UCU branch involved in the strike simply
stated ‘massive sellout!” on Facebook.
However, this was not a done deal. Even the BBC
headlines on Tuesday morning that made out the
strikes were about to end had to acknowledge that
the agreement needed to be ratified by a meeting
of union reps that day, as well as any decision on
halting strikes. The meeting – to be held in UCUs
London offices – quickly became the focus of
union members’ anger, with hundreds committing
themselves to demonstrate outside in protest at
the proposed deal. Student groups which had
been set up to support the strike also threw
themselves behind what appeared to be an
overwhelming desire to carry on the fight in
defence of a decent pension.
As the morning rolled on, stories poured in of huge
meetings of striking university staff rejecting the
deal. One rep in Cardiff put the atmosphere like
this: “We’ve had picket lines this morning outside
buildings where there hasn’t been one before.
People are turning out more because they’re so
angry about the deal.” The hall booked for the
meeting was too small for the hundreds who
wanted to attend, so they held it outside instead.
Workers held aloft their placards, some had been
made the night before and simply read: ‘No’. The
meeting overwhelmingly rejected the deal.
The strike has unleashed a level of industrial
struggle and solidarity not seen in decades. The
mood of the strike has been very upbeat and
workers rightly think they can win. Pushing a deal
that falls so far short may have provided an
already confident strike with further opportunity to
strengthen the organisation of ordinary union
members and their supporters.
SC