Friday, 31 July 2009

5 things Vestas sit in is teaching us...

From the great blog River's Edge found HERE.

1. Capitalism is such a crazy profit-driven system that it does utterly ridiculous things, like closing a plant producing wind turbine blades at the precise time when the need for such technology has never been higher. If capitalism is allowed to continue in this unplanned and chaotic way, we will never achieve even the weak climate change targets agreed by world governments.

2. The social class that is most conscious of the threat to our environment, and best placed to do something about it, is the working class, because it does not share the insane lust for profit at the cost of anything else that is driving the owners of industry and the oil and energy companies to pollute and despoil our planet.

3. Workers who take militant action, like occupying a closing plant, are winning massive support and understanding from their community, and solidarity from around the world.

4. While the police, courts and legal system are designed to defend the right of a company to make profits ahead of the right of workers to work, and the need to save our planet by reducing carbon emissions, a strong campaign mobilising thousands can win victories, even here.

5. The Labour government has utterly failed to defend these jobs, or the plant, despite all their professed policies on climate change and the environment. Labour has abandoned the working class and is in the pocket of the big business polluters. Labour's commitment to the environment is an empty husk. We need a political alternative to Labour, and the Vestas workers could be key players in building and leading such an alternative.

Thomas Cook staff, Dublin, occupy over job losses

Just got a Twitter msg that this has happened. The only info so far is this article that i found by googling...more info as soon as i get it.

Send emails of support to

UPDATE: Managers came from England this morning and announced they were closing the shops with immediate effect. Staff are now occupying the shop on Grafton Street. Get down there if you can. You can log on and chat to workers in the shop via this link

HERE's a link to their campaign so far.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

RTÉ News understands that about 20 staff have locked themselves into a room in the company's office on Grafton Street after being told that they are to lose their jobs today.

Ciaran Shortall, customer services manager at Thomas Cook in Grafton Street, says that staff were told last week that the Dublin office was to close on September 6.

However following a protest last week, he says, staff are being told today that the company has brought forward the closure of its two Dublin offices, and are being asked to leave the premises immediately.

Mr Shortall says staff are refusing to leave, and will stay as long as they have to in order to resolve the matter.

A spokesperson for Thomas Cook has confirmed that its two Dublin stores - on Grafton Street and North Earl Street - are to close today, with most of the 44 staff are to lose their jobs.

He said staff meetings are taking place now. He also confirmed that the closure was originally scheduled to take place on September 6.

'Following more than two months of consultation, it is with regret that we have now reached the decision to continue with plans to close the two Thomas Cook stores,' the spokesman said.

'During this time we have considered several alternatives to make the two stores profitable but unfortunately these have not proved to be viable,' he added.

'Our priority is to contact customers with bookings made through the two stores to let them know how to contact us and to make arrangements for the collection of travel documentation,' he concluded.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Dear Mr. Brown,

Prime Minister
10 Downing Street

30 July 2009

Dear Mr. Brown,
I am writing to you as a serving soldier in the British army to express my views and concerns on the current conflict in Afghanistan.

It is my primary concern that the courage and tenacity of my fellow soldiers has become a tool of American foreign policy. I believe this unethical short-changing of such proud men and women has caused immeasurable suffering not only to families of British service personnel who have been killed and injured, but also to the noble people of Afghanistan.

I have seen qualities in the Afghan people which have also been for so long apparent and admired in the British soldier. Qualities of robustness, humour, utter determination and unwillingness to take a step backwards. However it is these qualities, on both sides, which I fear will continue to cause a state of attrition. These will only lead to more heartbreak within both our societies.

I am not a general nor am I a politician and I cannot claim any mastery of strategy. However, I am a soldier who has served in Afghanistan, which has given me some small insight.

I believe that when British military personnel submit themselves to the service of the nation and put their bodies into harms way, the government that sends them into battle is obliged to ensure that the cause is just and right, i.e. for the protection of life and liberty.

L/Cpl Glenton speaks against Afghan war
The war in Afghanistan is not reducing the terrorist risk, far from improving Afghan lives it is bringing death and devastation to their country. Britain has no business there.
I do not believe that our cause in Afghanistan is just or right. I implore you, Sir, to bring our soldiers home.

Yours sincerely,
Joe Glenton Lance/Corporal, Royal Logistics Corps

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Estates dept at Queen Mary make great commitment to LLW and beyond

I cant believe the difference between QM Estates department and SOAS'.

Compare thses two statements.

SOAS: Sharon Page, a Governing Body member said in an Estates meeting that she didn't think the cleaners deserved more pay because 'they don't even do a good job anyway'.


Queen Mary: Ray O'Halloran, head of the estates department at Queen Mary [on deciding to pay £8.86 per hour], added: "We were not innocent; we knew that people were doing two or three jobs to survive. We wanted to set a higher standard."

Million miles away. Must be the influence of all those Marxists in the business department (I kid you not!)

Read the full report on London Living Wage and Universities HERE

Central London: Hear speakers from VESTAS and POST STRIKE Tmrw

It may be summer but the resistance is growing!

Support Vestas ...Support Post strikes
Institute of Education Students Union
Russell Square (Meeting room next to cafe area)

Drew Scanlon Vestas Occupation

Pete Firmin CWU West End Amal
This will be a chance to hear from these struggles and to discuss what practical support we can give, includuding:
  • Organising urgent support for these strikes
  • Camden Caretakers vote for strike action
  • Ongoing Living wage campaign
  • Camden-wide meeting planned for 21 September
  • Demonstration at Labour Party Conference 27 September
The occupation and protests to save 600 jobs and stop the closure of the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight is a key battle showing that occupations are back on the agenda as a powerful weopon to stop job losses.
The occupation also raises questions about climate change, globalisation and the economic crisis. Last week Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Ed Miliband, promised to create thousands of new jobs in the new low carbon economy. Now he is defending a cash rich company wanting to close a plant directly involved in renewable energy.
Vestas is going to court on Wednesday. Support the demonstration at the court in any way you can 9.30am Wednesday 29 July, Newport County Court, Quay Street
Newport, Isle of Wight. Rush messages of support to 07980 703115 and 07970 739921 and 07733 388888 or email

I'm a Photographer, Not a Terrorist! Exhibition to launch campaign

We are proud to announce the formation of a new campaign for photographers’ rights – I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist!

Photography is under attack. Across the country anyone with a camera is targeted as a potential terrorist. This campaign is for everyone who values visual imagery and press freedom.

This campaign will co-ordinate a collective response to the restrictions on photography across the country. We will be organising events where photography is restricted to show how pointless these restrictions are. It will also be an information resource for photographers’ rights and will map areas where photography is restricted.

Come to the launch party for this new campaign on Saturday the 8th of August at The Foundry in East London from 6pm till late. We’ll have:

- Good Cop – Bad Cop slideshow
- Interactive self portrait photo-booth
- Screening of a ‘Silly Season’ slideshow and other delights at 8pm
- And a guest appearance from the ‘Hackney Secular Singers’

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Oooh, I feel a Mutiny coming on...

Although it is capitalism; the wars, the system, the bosses etc, and not mosquitoes, that i want to cause a mutiny over.

Stop saying Gaza. Comments please...

Just found this article at

It reads:
Gaza is not a different country than Palestine; its plight is not isolated from that of the West Bank, Palestinian-Israelis, or Palestinian refugees in the Diaspora. So stop changing your banners and placards from “Free Palestine” and “End Apartheid” to “Free Gaza.”

Palestinians and their supporters alike have fallen in a simple trap set in the sideshow of Israel’s Attack on Gaza earlier this year. Israel has consistently tried to separate segments of the Palestinian society and find ways to foster distrust among them.
I didn't even stop to think about the use of 'Gaza' which may, to some, seem to be used in isolation from Palestine.

What are your thoughts? Please comment below.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Joe Glenton - Serving Soldier refusing to return to Afghanistan


Joe, all I can say is that you are truly a brave an courageous man. You brought me close to tears when you spoke out. You spoke from the heart and we all really appreciate this.

Our hearts and thoughts are with you while you stand up against this war, whilst you fight the powers that be and whilst you fight to get your life back.

Thank you very much from all of us campaigning for an end to this occupation and war.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Collective hat-trick on calling MP's to account. Hear Gordon Brown on Vestas & more

Malalai Joya at Stop the War mtg

Although I didn't get to talk to the brilliant Malalai Joya last night (and therefore complete the hat-trick on questioning MP's this week) comrade Des Mannay, Bolshevik super hero, tackles Gordon bloody Brown and Department of Works and Mensions minister on Vestas occupation, tuition fees, the Welsh Assembly scrapping Tuition Fee Grants and job losses at London Met.

Unfortunately I have no sound on my computer so can't tell you exact;y which minute it starts at so please comment below once you have listened and let us know.

Apparently he is the first person to ask a question, and is referred to as "the gentleman in the yellow shirt".

Des told me this:
It was a bit of a shock, nobody knew who was going to be on the platform on the radio talkshow, until I got there and they announced it. Up until then they just said there would be a 'senior cabinet minister'.
I'm presuming Des was awsome so well done!!!

Thursday, 23 July 2009

SOAS beefs up security at graduation ceremony.

Apparently following the disgrace at SOAS graduation last year the school has ordered loads of extra security for this years ceremony. Ha, show they are scared of us!

They were probably also worried that we would show them up over their complicity with deporting 9 cleaners in the immigration raids last month. our occupation drew loads of press coverage and we made a film which we will be showing during freshers week.

Does anyone have any photos? If so, please contact me and i will put on the blog.

Read last years graduation horror story HERE

Liberal Simon hughes goes down like a lead windballoon at Vestas protest

At minute 3.20 I interview him directly.

After waffling on for well over his allocated time (loves the sound of his own typical politicians non-commital voice) the croud boo and heckle him for ages.

Refusing to answer any questions directly I force him to. He refused to back the occupation or to condemn the police for their illegal activity at occupation.

My movie maker is affected by this bloody trojan horse still so wont be able to download video til tomorrow.

Check back tmrw evening for 4 min video.

Boris on Monday, Hughes on Wednesday; lets hope a hat-trick with Afghan MP Malalai Joya tomorrow will provide us with much better food for thought.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

'Prison population in Israel is 90 percent black'

This shocking, yet not so shocking, report from inside an Israeli prison comes from campaigner and filmmaker Ishmahil Blagrove following his recent detainment alongside former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney as they attempted to deliver aid to Gazans following the Israeli Siege on Gaza this winter.

Read a full report at Operation Black Vote HERE

Thanks to SOAS student @symeonbrown for alerting us to this on Twitter. Keep up the good work Symeon.

Miss England protest kicked off with body search


Check out the jealous comments of the clearly homophobic sexist pig below in the 'comments' (this is the sort of thing we usually get when campaigning against sexism)

Arriving slightly early I looked for a loo. Just as walking down Edgeware Rd I was sprung upon by 2 coppers. A really tall male one literally jumped in front of me and shouted in my face. I nearly jumped out of my skin.

They said they had reason to believe i was about to commit a crime and wanted to search me. Naturally, since i had nothing on me, i resisted. I know my rights but then when you're up against the law who knows what your rights really are? (We need someone to write a pamphlet and wallet sized card for us to carry round with us).
stop and search
It says 'Subject was seen by a member of the public with ink which was believed to be used to cause criminal damage. Subject searched. Negative result.'
And a near on full body search ensued. When I had a go at them for making me jump I asked if this is a new tactic; to try to give people heart attacks like they did to Ian Tomlinson. The pig called me stupid! Me, stupid?!
The pig that called me stupid
Anyway, clearly they were worried about us storming the building, occupying the stage and causing a bit of embarassment for their pathetic little operation. They needn't have been. We were only there for a peaceful protest.

5 mins later and Ellie was also subjected to intrusive questioning.
Harrassing Ellie
Mind the Gap had even had the protest authorised with the police in advance. They tried to shove us into a pen about 50m away from the entrance to the hotel! We resisted again. We ended up doing speeches and chants right on the corner of Edgeware Rd and Praed St. They had clearly alerted all the attendees of the pagaent to either arrive early or come in through a different door because we hardly anyone arrive.

Many people stopped to talk and join in. Got some really good contacts from young angry women who were just passing by. 'Damn straight it's sexist' said one. Loads of men also stuck around. A lovely old woman in hijab chanted with us too. A car full of teenage girls with their mum hooted and waved.
Missy Elaine
I couldn't take the best pictures coz i was holdin megaphone but loads of others did. Will link to them once uploaded. Katya videoed speeches. The BBC and Evening Standard came and took both pictures and video's.
Outside Hilton
As per tradition we followed protest by a few pints to 'discuss and plan to ensure the next ones are even bigger and better'!

We found out whilst in the pub that Vestas factory has gone into occupation. We whipped up a couple of eloquent placards in solidarity.
Pub solidarity

Solidarity from us to you

Solidarity to vestas-fuck sexism

Monday, 20 July 2009

London Demonstration to save Vestas Wind Turbine factory

Wednesday 22nd July , 6.00 pm

Outside the Department of Energy and Climate Change, No 3 Whitehall Place
(off Whitehall, Charing Cross tube)
Just when we need a huge expansion in renewable energy they are closing down the only wind turbine factory in the UK. The government has spent billions bailing out the banks, and £2.3 billion in loan guarantees to support the UK car industry – they can and should step in to save the infrastructure we are really going to need to save us from climate catastrophe.

Gordon Brown has promised to create 40,000 Green Jobs in the next 5 years. The first step towards this would be saving the 600 jobs at Vestas that are under threat.

Messages of support for Vestas workers:

What former Miss England 2006 has to say...ITS SHOCKING

She posted this on their wall.

""Ah The Political Machine that is the 'Beauty Pageant'.

I won Miss England 2006 and continued to Miss World. I very much got dragged into it and stuck,young and naive.The organisers know this will happen. My family forked out god knows how much over the year.And I got in a HUGE amount of debt; money which slithers into the owners nice warm pockets by exploiting young women. It all started walking down a street in Oxford.

The worst experience of my life.Bloody hated it (and that's not because I didn't win) In fact I'm glad I didn't.
Unfortunatly you're programmed to tell the world how great it is.

You don't stand a chance if you're from England anyway.

So now I'm off to Uni to progress with my real career. I plan to stay as far away from the competitions as possible and continue with my studies. They wont be duping me again. And I wouldn't advise anyone to enter one or let them use my name to front one.

Happy Grinning,Merry Slimming.

Eleanor.From Oxford.""

** This, coming form an actual former MISS ENGLAND. What more evidence do we need, that these pageants being far more BAD than good into this world??

Activists stopped Boris Johnson to demand answers for Rape Crisis Centre funding

UPDATE: BBC report of Boris failing to keep his promise HERE

VIDEO HERE and has now been used by the Guardian.

And is also on USA Today!

Well done Katya. What a bloody shame we didn't ask him how much the 'consultation' cost. Nevermind, we have done an FOI. Due back on the 26th.

Around 30 activists protested outside the GLA today lunchtime to demand that Boris Johnson keeps his promise to fund 3 more rape crisis centres in London.
Rape Crisis at Tower Bridge

After a tip off we caught him coming out the back entrance of the GLA on his bike with his entourage of fellow cyclists/security and stopped him in his tracks (with my foot!).
Boris johnson looking worried
We questioned him as to why he promised money of 744k as part of his electioneering manifesto but has as yet failed to come up with the goods. He said the promise would be fulfilled by the end of his mayoral term. THIS IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Women are being raped NOW and do not need to wait til 2012 to receive support. WE will keep up this campaign until we receive the money. And even after we will be on their backs to ensure they dont do what they normally do-set something up then let it flounder because they dont continue to invest in it then say it isn't working.

Shockingly he said (previously) that his 2nd salary of £255k is only 'chicken feed'. Well Boris, did you know that it only costs an even smaller chicken feed of £250k to fund a Rape Crisis Centre?

The protest was well received by passers-by with a few women even coming up to us a saying that they had been raped and were so pleased to see something being done about this. They all called Boris an idiot or something similar! I could not disagree.

We live in a world where women are treated like objects, treated as property; as possessions. We need to continue to fight against this system and against sexism and oppression in all its forms.

Tonight we will continue this fight at the Miss England 'Beauty Pageant' where women will be judged. We reject the idea that women can be judged on other categories such as 'intelligence', 'ambition', 'empathy' and 'sensitivity': we don't want to be judged on ANYTHING.

Join us later today to protest against this sexist competition.

6.30pm Hilton Edgeware Rd, London. Bring Banners etc. Plz forward & RT

Called for by Mind the Gap: London Student Feminists, Object, London Feminist Network, Feminist Fightback, NUS, UNISON, UCU, and Socialist Worker Student Society.

Speakers include

JUDITH ORR- author of ‘Sexism and the System’

JO ROBINSON- from the famous 1975 protest against Miss World at the Royal Albert Hall

KATIE TOMS- London Feminist Network, Anti Porn London


LIV BAILEY- NUS Women’s Officer

40 years ago feminist activists succeeded in banning the Miss World contest. In celebration of this eminent anniversary, we will ban it again and invite you to join us in the struggle.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Berlin, mein Liebling...

Auf dem Arsche performance woodwork at the Pirate Disco video coming soon-woop.

I should have tried to go for a full house but only thought of it on the last day so here's a few highlights of our ancestors!

Karl Liebknecht Haus-home of Die Linke
Home of Die linke

Rosa with glittering Euro!
Bet she would screw at this...

This is much more her style
Rosa luxemburg StraBe

100% Britisch Chic-and they say collaborative Imperialism is dead.
100% Britisch chic in berlin

Friday, 17 July 2009


London, Thursday July 23rd.

Malalai is a young female MP who has become internationally famous for speaking out against the warlords and the NATO occupation in Afghanistan.

She is making her only public appearance at this meeting to launch her new book 'Raising My Voice'. Malalai will be joined by Lindsey German.

Tickets £4/£2 - advance booking recommended at
or by phone to the office.

Malalai Joya speaks out
7pm, Thursday July 23rd
Conway Hall,
Red Lion Square
(Holborn Tube)

Shame on Willis, Shame on Mitie, Shame on Capitalism

About 30 angry protesters shouted chants and slogans outside the premises of Willis HQ where cleaners were called into an office on the premise of a 'chemicals training course' and then subjected to the same disgraceful ordeal that was metted out to SOAS cleaners.

We need to ensure that the message we are sendding out is against the whole system and not just the bosses. If capital can move freely around the world into the hands of the already rich and powerful, so should we be able to.

We are building a vibrant campaign against the disgraceful treatment of our work mates:

Hands Off Our Workmates blog coming soon...

Call out for cameras, video activist and legal observers in Calais

Migration is Not A Crime | 16.07.2009 11:11

RE: Destruction of the Calais migrant camps, 'jungle' and deportation by charter to Afghanistan, next week Monday 20th- Thursday 24th July

If July 24 is the date of expulsion, of mass charter forced deportation to Afghanistan people will be be arrested (mass arrest) in the previous days. This is the time that witnesses to the mass arrests are necessary. Last year, in November 2008, police prevented any witness to have access to places of arrests targeted and prohibited. But they were not enough to girdle the whole area of the jungle. It really is an invisible situation for migrants in Calais, many exhausted and ill people, as well as many kids, who have mainly come from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran... and the cause of the conflicts being.... It's not rocket science...

PLEASE COME WITH CAMERAS, VIDEOS and LEGAL OBSERVERS. We will do all we can to stand in solidarity with those at risk but it is essential that we can document what happens there and expose the reality of the British immigration policy.

Important dates to remember:
July 18: meeting at Calais, with the possibility of hosting
July 20: 9 am meeting with the prefect and charities
July 21: This would be the destruction of the jungle
July 24: deportation by charter

Migration is Not A Crime

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Rape Crisis centre in crisis. Rape alarms let off in GLA.

FEMINISTS released attack alarms in City Hall today in a protest calling for Mayor Boris Johnson to secure funding for rape crisis centres.

Five women smuggled the alarms through security and set them off just after 11.30am as assembly members discussed how much money should go to referral and support centres.

The protesters were wearing t-shirts painted with the slogan “rape crisis in crisis” in red as they sat in the public gallery of the GLA centre next to former mayor Ken Livingstone.

Read a full report at rogue journalist Brendan's blog 'At The Sauce' HERE

Hands off our workmates: Another immigration raid. Another demonstration...

Workers in the UNITE union at Mitie (Willis)--who also organised around the living wage and who have been fighting off attacks on union organisation for some time, were today conned into a fake meeting on health and safety issues by their managers and raided. a number have been picked up and detained. protests will follow.. with one on friday at 12:30.. watch this space for more details...

Today the Cleaners at Willis building get invited by Mitie for a chemicals training course, when all the cleaners were ready for the course, immigration officers raid the room and detain 3 cleaners, 1 Ecuadorian and 2 Bolivians.

We invite every body to support the next demonstration in front of Willis building, for the reinstatement of the 4 cleaners and against the immigration raids.

Friday 17 July 1 p.m. in front of Willis Building, 51 Lime street or at 12:30 in Liverpool street station in front of Macdonalds.

!No one is Ilegal, papers for all!


other news: the RMT union have agreed to work with the SOAS unions to develop a "hands off my workmate" campaign and the teach in we are planning.

French workers threaten to blow up factory

From Times Online

French workers were barricaded inside their bankrupt car parts factory today after threatening to blow the plant up with gas canisters unless they receive a bigger pay-off.

“Are we capable of blowing up the factory?” asked CGT union official Guy Eyermann during a meeting of about a hundred workers who have been occupying the New Fabris factory in Chatellerault for several weeks. “Yes, we are capable.”

They insisted the string of gas canisters they have strung together are full - despite claims from officials that they are bluffing with depressurised gas bottles - and will be used to blow up the plant if necessary.

“Let them come and see,” said Mr Eyermann. “These are serious threats."

The small east-central town on Monday beefed up emergency services, bringing in extra firefighters to the local emergency centre, after the workers at the New Fabris plant set a July 31 deadline for their demands to be met.

The 366 workers said Sunday they would carry out their threat unless carmakers Renault and PSA-Peugeot - who accounted for 90 per cent of business - pay them €30,000 each when they lose their jobs.

The threat comes after a recent wave of “bossnappings” across France earlier this year in which managers have been held hostage by workers over factory closures.

The Chatellerault factory houses car parts worth an estimated €2 million, as well as a new Renault machine believed to be worth a further $2 million, Mr Eyermann said.

The workers have blockaded the entrance to try to stop any attempt to take the equipment out.
The New Fabris workers, whose employer was declared bankrupt on June 16, claim that Renault and Peugeot paid around €30,000 each to 200 workers laid off from another supplier, the aluminium specialist Rencast. But both Renault and Peugeot said Monday it was not their responsibility to pay out compensation to the New Fabris workers.

New Fabris company director Pierre Reau said that currently the firm would only able to pay between €10,000 and €15,000 in redundancy to workers with 20 or more years experience, and some junior workers would get just €3,000. “I understand their distress,” he said, adding that a dramatic and sudden fall in orders had led to the company’s downfall.

Founded in 1947 by two brothers, Eugene and Quentin Fabris, New Fabris started out making sewing machine parts, before branching out into the car sector, employing up to 800 workers in the 1990s.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Ms America 1969.

Anyone know how to get hold of the full length video? We want to project it onto big screen at London demo.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

John Rees' excellent new tellyvision programme: Timeline. Afghanistan this week


Ten British soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan in as many days, bringing the total to 179 and equalling the number of UK deaths in Iraq. The troop "surge" which was meant to pacify Helmand province has become a nightmare for the British army.

This unwinnable war must stop now. All British troops must be withdrawn to prevent any more futile deaths, and to stop the carnage suffered by the Afghan people.

Stop the War has called an emergency protest at Downing Street on Monday 13 July, 5-7pm. Please spread the word now.


*Volunteer for International Womens' Peace Service in Palestine*

The International Women's Peace Service in Palestine (IWPS-Palestine) is a team of women human rights workers, who provide international accompaniment to Palestinian civilians, document and non-violently intervene in human rights abuses and support acts of non-violent resistance to end the illegal Israeli occupation and building of the apartheid wall.

IWPS-Palestine is currently inviting applicants from women who would like to join our team of volunteers. Successful applicants will serve a minimum of one three month term in Palestine and support our on-going work outside. Deadline for application 30.09.09. Please contact for more info

Friday, 10 July 2009

No to Miss-Ogyny! Protest against Miss England 6:30pm Monday 20th of July

2009 and again we see a rise in the return of this sexist competition that our comrades fought against over 40 years ago.

One of the contestants for this years Miss England even boasts in her application of having fought in the Iraq war (liberating women military style?)

Called for by Mind the Gap: London Student Feminists, Object, London Feminist Network, Feminist Fightback, NUS, UNISON, UCU, and Socialist Worker Student Society.

Speakers include
JUDITH ORR- author of ‘Sexism and the System’
ALEX CALLINICOS- Author and professor from Kings College
LIV BAILEY- NUS Women’s Officer

40 years ago feminist activists succeeded in banning the Miss World contest. In celebration of this eminent anniversary, we will ban it again and invite you to join us in the struggle.

6:30pm Hilton Edgeware Road.


The 2009 Miss England claims to be ‘Myth Busting’ including degree students, war veterans and sports women. It also supports B-eat and eating disorders charity and claims to have ‘no size zeros’. Yet, whatever shape, size, ethnicity, and occupation the contestants are, the competition still remains a beauty contest; promoting the judgment of women according to set parameters. Whether they are an Iraq veteran, or a clinical psychologist, upon that platform their worth is reduced to a vacuous stereotype.


We see the resurgence of beauty pageants as indicative of a backlash against the fragile gains that feminism has won. In a society where ¼ women will experience violence, 92% of vice chancellors are women and 75% of people living in poverty are women, challenging the objectification of women is becoming widely recognised as attacking the roots of gender subordination in wider society. OBJECT sees the objectification of women as seen in advertising, lads mags, strip clubs, and beauty pageants as promoting the dehumanisation of women, that leads them to be seen as subordinate in society, encouraging and legitimising exploitation and violence. See OBJECTs website for more info, evidence and how you can take action.


The notion of beauty attached to the image promoted by beauty pageants is discriminatory according to gender, sexuality, age, race, and disability. In a society where we are bombarded with commercial images, trying to uglify us into buy into this notion of beauty, it is almost impossible not to judge oneself and each other according to these ideals. Whether we choose to accept or reject them we are left chasing what is essentially a mirage of digitally touched up perfection, creating body disphormia that leads to eating disorders, depression, and pits women against one another in life, not just on a platform.

Only one woman can win a crown, pageants divide rather unite us, preventing us from demanding our rights and freedoms.


Object (includes useful FAQs and factsheet)

Info and press enquiries contact or call 07595672964


20th of July

Before Miss England we will be holding a rally in the afternoon at the GLA consultation on rape crisis centres (email to follow this one)

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Rees on Lukacs on Lenin

Everyone's raving about it. Unfortunately I missed it at Marxism 2009 and still have a wild Trojan trampling round my computer so have no sound and, therefore, cannot watch it myself.

Take note that most of the contributions are from our well respected Scottish comrades-what are they doing so well that makes them so theoretically knowledgeable? A fair bit of theory-praxis in equal measure me guesses. Ah, if only we could say the same.

Halo von Berlin in a Burkhini

Ok, so I don't mean to show off but, yes, I am on holiday. Berlin man, the geilest place on earth.

In Kreuzberg where there is a large Muslim/Turkish population I came across this halal swimsuit-the Burkhini!! There is a discussion on the usefulness of these fine piece of ingenuity HERE

Off to Hoppetosse at Treptower Park for finest 'Reggae Party', namely Reggae, Ragga and dancehall. On a boat on a beautiful part of Berlin-will send photos in morning.


Let me know if you need anything from here...