Last week saw a massive swell of protests, pickets and speaking truth to power. Here’s a round-up of just some of the inspiring events that took place between 16 and 23 January, making it a historic start to the year in struggle.
Monday 16 January
The week kicked off with strikes from London bus workers at Abellio and teachers in Scotland with EIS. Students at the University of Manchester continued their rent strike against unaffordable student accommodation prices. In response to the Tories’ anti-strike laws, Enough is Enough held a rally outside Downing Street to defend the right to strike.
In Glasgow, activists occupied a block of 600 flats slated for demolition in Maryhill, in protest against the displacement of residents and the environmental impact of demolition instead of insulation.
Tuesday 17 January
Scottish teachers continued to strike, and NHS workers with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in Manchester struck with UNISON.
Wednesday 18 January
Nurses went out on strike with RCN on Wednesday and Thursday. In South London, they met the striking bus workers and marched together.
Environmental Agency workers number in the thousands and monitor flood warnings across Britain. Wednesday was the first time in the organisation’s history that Environment Agency workers went on strike over their pay dispute.
In response to Michael Gove’s approval of a new coal mine in Cumbria, XR activists poured black paint outside his office and set off smoke bombs.
2000 people protested in London against the Tories blocking the Scottish Gender Recognition Reform Bill.
Thursday 19 January
rs21 called a demonstration in London in solidarity with Lützerath outside the RWE office, mud wizard in tow.
Palestine Action shut down the Leonardo weapons factory in Edinburgh, for supplying the Israeli military with arms.
Friday 20 January
Two million workers struck across France, with demonstrations in over 200 cities, in a growing revolt against Macron’s attempt to impose a higher retirement age, illustrating that resistance is as global as the economic crisis. There was ongoing action at Welwyn and Hatfield Grounds maintenance.
Saturday 21 January
PCS members in the court and tribunal service went on strike.
Demos took place around Britain to protest against the veto of the Scottish GRR Bill.
A Woman Life Freedom demonstration took place at Downing Street.
Fuel Poverty Action continued to act on the announcement of 13,400 excess winter deaths, with a day of Warm-Ups. Activists occupied an EDF Call Centre in Exeter, the Museum of Liverpool, a Barclays Bank and department stores including John Lewis at Oxford Circus and Liberty of London. Further demonstrations took place at Leicester Town Hall, a Shell garage in Cambridge and outside Octopus Energy Sales Hub in Birmingham. They also temporarily shut down Scottish Parliament:
Sunday 22 January
No day of rest for trade union activists. We round off this week of resistance with a march and rally at Oxford Town Hall, under the slogan ‘March together, strike together.’ The 500-strong march was organised by Oxford and District Trades Union Council in solidarity with the many strikes going on.
And the wave continues! This week, ambulance workers went on strike on Monday 23 January. On Wednesday, workers at an Amazon depot in Coventry went on strike with GMB. A notoriously difficult workplace to organise, this first official Amazon workers’ strike in the UK is a significant success.
The TUC has coordinated mass cross-sector strikes for 1 February: 100,000 civil servant members of PCS will strike, NEU, EIS-ULA, ASLEF, RMT and UCU will all strike. Demonstrations are planned in many parts of Britain too. This huge mobilisation will send a clear message for the right to strike.