Real Media/Phoenix Media Co-op collaboration #1

Real Media logo and Phoenix Media Co-op logo side by side

Real Media and Phoenix Media Co-op are teaming up to release a regular newsletter. This will highlight and amplify the efforts of people struggling for a better world, in the UK and beyond.

Solidarity with a campaigning paralympian star

Gold-medal paralympian James Brown was sentenced to a year in prison on 24 September for his part in protests at London City airport in October 2019.

His protest was a peaceful one, climbing onto the roof of a British Airways plane and holding it up for an hour, highlighting the climate and ecological crisis and the fact that it’s mainly the wealthiest people who use London City airport (the same people who disproportionately cause carbon emissions while being likely to suffer the least from its effects at first).

Although there will be an appeal against the harsh sentence, Brown has now been moved to a permanent wing at Wandsworth Prison where he will begin to experience the reality and darkness of prison as an almost blind man.

It will be his birthday on Friday, so if you’d like to send any messages, chats, or stories to <jamesprisonmail@gmail.com>, they will reach him.

A week of resistance

This week, thousands of people across the globe have taken action in the struggle for a better world. For example:

  • Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) hit the streets with an #AudioRiot. There was direct action on both 28 September and 30 September. They were highlighting both the number of disabled people who have died during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the number who have died following government cuts since 2010. And they were calling for an end to further cuts.
  • Uber drivers in the UK, meanwhile, went on strike. The striking workers also expressed solidarity with fellow drivers in New York City who have been calling for debt relief.
  • Campaign group Sisters Uncut gathered outside the court which sentenced the murderer of Sarah Everard. And it announced training sessions on dealing with the police, along with a ‘CopWatch‘ patrol network. It called for people to remember Everard by fighting to ensure similar murders don’t happen in the future.
  • The People’s Assembly and others took to Manchester’s streets to protest the Conservative Party conference.
  • The ongoing shift rightwards in the Labour Party also had an impact at its own conference. The BFAWU union, for example, disaffiliated. Heckles, meanwhile, included one calling for journalist Julian Assange’s freedom. This came as news emerged that senior CIA and Donald Trump administration officials had discussed kidnapping or assassinating Julian Assange while he was under the protection of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. At the same time, the Pandora Papers revelations about the ongoing tax avoidance of the rich and powerful exposed the controversial behaviour of former Labour prime minister Tony Blair – a mammoth of the party’s right wing.
  • Campaigners continued their direct action in resistance against high-speed rail line HS2.
  • Palestine Action continued its campaign against Israel’s biggest private arms company, Elbit. It once again targeted the company’s landlord.
  • A whistleblower who used to work at Facebook told 60 Minutes that the tech giant consciously allowed controversial content to spread on its platforms despite knowing about the negative impact it would have – especially on the mental health of younger users. It was even harder for the behemoth to avoid the spotlight when its services went down for hours on 4 October.
  • Women around the world demanded access to safe and legal abortions on 28 September.
  • People in London stood up to bailiffs trying to enforce an eviction.
  • Campaigners called for action against the upcoming Farnborough arms fair (DPRTE). A Liverpool arms fair is also due to take place the following week.