What’s happening: Real Media/PMC newsletter #2

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

Real Media and Phoenix Media Co-op have teamed up to release a regular newsletter. True to our collective aims, we seek to provide bold, accurate, accessible journalism which is unashamedly internationalist and subversive. A key part of this is covering and sharing the work of people who are resisting and organising against marginalisation, oppression and destruction.

Together we will highlight and amplify the efforts of these people who are struggling in the UK and around the globe to forge a better world.

In a week where we remembered the French state’s massacre of Algerians in Paris in 1961 and the US ramped up tensions again with Venezuela, thousands of ordinary people around the world took action against destruction and injustice. And we begin this week’s newsletter with efforts to tackle the climate crisis.

Jubilee For Climate

On the morning of 15 October, a protester climbed outside the Stone Gallery of St Paul’s Cathedral and displayed a huge banner with the words “Jubilee For Climate”, while campaign speakers engaged a small crowd in the rain outside the London Stock Exchange in Paternoster Square below. 

The Jubilee For Climate movement seeks to cancel unfair debts and replace the House of Lords with a Citizen’s Assembly so that representatives of ordinary people rather than wealthy elites will have the power to judge new policies. As well as tackling the unfair debts of the Global South, the campaign wants to transform the economy so that it serves the people, dealing with household and student debts in the process.

Friday was the 10th anniversary of Occupy London, and is also Thomas Sankara Day. Thomas Sankara was the revolutionary leader of Burkina Faso from 1983 until his assassination in 1987. During this time in power, he championed women’s rights, education, food self-sufficiency, and the environment, kicking out the World Bank and IMF in the process. Despite some legitimate criticisms from some quarters, this powerful legacy remains as his alleged murderers finally face trial decades later. Jubilee for Climate sees Sankara’s transformation of Burkina Faso as a blueprint for change.

Jubilee for Climate is a campaign originally launched by Africa Rising, and last November the same climbers hung a banner from Big Ben – an open letter to the government. They are currently awaiting sentencing for that action and could face prison under SOCPA legislation.

Challenging UK support for Saudi Arabia

Meanwhile, efforts to end the UK government’s ongoing complicity with Saudi Arabia and other extreme regimes continue. The Saudi dictatorship in particular has played a pivotal role in the destruction of Yemen in recent years, the site of “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis“.

Our colleagues at Declassified UK have been highlighting the UK’s close involvement and support for Saudi war crimes in Yemen and have just released a film which exposes the pivotal role of a Lancashire airbase which sends out essential weekly supplies for the Saudi air force.

Boris Johnson, however, reportedly ‘makes jokes’ when the topic of arms exports to the regime arises. There is also ongoing scrutiny of controversial Saudi involvement in the takeover of Newcastle United.

Action in Puerto Rico and the US

In Puerto Rico, thousands of people marched against the worsening energy situation following the privatisation of the electrical grid in the ‘US territory’. 

You can see more images from Puerto Rico’s protests here, here and here.

On the US mainland, meanwhile, authorities arrested hundreds of campaigners who took to Washington DC as part of “People vs. Fossil Fuels” actions. Indigenous organisers were at the forefront of the efforts to encourage the US government to withdraw support for fossil-fuel projects and declare a climate emergency.

Thousands of workers also went on strike at farm-equipment maker Deere & Co, the world’s biggest company in the field. And workers in Hollywood who were threatening to strike managed to secure big concessions from the likes of Netflix and Amazon.

Resistance against apartheid

Following the call of hundreds of workers at Amazon and Google for their companies to stop supporting Israeli apartheid, dozens of grassroots groups launched the “No Tech for Apartheid” campaign. This insists that “By doing business with Israeli apartheid, Amazon and Google will make it easier for the Israeli government to surveil Palestinians and force them off their land.”

In the UK, meanwhile, Palestine Action campaigners have been at the forefront of opposing corporate complicity with apartheid. And after their recent action against the Liverpool arms fair, they and their supporters have suffered controversial police raids. The group says “The harrassment by police of those merely in the Arena’s vicinity comes as no surprise, with Palestine Action activists regularly experiencing late night raids and other intimidation tactics (including the regular seizure of personal belongings).”

The ongoing campaign for home insulation

Insulate Britain continued its actions aiming to push the government to act on home insulation – particularly in “the homes of the poorest people”. Some members of the public responded to their roadblocks with physical aggression. Delivering a letter to Boris Johnson on 14 October, the group announced it was suspending its campaign until 25 October in the hope of some government action in the meantime. The campaigners say change is urgent in order to save people’s lives and fight against the climate crisis.

In other news…

Elsewhere, meanwhile:

  • Environmental campaigners opposing the HS2 high-speed rail line celebrated the apparent cancellation of the Eastern leg of the project.
  • Union campaigners in the UK are continuing the struggle against companies’ ‘fire and rehire’ policies.
  • Numerous international groups called for greater food sovereignty in the fight against hunger


That’s all for this week, but please let us know of any stories and issues you’d like to see more of, and check out our new weekly round up ‘What’s Happening’ on our YouTube channel on Wednesday evenings (UK time).