Podcast summary of Direct Action News newsletters (February-March)


There are very murky parts of our society – people who see no problem in attacking or demonising others who are just trying to survive and live a dignified life. And unfortunately, they have some powerful, high-profile cheerleaders who help normalise their behaviour – not least in the ruling Conservative regime.

1) Anti-fascist resistance

FASCISM in particular has been rearing its ugly head more and more in the last decade. And in recent months, it’s been touring the country targeting refugees. Fortunately, it seems that, in many places, anti-fascist forces significantly outnumber these far-right pests. But the so-called “Patriotic Alternative” and similar fascist groups have been targeting refugees and those supporting them from Cornwall to Nottingham, Staffordshire to Wales, and Glasgow to Dover. This has all come in the wake of anti-refugee riots in Knowsley, Merseyside, at the start of February.

2) Solidarity with transgender community

The struggle for TRANSGENDER RIGHTS, meanwhile, has also become a political battlefield. Fascist movements have been trying to argue that treating trans people with the respect they deserve somehow equates to the end of civilisation. But as prominent transphobes continue to spread their bigotry, there’s also resistance and solidarity. At the end of March, for example, one hatemonger got soaked in soup over in New Zealand. And in February, thousands of people around Britain held vigils for murdered trans teenager Brianna Ghey, stressing the need for greater protection of transgender people.

3) Mass union action

STRIKE ACTION in Britain, meanwhile, has become a regular occurrence in the second decade of Tory rule, and specifically in recent months.

Hundreds of thousands of education workers have been striking, for example. And as junior doctors overwhelmingly agreed to strike, they insisted that their actions wouldn’t have been necessary if the government had just been open to negotiations rather than continuing to ignore the pleas of overworked professionals. During their strike, thousands of them and their supporters marched to Whitehall.

Unions have also been striking in France against the government’s attempts to change state pension conditions. In Africa, particularly in Kenya and South Africa, there have been mass protests over worsening living conditions too.

And taking action can and does have an impact. In the UK, for example, industrial action from the Fire Brigades Union successfully pushed employers into a pay rise, and was apparently the “crucial factor” in doing so. FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said that:

At a time when the UK Government is presiding over attacks on the wages of key workers in the NHS, teaching, rail, and postal services, strikes are the first line of defence against those attacks on workers.

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