Thursday, August 20, 2015

New Cross church collecting for Calais Migrants

St Catherine's Church at the top of Telegraph Hill SE14 is collecting donations for migrants in Calais. Rev. Sheridan James, Vicar, says:

"If you bring things into church on Sunday mornings (either before the service at 10am, or immediately after - 11.15am) we will collect the items up and make sure they get collected and sent to the migrants in Calais. Conditions are very poor in ‘The Jungle’, and whatever our political position on the situation, the people are in urgent need of humanitarian help ...
Reverend Tim Clapton has linked up with a small Catholic voluntary organisation in Kent called ‘Seeking Sanctuary’ who in turn is working alongside a Catholic charity in France. The aim of this organisation is to provide material aid to the migrants in Calais.

Firstly can I say how moved I am by the amount of things which have been delivered to church already - by church members and local community. So can I just re-iterate:
St Catherine's Church is acting as a local collection point for men's jeans, jumpers, training shoes, Bibles, games (scrabble, chess), toiletries.

These will be be taken to Calais early Sept. The resources will be handed out in an organised fashion, by a bona fide charity to EVERYONE in need. Please drop stuff off at church on Sunday 23 or 30th August - either before the service 9.30am...until 10am, or immediately afterwards 11.15-11.45, when there will be people around to recieve your gifts. Please make sure that whatever you donate is clean and usable.

Thank you so much for the response so far. Whatever our politics, whatever our faith perspective #loveyourneighbour is a life rule we all can follow.After Tuesday 18th please refer any questions to Jane Elliott, Assistant Priest at St Catherine's, as I will be on a short sabbatical."

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Woolwich Rent Protest 1939

'A photograph showing residents creating a road blockade as part of a rent protest in Woolwich, south London, taken in July 1939 by John Topham for the Daily Herald'.  Great photo, unfortunately I don't know any more about the context. The placard reads 'we the tenants of these flats do not intend to pay  any rent till something is done'. But about what?

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Fascist mob attacks Clapton fans in Thamesmead

A pre-season non-League football friendly might seem an unlikely setting for violence, but that was what occurred last night at Thamesmead Town's ground in Bayliss Avenue SE28, where the home team were hosting a visit from Clapton FC. Clapton supporters were attacked with bottles and other missiles, and the game was abandoned.

But it seems that this was not a clash between rival football fans - instead it appears that a group of far right thugs attended specifically to attack Clapton fans known for their anti-fascism. According to Clapton Ultras:

'Last night our club Clapton FC were playing our last pre season friendly away against Thamesmead in South East London. In the last few days, we received threatening messages from a fascist group regarding this fixture. This information was passed on to the football club and its fans who decided to travel as one group to the game as fan safety is the number one priority.

As we arrived at the game around 15 minutes after kick off and began to enter, Clapton fans were immediately attacked with weapons and missiles by a large group already present inside the ground, who threw glasses, bottles, bricks, signs and a fire extinguisher at Clapton fans, the vast majority of which had not been able to even enter the ground. In addition to causing minor injury the missiles damaged several parked cars in the car park outside the ground. Thankfully no one was seriously injured.

Clapton fans have no history or rivalry with Thamesmead fans and this attack was not made by Thamesmead fans. The attackers sang racist chants as they pelted Clapton fans with missiles. This was a planned attack, orchestrated by fascists and their allies as a politically motivated assault on Clapton fans for our politics of anti-sexism, anti-homophobia, anti-racism and anti-fascism. Their interest was never in the football and they only attended the game in order to attack us.

We are calling on all supporters of Clapton and all those who stand against fascism to join us this season and celebrate football for all. Specifically, those unable to oppose the fascist White Man March in Liverpool would be welcomed at our home game on Saturday 15th August in the FA Cup against Stanway Rovers

In strength,
Clapton Ultras – Scaffold Brigada'

Dulwich Hamlet banner remembers 1940s Jewish anti-fascist 43 Group

Rather like Dulwich Hamlet FC, Clapton have a radical crew of supporters for whom opposing fascism is part of their identity. Clapton have had several run-ins with fascists previously, including in Southend last year. There is no suggestion of any link between the attackers and Thamesmead Town FC and its supporters. But it is sickening to hear of racists chanting 'we hate n*ggers' last night, just down the road from where Rolan Adams was murdered in a racist attack in the 1990s.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Hilly Fields 1907: 'Socialists in hot water: eight arrests follow a riot'

Once upon a time Hilly Fields in Ladywell was the scene of intense political dispute, with thousands arguing and sometimes fighting at public meetings in the park:

'An enormous crowd charged a Socialist procession as it was leaving Hilly Fields, Brockley, yesterday afternoon, and, in the free fight that ensued the S.D.F. [Social Democratic Federation] red flag was hauled down and its bearers severely handled. The police made eight arrests. For some weeks public meetings have been taking place on the Hilly Fields on Sunday afternoons. Yesterday nearly 6,000 people assembled, and distributed themselves into four groups, addressed by members of the S.D.F., a detachment of suffragists, an Anarchist, and an Agnostic respectively. There was a strong attendance of police and London County Council park-keepers to maintain order. The speakers were vigorously heckled during the afternoon, but the meetings were brought to a close without serious interruption. The Socialists marched off, protected by a police escort. In their wake came a hostile crowd, several thousands strong, waving sticks and umbrellas, and hooting and jeering in a threatening manner. The procession passed into Eastern-road, and a strong force of police came up at the run, and attempted, unsuccessfully, to head off the crowd. A sudden rush brought down the red flag, and the next minute the roadway was blocked by a mass of struggling humanity. As the opposing parties came to grips, hats and sticks flew in all directions, and arms and legs were briskly used in the affray. The police acted with restraint throughout, but matters rapidly became worse, and, in order to quieten the crowd, eight of the ringleaders were arrested and marched to the police-station at Ladywell' (Nottingham Evening Post - Monday 25 November 1907)