The following groups in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England received grants of £500 – £3,000 in July 2013 to challenge injustices facing migrants and refugees, working class communities, disabled people, women, travellers, Black communities and others. Grants also went to environmental groups and those working to challenge the systems of power that affect us all.
Thirty groups were short-listed; half of whom received grants of £1,000 or less. Edge members and the final applicants then met 20 July 2013 to decide together how £30,000 should be shared out amongst the final fifteen. Five groups received £3,000, with the remainder receiving £1,500.
Disabled People Against Cuts
Disabled People Against Cuts was founded and is led by disabled people to raise awareness of the impact of government cuts on disabled people and to challenge government policy on disability, which is eroding the human rights of disabled people in the UK. The campaign was set up in October 2010 and is founded based on the social model of disability and the principle of rights not charity. DPAC has successfully put disability politics at the heart of the anti-cuts agenda and helped the ‘mainstreaming’ of disability issues.
Tottenham Rights is a group of local and national community campaigners, anti-racist and civil rights activists resident or working in the locality. Tottenham Rights is a rich mix of different generations and a powerful combination of people (both men and women) from the Afro-Caribbean, African, Asian, Chinese, Turkish and Kurdish communities who have a track record of successful campaigning and transforming people’s lives. They use campaigning and advocacy models to challenge injustice and transform and empower people fighting for genuine equality.
IWGB is a small, new and independent trade union run by and for low paid workers in the most exploited sectors of the UK’s economy. All their members are migrant workers, especially cleaners, and the vast majority stem from Latin America, though they have a growing number of Africans and Eastern Europeans joining now. IWGB organises the abandoned and the betrayed, challenging capitalism’s dependence on low paid migrant workers who are often not even paid for the work they do, are racially insulted, physically assaulted, intimidated, threatened and humiliated.
Why Refugee Women is an organisation made up primarily of asylum-seeking and refugee women based in Yorkshire and the Humber. The group aims to empower and unite women refugees in fighting the injustice of the asylum-system and raising awareness about the challenges they face in their day-to-day lives. They work to challenge the injustice of the asylum system and ensure that all refugee and asylum-seeking women are treated with dignity and respect both by the UKBA and in their communities.
Black Triangle Campaign is run by and for disabled people and campaigns against government welfare reform, work capability assessments, compulsory workfare, privatisation of the welfare state and all disability cuts. They organise and take part in demonstrations and petitions as well working with doctors to put forward motions to the British Medical Association and pursuing legal avenues to challenge welfare reform and protect disabled people. They fight the myths about welfare claimants being malingerers.
Residents Action on Fylde Fracking
RAFF was founded approximately 18 months ago and is led by a group of concerned residents of the Blackpool, Fylde, Preston and Wyre Boroughs who are seriously concerned about the exploration for shale gas currently taking place on the Fylde peninsular and the rest of Lancashire. RAFF was formed to raise awareness of, and fight against, the dangers of Shale Gas Extraction, which utilises the controversial process of fracturing or Fracking, and the possibility of the area and the rest of the country being severely damaged by the process.
The Space Hijackers are a collective of anarchitects – artists and activists who use satire, intervention and situationism to upset concentrations of power and galvanise social change. Not a single-issue group, the Hijackers have turned their comedic screws on to the arms trade, urban regeneration, global warming, poverty, surveillance, policing, gender issues, governments, war and many other subjects you read about in the Guardian.
IFIR is a grassroots, democratic, campaigning organisation, established in 1993 by Iraqi and Kurdish refugees who fled from Saddam Hussein’s regime and the consequences of the first gulf war. IFIR currently has active members in the UK, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Turkey, Iran and Iraq. They work to defend the rights of Iraqi and Kurdish refugees and aim to stop the unjust and inhumane policies of forcible deportations to Iraq and the detention of Iraqi refugees, and support their integration into their new societies.
SHAFTED?! BUILDING THE HIV ARMY is a performance show touring the UK involving nothing less than a human cannonball! To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Aids Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) and reignite the necessity for grassroots mobilisation as infections rise and the welfare reforms to services threatened. Shafted?! is a campaign fighting-back against the planned debilitating cuts to services in the UK including a mentoring programme between HIV activist ‘elders’ and those new to the struggle. Shafted?! is loaded and aimed directly at UK Government’s cuts to HIV services, the rise in HIV transmission levels and the mainstream belief that HIV was resolved in the 90’s! Scripted and created by those living with HIV, is a ‘coming out’ project to expose the reality of what it means to live with HIV in 2013 and organise action against institutions behind the cuts. Get involved at [email protected]
Feminist Webs is a movement of young women, older women and women youth workers of all ages who are campaigning to challenge sexism and develop a fairer world for young women and girls through liberatory youth work. They use a process of participation which involves supporting young women to explore new themes and ideas. This is supported by providing learning opportunities, mentoring and access to women who are role models across a variety of areas of feminist and civil rights activism.
Hands Off Our Homes is a growing Leeds based group campaigning to defend tenants’ rights to home security. They originally set up to oppose privatisation in the Little London area of Leeds and recently (Autumn 2012) set up again to oppose the Government’s welfare reforms that they view as an attack on rights to home. Of particular focus has been the Bedroom Tax, which will force many to move into the private rented sector or into poverty or even homelessness.
Quiet Riot is a disabled people led group. They do not use speech for communication, but they have a great deal to say. They are all special school survivors and require physical support and emotional support when pointing and typing. Some disabled people use the term neuro diverse. They have been meeting and campaigning as a group for the past three years for the Right to Communication in general and their right to use Facilitated Communication (FC) in particular.
Alliance for Choice Belfast
Alliance for Choice Belfast publically campaigns for the extension of the 1967 Abortion Act to Northern Ireland. AFC is totally volunteer run and at least 75% of their membership are women, who are from diverse backgrounds and all share one common aim: to end the draconian law dating from 1861 that means that abortion is highly restrictive. They have worked to increase awareness; campaigned for legislative change; complied and submitted evidence to official bodies, such as the United Nations.
Border Forum is a new group of activists, scholars, artists and migrants coming together to build a connection between practical solidarity work and direct action in the field of migration work. Border Forum has come together from the preparation for the Voices from the Borders boat tour, which is happening in August 2013. Border Forum aims to arrange an info tour that will contain a film and research materials of the boat tour. In the longer term, Border Forum aims to forge more accessible links between civil society, NGOs and activists working on migration.
CoResist harnesses participatory theatre, nature connection and direct action to explore and respond to a variety of issues relating to social and environmental justice. They use this model to empower communities of Bristol to examine the issues they face relating to societal and systemic abuses of humanity and environment; to inspire and arouse proactive responses and devise ways to empower them; and to work towards strengthening the connection we all have with the Earth in order to create the conditions for the desire to work to heal it.
In Round 2 we introduced a new process to enable us to give out small grants of up to £1,000 slightly quicker.
Women Seeking Sanctuary Advocacy Group Wales
Women Seeking Sanctuary Advocacy Group Wales is a Cardiff-based group of migrant, asylum seeking and refugee women from all backgrounds who seek to create a self-led / help organisation to gain ownership of their destiny. The majority of members are still going through the asylum process in the UK, while some have been granted refugee status. They are a campaigning, advocacy and research group, which works with and for refugee women and their families in order to bring about change in the unjust refugee system and to enhance their ability to rebuild their lives.
Cathy McCormack is a long-term campaigner who lives in Easterhouse, Glasgow, which is regarded as being the one of the poorest and most deprived working-class communities in the UK She became involved in her community’s struggle for justice back in 1982 and has been instrumental in several poverty, housing, health, and climate change high profile campaigns. During this time she has been invited all over the world to share the struggle and successes stories of our working class communities in the U.K. and to link up with other communities. She is widely known as a social commentator for the people and an inspiring speaker.
WOW Petition is a group of disabled people who came together via twitter, which enabled them to gain a voice and make a stand against recent welfare changes. They aim to raise awareness of their plight and the plight of the many sick, disabled people and carers in the UK who are living in fear. They are calling for a cumulative impact assessment of all the changes to support for sick, disabled people and their carers and an Independent Committee based Inquiry into welfare reform.
Virtual Migrants is a Manchester-based, migrant-led collective that has been campaigning to raise awareness of race, global inequality and migrant-justice issues since 1998. VM engages the public via visual, new media and performance practice which strongly resists the ‘pornography of suffering’ and ‘charity case’ depiction of migrant peoples. Their recent focus has been to intervene where dominant narratives of climate change exclude historical, imperial, class and racial contexts and to promote awareness of the growing demand for climate justice from underdeveloped/exploited countries and its relationship to lives and politics in countries such as the UK.
The Feminist Library
The Feminist Library is a large archive collection of Women’s Liberation Movement literature, dating mainly from the late 1960s to the present day. This vitally important collection is invaluable to anybody concerned with preserving radical history and culture. The Feminist Library has always worked hard to collect, share and promote the development of feminist consciousness, thought, and action, and to raise awareness of feminism. As well as providing space to read all things feminist in a clearly feminist space, they also provide cheap/free meeting space for various radical groups.
Luddites200 was established to take the opportunity of the 200th anniversary of the Luddite uprisings to help develop a new politics of technology and encourage new activism. The mission of the group is to emphasise the importance of technology as a key driver of the capitalist system. A new politics of technology will be crucial in the transition to a sustainable and economically just society.
Fracking Free Ireland
Fracking Free Ireland is a network which aims to raise awareness of the threat of fracking in Ireland. The website acts as an information platform to inform and connect people, nationally and internationally and has developed not only to a huge resource of information but is also now a national website used by various groups. The Fracking Matters Newsletter, distributed on a regular basis, is up to 30 pages long and read by politicians, MEPS, and finds it way all over the world.
Coal Action Scotland
Coal Action Scotland has been campaigning against the coal industry in Scotland for over four years – this involves working in communities struggling against opencast coal mines and taking direct action against coal infrastructure. They are the only group in Scotland that works directly to support communities facing the prospect of, or living next to, opencast mines. In the last four years they’ve had a number of victories, as well as seeing the UK’s largest opencast operators – Scottish Coal and ATH Resources – go from profitable and dramatically expanding companies to financial collapse and massively reduced production.
Next to Nowhere
Next to Nowhere is a radical social centre built and run by activists from the Merseyside area. The social centre is run by a collective of volunteers on the principles of mutual aid and solidarity. Social centre volunteers come from a range of backgrounds: community activism, animal rights, anti-war, climate change, feminism, anarchism and more. Next to Nowhere has a vegan kitchen space, a vegan cafe open on Saturday afternoons, free-to-use computers and wi-fi, a library of radical books and they hold film nights, activist meetings & other events, and offer space for other groups to hold meetings and events.
Common Cause is a platform of Congolese women and Congolese women’s organisations in the U.K. This platform works to raise the voices of Congolese women at the international level, advocates for women’s rights, challenges Violence against Women and patriarchy as well as promotes the integration, the solidarity and the participation of Congolese women in the UK. They work with major women’s groups, African and Congolese organisations worldwide and in the UK.
Stable Way Residents Association
Stable Way Residents Association is a Tenant Residents Association (TRA) that has been campaigning for the rights of Irish Travellers in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea for the last 5 years. It was one of, if not the, first Irish Traveller Residents group in the UK to be constituted in 2008. Led by Irish Traveller families it aims to put the voice of Irish Travellers at the heart of decisions affecting them.
Glasgow Defence Campaign
Glasgow Defence Campaign was set up by political activists who found that by campaigning to gather support for opposition to the cuts agenda they were targeted by Strathclyde Police for harassment and arrest. They use petitions, leaflets, their blog, meetings on the streets and interventions at political meetings and events to draw attention to the police harassment and arrests of activists.
Cardiff Migrant Solidarity
Cardiff Migrant Solidarity or ‘CMS Wales/Cymru’ aims to unite the asylum seeker and migrant communities in Cardiff, and across South Wales, with a view to combat the racist system of border controls and privilege that keep people without papers jobless, destitute and patronised, abused and even condemned to be sent to their deaths by the decision makers around them.
London Anarchist Bookfair
The London Anarchist Bookfair started off with 5 or 6 anarchist publishers and stalls and now, 30 years later, involves over 110 stalls from anarchist, libertarian and non-hierarchically organised campaigning groups; over 60 meetings; three child and young people spaces; films; and a host of other activities. The fair aims to bring together anarchists and fellow travellers to meet and discuss issues that are relevant to us, to be a space where those whose only knowledge of “anarchism” is through the pages and screens of the mainstream press, can come and find out what we really mean by “anarchism” and “anarchist ways of working” and to meet and chat to people who believe in the theory and practice of it and of non-hierarchical organising.
Re-vision is based in Liverpool and is a relatively new group of mental health survivors, service users and allies who have come together to promote understandings of the social, economic and political causes of mental distress. They are committed to challenging narrow biological understandings of mental health and services dominated by medication and contest and resist neo-liberal policy prescriptions for health and the economy, and gender and race oppression which underpins many people’s experience of mental ill health.