Our 9th funding round was held in Manchester in October 2018. You can read more about the funding day from our guest blog by Sandwell Youth in Action, a funded group, here. We gave grants to the below groups:
Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh (£1000)
The Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh (ACE) provides since 1994 a unique collectively run political space in Edinburgh. Based around principles of libertarian-communism, antifascism and anarchism ACE since its inception has supported and initiated myriads of projects based on grassroots organizing, non-authoritarian education and direct action. The ACE collective is a membership group.
African Rainbow Family, UK Wide (£1000)
African Rainbow Family is run horizontally by its 60 LGBTIQ asylum seekers and refugees members with lived experiences of one form of persecution to the other based on their sexuality, gender identities, religion, race, ethnicity, disability and have experienced most horrendous violence in their countries of origin. They campaign against social injustice and challenge any UK immigration mistreatment of LGBT asylum seekers’ application process, as well as influencing government policies, campaigning on individual member’s asylum cases, offering practical support, organising rallies and other activities.
Belfast Solidarity Centre/Just Books (£1500)
Just Books – Belfast Solidarity Centre needs new premises to continue our work providing people at the receiving end of intersecting oppressions the resources to resist – and to ultimately overthrow capitalism and the state. We were open in Berry Street in Belfast city centre for two years (until the end of our lease in March) with a radical bookshop (Just Books), a growing radical library (now with over 4,500 titles), a workers’ and claimants solidarity drop-in, labour and community education initiative (Just Learning), badge making and t-shirt and sticker printing for campaigns, and a meeting space for groups involved in struggles against oppression.
Berkshire Anti Fascists (£500)
Berkshire Anti Fascists' primary aim is to counter fascism in the UK. Their approach is two-fold: oppose fascism in the streets, and also support their local community through fund-raising, because stronger communities are the ultimate prevention against fascism. They are a very active group, and try to attend every action to bolster numbers. They are a non-hierarchical group that runs on communist and anarchist principles, but specific political ideology is not dictated, as they are more interested in action than political philosophy.
The Campaign to Protect Pont Valley (£750)
The Campaign to Protect Pont Valley is a grass-roots campaign combining people living in an area affected by opencast and others who joined us to fight against it. After we were ignored in our opposition to Banks Groups’ new opencast in Pont Valley we invited activists, with a direct-action strategy, to join us in January 2018.
Community Action on Prison Expansion, UK Wide (£1500)
Community Action on Prison Expansion is a prison abolitionist group. Their work is motivated by the reality that the prison system is the cornerstone of the systemic oppression enacted by the British State and the prison industrial complex. This system is pervasive; from prisons themselves, to immigration removal centres, to police repression, to the surveillance of our daily lives. What’s more, the state and the private companies with whom they work are profiting from the incarceration of marginalized communities through the privatization of prisons, and the menial labour undertaken for private companies by prisoners. This system harms – and kills – marginalized communities. Working class, people of colour, and trans people are specifically targeted by the prison industrial complex; this can be seen in the demographics of those incarcerated.
The Common House, London (£1500)
The Common House actively works to replace capitalism, white supremacy and patriarchy with egalitarian social relations. They are home to groups that campaign and organise against fascism and capitalism (Plan C), for radical gender equality (Feminist Fightback), against heteronormativity and for LGBTQ rights (Queerspace East), against fuel poverty and for local community-owned energy production (Fuel Poverty Action), and much more. As well as enabling this work, the Common House is itself horizontally organised, which means they also stand as an example of the world they are working towards.
Disabled People Against Cuts Glasgow (£1500)
The Glasgow section of the national Disabled People Against Cuts campaign. Founded and 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.
Disabled People Against Cuts, UK Wide (£1500)
Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) is a campaign founded and led by disabled people to raise awareness of the impact of government cuts on disabled people and to challenge government policy on disability which has decimated the human rights of disabled people in the UK. The campaign was set up in October 2010 to challenge the cuts and the threat to disabled people’s rights and ultimately lives. DPAC was founded on core values including the social model of disability and the principle of rights not charity. Longer term we seek real systemic change so that disabled people are fully included in society.
Frack Free Upton (£500)
Frack Free Upton's aim is to stop fracking in Upton, Cheshire and the rest of the UK. Fracking is being forced on communities who do not want it by the current UK government. They aim to increase awareness of the dangers of fracking, both to people in Cheshire and to the people who can influence decisions – both locally and nationally. Our campaign in Upton has been successful so far, Upton Community Protection camp was the first in the UK to occupy the actual drilling site.
Friends of Detainees, UK wide (£1000)
Friends of Detainees work hard to end the use of immigration detention in the UK. They believe that asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants coming to the UK for safety should not be detained for administrative convenience which in turn causes them mental torture and many more problems.
Fuel Poverty Action, UK Wide (£500)
Fuel Poverty Action’s (FPA) work focuses on the intersection of social justice and climate change. Fuel poverty emerged from free-market capitalism, which has enabled an energy oligopoly of suppliers to behave like a cartel, inching up prices in concert year-on-year. People on low incomes pay most. The Big Six and fossil fuel companies (subsidized £5.9 billion a year and given a huge 32% tax-break in 2013 by the Con-Dems) have shown that power is too important to be controlled by private interests. We need locally sourced publicly run renewable energy companies that are accountable to us. FPA helped set up Switched on London (a community energy for London campaign) and campaign for fairer prices from existing suppliers.
JENGbA Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association, UK Wide (£500)
Joint Enterprise is a legal abuse of power. Research has concluded it to be an area of law that is racist and discriminatory towards the working class. They have already had a breakthrough at the Supreme Court but feel there is still a significant amount of work to do in terms of helping those convicted before the Supreme Court acknowledged the law had been misinterpreted for over 30 years. And to continue to chip away at the CPS’s unfair use of JE.
Kushti Bok, Dorset (£1500)
Kushti Bok campaigns against prejudice towards the GTR community in Dorset. Kushti Bok has challenged local media, with some success gained, leading to more balanced reporting regarding GTR. This is an ongoing problem and the press (in print and online) needs to be constantly monitored.
Land Justice Network, UK Wide (£1500)
They are a broad network made up of individuals and representatives from other networks including the Land Workers Alliance, the Radical Housing Network and the Community Food Growers Network. They intend to use the space that Brexit is creating to talk about farming subsidies which dictate the way that our countryside is managed and create opportunities for policy change.
Leeds Anti-Fascist Network (£500)
Leeds Anti-Fascist Network is a group of people working together to create stronger anti-racist communities in Leeds. They aim to organise in our local areas of Leeds to build a network capable of confronting far-right and racist activity in Leeds. This is based around information and skill sharing events, meeting regularly in different areas of Leeds. Recently there has been increased far-right activity and mobilisations in Leeds and around the country - by building a strong network we aim to stop them from taking our streets. We want our communities to feel safe for all. The far-right and the government want to divide us based on our differences. We believe that job insecurity, bad housing, cuts to public services are policies to ensure the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. We have to unite against this and stop them spreading racist lies.
Learning Disability Group of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire are an equality rights organisation, user led and committed to changing hearts and minds around what they can achieve. People with disabilities have been denied their rights to make decisions, take risks and contribute to a more equal society. They have been patronised and told what is best for them, at the whim of social policies decided by others. They see their role as a group who educate, inform and apply pressure for change.
LGBTIQ Outside Project (£500)
A group of homelessness sector workers & LGBTIQ+ activists with lived experiences of the issues their community faces. They recognise that current services are not adequate for their community. They are organising for safe, independent, and accessible homeless services for LGBTIQ+ people.
Liverpool Social Centre Collective (£600)
Liverpool Social Centre Collective runs Next to Nowhere which is a radical social centre created in, and run by activists from the Merseyside area as part of efforts to bring about a fair, free and sustainable society - one without hierarchy, discrimination, or the exploitation of people, animals and the planet for profit. We believe this is only possible through the direct action of ordinary people against capitalism & the state. The centre exists to support anyone acting to defend themselves and their communities against attacks by business and government, locally and globally, and those acting in solidarity with them, through direct action, campaign work, education, and sharing skills and resources. Social centre volunteers come from a range of backgrounds - community activism, youth work, animal rights, anti-war, environmentalism, feminism and anarchism - and our work reflects this.
London Coalition Against Poverty (£1500)
London Coalition Against Poverty (LCAP) organise and campaign against the unjust housing system and the root causes of poverty in our communities. Many of our members are homeless migrant families – living in temporary accommodation or severely overcrowded housing. As many members do not have English as their first language, accessing their basic rights is very difficult. Together at our regular meetings, where we have translation and childcare to make them as accessible as possible, we share information about our rights, help each other to plan steps on our cases, provide moral support for each other, and organise buddies to visit the housing office together as well as campaigns and direct actions. These tactics have proved successful in winning better housing for members.
Not Guilty By Association, Manchester (£3000)
The group exists to organise to bring about political pressure from below, in order to end the racist use of joint enterprise (JE) in Manchester. We believe that JE has been proven to be racist in its application and therefore call for it to be scrapped or radically transformed. We do not have faith in the criminal appeals process and therefore must apply political pressure. We also recognise that JE often rests on the use of the ‘gang’ label, which research (including by two of our members, academics at Manchester Met Uni) has demonstrated to be a racialised construct. While these changes must obviously take place at a national level, we act to apply pressure and built momentum locally.
Open Lavs, UK Wide (£3000)
Open Lavs is a practical, online tool for finding non-binary (gender neutral) loos across the UK. It means that trans and non-binary people can easily find out where their custom is welcome so they can eat, drink, work, and play. Open Lavs will also champion best practice and use a positive approach to pressure other businesses and organisations to follow suit and create non-binary bathrooms by changing their policies and spaces.
Leftist, Queer politics sit at the heart of Open Lavs and we understand that nobody lives single issues lives. That’s why our map provides crucial information on disability access. Our approach is also informed by lived experience and the latest research into what makes a toilet safe and accessible for everyone. This work benefits those with non-binary identities or people whose identities are often misread, such as trans men or women in the early stages of a transition.
Peabody Family Voice (PFV), (£750)
Peabody Family Voice was set up following an angry Peabody tenants’ consultation meeting – we want to turn this into effective political action. PFV is not a Tenants and Residents Association, since TRAs already exist and have failed to address the issues mentioned above. They use the community organising model of political organising, which devotes as much attention to organising and empowering people as to protest.
Positively UK, Boston (£1480)
Positively UK are EU nationals living in Boston, a port town on the east coast of England where latent hostility toward old and new migrant arrivals has burst into the open since the Brexit vote, where 76% of local people voted to leave the EU. They came together to counter EDL and Britain First marches, and increasing racist and xenophobic attacks. They aim to resist discrimination by peaceful means, like rallies, demos and solidarity with people in Boston who stand against the latest attacks on the migrant community. Their activities include, organising marches; highlighting government non-compliance with impact assessments on immigration policy; conducting direct action against council offices; and working to bridge the divide in Boston, which they hope will be replicated in other UK cities.
Rising Up, UK Wide (£1500)
Rising Up are focused on system change through non-violent uprising (knowing that is ridiculously ambitious!). They believe in participatory democracy and trying out methods like sortition. They deliberately don’t identify with a particular political orientation (e.g. anarchist or socialist) because they believe in creating the conditions for genuine dialogue / participation rather than imposing pre-determined models. Their methods are informed by research and evidence including the importance of civil disobedience, and direct action. They have a set of 10 Principles and Values that guide us including, for example, mitigating for power, their efforts to embody a regenerative culture and focusing their mission on that which is necessary (rather than what feels possible).
Sandwell Youth in Action (£3000)
Sandwell Youth in Action (SYIA) has carried out a survey in March 2018 with 56 women, all of whom came for help to fight for their children and has found a 40% rise in the number of children that are separated from their parents since 20014. Evidences collected show that there was a push to increase adoption in the region to punish low-income women, who are increasingly losing their children due to poverty especially among women of colour and refugees, which the group calls “the unjust separation of children from their mothers”. Charges of neglect are used to punish, especially single-mother families, for their unbearably low incomes. The fundamental relationship between mother and child is dismissed as irrelevant to a child’s wellbeing and development, and the trauma of separation, and its lifelong consequences, are ignored. Mothers who are victims of domestic violence are refused help, blamed for ‘failing to protect’ their children, and punished with their removal. This project is all about social justice through identity work. We are a radical campaign group which would like to petition for the ‘adoption policy’ to be revisited to reduce the number of children in care. We will collect and gather signatures from our constituencies in order to present a report at the House of Commons between 30 October 2018 and January 2019. The group believes that most of these unjust removals of children from their mothers under the pretext of neglect and abuse could be better dealt with through family support and responses to poverty and deprivation.
Scottish Farm Land Trust (£500)
The Scottish Farm Land Trust was set up in response to the radically unequal distribution of land ownership in Scotland, at a time when farm sizes are being consolidated as increasing numbers of farmers sell their land to bigger farmers. Farm labour is also becoming increasingly based around the contract model whereby farm labourers have very little control over the way that the business is run. They believe that land should be decomodified so that it is no longer used as a means of increasing wealth and the value of land is no longer driven up by speculation. They believe that land workers should have democratic control over their businesses and in decisions about land management.
Sister Supporter, London (£750)
Sister Supporter began as a group of local residents who were tired of witnessing this harassment every day. Our approach consists of engaging with the community in a positive way and collecting statements from residents, clinic users and staff in order to look at what can be done on a local level. In April 2018 we got the UK’s first ever ’safe zone’ outside an abortion clinic. Unfortunately this is a national problem and we need a lasting, nationwide solution. We are working to end the imbalance of rights, the misogyny displayed by the government and police and to challenge the lack of legislation to protect clinic users. No other healthcare service is targeted in this way – we believe that had it been an issue that affected more men then it wouldn’t have been allowed to continue for so long.
SOAS Detainee Support, London (£1500)
Continuing their campaign for abolition of immigration detention, they strive to create strong communities of resistance that support those on the fringes of our society. They are fighting for an end to immigration detention and more presently, against the mistreatment of detained migrants. They are a grassroots, small organisation, engaged in supporting those detained, and campaigning for the end of detention.
T.O.R.C.H. (Taking On Rape culture, Consent, and sexual Health) Collective, Dublin (£500)
T.O.R.C.H. collective is a group of musicians, artists, organizers, and activists based in Dublin. Our goal is to engage the DIY music, art, and activism community in workshops and projects that promote healthy relationships, consent, sexual health, and community accountability. They hope to challenge beliefs and actions that enable gender-based violence, sexual assault, misogyny, and homophobia in our community. They aim to do this through continuous education, visibility of a peer support network, and promoting community accountability through the development of guidelines for which venues, promoters, bands, and gig-goers will be encouraged to adopt.
Tower Blocks UK, London (£3000)
Tower Blocks UK are concerned that the design and construction of many tower blocks and their refurbishments pose serious risks. We have seen at Grenfell Tower that tenants’ voices are ignored when these risks are pointed out. Disasters in Ronan Point, Lakanal House and Grenfell Tower have clearly shown that the building regulations are inadequate and that people are living in unsafe buildings. They set up this project to empower residents by providing open access to a range of resources and support. They are seeking to strengthen the tenants voice particularly when they are raising concerns with their landlords and we are seeking to support tenants and residents to be able to campaign to ensure that these national issues are not once again ignored. They are creating a range of resources eg a health and safety checklist, available in many formats including an app, which enables residents to check their blocks and make a report to their landlord/solicitor. They are also seeking to inform tower block owners, for example, by creating a guide to potential risks for local councilors.
Ubuntu Women Shelter, Glasgow (£750)
Ubuntu women’s night shelter will be the first dedicated shelter in the UK that provides short term accommodation for women with no recourse to public funds. Importantly, the shelter will be run and managed by persons with lived experience of Destitution, Asylum and Migration. Their collective has more than ten years of shared experience in supporting destitute Asylum seekers.
Unity Sisters, Glasgow (£3000)
Unity Sisters is a group of women going through the asylum system. They get together to create safe spaces for women to share their stories and experiences about the immigration system, and other issues such as domestic abuse, health inequalities, forced destitution, access to education, housing, and access to childcare. These issues form part of a xenophobic, racist and sexist system of oppression, which the group aims to help dismantle through their work. With regular meetings, film screenings, and outings, the group provides spaces for emotional support, as well as practical solidarity.