Tag Archives: Bearpit

News Release: Bristol IWW defending whistle blowers and free speech in Bristol City Council

iww

In March 2018 a FW ( fellow worker) working in Child Protection for Bristol City Council (BCC) was suspended from his post. He was charged with issues under the code of conduct, and most of the first set of allegations against him related to a closed Labour Party Facebook page. The group are made up of labour activists, who regularly discuss policy and procedure in BCC. The FW was conversing with a union shop steward about the Walter Ayles anti-war artwork. This had been taken down after orders from BCC. But after an outcry, the Council had to apologise, and the artwork was replaced.The face book posting had been given to the council by Mayor Marvin Rees. Therefore, rather than just speaking to the labour party member, he tried to get them dismissed from their post in Child Protection. He also, by his actions, closed down a labour party face book group, and shut down free speech concerning BCC’s activities. Furthermore, he may have breeched rights of members under data protection legislation. All in all, Mayor Rees has attacked his own party members, and stopped them discussing his own policies. Hardly a beacon of democracy, and more will be forthcoming about this. Probably just prior to his reselection attempts.

Marvin failed to get the activist sacked for this, but then BCC forwarded more allegations, and tried to refuse our FW trade union support. The Head of Workforce, a Mr John Walsh wrote in an email, that the IWW secured, that the caseworker must be “shut down”. Hardly in line with the ethos of an open and transparent disciplinary process. Walsh carried on in his attempts to carry on with out the FW having representation, until BCC employed an expensive consultant. This consultant had to explain to Walsh that he could not do this, and also, he had to follow his employer’s own policies. This consultant even had to explain to Walsh what “will” meant, in the context of employment legislation; unbelievable when you consider that this person’s wages equate to a couple of libraries being kept open.

The other allegations revolved around a twitter account, held by the Bristol Citizen. The Citizen regularly criticises BCC’s officers, councillors and policies. The democratic Mayor and his officers cannot stand this and were determined to prove that our FW was the Citizen. One small problem, they did not have a shred of proof, not a smidgen, absolutely bugger all. Their main “proof” was that it was common knowledge in the Public Relations Office, and the Mayor’s Office, that the FW was the Bristol Citizen. Come the day they could not supply a single statement, or witness. The IWW contacted the Bristol Citizen, who did provide a statement, and some interesting information.

Whilst this incompetent mess could be seen as the council just being completely out of their trees. The FW does have some history with BCC. In 2012 he whistle blew that a six figure some was missing from Bristol markets. This figure could build a children’s centre, or similar. Rather than a full investigation, he lost his job and was lucky to be redeployed. To this day, the money is still missing and there has not been any disciplinary process, other than against the whistle blower. No other FWs in the council have had to put up with this level of incompetence relating to disciplinary. So we can only conclude that these bizarre allegations, and the victimisation that followed, were due to him being a whistle blower. He even phoned the Council’s whistle blower’s helpline, to get an answer phone, and no help.

Our FW is made of stern stuff though, and he had the support of the best Union in the world. After 8 ½ months on suspension. 15 allegations, the employment of 2 external consultants, and hundreds of officer’s hours, all at a great cost to the tax payers of this city. He won his hearing, as everything was unfounded. He will go back to his Child Protection role, supporting vulnerable children in our city. But, we are not finished. There are serious questions to be answered, both from the Mayor, but also Mr Walsh. He started by trying to deny the FW his trade union rights, interfered in the case, and even instructed the FWs witnesses not to engage. Furthermore, the Bristol Citizen tells us that he has history. He was involved in the sacking of several whistle blowers in Wakefield. The Citizen has tweeted this, and the IWW will be investigating further. We do not need these people in our City. We need proper, transparent public services, run by a democratic council. If they cannot do this, we will.

Steve Mills, National Case Worker, Bristol IWW

November 2018

DEMAND EQUALITY! COLSTON STATUE MUST NOW BE REMOVED

Not offensive, not censored:

Edward Colston: right wing mass murderer

Offensive, censored:

Walter Ayles: left wing pacifist


Call Mark Parsons at Bristol Waste on 07584581243 or email Mark.Parsons@Bristolwastecompany.co.uk and demand that Colston’s statue is removed. We want equality!

CENSORED! JOURNEY TO JUSTICE

News release: for immediate release

Popular exhibition that got praise from the mayor is censored by waste company

It has been brought to our attention that Bristol Waste Company has removed a
board from the exhibition in the Bearpit which was jointly organised by the Bearpit
Improvement Group in conjunction with the national charity Journey to Justice which
also hosted a major series of arts and history events in Bristol this October.

We understand that Bristol City Council ordered the board to be removed following a
complaint by Councillor Mark Weston (Henbury and Brentry), the leader of the
Conservative group on Bristol City Council.

We request the immediate reinstatement of the board and an apology from those
responsible for its summary removal.

We also request further information about the process that led BCC to order the
board to be removed without consultation with the Bearpit Improvement Group or Dr
Madge Dresser of UWE and the University of Bristol who jointly curated the
exhibition with the Group’s organisers.

The board in question is a piece of art celebrating the role of Walter Ayles in fighting
for social justice and in particular his role as a leading campaigner against the First
World War. Ayles was a Bristol councillor before the First World War and was sent to
prison for his opposition to it. Soon after his release he was elected MP for Bristol
North.

The information for the board was researched by Journey to Justice trustee and
Bristol Coordinator Madge Dresser (a Senior Research Fellow at UWE and Honorary
Professor of History at the University of Bristol) and by Colin Thomas author
of Slaughter No Remedy: The Life and Times of Walter Ayles, Bristol Conscientious
Objector. The board was created by artist Bo Lanyon who worked with the Creative
Youth Network to inspire their boards in the Bearpit.

For your information, Journey to Justice is a group of educators, youth, community,
human rights and faith organisations, artists, film makers, lawyers, musicians,
historians, curators and trade unionists. It aims to inspire and inform social
engagement through history and the arts. Its patrons include Dr Paul Stephenson,
one of the leaders of the Bristol Bus Boycott, who this week received a Daily Mirror
Pride of Britain Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in fighting racism and
intolerance.

This exhibition sought to celebrate some of the untold stories of Bristol’s past social
campaigners and should be seen as stimulating debate and interest in Bristol’s
distinctive history. Ayles has also been written about by other Bristol-linked
academics including Professor Emerita June Hannam of UWE and is featured in the
authoritative Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

The removal of the board is a clear act of censorship by Bristol City Council that has
no place in an open and democratic society. It is ironic that it was taken down during
the same week that George Orwell’s statue was unveiled at the BBC in London with
the motto: “If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they
do not want to hear.”

FERGO FARRAGO: MILLIONAIRE MAYOR’S PERSECUTION COMPLEX WEARING THIN

Are the signs of strain already getting to Gorgeous George? His recent antics down at the Bearpit pedestrian underpass between Stokes Croft and Broadmead – which saw him telling a member of the public, one Paul Saville, to “FUCK OFF” simply for asking him about Resident Parking Zones – certainly suggest so.

As do his bizarre excuses to the media following his very public breakdown. “He was stalking me!” squealed the LIGHTWEIGHT RED-TROUSERED FANTASIST about a person who had spoken to the him all of, er … twice!

The madness of King George’s attacks on his critics are increasing exponentially by the month. Back in the halcyon days of his election campaign, he merely accused his critics of “party politicking”. Once in office his critics became “silly”. Now he regularly accuses any critics of being “stalkers”.

The BRISTOLIAN therefore suggests that if you want to disagree with George do it quick.

At this rate of attrition, by Christmas you’re likely to be labelled by the mayor as “rapist” or “paedophile”.

OH FUCK! MAYOR TELLS MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC TO ‘FUCK OFF’

Is our under pressure elected Mayor cracking already? Or is it an early run for the council’s new honest approach to consultation – “I’ve listened to you – now fuck off OK”?

It starts at around 1 minute 40 seconds in. Enjoy …

[youtube=http://youtu.be/Lb5OFukKqDg]