Two other comrades and I went to Hoo on the Isle of Grain on Saturday 7 February to talk to local workers and residents. We have visited the area before as socialist activists at the Climate Camp.
We had some long conversations with a group of men who were all locals, but none of whom worked on the plant, although they had family members working at Kingsnorth. They knew very little about the strikes but wanted to talk about them, climate change, banks, protesters, capitalism in general.
We then went to a pub in Grain, where it was pretty exciting to see our “Workers Climate Action” leaflet on “Just Transition” up on the wall. Again people were keen to chat about the strikes and protest to come.
The people I spoke to did tend to see the strikes as being about getting foreign workers out. One man said he thought this had been brewing for a long time, and was going to continue for a long time to come. He said people being angry about foreigners getting the jobs.
“Open the Books” was a fairly good starting point, along with “Jobs for All”, which needed much further discussion.
We arranged to show the film Rocking the Foundations in a local social club; the film shows how Australian building workers built up a militant fight against the power of big business, for the environment and sustainable communities.