16 November- Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance- Trade Union Conference

10.30am – 17.30pm

University of Greenwich, Stephen Lawrence Building, Old Naval College, 30 Park Row, London SE10 9LS

Undercover policing & trade unions: the Political and the Personal

Including sessions on:
Impact of undercover policing on the trade union movement
Women against the State
Privacy & Surveillance in the Workplace
Truth and Fiction: Representations of Spycops on Screen
Undercover policing – inquiry or cover up?

Education unions condemn arrest of Sudanese teachers’ leader

The arrest and disappearance of Yassin Hassan Abdelkarim, president of the Sudanese Teachers’ Committee on 28 June has drawn strong condemnation from the University and College Union (UCU) and International Solidarity Officers in the NEU teachers’ union. Paul Cottrell, acting General Secretary of UCU wrote to the Sudanese ambassador calling for Yassin’s immediate release after hearing that armed men stormed his house in the early hours of 28 June and took him away to an unknown location.

Sudanese activists are extremely concerned that he could face torture or death in detention at the hands of the brutal militias affiliated with the Transitional Military Council who have already killed over 100 protesters during attacks on peaceful sit-ins after 3 June. The Teachers Committee is an independent union which has played a key role organising teachers’ strikes in recent years.

UCU calls for immediate release of Yassin Hassan Abdelkarim, president of the Sudanese Teachers’ Committee #StandWithSudan https://t.co/DzJvmZVJaM

— UCU (@ucu) July 2, 2019

International Solidarity Officers in NEU adopted a resolution on 1 July also calling for Yassin’s release alongside other political prisoners. Huge protests gripped on Sudan on Sunday, following a call by the Sudanese Professionals Association and the opposition Forces of Freedom and Change for further peaceful demonstrations and civil disobedience to demand the transfer of power to a civilian government from the ruling Military Council.

Statement by International Solidarity Officers, NEU

We, National Education Union International Solidarity Officers, condemn the arrest of our brother and colleague Yassin Hassan Abdulkarim President of the Teachers’ Committee in Sudan.

We support the struggle for democratic rights and civilian government in Sudan. We support the demonstrations called by the Sudanese Professional Association and note protestors have exercised non-violent civil disobedience in pursuit of their aims.

We condemn any use of force, including that used on June 3rd in Khartoum, against these peaceful protests.

In addition, the arbitrary arrest of civilians exercising their right to organise cannot be tolerated. We call on our government, trade unions and human rights organisations to demand the immediate release of Yassin Hassan Abdulkarim.

Original post.

UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia declared unlawful

Last week, our friends at Campaign Against Arms Trade won a historic court case against the UK Government over arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The Court ruled that the Government’s approval of arms sales to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen was unlawful, and that it must halt exports until it reviews the permissions in light of evidence of Saudi violations of international law. The ruling is unprecedented, and really speaks to the collaborative work of grassroots campaigners, lawyers, academic experts, and many others who pitched in to make the case so strong.

But this is just one case. The UK still approves arms exports to dozens of other human rights abusing regimes that use military force to repress protests, to gain territory, and to commit dreadful and illegal violence against civilians. And it will undoubtedly try to resume its exports to Saudi Arabia at the earliest date possible. That’s why we need grassroots pressure now to make this court victory stick, for the people of Yemen and millions of others around the world who are still at risk of being attacked using British made bombs and other weapons.

The UK sells weapons and military technology to States that commit sustained and grave human rights abuses, including Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Honduras, the Philippines, and dozens of other regimes.

The UK must stop arming repression. Will you email your MP, and ask them to pressure the government to end its trade in arms with human rights abusing regimes?

Activists plan day of action for Louisa Hanoune and political prisoners in Algeria on 20 June

Trade unionists and activists are mobilising for an international day of action on 20 June in solidarity with Louisa Hanoune, General Secretary of the radical left Workers’ Party who was detained by a military court in Algeria on 9 May. Louisa is one of increasing numbers of activists to face detention and jail in recent weeks, as the Algerian regime has attempted to use repression against organisers and supporters of the mass popular protests and strikes which have gripped the country since February this year.

In a statement the organisers of the Free Louisa Hanoune campaign said:

Louisa Hanoune has been known in the world and for years for her stance and her uncompromising fight in defence of democracy, freedoms, women’s rights and always on the side of the people and the oppressed”

Louisa is well-known for her campaigns against the Family Code, which discriminates against Algerian women, treating them essentially as minors, and for equal recognition of the Berber language alongside Arabic. In the leadership of the Workers Party, she has been active for many years supporting striking workers and fighting for social justice.

A statement in solidarity with Louisa has been launched by the international campaign and is gathering support among trade union activists in the UK, with endorsements from leading activists in UCU, the bakers’ union BFAWU, NEU, Unite and PCS.

What you can do:

  • Join the protest at the Algerian embassy in London on 20 June – check the campaign Facebook page for details
  • Sign the statement in solidarity with Louisa here and download a list of some of the initial signatories here Louise Hanoune PDF
  • Use the hashtag #freelouisahanoune on social and media and follow the campaign here
  • Download Louisa’s biography here Louisa Hanoune short biography
  • Pass a resolution in your trade union branch calling for the release of Louisa and all other political prisoners in Algeria

SOAS UNISON – Deportations 10th Anniversary Commemoration Events

Wednesday 12 June 2019 marks the 10th anniversary of the arrest and subsequent deportation SOAS cleaners (and UNISON members).

The cleaners, working at the time for the outsourced company ISS, were called in for an early morning staff meeting in the G2 Lecture Theatre (now the DLT).

The meeting was actually a cover for a UK Border Agency raid. 

9 SOAS cleaners were handcuffed in the lecture theatre and subsequently deported by UKBA.

The deportation of the SOAS 9 by the UK state was done at the behest of the private company with the full knowledge and complicity of the SOAS Management.

The real reason these workers were targeted like this was that they stood up and had begun to organise to improve their working lives.

Please join us in attending the annual commemoration events below on what will be the 10th anniversary of this crime and please take a few minutes to watch the attached trailer for the ‘Limpiadores’ documentary (the full film will be shown as part of the commemorative events organised by the SOAS Justice for Workers campaign)

LESE Race Relations Committee: Celebrate the Windrush Generation – Wednesday 26 June 2019

TUC Congress House, 6 – 8.30pm

  The LESE Race Relations Committee invite you to join them celebrate the Windrush generation and remember the suffering that the Windrush scandal has caused. It is time for a change, in attitude, how people are perceived. The Windrush generation and their families did nothing wrong and do not deserve the treatment experienced.

Guest Speakers include:

Betty Joseph, Chair, LESE Race Relations Committee and NEU

Arthur Torrington, Windrush Foundation

Nairobi Thompson, Writer and Poet

Patrick Vernon, Social commentator and political activist

Scratchylus, Musician who promotes consciousness and edutainment

Zita Holbourne, Co-founder of Black Activist Rising Against Cuts (BARAC)

Please register: 020 7467 1220 / lese@tuc.org.uk

This event is hosted by the LESE Race Relations Committee

Thanks to CWU event support

Military and militias threaten Sudan sit-ins as civil disobedience escalates

A day after announcing agreement on key elements of a deal to hand power over to a civilian government led by the opposition Freedom and Change Forces, Sudan’s Transitional Military Council abruptly suspended negotiations and sent soldiers to clear barricades in the capital by force. According to international news agencies, military units used gunfire “extensively” on Wednesday 15 May as they attempted to clear protesters from the streets around the major sit-in outside the army’s General Command.

Wednesday’s attack by the army followed a major assault on the sit-in on Monday 13 May which Sudan Doctors’ Union representatives say was led by militias connected with the El-Bashir regime’s supporters in the People’s Congress Party and the National Intelligence and Security Service, Sudan’s feared and brual political police. According to information received by Middle East Solidarity from the Sudan Doctors’ Union, the attackers used live ammunition from guns, rifles and machine guns, tear gas and metal bars. At least 6 people were killed, including an army officer, and the ‘field hospitals’ in the sit-in were quickly overwhelmed by injured protesters.

The Army leadership eventually sent paratroopers to defend the sit-in on Monday. But the deployment of troops on Wednesday to clear barricades outside an agreed protest zone, along with previous attacks on sit-ins in Darfur, sends an ominous message about the continued power of Sudan’s numerous military and security forces and their capacity for violence against unarmed protesters.

Despite the threat, thousands of protesters were reported to have joined the sit-ins overnight, as opposition groups and the Sudanese Professionals Association rejected the military’s demand to remove barricades. Meanwhile, sit-ins, strikes and civil disobedience continue to multiply. Workers at the Bank of Khartoum were one group which answered the SPA’s call to escalate collective action, shutting down the bank in a strike which shut down 30 branches, according to reports on social media. Workers at ten other banks took part in demonstrations in solidarity with uprising and threatened to escalate to strike action. Sudanese activists told Middle East Solidarity strikes and sit ins were spreading to government ministries, such as the ministry of health.

What you can do:

  • Rush messages of support for the uprising’s demands for civilian rule, real democracy and social justice to info@sudaneseprofessionals.org
  • Pass a resolution in your trade union branch
  • Demand your government breaks all links with the Sudanese military, security forces and individuals and groups involved with attacks on protesters and human rights violations.

June 4 | Together Against Trump – Stop the State Visit!

Stop the War condemns the decision to invite Donald Trump for a state visit in June. It is extraordinary that the British government has chosen to endorse this most reactionary and aggressive US President with a formal welcome. Join us on June 4; it is crucial that we take to the streets to show the world what London really thinks of Donald Trump.

We look forward to seeing you at one of our events!

If you have any further questions, or you wish to volunteer for us please contact office@stopwar.org.uk or 020 7561 4830.

Follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.

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