Category Archives: Human Rights

Ronnie Kasrils: ‘Legacies of the Anti-Apartheid Movement

10 April 2019, 18.30-20.30 

SOAS University of London
SOAS main building, Kamran Djam Lecture Theatre (DLT 139)

Speaker: Ronnie Kasrils 
Ronald “Ronnie” Kasrils was a member of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa from 1987 to 2007, after having played a central role in the struggle against apartheid in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s.

About the event
Evolution of Struggle is a series of events about the anti-apartheid movement in the UK. For decades, thousands of people across the UK (and far beyond) dedicated years of their lives to anti-apartheid campaigns, in solidarity with South Africans fighting against this cruel and oppressive system.

Ronnie Kasrils, a key figure in the South African struggle against apartheid, will reflect on the role that solidarity movements, such as the Anti-Apartheid Movement in the UK, played in the struggle against institutionalised racism and oppression in South Africa, and the lessons those experiences can lend to activists and campaigners today.

This event is hosted by SOAS PalSoc. For more information about our Evolution of Struggle project, see https://www.evolutionofstruggle.com/

Tickets are FREE for UK students and university staff at any UK university.

Book your free ticket as a UK student or university staff.

Brazil: Stand with the resistance against far-right Bolsonaro by Brazil Solidarity Initiative Thursday 28 March 2019 @ NEU 18:30 – 20:30

Thursday 28 March 2019

Brazil: Stand with the resistance against far-right Bolsonaro

by Brazil Solidarity Initiative

18:30 – 20:30

NEU

Hamilton House, 4 Mabledon Place, London WC1H 9BB

Cost: £Donations

Opposing Bolsonaro’s attacks on human rights — Free Lula – Remembering Marielle Franco.

 With: Julia Felmanas, PT nucleo in Londres, for a special eye-witness report back from Brazil

Danielle Rowley MP

Christine Blower, former NUT General Secretary

Kate Hudson, CND

Chair: Claudia Webbe, Labour NEC

Turkey – democracy denied but not yet lost

writes Barry White

With democracy teetering on the edge and the country accelerating towards dictatorship under the autocratic rule of President Recep Tayip Erdogan, last Saturday’s 3rd annual Solidarity with the People of Turkey (SPOT) conference in London brought together some 200 people. The purpose was to hear eye witness reports from Turkey and the Kurdish community and to plan future solidarity action aimed at calling to account the Turkish government and to challenge the complicity of European governments in their support for the Erdogan regime.

Opening the Conference, Christine Blower reported on the current political situation. The state of emergency introduced following the reckless and bloody July 2016 coup had been incorporated into law and an executive presidency had been firmly established, sidestepping parliament. She referred to the recent solidarity action by the NUJ in condemning the imprisonment of Ayse Duzan and four other journalists for just doing their jobs and to the solidarity message to the conference from the French journalist union SNJ-CGT. She also paid tribute to Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn for his message of support to the conference and long standing solidarity with those resisting oppression in Turkey.   Read more.

Join the protests in solidarity with Sudan uprising, 9 February

Sudanese activists will be organising protests in Liverpool and London on 9 February, as trade unionists across the country are moblising in solidarity with their demands for democratic change and social justice. Sudanese refugees in Liverpool will gather at Lime Street station at 1pm, while Sudanese activists will also gather in Trafalgar Square in London at 2pm the same day. The demonstrations, which bring together activists from different areas in Sudan, and UK-based members of the Sudanese trade unionists and political organisations, follow several weeks of protests in cities around the UK.

UK trade unions are mobilising in support of the uprising in Sudan, and to demand an end to UK arms sales and diplomatic backing for Omar El Bashir’s brutal regime which has thrown thousands in jail during the last few weeks, and killed dozens of demonstrators.

Liverpool TUC, Liverpool University UCU and Stockport NEU have all passed motions raising these demands, and other branches will be considering similar motions in the coming weeks. A statement for trade unionists to sign has been launched by MENA Solidarity which has attracted support from leading activists in UCU, NEU and UNISON.

What you can do:

  • Join the protests in Liverpool and London on 9 February. Meet 1pm at Lime Street Station in Liverpool, 2pm in Trafalgar Square in London (in front of the National Gallery)
  • Sign the petition to the UK parliament calling on the government to condemn the repression of the uprising: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/236102   
  • Sign the solidarity statement here
  • Pass a resolution in solidarity with the movement in Sudan in your trade union branch or student union. Download a model motion here [sudan_solidarity_modelmotion]  [Liverpool motion]
  • Call on your MP to show their support for the protesters’ demands for democratic change in Sudan.
  • Take a picture in solidarity with the Sudanese uprising using this sign [sudan_solidarity_poster] and share on social media using the hashtag #تسقط_بسPlease mention @MENAsolidarity so we can share further. Follow reports from Sudan on #SudanUprising and #SudanProtests.
  • Read more on the background to the uprising here

Rally for Palestine: Exist! Resist! Return!

Take to the streets on 30th March to demand freedom, justice and equality for the Palestinian people:

Since the election of Donald Trump the collective rights of the Palestinian people have come under intensifying attacks. Israel has further entrenched its system of oppression; passing a racist nation state law, maintaining its crippling siege on Gaza, and continuing to rapidly expand illegal settlements in defiance of international law. Israel also killed more than 200 unarmed demonstrators during the ongoing Great Return March, and injured more Palestinians in 2018 than during the entire war on Gaza in 2014. Meanwhile, Trump’s cuts to UNRWA funding are part of a wider attempt to redefine the refugee status of millions of displaced Palestinians and erase their fundamental Right of Return.

So the Palestinian people need our solidarity more than ever, and are calling for global protests to protect their rights. As Israel continues to flout international law and violate human rights, there is a responsibility on the global community to hold it to account and push for an end to the oppression of the Palestinian people.

March 30th is Palestinian Land Day – when Palestinians across the world remember the unarmed protesters killed by Israel in 1976 during demonstrations about Israel’s theft of Palestinian land. This year, March 30th also marks the the 1st anniversary of the start of the Great Return March. These ongoing protests, taking place every single Friday, have seen thousands of Palestinians fighting for their right of return to their villages and homes from which they were forcibly removed. Many have been irreversibly injured and even killed for doing so.

The Palestinian people refuse to give up their struggle for justice. It is our task to draw inspiration from their endurance and answer their call for international solidarity.

So join us on March 30th to show support for the Palestinian struggle, and to rally for Palestinians’ fundamental rights to EXIST, RESIST & RETURN!

Stop deportations! Release Owen Haisley & the 50 others facing deportation on Tuesday 5 February

Last week, on Friday, Owen Haisley was snatched by the Home Office when attending the Salford registration centre. Owen arrived legally in the UK in 1977, with his mother and sister, when he was just four years old. He has three children, all of whom have full British citizenship. He is a drum and bass/ jungle MC, music tutor and community worker (AKA Madrush MC), and has been part of the Manchester music scene for his entire life.
He has been detained and is currently being held at Harmondsworth Removal Centre. Along with 50 other people, he is due for deportation to Jamaica on Tuesday 5th February – the day before the #Stansted15 sentencing.
This is the first plane to attempt to deport people to Jamaica since the Windrush scandal. They will be escorted by large numbers of security personnel. There are more than 50 people who need our immediate support.

We stand with #Stansted15, who face sentencing this week: Support the solidarity protest, Wed 6 Feb

This Wednesday, 6 February, the #Stansted15 activists who bravely and peacefully protested a deportation flight, face their sentencing in Chelmsford at the Crown Court. Stand Up To Racism is supporting the solidarity protest called by End Deportations, from 8.30am, New Street, CM1 1EL.
If you are able to get to Chelmsford to support the protest, contact us at info@standuptoracism.org.uk. But everyone can do something to show their support: download the ‘solidarity selfie’ poster HERE Whether in your workplace, college, community or just yourself, you can take a picture with the message of solidarity and share it including #Stansted15 and @AntiRacismDay. If you don’t have Twitter or other social media access, you can email it to info@standuptoracism.org.uk and we can share it for you. 
The #Stansted15 were found guilty in December of a terror-related offence after they peacefully prevented a secretive deportation flight from leaving last March.
These activists are an incredible inspiration to millions of people who are enraged and horrified at the injustice of how refugees are forced to suffer at the hands of Fortress Europe and the British government’s ‘hostile environment’ that regularly sees parents stripped from their children, lives put in extreme danger as deportation flights take off to deport people, and the horror of life for those in detention centres.
They now face an uncertain future, and the implications of the use of anti-terror legislation in this case poses a threat to the civil liberties and right to protest of us all. This sentence is intended to smash the anti-racist movement’s resistance to this government’s racist policies.
They need the full solidarity of our mass, broad movement – we all must get behind them now to send the message loud and clear that refugees are welcome here, and that the charges against the #Stansted15 heroes must be dropped.

Turkey: Fighting for democracy under authoritarian rule

Date And Time

Sat 9 February 2019

10:00 – 17:00 GMT

Location

Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London, WC1H 9BD

View Map

Our 3rd annual SPOT conference provides an ipportunity to hear from those who have seen and experienced the reality of life under Erdogan’s authoritarian regime and invites you to find out more about what we are already doing to build international solidarity and call to account both the Turkish State and the complicity of our own government.

On the day we will be joined by the following speakers;

• Deniz Yucel, Die Welt

• Ben Hicks, The Guardian Foundation

• Cagri Sari, Evrensel Newspaper

• Mustafa Kuleli, TGS

• Sarah Clarke, Article 19

• Aidan White, Ethical Journalism Network

• Mustafa Yalciner, Labour Party of Turkey

• Kate Osamor, Labour Party MP

• Ali Seker, CHP MP

• Lindsey German, Stop the War Coalition

• Bermal Aydin, Academic

• Steve Sweeney, Morning Star

• Aydin Cubukcu, Yeni E Editor

• Arif Kosar, Journalist

• HDP Rep / MP (TBC)

• Mark Serwotka, Public & Commercial Services Union (TBC)

• Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union (TBC)

• Feray Aytekin Dogan, EgtimSen (TBC)

Turkey’s ruling powers are pushing the country towards a dictatorship and Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s attacks on democracy are impacting all sections of society. With this increasingly authoritarian regime, the state of emergency has become normalised and entrenched in law, an executive presidency created, independent media outlets shut down, academics and public-sector workers purged and criminalised, attacks on Kurdish regions intensified, opposition politicians arrested, violence against women on the rise, discrimination and hate crimes against LGBT increasing, the environment being destroyed and so the list goes on.

Meanwhile, world leaders watch unflinching, continuing to sell weapons and tip-toeing around Turkey’s human rights record. But the battle for democracy and workers’ rights in Turkey goes on and provides a ray of hope. And we know that democracy maybe denied but it is not yet lost.

Register.

 

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