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.

4 June: March Together Against Trump!

In early June, Stand Up To Racism along with others are preparing to protest Donald Trump’s planned visit to Britain. 

Last year, a quarter of a million mobilised to say no to Trump’s politics of hate and division. This time, we will take to the streets in even bigger numbers!

Trump is a symbol of the new far right. This is when we take stand together against the Tories’ “hostile environment” here too.

Read article where Stand Up To Racism co convenor Sabby Dhalu explains the importance of the march HERE

Join & share the Facebook event for 4 June demoHERE

Patients not Passports: Challenging Far Right Policies in the NHS

Through successive immigration acts, the Government has introduced a border regime into the National Health Service. Migrants are now charged upfront to use the NHS, denied care when they cannot prove their eligibility or pay, and are having their sensitive data shared with immigration officials, making many afraid of seeking care altogether.

Join Docs Not Cops, Migrants Organise, Medact, and supporting organisations for the launch of the Patients Not Passports toolkit and learn how together we can bring down the Hostile Environment in the NHS.

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The Windrush scandal, which revealed that British citizens were denied cancer care, is only the tip of the iceberg. Healthcare workers have reported elderly people being deported without adequate care, children with brain tumours being turned away, care being delayed until a condition is untreatable and countless examples of racial profiling, incorrect designations and other misapplications of the policy that prove its unworkability.

The charging regime is a manifestation of far right politics, now adopted and promoted by the Government. The Hostile Environment in the NHS constitutes a threat to migrant and BAME communities, as well as being a precursor to accelerated austerity. This makes the charging regime a key battle ground in the struggle against racism and austerity in Britain today.

Patients not Passports: Challenging Far Right Policies in the NHS will be an opportunity to learn about how the policies are affecting healthcare workers and migrant communities, the collective organising responses being formulated, and how you can get involved. The event will also publicly launch the Patients Not Passports campaigning toolkit which can be accessed online at www.patientsnotpassports.co.uk

The battle for Algeria’s streets begins: police attack protests as mass strikes sweep country

Protests and strikes demanding the new ‘transitional’ president Abdelkader Bensalah follow Bouteflika out of office are gathering pace across Algeria. On the railways, in the ports, government offices, schools, universities and across large swathes of manufacturing, workers are walking out or going into occupation in solidarity with the continuing demonstrations in major cities demanding that all the key figures associated with the old regime step down.

But the regime is fighting back: police attacked a major student protest outside the Post Office in the capital Algiers on 9 April. Trade union federation COSYFOP condemned the attack on student protesters by security forces and urged workers to join the general strike planned for 10 April: “The strike continues, and we will escalate our action until we win freedom,” the federation said in a statement on Facebook.

Thousands of demonstrators were met again with police water cannons and tear gas on 10 April, but news reports showed large crowds continuing to rally despite the efforts of police to smash the protests. Thousands could also be seen in reports from social media marching in other major cities including Tizi Ouzou, Bouira, Tiaret, Annaba, Blida, Batna, and Tlemcen. School and university students are leading many of the demonstrations, alongside their teachers who have been at the forefront of strike action in recent years.

What you can do:

 

 

  • Send a message of solidarity to trade unions and student unions in Algeria – email menasolidarity@gmail.com and we will pass it on or let you know where to send direct
  • Download a copy of our briefing on teachers’ struggles with a model motion: [Teachers_MENA_2019]

Windrush, Racism and the Hostile environment: meeting last Monday with campaigning lawyer Jacqueline McKenzie

Although Diane Abbott was not able to attend the meeting last minute, due to the ongoing parliamentary Brexit deadlock, Barnet TUC and Barnet Momentum were very privileged to have an inspiring and heartfelt speech from one of the hardest working human rights lawyers in Britain. Jacqueline McKenzie has been at the forefront of fighting for the rights of the so-called Windrush Generation, a group of people affected by systemic injustice that, as she reminded the audience, most of the public only really became aware of this time last year.

SEE VIDEO OF MEETING

McKenzie took us through some of the terrible cases she has had to deal with, involving people who frequently had no idea that their rights to remain in Britain were under threat, suddenly facing threats to their very lives and basic safety due to being deported to countries they frequently hardly knew. The background to this, she explained has been decades of increasingly severe nationality legislation. Although Theresa May’s term as Home Secretary may have ushered in the worst of it, the sad truth is both major parties have contributed over time to laws that disadvantage mainly from from majority non-white countries. This disproportionately affects the poorest and most disadvantaged of those people, who are least able to to pursue ever more complex processes to prove that they can live and work in Britain. Although many of the high profile cases have concerned Caribbean and African people, McKenzie warned that many more people can and will be affected. She cited the recent decision by current Home Secretary Sajid Javid to strip so-called “ISIS bride” Shamima Begum of British citizenship as an example of the rules being made unnecessarily tougher yet again: Begum is a defenceless teenager, with no real hope of making a life in her parents’ native Bangladesh, and taking British nationality from her has been cruel and unjust decision that too many have been slow to oppose.

We left the meeting in no doubt that our movement must to much more to fight racist, discriminatory and repressive immigration laws, and there was an impassioned plea for the event to be a starting point for greater anti-racist activity in our borough by Stand Up to Racism.

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.

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