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.

Reinstate David Muritu (UCU)

David is UCU Branch Secretary, Sandwell College.
He was summarily dismissed for writing the word “racist” on a Prevent poster.

David was a member of our NATFHE branch at Harrow College when I was Branch Secretary.
He’s a committed trade unionist and hard-working Maths lecturer.

He has support from UCU and Angela Rayner (see link below) and please circulate.

https://speakout.web.ucu.org.uk/reinstate-david-muritu/

We need real investment in adult learning, says TUC

Commenting on the publication today (Thursday) of the Augar Review into post-18 education and funding, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Everyone should have access to quality education and training whatever stage of life they are at. But our further education sector has been cut to the bone by years of devastating cuts.

“This review is right to call for more support for our colleges. And for maintenance grants to be brought back.

“The government must repair the damage austerity has caused and properly invest in adult learning.

“As the world of work changes working people will need to keep gaining new skills throughout their career.” Editors note

The TUC welcomes the commitment to fully funded education and training up to level 3 (A Levels or equivalent) for all ages

– The TUC is calling for:

  • A new lifelong learning account open to all adults incorporating fully funded skills entitlements, including an entitlement for all adults to achieve their first Level 3 qualification and a retraining entitlement to support career change for those already with a Level 3 qualification
  • A right to a mid-life skills/career review for workers and development of a high-quality skills/careers advice service for all adults
  • Reform of the right to request time to train so that it is changed to a new strengthened entitlement to paid time off for education and training
  • Government to set an ambition to increase investment in both workforce and out of work training to the EU average within the next five years
  • TUC is also supporting the current employer/union led Love Colleges campaign, which is calling for:
    • 1. Increased funding for colleges and adult skills. 
    • 2. A new Level 3 entitlement for all adults.
    • 3. Ring-fenced funding for a fair pay deal for college staff

Education under a Labour Government

From fighting cuts to Labour’s New Education Service. Join us for talks from teachers, National Education Union activists and organisers on the challenges we face today and the opportunities a Labour Government can provide for the future. 

TUESDAY 18 JUNE, 6.30pm

Speakers: Martin Powell Davies, Maryam Asaria, Jumbo Chan and David Pinto-Duschinsky.
at the Old Hendon Ex-Service Men’s Club Ltd, 12 Heriot Road, NW4 2DG
Register here at Eventbrite. Organised by Hendon CLP and Barnet Momentum

Decolonising education: confronting racism on campus

Speakers include:

Kate Osamor MP • Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, poet and activist • Priya Gopal, Academic at University of Cambridge • Nita Sanghera, UCU Vice-President • Myriam Kane, NUS NEC • Naima Omar, Student Stand Up to Racism • more tbc

Sessions include:
Decolonising education • Challenging Islamophobia and Prevent • Kicking fascists off campus • Defending migrant students & workers • Confronting institutional racism

We have seen a massive rise in racism across society, from Tommy Robinson here to Trump in the US.

Students are often on the sharp end of this. Muslim students are treated as suspects from the Prevent agenda, EU nationals have their rights threatened by Brexit, and BAME students face institutional racism.

We have also recently seen attempts by the far right to gain a foothold on campus with groups like Generation Identity appearing at universities including Manchester, Bristol, Wolverhampton and Birkbeck.

This conference will bring together students, staff and education workers to discuss how we can decolonise our campuses and make them free from racism.

#LoveOurColleges – lobby/demo/rally

We are seeking help in promoting the #LoveOurColleges campaign against cuts in FE in England.  This will centre around a week of action, beginning on 15th October.  In addition to a media splash on the Monday and local activity on the Tuesday (more info to follow in due course) the week of action will include a demo, parliamentary lobby and rally in Westminster on:

Wednesday 17th October 2018

 #LoveOurColleges is being organised by a campaign coalition, which in addition to UNISON includes UCU, GMB, NUS, NEU, ASCL and the employers body Association of Colleges.

Three key actions we are looking for help with are as follows:

  1. Ensure FE members across all unions know about the event, encourage them to commit to attending and discuss joint travel arrangements with other unions at their colleges.  UCU in particular are laying on coaches.
  2. Intelligence on how many members are attending and from where etc.  This is a joint campaign with the AoC, college principals are being encouraged to allow staff to take time off from work to take part in the event.
  3. Activists should share info about the lobby etc. on social media.  Here are the twitter and facebook event links https://twitter.com/hashtag/loveourcolleges   https://www.facebook.com/events/2220544781546432

The timetable for the day is as follows:

11.30am – 12.30pm: Coaches arrive in London. Drop-off likely to be Waterloo Place (where march will form up). Provision to be made for those who may wish to go directly to Westminster rather than join the march, (venue TBC, likely Methodist Central Hall) with staff on hand to sign in, provide briefings and any other support.

12.30pm – 1.30pm: Union-led march from Waterloo Place to Parliament Square – all welcome. Others to have lunch, or begin holding meetings with MPs.

1.30pm – 2.30pm: Rally in Parliament Square. All encouraged to join.  (UNISON has a speaker slot at this, though as its the day of the NEC the speaker is still tbc)

2.30pm – 5.30pm: Lobby of parliament.

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