Category Archives: International

Keep Space for Peace week

This week, activists from around the world are holding actions and protests to demand an end to plans for a US Space Force during the annual Keep Space for Peace week.

In June, President Trump made a highly controversial announcement: he directed the Pentagon to develop a ‘Space Force’ – a new branch of the US military, ‘separate but equal’ to the US Air Force – to ensure ‘American dominance in space.’

Here in Britain, at Menwith Hill outside of Harrogate in North Yorkshire tonight, a demonstration will take place between 6pm and 7.30pm. All are welcome to join. See Global Network Against Weapons website for more events.

Future Wars Conference: The Impact of New Technologies
10th November • London

The US Space Force will be a major theme of our Future Wars Conference that will explore The Impact of New Technologies, taking place on the 10th November in London.

Speakers include Duncan Campbell investigative journalist Arielle Denis ICAN Campaigner Stuart Parkinson Scientists for Global Responsibility Ted Seay Former NATO arms control advisor Elke Schwartz Lecturer in International Politics at LSE Carol Turner London Region CND Dave Webb CND and Lucas Wirl International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility.

7th October | Weekend of action – Troops Out Now!

7th October will mark the 17th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan by the US, the UK and several of its allies. According to a conservative estimate, 217,000 Afgans have died as a direct result of the fighting.

Over a thousand more UK soldiers have recently been deployed to the country, although UK military intervention has been leading to more bitterness and more violence.

We are calling for action on the weekend of 7th October to demand the immediate withdrawal of UK troops from Afghanistan. We are asking supporters and local Stop the War groups to organise street petitions, stunts and protests. In London we will be handing in a letter of protest on Friday 5th October at Downing Street. You can download the petition here.

Amigo Month Event – Friday 5 October 2018

Friday 5 October 2018

19:00 – 20:30

TUC London, East and South East (LESE) Celebrates Amigo Month 

TUC Congress House, 23-28 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS

Amigo Month is a 5-week period of hundreds of events celebrating the history, culture and contribution of the UK’s three million Spanish/Portuguese speakers, and opens on Monday 7 September, National Day in Brazil and Mozambique. Amigo Month commemorates friendship and promotes cultural, artistic, social, economic and tourist links amongst the Spanish and Portuguese speaking world and Latin America with Britain and remembers the history and heritage of the “amigo” communities that have lived in Britain and London for thousands of years.

Please register: 020 7467 1218 / lese@tuc.org.uk

This event is supported by LESE International Affairs Committee 

CND Trade Unions: Trident and Jobs

Trident’s replacement will cost at least £205 billion of public money. A staggering figure, particularly when we consider the nuclear weapons system has no real military value and is useless in the face of the real threats we face today, such as terrorism, climate change and cyber-attacks and could be rendered obsolete by new technology. But many try to argue that this investment is worth it because of the jobs the nuclear weapon system sustains.

People’s livelihoods matter. But an objective appraisal of the jobs associated with Trident, Britain’s nuclear weapons system, and its replacement will demonstrate that these are among the most costly jobs ever created. By simply re-directing a proportion of the money allocated to the Trident replacement programme to other industries, it would be possible to create many more, highly specialised and well-paid jobs. This transition programme would directly benefit those currently working on Britain’s nuclear weapons. Society as a whole would benefit from the shift to more productive jobs. And of course, humanity as a whole would benefit from the reduction in the numbers of weapons of mass destruction.

 

Read report here: Trident-and-Jobs

Stop the War’s Annual General Meeting – 8th September

Our Annual General Meeting will take place this year on September 8th in London. It will look at the belligerent policies of the Trump administration, including the development of a new US “national security” strategy and of the new Nuclear Posture Review, which open the possibility of using nuclear weapons in conflicts with non-nuclear countries, and of deploying “smaller” and more precisely targeted “tactical nuclear weapons”. The conference will also look at Britain’s continuing wars.

Stop the War’s AGM is part of the regular democratic process of the Stop the War Coalition and is the place where we decide policy and elect our steering committee for the coming year. It is also a great place to meet fellow campaigners and exchange ideas and practice.

 

The conference is open to all paid up members of Stop the War, who have voting rights. Stop the War’s local groups can send up to 4 delegates each, and affiliated organisations 2 delegates. All have full voting and speaking rights. Groups and affiliates can propose one resolution each. The date for the new members to join and attend the conference is 25th August 2018. Join now so you can attend the conference.

We need to strengthen anti-war voices and to organise against what our government is doing. Please book your places now.

Report on a useful TUC London, Eastern and South Eastern regional meeting

LESE, as it is now known, had a pretty useful meeting today, so those of us that were willing to not be at the football or Pride were able to say it wasn’t a wasted morning.

In addition to some good motions on abortion rights (pushing for women in Northern Ireland to gain these rights following the success of the Irish referendum) and setting up a homes and housing sub-committee, my own union, TSSA, moved a well-received motion on ‘climate jobs’. As the world sweats in a record-breaking heatwave, our regional TUC has now resolved create a sub-group on environmental sustainability and just-transition for workers and create a detailed plan for creating climate jobs. A further TSSA motion, urging a reconsideration of hugely controversial third runway at Heathrow, was ruled out-of-order because the TUC nationally supports the runway, but a long-standing TSSA activist with air traffic experience did get the opportunity to explain the union’s concerns that, in addition to the serious environmental case against the third runway, the employment and transport infrastructural case are also questionable. Ultimately, Heathrow has a bloated air traffic agenda because airlines are businesses that chase profits: a third runway does not fix this.

The first guest speaker was Phillipa Harvey, an NEU executive member and leading activist with Palestine Solidarity Campaign. She urged that the unions’ support for Palestinian rights remains as essential as ever. The relocation of the US embassy by Donald Trump in to Jerusalem has resulted in a massive crackdown in paltry autonomy Palestinians had up to recently had in the West Bank, as witnessed by the recent brutal destruction of a traditional Bedouin village. Imprisonment of children, currently highly controversial in America, is extremely common in Israel. But no situation is more serious than that of Gaza, the scene of so many killings of unarmed people by the Israeli army, which is estimated to become unliveable in just 18 months. Without urgent action by the international community, things will undoubtedly reach new levels of horror in Palestine.

The last guest speaker was particularly interesting. Victor Figueroa is former LSE academic who has been working with the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) to produce a study of the impact of new technology on transport work and workers worldwide. The full report will be out in September, but Victor gave us a digested preview. His finding is that the main narrative – that new tech is primarily about automation, that 100% automation is unstoppable and that this either the best or worst thing ever (depending on who you ask) – is largely a marketable fiction. In reality, automation is constantly running into limitations (no, crew-less freight ships aren’t coming) and never completely eliminates labour (‘fully automated’ warehouses have almost 50% of the staff they had pre-upgrade). Automation and AI are also not as important, in many ways, as data, but not enough people in the international labour movement have considered data and they need to talk about it more. The most important thing said to us about technology is that whether it is a good or bad thing is absolutely dependant on who uses it and how they use it: capitalism will not create a utopia with technology, it will use it make profits and this will mean that new tech it introduces will exacerbate existing inequalities. It is with this knowledge that our movement should seek to create it’s own alternatives and this has to be a combination of worker’s organising and progressive governments and movements demanding strong regulation of how tech is used. The extract report is here:ITF – Transport Workers Building Power

The TUC Transport Industry Network, which I attend, is looking to hold a major event on automation in September, and the sorts of findings that the IFT have produced can hopefully feed into this, as can the ideas about transition to sustainable jobs.

National Demonstration Against Trump

The Together Against Trump national demonstration has now been called for Friday 13th July, the day Trump visits Britain, starting at 2pm at the BBC in Portland Place and marching to Central London.

Given the worldwide outrage at Donald Trump’s aggressive, chauvinistic and belligerent policies, this is a crucial demonstration. We are urging all our supporters to take half a day off work to make sure they come to the demonstration. Please promote the demo as widely as possible. We are asking our groups and supporters across the country to organise transport to the national demonstration.

Solidarity with the People Of Turkey sends its support to: Afrin medical aid concert

A night of Middle Eastern music at Union Chapel (N1 2UN) on Friday 25 May 2018, 19:30.

Nearest station: Highbury & Islington

This is a night not to be missed with great performances by the Metin Kemal Kahraman brothers and the Reflection of Silence band

We wish to create a memorable night in solidarity with Afrin and provide an opportunity to listen to great music that touches our souls so deeply.

All proceeds from this concert will go to help people displaced from Afrin, Rojava (Northern Syria). Around 450,000 civilians have been displaced and are in urgent need of aid. In the wake of this humanitarian crisis, Re-build as one of the few charities helping the region. The proceeds of this concert will be used to purchase an orthopaedic medical device costing £30,000.

By purchasing a ticket you can help us get one step closer to buying this device.

France: Rail unions fight against privatisation

The French railway workers have expressed their strong disapproval of the proposed reform of the railway system leading towards privatisation. They have been taking part in massive numbers in national mobilisations. The government has chosen not to open any serious negotiations with them. The unions want to guarantee high social standards within a future unified public group in the rail sector. The unions argue that competition is not a solution designed to improve the rail system, but instead enriches private companies and firms. They are calling upon the government to open real negotiations covering such issues as debt and funding, the relaunch of goods rail transport, employee benefits, the social rights of railway workers, taking workload back in-house and the organisation of production. Please show you support by sending your message to the French government.

Act now.

1 2 3 6