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!

Trump, The Special Relationship & War in the Middle East

As well as the current shifting sands of Trump’s Middle East policy, the scrapping of the INF treaty will also undoubtedly be high on the agenda at our upcoming public meeting on 16th February, as will the attempted coup in Venezuela. In light of these recent events this is a hugely important meeting at a time when these monumental issues are being masked by the ongoing Brexit wrangling.

Stop the War stalwarts Lindsey German and Tariq Ali will be joined by the excellent campaigning MP for Brighton Kemptown, Lloyd Russell-Moyle, and author and Oxford University Professor, Karma Nabulsi.

Get your ticket here!

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.

Capita fail to action fraud report recommendation

Capita have failed to action a key recommendation from the Grant Thornton report into a £2m fraud committed by a former Capita employee, according to a report discussed at Barnet Council’s Audit Committee (31 January).
Recommendation 15 seeks to ensure the Council’s payment system (BACS) is reviewed for the adequacy of controls over new suppliers where there is no purchase order, to make sure the Council is paying the correct bank accounts. This is a “High immediate” priority, as misuse of the BACS process and a lack of checking basic details such as bank accounts was a key reason the fraud was allowed to happen.
Grant Thornton, Barnet Council, and Capita all agreed to the action, but one Capita employee at a remote location disagreed and decided not to implement it. The news was met with disbelief from both Labour and Conservative Councillors.
Labour Audit spokesperson, Cllr Alison Moore said:
“There must be an investigation into how this was allowed to happen. We are 6 months on from the publication of the report, and our last update said this action had been submitted and verified for testing. It is completely unacceptable.”
Fellow Audit Committee member, Cllr Kathy Levine added:
“This is further evidence of how inept Capita are, and how they do not have proper processes in place: one local officer can override the instructions of the Council’s Director of Finance, the Council’s internal audit function, Grant Thornton, and even the Capita partnership managers. A Conservative Councillor called this the tail wagging the dog and they are very right.”
Ends.
Notes:
1. A copy of the update on the Grant Thornton recommendations can be found here (Agenda Item 7):
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