Civil liberties, justice, crime

"Questions of democracy are where to focus our energies"

Clive Lewis, Labour MP for Norwich South, spoke to Sacha Ismail in late March. There could still be another 30,000 deaths as we approach the end of lockdown, and maybe much more. Even with the vaccine program at full tilt, in the absence of a proper test and trace system, an isolation system and social support for people, it’s still potentially a dire situation and could overwhelm the NHS. NHS workers have launched their demand for a 15% pay rise. Do you support that? Yes, absolutely. We need to aim high. I’m completely behind their demand. What are the main things you’re working on at the...

Osime Brown: how we stopped a deportation

From Neurodivergent Labour On 15 June, the Home Office decided that it would not proceed with their barbaric intention to deport autistic, learning-disabled man Osime Brown to a place he has no knowledge of. The victory comes after more than a year of campaigning by a coalition of activists and organisations, under the instrumental guidance of Osime’s mum, Joan. When ND Labour came into the campaign about a year ago, awareness about the case was limited to a layer of autistic and neurodivergent activists and migrants’ rights groups. It was a campaign typical of the classic style: a petition...

Italian FedEx striker beaten by bosses' thugs

A courier for FedEx in Northern Italy, Abdelhamid Elazab, has been in a coma in hospital after being beaten around the head with a broken pallet by thugs brought in to attack protesting workers on 11 June. Nine other FedEx workers from Piacenza were injured less seriously. The report from the workers’ trade union SI Cobas says they were attacked by men from Zampieri Holdings, the shipping company at whose warehouses in Lodi, thirty miles from Piacenza, the protest took place. The union calls Zampieri a “mafia organisation” and the “armed hand” of FedEx. It says the police stood by and allowed...

Osime Brown: stop the deportation

Saturday, 12 June: assemble noon at the Home Office 2 Marsham St London SW1P 4DF, march to Parliament Square. Campaigners have already stopped Osime Brown, an autistic young man jailed under the Joint Enterprise law, from being deported to Jamaica (where he has no support or connections), immediately on release from jail. Now they aim to block the deportation altogether at the Judicial Review. • Facebook event

An easy excuse for anti-leftist clampdown in Russia

“This whole story feels as if suddenly, a truck drove into you on the street,” said Svetlana Gordienko, a resident of Russia’s far-eastern Khabarovsk. “Except imagine if it turned out that having a truck driven into you was something totally normal, and legal.” The situation Svetlana is now in began in May 2021, when a squad of 11 officials swarmed her apartment, where she lives with her partner Maksim Smolnikov, and her two children. “They had already started to break down the door, but I managed to open it,” Svetlana recalled. “The riot policemen burst into the house and pushed Max up...

Women's Fightback: The Tarun Tejpal case - rape victim on trial

In India, a judge has thrown out charges against journalist and publisher Tarun Tejpal, accused of raping a female colleague. The allegations attracted a lot of attention as it involved a major media figure. His magazine was one of the leaders in Indian investigative journalism, his publishing house India Ink represented major figures, and he was often seen with friends Arundhati Roy and VS Naipaul. Not content with acquitting the accused, the judge went on to question the character of the alleged victim. The 527-page judgment reads like a checklist of sexist tropes on rape victims. Judge...

Right to protest, right to strike

The campaign to stop the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is relaunching on 29 May with a fourth national Kill the Bill day of action: information here. Labour movement activists should get out on the streets with trade union, Labour Party and campaign delegations and banners. Socialists need to push harder in the labour movement, both trade unions and Labour Party, to mobilise it in support of the struggle against the Police Bill. We need to widen discussion, in the labour movement and among Kill the Bill activists, about the right to protest. If the Police Bill passes, it will...

Letters: Early economic convulsions; More to condemn; Communist for clampdown?

Climate science predicts that different crises will unfold at different time scales and under different emissions scenarios. The purpose of my article (Solidarity 589) was to argue that economic convulsions will be an early rather than a late impact of climate change, and may well begin in anticipation of the major civilisation-rocking crises like sea-level rise. Further, that these convulsions will occur at a time when the dawning realisation of climate change — that the future is one of escalating and multiple crises piling up and compounding each other — becomes hegemonic. I expect these...

Activist agenda: Uyghurs, health and safety, neurodivergent people and councils

The Uyghur Solidarity Campaign and the Hong Kong campaign LMSHKUK will protest on 4 June from 7 pm outside the Chinese Embassy in London: “Remember Tiananmen 1989 -Democracy, freedom, workers’ rights for China, Hong Kong, Tibet, and Uyghurs”. The Safe and Equal campaign is putting together a model Covid safety survey. It wants health and safety reps to use this period where there is a lull in the pandemic to conduct workplace inspections and a survey of the workforce. Health and safety reps have a legal right to paid time off for these duties. We don’t know if there will be future waves coming...

Police Bill: organise for a long haul

Thousands turned out in London on May Day to oppose the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, and there were demonstrations all over the country. Workers’ Liberty supporters were there in London and many other places, selling Solidarity and other literature, arguing for a push to bring the labour movement into the Police Bill fight, and to overturn the anti-union laws and other earlier restrictions on the right protest. The London protest was a welcome change from the usual London May Day, which tends to be smaller, older, and with banners of Stalin and the like, which were completely...

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