Civil liberties, justice, crime

Emergency powers: who checks?

Published on: Wed, 25/03/2020 - 08:46

Yes, any government would need emergency powers in an epidemic like this, to shut down activities which endanger not just those taking part, but others near them, and endanger the NHS too.

That does not mean that we should trust the Tories.

The government agreed under pressure to have the emergency powers reconsidered after six months, not to run for two years as they first proposed.

In this fast-moving emergency, that should be monthly.

Parliament should go online rather than either shutting or being depleted due to self-isolation. Make the government accountable!

The legislation gives

Covid-19: public health, and workers' rights too!

Published on: Tue, 24/03/2020 - 21:27


1. Requisition (in other words, take into emergency public ownership):

• private hospitals, so that all their resources are directly available to the NHS
• the pharmaceutical and medical-supplies industries, so that production can be ramped up in a coordinated way to meet the crisis
• manufacturing facilities which can be adapted to produce ventilators and other medical equipment
• hotels and empty houses, to use them for the NHS, for the homeless, and for domestic violence victims
• transport and logistics, so that essential deliveries and travel can be coordinated and planned
• the big

Assange: don't extradite, don't glorify

Published on: Wed, 26/02/2020 - 11:55

Sacha Ismail

We should oppose the extradition to the USA of Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, whose court battle against extradition has just started.

Those on the left who hail him as a political hero are wrong. But we should still oppose extradition.

Assange’s politics are a confused and noxious mix of “libertarian”, left-wing and right-wing. Moreover, credible charges of sexual assaults have been made against him in Sweden.

After a Swedish court blocked extradition in May 2019, the Swedish authorities announced in November 2019 that they had dropped their investigation.

But now, if extradited to the

Students back UCU strike

Published on: Wed, 26/02/2020 - 08:38

Maisie Sanders

Students have been joining the university workers’ union UCU on picket lines, organising stalls, leafletting, banner drops, joint rallies, teach-outs and fundraising gigs, and taking part in direct action.

Through the Student Strike Solidarity group, students across the country are discussing demands, tactics and sharing resources. In the run up to the strike, Student Strike Solidarity held days of action to start building student support and regular online

meetings. Next, we are planning a national meeting after the strikes to discuss how we can build on the momentum and rebuild the student

UVW demo 20 February

Published on: Tue, 18/02/2020 - 15:05

Ollie Moore

The United Voices of the World union (UVW) is planning a demonstration at St. George’s University in Tooting, south London, on Thursday 20 February.

UVW members working as outsourced security guards at the university, which is linked to an NHS hospital, have been striking to win greater parity with directly employed staff. Their picket lines have been subject to repeated attempts by the police, working in obvious collusion with the NHS Trust and the workers’ employer, Noonan, to break them up. UVW lawyer Franck Magennis was arrested, before being released without charge.

The demonstration on

We're still for a united Europe

Published on: Wed, 05/02/2020 - 12:16


The socialist left should vocally oppose the Tories’ Brexit plans. It should argue for a united Europe, and for the UK to rejoin the EU. It should fight for the broad labour movement, including the Labour Party, to argue and campaign for this too.

Almost all the Labour-leader candidates say that we have no choice but to “move on” while the Tories “get Brexit done”. Even Emily Thornberry, the most vocally anti-Brexit candidate, says only that Labour should have been more anti-Brexit.

That is wrong. Actual, really-existing Brexit involves a range of attacks on the interests of the working class.

"More jail" will not make society safer

Published on: Wed, 29/01/2020 - 11:45


The Tories are speeding through plans to expand the prison population and strengthen state powers of control and surveillance, supposedly to tackle Islamist-inspired terrorism.

They cite the murder of Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt by recently released terrorism convict Usman Khan in London Bridge last November as justification.

Those convicted will face more time in jail, with a minimum term of 14 years and the abolition of automatic early release. There will be more funding for counter-terrorism police and probation officers. Lie detector tests will be introduced into the probation system.


Labour leader: the contest so far

Published on: Wed, 29/01/2020 - 11:13

Mohan Sen

At the moment at least, I am not supporting any of the candidates for Labour leader. In hustings, I think, activists should ask pointed questions, and ask members to judge the candidates by their responses.

For example, no candidate has yet committed to work for wide democratic reforms in Labour’s still-largely-Blair-made structure. None has backed the Free Our Unions call for them to respect the 2019 Labour conference decision for repeal of all anti-union laws. None has said that they will seek to lead on-the-streets and industrial campaigning against Johnson.

Rebecca Long-Bailey,Salford and

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 29/01/2020 - 08:33

Ollie Moore and Darren Bedford

Although the action is yet to be announced, the next round of the university and college union (UCU) dispute appears set for the second half of February.

Where strike ballots exist, they are either related to action defending the USS pension scheme, or over casualisation, pay, workloads and equalities (the “four fights”), however in most universities live ballots exist for both disputes simultaneously. A further 37 branches are currently being re-balloted, which alongside the live 98, would significantly enhance the strike’s impact, which in November and December saw thousands of UCU members

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