Solidarity 048, 18 March 2004

Beat back the racists!

Racists. Rich racists. Media billionaires cynically using racism to create scapegoats. Britain has too many of them.
One sick tabloid headline after another tries to make the gullible believe that Britain's big problem is too many migrants, too many refugees winning asylum, or migrants getting a few thousand pounds in social security.

Not a word about the billions siphoned off in profits by big companies and banks, British and international. Not a word about the social cost of cuts and privatisation.

No deportations! Support hunger strikers!

The National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns (NCADC) is urging support for three Iranian Kurds from Glasgow who have been on hunger strike for three weeks.
They have been refused asylum, but believe that if they are returned to Iran they will face torture and even execution for their political activism in support of the Kurdish Democratic Party.

The three have stitched their lips together in a symbolic illustration of the failure of the UK government to hear about the suffering of the victims of brutal regimes where human rights are violated.

The miners' strike 1984-5: The events

The second in our series looking back at the miners' strike details the events up to April 1984.
21 March 1984: power unions (including the GMB) advise their members to cross picket lines. Steelworkers will also cross picket lines.

Workers of the World - ROUND-UP

  • Zanón factory - two years under workers' control
  • Anti-privatisation protest in Thailand
  • Korean workers win wider union rights

Zanón factory - two years under workers' control

Every day, the 330 workers of Zanón Ceramics Factory who both work at and run the largest ceramic floor-tile factory in Argentina are, legally speaking, usurping the factory and its machinery.

Oppose Blunkett's anti-terror measures!

UK current legislation includes the Terrorism Act 2000, enacted to harmonise the separate laws covering Britain and Northern Ireland.
544 people have been arrested under the Act, but only 98 charged with offences under the Act. A few of those arrested under the Act have been charged with other offences.

This ratio of many arrests - and detentions - to few convictions is unusual. Civil rights lawyers have accused the authorities of using the Act simply to go fishing for wrongdoing among those they suspect but against whom they have little clear evidence.

Guantanamo, anti-terrorism legislation - War on terror: war on rights

By Rosalind Robson

It will be a long time before the full truth emerges about the penal camps on the US military base at Guantanamo Bay - if indeed the truth ever does emerge. Despite nearly 100 releases so far, as many as 660 men are still being held in conditions of near secrecy.
Some of the truth about what is happening to these people the US government styles as "enemy combatants" has been leaked out by visiting journalists.

Play Fair at the Olympics

In the lead-up to the Athens Olympic Games in August, the Clean Clothes Campaign, Oxfam and trade unions across the world will be campaigning for sportswear workers' rights.
The campaign was launched on 4 March with events in more than 25 countries.

In Canada, Bruce Kidd, a Canadian athlete, raised a clothes-line of brand name sportswear with statistics highlighting the abuse of workers' rights.

In Austria, the federation of trade unions launched the campaign with an action in front of the office of the Austrian Olympic Committee.

Haiti - Poverty and instability

Mark Osborn spoke to Charles Arthur of the Haiti Support Group about the situation in Haiti now

Charles explains: the current US intervention numbers about 1,500 troops, and the total foreign force comes to about 2,500.

These forces are concentrated in Port-au-Prince. They have visited other towns, but have no permanent presence there.

Haiti Free Trade Zone - Paramilitaries are helping the bosses

An attempt to violently break the union-organising drive at the Ouanaminthe Free Trade Zone in north-east Haiti on 1-2 March has been met by a wave of international solidarity in support of the Haitian trade unionists.
34 members of the newly formed Sokowa union were fired, and irregular paramilitaries attacked other workers at the Grupo M factory. In response thousands of emails were sent by trade unionists and activists from all over the world, forcing the Grupo M management to meet the Batay Ouvriye (Workers' Fight) union federation.

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