Solidarity 094, 1 June 2006

Witch-hunt against "foreign" criminals - This is racism!

By Mike Rowley

ONE of the most grotesque aspects of last month’s local election campaign was the media frenzy about “foreign criminals” being released from prison. If the gutter press is to be believed, the streets of Britain are teeming with rapists and murderers who have been let out of prison solely due to the extreme leniency of the government.

Lecturers’ pay fight: stand firm!

By a NATFHE conference delegate

THE further and higher education lecturers’ union, NATFHE, met for its last conference on 27-29 May. On 1 June NATFHE merges with the Association of University Teachers to form the University and College Union (UCU). The backdrop to the conference was the bitter dispute in universities which started with a national strike in March, followed by a marking boycott and work to rule.

CWU says no shoo-in for Brown

For the first time, a major union has put down a marker for the forthcoming Labour Party leadership contest.

At its conference in Bournemouth on 21-26 May, the Communication Workers’ Union voted to support, in the forthcoming Labour Party leadership election, only candidates who support the principles of trade union rights as outlined in the proposed Trade Union Freedom Bill — and who are committed to keeping the Post Office in 100 per cent public ownership.

New win for religious bigots

An exhibition of paintings by the internationally renowned Indian painter M F Husain was recently closed for “security reasons”. The announcement by the exhibition hosts, Asia House, the was a reaction to a protest by the so-called “Hindu Human Rights Group”.

Public sector union meets - Time to fight the NHS cuts

By a Unison member

At the conference for health workers in Unison back in April, delegates voted for a vibrant national campaign against the cuts in the NHS. The lumbering machinery of the union is now slowly starting to move. It supported the 11 May lobby of parliament, originally called by the Royal College of Nursing and there is now some mention of a national campaign on Unison’s website!

Capitalist swamp breeds racism

By Joan Trevor
There’s nothing like rumours of two ambitious politicians from the same party slugging it out in the backrooms to put the voters off politics.

Open warfare would be far better, where the public could judge whether there were actually differences of political substance between the protagonists or whether they were just fighting over when Buggins’ turn to be the king of the castle begins.

US Living Wage activists tour UK

Brie Phillips and Diane Foglizzo from the US student Living Wage Action Coalition (pictured above with Laura Schwartz of No Sweat) have been on tour with No Sweat. They have been touring UK campuses promoting campaigns for Living Wages for all campus workers.

Diane was a student activist at Georgetown University, and was an organiser and hunger-striker during the Georgetown Living Wage campaign which lifted wages for low-paid campus cleaners.

Uniting the strands of the student left

The second Education Not for Sale activist gathering on 27 May saw sixty or seventy student campaigners converge on the University of Sussex Students’ Union to discuss issues ranging from top-up fees to the demand for a living wage. In an era when even much of the student left doesn’t bother to organise open, grassroots-focused activist events, ENS’s commitment to doing so can help establish it as a forum for student radicals interested in doing more than r-r-revolutionary sloganeering or bureaucratic hackery.

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