Solidarity 154, 25 June 2009

Solidarity 3/154

Published on: Wed, 24/06/2009 - 23:56

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For a secular democratic Iran

Published on: Wed, 01/07/2009 - 13:34

Cathy Nugent

By Cathy Nugent

The demonstrations that took place in Tehran and other Iranian cities after the announcement of Iran’s Presidential election results on Friday 12 June were, up until Friday 19 June, growing bigger every day. We have seen the birth of a new political movement in Iran.
The movement is politically inchoate and lined up behind the “reformist” wing of the Islamist regime. But the movement is much more than the aspirations of its awful leaders. There has been in Iran for some years some grass-roots organisation — in the Universities, among the women’s groups and “civic organisations”

Activists spark fight on wind turbine closure

Published on: Sat, 27/06/2009 - 20:06

Patrick Rolfe

Three activists from Workers’ Climate Action and the AWL visited the Isle of Wight on 15-18 June because we had heard that the Vestas plant there — the only wind turbine blade factory in Britain — faces closure.

After four days’ work, we have a meeting set up, sponsored by Cowes Trades Council, to launch a campaign against the closure. We will be going back to the Isle of Wight, with other activists we hope, to build for that meeting in the week leading up to 3 July.

Our first contact was with officers of Cowes Trades Council. They, in turn, put us in touch with Geoff Lumley, the only Labour

More action needed

Published on: Sat, 27/06/2009 - 20:06

Colin Foster

An activist from the CWU union spoke to Colin Foster about the issues in the post following the London and Edinburgh strikes over job cuts on 19 June

There’s no decision yet made about the next lot of action, but there will have to be further action, because Royal Mail have not moved.

The problem is, these are local fights over a national issue, arising from the poor deal made after the dispute in 2007. That deal gave Royal Mail bosses a national commitment to “flexibility”, which has allowed them to do things they could never have done office by office.

There have been some mail centres

A fight for jobs and principle

Published on: Sat, 27/06/2009 - 20:06

an ESOL trainee teacher

Friday 12 June saw hundreds of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students, staff and supporters march in East London in protest at major cuts to ESOL announced at Tower Hamlets College.

The (overwhelmingly female) student protesters led chants on megaphones, carried placards with their own powerful slogans, and spoke eloquently and emphatically to the national press about what ESOL means to them.

Key messages were the need for English to allow them to support their children’s learning, so they can be a part of their communities and so they can work.

These women have developed not

A partial win at SOAS

Published on: Sat, 27/06/2009 - 20:06

The admin offices of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London were occupied from Monday 15 to Wednesday 17 June, in response to an immigration raid on SOAS cleaners.

The raid was organised by ISS, the contractor for SOAS, and several cleaners were deported.

The occupation ended with concessions from the SOAS administration. SOAS agreed to write to the Home Secretary asking for leave to remain for the cleaners not deported; to “discuss the possibility of” bringing cleaning in-house; to “acknowledge” UCU (lecturers’ union) policy of non-cooperation with immigration raids; and

Barnet: a battle lost but who’s winning the war?

Published on: Sat, 27/06/2009 - 20:06

Joan Trevor

Despite a lively campaign against the plans, Barnet’s Conservative Cabinet voted on 8 June to axe the borough’s sheltered housing wardens.

They will be replaced with ‘floating support’ — a much reduced number of wardens operating out of a handful of local ‘hubs’. In theory the floating supporters will also serve elderly residents not in sheltered housing schemes. Since the budget for all of this has been cut from £1.4 million to £950,000 it’s clear that services to elderly people in the borough have been reduced.

Cuts like these are happening around the country; it’s a shame that there has

SERCO guards attack hunger strikers

Published on: Sat, 27/06/2009 - 20:06

“On 17 June we, the detainees in the Family Unit (Crane) at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre, were attacked at around 2 pm by SERCO officers from Immigration. [SERCO is the contractor that runs Yarl’s Wood].

This is due to the fact that we decided to do a hunger protest, which is peaceful.

Our children are sick. There are a lot of people here that are sick. There is a woman with epilepsy who is not been taken care of properly.

On 17 June we are all sitting in the corridor when suddenly we saw lots of hefty men coming towards us. They pounced on the men they found in the corridor, who

Justice for the SOAS 9!

Published on: Sat, 27/06/2009 - 20:06

Two weeks after nine cleaners at SOAS were taken into detention, campaigners are calling for action for justice for the SOAS 9.

They are also appealing for solidarity with detainees in Yarl’s Wood detention centre who are on hunger strike for demand including freeing children who are detained, adequate access to health care, quality food and real privacy.

• Day of action, 27 June: info on and

• Send messages of solidarity for the hunger strikers to:

• Contact SERCO (who run Yarl’s Wood) and demand that the

Tube strike hits hard

Published on: Sat, 27/06/2009 - 20:06

The two days of strike action on the London Underground over pay, job cuts and management bullying, 9-11 June, were a big success, with management unable to get services running until well into the morning, and then only token shuttles for PR reasons.

The day we started striking, RMT and management reached a deal at ACAS, only for management to “get a phone call” and pull it. The “deal” may not even have been that great, but management showed their true colours: claiming to want a deal then backing out when one was on the cards.

Perhaps management hoped that ASLEF, another union which

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