International news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 9 January, 2013 - 11:24

Dave Quayle, the chair of the Political Committee of Unite, and Tony Woodhouse, the Unite Executive chair, have backed the campaign to defend Bob Carnegie, the Australian trade unionist facing legal charges for his role in a community protest in Brisbane.

The Wirral 9515 branch of Unite also passed a motion of support, and sent a very generous donation of £500 to the UK arm of the campaign. The Leeds branch of the Labour Representation Committee, which pledged its support in November 2012, has also sent a donation. This money was spent on producing a new leaflet explaining Bob’s case, copies of which can be ordered by emailing Daniel Randall at

Campaign materials have also been translated into Spanish and French, and are available online here.

Turkish police attack students

Turkish police brutally repressed a demonstration of students at METU University in Ankara on 18 December.

The students were protesting a visit by Prime Minister Erdogan when police attacked them using tear gas, water cannons, and rubber bullets. Turkish revolutionary socialist group Marksist Tutum (Marxist Attitude) commented: “The heavy police repression of protests, particularly student protests, is an ordinary thing in Turkey. The events in METU, Ankara, are just the last example of it. The AKP [Erdogan’s party] is becoming authoritarian and increasingly intolerant against any political opposition. They do not want any dissenting voice marring their image.”

• For more on the METU protests, see here

Reza Shahabi released

Iranian trade unionist Reza Shahabi was released on bail from the notorious Evin prison on 7 January.

He had been on hunger strike in protest at his treatment by prison guards and lack of medical attention for his deteriorating health. Reza is a bus worker and Treasurer of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company.

• For more, see the website of the International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran website here

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