Solidarity 360, 15 April 2015

Killer cops are charged

Published on: Wed, 15/04/2015 - 09:20

Gemma Short

­Michael Slager, the cop who killed unarmed black man, Walter Scott, on 5 April in North Charleston, South Carolina, has been charged with murder.

The murder charge was brought only after an eye witness handed over to police mobile phone footage of the event showing Walter being shot eight times in the back as he ran away from Slager. The witness also said there was a struggle in which Slager used his taser on Walter before Walter got away and ran.

Police spokespeople has originally reported that Walter had taken Slager’s taser and used it against him. The video shows Slager picking up the

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 15/04/2015 - 09:08

Charlotte Zalens and Gemma Short

Following strikes on 3-4 February, 27-28 February and 2 March, management at the Information Commissioner’s Office have imposed the disputed new pay offer on staff.

This is despite half the staff having refused to sign up to the offer on an individual basis and demanding they negotiate with the recognised unions.

The pay offer was improved slightly as a result of the strikes, but it remains far short of meeting PCS’s demand for a 5% or £1,200 increase in annual pay.

Management have been keen to draw a line under the dispute and move on by making vague promises about looking for ways to “jump

End casualisation for fractionals!

Published on: Wed, 15/04/2015 - 08:52

Gerry Bates

Warwick University has set up a company, Teach Higher, which until the University backtracked, was going to be a means to outsource hourly paid academic staff. The University now say Teach Higher will not be a subsidary, but a department within the university. Staff will be directly employed on current terms and conditions.

It is good the University have backtracked but no one can be complacent. At the very least a Teach High “department” will be a way of streaming casualisation throughout the University — employment more hourly-paid academic staff.

Ultimately Teach Higher could become

Students battle against poverty

Published on: Wed, 15/04/2015 - 08:48

Beth Redmond and Omar Raii

At University College London, where as part of the Cut The Rent! Campaign activists have extracted plenty of shocking statistics from management, rent increases by 5% each year.

On top of that, the amount of money the university puts into maintaining the halls of residence decreases each year, while the profit they receive sky-rockets.

Because not much money is invested into the halls, they are often infested with cockroaches or mice. Things get broken and remain unrepaired or the water is shut off for days on end without students receiving any compensation.

On average, 95% of maintenance

Disabled people and the General Election

Published on: Wed, 15/04/2015 - 08:41

Janine Booth, co-Chair, TUC Disabled Workers’ Committee (personal capacity)

Over the last five years, the Tory-led government has targeted disabled people with cuts in benefits, closure of services, and attacks on jobs — backed up by a nasty ideological campaign to portray disabled people as “‘scroungers”‘, which has led to an increase in harassment and abuse. Getting rid of the Tories is literally a matter of life and death for some disabled people.

Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) is holding “‘a fortnight of Fight Back and telling politicians throughout the UK what we think of them and what they must do if they want our votes.”‘

Headline protests are targeting

Social housing not social cleansing

Published on: Wed, 15/04/2015 - 08:32

Charlotte Zalens

Social housing tenants in London have paid £50 million extra in rent over the last three years because housing associations have been re-categorising their properties, changing them from “‘social”‘ to “‘affordable”‘.

If a property is categorised as “‘affordable”‘, housing associations can charge up to 80% of market rate, as opposed to 40% for “‘social rent”‘. Tenants in properties catagorised as “‘social rent”‘ also get lifelong tenancies while no such guarantees exist for “‘affordable”‘ properties. As “‘social rent”‘ tenants move out (or when estates are redeveloped) housing associations are

Demand more from Labour!

Published on: Wed, 15/04/2015 - 08:25

Jill Mountford

Around 200 campaigners attended the 999 NHS Convention on Saturday 11 April in London to discuss building a united movement in defence of the NHS.

The organisers, GMB non-elected officers, are committed NHS campaigners who see a need to unite the vast though somewhat disparate movement of activists and campaigners around the country.

The 999 NHS Convention is one half of a group, 999 Call for the NHS, which split. This group marched 300 miles last summer in defence of the NHS. The other half of the split, still calling themselves 999 Call for the NHS, had their big conference to unite the

Stop calling Ed “red”

Published on: Wed, 15/04/2015 - 07:35

Harry Davies

It’s that time of the week when I read the Mail and whimper slightly.

I skipped past an article on polyamory (“‘The man who lives with two girlfriends!”‘) because they had made me feel angry enough about their coverage on mental health last week and it’s starting to feel a bit personal.

Anyway, party politics dominates, but the Mail is still insisting on not being insistent about anything.

First up, the heartwarming sight of Farage meeting a man who speaks no English.”‘Awkward!”‘ squawks the strapline, leading into a report of the UKIP leader’s promise not to send EU migrants home if he’s

600,000 under siege in Syria

Published on: Wed, 15/04/2015 - 07:28

Simon Nelson

Since March 2011, nine million Syrians have fled their homes with over 6.5 million internally displaced. Almost three million have sought refuge in Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon.

For more than two years 18,000 Palestinian refugees have been under siege in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, caught up in fighting between the Syrian government and the armed opposition, most recently Daesh/Islamic State. Fighting has intensified in the last few weeks.

The UN estimates that the residents are surviving on just 400 calories a day with conditions liable to get worse. There has been no running

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