Solidarity 378, 30 September 2015

UK should take more refugees

Published on: Wed, 30/09/2015 - 12:32

Gerry Bates

On Wednesday 21 September a majority of EU Interior ministers agreed a plan to relocate 120,000 refugees across Europe over the next two years, allocating people to countries by a quota system.

Germany, with the largest population, will take the lion's share.

Slovakia, for instance, voted against the plan, and says it will defy it, although it will only be asked to take 2,000 people. And Finland, a richer country, which will be asked to take around 3,000, abstained in the vote. The plan has stirred up political reaction, especially in Hungary, where the right-wing government has built a fence

Germany: helping the refugees

Published on: Wed, 30/09/2015 - 12:29


According to the statistics, those who volunteer to help refugees are either between 20 and 30 years old or are older people.

Maybe those "in the middle", with a full-time job and young children, find it harder to make time.

I talked with an active trade union woman at work the other day, and she said that she doesn't volunteer but donates money to an organisation in Mannheim. Some volunteers are unemployed and need money if only for bus fares.

The volunteering is mostly through existing organisations but new groups have formed as well. There are least four new groups in Mannheim: Mannheim

Residents against raids

Published on: Wed, 30/09/2015 - 12:21

On 24 September, forty protesters staged a protest at 7.30 am outside Link House in Newcastle, the new regional base for Home Office enforcement teams — i.e. immigration dawn raids.

Dawn raids mean breaking into families homes and forcibly taking them into vans for deportation. These secret raids prevent families challenging it legally or getting support and leave families living in fear.

We protested and will continue to say no one is illegal.

Residents Against Raids

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 30/09/2015 - 11:55

Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens and Ollie Moore

Workers in Barnet will strike on 7 October in an ongoing fight against privatisation.

Social workers, coach escorts, drivers, occupational therapists, schools catering staff, education welfare officers, library workers, children centre workers, street cleaning and refuse workers will strike on 7 October as their services face outsourcing.

These workers are some of the only ones left directly employed by Barnet council after mass privatisation, as the “easycouncil” aims to reduce its directly employed staff to less than 300.

Barnet council has already privatised social care for adults with

US and Russia talk on Syria

Published on: Wed, 30/09/2015 - 11:25

Simon Nelson

David Cameron, following US policy, is calling for Bashar al-Assad to take part in an transitional arrangement for a “moderate” regime in Syria.

Cameron has not, so he says, changed his view that Assad must to, or that he should be tried for war crimes. But there has been a policy shift.

At the UN General Assembly Russia and the United States agreed to look for a diplomatic end to the Syrian civil war. How long or whether Assad remains in power is the dividing line between the two powers.

Meanwhile there has been a recent influx of Russian support to Assad. While Russia insists this is part

Turkey's war on Kurds

Published on: Wed, 30/09/2015 - 11:23

Hugh Edwards

After a declaration of “self-government” of Cizre by its council led by the Kurdish Peoples’ Democracy Party, the Turkish goverment launched an assault on the city.

A 24 hour curfew was imposed. An interview with one resident by Italian paper, il Fatto Quotidiano: “First they cut off the light, water, gas, then entered with tanks and thousands of soldiers and special ‘anti terrorist’ militia. From there they began to open fire on the population.“. The interviewee went on to describe an uninterrupted siege of eight days that left 21 civilians, including a 35 day-old baby, butchered; hundreds of

Torn by war

Published on: Wed, 30/09/2015 - 11:16

Muhsin Kareem

A bit more than a year ago, ISIL [Daesh] came to Iraq. When they came to Mosul, there were only 300 Daesh fighters.

Mosul is a big city, with thousands of soldiers and police. Within hours they all left the city. Masoud Barzani, the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government, said it was a chance for the Kurds to enlarge the Kurdish state.

Areas like Kirkuk had been in dispute between the central Iraqi government and the regional Kurdish government. Barzani said he would show the Iraqi government a surprise they had never expected, and took over Kirkuk. So some people think that there was

Aids drug hike: nationalise Big Pharma!

Published on: Wed, 30/09/2015 - 11:13

Charlotte Zalens

Last week US based Turing pharmaceuticals hiked the price of Daraprim, a medicine used by Aids patients, by 5,000%.

The drug, which costs $1 per dose to make, went from $13.50 per dose to $750 after Turing pharmaceuticals acquired the rights in August.

Turing pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli has defended the decision by saying that the $1 manufacturing cost of the drug does not factor in marketing and distribution.

Drugs should not need marketing! Nor should they be patented. Producing, testing and supplying life saving, life changing, or even just helpful drugs should be a public utility.

Junior doctors plan strike

Published on: Wed, 30/09/2015 - 11:06

Connor Peters

The Junior Doctors’ Committee of the British Medical Association plans to ballot its members for industrial action in response to government attempts to impose a new contract from August 2016.

Junior doctors believe the contract would increased the amount of hours seen as “plain time”; an effective pay cut for junior doctors, who do more out of hours work. The contract will also remove financial penalties for employers who overwork junior doctors.

The attempted imposition of the contract has led to a furious response from rank-and-file doctors, who demanded action from the BMA. A petition on

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