Over 500 people packed a meeting last Saturday to look at what has changed two years after the Macpherson report into the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence. Labour MP Diane Abbott spoke, condemning Jack Straw's decision not to sack Paul Condon, head of the Metropolitan Police, after the Macpherson report. The number of people at this year's meeting rose sharply from last year. But many felt frustrated that their high hopes for change in the wake of the Macpherson report have not been realised.
Hanan Ashwari, the prominent Palestinian politician, has now backed the national demonstration for Palestinian rights on Saturday 17 March in London. 'Unfortunately I cannot attend the Palestinian rights demonstration, but I strongly support this initiative, and I hope that as many concerned citizens, students and trade unionists as possible in the UK take part,' she said. Rally speakers include George Galloway MP, Tony Benn MP, Bruce Kent and Afif Saffieh. It assembles in Hyde Park at 11am.
Strike on air?
Air traffic controllers in the IPMS union could be on strike over the Easter period in protest at the government's plans to privatise the National Air Traffic Service. Scotland on Sunday revealed last weekend that there was an 80 percent vote for strike action in an indicative ballot. This means that there will now be another ballot which, if successful, will trigger a strike.
Protest at Gap
Campaigners plan protests outside Gap stores across Britain next week. The protests, called by the Globalise Resistance organisation, are to mark International Women's Day. They will highlight the appalling pay and conditions the workers, many of them young women, who make Gap clothes suffer in Third World countries.
Hundreds of students packed into an angry meeting at Luton University last week. They were furious at college management's plans to axe courses and exclude students who had not paid the tuition fees imposed by the New Labour government.