Delegation to the West Bank
CAMPAIGNERS IN Preston were delighted last week when they received an official invitation from the Palestinian Authority to visit the West Bank as part of a fact-finding trip.
The invite, to Socialist Alliance councillor Michael Lavalette, came in the wake of the campaign to twin Preston with Nablus. Though unsuccessful, the campaign gained substantial publicity both nationally and internationally-prompting the invite.
Mukhtar Master, chair of Preston Stop the War, will be going on the visit. He said, 'We want it to be as representative as possible, involving councillors, trade unionists, Stop the War supporters and people from the local Asian community.'
Trade union reps in the North West interested in going on the trip (4-11 September 2004) should contact Michael c/o Preston City Council, Town Hall, Lancaster Road, Preston.
Campaign keeps job centre open
A CAMPAIGN has stopped the closure of a job centre in Whitstable, Kent. The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) announced in August last year that they intended to close job centres in Whitstable, Faversham and Gillingham in Kent.
Socialists immediately set up a campaign to fight the closures. They held a public meeting and then a demonstration. Constant pressure was kept up which eventually culminated in the DWP deciding that the Whitstable job centre was to remain open.
Signs point to one L of a fight
MEMBERS OF the PCS civil servants' union in the Driving Standards Agency began a strike ballot this week.
The 2,200 staff have received no pay offer, even though it was supposed to be settled by 1 August 2003. There are 1,500 driving examiners and 700 admin staff. Non-members have been joining the union across the country.
Many members of the admin staff earn as little as £10,250. The ballot will end in early February.
Important date for NUT activists
ACTIVISTS IN the National Union of Teachers are to meet in Leeds a week on Saturday (31 January) to discuss the election for the union's general secretary.
A meeting of left wing activists before Christmas agreed a platform to fight the election on.
The Leeds meeting is a key opportunity to agree a candidate and to launch a vibrant, united campaign.
Protest against Turkish jails
IT IS three years since the Turkish government sent thousands of soldiers and police into over 20 prisons to smash a protest against inhuman isolation cells.
Supporters of the prisoners have been on hunger strike in north London and have called a solidarity rally for Saturday.
Assemble 2pm, Saturday 24 January, Seven Sisters tube.