Socialist Worker

PPP plan comes under microscope

Issue No. 1864

WORKERS AT the Forensic Science Service may go on strike against government plans to privatise it. The Prospect union, representing 1,400 scientists at the service, will decide this week whether to organise a strike ballot. The PCS civil service union, which represents 380 clerical staff at the forensic service, is also considering strike action.

The government plans to sell the service, which conducts forensic tests for the police, and run it as a public-private partnership.

Pride-but not in Iraq occupation

TENS OF thousands of people took part in the annual Brighton lesbian and gay Pride festival at the weekend. One of the biggest Pride marches anyone can remember made a colourful and political impact.

In addition to trade union banners there was a huge 'No Pride in Occupation' banner carried by anti-war activists. Stalls from campaigns such as the Anti Nazi League and the Committee to Defend Asylum Seekers in the park where the festival was held reported large amounts of interest.

They face death if returned to Iran

THE goverment has threatened to deport two Iranian asylum seekers living in Coventry. One faces imprisonment, the other execution, if forced to return. Shahin Portohfeh was sentenced to 74 lashes and death by stoning by an Iranian court for having a gay relationship. He stitched up his eyes, ears and mouth for six days in July when he was refused permission to stay.

Massoud Abdalian, a human rights activist, fled Iran after he was caught in possession of Salman Rushdie's book Satanic Verses. He has already seen his cousin executed and his uncle imprisoned.

For more information e-mail, phone 07712 047 873 or write to Save Shahin and Massoud campaign, PO Box 485, Coventry CV5 6ZP.

Follow Walker's anti-BNP model

FORTY representatives from trade unions, political parties, community groups, religious organisations and faith organisations attended the launch meeting of Newcastle Unites Against the BNP last week. The meeting also called a campaign meeting in the Walker area of Newcastle-where the Nazi BNP is contesting a council by-election.

Some 35 residents from the ward attended this meeting to draw up a campaign diary to counter the Nazis. The local residents, with the support of the CWU and Unison unions, have produced several thousand leaflets, stickers and balloons. A number of street meetings and parties have also been arranged.

A wagon with a sound system has been hired to drive around the ward. A community group is also arranging a barbecue for local people to meet asylum seekers. The campaign in Walker is seen as the model that we want to replicate in every area the Nazis raise their heads.

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Sat 16 Aug 2003, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1864
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