Socialist Worker

In brief

Issue No. 1925

Blunkett set to outlaw protester

HOME SECRETARY David Blunkett is set to ban “permanent encampments” outside parliament and the use of megaphones.

This legislation is targeted against the anti-war movement and campaigner Brian Haw, who has mounted a vigil outside parliament for three years against the “war on terror”.

Sait Akgul, a member of the Respect executive and a Kurdish campaigner, told Socialist Worker, “The government wants to demolish our rights to protest even further in the name of ‘security’. It wants to silence opposition and curb dissent.”

More injustices on the way

NEW LABOUR announced another assault on civil liberties this week with plans to make defendants reveal any past convictions in cases of theft and child abuse.

Matt Foot, a criminal defence solicitor, told Socialist Worker, “This will lead to worse policing and more miscarriages of justice. The police will arrest people on their previous record. The jury will judge clients on their past convictions, not the facts in front of them.”

Open verdict on refugee death

A CORONER’S court has recorded an open verdict on the death of Israfil Shiri, who walked into the offices of Refugee Action in Manchester last year and set himself on fire.

Israfil, a failed asylum seeker threatened with deportation to Iran, was destitute and denied access to a doctor.

Manchester coroner Leonard Gorodkin said Israfil’s actions “were those of a desperate man who couldn’t go back to Iran and was not able to stay here”.
Bob Pounder

Diego Garcians win a victory

THE DIEGO Garcian islanders, who the British government removed from their homes to make way for a US military base, are struggling for justice.

A number of Diego Garcians have moved to Britain.

Diego Garcian community leader Allen Vincatassin told Socialist Worker, “Many of them went to live in Gatwick airport terminal.

“We got a test case interim court order against Reigate and Banstead council to accomodate an individual.”

Send messages of support to British Indian Ocean Territories Islanders Movement, 11 Lime Close, Langley Green, West Sussex RH11 7NN.

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Sat 30 Oct 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1925
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