Exeter Palestine Solidarity Campaign recently hosted the visit of a dance and drama group from Balata Camp from Nablus on the West Bank. Some 250 people crowded into the hall to see A’edoon, a powerful drama of the experience of expulsion and life in occupied Palestine. They have been touring across Britain.
Jockeys won’t jump for bosses
Horse racing jockeys went on strike over safety and a new team of stalls handlers at a meeting on Monday at Dunstall Park in Wolverhampton.
Track owners Arena Leisure have brought in new teams of stalls handlers in order to cut costs. The Jockeys’ Association, which represents the riders, voted unanimously not to accept booked rides for the fixture in support of RaceTech handlers who have lost work as a result of Arena’s decision.
The jockeys’ problem is the knock-on effect this will have.
Senior rider Philip Robinson said, “We have the best stalls teams in the world. If there’s a problem, they dive in under a horse and pull us out.
“It is the most dangerous part of our job and we have enormous trust. As a result of Arena’s cost cutting, RaceTech won’t be able to employ their handlers for six months of the year and these people will drift away from the job. Then it becomes a safety issue.”
Dispute turns hot at North Pole
Chubb security guards employed at Eurostar’s Ashford and Waterloo terminals and its North Pole depot in west London were set to strike on Friday and Saturday of this week following the company’s failure to improve pay rates.
Over 110 RMT union members are involved. They returned a unanimous vote for action earlier this month.
Their pay is as low as £6.32 an hour. Even the highest paid are on less than £7.50.
Dritan Dauti asylum appeal
Kosovan asylum seeker Dritan Dauti’s appeal to remain in Britain was turned down last week. Dritan has lived in Britain since 1999, making a new life here. He has no family in Kosovo. His brother lives in Britain.
Dritan told Socialist Worker, “The next step is another appeal to remain here. The government has accepted all my arguments, but I have been turned down on the basis of proportions — that there are already too many asylum seekers here.”
Anti-racist day in Liverpool
Anti-racist activists are organising a major unity festival in the wake of the murder of black student Anthony Walker.
Activists from many different groups, including Respect and the Merseyside Coalition Against Racism and Fascism, have come together and won support for the event from Liverpool City Council and the Liverpool Echo, the local newspaper.
Over 30 top bands and acts are playing for free, including the 747s, Ladytron, Strictly Motown and Jah Deeanko.
Also supporting the event are Merseyside Trade Union Council, Knowsley TUC, Livepool TUC, the Arabic Cultural Foundation, Unite Against Facism, the Muslim Association of Britain and many more.
Merseyside Unity Festival — Say No to Racism, Sunday 4 September, 12 noon to 8pm, Princes Park, Liverpool.
Respect makes its mark in Exeter
Twenty five people attended a video showing of George Galloway at the US Senate hosted by Exeter Respect.
We also watched a video of part of the Respect victory rally. Lively discussion followed.
The audience included prominent local Muslims as well as the political officer of the CWU union.
Respect is now planning its first meeting in North Devon.