Omagh hospital protest
Over 25,000 people rallied in Omagh, Northern Ireland, on Monday of this week to protest against the proposed closure of the accident and emergency and acute services at Tyrone County Hospital. Omagh’s population is 18,000.
Scottish Socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan was charged last week with breach of the peace after a protest at an immigration centre. The case will be heard on 16 January.
St Agnes Place evictions
Around 80 police in full riot gear sealed off St Agnes Place in Kennington, south London, on Tuesday. They were there to evict 150 residents who had barricaded themselves in their homes. Squatters first occupied the street in 1971 and is home to many Rastafarians.
Clean up bosses’ dirty practice
Around 50 cleaners from Canary Wharf in east London took part in a rally on Friday of last week to highlight their campaign for a living wage.
The cleaners, who are members of the T&G union, want sick pay, holidays and a living wage.
Over the past year the T&G has recruited 560 cleaners, around 70 percent of the cleaners who work in Canary Wharf. The T&G is currently in talks with all four of the major cleaning contractors in Canary Wharf over the issues.
Wayne, one of the cleaners at Canary Wharf, said, “More and more people are getting involved, and if we stick together we can win.
“All we want is a living wage and a little respect.”
Cindy Sheehan comes to Britain
Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq, will arrive in Britain next week and is attending anti-war events in Scotland before speaking at the International Peace Conference (see Sign up for the International Peace Conference).
On Thursday 8 December she will join a lobby of the Scottish parliament with military families from noon to 2pm followed by a cross party meeting in the parliament.
At 7pm on the same day in Glasgow there will be a Bring the Troops Home rally at Quality Central Hotel, Hope Street.
Don’t develop for private profit
Over 85 people attended a meeting organised by Open Dalston in Hackney, east London, last week to discuss proposals for the redevelopment of Dalston Junction.
Architects who have been commissioned by Hackney council, Transport for London and the London Development Agency explained that they plan to build approximately 700 housing units on the site for about 2,000 new residents.
There will be no additional facilities for either new or existing residents and the vast majority of the housing will be for sale. Those who attended the meeting were very angry with the details of the development.
Open Dalston is a not for profit organisation set up by local residents concerned for Dalston’s future. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Successful first climate meeting
East London Campaign Against Climate Change held its first meeting on Wednesday of last week to build for this Saturday’s demonstration.
Among the speakers were local MP George Galloway, who spoke about the social justice issues, the importance of mass mobilisation and legally binding emissions targets, and Phil Thornhill from the campaign, who talked about the underlying science and the importance of the demonstration.
More than 50 people attended the meeting from a wide range of backgrounds.
First Bus workers
First Bus drivers in Aberdeen are to strike this weekend after a 96 percent vote for action.
The 430 drivers have further action planned for the weekend of 10/11 December as well.
First drivers in Edinburgh and the Lothians staged a series of strikes earlier this year, eventually winning £8 per hour.
Drivers want a 5 percent pay increase.
First Bus drivers in Cheshire and Staffordshire have voted to accept the latest offer from the company.
An improved deal follows a series of strikes.
Northampton postal workers
Northampton postal workers are taking action on Saturday 10 December to defend a publicly owned Royal Mail.
A mass Christmas card signing will take place in Abington Street at 10.30am. There will be two giant cards, one for Allan Leighton, chairman of Royal Mail and the other for Alan Johnson, trade secretary. The cards read, “A very merry Christmas and a public sector new year”. A rally will take place at noon at the town hall.
The CWU union’s South Central Number 1 branch will hold a rally in Oxford town hall at 7pm on Tuesday 6 December.