THREE ANTI Trident nuclear submarine protesters were found guilty at Plymouth Crown Court last week of crimes relating to attempts to put HMS Vanguard out of action. Sue Brackenbury, who has already served the equivalent of an eight-month sentence on remand, was released after she was sentenced to six months. Matt Bury and Shirley Law were each given a 12-month conditional discharge.
The campaigners had got into Devonport dockyard, where multinational Halliburton is making millions refitting the UK's Trident fleet. They had intended sabotaging the monster to prevent its use in international criminal acts. The judge showed how out of touch with the real world he was when he suggested well respected local activist Shirley should give up using bolt cutters and take up knitting instead!
Anti-war campaigners will continue to expose the links between Devonport, Trident, Halliburton, the war on Iraq, cuts to local welfare services and soaring council tax bills across the south west.
Brutal measures in new asylum bill
AROUND 50 people attended a public meeting in Whitstable, Kent, on Thursday of last week to discuss the impact the latest Asylum and Immigration Bill will have on refugees.
Pierre Makhlouf, an immigration lawyer, is strongly opposed the bill, which seeks to strip legal aid from asylum seekers, reduce their right to appeal and deny access to judicial review.
An asylum seeker spoke movingly of his experience of homelessness under the existing immigration law.
Union backing for Palestine
OVER 100 delegates met for the Palestine Solidarity Campaign's annual general meeting on Saturday of last week in central London. They heard Unison union deputy general secretary Keith Sonnett outline the terrible conditions Palestinians had to face under Israeli occupation. He had returned recently from a TUC trip to Israel and the Occupied Territories.
Other speakers included Jeremy Corbyn MP and Jocelyn Hurndall, whose son was murdered by Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip while he was helping Palestinian children.
Strike threat moves council
THE THREAT of strike action by Bradford council IT staff against impending privatisation has forced the council to agree a new deal. If staff are transferred to a private company they will be transferred under existing council terms and conditions and will continue to be represented by their existing trade union operating within the current bargaining framework.
There is still discussion between the unions (mainly Unison) involved about the position of new starters and responsibility for recruitment and selection of staff. Difficult times may lie ahead, but staff are better placed now with union agreements and representation intact.