Some 25 people protested outside Birmingham airport last Saturday as part of a national day of protests against the use of British airports for extraordinary rendition flights, where people kidnapped by the CIA are flown to Guantanamo and other illegal detention facilities. Protests also took place in London and in Edinburgh, where former British ambassador Craig Murray was among the 30 protesters.
Sheffield backing for refugees
About 60 people attended a solidarity and social event organised by Sheffield Committee to Defend Asylum Seekers as part of refugee week.
People from Zimbabwe, Uganda, Afghanistan, Turkey, the Ivory Coast and Syria spoke of the war and persecution they had fled, and the degrading, inhumane treatment they have suffered at the hands of the British government.
Many were political opponents of the regimes in their country of origin. They made passionate and inspirational speeches about the campaign for asylum rights and the need to fight war, imperialism and racism.
Speakers included the Sukula family and the Komar family campaigns. The meeting agreed to join the contingent on the demonstration outside the Labour Party conference in Manchester on 23 September.
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Action over pay & safety on the DLR
Some 250 members of the RMT rail workers’ union on the Docklands Light Railway are set to to strike for 24 hours from 3:59am on Monday.
The strike comes after private company Serco refused to drop plans to displace experienced safety-critical platform staff and slash pay by up to £100 a week.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said, “However Serco re-packages this plan it still means fewer safety-critical station staff and the downgrading of the skills and pay of those that remain.
“Our members have delivered a decisive mandate for action to defend these jobs and to prevent watering down of safety standards.”
BNP are third of three in Lancaster
The fascist BNP came last in Lancaster City Council’s Skerton West by-election last week.
Lancaster Unite Against Fascism worked hard to expose the BNP’s policies and persuade voters not to back the party.
We’re obviously pleased that the BNP candidate came in last, but remain concerned that he was able to pull in over 200 votes.
Lancaster anti-fascists still have a lot of work to do before next May’s elections for the full city council.
Contract out for BBC staff
Workers who were outsourced to BBC Human Resources were set to strike on Friday this week. They are members of the Bectu media union.
The Capita company is refusing to allow them to continue working on the BBC contract following the outsourcing of the department in April.
Members voted by 73 percent for a strike. Capita also intends to move dozens of jobs from all over the BBC to Belfast over the next 18 months.