Racism is on the rise across Europe

In Britain, politicians and the media scapegoat migrants and refugees. They are blamed for lowering wages and inadequate public services, when, in reality, the blame lies with austerity.

EU nationals are used as bargaining chips in Brexit negotiations. Black and Asian people continue to face discrimination and everyday institutional racism.

Of all the countries in Europe, Britain took in the lowest number of asylum seekers by head of population: less than 0.1% .compared to, for example, Sweden with almost 2% and Austria with 1%. Of the 3,000 lone refugee children from camps in Europe, including Calais, agreed by the Government in response to Dubs proposals, only about 200 children have been admitted.… Read on ...

Save Kensington and Chelsea College

Things are looking up in the campaign to Save Kensington and Chelsea College, as these two reports from FE Week show:

Milton promises to find ‘the right solution’ for ‘precious’ Kensington and Chelsea College

The furore surrounding the future of a west London college in the shadow of the Grenfell Tower has made it to the House of Commons, after the skills minister promised to find the “right solution” for a “precious” community asset today.

During the regularly scheduled education questions, Anne Milton discussed the doomed merger plans between Kensington and Chelsea College, and Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College, which the FE commissioner Richard Atkins has scrapped as exclusively revealed by FE Week on Saturday.… Read on ...

Bexley/Greenwich Against Road Crossings (BARC)

Campaign to oppose Thames bridges at Gallions Reach and Belvedere –we may just have a victory!
BARC is a local community group formed in opposition to the building of large ‘road’ bridges planned in South-East London. In 2015 Transport for London (TfL) and Bexley Council wanted to build new tolled road bridges across the Thames at Gallions Reach and Belvedere – two large residential areas in South-East London. These were not intended to be ‘cozy’ little crossings for local traffic: the Belvedere bridge was to be 4 lanes and more akin to an urban motorway than a picturesque route across the Thames.… Read on ...

Early Day Motion on Bahrain

SENTENCES HANDED DOWN TO RELATIVES OF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER MR ALWADAEI AND SITUATION IN BAHRAIN

This is the title of Early Day Motion 509 that we would like to urge your MP to sign. It can be read here on the Parliament website…

And here is the page through which anyone who needs to can find their MP’s contact details https://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/

If you would like to have a model letter to send you MP, can we suggest the following:
I write to express concern for the treatment of prominent UK-based Bahraini activist and Director of Advocacy at the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei and that of his family, and urge you to sign EDM 509 to draw the government’s attention to the matter.
Read on ...

Do Not Let Afrin Become Another Kobane

Urgent Statement by academics and activists

We, the undersigned academics and human rights activists, insist that the leaders of Russia, Iran, and the U.S. ensure that the sovereignty of Syrian borders is not breached by Turkey and that the people of Afrin in Syria, be allowed to live in peace.

Afrin, whose population is predominantly Kurdish, is one of the most stable and secure regions in Syria. With very little international aid, Afrin has taken in so many Syrian refugees in the last five years that its population has doubled to 400,000. Afrin is now surrounded by enemies: Turkish-supported jihadi groups, al Qaeda, and Turkey.… Read on ...

HAITI : Caribbean Dignity Unbowed.

Release from the University of the West Indies – Office of Professor Hilary Beckles – Historian – Vice Chancellor

The democratic, nation-building debt the American nation owes the Caribbean, and the Haitian nation in particular that resides at its core, is not expected to be repaid but must be respected. Any nation without a nominal notion of its own making can never comprehend the forces that fashion it origins.

Haiti’s Caribbean vision illuminated America’s way out of its colonial darkness. This is the debt President Trump’s America owes Toussaint L’Ouverture’s Haiti. It’s a debt of philosophical clarity and political maturity. It’s a debt of how to rise to its best human potential.… Read on ...

NHS IN CRISIS – FIX IT NOW

March and Demonstration
12pm, Saturday 3 February 
Assemble Gower Street Central London WC16

The NHS Winter Crisis has now descended into a perpetual year round  crisis. A crisis that has brought staff to their knees and patients languishing and even dying in overcrowded waiting rooms and hospital corridors.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

It is time this Government stops blaming patients, nurses, doctors, immigrants, flu and the elderly for their shortcomings. It’s time they start listening to the country who is sick of empty promises from the mouths of cowardly politicians. The Tories must heed the call of the public, staff and patients alike who demand that the NHS is not only funded properly but brought back into public hands away from the waste and demands of shareholders and bankers’ bonuses.… Read on ...

16 days in 16 ways

16 days of activism against gender based violence is an international campaign that organises at all levels, including the United Nations, Governments, NGOs and trade unions.

It’s initiated by The Centre for Women’s Global Leadership, a feminist human rights organisation. The activism period is 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) – 10 December (International Human Rights Day).

UCU is supporting this campaign and will be using this period to focus on our priorities and suggest 16 ways in which branches and members can get involved. We particularly want to encourage branches to raise the model policies on sexual harassment and domestic abuse.

Read on ...

Strike for USS

UCU’s higher education committee has agreed to launch an industrial action ballot in the dispute over the future of USS. They have said serious and sustained industrial action is required in the face of damaging proposals from the employers which would effectively destroy the pension scheme.

  • USS pensions already LOWER than school teachers and ‘new’ university academics
  • employers can afford to pay more but REFUSE
  • latest proposals end guaranteed pensions and REDUCE retirement income for all.

Message from UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt

Since the result of UCU’s ballot in which 86.6% of members said they would be prepared to take industrial action to defend pensions, I have been trying my best to reach agreement with your employers on a way forward for our University Superannuation Scheme (USS) pension fund.

Read on ...

The expulsion of Moshe Machover from the Labour Party

“This branch deplores the decision to expel Emeritus Professor and distinguished mathematician Moshe Machover from the Labour Party for alleged ‘anti-semitism’.
Moshe is an Israeli citizen of Jewish heritage who has been a life-long critic of Zionism and of Israel which he has defined as a ‘settler/colon state’.
He is a life-long socialist and committed opponent of all forms of racism.
We consider this expulsion to be an example of attempts to re-define anti-semitism so as to include all critics of Zionism and of Israel.
We call on UCU members in the Labour Party to support the demand for Moshe’s expulsion to be rescinded.”… Read on ...