Thursday, 29 October 2009

CLIMATE EMERGENCY London Public Forum Saturday 7th November 12-6pm

London Public Forum Saturday 7th November 12-6pm

South Camden Community School, Charrington Street NW1 1RG (nearest tube Kings Cross) see map here

Open to everyone and free to attend, hosted by the Campaign against Climate Change the Public Forum will bring together leading figures to discuss and debate the Climate Emergency and what we can be doing to tackle it. See below for the programme for the day.

This event sees a great variety of speakers including Aubrey Meyer (Global Commons Institute), Oliver Tickell (author Kyoto 2), Andrew Simms (new economics foundation), John Stewart (HACAN), Johann Hari (journalist), Jean Lambert MEP (Green Party), Damian Carrington (Head of Environment, the Guardian), Alexis Rowell (Camden Council), Chris Baugh (Public and Commercial Services Union) and Dr Stuart Parkinson (Scientists for Global Responsibility) as well as workshops with Biofuelwatch and the Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group.

Please pass on this email to your family, friends and networks – this is one of our last chance’s to get together before we hit the streets demonstrating in December.


11:45 Doors Open

12:15-13:15 Session 1 "10% Cuts by end 2010: the case for emergency action"

13:15-13:45 Break and Workshops including:

Introduction to campaigning against Agrofuels, hosted by Biofuelwatch and Food Not Fuel

13:45-14:45 Session 2 "Green Jobs Now - a million climate jobs by end 2010"

CWU:Royal mail is claiming that we walked away from talks. This is not true.


Royal mail is claiming that we walked away from talks. This is not true. It is also not true that there was an agreement. The union submitted a set of proposals yesterday morning that royal mail had still not responded to at 5 last night - in fact they still have not responded to those proposals. There is no split on the pec. They are 100% behind the industrial action. Royal mail are still insisting that we sign up to a pre xmas no strike deal. They are also still refusing to compromise on any of the issues at the heart of the dispute. Royal mail are likely to continue with their lies over the next few days to try and undermine the union and paint us in the worse possible light.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Support for CWU

“The London Federation of Green Parties states its support for a universal postal service and its support for CWU in its dispute with Royal Mail management.

Royal Mail management are using the 10% fall in postal communication relative to digital to force through cuts to postal workers earnings often using threats and intimidation and wrecking conditions of service. This is a difficult time to be a postal worker, but postal workers continue to deliver a vital public service. They are through their Union willing to negotiate reforms but are not prepared to be bullied.

The national agreement that resolved the 2007 dispute stipulates the continuing provision of reasonable local earnings levels and that to assist development of a fourth Phase of Royal Mail modernisation, consultation and negotiation will take place. Management are not currently complying. GPTU therefore supports the CWU decision to ballot on national strike action.

In the event of a CWU national strike we call on GP members to support CWU picket lines “

Sunday, 18 October 2009

NUT motion: Mobilise for UN Climate talks in Copenhagen, December 09

This motion was agreed unanimously by the National Union of Teachers National Executive Committee on 8 October 2009
Mobilise for UN Climate talks in Copenhagen, December 09

“This meeting believes that we need a just, global and collectivised transition from a greed economy to a green economy. Sustainability rather than profit should be the hallmark of success as we recover from economic crisis.

This requires government investment in green industries such as renewable energy, insulation of all homes and workplaces, re-skilling of workers and research into further technological development. This will create or save tens of thousands of jobs at a time when many workers and students are concerned for their own future employment.

We congratulate workers at the Vestas wind turbine plant on the Isle of Wight, who highlighted this issue so well by occupying their factory during August 2009, and who continue to campaign for the nationalisation of wind turbine and other green production since its closure.

We believe that the United Nations Climate Talks in Copenhagen from 7 to 18 December 2009 could be our last chance to secure such a global, democratic commitment to measures that might avert climate catastrophe, before our planet’s ecology destabilises irreversibly.

Therefore we call on the national bodies of all TUC affiliates, and the TUC itself, to support a demonstration in London on Saturday 5 December 2009, and mobilise for an international workers’ and students’ presence throughout the Copenhagen talks, especially on 12 December.

We ask all such bodies to work with Stop Climate Chaos ( and the Campaign Against Climate Change ( in planning and preparing for these events.”

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Demonstration against Baghdad deportations - Wednesday 14 October 2009

Dear all,

If you can make it to this (5 pm, Wednesday, Communications House) please do!

Best wishes, Matt Sellwood


URGENT: Stop the first mass deportation flight to Baghdad

First demonstration at Communications House, London, on Wednesday 14th October, 5pm.

The Stop Deportation network and other groups and organisations are demanding that the first mass deportation flight to southern Iraq, expected to leave on Wednesday, is suspended and the detainees threatened with forcible removal are released immediately. Over the last week,
detainees in various immigration detention centres have been given 'removal directions' clearly stating they will be removed to Iraq, rather than the Kurdistan Regional Government-controlled region, which was stated in previous removals.

Deporting people to a war zone like Iraq would put the lives of many deportees at risk. As recently as the 11th October, three car bombs exploded in the western Iraqi city of Ramadi, killing at least 19 people. Violence and bloodshed continue throughout the country, which saw 1,891 civilian deaths in the first six months of this year alone. There are also widespread food shortages, lack of access to clean drinking water and other grave humanitarian crises in many areas.

The British government, through its participation in the war on and occupation of Iraq since 2003, is responsible for these crises and the consequent displacement of millions of Iraqis. Instead of helping accommodate refugees fleeing war and violence, it is now is planning to
send them back en masse to face their possible death.

Deportation charter flights limit refugees' access to due legal process. The UK Border Agency states that "charter flights may be subject to different arrangements where it is considered appropriate because of the complexities, practicalities and costs of arranging an operation." Charter flight deportees are told that "removal will not necessarily be deferred in the event that a Judicial Review is lodged." The emphasis, thus, is on filling the flight rather than ensuring the appropriate legal avenues have been exhausted. Detainees have also lost the right to know the date and time of their removal, making it more difficult for their legal representatives to act properly and leaving deportees in fear and uncertainty for days or weeks.

Iraqi refugees have been forcibly deported to Iraqi Kurdistan (northern Iraq) since November 2005. Mass deportation flights to Kurdistan have been removing 50-60 men almost once a month since June 2008, with the Home Office arguing that, unlike the rest of the country, the Kurdistan area is 'safe'. The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees estimate 1,000
people have been deported to Kurdistan from the UK since 2005. Despite these claims of safety, however, several people have died or disappeared following their forcible return, including Hussein Ali who killed himself two days after his arrival in 2008. Many others have been forced into hiding.

The Stop Deportation network calls upon all groups, organisations and individuals opposed to this brutal action by the UK government to stand with us in calling for all deportations to Iraq to be stopped. Join us on the first public demonstration against mass deportations to Iraq this
Wednesday, at 5pm, at the local immigration reporting centre, where many deportees are first arrested without prior warning whilst signing on (Communications House, Old Street, London, EC1).

If you would like to add your or your organisation's name to this statement, or for any further information, please email

Other things you can do to help stop this flight:

Contact your local MP and ask them to put pressure on the UK Border Agency
to cancel the deportation. You can find your local MP at

Contact the UKBA directly to demand the deportation be cancelled:

Contact the minister for borders and immigration Phil Woolas:
House of Commons phone number: 020 7219 1149
House of Commons fax number: 020 7219 0992
Constituency phone number: 0161 624 4248
Constituency fax number: 0161 626 8572

Monday, 12 October 2009

The rise of the far right in Britain today. What it is, and how to fight it 04 November

Message from Brent & Harrow UAF , details below (acknowledgements to Andy Hewett & Martin Francis):

"We've just published this report of last weekend's mobilisation against the EDL in Manchester - Alf Fidler was an organiser of the counter-mobilisation in Harrow. Come along and join the discussion!".

The rise of the far right in Britain today

"What it is, and how to fight it. With Alf Filer (Brent & Harrow UAF)"
04 November at 19:30
Indian YMCA, Fitzroy Square, London

Manchester anti-fascists confront English Defence League
October 12th, 2009 • Related • Filed Under
Filed Under: Anti-racism • Featured

On Saturday October 10, around 2000 anti-facists mobilised in central Manchester to prevent the English Defence League from marching through the city centre. According to this report from a local Socialist Resistance supporter, the police greatly over-estimated the number of EDL supporters (closer to 100, not 500 or 700). There were 500 police.

The response to the EDL was organised around the United Against Fascism rally in Piccadilly Gardens which started at 12.00. The EDL had been shifting the time of their march backwards and forwards, mainly forwards from the morning to later in the afternoon so they could get tanked up in the pubs first. Eventually they, the EDL, had to respond to the UAF rally, and they did not actually march at all.

Police were a massive presence before 12.00, including up and around the Canal Street gay village area, and were lining the streets every ten feet or so as we arrived. The rally was just about to get going after 12.00 when the EDL appeared at the north east of Piccadilly Gardens, at the bottom of Newton Street, and the rally crowds rushed over to confront them, with police in between, and then it went on like that through most of the afternoon with the fascists moving around the back streets to appear at the top of Market Street north west of the Gardens, then around to the south where the bus ranks are, and so on. It was a mixture of tense and tedious. The rally dispersed around 4.30, and police escorted the EDL to coaches and trains around 5.00. Some of the police accounts reflected a change in political climate over multiculturalism over the last few years, along the lines that trouble-makers shouting racist taunts would be dealt with, but things felt a little more like the old days when police dogs and horses were used to push back the Rally into the Gardens. Protesters on the rally side were injured, including with dog-bites. I don’t know about the EDL. The EDL numbers looked quite small, perhaps under a hundred, and we were, as the reports said more like 2000, mainly the white left, fellow travellers and liberal allies of different kinds with sizeable proportion of more anarchist type students. There were some Asian and black youth, but not really organised as such, and it didn’t seem like these communities had mobilised for it. Support for the EDL right to march, in texts and emails to local newspapers and blogs, has been quite high, and the BNP, who are behind the EDL, have been trying to pretend that the EDL includes liberals fearful of ‘islamification’, perhaps with some success (and the BNP have even suggested that the EDL is a Zionist front designed to cause race war, which has caused some confusion). But the EDL did not march and the Gardens were held all afternoon, which is something.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Green leader visits Vestas "magic roundabout" camp

Caroline Lucas, Green Party MEP for the South East region, which includes the Isle of Wight, visited the ‘magic roundabout’ today, Friday 9 October, the camp outside the Vestas plant in Newport, Isle of Wight.

She discussed with former Vestas workers who had occupied the factory to protest against job losses, their supporters, Isle of Wight trades unionists, and the Island Turbine Action Group (ITAG), which campaigns for a wind turbine on the Island. The roundabout regulars made her soup for lunch, and presented her with a support Vestas workers t-shirt and CD, and she made a donation to the ongoing campaign.

Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party, will join ex-Vestas workers today at their ‘magic roundabout' protest camp on the Isle of Wight.

Lucas will meet with workers, community representatives and campaigners at the camp. She will discuss the ongoing protest against the loss of 600 jobs at the Vestas wind turbine manufacturing plant in Newport, which closed in the summer.

Ahead of her visit, Caroline Lucas said:

"The decision to close the Isle of Wight facility represented a spectacular failure by Government ministers to adequately promote green industries, protect the future of manufacturing in this country and safeguard British jobs."

"This was a massive loss for the 600 skilled workers made redundant - and it made a mockery of the UK's attempts to position itself as a leader in green energy and environmental policy. And now, as a reward for trying to defend their jobs, some of these workers are being deprived of their redundancy payouts."

"An invigorated renewable energy industry could provide hundreds of thousands of skilled, green collar jobs, taking full advantage of the UK's proud manufacturing heritage, while simultaneously tackling climate change."

"The local authorities must now continue to push the Government for a Sustainable Community Strategy for the Isle of Wight and ensure that the workers have a direct say in the Council's plans to enhance the renewables industry on the island."

Lucas concluded: "The time for empty promises on green jobs is over. If the Government can channel money into a new North East England wind turbine manufacturing facility, it should pledge financial aid and support for the Isle of Wight - including retraining workers where necessary, and finding new employment opportunities as soon as possible."

Notes to Editors

1) For more information, see:

2) Lucas's visit will begin at 11:30am, at the protest site, St Cross Industrial Estate, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 5WU

Friday, 9 October 2009

Campaign against Climate Change: London Public Forum 07 Nov 2009, 12:00 am

London Public Forum
Start: 07 Nov 2009, 12:00 am
Where: South Camden Community School, Charrington Street, NW1 1RG (Kings Cross tube)

London Public Forum, Saturday 7th November

12.00 noon – 6.00 pm,
at South Camden Community School, Charrington St (Kings Cross tube)

Free entry - no need to register!

Round Table Plenaries:

10% cuts by end 2010: the case for emergency action
Green Jobs Now – a million climate jobs by end 2010?
Decarbonising our transport fast – the way ahead
Copenhagen, the deal we need and the deal we’re likely to get
Plus assorted workshops including Biofelwatch / Food not Fuel

Speakers to include Aubrey Meyer (Global Commons Institute), Oliver Tickell (author Kyoto 2), John Stewart (HACAN), Johann Hari (journalist), Jean Lambert MEP (Green Party), Damian Carrington (Head of Environment, the Guardian), Alexis Rowell (Camden Council), Chris Baugh (Public and Commercial Services Union), Tony Juniper (ex Director, Friends of the Earth, Green Party), Dr Stuart Parkinson (Scienists for Global Responsibility).. plus more speakers invited and TBA.

Join us for drinks afterwards at a venue to be announced.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009


For Life and Mother Earth!

12th October is an international day of protest in solidarity with indigenous people and against global warming - a "Global mobilisation for Mother Earth"

Come and join us to support the "Minga" of indigenous resistance called by the Coordinadora Andina de Organizaciones Indigenas (CAOI). We support the struggle of Latin American native peoples and protest against the Free Trade Agreement with the European Union and agro-fuels.


The European Union (EU) plans to open up the Andean region’s services, natural resources and biodiversity to even greater despoliation by pushing through Free Trade Agreements that favour multinational corporations. The deals made behind closed doors by the governments of Colombia and Peru are a threat to Andean integration. The EU is trying to isolate the progressive governments of Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Alongside them are the indigenous peoples and their organisations who were never consulted over the negotiation process. Indigenous peoples do not recognise the EU agreements because they will destroy ancestral territorial rights and collective knowledge. The UK government is particularly responsible for this policy - the former EU Trade Commissioner was Peter Mandelson who has been replaced by another Labour politician, Baroness Cathy Ashton.


The UK government is diverting renewable energy subsidies to subsidise power stations that use agro-fuels. While the UK's last but one factory producing wind turbines has closed and solar energy firms

are struggling, vast "renewable energy" funding is going to agro-fuels which actually make global warming worse and threat food security around the world. In Colombia the cultivation of African Palm for agro-fuels is linked with displacement and violence, while destroying biodiversity and the fertility of the soil.


The indigenous people have had enough; they will not put up with false promises, lies and trickery any more. They are out on the streets fighting: to "liberate Mother Earth" from the destructive alliance between multinational corporations and local elites, and for a dignified future for their children and their communities. They are a moral force rising from below to reclaim what is justly theirs, life itself.

Bolivia Solidarity Campaign · Colombia Solidarity Campaign · Hands Off Venezuela ·

Latin American Workers Association · Movement of Ecuadorians in the UK ·

Polo Democrático (UK) · Rock around the Blockade

P&p Coordinadora Latino-Americana c/o PO Box 8446, London N17


4:45 Colombian Embassy 3 Hans Crescent SW1 (Knightsbridge tube)

5:30 Peruvian Embassy 52 Sloane Street SW1

5:50 Spanish Embassy Chesham Place SW1

6:30 UK Foreign Office Parliament Street SW1 (Westminster tube)

7pm Department for Energy and Climate Change 3 Whitehall Place SW1 – where we will join the Agro-fuels don’t ROC(k)! demonstration against renewable energy subsidies for Agro-fuels called by the Campaign against Climate Change, Biofuelwatch and Food Not Fuel.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Film from Autumn Conference 2009; Just Transition

Film from Autumn Conference 2009 shot by Richard Scrase with interviews and clips from the Just Transition Plenary featuring Caroline Lucas, Chris Baugh (PCS) and Chris Rapley (Director, Science Museum), at

We are hoping to post more footage of this event here soon.

Battersea and Wandsworth TUC launch the Red/Green Unity Network. 12 October 7.30pm

Inspired by the unity that developed as a result of the Vestas dispute between red and green activists – this group aims to unify these activists to campaign for positive change.

PCS Union HQ, 160 Falcon rd, Clapham Junction; (you have to come in through the back entrance)

12th October from 7:30pm.
Speakers include;

Chris Baugh, the PCS Assistant General Secretary.
Paul Hampton, Labour Research Department.
Teresa Delaney, Green Party & Green Left Equal ops rep

AgroFuel is Uncuel

Demonstration 'Agrofuels don't Roc(k)' against
agrofuel subsidies:

Monday, 12th October, 6.30 pm

Outside the Department for Energy and Climate Change, 3 Whitehall Place,

Called by Campaign Against Climate Change, Biofuelwatch and Food not Fuel

There will also be a photo opportunity for media between 12.30 and 1.30 pm
at the same place on 12th October. If you are able to go along to that,
too, that would be great.

Campaign Launched To Free LSE Student Trapped In Gaza

Friday, 02 October 2009
Campaign Launched To Free LSE Student Trapped In Gaza
(acknowledgements to James Caspell)

Students and alumni of the London School of Economics have started a campaign to allow a student, Othman Sakallah, to be able to leave Gaza and continue his studies at the university.

Othman was successful in applying to the university to study a postgraduate course at LSE in the coming academic year. His application was assisted by the Palestine Solidarity Initiative, which itself was founded by alumni and former governors of the School.

However, a combination of the ongoing Israeli siege of Gaza and the effects of the massacre undertaken by the Israeli military last Winter has left Othman and his family homeless, with little hope of him independently obtaining the financial and diplomatic assistance required to exit to travel to Britain.

The arbitrary Israeli border controls penning over a million civilians into the Gaza Strip, coupled by the economic siege will prevent Othman from raising the funds to ever take up his degree without outside assistance. These problems have been compounded by the recent demolition of his family’s home by the Israeli military.

As a result, Othman has personally written to LSE Director, Howard Davies, in an effort to secure their assistance. So far Davies is yet to reply.

In the past, LSE’s governing body, the LSE Council stated that, “It is not the practice of the School to take political positions, unless its own policies and practices are at issue.” Students and alumni are therefore hopeful that given the Israeli Occupation is now directly affecting one of its own offer holders, it will look to assist Othman in any way possible.

As a result, a broad based campaign is being built to bring pressure on the School to waive Othman’s tuition fees, provide him with a basic living allowance and facilitate his exit from imprisonment in Gaza.

This is not the first time that the LSE’s attention has been drawn to grave need for defending the Palestinian right to education.

The LSESU has been mandated to provide support for the Palestinian Right To Education Campaign by popular student vote and last year around 40 students staged a successful occupation of a lecture theatre, demanding that the LSE support provide more support for Palestinian students. As a result, the waiver of application fees for all Palestinians living under Israeli occupation was agreed, along with material assistance and a commitment to facilitate Palestine-specific scholarships.

A spokesperson for the Palestine Society at LSE stated: “Students will do all we can to secure the necessary assistance for Othman from the School. Students have consistently demonstrated solidarity with the people of Palestine, and we expect the School to meet our expectations to allow Othman to continue his studies.”

James Caspell a co-founder of the Palestine Solidarity Initiative, and a former governor and student at the LSE, added, “Othman’s story is simply tragic and is a direct result of the systematic oppression and racism of the Israeli Occupation. There are millions of Palestinians like him, but in this case LSE has a direct responsibility to provide all the assistance necessary for one of their students to continue his education. This is not a time to feel sorry, but a time to demonstrate solidarity, which it is in the clear interests and ability of LSE to do.”

Aled Dilwyn Fisher, General Secretary of the LSE Students' Union, also fully backs the campaign, stating, "Students from around the globe look to advance their education at LSE and nothing should stand in the way of their ability, especially not a cruel and unjustifiable siege, or the crippling effects of a brutal war."

"International pressure has been brought to bare before, as in the case of those students who were released to pursue their Fulbright scholarships in the US. LSE and other supporters of human rights and justice must stand up again against the oppressive actions of the Israeli government, and for the numerous students denied their education across the world".


Notes for Editors:

1. The Palestine Solidarity Initiative facilitates solidarity with Palestinian students and empowers those who are systematically denied of opportunities to fulfil their academic potential. PSI provides a mechanism for people to assist Palestinians by encouraging and supporting their application to the vast array of Masters degree programmes on offer in the UK. For more information visit:


The Campaign against Climate Change plans to facilitate teach-ins on climate at universities and colleges around the country this autumn. A NATIONAL MEETING for university staff and students interested in organising these teach-ins will be held in London from 2pm to 4.30 pm on Saturday 10 October, in Room G50 at the School of Oriental and African Studies, Malet Street.

Teach-ins are not business as usual. But we face a crucial moment for the future of the planet when world leaders meet this December in Copenhagen to discuss a new climate treaty. The evidence is mounting that we must act quickly and boldly.

What happens during a teach in is that a department, a school, or a whole university decide to concentrate on climate for a day. They still use the timetabled rooms. But instead of normal teaching, they run lectures and seminars on climate change, using the expertise of staff and visiting speakers. So geography teachers would approach the topic in one way, history teachers in another, and drama teachers in yet another. Students also organise speakers and workshops.

The best way to begin organising the teachins is probably for a small group of staff and students meeting together in each university or college. The support of staff unions will be crucial, and UCU may need to negotiate with management. It is likely that most staff will want to participate, and that some senior managers will be supportive. Where management cannot be moved, staff and students might have to make alternative arrangements.

The possibilities for lectures, seminars, and workshops are vast. The Campaign would, however, encourage people to pay attention to the need to act quickly and boldly, green jobs, and the prospects for a global treaty at the Copenhagen talks.

For further information please contact

Julie Filer [ and 07843694006]

or Chris Walker [ and 07963055050]

or Jonathan Neale [ and 07913-904646]

Monday, 5 October 2009

UCU environment conference November 25th

The UCU environment conference will be held on Wednesday, November 25th at UCU Head Office. There are 70 places available so please make an early application to avoid disappointment. Travel expenses and lunch will be provided. To register, please go to:

Further information will follow but the current outline is:

10.30am Opening Address
10.40am Panel of speakers from UCU, COIN, PCS,NUT and CWU on Climate Solidarity
11.15am Questions and answers
11.40am Break
12.00 noon Workshops on building climate solidarity
1.00 pm Lunch
2.00pm Panel of speakers from HEFCE, AoC, NUS, and the 10:10 project
3.25pm Workshop reports to the panel
3.45pm Speaker from the Vestas occupation & Speaker on the ‘Countdown to Copenhagen’
4.00pm Closing comments


Janet Pantland

Equality Administrator

University and College Union

Carlow Street

London NW1 7LH

Tel: 020 7756 2539

Latest News: Registrations are now open for the Annual Equality Conferences. Further information available at

Report from Stop the War Coalition Steering Group by J.Healy

I attended the Stop the War Coalition Steering Committee on Saturday representing the Green Party. Everyone is mobilising toward the national withdrawal from Afghanistan march on Saturday week, Oct 24th and are looking for Green support in this. Towards this end they are asking local Stop the War groups to adopt Underground stations and give out leaflets about the demo over the next two weeks. It would be great if local Greens can help with this in their areas and approach local STWC groups or get leaflets from them. The National STWC is very short of funds at present and leaflets were being sold on Saturday. I would like to get some for our use. Is there any funding for this? Also can we encourage local parties to adopt Underground stations etc. If local parties outside London could concentrate on transport hubs to distribute leaflets for the demo that would be great. They also want support from TU branches etc.

Manchester STWC reported that they were beating people off their stall there is so much support. Many buses are being chartered to come to the national demo. No details on who the speakers are yet but I am liaising with officers. They are also going to run a general election campaign, giving support to candidates who they feel are anti-war, although they admitted that this could be difficult in some constituencies.

Gordon Brown and Cameron will be reading out lists of casualties at the opening of parliament on Oct 14th, the war is growing more and more unpopular and devouring more resources. However, there are mounting concerns that the cuts in benefits and growing dole queues are leading to ‘dole queue conscripts’ particularly from working class areas and areas with high youth unemployment.

As regards London there are two areas of action at present.

· On Tuesday, Joe Glenton, the soldier being court martialled for refusing to fight in Afhghanistan is appearing at a public meeting in Haringey. Haringey Greens have been invited by STWC to have a stall there and I have passed this on.

· In Hackney, there is a War Showroom, where teenagers are invited in to play video games in order to encourage them to join up. STWC are trying to campaign against this and any assistance from Hackney GP would be welcome.

The national ‘Bring the Troops Home’ march will be setting off from Hyde Park Corner on Saturday 24th October. It is imperative that we have a good Green Party turnout for this. Our Campaigns Coordinator will be sending out more info about this.

It is also possible that Blair the war criminal could be nominated as President of Europe within weeks and STWC are trying to get MEPs and others to speak out about this, plus a possible protest action in Brussels.

Joseph Healy

Stop the War Coalition Steering Group

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Statement from GL re Birmingham 30/9/2009

Statement from GL re Birmingham 30/9/2009 on Green Left Blog (see links)


***** D E M O N S T R A T I ON
***** Thursday - 1st of October 2009
***** 1pm - in the UCL Main Quad
***** off Gower St, London WC1
***** directions:


Juan Carlos Piedra Benitez worked for Office and General, UCL's outsourced cleaning contractor, for 11 months until September 2009.. He was transferred to work in UCL after being called into a disciplinary meeting and warned about his trade union activities, including campaigning for the London living wage. He was told that his work was no problem. The only problem was his attitude —that he told people about the union, about their right to go to tribunals if they were badly treated. Two days after being transferred to UCL he was called into a meeting and told that he had been seen at SOAS protesting against the immigration raid and at union protests. Then he was told “there is no job for you here” and was made redundant.

Juan Carlos is demanding his reinstatement and that O&G be investigated. He has official backing by his trade union, Unite, as well as the trade union branches at UCL (UCU, Unite and UNISON). You, too, can back his campaign in specific, practical ways.

Video interview of Juan Carlos:

Video of the first demonstration (21 Sep 09):

In the press: and


1. Attend the next demonstration (see above). Bring a friend and make a sign or banner to hold up.

2. Print off the demonstration leaflet and hand some out, put them in
office pigeonholes, and put some up as posters. Download from

3. Support the 17 Oct 2009 'Hands Off My Workmate' conference at SOAS about migrant workers' labour rights in the UK:

4. Print off the open letter to the UCL and O&G management, demanding
reinstatement. Ask people to sign it and send it back to the address at
the bottom of it. Download from

5. Support the campaign for the London Living Wage at UCL, across Bloomsbury and across London. See and and

6. Contact Juan Carlos directly (07837949884 / Offer to help build the campaign in any way you can.

7. Add your name to the open letter (below) by emailing Include your full name and trade union
branch or workplace or place of study.

8. Ask others to sign the open letter by emailing Workmates,
friends, family, someone you handed a leaflet? Anyone with a bit of
profile? Union leaders, politicians, religious leaders, academics,
journalists etc.

9. Help get the open letter and the story into the media - English and Spanish language. Print, radio and electronic.

10. Join the ‘Reinstate Juan Carlos’ Facebook group and invite others:


Professor Malcolm Grant, Provost
Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT
Cc: Fernando Martins, manager, O&G offices at UCL

Dear Professor Grant,

are appalled that cleaning contractor O&G have illegally created a false redundancy at UCL in order to dismiss union activist Juan Carlos Piedra, a member of Unite.

Juan Carlos was transferred to UCL on 24th August and two days later was called by his manager to a meeting at which he was told that his trade union activities (organising in the
London Living Wage campaign at SOAS and other sites) had been recorded and would not be tolerated. He was then told that there was no job for him at UCL. He was given a letter on 9th September (which O&G had dated 2nd September) saying he was redundant from 17th September.

As trade unionists, students and living wage campaign supporters, we will not tolerate members of our campus communities being treated in this way and victimised for exercising their democratic right to engage in legal trade union activities.

O&G are one of the major contractors in the cleaning industry who are now bullying, harassing
and victimising workers, many of whom are migrants, in order to break trade union organisation and keep wages at the lowest possible levels.

All workers, including those on low pay and migrants, have an equal right to organise. We demand that Juan Carlos be reinstated, and that O&G be investigated for violation of trade union rights at UCL.