Civil liberties, justice, crime

Police Bill: restart the fight, drag in the labour movement!

Protests against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill (“Police Crackdown Bill”) began again in the week of 5 July, but the Tories have rammed it through the final stage of its passage in the House of Commons. It now goes to the House of Lords.

Police Bill back, more protest needed!

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill passed its third reading by a majority of 100, in the House of Commons on 5 July, with Labour voting against. Outside Parliament as the Bill was being discussed was a modest but lively and militant protest. The protest, organised by activists under the umbrella of "Kill the Bill", was nowhere near as strong as it needs to be. Apart from a banner from the RMT there was no union presence. Though it is clear that the Bill is specifically targeting XR and BLM in its limiting of protests and demonstrations, unions will be affected by this legislation...

Clampdown in Hong Kong

July 1 is a day of two anniversaries in Hong Kong. It is the 24th anniversary of the day when Britain "handed over" Hong Kong to China – from one colonial power to another. It is also the second anniversary of the 300,000 strong demo in Hong Kong against the Extradition Bill. That bill, which was later dropped, would have allowed the Chinese regime to extradite people from Hong Kong to China to face charges made by the Chinese regime against them. At the end of the 2019 demonstration, young protestors besieged and managed to break into Hong Kong’s parliament, its Legislative Council (LegCo). A...

"Questions of democracy are where to focus our energies"

Clive Lewis, Labour MP for Norwich South, spoke to Sacha Ismail in late March. There could still be another 30,000 deaths as we approach the end of lockdown, and maybe much more. Even with the vaccine program at full tilt, in the absence of a proper test and trace system, an isolation system and social support for people, it’s still potentially a dire situation and could still overwhelm the NHS. [This was even before the "Indian variant" of Covid was widely discussed.] NHS workers have launched their demand for a 15% pay rise. Do you support that? Yes, absolutely. We need to aim high. I’m...

Osime Brown: how we stopped a deportation

From Neurodivergent Labour On 15 June, the Home Office decided that it would not proceed with their barbaric intention to deport autistic, learning-disabled man Osime Brown to a place he has no knowledge of. The victory comes after more than a year of campaigning by a coalition of activists and organisations, under the instrumental guidance of Osime’s mum, Joan. When ND Labour came into the campaign about a year ago, awareness about the case was limited to a layer of autistic and neurodivergent activists and migrants’ rights groups. It was a campaign typical of the classic style: a petition...

Italian FedEx striker beaten by bosses' thugs

A courier for FedEx in Northern Italy, Abdelhamid Elazab, has been in a coma in hospital after being beaten around the head with a broken pallet by thugs brought in to attack protesting workers on 11 June. Nine other FedEx workers from Piacenza were injured less seriously. The report from the workers’ trade union SI Cobas says they were attacked by men from Zampieri Holdings, the shipping company at whose warehouses in Lodi, thirty miles from Piacenza, the protest took place. The union calls Zampieri a “mafia organisation” and the “armed hand” of FedEx. It says the police stood by and allowed...

Osime Brown: stop the deportation

Saturday, 12 June: assemble noon at the Home Office 2 Marsham St London SW1P 4DF, march to Parliament Square. Campaigners have already stopped Osime Brown, an autistic young man jailed under the Joint Enterprise law, from being deported to Jamaica (where he has no support or connections), immediately on release from jail. Now they aim to block the deportation altogether at the Judicial Review. • Facebook event

An easy excuse for anti-leftist clampdown in Russia

“This whole story feels as if suddenly, a truck drove into you on the street,” said Svetlana Gordienko, a resident of Russia’s far-eastern Khabarovsk. “Except imagine if it turned out that having a truck driven into you was something totally normal, and legal.” The situation Svetlana is now in began in May 2021, when a squad of 11 officials swarmed her apartment, where she lives with her partner Maksim Smolnikov, and her two children. “They had already started to break down the door, but I managed to open it,” Svetlana recalled. “The riot policemen burst into the house and pushed Max up...

Women's Fightback: The Tarun Tejpal case - rape victim on trial

In India, a judge has thrown out charges against journalist and publisher Tarun Tejpal, accused of raping a female colleague. The allegations attracted a lot of attention as it involved a major media figure. His magazine was one of the leaders in Indian investigative journalism, his publishing house India Ink represented major figures, and he was often seen with friends Arundhati Roy and VS Naipaul. Not content with acquitting the accused, the judge went on to question the character of the alleged victim. The 527-page judgment reads like a checklist of sexist tropes on rape victims. Judge...

Right to protest, right to strike

The campaign to stop the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is relaunching on 29 May with a fourth national Kill the Bill day of action: information here. Labour movement activists should get out on the streets with trade union, Labour Party and campaign delegations and banners. Socialists need to push harder in the labour movement, both trade unions and Labour Party, to mobilise it in support of the struggle against the Police Bill. We need to widen discussion, in the labour movement and among Kill the Bill activists, about the right to protest. If the Police Bill passes, it will...

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