Civil liberties, justice, crime

Activist agenda: Uyghurs, health and safety, neurodivergent people and councils

The Uyghur Solidarity Campaign and the Hong Kong campaign LMSHKUK will protest on 4 June from 7 pm outside the Chinese Embassy in London: “Remember Tiananmen 1989 -Democracy, freedom, workers’ rights for China, Hong Kong, Tibet, and Uyghurs”. The Safe and Equal campaign is putting together a model Covid safety survey. It wants health and safety reps to use this period where there is a lull in the pandemic to conduct workplace inspections and a survey of the workforce. Health and safety reps have a legal right to paid time off for these duties. We don’t know if there will be future waves coming...

Police Bill: organise for a long haul

Thousands turned out in London on May Day to oppose the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, and there were demonstrations all over the country. Workers’ Liberty supporters were there in London and many other places, selling Solidarity and other literature, arguing for a push to bring the labour movement into the Police Bill fight, and to overturn the anti-union laws and other earlier restrictions on the right protest. The London protest was a welcome change from the usual London May Day, which tends to be smaller, older, and with banners of Stalin and the like, which were completely...

Tackling bias in justice

The topic of justice and in particular social justice has rightly been a big subject for discussion since the Black Lives Matter protests of last summer 2020. Vast portions of the population were newly educated as to the damage the so-called justice system does to the Black and Brown communities. What is less seen is the inherent solidarity that neurodivergent people have with the Black and Brown communities, how both communities with their respective intersections are treated in engagements with the police on the street and in the justice system itself. To understand this connection, it is...

"Workers have never been gifted anything. We've protested and won"

This is a speech given by Fire Brigades Union National Officer and Free Our Unions activist Riccardo la Torre (pictured above, centre) at the 2021 May Day protest in Southend in Essex. Republished from the Free Our Unions website; you can watch the speech as a video on their site here. I’m Riccardo la Torre from the Fire Brigades Union, bringing May Day solidarity to all of you. It’s fantastic, and encouraging, to see that we’re all out here today demonstrating, protesting, which is our right and our freedom. We’re doing it in the face of a Bill that threatens that very right and those very...

Accessibility should be standard

Over thirty delegates attended the RMT transport workers’ union’s 2021 Disabled Members’ Conference online on 17 and 18 April. The conference demanded that workplace accessibility be “as standard” not “as required”. An accessible job is one in which a disabled worker does not have to ask for adjustments, because barriers have already been removed. With the pandemic and the economic crisis accompanying it, delegates acknowledged that disabled transport workers feel insecure in their jobs and that the union needs a concerted fightback which incorporates this and other equality issues. Conference...

1 May: Bring unions out against Police Bill

The labour movement is still not a force in the anti-Police Bill struggle. For us to win, it needs to be. The Tories’ delaying of the Bill shows they are vulnerable to pressure; so do repeated retreats on their Overseas Operations Bill (part of the same authoritarian-nationalist agenda). The Labour leadership whipped its MPs to abstain on Overseas Operations, with opposition mounted by left-wing MPs and members of the House of the Lords. Labour planned to abstain on the Police Bill until the pressure of demonstrations pushed it to vote against. However its “opposition” was politically weak...

Minneapolis: awaiting the verdict

As we go to press on the evening of 20 April, thousands of National Guard soldiers have been deployed in Minneapolis in preparation for the jury’s verdict in the trial of police officer Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd – and large numbers in major cities across the US. The police and the National Guard are on the back foot, but protesters may well face repression, particularly if expressing outrage at an acquittal or semi-acquittal. In a country where police killings have run at a hundred a month since Floyd’s death, it is not to be ruled out that police may kill an African...

Target Beijing's big-business allies!

Trade union leader Lee Cheuk Yan, socialist Leung Kwok Hung (“Long Hair”), and media mogul Jimmy Lai were given prison sentences of 14 months, 18 months and 14 months respectively, on 16 April, from their trial as leaders of the broad-based Civil and Human Rights Front. Some other defendants, including 82-year-old former barrister and moderate democrat Martin Lee, were given suspended sentences. Another trial started on 19 April, again on the charge of organising unauthorised assemblies, with three socialists, Avery Ng and Figo Chan from the League of Social Democrats, and Cyd Ho from the...

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