Solidarity 397, 9 March 2016

Calais: police have attacked 73%


Phil Grimm and Gemma Short

Research by the charity Help Refugees and the Refugee Rights Data project has revealed the shocking extent of the police brutality, racist attacks and poor living conditions faced by migrants at a the Calais “Jungle” camp.

According to the research, three-quarters of refugees in the “Jungle” camp near the French port have been the victim of violence at the hands of police. The charity also says it believes nearly half of the Calais’s refugees have also suffered violence directed at them by citizens, mostly carried out by far-right groups.

Industrial news in brief


Ruth Cashman, Gemma Short and Janine Booth

Local writers Jay Rayner and Will Self joined library workers, local readers and residents marching on 5 March against Lambeth Council’s plans to close half the borough’s libraries.

Why Corbyn is right on decriminalisation of sex work

Speaking at a recent meeting at Goldsmiths University Jeremy Corbyn was asked for his opinion on whether sex work should be decriminalised. His reply was: “I am in favour of decriminalising the sex industry. I don’t want people to be criminalised. I want to be [in] a society where we don’t automatically criminalise people. Let’s do things a bit differently and in a bit more civilised way.”

Compliance Unit expels Wrack


Gerry Bates

Following the recent expulsions of Jill Mountford and Cathy Nugent, members of the Lewisham Labour Parties, on grounds of association with Workers’ Liberty, Nick Wrack has been expelled from Camberwell and Peckham Labour Party, also in south London.

All these expulsions have been carried out by the shadowy “Compliance Unit”, an (unelected) subsection of Labour Party head office given no authority by the Labour Party rulebook which nonetheless has declared itself to have powers to decree “automatic” expulsion.

Verses from the First World War: Conscientious Objectors


Janine Booth

Once the Military Service Act come into force in 1916, men aged 18-41 had to apply to a Military Tribunal if they believed that they had a reason not to be drafted. The majority had health, work or family reasons, but 2% were Conscientious Objectors (COs): men who objected to military service because they objected to war.

Stalinists as victims (review of Trumbo)


Eric Lee

Trumbo is a the latest in a series of Hollywood films that looks back nostalgically at the McCarthy era. This was, according to Hollywood, a time when the good guys were blacklisted writers accused of membership in the Communist Party, and the bad guys were the US government, studio bosses, and right-wing media.

Junior doctors set for a long battle


Pete Campbell

On 9-11 March thousands of junior doctors will take to the picket lines again. The first of three 48 hour periods of "emergency care only" provision marks a serious turning point in the dispute. The stakes are high.

Affordable, available, assured: Homes for all!



Already, on average, in England, rent takes 43% of the income of households renting privately. (That’s 43% of average gross income of the main householder and partner including housing benefit, it’s 52% of income excluding HB).

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