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Celebrating Cuba:Fifty Years of Revolution - photography exhibition
A Cuba50 sponsored event
22 February 2010

Fifty Years of Revolution - photography exhibition

Tuesday 2 - Thursday 4 March 2010, 10am-5pm
Tuesday 2 March, 5-8pm - Private view and exhibition launch

A specially commissioned photographic exhibition by Cuban photographer Alejandro Gortazar.

Featuring fifty beautiful photos celebrating Cuba and the lives of the Cuban people over the last half century. Alejandro is a widely exhibited professional photographer with over 10 years' experience. He has travelled widely across the island photographing key moments, people and landscapes.

Bolivar Hall
54 Grafton Way
London W1T 5DL
(Warren St tube)

Public viewings Tuesday 2nd March - Thursday 4th March 10am -5pm each day. Open to all.

Launch event Tuesday 2nd March 2010 5pm -8pm Invitation only. Contact the CSC office on 020 8800 0155 for an invitation to this launch.

Thanks to Unison General Political Fund,a OH Parsons, trade union solicitors, nd Havana Club for their kind sponsorship of this exhibition.

Supported by Cuba Cuba Solidarity Campaign, Cuba50, the Embassy of Cuba, and the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela.

More information from [email protected]
Tel 0208 800 0155

Following Bolivar Hall, the exhibition will then be exhibited at venues across the UK through 2010 Please contact CSC if you would like to host the exhibition locally.
Photograph copyright: Alejandro Gortezar

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Protest outside Royal Court of Justice: Britain must uphold international law - No impunity for Israel, 0930-1030, February 25th 2010
Palestinian Human Rights organisation Al-Haq - lead by Phil Shiner - has made a claim for a judicial Review to challenge the government over its failure to fulfil its obligations under international law with respect to Israel's activities in the Occupied Palestinian territories.

The hearing will take place at 0945 on the 25th of February - join our protest outside the Royal Court of Justice (the Strand) from 0930 till 1030 and show your support for the Palestinian people. You can also sit in the public gallery whilst the case is being heard.

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Justice for the Shrewsbury Pickets - 02-02-2010
Justice for the Shrewsbury Pickets

After the 1972 Building Workers’ National Strike 24 Trade Unionists were tried at Shrewsbury in a hostile act perpetrated by a Tory Government to criminalise picketing. A number of these men were given severe prison sentences. Best known of them were Des Warren and Ricky Tomlinson, who became referred to as the “Shrewsbury 2.” Des died as a direct result of the treatment that was meted out to him during his lengthy incarceration.

Successive Governments both Tory and Labour, have remained unresponsive to the calls for these perverse judgements to be set aside, and for these men to be cleared. There is now a renewal of the campaign, even after all this time, and the death of some of those involved, to secure justice for these Trade Union Comrades.

The campaign is also calling for a Public Inquiry to expose the role of successive governments and the secret services in the events surrounding this important time in labour history
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The election is off but the campaigning must begin
Welcome to the first campaign update of the new campaigning year. Now that a general election is off for the time being, it is important that we refocus our efforts onto next year’s local and London Assembly elections. We achieved some great results last May, with the BNP ending up with the same number of councillors as when it went into the campaign. This was despite the BNP leader’s own claim, made only 48 hours before polling day, that the party would gain 30-60 councillors!

But there is no room for complacency. We won because we upped our game. Even the BNP has publicly admitted that we out-organised them. Together with local political parties we ran a much more targeted election campaign operation than the BNP, but more importantly, the parties heeded the call for year-round campaigning. Hence the need to start now for next May. For a look at the anti-BNP campaign for the next year click here.

Nowhere is the threat as big as in London, where the BNP missed out on a London Assembly seat in 2004 by just 0.3%. Following the implosion of the UKIP (which gained two places in 2004 with 8.2% of the vote) and the rise of the BNP in northeast London, we face a Herculean task to stop the BNP this year. Turnout is the key, as this article in the October Searchlight clearly demonstrates click here.

Searchlight is currently drawing up its campaign plan for 2008. If you would like to work with Searchlight or are in a council area/ward where the BNP poses a threat and would like some advice or support then please contact me on [email protected]

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Urgent medical treatment needed for jailed Iranian
trade union leader

Mansour Osanloo, the jailed leader of the bus workers'
union in Tehran, faces the possible loss of his
eyesight unless he receives urgent medical attention
-- which the Iranian authorities are denying him.

Amnesty International has just now launched an online
calling on the Iranian government to allow Osanloo to
receive medical attention. I urge all of you to sent
off your messages today. The Iranian government must
be made aware that the world is watching.

The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF),
which has spearheaded the international campaign in
defense of Osanloo, has now produced a short film
entitled "Freedom Will Come"
() which
tells his story. It can be viewed online on YouTube,
and will shortly be available as a DVD as well.

If every reader of this message passes it on to a few
friends and colleagues, we can flood the Iranian
government with email messages -- but we must do this
quickly, before Osanloo loses his vision.
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From ZCTU Information

Dear Colleagues,
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions acting Secretary General, Japhet Moyo has been picked up by police from the fraud section.
It is not clear why they are questioning him and the ZCTU lawyer, Alec Muchadehama has rushed to the police to find out what is going on.

Cde Moyo has been in acting capacity since late last month when Wellington Chibebe went on leave.

The ZCTU believes this is just another ploy to further harass ZCTU leadership, more so given the fact that Cde Moyo has been the acting Secretary General.

We will keep you updated of any further developments.
To take action please click on this link

In solidarity
Simon Chase
Campaigns Officer
Action for Southern Africa

231 Vauxhall Bridge Road
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ITUC calls on Companies to End Business Links with Burma - 12-10-2007
Burmese Trade Union Federation Asks Companies to Disinvest

Brussels, 11 October 2007: The ITUC is currently writing to 430 companies worldwide which have or are suspected to have business links with Burma, calling on them to end their business links. The action is in support of the ITUC associated organisation the Federation of Trade Unions – Burma (FTUB), which today renewed its call for companies to disinvest in the country. In the letter, ITUC General Secretary underlines that in spite of the growing number of companies doing business there, economic conditions for the vast majority of Burmese are deteriorating, while it is the military junta and its small coterie of supporters which are benefiting.

“The Burmese junta, responsible for years of murder, torture, massive forced labour and absolute repression of the population, is ripping off billions of dollars and every single business deal which is done helps line the pockets of the generals. This corrupt and incompetent regime is responsible for a catastrophic fall in living standards across the country. , Foreign investment has done nothing to stop that. On the contrary, it fuels repression by enabling the regime to purchase weapons used against defenceless civilians: the army’s share in the national budget is 40%. Health and education combined amount to less than 7%! ‘Business as usual’ in Burma will only make the junta stronger”, said Ryder.

The Global Unions public database listing companies with actual or suspected business relations with Burma is updated on an ongoing basis, and companies which show that they no longer have business links are removed from the list. Companies which do not withdraw will be the subject of further pressure in their home countries from ITUC national affiliates and also by the Global Union Federations in the different economic sectors.

The company-based action is taking place alongside trade union campaign action to get governments, the European Union and other intergovernmental bodies to strengthen and deepen economic and financial sanctions and cut off military and security supplies to the regime. ITUC and European TUC affiliates are currently pressing the European governments to ensure that EU sanctions (ITUC and ETUC Call on European Union to Adopt Tough Sanctions), which will be reviewed on Monday, include a comprehensive ban on EU trade with Burma covering all strategic sectors, including in particular oil and gas, gemstones, and tropical wood.


Founded on 1 November 2006, the ITUC represents 168 million workers in 153 countries and territories and has 305 national affiliates.

For more information, please contact the ITUC Press Department on: +32 2 224 0204 or +32 476 621 018.

12/10/2007 - themes : South-East Asia, Human Rights, Trade union rights Contact details
Department Human and Trade Union Rights
Mr. Janek Kuczkiewicz
Director Human and Trade Union Rights

Telephone: 32-2-224.03.08
Fax: 32-2-224.02.97
E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]

Boulevard du Roi Albert II, 5, Bte 1
1210 Brussels

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Piers Morgan & Seymour Hersh back media workers'conference - 09-10-2007
From: Media Workers mailing
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2007 08:34:05 +0100
To: Media Workers mailing
Subject: Piers Morgan & Seymour Hersh back media workers' conference

Media Workers Against the War

In this mailing:
1. Government in last-minute climb-down on anti-war demo
2. THE FIRST CASUALTY? War, Truth and the Media Today
3. Piers Morgan & Seymour Hersh back media workers' conference
4. Seymour Hersh: Bush's plan for Iran
5. Audio slideshow: These are who they want to bomb in Iran
6. Video: What the Iraqi resistance looks like
7. Day-school: Proxy Wars in Africa
8. FT's attack on BBC's "dangerous mindset" is childsplay

1. Government in last-minute climb-down on anti-war demo

Anti-war protesters were given an 11th hour go-ahead to stage a march to parliament on Monday after police had earlier threatened to use an old Victorian law to stop them

Read the Mirror's report here:

2. THE FIRST CASUALTY? War, Truth and the Media Today

London School of Economics
Saturday Nov 17

Andrew Gilligan (sacked by the BBC), Peter Wilby (columnist, the Media Guardian, former editor of the Independent on Sunday), Sean Langan (maker of BBC documentaries on Iraq and Afghanistan), Michelle Stanistreet (president, NUJ), Catherine Mayer (correspondent for Time magazine, former president of the Foreign Press Association 2003-2005), Sami Ramadani (Iraqi Democrat Against Occupation), Phillip Knightley (author: The First Casualty), Moazzam Begg (former Guantanamo inmate), Andrew Murray (national chair, Stop the War), Amir Amirani (Iranian documentary maker), Piers Robinson (Manchester University, author of groundbreaking research on war coverage), and others


This will be the largest gathering for many years of workers inside the media to discuss effective campaigning against war and media lies. It comes at a key juncture as the US gears up for war on Iran and British media bosses are on the back foot over fakery and deception.

Tickets £10 / £7 – BUY NOW securely online here:

Or email [email protected]

3. Piers Morgan, Seymour Hersh back media workers' conference

Piers Morgan, whose Daily Mirror was a brilliant anti-war paper before he was sacked, is out of the country in November so can't come to the Nov 17 conference on war and the media (see above). But he gave us this quote to use in publicity:

"The most effective way to prevent imperialistic, illegal and unethical wars waged by self-serving governments is a strong, aggressive and very loud media. It's just a shame we haven't seen much of that recently."

We also invited Seymour Hersh, who wrote back:

"I have three trips to Europe between now and end of October. That's enough. Good luck on the conference... Lots of good people speaking. Sy."

Conference details here:

4. Seymour Hersh: Bush's plan for Iran

The veteran investigative reporter reveals in this week’s New Yorker that there has “been a significant increase in the tempo of attack planning” by the US, and that “the bombing plan has had its most positive reception from the newly elected government of Britain’s Prime Minister, Gordon Brown”:

5. Audio slideshow: These are who they want to bomb in Iran

Just in case we needed reminding, here's a brilliant audio-picture sequence from Iran, showing who will be the real victims of any western military attack on Iran. Watch it here, together with some recent headlines that demonstrate the reality of this threat:

6. Video: What the Iraqi resistance looks like

This clip shows a convoy of trucks driven by US contractors which lost its way in the small town of Balad, 70km north of Baghdad. It is attacked, first by youths throwing stones, and then by small arms fire. The video, broadcast on US TV, demonstrates that the Iraqi population at large is well-armed and intensely hostile to the occupation.

Video and background it here:

7. Day-school: Proxy Wars in Africa

What do the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan have in common with the wars ravaging Africa? How is the 'war on terror' impacting on Africans both in Africa and in the west?

As part of Black History Month, Stop the War Coalition are holding a day conference on war in the middle east and Africa, in collaboration with ALISC Network and SOAS students' society Friends of Africa.

Saturday 13 October
10am to 5pm
Room V111, Vernon Square Building
School of Oriental and African Studies
London WC1

For details tel. 07984 405 307
Or email: [email protected]
Or click here:

8. FT's attack on BBC's "dangerous mindset" is childsplay

MWAW has argued consistently that the recent onslaught from the right on the BBC is a continuation of Blair's assault on the media over coverage of the war on terror. Now the Financial Times has published an article by one of its leading commentators that neatly confirms this argument.

Read the rest of this article here:
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Cuba Update, Tuesday 9 October 2007

FORTHCOMING EVENTS ......................................

TUESDAY 9 October 2007, 5.30-6.45pm
US Embassy (outside), Grosvenor Square, London (Bond Street tube) with
guest speakers Jeremy Corbyn, MP for Islington North Jeremy Dear,
General Secretary, National Union of Journalists Father Geoff Bottoms,
Chair of the CSC Free the Five Campaign Steve Cottingham, OH Parsons
Trade Union Lawyers

Followed by
REMEMBERING CHE: an evening of films and speakers to mark the 40th
anniversary of the assassination of Che Guevara.

TUESDAY 9 October 2007, 7pm-9pm
Mayfair Library, 25 South Audley Street, London, W1K 2PB (Bond St tube)
(FREE ENTRY) For more information please go to:


Lawrence Wilkerson, retired US army colonel and Secretary of State Colin
Powell's Chief of Staff from 2002-05 writes about the case of the Miami

I attended a briefing by Leonard Weinglass (he of the Daniel
Ellsberg/Pentagon Papers fame, of the Amy Carter tribulations, and other
famous efforts to achieve justice against at times huge odds) at Howard
University's Law School on Wednesday, 12 September. I was stunned by
what counselor Weinglass revealed.

Read Lawrence Wilkerson's comments in full at:


8 October 2007

LA PAZ - Thousands of people, most of them young people from different
countries, began a 60-km march to the village of La Higuera in
southeastern Bolivia to participate in a vigil in memory of the
Argentine-Cuban revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara, who was murdered
there 40 years ago.

Find out more at:


Following Sunday's train crash in Cuba, ASLEF General Secretary Keith
Norman has sent condolences to the families of the victims.

Read the letter here:


SATURDAY 20 October, Cymru Cuba 25 years - 25 mlynedd,Theatr Clwyd, Mold
- Yr Wyddgrug, full details:

MONDAY 1 October - 10 November, Cubanismo, Capital Culture, London An
exhibition of photographs of Cuba from the 1930s to the present day,

FRIDAY 12 October - 9 November 2007, Choco: Colour and rhythm from Cuba
Exhibition by Eduardo Roca Salazar (Choco) Cuba's leading
neo-expressionist figurative artist - celebrated inside and outside Cuba
for his oil painting, mixed media and collograph prints.

SATURDAY 1 December, Latin America 2007, Congress House, London, full

Cuba Update is the news and information bulletin of the Cuba Solidarity
Campaign, UK. Reports in this bulletin are from various sources on the
web and may contain opinions and phrasing that do not reflect the views
of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign.

Due to the growth in subscriptions we have recently moved the
administration of
Cuba Update. To subscribe or unsubscribe:


Cuba Solidarity Campaign
c/o Red Rose Club,
129 Seven Sisters Rd,
London N7 7QG

Tel. 020 7263 6452 Fax. 020 7561 0191

Email: [email protected]

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Dear Colleagues


FRIDAY 10TH FEBRUARY 2006 – 16:30

Immediate Release

An Employment Tribunal today (10th February) at Newcastle Upon Tyne found that ASDA had illegally offered an inducement to 340 trade union members to give up the collective agreement negotiated by their union GMB.

The Employment Tribunal sat between 16th-19thJanuary this year and the judgement was delivered today. The Employment Tribunal directed ASDA to pay a fixed sum of £2,500 to each of the 340 GMB members involved which amounts to £850,000 in total.

ASDA’s anti union activities were found to be in breach of Section 145B of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Consolidation Act 1992.

Paul Kenny, Acting General Secretary of GMB said “Last year ASDA offered GMB members in Washington a pay rise of 10% if they would give up their membership – our members rejected this. ASDA have been found guilty of trying to bribe their way to a union free company. They have been directed to pay £0.85 million. The ASDA management need to take a clear message from this – GMB is not going away and the Union will fight on every front to protect our member’s rights”.

Joni McDougall
International Solidarity Officer

GMB National Office

22-24 Worple Road

London SW19 4DD

Direct Dial: 020 8971 4272
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Faslane 365 - 24-01-2006
Faslane 365
October First 2006 will see the beginning of an audacious civil resistance initiative to apply critical public pressure for the disarmament of Britain’s nuclear weapons.

Building on the success of previous mass blockades of the Trident nuclear base at Faslane, there will be a year-long continuous peaceful blockade at Faslane in Scotland. To make this happen, groups and organisations from Scotland, England and Wales, and beyond are being invited to come and shut down the base for at least one 48-hour period each during the year.

The purpose of Faslane 365 is twofold: to bring people to witness and impede the nuclear base where Britain’s nuclear weapons are deployed, and enable them to demonstrate the range of serious concerns – from human rights to climate change – that people in the real world consider to be the vital challenges for the 21st century. Running from October 1st 2006 for a year, at a time when Tony Blair has put on the political agenda the prospect of spending some £40 billion more to keep nuclear weapons in Scotland until at least the year 2055, Faslane 365 will draw attention to the dangerous insecurity and waste of resources inherent in the Trident nuclear system, and will mobilise support for these nuclear mistakes to be disarmed. In preventing nuclear ‘business as usual’ we also intend to highlight our real, human security needs, which will require a very different allocation of resources and action.

In order to do this, Faslane 365 is asking a wide range of local, national and even international groups from all sections of civil society to come to Faslane with at least 100 people committed to stay and make their visions for a just and peaceful future visible for at least one period of 48 hours. To ensure effective coverage, groups will overlap on the first day with the previous group and on the second with the incoming group. Groups can also share their blockade or make use of the fact that Faslane has two main gates, at which different events could be held. The more people in your group the better, and smaller groups could also combine with others to make up the required number. If some groups are able to commit to more than one period – perhaps at a different time of year – that is more than welcome!

While an important aim of the initiative is to have enough people prepared to blockade and disrupt the comings and goings of this nuclear base, we strongly encourage groups to consider creative and innovative ways to make links between their particular priorities and the dangerous diversion of resources devoted to Trident, for example through music, theatre, workshops, festivals, redecoration of the base and so on. On the understanding that the deployment and threat to use nuclear weapons undermines their vision of a better society, each group is also encouraged to use their 48 hours for outreach and networking, including contacting and attracting media to cover their presence at Faslane and the issues they want to highlight.

All who participate will contribute, but no one organisation will ‘own’ the continuous blockade. All groups will need to agree to a basic set of non-negotiable guidelines that stress nonviolence and respect for all. All groups must also commit to the main demand: Trident must be taken out of deployment and the government should make a timetable for dismantling the weapons, together with a commitment not to develop any new nuclear weapons. Beyond these basic commitments, it is up to individual groups to conduct the blockade as they see fit.

We aim to start on October 1st, 2006 - the anniversary of the Judgement of the Nuremberg Tribunal. The first blockade has already been booked for a women’s blockade that links Faslane 365 with one of the biggest successes of the peace movement, the removal of ‘cruise’ nuclear weapons and closure of the Greenham Common airbase. Twenty-five years from the start of the Greenham Common Peace Camp, this connection carries proven experience of the effectiveness of combining civil society opposition at the physical site of deployment with creative actions and networking that will send our different visions of shared, cooperative security around the world.

Become part of this unique opportunity to make a vital difference! We know this initiative will catch imaginations and grow, but we want to have 100 groups signed up for the first hundred days before we give the final go-ahead. We need you to join us! There will be plenty of help and support, including nonviolence workshops, and a detailed briefing pack. Contact us for more specific information and to discuss any questions or practical issues that your group may have. [email protected] 01263 512049

Donations are welcome and cheques should be made out to ‘Faslane 365’
and sent to Valley Farmhouse, East Runton, Cromer, Norfolk, NR27 9PN.
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Thursday 19 January 2006
Justice Not Vengeance 07980 748 555


Today, Thursday 19 January 2006, Milan Rai, 40, became the first person
to be charged with organising an unauthorised demonstration in the
vicinity of Parliament under the new Serious Organised Crime and Police
Act. The maximum penalty for this charge is 51 weeks imprisonment.

Rai, author and activist with the anti-war group 'Justice Not Vengeance'
(JNV), was arrested on 25 October last year for organising the
demonstration that led to the conviction of Maya Evans, also of JNV (2).
He was not charged then. The Crown Prosecution Service have delayed a
decision, citing problems with the CCTV footage of the incident. (Maya
Evans was convicted without the benefit of such footage.)

Rai and Evans were arrested opposite Downing Street, while they held a
two-person ceremony of remembrance, reading the names of Iraqi civilians
and British soldiers who have died in the illegal occupation of Iraq

Rai, who recently spent two weeks in Lewes prison for an anti-war
protest, said: 'We should not have to ask permission to remember the
dead. I am prepared to go to court and I am prepared to go to prison to
oppose war and the erosion of our rights.'

1. Milan Rai is the author of 7/7: The London Bombings, Islam and the
Iraq War (Pluto, due in April 2006)
2. Maya Evans was convicted on 7 December 2005 of taking part in an
unauthorised demonstration in the Designated Area
3. See for further details.

Justice Not Vengeance, 29 Gensing Road, St Leonards on Sea,
East Sussex TN38 0HE
01424 428 792 / 07980 748 555
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Re Deportation Arrests 11 August 2005 - 12-08-2005
Press Statement #3
Re Deportation Arrests 11 August 2005

The seven men we represent who were suddenly arrested yesterday morning have been imprisoned separately as far away as it is possible to place them from their families (those who are married), their lawyers and importantly their doctors, in Long Lartin prison in Worcestershire and Full Sutton prison near York.

One was taken from the psychiatric hospital where he has been an inpatient since his release from Broadmoor Hospital under a Control Order on March 11th of this year. He is one of two men now rearrested who were moved from Belmarsh prison to Broadmoor Hospital in 2004 after three years of indefinite detention had destroyed their sanity. They are at serious risk; we are informed that all of those now detained at Long Lartin prison are on suicide watch. These include a third man who was released from Belmarsh to house arrest in 2004 because he too had been driven into madness by incarceration in prison. All of the detainees are refugees; so too are their families; most are victims of torture.

The Home Office is completely aware of the recent serious psychiatric history of each and the reasons for that history.

The Home Office itself proposed bail on conditions for each of these men in March 2005 even before each man was made the subject of a Control Order. Each man and his family have since then struggled to abide by complicated and severe conditions. No one can possibly suggest that any man is arrested because he has breached those conditions. No one can possibly suggest that any is connected in any way to the incidents in this country that have claimed to be the reason for the measures being taken against them.

Those held in Full Sutton prison have been put into a Special Secure Unit that was closed down a decade ago on the basis it was unfit for human habitation, in particular because it is suffocatingly claustrophobic. Cells in that unit are even smaller than those in Belmarsh prison. The windows look out onto an exercise yard so dark that lights have to be kept on at all times. The unit is literally covered in cobwebs. It remains unfit for humans.

Birnberg Peirce & Partners 12/08/2005
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Press Statement - Birnberg Peirce & Partners 11/8/05

A number of men we represent who are the subject of Control Orders were arrested this morning and told that they would be deported. The Home Office did not think it necessary to give a single word of explanation to those individuals as to why this morning they can be safely deported to their respective countries of origin when last night they could not. If there are “memoranda of understanding“ between this country and the brutal regimes from which they have fled, those have not been provided to those men or to us. The men themselves in any event have been throughout today deliberately put out of reach of lawyers who represent them. We do not know where they are and the Home Office will not tell us. We have a strong suspicion that they are deliberately being separated in a number of directions now so as to make access even more problematic.

The 2001 Anti Terrorism Crime and Security Act was introduced for this specific claimed purpose of being able to lock up foreign nationals without trial who with certainty would be tortured or killed if they were deported. If the Home Office claims that it can now rely upon diplomatic assurances from appalling regimes whom it knows, on strong evidence make use of torture, then it does so in the face of universal international rejection of such “assurances”.

Diplomatic assurances that torture will not be used could never be asked of countries that truly guarantee human rights. Such assurances carry no sanction if breached, they are unenforceable, they provide those brutal regimes with an endorsement by our government that they are true democracies and since regimes that use torture regularly subcontract that work, the regimes themselves can claim that rogue torturers operate without state blessing.

The Home Office can not suggest that either of the countries concerned, Algeria or Jordan, has undergone overnight any internal revolution that does away with torture. Jordan and Algeria are at the top of every list of countries known to use the most brutal of forbidden measures. We ourselves believe that even now planes depart on behalf of the USA carrying suspects to detention centres in Jordan that use torture (the appalling practice of “rendition”). We know that in the recent “ricin” prosecution, false evidence was extracted by torture from a detainee in Algeria. That false evidence was thereafter seized upon and given as a justification for this country’s invasion of Iraq.

Each successive claim made by the Home Office during the past three years has contradicted itself. There is thereafter silence as to why the position changes. If it is necessary that these men have to now be arrested, why does the Home Office say in March just before placing them under Control Orders that all could appropriately be on bail? If these men can be safely deported now, why has the Home Office claimed for so years that that was impossible? If it is claimed that recent incidents in this country demand these measures how is it that a number of men, primarily Algerians, come to be rounded up under yet new measures as the usual suspects; is there a single suggestion that can be made that they have in any way participated in or had any connection with recent incidents said to justify recent incidents said to demand these measures?

Ultimately this move risks disenfranchising this country from the international community that guarantees true observance of fundamental human rights. We cannot be part of that community which means abiding by our treaty obligations and trade human beings at will in this way. This is insane and dangerous government at its worse. The Prime Minister is wrong. The rules of the game have not changed. The rules that we pray in aid cannot be changed for the purposes of political grandstanding and he, of all people, as a lawyer, should know that.

Gareth Peirce
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For immediate release: 16 May 2002
For interviews, further information, contact Ken Stevens or Keith Bill of Union Communications on 020 7924 7555 or mobile 07788 528 527


George Brumwell, leader of the construction workers’ union UCATT and the man who took on the insurance industry by taking the landmark Fairchild asbestos case to the House of Lords said today that the Law Lords’ decision to back the union by overturning earlier judgements of the High Court and Court of Appeal was ‘an historic victory.’

He declared: ‘This judgement will help tens of thousands of sufferers from the asbestos-related disease mesothelioma and will teach the insurance industry a lesson it will never forget.’

He continued: ‘ Last year 5,000 people in the UK died of asbestos-related diseases, most from mesothelioma. Those figures are rising and by 2010 some 10,000 people in Britain will die every year from exposure to asbestos,again most from mesothelioma. The High Court and Court of Appeal backed the insurance companies and held that no compensation should be paid to the victims or their families if the victims were exposed to asbestos by two or more employers. Victims would have to prove where the fatal fibres came from
or they would get nothing.

‘I was determined we should challenge this. Unfortunately most people who contract an asbestos-related disease are construction workers, members of UCATT, and they move from site to site.’ Had the union lost it would have faced legal costs of up to £1 million.

The judgement means that:

1. Compensation can now be paid to Judith Fairchild, widow of UCATT member Arthur Fairchild, in whose name the case was brought by UCATT. Arthur, from Leeds, died in 1996 after being exposed to asbestos while working for Leeds City Council and Waddingtons, the Leeds-based card company.

2. Some 500 similar cases ‘in the pipeline’ which have been frozen pending the outcome of the Law Lords’ deliberations can now proceed and compensation be paid.

3. Those who fall ill with mesothelioma in coming months and years will now be able to claim compensation.

4. Insurance companies are likely to have to pay out between £6 and £8 BILLION to victims in coming years ­ money they would have saved if the judgement had gone against UCATT. The three insurance companies chiefly involved are Eagle Star, Norwich Union and Iron Trades.

Said George Brumwell: ‘When our case lost in the High Court and the Court of Appeal the insurance industry was congratulating itself that the ‘asbestos problem’ as they saw it had been put to bed. But we took the case to the Lords.

‘Now we see how right we were and how wrong the courts, and the insurance industry, was. Insurance companies have to accept their responsibilities. They have been shamed by this decision.

‘We are pleased for Judith Fairchild, the widow of our member, who now
receives compensation, though it cannot make up for the loss of her husband, killed by asbestos through the negligence of Leeds City Council and Waddingtons.

‘The judgement is indeed a landmark judgement and will change the lives of hundreds who are suffering and the thousands to follow them.’

Commented Spencer Wood of O.H.Parsons, the solicitor handling the case for UCATT: ‘The union has secured a significant judgement which will change the lives of tens of thousands of people.’

Said Judith Fairchild, widow of Arthur: ‘ We got the right result, not only for myself but the thousands affected by this awful disease. My husband deserved to win.’


George Brumwell has waged a personal crusade against asbestos for 25 years.

25 years ago, as a union official in Yorkshire, he took his first asbestos case to court and realised then that it is ‘a killer’

Two years ago the campaign, largely led by George Brumwell, resulted in the Government banning the use of asbestos.

This year the Health and Safety Executive (George Brumwell is a Commissioner on the Health and Safety Commission) is issuing a regulation compelling all owners of buildings to carry out a survey to identify the use, and the condition, of asbestos in buildings and to take appropriate action.

With the Fairchild case the Law Lords took two others, that of 54 year old sufferer Edwin Matthews from Rochester, Kent, and the widow of Thomas Fox.

Ken Stevens
Union Communications
Tel: 020 7924 7555
Mobile: 07751 163 496
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Bernard Regan
PSC TU Liaison Officer
[email protected]

ITF NEWS ONLINE: from the International Transport Workers' Federation
Issue no 50: 30 April 2002


Israeli government attacks on Palestinian buildings, including the
headquarters of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, of which the Palestinian Bus Drivers Union (PBDU) is a member, were strongly condemned by the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) last week. The PBDU is an ITF affiliate.

The ITF Executive Board, after consultation with affiliated transport unions in both Israel and Palestine, expressed its outrage "at the grave threat to world peace and security caused by the actions of the Israeli government".

Board members noted "the present situation imposes serious obstacles to the transport of goods and people in the area and has a serious effect on the lives of working people."

They also condemned terrorist activity against Israeli citizens by suicide bombings.

The resolution came as the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) launched a second round of meetings with Palestinian and Israeli trade unionists in a bid to alleviate worker suffering in the conflict.

ITF Assistant General Secretary, Stuart Howard, is also in the region
attending the first ever ITF sponsored seminar for transport unions in the Arab world in the Jordanian capital of Amman.
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Solidarity with Oscar Olivera - 30-12-2001
Oscar Olivera is a Bolivian campaigner against water privatisation, who has addressed several meetings in Britain. On 27 November he was arrested and charged with sedition, conspiracy, instigating public disorder, criminal association and other charges. He was released the same day but must report to the police every 72 hours and can be re-arrested at any time.
For more information please contact or
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Rally against privatisation - 28-06-2001
LB Waltham Forest trade unions TGWU, NUT and UNISON are to ballot their members for strike action against the privatisation of the local Education Department, which provides central services to the borough’s 90 schools. The borough council is planning to contract EduAction to run the Department from September 2001. EduAction, a company formed by Nord Anglia and Amey Construction, well known for its involvement in rail privatisation and PFI schools, is considered by local unions and parents’ groups to be dangerously lacking in depth of educational resources and in adequate understanding of and commitment to equal opportunities. There is a fear that the real aim of the EduAction bid is not merely to make money out of the borough’s education services but to involve the schools in PFI initiatives and in procurement of computer hardware and software – two obvious sources of profit from the education sector for the company’s corporate sponsors.
The unions are balloting their members for two days of strike action, with the announcement of the result due on Wednesday 11 July, the day that the Council will decide whether or not to proceed with the contracting out.

On Wednesday 11 July there will be a march assembling at 4.30pm in the Town Square, Walthamstow High Street, London E17 (nearest tube: Walthamstow Central). The march will go to a rally in the Town Hall, Forest Road, E17, at about 5.45pm. this will be addressed by national and local trade unionists, as well as local parents and head teachers. Everyone is welcome to join in.

Campaign leaflets are available from the contact email address on this site’s home page.

TGWU convenor and GLATUC Secretary Bob Tennant said today (29 June), “The TUC and our own union have come out firmly against the destruction of public services. We must look to the Labour and trade union movement not only to protect workers and the public from poor quality contractors – and EduAction is certainly that – but also from privatisation in itself. At a time when fascist political activity is re-emerging as a force in British politics it is folly to destroy the public services which are the difference between prospects of a decent life and a life on the margins. We are greatly encouraged by the TUC’s initiative.”

The Trade Union Councils’ Annual Conference, meeting last weekend, also took a firm position in support of public services and against fascism.

The TGWU sees this Education Department contract in the light of four other failed contracts with which it has been involved in the borough: Serco’s attempt to run vehicle maintenance, AAH Tyler’s and Service Team’s attempts to run street cleansing and refuse collection and, most recently, ICL’s contract to administer housing benefit. Last week, the Council announced that it was taking the contract away from ICL, a move described by the Deputy Leader of the Council as “a warning about privatisation. It is not a magic solution, even with something relatively straightforward such as this.” The vastly more complex and, in human terms, more sophisticated, Education Department is set to be Waltham Forest’s fifth consecutive failure.
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