WDIE Masthead

Year 2001 No. 134, August 2, 2001 ARCHIVE HOME SEARCH SUBSCRIBE

Public Meeting on the Terrorism Act 2000 and the Proscribing of 21 Groups:

Communities Speak Out against "Terrorist" Ban

Workers' Daily Internet Edition : Article Index :

Public Meeting on the Terrorism Act 2000 and the Proscribing of 21 Groups:
Communities Speak Out against "Terrorist" Ban

TUC Congress Preliminary Agenda Published

Education Privatisation in Bradford to Cost Jobs

Daily On Line Newspaper of the
Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist)

170, Wandsworth Road, London, SW8 2LA. Phone 020 7627 0599
Web Site: http://www.rcpbml.org.uk
e-mail: office@rcpbml.org.uk
Subscription Rates (Cheques made payable to Workers' Publication Centre):
Workers' Weekly Printed Edition:
70p per issue, £2.70 for 4 issues, £17 for 26 issues, £32 for 52 issues (including postage)

Workers' Daily Internet Edition sent by e-mail daily (Text e-mail):
1 issue free, 6 months £5, Yearly £10

Public Meeting on the Terrorism Act 2000 and the Proscribing of 21 Groups:

Communities Speak Out against "Terrorist" Ban

A public meeting against the Terrorism Act took place on Tuesday, July 31, at 7pm at the Council Chambers, Camden Town Hall, Judd St, London; it was organised by the Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CACC – a coalition of groups opposed to the Terrorism Act 2000).

Stephanie Harrison, chair of CACC, chaired the meeting. Speakers included Tony Benn, Dennis Goldberg (sentenced with Nelson Mandela for 22 years), Paddy Hillyard (Irish writer, author of the book "Suspect Community: People’s experiences of the PTA"), Richard Norton-Taylor (journalist "The Guardian"), Nulifer Koc (Kurdish Information Centre), S. Maharasingham (Tamil Action Committee), Dr Jasdev Singh Rai (Director, Sikh Human Rights Group), Rashid Massoudi (Algerian journalist), Liz Davies (Former Member, Labour NEC), Tim Gopsill (NUJ, Editor "Journalist"), and Gareth Pierce (Solicitor)

All spoke in a spirited manner giving graphic exposures and examples of how the state with the Terrorism Act is carrying out a general attack against the people and their opposition to the neo-liberal "Third Way" programme in Britain and internationally. Speakers drew parallels with apartheid South Africa, colonial counter insurgence laws in Ireland, Algeria, Kenya, India and elsewhere.

When the floor was opened for discussion, a wide range of contributors spoke in support of the aims of the campaign, the links with their own activities and how the work of the campaign could be developed. Amongst the points which were made were that there is a need to raise the issue at an international level.

A speaker from the Kurdish community spoke on the need the need for unity amongst the different communities. Another speaker suggested that satire against the state can be used to combat the fear which is engendered amongst people who are informed about what the state is doing to violate human rights. A speaker from Globalise Resistance who was in Genoa spoke of how these governments have no arguments and therefore are turning to these repressive measures. A speaker from the Green Party said that in this case we are the ones upholding the law. Tim Gopsill commented that it might appear that they are winning the media battle but we are winning the political battle. He gave the example of the 1988 ban of broadcasting members of the Irish republican movements, and how this was defeated through challenging and embarrassing the government through all possible avenues in the situation where the IRA called a cease fire.

CACC is planning another meeting at 7pm in the Conway Hall on August 20, 2001.

CACC is contactable c/o Haldane Society, Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, WC1R 4RL. Contact for information: Stephanie on 0796 87 87 762; Estella on 020 7250 1315 or 020 7586 5892

The aims of CACC:

* To overturn the banning orders on 21 groups

* To fight any government attempts to extend the ban to other groups

* To support groups challenging the ban in the courts

* To lobby for the repeal of the powers of proscription

* To campaign for repeal of the entire Terrorism Act

Article Index

TUC Congress Preliminary Agenda Published

According to the TUC, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Patricia Hewitt, will be one of the key speakers at this year’s TUC Congress in Brighton. She will be speaking on the annual conference’s first day (Monday 10 September).

Other speakers at Congress, which runs until Thursday, September 13, include: Gurbux Singh, Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality; Bert Massie, Chair of the Disability Rights Commission; Wanja Lundby-Wedin, President at the Swedish LO (TUC equivalent); and another senior cabinet minister to be confirmed.

The preliminary agenda, with motions to Congress, was released to unions on August 30. Motions cover: the role of the private sector in public services, abolition of the youth rate for the minimum wage, a review of the Employment Relations Act, and support for British manufacturing. The preliminary agenda is available on the web at www.tuc.org.uk/congressagenda

Article Index

Education Privatisation in Bradford to Cost Jobs

A booklet from private education firm Serco QAA told more than 1,000 former Bradford Council workers that some of them could lose their jobs. A pink "anti-stress" squeezy ball bearing the company logo accompanied it. Unions believe that Serco – which operates under the name Education Bradford – wants to cut 50 jobs.

According to the Bradford Telegraph & Argus, under a section headed Frequently Asked Questions, the leaflet describes possible staff cuts which could come into effect by January. "Our proposal includes a reduction in the number of people employed," it says. "It is too early to say whether there will be any redundancies, though this cannot be discounted. If it is necessary to reduce the number of posts, we will firstly try to do this by natural wastage, and then by voluntary means."

Liz Devlin, chair of the Bradford branch of UNISON, said, "These figures will be a shock to people."

Peter Roycroft, communications manager at Education Bradford, said the company "simply didn't know at this stage" whether redundancies would take place and if so, how many. He defended the stress balls saying: "We wanted to give everyone something with Serco's name on it. The fact they are actually stress balls is an indication of how we feel that we are going to take the stress away from people. It's a metaphor for the fact that people have been under a lot of pressure – the staff here have been through a hell of a lot."

Syd Matthews of the ATL union said, "Obviously they're expecting a lot of stress, but sending things like that out undermines their credibility."

Paul Wiehl, from the Association of Educational Psychologists, added, "Whether this is a message from Serco – expect stress – or supposed to be comforting and reassuring, I don't know. People don't know what to make of it and feel a bit patronised."

Article Index

RCPB(ML) Home Page

Workers' Daily Internet Edition Index Page