Saturday, 31 October 2009

live streaming from AEIP (?)

Something inside so strong London Gay Men's Choir

10yrs since Soho nailbombs, Ian Baynham was viciously murdered in Trafalgar Sq last week in a homophobic attack.

Around 5-7,000 people attended this vigil called at short notice to protest at the attacks and to pay their respects. The air was both positive and political.

This beautiful song sung by the choir was beautifully placed and made the vigil feel very special. There was a lot of emotion; couples, lgbt or not, could all feel the emotion. I'm sure Ians family gained strength from the solidarity.

A two minute silence followed speeches by local figureheads and Ians family and friends, and a naming of all those murdered in homophobic attacks was read out.

Click the link below for the video I took.

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, 30 October 2009

Critical Mass - we ARE traffic 30/10/09

Sent from my iPhone

Protest against homophobic attacks

10yrs since Soho nailbombs

The Camden Festival For PALESTINE

The Camden Festival For PALESTINE

Saturday 31st October, 1-5pm

With Mark Steele compere,
Poetic Pilgrimage - two African Muslim women
hip hop artists - and a Palestinian pianist called Zaki Nuseibeh, Bruce Kent
analysis, Someye Zadeh singer, Palestinian Kites display, Hanna Musleh film
’Walling in Walling Out’ Rahel’s Kitchen Palestinian food and lots more.


nearest Tube Kings Cross St Pancras; Mornington Crescent or Euston
Tickets are £4/5 and food £5
For further details call 07772084856
Camden Stop the War Coalition is one of the many active campaign gr0oups affiliated to the Stop the War Coalition.

For more information on this list please visit

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Noam Chomsky LIVE streaming NOW

Here's a photo of our streaming into the common room. Good ole Tariq
Ali with his Free Palestine badge on...

Go to NOW for live stream in your front room.

Hello to our Gazan friends who r also watching right now...

Sorry for loss in service. Our servers can't cope with the excess demand. Does anyone know how to switch servers mid way streaming?

Plz email me at I gave iPhone so will get ur message straight away or leave comment here.

We apologise for this technical hitch...

Breaking News: 6 more Austrian unis occupied

------ Breaking News ------
University of Vienna (Austria) is occupied

University of Graz (Austria) is occupied
University of Klagenfurt (Austria) is occupied
University of Linz (Austria) is occupied
Academy Fine Art of Vienna (Austria) is occupied
Technic University of Graz (Austria) is occupied
Technic University of Vienna (Austria) is occupied -------------*

I'm just waiting for blog sites and/or contact details to send msgs of support.


- *U.S. of A.*: Two buildings at the University of Califormia (Santa
Cruz)* *are still being occupied by students in protest against budget
cuts and the increasing commercialisation of public education.*

May the resistance be with u.

Zombie protest, my fellow kiwi comrades lead the way

and under this wonderful poster they say: 'click, copy, print and put up'. Brilliant use of Internet. Such creativity is inspiring.


Tuesday, 27 October 2009

What would YOU ask Chomsky?

If you had 15 minutes to interview noam chomsky what would you ask?

What a question! Here is what me and my friends came up with:

Something about how students shud fight against marketisation?

How do new forms of media-facebook etc, impact upon our political organisation?...

God knows. Never read much Chomsky (read more of his linguistics than his politics, weirdly). How about something about prospects for future of NATO if lose in Afghanistan? Or about prospects of losing in Afghanistan? Or ask how progressives should respond to recession? (Though answer to that will prob be a bit crap.)

it's a tough one. he is a brilliant mind, but almost a wasted brain for the left. because he insists that revealing facts and only facts is enough. He ignores entirely the questions of ideology, belief, and worst of all, the way fiction structures reality. How come a linguist can ingore those questions? That's what i would ask. i'd love to know what he said if something on those lines gets asked.

Does the ruling class have any answers to the current global economic crisis?

What is key Impact of new networking tools on the struggle for change (similar to my q).

What impact does text talk have on our cognitive development?

Also, there's a few more good ones on my facebook status.

Mobile Blogging from here.

Eurostar cleaners struggle continues

Cleaners on Eurostar trains are ramping up their struggle and have announced further strike dates. Together, we have sent more than 3,400 messages to the company, but they're clearly not listening. We need to encourage many more of our fellow trade union members to participate in this important campaign.

Send a message to the eurostar bosses by clicking the link below:

Please pass this web address on to your friends and co-workers (and send a message yourself if you've not yet done so)

Click the eurostar tag below for photos and videos from previous actions and strikes

Mobile Blogging from here.

Monday, 26 October 2009

University of Vienna occupied for Free Education

Since Oct.22nd thousands of students at the University of Vienna are occupying various lecture halls to protest against the increasing commercialisation [against the Bologna process] and for free and emancipatory public education!!

Please send messages of support to

...and forward this post as wide as possible.

I will translate some of the German soon.

"There are more than 2500 people in the main lecture hall (audimax) and around. there's food, music and political debate, and the clear will to continue the occupation and keep the new space that we have opened up for our self organization.

there is no central organization, and n permanent structure, but the degree of spontanous self organization is amazing. people that have never been involved in student political groups (or any other) are taking action and working their asses off, turning from more or less passively accepting their situation to being actors and organizers."

Facebook group:

Official blog:

Sunday, 25 October 2009


LSESU Palestine Society call on people to join


Daniel Ayalon, the deputy foreign minister of Israel is speaking at the LSE at 5.30pm tomorrow, Monday, 26 October. The chairman of Yisrael Beiteinu, Ayalon's party, has threatened to "execute" Palestinian Members of the Knesset, including if they ". . . declared Israel’s Independence Day to be ‘Nakba’ Day".

The LSE is withholding the location of the event until 4pm tomorrow but the LSESU Palestine Society is asking people to assemble at 5pm in Houghton Street (the pedestrianised street off the Aldywch in the centre of the campus) and from there to walk to the location of the lecture to protest against his racist views.

IJAN will be going. Hope to see you there. Spread the word.

Citizen's arrest and mass disruption of former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert in San Francisco
Bay Area residents attempted a citizen's arrest of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, while he gave a speech to the World Affairs Council in San Francisco on 22 October 2009. Twenty-two people were arrested for challenging Olmert directly and demanding he be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon.

See Electronic Intifada film here:

Protestors shut down Ehud Olmert speech at University of Chicago
On 15 October 2009, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert came to give the annual King Abdullah II Leadership Lecture at the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy. Outraged that a man responsible for war crimes in Palestine and Lebanon that killed more than three thousand people during his term of office, community members confronted Olmert inside the lecture hall effectively preventing him from delivering his speech.

See Electronic Intifada film here:

testing iBlogger upload

Yesterdays demo was great. Soas students began the day by marching down Oxford St (see video below). We chanted 'da3man helwa al-hurriya (freedom is always beautiful) and taught passersby how to join in this Arabic chant! We sang 'we all live in a terrorist regime' and handed out leaflets as we did so. We got to know the new students and began planning further activity as we marched. Soas students were lively and highspirited for the whole day.

A woman in her 60's came up to us and said how much she enjoyed marching with us but that she had nothing to compare with since this was her first ever demo. She had come all the way from Cornwall because she 'felt so angry about this war' and felt powerless on her own but coming to the demo had renewed her belief in humanity.

One of the most bonkers thing on the demo was the Iranian 'Halal Leather Jackets' theatre group. They said that only 2% of the Muslims own a quality Spanish designer leather jacket! Not quite sure what the subtext was?!! I thought I videoed it but must have only pressed record after thinking I was filming since I then filmed two minutes of my feet and me chatting to Viva about how bonkers the leather jacket thing was!!

Anyway, it pleased me to see that someone had poured red colouring into the fountains-how much more blood will be shed in Afghanistan before these governments start listening to the people?

This lovely man was starting to struggle by the end but he kept going-what a trooper.

A small delegation of us made an impromptu march down to Downing st to attempt to deliver a petition. A woman called Kay persuaded the police to let her in to do so. We don't know her full name so if anyone does please let us know. Well done Kay.

Assed Baig brought loads of new activists from the Uni where he is now President of the Students Union and they said they had a great time.

As did we all.

Well done to everyone who spent time building this great demo. See u at the next one. Keep up to date with Soas Stopthewar activities at
Mobile Blogging from here.

London talks with John Holloway, author of Change the World without Taking Power, in October

I'm posting this because I think it is important to engage with a variety of opinions in order to understand and learn from each other and to work together and such issues that we agree on. Anarchists are, according to Lenin, our closest cousins :-)

Also, the speakers are all great and the event looks interesting. We could go after the Stop the War demonstration on the 24th.

In solidarity...

Two London meetings with John Holloway, 24th & 26th October: (Please publicise widely, thanx!)
Capitalism's Present Crisis - How Will It End?
The capitalist system is facing years of crisis and social instability. This raises two questions:
1) what caused the crisis? Was it 'greedy bankers', the natural tendencies of the capitalist system, or the resistance of the working class?
2) how will the crisis end? Will it be with more state regulation, more cuts in living standards or with working class revolution?
The Anarchist Bookfair and Mute magazine have invited three speakers to debate these issues:
Paul Mason, a presenter on BBC's Newsnight, and author of Meltdown: The End of the Age of Greed
John Holloway, author of Change The World Without Taking Power and Crack Capitalism (forthcoming). See below for a further meeting with John Holloway.
William Dixon, Mute magazine contributor.
The discussion will take place at the Skeel Lecture Theatre, Anarchist Bookfair, Queen Mary & Westfield college, Mile End Road, London E1, Mile End tube.
For further information on the Anarchist Bookfair, including a roster of many other talks, go to:
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
7-9pm, Monday 26th October, London
At the height of the anti-capitalist movement, John Holloway's book Change The World without Taking Power provoked an international debate*. Eight years later, after the failure of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, combined with the failure of the capitalist economy, anti-capitalism is back on the agenda.
John Holloway will introduce his forthcoming book, Crack Capitalism, followed by a discussion on how we can change the world without repeating the tragedies of twentieth century socialism.
Come and join the debate.
*To read the debate around the book Change The World Without Taking Power, go to:
VENUE: The Octagon Room*, Queen's Building, Queen Mary & Westfield College, Mile End Road, London E1, Mile End Tube. (The event will be followed by a social at the Half Moon pub, 213-233 Mile End Road, London E1)
*NB There is a small chance that the room in which the event is held may be altered. Check for up to date information closer to the date.

Vestassolidarity mailing list

Joe Glenton - Serving soldier defies orders to speak out on Afghan war

Check out this video on YouTube:

Sent from my iPhone

Blood red water in Trafalgar Sq fountain at Stop the War rally

Yesterdays demo was great. Soas students began the day by marching
down Oxford St (see video below). We chanted 'da3man helwa al-hurriya
(freedom is always beautiful) and taught passersby how to join in
this Arabic chant! We sang 'we all live in a terrorist regime' and
handed out leaflets as we did so. We got to know the new students and
began planning further activity as we marched. Soas students were
lively and highspirited for the whole day.

A woman in her 60's came up to us and said how much she enjoyed
marching with us but that she had nothing to compare with since this
was her first ever demo. She had come all the way from Cornwall
because she 'felt so angry about this war' and felt powerless on her
own but coming to the demo had renewed her belief in humanity.

One of the most bonkers thing on the demo was the Iranian 'Halal
Leather Jackets' theatre group. They said that only 2% of the Muslims
own a quality Spanish designer leather jacket! Not quite sure what the
subtext was?!! I thought I videoed it but must have only pressed
record after thinking I was filming since I then filmed two minutes of
my feet and me chatting to Viva about how bonkers the leather jacket
thing was!!

Anyway, it pleased me to see that someone had poured red colouring
into the fountains-how much more blood will be shed in Afghanistan
before these governments start listening to the people?

Friday, 23 October 2009

Speakers Corner at Soas. Stop the War

Sent from my iPhone

Dharma Blues. Free Tibet. Music at Soas

Sent from my iPhone

Translation help needed for Soas banner.

We have over 30 different languages so far including 4 dif ones from

We need: Hebrew, Indonesian, Maori, Japanese, and others...

Plz reply with 'War is Not Our Language' translated into any other

One nice guy asked us if we r planning to make a tshirt from it and if
so he wud buy one-this is EXACTLY what we are planning to do! Will
post them on our when they're ready.

Thx for your help...


The STUDENT SALON of the Centre for the study of Colonialism, Empire and International Law (CCEIL) Invites you to ... 

SING AND DANCE FOR TIBET with the legendary DHARMA BUMS - 'the only band in London with the official endorsement of the Dalai Lama ...'.  

SOAS Student Union 
TONIGHT: Friday 23rd October 2009 
7.00pm ...

Interested in Issues of Colonialism, Empire and International Law?  
Got ideas for film screenings/ guest speakers/ events/conferences?
Join the CCEIL Student Salon@SOAS 

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Students' Union E-mail 21/10/09 (Election)


1: Election results

2: Ski and Snowboard Society


1: The results of the SU Elections are as follows:

The turnout was 358.




Angela Ejembi 41
Affliate 220
James Meadway 91
Disaffiliate 21
Rabab Obied 27
Ibrahim Michael Maiga 154

Re-Open Nominations 11
Spoil 34
Affliate 180

Disaffiliate 21

Clare Solomon & Mas Naina 157

Jasmine Atsepoyi-Akpieyi 94
Re-Open Nominations 23
Affliate 201
Spoil 84
Disaffiliate 14


Maham Hashmi 237
Re-Open Nominations 19
Affliate 171
Spoil 102
Disaffiliate 21


Kathryn Williams 243
Re-Open Nominations 19
Affliate 186
Spoil 96
Disaffiliate 27


Ian Drummond 78

Elly Badcock 94
Mas Naina 83
Affliate 185
Re-Open Nominations 35
Disaffiliate 24
Spoil 68

Q: We propose that SOAS convert one set of female toilets in each building
into gender neutral toilets.

                                         AGREE 162

                                  DISAGREE 150

                                           SPOIL 46

(Some of the elections went to a second round but it did not affect the eventual results).

2: We have scheduled another meeting for all those who could not attend last week. It is really important that you try and make it if possible as we will be giving out all the information for the trips that we have this year, introducing society members and trying to get the ball rolling for the coming ski trip i.e numbers etc.

If you can't make it, then please contact us at this e-mail address:

The meeting is going to be on Friday and will be starting at 6.00, we don't have a room yet but this will be confirmed hopefully tomorrow. Just keep the date and time free in your diary!

Hope to see you all there,

Andy (President), Adele (Treasurer) and Janit (Secretary)

Manu Chao at Soas NOW!!

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Questioning Question Time public Rally TOMORROW & Protest at the BBC THURSDAY 22 Oct ( flyers attached)

> Please circulate widely- Come to the Public Rally tomorrow night and the Protest on Thursday - No Nazi BNP on our licence fee!
> Questioning Question Time
> Emergency public rally

> Wednesday 21 October, 7pm
> Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square,
> London WC1R 4RL (Holborn tube)

> Hosted by Unite Against Fascism
> Speakers:
> Peter Hain MP
> Michael Rosen
> Hugh Lanning PCS
> Sabby Dhalu UAF
> Ken Livingstone
> Kawsar Zaman MCB
> Weyman Bennett UAF
> Jon McClure Reverend & the Makers
> Gillian Walnes The Anne Frank Trust UK
> Martin Smith LMHR
> Supported by: BECTU, SERTUC, Anne Frank Trust, PCS, Unite the union, CWU, TSSA, Musicians Union,
> ASLEF and Love Music Hate Racism
> Come along and join the discussion - we will be hosting a question time format with a panel of speakers challenging the BBC's decision to invite Nazi BNP leader Nick Giffin onto BBC's Question Time programme this week. We will also be discussing plans for the protest the following day outside BBC Wood Lane.
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Keep the Nazi BNP off Question Time
> Unite Against Fascism Protest
> Thursday 22 October, 5pm
> BBC Television Centre, Wood Lane
> (nearest tube White City)
> Speakers include:
> Mark Serwotka, PCS General Secretary
> Gerry Morrissey, BECTU General Secretary
> Jeremy Dear, NUJ General Secretary
> CWU representative
> Tony Kearns CWU Senior Deputy. General Secretary
> The Anne Frank Trust UK representative
> Sabby Dhalu, UAF Joint Secretary
> Weyman Bennett, UAF Joint Secretary
> Mpho and DJ Rugrat LMHR artists
> Plus others tbc
> Followed by a gig at Ginglik in Shepherd's Bush hosted by Love Music Hate Racism
> featuring live music and an 'Alternative Question Time' at Ginglik, 1 Shepherds Bush Green, W12. Doors open at 7.30pm starts 8pm. Artists include South London singer Mpho and DJ Rugrat. Entry £6/£3
> l l 020 7801 2782

Friday, 16 October 2009

Reminder: Hands Off my Workmate - conference and teach-in at SOAS, Saturday 17th October

Please help spread the word about this initiative, and please email to let us know if you are coming on Saturday, or if your union branch or organisation can back the campaign.

In Solidarity,

Julia Rapkin

Birkbeck UNISON

Hands Off my Workmate!

Organising for Migrant Workers Rights.

SOAS Conference and Teach-in

Saturday, 17th October 2009, 10am-5:30pm

School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh St, Russell Sq WC1H 0XG

**Full programme for the day now available at**

Cleaners at SOAS who had joined UNISON and organised to win the London Living Wage suffered a brutal immigration raid, organised by the cleaning contractor ISS, in June this year.  The raid highlighted both the central role of migrant workers in the global economy and the vulnerability of the undocumented workers who have been working to build union organization.  This conference and teach-in will address the issues surrounding migrant labour, attacks on their citizenship and right to organise and the ways in which all workers are impacted by the extensions of the border in our workplace.

Workshops include:

* Bread and roses too: how migrant workers have always been central to unions
* Winning the living wage
* Busting the migration myths: challenging the racists
* Globalisation and profits: How do borders fit in
* Poverty, war, neo-liberalism, migrant labour in the global economy
* Stopping the raids: legal and union strategies to defend migrant workers
* The border in the workplace: restricting welfare and housing- who benefits
* Citizens and Strangers: The amnesty debate
* The feminisation of migrant labour
* Jobs for all? Migrant workers in the recession

* We won't spy on students - education for all.

Plus Closed Legal Briefing for Migrant Workers 2:15pm

With lawyers from Immigration Advisory Service and other immigration firms.

Rally for Migrant Workers Rights – 4:00pm

Speakers include: Jeremy Corbyn MP I Jean Lambert MEP I Prof Gilbert Achcar I Migrant Rights Network I Clara Osagiede, RMT I Sandy Nicoll, SOAS UNISON I UNITE Justice for Cleaners Campaign I Prof Alex Callincos I RMT I Sasha Callaghan, UCU NEC I Rita Chada, RAMFEL I NUT I CWU I NUJ I Elane Heffernan, Hands off My Workmate I Prof Jane Hardy I Bloomsbury Living Wage Campaign I Habib Rahman, JCWI I Latin American Workers Association I Kate Boothby, National Coalitin of Anti-Deportation Campaigns I Dr Subir Sinha I Dr Paru Raman I Prof Phil Marfleet.

For more information, see, or send an email to:

More details of the SOAS raid and campaign see:

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Whiskey or Whine? the 21st century revolutionary paper

Monday, 12 October 2009

SOAS Stop the War has started with a bang...

Our first meeting 2 weeks ago attracted about 60 people and this was before lessons had even started. From this we organised a planning meeting followed by elections for the committee.

New people to the group came up with some really great ideas: a T-shirt design competition to all wear together on the demo, setting up a blog, Google groups to assist with organisation, banner AND flag making for the demonstration, doing announcements and flyering at other meetings. We want to make a large lively impact on the day of the demonstration.

Sami and Hamza suggested leafletting the upcoming meeting on Egypt. When we arrived there they also wanted to cover the lecture theatre with flyers which they did. We were a bit nervous about doing this because we didnt know whether we were allowed to or not but they did it anyway!

We didnt realise that the meeting was being hosted by comrades and fellow travellers: Rabab alMahdi from Egypt, Anne Alexander and Phil Marfleet amongst others. We asked if we could make an announcement to which they said 'off course you can, this is a very political meeting'!

Hamza and Sami did a bloody stirling job. Alex Callinicos looked clearly impressed. Things like this just confirm the need for young, fresh, new ideas to keep a group refreshed.

We now have regular planning meetings 5pm every Monday in the JCR (Junior Common Room) so please feel free to come along if you like.

Our next event is: Rethink Afghanistan. Read more HERE

Join our mailing and organising group HERE

Hope to see you all on the demo...

Signs of Revolt: anti-capitalist festival


Signs of Revolt: Creative Resistance and Social Movements since Seattle
Saturday 14 - Sunday 15 November 2009
Truman Brewery, Hanover Street, London

For details of this event see the Facebook Event HERE and the website HERE.

Contact for more info

This weekend festival of events, which has just been announced, looks excellent. Here's the summary you can find on the Facebook Event, but I recommend you also look at either Facebook or the website for the full timetable.

'10 years ago, in November 1999 an alliance of direct action activists, environmentalists and trade unionists shut down the meeting of the World Trade Organisation in Seattle, stopping the next trade round of Capitalist Globalisation. In the process they sparked a Movement of Movements right across the globe - its slogan became ‘Another World is Possible’.

This November, exactly 10 years from that momentous demonstration, and with most of the predictions of the movements rapidly coming true with the crisis of the economy, a permanent state of war and the collapse of our eco-system wrecking lives across the planet, the rich and powerful meet again in Copenhagen to discuss the next Climate treaty after Kyoto. Yet again activists are preparing to challenge the idea that the Market can solve the problems of the world, and take another step toward that possible world after Capitalism.

Sign of Revolt is an exhibition that weaves together the story of the past decade's social movements, drawing out the influences and connections between and across the movements against Capitalism, War and Climate Change. Using archive material and documentary photography and video from movement photographers and filmmakers, it reveals the story of how we get from Seattle to Copenhagen.

Interspersed in this narrative are works by artist and designer activists and collectives, produced during, within and for the movements, this is the first time such a collection has been brought together in the UK and it will be a chance to reflect upon and celebrate the new creative impulses that the movements spawned and the possibilties for developing the creative capacity of future movements, these issues will also be discussed in greater depth during a series of talks during the exhibition.

As capitalism threatens our very existence, Signs of Revolt defiantly maps out possible routes to a future filled with hope…

The festival is free.

Palestine 'Supermarket Sweep' action - Sainsbury's, Kensington, 11th October 2009

Supermarket Sweep action - Sainsbury's, Kensington, 11th October 2009

On 11th October 2009, a swarm of activists descended upon Sainsbury’s on Cromwell Street, West London to highlight the sale of Israeli and illegal Settlement produce by both Sainsbury’s and other major supermarket chains. Coming from a diverse range of campaign organisations, around 40 activists stood in solidarity with the Palestinian call for a global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign.

Enterring the store, protestors held up an array of settlement and Israeli produce demanding that the supermarkets put a halt to their sale and reminding consumers of their capacity to effect change by not buying these goods.

Popping up a tent and claiming it to be an “Israeli Settlement”, the actions demonstrated the ridiculous ease at which Israeli Settlements pop up around the West Bank, protected by the military and evicting Palestinians from their land and homes.

They proceded to chant against the occupation and the sale of Israeli goods, following this they went on a tour of the store so that all staff and customers were made aware of Sainsbury's role in supporting illegal settlements. Handing out leaflets and engaging with customers, many of which were supportive, the actions communicated the need for greater citizen action.

Management and security were keen to encourage the protestors to leave but with no success. After twenty minutes within the store, demonstrators left of their own accord, clapping hands and chanting "Free Free Palestine", feeling that their efforts had been succesful in communicating to the store and the general public.

Police arrived soon after and despite a brief interaction with protestors there were no arrests and no signs of aggression.

Activists then left the scene and were followed for some time afterwards, however no further action by the police was taken.


This non-violent initiative seeks to challenge the economic and political infrastructure that supports the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Similar to the efforts against Apartheid South Africa, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign hopes to undermine the apartheid in the West Bank and Gaza whereby checkpoints, Israel only roads and the Apartheid all segregate and impoverish Palestinians. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, over 60% of Palestinians live below the poverty line, and in Gaza the figure sits at 70%.

Illegal Israeli Settlement produce is on sale in most of the high street supermarket chains, including Tesco’s, Morrisons, Waitrose, Marks and Spencers, and Asda as well as Sainsbury’s. According to the 2004 judgement by the International Court of Justice, Settlements are illegal and in violation of the Fourth Geneva Conventions. Sale of produce from these Settlements reinforce their existence and financially contribute to Israel’s theft of Palestinian land and violent oppression of Palestinians themselves.

This mass action follows a number of smaller protests that have taken place across in London and across the UK which make explicit public opposition to the sale of Settlement goods in British stores. It also follows the September 2009 decision by the Trade Union Congress to commit to building a mass boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Fwd: [Vestassolidarity] leeds strike goes into 6th week - appeal for funds - please circulate




GMB andUnison announce line up for  "Refuse to be Beat" benefit gig and rally in Leeds on Sunday 18th October 2009



Paul Kenny GMB General Secretary, while on the picket lines in Leeds this morning,  announced that GMB and Unison were between them adding £50,000 to the strike hardship fund as the line up for the benefit gig in Leeds was  made public.


The details of the line up are as follows:


With very Special guests playing on the night:


Keith Allen and his 12 piece band

Matt Skint – Skint & Demoralised


                                                                                           And compere for the evening:

The Reverend Funky Butt Chunky!



600 Leeds city Refuge collectors and street cleaners have been on strike since September 7th. The Lib Dem/Tory council intend to introduce pay cuts of £6000 per annum to bring their pay in line with female workers. The rally is to state that in 2009 it's time female workers pay was raised to meet that of male workers and that massive pay cuts of invaluable council employers ended here and now!


The 18th of October is the night to raise the roof on these issues! Musicians and comedians from far and wide (and not so far and wide) are gathering at Leeds O2 Academy to cause a stir and let the powers that be know these new terms offered to the men and women that keep are city clean are not OK


Keith Allen (never a man to keep schtum over issues close to his heart) will be making his Leeds debut. After hitting numerous sunny fields this summer with performances at Glastonbury and Latitude, Keith's 12 piece (yes that's right 12!!) will be hitting the stage of the O2 Academy performing a raucous, toe-tappingly infectious selection of tunes you'll know and ones you won't. Along with renowned music producer Pablo Cook, Keith will be showcasing their forthcoming album "2 Pikeys On A Mini Cruise".

Their live show is set to cause a stir! An awesome plethora of genres through reggae, funk, disco, and rock n roll! This is a shout-out-loud show not to be missed.


Supporting them on the night will be local lads Middleman whose jump in the air blend of pop, funk, hip-hop and punk will be sure to get the party going. After winning this years Future sound competition the boys have been on the road, in the studio and are now ready to get back on stage on home turf and make some noise in the name of "leveling up not leveling down".


Matt Skint, also known as Skint & Demoralised, is a 20-year-old performance pub poet from Wakefield. He began performing poetry in small back-rooms of Wakefield pubs
Roughly-recorded spoken word tracks then became songs and a project known as Skint & Demoralised gradually grew over the next two years. National exposure came with help from the likes of Steve Lamacq and a record deal was signed with Mercury Records (Universal Music Group) in Spring 2008. Matt is composing new work in aid of the national strike on equal pay for the Benefit gig on the 18th October

The nights proceeding will be shouted about by compare and preacher extraordinaire The Reverend Chunky but Funky.


Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary and Dave Prentis Unison General Secretary will attend the event and both will speak at the rally and will attend the picket line on Monday 19th October.


Paul Kenny GMB General Secretary speaking in Leeds this morning said "The two unions between them are adding £50,000 to the hardship fund and planning for a long dispute.


The event on Sunday 18th will raise much needed support for our members on strike in Leeds who face crippling pay cuts. Supporting the event is a way for people in Leeds to tell the Lib Dem/Tory administration that the proper way to introduce equal pay is to increase the wage of the women worker up to that of the men. When the equal pay legislation was passed it was always the intention to level up not level down.


We plan to produce a special Christmas card for sale to support the strikers and are making arrangements for further benefit events in the City nearer Christmas. Meanwhile we appeal for support for the hardship fund See Note 2 below "



Contact: for strike detail - Desiree Risebury 07958 156848; for gig details  - Nic Greenan on 07513 001502 or GMB Press office Steve Pryle on 07921 289880 or Rose Conroy on 07974 251823


Notes to Editors


1 Refuse to be Beat,  O2 Academy Leeds, £10 per ticket  -Doors 7 – 11pm 

Tickets available from  or

 Tel: 08444 77 2000 Tickets also available from Venue Box office Mon–Sat 12pm-5pm

No booking fee on cash transfers


2 The address to send the cheques made payable to 'GMB strike fund' is GMB strike fund, GMB Yorkshire & North Derbyshire Region, Grove Hall, 60 College Grove Road, Wakefield, WF1 3RN.

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Wednesday, 7 October 2009

BBC debate: Afghanistan - Is it Mission Impossible?


> 7 September 2009
> Email
> Tel: 020 7801 2768
> Web:
> Twitter:
> Wed 7 Oct 2009 20:00 BBC Radio 4
> Sat 10 Oct 2009 22:15 BBC Radio 4
> This BBC debate asks on the day the latest poll shows 56 per cent in
> Britain
> oppose the war: What is the war's 'mission'? To close down terrorist
> cells in
> the country, making the UK a safer place? To introduce democracy,
> greater
> freedom for women, more electricity, water?
> Lindsey German, national convenor of Stop the War, joins MP Eric
> Joyce, former
> EU Special Representative for Afghanistan Francesc Vendrell,
> Brigadier Buster
> Howes from the Ministry of Defence, and counter-insurgency expert Dr
> John
> Mackinlay.
> ******************************
> Roger Lloyd Pack, National Theatre actor and well-known for playing
> Trigger in
> Only Fools and Horses, joins musician Brian Eno, actor Janie Dee,
> George
> Galloway MP and other prominent figures, who will be appearing at an
> event
> marking the eighth anniversary of the Afghanistan invasion, taking
> place
> beneath the tapestry of Picasso's painting Guernica, at the
> Whitechapel Art
> Gallery on Wednesday 7 October from 11am to 12.30pm. All welcome.
> Wednesday 7 October, 11am - 12.30pm
> Whitechapel Art Gallery,77-82 Whitechapel High St, E1
> ******************************

Sunday, 4 October 2009




The case of 23-year-old Kaya Eldridge, an LSE graduate who was sexually assaulted in the Indian town ofAhmedabad and then, when the case came to trial, subjected to humiliating tactics by the defence lawyer has been in the national newspapers in recent weeks.

To draw attention to the human rights violations she has suffered, Kaya gave many interviews to the Indian and British press and caused a judicial enquiry into the legal system that behaved so unjustly.

She has now retired from the spotlight however we – her friends – would like to continue the dialogue she has begun and will be marching on Monday 5 October in order to present a petition to the Indian High Commission inAldwych.

The petition will call for the enforcement of an existing Indian law (passed in 2002) that promotes the fair treatment of sexual assault victims in the courtroom.

We will meet at 12 p.m. by the steps of the School of African and Asian Studies in Russell Square.

The march will also promote the general issue of human rights and the need for them to be upheld always and everywhere.

A statement prepared by Kaya will be read out.

Contact Sophie Monks Kaufman (07798 870 831) or Jessica Borham (07508 325 290) for more information or to get involved.

Also, see my post below on this blog for photo of initial protest. 

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, 2 October 2009

SOAS teach in and conference, London, 17 October - Hands Off My Workmate

You may be interested in the SOAS teach in/conference on migrant workers
taking place on 17th October.  This will be a unique and significant
event bringing together campaigners, academics, trades Unionists and
students alongside migrant workers. Aside from academics such as Gilbert
Arhcar, Phil Marfleet, Jane Hardy we also have a migrant in every
workshop and national speakers including Jeremy Dear of the NUJ,  along
with Alex Gordon of the RMT,  Sasha Callaghan of UCU, Kevin Courtney of
the NUT, Neil Jameson of Strangers into Citizens, Keith Best from
immigration Advisory services. There will be serious debates on the
questions of citizenship and amnesty and on the role of migrant workers
in the global economy among the sessions. we will discuss the ways in
which migrant workers have been organising on the campuses of central
London for a living wage and the ways in which the state and
multinational companies have responded.

The conference, organised by SOAS UNISON, SOAS UCU and SOAS Students'
Union on the 17th October 2009.  The conference will take the form of a
series of seminars followed by a general plenary, at which we will
formally launch the "Hands off my Workmate" (and "hands off my student,
"hands off my patient") initiative—a broad based tool kit designed to
build opposition to immigration controls in workplaces, colleges,
schools, hospitals, etc.

As you may have heard SOAS University was raided by immigration police
on the 12th June this year which resulted in the imprisonment and
deportation of our cleaners. We believe that ISS (the cleaning
contractors) were involved in organising this raid, which followed a
vigorous and successful campaign to win SOAS cleaners union
representation and the London Living Wage. All the unions at SOAS have
been campaigning to ensure that such a shocking event never again takes
place on our campus

The purpose of the conference is to highlight the precarious working
conditions of migrant workers in Britain today and to use it as a
campaigning base to bring this to the public's and trade union's
attention.  The use of immigration raids against migrants who organise
trade unions is becoming more frequent and attacks on migrants are
gathering pace, with trades unionists in hospitals, colleges, benefit
centres and local services increasingly asked to take on the functions
of immigration officers. We wish to build the broadest based unity in
defence of migrant workers and against racism and therefore are asking
you to participate in the conference—and to encourage your members to
participate in the "hands off" initiative.

We think your students would have a lot to contribute and a lot to learn
at the event.

Yours truly,

Elane Heffernan (Hands Off My Workmate)
Sandy Nicholl (UNISON) Graham Dyer (UCU) Ben Sellars (SOAS students union)

Hands off my workmate.. the SOAS teach-in

MORNING Plenary: welcome migrant workers as part of the mainstream

Bread and roses too: how migrant workers have always been central to unions
Winning the living wage
Busting the migration myths: challenging the racists
Globalisation and profits: How do borders fit in

Poverty, war, neoliberalism, migrant labour in the global economy (why
people move)
Stopping the raids: legal and union strategies to defend migrant workers
As above in another session
The border in the workplace: restricting welfare and housing- who benefits

strangers and citixens
The feminisation of migrant labour
What will the recession mean for migrant workers? Arguing jobs for all
We wont spy on students; education for all.

MAIN Plenary: "hands off our workmates, student, patients and friends"…..

with lawyers from immigration advisory service and other leading
migration organisations

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