Friday, 12 June 2009

School of Oriental and African Studies Immigration raid - protest now!

SOAS, part of the University of London, was the first college in the UK to hold a sit-in for Gaza. These cleaners have been fighting for their rights as workers and nine of them are now being detained for this, and the crime of being of migrant workers. 

Immigration Raid at School of Oriental and African studies 

Without any advance warning from their ISS bosses nor the university management, SOAS cleaning staff were confronted by a hefty team of immigration officers at 6.30am this morning (Friday 12 June).

Fearful cleaners were detained on SOAS premises as the officers demanded to see their papers. Some were taken into rooms of the university to be interviewed. A shocked witness said that someone had to intervene when a heavily-pregnant cleaner was being manhandled by immigration officers.

 Nine cleaners were taken away by Immigration Officers.

SOAS staff and students, many who had been at a protest at the sacking of another cleaner and UNISON Branch Chair, Jose Bermudez Stalin, were shocked and outraged by the raid and fear that the cleaners may be deported very soon.

There has been widespread support amongst lecturers, staff and students for the successful campaign for the living wage and union recognition led by mainly migrant cleaners.

Graham Dyer, SOAS UCU Branch Chair said: "It is no co-incindence that there is an immigration raid at a time when the UCU ,Unison and the NUS are fighting against the victimisation of a migrant worker who has been at the heart of a fight that has improved the pay and conditions of workers here at SOAS. It is also not coincindental that ISS had only just signed a union recognition agreement with UNISON last week Our fight has united lecturers, staff and students and has rocked SOAS management. Those managers are now lashing out. It is a disgrace that SOAS management saw fit to use a seat of learning to intimidate migrant workers. This is their underhand revenge and we will do all we can to stop migrant workers paying the price."

Ken Loach, director of the film Looking For Eric, stated:

"This raid is the action of a bully. Migrant workers are amongst the most vulnerable - poorly paid and far from home. Recent action by Unison to secure better wages and conditions at SOAS was good news. Now we wonder if the SOAS cleaners are being targeted because they dared to organise as trade unionists. We should all stand with them in solidarity in the face of this victimisation." 

The living wage campaign has had the support of John McDonnell MP , who said:

""As living wage campaigns are building in strength, we are increasingly seeing the use of immigration statuses to attack workers fighting against poverty wages and break trade union organising. The message is that they are happy to employ migrant labour on poverty wages, but if you complain they will send you back home.

It is absolutely shameful."  

Press Enquiries/messages of support to Dr. Graham Dyer : 07940 539 027

Conference: Justice for Palestinians - the moral isue of our time

Palestine Solidarity Campaign —
National Education Conference in Birmingham

hosted by West Midlands PSC

Justice for the Palestinians — the moral issue of our time

Saturday 11 July 2009
Registration from 10am
Start: 10:30am to 4:30pm
Carrs Lane Church Centre, Birmingham B4 7SX

Getting there:

Speakers include:
Prof Manuel Hassassian • Betty Hunter • Dr Karma Nabulsi • Dr. Rita Giacaman • Samia Botmeh • Daniel Machover • Victoria Brittain • Prof Haim Bresheeth • Hugh Lanning • Salma Yaqoob

PSC is pleased to announce a unique opportunity to hear speakers on the key issues on Palestine including:

• 1948 and after — ethnic cleansing and the refugees
• The Reality of Occupation: Politics, Economy and Health
• War Crimes and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement
• Lessons from the Anti Apartheid Movement
• After Gaza — getting active on campus — student activist networking session
• Taking solidarity action

Israel’s massacre in Gaza shocked millions of people worldwide, who came out on the streets to show their anger and commitment to supporting the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice. We have seen a massive growth in support for the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, with people across the country joining one of the fastest-growing solidarity movements today.

This conference will discuss not just the roots of the Palestinian struggle, but also the current political crisis, and the tasks facing the solidarity movement. Join us for a day of discussion, education and engagement.

In conjunction with HALLO JERUSALEM, Friday 10 July, 7:30pm at The Drum Theatre in Birmingham, to celebrate Jerusalem Capital of Arab Culture 2009. More info:
Registration information

Entrance fee: £10 (£7 unwaged), includes lunch.

There are several ways you can register in advance for the PSC Conference:
• Online via PSC website
• By phone: 020 7700 6192

Designed by Mulberry Design

Israel deliberately starving Gazans this weekend

Rumours that Israel was set to open some of the Gaza crossings have come to nothing. Instaed they provide just enough to prevent people starving to death:
Gaza - Ma’an - Israel will open one crossing for a part day on Friday for the expected transport of 100 truckloads of goods for Gaza’s 1.5 million. The crossings will be sealed for Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath.

According to crossings official Raed Fattuh, the Kerem Shalom crossing will be the only open point for the transfer of goods into Gaza until Sunday. The crossing has been closed for three days, reportedly due to technical issues with the transport systems.

Fattuh noted the goods are destined for the agricultural and commercial sectors.

Thanks to Ma'an news agency

Video: The struggle for Palestinian liberation

UN set to fine Israel for damage but prosecutions for war crimes 'unlikely'

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was considering demanding that Israel pay a fine of $11 million for damage to UN facilities in Gaza during the IDF offensive there in January.

Ban says the fine was recommended by the committee elected to investigate damage done by Israel to UN structures during Operation Cast Lead.

That same committee , led by Justice Goldstone, has indicated that its findings are unlikely to lead to prosecutions, which begs the question - what is the UN for?
A UN investigation into war crimes by Israel and Hamas is unlikely to lead to prosecutions, the head of the inquiry, Richard Goldstone, has said. more

Uranium harvest from Israel's Gaza war crimes

Another report has come put about the widespread use of depleted uranium by Israel in its recent war against the people of Gaza. It follows earlier report by Citizens Action to Dismantle Nuclear Weapons Completely
Lawyers investigating possible war crimes by Israel in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip Thursday said the Jewish state used uranium in recent offensive on the blockaded territory.

Findings indicated that Israel heavily used uranium materials in its war in Gaza, Haitham Manna of the International Coalition for Trying Israeli War Criminals told a news conference in Gaza city.

At first, a French lab "asked us to obtain license from Ukraine because they believed the samples were obtained from a place hit by Chernobyl accident due to the high amount of Uranium that were found," Manna told Xinhua.

"We provided the labs with GPS (Global Positioning System) coordinates for the cites and images from the scenes where we collected the samples," he added.

The samples were collected from the Gaza Strip after Israel ended a three-week offensive on Jan. 18 to check if they contained prohibited weapons.

Some of the results that French, Italian and British labs released showed that "the amount of depleted uranium in the areas of the samples were more than 75 tons and this is a very dangerous percentage for the overcrowded places in Gaza," Manna said. more