counter information no.45. (Part 1 of 4)

i.m.mckay (cllv13@ccsun.strath.ac.uk)
Fri, 26 Apr 1996 10:57:32 +0100


counter information no.45. (Part 1 of 4)
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Pistol packing protestors shoot water rats

THE EAST of Scotland Water authority
meeting was sunk without trace when anti-
privatisation protestors pulled out water
pistols and opened fire on Authority
members. The drowned rats slunk off,
abandoning ther 24 January meeting in
Edinburgh.

This was a second victory for TAP (Lothian
comnmunities Totally against Water
privatisation). The 20 December Authority
meeting in Newtown St Boswells ended
in uproar as Santa Claus and fellow
demonstrators occupied the meeting room.

The latest West of Scotland Water Authority
meeting in Stranraer broke up in
disarray as police ejected Hands off Our
Water campaigners.

Activists urge a mass refusal to pay water
bills from April - when the new water
quangos start the back door privatisation
of Scotland's water and sewerage
systems.

HOW, 134 Bridgegate, Glasgow G2.
0141 552 1179.
TAP 0131 229 5912.

* The water charge non-payment movement
in Ireland continues to grow. WSM, PO
Box 1528, Dublin 8.

SOLIDARITY DEFEATS FAST FOOD

On 31 October, 45 mainly Kurdish workers at
J.J. Fast Food in North London were sacked after joining the
Transport & General Workers Union (T&G). The
JJ's workers were working 60-70 hour weeks for about
z130. There was no overtime, holiday or sick
pay. In the face of all this, 45 of the 75 workers joined the
union, elected a shop steward and made some
basic demands. The boss, Mustafa Kamil, sacked the
unionised workers immediately.

The JJ Fast Food Locked Out Workers'
Support Group was set up, completely independently of the
T&G, by the workers and their supporters
at an early stage and has united a broad collection of political
groups and individuals. The support group
has given consistent, unconditional support to the workers and
based its activities on what the workers have felt necessary.

A regular bulletin in Turkish and English
to publicised the dispute and frequent pickets of Jenny's
Burgers restaurants - franchised by JJ's -
have been held in N.E. London. Daily pickets were held outside
the factory for a month. These actions
have brought the company to its knees. For weeks scabs have
managed only 30% of the pre-dispute work,
forcing Kamil to the negotiating table. After the 16th Feb.
Tribunal he was forced to give the
workers their jobs back; concede sick & holiday pay and
backpay; & workers solidarity foiled a last-ditched
attempt by Kamil to split Turkish workers
from their workmates by
denying job reinstatement to non-turks. **

On 3 Feb the support group & JJ workers
decided to set up a rank & file support network with members
of the mainly Turkish and Kurdish N. London
T&G Textile Workers, a militant branch unpopular with the
T&G leadership. The fast food and textile
workers have been chosen because they're potentially in a very
powerful position, producing good profits
for their employers.

As with the dockers in Liverpool, the
dispute has shown the empowerment and practical success which
workers' self-organisation and unity can achieve.

Contact: JJ Food Locked Out Workers' Support
Group, c/o 72 W. Green Road, Tottenham, N15 5NS. Tel:
0181 802 9804.

Stop Press:95 textile workers out of 100
went on strike on 19th Feb. at a Jenny Design in Tottenham
demanding better pay & conditions.

editing change last minute news
**For weeks scabs have managed only 30% of
the pre-dispute work, forcing
Kamil to the negotiating table. All of his
offers have been rejected. However, the T&G
have opted to fight Kamil in the
courts, through an Industrial Tribunal
which has drawn some workers away from
collective activities

Communities united against deportation

THE BRITISH government's clampdown on asylum seekers continues.
Refugees are now denied any form of benefit unless they seek
asylum the moment they enter the country. If their application
for asylum is refused their benefit entitlement will end - until
now benefit was paid until an asylum appeal was heard.

Later this year the Asylum and Immigration Bill will restrict
the rights of asylum seekers fleeing persecution even more.

But there is resistance - activists squatted an empty building
with the aim of creating a refugee centre in Stoke Newington,
London in February.

Campaigns continue to support, amongst others, Ade Onibiyo.
He has been held in Campsfield Detention Centre for a year,
facing deportation to Nigeria. His father has not been heard of
since he was deported there last year.

In Manchester there have been roadbloackades, demonstrations
and vigils in support of the Lashley family. 100 supporters of
the Adegboye Family Support Campaign, based in the Wester Hailes
council scheme in Edinburgh, celebrated in Glasgow on 30 January
when the Adegboyes, from Nigeria, won their appeal against
deportation.

POLICE MURDERERS

An inquest into the death, in Stoke Newington police custody,
of Shiji Lapite heard he had 45 separate injuries on his body.
No police have been charged.

In December rioting followed a demonstration in Brixton,
London to protest the death of Wayne Douglas in police custody.
After his arrest he was punched and kicked senseless by up to 15
officers. They used long batons which were also used by the
police who killed Bryan Douglas last May.

Anger at the deaths and at attempts to 'gentrify' Brixton led
to the rioting where large High St stores were attacked, rather
than local businesses.

A Scotland Yard enquiry set up to disprove claims of racism in
the Metropolitan Police showed instead that black people in
London are 5 times more likely to be stopped and searched than
whites.

Charges were dropped against 4 Asian men involved in the
Bradford riot. The magistrate stated the case raised 'serious
doubts' about the reliability of police evidence.

A Madrid shop selling Nazi regalia was attacked in December,
destroying the windows and most of the interior.

Onibiyo Family Campaign, c/o Unison A Branch, 6a Acre Lane,
Brixton, London. The Ashley Family Must Stay Campaign, c/o 400
Cheetham Hill Rd., Manchester M8 9LE

JSA No Way !

CLAIMANTS occupied the Grand Met Training
Agency in Torphichen St., Edinburgh
on 8 November. A giant Job Seekers
Allowance - No Way banner was lowered
from a barricaded 1st floor room.

The Groundswell network of independent
claimants' groups is resisting the
oppressive anti claimant Job Seekers
Allowance - and also the new pilot
compulsory workfare scheme, Project
Work, due to start in Maidstone and Hull in
April.

Employment Service workers have been
taking strike action over wages and a
performance related pay scheme under
which workers' pay depends on how many
people they drive off the unemployed
register. In London claiments and workers
have produced a joint pro-strike anti-JSA leaflet.

London vs the JSA, PO Box 3140, London E17 5LJ.
Edinburgh Claimants,
Peace & Justice, St Johns, Princes St.,
Edinburgh (mail only). Groundswell 01865
723750.

VOTING FOSTERS ILLUSIONS

"People will vote for Labour, whatever they
think of the suits, ties and posh accents" - summed
up a mood of traditional support that will
not last long under a Blair Government. The Socialist
Labour Party result in the Hemsworth by-election
of February 1st did little to dent misplaced
hope for Labour.With the 5.4% result in a mining
seat, the S.L.P. ,by saving their deposit,
avoided the humiliation of being compared with
the Raving Loony Party's 3%.

This has stimulated criticism of the 'top down'
approach adopted by the S.L.P. under Arthur
Scargill's leadership. S.L.P. strategy will
be to win votes after Labour achieves power.
Militant Labour dominated 'Socialist Alliances'
in Scotland, Kent & elsewhere are urging dual
membership similar to SpainFs Left Unity election
alliance.

Participation in the rigged election system
dubiously called Representative Democracy, fosters
belief that change can be achieved through the
ballot box. Even if they also urge direct action &
resistance, the Socialists draw the anger of the
dispossessed into campaigning for votes &
appearing 'electable' to the mass media.

The impact of their ideas is blunted by urging
a socialist takeover of the State using the passive
act of voting. A revolutionary alternative is active
abstention & creating a spirit of resistance not
prepared to compromise with capitalism & State power.

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