From tomorrow (Monday 11th April) France is introducing a ban on women covering their faces in public places, a ban which appears to be aimed squarely at Muslim women and the niqab. Whether intended or not this will be a direct attack on Muslim womens’ freedom of both religious and personal expression. It’s the state telling people what to wear.
This would be bad enough in isolation but, when taken in the context of the rise of Islamophobia in both mainland Europe and, through the English Defence League, in Britain, it’s a dangerous move which could add perceived legitimacy to far right racist & fascist organisations. With the economic recession providing fertile ground for fascism to grow governments should be addressing the issues which cause it, not targeting its victims.
Unite Against Fascism and One World, Many Cultures have called a protest outside the French Embassy at six o’clock tomorrow evening. PCS R&C Euston Branch will be there so please come and join us in sending a message to France, our own government and fascists everywhere that Britain won’t tolerate intolerance.
At today’s Branch Committee meeting we agreed to support the Defend Multiculturalism meeting that is being held at seven o’clock tomorrow night, Wednesday 9th March, at the Friends Meeting House (opposite Euston Station.) Read More
There’s loads to do this weekend but first, this is what we did this morning:
Tax Justice Leafleting at Euston Station
At eight o’clock on a cold, gloomy Friday morning we gathered at Euston Station to meet fellow PCS reps and full timers for London & South East Regional Office and distribute PCS’s Tax Justice flyer (.pdf) to the public.
We distributed near on 2,000 leaflets over two hours, with many people stopping to talk to us about out campaign and the connected work of UK Uncut, whose activities have done so much to raise the Tax Justice argument in the mainstream media and the public’s eye.
The English Defence league (EDL) are going to be in Luton this Saturday. Despite the words of their leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (former BNP member, convicted of assault, using the name Tommy Robinson) they are a racist, homophobic, fascist organisation who bring fear to communities wherever they march, shouting racist chants and making Nazi salutes in our town squares. Read More
Camden Unite Against Fascism (UAF) are holding a meeting on Tuesday night, ‘Islamophobia, division and the far-right: How do we shape the fight back?’ They don’t have a website yet so this is taken from the Facebook event page: Read More
The last few months have seen the British National Party (BNP) spectacularly fail to gain a foothold in Parliament and the English Defence League (EDL) thwarted in their attempts to split communities and spread their message of hate through British towns, culminating with the EDL’s embarrassing appearance in Amsterdam last weekend. Read More
Provide an alternative to ATOS for HMRC's Occupational Health
We the undersigned note that:
1) ATOS Origin Healthcare have been awarded the contract for her Majesty's Revenue & Customs' (HMRC’s) occupational health, following a similar contract in the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP.)
2) ATOS Origin’s contract to deliver Employment Support Allowance (ESA) assessments has been a source of anguish for many claimants, with 40% of appeals against ATOS’s decisions upheld , rising to 70% with representation, and even declaring some terminally ill claimants as fit for work. This is not an encouraging track record.
We believe that occupational health services for public sector workers should be provided by the public sector, such as NHS Plus or a GP, and not by companies which exist purely to enrich their shareholders at the taxpayer's expense.
We also believe that HMRC employees, who may have serious moral objections to ATOS, shouldn't be put in a position where they are forced to deal with them.
We call upon HMRC to provide a public sector alternative to ATOS Origin Healthcare for HMRC's occupational health provision.
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