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Have your say: Union Busters

Dear DA,

There’s a new threat to workers organisation stalking the British labour relations scene. Employers are increasingly turning to U.S. style management consultants that “specialise in union avoidance and preventative industrial labour relations”. At least, that’s how the Burke Group describes itself. The Omega Division, an arm of Burke, was last year called in by Lion Capital, owner of Kettle Foods, in its attempt to prevent the T&G/ Unite from organising workers at its Norwich plant. The Burke Group has also been consulted by T-mobile and Virgin Atlantic.

Have your say: The Shape of Things to Come

Dear DA,

The EU is currently developing a new 5 year strategy for justice and home affairs and security policy for 2009-2014. The proposals set out by the shadowy “Future Group” set up by the Council of the European Union include a range of highly controversial measures including new technologies of surveillance, enhanced cooperation with the United States and harnessing the “digital tsunami”. In the words of the EU Council presidency:

Every object the individual uses, every transaction they make and almost everywhere they go will create a detailed digital record. This will generate a wealth of information for public security organisations, and create huge opportunities for more effective and productive public security efforts.

Have your say: The Shock Doctrine

Dear DA,

I just wanted to thank your reviewer in DA43 for turning me on to Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine. I couldn’t agree more with the comment that “the sheer scale of abuses detailed…is simply jaw-dropping”. For one who felt hardened to the ways of the capitalist world, this account of sheer cynicism, corruption, double standards and outright lies was still something of an eye opener.

Letters: Reforming Parliament?, Address Unknown

Dear DA,

Surely in the 21st century Parliament needs to be reformed. After all how many of our MPs went to private school and university? It doesn’t sound like our Parliament is full of commoners. A Parlia-ment full of commoners will mean more varied debate and not for self-interest.

Yours faithfully, SH.

Anti-Capitalist Feminist Conference

Dear Comrades,

We are feminists who have come together from a number of groups to organise an event on Saturday 14 February 2009. We are excited and energised by the current resurgence in feminist activism in the UK, but we think that the kind of feminist movement we build and the kind of politics it has, matter.

We are committed to an anti-capitalist feminism which sees the interconnections between all struggles against oppressions and against capitalism, and we want to build an event that creates an open space to discuss this and develop our ideas. But we don’t want to just talk about our politics – we want to fight to actually change the material conditions of women’s lives, to fight misogyny and our own exploitation, and to involve as many women and men as possible in the campaigns that will be at the centre of this event.

Have your say: English National Resistance

Dear DA,

I have been monitoring a little group of Nazi fascists, English National Resistance, for a couple of months:

The interesting thing about them is that they are purposely attempting to replicate similar movements in Ger-many who have taken on the anarchist style of dressing in black; they even have the anarchist antifa flag logo as their logo! From their site it seems they are getting active – graffiti, banner drops, leaflets – in a few cities.

Just thought I’ll let people know. No doubt we will run into them at some point – it’s always good to be on our guard especially if they turn up in black trying to infiltrate demos, etc.

In solidarity, AN

Have your say: The Miami Five

Dear DA,

The Miami 5 were trying to prevent Miami fascists, aided by the CIA, from carrying out sabotage in Cuba. They were arrested in 1998 as “terrorists”, have been in US jails ever since and have been denied regular family visits.

Join the campaign for their cause by writing to:

Secretary of State
Hilary Rodham Clinton
U.S. Dept. of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington DC
20520 USA

Urge her to grant temporary visas on humanitarian grounds to 2 of the prisoners’ wives, Olga Salanueva and Adriana Pérez, who have been refused visas nine times and have not seen their husbands for 8 and 10 years.

The Miami 5 are innocent. For details see the Cuba Solidarity Campaign at: www.cubaconnect.co.uk

In solidarity, AC.

Have your say: Anarchism & Crime

Dear DA,

May I commend DA for the article Anarchism and Crime in the Spring 2009 edition. It’s nice to read anarchists discuss this issue sensibly.

Not sure what exactly “the policing role would...be carried out only as part of a balanced job complex” means.

Can I assume it means we the people policing ourselves and each other, as community militia, workers and residents militia, protecting ourselves and each other and coming to decisions by free association and direct democracy, with former skilled police constables training the rest of us in crime prevention and detection and forensics being retained as needed?

Have your say: Single Status

Dear DA,

As if the credit crunch wasn’t bad enough, many of us employed in local authorities are now also reeling from the effects of “Single Status” implementation.

The 1997 Single Status agreement between employers and public service unions called for a pay and grading review of all local government posts. Many were conned into believing it would give a fairer pay structure within and across local councils. Indeed, at the time, the union bosses told us that “many will gain and nobody will lose”.

Have your say: Police are the Rapist’s Best Friend

Dear DA,

If Sapphire had been created to protect the rapist, John Worboys, they couldn’t have done a better job.

For 30 years WAR has been doing all it can publicly and privately for the police to take rape seriously, and for 30 years all we have seen is a series of public relations exercises while rape continues to be deprioritised and one case after another is sabotaged by the police.

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