Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/316/11607
No Disciplinary Action, No Jailings
Solidarity With The Day X Protesters
ON THE day the war on Iraq began (Day X) tens, or maybe even hundreds, of thousands of school and college students left their classrooms and took to the streets.
Workers across the country were inspired by this action and many joined in the protests and demonstrations.
Faced with the sheer scale of the strikes and the audacity of the school students, in many areas the school authorities, politicians and police had no choice but to allow the demonstrations and strikes to go ahead.
In other areas, school students have reported being treated roughly by the police and disciplined by the school authorities. But in two areas of London, Socialist Party members appear to have been singled out.
In Lewisham the police used numbers and force to prevent school students from participating in the Parliament Square protests. In doing so they arrested International Socialist Resistance (ISR) co-ordinator, Karl Debbaut and charged him with assault on a police officer, a charge he totally refutes.
Karl's hearing has been postponed until October 24 but he could face a six-month prison sentence.
The strikes in Lewisham were initiated by school students who were members of no anti-war organisation but who contacted ISR for assistance.
Yet, throughout the day of the strike the police in Lewisham treated the school students as mindless truants. Any older anti-war protesters were treated as sinister manipulators.
In east London, Nancy Taaffe and another library worker are being disciplined by Waltham Forest council for walking out on Day X.
The council originally said it would have a flexible attitude to workers wanting to protest on Day X but it has now reneged on this to instigate disciplinary action.
It is no accident that the library workers in Waltham Forest are fighting cuts in their working conditions as the council prepares for privatisation. Nancy is the UNISON co-convenor for the libraries.
To give your support to Nancy's campaign, please contact Waltham Forest Socialist Party, PO Box 24697, London E11 1YD. Tel: 020 8988 8765.
As soon as we have a date for the disciplinary hearing, we will be organising a lobby.
International Socialist Resistance (ISR) is an international anti-capitalist youth organisation with groups in many different countries. Initiated by the Socialist Party, ISR is a democratic, broad organisation fighting for a socialist alternative to capitalism.
For more details write to: ISR PO Box 858, London E11 1YG. Tel: 020 8558 7947.
Contact ISR to add your support to Karl's campaign.
Sponsors so far include: Stop the War Coalition, George Galloway MP, Tommy Sheridan, Frances Curran, Rosemary Byrne, Carolyn Leckie and Rosie Kane, members of the Scottish Parliament for the Scottish Socialist Party.
Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS, Janice Godrich president of the PCS, Sue Bond Vice president PCS. Mick Rix, general secretary ASLEF.
PCS NEC members: Sevi Yeslgalli, Chris Baugh, Danny Williamson, Christine Chorlton, Rob Williams. Jeremy Dear, general secretary NUJ.
UNISON NEC members: Raph Parkinson, Carol Dutton, Roger Bannister, Clare Williams, Mike Tucker, Jon Rogers, Kate Ahrens, Helen Jenner. John Mulrenan, branch secretary Southwark UNISON.
CWU NEC members: Gary Jones, Bernard Roome. NUT NEC member Linda Taaffe.
TGWU GEC members: Martin Meyer, Chris White, John Boughan. Teresa Mackay, chair of TGWU Rural Agricultural Workers' Section, Brian Revell national organiser, TGWU National Agricultural Workers' Section.
RMT TUC delegates: Joe Grey, Keith Broddle, Neil Keith, Glenroy Watson, Dawn Elliot, Roy Cartlidge, Martin Wicks. ASLEF TUC delegates: Nigel Gibson, Mike Jones, Dave Tyson.
NATFHE NEC member Andrew Price. University of East London Student Union.
Chris Bluemel, Hereford Peace Group. Socialist Party, Socialist Party Councillors: Coventry - Dave Nellist, Rob Windsor, Karen Mackay, Lewisham - Ian Page.
Liv Gustavsson Rhodin, Jonas BrŠnnberg, councillors for RŠttvisepartiet Socialisterna, Swedish section of the Committee for a Workers' International (CWI) in LuleŚ, Sweden.
Contact International Socialist Resistance on 020 8558 7947, www.anticapitalism.org.uk, or write to PO Box 858, London E11 1YG.
In The Socialist 27 September 2003: