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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 November 2010

Pickets injured: Solidarity with London firefighters

Ian Leahair, FBU London Regional Organiser, after being run down by engines crewed by strike breakers provided by the private firm AssetCo, while firefighters were lawfully picketting, photo Suzanne Beishon

Ian Leahair, FBU London Regional Organiser, after being run down by engines crewed by strike breakers provided by the private firm AssetCo, while firefighters were lawfully picketting, photo Suzanne Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

The mood of striking London firefighters was made even more determined when two FBU members were hit by vehicles on picket lines on 1 November. In Croydon, a firefighter was seriously injured after an incident with a car, apparently driven by a manager. Witnesses reported that a car following a scab fire engine suddenly accelerated towards the picket line. The manager has been arrested.

Then the London national executive member for the FBU, Ian Leahair, was reportedly hit by a scab appliance whilst trying to picket its return to Southwark station. Again, an arrest has been made.

Paula Mitchell, London regional secretary of the Socialist Party immediately responded:

"We utterly condemn the injury to pickets trying to defend their own and their families' livelihoods. The Socialist Party is fully behind the heroic actions of the London firefighters and their defence of the capital's safety against a swingeing bullying management.

Other trade unionists across the capital should come to the aid of their brothers and sisters in the fire brigade."

Socialist Party councillor and ex-Labour MP Dave Nellist added:

"If this had been striking firefighters deliberately driving vehicles at strike-breakers it would be on the front page of every paper in the land. Trade unionists around the country should flood the London Fire Brigade office with protests about the actions of these scabs."

The Socialist Party says:


Protest at picket line injuries

Dear Chief Officer of the LFB

Like many other trade unionists, I am appalled to read this morning about the hospitalisation of two members of the Fire Brigades Union, including Executive Council member Ian Leahair.

These attacks on trade unionists engaged in lawful trade union activity will only help convince public opinion that the Fire Authority is acting in a bullying and unreasonable manner in this dispute, not the FBU.

I urge you to remove the notices threatening firefighters with dismissal so that a negotiated settlement to the dispute can be reached.

Yours sincerely
Martin Powell-Davies,
National Union of Teachers, National Executive Member for Inner London.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 3 November 2010:


Anti-cuts campaign

Con-Dems' cuts can be stopped

Anti-cuts movement continues to grow

Model motion for a national demonstration in 2010


Firefighters' strike

Pickets injured: Solidarity with London firefighters

Solidarity with London firefighters


Anti-racism

We need jobs, homes and services - not racism

Defend the right to asylum


Socialist Party editorial

Con-Dem shock therapy - midwife to a double dip?


Socialism 2010

Socialism 2010

Fund the fight for socialism


Socialist Party news and analysis

Housing: Rent caps, not benefit caps

India - no voice for Kashmiri struggle

Graduate unemployment: We will not be a lost generation!

News in brief

Cable is a coward!

Don't destroy our sickness benefits


Socialist Party youth and students

100 students march against cuts and fees in Leeds

Students challenge Willetts

Birmingham youth protest


Socialist Party workplace news

Nottingham school staff force council retreat over pay cuts

Tube workers take more action for safety

BBC strike over pensions

UCU: No education cuts, no fees!

National Shop Stewards Network: Anti-cuts conference


International socialist news and analysis

USA elections: What the Tea Party really represents


 

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