Demo at Senate House: for a Living Wage and Sick Pay!
EVER NOTICED HOW CLEAN SENATE HOUSE IS?
The people who clean it earn £6.15 per hour. In London, the minimum wage required to avoid living in poverty is £8.30 per hour.
Cleaning and maintenance staff at SOAS, Birkbeck, Queen Mary and other University of London Colleges already receive this wage. But not in Senate House.
This is a recipe for impoverishment. Already most of the cleaners can't afford to live near Bloomsbury and have to commute for up to three hours a day to get to work. On top of this many of them are forced to take second jobs just so they can pay the rent and feed their families.
Furthermore, the subcontractor which employs the cleaners (Balfour Beatty Workplace) has consistently failed to pay staff for their overtime. Some employees are owed over four months of overtime wages.
University of London senior management has said it has a principled 'commitment' to pay the living wage by 2013.
As encouraging as this might be, no one can pay their rent or feed their families on principled commitments.
But this isn't just about Balfour Beatty or University of London Senior Management. We're all responsible to ensure that no members of our community are forced to live in poverty. And so let's exert some collective pressure!:
COME AND SUPPORT SOME OF THE POOREST EMPLOYEES IN YOUR INSTITUTION! DEMONSTRATE FOR THE IMMEDIATE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE LONDON LIVING WAGE!
SENATE HOUSE, in the car park next to the Russel Square
WEDNESDAY 14th SEPTEMBER
Protect Afghan Archeology
Among the many casualties of Afghanistan's three decades of conflict are its archeological sites, which are currently under threat of destruction.
Mess Aynak, an ancient and vast Buddhist monastic ensemble, is currently in danger of destruction from a proposed copper mine. While it is important to encourage the growth of Afghanistan's economy, it is also vital to preserve its rich cultural history.
Archeological sites serve as windows into the past that allow us to explore and understand ancient civilizations as well as celebrate the development of current ones. Mess Anyak's destruction would be a devastating blow to the preservation of Afghanistan's culture both past and present.
Don't let this amazing testament to Afghanistan's history be destroyed.
Crisis in the Horn of Africa
On July 20th, The UN formally declared a famine in parts of Somalia. As time goes on, the situation has only gotten more dire.
The world community can come together to save people from the cruel hands of starvation and famine,but we need to act now.
Every day we wait, more children go hungry, more refugees have to leave their homes and more people lose the fight against hunger.
We can help:
Camden Abu Dis Twinning Volunteers –
EVS project funded by Youth in Action 2011-2013
Over the next two years, this project will take 28 young volunteers from Britain to work in Abu Dis in Palestine. Six groups of 4 volunteers at a time will do 3 months and one group just one month based at the Dar Assadaqa Community Centre. We are actively recruiting now for our September group but welcome applications now for later groups as well (see below for dates and further information).
If you are interested but over 30, please contact us for other volunteering opportunities.
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE IN THIS PROJECT?
Men and women aged 18-30. People from the UK or who can be in the UK for the preparation period and for the period of a follow-up activity. There are no requirements for specific skills – the criteria will be that
(1) they are flexible and open to new experiences
(2) that they are interested in people different from them and to want to work with them
(3) that they see their time as a volunteer as an opportunity to learn
(4) they would like to learn about life, culture and the human rights situation in Palestine and prepared to communicate about life, culture and the human rights situation in Britain
(5) they would like to offer their skills (which could be a number of things) in exchange for this opportunity to learn
(6) they are prepared to work on a voluntary basis, full-time, and are prepared to be punctual, reliable, respectful and co-operative.
The role of the volunteers will be to help Dar Assadaqa to strengthen the links between Camden and Abu Dis. In particular they will work with Dar Assadaqa with organisations in Abu Dis that have made twinning links with organisations in Camden (schools, youth clubs, the university). They will
(1) help to run activities to keep those twinning links alive. These could involve giving talks about their lives in Britain, running/ helping language clubs (not as a specialist), help running clubs or doing activities in areas of their own interest/ competence (could be sports, arts etc)/
(2) Help those organisations to communicate with the twinned organisations in Camden through emails, Skype calls website, blogs, newsletters, helping with interpretation/ translation, as appropriate.
(3) Help support twinning links for the Dar Assadaqa centre, being involved with activities for youth and women that fit with own interest/ competence (could be sports, arts etc), through organising, tidying, painting, leafleting, being on reception (depending on own interest) and again helping with the website, blogs, photos and stories from Abu Dis for people to read in Camden
(4) Help Dar Assadaqa to maintain communication with linked community centres and groups in Camden.
(5) Help with communication when there are visitors from Camden, and help to prepare people from Abu Dis to go on visits to Britain organised by Dar Assadaqa/ Camden Abu Dis, if these happen at the time of volunteering.
· To attend preparation sessions in Camden before going,
· To spend 3 months working full-time (5 days a week) as a volunteer in Palestine
· To attend review and evaluation sessions in Camden on return, to plan and take part in follow-up activities and dissemination of their experiences
WE WILL PROVIDE
Airtickets, accommodation, living expenses, insurance.
Support before, during and following the volunteer placement
DATES FOR VOLUNTEERS
HOW TO APPLY
Please send a CV and a letter about yourself and why you are interested in taking part to:
Camden Abu Dis Friendship Association
promoting human rights
and respect for international humanitarian law
PO Box 34265 London NW5 2WD
0845 458 1167
Charity number 1112717
Also on Facebook
SOAS Students Day X – The Battle for Education
A 90 minute documentary by Corine Dhondee. Funding to finish the documentary is being raised on Indiegogo indiegogo.com/SOAS-students-Day-X-a-diary-of-events
"We didn't know SOAS was in occupation. We found the short so inspiring we screened it the following day". Brighton University students in occupation.
"Thanks the students loved watching it". Lecturer in Glasgow
"There’s no one answer. At a general level, we all know the same and right answers, educate, organize, act as appropriate. As we become less abstract the answers vary greatly, depending on individual circumstances, goals, opportunities. We have to find our own place in this broad spectrum of opportunities". Professor Noam Chomsky's response to the Director's question what can we do about budget cuts?
It is evident that the recent student protests is one of the most important movements the UK has witnessed since the 1960s. The protests were in direct response to the coalition government's decision to scrap the EMA whilst simultaneously raising tuition fees. Students were also angry at Nick Clegg, the leader of the Liberal Democrats who for a number of years had wooed young voters with the promise of no fees. In 2007 Clegg said, '‘As leader, I will defend party policy as it is, which is to scrap tuition fees. I start from the simple principle that I want a higher education system accessible to as many people from as many possible backgrounds as possible’, continuing with the same rhetoric into 2010 which quickly vanished into the shadows with his ascension to power.
In response to the raising of student fees, the NUS and University College Union (UCU) called upon students to protest. 52,000 students marched on the streets of London. According to official reports around 200 students occupied Millbank, the headquarters of the Conservative Party. Although in truth thousands of students occupied Millbank inside and outside. Thirty two arrests were made. The student protest broke the coalition government's confidence, cracks began to appear, MPs who spoke out were whipped back into line and the Liberal Democrats popularity fell. Student protests and occupations, without the support of Aaron Porter the president of the NUS, continued in the battle for education.
This is at the heart of SOAS Students Day X – It is a diary of events that occurred when students occupied a building on the SOAS university campus. Filmed as an observation documentary, one watches the progress of the occupation and hears the voices of students as they fight a court case, whilst continuing to protest in the knowledge that something larger is at stake. What is explored is the real, not the feigned attitude of students, combined with their desire and determination to engage within the political framework set. So discussions are had, voting is called upon, meetings are held and the occupation space becomes a place of learning about the current political climate. Lecturers held classes there alongside the public space being transformed into a place where talks and symposiums are given and held by academics and politicians alike.
The narrative has a much larger reach. It suggests that when it came to the student protests, both the government and media were apathetic. They may have appeared to care, and they may appear to produce reports of veracity, but eyewitness accounts from the student protest held on the day of the vote gives a different insight to that which was aired on mainstream media channels. An example of this is although the BBC reported that Westminster Bridge was clear at 2300, in realty students were still being held there, kettled on a bridge with a drop into the freezing Thames on either side. And although the police had their say, students let it be known that police on the night were shouting at students, telling those who wanted to go to the toilet, 'piss there bitch'.
Many students who wanted to go home were not allowed to, instead they were pushed into another kettle whereupon they were again beaten. Everyone ought to watch SOAS Students Day X. It is a diary of events that led up to the day of the vote. It is a first hand account from the perspective of students. The student protests did not stop cuts to EMA in the UK but cuts to EMA did not happen in Wales and Scotland. The student protests may not have stopped the rise in tuition fees but it did break the popularity of the Liberal Democrats. The student protests told the UK and the world we are here, we are students, we are politicized and we have the right to protest. The student protest inspired other groups to protest. The film is an elegy for the right to protest.
The documentary is now on Indiegogo to raise funds to finish it and to make DVDs to send free of charge to schools, Universities, and anti-cuts groups. There are gifts in exchange for funding, from a dedication, to packages which include an online download, DVD, a workshop with Aaron Peters – an internet genius, or a film night and dinner plus a lot of other goodies, or an invite to a SOAS party plus other goodies. At the time of writing many young people do not know they have the right to protest. This documentary says! Yes you have the right to protest, and yes, you can make a difference. Be a part of the film SOAS-students-Day-X-a-diary-of-events join facebook com/pages/SOAS-Students-Day-X-The-Battle-for-Education/114301245335446?ref=ts
Report and photos by Corine Dhondee
NUS Black Students Campaign Newsletter
1. NUS BSC Winter Conference 26/27th November 2011
We are delighted to confirm the date for this year’s Winter Conference; the largest training event for Black Students in the UK. With a range of inspirational speakers, interactive workshops, and a big networking opportunity, Winter Conference is definitely not to be missed. Please put this date in your diary and contact Black Students’ Officer with what you’d like to see happen at the Conference so we can make it the most successful ever.
2. Prevent must not spy on Muslim students
The NUS Black Students’ Campaign has been extremely vocal in its opposition to the government’s unjust targeting of Muslim students in its ‘Prevent Report’. We are therefore very concerned to read that under new guidance “university staff including lecturers, chaplains and porters are being asked to inform the police about Muslim students who are depressed or isolated”.
We therefore echo the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) when they say“engaging with Muslim students, not spying on them, is what will make our country safer and more cohesive.” We will continue to work with FOSIS and other organisations to oppose the government plans.
Read the full Guardian article:
3. Carvinal Unites Communities
After the recent scenes in London, the NUS Black Students’ Campaign is delighted that this year’s Notting Hill Carnival, the largest carnival in Europe, has been a massive success. The Carnival, with roots in the 1960s, was a response to the extremely poor state of race relations in the UK and has grown to become a celebration of modern Britain and cultural harmony in our society.
Read Operation Black Vote on the Carnival:
4. Unite Against Fascism / One Society Many Cultures National Convention
Saturday 15 October, 10am – 5.30pm TUC Congress Centre, Great Russell St, London WC1B 3LS Nearest tube: Tottenham Court Road
This is a one day national event to celebrate diversity, defend multiculturalism and oppose Islamophobia. It will feature an array of prominent speakers and workshops sessions. Book your place now: