Cynical EU-Turkey deal spells Disaster for Refugees

The Free

96084918_FILE__This_is_a_Wednesday_March_16_2016_file_photo_of_a_Syrian_refugee_as_she__hangs_clothe-large_trans++jPAKgJRxicfimPcewMJ7fBLcrmo1mhLKr08jNmJN5TQIn making a deal with Turkey, the EU is entrusting refugees to a government that cares little for their safety – and sponsors the terrorists they are fleeing from, writes Marienna Pope-Weidemann 
Image 1 (edit)

Child refugees in Tobali, Turkey, in a makeshift school they were later forced to abandon. Photo: Nina Aandahl.

from Red Pepper with thanks (some illustrations and links added)—get a subscription now.

European governments leading the charge in the ‘war on terror’ have bought the right to turn their backs on its casualties for a cool £4.6 billion by striking their deal with Turkey. In exchange for the funds and loosened visa restrictions on Turkish citizens, the European Union has been able to violate its international obligations and outsource its refugee crisis.

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Happy birthday, dear M44710: support Jay Chase!

Cautiously pessimistic

Jay birthday

In May 2012, as part of the general post-occupy crackdown on anarchists and radicals, undercover coppers infiltrated protests against NATO in Chicago and manipulated three people into making molotov cocktails. The NATO 3 received hefty prison sentences, and Jay Chase is still inside today. He’s had a rough time of it recently, having been diagnosed with Hepatitis C and Huntingdon’s disease, and while he’d earned some time off his sentence for good behaviour, he’s now lost a year of that time again as a result of the fuss he’s had to make to try and get medical treatment. Jay’s support crew are calling for people to help him out:

Demand Jay Chase get medical care NOW

Call/fax/write and politely make the request that Jared Chase M44710 receive medical treatment for a broken nose sustained in December as well as treatment for Huntington’s Disease and Hepatitis C.

Michael Melvin, Acting…

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Emergency Housing & Temporary Accomodation residents meeting

Brighton Benefits Campaign


Wednesday 8th June

7pm Friends Meeting House Ship Street Brighton

Meeting for residents in Emergency Housing & Temporary Accommodation in Brighton & Hove

Emergency and Temporary Accomodation is a scandal, provided not by the council itself but by companies who can make many hundreds a month for each shabby damp room, far more than they would get in rent on the open market!

The council is failing to provide people in need with secure, supportive and habitable accommodation.  There are bedbugs in Grand Parade, suicides and drug overdoses, families and people with mental illnesses living in unsuitable conditions with shit cooking facilities and sometimes no ability to wash clothes.

If you are fed up with your living situation then you need to come to this interesting meeting with like minded residents who want to reclaim our housing, improve conditions and put pressure on the council to rethink their policy on…

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Struggles for autonomy in Kurdistan: New book from Corporate Watch


Kurdistan is currently divided between four countries: Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. In each of the parts of Kurdistan, Kurdish identities and cultures have been repressed for generations. This book, by Eliza Egret and Tom Anderson, gathers together first-hand accounts of the struggles for a new society taking place in Bakur and Rojava – the parts of Kurdistan within the borders of Turkey and Syria.

The setting up of local assemblies and co-operatives, as well as radical women’s and ecological movements, are rapidly gathering momentum in Kurdistan. The book gives a simple introduction to democratic confederalism, the idea that has inspired many of those involved in these movements.

The book also compiles accounts from Kurdish people who are oppressed by the state of Turkey and profiles some of the companies that are complicit in their repression. The interviews give suggestions of how people outside of Kurdistan can act in solidarity.

Buy the book or download it for free here.

Emergency – housing is a mental health issue.

Focus E15 Campaign

On 21st May, to mark the end of Mental Health Awareness Week, Focus E15 Campaign held a demonstration in Stratford to force a spotlight onto Newham council who have left empty homes boarded up on the Carpenters Estate  and to make a link that the current housing crisis is having an adverse effect on people’s mental health.  

Many people took the opportunity to use the open microphone. Speeches, live music, chanting and an impromptu march  highlighted the link between mental health and housing insecurity. The point was also made that taking collective action is empowering and good for our mental wellbeing.

Passerby stopped to hear how people are being decanted, evicted, abandoned and forced out of their homes at catastrophic rates  – currently someone in England is threatened with eviction every 90 seconds. Newham has the highest number of households in temporary accommodation of any London borough and the devastating consequences that housing

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Workfare at the Synergy Centre continued

Brighton Benefits Campaign

Synergy workfare 1

Following a meeting between its representatives and those of the Brighton Hove & District Trades Council, Brighton & Hove Green Party and the Brighton People’s Assembly, the Synergy Centre issued a statement BrightoningLivesMay2016 which has been seen by some as a commitment to withdraw from workfare.

Brighton Benefits Campaign has replied to the statement, questioning this supposed commitment (which would not have been forthcoming at all if various organisations had not threatened to boycott the Synergy Centre unless it withdrew).

The Synergy Centre is not simply an odd charity that uses workfare. By hosting and supporting the Brightoning Lives project and by its acceptance of Community Work Placements, it has chosen to be an integral part of the government’s workfare project and its ideology. The reasons are: 

1. Workfare is part of the government’s campaign to demonise claimants and to mystify the real causes of unemployment. The Synergy Centre is…

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Resistance Begins at Home: The Housing and Planning Act


London’s housing crisis is at a crossroads. The Conservative Government’s Housing and Planning Bill has passed to an Act. We have a new Labour Mayor, elected on a manifesto promise to build 50,000 new homes a year on demolished council estate land. David Cameron will soon launch his Blitzkrieg campaign on 100 so-called ‘sink estates’ across England, many of which will be in the capital. The London Land Commission is compiling a statutory register of brownfield land suitable for redevelopment that includes existing local authority housing estates. And the estate demolition plans drawn up by real estate firm Savills that threaten the council homes of over 400,000 Londoners are ready to be implemented through London Labour Councils. It seems necessary, therefore, to take stock of where we are, where we are going, and what we need both to do and stop doing in order to start doing something about it.

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Red & Black Telly: REFERENDUM 3 – Exit? Remain? or BOYCOTT? + Anti-University

The hospital funding crisis…. and sleeping in a waiting room – the NHS this week

Sentinel News

By Richard Grimes


A private Surrey-based ambulance company, E-Zec, is to take over the contract to transport hundreds of NHS patients a day across North Staffordshire to hospital.

A terminally ill pensioner missed a potentially life-changing hospital appointment at Bognor Hospital because the transport provided by the private company Coperforma did not turn up.


People are being advised to use alternatives to A&E at the Royal Stoke University Hospital if their condition is not an emergency.

A patient was told by staff at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham that patients could either leave or sleep overnight in a waiting room as no-one would be seen for seven hours.

Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry is warning city residents to attend A&E only if they have a real medical emergency. The trust has missed the A&E four-hour target for six months in a row.

Northampton General Hospital reported a huge increase…

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Last “whites” of the East End

The revolution will be streamed

So, after a great NUJ meeting with a brilliantly ethnic diverse turn-out, I turn on the TV and the BBC is showing “Last Whites of the East End“. Despite being fully aware it would annoy me, I watched it. I’ve been trying to think of something to blog about, so here’s another blog about history.

According to the programme, “white British” people are leaving the East London and it’s the end of the “good old East End”. This needs serious unpicking.

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