Saturday, 21 March 2015

Arrest of Dave Smith on Blacklist Protest

1. Arrest at Crossrail safety / blacklisting protest:
Dave Smith commented:
'Massive 'Thank You' for all the solidarity and support. When multinational construction firms sack our safety reps and collude with the police to blacklist union members, they get away scot free. But if we dare to protest about it, we get arrested.  When I was arrested on Wednesday night, they were attacking our democratic right to peaceful protest. I was taken to Paddington Green police station, that was officially closed at the time and where the Met Police deal with terrorist suspects. I was charged with obstructing the highway and released at midnight.
'Half way through the evening, the attitude of the police officers changed considerably. Suddenly I was offered cups of tea and my lawyer was contactable on the phone (when they couldn’t get hold of him earlier). I imagine this was because of the solidarity from all those who called the police on my behalf. I must especially thank John McDonnell MP for repeatedly chasing the Met on Wednesday night. We often think that those little things make no difference. But I can assure you, it did to me. It gives a boost to know that comrades and friends are covering my back.  
If they thought that by arresting me, that we would go away, they were very much mistaken.'
2. Court of Appeal judgement says agency workers are not protected against blacklisting. Parliament needs to scrap the 'necessity test'
3. Two weeks ago, the Blacklist Support Grop challenged every prospective parliamentary candidate to say where they stand on our call for a full public inquiry into blacklisting. A half-hearted investigation by a senior civil servant at BIS or a QC will not suffice. Only a full Leveson style public inquiry will fully expose the sordid details of this national scandal.
Since then, blacklisting has made front page headlines and had double page spreads in the Guardian, Mirror and Morning Star on multiple occasions. Revelations about undercover police spying on trade unions and the lack of any legal redress via employment tribunals for blacklisted workers is causing waves in the media.
John McDonnell, Ian Davidson, Jim Sheridan, Steve Rotheram, Michael Meacher, Jeremy Corbyn, Neil Findlay and a handful of other principled politicians have made public announcements calling for a full public inquiry into blacklisting. Blacklisted construction workers are the very definition of the core working class vote. A few weeks before the General Election - have any senior politicians got any comment to make about the lack of legal redress, police collusion or the public inquiry?

4.Official Secrets Act
The Official Secrets Act is being used by those in authority to stop police officers talking about child sex abuse by senior politicians, military and security service officers. This is an absolute disgrace!
The ex-undercover police officer turned whistleblower, Peter Francis, who is interviewed in the 'Blacklisted' book is also being threatened with jail if he talks about the role of the police in blacklisting and his own role in spying on trade unions and bereaved relatives such as the Lawrence family. These whistleblowers need to be protected if we are ever going to explode the establishment cover-up. This link is to an online petition to give Peter Francis immunity from prosecution if he gives evidence in a court case or to a public inquiry - BSG urge all our supporters to sign the petition.

5. Blacklisted Book - Reviews & Press:
Some Waterstones shops have sold out of blacklisted book already. The #blacklistedbook selfies are appearing all over social media. Trolls have been busy posting pro-blacklisting messages on book websites and social media. Is this what media consultants get paid for nowadays? Sad people. You can help the campaign by posting messages on websites for newspapers running the story or New Internationalist / Amazon.
6. This week:
Tuesday 24th - 6:30pm - Defend the Right to Protest - SOAS -
Wednesday 25th - 9am - in support of Cardiff spycops case at Royal Courts of Justice -
Thursday 26th - London Hazards Centre - Blacklisted book event (flyer attached)
Friday 227th - 9am - Westminster Magistrates Court, 181 Marylebone Rd, NW1 5BR - Dave Smith in court.
7. Teeside Activists - there is a major industrial battle brewing in Teesdide over employers attempts to undermine the terms and conditions in the national collective bargaining agreement known as the Blue Book. There have been large scale protests for the past 4-5 weeks. For more info and updates about this weeks demos contact:

8. Bob Carnegie - legendary Auz union activist - UK Tour
The Australian construction union activist Bob Carnegie is visiting the UK from 9-21 May. Bob was an ex-BLF official and steward on many sites since the 1980s. Last year he was threatened with jail for his role in during a site occupation during a major CFMEU dispute. The Australian unions mobilized thousands in support of him and eventually he was victorious. It is a significant victory for the unions.
Bob will be attending events with the Blacklist Support Group and the Construction Rank & File. If any supporters have pre-panned meetings where Bob could attend and speak, that would be fantastic. Please contact us to arrange.

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