Parliament is Going To Debate the Petition you Signed “

Introduce Sanctions Against Israel”

The debate is scheduled for Monday, 14 June 2021

376,505 people have so far signed; now is the time to double/treble get others to sign;

Target should be 500,000 half -a- Million by Friday 11 June.

Introduce sanctions against Israel – Sign this petition https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/585314

Support trade unionists on strike in prisons.

UCU Novus members working in prison education have been on strike Tuesday 11 May, and Wednesday 12 May in a dispute over health and safety. This covers 49 prisons and young offenders’ institutions and is the first time a prison education branch has taken industrial action.

The row centres on the employer Novus’s failure to meaningfully engage with UCU over Covid health and safety concerns and on-site provision. Also, Novus has refused to drop complaints and investigations against staff who have raised safety concerns – unfounded allegations and without reference to any formal procedures and against natural justice. As these staff are UCU’s health and safety representatives, UCU believes it is impossible for the employer to meaningfully engage in health and safety discussions until this intimidation stops.

Please support your colleagues. If ever there was a time to stand up and support your union colleagues, now is the time. Due to members’ fear of reprisals, there will be limited social media use. However you can fill this gap by taking the following actions:

Your support will give the branch a real boost – please send your messages today. You can find out more about the background to the dispute here.

28,612 Brumies Have Signed the Petition

‘Introduce Sanctions Against Israel’
Petition has Reached 356,844 Signatures and Rising Every Second.
28,612 Brumies Have Signed the Petition
Walsall South 2,144
West Brom 660
East Brom 806
Perry Barr 2,503
Erdington 1,061
Warley 1,200
Ladywood 3,313
Edgbaston 1,001
Hodge Hill  5,307
Yardley 2,932
Hall Green 5,394
Selly Oak 1.279
Solihull 1,005
Grand Total 28,612
The petition has Reached 355,466 Signatures and Rising Every Second.
https://is.gd/bvmlC https://is.gd/bvmlCD
If you have not yet signed, please do so now!

Early Day Motion 7 – Undocumented Migrants

That this House recognises that there are many barriers that prevent people from accessing and maintaining stable immigration status even when they were either born in the UK or have lived in the UK for many years; further recognises that the majority of undocumented migrants have lost their status through no fault of their own, including through an inability to pay application fees, lack of access to legal advice, mistakes on the part of decision-makers and complexity of immigration rules; understands that the harm done to individuals through hostile immigration policies extends to family members and the communities that they are part of; notes that the UK has one of the most complex and expensive routes to regularisation in Europe; further notes that all current routes to regularisation and settlement are far too long, complicated and inflexible, leaving people with no options but to live undocumented; understands that migrants who do not have access to the public safety net or the right to work are vulnerable to exploitation and; and calls on the Government to support recommendations made by Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants in its report, We Are Here: routes to regularisation for the UK’s undocumented population, published in April 2021 by introducing new routes to regularisation and removing barriers which cause migrants to become undocumented.

EDM (Early Day Motion) 7: tabled on 11 May 2021, https://is.gd/9H39N8

Put your MP to Work, get them to sign EDM 18, to find your MP go here https://is.gd/2WxrH6

About Birmingham TUC

Since its foundation in 1866, Birmingham Trades Union Council has brought together local trade union branches to support working people in their workplaces and within local communities. It continues to provide a coordinating centre for affiliated trade union branches to protect and advance the interests of workers in Birmingham.

Along with its sister trade union councils across the country, BTUC aims to:

  • raise awareness of rights at work and the role of trade unions in enforcing those rights;
  • to improve the economic and social conditions of workers and to participate in international, national and local campaigns to promote trade unionism. 
  • to combat racist, sexist or fascist ideas and oppose discrimination in all its forms.

Officers & Executive Committee members 2020-21

President – Ian Scott (Unite)
Secretary – Naeem Malik (Unite)
Vice President – Melany Cruz (UCU)
Assistant Secretary – Joseph Ward (Unison)
Treasurer – Darcy Luke (UCU)
Equalities Officer – Mohammed Mumit (PCS)
Anti-Racist Officer – Shingai Mushayabasa (Unite)
Executive Committee Members – Carl Jones (UCU), Elio Di Muccio (UCU), Stephen Booth (Unison), Stuart Richardson (NEU), Catherine Christian (Unite), Sarah Teversham (Unite), Farheen Ahmed (Unite)

How to Affiliate

BTUC meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month and are open to anyone interested in trade unionism in Birmingham, whether part of an affiliated branch or not. However, we welcome new affiliations and would encourage members across the region to ask your branch to affiliate. The annual affiliation fee rate is set out in the BTUC constitution. All enquiries regarding affiliation can be sent directly to the Secretary at btucsec@hotmail.com or at our generic email address btuc.comms@gmail.com.

Affiliated Branches 2020-21

  • Artists’ Union (1)
    • Birmingham
  • BFAWU (1)
    • Birmingham District Office (331)
  • CWU (1)
    • Birmingham
  • GMB (1)
    • Birmingham Public Services
  • MU (1)
    • Birmingham
  • NEU (1)
    • Birmingham
  • NUJ (1)
    • Birmingham
  • PCS (1)
    • EFRA
  • RMT (1)
    • Birmingham
  • UCU (3)
    • Birmingham City University
    • University of Birmingham
    • Retired Members
  • Unison (2)
    • Birmingham
    • University of Birmingham
  • Unite (11)
    • Birmingham South/6030
    • Birmingham Central/6010
    • Community WM/5112
    • Community North/5114
    • WM 7147
    • WM 7342
    • WM7685
    • LE/7076L
    • LE/975
    • 76KS
    • IA/76

3,500 + Reasons to ‘Kill the Bill’

In 1968, two Civil Rights marches in Northern Ireland were banned by the Stormont Government. As the law stood such demonstrations were illegal. They had been called by the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA), a coalition of various groups both Protestant and Catholic and students. To challenge the inequality and discrimination against ethnic Irish Catholics that was perpetrated by the Ulster Protestant establishment. Both the marches met with violence on the orders of the Stormont Government.

The first protest march from Coalisland to Dungannon, took place on 24 August 1968. The march was publicised as a “civil rights march”, and the organisers emphasised its non-sectarian dimension. Bernadette Devlin (who became a civil-rights activist) described a festival atmosphere that turned “uglier” when the police stopped the march from entering Dungannon, where a counter-demonstration had been called by the Paisleyites. The NICRA organisers announced that they would not breach the police cordon. However, as Devlin recalls, they began to “lose their hold on the marchers”. According to Devlin, many of the initial organisers soon left after efforts to wind down the movement failed; those who remained “sat down in big circles all over the road and sang rebel songs till midnight”.
The second civil-rights march took place in Derry on 5th October 1968. The march was characterised by non-sectarian civil-rights demands, including an end to gerrymandering and discrimination in housing and the right to vote. The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) attempted to violently disperse the marchers. Chaos erupted as the protesters found themselves trapped between two lines of the RUC. The police drove the protesters across the river into the Catholic area of the Bogside: “By this time the original confrontation between marchers and the police had given way to a general battle between the police and young residents of the Bogside, most of whom had taken no part in the march”. It was all downhill from here and what followed as led to the death of over 3,500 individuals.
1969 saw unprecedented violence break out across the whole of Northern Ireland, the vast majority of the violence carried out by Prodestants against Catholics. Thousands of Catholic families were either forced out or burned out of their homes.

The birthdate of the Northern Ireland civil-rights movement is considered to be 5 October; images of police brutality were broadcast worldwide, and much of Northern Ireland’s population was horrified. In Derry, the period following 5 October was one in which established political forces and prominent individuals in Catholic areas tried to harness and control the movement’s energy.

The Battle of the Bogside was a very large communal riot that took place from 12 to 14 August 1969 in Derry, Northern Ireland. The fighting was between residents of the Bogside area (organised under the Derry Citizens’ Defence Association), and the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) along with local unionists. The rioting erupted at the end of an Apprentice Boys parade which was passing along the city walls, past the Catholic Bogside. Fierce rioting broke out between local unionists and the police on one side and Catholics on the other. Rioting between police and Bogside residents continued for three days. The police were unable to enter the area and eventually, the British Army was deployed to restore order. The riot, which sparked widespread violence elsewhere in Northern Ireland, is commonly seen as one of the first major confrontations in the conflict known as the Troubles.

BTUC May Day Rally Saturday 1st of May 2021

Northern Ireland & ‘Kill the Bill’

Northern Ireland – First Civil Rights March Dungannon August 1968

What is the relevance of above to the impending Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021

in August and October 1968 two small demonstrations were batoned off the streets and started the Northern Ireland conflict. The first march took place in Dungannon in August 1968, in protest at the allocation of public housing by the local government and was shortly followed by a smaller protest march in Derry city. The Derry march, famously, was attacked by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), and images of bloodied marchers, including Member of Parliament Gerry Fitt, were broadcast via the Irish state television station RTE, first around Ireland and then around the world.

The second march in Derry on October 5, 1968, was followed by an intense series of protests and disturbances in that city. These culminated in intense rioting with the RUC in January 1969 after a Civil Rights march from Belfast to Derry. People’s Democracy had come under sustained attack by loyalists. The fighting in Derry led to the sealing off of the working class nationalist district of the city – the Bogside and Creggan areas – from the police in early 1969, in what was known as ‘Free Derry’.

Fifty-Five years later, and with over 3,500 deaths, the UK Government has learned nothing. Throughout the Fifty-Five years, the UK Government has fully supported the severe use of force to suppress all legitimate protest. The short-lived civil rights era of the late 60s and early 70s has been conveniently overlooked, perhaps because it illuminates the fact that the endemic discrimination in Northern Ireland was ignored for decades by successive Westminster governments of every political hue.

Trespassers Won’t be Prosecuted? – More Reasons to ‘Kill the Bill’

What the Acquittal of XR Protestors Tells Us About The Future of Policing Protests. The policing of protests has come under increasing focus this year. Last week’s acquittal of XR protestors in Liverpool Magistrates’ Court therefore merits a closer look. The case is important because the Government is using it to justify the controversial Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill (“the Bill”).

The protest was against climate change denial in the “Murdoch media”. The protestors sat on top of a van blocking the entrance to a printing plant. They were prosecuted for aggravated trespass. At trial, the District Judge acquitted them because he was unsure they had been trespassing at all. The Government condemned the protest as an assault on democracy and the free press. Priti Patel, the home secretary, complained that the acquittals showed how “current legislation used for managing protests is not fit for purpose.” This seems to have been a nod to the desirability of the Bill becoming law.

The irony is that the Bill itself threatens to stifle freedom of expression. It could enable protestors to be convicted of serious offences on vague grounds. For example, a person (“P”) could be found guilty of “intentionally or recklessly causing public nuisance” under s.59(1) if:1. P does an act, or omits to do an act, required by any enactment or rule of law; and 2. P either:
(i) causes serious harm to the public; or
(ii) obstructs the public from exercising or enjoying a right; and 3. P intends or is reckless to their act or omission having that consequence. The definition of “serious harm” under s.59(2) is extraordinarily wide. It ranges from death to “serious annoyance”. P does not even have to cause actual harm. P commits the offence even if another person is only “put at risk” of the harm (see s.59(2)(d)). The custodial penalty ranges from a maximum of one year on summary conviction up to 10 years on indictment (see s.59(4)).

By contrast, the maximum custodial penalty for aggravated trespass is three months. Such legislation is open to abuse. Future protestors who block a printing plant (even without trespassing) might be prosecuted under s.59 and face lengthy imprisonment. After all, such unruly behaviour plainly risks causing serious annoyance to others (not least the home secretary). Vague drafting and harsh penalties are why so many voices are urging the Government to “kill the Bill”. If the Bill does become law then it has dark implications for how protests may be policed in the future. “For a country that so often prides itself on civil liberties, this Bill represents an attack on some of the most fundamental rights of citizens”, Gracie Bradley, Interim Director of Liberty Sourcce: Doughty Street Chambers, https://is.gd/hBkWH68 May 2021

Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021: A Briefing for Trade Unionists8 May 2021This briefing has been compiled by the Stop the Police…

An evening of International May Day Entertainment with Banner Theatre