By Staff of Tele Sur – The U.K.’s often-criticized counter-terrorism strategy, Prevent, has advised universities and colleges to counter extremism by stifling anti-war and Palestine solidarity activism. British university staff have been advised to watch out for students that may harbor “extremist views” such as vocal support for Palestine, opposition to Israeli settlements in Gaza, criticism of wars in the Middle East and opposition to Prevent, according to the training materials provided. One campus has already felt the policy’s censoring effect. The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) on Tuesday canceled an event organized by a Friends of Palestine society group, citing that it would be anti-Semitic and “unbalanced.” “We believe the proposed talk contravenes the new definition (of anti-Semitism) and furthermore breaches university protocols for such events…
By Sam Pizzigati for IPS – In 1942, Franklin Roosevelt advanced what may have been the most politically daring policy proposal of his entire presidency. FDR called for the equivalent of a maximum wage. No individual American after paying taxes, Roosevelt declared, should have an income over $25,000, about $370,000 today. A half-century later, in 1992, Bernie Sanders — then a relatively new member of the House of Representatives — marked the 50th anniversary of FDR’s maximum wage initiative. Sanders placed a commentary on FDR’s 1942 proposal in the Congressional Record. Last week, in the 75th anniversary year of Roosevelt’s 1942 proposal, British Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn gave FDR’s income cap idea a considerably wider public airing.
By Staff of MEMO – The largest student union in Britain has officially endorsed the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, in a significant success for Palestine solidarity activists. The University of Manchester’s Student Union Senate voted last Thursday to pass a motion in support of BDS. The motion won the backing of 60 per cent of the SU Senate, following an impassioned debate. The motion was put forward by Huda Ammori, President of Recognise Refugee Rights Society, and was supported by Etisha Choudhury, President of Action Palestine, and the BDS Campaigns Committee. In the three weeks prior to last week’s Senate meeting…
By Nafeez Ahmed for MEE – The report offers no insight on how Britain has destroyed the national security of other countries – and thereby threatened its own. In early December, the British government released its first annual report on the National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review. Despite the total media blackout, the document reveals in stark detail the Conservative government’s plans to expand Britain’s military activities around the world. In the name of defending “national security”, Britain is building a “permanent” military presence in the Gulf to defend Britain’s access to regional energy resources
By Steve Rushton for Occupy – “Public support was paramount and I believe it made the judge acutely aware that this was not a simple case that I had wronged [U.K. fracking firm] Cuadrilla and owed them money,” Tina Rothery explains. “This was greater: it was about communities coming together. The huge public support showed the weight of my legal argument, and I think the judge could see that.” Rothery, a grandmother and resident of Blackpool in North England, was met by a jubilant crowd of hundreds outside Preston Court on Friday, December 9, when the verdict of her freedom was announced.
By Staff of RSF – The UK Government has failed to respond to widespread public dismay over secret mass surveillance revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013. The Bill will not only put into statute the capabilities revealed by Snowden but extend surveillance even further. This is not just of grave concern for UK citizens. The impact of the Bill will be felt around the world. Authoritarian leaders with poor human rights records can now point to the UK when justifying their own surveillance regimes.
By Charlotte Dingle for Occupy.com. In January of this year, students at University College London held a rent strike over what they considered to be extortionate prices for substandard student accommodation. “UCL rent strikes were prompted by appalling conditions – mice, loud construction works going on in and near buildings that left students unable to do work – and rent hikes that left many students in poverty,” a spokesperson for Rent Strike, who preferred to remain unnamed, recently told Occupy.com. “Rents rose with no regard for the income of most students, leaving many students with around £12 a week for all expenses (including) food, clothes and books.” Nine months later, with student rent costs now increased by 18% in the last two years, the student rent strike movement has spread to 25 different universities.
By Callum Cant for ROAR Magazine – The successful rent strike at University College London earlier this year broke the stale pattern of conflict between university managers and students. It showed how the rent strike tactic offers students in the UK opportunities to shut down higher education and how to gain the upper hand. Now a national network has been established with members from 25 campuses, and it’s calling for a co-ordinated wave of rent strikes in university halls.
By William Maclean for Reuters – An air strike on a funeral gathering, widely blamed on Saudi-led warplanes, poses more trouble for a Western-backed Arab campaign against Yemen’s Houthis that has long been criticized for civilian losses. The White House announced an immediate review of Washington’s support for the 18-month-old military push after planes hit mourners at a community hall in the capital, Sanaa, on Saturday, killing 140 people, according to one U.N. estimate and 82 according to the Houthis.
By David Mabb for Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists – The HMS Courageous is a 285-foot, nuclear-powered submarine that saw service in the British Royal Navy for about two decades starting in the early 1970s. Decommissioned in 1992 after, among other things, participating in the Falklands War of 1982, it now resides at the Devonport naval dockyard in Plymouth, on the southwest coast of England, where visitors can tour its inner workings free of charge—provided they book in advance and bring their passports for “security” purposes.
By Carlyn Harvey for The Canary – On 19th July an extraordinary bill was tabled in the UK parliament. The proposal,presented by Brentford and Isleworth MP Ruth Cadbury, seeks to allow citizens to divert the portion of their taxes that would ordinarily pay for military operations into a conflict prevention fund instead. The bill passed its first reading, is backed by the Green’s Caroline Lucas, and will receive its second reading on 2 December. If it succeeds the UK will set a historic precedent as the first country to allow citizens “to get the world you pay for” – with a chance to pay for peace not war.
By Alex Matthews For Daily Mail – US authorities should be ‘thankful’ a British hacker targeted them instead of terrorists according to the man’s lawyer. Lauri Love, 31, from Stradishall in Suffolk, is accused of stealing 23,000 personal details of government employees from the US Federal Reserve, the US Army, the FBI and NASA. The Aspergers sufferer and vicar’s son is fighting extradition to the US where he faces 99 years in prison if convicted.
By Emma Niles for Truth Dig – The United States’ Black Lives Matter movement has been making headlines for its protests in response to recent killings by police, but many Americans don’t realize that the United Kingdom has its own growing Black Lives Matter movement. Five years ago, Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old black man, was shot and killed by police in London. His death prompted widespread riots throughout the U.K. In recognition of the anniversary of his death, BLMUK staged protests in five cities Friday.
By Jeremy Corbyn for Mirror – Our country has been let down for too long. The Tories have let people down and sold us down the river for too long. The Tory mantra of selling off every public asset – from railways to energy companies, from the water boards to the Royal Mail is back. Right now they’re trying to sell off the Land Registry a profitable public resource. They are literally trying to sell the land from under our feet.