May Day 1971: Daniel Ellsberg on Joining Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn at Historic Antiwar Direct Action

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the 1971 May Day protests, when tens of thousands of protesters demonstrated against the Vietnam War in Washington, D.C., and brought much of the capital to a standstill through acts of civil disobedience. The mass demonstrations terrified the Nixon administration, and police would arrest over 12,000 people — the largest mass arrest in U.S. history. Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, who attended the May Day protests, says it was part of a wave of popular discontent about the war that mobilized millions. “There was a movement of young people who felt that what was happening in the world … was wrong,…

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Mass legal action against Google would ‘open the floodgates’, Supreme Court told

A billion-pound legal action against Google over claims it secretly tracked millions of iPhone users’ internet activity would “open the floodgates” to mass data protection claims if it’s allowed to go ahead, the Supreme Court has heard. Open the floodgates Former Which? director Richard Lloyd, supported by campaign group Google You Owe Us, wants to bring a “representative action” against the US-based tech giant on behalf of around 4.4 million people in England and Wales. He claims Google “illegally misused the data of millions of iPhone users” through the “clandestine tracking and collation” of information about internet usage on iPhones’ Safari browser, known as the “Safari workaround”. Lloyd…

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Student leaders call on competition watchdog to take action over fee refunds

A group of students’ unions have written to the competition watchdog, urging it to “take action to uphold students’ rights” over tuition fees and rent payments amid the pandemic. The open letter, backed by student leaders at 19 universities across the UK, calls on the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to help students asking for blanket fee refunds as a result of Covid-19 disruption. It urges the regulator to address the “broken” complaints process for students claiming refunds, and help advise students on their ability to withhold fee payments “if they have lost out” due to the pandemic. The letter, which has also been signed by National Union…

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Campaigners take action against expanding private prison system that ‘creates motivation to incarcerate’

A group of campaigners blocked the entrance to a construction site to demand an end to the government bankrolling new private megaprisons. On Monday 19 April, campaigners arrived at the HMP Five Wells Kier construction site in Wellingborough. The group used concrete-filled barrels as lock-ons to blockade the main entrance. The blockade carried on overnight. A campaigner tweeted on 20 April: Waking up to a #megaprison after a cold night. @kiergroup have a long history of exploiting prison labor and #blacklisting workers who try to #unionize yet not that many people know who they are or all the horrors they've been building. Enough #kierendshere @netpol @autonomy_news pic.twitter.com/6vi6ZUuHTh —…

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Urgent action needed on pay for sleep-in shifts, say union and charity chiefs

Union and charity leaders have joined forces to urge the government to reform minimum wage laws affecting thousands of care workers. Reform needed Unison and Mencap have written jointly to the prime minister saying action is needed “urgently” to amend current rules, so sleep-in shifts, where staff have to stay away from home overnight, are defined as working time. The move follows a court decision last month that hours employees are asleep do not have to be paid at minimum wage rates, only the time they are awake and looking after people. Unison and Mencap were on opposing sides during the long-running case, but in the letter to…

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In a weekend of action, thousands take to the streets saying ‘Kill the Bill’

Thousands took part in a weekend of action against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. The size and passion of the demos shows that people are willing to fight to stop this bill, which the Conservative government tried to sneak through under the cover of the coronavirus (Covid-19) health crisis. 50 demonstrations were called across the UK. The proposed Police Bill is arguably the biggest attack on our freedoms since the Public Order Acts of the ‘80s and ‘90s. The controversial bill passed its second reading in parliament during March. The bill will give the police unprecedented draconian powers to arrest protesters, and will criminalise trespass, effectively…

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Trans Day of Visibility: Activists Chase Strangio & Raquel Willis Demand Action on Anti-Trans Laws

On Trans Day of Visibility, we look at the wave of anti-trans laws being enacted across the U.S., with dozens more anti-trans bills making their way through state legislatures. The Arkansas Senate has approved one of the most harmful bans on access to healthcare for transgender youth by prohibiting the use of gender-affirming care, including hormones and puberty blockers. Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi have enacted new laws aimed at banning trans athletes from joining sports teams, and in South Dakota, two executive orders bar trans women and girls from playing school sports. “We are truly witnessing an escalation of attacks on trans people unlike anything I’ve ever seen…

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Finally. The DWP £20 uplift is facing legal action.

The Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) £20 uplift to Universal Credit is facing a legal challenge. It’s from people on so-called legacy benefits. And the case may open the floodgates for thousands of other claimants. DWP uplift: one rule for workers The £20 uplift for Universal Credit from chancellor Rishi Sunak and the DWP has been contentious. This is because the government hasn’t helped people on things like Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). Recently, Martin Lewis interviewed Sunak. It was after Sunak said in the budget that he would extend the uplift until September 2021. During the interview, Lewis asked him why he hadn’t increased so-called legacy…

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Government publishes action plan to protect journalists from abuse

The government has published the UK’s first national action plan aimed at protecting journalists from abuse and harassment. Under attack Journalists have reported suffering abuse and attacks, such as being punched, threatened with knives, forcibly detained, and subjected to rape and death threats, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said. Commitments in the new action plan include training for police officers and journalists, while prosecution services across the UK have reaffirmed their commitment to taking a robust approach to crimes against reporters. Every police force is to be given access to a designated journalist safety liaison officer, and the National Police Chiefs’ Council has appointed…

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Loyalist terrorists are considering ‘direct action’ against politicians if Brexit demands aren’t met

Loyalist paramilitaries have withdrawn support for the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) as long as UK and EU stick with an unamended Irish Protocol. But behind this move lies, possibly, an even greater threat to peace on the island of Ireland and potentially beyond. Good Friday Agreement under threat In an earlier article in The Canary by Joe Glenton, it’s reported that a letter to Johnson by the Loyalist Communities Council (LCC) states that the Loyalist Groupings are: herewith withdrawing support for the Belfast [Good Friday] Agreement and its institutions until our rights under the Agreement are restored. The LCC represents the Red Hand Commando (RHC) the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)…

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