Online Archive  
Issue 6 - June 1972
Rights On!
A judge recently ordered that the Home Secretary be informed of the case of Errol Folkes, an 18-year-old black man, who was held in Ashford Remand Centre and Latchmere House Detention Centre for 6 months, although he had been granted bail. He was finally released in February as a result of efforts by a black community welfare organisation called Harambee. Two months later he was found not guilty as charged by the Inner London Crown Court.

Errol's solicitors are now going to sue the Home Office for wrongful imprisonment, and his former solicitors for allowing him to remain locked up for so long. David Howard of Harambee does not think that the fact that Errol is black had anything to do with his misfortune. He said: "Any underprivileged (!) poorly-informed person is at risk in a similar situation".

In other words, if you're black or not, if you're poor enough and don't have the right contacts, this could happen to you.

Angela Davis was acquitted and once again the US government have wasted an incredible amount of money trying to suppress black people. Coupled with the fact that the two remaining Soledad brothers were acquitted as well, it seems to indicate that the US government is clutching at straws.

Protest! is a new national magazine for radical change without violence. The initial effort and bread came from one man who "screwed it out of the system while working too long as a straight journalist".

Protest! takes up the causes of exploited environment, people and animals. The idea is for more people to take over control of their own lives - by putting pressure on industries and authorities and by exploring the real alternatives in everyday life. The approach is basically practical, with ideas for everyone who has got beyond saying "not me, mate".

Protest! is not underground but it is certainly not straight either. It's very professional, in material and presentation. It's expensive at 20p - due to the usual distribution rip-offs if you want to get on bookstalls etc - but there is a pass-it-round scheme that makes it available for 5p to each reader, plus a free copy of the next issue. That's apart from saving paper and trees!

Protest! needs sellers and trade outlets - both get a generous cut. For copies (20p) or offers to sell, articles, pics, etc etc, contact Graham Jay, BCM-818, London WC1.

Mein Kampf
Sir Keith Joseph, head of the SS, told Parliament this month that the first annual uprating of pensions was the culmination of many years of campaigning by pensioners - thus admitting that if you want a living income, or even an existence level income from the SS, then you've really got to fight for it.

Union Overboard
Recently the south Shields Trades Council expelled the local branch of the National Union of Seamen (which is one of the biggest in the country) for registering under the Industrial Relations Act. This caused considerable panic at Union headquarters. What would happen if all Trades Councils followed this lead?

Upon being asked to appear on a recent TV commercial for the Evening Standard, Mr Richard Neville (travel correspondent for a prominent young persons newspaper) enquired "How much bread man". "None" came the reply. Mr Neville will not be appearing.

IS and GLF
On 25 February 1972 a review of the Gay Liberation Front Manifesto was submitted to the Socialist Worker. The editorial board rejected this first draft on 10 March. A second draft which was somewhat shorter, was duly submitted on 12 March. Numerous alterations had been made, notably that the first five paragraphs had been deleted because the editorial board objected to them as being "irrelevant and wrong".

Briefly, this section (which we have read) said such things as "we think it is important to fight for socialism on all fronts". The main point raised was that although the struggles of the working class are of main importance, the ideas of capitalism must be attacked. A mass movement "will only be revolutionary if it rejects the basic ideas of capitalist society" - right on. It goes on to say "socialism cannot be achieved without overthrowing racism, the oppression of women and homosexuals of both sexes".

Obviously, Socialist Worker doesn't agree because the second draft (without these paragraphs) was accepted on 15 March but not published until 13 May. What happened to solidarity?

We acknowledge that we are repeatedly nasty about the International Socialists. But while they continue to have an inane centralist policy and to consistently patronise, discriminate and generally look down on alternative groups (e.g. GLF) we feel that what we say is fair comment.

Inside out?
The recent scandal over people in mental homes who should not be there is an amazing example of the way people become submerged in numbers and institutions. The National Association for Mental Health reckons that 40% of patients in mental institutions could be discharged - that is about 25,000 people!! There are two main problems. The first is that many of them have nowhere to go, and need to go somewhere definite as the first stage is being allowed and able to lead normal lives again. The second is that many of them have been in institutions for so long that although they are no longer classified as mentally sick, they are suffering from 'institutional neurosis'. In other words they have been so long in restrictive institutions that they are no longer capable of thinking or doing for themselves. Maybe the commission set up to investigate these cases of people who are interned for long periods with no due cause should also consider whether mental institutions as they are at the moment are not more harmful to most of their inmates, then some other more enlightened possibilities for psychological care. Maybe we should go deeper and see if the society that calls these people mentally sick should not itself undergo radical change so that fewer people are unable to live in it as useful members of society. Who's really mad?

Had Release not suffered 'The Great Fire', they may have had difficulties carrying on at their old Princedale Road address anyway. Apparently the local council had refused planning permission for them to use the building for business purposes, saying that the space thus occupied could be better utilised to house two or three families in a very overcrowded area.

A Japanese factory making a chemical to prevent water pollution has suspended operations after it was accused of causing air pollution.
(from the Guardian)

No black looks
Ted Heath: "A funny thing happened on the way to the Commons. I was walking down the street and bumped into Enoch - and he smiled at me".

Clean smells
Some cardboard tubes that had contained incense, from Bombay, when pulled apart turned out to be old Surf and Daz washing powder packets. Still it's nice to see a bit of recycling of waste paper 'n' it.

'The Limits to Growth' (see MG5 page 8) is published by Earth Island, at £1, and written by Meadows, Meadows, Randers and Behrens. (Sorry to have left it out last time!)

Sorry - last issue we forgot to carry the address of POSSE (see MG5 page 9). It is 16, Saint Saviourgate, York - tel 28723.

Corny old story
27 March 1801
A tumult took place in the cornmarket at Sunderland. In consequence of the price of wheat, 40s being demanded by one of the dealers for a boll of that grain. The populace immediately raked the kennels for dirt, with which they besmeared the farmer, who was glad to retreat to the Fountain Inn, the windows of which house were assailed with stones and brick-bats, as were also those of the Half Moon and Queen's Head. Besides the damage sustained in the brittle materials of the houses attacked, a quantity of corn was trodden under foot, and several of the farmers' carts were hurried into the Wear, one of which was seen floating to the sea next morning. A justice of the peace, with a few constables, seized upon one of the insurgents, and committed him to the Cape, but he was soon liberated by a body of rioters. Things continued thus till about nine o'clock, when the justice, with an increased body of constables, again made their appearance, and read the riot act on the steps of the George Inn, by candle-light, but with no little success, that it was deemed prudent to plant a military guard round his house during the night. In the midst of the affray, a party of the Lancashire militia was called out; they loaded their muskets, but received no orders to fire.

The following petition has been started here in Durham. It is hoped that support for it will be widespread. If you would like to help collect signatures, write or even better come to see us at Durham Claimants Union, 13 Silver Street, Durham City - or go to your local CU. How about collecting signatures yourself and sending them to us?

We the undersigned demand that the 'A' code (the secret rules by which the Social Security operate under the blanket of the Official Secrets Act) be made public. That long-term allowances should not be deducted from extra benefits. That all claimants be given their heating allowance without having to ask for it each winter. That all pensioners etc have their rise backdated, with a statement saying it will not affect their legal allowances or benefits. That all claimants should be given a refusal in writing about any claims that they are refused. That the practice of sending special investigators to spy on unsupported mothers etc be stopped.

Also that all Social Security offices should have properly sound-proofed cubicles. That waiting rooms should have toilets for claimants, facilities for children, public telephones and that the address of the local Claimants Union be on view to all claimants.