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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.