Tuesday, May 10

MPs and trade union General Secretaries denounce repression in Tunisia

Labour MPs and the general secretaries of the UK transport workers' and fire brigades unions, RMT and FBU, have issued a statement denouncing Sebsi's attacks on demonstrators following police violence against demonstrators which led to the death of Mohamed El-Tounsi in south Tunis on Sunday night and raised international fears of the return of a police state in Tunisia.

Labour MPs John McDonnell, Katy Clark, John Cryer and Linda Riordan, as well as the General Secretary of the RMT, Bob Crow, and Fire Brigades Union General Secretary Matt Wrack, have put their names to the following statement:

"We denounce the attacks by the Tunisian government and police against demonstrators, journalists and trade unionists.

On Friday 6 May and Saturday 7 May, on the Avenue Bourguiba in Tunis, the police charged, savagely beat and gassed peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators, concentrating their attacks on journalists and union activists. The demonstration they attacked was demanding transparency from the government about the influence of pro-Ben Ali conspirators and reports of a possible military coup. The newspaper La Presse, which reported on the police violence, had its offices raided by police thugs. During the raid, police officers beat and severely injured the photo-journalist Abdelfattah Belaid.

We support the demands of the UGTT trade union federation for democracy, transparent elections and an end to official corruption. We oppose the shameful, anti-democratic abuses of Sebsi's provisional government. We demand that the government order the police to allow future demonstrations to proceed without police attacks, and lift the curfew."

Contact the Tunisian Prime Minister to register your disgust:
M.Béji Caïd Essebsi
Address : Place du Gouvernement - La Kasbah - Tunis
Post code :1020
Phone :(+216) 71 565 400
e-mail : boc@pm.gov.tn

Fax the Ambassador, Hatem Atallah, at 020 7225 2884

Emergency demonstration against repression in Tunisia!

See facebook event here.

There is an emergency for the revolutionary movement in Tunisia - the government is carrying out massive police repression! Demonstrate against Tunisian state brutality and support demonstrators in Tunisia!

Since Thursday 5 May, the Tunisian police have been carrying out a campaign of repression against demonstrators, on a scale not seen since the overthrow of Ben Ali on January 14. The Tunisian police, who are still commanded by... old-regime loyalists, charged and beat demonstrators, including children. Police in black balaclavas shot huge quantities of tear-gas into crowds. As far as we know, no activists were arrested – just beaten. Leftwing activists and journalists were targeted in particular, and publishing houses were raided by the police following the disturbances. The government has now declared a state of emergency and a curfew.

Tell all your friends that this is a crucial moment for the revolution in Tunisia. We need to make the biggest show of support possible on Friday.

For more information call 07775 763 750

Sunday, May 1

Iraqi government cracks down on unions

The General Federation of Iraqi Workers has called for support from the international labour movement against a crackdown by the Maliki government.

Eypt's Democratic Labour Party holds launch rally on May Day

Al Masry Al Youm of 1 May reports that "dozens of workers and labor leaders held a press conference on Sunday [1 May] in Tahrir Square to announce the establishment of the Democratic Labor Party, bearing the slogan 'Freedom, Dignity, Social justice'...

Moves towards workers' party in Egypt

Al Masry Al Youm has reported (15 April) on attempts to set up working-class political organisations in Egypt.

Egyptian trade unionists touring Britain

Between 18 and 21 May, activists from Egypt’s Centre for Trade Union and Workers’ Services / Federation for Independent Unions will be visiting the UK, hosted by Egypt Workers’ Solidarity.

Video report from Malhalla

Al Jazeera has a video report on May Day from the industrial town of Malhalla, in Egypt. "Some say that the revolution started in the industrial town of Malhalla". http://english.aljazeera.net/video/middleeast/2011/05/20115161516233581.html.

Friday, March 4

New protests across Iraq, 4 March

Al Ahram Online reports: Iraqi security forces used water cannon and batons to disperse protesters in the southern oil hub of Basra on Friday as thousands of Iraqis rallied around the nation against corrupt officials and poor basic services.

Teachers' strike in Egypt

CTUWS reports:>

Video clips from first conference of Egypt's new independent union movement

Egypt's new independent union federation, declared on 30 January in Tahrir Square, held its first conference on 2 March.