Two important events at Goldsmiths this week

Members are reminded that there are two exciting and important events at Goldsmiths this week, that all members are urged to attend. Tonight (Monday 30th of April) Tony Benn will be speaking alongside Student’s Union president James Haywood in the Ian Gulland Theatre, discussing the worrying signs that Israel and the US are pushing for an attack on Iran. And on Wednesday, Goldsmiths UCU are hosting a talk from scholar Gavan Titley, author of The Crises of Multiculturalism, on racism in a neoliberal age. Both events are timely and relevant to our concerns as a union, and are opportunities to see some excellent speakers.Both events are open to all, so please do pass these details on to other interested parties. If you’re able to display a poster for Wednesday’s talk, please email gucu-admin@gold.ac.uk

Full details of the events are given below.

‘Don’t Iraq Iran’: Public Meeting with Tony Benn, 30th April [link]

Ian Gulland Theatre, 6pm

Iran is under threat of attack; an attack that would have even greater consequences than the disastrous war in Iraq. Meanwhile the Afghan war is lost but the killing goes on. Western powers are meddling in the Syrian revolution.

The Stop the War Coalition has called this meeting to discuss the threat of escalation in the so called ‘war on terror’.

Join speakers Tony Benn, John Rees and Goldsmiths Student Union President James Haywood to discuss how we can prevent another bloody and costly conflict.

What happens if you throw a war, & somebody comes? ‘Multicultural Crisis’ after Breivik

2nd May, RHB 137, 1pm

Goldsmiths UCU are pleased to announce that we will be hosting a talk from Gavan Titley, co-author of The Crises of Multiculturalism: Racism in a Neoliberal Age (http://bit.ly/HNgVdD).

Gavan’s widely praised book challenges the familiar narrative of the ‘rise and fall’ of multiculturalism by questioning the existence of a coherent era of multiculturalism in the first place.In the wake of the Utoya massacre, for which Anders Breivik’s widely publicised trial is ongoing, and the political gains of the Far Right in many parts of Europe (see, for example, the current elections in France), Gavan’s work is particularly important. Are we witnessing multiculturalism in crisis, or the projection of neoliberal anxieties onto the actual reality of lived multiculture?

This talk is free and open to all. Please share the event on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/HSpUPv

Worker’s Memorial Day 2012: Defend Health and Safety Legislation!

Government plans are threatening the health & safety legislation that protects people at work.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has been told to remove half of all existing regulations by the end of the year. Although some of these are no longer relevant and the HSE had already planned to remove them, some will have an effect on safety in the workplace.

Examples include changing the regulations on reporting injuries, meaning that hundreds of thousands of injuries will no longer be reported and employers will be less likely to take action to prevent them. There are also plans to remove large numbers of self-employed people from health and safety laws, and to scrap regulations dealing with falls from height.

This could lead to Britain having some of the lowest levels of protection in Europe. The Trade Unions Congress (TUC) has noted that this will encourage employers to take an uncaring attitude to Health and Safety, meaning that more and more workers will be put at risk, made ill and killed or injured at work.

TUC have called this ‘part of a wider attack on workers rights’ which will make it easier for employers to dismiss workers by making it harder (and more expensive) to take an employer to an employment tribunal, as well as making it more difficult to get compensation if you are injured. More information can be found here.

PLEASE EMAIL YOUR MP TODAY. It takes just a minute; a draft example letter that you can copy and paste can be found here.

UCU is using Workers Memorial Day (April 28) 2012 as a focus for resisting these changes.  Your MP may be unaware of these plans. Even a handful of emails from constituents would make your MP sit up and look at this issue. S/he ought to reply to you and justify how they intend to vote. If you don’t know who your MP is, go to http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/

Please let us know of any response you get by email: gucu-admin@gold.ac.uk

What happens if you throw a war, and somebody comes?: ‘Multicultural Crisis’ after Breivik

What happens if you throw a war, and somebody comes?: ‘Multicultural Crisis’ after Breivik

Wednesday 2nd of May, 1pm
Goldsmiths College (room to be confirmed)

Goldsmiths UCU are pleased to announce that we will be hosting a talk from Gavan Titley, co-author of The Crises of Multiculturalism: Racism in a Neoliberal Age (http://bit.ly/HNgVdD).

Gavan’s widely praised book challenges the familiar narrative of the ‘rise and fall’ of multiculturalism by questioning the existence of a coherent era of multiculturalism in the first place. Controversies and organised racist activity in recent years are argued to be a projection of neoliberal anxieties onto the social realities of lived multiculture.

The talk, which will be around half an hour long and is titled What happens if you throw a war, and somebody comes?: ‘Multicultural Crisis’ after Breivik, is open to all.

It will be followed by a UCU General Meeting (agenda to be announced).

Please share the event on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/HNhTq3.

Defend Students Protesting 75% Tuition Fee Hike in Quebec

In Quebec, Canada, students have been refusing to attend classes or do assignments for the past month to stop a planned 75% tuition fee increase (for more information, see  http://1625wontpass.ca/). They also held a demonstration in Montreal which drew at least 200,000 people.

Many of the issues they are dealing with, in terms of defending accessible education and opposing marketisation, are very similar to what students, staff and education activists have been dealing with here in the UK. Tuition fees in Quebec are currently lower than in other regions of Canada (where fees are set regionally rather than nationally) – a result of a long and vibrant history of student activism and a legacy that needs to be defended.

At one of the universities (Concordia University in Montreal), management is threatening to fine students participating in the protest for non-completion of assignments. There is a joint staff-student letter opposing this, and they are looking for support from the international academic community. Members are asked to sign the letter (see link below) and forward it on to others.

http://theconcordiasituation.wordpress.com/