Posts Tagged ‘democracy’



The new study by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research announced today that employers in three sectors employing large numbers of EU migrants – hospitality, food and drink, and construction – reveal they were unprepared for the Leave result and believe it is bad for business.

According to the study employers were surprised by June’s referendum result and some expressed strong feelings including ‘shock’, ‘horror’ and even devastation. Employers are worried about recruitment once free movement ends, are concerned for the wellbeing of their EU workers who have been left in the dark about their future and they want a say in future immigration policy.

The research with 17 employers with workforces of between 30 and 15,000, reveals their EU workers feel they are unwelcome in the UK and have even experienced hostile comments from customers. This led many to issue reassuring messages about the value of EU migrants to the business.

The research reveals:

  • Few employers sent out information to their workforces about the referendum before the vote but many regretted not doing so.
  • Workplace discussion about the referendum has been livelier after polling day than before.
  • A number of employers have needed to put in place policy to deal with xenophobic incidents involving the public towards their EU employees.


Employers say their preference is for free movement to continue. They cannot see how a points-based system, often proposed during the referendum campaign, could work in low-skilled sectors. They are interested in the use of sector-based schemes but are concerned that any system should involve minimal additional cost and bureaucracy. They are also concerned that any visa systems will not allow them to respond quickly to fluctuating labour requirements.

britihs flag

The study re-interviewed employers who took part in research on free movement before the referendum. Following the Leave result a number are looking more seriously at how they might recruit more UK workers but can see no easy answers. The CEO of a bakery company employing 280 staff, including 168 EU migrants, stated:

“The outer’s view is that migration will stop and we’ll suddenly have a sensible level of tens of thousands net migration whereas anybody I know who works in a food manufacturing industry is thinking ‘oh crikey, if that happens, we’re going to be seriously stuffed in terms of what we can do to make food’.”

Dr Heather Rolfe, Associate Research Director at NIESR, said:

“Like many people, employers were not prepared for the Leave result. But unlike others, employers have already felt the impact and have needed to reassure worried EU workers. They feel regret that they were not more involved in the campaign and that business failed to convey to the public how changes to the economy impacts on people’s lives”.

“As we negotiate our way out of the EU, politicians need to minimise damage to businesses and individuals. A new immigration policy should be formed in consultation with employers, among others.”

Dr Rolfe wrote on her recent article at NIESR that while the referendum results took immediate and devastating effects on migrant employers, who received racist attacks from their customers and co-workers British employers who were described as “jubilant” will be experiencing the same effects next year when the Article 50 is triggered.

The manager of a holiday resort chain stated:

“The general flavor that I got back from EU workers was discontent, concern that English people do not like them being here and what is their future going to be.”

“Employers should be involved in shaping immigration policies; beyond immediate concerns for their businesses and their EU workers, employers are worried about an end to free movement and want a say in future policy. “ further explained Dr Rolfe in her article today.


“If you don’t give me enough love, if you don’t give me enough money, if you don’t give me enough knowledge that brings me wisdom I will be your worst enemy. I will never let you have peace!”, screamed youth , who were left voiceless for a long time, in London Streets. No one can ever know how true this statement is, as much as Londoners now do after being traumatised by the explosive riots of last week and re-traumatized by its governmental fight back this week.

Since the  poor kids broke their silence and showed the world how the country’s policy had ignored them , left them in poverty, left them in silence; the rest, who were shocked, have been woken up by the continuous sirens not by their alarm clocks every morning.

But what were all sirens telling us?

A rioter in Hackney.

A rioter in Hackney.

They were echoing across the country to acknowledge people that state and its laws were there to punish only the poor as the rich always steal by law. Otherwise we would have heard the same sirens when bankers robbed the country and dragged it to the  harshest economic crisis from which we are still trying to recover, which brought us social disasters like riots. The same sirens  somehow were silent when MPs stole from the state’s budget. They  were muted because MPs stole by law and even if they didn’t they were MPs.

Despite the legitimized theft and financial violence of the rich, the poor kids peacefully took the streets last December to reduce the sky high tuition fees to be able to study and maybe become the one who could make better laws for their country .But they were not heard, all they got was just a bit more violence from the police. Their parents, who can’t even spend time with them due to long work hours, marched to the streets peacefully on 26 March to oppose to pay the price of financial crime of the rich, namely publice spending cuts in austerity package. Were they heard? No!

They were not only unheard ,ignored or violated by the system ,they were also constantly provoked by the colourful ,most of the time immoral but still better accepted lives of others on the TV. No matter how high moral values those kids had, they were not accepted, they were not recognised in their society, where measure of everything was money. They had nothing, they were nothing.  And they didn’t steal like the rich with high status but low morals did, they didn’t know how to steal legitimately like the white collared ones did. They got angry more and more every day. The only thing they looked for was that to communicate with their state that stubbornly ignored them. They rioted, they were violated and they violated just like a rioter said in the scene that: “You got to fight fire with fire!”.

Did they get heard? We don’t know yet.

When London was burning and youth was screaming on the streets that: “Enough is enough! We, too, exist in this society!”Their Prime Minister was on holiday in Tuscan and took three days to return to the country. His reaction was as violent and insensitive as rioters’ actions. He ordered police to raid rioters’ homes that criminalised and punished every member of one family regardless their age, health and criminal records. However that wasn’t the answer that people wanted to hear.

People wanted know why that had happened, what was supposed to be done not to have it again? While rioters were “Facing the Justice” like PM said, leaders were facing these questions of which roots come from social and financial injustice.

Whether it was consequences of financial crisis or moral collapses in every part of society; whether it was the result  of  bad
parenting  or of  indirectly privatized education system; whether it was the result of unseen war on women; whether it was  the rights given with no responsibilities ;whether it was  discontented TV programmes that praise immoral personalities and present them as role models to the youth; whether it was  the partial media that never gives voice to victims of the system; whether they did it for fun or they did because they couldn’t find the way out, it is hard for one not to think and painfully ask that, why do we need explosive riots  to be heard if we live in a democratic society?

If today, leaders are going to inquire the riots to create a better society, whom de we need to thank? Do we need to thank those most of who committed the first crimes of their lives by rioting or leaders who never heard them but claimed to have built a  democratic society? Which ones are the real criminals of this social disaster? Did those kids not victimise themselves for
us to have a real democratic society?

Jullian Assange,the man who has dedicated his life and all his work to bring real justice to the world, is now ironically facing injustice himself that justifies his entire battle for transparency and democracy once again.
WikiLeaks founder Jullian Assange will be extradited to Sweden if he doesn’t receive a different verdict from Belmarsh Court’s Judge Howard Riddle after his appeal next week.
“As I am satisfied that extradition is compatible with the defendant’s (European) Convention rights, I must order that Mr Assange be extradited to Sweden.” ,stated Judge Howard Riddle yesterday morning according to The Guardian .
Assange’s UK lawyer Mark Stephen said: “We still remain optimistic about our opportunity on appeal.” and criticised the tick-box justice of warrant system.
“I would say that what we are looking at here is political and legal rape of my son. I am obviously scared for him as a mother but the world ought to be scared for its democracies. ”said Assange’s mother Christine Assange ,according to Autralian Assciated Press.

Assange who had a press conference yesterday,after hearing of his extradition,also cricised European Arrest Warrant.

Wikileaks’ founder Jullian Assange and his lawyer Jennifer Robinson outside of the Belmarsh Court yesterday.

Introduction of European Arrest Warrant, that has been criticised by many NGOs including Fair Trial Internationals for its  inappropriate use and for violating the right to a fair trial.EAW reached to EU member states at the Leaken Summit in December 2001, just after 9/11 as Jullian Assange highlighted in his speech yesterday, outside  of the Belmarsh Court.
The Council of European Union states that EAW  has been used in a manner that doesn’t respect the principle of proportionality contained in article 5 of the Treaty establishing the European Community.
In the UK, persons arrested under EAW have recently been extradited for minor offences such as the stealing of ten chickens(Romania),theft of £20 worth of petrol(Czech Republic),according to Council of EU.
Please also visit this site to see Amy Goodman’s interview on the case with Glenn Greenwald.

The founder of the whistleblowing website Wikileaks, Julian Assange, will be sent to Sweden to face sex crime charges. A London Court has just ruled that Stockholm’s extradition bid has been successful. Lawyers for Assange have a week to appeal Thursday’s decision. Speaking to reporters outside the court in London, Assange said he would appeal the ruling and criticized the European arrest warra … Read More

via Maria Sevastaki’s Weblog

Burma is the country where children are  born in the middle of  demonstrations ,protests ,violence  and send their parents to prison not to be able to  see them again and  become a soldier ,hold  a gun at  very young age. They learn  the word democracy  before any child in the world. Only one word has been holding their hopes and their dreams  since 1962. “Democracy”.

Soldiers violently stopped protestors in Burma on 08.08.88.

Burma’s battle for democracy started in 1962 ,when one-state-government came to power , just after the country’s only  14 years democratic  period  since 1948. The new  one-state-government  of General Ne Win  soon started to  repress and isolate Burmese and  impoverish the country. Burma  had a national dept of $35 million in 1985 under  Win’s management .

Students   in Burma  were  on the street  protesting  almost after every decision of the government from 1985 to 1988 and  fighting  military force  for democratic regime and human rights. Ne Win resigned on 23 July 1988 and left his place to Sein Lwin who was  going to be called “Butcher of Rangoon” by Burmese.

On 08.08.88 students  started a nationwide protest in Rangoon  to end the suppressive military  junta and bring democracy back to the country.22 years  ago today ,hundreds of thousands of Burmese  including students, lawyers, farmers, monks, young children, housewives, workers, ethnic minorities, Buddhist ,Muslims were on the street  protesting  against the government  to have a democratic regime .Protests across  Burma continued four days. However authorities opened fire on the protestors. “Guns were not to shoot upwards.”, ordered  General Ne Win ,meaning the military to shoot directly at the demonstrators. The protest which is also known “8888 Uprising”  became violent  as the protestors  responded with swards, knives, rocks, etc…and it  killed thousands of Burmese but  the official figure of death  was only 350.

Thousands ,including children died in the Uprising 8888.

On the fourth day of the 8888 Uprising , Lwin unexpectedly resigned. On 19 August Ne Win’s biographer Dr Maung Maung ‘s presidency fuelled up ongoing protests and made it even worse. While Aung San Suu Kyi  was calling protestors to find peace through non-violence movements, appearing for the first time in the political arena on August 26,the military junta of Saw Maung   retook the power in the country on September 18.Maung established the State Law and Order  Restoration Council .

Maung’s  government ended the protests violently with no discrimination of children.3000 Burmese died and  the number of injured people remained unknown. Schools and universities  were going to be kept closed for years.

The UN countries and most of Burma’s neighbour countries did not recognise  Burmese’s battle for democratic regime .Japan and many Western countries cut aid to the country. India closed its borders and set refugee camps along the border with Burma.

No nation in the world has ever fought for the democracy as much as Burmese have and no  government  in the history has ever resisted against democracy as much as Burma has.Burmese’s  battle inspired many writers and directors .Richard Shannon’s  play  “The Lady of Burma”, Alex Lasker and Bill Rubenstein’s  movie “Beyond Rangoon”  are great  work to show  the world what Burmese went through .

However Burmese battle has not ended yet. “Saffron Revolution” ,Burmese Anti-Government Protest in 2007 proved that they had not given up on democracy and they never will. No matter how violent the junta is ,no matter how many political prisoners they have they will never give up. Every child in Burma  is revolutionist. They will fight for democracy until they die.

Waihin is one of those children whose father was involved in the Uprising 8888 and sentenced for 65 years in jail.Waihin is now grown up ,studies and organises demostrations  for Burmese people in London.Visit the link below to listen to her story .” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” quality=”high” bgcolor=”#FFFFFF” name=”ply” id=”ply” style=”” src=”” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash”/></object>

Amnesty International UK  staged “The Lady of Burma” on 24th June  at Human Rights Action Centre  to raise fund for  liberty of Burmese following  Nobel Peace Prize winner  and political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi’s  65th birthday .

"The lady of Burma",Aung San Suu Kyi .

Liana Mau Tan Gould  played  Burma’s  biggest leader Aung San in her final solo  performance in the UK .Actress took audiences to a journey into Aung San’s  incredibly painful  memories  during her battle for democracy and human rights in Burma .Determination of little woman, who sacrifices her own and her family’s  happiness  for her country  and spends 14 years in prison, hardly let any audience  hold their tears and not admire her.

Aung San Suu Kyi was elected as Prime Minister of Burma in 1990, but placed under house arrest instead  in Rangoon which caused international outcry. During the arrest Aung San was awarded Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 1990 and Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

Richard Shannon wrote the play aftermath of Depayin  attack  in 2003 when Burma’s military junta attempted to assassinate Aung San Suu Kyi .The play takes place in Insein Prison’s hospital  where she was taken after she had fled the scene.

Shannon who discussed the play with audiences after the play said: “I am not politically involved but my play has raised the awareness of individuals about the situation in Burma.” The play has made sell-out appearances at the Old Vic and Riverside Studions in London,Edinburgh festival and on a national tour which has been shown also in Warsaw, Bangalorea  and Oslo.

Burma Campaign Officer  Wai Hnin  shared her personal experience  in Burma  as well as her activities for Burmese she has been doing in London .Hnin  who came to the UK  for higher  education  can not go back to Burma due to her campaigns against  the country’s regime. Her father was  imprisoned  when she was only a little girl. Hnin said: “My mum never told me where my father was. One day we went to visit him. I did not know where we were going, when  I  saw all those soldiers  and the big  building  I thought   my dad was very rich and he was going to hug me  and buy me toys.But I saw my dad behind the bars and I could only touch her fingers.”in her  speech.

Hnin is still hopeful as the international pressure increases every day to  free Aung San Suu Kyi and to change the regime in Burma. Her dream is to show the play to Aung San in a democratic Burma.

Amnesty International raised  £710 for Burma after the play and discussion .Concerned readers  can also visit to support Burma by sending a letter to free Aung San Suu Kyi or buying a radio for £12.5.