International

Twenty-One

A reflection on my son visiting the Stonewall Inn because of his passionate commitment to LGBT equality, only to find that he couldn't go in.

I remember the age of consent
cut from twenty-one
A landmark among the battles
our struggles have won
And now it's the age of admission
the Stonewall Insists

Crossing

Written after going through the Thousand Island border crossing from Canada to the USA.

Queue, crawl, window down, good day
Who? How many? Where from? Which way?
How long? What for?
Been here before?

Park, get out. Through those gates
Forms, names, numbers, dates
Terrorist? Spy? Crimes to confess?
(Does anyone ever answer Yes?!)

Become Not Women

In 1848, in response to the 300-strong Convention for Woman's Rights in Seneca Falls (USA) and its Declaration of Sentiments, a Philadelphia newspaper urged the city's ladies not to join the new movement and become women but to stay as "wives, belles, virgins and mothers". Here's my poetic response:

Heroes and Hordes

If Nicholas Winton were saving the children today
His Transport of Kindness would camp out in fear at Calais
Compassion is easier cast back through history's mist
Abhorrence for migrants but Oscars for Schindler's List

No humans may cross here, this tunnel is only for freight
Hurrah for the Blackshirts and see off the swarms at the gate
They've kind words for history, now for the iron-clad fist
Coldness for Calais and Oscars for Schindler's List

The lords of the fortress will draw bloody lines in the sand
Armed guard at the border instead of the helping hand
They'll trample the memory of saviours whose statues they've kissed 
With borders of barbed wire and Oscars for Schindler's List

Speaking about London Underground PPP: World Social Forum, Tunis

28/03/2015 - 08:30

Janine will be speaking about the experience of the London Underground Public-Private Partnership at a workshop at the World Social Forum, hosted by Observatoire Tunisien de l'Economie.

The workshop will bring together campaigners against PPP, and the London Underground experience is rich with lessons on what a disastrous policy it is and how to fight it.

The King Is Dead

A poem on the occasion of the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

Royal flag at half-mast flies
Forgotten victim sadly sighs
Only another despot cries
When a bloody tyrant dies

The great and good will eulogise
Sing loud his praise to blood-red skies
Soft-wrap his crimes in sweet disguise
When a bloody tyrant dies

Report part 1: ETF Women's Committee meeting, October 2014 - The Committee and its Campaigns

An ETF Women’s Committee meeting consists of the elected Committee members, representatives of each sector (railways, civil aviation, etc), guests from affiliated trade unions, local women trade unionists (this time, from Antwerp port), and ETF staff. At the next meeting, we will be joined by the newly-elected young women’s representative.

Report part 2: ETF Women's Committee meeting, October 2014 - Women Port Workers

Women Working at Antwerp Port

Having begun working as a receptionist in 1975, Monique Verbeeck is the first female secretary of the Belgian port union, BTB. She is also the ITF and ETF women port workers’ representative. Monique introduced a deputation of women union activists from the Port of Antwerp, who addressed the meeting and took us on a visit to the port.

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