Down, But Not Out

Julian Vaughan, a great trade unionist on his quest to become the first working trading driver to sit in the House of Commons in 50 years.

After standing as a Labour candidate in the last two General Elections, when you are offered a candidacy in one of the safest Tory seats in the UK, it dawns on you rather quickly that your face just doesn’t fit and it is time to move on.

So, after politely declining the opportunity to stand as a candidate, and with the freedom of someone who believes his time in politics is up, I am writing this from the perspective of a ‘critical friend’ who has been silent for too long on issues that matter to him, but who desperately wants a Labour government. I write this with sadness rather than bitterness that I will not be a candidate in the General Election announced yesterday.

Some have said that I have been treated quite shabbily, and I have to say that I do not disagree. 

However, I would rather look to the future rather than dwell on the past. As a candidate and a campaigner, I have displayed the ability to work across political divides, bring people together as an effective team and lead by example. I will use these qualities, as well as my relentless determination, in whatever direction I decide to go next.

As a Labour supporter since the 1980’s, it was the miners’ strike that first politicised me. I am desperate for a Labour government, after 14 years of Tory rule have trashed our public services, shredded our reputation around the world, and further diminished trust in our politicians and politics itself.

Tragedies such as Grenfell and scandals such as Windrush and the Post Office’s treatment of sub-postmasters have shown that there is a deep-seated imbalance of power between the state and the people. 

A Hillsborough Law must just be the start of the fundamental change needed.

The UK needs far more than just a change in the management team. I would urge the Labour Party to place empathy, compassion and indeed love at the heart of its offering to the country. Labour must of course be pro-business, but I would add a small caveat. Labour must be pro-ethical business. Grenfell showed us what happens when a naked pursuit of profit is put ahead of people.

We need more working-class representation in Parliament.

If I had been elected in the upcoming General Election, I would have been the first train driver to be sitting in the House of Commons for over 50 years. We need people who understand the lives of ordinary working people, MPs who have worn a hi-vis as part of their job, not just for a photo opportunity.

If we continue to draw the majority of our MPs from the corporate world, it is little wonder that there is a ready acceptance of the narratives peddled by corporate lobbyists and policies that favour big business over ordinary people.

I have met some amazing people since first standing for Parliament and made many friends in the Labour movement. I hope we will remain friends. 

Thank you to ASLEF and other unions for their support. Unions are a force for good in the country. Labour must treat them as such – they will need steadfast friends in what is likely to be a turbulent time ahead. 

A special thanks to both those who have supported me and also those who have challenged me.

Finally, a thank you to my family. I chose to enter politics they did not, but are impacted by that decision just as much as I am.

My desire for social justice will never be dimmed. I will continue to hold power to account and will always be a champion of the vulnerable in our society. I look forward to working with a future Labour government and helping bring about a better Britain for all.

Editors Comment: Julian Vaughan is a hard working skilled train driver, a trade unionist,  a good friend and comrade. After working hard with trade unions he had the support of six Labour Party affiliated trade unions to stand for parliament.

Like many trade unionists he is concerned that the voice and views of experienced trade unionists has been largely ignored within the Labour Party during the selection process.

When the going gets tough for the Party hopefully in power (and it will) they will need the support of working people and trade unionists to stand with them, no matter how big the majority.

As can be seen by his blog, he is loyal and trusted comrade and I am proud to have worked with him to become the first rain driver to sit in the House Of Commons in 50 years.

Twitter/X: @julian_vaughan_

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/jpvaughan66

Web: https://www.julianvaughan.com/

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Getir Gets Out As Race To The Bottom Continues

Turkish rapid food-tech delivery company Getir valued at $12bn in 2022 has pulled the plug on its UK and US operations, as well as its remaining European operations after it burned up cash as orders plummeted.

Launched in the middle of the pandemic in September 2021 with promotional offers that were too good to be trues (and they were) Getir went the same way as other gig economy rapid delivery services such as Jiffy, Bother, Oja and Gorillas (which had been bought by Getir). 

Getir who promised a 10-minute delivery eventually hiked prices as funding streams were burned through and dried up as post pandemic customers started eating out or buying in food.

Tech start-ups are reliant on continuous cash flow and investors  cash injections – Uber Eats made its first operating profit last year, having been founded in 2009, equating to  14 years of losses.

Getir created ‘dark stores’ (fulfilment centres with groceries and household essentials) and market leaders Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats stole Getir’s lunch by offering grocery deliveries with lower overheads in addition to their existing restaurant service while Ocado ramped up its same-day service with its Zoom based service. 

A company statement says: “Getir has raised a new investment round, led by Mubadala and G Squared. Getir will utilise these funds to bolster its competitive position in its core food and grocery delivery businesses in Turkey.” 

Clearly, Getir’s investors were unwilling to see good money thrown after bad.

Getir paid drivers by the hour – others in rapid food delivery pay them by delivery. The gig economy is a cut throat, race to the bottom world based on low pay and precarious work.

The need for an incoming Labour Government to introduce proper Government regulation on pay and working conditions decent employment rights. The need to regulate and protect workers from exploitation has never been starker.

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MediaNorth Condemns Banning Of Al Jazeera by Israeli Government.

The Israeli government voted on Sunday 5th May to shut down the operations of Al Jazeera, one of the last remaining international media networks reporting from the war-ravaged Gaza strip.

As a result, Al Jazeera’s offices in Israel were closed, broadcast equipment confiscate, the channel cut off from cable and satellite companies and its websites blocked.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed Al Jazeera reporters had ‘harmed Israel’s security and incited against soldiers’, and referred to the outlet as a ‘Hamas mouthpiece’.

Al Jazeera rightly decried the decision and said the accusation that it threatened Israeli security was a ‘dangerous and ridiculous lie’  and was part of Israel’s ‘ongoing suppression of the free press’.

This action by the Israeli government takes place as the Israeli forces begin the forced evacuation of people from Rafah as a prelude to a military assault on the densely packed population there.

In the Spring issue of MediaNorth our front page was on the efforts of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to control critical coverage of the death and destruction by Israel in Gaza. This is their latest action and we strongly condemn it.

Granville Williamms editor MediaNorth

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Mexican General Election – Why The Election Is Crucial For Latin America

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UK exports to EU down by £10.7bn – more Brexit turmoil expected

The UK’s official trade figures for Q4 2023 reveal the UK’s goods exports to the EU slumped from £196.7bn in 2022 to £186bn last year. The revised figures reveal that the UK’s exports of goods to the EU slumped as companies trying to trade with the EU find being outside of the trading bloc problematic and are about to get worse as the temporary trading arrangements designed to hide the catastrophe of Brexit begin to expire.

New Border Target Operating Model (BTOM), phased in from January this year, introduces compulsory health certificates for many food and plant products from the EU that have not previously required paperwork.

These latest figures reveal Britain’s goods exports to the EU have gone backwards since 2022. Claims that quitting the EU would free up the UK to achieve new export success in other international markets have proved to be incorrect. The revised figures reveal the UK’s total exports to the world (including EU exports) fell from £424.4bn in 2022 to £394.7bn in 2023, a collapse of £29.7bn.

Only Britain’s exports to the US kept these revised figures from being even more disappointing and trade deal predicted as just around the corner looks further away than ever.

Brexit secretary David Davis’ predicted that “There will be no downside to Brexit, only a considerable upside” and the the Government’s document “The Benefits of Business” declared: “The Government will cut £1 billion of business costs from retained EU red tape.”

Former PM Boris Johnson wrote that the UK would: “seize the incredible opportunities that our freedom presents and use them to build back better than ever before – making our businesses more competitive and our people more prosperous, untangling ourselves from 40 years of EU membership, keeping what works, changing what doesn’t, supporting new industries, reinvigorating older ones and firmly planting the British flag on the world stage once again.”

The continuing disaster that is Brexit will be an issue an incoming Labour Government will have to tackle. And they will have to appoint a trade minister who knows what he or she is doing. No doubt any attempts to sort out the mess left by Frost, Johnson etc will be met with open hostility by the right wing media – that goes with the territory, but out of power apart from the hard line Brextremist’s many Tories will keep the disaster of Brexit at arms length.

The approach by the EU on the question of young people being able to travel and work in Europe whilst welcome was badly handled by the EU. They should have left it until after the election and made the offer. Labour knew the reaction they would get so put it into the long grass.

It’s going to be a long and rocky road back to a decent working relationship with the EU.

There is also the question: Will the EU ever want us back? Rejoining the single market and customs union won’t be a walk in the park. Even applying to join EFTA may be problematic. Whoever is the new trade minster will have to also sort out the crap deals with Australia and NZ, the CTPPT deal which will be taken over by China and the Mickey Mouse deals with individual US states. And doing a deal with the USA will still be along way off. Serious candidates only please….

 

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AI: Threats & Opportunities For The Media

Festival Of Debate, 2024.

Louisa Bull, National Officer Graphical, Paper, Media & IT Sector. Unite The Union : AI: Threats & Opportunities For The Media April 25th, 2024I  know other speakers are going to deal much more eloquently with the more high profile dangers we are presently seeing within our creative industries and in particular within news and media sector, with the explosion in generative AI and software programmes such as ChatGPT.  So I am not covering any of that although I did want to acknowledge some of the wins our sister unions are having in the US right now, the actors and writers in particular, who have been defending their right to keep the rights  on their own voice and their physical identity.  They must be congratulated in taking action and winning these fights.

I have worked in our industry since the early 80s and technological change has always been there.  But back then it was introduced through consultation and long negotiation with the trade unions.

So why is it different now and why in this digital age have we failed to secure regulation, retain control, and protect human labour when AI and algorithmic management has become normal in the workplace.

I guess it doesn’t matter where you work, whether it be a large publishing house or a small tech start up, your employer will have introduced processes “to make your life easier” and asked you to add some apps to your personal phone so that you can access the HR functions and book holidays, see pay slips etc.  But in signing up to this, and most people don’t have a choice then it will be the same as signing up to google or facebook , someone else will be collecting your data, they may be selling it on to a third party and they may be mining what you are doing 24/7.  

This is just one example, but we all walk around daily, not turning these apps off on our mobile phones and someone is harvesting what we do, where we go and to a point what we engage with.  We have become small mobile AI labs and we don’t know who is monitoring that.

What we can’t do at the moment with any authority is to demand from our employer what they have done with that data.  Under current legislation the right to bargain over that data does not exist.

My work in Unite has given me the opportunity to sit on the TUC AI working group for the last few years and to work with sister unions to create the TUC agenda to provide the tools and knowledge to our union officers and reps to ensure where automation exists it must be subject to consultation, negotiation and transparency and governed by human ethics including being free from discriminatory bias.  A great agenda but so far without any teeth.

So earlier this month the TUC launched its draft AI and Employment Bill, a Bill , that is ready to go, if picked up by the next government,  and it would regulate how employers used  AI at work in relation to our rights as workers and to ensure our interests would be protected in the work place.  

So why is algorithmic management so dangerous.  Well code is only as good as the person who wrote it and if the creator of the algorithms has themselves some bias albeit perhaps even unconscious bias then the outcomes will be floored.   Anyone who has recently applied for a job in any industry but in press or media for sure it will have be done online and it is at this very early stage an algorithm will decide whether you get through to the next stage or not.  

Many workers who apply for internal promotion are faced with the same online software and that software is what decides if you are the best fit.  But we don’t know what the code is looking for, we can’t tell what bias has been written into it and importantly there is no one to ask, as there has been no human intervention so far into the process.  You may not have been looking for a new job recently,  but a bank loan a mortgage or any thing else done online, will be done by an AI tool in the same way and not by a human being.

Algorithms should advise, and humans should decide, it is that simple and the AI bill make this an absolute requirement in the workplace.

The other main are of concern is the widespread monitoring and analysis of workers,  whether that be assessing the amount of  keyboard strokes for a staff worker or managing productivity output of a warehouse operative, it is being done systematically by employers and behind the backs of our members.  This results in increased demand in productivity or an analysis on how many staff roles can be removed from the business.  Our industry is constantly fighting off redundancies, be it in national newspaper companies like Reach or Publishing houses like OUP they are becoming common place.

 More robotics, automation and now generative AI puts jobs at risk and without us, the trade unions,  controlling the narrative then we are all in danger of just watching from the sidelines. 

The TUC Bill calls for data impact assessments to be conducted in the workplace, so that workers have a statutory right to bargain on these changes and understand the consequential effects on tasks and roles.  We do not believe jobs per say will always be replaced but repetitive tasks, language checking, graphic design and audio transfer are some areas already impacted by the technology.  

If technology is going to be embraced and our industry has been embracing it for a long time, then we must be advantaged by the changes.  We can’t no longer let the technology control us.  The call for workers to have the right to disconnect from work has been written into legislation in France and we need that is ourt contracts and collective agreements in the UK.  Switching off the mobile phone, not looking at the email can be had so employers have a duty to switch it off at the mains and lead by example.

Finally, the AI digital divide is an offshoot of the broader digital divide – the chasm separating those with access to information and communication technology (ICT) and those without. Access to AI technologies necessitates basic digital infrastructure, including internet connectivity and digital literacy. However, many global regions, particularly developing countries and rural areas, lack this essential infrastructure, which limits their capacity to exploit AI advancements. Even with technology access, digital literacy remains crucial. The competence to utilise and understand AI technologies is as vital as physical access, emphasising the need for digital education and training, particularly for marginalised communities.  

For our press & media to continue to flourish on whatever platform, we still need to skill up each new generation and not allow the technology to dumb down what we hear, what we read and what we watch.

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US Ban On TikTok: Could The UK Be Dragged Into A Trade War?

Buried deep in the US Senate’s foreign aid support package for Ukraine is a fast track provision to ban the Chinese social media platform TikTok unless it is sold by its Chinese owners ByteDance to a US-approved buyer, something ByteDance have said they will not do.

The US government says is concerned TikTok could share data about its US users with the Chinese Government and if any US ban goes ahead and a deal not struck it could spread to the UK as the USA (spurred on by Republicans and many Democrats will undoubtedly pressures allies to follow suit.

With the UK tied closer than ever to the USA following Brexit the result could be a spill over trade battle with China. It is problem an incoming Labour Government will have to deal with.

The US was the largest of all UK export markets in 2023. For the four quarters to September 2023, UK exports of goods and services to the US were worth £193.1bn – that’s 21.9% of all UK exports.

TikTok is very popular with young people in the USA and UK  and is a big source of revenue for small  retailers in both countries.

UK TikTok users spend more time on the social media platform than any other country in the world, with 1 in 2 UK users saying they frequently purchase products to be found on TikTok.

Globally, 58% of TikTok users find new brands and products on the app – 14% more than on any other platform. 61% of all users have made a purchase either directly on TikTok or online immediately after seeing an ad on the app.

New start-ups among online retailers use TikTok to communicate directly with customers and use short videos and creator content to promote their products.

TikTok has 170 million US users and well over 23 million in the UK. Over 40% of UK TikTok users are aged 18-24 years old.

However, the fact is that many of the chips in our mobile phones, cars and the devices used every day are made in China and have not faced such a ban.

TikTok has nine months to find new owners before a ban is imposed – but it could be years before the app is blocked in the US, as TikTok’s owners may well bring legal action which could reach the US Supreme Court. Any ban would have to be introduced over period of time starting with new customers unable to download the app, while current users would lose access to updates, with potential one years notice of the implementation of  the ban.

 

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TUC AI Report, Employment Bill & Organising In Digital & Tech Sectors

The TUCs special task force report on Artificial intelligence and Employment Rights Bill was launched at the TUC Congress House in London on April 18th. Comprising of the TUC, the Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy at the University of Cambridge, unions academics and employment rights specialists the task force was set up to try to secure proper regulation of AI and algorithmic management in order to halt the UKs tech sector from becoming the ‘wild west’ of the economy.

You can download the full report with the draft bill here.

The report makes a number of key recommendations including a  legal requirement  on employers to consult unions on the use of ‘high risk’ and intrusive forms of AI in the workplace; a legal right for job seekers and workers to have a human review of decisions made by AI systems so they can challenge AI decisions that are unfair and discriminatory; amendments to the Equality Act to guard against discriminatory algorithms; protections against unfair dismissal by AI; a prohibition on some uses of emotion recognition technology and a right to a personalised explanation of high-risk risk decisions made by AI Workers in the UKs media, digital and tech sector, accounting for over 2 million jobs will be on the AI frontline.

One of the key problems is that union membership in the tech sector remains stubbornly low in many countries, with a diverse employment base –  from large corporations to small start ups – many with precarious and third party employment.

From the 1980s onwards unions tried to recruit new members in tech areas by setting up specialist ‘associations’ to attract tech workers or using high profile  campaigns imported from USA where ‘start up unions’ such alliance@ibm (which joined the Communication Workers of America) in global companies. What sounded good failed to achieve mass union membership after years of grinding management opposition, and ‘re-balancing the workforce’.

But maybe things have turned the corner.

In 2023 workers at the Swedish fin-tech company Klarna workers demanded representation and collective bargaining by joining Unionen. The company told the workforce collective bargaining ‘did not fit their business model’. The Unionen union organised immediate strike action and 5000 workers in Stockholm won union recognition and a collective agreement.

In the USA workers in the video gaming company Sega of America followed Raven Software, Blizzard Albany, ZeniMax, and game developer Tender Claws in winning union recognition. AEGIS-CWA  (Allied Employees Guild Improving SEGA – Communication Workers Of America) organised across Sega facilities including workers in marketing, product development and sales  to build membership and making it now the largest video game union in the USA.

In Romania Sindicatul IT Timișoara (SITT the Romanian IT Union) now represents 3,000 tech and outsourced workers at Alcatel-Lucent, Wipro, Accenture and Alto and were helped in organising by the European union federation Uni Europa.

In  the UK the CWU via the United Tech and Allied Workers Union Branch are organising workers in Apple stores; the white collar union Prospect (who’s General Secretary Mike Clancy is the TUC’s lead spokesperson on AI) has launched a tech sector and Unite’s London Digital and Tech branch has seen a membership boost since 2023.

In January of this year Unite members employed at Seagate, the Springtown (Derry, Northern Ireland) manufacturer of external hard drives voted overwhelmingly for trade union recognition with Unite. 540 workers at the company were involved in multi-year campaign at the company and Unite’s organising department.

The ballot followed a long battle – the statutory process for workers voting on union recognition took over a year.

In the run up to the ballot, the company brought in union busters one of whom had previously been engaged by Amazon in union-busting campaigns in the USA. The company eventually negotiated a recognition agreement with Unite.

James Bowen the secretary of Unite London Digital and Tech branch told me: “The branch had doubled in size over due to organising in ‘big tech’ firms such as Google. We’ve also grown at firms where we were well-established, such as Voyix and Atleos thanks to the work of our reps during pay negotiations. We are recruiting members from a diverse range of companies such as Accenture, the BBC, Cap Gemini and Computacenter.”

The branch organised protests at Google at their Kings Cross HQ in London over redundancies which gained a national profile – and increased union membership. 2023 was a pivitol year with over a quarter of a million workers in tech industries globally laid off. So far in 2024 there have been lay offs at Pixar, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla and TikTok among others. Microsoft’s 1,900 global layoffs which began in early 2023 has made tech workers ‘union conscious’  The fact is they are no different to other workers – they join unions for protection and representation, and to find collective and just solutions to problems.” And the good news Bowen says is “that members are keeping up their membership even when the threat of lay off’s recedes.”

He says AI will be a major challenge: “AI can replace a real person and workers become concerned for their jobs. Service desk, first line roles which are heavily scripted can be replaced by an online chat bot. AI can be used to write code, reducing the number of software developers required so there are fears over job security.”  And there are fears over AI discrimination: “People have biases and this impacts the many choices that are made when building and training an AI whose purpose is to make decisions which impacts people’s lives. There’s a good argument to be made that AI should not make any management decisions.”

The branch are also running meetings for tech workers on AI with speakers from Equity, the performing arts and entertainment union, on the impact of AI on voice-over artists.

“Clare Vernade an ex-member of ours who now teaches ‘machine learning’ has done a session and were are happy to share our experiences and the video of Clare’s presentation is available on our site. Other Unite reps have been in touch with us wanting to discuss how we are handling AI”.

On April 25th Unite National Officer for the print, media, digital and tech sector Louisa Bull along with the NUJ General Secretary Michelle Stannistreet will debate ‘AI: Threats And Opportunities For The Media’ in partnership with Media North on line at The Festival Of Debate. See festivalofdebate.com to book your place.

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PSC Rally Bedford April 13th

Tony Burke Speech April 13th, Labour & Palestine, Bedford PSC Trade Union Officer

Hundreds of  thousands of people have been demonstrating in London every two weeks including many from Bedfordshire and our trade unions.

Without those demonstrations the genocide now taking place in Gaza everyday many people would have looked have looked the other way – so we can be proud of the work of the PSC and others and of local groups like we have in Bedford for campaigning to bring justice and an end to this war in Gaza.

Nobody condones the attacks by Hamas on October 7th last year – but total war against the people of Palestine including the deliberate targeting of aid workers, civilians, women and children, hospitals and the infrastructure of Gaza is barbaric and a crime against humanity – as is deliberate starvation and famine.

Friends, the international pressure on the United Nations Security Council to finally got them to vote for a ceasefire.

And now the pressure has also building to stop the UK government providing arms export licenses to Israel and to suspend trade agreements with them as an apartheid state.

With hundreds of thousands of Palestinians on the brink of famine, and Israel making clear it will ignore the UN, action is needed now to enforce the will of the international community.

It is the clear duty of the UK government to end its complicity in Israel’s genocide and to ensure Netanyahu’s government be treated as war criminals.

Netanyahu’s government can no longer ‘win the war’ instead they are being condemned worldwide for genocide, for creating famine and economic disaster.

Those of us in trade unions and who suppport Labour Palestine and who have many friends in the Palestinian trade union movement have seen their Palestinian union offices deliberately blown up – we will not be looking the other way – we have always been here for them we always will be.

So Labour & Palestine calls upon the Labour Party to demand a permanent ceasefire, to ban on arms export licenses and to support the suspension of trade with Isreal until the Palestinian people get justice and to end to the war in Gaza, self determination and freedom for Palestine.

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Ecuador’s Military Assault On Mexican Embassy : Statement By Mexico Solidarity Forum UK

The Mexico Solidarity Forum in the UK has condemned the assault on the Mexican Embassy in Quito after heavily armed special military and police officers (The Security Bloc) forcibly broke through the premises of the embassy of Mexico in Quito, Ecuador’s capital on April 5th.

The purpose of this brutal aggression was the arrest of the former Ecuadorian vice-president, Jorge Glas who had been allowed into the embassy premises requesting political asylum. The order for this criminal attack seems to have been prompted after Mexico made public its decision to grant diplomatic asylum to Glas.

Television screens around the world showed the extraordinary spectacle of military officers climbing the embassy building’s walls, bulldozing their way through the building, and assaulting Mexico’s ambassador, Roberto Canseco, who physically tried to stop them.
They also assaulted embassy staff. They brutally got hold of Glas, who was beaten up – it was reported by onlookers that he could hardly walk – and dragged outside the embassy to a car and then taken away. This was nothing more than a kidnapping.

Glas is now being held in a maximum-security prison and there are reports that he is in a parlous state, and there is growing concern for his life.

There is not enough space in this brief statement to list the number of national, Latin American and international conventions, norms and laws, including its own domestic laws and constitution, that the government of president Daniel Noboa has violated. This aggression is a grotesque violation of Mexico’s sovereignty but also of international law, including the stipulations in art. 29 of the Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Missions.

This is a very grave and flagrant violation of international law that has no precedent in Latin America, not even under the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile; when hundreds of left-wing activists sought and obtained protection in many embassies in Santiago, the military were not ordered to assault a foreign embassy. In short, it sets a grave precedent.

Worse, Ecuador’s foreign minister, Gabriela Sommerfield, sought to justify the assault at a press conference arguing the assault was launched because of a supposed escape attempt by Jorge Glas, and besides, she went on, “it was president Noboa who gave the order.”

Mexico’s president Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) immediately took the decision to recall his ambassador and broke diplomatic relations with Ecuador. And the Nicaraguan government, in solidarity with Mexico, has also broken diplomatic relations with Ecuador. Many social movements, political parties, and all kind of organisations have issued condemnatory statements.

Mexico’s foreign minister, Alicia Bárcena, announced that her government will take this very grave violation of its sovereignty and international law to the International Court of Justice. Noboa’s aggression against Mexico has been roundly condemned by the whole of Latin America – Brazil, Chile, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Costa Rica, Panama, Dominican Republic, Paraguay, Antigua and Barbuda, Colombia, Bolivia, Honduras, even Milei of Argentina and the OAS have joined the condemnation chorus. Ecuador has also been condemned by ALBA-TCP. Some European countries such as Ireland and Norway have joined in the condemnation.

This aggression sets an extremely grave precedent; it is a barbaric act and is completely unacceptable.

The Mexico Solidarity Forum unreservedly condemn and reject president Noboa’s decision to launch a military-police aggression perpetrated against Mexico’s sovereignty, the illegal arrest of an asylum seeker in a foreign embassy, and condemn the use of brutal force against him, and the assault against Mexico’s ambassador.

We also express our full solidarity with the government and the people of Mexico for the egregious assault they have endured caused by a government that runs roughshod over international law, attacking Mexico for defending the human rights of the persecuted. We call upon other organisations and individuals to join in the condemnation.

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