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Anti-blacklisting campaigner run over
Paul Gerrard, TUSC election agent, Salford Ordsall
Retired construction worker George Tapp, who has stood as a Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate in council elections in Salford, has been hospitalised after being deliberately knocked down by a car while taking part in a protest against blacklisting on 15 May.
The 64 year old sustained two broken legs and a fractured knee cap, and is now recovering in Manchester Royal Infirmary.
George is a respected labour movement figure in Salford who was a Labour councillor for the city's Ordsall ward from 1987 to 1995.
He has since twice fought the ward for TUSC, polling 381 votes (16%) in 2011 and 18.7% in 2012, on both occasions among the best results for TUSC nationally.
He is an active fighter against blacklisting, against council cuts and the bedroom tax. Only three weeks ago he called a 60-strong meeting in Ordsall to organise against the tax.
Witnesses say the car drove deliberately and at speed into a crowd of protesters who were leafleting at the BAM construction site.
BAM are known blacklisters and paid £38,371 to the notorious Consulting Agency between 1996 and 2009.
As part of the BFK consortium they were also responsible for the sacking of Frank Morris from the London Crossrail site after he had raised health and safety issues on the Olympics job, hence the protest in Manchester.
The police response to this incident has been appalling. Their press statement runs: "while we respect the democratic right of anyone holding a peaceful protest, if we believe individuals have behaved in an unlawful manner, we will take action."
A pensioner is run over, sustaining concussion and two broken legs, and instead of hunting down the driver they are considering prosecuting the pickets!
Dave Smith, Secretary of the Blacklist Support Group, called George: "A blacklist hero. He recently led a delegation of blacklisted workers who encouraged the Mayor of Salford to ban blacklisting firms from publicly funded contracts. We wish him a speedy recovery."
Rank and file activists have promised a major protest soon in response to this further attack on trade unionism.
Messages of support should be sent to George via 07949 335390
Liberty backs blacklist investigation
The AGM of Liberty, the campaigning organisation to defend human rights, endorsed a motion from the Communication Workers Union on 18 May in opposition to the blacklist in the construction industry.
The motion called for further investigation of the companies involved, and notification to workers on the list of that fact.
The motion was supported from the floor by Socialist Party member Roger Bannister, attending as delegate from Knowsley Unison.
In The Socialist 22 May 2013:
Fight the bedroom tax
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party workplace news