Saturday 13 July saw a massive turn out at the 135th Big Meeting organised by the Durham Miners’ Association (DMA) now in its 150th year. The organisers claim that the Gala is the largest celebration of community and working class culture in the world and is a tribute to the DMA who have revived the celebrations in recent years, giving it stronger community, national and international involvements. Despite the brutal shutting down of the UK’s mining industry following the 1984/85 Miners’ Strike and the devastation of their communities which threatened the very future of the the DMA, the Big Meeting goes from strength to strength.
Persecuted Turkish newspaper editor Can Dündar said yesterday he was resigning as he no longer had faith in the judiciary to hear his appeal following last month’s failed coup. In May an Istanbul court sentenced the editor-in-chief of the Kemalist Cumhuriyet daily to five years and 10 months in prison for publishing a story and photos of National Intelligence Organisation agents driving a convoy of arms to terrorists in Syria. The story infuriated Turkish president Erdogan. Mr Dündar was bailed pending appeal and is now believed to be in Germany.
According to a report in today’s Guardian, Mordechai Vanunu, the Israeli nuclear whistle-blower is facing charges of violating the terms of his release 12 years after his release following 18 years in prison. On his release in 2004, he was subjected to a series of restraining orders, some of which he has violated in recent years, the justice ministry said.