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UK Firefighters on the Picket Line -- and on the Web

LabourStart (UK)
November 14th, 2002

Last night at 18:00, tens of thousands of British firefighters walked off their jobs in the first national strike in 25 years.

Within hours, politicians and the mainstream media are expected to unleash an onslaught of anti-union propaganda such as the country has never seen, blaming the union leaders for anyone killed or injured in fires during this industrial action.

It is extremely important that another, different message reach the public -- a public which is, so far, extremely sympathetic to the strikers (who are grossly underpaid, as everyone knows).

The web is a very effective way of doing so, and that's why we're delighted to award this week's Labour Website of the Week to the Fire Brigades Union site, located at:

http://www.fbu.org.uk

The FBU site is updated several times a day, and encourages you to send messages of support to the union at this email address:

webmaster@fbu.org.uk

Unfortunately, just as we can expect dirty tricks by the government and employers (and their supporters in the mass media), we have already seen some of this happening in cyberspace.

Three weeks ago, we gave the award to the 30K Fire Pay website (http://www.30kfirepay2.co.uk/) but a few days ago, that site was shut down by a distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack on the Internet. It now appears to be online again, but we must always be prepared for the possibility that anti-union crackers might make further attempts on this and on the FBU site itself, as well as other trade union sites in the future.