MP criticised over Venezuela views
Clydebank TUC, along with the local joint trades unions, recently held a round table discussion on the situation in Venezuela.
There was a good turnout to hear two well informed speakers from the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign (VSC) despite the weather being less than kind on the night.
Those present heard that this was a very difficult time for Venezuela, with the US Trump administration and internal right wing forces seeking to destabilise and overthrow the elected government and the former also introducing sanctions aimed at starving the country of finances and even threatening military action.
An open invitation to the meeting had been made to the MP for West Dunbartonshire Martin DochertyHughes, who had asked a series of hostile questions on Venezuela in Parliament, but unfortunately neither he or a representative turned up to argue his case.
The VSC has offered to debate the situation with Martin and give him an opportunity to defend his position, which came in for much criticism at the meeting.
The trade union movement will be happy to host such an event. Tom Morrison Secretary Clydebank TUC
Surgery struggling with extra patients
At Levenside Medical Practice the days of dragon receptionists are long gone.
I am very fortunate to have very compassionate, caring professional staff who do a fantastic job under very stressful time constraints.
I was very concerned to see that our practice was taking over another GP’s practice. My concern was how would an extra 1000 or more patients book appointments and get test results when we only have one phone number to call.
I am aware you can book appointments online but many people do not have access to computers and urgent ailments need to be seen on the day.
I feel the doctors should have foreseen the surge in patient numbers trying to call on a daily basis to book appointments and provided extra phone lines and more receptionists to deal with the influx of new patients.
Also the average waiting time to see a physiotherapist is now running at 23 weeks.
Since the appointment system was centralised the waiting time has risen drastically. Bring back local appointment services for all departments of our health service. Theresa Connolly, Stoneyflatt Road, Dumbarton
Arrests in Bethlehem
Last year children from the Aida refugee camp performed in a musical show that visited Dumbarton, Helensburgh and Clydebank.
The children and adults described life under occupation and some showed their injuries sustained during army raids.
Recently Israeli forces attacked and humiliated a 14-year-old boy.
He was was detained from his home in Aida refugee camp in the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem on September 18.
Israeli forces stormed the boy’s home at 3am, damaging the family’s property.
The soldier took him outside of the house, slammed him against a wall and assaulted him and put him in tight handcuffs.
Israeli interrogators continued to beat the boy, shouting at him and threatening to arrest his father and mother.
He suffered wounds in his face and mouth and was not provided with treatment despite his severe pain.
The Lajee Centre, a community organisation in Aida refugee camp which has visited Dumbarton, said on September 26 that Israeli forces detained three children from the camp.
Meanwhile, the same day the boy was detained an Israeli military court filed charges against three Palestinian minors from Aida a month after they were detained for allegedly throwing stones at Israeli forces stationed at Rachel’s Tomb, which is located next to an Israeli military base at the edge of Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem.
There is a 99.74 percent conviction rate for Palestinians tried in Israeli military courts, according to Human Rights Watch.
Human rights groups have also widely documented the abuse of Palestinian children by Israeli forces and the harsh interrogation practices used to force their confessions, which has long been the target of criticism by the international community.
Defense for Children International - Palestine has said their research showed almost two-thirds of Palestinian children detained in the occupied West Bank by Israeli forces had endured physical violence after their arrest.
No doubt on their next visit the children will have more to tell us of life under occupation. Brian McKenna, Overtoun Avenue, Dumbarton
Offer Tom Morrison