Socialist Worker


Issue No. 2251

Help us to free Bahrain

Thank you for covering the events in Bahrain. We appreciate it.

Please help us, as we need media support. The media is prohibited in Bahrain. It’s so hard for ordinary people to record and broadcast efficiently.

We need people to record what the Saudi army is doing.

They are killing, destroying and stealing.

They are treating us like we are rats and animals.

The Saudi and Bahraini armies are in control of the hospitals, meaning people can’t go there—so they are dying. Everyone is afraid to go there, especially Shia Muslims.

A lot of Sunni Muslims are also being targeted because they participated in the protests against the regime.

The US should stop supporting dictators.

We will bring the dictators down and get our rights. We should have the right to elect our government and the president.

The Bahraini media claims that the protests are following Iran and the Lebanese Hizbollah’s agenda. It is also sometimes suggests that our revolution is Shia versus Sunni.

But Iran has no part in our revolution. The people of Bahrain—Sunni and Shia—are standing together requesting our rights.

We don’t want any foreign militaries in our country.

Please help us. We will be thankful.

Bahraini, by email

It is really a shame to cancel the scholarship of the Bahraini students just because they were protesting against the government.

I believe that these are rights and not gifts to be taken away whenever the government wants.

This is just one example of the many human rights violations being committed against the people demanding democracy.

Save Bahraini People, by email

Why is Sun man not in a cell?

The Sun’s desperate attempts to create a story around Al Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki last week were laughable.

Simon Hughes, the paper’s chief investigative reporter, emailed Awlaki pretending he was part of a British-based terror cell and asking for advice about an attack.

Awlaki replied, counselling the cell about the best methods of carrying out a terror attack.

The Sun then boasted that it passed on a “dossier on the email sting to counter-terrorism chiefs at MI6”.

How a reply to an email can be decribed as a “sting” and be worthy of the first three pages of the biggest selling newspaper in Britain is beyond me.

But, more importantly, if anyone other than a Sun journalist had contacted Awlaki they would have been thrown into a cell by the authorities. Why the double standards?

Simone Murray, Carlisle

There in my hour of need

I am a British national currently living in the US.

I had frankly become quite despairing over having to use the BBC News website as my only way of keeping up to date with current affairs in a non-US biased way.

Things came to a head when it became all but impossible to read anything other than the “royal wedding” story.

There are so many realities, injustices, political hypocrisies and inequalities to address.

With the recent political hypocrisy and unconscious chest-thumping over the premeditated killing of Osama Bin Laden, the BBC bias on tacit support for “eye for an eye” vengeance makes me sick to my stomach.

As Gandhi rightly pointed out, the whole world will soon be blind at the current rate of retaliatory actions.

So, in despair, I undertook a Google search and found you. Sweet conscious relief!

I am aware that I am not alone in my feelings of disgust at the gloating over a revenge killing.

It is so relieving to discover that, even if we are a minority, there are others who understand equality and true justice.

Thank you for “being there” in my time of need.

Warmest wishes, keep up the good work! I shall be reading you every day from here on in.

Honey Reed, US

Truth is silenced

It was very convenient for the US that its troops executed Osama Bin Laden.

If he was arrested and put on trial he could have given evidence of the US support he received in the 1980s as he fought against the Russians in Afghanistan.

Bin Laden’s time as an ally and then an enemy is just another example of the US’s hypocrisy.

Katherine Branney, East London

We won’t kiss goodbye to LGBT awareness

It is rumoured that David Cameron wants to see gay kisses banned on pre-watershed TV.

A right wing Tory commission sees the Brookside soap’s breakthrough 1994 lesbian kiss as a cause for concern.

The problems with the “Review of the Commercialisation and Sexualisation of Childhood” run deeper than just the homophobia of singling out this kiss.

If some Tories have their way, young people will have their understanding and exploration of sexuality further restricted.

Anti-abortion Tory MP Nadine Dorries wants to see the teaching of sex abstinence to stop Britain’s relatively high level of teenage pregnancy.

But what young people need is sex education that engages with their burgeoning sexuality and teaches them how to have sex safely with contraception.

Seeing gay people kissing on TV is a positive part of this.

The Tories have more homophobic skeletons in their supposedly “pro-gay” closet.

They have an ideological and economic interest in upholding “the family”. This is why they will seek to scapegoat anyone seen to not live their life in the right way.

The people trying to turn the clock back cannot be allowed to succeed. It’s right to distrust Cameron on LGBT rights.

Alan Kenny, East London

Indian fight for workers’ rights

Thousands of workers marched through the centre of Delhi on 1 May demanding social justice and workers’ rights in post-colonial capitalist India.

Nearly 8,000 workers joined the demonstration in solidarity with the Workers’ Charter Movement.

Men and women waved red flags and placards, and chanted slogans.

Speakers urged all workers to unite under the banner of the Workers’ Charter Movement to fight a common enemy—one that’s brought an immense attack on their rights, freedom and life.

A charter was also presented to the government signed by thousands of workers. This called for a minimum monthly wage of 11,000 Indian rupees and a wage ceiling to ensure fair distribution of wealth in the country.

There are 26 points to the charter, which will improve workers’ conditions and rights if implemented.

Many people felt like they will truly be able to turn the tide against the attacks from the ruling class. After all the workers had left, I overheard someone saying, “It’s the beginning man.”

Sourav Benerjee, Delhi, India

Labour must reject rebrand

The whole concept of “Blue Labour” (Socialist Worker, 7 May) is as ridiculous as the so-called “Red Toryism” that Phillip Blond advocated recently.

Labour should be socialist red, not conservative blue!

It needs to drop any notion that being conservative is a good idea. Rather, Labour needs to be radical and challenge the power of the banks. It needs to rethink the idea of making cuts and instead tax the rich.

The idea of rebranding Labour (again) is just more nonsense. We need real change.

Graeme Kemp, Wellington, Shropshire

Monarchy has its uses

Socialist Worker clearly did not like the royal wedding. But many are fascinated with the royal family, and they may not be as foolish as you think.

Royalty are unelected. But when did most of us last elect our managements?

Employees have no say in those who have power over our lives.

Ceremonial figureheads do have a use in keeping the pomp and circumstance away from elected politicians.

This enables them to get on with the job and avoids them becoming charismatic figures, which is a gift to the right.

I think we should concentrate on getting rid of capitalism, and realise why the royal family are so attractive to many.

Jonathan Goll, Birmingham

Guarding rich and powerful

The royal wedding showed the state of our nation and the divided nature of the class system.

The police and military are preparing for savage cuts, yet they policed this display of pomp and pageantry.

They were protecting the grotesquely rich and famous.

Jay Thompson, Newcastle

Shelley would not be stunned

After all the stomach-turning guff that’s been poured out about the royal wedding, perhaps the last word should go to the poet Shelley:

“Monarchy is only the string that ties the robber’s bundle.”

Ken Montague, West London

Royalty is a sham

I was a member of the Socialist Workers Party many years ago, and even though my membership is lapsed I still feel very strongly about its ideals.

The royal wedding only underpinned why I still believe in them.

The royals live in total opulence, indulgence and have a complete disregard for what the working class is up against in this time of capitalist domination.

As soon as the public can see the sham that is royalty for what they are, and not the media-fueled indoctrination we are force-fed, the better.

It won’t be soon enough.

Graham Chuck, South Brent, Devon

Tories can’t co-opt risings

It is sickening to see the Tories trying to catch hold of the reflected glory of the Arab Spring.

In his recent Mansion House speech, foreign secretary William Hague argued, “The true expression of what the people of the Muslim world want was seen in Tahrir Square in 2011, not at Ground Zero in 2001.”

He forgot to mention that the bullets and tear gas used against the people of Egypt as they struggled for liberty were manufactured in Britain and the US.

He also forgot to mention that the West backed the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak for over 30 years.

Hands off the Egyptian revolution, Hague.

You represent everything the Egyptian masses were fighting against.

Sasha Simic, East London

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Article information

Tue 10 May 2011, 18:13 BST
Issue No. 2251
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