Socialist Worker


Issue No. 2290

Football fans in Britain send solidarity to Egypt

Numerous football fans in Britain sent messages of support for Egypt’s Ultras after the massacre at Port Said. We print some here

We were shocked and appalled by the events at Port Said stadium. That so many fans were killed by hired thugs is shameful.

The police stood by and let the Ultras be targeted. We believe in peace and justice and have been inspired by Ultras in Egypt and send our heartfelt sympathies to the Al-Ahly relatives, friends and fellow supporters.

Leeds United FC fans

On Merseyside there is a long memory of how the police can behave at matches. But what happened to the Al-Ahly Ultras was on another level. Our thoughts are with the departed’s loved ones. Blue or Red, many here have a lot of time for our Ultra brothers and sisters.

Their struggle lit up the world. As the song goes, they will never walk alone.

Everton FC fans

As fans we all face common foes, though nothing like what the Ultras face. The Al-Ahly Ultras are among the best you will find.

Justice for the Al-Ahly Ultras.

Members of the Crystal Palace Ultras

There is a common sort of community among fans who call themselves Ultras, whoever you support and wherever you are.

The police are as bad as the military for letting this happen. After everything people in Egypt have been through, this must come as another disaster. It is great to see the resilience of people in Egypt to what happened at Port Said. These Ultras died for what they believed in. All power to the Ultras.

The Fosse Boys from Leicester City FC

Ultras are the hardcore, the most passionate and the most loyal. The Egyptian Ultras are respected worldwide for all this and more. They were butchered by cowards and scum. Our hearts go out to Egypt’s Ultras and their grieving relatives. They will be remembered long after the unmentionables who killed them. Long live the Ultras!

Celtic FC fans

The Al-Ahly Ultras are well regarded by fans from many clubs and rightly so. We hope the people who let this happen face justice. From now, we are all Al‑Ahly Ultras

Queens Park Rangers FC fans

More messages at

LGBT rights in Cyprus

Cyprus as a whole treats issues of sexuality or diversity as a taboo subject. Its colonial history has ensured that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people have been prosecuted and marginalised. In the South, homosexuality was only legalised in 1998.

Despite this, same sex civil partnerships are still illegal in the South. In the Turkish‑occupied North, homosexuality is still illegal.

LGBT organisations are fighting for sexual and reproductive rights in the South of Cyprus—lobbying for sex education in the South and for the right to legal partnership.

Initiative Against Homophobia, a Northern LGBT organisation, fights for the unification of Cyprus alongside LGBT rights.

Activists are working on the possibility of hosting the first Gay Pride in the South of Nicosia this year.

Francesca Byron-Chance, Nicosia, Cyprus

Indefinite detention

There’s nothing quite as ugly as Tory MPs on a racist rampage baying for blood.

The case of Abu Qatada raises issues for the British state. Qatada was granted political asylum in 1994, then arrested in 2002.

He was under constant surveillance for nearly ten years—more than six and a half years of that in prison without trial, which is the longest period in modern times.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled he could not be deported to Jordan. It said as evidence against him was gained through torture, he would face a “flagrant denial of justice”.

This is exactly the same denial of justice that he faced in Britain. Now even the foul Immigration Appeals Commission says he must be released.

For the Tories, fairness, freedom and democracy are quickly forgotten.

John Clossick, South London

Olympics are wrecking our education at UEL

With the Olympics looming, the University of East London (UEL) is showing up the true cost of the games.

University management has signed numerous contracts that use the Olympics as an opportunity to ram through unprecedented levels of privatisations, job redundancies and cuts.

Security has been outsourced to a private company without any consultation. Canteen staff’s contracts have also been hived off to private firms, resulting in a reduction in pay, substantial cuts to pensions and job losses.

And UEL’s vice-chancellor has sacked more than 160 staff and closed down the humanities and social sciences departments.

Now the academic timetable has been squeezed—exams brought forward, deadlines crammed together and dissertations expected to be submitted up to six weeks early.

This is so the buildings can be handed over to the US Olympic committee.

To add further insult, students who live in halls are expected to leave early and all students have been asked to stay off campus between June and August.

UEL management have utilised the Olympics to implement cuts, privatisations and their business agenda.

This is the true legacy of the Olympics.

Moses Milner, UEL Student

Police’s shocking actions in Leicester

On the 4 February the English Defence League (EDL) came to Leicester—again. This time the new mayor and Leicestershire Constabulary allowed them to march through the city.

Police used mass kettles to tightly control Leicester Unite Against Fascism, independent anti-fascists and groups of young Muslim people.

I helped to put together the legal observer team and was shocked but not surprised by police actions.

The number of kettling operations against anti-fascists, including local councillors, stood in stark contrast to how the EDL were treated.

The mayor proclaimed it would be “business as usual”. But for many who were blocked from protesting, and even walking, this has a hollow tone. Young people, particularly young Muslims, were stopped from going into their own city centre.

The 18-odd police forces left their mark on people who attempted to break through their cordons and road blocks.

In terms of the day-to-day experiences of Muslim and poor communities in this country it was very much business as usual.

Saqib Deshmukh, Leicester

EDL must never march

I was at the Leicester demonstration on 4 February and it is a disgrace that the police allowed the fascist English Defence League (EDL) to march through the city.

I cannot express how I feel, the tears that came to my eyes when I saw mounted police, rows of police, everywhere.

My family is from Dresden. My parents suffered so much. In their name I say that there is no room for the fascist EDL and British National Party in our cities. Keep them out.

We cannot allow the fascists to march.

Sonja Grossner, Loughborough

We’re lucky to have Greens

I write in response to Sarah Hughes’ letter, “Can we trust the Greens?” (Socialist Worker, 11 February).

Brighton voters are lucky to have such a forward-thinking set of councillors. In most parts of Britain, Tories and Labour are rubber stamping cuts so as to keep in with their Tory paymasters in Westminster.

There will of course be some casualties due to the meagre funding provided by this Tory-run coalition so as to avoid having to go to court and be surcharged.

Joe Cox, by email

Where does Unison stand?

I’m responding to the letter arguing for people to remain in the Unison union rather than leaving to join Unite (Letters, 28 January).

A friend of mine said that Unison is really a business called Unison PLC—and is a front for the Labour party to control Unison members.

Isn’t there a contradiction for a trade union to be tied to Labour—which is so negative towards strikes?

Why, if most Unison members do not pay into Labour, do the Labour Party people in Unison have control?

Emy Castelao, Taunton

We deserve a bus bonus

I’m glad Unite has launched a campaign for an Olympic bonus for bus drivers (Socialist Worker, 4 February).

We deserve it, we work like dogs to make £450 a week—sometimes 15 to 17 days on the trot. These are nine or ten hour shifts with just a 50 minute break all day.

If the public knew the hours we worked I doubt they’d ever want to go on a bus again. It ruins your whole life and everybody treats you like shit.

It’s about time Unite really started pushing for action to get the drivers what they deserve.

Steve Wenham, Surrey

The Simpsons WAS good

Tim Sanders is right to praise The Simpsons at its satirical best. But the show is far past that peak.

For nearly 15 years it has relied on inane cliches and celebrity cameos.

It still takes shots at the rich and powerful, but smart subversion has been replaced with moralising and a thinly-veiled pro-Democratic Party stance.

Its producers were even forced to apologise for its portrayal of Rio de Janeiro.

But its first decade deserves to be remembered for some of the sharpest and funniest TV comedy ever made.

Armin Tamzarian, North London

Who needs a smack?

I’d like to add to Goretti Horgan’s excellent letter (Letters, 11 February).

I can’t help wondering whether David Lammy thinks that the reason for David Perrin, a former director at Vantis Tax, avoiding tax of £70 million is because he wasn’t smacked by his parents?

And what about the police accused of receiving illegal payments for providing information to newspapers?

Janet, by email

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Article information

Tue 14 Feb 2012, 17:36 GMT
Issue No. 2290
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