Socialist Worker

Rap and racism

Issue No. 1923b

HUNDREDS OF young people packed into the entertainment pavilion at Alexandra Palace last night to hear an electrifying debate on “Guns, rap and racism”. Speakers included MCs Asher D, Skeme and HardKaur, together with Weyman Bennett from Unite Against Fascism.

They talked of how the media whips up racist stereotypes of “gun-toting Yardies” to distract people’s attentions from the real problems in society.

“If poor white people realised they were no better than black people, we could unite,” said Skeme. “Then the rich would really be in trouble.”
Anindya Bhattacharyya


Civil liberties

A PACKED seminar discussed how civil liberties were under attack across Europe as a direct consequence of the “war on terror”.

Richard Harvey from the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers opened the meeting, denouncing David Blunkett for detaining people indefinitely without trial at Belmarsh prison.

Sait Akgul, the Kurdish activist and Respect candidate at the 10 June elections, described how Turkey and the US were using anti-terror laws to persecute and ban left wing Kurdish parties.


Public services

REPRESENTATIVES from postal workers' unions in France, Italy and Britain came together for a meeting on public services and privatisation.

There was total agreement on the negatives effects of privatisation, and similarities between what was happening in different countries.

Billy Hayes from Britain's CWU said that privatisation had been beaten off for the moment, but nobody should be complacent.

Speakers from the floor stressed that the fightback had to come from the rank and file. Several said that the union’s links with New Labour could hamper the resistance.

There was a broad consensus to hold a conference of European postal workers and a day of action.
John Johnston


Ireland

HUNDREDS ATTENDED a meeting on The Lessons Of Ireland, where Sinn Fein MP Gerry Adams reminded the delegates that, like Iraq, Ireland is an example of why you should not occupy another country.

Many in the audience also approved of his comparison between the treatment of the Catholic minority in the north of Ireland with that of the Muslim community in Britain.

Adams referred to state repression in Ireland and used it as an example of what the state would be prepared to do to the movement.
Ryan McKinney


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News
Sat 16 Oct 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1923b
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