Socialist Worker

In this week 30 years ago 1974

Issue No. 1907

In this week 30 years ago 1974

KEVIN GATELEY, an anti-Nazi protester, was murdered by police on a demonstration in London's Red Lion Square on 15 June 1974. It was Kevin's first ever demonstration. He was determined to oppose the Nazi National Front, which was holding a meeting in Conway Hall.

Police on horseback charged the demonstrators. They used batons with such force that Kevin was left dying on the pavement. He died from a blow to the head.

Politics-free polling

A BBC reporter was interviewing people outside a polling station on election day. An election official asked him to move on. 'Why?' the reporter asked. 'Well,' said the official, 'you're being a bit political. We're trying to keep politics out of this.'

Who's asking the questions?

THE OUTCRY over US torture in Iraqi prisons has not dented the booming market for private 'interrogators' there. United Placements is offering $120,000 a year for such 'interrogators'.

One of United Placements' 'industry associates' is Oliver North, who was disgraced for his role in the Iran-Contra scandal in the 1980s. North worked for Ronald Reagan's National Security Council. He ran an illegal operation selling arms to Iran and used the profits to supply arms to the Contras, who were destabilising the left wing government of Nicaragua.

Kilroy's Merseyside blues

'I HAVE lived with it all my life, the effect I have on men and women. I would be the last to deny my looks have opened doors for me.' That modest comment comes from Robert Kilroy-Silk, the repulsive former TV presenter turned UKIP MEP.

But he is a little shy when it comes to detailing how the Kilroy-Silk Experience went down in the Labour Party in Liverpool in the 1980s. Kilroy-Silk was a leading light in the party back then. Labour's national executive imposed him on the constituency of Knowsley North in 1983 after boundary changes abolished his nearby Ormskirk seat.

He faced a challenge for his reselection by Tony Mulhearn, a socialist. Labour leader Neil Kinnock came to his rescue, leading a witch-hunt of socialists in the party that ensured Kilroy-Silk's seat was saved. Kilroy-Silk says in his book Hard Labour of how he punched a supporter of the left wing Militant Tendency.

'He went down backwards so fast that he put an elbow through a window,' says Kilroy-Silk. 'I pulled him back by the throat to hit him again.' Fellow Labour right wingers cheered on his assault. But that didn't stop Kilroy-Silk leaving the party two years later to become a chat show host.

Benetton beaten

THE ADVERTS for Benetton, the Italian clothes chain, present an idyllic image of a caring company that appeals to people all over the world. But that picture was punctured in an Argentinian court last week. Atilio Curinanco and Rosa Nahuelquir, a Mapuche Indian couple, were accused of stealing land by Benetton subsidiary CTSA.

In August 2002 the couple occupied just over 1,000 acres of land out of the company's 2.2 million acres in Patagonia. The family then began to develop the land. But one month later CTSA violently evicted them and destroyed their work. The court battle has thrown a spotlight on the rights of indigenous people to common land seized by companies such as Benetton.

'They accuse me of usurping my own land. I was born in this land,' said Rosa. Hundreds of families came to watch the trial. The couple rejected Benetton's offer to drop all charges if they relinquished their rights to the land.

The judge ruled in favour of the couple. They feel they have achieved a victory, not just for themselves but for all destitute families who are evicted from land in the area.

Figure it out £455 million

The price of preparing London Underground (LU) for privatisation, according to the National Audit Office. The bill, paid out of public funds, includes private bidders' £265 million costs and LU's £180 million costs.

Who says?

'You've done the diversity. That's a load of bollocks. Now let's get on with the real stuff.'
POLICE INSTRUCTOR speaking to a recruit to the force, as reported by the Commission for Racial Equality

'He said they are like dogs and if you allow them to believe at any point that they are more than a dog then you've lost control.'
BRIGADIER GENERAL JANIS KARPINSKI in charge of the military police unit that ran Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison says US commander Sanchez gave the green light for abuse of prisoners

'It is going to be very, very difficult to get the Muslim vote back-Iraq is burnt into the British Muslim psyche.'
GORDON PRENTICE Labour MP for Pendle admits government has lost key support

'It will be very difficult for any trade union to persuade their members to be voting, or campaign for the constitution if it only creates a businessman's Europe.'
DEREK SIMPSON leader of the Amicus union. The Labour loyalist threatens the union may not back Blair in a referendum over Europe

'When you have the overall mosaic of all the intelligence picked up all over the world, Guantanamo provided a very small piece. Was it the motherlode of intelligence? No.'
SENIOR US OFFICIAL who has reviewed information from Guantanamo Bay detainees

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Inside the System
Sat 26 Jun 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1907
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