Socialist Worker

LETTERS: They won’t stop us fighting for solidarity with Palestine

Issue No. 2591

Protesting for Palestine in 2014

Protesting for Palestine in 2014 (Pic: Guy Smallman)

I read with interest your report on how management at Uclan university cancelled a pro-Palestine meeting (Socialist Worker, 7 February).

We’ve had similar problems at Manchester University, where management has enforced rules that restrict Palestine events.

They want organisers to ticket their events. At some Palestine events they’ve said university employees have to be the chair. Some events have been cancelled, supposedly because of admin issues.

Last year a couple of students did a banner drop for Israeli Apartheid Week.

They were threatened with disciplinary action. That had never happened for previous banner drops.

Often people are told there are problems with their events just two days before they’re meant to take place. That makes it harder to challenge the restrictions.

Now restrictions seem to be getting tougher for other events.

Last year we had a Student Stand Up To Racism meeting. Everything was fine until two days before when we were told we hadn’t filled the forms out properly.

Mangement said they wanted us to record the meeting.

And we had to meet with four different members of university management.

There are still some victories for Palestine campaigners. There was a demo to defend the two who did the banner drop.

About 100 people protested on the day the hearing was meant to take place and it was postponed.

Last week the university started to stock Israeli Sabra Hummus, which is on the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions’ (BDS) boycott list.

Our BDS group threatened a campaign so the university pulled it. Palestine supporters are also planning a protest calling for divestment from companies on the BDS list.

We’re determined to keep organising for solidarity with Palestine.

Bethan Turner

Manchester University

Keep cash for councils

PriceWaterhouseCooper, which is overseeing failed outsourcer Carillion’s liquidation, is demanding that councils pay 20 percent extra for outsourced services.

And the Local Government Association says councils shouldn’t do anything to destabilise the private companies that leech off public sector contracts.

The job of local government is to provide services—not to keep the profits pumping into private companies.

No more public sector money should be used to help these companies out.

We want services returned and run in-house. Not a penny more for the greedy boot-filling bastards.

Helen Davies

East London

We must all defend the NHS

When I became ill in 1979 there always seemed to be lots of nurses on the ward. They not only had time to care for the patients but time to talk and keep my spirits up.

You saw the same doctors each morning. And if I needed a doctor in between there was always one nearby.

I’m still in and out of hospital more than I would like. Throughout the years I have watched all of the hospital’s workers put under increasing pressure.

We need to unite and fight, support whatever action NHS workers take and get rid of this government.

Vicky McKenzie


The nurses’ strikes of 1988 showed us how to win

Your video of health workers talking about the 1988 nurses’ strikes (Socialist Worker online, 1 February) reminded me of how inspirational they were.

I was a newly qualified staff nurse and the action struck a chord with people in my hospital. I remember the Royal College of Nurses put out a leaflet attacking the strikes which went down like a lead balloon.

Tragically the union leadership failed to call the kind of national action that could have won even more.

What the disputes did do was show that rank and file action could deliver.

So what a disgrace that so many union leaders were absent from last week’s NHS demo. Just like in 1988 the fight to defend our NHS and the fight for decent pay will go hand in hand—and depend on resistance by the rank and file.

Yunus Bakhsh


Cop spies? No surprise

I’m not surprised that police used undercover spies at the protest outside the G8 summit at Gleneagles in Scotland in 2005, as Scottish police admitted last week.

I was involved in organising the protest.

I remember the police tried to intimidate protesters and stop them from coming.

On the day the police closed all the bus routes towards Gleneagles.

They came on the buses and tried to stop people. But eventually they had to let us march and it was hugely successful.

Police say the use of spies was justified.

Their tactics were completely unjustified.

This was done at huge public expense against a mass movement of ordinary people.

Dave Sherry


Look back at 1968 pay fight

It will be the 50th anniversary of the Ford Dagenham strike, when women struck for equal pay, this year.

Will Socialist Worker have an article on this?

It would be useful and interesting to revisit it and see what lessons we can learn from the strike.

Shaun Peters


Work review is whitewash

The Tories’ review into insecure work is laughable. It’s a bit like when the police are allowed to investigate their own failings.

David Cole

On Twitter

Will bankers beg for more?

Last week’s stock market slump looked worrying.

The bankers will soon be coming with their begging bowls again.

Paddy Hanrahan

On Facebook

Fat cats want cream of NHS

Dirty, greedy fat cats should lay off our NHS—it belongs to us.

The Tories are running it down so they can sell it off to their fat cat cronies.

Maurice Walker

On Twitter

More racism from the FLA

I see Stand Up To Racism has found more evidence of Islamophobia in the Football Lads Alliance.

Comments on their Facebook page show support for Darren Osborne—who attacked and murdered Muslims in Finsbury Park. This is a racist street movement.

It’s got to be opposed when it marches.

Sam Dyson


No frontier for capital

Smug Billionaire Elon Musk sent his sports car into space last week.

Seems private companies want to profit from military space programmes.

Alex Lowell


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