Socialist Worker

Attacking those who speak against injustice

Issue No. 1965

As the lies and disinformation put out by the Metropolitan Police are exposed the establishment is increasingly desperate to defuse the anger at the execution of Jean Charles de Menezes.

Sections of the media have joined Tory and Labour politicians in trying to witch-hunt his family’s supporters in an effort to take the heat off police chief Sir Ian Blair.

Bizarrely, home secretary Charles Clarke accused the family’s solicitor, Gareth Peirce, of “latter-day imperialism” for her defence of civil liberties (work that one out if you can).

In fact, she is an internationally respected human rights lawyer who has had a burning commitment to justice since taking part in the US civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King in the US in the 1960s.

Another person targeted is Asad Rehman, who is “revealed” as working for Respect MP George Galloway. This is hardly a revelation—his name is on the House of Commons website and his job common knowledge.

He previously worked for Amnesty International, which you’d imagine ought to be regarded as a good qualification for working with the de Menezes family in their fight for justice.

It’s no surprise that supporters of the Stop the War Coalition and Respect, which fight to defend civil liberties, are throwing their weight behind the de Menezes family’s campaign.

What do the pro-war hypocrites want — that Jean Charles’s parents wait for a campaign tailored to fit the mainstream parties, which are all heaping praise on the institutions that murdered their son?


Hopeful signs

Blair’s views no longer drown out alternatives

What frightens the political establishment is that there is growing public support for ideas it paints as “extremist”.

Four fifths of people linked the London bombings to the war on Iraq. Six weeks later the truth about the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes is leading more people to oppose Tony Blair’s planned assault on civil liberties.

All this is in the face of a cosy political consensus at Westminster.

That makes a big turnout for the demonstration on 24 September all the more possible, and all the more necessary.


Holidays

The US import we ought to keep out

George Bush made history on Thursday of last week when he became the “most rested” president in US history. Despite being in the job for less than five years Bush has spent an incredible 336 days at his ranch in Texas.

Many people around the world might be grateful that Bush doesn’t spend more time in the office. But his leisure time is in stark contrast to the vast majority of Americans.

US workers get around 13 days paid leave a year after five years working for a company — and about a third of US workers do not even take up this modest allowance of holidays.

This situation is what bosses in Britain want workers here to replicate. Struggles such as Gate Gourmet are vital to stopping them.


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Article information

What We Think
Sat 27 Aug 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1965
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