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Socialist Worker

Issue: 1933

Dated: 08 Jan 2005

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Drop the debt: Money for aid, not Iraq war

ORDINARY PEOPLE across the globe have united in solidarity and practical aid for the victims of the tsunami.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


System that keeps us poor made the tsunami so lethal

THE BOXING Day tsunami, caused by an earthquake off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, has caused devastation across Sri Lanka. It engulfed buildings up to one kilometre from the shore and killed thousands of people.

Questions and answers on the earthquake wave

What was the cause of this catastrophe?

Who says?

"People will see that the US is willing to reach out to the Muslim world in this time of need."

The double dealing behind Western ‘aid’

EVEN THE amount of aid Western governments have been shamed into giving so far could turn out to be a mirage.

Diego Garcia undamaged

THE US military base on the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia was undamaged by the tsunami. The base had been forewarned, officials at the US Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii said.

Respect takes relief initiative

PRESTON RESPECT councillor Michael Lavalette has taken the initiative to raise support in the town for the victims of the tsunami disaster.

A ‘natural’ disaster made worse by the profit system

THE ONLY aspect of this disaster that is "natural" is that the tsunami happened in the first place. The widespread death and destruction the tsunami has brought are largely man made.

Aceh is also a victim of an assault by the state

ENTIRE TOWNS in the Aceh province of Indonesia have been wiped out by the earthquake and tsunami. But human rights campaigners say the huge death toll is increasing because the Indonesian government has delayed aid reaching the stricken province.

A simple measure could save thousands of lives

CANCELLING ALL the debts of countries hit by the disaster is the minimum that Western governments could do. But they won’t.

How the aid was dragged from Labour

IT TOOK immense pressure from ordinary people to force the British and US governments to come up with the—still inadequate—aid they have now offered.

Proper building methods reduce tsunami damage

THE SCALE of death caused by tsunamis would be greatly reduced if buildings were constructed differently. But housing for the poor is always done by the cheapest possible methods.

A pro-poor movement

Speaking to a recent campaigners’ conference, the director of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals recalled how German chancellor Gerhard Schröder once dismissed a group of environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with the comment, "You are not exactly a mass movement." Why should small NGOs be of any concern to an elected chancellor in the comfort zone between elections?

In brief

Cleaning up at Land Rover SOME 130 cleaners at the Land Rover plant at Solihull in the West Midlands, working for the contractor Commando, have won a 9 percent pay rise.

Unite against fascism

ABOUT 50 Swansea people turned up at St Andrews Church in St Helen’s Road to leaflet with Unite Against Fascism on the Sunday before Christmas.

Blunkett’s last victims fighting for justice

AT THE very moment David Blunkett was tendering his resignation at 10 Downing Street before Christmas, 50 Zimbabwean refugees and their supporters were angrily demonstrating outside.

Mordechai Vanunu

RAPTUROUS celebrations broke out among students at Glasgow University at the end of term when they found out that Israeli political prisoner Mordechai Vanunu had topped the poll for the position of rector of the college.

Customers know who to count on

COUNTERS WORKERS struck in almost 300 post offices across Britain on Christmas Eve.

Striking over holidays to win decent shifts

IT’S 6am on New Year’s Eve morning in Longsight, Manchester, and three Amicus union members are stoking the picket brazier at the Alstom rail maintenance depot.

Critical time for Liverpool social workers’ dispute

THE FUTURE of the four month long all-out strike by social workers in Liverpool’s children and families team was hanging in the balance as Socialist Worker went to press this week.

Civil Service Workers

THE NEXT 12 months will be very important for the PCS civil service workers’ union. The government is planning to push through 104,000 job cuts in the civil service and attack workers’ pensions.

Tube workers

TUBE DRIVERS in the Aslef union at the Arnos Grove depot won better treatment for a colleague by striking for 24 hours on Christmas Eve.

Global anti-war activists prepare

OVER 400 activists from around the world gathered for an anti-war assembly in Hyderabad, India, at the end of last year.



Do they care about Africa?

THE BBC traditionally fills the time between Christmas and the new year with programmes reviewing the state of world politics. There was one on Radio Four on New Year’s Day by leading BBC journalists.


The Committee of 100: sparking a new left

Trafalgar Square, London, has been the site of demonstrations, and of attempts by the authorities to ban them, since it was constructed in 1842-3.

‘How can they talk about elections?’

‘How can they talk about elections?’Christmas eve, there is a cold wind, the temperatures in the desert dip below freezing. A group of us, all doctors, decide to try and reach Fallujah. There are stories of disease and hunger.

1905: Birth of a new Power

On 9 January 1905 peace-ful demonstrators were massacred by troops in St Petersburg, the capital of imperial Russia. This event, known as Bloody Sunday, ignited a revolutionary movement which paralysed the Russian state for a year, sparked protest in town and countryside, and gave birth to genuine workers’ democracy in the process.

Mass strike revealed strength of working class

What can we learn from a revolution in Russia a century ago? It seems a world removed from our lives in 2005. But 1905 was about a new working class coming of age.

No return to the backstreet

MIKE LEIGH’S film, out this week, takes us back in time to London in the 1950s. As in many large cities in Europe at that time, you find working people living in the wake of the Second World War and facing hardship, shortages and poverty.

Harsh facts that show how a woman’s right to choose is still under threat


Stamping an identity on the anti-war movement

Many people know you for your stamp designs. How did you first come be involved in that?

A detailed examination of the horror of the Holocaust

Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution

In brief

Requiem for a Black Soul

What We Think

The hopeful side of ‘human nature’

The speed and scale of the generosity of millions around the world in response to the tsunami disaster has been astonishing. Stories are emerging all the time of the lengths ordinary people have gone to in showing their solidarity.

Other Categories

John Carroll 1944-2004

ON Christmas Eve, with over 100 at his funeral, we said goodbye to John Carroll, life long socialist, trade unionist and piss-taker extraordinaire.

His legacy lives on

THE INTRODUCTION of identity cards is not a small step in the fight against terrorism—it is a giant leap towards a police state that will affect the privacy of every person in the country.


Wednesday 26-31 January

The struggle over the war, neo-liberalism and pensions

Millions of public sector workers are only just discovering that the government wants to force them to work an extra five years.

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