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Socialist Worker


Issue: 1941

Dated: 05 Mar 2005



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No More Bush Wars

BUSH AND BLAIR’S war has never been less popular in Britain. Just 29 percent said in a recent opinion poll that they supported the war on Iraq. Most wanted the withdrawal of British troops and an end to the occupation. Every day brings more reasons to oppose this ongoing war.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Councillors say no to council housing sell-off in Sedgefield

"From a figure of around 200 homeless before stock transfer, I’m led to believe there are now around 2,000 homeless in the city," says Brynley Sidaway, a Labour councillor from Sunderland City Council.

New Labour’s Education White Paper — an end to comprehenssive education?

The Tomlinson report into education won widespread praise when it came out last October.

Birmingham electoral fraud scandal

Six Labour councillors in the Bordesley Green and Aston wards of Birmingham have been accused of mass vote-rigging in last year’s local elections.

Respect offers a real alternative for Rover workers

I STARTED at Longbridge in 1990. Then there were about 13,000 workers. Today there are about 6,000.

Make Poverty History: We believe in global justice

AROUND 150 activists from across the south west of England met in Exeter last Saturday to discuss how to build the Make Poverty History campaign. Constantino Casasbuenas, a policy adviser to Oxfam, opened the conference. He argued that the purpose of the campaign was to unite all those who could no longer tolerate the deaths of 30,000 children a day around the world from preventable illness.

Lecturers' strike shakes college managers

LECTURERS AT 39 further education colleges struck solidly on Thursday of last week over the failure of college bosses to honour a national pay deal.

Jubilee Debt Campaign conference

WHY SHOULD poor countries cut their welfare budgets to pay debts while people are forced to drink polluted water?

Palestine solidarity campaign AGM

SOME 185 people came to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign annual general meeting in central London last Saturday. Speakers included Jeremy Corbyn MP and Tony Benn. Basim Sbaih from the Palestinian Political Prisoners Society spoke about the Israeli tactics of collective punishments and sieges, and the limits of Israel’s release of prisoners.

Reports in brief

BT SOME 5,000 BT engineers are voting on an offer over new attendance patterns. The new scheme would offer a four day week, but at the expense of making Saturday an ordinary working day.

Unite Against Fascism conference calls national fight against BNP

Over 450 activists met at the TUC headquarters in central London last Saturday for the largest anti-fascist conference in a decade.

Workplaces organise for Stop the War demonstration

With two weeks to go to the 19 March anti-war demonstration trade unionists are organising at work and in their branches to ensure a big turnout.

Brutality in Britain’s detention centres exposed

NEW LABOUR and the Tories compete over who can be "toughest" on asylum seekers. This creates a climate which encourages racist and violent staff at detention centres to feel they can act with impunity.

Control orders — part of Labour’s police state

Preventive detention has already played a shocking part in Britain’s "war on terror".

What’s behind new 'anti-terror' laws?

A lot of the evidence the issuing of control orders will be based on is inaccurate. Secret evidence is being used to put people in Belmarsh, or to make them subject to control orders.

Blow to ID card plan in Scotland

The Scottish Parliament has rejected New Labour’s proposals to bring in compulsory identity cards across the country. The Scottish Green Party proposed the motion against ID cards, which was passed by 52 votes to 47 on Wednesday of last week.

Who Says?

"The tone is different, but the tune was the same." Republican Senator William Cohen on George Bush’s recent visit to Europe

MP attacks new ‘terror’ powers

I lived for many years in South Africa, during the dark days of apartheid. During that time, Britain’s legal system was held up as a beacon of light and hope, as the prison bars of the apartheid state closed around us.

Debating rights in Glasgow

Some 200 people crammed into the community hall at the al-Furqan Mosque in Woodlands, Glasgow, last Friday night for a passionate debate about defending civil liberties. Speakers included Jamal al-Harith who gave a moving account of his two years detained in Guantanamo Bay.

Eamonn McCann on Sinn Fein’s contradictions

THE PROVISIONAL IRA is less popular today in the north of Ireland than at any time for the last 35 years.

Stop the War Coalition launches march

The Stop the War Coalition publicly launched its 19 March demonstration on Tuesday. Lindsey German was joined by Ray Hewitt (right), who joined the army at 16, fought in the first Gulf War, and is now a reservist in the British army. He has told the ministry of defence that he now wishes to be a conscientious objector, because he "will not fight in an illegal war in Iraq." George Solomou (left), the former TA soldier who refused to go to Iraq, also endorsed the march

Dedicate International Women's Day to Palestinian women

Amnesty International has just published a disturbing report on the plight of women in Iraq. The report reveals how sanctions, war and occupation have wiped out years of advances made by Iraqi women. Two years of war and occupation have driven women into the home, seen their jobs disappear and their rights eroded.

Billy Hayes calls for support in building the campaign against Post Office market move

The decision of Postcomm to fully open the postal market to competition in 2006 is sadly predictable.

Unionising Canary Wharf cleaners

THE BOSS gets $17.5 million a year. The workers who clean his offices would have to slave for 1,647,446 hours to get that — 188 years, day and night!

Unions’ pensions fight steps up another gear

Balloting is well underway across 1.25 million local and central government workers for strikes in defence of pensions, beginning in three weeks time.

Babar Ahmad 'could face Guantanamo or worse'

Babar Ahmad, the south London IT worker threatened with extradition to the US on "terrorism" charges, could face indefinite military detention if the extradition goes ahead, according to his lawyers.


International

Outcry stops exploitation of women in Cameroon drug trials by Gilead

HAVE YOU read The Constant Gardener by John Le Carré? It is about the human suffering caused by a Western pharmaceutical company which uses Africans as guinea pigs for drug testing. In Cameroon, West Africa, that fiction is terribly alive.

Workers in occupation at SEKA factory in Turkey

WORKERS AT the SEKA factory in Izmit, 50 miles south of Istanbul, have been in occupation since 27 January.

Egyptian textile workers strike

AROUND 450 workers at the Qaliub ESCO textile factory began their second strike on Sunday 13 February in protest at the privatisation of their company.

Lebanon protest backed by rich

The US has hailed the resignation of the Lebanese government as part of a democratic wave sweeping the world. What they are calling the "cedar revolution"—modelled on the "orange revolution" in the Ukraine and the "rose revolution" in Georgia — is less a revolution and more a medium sized demonstration of the supporters of the opposition, which is mainly made up of right wing parties.


Comment

Defeating the BNP’s election strategy

The Nazi British National Party (BNP) has announced that it intends to stand more than 100 candidates in the forthcoming election. It is clearly hoping to capitalise on its 2004 Euro election vote, where it received more than 800,000 votes — the highest vote ever for a Nazi party in British history.


Features

Build Edinburgh protests at G8

THE G8 runs the global economy. They are its organising committee. The G8 are the eight most powerful nations in the world. They are not the largest — the G8 excludes China, India and Brazil.

Scare tactics from police against Gleneagles protest

According to one Scottish newspaper, the police are planning a clampdown on protests at the G8 in Scotland this summer. The measures revealed in the Sunday Herald include plans to turn a former RAF base in Edinburgh into a "holding facility" for protesters awaiting trial and to scrap all trials in Edinburgh’s sheriff court for the first two weeks in July.

Christian Aid predict Make Poverty History will be massive

The march called by the Make Poverty History campaign already looks set to be enormous, according to development charity Christian Aid.

G8 alternatives

‘The reservoir dogs of multinational capitalism are coming in July to lick each other’s arses… We must gather in our hundreds of thousands to push them into action on permanent debt relief, real fair trade and aid without conditions’ Tommy Sheridan Scottish socialist party MSP

Revelations on the illegal occupation of Iraq

Revelations reported in the Guardian last week show that the war on Iraq was less legal than the government argued in March 2003. Where does that leave the arguments for war?

The struggle for national freedom continues today

In the final part of our series on National Liberation, Simon Basketter looks into the 21st century

Coming events

Tuesday 1 March-13 MarchFairtrade fortnight Thousands of local events organised by the Fairtrade Foundation. Go to <a href="http://www.fairtrade.org.uk " target = "_blank"> www.fairtrade.org.uk </a> for more information


Reviews

Caravaggio exhibition: the light of Rome, the darkness of exile

Caravaggio: The Final YearsThe National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London 23 February to 22 May, £7.50/£6.50

Asian Dub Foundation's Pandit G on their new album

Musically our new album carries on from Enemy of the Enemy. It is a little bit more melodic, but it also returns to some of the influences — like drum ’n’ bass — from when we started out.

Reviews in brief

Romany lives in the Crays The Bromley Museum, Orpington, Kent Phone 01689 873 826 for opening times An exhibiton featuring artwork and photography by over 40 Gypsy children from Bromley, is on show at the Bromley Museum. It is the result of a project run by the Novas Group and the Children’s Society.


What We Think

Aid for Africa, or aid for the bond markets?

The centrepiece of chancellor Gordon Brown’s "Marshall Plan for Africa" came under fire from the World Development Movement (WDM) last week. Far from helping the world’s poorest, it will actively undermine the campaign to end global poverty.


Other Categories

Protesters greet Bush in Brussels

George Bush’s recent visit to Belgium was not the sweet love-in envisaged by European Union governments and the European Commission, as this picture shows. The US president was greeted by three days of demonstrations in Brussels, called by various non-governmental organisations, peace groups and trade unions. Despite the best efforts of the weather and the police, the protests were lively and noisy, attracting up to 5,000 people.Hugh Jenkins Brussels

Stop the War book out on 14 March!

The definitive account of the growth of the

May Day greetings

Socialist Worker will be running May Day greetings and messages again this year.

Forums, events and film showings

Meetings And Events



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