Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 1942

Dated: 12 Mar 2005

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The cost of the endless war

1,600US and British dead 18,000soldiers wounded 100,000Iraqi civilians dead $172bnspent so far 0reasons to be there<h3>DEMO AGAINST THE OCCUPATION</h3> Saturday 19 March, 12 noon,Hyde Park, London. <a href="" target = "_blank"></a></strong

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Reports in brief

Bury council cuts Supporters of the Re:d centre in Bury were waiting this week for the result of a legal case about the future funding for the service. The centre provides critical support for over 100 local children with disabilities and their families. Protesters recently lobbied the council demanding withdrawal of the cuts.

Analysis from inside GMB on mergers and organising

A deep mood of pessimism seems to have struck the leaders of many of the big unions as they cast about for solutions to membership decline and financial crisis in their organisations.

Pensions: Same fight across public and private sectors

Across Britain workers are organising to resist assaults on pensions. There is a feeling for action in many workplaces which could be tapped to build a serious campaign.

Rose Gentle refused entry to Labour conference

Rose Gentle is the mother of soldier Gordon Gentle, who was killed in Iraq last year. She has campaigned for British troops to be withdrawn from Iraq and helped set up Military Families Against the War.

Iraq in brief

Sick insight into the occupation A shocking new film, seen by Socialist Worker, shows US troops kicking a badly wounded Iraqi prisoner in the face. The film was made by US troops from the Florida National Guard and given the sick title "Ramadi Madness". It also shows the troops making the arm of a corpse appear to wave.

Scottish Labour conference votes down pensions plan

The New Labour government’s attack on public sector pensions suffered a damaging blow when the Scottish Labour Party annual conference unanimously opposed the move last week.

Private sector workers also being robbed over pensions

The government has admitted that the £400 million fund set up to compensate workers who have lost their pensions when their final salary schemes went bust is not nearly enough to protect younger workers.

EPAs are an unequal partnership

New free trade agreements are being negotiated right now between the European Union (EU) and 77 former colonies. They are a real threat to the future of millions of people across the world, yet there is almost no effective public debate about the process.

Zahid Mubarek’s murder highlights a racist system

Once again an innocent victim has lost his life purely because of the colour of his skin.

Lib Dem conference calls for strike ban

The Liberal Democrats passed policy at their spring conference last weekend to ban groups of workers from striking.

Police ‘aided’ Birmingham ballot fraud

Police seized fraudulent ballot papers for council elections in Birmingham last year — and then delivered them to the official count, a court heard last week.

Peace camp in Trafalgar Square

A peace camp will be set up in Trafalgar Square, London, on Wednesday of next week to start the protests leading up to the mass Stop the War demonstration on 19 March.

Who says?

"Some of our counter terrorism powers will be disproportionately experienced by the Muslim community... the threat at the moment is from a particular place."New Labour home office minister Hazel Blears telling Muslims to "acknowledge the reality" that they will be targeted

Trevor Phillips is wrong about black underachievement

What ought to have been a welcome focus on improving the education of black children was this week skewed into a sterile debate. Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, made the headlines when he suggested black boys could be taught in separate classes for some subjects.

Babar Ahmad faces 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.

Gareth Peirce denounces anti-terrorism bill

Over 100 people packed out a committee room in the House of Commons on Wednesday evening of last week for a meeting called to defend civil rights against New Labour’s anti-terrorism legislation.

Martin Mubanga backs Babar Ahmad campaign

A crowd of around 100 supporters protested outside Babar Ahmad’s extradition hearing in London on Wednesday of last week. The protest was young and lively, involving civil rights campaigners, students and friends and family of Babar from Tooting, south London.

Asbo Concern: ‘War on yobs’ stigmatises children

Charities and campaigners have reacted angrily after the government called for public "naming and shaming" of people who have anti-social behaviour orders (Asbos) served on them.

New campaign criticises ‘draconian’ measures

As home secretary Charles Clarke steps up his Asbo attack, a coalition of trade unions, charities and campaigners has come together to try to force the government to think again.

An alternative vision for education in Britain

About 250 teachers from across the education sector, representing 110 schools and colleges, met in London on Saturday of last week to discuss radical alternatives to the present education system.

All roads lead to London for 19 March protest

Stop the War groups all over the country are organising coaches to send to London for the national demonstration on 19 March. George Cottier and Michael McDonnell from Liverpool University report, "About 100 students attended a Stop the War teach-in on Wednesday of last week.


Deeper interests behind the Lebanese protests

The demonstrations calling for the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon converge on Martyrs Square in downtown Beirut. The square is better known as Solidere, after the multi-billion dollar property company partially owned by former prime minister Rafiq Hariri.

Middle East round-up

Revolt in Egypt grows against president Mubarak Last week Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak asked parliament to change the constitution to allow more than one candidate to stand for election as president.


A pale shadow of democracy

It’s a remarkable irony that the methods that helped bring down one empire are now being used to expand another.


Coming events

Wednesday 9 MarchVigil at parliament while the House of Lords debates conditions in Zimbabwe, 3pm-6pm. For details phone 07966 458 080 or 07960 126 028. Organised by Zimbabwe Community Campaign to Defend Asylum Seekers.

A message from Respect to lifelong Labour supporters

Many of us in Respect have, like you, always voted Labour in previous general elections. Indeed many of us come from Labour families who have voted Labour for as long as there has been a Labour Party. Some of us have held office in the Labour Party or been Labour candidates.

Italy’s Rifondazione aims at entering ‘left government’

The Rifondazione Comunista (Communist Refoundation) conference last week was an important and significant success for party leader, Fausto Bertinotti. This is the largest far left organisation in Europe — 130 foreign delegations were mixing with hundreds of Italian delegates in a snow-bound Venice.

Portuguese Left Bloc has deep roots among workers

When the results were announced the right wing prime minister complained in his resignation speech that it was not proper in a civilised country that "Trotskyists" should come within one percent of defeating the Christian Democrats.

Are these uprisings genuine revolts?

THROUGHOUT THE world there are dictatorships and semi-dictatorships. In all of these you get various sections of the population who are resentful and want to fight back.


Kurt Weill’s Venus says we’re more than just consumers

One Touch of Venus tells the story of the Roman goddess of love coming to life again in 20th century New York. It is not altogether surprising that a new British production of this forgotten 1940s musical is enjoying the sort of success that it originally achieved on Broadway.

Kurt Weill, a composer who made opera democratic

Kurt Weill (1900-1950) stood squarely in the tradition of "democratic" opera — the kind that looks at the lives of ordinary people and enlists our sympathy for those who are both victims of and fighters against injustice.

Reviews in brief

Frida Kahlo photo exhibition Frida Kahlo — Portraits of an Icon is a free exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London, until 26 June. The 50 photographic portraits of the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo span her life, beginning with a photograph of her as a two year old and ending with the image of Kahlo on her deathbed.

Human Rights Watch film festival offers new insights

Human Rights Watch international film festival 16 to 25 March

What We Think

Giuliana Sgrena: Just imagine how the US treats Iraqis

This paper had added its name to the international appeal for the release of the Il Manifesto journalist, Giuliana Sgrena. On Saturday we shared the joy at the reports of her release. That quickly turned to shock and anger as news came of the ambush of the car taking her to Baghdad airport.

Other Categories

Turkish anti-war movement delegation in Damascus

The Turkish anti-war movement has taken a lead in protesting against the threats by Bush against Syria. I was one of a delegation of 60 trade unionists, doctors, writers, journalists and peace activists that visited Damascus last week to give solidarity and support to its people.

Socialist Worker May Day greetings

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

Stop the War book out on 14 March!

The definitive account of the growth of the

Forums, events and film showings

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