Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 1953

Dated: 28 May 2005




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If you like what Galloway told the senate… join Respect

As of Tuesday morning I had received over 11,800 e-mails of support following my appearance at the US senate’s McCarthyite committee seven days previously.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

The left leads French revolt

Tous ensemble! (All together!) was the cry that rang out in central Paris last Saturday at the end of a huge rally organised by the French left. The rally was part of the left’s campaign for a no vote in the referendum on the new European Union constitution.

Ambala battle has the sweet smell of workers’ struggle

In East London a group of about 45 Asian workers, in a workplace previously unknown to the trade union movement, are reviving a militant tradition that had seemed lost to the area.

Week long strike boosts London Met campaign

A five-day strike by lecturers in the Natfhe union at London Metropolitan University last week was a great success, with spirits high on the picket lines and a real sense of solidarity across the university.

Academic Boycott

The Manchester University branch of the lecturers’ AUT union voted last week to support the academic boycott of Israeli institutions.

Campaign against city academies shout out, ‘Hey, bankers, leave our kids alone’

Parents, children and teachers lobbied Islington council’s schools organisation committee on Thursday of last week. They are attempting to dissuade it from agreeing to close St Mary Magdalene primary school and reopen it as a city academy with 1,400 pupils aged between three and 19.

Further Education Lecturers

Lecturers in the Natfhe union at Newcastle College took their seventh day of strike action on Tuesday of this week.

One-day strike by BBC workers hits the airwaves

A vibrant and powerful strike by thousands of BBC workers severely hit the corporation’s programming on Monday of this week. Workers picketed BBC buildings around Britain, including Glasgow (pictured). They were set to strike again against job cuts on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week

George Galloway delivered a blow against Bush

Millions of people around the world cheered as Respect MP George Galloway denounced the war on Iraq in the US senate last week. He also took apart the senators’ allegations against him about Iraq’s oil for food programme. Ron McKay, who sat beside George Galloway throughout the hearing, writes for Socialist Worker.

Neo-cons exposed in front of media

"So Senator, did he get the better of you?" Senator Norm Coleman’s face fell as he stood before the small crowd of expectant journalists. Struggling to find an answer that wouldn’t betray his dismay, Senator Coleman settled with, "Well, um, it wasn’t a contest."

Papers confirm Socialist Worker exclusive

Exhibits handed to George Galloway moments before he spoke to the US senate committee have confirmed Socialist Worker’s exposure of forgery in key documents.

Website ‘loses’ George Galloway’s words

George Galloway’s statement to the senate committee has been "lost" from the senate website.

Blaenau Gwent and the Blair witch-hunt project

Labour's leaders have launched a brutal witch-hunt in the Blaenau Gwent constituency in South Wales, designed to eradicate anyone who dares to stand up against Tony Blair.

Evidence of torture by British troops grows

New Iraqi witness statements, seen by Socialist Worker, tell of torture meted out by British soldiers.

Keep fighting for Babar Ahmad

Campaigners and civil rights groups have reacted with anger to a judge’s decision last week to allow the extradition of Babar Ahmad to the US on "terrorism" charges.

Snub to families of dead soldiers

Government lawyers have responded to a case brought against them by Military Families Against the War with the astonishing claim that the decision to go to war had no bearing on the deaths of British soldiers.

Defend the right to protest at the G8 summit

G8 Alternatives, who are helping to mobilise people for the protests at the G8 summit in Scotland this July, have launched an open letter to defend the right to protest.

A timetable for protests

A number of protests and meetings have been organised for the week of the G8 summit. Events include:

BBC strikes — bosses shaken by threat of repeats

BBC director-general Mark Thompson’s plans to slash thousands of jobs took a big hit as staff walked out on Monday of this week.

BBC action programme

Workers at the BBC have faced a difficult two years. Hundreds walked out in January 2004 when the Hutton Report into the death of David Kelly criticised the BBC rather than the British government.

Make nukes history

The Labour Party was heavily involved in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) during the 1980s when we were organising huge demonstrations against the Cruise and Trident missile systems.

Sefton council attack on union after betrayal over housing

Sefton Council in Merseyside has suspended two full time union officials and four shop stewards for opposing the privatisation of council housing.

Civil service workers new ballot to save jobs

Workers in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in London will soon be balloting for strike action against job losses.

Bognor Regis postal workers

Delivery workers in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, struck on Friday of last week and Monday this week in a disupte over new working practices.

Banking on a fightback at HSBC

The giant HSBC bank was set to see major strike action hit its operations across Britain on Friday this week. Workers in the Amicus union have voted by 68 percent to 32 percent in favour of striking over pay.

Reports round-up

Strike vote wins better pay More than 400 bus workers in the RMT union at Stagecoach East Midlands are balloting on an improved pay offer, secured by threatening strike action.

World debt day

On World Debt Day last week thousands of people across Britain took part in activities to highlight the damage caused to poor countries by the extraction of debt payments.

Police and ruling party thugs in Egypt attack democracy demonstrators during article 76 referendum

What happened on the day of the "historic" referendum on changes to electoral law is a black spot in the history of the Egyptian regime and its security forces. The day before the minister of interior announced that he will meet any breach of "legitimacy" with severe firmness. And so it was. The police prepared themselves for this firmness in proportion to the historic nature of the day.


International

Great Andean revolt confronts neo-liberals

The long drawn out crisis in the Andean countries of Latin America developed rapidly in the early months of 2005, producing extraordinary popular mobilisations.

New defeats for the right in Uruguay

Elections for governors and councillors took place across Uruguay, South America, on 8 May. Right wing parties were crushed in almost half of the districts of the country.


Comment

Prepare for a run on hoodies

There is no doubting the reactionary nature of the House of Windsor — out of date, snobbish, prejudiced and utterly out of touch with reality.


Features

Galloway spoke for all of us

I have just come from the BBC website where they host some excerpts of George Galloway’s magnificent defence in front of the US senate committee.

Africa is crying out for justice

Every G7 or G8 summit has been punctuated by statements on "debt relief". They all turned out to be broken promises. The statement on debt issued in London on 5 February this year by G7 finance ministers dashed hopes and expectations raised by an impassioned plea made by Nelson Mandela to the same ministers the day before. Yet, chancellor Gordon Brown hailed the statement as "a breakthrough" and said, "It is the richest countries hearing the voices of the poor."

Crusade and jihad

On 15 July 1099 Jerusalem was stormed by soldiers of the First Crusade. For the attackers, who had set out from western Europe three years before, this was the culmination of their efforts — the "liberation" of the Holy City from Muslim "infidels".

AJ Cook — militant miner who led the workers’ struggle

AJ Cook (1885-1931) was the son of a soldier born in the Somerset village of Wookey in 1885. He went on to become the best known miners’ leader and a key component of the National Minority Movement (NMM) around the General Strike of 1926.

Coming events

Friday 27 MayPoet Benjamin Zephaniah hosts Moving Forward Together, a film and music benefit night to support the Mikey Powell Campaign for Justice. Doors open 6.30pm, film starts 7.30pm. The Drum, 144 Potters Lane, Aston, Birmingham B6. More details from 07770 432 439.


Reviews

Billy Elliot — a dance of defiance against Thatcherism

You wrote the film Billy Elliot, which is set during the miners’ strike of 1984-5. The film was very much about an individual’s escape from the working class. How is the musical different?

Choreography takes centre stage in this adaptation of Billy Elliot

Billy Elliot the Musical is a brilliant stage evocation of the film Billy Elliot by its author Lee Hall, director Stephen Daldry and musical director Elton John.

2046 DVD | Mesmerize - System of a Down | The Crucible

2046Directed by Wong Kar WaiDVD out this week


What We Think

Labour offers no solution to the housing crisis

The government plans to help first time buyers buy a new home. The dream of being able to own your own home is a powerful one. But the truth is that many who struggle to borrow the money to do so are in danger of overreaching themselves. Any increase in interest rates could push them under.


Other Categories

Charlotte Jaganathan

We were shocked at the news of the death of Charlotte Jaganathan. Charlotte, only 20, was killed when her motorbike crashed as she was riding to work. She cared passionately about the environment and civil liberties. She joined the SWP on the two million strong anti-war demonstration in February 2003.

Letters

State of exclusion Seven women from Birmingham recently attempted to take money to a project for needy Palestinian children in the Occupied Territories.

Meetings on Africa at Marxism 2005

The Marxism 2005 event in central London from 7-11 July will feature meetings on Africa. Including: Resistance in Africa Today, Britain’s Legacy: the Mau Mau, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, and What Happened to the Dream of African Liberation?

Don’t miss Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker is vital reading for everyone involved in the anti-war movement. Our campaigning style and exclusives are winning a new audience. Rachel, a child therapy worker from south London, told Socialist Worker at last week’s central London Respect rally, "I had never bought Socialist Worker before the general election campaign.

New issue of Socialist Review out this week

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