Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 1956

Dated: 18 Jun 2005




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Left to die by the G8 debt con

We are angry and dismayed that Malawi is not included in the plan for debt relief.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Fazakerley hospital workers strike for pay equality

Cleaning, laundry and catering staff at Fazakerley Hospital, on Merseyside, held a one-day strike this week. They are fighting against two-tier working — in which workers whose jobs have been privatised earn less than those directly employed by the NHS.

Respect — recruitment surge for new left party

Birmingham Over 750 people came to Birmingham Sports Centre last Sunday to hear George Galloway, Salma Yaqoob, Chris Bambery and local activists talk about the need to build Respect.

BBC workers discuss their next move

The dispute at the BBC over 3,800 job cuts is at a crucial stage. Union leaders from Bectu, the NUJ and Amicus unions met the BBC director general, Mark Thompson, on Wednesday of last week.

Reports round-up

Ballot against victimisation Council workers at Sefton on Merseyside have started a ballot for strike action over the victimisation of six trade union activists.

Rolls Royce bosses in test of strength with workers

Two fitters in the test areas at the Rolls Royce Bristol plant were escorted off the site on Monday night last week for allegedly sleeping while on the job.

PCS conference: ‘Next time we will see five million on strike’

The PCS civil service workers’ union held a highly successful conference in Brighton last week.

Ambala Foods strike continues

Workers at Ambala Foods in Stratford, east London, were forced to return to the picket lines on Thursday and Friday of last week when their offer to end their pay dispute was firmly rejected.

GMB union conference

The GMB union conference last week saw Paul Kenny, previously London regional secretary, take over as acting general secretary for the next year.

A knife edge debate at the CWU conference

The annual conference of the postal and telecom workers’ CWU union came very close to telling the Labour Party that it would cease all funding to the party from 1 November.

Uniting against fascism

Anti-fascist campaigners were out in force in Manchester and east London last weekend.

Saudi trade unionist targets BAE Systems

A leading Saudi trade unionist is seeking asylum in Britain after facing persecution for organising workers at a British arms company in Saudi Arabia.

Brighton demo against EDO

About 200 people marched through Brighton on Saturday last week to protest over the presence of weapon systems manufacturer EDO in the city.

Anti ID card pledge drive launched

NO2ID, the national campaign against the government’s plans to introduce compulsory identity cards, has launched a pledge drive to build opposition to the scheme.

Synthetic phonics — learning by the letter

Seven years ago government officials turned England’s primary schools upside down by insisting that there was only one way to teach reading. Every class had to follow the same pattern — the stereotyped "literacy hour".

School students plan G8 protests — “we will walk out again”

In 2003 school students sent shockwaves through the political establishment when they walked out in their thousands against the Iraq war.

Frances Curran — No price on right to demonstrate

Perth & Kinross council have banned a march on the G8 summit, set for 6 July. They have allowed a rally to go ahead—but only if organisers pay thousands for the privilege. Scottish Socialist Party MSP, Frances Curran responded to the council’s moves

War is part of the global system

Stop the War Coalition convenor, Lindsey German, and chair of CND, Kate Hudson, have issued calls for anti-war protests during the G8

This ‘historic’ debt deal is nothing but a sham

The meeting of the G8 finance ministers on Thursday of last week ended with statements about a "historic" cancellation of the debt that burdens poorer countries.

Geldof In Africa throws spotlight on trade injustice

Pride of place in the BBC’s upcoming Africa Lives season goes to a series called Geldof In Africa. Six 30 minute reports, with a related coffee table book, will start on BBC1 at 7.30pm on Monday of next week.

A trillion dollars spent on arms

As G8 leaders argue about the measly aid budget to the Third World, the money spent globally on weapons has reached more than $1,000 billion a year.

Omar Deghayes campaign builds

Supporters of Omar Deghayes, a detainee at Guantanamo Bay since 2002 and a British resident, met on Monday this week to discuss what further action to take to safeguard his return here.

Who says?

"We can’t kill them all. When I kill one, I create three."Lt Col Frederick Wellman, on the Iraqi resistance. Wellman helps oversee the training of Iraqi troops


International

Iranian elections set to test reform movement

Iran’s presidential election on Friday this week was set to be a major test for the reform movement that has emerged in the country over the last decade.

Indian protesters march against Coca-Cola bottling factory

Hundreds of protesters marched against a Coca-Cola factory in Kerala, south India, on Thursday of last week to demand that the plant be permanently shut down.

Bolivian rebellion topples president

For the second time in three years, the Bolivian mass movement has brought down a president. Carlos Mesa resigned on 6 June as peasants, workers and students continued to demonstrate their strength and their resolve in the streets of La Paz, Sucre and other major cities.

‘We can paralyse Bolivia’

‘We have temporarily avoided the manoeuvres of the transnational corporations, the US government, the Santa Cruz elite and the traditional Bolivian political parties.

Bolivia's movements face a choice

‘The people now have a decision to make. The social movements must make a choice of how to proceed — postpone the fight, or continue the battle right now?

Cairo protesters facing threats

Egyptian authorities are continuing to persecute women protesters who were attacked and humiliated at the Kifaya democracy demonstration in Cairo on 25 May.

Killings expose Ethiopian PM

At least 22 protesters were shot dead by security forces in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, last week. But there has been little hue and cry from New Labour over this outrage.

US blocks probe into Uzbekistan

US defence officials last week blocked calls for an investigation into the recent massacre of an estimated 500 protesters in Uzbekistan.


Comment

Inside the US class system

America’s dirty little secret is class — something that simply cannot exist in the land of unlimited opportunity.


Features

How militant traditions are born and reborn

Few of Karl Marx’s words have produced more scorn than his observation that society is "more and more dividing into two hostile camps" — capitalists and workers.

Fighting to keep a roof over our heads

One million children in Britain live in poor quality housing. Council house building has practically ceased and millions of people are too poor to buy a home. Millions more live in fear of a rise in interest rates that will make their mortgage unpayable. New Labour has no solution to the crisis except sell-offs and privatisation. But past struggles show how we can fight back.

The myth of Mao

Many people on the left once saw the Chinese leader Mao Zedong as a great revolutionary — in the same league as Marx, Engels and Lenin. They carried Mao’s portrait on many of the demonstrations across the world in the late 1960s.

Coming events

Monday 20-26 JuneRefugee Week.<a href="http://www.refugeeweek.org.uk" target = "_blank">www.refugeeweek.org.uk</a>


Reviews

Sebastião Salgado — depicting people’s dignity, strength and suffering

Sebasti&atilde;o Salgado exhibition Arden and Anstruther gallery, West Sussex Until 30 June

Back to Black

Back to Black — Art, Cinema and the Racial ImaginaryWhitechapel Gallery, east London Until 4 September

Oscar Brown Junior's rich cultural legacy

One of the sad things when someone dies, is that everyone says things about them they should have said when they were alive. This is certainly the case for Oscar Brown Junior, who died on 28 May.

Reviews round-up

The Roald Dahl Museum and Story CentreGreat Missenden, BuckinghamshirePhone 01494 892 192<a href="http://www.roalddahlmuseum.org" target = "_blank">www.roalddahlmuseum.org</a>


What We Think

Good sense versus common sense in the Bolivan uprising

Bolivia was in the grip of a classic revolutionary situation last week. Popular assemblies spread across working class areas. Mass strikes combined with peasant rebellions. Insurrection was in the air and sections of the police fraternised with the insurgents.


Other Categories

Letters

March of NHS privateers The government is making a further concession towards the private sector in the NHS, in addition to those mentioned in last week’s Socialist Worker.

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