Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 1957

Dated: 25 Jun 2005




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Make war and poverty history

The planet’s most dangerous men are coming to Scotland in two weeks time to attend the G8 summit. Men whose economic policies are causing catastrophe in Africa, Latin America and beyond.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Fighting off the school fat cats in Islington

Campaigners against the introduction of privately run city academy schools in Islington, north London, sniff the scent of victory. They have uncovered a scandalous conflict of interest at the heart of the bid.

MPs and activists launch report on the council housing ‘fourth option’

The future of council housing was put under the spotlight last week with the publication of a new report by a cross-party group of MPs.

Defend Sefton activists

Two Unison union activists who have been suspended for opposing council house privatisation in Sefton on Merseyside spoke out at the launch of the MPs’ report and made an appeal for solidarity from other trade unionists.

CWU conference — crunch point coming on post privatisation pay and sell-off

The debates over the CWU postal and telecom union’s relations with the Labour Party continued to run throughout its conference last week.

Disputes in the post

Bognor Regis postal workers struck for a day last week and planned further action this weekend.

Respect rallies bring surge of members

About 200 people packed the Respect meeting with George Galloway MP and John Rees at the CWU union conference last week.

Media workers

Coventry newspapers Journalists in the NUJ union struck at Coventry Newspapers on Friday of last week as part of their campaign against low pay.

Reports round-up

Midland: more to join action Rail workers in the RMT union at Midland Mainline are escalating their dispute over safety. Over 160 on-board customer hosts are to ballot for strike action, joining 150 guards who struck for 24 hours on Friday of last week for the fourth time.

Newham’s no to Nazis

Unite Against Fascism responded to the desecration of a Jewish cemetery in east London last week by calling a 70-strong vigil on Sunday.

Resistance could squeeze the supermarkets’ profits

A rash of disputes at supermarket depots has shone a light on poor conditions, low pay and management bullying across the industry.

The cleaners in parliament who get £5 an hour

Around 80 cleaners from the Houses of Parliament gathered on the nearby College Green in pouring rain on Wednesday of last week to announce their intention to ballot for strike action.

English heritage workers are rock solid at Stonehenge

Hundreds of civil service workers in the Prospect and PCS unions at English Heritage struck on Tuesday against an insulting pay offer.

Imreys strike vote forces retreat over pensions

The T&G union has forced pottery company Imerys to back down from unilaterally introducing worse pension arrangements for its workers.

What price firefighters lives?

Firefighters in the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) in Somerset are to ballot for industrial action over a cruel decision by the fire authority to limit insurance payouts to firefighters’ families.

An outrageous deportation threat

A family in Hackney, east London, with children aged three and five, is under threat of losing their dad. Immigration officials say Duane Thomas must go back to Jamaica because he overstayed his student visa in 1997.

Manchester United — the capitalist’s game

A vicious exaggeration made by some on the left is that the problem with capitalism is that it leads people to think that they could sell their grandmothers into slavery, whereas we know that it’s only grandchildren who are up for sale.

Fighting for pay justice in Fazakerley Hospital

Workers at Fazakerley Hospital, Liverpool, held a 48-hour strike last weekend to protest at pay inequality at the hospital.

More Labour attacks on unions coming?

Labour Party officials are considering drastically reducing the influence of the trade unions in the party’s future decision-making, according to a leaked report revealed in the pro-Labour weekly Tribune.

Signs of clashes to come at Unison conference

Local government workers in the Unison union met in Glasgow earlier this week for their annual conference.

Protest to allow demonstration at Gleneagles

Veteran anti-war activist and writer Tariq Ali wears a gag at a protest in Scotland last week. Thousands are expected to attend the G8 Alternatives demonstration, to be held on 6 July at Gleneagles. Last week’s protest demanded that local police, and Perth & Kinross council, do more to facilitate the demonstration — agreeing a route and providing space for a rally

EDO protests continue in the face of intimidation

Paul Lesniowski was arrested at a peaceful demonstration outside the EDO MBM arms factory in Brighton on Wednesday of last week. EDO’s weapons were used in the attack on Iraq. Paul is accused of breaching a controversial injunction limiting protests at the site.

Transport fills as thousands plan G8 trip

Across the country, trains and buses are being booked, and filled, to take protesters to the G8 summit in a few days time.

School students plan G8 walk outs

School students against the War have been keeping their presence up in north London — running stalls to build for the G8 protests.

Fight attack on civil liberties

The Stop the War Coalition has called for a demonstration against the exclusion zone banning protests in the area around parliament.

Galloway at home in the East End

Nearly 100 people attended a local Respect meeting in the Weavers ward of Tower Hamlets, east London, addressed by local MP George Galloway, on Monday.

Who says?

"In the last throes." US vice president Dick Cheney, on the Iraqi resistance

Reg Keys — ‘My son died, but Iraq is not a better place’

Reg Keys, whose son Tom was killed in Iraq, travelled to Washington last week to give evidence to a committee of Democratic congressman examining the lies that led to the war.

Iraq in brief

The bombing was illegal The foreign office was told that bombing raids in the run-up to the war on Iraq were illegal under international law, according to leaked legal advice.

Urgent support needed for Respect candidate in Leytonstone by-election

Respect is to stand in a council by-election taking place in the Leytonstone ward of Waltham Forest, east London, on Thursday 14 July. Local teacher Caroline Coleman has been selected as the candidate.


International

Divisions at heart of South Africa’s rulers

THABO MBEKI, the president of South Africa, fired deputy president Jacob Zuma, the country’s second most powerful politician, last week.

Solid strikes rock Greek Tories

Greece was heading for a general strike on Friday of this week in a further sign of the Europe-wide rebellion against neo-liberalism. Over 50,000 bank workers have been on strike for over two weeks.

Powerful support in Germany for a new unity on the left

The prospect of a united left electoral challenge has thrown the establishment parties in Germany into panic.

Warsaw gay and lesbian Equality Parade

Polish demonstrators on the recent Equality Parade in Warsaw for gay and lesbian rights. The march went ahead despite attempts to ban it. The 10,000-strong march is a sign of increasing confidence


Comment

Their solution for Iraq won’t satisfy

I bet you didn’t know that Air Marshal Glenn Torpy is head of British military operations. Last week this obscure figure told the Daily Telegraph that he expected operations in Iraq to reach a "satisfactory conclusion" in the next 18 months.


Features

Portugal's Left Bloc

The spirit of revolt lives on in Portugal in the form of the Bloco de Esquerda, the Left Bloc. This radical left party won eight MPs in the Portuguese general election in February this year.

Left Bloc, past and future

The Left Bloc began by bringing together people from different traditions of the radical left in Portugal.

Portugal’s 1974-5 revolution — ‘Everything was possible’

ON 25 April 1974 army officers overthrew the 50 year old fascist dictatorship in Portugal. They were disgusted at the wasteful and brutal colonial wars being waged by the Portuguese state in Mozambique, Angola and Guinea-Bissau.

Timeline of the Portuguese revolution

25 April 1974Officers overthrow the Caetano dictatorship. General Spinola appointed president.1 May 1974100,000 people march through Lisbon to celebrate May Day.27-28 September 1974Right plans coup. Spinola calls for demonstration of the "silent majority". Workers build barricades and block bridges. Right wingers arrested. Spinola resigns.11 March 1975Right wing, led by Spinola, attempt coup by attacking left wing soldiers in Lisbon. Workers besiege police barracks and surround the paratroopers attacking the soldiers, arguing with them. Coup peters out and Spinola flees to Brazil.</l

SUV and the disintegration of the Portuguese army

One of the most important movements in the army was Soldiers United Will Win (SUV).

Working class people shook themselves free from repression

The industrial district of Setubal was one of the most militant parts of Portugal during the revolution.

Portuguese revolutionaries found solidarity in Britain

British workers were very active in providing solidarity for Portuguese workers before and during the revolution. Bruno Ponte and Clara Queiroz were Portuguese exiles from fascism living in Edinburgh before the 1974 revolution.

New developments bring old antagonisms

Class polarisation in Britain is growing. The figures for the distribution of wealth in society fly in the face of the idea that most people are contented, while only a minority at the bottom face the harsh realities associated with being working class.

Don’t trust leaders to stop climate change disaster

Some 83 percent of the British public want Tony Blair to challenge George Bush over the issue of climate change at next month’s G8 summit according to a Guardian/ICM opinion poll. But Blair has shown no sign of being willing to do this.


Reviews

Goya and the folly of the ‘impossible revolution’

Goya: The DisparatesHayward Gallery touring exhibition

Fado — a powerful expression of poor and working class life

Fado is the passionate, volatile and haunting acoustic folk music that is as vital to Lisbon culture as the blues is to Memphis.

Reviews round-up

What I Heard About Iraqby Eliot WeinbergerVerso Books, £7.99


What We Think

A new society can only be built from below

After last week’s argument about the British rebate and the Common Agricultural Policy at the European Union (EU) summit, Tony Blair has set himself up as the champion of "New Europe".


Other Categories

Letters

Letters

International Socialism journal

How the G8 is strangling the world Gavin Capps, Charlie Kimber and Jacob Middleton expose the neo-liberal trick held up by Blair and Brown as a solution to poverty in Africa

Marxism 2005

The latest addition to the line up at Marxism 2005 will be author and activist Tariq Ali. Tariq will be speaking on War Crimes in Iraq — Memories of Vietnam and will be showing archive footage of the Bertrand Russell War Crimes Tribunal into US atrocities in Indochina.

Forums, events and film showings

Meetings And Events



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