Dated: 20 Aug 2005
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A battle with implications for every worker in Britain was raging at Heathrow airport as Socialist Worker went to press.
The witch-hunt against Muslims launched by New Labour is now turning on even the most "respectable" and establishment-oriented of Muslim organisations.
Civil rights campaigners have reacted with fury to the latest government plans to deport suspected "Muslim extremists" to countries that routinely practice torture and the death penalty.
Virtually unnoticed by the media and politicians, large swathes of the NHS are facing deadly cuts. Hospital beds are being scrapped, staff made redundant and potential recruits turned away.
Steve Sweeney member of Cambridge Health Unison
The union Community has announced that that it has won compensation on behalf of members hit by redundancies at the steelmaker ASW in Cardiff in July 2002.
Some 2,000 council workers in Sefton on Merseyside struck on Tuesday of last week against Sefton council’s victimisation of union activists.
Journalists at Coventry Newspapers voted to continue their all-out strike on Monday. The 43 members of the NUJ union have taken over 21 days of action over the last few months in their fight over low pay.
In defence of Rhetta Moran Trade Unionists lobbied the University of Salford last week in defence of Rhetta Moran. Rhetta says, "I have been victimised.
Firefighters and control staff in Suffolk were due to take three rounds of strike action this weekend and into next Monday in what is an important dispute for the FBU union.
The Amicus union has defiantly rejected a cynical offer by Rolls Royce management for convenor Jerry Hicks to give up his fight for reinstatement in return for a £50,000 payoff.
About 40 people attended a public meeting organised by the Amicus branch of Marshall Aerospace in Cambridge which was addressed by Jerry Hicks.
Around 1,000 engineers who service the Royal Mail network have voted in favour of strikes.
Manchester Manchester Stop the War Coalition held a public meeting recently where 100 people gathered at the Pakistani Community Centre in Longsight against the backdrop of the London bombings.
Guerrilla graffiti artist Banksy has recently branched out from his normal east London haunts and taken a trip to Palestine, where he applied his talents to the apartheid wall being built by Israel.
An Israeli soldier was convicted of manslaugher last week for the killing of British peace activist Tom Hurndall in April 2003 in Rafah in the Gaza Strip. Taysir Hayb shot Tom in the head as he tried to help Palestinian children.
The bombings (or attempts) of 7 and 21 July seem to have thrown commentators and politicians back yet again to endless ponderings on what it means to be British.
The immediate future of the trade union movement in Britain rests heavily on the outcome of the battle to reinstate 670 workers summarily sacked by the Gate Gourmet catering company at Heathrow last week.
Shop stewards at British Airways (BA) held a meeting on Thursday morning last week. It was addressed by T&G general secretary Tony Woodley and other officials who informed them of the mass sackings at Gate Gourmet.
Tarique Ghaffur, an assistant commissioner for London’s Metropolitan Police and the man responsible for community policing, launched an attack on the Somali community last week.
The whole saga of the Iraqi constitution, where any agreement on a draft was delayed until Monday of next week, is indicative of the situation in Iraq under the US occupation.
The Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) is backing the national demonstration against war, racism and occupation in London on 24 September. The party’s executive last week unanimously voted to support the protest.
Famine has gripped all regions of Niger. There are nearly four million people on the edge of starvation across the country.
For the past week Cindy Sheehan has camped outside George Bush’s ranch in Texas demanding the opportunity to ask him why her son Casey was sent to die in an illegal and immoral war.
To great international fanfare, Israel this week began its pull-out from the Gaza Strip.
Hundreds of activists and rank and file trade unionists in front of the MPs' Chamber near Japanese Parliament cheered and applauded when they heard the announcement "Vote for Post Privatisation Bill, 108. Vote against, 125". It was on 8 August, in between the memorial days of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
South African miners strike forces concessions
Doctors for Iraq, a group set up to oppose the war, is warning of an urgent health and humanitarian crisis unfolding as the US launches new attacks on the towns of Haditha, Rawa, Parwana and Heet in the west of Iraq.
The fall last week of Mauritania’s leader, president Taya, emphasised how fragile the US’s control is over much of the world.
In 1986 tens of thousands of Filipinos demonstrated on a busy thoroughfare in the Philippine capital of Manila, in an event that soon became known as the "people power revolution". The mass protests ended over 20 years of corrupt and brutal dictatorship under Ferdinand Marcos, restoring liberal democracy to the country.
The Philippine ruling class is facing a very real problem. Every section of it is hungry for the implementation of savage neo-liberal measures — but nobody is at all sure who can get away with forcing them through.
The Lone Ranger and Tonto are trapped on the edge of a cliff by angry Native Americans. The Lone Ranger turns to Tonto and says, "Looks like we’re surrounded, Tonto." Tonto replies, "What do you mean ‘we’, paleface?"
Summarily deporting opponents, jailing people for what they are held to have said and raising the spectre of treason are not new.
Common criticisms of Marxism are that it is a theory that argues everything is determined by economics and that it offers a crude explanation of ideology.
August sees the launch of the Festival of Politics at the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh. As part of this broad event, billed as being an occasion where "politics meets the people", I will be taking part in a performance titled Them And Us — a workshop exploring Scotland’s radical song tradition and its continuing relevance.
Switch Triptych The Riot GroupAssembly Rooms, Edinburghuntil 29 August Phone 0131 226 2428
Francis Bacon exhibition
When you read of bullying Gate Gourmet bosses planning to sack a workforce, engineering a dispute, dismissing staff by megaphone, or delivering dismissal letters to workers off sick — does it ring a bell?
It is with great sadness but with gratitude for a long life well spent in the struggle for human emancipation and liberation in Africa, that we have learned of the death of Nigeria’s greatest labour leader. Pa Michael Imoudu died at his home in Edo State on 22 July, aged 102.
My brother David, who has died aged 62, left school at 15, became a factory worker and was then a milkman for many years.
"Normally we would storm a house killing everyone inside, whereas here we have to storm the house and keep everyone alive. It’s not an easy job."Israeli soldier, on the Gaza pullout
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