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Socialist Worker

Issue: 1966

Dated: 03 Sep 2005

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Iraqis rise to stop the US’s plans to divide and rule

Over 100,000 demonstrators took to the streets across Iraq last week to campaign against the US orchestrated constitution.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Rolls Royce strike builds up support

Ninety six workers in the test area of Bristol’s Rolls Royce plant have entered their second week of indefinite strike action in confident mood.

Union solidarity pours in for Jerry Hicks

"This is a fight that goes right to the heart of trade unionism. It’s about our right to elect our representatives, rather than have management select them.

‘Lock up the bosses,’ say Chubb workers

"What do we want? Dignity! What do we want? Fair pay! What do we want? Respect!"

Rail workers support pensions lobby

The RMT union is just one of the many supporting the National Pensioners Convention’s day of action and lobby of parliament on Wednesday 12 October.

Police staff want more than just coppers

Some 3,500 civilian staff working for the police in Scotland took part in a 24 hour strike over pay on Thursday of last week.

The battle continues to defend Sefton reps

Council workers in Sefton, Merseyside, were set for a 48-hour strike this week over the victimisation of activists in their Unison union branch.

Reports round-up

Opposition to oursourcing plan Council workers are opposing plans by Burnley council to transfer 60 jobs in its revenues and benefits department to a private firm, Liberata, which already runs similar services in Pendle.

Gate Gourmet workers build solidarity

Sacked Gate Gourmet workers have forced the company to admit it cannot wash its hands of them, but their battle for reinstatement is far from over.

‘We need to cut through the climate of fear at Heathrow’

Brendan Gold, the T&G’s national officer for airports, told Socialist Worker, "Gate Gourmet is determined not to reinstate what it calls the ‘troublemakers’.

Portuguese migrants under attack in Norfolk

The Portuguese community in Watton, Norfolk, suffered a sickening racist attack on Thursday of last week.

Official: health gap widens under Labour

Earlier this month, almost ignored by press and politicians, a detailed official report showed that the health gap between rich and poor is worsening.

Doctors warn of NHS cash crisis

The British Medical Association (BMA) has become the latest organisation to sound the alarm over the financial crisis affecting many NHS trusts.

Anthony Walker is laid to rest

Some 3,000 people from across all communities demonstrated their unity against racism at the funeral of Anthony Walker, the black Liverpool teenager murdered on Friday 30 July in a racially motivated attack.

Cycle ride aims to put Blair in the dock

A sponsored Cycle for Peace took place in Scotland last Sunday to raise money for a legal case attempting to bring Tony Blair to account for war crimes in Iraq.

Gate Gourmet workers need stronger action

"We're not interested in redundancy — we want our jobs back."

Respect and solidarity for Gate Gourmet workers

Protesting workers were delighted to hear first hand of Respect MP George Galloway’s support for their battle when he visited the picket line on Tuesday.

Suffolk firefighters’ strike hots up

Fire Brigades Union members in Suffolk are taking strike action each morning until Wednesday of next week in an escalation of their battle against job cuts.

Strike hits Initial Textile Services

Low paid workers in Bradford working at Initial Textile Services, part of the Rentokil group, struck on Thursday of last week.

Defend workers’ rights in Saudi Arabia

Saudi trade unionist Yahya Al Faifi, now in Swansea, is stepping up his campaign for union rights in Saudi Arabia following a dismissive letter from Pontypridd MP Kim Howells, the government minister responsible for Saudi Arabia. 

Sectarianism enshrined: Iraq’s new constitution

Why are George Bush and Tony Blair pushing for Iraq to adopt a new constitution?

Government plans to deport asylum seekers to Iraq

Protests were organised across Britain last week to oppose the government’s plans to return failed asylum seekers to Iraq.

Iraq round-up

Kurds demand true democracy London-based Kurdish activist and member of Respect’s national council Sait Akgul spoke to Socialist Worker about the proposed Iraq constitution

Who says?

"She has been demoted because of her strict adherence to procurement requirements and the army’s preference to sidestep them when it suits their needs." Lawyer Michael Kohn, on the demotion of a top US army official who opposed multinational Halliburton’s role in Iraq

The BBC has a licence to divide

If there’s one thing the media can make sense of it’s a bit of "ethnicity". Tracing the roots of conflicts might require some critical research, and who has time for that? So when the powers that be obscure their own complicity in catastrophe by explaining wars as all about Deep Seated Ethnic Hatreds™, you can almost hear sighs of journalistic relief.


Egypt won’t accept sham democracy

A wave of protests is sweeping Egypt ahead of the presidential elections on Wednesday of next week, as the opposition Kifaya (Enough) movement is calling for a boycott of the poll.

Growing resistance in the Nile Delta region

The peasants in the Nile Delta village of Meet Shahala rose in rebellion after attempts by the old landlords to drive them off their land.

First steps towards a radical alternative in South Africa

More than 70 trade union, campaigning, socialist, religious and civic groups came together recently to form a coalition to challenge the ANC government’s economic policies.

Jacob Zuma — a very unlikely hero

The deputy president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, was sacked in June after his financial adviser Schabir Shaik was found guilty of corruption. The case has become a huge issue, with many in the trade union movement demanding that the charges be dropped.

Paris fires expose plight of migrants

"There were no alarms. The building was old and dilapidated. We just heard ‘Fire! Fire,’ and we had to go down."

Sans Papiers fear another tragedy

The fire was a deep tragedy, but one that could have been avoided.

Hugo Chavez under fire from US right

Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez was in the spotlight again last week following an extraordinary call for his assassination by Pat Robertson, one of the US’s most prominent right wing Christian fundamentalist preachers.


US constitutional plan could tear Iraq apart

The outcome of talks on the Iraqi "constitution" is very bad news for George Bush.


When anti-capitalism and workers’ struggles combine

In November 1999 the anti-capitalist movement became known to millions through the protests at the World Trade Organisation in Seattle in the US.

Class, ideology and revolution in the West

In order for ideas to gain popular acceptance, Antonio Gramsci argued, those ideas have to be carried down into society by layers of individuals.

Make way for Brazil’s new left

"The Workers’ Party (PT), to which we gave the best years of our lives, is dead. Its very raison d’etre lies buried."Heloisa HelenaBrazilian senator and leader of the Party of Socialism and Liberty (P-Sol)

Sun is shining on P-Sol

Latin America is in the vanguard of the fight against neo-liberalism. The Brazilian Party of Socialism and Liberty (P-Sol) has put itself at the heart of the creation of a new, global radical left. Recently it organised an international seminar in Rio de Janeiro that brought together socialists from across Latin America, North America and Europe.

March against corruption in Brazil

Sao Paulo saw a demonstration of 6,000 people organised by the main trade union federation, the landless movement, and the national union of students. All are closely linked to Lula and the PT. While the marchers opposed any attempts by the right to topple Lula they also attacked corruption and the government’s neo-liberal policies.


Degenerate Art — a celebration of works the Nazis hated

One room at the Tate Modern in central London is temporarily devoted to artists condemned by Adolf Hitler’s Nazis as degenerate. On one wall blares the garish colours and brash angles of a portrait by expressionist Karl Schmidt-Rottluff.

Mama Africa — a season exploring the role of women in African film

The Mama Africa season celebrates the work of African female film makers and actors past and present, challenging and exploring the stereotypes of African women in film.

Reviews round-up

Late Registration Kanye WestRoc-A-Fella RecordsOut now

What We Think

Blair is back from holiday with a mission to destroy

Tony Blair jetted back from holiday this week. Unabashed by his growing unpopularity, the New Labour spin factory was working overtime announcing that his return heralded a super-Blairite agenda for the coming year.

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Crucial debate on unions’ future Union organisation suffered terribly from the high-profile defeats in the 1980s. Those defeats are long behind us, but we now need some equally high profile victories.

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