Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 1969

Dated: 24 Sep 2005

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Don’t let Omar Deghayes die in Guantanamo

Hundreds of inmates in the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay have been on hunger strike for six weeks against their indefinite detention without charge or trial.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


London march against Iraq occupation, for civil liberties numbers 100,000

People from across Britain joined the march for peace and liberty in central London today. The demonstration of around 100,000 was organised by the Stop the War Coalition, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB).

Angolan man hangs himself so his son can stay here

New Labour’s draconian policies towards asylum seekers claimed another victim last week.

TUC votes for solidarity with Bolivarian Revolution

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) meeting last week passed a motion to oppose the attempts of the US administration and Venezuelan bosses to overthrow Hugo Chavez.

An assault on the very basis of the NHS

The last Tory government used to fantasise about privatising the whole of the National Health Service. Tony Blair is fulfilling the Tories’ maddest dreams.

Council junks its council housing leaflet

Councillors in Mid Devon who are sceptical about a proposed stock transfer recently scored a victory by getting a motion carried at full council agreeing that an anti-transfer leaflet would be distributed to all tenants.

Reports round-up

First Eastern buses First Eastern bus drivers in Norfolk and Suffolk started a week-long strike on Thursday of last week over pay and pensions.

Morrisons depots set to strike

Distribution workers at Morrisons depots were set to strike this week, sending shivers down the spines of bosses at the supermarket chain.

Defending pensions at Grampian Foods

About 1,000 workers at Grampian Foods have voted by three to two to strike over pensions.

Stop the War

Actress Julie Christie and musician Brian Eno last week handed in a letter, signed by almost 100 celebrities, academics, musicians, MPs and activists to 10 Downing Street calling for British troops to be brought home from Iraq by the end of the year.

Jobs battle at Driving Standards Agency

Around 160 members of the PCS civil service workers’ union struck aginst job cuts in Nottingham on Monday. The workers at the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) headquarters are angry about plans to cut 50 posts.

Firefighters in Suffolk

Suffolk fire authority has conceded talks with the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) after a further round of solid strike action against cuts last week.

New moves in Sefton

The North West regional committee of the Unison union has launched an urgent financial appeal for members in the Sefton branch on Merseyside. 

Defending refugees

Over 300 people gathered outside the immigration department of the home office in Glasgow last Saturday to protest at the arrest and deportation of families in the city.


A mobilisation by Barrow Unite Against Fascism stopped the British National Party from handing out leaflets in Barrow-in-Furness last Saturday.

Why Belfast exploded

The ferocity of the recent loyalist riots in Belfast astounded commentators, but came as no surprise to anyone who lives or works in Protestant working class areas.

Pensions: build up the pressure

The chasm between the hopes of millions of workers for a decent retirement and New Labour’s plans to make us all work longer was laid bare at the TUC conference last week.

Gate Gourmet: ‘If the laws are wrong, why should we obey them?'

The Gate Gourmet dispute rightly dominated the TUC conference and led to a unanimous call to end the legal ban on solidarity action.

Ken Loach: who will new terrorism law hit?

The home secretary Charles Clarke wants to bring in new laws that would make it illegal to justify or glorify terrorism.

Babar Ahmad decision is postponed

The family of Babar Ahmad, the south London IT worker who faces extradition to the US on trumped up terrorism charges, learned recently that home secretary Charles Clarke has applied for another two month extension to make his decision.

George Galloway: the mood is changing in the heart of the beast

This is a seminal moment in the US. You wouldn’t know it from the media coverage in Britain — including the now Hutton-compliant BBC.

Police attack Cindy Sheehan meeting

New York police attacked a 150-strong rally addressed by Cindy Sheehan on Monday. Sheehan who lost a son in Iraq, has become a prominent figure in the US anti-war movement.

Tom Hayden to speak at London rally

Tom Hayden, one of the US’s leading anti-war and civil rights activists since the 1960s, is set to speak at the London Stop the War demonstration on Saturday.

Hurricane Katrina has added to anti-war anger

A new opinion poll in Time magazine says that 61 percent of Americans think funds for the war should be redirected to aid and clean-up for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Who says?

"When I led my men of the 1st Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment into Iraq we believed we were going to do some good. It was to be a liberation. Now I believe we have to get out of Iraq. Not just the British, but the entire Western force."Colonel Tim Collins, whose speech made from a tank in Iraq was pinned to the wall of George Bush’s office

Why Basra is in revolt against occupation

Iraqis have accused British special forces of planning a terrorist attack on Basra.


Italian MEP reveals deportation horror

One of the European countries that receives high numbers of asylum seekers is Italy. It is now common for unscrupulous boat owners to throw their human cargo overboard with horrific consequences.

Maldives: facing a nightmare in an island paradise

President Gayoom is the longest serving dictator in Asia having ruled the state for 27 years.

The Zapatistas launch their ‘Other Campaign’

Eleven years and nine months have elapsed since the fateful New Year’s Day 1994 when the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) conquered San Cristobal de las Casas, the capital of the Mexican state of Chiapas.

UN summit has failed the world’s poorest people

The United Nations (UN) summit in New York last week utterly failed the world’s poorest people. Leaders have dashed hopes and squandered opportunities — and empty promises cost lives.

Reject the poisoned crumbs thrown by the rich

There were some glimmers of progress, but overall the tone of this summit has been bleak and depressing.

Funding gap will have devastating effects

I know many people were uplifted by the agreement at the UN summit of a "Responsibility to Protect" citizens against genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

Venezuela: a society undergoing a radical transformation

To understand what is happening in Venezuela you have to go back to 1989 when there was a rebellion which became known as the Caracazo.

Three amazing days of freedom in Gaza

The last Israeli troops left during the night. As dawn broke small crowds of Palestinians began to filter in. They were wandering among the ruins with a mixture of curiosity, excitement and relief.


German result is a blow to neo-liberals

The hung parliament that emerged from the German federal elections is a serious setback for the forces seeking to impose yet more free market "reforms" on us all.


Guantanamo Bay: behind the wire

Last week the former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan and spokesman for the regime, was released from the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay and sent home — a free man — at the request of Afghan president Hamid Karzai.

Omar Deghayes’ Guantanamo hunger strike diary

Sunday 3 July Jafallah Mari, the only Qatari prisoner, has fallen in the hunger strike. He was taken to hospital. His weight was 120 pounds, now reduced to 103 pounds.

A three year battle for freedom

Clive Stafford Smith is worried that time is running out. The human rights lawyer represents the increasingly desperate residents of Guantanamo Bay, currently on hunger strike as a protest about their treatment.

Lenin for the 21st century

One of the best things about the current anti-war movement is the range of people involved. Nuns, Muslims and atheists march together in good-humoured unity. But one face that hasn’t been very visible is Lenin’s. If he appears at all, it is on banners alongside Stalin and Mao Zedong — company he would have detested.

Why the US is still racist

Nearly a century and a half after the American Civil War ended slavery in 1865, and more than a generation after the "triumph" of the civil rights movement, African Americans remain locked at the bottom of society.

The need for working class organisation

The First World War precipitated an international revolutionary crisis. That the climax had already occurred in the Bolshevik revolution of October 1917 was far from apparent during the immediate post-war years.

Who Shot the Sheriff? — rocking against racism

A new film charting the history of Rock Against Racism (RAR) premiered on Thursday of last week at an electric gig in London. RAR was part of the movement against the Nazi National Front in the 1970s.


Matthew Herbert: a sonic food fight is on the menu

Tell me about your new album, Plat du Jour

Porgy and Bess: Gershwin’s exploration of the Deep South’s racism

Porgy and BessGeorge and Ira GershwinOn tour in Malvern, Liverpool, Lowestoft, Birmingham, York and Bournemouth

Reviews round-up

Bob Dylan exhibition

What We Think

Will they arrest the leaders of Israel for glorifying terrorism?

To clear the way for proposed legislation threatening prosecution for anyone who "glorifies" or "justifies" terrorism, home secretary Charles Clarke is now burrowing through the history books working out what can be described as "terrorism" and what can be termed a justified rebellion against tyranny.

Other Categories

Bert Whittle: an inspirational figure

Bert Whittle, a lifelong militant in the National Union of Miners (NUM), and a socialist activist in the Doncaster area died unexpectedly last week after a short illness. Bert was an inspiration to all who knew him, a man of socialist principles, wisdom and energy.

Kevin Murphy 1961–2005

Sheffield Socialist Workers Party are saddened at the recent death of Kevin Murphy at the age of 44.



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"Music can reflect political movements. That was true of the late 1960s and early 1970s, when soul and funk became the voice of the civil rights and Black Power movements. Black and Proud charts the music of this period.

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