Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 1977

Dated: 19 Nov 2005




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Bring the troops home THIS christmas

It was all supposed be over by this Christmas. That was the date in the United Nations’ original timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Students flocking to Respect rallies

Thousands of students have flocked to Respect meetings in recent weeks. These represent the largest campus meetings hosted by a political party for decades — and are a sure sign of the growing radicalism among students.

Coming together in Bradford against New Labour’s betrayals

It’s not just universities that are seeing huge Respect meetings. Some 500 people poured into St George’s Hall on Tuesday of last week to attend Bradford’s biggest political rally in living memory.

Labour hands childcare to the private sector

The government's new childcare bill, published last week, is a huge step backwards, even from the inadequate plans that existed previously.

FE teachers in national pay fight

Some 26,000 lecturers in over 220 further education colleges were set to strike on Wednesday of this week in a pay dispute that goes to the heart of the lack of funding for predominantly working class education.

Learning and skills council

There was a lively demonstration of 200 people through Coventry last Saturday against job cuts.

Defending council housing

Tower Hamlets tenants offer debate Some 400 tenants in Tower Hamlets, east London, heard genuine debate on stock transfer on Thursday of last week. And afterwards the mood was overwhelminlg against.

Airport workers

Ground staff at London Luton airport are set to be asked whether they would support moves for strike action after the T&G union discovered what it says is the exploitation of Polish workers.

City academies

Parents, teachers and support staff in Islington, north London, won a stunning victory against a proposed academy in the area in July.

Reports round-up

Huddersfield technical college Caretakers at Huddersfield technical college completed their second week of strike action this week. They are fighting for a wage increase to get parity with school caretakers in the area.

Climate change round-up

Catch the bus from Brighton Nearly 200 people packed into the Friends Meeting House in Brighton on Friday of last week for a Campaign against Climate Change meeting to build for the climate march in London on 3 December.

Firefighters on strike for conditions and the public’s safety

Firefighters across the West Midlands struck on Monday night in an important dispute over new shifts and working arrangements.

Prison protest

Around 25 people demonstrated outside Holloway prison in London on Wednesday of last week. They came to protest over the death of Karen Ann Fletcher, 30, who died in October while in the prison.

London underground bosses imperil us all

Members of the RMT rail union working for Metronet are being balloted for strike action.

Defend Andy Beadle

Andy Beadle, a T&G shop steward at London Central’s Peckham bus garage, has been sacked for representing his members’ views over recent pay negotiations.

SWP’s clear verdict on the pensions deal

Socialist Worker supporters in the PCS civil service workers’ union met last Saturday to discuss the framework of the proposed pensions deal agreed between the TUC and the New Labour government.

Refugee rights

Lizwane Ndlovu, a Zimbabwean asylum seeker who went on hunger strike during the summer while in Yarl’s Wood detention centre, died last week.

Stalingrad for the WTO

The news that Tony Blair has taken it upon himself to drive forwards the attempts to reach a deal at next month’s World Trade Organisation (WTO) gives a good guide to what sort of agreement is on offer.

Sefton: Lost a vote? Hold it again, gag opposition

Council tenants in Sefton, Merseyside, voted just three months ago to reject plans to sell off their homes to a housing association. But that was the wrong answer as far as Sefton council was concerned — so now it has decided to hold the ballot again.

See who is trying to stop the housing debate

Government plans to force through privatisation of council housing are running into increased grassroots resistance. Housing associations are turning to desperate measures.

Health privateers suffer a blow in Oxfordshire

Health workers and campaigners in Oxfordshire have won an important battle against privatisation.

Crucial battle at Heathrow

British Airways (BA) was poised to remove leading trade unionists from Heathrow airport this week.

More demands for pension cuts

The government and unions will soon begin talks about the detail of the framework for public sector pensions that was agreed recently.

Who says?

"One of the reasons Ray didn’t get the job was because Tony Blair backed him."Union official, on Labour’s national executive committee voting to reject Ray Collins as the party’s new general secretary

Activists set for peace conference

The International Peace Conference is now just weeks away. Delegations from around Britain are organising for what promises to be the largest ever gathering of anti-war activists from Britain, Iraq and the US.


International

German ‘grand coalition’ means new attacks

Germany's radical left is facing a new challenge. Last week the conservative CDU and CSU parties came to an agreement with the centre left SPD, similar to Britain’s Labour Party, to form a "grand coalition" government.

Repression fails to crush our resistance in Zimbabwe

President Mugabe’s security forces swooped on Tuesday of last week after the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and its allies called a day of action against poverty.

Brazilian Workers’ Party president embraces George Bush

Few events have shown how far the Brazilian Workers’ Party (PT) government of president Lula has moved to embrace neo-liberalism than the recent failed talks to revive the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) at the Summit of the Americas in Argentina.

Four anti-capitalists held in Uruguay

At dusk on Friday of last week, 3,000 protesters met in Plaza Libertad and marched through Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo, to demand the freedom of four activists detained under sedition charges. The four were arrested during a demonstration against the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) a week earlier.


Comment

Tony Blair flails around in the midst of a storm

Everyone is agreed that the clock is ticking for Tony Blair. Beyond that nothing is clear. Blair himself was this week hunkering down at a special cabinet meeting to launch what was trailed as a "fightback".


Features

Constance Markievicz

Like most people educated in Britain, I was taught that the Tory ruling class that had opposed votes for women so vehemently nevertheless produced the first woman MP in 1919 — Nancy Astor.

Do riots achieve anything?

The two weeks of rioting across France have seen extraordinary confrontations between young people and the police.

Spain’s long night of fascism

Thirty years ago, on 20 November 1975, Spain’s dictator General Francisco Franco died. The last of the dictators from the 1930s, he left behind him 36 years of terror and misery.

France: an uprising of the poor

The events in France over the last three weeks are more than a riot — they are an urban uprising on a scale not seen in Western Europe since the Second World War.

'All the state offers us now is repression'

‘We’ve rioted because of racism and exclusion," Isaac, from Saint-Denis, told Socialist Worker. "The government’s reaction is useless. Instead of hearing the real problems, they’re trying to fix something else."

Crisis deepens across the political spectrum

The riots in France have exacerbated the deep crisis facing all the country’s civic and political institutions. Many commentators have claimed this demonstrates a failure of the "French model of society", as if everything could be sorted out simply by prescribing more social programmes and rethinking what "citizenship" means. But this underestimates the situation.

Roots of revolt

"We don’t burn our neighbours’ cars — we get them from elsewhere, then bring them here and burn them," says Hassan from Aulnay-sous-Bois. "About 30 cars a night are getting torched on this estate. The authorities come at about six in the morning and take them away — they don’t want these images to be seen abroad."

Law and order rhetoric that masks social injustice

Nicolas Sarkozy’s invective has focused on the "criminals" of France’s suburbs, and in particular the underground economy. But those we spoke to in Seine-Saint-Denis took a somewhat different view.

Exploding the myths of ‘segregated Britain’

Far from heading towards deeper segregation, Britain is becoming increasingly racially and ethnically mixed, according to a new study released this week.


Reviews

Dada: art as a weapon against the establishment

The French Centre for Modern Art in Paris is featuring a rich exhibition about Dada until 9 January 2006.

David Rovics: in the service of the movement

<blockquote>On the one side is the fighter jet; on the other is the stone,One the one side is the slave, one the other is the throne.Caterpillars maul streets, destroy whole city blocks,While children swallow shrapnel, for the crime of throwing rocks.</blockquote>

Reviews round-up

Beauty and the Beast: Photographs by Lee MillerThe Star Gallery, Lewes, East Sussexuntil 26 November


What We Think

Under this system every integration model fails

"The French have got it right," was the cry from some quarters after the riots in three of England’s northern towns four years ago.


Other Categories

Ted Wragg 1938-2005: a comprehensive champion

Everyone associated with education will have felt an enormous sense of loss last week on hearing of the untimely death of Ted Wragg, aged 67.

Letters

Arms dealers beaten The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) has announced that it is to sell its 62,000 shares in arms companies, following an article in the London Student newspaper and subsequent pressure from the AUT lecturers’ union and the student union on campus.

Socialist Worker appeal

Your donations to Socialist Worker’s £150,000 appeal made it possible to produce the four page special on the French riots in this week’s paper.

Meetings, events, demonstrations and film showings

Meetings And Events



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