Dated: 14 Jan 2006
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If a writer was jailed for 30 years for exposing government corruption in Iran or Syria, there would be outrage in the US and Britain and demands for military strikes. But when that happens in Iraq there is silence.
The headiness of 1990s globalisation has waned. But even though the global economy has slowed and resistance has surged up in the Middle East and elsewhere, the world’s comfortable classes peer hopefully into the coming decades.
Thousands of protesters joined three marches last Saturday in three small Shropshire towns to save hospitals.
The RMT union has called a conference to discuss working class political representation.
The strike by 19 caretakers in the Unison union at Huddersfield Technical College completed its tenth week of all out action with the outcome in the balance.
Another important T&G union official at Heathrow airport, Pat Breslin, was sacked by British Airways (BA) last week for allegedly organising the walkouts at the airport last August in solidarity with Gate Gourmet workers.
Component staff reject new shifts Workers at car component company Unipres in Washington, Tyneside, are balloting for industrial action over plans to introduce Saturday working.
Egyptian human rights groups have launched a campaign for justice for the dozens of Sudanese refugees who were killed after police attacked their camp outside UN offices in Cairo.
Pressure is on Greek minister
The dates for the fourth European Social Forum have been announced.
The bodies of eight Iraqis, including two children, were recovered from the rubble of this home in the northern Iraqi city of Baiji on 3 January. US warplanes bombed the house after claiming they had seen two resistance fighters enter, later admitting their error. Added to the human cost of the war are the economic costs. Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said last week that they could exceed a trillion US dollars, enough to provide universal basic services across the world for ten years
Campaigners across Britain are organising for the important Defend Council Housing (DCH) lobby of parliament on Wednesday 8 February.
Pressure is mounting in east London against Tower Hamlets council’s disgraceful treatment of Eileen Short.
Around 150 people attended a protest in Sheffield last Saturday in support of Mohammad Arrian.
The 30-strong vehicle fleet of Harwich Express Freight Services was immobilised on Monday by a gate meeting called by the drivers’ committee in defence of a driver temporarily unfit to drive.
What Respect achieved in Tower Hamlets in 2005 was remarkable. For an organisation formed only two years earlier to return an MP is unprecedented.
March in Whitehall A protest march on Whitehall against government education plans has been called by Ealing and Islington NUT teachers’ union branches, with the support of the Socialist Teachers Alliance, Islington Campaign Against Academies and many other activists.
Every passenger and worker in London has an interest in seeing Underground workers win our ongoing battle against attacks on safety and jobs.
Members of the PCS civil service workers’ union in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have voted for strikes over job cuts, office closures and other issues.
One company that rejoices in its image as a rapacious capitalist firm and another that imagines it embodies the spirit of the labour movement both assaulted their workers’ pensions last week.
"It is urgent that we start a strike ballot over the attacks on the local government pension scheme," says John McDermott.
A campaign by social workers to resist anti-asylum measures will step up a gear on 28 January. A conference in Manchester will aim to prevent the homelessness and separation of families under section nine of the Asylum and Immigration Act.
Hundreds of health workers, members of the Amicus union joined by some of their colleagues in the Unison union, lobbied MPs on Tuesday of this week.
The government is facing mounting opposition to its proposed neo-liberal assault on comprehensive state education.
Protesters arrested for defying the ban on demonstrations within one kilometre of parliament were in court this week. Police arrested Aquil Shaer, Maria Gallastegui, Stephen Blum and Alwyn Simpson on 1 August last year, the day the ban came into effect.
"No matter what the greatest tyrant in the world, George Bush, says, millions of American people support your revolution. We are expressing our full solidarity with the Venezuelan people."US singer Harry Belafonte, on Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez
Christos Markogiannakis, the Greek deputy minister for public order, was forced to resign on Tuesday of this week in the wake of the scandal over the kidnap and torture of 28 Pakistani immigrants by Greek secret services and MI6 last year.
A demonstration has been called against Tower Hamlets Council's move to sack Eileen Short this Friday. She has been waiting for redeployment since October 2005 when she was made redundant from her job in the press office. Fifty two MPs signed an early day motion in her support. Campaigners believe her redundancy was linked to her activism in Defend Council Housing.
The media is presenting critically ill Israeli leader Ariel Sharon as a ‘peacemaker’, but Palestinian Fatima Helou looks at his brutal record
The day that Ariel Sharon slipped into a coma British foreign minister Jack Straw announced to the Lebanese press in Beirut that he was "praying for a miracle" to save Sharon’s life.
After the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Kurdish region was held up as a democratic model for the country. But today it is ribboned with anger and disillusion.
It is just over six years since the great protests in Seattle of November 1999. And it is almost three years since the great anti-war protest of 15 February 2003.
What a spectacle. At his first prime minister’s question time as leader of the opposition, David Cameron demanded that Tony Blair push forward with the implementation of the education white paper, despite a backbench revolt.
Martin Smith, the SWP national organiser, introduced the Saturday morning session on "Building the Party in an Age of Mass Movements".
In an hour-long session delegates debated and then voted on the composition of the party’s leading body, the central committee.
George Galloway has issued his own statement about appearing on Big Brother. In it he says he did it to raise money for a Palestinian charity, which he will, and to reach out to an audience turned off by conventional politics.
At the end of last year, Irish workers took to the streets in their thousands to defend the rights of workers who had been outsourced. Irish Ferries had, in the spirit of the proposed Bolkestein Directive, replaced 453 workers with low paid migrant workers.
The plight of migrant workers, who perform essential work in Britain, but who are treated like second class citizens, could get even worse if the Bolkestein Directive is introduced.
Chris Bambery, editor of Socialist Worker, opened a conference discussion on the struggle against neo-liberalism.
There were important debates at the conference.
John Rees introduced a discussion on Respect by putting it in the context of wider developments across Europe.
"This is my first SWP conference and it has been inspiring. It has been good to see the democracy of the party in action. It’s also nice to hear that students are going to be at the centre of the party’s work.
Derek Bailey, born in Abbeydale, Sheffield, in 1930, died in the early hours of 25 December in Clapton, east London. In his 75 years, he made a name for himself as the most fastidious and intransigent member of the musical avant-garde.
Jean Renoir seasonNational Film Theatre, central LondonUntil 2 March<a href="http://www.bfi.org.uk" target = "_blank">www.bfi.org.uk</a>
JarheadDirected by Sam MendesOut now
David Cameron, the new leader of the Tories, has already had an effect on British politics — his election has shifted all three main parties into competion over the centre?right political ground. That, rather than drink problems, was why Charles Kennedy was forced out of the Liberal Democrat leadership last week.
Must drug laws change? The moves to outlaw khat in Britain should be opposed.
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