Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 1989

Dated: 25 Feb 2006




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Iraq will join global anti-war protest

The people of Basra and Baghdad will be joining next month’s global protest against the US and British occupation of Iraq.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Terrorism debate: no glory for New Labour

New Labour managed to pass its latest terrorism bill through parliament last week.

Respect gears up for May elections

Around the country Respect activists and prospective candidates are gearing up for council elections set for 4 May.

Revealed: the brutality of the US reign of terror in Iraq

Abu Ghraib was no one-off. Simon Assaf reports on the documents that reveal systematic torture by secret US military units in Iraq and elsewhere – and the attempts to cover it up

Unite: biggest conference against fascism for years

Over 600 anti-fascist activists from around the country met in London on Saturday of last week for a lively and determined conference organised by Unite Against Fascism. The conference discussed stopping the British National Party (BNP) at the 4 May local elections.

Reports round-up

Send your support to Rhetta Moran The trade unionist and researcher Rhetta Moran was sacked from Salford university last year. She carried out research into the deficiencies in support local asylum seekers suffered.

Lecturers’ strike marks a new stage in the struggle

University lecturers and academic staff have voted overwhelmingly for strike action over pay. The first strike is set for Tuesday 7 March.

Construction workers at key sites reject bosses’ pay offer

Workers across the construction industry are currently balloting on a 3.5 percent pay offer.

Irish builders jailed for trade unionism

A thousand people protested last week in support of three jailed bricklayers in Dublin, Ireland.

Firefighters' conference suspends pensions strike ballot

Fire Brigades Union (FBU) members across Britain and Northern Ireland are considering concessions from the government over pensions.

Solidarity with Iranian workers

About 130 people joined a protest outside the Iranian embassy in London on Wednesday of last week in support of striking bus workers in Iran.

Blue Diamond rip off tube cleaners

Cleaning contractor Blue Diamond lost a multi-million pound contract to clean the London tube after they ripped off up to £150,000 from hundreds of low paid workers.

Scottish Socialist Party election result

The Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) won just short of 6 percent in a Glasgow city council by-election last week in Milton, beating the combined votes of both the Tories and the Liberal Democrats.

Civil service workers

PCS civil service workers’ union leaders in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are discussing when to call the next action in our struggle against 30,000 job cuts.

Ambulance workers

Anger across the ambulance service is threatening to spill over into industrial action.

Belfast post victory is a symbol of what unity achieves

Royal Mail totally capitulated to our central demands. We achieved a complete climbdown. We went out on strike against bullying and harassment and won our key objective of an independent review of employee relations and industrial relations in Belfast.

National post strike ballot is needed

The CWU union postal executive was meeting this week with calls growing for a national strike ballot. Even more offices are now balloting over local disputes. The latest group includes Plymouth, Stoke and Preston mail centres.

Dundee postal workers fight job transfer

Dundee postal workers in the east delivery office struck for the second time last Saturday.

Clear Channel: clearing the airwaves

The rules on radio station ownership in the US used to be simple. Before the 1996 Telecommunications Act, a radio group could only own two stations in one market, and no more than 28 nationwide.

All out to win pensions ballot

A national strike ballot over pensions is on, and it’s up to everyone to get the biggest possible yes vote for action.

Scottish Power: 'We fight back – they back down'

Scottish Power workers have won a very important battle over pensions – and shown how union organisation and the threat of strikes can overturn the settled will of a multinational firm.

Government threat to artistic expression

Much has been made in the mainstream media of the alleged threat to freedom of expression posed by "Muslim extremism". But the real threat to artistic freedom is coming not from Muslims, but from the government’s repressive anti-terror legislation.

Students to hold national demonstration next week

Students from across the country will be heading to London next Wednesday for a national lobby of parliament called by the National Union of Students (NUS), followed by a demonstration.

Stop New Labour’s comprehensive attack on schools

Any day now a new education bill will be put before parliament. The government’s White Paper, published in preparation for the bill, has sent shockwaves through Labour ranks, largely through its bogus emphasis on "choice" and "diversity".

Gas price rise has human cost

Around 200,000 more people face "fuel poverty" after British Gas announced price rises of 22 percent this week. On average, households will face an annual energy bill of over £1,000.

Blair prescribes privatisation

Tony Blair wants 40 percent of acute operations performed by private companies to be paid for by the NHS by 2008.

Who says?

"There is no doubt about the democratic correctness of Alessandra Mussolini."Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, on allowing Alessandra Mussolini’s fascist party to join his electoral coalition


International

Slowing down Bolkestein's race to the bottom

Tens of thousands of workers protested outside the European parliament in Strasbourg, France, on Tuesday of last week against the neo-liberal Bolkestein directive.


Comment

Duelling Blair and Brown are both in decline

Last week didn’t go too badly for Tony Blair. He was able to persuade the House of Commons to approve legislation introducing identity cards and prohibiting the "glorification of terrorism".


Features

Revolution is in the air

Last summer something happened that has not been seen for three decades. The Andean state of Bolivia in Latin America experienced a classic revolutionary crisis with mass strikes, rebellion on the land and an insurrection which overthrew a neo-liberal president.

Sexuality and struggle in Weimar Germany

Few people today know the history of the gay rights movement. Most people would be surprised to discover that the struggle for sexual and gay liberation has been thoroughly interwoven with the history of the socialist movement.

Cartoon protests: uniting against Islamophobia

The anger following the publication of racist depictions of the prophet Mohammed in a Danish newspaper, and their republication across Europe, has continued to find expression in meetings and protests.


Reviews

Hip-hop is part of Palestine’s cultural intifada

It's a hot night in the centre of the Palestinian West Bank town of Ramallah. Tonight the peace is disturbed not by the Islamic call to prayer or Israeli gunfire but by the sound of hip-hop music.

Nothing good on at the cinema today? What rubbish!

What a year 2006 is turning out to be for any socialist who wants to see politically charged or socially aware cinema.

Reviews round-up

Gothic Nightmares: Fuseli, Blake and the Romantic ImaginationTate Britain, Londonuntil 1 May<a href="http://www.tate.org.uk" target = "_blank">www.tate.org.uk</a> The exhibition explores the taste for gothic art at the end of the 18th century and 19th century. The above painting is by poet and artist William Blake’s The House of Death. The pictures at the exhibition represent the belief that humanity was taking its destiny into its own hands, but also the fear of the terrible possibilities that existed with new technology.


What We Think

Freedom comes neither through co-option by the power, nor isolation

"Not only are whites kicking us, they are telling us how to react to being kicked."


Other Categories

Letters

Haiti’s masses rise up The announcement late last week that blank ballots cast in Haiti’s presidential election were to be discounted – effectively acknowledging René Préval’s victory without recourse to a run-off – sparked massive celebrations in the poorest districts of this devastated country.

Meetings, events, demonstrations and film showings

Meetings And Events



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