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Socialist Worker

Issue: 1994

Dated: 01 Apr 2006

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The day we showed our power to win

Up to one and a half million workers struck in Britain. Three million workers, students and young unemployed demonstrated in 150 towns and cities across France.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Newham Respect campaign launched

The east London borough of Newham has for generations been a stronghold of the Labour Party.

Respect Round-up

Birmingham election launch Around 300 people attended a rally in the Sparkbrook mosque community centre in Birmingham last Saturday for the Respect election launch in the area.

France revolts

Tuesday's mass strike in France went ahead because the protest movement against new labour laws for young people continued to grow throughout last week. It put mobilisation first, not a vain hope of successful talks with the government.

Politicisation at the heart of the French movement

Last weekend many people feared that the trade unions delay in calling a general strike would be a serious blow. But more than 80 universities continue to be occcupied or heavily affected by strikes.

‘People now feel that winning is possible’

There is great empathy from the railway workers towards the students’ struggle. But at the start railway workers didn’t feel they had to join their struggle. People were supportive because they were parents or friends of some of the students involved.

Battling neo-liberalism

France’s bosses, and the politicians that back them, have been trying to ram through such neo-liberal "reforms" for over a decade, but have faced continuous resistance from workers and the left.

Cuts are symptom of an NHS in crisis

Recent announcements of sweeping job losses have exposed a crisis at the heart of the NHS. They are a direct result of the free market policies being pushed by New Labour.

Racist lecturer suspended in Leeds

The campaign by staff and students at Leeds University to sack the racist lecturer Frank Ellis has scored a success. The university has suspended Ellis after racist and homophobic comments he made.

Fighting the Education Act

A national conference last Saturday brought together 250 opponents of New Labour's 2006 Education Act. Supported by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) with 12 other organisations, the conference saw vigorous discussion about why the act must be stopped.

Bosses take a hardline in lecturers' dispute

The employers have cancelled talks with the AUT and Natfhe lecturers’ unions that were due to take place on Tuesday of this week. Lecturers across the country are currently taking part in an exam and marking boycott over pay.

A new page in International Paper struggle

Some 400 workers at International Paper in Inverurie, Scotland, struck on Thursday of last week in their dispute over pay.

NUJ conference

Battles over jobs, pensions and reporting the Iraq crisis dominated the NUJ journalists’ union conference at Liverpool last weekend.

Independent newspaper

Journalists in the NUJ union at the The Independent and Independent On Sunday chapels have voted overwhelmingly in favour of accepting a much improved offer from management on pay and conditions.

Reports round-up

Free Djillali Campaigners in Norwich are fighting against the deportation of Djillali Salemkour, who has lived in Britain for 13 years. Djillali was born in Paris to Algerian parents. He cared for his wife, Doreen, prior to her death. After her death his right to remain in Britain was challenged. For more information e-mail <a href=""></a>

George Lansbury and the rebel councillors of Poplar

On the evening of 10 November 1919, the council chamber in Poplar Town Hall, east London, was packed. Labour activists and supporters had come to see the installation of Poplar’s first Labour mayor, and witness the Labour group assert its control over the council’s various committees.

Labour feels political repercussions as key union puts support on hold

The government’s attack on pensions and the response from union members have already had an extraordinary political impact.

We are seeing the return of solidarity

Tuesday’s strike was a very welcome return of solidarity and secondary action.

Pensions round-up

BA scheme is under attack It's not just in the public sector that bitter battles are taking place.

Pension strike is a fight for everyone

It was the day the British working class reminded everyone of its power.

Politics features on picket lines across London

In the east London borough of Newham, "over 400 people picketed, mainly people who were involved in the strike but also firefighters and people from the university who came to support us," reports council worker Elane Heffernan. "The day before the strike 40 people joined the union to be part of the action.

Birmingham: more action needed if they don’t listen

An estimated 100,000 struck across Birmingham. The mood on the picket line outside Greencote House was jubilant as pickets gathered for the strike.

Striking across Scotland

Aberdeen Some 2,000 trade unionists and their families turned out from picket lines across Aberdeen to march down Union Street in a massive show of unity and determination to fight for all workers’ pensions rights.

The strike around the country: our action rocked Labour

Cardiff: Pickets were out in force. Jane Moore, a Unison member at Cardiff Town Hall, said, "I and both of my daughters work for local government. If we didn’t do our jobs the public would be screaming.

Asda holds out on compensation

Some 340 GMB union members working for Asda at the ADC Depot in Washington, Tyne & Wear, who were awarded compensation of £2,500 each by an Employment Tribunal last month are still waiting for payment. Asda, which is now owned by the US Wal-Mart corporation, is appealing against being penalised for a failed attempt at union busting.

French protests reach new peak

Three million young people and workers demonstrated and struck across France on Tuesday of this week. It was a historic day of action and a magnificent display of solidarity against the government’s CPE labour laws.

Protests to greet Condoleezza Rice

"The most unwelcome visit to Liverpool since Oswald Mosley came here in the 1930s," is how the Liverpool Echo newspaper described US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice’s visit to the city and Blackburn, planned for this week.


A million march for immigrant rights in Los Angeles

Immigrants to the US and their supporters held a massive march through Los Angeles, California, last weekend. They were protesting against a planned crackdown on illegal immigrants. According to census figures, immigrants, many from Latin America, make up 28 percent of the population of the state

Cairo conference: anti-war spirit feeds wider anger in Egypt

"Keep the movement on the streets" was the message of the Fourth Cairo Conference against imperialism and globalisation, which was held in the Egyptian capital last week.


The issues at stake touch millions of lives

The great success of this week’s pension strike rattled Tony Blair and his iron chancellor Gordon Brown. That’s why, hours into the action, they were forced to offer talks to the unions.

Bush: telling tales from Tal Afar

The rescue of Norman Kember and his fellow hostages in Baghdad is a tiny glimmer of light in an Iraqi picture that remains uniformly grim. John Reid’s gung-ho remarks on his recent visit to Iraq simply provided further evidence of the defence secretary’s very troubled relationship to reality.


France 1968: a year to remember

French students take to the streets and occupy their colleges. The police attack with batons and tear gas. It’s no surprise that people ask, is it 1968 all over again?

Socialist Humanism: Thompson, Saville and the New Reasoner

In a recent article in the Guardian Martin Kettle wrote that "after 1956 socialism became more than ever just a matter of religious faith rather than reason".


Ojos de Brujo: the new, vital sound of the Spanish city

"Eyes of the Wizard", Ojos de Brujo in Spanish, are a group of friends who jammed together and turned into a band. They have become known for a sound rooted in flamenco, but mixed with everything – North African rai, rap, Cuban and Indian music.

DVD round-up

SarabandDirected by Ingmar Bergman The last film that Ingmar Bergman directed before he retired, Saraband is quite a film to end on.

Reviews round-up

Imprint exhibition Socialist Worker photographer Angela Stapleford is one of the contributors to the Imprint photography exhibition. Angela is exploring issues of power production. Other contributors include Joe Hall and Molly Lock.

What We Think

Resistance can turn the neo-liberal tide

There is a lot resting on the outcome of the pensions fight in Britain and the uprising in France against the new labour code.

Other Categories


What were armed cops up to? The anti-war demonstration in London on Saturday 18 March was a magnificent reminder to Tony Blair that we will not disappear.

Meetings, events, demonstrations and film showings

Meetings And Events

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