Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2008

Dated: 08 Jul 2006




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End Israel’s assault on Palestine

"There are F-16 planes and helicopters hovering over me as I speak. There are large numbers of tanks throughout Rafah and Gaza. Fear comes with the night. The sonic booms of Israeli warplanes are terrifying the population in Gaza."


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

‘We are stranded in Gaza with no power’

As the Israeli siege of Gaza continued on Friday of last week, Palestinian refugee Fatima Helow contacted a friend who lives in Gaza City. He explained the situation to her. He did not want to give his name for fear of Israeli action against him

Media ignores the suffering in Palestine

The mainstream media has failed to report the real issues behind the Israeli invasion.

Against Zionism: Jewish Perspectives conference

A conference that brought together leading anti-Zionist Jews and Muslims took place in London last Sunday. Against Zionism: Jewish Perspectives was organised by the Islamic Human Rights Commission.

Marxism 2006 festival of resistance this week

This Thursday will see the beginning of Europe’s biggest left wing conference in central London. Marxism 2006 will continue until Monday of next week.

Time to fight this pensions plunder

After last week’s parliamentary debate on the pensions White Paper it’s time to take stock of where we are with the struggle over pensions, what the government has tried to do, and how effective our side’s response has been.

Zahid Mubarek was killed by the racist prison system

The family of Zahid Mubarek, who was beaten to death by his racist cellmate at Feltham young offender institution in 2000, accused the home office and prison service of "institutional murder" last week.

Britain’s jails: overcrowded and discriminatory

The prison population of England and Wales reached an all time high of 77,962 last week. It has gone up by 51 percent in ten years. Many campaigners are worried about what the increased jailing of people means.

Plan to sell off NHS is defeated

Last week Labour launched its biggest attack yet on the NHS. The government placed an advert in the official journal of the European Union which invited businesses to apply to run primary care trusts.

Student nurses will face a future of privatisation and job cuts

Student nurses are the latest group to be hit by NHS job cuts as trusts attempt to claw back a £1.2 billion deficit.

Workers fight privatisation

Workers from NHS Logistics, the not for profit agency that supplies hospitals, organised a march in Maidstone, Kent, last Saturday as part of their campaign against plans to sell off the service.

Health victory in Walthamstow

Health activists in Waltham Forest, east London, won a victory last week when the local primary care trust temporarily withdrew planned budget cuts.

Asda: every little helps, but even more could have been won

Workers showed how it is possible to win a victory for union rights over the world’s largest retailer last week. Depot workers, members of the GMB union, have forced a level of union recognition from the food giant Asda.

Tesco

Adam Gietkowski, a T&G union shop steward, has been suspended for speaking out against what the unions see as the abuse and exploitation of agency workers.

Shock over job cuts plans at Liverpool John Moores University

Up to 35 jobs are set to go at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) this September with the surprise closure of the School of Languages and the School of Business Information.

TUC lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender conference

Some 200 trade union lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activists met last week for the ninth annual TUC LGBT conference.

Reports round-up

Gill Whittaker campaign Over 60 people lobbied the disciplinary hearing for Chesterfield PCS activist Gill Whittaker on Friday of last week. Those attending included delegations from the GMB, CWU, Amicus, UCU unions, Chesterfield trades council and the Derbyshire Unemployed Workers’ Centre. Speakers at the rally included Paul Holmes MP.

Purina petfoods: Pay rise? Have some free cat food instead

Factory workers in the GMB union went on strike last weekend for 24 hours after they were offered free pet food as part of an "improved" pay deal.

Academy victory in Brent

Brent Council in west London has withdrawn its expression of interest for an academy to be built on the Wembley Park sports ground site after a high-profile campaign. The campaign united education unions, parents, the local community and sports ground users.

Firefighters

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) in Merseyside has threatened to ballot for strikes against plans by the local authority to make £3 million cuts, axe 120 jobs and reduce night cover in Liverpool.

New Labour declares war against benefits claimants

The government's welfare reform plans unveiled this week are an attack on all of us.

Gordon Brown wants to reopen debate on detention without trial

Chancellor Gordon Brown said last week that he wants to further extend the period that terrorism suspects can be held without charge.

More deaths highlight Afghanistan carnage

The deaths of two more British soldiers in Afghanistan last week shows that war continues to rage across much of the country.

New plan to replace Trident nuclear missiles attacked

Marion Birch is director of Medact, an organisation of medical practitioners that campaigns over the healthcare implications of war, poverty and environmental change. She spoke to Socialist Worker about plans, recently backed by Gordon Brown, to renew Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons system.

Last chance for Babar Ahmad

Babar Ahmad, the south London IT worker threatened with deportation to the US on trumped up terrorism charges, will begin his appeal against extradition next Tuesday.

The faces of London

We often describe people, ourselves included, in terms of what they do, know and think - nurse, right wing, roofer, gardening.

Postal workers wrong to delay ballot

CWU union leaders abandoned their declared timetable and drew back from issuing official notification of a strike ballot on Monday of this week.

Post Office round-up

Post Office Limited Post Office Limited (POL) workers have rejected a pay deal in a consultative ballot.

Health pensions

The Unison union health service executive voted last week to recommend a pensions deal which for 90 percent of health workers would involve an increase in contributions from 6 percent to 6.5 percent.

Pollokshaws refugees rights meeting

Over 200 people packed into the Pollokshaws Burgh Hall on Tuesday of last week in a meeting called by the Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees, local networks of activists, and supported by members of Unity - Union of Asylum Seekers.

Mikey Powell case

Four West Midlands police officers charged in connection with the death in custody of a 38 year old man, Mikey Powell, have had the case against them dropped.

Oxfordshire post strike

Postal workers in Carterton and Witney in Oxfordshire are on unofficial strike against management bullying.


International

Australian workers protest at new labour laws

More than 300,000 workers took to the streets of Australia's cities and towns on Wednesday 28 June to protest new industrial relations laws.

Foreign powers are fuelling war in Congo

As long as the war in the Congo and the plundering of its natural resourses continue, we cannot talk of democratic elections.

Housing activists from across the US organise

I recently visited Washington DC to attend the conference of the National Alliance of HUD Tenants (NAHT).


Comment

By-election blues for both big parties

The Westminster village has moved remarkably quickly to bury the parliamentary by-elections in Blaenau Gwent and Bromley & Chislehurst on Thursday of last week. That is because they contradict the official story about where British politics is going.


Features

Walter Benjamin and commodity capitalism

On 15 July 1892, Walter Benjamin was born into a well heeled assimilated Jewish family in Berlin. On 26 September 1940, he was interrupted in his escape to the US from Nazi Germany. Prevented from crossing from Occupied France into Spain, weakened by illness and threatened with being handed over to the Gestapo, he chose suicide.

Slave rebellion that led to liberation

The decisive episode in the overthrow of slavery in the British Caribbean was the great Jamaican revolt that began on 27 December 1831.

US troops refusing to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan

Some object morally to the war, some politically, others have already completed tours of duty and were revolted by their experiences as an occupying army.

‘Vietnam veterans are angry again’

The war in Iraq has re-politicised some of the generation of soldiers who opposed the war in Vietnam, veteran Jerry Lembcke told Socialist Worker.

Alternatives to neo-liberalism

Read our monthly supplement, featuring Alex Callinicos on Alternatives to Neo-liberalism and an interview with economist Andrew Glyn on the challenges that face the world economy.


Reviews

Thom Yorke: The Eraser

Thom Yorke, more than any other modern rock musician, has consistently captured the popular mood of disgust and betrayal at the neo-liberal project, and George Bush and Tony Blair’s wars.

The Investigation by Peter Weiss

The performance of Peter Weiss’s play at the Arcola Theatre in Hackney, east London, on Thursday of last week was a remarkable event.

Benjamin’s Britain: Zephaniah’s multi-racial view of the country

Poet and author Benjamin Zephaniah has curated an exhibition of photographs for the National Portrait Gallery. It is an incredibly uplifting experience.

Reviews round-up

Kandinsky: The Path To AbstractionTate Modern, central London until 1 October<a href="http://www.tate.org.uk" target = "_blank">www.tate.org.uk</a> A new exhibition follows the journey of Russian revolutionary artist Wassily Kandinsky from a figurative landscape painter to one of the founders of modern art. Kandinsky’s artistic revolution was heavily influenced by the Russian revolutionary movement and the revolution that occurred in Russia in 1917. This is an inspirational exhibition, with paintings conveying political turmoil and the birth of a new hope.


What We Think

7 July anniversary: only peace and justice can stop the horror

One year on from the London bombings we remember the shock, the fear and the images of pain and grief from the attacks. Our thoughts now, as a year ago, are with the families of those killed and injured in the bombings.


Other Categories

Letters

Letters

Who says?

"The United States walks the world day and night trying to terrorise others so that Venezuela won’t get selected in October. We accept the challenge from the empire."Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez, on US plans to prevent Venezuela winning a seat on the United Nations security council

Meetings, events, demonstrations and film showings

Meetings And Events



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