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Socialist Worker

Issue: 2009

Dated: 15 Jul 2006

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Afghanistan: get the troops out

Tony Blair has ordered 900 more troops to Afghanistan, bringing the deployment in the country to 4,500. Six British troops, and untold and uncounted hundreds of Afghans, have died there in the past three weeks.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Arriva North East bus drivers in a battle for £8 an hour

Nearly 900 bus drivers who work for Arriva North East struck for 24 hours on Monday.

First Bus Norwich strike threat

Workers in the T&G union at First Bus company in Norwich are moving towards industrial action over pay.

South Yorkshire Newspapers journalists' anger at cuts and low pay

An overwhelming 86 percent of National Union of Journalists (NUJ) members at Doncaster-based South Yorkshire Newspapers have voted to strike.

Justice for Mikey Powell

A police officer standing trial in connection with the death of Mikey Powell dismissed suggestions last week that excessive force was used.

Robin Goodenough's family feel devastated after police walk free

Two police officers charged over the death in custody of Robin Goodenough, a 26 year old Oxford man, walked free from court on Friday of last week after being acquitted of assault by a jury.

Reports round-up

Shrewsbury Sixth Form College More than 50 members of the NUT and other unions at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College held an angry protest on Tuesday of last week against the closure of the college’s adult learning section. This will lead to many highly skilled staff being made redundant or put on reduced hours

‘Gaza is starving in the darkness’

Israel is intensifying its collective punishment of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, one of the most overcrowded areas on the planet.

Protests for Palestine across the Middle East

Tens of thousands of demonstrators poured into the streets of Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, last Sunday.

Latest NHS cuts compound crisis

Analysis by Socialist Worker shows that the NHS trusts driving through cuts and job losses are already failing to deliver for patients.

Health activists demand democracy across Britain

Hackney Members of Keep Our NHS Public in Hackney, east London, lobbied the board of their local primary care trust on Wednesday of last week.

Vittorio Agnoletto on the legacy of the 2001 Genoa demonstration

At Genoa we rushed headlong into the creation of a movement. But the movement had already been sinking roots for several years.

Babar Ahmad fights back against extradition plans

Babar Ahmad, the British IT worker from south London threatened with being sent to the US to face trumped up terrorism charges, started his High Court appeal against his extradition on Tuesday of this week.

Controversy as SSP officials testify in Sheridan case

The start of Tommy Sheridan’s court case against the News of the World has seen the Scottish tabloids full of lurid headlines.

War veterans: ‘He felt as if the army used him and dumped him’

David Bradley, 41, turned himself in to police last Sunday, 12 hours after killing his aunt and uncle Peter and Jospehine Purcell and their two sons. All four victims were killed at point blank range with an automatic pistol.

March to shut Guantanamo

Campaigners will march from Marble Arch in London to the US embassy this Saturday to demand the closure of Guantanamo Bay and the return of the remaining British detainees there to this country.

Legal fee threat to claimants

The government has resorted to threats and bullying in an effort to halt a claim for compensation for lost pensions.

Sakchai Makao victory

Campaigners were celebrating last week when Sakchai Makao (left) won the right to stay in the Shetland Islands. Sakchai, pictured with his former head teacher Joe Irvine, was threatened with deportation to Thailand. Over 9,000 people signed a petition to support Sakchai.

Yvonne Ridley: 'Support the Time to Go demonstration'

Yvonne Ridley is the political editor of the Islam Channel, the only English language Islamic focused satellite channel in Europe. She explained to Socialist Worker why the Islam Channel will be supporting the demonstration:

Craig Murray: legal threat to war documents

Having failed to stop the release of former ambassador Craig Murray’s book on the use of intelligence gained by torture, and on Western complicity with the Uzbek dictatorship, the government is now trying to take Murray to court over his publication of supporting documents.

Ballot campaign in post battle

CWU union leaders were set to issue formal notice of a national strike ballot this week, although last minute talks with management were happening as Socialist Worker went to press.

Unofficial post strike against bullying in Oxfordshire

Postal workers in Carterton and Witney in Oxfordshire were on unofficial strike this week against management bullying.

Herts firefighters' strike on hold

Firefighters in the FBU union in Herts have voted by 58 percent to 42 percent to put their strike action on hold and accept the latest employer proposals as a basis for formal negotiations to end their long running dispute over cuts.

Arrest for Downing Street protest

Steven Jago and Barbara Tucker were arrested for holding a banner outside Downing Street last Sunday. A new law bans protests near parliament

BBC strike ballot

The four unions at the BBC are set to ballot their thousands of members to strike over pay, pensions and compulsory redundancies.

HMRC civil service workers to strike

Around 8,000 members of the PCS civil service workers’ union working for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in ten Large Processing Offices (LPOs) across Britain were set to strike on Friday of this week.

Durham miners’ gala

Over 50,000 people marched at the 122nd Durham Miners’ Gala last Saturday.

Israeli offensive into Lebanon

Israeli troops are pouring across the Lebanese border as warplanes and gunboats have shelled villages and destroyed bridges and roads near the historic city of Tyre.

Statement on the bombs in Mumbai

12 July 2006

Open letter from Tariq Ali to Fausto Bertinotti on Italian troops in Afghanistan

Dear Fausto,

'Postal workers can win far more than this deal'

The CWU postal executive committee is suggesting acceptance of a new deal over pay and conditions. But it would be a mistake to end the campaign which has rocked Royal mail chairman Allan Leighton and forced him to back off from some of his attacks. 

Massive demonstration calls for recount in Mexican election

A demonstration of 1.5 to 2 million people took place in Mexico on Sunday - the biggest in Mexican political history. Mexico City's zocalo (main square) was already full at 9am as the march was setting off from the other side of town. It was impossibe to get within a mile of the zocalo due to the masses of people.

Eyewitness reports from Israel's assault on Lebanon

Socialist Worker is gathering reports from Lebanon. These will be updated regularly

Demonstrations called over Lebanon and Palestine

London The Stop the War Coalition has called an emergency demonstration in London for next Saturday, 22 July. It is demanding 'Hands off Lebanon' and 'Freedom for Palestine'.


Protests grow after Mexican vote fraud

The outcome of Mexico’s presidential election, held on the 2 July, shows the deep crisis in the country’s political system.

Defeat of the warlords in Somalia is a setback for US strategy

For the first time for many years there is a sense of relief and hope among many people in Somalia.

Italian left vote on Afghanistan troops

Italy’s new centre left government is facing an early test as MPs and senators prepare to vote on whether or not to send more Italian troops to reinforce the US and Nato war in Afghanistan.


Bernadette McAliskey: 'The oppressor demands loyalty'

The 30 years of armed struggle and mass resistance against British rule in Ireland began with the struggle for civil rights. The struggle was about fighting against second class citizenship.


G8 in Russia: Putin’s new power politics

The Group of Eight (G8) industrialised nations will rarely have looked less capable of solving the world’s problems than at their summit in St Petersburg, Russia, this weekend.

Gleneagles: every promise on debt was broken

"Seeming to care about Africa was last year’s business, this year we don’t have to pretend and we’re getting back to our usual concerns." If the G8 leaders were honest, that would be their assessment of this year’s agenda.

Russia and socialism

Many people today are interested in a revolutionary alternative to capitalism. But they often worry that socialism is associated with the brutality of Stalinism, a system which dominated Russia and Eastern Europe for much of the 20th century and that was no better than Western capitalism.

Marxism 2006: A festival for the future

This year’s Marxism festival, held in central London from 6-10 July and hosted by the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), was by common consent one of the largest and most vibrant for many years. Some 4,100 activists – including 1,700 students and school students – gathered to discuss and debate a huge range of political issues. Many of those there had been active in the wider movements against war and neo-liberalism, but were attending Marxism for the first time. Below we print a selection of their voices

Is it ‘ideological’ or just a jolly good read?

if art reflects life," wrote the playwright Bertolt Brecht, "it does so with special mirrors." Here Brecht is complicating the traditional adage, "All art is a mirror to life."


David Hare's version of Brecht’s Life of Galileo

A new version of Bertolt Brecht’s play by David Hare disappoints Mark Brown

Edinburgh Art Festival celebrates the work of Van Gogh

The season of Edinburgh festivals kicks off with the art festival. The galleries in the cities have organised an impressive selection of work including painting, sculpture and visual media.

Reviews round-up

The SeagullDirected by Katie MitchellNational Theatre, LondonUntil 23 September This is a fresh and innovative production of one of the Russian playwright Anton Chekhov’s finest plays. It deals with conflicting visions of art, with love, class and the claustrophobia of bourgeois families.

What We Think

A wholly legitimate sense of Muslim grievance

Tony Blair announced last week that he was disappointed by British Muslims failing to root out "extremism within their community".

Other Categories


Old Labour fights back The people of Blaenau Gwent in South Wales have delivered a stinging blow to New Labour. The victory of Dai Davies in the recent parliamentary by-election and Trish Law in the Welsh Assembly seat show that the result at the last general election was not just a flash in the pan.

Who says?

"Why had we thought the Afghans wouldn’t fight? They defeated the Russians after all."Christina Lamb, Times journalist embedded with the Parachute Regiment in Afghanistan

Meetings, events, demonstrations and film showings

Meetings And Events

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