Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2038

Dated: 17 Feb 2007




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March to stop madness of war in Iraq and threats to Iran

George Bush and Tony Blair have created an inferno in Iraq – one they are stoking by pouring in more troops.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Saying no to council house transfer in Brighton and Manchester

Council tenants in Brighton and Manchester are to vote this week on whether to hand over control of their homes to private companies. The ballots affect over 18,000 homes.

'We must reject local government pensions deal'

The dispute over the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) is reaching its most crucial stage.

Civil service workers' union in Britain supports French public sector strikes

Civil service workers, teachers and postal workers across France struck on Thursday of last week over job cuts and pay.

Activists build for fighting union rallies

The Organising for Fighting Unions (OFFU) meetings are winning backing across the trade union movement.

British Airways cabin crew let fly at union’s concessions

"This was our chance to stand up. The union has sold us short." That was the response of one of the 200 British Airways (BA) cabin crew who attended a heated T&G union meeting at Heathrow on Monday.

Royal Mail bosses attack will mean no retirement for many

Labour ministers unleashed a further assault on public sector workers last week when they allowed post office bosses to unveil two fundamental attacks on postal workers.

Civil service workers to meet and discuss fightback

Senior representatives from across the PCS civil service workers’ union were set to meet on Tuesday of this week to discuss the next step in their fight against job cuts, unfair pay and privatisation.

Education round-up

Dundee Over 200 Dundee University students, lecturers and workers protested on Thursday of last week against a plan to slash over 100 jobs as part of management’s "sustainability review".

Burslem delivery office to strike

Postal workers at the Burslem delivery office in the Stoke area are to strike for four days next week in a continuing dispute over disciplinary action.

Post Offices counters lobby

The CWU union is part of the Future For Our Post Offices coalition that is lobbying parliament next week.

Victory for Capita workers

After a two day strike at Capita TV Licensing in Bristol, an "in principle" agreement has been reached with management that places a limit on the number of jobs going to India.

Bolton success for Sukola family campaign

Protest has halted plans to remove the Sukula family from Bolton. We heard the good news on Monday, two days after 100 people rallied outside Bolton town hall in support of the Sukula Family Must Stay campaign.

Fight for votes in UCU election

Lecturers across Britain have received the ballot papers for the UCU general secretary and national executive positions this week. The ballot runs until 7 March, and lecturers need to keep campaigning throughout the election period.

Reports round-up

New moves in Fujitsu dispute Fujitsu workers from Manchester travelled to London last week to meet MPs. The workers, members of the Amicus union, wanted to discuss their ongoing dispute.

Michael Rosen: Their culture and ours

So multiculturalism failed. This is the theme of the moment. It all seems a bit odd to me as I wasn’t under the impression that multiculturalism had been tried out yet.

Anger flows into NHS day of action

"Fewer beds are a sign of success, not of failure," claimed health secretary Patricia Hewitt last week, as the growing financial crisis in the NHS continued to create havoc.

BNP man pleads guilty to charge

A former Nazi British National Party (BNP) candidate has admitted possessing explosive chemicals in anticipation of a civil war in Britain, Manchester Crown Court heard this week.

Preparing for 24 February anti-war demonstration

Stop the war groups in over 80 cities and towns across England and Wales have organised transport to the Saturday 24 February demonstration in London.

Scottish anti-war conference success

Pensioners and peace activists, students and school students, trade unionists and members of Scotland’s Muslim communities came together in their hundreds at last Saturday’s Scottish Stop the War Coalition conference.

Hackney anti-war 'die-in'

In Hackney, east London, the Stop the War group staged a "die-in" last Saturday to publicise the national anti-war demonstration on 24 February. Despina Karayianni and Red Saunders, who helped organise the event, reported that it "made a great impact on passing shoppers.

Organising For Fighting Unions - Supporting the Trade Union Freedom Bill

The Trade Union Freedom Bill, which comes before parliament on 2 March, could remove some of the worst anti-trade union laws.

Democrats fail to block Bush

Having secured a majority in both the US Senate and the House of Representatives, the Democrats have failed to pass even a symbolic bill criticising George Bush’s plans to send an extra 21,500 troops to Baghdad.

Veteran slams Trident plans on his 100th birthday

Howard Andrews of Taunton, Somerset, is England’s oldest surviving Spanish Civil War International Brigader (see Socialist Worker, 18 November 2006).

Iraq war lies laid bare

It’s official – the Iraq war was based on lies. The Pentagon last week confirmed that the central premise of the warmongers’ case was a falsehood – the claims by US vice-president Dick Cheney of "coordination" between Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq and Al Qaida.

Another ‘dodgy dossier’ increases pressure on Iran

Grainy photos of rusty canisters. Damage to a US vehicle after a roadside bomb. Mortar shell case markings in English (rather than in Farsi). A lump of copper embedded in a police car.

Challenging the military machine

Some 300 Cambridge students took to the streets last Saturday to demand an end to investment in the arms trade by Cambridge University’s colleges.

Yvonne Ridley's The Agenda suspended from Islam Channel

One of the biggest success stories to emerge from the confusing mass of satellite television stations is a politics and current affairs show on the Islam Channel called The Agenda.

Forest Gate families' angry statement on 'terror raid' investigation

Families caught up in last summer's Forest Gate anti-terror raid in east London have criticised the findings of an inquiry into the police operation.

Metroline's loss of bus route shows insecure reality of privatisatioin

London bus company Metroline announced this week that Transport for London has awarded the tender for the route 24, currently operated by Metroline, to another bus company.

Pay battle on the buses at Yorkshire Coastliner and First Bus

Two groups of bus workers in the T&G union have voted to reject pay offers.

Solicitors fighting to defend representation for the poor

Criminal defence solicitors who work in the legal aid sector are taking action in defence of legal aid this week.

Action scheduled at BBC

Members of the NUJ and Bectu media unions at the BBC have announced that they will strike on Monday 26 February in a dispute over job cuts.

Solid mood against Manchester mental health trust

Further strike action by workers at Manchester’s mental health and social care trust has been suspended while the union takes part in talks with management at the Acas conciliation service.

Bitterness over single status

Teaching assistants, school support staff and parking attendants in Coventry struck for three days last week.

Southampton care workers to strike again

Care workers are set to strike again on Wednesday of this week in their dispute with Southampton council over enforced pay cuts. Some 240 Unison and T&G union members were set to take industrial action this Wednesday.

Protests grow over cuts at Falkirk council

More than 1,000 workers went on strike last Friday against pay cuts of over £1,500 a year for some of the lowest paid staff at Falkirk council, Scotland.


International

'How we won the abortion referendum in Portugal'

The referendum on abortion last Sunday was the second national vote on the issue. The question put was the same as in 1998 – "Do you agree with decriminalising abortion when requested by women, up to 10 weeks into pregnancy, and performed in an authorised clinic?"

Success of Woza 'Valentine's Day' demonstrations in Zimbabwe despite arrests

Two thousand members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (Woza) and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (Moza) took to the streets of Harare and Bulawayo on Tuesday 13 February – a day ahead of Valentine's Day – hoping to catch the police napping. The peaceful protests marked Woza's fifth Valentine's Day procession.

Pictures of Woza demo in Harare, Zimbabwe

Tension and reconstruction in south Lebanon

Aitaroun is typical of the border villages of south Lebanon that were occupied during last year’s war. Town representative Najab Kousan explains that 150 houses and businesses were destroyed with a further 45 bulldozed and 250 in need of repair.

Pictures from south Lebanon

Egypt: revolt of the hungry

It began in Egypt’s biggest factory in December with a strike of 27,000 textile workers. Then it spread to other textile mills across the Nile Delta.

Picture of Egyptian protests


Comment

Bush’s barbarism shows up the depth of his crisis

You can say what you like about George Bush, but no one can accuse him of crowd pleasing. His decision to ignore the advice of elder statesmen in the US establishment and escalate the "war on terror" has alienated millions round the world.

Birmingham terror raid arrestee: ‘We will not be divided’

‘I was born in Sparkhill in Birmingham. I went to college locally and then to Birmingham University where I got a degree in theology and a masters in education.

Global warming: why rich won’t turn off the heat

From being a fringe issue climate change has apparently become completely mainstream. News bulletins are incomplete without a report on some new sign of global warming.


Features

Leaving Labour to join a fighting alternative

Wayne Muldoon Respect’s campaign for the May local elections in England received a big boost last week when Wayne Muldoon, a Labour councillor in Loughborough, announced he was joining the party.

Mike Davis on US politics

Not since 1949 has the US foreign policy establishment been so theoretically unified as it is today around the bipartisan Baker-Hamilton plan and the "realist" strategy of multilateral imperialism.


Reviews

Mike Davis' Buda’s Wagon - a brief history of the car bomb

In the last week of January, car bombs killed over 150 people in Iraq.

Writer Naomi Wallace and director Raz Shaw on Things Of Dry Hours

A stunning piece of radical theatre, Things Of Dry Hours, opened at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre last week. Set in the Southern US state of Alabama during the 1930s, the play explores race, class and the impact of the Communist Party on the lives of ordinary working people.

Things Of Dry Hours: A radical past revealed

This play peels back the modern image of the US to reveal its radical past. Good history and good art should make us question our "common sense" assumptions – and Things Of Dry Hours revels in that task.

Bamako | Black-List

Bamakofilm directed by Abderrahmane Sissakoreleased 23 February This award winning film set in contemporary Mali goes on general release on Friday 23 February.

Video of Ugly Rumours anti-war single

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What We Think

Gordon Brown’s Britain: Building things up to knock them down

"Gordon is not going to have his leadership ambitions up-ended by a bunch of rabid trade unionists." That is the future prime minister’s message to the unions according to a senior Treasury official.


Other Categories

Tim: Turkey

Letters

Beware as ‘green’ bosses jump on the bandwagon Hardly a day passes when we are not bombarded by newspaper reports of new research on climate change. We are informed about how drastically the planet is going to change if we don’t do anything about it.

Meetings, events and demonstrations

Meetings And Events



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