Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 1780

Dated: 22 Dec 2001



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Build the resistance

WAR Shock report: more civilians killed in Afghanistan than in the World Trade Centre


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Leeds footballers trial: Sheer racist thuggery

"Thug and Liar Walk Free". Amazingly, it was the front page of Rupert Murdoch's Times that summed up most people's feelings last week as Leeds United footballers Lee Bowyer and Jonathan Woodgate walked out of Hull Crown Court. The two players were cleared of causing grievous bodily harm to student Sarfraz Najeib.

In brief: Cathy come home, again

Families that become homeless could have their children taken away from them by councils trying to save money. Councils across Britain are exploiting a new legal loophole which says they only have to offer housing to homeless children, not families.

Brussels: Protests are back with a vengeance

As European Union (EU) leaders discussed more market "reforms" and privatisation of services in Brussels in Belgium, 100,000 trade unionists marched last Thursday in protest at this "neo-liberal" Europe.

...more deaths than in World Trade Centre

George W Bush and Tony Blair have murdered more innocent civilians in Afghanistan than were killed in the 11 September attack on the World Trade Centre. That fact is the stark conclusion of an authoritative investigation by US professor Marc Herold.

2001 quiz of the year

PIC 1 BACK TO the 1960s: Why did the US police arrest Pigasus the pig in 1968? (a) He was regarded as a "non-white" trying to enter a whites-only restaurant. (b) He was "causing trouble" as Yippie presidential candidate at the Democratic Party convention. (c) He had urinated on a US flag at an anti-war protest.

What the hell is the union doing?

The government and bosses are terrified by the prospect of a national postal workers' strike. But union leaders are not pressing home workers' strength. That is the message from the events of last week.

Scottish Power: All out action to win victory

Scottish Power workers struck for two days last week, and planned another two days action this week. The strike, involving 1,500 workers in North Wales, Merseyside and Scotland, has been totally solid. There have been big picket lines of up to 100 at a time in Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Ferry Workers: Clyde workers strike on pay

Workers on ferries running from the Clyde in Scotland were due to start all-out strike action from Monday night. Some 40 pierhands working for the Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) company are striking.

Rail workers

Station staff employed by Virgin Trains could be set to strike over the Christmas break.

Postal workers

Edinburgh

School protest

More than 200 students boycotted classes for two hours at a Bristol school on Friday of last week. The school students were protesting at a plan by the Labour city council to close their school.

Anti-war protests

Debate The Socialist Alliance hosted a lively debate about the war last week in London. David Aaronovitch, a prominent pro-war journalist, argued that the action had brought about the end of the Taliban. He also hoped that the new US-sponsored Afghan government would bring real change.

Councils

Council Workers in Tower Hamlets, east London, have voted by a two to one margin for strikes against attacks on their conditions. The Labour council wants to push through a series of attacks, including harsher sickness and disciplinary procedures, cuts to holidays and worse Christmas working arrangements.

Anti-Nazi news

A Nazi who stood for the British National Party at the general election could face jail for forging signatures on election nomination papers.

Harry Stanley

"Their decision effectively gives the police a licence to kill." That was how Irene Stanley described the ruling by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on Thursday of last week over her husband's death at the hands of police officers.

Civil servants defy the benefits regime

Tens of thousands of job centre and benefits office workers across Britain in the civil servants' PCS union struck on Wednesday and Thursday of last week. The union estimated that 40,000 people took strike action over the two days, while management claimed 32,000 struck. This is out of around 65,000 union members in the workplaces affected.


International


Comment


Features

Who wants to keep people divided?

Official segregation The report on Oldham, whose economy centred on textiles, goes some way to acknowledging how racial segregation has happened over the last three decades. It describes how in the 1960s mill owners found it harder to "recruit people for anti-social work such as night shifts.

Death squads make Palestinians prisoners in their own land

Ariel Sharon, Israel's prime minister, is holding Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat hostage in his own home. And the US backs this to the hilt. Israeli tanks surrounded Arafat's headquarters in the West Bank town of Ramallah on Thursday of last week. They were still keeping him trapped as Socialist Worker went to press.


Reviews

On a screen near you...

A selection of films for all moods that are worth catching, or setting the video for, over the Christmas break.


What We Think

2001 – a year of horror and hope

This year has seen the ugly reality of global capitalism. It has ended with the third war in ten years involving the US and Britain. The US bombing has already killed over 3,767 Afghan civilians, according to thorough research by a US professor (see page 7).


Other Categories

Letters

Socialists teach Blunkett lessons David Blunkett and Tony Blair would have got a good lesson in citizenship and breaking down language barriers at a "Winter Welcome" party for asylum seekers organised by Dulwich Socialist Alliance.

Spann was at work

The newspapers and politicians have made great play of a video which allegedly shows Osama Bin Laden admitting his role in the 11 September attacks.



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