Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2091

Dated: 08 Mar 2008




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Israel unleashes terror on Gaza

Israel unleashed terror on the Palestinian people of the Gaza Strip last week, when it launched a military operation including airstrikes.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Unite Against Fascism: Join the carnival to stop the BNP Nazis

Thirty years ago this April 80,000 people marched to Victoria Park, east London, for a carnival against fascism organised by the Anti Nazi League and Rock Against Racism, headlined by The Clash and The Tom Robinson Band.

Unite Against Fascism conference: ‘Exciting debate meant I left on a high’

The Unite Against Fascism conference was an excellent event, with a fantastic range of speakers from Daud Abdullah from the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) to Derek Mumm from gay rights group Stonewall.

Reports round-up

Shelter strike to defend conditions Over 450 workers at Shelter, the national housing charity, were set to strike on Wednesday of this week, after voting by 211 to 78 for action over pay, grading and hours.

A vote to defend UCU union’s freedom

Members of the UCU union in the higher education sector have rejected proposed changes to national negotiating structures. Over 60 percent voted no on a turnout of 27 percent.

Left consolidated in UCU union elections

The UCU Left has won 16 of the 33 seats up for election to the union’s national executive.

Fighting post office closures

Twenty angry local residents demonstrated outside Melbourne Grove Post Office in East Dulwich, south London Wednesday of last week against its planned closure.

Massive civil service cutbacks put jobs and services at risk

Workers in the two biggest civil service departments received hammer blows last week when the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Revenue and Customs both announced major job losses and office closures.

Fighting low pay at the Department of Transport

A successful strike by over 8,500 members of the PCS civil service workers’ union in the Department for Transport on Friday of last week hit back at New Labour’s 2 percent public sector pay limit.

Health round-up

Sheffield Cutlers Hall Around 40 student nurses, health workers and patients gathered outside Sheffield’s Cutlers Hall on Thursday last week to protest against Virgin Healthcare’s attempt to make profits from the NHS.

Poll starts in Unite executive elections

Voting began in the elections for the national executive of the Unite union this week. The new executive will have 80 seats – 40 from the former Amicus union and 40 from the former T&G union.

Green light for signal workers' strike

Over 50 signallers, members of the RMT union, in the Lincoln area were set to launch their second strike on Tuesday of this week over Network Rail’s failure to honour an agreement covering displaced staff.

Talks in London Underground dispute

Talks were taking place as Socialist Worker went to press between the RMT and TSSA rail workers’ unions, and London Underground managers over issues arising from the current dispute on the tube.

London Metroline bus workers discuss wage campaign

Bus workers at Metroline in north and north west London were set to meet on Thursday to discuss the Unite union’s new campaign for a London wage for all bus workers.

Growing rage over single status cuts

Over 200 people from different unions and campaigns came together to lobby Waltham Forest council on Thursday of last week.

Fife carers win concession

A sustained and determined campaign has forced Fife council to put on hold planned charges for homecare and other services for disabled people.

Walkout at Preston council

Several workers at Preston city council walked out unofficially on Thursday of last week after being told that the single status review will leave a third of the workforce facing pay cuts.

Ashfield council workers protest at new budget

Over 40 Unison union members again turned out in force on Thursday of last week to lobby Ashfield council in Nottinghamshire over job and service cuts that will result from the council’s new budget.

Michael Rosen explains how not to bore the pants off kids

Over the last ten years or so, the government has brought a regime into schools that has battened down on teachers to teach reading and writing in a way that bores teachers and bores kids.

Unions oppose market agenda

This week saw the launch of the "Our Schools, Our Colleges, Our Communities" campaign in London, organised by the UCU and NUT unions to fight back against the free market agenda in education.

Teachers set for battle over pay

Teachers in the NUT union across England and Wales are building for a yes vote in a ballot over whether to take strike action over pay.

Karen Reissmann: barred from election for being victimised

Karen Reissmann, the nurse and leading union activist at the centre of a long-running strike for the right to speak out against cuts and privatisation, has been delivered a vicious blow – not by her former employers, but by those conducting elections in her own union, Unison.

An attack on democracy in Unison

Unison leaders are also attempting to ensure that another sitting member of the health service group executive is blocked from re-election.

US ratchets up its global war

Somalia US warplanes bombed a small town in Somalia earlier this week killing four people and wounding 20 – including four children.

London march against Turkey’s attacks on Kurds

Anger at Turkey’s invasion of northern Iraq led around 3,000 people to march across north east London last Sunday.

Chinese community protests against raids

Over 2,000 Chinese workers, employers and their supporters attended the first Chinese organised mass rally in London to protest against recent immigration raids at Chinese catering firms all over Britain.

Immigration controls that are designed to discriminate

The Labour government introduced draconian new immigration controls last week. By the end of the year, you will need to be a graduate with good English on £40,000 a year to seek permanent work in Britain.

Cast aside and left to die by New Labour

Women too terrified to give birth in hospitals, sick people refused treatment and some of the poorest people abandoned to die from HIV/Aids.

No to pensions arms link

Labour, Respect and independent councillors walked out of Preston’s council meeting last week in protest at a decision to stop councillors from discussing motions on pension disinvestment in the arms trade and on the minimum wage.

Barrow parents reject school bribe

Anti-academy schools campaigners are set to mount a challenge to over 30 sitting New Labour and Tory councillors in Barrow.

Respect for London

Lindsey German attends Bethnal Green tube disaster commemoration Respect’s candidate for London mayor Lindsey German attended a commemoration of the Bethnal Green tube disaster last Saturday.

Labour allows ‘free vote’ on abortion time limit

Attacks on abortion rights are set to continue as the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill heads back to the House of Commons.

Mortgage crisis hits workers, not bosses

Signs of a growing economic panic in Britain were clearly visible last week as British hedge fund Peloton collapsed.

Gordon Brown missing poverty target for young people

The New Labour government is on course to miss its target of halving the number of children in poverty by 2010 according to a committee of MPs.

FBU election challenge to New Labour in Liverpool

Firefighters in Merseyside are preparing an electoral challenge to New Labour councillors who back cuts in public services, say officials in the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).

Labour is no longer our party after Remploy betrayal, say union officials

Five senior GMB union officials have resigned from the Labour Party over the "despicable betrayal" of disabled workers at Remploy factories, who are facing redundancy.

Workers at Shelter take strike action

More than 450 workers at housing charity Shelter are striking today over management proposals to scrap incremental pay rises, increase working hours and downgrade posts.

Spain drops charges against Omar Deghayes and Jamil el-Banna

Campaigners for British Guantanamo Bay detainees Omar Deghayes and Jamil el-Banna were celebrating today at the news that authorities have dropped attempts to extradite the two men to Spain.

Leon Greenman, Holocaust survivor and anti-fascist campaigner, dies

Leon Greenman, the veteran anti-fascist campaigner and survivor of the Auschwitz death camp, passed away last night at the age of 97.

Details of Leon Greenman's funeral

Leon Greenman's funeral will take place at 2pm tomorrow, Tuesday 11 March, at East Ham Cemetery, Marlow Road, London E6.


International

Construction workers lead fight against police murder in Panama

"You were a good son, a good father, a good brother and a good husband. I only hope that you give strength to your brothers and sisters to keep fighting."

Venezuela-Colombia conflict sheds light on US imperialism

George Bush waded into the growing inter-governmental crisis in Latin America earlier this week by expressing the US’s unqualified support for the Colombian president Alvaro Uribe.


Comment

Nato’s relentless drive for war in eastern Europe

The mainstream media today often seem incapable of sustained attention or precise study. Papers concentrate on one or two "major news stories" at a time and neglect regular, steady reporting on all regions of the world.

Postal service: 'Let’s fight the pensions pickpockets'

The fight is on to defend postal workers’ pensions. Socialist Worker last week reported that Royal Mail has announced its intention to close our final salary pension scheme – despite the company organising a "consultation period" in which 99 percent of employees opposed its plans.

Tommy Sheridan accuses police of vendetta

Socialist and former MSP Tommy Sheridan has accused Lothian and Borders police of mounting a vendetta against himself, his family and his political allies. It certainly seems that way.

Different pictures of Europe’s left

The collapse of Romano Prodi’s centre-left government in January was a miserable end to the hopes of all those who had wanted to see an end to the sleazy right wing politics of Silvio Berlusconi.


Features

Empire of the Eagles: the myth of Rome

Modern leaders looking for a ‘civilised’ way to dominate the world refer to the Roman Empire. Historian Neil Faulkner explained the brutal reality to Ken Olende

Waged London: photographer Larry Herman on his new project

Larry Herman was born in New York, and moved to Britain during the Vietnam War. Since then he has lived in Glasgow and Sheffield, but mostly in London.

The rising women's liberation movement in the radical 1960s

It is hard to imagine just how different the world was for women before the 1960s.

School challenges anti-LGBT attitude

Schools can be a place of fear and abuse for many lesbian and gay students. But teachers and students at Stoke Newington School in Hackney, east London, have shown how homophobia can be challenged.


Reviews

Viva: Latin American Film Festival

This brilliant collection of documentaries and features is the perfect antidote to anyone growing weary of the election campaign currently taking place in the "other America".

Bloody Sunday DVD

It is hard to believe that this excellent film about the murder of 14 unarmed civilians by British paratroopers in Northern Ireland 36 years ago could have been made by one of Hollywood’s top directors.

Celebrating Linda Smith tour

Linda Smith, who sadly died in 2006, was one of a group of comedians who in the 1980s helped transform stand-up from a bastion of the right into a genre that helped challenge the powerful and their prejudices.

Arturo Ui: a fast-witted tale of bosses’ role in rise of fascism

The bosses of Chicago’s vegetable trade hit a serious credit crunch. They urgently need a ruthless thug to snuff out the opposition and drive up profits. That’s where Arturo Ui comes in.

BBC’s White Season is founded on racist lies

The trailer for BBC2’s new series entitled the "White Season" could easily be mistaken for a British National Party (BNP) recruitment campaign.


What We Think

Media hypocrisy over Prince Harry and Ben Griffin

Two soldiers – two very different fates. Last week saw the sickening spectacle of the mainstream media fawning over Prince Harry’s Afghanistan adventure.

More prisons are no answer to crime

The Tories and Labour are outdoing each other to say who is toughest on crime

Sign of tensions with US in Russian election

The election of Dmitri Medvedev as the new president of the Russian Federation came as no surprise. He was championed by the outgoing incumbent Vladimir Putin, and his campaign had an effective media monopoly.


Other Categories

Tim: 'Harry goes home'

Letters

Letters



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