Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2134

Dated: 17 Jan 2009




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Break Britain’s links with Israel

Israel has rained terror down on the people of Gaza – and yet world leaders respond with nothing more than soft words and no action.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Thai socialist academic charged with offending royal dignity

Associate Professor Giles Ji Ungpakorn is fighting charges of lèse majesté (offending the dignity of a sovereign) over his book A Coup for the Rich, an academic work on the 2006 military coup.

Documents reveal Labour government was prepared to crush discontent

In 1978 a Labour government was on the verge of declaring a state of emergency. It drew up plans to use thousands of troops in an attempt to undermine strikes as its policy of holding down wages fell apart.

Glasgow council indefinite strike solid

Some 21 community service superisors in Glasgow in the Unison union have begun their second week of indefinite strike action.

Day of action called to show love for the NHS

While the government continues with plans to further push the market into all parts of the health service, campaigners against privatisation have responded by issuing a call for a day of marches, stunts and protests on Saturday 14 February.

RMT accuses contractor of victimising reps

The RMT transport union is accusing the ISS contractor of "victimising" its cleaning reps on London Underground.

Build solidarity with Burslem post workers

While the government embarks on a collision course with the labour movement with its plans to privatise Royal Mail, it seems that the company is intent on stoking conflict with the union by victimising activists.

Network Rail attacks pension rights

Workers at Network Rail are facing a major attack on their pension rights.

Wirral fights against cuts

Nearly a thousand protesters braved the icy Mersey breeze last Saturday to oppose a drastic round of closures being proposed by Wirral borough council.

Reports round-up

RMT debates the way forward Around 120 people attended a conference in London last Saturday on the crisis in working class representation.

Build London bus workers’ pay campaign

Management at Sovereign bus company in north-west London have attempted to hit back at workers following a successful strike there last week.

Ex-guard at Guantanamo speaks out on torture camps

The main hall of Friends Meeting House in Euston was packed out last Sunday with people demanding an end to the Guantanamo prison camp and similar institutions.

Nissan cuts jobs as the recession hits

When Margaret Thatcher opened the Nissan car factory in Sunderland in 1986 it was presented as the birth of a new era for the north east of England after the ravages of the recession of the early 1980s.

Gordon Brown's plans aren't enough to secure jobs for all

Gordon Brown has promised to help 500,000 people into work or training as part of the government’s plans to deal with the recession.

Defiant pay fight at Chemilines shocks bosses

Workers at the Chemilines pharmaceuticals firm in Wembley, north west London, are stepping up their campaign for decent pay and dignity at work.

Key accuser of health activist Yunus Bakhsh is a Facebook friend of BNP Nazi

A most extraordinary scandal has been exposed in the case of Yunus Bakhsh, a health worker who has been sacked by his employer and expelled from the Unison union.

How did far right know details of Yunus Bakhsh case?

It has shockingly come to light that the allegations against Yunus Bakhsh were available to Nazis before Yunus knew what they were.

No lull in the Afghan war

British foreign secretary David Miliband’s hope for a "winter lull" in Afghanistan has proved to be hopelessly optimistic.

Massive protests in solidarity with Gaza

Last weekend saw hundreds of thousands spilling onto the streets in cities and towns across the world to protest against Israel’s murderous attack on Gaza.

Photos of protest for Gaza on 10 January 2009

Evidence is mounting of Israel’s atrocities

Israel’s murderous assault on Gaza is creating a wave of human suffering of unimaginable proportions.

Israeli commander gives candid account of killing

The true horror the events in Gaza is only slowly emerging from under Israel’s press embargo.

United mass protests in Turkey shake up the region

The anger at Israel’s assault on Gaza has reached new heights across the region.

Medics struggle to get into Gaza

As Gaza’s hospitals overflow with the casualties of Israel’s aggression, growing numbers of medical staff – including specialist trauma surgeons – are stuck in Egypt on the border with Gaza.

Scottish MSPs offer support

The Scottish parliament has spoken out against the humanitarian disaster in Gaza and called for an immediate ceasefire.

Soas students occupy university building in solidarity with Gaza

Students at the School of Oriental and African Studies (Soas) in London have occupied the Brunei Gallery Suite in protest at a Ministry of Defence exhibition being held there and in solidarity with the people of Gaza.

Soas student occupation declares victory as university concedes demands

Students at the School of Oriental and African Studies (Soas) occupying the Brunei Gallery in solidarity with Gaza have declared victory after winning significant demands from the university management.

Occupation at London School of Economics over Gaza

Over 40 pro Palestine students occupied a lecture theatre at the London School of Economics (LSE) on Thursday afternoon to demand that the university releases a statement condemning the attack on Gaza and stops investing in arms companies that supply the Israeli military.

Occupation at Essex University in solidarity with Gaza

Sixty students occupied a lecture theatre at Essex University in solidarity with Gaza.


International

Greek protests shake government

The movement against Greece’s right wing government returned to the streets last week.

Barack Obama faces tough tasks on economy

As US president-elect Barack Obama prepares for his inauguration next Tuesday the impact of the recession on the US grows more severe by the day.

Anger at Obama's silence over Gaza slaughter

Barack Obama was elected on a wave of hope following eight years of the warmongering neoliberal George Bush.

Response to police shooting shows US society is a tinderbox

News of the shooting of Oscar Grant by Bay Area Rapid Transit (Bart) police in Oakland on New Year’s Day has made its way around the world.


Comment


Features

Edward Carpenter: for liberty and love

Radical historian Sheila Rowbotham spoke to Colin Wilson about her new biography of Edward Carpenter, the pioneering gay socialist writer

Tariq Ali: 'Why the West wants to destroy Hamas'

Let us remember what colonisers and occupiers have done throughout the past 150 years. They divide in order to rule.

Palestine’s enduring resistance

The Palestinians have a long history of resisting imperialism and Zionism – the belief that Jewish people need a separate homeland in Palestine.

Time for revolution in the Middle East

In April 2008 Egypt’s interior ministry was faced with a dilemma. Should it send state security forces to Mahalla al-Kubra, the restive industrial town in the Nile Delta, or to Egypt’s border with Gaza, where it feared hungry Palestinians would attempt another breakout.

SWP conference 2009: debating the fightback in an age of slumps and war

The Socialist Workers Party (SWP) held its annual conference last weekend in London.

Understanding a system caught in deep crisis

Chris Harman, editor of the International Socialism journal, introduced the opening session on the state of the capitalist system held on Friday evening.

The SWP: building a party at the heart of the movements

A debate on Sunday focused on the importance of building the SWP to help resist the effects of the economic crisis and imperialist wars.

Stop the War: Mobilising a mass response to imperialism

Lindsey German introduced a session on imperialism and the Stop the War Coalition.

Seizing chances to resist the recession

The session on responding to the economic crisis saw a productive discussion of strategies for encouraging working class resistance.

Weighing up the lessons of the split in Respect

Alex Callinicos introduced a session looking at the party’s handling of the 2007 split in Respect and the issues that this threw up regarding the SWP’s internal life.

Changes in the party’s leadership

At its annual conference last weekend the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) faced one of its biggest tests in three decades.

Democracy commission: ‘Working body’ elected

Conference established a commission that will spend the next few months examining ways of strengthening party democracy.

Unrest rolled out across the Valleys

T he 19th century saw the development and growth of workers’ struggles and organisation in Wales. The emergence of Chartism—which demanded the vote and political representation for workers—galvanised people across Britain.


Reviews


What We Think

Prince Harry is no role model

No apology can alter the simple fact that Prince Harry calling one army colleague a "Paki" and another a "raghead" is racist and unacceptable. Thousands of people have heard those words as they became victims of racist violence and harassment.

Islamophobia: reject the divisions

Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyhu wrote that "militant Islam threatens us all". The Israeli state has lost the political and moral argument over its assault on Gaza just as it did over its invasion of Lebanon in 2006.

Heathrow expansion plan is a threat to the planet

Big business and trade union leaders formed an unholy alliance this week when they backed the expansion of Heathrow airport. In doing so they stand against widespread opposition from ordinary people in the area around the airport and millions more across the country.


Other Categories

Chris Dean 1938-2009

Chris Dean, a veteran member of the SWP in Shrewsbury, died peacefully in the early hours of 6 January after a courageous fight against cancer.

Tim: Emergency supplies to Gaza

Letters

Rage against Israel’s terror attacks on Gaza The news reports from Gaza have reminded me that while politicians posture, it is the civilian people who suffer.



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