Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 1767

Dated: 22 Sep 2001



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Say no to Bush's war

"TO RETALIATE in a massive military way is not the answer. I would feel dreadful about US retribution. There is no difference between innocent men, women and children getting killed and my brother. I think Bush should be caged at the moment. He is a loose cannon. He is building up his forces for a military strike. That is not the answer."


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

The terror gang in the White House

Not fighting for civilisation GEORGE W Bush claims he is fighting terrorism in the interests of democracy and freedom. But behind George W Bush stands his father, George Bush Sr-one of the worst terrorists ever.

Voices raised against war

'THE US government are preparing to embark on what they are saying will be a massive, protracted military campaign. We must do everything possible to stop this bloody US military retaliation.' STUDENTS, University of Michigan in the US

The diary of a people's agony

IN THE aftermath of the attacks on New York and Washington the media repeatedly played the same footage of a small number of Palestinians who were celebrating. The message was clear-Palestinians are fanatics with little regard for human life.

A message to all our readers

OVER 400 people packed into a snap meeting in central London called by the Socialist Workers Party on Friday of last week to discuss the aftermath of the destruction of the World Trade Centre. Similar meetings were to take place across Britain this week.

Defend council housing

THE GOVERNMENT wants to flog off all council housing by the end of the decade. The government's housing policy is a tangled web. A new 48-page pamphlet, The Case for Council Housing, unravels that web.

'Taking them on'

SCOTTISH Power workers are voting on strikes against attempts to cut jobs and worsen conditions. Scottish Power is a multinational which operates in North Wales and north west England as well as Scotland.

Medical secretaries

MEDICAL secretaries in Glasgow are escalating their fight over regrading and low pay. From this week 60 secretaries in the surgical division will be taking three days of strike action every week.

Post Office

CWU UNION leaders have made a deal with Royal Mail bosses to drop threatened strike ballots. In return managers have agreed not to impose changes to workers' terms and conditions at a local level without agreement with the union.

Wakefield - Home victories

WORKERS AND social service users on a 200-strong lobby of Wakefield council were jubilant last Wednesday when the Labour council was forced to retreat from its proposal to cut £1.9 million from provision for the elderly and disabled.

In brief

P&O TANKER drivers struck on Monday in a battle against pay cuts. Around 80 drivers took part in the action. They are based at Ellesmere Port, Immingham, Middlesbrough and Thurrock.

A taste of the Brighton demo

"NO TO privatisation" chanted 200 trade unionists and campaigners as they demonstrated through the streets of Milton Keynes last Saturday. The march was called by local trade unionists in the post workers' CWU union and the GMB union and was joined by children, parents and teachers from the local Save Our Schools campaign.

Civil service

THE CIVIL service dispute in London is escalating. The PCS union has started to ballot its members in the Benefits Agency and Employment Service for indefinite strike action in over 50 Pathfinder offices. Staff are being balloted in offices from Exeter to Aberdeen.

Anti-racist and anti-Nazi

THE NAZI National Front was humiliated in Sunderland for the second time in a month on Saturday. Having had a rally in August foiled by 200 protesters, they abandoned any attempt to march last weekend.

Miners

"UK COAL has lost £3.5 million so far rather than pay about £6,700 per week to meet our demands." So says striking miners' representative Chris Skidmore.

McGowan campaign

AROUND 100 people marched through Wellington in Telford, Shropshire, last Saturday. They were protesting against West Mercia police's failure to investigate properly the death of black man Errol McGowan, found hanged in July 1999.

Green Party conference

THE GREEN Party annual conference took place in Salisbury last weekend in the wake of the party's best ever general election result. The Greens now have 49 local councillors, one member of the Scottish Parliament, two members of the European Parliament and three members of the Greater London Authority.

Socialist Alliance

PORTSMOUTH Socialist Alliance passed this motion at its public meeting last week.

Business as usual for Blair's plans

TONY BLAIR has cynically taken advantage of last week's tragic attack on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon to try to squash opposition to his privatisation drive.

New Labour's series of shameful attacks on asylum seekers

AMAZINGLY, Tony Blair launched a vicious attack on refugees at the very start of the speech he refused to give to the TUC. In the week when we faced the prospect of a war that could create thousands more refugees, Blair attacked those trying to flee persecution and repression. At the same time his friend John Howard, the prime minister of Australia, was still refusing to let hundreds of refugees, who have suffered the most life threatening conditions at sea, land in Australia.


International


Comment

An uneasy alliance

THE MORE the initial shock caused by the attacks on New York and Washington wears off, the more cracks appear in the international coalition that George Bush's administration is trying to construct.

This spook isn't liberal

DIDN'T YOU feel sorry for Stella Rimington, that selfless public servant, who has been ostracised by the British establishment for telling us about her struggle to preserve freedom and democracy against the forces of darkness? The Guardian last week tried to hook us on its serialisation of Rimington's MI5 memoirs of how she "tracked, trailed, bugged and burgled some of the most ruthless spies, drug-runners, subversives and terrorists of her generation". Rimington was the first woman to head MI5 and the first security service chief to be named in public.


Features

We need your money now more than ever

THE US and its allies will make billions available for war. The millionaire-owned press will dutifully back their demands for revenge. Socialist Worker will be exposing their lies, putting the arguments against a horrific war and throwing ourselves into building a mass anti-war movement. At the same time we will be putting the case against the big business policies Blair is trying to sneak in under the cover of war.

US intervention brings disaster

The record speaks for itself

Well worn road from friend to foe

THE US says it is going to "take out" the "evil" Osama Bin Laden. We have been here before. The US and its allies have declared many individuals "evil" as a prelude to launching military assaults.

Myth of national unity

Business profits from the tragedy IF YOU believed the media at the beginning of this week you would have thought all that mattered was the reopening of the New York stock exchange. "Back In Business" was the front page headline of the Sun on Tuesday. "Right now I want to go in and make some money," one stockbroker was quoted as saying in the Guardian.

Voices raised against war

'I THINK we must be very careful about assuming that a great many people in this country want vengeance. They want this to be prevented from ever happening again. What one suspects is that there are people from all over the Middle East who, because of what they have seen happening in Palestine and elsewhere, are prepared to go to desperate lengths.' TAM DALYELL MP

Coalition of hypocrites

The bloody record of Bush and his allies GEORGE BUSH has used the horror of the attack on the World Trade Centre to "rally the world against international terrorism". The US wants to launch a revenge attack. It is targeting not just those behind the attacks in New York, but any state that dares to stand up against it. Bush wants to present whatever he does as a justifiable attack on an "evil" enemy, part of what he and Tony Blair present as a war of "civilisation" against "barbarism".

"Welcome to the first global recession of the 21st century." - Economist, 25 August

STOCK markets tumbled last week in the aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. Many commentators predicted global economic recession. But the world economy was already in deep trouble.

How safe are skyscrapers?

AFTER THE horror in the US last week anyone who works in a skyscraper or high rise building will have fears about safety. The way the World Trade Centre towers collapsed was one of the most chilling aspects of the tragedy.

Afghanistan and Osama Bin Laden

AS SOON as news broke last week of the devastation in the United States, Osama Bin Laden was proclaimed the number one suspect. Afghanistan was dubbed a "rogue state" and has been accused of harbouring terrorists.


Reviews

Chants, crashes and a dot.com

KALEIL AND Tom are best friends from high school. Together they decide to set up an internet company to make money out of local government. Although it doesn't sound the most exciting story, Startup.com is a fascinating and funny film.

Lessons in death

A SCHOOLGIRL collapses backwards to the floor, a knife embedded in her skull. Her terrified classmates cling to the walls. Their former teacher, now murderous overseer, announces "And today's lesson is...you kill each other!"


What We Think

Retaliation will bring more horror

"SINCE I was 12 all I have known is fighting and more fighting. So once again innocent people will be killed and nobody will care about it." Faiz, a 33 year old market trader in Kabul, Afghanistan


Other Categories

Allan Swan

COMRADES IN Sheffield are mourning the loss of Allan Swan. He was a respected teacher, thinker and fighter for socialist ideas who died aged 53 on 13 September.

Satpal Ram is innocent

THE struggle to free Satpal Ram continues, despite the home secretary's decision to overrule the recommendation of the parole board for him to be released immediately. On only three occasions in the last 20 years have home secretaries overuled recommendations by the parole board.

Islam, the US and terrorism

GOVERNMENTS and the media are saying that they do not want the destruction of the World Trade Centre to lead to a racist backlash against Muslims. Yet they have contributed to such an atmosphere by virtually equating Islam with irrational violence for more than a decade.

It's not so Boxfresh

CLOTHING COMPANY Boxfresh has come a cropper. It launched a snide advertising campaign recently. Boxfresh used imagery and slogans from the Zapatista rebel group in Mexico. They were spraypainted on walls around major shopping areas in central London and passed as convincing propaganda from Zapatista supporters (until you got to the Boxfresh logo).



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