Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2149

Dated: 02 May 2009

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Take all the cash from super-rich

Chancellor Alistair Darling declared war on ordinary people and public services with his budget last week.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Fight goes on as Glasgow education attacks mount

Glasgow City Council voted to close 22 schools and nurseries across the city on Thursday of last week.

Victory for Prisme occupation

Workers at Prisme Packaging in Dundee declared victory as they ended their 51-day occupation on Friday of last week.

Glasgow journalist: ‘We are standing shoulder to shoulder to save jobs’

NUJ union members in Glasgow took three days of strike action last weekend, crippling the production of the Daily Record and the Sunday Mail. They struck against proposals for 70 redundancies and are escalating their action with a further strike ballot on a change to shift patterns.

Campaign grows as BNP Nazis let their mask slip

The fascist British National Party (BNP) revealed its true colours last week when its leader Nick Griffin went on record defending an official BNP activist manual that said that Asian and black British people "do not exist" and should be referred to as "racial foreigners".

Blow for BNP in Wanstead

The British National Party (BNP) suffered a setback in east London last week when they came fifth in a by-election in Wanstead, Redbridge. The BNP polled just 171 votes – 4.9 percent. Only the UK Independence Party candidate got less votes.

UAF Manchester regional conference

Over 70 delegates from across the north west of England attended the UAF regional conference in Manchester last Saturday.

Rail workers to strike over jobs

Around 700 members of the RMT transport union at East Midlands Trains were set to strike on Friday of this week against 162 job losses and the company’s failure to guarantee that there will be no compulsory redundancies.

Metroline vote 90 percent for action

Bus workers at Metroline in north London have voted by over 90 percent for strikes in an indicative ballot over the introduction of a new substance misuse policy.

PCS forces concessions in Revenue & Customs

A series of strikes by 10,000 PCS civil service workers’ union members at call centres in Revenue & Customs was suspended after an agreement was reached that satisfied most of the union’s demands.

STUC commits to boycott of Israel

The Scottish TUC (STUC) committed itself to a programme of Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS) against the state of Israel on Wednesday of last week. The STUC recommended BDS because of "Israel’s attacks on the human rights of Palestinian people, and its failure to comply with agreed international law".

Printers at Cambridge University Press accept improved deal

The campaign to save jobs at Cambridge University Press reached a critical moment on Friday last week.

Protesting for housing in Camden

Glasgow Unison lose ballot for action against wage cuts

The fight to defend workers facing wage cuts within Glasgow City Unison received a setback last week when a branch-wide ballot for action was lost.

300 at determined Stop the War conference

The strength and determination of the anti-war movement in Britain was demonstrated at the Stop the War Coalition’s annual conference held in London last Saturday.

Newham cleaners win

United action by teachers and cleaners at Lister school in Newham, east London, has won the reinstatement of Lorraine Mngadi, an activist in the Unison union.

London Underground strike lays basis for London ballot

London Underground drivers shut down the whole of the Victoria Line in a 24-hour strike from 9pm on Tuesday of last week.

Infiltration tactics being used against protesters

Shocking revelations about police monitoring and infiltration of protest groups emerged last week.

Activists refuse to let police off hook

The campaign to win justice for Ian Tomlinson, who died after being pushed by police at the G20 protests in London, sprang into action last week.

Outrage at former Visteon plant as Union convenor Rob Williams sacked

Rob Williams, Unite union convenor at the Linamar (ex-Visteon) plant in Swansea, south Wales, has been sacked. On Tuesday afternoon Rob had locked himself in his office and over 100 workers had walked off the line in solidarity.

Protesting for safety

Construction workers will protest at the Olympics site in east London on Wednesday 6 May over contracting and safety.

Fighting for justice at Stead McAlpin

Workers from the Stead McAlpin textile factory in Cummersdale, near Carlisle, took their fight for justice to the John Lewis store in Newcastle last Saturday.

Lecturers to ballot against education cuts

Lecturers in the UCU union in universities across Britain will begin balloting for industrial action over job cuts this week. The ballot follows a refusal by the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) to reach a national agreement with the unions to avoid redundancies in higher education.

Workers’ Memorial Day protests

Trade unionists and campaigners demonstrated across Britain to mark Workers’ Memorial Day on Tuesday. This highlights the level of deaths on construction sites.

Post union and bosses on collision course over pay

Royal mail bosses have announced a pay freeze for all workers at the company. The CWU union has told the company there is no possibility of its members accepting this.

Book up for jobs demo Birmingham 16 May

The Unite union’s national demonstration for jobs, in Birmingham, on Saturday 16 May, is shaping up to be a major response to the government’s attempts to make workers pay for the recession.

Four join hunger strike in London Tamil protest

Four British Tamils began a new hunger strike on Friday as part of the ongoing demonstration against the Sri Lankan government's assault on Tamil areas. The continuous protest in Parliament Square, central London is still going strong after 26 days.


Tamils facing brutal military repression

"Surrender or die" – that was the ultimatum from the Sri Lankan government after the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) declared a unilateral ceasefire earlier this week.

Tamil refugee: ‘I had to flee with nothing’

Nathan Kumar arrived in Britain in 1984 as a refugee from anti-Tamil pogroms in Sri Lanka. He is now chair of the British Tamils Forum.


Living in the Prisme occupation

4 March At 4pm, all twelve workers were committed, whatever the cost, to occupying the plant and fighting for their rights. These notes are snapshots of the battle for success:

Questioned by immigration officials

On 15 January I was travelling to a conference against imperialism in Beirut. An official took me aside at Heathrow airport. He asked why I still use the UK Travel Document after 19 years in Britain. This was originally issued to me so I could travel abroad when I had no passport because I was a refugee.

May Day is our chance for resistance

We are paying twice over for this crisis. We have been paying with job losses and cuts since capitalism started to spiral downwards.


Margaret Thatcher: architect of chaos

Gordon Brown and David Cameron are vying to claim the mantle of Margaret Thatcher, the Tory prime minister from 1979 to 1990 who was elected 30 years ago this week.

The police are an enemy of the people

The death of Ian Tomlinson during protests against the G20 in London on 1 April has made thousands of people question the true nature of

A history of repression and strike breaking

From the working class demonstrations of the Chartists in the 19th century to the anti-war and anti-capitalist movements today one thing has remained a constant – police repression.

The police are the strong arm of the state

The police have been integral in implementing New Labour’s "anti-terror" legislation – from extended stop and search, bungled house raids and the slaying of Jean Charles de Menezes.

Protecting the Nazis

The police also have a long history of protecting Nazis while attacking anti-Nazi demonstrators – from Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts in the 1930s to the National Front in Lewisham in 1977. It continues to this day.

Miners recognise police tactics at G20: ‘These are old tactics’

‘In 1984 and 1985 my husband was a striking miner. I was a member of a women’s support group, helping in the food kitchen and taking part in women’s picket lines and demonstrations.

A budget for the rich

The Daily Telegraph declared it the budget of "class war". But for all the right wing media’s frothing at the mouth and claims that the budget will hit the wealthy, the real losers will be ordinary people.

What’s behind killer swine flu?

The headlines have been apocalyptic – a new outbreak of swine flu is in danger of engulfing the world.

Support grows for crucial dispute

Solidarity action for Visteon workers is spreading across Britain. It is piling pressure on Ford.

Belfast Visteon: Four weeks in occupation

The High Court in Belfast last week refused to order the eviction of the occupying Visteon workers in the city.

Visteon workers’ action has Ford on run

The Visteon workers fighting for jobs and justice have put Ford onto the back foot. They are threatening a major escalation in their dispute that would hit Ford’s production in Britain.

Revealed: Ford-Visteon planned closure 8 years ago

Socialist Worker can reveal secret plans going back as far as 2001 to shut at least one of the plants at the heart of the current Visteon dispute.

Victory at Visteon

Visteon workers have won a major victory against one of the biggest and most powerful multinational companies in the world – Ford.


The Great Game: Afghanistan

This festival explores the culture and history of Afghanistan, which has been the victim of the machinations of the great powers for almost 200 years.

Just Add Water? - Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company

Shobana Jeyasingh is a choreographer who draws on classical Indian dance and ballet, but refuses the simplistic label of "fusion" for her innovative dance.

Be Near Me

This play, based on the Booker Prize winning novel by Andrew Hagan, is set in the 1980s in a small West Ayrshire town which once thrived on the coal and steel industries.

Goran Bregovic: Balkan music that knows no borders

Goran Bregovic is probably the most famous performer to have emerged from the Balkans.

Politics and People

Politics and People is a new exhibition at Gallery North at Northumbria University in Newcastle, which explores our relationship with the ethical and the political.

JG Ballard: the great poet of the ‘new bad things’

Bertolt Brecht, the great Marxist poet and playwright, liked to say, "Don’t start with the good old things but the bad new ones." In other words, don’t mourn the past, confront the new cultural forms capitalism creates, however degraded and empty.

What We Think

Vote left in European elections on 4 June

New Labour is openly saying it expects a drubbing in next month’s European elections. Socialists and anti-fascists have to make every effort to stop the BNP benefiting from growing unemployment, and the establishment parties championing cuts in services.

Pakistan is caught in logic of the US’s war

Events in Pakistan last week offered a stark reminder of why the "war on terror" will not go away.

Other Categories

Tim: Killer Pigs


Police tactics were first trialled on football fans The tactics being used by the Metropolitan Police on protesters were perfected on and around football terraces. Officers, minus the body armour and with numbers displayed, treated the majority of spectators with contempt.

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