Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2177

Dated: 14 Nov 2009

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Millions more turn against Gordon Brown's war

Something has changed in British politics. Gordon Brown and Labour ministers now appear almost entirely isolated in their support for the brutal war in Afghanistan.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Protesters descend on G20 finance summit in Fife

Around 400 protesters from all over Scotland gathered in St Andrews, Fife, last Saturday to oppose the presence of the G20 summit of finance ministers.

All-out strike at Yorkshire Superdrug warehouse

The biggest dispute to hit South Elmsall in Yorkshire since the Great Miners’ Strike ended in 1985 is taking place at Superdrug.

Gains from South Yorkshire fire strikes

Strikes have forced fire chiefs in South Yorkshire to climb down from their threat to sack 744 firefighters.

Protest against the contracting out of Underground cleaning

The RMT transport union has called a protest against the contracting out of cleaning on London Underground for Wednesday of next week.

400 rally against local government cuts

There was an angry lobby by 400 Nottinghamshire county council workers at lunchtime on Thursday of last week.

Army arrests anti-war soldier Joe Glenton

Lance Corporal Joe Glenton—a soldier who is refusing to fight in Afghanistan—was arrested and held on Monday of this week after the British army brought new charges against him.

Secret inquests will deny justice

The Labour government forced through a significant attempt to cover up miscarriages of justice this week. The measure, buried in the Coroners and Justice Bill, passed by a majority of just eight MPs.

Lecturers to strike at University of Westminster

Members of the UCU lecturers’ union at the University of Westminster are set to strike on Friday of this week in a dispute over back pay.

Strike at Glyndwr University to support sacked lecturer

Lecturers at Glyndwr University in Wrexham have voted to strike in support of a sacked lecturer.

Lecturers' action in Barnsley forces concessions

Two hundred members of the lecturers UCU union at Barnsley College struck on Wednesday and Thursday of last week.

Political representation conference calls for new coalition

Around 250 people attended a conference on "The crisis in working class representation" sponsored by the RMT transport union last Saturday in London.

Copenhagen conference won't stop climate change

Ed Miliband, the climate change secretary, has admitted that next month’s United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen will not produce any binding treaty to tackle climate change.

Battling the trust at Norlington School

Teachers in the NUT union at Norlington School in Waltham Forest, east London, began a three-day strike on Tuesday of this week.

Anti-Sats campaign steps up activity

Teachers, parents and children across Britain are stepping up activities against the government’s hated Sats tests.

Brighton refuse strike suspended after council concessions

Refuse workers in Brighton suspended their strike action for 21 days as Socialist Worker went to press. The move came after the council appeared to make significant concessions retreating from its plan to cut the wages of the 300 workers.

Protest called at arrest of Joe Glenton, the soldier who has spoken out against Afghan war

The Stop the War Coalition has called an emergency demonstration against the arrest of Joe Glenton from 5pm to 6pm on Thursday 12 November at Ministry of Defence, Whitehall, London SW1A 2HB.

Pictures of bus strikes in London and Essex, Monday 9 November

Fujitsu strike called off

The Unite union has called off the three days of action at the Fujitsu Services IT company set to begin tomorrow after it came to an agreement with management to extend consultations over pensions and redundancies.

Meeting shows mood to resist homophobia

A determined meeting saw lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, and their supporters, gather in central London against homophobia on Tuesday evening. More than 65 people attended the meeting, which came after large vigils in London, Liverpool and other towns and cities against the rise in homophobic hate crime.

UAF calls emergency protest against BNP conference near Wigan

Unite Against Fascism has heard that the BNP is holding its annual conference in Hindley Green, near Wigan, this weekend. UAF has called an emergency protest against the BNP. Meet at 12 noon on Saturday 14 November outside The Swan pub on Swan Lane, Hindley Green, Wigan WN2.

Anti-fascists halt Scottish Defence League in Glasgow

A threatened racist protest today outside Glasgow’s central mosque was blocked as the city centre was firmly in the hands of around 3,000 anti-racists and anti-fascists.

63 percent of people in Britain want troops out now

Over 200 British soldiers have died in Afghanistan since 2001, more than 90 this year alone.

Cop who assaulted Babar Ahmad acquitted in assault case

PC Mark Jones was last week cleared of racially assaulting two teenagers.

Over 5,000 complain about TSG riot squad

Shocking figures have been released showing the number of complaints made against the Met police’s riot squad.

Solid bus strikes for pay and dignity

Bus workers demand respect—that was the message from thousands of striking drivers in London and Essex, who brought services to a standstill on Monday this week.

BA cabin crew ballot to take off against bosses' attacks

Around 14,000 cabin crew at British Airways (BA) will begin a strike ballot on Monday of next week—the same day that management is due to impose harsh new terms and conditions on cabin crew.

Resisting the racist Scottish Defence League in Glasgow

Anti-fascist campaigners in Scotland are organising to counter a march by the racist thugs of the Scottish Defence League (SDL) this Saturday.

Anti-Muslim attacks on students

A series of brutal attacks on Asian students at City University in north London has underlined the vicious consequences of rising anti-Muslim racism.

No mood for homes transfer

The Neath Port Talbot Defend Council Housing (DCH) campaign is to hold its 14th public meeting in the campaign to stop the transfer of some 9,300 council homes.

Climate campaign gears up for demo

Around 150 activists gathered at a London forum last Saturday to discuss the situation that climate campaigners face in the run up to the United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen next month.

Leeds all-out bin strike into tenth week

Striking refuse workers in Leeds have entered their tenth week of all-out, indefinite strike action—and their resolve is causing council bosses to wobble.

Corus workers force U-turn

Workers at the Corus Steel company have forced management to backtrack over their refusal to pay workers two consecutive quarterly bonuses.

Civil service workers calling up a campaign

Civil service workers are in the forefront of campaigning to defend public services.

Mikey Powell inquest hears family’s account

Evidence is being heard at an inquest at Sutton Coldfield town hall into the death of Mikey Powell.

First ever national strike in the IT industry to start this week at Fujitsu

An historic national strike in the IT industry is set to begin this Thursday as workers at Fujitsu walk out for three days.

Right wing tirade causes stir in NUJ election

The elections for the editor of The Journalist, the magazine of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), have caused a surprising stir.


Eyewitness from Kabul—disillusionment is growing

The deeply polarised city of Kabul has recently been unified by a new addition to Afghan life—the surgical mask.


Crisis exposes ruling class rifts

The news that Britain has not escaped recession brought a deep sense of gloom to big business. It also exposed deep rifts within the ruling class over what to do next.


Post union should put strikes back on

Were the post workers’ CWU union leaders right to call off our planned strikes at Royal Mail last week?

Post deal wastes the chance to deliver victory

Leaders of the postal workers’ union were wrong to suspend strikes at Royal Mail last week.

Managers seize the chance to push through attacks

The ink on the agreement signed by Royal Mail and the postal workers’ union may not yet be dry, but already bosses have shown that they are attempting to string out local talks and keep existing attacks in place.

Diary of a postal striker in the north: The battle of the noticeboard

Since the first day of our strike, the Royal Mail propaganda machine has been spewing out misinformation.

First tributes to Chris Harman

Over the last 24 hours we have received hundreds of messages of condolence from groups and individuals from all over the world.

Simon Mann’s coup plot: nasty, brutal and posh

There is a tendency to portray the British ruling class as a somewhat buffoonish collection of toffs, removed from the realities of life.

Agency work: flexibility or exploitation?

Royal Mail’s use of agency workers to try to break the post workers’ strike has highlighted the role of employment agencies.

Case study: ‘You had to stand there and be demoralised’

John found a job as a street cleaner. The council used a mix of permanent and agency workers for their street cleaning operation.

Agency workers are treated like cattle

Agency workers in Liverpool told a study by the North West TUC how they were "treated like cattle" while working on a multi-million pound government contract.

Privatisation pushes employment agencies into the public sector

Over the past decade, the use of temporary agency work has increased dramatically.

Chris Harman's ideas were forged in the heat of the struggles of 1968

‘But, Chris, didn’t Mao lead a genuine revolution in China in 1949?" This was a shout as well as a question, and it reverberated across the London School of Economics (LSE) student canteen.

‘Suddenly we had an audience’ - Chris Harman on Socialist Worker

Can you explain the founding of the weekly paper and the audience it was aimed at?

Tributes to Chris Harman

Eamonn McCann, Civil rights activist, Northern Ireland

Negri's autonomist ideas misses the need for a strategy

In March this year over 1,000 people, a large number of them young students, attended an academic conference on "The Idea of Communism" in London.

Unpicking the myths about immigration

Will "tougher" action on immigration help to beat the BNP?


Signs of Revolt: Creative resistance and social movements since Seattle

In November 1999 an alliance of direct action activists, environmentalists and trade unionists shut down a meeting of the World Trade Organisation in Seattle. In the process they sparked a global movement.

What We Think

End to post strike brings little cheer to Labour

The decision by CWU union leaders to sign an interim agreement and call off nationwide postal strikes was a serious mistake.

Other Categories

Obituary: Chris Harman 1942-2009

Chris Harman, editor of International Socialism and before that for many years editor of Socialist Worker, died suddenly of a heart attack in Cairo on the night of 6-7 November, on the eve of his 67th birthday.

Leon: Post trap

Tim: More helicopters


Why the fight against homophobia is political The recent vigils against homophobia (Socialist Worker, 7 November) were hugely important in providing a place to protest against recent attacks.

Quotes from the week's news

‘The stumbling block to a solution in the post was a small group of union activists in London who seemed to think they were fighting a class war. They were being driven on by the Socialist Workers Party.’A ‘Royal Mail source’ complaining in the Daily Mail that the post bosses didn’t get it all their own way

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