Dated: 29 Sep 2001
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GEORGE W Bush has gathered together all the weapons of modern war to attack one of the poorest nations on earth. We say stop the war now because:
MILLIONS OF people in Afghanistan were suffering from George Bush's war drive at the start of this week, before he had unleashed a single bomb. Threats of a ferocious US-led assault on Afghanistan forced relief agencies to pull out.
GEORGE W Bush's speech to the US Congress last week was a chilling combination of threats, arrogance and hypocrisy. "Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists," he warned. If Bush had thought about it, that was a declaration of war on more than half the world. Billions of people across the globe hate what the US government stands for. They hate what the US does through its domination of the IMF, World Trade Organisation and World Bank.
Crime of war "BUSH AND Blair say they are fighting a war for civilisation. Yet they have forgotten what civilisation means. What happened in America was a crime against humanity. The perpetrators should be brought to justice.
UNITED STATES: On just one day last week there were anti-war protests on 146 campuses. Two days earlier 2,600 people had protested in Portland. The University of California in Berkley was at the forefront of the protests. Over 3,000 people attended the demonstration there. A national demonstration in Washington was planned for Saturday of this week.
THE LANGUAGE used by Bush and Blair to justify their war drive is giving encouragement to racists and Nazis. In the US racist attacks took place within days of the destruction of the World Trade Centre on 11 September.
SOCIALIST Worker supporters report a big increase in sales as large numbers of people look for arguments against Bush's war drive. Last Saturday saw large street sales-85 in Brixton in south London, 232 in Birmingham, 307 in Manchester, 28 in Guildford, 50 in Hove, and many others. They helped to create a visible opposition to the war as local anti-war coalitions started to take shape.
A NEW crisis is gathering in Hackney council in east London. Stephen Byers, the Secretary of State for Local Government, has given the Labour-run council a deadline to ram through even harsher measures than it originally planned.
THE STAND Up For Council Housing campaign got under way with meetings, protests and activities in many areas last Saturday. The campaign is taking place as the government and many councils are pressing ahead with plans to privatise council homes.
LONDON Underground could come to a halt on Friday 12 October and the following Friday. Results were due this week in ballots by both RMT and ASLEF union members in a dispute over pay.
HEALTH BOSSES in Glasgow have upped the stakes in the long-running fight by medical secretaries to win decent pay. All 300 of the secretaries are due to strike for a week from Monday. Sixty medical secretaries in the surgical division are already striking for three days every week.
OVER 400 angry UNISON members met last week to plan a campaign against privatisation proposals in Nottinghamshire county council. The chief executive, who is about to take up the post of director general for schools in England, is pushing for over 600 jobs to be handed to a private company.
MORE THAN 70 media workers packed a meeting in central London on Monday and adopted this statement:
SOME 200 people joined a protest against threatened PFI privatisation at east London's giant Royal London Hospital on Wednesday of last week. UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis addressed the rally against the proposed PFI scheme to redevelop the hospital.
POSTAL WORKERS in north London walked out unofficially last week in defence of union rep Mark Dolan and the right to free speech at work. Mark, who works at the giant NDO office in Islington, was involved in a discussion with fellow workers over the suicide attack on the World Trade Centre.
ANTI NAZI League activists, other anti-fascists and local residents protested in west London outside the Shirland Road Nazi "charity shop" on Saturday. The protest got off to a great start when we discovered that the Nazis had chosen not to open the shop for the day.
SCOTTISH POWER workers have started a ballot on strikes against attempts to cut jobs and worsen conditions. The 1,700 workers involved, who work both in Scotland and in Scottish Power's subsidiary in Merseyside and North Wales, are fighting plans to force a section of workers into a new company.
CIVIL SERVANTS from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) struck for two days last week over pay. PCS union members at government offices in York, Guildford and Worcester walked out on Thursday and Friday.
THE ANTI-capitalist movement hit Newcastle last Saturday, with a 100-strong anti-sweatshop protest outside a sports shop in the city centre. The day began with a Globalise Resistance stall on the green (an area where young people hang out in the centre of Newcastle).
Dungavel Over 100 protesters demonstrated last weekend outside the Dungavel detention centre in south Lanarkshire, Scotland, calling for the closure of the camp. Many of the protesters had travelled from Glasgow, where they had taken part in an anti-war rally
UNION LEADERS are ignoring a strike vote by further education lecturers. Instead leaders of the NATFHE union are ordering a new ballot and recommending that workers accept the same employers' offer they have just voted against! Lecturers delivered a two to one ballot majority in favour of rejecting a pay offer of just an extra 0.3 percent from next April.
IT'S AMAZING that Francis Fukuyama still dares to show his face in public. Far from experiencing the end of history after the fall of Stalinism, we are now confronted with the third major imperialist war since 1989. There are major similarities between each of these conflicts, but also significant differences.
FROM THE channel that brought us the sensationalist fly on the wall documentaries Jamaican ER and Lagos Airport we now have How Racist is Britain? The four-part series has been screened in the run-up to Black History Month in October.
"I SPENT most of my time being a high class muscleman for big business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. I was a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-12. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China, I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested." US GENERAL SMEDLEY BUTLER
IN THE last week Socialist Worker has been part of building anti-war meetings and protests across the country.
The building of a movement against war was given an enormous boost at a marvellous rally in central London last Friday. At just a few days notice over 2,000 packed into Friends Meeting House opposite the capital's Euston station. There hasn't been a meeting like that in London for at least 20 years.
THE WORLD economy is on the verge of a major recession. That was the bleak message last week as 100,000 workers on both sides of the Atlantic lost their jobs and the stock exchange plunged downwards.
"IT HAS been suggested that it is appropriate to hold back our anti-privatisation campaigning for the forseeable future, in the wake of events in the US. Such a move might make sense if the government itself was suspending the privatisation drive, but it is clearly doing no such thing.
THOUSANDS of workers across Britain and the US are facing the prospect of redundancy in the aftermath of the events in the United States. Aerospace industry and airline bosses have been at the forefront of sacking thousands of workers.
A MAJOR conference in London this weekend will bring activists together to discuss how to build the movement against capitalism and war. Anti-capitalist group Globalise Resistance had called the counter-conference to coincide with the planned demonstrations against the IMF/World Bank meeting in Washington.
BOSSES around the world are using the crisis caused by the destruction of the World Trade Centre to push through massive job cuts and make even more profits. Around 100,000 jobs were cut in the US and British airline and aviation industries in days.
THE government wants to ram through severe attacks on civil liberties under the cover of its "war against terrorism". Home secretary David Blunkett confirmed last weekend that he is "very seriously" considering introducing compulsory identity cards.
THE MASS anti-capitalist protests in Genoa changed people. It became a beacon for all those fighting the system-not just those who were there but across the world.
I WORK at a school in north west England. I was very shocked by the deaths at the World Trade Centre and I still feel horrified whenever I see the pictures on the television. But I am also very determined that this horror should not lead to others, such as the further destruction of Afghanistan.
WHENEVER the rulers of a country go to war they demand national unity from their population. They insist that all internal divisions must be set aside.
TONY BLAIR is thinking of using the din of war drums to smuggle in a decision to allow a dangerous new nuclear plant to start operating. The Mox plant at British Nuclear Fuel's (BNFL) Sellafield site in Cumbria has been mothballed since it was built in 1996 because of safety fears.