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Socialist Worker


Issue: 2185

Dated: 23 Jan 2010




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Money for Haiti - not war and bankers

Over 100,000 Haitians are dead after a devastating earthquake hit the country last week.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Firefighters call off two strike days in South Yorkshire

The FBU firefighters’ union has called off two days of planned strikes in South Yorkshire after an offer of talks.

South Yorkshire firefighters announce ten days of strikes

Firefighters in South Yorkshire are set to strike for ten days—reigniting their fight against threats of mass sackings.

Refuse workers strike called off

The GMB union has called off planned strike action by refuse lorry drivers in Chester after management offered talks.

London protest to defend construction workers

The GMB union has called a protest in London against the underpayment and exploitation of construction workers.

Blacklisting goes on trial in London

An employment tribunal has begun against Balfour Beatty over the blacklisting of workers.

Defend suspended Unite union reps

The Unite union has begun a campaign to defend two suspended shop stewards.

Massive vote for strikes at London Underground's Metronet section

Members of the RMT transport union at the former Metronet company on London Underground have voted by over 90 percent to strike.

Workers vote for strikes to defend sacked colleagues

Tube drivers on the Bakerloo Line have voted for strike action in support of two sacked colleagues.

RMT union plans lobby over cuts

RMT union members are to rally and lobby parliament on Wednesday of next week against Network Rail’s plans to axe 1,500 maintenance jobs.

BA workers set for fresh strike ballot

The Unite union will reballot BA cabin crew workers for strike action against job cuts and attacks on their conditions.

Huge vote for action at East London Bus Group

Unite union members at East London Bus Group’s (ELBG) garage in Upton Park have voted by 182 to six in an indicative ballot to say they would strike if drivers on routes 300 and 325 are transferred to other companies.

Court case says stop and search powers are 'illegal'

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) last week ruled that the police’s use of stop and search is illegal. But the Labour government is determined to keep the powers.

New targets for Islamophobic 'witch-hunt'

Postgraduate teacher Reza Pankhurst has become the latest victim of Islamophobia.

Inquest begins into Paul Coker death in police custody

A man who died in police custody in south east London shouted "I can’t breathe, you’re killing me" as officers detained him before his death, a coroner’s court heard last week.

Victory for NHS health workers in north Devon

There was a carnival atmosphere in the town square in Barnstaple last Saturday as workers in the North Devon Healthcare Trust in the Unison union celebrated their stunning victory over their employers, Sodexo.

Activists get ready for education demo

Students and lecturers across the country are preparing to march on parliament next week against cuts in higher education.

Fujitsu workers declare that ‘enough is enough’

The wave of strikes at Fujitsu Services in defence of jobs, pay and pensions has shaken the IT company – and changed many people’s view of workers in the industry.

Student union says scab on strike

Workers at the University of Leeds are balloting for strikes against a programme of cuts that would slash 10 percent of the university budget and impose compulsory redundancies.

Fight the cuts in HMRC

Revenue & Customs management last week announced the latest stage in their assault on workers and public services with plans to close over 130 offices in the next 12 months.

Civil service workers' national strike ballot on redundancy pay

Hundreds of thousands of civil service workers are to vote on a strike in defence of their redundancy terms.

Did Unison break its own rules over Yunus Bakhsh?

The hypocrisy involved in the persecution of Yunus Bakhsh, a psychiatric nurse from Tyneside who has been hounded out of his job and the Unison union, was underlined last week as it emerged Unison has breached its own rules and statute law in payments to the Labour Party.

Premier foods: workers of the world unite in Cambridgeshire

Workers at Premier Foods cannery in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, struck for one day last week and are set to strike for 48 hours this week.

Right to Work: we need action to stop jobs massacre

The massacre of thousands of jobs this week shows the central importance of the Right to Work conference on 30 January in Manchester.

Thousands face jobs axe

Bosses announced that about 900 jobs will go at the Bosch car parts plant in Miskin, near Cardiff. The other major employer in the area is steelmaker Corus, which is cutting more than 1,000 jobs at Port Talbot.

Nazi with explosives sentenced to 11 years

British National Party (BNP) member Terence Gavan was jailed last week for 11 years after police found 54 improvised explosive devices, including nail bombs and 12 firearms, at his home in West Yorkshire.

Military families’ disgust at BNP

The BNP has launched its election campaign under the banner "Support Our Troops – Bring Our Boys Home".

Fascists challenged wherever they go

The BNP is facing serious opposition to its plan to stand 300 candidates in the coming general election.

Stoke moves to stop the EDL and the BNP

Activists in Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire are organising to block a two pronged assault from the forces of fascism.

BBC Newsbeat wrong on BNP

The BBC has admitted it was wrong in its handling of an interview with two Nazis on the Radio 1 show Newsbeat.

Two are jailed after last year’s London Gaza protests

Two young women who took part in protests in solidarity with Gaza in January last year have been sentenced to 15 months in prison for "vandalising a branch of Starbucks".

Lecturers union commemorates the Holocaust

The first of three special UCU union Holocaust Memorial meetings took place in Brighton yesterday, Monday 18 January.

Troops shoot demonstrators in Afghanistan

Troops killed eight demonstrators in Afghanistan’s Helmand province on 12 January.

Blockade Afghanistan council of warmongers in London

World leaders will gather in London on Thursday of next week for a "war council" on Afghanistan and Yemen.

Make Tony Blair’s day at Iraq inquiry a nightmare

A storm of protest will welcome warmonger Tony Blair on Friday 29 January when he attends the Chilcot inquiry into the invasion of Iraq.

Photo of London commemoration for Gaza victims


International


Comment

A Sivanandan: John Denham is wrong to downplay race

In a way John Denham’s statements are an advance on previous New Labour positions, in that he emphasises the need to look at racial disadvantage in class terms.

The British economy's worst drop since 1921

The future course of the British and the world economies are shrouded in obscurity. But figures released last week give us a proper measure of the magnitude of what has already happened.


Features

Haiti: the real looters are sitting in Washington

Four days after the disaster in Haiti, the media shifted its attention from images of suffering to those of looting.

IMF forces Haiti into debt slavery

Two days after the earthquake struck, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) helped to plunge Haiti even deeper into debt slavery.

Don’t worry, the ‘murdering maniacs’ are on the way

Among the thousands of US troops arriving in Haiti is the 82nd airborne division – more commonly known as "the murdering maniacs" because of their torture and abuse of Iraqi prisoners, including those held at Abu Ghraib.

Aid delayed by US interference

A week into the disaster aid had failed to reach most Haitians as the US pushed aside other agencies, including the Haitian government, to take control of Port-au-Prince.

Living it up next to disaster zone

Rich holidaymakers are sipping rum cocktails on private beaches just a few miles from the disaster as luxury cruise liners continue to dock in Haiti.

Earthquake hit the poorest

Haiti was in trouble before the earthquake struck.

Donate to the disaster relief

You can make a donation to the Haiti aid effort via:

How much is given in figures

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Haiti voices

"Tell your country: if they don’t deliver food, people will riot."Ilo Fene

How US imperialism has devastated Haiti

The earthquake in Haiti caused, and continues to cause, such terrible destruction and loss of life because the country is so poor. There are three main reasons for that.

Haiti: overthrowing slavery and resisting the IMF

The suffering of Haiti’s people today is rooted in slavery and imperialism. The Times newspaper has described Haiti as "the unluckiest country" while the racist US evangelical Pat Robertson said that Haitians had "swore a pact to the devil" when they rose up against slavery in the 1790s.

‘There is no such thing as free hospitals - or flushing toilets’

What’s it like in Haiti, day-to-day?

Haiti timeline

1492 – The islands are "discovered" by explorer Christopher Columbus and claimed for Spain as a colony1697 – What is now Haiti is occupied by France and named Saint-Domingue. The French begin bringing in 20,000 slaves a year to grow sugar cane for export1804 – Haiti win its independence following a slave revolt. It becomes the first black republic in the world. A new constitution is adopted, giving people more rights and freedoms1825 – The new country is forced into paying reparations to France for loss of property during the revolt, keeping it locked in a cycle of debt<


Reviews

Crude - The Real Price of Oil

This film charts the long battle of the people of Amazonian Ecuador against oil giant Chevron.

A Raisin In the Sun

Racists threw a brick through eight year old Lorraine Hansberry’s window with such force that it embedded itself in a wall.

Afro Modern: Journeys through the Black Atlantic

Inspired by Paul Gilroy’s book The Black Atlantic, this exhibition traces the impact of black Atlantic culture, black artists and intellectuals from the early 20th century to today.

More Miles than Money - Journeys through American Music

When I was in my early teens I wanted to be American. It just seemed that everything cool, important and fun came out of America &#8211; except for sport.

Nurse Jackie: addictive new drama

Edie Falco, known to most of us as Carmela in the Sopranos, plays New York nurse Jackie Peyton &#8211; a woman attempting to juggle work, relationships and children, and who is constantly finding herself at risk of dropping one of the balls.


What We Think

Conference to unite our struggles

The Right to Work conference on 30 January must be a priority for everyone.

Labour won’t fight the class war. We should

Gordon Brown has crushed any lingering belief that Labour is going to run an election campaign that addresses the needs of working class people.


Other Categories

Joan Willetts 1946-2010

Joan Willetts, a commited socialist, has died suddenly from a heart attack.

Daniel Bensaïd 1946–2010

The sad litany of deaths of Marxist intellectuals of the 1960s generation has continued. The French philosopher and activist Daniel Bensaïd &#8211; one of the great figures to emerge from the students’ and workers’ rebellion of May to June 1968 &#8211; died on 12 January at the age of 63.

Tim: Forgotten tragedy

Tim: Axe

Leon: Clockwork Tories

Letters

Unity is needed to fight these education cuts Our vice chancellor Michael Arthur’s decision to write a Guardian article (12 January) opposing university cuts marks quite a U-turn.



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