Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 1769

Dated: 01 Oct 2001



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Stop bomber Blair

BOMBING THE weak and starving. That's George Bush and Tony Blair's plan for Afghanistan. And in a sickening hoax they claim to be helping the ordinary people there. On Monday the US and British governments made sure pictures were beamed around the world of bags of wheat emblazoned with "USA" going to Afghanistan. But that cynical display is much too little and much too late.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Anti-war demos

Demonstrators took to the streets in many countries on Saturday of last week.

Victim blamed

DISGRACEFULLY, no charges will be brought against the four police who shot three protesters during the Gothenburg anti-capitalist protests in Sweden last June. Bjšrn Ericson, the judge who conducted the inquiry, said that no crime had been committed.

Tube bosses' dirty tactics

BIG BUSINESS is already trying to use the drive to war to attack workers fighting to defend their conditions and public services. The London Evening Standard last week ran a page of smears against tube workers, who have voted by more than two to one for strikes to win a 4 percent pay claim.

A fiddle to sell homes

TWO OF New Labour's flagship council home privatisation schemes were suddenly rescued last week when extra money appeared to ensure the sell-offs went ahead. The plans to hand all council homes in Glasgow and Birmingham to private housing companies are the two biggest in the country.

No cash for care

NEW LABOUR has enraged charities by breaking its pledge over care for the elderly. The government's new system for nursing care for people in England came in this week.

Keep up pressure on Blair

OVER 6,000 people defied torrential rain to demonstrate outside the Labour Party conference in Brighton on Sunday. They marched behind a banner that read "People not profit-peace not war", carried by school and further education students.

The Taliban

GEORGE BUSH is making the people of Afghanistan suffer for actions he blames on their government, the Taliban. The Taliban head an awful regime. But they do not have the support of the mass of Afghans, who are already bearing the brunt of the US war threat.

Raise anti-war profile

SOCIALIST WORKER is continuing to get a great response from people eager for arguments against Bush and Blair's war drive. In Manchester some 66 people bought Socialist Worker on a 300-strong peace vigil.

Hundreds strike to defy judge's ruling

HUNDREDS OF council workers in Newcastle stayed away from work last Friday, despite their union leaders calling off a planned one-day strike in the face of an injunction.

Union activist under attack

ROYAL MAIL management have begun formal disciplinary procedures against CWU union rep Mark Dolan from north London. A worker made a complaint against Mark after he had overheard a discussion about the World Trade Centre suicide attacks. When Mark tried to settle the matter amicably, the same worker then made a further complaint, this time of harassment.

BT workers

UNION reps from London CWU branches in BT were due to meet this week to discuss backing a call for action against the company. BT has terminated the contracts of 79 engineers who were on two-year contracts early. There are fears there could be more job cuts.

Medical secretaries

Three hundred medical secretaries in Glasgow are striking for five days this week.

Civil servants in rising mood

THE STRIKE for safety by hundreds of civil servants in the PCS union in west London is set to turn into a national dispute. The strikers, in Brent and Lambeth in London, entered their fifth week of indefinite strike on Monday of this week.

Building to stop the war

OVER 400 people packed into an organising meeting in central London on Tuesday of last week to launch the Stop the War Coalition. The meeting followed the 2,000-strong rally in central London the week before.

Helicopter pilots

AROUND 200 helicopter pilots working in the North Sea oil and gas industry were due to start a ballot on industrial action over pay this week. The pilots, members of the BALPA union, work for CHC Scotia and fly to North Sea oil and gas platforms from Aberdeen, Norwich, Humberside and Blackpool.

Anti-Nazi message strikes a chord

ANTI-NAZI activists are stepping up their campaign against the Nazi BNP and National Front (NF) in Oldham in the run-up to the 20 October Respect anti-racist festival in the town. Campaigners prevented the NF from holding a demonstration in the town centre last Saturday.

Langside College

OVER 200 lecturers and students from Langside College in Scotland demonstrated last week against redundancies. They joined a rally in Clydebank town hall with Scottish Socialist Party MSP Tommy Sheridan.

Services shock sackings

ADVERTISING cutbacks are producing an enormous crisis in the media, which depends on advertising. Before 11 September ITV advertising "showed its worst downturn for half a century", reports the Financial Times. "The outlook now looks much worse, with some television executives expecting a 30 percent fall in revenues."


International


Comment

An anti-war alternative

IT IS too early to tell how much really has changed as a result of the atrocities of 11 September. One thing is clear, however. Defenders of the status quo are going to use the "war on terrorism" in order to justify all sorts of measures that they want to achieve anyway.

Who keeps the peace?

WHEN I was a child you could order a magic Cornish charm from the Captain Marvel magazine. It promised that if you held onto it and said something would happen often enough then it would happen.


Features

We need your money now more than ever

AS THE New McLabour conference pushed an agenda of war and privatisation, Socialist Worker responded by taking to the streets to support the Brighton protest against privatisation and for peace.

The union leaders avoid the issues

"THE WHOLE conference has been an exercise in avoiding debates. "It's incredible that we have avoided the issue over public services and have not taken a position on Star Wars."

The terror unleashed by the US

"THEY ARRIVE at an undefended village, assemble all the residents in the town square, and then proceed to kill, in full view of the others, all persons working for the government-including police, local militia members, party members, health workers, teachers and farmers."

Forced into new poverty

WHILE THE government spends billions on the build-up to war, it is pushing through vicious attacks on disabled people's benefits. New Labour is preparing to rob the sick and vulnerable of Incapacity Benefit. Many Labour Party members and disability rights campaigners were furious when Tony Blair announced the plan in July.

Against capitalism and against the war

OVER 1,000 people gathered in London last Saturday for an anti-capitalist conference organised by Globalise Resistance. Throughout the day the main venue, the former Hammersmith Palais, was a throng of people, debate and discussion.

Job cuts to cash in on the crisis

"YOU'RE SACKED." That's the blunt message tens of thousands of workers are getting from their bosses. Behind official talk of pulling together behind the "war on terrorism" a growing number of firms are ramming through savage job cuts.


Reviews

These aren't nonsense

NEW INTERNATIONALIST magazine has just released three more "No-Nonsense Guides". They are £7 and are available from Bookmarks-phone 020 7637 1848 or go to www.bookmarks.uk.com

Don't miss this night of dissent

MARK THOMAS, the comedian and activist who was so successful with his Channel 4 programmes, is on a tour which will take his establishment-poking talent to nearly 50 towns and cities across Britain. Go for a defiant, intensely moving, incredibly powerful and hugely funny evening.


What We Think

No mandate for war on Afghans

DELEGATES TO the Labour Party conference on Tuesday gave Tony Blair a standing ovation. He is going to use this as an excuse to wage war on Afghanistan. But Blair only got such support because people believed, wrongly, that he is a restraining influence on George W Bush and the US military.


Other Categories

Don't let our rights be lost

AS A lawyer specialising in human rights, civil liberties and asylum, I am extremely concerned about the climate of intolerance, fear and racism which surrounds our government's declaration of a "war on terrorism." We cannot claim to be fighting for democracy and human rights if we start off by abrogating basic freedoms and perpetrating injustice. Proposals to bring in even more draconian terrorist laws and laws against asylum seekers will carry with them expectations that this will somehow result in the identification of terrorist suspects.

A year of the intifada battle

FRIDAY 28 September saw the first anniversary of the new intifada-the uprising by Palestinians against Israeli domination of their lands. During that year Israeli troops or settlers have murdered over 700 Palestinians. Despite this, a poll last week showed that 85 percent of Palestinians want the intifada to continue.



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