Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2191

Dated: 06 Mar 2010



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Into battle to stop the cuts

The Greek spirit of resistance will come to Britain next week when hundreds of thousands of civil service workers strike for two days.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Emergency protest against EDL rally outside parliament this Friday

Geert Wilders is coming to London on Friday to speak in parliament and show his racist film Fitna. He has been invited by UKIP leader, and lifelong member of the House of Lords, Malcolm Everard MacLaren Pearson.

Anti fascists kick off leafleting campaign against the BNP

Anti fascist activists are leafleting football matches across Britain as part of the campaign against the Nazi British National Party (BNP) in the run up to the general election.

5,000 march to say ‘Save our hospital’

Around 5,000 protesters took to the streets of Islington, north London, last Saturday to defend key services under threat at Whittington hospital.

Students and staff cram into education teach-in

Around 350 university and college students and teachers came together last Saturday for the Take Back Education teach-in at King’s College in London.

Unions stop health privatisation in Tower Hamlets

The threat to privatise community health services in Tower Hamlets, east London, has been stopped by union opposition.

Council bosses want to axe thousands of jobs

Local councils are planning to slash up to 170,000 public sector jobs.

Campaign to elect UCU Left candidates

Elections for national officers of the lecturers’ UCU union and its national executive committee (NEC) will end on Friday of this week.

The fight to save Corus jobs is still on

The shutdown of the Corus plant in Redcar, Teesside, may have started, but there is still a mood to resist among steel workers.

Wrong target in construction protest

The latest focal point in the battle over jobs on construction sites is the Alstom power station site in Pembroke, South Wales.

Barnet College fight against cuts

Further education lecturers in a dozen London colleges have demanded that management guarantee no compulsory redundancies.

Fujitsu workers accept offer

Around 80 percent of Fujitsu workers have voted to accept the latest offer from management. This follows ten strike days by Unite members.

Protest outside Tory conference on academies

Anti-academies campaigners are set to protest at a conference organised by the Tory magazine, the Spectator.

Network Rail ballot for jobs continues

Thousands of workers at the Network Rail maintenance company are continuing their ballot for strikes against 1,500 job cuts.

Fire bosses' cuts put safety at risk

Bosses are planning cuts to night cover that will put fire safety at risk across London. The scheme is revealed in leaked documents obtained by the FBU firefighters’ union.

National Union of Teachers launches Sats ballot

The teachers’ NUT union will begin a ballot on 15 March for a boycott of the administration of the hated Sats tests. This follows a unanimous vote at the NUT’s 2009 annual conference.

Certification officer rules that Unison breached election procedures

Supporters of Unison’s present leadership used union resources to boost the chances of their candidates in national executive elections.

Vote starts for National Union of Teachers executive

Voting has begun for the NUT’s national executive committee.

Halifax car workers strike

Workers at car parts manufacturer Metadyne, in Halifax, Yorkshire, were to strike for three days from Wednesday this week.

Campaign Against Climate Change trade union conference

The Campaign Against Climate Change is holding its third trade union conference on Saturday 13 March.

Neath march against council cuts

Local government workers are marching to defend jobs and services in Neath, South Wales, this Saturday.

200 people protest at Nottingham council cuts

Some 200 people gathered outside Nottingham’s County Hall last Thursday to protest against huge budget cuts.

Notting Hill housing workers strike

Trade union members at the Notting Hill Housing Group have voted to strike over changes to terms and conditions.

Workers in Glasgow museums, galleries and libraries balloted

Unison members working in museums, galleries and libraries across Glasgow are to vote on strike action.

Greek workers lead the fight against cuts

Olli Rehn, the European Union (EU) monetary affairs commissioner, flew to Greece this week to demand that the government implements even more severe austerity measures.

'The left made unions act'

Workers’ anger has pulled Greek trade union leaders behind a growing wave of resistance.

Unions stopped strikes short of a Total victory

Total oil refinery workers in France have forced concessions from their bosses with high profile strikes.

Iceland prepares for vote on IMF's bad deal

People in Iceland will take part in a crucial referendum this Saturday.

Resistance to austerity takes to the streets of Spain

The European Union has Spain in the firing line as the economic crisis intensifies.

Portuguese workers say ‘Government measures are the final straw’

Portuguese public sector workers were to strike on Thursday of this week in protest at the government’s decision to freeze wages.

More lies from the government about Binyam Mohamed

Yet another judge criticised British spies for their complicity in torture last week. And yet again the government responded with lies.

Right to Work protest at Tories spring conference

Right to Work supporters tackled the Tories in Brighton last Sunday.

Five more jailed for protesting over Gaza attacks

Around 40 people picketed Isleworth crown court on Friday of last week, demanding justice for people facing charges over the Gaza demonstrations in London last year.

Anti-war soldier faces jail as Brown gets off

A war criminal and an anti-war soldier both faced questioning this Friday. One will get off with no repercussions – the other could be sent to prison for two years.

Former MPs with a Parliamentary pass

<table><tr><th>Forename</th><th>Surname</th><th>Party</th></tr> <tr><td>Jonathan</td><td>Aitken</td><td>Con</td></tr> <tr><td>Richard </td><td>Allan</td><td>Lib Dem</td></tr> <tr><td>Thomas Richard</td><td>Arnold</td><td>Con</td></tr> <tr><td>Jacques </td><td>Arnold</td><td>Con</td></tr> <tr><td>Joseph William</td><td>Ashton</td><td>Lab</td></tr> <tr><td>Jack </td><td>Aspinwall</td><td>Con</td></tr> <tr><td>David</td><td>Atkinson</td><td>Con</td></tr> <tr><td>Norman</td><td>Atkinson</td><td>Lab</td></tr> <tr><td>Gordon Alexander Thomas</td><td>Bagier</td><td>Lab</td></tr> <tr><td>Robert George </td><td>Banks</td><td>Con</td></tr> <tr><td>Harry</td><td>Barnes</td><td>Lab</td></tr> <tr><td>Alf

Thousands of workers will take on New Labour

Hundreds of thousands of civil service workers are set to walk out on Monday and Tuesday.

Yunus Bakhsh's employment tribunal begins

Victimised trade unionist and nurse Yunus Bakhsh began an employment tribunal in Newcastle against his bosses on Monday.

Westminster students occupy against the cuts

Students at Westminster University went into occupation on Monday this week to protest against the huge cuts proposed by management.

Unite needs to name strike dates at British Airways

Over 1,000 British Airways workers made their way to Kempton Park racecourse for a mass meeting on Thursday of last week.

Battle for jobs at BBC

Leaders of the three main unions at the BBC were to meet with bosses as Socialist Worker went to press to discuss the savage cuts BBC heads want to make.

No prosecutions for Stephen Lawrence police

No action will be taken against two men arrested in connection with the Stephen Lawrence murder inquiry.

Lobbyists to access all areas

Former MPs are to be offered a pass giving them special access to the houses of parliament.

Leeds lecturers force a retreat

Lecturers at Leeds University have won important concessions from their bosses by threatening to strike.

Activists' diary

Tuesday 9 MarchFilm show and talk to celebrate International Women’s Day hosted by the SWP. 6.30pm, Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, 235 Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2H 8EP

All roads lead to Bolton on 20 March protest against the EDL

From Dover to Dundee, activists are mobilising to go to Bolton on Saturday 20 March to stop the racist English Defence League (EDL) from rioting.

Dudley is next stage in taking on the racists

The EDL is also planning to protest in Dudley on Sunday 4 April against the construction of a new mosque. EDL supporters have threatened to burn it down.

Keep up fight against BNP

The campaign against the fascist British National Party’s (BNP) election candidates is gathering momentum across Britain.

PCS regional rallies and protests on Monday 8 March

Birmingham: 12 noon, BM Institute, Margaret Street B3 3BS

Socialist election candidates are standing up against the cuts

Socialist candidates are providing an electoral challenge to the mainstream parties across Britain. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is standing in around 50 constituencies.

Massive vote for strikes at the University of Sussex

Lecturers at the University of Sussex have voted overwhelmingly for strikes to save jobs. The UCU union members’ ballot won the highest turnout ever seen at the university. Some 80.9 percent voted in the ballot with 76 percent backing strikes.

Sussex students occupy against cuts

Over 80 students have occupied at Sussex University in protest at management’s continuing plans to make savage cuts. The students are also acting in solidarity with their teaching staff, who have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action.

Police attack Sussex University demonstration

Police attacked a peaceful demonstration against cuts at Sussex University today, Students report there were 16 police vans on campus as students demonstrated in solidarity with a group who were already in occupation. Police struck as demonstrators attempted to enter the building and join the occupation.

Video of riot police arresting students at Sussex University

Riot police on Sussex University campus as students protest against cuts at the university and in solidarity with students already in occupation, Wednesday 3 March 2010

Greece: Millions to strike tomorrow against new austerity plans

Greek workers are to strike for three hours tomorrow in response to the government’s intensification of its austerity measures. George Papandreou, the prime minister, announced yesterday that he would cut public sector workers’ annual bonuses by 30 percent, increase VAT by 2 percent and freeze state-funded pensions.

Inquest into Paul Coker's death highlights police failings

A jury at the inquest into the death of Paul Coker found that lack of communication and inadequate police training contributed to his death.

Students mobilising against the EDL

Students are leafleting campuses across London this morning to build the protest against the racist English Defence League (EDL) who are marching on parliament today.

Anti-war soldier sent to prison

Joe Glenton, the British soldier who has refused to return to fight in Afghanistan, was sentenced to nine months in military prison today.

Anti-fascists confront the English Defence League in London

Around 250 supporters of the English Defence League (EDL) marched from the Tate Britain in London to parliament today. The police removed anti-fascist protesters from the road to allow the EDL through.

Pictures of anti-EDL protest in London, Friday 5 March 2010

Racist attack in Stoke after English Defence League demonstration

The partner of a man who was the victim of a racist attack blames the EDL for stoking up hatred.

Solid civil service workers' strike around Britain

Tens of thousands of civil service workers are striking today and tomorrow against government plans to make it easier to sack them. The PCS union members are taking action against plans to cut their redundancy payments, which they believe is a prelude to mass job cuts after the election.


International


Comment

Islam is not a virus needing ‘treatment’

West Yorkshire chief constable Norman Bettison’s comments in Generation Jihad on BBC2 are a matter of grave concern.

Greece's fight sheds light on a wider crisis in Europe

At one level, the Greek crisis is a familiar tale of market blackmail and bullying. Through giving up its own currency and joining the euro, Greece attached itself to one of the world’s major economies, Germany.


Features

Ben Goldacre on science and the media

What’s wrong with the way the media talks about science?

Do migrant workers drive down wages?

For many people it is common sense that migrant workers drive down wages.

How the miners shook Thatcher

The biggest and longest mass strike in British history ended 25 years ago. Around 165,000 miners struck for a year from March 1984. They were fighting Tory prime minister Margaret Thatcher’s attempts to close pits, sack tens of thousands of workers and smash one of the most militant sections of the working class.

Photos of the miners’ struggle

A tradition of militancy remains

The defeat of the miners’ Strike did not bring an end to class struggle.

Michael Foot and the left

A new biography of Michael Foot, the former Labour leader, lays open the contradictions at the heart of the Labour Party. During his long career Foot was a founding member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), a journalist and pamphleteer, and a cabinet minister.


Reviews

Satyagraha

Philip Glass’s opera is based on Mahatma Gandhi’s early life in South Africa during the Indian minority’s fight for civil rights.

Of Mice And Men

David Tennant and Liam Brennan star in a dramatisation of John Steinbeck’s novel about migrant workers in 1930s California.

Moonfleece

Originally developed in 2004 for the National Theatre, Philip Ridley’s play is an attack on nationalism and homophobia &#8211; and the rise of the British National Party (BNP).

Documenting the struggles for women’s rights

Women is a three part documentary beginning on International Women’s Day, looking at the women’s liberation movement from the 1970s to today.

Afro Modern: Journeys Through The Black Atlantic

The transAtlantic slave trade of the 18th century saw millions of Africans forcibly displaced to America and the Caribbean.

Grasshoppers, Stonkers and Straight Eights - a radical life in the post office

A new book uses one person’s life to look at aspects of working class history in the last 80 years.


What We Think

Tories’ cuts message is behind sinking polls

THE TORIES are far less certain of winning the election than they were a month ago. Opinion polls have shown their lead over Labour falling as low as 2 percent.

Class is the key to women’s liberation

Monday is International Women’s Day. It’s a chance to assess the struggles in the past and those yet to come.


Other Categories

Tim: Tories reach out to workers

Tim: Look on the bright side

Letters

Tesco’s school land grab There is outrage in Manchester at plans to establish an academy school in Stretford. The plans of Trafford’s Tory-run council have exposed the pro-business nature of the academy programme.

Quotes from the week's news

"Britain is full, declares Nick Griffin at every opportunity, and he is right."



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