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Socialist Worker

Issue: 2193

Dated: 20 Mar 2010

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Saturday's protest against racist EDL in Bolton - rolling update

6.49pm: From BoltonNearly all anti-fascist protesters who were arrested in Bolton during the demonstrations have now been released. Most have not been charged or have been fined £80.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Refugee interviews: ‘People here are nice, but the Home Office treat us like dogs’

"I can understand why a family here committed suicide. Think about how our lives waste away while we sit and wait in fear," a woman from Pakistan told me.

Glasgow rallies to defend its refugees

The tragic suicide of three Russian asylum seekers in Glasgow has shone a light on the appalling conditions faced by many refugees.

Left gains in lecturers’ union

The UCU Left has made some gains in recent elections for the union’s national executive committee.

Church of England goes on strike

The first strike in the Church of England’s history took place on Friday of last week.

Visteon protest one year on

Former workers at the Ford-Visteon car parts firm are to demonstrate at parliament on Wednesday 31 March.

DCH launches housing manifesto

Defend Council Housing (DCH) was to launch a manifesto, putting the case for council housing to election candidates, at its conference this week.

Right to work round-up

Edinburgh Over 50 people came to a Right to Work meeting to discuss fighting cuts and defending public services. Speakers included Jim Malone, FBU union regional organiser, Cheryl Gedling, PCS national executive, Liz Rawling, president of Edinburgh University Student Association, and Michael Hogg, RMT union regional organiser.

Women's TUC conference

Nearly 300 delegates from over 30 trade unions met at the annual TUC women’s conference last week.

Education round-up

Lewisham Teachers in the NUT union struck on Tuesday of last week at Northbrook secondary school in Lewisham, south east London.

TUSC shows its teeth

Sheffield Around 30 people joined leafleting in Burngreave, Sheffield, where Maxine Bowler is standing against Labour MP David Blunkett.

Yunus Bakhsh’s tribunal names names

The anonymous accusers of sacked nurse Yunus Bakhsh were finally revealed at an employment tribunal last week. It is more than three years since they gave evidence that was important in the case against Yunus.

Strike at Notting Hill Housing Group

Workers at the Notting Hill Housing Group in London struck on Monday for the first time in over 15 years.

Post deal means job losses

Post workers are debating a deal between their union leaders and Royal Mail to end the long running dispute over jobs, pay and conditions.

Sussex students occupy against cuts and victimisations

Hundreds of Sussex University students were defying management threats as Socialist Worker went to press.

Climate change trade union conference

Up to 150 activists came to the Campaign Against Climate Change (CACC) trade union conference last Saturday.

London pensioners' meeting opposes cuts

John Lister from the Health Emergency group talked to pensioners in London last week about NHS cuts.

Lobby of parliament to save tax office jobs

Around 100 PCS reps and activists attended a lobby of parliament on Wednesday of last week against job losses and tax office closures.

Left election campaign builds support in Tottenham

Over 75 supporters of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) leafleted Tottenham, north London, last Sunday.

Activists' diary

Friday 19 MarchDefend Council Housing annual conferenceTUC, Great Russell St, London, WC1B. <a href="">»</a>Tuesday 23 March to Friday 26 March, Greek workers resist austerity: What lessons for Britain?Vasilis Sylaidis gives an eyewitness account of the recent Greek general strikes at Right to Work meetings in London, Manchester, Glasgow and Dundee. <a href="">»</a> Saturday 10 April,

Defra privateer suspended

Mike Watkins, the man behind one of the biggest civil service contracts, has been suspended following expenses fraud allegations.

Civil service workers' contact centre battle

The PCS union contact centre campaign in the Department for Work and Pensions is progressing, but the fight continues.

First Scotrail strike

More than 550 First Scotrail drivers struck last Saturday against plans to impose driver only trains on the Airdrie to Bathgate line. Sleeper train managers also struck on Sunday

Firefighters' safety fears over cuts

Around 100 firefighters protested against fire service cuts in Norfolk last Monday outside the council’s County Hall in Norwich.

London Underground cuts are ‘tip of an iceberg’

London Underground bosses plan to slash 800 jobs from ticket offices and among platform staff. This will have a severe impact on services and safety.

Facts behind BA ‘offer’

A key part of British Airways bosses’ plans is to bring in "new fleet" – workers on lower wages and worse conditions.

Wednesday 24 March: turn the budget day into a day of resistance

Around 200,000 civil service workers will strike on the same day that chancellor Alistair Darling presents his budget to parliament.

Strikes over dangerous rail cuts

A major battle is about to begin on the railways.

BA: take the war to Willie Walsh

The battle at British Airways (BA) matters for everyone.

Cabin crew facts

Over three quarters of cabin crew earn less than £20,000 a year (less than the average London wage).Many rely on tax credits or second jobs to survive.Cabin crew wages fell by over 4 percent in real terms between 2001 and 2008.BA cabin crew earn more than some crew at other airlines. It is right to fight to level wages up, not down.Cabin crew saved a man’s life in New York last week by applying emergency medical treatment. BA wants to put scabs on planes with only a few days’ training which will risk lives.

Smash the racist EDL in Bolton

On Saturday the racist and fascist supporters of the English Defence League (EDL) will try to march through Bolton city centre to spread violence and intimidation.

‘We won’t let Bolton be divided by racist thugs’

Coachloads of anti-fascists will travel to Bolton this Saturday to join protests to stop the racist English Defence League (EDL) from marching.

Stoke shows why we need to stop the EDL

"I didn’t march in Stoke but I’m coming to Bolton".

What is the English Defence League?

The English Defence League (EDL) is a group of racist thugs and football hooligans with links to the Nazi British National Party (BNP).

Dudley next stop against EDL on Saturday 3 April

More than 200 trade unionists and members of different faith groups have signed a unity statement saying that the EDL is not welcome in Dudley.

BNP must not gain in Barking

Over 80 anti-fascists joined a Unite Against Fascism day of action in Barking, east London, last Saturday.

Top BNP man is humiliated

British National Party (BNP) deputy leader Simon Darby tried to attend a youth electoral hustings organised by the YMCA in Stoke-on-Trent last Thursday.

Bloody Sunday victims' relatives protest over delayed report

Relatives of those killed on Bloody Sunday are protesting outside Downing Street, the Ministry of Defence and Buckingham Palace today, Wednesday.

Sick attack on BA workers

British Airways has stooped to new lows in its efforts to intimidate cabin crew.

Students in revolt in Sussex and Aberdeen

More than 50 students at the University of Aberdeen are occupying administration offices at their university.

Sussex lecturers strike for jobs

Around 50 lecturers and students are picketing the main entrance of Sussex university in a strike to save jobs.

French cabin crew call solidarity strike with BA workers

Air France cabin crew have called a three-day solidarity strike with workers at British Airways (BA).

Sussex students win

Sussex university has reinstated the six students it suspended after they occupied the university against cuts.

Solidarity and celebration at Sussex university strike rally

Workers and students came together for a rally at Sussex university this afternoon during a successful strike by Sussex lecturers.

All roads lead to Bolton

The wave of opposition to the racist English Defence League’s march in Bolton this Saturday is growing as hundreds activists make their final push to build the Unite Against Fascism counter demonstration.

Bolton mosque attacked

Racists have attacked a Bolton mosque on the eve of the mobilisation by the English Defence League in Bolton tomorrow.

The fight is on at British Airways

Unite union officials have confirmed that a three-day strike of British Airways cabin crew will go ahead. It begins tomorrow.

'Electric mood' on BA picket line

BA cabin crew started a three-day strike this morning. They are fighting to stop attacks on jobs, pay, conditions and their Unite union. The picket lines are electric. Pickets cheer as cars beep their horns in support. Even some of the police are giving the thumbs up!

Video of racist EDL arriving in Bolton

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Defiant message from BA strikers

Striking cabin crew at British Airways (BA) won tremendous support from fellow BA workers, other airport workers, trade unionists and climate campaigners on their picket lines today.

Thousand-strong march for education hits London

Up to one thousand students and workers marched to Downing Street today in a buoyant protest against education cuts.

BA strike hits bosses hard

With 80 percent of cabin crew standing strong on the first day of the BA stoppage, Unite has issued an update of how the strike is biting so far, which reveals that BA's much-vaunted contingencies plans are failing:

BA flies empty planes from Heathrow

BA flew 32 empty long haul flights from Heathrow airport yesterday.

Debates on the war in Afghanistan

In the weeks leading to the general election Stop the War is organising debates on the war in Afghanistan.

Bolton man 'stabbed by EDL supporters'

The Bolton News is reporting that a man was stabbed in the shoulder with a "cut-throat" blade after trying to stop his friend being attacked by alleged supporters of the English Defence League who had earlier been protesting in Bolton.


Mixed signals from French election

The first round of the French regional elections last Sunday saw a heavy defeat for the ruling right wing party of Nicolas Sarkozy.

Italians strike against Berlusconi

Hundreds of thousands of Italian workers held a four-hour general strike on Friday of last week against the policies of right wing prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Greece: ‘They took our jobs–now we’ve taken their office’

On the eve of Greece’s third general strike last week, Panepistimiou Street in Athens was packed with several hundred people, huddled around lit braziers.


New genes won’t remake Einstein

Sometimes the speed with which science moves can be startling, even to scientists. The 1990s film Gattaca is set in a future in which everyone aspires to conceive via IVF so they can select those embryos with the best genetic profile for their offspring.

‘Some Greek workers are continuing the fight beyond the general strikes’

The general strike in Greece on Thursday of last week was even more powerful than the one on 24 February.

‘Economic spring’ is a long way off

Like winter, the economic slump is reluctant to let Britain escape its grip. All attempts to talk up the "recovery" seem doomed to failure.

The rich and street thugs: a warning from Italian history

The idea that the far right thugs of the English Defence League (EDL) might gain friends, allies and even adherents in the upper classes would be scoffed at in polite society.


Eyewitnesses to the Battle of Cable Street: ‘Fascists did not pass’

Max Levitas Max Levitas is 94. He was a message runner at the Battle of Cable Street.

Why the system depends on migration and racism

Capitalism needs workers to survive &#8211; but the bosses hate paying for them.

Tortured for 7 years - and the British government knew it

Muhammad Saad Iqbal Madni is just 32 years old but has difficulty walking even with a walking frame. He is dependent on antibiotics and antidepressants and he can’t hear out of his left ear.


The White Guard competition results

Congratulations to James Nowlan who won tickets to see the new production of Mikhail Bulgakov’s play The White Guard, which is on at the National Theatre in London.

Little Richard reissues

When Little Richard helped pioneer the rock and roll sound in late 1950s US, the country’s dance halls mirrored the racial segregation that gripped the Deep South.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

An industrialist recruits investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) to solve the mystery of his niece’s disappearance 40 years ago.

Maurice Broomfield’s spectacular view of work and working life

Photographer Maurice Broomfield is responsible for some of the most emotive scenes of people at work that you are likely to see.

Green Zone: an arrogant movie that justifies American wars

Hollywood has a revisionist narrative for every war &#8211; like the myth that the US single-handedly won the Second World War.

What We Think

Union pays piper to play BA’s tune

The Daily Mail claimed this week that, "Brown daren’t confront the BA union bullies. The reason? His party’s totally sold out to the red barons."

Our own struggles can shape general election

The shape of the main parties’ election campaign gets clearer every day. Gordon Brown will try to sound slightly less keen on cuts than the Tories.

Other Categories

Tim: In their pocket

Tim: Scabbin Crew



In their own words

"The ‘terrorist wing’ of the trade union movement."Trevor Kavanagh leads the hysteria against the Unite union in his Sun column

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