Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2226

Dated: 06 Nov 2010




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These strikes must win

Three key battles are taking place in Britain. Their outcome will shape the movement against the bosses and the Tories. This week, firefighters and Tube workers in London struck to defend jobs and the quality of the services they provide.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Vodafone: protests across Britain at legal tax dodge

Vodafone found itself under siege last Saturday as protesters shut down its shops across Britain.

Brighton: mass march for services

In a sign of the growing size of protests against the cuts, around 1,500 joined a rally against cuts in Brighton last Saturday and then marched through the town centre.

Firefighters lead resistance to cuts

London firefighters walked out for a second solid strike on Monday—as they prepared for their key two-day strike starting Friday, Bonfire Night.

Labour council threatens workers with sack in south Wales

A Labour council in South Wales is threatening to sack its 10,000 staff unless they accept new contracts that will mean significant pay cuts for many.

Tube workers: a critical battle for jobs and safety

Tube workers were preparing for a third 24-hour strike as Socialist Worker went to press in their battle for jobs and safety.

Racists humiliated as Euro-launch flops

Racist plans to celebrate the launch of a "European Defence League" flopped in the Netherlands last Saturday.

BBC strike against pension theft

National Union of Journalists (NUJ) members at the BBC were to strike for 48 hours on 5 and 6 November—the same days as London firefighters.

What you can do to back the strikes

Do a collection in your workplace for the strikers

Police: 'the English Defence League is not the problem'

A meeting with Preston councillors last week shows the extraordinary measures that police are prepared to use to block protests against the racist English Defence League (EDL).

Saturday’s anti-racist protest can push back the racists

Thousands of people will take to the streets this Saturday for an important protest against racism, fascism and Islamophobia.

Deaths in custody: Relatives march to demand justice

Around 100 supporters of the United Families and Friends Campaign blocked traffic as they marched silently from Trafalgar Square to Downing Street in central London on Saturday.

The mood to fight grows among students

Students from across Britain are mobilising for a big demonstration on Wednesday of next week against soaring fees, course cuts and Tory attempts to bar universities to the poor.

Students plan for a day of dissent

The EAN conference resolved to make 24 November a national day of action for education.

Student voices of struggle across Europe

Students from Greece and Austria came to the EAN conference, as well as Julien Sergere, a college teacher from France.

Successful strike stops tube

The third 24-hour strike by London Underground workers for jobs and safety has been as successful as the previous two.

Packed Norwich anti-cuts meeting plans next steps in cuts fight

More than 200 people crammed into Norwich City Hall’s council chambers for a meeting organised by Norfolk Coalition Against the Cuts meeting on Monday of this week. People even had to be turned away as the meeting was so full.

Goldsmiths students occupy against cuts

Students at Goldsmiths College in south east London went into occupation today against the threat by government and university management to cut courses and funding in higher education.

Join protest outside parliament against cuts to Housing Benefit

Defend Council Housing and tenant groups have called a lobby and protest outside parliament on Tuesday evening against government plans to cut housing benefit, erode secure tenancies and attack affordable rents.

Video of striking London firefighters, 1 November 2010

Footage of and interviews with striking firefighters in London on Monday 1 November 2010

Video of student protest in Dublin

Video of the mass student march in Dublin on Wednesday 3 November 2010

London firefighters' strike called off

London’s firefighters have called off the strike they had planned for tomorrow (Friday) after bosses agreed to go to arbitration.

Solid pension strike rocks BBC bosses

The 48-hour strike by NUJ union members at the BBC over management’s attempts to rob workers’ pensions has been solid across Britain.

Thousands march against racism and Islamophobia

More than 5,000 black, white and Asian people surged through central London today on a Unite Against Fascism (UAF) march against racism.

Pictures from Unite Against Fascism march in London

Video of Unite Against Fascism's London march against racism and Islamophobia

5,000 marched through central London on Saturday 6 November. This video shows the demonstration, interviews participants and shows speeches.

Are some strikes ‘irresponsible’?

The Tories and the right wing media are incensed at firefighters’ plans to strike on Bonfire Night.

Pensioners demand fast action on cuts

Up to 1,000 pensioners took part in an angry rally outside parliament to protest at cuts to services and attacks on pensions on Wednesday of last week.

Unite: Vote for a fighting union

The fight for the general secretary of Unite, Britain’s biggest union with 1.3 million members, is hotting up as the election continues.

Mail centre workers march against closure

Postal workers in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, delivered a message of defiance to Royal Mail bosses who want to shut their mail centre by demonstrating last Saturday.

On the streets to stop the Tories’ assault

Leicester More than 400 people protested in Leicester on an anti-cuts demo organised by Leicestershire Against the Cuts last Saturday.

Reject the rotten deal at BA, demand new strikes

An appalling deal remains on the table at British Airways (BA). Yet the Unite union, and its cabin crew section Bassa, have not yet given cabin crew a chance to vote on the offer—or to discuss it collectively.

Stop the War conference: Building for the protest on 20 November

Around 200 people attended the Stop the War Coalition’s annual conference on Saturday. The conference discussed the current anti-war movement and the struggles ahead.

Coca-Cola workers rally

Unite union members at Coca-Cola Enterprises in Edmonton, North London, joined protests by Coca-Cola workers across Europe and Britain on Wednesday of last week.

Further strike days in CT Plus dispute

Bus drivers in the Unite union at CT Plus struck again on Friday of last week—and announced more strikes in their dispute over pay in Hackney, east London.

Meeting challenges racism in Birmingham

Some 120 students and school pupils packed out the council chambers in Birmingham for a Question Time-style debate about how to tackle racism in the city, on Tuesday of last week.

Lecturers into battle in Dundee

Lecturers in Dundee have voted overwhelmingly for an industrial action ballot unless management commits publicly to no compulsory redundancies.

UCU backs a ballot on jobs, pay and pensions

The Higher Education Committee (HEC) of the UCU has unanimously agreed to ballot for industrial action over both the employers’ offer on pay and job security and the attack on university pensions.

Tories scrap School Support Staff Negotiating Body

The Tories have scrapped the School Support Staff Negotiating Body (SSSNB), set up to negotiate pay and conditions for around 500,000 workers in England.

Heinz workers threaten strike

Heinz baked beans could be rationed in Britain as workers threaten strikes over pay.

Fox’s pay offer takes the biscuit

Workers at Fox’s biscuits factory in Batley, West Yorkshire, are balloting for industrial action over a 1.5 percent pay offer.

Taxi drivers force council climbdown

Taxi drivers in Rossendale, Lancashire, have forced the borough council into a spectacular U-turn.

Demand justice for sacked PCS reps in Hastings

Hastings Borough council has passed an official motion calling for a public enquiry into the actions of managers at CSA Hastings.

How much?! Bosses live it up while we face cuts

While we’re all told that we need to "tighten our belts", there’s one set of waistlines that won’t be feeling the pinch—the top fatcat bosses whose income rose by 55 percent last year.


International

Arundhati Roy: Statement on Media and Mobs

The author and activist Arundhati Roy has made the following statement after facing serious harassment from right wing forces for calling for democracy in Kashmir:

Union leaders signal a retreat in France

The French government and most of the world’s media have declared that President Sarkozy has beaten back opposition to his attacks on pensions.

New files reveal brutal role of British in Afghanistan

The Ministry of Defence has released detailed reports of British troops’ actions in Afghanistan—and they reveal a lot about the crisis of the occupation.


Comment

Obama's America is a disappointment for many

US president Barack Obama was elected in 2008 on a wave of hope. There was justified exhilaration that a black man had won the most powerful elected office in the world, in a country so marked by racism.

Liberation and Lady Chatterley

The acquittal of the publishers of Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence on obscenity charges 50 years ago was path breaking. Somewhere I still have a fading copy of the uncensored edition, published by Penguin in 1960, that I bought when it came out. I can’t pretend I got it for literary reasons (I was, after all, 14 at the time). The book cracked open the stuffy, official edifice of British culture.


Features

Revolution is possible

Millions of people know there is something deeply wrong with the world. They are sick of poverty, inequality, war and racism and wish society was run differently. At the same time, many think it impossible to overthrow capitalism.

Housing benefit cuts: this is the social cleansing of Britain

The government reacted with fury last week to accusations that its changes to housing benefit would lead to "social cleansing". But the words stung because they are true.

Housing in crisis: bring back rent controls

The housing crisis could be solved at a stroke by the reintroduction of rent controls. These used to exist to keep workers’ rents at an affordable "fair" rate. An "independent" local rent officer set rent levels and it was illegal to charge more.


Reviews

Men Should Weep: speaks to a time of hardship

Set in the tenement flats of Glasgow, this production is a raw, emotional and funny portrayal of working class life during the Great Depression.

Ska With Laurel: Bringing together history and politics of British ska

Born in Cuba in 1927 but settling in Jamaica at the age of 11, Laurel Aitken was dubbed "The Godfather of Ska", and he was the real pioneer of the genre.

The Independent - Damian Ortega

This exhibition takes a fascinating look at the news and how it is presented. The artist, Damian Ortega, has taken inspiration from news items between 29 August and 27 September 2010 and created a physical representation of that time.

Routes to Revolution: Women Mapping Birmingham

Routes to Revolution showcases the creative responses of a group of refugee and newly arrived women towards Birmingham’s industrial and craft-based heritage.

Greetings cards from the Great Miners’ Strike

Past Pixels have joined forces with the National Union of Mineworkers to produce a selection of 18 greetings cards of the enamal badges of the NUM during the 1984-5 strike.


What We Think

We need more than 'business as usual' in the union movement

The strikes by London firefighters and Tube workers, and by BBC workers across Britain, are crucial for everyone who wants to defeat the Tories’ assault on working people.

Imperial panic: the terror attack that wasn't

The news that printer toner cartridges are to be banned from hand luggage was one of the more surreal responses to the latest "terror plot".


Other Categories

Tim's view

Leon Kuhn: Squeezing

Tim: We're all in it together?

Letters

BA: a ruthless, bullying, intimidating company I am a suspended British Airways cabin crew member. When I was suspended, I was led from the aircraft like a murderer, escorted through the terminal by two managers, read my rights and sent home.



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