Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2227

Dated: 13 Nov 2010




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Punish the rich not the jobless

The Tories have launched a brutal attack on unemployed people to deflect criticism from the real scroungers—the rich.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Can organisation make us less effective?

People have demonstrated across Britain in protest at Vodafone’s legal £6 billion tax dodge. The protests were great. A handful of people mobilised hundreds—and caught the attention of thousands.

Thousands march against racism

Some 5,000 black, white and Asian people marched through central London last Saturday against racism, fascism and Islamophobia.

Here is the news: BBC journalists strike over pensions

Some 4,000 BBC workers struck on Friday and Saturday of last week against the attack on their pensions.

Councillors angry as police favour the EDL in Preston

Councillors and anti-racists in Preston are furious over police decisions about the protest by the racist English Defence League (EDL) on 27 November.

If your union won't fight, should you leave it?

Members of the other main union at the BBC—Bectu—originally voted strongly for strikes. But the lack of a lead from union leadership meant that members have now accepted the same deal that the NUJ rejected.

Fire union leaders call off fire strikes—as growing mass pickets turn back scabs

Leaders of Fire Brigades Union (FBU) last week called off a two-day strike in London that would take in Bonfire Night. Socialist Worker believes this was wrong.

Strike three! Tube bosses whacked by action

The capital was brought to a halt again last week as London Underground workers joined the third in a series of 24-hour stoppages.

Save London’s post service

London postal workers are campaigning against the closure of two mail centres and a giant delivery office.

Don't close Usk mail centre

Around 170 people in Usk, South Wales, last week packed into a meeting to protest against Royal Mail’s threat to close their mail centre.

Campaigners give mobile phone firm a taxing time

Activists in several cities have protested at Vodafone shops across Britain for the second week running over its £6 billion legal tax dodge.

Jerry Hicks’s campaign connects with members

everything is still to play for in the battle to be the next general secretary of the Unite union. Voting ends on Friday of next week.

BBC pickets solid across country

BBC studios and offices across the country were picketed by striking NUJ members. Pickets were strong on both Friday and Saturday of last week.

Metroline bus drivers to vote on rubbish pay offer

Workers at Metroline buses in London are set to vote on a derisory pay offer.

Vote no to appalling British Airways deal

British Airways (BA) cabin crew have still not been allowed to begin a ballot on the latest offer in their dispute.

Barnet protest against ‘easyCouncil’

Over 150 people joined a lively lobby of Barnet council in north London on Tuesday of last week.

Disabled People Against Cuts launched

Disabled activists and their allies have launched Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) to fight the Tories’ austerity plans. It was formed after the protest at the Tory conference in Birmingham—which was led by disabled people.

Jobcentre workers ballot for strike

Members of the PCS civil service workers’ union in seven offices run by Jobcentre Plus are being balloted for strikes against management’s decision to convert their offices into contact centres.

Fight for passport office jobs

The fight to save hundreds of jobs at Newport passport office and passport interview centres around the country is continuing.

48-hour strike at Southampton Daily Echo

Journalists at Newsquest Southampton started a 48-hour strike against a pay freeze on Tuesday. The NUJ members at the firm, which publishes Southampton’s Daily Echo, organised a protest at a press event in the town.

Fight over plan to shut school

Teachers in the NUT union are joining parents and school students to fight plans to close a primary school in Islington, north London, by holding a public meeting this week.

NUT LGBT conference: Teachers stand up to homophobia

Around 70 NUT union members attended the union’s LGBT conference on Saturday of last week.

Unison activists prepare cuts fight

Left wing activists in the Unison union were set to meet this Saturday to discuss fighting the Tory cuts.

Astra Zeneca strikes suspended

The GMB union has suspended its strikes at Astra Zeneca in Macclesfield, Cheshire, after bosses agreed to talks.

Barac meets in Manchester

Over 70 people came to a public meeting in Manchester to discuss how black communities will be affected by the spending review.

Planned strike at Jaguar Land Rover

More than 800 DHL workers based at Jaguar Land Rover are to strike on Monday of next week.

British war crimes revealed

British soldiers could be found guilty of war crimes at a hearing at the High Court this week. Some 222 Iraqi detainees were tortured and filmed by British soldiers at a base near Bagram in Iraq.

Tory boss steals 27 London fire engines

London fire brigade bosses are threatening to permanently cut almost one in six of the city’s fire engines—meaning more than 500 firefighters could lose their jobs.

Cameron's Britain

£50,000 for Tory ‘stylist’ David Cameron has handed hundreds of thousands of pounds of our money to his Tory friends.

Raging against Tory cuts to education

A national protest by students and lecturers in London this week shows the fury over Tory plans to bar the poor from education. The revolt has to grow and deepen.

French striker in Britain to share lessons at Right to Work meetings

The Right to Work campaign is involved in important initiatives this week that will help stoke the spirit of resistance in Britain.

Prison riots against system of violent abuse

Prisoners rioted last week against inhumane conditions. For three nights young prisoners refused to return to their cells in Moorland prison, Doncaster. After the first day adult prisoners joined in the protests.

Stop EMA cuts

Cassie is an FE student in south London. She relies on Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) money to go to college, which the Tories want to cut:

Protest over cuts in housing benefit

A protest outside parliament over the plan to slash housing benefit was set to take place as Socialist Worker went to press.

Tens of thousands of students and lecturers marching on parliament- rolling update

Tens of thousands of students and lecturers marching on parliament- rolling update

Video of students ready to march on parliament

Students are arriving in their hundreds from across Britain to march on parliament against education cuts and fee increases

Video: students on the march in London

Students and lecturers on the march in London chanting "Tory scum!"

Video: students marching from Horse Guard's Parade

The march has left Horse Guard's Parade and is heading towards parliament.

Video: students occupy streets surrounding parliament

Students sit down and occupy the streets surrounding parliament

Video - students and lecturers all together!

Students and lecturers march chanting "All together, all together – strike, strike, strike!"

Students ignite the battle against the cuts

The anger against the assaults on workers, students and the poor crashed down on the Tories on Wednesday.

Student leader: ‘Make fees this government’s poll tax’

"Wednesday’s demo was brilliant. It brought home the mass feeling against the government and its policies.

Follow this demo with education action everywhere

After the great demonstration, we need to keep up the momentum to build a movement that can bring the coalition government to its knees.

Download Socialist Worker leaflet produced after student demo

Download four page A4 leaflet <a href="http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/graphics/2010/keep/student.pdf">Students ignite the battle against the cuts</a> 655kb PDF

Police drop plan to charge anti-fascists for 'conspiracy' over Bolton demonstration

The police have dropped their threat to charge leading Unite Against Fascism (UAF) members Weyman Bennett and Rhetta Moran, this week.

Occupation at Manchester University

Students at Manchester University have occupied a key administration building—which houses the vice-chancellor’s office—to protest against proposed cuts in higher education.

Unity statement launched to defend students after London protest

A statement has been issued supporting Wednesday's student protests

Duncan Smith's welfare plan a brutal attack on poor

Tory work and pensions minister Iain Duncan Smith's new welfare plan—"Universal Credit: welfare that works"—claims to be about raising people out of poverty and encouraging people into work.

March demands justice for man who died during deportation

More than 150 people marched through central London today demanding justice for Jimmy Mubenga. Jimmy died a month ago today as three G4S private security guards were forcibly deporting him to Angola on a British Airways plane at Heathrow airport. Jimmy appears to have died of asphyxiation. 

Portsmouth anti-fascists confront the EDL

We became aware something was afoot shortly before midday on Saturday when someone walking past Portsmouth's Jami Mosque saw people gathered on the road opposite with placards and flags.

Hundreds of students occupy at Sussex University

Hundreds of students have begun an occupation at Sussex University in protest at education cuts. Around 200 students are occupying a lecture theatre in the Fulton building—and they are planning to stay.


International

'The struggle goes on,' say French marchers

Over one million people took to the streets in 250 cities and towns across France last Saturday against president Nicolas Sarkozy’s attacks on pensions.

Radical left scores a victory in Greek elections

Regional elections in Greece last weekend showed the anger at the Pasok government’s austerity programme.

G20 protests begin in Korea

Anti-capitalists were gearing up for major protests this week at the G20 summit of world leaders in Seoul, Korea.


Comment

Phil Woolas reflects racism of elites

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the odious Phil Woolas being ejected from parliament for lying about Muslims in his election leaflets.

New US splurge will increase global tensions

John Maynard Keynes argued that one of the main reasons why capitalist economies are so unstable is because they are driven by investments that are essentially bets on an uncertain future. The present moment is one of peculiar uncertainty even by these standards.


Features

The Teamsters' rebellion sparked struggle

In the middle of the Great Depression of the 1930s, revolutionaries sparked and led mass strikes and factory occupations in the US. In 1934, more than 1.5 million workers took part in over 2,000 strikes—and they often won. Rank and file workers flooded into the unions, transforming them.

Create jobs to save planet

The world faces two huge crises. There’s the economic crisis, which is being used as an excuse to make massive cuts, destroy jobs and services, and push privatisation.

State and Revolution: Why we need to smash the state

The Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin wrote this book in the midst of the extreme violence of the First World War, and the revolutionary upheaval taking place in Russia in 1917.


Reviews

Mark Twain: writer and tribune of the oppressed

Mark Twain remains one of the US’s best loved novelists, 100 years after his death. The writer of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court has been declared the "father of American literature".

Another Year: Sorrow and happiness, and life in the meantime

Another Year, director Mike Leigh's new film, is about happiness and sorrow—and why lives end up full of one and not the other.

Dream Home

Dream Home, a violent Hong Kong satire, is pointedly set during the property market boom—just before the 2008 collapse.

Misfits

Channel Four was right to commission a second season of Misfits, a darkly humorous tale of teenagers on community service accidentally gifted with superhuman powers.

Let Me In

Let Me In is a chilling and mature vampire film about two isolated, lonely 12 year old children (though one may have "been 12 for a very long time").


What We Think

Unemployment is a crime of capitalism

The Tories’ assaults on unemployed workers this week are part of a brutal tradition of what happens when capitalism is in crisis.

We need to build at the base of the unions

Some of the best and most vocal opposition against the government and bosses’ attacks on our jobs and services has come from left wing union leaders.

Unity and action is vital for victory

The attacks are coming thick and fast in education. People have to be organised and ready for action—working with students, lecturers and other workers to build resistance.

Join the fight for socialism

The attacks on education are about class. The rich are declaring a war on the poor.


Other Categories

Tim: forced labour?

Tim: Sca-red Ed

Letters

Firefighters’ struggle was a big inspiration As an unemployed worker, visiting the firefighters’ picket lines, watching their actions to close down the AssetCo scabbing operation has been an inspiration for me.

Quotes from the week's news

‘Damn right!’



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