Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2228

Dated: 20 Nov 2010




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The student revolt shows how to fight

I am proud of the student protest last week—and students across Britain have received enthusiastic messages of solidarity from workers.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

What would liberated education look like?

Tory attacks on education, and resistance to them, reflect a sharp debate about what education should be for.

Europe makes cuts but the crisis grows

The European financial system was on the edge this week with bankers demanding more cuts from economies already ravaged by austerity measures.

What are government bonds and why do they matter?

Bonds are a way for corporations or governments to raise money. They are the main way states meet the gap between their spending and their income from tax.

The banks that are holding Ireland to ransom

The main bondholders in the Irish economy are:

Duncan Smith launches a brutal attack on poor

Tory work and pension minister Iain Duncan Smith’s new welfare reform programme represents the most brutal government attack on poor and unemployed people since the creation of a welfare state.

Duncan Smith's job claims aren't true

Duncan Smith claims that there are 459,000 jobs available in job centres across Britain. This is not true. Nomis, which supplies official labour market statistics, says that only 383,344 jobs were available at job centres. Only 265,409 of these are full-time.

Cheap labour is the aim of Tory welfare attacks

Those who are deemed fit to work and are currently on Jobseeker’s Allowance will be forced to accept any job going.

Bosses’ ‘vindictive’ assault on firefighters

London fire bosses have launched a vicious attack on Fire Brigades Union (FBU) members following their recent strikes.

Essex fire bosses try to buy off workers

Fire bosses in Essex are trying to buy off workers by offering some of them "no-strike contracts" for extra cash.

Campaigners oppose Tory welfare plans

Richard Hawkes of disability charity Scope:

What has been won at the BBC?

Planned Strikes over pensions by members of the NUJ journalists’ union at the BBC were called off after management promised talks last week.

Chilling signal in rape case

A woman jailed for "falsely retracting" allegations that she had been raped six times by her husband is to remain in prison after being refused permission to appeal against her eight-month sentence.

Pepsi to write government health policy

Fast food companies and the drinks industry are helping Tory and Lib Dem ministers draft their health policy.

Demo ‘greets’ Duncan Smith and Nick Clegg

Right to Work protesters and supporters of the London Coalition Against Poverty gave Iain Duncan Smith and Nick Clegg a warm welcome when they arrived to unveil their Work Fair scheme last week.

Jimmy Mubenga march

More than 150 people marched through central London on Friday of last week demanding justice for Jimmy Mubenga. Jimmy died last month as three G4S private security guards were forcibly deporting him to Angola at Heathrow airport.

Asylum protest in Glasgow

Tube workers fight job cuts

Tube workers in the RMT and TSSA unions are continuing their fight against London Underground management’s plans to slash 1,600 jobs.

Astra Zeneca strike defends pensions

GMB union members at the Astra Zeneca pharmaceutical firm in Macclesfield, Cheshire, struck on Tuesday of this week—the ninth strike day in their ongoing fight to defend their pensions.

Bus workers reject 'miserly' pay offers

Workers at two London bus companies have rejected miserly pay offers and are moving towards strikes. Drivers at London United are set to strike for 24 hours on Monday after voting by 525 to 295 to reject a revised pay offer.

CT Plus strike ends

Strikes by bus drivers at CT Plus in east London have ended, workers have told Socialist Worker.

Unite election—push to the end

The election for the general secretary of the Unite union was to end on Friday of this week.

Paramedics won’t sign contracts

Paramedics at the Great Western Ambulance Service are livid after management forced through changes to their shift system and demanded they sign new contracts.

Historical Materialism conference: Crisis and Critique

Hundreds of people joined the debates at the four-day Historical Materialism conference in central London last week. Among the highlights were meetings on the way forward for the women’s movement and the engagement between Marxism and feminism.

Cuts meetings in Exeter and Ealing

Anti-cuts meetings are taking place across the country. Ninety activists in west London agreed to establish the Ealing Alliance for Public Services on Thursday of last week.

West plans four more years of Afghan horror

WHILE THOUSANDS of people march in London this Saturday demanding British and US forces leave Afghanistan, leaders of the Nato military alliance will meet in Portugal to review "progress" in the war.

Anti-war movement fights for the right to protest

THE AUTHORITIES have once again tried to obstruct an anti-war protest in London’s Hyde Park.

Big support for Stop the War march

The Stop the War Coalition, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the British Muslim Initiative have called Saturday’s march.

Students inspire the anti-cuts movement

The 50,000-strong student and lecturers’ demonstration last week, and the occupation of Tory party headquarters, were a brilliant boost to the fight against the government.

Make student protest a turning point in battle against Tories

This week local councils announced their budgets are so squeezed they might not have enough cash to cover the redundancy payments for the tens of thousands of job losses they expect. So they plan more cuts!

You should join the socialists

The latest round of vicious Tory attacks on the poor and vulnerable shows more than ever the need for an alternative to the madness of the market.

Good response to Socialist Worker online

Last Friday the Socialist Worker website was viewed over 54,000 times by people looking for an analysis and defence of the student protests. Thousands of copies of our four page special leaflet were downloaded.

Eamonn McCann wins Foot award

Socialist Worker would like to congratulate Eamonn McCann on winning a special lifetime campaign award as part of the Guardian/Private Eye Paul Foot awards.

Anti-cuts activists unite in Scotland

The Right to Work campaign is growing roots across Britain.

Round-up of anti-racist news

•Charges dropped against UAF leaders

Break a Clegg

Activists are determined to hound Nick Clegg, David Cameron and the other Tory toffs wherever they pop up.

NUT plans a national ballot to stop attack on pensions

The NUT teachers’ union wants to hold a national ballot for strikes to defend pensions.

Wave of solidarity with the Millbank student protesters

The police, the media and most politicians are carrying out an offensive against student protesters who occupied the Tories’ Millbank HQ.

Teachers in Islington to take two-day strike over safety

Teachers at St Aloysius School in Islington, north London, are expecting to strike on Wednesday and Thursday of next week.

Hypocrisy of crackdown on Millbank student protesters

Three students have so far been arrested on suspicion of dropping a fire extinguisher from the roof of Millbank Tower.

Hackney teachers want to ballot for anti-academies strike

NUT members in Hackney, east London, are fighting moves to turn all three remaining non‑church comprehensives into academies.

Sussex University students occupy–you can too!

Some 200 students occupied a lecture theatre at Sussex University on Monday of this week.

Fighting to keep Moreland school

Around 80 people came to a meeting on Thursday of last week to oppose the closure of Moreland school, in Islington, north London.

‘Education protests are a ray of hope for us all’

Lee Hall is a playwright, well known for writing the film Billy Elliot. He has signed the statement supporting the Millbank protesters and spoke to Socialist Worker about his excitement over the student demonstrations:

British Airways: Bassa right not to ballot

Plans to ballot British Airways cabin crew on a new offer in their ongoing dispute have been halted—because their union reps refused to recommend it to them.

Where next? Nov 24 is Day X for Lib Dems

Students are now preparing for "Day X"—a national day of action against education cuts on Wednesday of next week.

Blacklisted construction worker wins at tribunal

Construction worker Phil Willis won a landmark legal judgement against blacklisting on Wednesday of last week.

Key dates for the student movement

A flurry of action is planned to build on the 50,000‑strong student protest in central London last week.

Vodafone protest in Leicester

Protesters shut down a Vodafone shop in Leicester last Saturday in protest at the firm’s £6 billion legal tax dodge.

Royal Mail bosses secret spying system

Royal Mail bosses in Northampton are using a secretive new computer database to help them sack workers alleged to have broken the firm’s rules.

Industrial news in brief

Workers board of low pay offers Around 2,500 Unite union members in the corrugated board industry are to ballot for industrial action after ­overwhelmingly rejecting a pay offer from their bosses.

Thousands of firefighters lobby against cuts

The FBU firefighters’ union today pledged to fight cuts that threaten 10,000 firefighters’ jobs—and will put lives at risk.

Protest at housing benefit cuts

Campaigners held a protest outside parliament to coincide with a Labour-initiated debate about cuts to housing benefit on Tuesday of last week.

Protest demands reinstatement of firefighter Sian Griffiths

Some 50 firefighters and their supporters lobbied a London fire authority meeting today over the suspension of firefighter Sian Griffiths.

24 Nov: Everyone to Downing Street to back students’ ‘Day X’

Students across the country are preparing for a day of protests, walkouts and occupations next Wednesday 24 November—"Day X".

Barnet sixth formers march on local Tory HQ

Hundreds of school, college and sixth form students from across Barnet in north London marched to the local Tory Party HQ in Finchley last night chanting "No ifs, no buts, no education cuts!"

School students organise Day X walkout

School, FE and university students up and down the country are gearing up for the Education Activist Network (EAN) day of action, known as Day X, on 24 November. This day will take the mood of the mass demonstration on 10 November onto every campus and city centre.

Video of Stop the War demonstration

Thousands of people joined the Stop the War demonstration through central London on Saturday 20 November 2010, under the slogan 'Afghanistan: Time to Go'

Students at Soas and Manchester Metropolitan universities occupy

Around 100 students have occupied the Brunei Gallery at Soas (the School of Oriental and African Studies) in central London. They are protesting against the cuts in education and are asking the university's vice chancellor both to speak out against the cuts and to initiate a statement for other vice chancellors to sign.

UWE latest university to occupy

Up to 50 students are occupying the Core 24 building at UWE (University of the West of England) Frenchay campus in Bristol.


International

Portugal: General strike over austerity cuts

Workers’ resistance to austerity will take centre stage in Portugal on Wednesday of next week when hundreds of thousands of union members are set to join a general strike.

Release of Suu Kyi isn’t end of the fight in Burma

Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was released this week after spending most of the last 20 years under house arrest. It’s welcome that she’s free. But hopes that this will be the start of a shift from a military dictatorship to democratic government are premature.


Comment

Poppies help our rulers forget

Every year it is seemingly compulsory for every politician and even anyone who appears on television to wear a poppy. It is presented as a mark of respect for those who have died in war.


Features

Margaret Thatcher: how we defeated the ‘iron lady’

‘It’s like we’ve gone back to the 1980s. We had the cuts, and now we’ve got the riot." That was the response of one student protester interviewed outside the broken windows of Tory HQ last week.

Student protest: Tories are the real vandals

Arguments are still ­­raging over what happened as students’ seething rage at Tory plans to treble university fees and slash education budgets burst onto the streets of London last week.

Huge anger among students at fees betrayal

Under a clear blue sky, over 50,000 students took over central London. The feeder marches from ULU, LSE and King’s universities helped to set the boisterous tone of the day as students surprised police and stopped traffic on main roads.

Need for a party is not just historical

Those who want to defend class society, and some on the left who oppose revolution, argue that revolutions merely set up new hierarchies, not the freedom and equality their participants dream of.


Reviews

Call of Duty: Black Ops - game with glimpses horrors of war

You can see through US agent Mason’s eyes as he is graphically tortured.

Bird on a Wire: beautiful film of Leonard Cohen and his times

This stunning documentary follows Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen on tour in 1973—the one he claimed would be his last.

The Obama Syndrome

This is a merciless dissection of Obama’s overseas escalation and domestic retreat.

The Cradle Will Rock

Book early to make sure you catch this revival of a brilliant pro-union, 1930s US musical.


What We Think

Bailouts won’t stop austerity and crisis

It is a mantra of our rulers that you can’t buck the market. And proof seemingly came this week as the global bond markets turned on Ireland with a vengeance, pushing up the rate of interest at which the government must borrow to finance its debts.

Where is Labour in fight against cuts?

Shadow home secretary Ed Balls was quick to denounce the student protests last week.


Other Categories

Leon Kuhn: 'Violence is unacceptable'

Tim's view

Tim: 'In charge of equality'

Letters

Students’ day of rage rocked the government The student demonstration in London last week was really positive, attracting lots of media attention, raising the profile of the issues and showing how angry people are.

Quotes of the week

‘I know I’m an old man these days, but I was a student once, and I stand four-square with them now.’Daily Mirror columnist Paul Routledge backs the student protests



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