Dated: 20 Nov 2010
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I am proud of the student protest last week—and students across Britain have received enthusiastic messages of solidarity from workers.
Tory attacks on education, and resistance to them, reflect a sharp debate about what education should be for.
The European financial system was on the edge this week with bankers demanding more cuts from economies already ravaged by austerity measures.
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 main bondholders in the Irish economy are:
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 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.
Those who are deemed fit to work and are currently on Jobseeker’s Allowance will be forced to accept any job going.
London fire bosses have launched a vicious attack on Fire Brigades Union (FBU) members following their recent strikes.
Fire bosses in Essex are trying to buy off workers by offering some of them "no-strike contracts" for extra cash.
Richard Hawkes of disability charity Scope:
Planned Strikes over pensions by members of the NUJ journalists’ union at the BBC were called off after management promised talks last week.
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.
Fast food companies and the drinks industry are helping Tory and Lib Dem ministers draft their health policy.
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.
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.
Tube workers in the RMT and TSSA unions are continuing their fight against London Underground management’s plans to slash 1,600 jobs.
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.
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.
Strikes by bus drivers at CT Plus in east London have ended, workers have told Socialist Worker.
The election for the general secretary of the Unite union was to end on Friday of this week.
Paramedics at the Great Western Ambulance Service are livid after management forced through changes to their shift system and demanded they sign new contracts.
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.
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.
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.
THE AUTHORITIES have once again tried to obstruct an anti-war protest in London’s Hyde Park.
The Stop the War Coalition, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the British Muslim Initiative have called Saturday’s march.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
The Right to Work campaign is growing roots across Britain.
•Charges dropped against UAF leaders
Activists are determined to hound Nick Clegg, David Cameron and the other Tory toffs wherever they pop up.
The NUT teachers’ union wants to hold a national ballot for strikes to defend pensions.
The police, the media and most politicians are carrying out an offensive against student protesters who occupied the Tories’ Millbank HQ.
Teachers at St Aloysius School in Islington, north London, are expecting to strike on Wednesday and Thursday of next week.
Three students have so far been arrested on suspicion of dropping a fire extinguisher from the roof of Millbank Tower.
NUT members in Hackney, east London, are fighting moves to turn all three remaining non‑church comprehensives into academies.
Some 200 students occupied a lecture theatre at Sussex University on Monday of this week.
Around 80 people came to a meeting on Thursday of last week to oppose the closure of Moreland school, in Islington, north London.
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:
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.
Students are now preparing for "Day X"—a national day of action against education cuts on Wednesday of next week.
Construction worker Phil Willis won a landmark legal judgement against blacklisting on Wednesday of last week.
A flurry of action is planned to build on the 50,000‑strong student protest in central London last week.
Protesters shut down a Vodafone shop in Leicester last Saturday in protest at the firm’s £6 billion legal tax dodge.
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.
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.
The FBU firefighters’ union today pledged to fight cuts that threaten 10,000 firefighters’ jobs—and will put lives at risk.
Campaigners held a protest outside parliament to coincide with a Labour-initiated debate about cuts to housing benefit on Tuesday of last week.
Some 50 firefighters and their supporters lobbied a London fire authority meeting today over the suspension of firefighter Sian Griffiths.
Students across the country are preparing for a day of protests, walkouts and occupations next Wednesday 24 November—"Day X".
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, 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.
Thousands of people joined the Stop the War demonstration through central London on Saturday 20 November 2010, under the slogan 'Afghanistan: Time to Go'
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.
Up to 50 students are occupying the Core 24 building at UWE (University of the West of England) Frenchay campus in Bristol.
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.
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.
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.
‘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.
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.
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.
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.
You can see through US agent Mason’s eyes as he is graphically tortured.
This stunning documentary follows Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen on tour in 1973—the one he claimed would be his last.
This is a merciless dissection of Obama’s overseas escalation and domestic retreat.
Book early to make sure you catch this revival of a brilliant pro-union, 1930s US musical.
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.
Shadow home secretary Ed Balls was quick to denounce the student protests last week.
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.
‘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