Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2241

Dated: 05 Mar 2011




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Libyan revolutionaries speak out: ‘The West’s war machine won’t help us win’

"We are against any foreign intervention or military intervention in our internal affairs," said Abdel-Hafidh Ghoga in Libya’s second city Benghazi last Sunday.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Scottish teachers announce a ballot against pay freeze

Industrial action came a step closer today, Tuesday, as Scotland’s biggest teachers’ union announced that it would ballot its members over proposals to impose a two-year pay freeze and changes to working conditions.

Multiculturalism: Defending the right to be different

Socialists were right to rush to the defence of multiculturalism after David Cameron’s outrageous attack.

Notts strikes back against Cutts’ cuts

Council workers across Nottinghamshire struck on Thursday of last week—becoming the first full council workforce to walk out against Tory cuts.

Tower Hamlets council workers and teachers unite to ballot for strikes to defend jobs

More than 5,000 workers in Tower Hamlets, east London, could soon be on strike against cuts.

Isle of Wight library strike

Library workers on the Isle of Wight struck on Wednesday of last week.

Manchester council workers plan strike against cuts

Unite union members at Manchester council have voted by 80 percent for industrial action in a consultative ballot.

Birmingham council backs off over anti-social hours

Workers in Birmingham have forced the council to climb down over plans to cut anti-social hours payments.

Southampton council pay offer thrown out

The Unison and Unite unions have voted by 80 percent to reject pay cuts at Southampton council.

Anti-fascist round-up

Stoke takes on the BNP Supporters of Unite Against Fascism (UAF) and the North Staffs Campaign Against Racism and Fascism (Norscarf) in Stoke-on-Trent have launched their campaign to kick the remaining five BNP councillors out of the council.

Metroline bus vote to accept offer

Workers at Metroline bus garages in north and north west London voted to accept a pay offer from management on Friday of last week.

Vote for the left in NUS elections

A number of left wing candidates are standing for election to positions on the national executive of the National Union of Students (NUS).

Tories try to sell off blood service

The Department of Health is in talks to consider which parts of NHS Blood & Transplant (NHSBT) could be sold to the private sector to make the service more "commercially competitive".

Defend Tommy Sheridan meeting

Former MSP Tommy Sheridan is in "high spirits" in jail following his conviction for perjury, Gail Sheridan told a rally of 100 people in Glasgow on Monday.

NUJ Left debates campaigning

There will be an NUJ Left meeting on 12 March in London to discuss ongoing campaigns inside the journalists’ union.

Dundee lecturers to strike and protest

UCU union members at Dundee University are set to strike on Tuesday of next week against the failure of the university to commit to no

Boycott at Heriot-Watt University

Lecturers at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh began boycotting a new performance appraisal scheme on Monday of this week.

UCU executive elections

Lecturers are voting to elect representatives to national officer positions in the UCU and to the union’s national executive committee (NEC) and Scottish executive committee (SEC).

UCU national strike ballots

The UCU is holding national strike ballots to defend jobs, pay and pensions.

26 March: A day to boost our fight

The national TUC demonstration against cuts

UK Uncut 'bail-in' hits the banks

Protesters transformed high street bank branches across Britain into creches, libraries, hospitals, homeless shelters and drama clubs last Saturday.

Strike on Arriva Trains Wales

A solid strike by train drivers at Arriva Trains Wales had a big impact as hundreds of services were cancelled on Monday.

Reballot begins at British Airways

Cabin crew at British Airways (BA) have begun voting in a new strike ballot in their lengthy dispute with BA bosses. The ballot will end on 28 March.

Unite threatens Ford with pensions ballot

Some 11,000 workers at the car giant Ford may be balloted for industrial action to stop attacks on their pension scheme.

Derby school escalates action

Teachers at John Port school in Etwall, Derbyshire, began a three-day strike on Tuesday of this week.

NUT to launch pensions fight

The national executive committee of the NUT teachers’ union met last week and agreed to launch an action timetable against the government’s pension reforms at its annual conference, which begins on 22 April.

Defend Sue Caldwell

Suspended teacher Sue Caldwell is due to attend a hearing on Friday of next week.

Health workers battle for NHS

Health workers in London have called a "Day X for the NHS" in response to growing NHS job losses and cuts.

Students picket university bosses

Hundreds of students protested in London last week. They were outraged by the rise in tuition fees and the cuts being imposed on education by the government and vice-chancellors.

Bosses' party implodes as left makes gains in Irish election

Voters in Ireland have given the main Irish bosses’ party a drubbing in the country’s general election.

Olympics demo over blacklisted workers

The sacking of trade unionist Frank Morris at the Olympics construction site in east London has raised suspicions that companies are continuing to blacklist activists.

'We're marching on 26 March: Join us in London'

‘This is a freedom march. The cuts aren’t necessary, they are ideological. Everyone should join it.’

Town halls occupied as councillors vote for cuts

Anti-cuts protesters have been occupying town halls up and down Britain as councillors vote through slasher budgets.

Pictures from town hall protests and occupations against the cuts

Crackdown in Iran could spark a new movement

The revolutions in the Middle East have not only revealed the hypocrisy of Western governments—they have also demonstrated the double standards of Iran’s conservative leaders.

We suffer while rich profit

The Tories tell us we need austerity to get out of the economic crisis. But new figures show that their argument is an empty one.

Tories ban soup kitchens... and critics

The Tories have come up with a cruel and unusual way to get homeless people off the streets—starve them.

Manchester protesters save their local pool

Manchester council has retreated on plans to shut Levenshulme baths after daily protests to save it.

Assange fights extradition

A judge ruled last week that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange should be extradited to Sweden to answer accusations of rape and sexual assault.

Manchester protest to save nurseries

More than 300 parents and children joined a protest to save Manchester’s Sure Start nurseries last Saturday.

20 years in jail for soldier

Former British soldier Danny Fitzsimons has been sentenced to 20 years in an Iraqi prison after being found guilty of killing two men and attempting to kill a third.

26 March: What does a militant march look like?

Nobody can predict how big the TUC’s demonstration on 26 March is going to be. But it is certainly going to be one of the biggest protests Britain has ever seen.

University lecturers vote for strikes

University lecturers across Britain have voted for strikes to defend their jobs, pay and pensions.


International

Greek workers keep up the fight with eighth general strike

The eighth general strike against harsh austerity measures in less than 12 months hit Greece on Wednesday. It was as successful as the other strikes that have rocked the Pasok Labour-like government, despite the worsening of the economic situation and the length of time the struggle has been ongoing.

Socialists are at risk in Zimbabwe

A group of socialists in Zimbabwe faces a possible death sentence for watching a video about the Egyptian Revolution.

Egypt's workers fight to deepen the revolution

Cairo’s Tahrir Square became a battlefield again on Friday of last week when masked commandoes from the Egyptian army waded into demonstrators with tasers, whips and sticks.

Repression and concessions fail to stop mass protests

As Colonel Gaddafi’s dictatorship continues its attempt to violently suppress the revolution in Libya, regimes across the region are struggling to keep control.

British elite's links to the butchers of Libya

The uprising in Libya has spread and deepened across the country. As Socialist Worker goes to press Muammar Gaddafi is only just holding onto the capital Tripoli, and threatens a bloody counter- attack against rebels.

New forms of democracy spring up in Benghazi

Benghazi, Libya’s second city and birthplace of the revolution, has made official the revolutionary council that emerged during the uprising.


Comment

The West should stay out of Libya - intervention will make things worse

As Colonel Gaddafi ruthlessly slaughters his opponents some are calling for a revival of "humanitarian intervention"—a military response by other countries under the pretext of safeguarding human rights.

Fighting homophopia: Attacking one form of bigotry with another is a dead end

It was shocking to read the response of liberal gay journalist Johann Hari to the recent appearance of "gay free zone" stickers carrying slogans from the Koran in Tower Hamlets, east London.


Features

Wisconsin - how we built a mass movement

On Friday 11 February governor Scott Walker declared war on public sector workers in the US state of Wisconsin by trying to ban trade unions.

Republicans and bosses are watching Wisconsin

Scott Walker’s attacks on Wisconsin teachers and other public sector workers are part of a national agenda to privatise public institutions and destroy public sector unions.

International Women's Day: Celebrating the struggle against oppression

International Women’s Day, which marks its 100th anniversary this year, is now celebrated across the world on 8 March.

Epic battle in Wisconsin is a taste of our power

The battle in Wisconsin has seen hundreds of thousands of US workers rediscover their power. In the most powerful protests for many years, public sector workers—with the support of students, war veterans, pensioners, local campaigners and even some police—have brought the city of Madison to a standstill.

Wisconsin's radical history

Wisconsin was the site of crucial battles in the 1930s and 1950s. It was the first state to win collective bargaining rights for workers in 1959. In 1934 strikes at the Kohler Company—a huge plumbing supply firm—shook the state.

Don’t trust the Democrats

President Barack Obama is the architect of the economic policies that ultimately lead to attacks on workers’ rights and living conditions across the US.

Police are not friends

The police have played a contradictory role during the Wisconsin struggle. Much has been made of the police attending the occupation to support the protests.

‘Workers need a chance to survive—this is the boiling point’

The battle between Wisconsin’s unions and the state’s Republican governor Scott Walker moved to a new level on Saturday when over 100,000 people marched and rallied in support of union rights at the State Capitol building in Madison.

Germany's Forgotten Revolution

Between 1918 and 1923 revolution erupted in Germany. Open class warfare gripped the country with uprisings, mass strikes and army mutinies. Armed workers clashed with counter-revolutionary paramilitaries.


Reviews

Treme: A community using jazz and carnival to survive

Treme exposes New Orleans’ corrupt legal system and the despicable political response to 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. It explores the rich culture of the city and its deep inequality through a multitude of interlocking stories and characters.

Let England Shake: bleak songs expose the empire’s new clothes

The overt anti-war message of PJ Harvey’s new album, Let England Shake, marks a departure for a singer better known for intimate and inward-looking songs of relationships and emotions.

The British At Work

This is the first of a four-part series, exploring the post-war British workplace covering seven decades of turbulent change.

Projects 1973–2010 by Mary Kelly

This is a retrospective of US feminist artist Mary Kelly, who tries to make the personal political.

Howl

Allen Ginsberg’s beat poem Howl caused outrage in 1950s America.

Jamie Oliver patronises us with his Sainsbury's school experiment

Poor Jamie Oliver. He’s dedicated his life to trying to help us working class people live better lives—but it’s like throwing pearls before swine.


What We Think

Don’t let the West hijack these revolts

The Western powers are severely shaken by the revolts in the Middle East and North Africa. The region is of massive strategic and economic interest to the US and its allies.

‘A plague on both their houses’ plays into the racists’ hands

A report released this week rehashes the lie that Muslims need to tackle "extremism" in their own community—saying it is "acting as drivers and recruiters for the right".


Other Categories

Leon Kuhn: Arab Street

Tim's view

Tim: Do you hear any protest?

Letters

Support for Arab revolt helps fight in Britain A packed meeting in solidarity with the Egyptian revolution at my work last week shows the strength of feeling about the issue in Britain—and I’m sure others could follow our example.

The week in quotes

‘Tony Blair… is peacemaker in the Middle East, and should be able to use his talents for peacemaking here. We need his diplomatic skills now as we set about crushing our enemies’



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