Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2253

Dated: 28 May 2011



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Spanish protests show the way... Revolt against austerity

The mass protests that have erupted across Spain against austerity and corruption are an inspiration to people fighting back everywhere.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Spanish election is no big victory for the right

The social-democratic government in Spain has suffered its worst local and regional election result under democracy. It lost 1.5 million votes, polling just 27 percent. Its support, once massive, has collapsed after it adopted harsh austerity measures in response to the economic crisis.

Spain: camped on the streets for jobs and democracy

Tens of thousands of protesters in towns and cities across Spain have flooded onto the streets.

How thousands are organising

Mass assemblies take place in the camps every evening. They involve everyone present.

‘No house, no job, no pension, no fear’ - what lies behind Spanish revolt

Young people are at the centre of the dramatic Spanish revolt that exploded a week before last Sunday’s municipal and regional elections.

Solidarity with Spanish protests across Britain

Solidarity protests have sprung up in towns and cities across Britain.

Will there finally be justice for Stephen Lawrence?

Two of the racist gang members suspected of murdering black teenager Stephen Lawrence are to go on trial this November—18 years after his death.

The murder that revealed extent of police racism

The battle to find the killers of Stephen Lawrence transformed public opinion about the police and state institutions.

Conel cuts are an attack on working class education

Tory cuts threaten to destroy thousands of education jobs—and drive working class people out of education.

Students and workers unite at Barnsley College

Lecturers at Barnsley College were stunned to be told on Thursday of last week that at least 31 of us were facing compulsory redundancy. This is on top of 19 voluntary redundancies, so 25 percent of lecturers would go in total.

Battle is on to stop destruction at London Met

Lecturers at London Metropolitan University started a ballot for strikes on Monday. If they vote yes, workers could be out on strike next month.

Sheffield strikes!

Members of the UCU union at Sheffield College took part in six days of strikes last week.

Fiery debate among firefighters at FBU conference

Delegates to the FBU firefighters’ union conference last week backed a national strike over pensions—just not yet.

TSSA rail workers' conference decides unity is vital

The TSSA rail workers’ union conference finished just before the McNulty Report on the railways was published last week.

PCS conference: mood to resist defines debates

Delegates to the PCS civil service workers’ union met last week in the charged atmosphere of resistance to government cuts (see page 16).

Civil service workers support victimised workers

Over 100 people packed into a fringe meeting about the victimisation of union reps.

London post workers in big vote for strikes

Postal workers in London have voted to strike against closures, with 79 percent in favour of action on a

CWU conference backs a general strike

The mood at the CWU union conference in Bournemouth was lifted when delegates voted unanimously to support the call for a general strike. This makes it the fifth union to do so.

Post workers protest to save Mount Pleasant nursery

Postal workers, their families and supporters protested outside the Mount Pleasant centre in central London last week against the planned closure of the workplace nursery.

Selwyn school teachers stand up to bullying

More than 30 pickets and supporters gathered outside Selwyn primary school in Waltham Forest, east London, on Tuesday of this week.

Forest Hill school set to start strike ballot

Teachers at Forest Hill school in Lewisham, south east London, will begin a strike ballot on Wednesday of this week against a compulsory redundancy.

Islington school teachers set to strike over job cuts

NUT members at Islington Arts and Media School were set to strike on Thursday of this week.

Highgate Wood school teachers strike back

Teachers at Highgate Wood school in Crouch End struck on Thursday of last week against plans to force them to work extra hours.

All unions out for Bowland school anti-academy strike

More than 50 strikers picketed Bowland Community High School in Lancashire on Friday of last week as they took action against it becoming an academy.

Leaked document reveals planned assault on Scotland's teachers

Teachers in Scotland got a glimpse of the changes their employers would like to force on them this week when a document from the councils’ umbrella organisation Cosla was leaked.

Dundee bus workers stage unofficial walkout

Bus drivers working on National Express at the East Dock Street depot in Dundee walked out unofficially over working conditions on Thursday of last week.

Heathrow Express workers prepare to strike

RMT transport union members on the Heathrow Express are set to strike on Friday and Saturday of this week over pay.

Hundreds gather to oppose Islamophobia

Hundreds of people took part in a conference on confronting anti-Muslim racism on Saturday in east London.

Crew can win at British Airways

Thousands of British Airways (BA) workers are in the process of balloting over a new deal in their two-year dispute.

30 June: A day to take on the Tories

Pressure is mounting on the government after the PCS civil service workers’ union voted last week to ballot for strikes on 30 June.

School by school, the organising is going on

Conversations are happening across Tower Hamlets to organise 30 June strikes. "I’ll phone these two schools and visit this one."

'Teachers want to vote yes and strike'

Debs Gwynn is the NUT equalities officer for St Helen’s district. She told Socialist Worker that the ballot has galvanised teachers.

Lecturers' union must keep up the fight

The UCU union goes into its Congress this weekend in the midst of several national disputes and on the back of a national strike on 24 March.

Southampton kicks off indefinite action over pay cuts

Council workers in Southampton launched a campaign of indefinite industrial action this week over pay cuts.

Cops filmed violent arrest of black man

Five police officers in Edmonton, north London, face the sack after smashing their way into a car to arrest the driver.

Man dies in handcuffs

The family of Michael Sweeney, a 37 year old scaffolder, have demanded an inquiry into his death.

Scrap racist anti-terror law

People from ethnic minorities are 42 times more likely to be stopped and searched under anti-terror laws, it has been revealed.

Ian Tomlinson riot cop to face charges

PC Simon Harwood, the riot cop who shoved Ian Tomlinson before he died, will face trial for manslaughter.

22p pay-out for miner is sickening

A coal miner’s life is worth 22p. That was the verdict of the inquiry into the death of a miner from Rhondda, south Wales, under a government scheme to compensate former pitmen who suffered from lung disease because of their work.

Bahrain regime targets students

Several Bahraini people living in Britain are being forced to sign documents pledging their loyalty to the king of Bahrain and promising not to protest.

Rosemary Nelson death report cover-up

The publication of the inquiry into the murder of Northern Ireland solicitor Rosemary Nelson in 1999 continues the state cover-up of her death.

Cabin crew worker: 'Why I'm voting against BA's offer'

"It’s hard working at British Airways at the moment. Crew are scared to talk to each other because someone could report them to management for saying the wrong thing. Then they might be suspended.

Disabled people beat a council

Four severely disabled people have struck a blow to Birmingham City Council’s plans to slash its adult social care budget.

CWU conference unanimously votes to support London fightback

CWU postal conference has unanimously voted for postal workers nationally to actively support CWU members in London. London has just voted to strike against closures and redundancies.

Students defy police to protest at Barnsley College cuts

Over 400 Barnsley College lecturers and students demonstrated through the south Yorkshire town yesterday, Wednesday, to protest at a threat to make 25 percent of the college’s lecturers redundant.

Islington teachers strike against redundancies

Teachers at Islington Arts and Media School in north London struck today, Thursday, against management plans to impose compulsory redundancies on four workers.

Free gay Tanzanian activist Edson Cosmas threatened with deportation from Britain

The UK border Agency is trying to deport a gay man back to Tanzania in east Africa where he faces arrest and persecution.

Message from the reclaimed camp in Barcelona: We will not be moved

An indignant people won’t be moved! Felip Puig must resign!

Egypt: Hossam el-Hamalawy and Reem Maged called before military judges

We condemn the decision to refer journalists Hossam el-Hamalawy and Reem Maged for questioning by military judges on Tuesday 31 May in relation to their discussion of violations of human rights by the Egyptian military police and the ruling Supreme Military Council on Reem’s political talkshow which aired on ONTV on 26 May 2011.


International

Syrian women defy regime's repression

Women are playing a vital role in the uprising in Syria.

Prague says: 'Cairo made it, so can we'

Over 48,000 people marched in Prague last week against cuts. The protest was organised by the CMKOS and ASO union federations, and the anti-cuts ProAlt initiative.

Egypt's doctors strike to heal the health service

A second national strike by doctors affected outpatient services in hospitals across Egypt on Tuesday of last week.


Comment

After Ken Clarke's rape comments - we must defend the right to say no

Justice secretary Ken Clarke’s comments about rape rightly caused an outcry last week.

Obama tries to hijack revolutions

Barack Obama made a speech on the Middle East on Thursday of last week.


Features

From New Labour to Blue Labour

Labour Party leaders generally don’t like bothering to set out socialist philosophy. The very idea is considered a bit vulgar, and likely to put off voters. Traditionally they have tended to presume that all that was necessary was to show people that Labour had plans for a better, more prosperous Britain than the Tories.

Resisting the plot against the NHS

Many say that if the government’s health and social care bill were passed in its present form it would mean the end of the NHS as we know it. Does that overstate the threat?

'The Plot Against the NHS': Essential reading for the battles ahead

The Plot Against the NHS is a fascinating book and is essential reading for anyone who is trying to understand what is happening to our health service. It goes through the moves that successive governments have made to introduce the market into the NHS.


Reviews

Beauty is in the Street: Riotous art emerged from Paris 1968

the writer and activist Tariq Ali once said that 1968 was the year when "politics and culture were united".


What We Think

Across Europe, this is one fight

The austerity plans of Europe’s elite are devastating lives, pushing economies further into crisis—and sparking mass protests.

Libya: the costly, slippery slope of 'humanitarian intervention'

The bombing of Libya’s capital Tripoli has intensified. Across Libya, civilians are dying in massive Nato air attacks as well as in bombardments by Gaddafi’s regime.


Other Categories

Not even a super-injunction can stop Spain

Tim's view

Letters

Letters

Why do strikes matter and how do they win?

Resistance to the Tories’ war on ordinary people is springing up everywhere. It’s there in the huge marches, such as the one organised by the TUC in March, and in smaller protests, such as those targeting businesses or councils.

Quotes from the week's news

‘If he hadn’t taken out a super-injunction, no one would have known about this relationship’



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