Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2265

Dated: 20 Aug 2011

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Jail the Tories, not young people

The Tories want to get their own back for last week’s riots. They are ripping up the rules of the legal system and filling the jails.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Victory for Glasgow University occupation

Glasgow University occupiers emerged victorious last Sunday after 196 days inside the "Free Hetherington". This building had been the Hetherington Research Club, a community space the university management closed down early last year.

Southampton: we will keep on striking

Council workers in Southampton have voted to reject a new pay offer—and continue their campaign of rolling strikes.

Support Abdul Omer

Support is growing for Abdul Omer Mohsin, the sacked Unite convenor on Sovereign buses.

Sovereign drivers vote overwhelmingly to reject pay offer

Drivers on Sovereign buses have voted by nearly 90 percent to reject a management pay offer.

BA cabin crew pay takes a nosedive

The average pay for cabin crew at British Airways (BA) has nosedived by £1,500 over the past year.

Fujitsu workers ballot over pay

Hundreds of IT workers at the Fujitsu firm are balloting for strikes over pay.

Job centre workers in dispute over conditions

Two important meetings organised by the PCS union in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) were set to take place this week.

Judge throws out union challenge to cuts

A High Court judge last week dismissed the PCS union and Prison Officers Association’s challenge to the government’s imposition of cuts to civil service redundancy pay.

New report: the government can afford pensions

The Tories say they have to force thousands of public sector workers to suffer worse pensions because they can’t afford to sustain them.

We can beat the racists on 3 September

Anti-racists and anti-fascists from across Britain will join thousands of local people in east London on 3 September.

Right wing historian David Starkey blames ‘black culture’ for the riots

Establishment historian David Starkey sparked outrage last week when he blamed black culture for the "criminality" of last week’s riots.

Telford unites against 'banned' EDL protest

Over 400 people joined the Unite Against Fascism (UAF) protest against the racist English Defence League (EDL) in Telford last Saturday (left).

Is there an underclass?

Right wingers wheeled out a well-worn cliché to explain the riots last week—the underclass. "London riots: the underclass lashes out," read one Daily Telegraph headline, while the Financial Times said the riots were "the intifada of the underclass".

Oxfordshire youth workers rebel

Youth workers at Oxfordshire county council are set to strike on Tuesday of next week over job cuts and service closures. This is the first in a series of walkouts, which will hit David Cameron’s Witney constituency.

Solidarity needed for Yunus Bakhsh

There are urgent solidarity tasks which every trade unionist and activist can take now to support Yunus Bakhsh.

Brighton out in pride

Thousands took to the streets to celebrate Lesbian, Gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) pride in Brighton on Saturday.

All out battle in South Yorks

Journalists in South Yorkshire are continuing their all-out strike. Their action began on 15 July.

Cardiff Three

A taxi driver who detectives thought had information about Lynette White’s murder was warned "to keep his mouth shut", a court heard.

James Fallah-Williams' hunger strike asylum protest

Asylum seeker James Fallah-Williams reached the 14th day of a hunger strike on Monday in protest at his treatment by the UK Border Agency.

Fighting eviction at Dale Farm

Hundreds of Travellers living at Dale Farm in Essex are fighting Basildon council’s plans to evict them.

Woodley urges Bombardier fight

Former Unite union leader Tony Woodley last week urged workers at the Bombardier train manufacturing firm to keep fighting for their jobs.

Fighting back at Amey rail firm

Workers at the Amey rail contractor are in dispute over pay and conditions.

‘Rioting is the only voice we have that they will listen to’

The riots have lifted the lid on the routine police harassment, racism and deprivation that is the daily life of thousands of young people in Britain.

Birmingham comes together

In Birmingham, where three young Muslim men died after being hit by a car during the riots, there were fears that it might stir up animosity between Asian and African‑Caribbean people.

What next in Tottenham?

Up to 200 people gathered for a meeting on Monday night about the riots in Tottenham.

‘Give our kids a future’, demands 2,000-strong march across London

The Tories claim that Britain is united against the rioters. But while there is a backlash, many people have defended young people and opposed the police crackdown.

Cuts have just made crisis worse

The economic crisis wracking many countries is deepening. New figures show that austerity measures are making things worse.

Elite’s hypocrisy—they are the real criminals

Just as MPs hoped they could hide behind the media frenzy over riots, the hacking scandal has returned with a vengeance.

What the MPs looted

Politicians condemned "looters" who stole things like televisions in the riots. But MPs have been looting TVs and other electronics for years on their expenses.

Family faces eviction by London council after riots

A south London family could be the first to lose their home after David Cameron’s call for councils to evict rioters from social housing.

Mark Duggan did not shoot at police

Mark Duggan, the 29-year old black man who was shot dead by police in Tottenham on 4 August, did not shoot at police before he was killed.

Notting Hill Carnival is under threat

Police and the local council have demanded "changes" to the Notting Hill Carnival to avoid a ban.

Give young a future, say campaigners

Activists in Manchester were set to come together for a public meeting on "What caused the riots?" on Thursday of this week.

Crown Prosecution Service ‘name and shame’ children

Children involved in the riots face being "named and shamed" in court.

Thought crimes on Facebook

Dozens of young people have been charged with incitement to riot—for sending out Facebook or Blackberry messages.

Courts dole out rushed revenge after riots

The courts have launched an onslaught against poor, working class people in the aftermath of the riots that swept British cities.

Tottenham defence co-ordinating campaign meeting

Activists in Tottenham, north London, will meet tomorrow (Tuesday) to help co-ordinate campaigning activities for people coming up in court after the riots.


Egypt's revolution must deepen as generals fight back

In February the whole world could see that Egypt was going through a revolution, as people rose up against the dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Rebels close in on Libya's capital

Opposition forces in Libya believe they have broken the recent stalemate and are once more close to overthrowing Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.

Students to join national strike in Chile

Chilean students joined the 100,000-strong protest against attacks on education last week. They are now set to join workers in a national strike against the government.

Syrians fight on despite brutality of regime

The brutality of the Syrian state—and the rebellion of the Syrian people—seem to know no bounds.

Good riddance Gaddafi, but don't trust the West

Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year dictatorship reached its endgame as fighting spread to the streets of Tripoli, the Libyan capital, today (Monday).


Darcus Howe: ‘My father curfewed me and I jumped through the window’

"The parliamentary debate on the riots was unadulterated crap. I started watching it and I went to sleep.

A Sivanandan: ‘This is not the end of rebellion—it is the beginning’

"Everyone is clutching at explanations for the riots—gangs, greed, family breakdown, lack of respect. But I would like to go into their deeper causes.

Condemn the class system, not rioters

"We know no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality," wrote the 19th century Whig historian Thomas Macaulay.

Zita Holbourne: ‘I was so angry hearing the MPs’

"There have been two reactions to the riots. There are those who understand why the riots have taken place. Then there’s the mainstream press and politicians that, quite frankly, have been disgraceful.


All hail to the mob

Riots scare people with property. The greater their property, the more scared they become. So they seek protection from bodies of armed men to keep "the mob" at bay.

James Connolly: 'The mob has humanised the world'

‘There was a time stretching for more than 1,000 years, when the mob was without power or influence, when the entire power of the world was concentrated in the hands of the kings, the nobles and the hierarchy.

Economic growth, but at what cost?

China is the success story of 21st century capitalism. While much of the world seems set to enter the second half of a double-dip recession, the Chinese economy will grow by 8 percent this year.

Racism, riots and resistance

What do you say to those who argue that the riots were not about politics, but simply about looting?


Tory cuts mean theatre will lose its cutting edge

Nicolas Kent is to stand down from the renowned Tricycle theatre as a result of Tory cuts to the arts.

Arab Revolutions: Photography capturing the festivals of the oppressed

The stunning Arab Revolutions exhibition shows the ordinary people who have risen up across the region this year.


Now playing as part of the Edinburgh Festival, Dust imagines a day in 2011 when Margaret Thatcher has died.

The Homecoming - Harold Pinter

This 1965 play by left wing playwright Harold Pinter has been revived by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The Taqwacores

A shy Muslim from Pakistan, Yusef, joins a hardcore Islamic commune in New York and becomes radicalised.

What We Think

The police are part of the problem—wherever they are from

The Tories are targeting the poorest people in society—and have a brutal police force willing to back them up if anyone resists.

Other Categories

Leon Kuhn: 'The criminality of a minority'

Tim: Gang culture

Tim's view


Riots: Rightful rage or counter-productive? Some of your analysis of the riots across Britain (Socialist Worker, 13 August) is true. Young people have no hope, and have been brought up in a culture valuing commercialism above all else.

Quotes of the week

‘A particular form of black culture, the violent, destructive, nihilistic, gangster culture associated with Jamaican gangs and American rap music’

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