Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2273

Dated: 15 Oct 2011

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Act now to take on the Tories - vote yes to join mass strikes

The biggest ballot in Britain’s trade union history has begun.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Was Jack Straw involved in rendition and torture of Libyan man?

Did the British government send a family to be tortured in Libya as a gift to Colonel Gaddafi? Sami al-Saadi says so—and he is claiming damages for the years of torture he suffered.

Ballot over safety for tube drivers

The RMT union is to ballot tube drivers for action short of a strike in a row over safety on London Underground.

Cake workers fight for dough

Bakers at Park Cakes in Oldham and Bolton are to ballot for strikes over pay and conditions.

Gallery workers exhibit militancy

The PCS union is running an indicative ballot for strikes among warders at the National Gallery in London.

Cleaners protest for a living wage

Around 70 cleaners and their supporters gathered outside London South Bank University (LSBU) on Friday of last week to demand the London Living Wage.

Lobby to defend Bombardier jobs

Bombardier workers in the RMT and other unions were set to rally and lobby in Parliament on Wednesday of this week.

Four hundred march to save BAE jobs

Some 400 BAE workers and supporters marched against job cuts in Hull last Saturday.

Opposition grows to Willetts' white paper

The lecturers’ UCU union executive voted last week to join the opposition to government plans to let private firms get their hands on higher education.

Education profiteers come to Britain

David Willetts held 12 meetings with private education firms before publishing the white paper.

Work to rule begins in over 60 universities

University lecturers began a work to contract on Monday of this week in protest at attacks on their pensions.

Health workers go all out to stop Tory attack

Health workers are working flat out to win a thumping yes vote in their ballot.

3,000 teachers strike in Wales

More than 3,000 teachers and lecturers across Wales struck on Wednesday of last week to defend their pensions.

Barnsley College strikes to defend union rep

Lecturers at Barnsley College struck on Thursday of last week in defence of Graham Mustin, one of their UCU union branch’s joint secretaries.

Photos: Stopping the health bill

Photos: Stopping the health bill

There’s no such thing as a ‘good capitalist’

Can capitalism cast off its unending, destructive greed and discover a nicer nature?

Belfast: ‘700 nurses picketed’

A strike by health workers in Northern Ireland last week gave a glimpse of what Britain will look like during the coordinated strikes on 30 November.

Whipps Cross hospital: ‘Work for free’

Bosses at cash-strapped Whipps Cross hospital in east London are asking staff to work for free in a bid to save money.

Unite the Resistance: Coming together to discuss how to win

More than 300 people are already signed up to the Unite the Resistance convention taking place in London on 19 November.

Occupy Wall Street: ‘A new generation is fighting back’

Occupations in protest against corporate greed are spreading across the US. The first protest—Occupy Wall Street—began in New York’s financial district.

Tories reject public inquiry in the murder of Pat Finucane

Tory prime minister David Cameron ruled out a public inquiry into the 1989 murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.

Activists plan to Occupy London

Activists plan to bring the spirit of the US and Spanish demos to Britain this Saturday.

Noam Chomsky: involvement of workers is key

Writer and campaigner Noam Chomsky told an audience of over 1,000 that the new occupation movement has a "rare" level of mainstream support. He called the protests "mass popular demonstrations against capitalism".

Anti-war protesters mark Afghan anniversary

Protesters occupied the road outside Downing Street for over an hour last Saturday as part of a protest at ten years of war in Afghanistan.

Liam Fox holed as ‘adviser’ scandal shines a light

The scandal over Tory defence minister Liam Fox and a "defence adviser" shows the corruption at the heart of the establishment.

Miserable day for EDL racists in London and Leeds

Supporters of the racist English Defence League (EDL) were humiliated in central London last Saturday.

From Bahrain to Brooks

Rebekah Brooks, the ousted chief executive of News International, is getting help from one of Margaret Thatcher’s most trusted allies—Bell Pottinger.

Fire engines that catch fire

South Yorkshire fire bosses hailed their new fire engines as "state of the art" when they splashed £3 million on them.

Charity: Child jail rise is wrong

A charity has condemned the government for locking up more than 100 children over the August riots—even though most are first-time suspects awaiting trial.

Cuts will drive 600,000 more children into poverty

Falling incomes will push 600,000 more children into poverty over the next two years. Youth unemployment is expected to soar past one million.

Justice call for Mark Duggan

The brother of Mark Duggan called out for justice at the launch of the Tottenham Defence Campaign on Wednesday of last week.

Protest against riot eviction

Greenwich council in south east London has started proceedings to evict a council tenant jailed over the riots.

Demo students face sentences

Several protesters who took part in student demonstrations last year were set to be sentenced in Kingston crown court on Thursday of this week.

Dale Farm: Greenbelt case for eviction collapsing

Basildon council’s case for evicting Travellers from Dale Farm in Essex is rapidly falling apart—but that doesn’t mean the threat of eviction is lifted.

Construction workers' sites protests spread

Some 150 workers gathered outside the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station in Nottinghamshire last Friday morning.

Strike together to win in Southampton

More than 1,000 Southampton council workers struck on Thursday of last week in the biggest walkout yet in their long-running dispute.

Barnet council workers strike against privatisation

Workers at Barnet council are to strike for a second time in their battle against privatisation.

Unison national executive by-election

Nominations have opened in the by-election for the Unison union’s national executive.

Save the Atherton Leisure Centre

Users of the Atherton Leisure Centre in Stratford, east London are campaigning to save it from closure.

Stop the DWP closures

Staff in 13 benefit and contact centres threatened with closure have been told they are to commence "meaningful consultation" with management. That is the first step on the road to redundancy.

Printers at Wyndeham Impact made redundant

Some 58 printers and other workers have been made redundant at Wyndeham Impact in Basingstoke.

Lobby for Abdul Omer

Supporters of Abdul Omer Mohsin, victimised Unite union convenor at London Sovereign buses, are organising a lobby of his employment tribunal to demand his reinstatement.

2,000 jobs to go at BBC

BBC bosses have announced plans to axe 2,000 jobs over the next five years.

Napo congress

The National Association of Probation Officers held its national congress in Eastbourne last weekend. Over 400 delegates voted unanimously to join the public sector pensions strikes on 30 November.

London electricians' protest blocks bridge and roads

London electricians blocked bridges, roads and construction site entrances today, Wednesday.

Travellers prepare to defend Dale Farm as High Court approves eviction

A judge has ruled that an eviction of Travellers at Dale Farm can go ahead. But Travellers’ representatives are applying to the Court of Appeal to challenge the ruling—and Travellers and their supporters are preparing to defend the site.

Protests spoil Bahraini Business Seminar in Manchester

Protesters confronted Bahraini prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Essa Al Khalifa as he entered a "Doing business in Bahrain" seminar with the Manchester Chamber of Commerce on Thursday.

Jimmy Mubenga protest demands justice on anniversary of death during deportation

About 50 people held a vigil outside the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in Central London on the first anniversary of Jimmy Mubenga's death.

Liam Fox: Got one—now get the rest

Tory minister Liam Fox’s resignation today, Friday, shows the rotten corruption that runs through the coalition government.

Occupy Wall Street protesters force New York mayor to back off

Occupy Wall Street protesters were in a confident and defiant mood this morning, Friday, after an attempt to evict them from their protest site failed.

Pictures of Occupy Wall Street

Hundreds of thousands occupy globally against injustice

Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in hundreds of cities across the world today, Saturday.

Occupy Wall Street: Resistance fills the streets of New York

Up to 100,000 supporters of the Occupy Wall Street movement came together in New York last Saturday.

Thousands block Westminster Bridge to defend the NHS

Some 2,500 demonstrators gathered on Westminster Bridge in central London today, Sunday, in protest at the government’s planned NHS reforms.

Thousands of teachers prepare for pensions action

Teachers in the NUT union have wasted no time in building for strikes on 30 November.


Outcry over Bahrain medics forces a shift

The Bahraini government announced last week that medical staff threatened with 15 years in prison will now be tried by a civilian court.

Yemen's premier says he'll quit

The Yemeni opposition movement is rightly suspicious of claims made by president Ali Abdullah Saleh on state television last Saturday.

Bedouins say no to Israeli removal plan

Several thousand Bedouins demonstrated in the Israeli city of Beersheva on Thursday of last week against the government’s Praver plan to dislocate them.

Eyewitness in Cairo: Copts were gunned down by the military

At least 23 protesters were killed in Cairo last night, Sunday, as the army and police carried out a massacre in front of the state TV building.

Egyptian Revolutionary Socialists’ statement on the massacre of Copts at Maspero

Glory to the martyrs of Bloody SundayShame on the military and the reactionaries The Revolutionary Socialists send sincere condolences to the families of the peaceful demonstrators who were murdered by the bullets of the Central Security Forces and crushed by the military’s armoured cars after they came on the night of 9 October to defend the right of Coptic Christians to freedom and equality.

Cairo transport strike wins some demands

Public transport authority workers in Cairo have returned to work following 12 days strike.


The Blue Baron bounces back

Blue Labour is not dead. That is the message of a new book that lifts the lid on just how influential Baron Maurice Glasman is inside the Labour Party.

Printing cash won’t end banking crisis

"This is the most serious financial crisis we’ve seen, at least since the 1930s, if not ever," Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, admitted last week.


17 October 1961: Massacre in Paris

Fifty years ago police in Paris killed over 200 Algerian protesters and threw their bodies into the River Seine. Historian Jean-Luc Einaudi exposed the murders in his book The Battle of Paris. He spoke to Sellouma from France’s New Anticapitalist Party

Eyewitnesses to the 1961 Paris massacre

Hadj Abdel Aziz A senior steward hurried to give me a green armband as I arrived. I effectively became a traffic warden, except that I was directing Algerians—women and men, old people and children.

Women, work and walkouts

Almost a million women will begin voting in the Unison union’s huge strike ballot this week. They are part of a growing army of women workers who are getting ready to take on the Tories.


Tyrannosaur: A powerful allegory of friendship and abuse

I thought I knew what was coming with this film—social realism, despair, small people crushed by big forces. Something in the vein of Ken Loach or Shane Meadows. But Tyrannosaur is actually something quite different.

Postmodernism: Fragmented fashions from a decade of dashed hopes

The Victoria & Albert Museum’s postmodernism exhibition concentrates on the 1980s, when postmodernism was new and fashionable.

Fighting Fascism, Fighting Franco exhibition

The Mitchell Library in Glasgow is putting on a special one-day event to mark the 75th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War.

Up For Hire Live

As if unemployment wasn’t humiliating and soul-destroying enough, those bright sparks at BBC3 have decided to turn it into a reality gameshow.

The New Maids: Transnational Women and the Care Economy

Author and academic Helma Lutz speaks at Bookmarks bookshop about her new book on domestic work.

What We Think

Tories whip up racism to save their own skins

It’s a politician’s favourite ploy to attack immigrants for all of society’s problems. They do this to try and distract us from the real culprits.

Don’t let TUC leaders cut a dodgy deal behind workers’ backs

Brendan Barber’s secret talks with Tory ministers at their conference in Manchester sent out a danger signal.

Why you should vote yes

The government wants workers to work longer, pay more, and get less in their pensions at the end of it.

Other Categories

Tim's view

Tim: Cleaning up with quantitative easing


Standing up against sexism in colleges The University of Portsmouth Student Union held an emergency general meeting last week. It debated whether the Athletic Union should keep producing a calendar of naked students.

The week in quotes...

‘Mr Werritty is not an employee of the MoD and has therefore not travelled with me on any official overseas visits’

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