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Socialist Worker

Issue: 2275

Dated: 29 Oct 2011

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November 30: Our day to smash the Tories

Over a million workers are entering the final week of their vote on whether to join the mass strike on 30 November.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Electricians lay siege to Balfour Beatty

Some 400 workers blocked the entrances of the Balfour Beatty site at Blackfriars in central London this morning, Wednesday.

Last stand at Dale Farm as police evict residents

There were brutal scenes at Dale Farm in Essex last week as police evicted Travellers from their homes.

A history of racism against travelling people

Travellers have faced racism for centuries. As early as the 16th century, laws were passed in England expelling so called "Egyptians" or Gypsies.

Bakers to strike for just desserts

Workers at Park Cakes in Bolton and Oldham have voted for strikes over new contracts.

Industrial action over tube safety

Tube drivers have voted by a four to one margin for industrial action short of a strike in a safety dispute on London Underground.

Holographics strike settled

Workers in the Unite union at API Holographics in Salford have ended their dispute over pay.

Uni suspends Unison rep

Vik Chechi, the Unison union branch secretary at London’s Queen Mary University, was suspended from work last week.

Rage at Tory attacks on disability benefits

Thousands of disability campaigners flocked to city centres around Britain last Saturday as part of the latest Hardest Hit day of action.

Demo says ‘Don’t take their home’

Around 70 people gathered outside Longsight police station in Manchester to protest against an eviction on Tuesday of last week.

Five-day strike at Barnsley College

Barnsley College UCU members voted overwhelmingly to escalate their long-running dispute into a five-day strike starting on Friday of next week.

Debates in libraries fight

Library campaigners gathered in London on Saturday to share strategies to resist the wave of library closures.

Support grows for trade unionist

Left wing Labour MP John McDonnell has given his backing to the campaign to reinstate victimised trade unionist Abdul Omer Mohsin.

It’s a mistake not to ballot firefighters now

The executive council of the FBU firefighters’ union decided last week to "refrain from initiating an immediate ballot for strike action".

Marching for justice over deaths in custody

The friends and relatives of those who have died in police custody were set to march on Downing Street this Saturday demanding justice.

Protest against biofuel subsidies

Protesters gathered outside the Department of Energy and Climate Change offices on Saturday of last week, calling for an end to subsidies for bioenergy.

Mounting evidence in student protest trial

Two young men have been standing trial accused of violent disorder on a demonstration against the rise in tuition fees on 9 December last year.

Legal challenge to pension change

Six unions have launched a joint high court challenge against the government’s decision to change the inflation index used to increase public sector pensions.

Hastings defeat for fascist Griffin

Over 200 people from Hastings and St Leonard’s protested for up to five hours last Saturday to prevent fascist British National Party leader Nick Griffin from speaking at a local village hall.

Trial continues in Zimbabwe

The trial continues in Zimbabwe of six socialists threatened with long prison terms for showing a video about the Arab Spring.

Rally to save Camberwell job centre

Around 70 people rallied in defence of Camberwell Jobcentre on Thursday of last week. They are fighting Tory plans to close the centre—the only one in the local area.

London occupiers: ‘We’re here to stay’

The Occupy London camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral is digging in for the long haul.

London occupiers set up 'truly free' university

"There’s a new university in London—and it’s free," says Kitty, a postgraduate student at London School of Economics and part of the camp’s Tent City University working group.

‘Choose youth’ says Unite lobby

Around 1000 young people and youth workers in delegations from across Britain lobbied parliament this Tuesday against cuts to youth services.

From Sydney to Lahore, protest camps continue to grow

Police raided the camp in Melbourne’s central square in Australia on Friday of last week. They used pepper spray, horses and dogs to push out the hundreds of occupiers.

My life in austerity Greece

Amalia is a 31-year-old living in Athens, Greece.

Turkey: Earthquake highlights oppression of Kurdish minority

This week an earthquake has killed hundreds in south-eastern Turkey, in and around the Kurdish town of Van.

Workers’ action paralyses Greece

A 48-hour general strike saw the biggest turnout ever in every Greek city on Wednesday and Thursday of last week.

EU leaders have no solutions to the eurozone crisis

European leaders are panicking over the debt crisis that threatens the existence of the eurozone.

Huge turnout in Tunisian elections

The first genuine elections in over 40 years were held in Tunisia this week. The electoral authorities say that some 90 percent of registered voters cast their vote.

Sign e-petition for Babar Ahmad

The campaign to release south London IT worker Babar Ahmad is asking supporters to sign an e‑petition which demands he should be tried in Britain.

EU row shows Cameron’s weakness

The government showed its weakness this week as David Cameron was bloodied by his own MPs over Europe.

Schools and colleges reel from deep education cuts

Government spending on education is falling at the fastest rate since the 1950s, according to a new study.

Trial for pair accused of pulling cop from horse

Jurors at the Old Bailey will decide on Wednesday the fate of two student protesters.

New figures show poverty at heart of riots

David Cameron declared "all-out war on gang culture" after the August riots. But the latest government statistics show only 13 percent of those arrested were part of a gang.

Angry GPs slam Tory health proposals

The chair of the Royal College of GPs has laid into the money-grubbing logic behind the latest NHS reforms.

Demo calls for tax boss’s head

Around 100 protesters from UK Uncut and the Occupy London camp descended on the head office of Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on Monday of this week.

Disabled told to take the stairs

Wheelchair users in Croydon have been told to climb a flight of 42 stairs to attend their compulsory disability assessment centre tests—because using the lifts would be "unsafe".

Travellers forced from Dale Farm

Bailiffs and police began a brutal eviction of Travellers at the Dale Farm site in Essex last week.

“All power to the sparks”: London electricians occupy construction site

Electricians fighting attempts to tear up their terms and conditions marched, blocked roads and construction sites and occupied one site, this morning, Wednesday.

Thousands of teachers take pensions fight to parliament

Teachers and lecturers took part in a mass lobby of MPs today, Wednesday, to demand that they support decent public sector pensions.

Police raid Kurdish tent at Occupy London

Police armed with machine guns raided a Kurdish tent at the Occupy protest outside St Paul’s Cathedral tonight, Thursday.

Anti-racists stand up to EDL in Birmingham

The racist English Defence League (EDL) suffered a disastrous day this weekend, on Saturday.

Occupy London camp defiant over eviction threat

The row over attempts to remove London's main Occupy camp intensified as the dean of St Paul's, Graeme Knowles, resigned on Monday afternoon. The Occupy the Stock Exchange camp outside St Paul's Cathedral is still going strong, but now faces legal proceedings to evict it.

Qantas bosses hold Australia to ransom

Almost seventy thousand passengers in Australia and 22,000 around the world were stranded last Saturday when Qantas grounded its planes and locked out its workers.


Chile: Student storm of protest

Dozens of students stormed a meeting on the education budget in Chile’s senate building in Santiago on Thursday of last week.

US sends troops into Uganda

Barack Obama is to send 100 "military advisers" to Uganda and across central Africa to assist in the fight against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).



Wall Street Clash

Zuccotti Park is a slice of prime downtown Manhattan real estate, named—with an almost comical lack of imagination—after the chairman of the private company that owns it. Yet for just over a month now, the site has had another name—Liberty Square.

After the death of Gaddafi: Where next for Libya?

When the chaotic videos and images of Muammar Gaddafi’s last moments were broadcast, it generated mass celebrations—and deep misgivings.

West’s role in dictator’s downfall shouldn’t stop us celebrating

MUAMMAR GADDAFI’S end resembles nothing more than that of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, sometime colonial master of Libya.

Hypocrisy over Libya

Prime minister David Cameron welcomed the death of Gaddafi, saying it marked a "historic transition" for Libya.


Marat/Sade: power, control and the challenges of revolution

"Utter filth and depravity" shouted the Daily Mail. This brilliant play, in which the Marquis de Sade stages scenes from the French Revolution in an insane asylum, has seen people walking out of performances.

Hidden: Illustrating the secret history of workers’ resistance

If you’ve ever watched the news and wondered why the demonstration you’ve just been on wasn’t on it, then don’t worry.

Blood in the Mobile

The constant demand for mobile phones has meant an ever-increasing demand for raw materials.

Kandhamal 2008

The Kandhamal district of the eastern Indian state of Odisha saw some of the worst examples of communal violence in the country’s history in 2008.

Frozen Planet

This spectacular new series gives the full David Attenborough treatment to the icy extremities of earth.

What We Think

EU: don’t defend this bosses’ club

The parliamentary debate on Europe this week brought the rabid right of the Tory party out in force. They were fighting for a referendum on membership of the European Union (EU).

Is seven billion too many? The racist myth of ‘overpopulation’

The TV news report opens with a close-up of a malnourished African child. As the world’s population reaches seven billion, we are told that overpopulation is the cause of poverty.

Other Categories

Leon Kuhn: 'Use this box'

Tim: 'Crazy fundamentalists'

Tim's view


Occupations show democracy is in demand I have noticed that the media seem determined to downplay the continuing protest at St Paul’s Cathedral. They have dismissed it as left wing oddballs, clueless anti-capitalists, or just jobless bums. Well I was there last Saturday and the following Wednesday, and the amount of tents was still growing.

Quotes from this week's news

‘I can’t answer that question because I don’t know what happened.’

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