Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2278

Dated: 19 Nov 2011

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A Greek worker's message to us: United we can beat austerity

I am a printer in Athens. For the past 20 years, our union hasn’t been that active. But the scale of the crisis has forced it to take action and become more militant.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Electricians defy police on London protest

More than 700 electricians and their supporters repeatedly broke through police lines to march through the city of London today, Wednesday.

What's the best way to organise in the unions?

Last week this column looked at the trade union bureaucracy, those officials who rely on the union for their jobs. This week, we focus on ordinary union members—the "rank and file".

Lively anti-academy strike at Prince Henry's Grammar School

Teachers at Prince Henry’s Grammar School in Otley, Leeds, took part in a lively strike on Thursday of last week.

Pupils revolt over academies in Salford

Teachers at a Salford academy school have voted to strike against 13 compulsory redundancies.

Newham school strike suspended for talks

Action has been suspended at Langdon School in Newham, pending talks with conciliation service Acas.

EIS members will resist McCormac's attacks

Delegates from Scotland’s main teaching union, the EIS, met at a special general meeting (SGM) in Edinburgh last Saturday to discuss the McCormac report.

Workers celebrate victory in anti-deportation campaign

NUT members at Sowerby Bridge High in West Yorkshire are celebrating victory in their campaign to win asylum status for the Zaouche family.

CWU draws a line in the sand over pensions

The CWU union’s first new-style decision-making Policy Forum discussed the issue of pensions last Thursday.

Brixton battle to save children's services

Protesters assembled in Brixton, south London, against cuts to youth services last Saturday.

Liverpool's unions stand up to EDL attack

Trade unionists in Liverpool chased off ten thugs from the racist English Defence League (EDL) last week.

Teachers' LGBT conference rejects racist attempts to split movement

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) LGBT conference last Saturday had a raised level of political consciousness.

The Tories can't ignore the turmoil in the eurozone

Britain is not immune to the crisis that is crashing through Europe. More than half of Britain’s trade is with the European Union (EU). Now Italy’s economy is reaching a tipping point. And this is making for some very nervous bankers in the City of London.

Cleaners win a 10 percent pay rise

Cleaners on the Virgin West Coast Mainline have won their battle for a 10 percent pay rise and improved conditions, according to the RMT union.

Journalists face sixth year of cuts

Journalists at the Argus newspaper in Brighton are facing a further round of redundancies.

BBC workers lose faith in their boss

A strike ballot at the BBC has entered its second week.

Historical Materialism conference draws hundreds

Some 750 academics, students and activists gathered in London last weekend for the eighth annual Historical Materialism conference.

Corus electricians walk out in Redcar

Around 100 electricians walked out of the Corus steel plant in Redcar on Monday of this week.

Kirklees builders are set to strike

Building workers in Yorkshire’s Kirklees council have voted overwhelmingly to strike over the implementation of a single status pay deal.

Mick Dooley wins unfair dismissal case against his union

Banned Ucatt union leadership candidate Mick Dooley has won an unfair dismissal case against the union.

Abdul Omer Mohsin loses employment tribunal

Abdul Omer Mohsin, the sacked trade union convenor and bus worker, is back in hospital after being taken ill on Sunday.

Workers donate to Socialist Worker

A big thank you to everyone who did a collection in their workplace for the Socialist Worker appeal this year.

Minsters hand hospital over to their hedge fund pals

Ministers gave us a glimpse of a future of the health service last week by handing over an NHS hospital to a private company with strong Tory links.

David Cameron to go ‘by spring’ says right wing Tory MP

The right wing ultras of the Tory party are starting to make a fuss.

Life in ruins after Dale Farm eviction

Residents at the Dale Farm Traveller site in Essex have been seriously injured after bailiffs cleared the site.

Free schools not for poor

The Tories’ flagship free schools are only taking half the proportion of children on free school means compared with other state schools in England.

Babar Ahmad denied debate

Babar Ahmad has been refused a debate on his case in the House of Commons.

Fortnum and Mason trial is on

Ten activists who occupied luxury shop Fortnum and Mason began their trial on Thursday of last week. They are accused of aggravated trespass.

Trauma of protest policing

Campaigners are set to protest after they were left "traumatised" by the policing of the annual march against deaths in custody in London last month.

Tory councils attack jobless

Wandsworth council in south London plans to make unemployed people prove they are seeking work in order to qualify for council housing.

Students demonstrate to stop education cuts

Over 10,000 students marched through central London last week against government attacks on education.

'Total policing' hits the streets of London

The Metropolitan Police’s new commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe brought his vision of "total policing" to London’s streets last week.

Hacking - did James Murdoch know about police corruption?

The Leveson inquiry into the News International (NI) scandal opened with claims that phone hacking had been widespread.

London occupy faces legal action

Marxist author David Harvey came to speak at the Occupy London protest camp outside St Paul’s cathedral last Saturday. He had previously written in support of the Occupy movement.

Pressure builds for a huge strike as Tories try to divide workers

More workers have voted overwhelmingly to strike against the government’s assault on public sector pensions.

Don't believe the government's propaganda, says GMB union

The GMB union has exposed the Tories’ lies over pensions. The government said that it had made changes to its reforms that meant some workers would be better off. The GMB says this is "misleading propaganda".

A thousand sign up for Unite the Resistance on 19 November

More than a thousand trade union activists have signed up for the Unite the Resistance convention to be held in London this Saturday.

Anger as New York police attack Occupy Wall Street camp

The general mood in New York right now is of anger and resolve. Since the start of OWS we have been preparing for police eviction. So this was partially a surprise—but also really not. An emergency response network had been established via text messages, which immediately alerted the community.

New York activists respond to Occupy Wall Street evictions

Eric Fretz is a socialist activist based in New York who is involved with Occupy Wall Street (OWS). "I got word in the early hours of Tuesday morning that the OWS encampment had been raided by police," he told Socialist Worker.

War in the construction industry escalates as workers stay away from work

The war in the construction industry opened up new fronts today, Wednesday.

Fortnum and Mason occupiers found guilty—but vow to appeal

Ten protesters were found guilty of aggravated trespass today, Thursday, after taking part in an occupation of luxury department store Fortnum and Mason in London.

Egyptian Revolutionary Socialists’ statement on the crisis in Egypt

Down with military rule, down with Mubarak's rule! Revolutionaries have returned to Tahrir Square. Once again it is filled with young people who are impatient to bring the people who killed revolutionaries in January to justice, and to see freedom and social justice realised. The military courts have stolen years upon years of their lives. They have lost their eyes to sniper fire on the orders of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and their henchmen in the Ministry of the Interior. They have been slandered by the subservient media, which has moved overnight from one master to a new one.

Urgent: Egyptian socialists and trade unionists call for international solidarity

An international appeal for solidarity has gone out today as tens of thousands of Egyptians face brutal repression in the streets of Cairo. Riot police and army forces attacked protestors after mass demonstrations calling for an end to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces' military rule.

London demonstrators rage at attacks on Tahrir Square

Protesters outside the Egyptian embassy in London on Monday evening in solidarity with Egyptian activists under attack in Tahrir Square. Organisers are calling for a big mobilisation tomorrow. Trade unionists and students bring your banners.


Downfall: Crowds gather in Rome to cheer Berlusconi’s departure

Italians have been celebrating the downfall of their hated prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who resigned in disgrace last night (Saturday).

Italy's Mario Monti represents the old order

Mario Monti is the new leader of Italy. He has not been elected. Instead he has been picked by Europe’s elite to "fix" the crisis in Italy.

The key players in Italy

The Italian political establishment is bloated and corrupt. Among the huge political elite is a myriad of parties, formed through bitter splits and personal rivalries.

Greece's new rulers face even greater instability

Greece has a new government. It has been imposed on the country by the European Union and International Monetary Fund (IMF). It’s headed up by a former banker. And it includes open fascists as ministers.

Fascists that lurk at the heart of the Greek government

Greece’s main far right party is called Laos. It was formed in 2000 as a break away from the right wing New Democracy. And it absorbed other far right groups, including open fascists.

Merkel ups the Europe stakes

Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel has responded to the latest eurozone crisis by calling for closer European integration at a political level.

Portugal sinks into the red

The recession is getting worse in Portugal, one of the most vulnerable countries in the eurozone.

French debt rating threat

France’s rulers have a new headache on top of their economic woes. Agencies are threatening to lower the country’s "triple A" rating.

Armed resistance to Assad's regime develops in Syria

The revolt in Syria has taken another turn—with growing armed resistance to the forces of government-backed repression.

Occupy movement faces repression across US

A wave of repression came down on the Occupy movement across the US last weekend. Police evicted Occupy Denver in Colorado.

Thousands support Occupy protest in Frankfurt

Some 10,000 demonstrators encircled the banking sector of Frankfurt in Germany last Saturday. The atmosphere was exuberant. Another 8,000 took to the streets in Berlin.

Downfall: Crowds gather in Rome to cheer Berlusconi's departure

Italians have been celebrating the downfall of their hated prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who resigned in disgrace last night (Saturday).


Rulers are creating a crisis of democracy

I read recently a book by the economist Barry Eichengreen called Golden Fetters. This is about the collapse of the gold standard during the Great Depression of 1929-39.


Rosa Luxemburg and The Mass Strike

Rosa Luxemburg was a revolutionary socialist who made a key contribution to Marxism with her writings on mass strikes.

Detainee speaks out: How Britain deports vulnerable victims

The British government is detaining hundreds of vulnerable people and threatening to deport them to places where they will be at risk of violence. Some of the most vulnerable have been trafficked. Now the Tories are set on making life even harder for them. Ken Olende spoke to some detainees about their experience at the hands of the British state

How to go on strike

For many people, 30 November will be their first time on strike. So what do you do?

Long-awaited trial begins over Stephen Lawrence murder

A murder trial into the killing of Stephen Lawrence started this week, eighteen years after his death.

Stephen Lawrence killers “walked off, quite casually” after fatal attack

Eyewitnesses to the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence say they saw a group attack Stephen after shouting at him across a street.

Stephen Lawrence's best friend Duwayne Brooks recounts attack

Stephen Lawrence’s best friend broke down in court today, Thursday, as he relived the final moments of the black teenager’s life.


Building the Revolution : Soviet Art and Architecture 1915-1935

You have seized power, the workers are in control and the capitalists have fled. Now is the time to build a new world, a new way of living shorn of the rubbish of history and hierarchy.

Pan Am: Freedom, fun and Cold War intrigue

The new series Pan Am opens in 1963 when airlines catered exclusively for the rich.

In Time

A sci-fi action thriller starring Justin Timberlake is an unlikely vehicle for Marxist propaganda. But In Time pulls it off—almost.

MetaMaus - Art Spiegelman

Twenty five years ago Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus related a family story of the Holocaust. It is the only graphic novel to win the Pulitzer prize.

National Treasures - Manic Street Preachers

This two-disc collection of singles will stir up memories for Manics fans.

The Killing series two

Sarah Lund is back on the streets of Copenhagen, two years after she was demoted at the end of season one.

Anne Funder interview: Telling the untold histories of German anti-Nazis

Two things really shocked me about the story you tell in All That I Am. First, the horrific indifference of the British and US authorities that borders on complicity. Second, how untold the story is. Do you feel these two factors are related?

What We Think

These strikes can prove our strength

The planned strikes on 30 November are our chance to tell the Tories what they can do with their austerity plans. Millions of workers across Britain are getting organised for the biggest strike here for decades.

Crisis is at the heart of capitalism, as any ‘expert’ should know

Europe’s leaders breathed a sigh of relief when prime ministers George Papandreou in Greece and Silvio Berlusconi in Italy stepped down.

Other Categories


The Tories’ ten dark commandments for us The combined efforts of the Tories and Lib Dems’ coalition has led Britain into a "Catch 22".

In their own words

"It is a panic. Rome is burning"

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