Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker


Issue: 2317

Dated: 25 Aug 2012


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The truth behind the Marikana Massacre

34 South African miners shot down by police in cold blood


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

Families march for justice for those that have died in custody

Angry campaigners against violence in police custody marched through Birmingham on Saturday, almost 18 months after the death of 29 year old Kingsley Burrell in the city.

News round-up

£2 fire sale to equity firm All of London’s fire engines have been sold to a private equity company—for just £2. AssetCo, the troubled private firm which owned the engines, disposed of them in a "fire sale" to AB&A Investments.

Privatisation nightmare looms at London Metropolitan University

London Metropolitan University looks set to become the first British university taken over by a private company, reports have indicated.

A-level students get good grades but can't afford to study

For one year the right wingers couldn’t claim that exams are getting easier. Top results for A-levels fell for the first time in 21 years. But the pressures facing young people are far from letting up.

Julian Assange must face rape charges, not US revenge

Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder being protected by the Ecuadorian embassy in London, appeared on a low balcony last Sunday to make a speech. He seemed to be almost mocking the British police, who could not touch him.

Tories plan to drive ordinary people out of 'expensive areas'

Tory housing minister Grant Shapps has backed plans to sell off social housing in "expensive areas".

Disabled activists target cruel Atos in run-up to Paralympics

As London prepares for the Paralympic Games next week, disabled activists are organising protests against one of the year’s most grotesque hypocrisies.

Remploy factory workers are still up for a fight

This week saw the first closures of the 36 marked Remploy factories, which provide work for disabled people. But workers at some sites are refusing to give up the fight.

Electricians face a new attack on pay agreement

Around 50 electricians and their supporters held a protest in London on Friday of last week. They were targetting construction company Crown House which has announced plans to pull out of the JIB national pay agreement.

End in sight for pay battle at Southampton council

The Unison and Unite unions have suspended their industrial and legal action against Southampton council to ballot on a deal over pay.

Bad day for racist EDL in Essex

The racist English Defence League (EDL) found itself outnumbered in Chelmsford, Essex, last Saturday as locals came out to oppose its march. The EDL only managed to convince 70 racists to protest against the expansion of a local mosque.

Sikhs in London remember Wisconsin victims

Around 70 anti-racists and people from Sikh organisations from around London gathered outside parliament last Thursday.

Days left to get the no vote out for LGPS ballot

Workers were set to finish voting over the future of the local government pension scheme (LGPS) this week. The Unite and Unison unions’ ballots are ending this Friday. The GMB union’s ballot ended last week.

Protest over asylum seeker evictions in Glasgow

About 70 people, including 20 refugees, joined a demonstration in Glasgow against refugees being made homeless by landlords Ypeople last Friday. Speakers included journalist Ako Zada and representatives from the UCU, FBU and Unison unions.

Fighting to save the Ancoats Dispensary

Activists campaigning to save the historic Ancoats Dispensary building in Manchester protested outside Manchester Town Hall on Saturday.

Protest against Pinderfields hospital cuts could lead to ballot

Some 150 people demonstrated against pay cuts last week outside Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. Medical secretaries dressed in black to mourn the proposed death of their jobs.

Sheffield council workers strike over wages

Some 100 workers at Sheffield council struck over pay on Friday of last week. The GMB, Unite and Ucatt union members work as electricians, mechanics and in other craft trades.

Mail centre closure plan in Gloucester

Royal Mail last week announced plans to close Gloucester mail centre and transfer the bulk of its work to Bristol.

Gomer Press printers start series of 12 strikes to stop pay attack

Some 16 workers at specialist publishing company Gomer Press struck for half a day on Wednesday of last week. The plant is in Llandysul in Ceredigion, west Wales.

Transport round-up

Station protests over ticket prices The RMT union is planning demonstrations at train stations in marginal Tory and Lib Dem seats in the Home Counties as well as at party conferences.

Reports round-up

Downhills school is made an academy The High Court crushed the hopes of parents and teachers at Downhills primary school in Haringey, north London, last Wednesday. A judge ruled against holding a judicial review into the forced conversion of the school into an academy.

Footage emerges of violent arrest in Brixton

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Sean Rigg memorial meeting and march demand justice

Hundreds gathered in Lambeth Town Hall, south London, on Tuesday night for a memorial meeting on the anniversary of Sean Rigg’s death.

Racist killers of Stephen Lawrence lose appeal bid

Racist killers of Stephen Lawrence lose appeal bid

Tory attack on GCSE grades will hit young people's futures

School students across Britain are reeling today as many discover they have been awarded lower GCSE grades than expected, particularly in English.

Workers hit back at Remploy by occupying corporate head office

Sacked workers at Remploy protested today, Thursday, by occupying the company’s head office in Leicester for four hours.

Unison and Unite accept local government pensions deal

Workers in the Unison and Unite unions have voted to accept a deal over their local government pension scheme (LGPS).

Police plan to let EDL march through heart of Walthamstow

The police want to march the racist thugs of the English Defence League (EDL) right through the centre of multicultural Walthamstow in east London, Socialist Worker has learned.

Downing Street protest highlights threat to Arctic ice

As levels of ice in the Arctic Ocean reached a new record low this weekend, around 40 protesters assembled outside Downing Street, central London, with an "Arctic wake up call" for David Cameron.

Abellio Surrey bus workers vote to accept improved offer

Bus workers at Abellio Surrey have settled their pay dispute after the company made them an improved offer.


International

Australia: Hell in the Pacific as Labour seeks to 'stop the boats'

Australia’s Labour government is set to bring back the notorious anti-refugee policies of the previous John Howard government.

Syria: Assad's massacre of a revolutionary town

Azaz in northern Syria is a town under the control of the opposition. Everything from the baking of bread to the welfare of thousands of refugees from Aleppo is run by revolutionary committees.

Africa round-up

Swaziland: Sacked striking teachers rehired Swaziland’s prime minister Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini agreed last Sunday that a group of teachers who were sacked for striking will be reinstated. The southern African country’s ministry of education had sacked more than 150 teachers at the end of July.

How police planned and carried out the massacre at Marikana

Thapelo Lekgowa, Botsang Mmope and Peter Alexander investigate the scene of the killing

Burma's Rohingya minority faces pogroms and persecution

A Muslim minority in Burma’s Arakan state is facing pogroms that have killed at least 90 people and displaced more than 100,000.

Norway's mass killer is sane, and driven by fascist ideology

The verdict on Norway’s mass killer Anders Behring Breivik has delivered some justice for his victims and their families.


Comment

SNP betrayal over Nato shows up the limits of its nationalism

An independent Scotland would remain part of Nato, the leadership of the Scottish National Party (SNP) recently announced. This reversal of party policy marks a significant moment for the SNP—and for the debate on Scottish independence more generally.


Features

The Paralympic Games: disability, sport and capitalism

The 2012 Paralympic games, starting in London next week, are set to be the biggest ever—with around 5,000 competitors from 147 countries.

The brutal history of South Africa's platinum industry

Gavin Capps looks at how platinum has taken centre stage in South Africa’s mining industry—and how workers have paid the cost

South Africa's dashed hopes of liberation

In the misty early morning of 27 April 1994 I stood in a township near the city of Johannesburg to watch an extraordinary event. Black people, oppressed and spurned for decades, were lining up to vote for the first time.


Reviews

Parade's End: Drama highlights class tensions at a time of war

Parade’s End explores the impact of the First World War, the turbulence of the period and the effect it had on society and ideas. The drama covers the moments leading up to the war, right through to its aftermath.

Riot From Wrong film points finger at uprising's real causes

Riot From Wrong is what the BBC’s The Riots In Their Own Words programme should have been. This new film documentary by Fully Focused Productions pulls no punches.

Reviews round-up

Samsara


What We Think

Marikana: Workers fighting back deserve our support

The massacre of striking workers in South Africa is not simply a human tragedy. It shows what can happen when the logic of capitalism remains, even in a society that has emerged out of momentous uprisings from below.

Taking rape seriously

Myths about rape run deep. A US Republican politician wants to ban abortion, including for women who have been raped.


Other Categories

Tim's view

 

Tim: A new home

Letters

Hinchingbrooke hospital shows up the failures of health service privatisation Ali Parsa has been given uncritical coverage by the BBC and other media in the past few weeks. He is chief executive of Circle, the private health firm that took over Hinchingbrooke Hospital Trust in Cambridgeshire six months ago.

Quotes from this week's news

‘Posh-bashing’

The big tax dodgers that the Tories' list somehow forgot

The government this week published a list of its "most wanted" tax dodgers—a rogues’ gallery of smugglers and VAT fraudsters.

It's time to stop the private train firms in their tracks

Sky-high ticket prices. Overcrowded trains. Bumper profits for private firms. Massive bonuses for bosses. The reality of Britain’s privatised railways was brought to everyone’s attention last week as another year of above inflation fare increases sparked protests at 40 stations.



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