Socialist Worker

Socialist Worker

Issue: 2380

Dated: 19 Nov 2013

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Roma are welcome here

The furore over Roma in Sheffield is based on myths that recall previous race scares, writes Sadie Robinson

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Eight police officers face criminal investigation over death of Terry Smith in custody

Terry Smith died in police custody in Staines last week. Police had arrested Terry under the Mental Health Act.

A tradition of lies about immigrants

The idea that migrants coming to Britain disrupt “our way of life” isn’t new. It was put across most famously by Tory MP Enoch Powell in 1968.

Politicians are the problem, not migrants

Scapegoating immigrants unites the mainstream political parties. 

Striking firefighters say ‘We will stand strong and fight to the end’

I visited a few picket lines and they all showed the same solidarity and unity in this fight against our pension thefts.

Reports round-up

Barristers threaten to strike over cuts | Bus rep waiting for disciplinary results | Strike planned at Heathrow airport | Protests win better redundancy terms | Lloyd's bosses attack pensions

Unite union sector conferences

The Unite union held a series of sector conferences in Brighton last week.

Clampdown on campus is an attack on protest rights

Up to 150 student and trade union activists marched in protest at plans to close University of London Union (ULU), on Wednesday of last week.

Marxism in Scotland: a lively day of debate

More than 200 people came to the Marxism in Scotland event in Glasgow last Saturday, organised by the Socialist Workers Party.

Reports round-up 2

Lobby over Labour council’s cuts plan | Wandsworth set for march to save jobs | Cleaners fight for London Living Wage | Defend abortion rights on campuses | Home Office rep ‘unfairly sacked’

Campaign launched for new film—Thirty years on still the enemy within

A campaign has been launched to support a film uncovering the hidden story of miners and their families during the Great Miners Strike of 1984–85.

Roma suffer from problems caused by discrimination

Migration Yorkshire, a local authority-led organisation that supports migrants in accessing services, produced a report last year into the health of Roma in Yorkshire.

We’ll fight until we win, say striking Glasgow Pupil Support Assistants

Pupil Support Assistants (PSAs) struck in the south of Glasgow on Thursday of last week. In the west of the city PSAs walked out on Tuesday of this week.

The Guardian joins in the gossiping about Page Hall

It isn’t only the most rabid right wing newspapers that have gone on the offensive against Roma and migrants in general. It’s the liberal ones too.

Campaigners form chain around Barnsley central library

Up to 200 people formed a human chain round Barnsley central library last Saturday to protest against Barnsley’s  Labour council’s plans to demolish it.

South Gloucestershire walkouts at children's secure unit boost the union

South Gloucestershire Unison members at Vinney Green children’s secure unit in Bristol held a three-day strike last week.

Gove plays talks game

The NUT and NASUWT teaching unions issued a press release last week complaining of “game-playing” by education secretary Michael Gove.

Back STA in union polls

Nomination meetings are taking place in local branches of the NUT union for candidates in elections for the union’s national executive.

Strike is set in post offices

Workers in the Post Office were set to walk out for the 13th time on Wednesday of this week.

Victory as protest reverses bedroom tax eviction

Campaigners in Glasgow swiftly reversed the eviction of a tenant hit by the bedroom tax last week.

EDL is humiliated in Exeter as anti-racists take to the streets

More than 1,000 anti-racists turned out in force to oppose a planned march by the racist English Defence League (EDL) in Exeter last Saturday.

Tories fear their NHS cuts could cause a winter deaths crisis

The winter is barely underway but the NHS is already stretched—and the Tories fear they could soon have a disaster on their hands.

What they don't tell you about the ‘Burqa bunker’: Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed was rendered and tortured by Britain

When Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed sliced off the electronic tag, donned a burqa and slipped away from a London mosque it created headlines.

News in brief round-up

London's cyclists angry after six die in ten days | College lecturers vote to strike | Cameron’s pals grilled in court | Daniel Morgan murder panel chair resigns

Tories plan new attack on trade unionists

A new inquiry into trade unions threatens to limit their power, writes Dave Sewell

Taking action against construction blacklist

The TUC Day of Action on Blacklisting was set to take place on Wednesday of this week. Construction workers planned to target high profile sites.

Move fast on shipyard redundancies

The first redundancy notices went out to shipyard workers employed by BAE this week. 

Day of action around Britain against blacklisting

Construction workers and supporters have protested across Britain against blacklist on a TUC backed day of action.

Photos of blacklisting day of action on 20 November 2013

Cardiff | Leeds | London | Wolverhampton | Edinburgh

More workers join Crown Post Office walkouts

Thousands of workers in Crown Post Offices walked out of work yesterday, Wednesday, against office closures, job cuts and a pay freeze.

Pathologist tells inquest copper ‘got it wrong’ in Mark Duggan evidence

Annette Mackin reports that expert witnesses contradict evidence of cop who shot Mark Duggan


Authorities build anti-Roma walls in Slovakia

Many of the Roma living in Page Hall are Slovakian. They say they came to Britain to look for a better life —and it isn’t hard to see why.

Filipinos fight to survive in aftermath of typhoon Haiyan

People in the Philippines are still struggling to survive a week after typhoon Haiyan hit.

Ethiopian migrants protest in London against brutal crackdown on workers in Saudi Arabia

The government in Saudi Arabia has launched a brutal crackdown on migrant workers it sees as illegal. The Middle Eastern kingdom has a population of almost 30 million, with nine million migrants making up more than half of the workforce.

Thousands march in Athens to mark 40 years since the uprising at the National Polytechnic university

Thousands marched in Athens last week to mark 40 years since the uprising at the National Polytechnic university that was the beginning of the end for Greece's dictatorship.

Socialist wins Seattle elections

Kshama Sawant became the first socialist in decades to win a seat on a US city council last week. She beat the Democratic candidate in Seattle who had been in the seat for 16 years.

Former president Michelle Bachelet returns in Chile

Centre Left former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet looks set to return to office after topping the first round of the election last week.

Students protest over Italy budget

Thousands of students protested in Rome and other Italian cities last week against massive cuts in the 2014 budget

Sri Lankan protest targets David Cameron's visit

Hundreds of protesters surrounded David Cameron’s car on a visit to the mostly Tamil north of Sri Lanka last week. They held photos of relatives killed or abducted in the massacres that ended the civil war of 2009 or the clampdowns that followed.

Thousands join Cairo protest

Thousands rallied yesterday, Tuesday, in downtown Cairo, marking the second anniversary of the “Mohamed Mahmoud Uprising”, when Egyptian protesters battled the military-backed police force for days. The uprising left dozens of martyrs and was the first real challenge to the military junta which assumed control after the overthrow of former dictator Hosni Mubarak. 

Video of Cairo protests on 19 November 2013 (English subtitles)

Hossam el-Hamalawy on Tuesday's protests, which were the largest since the military removed president Mohamed Mursi in July.


An academic framework which stifles challenges to the system

Reducing academic achievement to a number won’t help us develop ideas, argues John Parrington

The left must fight to shape Scottish independence referendum

As the referendum on Scottish independence looms next year the ferocity of the pro-union campaign is picking up. Tory cabinet ministers are nakedly using blackmailing scare tactics to bully workers to vote to remain in Britain. 


After typhoon Haiyan - capitalism and the climate

As the latest United Nations climate conference takes place Martin Empson examines why governments are so feeble in their efforts to challenge global warming

John F Kennedy's assassination—Camelot's dark side

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Mafia conspired to carry out an assassination 50 years ago this week. They plotted to take out a president—Fidel Castro of Cuba, and they did it under the orders of US president John F Kennedy.

Scottsboro Boys musical: songs of freedom

Actor Colman Domingo from the hit show Scottsboro Boys speaks to Dave Sewell about how the musical provokes the audience to look at racism in the here and now


The Butler: There's more to civil rights than what the butler saw

Star-studded Oscar contender The Butler looks at thrilling struggles against racism but lets a sentimental script get in the way, says Michelle Adhemar

The Happy Lands' director interviewed

Robert Rae’s film The Happy Lands is about families in a Fife village during the 1926 miners’ lockout and General Strike. He spoke to Fife residents Lici Kopiej and Ian Waddell.

Reviews round-up

Inside the Circle of Fire: A Sheffield Sound Map | Suitcase

What We Think

Slurs against Roma are racist, not radical

Recent claims that the behaviour of Roma people is different to that of others in Sheffield would be comic if they weren’t so serious.

Student loans selloff - dodgy deals in debt

Tuition fees and the scrapping of grants have generated £40 billion of student debt—and it is growing.

Other Categories

Fred Sanger 1918-2013

John Parrington pays tribute to the visionary geneticist who transformed our understanding of the human body and took a principled stand against fascism


We have letters on bedroom tax, fighting racism Atos and workers' rights

The Things They Say

‘We literally want to own Christmas’

Bosses get 14% pay rises—20 times more than us

Bosses of the top 100 companies in Britain have enjoyed a 14 percent boost in total pay. For the rest of us pay rises are lagging behind.

How London's migrant cleaners are fighting back against low pay

Sarah Ensor and Dave Sewell speak to workers from around the world about how they are organising the fightback in their workplaces and building trade unions in Britain

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