Anti-war demo sweeps London
Even the mainstream media was forced to acknowledge Sunday's marvellous anti-war demonstration in London. TV news and papers had to carry images of the tide of people from all over Britain who poured on to the streets. Yet alongside those images almost all the media repeated the absurd police claim that only 15,000 people had joined the march.
Where could ordinary people be arrested and locked up indefinitely without a trial and without being told the charges against them? Britain, under home secretary David Blunkett's new anti-terrorism laws. It exposes the "democracy" Britain and the US claim they stand for around the world.
Tony Blair was cheered when he spoke at the Labour conference of taking action over the "slums of Gaza" and stressed that "the Palestinians must have justice". Yet during the war on Afghanistan Blair and Bush have allowed the Israeli state to launch a new and bloody reign of terror against the Palestinians.
The official figures admitted last week that unemployment is rising. The count which the government prefers (the number of people claiming benefit) rose by 4,300 to 951,000.
"Coming just a day after the advances in Afghanistan, it signals the determination of the world's community to fight terror with trade, as well as arms." These are the worlds of Patricia Hewitt, New Labour's trade and industry secretary, celebrating the outcome of the World Trade Organisation meeting last week in Doha, Qatar.
"We experimented with the futures of thousands of children all for the sake of free market dogma. And the experiment failed." Education minister Stephen Timms did not admit that last week. But he should have as he announced that Education Action Zones are to be phased out.
The national ballot of 75,000 job centre and Benefits Agency workers in the PCS union was delayed last week due to technical difficulties. The new ballot will now start on Wednesday of this week, ending on Monday 3 December. The 75,000 workers are being balloted to join a strike by 2,500 civil servants across Britain.
OVer 1,000 striking council workers attended a rally in Bradford on Wednesday of last week. The workers struck for the day against Bradford's Tory/Liberal coalition council, which is pushing privatisation through.
The opposition to the Nazi British National Party (BNP) in Oldham, in Greater Manchester, stepped up last week with the launch of the Coalition Against Racism.
Backstage staff at the Royal Shakespeare Company, based in London, have voted to take strike action at Christmas. The workers, members of the BECTU union, voted by nine to one in favour of strikes.
Supporters of the Socialist Alliance have been out campaigning on the streets of Ipswich in the run-up to the parliamentary by-election which was to take place on Thursday of this week. It is the first by-election of Labour's second term. Local campaigner and former builder Peter Leech is standing for the Socialist Alliance. Peter's campaign has centred round opposing the war in Afghanistan.
Thousands of students have demonstrated for free education across Britain over the last two weeks. The National Union of Students (NUS) has organised regional rallies to call on the government to reintroduce grants.
Around 160,000 postal workers will soon start a strike ballot over pay. The CWU union's deputy general secretary, John Keggie, announced the move at an anti-privatisation rally in Edinburgh on Saturday. Basic starting pay for a delivery postal worker is as little as £145.66 per week before tax. The top basic pay is £242.76 before tax outside London. Even with the maximum inner London allowances, the basic pay is a maximum of £291.58 a week before tax.
Their bloody record
1960-75 Vietnam: two million dead
"Our Friends." That's how US president George W Bush describes the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. Britain's defence secretary, Geoff Hoon, says the Northern Alliance "are not nearly as bad as people have been suggesting".
War upon war, horror upon horror. That is what faces not only the long-suffering people of Afghanistan, but millions of others across the globe if the most powerful capitalist state in the world, the US, has its way.
Steelworkers are deeply saddened that three men died at the Corus plant in Port Talbot, South Wales, last week. Stephen Galsworthy, 26, and Andrew Hutin, 20, died instantly when tons of molten iron which was superheated to 1,000 degrees centigrade burst through the walls of the plant's number five furnace. Another man, in his fifties, died later.
Speculation was growing this week over who would be the next first minister of Scotland after the resignation of Henry McLeish. His downfall began in April when it emerged that McLeish had claimed full expenses from the taxpayer on his constituency office as a Westminster MP. At the same time he had been subletting it to private firms.
Socialist Worker, Britain's biggest selling left wing newspaper, has launched an appeal for £200,000. In just nine weeks our supporters have donated £131,516. Recent events have shown how important Socialist Worker is. There are the war in Afghanistan, the growing economic crisis, and New Labour's continuing attacks on ordinary people across Britain.
Global media owner Rupert Murdoch is cheering on the war in Afghanistan and at the same time attacking his own workers in Britain. Murdoch owns top Hollywood film company 20th Century Fox. Last week he was one of the movie executives invited to a meeting initiated by George W Bush to discuss how companies could help the war on Afghanistan with their films.