Tony Blair is pushing for a new war on Iraq. His government does not care about what the public or other countries think. Defence secretary Geoff Hoon said about Iraq earlier this week, "We would be perfectly entitled to use force" without a United Nations mandate. But there is deep resistance to these plans even among Labour MPs.
Barcelona, Saturday 16 March, 6pm. Half a million people pour onto the streets to protest "against a Europe of capital and war". This is even bigger than the anti-capitalist protest in Genoa last year. An endless stream of hundreds of thousands of people, young and old, students and trade unionists, pack into the Placa de Catalunya and the surrounding streets.
Over 100,000 trade unionists marched in Barcelona against the European Union (EU) summit two days before the anti-capitalist demo. The march was organised by the European Federation of Trade Unions. Hundreds of coaches, plus a train and a plane, came from other areas of Spain. And some 20,000 trade unionists came from France and Italy, with smaller delegations from other countries.
Tony Blair has allied with the most right wing leaders in Europe to attack workers' rights. The European Union summit in Spain last week saw him set up an axis with the right wing prime ministers of Italy and Spain, Silvio Berlusconi and JosŽ Maria Aznar.
THE MEDIA is whipping up hysteria over crime and ignoring three simple facts:
A strike and demonstration by over 40,000 teachers in and around London on Thursday of last week was the biggest for 30 years. It marked a turning point. "I feel we are laying to rest the ghosts of 20 years of demoralisation," said one experienced teacher as she sped by with a group of recent university graduates.
Judith Mora, a Spanish journalist working in London, has been going along to Marxist forums in Brick Lane, east London. She tells us why:
Ballots are now under way in Birmingham and Glasgow. Britain's two biggest council landlords are asking their tenants to say yes to transfer to housing associations.
The women's TUC conference in Eastbourne last week saw anger at New Labour. Alongside the leading figures who spoke out against the government many ordinary delegates also echoed the feelings of anger at New Labour. Nancy Coull from Unison said, "This is my message to the government.
Drivers on ScotRail struck on Tuesday of this week as part of an escalating campaign over pay. Management arrogance in refusing to come up with a serious offer for the drivers has hardened the mood of strikers. Mick Rix, general secretary of the Aslef union, which represents most ScotRail drivers, has authorised 11 more one-day strikes.
The boss was praying for rain. He claimed, "You won't last. Once it's cold and raining you'll be back at work." But defiant medical secretaries at Sunderland hospitals rubbished their boss's predictions.
SOME 1,100 TGWU union members at Manchester airport have voted to escalate their action against wage and holiday cuts. On Friday 22 March workers will walk out for 36 hours. This will be followed by a 96-hour strike over Easter weekend.
Postal Workers could hold a national strike on Wednesday of next week. It would be about pay. Postal workers are fed up with poverty pay-a basic of just £250 a week. Many work six days a week and start at around 5.30am. The executive of the CWU postal workers' union believed it had secured agreement over pay with Royal Mail. CWU deputy general secretary John Keggie said the deal would mean £300 a week pensionable pay by October 2003.
More than 1,500 workers at the Airbus plant in Flintshire, North Wales, walked out of work unofficially on Thursday of last week. Hundreds of staff walked out at lunchtime. They were then followed by the entire afternoon shift and the majority of the evening shift. They were protesting against pay bonuses for managers while workers' pay is being cut.
The Socialist Alliance is gearing up to challenge New Labour in hundreds of council seats in the local elections on 2 May. The deadline for nominations is approaching fast. This means that Socialist Alliances are selecting candidates over the next few days.
"I THINK there is a mood of change in the country." So said Derek Simpson, who is challenging Blair's favourite union leader, Ken Jackson, for general secretary of Amicus. Derek came to the Socialist Alliance's trade union conference to speak to members of Amicus, a union made up of the old AEEU and MSF.
UNISON union members in Tower Hamlets, east London, are celebrating a victory after the council withdrew proposed new sickness, disciplinary and organisational changes. This follows a highly successful strike at the end of February, and plans for further strike action.
More than 100 Express and Star journalists packed into a workplace union chapel meeting last week. We voted to take industrial action in support of our pay claim-there were ten votes against. We have agreed six separate days of action, set to start this Friday, with three-hour stoppages on each, working up to a full day's strike. The stoppages will take place from 5pm to 8pm each evening, a time designed to hit production the most.
The Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, has unleashed slaughter on the Palestinian people. Look at the pictures on this page. They show Israeli soldiers executing 23 year old Palestinian Mahmoud Salah on a Jerusalem Street on Friday of last week.
Fear and anger has swept the globe after the revelations of George Bush's latest warmongering plans. Leaks from the US military's Nuclear Posture Review show plans to use nuclear weapons against China, Russia, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Syria and Libya. It seriously talks about more Hiroshimas, more Nagasakis, more wars which could destroy all life on the planet. And for Bush's gang it is now not a matter of if but when and how the war with Iraq will begin.