Crime of war
"BUSH AND Blair say they are fighting a war for civilisation. Yet they have forgotten what civilisation means. What happened in America was a crime against humanity. The perpetrators should be brought to justice.
UNITED STATES: On just one day last week there were anti-war protests on 146 campuses. Two days earlier 2,600 people had protested in Portland. The University of California in Berkley was at the forefront of the protests. Over 3,000 people attended the demonstration there. A national demonstration in Washington was planned for Saturday of this week.
THE LANGUAGE used by Bush and Blair to justify their war drive is giving encouragement to racists and Nazis. In the US racist attacks took place within days of the destruction of the World Trade Centre on 11 September.
SOCIALIST Worker supporters report a big increase in sales as large numbers of people look for arguments against Bush's war drive. Last Saturday saw large street sales-85 in Brixton in south London, 232 in Birmingham, 307 in Manchester, 28 in Guildford, 50 in Hove, and many others. They helped to create a visible opposition to the war as local anti-war coalitions started to take shape.
A NEW crisis is gathering in Hackney council in east London. Stephen Byers, the Secretary of State for Local Government, has given the Labour-run council a deadline to ram through even harsher measures than it originally planned.
THE STAND Up For Council Housing campaign got under way with meetings, protests and activities in many areas last Saturday. The campaign is taking place as the government and many councils are pressing ahead with plans to privatise council homes.
LONDON Underground could come to a halt on Friday 12 October and the following Friday. Results were due this week in ballots by both RMT and ASLEF union members in a dispute over pay.
HEALTH BOSSES in Glasgow have upped the stakes in the long-running fight by medical secretaries to win decent pay. All 300 of the secretaries are due to strike for a week from Monday. Sixty medical secretaries in the surgical division are already striking for three days every week.
OVER 400 angry UNISON members met last week to plan a campaign against privatisation proposals in Nottinghamshire county council. The chief executive, who is about to take up the post of director general for schools in England, is pushing for over 600 jobs to be handed to a private company.
MORE THAN 70 media workers packed a meeting in central London on Monday and adopted this statement:
SOME 200 people joined a protest against threatened PFI privatisation at east London's giant Royal London Hospital on Wednesday of last week. UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis addressed the rally against the proposed PFI scheme to redevelop the hospital.
POSTAL WORKERS in north London walked out unofficially last week in defence of union rep Mark Dolan and the right to free speech at work. Mark, who works at the giant NDO office in Islington, was involved in a discussion with fellow workers over the suicide attack on the World Trade Centre.
ANTI NAZI League activists, other anti-fascists and local residents protested in west London outside the Shirland Road Nazi "charity shop" on Saturday. The protest got off to a great start when we discovered that the Nazis had chosen not to open the shop for the day.
SCOTTISH POWER workers have started a ballot on strikes against attempts to cut jobs and worsen conditions. The 1,700 workers involved, who work both in Scotland and in Scottish Power's subsidiary in Merseyside and North Wales, are fighting plans to force a section of workers into a new company.
CIVIL SERVANTS from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) struck for two days last week over pay. PCS union members at government offices in York, Guildford and Worcester walked out on Thursday and Friday.
THE ANTI-capitalist movement hit Newcastle last Saturday, with a 100-strong anti-sweatshop protest outside a sports shop in the city centre. The day began with a Globalise Resistance stall on the green (an area where young people hang out in the centre of Newcastle).
Over 100 protesters demonstrated last weekend outside the Dungavel detention centre in south Lanarkshire, Scotland, calling for the closure of the camp. Many of the protesters had travelled from Glasgow, where they had taken part in an anti-war rally
UNION LEADERS are ignoring a strike vote by further education lecturers. Instead leaders of the NATFHE union are ordering a new ballot and recommending that workers accept the same employers' offer they have just voted against! Lecturers delivered a two to one ballot majority in favour of rejecting a pay offer of just an extra 0.3 percent from next April.
"TO RETALIATE in a massive military way is not the answer. I would feel dreadful about US retribution. There is no difference between innocent men, women and children getting killed and my brother. I think Bush should be caged at the moment. He is a loose cannon. He is building up his forces for a military strike. That is not the answer."
Not fighting for civilisation
GEORGE W Bush claims he is fighting terrorism in the interests of democracy and freedom. But behind George W Bush stands his father, George Bush Sr-one of the worst terrorists ever.