THE PEOPLE who head the institutions of global capitalism are nervous over the outcome of next Sunday's presidential election in Brazil. Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, known universally as Lula in the South American country, looks set to top the poll. He is a former left wing socialist and mass strike leader. Lula has soared in the polls as popular discontent has grown with the current government of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso.
The European Social Forum (ESF) will be the first Europe-wide gathering of the growing movements against neo-liberalism, racism and war. Tens of thousands of people will gather to discuss, debate and organise. There will also be a major united European demonstration against war. The ESF is for everyone who cares about the future of our planet, everyone who believes a better world is possible and necessary.
HUNDREDS OF thousands of people took over central London last Saturday to march against war on Iraq and for freedom for Palestine. The size of the demonstration stunned many people. Marchers waited around four hours to leave Embankment, while speakers at the end rally were already addressing demonstrators as they poured into Hyde Park. Thousands more joined splinter demonstrations that spilled out into other parts of central London, including a march up Oxford Street.
"IT IS extremely important that we prevent more aggression against a country that has already been bombed back to the Stone Age. Around 60 percent of our workforce are African or Middle Eastern in origin, so they tend to be more sympathetic to the anti-war argument. We have to keep on making our efforts to stop the war." Arif Shaikh, TGWU, First Central Buses
SATURDAY'S demonstration was a sea of placards and banners, brought from every corner of Britain. At the heart of the demonstration was a major mobilisation of trade unionists. Black, white and Asian workers, men and women, young and old proudly marched together behind their trade union banners.
"WE REPRESENT the overwhelming majority round the world. We are not a "protest movement". It may be that Bush will go to war in a matter of weeks. It may be that prime minister Blair will send troops into battle. But nothing can take the British people into a war they don't accept and don't want. If the war begins it is our plain duty to take time out at once to see everybody understands what has happened, and mobilise against the war. There is a good chance of stopping Britain going to war if we carry on organising in this brilliant way." Tony Benn
IT WAS not just in London that people took to the streets to protest against war last weekend. Other demonstrations around the world included 5,000 marching in Washington in the US, 50,000 in Madrid in Spain and 3,000 in Athens in Greece. In Rome in Italy 100,000 took part in a demonstration which had a major anti-war theme.
ANTI-WAR activists are mobilising for the next focus in the movement to stop war on Iraq. The Stop the War Coalition has called for a day of action - "Stop Your City, Stop the War" - on Thursday 31 October.
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HUNDREDS OF thousands of school leavers have been left bewildered by the scandal surrounding A-level results. Growing evidence shows that a government quango fixed the exam results to lower students' grades.
AN IRAQI child is lying in a Baghdad hospital bed being treated for leukemia. Ali Hussein is eight years old and can't get the treatment he needs because of US-imposed sanctions on Iraq. Bush and Blair's war will bring more horror to this devastated country.
"Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the world. The US wants to restore this enormous prize to its control"
A "rogue state" is threatening the world. It possesses weapons of mass destruction, and has used them. It has attacked, bombed and invaded more countries than any other state.
FIFTEEN million people are starving in southern Africa. More than 30,000 children die every day around the world from preventable diseases. Five times as many people die from AIDS every day as died in the World Trade Centre. So world leaders are getting ready to spend hundreds of billions of pounds on a war to crush Iraq. These are the two faces of imperialism - war and hunger.
FIVE SOCIALISTS and trade unionists spoke to Socialist Worker about how the movement to stop the war is connected to the fight they face against bosses at work and the government.
THREE MEMBERS of the Fire Brigades Union explain why they oppose the war and why people should back their crucial pay campaign as they begin voting next week for the first national firefighters' strike for 25 years.
The anti-Vietnam War movement of the 1960s was a turning point, but today's movement is even bigger. We now face the fourth war in ten years. And when the war against Iraq is over, the madmen in the White House are planning to set their sights on new targets - Iran, North Korea, perhaps even China.
THE RIGHT of Asians to defend themselves against racists is currently on trial in Preston, Lancashire. The six Asian defendants are the first to go on trial over the riots in Burnley in June of last year. They live in a town where three British National Party (BNP) members became councillors after the elections earlier this year.
The nazi British National Party (BNP) and National Front have been forced to cancel two planned events in the north west of England because of anti-Nazi opposition. The BNP had announced it was organising a march next Saturday in Burnley. It wanted to use the issue of threatened closures to elderly people's homes to try to con people in Burnley that it is a "respectable" party that cares about the NHS.
Bush and Blair claim war on Iraq is about stopping Saddam Hussein developing weapons of mass destruction. But who is the real threat in the world? And who has, and has used, weapons of mass destruction? "The people who do most of the shouting about weapons of mass destruction have those weapons themselves," says Nigel Chamberlain from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.