"BLACK WEDNESDAY". That was the Mirror's banner headline last week as the scale of the job cuts sweeping Britain became clear. Behind the figures lie workers whose lives will be devastated as they are thrown on the dole. Thousands more workers will be terrified that they too could be caught in the jobs cull.
AS THE New McLabour conference pushed an agenda of war and privatisation, Socialist Worker responded by taking to the streets to support the Brighton protest against privatisation and for peace.
"THE WHOLE conference has been an exercise in avoiding debates. "It's incredible that we have avoided the issue over public services and have not taken a position on Star Wars."
"THEY ARRIVE at an undefended village, assemble all the residents in the town square, and then proceed to kill, in full view of the others, all persons working for the government-including police, local militia members, party members, health workers, teachers and farmers."
WHILE THE government spends billions on the build-up to war, it is pushing through vicious attacks on disabled people's benefits. New Labour is preparing to rob the sick and vulnerable of Incapacity Benefit. Many Labour Party members and disability rights campaigners were furious when Tony Blair announced the plan in July.
OVER 1,000 people gathered in London last Saturday for an anti-capitalist conference organised by Globalise Resistance. Throughout the day the main venue, the former Hammersmith Palais, was a throng of people, debate and discussion.
"YOU'RE SACKED." That's the blunt message tens of thousands of workers are getting from their bosses. Behind official talk of pulling together behind the "war on terrorism" a growing number of firms are ramming through savage job cuts.
"I SPENT most of my time being a high class muscleman for big business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. I was a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-12. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China, I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested."
US GENERAL SMEDLEY BUTLER
IN THE last week Socialist Worker has been part of building anti-war meetings and protests across the country.
The building of a movement against war was given an enormous boost at a marvellous rally in central London last Friday. At just a few days notice over 2,000 packed into Friends Meeting House opposite the capital's Euston station. There hasn't been a meeting like that in London for at least 20 years.
THE WORLD economy is on the verge of a major recession. That was the bleak message last week as 100,000 workers on both sides of the Atlantic lost their jobs and the stock exchange plunged downwards.
"IT HAS been suggested that it is appropriate to hold back our anti-privatisation campaigning for the forseeable future, in the wake of events in the US. Such a move might make sense if the government itself was suspending the privatisation drive, but it is clearly doing no such thing.
THOUSANDS of workers across Britain and the US are facing the prospect of redundancy in the aftermath of the events in the United States. Aerospace industry and airline bosses have been at the forefront of sacking thousands of workers.
A MAJOR conference in London this weekend will bring activists together to discuss how to build the movement against capitalism and war. Anti-capitalist group Globalise Resistance had called the counter-conference to coincide with the planned demonstrations against the IMF/World Bank meeting in Washington.
BOSSES around the world are using the crisis caused by the destruction of the World Trade Centre to push through massive job cuts and make even more profits. Around 100,000 jobs were cut in the US and British airline and aviation industries in days.
THE government wants to ram through severe attacks on civil liberties under the cover of its "war against terrorism". Home secretary David Blunkett confirmed last weekend that he is "very seriously" considering introducing compulsory identity cards.
THE US and its allies will make billions available for war. The millionaire-owned press will dutifully back their demands for revenge. Socialist Worker will be exposing their lies, putting the arguments against a horrific war and throwing ourselves into building a mass anti-war movement. At the same time we will be putting the case against the big business policies Blair is trying to sneak in under the cover of war.
The record speaks for itself
THE US says it is going to "take out" the "evil" Osama Bin Laden. We have been here before. The US and its allies have declared many individuals "evil" as a prelude to launching military assaults.
Business profits from the tragedy
IF YOU believed the media at the beginning of this week you would have thought all that mattered was the reopening of the New York stock exchange. "Back In Business" was the front page headline of the Sun on Tuesday. "Right now I want to go in and make some money," one stockbroker was quoted as saying in the Guardian.