MANCHESTER HAS suffered at the hands of those who would deprive our thriving multicultural, multi-ethnic and multi-faith city of an anti-racism festival on institutionally racist and inexcusable grounds. I do not want to live in a city which cannot celebrate its diversity openly and honestly.
THE ANNUAL Pensioners' Parliament took place in Blackpool last week. At the opening rally about 2,500 people heard speeches from representatives of the Labour, Tory, Liberal Democrat and Green parties. It was noticeable that the speeches were received with virtual silence or even derision.
A MASSIVE blast last week destroyed a four-storey factory in seconds. Nine workers at Stockline Plastics in Maryhill are dead and 40 others have been maimed or badly injured. The carnage happened in a densely populated part of Glasgow. It has stunned the city.
BLAIR'S FAVOURITE New Labour council is trying to break our union. We are absolutely clear that Newham council in east London intends to lead the way in smashing the town hall union to force through Blair's plans to \"restructure\" public services-cutting our pay and jobs and selling off the people's assets to the fat cats. We are going to step up our action and we are determined we are going to win. But in discussing strategy with Unison union regional officials, the question of our political relationship to the government dominates the debate.
Bush has no right to control our bodies
OVER ONE million people came out for a historic march on 25 April in Washington DC to demonstrate for abortion rights. The National Mall, which has been the site of large mobilisations for decades, was teeming with women from all backgrounds, taking nearly two hours to pass a single point on the 2.5-mile march.
MORE THAN 40 delegates and guests attending the annual RMT union station grades conference in Manchester last week were treated to a first hand introduction to the politics of Respect. A fringe meeting was held at a nearby hotel at the conclusion of the first day's business.
I AM a black man from a Christian background. But I feel the attacks on the Muslim community as if they were on me personally. Racists do not discriminate when they turn upon scapegoats. Today it is the asylum seeker and the Muslim. Tomorrow it is the Hindu and the Sikh, and the day after it is all black people.
AS PARENTS and staff at Stephen Hawking special needs school we are disgusted by the attitude of Tower Hamlets council, run by the Labour Party, to the needs of our children. That is why we decided to take our campaign out onto the streets, because we know what is happening to our children will make others angry too.
THE SCOTTISH nursery nurse dispute has reminded activists like myself of the tremendous energy, endeavour, imagination, determination and inspiration of the Timex strike some 12 years ago. The Timex strikers were another group of mostly women workers who showed no regard for the accepted limitations of trade union struggle.
Now it's Waterloo sunset for Blair's New Labour
IN AN important development last week, the Waterloo Branch of the RMT rail workers' union has agreed to support Respect candidates standing in the London Assembly and European elections. The decision reflects the deep disgust members have with a Labour Party that has turned its back on working people.
THE WARS in Iraq and Afghanistan were built on many lies, but the terrible massacre on Madrid's railways highlights one of the biggest-the world is not a safer place. As RMT members on London Underground we are only too aware of the vulnerability of the tube network. The same newspapers that supported the war regularly run stories with lurid headlines telling us how the bombers are out to get the Underground.
I HAVE recently begun again to read Socialist Worker, and I must tell you how refreshing it is to see the truth in print once again. During my career in the armed forces under both Conservative and Labour administrations I would regularly read and reread my copy of the paper in full view of the hierarchy.
Don't believe police thugs on any strikers
LAST WEEK I watched a good documentary on BBC2 on the Grunwick strike of 1977. The programme openly admitted that the strike was sabotaged by right wing trade union leaders who did not want to divert attention away from the prospects of Labour winning the 1979 general election.
THE 20th anniversary of the 1984-5 miners' strike has reunited the miners in the Nottinghamshire area who dared to support the NUM union throughout the bitter dispute. After all these years the focus by some of the media is on why the NUM would not hold a national ballot. Over 80 percent of miners were already out on strike. They had voted with their feet.
SO MICHAEL Howard had his day out in Burnley. The local Conservatives gathered together all the Asian and black people they could muster, about 12 in total, and placed them where they would be on camera.
MY FRIEND and I were discussing your article on how much (or little) things have changed since the 1840s (Socialist Worker, 31 January). The following day I went into my workplace (telesales) to find that the company had gone into liquidation that very morning and that we wouldn't be paid for the previous week's work.
1,400 school students left without hot food
I recently started work in one of 27 schools in the London borough of Tower Hamlets which is part of a £127 million Private Finance Initiative (PFI) scheme. It was claimed that this would provide much-needed new buildings and urgent repairs throughout the borough. But it has proved to be a complete disaster.
RECENT NEWSPAPER headlines screamed that four out of ten whites did not want to have a black neighbour, after a poll by MORI. We live in a racist society. But if the headlines were accurate we would have taken a significant backward step to a more segregated society. The problem is not what people were asked or what people said. It is the way the findings were reported.
I AM speaking on behalf of a large group of women who have suffered an injustice in our fight for equal pay.
Avoiding the state
Mike Gonzalez (Socialist Worker, 17 January) is right to describe how the Zapatista movement in Mexico has provided a great inspiration for activists across the world.