Solidarity 063, 2 December 2004

The Iraqi people against Islamic terrorism

Published on: Mon, 06/12/2004 - 21:31

Day after day the bloody hands of terrorist Islamic gangs are destroying new aspects of the life of Iraqi society.

Everyday they violate the civility of the society and stamp upon its secularity and all the gains of freedom, equality, prosperity and humanism achieved by the masses over decades. Everyday, we hear the news of crimes committed by Islamists which disgust and stun everybody for the amount of violence and wickedness embedded in the methodology used by their perpetrators.

A fascist Islamic group that calls itself “Jammat Shura al-Mujahideen” issued a fatwa (religious decree) calling

Brighton teaching assistants

Published on: Mon, 06/12/2004 - 21:31

A grumpy and harassed looking Ken Bodfish (OBE), Brighton and Hove Labour council leader, rushed into a council meeting on 25 November. He looked visibly shaken by the 350 teaching assistants and their supporters who had turned up to protest on the second day of their strike.

“I would like to see a proper wage that people can actually live on. I’m a single person and need tax credits to bring up my wage,” teaching assistant Diane Askew told the local paper.

The strike closed 35 schools, and the council obviously did not expect low paid women workers to show such solidarity. The strike united

Iraq: towards elections?

Published on: Mon, 06/12/2004 - 21:31

On 23 November, at a conference in the Egyptian town of Sharm al-Shaykh, the USA succeeded in getting the assent of Iraq’s neighbour states, including Iran and Syria, and of the G8 big powers, including France and Russia, for its plans in Iraq.

This makes it pretty certain that the Iraqi elections planned for 30 January will go ahead, short of Armageddon. Whether they produce anything stable or workable is another question.

The conference statement urged “the interim Iraqi government to continue with the political process by holding general elections before the end of January 2005. This is in

Last Prize in Nike’s race to the bottom

Published on: Mon, 06/12/2004 - 21:31

In blaze of corporate charity, sportswear giant Nike held a 10 kilometre “fun” run, at night, through Bermondsey in south London. 30,000 runners, each paying £25, were cheered on by hired supporters shouting “go Nike Nocturnals” and other gibberish. As they approached the finish line a recorded loop shouted applause and told them, “You’re doing great”, and, “Just Do It” . But that was underneath a rather attractive No Sweat Banner. On the night No Sweat and the Space Hoppers were out in force.

The run was raising money for corporate support of London schools — doing up their gyms and

The SWP should be condemned, but not for this reason

Published on: Mon, 06/12/2004 - 21:31

Solidarity has much to condemn the SWP for — most of all the way it has funnelled thousands of people who want to be socialists into being bag-carriers for George Galloway, for the Muslim Association of Britain (British offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood), and for the Islamist militias in Iraq.

And in part because we want, and fight for, a proper political confrontation with the SWP on those issues, we are against them being shoved aside and blurred over by slurs and manufactured scandals.

Ripples are still spreading through the left from an item posted on the website of the Socialist Unity

Blunkett should be sacked, but not for this reason

Published on: Mon, 06/12/2004 - 21:31

The outcry against David Blunkett fomented by his ex-lover Kimberly Quinn, publisher of the right wing weekly the Spectator? It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy!

Blunkett is the most odious and unprincipled of the one-time leftists who adopted the outlook and attitudes of the Thatcher Tories in order to win office and who in government continue Thatcherite policies.

As Home Secretary Blunkett has used the traditional language of the far right in making wild demagogic denunciations of immigrants which chime in with the outright racism of the Sun

This moral idiot has worked to politically disarm

Support the Liverpool social workers!

Published on: Mon, 06/12/2004 - 21:31

Sixteen Liverpool striking social workers, and their supporters from London and Surrey, picketed the General Social Care Council’s conference in London on 27 November.

Speaking at the event was Tony Hunter, the new President of the Association of Directors of Social Services. Until they met the Liverpool pickets, delegates may not have realised that he is also the Director of Social Care at Liberal Democrat controlled Liverpool City Council, where more than 120 child care social workers have been on all out strike since August.

The strike is of relevance to all social workers in Britain,

Activists surround central bank

Published on: Mon, 06/12/2004 - 21:31

More than 8,000 Brazilian landless activists surrounded the central bank on Thursday 25 November and threatened a big fight over land next year unless they get more public money to speed up land reform.

Joao Pedro Stedile, a leader of the Landless Workers Movement (MST), said peasants could stage more land occupations if President Lula da Silva did not earmark more funds to expropriate and redistribute unused farmland, as the Brazilian constitution demands.

Lula pledged to settle 400,000 families — or around 1.6 million people -- during his four-year term. After two years he has only created

US sell-off orders in Iraq were unlawful

Published on: Mon, 06/12/2004 - 21:31

The British state has effectively admitted that the US/UK occupation's programme of forced privatisation in Iraq has been unlawful.

In April 2004 Ewa Jasiewicz and Pennie Quinton were arrested and charged with “aggravated trespass” for entering and disrupting the Iraq Procurement conference in London. It was a business conference where representatives of the occupation authority came to discuss deals and contracts with bosses from big multinational corporations.

On 23 November Ewa’s and Pennie’s case was due to come to trial. A few days before that the Crown Prosecution Service told their

As we were saying: Bandaid or surgery

Published on: Mon, 06/12/2004 - 21:31

A lot of people have been disturbed and sickened by the suffering from famine in Africa. Some rock stars have felt the same way.

The have got together — under the name of Band Aid — to put out a record, “Feed the World”.

All proceeds will go directly to the starving in Ethiopia. Steps have been taken to prevent a repetition of the Bangladesh fiasco when very little of the money raised by George Harrison got beyond embezzlement by state bureaucrats.

A very good and well meaning idea. But the record itself is almost unbelievably bad. The lyrics are so inane as to be insulting.

“Do they know it’s

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