Solidarity 107, 22 February 2007

Poverty, crime and institutional racism

Published on: Sun, 08/04/2007 - 12:15

Robin Sivapalan examines the educational and social background to gangster and gun culture and starts a discussion on how institutional racism still poisons British society.

Four young black men were shot dead this month in South London, sparking a new debate on gun crime. A just published UNICEF report ranked the UK last of the world’s 21 richest nations in terms of the material, subjective and educational well being of its children. The two events are connected.

Tory leader proclaimed his recipe for a better society and less juvenile crime: stronger family units. Cameron’s and our society is

When political hope ended

Published on: Mon, 26/02/2007 - 11:54

Paul Cooper reviews Bobby

Bobby Kennedy met his end on 5 June,1968. He was shot in the head, point-blank, as he made his way through a crowded hotel kitchen.
Most of the people in the kitchen were black or Hispanic hotel workers. They had been servicing the Democratic Party convention that was celebrating Kennedy’s victory in the California Primary. Bobby Kennedy was the great hope of those workers, as he was of the civil rights movement.

At key points in the film use is made of archive footage of Bobby Kennedy on the campaign trail. What you see is an emotional investment of hope in a

Build a national campaign to save the NHS!

Published on: Fri, 23/02/2007 - 11:34

By Mike Fenwick, Leeds Unison health

Saturday March 3rd sees the first nationally coordinated day of trade union action in defense of the NHS. Events ranging from lobbies of MPs to rallies and marches and, for the more adventurous, an ascent of Skiddaw in the Lake District aim to highlight the crisis in the health service.

The day has been co-ordinated by “NHS Together”, the coalition of trade unions and professional bodies brought together by the TUC. With such heavyweights behind it the day ought to be a success. Unfortunately the initial promise of strong support may not be delivered upon -

Campaigns: anti-BNP, migrant workers

Published on: Fri, 23/02/2007 - 11:29

Searchlight trade union conference

A Worker is a Worker - A Trade Union Friends of Searchlight conference on migrant workers. Organised by SearchLight 10 March 2007, 10.30 am-4pm, TUC Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS.
The conference will focus on:
* Building a campaign for full employment rights.
*Creating support networks for migrant workers.
* Defeating the BNP in the workplace and the community.
* Engaging and recruiting migrant workers.
£12 per delegate - Lunch provided. Please send cheques to Searchlight PO Box 1576 Illford IG5 0NG. Sponsored by SERTUC, Amicus and the

John McDonnell: campaign grows

Published on: Fri, 23/02/2007 - 11:24

The last few weeks have seen several boosts for John McDonnell MP's campaign for the leadership of the Labour Party. With growing support among the unions and MPs, and a packed schedule of large meetings around the country, McDonnell has welcomed the “heartening and motivating” progress of his campaign.

In spite of the media blackout about the challenge John McDonnell is posing to a Gordon Brown coronation, there is no lack of interest in John4Leader public meetings. One of the most successful meetings of the campaign so far took place in Lewes last month, with over 400 people packing into the

Dita Sari: why we are standing

Published on: Fri, 23/02/2007 - 10:58

Dita Sari, the former trade union leader and political prisoner under the Suharto regime, is chair of the ‘ new, broader National Liberation Party of Unity (Papernas). She will be its candidate for the 2009 presidential elections. Sari was interviewed by Green Left Weekly in January. Below are some extracts.

Q: Now that Papernas has been launched, what is the future of the PRD?
A: The whole resources, infrastructure, energy, finances and political attention of the PRD are to be devoted to Papernas. Papernas will be our political face at least until the 2009 presidential elections.

Q: Will

Uprising in Cochabamba

Published on: Fri, 23/02/2007 - 10:55

By David Broder

The movement against the far-right in Bolivia stepped up last month with a mass uprising in the nationÕs third city, Cochabamba, which dislodged the right-wing governor Manfred Reyes Villa and put forward the demand for genuinely democratic representatives. This was twinned with a solidarity strike organised by residents’ association FEJUVE in the city of El Alto, also seeking to get rid of a governor who wants to see the country split up.

At the heart of the struggles is the so-called self-determination movement of the Santa Cruz province, in eastern Bolivia. Although, as in

Venezuela: workers march for nationalisation under workers' control

Published on: Fri, 23/02/2007 - 10:48

By Pablo Velasco

Around 6,000 workers marched through the streets of Caracas on Thursday 8 February demanding nationalisation of all strategic industries under workers’ control.

Workers welcomed the Chávez government’s nationalisations of EDC, Venezuela’s largest electric company and the Compania Anonima Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela (CANTV) telecom company. But they called for others such as steel firm Sidor and bathroom firm Sanitarios Maracay to be nationalised - and for workersÕ control in all these industries.

The day began with two marches. The first organised by the Corriente

Strike wave in Zimbabwe

Published on: Fri, 23/02/2007 - 10:44

By Jack Staunton

On 5 February teachers across Zimbabwe began an indefinite general strike for pay and conditions, joining doctors and nurses already taking action against poverty pay.

With inflation now reported to be running at 1,593% (the worst in the world), dictator Robert Mugabe is keeping public sector workers’ wages down in order to have enough money to keep his regime afloat. Almost 200,000 public sector workers angry about pay now pose a threat to the regime’s stability.

With as many as 80% of Zimbabweans unemployed, the poverty and health situation is dire. But the pay of hard

Picketing, leafleting and dancing

Published on: Fri, 23/02/2007 - 10:39

By Heather Shaw

The highlight of No Sweat and Students Against Sweatshop’s Week of Action (18-23 Feburary) was welcoming Andreas Aullet, a lawyer working with political prisoners and their families in Oaxaca, Mexico, and taking him on a tour of the UK.

After a brilliant first meeting in Brighton on Sunday 19th, disaster struck as the car carrying Andreas and his entourage broke down on the way to Norwich, where 60 people were waiting to hear him! After a rather cold and damp evening on a motorway embankment giving impromptu Spanish lessons, Andreas went on to speak at seven other venues:

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