Solidarity 220, 12 October 2011

US “occupy” movement spreads

Published on: Wed, 12/10/2011 - 12:50

American socialist Dan La Botz explains the mood behind the sit-in protests on Wall Street, New York which are now spreading across the US, including his home city, Cincinnati.

Cincinnati is a microcosm of the country.

Thousands of Cincinnatians face high unemployment, live in poverty, or lack of health insurance, while a handful of multimillionaires live in luxury on the salaries paid by the national and multinational corporations headquartered here.

Like the rest of America, we in the 99% watch our community’s economic situation deteriorate while the 1% at the top increase their salaries,

Reinstate Edd Bauer!

Published on: Wed, 12/10/2011 - 12:45

A Birmingham student reports on the campaign to win reinstatement for Edd Bauer, the Guild [student union] officer suspended for his role in a peaceful direct action at Lib Dem conference.

“It’s totally surreal building for a demonstration against our student union.

“I want to spend my time campaigning against the government and the city traders, not the people who are meant to be fighting for me. However, the undemocratic suspension means we have no choice.

“If we were to put Edd’s suspension to democratic vote at a Guild general meeting or council it is clear that he’d be immediately

Greek workers fight the Troika

Published on: Wed, 12/10/2011 - 12:42

A wave of strikes, occupations and demonstrations is erupting all across Greece.

Transport workers and air traffic controllers brought all traffic to a standstill on Friday 7 October. Bin workers continue their strike, and the whole of Athens is suffocated by uncollected rubbish. Utility workers are occupying their central offices and considering further action,

Teachers and council workers are to demonstrate on 11 October. Greek petrol workers are to start a continuous general strike from 11 October. Archaeologists and tax collectors have called 48-hour-strikes.

Students are still

Strikes before Xmas at BBC

Published on: Wed, 12/10/2011 - 12:39

The BBC plans to cut 2,000 posts and make significant changes to workers’ terms and conditions as part of its “Delivering Quality First” review.

The plan, which was announced on 6 October, is the latest in a long line of attacks from BBC bosses. According to the National Union of Journalists, 7,000 jobs have already been axed at the BBC since 2004.

The latest round of cuts involves a 20% cut over five years, with between 700-800 of the jobs on the chopping block coming from BBC News.

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet commented: “This is a watershed moment in the BBC’s history — the

Strikes escalate at Stow College

Published on: Wed, 12/10/2011 - 12:29

Unison members in Stow College in Glasgow are stepping up their campaign of strike action against the imposition of a pay freeze.

A fortnight ago the union’s 90 members —learning support workers, administration and clerical workers, caretakers, cleaners and catering workers – staged a 24-hour strike.

Around 60 strikers and their supporters turned up for the picket line at the college’s city centre campus, while a smaller number of strikers picketed its campus in the West End.

Last week catering staff staged a three-day strike.

Support for the strike was solid, with picket lines again

Tube to ballot against sacking

Published on: Wed, 12/10/2011 - 12:25

Rail union RMT has announced plans to ballot its train grade members to win the reinstatement of sacked driver James Masango.

A recent employment tribunal found 100% in James’s favour, ruling that he had been ordered back to work too soon after an illness. That led to the mistake which cost him his job. Despite the tribunal’s decision, London Underground has still not reinstated James. RMT general secretary Bob Crow said “we now have no option but to launch a public campaign and to begin preparations for a ballot for action of all our train grade members to put right this gross injustice.”

Tu

Pickets can win construction fight

Published on: Wed, 12/10/2011 - 12:20

Michael Dooley, a construction worker and left candidate for the General Secretary position of construction union UCATT, spoke to Solidarity about the issues facing construction workers and the ongoing electricians’ campaign against pay cuts.

The recent period has been one of decline and retreat from the point of view of trade union organisation within the industry.

The electricians are one of the last trades with anything like a high level of organisation. Overall union density is probably less than 10%. However, the level of support for trade union ethos — collective organisation and

Can you have Marxism without dialectics?

Published on: Wed, 12/10/2011 - 12:12

By Bruce Robinson

Relatively little of Dave Osler’s column [Solidarity 219] suggesting that Marxists should abandon dialectics deals with the substance of the issue — what dialectics is and why it is wrong.

Instead we are treated to a collection of admittedly bad examples of how it has been used on the left “to promote arrant nonsense” and assertions that it is “mumbo jumbo” and “methodologically weak”. He instead states that Marxists should adopt formal logic and follow G. A. Cohen’s version of Analytical Marxism. I’ll try to give a brief introduction to why dialectics shouldn’t be dumped

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