Solidarity 290, 21 June 2013

Rail union conference to discuss strike against McNulty

Published on: Thu, 27/06/2013 - 12:38

The Annual General Meeting of the Rail, Maritime, and Transport workers union (RMT), which takes place from 23-28 June in Brighton, will discuss a variety of motions on the union’s political and industrial strategy.
In a welcome move, the union’s national executive recently agreed to organise eight meetings in cities around Britain for rank-and-file members to discuss the union’s industrial strategy and put forward their ideas for responses to the attacks on railworkers following the 2011 McNulty Report.

A motion to the AGM from the train crew conference to consider strikes if guards’ jobs

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Thu, 27/06/2013 - 12:33

Refuse workers at Brighton Council have announced more strikes in their fight against pay cuts.

Drivers will strike for five days from Monday 24. A five-day strike of all workers employed by the CityClean service came to an end on Thursday 20 June. A work-to-rule, which has been in effect since the end of a sit-down strike on Friday 10 May, will remain in place for all workers.

The strike has enjoyed a high level of support, with many residents attaching posters and messages of support to their bins. Strikers organised daily mass pickets of the main CityClean depot, as well as smaller

Teachers gear up for strikes

Published on: Thu, 27/06/2013 - 12:25

On 27 June, teachers in the North West of England will strike against government attacks on teachers’ pay.

Greg Foster, secretary of Chester and Cheshire West NUT, said: “This government has singled out teachers as we are the best-organised, most unionised workforce in the country. The fight back begins in the North West. We can and will win”.

Members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and NASUWT, the two largest teachers’ unions, will also remind ministers that we remain opposed to plans to make us pay more and work until at least 68 for a meaner pension. The many thousands of messages

A balance sheet on Hugo Chávez

Published on: Thu, 27/06/2013 - 12:15

The death of Hugo Chávez earlier this year provides the opportunity for a balance sheet on his rule and what it signified for socialists. Workers’ Liberty contends that Chávez was a “Bonapartist” politician who remained to his death within the bounds of capitalism, whatever his rhetoric about socialism and “Bolivarian revolution”. Pablo Velasco contributes the first of a serious of four articles.

Marxists understand capitalism as a mode of production in which capital exploits wage labour. These dominant social relations of production determine the class structure of different states across

Clément Méric — ni oubli, ni pardon!

Published on: Thu, 27/06/2013 - 11:52

On Wednesday 5 June, a young student militant in Paris, Clément Méric, was shopping with his friends. They had an exchange with some individuals who were members of far right organisations who later on confronted Clément and his friends. They severely beat Clément, using a knuckle duster. He was knocked unconscious, and after being hospitalised, was pronounced brain dead.

This is a tragedy, and heartbreaking. Our condolences go to Clément’s family and his friends.

Clément was 19 years old, studying political science at university. He was known for being calm and thoughtful. He was

The internet revolution

Published on: Thu, 27/06/2013 - 11:39

Cyberpunk as a genre is usually pretty pessimistic about the possibilities of overthrowing the rule of capital. Grim apocalyptic scenarios abound of rampant capitalism, weak states, and power struggles between groups of reactionary organised criminals — huge corporations and gangsters. Heroic individuals fight for something they believe in and meet varying degrees of local success.

Daniel Suarez had produced something different. His states are still weak, and privatising everything, including “national security”. Sound familiar? However, large masses of people are set into motion against the

Stop minimising violence against women!

Published on: Thu, 27/06/2013 - 11:32

Content warning: discusses rape and partner violence

Sexism is pervasive and omnipresent in our society. A black comrade said recently, “Don’t forget that you are white. Society won’t let me forget that I’m not.” I think that it is similar for women.

We are not allowed to forget that we are women. White women like myself are not subject to horrific racist attacks such as those we see on Muslims and migrants. But women of all races are made to feel that our bodies are not our own. Our experiences of violence are downplayed or dismissed, and in the socialist movement our struggles are seen as

Turkey defies Erdogan

Published on: Thu, 27/06/2013 - 11:23

The movement against the authoritarian neo-liberal Erdogan government in Turkey continues in multiple forms despite heavy repression and heavier threats.

It started with a small environmentalist protest against the plans to bulldoze Gezi Park, next to Taksim Square in central Istanbul, and build a shopping mall on the site. It spread after 28 May when the first small protest was attacked with tear gas and water cannon.

As we go to press on 20 June, a Turkish socialist tweets: “Tonight [Wednesday 19th] there are forums in 27 Istanbul parks. Amazing atmosphere”. Since Monday 17 June thousands

TV workers’ battle reopens Greek political crisis

Published on: Thu, 27/06/2013 - 11:18

On Tuesday 11 June, after Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras announced that he would shut down ERT (the Greek equivalent of the BBC), and sack all its workers.

He would set up a new public broadcaster, with fewer staff and lower wages, in due course.

In a sudden operation on the stroke of midnight, police cut off electricity to the antennas and threatened the workers with arrest if they did not leave the building. The ERT workers responded by occupying the station’s main building in Athens and broadcasting a protest program via satellite and internet.

Thousands of protesters gathered within

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