Solidarity 304, 20 November 2013

Interview with Israeli military refuser Noam Gur

Published on: Tue, 19/11/2013 - 23:34

Noam Gur is 19 years old. In 2012 she was jailed by the Israeli Defence Force for publicly refusing to enlist in protest against Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

She is currently taking part in a speaker tour of the UK with Workers’ Liberty, and spoke to Solidarity. (This is a longer version than in the printed paper).

I grew up in a small city called Nahariya. I come from a fairly normal family; both my parents served in the army and expected me to. When I was very young I thought I would serve in the army, and try to do it in a good way. But when I was 16, and studying for national exams,

Fighting casualisation in Higher Education

Published on: Tue, 19/11/2013 - 20:06

Higher Education workers will strike again on Wednesday 3 December in a fight against a 1% pay deal.

Many HE workers also face battles over zero-hours contracts and casualisation. Here, a UCU activist reports on the campaign against precarious working.

Contract-researchers are employed precariously by universities to fulfil short-term projects.

We may be employed on temporary contracts of various kinds, some of which are termed “occasional” or “exceptional”. Each species of contract carries its own set of terms and conditions, and these may differ significantly. Essentially, all such fixed

Tube workers set for jobs war

Published on: Tue, 19/11/2013 - 20:01

London Underground Ltd will announce its new plan for station cuts on Thursday 21 November. Workers expect huge job losses, ticket office closures, and some kind of reorganisation and restructuring. The background to the cuts is a 12.5% cut to Transport for London’s funding from central government. The RMT plans a rally on Tuesday 26 November to prepare for a dispute.

We reprint this article from the blog of rank-and-file bulletin Tubeworker.

Act immediately

We have all known this is coming for ages. We have had all the preparation time we need. As soon as this is announced, the unions should

The cuts councillor and the Unite leadership

Published on: Tue, 19/11/2013 - 19:58

The People’s Assembly is often suspected of uncritical support for Britain’s trade union leadership.

It was outdone, however, by its younger sibling, the Student Assembly Against Austerity (9 November), in its relation to the Unite leadership.

On stage with Unite’s Steve Turner, Socialist Action’s Aaron Kiely lavished praised on the union for “saving jobs at the Grangemouth Refinery.”

Not joining shrill cries of “sell out!” is one thing; essentially painting up a crushing defeat as a victory is quite another.

This is, of course, the same Aaron Kiely who paid tribute to the police during the

Tories plan new anti-union laws

Published on: Tue, 19/11/2013 - 19:55

The so-called review of industrial relations announced by the Tories on 17 November is a build-up for new attacks on the right of trade unions to take effective action to defend their members. It is also another stage in the Tory campaign against union-Labour links.

As a manufactured pretext for the review, the Tories have latched on to Unite’s “leverage” tactics, especially its use of those tactics during its recent dispute with Ineos in Grangemouth.

Leverage basically involves trying to put an employer with whom a union is in dispute under pressure from its business partners, ‘‘stakeholders”

Debate on Islamism and imperialism

Published on: Tue, 19/11/2013 - 19:50

The introduction to a January 2006 pull-out from SolidarityWorkers' Liberty 3/1, on “Marxism and religion” — has sparked controversy recently, after being moved to a more prominent position on our website as part of our routine circulation of content to make less-ephemeral items from our large archive more accessible. Here we reprint an abridged version of a reply by Sacha Ismail of Workers’ Liberty to a polemic against the introduction by Simon Hardy of the Anti-Capitalist Initiative.

Simon Hardy’s article criticising “The AWL on Islamism” has the merit of being that, an article.

One of

Egypt meeting broken up

Published on: Tue, 19/11/2013 - 19:42

Video footage has surfaced of a meeting held at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) on 18 October being interrupted by protesters, allegedly from the Muslim Brotherhood.

The SOAS Palestine Society had invited Mohammed Nabawy of the Egyptian Tamarrod (“Rebel”) movement to speak at the meeting in the Khalili lecture theatre at the University of London college.

However, the talk was forcibly disrupted by around 30 protesters, believed to be from the Muslim Brotherhood, who chanted “fall, fall the rule of the military” while the speaker was ushered from the building by SOAS security

Stumbling into history

Published on: Tue, 19/11/2013 - 19:39

Remembrance of historical events tends to take place in formal settings, whether it's the Establishment on display at the Cenotaph or a left-wing meeting to recall events in working class history. It is rarely a part of everyday life.

The laying of “Stolpersteine” (stumbling stones) in over 800 German cities and towns seeks to fill that gap by placing memorial stones in the pavement naming the Jews who once lived at that location but were killed or forced to flee Germany by the Nazis. The idea is that passers-by should “stumble” on the stones and be reminded of Nazi racial persecution in a way

The invaded Australians

Published on: Tue, 19/11/2013 - 19:34

In June 2007, “remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory were invaded and martial law imposed”. So Diane Fieldes put it in the Australian journal Socialist Alternative, and she wasn't wrong.

Six hundred troops were deployed. Aboriginals faced compulsory acquisition of townships; the “quarantining” of a proportion of their welfare benefits; new restrictions on alcohol; and the closure of government programmes which gave some of them part-time employment.

In its initial form, pushed through by John Howard's conservative government in the run-up to the 2007 federal election, this

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