Solidarity 321, 23 April 2014

What has all the servility gone? (1972)

Where have all the grasses gone?

What has happened to servility? We have lost the Empire.

Those who were born as leaders of men are now having that right questioned.

Entry into the Common Market will force us to accept the existence of all those damned foreigners on the other side of the Channel.

But must we lose all our national characteristics? Are some of the arts we have practised with such expertise to vanish forever?

Will the time honoured practice of fawning and cringing be something of the past?

Free Shahrokh Zamani!

Jailed Iranian trade unionist Shahrokh Zamani has now been on hunger strike for over a month.

His hunger strike began in solidarity with a strike by imprisoned Sufi Dervishes (mystics), but was extended after he was transferred to Ghezel Hesar prison, known for terrible conditions, torture and executions. His transfer was unexplained and he was placed in solitary confinement.

Tube workers set for more strikes

London Underground workers in the RMT union plan five days of strikes to stop the company slashing frontline jobs and closing ticket offices.

Strikes are due to begin at 9pm on Monday 28 April, and conclude on the evening of Wednesday 30 April, with a second strike commencing at 9pm on Monday 5 May and running until Thursday 8 May. Tube workers struck against management’s cuts plan in February, forcing a pause in the implementation of the scheme, but extended negotiations have seen management intransigent and revealed the full extent of the cuts.

Industrial news in brief

Workers at The Ritzy Cinema, Brixton, struck for the second time on Friday 18 April and Saturday 19 April, part of an escalating campaign of action for the Living Wage.

The picket line, timed to coincide with the release of The Amazing Spiderman 2, was lively and well attended. The energetic picket activity included a kids’ club, face painting, break dancing, music and Spiderman himself.

HE pay offer: vote No!

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) in Higher Education are being balloted this week over the employers’ offer of a 2% pay rise for 2014/15.

The offer comes as branches were preparing to start a marking boycott over the imposed 2013/14 rise of just 1%.

The marking boycott has now been delayed for a week – to Tuesday 6 May – while the ballot takes place. Workers' Liberty members active in UCU will be campaigning for a no vote.

NUT: build at the base!

The outcome of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) Easter conference makes it more important than ever for delegates to build a grass-roots movement capable of challenging the leadership and building local disputes that can increase members’ confidence and capacity and speed serious national action.

Mussolini and Italian fascism

“I am constantly amazed by man’s inhumanity to man.” Primo Levi

“It is necessary, with bold spirit and in good conscience, to save civilisation. We must halt the dissolution which corrodes and corrupts to roots of human society. The bare and barren tree can be made green again. Are we not ready?” Antonio Gramsci

A rapid and intensive development of modern, industrial capitalism took place north eastern Italy, especially in the area in and between Genoa, Milan and Turin, in the last two decades of the nineteenth century and the first two of the twentieth.

Dave Broady, 1937-2014

Dave Broady died on 4 April. In 1972 he contributed regularly to Workers’ Fight, a forerunner of Solidarity.

An excerpt [below] signals the tone and type of his writing.

After joining the Navy, and being jailed and dismissed, Dave became a construction worker, a steel erector. He told me he couldn’t tolerate the more controlled environment of a factory.

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