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Monthly Archives: April 2007

TWO thousand people took part in three marches that converged on Hackney Town Hall on Saturday, demanding free English language courses for everyone. The marches involved teachers and students from colleges across London, as well as health workers, community organisations, and many others – all showing their opposition to the...
IN the last 12 months the working class and the vast majority of the middle class have desperately struggled under a huge and growing dead weight of petrol, gas, electricity, transport, Council Tax, mortgage interest rate, and banking and tuition fee price rises. The millions of people who make...
GMB trade union members at Barnsley Hospital have voted to take strike action in a dispute following the introduction of Agenda for Change. The members are employed as high level nurses, operating department practitioners, recovery nurses and nurses across the Trust. In two separate ballots, GMB members voted by 85 per...
Staff and students from North London colleges are today marching to demonstrate their opposition to plans to restrict access to free English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses and the continued cuts in adult education. Three marches from across North London will converge on Hackney Town Hall for a...

All Out On May 1!

PRIME Minister Tony Blair and Chancellor Gordon Brown have declared war on the public services and their staff, with closures, cuts, redundancies and pay cuts. Workers and professional staff in the National Health Service, education, local government and the civil service are demanding that their trade unions organise their counter-attack. Junior...
Junior doctors are meeting today to discuss what to do about the government’s disastrous ‘reforms’ to post graduate medical training. The British Medical Association Junior Doctors Committee Conference comes just days after the personal details of thousands of junior doctors from the online Medical Training Application Service (MTAS) website...
THE House of Representatives in the United States voted by 218 votes to 208 on Wednesday for a Bill to end the US occupation of Iraq, by starting the withdrawal of combat troops in October and completing it by March 31, 2008. The vote pitted Democrats against Republicans. The Bill...
SHEIKH Na’im Qasim, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General, told a Beirut rally marking the ‘29th anniversary of the arrest of Samir al-Qintar’ in Israel and ‘in support of prisoners and detainees in Zionist prisons’. Qasim began by greeting the prisoners in Israeli jails. He addressed them by saying: ‘We are...
‘The appropriate thing for Patricia Hewitt to do, would be to resign now,’ said furious junior doctors yesterday after their personal details were made available to the world on the internet. What the Department of Health (DOH) claimed was an apparent security lapse, allowed details including phone numbers, addresses, previous...
OVER 400 doctors, furious at government ‘reforms’ which threaten their profession – making a staggering 14,000 hospital doctors redundant from August – descended on parliament on Tuesday. The angry protest, organised by Remedy, demanded the immediate scrapping of the ‘reforms’. The doctors were joined by Mums 4 Medics, who warned that...
HOME Secretary Reid yesterday spoke about the importance of liberty – a new subject for a Home Secretary who preaches the ‘war against terror’, and OKs police state raids. He said today’s world was one of unrelenting change and that this ‘can enable liberty to flourish and prosper. For...
IRAQI opposition to the US plan to build a sectarian wall in a Baghdad district hardened yesterday, with street protests taking place in both Sunni and Shi’ite districts. US and puppet Iraqi forces have been engaged in a large-scale operation to erect security barriers between many...
‘We have been occupied for 40 years, we have the right to resist’, Farouq Khaddoumi, told a public meeting in London on Monday evening. The Head of the PLO Political Department who is also Foreign Minister of Palestine and Secretary General of Fatah, outlined the march of the Palestinians for...
THERE will be total ‘chaos’ in the NHS by August – unless the government immediately scraps MTAS (the new Medical Training Application Service), a rally of 400 angry doctors opposite parliament was told yesterday. The rally heard that 11,168 doctors have signed an ‘e-petition’ to Downing St opposing MTAS and...
THE bourgeois media and bourgeois political leaders have made it perfectly clear in the last few days that Boris Yeltsin, the just deceased Stalinist leader was and is their hero. He took Gorbachev’s policy of weakening the USSR, with his perestroika and glasnost policies, and his...
Junior doctors, angry at the prospect of thousands being without jobs and government plans to ship them overseas, are lobbying MPs today. The British Medical Association (BMA) has requested an urgent meeting with Health Secretary Hewitt after conducting new research showing that over 50 per cent of junior doctors...
BA is currently approaching a number of private equity companies about forming a consortium to bid for Iberia airlines. Iberia said last month that the private equity firm Texas Pacific Group was targeting the airline with a £2.3bn takeover offer. BA and Texas Pacific know each other well....
A NUMBER of Palestinian faction leaders and representatives emphasised last Saturday, that the refugee issue and the right of return is a Palestinian right. They added that the statements by King Abdullah of Jordan on negotiating this issue are rejected because they are ‘disappointing’. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum...
The UNISON Health Conference in Brighton yesterday gave environment secretary Hilary Benn a heated reception. He was booed and heckled when he tried to defend the government’s NHS privatisation and pay-cutting policies. Benn was asked by one delegate why doesn’t the government ‘keep the NHS going, rather than going down the...
THE PCS civil servants trade union has confirmed that up to 270,000 civil servants will be stopping work on May 1 against the Blair-Brown government’s pay-cutting policies and its mass redundancy programme for civil servants. At the request of the PCS, the TUC has given its support to the action...
OVER a thousand workers in the Massachusetts labour movement rallied for 27 striking Clear Channel Billboard Workers on April 19th. Present at the rally were Labour leaders, Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray, Democratic State Committee Chair John Walsh, State Representative James Eldridge and others standing with 25 Members of IUPAT...
A SURVEY published yesterday shows that bus workers believe that the privatised bus companies are far more interested in making big profits than providing a service for passengers. The survey, commissioned by transport union RMT and to be launched at the RMT’s National Bus Workers Conference in Lincoln,...
A BIDDING war between warring groups of venture capitalist locusts has broken out over who is to asset strip Boots. Yesterday morning, the Boots board backed a £10.6bn takeover bid from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) and Boots’ deputy boss Stefano Pessina. The rival bid comes from a group...
THE whole of the Remploy network of factories for disabled workers is under threat, because the government plans to limit the company’s funding to £550 million over the next five years. Unions say a plan drawn up by accountants Price-Waterhouse-Cooper (PWC) envisages the closure of up to 53 of the...
MORE than 200 people were killed in Baghdad on Wednesday in five bombings. This is the highest number of deaths in a single day since the United States’ deployment of their 30,000-strong troops ‘surge’ to implement the ‘Baghdad security plan’ that began on February 14. At a market and transport...
The Hamas Movement on Tuesday affirmed that blood of Palestinian martyrs has mapped out the route of liberation for the next Palestinian generations to follow with steadfastness and resoluteness. The Movement’s affirmation came as it commemorated the third anniversary of the assassination of its senior political leader Dr Abdul Aziz Al-Rantisi...
Strike action ‘very close to the scale of the (1980s) miners strike, if not bigger’ is unavoidable – unless management withdraws attacks on the jobs, wages and rights of workers across the postal service, including Royal Mail. That was the reaction of a London postal workers’ leader yesterday to news...
Epsom and St Helier Hospitals, two busy Surrey General Hospitals with bustling Accident and Emergency Departments, are to be replaced by a single hospital with no A&E, it has emerged. A Board Meeting of the Trust last Friday announced a virtual doubling of its cuts target, from £24 million to...
THE anger of nurses working in the National Health Service (NHS) at having a pay cut imposed upon them this year, by the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair and Chancellor Gordon Brown, erupted at the Congress of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in Harrogate on Tuesday. This was...
‘Now that the international community is finally beginning to pay attention to the existence of an estimated two million Iraqi refugees in the Middle East, Iraq’s neighbours are closing off escape routes’, said the New York based Human Rights Watch on Tuesday. The group added that this is leaving...
THE right wing of the Labour Party was shaken to its core yesterday after Monday’s meeting of the General Council of the Scottish TUC decided to recommend to the STUC Congress that it support Labour in the Scottish parliamentary and council elections by just one vote. In fact, the...
THE Blair government is challenging a High Court and Court of Appeal ruling that human rights law applies to the British army’s activities in Iraq and other countries. The House of Lords case follows the death of hotel worker Baha Mousa in British military custody in Iraq four years ago...
Labour has only very narrowly retained the formal endorsement of Scotland’s trades unions for May’s Holyrood and council elections. The General Council of the STUC (Scottish Trades Union Congress) agreed by just one vote on Monday to back a Labour victory as being in the best interests of workers. The crucial...
THE political bloc of Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr says it is quitting the Iraqi government, as a wave of bombings left another 43 people dead in Baghdad. ‘We will announce our withdrawal from the government tomorrow,’ Saleh Hassan Issa al-Igaili, a law-maker from the Sadr group, said on Sunday. He...
Yesterday afternoon the establishment closed ranks to prop up the wobbling Labour government and its defence secretary Des Browne. Following Browne’s statement to the House of Commons, many MPs of all parties made scathing remarks about the humiliation of the armed forces and the ‘nation’ but not one MP...

Baha Mousa Atrocity!

‘THIS is torture by any definition of that word.’ That was the reaction of lawyer Phil Shiner, as he made public photographic and medical evidence concerning the injuries to hotel worker Baha Mousa, who died in British military custody in Iraq in September 2003. Baha Mousa’s father, Colonel Daoud Mousa, who...
THE political bloc of anti-occupation Shia cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr, yesterday quit the Iraqi puppet government with its six ministers quitting the cabinet. They walked out after ‘their’ Prime Minister Maliki said publicly on his trip abroad that he was not in favour of setting a date for a withdrawal of...
Civil servants union PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka has written to Sir Gus O’Donnell Head of the Home Civil Service about the PCS national executive’s decision to bring members out for a one-day national strike on 1 May. In the letter he once again states the union’s willingness to meet...
FOR some time the Blair government has been bringing in draconian anti-terrorist legislation, such as the Terrorism Act 2000. It has been boldly ‘identifying’ terrorism as a product of a perversion of Islam, carried out by Muslim terrorists, and vowing that it would not hold back in the use of...
UAW President Ron Gettelfinger spoke at the Michigan State University School of Labour and Industrial Relations in East Lansing, Michigan on April 10th on ‘Global Trading Practices and the impact on American industry’. He said that ‘The UAW thinks it is imperative to have open dialogue and...
Two UK servicemen were killed yesterday when two British helicopters crashed in northern Iraq in the early hours, Defence Secretary Des Browne said yesterday. Browne added that one serviceman was very seriously injured. It is believed that up to fifteen others are injured, some seriously. The helicopters came...
PUBLIC sector workers such as firefighters, teachers, and nurses, cannot afford to buy homes in seven out of 10 UK towns, because of the massive inflation of house prices, the Halifax Bank has said. In fact what goes for these public sector workers goes for the whole of the...
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Thursday made public hundreds of claims for damages by family members of civilians killed or injured by Coalition Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. The ACLU received the records in response to a Freedom of Information Act request it filed in June 2006. The hundreds...
‘We are all deeply shocked by this terrible tragedy,’ Amicus Regional Officer, Graham Tran, said yesterday. Tran was commenting on the deaths of seven men and the fifteen-year-old-son of one of the men, after a North Sea offshore rig supply ship capsized in freezing waters on Thursday afternoon. Of the 15...
The Tamil Tigers yesterday vowed to drive back an advance by government troops in the east of Sri Lanka and accused the Sri Lankan military of ‘genocidal activities’ there. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) denied Sri Lankan military claims they were retreating in the face of an...