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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Residents of a Nablus village announced on Sunday they would start a hunger strike to protest against Israeli demolition orders and confiscation of their land. Palestinian MP Mustafa Barghouti met with residents of Khirbet al-Tawil on Sunday and called for more support in the residents struggle against land confiscation. The village...
The headline news throughout the bourgeois media yesterday was that Stephen Hester, Chief Executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, had magnanimously bowed to public concern and agreed to waive his yearly bonus of nearly £1 million. This was greeted by outpourings of praise for him from the leaders of...

Belgian General Strike

‘A nation has been brought to a stop by the will of its workers and unions, who have today decisively rejected one-sided austerity measures.’ An ITF (International Transport Workers Federation) spokesman was speaking to News Line yesterday, as Belgium held its first general strike in more than six years. Called against...
Greek workers and youth are infuriated with the leaked German government document which proposes that an EU ‘Budget Commissioner’ should be installed in Greece to take control of the economy. The proposal has sharpened the grave political crisis of the Greek government of the IMF-imposed prime minister – banker Lucas...
This weekend, the World Economic Forum meeting at Davos debated the issue of youth unemployment worldwide, a debate that exposed the mortal terror being felt by the capitalist class and its representatives at the revolutionary movement of young people across the globe. Delegates representing the major banks and financial institutions,...
THE Welfare Reform Bill will ‘undoubtedly’ cause great harm to children and the poorest families in the country, the Children’s Society warned yesterday. The charity was responding to Work and Pensions Secretary Duncan Smith’s appearance in an early morning TV interview in which he said last week’s government defeats in...
A rally of over 300 people was organised outside the US embassy in London on Saturday, against Western intervention in Iran and Syria. The protest was called by the Stop the War Coalition and supported by Unite union, War on Want, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Campaign against Sanctions and Military Intervention...
‘Getting rid of capitalism is the issue,’ said Dave Wiltshire, ATUA National Secretary, yesterday. In response to trade union leaders’ anger over the nearly one million pounds bonus given to the RBS 83 per cent state-funded bank’s chief executive Stephen Hester, Wiltshire said: ‘All this bleating about bonuses is nonsense...
Legal charity INQUEST has welcomed Friday’s publication of a highly critical report from the Home Affairs Select Committee on the rules governing enforced removals in the UK of failed asylum seekers. INQUEST’s Co-Director Deborah Coles said: ‘We welcome parliamentary recognition that restraint during enforced removals is dangerous, unauthorised and potentially...
Just 16 months after a man died whilst being restrained by private security guards on board an aircraft, the House of Commons home office select committee has reported that ‘unauthorised and lethal restraint techniques’ are still being used to carry out immigration deportations. This, the MPs found, is despite assurances...
After a joint meeting on Thursday hosted by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, British Medical Association and Royal College of Nursing, the following joint statement was issued: ‘A number of Medical Royal Colleges, the BMA, the RCN and organisations representing other clinical professionals, met today (26/1/12) to discuss...
The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, held at Davos in Switzerland, started this week with the spectre of the world socialist revolution hanging over its delegates. The WEF, which has as its delegates leading politicians, major international bankers and financiers, meets yearly to forecast the prospects for international...

Greek Debt Crisis Talks

The Greek government spokesman Pantelis Kapsis stated that the Prime Minister was to meet with Institute of International Finance (IIF) director Charles Dallara yesterday to resume negotiations on the ‘haircut’ of Greek state bonds held by private investors (hedge funds and international private banks). Of the estimated 260 billion euros...
An emergency meeting of public health doctors has called for the withdrawal of the Health and Social Care Bill and for other medical Royal Colleges and other bodies to oppose the Bill. On Wednesday 25th January, there was an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Faculty of Public Health. The Public Health...
An unprecedented number of Egyptians took to the streets and squares of Egypt on Wednesday 25th January in commemoration of last year’s momentous Day of Rage. Marchers in Tahrir Square chanted against the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists, repeating slogans such as ‘We want a secular state, neither a Brotherhood...

UK’s Shrinking Economy!

THE UK economy shrank by 0.2% in the last three months of last year, according to figures released by the Office of National Statistics yesterday. The contraction in gross domestic product was driven by a 0.9% fall in manufacturing, said the ONS. Joe Grice, chief economist with the ONS said of...
HUNDREDS of thousands of Egyptian workers and youth gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square yesterday to mark one year since the start of the revolution which toppled President Husni Mubarak, but has left his repressive military apparatus and legislation intact. The Mubarak dictatorship has been replaced by the military (the Supreme...
THE Trade Union Reform Campaign (TURC) is a vehicle for discredited Tories to pursue an ultra-right wing agenda, but it is the true face of the Tory party, warns Unite. TURC held a re-launch yesterday evening at the House of Commons. TURC’s sole aim is to attack trade...
ON DAY 13 of the daily picket of Chase Farm Hospital, which has been called to prepare for occupation to stop its closure, nurses and patients alike were adamant it will not close. Student midwife Crystal Pickering told News Line: ‘I am training to be a midwife. The training...
Israeli forces on Monday detained two Palestinian MPs during a raid on the Jerusalem headquarters of the International Red Cross. Mohammad Tawtah and former Jerusalem affairs minister Khalid Abu Arafa are being questioned by Israeli police on suspicion of conducting ‘Hamas activities inside Jerusalem,’ Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. Israeli...
‘We must demand the TUC call a General Strike to defend public services, because that is what Royal Mail is,’ leading postal workers’ union rep, Rob Bolton said yesterday. He was responding to the Coalition government’s announcement of the separation of the Post Office and Royal Mail...
THE West’s escalation of its onslaught on Iran could see Britain sending military reinforcements to the Gulf shortly, following the passage of HMS Argyll into the Persian Gulf on Sunday, said Defence Secretary Philip Hammond yesterday. The British ship was part of an international warship flotilla, headed by...
Some 50 political movements, groups and parties in Egypt last Friday launched a week of mass protests and marches to commemorate, not celebrate, the anniversary of the January 25 uprising. Thousands marched to Tahrir Square on Friday dubbed the ‘Martyr’s Dream’, demanding justice for the hundreds killed during the popular...
A report issued on Monday by the independent Resolution Foundation spells out exactly the desperate situation being faced today by the so-called ‘squeezed middle’, that is those families who are in employment receiving a low to middle income and not reliant on state benefits. While the unemployed are being driven...

No Benefit Cuts!

campaigners lobbied the House of Lords yesterday demanding ‘no going back to Dickensian days’. They also chanted ‘Defend Child Benefit for all’, ‘Oppose all benefit caps and sanctions’ and ‘Cap greedy landlords, not low-income people!’ The lobby took place as peers were voting on amendments to the government’s Welfare Reform Bill’s...
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ANTI-CAPITALIST St Paul’s occupiers were defiant and determined to stay despite attempts to evict them through the courts. Ev Emanon from Anonymous UK camped at St Paul’s told News Line: ‘Our appeal is next Friday at the Royal Courts of Justice, that is when we find out whether our appeal...
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg yesterday made it clear the coalition will press ahead with its Health and Social Care Bill, despite massive opposition from health unions and the Royal Colleges. He was asked about leaked sections of a report by the House of Commons health committee, where MPs warn...
TALKS on a Greek debt deal, it was reported yesterday, have ‘hit a snag’. The Institute of International Finance (IIF), and their creditors group representatives, Charles Dallara and Jean Lemierre, have walked out of the Athens crisis talks with the Greek government. Not to worry – they left the talks...
The National Union of Teachers (NUT) on Thursday slammed the announcement by Michael Gove that Barclays Bank will be supporting Academies, Free Schools, University Technical Colleges and Studio Schools. NUT general secretary, Christine Blower said: ‘Opening schools up to the market place is simply wrong. ‘Children and young people should not...
Drivers honked their horns enthusiastically saluting the picket line outside Chase Farm hospital on day ten of the daily picket fighting to keep the hospital open. Ann Myers, who brought her daughter in for treatment, said: ‘We need this hospital. The closure will affect lots of people because Barnet is...

Not Enough Doctors!

Government cuts have seen two NHS hospitals call for Army medics to help them maintain an A&E service. NHS trusts in Yorkshire and Mid-Staffs cite staff shortages as the reason for closing their A&Es at night. Following a Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust proposal to bring in Army medics to cover...
MASS protests are erupting in the eastern wing of the EU, in Romania and Hungary, against the austerity programmes of EU governments whose countries are not part of the eurozone, but whose currencies are collapsing against the euro, leaving them with massive and growing state debts to be repaid...
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) yesterday moved to oppose the Health and Social Care Bill, arguing that serious concerns have not been addressed during the parliamentary process, listening exercise or political engagement. The nurses’ union said in a statement: ‘The RCN, which had not previously opposed the bill...
DOCTOR Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), has admitted that despite every attempt to co-operate with the coalition government, the RCN has been completely unable to secure even the slightest concession over the Health and Social Care Bill, the bill that flings open the...
Between 1st January 2011 and 31 December 2011 there were 335 labour protests in Egypt, said a report issued by the Egyptian Ministry of Manpower on Tuesday. The sudden rise in workers’ actions followed decades of repression under former president Hosni Mubarak, who was thrown out of power by...

GPs pensions action!

DOCTORS have made an overwhelming call to their leaders to reject the government’s proposed changes to the NHS Pension Scheme and shown a willingness to undertake industrial action. Yesterday a meeting of BMA Council, the association’s governing body, considered the results of a major survey of 130,000 doctors and medical...
unemployment rose 118,000 in the three months to November to 2.685 million, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported yesterday. The unemployment rate rose from 8.3% up to 8.4%, the highest rate since January 1996. The number of unemployed youth hit a new record of 1.043 million, taking the jobless rate...
YESTERDAY, Alan Johnson, the ex-CWU postal workers leader, warned the trade unions that they must accept the capitalist crisis, and as slaves of capital must prostrate themselves in front of it, mollifying the god of the markets by sacrificing tens of millions of workers’ wages, jobs, pensions and basic...
STUDENTS from Middlesex University declared yesterday that the only way to defend their threatened Trent Park Campus and their neighbouring local hospital, Chase Farm, also threatened with closure, was to occupy both the hospital and the campus buildings. Music student Lizzi Hemsley told News Line: ‘There are plans to occupy...
Labour’s support for the Tory-LibDem coalition’s public sector pay freeze leaves public sector workers ‘disenfranchised’, the leader of the biggest trade union and biggest Labour donor said yesterday. Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey warned that the Labour Party leadership’s embrace of austerity leaves working people without a political alternative to...
UNITE leader Len McCluskey has pointed out correctly some of the immediate implications of the Miliband-Balls line that Labour will honour and continue with the Tory cuts and austerity policy until British capitalism is rescued. Writing in the Guardian, McCluskey correctly states ‘Balls’ sudden embrace of austerity and...
Anti-capitalist occupiers camped outside St Paul’s cathedral went down to the High Court on Monday in support of the Parliament Square occupiers who are threatened with eviction. The Parliament Square occupiers have a permanent ‘democracy village’ outside parliament. Occupy St Paul’s protesters were outside the court dressed as bankers, giving out...
On Monday the LibDem leader, Nick Clegg, added his views to the emerging consensus between Labour and the Tories that the problem with British capitalism is not the banks but ‘crony capitalism’. In a speech last week Cameron unveiled his plans for a ‘fairness agenda’ designed to convince people that...
Over two hundred doctors, medical staff and health campaigners on Sunday welcomed two NHS consultants at the end of their ‘Bevan’s Run’ against the coalition’s Health and Social Care Bill. ‘Thank you everybody! Let’s save the NHS and kill this Bill!’ declared Clive Peedell, co-chair of the NHS Consultants...