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Monthly Archives: April 2012

THE article in the News Line last Wednesday brought back not just memories of my personal involvement in the campaign led by the Young Socialists and WRP to release the jailed Shrewsbury building workers, but also the lessons that this struggle has for the working class today. In the...
LABOUR Party leader Miliband said on Thursday that both national and local factors were to blame for the party’s massive defeat at the hands of Respect and George Galloway in the Bradford by-election. It definitely was not an issue of policy! He, however, added: ‘We are not going to dismiss...
REPRESENTATIVES of devastated communities from Gulf Coast and Tar Sands regions confronted the BP Board yesterday morning at their AGM over their failure to address environmental and social damage They held a press conference at 10.30am at the base of steps on the concourse outside the Excel Centre, London. The...

Nato Murderers!

IT is enshrined in International Maritime Law that any ship, whether civilian or military, is bound to answer distress calls and render assistance to anyone who is at risk on the high seas. Humanitarian considerations, however, are completely alien to the imperialists of NATO whose armed forces and navies sat...
THE leaders of the Greek journalists and photoreporters’ trade unions have demanded that the police leadership stops its violence against press workers and releases the name of the riot policeman who assaulted and hit in the head the President of the Greek Photoreporters’ Union, Marios Lolos. Lolos underwent surgery...
Workers at BMW’s Mini plant in Oxford have overwhelmingly rejected a ‘strings attached’ pay offer, raising the prospect of the first strike since 1984. In a consultative ballot of almost 2,000 workers, 97 per cent rejected the company’s attempt to force the majority of the workforce to accept a basic...
THE Syrian government has informed the UN envoy, Kofi Annan, that it will respect the cease fire agreement that it is a party to, and will respect today’s cease-fire deadline. However, it is not the Syrian regime that is the problem. The plain facts are that the US and the UK...
A Turkish newspaper discussing the conflict emerging with Syria has urged restraint to avoid confrontation with Iran. Yeni Safak said: ‘Have you realised that Tehran’s statements directed at Turkey have gotten noticeably more hard-line recently? ‘Tehran has considerably altered its usual attentive attitude that observes balances and has begun using threatening...
THE European Court of Human Rights has backed the extradition of five men from the UK to the US which intends to put them into maximum security prisons for the rest of their lives. The court found that being held in permanent solitary confinement in a US ‘supermax’ prison is...
A militant National Union of Teachers (NUT) Annual Conference in Torquay on Monday voted to defend disabled people against the attacks of the coalition and to continue the union’s fight against racism. Conference passed Motion 50 ‘Disabled People and the Coalition Government’ moved by the Disabled Teachers Conference. The motion stated:...
‘The NUT will support all those school communities – heads, teachers, parents and governors – who resist forced Academy status’, pledged NUT General Secretary Christine Blower yesterday. She was speaking following the passing of a motion against Academies on the closing day of the NUT Conference in Torquay. ‘The government is...
FRESH clashes broke out in Syria yesterday as the Syrian army attempted to withdraw its heavy weaponry from around several cities, while the ‘opposition’ continued with its war, supported by the UK, US, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The UN-backed deadline for a withdrawal of government troops and weapons from...
Angry protesters at the funeral of the Greek pensioner, who shot himself last Wednesday in Syntagma square, in front of the Vouli (Greek parliament), attacked two armed riot police and chased them away, giving one a beating. About 1,000 workers and youth attended the civil funeral last Saturday in Athens;...
THE increasing marketisation of the education system is putting profit before the interests of pupils, teachers and the public, representatives at the Annual Conference of the NASUWT, were told yesterday. A motion debating the casualisation of the workforce has rejected the agenda of privatisation, which is undermining public...
The National Union of Teachers (NUT) Annual Conference in Torquay yesterday voted unanimously to ballot for strike action against any government move to attack teachers’ national pay and conditions. ‘Priority Motion on Pay’ instructed the NUT Executive: ‘to submit a motion or amendment to the TUC congress to develop maximum...
THE Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) confirmed what people already know, when it predicted yesterday that unemployment is set to rise, this time by 100,000 by the end of August, a leap in the rate from 8.4% to 8.7%. Unemployment stands at 2.67m at present, and over 1.04...
THE UK has been accused of permitting an alleged war-criminal to escape prosecution. Tamil Net has reported that questions have been raised over the failure of the British Foreign Office to investigate Prasanna De Silva, an ex-Sri Lanka army general alleged to be complicit in war-crimes. The allegation was made as...
THE NUT and NASUWT teachers unions voted overwhelmingly for strike action at their annual conferences over the weekend. Speaking after the Priority Motion on Pensions was passed at the NUT Conference in Torquay on Saturday, National Union of Teachers General Secretary Christine Blower said: ‘Today, the NUT Conference has...
The annual conferences of the two largest teaching unions, the NUT and the NASUWT, meeting at the weekend heard that the unions and the coalition government were in a ‘head on collision’ as they voted overwhelmingly for strike action in defence of pay, pensions and the very existence of...
The funeral of a Greek pensioner on Saturday turned into a mass anti-government protest. About 1,000 workers and youth attended the civil funeral in Athens, there was no religious ceremony, of 77-year-old pensioner Dimitris Christoulas who shot himself last Wednesday in Syntagma Square, in front of the Vouli (Greek parliament) Christoulas...
Teachers have been ‘angered, alienated and attacked’ by coalition ministers who are determined to engage in a ‘head-on collision’ with the profession, delegates to the NASUWT Annual Conference in Birmingham were told yesterday. In her Presidential Address to Conference, NASUWT president Paula Roe accused ministers of overseeing a ‘galloping’...
A 77-YEAR-old Greek pensioner penned his political testament on Wednesday, before he blew his brains out in front of the Greek parliament, a parliament which has supported ministers imposed by the EU and the European Central Bank pushing through massive austerity measures that have turned Greeks into paupers. In his...
Benteler car workers in Kaluga, Russia, to the south west of Moscow, have won their strike over recognition of their union. On April 2 at 8am the administration of the plant issued an official statement accepting negotiations with the Interregional Trade Union of Autoworkers (ITUA). Members of the ITUA went...
THE TUC, railway unions and transport campaigners have launched a campaign to fight job cuts, service reductions, ticket office closures and fare hikes in the rail industry. At a meeting with MPs at the House of Commons on Tuesday 20 March, union leaders and representatives from the Campaign for Better...
A 77-YEAR-old pensioner named as Dimitris Christoulas, an ex-owner of a chemist shop, shot himself in the head on Wednesday morning in Syntagma square in front of the Vouli (Greek parliament) in Athens. A note found on him stated: ‘The occupation government have crushed any possibility of survival based on...
‘THIS year’s holiday will feel more like “Bad Friday” for millions of families as they come to terms with over £2 billion of cuts.’ This was the comment by the Chief Executive of the Child Poverty Action Group, Alison Garnham, on the multi-billion pound coalition welfare cuts. She added: ‘Some of...
IT is one of the features of the capitalist crisis that it proceeds not in a straight line but through a downward spiral movement of apparent recovery followed by an even deeper plunge into economic collapse. Indeed, it is a mark of the historic depth of this, the latest, and...
Human rights organisations said yesterday that legislation enabling inquests into those who have died in police custody or been killed at the hands of the police to happen behind closed doors is unacceptable. The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) yesterday published the report of its inquiry into the...
PALESTINIAN youth and workers marched very bravely all over the occupied territories last Friday on Land Day, and they were met as usual by the bullets of the occupiers, the Zionist regime of Israel. Thousands will be marching again on Naqba Day, May 15, the 64th anniversary of the ‘Catastrophe’...
More than 400 posts are at risk at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust as part of proposals to save £30 million in the 2012-13 financial year. The move would save around £14.2 million in wages. Hospital leaders have said numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives will not be cut...
THE government’s Green Paper for bringing secret evidence before closed courts into the justice system was condemned by both civil rights charity Reprieve and the parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights yesterday. LibDem deputy PM Clegg’s urgings that a judge rather than a politician should decided when secret evidence and...
The Shrewsbury Pickets Campaign, led by former pickets Ricky Tomlinson and Terry Renshaw, with Andy Warren (son of deceased picket Des Warren) yesterday submitted its case to the Criminal Case Review Commission (CCRC) in Birmingham. In 1973/74, 24 Shrewsbury pickets, who had been involved in the 1972 building strike,...
THE News International empire’s phone hacking and spying, and the way that it sought to regulate the government and bend the police force to its will, has been and is the subject of a number of public inquiries. These seem to be laying the ground not for the breaking up...
Israeli forces raided the Jerusalem office of a university media institute on Monday, shutting down the launch of an online media network and detaining employees. Plainclothes police shut down the launch of the Hona al-Quds news site in the al-Khalidiya neighbourhood of Jerusalem’s Old City, and confiscated equipment and files,...
Yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of the Malvinas (Falklands) war, a war involving a tiny island with a population in 1982 of less than two thousand, but one which was to have a decisive effect. That the Malvinas islands belong to Argentina is beyond doubt, even under international law, which...
PRIVATE companies are being paid tens of millions of pounds of public money to train apprentices with no inspections or checks taking place and little scrutiny over how the money is spent. Last night’s BBC Panorama: The Great Apprentice Scandal found that nearly £250m worth of contracts went to large...
THOUSANDS of people marched through the streets of Alma in Lac Saint-Jean in Quebec province on Saturday to demand an end to the lock out and to fight for the preservation of jobs at the Rio Tinto Alcan (RTA) smelter. Three months and one day after the multinational corporation’s...
THE Spanish government is to cut 27bn euros (£22.5bn) from its budget this year. Among the measures are the freezing of public sector workers’ salaries and a reduction of departmental budgets by 16.9%. The Deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, said the nation was in an ‘extreme...
A GROUP of British and Irish activists have arrived in the Gaza Strip to show their solidarity with Palestinians living under siege in the Israeli-blockaded coastal enclave. The second Irish delegation, called ‘Freedom & Friendship Delegation 2012’, arrived in Gaza via the Rafah border crossing last Thursday evening. The visit...
An increase in NHS prescription charges in England of 25p, putting them up to £7.65, came into effect yesterday, despite objections from the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. The BMA has said the current system is ‘unfair’ and called for prescription charges to be scrapped in...
PEOPLE'S fuel lobby leader Andrew Spence yesterday said: ‘Thousands will back a Unite tanker driver members strike’. He told News Line: ‘It’s not just truck drivers, it’s taxi drivers, coach drivers and members of the public. ‘If you go to any forecourt people will tell you that fuel is too dear,...