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Archive for August 2009

1 August 2009

spotDefend the Four protest success, pictures

Around 60 supporters attended the lobby to Defend the Four outside the Unison HQ in London on 30th July. See Unison witch-hunt: Defend the Unison Four! for details...

4 August 2009

spotVestas gains support from Ireland's Socialist MEP

I wish to express my solidarity with your occupation and campaign to save Vestas. The disgusting attempts of Vestas to force you out through starvation, intimidation and injunctions demonstrate that you...

4 August 2009

spotSave our Vestas! Nationalise now!

Vestas wind turbine plant workers occuping to protest against redundancies demand nationalisation, photo RMT television

Vestas wind turbine plant workers occuping to protest against redundancies demand nationalisation, photo RMT television

Socialist Party Bulletin Number Three: Well into the second week of the occupation, the Vestas workers are standing firm. The march through town last Saturday and daily protests at 6pm outside the factory gate show the wide support for the occupation. (4 August 2009)

4 August 2009

spotSupport the Vestas workers - 4 August 2009

Click here for the latest Socialist Party Vestas leaflet (pdf)...

7 August 2009

spotEuro-elections reveal threat to gay rights

WIDESPREAD ANGER greeted the news that the far-right, racist, BNP won two seats in the recent European parliament elections, not least from those in society who are scapegoated by the BNP's poisonous ideas...

7 August 2009

spotVestas - The Fight Continues

Vestas wind turbine plant workers' occupation, photo Senan

Vestas wind turbine plant workers' occupation, photo Senan

No Victimisation! After eighteen days in occupation, the first stage of the campaign against job losses at Vestas Newport has come to a close but workers have made it clear that the fight goes on...

11 August 2009

spotStop the BNP

THE British National Party's (BNP) leaders and organisers have not changed their neo-Nazi ideas. They are committed to stirring up racism and division at every opportunity.


Protest against the BNP's 'festival of hate'

Saturday 15 August

Protest and mass picket from 9am at Codnor market place, Codnor, Derbyshire

Rally from 11am, march at 12 noon

11 August 2009

spotVestas - occupation ends but the fight continues

Vestas wind turbine plant workers occupy to protest against redundancies, photo RMT television

Vestas wind turbine plant workers occupy to protest against redundancies, photo RMT television

Editorial: The courageous workers' occupation at the Vestas wind turbine plant in Newport on the Isle of Wight has been followed and supported by many in the trade union movement over the last few weeks...

11 August 2009

spotThomas Cook occupation, Dublin: "A living lesson for workers everywhere"

Thomas Cook occupation in Dublin, Ireland - A courageous struggle, photo by Socialist Party Ireland

Thomas Cook occupation

Eyewitness account A FIVE-DAY occupation by workers at the Thomas Cook shop in Grafton Street, Dublin, over redundancies, was brutally ended by Garda (police) in a dawn raid.

Socialist Party (Ireland) councillor Matt Waine was arrested along with 28 workers in the early hours of Tuesday morning 4 August and locked up at Bridewell Garda station. Here is his eyewitness account.

11 August 2009

spotPostal workers: National ballot to follow strike wave

Postal workers strike, photo Paul Mattsson

Postal workers strike, photo Paul Mattsson

All-out action: Postal workers, members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), have been on a series of strikes over the summer against bullying management and their attempts to impose worsening conditions in an obvious preparation for privatisation.

Our reports show that these strikes have been well-supported and angry postal workers have been demanding that the battle be intensified with national, coordinated action...

11 August 2009

spotJobs & services - not bankers' bonuses!

Waltham Forest Socialist Party campaign on bankers' bonuses and bailout, photo by Senan

Waltham Forest Socialist Party campaign on bankers' bonuses and bailout, photo by Senan

Less than a year after bringing the global economy to its knees, shameless city bankers are to receive a staggering £4 billion in bonuses. These vultures, who had pledged to end the bonus culture, are now lining up for massive pay-outs,
writes Elaine Brunskill.

12 August 2009

spotAugust 1969: Northern Ireland explodes - 'the troubles' begin

THE EVENTS of August 1969 were an historical turning point for Northern Ireland that echo down to this day. The first deaths of 'the troubles' occurred in 1969.

Ciaran Mulholland of the Socialist Party in Northern Ireland explains how the situation rapidly escalated to the brink of civil war and what lessons can be learnt from these events.

12 August 2009

spotNew term approaching for students: Build the fightback!

Youth Fight for jobs campaigning in Birmingham against the bankers bailouts and bonuses, photo Birmingham YFJ

Youth Fight for jobs campaigning in Birmingham against the bankers bailouts and bonuses, photo Birmingham YFJ

Autumn is fast approaching, but this will be an autumn like no other. Young people, who have grown up in the boom and have aspirations of a decent life, are now seeing their futures snatched away as jobs.

Stephen Burrell, Birmingham YFJ, argues that it is vital that socialists reach out to as many young people as possible.

12 August 2009

spotHigher education: Don't make young people pay for funding crisis

From Thursday 20 August, when the A-level results are released, hundreds of thousands of young people will be hoping to get onto the course and into the university they have chosen, writes Matt Dobson, Socialist Students national organiser.

12 August 2009

spotInternships = Exploitation

Comment: On top of their fat pay packets and bloated expenses, MPs may have found a further way to save money, writes Edd Mustill, Cambridge Socialist Students.

12 August 2009

spotGrim prospects for young people

Yet more proof that the market system offers no future to young people. According to the BBC a senior government education advisor has found that one in six of the teenagers who are out of work and education...

12 August 2009

spotBNP loses council by-election

No to racism and fascism: THE BNP has lost its seat in Brinsley, their only seat on Broxtowe Borough Council, Nottinghamshire.

12 August 2009

spotRacists left speechless

LAST SATURDAY, 8 August, Derby Campaign Against Racism and Fascism, Socialist Party members and Unite Against Fascism surrounded the BNP's only stall in Derby this year, a DCARF and Socialist Party member writes.

12 August 2009

spotAnti-fascist demo in Birmingham

THE ENGLISH Defence League, a split off from the BNP, and the linked 'Casuals United', said that they would march to the Bullring in Birmingham on Saturday 5 August, ostensibly to protest against "Islamic fundamentalism", a Birmingham Socialist Party member writes.

12 August 2009

spotAfghanistan: 40 years of failure?

FACED WITH a mounting death toll of civilians and military forces and Nato's failure to build a democratic state, the incoming head of the British Army says that British troops may have to stay in Afghanistan for 40 years...

12 August 2009

spotSouth Africa: A cold winter, but mass action shakes Zuma

Barely 100 days into Jacob Zuma's presidency, the class contradictions that have produced political polarisation and then a split in the African National Congress (ANC), have sharpened with a vengeance, writes Weizmann Hamilton, CWI South Africa.

12 August 2009

spotIndustrial action works

Unison members in Glasgow council's social work services who are clerical officers and admin assistants have accepted offers to resolve two disputes, writes Brian Smith, branch secretary, Glasgow Unison.

12 August 2009

spotDefend Corus workers' terms and conditions

After the fantastic support given to the Save Our Steel march at Redcar on 18 July, thoughts turned towards developing the solidarity of the steelworkers into a national campaign, writes A Corus worker.

12 August 2009

spotLiverpool street cleaners and bin workers strike against fat-cats

On 11 August, street cleaners and refuse collectors employed by Enterprise-Liverpool are striking over pensions and bonus pay...

12 August 2009

spotSurrey council must buy back these homes now!

The above headline was the unanimous message from the 40 plus people who attended a public meeting on 5 August...

12 August 2009

spotEngineering construction ballot

On 11 August a strike ballot of engineering construction workers will begin. It will include workers on sites in Grangemouth, Sellafield, Stanlow, Staythorpe, and Aberthaw, all members of Unite and GMB.

12 August 2009

spotRail strikes

Aslef members at East Midlands Trains are balloting on the latest company pay offer after ten hours of negotiations led to an offer which the union thinks is an improvement, writes An Aslef member.

12 August 2009

spotTorturous explanation

DESPITE MOUNTING evidence that Britain's spy agencies colluded with foreign governments in the torture of terrorist suspects, the Labour government and MI5 continue to deny any involvement...

12 August 2009

spotSouth Yorkshire bus drivers plan more strikes

Drivers working for South Yorkshire's largest bus company, First, are planning more strikes following a legal challenge leading to the postponement of one strike...

12 August 2009

spotProtests flood in against Unison witch-hunt

Glen Kelly addresses lobby of Unison HQ to protest against banning from office of Socialist Party members, photo Alison Hill

Glen Kelly addresses lobby of Unison HQ to protest against banning from office of Socialist Party members, photo Alison Hill

Four Socialist Party members and Unison activists were declared guilty on trumped-up charges by a Unison disciplinary committee...

14 August 2009

spotSocialists say: we need a socialist NHS!

Socialists in the UK and the USA speak out

14 August 2009

spotBryan Stanley's canonisation

The psychology of the New Labour apologists deserves some deep analysis, writes Tony Mulhearn. Jane Kennedy, Labour MP for Liverpool Wavertree, alarmed that her parliamentary seat was in jeopardy following Gordon Brown's European...

20 August 2009

spotEdward Carpenter: red, green and gay

Spanning more than 80 years, from the 1840s to the 1920s, Edward Carpenter was involved in the rise of mass industrial trade unions, working-class political representation and the struggle for women's equality. Manny Thain reviews Edward Carpenter: a life of liberty and love, by Sheila Rowbotham.

20 August 2009

spotMarch shows growing opposition to far right BNP

Protest against the BNP, photo Jim Reaves

Protest against the BNP, photo Jim Reaves

AROUND 1,500 marchers turned out to protest against the far-right racist BNP's "festival" in Derbyshire on 15 August. They made it clear that the BNP have no solutions to the problems faced by working people, writes Naomi Byron.

25 August 2009

spotMarxism and the Second World War

Peter Taaffe writes in the latest Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party.

25 August 2009

spotThe real lessons of the Second World War

Seventy years ago, the major powers plunged humanity into the horror of world war, Peter Taaffe writes in the latest Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party.

26 August 2009

spotSocialist Students and Youth Fight for Jobs campaign material

Order your leaflets, magazines and posters for the university freshers fairs, colleges and building the Youth Fight for Jobs campaign, writes Student Socialist Issue 7.

26 August 2009

spotYouth Fight for Jobs action

Leeds: After a series of campaign stalls in the city centre, Leeds Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) organised a protest outside Eastgate Jobcentre on the day the latest unemployment figures were announced, writes Manny Dominguez, Danny Melia and Helen Pattison Leeds YFJ members.

26 August 2009

spotLeaving education: comment

Leaving education - freedom! No more homework! Making your own way in the world! Independence! Get a job. Oh no, wait, I forgot about the biggest financial disaster since the 1930s. Suddenly, leaving education...

26 August 2009

spotRecession threat grows

THE GOVERNMENT'S tax income from private companies and individuals has slumped due to the recession. Tumbling profits have pushed the government's business tax income down 38% while unemployment has increased...

26 August 2009

spotTime to Fight Back: demonstrate at TUC conference

WORKERS WANT a way to defend jobs, rights and wages against the bosses and the recession. Socialists want to make sure that workers' voices are clearly heard outside this year's TUC Congress in Liverpool, which brings together delegates from across the trade union movement from 14 to 17 September.

26 August 2009

spotNo to health privatisation and 'the market'

NHS demonstration, photo Paul Mattsson

NHS demonstration, photo Paul Mattsson

What we think: Britain's NHS has become a pawn in the offensive by US Republicans and the big insurance and healthcare companies against Barack Obama's proposals to reform the US healthcare system.

As the right-wing hysteria has mounted, 'Obamacare' has been described as both 'socialist' and 'Nazi'.

26 August 2009

spotPrivate Finance Initiative still threatens NHS future

There is a justifiable anger against the odious slurs cast on the NHS by the US health insurance companies and reactionaries of every stripe as they strive to undermine President Obama's health care plans, writes Roy Farrar.

26 August 2009

spotVestas workers fight on

Vestas wind turbine plant workers occupy and demonstrate against closure, photo Senan

Vestas wind turbine plant workers occupy and demonstrate against closure, photo Senan

"WHAT DO we want? Nationalisation", "Vestas Out, Workers in!", were the chants of Vestas workers and their supporters as we took to the streets of Sandown, Isle of Wight, on 22 August getting great support from locals and holiday-makers.

26 August 2009

spotIreland - workers campaign against Lisbon Treaty

AROUND 100 people attended a public meeting on the Lisbon Treaty (the renamed European constitution) at Dublin's Liberty Hall on 18 August, writes Stephen Rigney, Dublin.

26 August 2009

spotConstruction workers defending jobs and conditions

Lindsey Oil Refinery workers strike, photo Sean Figg

Lindsey Oil Refinery workers strike, photo Sean Figg

Construction workers have been protesting for two weeks outside the Uskmouth power station site near Newport, writes Mike John, Newport Socialist Party.

26 August 2009

spotPostal strike reports

Stockport and Merseyside: Postal workers, members of the Communication Workers Union, have been on strike this month in most parts of the country, writes Hugh Caffrey.

26 August 2009

spotFiddlers Ferry protest continues

Blacklisted electricians and members of the Warrington trades council joined victimised Unite member Steve Acheson outside Fiddlers Ferry power station on 21 August...

26 August 2009

spotNo to Future Jobs Fraud scheme

Youth Fight For Jobs march 2 April 2009, photo Paul Mattsson

Youth Fight For Jobs march 2 April 2009, photo Paul Mattsson

Youth unemployment: The situation for young people looking for work in this recession is still desperate and it is getting worse, writes Sean Figg, Youth Fight for Jobs national organiser.

26 August 2009

spotWorld recession, revolution and counter-revolution in Latin America

Former president of the US Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan has described the economic situation we are living through today as a: "once in a century economic crisis", writes Aron Amm, CWI Germany.

26 August 2009

spotDaventry: socialist candidate in council by-election

MEGAN PRICE, 22, is standing as the Socialist Party's candidate in a district council by-election in Daventry, Northamptonshire, where she lives, writes Tom Price, Northants Socialist Party.

26 August 2009

spotUnison witch-hunt/employment tribunal: The truth is coming out

Brian Debus (centre) with supporters outside the latest Unison disciplinary hearing, photo Alison Hill

Brian Debus (centre) with supporters outside the latest Unison disciplinary hearing, photo Alison Hill

As we reported in the last issue, four Socialist Party members have been banned from holding office in Unison for three to five years by a Unison disciplinary committee.
This follows the production of a leaflet at the 2007 Unison conference which was said to cause "racist offence" because it displayed the well-known cartoon of the 'three wise monkeys'.

26 August 2009

spotSouth Yorks firefighters plan industrial action

South Yorkshire firefighters could soon be taking strike action for the first time since the national dispute in 2002, writes Alistair Tice.

26 August 2009

spotHow safe are our houses?

ON 3 July this year, a devastating fire swept through Lakanal House in Camberwell in south London. This horrifying incident, which left six people dead, highlighted the poor state of housing locally, writes Jon Redford, Southwark Socialist Party.

26 August 2009

spotPoorest suffer globally from climate change

Climate change demo 2005, photo Paul Mattsson

Climate change demo 2005, photo Paul Mattsson

"The Black Saturday fires created winds of 120km/h that snapped trees in half. The fires created their own weather, triggering storm clouds and lightning strikes that started more fires. They created...

26 August 2009

spotPassengers want publicly owned buses

Bus passengers will not have been surprised by a recent report from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) accusing bus companies of milking public subsidies and taking advantage of the free bus passes enjoyed by the over 60s and people with disabilities, writes Calvin Payne, Sheffield.

26 August 2009

spotAfghanistan: Withdraw foreign troops

Demonstrate

Saturday 24 October, Central London

Called by Stop the War Coalition, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and British Muslim Institute


The August presidential elections in Afghanistan will bring no relief to the Afghan people. A similar government to the previous one is the expected outcome, with even less room to make meagre concessions...

26 August 2009

spotJobs and education not dole and debt

Youth Fight For Jobs march 2 April 2009, photo Paul Mattsson

Youth Fight For Jobs march 2 April 2009, photo Paul Mattsson

Join the demonstration on 28 November in London
* Fight for real jobs
* Fight for free education
How many obstacles can the government put in front of young people who want a decent future? The brutal testing regime of the British education system and the bleak prospect of £23,000 worth of graduate debt have not satisfied Gordon Brown and Co, Danny Melia and Sarah Sachs-Eldridge write.

30 August 2009

spotFighting for LGBT rights in the USA

FRUSTRATED BY the inaction of the Obama administration and unwilling to continue to accept their second-class status, gay rights activists have called a national march for equality in Washington, DC, on 11 October...

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