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Archive for July 2009

1 July 2009

spotCampaign to save Lewisham Bridge school continuing

ON 24 June a large number of parents and other supporters turned out to support the occupation of Lewisham Bridge School, south London, that has now been going on for a number of months, writes Socialist Party reporters.

1 July 2009

spotFast news

Blundering Boris: BORIS JOHNSON, the Tory London mayor, came into office on a 'clean up politics' and 'value for taxpayers' money' election ticket...

1 July 2009

spotConstruction industry in major crisis

The effects of the economic crisis mean the construction industry is facing its toughest period for over a generation, writes Suzanne Beishon, Architecture student.

1 July 2009

spotPride not profit - London Pride Saturday 4 July

The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights movement saw the fortieth anniversary of its birth on 28 June 2009, writes Greg Randall, Convenor of the Socialist Party LGBT members' group.

1 July 2009

spotBNP: Looking beneath the suits

THE BRITISH National Party (BNP) diligently cultivates its new image of smart suits and 'legal' respectability, writes Keith Whitehead.

1 July 2009

spotCouncils try to gag us

There has been much talk in the wake of the MPs' expenses scandals of the need to make politicians more accountable, extend democracy and empower people and their communities, writes James Kerr, Lewisham Socialist Party.

1 July 2009

spotFraternal greetings from Lindsey Oil Refinery strike committee

The Socialist Party received the following greeting from the Lindsey Oil Refinery strike committee

7 July 2009

spotHonduras coup - a warning to workers in Latin America

On Sunday 5 July Manuel Zelaya, the President of Honduras who was overthrown in a coup a week earlier, attempted to return to Honduras, writes Hannah Sell...

7 July 2009

spotJobs not dole

Youth Fight for Jobs demo in April, photo by Paul Mattsson

Youth Fight for Jobs demo

With every passing week yet more companies announce yet more redundancies. The figures are astounding. Earlier this year we saw the largest quarterly fall of people in employment since 1971. Neil Obler, Reading Socialist Party, writes.

7 July 2009

spotBrown's dead duck government

Editorial: U-TURNS, BACKTRACKING, mistakes, lies, defeats, clutching at straws - all everyday occurrences for a government clinging to power by its fingertips...

7 July 2009

spotPolice trigger ethnic clashes in Xinjiang

Chinese authorities impose martial law A PEACEFUL sit-down protest in the capital city Ürümqi by around 300 Uighurs, the Turkic-speaking minority that is the dominant population group in Xinjiang, was transformed by trigger-happy police into perhaps the most serious ethnic clashes in China seen in decades, writes Vincent Kolo, chinaworker.info.

7 July 2009

spotPostal workers need a national fightback

THOUSANDS OF postal workers will strike in London this week. Much of the entire postal network will be involved in a 'day of action' next week (17 July) as workers struggle to defend postal services...

7 July 2009

spotNational Express goes off the rails

THE NEWS that National Express has walked away from its east coast rail franchise comes at a time when most other tocs (train operating companies) are experiencing a drop in revenue due to the recession, writes Mark Pickersgill.

7 July 2009

spotFirst Bus - no to pay freeze

EARLIER THIS year Unite, the union which represents thousands of bus drivers across the country, was told by First Bus that they were imposing a pay freeze on all its bus subsidiaries. A bus worker writes.

7 July 2009

spotStalin's Nemesis: The Exile and Murder of Leon Trotsky

Leon Trotsky

Leon Trotsky

Review: An account of Trotsky's last years in exile in Mexico, during his heroic struggles against Stalinism, fascism and capitalism, and, pertinently, during the last great economic crisis, is to be welcomed, Reviewed by Niall Mulholland

7 July 2009

spotAction now to defend public sector

Scotland council workers strike, photo International Socialists

Scotland council workers strike, photo International Socialists

THE BATTLE lines are being drawn in the public sector. Chancellor Alistair Darling has warned of a 'tight squeeze' on the pay of six million public sector workers. Nancy Taaffe, a trade union activist in Waltham Forest, says it is time to fight back.

8 July 2009

spotHigher fees in higher education

Fighting fees  - student demonstration in central London, photo Rob Sutton

Fighting fees - student demonstration in central London, photo Rob Sutton

University fees are to be raised by 2.04% in 2010, taking them to £3,290 a year. This means that top-up fees have increased by almost £300 since they were introduced three years ago, writes Stephen Burrell, Birmingham Socialist Students.

8 July 2009

spotDrama students enter the stage of struggle

East 15 acting school: Students at the East 15 acting school are standing up to unfair charges and inadequate facilities. A letter from the school's director, Professor Leon Rubin, to the student body, notified of a rise in...

8 July 2009

spotTeachers' MOTs

Education white paper: Teachers will have been shocked and appalled by New Labour's latest white paper. In it, Ed Balls, secretary of state for Children, Schools and Families, suggests that teachers should pass an MOT-style...

8 July 2009

spotRMT Annual General Meeting: "If provoked - Will strike"

London Underground strike of RMT tube workers, photo Paul Mattsson

London Underground strike of RMT tube workers, photo Paul Mattsson

A number of delegates at the transport union RMT's AGM wore T-shirts picturing a viper and the wording "If provoked - will strike". These T-shirts summed up the mood, both of the leadership and rank and file delegates, writes Elaine Brunskill.

8 July 2009

spotSave jobs at Vestas wind turbine plant

Over 600 workers at the Vestas factory on the Isle of Wight are on the brink of losing their jobs after the company announced they intend to move production of wind turbine blades to America, writes Ben Norman, Portsmouth Socialist Party.

8 July 2009

spotPrivate companies caught in jobcentre scam

The recent media coverage of the fraud of the private sector companies who are being paid to provide help to the long-term unemployed comes as no surprise to PCS union members working in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), writes Katrine Williams, PCS DWP group vice president, personal capacity.

8 July 2009

spotSouth West Wales Media: Fight for jobs, defend conditions

Union members at South West Wales Media - the parent company of the Evening Post, Llanelli Star and Carmarthen Journal newspapers - are considering taking action in response to a management restructuring plan that will see jobs axed, workload increased by 25%, and shift times for some staff substant, writes An NUJ member.

8 July 2009

spotFirst strike against Trust schools

Waltham Forest: On 2 July, teachers at Norlington Boys secondary school in Waltham Forest, East London went on strike - the first strike in the country against Trust status...

8 July 2009

spotStrike against BSF proposals

Since May, NUT members in Tamworth have led a campaign against the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) proposals for schools in their area, writes Dylan Murphy, NUT rep, Honley High School Kirklees, personal capacity.

8 July 2009

spotOilc - fighting for decent working conditions in the North Sea

The north sea oil union Oilc has recently amalgamated into the RMT. The offshore employers do not want to negotiate with Oilc, which has pioneered the fight for safe working conditions in the North Sea...

8 July 2009

spotArundhati Roy - politics and literature

London Literature Festival review: The London Literature Festival 2009 opened on 2 July at the Southbank Centre, with Arundhati Roy, introducing her new book Listening to grasshoppers: field notes on democracy...

8 July 2009

spotDemanding justice for Shrewsbury 24

Around 400 trade unionists marched through Shrewsbury on Saturday 4 July in pursuit of justice for the 24 building workers who were put on trial in 1973 following their successful 1972 building workers strike, writes Dave Griffiths and Andy Ford.

8 July 2009

spotSri Lanka: Protest over DfID role

TAMIL SOLIDARITY, which campaigns for the rights of all workers and the oppressed in Sri Lanka, organised a protest recently against UK government financial support for the repressive, chauvinist Sri Lankan government, writes Senan, Tamil Solidarity.

8 July 2009

spotNews in brief

Venture vultures: THE SERIOUS Fraud Office is investigating the circumstances behind the collapse of the MG Rover car plant at Longbridge, Birmingham in 2005...

8 July 2009

spotWhy women don't have real equality

Unison Local Government strike 16-17 July in London, photo Paul Mattsson

Unison Local Government strike 16-17 July in London, photo Paul Mattsson

Sir Stuart Rose, executive chair of Marks and Spencer proclaimed in the Observer recently that women have got "more equality than you ever can deal with".
Eleanor Donne looks at the reality women face in Britain and asks: Have women really 'made it'? Do we now live in a 'post feminist' society and what are the roots of women's oppression?

14 July 2009

spotTroops out of Afghanistan immediately

Stop US/UK military intervention

16 July 2009

spotRMT cannot accept compulsory redundancies

The strike action taken by RMT members last month has forced London Underground (LU) management into significant concessions...

16 July 2009

spotRMT cannot accept Compulsory Redundancies

The strike action taken by RMT members last month has forced London Underground (LU) management into significant concessions...

18 July 2009

spotDefend the Four: Protest at the Unison witch-hunt

Demonstration outside Unison HQ against witchhunt of four unison members, photo Paul Mattsson

Demonstration outside Unison HQ against witchhunt of four unison members, photo Paul Mattsson

Four Socialist Party members under attack from the Unison leadership have been found "guilty" of two charges - one that they produced a leaflet at the annual conference of Unison in 2007 which questioned why the Standing Orders Committee had ruled out key motions from being debated...

21 July 2009

spotVestas jobs fightback

The Vestas factory on the Isle of Wight, the only wind turbine factory in the UK, is closing, taking over 600 jobs with it - but the workers of Vestas are organising their fightback, writes Ben Norman.

21 July 2009

spotCorus... Vestas... Defend every job!

Corus workers protest, photo Paul Mattsson

Corus workers protest, photo Paul Mattsson

Around 5,000 people marched in Redcar, Teesside on 18 July, in support of the Save our Steel campaign.

21 July 2009

spotAction to save steel jobs at Corus

LEADING UP to the autumn of 2008, Corus, Tata Steel's European arm, was riding on the crest of a wave with a healthy order book, a steel worker writes.

21 July 2009

spotNational strike action to halt attacks on workers and our postal services

Postal workers on strike

Postal workers on strike

Royal Mail dispute: THE RECENT strikes by postal workers and the many balloted workplaces around the country are a direct result of the war by Royal Mail on its workforce and the Communications Workers' Union (CWU)...

21 July 2009

spotUnion action to fight the attacks on our pensions

FOLLOWING AN avalanche of private sector 'final salary' occupational pension scheme closures, the employers and the establishment political parties are baying for a similar fate for workers in the public sector...

21 July 2009

spotPensions - in brief

Scheme closures: COMPUTER GIANT IBM is the latest company to end its final salary pension scheme for its 5,000 members, having already closed it to new members...

21 July 2009

spotUnison witch-hunt verdict causes outrage amongst trade unionists

Editorial: On 16 July, after two long years of tortuous investigations and hearings, Unison's kangaroo court declared four members of the Socialist Party guilty...

21 July 2009

spotVestas: Support the occupation

Faced with the closure of the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight, the workers have decided to occupy the factory immediately and step up the fight to save the factory and their jobs...

21 July 2009

spotSupport Vestas Workers!

The Vestas factory on the Isle of Wight, the only wind turbine factory in the UK, is closing, taking over 600 jobs with it - but the workers of Vestas are organising their fight back, writes Ben Norman, Portsmouth.

21 July 2009

spotVestas: Support the occupation

Faced with the closure of the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight, the workers have decided to occupy the factory immediately and step up the fight to save the factory and their jobs...

22 July 2009

spotRock Against Racism

Come and hear five great local bands

22 July 2009

spotSouth Yorkshire First Buses strike over pay

It was a bad week for First Bus bosses in South Yorkshire. They lost a last ditch bid to get an injunction to stop a one-day strike going ahead and then were forced to suspend planned cuts to 28 services...

22 July 2009

spotLondon Met Uni strike

Support and admin staff, technicians and lecturers organised a solid strike at London Met University on 14 July against massive cuts, writes Naomi Byron.

22 July 2009

spotEvery little helps Tesco's as they attack workers

Chepstow: Around 750 workers at the Tesco distribution centre in Chepstow are voting over strike action against the company's decision to move the centre across the river Severn to Avonmouth, which is only eight miles away, writes Mike John, Newport Socialist Party.

22 July 2009

spotCare homes public meeting

Following on from a series of meetings, the Elmbridge Care Homes Campaign is hosting a public meeting to put the case for the nationalisation of three care homes in the Elmbridge area of Surrey...

22 July 2009

spotBNP get police to arrest socialists

On Tuesday 14 July I was arrested, along with two other Socialist Party members, on alleged public order offences following a complaint made by local members of the fascist-led British National Party, writes Dylan Roberts, Wrexham Socialist Party.

22 July 2009

spotLincoln fights back against racist BNP

ON 11 July, over 100 people marched through Lincoln city centre to oppose racism and the far-right British National Party (BNP).

22 July 2009

spotStop the BNP's 'festival' of hate

Join the national protest and mass picket against the BNP's 'Red, White and Blue festival' on Saturday 15 August. At Codnor market place, Codnor, Derbyshire. Rally from 11am, march at 12 noon...

22 July 2009

spotKeep Deptford Jobcentre open!

THE PCS (Public and Commercial Services Union) is campaigning to keep the Jobcentre in Deptford open, writes Mick Philipsz.

22 July 2009

spotBuild the Tamil Solidarity campaign

Sri Lanka: "THERE ARE no minorities in this country," Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse declared on 19 March, after his army killed over 20,000 Tamil people and imprisoned 300,000 in World War Two-style camps...

22 July 2009

spotTeachers strike against job cuts

TEACHERS AT Haggerston School in Hackney, east London, have taken three days of strike action over the past two weeks against job cuts, writes Suzanne Beishon.

22 July 2009

spotAnother stepping stone towards health privatisation

NHS: "Transforming Community Services": UNITE UNION reps from across the north-west gathered in Wigan recently to consider how best to fight the latest government proposal to break up the NHS - "Transforming Community Services" (TCS), writes Andy Ford, North and East Manchester NHS Unite branch member.

22 July 2009

spot20th anniversary of Soviet miners' strike

JULY MARKS the 20th anniversary of the first national miners' strike in the former Soviet Union, which, spreading like wildfire through the Siberian Kuzbass and Artic Vorkuta, Ukrainian Donbass and Karaganda in Kazakhstan, marked the beginning of the end of the bureaucratic soviet regime led by Mikhail Gorbachev, writes Rob Jones, Moscow.

22 July 2009

spotYouth fight for jobs fortnight of action

The government's latest unemployment figures show that, as expected, young people are still facing the brunt of job losses, writes Sean Figg, YFJ national organiser. Reports on the fortnight of action from around the country.

22 July 2009

spot40th anniversary of the moon landing: What steps has humanity taken?

Comment: "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind." Neil Armstrong's famous phrase marked the first human footstep on the moon, writes Tom Baldwin.

22 July 2009

spotDevon residents against incinerators: Alternative waste schemes needed

DEVON RESIDENTS against Incinerators (Drain) recently held a stall in the local shopping centre to build popular opposition to the scheme to build a waste incinerator on a flood plain in the middle of Barnstaple, writes Jim Lowe, North Devon Socialist Party and chair, Drain.

22 July 2009

spotTube workers' action wins concessions

The strike action taken by RMT union members last month has forced London Underground management into significant concessions. An LU worker writes.

22 July 2009

spotRally to support the Vestas workers

@ Newport Vestas:

22 July 2009

spotPensions: We say

SOCIALIST MEASURES to provide decent pensions would include ending the hundreds of billions in tax cuts to big business and taxing these companies' mega-profits to allow:...

24 July 2009

spotInterview with Vestas worker

Ian Terry, one of the Vestas workers occupying their wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight, spoke to The Socialist on Friday, 24 July...

25 July 2009

spotLGBT Pride 2009: No to the BNP

The far-right, racist and homophobic British National Party won two MEPs in the European parliament. That's a warning to all of us on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender scenes...

27 July 2009

spotOutrageous "racism" charge leads to union ban

Press release: Four members of the public sector union Unison were last week banned from holding positions in their union following two years of investigations and hearings...

29 July 2009

spotNo to the Future Jobs Fraud

YFJ steering committee report: With the number of unemployed young people rapidly approaching one million, building Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) is more urgent than ever, writes Ben Robinson, YFJ national chair.

29 July 2009

spotPublic shows support for Youth Fight for Jobs campaign

On Tuesday 21 July the Bristol YFJ campaign presented a petition of over 200 signatures to the council, writes Jack Jeffery, Bristol YFJ.

29 July 2009

spotGreedy bosses exploiting seasonal workers

The Independent recently reported on the exploitation of Bulgarian and Romanian workers by Tesco supplier, S&A Produce, writes Deborah Jones.

29 July 2009

spotCardiff cuts protest

Around 250 tutors, students and community members protested outside Cardiff's University Council meeting on 27 July, against plans to cut 140 jobs from the Centre for Lifelong Learning, writes Ross Saunders.

29 July 2009

spotStreet cleaners lobby council

Street cleaners employed by Kier in the London Borough of Waltham Forest lobbied the council on 23 July, writes Kevin Parslow, Unite LE/1228 branch secretary.

29 July 2009

spotFuturism

Exhibition review: Brash, bold and belligerent, the artistic movement known as futurism hit the scene in early 1909. Later, it would give expression to political polar opposites: Italian fascist reaction and Russian socialist...

29 July 2009

spotSuccess for Stop the Strip campaign

THE WHITE Hart in New Cross, south London, which had previously been operating as a lap dancing bar, has now returned to being run as a normal bar, writes Tania Eadie.

29 July 2009

spotWhen workers shut down Minneapolis

75th anniversary of the "Teamster Rebellion": TODAY, FACED with the worst economic crisis since the 1930s Great Depression, it is crucial we learn how workers successfully defended themselves in the past...

29 July 2009

spotCalifornia's Budget crisis: Huge cuts spark workers' anger

CALIFORNIA'S STATE budget has an enormous $26 billion shortfall. To close it, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has taken a lesson from his silver screen days to "terminate" the state's welfare programmes...

29 July 2009

spotMilburn goes to top of class

DESPERATE LABOUR Party supporters argue that at least a New Labour government is better than the Tories...

29 July 2009

spotProtest against BNP's 'festival of hate'

THE MIDLANDS TUC has called a protest on 15 August against the racist BNP's Red White and Blue 'festival' that takes place on 14-16 August near Denby Village, Derbyshire...

29 July 2009

spotBuilding support for world socialism

Joe Higgins MEP, Socialist Party Ireland, speaking at the European CWI school, photo Bob Severn

Joe Higgins MEP, Socialist Party Ireland, speaking at the European CWI school, photo Bob Severn

Committee for a Workers' International: The annual summer school of the Committee for a Workers' International (CWI) took place in Belgium during the week 12 to 17 July. Over 350 CWI members - many of them young people - came together from CWI sections worldwide to discuss the world economic crisis, the political situation in many countries, and workers' struggles across the globe.

29 July 2009

spotVestas - build mass action for victory

Vestas occupation, photo Marc Vallee

Vestas occupation, photo Marc Vallee

Editorial 29 July: As we go to press workers at Vestas Blades on the Isle of Wight, the only wind turbine plant in Britain, have been occupying the plant for over a week to try to prevent its closure. The twenty five workers inside the occupation have faced repeated threats of sacking, legal action, and removal of redundancy payments to try to force them to end the occupation.

29 July 2009

spotUnison witch-hunt: Defend the Unison Four!

Unison conference 2009: Brian Debus, Onay Kasab and Glenn Kelly, photo Paul Mattsson

Unison conference 2009: Brian Debus, Onay Kasab and Glenn Kelly, photo Paul Mattsson

Scandalously a Unison disciplinary committee has banned four Socialist Party members from holding office for periods from three to five years...

29 July 2009

spotWhat you can do to help the campaign

Unison witch-hunt: Please check out website: www.stopthewitchhunt.org.uk before attending any of these events in case of changes in times, venues etc...

29 July 2009

spotAfghanistan - Withdraw the troops

THE BRITISH government is cynically exploiting the tragic deaths of British soldiers to justify the continuing war in Afghanistan, writes Paula Mitchell.

29 July 2009

spotKilmarnock: Anger over Diageo's jobs massacre

ON 26 JULY, 20,000 people took to the streets of Kilmarnock, west Scotland, to defend the 900 whisky jobs due to be cut by multinational drinks company Diageo, writes Leah Ganley, Youth Fight for Jobs, Scotland.

29 July 2009

spotSwine flu: Profit system puts people at risk

SWINE 'FLU is rapidly spreading. A vaccine to prevent infection is urgently needed but it will be next year before there are sufficient supplies to protect everyone in Britain. Eventually half the population...

29 July 2009

spotHospital worker reinstated

"It's great to have you back" were the words of one domestic worker greeting Unison shop steward Errol Maison as she clasped and hugged him on his return to work on 7 July...

29 July 2009

spotNationalise to save jobs and environment

Support Vestas workers: The 25 Vestas workers occupying the wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight have created an international furore over jobs and the future of the environment. They have huge support from their work colleagues, families and workers on the Isle of Wight and beyond...

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...

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