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Archive for September 2004

4 September 2004

spotChe Guevara, Motorcycle Diaries, directed by Walter Salles

THE FILM Motorcycle Diaries is the true story of the journey undertaken by Ernesto 'Che' Guevara de la Serna and his friend Alberto Granado through South America...

4 September 2004

spotJoe Higgins: Speaking Tour Of Australia

JOE HIGGINS, Socialist Party (SP) member of the Dail (Ireland's Parliament) and one of the SP members recently jailed for defying the "bin tax" levy on Dublin householders, has spoken to thousands of workers in a very successful visit to Australia...

4 September 2004

spotEuropride

Tens of thousands of people came to Manchester for Europride over the bank holiday. From Stockholm to Stockport, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) and straight people gathered for the parade and party, celebrating equality...

4 September 2004

spotHaiti: A History Of Struggle

THIS YEAR marks the 200th anniversary of the Haitian revolution, when the black masses abolished slavery and won national independence...

4 September 2004

spotWe Need Your Cash!

Collectathon...: COLLECTATHON FORTNIGHT got off to an excellent start last weekend with a collection of £717 at the Socialist Party Summer Camp...

4 September 2004

spotFirefighters' dispute: Employers Climb Down

FIREFIGHTERS HAVE settled their long-running dispute after the employers finally agreed to stump up back pay and accept that bank holidays were not normal working days...

4 September 2004

spotScottish nursery nurses: How Our Strike Changed Me

THOUSANDS OF nursery nurses in Scotland were recently involved in the biggest and longest indefinite strike for 20 years. The dispute has helped to give confidence to other workers struggling against low pay and job cuts but it also...

4 September 2004

spotLow Pay Campaign Taps Into Anger

ISR (International Socialist Resistance) members and supporters in Swansea donned monkey masks on 28 August and dished out peanuts to members of the public to expose the low-pay scandal...

4 September 2004

spotYoung workers fight to End Low Pay

SOME OF the most exploited sections of Britain's workforce are young people. If you are under 22 you're not eligible for the full minimum wage, at present £4.50p an hour. If you're between 18-21 there is a minimum wage of £3.80 an hour...

4 September 2004

spotPicketing Wembley Stadium

TWO HUNDRED and fifty construction workers, members of the GMB and Amicus unions, who are working on the new Wembley stadium were sacked at two hours' notice on 10 August and locked out...

4 September 2004

spotStress At Work - The Facts

WHILST THE government is content to sit back and watch the right-wing media peddle lies about civil servants, it is well aware of what life is really like for the vast majority of its workforce...

4 September 2004

spotDefending the 35-hour week: The Profit System's The Problem, Not The Workers

Defending the 35-hour week: Minister for Europe and former trade union official Denis MacShane has recently claimed: "An obsession with the 35-hour week is now part of Europe's economic problem, not the solution."...

4 September 2004

spotMark Thatcher And The 'Dogs Of War'

IT SOUNDS like a rip-off from Frederick Forsyth's novel The Dogs of War in which mercenaries, organised by members of the British establishment, overthrow the dictator of 'Zangaro' to get hold of its vast platinum reserves...

4 September 2004

spotMass Protests Greets Bush And Republican Convention

THE REPUBLICAN National Convention has invaded New York City. George Bush and company are meeting four miles from the site of the 9/11 terror attacks, just two weeks before the third year anniversary of the attacks...

4 September 2004

spotUS Imperialism Further Weakened In Iraq

THE DREAMS of the US right-wing 'neo-cons' lie in tatters on the battlefields of Iraq. One of the only certainties in the turmoil of Iraq is that imperialism's occupation is doomed to failure...

4 September 2004

spotEnd The Occupation Of Iraq

Bush loses 'war on terror': GEORGE BUSH has finally admitted that the 'war on terror' can't be won. But not before an estimated 37,000 Iraqi civilians and over 1,000 coalition troops have been killed in Iraq in the name of this unwinnable war...

11 September 2004

spotA Long View Of History

JOHN KERRY is doing his best to lose the US Presidential election but can George Bush steal it as he did the one in 2000? Gore Vidal, in a collection of brilliant essays on the history and contemporary situation in the USA, warns that...

11 September 2004

spotLessons Of The Sandinista Revolution

Nicaragua 1979: ON 19 July 2004 thousands of Nicaraguans gathered in Managua's main square, once called Revolution Plaza, to remember the day 25 years ago when they celebrated the fall of the hated Somoza dictatorship and the coming to power of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN)...

11 September 2004

spotThousands Looking For An Alternative

European Social Forum (ESF): THE EUROPEAN Social Forum (ESF) in London will begin with a huge rally on Thursday 14 October, and finish on Sunday 17 with a large demonstration through central London against war and the occupation of Iraq...

11 September 2004

spotBlair's Welfare Wonderland

I RECENTLY had the dubious pleasure of attending an American-style motivational workshop designed to get me back into the workforce. In a hot stuffy room near the Elephant and Castle in south London, I was introduced to GOALS - gaining...

11 September 2004

spotBlair And Beckham - The Champagne Charlies

Wembley Stadium: THE LOCK-OUT OF 250 workers who were employed in the construction of the new Wembley Stadium is continuing. The workers were sacked at two hours' notice on 10 August. Their dispute has since been made official by the GMB union, which...

11 September 2004

spotAction - The Only Language The Government Understands

THIS YEAR'S TUC will feature much huffing and puffing by the union leaders on what to do about New Labour's assault on workers' rights and conditions...

11 September 2004

spotSave Southmead Hospital

Bristol campaign: "WE DON'T need to consult the public over casualty - keeping it open would put patients in danger." This was how North Bristol NHS Trust told local people that Southmead Hospital's Accident and Emergency (A&E) department, which has served north and north west Bristol for decades, was closing without consultatio...

11 September 2004

spotStrength In Numbers

WHEN THE head of the bosses' organisation calls trade unions increasingly irrelevant, you can guarantee it comes from his fear of increasing militancy from workers rather than a genuine concern over our welfare!...

11 September 2004

spotCivil Servants Prepare To Fight Jobs Slaughter

THE PCS is preparing to ballot its 310,000 members for strike action against New Labour's job culling plans. Chancellor Gordon Brown has told the union and everybody else that he won't be put off his plans to sack 104,000 civil servants...

11 September 2004

spotProtest Against Low Pay

Join the action: FRIDAY 17 September will be a day of action against low pay. Every week International Socialist Resistance (ISR) and Socialist Party members are meeting workers of all ages - but particularly young workers - who are fed up with low pay...

11 September 2004

spotWhat Lies Behind The Terror

THE HOSTAGE takers who seized 1,200 children, parents and teachers in Beslan reached a new level of barbarism. Young children were denied food and water. Many were shot by the hostage takers, even before the bloody mayhem which ended...

11 September 2004

spotBloodbath in Beslan

THE BLOODY end to the school hostage crisis in Beslan, North Ossetia, angered, sickened and shocked people around the world. Officially, more than 340 died, and the figure is expected to rise substantially. Many hundreds are injured...

11 September 2004

spotA Spiral Of War And Terror

Capitalism is to blame...: THE HORRIFIC massacre of children, parents and teachers at High School No1 in Beslan, North Ossetia, reached a new level of barbarity. The hostage-takers crossed the line between humanity and inhumanity. They deliberately targeted children...

18 September 2004

spotSwansea IT Workers Determined To Win

AROUND 500 Swansea council workers marched through the city centre last week in solidarity with the 102 IT staff who have been on strike for over a month in opposition to the proposed privatisation of their department...

18 September 2004

spotAsleft: Rebuilding The Union

LAST MONTH, Shaun Brady - the right-wing general secretary of the railway union Aslef (Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen) - was dismissed from office by the union's executive committee for gross misconduct...

18 September 2004

spotThe Prostitution Debate

THE CONTROVERSIAL Tolerance Zones (Scotland) Bill and the British government's consultation document on prostitution, Paying the Price, have sparked a real debate about how to deal with the issue of prostitution...

18 September 2004

spotBig Macs Can Seriously Damage Your Health

Review: Super Size Me: THIS IS a brilliant, fast-paced, polemical movie aimed against McDonald's and the entire big business food industry. Film maker, Morgan Spurlock, investigates the physical, financial and legal costs of America's huge fast food diet...

18 September 2004

spotAnger, Bitterness And Increasing Opposition in Germany

SINCE THE end of July, tens of thousands, mainly in east Germany, have demonstrated every Monday against government cuts. Last Saturday, 11 September, 10,000 blind people protested in Hanover against the Lower Saxony state government's...

18 September 2004

spotNigerian Workers Must Fight Anti-Union Law

ON 9 September the Nigerian Senate passed, at record speed, a draft law proposed by President Obasanjo. If implemented, it would severely weaken Nigeria's trade unions...

18 September 2004

spotHow The US Went To War

Review: Stuff Happens: Stuff Happens is the latest offering from David Hare, whose last play, The Permanent Way, successfully exposed the privatisation of the railways...

18 September 2004

spotBush Sinks Deeper In Iraq Quagmire

A SIGNIFICANT milestone in the war in Iraq was reached last week when US army fatalities went over 1,000 - that's an average of 2.25 US soldiers killed each day...

18 September 2004

spotBehind New Labour's Power Struggle

WHILE MOST people in Britain were preoccupied with the terrorist outrage in North Ossetia, with a worsening economic situation, price rises and the daily struggle to make ends meet, what were the priorities of Tony Blair and his New Labour government?...

18 September 2004

spotPay Us A Living Wage

WE WILL be targeting Jack Fulton's, a cheap frozen food shop, on the ISR day of action. Fulton's are paying 16 and 17-year-olds £2.80 an hour: even less than the measly £3 per hour minimum wage that the government is planning to introduce...

18 September 2004

spotTUC Delegates Give Thumbs Down To Blair

HAVING ANNOUNCED the sacking of over 100,000 civil servants in the public sector, Tony Blair went to the TUC Congress to try and persuade delegates that he had not lost touch with the concerns of hard-working families...

18 September 2004

spotTurn Anger Into Action

Cuts in jobs and public services...: "WE HAVE to tell this government that we are fed up with them knowing the cost of everything and the value of nothing", Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) general secretary Mark Serwotka told the TUC Conference...

25 September 2004

spotProstitution: The Debate Continues

SINEAD DALY'S article on prostitution in last week's socialist raises some very important issues around legalisation and decriminalisation. The debate in Scotland has centred on Tolerance Zones because this is the main proposal in Margo...

25 September 2004

spotLurid Headlines Hide The Facts of Fathers4Justice

JASON HATCH hit the media headlines last week. Dressed as Batman he spent five hours perched on a ledge of Buckingham Palace. A member of Fathers4Justice, he said he was protesting about fathers having restricted or no contact with their...

25 September 2004

spotYoung People Demand Proper Facilities

Manchester: MANCHESTER CITY Council is always attacking young people for hanging around on the streets. But what else can young people do when they have nothing to do and nowhere to go? The council have spent plenty of money in the city centre -...

25 September 2004

spotDon't Trust Government To Stop BNP

THE HOME Office is floating the idea of legally banning members of the far-right British National Party (BNP) from working for the civil service...

25 September 2004

spotBiggest Public Sector Strike In South Africa's History

South African Workers demonstrate
THE FRONT page headline of This Day read "Total Shutdown" as schools throughout the country were deserted. All the teaching unions joined with the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu - the 1.8 million...

25 September 2004

spotESF - A Socialist World Is Possible

Joe Higgins, Socialist Party TD (MP) for Dublin West, has been confirmed as the main speaker for the Socialist Party rally being held during the European Social Forum (ESF) next month in London...

25 September 2004

spotIraq - A Brutal War, Whatever The Label

"THIS IS far graver than Vietnam. If we leave and there's no civil war, that's a victory." William Odon, former head of the US national security agency, is more in touch with the reality of Iraq than George Bush and Tony Blair.

25 September 2004

spotNew Labour - It's Big 'Business As Usual'

DELEGATES ARRIVE at the Labour Party conference on 26 September amid media speculation about splits and differences at the top...

25 September 2004

spotWembley Workers - A Victory For The Trade Unions

THE 240 construction workers sacked and locked out by their employers, FastTrack-/Hollandia, on the new Wembley stadium site, have won a major victory...

25 September 2004

spotWorkers Say -'We Won't Pay The Price'

THE TRADE unions are fighting to prevent Ford ending Jaguar car production in Coventry. If the car giant gets its way, 1,200 redundancies will be made. Ford, hoping to avoid an angry reaction, have said 400 jobs will go to Castle Bromwich...

25 September 2004

spotFight The Bosses' Closure Plan at Jaguar

NEWS THAT Ford will end Jaguar car production at the Brown's Lane plant in Coventry has been met here with shock and anger. Now the workers are fighting back. Trade union shop stewards have unanimously agreed to fight the closure with...

25 September 2004

spotUniting To Fight New Labour's Cuts

PCS General Secretary speaks to The Socialist PCS CIVIL service trade union members are in the frontline of the Blair government's attacks on public-sector jobs and services, with 104,000 jobs threatened. The union's general secretary, Mark Serwotka, spoke to Ken Smith at the recent TUC conference.

25 September 2004

spotAnger Grows At Job Cuts

SIAN RUDDICK is on the group executive of the PCS for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and is also the regional chair for the PCS in the DWP in the West Midlands...

25 September 2004

spotStrike Back At Jobs Massacre

"THE THREAT to close 37 JobCentre and Social Security offices in the Department of Work and Pensions is the first tangible evidence of Gordon Brown's plans for the civil service", Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) told the socialist...

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