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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 March 2010

News in brief

Ethnic targeting

A REPORT by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission shows, perhaps unsurprisingly, that the number of black and Asian people stopped and searched by police in England and Wales is 'disproportionately high'.

More than one in ten black people were stopped and searched by police in 2007/08. If black people were stopped and searched at the same rate as white people around 25,000 searches would be expected. Instead there were over 170,000.

'Ethnic targeting' by police forces has escalated as a result of the government's introduction of dubious anti-terrorist legislation.

Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 gives the police the power to stop and search on a "hunch". No reasonable suspicion is needed that an offence has been committed or that the person detained is carrying anything which might be used for terrorist purposes.

This power was used around 250,000 times in 2009, the highest on record and more than twice the level of 2008.

In January 2010 the European Court of Human Rights ruled that 'stop and search' powers given to the police by the Terrorism Act 2000 are unlawful.

Portugal strike wave

ON 4 MARCH, more than 300,000 public servants in Portugal struck for 24 hours, echoing recent workers' movements in Greece, Ireland, Spain and Britain.

It was backed by the public-sector trade unions, in opposition to the government's harsh austerity budget - an attempt by the ruling class to make the workers pay for the capitalist crisis.

Schools, hospitals and health centres, courts, municipal services, garbage collectors, transport, etc, were all brought to a standstill, with a significant layer of workers on strike for the first time.

The Partido Socialista government of Josť Socrates, tried to downplay the effectiveness of the walkout.

The government is about to announce to the EU Commission details of its mid-term 'stability' plan to tackle the country's record budget deficit. However, this plan will lead to a new downturn in economic activity.

Fundamentally, within the framework of capitalism, there is no way out of this crisis.

Report from Cedric Gerome, on

Solidarity appeal

Socialist Resistance Kazakhstan (CWI), is appealing for solidarity for the workers at the 'KazMunaiGaz' company (and its daughter company 'OzenMunaiGaz'), who are on strike and whose leaders are now facing repression.

10,000 oil refinery workers have been on strike since 4 March 2010, and 20 are prepared to declare an indefinite hunger strike.

They are fighting for an improvement in living conditions and wages, and for the nationalisation of the plant (which formerly was state owned), with the introduction of workers' control over production.

See for protest details.

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In The Socialist 17 March 2010:

BA workers, civil servants: Defending jobs and conditions

Socialist Party workplace news and analysis

Support British Airways cabin crew

PCS Budget Day action

'Winners' and losers in Royal Mail deal

Workplace news in brief

The state

State infiltration - a warning to the workers' movement

Youth fight for jobs

Youth Fight for Jobs day of action

Unison witchhunt

Unison leadership's "scorched earth policy"

Socialist Party news and analysis

Coventry: Voters need socialist fighters - not service cutters

Free the Tamil refugees

Tube Lines: Another fine mess

News in brief

Socialist Students

Defend higher education

Defending public education in the USA

International socialist news and analysis

Another general strike brings Greece to a halt

Socialist Party inteview

Iceland: 93% reject bankers' bailout

Marxist analysis: history

Thatcher's enemy within: 25 years after the end of the miners' strike

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Workplace news and analysis

Surrey workers fight cuts

Fighting the cuts at Leeds University

Unite to save Northcott Theatre

Socialist Party feature

Cuts mean poorest people priced out of the legal system


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