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Archive for February 2011

1 February 2011

spotUS prisoner activist facing violent retaliation

Urgent Solidarity needed - Support Shawn Whatley! Stop all retaliations against Georgia prison strike activists!

1 February 2011

spotBA cabin crew dispute enters critical stage

Addendum added 9/2/11 On 21 January Unite cabin crew at British Airways once again showed their resilience by voting overwhelmingly for strike action

1 February 2011

spotRotherham - Rawmarsh school teachers continue strike action

Striking Rotherham teachers led the 500 strong Sheffield Anti-Cuts Alliance (SACA) demonstration on 29 January, writes Alistair Tice.

1 February 2011

spotMedirest workers' anger grows

A strike on 31 January, the third by Medirest cleaners at Southampton general hospital, was to provide a mass welcoming committee to members of the Trust board meeting

2 February 2011

spot'Struggle or starve!' 1932 - when Birkenhead workers beat the means test

The campaign built by Liverpool city council in 1983-87 to win extra funding inspired thousands of workers, photo Militant

The campaign built by Liverpool city council in 1983-87 to win extra funding inspired thousands of workers, photo Militant

To the present generation of workers and young people, the phrase 'means test' probably means little, writes Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary.

2 February 2011

spotProtesting against all of the cuts

Stroud: On a march organised by Stroud Against Cuts and Gloucestershire Trades Council, the small town echoed to the sound of 500 anti-cuts protesters determined to oppose the cuts agenda of the coalition government and Tory-led county council...

2 February 2011

spotStop attacks on disabled claimants

Defend the right to protest: on 24 January police 'kettled' a peaceful demonstration outside the central London headquarters of Atos Origin, writes By a Unison member.

2 February 2011

spotTommy Sheridan jailing: Political vendetta ends in draconian sentence

Tommy Sheridan in 2007

Tommy Sheridan in 2007

SCOTTISH SOCIALIST Tommy Sheridan was jailed for three years on 26 January having being found guilty on charges of perjury...

2 February 2011

spotHands off our forests!

GOVERNMENT PLANS to privatise 260,000 hectares of forestry commission land in England has met with massive opposition...

2 February 2011

spotDefend the NHS!: Fight the Con-Dem cuts

NHS cleaners employed by Compass Medirest on a 48 hour strike in Southampton and Buckinghamshire, photo Southampton Socialist Party

NHS cleaners employed by Compass Medirest on a 48 hour strike in Southampton and Buckinghamshire, photo Southampton Socialist Party

In his attempt to win support for the Con-Dem health bill, David Cameron was everywhere, rushing around TV and radio stations and newspaper offices, trying to defend the Con-Dems' plans to 'modernise' the NHS in England - straight back into the 1930s...

2 February 2011

spotTories have no solutions to youth crime

Boris Johnson visits Waltham Forest: Waltham Forest is a borough which has an above average rate of violent youth crime. This can have a devastating effect on the lives of people who live in our area, so the opportunity to ask questions at...

2 February 2011

spotPolice attack 'save EMA' protest in Leeds

School, college, and university students in Leeds were met with police violence on a recent peaceful protest against Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) being axed, writes Jay McInness, Leeds Met Socialist Students.

2 February 2011

spotJustice for Unison Four

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 were disciplined by Unison on trumped-up charges of racism, after producing a leaflet at the 2007 Unison conference, challenging the Standing Orders Committee (SOC) about ruling resolutions off the conference agenda, writes Glenn Kelly.

2 February 2011

spotUnison self-destructs at TSA but unionism stronger than ever

There was widespread outrage among Unison members at the Housing Corporation in 2007 when the union charged branch secretary, Suzanne Muna, with racism, writes An ex-Unison member.

2 February 2011

spotFord challenged in legal bid: Pay the Visteon pensioners now!

On the very day that Ford Motor Company announced huge profits of $6.6 billion after tax, Unite has launched legal action against the car giant in a bid to win back lost pensions for over 3,000 pensioners, writes Rob Williams, Former Unite convenor at Swansea Visteon/Linamar Plant.

2 February 2011

spotArriva Trains Wales - strike called off

RMT train drivers working for Arriva Trains Wales (ATW) were planning a second day of strike action on 4 February as part of their campaign for fair pay, writes Ross Saunders.

2 February 2011

spotDefend democracy in the CWU

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) national executive (NEC) has scandalously and without precedent postponed this year's NEC elections until after annual conference in May, writes Socialist Party members in the CWU.

2 February 2011

spotDiscussing an electoral challenge to service cutters

On 18 January the general secretary of the FBU firefighters' union, Matt Wrack, visited Rugby fire station, writes Steve Roberts, Chair Warwickshire FBU.

2 February 2011

spotThe madness of King George cuts

The four-year campaign to keep the accident and emergency department open at King George hospital, east London, continued on Saturday with another demonstration from the hospital to Ilford town centre, writes Manny Thain.

2 February 2011

spotJohn Macreadie memorial

To pay tribute to the work, ideas and life of John Macreadie, who sadly passed away on 22 December 2010, the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) is hosting a memorial on Monday 7 February...

2 February 2011

spotTV Review: Posh and Posher Why Public School Boys Run Britain

ANDREW NEIL is a Tory-sympathising BBC journalist. It must say a lot about the present state of British politics that he would present this documentary, Posh and Posher: Why Public School Boys Run Britain...

2 February 2011

spotEgypt in revolt

Egypt: protestors battle with Mubarak supporting state thugs for possession of the streets while the army watches

Egypt: protestors battle with Mubarak supporting state thugs for possession of the streets while the army watches

Workers and young people in Britain and across the world are watching events in Egypt closely. The revolt against mass unemployment, grinding poverty and corrupt dictatorship, which started last month...

2 February 2011

spotNo to the racist EDL! Unite to fight the cuts

A GROUP of people sit chatting and eating in a fast food restaurant; men, women, children. Out of the blue, bricks start hitting the windows, hundreds of thugs come running past, directing their racist...

2 February 2011

spotScottish Anti-Cuts Alliance established

Scottish TUC supported anti-cuts demonstration in Edinburgh, photo Ray Smith

Scottish TUC supported anti-cuts demonstration in Edinburgh, photo Ray Smith

An historic step was taken on Saturday 29 January when the Scottish Anti-Cuts Alliance (SACA) was established at a conference in Glasgow. An edited version of this article appeared in issue 656 of The Socialist.

2 February 2011

spotLiverpool: Jobs axe must be fought

AFTER 20 years of slashing jobs, privatising, and cutting services, by Liverpool's ruling parties - New Labour and Lib Dems - the local authority workforce is now faced with a catastrophe. An edited version of this article appeared in issue 656 of The Socialist.

2 February 2011

spotYoung people march for a future

Lively and youthful march in Manchester, Saturday 29 January, organised by the PCS and UCU trade unions together with the National Union of Students., photo Dave Beale

Lively and youthful march in Manchester, Saturday 29 January, organised by the PCS and UCU trade unions together with the National Union of Students., photo Dave Beale

Manchester and London: "Cuts affect everyone" said one placard on a very lively and youthful march in Manchester on 29 January. An edited version of the articles on the Manchester and London demonstrations appeared in issue 656 of The Socialist.

2 February 2011

spotDefending jobs at Leeds council

Leeds city council has put forward its 'final' offer to the unions. The council intends to cut £90 million from its 2011/12 budget as part of a bigger spending cuts package, £150 million over four years. An edited version of this article appeared in issue 656 of The Socialist.

2 February 2011

spotKeep the post public demo

Around 350 people marched through Birmingham city centre on 29 January as the Communication Workers Union's (CWU) Keep the Post Public campaign continued its journey around the country. An edited version of this article appeared in issue 656 of The Socialist.

2 February 2011

spotBuilding action against cuts

South Wales - Rhondda Cynon Taff: Rhondda Cynon Taff (RCT) Council in South Wales has told its 10,000 strong workforce to sign new contracts - which constitute a massive pay cut - or lose their jobs. An edited version of this article appeared in issue 656 of The Socialist.

2 February 2011

spot'In reality, Britain is facing a savage economic ice age'

Young people march for a future: Youth Fight for Jobs and Socialist Students on the 29 January London demonstration against education cuts, photo Senan

"Dire", "terrible", "shockingly bad", "horrendous... an absolute disaster for the economy"! These were some of the terms used by City and media analysts to describe economic figures for the last three months, writes Lynn Walsh, Socialist Party executive committee...

4 February 2011

spotRMT cleaners strike over pay and pensions

Bob Crow, RMT general secretary, speaking at the London anti-cuts demonstration jointly called by the NSSN, RMT, NUT, FBU, PCS and other unions, photo Paul Mattsson

Bob Crow, RMT general secretary, speaking at the London anti-cuts demonstration jointly called by the NSSN, RMT, NUT, FBU, PCS and other unions, photo Paul Mattsson

Cleaners in the Rail, Maritime and Transport workers' union (RMT) who service First Great Western trains in Cardiff and Swansea are taking 24-hour strike action today (4 February) over a catalogue of failures by their employer...

4 February 2011

spotNewcastle - solidarity with the Egyptian masses

Between 50 and 100 protesters gathered at Newcastle students' union to demonstrate their solidarity with the Egyptian masses. The messages on the banners, both in English and Arabic, were clear: "Mubarak must go".

4 February 2011

spotTower Hamlets anti-cuts meeting

Nearly 200 people came to a meeting in Bow, east London, on Thursday 3 February to protest against cuts in services. The event was organised by the Tower Hamlets council joint unions

4 February 2011

spotHackney Unison condemns union witch-hunt and calls on Labour councils to set 'needs budgets'

Unions protest at Hackney town hall, photo The Socialist

Unions protest at Hackney town hall, photo The Socialist

A rapturous cheer rang round the crowded meeting hall of over 250 trade unionists at the Hackney Unison AGM on Wednesday 2 February, as the secretary announced the ET victory of the four Socialist Party members wrongfully barred from holding office in Unison

8 February 2011

spotEgypt: Is revolution derailed?

Revolution invokes Lenin

Revolution invokes Lenin

"Lenin said of revolutions that they demonstrate two things. The first is that the people cannot go on being ruled in the old way. The second is that the rulers cannot go on ruling in the old way" - The Guardian. Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary, on the Egyptian revolution.

9 February 2011

spotCouncil unions in Swansea make a start against cuts

Swansea workers protest against cuts and privatisation in Wales, photo Swansea Socialist Party

Swansea workers protest against cuts and privatisation in Wales, photo Swansea Socialist Party

Hundreds of local authority members of the unions GMB, Ucatt, Unison and Unite attended meetings in Swansea on 8 February.

9 February 2011

spotFight the cuts - whoever makes them

Students protest against cuts in Manchester, photo Andy Ford

Students protest against cuts in Manchester, photo Andy Ford

The massive 27% cut in central government funding to local authorities is having devastating consequences. Manchester city council, for example, has announced that three leisure centres, two swimming pools, five libraries and all but one public toilet will close over the next year.

9 February 2011

spotAnti-cuts initiatives planned by new committee

London anti-cuts demonstration jointly called by the NSSN, RMT, NUT, FBU, PCS and other unions, photo Paul Mattsson

London anti-cuts demo, photo Paul Mattsson

Councils of every shade announce job losses: The National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) anti-cuts campaign is well and truly launched. The committee that was elected at the NSSN anti-cuts conference in January met on 2 February...

9 February 2011

spotDitch the library cuts

Waltham Forest protest against library closures in 2008, photo Bob Severn

Waltham Forest protest against library closures in 2008, photo Bob Severn

OVER 80 protests took place around the country as part of a national day of action to defend the 450 libraries earmarked for closure, writes Nancy Taaffe, Library trade union convenor, Waltham Forest, north east London.

9 February 2011

spotSouthampton campaigners march in defence of jobs and services

Hugo Pierre speaks to the Southampton protest, Photo Southampton SP

Hugo Pierre speaks to the Southampton protest, Photo Southampton SP

Trade unionists, community campaigners, students and socialists marched into the centre of Southampton on 5 February to protest at government, council and business attacks on jobs, pay and services in the city, writes Southampton Socialist Party.

9 February 2011

spotLeicester Unison members rally against all cuts

Around 150 people attended a Unison-organised rally in Leicester on 2 February against council cuts, writes Becci Heagney, Leicester Socialist Party.

9 February 2011

spotMarch against the job losses in Greenwich

On Saturday 12 February workers and community campaigners will march against savage cuts being proposed by Greenwich council, writes Paul Callanan, Greenwich Socialist Party.

9 February 2011

spotSolidarity with the Egyptian masses

Newcastle: UP TO 100 protesters gathered at Newcastle students union to demonstrate their solidarity with the Egyptian masses on 4 February...

9 February 2011

spotJobs massacre at Pfizer

On 1 February it was announced that 2,400 workers at Pfizer's research and development facility in Sandwich, Kent, will be made redundant after the company's decision to close the site completely...

9 February 2011

spotUnite anti-cuts conference

Over 400 Unite members attended a conference against the cuts organised by the union's London and Eastern and South-east regions, writes Kevin Parslow.

9 February 2011

spotStriking against health job cuts

On 3 February, speech and language therapists, members of Unite from Southwark PCT came out on strike following the announcement from management that 11 of the 35 staff will be sacked...

9 February 2011

spotCampaigners reject maternity unit cuts

The North West Strategic Health Authority has voted to shut maternity units at Salford Royal, Bury and Rochdale hospitals, despite predictions of rising birth rates, writes Paul Gerrard.

9 February 2011

spotBilly Bragg helps raise Exeter Anti-Cuts funds

Socialist Party members and other anti-cuts activists recently helped to organise a fundraising gig in Exeter which featured left-wing singer and guitarist Billy Bragg as its headline act, writes Jim Thomson.

9 February 2011

spotEconomic crisis in Greece: Immigrants made scapegoats

Three hundred 'undocumented' immigrant workers began a hunger strike on 25 January, demanding documents and equal rights...

9 February 2011

spotSolidarity messages needed for US prison reform activist

In the aftermath of an historic prison strike in Georgia, late last year, inmate activists are facing systematic violence and repression, writes Socialist Alternative (CWI USA) reporters.

9 February 2011

spotWoody Sez

Woody Guthrie

Woody Guthrie

Review: Devised/directed by David M Lutken and Nick Corley, writes Reviewed by Manny Thain.

9 February 2011

spotNational education shutdown needed

UCU  members on strike at London Met university in 2009 , photo Paul Mattsson

UCU members on strike at London Met university in 2009 , photo Paul Mattsson

Despite the government railroading its attacks on young people through parliament, the 29 January demonstrations showed that there is still willingness to fight back...

9 February 2011

spotPCS young members' network conference

The civil servants' union, PCS, held its annual Young Members' Forum in Manchester from 4 to 6 February, writes Nick Parker.

9 February 2011

spotYorkshire: organising the student movement

Calderdale and Kirklees: The launch meeting of the Calderdale and Kirklees Student Assembly (CKSA) took place on Sunday 30 January in Halifax, writes Katie Bates, Secretary CKSA.

9 February 2011

spotDemonstrating against cuts in Grimsby

On 29 January, students and workers united in a bid to make their voices heard about the recent cuts brought about by the coalition government...

9 February 2011

spotVolunteering 'plaster' for unemployment

On 7 February the government approved plans for charities including the Prince's Trust to set up stalls in Jobcentre Plus offices across the country...

9 February 2011

spotEDL racists terrorise Luton

ON SATURDAY 5 February, the racist and hooligan English Defence League (EDL) marched through the centre of Luton...

9 February 2011

spotFast news

NHS cuts: The Con-Dem government's latest disastrous reforms to the National Health Service come on top of at least £20 billion of 'efficiency savings' ie cuts, that health managers have been told to implement by 2014...

9 February 2011

spotBig society? ... big con!

Demonstration in Southampton by Unite and Unison against Tory attacks on terms and conditions and cuts in public services, photo by David Smith

Demonstration in Southampton by Unite and Unison against Tory attacks on terms and conditions and cuts in public services, photo by David Smith

Behind all the talk of "localising power", "enabling" and so on, the Tory vision of the 'Big Society' has been exposed in all its gory glory, writes Dave Reid.

9 February 2011

spotInstitute of Directors, bosses' organisation, bares its teeth at unions

THE RIGHT-wing bosses' organisation - the Institute of Directors (IoD) - has called for trade union collective bargaining to be scrapped for teachers and NHS workers...

9 February 2011

spotHands off our forests!

Hundreds of campaigners against the government's forests sell-off plans wait to quiz Tory MP in Coleford, photo www.handsoffourforests.org

Hundreds of campaigners against the government's forests sell-off plans wait to quiz Tory MP in Coleford, photo www.handsoffourforests.org

THE TORY MP for the Forest of Dean, Mark Harper, was on the ropes last Friday (4 February) when he finally appeared at a public meeting to face his angry constituents, writes Diane Gash, Socialist Party and HOOF.

10 February 2011

spotPortsmouth anti-cuts campaign presents an alternative

Lobby Outside Council Meeting: Portsmouth Against Cuts Together (PACT), the community group supported by the city’s trade union movement, presented an alternative budget to the council meeting, photo by Portsmouth Socialist Party

Lobby Outside Council Meeting: Portsmouth Against Cuts Together (PACT) presented an alternative budget to the council meeting, photo by Portsmouth Socialist Party

As Portsmouth City Council voted on Tuesday for a budget to make over £20 million worth of cuts, the only voice of opposition came from Portsmouth Against Cuts Together (PACT). An edited version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Socialist.

10 February 2011

spotScottish Unison members oppose leadership's sell-out

Social care workers on strike in Scotland, photo Duncan Brown

Social care workers on strike in Scotland, photo Duncan Brown

Just days before councils across Scotland meet to slash public services, the February meeting of Unison Scottish Council was presented with a paper for debate entitled The Public Sector Workforce Framework, writes A Scottish Unison member.

11 February 2011

spotMubarak goes: clear out the entire regime!

  • No trust in Suleiman or the military chiefs!
  • For a government of the representatives of workers, small farmers and the poor!
  • Immediate elections to a revolutionary constituent assembly supervised by committees of working and poor people and the youth!

14 February 2011

spotSocialist Party's Nick Chaffey attacks the Tory 'Big Society' on the BBC's The Big Question

Watch the Socialist Party's Southern region organiser get rounds of applause attacking the defenders of David Cameron's Big Society on Nicky Campbell's The Big Question.

14 February 2011

spotLife on the autistic spectrum

Autism, from the Society for Neuroscience brain briefings May 2006, copyright Society for Neuroscience

Autism, from the Society for Neuroscience brain briefings May 2006, copyright Society for Neuroscience

Readers' comments: AUTISM IS a neurological condition that was first identified in the 1940s. It statistically affects about one in 100 people in the UK alone (although I believe there are more autistics who haven't been diagnosed), writes Lucy Stokes.

15 February 2011

spotHundreds pack into Liverpool meeting against cuts

Tony Mulhearn speaking at a  public meeting organised by Liverpool Trades Council on Thursday 10 February, to debate the way forward against the cuts, photo Harry Smith

Tony Mulhearn speaking at a public meeting organised by Liverpool Trades Council on Thursday 10 February, to debate the way forward against the cuts, photo Harry Smith

Over 300 people packed into a public meeting organised by Liverpool Trades Council on Thursday 10 February, to debate the way forward against the cuts. An edited version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Socialist.

16 February 2011

spotLabour councillors' arguments refuted at People's Convention

At the People's Convention on 12 February, organised by the Right to Work campaign and the Labour Representation Committee, there was a debate on how councillors could fight the cuts, writes Jane James.

16 February 2011

spotGreenwich marches against brutal council cuts

200 trade unionists, community campaigners and service users marched in Greenwich borough, south London, against the local council's brutal cuts package, photo Lorraine Dardis

200 trade unionists, community campaigners and service users marched in Greenwich borough, south London, against the local council's brutal cuts package, photo Lorraine Dardis

On Saturday 12 February around 200 trade unionists, community campaigners and service users marched in Greenwich borough, south London, against the local council's brutal cuts package, writes Paul Callanan, Greenwich Save Our Services.

16 February 2011

spotThe Tories and the City

IT'S BEEN confirmed: they are all in it together. David Cameron and his Conservative Party receive the majority of their funding, not just from big business, but London's 'square mile' financial centre...

16 February 2011

spotPrivate tenants are the poor relations in housing

ROGUE PRIVATE landlords continue to put tenants' health and safety at risk. The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has said that around one million privately-let homes in England are dangerous...

16 February 2011

spotTuition fees increase spells misery for students: Build a united fightback!

Young people march for a future: Youth Fight for Jobs and Socialist Students on the 29 January London demonstration against education cuts, photo Senan

Young people march for a future: Youth Fight for Jobs and Socialist Students on the 29 January London demonstration against education cuts, photo Senan

Thousands of young people have had their hopes and aspirations dashed as more and more universities declare their intention to charge the full £9,000 a year tuition fees, writes Claire Laker-Mansfield, Youth Fight for Education.

16 February 2011

spotNews in brief

Hidden subsidies: There seems to be no limit to how much UK banks can gorge themselves on public funds. According to the New Economics Foundation, on top of the estimated £1 trillion shovelled into the black hole of the...

16 February 2011

spotConstruction Safety Campaign

Reviews: The recent deaths of four construction workers in an industrial accident in Great Yarmouth brought the British construction industry's appalling safety record to the headlines once again...

16 February 2011

spotMark Thomas: Extreme rambling

Mark Thomas's comedy is always original and his latest show is no exception. This time he recounts his experience of walking the length of the Israeli wall that imprisons the Palestinians of the West...

16 February 2011

spotRawmarsh teachers' action wins reprieve

After nine days of strike action taken over the last six weeks, National Union of Teachers (NUT) members at Rawmarsh Community School in Rotherham have won a reprieve in their fight against cuts and redundancies, writes Alistair Tice.

16 February 2011

spotNo to Cutts!

Nottinghamshire county council Unison is balloting for strike action against the Tory administration of councillor Kay Cutts, writes By a Unison member.

16 February 2011

spotUCU members prepare for battle on pensions and pay

Students came onto the streets in their thousands in the closing weeks of 2010 and university occupations sprung up all over the country, writes Dave Beale and Sarah Mayo (UCU, personal capacity).

16 February 2011

spotDefend the Four!

An employment tribunal has ruled that four Socialist Party members have been wrongfully barred from office in Unison...

16 February 2011

spotJoin the fightback against cuts!

Join the fightback against cuts!, photo by Paul Mattsson

Join the fightback against cuts!, photo by Paul Mattsson

Many think of the Con-Dems as bullies - inflicting the horrendous pain of cuts on millions of us - especially the most vulnerable, the young and the poor, writes Sarah Sachs-Eldridge.

16 February 2011

spotNSSN anti-cuts campaign demands councillors stand up to the Con-Dem axe!:

London anti-cuts demonstration jointly called by the NSSN, RMT, NUT, FBU, PCS and other unions, photo Paul Mattsson

London anti-cuts demo, photo Paul Mattsson

Press Release from the National Shop Stewards Network: The National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) anti-cuts campaign is to march to lobby Labour councillors on Saturday 5 March at Labour's local government conference and present a petition demanding that they refuse to vote for and implement the Con-Dem coalition's cuts...

16 February 2011

spotEgypt: What next after the overthrow of mubarak?

Egyptian demonstration honours those fallen in the revolution, photo CWI

Egyptian demonstration honours those fallen in the revolution, photo CWI

Following the dramatic overthrow of both the Tunisian and Egyptian dictators, protest movements have spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa as the working and poor masses seek to remove repressive regimes...

16 February 2011

spotEgypt - the revolution must go on

Mubarak is no more, relegated to "the dustbin of history". He was blown away by one of the greatest mass movements in history. An edited version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Socialist.

16 February 2011

spotHopes and fears in upcoming Irish election

Socialist Party leader Joe Higgins

Socialist Party leader Joe Higgins

Irish Socialist Party support increasing amongst working class
THE IMMINENT general election in the Irish Republic was called because the dominant coalition party - Fianna Fáil - collapsed out of office in utter disarray. Socialist Party reporters in Ireland write.

16 February 2011

spotReject 'TINA'- fight for socialism

Southampton workers protest

Southampton workers protest

What we think: The pages of the Socialist are bulging with reports from workers, young people and other service users who are organising to fight the cuts.
Con-Dem ministers and Labour councillors play the blame game. Councillors claim they have no choice but to axe vital services...

16 February 2011

spotAction across the country - fighting all council cuts

Around 80 protesters gathered outside the Leeds council executive meeting on Friday 11 February to protest against the planned loss of around 3,000 jobs and cuts to mental health and leisure services in the city...

16 February 2011

spotWorkplace news in brief

Tata steelworks cleaners' strike: Around 70 contract cleaners, working for OCS at the Tata Steelworks in Port Talbot, South Wales are taking part in two days of strike action in a dispute over pay...

16 February 2011

spotYouth unemployment figures leap up again to 965,000

Young people march for a future: Youth Fight for Jobs and Socialist Students on the 29 January London demonstration against education cuts, photo Senan

Young people march

Press release: Workers and students will demonstrate outside Connexions in Lewisham on Friday 18 March against youth unemployment and the closure of Connexions and Opening Doors.

16 February 2011

spotBritain 1911-1914: The great unrest - lessons for today

Knocking off at harland and Wolf shipyard

Knocking off at harland and Wolf shipyard

100 years ago the working class responded to the terrible conditions imposed on them by taking mass industrial action in what became known as the 'great unrest', writes Jim Horton.

16 February 2011

spotDefending jobs in South Wales

South Wales RMT signal workers on strike, pic Socialist Party Wales

South Wales RMT signal workers on strike, pic Socialist Party Wales

Trade unionists, community campaigners and young people from all over South Wales will descend upon Pontypridd on 19 January for a demonstration called by Unison, writes Jamie Davis, Vale of Glamorgan Unison, personal capacity.

16 February 2011

spotWorcester: end the cuts and the coalition!

On 12 February, 250 trade unionists and students marched through Worcester city centre in a trades union council protest against massive cuts, writes Sean McCauley, Worcester Socialist Party.

17 February 2011

spotWhere now for the Egyptian revolution?

Socialism Today March 2011,  Cartoon by Suz

Following hot on the heels of revolutionary events in Tunisia, the Egyptian masses took to the streets during 18 tumultuous days. PETER TAAFFE assesses the current critical situation and possible developments in Socialism Today magazine.

18 February 2011

spotDay of anger against cuts in Southampton

Council workers proptest at Southampton City Council's budget meeting

Council workers proptest at Southampton City Council's budget meeting

Tempers flared to a rendition of 'Build a Bonfire' as council workers stormed into the public gallery at Southampton City Council's budget meeting

18 February 2011

spotSupport the Remploy workers

Remploy workers rally against closure threat in 2007, photo Bob Severn

Remploy workers rally against closure threat in 2007, photo Bob Severn

Disabled factory workers at Remploy, the government funded manufacturing company, are considering taking strike action to defend their jobs. An edited version of this article appeared in The Socialist newspaper.

18 February 2011

spotVictory for Huddersfield anti-academy campaign

Huddersfield Youth Fight for Jobs march, photo Huddersfield YFFJ

Huddersfield Youth Fight for Jobs march, photo Huddersfield YFFJ

On Tuesday 15 February Kirklees council's cabinet was forced to abandon their preferred ambition to establish an academy at Fartown High School in Huddersfield by a highly successful campaign by local parents. An edited version of this article appeared in The Socialist newspaper.

19 February 2011

spot4 The family and women's oppression today

Today women work in unprecedented numbers outside of the home. In fact, in some of the developed capitalist countries they make up half or even a majority of the workforce. And this 'feminisation' of...

19 February 2011

spot2 The role of the family

The word 'family' comes from the Latin word 'familia' - meaning the total number of slaves belonging to one man. It's not just the word, however, that can be traced back to Roman slave society (an early form of class society) but many of the laws which have governed the family in capitalist society in Western Europe and elsewhere. In fact, most of the discrimination and oppression which women continue to experience today cannot be fully understood unless placed in that historical context.

19 February 2011

spot3 The family under capitalism

One of the most significant changes to the family as an institution, which in turn had an important effect on the position of women in society generally, came about as a consequence of industrialisation and the rise of capitalism...

19 February 2011

spotNotes

Notes to Part One, chapters one to four

19 February 2011

spotWomen and the Struggle for Socialism: Introduction

It doesn't have to be like this
Women and the Struggle for Socialism, by Christine Thomas
It doesn't have to be like this - What consequences will the economic crisis and its aftermath have for women?
Socialist Party publication, August 2010, 90 pages

19 February 2011

spotPart one A history of women’s oppression
1 Have women always been oppressed?

"Men have broad shoulders and narrow hips, and accordingly they possess intelligence. Women have narrow shoulders and broad hips. Women ought to stay at home; the way they were created indicates this,...

19 February 2011

spotPart two: Strategies for change
1. 'Liberal' feminism

So what methods need to be employed in order to achieve women's libera¬tion? Throughout the history of the struggle for women's rights, different analyses of the causes of women's oppression have given...

19 February 2011

spot2. Socialism

In a socialist society the means of producing wealth would be transferred from the hands of an unelected elite, concerned only with making a profit, to the democratic control of ordinary working people...

19 February 2011

spot3. What happened in Russia?

Alexandra Kollontai was a member of the Bolsheviks, the party which in 1917 led a revolutionary mass movement of workers and peasants to overthrow capitalism and landlordism and introduced a workers' state in Russia...

19 February 2011

spot4. Class and identity

What role will women play in the struggle for socialism today? Socialists and Marxists believe that the working class is the only force capable of leading the struggle to fundamentally change society...

19 February 2011

spot5. Ideological Backlash

The collapse of the women's movement dealt a blow to the idea of collective struggle against discrimination and oppression...

19 February 2011

spot6. Moving into struggle

Historically women have moved into struggle in many different ways and working-class women, because of the double oppression which they face, are potentially some of the most determined fighters...

21 February 2011

spotNo return to the 1930s!

Restaging of Jarrow March for Jobs on 75th anniversary: October 2011 will mark the 75th anniversary of the Jarrow march against unemployment

22 February 2011

spotDevon anti-cuts alliances oppose callous Tory cuts

On Thursday 17 February, Devon county councillors voted on a budget which would slash £54 million from services, including support for abused women, youth services and public transport

22 February 2011

spotAnger as Warwick and Coventry councils vote for £59 million of cuts

Socialist Party councillor Dave Nellist addresses anti-cuts lobby of Coventry council

Video of Dave Nellist, Socialist Party councillor, addresses anti-cuts lobby of Coventry council

Tuesday 15 February saw a heightened day of struggle for the anti-cuts movement in Coventry and Warwickshire

22 February 2011

spotRegion-wide revolution of the Arab people

Protests in Libya

Protests in Libya

"Ten days that shook the world" (Guardian). From Tunisia, to Egypt, to Bahrain, to Libya, to Yemen, to Djibouti and Morocco, the revolution that was sparked by the self-immolation of the desperate and heroic street seller in Tunisia has erupted throughout the Middle East. An edited version of this article appeared in The Socialist newspaper.

23 February 2011

spotOpposing all cuts: Thousands march across England and Wales

Lewisham protest against cuts, photo by Chris Flood

Lewisham protest against cuts, photo by Chris Flood

What we think: Cuts-making councillors must be challenged:
Barclays Bank made £11.6 billion in profits in 2009 and paid just 1% of that in UK corporation tax...

Demonstration reports from Bristol, Hackney, Hillingdon, Shrewsbury, Waltham Forest, Lewisham and Rhondda Cynon Taff

23 February 2011

spotWelfare Bill - Tories launch assault on the vulnerable

Workers and their families marched to Trafalgar Square on the trade union backed Save the Welfare State and Public Services demo, called by the National Pensioners Convention , photo Paul Mattsson

Workers and their families marched to Trafalgar Square on the trade union backed Save the Welfare State and Public Services demo, called by the National Pensioners Convention , photo Paul Mattsson

JANE IS in her 40s. Arthritis, heart disease, constant pain and a host of other problems led to her early retirement. She lives on benefits - primarily Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for her care and...

23 February 2011

spotYouth unemployment: No return to the 1930s!

THE LATEST figures show youth unemployment rose by 66,000 in the three months to last December. This means that more than 20% of 16-24 year olds are currently unemployed, a new record. As more central...

23 February 2011

spotScotland: defending teachers' jobs

"Let me say clearly to Renfrewshire Council. If you attempt to replace teachers with untrained staff then we will take our children out of school." These words, by Stephen Wright, chair of Renfrewshire...

23 February 2011

spotBalham: NUT strike against academies

On 16 February teachers at Chestnut Grove School in Balham, Wandsworth, south London, went on strike to show their opposition to the school becoming an academy, writes Martin Powell-Davies, Lewisham NUT branch secretary and NUT executive.

23 February 2011

spotCouncil workers face pay freeze

Local government employers are imposing another year's pay freeze on local authority workers. They are also saying they can't afford to give the paltry £250 one-off payment for public sector workers...

23 February 2011

spotDefend victimised union reps

Civil service union PCS activists rallied in London on 15 February against the politically motivated sacking of key union officers...

23 February 2011

spotHousing - no trust in private investors

THE NATIONAL conference of Labour councillors will discuss housing policy on 5 March. This is at a time when council services are being decimated, benefits slashed and policy changes introduced that would...

23 February 2011

spotManchester council's special pleading petition

IT'S AMAZING, isn't it, the lengths some councils will go to in avoiding a real battle with the government, writes Paul Gerrard, Salford.

23 February 2011

spotPublic services: Not For Sale!

200 trade unionists, community campaigners and service users marched in Greenwich borough, south London, against the local council's brutal cuts package, photo Lorraine Dardis

200 trade unionists, community campaigners and service users marched in Greenwich borough, south London, against the local council's brutal cuts package, photo Lorraine Dardis

It's official - the Con-Dems' cuts aren't a one off - they are after everything we've got!, writes Rob Williams, NSSN anti-cuts campaign, convenor.

23 February 2011

spotVictory in Renfrewshire and Welfare Reform unmasked

Following a huge mobilisation of parents, teachers and the community the SNP-led Renfrewshire Council have been forced to back down over planned cuts to teachers jobs

23 February 2011

spotFast News

As youth unemployment neared the one million mark and as the official inflation rate hit 4% (while many workers are effectively suffering pay cuts), champagne corks were popping in the City bars as investment bankers celebrated their share of Barclays Group's £3.4 billion bonus pot...

23 February 2011

spotLewisham by-election: back the socialist alternative

UNDER THE banner "Don't vote for cuts, vote for Ian Page" the Socialist Party launched its campaign in the Bellingham ward council by-election on 24 March in Lewisham, south east London...

23 February 2011

spotHands off our future!

No to cuts! Youth Fight for Jobs demonstration, photo by Suzanne Beishon

No to cuts! Youth Fight for Jobs demonstration, photo by Suzanne Beishon

The government has an entire generation in its sights. It is determined to price working class young people out of education. It has voted to triple tuition fees to £9,000 a year, savage funding to universities...

23 February 2011

spotMarch for Jobs October 2011

75 years since the Jarrow march: Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) will be marching from Jarrow, South Tyneside to London in October this year to demand action from the government as youth unemployment nears one million...

23 February 2011

spotProtesters force delay of Leeds council's budget setting

Around 150 anti-cuts protesters lobbied Leeds City Council's budget setting meeting on Wednesday 23 February. A mood grew to carry out a sit-in inside the council chamber

24 February 2011

spot"No ifs, no buts, don't vote for Tory cuts!" say Lambeth protesters

Rob Williams, National Shop Stewards Network anti-cuts convenor, addresses protesters, photo Lambeth  Socialist Party

Rob Williams, National Shop Stewards Network anti-cuts convenor, addresses protesters, photo Lambeth Socialist Party

A little bit of Wisconsin came to Brixton last night as over 100 protesters invaded Lambeth Council's budget meeting after a lobby of about 300 local people

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