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From The Socialist newspaper, 25 January 2007

Guinea general strike:

Workers brave regime's bullets

OVER 40 people have been killed by security forces since the trade unions launched a general strike on 11 January in the west African country of Guinea.

Some 30,000 workers demonstrated in Conakry on 22 January in support of the strike and an end to the rule of president Lansana Conté. Thousands more marched in regional towns. Police blocking the path of the marchers in Conakry gunned down over 20 demonstrators and injured a further 100.

However, the pressure of the general strike has prompted the President to release several trade union leaders who had been arrested and to investigate the shootings, in an attempt to negotiate an end to the strike.

The action - the third general strike in a year - is in protest at rising cost of living, unemployment, government corruption, and the reneging of the regime on agreements previously reached after the last strike.

One Conakry resident summed up the strikers' mood, saying: "There is bauxite, gold, diamonds in this country but we see nothing of it."

Conté has been in power for over 22 years following a coup in 1984. In addition to the suffering of workers and the poor, Conté has incensed the population by releasing from prison a leading figure jailed last year for embezzlement.

His regime controls most of the news media. Text messages on the state-owned network Sotelgui are being blocked to prevent trade unionists' communications.

The government has offered a few concessions to get the strike called off but these have been rejected by the trade unions.

Dave Carr

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In The Socialist 25 January 2007:

Striking to defend public services

Trade unions must give a lead


War and terrorism

Iraq: build for 24 February protest

'No to the US base'


Socialist Party news and analysis

Labour's super-rich friend

Behind the bonus bonanza

Save our school buses

Support the paper that fights for a socialist future


Big Brother

Big Brother viewers reject racist bullying

New Labour hypocrites wade into Big Brother row

Endemol defends racist abuse


Workplace news and analysis

Strike ballots show willingness to fight

British Airways in more battles with workforce

London Underground workers ballot for strike over pay


Socialist Party NHS campaign

NHS still needs national demo

New Labour leads the big-business assault

A socialist programme for the NHS


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

When will the bubbles burst?


Socialist Students

Join the national day of protest on 22 February

Building for the 22 February Day of Action


International socialist news and analysis

Sri Lanka: anti-war organiser attacked

Workers brave regime's bullets


 

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