Frontline

Help the Kurds against ISIS!

Author: 

Simon Nelson

Kurds and their supporters demand that the Kurdish Peshmerga, YPG (People’s Protection Units) and other militia be armed with heavy weapons, armour-piercing bullets and tanks in order to resist the ISIS ultra-Islamists who threaten them with massacre in Kobane (near Syria's border with Turkey) and elsewhere.

Kurds demand that the Peshmerga, YPG and other militia be armed with heavy weapons, armour-piercing bullets and tanks to resist the ISIS ultra-Islamists who threaten them with massacre in Kobane near Syria's border with Turkey.

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Kurdistan/Middle East solidarity bulletin for 18 October TUC demo

Workers' Liberty has worked with Iraqi Kurdish socialists active in the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees to produce a bulletin for the 18 October TUC demo, appealing for solidarity with our sisters and brothers in the Middle East.

It includes details of upcoming solidarity meetings and actions, campaign info, model motions for unions and campaign groups, an IFIR appeal for funds for aid, and political background on the Kurdish struggle.

Workers' Liberty has worked with Iraqi Kurdish socialists to produce a bulletin for the 18 October TUC demo, appealing for solidarity with our sisters and brothers in the Middle East.

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Hong Kong social workers versus the police

Author: 

Andrew Casey

Hundred of members and supporters of the Hong Kong General Social Workers Union last night marched onto the Hong Kong police HQ.

They were there to protest the treatment of Ken Tsang a prominent HKGSWU member, a political activist, who works with street kids and was bashed by police during democracy protests earlier in the day.

Protest at police brutality restarts democracy movement.

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"It is the Kurdish people fighting, but this is a much bigger issue": interview with Roza Salih

Roza Salih, who is Vice President Diversity & Advocacy at University of Strathclyde Students' Association in Glasgow and NUS Scotland's International Students' Officer, has been organising protests in solidarity with the Kurdish struggle. She spoke to Solidarity.

An interview with Glasgow-based Iraqi Kurdish student activist Roza Salih about the struggle in Kurdistan.

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Italian students lead the way against Renzi

Author: 

Hugh Edwards

Friday 10 October saw the first mass national protest against the latest reactionary reform of the Italian educational system introduced by the goverment of Matteo Renzi.

Friday 10 October saw the first mass national protest against the latest reactionary reform of the Italian educational system introduced by the goverment of Matteo Renzi.

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The rich up 15%, the rest down

Real wages in the public sector went down 15% between 2008 and 2013. Across the economy real wages have fallen by 8.2%.

Across the economy the average wage rise last year, concentrated in manufacturing and financial services, was just 2% in money terms. Price inflation was 2% (CPI) or 2.7% (RPI). Over half of the wage rises were below RPI. In a sample survey of wage settlements for six million workers between August 2013 and August 2014, 13% faced a wage freeze and only 8.3% had a wage rise above 3%.

Real wages in the public sector went down 15% between 2008 and 2013. Across the economy real wages have fallen by 8.2%.

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What is Ebola virus, where does it come from?

Author: 

Les Hearn

From a scary but rare problem, Ebola Virus has exploded into public consciousness as a real disaster in West Africa and a potential threat to anywhere else connected by any means of travel.

The problem has been exacerbated by the lack of local health care infrastructure, distrust of aid agencies and lack of help from the richest countries. Where has the virus come from and why is it now such a problem?

From a scary but rare problem, Ebola Virus has exploded into public consciousness as a real disaster in West Africa and a potential threat to anywhere else connected by any means of travel.

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Next steps in Hong Kong

Author: 

Chen Ying in Hong Kong

The protest movement in Hong Kong has been forced to retreat in the face of orchestrated violent attacks by Beijing-funded triad gangs, with the complicity of the police force.

The gangs began their attack in Mong Kok, a high density urban working class district with a high concentration of organized crime.

The spontaneous occupation of Mong Kok on 29 September — in response to the deployment of teargas — was initially hugely successful and took the police completely by surprise.

The protest movement in Hong Kong has been forced to retreat in the face of orchestrated violent attacks by Beijing-funded triad gangs, with the complicity of the police force.

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Local government and tube strikes called off: organise to return to action

Author: 

Gemma Short

Unison has voted to call off planned strike action for October 14.

GMB and Unite swiftly followed in calling off their strike.

It is believed that the Local Government Association [the employers association for local government] made an offer similar to the proposal proposed earlier last week (for more detail, see here), but with perhaps some small concessions.

Local government unions have called off planned action on October 14. The RMT has also called off planned action on the Tube on 14-16 October.

Trade Unions: 

Inside Islam

Author: 

Matt Cooper

With the Trojan Horse controversy in Birmingham’s schools and press concern about Muslims travelling to fight with Sunni Muslim militias in Syria and northern Iraq, suggestions of “extremism” amongst British Muslims have become a staple public discussion. Innes Bowen’s well researched book on the organisations and ideologies of British Islam puts this into a clear context.

Review of Innes Bowen's Medina in Birmingham, Najaf in Brent: Inside British Islam.

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Support the Kurds! Resolution for trade union branches

The Central Line East branch of the RMT union has passed this motion in support of the Kurds. Could your union branch pass it too, or a version of it?


Support the Kurds!

1. We strongly oppose "Islamic State" and its attack on the mainly-Kurdish city of Kobani, Syria.

2. We support the Kurds of Kobani - including the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Women's Brigades - in their valiant fight; we support their right to resist attack and to ask for help in doing so.

The Central Line East branch of the RMT union has passed this motion in support of the Kurds. Could your union branch pass it too, or a version of it?

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Syrian Kurds face ISIS massacre

Author: 

Simon Nelson

Tuesday 7 October: Forces of the “Islamic State” movement (ISIS) have entered the Kurdish city of Kobani on the Syrian-Turkish border.

After taking a hill commanding the city on 5 October, ISIS has now begun to enter at ground level.

Kobani had taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees and was touted at one time as a safe haven for those escaping IS.

Forces of the “Islamic State” movement (ISIS) have entered the Kurdish city of Kobani on the Syrian-Turkish border.

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Hong Kong workers strike for democracy

Author: 

Charlotte Zalens

Democracy protests in Hong Kong are escalating, and the state has responded with severe police repression and brutality.

The protests are against limitations on candidates for a 2017 election, by universal suffrage, for the next Hong Kong Chief Executive.

All candidates will be vetted by a nominating committee composed largely of Beijing loyalists, making it impossible for genuine radicals and democrats to stand.

Democracy protests in Hong Kong are escalating, and the state has responded with severe police repression and brutality.

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The fly in China's ointment

Author: 

Chen Ying

The current wave of protest has spread like wildfire from the Admiralty area, where the administration centre of the Hong Kong government is located, to Wanchai, Central and Causeway Bay areas on Hong Kong Island, and to Mongkok in the centre of Kowloon.

In short, the major roads of HK's financial district and all key urban areas with the highest population density is occupied 24 hours around the clock by protestors.

Chen Ying reports from Hong Kong (30 September).

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E15 mums lead housing battle

Author: 

Michael Johnson

Activists from the Focus E15 campaign have occupied an empty property on the Carpenters Estate to highlight the mismatch between the empty homes there and Newham's growing waiting list for social housing.

The campaign started after last year's funding cuts by Labour-run Newham Council, with a group of young mothers fighting eviction from their homes at a hostel.

Activists from the Focus E15 campaign have occupied an empty property on the Carpenters Estate to highlight the mismatch between the empty homes there and Newham's growing waiting list for social housing.

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British MPs vote on whether to recognise Palestine

Author: 

Ed Whitby

On Monday 13 October, MPs will be given the opportunity to debate and vote on recognising the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel.

The motion, proposed by left Labour MP Grahame Morris, is an attempt to put some teeth onto the stated aim of this and previous governments of a two-state settlement.

On 13 October, Parliament will vote on whether to recognise Palestine as an independent state.

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Local government pay: An indecent proposal

Author: 

Ruth Cashman

This week local government workers received details of the “proposal” (not a formal offer) from the employers’ side in the national pay dispute in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The proposal is a two year pay settlement of 2.2%, paid nine months late (on 1 January 2015) with an unconsolidated lump sum paid in December 2014 (an unconsolidated lump sum is an amount of money paid separately from salary or wages which doesn’t increase your pay in the long run).

Break down of what the government "proposal" on local government pay would mean for workers.

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After Scottish shock, reshape Britain!

Author: 

Editorial

Scotland is not settled. The whole British political system has been unsettled.

The majority on 18 September against separation — 55 to 45 per cent — was bigger than expected, and Solidarity is glad the vote went that way. We said “reduce borders, not raise them”.

But the Scottish National Party reports an influx of 10,000 new members. There is a storm on Twitter with the #45 hashtag, with which the 18 September percentage for separation spookily link their cause to the feudal-reactionary revolt of 1745, which started in Scotland.

Britain should become a democratic, federal republic.

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Control at the top, ferment below

Author: 

Martin Thomas

It was advertised in the Labour Party conference fringe guide as an NUT (National Union of Teachers) meeting with Tristram Hunt, the Labour shadow minister for education, but turned out to be something different and more interesting.

It started earlier than advertised in the guide. When I got there, the room was already full, with maybe 100 people. NUT deputy general secretary Kevin Courtney was there, but it was not an NUT meeting. It was an hoc event organised by an individual activist, Emma Hardy-Mattinson. And Hunt was not scheduled there.

There is more left-wing feeling in the Labour Party ranks than you’d guess from the very-controlled proceedings inside the Manchester Central conference centre.

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Neo-liberalism with a veneer of socialism

Author: 

A Labour conference delegate

There are some promising policies such as a rise in the minimum wage to £8, the scrapping of zero-hour contracts, repeal of the Social and Health care bill, reversal of the 50p tax cut, repeal of the bedroom tax and exclusion of the NHS from the EU-US trade agreement.

Labour Party policy in many areas echoes neo-liberal logic — personal responsibility, individualism and retreat of the government.

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