NUS opposes religious obscurantist speaking at ESF - or does it?

Submitted by on 12 October, 2004 - 1:21

On Wednesday October 6th, the National Union of Students National Executive Committee overwhelmingly passed a motion proposed by AWL member Alan Clarke, stating that since Swiss academic Tariq Ramadan is an Islamist reactionary, NUS should oppose his invitation to speak at the European Social Forum.

Indymedia taken off line by FBI

Submitted by AWL on 11 October, 2004 - 8:35

On Thursday morning 7/10/04, US authorities issued a federal order to Rackspace ordering them to hand over Indymedia web servers to the requesting agency. Rackspace, which provides hosting services for more that 20 Indymedia sites at its London facility, complied and turned over the requested servers, effectively removing those sites from the internet. Since the subpoena was issued to Rackspace and not to Indymedia, the reasons for this action are still unknown to Indymedia. Read more here.

Solidarity with Iraqi workers! Anon Sat, 10/09/2004 - 00:21

By Martin Thomas

Iraq has a growing new labour movement — independent trade unions, unemployed movements, women’s organisations, and working-class political parties.

In oilfields, oil refineries, the railways, factories, and elsewhere, workers have organised trade unions and sometimes won victories by removing Ba’thist managers or improving wages.

Different strands in the Iraqi labour movement have sharp political differences between themselves. But all the main groups agree on two points:

ESF rogues' gallery - The SWP and George Galloway Anon Fri, 10/08/2004 - 22:17

The Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP) is the biggest left group in Britain. Earlier this year the SWP and some other socialists put a big effort into a Respect election campaign for the European Parliament (held on 10 June). The election campaign was organised around the politics and personality of George Galloway MP, a figure who will be prominent at the ESF. But was it left-wing? Does George Galloway deserve to be a hero of the left? Does the SWP’s self-submergence in Respect help socialist and anti-capitalist politics? Colin Foster says no.

Labour Party conference: Unions let Blair off Iraq hook Anon Fri, 10/08/2004 - 22:10

By a delegate to Labour Party conference

At this year’s Labour Party conference there were major debates on rail renationalisation and extending council housing. Both arose from “minority reports” coming out of the National Policy Forum (NPF).

What we say: Labour after Brighton Anon Fri, 10/08/2004 - 22:10

The Labour Party conference at Brighton reflected the political state Britain is in now. The question is: did it offer any way forward for the labour movement and the working class?

The simple answer is: no. The longer-term answer is: maybe.

The atmosphere now is one of chronic, prolonged, irresoluble political crisis. The Iraq war and its aftermath form the eye of the political storm that continues to rage around Tony Blair.

ESF rogues' gallery - Tariq Ramadan: not our ally

Submitted by Anon on 8 October, 2004 - 10:08

Tariq Ramadan is one of the top-billed speakers at the European Social Forum, appearing on a panel to present “Voices of resistance and alternatives from the global South”.

In fact Tariq Ramadan is not from “the global South”, but a professor in Switzerland. His Islamism, presumably, is supposed to authorise him to speak for “the South”.

This choice by the ESF organisers is a betrayal of Muslim socialists and democrats, and secular and non-religious people in mainly-Muslim countries and communities.

Keep taking the tablets? Anon Fri, 10/08/2004 - 22:08

By Mike Fenwick

A recent Panorama programme exposed the growing concerns over the procedures by which drugs are licensed for use in Britain.

It has been long known that the pharmaceutical industry and medicine have close links. You can’t go into many GP surgeries without noticing the free stationery, calculators, pens, “educational” posters and leaflets adorned with the logo of a particular drug or company.

Casual workers can organise! Anon Fri, 10/08/2004 - 21:51

December 2000 saw the first “hamburgrève” in Paris, when the young, mostly casual workers at the McDo (McDonald’s) restaurant on Boulevard Saint-Germain went on strike. The next fast food chain hit by worker unrest was Pizza Hut. A leading figure in these conflicts was Abdel Mabrouki, now aged 31.