Solidarity 030, 14 May 2003

Protest for Chinese workers' leaders

By Peter Burton
No Sweat is organising a picket of the Chinese consulate in Edinburgh to protest against the continued detention of two Chinese labour leaders, Yao Fuxin and Xiao Yunliang.
They have been detained since March 2002 for protesting against the non-payment of wages and benefits such as pensions to workers at the Ferro-Alloy factory in Liaoyang.
* The picket will take place on Tuesday 27 May, from 4.00 at 55 Corstorphine Road, Edinburgh. Bring your banners!

Chinese worker activists jailed

By Paul Hampton
Two leading worker activists have been jailed in China for helping organise some of the biggest protests in the country in the past 50 years.

Yao Fuxin and Xiao Yunliang led mass demonstrations last year in protest at unemployment and corruption in Liaoyang city involving 30,000 workers.

Good prospects for trade union work

By Riki Lane and Janet Burstall
The Socialist Alliance Australia conference, in Melbourne on 9-11 May, was very different to the English one.
Some highlights were greetings from construction union leader Martin Kingham, a reception organised by the Workers' First group in the big manufacturing union AMWU, and participation as a conference delegate by the central leader of Workers' First, Craig Johnston, who is currently facing jail for alleged "violent" industrial tactics.

Breakthrough in Scotland

By Angela Paton
The SSP made spectacular gains in the Scottish Parliament elections with six MSPs elected under the regional list system (a method of proportional representation). The Greens won seven seats. (There were 250,000 votes for the SSP and Greens in the list). Margo McDonald, former SNP, now independent, won, as did Dr Jean Turner, for the Save Stobhill Hospital campaign - who took the Labour-held constituency seat of Strathkelvin and Bearsden. Dennis Canavan was re-elected as an independent in Falkirk, with again the biggest majority in the Parliament. A pensioners' campaigner won a list seat in Central Scotland.

Burnley: BNP gains from Labour's failures

By Mark Catterall
"Burnley, BNP capital of Britain" proclaimed the Lancashire Evening Telegraph on 2 May. This was the day after the fascist British National Party (BNP) increased the number of council seats it holds in Burnley from three to eight, making the BNP the second largest party on the council. Labour remains the largest party on the council with 23 councillors. However Labour fielded 16 candidates in the election and got 8,784 votes, while the BNP fielded 13 candidates, receiving 8,545 votes.

An open letter to CPGB members

Recent changes in the so-called Communist Party of Great Britain have forced us to conclude that it is not a vehicle for the building of a revolutionary movement in Britain today. Many of these changes are abrupt and radical departures from the direction in which the organisation seemed to be going after its break in the mid-1990s from old-style Stalinist attitudes on what it called the "bureaucratic socialist" states and from vulgar "anti-imperialist" positions on Ireland and Israel-Palestine.