Solidarity 030, 14 May 2003

Protest for Chinese workers' leaders

Submitted by martin on 16 May, 2003 - 9:51

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

Submitted by martin on 16 May, 2003 - 9:49

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

Submitted by martin on 16 May, 2003 - 9:47

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.

Burnley: BNP gains from Labour's failures

Submitted by martin on 16 May, 2003 - 9:43

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.

"We owe George Galloway What the Trotskyists in 1940 Owed and Paid to Mosley's Blackshirts"

Submitted by martin on 16 May, 2003 - 9:36 Author: Sean Matgamna

"An injury to one is an injury to all" - and therefore socialists who opposed the recent Iraq war of the USA and UK should back George Galloway?

It was put like that by Nick Wrack, the mover of a resolution committing the Socialist Alliance to support Galloway which the Alliance conference passed by a big majority on Saturday 10 May, against the opposition of supporters of Solidarity.

The impulse to take such a stand is in itself healthy. So is the impulse not to "desert" Galloway. But serious politics is not just a matter of instinct.

An open letter to CPGB members

Submitted by martin on 16 May, 2003 - 9:24

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.

Parents and teachers tell Clarke: We don't want SATS

Submitted by martin on 16 May, 2003 - 9:22

Education Secretary Charles Clarke faced an audience of concerned and angry parents in his local constituency, Norwich, on 9 May, as he attempted to defend the Government's policy on testing and targets in schools.

Clarke admitted he hadn't expected such a large meeting at Parkside primary school. Perhaps he was under the impression that parents welcome their children being tested in more public examinations than any other children in Western Europe. Or that parents appreciate the results published in school performance League Tables. If so, he was about to learn the truth.