Plans for International Women's Day celebrations in Iran this year include a meeting of women's NGOs in Park Laleh in Tehran. Although the government has issued a permit for this protest, events in the last few days show the 'conservatives' keen to show their authority following the sham elections. A meeting of the 'Writers' Association' was banned, and reports from Tehran indicate that Islamic vigilantes are being used to enforce a more rigid form of hejab on women and young girls.
Solidarity 3/47, 4 March 2004
David Trimble's Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) has withdrawn from the British government-organised "review" of the six-year-old Good Friday Agreement. Trimble accuses Blair of "rank moral cowardice" for not expelling Sinn Fein from the review in reprisal for the recent attempt by the IRA to kidnap a man in central Belfast.
US, Canadian and French soldiers have moved into Haiti following the departure of the president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who fled into exile on Sunday 29 February. Aristide found shelter in the Central African Republic and later claimed he had been forced to leave.
- Can't work, must work
- Profits up, wages down
- Cashing in!
- Iraqi gold
- Hands off the US!
We begin our series on the 1984-5 miners' strike. We will follow the events, re-tell the story and reflect on the lessons.
1 March 1984: National Coal Board announces the closure of Cortonwood Colliery in Yorkshire and a cut back of 4 million tonnes of coal in the forthcoming year with a loss of 20,000 jobs. South Yorkshire miners go on unofficial strike.
I was going to entitle this article "The French Galloway", but French comrades tell me that would be grossly unjust to Jean-Pierre Chevènement, the subject of the article.
Chevènement was a member of the Socialist Party and president of the Franco-Iraqi Friendship Society from 1985. In 1991 he resigned his post as Defence Minister - he would surely have been sacked otherwise - because he opposed the US war against Iraq in that year, which the French government supported.
The Russian presidential elections take place on 14 March. None of the candidates are even remotely on the left. Vladimir Putin, the current president, will win. The other six candidates may gather 25% of the votes between them. Who are these people?
One of the most surprising aspects of the discussions on the left about the Respect coalition is the extent of the reaction to the SWP's decision to drop the demand for MPs "on a worker's wage".
In principle, revolutionary socialists would not necessarily let their own commitment to a worker's wage for MPs stop them forming limited agreement for some common action in the class struggle with Labour MPs who rejected that idea.
From the Organisation for Women's Freedom in Iraq
In January 2004 an Islamic militia group called Jaish Alsahaba, "Army of Sahaba", sent an email containing a death threat against Yanar Mohammed, chairperson of the Organisation of Women's Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) and editor of the Al Mousawat (Equality) newspaper.
The US-appointed Interim Governing Council of Iraq has a agreed a "fundamental law" which establishes a temporary constitution, designed to enable the occupation Coalition Provisional Authority to hand over sovereignty to an Iraqi government at the beginning of July this year. The law says that elections will be held by the end of 2004 or early in 2005.