Solidarity 050, 20 April 2004

Iraq: stop the massacres!

By Clive Bradley

"There is a man, face down, in a white dishdash, a small round red stain on his back... As we reach to roll him onto the stretcher Dave's hand goes through his chest, through the cavity left by the bullet that entered so neatly through his back and blew his heart out. There is no weapon in his hand. Only when we arrive, his sons come out, crying, shouting. He was unarmed, they scream. He was unarmed. He just went out the gate and they shot him... No one had dared come to get his body, horrified, terrified, forced to violate the traditions of treating the body immediately... He was unarmed, 55 years old, shot in the back." (From a report by Jo Wilding from inside the city of Fallujah, 13 April 2004 - describing the victim of an American sniper.)

Around the world: 

Publications: 

Fascist Le Pen to visit Birmingham: support the demo, not a ban!

By Joan Trevor

Jean-Marie Le Pen, leader of the French fascist party the Front National, is due to be guest of honour at a dinner hosted by Nick Griffin, leader of the fascist British National Party (BNP) in Birmingham on Sunday 25 April.

If the visit goes ahead, there will be a demonstration against the visit in Victoria Square at 3pm on Sunday afternoon.

Respect in Birmingham have called on the Chief Constable of the West Midlands to ban Le Pen's visit. Salma Yaqoob said:

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

Publications: 

Press gang: Rich pickings

By Lucy Clement

This week in the newspapers we have two new minor celebrities: the Sleazy Senorita and the Cheating PA.

The Senorita, Rebecca Loos, has, she says, been having a fling with the England football captain David Beckham. The tabloids have been hinting at some affair or other for months and Ms Loos has clearly decided to kiss, tell, and take the cash.

The Cheating PA, Joyti De-Laurey, nicked £4.3 million from her bosses' bank accounts. The first time she pulled the scam, Ron Beller and Jennifer Moses, top bankers at City firm Goldman Sachs, didn't even notice. The million she took was pocket money to them. In a single year Mr Beller spent £86,000 on personal travel and £17,000 on wine. The pair liked De-Laurey so much that when they quit they recommended her to the new managing director, Edward Scott Mead.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Publications: 

Labour-union link: False alarm for the CWU

Radio and TV news on 20 April claimed that the Labour Party had begun an "investigation" into the Communication Workers' Union (CWU), because its Scotland no.2 branch has decided to support the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP).


CWU head office sources, however, say they have received no communication from the Labour Party about it, and the Labour Party press office told Solidarity on 21 April that it is "an internal matter for the CWU".

Trade Unions: 

Publications: 

After the NUS elections, after the Higher Education Bill

The way forward for the student movement
Activists' forum called by the Campaign for Free Education

12-6pm Saturday 15th May
Westminster University Regent Street campus

Sessions include: Developing a manifesto for education * The way forward for the fight against fees * Students and internationalism * Building links with education trade unions

Speakers invited include Kat Fletcher (CFE co-chair & NUS President elect), John McDonnell MP, People & Planet, NATFHE.

Trade Unions: 

Publications: 

International caravan to save the lives of Colombian workers

From the Colombian trade union federation, CUT

In 2003, 78 trade unionists were killed in Colombia by paramilitary groups. Since the foundation of the Colombian Trade Union Federation (CUT), 3,800 trade unionists have died that way.

Around the world: 

Publications: 

"Third Camp" in Iraq

Over the last year, a rash of clashes between small groups of armed Iraqis and the US and its allies have taken a steady toll of occupying soldiers. In mid-April they gave way to to serious fighting in a number of Iraqi cities between US forces and large groups of the political-Islamist militia of Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shia cleric. The USA has simultaneously been fighting armed Sunni forces, some of which were linked to the Saddam regime.

Publications: 

US lurches into quagmire

By Clive Bradley

In Fallujah, an agreement has been reached between US representatives, the Interim Governing Council, and local civic authorities in which the US shortens the curfew, and allows proper access to the hospital, in return for insurgents handing over heavy weapons. Whether the local leaders who have brokered this agreement can hold the "mujahedin" to it remains to be seen. Part of the agreement is the re-establishment of the Iraqi police force, which collapsed at the beginning of the fighting - but this seems a tall order.

Around the world: 

Publications: 

Pages