Solidarity 133, 5 June 2008

S&M isn’t a crime!

Submitted by AWL on 6 June, 2008 - 12:10 Author: Cath Fletcher

Despite opposition from anti-censorship campaigners, on 9 May a new ban on “violent pornography” came into force. This wide-ranging ban not only criminalises photos of genuine consensual S&M sex, but also “realistic” illustrations, pictures posed by models and computer-generated images. The penalty for possessing banned material is up to three years in jail and entry on the Sex Offenders Register.

First black US President?

Submitted by AWL on 6 June, 2008 - 12:08 Author: Sacha Ismail

Barack Obama's clinching of the Democratic presidential nomination raises a variety of issues for socialists.

On one hand, we should not be afraid to admit that the nomination of a black man for president represents a certain kind of social progress. This is particularly the case in a society as sodden with racism as the United States, in which a young black man is more likely to end up in prison than college and where most black people were denied the most elementary civil and political rights only a few decades ago.

Back to Old Labour? No

Submitted by AWL on 6 June, 2008 - 11:55 Author: Martin Thomas

According to the Daily Mail, “the GMB trade union has already taken the extraordinary step of discussing at its last executive council meeting whether its two representatives on Labour's ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) should be indemnified against financial loss in the event Labour goes bankrupt”.

Opposing Heathrow expansion

Submitted by AWL on 6 June, 2008 - 11:51 Author: Robin Sivapalan

Over three thousand people opposed to Heathrow expansion marched on Saturday 31 May from Hatton Cross to Sipson, the village which would be destroyed were a third runway to be built. We were spared the travesty of Boris Johnson leading the march, though some near the front endured a dreary letter of solidarity from Archbishop Rowan Williams, who also couldn’t attend.

Activist attacked by far-right thugs

Submitted by AWL on 6 June, 2008 - 11:48

A supporter of Education Not for Sale in Huddersfield was attacked by the far right on Friday morning on her way to work. The comrade has been campaigning to no-platform the BNP at her campus and has obviously been targeted. They knew her name and route to work.

We need to make it clear to the far right that the comrade is not isolated. They cannot get away with targeting people who stand up to them. Publicise this in union branches, student organisations and anti-fascist groups.

Education Not for Sale relaunched

Submitted by AWL on 6 June, 2008 - 11:46 Author: Sofie Buckland,

Despite the exam season, about 75 activists attended "Reclaim the Campus", a conference sponsored by Education Not for Sale on 17 May. There were workshops on marketisation, NUS democracy and fighting climate change, but the event was dominated by motions debate and the election of an ENS committee.