Solidarity 174, 27 May 2010

Fight cuts, reshape the labour movement!

Submitted by martin on 27 May, 2010 - 9:02 Author: Editorial

For the fight now coming against the Tory-Lib coalition government's cuts, we need to get the labour movement into different shape.

Individual local cuts can and will be defeated by one-off campaigns. A local campaign has recently defeated plans to close the Accident and Emergency unit at Whittington Hospital in north London.

That is good and important. But by itself it will only nibble at the edges of the £6 billion cuts announced on 24 May, and the much bigger cuts to be announced on 22 June. Maybe it will only shift cuts from one area to another.

Stop this free market in state schools!

Submitted by Matthew on 27 May, 2010 - 3:55 Author: Rosalind Robson

The government’s first Queen’s speech was a mixture of cuts (but just the first round), policy built on New Labour’s “legacy” and various concessions to the Lib-Dems — most of which had already formed the basis of the pre-nuptial agreement between the two coalition partners.

But the headline policy on schools reform, while being a logical step on from New Labour rule, was a giant step… towards a completely free market in state-funded education. And any imprint of historical opposition from the Lib Dems to such things as Academies was nowhere in evidence.

Workers news of the world

Submitted by Matthew on 27 May, 2010 - 3:36 Author: Ira Berkovic

Romania

40,000 Romanian workers took to the streets to protest against proposed wage cut, with union leaders threatening a general strike for May 31 unless the government backs down. Emile Boc, the country’s Prime Minister, has called the cuts (which aim to cut public sector pensions by 15% and public sector wages by 25%) “the only viable solution for the country’s future.” The IMF predicts that Romania’s current number of unemployed workers (750,000) could rise to 1,000,000 by the end of the year.

Turkey

Stop Racism and Fascism Network: doing things differently

Submitted by Matthew on 27 May, 2010 - 3:29 Author: Jack Yates

Representatives from anti-fascist and anti-racist campaigns in London, Stoke, Derby, Manchester, Liverpool and Nottingham met in early May for the first committee meeting of a new network of organisations determined to forge a “different” approach to combating the BNP and EDL.

Those organising in the new network have drawn the conclusion that the lack of democracy and the political choke-hold exercised upon existing anti-fascist networks is no longer tolerable and hinders effective action against fascists and racists.

BNP: when fascists fall out

Submitted by Matthew on 27 May, 2010 - 3:23 Author: Charlie Salmon

Kate’s not a very nice woman and neither is her boss. She spends her working hours raising money for an organisation that is ruled by fear. Kate knows that her boss is not to be messed with — his friends, associates and colleagues are “serious” people. So when she opens the mail one morning to find a picture of her boss holding a shotgun, Kate knows it will not be a good day.

David Rovics: the remembering tradition

Submitted by Matthew on 27 May, 2010 - 2:49 Author: Tom Unterrainer

Tom Unterrainer went to listen to David Rovics singing his songs.

I remember Warsaw

We stood side by side

The Star of David flew above the ghetto

There we lived and there we died

“I remember Warsaw”, David Rovics

American radical culture has suffered a number of notable losses of late. Most recently Howard Zinn, and before him Utah Phillips, Kurt Vonnegut and Studs Terkel have passed from the scene of the living, to be remembered by their words and music alone.

What has Europe ever done for us?

Submitted by Matthew on 27 May, 2010 - 2:39 Author: Vicki Morris

The revolutionary socialist left is avowedly internationalist. We base our actions on ideas such as these in the Manifesto of the Communist Party by Karl Marx:

“The Communists are further reproached with desiring to abolish countries and nationality.

“The workers have no country. We cannot take from them what they have not got. Since the proletariat must first of all acquire political supremacy, must rise to be the leading class of the nation, must constitute itself the nation, it is, so far, itself national, though not in the bourgeois sense of the word.

Thailand: assessing the "red shirts"

Submitted by Matthew on 27 May, 2010 - 2:12 Author: Paul Hampton

Ten weeks after they occupied the central district of Bangkok, the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), known as the red shirt movement, was repressed and driven out by the Thai army last week. Overall the Guardian (22 May) estimates that 83 people have been killed and 1,800 injured over the last few months.