Solidarity 301, 25 October 2013

Mark Duggan and the disappearing gun Matthew Fri, 10/25/2013 - 20:05

Witnesses at the inquest into Mark Duggan’s shooting by police have contradicted the version of events provided by police.

The inquest has been set up to establish the facts around the killing of Mark Duggan by police in Tottenham in 2011. The killing sparked a protest then a riot in Tottenham, leading into nationwide rioting on a scale unseen in the UK for decades.

Postal workers set to strike on 4 November

Submitted by Matthew on 25 October, 2013 - 8:02

Postal workers will strike on 4 November in the Communication Workers Union’s first national strike since 2009.

The immediate industrial fight is over workplace issues including pensions, but the wider context is the fight against the privatisation of Royal Mail.

Postal workers should seek maximum coordination and joint support with other striking unions, including joint demonstrations, rallies, and mutual picket line support.

Probation workers in the NAPO union also recently voted by an 84.4% majority for strikes, and could join the autumn strike wave.

Autumn's mini strike wave Matthew Fri, 10/25/2013 - 19:29

October and November 2013 saw and will see a flurry of strikes in a variety of sectors.

Higher Education workers will strike on 31 October, postal workers will strike on 4 November. School teachers struck regionally on 27 June, 1 October, and 17 October.

Members of Unite, UCU and Unison on university campuses will be striking on 31 October in a dispute over pay, following an offer of just 1% from management and a real-terms pay cut of 13% over the past four years.

Unions rally around sacked organiser Matthew Fri, 10/25/2013 - 18:40

A mailing was sent out last week to all Trades Union Councils in Scotland, calling on them to adopt policy condemning the dismissal of Stan Crooke as the Transport Salaried Staffs Association’s (TSSA) Scottish Regional Organiser and demanding his reinstatement.

The TSSA is a small union mainly based on the railways ,with 22,000 members (but four Assistant General Secretaries). Stan Crooke was summarily dismissed in July of this year, although he was not informed of the outcome of his appeal until September.

Thailand: free Somyot, free all political prisoners! Matthew Fri, 10/25/2013 - 18:37

Somyot Pruksakasemsuk, a long time left-wing union and democracy activist in Thailand, has been in prison since 30 April 2011 and faces a further ten years jail under the repressive “lèse majesté” law.

Doctors of the Dark Side Matthew Fri, 10/25/2013 - 18:28

Levels of violence in human societies have fallen drastically since Stone Age times, as shown by Steven Pinker in his excellent but gruelling exposition The Better Angels of Our Nature (Penguin, 2011).

Cultural Exchange Matthew Fri, 10/25/2013 - 18:23

An extract from “Cultural Exchange”, by Langston Hughes, from Ask Your Mama (1961).

Dreams and nightmares!

Nightmares, dreams, oh!

Dreaming that the Negroes

Of the South have taken over—

Voted all the Dixiecrats

Right out of power—


Martin Luther King is Governor of Georgia,

Dr. Rufus Clement his Chief Adviser,

A. Philip Randolph the High Grand Worthy.

In white pillared mansions

Sitting on their wide verandas,

Wealthy Negroes have white servants,

Why I joined Workers' Liberty Matthew Fri, 10/25/2013 - 18:21

Two years ago, on 15 October 2011, was the date when a certain plan went into action. About 45 of us, who had mostly never met before, and with varying degrees of experience, had come together to organise around an idea.

That idea was simple: “Occupy the London Stock Exchange”, and join in action that was occurring around the world. I don't think any of us could have predicted the impact it would have.

Before Occupy came along, I had mostly been an armchair activist, reading a lot of Chomsky, watching a lot of lectures, and going to the odd demonstration.