Solidarity 202, 4 May 2011

Oppose deportations to Iran!

Submitted by Matthew on 4 May, 2011 - 12:40

Six Iranian refugees are now in their fifth week of a hunger strike to demand asylum in the UK and protest against mistreatment by the Home Office.

On Friday 6 May supporters will march to the Home Office in Westminster to demand fair treatment for refugees.

The six were tortured and imprisoned for their involvement in opposition to the Iranian regime. But despite clear evidence of this, the Home Office has refused to let them stay in the UK.

Syrian revolt at a turning point

Submitted by Matthew on 4 May, 2011 - 12:37

The confrontation between the Syrian police state and the popular movement is now in a decisive phase. Either the regime manages to use sufficient violence and terror to force the demonstrators off the streets, or the inability to do so fatally wounds it.

There are two preconditions for a step forward for the mass movement. Firstly, a continued willingness — despite the obscene, murderous violence of Syria’s rulers — to come out onto the streets and risk a massacre. Secondly, a serious split in the Syrian state machine.

Your chance to hear leaders of Egypt's new workers' movement speak in Britain

Submitted by Matthew on 4 May, 2011 - 12:34

On 19 and 20 May, leaders of Egypt's new, independent trade union movement will be speaking in Britain.

The Egyptian Revolution was prepared by groups of workers struggling to build independent trade unions - and since the fall of Mubarak, union organisation, workers' protests and strikes have spread like wildfire.

Hamas-Fatah agreement

Submitted by Matthew on 4 May, 2011 - 12:30

The Palestinian secular nationalist party, Fatah, has reached an agreement with the Islamists of Hamas to form an interim Palestinian government and to organise a general election.

The agreement goes alongside an Egyptian promise to open up the Egypt-Gaza border.

Speaking on Egyptian state television, Fatah central committee member Azzam al-Ahmad said the election would take place within a year.

Tunisia: we should push for a workers' government

Submitted by Matthew on 4 May, 2011 - 12:22

On 24 February there was the movement that we call here “Casbah 2” — more than 300,000 people demanding that Ghannouchi go. On 27 February Ghannouchi and the other Rally for Constitutional Democracy (RCD) ministers resigned.

Everybody demanded a “technocratic” government to lead the country “administratively”. But in my opinion the far left committed an error in demanding a “technocratic” government. The January 14th Front [a coalition of left groups] made the mistake of not advancing the demand for a workers’ and popular government.

30 June and after

Submitted by Matthew on 4 May, 2011 - 12:14

Teachers, civil servants, and other workers are set to strike on 30 June against the coalition government’s increases in pension contributions, cuts in pension provision, and raising of the pension age.

At Easter (22-26 April) the National Union of Teachers conference voted to ballot union members for a series of strikes. Other big public service union conferences are coming up soon. The civil service union PCS meets in Brighton on 16-20 May. Its Executive has already decided to ballot members on strike action, soon enough for them to join NUT on 30 June.

Anarchism, direct action and class struggle

Submitted by Matthew on 4 May, 2011 - 10:51

“A riot is the language of the unheard” (Martin Luther King)... Currently “direct action” seems to be used mechanically for any action outside the once standard, ignored, tedious and silent marches.

There is an important differentiation between vandalism and violence — neither of which ought necessarily be condemned — but the argument differs slightly.