Solidarity 357, 18 March 2015

Bangladesh left slams Islamist murder AWL Wed, 03/18/2015 - 12:19

Badrul Alam from the Communist Party of Bangladesh (Marxist-Leninist) spoke to Solidarity about the murder on the streets of Dhaka of the US writer of Bangladeshi background, Avijit Roy.

It is clear that Roy was killed by fundamentalists because there were similar cases in 2004, when a professor from Dhaka University, Humayun Azad, was murdered.

Extremist groups admitted killing Azad, because they held him to be an atheist.

Reverse, not slow, the cuts! AWL Wed, 03/18/2015 - 12:14

Solidarity went to press before George Osborne's pre-election Budget on 18 March. All the signs were that Osborne would follow up his 3 December autumn statement with a few tax cuts, mainly for the well-off.

The autumn statement projected further social cuts estimated by the conservative Institute for Fiscal Studies to total £55 billion over the next five years, more than the £35 billion slashed since 2010.

Osborne has already said he wants £12 billion further welfare cuts.

Political change in Israel? AWL Wed, 03/18/2015 - 12:10

As we go to press Israel's current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his party Likud, are neck-and-neck with the opposition in exit polls from Israel’s 17 March election.

The election was turned into a dramatic national referendum on the future of Israel when Netanyahu ruled out the establishment of a Palestinian state, saying: “I think that anyone who moves to establish a Palestinian state and evacuate territory gives territory away to radical Islamist attacks against Israel.” He also promised to build more settlements in occupied east Jerusalem.

Industrial news in brief AWL Wed, 03/18/2015 - 12:02

Pat Hutton, GMB rep at Queen Elizabeth Hospital where workers have been on strike to win the same terms and conditions as in-house workers, spoke to Solidarity.

"Since our last strikes at Christmas, GMB has been going round hospitals where they recruited scabs — in Liverpool, Coventry, Westminster, Chelsea, Kingston — organising to stop it.

A lot of the scabs were casuals and didn’t know what was going on. With the help of GMB in those places we put a stop to it.

Universities, capitalism and free speech

Submitted by AWL on 18 March, 2015 - 11:19

For centuries, university campuses have been, relatively speaking, a haven within capitalist society for free debate and criticism.

A high point, for much of the 20th century, was the right which universities in Latin America won to keep the police off their campuses and have university officials elected by staff and students. That began with the University Reform Movement in Córdoba, in northern Argentina, which opposed a focus on learning by rote, inadequate libraries, poor instruction, and restrictive admission criteria, and spread across the subcontinent.

No truth without freedom! AWL Wed, 03/18/2015 - 11:03

Karl Marx wrote in favour of free speech, free criticism, and free expression in these passages of an article of February 1843, “Comments on the latest Prussian Censorship Instruction”

“According to this law,” namely, Article II, “the censorship should not prevent serious and modest investigation of truth, nor impose undue constraint on writers, or hinder the book trade from operating freely.”

Rights for migrants! Workers' unity! AWL Wed, 03/18/2015 - 10:51

As we go to press on 17 March, up to 300 detainees at the Harmondsworth immigrant removal centre near London are reported on hunger strike.

And detainees at up to seven other centres, out of Britain’s eleven holding about 3,000 people at any one time, have joined the protest for shorter or longer spans of time.

Because of the conditions in the centres, it is hard to know exactly what the detainees’ demands are, but reports include calls for:

•cancellation of a deportation flight to Pakistan

•a 28-day limit on detention

Fascists are reorganising and regrouping AWL Wed, 03/18/2015 - 10:37

Solidarity spoke to a member of Sheffield anti-fascist network.

What state are the EDL in and what are they up to?

Attendance at EDL demos has been slowly declining for a few years, apart from a spike in interest after Lee Rigby was killed in Woolwich. They seem to have flatlined at about 300-500 turnout at each demo.

What election? AWL Wed, 03/18/2015 - 10:30

It turns out that there’s going to be an election soon.

But if you’ve been reading the Daily Mail exclusively over the last couple of weeks you might not know that. They seem to be very disinclined to mentioning it.

This, let us not forget, is quite a big one; we’re definitely going to get a new government of some form. Search the Mail’s online presence as much as you like; there’s barely a hint. Why is this? Maybe they’re holding back for a big push for Cameron nearer the time? Maybe they're torn between UKIP and the Tories?