Solidarity 037, 25 September 2003

Organise the union rank and file. Ditch Blair!

Support Iraqi workers; end the occupation
Rebuild the health service; no two-tier NHS
Scrap anti-union laws
Free education

Things are changing for the better in the labour movement. The election of new trade union leaders is beginning to impact on the Blair Labour Party, to which most of those unions with new leaders are affiliated, though the left-led civil service union PCS is a notable exception.

Trade Unions: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

An Open Letter to Alan Thornett of the International Socialist Group

In an article in the last issue of Resistance, which has also been put out as a separate four-page pamphlet, you write: "the AWL position on working with Muslim people [emphasis added] is dreadful and their position on George Galloway is scandalous. But such positions can only be challenged and marginalised politically. Organisational means [meaning such things as the SWP attempt at the Socialist Alliance conference to deprive the AWL of representation on the Executive of the SA] are not only wrong - they are counter-productive."

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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The delusion of 100 years?

Blair's "speech" to the trade union leadership during TUC conference - the written version of it circulated to the press - laid it hard on the line. That Blair's administration should act like a left-wing government is, he told them, simply ruled out. Return to a Labour Party seriously influenced by the unions was, he insisted, fantasy.

"The idea of a left wing Labour Government as the alternative to a moderate and progressive one is the abiding delusion of 100 years of our party. We aren't going to fall for it again".

The delusion of 100 years?

Marxist Theory and History: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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"Roadmap" near collapse

By Martin Thomas

On 20 September, six thousand demonstrators from Israel's "Peace Now" movement rallied in Tel Aviv to demand Israeli withdrawal from the Occupied Territories and condemn Israel's policy of assassinating Palestinian leaders.

It was the day after the USA had joined with Israel and two tiny US client states to register the only four votes in the United Nations General Assembly against a motion calling on Israel not to carry out its announced plans to deport or kill Palestinian Authority president Yassir Arafat. The USA had already vetoed a similar resolution in the UN Security Council.

Around the world: 

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DSEI protests end in 144 arrests

Since the 1 September, 144 people have been arrested in protests against the Defence Systems and Equipment international arms fair (DSEi) that took place 9-12 September in East London.

Policing tactics have been condemned and Liberty have won the right to seek a High Court injunction over use of Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000; they have also offered to provide legal representation for anyone stopped or detained under this legislation. Bindmans solicitors are preparing challenges for people who have a serious list of complaints against police, including:

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Germany's Haider gets the boot

By Dirk Haarman

In August Ronald Schill, interior minister in Hamburg city-state, was sacked after he allegedly tried to blackmail Ole von Beust, the Christian Democratic mayor of the city whose party forms a coalition with Schill's own party. This was the political end of Germany's best-known rightwing populist politician, once dubbed Judge Merciless, and often compared with Joerg Haider of Austria.

Around the world: 

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Workers of the world: ROUND-UP

by Pablo Velasco

  • Indonesian party fights for legal recognition
  • Hong Kong: Article 23 postponed
  • Korean unions to stand in parliamentary elections
  • Yale University strike
  • General strike in Bangladesh
  • Colombian Coca-Cola workers face the sack

Trade Unions: 

Around the world: 

Publications: 

Let Iraq's peoples rule themselves!

By Clive Bradley

At the end of May, less than a month after George W Bush had declared the war in Iraq officially over, US soldiers arrived in a poor, notoriously dangerous suburb of Baghdad offering to help the local people set up a council to run their affairs. On June 2, five local councillors were elected. One of them, Majid Muhammed Yousef, a Kurd, who topped the poll, told the International Occupation Watch Centre, that he had been reluctant to participate because he didn't trust the Americans: "It's like Palestine or Beirut," he said. "No one likes to see their country occupied."

Around the world: 

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