Solidarity 074, 2 June 2005

Where we stand

Today one class, the working class, lives by selling its labour power to another, the capitalist class which owns the means of production. Society is shaped by the capitalists' relentless drive to increase their wealth. Capitalism causes poverty, unemployment, the blighting of lives by overwork, imperialism, the destruction of the environment and much else.

Against the accumulated wealth and power of the capitalists, the working class's basic weapon is: solidarity.

European constitution - French “no” will not bring a better Europe

By Vicki Morris

The French electorate certainly gave president Jacques Chirac a bloody nose on 29 May when they rejected by 55% to 45% the proposed European constitution.

The no campaign in France was led by left-wingers, and most of the French (and British) left have welcomed the “no” victory. Sober judgement suggests they are wrong. The first result of the “no” victory may well be that Britain gets its opt-out from the EU’s 48 hour maximum working week extended...

Catholic Action: A rift in the Iron Curtain, by James P Cannon


James P Cannon

Trotskyist literature that deals head-on with organised religion is something of a rarity. Not so in the USA in the 1940s and 50s. The American "Orthodox Trotskyists" of the Socialist Workers Party published a stream of articles and a pamphlet denouncing the Cardinals, bishops and priests of the Catholic Church for their reactionary role in politics and American society. This article, by James Patrick Cannon, was one such attack. Reviewing a novel, Moon Gaffney, by Harry Sylvester, Cannon followed Sylvester in portraying the social and mental world of Catholic Irish-America.

A victory against slavery

By Steve Cohen, No One is Illegal

Victories in the struggle against immigration controls do not come easy or often. Usually the onward march of controls seems endless and remorseless. So we should treasure successes when they happen. And one such success has been against the YMCA.

A few months ago the “Y” agreed to pilot a scheme in Liverpool which amounted to collusion with the Home Office’s attempt to transform refugees into slave labourers by virtue of measures in the 2004 Asylum and Immigration Act.

New Labour’s moral panic

By Pat Murphy

Less than one month back in power, and New Labour has it sights on a fresh enemy. Popular opinion, so distrustful of politicians and leaders, is being encouraged to work out its frustration and discontent on a new public enemy number one. The latest anti-social scapegoat is…..young people.

A major London shopping centre (the Bluewater Centre) has banned the wearing of “hoodies” on the basis that some customers find groups of young males wearing them threatening.

Iraqi students organise

By Houzan Mahmoud, on behalf of the campaign to support students in Basra against Islamic repression

The first student congress since the US-led invasion will be held in Iraq on June 15th, 2005. Student committees set up in December last year have been working hard under extremely dangerous conditions to organise students and create a progressive student organization to defend the rights and freedoms of young people in Iraq.

Now mobilise NATFHE for links, not boycott!

By Mark Osborn

On 26 May, a special conference of the Association of University Teachers voted by a four-to-one majority to overturn the “targeted” academic boycott of Israeli universities which the regular conference of the union had narrowly agreed on a snap vote, without debate, in April.

However, the stance taken by the conference of the other lecturers’ union NATFHE the following weekend suggests that the issue — and the need for a campaign on it — is not going to go away.

Democracy in Egypt? Not yet!

By Mike Rowley

The government of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak claims an 83% “yes” vote on a 54% turnout in its constitutional referendum last week. This will allow opposition candidates to stand for the presidency against Mubarak, but only if they are selected by the dictator’s own oddly named “National Democratic Party”.

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