Solidarity 129, 20 March 2008

Solidarity 3/129

We demand freedom for Tibet; press for action by teachers against Gordon Brown's pay freeze and for a better education system; start a series of interviews with Marxist economists about the current crisis; and much more. Download pdf.

“Direct contact with Iraqi unionists is our reason for being”


Riki Lane

Kathy Black spoke for US Labor Against War (USLAW) at a meeting at Melbourne Trade on 12 March. Riki Lane summarises her speech.

USLAW is a rank and file initiative, not an official wing of the AFL-CIO. Its achievements are quite historic.

It now has almost 200 affiliates, representing three million workers. They have managed to avoid the “hardhats versus hippies” syndrome of the anti-Vietnam war movement, and to turn out a contingent of 4,000 unionists to a major anti war demonstration.

Let Mehdi Kazemi stay!


David Broder

Mehdi Kazemi is a 19 year old gay man being threatened with deportation to Iran. His case has hit the headlines because he would be in almost certain danger of arrest and execution if the government sent him back to his homeland. Furthermore, the threat hanging over him exposes the racism and homophobia of the immigration controls system.

Giving them the measles


Ed Maltby

A large teachers’ strike has been called for Tuesday 18 March in France, with teachers in many schools voting to strike indefinitely. As the preparations for this are underway, the JCR (the LCR’s youth wing) has been mobilising to get word out to lycée (roughly equivalent to post-16/FE college) students, at a time when the organisation has identified expansion into that age group as a priority.

The Beijing Olympics and class struggle


Paul Hampton

The Olympic spectacular in August this year is likely to be another step on China’s march towards great power status. For sure the media will marvel at the incredible stadia, the clean streets of the capital and the immensity of the country.

Why the left should not back Obama


Barry Finger

The inconclusive outcome of the Democratic Party primaries to date suggests an increasing certainty that the nomination process may only resolve itself during the August convention. The so-called “super delegates,” the skeletal deposits of the party — its elected officials and functionaries — may have the decisive say. Under that scenario, the convention portends the ugly spectacle of a Democratic Party in disarray, torn between democracy and bureaucracy, and unable to unite should the result upend the popular vote tally.

Anti-Tamil terror in Sri Lanka


Robin Sivapalan

The national conflict in Sri Lanka, so little reported in the mainstream UK media, is visibly deepening. In 2006, the recently elected president Mahinda Rajapakse in effect ended a ceasefire agreement brokered by the Norwegians in 2002.

US West Coast dockers protest against war


Jack Staunton

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union conference in San Francisco has passed a motion “calling on unions and working people in the US and internationally to mobilize for a “No Peace No Work Holiday” on May 1, 2008 for 8 hours to demand an immediate end to the war and occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan and the withdrawal of US troops from the Middle East”.

Reject the review — fight for real democracy!


Daniel Randall

It has been some time since there was any meaningful link between the real struggles faced by the working class majority of students and the debates that took place at the annual conference of what is, officially, their union – the NUS. This year that disconnection will be as acute as ever, and (more significantly) we may see the end of the potential to ever reconcile it.

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