Solidarity 220, 12 October 2011

US “occupy” movement spreads

American socialist Dan La Botz explains the mood behind the sit-in protests on Wall Street, New York which are now spreading across the US, including his home city, Cincinnati.

Cincinnati is a microcosm of the country.

Thousands of Cincinnatians face high unemployment, live in poverty, or lack of health insurance, while a handful of multimillionaires live in luxury on the salaries paid by the national and multinational corporations headquartered here.

Reinstate Edd Bauer!

A Birmingham student reports on the campaign to win reinstatement for Edd Bauer, the Guild [student union] officer suspended for his role in a peaceful direct action at Lib Dem conference.

“It’s totally surreal building for a demonstration against our student union.

“I want to spend my time campaigning against the government and the city traders, not the people who are meant to be fighting for me. However, the undemocratic suspension means we have no choice.

Greek workers fight the Troika

A wave of strikes, occupations and demonstrations is erupting all across Greece.

Transport workers and air traffic controllers brought all traffic to a standstill on Friday 7 October. Bin workers continue their strike, and the whole of Athens is suffocated by uncollected rubbish. Utility workers are occupying their central offices and considering further action,

Teachers and council workers are to demonstrate on 11 October. Greek petrol workers are to start a continuous general strike from 11 October. Archaeologists and tax collectors have called 48-hour-strikes.

Strikes before Xmas at BBC

The BBC plans to cut 2,000 posts and make significant changes to workers’ terms and conditions as part of its “Delivering Quality First” review.

The plan, which was announced on 6 October, is the latest in a long line of attacks from BBC bosses. According to the National Union of Journalists, 7,000 jobs have already been axed at the BBC since 2004.

The latest round of cuts involves a 20% cut over five years, with between 700-800 of the jobs on the chopping block coming from BBC News.

Strikes escalate at Stow College

Unison members in Stow College in Glasgow are stepping up their campaign of strike action against the imposition of a pay freeze.

A fortnight ago the union’s 90 members —learning support workers, administration and clerical workers, caretakers, cleaners and catering workers – staged a 24-hour strike.

Around 60 strikers and their supporters turned up for the picket line at the college’s city centre campus, while a smaller number of strikers picketed its campus in the West End.

Last week catering staff staged a three-day strike.

Tube to ballot against sacking

Rail union RMT has announced plans to ballot its train grade members to win the reinstatement of sacked driver James Masango.

Pickets can win construction fight

Michael Dooley, a construction worker and left candidate for the General Secretary position of construction union UCATT, spoke to Solidarity about the issues facing construction workers and the ongoing electricians’ campaign against pay cuts.

The recent period has been one of decline and retreat from the point of view of trade union organisation within the industry.

Can you have Marxism without dialectics?

By Bruce Robinson

Relatively little of Dave Osler’s column [Solidarity 219] suggesting that Marxists should abandon dialectics deals with the substance of the issue — what dialectics is and why it is wrong.

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