Solidarity 202, 4 May 2011

AWL expands on London Underground

Submitted by Matthew on 4 May, 2011 - 10:39

At the start of this year, Workers’ Liberty member Janine Booth was elected to represent London transport workers on RMT’s Executive. Workers’ Liberty members on the Tube decided to set up our own separate AWL branch, become more organised, and prioritise recruiting new AWL members.

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Ian Tomlinson “unlawfully” killed

Submitted by AWL on 4 May, 2011 - 10:31

An inquest into the death of newspaper vendor Ian Tomlinson, who died after an encounter with police officers at the G20 protests, has found that his killing was “unlawful”. A jury ruled that the baton strike and push to Tomlinson by PC Simon Harwood were “unreasonable” and that Tomlinson “posed no threat” at the time he was attacked. It remains unclear whether Harwood will face any punishment, but the verdict will be a huge boost to Ian Tomlinson’s family and their quest for justice.

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Save philosophy at Greenwich

Submitted by AWL on 4 May, 2011 - 10:26

The Save Greenwich Philosophy Campaign could reach its peak on Thursday 5 May when the academic planning committee meeting takes place.

One of the campaign demands is to allow a representative to voice our arguments on May 5, but so far such requests have been denied.

At this point the Save Greenwich Philosophy Campaign has received no consistent line of argument concerning the decision to cut single honours philosophy at Greenwich. Arguments have ranged from the supposed lack of applicants to the claim that a combined course will draw in more students.

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Newcastle: round one to workers and students

Submitted by AWL on 4 May, 2011 - 10:24

Students and workers at Newcastle College have won at least a postponement of cuts. At the beginning of 2011 the college announced plans to cut 171 frontline jobs, 17% of the workforce. Students set up SOS (Save Our Staff) to support lecturers.

We began with a banner drop at one of the college’s open evenings to raise the profile.

Management tried scare tactics to prevent us taking other action. But we still managed to organise a successful walkout.

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London Met cuts attack on working-class students

Submitted by AWL on 4 May, 2011 - 10:13

The management of London Metropolitan University has announced a massive wave of course closures.

The proposals will see courses cut down to 160 from 557. The main targets of these cuts will be Philosophy, History, Modern Languages and Performing Arts. The only degree programme in Caribbean studies in the UK will also be shut down.

The university has been facing a major deficit after a crisis in 2009 saw it lose £36 million of government money (which it had falsely claimed from HEFCE after providing inflated figures for student numbers).

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Submitted by AWL on Wed, 04/05/2011 - 16:21

4 May: Following a meeting to discuss the fight against cuts at London Metropolitan University, sixty students have occupied the Graduate Centre in protest at the cuts.

Please rush messages of solidarity to wearelondonmet@gmail.com

For more info see wearelondonmet.wordpress.com

Follow at twitter.com/wearelondonmet

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Something old, something borrowed, something blue

Submitted by AWL on 4 May, 2011 - 10:04

According to the Observer (24 April), Labour leader Ed Miliband “is set to make two speeches informed by the ideas of Blue Labour over the summer, although insiders insist he is also listening to contributors to a soon-to-be-published Purple Book”.

The Times (19 April) reports that the “Purple Book” will be diehard-Blairite — “Purple was the colour of new Labour. It’s what you get if you combine red and blue. It symbolises the need to stay on the centre ground” — and will come out about the time of Labour Party conference in September.

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Osama bin Laden: death of an enemy

Submitted by martin on 3 May, 2011 - 10:00
11 September

Osama bin Laden targeted working people - nearly 3000 of them on 11 September 2001 - in the confident belief that the imperialist government of the USA would be more hurt by that than his own followers, on the fascistic far right, would be.

Anyone who cares for working people, and opposes bin Laden's programme of terroristic religious fundamentalism, should be pleased by his death on 1 May at the hands of US forces.

Comments

Submitted by guenter on Wed, 04/05/2011 - 00:11

should be pleased by his death

yes and no. i guess he was shot instead of being taken to court, that we cant hear his version of 9/11. then it was better to see: how much did the USA know b4, how much did they let happen, to have a pretext for their wars?

2, today it become clear, that the photo of the death bin laden was falsified by the USA.
that does raise questions. what else they falsificated and why? was it really bin laden?

Submitted by guenter on Thu, 05/05/2011 - 00:42

today i read on a german stalinist website a quotation from benazir bhutto:

"bin laden is death since 2007, and i know who killed him".
short later she was assasinated too.

-was it all a big US-propagandashow to push obamas popularity?
is this the reason 4 not showing photos?

why dont u guys contact tariq ali to figure that out? as far as i know, he was a friend and/or political advisor of banazir bhutto.

Submitted by guenter on Thu, 12/05/2011 - 12:33

what a crying shame:
in AWl -often posing as the most democratic of all left groups- nobody seems to have crtical quests around the assasination of bin laden. he was an enemy, so he can be murdered! fine! is it? i guess, the nazis murdered "some" more people, and even they had their trial in court. why wasnt he taken to court? (see comment above). and who shall take USA to court one day, 4 the millions of deaths they left worldwide? AWL never reminded here on the original september 11, the CIA-organised military coup against allende in chile 1973. around the coup and after, 30.000 leftwingers lost their life. over 10 x more thn in 2001. who organised a "war on terror" against the USA?
here an excerpt from an article, how leftwing articles about the murder of bin laden shall look like in my opinion, and as we are -of course- completeley missing here:

Reports that the raid organized to kill Osama bin Laden included backup plans for a military confrontation with Pakistani forces underscore the highly reckless character of the entire operation.

According to a front-page story in Tuesday’s New York Times, the special operations force sent into Pakistan to kill Bin Laden on May 1 was substantially beefed up on the orders of President Barack Obama, so as to provide it with the ability to “fight its way out” if confronted by Pakistani forces during or after the attack on the compound in Abbotabad. The city, 35 miles from the capital Islamabad, is a military cantonment and site of the country’s premier military academy.

“No firepower option was off the table,” a US official told the CNN television news network. The CNN report added that the US military had a number of warplanes flying “protective missions” in support of the raid, including “fixed wing fighter jets that would have provided firepower if the team came under opposition fire it could not handle.”

All of this firepower was deemed necessary to carry out the raid without seeking the cooperation of the Pakistani government, military or intelligence. Obama was determined to make the killing of Bin Laden a unilateral operation for which his White House could claim undiluted credit.

US military and CIA officials characterized the mission as one of the most risky their agencies had ever attempted, while Obama himself, during an interview with the CBS News program “60 Minutes” on Sunday, described the intelligence placing Bin Laden inside the compound as only “55/45.” Obama acknowledged that the compound could have been occupied by a “prince from Dubai,” and that if the intelligence had proven faulty, “there would have been significant consequences.”

The scale of these consequences now becomes more clear. The raid posed the threat of a military confrontation between US and Pakistani troops deep inside Pakistani territory and adjacent to Pakistani military facilities. Such a clash would be roughly analogous to throwing a lighted match at a powder keg. Even without a direct engagement between US and Pakistani troops, the raid has sparked widespread popular anger in Pakistan, directed against both the United States and the country’s own government.

The Pakistani government has been compelled to react accordingly, with Prime Minister Yousaf Gilani warning in a speech to the parliament that Pakistan would “retaliate with full force”

Submitted by david kirk on Fri, 13/05/2011 - 11:12

Marxists used to know international law is largely a sham. The UN is a cartel of rich or powerful nations. Its edicts make actions lawful or not, not on the basis of justice but on whether China and Russia can be induced by whatever incitements not to veto an action. However going back to the Kossovo conflict many self professed Marxists plead that this or that action is illegal. Would the invasion of Iraq be right if the UN Security Council had voted a second resolution through? Of course not, but to hear many Marxists talk the issue with Iraq was that its an "illegal war". This may of originally been opportunism but it obscures and mis-educates to what the real attitde to international conflict should be guided by.

1, National Sovereignty- Guenter quotes from a NYT article stating the response to what Pakistan sees as a violation of Sovereignty. However Marxists must be clear, we support the self determination of peoples and nations, this is not the same as the bourgeois legal form of National Sovereignty. Sovereignty is about the almost absolute legal right of the rulers of a territory to deal with the population how they see fit, the right to self determination is the right of a self identified people to their own state. The limited attack on one compound in Pakistan by US special forces, is an infringement on Pakistan's Sovereignty, but it is not a infringement on the Pakistani's self determination or independence.

2, International War Crimes Trials- Guenter and others say the killing of Bin Laden was wrong because he could have been brought to trial. This could have happened only if he surrendered to the American forces or could have been taken alive, whether this could have happened we do not know. However if he had been captured and brought to trial, who would try him? Liberals and many dis-orientated Marxists would say the International War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague and like Guenter cite approvingly the example Nuremberg Trials. The Nuremberg Trails did bring some Nazi's to justice (and let many others off lightly), but should Marxists have given this court any more confidence than the French courts that tried Petain or Laval, the British courts that tried John Amery or William Joyce or even the NKVD tribunals that tried commandants of the death camps, I think not. Many jurisdictions could have tried Bin Ladin but The US courts (where Al Quida killed Thousands) had as much right as any others. If the US had tried him, we could not give the US ruling class's legal system confidence, but we should have no more confidence in the Hague.

As for the issue of whether he was already dead or if the US government is lying to us. I think Marxists have a special need to avoid conspiracy theories. Because we are not empiricists and do not take the ruling class at its word there is a danger of drifting off into the obscurantism or the obsession of the conspiracy nut. The Marxists world view is critical but it is also materialist. We know the US ruling class are not omnipotent, are relatively dis-united and not all that competent. They were unable to cover up Watergate, Cambodia, the Bay Of Pigs, the Gulf Of Tonkin incident, their involvement in Pinochet's coup in Chile etc for long. To fake the killing of Bin Laden would have taken thousands of people in the US government and I think its more likely that they did kill him then they are conducting a successful cover up.

Bin Laden was a fascist, a murderer and part of the leadership of a reactionary force who had no qualms about killing or contributing to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of working class people (mainly Muslims). The utter military and ideological defeat of Al Quida, even at the hands of the U.S bourgeoisie is a positive thing for working class people everywhere. The destruction of Al Quida's command and control is part and parcel of that victory.

Submitted by guenter on Sat, 14/05/2011 - 13:33

demagogy as usual: first, the author claims, that we dont know if bin laden tried tried to surrender, so that it wasnt possible to catch him alive. a lie!! the USA already admitted, that bin laden was unarmed, when getting caught.
the article ends with the following conclusion:

Bin Laden was a fascist, a murderer and part of the leadership of a reactionary force who had no qualms about killing or contributing to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of working class people ----------------------------------------------------

iam not at all defending bin laden/al kaida, but where did they kill "hundreds of thousands"? IT IS US-IMPERIALISM WHO DID SO, and this fact always increased the number of mislead young stupids who then joined groups like al kaida.
i must say it clearly:
-no one, who claims to be marxist, can confuse such facts, who killed whom &how many, and
-no one who claims to be marxist can shamelessly ignore the examples i gave, as the USA alone in the chile coup murdering 10 x more than al kaida on their sept.11. so, insted of understanding, how many peoples and countries wud have an reson to do a "war agsinst terror" against the USA, it is said here, that the violation of national sovereignity (thrown aside as "a sham"!!),which includes the risk of a war(!)&any imperialist murder- and terror action is OK, as long as it is against a fascist. thats the legitimation-ideology of the USA himself 4 all their wars ("against fascist sadam hussein"-, against fascist taliban", -"against fascist milosovic"-a.s.o.).(and, following this logic, AWL should support death-penalty against murderers.)
this is the most ugly perversion of all mrxist principles i ever read.
AWL in full defense of all imperialist crimes and "antifascist" unity with warmongers.

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30 June and after

Submitted by martin on 2 May, 2011 - 3:56

At Easter (22-26 April) the National Union of Teachers conference voted to ballot union members for a series of strikes against the coalition government's increases in pension contributions, cuts in pension provision, and raising of the pension age. The first strike will be 30 June.

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