Solidarity 332, 28 July 2014

Ukraine government in crisis but fighting in the east continues

Submitted by AWL on 30 July, 2014 - 12:33 Author: Dale Street

The Svoboda (neo-fascist) and Udar (right-wing) parties resigned from Ukraine’s coalition government on 24 July. A few hours later the Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, announced his resignation as well.

Svoboda’s stated reason for pulling out of the coalition was: “A parliament which protects state criminals, Moscow’s agents, and refuses to strip (parliamentary) immunity from those who work for the Kremlin should not exist.”

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Birmingham students occupy

Submitted by AWL on 30 July, 2014 - 12:24 Author: Omar Raii

On Monday 28 July, students from Birmingham Defend education occupied the Strathcona building.

They were occcupying in solidarity with their fellow students, Kelly Rogers and Simon Furse, who have been suspended on very spurious and draconian charges for previous occupations, in protest against Birmingham University management.

An occupier told Solidarity, “Comrades have been suspended on trumped up charges and in solidarity with them, we’re reclaiming university space.

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Struggles on London Underground

Submitted by AWL on 30 July, 2014 - 12:18 Author: Ollie Moore

Tube cleaners who are refusing to use “biometric fingerprinting” machines to book on for shifts remain locked out by their employer, ISS, with the lock out now stretching into its third week.

ISS want the machines, which take unique DNA-based data from everyone who uses them, to replace the existing method of booking on using telephones, and have already admitted that the data collected would be shared with the UK Border Agency and the Home Office. One cleaner told Solidarity: “This is a racist attack on a predominantly immigrant workforce.”

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Save Stafford Hospital camp

Submitted by AWL on 30 July, 2014 - 12:14

Around 40 people have set up camp outside Stafford Hospital in protest at plans to downgrade the services there. Accident and emergency, paediatrics and maternity ward are all set to be scrapped. If the changes go ahead, locals would be forced to travel all the way to Stoke or Wolverhampton in the event of a medical emergency.

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Unison to discuss pay fight

Submitted by AWL on 30 July, 2014 - 11:02 Author: Dave Pannett

After just a single day’s strike over pay by workers local government, education, and the civil service, the press and the Tories are on the offensive against unions, highlighting the low turnouts in ballots, and pushing for new anti-union legislation.

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Racism and division increase in Israel

Submitted by AWL on 30 July, 2014 - 10:57 Author: Tom Harris

In the narrow, densely populated ribbon of land by the Mediterranean that is Gaza, hundreds of civilians have been killed and injured by the Israeli military. But while the worst horrors of the conflict are taking place in the strip itself, the war has also unleashed a fresh wave of racial and religious sectarianism far beyond the Palestinian territory.

In Israel, street violence against Arabs has spiralled.


Submitted by John D on Mon, 04/08/2014 - 16:55

As a resident of Israel, and a pensioner with time wander and gaze and talk to people, I have travelled the length of the coastal plain from Rosh Hanikra to Ashdod and Ashkelon. Throughout this mini-war I have been in dozens of locations, including yesterday at Ikea Kiryat Ata and another local supermarket. Everywhere, and I mean everywhere Arab families, youngsters, oldsters, what have you are shopping, mixing, in close personal proximity with non-Arab Israelis withoutout any sign of social discomfort whatsoever.
If AWL allowed, I could post photo after photo after photo to the point of obsessive mania that the posting by Tom Harris is patentently untrue.

Let me not mix words. Tom Harris, you are a liar. Your post, in is description of social conflict in Israel, is untrue in every word.
I do really hope that the editors of this site get in touch immediately with their own contacts in Israel to verify or deny this appalling cheap propaganda. What socialist purpose it is intended to serve I know not. But it demeans this blog to carry it.

John Davidson
Coastal Plain

Submitted by Tom Harris on Tue, 12/08/2014 - 11:49


You say that my report is 'untrue in every word'. Were this demonstrated to be the case, I'd happily retract the article. I think you may struggle to do so, though.

Here are the paragraphs in which I describe an upturn in anti-Arab racism in Israel:

'In Jerusalem, two young Arab men were hospitalised after being beaten by a mob with baseball bats and metal pipes. Both right-wing street movements and the government ministers are attempting to construct a popular narrative in which any opposition to attack on Gaza is treachery. On social media, there has been a proliferation of pages calling for retribution against “traitors”, inciting violence against Arab Israelis who they view as an enemy within ...
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has called for a boycott of Arab businesses, and some Arab Israelis have been sacked from their jobs for criticising the Gaza invasion online.'

Which of these assertions is untrue, exactly? I'd love to hear it so that I can rectify any mistakes. You should probably also inform Ha'aretz, the Jerusalem Post and that notorious anti-Israeli rag Arutz Sheva, all of which carried the same stories I wrote about here.

You say that you have walked around an Ikea and a supermarket and seen some Arab Israelis mixing and socialising with non-Arab Israelis. That sounds very pleasant, but unfortunately it does nothing to disprove any of the incidences of racism I reported on here, anymore than it would disprove the serious structural racism of the USA to point out that lots of black and white Americans share a friendly social life with one another.

I await your response with genuine curiousity,


Tom Harris (the liar)

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Good riddance to the “fake sheikh”

Submitted by AWL on 30 July, 2014 - 10:54 Author: Liam McNulty

The career of the Sun reporter and so-called “fake sheikh” Mazher Mahmood looks to be in tatters, after a judge ruled that he seems to have lied under oath in the trial of musician Tulisa Contostavlos.

Mahmood has a made a career out of entrapping celebrities in sting operations, and claims to have been responsible for stories that have seen hundreds of people imprisoned.

There can be genuine public interest in undercover sting operations. Arms trading, corrupt politicians, human trafficking — all can reasonably be justified in the public interest.

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Support Al-Jazeera journalists!AWLWed, 30/07/2014 - 10:46

An Egyptian court which jailed three journalists for “spreading false news” has issued a statement explaining its decision.

Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, Baher Mohamed and Peter Geste, who work for the Al-Jazeera news network, were given jail sentences of seven to ten years after reporting on the brutal repression of Muslim Brotherhood supporters following the military coup of 2013.

The court said that the journalists had “falsified the truth” and that “the devil guided them to use journalism and direct it towards activities against this nation.”

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