Solidarity 401, 20 April 2016

“Now is the time for student unions to be what the government is afraid of”

Submitted by Matthew on 20 April, 2016 - 2:00

Sahaya James, a student at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, part-time member of the National Union of Students national executive, and the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts candidate for NUS Vice President Union Development, spoke to Solidarity.

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Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 20 April, 2016 - 1:53 Author: Will Stevens, Ruth Cashman, Ollie Moore, Simon Nelson and Cath Fletcher

Thursday 14 April was the third annual #FastFoodGlobal day Of action. Workers in fast food, coffee shops and cafes across the world took part in rallies, stunts, marches and other creative actions for higher pay, better conditions and the right of unions to organise.

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Singing for the underdog

Submitted by Matthew on 20 April, 2016 - 12:43 Author: Gerry Bates

The country and western singer Merle Haggard, who has died, is best known for The Fighting Side of Me, a song in which he expressed the feelings of American patriots against the Americans who opposed US involvement in Vietnam:

I hear people talkin’ bad
About the way we have to live here in this
country
An’ gripin’ ‘bout the way things oughta be...
An’ I don’t mind ‘em switchin’ sides
An’ standin’ up for things they believe in...
When you’re runnin’ down my country, man
You’re walkin’ on the fightin’ side of me.

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The rage of the refugee

Submitted by Matthew on 20 April, 2016 - 12:25 Author: Phil Grimm

In the opening scene of Dheepan, beaten soldiers of the Tamil Tigers are burning their war dead. They have been brutally defeated by state forces in the Sri Lankan civil war. As the funeral pyre burns in the jungle clearing, one man quietly changes out of his uniform and into tattered civilian clothes. He has had enough of the killing; it’s time to get out.

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The press, regulation, and personal privacy

Submitted by Matthew on 20 April, 2016 - 12:19 Author: Matt Cooper

Workers’ Liberty draws on and stands in a long tradition of the left standing up for the freedom of the press and free speech.

We believe the attacks the Guardian and its journalists faced over the publication of Edward Snowden’s revelations showed the unequal battle the press often faces when pitted against state power. Much of the privately-owned media has abandoned serious reporting and analysis of the news.

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Fight for freedom of protest, organisation and speech on campuses

Submitted by Matthew on 20 April, 2016 - 12:01

This is a draft statement put together by activists who are looking to set up a campaign around free speech and the right to organise on university and college campuses. Get in touch if you’re interested or to tell us what you think. Email Monty Shield, Queen Mary University of London left activist.

“Freedom is always freedom for those who dissent. The essence of political freedom depends on all the invigorating, beneficial, and cleansing effects of dissenters.” – Rosa Luxemburg

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What’s bad for capitalists may not be not good for us

Submitted by Matthew on 20 April, 2016 - 11:53 Author: Dan Katz

Solidarity has not been slow to ridicule the SWP and Socialist Party and their daft position to campaign with the right-wing of the Tory Party and UKIP for a vote to leave the EU. Imagine their members in a union meeting, putting their position. Their “left” words against the “EU capitalist project” will give cover to the most backward and xenophobic views in the labour movement. Anyone who wants tighter immigration rules or who is prejudiced against Eastern Europeans will be supporting this position.

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