Workers' Liberty 9, January 1988

Editorials: Israel-Palestine, 2 nations 2 states; industrial fightback; USSR moves towards pulling out of Afghanistan

The insurgent Palestinian Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank are now teaching the people of Israel that Karl Marx was right when he wrote that "a nation which enslaves another can never itself be free". The first intifada started in December 1987.

Nurses began strike action in January 1988, the first big industrial flare-up since the defeat of the miners' strike in 1985.

After eight years of unsuccessful efforts to crush the peoples of Afghanistan, the government of the USSR started talking openly about withdrawing from Afghanistan.

Survey: intifada in West Bank; union recruitment campaigns; Labour Thatcherites in NZ; Natal's civil war

In response to the uprising (intifada) in the West Bank, which started in December 1987, Israel should be made to get out of the occupied territories and allow the formation there of a fully independent Palestinian state.

The GMB and TGWU unions have started a scramble to recruit hitherto untapped sources of union membership - public work schemes, young people, part-time workers, especially women.

Ireland After Enniskillen

On 8 November 1987, in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, eleven people were killed by a Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb exploded at the town's war memorial (cenotaph) during a Remembrance Sunday ceremony.

Tony Benn called for Britain to set a date for withdrawal from Ireland, and stick to it.

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Solidarnosc after the referendum

On 29 November 1987 the Polish government called a referendum on a programme of market-oriented economic reforms, asking for approval although "this will mean going through a difficult two to three year period". It got a 60-odd per cent majority on a poor turnout, less than the 50% of the whole electorate which it wanted. The banned Solidarnosc trade union movement, although its leaders and even the majority of its rank and file had swung to pro-market views, had called for a boycott of the referendum.

The Crimean Tatars: the nation Stalin deported

Beginning on the night of 17-18 May 1944, the entire Crimean Tatar population was deported and scattered across Central Asia.

Some 100,000 Crimean Tatars, 40% of the population, died in the course of the deportation and the first year after that.

In the 1950s some minor concessions were made to the demands of the remaining Crimean Tatars. But in 1988 the Crimean Tatars were still campaigning for, and being refused, the right to return to the Crimean peninsula.

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