Solidarity 022, 23 January 2003

Time to challenge the testing culture

The NUT National Executive has agreed to canvass its members for a boycott of some SAT tests. Teachers must now renew their campaigning against the testing culture. Pat Yarker looks at the background to the years of testing and targets in state schools.

No to teaching on the cheap!

By Pat Murphy, Leeds NUT
On 15 January all the unions representing workers in schools, except the National Union of Teachers (NUT), signed up to an agreement which could radically change the structure of the school workforce. If implemented it will deal with the chronic teacher shortage caused by Government education policies - by employing people other than teachers to teach.

Firefighters need your solidarity!

By Chris Reynolds

plus Solidarity round-up
"The Government and employers' offer isn't in any way acceptable. It boils down to their wish list for the last 15 years, cuts, closures, downgrading the pension and so on for 4%. That isn't something we can negotiate on. Our action will continue till we get a decent wage increase without strings. In south east London our stations are solid."

Gary Thorogood, Group Secretary, Southern Command Group 4 (responsible for eight stations in south east London)

Frontline poetry: The Internationale

The famous socialist battle cry was heard during the Tiannamenn Square protests of 1989. Such words can help form a link from the authentic socialism of the past to a renewed socialism of the future.

Arise ye workers from your slumbers
Arise ye prisoners of want
For reason in revolt now thunders
And at last ends the age of cant.
Away with all your superstitions
Servile masses arise, arise
We'll change henceforth the old tradition
And spurn the dust to win the prize.
So comrades, come rally
And the last fight let us face

An inspiration for a new generation

Veteran Chinese Trotskyist Wang Fan-hsi dies by Din Wong

also Alexander Buchman
On 16 January the funeral of the veteran Chinese Trotskyist Wang Fan-hsi took place. He was ninety five. As well as friends and family there were representatives and comrades from many of the revolutionary groups in Britain.

Paedophiles: How to combine freedom and protection

The arrest of several high-profile celebrities on charges of downloading child pornography, and rumours of moves against even more highly placed individuals (MPs and civil servants), has put the spotlight on issues of adult-child sex, pornography and paedophilia. What should socialists think about it all?

No to war! No to Saddam!

The build up for war on Iraq continues at a frightening pace, but the international opposition to war is also growing.
The build up for war on Iraq continues at a frightening pace. This month the Government sent a further 26,000 soldiers to the Gulf.

Fortunately the international opposition to war is also growing. According to one poll outright opposition to war in the UK now stands at 47%.

On 18 January up to 500,000 marched in Washington, USA, 200,000 in France, and thousands more in major cities across the world - from Pakistan to Japan to Ecuador.

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