Solidarity 026, 20 March 2003

EDITORIAL en francais

Published on: Wed, 26/03/2003 - 16:46


Il existe aujourd'hui des ouvertures pour la gauche révolutionnaire telles que nous n'en avons pas connu depuis deux décennies. Le soulévement puissant d'opposition à la guerre de Bush et de Blair contre l'Iraq, avec la montée du mouvement anti-capitaliste et le renouveau encore limité mais vraiment important du véritable syndicalisme en GB, se combinent pour créer cette situation.
Une organisation unifiée de la gauche révolutionnaire pourrait aujourd'hui recruter et éduquer politiquement des milliers de nouvelles personnes. Nous sommes face à

EDITORIAL: Unite the left to meet the new challenge!

Published on: Fri, 21/03/2003 - 14:26

There are openings for the growth of the revolutionary left such as we have not had for two decades. The tremendous upsurge of opposition to Bush's and Blair's war on Iraq, together with the rise of the anti-capitalist movements and the as yet limited, but radically important, revival of real trade unionism in Britain, have combined to create this situation.

A united revolutionary left organisation could now hope to recruit and politically educate thousands of new people. We have opportunities - and also dangers, in the first place the pressing danger that this chance will be missed. It will

Next steps for school students: Link up with workers

Published on: Fri, 21/03/2003 - 14:25

Daniel Randall, a Nottingham school student, went to the Stop the War Coalition Forum for School Students on 16 March. Here is his report.
At the beginning of March, thousands of school and FE students, denied the vote by the capitalist parliamentary system, "voted with their feet" and walked out against the war. Following these events, a Stop the War Coalition School Student Activists' Forum was organised to help school students and sixth formers "plan action, organise strikes and elect representatives." In a world where no union exists to represent school students, and where young people are

UK marches to a different drum

Published on: Fri, 21/03/2003 - 14:24

Over the last two weeks many cities in the UK have seen their biggest demonstrations for years, and in some cases ever. Here are some reports.

The biggest demonstration in York in living memory was proclaimed from the speakers' platform outside York Minster on Saturday 15 March, as police estimated that almost 5,000 protestors rallied against the war. Organised by York Stop the War, the march and rally was attended by groups from as far afield as North Lincolnshire and Scarborough.

The rally was addressed by Lindsay German and Asad Rahman of the national StWC, as well as Frank Ormston,

Students plan 'peace bombs'

Published on: Fri, 21/03/2003 - 14:21

By Jim Byagua

More than fifty anti-war demonstrators blocked Whitehall on Monday 18 March in a protest outside the emergency meeting of the War Cabinet. The protest brought together higher education students and school students in a three-hour sit-down.

The demonstrators refused to move despite repeated warnings from the police. They sat in a line, arms locked together, shouting "They break the law. We'll break the law." Police eventually dragged the group from the road, although no arrests were made.

The sit-down outside Downing Street was the culmination of a day of protest. At 1pm, thirty

Take direct action to stop the war!

Published on: Fri, 21/03/2003 - 14:20

Compiled by Vicki Morris

This newspaper, Solidarity, is in favour of people taking direct action against the war. There has been debate about this in the movement, with, I feel, a false distinction drawn between demonstrations and direct action. Direct action advocates said marches by themselves could mobilise thousands (in the event, many hundreds of thousands!) but would stop little. The Stop the War Coalition said they wanted to mobilise those who would only march as well as those who would do more, and that mobilising many would encourage more of the more effective direct action. I think

If this is the people's parliament, where's the democracy?

Published on: Fri, 21/03/2003 - 14:10

By Gerry Byrne

Tony Benn, addressing the 'People's Parliament' on 12 March, said it was an historic event. The school students who addressed the meeting to a standing ovation would look back when they were as old as him and ask: "Were you there that day?"

So what did it feel like to be 'making history'?
Across the road, in the Houses of Parliament, Tony Blair was standing firm, making it clear that, whatever the will of the majority of the people, he was intent on following George Bush into a war crime which would cost many thousands of lives and make many refugees.

What we were doing was

The movement we need

Published on: Fri, 21/03/2003 - 14:08
  • Mobilise the unions
  • Stop work to stop war
  • Cut the roots of war
  • No to war - and no to Saddam
  • Solidarity with the peoples of Iraq
  • Internationalist, democratic, secular
  • No alliance with Islamic fundamentalism
  • "Broad" - or effective?

Mobilise the unions

The key to any serious anti-war movement is mobilising the organised working class. That includes political mobilisation as well as industrial.

Anti-war protesters are rightly crying: "Blair out!" But the slogan hangs in mid-air unless we can say how, and who will replace Blair.

By a Lib-Dem government under Charles Kennedy? But he now

The main enemy is at home

Published on: Fri, 21/03/2003 - 14:07

As we go to press the invasion of Iraq is imminent. Millions of people around the world oppose it, but that has not stopped the "leader of the free world", George W Bush, and his loyal toady Tony Blair, from sending in the troops.
By the time you read this paper a blitz of cruise missiles may be raining down on Baghdad. With just a few sandbags to protect them, the Iraqis are virtually defenceless. Who can save them from the terrifying high-tech US-UK war machine? We can! The opposition of the world. But if, and only if, we can build an effective anti-war movement. Turn the movement that

Journalists strike against low pay

Published on: Fri, 21/03/2003 - 14:05

The NUJ chapel at Newsquest Bradford began a 10-day strike over pay on 14 March.

The company had failed to improve on their 2% pay offer since the NUJ chapel staged a week-long stoppage in February. Trainees are on as little as £12,000 and qualified senior journalists on just £15,000.

Newsquest workers at Kendal, who had four days on strike in February, took another four days from 18 March.
Another Newsquest chapel at Bolton has rejected a 2% pay offer, and began balloting over industrial action on March 11.

In the Midlands, journalists at the Birmingham Post and Mail and Coventry

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