Solidarity 040, 6 November 2003

After the demo: direct action can beat top-up fees

At least 15,000 students demonstrated in London on 26 October as part of the National Union of Students' campaign against top-up fees.
Given that the NUS leadership had called the demonstration for a Sunday, the turn-out was surprisingly high - a reflection of growing anger at the Government's plans among wide layers of students - but the protest was not nearly as effective as it could have been.

Will SWP wreck student left unity too?

The right wing of Labour Students and its allies have run NUS for more than 20 years, resulting in defeat after defeat for the student movement. Since 1998, however, they have faced increasing opposition, with a united left slate challenging the Labour/"independent" leadership in the elections at every NUS conference.
In 1998 and 1999 this united slate was made up of the Campaign for Free Education and the SWP's student wing SWSS; since then it has also included various independents and student supporters of Socialist Action.

LCR-LO to fight on working-class demands

By Rhodri Evans

In an opinion poll taken during the first two days of the congress of the LCR, fully 31% of French voters said they might vote for a revolutionary socialist candidate in next year's regional elections.
The LCR - Revolutionary Communist League - decided at the congress to endorse joint lists for the regional and Euro-elections with Lutte Ouvrière (LO), the other main Marxist group in France.

Asylum: the persecution continues

By Dale Street

David Blunkett is a worried man. He is worried that "community relations" might be "adversely affected by what may be seen in many quarters as continuing evasion and exploitation of immigration and asylum controls at significant cost to the taxpayer".
David Blunkett could protect "community relations" by exposing the myths and lies on which misperceptions about immigration controls and asylum-seekers are based.

Alternatively, he could pander to the "many quarters" who believe what they read in the Sun, the Daily Mail and the Daily Express.

Galloway bloc is socialist suicide

By Dave Osler

The things George says:
'A mass unifying movement of grassroots radicals to hobble the state, bring it under popular control and complete an unfinished radical democratic revolution. This level will unite Muslims, Christians, Jews, socialists, liberals and conservatives, men, women and the disadvantaged of all types in one movement of democratic liberation'.
From The Guardian

Press Gang: Do it for the money, Burrell

By Lucy Clement

In Paul Burrell's position, let's face it, most people would do the same thing. Cash in. And why not? There's not much respect left for the British Royal Family to destroy, now the Queen Mum's dead and with her all that Blitz-heroine mythology.
It's a shame that Burrell's sticking to the tired old line of 'doing it for Diana', but after all those years as a flunkey it's probably too much to expect him suddenly to come out and declare yes, the Royals are a bunch of parasites and here's the inside story.

Mexican maquilas - Daily grind of globalisation

Alice Nutter, from the rock band Chumbawamba was part of a No Sweat delegation that visited Puebla, Mexico, in September. No Sweat met independent trade union activists who are attempting to unionise the sweatshop factories in the region. This is part of Alice's report.
"Carlton Heston? Charlton Heston?" said Gaby "No entiendo Charlton Heston."

"Course you know Charlton Heston!" I screamed back "Film star! Bastard! Guns everywhere!"

"Non, no entiendo Charlton Heston!"

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