Solidarity 041, 20 November 2003

Bush, no! US workers, yes!

Published on: Wed, 26/11/2003 - 12:02

By Gerry Bates

Vast numbers of Americans and millions of American workers feel the same way about Bush as we do.

They did not vote for him - his opponent in the Presidential election, the Democrat Al Gore, got more votes than Bush did. It was dirty-dealing and chicanery by his brother Jeb, Governor of Florida, that put George Bush in the White House, not a majority of those who voted in the 2000 election.

The majority who voted, voted against Bush. Millions did not vote at all!
Despite the Blairite and Tory press which accuses us of being driven by a gut-level anti-Americanism, there is

Blair squeaks hospitals vote

Published on: Wed, 26/11/2003 - 12:00

The government won the vote on foundation hospitals in the House of Commons on 19 November by 302 votes to 285, a majority of only 17 votes. There were 62 Labour rebels.

"Choice" is one of the watchwords of the Blair government. In politics, "choice" is one of the key defining words between left and right. Ministers endlessly harping on about "choice", in the NHS and elsewhere, define the Blair government as a government of the right, not the left.
Nothing, except perhaps their keeping the anti-union laws inherited from the Tories, does it better.

Of course, everyone is in favour of "choice".

Press Gang: Will the Sun shine for Howard?

Published on: Wed, 26/11/2003 - 11:56

By Lucy Clement

Could the Sun win it again for the Tories? That's the tantalising prospect held out to new party leader Michael Howard by News International boss Rupert Murdoch this week.

It was a clever piece of news management on Murdoch's part. All week rival papers had been printing critical stories about the appointment of his son James as Chief Executive. What better way to deflect them than with a juicy alternative story to run?
Murdoch, whose company owns not only the Sun, but also the News of the World, Times, Sunday Times and Sky Television, said if the Tory front bench looked like a

US student anti-war campaign: Drop the charges against the Berkeley 3

Published on: Wed, 26/11/2003 - 11:56

By Jim Bywater

On Monday 17 November the Dean of Students at UC Berkeley, Karen Kenney turned the clock back decades by approving sanctions against three Berkeley students for their part in a peaceful campus sit-in on 20 March. (For more details about the event and the "trial" go to
The protest was organised by the Berkeley Stop the War coalition and involved 4,000 students at a rally with 400 participating in the sit-in.

Rachel Odes and Snehal Shingavi now face 20 hours of community service and a letter of reprimand permanently placed on their academic record. Michael

Rally the left to combat anti-semitism: Don't demonise Israel!

Published on: Wed, 26/11/2003 - 11:55

On Sunday 15 November two synagogues in Istanbul were car-bombed, killing 23 people and injuring about 300. The same day, buildings of a Jewish boys' school in Gagny, near Paris, were burned down.

The day before, Germany's main conservative party, the Christian Democratic Union, finally voted to expel one of its MPs for an anti-semitic speech he had made on 3 October. A German army general had already been sacked from his post for backing the MP.
The German government reports 1594 anti-semitic incidents - about five a day, mostly cemetery desecrations or Nazi graffiti - in Germany in 2002. The

Sheffield sit-in over hall fees

Published on: Wed, 26/11/2003 - 11:55

Mickey Conn, University of Sheffield student

Nearly two hundred students, including Alliance for Workers' Liberty members, occupied the University of Sheffield's cash office on 4 November in a protest over new and increased hall fees.
Tapton Hall students had previously organised a general meeting to discuss the growing opposition to the fees, and built on that with the 24-hour action.

The protest received widespread student attention as the students demanded the resignation of Pat McGrath, head of university accommodation and catering services, but at present there are no clear plans to

I love Paris in the autumn

Published on: Wed, 26/11/2003 - 11:50

By Mick Duncan

In between marching, trying out the cheapest wine on sale and getting lost, No Sweat participated in two sessions at the European Social Forum (12-15 November).
The first was organised by the Clean Clothes Campaign on codes of conduct and corporate responsibility. The seminar was in three parts, with academics, campaigners and trade unionists on the panel. No Sweat tried to appeal to the newly enlightened audience to get active in taking on sweatshop exploitation and to support the Tarrant workers, still sacked and blacklisted in Mexico.

On the Friday evening No Sweat hosted a

Welcome to globalisation: No Sweat Conference 2003

Published on: Wed, 26/11/2003 - 11:48

Saturday 29-Sunday 30 November

University of Sheffield Students' Union

Read on for the full programme...

12-12.45 Registration
Plus film showing - Harvard Living Wage Sit-in

12.45-1.30 Welcome
Alice Nutter (Chumbawamba), Neil Kearney (ITLGWU), Mick Duncan from No Sweat, John Moloney (PCS union) and Sheffield Uni Students' Union

* Film showing: "Maquila" (No Sweat & Indymedia); discussion led by Alice Nutter
* Organising across national boundaries: Neil Kearney, ITLGWU and Martin Smith, GMB London
* Sweatshops and the Olympics: Chantal, Labour Behind the Label


Plan to send in Turkish troops abandoned

Published on: Wed, 26/11/2003 - 11:48

Controversial plans for Turkish forces to occupy Iraq as peacekeepers have been abandoned.

The plans, which were voted through by Turkey's National Assembly in October, received widespread opposition from Iraq's US-installed interim Governing Council, Kurdish and Islamic leaders, and much of the Turkish public and media.
Controversial plans for Turkish forces to occupy Iraq as peacekeepers have been abandoned.

The plans, which were voted through by Turkey's National Assembly in October, received widespread opposition from Iraq's US-installed interim Governing Council, Kurdish and Islamic

Come to the No Sweat Conference!

Published on: Wed, 26/11/2003 - 11:48

By Mark Osborn

A key question of the 21st century is how the unity of activists and trade unionists across national frontiers can be forged. Capital is well organised and protected. How can we be better organised?

And how can the left help the new labour movements in countries like China build?

The No Sweat conference in Sheffield, over the weekend of 29-30 November, will be a good place for activists to take stock of our achievements, swap ideas, debate and plan future activities. It is an arena where trade unionists and anti-capitalist young people can meet up with environmentalists and anti

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