Solidarity 043, 9 January 2004

The Blairite Ken

By Colin Foster

On Tuesday 6 January, the Labour Party readmitted London mayor Ken Livingstone to membership. He had been expelled in 2000, when he ran against Labour for mayor and won, after being denied the Labour nomination despite being the majority choice of Labour Party members and trade unions in London.

Is this a triumph for the left? Or a sell-out by the previously "red" Ken? Neither.
Ken Livingstone was a left-wing local Labour councillor in the late 1970s. One of many, alongside, for example, David Blunkett and Margaret Hodge.

Scrap all fees! Tax the rich!

Alan Clarke, NUS National Executive (personal capacity) and Campaign for Free Education co-chair

As Solidarity goes to press, the Government is preparing to publish a detailed final version of its plan for Higher Education student funding.

Since Tony Blair and Charles Clarke have repeatedly refused to bow to disquiet among Labour MPs, the plans are almost certain to mirror the essentials of last year's White Paper: 'freedom' for some universities to set higher fees, with the pill sugared by the reintroduction of a tiny, heavily means-tested maintenance grant.

Civil Contingencies Bill

Meeting to discuss and plan action against the Civil Contingencies Bill.

Saturday 17 January, 11am, Friends Meeting House, Manchester. A day of discussion with concerned individuals and organisations.

Organised by Manchester Social Forum

Blair out! How and by whom?

This month the Hutton Report on the Government's dossier for going to war in Iraq will be published. This month or next, Parliament will vote on the Government's plans to have students charged extra "top-up" fees for selected courses, or for posher universities.
The Hutton Report will add fuel to the fire of anger at the Iraq war still burning under Blair's feet. The top-up fees vote could turn overheating into large and open flames around central pillars of the New Labour edifice.

See 'Bread and Roses', raise money for Mexican unions

6.30-9pm, Thursday 22 January, The Other Cinema, 11 Rupert Street, London W1

To raise money for union organisers at the Centro de Apoyo al Trabajador in Mexico, No Sweat has organised a special screening of Ken Loach's film Bread and Roses (2000) on 22 January at the Other Cinema in London.

Ken Loach will be present for a Q&A session after the film.

No Sweat news in brief

  • No Sweat steering group
  • No Sweat + Haiti Support Group tour
  • H&M

No Sweat steering group

Meets on Saturday 17 January, 12-4 pm, at University London Union, Malet Street, Euston, London. All activists welcome.

No Sweat + Haiti Support Group tour

A British speaker tour for a sweatshop union organiser from the militant Haitian union organisation Batay Ouvriere will take place during the last two weeks of March. More details from No Sweat:

Inside America: Miami students acquitted

by Jim Byagua

After three hours of testimony by prosecution witnesses, Judge Lyons dismissed all charges against Miami University Fair Labor Coalition activists Nicolle, Nick, Ian and Jon because of a lack of evidence.
The four students were arrested back on 10 October 2003 by the Miami police during a protest in support of a strike by AFSCME Local 209, the union representing nearly 900 service workers at Miami University in Southwest Ohio.

The charges against two were that they were "tampering with a salad bar".

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