Solidarity 048, 18 March 2004

Beat back the racists!

Published on: Tue, 23/03/2004 - 09:01

Racists. Rich racists. Media billionaires cynically using racism to create scapegoats. Britain has too many of them.
One sick tabloid headline after another tries to make the gullible believe that Britain's big problem is too many migrants, too many refugees winning asylum, or migrants getting a few thousand pounds in social security.

Not a word about the billions siphoned off in profits by big companies and banks, British and international. Not a word about the social cost of cuts and privatisation.

Nor about the government policies, Tory and New Labour, of running down council housing, or

No deportations! Support hunger strikers!

Published on: Tue, 23/03/2004 - 09:01

The National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns (NCADC) is urging support for three Iranian Kurds from Glasgow who have been on hunger strike for three weeks.
They have been refused asylum, but believe that if they are returned to Iran they will face torture and even execution for their political activism in support of the Kurdish Democratic Party.

The three have stitched their lips together in a symbolic illustration of the failure of the UK government to hear about the suffering of the victims of brutal regimes where human rights are violated.

More: Kath Sainsbury, ncadc-north-east

Nonviolent resistance to Wall goes unreported

Published on: Tue, 23/03/2004 - 09:00

From Gush Shalom

Just two days after Madrid the sickening images are once again coming from closer to home, with the news of a suicide bombing at the Israeli port of Ashdod. Once again the cycle of bloodshed is rolling on. (And, once again a day of mass, unarmed Palestinian resistance was overshadowed by the acts of two young desperados.) For the players on both sides of the lethal ping-pong, casualties are instrumentalized into ammunition, into a licence to kill the other side's men, women, old and young.
Nearly two months have passed since Ariel Sharon made the startling announcement of his

The miners' strike 1984-5: The events

Published on: Tue, 23/03/2004 - 08:56

The second in our series looking back at the miners' strike details the events up to April 1984.
21 March 1984: power unions (including the GMB) advise their members to cross picket lines. Steelworkers will also cross picket lines.

Third week in March: women in Barnsley, having formed Women Against Pit Closures, hold first activity, a picket of the National Coal Board local offices. Other women's groups spring up. Initially they are involved in organising food collections and distribution and fund raising. Soon they are organising pickets, rallies, demonstrations and public speaking.

26 March:

Workers of the World - ROUND-UP

Published on: Tue, 23/03/2004 - 08:56
  • Zanón factory - two years under workers' control
  • Anti-privatisation protest in Thailand
  • Korean workers win wider union rights

Zanón factory - two years under workers' control

Every day, the 330 workers of Zanón Ceramics Factory who both work at and run the largest ceramic floor-tile factory in Argentina are, legally speaking, usurping the factory and its machinery.

That they have been able to sustain this legally precarious situation for two years is due to the incredible solidarity they have garnered from their local community in Neuquén.

While an outstanding order to evict these workers

Oppose Blunkett's anti-terror measures!

Published on: Tue, 23/03/2004 - 08:56

UK current legislation includes the Terrorism Act 2000, enacted to harmonise the separate laws covering Britain and Northern Ireland.
544 people have been arrested under the Act, but only 98 charged with offences under the Act. A few of those arrested under the Act have been charged with other offences.

This ratio of many arrests - and detentions - to few convictions is unusual. Civil rights lawyers have accused the authorities of using the Act simply to go fishing for wrongdoing among those they suspect but against whom they have little clear evidence.

Seventeen foreign nationals have been

Guantanamo, anti-terrorism legislation - War on terror: war on rights

Published on: Tue, 23/03/2004 - 08:56

By Rosalind Robson

It will be a long time before the full truth emerges about the penal camps on the US military base at Guantanamo Bay - if indeed the truth ever does emerge. Despite nearly 100 releases so far, as many as 660 men are still being held in conditions of near secrecy.
Some of the truth about what is happening to these people the US government styles as "enemy combatants" has been leaked out by visiting journalists.

A lot more will be pieced together for us with the testimony of the five British detainees released recently, after police and military agencies admitted they had no

Play Fair at the Olympics

Published on: Tue, 23/03/2004 - 08:55

In the lead-up to the Athens Olympic Games in August, the Clean Clothes Campaign, Oxfam and trade unions across the world will be campaigning for sportswear workers' rights.
The campaign was launched on 4 March with events in more than 25 countries.

In Canada, Bruce Kidd, a Canadian athlete, raised a clothes-line of brand name sportswear with statistics highlighting the abuse of workers' rights.

In Austria, the federation of trade unions launched the campaign with an action in front of the office of the Austrian Olympic Committee.

In Thailand, workers' unions gathered at the Thai National

Haiti - Poverty and instability

Published on: Tue, 23/03/2004 - 08:55

Mark Osborn spoke to Charles Arthur of the Haiti Support Group about the situation in Haiti now

Charles explains: the current US intervention numbers about 1,500 troops, and the total foreign force comes to about 2,500.

These forces are concentrated in Port-au-Prince. They have visited other towns, but have no permanent presence there.

In the capital, much the same as last time they intervened in 1994, the US priority has been to guard the state institutions and big businesses and industrial parks. For me this indicates the nature of US interests in Haiti.

There is the question of disarmament.

Haiti Free Trade Zone - Paramilitaries are helping the bosses

Published on: Tue, 23/03/2004 - 08:55

An attempt to violently break the union-organising drive at the Ouanaminthe Free Trade Zone in north-east Haiti on 1-2 March has been met by a wave of international solidarity in support of the Haitian trade unionists.
34 members of the newly formed Sokowa union were fired, and irregular paramilitaries attacked other workers at the Grupo M factory. In response thousands of emails were sent by trade unionists and activists from all over the world, forcing the Grupo M management to meet the Batay Ouvriye (Workers' Fight) union federation.

During the two meetings that took place the factory

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