Solidarity 050, 20 April 2004

Iraq: stop the massacres!

Published on: Tue, 27/04/2004 - 09:29

By Clive Bradley

"There is a man, face down, in a white dishdash, a small round red stain on his back... As we reach to roll him onto the stretcher Dave's hand goes through his chest, through the cavity left by the bullet that entered so neatly through his back and blew his heart out. There is no weapon in his hand. Only when we arrive, his sons come out, crying, shouting. He was unarmed, they scream. He was unarmed. He just went out the gate and they shot him... No one had dared come to get his body, horrified, terrified, forced to violate the traditions of treating the body immediately... He

Fascist Le Pen to visit Birmingham: support the demo, not a ban!

Published on: Tue, 27/04/2004 - 09:27

By Joan Trevor

Jean-Marie Le Pen, leader of the French fascist party the Front National, is due to be guest of honour at a dinner hosted by Nick Griffin, leader of the fascist British National Party (BNP) in Birmingham on Sunday 25 April.
If the visit goes ahead, there will be a demonstration against the visit in Victoria Square at 3pm on Sunday afternoon.

Respect in Birmingham have called on the Chief Constable of the West Midlands to ban Le Pen's visit. Salma Yaqoob said:

"Le Pen is not welcome in Birmingham, the West Midlands or indeed anywhere in Britain by more than a tiny handful of

A new turn in N. Ireland

Published on: Tue, 27/04/2004 - 09:27

By Jack Cleary

The Northern Ireland power-sharing executive has now been suspended for 18 months. The polar opposites in Northern Irish politics, Sinn Fein and Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party, are now the biggest parties on the Catholic and Protestant sides.

Under the Good Friday Agreement (GFA), a new Belfast government requires a Paisleyite-Sinn Fein partnership. That will be a long time coming, if it ever comes.

Now the first report of the International Monitoring Commission (IMC) on the state of the Northern Irish ceasefire threatens to put new obstacles in the way of a resumption

Press gang: Rich pickings

Published on: Tue, 27/04/2004 - 09:27

By Lucy Clement

This week in the newspapers we have two new minor celebrities: the Sleazy Senorita and the Cheating PA.
The Senorita, Rebecca Loos, has, she says, been having a fling with the England football captain David Beckham. The tabloids have been hinting at some affair or other for months and Ms Loos has clearly decided to kiss, tell, and take the cash.

The Cheating PA, Joyti De-Laurey, nicked £4.3 million from her bosses' bank accounts. The first time she pulled the scam, Ron Beller and Jennifer Moses, top bankers at City firm Goldman Sachs, didn't even notice. The million she took

Labour-union link: False alarm for the CWU

Published on: Tue, 27/04/2004 - 09:27

Radio and TV news on 20 April claimed that the Labour Party had begun an "investigation" into the Communication Workers' Union (CWU), because its Scotland no.2 branch has decided to support the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP).

CWU head office sources, however, say they have received no communication from the Labour Party about it, and the Labour Party press office told Solidarity on 21 April that it is "an internal matter for the CWU".

Derek Durkin, secretary of the branch at the heart of the story, told Solidarity that he too had heard nothing from the Labour Party.

"It is all fairly old news

After the NUS elections, after the Higher Education Bill

Published on: Tue, 27/04/2004 - 09:27

The way forward for the student movement
Activists' forum called by the Campaign for Free Education

12-6pm Saturday 15th May
Westminster University Regent Street campus
Sessions include: Developing a manifesto for education * The way forward for the fight against fees * Students and internationalism * Building links with education trade unions

Speakers invited include Kat Fletcher (CFE co-chair & NUS President elect), John McDonnell MP, People & Planet, NATFHE.

For more information e-mail info@free-education.orgor ring 07976 000 940

International caravan to save the lives of Colombian workers

Published on: Tue, 27/04/2004 - 09:26

From the Colombian trade union federation, CUT

In 2003, 78 trade unionists were killed in Colombia by paramilitary groups. Since the foundation of the Colombian Trade Union Federation (CUT), 3,800 trade unionists have died that way.

The State has not had the political will to find those responsible, to judge them and thus mitigate the pain of the victims. The vast majority of the legal cases has been archived or remain in preliminary stages, without possibility of showing to the world the truth about these crimes against humanity.

The state, as always, has responded in a violent way to our

"Third Camp" in Iraq

Published on: Tue, 27/04/2004 - 09:26

Over the last year, a rash of clashes between small groups of armed Iraqis and the US and its allies have taken a steady toll of occupying soldiers. In mid-April they gave way to to serious fighting in a number of Iraqi cities between US forces and large groups of the political-Islamist militia of Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shia cleric. The USA has simultaneously been fighting armed Sunni forces, some of which were linked to the Saddam regime.

Large numbers of civilians have been killed.

The USA has been claiming that the attacks on its forces over the last year have come from partisans of Saddam

US lurches into quagmire

Published on: Tue, 27/04/2004 - 09:26

By Clive Bradley

In Fallujah, an agreement has been reached between US representatives, the Interim Governing Council, and local civic authorities in which the US shortens the curfew, and allows proper access to the hospital, in return for insurgents handing over heavy weapons. Whether the local leaders who have brokered this agreement can hold the "mujahedin" to it remains to be seen. Part of the agreement is the re-establishment of the Iraqi police force, which collapsed at the beginning of the fighting - but this seems a tall order.

In Najaf, al-Sadr called a ceasefire for the Prophet's

Meetings and events

Published on: Tue, 27/04/2004 - 09:26

Steering group, public meetings and march coming up....
No Sweat's steering group meets on Saturday 15 May, 12-4, central London. 07904 431 959 for more details.

South East London: Play Fair in the Olympics! Sportswear and sweatshops
Video, speakers, discussion, campaigning ideas
Thursday 13 May, 6 pm to 8.30,
Committee Room, Goldsmiths Students' Union, Dixon Rd SE14

South West London meeting: Fair Trade and Trade Justice. Thursday 29 April, starting at 7.30pm at the Battersea and Wandsworth TUC Centre, 898 Garratt Lane, SW17.

London Mayday march
Assemble at 12 noon on Saturday 1 May, at

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