Solidarity 094, 1 June 2006

For the Palestinians? The Israelis? The only way to be for the Palestinians, or the Israelis, is to be for two states!

Published on: Sun, 30/09/2007 - 00:57

We are against academic and other boycotts against Israel. Such boycotts will inevitably claw in and target Jewish communities outside Israel, and thereby do more harm — and not only to Jews — than any possible good, any possible help that they could give to the Palestinians.

Boycott is a crude, indiscriminate weapon that will hit Israel-Jewish advocates of a just two-states solution— and that has been and is a powerful current in Israel — as well as the chauvinists. It is a weak and ineffective weapon too. The boycott of South Africa, over 30 years after the Sharpeville massacre of February

Witch-hunt against "foreign" criminals - This is racism!

Published on: Mon, 04/09/2006 - 12:14

By Mike Rowley

ONE of the most grotesque aspects of last month’s local election campaign was the media frenzy about “foreign criminals” being released from prison. If the gutter press is to be believed, the streets of Britain are teeming with rapists and murderers who have been let out of prison solely due to the extreme leniency of the government.

The reality, unsurprisingly, is very different. Firstly, all of those released had served their sentences according to law and were therefore, as is their basic right, released. The call for them to be deported is in effect a demand that these

Lecturers’ pay fight: stand firm!

Published on: Sun, 04/06/2006 - 12:12

By a NATFHE conference delegate

THE further and higher education lecturers’ union, NATFHE, met for its last conference on 27-29 May. On 1 June NATFHE merges with the Association of University Teachers to form the University and College Union (UCU). The backdrop to the conference was the bitter dispute in universities which started with a national strike in March, followed by a marking boycott and work to rule.

When higher education minister Bill Rammell, addressing the conference, had the cheek to say that the employers’ offer was “very substantial” he was heckled and slow handclapped.


Pensions White Paper: Government tells workers: Work Longer, Save More, Pay More Tax and Cross Your Fingers

Published on: Sun, 04/06/2006 - 12:09

By Mike Fenwick, UNISON

Trade union leaders in the TUC have welcomed the Government’s White Paper on pensions, published on 25 May.

Only the week before, the TUC had set out its “bottom-line” five tests for the White Paper. Even on a generous reading, the White Paper passed only one of the five tests.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: “We welcome this progressive White Paper. Ministers can be proud of a document that looks like it can be the foundation of a new pensions settlement.” Tony Woodley of the TGWU called for “two rousing cheers” for the government.

Instead, unions should

CWU says no shoo-in for Brown

Published on: Sun, 04/06/2006 - 12:07

For the first time, a major union has put down a marker for the forthcoming Labour Party leadership contest.

At its conference in Bournemouth on 21-26 May, the Communication Workers’ Union voted to support, in the forthcoming Labour Party leadership election, only candidates who support the principles of trade union rights as outlined in the proposed Trade Union Freedom Bill — and who are committed to keeping the Post Office in 100 per cent public ownership.

Proposing the London West End Amalgamated branch motion, London regional secretary John Denton said such a stance was vital if the

New win for religious bigots

Published on: Sun, 04/06/2006 - 12:06

An exhibition of paintings by the internationally renowned Indian painter M F Husain was recently closed for “security reasons”. The announcement by the exhibition hosts, Asia House, the was a reaction to a protest by the so-called “Hindu Human Rights Group”.

These days the words “religion” and “human rights” being used in the same phrase or sentence, generally means freedom for fundamentalists to throw their weight around and censor everything they find offensive. This group, is indeed a right-wing fundamentalist pressure group, and it staged a protest against the artist’s allegedly “obscene

Public sector union meets - Time to fight the NHS cuts

Published on: Sun, 04/06/2006 - 12:05

By a Unison member

At the conference for health workers in Unison back in April, delegates voted for a vibrant national campaign against the cuts in the NHS. The lumbering machinery of the union is now slowly starting to move. It supported the 11 May lobby of parliament, originally called by the Royal College of Nursing and there is now some mention of a national campaign on Unison’s website!

More hopeful are the moves within the regions of Unison to establish some local a nationwide petition and some encouragement to branches to investigate possibilities of local action. But the more

Capitalist swamp breeds racism

Published on: Sun, 04/06/2006 - 12:01

By Joan Trevor
There’s nothing like rumours of two ambitious politicians from the same party slugging it out in the backrooms to put the voters off politics.

Open warfare would be far better, where the public could judge whether there were actually differences of political substance between the protagonists or whether they were just fighting over when Buggins’ turn to be the king of the castle begins.

A feud to rival the disgusting squabble between dirty rascals Tony Blair and Gordon Brown has been unfolding in France, between rival right-wing 2007 presidential hopefuls, Prime Minister

US Living Wage activists tour UK

Published on: Sun, 04/06/2006 - 11:57

Brie Phillips and Diane Foglizzo from the US student Living Wage Action Coalition (pictured above with Laura Schwartz of No Sweat) have been on tour with No Sweat. They have been touring UK campuses promoting campaigns for Living Wages for all campus workers.

Diane was a student activist at Georgetown University, and was an organiser and hunger-striker during the Georgetown Living Wage campaign which lifted wages for low-paid campus cleaners.

A series of US student initiatives that link worker struggles to student solidarity now form the biggest protest coalition on US campuses since the

Uniting the strands of the student left

Published on: Sun, 04/06/2006 - 11:56

The second Education Not for Sale activist gathering on 27 May saw sixty or seventy student campaigners converge on the University of Sussex Students’ Union to discuss issues ranging from top-up fees to the demand for a living wage. In an era when even much of the student left doesn’t bother to organise open, grassroots-focused activist events, ENS’s commitment to doing so can help establish it as a forum for student radicals interested in doing more than r-r-revolutionary sloganeering or bureaucratic hackery.

The conference was addressed by speakers from various student campaigns, from unions

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