Solidarity 182, 7 October 2010

Why Tubeworker matters

Published on: Sat, 09/10/2010 - 16:05

Tubeworker is a rank-and-file bulletin produced by worker-activists on London Underground. It is the only consistently-produced bulletin of its type and was founded for Workers' Liberty members working on the Underground 20 years ago. AWL continues to be centrally involved but the bulletin is also supported by a range of activists who are not AWL members. Unlike the material of other left groups, it is produced democratically in open editorial meetings and during its 20 years it has built up a reputation for bringing workers the news, discussion and analysis that neither the bosses nor the

Ireland: blank cheque for bankers, slash and burn for workers

Published on: Thu, 07/10/2010 - 15:25

Rob Hartnett from the Unite union in Ireland spoke to Solidarity:

The 29 September demonstration was organised to coincide with the politicians' return from the summer recess. I t wasn't necessarily intended to be a massive public demo but was more about getting the activist voice of the labour movement heard. From that point of view it was a success. Although we perhaps didn't get the headlines of the person who drove a cement mixer into the Dail building, we certainly share their sense of frustration. The government doesn't seem to have any idea about how its lack of planning is affecting

What Stalinism did to socialism

Published on: Thu, 07/10/2010 - 15:16

Sean Matgamna

The ideas in this article and those also linked to here are expanded on in the Workers' Liberty book 'The Left in Disarray' which can be purchased here.

Click here to download parts 1 to 5 as pdf.

Or read online:

1. Stalinism was utopianism

We have seen that Stalinism was a form of “utopian socialism” — totalitarian

Challenge BNP stalls!

Published on: Thu, 07/10/2010 - 15:03

Joan Trevor

The BNP’s internal difficulties continue; they are in debt and have expelled their London Assembly member Richard Barnbrook. However, their “tabletop” campaign is giving them new life at the grassroots.

Nationwide, they are running Saturday stalls under the banner “Support our troops, bring our boys home”. They are getting a good response, partly because people don’t realise that it’s the BNP, confusing them with “Help for Heroes”, or because people are not fussy about who brings an “anti-war” message. Where they are challenged, however, as they have been in Liverpool and in north London,

RTW, COR, NSSN: fight for anti-cuts unity!

Published on: Thu, 07/10/2010 - 14:57

The “Coalition of Resistance” (initiated by Counterfire, a group of people who recently left the SWP) has called an anti-cuts conference on 27 November.

“Right to Work”, a campaign initiated and run by the SWP, has called a “unity conference” for anti-cuts activists on 5 December.

And the National Shop Stewards’ Network, mostly run by the Socialist Party, has set an anti-cuts conference for 22 January.

RTW has also announced a conference of its own for 12 February.

The anti-cuts movement is already too vast and too varied for any one “front” to control it. It will become more so after 20

Hillbilly noir

Published on: Thu, 07/10/2010 - 14:52

Jordan Savage

Winter’s Bone is a thriller: a detective story in which a girl must find her drug-dealer father to prevent the repossession of her family home to pay his bond. Were it set in some urban future dystopia and populated by gun-toting pneumatic blondes, it would be heralded, like Sin City, for its noir echoes.

Set instead among meth-cooking hillbillies in contemporary Missouri, Debra Granik’s striking third movie has instead been criticised as “poverty porn,” a term which, post Slumdog Millionaire, self-satisfied critics use offhand when they are made to think, against their will, about what life

Bangladeshi garment workers rise

Published on: Thu, 07/10/2010 - 14:49

Following a wave of textile strikes in Bangladesh, a reviving workers’ movement is facing savage repression in Bangladesh.The campaign in solidarity with victimised strikers and activists continues. The following is an extract from an article on the US website.

The strikes began in mid-July when a general strike in the garment industry shut down the capital city, Dhaka. The immediate reason for the strike was the increase in the cost of basic commodities in Bangladesh, especially foodstuffs. Textile workers get 1,887 takas a month (roughly $25). Most economists put the

Latin American left: spotlight on Ecuador and Brazil

Published on: Thu, 07/10/2010 - 14:45

Following the attempted coup by a section of the police against the government of Rafael Correa in Ecuador, the Mexican section of the United Secretariat of the Fourth International (the Workers Revolutionary Party — PRT in Spanish) issued a statement of opposition through the FI’s International Viewpoint.

It called for “demonstrations of support and solidarity […] in front of the Ecuadorean embassy in Mexico City”. The statement is also clear in rejecting the notion, asserted in some bourgeois media sources, that the upheaval was a legitimate protest by policeman around changes to pay and

Election setback for Chávez

Published on: Thu, 07/10/2010 - 14:41

Paul Hampton

The Bonapartist regime of Hugo Chávez suffered a setback in the Venezuelan elections on 26 September, winning a majority of parliamentary seats but not the two-thirds majority it wanted in order to make further constitutional changes. The ruling party, Chávez’s PSUV, gained 98 of the 165 seats available in the national assembly.

The Patria para Todos (PPT, homeland for all) party gained two seats. The PPT was until recently part of the ruling party’s coalition — its general secretary was vice-president of the national assembly in the last session and it previously had 11 deputies. The right

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