Solidarity 186, 2 December 2010

New immigration rules: only the rich need apply!

Published on: Thu, 02/12/2010 - 13:52

Ira Berkovic

The government has wasted no time in tightening up Britain’s immigration laws, which were already vice-like under New Labour.

But restrictions don’t apply to everyone. If you need join your partner but can’t afford English lessons to pass the pre-entry English test, tough. On the other hand, as Home Office lawyer Kamal Rahman has just announced, anyone planning to invest over £5 million in the UK will be eligible for citizenship within five years. No questions asked. No tests.

Rahman said, “This is a way to attract high net worth individuals in a time of austerity”, and said that people would

Build European workers unity

Published on: Thu, 02/12/2010 - 13:48

Darren Bedford

The bosses and bankers of Europe have been busily discussing a coordinated response to the debt crises that have shaken Ireland, Greece, Portugal and other countries within the “Eurozone.”

They are discussing united responses across the continent to defend the interests of their class. Our class needs to do likewise.

There have been significant strike movements across Europe recently; the Greek strikes, the recent Portuguese general strike and the French strike wave are the most prominent. But these strikes have all been called on a national basis with little or no attempts at coordination.


Inequality: "There is another way"

Published on: Thu, 02/12/2010 - 13:43

Bill Kerry, founder-member, current secretary and one of four co-directors of the Equality Trust, spoke to Solidarity about the Con Dem cuts. The Equality Trust is a group of academics and writers including the authors of the book The Spirit Level, which showed with detailed statistics that “more equal societies almost always do better.”

The fact that the deficit is being addressed overwhelmingly by cuts to public spending and very little by tax rises on the better off can only mean that inequality will increase.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies has said the impact will clearly be regressive.

Fifty thousand students march in Rome

Published on: Thu, 02/12/2010 - 13:35

Cath Fletcher

The Italian government has succeeded in passing its so-called “reform” of universities despite massive student protests (30 November).

But as the measure now goes to the Senate, this is not the end of the campaign.

In Rome, a massive sit-in outside the parliament building was met with such heavy policing that the leader of Italy’s most prominent left party compared it to Pinochet’s Chile.

Over fifty thousand students demonstrated in the capital. Some blocked railway lines out of Rome for several hours, as did students in Pisa. Elsewhere in the country small station occupations disrupted

The shape of things to come?

Published on: Thu, 02/12/2010 - 13:23

Wes Strong

An overwhelming shift in public education has been occurring for thirty years, going back to the birth of neo-liberalism.

A huge power shift has taken place where the private sector has an ever-growing influence on public education. Public education at the university level has historically been state funded, a burden shared by both individual states and the federal government.

Each different state raises internal funds differently, and the federal government has supplies federal funding as well. State law in every state except Vermont forbids states from passing a budget that runs at a deficit

Open the doors and your books!

Published on: Thu, 02/12/2010 - 13:16

Joe Broady and Jonny Keyworth

At 4 pm on 24 November activists entered and occupied the Roscoe Building of Manchester University in opposition to proposed education cuts and fee rises.

After discussion the group decided that the occupation would be used as a base for planning and organisation for the Manchester anti-cuts movement.

This initial group of occupiers was denied food, heating, and, unlike every other university occupation in the country, free access to the building.

The group after talks released this set of demands:

• The University to pledge not to increase fees and not to implement cuts

• To issue a

Walk out on 9 December!

Published on: Thu, 02/12/2010 - 13:10

Ed Maltby

As we go to press we have heard that the Parliamentary vote on tuition fees will take place on Thursday 9 December. College and schools students should walk out.

We hope they will be joining a massive demonstration in central London. College staff should certainly join the students as they walk out and as they demonstrate.

Such action will follow on from Tuesday 30 November, when tens of thousands of students demonstrated, walked out and took direct action against the government education plans. Protesting against the tripling of tuition fees, scrapping of Education Maintenance Awards and

Is "zero growth" the answer?

Published on: Thu, 02/12/2010 - 12:56

Stuart Jordan

In a recent speech to the Texas Academy of Science, world renowned ecologist Dr Eric Pianka called for the genocidal culling of 90% of humanity through release of an airborne Ebola virus. Pianka explained that such radical measures were the only way to stop environmental catastrophe. At the end of his speech, the two or three hundred scientists present gave him a standing ovation.

Pianka is obviously an extreme case, but there are softer variations on this theme of “population control”. From David Attenborough to David Rockefeller, the theme is becoming a mainstream response to climate change

Remember Jimmy Mubenga!

Published on: Thu, 02/12/2010 - 12:52

One hundred and fifty people protested outside the Angolan Embassy on 12 November at the death of Jimmy Mubenga, who died whilst being forcibly deported back to Angola on a British Airways flight. Jimmy’s family were amongst the protestors.

The Angolan Embassy has been silent since Jimmy’s untimely death a month ago and the protestors handed in a letter to the Ambassador expressing their anger at this silence.

The protest then made its way to the Home Office Headquarters. In the course of the long walk these slogans were shouted: “No Borders! No Nations! Stop Deportations!” and “What do we

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