Solidarity 289, 12 June 2013

Industrial news in brief

Teachers at Bishop Challoner School in East London have voted by a 95% majority to strike against management practises described by many teachers as “bullying”, and the victimisation of a National Union of Teachers rep, with a strike due on 19 June.

Tories attack civil service union rights

Effectively following instructions from Francis Maude, civil service departments have cut the “facility” time (paid time off from work to carry out trade union duties) for civil service union reps to 0.6% of the total wage bill in the last month or two.

The life of martyred Greek Trotskyist pioneer Pandelis Pouliopoulos

Pandelis Pouliopoulos, the founder of the Greek Trotskyist movement, was shot on 6 June 1943 by Italian occupation forces in Greece. The US Trotskyist paper The Militant commemorated him with this article on 8 June 1946.

In losing Pandelis Pouliopoulos, who was shot in June 1943, at Nezero by the Italian imperialists occupying Greece jointly, with the Germans at that time, the Greek revolutionary workers’ movement lost its greatest figure.

From Tahir to Taksim

I was talking the other day to an educated and informed American and mentioned that I’d spent a lot of time recently working on building support for the protestors in Taksim Square.

Her reaction surprised me. “But aren’t you worried about, you know, an Islamist takeover?”

In the two years since the overthrow of the Mubarak Regime, many people have begun to learn all the wrong lessons from the Arab Spring.

Antarsya and the united front

The second Conference of Antarsya, the main far-left coalition in Greece outside of Syriza and the Stalinist KKE, took place on 1-2 June.

It was marked by increased participation, and involved over 1,000 elected representatives of local and sectoral committees across the country. More than 3,000 militants were involved during the preconference talks.

Turkish capitalism creates gravedigger

Protests to stop capitalism’s attempt to plunder Taksim Gezi Park have swiftly spread across the whole country and turned into an anti-government revolt.

The Kurds in Turkey and Syria

In May the Turkish state oil company agreed a oil exploration deal with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq alongside US company ExxonMobil.

Iraqi oil resources are vast, but heavily concentrated in Northern Iraq under the administration of the KRG. That and the KRG’s relative stability has attracted many multinationals, and governments (Turkey, Iran, Lebanon, Israel) to the autonomous area.

What kind of anti-fascism?

The racist backlash following the murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich has highlighted again the need for a working-class anti-fascist movement in Britain, which not only confronts far-right and fascist organisation in the streets but is part of a political alternative.

“Mainstream” anti-fascism — the SWP-controlled United Against Fascism — retains a certain superficial dominance but without any organised local groups.

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