Solidarity 297, 25 September 2013

Greek workers rally against fascist killers

At midnight on Tuesday 17 September, anti-fascist musician Paul Fyssas was knifed to death in Piraeus, near Athens, by a fascist, Giorgos Roupakas.

Thirty thugs from the fascist Golden Dawn movement were waiting outside the cafe where Paul was watching a football match. They had been mobilised by mobile phone.

Thirty against one! And even then, they relied on their chosen thug, Roupakas, to do the killing.

Then Roupakas’s party disowned him. Pretended not to know him!

Break the pay freeze!

On 23 September Labour Party conference passed a motion against the public sector pay freeze, which the Labour leaders have promised to continue, and for the Living Wage to be made law.

Speaking for the motion, Dave Prentis, general secretary of the public services union Unison, called for “a clear unambiguous Labour promise to turn a statutory minimum wage into a living wage”. He continued: “The pay freeze must end. No ifs, no buts — a clear commitment to end the Tory pay freeze”.

Islamist atrocity in Nairobi

Islamists stormed a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya on 21 September. As we go to press, they are known to have killed 62 people and injured 170.

The killers released people only if they could prove they were Muslims. The events should hammer home three things often denied on the left.

First: Islamists are different from specially religious Muslims.

Hovis workers win

Hovis bakery workers have ended their strike with an agreement that agency labour “will only be used when there is insufficient commitment by employees to work overtime and banked hours.”

The strike had already succeeded in ending ”zero hours” contracts among directly employed workers.

Bakers’ union official Geoff Atkinson called the deal “a landmark”.

• For more info, see here

Firefighters' nationwide strike

Firefighters in England and Wales take strike action on Wednesday 25 September in response to government attacks on firefighters’ pensions which would see them pay more, work longer and receive reduced benefits on retirement.

Understanding the Arab uprising

Unusually for a professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies, Gilbert Achcar has become the hate figure for parts of the left over recent months for his perceived support for big-power intervention in Libya.

Mentally ill pushed to jails or streets

As austerity puts the squeeze on the most vulnerable, many more people are lurching into mental health crisis. At the same time, services are stretched to breaking point. The mentally unwell are having to fend for themselves. Todd Hamer looks at the issues.


Between 2002-3 and 2007-8 there was a 17% reduction in mental health inpatient beds from 32,753 to 26,928. A Panorama investigation found that there had been a further reduction of 17% since 2008. We have lost a third of inpatient capacity in just 10 years1.

Why I joined Workers' Liberty

­­In class struggle, politics must always take precedence over any specific organisational matters. This doesn’t mean a dogmatic commitment to the details of past or current programmes, but serious consideration of how revolutionaries can begin to forge a mass organisation.

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