Solidarity 357, 18 March 2015

Bangladesh left slams Islamist murder

Published on: Wed, 18/03/2015 - 12:19

Badrul Alam

Badrul Alam from the Communist Party of Bangladesh (Marxist-Leninist) spoke to Solidarity about the murder on the streets of Dhaka of the US writer of Bangladeshi background, Avijit Roy.

It is clear that Roy was killed by fundamentalists because there were similar cases in 2004, when a professor from Dhaka University, Humayun Azad, was murdered.

Extremist groups admitted killing Azad, because they held him to be an atheist.

Roy came from a rationalist family. His father was a teacher of physics at Dhaka university; it was a family tradition to be scientific-minded.

Roy was considered by the

Reverse, not slow, the cuts!

Published on: Wed, 18/03/2015 - 12:14

Gerry Bates

Solidarity went to press before George Osborne's pre-election Budget on 18 March. All the signs were that Osborne would follow up his 3 December autumn statement with a few tax cuts, mainly for the well-off.

The autumn statement projected further social cuts estimated by the conservative Institute for Fiscal Studies to total £55 billion over the next five years, more than the £35 billion slashed since 2010.

Osborne has already said he wants £12 billion further welfare cuts.

He has already trailed a plan (not as a Budget measure, but as an election promise) to exempt many well-off people from

Political change in Israel?

Published on: Wed, 18/03/2015 - 12:10

Rosalind Robson

As we go to press Israel's current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his party Likud, are neck-and-neck with the opposition in exit polls from Israel’s 17 March election.

The election was turned into a dramatic national referendum on the future of Israel when Netanyahu ruled out the establishment of a Palestinian state, saying: “I think that anyone who moves to establish a Palestinian state and evacuate territory gives territory away to radical Islamist attacks against Israel.” He also promised to build more settlements in occupied east Jerusalem.

The US will not be happy with Netanyahu's

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 18/03/2015 - 12:02

Charlotte Zalens and Gemma Short

Pat Hutton, GMB rep at Queen Elizabeth Hospital where workers have been on strike to win the same terms and conditions as in-house workers, spoke to Solidarity.

"Since our last strikes at Christmas, GMB has been going round hospitals where they recruited scabs — in Liverpool, Coventry, Westminster, Chelsea, Kingston — organising to stop it.

A lot of the scabs were casuals and didn’t know what was going on. With the help of GMB in those places we put a stop to it.

Here at QEH we’ve been pushing on with recruiting new members — we have over 250 now — and geeing people up.

We had a plan for the

Universities, capitalism and free speech

Published on: Wed, 18/03/2015 - 11:19

For centuries, university campuses have been, relatively speaking, a haven within capitalist society for free debate and criticism.

A high point, for much of the 20th century, was the right which universities in Latin America won to keep the police off their campuses and have university officials elected by staff and students. That began with the University Reform Movement in Córdoba, in northern Argentina, which opposed a focus on learning by rote, inadequate libraries, poor instruction, and restrictive admission criteria, and spread across the subcontinent.

The student radicalism which

No truth without freedom!

Published on: Wed, 18/03/2015 - 11:03

Karl Marx

Karl Marx wrote in favour of free speech, free criticism, and free expression in these passages of an article of February 1843, “Comments on the latest Prussian Censorship Instruction”

“According to this law,” namely, Article II, “the censorship should not prevent serious and modest investigation of truth, nor impose undue constraint on writers, or hinder the book trade from operating freely.”

The investigation of truth which should not be prevented by the censorship is more particularly defined as one which is serious and modest. Both these definitions concern not the content of the

Rights for migrants! Workers' unity!

Published on: Wed, 18/03/2015 - 10:51


As we go to press on 17 March, up to 300 detainees at the Harmondsworth immigrant removal centre near London are reported on hunger strike.

And detainees at up to seven other centres, out of Britain’s eleven holding about 3,000 people at any one time, have joined the protest for shorter or longer spans of time.

Because of the conditions in the centres, it is hard to know exactly what the detainees’ demands are, but reports include calls for:

•cancellation of a deportation flight to Pakistan

•a 28-day limit on detention

•immediate release of disabled, elderly, pregnant, or mentally unwell

Fascists are reorganising and regrouping

Published on: Wed, 18/03/2015 - 10:37

Solidarity spoke to a member of Sheffield anti-fascist network.

What state are the EDL in and what are they up to?

Attendance at EDL demos has been slowly declining for a few years, apart from a spike in interest after Lee Rigby was killed in Woolwich. They seem to have flatlined at about 300-500 turnout at each demo.

This is probably due to a number of factors including their failure to change tactics from A to B marches, the heavy policing of demos, serious custodial sentences meted out to EDL members, opposition (more in some regions than others) from anti-fascists, and the internal splits

What election?

Published on: Wed, 18/03/2015 - 10:30

Harry Davies

It turns out that there’s going to be an election soon.

But if you’ve been reading the Daily Mail exclusively over the last couple of weeks you might not know that. They seem to be very disinclined to mentioning it.

This, let us not forget, is quite a big one; we’re definitely going to get a new government of some form. Search the Mail’s online presence as much as you like; there’s barely a hint. Why is this? Maybe they’re holding back for a big push for Cameron nearer the time? Maybe they're torn between UKIP and the Tories?

The Guardian seems to be gloomily and wearily following Nigel Farage

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