National News

Solidarity in Lewisham

by New Worker correspondent

DOZENS of progressive activists from a wide spectrum of organisations last Sunday packed into the Albany community centre in Deptford in the south London Borough of Lewisham for an afternoon and evening of debate, discussions, short films and entertainment, presented under the auspices of the local Young Mayor scheme.

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Unison highlights the reality of public sector cuts

THE PUBLIC sector union Unison last 8th, 9th and 10th March 2010 brought to life the reality of public sector cuts in London, Birmingham and Manchester by projecting a hard-hitting film clip onto public buildings and places of interest in the cities.

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Unions unite against cuts

LEADING officers of eight major trade unions met last Sunday at the London headquarters of the civil service union PCS to plan co-ordinated industrial action against public sector job cuts. The unions included: PCS, the transport union RMT, the Prison Officers’ Association, the Fire Brigades Union and the National Association of Probation Officers.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said the union’s overarching principle was to stand up to cuts no matter which political party was initiating them.

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Free Joe Glenton!

by New Worker correspondent

PEACE CAMPAIGNERS staged a protest in Colchester on Friday 5th March in support of Joe Glenton, the soldier who refused to fight in Afghanistan and was charged with absence without leave, after the more serious charges of desertion were withdrawn.

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Brighton jobs march

by Ray Jones in Brighton

AROUND 500 people marched through Brighton last Saturday in a protest over job cuts.

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Respite care funding disappears

BRITAIN’S hidden army of carers who look after millions of elderly, sick and disabled relatives and friends in their own homes save the country billions of pounds in costs to the NHS and social services.

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Anti-fascists protest as EDL supports hatemonger

HUNDREDS of anti-fascists assembled in Westminster last Friday as extreme right-wing Dutch MP Geert Wilders screened an anti-Islam hate film in the House of Lords and around 200 members of the fascist English Defence League (EDL) turned out to support Wilders.

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CWU wins peace and a pay rise

THE COMMUNICATION Workers’ Union has reached a deal with Royal Mail which brings a pay rise in excess of 6.9 per cent over the next three years, reduces the working week and brings greater job security to postal workers while delivering business transformation.

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April rally to defend state welfare

ALL OF Britain’s major unions, pensioner groups and NHS support campaigns are backing a national march and rally on Saturday 10th April to defend the welfare state and public services.

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BNP: white teeth and sun tans?

A SMILING white family pictured on a British National Party election leaflet are actually American models, reports the Hope not Hate Campaign.

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Cut in rail maintenance jobs

RAIL UNION RMT last week expressed outrage at plans confirmed by Balfour Beatty Rail to axe up to 160 track team leaders and track worker positions as part of a cost-cutting drive.

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Cuba through an artist’s eye

by New Worker correspondent

WE SAW another glimpse of Cuba through the eyes of famed Cuban photographer Alejandro Gortazar when a new collection of 50 images of the island and its people was launched in London’s Bolivar Hall last week. Alejandro’s eye captures light, people and nature and freezes it with his lens to provide a unique glimpse of life on the revolutionary island and he’s won critical acclaim following his first exhibition in London last November.

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Rakatan takes London by storm

By New Worker correspondent

CUBAN culture is not hard to find in London these days and for the past month Londoners have been trooping to Sadler’s Wells’ Peacock Theatre to see the return of an amazing dance spectacular that covers the entire gamut of Cuban music from the songs and dances of the African slaves to the mambo, rumba and salsa of the 20th century.

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International News

Iraqi puppets squabble

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

RIVAL sectarian Iraqi collaborators are squabbling over the spoils, following last Sunday’s fraudulent elections and General Ray Odierno, the commander of US forces in Iraq, predicts it will take “a couple of months” for leaders to form a post-election government. This is more than can be said for the Americans, who after seven years of occupation have still been unable to provide reliable electricity or drinking water to significant parts of the country.

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Workers protest throughout Spain

by Caleb T Maupin

MASSIVE demonstrations took place across Spain on 23rd February: 70,000 took to the streets in Madrid, 50,000 marched in Barcelona and tens of thousands more joined in ten other cities. The country’s two leading unions organised these actions to protest against Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero’s proposed labour law reforms, especially the plan to raise the retirement age from 65 to 67.

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Palestinian opposition say Israeli talks will fail

Xinhua news agency

by Saud Abu Ramadan and Emad Drimly in Gaza

PALESTINIAN opposition movements have rejected the resumption of US-sponsored indirect peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), saying the talks will never succeed.

The left-wing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) accused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday of “exclusivity in the decision-making, mainly those related to major Palestinian issues,” adding that talks can never be resumed while Israel continues its settlement activities and rejects the peace principles.

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Chile earthquake exposes dictatorship scars

Radio Havana Cuba

THE VIOLENT earthquake that recently hit Chile revealed that even though more than 20 years have passed since the so-called alliance governments, Chilean society still shows profound socio-economic inequalities left by the former Pinochet dictatorship.

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Dina Matar: Putting the individual human voice into the Palestinian narrative

by Karen Dabrowska

THE HUMAN individual voice has been lost from the Palestinian narrative and Dina Matar is determined to put it back.

Her latest book: What it Means to be a Palestinian, Stories of Palestinian Peoplehood is a narrative of narratives, a collection of personal stories, remembered feelings and reconstructed experiences by different Palestinians whose lives were changed and shaped by history. Their stories are told chronologically through particular phases of the Palestinian national struggle, providing a composite autobiography of Palestine as a landscape and as a people.

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A teacher in China

by Anne Leggett

LAST YEAR I went as a volunteer teacher to help improve the spoken English of middle school teachers in rural Southwest China. I heard about The Amity Foundation Summer English Programme (SEP) when I chose to replace a friend who could not go for health reasons. The Amity Foundation — an NGO based in Nanning — was founded in 1985 by Chinese Christians as a response to the nation’s call for reform and openness. It aims to promote education, social and health services and rural development.

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Corporate defeat

by Rob Gowland

BY NOW, there are probably few readers who have not seen the 3D sci-fi fantasy adventure blockbuster Avatar. It is technically brilliant, setting new benchmarks for computer-generated sci-fi and fantasy effects in movies.

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