National News

Poor show for fascists

by New Worker correspondents

HUNDREDS of neo-fascists, football hooligans and other racist thugs from the British National Party and the English Defence League descended on the Manchester suburb of Hyde last Saturday to take exploit a court case involving Asians charged with grooming teenage girls and an attack on 17-year-old Daniel Stringer-Prince, allegedly by Asian youths.

This was in defiance of the expressed wishes of the boy’s family that the incident should not be used to foment race hatred.

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UAF debates bans

MORE than 400 delegates attended the annual conference of Unite Against Fascism last Saturday in London’s Conway Hall to debate the challenges ahead in confronting racism and fascism in the coming year — in particular the threat of the English Defence League.

The conference debated at length on the wisdom of calling for bans on public fascist activity.

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St Paul’s Occupy evicted

AROUND 100 bailiffs backed by 300 riot police moved into the area around St Paul’s Cathedral in the middle of the night last Monday to clear away the Occupy protesters’ camp after all legal procedures to prevent the eviction had failed.

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Cameron warned over A4e company

DAVID CAMERON has made another serious error of judgement, it seems, by appointing Emma Harrison, head of the company A4e, as his “families’ champion” after Government officers were warned about fraud allegations against A4e.

A4e is the company that has made millions from taxpayers’ money on the basis that it reduces long-term unemployment.

It does this through intensive bullying and harassment of the unemployed to lower their sights and accept any job, no matter how unsuitable, how low paid or what the hours and conditions.

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‘Sheds with beds’ common

WHEN a serious shortage of affordable housing is combined with large numbers of migrant workers — some legal some illegal — who cannot find proper regular employment the result is inevitable.

Yet council officers in Slough and Ealing were surprised to discover the extent of the phenomenon known as “sheds with beds” in hundreds of backyards in their boroughs.

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Cold winds threaten renewable energy projects

THE CON-DEM Coalition’s lack of commitment to renewable energy projects is discouraging business investment in that sector, according to Magued Eldaief, managing director of General Electric, one of the world’s biggest wind companies.

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Challenge for older MPs

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis last week challenged any MP aged 65 or over, to spend a day emptying bins or working as a paramedic, hospital cook or cleaner.

The challenge comes on the back of a study by the National Centre for Social research for the union, showing that more than 50 per cent of people aged between 60 and 65 have a longstanding illness, disability or infirmity. In addition; 28 per cent of those people said it limited the kind, or amount of paid work they could do.

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Tanker driver ballot could hit petrol pumps

FEARS OVER safety and growing instability in the fuel industry are pushing oil tanker drivers closer to national strike action, according to the giant union Unite.

Voting will begin next week in a strike ballot of over 2,000 drivers who work for seven major fuel distribution firms. The ballot will embrace approximately 90 per cent of drivers supplying petrol to forecourts in Britain.

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Older workers and unpaid overtime

THE PROPORTION of employees in their late 50s and early 60s working unpaid overtime has increased sharply in the last decade — despite a fall in unpaid hours for the rest of the workforce — according to a new TUC analysis published last Friday to mark Work Your Proper Hours Day.

If workers who regularly put in unpaid overtime worked all their hours from the start of the year, the first day they would get paid would be Friday 24th February. The TUC has named this Work Your Hour Proper Hours Day (WYPHD) in their honour.

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The Truth v British Justice: the long hard struggle of the Bloody Sunday families

Setting the Truth Free: the inside story of the Bloody Sunday Justice Campaign, by Julieann Campbell. Liberties Press, Dublin, rrp £13.99.

Reviewed by Theo Russell

THE 38-year struggle for justice for the victims of the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre, like the Guildford Four and Birmingham Six campaigns, exposed the true nature of British justice — upholding class bigotry and colonial oppression.

Julieann Campbell, the niece of one of the victims who works for the Bloody Sunday Trust and Free Derry Museum, has brought together a mass of material in a remarkable new book that reveals just how hard that struggle was.

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Marking the birth of Kim Jong Il

by New Worker correspondent

A HIGHLY successful meeting of the Korean Friendship Association was held last weekend in London to mark the 70th anniversary of the birth of Kim Jong Il.

Dermot Hudson, chair of the Juche Idea Study Group, highlighted Kim Jong Il’s contribution to theory and ideology on his 1982 work On the Juche Idea, in which Kim Jong Il brought together and systematised the Juche theory, and his 1994 thesis Socialism is a Science.

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International News

West wants to stifle Syria’s economy

by Roberto Morejon Duque

A DELIBERATE offensive to destabilise the economy of Syria and to pave the way towards a change of regime are the main targets of the belligerent opposition, whose behaviour has been aggravated by terrorist groups, supported by monarchies of the Persian Gulf, according to some reports from the Syrian government.

To these elements one can add, and not by coincidence, the United States and European Union sanctions that try to rewrite the agenda that destabilised Libya and ended with the assassination of the leader Muamar Al Gadaffi.

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Stop undermining Korean peninsula’s peace process!

by Zhong Sheng

AS THE Korean peninsula is at a crucial stage of regaining peace and stability, it is important for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States to resolve differences through dialogue and to promote the early resumption of the six-party talks.

Inexplicably, South Korea recently stated that China violated international rules in dealing with DPRK nationals who have illegally entered China. The statement shows disrespect for China’s active and constructive role in restoring peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, and is a hurdle to the restart of the six-party talks.

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The hell of the US prison system

Radio Havana Cuba

“BLACK men born in the United States who are lucky enough to live longer than 18 years are conditioned to accept the inevitability of being sent to prison. For most, that reality is looming as the next phase in a long series of humiliations,” wrote George Jackson years ago, when sent to prison in 1960, from where he continued to fight for the rights of black citizens.

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Venezuela and China sign strategic agreements

by Xelcis Presno in Caracas VENEZUELA and China signed 14 new agreements on bilateral cooperation of high strategic importance to the South American country, according to Venezuelan Petroleum and Mining Minister Rafael Ramirez.

The signing ceremony took place at the headquarters of Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA, in the presence of Vice President Elias Jaua, Minister of Finance and Planning, Jorge Giordani and other high-ranking government officials.

The 14 agreements, and other two accords signed last Friday are the culmination of negotiations between Venezuelan government agencies and major corporations and financial and banking companies of the People’s Republic of China.

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Romanian workers fight cuts and prefer socialism

by Caleb T Maupin

AS IMPERIALISM emerged as a system a few countries began to dominate and exploit the rest of the world. Among the first to be subjugated were the peoples of Eastern Europe. The vast natural resources and human labour to be found there have long been used to enrich capitalists elsewhere, while the people of Eastern Europe have lived in poverty.

The first and second world wars were caused by what V I Lenin called “inter-imperialist rivalries”. The ruling classes of Britain, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Japan and the United States battled each other for the ability to exploit the peoples of the colonies and turn their labour and resources into profits.

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Churchill and the Cuban revolt

by Raúl I García

DURING his stay in Cuba as an officer of the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars, a British Army cavalry regiment, Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965) predicted that Spain’s war against Cuba’s 19th century independence fighters — the Mambises — would not be easy or short.

Churchill initiated that military adventure on his own in 1895, along with fellow Briton Reginald Barnes, according to Lourdes María Méndez Vargas, a foreign relations specialist from this province who resides in Havana.

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Venezuela: youth celebrate victory

by Olivia Kroth

WHILE in some countries Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February, Venezuela celebrates National Youth Day each 12th February.

This year a huge civic-military parade took place in La Victoria, state of Aragua, to commemorate the battle for Venezuelan Independence on 12th February 1814, attended by thousands of young people who had travelled to the gathering in buses and cars.

President Hugo Chavez took part in the parade and spoke to the crowd of 50,000 people. “We are here today with all our heart ... to celebrate the young, new, revolutionary, and socialist homeland,” he said.

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