National News

Brighton anti-fascists take to the barricades

by New Worker correspondent

THOUSANDS of Brighton residents last Sunday lined Queen’s Road from the station almost to the seafront to protest at a St George’s Day “March for England”.

Organisers of the March for England claimed they had nothing to do with the Islamophobic English Defence League but the faces on the march were nearly all well known EDL supporters. When the racists marched through Brighton last year EDL supporters had easily out-numbered the protesters. This year the people of Brighton were not fooled; they came out in their thousands — impossible to count because they moved about as the march progressed.

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‘Social cleansing’ in London

THE LONDON Borough of Newham last week approached Brighter Futures, a social housing association in Stoke-on-Trent, to house 500 homeless families because Government caps on housing benefit now make it impossible to house the families within the east London borough.

Private rents in the Labour-controlled borough have soared over the last few years, exacerbated by the impending Olympics to be held mainly in Newham.

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Tower Hamlets strippers speak up and organise!

by New Worker correspondent

A PUBLIC debate on double standards adopted in respect of sex industry workers last week was organised in Tower Hamlets by the GMB general union London Entertainment branch and the Equity Thames Variety branch.

The meeting was supported by Sertuc LGBT network and chaired by Linda Keitz from GLATUC and member of the Sertuc women’s rights committee.

Labour MP John McDonnell was invited to speak and expressed solidarity with the workers. He highlighted the double standard and the double morality between the pressure to close the adult venues because of nudity and all the companies who make immoral profit over people’s health and safety.

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Students want qualified lecturers

THE PRESIDENT of the National Union of Students (NUS), Liam Burns, last week voiced a call from students for their lecturers to be qualified in teaching skills before they take up teaching positions in universities.

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No platform for the BNP

KEN LIVINGSTONE, Labour’s candidate in the coming London mayoral elections, and Green Party candidate Jenny Jones, last week withdrew from a BBC London mayoral debate because the British National Party candidate was to be taking part.

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Solidarity with the land of Juché

by New Worker correspondent

NEW COMMUNIST Party of Britain comrades joined millions of Koreans in Pyongyang this month to celebrate the centenary of the birth of great leader Kim Il Sung and take part in the World Congress of the Juché Idea that opened in the Democratic Korean capital on 12th April. NCP leader Andy Brooks, together with Peter Hendy and Theo Russell from the Central Committee, held talks with Choe Thae Bok, member of the Political Bureau and secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), and took part in other events and ceremonies throughout the week.

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Jamie Oliver attacks Gove

THE TELEVISION chef and campaigner for better quality school dinners last week made a strong attack on Education Secretary Michael Gove for his failure to enforce minimum nutritional standards on meals served to pupils in the new “free” academies.

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Support the Kurdish hunger strikers!

by New Worker correspondent

MEMBERS of London’s Kurdish community and their supporters held a protest picket in the heart of the capital last week to show their support for Kurdish political prisoners on hunger strike in Turkey. Kurdish campaigners also took their message to the headquarters of Amnesty International that week to call on Amnesty to speak out against the grave human rights violations suffered by Kurds in Turkey.

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International News

The Grand Prix, imperialism and the Gulf

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

LET US be perfectly clear. Qatar has emerged as the main western puppet in the Gulf, while Bahrain receives favoured treatment, despite a despotic crackdown on activists. And Saudi Arabia, despite having a deplorable human rights record, is treated as “one of the boys”. Could it be because these three Gulf States do what the West tells them to do?

As Muammar Gaddafi said, certain Gulf States have allowed themselves to be donkeys ridden by foreigners. Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi was set to receive a humanitarian prize from the United Nations for his tremendous work in developmental projects in Africa, for his work in women’s rights, for his work in religious and ethnic tolerance and for his e-learning and telemedicine programmes that were starting to benefit hundreds of millions of Africans. Where have Bahrain, Qatar or Saudi Arabia been in terms of human rights?

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Coup fear as Greece veers towards economic collapse

by Petros Papakonstantinou

IN AN INTERVIEW published in the French newspaper Liberación last week, 81-year-old Michel Rocard, Prime Minster during François Miterrand’s administration, declared: “My conclusion is that the inequitable developments will lead to a civil war. This implies important questions for Greece. How can elections be held in this environment?

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Chavez denies new health rumours

by Leandro

VENEZUELA’S President Hugo Chavez denied rumours about a further deterioration of his health while undergoing cancer treatment in Havana, Venezuelan media said on Monday.

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Paul Robeson: remembering a cultural warrior

by Dolores Cox

PAUL ROBESON was one of the most popular entertainers in the United States, admired by Langston Hughes, Albert Einstein and Eleanor Roosevelt. He was also one of the most extraordinary scholars and athletes of his era. Yet Robeson was unfortunate enough to become a persona non grata, a victim of McCarthyism.

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Ahmed Ben Bella


by Joyce Chediac

AHMED Ben Bella, the first president of independent Algeria, and one of the great revolutionary figures of Arab nationalism, died on 11th April at age of 96.

In the worldwide upsurge of colonial peoples that marked the 1950s and 1960s, few uprisings had as much prestige and so electrified the world’s poor as the Algerian people’s eight-year armed struggle, which defeated French colonialism. Ben Bella’s government was seen as a symbol of internationalist solidarity, providing political support and also military training to freedom fighters in Latin America and Africa. He even invited African-American leader Malcolm X to join his government.

Read the full story here -> [ AHMED Ben Bella. 1918-2012 ]

Lock up your poor

by Rob Gowland

THE UNITED States, the world’s richest country — and according to its own propaganda the world leader in democratic freedoms — has the largest prison population in the world today. Seventy-five per cent of that prison population are black or Latino.

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