National News

Freedom Press firebombed

POLICE have launched an arson investigation after the Freedom Press Anarchist bookshop in Whitechapel in London’s East End was firebombed at about 5.30am last Friday 1st February.

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Never Again — Holocaust Memorial Day

by New Worker Correspondent

AMNESTY International and the Waltham Forest section of Unite Against Fascism (UAF) joined forces last Wednesday evening to host a Holocaust Memorial Day event with speakers, a film, music and debate, in Hackney, to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.

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Vote on gay marriage

THE HOUSE of Commons last Tuesday voted for a Bill put forward by the Government that will legalise same sex marriage, giving the same status to couples committed to lifelong relationships regardless of gender. MPs were given a free vote rather than being instructed by party whips on how they should use their votes.

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Free Schools open in warehouses

THE NATIONAL Union of Teachers last week reacted angrily to changes in planning rule that will enable free schools to open in commercial and industrial buildings without planning permission.

Christine Blower, NUT general secretary, said: “The Government’s latest announcement demonstrates that it is prepared to put its own ideological interests ahead of the health, safety or well-being of children. It is the right of every child to attend a school that is in suitable premises that are fit for purpose and where their health and safety can, as far as possible, be assured.

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CPS axe grinding on pensions

THE CENTRE for Policy Studies is destroying its own credibility and is lining up in competition with the Taxpayers’ Alliance to win the 2013 “axe grinder of the year” award with this report says the GMB union.

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Victim of Remploy closure

GEORGE Scollan, a disabled campaigner who used to work at a Remploy factory in Glasgow, was last week found dead on the day the factory closed. He was known to have been deeply depressed about the closure.

Scollan had worked at the factory in Springburn for 40 years. His colleagues said he had “lived for his job” and grown “more and more depressed” about the prospect of unemployment.

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Scaremongering about Bulgarian and Romanian migrants

BULGARIA’S foreign minister Nikolav Mladenov last week accused David Cameron of scaremongering about a possible mass influx of immigrants from Bulgaria and Romania. And he warned this could jeopardise Cameron’s attempts to negotiate a new relationship with the European Union.

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Care workers fight £16,000 pay cuts

THE GENERAL union GMB last week launched a campaign against Prospect Housing and Support Services after more than half of all care staff received notice of dismissal because they would not agree to drastic cuts to their pay and conditions.

On 4th January 2013, the staff received letters from Prospect Housing and Support Services stating that their employment would be terminated unless they accepted massive cuts of up to £16,000 a year to their salaries and further reductions to their terms and conditions.

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Hogan-Howe wants drug tests at work

SIR BERNARD Hogan- Howe, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, last week called for the mandatory drug testing of millions of professional workers at work.

Anyone who failed a test and refused help to get clean should lose their job, he said.

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Pensioner left to starve for nine days after care agency closure

A VULNERABLE pensioner in need of regular care was left unattended for nine day and was close to death when found after the care agency looking after her was closed down by immigration police.

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Unite recruitment

LEN McCLUSKEY, general secretary of the giant union Unite, last week announced that the union has become even bigger — by 50,000 new members in 2012.

McCluskey also said that Unite will increase organising work this year.

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Liverpool City council cuts

LIVERPOOL City Council last week announced plans to cut 150 jobs in an effort to save £32 million from next year’s budget.

Grants to organisations providing social care will be withdrawn and some voluntary groups will lose part or all of their funding under the proposals.

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Spielberg’s Lincoln

reviewed by Owen Liddle

This is a feel-good movie for the white, liberal middle class sit-intheir- house anti-racists, convincing them social change can only be effected by altruistic powerful political figures and totally ignores the role of mass movements and campaigns.

Lincoln (12A) is on general release.

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LGBT photo show success

by Anton Johnson

UNITE House, Unite’s London headquarters, hosted a very successful Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) History Month event of a display of photographic works by London-based Lesbian Gay Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) photographer Francisco Gomez De Villaboa.

The event was organised by the Sertuc LGBT Network and Unite London and Eastern Region LGBT Committee. It exhibited nine portrait photographs of London-based LGBTQ artists and activists from Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Ireland to show solidarity in the fight against austerity across Europe and the impact on LGBTQ communities in those countries.

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International News

The ICC, Nato and Mali

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

THE INTERNATIONAL Criminal Court at The Hague in the Netherlands, has decided to open a case to try war crimes in Mali, supposedly committed in the last year since rebel groups broke through Government forces in the north of the country. Let us test the “independence” of this “court”.

Remember when Slobodan Milosevic was kidnapped illegally against every fibre of international, Federal Yugoslav and the Republic of Serbia’s laws, was flown to the Hague, held captive without any due legal process (which would have released him as an illegal detainee); then pronounced guilty by the Chief Prosecutor Carla del Ponte before the trial began and held in illegal captivity until his death conveniently ended the process before he could become embarrassing?

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French jets bomb northern Mali

by Ed Newman

FRENCH warplanes have bombed rebel bases and depots in remote parts of northern Mali to try to cut off supply routes, according to the French Foreign Ministry.

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Fidel says the Revolution would not exist without the People

by Lena Valverde

CUBAN Revolution leader Fidel Castro said on Sunday that no revolution can exist without the participation of the people. After casting his vote at Cuba’s general elections, Fidel Castro sent a message to the people stressing: “Without the people we would be nothing, and the revolution would not exist.”

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Ulster Unionist calls for Scottish partition

by Mark Moloney

SCOTLAND should be partitioned if particular areas reject independence but a majority votes “Yes”, says Ulster Unionist Party former deputy leader John Taylor, now Baron Kilclooney.

Putting forward a similar argument to the one that was used to justify the partition of Ireland in 1922, Taylor told the Scotsman daily newspaper: “Should there ever be a majority in Scotland for independence it should not be binding on all the people of Scotland.

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The significance of Stalingrad

by Daphne Liddle

On 2nd February 1943 the Nazi Sixth Army surrendered at Stalingrad. The Russian city of Volgograd was renamed Stalingrad on the 70th anniversary of the Soviet victory last Saturday and pictures of Josef Stalin were put on buses as Russia remembered the end of the epic battle that turned the tide of the Second World War.

NOVEMBER 19th 1942 is the most important date in the world history of anti-fascist struggle and arguably the most important date in human history so far. It was the day the Soviet Red Army launched its successful counter offensive against the invading Nazi armies camped on the western side of the Volga River, where they had been struggling since the 23rd August to take the city of Stalingrad, now known as Volgograd.

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The Murder of Patrick Finucane: the cover up

Part two of two

by Neil Harris

BY 1989 THE new spate of sectarian “loyalist” murders had been noticed and the press were starting to take an interest. Concerned by criticism, the UDA/ UFF tried to justify its murderous acts by producing “evidence” in the form of Army or RUC intelligence material.

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Working poverty and bombing the Moon

by Rob Gowland

EVERYTHING that’s wrong with capitalism is encompassed in the current controversy over cutting single mothers’ welfare payments. The fact that it is based on the unfounded belief that unemployed people are unemployed by choice, for starters.

Anyone who has been unemployed or had a family member in that position knows that no one willingly endures the constant harassment by Centrelink, Australia’s social services department, for pitifully little money in preference to working.

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