National News

“Drones, convenient killing: The PlayStation mentality”

by New Worker Correspondent

FROME Stop the War Coalition last Wednesday, 29th May, hosted a meeting “Drones, convenient killing: The PlayStation mentality”. The speakers were Chris Cole, founder of “Drone Wars UK”, Ian Chamberlain from National Stop the War Coalition (STWC) and Tony Gosling, a radio presenter on BCFM.

In opening the meeting the chair, Jerry Cowhig, introduced two video clips, the first where US President Obama jokes about Predator Drones and the second the reality of civilian deaths in Afghanistan caused by drone attacks.

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Holding the line against fascism

by New Worker correspondent

THOUSANDS of anti-fascists throughout Britain last weekend came out on to the streets to counter attempts by fascist organisation — mainly the English Defence League and the British National Party — to capitalise on the shocking murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich two weeks ago.

And everywhere they succeeded in outnumbering the fascists, preventing them from marching and delivering the message that the vast majority of people in Britain want to live in peace and harmony with their neighbours, whatever their colour, race or creed.

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Rallying against the bedroom tax

by New Worker correspondent

PROTESTERS were out in many towns and cities throughout Britain last weekend. In Bristol they gathered outside the Bristol City Council House last Saturday for a rally and to distribute leaflets and collect signatures in the ongoing campaign against the bedroom tax.

The “tax” is a cut in housing benefit to all claimants who are deemed to be in accommodation with more bedrooms than they absolutely need, forcing them to pay a much higher rent, seek a smaller home or face eviction.

The rally was addressed by local activists, Thangam Debbonaire, the Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Bristol West and Jenny Smith, Bristol City Councillor and member of the Labour Group.

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Food banks ‘a way of life’ for thousands

A NEW report revealing that more than 500,000 people in Britain rely on food banks is “a searing indictment of the Government’s failed economic and social polices”, said Unite’s general secretary Len McCluskey.

Len McCluskey said: “The original concept of food banks was that they should be a last resort safety net — but it now appears that they are becoming a way of life for hundreds of thousands of people through no fault of their own.

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Strike over TfL threat

ELECTRICIANS and engineers belonging to the transport union RMT working out of the head offices of Transport for London were on strike on Monday 3rd June in a dispute over redundancy terms.

The union says plans by their employer, Mitie, to enforce redundancies on the TfL contract are “totally unacceptable”.

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Left out of society

THE JOSEPH Rowntree Trust last week published a report based on lengthy research work done by Peter Townsend, the famous British sociologist who died in 2009, which demonstrated that poverty prevents people being full members of society.

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Carling workers to vote in pay dispute

EMPLOYEES at the Molson Coors brewery in Burton-on-Trent, who faced being sacked and reinstated on inferior pay and conditions, will vote on a radically improved offer next week. The details of the package hammered out after two days of talks between Unite, the country’s largest union, representing the staff, and the management of Britain biggest brewery won’t be revealed until the workforce has been briefed.

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Big shale gas reserves

THE ENERGY company IGas has reported much larger than expected reserves of shale gas under Britain and is seeking permission to exploit them.

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Bradley Manning deserves praise not jail

by Theo Russell

DAYS BEFORE the start of Bradley Manning’s formal court martial, 250 people gathered outside the United States embassy in London to demand his release as a conscientious whistle- blower after more than three years’ imprisonment.

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A gig for Searchlight

by New Worker correspondent

ANTI-FASCISTS, many of them veterans of dozens of struggles, came to the Theatro Technis near Mornington Crescent in north London last Saturday evening for an evening of music, conversation and fund raising on behalf of Searchlight anti-fascist magazine.

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International News

Syrian army drives rebels out of Qusayr

SANA THE SYRIAN army has taken the strategic town of Qusair on the border with Lebanon. “Our heroic armed forces have returned security and stability to all of the town of Qusair,” a military spokesperson said.

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Iraq warns Israel against using airspace to attack Iran

by Ed Newman

BAGHDAD has warned Israel that it would respond to any attempts by the Zionist state to use Iraqi airspace for a strike against Iran’s controversial nuclear programme. Deputy Prime Minister Hussein al-Shahristani, responsible for energy affairs, has publicly warned Israel against entering its airspace — the most direct route — to hit targets in Iran.

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Huge protest as Manning’s trial opens

by Kermit Leibensperger

DESPITE police roadblocks hampering access to the rally site, nearly 2,000 supporters of US Army private Bradley Manning rallied and marched at Fort Meade, Maryland. People came from as nearby as a farm in Mayberry, Maryland, and as far away as Chicago, northern California, Britain and Denmark.

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Turkey: the people have risen up

Statement from the Communist Party of Turkey

THE PROTESTS in Istanbul started when heavy construction vehicles entered Taksim Gezi Park on Tuesday 28th May in order to destroy the park and prepare the area for the construction of a shopping mall. Activists in Istanbul protested against the destruction of the park, the only green area open to public near Taksim square

[ Turkey: the people have risen up ]

AKP Government, resign!

The retreat of the police forces from the Taksim square where people have been resisting for days can be considered neither an indicator of the Government’s goodwill or a festival for us.

[ AKP Government, resign! ]


The energy wars of the 21st Century

by Rob Gowland

TOWARDS the end of the 20th century certain capitalist political pundits and futurologists started tossing around the term “the energy wars of the 21st century”. They had become aware that the Earth’s energy resources were not infinite and that whoever controlled them could dictate terms to the rest of the planet. Or so they thought.

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A brief history of ‘marriage’

by Bob McCubbin

UNITED STATES Supreme Court decisions are expected sometime in June on the constitutionality of California’s Prop 8, which prohibits same-sex marriage, and the federal so-called “Defence of Marriage Act,” which discriminates against same-sex married couples in the administration of more than 1,000 federal programmes.

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