National News

International Brigades: the struggle goes on

by New Worker correspondent

ANTI-FASCISTS in Spain, organised by the AABI International Brigades Friendship group, known as the Amigos, are fighting a major political battle to defend the existence of the memorial in Madrid’s University City to those who died fighting with the International Brigades.

And last Saturday a young Spanish campaigner made an impassioned plea for support from members and supporters of the International Brigade Memorial Trust in London at its annual memorial event in Jubilee gardens last Saturday.

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Jimmy Mubenga ‘unlawfully killed’

JIMMY Mubenga, who died on a plane under restraint from GS4 security guards, contracted to the UK Borders Agency, who were trying to deport him, was unlawfully killed, an inquest jury found last week.

Mubenga, 46, died after becoming ill as the aircraft prepared to leave Heathrow Airport in October 2010.

Following the verdict at Isleworth Crown Court the Crown Prosecution Service said it would review its decision not to charge any of the guards over Mubenga’s death.

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Thousands in court over new council tax rules

NEARLY two million people on low income who previously were exempt from paying council tax — including a high proportion of pensioners — now have to pay the tax but have been caught out by the changes.

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CWU to ballot as Royal Mail privatisation looms

THE COMMUNICATION Workers’ Union last week warned the Government that any announcement about plans to privatise the Royal Mail “will be met with a ballot for industrial action”.

The union stance comes amid reports that the Business Secretary Vince Cable is ready to set out terms of a £2.5 billion Stock Market floatation of Royal Mail before MPs leave the House of Commons for the summer recess on 18th July.

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12,000+ disabled people forced to work unpaid

GOVERNMENT statistics on the number of claimants forced to work for charities without pay reveal just over 12,000 disabled people have faced mandatory referrals to unpaid work since the workfare scheme was launched.

The statistics cover the Mandatory Work Activity scheme which is used by Jobcentre staff to punish people who they believe are not trying hard enough to find work.

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TUC concerned at rise in zero hours

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady last Wednesday expressed serious concern at figures published by Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham which revealed that over 300,000 workers in the care sector alone are employed on zero hours contracts.

S he said: “These shocking figures confirm what we have suspected all along — the rise in zero hours working is far greater than official reports suggest.

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Nurses to work until 68?

HEALTH Secretary Jeremy Hunt last week said that he hopes that many of the 200,000 nurses due to retire in the next few years will stay on and work until they are 68.

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Pay Day loan fake texts

BRITAIN’S advertising regulator last week attacked a payday loan company for sending fake SMS messages purporting to be from people’s friends.

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Kim Il Sung — a great revolutionary

by New Worker correspondent

KIM IL SUNG was the greatest Korean who has ever lived and an outstanding communist revolutionary and thinker. That was how NCP leader Andy Brooks put it at a reception held last Sunday at the HQ of the RCPB (ML) to mark the 19th anniversary of the passing of President Kim Il Sung and the 50th anniversary of the Korean people’s victory in the Korean War.

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MPs move to block arming Syrian rebels

by Theo Russell

SENIOR Labour backbencher and former Labour Cabinet Minister Peter Hain is leading a cross-party group of MPs backing a motion barring any lethal support to anti-government forces in Syria “without the explicit prior consent of parliament”.

The motion, in the names of Hain and Tory MP John Baron, reflects mounting opposition to Cameron’s Syria policy amongst Tory and Lib-Dem backbenchers, and has the support of former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell.

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International News

Venezuela and Nicaragua offer asylum to Snowden

by Ed Newman

THE PRESIDENTS of both Nicaragua and Venezuela have said their countries could offer political asylum to US fugitive Edward Snowden. Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro said it would give asylum to the intelligence leaker, who is believed to be holed up in a transit area of Moscow airport. And Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said his country would do so “if circumstances permit”.

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Justified anger at actions against Bolivian leader

by Roxana Marquez

THE Angry and firm reaction of the government and people of Bolivia to the outrageous action of European governments refusing to allow President Evo Morales’ aircraft overflight of these countries, is fully justified given the seriousness of the event.

Not only they were trying to humiliate a president but also his life was at risk, along with all his staff for the unacceptable rumour that Edward Snowden was aboard the presidential executive aircraft.

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Russia says Syrian rebels used poison gas

RUSSIA’S United Nations envoy Vitaly Churkin said on Tuesday he has handed over evidence to the UN that Syrian rebels used sarin gas in an attack in March which killed 26 people. Churkin said Russian experts had been to the scene of the attack near Aleppo and had gathered the evidence first-hand.

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Excessive bullets and moral decay

by Rob Gowland

HAVE YOU seen the 1996 Oscar-winning documentary When We Were Kings? When the film was made, Zaire — where the fight took place — was under the dictatorial rule of General Mobutu. He had overthrown and murdered the popular democratically elected leader of the county’s national liberation struggle against Belgian colonial rule, Patrice Lumumba. Mobutu was helped by the usual forces of imperialism at the time: the US, Belgium, Britain and France.

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A brief history of ‘marriage’

Part 3

by Bob McCubbin

AS NOTED previously, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels found Morgan’s analysis of pre-class and early class society of great value. In the preface to the first edition of The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, Engels writes: “Karl Marx had made it one of his future tasks to present the results of Morgan’s researches in the light of the conclusions of his own — within certain limits, I may say our — materialistic examination of history, and thus to make clear their full significance.”

Morgan’s findings were based not on religious dogma or philosophical meanderings, but rather on a consistently objective approach, a scientific approach, to the reality of existing clan and tribal societies.

Engels offered a profound tribute to Morgan: “This rediscovery of the primitive matriarchal gens as the earlier stage of the patriarchal gens of civilised peoples has the same importance for anthropology as Darwin’s theory of evolution has for biology and Marx’s theory of surplus value for political economy.”

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