National News

United East End mobilising to block EDL

by New Worker correspondent

SCORES of anti-fascist activists from a wide spectrum of local community, faith and trade union organisations have spent the last couple of weeks distributing leaflets and attending organising meetings to get a massive turnout this Saturday 7th September to block the Islamophobic English Defence League from carrying out their plans to march through Tower Hamlets.

The local Labour Party, including the MP Jim Fitzpatrick, the Mayor’s office and many councillors are calling on the police to ban the EDL from bringing their message of hatred and division into this very diverse but unified community.

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Never say protest marches don’t work!

by New Worker correspondent

SEVERAL thousand peace activists marched through London last Saturday to demand an end to British, American and French threats of military action against Syria.

But this march was different to thousands of other peace matches that have trod the streets of London for the last 60 years — it was a march with the victory of a war at least postponed if not completely prevented to celebrate.

And the morale of the marchers was high because of it, because of the vote in Parliament last Thursday 29th August when a majority MPs voted against the principle that Britain should join an American military strike against Syria — leaving Prime Minister Cameron red-faced, angry and defeated.

Thirty members of his own party had opposed the motion and another 30 had abstained.

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Dangerous Lobbying Bill

LABOUR Leader Ed Miliband last week said he could not support the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill, which is supposed to prevent wealthy individuals and companies having undue influence on Parliament but actually threatens free speech.

The Bill widens the definition of lobbying to include all sorts of organisations — trade unions, charities, faith groups, peace and anti-fascist campaigns and many others — that could be restricted from commenting on political issues.

The National Union of Journalists has warned it could also affect freelance journalists. The union has told MPs: “This a rushed piece of legislation, which has not benefited from consultation with the industry it intends to regulate, nor those organisations which will be affected by it and has not been subject to pre-legislative scrutiny. Hasty legislation is dangerous legislation.”

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Gove gets his sums wrong

THE LOCAL Government Association last week criticised the failure of Education Secretary Michael Gove to ensure enough school places for children starting school in the coming two years. Almost half of the school districts in England are predicted to have more primary pupils than places within two years, it has been reported.

The “unnecessary restrictions” on councils wanting to open schools could leave parents scrambling for places that do not exist by 2015, the head of the Local Government Association told the BBC.

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TUC takes agency work low pay to European Commission

THE TRADES Union Congress last Monday lodged a formal complaint with the European Commission against Britain’s government for failing to implement the Temporary Agency Workers Directive properly, leading to tens of thousands of agency workers being paid less than permanent staff despite doing the same job.

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Fracking activist closes Balcombe site

A SINGLE anti-fracking activist last week succeeded in holding up work for many hours by the Caudrilla energy company at the controversial fracking exploratory site in Balcombe in Sussex by locking himself to a tanker that was trying to leave.

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Miliband would repeal bedroom tax?

THE SUNDAY People last week claimed its campaign against the cruel bedroom tax — the cut in housing benefit for low income tenants who are deemed to have more bedrooms than they need — had succeeded in winning a promise from Labour leader Ed Miliband that, if elected, he would abolish the tax.

The Sunday People claims he could unveil this promise at the coming Labour conference this month.

But some top Labour figures are urging him to keep his powder dry and use the abolition like a rabbit out of the hat at the height of the 2015 general election campaign.

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Oliver Cromwell 1599-1658

OLIVER CROMWELL, the leader of the bourgeois English Revolution, died on 3rd September 1658. Cromwell, the MP for Huntingdon, was the leading Parliamentary commander during the English Civil War, which began in 1642 and ended in 1649 with the trial and execution of Charles Stuart and the abolition of the monarchy. The Republic of England, or Commonwealth as it was styled in English, was proclaimed soon after.

The fighting had taken a fearful toll in lives and property in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The death toll, including civilians, came to around 870,000, some 11.6 per cent of the pre-Civil War population. Material damage was immense, particularly in Ireland.

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Chinese contemporary art in London

Xinhua news agency

THE PAINTINGS of 100 Chinese contemporary artists, at an exhibition in London which opened on Monday, have attracted great interest and praise among visitors. The artists are professors and students from four prestigious art schools in China.

“It shows the high level of contemporary Chinese artists,” Chinese ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming said at the opening of the Blue & Yellow: swift-transition-of-self exhibition at the Mall Galleries near Trafalgar Square.”

The exhibition, which closes on 7thSeptember is at the Mall Galleries, The Mall Galleries, The Mall, London SW1Y 5BD and admission is free.

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International News

US rally renews call for jobs and freedom

by Abayomi Azikiwe

TENS OF thousands of people from all over America travelled to Washington DC on 24th August to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom where the Rev Dr Martin Luther King made his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

A myriad of movements, organisations and causes were represented in a crowd that was largely young. Broad cross-sections were present of the workers, along with African- American, Latino, Asian-American, Muslim, environmental, left, anti-war, peace, LGBTQ, women’s and disabilities rights movements.

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Tunisia faces bitter reality

by Mu Xuequan

WALKING in the shade on Avenue Bourguiba in central Tunis, or sipping a cool lemonade in a café in the sweltering August heat, many will not have a taste of the gravity of the socio-political crisis affecting Tunisia. But the reality seems bitter.

“In 22 years of life under the autocratic regime of Ben Ali, Tunisians have been starved of politics. Now they are suffering from indigestion,” Nabil Cherni, a media and communication specialist with la Manouba University, said.

The assassination of secular opposition politician Mohamed Brahmi a month ago threw the country into further political turmoil and made many Tunisians fall prey to economic and security woes.

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American activists mark anniversary of Miami Five arrest

by Leandro

AT LEAST eight public events will be held on 11th -17th September in Washington DC, New York, and Boston to denounce the 15 years of the detention of the five Cuban anti-terrorism fighters in the United States.

A vigil outside the White House, the beginning of the tour by Canadian writer Stephen Kimber with his book What’s on the other side of the sea. The True Story of the Cuban Five, and a lobbying in the Congress, are part of the programme.

These actions seek to put greater political pressure on Washington to end the injustice against these men, said a statement of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Miami Five, as Gerardo Hernandez Noderlo, Ramon Labañino Salazar, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez Llort and Rene Gonzalez Schewerert are known.

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Syria and the rhetoric on chemical weapons

by Luis Brizuela Brínguez

THE RHETORIC about the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government pushes events toward possible military aggression which, in the opinion of many heads of state and political experts, could ignite the region.

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Korea: A Day to Remember

by Andy Brooks

SEPTEMBER 9th is a special day for communists because on that day in 1948 the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was established in the free northern part of the Korean peninsula that had once been part of the Japanese Empire.

It is a special day for Koreans on both sides of the divided country and amongst the overseas Korean community because on that day in 1948 the Korean people expressed their democratic will through popular power and immediately took the first steps towards building a new socialist life for the workers and peasants who had fought to free themselves from the Japanese yoke that had enslaved them for many decades.

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Features

US fast food strikes

by Peter Rugh

IN LATE July fast food workers across the United States held strikes to demand a living wage, from New York to Chicago, Washington, St Louis, Kansas City, Detroit, Flint, Seattle and many other cities. Workers have picketed McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Popeye’s and Long John Silver’s restaurants with an ambitious agenda: pay of $15 an hour, twice what many now earn.

While the stereotype of a fast food worker tends to be a teenager, two-thirds of these workers are adult women, and disproportionately women of colour, many of whom have children and other family to support.

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A brief history of ‘marriage’

Part 6

The anticommunist basis of the anthropological counter revolution

by Bob McCubbin

WE HAVE made reference in this series to the ideological counterrevolution of the early 20th century that sought to banish from bourgeois academia and popular capitalist culture the materialist and evolutionary perspective introduced by Lewis Henry Morgan and Frederick Engels in their anthropological writings.

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