National News

NHS ‘immoral’ car parking charges hit low-paid nurses

SOUTH Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust introduced charges of £1.20 an hour or £12 a month from 1st July affecting more than 60 community staff, including health visitors, school nurses and community matrons, who use their cars to visit clients and patients as part of their daily work.

The giant union Unite said that the South Tyneside case was not unique and that many trusts in England imposed car parking charges on their staff, whether they were essential car users or not. Unite, which has 100,000 members in the health service, said that England should come into line with Scotland and Wales where car parking charges are not levied on NHS staff.

Unite regional officer Martin Wright said: “What the South Tyneside management is doing is immoral — the charges are extortionate.

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EDL fall out in Bournemouth

by New Worker correspondent

THE ISLAMOPHOBIC English Defence League have embarked on another round of activity an in-fighting as their numbers continue to dwindle.

They began last Saturday with a march in Bournemouth that attracted only about 90 to 100 supporters — and active opposition from a small group of Yorkshire EDL supporters. They also attracted a large number of local residents who trailed behind taking pictures with their mobile phones out of curiosity.

Meanwhile anti-fascists in Bournemouth came together as “We are Bournemouth” to stage a counter demonstration nearly 300 strong. They included members of the local Labour Party, Green Party, trade unions Unite and Unison, a local Church of England vicar and representatives of the local Muslim and Jewish communities.

The local Labour group brought with them a historic banner from their women’s section that is as old as the Labour Party — over 100 years.

Also among the anti-fascists was Mick Hicks, veteran communist and print industry trade unionist who played a leading role in the Wapping dispute of the 1980s.

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Free Juliet Osarenwinda

CAMPAINGERS are demanding the release of Juliet Osarenwinda, an active campaigner against the detention and fast-track deportation of asylum seekers.

She was a key organiser on each of the Surround Harmondsworth demonstrations, each time bringing more and more women with her. At the third Surround Harmondsworth protest she organised a group of over 20 women to come to London from Birmingham.

She is a fighter and is determined to inspire and teach other women how to fight for themselves: “I want everyone to have that zeal, the power to move and fight, she said.” Juliet sought safety in Britain to rebuild her life and have a future like every young woman. In Nigeria Juliet was forced to marry a man after her father failed to pay his debts to him.

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Boris rides extremist band wagon

LONDON Mayor Boris Johnson has provoked outrage, including from members of his own party and outside it for saying Britons who travel to Iraq and Syria should be presumed guilty of terrorism.

He also suggested dropping a bomb on a British jihadist who appeared in an Islamic State execution video.

Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna has said he doesn’t think Boris Johnson’s comments about returning British extremists are “sophisticated, sensible or responsible”.

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Scottish News

from our Scottish political correspondent

THE FINAL referendum debate took place on Monday at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Museum, where they had to move the stuffed elephant and his friend the giant otter to make room for Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling, for a second round before an audience of 200 in Glasgow.

Darling, the Labour Edinburgh MP who fronts the “patriotic” Better Together campaign against independence, had the upper hand over the leader of the devolved Scottish government during the first public debate. This time round the debate, or rather shouting match, went to Alex Salmond.

Some 4.5 million people watched it on television and a snap poll suggested 71 per cent of those polled thought Salmond had come out on top, against 29 per cent for Darling. Clearly the Scottish National Party leader had been heeding the advice of his happiness guru and had also done his homework.

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MPs back People’s March THE PEOPLE’S

March for the NHS is steadily making its way from Jarrow to London and last week passed through Sheffield.

Then it proceeded to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital before walking through Nether Edge and Woodseats.

Labour candidate for Sheffield Hallam, Oliver Coppard, attended the march on both days. The next day Clive Betts, Labour MP for Sheffield South East, joined the march at the Town Hall. Later Meg Munn, Labour MP for Sheffield, Heeley, greeted marchers at Woodseats Road and walked with them to the Sheffield border.

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Exhibition shows the horrors of war in eastern Ukraine

by New Worker correspondent

MEMBERS of London’s Russian and Ukrainian communities along with progressive Londoners last Thursday evening packed the Coningsby Gallery for the launch of a charity photo exhibition to raise awareness of the humanitarian crisis in the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in south-eastern Ukraine.

The walls were filled with photographs of scenes of what is now everyday life for the people of that region — surviving amid shattered buildings with no electricity, no clean water supplies and very little food — and under constant threat of new bombing and shelling of their homes.

This is the result of the war being waged on the population by the fascist junta now reigning in Kiev because they have refused to accept the authority of that junta and bow down to a Nazi regime. The photos show elderly women distraught as dead bodies lie in the street, or sheltering in basement storerooms amid large jars of pickles. They show mothers trying to protect and feed their children amid chaos; they show queues for food and queues for transport out of the area — to take them as refugees to neighbouring Russia.

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No to Nato in Newport

by Ray Davies

As the day of the Nato summit draws near the Household Cavalry, RAF, police and special branch descended on Newport on Sunday to celebrate the trans-Atlantic alliance.

It was to be a fun family day, with displays of Nato’s murderous weapons and machinery of death, a food fair with a Nato theme, and a Red Devils fly by. But Côr Cochion, CND Cymru, Palestine Solidarity and the Stop Nato/No NatoNewport campaigns were also there, calling for the money spent on endless wars, to be invested instead in our Health service, schools, and jobs.

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International News

Palestinians celebrate victory in Gaza!

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

THE GUNS have fallen silent along the Gaza Strip. Palestinian and Israeli representatives agreed to an Egyptian brokered ceasefire deal during talks in Cairo this week ending seven weeks of fighting that left more than 2,200 Palestinian Arabs dead and a further 10,000-plus wounded. Over 80 per cent of the Arab casualties were civilians.

But Israel did not come out unscathed. Sixty- four Israeli troops were killed and 450 more were wounded in the Zionist effort to crush the Gazan resistance. Though Israel’s American-funded “Iron Dome” anti-missile batteries knocked out most of the missiles fired from the Strip it didn’t stop all of them.

Nor could it stop the mortar fire that killed five civilians, injured a further 80 and forced thousands of Zionist settlers to flee their homes in southern Israel. The firm response of the Palestinian resistance and their determination to take on the might of the Israeli army, come what may, was clearly what forced the Zionists to halt their aggression and agree to most of the Palestinian demands.

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Ebola: a political weapon of anti-immigrant forces

by Juan Leandro

IN ITALY between August 2013 and July of this year 117,000 African migrants arrived by boat, crafts both large and not so large.

As the refugees cross the Mediterranean, other Africans try to cross the barbed wire fences into the Ceuta and Melilla Spanish enclaves in Morocco and are often shot and killed by border patrols.

On the 21st March Guinea’s government declared an outbreak of the Ebola virus. According to a report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) the following day, more than 140 people had already died, with a total of 208 clinical cases of Ebola registered throughout that West African country. Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s assistant director- general, described the situation as “one of Ebola outbreaks that we have ever faced”.

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ISIS — the new 9/11

by Kemal Okuyan

IS ISIS, or the “Islamic State” really a US project out of control?

In the past we have seen movements created by American intelligence later branded as “enemies” of the United States. Some of these movements were in a state, which made them impervious to the dictates of US imperialism, and some could not come to terms with having been side-lined by the US when no longer of any further use. Some were put on the “terror list” and some really were threats to American security.

ISIS is not like that. ISIS is not out of control. We can comfortably say that ISIS or “Islamic State” is working wonders for the US interest.

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Yasukuni Shrine: centre stage of Japan’s rightist freak show

by Zhu Chao

ON THE day that marked the 69th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in the Second World War, the notorious Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo turned into a centre stage for a freak show of Japan’s unrepentant right-wing extremists.

Among the thousands of visitors to the shrine on Friday 15th August, some familiar faces attracted attention.

Early that morning, Chairman of National Public Safety Com- mission Keiji Furuya walked into the main shrine and paid homage to the place that honours 14 convicted Class-A war criminals and glorifies Japan’s history of aggression.

Later, Yoshitaka Shindo, the internal affairs minister, and Tomomi Inada, the administrative reform minister, followed suit.

In fact the three cabinet members have been the shrine’s most frequent visitors since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government was formed in late 2012, and they have long ignored the fact such visits repeatedly anger neighbouring countries that suffered from Japan’s wartime aggression and atrocities.

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Slaughter on the Western Front

by Rob Gowland

AS ASSORTED politicians on both sides of the House wax lyrical about the supposed “glory” associated with Australia’s participation in the horror that was the First World War, we should spare a thought for the poor young blighters who had been suckered into volunteering for what they thought was going to be a great adventure (from which they would soon be home again).

When, after eight months of futile killing and being killed on the Gallipoli peninsula, the Australians and New Zealanders were finally ignominiously withdrawn, instead of being sent home they were reorganised and reinforced and sent to make up losses in the British lines on the Western Front. By now, even the least imaginative of them was aware that the “great adventure” was actually nothing but a full-on dust-up between the various imperial powers to re-divide the world’s colonies and markets to make them even more profitable for the biggest trusts and cartels. Freedom and humanity never entered into it.

The fighting, however, was not done by bankers or politicians but by poor put-upon Tommy Atkins backed up by Australian diggers along with Canadians, South Africans, Indians and anyone else British imperial reach could rope into the conflict in the name of “God, King and Country”. The Germans, Austrians, Hungarians and Russians of course, also fought for the same ideals (different kings, but the sentiment was the same).

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The racist militarisation of Ferguson, Missouri

by Larry Hales

THE AIR was again choked in Ferguson, Missouri, with smoke bombs and tear gas. Protesters’ chants competed with bursts of firearms shooting rubber bullets. This was in late evening, after Saturday16th August passed into the early moments of Sunday, shortly after the curfew took effect.

Residents of Ferguson, a small suburb in St Louis County, which is more than two-thirds Black, defied Democratic Governor Jay Nixon’s martial law declaration. It had been made mere hours before, ironically in a Black church, and with Nixon flanked by Black politicians.

Many in the audience immediately disagreed with the imposition of police control over the city — not that it would be any different from the condition Ferguson had been in since late Sunday 10th August, the day after 18-year-old Black male Michael Brown was shot to death by a Ferguson cop in broad daylight. His body was then left in the middle of the street for hours.

Nixon’s official declaration provided legal cover and suspended habeas corpus, so those arrested could be detained without a hearing until the order is lifted.

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