National News

Reclaim the Power and Frack Off

THE ENVIRONMENTAL campaign group, Reclaim the Power and Frack Off, last Saturday targeted HSBC branches in central London with a giant fracking rig, street theatre and speeches as part of the worldwide “Global Frackdown” day — taking action against the fracking industry.

Armed with a portable fracking rig prop, some great banners, a booming sound system, and some “Rhythms of Resistance” drummers, hundreds of activists set off towards the HSBC branch at Regent Street.

With a heavy police presence they managed to take Regents Street and shut down not one, but [two] branches of HSBC. They had speakers from Romania, Algeria and Balcombe to bring home the message: NO FRACKING HERE, NO FRACKING ANYWHERE.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Ambulance crisis

GROWING numbers of paramedics are leaving NHS ambulance services, according to a report given on BBC Radio Four last week.

Senior staff say remaining paramedic crews are under greater pressure than ever before to meet demand.

At least 1,015 paramedics left their job in 2013-14, compared with 593 in the same period two years earlier.

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Parliament recognises Palestine state

MEMBERS of Parliament voted last Monday evening by 274 to 12 in favour of recognising Palestine as a state alongside Israel. Unfortunately this vote does not bind the Government but it is a significant move, with international implications, towards winning a negotiated two-state solution.

The full motion said: “That this House believes that the Government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two state solution.”

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EDL march in Birmingham and Portsmouth

THE ISLAMOPHOBIC English Defence League was out on the streets of Birmingham and Portsmouth last Saturday though they only raised about 40 supporters.

In both cases local anti-fascists came out in superior numbers to protest at the presence of the EDL, spreading its message of hate and division to undermine local community cohesion.

In Birmingham police mounted a massive operation to contain the 300 EDL supporters who turned up following problems with violence on an EDL march there a year ago.

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Cumann na mBan honoured in Liverpool despite police restrictions

by Mark Moloney

THE women of Cumann na mBan were remembered in Liverpool, England, on Saturday despite attempts by Merseyside Police to disrupt the event by placing restrictions on the parade.

Assistant Chief Constable Darren Martland warned organisers of the commemoration that Cumann na mBan, which is no longer in existence, “is a proscribed organisation” and that it is an offence to “wear uniforms, carry flags or wear brooches” linked to the organisation.

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Scottish News

From our Scottish Political Correspondent

ALTHOUGH the Referendum is over and done with the Neverendum continues.

David Icke, the man who claims that the affairs of humanity are manipulated by Shape-shifting Lizards whose numbers apparently include our own royal family, has gained about 100,000 new supporters in Scotland among disappointed nationalists judging by the numbers signing petitions demanding a recount.

On the morning of the Referendum he announced that the Yes campaign was defeated by fraud. He triumphantly cited the unexpectedly low turnout in Dundee and the fact that the fire alarm went off twice in the middle of count as evidence.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

International News

PFLP backs Kurdish Kobane resistance


THE POPULAR Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), one of the leading Palestinian resistance movements, has pledged its solidarity with the Kurdish resistance in Kobane, where Kurds are struggling to defend themselves and their community from the reactionary armed group, ISIS, whose entry into the region has been facilitated and supported by imperialist powers and their lackeys.

Comrade Khaled Barakat said: “All Palestinian and Arab revolutionary forces should unify their efforts to support the struggle of the Kurdish resistance in Kobane against ISIS and their imperialist supporters.”

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Morales wins Bolivian elections

Prensa Latina

BOLIVIA’S first indigenous President, Evo Morales, has made history again after securing an overwhelming victory in the country’s presidential elections on 12th October, which will enable his government to continue with the processes of change initiated in 2005, through to 2020. Bolivians also voted for 36 senators and 130 members of parliament.

Morales addressed supporters congregated outside the governmental place in La Paz, confirming his victory with more than 60 per cent of the vote.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Morocco public workers strike

by G Dunkel

MOROCCAN workers in the public sector are under attack by the state, which has decided not to talk to their unions, just to impose pension cuts and other changes that will make the workers much poorer.

Four of the five major public sector unions walked off the job on 23rd September. The only one that didn’t was a small union, closely tied to the party running the government.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

German train drivers to strike again

by Ivan Martínez

TRAIN drivers from the German GDL union say they are planning to stage a fresh strike later this month as they continue their fight for higher wages and better working conditions. The executive committee of the GDL held a ballot among union leaders and announced their decision to carry out the strike action.

The GDL demands a five per cent salary increase for the drivers and two hours less work per week. But Deutsche Bahn’s management has only offered a 1.9 per cent pay rise.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Black history means heroic fightback

African Americans and the struggle for socialism, 1901-1925

by Abayomi Azikiwe

IN 1901 the Socialist Party of America, after much ideological and political struggle, emerged as a coalition of various factions within the socialist movement. It had conservative, moderate and revolutionary tendencies within its ranks. Eugene V Debs, an organiser of workers in the railroad industry, emerged as a charismatic figure, the party’s political candidate and a public spokesperson for the socialist movement.

Debs ran numerous times for presidential office and opposed wars of imperialism waged by the US ruling class. He served prison terms for his outspoken opposition to war and US foreign policy.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Hanoi sounds inspire British musician

by Minh Thu

HANOI is a place that inspires Josh Kopecek, an avant-guard musician from Britain. After living in the capital city for several years he realised that the unique characteristic of the place is its sounds.

Kopecek is an initiator of the Soundwalk project in Vietnam, which aims to find and use recordings that explain and evoke unseen aspects of places in Hanoi. The project’s participants wear headphones and walk along Hanoi streets to listen to the historical sounds of the 1,000-year-old city.

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Music will never be the same in China

by Yang Yi

THEY HAVE filled London’s famous Royal Albert Hall to the rafters, packed out New York’s Carnegie Hall and Sydney Opera House, and played sell-out concerts around the world. Now Britain’s most unusual orchestra is facing its biggest challenge, China.

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain embarked on its first ever tour of China, with four concerts in Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing and Hong Kong.

Forget trumpets, trombones, violins and violas; the eight-strong orchestra rely on the humble four-stringed ukulele.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]


Tony Abbott: The chip on Australia’s shoulder

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

I WOULD advise Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to wash his hands carefully and sterilise them after shaking the paw offered to him by Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott at the forthcoming G20 Summit in Brisbane. It is not about Ebola Virus Disease, it is about the disease called insolence and Australia’s colonial chip on its shoulder.

Thank God no Australian can be Head of State, that privilege belongs to Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, because judging by the arrogance displayed recently by its Prime Minister Tony Abbott, it appears the political class doesn’t have what it takes.

Talking about the report that, according to ABC news agency, many Australians would feel upset at the Prime Minister shaking hands with President Putin, stating: “I absolutely take that point”, Tony Abbott displays a degree of insolence, arrogance and incompetence that mirrors the intrusiveness, belligerence and chauvinism inherent in other members of the Anglo Saxon alliance in Nato. You know, that global terrorist organisation whose budget is a staggering one point two trillion dollars a year, each and every year.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

The fight for higher wages

by Alex Kempshall

part one of two


WAGES have increased by just 0.7 per cent in the year to September 2014. Food prices, housing, travel, fuel and childcare costs are rising significantly more than that.

This is why we support the TUC’s campaign “Britain needs a pay rise”. But we need more than this; we need stronger unions and a return to proper collective bargaining, unfettered by anti-union legislation.

But we cannot expect the ruling class to give us back our union rights; we must fight for them as our parents and grandparents did 40 to 60 years ago. We must organise to challenge the anti-union laws, to defy them and to take necessary strike action. And we don’t just want hand-to-mouth wages. We want wages that will allow us a decent lifestyle that includes leisure and recreation.

It is ridiculous, at a time when technology has so much advanced the productive capabilities of labour, that workers doing a 40-hour or more week cannot provide the basic essentials for their families, even when both parents are working. It is ridiculous that some workers are working themselves to death with long, long hours while others are unemployed or underemployed — desperately needing a full-time wage to live even a semblance of a human life.

We want our share of the benefits that come from new technology in terms of higher wages and shorter hours — and we are prepared to fight for it.

We need a wages strategy.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]