National News

Rail workers strike for safety

RAIL workers belonging to the RMT transport union last Tuesday staged a 24-hour strike in Scotland and in the south of England in separate disputes about the same issue — resisting the introduction of driver-only trains and cutting the jobs of train guards.

The actions, on Southern Rail and ScotRail, hit commuters as RMT general secretary Mick Cash declared both strikes “rock solid”.

The RMT also staged demonstrations outside the London and Glasgow offices of ScotRail.

The union accused Scotrail of sabotaging planned talks at the conciliation service ACAS set for Monday. The company notified the union that they would not be attending — sabotaging and collapsing the normal process in disputes and confirming that they have no intention of resolving the dispute.

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MP’s alleged killer to be tried under terrorism protocols

THE MAN accused of murdering Labour MP Jo Cox, Thomas Mair, has appeared in court and will appear again in front of a judge next week for a further hearing to be held under terrorism protocols.

This week he appeared at the Old Bailey via a video link from Belmarsh prison in Plumstead, south-east London and spoke only to confirm his name.

When he appears again it will be before Mr Justice Saunders for a pre-trial hearing under terrorism-related protocols. His lawyer, Keith Allen, has made no application for bail.

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Luton taxi drivers’ protest

TAXI DRIVERS protested outside Luton Town Hall at 1.30pm on Wednesday 22nd June over unprecedented attacks on their trade. The slashing of the grant from central government to local authorities has resulted in councils looking for new income sources — including extracting bigger and bigger fees from hard-pressed taxi drivers.

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Weymouth bus strike

BUS DRIVERS in Weymouth, Dorset, have announced four more days of strike action, from 27th June, accusing their bosses of “broken promises and bad faith” in the long-running dispute over the “poor relations” pay dispute.

More than 110 drivers, based at Weymouth and Bridport, members of Unite, started striking on Monday and will stay out until Saturday.

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MPs say tribunal fees prevent justice

THE PARLIAMENTARY Justice Select Committee last week revealed that since their introduction, employment tribunal fees have reduced workers’ chances of winning justice.

The committee concluded that major changes are needed urgently to restore an acceptable level of access to the employment tribunals system and proposed changes to fees for court users in the civil and family courts and tribunals.

The introduction of issue fees and hearing fees for claimants in employment tribunals in July 2013 has led to a drop of almost 70 per cent in the number of cases brought.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

THE EUROPEAN Union (EU) Referendum campaign has caused so much excitement that the most popular recent stories on the BBC Scotland website are of a body being fished out of the River Clyde, an accountant winning a court case over an heredity title and a bus driver being arrested for insulting gay passengers.

With this background the Scottish National Party (SNP) are very busy trying to promote David Cameron’s pro-EU and austerity policies whilst hoping that none of their supporters realise what they are up to. Nicola Sturgeon has been going about the country peddling the lie that a Remain result will defend workers’ rights and prevent austerity. She is also calling for a Remain vote as the “only sensible and local option”.

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National Trust

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) announced “a bold and ambitious vision to change the way we deliver our core purposes” when it said it was cutting costs by 10 per cent. This is management speak for making 139 staff redundant, according to Prospect, the union representing the Trust’s staff.

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Industrial Action

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

One union that has gone beyond consulting about redundancies is the transport union RMT, which on Tuesday started industrial action to defend train guards against ScotRail’s plans to extend Driver Only Operated (DOO) trains. The previous day ScotRail sabotaged talks to resolve the dispute by setting a number of preconditions which the RMT general secretary said demonstrated that ScotRail had “no intention of engaging in serious talks” at conciliation service ACAS. Backing the dispute, Scottish TUC General Secretary Grahame Smith attacked the new franchisee Abellio, which he said “has failed to deliver the enlightened European model of industrial relations reflected in their franchise bid,” adding that: “It is essential that the Scottish Government now forces Abellio to engage constructively with the RMT in an effort to negotiate an acceptable solution to this dispute.”

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Free the Korean waitresses!

by New Worker correspondent

NEW Communist Party leader Andy Brooks joined other comrades outside the south Korean embassy in London last week to demand the release of 12 young north Korean waitresses working in China who were tricked into flying to south Korea in April. They are now being held, against their will, by the puppet regime.

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Down with the Kiev puppet regime!

by New Worker correspondent

A BRISTOL Ukraine Anti-Fascist Solidarity (BUAFS) meeting on Saturday updated supporters on the current situation in Ukraine and fascist activity in the rest of Europe. Chaired by Giles Shorter, an array of speakers opened a wide-ranging discussion on the fascist revival at the Palestine Museum and Culture Centre last Saturday afternoon.

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Korean solidarity in action

by New Worker correspondent

COMRADES and friends met to discuss future Korean solidarity work at the AGM of the Korean Friendship Association (KFA) held in central London last weekend. UK KFA chair Dermot Hudson opened the discussion, which focused on the anniversary of the north—south June 15th Declartion and the start of Kim Jong Il’s work at the Workers Party of Korea (WPK), and preparations for the annual Month of Solidarity with the Korean People that starts on the anniversary of the imperialist attack on the DPR Korea on 25th June 1950.

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International News

US War on Terror: A ‘matrix of lies and deceit’


CANADA-BASED international criminal lawyer Christopher Black attempted to analyse what lies behind the “war on terror” declared by the US after the 2001 attacks — and came to the conclusion that it is nothing but an attempt to trap the people worldwide in the “matrix of lies and deceit that define the modern world.”

“We are told, the world over, by every government, that we are in a “war against terrorism,” Christopher Black writes in an article on the New Eastern Outlook website.

But “terrorism is an action, a tactic, a strategy. It’s a method not person, a group, a country... how can there be a war against a method of war,” he wonders. “They want us to fight a method and never ask why or who. That doesn’t seem to matter any more. They tell us not to be concerned with why something happens, only how it happens.”

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Nicaragua: Moving toward a prosperous future

by Gabriela Ávila Gómez “CHANGING Nicaragua is promoting a socio-economic model that unites us all... It is unity that strengthens the path of peace, security and stability, the paths we are following, little by little improving the lives of all Nicaraguan families,” said Rosario Murillo, Council of Communication and Citizenry coordinator, in a recent commentary.

Working jointly with all in the struggle against poverty is the fundamental basis of the country’s current government, led by President Daniel Ortega.

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The Korean War: What they don’t want you to know

by Stephen Millies

THE UNITED States (US) government launched the Korean War on 25th June 1950. During three years of massive air attacks and a huge land invasion, more than three million Korean civilians were killed, including hundreds of thousands burned to death by napalm.

US Air Force planes dropped 420,000 bombs on the 400,000 inhabitants of Pyongyang, capital of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) — the socialist northern half of the Korean peninsula. According to historian Bruce Cumings, the Pentagon came close several times to dropping nuclear bombs on the DPRK.

US-led forces levelled Pyongyang in the Korean war. Tens of thousands of Koreans had earlier been incinerated in the US A-bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. At least one quarter of the victims there were Koreans used as slave labour by the Japanese imperialists.

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Killing Palestinians is not enough for Israel

by Budour Youssef

THE ISRAELI obsession with controlling Palestinians and keeping them under surveillance is not limited to the living, but also includes the dead. This is epitomised by the practice of withholding Palestinian bodies, a form of posthumous revenge perpetrated on rebellious Palestinians.

Unofficially halted in 2004, toward the end of the second Intifada, the practice was revived by Israel’s security cabinet last October as part of a package of punitive measures against Palestinians.

These punitive measures, which also included the demolition of suspected attackers’ homes, were aimed at quelling a nascent Palestinian uprising in Jerusalem and corroding its social base of support through naked repression and intimidation. Needless to say, such punishments are exclusively reserved for Palestinians.

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How African liberation struggles drove Portugal’s April 1974 revolution

by John Catalinotto

IT WAS April 1974. A popular folk song serving as a secret signal to the captains in Portugal’s Armed Forces Movement (MFA) played on Lisbon’s Radio Renascença. Units of the army in and near Lisbon had been scheduled to go out for ordinary manoeuvres. Now everything changed.

Spurred on by the growing war weariness of their troops, the growing weakness of the police-state regime, the inability of Portugal to win the war against the liberation movements in its African colonies and the growing international isolation of Portugal, the captains acted.

They had kept their plans secret from the soldiers they commanded. With troops already in their trucks, they read the new orders: “Seize the capital, arrest the government and throw out the fascist gang ruling Portugal.” The rank-and-file soldiers, surprised but ecstatic, carried out the new orders, hoping this action might end the wars in Portugal’s African colonies.

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