The New Worker

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Week commencing 24th November 2000

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Editorial - Arm of the single state. & No profit, no do.
Lead Story - Bomb blast rocks Israel.
Feature - Roger Sylvester police escape charges.
International - Cuba - "fully opimistic about the future".
British News - Students against poverty.


Arm of the single state

THE government can deny it as much as it likes, but the setting up of a European military force is yet another step towards the creation of a single European state. The move is a clear declaration of intent to press ahead with the agenda for political union.

 The Tories have condemned the new force and expressed fears that the move will undermine Europe s commitment to Nato -- especially since the forces to be committed to the Euro-force are the same ones already committed to Nato.

 We too condemn this move, but for very different reasons to those of the Tory party. We are opposed to Nato and the Euro-force because outfits like these are nothing but the war machines of the imperialist world -- which we pay for to the tune of billions of pounds every year.

 They exist to enforce the will of the world's leading transnational companies, big banks, major oil companies, financiers, industrialists and other sharks whenever these exploiters feel their interests are threatened. The oppressed, the poor and those striving for social progress and socialism are the likely targets.

 This reality is sanitized by the politicians and media prostitutes who tell the people that their "bombmg missions" are "humanitarian" and that their armed invasions are "peacekeeping" exercises. The new Euro-force has been introduced as having a "peacekeeping" role.

 Certainly the creation of the European military force is to some degree a grand political statement -- a psychological move in pushing the EU together. But it will also have a real military role both in policing Europe and in sustaining the occupation of parts of Yugoslavla.

 Perhaps its first "mission" should be to speed up the work of clearing Yugoslav territory of the large numbers of unexploded cluster bombs which Nato dropped on its last "humanitarian" visit!

No profit, no do

 LAST week' s climate change summit in The Hague failed to move the United States more than an inch or two along the road to reducing carbon emissions into the atmosphere -- a contributory factor in global warming.

 Just as it did at the Kyoto summit, the US wants to simply pay for extra tree planting schemes to absorb some of the carbons rather than effectively cut its huge levels of carbon emissions.

 This is not surprising. The capitalist world, and especially its most powerful member, is driven by a system that holds profits to be everything. Things that cannot be given a price tag and which cannot make someone a profit simply don't count.

 This means that environmental protesters and concerned citizens around the world are well outgunned by the powerful oil and car manufacturing lobbies.

The Summit should have been much more successful. After all it was not raising far-fetched demands -- the cranky views of those who dream of returning to some pre-industrial golden age of hand looms an cottage gardens. It was simply calling for increased efforts to make industry, transport and energy production less polluting and less dependent on carbon producing fuels and to reduce wastefulness.

 Even these aims are not being attained. The answer is not to simply go for a greener world but to turn it red -- capitalism can't deliver -- socialism, because it values people rather than profits, can bring the changes we all need.

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Lead Story

Bomb blast rocks Israel

by Our Middle East Affairs correspondent

FOUR ISRAELIS were killed and over 40 injured when a Palestinian car-bomb devastated the centre of an Israeli coastal town on Wednesday. The blast, which wrecked a bus in the main street of Hadera, half-way between Tel Aviv and Haifa, came within hours of the murder of five Palestinians by Israeli troops in Gaza.

 The blast follows a similar attack on a Zionist settlement in the Gaza Strip which killed two Israeli settlers and wounded many more and a murderous overnight bombardment of Gaza soon after. Four Arabs were killed and over 120 wounded in the Israeli helicopter and gun-boat assault.

 A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak hypocritically described the resistance attack as "barbaric" and warned that Israel would "settle accounts" with those responsible.

 Yasser Arafat's Palestinian National Authority has denied any responsibility for the attack which is believed to be the work of the Islamic resistance. But tempers are rising in occupied Palestine as the Arabs demand action to stop the Israeli terror campaign which Tel Aviv hopes will drown the new uprising in blood.

 Earlier on Wednesday Israeli tank crews sprayed two Arab cars with gun-fire killing a leading member of Arafat's Fateh (Nadonal Liberation Front of Palestine) movement and four other civilians -- one a woman. Over a hundred bullets were pumped into the cars.

 The Israelis as usual claimed the men were members of Fateh's armed militia on their way to attack a Zionist settlement in Gaza. Fateh has denied this emphatically but warned "Fateh will not let this crime pass. We will direct our rifles against the Israeli soldiers".

 Fierce clashes are raging throughout occupied Palestine. The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) security forces have been now been ordered to defend themselves and the people against Israeli attacks.

 PNA Secretary-General Ahmed Abdel-Rahman said "Israel is waging a war in a bid to eradicate the Palestinian National Authority...we exercise the right of sovereignty and the right to use weapons to defend our land and people".

 Egypt, the only Arab state apart from Jordan and Mauretania to have diplomatic relations with the Zionist entity, recalled its ambassador on Tuesday in protest at the escalating violence of the Israeli army. US Defence Secretary William Cohen, who is touring the region, is lobbying Egypt to think again while confining his "mediation" to the usual pious wringing of hands while doing nothing to rein in the Israelis, who are in fact nothing more than an American dependency.

 Arab League chief Esmat Abdel-Magiud is urging the UN to take "immediate steps" to send an international force to protect the Palestinian civilians from the brutal actions of the Israeli occupation army.

 In Syria, a leading pro-government daily compared the Israelis to Nazis. "General Ehud Barak and all the other Israeli generals have turned to Nazi methods, as they are in the habit of destroying a village and killing hundreds of its residents if one of their soldiers is killed there or taken hostage".

 Even in Saudi Arabia, America's closest ally, the media is attacking Israel and its mentor, the United States. "The savagery of Israel, which uses all means of repression and extermination against innocent Palestinian civilians, shows up the evil plans it has for eliminating the Palestinian people and driving them out of their lands.

 International silence in the face of Israeli massacres cannot be continued indefinitely and nothing justifies the international community ducking its responsibilities," and Okaz declared.

 And this was echoed by Al Bavan from the Gulf emirate of Dubai. "America's silence... shows an obvious support for Israel so it continues its attacks against the Palestinian people. The US bet on Israel is a losing one and Washington will pay a high price for its bias towards Israel if it doesn't understand the anger of the Arabs" it said.

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Roger Sylvester police escape charges

by Caroline Colebrook

THE CROWN Prosecution Service decided last week not to bring charges against any of the police officers involved in the death of Roger Sylvester on grounds of "insufficient evidence".

 Mr Sylvester's mother, Sylvia Sylvester, expressed shock but not surprise at this decision.

 Her son was arrested in January 1999 outside his home in Tottenham. Police originally claimed they had received a phone call reporting that he had been seen naked outside the house "acting in an aggressive and vociferous manner".

 Later the Metropolitan police admitted it had never received any such call.

 After his arrest, Roger Sylvester was bundled into the back of a van with eight officers. He went in a fit man, but was dying when he emerged.

 He was detained under section 136 of the Mental Health Act and taken to nearby St Ann's Hospital. He was still handcuffed as he was examined when he collapsed into a coma and died eight days later.

 His inquest was adjourned to allow an investigation by Essex Police under the supervision of the Police Complaints Authority.

 The PCA was sent to the Crown Prosecution Service which decided there were "no grounds to charge officers for manslaughter or false imprisonment either during Mr Sylvester's detention and removal to a place of safety or during his detention in St Ann's Hospital."

 The CPS claimed that medical opinion, lack of reasonable care and negligence by officers were also taken into account.

 His mother said: "I'm so weak and worn out that I can hardly speak. Nothing can describe how unbearable it is not to know how your son died."

 The case follows a long and sorry pattern of deaths in custody, especially of black young men, where no action is taken against police because they stick together and will not give evidence against each other.

 This is the sort of thing that was not supposed to happen any more after the publication of the MacPherson report into how police racism and negligence sabotaged the inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence.

 Thousands of anti-racists who had hoped that report might mark a watershed are now bitterly disappointed. The police and the CPS are protecting the racist thugs in their ranks as before.

 The pressure group Inquest said the CPS decision shows that the lessons of MacPherson have not been learned.

 Tottenham Labour MP David Lammy said: "If eight of us in this room, three quarters of a football team, had pounced on any other individual, charges would have been brought."

 Toby Harris, who chairs the Metropolitan Police Authority, said the length of the investigation and the "inconclusive outcome" have damaged confidence in the way the case has been handled.

 Now the inquest can proceed.

 * A police officer appeared at the Old Bailey last week charged with racially aggravated assault after he punched a grandfather during a domestic dispute.

 Pc Simon Wilson, of Colindale police station, was charged with the assault on Christopher Broomes and also of interfering in the course of justice. One of his colleagues was also charged with interfering in the course of justice.

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Cuba - "fully opimistic about the future".

by Theo Russell

THE GLOBAL movement to end the US blockade against Cuba has received a huge boost from the Second World Meeting of Friendship and Solidarity with Cuba in Havana on 10-14th November.

The 4,150 delegates From 166 coutrtries met against a background of Cuba's victory at the UN vote on the blockade, and excellent news about the state of the Cuban economy. The US was defeated by 167 votes to 3 in the UN General Assembly, supported only by Israel and the Marshall Islands.

 Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque arrived at the conference straight from the UN and said that with relations with 171 countries, "US imperialism has not been able to sever Cuba's relations with the world".

 In a detailed report on the Cuban economy, Carlos Lage, vice president of the Council of State, said the economy had picked up since 1995 and grew last year by 6.2 per cent. Power shortages had fallen from 14 hours a day in 1994 to blackouts a few minutes long.

 Conditions in housing, nutrition, transportation and health had all improved, Lage said, but were still not adequate. During the economic crisis the minimum consumption of calories had fallen from 3,000 to 2,000 calories a day. It has now reached 2,400.

 Lage emphasised that "State ownership predominates and will predominate the whole economy, along with investments agreed by the state," adding "there is not and there will never be a process of privatisation in Cuba".

 The rapid growth in tourism has been achieved because of state investments, with state control of almost 90 per cent of accommodation. Workers for joint enterprises in Cuba enjoy all the generous protection enjoyed by Cuban workers as a whole.

 Lage acknowledged the problems posed by inequalities which were "opposed by a large part of our people" adding "it is a huge and complex part of our struggle to overcome this. But I have to tell you that we are fully optimistic about the future of the revolution. The blockade will not be eternal. Every day it loses prestige in the world and in the United States".

  During the conference delegates visited Committees for the Defence of the Revolution and cultural events, and took part in a huge 'anti-imperialist tribunal' in front of the US Interests Section in Havana.

 The conference closed with a speech by President Fidel Castro, who told delegates that 90 per cent of the population of 11 million Cubans now has access to electricity, compared to 50 per cent of the population of less than seven million before the revolution.

 He said that during the special period, Cuba's enemies "thought the revolution would die. It never occurred to them that the people had been forged during 30 years of revolution, the many years living with a spirit df brotherhood and solidarity and all the justice that the revolution brought to the masses.

 Many initiatives were taken at the conference to step up the campaign against the blockade, and it was decided to establish an International Day of Solidarity with Cuba on 10 October; to declare 2001 the Year of Solidarity against the Blockade; and to promote the image of Jose Marti internationally with events throughout the world on the 150th anniversary of his birth in 2003.

 * The New Communist Party of Britain was represented at the conference by National Chairman Alex Kempshall and Central Committee member Thee Russell. During their stay in Havana they also had talks with the International Department of the Communist Party of Cuba.

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British News

Students against poverty

STUDENTS earlier this month took to the streets of Westminster in a protest at tuition fees and the end of the grant -- forcing students to take on huge debts to support them through their university years.

 This is pricing many young people out of higher education and forcing many students to take on part-time jobs to keep the mounting debts to a minimum.

 The jobs leave them too exhausted to give one hundred per cent to their studies and undermine their exam results.

 The problems are particularly acute in London where accommodation costs have soared recently.

 Students from different universities across London last week received eviction notices from the company that owns their hall of residence, which is being sold.

 Cartwright Hall in Bloomsbury is being sold for a reported £20 million by its Singapore-based owners for conversion into homes or a hotel.

 Students received the notices in some cases just days after they had signed year-long tenancy agreements. telling them they must quit by 22 December.

 The University of London Union is backing them in a fight for substantial compensation while the students say they will refuse to budge if they do not get it.

 Carli Harper-Penman, vice president of welfare at the union, said that around 100 students signed up at Cartwright Hall at the beginning of term, paying a deposit and a month's rent at over £100 a week. The terms of the contracts specified a minimum residence of 30 weeks.

three-line letter

 She said: "Some students arrived on the Sunday night and paid their deposit and then on Monday they got a three-line letter saying they would have to leave three days before Christmas."

 Duchess property has offered the students £500 compensation and refunds of any fees paid. But they are being advised to reject this. Finding new accommodation at this stage of the academic year will be very difficult.

 James Shirley, a final year student said: "I appreciate that the owners are a commercial enterprise and that they have to look after their own interests. But that seems to me to be going beyond the bounds. I would like some decent compensation so that I'm not out of pocket if I have to move.

 "But my ideal situation would be to continue living here. It's important to be close to my college in my final year."

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