The New Worker

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Week commencing 28th May, 1999

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Editorial - Ground NATO now!
Lead Story - Stop Blair and Clinton.
Feature - Ambulance crews vote for strike.
International - Chinese slam US "spy" claim lies.
British News - Nail bomb suspect linked to BNP.


Ground NATO now!

NATO'S air commander says the bombing of Yugoslavia could go on for another eight weeks. And given that these air raids are systematically targeting transport, bridges, communications and water and electricity supplies to Yugoslav cities, this can only mean that Nato is intent on devastating the country and terrorising the civilian population -- a far cry from the "military" targets we were told about when the onslaught began.

 Nato's victims to date include: women in labour; patients in intensive care; prisoners; refugees; diplomats and journalists from non-combatant countries; TV station workers; factory workers; unarmed bus and train passengers and many others killed or injured "by mistake". It is now estimated there have been some 5000 civilian casualties of which 40 per cent have been children.

 Also, the Nato-induced shortages of drinking water and the frequent electricity blackouts inevitably hit the elderly and very young hardest of all. Nato's war aim is now reduced to a strategy of trying to force a surrender to its will by depriving old people of heating and hot food and endangering the lives ofinfants from the moment of their birth.

 As far as Nato's apologists are concerned, all of this is just an unfortunate part of warfare -- an argument they never use when talking about the fighting in Kosovo between Yugoslav forces and the KLA. Here, all Kosovan casualties are portrayed as innocent, (and, it is assumed, unarmed and non-partisan) victims of mythical gangs of hate-crazed, Serbian monsters!

 In Nato's version of events you'd never think the Kosovan separatists are still fighting the war they began -- with behind-the-scenes encouragement from the imperialist powers who needed a pretext for forcing the further break-up of Yugoslavia.

 Nor does Nato have much to say about the suffering of Kosovans caused by its relentless bombing raids. For example, Pristina, the largest city in Kosovo, has been virtually flattened by Nato bombs and many of the refugees have in fact been made homeless by these aerial attacks.

 If Nato's war is now plumbing new depths of barbarity it is because things are not going well for Nato. Yugoslav resistance is tougher than the Nato leaders hoped and opposition to the war within the alliance member countries is strengthening.

 Blair's frustration has taken the form of urging a ground war -- although everyone knows this would lead to an enormous number of casualties on both sides. Fortunately, it is unlikely that the United States Congress will agree to this.

 But, it's not just Blair who is rattled -- all the leading warmongers are afraid that Nato is now having to fight for its own credibility, unity and reputation. We should remember that wounded man-eating beasts are especially aangerous wnen cornered.

 We cannot sit quiet while Nato air forces prepare for a further eight weeks of bombing. In that time thousands more civilians will be killed or injured and the suffering of the people multiplied. And, as in Iraq, the use of depleted uranium weapons by Nato and the bombing of chemical and oil plants will leave a legacy of illness and death in the region for generations to come.

 Such indiscriminate poisoning of the country proves that Nato is not the least bit-concerned about the Kosovans, who will be affected every bit as much as the rest of the population, and it shows there is not a scrap of humanitarian concern in its policies.

 This is why every one of us has to be active in the peace campaign to stop the bombing now and to make It clear to our government that we will not tolerate either the bombing or a ground war.

 We need to build support now for the peace demonstration on 5 June in London -- a day when thousands of anti-war protesters will be on the march in the United States. Let's join with People all round the world who are struggling to stop this illegal and inhuman Nato war!

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Lead Story

Stop Blair and Clinton

by Andy Brooks

WAVE AFTER WAVE of Nato terror bombers are pounding Yugoslavia this week in desperate efforts to force Belgrade to surrender. But the Yugoslavs remain defiant.

 The war enters its third month with no sign of ending despite mounting international demands, led by People's China and Russia, for an end to the bombing.

 And in Brussels Nato generals talk of the war continuing for another eight weeks.

 While Foreign Minister Robin Cook did his whistle-stop tour of Europe to stiffen European support for Anglo-American imperialism's Balkan war the government announced that a further 12,000 troops have been ordered to the Balkans.

The re-inforcements, including Ghurkas, tanks and heavy artillery, are bound for Albania and Macedonia, boosting the British contingent on the ground to 20,000.

 A new American strike-force is being assembled in Hungary ready to open up a new front against Yugoslavia in the east and the West now threatens to indict the Yugoslav leader, SLobadan Milosevich, at their "war crimes" tribunal.

new manouevres

 As Nato bombers continued to hit civilian targets throughout Yugoslavia, Robin Cook dashed from Rome to Bonn and Paris in a day in another show of Nato "solidarity" -- hoping to counter increasing reports of dissent behind the scenes.

 New Nato "peace plans" revolve around the stationing of an "international force" in Kosovo with a token Yugoslav presence along the international frontier and in the Serb community areas of the province.

 This force, under a UN mandate but Nato-led, would include Russian troops. Their zone would be the northern Serb area of Kosovo while the Nato forces would control the rest and it reflects earlier partition plans floated when the war broke out in March.

China's veto

 But whether the imperialists can get this through the UN Security Council remains to be seen. People's China and Russia have made it clear that they will veto any proposal before a ceasefire and they stress that no go ahead will be given unless it is okayed by the Yugoslavs themselves.

 Diplomatic efforts are now focusing on the European Union summit scheduled for 3 and 4 June and more importantly the Group of Seven plus Russia (G8) meeting in Cologne which starts on 18 June.

 Russian envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin has been shuttling across Europe to try and mediate. And to date he's got nothing to show for it. In Moscow he's said to have warned that he will give up the task if his efforts are rejected once again by the Nato powers.

the real criminals

 The move to charge the Yugoslav leader with "war-crimes" in their ludicrous court would kill all hopes of peace stone-dead. Whether it's an attempt to put more pressure on Milosevich or simply another propaganda exercise is irrelevant.

 The real war-criminals are Clinton and Blair and the real pressure to stop the war must come from the growing demand for peace in Britain and throughout the world. This war must be stopped now!

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Ambulance crews vote for strike

by Caroline Colebrook

AMBULANCE crews in Wales last week voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action if current pay negotiations fail to reach a satisfactory settlement.

 More than 200 members of the public sector union Unison and the general union GMB, who work in South Wales as paradmedics and ambulance technicians, are involved in the dispute.

 They voted in favour of the action by three to one across both unions. And colleagues in the TGWU union are expected to vote much the same way next week.

 Brian Evans, Unison regional officer responsible for the South East Wales Ambulance Trust, said that 92 Unison members had voted in favour of strike action and 32 against.

 When the union asked members if they would support action short of striking, 118 out of 124 voted in favour.

 The results come just as the joint union leaders are about to begin talks at the arbitration service Acas to discuss pay and conditions with the employers.

 The cause of the dispute is that some ambulance crews are receiving much lower pay than others -- up to £1,200 a year less.

 This dates back to before the formation of the South East Wales Ambulance Trust (Sewat) and the All-Wales Trust in April 1998.

 Brian Evans said: "People working for the same organisation are being paid vastly different amounts to do the same job.

 "It's getting to the stage where you could be working in the same vehicle with someone who is earning more than you.

 "Sewat workers always complained about being poorly paid, but their noses are being rubbed in it now."

 He added: "A strike hasn't started and cannot start for at least seven days as we are talking to the ambulance service through Acas.

 "We wanted to give them a chance. It is not our intention to take all-out strike action but we will be looking at an overtime ban.

 "We are hopeful that we won't have to take strike action. Nobody wants to strike and it takes a lot to get ambulance workers so brassed off."

 An overtime ban would disrupt services a lot because the trusts now depend on it heavily.

 Brian Evans says: "Ambulance staff are working a full week of shifts and are then asked to work on their rest days too. That's how the service runs these days.

 "A ban on overtime will very quickly affect the service because the service is under-staffed anyway.

 He said the unions may also ask members not to wait on standby at roadsides, a practice developed to give ambulances quick response times.

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Chinese slam US "spy" claim lies

from Xinhua

LI ZHAOXING, the Chinese ambassador to the United States has stated that the purpose of the US Congressional report about China's "theft" of nuclear secrets is to slander China and derail the bilateral relations which are important to the peoples of China and the United States. "The allegations are sheer fabrications out of ulterior political motives," Li told CNN on Tuesday.

 A special US House committee headed by Christopher Cox (Republican), issued an 872-page report on Tuesday, claiming that People's China had obtained secret information on seven nuclear warheads and the neutron bomb in "two decades of espionage" at US nuclear weapons laboratories.

self-reliance, not theft

 "China does not have any policy of stealing high-tech or anything from other countries. China has not stolen anything from the United States in the field of technology," Li stressed.

 China, he said, is the country which abides by the spirit of the charter of the United States and the norms governing international relations.

 Some Americans are trying to insult the wisdom and creativeness ofthe Chinese scientists and engineers, Li said. "China has indeed developed its own limited nuclear capability," Li said adding that this has been done through self-reliance and the efforts and know-how of the Chinese themselves.

 Li said China is a country that loves peace, needs peace and wants to live in peace with other countries including the United States.

 In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry official Zhu Bangzao said the Cox report was merely a fallacy dreamed up by a few people in the United States with ulterior motives and in essence an attempt to stir up anti-China feelings and divert people's attention. Some Americans are still sticking to Cold War thinking, he said, and are making a great effort to invent stories about. Chinese spying in the United States.

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British News

Nail bomb suspect linked to BNP

by Daphne Liddle

PAUL COPELAND, the young engineer who is in custody charged with causing explosions in Brirton, Brick Lane and Soho last month, which resuited in three deaths and scores of injuries, has been discovered in news photos of a British National Party event in September 1997.

 The photos were supplied by Searchlight anti-fascist magazine and published last Tuesday by the Daily Mirror. They show the suspect standing next to BNP leader John Tyndall outside the Swan Public House in Stratford, east London.

 There had been a fracas as anti-fascists had protested at the event, organised to mark the neo-Nazi BNP's 15th anniversary, and to try to recover the party's rapidly diminishing electoral standing in east London.

 The first few protesters arrived to find John Tyndall about to enter the pub and confronted him, resulting in a fracas in which he lost his footing and sustained a nose bleed and scalp wound.

 Neither were serious and he declined hospital treatment -- a black ambulance crew had been sent.

 At the time, the chief significance of the event was that a large number of BNP supporters remained inside the pub while their leader was in trouble outside, even though at that stage they well outnumbered the anti-fascist protesters.

 The pictures published in the Mirror shatter the police assertion that Paul Copeland is a "loner" with no known right-wing political connections.

 The events in September 1997 were intended to revive the fortunes of the BNP. They failed as the event had to be called off and the fascists shipped out in speeding police vans. The BNP did not make any political headway from it and there was subsequent infighting over the BNP members' failure to protect their leader.

 And now, just before the coming Euro-elections, in which the BNP is standing a candidate in every constituency, these photos are not likely to enhance its electoral position.

 Anti-fascists gathered last week outside the BBC's White City Television Centre to protest at the screening of the BNP's Euro-election broadcast.

 Anti-Nazi League spokesperson Theresa Bennett, of Brixton, said: "It defies belief that the British National Party is being given a platform.

 "I have spoken to people in Brixton and there is a lot of anger over this."

  * The number of race-related crimes reported to the Metropolitan Police has surged in the past nine months.

 More than 1,800 cases were reported in March compared with 491 the previous August. Police say they are not certain whether this represents an actual increase in race crime or a greater incentive to report it in the wake of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry.

 The police anti-racist task force, headed by John Grieve, last week made a series of raids across the home counties as part of a purge of far right organisations suspected of tetrorising black and Asian people.

 ** The South Yorkshire Police Force has been told it should be ashamed of new statistics which show that black people are six times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people. The force refuses to accept that it is institutionally racist.

 *** Two police officers who arrested a black lawyer visiting a client at Peckham police station, south London, were disciplined last week.

 The two officers who arrested Tiki Emezie while he was trying to advise a client were found guilty of abuse of authority and discreditable conduct.

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