National News

Anger explodes in Whitehall

VIOLENT clashes between police and demonstrators closed Whitehall in Westminster last Sunday as thousands of young people joined a protest rally in Whitehall last Saturday to express their anger at Tory government plans for further cuts.

The mood was driven with anger and disappointment at the result of last Thursday’s General Election. The rally had been arranged previously by People’s Assembly in the widespread expectation that the election would produce no clear winner. Its purpose would have been to urge David Cameron not to linger in Downing Street trying to stitch up some sort of coalition.

People’s Assembly put out notices cancelling the rally once the election result became clear. But that did not stop hundreds of students and other young people coming out to express their feelings. They began to gather outside the Conservative Party headquarters.

Police responded with very heavy-handed tactics. The demonstrators reacted by using their mobile phones and social media to call all their friends to come to join the unofficial march and soon a defiant mob of over 2,000 people brought Central London to a standstill.

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DWP told to publish ESA deaths report

THE INFORMATION watchdog has ordered the Department of Work and Pensions to publish its long-delayed report into the number of people who have died while claiming out-of-work disability benefits.

Activists have been calling on the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to publish the figures since November 2012.

The ruling came after an appeal by Mike Sivier, a freelance journalist and carer who runs the [Vox] Political blog and has himself been pushing for the figures to be published since the summer of 2013.

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Massive police protection for small EDL march in Walthamstow

THE NORTH London town of Walthamstow was brought to a halt last Saturday by a protest march organised by the Islamophobic English Defence League and attended by around 70, while local anti- fascist residents turned out in their hundreds to oppose it.

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Rail workers vote for strike

Rail workers have overwhelmingly voted for industrial action over Network Rail pay. RMT transport union members voted YES by massive majorities in a ballot of Network Rail members for both strike action and action short of a strike in the current dispute over pay.

NR members voted by 80 per cent for strike action on a 60 per cent turn out and by 92 per cent for action short of strike action. The vote comfortably outstrips even the rigged criteria proposed by the Tories in the next raft of anti-union laws expected in the Queen’s Speech.

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‘How are they expected to live’

DISTRICT Judge Roger Elsey demanded to know: “How are they expected to live?” after a destitute couple with children were arrested for stealing food from a supermarket that had been assigned as waste.

Police were called after Paul and Kerry Barker were spotted sifting through food which was destined for the bins at the back of a Tesco supermarket in Sunderland.

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Scottish News

by our Scottish correspondent

NORTH and south of the border the election results were remarkably similar in one important respect: the electorate followed the advice of right wing media mogul Rupert Murdoch to vote against Labour by supporting the SNP in Scotland and the Conservatives in England and Wales.

The SNP’s triumph, which saw them get just over 50 per cent of the vote and all but three of the 59 Scottish seats, was a triumph of nationalist identity politics over class politics.

In one important respect the SNP’s vote is almost exactly the same as that in the Referendum: on both occasions they gained 37 per cent of the total electorate.

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The struggle against fascism in Greece

by New Worker correspondent

THE HALL of the Marx Memorial Library in central London was packed out last Saturday evening for a meeting on Victory Day and the defeat of fascism in 1945, organised by British Section of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE).

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In Memoriam - Ray Davies - 1930 — 2015

RAY DAVIES, a veteran supporter of the New Worker and a frequent contributor to our news and letters columns, passed away last week. He died as he lived, facing his cancer with courage.

Ray was born in 1930 and spent his childhood in Llanbradach where he attended Coed-y-Brain school before leaving at 13 to become a miner in the local colliery. He joined the Labour Party in 1958 and was appointed vice-chair of the Trethomas branch in 1961. In 1964 he was elected to the Bedwas and Machen Urban District Council and he remained a committed and hard-working councillor for over 50 years.

In addition to his work as a councillor, Ray was a passionate campaigner for a range of causes including CND, anti-racism, gay rights, Welsh devolution and peace in Palestine.

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In Memoriam - Ray Davies - 1930-2015

International News

Solidarity with Donbas

A DELEGATION from the Solidarity with the Anti-fascist Resistance in Ukraine (SARU) took part in the Banda Bassotti anti-fascist caravan to the Donbas along with delegations from Italy, Greece, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, Spain, Poland, Ukraine, Turkey and Peru to bring humanitarian relief and show solidarity with the peoples of Donbas in their struggle against the Kiev Junta, a coalition of neo-liberal thieves and fascist thugs brought to power after the western- backed coup in February last year.

The caravan visited a number of social projects in the Lugansk People’s Republic, which included a social restaurant run voluntarily to supply free food to over 700 residents of Alchelvsk whose pensions and social provisions have been frozen by the regime and who would face destitution and starvation otherwise. The food for the restaurant is supplied from a farm owned collectively and run by Prizrak “Ghost” Brigade volunteers.

The Caravan also visited a metal fabrication plant, also collectively owned by the people and in the process of being developed and restored, where we heard from Commander Mozgovoy about plans for the further development of agriculture and industry under collective ownership for the benefit of the people.

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Successes, failures in purge of Brazilian slums

by Pau Ramirez and Bruna Gama

SLUMS have been part of Brazil’s urban landscape for more than 100 years. But Rio has managed to turn some of its slums into tourist destinations, something unthinkable a decade ago. It was in the so-called Wonderful City that the first slum was born. In November 1897, 20,000 soldiers from Brazil’s north-eastern region, who had fought and won the bloody Canudos War in Bahia state, arrived in Rio.

The government had promised them homes in the city, but the red tape put them out of patience. The soldiers began to set up shanty houses on top of the closest hill in downtown Rio. They named their slum Morro da Favela (Favela Hill), after a plant called faveleira on the hill. In time people began to refer to all slums as favelas

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Guyana goes to the polls by Ivan Martínez

GUYANESE voters were heading to the polls on Monday to elect their country’s next presidential leader. Some 570,000 registered voters are casting their ballots in over 2,000 polling stations set up across the country, with voting opening at 6:00 am and closing at 6:00 pm local time, according to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

The Guyanese people, who gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1966, have roots in India, Africa and the Americas and have traditionally cast their ballots along racial lines. The historic racial division in politics between the Afro-Guyanese community, which represents approximately 30 per cent of the population and the larger Indo-Guyanese comprising some 43.4 per cent, is still present in the country’s politics.

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Russia marks 70th anniversary of anti-fascist victory

by Mu Xuequan

RUSSIA celebrated the 70th anniversary of the victory of the world anti-fascist war with a large-scale military parade in Red Square on Saturday. The 9th May is the Victory Day of the Great Patriotic War, Russia’s term for the Second World War. The Soviet Union made great contributions in the fight against the German fascist forces in the European theatre, which cost the Soviet Union 27 million lives.

The parade, the largest one since the fall of the former Soviet Union in 1991, was attended by about 20 leaders of nations and international organisations with the participation of military units from 10 countries, including China.

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a speech at the site, in which he warned that the military- bloc thinking mode and attempts to create a unipolar world would undermine global stability and development.

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Worlds apart: Victory Day in Kiev and Donbas

Sputnik International

IN CONTRAST to Moscow, Minsk, and a slew of other cities throughout the former Soviet Union, including Ukraine’s own wayward Donetsk and Lugansk republics, Kiev marked Victory Day in a lowkey and characteristically “anti-Soviet” way, featuring black marshals’ uniforms, a sterile background and the red and black poppy in place of the Soviet star.

The official ceremony before Kiev’s “Mother Motherland” monument was attended by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, and featured 500 servicemen marching past a stage after taking an oath to serve Ukraine. The modest parade also featured Ukrainian, Estonian, Lithuanian, Polish, and Jordanian military orchestras, along with two British bagpipers.

In a stark contrast to Kiev, the resource-starved but spirited populations of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics were out in full force, Soviet symbology and all.

Donetsk’s parade featured 1,500 personnel, including its most famous volunteer fighters, along with 30 pieces of heavy equipment, including tanks, armoured cars and artillery, decorated with the Ribbon of St. George and the red star.

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Our right to be Marxist-Leninists

by Fidel Castro

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Great Patriotic War, the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution expresses his profound admiration for the heroic Soviet people who provided an enormous service to humanity.

THE 70TH anniversary of the Great Patriotic War will be commemorated the day after tomorrow, 9th May. Given the time difference, while I write these lines, the soldiers and officials of the Army of the Russian Federation, full of pride, will be parading through Moscow’s Red Square with their characteristic quick, military steps.

Lenin was a brilliant revolutionary strategist who did not hesitate in assuming the ideas of Marx and implementing them in an immense and only partly industrialised country, whose proletariat party became the most radical and courageous on the planet in the wake of the greatest slaughter that capitalism had caused in the world, where for the first time tanks, automatic weapons, aviation and poison gases made an appearance in wars, and even a legendary cannon capable of launching a heavy projectile more than 100 kilometres made its presence felt in the bloody conflict.

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Neo-Nazis, Trident and ancient gods

by Rob Gowland

THE REHABILITATION and glorification of wartime Nazis and Nazi collaborators grows apace. Previously most prominent in the Baltic States and Hungary, its latest manifestation is in that hotbed of revived fascism: Ukraine.

The country’s Nato- backed parliament, the Rada, has passed a law recognising the collaborationist Nazi puppet force, the so-called “Ukrainian Insurgent Army” (UPA) as fighters for independence! The UPA, like all the other puppet armies the Nazis set up in the countries they occupied, was made up of pro-fascist elements who thought that by joining with the Hitlerites they would be on the winning side, and would share in the spoils. They were particularly hostile on those of their own people who dared to fight the Nazis, so they were used as concentration camp guards and for punitive actions against the anti- fascist partisans.

The UPA’s Ukrainian Nazis were responsible for killing between 100,000 and 130,000 Polish civilians and from 5,000 to 10,000 Ukrainian civilians in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia, but in an extraordinary slap in the face, the neo-fascist regime in Kiev passed the new law only hours after Poland’s President, Bronislaw Komorowski, had visited the Rada and called for reconciliation between the Polish and Ukrainian people.

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Generals in Germany say ‘No’ to war with Russia

by Peter Wolter

APPROXIMATELY 100 generals of the National People’s Army (NVA) of the German Democratic Republic, which was disbanded 25 years ago, have reacted to the Ukraine crisis with a peace appeal to the general public. The appeal’s immediate impulse is the celebration of the 70th anniversary of liberation from German fascism. Among the signatories are two former defence ministers, three highest level generals, 19 lieutenant generals and 61 major generals, and several admirals.

“The majority of the signatories have witnessed the Second World War at the front,” former East German Defence Minister Theodor Hoffmann said on 5th May in Berlin at the presentation of the call made by “Soldiers for Peace”.

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