News

Racism: Stopping Them on Sight

Issue section: 
Issue: 

New Labour's Home Secretary David Blunkett has launched a new offensive around the issue of stop and search.

He claims, 'We must respect and tolerate differences but not tolerate unacceptable behaviour.' Behind Blunkett stand the newspaper tabloids and broadsheets with headlines such as 'Surge In Street Crime' and 'Black Gangs Lead Crime Wave'.

Both Blunkett and the press are building up a moral panic. Their comments stem from the false idea that following the Macpherson inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence 'the police are now afraid to stop and search black people', as one Tory put it.

Housing: No Easy Touch

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

On 16 April Defend Council Housing (DCH) is organising a 'Case for Council Housing' briefing for MPs at parliament.

Tenants' federations, trade unions and local activists are organising delegations from each area, and contacting their MPs to persuade them to join them at the briefing. Contributors already include an impressive list of tenant reps, MPs, academics and trade unionists. Ucatt, Unison, and the GMB are all supporting the event.

French Elections: A Watershed for the Revolutionary Left

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Whatever the result of the first round of this month's presidential election in France, the poll is certain to confirm the crisis of mainstream politics.

Although the current president, Jacques Chirac, and prime minister Lionel Jospin will probably contest the second round stand-off on 5 May, the election has so far been notable for two things. The first is the general indifference which has greeted the contest between the two frontrunners. Polls have shown that a clear majority of voters see no difference in policy between the Gaullist right winger Chirac and the Socialist Jospin, whose party governs as part of the 'plural left' coalition.

Zimbabwe: Still Living in Limbo

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Zimbabwe was gripped by depression immediately after the recent election results were announced.

For most people the thought of six more years under Mugabe is a death sentence. For the thousands of people still being beaten and killed by Mugabe's 'youth militias' or facing massive food shortages this is not an exaggeration. People walking the streets of the city are starving. Most are surviving on one meal a day, and the prices of basic commodities are set to rise when the government removes price controls.

Between the Lines

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Contaminated steel from World Trade Centre dumped in Asia - Drug Tests on Police - Oxygen in Aeroplanes

More than 30,000 tons of contaminated steel scrap which made up the World Trade Centre have been dumped in south east Asia. The steel, containing asbestos, PCBs, mercury and dioxins, has been unloaded by workers in ports such as Chennai in India by workers with no protective clothing. Two US companies have made millions selling the scrap overseas.

Turkey: A Case of Trial and Error

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Radical academic Noam Chomsky threw the spotlight on Turkey's repressive laws last month when he challenged the Turkish state security court to prosecute him for sedition.

A Turkish publisher had been hauled before the court for printing a translation of Chomsky's writings discussing the repression faced by Kurds in Turkey. In front of the world's press Chomsky argued that if stating this fact was a crime, he and not his publisher should be in the dock.

Political Fund: History in the Making

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

An important conference of rank and file trade unionists is set to take place in London on 16 March. Organised by the Socialist Alliance, the conference will bring together shop stewards and union representatives, as well as other trade unionists to debate the issue of the trade union political fund and the financial links between New Labour and the unions. It will also discuss the campaign against privatisation.

So far over 600 trade unionists have registered and organisers are expecting the final number to exceed 1,000. Demand to register has been so great that an overflow room may be needed. There will be delegates from virtually every trade union. Over 55 union branches have already passed motions at either branch or branch committee level to send official delegations. There will also be executive members there from both Unison and Natfhe and the conference is supported by PCS general secretary elect Mark Serwotka.

Asylum: Europe's Number One Fortress

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

David Blunkett's white paper on asylum and immigration, 'Secure Borders, Safe Haven', published last month, will lead to further persecution of asylum seekers.

Under the proposals, asylum seekers are to be systematically segregated--they will either be forced to stay in accommodation centres or locked up in detention camps. New arrivals will be sent immediately to 'induction centres', modelled on the controversial Oakington centre near Cambridge, where their claims will be processed. Here already frightened, desperate people will be confronted with an array of immigration officials. They will be obliged to sign a document saying they understand the asylum seeker system.

Middle East: The Humiliation of an Entire People

Issue section: 
Issue: 

February 2002 has undoubtedly been Ariel Sharon's toughest month in power since his overwhelming election victory just over a year ago. A string of Palestinian military successes has created a climate of near panic in the Israeli press.

A large roadside bomb destroyed a Merkava tank, and an officer from the undercover Duvdevan Unit was killed by falling masonry while overseeing the demolition of a Palestinian house. Then six Israeli soldiers were ambushed and killed at a checkpoint and their Palestinian attackers got away. The Israeli army has responded by attempting to batter the Palestinian civilian population into submission.

Between the Lines

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Nestlé and food safety - McDonald's strike victory - Bush and Enron

You've heard of a fly in your soup, but what about a lump of metal in your pickle? Sue Taylor bit on something hard in her Nestlé Branston Pickle, reports Which? magazine. It was a dark metal cube which bore the number 2.5. When she contacted the environmental health office they informed her it was a piece from a vegetable chopping machine. Nestlé argued it had taken all reasonable steps to ensure food safety and avoided prosecution. It did, however, give Sue £30 in compensation.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - News